Tag Archives: Arkansas

Arkansas Regional Preview

April 1, 5:00 ET/2:00 PT

Teams (starting event)
[4] Utah (bars)
[9] Denver (vault)
[16] Cal (bye before floor)
[21] Auburn (bye before bars)
[27] Arkansas (beam)
[28] Central Michigan (floor)

Individuals
Mikailla Northern, Illinois-Chicago (AA)
Alexis Brawner, SEMO (AA)
Ashley Potts, Northern Illinois (AA)
Katherine Prentice, Northern Illinois (AA)
Kierstin Sokolowski, Lindenwood (VT, BB)
Schyler Jones, Texas Woman’s (VT)
Courtney Dowdell, Northern Illinois (UB, FX)
Jamyra Carter, Northern Illinois (UB)
Nichelle Christopherson, Arizona State (BB)
Gabrielle Cooke, Illinois State (FX)

The favorite – Utah
Utah should feel pretty comfortable heading into this regional. Reproducing the routines from Pac-12s would allow plenty of wiggle room for mistakes to crop up here and there and still not compromise qualification.

It is, nonetheless, a challenging group of teams. Denver had a streak of six-straight scores of 196.9+ snapped at Big 12s, and Cal was on track for a 196.8 at Pac-12s before counting a beam fall. It’s typically difficult to keep up those scores at regionals, but Utah should nonetheless anticipate seeing two challengers score toward the high 196s and would therefore need a 197 to feel truly safe. A 197 is not a difficult ask for Utah, but we have seen Utah fall to the mid-196s away against Georgia and Oregon State in the last couple months, meets that did not include counting falls. That’s the kind of performance that must be avoided because a mid-196 would make Utah vulnerable.

In terms of using regionals to judge national competitiveness, Utah is working from a start-value disadvantage on vault, one that was compounded by McNatt’s injury at Pac-12s (Merrell’s 1.5 wasn’t in the lineup, though I expect she’d come back in now). The likes of Lewis and Rowe must continue landing as well as they did at Pac-12s to try to mitigate that SV disadvantage. If they start hopping, those vaults get into the 9.825 zone very quickly and would give up multiple tenths to the teams with three, four, and five 10.0 starts. A best-level Utah would also reduce a tendency toward leg separations on bars, which is a major difference-maker between bars rotations among the strongest teams. Continue reading Arkansas Regional Preview

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SEC Championship Preview

The arrival of the conference championships marks the beginning of the onset of the opening of the first stage of an NCAA gymnastics season’s march toward maturity, like a disgusting larva transforming into a slightly less disgusting larva.

Results still don’t really matter, but this is the last time results won’t matter. And that’s something. Also blah blah blah, bragging rights. The SEC coaches are always eager to tell us that winning the SEC Championship is harder than winning the national championship, which is just blatantly false and dumb to say, but also…a trophy? Hooray! Winner and losers! Life is happening!

Here, I break down prospects for victory and what I’ll be watching at the SEC Championship for each of the teams.

The championship will be conducted in two sessions, the first at 2:00 ET and featuring Kentucky, Missouri, Auburn, and Arkansas, and the second at 6:00 ET and featuring LSU, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Teams will compete in seeded order in each session, so LSU and Kentucky begin on vault, Florida and Missouri on bars, Alabama and Auburn on beam, and Georgia and Arkansas on floor.

Session I – Kentucky, Missouri, Auburn, Arkansas
It’s not impossible to get a high score out of the first session. Last season, Georgia totaled 196.850 even with a mild beamtastrophe. Jay, Rogers, Box, and Schick all hit the 9.9 zone on at least one piece, and Jay scored high enough to finish third overall in the AA. So, there is precedent for a useful total.

At the same time, since the SEC went to a two-session format, no team has hit the 197 mark in the first group. With regional seeding and placements riding on how Kentucky and Missouri score in this meet, attempts to hold down the scores in the first session to leave room for the better teams in the second session (reasonable) will have implications for all the teams in the final season standings, not just the teams in this meet. Continue reading SEC Championship Preview

Friday Live Blog – March 3, 2017

Friday, March 3
Scores Watch
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Kent State @ Bowling Green LINK FB
6:30 ET/3:30 PT – West Virginia, Michigan State, Towson @ Pitt LINK ACC
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Arkansas @ [11] Kentucky LINK SEC+
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Beatification of St. Nastia LINK NBC
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Rutgers, TWU @ SEMO LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – UW-Stout, Gustavus Adolphus @ UW-Eau Claire
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [18] Auburn @ [15] Missouri LINK SEC+
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Stanford @ [5] Utah LINK P12
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – NC State @ [21] Southern Utah LINK FREE
11:00 ET/8:00 PT – Centenary @ Alaska LINK FREE

Opening the SEC slate today is Arkansas’s visit to Kentucky, where Mark Cook has stated that the goal for Arkansas is to get five people up on each event, which is also the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard.

Something I hadn’t realized until now, because wins and losses don’t matter in the slightest, is that Auburn remains winless this season. Still might be nice to get one of those win thingies? It’s doable against Missouri, even on the road. Scores also remains a concern for Auburn. Theoretically, Auburn could move as high as #14 this week, but Auburn also has the lowest max RQS of any team in the top 20, meaning their ranking is at the mercy of the other teams. Continue reading Friday Live Blog – March 3, 2017

Friday Live Blog – February 17, 2017

Friday, February 17
Scores Watch
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – [16] Nebraska, Brown, Seattle Pacific, Lindenwood (@ St. Charles, MO) LINK FLOG
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Yale, Springfield, Rhode Island @ Southern Connecticut SC $
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [3] Florida @ [23] Arkansas LINK SEC
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – NC State @ [8] Michigan LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [22] Iowa, Maryland, William & Mary, Pitt @ [20] George Washington LINK A10 $
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – New Hampshire @ North Carolina LINK ACC
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Eastern Michigan @ Northern Illinois LINK NIU $
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Hamline @ UW-Stout LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [1] Oklahoma, [2] LSU, [10] Georgia, [15] Missouri (@ St. Charles, MO) LINK FLOG
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Centenary @ SEMO LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Illinois State, Gustavus Adolphus @ Iowa State LINK ISU $
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – UW-Eau Claire @ Winona State FREE
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Michigan State @ [21] Illinois LINK FREE
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [17] Auburn @ [6] Alabama LINK SEC
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [7] Boise State @ Utah State LINK FLOG
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – BYU @ [13] Southern Utah LINK FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Alaska @ UC Davis LINK FREE

Opening proceedings today was the first session of the annual GymQuarters Yellow Font Mardi Gras Something Or Other. It’s obviously not a spelling test because I found this little winner on the event site.

da-fuq

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Nebraska managed a season-high out of this one with 197.125, which drops a 194.475 and makes the RQS picture look much more presentable. They still have a 194.800 hanging around (and a 195.700) but three meets left to get rid of them. Continue reading Friday Live Blog – February 17, 2017

Friday Live Blog – February 10, 2017

Friday, February 10
Scores Watch
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [9] Georgia @ [3] Florida LINK SEC
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [6] Alabama @ [10] Kentucky LINK SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Kent State @ Eastern Michigan LINK
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – North Carolina, Pitt, William & Mary @ NC State LINK ACC+
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – UW-Stout @ UW-La Crosse FREE
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [14] George Washington, [25] Iowa State, Lindenwood @ [13] Missouri LINK SEC+
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – SEMO, UW-Whitewater, UW-Eau Claire, Winona State (@ Milwaukee) LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Hamline @ Gustavus Adolphus LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma v. [16] Auburn (@ Oklahoma City) LINK FSN
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [2] LSU @ [23] Arkansas LINK SEC
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [15] Cal @ Arizona P12
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Utah State @ [20] Southern Utah FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Sacramento State @ San Jose State LINK FREE

Lots to do, lots to do, so little time. Actually, 13 of the top 25 teams competing on Friday is par for the course, but the rises of Kentucky and Missouri this season mean that there isn’t an easy “pay less attention to that one” choice when the SEC teams all clump together in the corner for warmth. Continue reading Friday Live Blog – February 10, 2017

Friday Live Blog – January 27, 2017

Friday, January 27
Scores Watch
6:30 ET/3:30 PT – North Carolina @ Pitt LINK ACCN
6:30 ET/3:30 PT – Bridgeport @ Brown
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [16] Auburn @ [3] Florida LINK SEC
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [2] LSU @ [6] Kentucky LINK SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [11] Missouri @ [12] Georgia LINK SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [9] Southern Utah @ [24] NC State LINK ACCN
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – UW-Oshkosh @ Centenary LINK CTVT
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ Iowa State LINK ISU
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [5] Alabama @ [23] Arkansas LINK SEC
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [14] Boise State v. BYU
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Hamline @ Seattle Pacific FREE

Ah, sweet nectar of live blogging returneth. Be ready for a triple-screen day. Quadruple? You wild things.

Since we’re still in January, the rankings are quite mercurial and largely irrelevant, but I’m starting to keep an eye on RQS-usable totals. (See: RQS Explained if……you want RQS explained.) If teams leave this weekend still without any strong scores to use for their RQS six, that puts pressure on nearly all of the remaining meets not just to be hits but good hits. A number of teams will have seven meets left after this weekend, and getting six high scores in seven meets is a lot to ask. Continue reading Friday Live Blog – January 27, 2017

Saturday Live Blog – January 7, 2017

Saturday, January 7
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – New Hampshire, Bridgeport, William & Mary @ Rutgers LINK
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Southern Connecticut @ Towson LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Gustavus Adolphus @ UW-Oshkosh
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Bowling Green, BYU, Temple @ [23] Penn State LINK FREE
6:30 ET/3:30 PT – Ohio State @ Pitt LINK ACCN
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [7] Michigan @ [6] Utah LINK P12
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [17] Arkansas @ [4] UCLA LINK P12
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [25] George Washington v. Yale (@ Boston, MA)
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [14] Denver @ [16] Minnesota LINK BTN+
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Winona State @ Air Force FREE

Today’s live blogging will be focused on the simultaneous Pac-12 meets hosted by Utah and UCLA (thanks, Pac-12 Network), but I’ll include some notes on action I’m seeing earlier in the day.

-Brianna Comport of Bridgeport started with a 9.850 on beam and a 9.825 on floor.

-Tyra McKellar of Towson has the biggest piked Jaeger you’ll see. Tons of other breaks in the routine, still somehow got 9.750 I think due to Jaeger respect because…that Jaeger. Continue reading Saturday Live Blog – January 7, 2017

Arkansas 2017

Let the preseason dossiers begin! Here, I’ll be providing a rundown of the major teams and their 2017 rosters, key gymnasts, event-by-event scoring prospects, lineup conundrums, and overall season outlook. It’ll be fun. If that’s the kind of thing you find fun. It probably shouldn’t be.

ARKANSAS ROSTER 2017
Seniors
Heather
Elswick
(redshirt)
  • Missed 2016 with injury; summer wrist surgery.
  • Staple of VT and FX lineups through her first three years.
  • Can fill in on UB when necessary. (It may be necessary.)
  • 2015 RQS – FX: 9.885, VT: 9.875, UB: 9.685.
Samantha
Nelson
  • Provides critical late-lineup routines on BB and FX.
  • Frequently called upon to VT for a 9.7.
  • 2016 RQS – FX: 9.890, BB: 9.855, VT: 9.775.
Amanda Wellick
  • Literally everything.
  • Essential, team-best routines on all four pieces.
  • 2016 RQS – VT: 9.900, FX: 9.880, BB: 9.875, UB: 9.840.
Juniors
Mia
Bargiacchi
  • Competed BB once in 2016 for 9.800.
Leah
MacMoyle
  • Weekly VT and frequent FX contributor in 2016 until mid-season injury.
  • 2016 RQS – VT: 9.785.
  • 2016 AVG hit – FX: 9.781.
Braie Speed
  • Top returning UB routine and weekly VTer in 2016.
  • Missed 2015 with torn ACL.
  • 2016 RQS – UB: 9.845, VT: 9.805.
Sophomores
Makenzie
Anderson
  • Originally VT and FX backup in 2016, replaced MacMoyle in lineups post-injury.
  • 2016 RQS – FX: 9.770
Sydney
McGlone
  • Weekly top-3 team score on VT and FX as freshman in 2016.
  • Often survived BB.
  • 2016 RQS – VT: 9.850, FX: 9.830, BB: 9.775
Freshmen
Michaela
Burton
  • Legacy Elite
  • 4th place on BB at 2016 JO Nationals
Hailey
Garner
  • Gymstars TN
  • 2015 JO National Champion on UB and BB
Kirby
Rathjen
  • Stars Houston
  • 8th place on BB, 12th AA at 2015 JO Nationals
Sarah Shaffer
  • Texas East
  • 2016 Region 3 AA, FX champion.
Jessica
Yamzon
  • Gymcats
  • 7th AA, UB at 2016 JO Nationals, 2nd UB in 2015.

Recent History
2016 – 20th
2015 – 14th
2014 – 15th
2013 – 10th
2012 – 6th
2011 – 10th
2010 – 11th

The last few years have not been kind to Arkansas, as major stars have up and graduated without being replaced by equivalent stars. Last year’s disappointing 20th-place—the Razorbacks’ worst finish since 2005, their third season in existence—undersells the quality of a team that entered regionals a more respectable 13th but suffered the Epic Vault Catastrophe of ’16 and came nowhere close to advancing. Continue reading Arkansas 2017

2017 Freshman Preview: Minnesota & Arkansas

Returning Routines – Minnesota
VAULT
Abernathy – 9.840
DeMuse – 9.815
Holst – 9.770
Gardner – 9.770
Hitchcock – 9.500
BARS
Holst – 9.885
DeMuse – 9.840
Gardner – 9.805
Hitchcock – 9.690
Cutler – 9.646
BEAM
Gardner – 9.820
Rahon – 9.730
Ung – 9.658
Holst – 9.525
DeMuse – 9.370
FLOOR
Gardner – 9.875
DeMuse – 9.850
Abernathy – 9.835
Rahon – 9.810
Holst – 9.765
Cutler – 9.650

Obviously, the worst part for Minnesota is the no-Mable part. But losing Nordquist, Haines, and Hanley doesn’t help the situation much either. Just…be generally concerned about everything you see there.

But for now, let’s focus on Paige Williams. Jenny Hansen casually added Williams to the class just this April in a very “Oh, didn’t I mention…?” kind of way.  Williams is the strongest gymnast in Minnesota’s hefty incoming septet and will need to compete the all-around. Also maybe more than that, if possible.

Here’s her double front on floor and even more impressive 90-foot straddle jump amplitude. I’m excited for Minnesota to have a big floor routine this year.

The ease of completion on that Yfull will also be a mighty fine addition. Just, you know, cross fewer state lines on landing. Continue reading 2017 Freshman Preview: Minnesota & Arkansas

Iowa Regional Preview

Thus, the insanity begins. Last year, we were subjected to the relative letdown of all twelve #1 and #2 seeds advancing to nationals, but this season has been marked by uprooting of the traditional order of things, with teams like Cal and Denver breaking into the top 12 and shoving out some more established powers. The heavy parity among most of the teams ranked 10-18 should be cause for hope that we’ll see some real upsets this year, but even if we don’t and all the #1 and #2 seeds go through, that would still mean that less-traditional qualifiers like Cal and Denver are heading to nationals. 

Before we go to therapy for our anticipation problems by dissecting the regional championships one by one, the news of the day is the announcement of the six finalists for the AAI Award, a.k.a. the Best Senior Award: Caitlin Atkinson, Ivana Hong, Lindsay Mable, Nina McGee, Haley Scaman, and Bridget Sloan. Snubs include Brandie Jay, Brittany Rogers, Danusia Francis, Lauren Beers, among others. I wonder who’s going to win…

Anyway, to the regionals! Let’s begin with the top-seeded Oklahoma Sooners and their visit to the land of that butter statue of Shawn Johnson, the great state of Iowa.
  
Competing teams (starting event)
[1] Oklahoma (bye before bars)
[12] Nebraska (beam)
[13] Arkansas (floor)
[19] Iowa (bye before floor)
[30] Kent State (bars)
[35] Central Michigan (vault)

Competing individuals
Western Michigan (Anna Corbett – AA; Kelsey Hood – AA; Jessie Peszek – UB, BB; Rachel Underwood – BB, FX; Jessi Buis – VT; Jessica Juncaj – UB) 
Ball State (Denaisha Christian – VT, FX; Sarah Ebeyer – VT, FX; Jordyn Penny – UB; Baylee Bell – BB)
Centenary (Ashley White – AA)

The favorite — Oklahoma

The Sooners should sail through this competition for all of the reasons, of particular note being that their season average is greater than the season high of any other team in the meet and that they’ve spent the month of March looking even more postseasony than usual. It would be a massive disaster if Oklahoma were not to qualify out of this session, so I’ll spend more time addressing the Sooners later once we head toward nationals and start evaluating the title chances of the various top contenders.

If things go to plan and Oklahoma is up by, you know, seven tenths halfway through the meet, everyone’s attention will probably be directed at the exciting qualification fight for the second spot in this session, but there are still a few areas to look out for in Oklahoma’s performance with eyes toward nationals. As with pretty much all the teams, refining landings will be a major focus of the next month. Vault is the only event on which Oklahoma doesn’t own the world, currently sitting in 3rd place behind LSU and Florida, often a result of the lineup peaking around 9.875 when Scaman and Jackson have larger steps on their 1.5s at the end. They need some more consistently controlled landings on those 1.5s to keep pace with the Gnats and the Bakers. (Should Oklahoma mimic what Florida does with McMurtry and throw a sticker like Kmieciak or Capps in the anchor spot after the 1.5s to ensure they get 9.9s instead of potentially being kept down earlier in the lineup?) I’m also interested to see how the routines are being evaluated as a whole since we’ll get both Oklahoma and Florida as away teams at (hopefully) non-cuckoo-scoring venues at the same time for comparison. 

The fight — Nebraska v. Arkansas

This year, the #3 seeds are ending on a bye, which isn’t great for the excitement of the competition but does mean that we should know exactly what Nebraska needs to do on bars heading into the final rotation since Arkansas will already be done. We have reason to hope it’ll be close because there’s very little to separate these teams right now, as it should be when the #12 and #13 face off. It would be hard to consider either team advancing much of an upset. In fact, while Nebraska’s overall RQS is a touch higher than Arkansas’s, their four event RQSs total exactly identically.

The performances at conference championships pretty clearly illustrate the identities of each of these rosters at this point in the season (now that Nebraska has enough people to compete): Nebraska scored eight 9.9s to Arkansas’s one, while Nebraska also had three scores under 9.7 to Arkansas’s none, with the caveat that Nebraska’s conference championship also took place at home. Nebraska has more big-score potential from Blanske, Laeng, Breen now, and Williams sometimes but also still has to throw in the occasional backup auto-drop, while Arkansas has been 9.850ing along in pretty much every meet. After enduring a disaster in Cancun (“we’ve all been there, amiright?” said the worst person in the world), Arkansas has become one of NCAA’s most reliable teams.

This would seem to indicate that the meet is in Nebraska’s hands. If the Huskers hit to a relatively postseasonish level, they can take a couple tenths and run away and hide with them (recent form backs this up, with Nebraska’s lowest score in the last three being 196.900—a meet that included counting an OOB on floor—and Arkansas’s highest being 196.775). That’s why it’s imperative for Arkansas to nail its “big” routine on each event. Arkansas doesn’t have a lot of huge gymnastics, going the yfull-double pike route this season, so the showcase routine—be it Wellick on vault and floor, Zaziski on bars, or Nelson on beam—must be a big number to take away Nebraska’s chance of using more 9.9s to rack up a multi-tenth edge.

If we employ RQS as our constant and reliable guide—because without numbers we’re no better than the animals—Arkansas theoretically has the edge on vault and floor.

That’s mostly a reflection of consistency. Arkansas has shown better landing control on vault and has suffered fewer instances of having to put up only five on vault and floor. Or as the kids call it, Nebraskaing. They’ve both had some, Nebraska during Laeng’s absence and the Ashley Lambert injury saga and Arkansas after the injury to MacMoyle, but no one can out-“putting up five on vault and floor” Nebraska. The bigger routines from Blanske at the end of those Nebraska lineups, however, may negate any Arkansas consistency advantage, especially if she sticks that 1.5 the way she did at Big Tens.

Bars and beam, on the other hand, are supposed to go Nebraska’s way. Nebraska’s beam RQS is higher than its vault RQS, you guys. WHAT IS THIS WORLD? I don’t even know what to think. So I won’t. Bars has seen some lineup upheaval for the Huskers this year, but it was the event that nearly single-handedly saved their score at Big Tens as they Oklahomaed all over that score sheet.

Nebraska’s final event is bars, while Arkansas finishes on beam, which should be advantage Nebraska. Arkansas has been solid on beam this year and has found a lineup that works, but it’s not going to be a hugely huge score, especially if Sydnie Dillard keeps getting Aisha Gerber-level inexplicably low 9.7s in the first spot. That means the closer Nebraska keeps it early, the more the advantage shifts to the Huskers. All of these #2 seeds like Nebraska are starting on beam, so we’re going to have a pretty good sense of where the Upset Meter stands after the first rotation of each regional.

The spoiler — Iowa

“There’s nothing more dangerous than an unseeded host team capable of scoring 196.500” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

We can’t count out Iowa here. Quietly, this has been a pretty monumental season for the Hawkeyes. Escaping from the usual purgatory of the lower end of the top 30, Iowa used some mid-season 196s to jump squarely into the teens and enter regionals as the strongest of the unseeded schools. Competing at home, and with a competitive scoring precedent already set this season, Iowa could do some damage as long as Nebraska and Arkansas have a case of the 9.825s and stay in the 196s. On vault and floor early in the meet, watch the scores for Drenth and Glover. If Glover is hitting 9.900 on floor and Drenth is hitting 9.9 for her “arabian,” as she did at Big Tens, that’s your sign that this might be an out-of-the-ordinary scoring day and that Iowa needs to be watched. Still, unless it’s a day of true crazy home craziness, it’s hard to imagine Iowa beating hit meets from both Nebraska and Arkansas, who are much more likely to go into the higher end of the 196s. Iowa needs a couple meltdowns. But, they can be minor meltdowns as long as Iowa stays on 49 pace. If the first two events are sub-49, it will take more than a minor mistake from the others for Iowa to get into this meet.

And the rest
Kent State and Central Michigan round out the regional, and for them it’s more a fight with each other than a fight to make it to nationals. Central Michigan impressed last year, but after graduating basically the entire roster + seven people, CMU did well just to hang on for a spot at regionals this season. Kent State recovered from missing out in 2015 with some crucial late 195s to hop into the top 36. It will be a battle of Kent State’s floor versus CMU’s bars and beam. Kent State ranks very competitively on floor but relies heavily on that being a 49+ score because the other events are weaker, which may be Central Michigan’s opening.

Individuals
The top two AAers not on a qualifying team will advance to nationals from each regional competition, along with any event champions who are not on a qualifying team. Every year, a couple individual event gymnasts do advance to nationals, but it’s very difficult, especially in a regional like this when making nationals for a single event requires beating Oklahoma’s entire lineup. No easy task. Sorry, bars specialists. Wofford’s in the house.

In the all-around, Nebraska has several competitive AAers because, as usual, there are only about three and a quarter healthy gymnasts on this team. Blanske, Williams, Laeng and Breen are all back in the AA with 39.400 potential, and any two of them could advance to nationals if Nebraska doesn’t make it. Of course, if Nebraska doesn’t make it, that probably means at least a couple of them didn’t do so much with the great in this meet, but that’s why there are four. Two probably still will.

If Nebraska does qualify and Arkansas does not, then Wellick becomes the clear pick to advance as an individual. She’s the only AAer for Arkansas, so for the other spot, money probably goes on Mollie Drenth, who is capable of 39.3s/39.4s and could also quite realistically knock out some of the Nebraska gymnasts if that’s the scenario. Angel Metcalf of Iowa is also in the hunt, though Drenth probably has higher scoring potential. CMU will put up Bolender, Teet, and Janowicz in the all-around, but they’re lower down the scoring chart and would need mistakes from Nebraskans/Iowans to get in.