All posts by balancebeamsituation

2019 Preseason Coaches Poll

Good news: this year’s preseason coaches poll provides the ideal mix of 80% “duh” and 20% “huh?” that we always hope for.

At the top, we have the duh. The first 5 exactly match their finishing positions from the 2018 season. This is normal, as most coaches just look at the rankings from last season and…do that. They’re not making charts about other team’s depth prospects and who has lost what routines or what freshmen are going to boost the early half of which lineups.

Still, even the top of the rankings is not devoid of interest.

2019 Preseason Coaches Poll
1. UCLA (20 1st-place votes) – 1,961 points
2. Oklahoma (25) – 1,959 points
3. Florida (9) – 1,946 points
4. LSU (2) – 1,891 points
5. Utah – 1,783 points
6. Alabama – 1,672 points
7. Georgia (1) – 1,585 points
8. California – 1,526 points
9. Michigan – 1,517 points
10. Kentucky – 1,481 points
11. Nebraska – 1,361 points
12. Arkansas – 1,341 points
13. Denver – 1,286 points
14. Auburn – 1,281 points
15. Washington – 1,253 points
16. Boise State – 1,183 points
17. Oregon State – 1,005 points
18. Ohio State – 989 points
19. Missouri – 912 points
20. Arizona State – 862 points
21. Stanford – 831 points
22. Illinois – 809 points
23. Minnesota – 798 points
24. BYU – 749 points
25. NC State – 704 points
26. George Washington – 611 points
27. Penn State – 525 points
28. Iowa State – 517 points
29. Iowa – 442 points
30. Central Michigan – 403 points
30. Maryland – 403 points
32. Southern Utah – 364 points
33. Arizona – 314 points
34. New Hampshire – 280 points
35. West Virginia – 259 points
36. Pittsburgh – 247 points

The first-place spot is typically (but certainly not always) reserved for last year’s champion, and that’s what happened here with UCLA at #1. Interestingly, Oklahoma still got more first-place votes than UCLA and verrrry nearly snatched #1, likely reflecting UCLA’s victory last season being an upset—with a plurality of coaches still viewing Oklahoma as the best team carrying over from 2018. Continue reading 2019 Preseason Coaches Poll

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2019 Preview – Utah Utes

UTAH
Seniors
Kari Lee
(redshirt)
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 9 of 14 meets in 2018
  • RQS of 9.875 BB, 9.875 FX, 9.865 FX, 9.850 UB
  • Top-3 returning score on BB
Shannon McNatt
BB
  • Provided backup BB in 2018
  • Competed 10.0-start Omelianchik in 2017 before injury
Makenna
Merrell-Giles
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in every meet in 2018
  • Team’s #2 returning score on all 4 events
  • RQS of 9.940 FX, 9.925 VT, 9.890 BB, 9.870 UB
Macey Roberts
VT
FX
  • Performed 6 FXs in 2018, hit 5 of 6, and 1 VT
  • Competed weekly in 2017 for 9.845 (FX) and 9.785 (VT)
Juniors
Missy Reinstadtler
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 13 of 14 meets in 2018
  • Team’s #3 returning RQS on UB, FX
  • RQS of 9.895 FX, 9.865 UB, 9.840 VT, 9.835 BB
Mykayla Skinner
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • #2 nationally in AA in 2018
  • Ranked #3 on FX, #5 on VT
  • RQS of 9.960 FX, 9.930 VT, 9.925 UB, 9.915 BB
Kim Tessen
VT
UB
  • Competed weekly VT, UB in 2018
  • 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
  • RQS of 9.895 VT, 9.860 UB
Sophomores
Alexia Burch
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed 7 BBs in 2018 for 9.800 RQS
  • Also showed 1 FX (9.850) and 1 VT (9.775)
Sydney Soloski
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on FX, BB
  • RQS of 9.890 on FX, avg of 9.775 on BB
Lauren Wong
UB
  • Competed 1 UB in 2018 for 9.825
Freshmen
Hunter Dula
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • All-American
  • 9th AA, 4th UB – 2018 JO Nationals
Cammy Hall
 
  • Torn Achilles in early December
  • Capital
  • 11th VT, 2018 JO Nationals
Cristal Isa
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • GymCats
  • 4th AA, 1st UB – 2018 JO Nationals
Adrienne Randall
UB
BB
FX
  • SCEGA
  • 4th AA, 2nd BB – 2018 JO Nationals

FINAL SEASON RANKINGS
2018 – 5th
2017 – 5th
2016 – 9th
2015 – 2nd
2014 – 7th
2013 – 9th
2012 – 5th
2011 – 5th
2010 – 6th
2009 – 3rd

THE STORY
Utah is Utah. Always toward the top. Always a contender. An evergreen selection to make Super Six. The constant in college gymnastics. Everything about 2019 points to Utah occupying the same position in the college gymnastics pantheon that is has for the last 10 years or so.

But this year, Utah is not immune from the moment of truth imposed by the new postseason format. Not so much in terms of advancing to nationals as one of the 8 (the team that has never missed nationals is favored to keep that streak alive in 2019), but shrinking the final-day field from 6 teams to 4 teams has major ramifications for a team that finished 5th each of the last two seasons. Utah will know it must improve (even if just by a little) this season to attain that eternal goal of being in it with a shot on the last day of the season.

At the very least, expect Utah to maintain its scoring level from 2018. This team hasn’t lost enough to be truly worried about a dip in performance. These lineups are almost entirely intact, with an opportunity for some upgrades depending on how the freshmen come through. In several cases, Utah is losing one routine but gaining three legitimate possibilities, so there’s every reason to expect increased competition for spots that can help Utah improve the standard by inches and bits here and there on most events, especially in those early halves of lineups.


VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: MyKayla Skinner, Makenna Merrell-Giles, Kim Tessen
Lineup options: Missy Reinstadtler, Kari Lee, Cristal Isa, Macey Roberts, Alexia Burch, Hunter Dula

Vault delivered Utah’s best ranking in 2018, the Utes finishing up as the #3 team in the country, an impressive feat considering Utah didn’t have the absolute most 10.0 starts to work with. Continue reading 2019 Preview – Utah Utes

Things Are Happening – December 7, 2018

A. I. DECLARE. BANKRUPTCY

The big trash-people news of the week was the revelation that USAG has decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. “I definitely understand everything that entails,” said me, immediately.

To make sure you believe exactly what USAG wants you to believe, the organization simultaneously issued a press release, a letter from Golfy Brand-Management, and an FAQ about bankruptcy. (Hi, you can’t deliver a Frequently Asked Questions page about something at the very same time you announce it—there has been no time for those questions to be asked frequently yet!)

All of these serve to tell us how awesome bankruptcy is, and how fab it’s going to be for everyone, how all the cool kids are doing it, and how you should definitely get yourself one, or a few to give out as gifts during the holiday season. It’s not a bankruptcy, you guys, it’s a bankrup-portunity.

And they’re doing it mostly because they care so much about the survivors. It’s all for them.

Continue reading Things Are Happening – December 7, 2018

2019 Preview – Cal Golden Bears

CAL ROSTER 2019
Seniors
Sofie
Seilnacht
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on UB, BB, FX
  • #2 returning routine on BB
  • RQS of 9.880 BB, 9.830 UB, 9.820 FX
Sylvie
Seilnacht
VT
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on VT, FX
  • RQS of 9.810 VT, 9.805 FX
Chelsea Shu
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineup on BB for 9.840
  • Also competed 8 FXs (9.805 RQS), 3 UBs
Toni-Ann Williams
(redshirt)
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Returning for 5th year in 2019
  • Competed AA in 11 of 14 meets in 2018
  • Missed Worlds with elbow injury
  • RQS of 9.935 FX, 9.895 VT, 9.895 BB, 9.865 UB
Juniors
Cassidy Keelen
VT
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on VT, BB
  • RQS of 9.835 BB, 9.820 VT
  • Competed 3 FXs for peak score of 9.775
Rachel
Mastrangelo
VT
  • Competed 7 VTs in 2018 with a peak of 9.825
Sophomores
Kyana George
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA every week in 2018
  • Top-3 returning score on all 4 events
  • RQS of 9.860-9.865 on each piece
Alma Kuc
UB
BB
  • Competed 10 UBs in 2018 for RQS of 9.855
  • Hit 8-for-10, peak score of 9.925
Maleah
Pearson
  • Did not compete in 2018
Victoria Salem
UB
BB
  • Missed 2018 season with knee injury
  • Potential UB, BB star
Nina Schank
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed UB every week in 2018
  • #1 returning UB score (9.905)
  • Showed 1 VT (9.625) and exhibition FX
Emi Watterson
UB
BB
  • Joined UB lineup at end of 2018
  • Hit 5-for-5 for average of 9.838
Freshmen
Maya Bordas
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Capital
  • 1st AA, 2017 JO Nationals
Talitha Jones
VT
UB
FX
  • Precision
  • 6th AA, 2017 JO Nationals
  • 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
Milan Clausi
VT
UB
BB

FX
  • Olympus
  • 2nd AA, 2018 JO Nationals
  • 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
Grace Quinn
  • Texas Dreams
  • US elite, 2013-2015
  • Has barely competed since 2015
Abi Solari
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • GB
  • Has 10.0-start Hs tuck 1/1 on VT

FINAL SEASON RANKINGS
2018 – 9th
2017 – 16th
2016 – 7th
2015 – 18th
2014 – 16th
2013 – 28th
2012 – 49th
2011 – 50th
2010 – 55th
2009 – 57th


THE STORY
Cal’s ascent has been remarkable in its speed and slope. From a “you could try Sears”-style punchline when I started this site, Cal has risen to become the #3 team in the Pac-12 and a no-longer-shocking entrant in the national top 10.

For this upcoming season, the question is whether Cal will stay in the same position or make that next leap into the top tier, and in that regard, the new postseason format presents a sort of artificially imposed moment of truth (and we know how I’m all about those). For those teams nestled in the 7-12 ranking group, some will rise and continue to reach nationals, and others just won’t be able to keep pace. Which group are you in?

In that race, Cal remains an underdog against the more nationally established, been-good-forever programs like Michigan and Nebraska, but for a team that finished 9th last season and will get markedly better in 2019, reaching nationals remains an utterly realistic aim.


VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Toni-Ann Williams, Milan Clausi, Kyana George
Lineup options: Abi Solari, Talitha Jones, Maya Bordas, Sylvia Seilnacht, Cassidy Keelen, Rachel Mastrangelo

Cal is ramping up its supply of 10.0 starts for 2019 and will use those vaults to improve on an event that was already its best-scoring piece last season. Most important in that batch of new 10.0s will be the gorgeous Y1.5 from Milan Clausi, a vault that has the form to be a lineup leader and earn weekly 9.9s. Expect Clausi to be joined by Abi Solari with her handspring front tuck 1/1, a supremely difficult vault to land but one that has been looking increasingly impressive in preseason training. Continue reading 2019 Preview – Cal Golden Bears

2019 Preview – Nebraska Cornhuskers

NEBRASKA ROSTER 2019
Seniors
Sienna Crouse
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 7 of 15 meets in 2018
  • #1 returning RQS on VT, UB
  • RQS of 9.920 VT, 9.920 UB, 9.910 FX, 9.610 BB
Megan Schweihofer
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 14 of 15 meets in 2018
  • #1 returning RQS on BB, FX
  • RQs of 9.935 FX, 9.875 VT, 9.840 BB, 9.830 UB
Juniors
Kelli Chung
(redshirt)
  • Has not competed a routine
Sierra Hassel
BB
FX
  • Competed 10 FXs, 9 BBs in 2018
  • RQS of 9.835 FX, 9.830 BB
Taylor Houchin
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Limited to UB for much of 2018
  • Added VT, BB in March
  • RQS of 9.900 UB, avg of 9.890 VT
  • Competed weekly AA in 2017
Catelyn Orel
(redshirt)
UB
FX
  • Returned from injury in 2018 to compete UB, FX
  • Made final FX lineup
  • RQS of 9.845 on FX, 9.800 on UB
Sophomores
Makayla Curtis
VT
BB
  • Competed 4 VTs in 2018 for 9.700 avg
Anika Dujakovich
VT
FX
  • Competed 4 VTs, 2 FXs in 2018
  • Avg of 9.788 VT, 9.725 FX
Kynsee Roby
  • Will miss 2019 season with foot surgery
  • Made final lineup on all 4 events in 2018
  • RQS of 9.840 UB, 9.825 UB, 9.725 FX
Megan Verceles Carr
VT
UB
BB
  • Competed 5 VTs in 2018 for 9.720 avg
Freshmen
Adnerys De Jesus
VT
BB
FX
  • Darien YMCA
  • 11th VT, 2018 JO Nationals
  • Training 10.0-start Y1.5
Sarah Hargove
UB
BB
FX
  • CGA
  • 1st AA, 2018 Region 5s
Abigail Johnston
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • American Twisters
  • 2nd AA, 2018 JO Nationals
Kaylee Quinn
VT
BB
FX
  • North Stars
  • 2nd FX, 2018 JO Nationals
Megan Thompson
BB
FX
  • Desert Lights
  • 6th AA, 2018 Region 1s
Rachel Thompson
(redshirt)
  • Did not compete in first season

FINAL SEASON RANKINGS
2018 – 6th
2017 – 7th
2016 – 8th
2015 – 8th
2014 – 6th
2013 – 14th
2012 – 8th
2011 – 4th
2010 – 7th
2009 – 17th


THE STORY
2018 was such a Nebraska season. We all spent three months not really talking about this team as a true challenger. They finished the regular season ranked 11th—even that was a significant improvement over the weeks previously—and then suddenly showed up to nationals to go, “What up turds, we’re making Super Six.”

That’s not an anomaly for the Huskers. Nebraska has outperformed its preseason ranking for five consecutive seasons now, so however you think Nebraska is going to do in 2019 right this second, it will probably end up being better than that. This year, I again don’t anticipate that Nebraska will be placed in the top 8 in the coaches poll, but Nebraska has nonetheless finished the year in the (now-coveted) top 8 each of the last five seasons. The only other schools to have achieved that are Oklahoma, Florida, and Alabama.

Yet this is also an age of transition for Nebraska. Dan Kendig abruptly retired during preseason because of compliance issues, meaning Heather Brink has taken over as interim head coach. This year’s team will also be without 13 of the 24 routines that appeared in the Super Six lineup last year. That’s…not a small number. If Nebraska is to make nationals this year, it will be another season of against-the-odds results.


VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Taylor Houchin, Sienna Crouse, Megan Schweihofer
Lineup options: Adnerys De Jesus, Megan Verceles Carr, Makayla Curtis, Abigail Johnston, Anika Dujakovich, Kaylee Quinn

Vault has always been Nebraska’s showcase event, and though Kendig is no longer coaching the team, I don’t expect that reputation to dissipate any time soon. The big vaults are there. Continue reading 2019 Preview – Nebraska Cornhuskers

2019 Preview – Michigan Wolverines

MICHIGAN ROSTER 2019
Seniors
Olivia Karas
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed in first 5 meets of 2018 before season-ending injury
  • RQS in 2017 of 9.895 VT, 9.890 FX, 9.865 BB, 9.845 UB
Emma McLean
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competes weekly VT/FX
  • #1 returning score on both from 2018 (9.930 FX, 9.890 VT)
  • Can provide UB/BB as needed
Juniors
Lexi Funk
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 9 of 14 meets in 2018
  • #1 returning score on BB (9.880)
  • RQS of 9.895 FX, 9.805 UB, 9.775 VT
Maggie O’Hara
UB
BB
  • Competed 1 BB in 2018 for 9.300
Maddy Osman
VT
BB
FX
  • Did not compete in 2018 after missing end of 2017 with injury
Sophomores
Anna Dayton
UB
  • Joining team as sophomore
  • 7th UB, 2016 JO Nationals
Lauren Farley
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on UB/BB
  • RQS of 9.870 BB, 9.810 UB
  • Competed 1 FX for 9.850
Sam
Javanbakht
  • Did not compete in first season
Anne Maxim
VT
UB
FX
  • Transfer from Michigan State
  • RQS of 9.820 UB
  • Competed 5 VTs with peak of 9.800
  • 7th FX, 2017 JO Nationals
Syd Townsend
VT
UB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on VT, UB, FX
  • #1 returning score on UB (9.875)
  • RQS of 9.875 VT, 9.830 FX
Freshmen
Abby Brenner
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Metroplex
  • 4th AA, 4th VT, 4th UB – 2018 JO Nationals
  • 1st AA – 2017 JO Nationals
Abby Heiskell
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Southeastern
  • 5th AA, 2017 Nastia
  • 1st AA, 2016 JO Nationals
Maddie
Mariani
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Arizona Dynamics
  • 4th AA, 2017 JO Nationals
Natalie
Wojcik
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Stallone
  • 1st AA, 2018 JO Nationals

FINAL SEASON RANKINGS
2018 – 13th
2017
– 10th
2016 – 13th
2015 – 7th
2014 – 10th
2013 – 7th
2012 – 13th
2011 – 6th
2010 – 10th
2009 – 14th


THE STORY
Michigan’s recent history has been defined by achieving the expected, solid results during the regular season but underperforming upon reaching the elimination meets.

For the last three years, Michigan has been the 7th-best team in the NCAA on both talent and January-March scores, but Michigan has nonetheless missed nationals in two of those three years—and in the other year, counted a fall on beam in the semifinal to finish 10th. Over the last five seasons, only two top-10 teams have failed to advance to nationals, and they’re both Michigan.

The realistic goal in 2019 will once again be to reach that coveted golden goose called nationals, but it’s so much harder now that only the top eight teams can make it. Some big programs will be left out, even with postseason hits. Expect Michigan to advance comfortably to the regional finals (top 16), but this team cannot afford to underperform its 7th-place talent in the postseason even a little bit this time around and still make it to nationals.


VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Natalie Wojcik, Abby Brenner, Emma McLean, Olivia Karas
Lineup options: Lexi Funk,A bby Heiskell, Anne Maxim, Maddy Osman, Maddie Mariani

Michigan’s best opportunity to improve on last season’s scoring potential comes on vault, with a roster that is clearly superior to 2018’s lineup—especially the 2018 lineup put out after Karas’s injury. Continue reading 2019 Preview – Michigan Wolverines

National Team Rankings – December 2018

How It Works
Taking into account all scores recorded at competitions in the last six months, each nation is given a team total based on how its best-scoring group of five senior gymnasts would do in a hypothetical 3-up, 3-count team final.

Each individual’s best scores may come from any official competition (they need not all be from the same meet), and whichever group of five gymnasts would produce the highest score is the one selected.

Countries that have not shown enough senior routines in the last six months to fill a 3-up, 3-count team on each event are not included.

Rankings will be updated at the beginning of each month, and scores will expire after six months in order to provide the most up-to-date snapshot of where nations are at the current moment. The current rankings include only scores from June 2018–November 2018.

No new teams joined the rankings this month. Dropping off the rankings were Ireland, Algeria, Bolivia, and Namibia.

Last month’s ranking is in parentheses. Continue reading National Team Rankings – December 2018