The NCAA Gym Skim | February 3

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The daily NCAA gymnastics update featuring the must-know moments and top stats from every meet all in one place.

A list of links to full results and the master schedule is available here.

Utah 197.700, Washington 196.250 [Results]

With this home meet on Saturday afternoon, the Utes packed the house and gave their fans a show, putting up huge scores on vault and floor, though the judges were a bit conservative on bars and beam in comparison (so, the opposite of CAROL). The vaults in that session were all superb, though, with MyKayla Skinner hopping back the landing of her DTY, Kim Tessen nailing her Yurchenko 1½, and then MaKenna Merrell-Giles sticking the heck out of hers, getting a perfect 10. On floor, Skinner had perhaps her best set of the year, getting a 9.95, while Sydney Soloski continued to show strength there and Kari Lee made her season debut on that event, both getting a 9.9, though once again it was Merrell-Giles who was the standout, picking up a 9.975 for her flawless set.

On bars, almost everyone just looked a little off, and Tessen missed her Jaeger by a mile, leaving Skinner in the anchor spot to save the rotation, and she had a great set aside from an iffy dismount, though Merrell-Giles and Missy Reinstadtler were the the highest earners in the rotation with a pair of 9.875s, and on beam the judges were especially tight, scoring everyone about a tenth behind what they probably expected or hoped to receive, though Skinner was at her absolute greatest here, and picked up a 9.9 for the title thanks to her solid set.

This was also a great meet for Washington, with Monica Riley landing her Yurchenko 1½ very well before going on to kill it on bars, finishing with a huge and beautiful stuck double layout to pick up a 9.9 for the much-deserved title. Hailey Burleson continues to be a huge asset as a steady all-arounder, Joslyn Goings had a lovely beam set that picked up a 9.85, and we finally got to see Malory Rose this season, leading off the beam rotation with very little notice and yet putting up a steady and clean set.

AA: MaKenna Merrell-Giles, Utah, 39.675
VT: MaKenna Merrell-Giles, Utah, 10.000
UB: Monica Riley, UW, 9.900
BB: MyKayla Skinner, Utah, 9.900
FX: MaKenna Merrell-Giles, Utah, 9.975

Georgia 197.000, Missouri 195.850 [Results]

The Gymdogs continue to rise and impress with big scores despite the continued drought on vault and floor. On Saturday, they reached a 197 with their top scores coming on bars and beam, though floor was the standout event even counting Jasmine Arnold’s leadoff 9.55 (she stumbled her double tuck out-of-bounds) with the latter half of the lineup destroying the game. Sydney Snead and Rachel Dickson brought in back-to-back 9.95s, with Dickson’s set especially strong with a great double arabian, and Sabrina Vega wrapped up the rotation with a 9.925 despite some rebounds on her landings.

Vega also brought in a 9.9 as the beam anchor, looking secure and polished as always, but Dickson was the star of this meet, winning the title on every single event in addition to the all-around with a nearly-stuck FTY, a gorgeous Ray and a tiny slide back on her double layout dismount on bars, and a solid beam set, while Marissa Oakley was gorgeous on bars with a stuck full-in in addition to looking super confident on beam, and I was pleased to see Jordyn Pedersen make improvements on bars. Putting her in the anchor spot is smart, and I could see this routine getting at least a tenth lower if it was earlier in the lineup due to lots of handstand errors, but it’s nice to see her hitting.

Missouri had a decent meet, and though things got dicey with falls on bars and floor in addition to some weak sets on beam, they were able to get back under control to get a 49 or close to it on each event. Aspen Tucker was excellent, just counting some minor errors throughout her day, but her full-in and double full to layout stepout on floor were both great, and she had a solid beam set to contribute on all four events. Britney Ward continues to struggle with her form and landings on her tucked Lopez on vault, but she put up a gorgeous beam set to get a 9.9 in the anchor position, Morgan Porter was solid on bars and beam, and Madeleine Huber was a standout on vault and bars. The team sadly lost Becca Schugel to injury, but they seem to have enough depth to get through the season without this being a huge issue, though we wish her well in her recovery!

AA: Rachel Dickson, Georgia, 39.625
VT: Rachel Dickson & Sydney Snead, Georgia, 9.850
UB: Rachel Dickson & Marissa Oakley, Georgia, 9.900
BB: Rachel Dickson, Georgia, 9.925
FX: Rachel Dickson & Sydney Snead, Georgia, 9.950

Nebraska 196.850, Minnesota 196.375 [Results]

The Huskers do not want to be ignored as one of the greats this season, and while they’re not a top five consistent 197+ kind of team, they’re close enough to remain a contender. This weekend’s meet continued to help their rankings climb, bumping them from ninth to eighth thanks to continued excellence from all-arounders Abbie Epperson and Megan Schweihofer, while Sienna Crouse is a force on vault and floor, Grace Williams put up a phenomenal anchor beam set in addition to strong work on vault and floor, and the rest of the team shows up and gets the job done, with the team putting up 24 solid routines with no falls or major breaks to finish with a 49.475 thanks to a sharp rotation on floor.

Big Ten rival Minnesota couldn’t quite catch Nebraska on the road, and they don’t have the overall depth Nebraska has, which is most evident on vault where some weak landings and a field of only five put them at a major disadvantage, especially as they were able to match and even surpass the Huskers on the other events. Lexy Ramler continues to be a goddess, winning the all-around and showing top-quality work on bars and beam, while Ivy Lu is gorgeous on bars and Ona Loper is a standout as the team’s top vaulter and floor anchor queen, and in addition to these three, Ciara Gardner showed up with hugely impressive work on beam and floor.

AA: Lexy Ramler, Minnesota, 39.475
VT: Sienna Crouse, Nebraska, 9.875
UB: Ivy Lu, Minnesota, 9.925
BB: Grace Williams, Nebraska, 9.925
FX: Megan Schweihofer, Nebraska, 9.950

Denver 196.750, Ball State 195.450, BYU 194.875, Bowling Green 194.525 [Results]

Despite counting a fall on bars, Denver still managed to put up one of the best scores in the country this weekend in addition to topping their quad meet by over a point, with the unbelievable underclassmen Maddie Karr, Lynnzee Brown, and Mia Sundstrom putting up rockstar all-around performances to lead the team. If they’re this good now, can you imagine what they’ll be able to do two years down the line? I’m shook. In addition to this powerhouse trio, Nikole Addison is brilliant on her three events, and specialist Emily Glynn was excellent on bars, bringing the rotation back under control after two falls before her to put up a 9.85.

Ball State surprised to finish second here, getting a major upset over both BYU and Bowling Green to come close to matching their season high after especially great work on vault and bars. Specialist Arden Hudson led the team on vault, Maddie MacDonald was the standout on bars, all-arounder Kaitlyn Menzione put up top routines on beam and floor, and specialist Clare Collins helped out the floor total with an excellent set of her own earning a 9.825.

BYU unfortunately had a rough meet on beam, counting two falls, but the squad looked excellent elsewhere, with standout vault and floor sets from Jill van Mierlo, solid vault work from Avery Bennett, a stellar bars set from Brittni Hawes, beautiful beam skills from Natasha Trejo, and an overall killer floor rotation that included a trio of 9.85s from Kyleigh Greenlief, Shannon Hortman-Evans, and Briana Pearson. BGSU, which has been having a great season so far, had to count a fall on floor, though they had a good day otherwise, with Jovannah East a standout on all three of her events in addition to excellent beam sets from India McPeak and Laura Mitchell, strong bars from Alexandra Fochler, and great work from Lexi Augustine on bars and floor.

AA: Maddie Karr, Denver, 39.625
VT: Maddie Karr, Denver, & Jovannah East, BGSU, 9.925
UB: Brittni Hawes, BYU, 9.925
BB: Mia Sundstrom & Maddie Karr, Denver, 9.925
FX: Lynnzee Brown, Denver, 9.950

Oregon State 196.725, Arizona State 195.050 [Results]

This was the meet of the day for me with these teams just 0.008 apart in the rankings prior to Saturday, but Oregon State was able to build on the previous week’s momentum to get close to their season high to overtake ASU. Almost nothing went wrong for the Beavers, who were on fire from start to finish. Sabrina Gill continues to improve on all four events, Dani Dessaints had a big rebound out of her Yurchenko half but came back to destroy beam with a fantastic and fluid set for a 9.9, Mary Jacobsen was consistent on her three events, and Isis Lowery crushed her floor set, with a Rudi and stuck front layout to front full to finish her always-entertaining set. Pretty much everyone deserves a shoutout on this team this week, and I love seeing this team thrive despite losing so many members of the senior class last season.

Most teams have had at least one bad meet this season, but ASU has looked unstoppable since day one, so the Sun Devils were bound to see a rough day sooner or later. Despite a great start on bars and vault, the team struggled early on floor, with leadoff Nichelle Christopherson rolling her ankle on a dance element and ending her routine early, followed by a stumble out-of-bounds in Justine Callis’ routine, causing them to count a 9.55. The rest of the rotation brought it back under control, with Cairo Leonard-Baker getting a 9.9 for her strong and high double tuck, 1½ to front full, and double pike. Unfortunately, the drama picked back up on beam, however, with Callis missing her flight series in an otherwise gorgeous-as-always routine. The rest of the rotation saw some minor issues throughout, but no falls until Ashley Szafranski in the anchor spot, missing her side aerial and then her Rulfova, a shame as she’s always so consistent.

After three 196+ team scores in a row, including their best score in a decade with last week’s 196.800, this week dragged them down in the rankings a bit, but when looking at the situation with a healthy dose of optimism, a 195.050 would’ve been the fifth-best score out of 11 meets last season. The one rough meet doesn’t erase the fact that this team has been fantastic all season long, and hopefully they’ll be able to brush it off to come back strong at Utah next week. And of course, get well soon, Nichelle!

AA: Sabrina Gill, OSU, 39.375
VT: Destinee Davis, OSU, & Morgan Wilson, ASU, 9.875
UB: Alyssa Minyard, OSU, & Cairo Leonard-Baker, ASU, 9.875
BB: Dani Dessaints, OSU, 9.900
FX: Isis Lowery, OSU, 9.925

Ohio State 195.850, Rutgers 194.800, West Chester 191.600, Whitewater 191.275 [Results]

The Rutgers quad saw a Big Ten matchup between the host team and Ohio State while also welcoming DII West Chester and DIII Whitewater, both of which performed strongly to make this a solid outing for everyone. OSU took the title after a good day, coming back from a couple of falls to finish mostly well on each event. They could be tighter and more polished at this point, but they’re still miles ahead of where they were at the start of the season, and floor continues to be a standout rotation with great performances from everyone on the squad. Alexis Mattern was excellent here and on vault, specialist Amanda Huang brought in a clean bars set, Morgan Lowe was great on vault and beam, and Jamie Stone was a standout on beam and floor, winning the floor title with a 9.875.

Rutgers managed a season-best 194.8 despite some mistakes on bars to finish with solid routines counting into their overall totals on all four events. Jenna Rizkalla led the team on vault and floor, Shannon Farrell was the top gymnast on bars, and Makenzey Shank was excellent on beam to win the title with a 9.85, leading what ended up being the top rotation for the hosts. West Chester saw its top work from Meghan Chan on vault, Melanie Wojewoda on bars, Sarah Boyd and Yolanda Nodarse on beam, and Madison Brent on floor, while Lisa O’Donnell continues to be a star for Whitewater; though she fell on beam, her other events were some of the best for the squad, with standout routines also coming from Lauren Marshall on vault, Bailey Fitzpatrick on bars, and Kate Mierow on beam and floor, bringing them to a season-high 191.275.

AA: Alexis Mattern, OSU, 39.150
VT: Morgan Lowe & Alexis Mattern, OSU, 9.875
UB: Kaitlynn Hofland, OSU, 9.825
BB: Makenzey Shank, Rutgers, 9.850
FX: Jamie Stone, OSU, 9.875

NC State 194.600, Temple 193.875, Pittsburgh 193.125, Towson 192.050 [Results]

NC State got a solid win in this quad at Pitt, finishing nearly a point ahead of the rest of the field despite some problems on beam. Chelsea Knight wasn’t at her best on vault or bars, but she put up team-best scores of 9.8 on beam and 9.875 on floor, while Drew Grantham looked solid in the all-around, and Alexa Phillips was a standout on vault and floor. Temple was hoping to get close, but was at a disadvantage on vault in addition to putting up a few lower-than-usual scores on beam, though floor was an excellent rotation for this team, seeing a 9.8 from Tori Edwards (who also crushed it on vault and bars) as well as a 9.875 from Jaylene Everett, while Whitney King impressed with a lovely beam set.

The host team also had vault landing concerns this week, in addition to counting a fall on both bars and beam, normally excellent events for this team this season, though we saw great work from freshman Haley Brechwald in the all-around. She’s been a fabulous addition to the program and actually reminds me of two of Pitt’s strongest gymnasts in recent years, fellow Haleys Bodenheimer and Sedgewick! It’s a Haley thing. Megan Tripp also did some solid work this weekend on bars and beam, and Lucy Brett had lovely work on bars, though unfortunately fell on beam.

As for Towson, they were at a disadvantage without Mary Elle Arduino. I hope she’s not injured, but without her, the team was fielding only five gymnasts on three events, which definitely hurt them as they had to count some rough vaults into their totals in addition to a fall on beam and another one on floor. Everyone looked a bit rough around the edges, though Katie McGrady and Tess Zientek did solid work on bars, while Tyra McKellar hit great sets on beam and floor, though she was missing from the vault and bars lineups. Whatever’s going on, hopefully this team can keep fighting in the coming weeks!

AA: Haley Brechwald, Pitt, 39.075
VT: Mackenzie Itcush, NCSU, 9.775
UB: Megan Tripp & Haley Brechwald, Pitt, & Katie McGrady, Towson, 9.825
BB: Chelsea Knight, NCSU, 9.800
FX: Haley Brechwald, Pitt, Chelsea Knight, NCSU, & Jaylene Everett, Temple, 9.875

Air Force 193.100, Sacramento State 193.000, Alaska 190.125 [Results]

Air Force, which is having a really strong season for them, managed to topple MPSF rivals Sacramento State and Alaska in Anchorage on Saturday evening, showing a few weak spots on bars but otherwise doing their best, especially on beam and floor with some great finishes. Anna Salamone led the squad on vault and bars, with specialist Brittney Reed also pulling in a solid score on the latter, while Emily Luers and Cam Barber led the beam rotation, and Jamie Lewis was at her best on floor, finishing strong with a 9.8.

The other teams perhaps have a few stronger individuals, and so they were able to pick up the majority of the individual event titles, but neither was as strong or cohesive as a team, with Sac State making mistakes on vault, beam, and floor, while Alaska counted multiple falls on bars in addition to counting falls on beam and floor. For Sac State, Caitlin Soliwoda led the team on vault, sister Courtney Soliwoda led on bars, and top all-arounder Annie Juarez led on beam and floor, and for Alaska, the top scores came from Isabelle Fox on vault and floor, Hope Helson on bars, and Kendra Daniels on beam.

AA: Annie Juarez, Sac State, 39.125
VT: Anna Salamone, Air Force, & Caitlin Soliwoda, Sac State, 9.775
UB: Courtney Soliwoda, Sac State, 9.850
BB: Kendra Daniels, Alaska, 9.875
FX: Isabelle Fox, Alaska, 9.875

Pennsylvania 192.675, Cornell 192.400 [Results]

For teams sitting neck-and-neck in the rankings, this ended up being about as close a meet as could be expected, with the teams tied coming out of the first rotation, and Penn losing steam and winding up over a point behind after a rough vault rotation, but then picking some of that back up on floor and sweeping in for the win thanks to an excellent beam rotation, while Cornell suffered counting two falls on floor to finish. For Penn, standouts included Caroline Mitsch and Kyra Levi bringing in a pair of 9.8s on bars, Darcy Matsuda adding a 9.8 of her own in the leadoff position on floor, and then pretty much everyone in the beam lineup killed it, counting a 9.775 from Levi, a 9.8 from Ally Podsednik, a pair of 9.825s from Alex Hartke and Caroline Moore, and then a title-winning 9.85 from Matsuda.

Cornell really was great aside from floor, and was looking to blast past a 193 for the first time this season until the first three up in the final rotation all had bad landings, but the final three to follow up all looked fabulous to put up a trio of 9.825s, including from Claire Haklik, Maddison Smith, and Samantha Henry. Amy Shen was also excellent on vault and beam, and Kelsy Kurfirst and Payton Murphy had highlight routines on bars with a 9.8 and 9.825, respectively.

AA: Darby Nelson, Penn, 37.250
VT: Amy Shen, Cornell, 9.850
UB: Payton Murphy, Cornell, 9.825
BB: Darcy Matsuda, Penn, 9.850
FX: Samantha Henry, Maddison Smith, & Claire Haklik, Cornell, 9.825

Southern Conn. 189.525, Rhode Island 177.550 [Results]

This meet was mostly strong for SCSU aside from a few mistakes coming on beam. The host team saw its best performance on floor, where everyone hit, including Kylyn Dawkins for a 9.725 and Kathleen Aberger for a 9.8, while Alexandra Avendano led the team on vault with a 9.625, Aberger led on bars with a 9.6, and both Dawkins and Emily Balasco brought in 9.65s on beam in an otherwise weak rotation.

RIC unfortunately lost top floor worker Kyndel Yett to an Achilles rupture before this meet, limiting them in what is typically their strongest rotation, though they had a good day on beam, seeing a 9.2 from leadoff Miranda Murphy, who also won the all-around with a 36.525, in addition to a 9.45 from anchor Grace Davis. Without Yett, the team still managed some good scores on floor, including a 9.4 from Murphy and a 9.3 from Davis, again in the anchor spot, and Erin Shea led the team on vault while Murphy was the top on bars.

AA: Miranda Murphy, RIC, 36.525
VT: Alexandra Avendano, SCSU, 9.625
UB: Kathleen Aberger, SCSU, 9.600
BB: Kylyn Dawkins & Emily Balasco, SCSU, 9.650
FX: Kathleen Aberger, SCSU, 9.800

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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One thought on “The NCAA Gym Skim | February 3

  1. I’m sorry if you already posted this on a separate NCAA article — is Bailie Key just completely out of the Bama lineup after her fall during meet 1? I hope not!


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