2018 Outlook – Denver Pioneers

DENVER ROSTER 2018
Seniors
Nikole Addison
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • #1 returning FX routine (9.915), weekly VT
  • Made final 2017 BB lineup
  • Can provide UB as needed
Claire Hammen
BB
FX
  • Returned on FX at end of 2017 for 9.796 avg
  • Competed BB in 2016 for 9.835
Leah Lomonte
(redshirt)
UB
  • Weekly UB for 9.850 in 2017
Juniors
Grace Broadhurst
  • Did not compete in first two years
Diana Chesnok
VT
UB
BB
  • #1 returning UB routine (9.880)
  • Can provide backup VT as needed
  • Competed BB 4 times in 2016
Claire Kern
UB
FX
  • Weekly UB for 9.840 in 2017
  • Provided 6th FX routine in a pinch as needed
Kaitlyn Schou
VT
BB
FX
  • Staple of VT, BB, FX lineups through 2017
  • #2 returning BB routine (9.880)
Sophomores
Maddie Karr
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • #10 nationally in AA in 2017
  • #1 returning VT (9.930), BB (9.890) score
  • 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
Courtney Loper
BB
FX
  • Made final BB, FX lineups in 2017
  • RQS of at least 9.800 on both
Freshmen
Lynnzee Brown
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • GAGE
  • 2nd AA, 2017 JO Nationals, Senior F
  • 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
  • Expected on at least 3 events in 2018
Emily Glynn
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Airborne
  • 5th VT, 8th UB, 2017 Region 3s, Senior E
  • 10.0-start Tsuk 1/1 on VT
Mia Sundstrom
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Airborne
  • 11th VT, 2017 JO Nationals, Senior E

Recent History
2017 – 9th
2016 – 15th
2015 – 15th
2014 – 18th
2013 – 20th
2012 – 23rd
2011 – 17th
2010 – 15th

Expectations are high and hopes higher for Denver in 2018 after the program-best 9th-place finish in 2017. Is the new record already in danger?

This remains a very small roster, so any concerns about not living up to the standard set last season revolve around whether enough depth exists to fill out a good six on each piece. At the same time, a freshman class of three all-arounders has arrived, the strengths of which should address some of the weaknesses from last season, meaning there’s every reason to anticipate improvement in 2018.

Now that Denver has been officially invited to join the cool kids table, there’s no excuse not to stay.


Vault
Lineup locks
Karr (9.930), Brown (FR), Glynn (FR), Sundstrom (FR)
Lineup options
Addison (9.830), Schou (9.830), Chesnok (9.650)

Denver managed to finish quite well on vault last year, but many meets throughout the season featured just five (or five and a half) vaulters—not an ideal setup. Depth will be tested once again this season with exactly six first-choice competitors, but the addition of some new 10.0 starts should increase the potential total.

Karr‘s weekly 9.9 for her Y1.5 will not have to perform as much of the heavy lifting in 2018 because it will have a partner in Brown, who is nearly equally adept at the 1.5. Glynn has added a Tsuk 1/1 to her repertoire, which should complete the vaulting top three and keep things more regularly in the 49.3 zone when partnered with very 9.8able Yfulls from Addison, Schou, and Sundstrom.

While improved, the lineup remains nerve-wracking because it will not be able to absorb any injuries. Chesnok looks like the sole backup—she vaulted well for 9.8s in her first season but struggled to land her full when called upon in 2017. Beyond that, no one else vaults, so…errrr?


Bars
Lineup locks
Chesnok (9.880), Karr (9.860),
Lineup options
Brown (FR), Glynn (FR), Sundstrom (FR), Lomonte (9.850), Kern (9.840), Addison (9.660)

The team will be similarly reliant on the freshmen getting into the act on bars, where more options exist than on vault…but not that many more. The added burden is that Denver will have to do without two of the best bars workers from last season, Ross and Ogden.

So, it’s down to the freshmen Brown, Glynn, and Sundstrom again to beef up the lineup. We don’t really know how barsy they’ll end up being, so watch for that in the opening meets. Brown, the most known entity of the three, is expected to stand out with a Shaposh 1/2 and a new double layout dismount, the missing piece in her previous bars work.

Those three newbies will join Karr, the team’s leading bars scorer (surprise), as well as Chesnok, and contend for spots with the other veterans of the lineup, Kern and Lomonte. The hope will be that those seven options free Addison from having to compete the torturous prison that is bars this season, but she’d be there with a backup set if needed.

At many times in 2017, bars was Denver’s best event and most likely to go over 49.3. We may see some regression for 2018 depending how the freshmen pan out, but enough mid-9.8 options should exist to keep things reasonable.


Beam
Lineup locks
Karr (9.890), Schou (9.880)
Lineup options
Addison (9.820), Loper (9.800), Glynn (FR), Sundstrom (FR), Brown (FR), Chesnok (9.556 in 2016)

Beam stands as the other puzzler event because Denver returns just four people who competed at all last season. By necessity (again), the freshmen must do beam, which is possibly scary because it was not a consistently high-scoring event for any of them in L10. At the same time, the talent is there. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Sundstrom because she has the leap ability (i.e., she can hit a switch 1/2 and make it look good). She looks like she could fit in well with the returning high scorers, Karr and Schou, for a strong three.

I’ve seen basically an eighth of a skill from Glynn on beam in her career, but it was a nice-looking eighth of a skill. She’ll need to bring something, and while beam is definitely the 4th-best event for Brown, she can put up an NCAA set. Addison also managed to add beam last season. It’s still not a super comfortable event for her (she fell on 3 of her final 4 beam sets in the 2017 season), but she can be a sixth person. And if Addison can continue to develop consistency, she has the skills to do more than just fill out a lineup.

A couple other beamers will hang around. Loper went weekly last season, and Hammen went weekly the season before, but both have been absent recently in preseason. Denver would really like to have at least one of them back to bring some actual depth, but may also throw in Chesnok, who competed beam four times in 2016. Ideally, Denver would like more choices, but a very particular six could stay competitive enough.


Floor
Lineup locks
Addison (9.915), Karr (9.900), Brown (FR)
Lineup options
Schou (9.855), Glynn (FR), Sundstrom (FR), Loper (9.825), Hammen (9.800), Kern (8.988)

As on vault, Denver had a trouble filling out a floor lineup with six whole realistic scores at times last season, trouble that should be alleviated by the influx of freshman routines in 2018. If still not providing as many options as Denver would like, this year’s roster should bring in more high floor scores than were available last year.

First on the list is Brown. With that gigantic DLO of hers, she’s expected to join with the returning scores from Karr and Addison to bring a third realistic 9.9 that can keep the lineup in contention for 49.4s, an improvement for a lineup that was a little too 49.2s last season. A less-expected addition to the floor lineup may also come from Glynn, who was not a standout on floor in club but has been training an open full-in in preseason. So…that would work.

If Denver can get those four, plus Schou and a clean double pike set from Sundstrom, that’s a worthwhile six, allowing the routines from Loper and Hammen to be “if it works out” backup options. It’s still not a huge slate, but it should improve on last season’s floor lineup.


Depth depth depth depth depth. That’s what it all comes down to for Denver in 2018. Really successful routines pepper the four events, and it’s fairly easy to see where more than a half dozen 9.9s would come from when you throw in Karr and Addison and Brown. Vault and floor should get noticeably better. Bars and beam might get a little weaker, but could also keep pace depending on the freshmen.

Still, it’s a tenuous situation because one little injury would start to mean Denver is putting up five on an event, or counting 9.7s, and that’s not a scenario that makes it to nationals. But if the exact correct lineups come to fruition, Denver should (not just can, but should) make it back to nationals this year.

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