The NCAA Gym Skim | February 18

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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.

LSU 198.175, Texas Woman’s 194.200 [Results]

The Tigers put up the highest team score of 2018 with their home meet on Sunday, seeing huge performances from everyone on the squad while setting the school record on bars with a 49.725. With Sarah Finnegan and Myia Hambrick resting from all-around competition after competing two days earlier, Kennedi Edney led the team here, putting up top scores on vault with her Yurchenko 1½ with a step and on floor, which she finished with a stuck double tuck, to prove herself as one of the best all-arounders in the country.

Vault also saw a mess of 9.875s despite kind of messy landings, three gymnasts brought in 9.95s on bars, including one from Ruby Harrold who had the strongest set of her NCAA career, while Lexie Priessman looked almost perfect with a 9.975 after hitting her Tkachev to Pak (one of the cleanest Paks I’ve seen her do) and sticking her double layout with her chest down. On beam, we saw several 9.9s, but my favorite routines came from bookends Erin Macadaeg and Sarah Finnegan for their clean work with impressive attention to detail, and Priessman got a career-high 9.95 on floor with solid tumbling across all of her passes.

The scoring throughout was a bit ridiculous, but less in terms of ‘overscoring’ in general and more in the fact that the judges gave too many routines the same exact numbers despite there being vast differences between performances. The four 9.9s on beam, for example, could’ve been much better-ranked, and even if that meant pushing one or two routines to a 9.95 or 9.975, I would’ve actually preferred that to what we saw the judges do with their inability to distinguish score-wise between routines that shouldn’t have earned the same marks.

TWU started out strong and had a pretty great meet overall until they got to their final rotation, beam, and were forced to count a fall. Standouts for this team included Bria Northrop on bars with a Gienger to overshoot and nearly stuck double layout, Schyler Jones with a fantastic Yurchenko layout half on vault and a huge anchor floor set that included a lovely double pike and big stuck double tuck to finish, and on beam, despite the falls, we saw several individual standouts, including Alyssa Kelly with a lovely triple series and stuck gainer full, Mallory Moredock with a solid set that included a cool front kickover to a seated position, going into her low beam choreo from there, and again from Jones in the anchor spot with a layout series, switch leap to tuck full, and a solid landing on her 1½ dismount.

AA: Kennedi Edney, LSU, 39.625
VT: Kennedi Edney, LSU, 9.900
UB: Lexie Priessman, LSU, 9.975
BB: Erin Macadaeg, Myia Hambrick, Christina Desiderio, & Sarah Finnegan, LSU, 9.900
FX: Kennedi Edney & Lexie Priessman, LSU, 9.950

Utah 197.550, UCLA 197.425 [Results]

When these two teams come together it’s always a treat, and this week was no exception, with a down-to-the-wire fight in the final rotation that saw Utah taking the win by a tenth after the Bruins struggled to keep passes in-bounds on floor.

Opening on bars, the Utes had good routines but gave up some tenths, including a surprising finish from MyKayla Skinner, who fought through her opening handstand as it arched back, anchoring with just a 9.775. The rest of the team had her back, though, with Kim Tessen and MaKenna Merrell both earning 9.9s, and Skinner responded to her bars with one of her best DTYs in NCAA to earn a 9.95 before moving on to get a 9.975 for an incredible floor set and a 9.925 on beam. Floor was Utah’s blow-out rotation, with two 9.925s from Merrell-Giles and Missy Reinstadtler, and Merrell-Giles also brought in a 9.925 on beam while Kari Lee was able to put up big numbers on all four events, including a 9.9 for her clean and stuck FTY.

UCLA opened with a solid vault rotation where landings were key, getting a 9.925 from Felicia Hano on her Yurchenko 1½, another 9.925 from Pauline Tratz for her stuck FTY, and a perfect 9.95 from Nia Dennis, who actually looked a bit looser than Tratz, who also had a better landing, but I’ll chalk it up to the judges not having slo-mo or instant replay. Dennis then opened the bars rotation with an excellent routine that included a Maloney to bail and a stuck double layout, though the team gave up a couple of tenths here and there, including on landings from Peng Peng Lee and Kyla Ross. On beam, Katelyn Ohashi led the rotation with a 9.925 despite two significant wobbles in her routine, but no one in this lineup was at a hundred percent, though I found Ross’ routine to be the strongest aside from the step on her dismount. Anchors Hano and Ohashi led floor with a pair of 9.975s, both doing pretty much perfect work from start to finish, including a huge stuck double layout from Hano while Ohashi’s last pass into the split down to the floor was awesome, though three routines in this rotation had OOB penalties, so the team was forced to count a 9.675 and a 9.775, leaving them unable to overtake the Utes.

AA: MyKayla Skinner, Utah, 39.625
VT: MyKayla Skinner, Utah, & Nia Dennis, UCLA, 9.950
UB: Nia Dennis, UCLA, 9.925
BB: MyKayla Skinner & MaKenna Merrell-Giles, Utah, and Katelyn Ohashi, UCLA, 9.925
FX: MyKayla Skinner, Utah, and Felicia Hano & Katelyn Ohashi, UCLA, 9.975

West Virginia 196.225, Maryland 195.825, Pittsburgh 195.250 [Results]

This was my favorite meet of the season for WVU, which put up four solid rotations and didn’t count any falls to surpass a 196 for the first time in the season. Zaakira Muhammad is back in the all-around, and she was incredible on all of her events, finishing with a 9.9 for her excellent floor routine, while Kirah Koshinski was equally good there with a 9.925 and she also put up a fantastic Yurchenko 1½ to lead the team with a 9.9 there. Specialist Carly Galpin showed steady and calm work on beam to lead the team with a 9.875, and I also found Abby Kaufman great to watch on beam and floor this week.

Maryland also had one of its strongest meets of the season, coming back from falls on bars and beam to count 20 for 20 hit routines. All-arounders Kirsten Peterman and Audrey Barber led the team with consistent work across the board, while Alecia Farina put up solid scores on vault, bars, and floor, Emilie LeBlanc was wonderful on bars, Shynelle Agaran was confident on beam, and Sabriyya Rouse showed great work on floor.

Pitt unfortunately counted a fall on bars as well as a weak beam set, keeping them unable to challenge in what has otherwise been a pretty strong season for them. Haley Brechwald led the team on vault, bars, and floor, though wasn’t quite as sharp on beam this week, while Taylor Laymon came back from a bars fall to lead the team on beam with a 9.875. We also saw solid work from Lucy Brett on bars and beam, Alecia Petrikis on vault and floor, and specialist Charli Spivey with a great set on floor.

AA: Zaakira Muhammad, West Virginia, 39.400
VT: Kirah Koshinski, West Virginia, 9.900
UB: Emilie LeBlanc & Kirsten Peterman, Maryland, and Haley Brechwald, Pittsburgh, 9.875
BB: Carly Galpin, West Virginia, and Taylor Laymon, Pittsburgh, 9.875
FX: Kirah Koshinski, West Virginia, 9.925

Central Michigan 196.150, Kent State 196.125 [Results]

As always, the rivalry between CMU and Kent State is strong as hell, and this year it came down to the final routine before the meet was determined, with Katy Clements’ brilliant work on floor sealing the deal by a quarter of a tenth. CMU started out at a slight deficit on vault, led by Denelle Pedrick with her rock-solid DTY, and though they picked up the lead as they got to bars, where they counted three 9.825s and a 9.85 from Gianna Plaksa, a couple of weak routines on beam meant they had to make up for nearly four tenths going into the final rotation. Clements anchored beam with a 9.9 before bringing in her huge floor set to save the day, and we also saw great work from Pedrick and Plaksa on this event, with both of their 9.875s helping the team to a 49.35 overall to edge out the Golden Flashes.

Kent State had a strong early start on bars, with a pair of 9.825s from Michaela Romito and Brooke Timko sandwiching a 9.875 from all-around winner Rachel Stypinski. Some vault landings held them back slightly, with a pair of 9.825s from Abby Fletcher and Sarah McCarty keeping them afloat before the team went on to have a killer floor rotation, counting a 9.85 from Nasha Manitkul-Davis and then a 9.9 from Fletcher, but a rotation full of weak beam sets kept them from holding onto the lead and getting the win, even with Stypinski’s anchor set getting a 9.9.

AA: Rachel Stypinski, Kent State, 39.375
VT: Denelle Pedrick, Central Michigan, 9.900
UB: Rachel Stypinski, Kent State, 9.875
BB: Katy Clements, Central Michigan, and Rachel Stypinski, Kent State, 9.900
FX: Katy Clements, Central Michigan, 9.925

New Hampshire 195.550, Bowling Green 195.025 [Results]

UNH had some ups and downs at this meet, though they still managed to take the win over visiting BGSU by half a point thanks to a killer beam rotation that saw beautiful work from Lia Breeden, Danielle Mulligan, and of course, Casey Lauter with a 9.925 to take the title. Nicole O’Leary led the team on vault, and bars went well for the most part, with the team counting a 9.875 from Riley Freehling before a 9.925 from Lauren Diggan to get them close to a 49, but on floor things fell apart, with multiple 9.6-range routines counting toward the total, though Diggan hit for a 9.8 followed by a 9.9 from Mulligan to snag the title.

Jovannah East led BGSU with an incredible all-around performance here, leading the team on all four events with fabulous sets while also sharing the floor title thanks to a 9.9 for her solid set. Vault was a bit weak for the team overall, but otherwise they fought to get some great individual performances, including from Lexi Augustine on bars and floor, Laura Mitchell on bars and beam, and Shannon Goniwiecha on vault.

AA: Jovannah East, Bowling Green, 39.400
VT: Nicole O’Leary, New Hampshire, 9.875
UB: Lauren Diggan, New Hampshire, 9.925
BB: Casey Lauter, New Hampshire, 9.925
FX: Danielle Mulligan, New Hampshire, and Jovannah East, Bowling Green, 9.900

Towson 195.450, Southern Conn. 190.825, Gustavus 184.925 [Results]

Towson reached a season high at this triangular meet against DII Southern Conn. and DIII Gustavus, surpassing its previous team high score by nearly a point thanks to a consistent night that included an excellent rotation on beam. Mary Elle Arduino and Gabriella Yarussi were the highlights on this event, bringing in a pair of 9.95s for their flawless work in the second half of the rotation, while Cortni Baker and Tyra McKellar were great on vault, Kyla Gamble led the team on bars, and we saw solid floor performances from Yarussi and Melissa Temkov.

SCSU and Gustavus both put up their best work on vault and floor, with SCSU seeing standout performances from Alexandra Lesperance on vault, Cadi Borsellino on bars, Kylyn Dawkins on beam, and Kathleen Aberger on floor, while Gustavus had highlight routines from Amanda Malo in the all-around in addition to Veronica Vasina on vault and bars, Katy Trunk on beam, and Leah Hellig and Victoria Aycock on floor.

AA: Mary Elle Arduino, Towson, 38.900
VT: Tyra McKellar & Cortni Baker, Towson, 9.800
UB: Kyla Gamble, Towson, 9.800
BB: Gabriella Yarussi & Mary Elle Arduino, Towson, 9.950
FX: Gabriella Yarussi & Melissa Temkov, Towson, 9.800

Illinois-Chicago 193.625, S.E. Missouri 191.325 [Results]

Despite counting a fall on bars, UIC came in for the win by over two points ahead of MIC rival S.E. Missouri thanks to sold work throughout the rest of the competition. Mikailla Northern put up an excellent all-around performance, leading the team on vault and beam, while Toni Alicke was the strongest on bars to win the title there, and Abby Hasanov was great on floor, Kayla Baddeley put up solid sets on beam and floor, and both Ashley Albrecht and Riley Cholod were solid on bars.

SEMO struggled counting multiple falls on bars, with floor a standout event from the team as they saw a great set from former New Zealand elite Mackenzie Slee as well as an incredible routine from Alexis Brawner, who won the title. Gabrielle Adams was also strong on floor in addition to leading the team on vault, while Samantha Gallet led the team on bars and Alana Fischer put up the top score on beam with a 9.7.

AA: Mikailla Northern, Illinois-Chicago, 39.050
VT: Gabrielle Adams, S.E. Missouri, 9.800
UB: Toni Alicke, Illinois-Chicago, 9.800
BB: Mikailla Northern, Illinois-Chicago, 9.775
FX: Alexis Brawner, S.E. Missouri, 9.875

Brockport 192.925, Cortland 190.800 [Results]

This meet was insaaaane for both teams in what was a huge NCGA East and upstate New York rivalry meet between the two SUNY programs. In what was a road meet for them, Brockport easily climbed to its season best with an insane floor rotation that got them to a 49.025 thanks to nonstop WERK from every single member of lineup. The scores built throughout the rotation, including a 9.8 from Bridgette Schaal, a 9.85 from Candis Kowalik, and a 9.9 from Brittany Vasile. Stephanie Mager led the team on vault with a 9.7, and the team made it through bars with no falls, seeing a top 9.725 from Allison Hester, while Kowalik and Kimberly Musall led the team on beam with a 9.7 and 9.75, respectively, an incredible outing for this DIII program that put them ahead of several DI teams this week.

Cortland was also on fire at home here, matching Brockport on beam and surpassing them on vault, though bars held them back from challenging for the title, with a couple of falls counted into their total. Vault saw great work from McKenna Passalacqua, Lily Szafranski, and Rachel Filipski, while the top bars score came from Ashley Scarantino, and beam saw a pair of 9.7s from Passalacqua and Emma Schulz in addition to a 9.75 from Bailey Gildemeyer, who nabbed the title. As with Brockport, floor was the standout event, seeing a 9.8 from Szafranski, a 9.825 from Julia Giardina, and a 9.875 from Schulz, giving the team a solid finish on a high note in this incredibly strong DIII matchup.

AA: Candis Kowalik, Brockport, 38.575
VT: Stephanie Mager, Brockport, 9.700
UB: Allison Hester, Brockport, 9.725
BB: Kimberly Musall, Brockport, and Bailey Gildemeyer, Cortland, 9.725
FX: Brittany Vasile, Brockport, 9.900

Ithaca 188.875, Springfield 186.375 [Results]

As another strong NCGA East meet on this day, host team Ithaca topped visiting Springfield by over two points, holding them off thanks to an overall good day that finished with a solid floor rotation. Carolyn Nichols was fantastic as always on vault while also putting up one of the team’s best floor scores, Danielle Maffuid and Baylie Trammell were stellar on bars, anchor Paige Landes led the team on beam with a 9.75, and Victoria Gery anchored floor with a 9.875 for her incredible set.

Springfield actually outperformed Ithaca on vault and beam, but a much-weaker bars rotation as well as some valuable tenths lost on floor left them behind. Vault was pretty great for this team, counting all scores at 9.5 or higher, including a high of 9.6 from Jessica Clemens midway through the rotation, though on bars, fielding only five gymnasts forced them to count multiple falls, though Clemens was there to save the day with a 9.5. On beam, both Sarah Murphy and Ali Rushlow were superb, while on floor, the team had to count a fall, but came back for a great second half of the rotation, including a pair of 9.6s from Madi Bowen and Tali Twomey, while Clemens brought in a 9.7 to top the team while also sealing her all-around win.

AA: Jessica Clemens, Springfield, 38.050
VT: Carolyn Nichols, Ithaca, 9.775
UB: Baylie Trammell, Ithaca, 9.550
BB: Paige Landes, Ithaca, 9.750
FX: Victoria Gery, Ithaca, 9.875

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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