2017-2018 NCAA Freshman Playlist

I’ve added a new feature to the site, a compilation of links to the latest routine videos of next year’s NCAA freshmen so that they’re all in one place for when you inevitably need to evaluate what next season’s classes will look like and how tragic they’re going to be. This way, you don’t have to go painstakingly scouring YouTube for them and end up running into this old problem.

No. I certainly did not.


These are the latest extant videos, so for some they’re from a couple of weeks ago, and for some they’re from 2014 because no one has seen you do a beam routine since then. Wherever possible, I tried to use YT videos from USAG, R5 Insider, or the gymnast’s parents so that everyone can watch, but when necessary I went to Flo Pro because…that’s where the videos are.

Once we get rosters for the 2018 season, we’ll know more about the other walk-ons to be added (i.e., who they are, if they actually showed up, and what their names happen to be).

Things Are Happening – May 19, 2017

A. NCAA roster moves
Weirdly, all was quiet on the NCAA coaching front this week. As in, not a single person even got fired. Where am I? Is this space?

We did have some news on rosters for next season, the biggest development being that Peng Peng Lee has officially been granted her sixth year. Typically, gymnasts get five years in which to complete their four years of eligibility, but a rare sixth year can be granted in extraordinary circumstances. Peng gets what Peng wants, and Miss Val gets what Miss Val wants.

To receive a sixth year as a result of injury, an athlete must show that she was sidelined for two whole years of her eligibility because of the injury and prove that she was not physically capable of competing gymnastics for the entirety of those two seasons. Peng’s ACL travails took her out for all of her first and second years at UCLA, which is why she was granted the sixth year.

Now, UCLA’s returning lineups for next season look like this, losing two beams, two floors, and a vault while keeping the big three on bars and the big four on beam intact.

Vault Bars Beam Floor
Cipra Meraz Gerber Ohashi
Kocian Honest Mossett Toronjo
Hall Savvidou Kocian Ross
Hano Kocian Ross Cipra
Ross Ross Lee Kocian
Preston Lee Ohashi Mossett

Your current mission, should you choose to accept it, is once again trying to figure out which 12 gymnasts UCLA has on scholarship for next year now that Peng is back. The age-old mystery. Nancy Drew and the Case of the 12 UCLA Scholarship Spots was my favorite book growing up. Theoretically, it’s Dennis, Glenn, Glenn, Hall, Hano, Kocian, Lee, Ohashi, Preston, Ross, Toronjo, Tratz?

The other no-one-saw-it-coming development is Lacy Dagen’s announcement that she’ll be joining Oregon State starting next season, following her release from Florida. This is Oregon State’s second “older sister transfers from Florida the year before the younger sister starts at Oregon State”—one of the most creative recruiting strategies of the last several decades. Because of injury, we didn’t see enough of Dagen at Florida to know how she’ll be able to contribute to Oregon State, but presumably her full on vault and DLO on floor—early-lineup/backup options on Florida’s roster if she had been healthy—will be weekly assets for OSU.

B. Osijek
Following last week’s Koper-xtravaganza, the challenge cup circuit moves to its second and final destination for this portion of the year (what a circuit!), that famous mid-tier European manufacturing center you totally and definitely would have heard of if not for gymnastics, Osijek.

First of all, they’re doing this weird thing where the men’s events aren’t going in order, so the first day of qualification featured men’s floor, horse, and pbars.

Just…immediately disqualified. Unacceptable.

Anyway, qualification is already complete, so here’s the basic rundown. Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 19, 2017

Who’s Winning the Beam Code?

Last year, I did a couple comparisons (1, 2) to see what the major 2016 beam routines would score under the 2017 code, a way of examining who needed to make the most changes to their routines (and what kinds of changes needed to be made) to remain competitive in 2017.

Now that we’ve actually seen a hefty crop of reorganized 2017 beam routines, it’s time to revisit those same beam routines to find out who has been most successful in minimizing the loss of D—and how they’ve done it.

In the first column, you’ll see the gymnast’s 2016 beam routine evaluated with the 2016 code, and in the second column, you’ll see the current 2017 routines evaluated with the 2017-2020 code.

Let’s begin, as last time, with the composition queen, Sanne Wevers. Because her composition varies wildly basically every time she does a beam routine, I’ve combined her two routines from Euros to try to see the full breadth of what she may be intending to go for.

Sanne Wevers
2016 2017
Bhs 1/1 mount – E Bhs mount + Wolf jump 1/1 + Bhs 1/1 – D+D+D = 0.4 CV, 0.1 SB
Double L spin – E Double L spin – E
Side aerial + side aerial + aerial + wolf – D+D+D+A = 0.4 CV Side aerial + side aerial – D+D
Front aerial + split jump – D+B = 0.1 CV
Triple spin – E Triple spin – E
L spin + single spin + double spin – C+A+D = 0.2 CV L spin + single spin + double spin – C+A+D = 0.2 CV
Switch split + bhs 1/1 – C+D = 0.1 CV Split leap + straight 1/1 + bhs – B+C+B = 0.1 SB
Gainer layout 1/1 – E Gainer layout 1/1 – D
CR – 2.5 CR – 2.0
Acro – EEDDD – 2.2 Acro – DDDDD – 2.0
Dance – EED – 1.4 Dance – EED – 1.4
CV – 0.7 CV – 0.9
Total D – 6.8 Total D – 6.3

Sanne’s current combined kitchen-sink routine holds up OK, though she is still losing the full five tenths compared to last year’s late-season routines and hasn’t actually attempted this new 6.3 all together in one routine yet in 2017. Right now, that final split leap combo appears to be just a backup plan in case she doesn’t get her preceding spin combo, which makes sense since that final combo is a lot of deduction risk just for one tenth in series bonus. So, she may actually be intending a 6.2 right now, not 6.3.

The removal of non-rebounding acro CV was always going to be difficult for Sanne to adapt to, but she’s currently attempting to replace it with the opening mount combination. It’s a tough combo to get every time, but I do like the wolf jump 1/1 + bhs 1/1 choice. That’s a really valuable combination now that the wolf jump has been upgraded, and it’s pretty doable for her.

I also expect that what we’re seeing right now is work-in-progress stuff with 28 other CV backup plans ready for later in the year. Because Sanne.

For instance, she has broken up the side aerials from the front aerial for now, but those side aerials should still be used for series bonus. They’re screaming for some random B to be connected afterward for another tenth. (Or to combine two lines in her routine and do side aerial + Side aerial + split jump + front aerial. Very Sanne.)

Eythora Thorsdottir
Sissone + side aerial + Korbut – A+D+B = 0.1 CV Split + side aerial + Korbut – B+D+B = 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
Split ring + sheep – D+D = 0.2 CV Split ring – D
Illusion – D Illusion – D
Split leap + aerial – A+D = 0.1 CV Aerial + Split + Stag ring = D+B+B = 0.1 CV, 0.1 SB
L spin + switch split + Y spin + single spin – C+C+C+A = 0.3 CV L spin + switch split + Y spin – C+C+C = 0.2 CV, 0.1 SB
Round-off + triple full – B+F Round-off + triple full – B+F = 0.2 CV
CR – 2.5 CR – 2.0
Acro – FDD – 1.4 Acro – FDD – 1.4
Dance – DDDCC – 1.8 Dance – DDCCC – 1.7
CV – 0.7 CV – 0.9
Total D – 6.4 Total D – 6.0

Eythora has been able to cut her losses to just four tenths fairly comfortably, predominately because she can take advantage of the new dismount CV, which mitigates her only major loss from the 2016 routine, the downgrade of the sheep jump. Continue reading Who’s Winning the Beam Code?

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama