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.


Is Aly Raisman heading to the 2020 Olympics?

Aly Raisman has a good shot at making it onto the 2020 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team. At 23, she’s still in top shape: she has competed in two previous Olympic games and shows the leadership to be the captain once again.

Raisman herself loves the sport… “It has been wonderful for me, I’ve been very fortunate to do so well in it.”

However, lately, Raisman has gotten attention for the statement she delivered during  Larry Nassars sexual abuse hearing. Over a period of four days, more than 150 young women and their parents addressed the former doctor, confronting him about his abusive behaviors towards them. Judge Rosmarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 175 years in prison. Additionally, Nassar was sentanced to an additional 25 to 40 years in a separate case in Michigan’s Eaton County.

Raisman has now become a voice for change in the sport. She has stated she won’t rest until there is an independent investigation of both USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee, as well as Michigan State University, where Nassar worked as a sports physician from 1997 to 2016.

Both the USOC and USA Gymnastics have said that they support investigations into their organizations.

For now, Raisman says she would like to focus on bringing justice to this case. She believes that doing that is way more important than earning another gold medal.

Personally, I believe that if Raisman didn’t have this case to worry about, she would be fully capable of going back to the 2020 Olympics due to her drive and love for the sport. What do you guys think? Do you believe she’d be able to make a comeback and make it to the 2020 Olympics?





Karolyis are suing USAG

The Karolyis, whom are being time coaches in the US gymnastics world,  are suing USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee over the allegedly wrongful termination of a contract in which the organization was to purchase portions of the ranch. The couple also blames USAG for not informing them of Larry Nassar’s wrongful actions after the organization knew of his crimes.

The lawsuit read…”During the negotiation of the purchase agreement, USAG never informed the Karolyis of Larry Nassar’s alleged sexual misconduct on the property although they had knowledge of the same from the reports they received in 2015”.

According to court documents, the Karolyis are looking to get compensation for “breaches of contract and duties owed to plaintiffs which have resulted in severe damages to plaintiffs’ reputation, health, and real property,”.

The couple has stuck to their initial statements—that they had no knowledge of Nassar’s abuses that took place on their property prior to his arrest.

Do you guys believe that the Karolyis had no clue about Nassars abuses? Or do you believe that they knew and covered it up like other coaches did?


Team USA nominated for USAG best of April!

USA Gymnastics and DOW, a company aimed at sustainability through science and sport, have teamed up to present a monthly award recognizing the achievements of Team USA.

The award recognizes one male athlete, one female athlete, and one team of the month.

The women’s team, which dominated the 2018 Pacific Rim Championship, is among the nominees for April’s award!

The U.S. women’s team from the 2018 Pacific Rim Championships has been nominated for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Team of the Month for April.

The U.S. women’s team won its 10th straight Pacific Rim Championship this past weekend in Medellin, Colombia, by a 15-point margin. Grace McCallum and 2017 World all-around champion Morgan Hurd finished first and second, respectively, in the senior all-around competition. In the junior meet, Jordan Bowers, and Kayla DiCello also earned gold and silver in the all-around standings. Rounding out the team was Jordan Chiles who was the gold medalist in the senior vault and floor exercise finals, and junior Sunisa Lee who won silver medals in the vault, balance beam and floor exercise.

I think its great that the women’s team has been nominated and is being recognized for all their hard work. They deserve to be rewarded and I hope that they win. Do you think the team deserves to be rewarded?


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.


Peng-Peng Lee earns the Honda award!

  Peng-Peng Lee of UCLA was awarded the 2018 Honda award for gymnastics.

    The long-time and successful member of the Canadian national faced a lot of setbacks. A serious back injury in 2008 took her out of the sport for two years, then a torn ACL in 2012 pulled her from Olympic competition. She then underwent surgery and looked forward to a fresh start by starting her college career at UCLA. Unfortunately, she re-injured her knee, resulting in her having to red shirt her freshman year and come back her sophomore year.

Another surgery put Peng-Peng on the injured reserves list in 2013.

Fortunately, she had many shining moments as a gymnast. She made her college debut and shined. In 2018, she earned five perfect 10s on beam and two more on bars.

We also watched her claim the National Championship title for UCLA during the Super Six. After a 10 on bars already in the bag, Peng-Peng also nailed her beam routine and scored a 10.00.

The Honda Sports award is perfect for Peng-Peng. It has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 42 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. Lee becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the 2018 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 25, 2018, in downtown Los Angeles.

Personally, I think Peng-Peng deserves this award. She is an athlete that has been through a lot and has worked hard to overcome all her injuries. This award could not be a better fit for her. Do you guys think Peng-Peng deserved the award as well?



UCLA wins National Championship!

After an incredible competition, UCLA won their seventh national title with a 198.075 at the 2018 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. The Bruins are one of only six teams that have won an NCAA title and this was their first since 2010.

Following a bye in the first rotation, UCLA started their meet on floor. Kyla Ross had a fall in her double pike pass, but the team was able to drop her score and earned a 49.625. The top routines came from Felicia Hano, who scored a 9.9 and Katelyn Ohashi who scored a  9.95.

On vault, the Bruins were strong, scoring a 49.225. Their highest score came from Anna Glenn who posted a 9.8875.

UCLA was on bars next. The Bruins scored a  49.6375, counting three scores in the 9.9s and a perfect 10 from Peng Peng Lee. Kyla Ross anchored with a nearly flawless routine.With this rotation, UCLA passed Florida heading into the final event but was still behind Oklahoma.

Grace Glenn lead off the Bruins on beam with a 9.9375. Madison Kocian was second and had a surprising fall on her series, putting the pressure on the rest of the lineup. The final four gymnasts delivered though, and the rotation topped off with another perfect 10 from Peng Peng Lee, pushing the Bruins past the Sooners
The Sooners started off on beam where they had a fall mid-rotation. This fall did not through them off though, because the final three competitors nailed their routines and they totaled a 49.425 to take the lead after the first rotation. Maggie Nichols and Anastasia Webb both scored 9.9125s.

After a bye, the Sooners went to floor to score a 49.5875. Their lowest counting score was a 9.875 Breanna Showers. Brenna Dowell scored a 9.9375 mid-rotation and Webb and Nichols close with a  9.925 and a 9.9625.

Continuing the momentum to vault, OU scored a 49.4875. Dowell and Nichols both posted 9.9375s and Jade Degouveia scored a 9.9.

The Sooners finished on bars and scored a 49.5375. Nichols delivered a perfect routine scoring a 9.9625. Finishing early in the rotation, the Sooners had to wait to see if their score held up. Ultimately, they were beat out and took second place.

Florida started on vault where they posted a 49.4125.

On bars, the Gators totaled a  49.5375. Megan Skaggs and Amelia Hundley both scored 9.9s and Alex McMurtry anchored with a 9.975. With six amazing routines, they were able to drop a 9.85.

Moving to beam, Florida put up five great routines, but McMurtry fell in the anchor spot. Fourth-up Rachel Gowey scored a 9.9125 followed by Alyssa Baumann with a 9.9375. The team was still able to score a 49.3375.

The Gators finished on floor with a  49.5625 and four scores above a 9.9, to put them in third.

After a bye in the first rotation, LSU came out with a 49.475 on bars.  After a solid 9.775 for first-up Sami Durante, the rest of the bar rotation went well. Sarah Finnegan was set to anchor but had a minor mistake casting over on the high bar. She was able to cover it well and still finished with a 9.8125. An impressive five routines out of their six routines in the lineup stuck their landings.

The Tigers moved on to beam where they put up six strong routines for a 49.3875. They were able to drop Erin Macadaeg’s 9.7375. Sarah Finnegan anchored with her beam work to score a 9.9375.

On floor, the Tigers were strong and aggressive. They totaled a 49.5125. Onto the vault, a lot of the line up stuck their vaults. They totaled a 197.8375 to finish fourth.

Utah started on floor where minor mistakes earning a 49.1875. MyKayla Skinner was great in the anchor spot, scoring a 9.925. Utah moved on to vault but didn’t have the outing they were looking there. Skinner posted a score of a 9.8625.

On bars, the Utes earned a 49.2875, once again Skinner anchored a 9.9125. MaKenna Merrell-Giles also had a great bar set and scored a 9.8625.

The Utes finished with a 196.9 for fifth place.

Nebraska had trouble from the start after a rocky bar rotation posting a 48.825. On beam, they ran into more trouble with a fall , but the rest of the lineup did well and they were able to score a 49.275.

On floor, the Huskers looked more themselves and earned a 49.4, led by a 9.9 from Sienna Crouse and a 9.925 from Megan Schweihofer. They ended their meet with a 49.3 on vault.

The Huskers finished with a 196.8 for sixth place.

I was surprised that UCLA took first place in the meet. I was expecting Oklahoma to win again because they were the two-time reigning champions. Who did you guys think would win the meet? Were you happy that UCLA won?


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 advance 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?