The NCAA D2 and D3 Week Eight Recap

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Last week, we talked a little bit about the underdogs, and I mentioned Seattle Pacific and their killer vaults. SPU hit a season high this week with a 192.600 at a quad meet with Division I teams UC Davis (194.650), San Jose State (193.875), and Sac State (193.250).

This was a super evenly-matched meet for three of the four events. In fact, SPU’s 48.425 vault score beat SJSU’s 48.1 and was within tenths of UC Davis (48.575) and Sac State (48.625). Ariana Harger continues to be the rock of SPU’s vault squad, leading the way with a 9.775, followed by a pair of 9.675s from Darian Burns and Lauren Glover.

Burns also led the Falcons on a season-best bar rotation with a 9.725. SPU hit 48.2 (about a point higher than its previous season high), besting Sac State’s 48.15 and tying SJSU.

But arguably, SPU’s most amazing performance came from Kristi Hayashida on beam, whose meet-winning routine scored a 9.925 and broke a school record from 2001. With other strong contributions from Itzia San Roman (9.8), Miyuki Matsune (9.775), and Glover (9.75), SPU scored a 48.225, and despite counting a fall, beat Sac State on beam and was just half a tenth away from UC Davis.

Floor was the weakest event (47.75) of the night for the Falcons, but once they clean that up, they could absolutely shake things up a bit in D2. Harger posted the best floor score with a 9.825.

Bridgeport hosted its senior meet against Air Force and earned a narrow win, 194.275 to 193.975. Maya Reimers led the Knights on vault with a 9.775, followed up by a 9.725 from Nina Whittaker. Kelsey Campbell won bars with a 9.85, with teammate Thomara Powell-Brown coming in second with a 9.775. Reimers also won beam with a 9.775, with Briana Comport tying Air Force’s Kara Witgen for 2nd with a 9.75.

Comport is quickly becoming popular across the gymternet as many NCAA fans are discovering her beautiful gymnastics on beam and floor. She, along with West Chester’s Majesta Valentine, are among a field of big name D1 athletes as Nominees for the prestigious AAI Award.

Reimers ended her day with another event win, with a 9.85 on floor, followed by Campbell’s 9.825.

UB has a whopping ELEVEN seniors, can you believe that? That must have been one heck of a senior ceremony. In fact, senior Kim Stewart’s senior day was made especially memorable when she was proposed to in front of everyone at the end of the meet. She said yes, of course. Watch it here!

Lindenwood sits atop the Division II rankings after a victory over Division III Centenary this week. The Lions put up a stellar vault rotation with a 48.85, with all six athletes hitting 9.7 or better. Kierstin Sokolowski won vault with a 9.825, with teammate Katey Oswalt taking second with a 9.8.

Lindenwood swept the top four bar scores of the day, with Sokolowski and Andy Alexander tying for first with 9.8s, followed by 9.775s from Aubree Horn and Katie Bailey. Beam specialist Emily Milliet won that event with a 9.85, with Sokolowski contributing a strong 9.775 for third place. Oswalt led the Lions on floor with a 9.85, followed up by Alexander’s 9.825, who tied for third place.

Centenary showed flashes of brilliance to hit a solid 189.6. Ashley White had an especially stellar day, posting a HUGE 38.975 to win the all-around. Reminder: this is a DIVISION THREE gymnast who was that close to a 39 all-around score. She led Centenary on vault (9.775), and bars (9.65), while also contributing a 9.725 on beam and a 9.825 on floor. Centenary’s highest beam score came from Evelyn Harris with a 9.8, but it was Navia Jordan’s 9.875 on floor that not only won the event, but also was the highest score of either team of the entire meet.

There was a serious WIAC match between UW rivals La Crosse and Whitewater, teams that are usually neck-and-neck in the rankings and have, as of late, always had a serious showdown at nationals to contend for the championship title.

La Crosse had the narrow victory over Whitewater, 191.675 to 191.275. Three out of four events were VERY close, but it came down to beam (doesn’t it always?), where La Crosse had the stronger performance.

The victors were led by Samantha Wiekamp on vault with a 9.725, followed by Kari Willett’s 9.675. Amy Enright won bars with a 9.725, with Abby Ostrovsky tying for second with a 9.675, and Dani Barmore right behind with a 9.65.

As for beam and floor, there were FOUR-WAY ties for both events, featuring two athletes from each team. The top score on beam was a 9.7, earned by La Crosse’s Willett and Leah Spankowski, and Whitewater’s Franchesca Hutton and Lisa O’Donnell. The winning floor score of 9.725 was earned by Willett and Elsa Spitzmueller, and Whitewater’s O’Donnell and Courtney Pickett.

Whitewater actually outscored La Crosse on vault with O’Donnell’s 9.7 and Katie Fiorilli’s 9.675 leading the way. O’Donnell also tied with Ostrovsky for second place on bars and won the all-around with a 38.8 (another huge D3 all-around score!), with Wiekamp taking second with a 38.225.

Finally, Ithaca hosted its annual Harriet Marranca Memorial Invitational, a quad meet this year with Brockport, Ursinus, and Rhode Island. I was able to watch the live stream of this meet, and I was super impressed that Ithaca had not one, but two feeds (one for beam/vault, one for floor/bars).

Ursinus won the meet with a 188.825. The team finished on beam, the event they have totally been slaying all season. They counted four of five scores that were 9.625 or higher and hit a 48.325, the best team beam score of the meet by six tenths. And the thing is, they did really well on beam even without their top beam performer, Jill Casarella, who unfortunately suffered a season (and career, since she is a senior) ending injury. Alexandra Puryear tied with Brockport’s Erica Roth for the beam title with a 9.8. Brockport’s Candis Kowalik was second with a 9.775, with teammate Kendal Hamer and Ursinus’ Skyler Haas tying for third with 9.75s.

Ursinus, Ithaca, and Brockport all scored within a tenth of each other on vault, which is pretty crazy. Ursinus’ Heather Brubaker won the event with a 9.575, with Brockport’s Allison Hester and Bridgette Schall tying for 2nd with 9.5s, and Ithaca’s Kaylee Pacunas and Maggie Verrette in third with 9.45s. RIC’s best performer on vault was Kyndel Yett, who tied for fifth with a 9.4.

Bars seemed to be struggle city for all four teams, with the scores being relatively lower than what we’re used to seeing. Maddie O’Braitis of Brockport and Lauren Chavis of Ursinus tied for first with 9.625s, with Puryear coming second with a 9.375. Ithaca’s best bar scores were 9.35s by  Danielle Maffuid and Baylie Trammell, while RIC’s best bar performance came from Allie DiBiase, with an 8.75.

Floor was pretty close too, with just about a point separating all four teams. Surprisingly enough, if was Ithaca with the best floor rotation, earning a 47.2. Brockport’s Schaal won floor with a 9.675, with Casey Sullivan coming in second with a 9.625. Ursinus’ Eleanor LaFountain and Ithaca’s Emily Szembrot tied for third with 9.55s. RIC’s best floor score again came from Yett, tying for seventh with a 9.425.

The craziest thing this week for me is that in Division III, the top five teams are all ranked within ONE TENTH of each other. I literally cannot predict with any certainty who will win the regional and national meets. It could be anyone!

D2 Standings

Rank Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Lindenwood 194.020 1
2 Bridgeport 193.925 2
3 Texas Woman’s 193.605 3
4 West Chester 192.350 4
5 Seattle Pacific 191.155 5
6 Southern Connecticut 189.345 6

D2 All-Around Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Majesta Valentine West Chester 39.160 1
2 Schyler Jones Texas Woman’s 38.820 3 +1
3 Bria Northrop Texas Woman’s 38.790 2 -1
4 Kelsey Campbell Bridgeport 38.705 4
5 Katie Simpson Texas Woman’s 37.910 5

D2 Vault Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Kierstin Sokolowski Lindenwood 9.815 2 +1
2 Schyler Jones Texas Woman’s 9.810 1 -1
3 Ariana Harger Seattle Pacific 9.790 3
4 Darian Burns Seattle Pacific 9.770 4
Katie Simpson Texas Woman’s 9.770 5 +1

D2 Bars Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Christine Liataud Bridgeport 9.775 4 +3
2 Aubree Horn Lindenwood 9.760 2
3 Jenna Cashmore Texas Woman’s 9.755 1 -2
4 Kierstin Sokolowski Lindenwood 9.745 5 +1
Bria Northrup Texas Woman’s 9.745 3 -1

D2 Beam Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Brianna Comport Bridgeport 9.850 1
2 Majesta Valentine West Chester 9.825 2
3 Kierstin Sokolowski Lindenwood 9.810 3
4 Maya Reimers Bridgeport 9.780 4
5 Schyler Jones Texas Woman’s 9.740 11 +6

D2 Floor Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Brianna Comport Bridgeport 9.885 1
2 Majesta Valentine West Chester 9.880 2
3 Maya Reimers Bridgeport 9.840 3
4 Randi Cutolo Bridgeport 9.835 5 +1
5 Erin Alderman Texas Woman’s 9.830 3 -2

D3 Standings

Rank Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 La Crosse 189.225 2 +1
2 Brockport 189.165 1 -1
3 Centenary 189.160 3
4 Whitewater 189.140
5 Ursinus 189.115
6 Winona State 187.135 4 -2
7 Cortland 186.275 5 -2
8 Stout 185.880 6 -2
9 Ithaca 185.840 9
10 Springfield 185.660 7 -3
11 Eau Claire 185.435 8 -3
12 Hamline 184.025 10 -2
13 Oshkosh 183.465 11 -2
14 Gustavus 183.295 12 -2
15 Rhode Island 176.745 13 -2

D3 All-Around Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Ashley White Centenary 38.380
2 Eboni Jackson Winona State 37.855 1 -1
3 Kaylee Jondahl Stout 37.500 2 -2
4 Alexandra Kopp Gustavus 36.905
5 Lauren Kershner Gustavus 36.870 3 -2

D3 Vault Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Rachel Filipski Cortland 9.680 1
2 Ashley White Centenary 9.605 8 +6
3 Kaylee Jondahl Stout 9.575 2 -1
4 Bridgette Schaal Brockport 9.545 3 -1
5 Mikala Bugge Stout 9.540 5

D3 Bars Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Ashley White Centenary 9.670
2 Baylee Tkaczuk Oshkosh 9.585 41 +39
3 Kathryn Pipp Winona State 9.535 17 +14
4 Lauren Chavis Ursinus 9.495
5 Megan Fayler Eau Claire 9.475 1 -4

D3 Beam Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Ashley White Centenary 9.670 1
2 Kari Willett La Crosse 9.610 3 +1
3 Eboni Jackson Winona State 9.590 2 -1
4 Kelly Johnston Winona State 9.580 6 +2
5 Amanda Palladino Ursinus 9.575

D3 Floor Standings

Rank Athlete Team RQS Week 7 Change
1 Navia Jordan Centenary 9.750
2 Elsa Spitzmueller La Crosse 9.690 2
Kaylee Jondahl Stout 9.690 1 -1
4 Eboni Jackson Winona State 9.665 4
5 Ashley White Centenary 9.655 12 +7
Courtney Pickett Whitewater 9.655

Article by Sarah Keegan

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3 thoughts on “The NCAA D2 and D3 Week Eight Recap

  1. Is the reason DII and DIII scores are lower typically because of lower execution scores or lower difficulty scores? Thanks!

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    • Hi Hadley,

      D2 and D3 still follow the same rules as D1 (9.5 start value if all special requirements are met, the gymnasts must then earn .5 in bonus to get a 10.0 SV). For beam and floor, I would say most, if not all competitors are starting from a 10 (or a 9.9 at least), so it’s their execution that separates them from D1. Many of these gymnasts have not had as many years experience doing the skills as D1 gymnasts, so they lack some of the polish.

      Bars is harder to get a 10.0 SV on but still, most in the lineup do or are close.

      As for vaults, that’s where you will see the biggest difference in difficulty. The yurchenko full that is so common in D1 is less common in D2 and pretty rare in D3. Most common is a layout yurchenko, which is worth a 9.8.

      I also think (this is all speculation) that many of these D3 teams are judged “like D3 teams” and aren’t given the same leniency in execution deductions that D1 programs are given. I’m sure if some of these girls had D1 leos on, their scores might be a little bit higher 😉

      -Sarah

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