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 All-Around Standings
|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|
|5||Katie Simpson||Texas Woman’s||37.910||5||—|
D2 Vault Standings
|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
|3||Jenna Cashmore||Texas Woman’s||9.755||1||-2|
|Bria Northrup||Texas Woman’s||9.745||3||-1|
D2 Beam Standings
|2||Majesta Valentine||West Chester||9.825||2||—|
|5||Schyler Jones||Texas Woman’s||9.740||11||+6|
D2 Floor Standings
|2||Majesta Valentine||West Chester||9.880||2||—|
|5||Erin Alderman||Texas Woman’s||9.830||3||-2|
D3 All-Around Standings
|2||Eboni Jackson||Winona State||37.855||1||-1|
D3 Vault Standings
D3 Bars Standings
|3||Kathryn Pipp||Winona State||9.535||17||+14|
|5||Megan Fayler||Eau Claire||9.475||1||-4|
D3 Beam Standings
|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|
D3 Floor Standings
|2||Elsa Spitzmueller||La Crosse||9.690||2||—|
|4||Eboni Jackson||Winona State||9.665||4||—|
Article by Sarah Keegan