2021 Michigan Wolverines

2021 MICHIGAN ROSTER
Seniors
Anna Dayton
 
  • Joined team as sophomore
  • Did not compete in 2019 or 2020
Lauren Farley
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed BB every meet in 20202
  • #3 returning score on BB (9.825)
  • Showed 1 UB, 1 FX, both for 9.775
Anne Maxim
VT
UB
  • Did not compete in 2020 due to injury
  • 2019 NQS of 9.815 UB, 9.810 VT
Juniors
Abby Brenner
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed VT, FX every meet in 2020, UB in 7 of 9
  • #1 returning score on VT (9.910)
  • #4 returning score on FX (9.870), UB (9.850)
Abby Heiskell
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed 8 UB, 5 FX and BB, 1 FX in 2020
  • #3 returning score on UB (9.855)
  • Avg 9.850 VT, 9.645 BB. Score of 9.550 FX
Maddie Mariani
VT
UB
BB
  • Competed 7 UB, 6 BB, 5 VT in 2020
  • #4 returning score on BB (9.800)
  • #6 returning score on UB (9.835)
  • Avg 9.815 VT
Natalie Wojcik
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA every meet in 2020
  • #1 returning score on BB (9.915), UB (9.895)
  • #2 returning score on FX (9.895)
  • #4 returning score on VT (9.870)
Sophomores
Sierra Brooks
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA every meet in 2020
  • #2 returning score on VT (9.895), FX (9.895), BB (9.890), and UB (9.880)
Abbie Gaies
 
  • Did not compete in 2020
Nicoletta Koulos
VT
BB
FX
  • Competed 8 VT, FX in 2020
  • NQS of 9.790 on both
Gabby Wilson
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed VT, UB, FX every meet in 2020
  • #1 returning score on FX (9.905)
  • #3 returning score on VT (9.880)
  • #4 returning score on UB (9.850)
Freshmen
Carly Bauman
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Chow’s
  • 2nd BB, 4th UB, 2019 JO Nationals
  • 1st AA, 2018 JO Nationals
Reyna Guggino
BB
FX
  • Tampa Bay Turners
  • 4th VT, 2019 Region 8s
Naomi Morrison
VT
UB
FX
  • Arizona Dynamics
  • 5th AA, 2019 JO Nationals
Jenna Mulligan
VT
FX
  • Gymnastics Unlimited
  • 5th FX, 8th BB, 2018 JO Nationals

RANKING HISTORY
2020 – 5th
2019 – 5th
2018 – 13th
2017 – 10th
2016 – 13th
2015 – 7th
2014 – 10th
2013 – 7th
2012 – 13th
2011 – 6th

THE 2020 STORY
Over the last couple seasons, Michigan has enjoyed a sharp evolution from being a team that was talented but also probably going to miss on beam at a crucial moment to one that is increasingly dangerous against the very top schools. That continued in 2020 with another 5th-place finish (Michigan hasn’t done better than 5th in any season since Elise Ray was a freshman), which would have put Michigan right in contention to snatch a spot in the team final, at least if the semifinal draw turned out better than it did the year before.

DEPARTING ROUTINES
Lexi Funk – BB, FX
Maggie O’Hara – UB, BB
Maddy Osman – VT, BB, FX

INCOMING ROUTINES
Carly Bauman – VT, UB, BB, FX
Naomi Morrison – VT, UB, FX
Jenna Mulligan – VT, FX
Reyna Guggino – BB, FX

2021 PROJECTION
Improvement.

There’s not a more compelling “upset the world order” pick in 2021 than Michigan. The team has already lifted itself up to 5th, and now each lineup looks like it should either stay steady or get better as long as everything goes to plan. As several traditional powerhouses wait for their famous elites to arrive post-Olympics, 2021 presents a golden opportunity for Michigan to beat a few of those teams while entertaining realistic hopes of making that elusive top 4.

VAULT

2020 Event Ranking: 4

Lineup locks: Natalie Wojcik, Sierra Brooks, Abby Brenner, Gabby Wilson, Naomi Morrison
Lineup options: Abby Heiskell, Anne Maxim, Maddie Mariani, Carly Baumann, Nicoletta Koulos, Jenna Mulligan

Michigan placed 4th in the national vault rankings last season on the strength of a quartet of well-executed Y1.5s from Wojcik, Brooks, Brenner, and Wilson. When Natalie Wojcik ends up with the 4th-best vault NQS on the team (that’s a real thing that happened), you know the lineup is strong. With all four of those athletes returning this season, vault should again be a strength for Michigan, with a solid chance for improving some of those early-lineup scores.

Freshman Naomi Morrison has performed a Y1.5 for several years in JO, which should translate into a high-scoring NCAA vault that will transform the 1.5 quartet into a quintet. Anne Maxim missed the 2020 season with injury, but if she’s able to get back to vaulting in 2021, her Tsuk could very realistically provide Michigan with a full lineup of 10.0 starts, which would be a big ol’ deal. Then again, Abby Heiskell went 9.9 a couple times last season with a full, so having a 10.0 start is not a guarantee for getting into the Michigan vault lineup this year. With several other 9.8+ Yfulls that will likely be relegated to backup status, things look quite comfortable here.

BARS

2020 Event Ranking: 8

Lineup locks: Natalie Wojcik, Sierra Brooks, Carly Bauman, Abby Brenner
Lineup options: Abby Heiskell, Gabby Wilson, Maddie Mariani, Naomi Morrison, Lauren Farley, Anne Maxim

Michigan put together a good enough bars team in 2020, though one that was perhaps a bit too susceptible to “whoops everyone got 9.825” to rank any higher than 8th. The lineup was talented enough to start at 9.850 and go from there, but it didn’t always happen.

This time around, the team will be looking for more frequent 9.9s out of Natalie Wojcik and Sierra Brooks, who are capable of getting that kind of score every week, and will add Carly Bauman to the repertoire of important bars routines, an athlete with the toe point to deliver high college scores.

Brenner, Heiskell, Wilson, and Mariani all competed bars regularly last season and hung around the mid-9.8 zone on almost all occasions. Seriously, almost every single time. Of the 31 bars routines competed by those four in 2020, 29 of them scored between 9.800 and 9.875. That’s remarkable consistency—and points to little risk for bars meltdowns in 2021—but that’s also zero 9.9s. In a 2021 lineup that probably doesn’t have room for all of them anymore—especially because I would add Naomi Morrison to this group as a realistic lineup contender—anyone who can turn last season’s 9.850s into this season’s 9.9s, anyone who can lift Michigan out of 8th place on bars, will be invaluable.

BEAM

2020 Event Ranking: 10

Lineup locks: Natalie Wojcik, Carly Bauman, Sierra Brooks, Lauren Farley
Lineup options: Maddie Mariani, Abby Heiskell, Nicoletta Koulos, Gabby Wilson, Naomi Morrison, Reyna Guggino

Beam could be the problem area for Michigan in 2021, though concerns are mitigated somewhat by the addition of Carly Bauman, who is an absolutely excellent beam worker and should give the team a new late-lineup score. As on bars, Michigan will count on her to link arms with Wojcik and Brooks to form the leadership of the lineup.

Overall, however, the team returns just five beamers. So theoretically, you can add Bauman to those five and you have a lineup (and a pretty good one), but there’s exactly no wiggle room. That lineup of six also counts on sometimes-beamers like Mariani and Heiskell to do a lot more than they have previously as the success of the lineup could hinge on their early performances in a way it has not needed to before.

If the team is forced to look beyond Wojcik, Bauman, Brooks, Farley, Mariani, and Heiskell to form a beam lineup, then we’re looking at people who could have but (significantly) didn’t compete beam last year like Nicoletta Koulos and Gabby Wilson, or someone like Naomi Morrison who was OK on beam in JO but it’s clearly her #4 event. I’d keep an eye on Koulos. When we saw her perform in last year’s preseason exhibition, she showed lovely form but fell twice. If she gets the hitting thing going, she could become a beamer.

FLOOR

2020 Event Ranking: 4

Lineup locks: Natalie Wojcik, Gabby Wilson, Sierra Brooks, Abby Brenner, Naomi Morrison
Lineup options: Carly Bauman, Nicoletta Koulos, Abby Heiskell, Lauren Farley, Jenna Mulligan, Reyna Guggino, Maddie Mariani

Michigan will feel very good about its returning Power Four on floor—Wojcik, Wilson, Brooks, and Brenner. Their ability is what ushered Michigan to a #4 floor ranking last season, and they’re all back. With only Lexi Funk’s routine departing from the lineup, the team will like its chances for an upgrade on this apparatus.

Naomi Morrison has been cleaning up on floor in JO over the last couple years and will be counted on to slot into this lineup, and Carly Bauman is a lovely twister with a front 2/1 that could make for a very competitive set. Add those two freshmen to the four returning locks, and you’ve got yourself a pretty straightforward lineup that will hope to best 2020’s numbers.

On floor, that straightforward lineup should have a hearty crew of backup options. Koulos performed FX most of last season for the occasional 9.8 and could return, Lauren Farley and Abby Heiskell have pitched in before, and the other freshmen can make a mark here if needed. It’s probably Gugino’s best event, and Mulligan has some big tumbling to offer as long as the execution is there. Michigan’s strengths (like floor) should get better in 2021. We’ll see if the “weaker” events follow suit.

5 thoughts on “2021 Michigan Wolverines”

  1. There are UMich fans out here. I personally just don’t have much to say to the assessment it was pretty spot on. 1. While they have shown some workouts they seldom label the gymnasts so it’s hard to tell what the newbies are doing thus far. If things were normal they would have had their Exhibition and there would be more to say. 2. The season is still up in the air so not a whole to get excited about any of it yet.

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  2. They could easily become the #1 or #2 team on VT and FX with the upgrades to those lineups. The issue for them will be BB because it was already their weakest event last year and they have lost two very good routines. Really hoping that Heiskell comes through and that Koulos and Morrison have Olsen-like beam glow-ups

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    1. Agree. Really hope beam can get it together and become a good event, since it absolutely has the potential to be. Also a little worried about bars but Bauman should be a huge help there.

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