2021 Florida Gators

2021 FLORIDA ROSTER
Seniors
Alyssa Baumann
VT
BB
FX
  • Competed BB, FX all 9 meets in 2020
  • #2 returning score on both (9.935 FX, 9.930 BB)
  • Showed 6 VTs, avg 9.704
Jazmyn Foberg VT
UB
  • Returned from missing 2019 to show 3 VTs in 2020, avg 9.825
  • Made final 2018 lineups on VT (9.850), UB (9.840)
Megan Skaggs
VT
UB
BB
  • #3 returning score on UB (9.870)
  • #4 returning score on VT (9.850)
  • Competed BB each week in 2019
Juniors
Leah Clapper
BB
FX
  • #4 returning score on BB (9.810)
  • Competed exhibition FX in 2019
Sydney Johnson-Scharpf
BB
FX
  • Competed 7 FX, 5 BB in 2020
  • #3 returning score on FX (9.845)
  • BB avg 9.750
Nya Reed
VT
FX
  • Competed 5 FX, 4 VT in 2020 (missed 1 month with injury)
  • Avg 9.860 FX, 9.762 VT
  • 2019 NQS of 9.920 FX, 9.862 FX
Savannah Schoenherr
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed VT, UB every meet in 2020
  • #2 returning score on UB (9.910)
  • #3 returning score on VT 9.865
  • Showed 1 FX for 9.925
Halley Taylor
FX
  • Competed 1 FX in 2020 for 9.750
Trinity Thomas
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Ranked #2 nationally in AA in 2020
  • #1 returning score on all four events
  • NQS of 9.965 FX, 9.965 BB, 9.945 UB, 9.900 VT
Sophomore
Payton Richards
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 5 of 9 meets in 2020
  • #2 returning score on VT (9.885)
  • #3 returning score on BB (9.895)
  • NQS of 9.835 UB, avg 9.830 FX
Freshmen
Chloi Clark
VT
FX
  • Gymtegrity
  • 4th VT, 2019 JO Nationals
Gabrielle Gallentine
VT
UB
FX
  • Everest
  • Junior elite, 2017-18
  • 29th AA, 2018 US Jr Classic
Ellie Lazzari
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Legacy Elite
  • 1st AA, 2019 JO Nationals
Alex Magee
UB
BB
  • Orlando Metro
  • 9th UB, 2019 region 8s

RANKING HISTORY
2020 – 2nd
2019 – 10th
2018 – 3rd
2017 – 3rd
2016 – 4th
2015 – 1st
2014 – 1st
2013 – 1st
2012 – 2nd
2011 – 7th

THE 2020 STORY
Florida will have been largely pleased with how the 2020 season was progressing. The team had scored at least 197.800 in seven consecutive meets prior to the shutdown and was setting itself up as the most compelling challenger to Oklahoma’s reign at the never-nationals. Coming off the disappointment of the previous year’s regionals elimination, Florida was in full Renata Klein mode.

DEPARTING ROUTINES
Amelia Hundley – (VT), UB, BB, FX
Rachel Gowey – (VT), UB, BB, FX
Sierra Alexander – VT
Maegan Chant – (VT, UB)

INCOMING ROUTINES
Ellie Lazzari – VT, UB, BB, FX
Gabbie Gallentine – VT, UB, FX
Chloi Clark – VT, FX
Alex Magee – UB, BB

2021 PROJECTION
Steady.

Optimism clearly abounds for Florida’s chances in 2021 as the coaches broke with tradition to an extent and crowned Florida—last season’s #2—the preseason #1. Because Florida has shed some truly essential gymnasts like Hundley and Gowey, there will be at least some trepidation about losing ground this season, but the team’s prior depth and new routines should combine to keep Florida among the most compelling championship choices in the 2021 season.

VAULT

2020 Event Ranking: 3

Lineup locks: Trinity Thomas, Savannah Schoenherr, Nya Reed, Payton Richards, Ellie Lazzari
Lineup options: Megan Skaggs, Alyssa Baumann, Jazzy Foberg, Gabbie Gallentine, Chloi Clark

Florida returns a hearty collection of 10.0 starts and should therefore be pretty confident about how vault will progress—though it’s worth noting that Sierra Alexander’s full was often the best vault in the lineup last season, so it’s not your typical “just a full” to replace.

Trinity Thomas, Savannah Schoenherr, and Payton Richards all vaulted weekly Y1.5s last season that were good for 9.850-with-a-lunge, 9.9-with-landing-control scores. All three will return to the lineup. Nya Reed missed a big chunk of last season with injury, but she’ll be expected to return to the position of significance in the vault lineup she occupied in her first year with a 1.5 of her own.

Ellie Lazzari most recently vaulted a full in JO, but it is potentially 1.5-able for college. Either way, I’d have her among the prospective six because even when she’s doing a full, it’s worthy of the lineup. Beyond that, you’d be pretty happy with Megan Skaggs returning her full to the main group to round out a six. The Alyssa Baumann 1.5 has been a saga, and Florida will have the luxury of not needing to force it with that vault (if you’re getting beam and floor from Baumann as a senior, you’re happy), though if she’s found the landing…

I’d view the rest of the listed vault options in the category of backup fulls, but you always need some backup fulls.

BARS

2020 Event Ranking: 3

Lineup locks: Trinity Thomas, Savannah Schoenherr, Megan Skaggs, Ellie Lazzari, Gabbie Gallentine
Lineup options: Payton Richards, Alex Magee, Alyssa Baumann, Jazzy Foberg

Bars is the event on which Florida will be most vulnerable in 2021 because of just how significant those Hundley and Gowey routines have been over the last four seasons. Florida competed the same six people on bars every meet last year, so there’s not a ton of competition experience or proven backup routines in there.

At the same time, that does make coming up with this year’s lineup kind of easy. Both Ellie Lazzari and Gabbie Gallentine should be strong college performers on bars—it’s the most likely event on which Gallentine can make a mark—so if you add them to the four returners on bars (Thomas, Schoenherr, Skaggs, and Richards), you’ve got a high-quality six with that potential 10 from Thomas and believable 9.9s from Schoenherr and Skaggs and probably Lazzari.

If the team is forced to dig into the roster beyond that six, however, things get dicier. Jazzy Foberg hasn’t competed bars since her injury so I’m skeptical there, and while we often see preseason training from the likes of Alyssa Baumann or Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, those haven’t materialized competitively. Alex Magee is a possible bars project if she can go through the same process as Megan Skaggs and develop a dismount and evolve on bars in college, so watch that space.

BEAM

2020 Event Ranking: 1

Lineup locks: Trinity Thomas, Alyssa Baumann, Payton Richards, Ellie Lazzari
Lineup options: Leah Clapper, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, Megan Skaggs, Alex Magee, Gabbie Gallentine

Florida is faced with a similar replacement project on beam if it is to get back to the #1 ranking of last season, though the team also got some vague practice with that assignment last season when Amelia Hundley was out of the lineup. Leah Clapper and Sydney Johnson-Scharpf look to be developing into every-week beamers based on what we saw from them in 2020, and Payton Richards, Alyssa Baumann, and Trinity Thomas are all sure to return. With Thomas and Baumann, it’s guaranteed to be a high-scoring beam lineup just as long as everyone else stays on.

I’m quite content with the idea of retaining those five and adding Ellie Lazzari to replace Gowey’s score. Her potential 9.9 should help Florida keep on truckin’ with the same expectations as last season. As is the case on bars, there seems to be a clear six with a dropoff beyond that point, but it’s typically easier to fill out a competitive beam lineup than a competitive bars lineup. Most people on a Florida roster can give you a beam routine—for instance Gallentine for whom beam was never the best event, but she certainly has a routine. It’s also worth noting Megan Skaggs, who was excellent on beam in 2019 but didn’t compete it at all in 2020. Unless an injury is preventing her from beaming at this point, that’s…kind of a nice option to have in the repertoire.

FLOOR

2020 Event Ranking: 2

Lineup locks: Trinity Thomas, Alyssa Baumann, Nya Reed, Ellie Lazzari
Lineup options: Payton Richards, Savannah Schoenherr, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, Gabbie Gallentine, Chloi Clark, Halley Taylor

While floor may be faced with the same no-Hundley, no-Gowey issue as bars and beam, the lineup outlook is more robust. There’s significantly more depth of high scores and depth of returning lineup leaders here, which means there’s more freedom for various permutations of high-scoring athletes. Florida’s floor team isn’t dependent on a specific six. My main question is actually whether Kennedy Baker’s lineup observations lead Florida to rethink the Trinity-Thomas-sets-up-Alyssa-Baumann approach.

Both will be there for big scores regardless, and Florida will bank on Nya Reed returning full time for 9.9s as well. As on every event, I expect Lazzari to make the lineup here, as she showed an easy piked full-in as a L10 along with pristine simpler passes. Hopefully, this is also the year when Savannah Schoenherr becomes a floor worker because her ability is definitely top 6 on this team. Then there’s Payton Richards, who was regularly good for mid-9.8s last year, and Sydney Johnson-Scharpf who does have the team’s #3 returning floor NQS, which already accounts for more enough options without getting into the “and also her depth” athletes. Floor should be plenty fine.

5 thoughts on “2021 Florida Gators”

  1. I am happy the coaches ranked Florida 1st as they were most deserving of it if you look at the routines on paper. I had them as #1 coming into the season. They did lose some key routines from Gowey and Hundley but they can be replaced more easily comparable to other teams that lost key players. Thomas is my pick for the AA title and I would love to see A. Baumann compete AA and win a national BB title.

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  2. I feel Florida’s big strength is at the back end of those routines. Thomas was nearing Ross/Nichols status in terms of consistent big coring routines. If they can make up some ground on vault and replace the lost production on bars, I think they will be in good shape. To me vault has been their weakness the last few years. Having so many girls already in the program should be a plus as they are not acclimating. Reed and Foburg (who I had forgotten was a senior) being healthy would be a big help.

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    1. Id really like Foberg to have a fulfilling senior year. I dont think she has spoken up about her experience with MH, but MH talked about Jazzy in a pretty derogatory manner in a gymcastic interview. Her injuries, physical and psychological, could run deep.
      Id love to see her compete even just one event consistently, and really shine.

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  3. I am a firm believer in gymnasts working on weaker events or skills more since their strongest events or skills are already near perfection. I apply the same knowledge to weightlifting: if a certain body part is weak then work it more, if a stronger body part is already developed then no need to work it as often. GO GATORS!!

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  4. Sierra Alexander’s Y- full really is one of the biggest of all time, including elite.
    Honestly, when I watch elites compete Y-fulls, I’m sorely underwhelmed- where’s the amplitude? Such deep pike in the hip angle… No flare-out? You can’t even stick it? … NCAA has some crazy good vaulting.

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