The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

NCAA Gym Fix

We’ve still over a month away from the start of the season, but like, SIGH. So, here’s what has been happening in training over the last couple days.


Oklahoma’s latest update reminds us that Jade Degouveia on bars is in the running to be Oklahoma’s “LOL I DO THIS EVENT NOW SUCKAAAAS” routine of the season.

We also see Allie Stern working her 1.5 on vault that didn’t make the final lineup last season but will be more important in 2020 without Dowell and Lehrmann. Also there’s someone else doing something interesting on vault, but the camera work is too…artistic?…for me to tell what it was. Blond one, Yurchenko tucked 1.5? Something?


We have some preseason play-around bars routines from Norah Flatley and Kyla Ross, where Flatley is throwing out a stuck DLO 1/1 dismount (at least until they go, “oh wait we need you to get 10s, so just do the DLO”), and Kyla is trying out some variations working out of her Maloney—a Pak and a bail. I like the idea of the Pak, but her current construction means the bail has to stay because it fulfills the turning element requirement.

Remember that even though the bars code has changed to make it more difficult to start from a 10 if you don’t have a same-bar release (I’ll update my full explainers closer to the start of the season), Kyla’s 2019 routine had enough bonus that she doesn’t have to change it.

Meanwhile, I find “good is the enemy to great” in the background quite irritating in its sentence construction. One would say, “good is the enemy of great.” These teams really need to run these things by me before paying for these big signs. Also, if you’re using title capitalization like that, you don’t need to put a period at the end.


LSU submitted an official petition to get Reagan Campbell some Sarah Finnegans on beam this year.


Michigan showed us the addition of Sierra Brooks’ Y1.5 to the vault lineup


Oregon State already held its preseason exhibition for 2019, where newbie Kayla Bird did the all-around—as did Lena Greene and we all went, “That as an option???” In the report, we also learned that freshman Jane Poniewaz is out for the season.

You can find some vault videos here. The round-off, full-on, back pike from Peterson is an interesting addition.


Nebraska also held its intrasquad. It’s tough to make out a lot of who’s doing what in the video, but most importantly, the team motto this year is “all gas, no brakes.” Just a memo, if I don’t have to work very hard to make your team motto about farts, you should probably rethink it.

We’re also inching terrifyingly close to the public-displays-of-gymnastics stage of the relationship, so here’s the preseason meet schedule with notes on streaming (that we know of so far) for the few meets you can watch from the safety of your home.

Preseason Meet Schedule

Sunday, December 1
3:00pm CT – Missouri – Black and Gold

Thursday, December 5
6:30pm MT – Arizona State – Maroon & Gold – Web Stream

Friday, December 6
4:00pm ET – Towson – Black & Gold
6:00pm ET – Ursinus – Red & Gold
6:30pm ET – William & Mary – Green & Gold
7:00pm ET – Maryland – Red & Black
7:00pm ET – Rhode Island – Maroon & Gold
6:30pm CT – Oklahoma Intrasquad
6:30pm CT – La Crosse v. Winona Exhibition
7:15pm CT – LSU Gym 101 – SEC+ Stream
7:00pm PT – Sacramento State – Flipfest

Saturday, December 7
12:00pm CT – Iowa – Black & Gold
12:00pm CT – Gustavus Adolphus – Black & Gold Meet
4:00pm ET – Michigan v. CMU v. EMU v. WMU Exhibition
4:00pm ET – New Hampshire – Meet the Team
6:00pm CT – TWU – Holiday Spectacular

Sunday, December 8
1:00pm ET – Kent State Intrasquad
1:00pm ET – Ball State – Red & White
12:00pm PT – Cal Intrasquad
2:00pm AT – Alaska – Green & Gold

Friday, December 13
7:00pm MT – Utah – Red Rocks Preview – Pac-12 Network

Saturday, December 14
1:00pm ET – Michigan State – Green & White
4:00pm PT – UCLA – Meet the Bruins
6:00pm MT – Denver – Crimson & Gold Instrasquad

Sunday, December 15
3:00pm ET – Kentucky – Blue & White Meet
2:00pm MT – Arizona – GymCat Showcase

Tuesday, December 17
6:30pm ET – Georgia – First Look
Florida Intrasquad

Wednesday, December 18
10:00am PT – Washington Purple & Gold

Saturday, December 21
2:00pm ET – NC State – Red & White
6:00pm CT – Nebraska Intrasquad

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