April 7, 4:00 ET, Penn State University
Qualifying to nationals: Top 2 teams, top 2 all-arounders not on advancing teams, any event winners not on advancing teams
Teams (starting event)
 Florida (floor)
 Washington (beam)
 Arizona State (bye before floor)
 West Virginia (bye before bars)
 Penn State (bars)
 New Hampshire (vault)
Jacey Baldovino, Yale (AA)
Jade Buford, Yale (AA)
Kelsey Campbell, Bridgeport (AA)
Libby Groden, Rutgers (AA)
Sahara Gipson, Temple (VT)
Jaylene Everett, Temple (VT)
Jessica Wang, Yale (UB)
Kelli Tereshko, Bridgeport (UB)
Makenzey Shank, Rutgers (BB)
Kathryn Doran, Bridgeport (BB)
Maya Reimers, Bridgeport (FX)
Alex Hartke, Penn (FX)
It hasn’t been quite the season expected of Florida so far, but Florida should nonetheless have this regional locked down. At SECs, we saw the Gators go 196.825 in a meet that included a counting fall, a score that would also be high enough to advance out of this regional. That means Florida doesn’t need to have figured out floor yet to get to nationals, but also yeah you do because it’s floor and come on.
Lost in Florida’s counting a fall on floor at SECs were the other three rotations, events where Florida performed at an excellent level that would have won the conference title and would have been a “Florida’s a thing again!” moment if maintained for all four pieces. That level reflected a definite step up from what we saw most of the regular season—particularly on beam. Of course, none of that mattered because of the weak floor rotation, something that cannot be dismissed just as “one of those things” because it’s not the first time that has happened in recent weeks. It’s two of the last three meets now, and it’s not even beam. Florida is having much more trouble filling out a competitive floor lineup in the post-Baker era than expected.
This is not for lack of options. Boren, Baumann, McMurtry, Slocum, Foberg, Gowey, Skaggs, Hundley, McLaughlin. More than enough strong gymnasts to be competitive. But which ones? Florida still has to figure out its best six and ensure that it’s not simply a lineup that can hit, but a lineup that starts at 9.850 (at least) and goes up from there because that’s what it will take to contend. “Hitting floor” is not the goal here. Winning nationals is the goal here. When those are your expectations, a hit for 9.775 is basically a fall—because neither is going to get it done. Lately, Florida has really had only the one definite 9.9 in the lineup, Boren. And that’s a problem.
This dynamic adds a little extra intrigue to Florida’s floor performance in the first rotation of this regional, but it’s weird intrigue because…it’s floor. Why are we even talking about whether Florida is going to hit floor? There’s no reason that rotation should be even in the vicinity of worrisome. It’s going to be fine. But will it though?
The second spot is Washington’s to lose. Washington outscores Arizona State most weeks, has gone into the 197s four times, and has five meet scores this season higher than ASU’s best. At the same time, this thing is close enough to be alive, and Washington will not feel completely comfortable heading in, especially after Pac-12s. Arizona State finished just three tenths behind Washington at Pac-12s, and that was with Washington performing in the evening session and Arizona State in the afternoon. The margin was just a half-tenth or so on most events, which is far too slim to be ignored. Continue reading University Park Regional Preview