I missed an insane week six while traveling abroad last weekend, so I’ll probably type up a little “what the heck happened” recap in a bit, but before we go back, let’s go forward with THIS weekend’s schedule!
One cool thing to check out today will be the Gym Quarters Invitational in St. Louis. Eight teams compete in two sessions, including #16 Nebraska, #52 Lindenwood, #61 Brown, and #64 Seattle Pacific in the matinee session at 2 pm ET and then the big crazy evening session showdown will include quite possibly the best battle of the season, with #1 Oklahoma and #2 LSU squaring off in a national title preview while #10 Georgia and #15 Missouri will also get in on the action.
#3 Florida should have a pretty easy time traveling to #23 Arkansas. The Razorbacks without injured star Amanda Wellick have taken down some pretty big teams this season, including Alabama and Auburn, but I don’t think they’ll work their magic to pull off a win over the Gators unless the visiting team makes major mistakes, but never say never!
Speaking of #6 Alabama and #17 Auburn, the two programs will actually meet up tonight for the second time this season. When we saw them last month, Bama fought back from a disastrous bars rotation to take down the Tigers as they had a meltdown of their own on beam. In Tuscaloosa, Bama has the upper hand, but they’ve also taken some pretty tough losses against much weaker teams this season, so again, anything’s possible.
We’ve loved seeing Boise State on the rise this season, and they’re currently ranked #7, a record for the program. Tonight they travel to #32 Utah State in an MRGC rival meet, where they’re hoping to keep the momentum going to earn a third 197+ in a row on their road to nationals. The Broncos actually jumped ahead of now #8 Michigan after their stellar performance last week, but the Wolverines are back on the warpath at home tonight against #34 NC State. As always, we can expect big scores when Michigan’s at home, so there could yet again be a shuffle between the #7 and #8 teams this week.
#20 George Washington hosts a quintuple meet against #22 Iowa, #41 Maryland, #50 Pittsburgh, and #63 William & Mary. The Colonials had a rough time on the road last weekend after going 196+ in the three weeks prior, causing a dramatic six-space drop in the rankings for them. With RQS kicking into gear this week, they should be able to drop that low score thanks to three higher away scores, and we should also see them put up a great fight tonight to improve their ranking even more.
Finally, #21 Illinois will host a Big Ten match against #41 Michigan State. MSU had its best meet of the season last weekend against Michigan, but then head coach Kathie Klages quit only days later after being suspended in the wake of the Larry Nassar accusations. Klages, who has been named in a couple of the lawsuits against Nassar, allegedly “brushed off” her athletes’ complaints against Nassar in the late 1990s. Following her suspension, the coach — who has led the program for 27 years — retired “out of respect to the university and the gymnastics program in particular,” according to her attorney.
This is the third time in almost as many years that an NCAA women’s program coach has stepped away due to accusations of abuse, with Meg Stephenson leaving Minnesota in 2014 and Rachelle Thompson resigning from Penn State after the 2016 season. It’s heartbreaking for the gymnasts in these programs to both be subjected to an unsafe environment and then to lose the structure and momentum on top of it. Mike Rowe has stepped up as interim head coach in the meantime, and we wish him and his team the best of luck in what is no doubt a challenging and upsetting time.
Though Oklahoma against LSU is technically, numbers-wise, the biggest match-up of the season thus far, for me, the meet of the week goes to #4 UCLA at #5 Utah in primetime on Saturday. The two teams have been back and forth this season, including last weekend, where the Bruins jumped ahead of Utah in what was a bizarrely high-scoring weekend for UCLA and an equally bizarrely low-scoring weekend for the Red Rocks. Currently only 0.14 apart in the rankings, look for Utah to fight harder than ever in an effort to overthrow UCLA and reclaim the higher spot.
We’ll also get a PAC 12 battle between #12 Oregon State and #18 California in Berkeley. Cal has struggled a bit with the loss of superstar Toni-Ann Williams to injury while the Beavers have been on FIRE for the past month, including in their narrow win over Utah last weekend. This is gonna be a good one.
Our third PAC 12 meet comes at #47 Arizona State, which had its best meet this season — and probably in the past couple of years — last weekend in Seattle. They’ll face the struggling #36 Stanford, and if you asked me a couple of months ago whether I ever thought the Sun Devils could take down the Cardinal, I would’ve said never. But now? I’m actually giving this one to the underdog.
Also on Saturday is #11 Denver hosting #28 Minnesota. After a couple of rough weekends, Denver had a fantastic meet last weekend, breaking 197 for the first time all season, so they’re hoping to keep that up and break back into the top ten. There’s also #13 Southern Utah facing MRGC rival #33 BYU, and #19 Ohio State hosting #24 West Virginia.
Sunday gets a little more low-key, but #2 LSU will be back at home for its second meet of the weekend, hosting two more teams with busy schedules, #20 George Washington and #22 Iowa. We’re also excited to see #14 Washington face #25 Arizona, and we can’t wait to see if D2 program #55 Texas Woman’s can pull off more huge scores and upsets against visiting DI squads #30 Penn State, #44 Western Michigan, and #45 Sacramento State.
With a national holiday on Monday in the U.S., we get a couple of little extra treats as we kick off week eight, with #4 UCLA hosting #32 Utah State and #49 Bridgeport while #29 Eastern Michigan will host #39 Towson.
That’s about everything! All times listed are ET, the first team listed is the host team, and we’ll update any links as they are updated on each program’s schedule. Once the meet is finished, we’ll replace the links with results. Enjoy!
|FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17|
|2:00 pm||Gym Quarters Matinee (Brown, Lindenwood, Nebraska, Seattle Pacific)||Results (Nebraska 197.125, Lindenwood 194.000, Brown 193.350, Seattle Pacific 191.000)|
|5:00 pm||Southern Conn. vs Rhode Island, Springfield, Yale||Results (Yale 192.450, Southern Conn. 188.050, Springfield 185.100, Rhode Island 179.350)|
|7:00 pm||Arkansas vs Florida||Results (Florida 197.125, Arkansas 195.200)|
|George Washington vs Iowa, Maryland, Pittsburgh, William & Mary||Results (Iowa 196.400, George Washington 196.050, Maryland 195.275, Pittsburgh 194.725, William & Mary 192.725)|
|Michigan vs NC State||Results (Michigan 197.225, NC State 193.225)|
|North Carolina vs New Hampshire||Results (North Carolina 195.875, New Hampshire 195.075)|
|Northern Illinois vs Eastern Michigan||Results (Northern Illinois 195.525, Eastern Michigan 195.325)|
|Stout vs Hamline||Results (Stout 186.425, Hamline 182.250)|
|7:15 pm||Gym Quarters Evening (Georgia, LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma)||Results (Oklahoma 198.350, LSU 197.700, Georgia 196.975, Missouri 196.350)|
|7:30 pm||Iowa State vs Gustavus, Illinois State||Results (Iowa State 195.025, Illinois State 192.700, Gustavus 186.275)|
|S.E. Missouri vs Centenary||Results (S.E. Missouri 190.750, Centenary 187.950)|
|Winona State vs Eau Claire||Results (Winona State 188.400, Eau Claire 184.475)|
|8:00 pm||Illinois vs Michigan State||Results (Illinois 196.550, Michigan State 194.025)|
|8:30 pm||Alabama vs Auburn||Results (Alabama 197.350, Auburn 196.450)|
|9:00 pm||Southern Utah vs BYU||Results (Southern Utah 194.825, BYU 194.450)|
|Utah State vs Boise State||Results (Boise State 196.700, Utah State 196.300)|
|10:00 pm||UC Davis vs Alaska||Results (UC Davis 194.900, Alaska 189.350)|
|SATURDAY FEBRUARY 18|
|1:00 pm||Cornell vs West Chester||Results (Cornell 194.500, West Chester 192.025)|
|3:00 pm||Arizona State vs Stanford||Results (Stanford 195.775, Arizona State 195.200)|
|4:00 pm||Bowling Green vs Ball State||Results (Bowling Green 194.950, Ball State 193.625)|
|Ohio State vs West Virginia||Results (Ohio State 196.075, West Virginia 195.800)|
|4:30 pm||Whitewater vs Oshkosh||Results (Whitewater 192.400, Oshkosh 184.425)|
|7:30 pm||California vs Oregon State||Results (California 197.075, Oregon State 196.825)|
|8:00 pm||Air Force vs San Jose State||Results (San Jose State 194.950, Air Force 193.225)|
|Denver vs Minnesota||Results (Denver 197.150, Minnesota 196.075)|
|10:00 pm||Utah vs UCLA||Results (Utah 197.875, UCLA 197.500)|
|SUNDAY FEBRUARY 19|
|12:00 pm||Illinois State vs La Crosse||Results (Illinois State 193.950, La Crosse 190.975)|
|1:00 pm||Brockport vs Cortland||Results (Brockport 192.300, Cortland 188.825)|
|Kent State vs Central Michigan||Results (Central Michigan 195.775, Kent State 195.675)|
|New Hampshire vs Temple||Results (New Hampshire 196.450, Temple 194.350)|
|Springfield vs Ithaca||Results (Springfield 188.950, Ithaca 185.700)|
|2:00 pm||Lindenwood vs Brown, Seattle Pacific||Results (Lindenwood 195.325, Brown 193.325, Seattle Pacific 192.300)|
|Maryland vs Kentucky, Penn, William & Mary||Results (Kentucky 195.850, Maryland 195.475, Penn 193.425, William & Mary 192.825)|
|Texas Woman’s vs Penn State, Sacramento State, Western Michigan||Results (Texas Woman’s 196.000, Sacramento State 195.550, Western Michigan 195.375, Penn State 194.550)|
|3:00 pm||LSU vs George Washington, Iowa||Results (LSU 197.975, George Washington 196.100, Iowa 194.200)|
|UIC vs Rutgers||Results (UIC 194.275, Rutgers 194.200)|
|4:00 pm||UC Davis vs Alaska||Results (UC Davis 195.100, Alaska 192.700)|
|Washington vs Arizona||Results (Washington 197.175, Arizona 195.425)|
|MONDAY FEBRUARY 20|
|4:00 pm||UCLA vs Bridgeport, Utah State|
|6:00 pm||Eastern Michigan vs Towson|
|TUESDAY FEBRUARY 21|
|7:30 pm||Hamline vs Winona State|
Article by Lauren Hopkins