The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Week 7 Rankings, Notes, RQS Update

equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 1. Oklahoma 197.890
Road Score 1  198.350
Road Score 2  198.075
Road Score 3  197.925
Home/Road Score 1  198.025
Home/Road Score 2  197.750
Home/Road Score 3  197.675
  • Oklahoma debuts in RQS with a total of 197.890, already just shy of the program-record RQS of 197.920. It would take a score of 197.850 this weekend against Georgia to set a new program-best mark. The all-time record is 198.055, which is not out of the question if these 198s continue.
  • 198.350.
  • Maggie Nichols’ 39.925.
  • Nichols ranked #1 in the AA and on all four events.
  • Yeah.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 2. LSU 197.655
Road Score 1 197.700
Road Score 2 197.700
Road Score 3 197.575
Home/Road Score 1 197.975
Home/Road Score 2 197.825
Home/Road Score 3 197.475
  • LSU strengths hold on #2 after a two-meet weekend of 197.700/197.975.
  • High road scores provide separation over Florida, while lack of 198s contribute to the deficit to Oklahoma. The #2 ranking looks increasingly like LSU’s regular-season lot.
  • 9.975s on FX from Gnat (meet 1) and Kelley (meet 2) lead the team, but Myia Hambrick continues her enigmatic mid-season roller coaster of falls. Beating OU will be tough under any circumstances, but it absolutely requires peak Hambrick in the AA, even if it means putting her back to the full on vault if that is more comfortable.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 3. Florida 197.435
Road Score 1 197.425
Road Score 2 197.325
Road Score 3 197.125
Home/Road Score 1 197.975
Home/Road Score 2 197.700
Home/Road Score 3 197.600
  • The Gators’ mediocre away 197.125 (that counts as mediocre now) sees them lose ground to LSU in the RQS race. The home scores are excellent, but those current road scores will get them no higher than third. Getting a high road total March 5th at LSU will be critical in Florida’s quest to pull a Captain Jack Harkness and hold off the 4-5-6.
  • Boren’s 39.500 AA, McMurtry’s 9.975 UB lead the way this week. Chant returns on VT, UB, while Baker remains limited to UB, BB.
green-up-arrow 4. Alabama 197.085
Road Score 1 197.225
Road Score 2 197.050
Road Score 3 196.700
Home/Road Score 1 197.825
Home/Road Score 2 197.350
Home/Road Score 3 197.100
  • The introduction of RQS allows Alabama to move up two spots by virtue of having competed in more meets and being able to drop those low 195s scored during the weekend that shall not be named.
  • One score in the upper-197 range, however, won’t be able to sustain this ranking against the push from UCLA and Utah, so Alabama still needs to get out of this lower-197 streak over the next few weeks.
  • Nickie Guerrero’s “you started celebrating too early so you only get a 9.975” and Winston’s 39.500 AA were Alabama’s highs in a comfortable 197.350 win over Auburn.
equal-sign-clip-art-5pypjt-clipart 5. Utah 196.965
Road Score 1 197.150
Road Score 2 196.900
Road Score 3 196.525
Home/Road Score 1 197.875
Home/Road Score 2 197.625
Home/Road Score 3 196.625
  • Utah stays at #5 despite the completely controversy-free, gentle stroll through the meadow against UCLA that resulted in a 197.875 and had no issues for us to talk about at all. Road scores need to improve to expect to move any higher or fend off UCLA for long.
  • Skinner’s 39.675 AA and 9.9s on three events were the scoring highlights. Plus, everyone got a career-high on floor, even Tom and that PA lady.
reddownarrow 6. UCLA 196.935**
Road Score 1 197.500
Road Score 2 197.325
Road Score 3 197.150
Home/Road Score 1 198.125
Home/Road Score 2 196.825
Home/Road Score 3 195.875
  • **This is different from UCLA’s official weekly total because it includes Monday’s meet against Bridgeport/USU. That score doesn’t change the ranking, however, because it was horrible.
  • Ross brought the biggest highlights for UCLA over the weekend with her second-career 10 on UB on Saturday and her first-career 10 on BB on Monday.
  • UCLA had a 197 going on Monday until the D-team floor lineup fell three times for 48.000. Macy Toronjo, however, did debut with an excellent FX for 9.900. Get her in the real lineup.
  • The Bruins will take heart from being so close to Alabama and Utah while still counting a ratty 195.
green-up-arrow 7. Georgia 196.735
Road Score 1 196.975
Road Score 2 196.800
Road Score 3 196.525
Home/Road Score 1 197.075
Home/Road Score 2 196.875
Home/Road Score 3 196.500
  • Georgia’s ascent up the rankings this week is essentially an advertisement for RQS, which once and for all allows everyone to pretend that first-meet 193 never happened. Suddenly, RQS looks totally fine, if a little lacking in the big numbers needed to challenge for a spot in the top 6.
  • The 196.975 from Friday is Georgia’s away-high this season, led by three scores in the 9.9s from Rachel Dickson.
  • Snead continued her gradual return, competing VT and UB.
green-up-arrow 8. Denver 196.550
Road Score 1 196.875
Road Score 2 196.500
Road Score 3 195.900
Home/Road Score 1 197.150
Home/Road Score 2 197.125
Home/Road Score 3 196.350
  • Denver uses another 197 to leapfrog a bunch of other contending teams, predominantly because Denver doesn’t have the same degree of unfortunate 195s overstaying their welcome. With five meets left, Denver doesn’t yet have to count anything under the 197s.
  • Maddie Karr scored a 10.000 on VT with her Y1.5 to lead the team to a season-high 197.150, supported by 9.925s from Addison (FX) and Ross (BB).
reddownarrow 9. Michigan 196.500
Road Score 1 196.475
Road Score 2 196.025
Road Score 3 195.725
Home/Road Score 1 197.225
Home/Road Score 2 197.225
Home/Road Score 3 197.050
  • A season-high-tying 197.225 doesn’t prevent Michigan from dropping in the rankings because of the increased emphasis RQS places on road performance. Michigan’s home scores are competitive for a spot in the top 6, but the road scores are and will continue to be a hindrance to maintaining a place in the top 10 because the next two meets are at home.
  • McLean was the star of the show over the weekend, upgrading to her 1.5 for 9.975 on VT and leading the FX rotation with 9.900.
green-up-arrow 10. Oregon State 196.370
Road Score 1 196.825
Road Score 2 196.200
Road Score 3 195.575
Home/Road Score 1 196.900
Home/Road Score 2 196.700
Home/Road Score 3 196.550
  • The Beavs’ five-week run of 196s gets them into the top 10 with the potential to move higher because of that 195.5, a score we’d expect to be dropped this coming weekend in a visit to Stanford.
  • Gardiner’s 9.950 on BB led event scores, and Gardiner and McMillan shared the AA title with 39.425.
  • That Cal PA announcer will be figuring out the bars lineup any minute now.
reddownarrow 11. Kentucky 196.360
Road Score 1 196.950
Road Score 2 196.150
Road Score 3 195.850
Home/Road Score 1 197.475
Home/Road Score 2 197.100
Home/Road Score 3 195.750
  • Once again this weekend, Kentucky was send to bed with its chronic case of Sudden 195-itis. This is happening a little too often, and those bouts with 195s account for Kentucky’s drop in the rankings. RQS is Kentucky’s friend this season because it allows all those scores to be dropped in time, as long as Kentucky hits two of the next four meets, particularly those last two road encounters.
  • Dukes led the AA bunch this week with 39.225, which quite is low by Kentucky’s standards as Hyland, Korth, and Stuart all had errors.
reddownarrow 12. Boise State 196.330
Road Score 1 197.075
Road Score 2 196.700
Road Score 3 196.400
Home/Road Score 1 197.025
Home/Road Score 2 196.225
Home/Road Score 3 195.300
  • Boise State has competed in fewer meets than most of the other top schools and therefore has not yet been able to drop that opening-weekend 195.3. Hence the fall to 12th. With that score presumably going away this weekend, Boise State is poised to gain a couple spots and could challenge for the top 10 again even with only a mid-196.
  • No surprise that UB was the highest-scoring event en route to the 196.700 this week, with McGregor’s 9.900 leading the way.
green-up-arrow 13. Missouri 196.020
Road Score 1 196.350
Road Score 2 196.225
Road Score 3 196.075
Home/Road Score 1 196.225
Home/Road Score 2 195.850
Home/Road Score 3 195.725
  • Missouri’s consistency of scoring in the low 196s is both its asset and curse. For now, it accounts for the rise in ranking as we switch to RQS because of the absence of a counting disaster. In time, however, those already-bold 196.2-196.3 scores will be trouble since many of the teams ranked below have better bold scores.
  • Missouri’s 196.350 ranked last in the GymQuarters quad but was still a season-high (because of GymQuarters) and did feature Aspen Tucker’s 9.925 on VT.
green-up-arrow 14. Auburn 196.015
Road Score 1 196.450
Road Score 2 196.400
Road Score 3 195.800
Home/Road Score 1 196.075
Home/Road Score 2 196.075
Home/Road Score 3 195.725
  • Quite like Missouri, Auburn was able to wrench out a season-high over the weekend of 196.450, which creates a relatively even RQS picture and a total over 196. The absence of big totals will become a problem soon.
  • Auburn did not end up challenging Alabama much in the loss on Friday, but 9.900s from Engler (UB) and Krippner (FX) did stand out.
green-up-arrow 15. Nebraska 195.985
Road Score 1 197.125
Road Score 2 196.550
Road Score 3 196.050
Home/Road Score 1 196.825
Home/Road Score 2 195.700
Home/Road Score 3 194.800
  • With a significant increase in quality over the last couple meets, Nebraska has recorded some very competitive totals that rank ahead of what the likes of Missouri and Auburn have been scoring, but actually moving ahead is all dependent on dropping that 194.800 that’s currently keeping them down. Three chances.
  • The season-high 197.125 came on the back of a 9.9-a-thon on FX, led by 9.950 from Houchin.
green-up-arrow 16. George Washington 195.970
Road Score 1 196.150
Road Score 2 196.100
Road Score 3 196.000
Home/Road Score 1 196.400
Home/Road Score 2 196.050
Home/Road Score 3 195.550
  • Two scores, both over 196, resurrected GW from last week’s drop to create quite an appealing and even RQS picture with no rough numbers. Right now, it’s just shy of the level it should take to get a seeded place at regionals, which is a bit farther into the 196s.
  • The 9.925 VT and 39.350 AA score from Winstanley led GW to a middle-child finish in the LSU tri-meet on Sunday, only a couple counting 9.6s away from a truly high total.
green-up-arrow 17. Iowa 195.950
Road Score 1 196.400
Road Score 2 196.175
Road Score 3 195.725
Home/Road Score 1 196.475
Home/Road Score 2 195.975
Home/Road Score 3 195.475
  • Iowa finally breaks out of the 22nd-place box after another 196.4 on Friday. The team is aided by a solid balance of useful home and away scores and being able to drop its weakest performances, scores that still afflict a number of other teams hovering around the high teens.
  • The fall-laden 194.200 on Sunday at LSU was not a particularly auspicious result, but thanks to the magic of RQS, it has been quietly removed and no one is the wiser.
reddownarrow 18. Washington 195.875
Road Score 1 195.825
Road Score 2 195.325
Road Score 3 195.175
Home/Road Score 1 197.175
Home/Road Score 2 196.750
Home/Road Score 3 196.300
  • Welcome to the frustration of trying to explain RQS rankings to people who don’t know anything, as Washington recorded a massive 197.175 over the weekend and promptly fell four places in the rankings and lost ground to teams that scored much worse. Congratulations!
  • The reason: road scores. RQS protects against teams that only score well at home, and right now Washington is in that position. There will be no moving up until those low 195s go away.
  • Burleson’s 39.575 AA score tied for the third-highest in the country over the weekend. The country.
reddownarrow 19. Cal 195.785
Road Score 1 195.725
Road Score 2 195.550
Road Score 3 195.325
Home/Road Score 1 197.075
Home/Road Score 2 196.300
Home/Road Score 3 196.025
  • See: Washington. Cal, too, managed to reach the 197s for the first time this year and fall in the rankings regardless because of low away scores. If Cal wants to ensure a seeded spot at regionals this year, that means three 196s from the three remaining road meets.
  • Alicia Gallarzo’s 9.925 on UB during that “who am I, where am I” bars rotation just edged out a number of other 9.900s for the team’s high score of the weekend.
reddownarrow 20. Ohio State 195.595
Road Score 1 196.450
Road Score 2 195.950
Road Score 3 194.375
Home/Road Score 1 196.075
Home/Road Score 2 195.800
Home/Road Score 3 195.775
  • OSU will finish the season with three consecutive road meets, and pretty much the entire ranking outlook depends on dropping that 194.375 during one of those meets because otherwise hanging around a 196 final total seems plausible.
  • Ohio State just edged out West Virginia at home over the weekend thanks to two 9.9s and a 39.375 AA total from Mattern.
green-up-arrow 21. Arkansas 195.535
Road Score 1 196.375
Road Score 2 195.350
Road Score 3 195.025
Home/Road Score 1 196.275
Home/Road Score 2 195.825
Home/Road Score 3 195.200
  • Arkansas will want to erase last weekend’s 195.200 as soon as possible (along with that still-counting 195.025), but TEAM HOGS nonetheless moves up for the time being. The trouble may come when the teams ranked below drop their 194s, which means Arkansas needs to get back on the 196 train the next couple weeks on the road to fend them off..
  • Yamzon’s 39.300 AA and Nelson’s 9.900 FX led the team over the weekend, but weren’t able to make up for a beam implosion.
reddownarrow 22. Illinois 195.495
Road Score 1 196.050
Road Score 2 195.300
Road Score 3 194.200
Home/Road Score 1 196.550
Home/Road Score 2 196.025
Home/Road Score 3 195.900
  • Illinois’s season-high 196.550 is a score much more befitting of the expectations we have for the Illinois program, but a couple disastrous early-season away scores remain a giant problem. Illinois does benefit from having five meets left instead of four, still with several more chances to drop all the unfortunate totals.
  • 9.925s were big the winners for the Illini over the weekend, from both Hodan on BB and Leduc on FX.
green-up-arrow 23. New Hampshire 195.290
Road Score 1 196.075
Road Score 2 195.075
Road Score 3 194.700
Home/Road Score 1 196.450
Home/Road Score 2 195.425
Home/Road Score 3 195.175
  • New Hampshire is back! The 196.450 home score and season-high on Sunday vaulted UNH into the top 25 by way of finally being able to make the back-to-back 193s to start the season go far, far away.
  • Mulligan recorded yet another 9.900 on UB, as we’ve come to expect, but this time she was joined by Doolin’s 9.900 on FX and a very competitive 39.400 AA score from Pflieger.
green-up-arrow 24. Utah State 195.595**
Road Score 1 195.725
Road Score 2 195.700
Road Score 3 195.300
Home/Road Score 1 196.300
Home/Road Score 2 195.850
Home/Road Score 3 195.400
  • **This score differs from Utah State’s official weekly ranking because it includes Monday’s 195.700 at UCLA, which brings USU up to 195.595 and would mean a ranking of #21 if it were included in the rankings.
  • It was a significant weekend for Utah State as a home 196.300 allowed for dropping a 191 and Monday’s performance allowed for dropping a 194.0. Suddenly, Utah State is a thing.
green-up-arrow 24. Iowa State 195.270
Road Score 1 196.125
Road Score 2 195.350
Road Score 3 194.325
Home/Road Score 1 195.775
Home/Road Score 2 195.625
Home/Road Score 3 195.275
  • ISU will use this 195.625 from its final home meet of the season but would have been hoping for more reinforcements before heading out on a series of away meets since most of the other teams in the top 25 currently have more and higher 196s. Erasing that 194.3 is essential, but so is erasing those lower 195s if this ranking is to be maintained.
  • Haylee Young did manage another 9.900 on BB and a 39.425 in the AA to save a result that could have gone in a very troubling direction without her.

Full rankings at RTN.

Note that Southern Utah is not included here after starting the season two weeks late and not yet having enough road meets to be eligible for RQS.

Also note that Eastern Michigan‘s 196.000 from Monday would see it go into 24th place, ahead of New Hampshire and Iowa State, were those scores included in the week’s rankings.

  • The introduction of RQS this week didn’t change much at the very top of the rankings, but it did produce quite a few shakeups lower down. Benefiting were teams that have competed in more than six meets so far and can drop their weak scores, like Georgia, as well as teams with relatively even home and away totals, like Missouri and Iowa.

  • By contrast, switching to RQS was trouble for teams that haven’t competed in as many meets so far—most notably Southern Utah because of not being in the rankings at all, but also teams like Boise State that are still beset by one low score hanging around. Also hurt were Washington and Cal, whose reliance on home scores to bump up those totals was exposed by the switch to RQS. Road work to do there.
  • Maggie Nichols went 39.925 in the all-around. So that happened. As far as I can tell, it’s the highest AA score since Mohini Bhardwaj went 39.975 in 2001, though there may be other AA totals from postseason meets or non-RQS gymnasts in the intervening period that have gone unnoticed because they don’t show up in the official AA rankings. Nichols received a 10 on each event from at least one judge, which brings about a little germ of a thought about whether she can match Karin Lichey’s 40 at some point in the four years. But no matter how well Nichols performs, getting a 40 is going to depend much more on judging standards, rising scores, crowds, and the basic human need for attention than it will on anything Maggie herself does.
  • Between the GymQuarters Invitational and that meet at Utah, the nation’s judge-crack problem shows no signs of abating. The challenge of a generation.
  • Finger-gate. It’s just the weirdest thing. I fundamentally don’t understand, both in gymnastics or in any other context. “I’m just so mad at these scores I’m gonna….I’m gonna…raise a finger at you!” Are you 9? If you’re going to be an asshole, at least be an asshole like a grownup. Though if you want to turn UCLA/Utah into Sarah/Suzanne, this is a great place to start.

Unheralded stars of the week
Gymnasts from schools outside the top 25 who scored over 9.900

Caroline Morant, Brown – 9.925, FX
Brown! This score tied the program record for floor, which is kind of hard to do at Brown because of that year Alicia phoned it in for a second.

Khazia Hislop, North Carolina – 9.925, FX
Morgan Lane, North Carolina – 9.925, FX

Not even for beam! UNC currently sits 35th and right on the cusp of making it back to regionals for the first time since 2013.

Chloe Cluchey, West Virginia – 9.925, FX
WVU got bumped out of the top 25 this week because of having a few too many 194s still in the picture but seems a likely contender to return in coming weeks.

Katy Clements, Central Michigan – 9.925, BB
It’s surprising that Central Michigan isn’t better than 36th considering how many of their scores appear on this list each week, but this weekend’s 195.775 is a step.

Rachel Stypinski, Kent State – 9.925, FX

Brianna Tsang, Penn State – 9.925, BB
If Penn State were actually to muster six whole people able to survive this program in any given week, we might not be in this position. I’m not holding my breath.

Kendall Valentin, Eastern Michigan – 9.925, UB
She’s reaching Stypinski levels on this list.

Jessie Peszek, Western Michigan – 9.925, UB
Previous career high was 9.875.

Alexis Brown, UC Davis – 9.925, FX
Davis is currently just a tenth behind Stanford in RQS, and you can bet that’s a mouthwatering prospect.

And yes, Stanford is currently outside the top 25, but I refuse to put Elizabeth Price and her bars 9.950 in any list of “unheralded” gymnasts.


%d bloggers like this: