Category Archives: Season Preview

2019 Preview – UCLA Bruins

UCLA
Seniors
Brielle Nguyen
BB
FX
  • Competed 13 BB routines in 2018 following transfer from Illinois — RQS of 9.850
  • Competed weekly FX in ’17 for Illinois
Katelyn Ohashi
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Ranked #1 in nation on FX, #3 on BB in 2018
  • RQS of 9.970 on FX, 9.945 on BB
  • Competed 12 UB routines for 9.696 avg (scored 9.8+ on 7 of 12)
  • VTed 4 times for 9.831 average
Stella Savvidou
  • Did not compete in 2018 due to injury
  • Further wrist surgery in October
  • Made final UB lineup in 2017
Macy Toronjo UB
FX
  • Did not compete in 2018 due to injury
  • Is no longer listed as taking a redshirt year
  • Competed 8 FXs in 2017, peaking at 9.950
Juniors
Anna Glenn
VT
UB
BB
  • Returned from 2017 labrum injury to make final VT, UB lineups in 2018 – VT RQS of 9.825
  • Competed 5 UB routines, peak of 9.875
  • Competed one BB routine for 9.900
Grace Glenn
BB
  • Returned from 2017 labrum injury to compete BB in every meet in 2018
  • Hit 15 for 15 routines — RQS of 9.925
Felicia Hano
VT
BB
FX
  • Competed weekly VT, FX in 2018 — ranked #7 nationally on FX
  • RQS of 9.935 on FX, 9.900 on VT for Y1.5
  • Competed 2 BB routines (9.775 avg) and one UB routine (9.025) in 2018
Madison Kocian
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Returned from shoulder surgery to compete 13 BBs, 8 FXs, and 3 UBs in 2018
  • RQS of 9.875 on BB
  • Average of 9.861 on FX, 9.863 on UB
  • Also competed weekly VT in 2017 for 9.860 RQS
Gracie Kramer
VT
FX
  • Competed 13 FXs in 2018 for 9.890 RQS
  • Has 10.0 start VT, competed twice in 2018, hitting once
  • VTed 10 times in 2017 for 9.810 RQS
Giulianna Pino
  • Did not compete in first two seasons
Kyla Ross
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 10 of 15 meets in 2018
  • Ranked #1 nationally on UB
  • RQS of 9.960 on UB, 9.910 on BB, 9.895 on VT, 9.890 on FX
Mercedez Sanchez
  • Did not compete in first two seasons
Sophomores
Nia Dennis
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed VT, UB every week in 2018
  • Competed 11 FX routines and 3 BB routines
  • RQS of 9.885 on VT, 9.880 on UB, 9.860 on FX
  • Average of 9.792 on BB
Savannah Kooyman
UB
FX
  • Provided backup routines on UB, FX in 2018
  • Competed 3 UBs (9.800 avg) and 1 BB (9.825)
Kendal Poston
  • Did not compete in first season
Pauline Tratz
VT
FX
  • Competed VT, FX in 14 of 15 meets in 2018
  • RQS of 9.910 on FX, 9.875 on VT
  • Has potential 10.0 start on VT
Freshmen
Norah Flatley
UB
BB
FX
  • Chow’s
  • 3rd at 2014 Junior P&G Championships
  • Expected to be replacement-Peng on UB and BB
Margzetta Frazier
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Parkettes
  • Is continuing to train DTY on VT
  • Will be counted on for VT, FX, and UB. Can provide BB as needed
Sara Taubman
  • Head over Heels
  • 12th AA, 2018 Region 1s
Sekai Wright
VT
FX
  • Will miss beginning of 2019 with injury
  • AGA Long Beach
  • 1st on VT, 2018 JO Nationals
  • Has Yurchenko 1.5

FINAL SEASON RANKINGS
2018 – 1st
2017 – 4th
2016 – 5th
2015 – 11th
2014 – 8th
2013 – 4th
2012 – 3rd
2011 – 2nd
2010 – 1st
2009 – 7th

THE STORY
Let’s be honest, for all of UCLA’s improvements in the 2018 season, none of us actually expected the Bruins to win the championship. They were supposed to finish 2nd or 3rd, make great strides to set up a title run in 2019, do a life lesson or two, and close the book on an altogether successful season. That’s not what happened. Christmas came early.

Winning a title bestows de facto favorite status the following year, yet UCLA will know that the 2018 victory did in fact come early. It was an upset, a phenomenal two-event performance on the day but an untenable strategy to maintain if this is to become a dynasty. “We’ll be ranked 3rd all year long, be kind of blah in the first two rotations of the final, and then Peng will get a 20, and wheeee!” isn’t exactly how you draw it up.

Now that this UCLA group has won a title, there’s no going back in terms of expectations, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t improvements to be made. The 2019 roster was always supposed to be better than 2018’s team and does have realistic areas where it can aim higher, scoring weaknesses from 2018 to resolve, and lost meets from last season to win this time around so that a potential title this year would not be an upset. It would be normal.

VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Marz Frazier, Felicia Hano, Nia Dennis, Kyla Ross
Lineup options: Pauline Tratz, Sekai Wright, Anna Glenn, Gracie Kramer, Kendal Poston, Norah Flatley, Katelyn Ohashi, Madison Kocian

You guys, a tradition is over. We can’t talk about Kyla Ross’s mythical 10.0 start on vault in the UCLA preview this year because it’s not mythical anymore. We saw it for realsies at Meet the Bruins as part of what will be an upgraded vault lineup in 2019. With just two 10.0s, UCLA’s 2018 vault team didn’t have the start values to get the necessary 49.4s in a postseason-scoring context, but this year’s lineup looks significantly more competitive. Continue reading 2019 Preview – UCLA Bruins

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2019 Preview – Oklahoma Sooners

OKLAHOMA
Seniors
Brenna Dowell
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed VT, UB, FX every meet in 2018
  • Hit 45-for-45 routines
  • RQS of 9.945 on VT, 9.915 on FX, 9.910 on UB
  • Performed 1 exhibition on BB in 2018
Ashley Hiller
FX
  • Did not compete in 2018 following transfer from Florida
  • Competed 4 FXs, 1 VT in first two years at UF
Nicole Lehrmann
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed VT, UB, BB every meet in 2018
  • Ranked #5 nationally on UB
  • RQS of 9.955 on UB, 9.885 on BB, 9.870 on VT
  • Competed 4 FXs in 2018 for 9.806 avg
  • Training Y1.5
Alex Marks
VT
  • Competed 7 VTs in 2018 for 9.835 RQS
Juniors
Jade
DeGouveia
VT
UB
FX
  • Missed majority of 2018 season with injury
  • Returned on VT at nationals for 9.894 avg
  • Vaults 10.0-start Y1.5
  • Hit 1 of 2 FX routines in 2018
Maggie Nichols
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Ranked #1 nationally in AA in 2018
  • Ranked #1 nationally on VT, #2 on BB, #3 on FX, and #7 on UB
  • No RQS lower than 9.950 in 2018 season
Brehanna Showers
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Returned from injury in 2018 to make all four postseason lineups
  • RQS of 9.910 on BB, 9.875 on FX, 9.845 on VT
  • Average of 9.854 on UB
Sophomores
Jordan Draper
FX
  • Competed 1 FX in 2018 for 9.775
Evy Schoepfer
VT
FX
  • Competed 10 FXs for 9.855 RQS in 2018
  • Performed 2 VTs for 9.813 avg
  • Trained Y1.5 on VT
Karrie Thomas
UB
BB
FX
  • Transfer from Maryland
  • Competed weekly UB, BB, FX for Maryland in 2018
  • RQS of 9.850 FX, 9.820 UB, 9.795 BB
Anastasia Webb
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 10 of 15 meets in 2018
  • Made final S6 lineups on UB, BB, FX
  • RQS of 9.915 FX, 9.910 BB, 9.900 UB, 9.890 VT
  • Can VT 10.0 start Omelianchik or Y1.5
Carly Woodard
BB
  • Competed 5 BBs in 2018, hitting 4
  • Peak score of 9.950
Freshmen
Emma LaPinta
  • Kurt Thomas
  • 20th AA, 2018 JO Nationals
Allie Stern
VT
FX
  • Perfect Balance
  • 1st place VT, 2017 JO Nationals
Olivia Trautman
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Twin City
  • 3rd AA, 1st FX – 2018 JO Nationals
  • Has Y1.5 on VT

FINAL SEASON RANKINGS
2018 – 2nd
2017 – 1st
2016 – 1st
2015 – 3rd
2014 – 1st
2013 – 2nd
2012 – 7th
2011 – 3rd
2010 – 2nd
2009 – 10th

THE STORY
Oklahoma is really thrilled about finishing second last year. So much fun with second place. La la la. Everything’s great.

Obviously, they’ve been accidentally shattering wine glasses about it all offseason—after spending the entire 2018 season as the best team in the country, breaking the all-time RQS mark, and then recording the 6th-best score in Super Six history only to be defeated on the day by the smallest of margins. As such, it’s not really a postseason that Oklahoma will look back on in a “what went wrong” kind of way—other than the mistake not to hack the NCAA in the dead of night so that they could have ended on beam instead of UCLA.

The finish in 2018 also makes the story for Oklahoma’s 2019 season fairly straightforward. The Sooners did everything except win the title last season, so this year, rectifying that with a championship will be the only satisfying result, as well as a very attainable one. Anything less will feel like a letdown.


VAULT 2019
Lineup locks:  Maggie Nichols, Brenna Dowell
Lineup options: Olivia Trautman, Anastasia Webb, Nicole Lehrmann, Jade DeGouveia, Brehanna Showers, Allie Stern, Evy Schoepfer, Alex Marks

In 2019, Oklahoma will once again march toward that long-sought holy grail, a postseason vault lineup of entirely 10.0 starts. It hasn’t ever happened before but once again looks possible for Oklahoma this season. Continue reading 2019 Preview – Oklahoma Sooners

2019 Preview – Florida Gators

FLORIDA
Seniors
Alicia Boren
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA every week in 2018
  • RQS of 9.930 FX, 9.920 BB, 9.880 UB, 9.870 VT
  • #1 returning RQS on VT, BB, FX
  • 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
Amanda Cheney
  • Did not compete in 2018
  • Competed 5 BBs, 1 VT in 2017
Juniors
Sierra Alexander
VT
FX
  • Competed 4 VTs in 2018 before injury
  • Average of 9.763
Maegan Chant
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed 1 VT in 2018 for 9.825
  • Made final 2017 UB lineup for 9.820
  • Can provide 10.0-start Tsuk 1/1 on VT
Rachel Gowey
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on UB, BB, FX
  • RQS of 9.915 BB, 9.885 UB
  • Showed 4 VTs for 9.831 average
Amelia Hundley
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 6 meets in 2018
  • Made final lineups on all four events
  • RQS of 9.905 UB. 9.865 BB, 9.825 FX
  • #1 returning score on UB
  • VT avg of 9.832
Sophomores
Alyssa Baumann
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed BB, FX every week in 2018
  • Ranked #10 nationally on BB
  • RQS of 9.920 BB, 9.900 FX
  • VTed 4 times for 9.733 avg
Jazmyn Foberg
  • Elbow surgery in November, likely out for 2019
  • RQS of 9.850 VT, 9.840 UB in 2018
Megan Skaggs
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on VT, UB, BB
  • RQS of 9.860 BB, 9.840 UB
  • Avg of 9.795 VT, 9.706 FX
Freshmen
Leah Clapper
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Gym America
  • 9th AA, 2018 JO Nationals
  • Senior elite, 2016-2017
Sydney Johnson-Scharpf
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Brandy Johnson’s
  • US elite, 2013-2017
Nya Reed
VT
FX
  • Capital
  • 4th VT, FX – 2018 JO Nationals
Savannah Schoenherr
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Georgia Elite
  • 2nd AA, 2018 JO Nationals
  • Y1.5 on VT
Halley Taylor
VT
FX
  • La Fleur’s
  • 8th AA, 2018 JO Nationals
Trinity Thomas
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Prestige
  • US elite, 2015-present
  • Y1.5 on VT

FINAL SEASON RANKINGS
2018 – 3rd
2017
– 3rd
2016 – 4th
2015 – 1st
2014 – 1st
2013 – 1st
2012 – 2nd
2011 – 7th
2010 – 5th
2009 – 4th

THE STORY
It’s tough to sneer at third place. That’s a solid result any team would be pleased with, and Florida has achieved that in each of the last two seasons, finishing 2018 as the #1 team in the SEC after out-touching LSU by an eighth of a tenth (FUN WITH NATIONALS SCORING) in Super Six.

But. In all three seasons of the Rowland Era so far, Florida’s roster has been talented enough to win the national championship (never more so than last season), and it has yet to happen. That’s why Florida won’t be over the moon about these third-place finishes. We all expect even better than third place from this roster. In 2019, the same is true. Despite the admittedly massive scoring losses from last season’s squad, Florida still boasts an insane team. Thomas? Baumann? Boren? Hundley? Gowey? Johnson-Scharpf? On names alone, you’d pick this roster over any other in the country, including Oklahoma and UCLA.

Still, we can’t go on names alone, or talent alone. This Florida team—now no longer featuring any team members from the Rhonda championship years—must prove that it can transfer its talent from an on-paper championship to an actual championship. Otherwise, we’re looking at another year of close-but-not-quite.


VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Alicia Boren, Trinity Thomas
Lineup options: Savannah Schoenherr, Amelia Hundley, Alyssa Baumann, Megan Skaggs, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, Maegan Chant, Nya Reed, Sierra Alexander, Rachel Gowey, Leah Clapper, Amanda Cheney

Florida has a ton of work ahead in order to retain its status as one of the top vaulting teams, the Gators having to do without four of their five best vaults from 2018—losing McMurtry, Slocum, and Baker to graduation and Foberg to injury. Continue reading 2019 Preview – Florida Gators

2019 Preview – Pac-12 Roundup

You can find the individual previews for the top-finishing Pac-12 teams from 2018 at the links here.

UCLA (coming soon)
Utah
Cal

But for today, let’s play the lineup game with the remaining Pac-12 teams.


WASHINGTON ROSTER 2019
Seniors
Kristyn Hoffa
VT
FX
  • Competed weekly VT, FX in 2018
  • RQS of 9.875 FX, 9.800 VT
Monica Riley
VT
UB

BB
FX
  • Competed weekly VT, UB in 2018
  • #1 returning UB routine (9.900)
  • RQS of 9.805 VT
  • Competed 1 FX for 9.675, 3 BBs in 2017
Malory Rose
BB
  • Weekly leadoff BB after returning from injury
  • RQS of 9.845
Juniors
Madison Copiak
VT
UB
BB
  • Competed VT, UB, BB every meet in 2018
  • #2 returning score on UB (9.855), BB (9.865)
  • VT RQS of 9.800
Michaela
Nelson
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on UB, FX
  • RQS of 9.835 FX, 9.825 UB
  • Competed 1 BB for 9.825 and regularly in 2017
Evanni
Roberson
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 10 of 14 meets in 2018
  • #1 returning score on BB (9.900)
  • RQS of 9.850 FX, 9.35 UB, 9.820 VT
Maya
Washington
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final FX lineup in 2018
  • #1 returning FX score (9.895)
  • Competed early season UB (9.810), BB (9.780)
Sophomores
Geneva Thompson
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Missed 2018 season with injury
  • 3rd VT, 5th BB, 2017 JO Nationals
Freshmen
Brenna Brooks
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • WOGA
  • 9th BB, 12th VT – 2018 JO Nationals
  • 10.0-start Omelianchik on VT
Talia Brovedani
  • Will miss 2019 season with injury
Amara Cunningham
VT
FX
  • Galaxy
  • 4th VT, 6th FX – 2018 JO Nationals
  • Has 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
Madeline McLellan
VT
FX
  • CGC
  • 8th AA, 2017 Gymnix Challenge
Meaghan Ruttan
UB
BB
FX
  • CGC
  • 9th AA, 2015 junior Jesolo
Hannah Vandenkolk
BB
FX
  • Coastal
  • 8th BB, 2018 Region 1s
WASHINGTON VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Amara Cunningham, Brenna Brooks, Geneva Thompson
Lineup options: Kristyn Hoffa, Evanni Roberson, Madison Copiak, Monica Riley

Washington will hope to trot out a new-look vault lineup in 2019 with a couple freshmen who have competed 10.0 starts in JO competition (Cunningham with a 1.5, Brooks with an Omel) and Geneva Thompson, who sports a strong full in her return from injury. All crucial pieces in the project to get the lineup out of the 9.7s.

WASHINGTON BARS 2019
Lineup locks: Monica Riley, Madison Copiak, Evanni Roberson
Lineup options: Michaela Nelson, Meaghan Ruttan, Maya Washington, Geneva Thompson, Brenna Brooks

Washington returns Monica Riley, who has emerged as a bars star in the past year and will be relied on again for 9.9s atop a lineup that should be pretty consistent with last season’s group. Washington will hope that the spot vacated by Burleson can be filled by Meaghan Ruttan, who showed a lot of potential on bars in her Canadian elite days. Continue reading 2019 Preview – Pac-12 Roundup

2019 Preview – SEC Roundup

You can find the individual previews for the top-finishing SEC teams from 2018 at the links here.

Florida (coming soon)
LSU
Georgia
Alabama

But for today, let’s play the lineup game with the remaining SEC teams.


ARKANSAS ROSTER 2019
Seniors
Makenzie
Anderson
VT
UB
  • Did not compete in 2018
  • Made final 2017 lineups on UB, FX
Sydney
McGlone
VT
BB
FX
  • Competed 5 VTs in 2018 before injury with 9.820 avg
  • 2017 RQS of 9.840 VT, 9.815 FX
Juniors
Michaela
Burton
UB
BB
FX
  • Weekly BB, FX in 2018
  • RQS of 9.895 BB, 9.855 FX
  • Competed regular UB in 2017
  • Filled in for 2 Ylayout VTs in 2018 to complete lineup
Hailey
Garner
VT
UB

BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on VT, UB, BB
  • #1 returning UB score (9.870)
  • RQS of 9.820 BB, 9.810 FX
  • Helped fill out VT lineup in 2018 for 9.670
Jessica
Yamzon
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA every meet in both ’17 and ’18
  • RQSs range from 9.765 (VT) to 9.865 (BB)
Sophomores
Sophia Carter UB
BB
FX
  • Competed BB, FX every meet in 2018
  • #1 returning BB score (9.900)
  • RQS of 9.875 FX
  • Competed 3 VTs (9.650), 2 UBs (9.750)
Kailey Gillings
  • Did not compete in first season
Sydney Laird
UB
BB
  • Made final 2018 lineups on UB, BB
  • RQS of 9.860 UB, 9.765 BB
Sarah Shaffer
(redshirt)
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 9 meets in 2018
  • Made final lineup on VT, UB, FX
  • #1 returning score on FX (9.905), VT (9.860)
  • RQS of 9.865 UB, 9.790 BB
Freshmen
Katarina Derrick
VT
  • Pearland Elite
  • November knee surgery
  • 6th FX, 2016 Region 3s
Amanda Elswick
VT
BB
FX
  • Capital
  • 3rd VT, 4th BB – 2017 JO Nationals
  • 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
Kennedy Hambrick
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Reflex
  • 4th UB, 9th VT, FX – 2018 JO Nationals
Bailey Lovett
UB
BB
FX
  • KPAC
  • 6th AA, 2017 JO Nationals
Savannah Pennese
VT
FX
  • Rowland-Ballard
  • 3rd VT, 2018 Region 3s
ARKANSAS VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Amanda Elswick, Sarah Shaffer, Sydney McGlone, Kennedy Hambrick, Jessica Yamzon
Lineup options: Savannah Pennese, Hailey Garner, Katarina Derrick

Arkansas still won’t have a surplus of options on vault this year but should be more comfortable than the “wait, do we even have 5?” days of last season. Amanda Elswick will bring a lineup-leading 1.5, McGlone will be back with her full, and Hambrick will bring at least a full, all of which should help bump up the scoring.

ARKANSAS BARS 2019
Lineup locks: Hailey Garner, Sarah Shaffer, Sydney Laird
Lineup options: Jessica Yamzon, Bailey Lovett, Michaela Burton, Sophia Carter, Kennedy Hambrick

Arkansas will have some work to do on bars, the team’s highest-scoring piece last year but an event where the absences of Speed and Wellick will be felt the most acutely. Garner is the best bars worker on the team, I expect to see Laird and Shaffer back, and Yamzon does the AA every week. Burton didn’t do bars last year but was a constant in the lineup in 2017. Of the freshmen, I’m excited to see what Lovett can potentially deliver here. Continue reading 2019 Preview – SEC Roundup

2019 Preview – Alabama Crimson Tide

ALABAMA ROSTER 2019
Seniors
Abby
Armbrecht
VT
BB
FX
  • Competed VT, FX every week in 2018
  • RQS of 9.895 FX, 9.835 VT
  • Competed 12 BBs for 9.830 RQS
Angelina
Giancroce
UB
  • Competed 5 UBs in 2018, hitting 4-for-5
  • Peak UB score of 9.875
Ari Guerra
VT
UB
FX
  • Made final VT, UB, FX lineups in 2018
  • #1 returning RQS on VT (9.860)
  • RQS of 9.860 FX, 9.850 UB
Juniors
Wynter Childers
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on UB, BB
  • Competed at least 3 times on each piece
  • RQS of 9.820 on UB, 9.660 on BB
  • Avg of 9.742 on VT, FX
Maddie Desch
VT
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on VT, FX
  • RQS of 9.805 on VT & FX, 9.765 on BB
  • Has possible 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
Shea Mahoney
VT
UB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on VT, UB
  • #1 returning UB routine (9.885)
  • RQS of 9.835 on VT
  • Competed 5 FXs, hitting 4-for-5
Sophomores
Kylie Dickson
VT
UB
  • Competed weekly UB in 2018 for 9.840
  • Showed 4 VTs, peaking at 9.775
Lexi Graber
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in final 6 meets of 2018
  • #1 returning BB routine (9.895)
  • Has 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
  • RQS of 9.870 on UB, 9.855 on VT
  • Avg of 9.825 on FX
Bailie Key
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed 1 BB routine for 8.475 in 2018
  • We’ll take anything
Tia Kiaku
VT
BB
FX
  • Tranfer from Ball State
  • Competed weekly FX for 9.875 RQS in 2018
  • Possible BB option
Alonza Klopfer
BB
FX
  • Competed 3 BBs and 2 FXs in 2018
  • Peak score of 9.825 BB, 9.800 FX
Freshmen
Asia DeWalt
VT
UB
  • AIM Athletics
  • 5th VT, 2018 JO Nationals
Emily Gaskins
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • CGA
  • US elite, 2013-2017
Jensie Givens
UB
BB
  • South Coast
  • 4th UB, 2018 SoCals
Griffin James
VT
UB
FX
  • Gymstrada
  • 4th VT, 2017 JO Nationals
Shallon Olsen
VT
BB
FX
  • Omega
  • 2nd VT – 2018 World Championships
  • All the 10.0-start VT options

FINAL SEASON RANKING
2018 – 8th
2017
– 6th
2016 – 3rd
2015 – 4th
2014 – 4th
2013 – 3rd
2012 – 1st
2011 – 1st
2010 – 3rd
2009 – 2nd

THE STORY
Alabama isn’t super happy with what’s been happening. The last two seasons have produced Alabama’s weakest finishes in a decade and rank 33rd and 34th on the list of Alabama’s results from 37 seasons of NCAA gymnastics. The dismissal of Bryan Raschilla immediately after nationals sent the message to all of us that the status quo isn’t going to be good enough anymore.

After all, Alabama’s 8th-place performance at nationals last year wasn’t the result of a random miss that can be chalked up as “just one of those things.” It didn’t include a fall, nor did it include a single counting score under 9.800. Alabama hit, still missed Super Six by four tenths, and (potentially more crushing to an Alabama fan) lost to Georgia.

That said, I’m quite comfortable ranking Alabama as at least a top-8 team again this year, and Alabama will enter the season as a favorite to advance to nationals. By the second half of 2018, Alabama was securely packed in that 6-7 ranking area, and while the team has lost two essential contributors in Winston and Guerrero (and all its 9.9 RQSs), it can look to Emily Gaskins and Shallon Olsen to make up a fair chunk of those scores and will present a team deep with 9.850s once again.

Still, top 8 is a pedestrian goal for Alabama. That should be a DUH. It might not be, but it should be. A more Alabama-level goal is making the team final, which now requires being in the top 4. Based on the level of competition this season, that’s a tough ask.

VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Shallon Olsen, Lexi Graber, Ari Guerra
Lineup options: Abby Armbrecht, Shea Mahoney, Emily Gaskins, Maddie Desch, Wynter Childers, Kylie Dickson, Tia Kiaku, Asia DeWalt, Griffin James

Alabama will have three definite 10.0 starts in the vault lineup this year, certainly not the most we’ll see but still enough to stay competitive. It’s what Alabama showed most of last season, and I would expect 2019’s roster to keep pace with that level of vaulting. Continue reading 2019 Preview – Alabama Crimson Tide

2019 Preview – Georgia Bulldogs

GEORGIA ROSTER 2019
Senior
Sydney Snead
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA every week in 2018
  • Top-2 returning RQS on each event
  • RQS of 9.900 FX, 9.880 VT, 9.875 BB, 9.870 UB
  • Has 10.0 start on VT with Y1.5
Juniors
Rachel Dickson
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA every week in 2018
  • #1 returning RQS on BB (9.885)
  • RQS of 9.895 FX, 9.885 UB, 9.860 BB, 9.840 VT
  • Training 10.0 start Omelianchik VT
Sabrina Vega
VT
BB
FX
  • Anchored BB, FX weekly in 2018
  • #1 returning RQS on both (9.910 FX, 9.875 BB)
  • Filled in on VT for 9.775 RQS but shouldn’t have to in 2019
Sophomores
Marissa Oakley
VT
UB
BB
  • Competed weekly VT, UB, BB in 2018
  • RQS of 9.875 UB, 9.845 BB, 9.790 VT
  • Like Vega, should not have to vault in 2019
Emily Schild
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Returned from injury to compete 7 UBs, 4 BBs, and 1 VT in 2018
  • Hit 6-for-7 on UB, avg of 9.781 on BB
Freshmen
Alexa Al-Hameed
UB
BB
  • Triad
  • 5th BB, 2018 JO Nationals
Sterlyn Austin
FX
  • Fractured shin
  • Georgia Elite
  • 12th FX, 2018 JO Nationals
Rachel Baumann
VT
BB
FX
  • WOGA
  • 2nd AA, 2017 JO Nationals
Sami Davis
VT
FX
  • North Stars
  • 4th AA, 2017 JO Nationals
Rachael Lukacs
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • North Stars
  • 1st VT, FX – 2018 JO Nationals
  • 10.0-start DTY on VT
Mikayla Magee
VT
BB
FX
  • Pearland Elite
  • 10th AA, 2017 JO Nationals
Alyssa Perez-Lugones
FX
  • Georgia Gymnastics
  • 4th VT, UB – 2018 Region 8s
Megan Roberts
VT
UB
FX
  • Will miss beginning of season with ankle sprain
  • East York
  • 8th AA, 2018 Gymnix
Abbey Ward
VT
  • Orlando Metro
  • 6th VT, 2018 Region 8s
  • Has 10.0-start Tsuk 1/1 VT

FINAL SEASON RANKINGS
2018 – 7th
2017
– 12th
2016 – 6th
2015 – 9th
2014 – 5th
2013 – 6th
2012 – 11th
2011 – 9th
2010 – 13th
2009 – 1st

THE STORY
Thus far, the story for Georgia has been the hacksaw taken to the roster following the 2018 season, trimming all but five essential gymnasts and bringing in as many new people as humanly possible. Kupets apparently took that assignment a little too seriously because she had the baby yesterday. Add her to the roster.

What’s also true amidst this reinvention, however, is that Georgia’s 2019 lineups will probably end up being more familiar than you’re expecting. The five who do return from last season are all multi-event contributors who will deliver over half the routines in 2019, potentially as many as two-thirds if the freshmen take some time to get going.

With all the most important routines returning along with expected lineup upgrades, hopes for Georgia’s 2019 performance are high. Georgia wildly exceeded expectations to finish 7th last season, and this year’s team is categorically better than that team, so why not improve on 7th?

At the same time, Georgia spent most ranking weeks last season languishing in the bad half of the teens. That, more than the final ranking of 7th, reflects the team’s prevailing 2018 quality, so while everyone expects big improvement in 2019, that improvement could come in the form of maintaining a ranking of 7th-9th all season long and jockeying for a spot at nationals.

And that would be a huge improvement. That would be a massive  sign of progress for a team that’s trying to return to the top echelon, though if you go only by final results, it may not seem like much of a change.

VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Sydney Snead, Rachael Lukacs, Rachel Dickson
Lineup options: Abbey Ward, Megan Roberts, Sabrina Vega, Sami Davis, Marissa Oakley, Mikayla Magee, Rachel Baumann

Vault proved to be Georgia’s weak event in 2018 in both depth and scoring potential, the team ultimately putting up a lineup of two nationally competitive vaults and just hoping to get by with three other scores. Because of those struggles, 2019’s vaulting looks to provide Georgia’s biggest single-event improvement. Rachael DTY Lukacs should become the strongest vaulter in the lineup almost immediately, allowing Sydney Snead and her 1.5 to be among the important vaults, rather than being the entire lineup. Continue reading 2019 Preview – Georgia Bulldogs