2020 Denver Pioneers

DENVER PIONEERS
Seniors
Maddie Karr
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Minor knee surgery in preseason
  • Competed AA in every meet in 2019 & 2018
  • #1 returning score on VT (9.940), UB (9.940)
  • #2 returning score on BB (9.915), FX (9.905)
  • Finished regular season ranked #4 AA
Juniors
Lynnzee Brown
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in every meet in 2019
  • #1 returning score on FX (9.905)
  • #2 returning score on VT (9.915), UB (9.920)
  • #3 returning score on BB (9.865)
  • Finished regular season ranked #7 AA
Emily Glynn
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed UB every meet in 2019, #3 returning score (9.900)
  • Also showed 4 VTs (9.797 avg), 2 FXs (9.463 avg)
Mia Sundstrom
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 10 of 15 meets in 2019
  • #3 returning score on VT (9.840)
  • NQS of 9.840 VT, 9.825 FX, 9.750 BB
Sophomore
Natalie Morton
 
  • Did not compete in first season
Alexandra Ruiz
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 12 of 15 meets in 2019
  • #3 returning score on FX (9.865)
  • NQS of 9.865 UB, 9.850 BB, 9.790 VT
Alexis Vasquez
BB
FX
  • Competed BB in every meet in 2019
  • #1 returning score on BB (9.935)
  • Did not compete other apparatuses in 2019
Freshmen
Emma Brown
BB
FX
  • Chow’s
  • 6th AA, JO Nationals 2018
Victoria Fitts
VT
UB
FX
  • Premier
  • 4th UB, 2019 Colorado states
Amoree Lockhart
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Empire
  • 9th AA, 3rd BB, 2019 JO Nationals
  • 1st AA, 2016 JO Nationals
Callie Schlottman
BB
FX
  • Legacy
  • 16th AA, 2019 JO Nationals
AK Subject VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Twin City
  • 4th AA, 2019 JO Nationals

FINAL SEASON RANKING
2019 – 4th
2018 – 15th
2017 – 9th
2016 – 15th
2015 – 15th
2014 – 18th
2013 – 20th
2012 – 23rd
2011 – 17th
2010 – 15th

THE 2019 STORY
So, things went kind of well for Denver in 2019. The team spent the meat of the season in the 5th-6th ranking zone, which was already historic, and then suddenly found its postseason draw wide open after the Florida regionals beam meltdown. With Florida out of the way, Denver entered nationals as a favorite to make the final and rose to those expectations, finishing up with a program-record 4th-place.

DEPARTED 2019 ROUTINES
Kaitlyn Schou – VT, BB, FX
Diana Chesnok – VT, UB, BB
Claire Kern – UB, FX
Courtney Loper – BB, FX
Grace Broadhurst – UB

Denver’s departures quietly pile up to make a pretty serious collection of routines. There are no “MY GOD HOW WILL WE GO ON WITHOUT THIS SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL” losses, save for perhaps Schou’s beam routine, but it’s not a given that these routines will be easily replaced. The freshmen will need to build the depth back up.

INCOMING GYMNASTS
It’s a bigger class for a famously smaller roster, with Denver bringing in five freshmen whom we should expect to make a mark in each and every lineup. Most events aren’t returning six athletes, so by definition, they’ll have to feature. AK Subject is the most accomplished of the group and should waltz right into multiple lineups, and Amoree Lockhart joins the team for the winter quarter as a former JO national champ and another multi-lineup contender.

2020 PROJECTION
Denver certainly benefited from everything going just right in 2019 with that championship appearance and 4th-place finish. It’s a standard you wouldn’t hold the team to repeating—at least heading into the year—but Denver wasn’t far off from that echelon during the regular season anyway and will enter 2020 as a favorite to advance to nationals as part of the top 8. Too many of the important scores remain to think differently.

As is typical, the potential stumbling block would be depth since Denver has very specific routines that have to be healthy and hit for each lineup to reach its potential.

VAULT

2019 Event Ranking: 7

Lineup locks: Maddie Karr, Lynnzee Brown, Mia Sundstrom
Lineup options: Emily Glynn, AK Subject, Alexandra Ruiz, Amoree Lockhart

The small size of Denver’s roster becomes the most significant issue on vault in that not many options come to mind to make up for the two lost vaults from last year’s final lineup. The options that do come to mind, however, should be nationally competitive as long as every one of those routines actually happens. Maddie Karr is currently out with minor knee surgery that isn’t supposed to be a capital Big Deal but is still knee surgery on the eve of the season for an athlete that is aggressively necessary to the team on the leg events (and all the events). So keep that in mind. In terms of importance to her team, Karr one of the top couple most significant gymnasts in the country, and any time she’s out drastically changes expectations for Denver’s scoring potential.

The goal lineup for Denver will have Karr and Lynnzee Brown getting 9.900s and 9.950s for their Y1.5s as usual but will also feature some newness, from both the returning and freshman categories. The team will look for Emily Glynn to get in there regularly with her Tsuk this season, and Mia Sundstrom has been working a Y1.5 in training (though she should be in the lineup even if she ends up competing a full). Subject has a big full that should provide a scoring boost over the fulls that were used last year, and Alexandra Ruiz was the leadoff a year ago and can fill that role again.

That’s probably the six you’re looking for right now. Lockhart had some nice pop on a full back before her injury detour, though it remains to be seen where that vault is currently. Her vault may be important to fill out a lineup, however, especially if Karr is out early in the year.

BARS

2019 Event Ranking: 5

Lineup locks: Maddie Karr, Lynnzee Brown, Emily Glynn, Alexandra Ruiz, AK Subject
Lineup options: Mia Sundstrom, Amoree Lockhart, Victoria Fitts

As on vault, Denver returns four routines from last year’s final group on bars, and those four will come back to the lineup in 2020 with the expectation that they bring in the biggest scores. Karr, Brown, and Glynn all had NQSs over 9.9 last year, and Ruiz was not too far behind with 9.865. Those routines should allow Denver to continue ranking well on bars in 2020.

The most likely solution for the two lineup departures looks to be Subject and Sundstrom. Subject scored pretty well on bars in JO and was basically just a little leg form and handstand refining away from having a 9.9-level NCAA set, and while Sundstrom didn’t make the final group on bars last season, she has a routine. If they can come in to replace the 9.800 and 9.850s from Chesnok and Kern, then Denver should be on track to replicate last years scores.

It will also be incumbent on freshmen like Lockhart (and maybe Fitts?) to come in right away and provide additional options because there aren’t really obvious backups to the prospective six right now.

BEAM

2019 Event Ranking: 5

Lineup locks: Alexis Vasquez, Maddie Karr, Lynnzee Brown
Lineup options: Mia Sundstrom, Alexandra Ruiz, Amoree Lockhart, Emma Brown, Callie Schlottman, AK Subject

On beam and floor, Denver looks to have a little more breathing room for depth and can actually play around with potential routines. At least, the roster has more than 6 or 7 available people here, with several of the freshmen being pretty beam/floor specific.

Two vitally important routines return from Vasquez and Karr (and if you haven’t ready Vasquez’s piece on the Denver website about being with us cool kids on Team OCD, Anxiety, Depression, you really should). They’ll be counted on for the best scores once again, and Lynnzee Brown has carved out a nice niche for herself in that leadoff spot and should return to it in 2020. The default assumption will probably be that Sundstrom and Ruiz return as well—with then just Schou’s vacated spot needing to be filled by someone new.

It could be a fight. Since returning from injury, Lockhart has been strong on beam, Emma Brown has some lovely dance element potential there, and Schlottman should contend here as her most likely lineup contribution. Beam was Subject’s weaker event of the four in JO, so if she doesn’t make a lineup, it would be this one. Still she has a routine, and the freshmen provide the most realistic choices here.

We may see a little dip in this lineup without Schou’s routine, but the increased depth in 2020 provides a route toward making up for it.

FLOOR

2019 Event Ranking: 6

Lineup locks: Lynnzee Brown, Maddie Karr
Lineup options: Alexandra Ruiz, Mia Sundstrom, AK Subject, Alexis Vasquez, Emily Glynn, Emma Brown, Amoree Lockhart, Callie Schlottman, Victoria Fitts

One of the nice things about Denver’s 2020 roster is that pretty much everyone delivers at least a theoretical floor routine. A few years back, that was definitely not the case. Of course, the story is Lynnzee Brown and Maddie Karr, who will be counted on to return with the strongest scores and likely weekly 9.9s. Beyond those two, the lineup is still pretty amorphous because there are quite a few people who can get in there.

In terms of returning athletes, Ruiz and Sundstrom both made the final lineup last year, and no one would be surprised if they make it back in this time. Still, a number of freshmen look to challenge for the six, including Subject who has more than enough power and enjoyed her best event ranking at JO nationals this year on floor, Emma Brown who is a lovely twister, and Lockhart who could very well make her way into the group. There’s also Alexis Vasquez, who is looking to add floor to her repertoire in 2020, and Emily Glynn who scored pretty well on floor in 2018 and has more ability there than we’ve seen yet in her college career.

With the two best routines returning and a heartier supply of options, Denver should be able to keep it up on floor in 2020.

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