Alright, what have you done for me lately, NCAA gym?
With JO Nationals coming up this weekend, focus is already shifting to the future—which gymnasts are leaving and which gymnasts are entering next season to make their teams
inevitable garbage beautiful swans of success that will definitely win all the championships.
So, here’s a quick breakdown of the routines that are going away due to senioring and other reasons, along with the freshmen who will enter in 2018 and be expected to replace them.
I’ve noted which newbies are competing in which divisions of JO Nationals this weekend, so if you team is looking a little “What’s a bars routine?” you know which results to look out for.
Jordan Draper – qualified senior F
Abigail Matthews – qualified senior D
Evy Schoepfer – qualified senior E
Anastasia Webb – qualified senior E
Peng-Peng Lee (?)
Nia Dennis – qualified senior F
Kendal Poston – qualified senior E Continue reading Coming and Going, 2017-2018 Edition
You’re welcome, college gymnastics.
Now that we’re nearly two weeks removed from the college gymnastics season and beginning to remember how to walk on dry land and breathe without an iron lung again, it’s time for my semi-bi-quadri-sorta-annual list of grievances about college gymnastics and what needs to be done to make them…not grievances.
As we know, the coaches are their own worst enemies when it comes to deciding how college gymnastics should be run since they tend to make decisions that are in their own short-term best interests (my team is more likely to make the final if there are six teams) rather than in the long-term best interests of the sport and the fan experience (Super Six is actual trash).
So, I’m taking the decisions out of their hands and just telling them what to do with these few, simple, humble notes on how to stop being the worst and make everything instantly perfect.
Obviously, the postseason format is a total tear-down. No salvaging this fixer-upper. Raze that garbage.
My proposed format adds a third round of postseason elimination meets (because of more exciting), so I would not be averse to shortening the regular season by one week since the gymnasts don’t need to be competing/traveling more than they already do.
1. Playoff Round – (Teams #9-#40, 8 quad-meet sessions at 4 host sites)
The first round of elimination meets would see the teams ranked #1-#8 receive byes (actual byes) straight through to the round of 16. This provides a much more significant and tangible incentive for regular-season success while also focusing our attention on the teams that actually have something riding on these massive early-round meets.
The remaining 32 teams (ranked #9-#40) will be divided into eight groups of four and will compete in winner-take-all quad meets. Each of the four sites will host two of these meets in a two-session day—mimicking the current format of the SEC and Pac-12 Championships—with a quad session in the afternoon and a quad session in the evening. The winner (and only the winner) of each quad session will advance to the round of 16, making up the remaining eight teams.
This round will take place over two weekends, with each of the four host sites having its own day (Saturday of weekend 1, Sunday of weekend 1, Saturday of weekend 2, Sunday of weekend 2). That way, all of the teams receive a week off, but it’s the not the same week off for each team and doesn’t break up the momentum of the entire sport as much as the current postseason format does. We could even allow teams to apply to compete on a specific weekend if the other conflicts with finals or something. (ah ha ha, school.) Continue reading Spencer Fixes College Gymnastics
It’s an emergency Tuesday edition of Things Are Happening because Things. Are. Happening. Well, one thing in particular.
A. (But also B…and C through S.) GEORGIA
So, the Georgia died.
In case you were laboring under the misapprehension that the NCAA season ended after Super Six, let me get you up to speed on all upsets that have been recorded since then.
Georgia qualified to nationals this season, but from the moment the team boarded the Hindenburg for their trip to St. Louis, it was all a little…
The meet ended with a 195.800 and a last-place finish after everyone scored a 2 on everything.
And I know exactly what you’re thinking: this sounds like it was Jasmine Arnold’s fault!
Once Georgia returned from nationals, the Gymdogs became the first-ever team to count a fall on beam after the season ended with the bizarre announcement that Danna Durante had called Natalie Vaculik, Jasmine Arnold, and Caroline Bradford into her office and said,
At first, Danna said, “I feel like there should be as much confusion and as many random rumors as possible about this, so I’m not going to say anything and just let this weirdness sit there. That works always.”
Shockingly, that ended up being a poor choice, so she called up Emily Giambalvo and was like, “Instead, I’ve decided to make everything worse,” adding an official comment on the situation:
“Dismissal makes them sound like a problem, which they weren’t.”