2018 Freshmen – Missouri

Missouri is another school not particularly desperate for new routines in the 2018 season. The thought process may be that as long as Morgan Porter is back, and with every competition set from last postseason returning, additions to the lineups are a bonus rather than a necessity.

MISSOURI 2018 – Returning routines
Ward – 9.915
Tucker – 9.865
Porter – 9.850
Harris – 9.850
Huber – 9.810
Miller – 9.770
Lewis – 9.700
Huber – 9.860
Porter – 9.850
Schugel – 9.845
Miller – 9.840
Tucker – 9.810
Kelly – 9.790
Ward – 9.770
Bower – 9.683
Albritten – 9.625
Ward – 9.925
Kelly – 9.850
Schugel – 9.830
Albritten – 9.820
Bower – 9.805
Tucker – 9.800
Porter – 9.642
Harris – 9.910
Schugel – 9.876
Porter – 9.863
Tucker – 9.820
Huber – 9.805
Bower – 9.800
Kelly – 9.608
Turner – 9.550
Lewis – 9.000

Among the freshman class of four, I see only one or two “MUST GO IN THE LINEUP RIGHT NOW” routines, but there are nonetheless plenty of others that should contend for spots or provide realistic depth.

Belle Gottula

Gottula is the standout in this freshman class, and the most intriguing new routine to watch in the entire group will be her vault because she occasionally performs a 1.5. It’s not the most comfortable 1.5 in the world (2016 attempt below), but the possibility exists to give the team a powerful vault. In fact, Gottula struggled on some of her 2017 attempts at the full only because she completed the vault too early. Missouri can work with this.

On floor, expect to see Gottula make her way into the lineup with a fairly amplitudinous (definitely a word) full-in that she added to her routine in 2017 and that can push her ahead of the many of the D-pass options on the depth chart.

Bars and beam are tougher prospects, though still realistic. I enjoy Gottula’s loso series on beam quite a bit, but I worry about the leaps. That’s true for many in this class. It’s not a leaps class. They would rather eat a blanket of nails. On bars, everything might be a touch too deduction-heavy right now, but with a Gienger and a full-in dismount, it’s a worthwhile project to try to get this routine to lineup readiness.

Chelsey Christensen

I’d expect Christensen to peck around the edges of the lineup, or useful backup territory, on up to three events. On vault, she provides a relatively solid full in the air with just some piking at the end. It could be a usable option.

On floor, Christensen doesn’t have a big-fat-wow routine because she’s very much a twister, but her form is respectable and her twisting regimen can include a front 2/1. It tends to be a little under-rotated so I wouldn’t classify it as a definite E skill for Missouri, but it is a possibility. Even without that front 2/1, she could be a classic “clean and simple” option.

Those seem the two most realistic routines. Beam is fine. Everything’s close to being good and there’s potential, but it looks a little too likely to get nickel-and-dimed with .05s here and there and there and there. We’ll see on that one. Beam is probably the least defined of Missouri’s current lineups and therefore the one where new people can best squeeze in if they show consistency.

Paige Kovnesky

Kovnesky will hope to give Missouri an option on bars, typically one of her more competitive scores, but her routine will need some refinement in the leg form. They also must resolve the dismount. Given that Kovnesky can do a worthy giant full, I’d think a full + double tuck might be the route.

We may also see a vault from time to time as Kovnesky brings a possible full, just with a touch of knees and a lower landing.

There’s plenty of acrobatic potential in Kovnesky’s beam and floor work that could help Missouri, but from what I’ve seen, the leaps will be a disqualifying factor for both those routines unless Missouri is able to recompose those sets with different leap/jump options that aren’t as significant deduction traps.

Lauren Clevenger

Clevenger from Dynamo should also be a depth member, providing a realistic double pike routine that can be in the mix on floor depending on how many other similar options are available.

I wouldn’t necessarily have put Clevenger among the more likely beamers Missouri has to choose from—she has the composition, just a tendency toward tight execution—but she did finish 2nd at JO nationals last year on beam, kind of out of the blue, so keep that in mind as a darkhorse set.

On bars, Clevenger does have a double layout dismount, but I’d say there are likely too many form breaks in the routine itself for this set to be a major contender.