Things Are Happening – March 24, 2017

A. NCAA weekend…wait, what?

You’re trying to tell me that there’s no NCAA gymnastics this weekend? Then what’s the point of anything? How do we go on? And why am I not in pajamas?

All the teams have another week off before next Saturday’s regionals so that they can rest, refresh, glue their legs back together, and learn to read or something. And so we wait, bereft.

In anticipation of regionals, I’ve started meet previews with Washington and Nebraska and will continue with the remaining four before next Saturday’s competitions.

B. AAI Award Finalists

The six seven finalists have been announced for the annual AAI Award, voted on by the coaches and bestowed upon the best senior gymnast in the country for just being so darn great. For all of its ALL ABOUT THE TEAM, I sort of love how secretly obsessed college gymnastics is with voting on individual awards.

Typically, six finalists are named, but this year we had a tie, so Moonlight was also included. So amazing on bars.

The finalists are Nicole Artz, Chayse Capps, Maddie Gardiner, Ashleigh Gnat, Kaytianna McMillan, Peng Peng Lee, and Baely Rowe.

Other semifinalists who didn’t make the final cut were Claire Boyce, Brianna Comport, Jennie Laeng, Meghan Pflieger, Aja Sims, and Majesta Valentine.

The award is somewhat mercurial, occasionally going to the obvious choice but also sometimes going to a gymnast the coaches feel deserves the same level of recognition but hasn’t received it because of being not-famous, as when Lindsay Mable won last year over Bridget Sloan. This year doesn’t really have a clear-cut winner, so…who do we think should win? Continue reading Things Are Happening – March 24, 2017


Regionals Draw & Pac-12 Championship Recap

First things first, the regional draw has been made and “announced” via the medium of an entirely unnecessary, dramatic-soundtrack web show that kind of didn’t even work. A good thematic representation of just everything. FYI, we would have been cool with a tweet.

Anyway, here’s how the part we didn’t already know shapes up for competition on April 1.

Rotation order is a follows
Team #1 – begins on bars, ends on bye
Team #2 – begins on vault, ends on floor
Team #3 – begins on bye, ends on beam
Team #4 – begins on bye, ends on vault
Team #5 – begins on beam, ends on bars
Team #6 – begins on floor, ends on bye

Semifinal #1:

[1] Oklahoma – “KJ Kindlers”
[12] Kentucky –
[13] Washington
[24] Utah State
[32] Stanford
[34] BYU

Alexis Brown, UC Davis (rotates w/ Oklahoma)
Caitlin Soliwoda, Sac St (rotates w/ Kentucky)
Lauren Rice, Sac St (rotates w/ Washington)
Kaitlin Won, San Jose St (rotates w/ Utah St)

Ariana Harger, Seattle Pacific (rotates w/ Stanford)
Julia Konner, Sac State (rotates w/ BYU)

Yonni Michovska, UC Davis (rotates w/ Stanford)
Rachel Heinl, San Jose St (rotates w/ BYU)

Yasmine Yektaparast, UC Davis (rotates w/ Stanford)
Taylor Chan, San Jose St (rotates w/ BYU)

Ariana Harger, Seattle Pacific (rotates w/ Stanford)
Taylor Chan, San Jose St (rotates w/ BYU)

[5] UCLA
[8] Oregon State
[17] Iowa
[19] Illinois – “Lizzy Deluc”
[22] Eastern Michigan
[26] Ohio State

Nicola Deans, Michigan State (rotates w/ UCLA)
Anna Corbett, Western Michigan (rotates w/ Iowa)
Rachel Underwood, Western Michigan (rotates w/ Oregon State)
Ashley White, Centenary (rotates w/ Illinois)

Jovannah East, Bowling Green (rotates w/ E. Michigan)
Lauren Feely, Bowling Green (rotates w/ Ohio State)

Jessie Peszek, Western Michigan (rotates w/ Ohio State)
Hailee Westney, Michigan State (rotates w/ E. Michigan)

Jessie Peszek, Western Michigan (rotates w/ Ohio State)
Jovannah East, Bowling Green (rotates w/ E. Michigan)

Elena Lagoski, Michigan State (rotates w/ E. Michigan)
Kira Frederick, Michigan State (rotates w/ Ohio State)

[4] Utah
[9] Denver
[16] Cal
[21] Auburn
[27] Arkansas
[28] Central Michigan

Mikailla Northern, UIC (rotates w/ Utah)
Alexis Brawner, SEMO (rotates w/ Denver)
Ashley Potts, NIU (rotates w/ Cal)
Katherine Prentice, NIU (Rotates w/ Auburn)

Schyler Jones, TWU (rotates w/ Arkansas)
Kierstin Sokolowski, Lindenwood (rotates w CMU)

Jamyra Carter, NIU (rotates w/ Arkansas)
Courtney Dowdell, NIU (rotates w/ CMU)

Nichelle Christopherson, Arizona St (rotates w/ Arkansas)
Kierstin Sokolowski, Lindenwood (rotates w/ CMU)

Gabrielle Cooke, Illinois St (rotates w/ Arkansas)
Courtney Dowdell, NIU  (rotates w/ CMU)

Semifinal #2, aka the SEC semifinal:

[2] LSU
[11] Boise State
[14] Nebraska
[25] Arizona
[29] Iowa State
[36] Minnesota

Mariana Murphy, Air Force (rotates w/ Boise State)
Kara Witgen, Air Force (rotates w/ LSU)

Anna Salamone, Air Force (rotates w Nebraska)
Riley Hill, Air Force (rotates w/ Iowa State)
Jamie Lewis, Air Force (rotates w/ Arizona)

Anna Salamone, Air Force (rotates w/ Nebraska)
Darby Germain, Air Force (rotates w/ Iowa State)
Jamie Lewis, Air Force (rotates w/ Arizona)
Brittney Reed, Air Force (rotates w/ Minnesota)

Rita Koenigbauer, Air Force (rotates w/ Nebraska)
Riley Hill, Air Force (rotates w/ Iowa State)
Brittney Reed, Air Force (rotates w/ Minnesota)
Chelsea Grimison, Air Force (rotates w/ Arizona)

Darby Germain, Air Force (rotates w/ Iowa State)
Jamie Lewis, Air Force (rotates w/ Arizona)
Brittney Reed, Air Force (rotates w/ Minnesota)
Casey Bell, Air Force (rotates w/ Nebraska)

When not enough ranked AAers exist in a region, extra individual event specialists fill out the spots. Air Force is the only team with people in this “region.” Now you know why I hate regions. Air Force is sending an entire team to regionals even though they didn’t qualify a team, just because they are located in a more sparsely populated part of the country in terms of gym programs.

[6] Alabama
[7] Michigan – led by “Taleeeah Cheeraralli”
[18] Southern Utah
[20] George Washington – Oh, “Jillian Wistingly”
[23] West Virginia
[31] Kent State

Majesta Valentine, West Chester (rotates w/ Alabama)
Lyanda Dudley, Cornell (rotates w/ Michigan)
Caroline Morant, Brown (rotates w/ Southern Utah)
Libby Groden, Rutgers (rotates w/ George Washington)

Tracey Person, Pittsburgh (rotates w/ West Virginia)
Kimberly Stewart, Bridgeport (rotates w/ Kent State)

Taylor Laymon, Pittsburgh (rotates w/ West Virginia)
Daisy Todd, Temple (rotates w/ Kent State)

Brianna Comport, Bridgeport (rotates w/ West Virginia)
Kaitlin Green, Cornell (rotates w/ Kent State)

Brianna Comport, Bridgeport (rotates w/ West Virginia)
Maya Reimers, Bridgeport (rotates w/ Kent State)

[3] Florida – You go “Alexis MuMurty”
[10] Georgia
[15] Missouri
[30] New Hampshire
[33] Penn State
[35] North Carolina

Chelsea Knight, NC State (rotates w/ Florida)
Gabriella Yarussi, Towson (rotates w/ Georgia)
Tyra McKellar, Towson (rotates w/ Missouri)
Kristen Peterman, Maryland (rotates w/ NH)

Sarah Faller, Maryland (rotates w/ Penn St)
Paris Phillips, NC State (rotates w/ UNC)

Amanda Fillard, NC State (rotates w/ Penn St)
Melissa Brooker, NC State (rotates w/ UNC)

Sarah Faller, Maryland (rotates w/ Penn St)
Mary Elle Arduino, Towson (rotates w/ UNC)

Emily Brauckmuller, Maryland (rotates w/ Penn St)
Alecia Farina, Maryland (rotates w/ UNC)

Continue reading Regionals Draw & Pac-12 Championship Recap

Things Are Happening – March 17, 2017

A. Weekend schedule

Friday, March 17
Scores Watch
6:30 ET/3:30 PT – DIII West Regionals
UW-La Crosse
Winona State
UW-Eau Claire
Gustavus Adolphus
Saturday, March 18
Scores Watch
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – ECAC DI Championship
William & Mary
LINK  Ivy $
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – ECAC DII Championship
West Chester
Southern Connecticut
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Big Ten Championship Session 1
Michigan State
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – SEC Championship Session 1
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – EAGL Championship
George Washington
New Hampshire
North Carolina
NC State
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – MAC Championship
Eastern Michigan
Kent State
Central Michigan
Western Michigan
Northern Illinois
Ball State
Bowling Green
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – MIC Championship
Texas Woman’s
Illinois State
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Pac-12 Championship Session 1
Arizona State
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Big Ten Championship Session 2
Ohio State
Penn State
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Big-12 Championship
West Virginia
Iowa State
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – SEC Championship Session 2
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Mountain Rim Championship
Boise State
Southern Utah
Utah State
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Pac-12 Championship Session 2
Oregon State
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Mountain Pacific Championship
UC Davis
Sacramento State
San Jose State
Air Force
Seattle Pacific
Sunday, March 19
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – DIII East Regionals
Rhode Island

Conference championship weekend! First note: I’ll be at the Pac-12 Championship on Saturday so won’t be live blogging the day, but I’m sure I’ll have some observations to tweet.

I’ve also attached the day’s master schedule in chart form to help keep track of all the simultaneous flimflam and jibberjabber.

2017 Conference Champs Schedule Continue reading Things Are Happening – March 17, 2017

Pac-12 Championship Preview

On to the Pac-12!

Like the SEC and Big Ten, the Pac-12 conducts its championship in two sessions, the first beginning at 1:00 PT and including Cal, Arizona, Stanford, and Arizona State, and the second beginning at 6:00 PT and including UCLA, Utah, Oregon State, and Washington.

For the rotation order, the Pac-12 did things a little differently this year, just to make everyone confused. Rather than a predetermined draw, teams were given the opportunity to choose which even they’d like to start on, picking in seeded order. So for the evening session, UCLA chose vault, then Utah chose bars, then Oregon State chose floor, then Washington was left with beam and went, “We’re all going to get 9.875 anyway, so eat that SUCKAAASSSS.”

For the afternoon session, Cal chose vault, then Arizona broke with convention and took beam with the second pick, Stanford took bars, and Arizona State was left with floor.

Session I – Cal, Arizona, Stanford, Arizona State
It’s not completely ridiculous to expect a good score to come out of the first session, a score that at least challenges a couple of the teams in the top group. The scoring potential UCLA and Utah have displayed this year should see them pull away with hit meets, but a team like Cal having a good meet and finishing third is entirely within the realm of possibility. Continue reading Pac-12 Championship Preview

SEC Championship Preview

The arrival of the conference championships marks the beginning of the onset of the opening of the first stage of an NCAA gymnastics season’s march toward maturity, like a disgusting larva transforming into a slightly less disgusting larva.

Results still don’t really matter, but this is the last time results won’t matter. And that’s something. Also blah blah blah, bragging rights. The SEC coaches are always eager to tell us that winning the SEC Championship is harder than winning the national championship, which is just blatantly false and dumb to say, but also…a trophy? Hooray! Winner and losers! Life is happening!

Here, I break down prospects for victory and what I’ll be watching at the SEC Championship for each of the teams.

The championship will be conducted in two sessions, the first at 2:00 ET and featuring Kentucky, Missouri, Auburn, and Arkansas, and the second at 6:00 ET and featuring LSU, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Teams will compete in seeded order in each session, so LSU and Kentucky begin on vault, Florida and Missouri on bars, Alabama and Auburn on beam, and Georgia and Arkansas on floor.

Session I – Kentucky, Missouri, Auburn, Arkansas
It’s not impossible to get a high score out of the first session. Last season, Georgia totaled 196.850 even with a mild beamtastrophe. Jay, Rogers, Box, and Schick all hit the 9.9 zone on at least one piece, and Jay scored high enough to finish third overall in the AA. So, there is precedent for a useful total.

At the same time, since the SEC went to a two-session format, no team has hit the 197 mark in the first group. With regional seeding and placements riding on how Kentucky and Missouri score in this meet, attempts to hold down the scores in the first session to leave room for the better teams in the second session (reasonable) will have implications for all the teams in the final season standings, not just the teams in this meet. Continue reading SEC Championship Preview

Best Routine of Week 10 Poll

Congratulations to our week 9 champion, Alex McMurtry’s 10.0 vault, which triumphed in the war of social media over Erika Aufiero’s bars in second and Nicola Deans’ floor in third.

ROUTINE of the WEEK 1st 2nd 3rd
Week 1 Skinner, FX Edney, VT Nichols, UB
Week 2 Ward, VT PP Lee, BB Hambrick, FX
Week 3 Artz, FX Childers, BB Skinner, VT
Week 4 Ross, UB McMurtry, VT PP Lee, UB
Week 5 Gardiner, BB Ward, VT Winston, FX
Week 6 PP Lee, UB Slocum, VT Jackson, FX
Week 7 Ross, BB Price, UB Guerrero, BB
Week 8 McMurtry, FX Mossett, FX Lehrmann, UB
Week 9 McMurtry, VT Aufiero, UB Deans, FX
Week 10

Who will be the winner in the final week of non-championship action, a week that saw the 28th score of 10.000 on the year, the most in a single season since the 2003-2004 dark ages?

  1. Morgan Lane, North Carolina – Vault (9.875)

2. Kirah Koshinki, West Virginia – Vault (9.875)

3. Mary Jane Horth, Illinois – Bars (9.950)

4. Kaytianna McMillan, Oregon State – Bars (10.000)

5. Peng Peng Lee, UCLA – Bars (10.000)

6. Courtney McGregor, Boise State – Bars (9.950)

7. Stacie Webb, Southern Utah – Beam (10.000)

8. Katelyn Ohashi, UCLA – Beam (10.000)

9. Kiana Winston, Alabama – Beam (9.950)

10. Ashley Lambert, Nebraska – Floor (9.900)


Week 10 Rankings and Final RQS Scenarios

Here we are. The week before conference championships. Just one meet left to change your ranking and get to a less horrible position. At this point, we know the maximum RQSs and exactly where each team has a chance to end up in the rankings.

For reference, if the season were already over, the regionals placements would look like this:

Regional 1: Oklahoma, Kentucky, Nebraska (host)
Regional 2: LSU, Boise State, Missouri (presumed host: Arkansas)
Regional 3: UCLA, Oregon State, Washington (host)
Regional 4: Florida (host), Michigan, Cal
Regional 5: Utah, Georgia, Iowa (presumed host: Illinois)
Regional 6: Alabama, Denver, George Washington (presumed host: West Virginia)

For the presumed hosts, I just kind of guessed based on general geography.

The regionals tiebreaker for seeds/qualifying is the highest score that isn’t being used among the 6 for RQS.

In case you were curious, this year at regionals the #1 seeds will begin on bars, the #2 seeds will begin on vault, and the #3 seeds will begin on a bye before floor. That means the #1 seeds end on a bye (ughughughughughughugh), the #2 seeds end on floor, and the #3 seeds end on beam. Continue reading Week 10 Rankings and Final RQS Scenarios

Sunday Live Blog – March 12, 2017

Sunday, March 12
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Penn, Southern Connecticut, Ithaca @ Temple FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Stanford, NC State, Yale @ [18] George Washington LINK GW $
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Cornell, Brockport @ Towson LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – North Carolina @ [4] UCLA LINK P12
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ [17] Cal LINK P12

While UNC is the lowest ranked and least heralded among this batch of teams, today is significantly more important for North Carolina than it is for any other team competing today. It’s sort of all about UNC because of what happened yesterday.

Many of the bubble-ranked Michigan teams did their jobs yesterday, meaning that North Carolina has dropped from 33rd in Monday’s rankings to 38th in the in-progress rankings, outside regional-qualifying territory. It’s critical for UNC to get a good score today to be situated to qualify after EAGLs. Continue reading Sunday Live Blog – March 12, 2017

Saturday Live Blog – March 11, 2017

Saturday, March 11
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Brown, Cortland, Rhode Island @ Springfield FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Ursinus @ West Chester
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Northern Illinois @ Central Michigan LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Big Ten Qualifier: [13] Nebraska, [24] Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland @ [19] Illinois LINK BTN
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Big Ten Qualifier: [11] Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, Rutgers @ [16] Iowa LINK BTN
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [5] Utah @ [7] Georgia LINK SEC+
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – SEMO @ Western Michigan LINK
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Illinois-Chicago @ [9] Oregon State LINK FREE
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Hamline @ UW-Whitewater LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Bowling Green @ [25] Eastern Michigan LINK EMU
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Seattle Pacific @ [14] Washington LINK FREE

Yesterday’s action did not provide too much new clarity for the postseason picture, but I don’t expect today to follow in its footsteps. In particular, the scores from Minnesota, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State will tell us a ton about the race for the top 36. Those teams currently sit in spots 35-39 in the in-progress rankings and, barring anything untoward, are the most likely contenders for the final two regionals spots.

Here’s the setup as we have it now for the remaining spots.

Team Current RQS Max Monday RQS
 #32 Maryland  195.410  195.525
 #33 BYU  195.370  195.615
 #34 North Carolina  195.210  195.525
 #35 Minnesota  195.160  195.745
 #36 Central Michigan  195.085  195.370
 #37 Western Michigan  195.035  195.290
 #38 Penn State  195.020  195.610
 #39 Michigan State  194.915  195.230
 #40 UC Davis  194.885  194.885
 #41 Ball State  194.870  194.870
 #42 Arizona State  194.740  194.740
 #43 Towson  194.640  194.965
 #44 NC State  194.600  195.085

Davis and Ball State are already done for the weekend and likely didn’t do enough to help themselves. Minnesota and Penn State have the biggest upsides and really should move to a safer position with anything resembling a hit today. If they both get good scores and North Carolina gets something useful at UCLA tomorrow, it will make life very difficult for the Michigan teams. But if one of those things doesn’t happen… Continue reading Saturday Live Blog – March 11, 2017

NCAA Week 10 Results

Tuesday, March 7
Final Score
Brown, So Connecticut, Rhode Island @ Bridgeport Bridgeport 194.450
Brown 193.425
So Conn 190.350
RI 182.950
Ball State, Illinois-Chicago @ Western Michigan Ball St 195.450
UIC 195.175
WMU 194.300
Thursday, March 9
Final Score
UW-Oshkosh @ UW-Stout Stout 189.350
Oshkosh 186.825
Friday, March 10
Final Score
West Virginia @ Florida Florida 197.600
WVU 196.100
Towson @ NC State NC State 196.150
Towson 194.025
Ball State @ Kent State Kent St 196.425
Ball St 195.000
Temple @ William & Mary W & M 193.100
Temple 192.450
Winona State @ UW-Eau Claire Winona 185.200
Eau Claire 184.875
UW-La Crosse @ Gustavus Adolphus La Crosse 188.900
Gustavus 184.725
Kentucky @ Missouri Missouri 197.125
Kentucky 196.925
Pitt @ Auburn Auburn 196.300
Pitt 194.200
San Jose State, Centenary @ Arkansas Arkansas 196.150
SJ State 193.875
Centenary 188.250
Lindenwood @ Illinois State Illinois St 193.025
Lindenwood 191.650
New Hampshire @ LSU LSU 197.875
UNH 195.300
Iowa State @ Alabama Alabama 197.100
Iowa St 196.600
Denver @ Boise State Boise St 197.675
Denver 197.150
Southern Utah @ Utah State SUU 195.675
Utah St 194.600
Arizona @ BYU BYU 196.350
Arizona 195.525
Sacramento State, Bridgeport @ Arizona State Sac St 195.275
Bridgeport 195.050
Arizona St 194.925
Air Force @ UC Davis Davis 195.775
Air Force 193.350
Saturday, March 11
Final Score
Brown, Cortland, Rhode Island @ Springfield Brown 193.425
Springfield 189.050
Cortland 188.425
RI 182.575
Ursinus @ West Chester WC 193.675
Ursinus 191.500
Northern Illinois @ Central Michigan CMU 196.575
NIU 196.150
Nebraska, OSU, MSU, Maryland @ Illinois Nebraska 196.650
Illinois 196.450
OSU 195.350
MSU 194.650
Marland 193.375
Michigan, Minnesota, PSU, Rutgers @ Iowa Michigan 197.150
Iowa 196.400
Penn St 195.450
Minnesota 194.825
Rutgers 192.650
Utah @ Georgia Georgia 197.250
Utah 196.650
SEMO @ Western Michigan WMU 195.475
SEMO 193.100
Illinois-Chicago @ Oregon State Oregon St 197.475
UIC 193.550
Hamline @ UW-Whitewater Whitewater 192.125
Hamline 188.850
Bowling Green @ Eastern Michigan EMU 195.225
BGSU 194.675
Seattle Pacific @ Washington Washington 196.925
SPU 194.100
Sunday, March 12
Final Score
Penn, Southern Connecticut, Ithaca @ Temple Temple 194.975
Penn 193.950
So Conn 190.500
Ithaca 189.650
Stanford, NC State, Yale @  George Washington GW 196.500
NC State 194.825
Yale 194.575
Stanford 193.275
Cornell, Brockport @ Towson Towson 194.625
Cornell 193.500
Brockport 192.425
North Carolina @ UCLA UCLA 197.800
UNC 195.400
Oklahoma @ Cal Oklahoma 197.800
Cal 196.775
Monday, March 13
Final Score
Southern Utah @ BYU BYU 195.650
SUU 195.625

Week 10 AA leaders:
1. Ashleigh Gnat, LSU – 39.700
2. Kaytianna McMillan, Oregon State – 39.650
3. Myia Hambrick, LSU – 39.625
3. Maddie Karr, Denver – 39.625
3. Chayse Capps, Oklahoma – 39.625
Continue reading NCAA Week 10 Results


Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama