Week 3 Rankings and Notes

The Michigan Wolverines won the week with a 197.350, followed closely by Oklahoma’s 197.325, Florida’s 197.300, and Utah’s 196.950. It was a good week to be a home team. No road team broke 196 this weekend, with the highest visiting score being Maryland’s 195.975.

The Gym Info rankings are not yet out, so treat these rankings as unofficial.

1. Michigan – 196.942
The Wolverines were super happy to proclaim their #1 ranking after the first week of competition even though it didn’t count because there weren’t rankings that week, but now they get to do it for realsies. Michigan has now recorded two big scores in a row at home, so one of the story lines to watch this season will be whether Michigan scoring is still a thing. Crucially, vault appears to have caught up with the other events (49.300), and Natalie Beilstein returned to that lineup, an anchor routine that will be crucial if Michigan is to have a shot at competing with the 49.500 sisters. The Zurales, Sampson, Sugiyama, Beilstein caucus is nationally competitive.

2. Oklahoma – 196.825
The home debut for Oklahoma was a pleasant one for 197.325. It’s a vital score because the Sooners won’t be returning home until early 2018 or something, so it may be harder for them to score high early in the season. The counterargument to that is their ability to go 197.400 all over the place on the road last year. Brie Olson returned to the vault lineup and scored well, which will be necessary every week because there is far less depth on vault (Oklahoma and UCLA should start a club). The Sooners recorded no low scores in this meet (just one 9.775, and it was from Olson on bars, which is unusual) and did the typical 9.875ing opponents to death, which has to be the strategy this year. I don’t see those consistent eleven or twelve 9.9+ routines in their future this season, so they have to make up any potentially lost ground to Florida and Alabama with 9.875s in the first two positions.

3. Florida – 196.817
The big news for Florida is the 10 for Mackenzie Caquatto, which is one of those scores that has seemed like it’s been coming for ages. The Gators recorded a 49.600 on bars while suffering a fall to Bridget Sloan, and with Dickerson in a lineup spot that could go the B. Caquatto later in the season, it’s easy to see this score going notable higher at home. What should scare the other teams is that Florida achieved this score while counting two numbers in the 9.7s and with a noticeably B+ squad that was missing Sloan and Johnson on vault, King on beam, and Hunter on floor. Over the next few meets, watch to see how the consistency and scoring potential develop on beam and floor. Those events are farther behind right now.

4. UCLA – 196.788
Sitting still saw the Bruins fall from #1 to #4 in this week’s rankings, but they are pretty tightly bunched with the rest of the top four. Next week will bring a prime opportunity to record a good road score at Arizona State, and with two weeks to improve, I expect some of these lineup questions to be on the path to resolution with a few of the short-term solutions being subbed out. Since vault is so depleted, I expect the group we saw against Utah to be the lineup for most of the season, and they need to continue to improve at the same rate. A 49.300 is great, but some of those vaults were just okay and a couple other people over-performed. We saw too many issues of varying degrees against Utah (Francis and DeJesus on bars, Courtney on beam, and Bynum and DeJesus on floor), and it won’t always be possible to rely on Zamarripa to save the day with a 9.950 that makes the rotation seem more impressive than it was. With the talent and beautiful gymnastics (sometimes in plain sight, sometimes hidden) on this team, Zamarripa should be the final flourish to turn a 49.300 into a 49.450.

5. Alabama – 196.513
There’s a lot that’s still TBD about Alabama with lineups, so it’s encouraging for the Tide that they are getting these mid-196s with not spectacular performances. Vault is the farthest along and scored spectacularly over the weekend, which surprises no one, but for the top teams right now the home score is less important than the quality of performance. Vault will soon become 49.500y, but the landings still need work. I’m torn about the bars lineup. Sledge can still get her 9.900 at home, but hiding her in the first position again will eventually do more harm than good. At the same time, I kind of like the scoring strategy of putting DeMeo last to make it seem like her routine is better than Priess’s. It worked on Friday. (UCLA did the same thing with Zam/Wong and it also worked for 9.900.) Floor was the big mistake in the last meet, but I’m not concerned about it. Milliner and Gutierrez will be hitting, though Priess will need to come in later in the season along with hopefully Williams if she’s ever ready. 

6. Nebraska – 196.500
True to form, Nebraska put up just seven gymnasts on Saturday, and they all hit well enough for a 196.700. There will, however, be a few more options this season when Schleppenbach can come in instead of some of these 9.7s. Jennifer Lauer has been the big surprise of the season with all these 9.9s on bars and beam, and Emily Wong has emerged as the clear class of the team. The Huskers are in a position right now of relying on a couple 9.9s to save rotations from 9.7s, so the supporting scores must be cultivated and improved, and hopefully there will be enough depth to allow playing around with some of these lineups because several of these gymnasts probably shouldn’t be competing certain events later on.
7. LSU – 196.158
And they started the season so well. LSU came back to earth against Alabama, suffering mistakes aplenty. As expected, bars and beam were the biggest culprits and don’t appear to be able to recover enough to score with the top teams. On bars, the problem wasn’t so much that they had to count a fall from Courville. They will almost always be able to rely on her. The problem was that Wyrick looked all over the place even before the fall, and Hall and Savona had too many form breaks to expect to go over 9.800. It’s a rotation of two routines, and when one of them is a fall, there is nothing to save it. If Courville had achieved her 9.900, this rotation would have seemed perfectly acceptable, but that would have masked issues. Also of concern is that the floor routines (the bread and butter of this team) each scored about .050 lower than they have been at home. Watch this discrepancy as the season goes because it could destroy this team’s scoring potential outside of Louisiana.

8. Utah – 196.125
The Utes reveled in the joys of being at home and moved up seven places in the rankings as a result. A 196.950 is a strong result for the second meet, but they are still a bit behind the top teams who are getting 197.3s for home performances with no mistakes at this point. Georgia Dabritz is emerging as the star of this team largely because she has an amplitude that puts her routines usually about .050 higher than Lothrop’s. Lothrop fits well in that 5th-up role where 9.875s are expected of her, but shooting for just one or maybe two 9.9 routines per event is not worthy of a championship. Bars will become a concern because it’s basically Dabritz and a lot of 9.800s. They hit this time, which is a victory, but I don’t see anyone else being a 9.9er.  

9. Georgia – 195.892
What do we make of Georgia? The Dogs regressed a little bit on vault this week, but I don’t see that becoming a trend. A few people were just a little off and were performing difficult vaults that will come along. Beam remains a concern because Georgia has already had about two seasons worth of composition issues in three meets. Rogers is talented enough to be in the lineup and has a great routine, but right now she is stunting their scoring. Shayla had an issue on floor over the weekend (we have become used to Shayla having various issues every two or three weeks, so this is not notable), but Cat Hires likely should come out with Rogers or Davis (if able) coming in for her. Christa Tanella is in the best shape of her collegiate career, and I’m considering promoting her from 9.775 to 9.825. We’ll remain watchful. But, the team cannot rely simply on a range of 9.8s from Tanella and a returned Couch. We need to start seeing the consistency and 9.9s from Jay and Rogers. Adding those two gymnasts to the occasional big scores achieved by Davis and Worley when they are sturdy enough to do so is the successful formula.

10. Stanford – 195.725
The Cardinal won’t be competing again until tomorrow against Georgia, but their high 195 level gymnastics is still currently good enough for the top 10. As we saw on bars in their most recent meet, when Hong, Vaculik, and Shapiro are all competing deep in the lineup, it makes for a successful rotation. Keeping everyone healthy and consistent on floor is going to be a major challenge, so I think it’s a worthwhile investment to continue competing Rice and Chuang to get them prepared. I’m eager to see how this team fares in a difficult road environment at Georgia. It’s not exactly the sturdiest of teams. 

11. Denver – 195.717
12. Minnesota – 195.538
13. Arizona – 195.492
14. Maryland – 195.488
15. Kentucky – 195.383
16. Oregon St. – 194.975
17. Boise St. – 194.875
18. Auburn – 194.858
19. Ohio St. – 194.842
20. Central Michigan – 194.733
21. California – 194.708
22. Pittsburgh – 194.600
23. Kent St. – 194.513
24. NC St. – 194.500
25. Eastern Michigan – 194.475

3 thoughts on “Week 3 Rankings and Notes”

  1. I'm seriously astounded by the scoring at Crisler this year, after following Big Ten gymnastics for ten years. The only thing I can think is that getting a big away score the first week changes the way the judges think of the team. Either that or there is some other forces at work with the change in scheduling of judges.

    I had wondered what Michigan was going to do without the end-of-season SEC meet to get some big numbers, but that doesn't look like it will be an issue. Let's hop they can stay healthy and aren't peaking too soon. ice to have a little diversity in the Super Six again.

  2. PS do you guys think is Michigan being over-scored at Crisler, or is the scoring just less *tight* than usual? I can't tell at all, I'm genuinely curious.


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