We saw another big week in Division II and Division III, with many teams gaining momentum at the halfway point in the season and putting up huge scores!
The biggest score of the week goes to Texas Woman’s, which scored an enormous 195.625 (this is Division II, folks) in its meet against D1 BYU (195.450) and D3 Centenary (191.300). The Pioneers shined on floor, where they hit a 49.225 (that’s pretty much what my Fantasy Gym team scored on floor this week) and counted all scores of 9.8 or better, including 9.875s from Erin Alderman and Bria Northrop, and a 9.85 from Schyler Jones.
As for their other three events, TWU scored 48.8s on vault, bars, AND beam! At least they’re consistent, right? Jones won vault with a 9.875 (excuse me while I pick my jaw up from off the floor). Northrop, Katie Simpson, and Hunter Vincent all scored 9.8s on bars, while Northrop and Mallory Moredock led the Pioneers on beam with 9.825s. Jones also won the all-around with a 39.2, followed by Northrop’s 39.05.
At the same meet, D3 Centenary hit its second-highest score of the season, a 191.300, despite a couple missed opportunities on bars. It’s amazing to think that with just one or two higher bar scores, they could have reached a season-best. Ashley White took third in the all-around with a 39.0, the highest D3 all-around by FAR this season. In her victory, White scored 9.775s on vault and floor, a 9.75 on bars, and a 9.7 on beam.
The West Chester (D2) meet against Springfield (D3) was record-setting for both programs. West Chester scored a school record 194.400 and also broke team records on bars (48.575) and beam (48.95). Majesta Valentine continues to be a star for the Rams. She broke her own all-around record with a 39.3, and tied the school record of 9.85 on beam, which also secured her first place on the event. Valentine also won vault (9.825) and floor (9.875), and tied for the bars title (9.75) with teammates Meghan Chan and Myranda Marshall (what, like it’s hard?).
At the same meet, Springfield’s 189.300 also broke a school record. This is the second season for new head coach, Jenn Najuch, a former D3 gymnast herself, and her influence on the program is certainly showing. In two seasons, they have already broken four school records. Marissa DeAngelo continues to be rock solid, leading the Pride on vault (9.6), beam (9.7), and floor (9.675), and broke her own school record, placing second in the all-around with a 38.55. Brianna Kerr scored a 9.7 on bars, followed by a 9.65 from Jessica Clemens.
Most improved team of the week goes to Ithaca, which scored a 189.15 (the team scored a 182 at its last meet, just to add some perspective) in a quad meet with D1 Cornell (194.450), D2 Bridgeport (193.225), and D3 Brockport (189.550).
The fact that Ithaca was within tenths of D3 East Region powerhouse Brockport is an accomplishment itself. Looking at Ithaca’s scores, the program has 17 gymnasts who compete in 24 spots. I don’t think there are any other teams out there with that kind of depth, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team made up almost entirely of event specialists. There are no all-arounders, and with the exception of Kendra Balcerak, who competes three events, all gymnasts compete just one or two events.
The Bombers set a new school record on vault with a 47.85 (just 0.025 away from Cornell!). Carolyn Nichols scored a 9.725 on vault, and I heard a rumor that she is doing the famed/illusive front handspring onto the board, front handspring front vault, which has never been performed in Division III. Until now. I haven’t seen a video to confirm, but based on her score, I would say it’s probably true. Baylie Trammell also scored a 9.65 on vault, in addition to leading the Bombers on bars with a 9.575 on bars. Balcerak led the beam team with a 9.65, while Victoria Gery and Amy Thomas scored team-high 9.6s on floor.
In Division III, Ursinus is still on top, but the teams ranked second through fifth are only separated by about two tenths! The second half of the season is going to be very interesting.
Honorable mentions for great scores this week: Lindenwood (194.100), Seattle Pacific (190.425), Southern Connecticut (190.850), and La Crosse (190.200).
D2 All-Around Standings
|1||Majesta Valentine||West Chester||38.946||1||—|
|3||Schyler Jones||Texas Woman’s||38.600||5||+2|
|4||Bria Northrup||Texas Woman’s||38.586||4||—|
D2 Vault Standings
|1||Ariana Harger||Seattle Pacific||9.788||2||+1|
|3||Schyler Jones||Texas Woman’s||9.779||6||+3|
|4||Darian Burns||Seattle Pacific||9.750||1||-3|
|5||Majesta Valentine||West Chester||9.746||7||+2|
D2 Bars Standings
|1||Meghan Chan||West Chester||9.750||—||—|
|2||Jenna Cashmore||Texas Woman’s||9.732||1||-1|
D2 Beam Standings
|Majesta Valentine||West Chester||9.775||4||+2|
D2 Floor Standings
|2||Majesta Valentine||West Chester||9.863||2||—|
|5||Erin Alderman||Texas Woman’s||9.800||4||-1|
D3 All-Around Standings
D3 Vault Standings
D3 Bars Standings
|2||Amy Enright||La Crosse||9.610||2||—|
D3 Beam Standings
D3 Floor Standings
Article by Sarah Keegan