NCAA bar difficulty rank of 2018

In NCAA gymnastics, execution is important to an athlete’s success. Gymnasts strive for perfection and look to minimize form deductions as much as possible, and difficulty often takes a back seat as a result.

At the same time, the NCAA’s top athletes will also aim to include high difficulty in their routines without sacrificing on execution. In fact, routines on bars, beam, and floor all start from a 9.5. Gymnasts are required to achieve bonus points to get to the 10.0 start value, and they do this by adding in difficult skills and connections. “D” level skills get an extra 0.10 in bonus, and “E” level skills get an extra 0.20. In addition, connection bonus is determined differently on each event. Gymnasts can only receive a maximum of +0.40 in bonus from connections and +0.40 from D/E skills.

Have you ever wondered which NCAA teams have the most difficulty in their line ups?  The Super Six lineups were looked at and ranked by difficulty. For the observation, any falls that took place in the competition were ignored.

The Florida Gators have the most difficulty distribution of D and E skills within the Super Six teams. Next, Oklahoma gained their bonus from mostly E level skills. They had seven different “E” level skills, which were competed by various gymnasts in their lineup.  Next for UCLA, they had four of their “E” level skills competed by Peng-Peng Lee, which is a lot. LSU was fourth when it came to difficulty in their bar routines, they had one “E” level skill and the rest of the routines included “D” level skills. As for Utah, they also tied for fourth place with LSU when it came to bar difficulty. They had one routine with an “E” level skill, and the other routines included “D” level skills. Finally, Nebraska came in sixth. Overall, their line up only had “D” level skills.

Overall, there were a wide range of “D” and “E” level skills that were exciting to see in the team’s routines. What team bar line up was your favorite? My personal favorite was UCLA’s bar lineup.


Oklahoma, Florida, and Utah onto Super Six!

Oklahoma, Florida, and Utah advanced to the Super Six after the second semifinal at the 2018 NCAA Championships.

The Sooners
The Sooners scored a total of a 198.05 to take first in the second semifinal competition.

On beam, the team earned a 49.375 with no scores under a 9.8. The highest score of the rotation was from Maggie Nichols, who earned a big 9.95.

The team went to floor next where they scored a huge. 49.5875. Four scores from the line up were in the 9.9s. Maggie Nichols anchored again and scored a 9.9625. Anastasia Webb scored a 9.9375, AJ Jackson scored a 9.925, and Brenna Dowell a 9.9.

Next was vault where the two highest scores were from Dowell, who earned a high 9.9375, and Nichols who earned a 9.9.

Finishing on bars, Oklahoma earned a great score of 49.6125. Nichols achieved a perfect 10.0. The second two highest scores were from Nicole Lehrmann, with a 9.95 and Stefani Catour, with a 9.925.

The Gators
The Gators totaled a 197.5875 to move on to the Super Six finals after an awesome meet.

The team was great from the start, posting a 49.475. Reigning NCAA champ Alex McMurtry anchored with a 9.95, and Amelia Hundley and Rachel Gowey both scored 9.9s.

In the second rotation, the team totaled a 49.3125 on beam. Gowey’s routine scored a 9.9125.  McMurtry anchored again and scored a 9.875.

On floor, the Gators had a few mistakes, which was McMurtry stumbling on her triple full landing and scoring a 9.825.

Even though the team had mistakes, they didn’t let those mistakes get to them. An awesome routine came from Alicia Boren, who scored a 9.9.  Alyssa Baumann anchored with a career-high 9.95.

Florida finished big on vault with a team score of a 49.4875. McMurtry performed a massive double-twisting Yurchenko but had a hop back on the landing and scored a 9.9.375. Boren stuck her Yurchenko one and a half for a 9.925 and Slocum scored a 9.9.

The Utes
The Utes finished with a 197.1375 to finish off their competition.

The team had a bit of a slow start on vault, and finished with a 49.225. The team struggled midway, but MyKayla Skinner rounded up their line up with an incredible stuck Yurchenko double full.

The team moved onto bars, where they scored a 49.3375.  Skinner anchored again and scored  the highest score of a 9.925.

On beam, the Utes experienced some trouble when MaKenna Merrell-Giles fell, putting the pressure on the rest of the lineup to hit. However, they didn’t let the fall get to them because they hit the rest of their routines in the lineup, with Skinner anchoring as usual and scoring a 9.925.

Finishing on floor, Utah earned a 49.4625 to secure their spot in the Super Six. Sydney Soloski scored a 9.9125 while MyKayla Skinner anchored with a 9.925.

This meet was another great meet to watch. There were a lot of talented teams going head to head. What did you guys think about the meet? Who was your favorite team to watch?


UCLA, LSU and Nebraska qualify to Super Six!

UCLA, LSU, and Nebraska are the first three teams to achieve their spots in the Super Six finals after the first semifinal at the 2018 NCAA Championships. Coming into the competition, LSU, UCLA, and Alabama were the top-ranked teams, but Nebraska was able to slide past Alabama with a great showing on every event.

The Bruins
The Bruins, who were entering the competition as the No. 3 team in the country, proved that they deserved a spot in the Super Six.

With the Olympic order rotation, UCLA started on vault where they scored a total of 49.1875. Some of their line up included two Yurchenko one and a halfs by Felicia Hano and Pua Hall. All vaults scored above a 9.8 with three 9.85s from Anna Glenn, Pauline Tratz, and Kyla Ross.

Moving on to bars, the team scored a  big 49.375. Within the bar line up, there was an amazing set from from Ross, who scored a 9.95. Unfortunately, Madison Kocian, had a small slip up, but was able to still pull off a 9.775, which ended up getting dropped.

The Bruins continued to show their talent when they went over to beam. The team scored a total of 49.5375. The final three routines of the line-up were amazing, with Katelyn Ohashi scoring a  9.925, Kyla Ross scoring a 9.95, and Peng Peng Lee scoring a 9.9875.

The Bruins finished the meet on floor. They scored a total of a 49.4625. Ohashi anchored with her amazing Michael Jackson routine and scored a 9.9625.
The Tigers
The No. 2-ranked LSU Tigers were also another team that proved why they deserved they deserved a spot in the Super Six. Even though they didn’t have their best performance, they still earned a total score of 197.475 to make it to the finals.

The team first started on beam, where they had some mishaps. Following three hit routines from Erin Macadaeg, Myia Hambrick, and Kennedi Edney, fourth-up freshman Christina Desiderio fell on her series. Fortunately, the Tigers were able to get it back and finish with two more excellent routines and therefor they were able to drop Desiderio’s score. The team finished with a total score of 49.225.

Next for the Tigers was floor. They scored a 49.4. On this event, the team was led by Kennedi Edney’s 9.9, then Myia Hambrick’s 9.95. Unfortunately, Lexie Priessman had a short landing on her double pike but managed to still finish her routine the best she could.

Next the team went to vault. Unfortunately, there was some technical difficulties with the lights as Sarah Finnegan vaulted (they flickered). The NCAA officials allowed her to redo her vault at the end of the line-up, she stuck her landing and earned a 9.85. The rest of the team looked amazing, and they were able to score a 49.35.

LSU finished on bars with a score of 49.5. The top three scores included Edney, who had a 9.9375, Priessman, who had a 9.9125, and Harold, who had a 9.9.

The Cornhuskers
The Huskers were strong throughout the entire meet, proving they belonged in the Super Six more than Alabama.

The team started on bars and earned a 49.0625. Even though they had a solid bar performance, it was their beam rotation that allowed them to get past Alabama. The beam lineup earned a 49.375, where all gymnasts scored above a 9.8. The top two scores in the lineup were by Taylor Houchin and Grace Williams, whom both earned 9.8875s.

They team continued to do great as they moved on to floor, scoring a 49.3375. The teams high score came from Sienna Crouse with a 9.9.

The Huskers went to vault, scoring a 49.2375, and they finished third in the session.

All in all, the competition was great. There was a lot of head to toe routines, that tested everyone in the competition. It was a great competition to watch. Who was your favorite team to watch compete?


Oklahoma Sooners Win D1 Regionals!

The No. 1 women’s gymnastics team, the Oklahoma sooners, claimed its ninth straight regional title on Saturday. The Sooners finished in first place at the NCAA Minneapolis Regional with a score of 198.000 inside the Maturi Pavilion.

The Sooners posted the highest team total on each event and earned a share of for individual titles. On bars Nicole Lehrman claimed the top spot with a 9.950. Nichols claimed the beam title with a perfect 10, the floor title with a 9.975, and the all-around title with a 39.775. Additionally, Nichols was named the South-Central Region Gymnast of the Year for the second consecutive season.

The Sooners began on floor for the second straight competition. Freshman, Anastasia Webb, tied her career high score with a 9.950 on one of her best routines of the season. AJ Jackson, senior, also was a strong competitor in the floor line up, earning a 9.925.  Nichols anchored with a huge 9.975.

The Sooners carried their strong start over to vault. Nichols and Jackson both earned 9.9s. Brenna Dowell, junior, and Webb added to the team’s performance, earning 9.875s. The team scored a total of a 49.400 as a final score on the event.

Next, onto the bar rotation, the Sooners continued their strong performances. Nicole Lehrman, a junior, score a 9.950. Stephanie Catour, a senior, and Nichols, both put up 9.9s, and Bre Showers, a sophomore put up a 9.875. They ended bars with a total score of a 49.475.

Finally, onto the beam rotation, the Sooners hit six for six in routines. Nichols anchored with a perfect 10.0. The total score for the Sooners on beam was a 49.525, which allowed them to earn their eighth score of a 198 or higher this season.

Overall, since I was present at this meet, it was great to watch the Sooners compete. They truly are a very talented and diverse team. It was awesome to see them live and see how they operate. Additionally, I thought DI regionals was a wonderful experience because you got to see a lot of different gymnastics from across the nation. There was a lot of talent in the arena and it was great to see everyone go head to head and not hold back. Were any of you guys at the meet? If so, who was your favorite team to watch and why?