2018 Freshmen – Boise State

Boise State lost three major contributors after last season in Mejia, Bennion, and Urquhart, accounting for about 7 best-lineup routines. There is still adequate depth remaining on the returning roster, but the Broncos will nonetheless be looking for at least those 7 routines from the freshman class of five to ensure that they can reach that top-team standard of putting up a 9.800 in every lineup spot.

BOISE STATE 2018 – Returning routines
Bir – 9.855
Means – 9.850
Stockwell – 9.845
McGregor – 9.835
Remme – 9.815
Collantes – 9.740
McGregor – 9.900
Remme – 9.880
Collantes – 9.855
Stockwell – 9.845
Nilson – 9.767
Means – 9.725
Remme – 9.910
Means – 9.895
McGregor – 9.805
Amado – 9.767
Collantes – 9.760
Esmerian – 9.675
Stockwell – 9.150
Collantes – 9.870
Stockwell – 9.858
Remme – 9.845
Means – 9.835
McGregor – 9.740
Webb – 9.567
Morrell – 9.125
Tatum Bruden

Bruden is probably the most all-aroundy of the BSU freshmen—having finished 13th AA in her group at JO nationals this year—but this looks to be more a class of two-event contributors who can occasionally add backup sets on the other pieces.

Acrobatic solidity is Bruden’s standout quality, evident in her Yurchenko 1/1 on vault and comfort with slamming down those double salto passes on floor.

We’ll see how the split positions come along on floor and beam. A tendency toward going for rather difficult dance elements makes that area of her gymnastics look deduction-heavy, which could just be a function of those harder skills or may be the case regardless of difficulty (so why not go for it?). That’s the main concern in an otherwise acrobatically confident beam set.

On bars, Bruden has the necessary composition with a Jaeger, bail, and double lay-ish dismount but likely would be looking at a few too many mushy knee and form position deductions (like the dismount) right now to be a ready-to-use routine.

Still, the pieces are there for this set to get the Boise State treatment and become a competitive option. BSU needs a couple brand new bars routines to remain at the level we’d expect, and Bruden’s routine is among the more believable options to be sculpted from what is not overall a particularly bars-y freshman class.

Rachel Obmann

Obmann is here to fill the power-gymnast need on Boise State’s team. Her strongest events are vault and floor, where I would expect her to make lineups. In JO, Obmann showed a big Yurchenko full but is working on another important 1.5 for BSU in preseason training.

Obmann also has a full-in on floor (wait for it in the second pass, like a secret) with pretty solid leg form maintained throughout. That should be an asset. She’s the only one of the freshmen from whom I’ve seen an E pass, and she’s the best tumbler of the bunch on the simpler passes as well.

She can get by in the leaps department on floor, though they become much more of an issue on beam, which is not really her event.

Bars has recently scored rather well for Obmann (including a 9.700 at NorCals this year) though from what I’ve seen I’d be worried about moments of ragged form and not having an up-to-level dismount. Upgrades since then?

Gabriela Bouza

I’m fascinated by this one. Bouza hadn’t competed at all since she moved to Gym-Max for a hot second in 2014, then suddenly showed up finally healthy for the 2017 JO season and did quite well, qualifying to JO nationals. The idea is that she’s been out for so long that she hasn’t yet had time to reach her full potential; the worry is that she’s too injury prone to make it happen.

My favorite routine in Boise State’s freshman class is Bouza’s beam. She can leap and tumble and should make her way into the lineup.

Beam is the main one, though Bouza should provide at least backup possibilities on vault and floor as well. She has some real height on her Yurchenko 1/1, just a little too much piking in this version. Unlike many other L10s, the one concern for her on floor is not whether the dance elements are up to the necessary level. It’s whether the consistency and difficulty in the tumbling are going to be there to make the six.

Bouza has a tkatchev and a bail on bars, but no dismount. There’s potential in her work—little bits of flatness, some missed handstands, but the line and toes could get there—but it’s not a ready-to-use routine either.

Emily Muhlenhaupt

The bars savior in this class is UB/BB specialist Muhlenhaupt, whose name may seem familiar from her short time as a junior elite at the beginning of the last quad.

There is huge potential in Muhlenhaupt’s bars work. The toe point in that Jaeger and overall line (including in the usually dumpy-looking overshoot) are exquisite. Even the double tuck dismount looks excellent, just isn’t up to the necessary difficulty level. That’s the concern about her delivering a bars routine, but I’m sure they’ll come up with something to get her into the lineup since bars is basically her whole thing and there’s 9.9 potential here.

Muhlenhaupt will also contend on beam, where the hitting hasn’t been there, but the technique is there. Her contribution will depend on showing consistency because she could be a real beamer as well.

Tessa Otuafi

You’ll probably remember Tessa’s older sister Amanda as a vault and floor star for Boise State (or not, because we all have the gymnastics memory capacity of small hens). Tessa should be a backup option on vault and beam.

On vault, she performs a passable Y1/2 that could be in the running depending on BSU’s need and the overall difficulty of the rest of the options, and on beam, she has solid acrobatics only perhaps lacking the leap content for a competitive set.

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