The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

NLI Week 2017-2018

On the bright side, at least we’ll all be dead soon.

Anyway, Wednesday marks the beginning of NLI week, the annual period during which schools finally reveal to us which gymnasts have signed on to join their programs for the 2018 competition season. The large majority will not be a surprise since most of these gymnasts have been verbally committed since the late 1860s, but there are always a few little pieces of interest (usually regarding who doesn’t sign rather than who does).

To review:
-NLI = National Letter of Intent
-When a gymnast signs an NLI, it signals the end of the recruiting process and confirms a gymnast’s intent to attend the school in question. At this point, all other schools must cease recruiting.
-The NLI is accompanied by the athletic aid (scholarship) agreement. Gymnasts can’t sign NLIs if they are not receiving athletic aid, though they can receive athletic aid without signing an NLI.

So, let’s see what we see.

The cool thing these days is to announce the signees one-by-one on twitter, so if this information is urgent to you, keep checking there. I’ll add teams here once they issue the formal release about the entire class.

Megan Skaggs and Vanasia Bradley

Two former elites for Florida. (Former elite??? Florida??? Well I never!) Skaggs competed elite through 2015 and into the senior division, while Bradley was a junior elite until her 2013 injury.

In addition to this pair, Alyssa Baumann is also slated to join the entering 2017-2018 class, but she signed her NLI last season with her original class.

Sydney Townsend and Lauren Farley

A Canadian worlds team member and a WOGette.

Sydney Soloski and Alexia Burch

Burch (which I’ve already typed as Butch twice, we’ll have to watch that) was originally a 2018-2019 in her verbal at collegegymfans, but she’s joining for the 2018 season now. Sarah Smith, who finished 9th in Senior D this year at JO Nationals and was originally listed as part of this class, is nowhere to be found as yet.

Hannah Nipp, Mikaela Defilippo, Morgan Alfaro

Payton Bellows, Sydney Freidin, Adra Parks

Ava Verdeflor, Alissa Bonsall, Lauren Bridgens, Kourtney Chinnery

You may remember Verdeflor, a WOGA gymnast, from competing internationally for the Philippines.

Emily Schild, Marissa Oakley, Ashley Foss

Durante the Younger is also supposed to be part of this class. I suppose they’re working something so that she doesn’t have to be part of the 12. Danna’s like, “I will totally pay your tuition if it gets me another beam routine. WORTH IT.”

Bailie Key, Kylie Dickson, Alonza Klopfer, Lexi Graber

We have the Bailie Key confirmation.

“I am a people person and the moment that I walked onto the campus I noticed that the coaches took interest in me as a person, not just as a gymnast,” Key said. “I felt like they cared about my goals and the plans for my future. They went out of their way to provide all the information I needed to make the best decision for me. I wanted to be a part of a team that had integrity, character and were serious about their academics. Alabama had it all.”

Meanwhile, Kylie Dickson is again changing her nationality, this time to Bamarus.

Kyana George, Alma Kuc, Victoria Salem, Nina Schank

Anne Maxim, Madison McHale, Lea Mitchell
Walk-on: Michelina Lupinetti, Isabelle Wittebort

Kyla Bryant, Rachel Flam, Taylor Lawson, Lauren Navarro, Catherine Rogers

Stanford needs this class to a degree it is impossible to quantify. That’s why Kristen is basically penning love poems to them already. Stolen your heart?

“I love this group of young women and their families,” said Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth. “They are character kids, leaders and role models. This bond started four years ago and they have stolen my heart throughout the recruiting process. Through perseverance, and sacrifice they have achieved their dream of competing together and representing Stanford at the highest level.”

Audrey Barber, Karrie Thomas, Emilie LeBlanc, Collea Burgess, Sabriyya Rouse

Lexy Ramler, Lexi Montgomery, Ona Loper

Getting Ramler is a big ol’ coup for Minnesota.

Nicole Biondi, Grace Gough, Kylie Noonan

Gracen Standley, Reagan Campbell

Lauren Kent, Tori Prati

Jennifer Oh, Geneva Thompson

Jessie Bastardi, Sydney Marler
Walk-on: McKenna Linnen

Meredith Sylvia, Ashley Smith, Drew Watson
Walk-on: Sydney Bassett, Allie Riddle

UCLA – Release
Nia Dennis, Pauline Tratz

Pauline Tratz is the news here. She made Germany’s test event team and was in the mix for the Olympic team because of a 5.6 D on floor floor.

Lynnzee Brown, Emily Glynn, Mia Sundstrom

Danica Abanto, Jenna Swartzentruber, Morgan Lowe

Haley Pitou, Abbey Miner, Abby Beeston, Melanie Lockhart

Savanna Force, Alexia Gonzales, Kaitlyn Yanish

Emily Muhlenhaupt, Tatum Bruden, Rachel Obmann

Jordan Ceccarini, Haley Brechwald, Sophia Bochenek

Kynsee Roby, Anika Dujakovich, Torri Hutchinson

ARKANSASRelease 1, Release 2, Release 3 (Ugh…one please…)
Kailey Gillings, Sophia Carter, Sydney Laird

Anastasia Webb, Evy Schoepfer, Jordan Draper, Abigail Matthews

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