2018 Outlook – Kentucky Wildcats

KENTUCKY ROSTER 2018
Seniors
Katie Carlisle
UB
BB
FX
  • Weekly leadoff on UB, FX in 2017
  • Added BB in the postseason
  • 9.835 RQS on UB
Cori
Rechenmacher
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2017 FX lineup
  • Competed BB most weeks and UB early in season
  • 9.820 RQS on FX
Juniors
Katrina Coca
VT
UB
  • Weekly UB routine in first two seasons
  • 9.785 RQS in 2017
  • Can provide VT as needed
Danaea Davis
VT
  • VT specialist
  • Competed 10 times in 2017 for 9.830 RQS
Sidney Dukes
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Ranked 21st nationally in AA in 2017
  • Will compete AA weekly in 2018
  • Team’s top routine on FX (9.895)
Alex Hyland
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Ranked 19th nationally in AA in 2017
  • Will compete AA weekly in 2018
  • Team’s top routine on BB (9.915)
Aubree Rosa
VT
BB
FX
  • VT specialist in 2017 for 9.45 RQS
Katie Stuart
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Ranked 31st nationally in AA in 2017
  • Will contribute AA weekly in 2018
  • 2nd-best VT on team for 9.860
Sophomores
Erynne Allen
VT
UB
FX
  • Did not compete in first season
Mollie Korth
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Ranked 12th nationally in AA in 2017
  • Will compete AA weekly in 2018
  • Y1.5 on VT
  • Team’s top routine on VT (9.910), UB (9.895)
Alaina Kwan
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • All-Olympia
  • Competed 4 VTs (9.694), 1 FX (9.575) in 2017
  • Hoping to add UB, BB for 2018
Hailey Poland
BB
  • BB specialist
  • Weekly BB for 9.825 in 2017
Freshmen
Madison Averett
BB
FX
  • 9th FX at 2016 JO Nationals
Mackenzie
Harman
BB
  • 3rd BB at 2017 Region 8s
  • Current knee injury
Katherine
Marianos
VT
FX
  • 6th FX at 2016 Region 8s
Megan Monfredi
FX
  • 4th FX at 2016 Region 7s
Allison Snyder
UB
  • 11th UB at 2017 JO Nationals

Recent History
2017 – 14th
2016 – 22nd
2015 – 24th
2014 – 21st
2013 – 21st
2012 – 25th
2011 – 25th
2010 – 21st

There’s no better year than the present. Kentucky still has two more seasons to make magic happen before the great exodus, but considering the near-miss from 2017 and the zero departed routines from that team, making nationals in 2018 appears a very juicy prospect. Even the coaches have jumped on the Kentucky bandwagon by awarding a preseason ranking of #10. Get a room, coaches and Kentucky.

The downer in terms of bandwagoning Kentucky straight to nationals is that, while all the lineups do remain intact, they are also unlikely to change much from last season. If Kentucky was 14th in 2017, why should 2018 be any different? Key to Kentucky taking the big step in 2018 may simply be that Kentucky is unlikely to get any worse this year. Other teams will not be so lucky.

Note that Ryan attended the Kentucky intrasquad and has the information you seek.


Vault
Lineup locks
Korth (9.910), Stuart (9.860), Rosa (9.840), Davis (9.830), Dukes (9.820), Hyland (9.815)
Lineup options
Coca (9.730 in 2016), Kwan (9.694), Allen (-), Marianos (FR)

Lineup previews will be a little different for Kentucky because…the same? Last year’s vault six is still the best vault six, and success still hinges on the 1.5 from Korth. With just the one 10.0 start among the options, Kentucky really relies on that score.

It will be possible to make nationals with only one 10.0 start this year (we’ll see a couple teams do it), but it means the 10.0 start must be good and must be supported by strong Yfulls. In that regard, Stuart becomes nearly as important as Korth, showing the best full on the team. (She did train the Y1.5 in the past but it has not materialized.) Stuart will need to be consistently 9.850+ to keep Kentucky on track. Korth and a bunch of 9.800-9.825s probably doesn’t do it.

Beyond that, expect the fulls from Rosa, Davis and Hyland and the Y1/2 from Dukes to retain their places, though acceptable backups should come from Coca, who vaulted in 2016, Allen, who hasn’t competed yet but has a full, and Kwan, who did vault a few times in 2017.

Kentucky managed an RQS of 49.245 last season on vault, which is quite good for a group with one 10.0 start. Maintaining that number would count as a strong vaulting season.


Bars
Lineup locks
Korth (9.895), Hyland (9.840), Coca (9.835), Stuart (9.815)
Lineup options
Carlisle (9.835), Dukes (9.810), Rechenmacher (9.810), Kwan (-), Allen (-), Snyder (FR)

As on vault, 2017’s final lineup of Carlisle, Coca, Dukes, Stuart, Hyland, and Korth may very well return and would be a competitive slate of routines. Korth will certainly be there and bring the team’s best score, while Hyland, Coca, and Stuart have all shined at times—Hyland with that Gienger, Coca with those handstands, and Stuart with that DLO 1/1.

We could see some changes in the remaining spots. Rechenmacher found herself as the odd woman out last season amid seven realistic options, which was a shame because her handstands, rhythm, and Stalder position are worthwhile. She’s believable in the lineup, as are Carlisle, the standard leadoff, and Dukes, who has the skills but can be the most likely to drop into the 9.7s because of execution. Seven people for six spots. Also keep in mind Kwan here. Kwan underperformed last season relative to expectations for a former elite—in that we barely saw her—but she really should be competing at least bars and beam on this team given her ability. A second-year renaissance?

Bars proved good enough for Kentucky last season, but we did still see days where everything was too 9.775-9.825. Whether it was risk or built-in form, each routine had something that could drop it into the 9.7s here and there. A little tweaking in 2018 perhaps to be more often over 49.200? A new person? A different skill?


Beam
Lineup locks
Hyland (9.915), Dukes (9.900), Stuart (9.855), Korth (9.850)
Lineup options
Carlisle (9.700), Poland (9.825), Rechenmacher (9.815), Rosa (9.515 in 2016), Kwan (-), Averett (FR)

Beam has been the strong event ever since Kentucky turned good, and it should remain so in 2018, largely because of how 9.9y Hyland and Dukes are. Their scores ensure that the lineup can regularly go 49.3+, which will rank among the better beam schools. Composition is fairly smart and efficient, doing no more than required (tucked full dismounts), and unsurprisingly, beam ranked as Kentucky’s top score at both SECs and regionals last season.

Weirdly, beam is the one event where Korth isn’t the best on the team. Still, she and Stuart should join their AA comrades as the four necessary pillars of the lineup. For the final two spots last season, the winners were Poland and Carlisle with Rechenmacher once again the odd woman out, one who’s fairly interchangeable with a few of the others and could (should?) make it back in. Poland was the only non-Korth freshman to make a mark on the team in 2017, and despite a fall or two here and there, she kept her spot throughout the season with regular 9.8s.

Kwan could participate on beam as well (Rosa also competed somewhat regularly in 2016 with a two-footed layout), though it remains to be seen whether Kentucky wants to mess with what turned out to be a pretty good thing in 2017.


Floor
Lineup locks
Dukes (9.895), Korth (9.890), Hyland (9.870), Stuart (9.815)
Lineup options
Rechenmacher (9.820), Carlisle (9.795), Kwan (9.575), Rosa (9.425 in 2016), Allen (-), Monfredi (FR), Marianos (FR), Averett (FR)

Floor proved to be a somewhat inconsistent event for Kentucky in 2017, with a couple highs but more often with average scores featuring lunges and OOBs to drop key gymnasts into the 9.7s. If there’s one place Kentucky can step up the quality over last season even with much the same lineup, it’s floor. Mid-49.2s might do the job on other events, but not on floor.

As everywhere, Korth is key with her big and open piked full-in (but that’s also kind of tucked–all three shapes at once!) showing that Kentucky can bring the E passes. That skill is a tough one because it’s Kentucky’s big showpiece moment on floor, but there were also moments last season where that skill alone kept Korth’s score out of the 9.9s, which it should never be. Tuck it? The rest of the lineup will be double pikes and double tucks, with last year’s slate of Carlisle, Rechenmacher, Stuart, Hyland, and Dukes looking fairly unchallenged for the moment. Monfredi made a rare freshman appearance at Kentucky’s intrasquad, so we might actually see a new person compete this season (!). I’m also still holding out hope for Allen (who had a DLO in JO) to be a thing on floor, but apparently that’s not happening.


Kentucky came close last year, maintaining a competitive ranking  throughout the season and finishing just .350 away from making nationals. A largely unchanged team should be able to manage similar results, and making nationals is a perfectly realistic goal for 2018.

While there aren’t new golden routines falling from the sky that will automatically beef up any of the lineups, there’s still room to boost some of these returning scores, particularly on bars and floor. It won’t take much, but it will take some, to change last year’s finish.

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2 thoughts on “2018 Outlook – Kentucky Wildcats”

  1. With some top teams having to really change their lineups, I have a good feeling about Kentucky. They have a lot of high scoring routines to put up and I want to see them go far this year and really get the clout they need to continue recruiting great gymnasts.

    Like

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