Freshman Feature: LSU & Oregon State


What Is This Class?

There was a time when LSU’s new 2020 class looked like it would be a problem. The team was losing Finnegan and Priessman and Kelley and just flat-out didn’t have the routines coming in to replace that quality. And then they went to work.

I’m old enough to remember when Kiya Johnson was a Georgia verbal for the 2021 class. Yada, yada, yada, now she’s at LSU for this season and enters as easily one of the top five JO gymnasts in the national class. Johnson has won two consecutive JO national AA titles and projects as a weekly all-around contributor for LSU.

Also new to the class is Alyona Shchennikova, who switched over from Michigan to LSU this year and brings with her…you know, being Alyona Shchennikova. Her Achilles tear this summer is a big asterisk, though LSU is promising that we’re going to see Shchennikova on a couple events this season.

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Freshman Feature: Oklahoma & Denver


What Is This Class?

The headliner of Oklahoma’s incoming class is of course Ragan Smith, and I’m not going to spend a ton of time here breaking down “oh, well, she has this skill on this event” because it’s Ragan Smith. We know what she could do. Her contribution to Oklahoma and overall success in NCAA will be based entirely on how many pieces her back and legs are in on a daily basis (ideal: 1). If she’s at full health, she can give you four big events—and if she’s at medium health, she’s probably still giving you two excellent events—but it all depends on avoiding the broken-elite path.

Because let’s be honest, if everyone were confident in Smith’s health state, she’d probably be trying for 2020 right now. Heading to Oklahoma this year (a move I wholeheartedly endorse) reads as, “Yeah, I’m physically dust, and I can’t do more elite.” The hope is that starting at Oklahoma now, instead of after another year of hard grind in an Olympic attempt, will preserve her for a successful NCAA career.

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Things Are Happening – November 8, 2019

A. The Internet Is for Skills

First of ly, Simone coughed and the whole world stopped, as is only fitting.

In a festive celebration of Gymnastics Should Be Fun Season, she took to Twitter to say, “This is a double layout off beam, Armine**”

Continue reading Things Are Happening – November 8, 2019