2017 Freshman Preview: Auburn

Thus the calendar turns to the first year Post-Atkinson (and Post-Demers, an equally troubling development to all of us acceptable humans).

This 2017 season will be the true test of Auburn’s staying power in the top flight, following the revolutionary seasons of 2015 and 2016, since the most likely outcome this year is a net loss in the number of 9.8+ routines.

Returning Routines – Auburn
Rott – 9.870
Krippner – 9.810
Kopec – 9.794
Engler – 9.770
Garcia – 9.746
Phillips – 9.685
Milliet – 9.880
Krippner – 9.840
Kopec – 9.830
Cerio – 9.825
Engler – 9.819
Milliet – 9.870
Hlawek – 9.820
Cerio – 9.795
Krippner – 9.750
Engler – 9.510
Rott – 9.895
Hlawek – 9.875
Milliet – 9.845
Scaglione – 9.756

There’s not a Next Caitlin Atkinson lurking in this year’s freshman class ready to save the day and get all the 9.9s, but I am excited about the potential of Gracie Day. The main thing to know about her is that her name might also be Stephanie. I’m not really sure and don’t understand. It could also be Clarissa. Or Martinique.

Anyway, Gertrude Day looks the most likely freshman to fill out some of those lineup openings on the power events. Patricia has a bigger Yurchenko full on vault than several of the options Auburn explored last season, and her double Arabian on floor stands out as the E pass among Auburn’s freshman crop.

I’m not mad at that routine. Also, in bizarre observation news, does anyone else get a little “love-child of Jordyn Wieber and Ellie Downie” vibe from her? Just me? OK.

Be warned: Marjorie didn’t compete beam or floor this spring and is wearing right knee support in bars training videos (because of course and everyone), so there’s that. Though in spite of how necessary I think she’ll be on floor, my favorite thing about Collette’s gymnastics is her insane release amplitude on bars. Ideally, Naomi will pop up all over the lineups this season.

Auburn’s other two freshman this season hail from the International House of Locklear, and Kendal Moss very clearly takes after Ashton on vault and floor. Because 0.000. Moss did do vault and floor several years ago when she qualified to the Nastia, but she has barely competed those events since January 2014, only returning to them this spring, and just the once. Her primary strengths seem to be in the leaps and in a gigantic Gienger on bars, though the internet is really letting us down on this one. Come on, internet.

Overall, I like this class on bars. I’m actually not that worried about Auburn’s bars in 2017, so…kiss of death. With Milliet (and a bit of a step up from Cerio, who I think has a ton of potential), along with a couple freshman, that lineup should work out. I’m more concerned about who’s going to take on the massive scoring onus on vault and floor.

Moss’s teammate Katie Becker looks like one of those solid-enough-across-the-board JO gymnasts who should be quite valuable in helping Auburn fill out competition lineups wherever needed. Becker finished 6th AA at JO Nationals this year because every score was right in the 9.5s—no standouts, no weaknesses. Once again, her release amplitude on bars seems worthy of contending for a lineup spot, and she shows a normal Yfull on vault and a perfectly comfortable double-pike-style floor routine. Split elements in general look like a stumbling block, but the acrobatic skill set is there across the apparatuses.

It’s also worth mentioning that one of the 2016 freshmen, Emma Slappey, never competed because of injury. In last year’s freshman preview, I picked her to be the complement of Cerio and contribute on vault and floor, so in looking at how to fill out those power lineups, Slappey is someone to keep in mind as well.

One thought on “2017 Freshman Preview: Auburn”

  1. Day’s website says her full name is Stephanie Gracie Day, so I guess nothing as funky as Martinique — still a little unusual that she takes her middle name, but I think Gracie sounds better than Steph tbh! Keep up the fab work.

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