2020 Boise State Broncos

BOISE STATE BRONCOS
Seniors
Isabella Amado
VT
BB
FX
  • Competed weekly BB, FX in 11 of 12 in 2019
  • #1 returning BB score (9.865)
  • #3 returning FX score (9.800)
  • Showed 2 VTs – 9.750 & 9.675
Courtney
McGregor
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA every meet in 2019 season
  • #1 returning score on FX (9.845), VT (9.820)
  • #2 returning score on BB (9.850)
  • #3 returning score on UB (9.890)
Maddi Nilson
VT
UB
FX
  • Made final 2019 lineups on VT, UB, FX
  • NQS of 9.760 FX, 9.710 VT, 9.665 UB
Juniors
Gabriela Bouza
VT
UB
BB
  • Competed UB, BB every week in 2019
  • NQS of 9.825 on both events
  • Competed VT in final 7 meets, avg 9.814
Tatum Bruden
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed VT, FX every week in 2019
  • #2 returning score on both (9.825 FX, 9.790 VT)
  • Showed 3 UBs, 9.542 avg, peak 9.850
Emily Muhlenhaupt
UB
  • Competed UB every meet in 2019
  • #1 returning score on UB (9.905)
Rachel Obmann
VT
  • Did not compete in 2019
  • Showed 5 VTs in 2018 for 9.750 avg
Sophomores
Hope Masiado
VT
BB

FX
  • Made final BB lineup in 2019, avg 9.800
  • Showed 3 VTs, peak 9.800, and 3 FXs, peak 9.775
Tessa Otuafi
(redshirt)
VT
  • Did not compete in 2019
  • Competed 2 VTs in 2018, hit 1 of 2
Samantha Smith
VT
  • Made final VT lineup in 2019
  • VT NQS of 9.725
Alexis Stokes
UB
  • Competed UB every meet in 2019
  • #1 returning score on UB (9.905)
Freshmen
Erin Elkabchi
BB
FX
  • SCEGA
  • 8th AA, 2017 JO Nationals
  • Did not compete VT, UB in 2019 season
Erin Morden
 
  • Aftershock
  • 16th AA, 2019 Region 1s
Adriana Popp
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Girls Co-op
  • 2nd BB, 2019 JO Nationals
  • Former junior elite
Dani Shafer
(redshirt)
 
  • Did not compete in first season

FINAL SEASON RANKING
2019 – 15th
2018 – 16th
2017 – 13th
2016 – 16th
2015 – 20th
2014 – 19th
2013 – 23rd
2012 – 14th
2011 – 13th
2010 – 17th

THE 2019 STORY
Boise State finished the 2019 regular season in 12th place and advanced to the final regional in a tight Oregon State site before being eliminated, ending up ranked #15 in what was a valiant effort to push through after losing team star Shani Remme to injury.

This ranks among the better results in the program’s history, though it is also pretty consistent with what we’ve seen over the last four seasons, with BSU still itching to break through to that next tier.

DEPARTED 2019 ROUTINES
Shani Remme – VT, UB, BB, FX
Sarah Means – VT, UB, BB, FX
Alex Esmerian – BB, FX

In the interest of not sugarcoating things, it’s worth being at least a little worried about what Boise State can do in 2020 having lost 10 essential routines and several of its most important sets on each event. Given that and the departure of Neil Resnick, it’s a preseason of questions in Idaho.

INCOMING GYMNASTS
Boise State brings in four athletes, the most recognizable of whom is former junior elite Adriana Popp, who is sadly not the choreographer Adriana Pop so we don’t have any DRAMATIC WIGGLES to look forward to in 2020. Popp and Elkabchi will both be expected to make multiple lineups and Popp could figure in the AA.

2020 PROJECTION
Looking back to 2019, the most encouraging thing is how strong Boise State remained even after losing Shani Remme amid expectations that the team would just sort of melt away without its star. It didn’t. Going out in the regional final is probably what would have happened if Remme had been there anyway.

Essentially, that last month of 2019 was practice for 2020. Maintaining the competitive level of the last four seasons will require similar mettle because on balance the roster is facing a net loss in routines and in available 9.8+ scores.

VAULT

2019 Event Ranking: 20

Lineup locks: Courtney McGregor, Tatum Bruden, Gabriella Bouza
Lineup options: Adriana Popp, Samantha Smith, Maddi Nilson, Isabella Amado, Hope Masiado, Rachel Obmann, Tessa Otuafi, Dani Shafer

Boise State will miss Sarah Means’ anchor vault in 2020, which means increased scoring onus will fall on Courtney McGregor, the top returning vaulter and only member of the 2020 team with a vault NQS in the 9.8s. Bruden and Bouza proved last season that they have the scores to be included in this year’s lineup as well, and really, Boise State does have quite a few potential vaulters on this roster. For many of the juniors/sophomores on this team, vault is their most realistic event, which is a scenario a number of BSU’s peer schools would envy.

The challenge will be the difference between routines and scores. BSU has a ton of people I could pencil in on vault, but who can go in the 1-3 positions and actually get out of 9.725 land? Because even if the last few vaulters go 9.850, that’s not competitive if they have to work against counting 9.7s.

In order to manage not having Means and Remme vaulting anymore without losing tenths, BSU will need to magic up some of those mysterious vaulters we never see like perhaps Rachel Obmann (who was working a Y1.5 back in a different lifetime but didn’t vault last year) or Dani Shafer (who hasn’t competed but had a hs pike 1/2 in JO) to deliver competition vaults.

BARS

2019 Event Ranking: 7

Lineup locks: Emily Muhlenhaupt, Alexis Stokes, Courtney McGregor, Gabriella Bouza
Lineup options: Maddi Nilson, Adriana Popp, Tatum Bruden, Hope Masiado, Erin Elkabchi

It’s Boise State and bars. Bars is always BSU’s best event and typically ranks among the very top bars lineups in the country, but that will be put to the test in 2020 both because the team doesn’t return a ton of bars routines and because Neil Resnick is no longer there. Is Boise State bars still Boise State bars?

Still, Boise State does bring back its highest scores and an excellent core of gymnasts in Muhlenhaupt, Stokes, McGregor, and Bouza who have the proven 9.9 ability to lift that event total into the 49.3s once again. My only real concern is how to fill out the lineup with two more people. Nilson came in for 9.775s and 9.800s last season, which worked out, and Bruden has done bars before despite competing it only sparingly.

Returning gymnasts like those two will likely have to do most of the work. For Popp, bars is probably the weakest of her four events—but she could go—and while Elkabchi has a ton of talent on bars, she hasn’t competed it in a couple seasons. I’d also keep sophomore Hope Masiado in mind because she did well on bars in JO despite not competing it last season. The clincher is really going to be how those supporting routines come through, but the meat of the lineup remains hearty.

BEAM

2019 Event Ranking: 7

Lineup locks: Isabella Amado, Courtney McGregor, Gabriella Bouza, Hope Masiado
Lineup options: Adriana Popp, Erin Elkabchi

Beam ended up the major success story for Boise State in 2019 as the team took a former weakness and turned it into a strength that ranked equal to its traditional strength on bars. Still, allow for some regression on beam in 2020 since the three best scores in last year’s lineup—Remme, Means, and Esmerian—are all gone now. It’s a tough replacement task.

The team does return three athletes who competed beam all through 2019 in McGregor, Amado, and Bouza, and expect that trio to return. McGregor and Amado should get frequent 9.850s, and Bouza has one of the lovely, underrated beam routines in NCAA that could get 9.9s in a later lineup position. Hope Masiado successfully stepped in after Remme’s injury last season to go 5-for-5, which probably earns her a spot in the 2020 lineup.

None of the other returning gymnasts are beamers, so I’d look for Popp and Elkabchi to fill out the final two positions. Beam is Elkabchi’s best event and Popp placed 2nd there at JOs this year, so I’m comfortable with that six.

But only exactly that six. Otherwise, you’re looking to people who haven’t beamed yet like perhaps Stokes, who didn’t competed BB last year but could, or Bruden who has competed once before, or Muhlenhaupt…? Boise State needs there not to be any injuries, is what I’m saying.

FLOOR

2019 Event Ranking: 31

Lineup locks: Courtney McGregor, Tatum Bruden, Isabella Amado, Adriana Popp
Lineup options: Erin Elkabchi, Maddi Nilson, Hope Masiado, Samantha Smith

That 31st-place event ranking stands out as unbecoming for a team at regional-finals level, and while Boise State didn’t score poorly on floor in 2019, it’s floor, so a 49.1 basically counts as bad. The routine loss from 2019 is a bit less dramatic here than it is on beam, but it’s still significant in that the team will have to do without a number of its most reliable 9.8s from last season.

As on every event, McGregor will be essential, and Bruden and Amado competed weekly floor routines last year, which will need to continue in 2020. Mostly, keep eyes on Adriana Popp here because she’s a powerhouse and floor will be her most important event. You could see her heading right to the end of the lineup, and she’s the main hope in terms of improving that #31 floor ranking.

There may have to be some 9.7ing in the remainder of the spots, but Elkabchi should provide another option there, Nilson came in for 9.775-9.800s last year just like she did on bars, Hope Masiado did a couple floors in 2019, and there are others like Smith who did not compete floor last year but projected as a possible floor contributor in JO. I’m not sure how 9.850y these options might be, but they exist.

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