Over the weekend, a medium-sized army of Level 10s gathered together in the void between the dimensions to contest their national championship. This is our annual opportunity to start to learn the names of the people who will be scattering 9.825s all over NCAA gymnastics in a matter of months. As always, the competition is broken down into 8 age groups (Junior A-D, Senior A-D), and my attention is primarily on Senior D and Senior C, since those are the gymnasts who will be joining college gymnastics this fall. For the rest, there will still be plenty of time to try to care about them later.
Full results for all the sessions can be found at USAG, and all the various commitments can be found at collegegymfans and here, but here’s a basic breakdown of the key competitors in the senior ranks.
Top 10 AA
1. Alicia Boren – Florida 2015-2016
38.800 (VT – 1st; UB – 2nd; BB – 2nd; FX – 3rd)
Alicia Boren wins JO Nationals every year. And when I say that, I’m not exaggerating like I usually am. She actually wins her age group every single year. It’s a guarantee that she will be given the “new Kytra” moniker within a millisecond of arriving at Florida. She’s not Kytra, but she did manage to get third on floor even with an OOB and will be expected to contribute on at least three events, joining Peyton Ernst to try to replace those Kytra routines and add a few others to the pile.
2. Kirah Koshinski – West Virginia 2015-2016
38.475 (VT – 2nd; UB – 13th; BB – 15th; FX – 1st)
I love to see gymnasts going to not-top schools place well in JO. It doesn’t always translate to sudden stardom or a boost for those programs, but these vault and floor routines are the real deal.
3. Emma McLean – Michigan 2015-2016
38.350 (VT – 4th; UB – 11th; BB – 12th; FX – 2nd)
Michigan had a very strong JO Nationals overall with a number of top finishes, and seeing McLean in third in particular is very encouraging. Karas has been the more heralded of the two newbies for next season, but Michigan is not an extremely deep team and will remain so next season, so McLean showing the ability to be solid across the board is important because they may need to rely on that. And that vault should be a thing.
4. Sarah Means – Boise State 2015-2016
38.175 (VT – 4th; UB – 19th; BB – 4th; FX – 8th)
Beam. After that beam showing at regionals, this 4th place is a chorus of angels.
5. Sabrina Garcia – Penn State 2015-2016
38.050 (VT – 27th; UB – 3rd; BB – 4th; FX – 5th)
6. Jaclyn Sampson – Sacramento State 2015-2016
37.900 (VT – 25th; UB – 8th; BB – 3rd; FX – 21st)
7. Jenna Bresette – Alabama 2015-2016
37.875 (VT – 11th; UB – 3rd; BB – 36th; FX – 5th)
8. Amanda Huang – Alabama 2015-2016
37.625 (VT – 32nd; UB – 3rd; BB – 12th; FX – 33rd)
Even though Alabama is losing another crop of essential routines (4 from Clark, 2 from Williams, 1 from Frost), there is reason for optimism in the fairly large, yet relatively unheralded, class they are bringing in. These L10s boast some usable routines that can pad those lineups, at least in the spots that a please-be-healthy-now Kiana Winston doesn’t swoop in to take up. And by “pad those lineups,” I don’t mean it in a coach-like “she’ll be great depth for our team…and will never see the light of day” kind of way. They’ll actually pad the lineups and contribute.
Bresette, a chief member of the “former GAGE gymnast” club, was felled by the dreaded beam here, otherwise she would have comfortably been top 5. Huang excels on bars, a lineup that was a little too 9.850 for Alabama at times this year.
8. Haylee Roe – Illinois 2015-2016
37.625 (VT – 15th; UB – 36th; BB – 9th; FX – 21st)
10. Ciara Gresham – ?
37.600 (VT – 10th; UB – 33rd; BB – 25th; FX – 8th)
Samantha Cerio – Auburn 2015-2016
UB – 1st; FX – 5th
Cerio is another who could have been top 5 in the AA with a hit beam routine. Auburn is losing some serious scores after last season, with Megan Walker’s bars routine pretty high on that list. Someone is going to have to pick that up if they want to double down on magical seasons.
Angelina Giancroce – Alabama, now, apparently 2015-2016
BB – 4th; FX – 4th
Weren’t you going to Georgia? Another addition to the Alabama depth parade. How does Alabama always manage to have 16 new contributing freshmen every season? We always make fun of “we have a really young team this year…” but Alabama truly always does.
Shannon McNatt – Utah 2015-2016
VT – 4th; UB – 9th
Stephanie Brock – ?
VT – 7th; BB – 9th
Sarah Lippowitsch – Kent State 2015-2016
BB – 1st
Ashley Hiller – Florida 2015-2016
VT – 2nd
Amanda Cheney – Florida 2015-2016
BB – 4th
A few casual bonus JO standouts for a team that doesn’t need them. 2nd on vault in Senior D would be something to boast about…if you weren’t competing with Sloan, McMurtry, Baker, and Boren for vault spots.
Brooke Kelly – Missouri 2015-2016
BB – 4th
Sienna Crouse – Nebraska 2015-2016
UB – 6th
Mary Jacobsen – Oregon State 2015-2016
UB – 6th
Lauren Schmeiss – Sacramento State 2015-2016
VT – 7th
Madeleine Huber – Missouri 2015-2016
UB – 9th
Nicole O’Leary – New Hampshire 2015-2016
VT – 9th
MaryElle Arduino – Towson 2015-2016
BB – 9th
Sidney Dukes – Kentucky 2015-2016
FX – 10th
Gracie Cherrey – Georgia 2015-2016
Notable as a Georgia recruit who will be relied upon for real contribution next season, but a bars disaster took her out of the top 10 AA spots.
Top 10 AA
1. Macy Toronjo – UCLA 2015-2016
38.650 (VT – 4th; UB – 5th; BB – 3rd; FX – 1st)
It’s reasonable to assume that UCLA will take a hit next year without Sam Peszek. Ohashi is amazing, but she’s not the same type of gymnast. She doesn’t have that “there is literally a 0% chance you will miss this routine” Peszekness, and I worry about her fragility. That’s why Toronjo is going to be so important. She’s no Peszek, but she is your prototypical second-tier elite, with all the skills and 9.850+ potential, who can jump in and buoy those lineups, ensuring that they aren’t full of…ahem…ratty old 9.750s at nationals. Also, a DLO and a full in at JO Nationals? Yes you did.
2. Makenna Merrell – Utah 2015-2016
38.625 (VT – 2nd; UB – 4th; BB – 4th; FX – 2nd)
Even though Skinner has decided to pass on this year to see if she can
do a vault with zero hands make the Olympics, Utah still has another bang-up class of L10s coming in who all placed well this weekend. It’s unrealistic to expect them to live up to the quality of the routines lost, but they will be able to combine with this past year’s freshmen (who should contribute more) to try at least to minimize the damage and ensure that team depth remains a thing. Note the cleaner line and toes that Merrell has on bars, at least from this angle. That’s my big pet peeve about Utah’s bars, so get this girl in the lineup.
3. Maddie Karr – Denver 2016-2017
38.400 (VT – 4th; UB – 10th; BB – 2nd; FX – 8th)
4. Olivia Karas – Michigan 2015-2016
38.275 (VT – 1st; UB – 16th; BB – 14th; FX – 11th)
Vaulllllltttttts. Michigan was hit by the bouncy vault monster for 49.1s too often last season, especially at the end. These freshmen can vault and need to do it all the time and a lot and everywhere. Karas has been one of the top JO gymnasts of the last year or so and won her age group last season at JOs. She will be expected to bestow some significant scores upon the team.
5. Jamie Stone – Ohio State 2015-2016
38.075 (VT – 10th; UB – 10th; BB – 14th; FX – 5th)
6. Madison Osman – Michigan 2016-2017
37.975 (VT – 6th; UB – 26th; BB – 17th; FX – 5th)
6. Shani Remme – Boise State 2015-2016
37.975 (VT – 14th; UB – 20th; BB – 13th; FX – 5th)
8. Sylvie Seilnacht – Cal 2015-2016
37.925 (VT – 18th; UB – 25th; BB – 12th; FX – 4th)
9. Erika Muhaw – Utah 2015-2016
37.875 (VT – 3rd; UB – 38th; BB – 20th; FX – 3rd)
10. Alexandra Hyland – Kentucky 2015-2016
37.825 (VT – 40th; UB – 5th; BB – 7th; FX – 11th)
Kaitlyn Szafranski – LSU 2015-2016
VT – 9th; UB – 1st
Szafranski had a disaster on both beam and floor but is one of the better gymnasts in this session and could have been among the top finishers with a hit meet. No one is talking very much about her because she’s in the same class as Priessman, Finnegan, and Kelley, but she could be important in helping make up for that parade of lost scores LSU has, especially considering Priessman’s injury history and the fact that Finnegan hasn’t competed since the early 60s. Don’t overlook this one. They’ll need this whole class, not just the names.
Meredith LaRoche – Illinois State 2015-2016
VT – 10th; FX – 8th
Taylor Krippner – Auburn 2015-2016
BB – 1st
Morgan Porter – Missouri 2015-2016
UB – 2nd
Monica Riley – Washington 2015-2016
UB – 2nd
Olivia Aepli – Ohio State 2016-2017
UB – 5th
Ohio State had to go without an Aepli on bars this past season, and it was horrible. They desperately need Aepli Part 2 as soon as possible.
4. Stephanie Day – Auburn 2016-2017
38.175 (VT – 2nd; UB – 4th; BB – 30th; FX – 1st)
5. Karen Howell – Illinois 2016-2017
38.025 (VT – 21st; UB – 1st; BB – 3rd; FX – 18th)
6. Anna Glenn – UCLA 2016-2017
38.000 (VT – 2nd; UB – 13th; BB – 24th; FX – 13th)
7. Shea Mahoney – Alabama 2016-2017
37.950 (VT – 2nd; UB – 26th; BB – 30th; FX – 3rd)
8. Katie Becker – Auburn 2016-2017
37.875 (VT – 10th; UB – 16th; BB – 9th; FX – 18th)
9. Lexi Funk – Michigan 2016-2017
37.800 (VT – 18th; UB – 5th; BB – 5th; FX – 28th)
10. Alexa Phillips – NC State 2016-2017
37.775 (VT – 2nd; UB – 32nd; BB – 34th; FX – 7th)
10. Ashlyn Kirby – LSU 2016-2017
37.775 (VT – 14th; UB – 17th; BB – 13th; FX – 16th)
We’re moving on to the 2016-2017 people now, so there’s still time before we have to know who they are and what they’re good at, but note that Alabama and Auburn cleaned up Senior B this year. Bringing in multiple top-finishing L10s in multiple upcoming seasons is a good sign that Auburn can continue to make life miserable for the traditional powers.
Rachel Dickson – Georgia 2016-2017
VT – 2nd; FX – 3rd
Jessica Yamzon – Arkansas 2016-2017
UB – 2nd; BB – 6th
Christina Berg – Auburn 2016-2017
UB – 3rd; FX – 10th
Also Maya Washington finished 6th on beam in this session, and she’s going to Washington. Which is the kind of thing I enjoy.
4. Lynnzee Brown – Denver 2017-2018
38.125 (VT – 4th; UB – 4th; BB – 23rd; FX – 7th)
5. Mariah Peterson – Cal 2017-2018
38.050 (VT – 11th; UB – 10th; BB – 3rd; FX – 9th)
6. Reagan Campbell – LSU 2017-2018
38.000 (VT – 22nd; UB – 8th; BB – 2nd; FX – 17th)
7. Maggie O’Hara – Michigan 2017-2018
37.900 (VT – 26th; UB – 2nd; BB – 12th; FX – 17th)
8. Bridget Dean – LSU 2017-2018
37.650 (VT – 34th; UB – 19th; BB – 7th; FX – 9th)
9. Kimberly Tessen – ?
37.600 (VT – 7th; UB – 41st; BB – 6th; FX – 6th)
9. Melissa Reinstadtler – Utah 2016-2017
37.600 (VT – 9th; UB – 19th; BB – 18th; FX – 27th)
Good session for LSU here. Kennedi Edney is an interesting one, since her dad was such a high-profile UCLA athlete, but she committed to LSU very early even though she seemed bred to be a Bruin. The evolution of LSU in these next two post-Courville, Jordan, Hall years will be fascinating to watch because the talent is there without question. But will they be able to conjure the same results?
Autumn DeHarde – ?
BB – 3rd; UB – 2nd
Mollie Korth – ?
VT – 2nd; FX – 4th
Annie Johnson – ?
BB – 9th; FX – 9th
Lauren Bridgens – Penn State 2017-2018
VT – 3rd
Sophia Steinmeyer – Iowa State 2017-2018
VT – 4th