USA earns titles during event finals at Pacific Rim competition!

 A day after taking the team title and the top two spots in the junior and senior all-arounds, the U.S. women picked up an additional 12 medals in event finals at the 2018 Pacific Rim Championships in Medellin, Colombia.

Jordan Chiles advanced to the floor final, where she beat out teammate Grace McCallum to win gold with a 13.650. Chiles improved on her performance in the team competition by four-tenths after posting 13.250 on Saturday.

Chiles also won gold on vault with a 14.188. She rounded out her competition with a bronze medal on balance beam where she bounced back from a fall to earn a 12.175.
McCallum, picked up bronze on vault with a 13.425 average and silver on floor with a 13.600. She struggled just a bit on uneven bars and balance beam and finished seventh on both events.

On the junior side, Kayla DiCello earned gold medals on vault and uneven bars. DiCello scored a 14.525 to win the vault title with a 13.625 for a solid uneven bar set. DiCello narrowly missed a third medal on balance beam when she finished fourth by less than a tenth.

Sunisa Lee earned three silver medals after solid performances on vault, beam, and floor.

Jordan Bowers added to her all-around title with a bronze medal on uneven bars when she earned a 12.900. Bowers also won gold on floor exercise with a 13.725.

Team USA did great at the Pacific Rim Championships and it was an amazing competition to watch. What team did you guys enjoy watching the most?


USA dominates the Pacific Rim Championships!

In their debuts with the U.S national team, Grace McCallum and Jordan Bowers came away with the all-around titles at the Pacific Rim Championships in Medellin, Colombia. McCallum finished with a 54.850 to win the senior crown while Bowers finished with a 53.600 to win the junior crown.

The U.S. women brought home the team title with a score of 218.850. Canada finished second with a 203.400 and Australia was third with a 197.550.

McCallum was the only U.S. all-around competitor to hit all four routines. Her performance earned her a spot to all four event finals on Sunday afternoon.

Bowers overcame a fall on balance beam to earn the junior all-around crown with one of her strongest performances on floor, where she scored a 13.350. Bowers. She also has a unique series on balance beam—a front handspring to a front tuck which is different to see. gym

I think the gymnasts did great in their US national team debuts. I think they will continue to do great as they continue with their gymnastics careers.


Pacific Rim teams announced!

After the two-day verification competition in Spring, Texas, USA Gymnastics has finally announced the team that will travel to Medellin, Colombia, and compete in the 2018 Pacific Rims Championships April 27-29

The seniors that will represent team USA, are: Grace McCallum, Isanti, Minn./Twin City Twister, Morgan Hurd, Middletown, Del./First State Gymnastics, Jordan Chiles, Vancouver, Wash./Naydenov Gymnastics, and Margzetta Frazier, Erial, N.J./Parkettes(who is an alternate).

The juniors that will represent team USA are: Sunisa Lee, St. Paul, Minn./Midwest Gym Center. Kayla DiCello, Boyds, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics, Jordan Bowers, Lincoln, Nebraska/Solid Rock Gymnastics, and JaFree Scott, Independence, Mo./GAGE (who is an alternate).

In the team final, all six gymnasts can compete, only taking the top five scores to count towards the final team score. Additionally, the top four scores will be added together as the team total. There will also be awards for individual all-around and event finals for both the junior and senior groups.

I think this competition will be great to watch. There are a lot of talented gymnasts that made the senior and junior teams. There should be a lot of good international competition as well, therefor it will be interesting to see how team USA does against the other international teams.



NCGA Event finals champions!

  The National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) crowned four individual event champions at the Division III National Championship in Springfield, Massachusetts.

   The night started with vault, and Dani Barmore beautifully executed a yurchenko-full which scored a 9.825. The UW-La Crosse sophomore won the event. Second place went to Brockport’s Candis Kowalik’s with a  9.8, followed by Stephanie Mager (Brockport) and Samantha Wiekamp (La Crosse) tying for third with  9.775’s.

Bars was next, the defending NCGA bars champion Baylee Tkaczuk took first again. The Wisconsin-Oshkosh sophomore posted a 9.85, above La Crosse’s Amy Enright’s second-place score of 9.825. Another La Crosse athlete, Lauren Wilson, was third with a score of 9.775.

Next, was the beam rotation. La Crosse freshman Sam Wyker won with a routine of a  9.825. Kate Mierow of Whitewater was second with a 9.775. A three-way tie for third place was between Kowalik, Cortland’s Emma Schulz, and Whitewater’s Franchesca Hutton—each scoring 9.75.

 Finally, the last rotation was floor. Tali Twomey was crowned national champion for her score of 9.9. Kowalik’s 9.875 second, while Carolyn Nichols (Ithaca) and Whitewater’s Acacia   Fossum tied for third with a 9.85.

I had the privilege of attending the competition and I can say that it was a great meet to watch. DIII gymnastics has definitely improved and grown from previous years and you can tell by the skills that were competed at the individual competition.


NCGA gymnasts qualify to NCAA regionals!

This year, four NCGA gymnasts and one alternate have qualified to compete in the all-around competition at the 2018 DI gymnastics Regionals on April 7 at the University of Minnesota’s Maturi Pavillion.

Individuals who aren’t part of a qualifying can be selected to compete in specific events or all-around based on their performances throughout the season. According to NCAA, four all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and two individual event specialists per event (who have a minimum RQS of 9.4) will be able to compete.

This year, the athletes representing the NCGA (DIII gymnastics), at NCAA regionals (DI gymnastics) is Lisa O’Donnell of UW-Whitewater, Tori Erickson from UW-Eau Claire, Brooke Terry of UW-Stout, Samantha Wiekamp from UW-La Crosse, and Sierra Beaver of UW-Stout as the alternate.

O’Donnell, the Whitewater junior, won back-to-back NCGA all-around titles: 2017 and last weekend’s championship in Springfield, Massachusetts. She is a nine-time recipient of NCGA All-American honors. O’Donnell holds school records on bars (9.825), floor (9.875), and all-around for her 2017 score of 38.875.

Erickson earned an All-American after placing third in the 2018 NCGA individual all-around championship. The senior also took seventh on vault, tying the program record with a score of 9.675 which earned her with her second set of All-American honors for the weekend.

In her first season competing in all-around, Brooke Terry set her career-high score of 38.275 to place fourth in last weekend’s NCGA Championships. The UW-Stout sophomore earned All-American honors for her performance.

Terry’s teammate, Sierra Beaver, earned All-American status for her bar routine that placed fifth at NCGA’s last weekend. Beaver has been named the all-around alternate for the NCAA regional meet.

Samantha Wiekamp is the fourth qualifier to the all-around NCAA regional competition. The UW-La Crosse senior was the fifth-place all-around winner at the NCGA Championships, earning her seventh career All-American honor. She also tied for third on vault and won the all-around at the WIAC Division III regionals.

I personally am looking forward to seeing Lisa O’Donnell (my teammate) compete. She is a talented individual and it will be great to see her in the DI environment. Also, I think it will be great to see the gymnasts from NCGA from compete at DI regionals because it’s always great to have DIII gymnasts prove that they can hang with the DI gymnasts.


Nastia Liukin Cup competition!

Image result for nastia cup Haleigh Bryant of Huntersville, NC/ Everest gymnastics, and Tory Vetter of Columbus, OH/ Universal gymnastics won the senior and junior all-around titles at the 2018 Nastia Liukin Cup.

The Nastia Liukin Cup came officially came to be on Aug. 11, 2009. USA gymnastics and Nastia Liukin announced a partnership to create the cup which would provide a competitive opportunity for the country’s top Junior Olympic gymnasts. Gymnasts are chosen to participate in the Cup from a series of invitationals known as the Nastia Liukin Cup Series. The series is promoted throughout the competitive season with individual meets, each selecting a small handful of athletes to compete in the Cup from their areas of the nation.

In the senior competition, Bryant won with a total score of 38.700. On vault she competed a front-handspring, front pike half out and scored a 9.875. On the uneven bars, she competed a double front dismount and scored a 9.650. Following her bars performance, on beam she performed a solid routine and scored a 9.525. Finally, on floor, she opened with a double front and closed with a double twist, which earned her a 9.650. Overall, her performance was excellent.

After the meet, Bryant was asked how she felt about her performance… “It feels amazing to win the Cup, and I’ve had a blast. I’ve been training hard for this, and all my hard work finally paid off. Winning this has boosted my confidence for state, regionals and nationals.”

Onto the junior all around, Vetter won with a 38.175. She started on vault with a Yurchenko full and earned a 9.500. On the uneven bars, she competed a giant full to Tkatchev and dismounted with a full-in to score a 9.350. During her beam rotation, she performed her cartwheel to back handspring series on beam, and dismounted with a double twist, earning a 9.750(achieved first place with this score). On floor exercise, Vetter opened her floor routine with a double pike and finished the set to score a 9.575.

Vetter was also asked how she felt she did after the competition was over… “I don’t think I could have won without the support of my teammates and coaches. This was my first time to compete at the Nastia Liukin Cup, and Nastia made it so fun for us. This meet was such a wonderful experience.”

I think both gymnasts did an amazing job at this competition. I especially thought Vetter did an amazing job because she is young, and this was her first Nastia Cup competition. Usually, with bigger competitions, a lot of the gymnasts are nervous, so they don’t perform as well as they could if they were competing in a smaller competition. Its amazing that Vetter was able to compete to her best abilities. She has a lot of hard skills so its even more impressive to see her at the age she is competing these skills successfully. I think it will be interesting to see what else she does in the future with her gymnastics career. Did any of you out there watch the Nastia Cup this past weekend? If so, what are your thoughts on the overall competition?