Tag Archives: Ashleigh Gnat

Best Routine of Conference Championships Poll

Congratulations to the week 10 champion, Stacie Webb’s beam, the first 10 in Southern Utah history, which beat out Katelyn Ohashi’s beam in second place and Kiana Winston’s beam in third. It was the week of beam.

ROUTINE of the WEEK 1st 2nd 3rd
Week 1 Skinner, FX Edney, VT Nichols, UB
Week 2 Ward, VT PP Lee, BB Hambrick, FX
Week 3 Artz, FX Childers, BB Skinner, VT
Week 4 Ross, UB McMurtry, VT PP Lee, UB
Week 5 Gardiner, BB Ward, VT Winston, FX
Week 6 PP Lee, UB Slocum, VT Jackson, FX
Week 7 Ross, BB Price, UB Guerrero, BB
Week 8 McMurtry, FX Mossett, FX Lehrmann, UB
Week 9 McMurtry, VT Aufiero, UB Deans, FX
Week 10 Webb, BB Ohashi, BB Winston, BB
Conference Champs

To the vote for the conference championships, meets that brought us four more 10.000s, all from gymnasts who have already received 10s on those events this season. Be more interesting, humanity. Continue reading Best Routine of Conference Championships Poll


Best Routine of Week 9 Poll

Congratulations to our week 8 champion, Alex McMurtry’s floor, which used a boost from Team Florida to run away with the title ahead of Hallie Mossett’s floor in second. In an upset, Nicole Lehrmann’s bars 10 outpaced McKenzie Wofford’s bars 10 for the third position by a mere 9 votes.

ROUTINE of the WEEK 1st 2nd 3rd
Week 1 Skinner, FX Edney, VT Nichols, UB
Week 2 Ward, VT PP Lee, BB Hambrick, FX
Week 3 Artz, FX Childers, BB Skinner, VT
Week 4 Ross, UB McMurtry, VT PP Lee, UB
Week 5 Gardiner, BB Ward, VT Winston, FX
Week 6 PP Lee, UB Slocum, VT Jackson, FX
Week 7 Ross, BB Price, UB Guerrero, BB
Week 8 McMurtry, FX Mossett, FX Lehrmann, UB
Week 9

On to week 9! A week marked by at least one 10 on every event, twelve scores of 9.975 or higher, and thirty-seven scores of 9.950 or higher. Thirty-seven.

1. Ashleigh Gnat, LSU – Vault (10.000)

2. Alex McMurtry, Florida – Vault (10.000)

3. Erika Aufiero, Oregon State – Bars (9.975)

4. Maggie Nichols, Oklahoma – Bars (10.000)

LINK – 26:05

5. Kendall Valentin, Eastern Michigan – Bars (9.950)

6. Erin Macadaeg, LSU – Beam (9.950)

7. Katelyn Ohashi, UCLA – Beam (10.000)

8. Chayse Capps, Oklahoma – Beam (10.000)

9. MyKayla Skinner, Utah – Floor (10.000)

10. Nicola Deans, Michigan State – Floor (9.950)

Best Routine of Week 5 Poll

Congratulations to the week 4 champion, Kyla Ross’s 10.000 on bars, which strolled to victory ahead of Alex McMurtry’s DTY in second and Peng-Peng Lee’s bars in third. I hope you’re pleased with yourselves because Ross falling on bars this week is 100% your fault. Lee joins Skinner as the only two gymnasts to have finished in the top three twice this year, both on two separate events.

Week 1 Skinner, FX Edney, VT Nichols, UB
Week 2 Ward, VT PP Lee, BB Hambrick, FX
Week 3 Artz, FX Childers, BB Skinner, VT
Week 4 Ross, UB McMurtry, VT PP Lee, UB
Week 5

It’s time to decide who is a high queen in her blood for week 5! Continue reading Best Routine of Week 5 Poll

Best Routine of Week 2 Poll

Congratulations to our week 1 champion, MyKayla Skinner’s floor routine, which just edged out Kennedi Edney’s vault in 2nd and Maggie Nichols’ bars in 3rd.

Week 1 Skinner, FX Edney, VT Nichols, UB
Week 2

Who will take the week 2 crown? It’s time to decide. (With the usual disclaimer about video availability.)

1. Ali Jackson, Oklahoma – Floor

2. Rachel Slocum, Florida – Vault

3. Myia Hambrick, LSU – Floor

4. Kyla Ross, UCLA – Bars

5. Ashleigh Gnat, LSU – Vault

6. Mollie Korth, Kentucky – Floor

7. Peng Peng Lee, UCLA – Beam

8. Diana Mejia, Boise State – Bars

9. Britney Ward, Missouri – Vault

10. Kiana Winston, Alabama – Bars

11. Chayse Capps, Oklahoma – Beam

12. MJ Rott, Auburn – Floor

13. Sydney Snead, Georgia – Vault

Time to vote!

Best Routine of Week 1 Poll

Poll time!

Each week, I’ll put up the top routines of the previous weekend and let you guys vote on which routine wins the award for best of the week. Deciding the nominees is up to me (mwahahahaha) and is based on 3) score, 2) overall quality, and 1) which ones are easily available online—aka, which ones have been uploaded by our dear NastiaFan101. Because, you know, we need to be able to see them in order to vote for them. So if you want to vote for Elizabeth Price…get those meets to start taking place in the present day. With color televisions. And the iron horse.

Feel free to use the comments for reasoning and/or write-in votes.

1. Kennedi Edney, LSU – Vault

2. Maggie Nichols, Oklahoma – Bars

Continue reading Best Routine of Week 1 Poll

LSU 2017

Last night, LSU conducted its now-annual Gymnastics 101 (GET IT BECAUSE THIS IS A COLLEGE) to showcase the team’s best routines heading into the new season. It was…exactly what you would expect from a meet a month before the season begins. Sort of getting there. It did, however, provide a glorious opportunity for us to dig into the lineups and prospects for the upcoming season, so let’s go.

  • Competed VT, BB, FX every meet in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: VT – 9.905, BB – 9.870, FX – 9.865
Ashleigh Gnat
  • Team’s top routine & anchor on VT, BB, FX
  • Can contribute UB as needed
  • 2016 RQS: FX – 9.980, VT – 9.965, BB – 9.895
  • 2016 average: UB – 9.727
  • Weekly UB routine each of last two seasons
  • Provides FX option
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.875
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.517
  • Competed AA at nearly every meet in 2016, ranked 10th nationally
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.905, BB – 9.885, VT – 9.880, FX – 9.880
Lauren Li
  • Transfer from Penn State for sophomore year
  • Has not competed a routine for LSU
  • Constant important work on BB
  • Can provide VT, FX as needed, competed once on FX in 2016 for 9.950
  • 2016 RQS: BB – 9.890
  • 2016 average: VT – 9.768, FX – 9.950
Kylie Moran
  •  Has not competed a routine for LSU
  • Provided borderline lineup/backup routine on each event in 2016
  • Made final VT, BB lineups
  • 2016 RQS: VT – 9.835
  • 2016 average: UB – 9.663, BB – 9.603, FX – 9.050
Sarah Finnegan
  • Weekly UB, BB routines and frequent VT in 2016
  • Provides occasional option on FX
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.915, BB – 9.915, VT – 9.835
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.692
  • Near-weekly FX routines in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: FX – 9.885
  • Overcame Chronic Cincinnati Leg Death to make final UB lineup
  • Contributed a couple early seasion VT, BB routines
  • 2016 averages: UB – 9.869, VT – 9.750, BB – 9.725
  • Did not compete a routine in freshman year
  • Precision
  • 2016 JO Nationals 3rd AA
  • 2014-2015 JO National AA champion
Ruby Harrold
  • 2016 Olympian for GBR
  • 2013-2015 World Championship team member, UB finalist
Ashlyn Kirby
  • Shooting Stars NC
  • 2015 JO Nationals 10th AA

Recent History
2016 – 2nd
2015 – 10th
2014 – 3rd
2013 – 5th
2012 – 9th
2011 – 20th
2010 – 9th

They’re inching closer. The question for the LSU Tigers is not whether they can make Super Six in 2017. They can and better, otherwise they’ll have squandered a championship-level roster twice in three years. The question right now is whether LSU can improve on last season’s “Oh, so close” and actually take the title for the first time.

It’s a distinct possibility, one that will largely depend on just how good Oklahoma ends up being this year. Still, LSU has lost very few routines from last season, which provides an opportunity for improvement over last season’s 2nd-place side. If the Tigers can get just a little better on bars and a little more consistent on beam, there’s every reason to expect them to be able to challenge the Sooners. Continue reading LSU 2017

Week 3 Rankings + Notes

It sure was a cap-popping blizzard of a weekend.

The champion of the week was Ashleigh Gnat, who recorded the first vault 10 of the new vault era by sticking her DTY. Because that’s what happens when you stick DTYs. You get 10s. Do I hear an Amanar? Sorry. I’ll stop. OMG YOU GUYS, my aunt’s cousin’s best enemy’s roommate totally saw Ashleigh Gnat training an Amanar. I SWEAR.

“Oh snap, she stuck it!” Oh Sac, never leave us ever. What if KJC said “Oh snap” when someone landed a vault? I’ll let you go enjoy your made life.  

Week 3 rankings

1. Florida – 197.192
Week 3: 197.075
Week 3 leaders: AA – Sloan 39.575; VT – McMurtry 9.900; UB – Sloan 9.925; BB – McMurtry 9.900; FX – Baker 9.950

2. Oklahoma – 197.094
Week 3: 197.475
Week 3 leaders: AA – Capps, Kmieciak 39.500; VT – Scaman, Jackson, Capps 9.875; UB – Wofford, Kmieciak 9.925; BB – Brown 9.925; FX – Scaman 9.925

3. Michigan – 196.938
Week 3: 196.900
Week 3 leaders: AA – Karas 39.550; VT – Karas 9.950; UB – Artz 9.900; BB – Artz, Marinez 9.900; FX – Karas 9.900

4. UCLA – 196.758
Week 3: 196.800
Week 3 leaders: AA – Ohashi 39.375; VT – Hall 9.900; UB – Ohashi 9.925; BB – Francis, Meraz 9.850; FX – Bynum 9.925

5. Alabama – 196.688
Week 3: 196.400
Week 3 leaders: AA – Beers 38.950; VT – Guerrero 9.900; UB – Winston 9.900; BB – A Sims 9.950; FX – Jetter 9.925

6. LSU – 196.450
Week 3: 196.575
Week 3 leaders: AA – Hambrick 39.325; VT – Gnat 10.000; UB – Priessman 9.925; BB – Finnegan 9.900; FX – Gnat 9.950

7. Utah – 196.342
Week 3: 196.125
Week 3 leaders: AA – Lee 39.100; VT – Hughes 9.900; UB – Rowe 9.950; BB – Stover 9.925; FX – Schwab 9.925

8. Arkansas – 196.113
Week 3: 196.700
Week 3 leaders: AA – Wellick 38.950; VT – Wellick 9.900; UB – Zaziski, Freier, Glover 9.775; BB – Wellick 9.900; FX – Canizaro, McGlone, Nelson 9.900

9. Auburn – 196.106
Week 3: 195.900
Week 3 leaders: AA – Atkinson 39.275; VT – Atkinson 9.825; UB – Atkinson 9.875; BB – Krippner, Hlawek 9.775; FX – Demers 9.925

10. Boise State – 196.063
Week 3: 196.425
Week 3 leaders: AA – Remme 39.250; VT – Stockwell 9.925; UB – Stockwell 9.875; BB – Means, Remme 9.800; FX – Collantes 9.925

11. George Washington – 195.800
Week 3: Cancelled

12. Stanford – 195.783
Week 3: 196.675
Week 3 leaders: AA – Price 39.500; VT – Price 9.925; UB – Price 9.925; BB – Hong 9.925; FX – Price 9.875

13. Georgia – 195.769
Week 3: 195.350
Week 3 leaders: AA – Jay 39.475; VT – Jay, Rogers, Snead 9.875; UB – Vaculik 9.875; BB – Box 9.875; FX – Jay, Box 9.900

14. Denver – 195.642
Week 3: 195.650
Week 3 leaders: AA – McGee 39.500; VT – McGee 9.900; UB – McGee 9.875; BB – Ross 9.800; FX – McGee 9.975

15. Oregon State – 195.633
Week 3: 195.125
Week 3 leaders: AA – Gardiner 39.150; VT – Gardiner 9.850; UB – Singley 9.875; BB – McMillan 9.850; FX – Gardiner 9.875

16. Missouri – 195.600
Week 3: 195.800
Week 3 leaders: AA – None; VT – Ward 9.875; UB – Kelly 9.850; BB – Ward 9.900; FX – Harris 9.925

17. Nebraska – 195.342
Week 3: 195.825
Week 3 leaders: AA – Blanske 39.500; VT – Schweihofer 9.900; UB – Williams 9.875; BB – Williams 9.900; FX – Blanske 9.950

18. Minnesota – 195.267
Week 3: 195.675
Week 3 leaders: AA – Gardner 39.100; VT – Haines 9.825; UB – Holst 9.850; BB – Nordquist 9.950; FX – Mable 9.900

19. Illinois – 195.242
Week 3: 195.150
Week 3 leaders: AA – Horth 39.275; VT – O’Connor 9.850; UB – Horth 9.900; BB – Kato 9.875; FX – O’Connor 9.925

20. Arizona – 195.217
Week 3: 196.475
Week 3 leaders: AA – None; VT – Cindric 9.825; UB – Laub 9.875; BB – Cindric 9.875; FX – Sisler Scheider 9.900

21. Cal – 195.150
Week 3: 195.650
Week 3 leaders: AA – Williams 38.800; VT – Williams 9.875; UB – Williams 9.850; BB – Owens 9.850; FX – Williams 9.925

22. West Virginia – 195.083
Week 3: 195.800
Week 3 leaders: AA – Muhammad 39.325; VT – Koshinski 9.900; UB – Goldberg 9.875; BB – Galpin 9.875; FX – Muhammad 9.950

23. Kentucky – 195.033
Week 3: 195.100
Week 3 leaders: AA – Dukes 39.200; VT – Dukes, Stuart 9.800; UB – Stuart 9.800; BB – Dukes 9.900; FX – Stuart, Roemmele 9.775

24. Eastern Michigan – 194.992
Week 3: 195.050
Week 3 leaders: AA – Valentin 39.025; VT – Slocum 9.900; UB – Conrad 9.800; BB – Rubin 9.875; FX – Slocum 9.850

24. Southern Utah – 194.992
Week 3: 195.275
Week 3 leaders: AA – Ramirez 38.725; VT – Webb 9.850; UB – Shettles 9.850; BB – Trejo, Webb 9.875; FX – Webb 9.825

-Florida retains the #1 ranking after a fine-not-great showing at Auburn, a score brought down by some discomfort/Bridget Sloan improvisation on beam that had not been a factor in earlier performances, along with the continued half-a-floor-lineup situation. Oklahoma gained ground in the rankings after putting up a much more Oklahoma-January type performance, still having to endure one beam fall but without the total number of mistakes that kept the first couple meets in more pedestrian territory.

-The emergence of Natalie Von Lovelyton has been a pleasant develop in the reconstruction of Oklahoma’s lineups this season, with her pretty, twisty routines characteristic of the early-KJ Oklahoma era. Brown has a front 2/1 on floor, an E pass but not a double salto E pass, though I’ve noticed that overall the Sooners are going much simpler than their capability on floor, aside from Scaman. Jackson, Jones, and Capps sometimes are all more than capable of big double-salto E passes, but they haven’t been bringing the big. At least not yet. That’s even more true for UCLA’s lineup, which is a march of the double pikes until Bynum in the anchor spot. It will be interesting to watch when or if the in-your-face difficulty is reintroduced to some of these routines, or if these coaches just decide to say, “Hey, this is what we can do cleanly, and we don’t need to do more. Over the last two or three years, clean, amplitudinous double pike routines have received 9.950s and even 10.000s in anchor spots, so…..deal with it.”

-When I said in December that this would be the season of beam, I meant it in a good way. I really did. There’s so much pretty happening on beam this year, just right now it tends to be happening in a windstorm and on the ground.

-Georgia. Good improvement? Coming off of last weekend’s four falls, Georgia recorded three falls and a missed connection this time, so it’s way better and everything’s fine. We’re number 43! We’re number 43! Brandie Jay is their rock, so that’s where Georgia’s beam is. It’s officially a balance beam situation. At this point, the gymnasts are already displaying a level of terror that can only be described as “our coach just decided that we’re going to try to take a bus across Pennsylvania in the middle of a blizzard,” so it’s only going to get worse after this latest showing.

-It’s the first sign of the inevitable and oncoming beam revolt during which the beams will rise up and battle the humans for the future of the planet in a laser war. As part of this opening salvo, one beam also stole Avery Rickett’s foot and forced Alabama to count two falls, taking away what looked like an easy 197, and another comrade tried to pop a cap at Katelyn Ohashi as she double piked to her neck following a misguided round off. UCLA did not have to endure the same level of beam catastrophe (because the world is upside down) as Ohashi got to go again due to equipment malfunction. Which it did. That’s what happens when you’re relying on the structural integrity of only the cap to keep you on the beam. Somehow, she was able to be not in a thousand pieces after that landing and did go again, hitting the double pike this time and recording a 9.825.

-Through three weeks, the current top four teams have not had to count a fall, in some cases more surprising than others. I joke about UCLA, but having a solid and clear six beamers this year without the need to mix and match and rearrange seems to be doing the trick so far. That’s already a postseason lineup, just needing to straighten up a couple ragged edges and Sophina dismounts here and there. Michigan is a 196.9 machine, just sneaking up to that plateau for the 4th consecutive week after petitioning some beam scores at the last minute. Four straight 196.9s is kind of insane but also emblematic of the even-steven nature of this team in 2015 and now 2016. Michigan is the least susceptible to wild variations in performance from meet to meet. What you expect is what you get, which is much less heart-attacky than what we got used to during those couple seasons right after the Botterman era. Wolverine fans have earned this.

-While everyone else is having a balance beam situation, Utah is having a floor exercise situation. Someone should start that blog. Utah’s high on floor is a 49.025 right now. And yes, that whole lineup graduated after last season, but the remaining floor workers are much more talented than the performances they have been throwing out there, especially Lee and Lewis who should be hitting us over the head with 9.875-9.900s every time. What’s even going on around here?

-Nina McGee has a 10 and a 9.975 on floor so far this season. Amazing what happens when people suddenly start paying attention to the huge routines you’ve been doing for three years. 

-Stanford got a 196.675 over the weekend. Didn’t someone tell them that it’s still only January? Ladies, you’re not supposed to get good scores until March. At the earliest. What is this?

#5 LSU Preview

Cannamela, Julianna – Freshman
Ewing, Sydney – Junior – VT, BB, FX
Finnegan, Sarah – Freshman
Gauthier, Michelle – Senior – backup BB, FX
Gnat, Ashleigh – Junior – VT, UB, BB, FX
Hambrick, Myia – Sophomore – VT, UB, BB, FX
Kelley, McKenna – Freshman
Li, Lauren – Sophomore – backup VT, UB, FX
Macadaeg, Erin – Sophomore – VT, BB
Moran, Kylie – Sophomore – N/A
Priessman, Lexie Lee – Freshman
Savona, Jessica – Senior – VT, UB, BB, FX
Szafranski, Kaitlyn – Freshman
Wyrick, Randii – Senior – UB (backup VT, FX)
Zamardi, Shae – Junior – UB (backup FX)

Recent History
2015 – 10th
2014 – 3rd
2013 – 5th
2012 – 9th
2011 – 20th
2010 – 9th

2016 Outlook
LSU enters 2016 wallowing in the aftermath of an extremely disappointing collapse at nationals last year (THE FRESHMAN LOST HER MIND) and, much more significantly, the departure of the class that lifted this program back into the big time. So, some trepidation about this season is understandable. It seemed that LSU would be relying on a super-talented, but often MIA and legs-made-of-dust, freshman class to have a shot at repeating the top-three quality of the last couple years. Very dangerous territory. Thankfully, the complete and solid-for-December lineups LSU put up in the preseason showcase (without Priessman and Kelley) were very reassuring as to the status and competitive ability of the returning core of this team. LSU is a Super Six team even if the big-name freshmen aren’t able to deliver significant numbers, and will challenge for the title if they are.

Key Competitor
I’m going with Ashleigh Gnat. Gnat spent the first two years of her LSU career hanging out around the 4th spot on her main events, a prominent contributor on whom the team relied for scores but not necessarily the lineup leader or an absolutely essential score. When she had the occasional bad one, Courville and Jordan (or Hall on floor) were there to pick up the slack and save a great rotation total. Without them, Gnat will be expected to anchor multiple lineups and get 9.9s on vault, beam, and floor every single time, which is a new role and a new level of responsibility. In the absence of Courville, she has to become a Courville to keep LSU on track. 


Under ideal health circumstances, LSU’s vault lineup will be Gnat, Priessman, Savona, Ewing, Kelley, and Hambrick. That’s a serious 49.4+ group even without the benefit of Courville’s mile-long vault (the start-value change also mitigates LSU’s vault losses since Courville and Jordan wouldn’t have scored as well this year anyway). Gnat continues to vault the DTY, which is developing into a US-elite level DTY that would provoke a tropical storm of Amanar rumors were she elite and competing it at Classic. She’ll be the head vaulter for the Tigers, and let’s hope the new values adequately reward her difficulty now instead of giving her a 9.875 every time and placing her on par with average yurchenko fulls.

When Priessman is able (she’s expected to return on at least bars by mid-January), she’s more than capable of producing a 10.0 SV since her Amanar remained only somewhat terrifying all the way through 2012, after which she was completing DTYs quite easily. Complementing those two will be Savona and Ewing, who both made their way into the vault lineup last season with sufficiently powerful 1.5s that will be even more valuable this year. With what should be four 10.0 starts and two other strong fulls, this lineup boasts both the difficulty and the execution to be a top-four vaulting team. At least. For the remaining fulls, I’d go with Kelley for her power and Hambrick for her incredible perfect perfection made of perfect. Her vault is a total joy and one of the few that qualifies as artistic. She can still hit 9.900 with a full this year.

When any of these six aren’t available, both Cannamela and Macadaeg have perfectly acceptable fulls (Macadaeg has nice pop but isn’t as steady on the landing) that should be able to score into the 9.8 range themselves and keep everything on track.


Bars is the worry event. While the Tigers have more than enough 9.800-level gymnasts to put together a workable lineup, they’ve been bleeding bars leaders for the last couple seasons in Morrison and now Courville and Jordan, leaving the team with mostly supporting characters and few stars. Conclusion: Sarah Finnegan. Finnegan has the toes, handstands, and general “she’s Sarah Finnegan” to become one of the strongest bars workers around, especially now that she can get rid of a few of those pesky elite skills that gave Elfi a case of the post-diarrhea moans at 2012 Trials. Finnegan will need to become the new 9.9er. Priessman must also contribute, though her bars execution score in elite was not always so much with the great. Still, paring down to NCAA skills should give her something cleaner that can be a definite mid-lineup routine if not necessarily a starring routine the way Finnegan’s should be. On twitter, Yosemite Clark took a short break from being the whole problem to post a video of her routine, which was fine if a little whippy in the DLO and a little leg-breaky in the pak.

These freshmen must boost the competitiveness of this group since LSU doesn’t return very many natural bars workers. There is Zamardi, who developed into a good 9.850-9.900 last year after being MIA her freshman year. Zamardi’s double arabian dismount still scares the bejesus out of me, but she has proven a consistently countable score. Wyrick will also return to the lineup. Hers is not a memorable routine, but she doesn’t give away much in form and can go 9.900 at times too. With those four, LSU can be on track for 49.300, which is perfectly fine. Beyond them, however, the team will be relying on people who might prefer if the bars would just go crawl into a corner and die, like Savona and Gnat. Both contributed for 9.800s last year but have enough leg and angle issues to keep their scores below what a championship team should be getting. Hambrick is another choice (but she struggles with consistency), Kelley has a routine although it’s also not her event, and at some point Cannamela should develop into either a solid 1st/2nd routine or a safely usable reserve. Enough people exist to stay above water, but the question is how often this lineup will get stuck in the 9.825-9.850s/49.200s, especially early in the season if Finnegan and Priessman aren’t all that right away.


The loss of Courville and, especially, Jordan introduces a lot more terror and drama into the beam lineup this year. How many times did Jessie Jordan save everything in the 6th spot? LSU’s biggest mission on beam this year is finding a new queen bee who can hit even when everyone else is terrible. Theoretically the team still earns enough lovely points to make this event a huge asset, but can they survive the rotation or will they fall into a pit of lava a la nationals? 

This is why Gnat must develop into a rock as an upperclassman. She has a tendency to get a little 9.7y in important moments and was one of the falls at nationals, and that has to go. She must be the solid lineup savior in case any member of the triumvirate of perfect finds that she’s just feeling too beautiful to stay on the beam that day. Obviously, by triumvirate of perfection, I mean Finnegan, Macadaeg, and Hambrick. The style, the elegance, the Kathy Johnson moans! Hambrick and Macadaeg both had hitting problems last year, but they’re lovely, give away almost no built-in deductions, and must return to the lineup. Finnegan is still doing the triple wolf, because she just wants to hurt me, but I suppose I can allow it since hers is not horrible looking. Regardless, she’ll be the same woodland beam heiress she always has been and will get a 20 every week.

I’d definitely take Priessman for another spot and then conduct an American Gladiator-style joust between Ewing and Kelley for the remaining place. Those are seven serious options and huge potential scores. When Lexie Priessman is the 5th person I mention on an event, you know it’s good. If they can actually figure out hitting, they can score with any team and should be right up there with Oklahoma and UCLA.

Also a couple notes from the preseason showcase: 1) Jessica Savona looked good. Where did that beam routine come from? Even the splits were solid. She might cause an upset by knocking out Ewing or Kelley or an inconsistent member of the triumvirate. 2) Every switch side was super crooked. Fix, please.


It’s LSU and floor, so even though Hall, Courville, and Jordan are no more, don’t expect the team to fall off in any significant way in 2016. Sure, there may not be anyone getting Hall 10s, but in time, this roster should develop enough 9.900-9.950 options to remain among the strongest floors in the country. The freshmen can be just as good as the departing routines. For both Priessman and Kelley, floor is the obvious specialty. It was Priessman’s floor tumbling and secure landing of difficult acro that had her on many people’s Olympic forecast during her larval stage, and Kelley is just a concentrated rubber ball of DLO/Mary Lou energy. That extreme-facial-reactions LSU judge is going to fall into the sky about McKenna Kelley. When healthy (and Kelley is supposed to be back to full strength for the beginning of the season), these two late lineup powerhouses should rack up the 9.9s.

The other members of the 9.9 brigade will be Gnat and Savona. Early in Gnat’s career she struggled with tumbling pass consistency, but last year she was a weekly 9.9 (ending the season on a streak of nine consecutive floor scores of 9.900 or greater, which is pretty impressive). As for Savona, the majority of her floor routines are worthy of 9.900, though last season she was getting stuck with some 9.850s in the first spot. Promoted back out of that spot this year, she should score pretty close to Gnat. These four will keep LSU in the 49.4s. Ewing competed consistently last season, so count on her to return with her front 2/1 and acceptable twisting form, along with perhaps Hambrick or Wyrick. Both of them competed in the preview and are opening with E passes this season, making it pretty likely that LSU will have six E-pass floor routines this season. As for Sarah Finnegan, she got the requisite “she’s the artistic one” Jessie Jordan choreography this year, though there are sufficient floor options that the team will have the luxury of saving Finnegan for bars and beam depending on how bubble-wrapped she needs to be.