Tag Archives: UCLA

Saturday Live Blog – February 25, 2017

Saturday, February 25
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Brown, Cornell, Penn @ Yale Ivy $
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [21] Arkansas @ Michigan State LINK BTN+
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Lindenwood @ Centenary LINK FREE
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Arizona @ [6] UCLA LINK P12
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Pitt @ Penn State LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [5] Utah @ Arizona State LINK P12
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [19] Cal, [24] Utah State, SEMO @ [15] Nebraska LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [16] George Washington, Kent State @ NC State LINK ACC

The Pac-12 moves to the forefront today, and Alabama’s inability to reach 197 yesterday has presented the opportunity for both Utah and UCLA to move  ahead.

In-progress RQS rankings are as follows:
screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-11-28-30-am

UCLA needs 196.650 to move ahead of Alabama.
Utah needs 197.150 to move ahead of Alabama.
UCLA needs 197.400 to guarantee passing Utah. Continue reading Saturday Live Blog – February 25, 2017

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Saturday Live Blog – February 18, 2017

Saturday, February 18
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – West Chester @ Cornell Ivy $
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Stanford @ Arizona State LINK P12
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [24] West Virginia @ [19] Ohio State LINK OSU $
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Ball State @ Bowling Green LINK FB
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – UW-Oshkosh @ UW-Whitewater LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [12] Oregon State @ [18] Cal LINK P12
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Minnesota @ [11] Denver LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – San Jose State @ Air Force FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [4] UCLA @ [5] Utah LINK ESPNU

Saturday means it’s the Pac-12’s turn. The number to beat is 198.350. AH HA HA HA STAB.

The big showdown with UCLA/Utah is later, but before that, we have Stanford’s visit to Arizona State, which is interesting for a number of reasons. And by interesting, I mean harrowing. Stanford has three road meets remaining, and its current road scores are 194.175, 194.150 and 193.800. None of those can be allowed to count, so we’re into the land of urgency starting today. Today really needs to be at least in the 195s. That should be asking nothing of this team (Price! The McNairs!), but we know from experience this year that it’s asking a lot.

Meanwhile, Arizona State got a season-high 195.100 last week, and the scores do appear to be on the upswing. The team-high during the reign of Rene the Impaler was 195.375, so while ASU’s numbers aren’t high enough for regionals contention at this point, beating that score seems an attainable short-term goal. Continue reading Saturday Live Blog – February 18, 2017

Saturday Live Blog – February 11, 2017

Saturday, February 11
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Bridgeport, Ithaca, Brockport @ Cornell Ivy $
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Springfield @ West Chester
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [7] Michigan @ Michigan State LINK BTN+
2:30 ET/11:30 PT – New Hampshire @ Bowling Green LINK FB
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [19] Nebraska @ Minnesota LINK BTN
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [18] Ohio State @ Penn State LINK FREE
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Stanford @ [5] UCLA LINK P12
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [4] Utah @ [11] Oregon State LINK P12
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [21] Illinois, UIC @ [22] Iowa LINK? BTN+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Arizona State @ [17] Washington LINK P12
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Maryland, Yale, Penn @ Rutgers LINK
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – BYU, Centenary @ TWU LINK FREE
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [8] Boise State @ [12] Denver LINK DU $
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – UC Davis, Seattle Pacific @ Air Force FREE

It’s Pac-12 day! The other top teams did not keep their 9.9s to themselves like proper children last night (but we’re so sickkkkk, we have pollliioooo), so there’s a lot of crazy 197 work to do for the others to keep pace today. When you’re giving out 18 scores of 9.950-10.000 in a single day, the standard of evaluation just isn’t strict enough. Continue reading Saturday Live Blog – February 11, 2017

Saturday Live Blog – February 4, 2017

Saturday, February 4
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Pitt, West Chester, Ursinus @ Temple FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Brown @ Yale Ivy $
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Ithaca @ Brockport FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Bridgeport @ Southern Connecticut FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [25] West Virginia @ Kent State LINK FREE
3:30 ET/12:30 PT – [15] Cal @ [4] Utah LINK P12
3:30 ET/12:30 PT – [5] UCLA @ Arizona State LINK P12
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Michigan State @ Penn State LINK FREE
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Rutgers @ [19] Ohio State LINK OSU $
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [23] Minnesota @ [21] Illinois LINK BTN+
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [14] Oregon State @ Arizona P12
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Air Force @ Seattle Pacific LINK FREE

Today’s action features Cal and Utah facing off in a tribute to the walking wounded as Utah goes on without Schwab and Tessen and Cal attempts to go on in the wake of Toni-Ann Williams’ torn Achilles. It’s hard to see how the floor lineup remains competitive without Williams. Continue reading Saturday Live Blog – February 4, 2017

Saturday Live Blog – January 28, 2017

Saturday, January 28
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Penn @ West Chester
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Springfield @ Brockport FREE
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [12] Nebraska @ [10] Michigan LINK FREE
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Bridgeport, Southern Connecticut, Rhode Island @ Yale Ivy
4:30 ET/1:30 PT – [4] Utah @ [19] Washington LINK P12
4:30 ET/1:30 PT – [8] UCLA @ [17] Oregon State LINK P12
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [20] Ohio State @ Minnesota LINK BTN+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – UW-La Crosse, Winona State @ Lindenwood LINK FREE
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – UW-Eau Claire @ UW-Whitewater LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan State, Cornell, Ursinus @ Rutgers LINK FacePlace
7:45 ET/4:45 PT – Metroplex Challenge ([18] George Washington, Central Michigan, Bowling Green, San Jose State) FLOG
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Arizona State @ [15] Cal LINK P12

Another day, another barrage of meets. Get your streams ready. I’ll be trying my best to get through Nebraska/Michigan, Utah/Washington, and UCLA/Oregon State all at the same time. So it’ll be fun. If that’s what fun is.

First, a few thoughts on some of the major scores from yesterday. In a good reminder of how critical angle of viewing is when evaluating scores, the first time I saw Alex McMurtry’s DTY yesterday was in the reverse-angle slow motion replay, which is the least flattering angle for that vault where it definitely doesn’t look like a stick. I would have been a total pill about it if that vault had received a 10 last night. In watching the vault again, however, the real-time forward angle absolutely does make it look like a stick. Given the loose tone of the scoring through the rest of that meet, I’m actually pretty shocked she didn’t get a 10. I think 9.950 is the right score, but that was better than any of the 10 or 9.975 vaults we’ve seen so far this season. Continue reading Saturday Live Blog – January 28, 2017

Sunday Live Blog – January 15, 2017

Sunday, January 15 Scores Watch
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Brockport, Springfield, Ithaca @ Rhode Island
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Central Michigan @ Western Michigan ESPN3
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – [17] Northern Illinois @ Ball State LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – West Chester, Cortland @ Southern Connecticut SCSU
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [19] Penn State @ Nebraska LINK
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – [13] Cal @ [24] Iowa LINK UI TV
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [6] Missouri, SEMO @ Lindenwood LINK FLOG
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [8] UCLA @ [2] Oklahoma LINK FSSW
FSOK
FSWest

Ah, the day has come. This is the second-straight year we get a UCLA/Oklahoma meet, and I hope this develops into an annual matchup because it’s becoming among the most anticipated and delightful meets in college gymnastics. You know it’s going to be a show: two teams whose ultimate goal is to out-“floor routines about refugees” and out-“solving world hunger through beam emoting” the other. Also winning, but that’s definitely item #2. (Mostly because we all know Oklahoma is going to win). Continue reading Sunday Live Blog – January 15, 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

UCLA 2017

#4 UCLA ROSTER 2017
Seniors
Angi Cipra
  • Top FX, weekly VT in 2016
  • Provides backup BB
  • 2016 RQS: FX – 9.930, VT – 9.830
  • 2016 average: BB – 9.375
Mikaela Gerber
  • Leadoff BB in 2016, backup FX
  • 2016 RQS: BB – 9.860
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.760
Peng Peng Lee
(redshirt)
  • When not injured, starring routines on UB, BB
  • Occasional VT when able
  • 2016 average: UB – 9.875, VT – 9.825, BB – 9.471
Hallie Mossett
  • Peppered in UB, FX routines between injuries in 2016
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.863, UB – 9.592
Juniors
Rechelle Dennis
  • Two VTs, three UBs in 2016
  • 2016 average: UB – 9.792, VT – 9.675
Pua Hall
  • Frequent VT, early-season FX in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: VT – 9.840, FX – 9.795
Janay Honest
  • Made postseason lineups on VT, UB, FX in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.875, VT – 9.810
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.861
Sonya Meraz
  • Weekly BB, UB in 2016
  • Borderline lineup/backup routines on any event as needed
  • 2016 RQS: BB – 9.835, UB – 9.810
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.825, VT – 9.774
Sophomores
Katelyn Ohashi
  • Staple of BB lineup in 2016
  • Contributed UB, FX when healthy, backup VT
  • 2016 RQS: BB – 9.865, FX – 9.830
  • 2016 average: VT – 9.738, UB – 9.733
Madison Preston
  • Anchor VT, occasional FX, one BB in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: VT – 9.830
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.855, BB – 9.775
Stella Savvidou
  • Fleeting, momentary routines on UB, BB in freshman year
  • 2016 average: BB – 9.550, UB – 9.490
Freshmen
Maria Caire
  • Annual walk-on mystery
Anna Glenn
  • Southeastern
  • 2015 Nastia Cup 2nd AA
  • 2015 JO Nationals 6th AA, VT 2nd
Grace Glenn
  • Southeastern
  • 2016 Region 8 champion
  • 2014 JO Nationals AA champion
Felicia Hano
  • Gym-Max
  • 2014 US Nationals 9th (three events)
  • 2014 Pan Ams alternate
Madison Kocian
  • WOGA
  • 2016 Olympic gold medalist
  • 2016 Olympic UB silver
  • 2015 World Championship UB gold
  • Madison Kocian
Gracie Kramer
  • Wildfire
  • 2015 JO Nationals 2nd AA, 2nd BB, 2nd FX
Giulianna Pino
  • Ecuador
  • Competed at 2015 World Championship
Kyla Ross
  • Gym-Max
  • 2012 Olympic gold medalist
  • 2013 World Championship AA silver
  • 2014 World Championship AA bronze
  • Kind of a big deal
Mercedez Sanchez
  • Matrix CA
  • 2016 Region 1 AA 13th, VT 10th
Macy Toronjo
(redshirt)
  • Did not compete in freshman year with injury

Recent History
2016 – 5th
2015 – 11th
2014 – 8th
2013 – 4th
2012 – 3rd
2011 – 2nd
2010 – 1st

Heading into 2016 nationals, UCLA’s recent results had been pretty meh, displaying a clear downward trajectory from those championship-contending teams of the early 2010s. That made returning to Super Six last year an essential milestone. Finishing in 5th place was as well as that roster could have hoped to do, and 2016 marked the first time the Bruins had improved on the previous season’s result since that 2010 championship.

But really, it’s been all about the 2017 season for a while now. This is the year the famous freshmen swoop in to return UCLA to its title-winning ways. Or so it has been explained to us. Even with Simone Biles deciding to become some kind of massive celebrity now instead going to UCLA (forgiveness is a process), this Bruin 2017 team remains stacked with names and talent.

A national championship is a realistic goal, but UCLA is also the most mysterious of the title contenders because we haven’t seen actual college routines from the majority of the essential contributors. What level of gymnastics, difficulty, and health will the likes of Ross and Kocian show in NCAA? That, more than anything else, will determine whether UCLA is more of a 1st-place team or a 7th-place team in 2017.

Continue reading UCLA 2017

2017 Freshman Preview: UCLA

UCLA just has so few interesting freshmen this year! What on earth are we going to talk about?

Returning Routines – UCLA
VAULT
Hall – 9.840
Preston – 9.830
Cipra – 9.830
Lee – 9.825
Honest – 9.810
Meraz – 9.774
Ohashi – 9.738
Dennis – 9.675
BARS
Lee – 9.875
Honest – 9.875
Meraz – 9.810
Dennis – 9.792
Ohashi – 9.733
Mossett – 9.592
Savvidou – 9.490
BEAM
Ohashi – 9.865
Gerber – 9.860
Meraz – 9.835
Preston – 9.775
Savvidou – 9.550
Lee – 9.471
Cipra – 9.375
FLOOR
Cipra – 9.930
Mossett – 9.863
Honest – 9.861
Preston – 9.855
Ohashi – 9.830
Meraz – 9.825
Hall – 9.804
Gerber – 9.760

Of all the major schools, UCLA’s slate of returning routines is the least representative and least relevant. Just throw it into the fire. The expectation should be that a solid half of UCLA’s routines in 2017 come from freshmen. Half may actually be a soft estimate. The freshmen, more so than the returners, will dictate whether the Bruins ultimately end up contending with Oklahoma and the top SEC sides, as they should based on talent.

The significant challenge for UCLA in 2017 will be managing that talent so that everyone is safely able to compete by April, no small task given the War and Peace medical files of several Bruins from whom the team will need three routines come the postseason.

And yes I am talking about Madison Kocian. I think we all had that moment this summer where we went, “Oh yeah. She’s, like, good at floor. Weird.” We forget about that sometimes because Kocian has competed floor twice in the last her entire lifetime. It’s a similar story on vault, where she wasn’t even supposed to compete at Trials in order to protect her fragile sparrow skeleton, but then she threw out a SURPRISE full because she could. (But could she?) The way I see it, Kocian is surely more than capable on the leg events, but any leg-events you can safely get from her are just a bonus. Bars and beam will be the true prize, especially this season coming right off the grueling schedule she has been maintaining.

As for bars, derrrrrrr.

The only question is what composition we’ll end up seeing as UCLA will have to balance minimizing deductions/strain with making sure the routine still says, “I’M MADISON KOCIAN.” Kocian never really contributed much beam to Team USA, but she happens to be a gem there are well. On beam, I’m not really concerned about whether we see the Arabian or much significant difficulty again. Just give us an extended side aerial and a wink (and don’t lose that back foot) and we all go home happy.

Now, KYLA ROSS. The clouds parted and the kingdom was bathed in sunlight the moment Kyla decided to go straight to UCLA, do not pass Trials, do not collect 200 knee injuries. The writing was on the wall with regard to the Olympic team, and while simply making it to Trials is a worthwhile accomplishment for most to pursue, Kyla had already played that game.

Like Kocian, Ross will help revitalize what was a cobbled-together orphanage of a bars lineup for the Bruins last year. It’s a miracle they got out of championships with 49s, but with these fancy new ladies, bars should transform from a get-through event into a strength. That’s not to say it’s all roses for Kyla on bars. It has been a journey this quad, what with her GIANT MONSTER HEIGHT (meaning 5’7″). I love that, listening to the gymnastics world, you would think that Kyla is two basketball players on top of each other, and she’s 5’7″.

Aw, remember the days?

In NCAA, the question of what bars skills LeBron Ross can do should be much less of a conundrum. She’ll do the skills if she can, and if not, she has 38 other skills she can do/learn in her sleep to choose from. In dismount land, I’m hoping the double layout comes back rather than the double front.

As for beam, get your 10HANDS ready. Ross’s methodical, patient style may have caused the judges at 2014 worlds to clutch their rosaries and pitchforks in horror, but her exceptional precision is what NCAA 10s are made of. She hits her positions and simply doesn’t wobble as much as humans do.

In training, Kyla has been vaulting an Omelianchik, and I’m all for this decision. I’m not just saying that because it’s my favorite vault, either. (Lie.) It’s a vital 10.0 start that should work for her.

As for floor, I’m most interested in seeing what that routine becomes from a performance standpoint. The knock on Kyla’s gymnastics has always been Stiff Kyla. Robo-Kyla. A criticism at times overstated, but never untrue. Throughout her elite career, Kyla was afflicted by varying levels of “this is the part where I do my choreography now” face, presenting alongside chronic “get ready I’m really going to do it now” arms. A troubling affliction.

I’m looking forward to meeting who UCLA Kyla becomes as a performer. On the composition front, Kyla had to gradually step down the floor difficulty during the course of this quad, though she kept the double arabian throughout and would still have that E pass in her pocket. But for Kyla, I don’t think it’s in any way essential that she have a big, fat E pass. Let’s be honest, she could just Kyla around for a while then do two beautiful rudis and get a 12.

On a lineup note with regard to both Kocian and Ross, it will be interesting to see how and where UCLA uses them. Neither will need to perform in the anchor spot in order to get high scores. They’re too talented and famous to need to anchor, and that could be a real score-building asset for the rest of the team. I’d love to see, for example, UCLA try Kyla suddenly leading off beam. Are judges really going to lowball Kyla in the first spot? They wouldn’t be worried about saving their scores for anyone else later in the lineup because…she’s Kyla Effing Ross. Who’s going to be better than that?

When UCLA last won a national championship, it was done with Anna Li in the first beam spot and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs in the second, the team’s top-two beamers at the time. Now, that move was made as a last resort because of FALL TERROR, not because of scoring strategy, but it sure did work and sure got Mizuki Sato some fancy scores in the anchor spot that she wouldn’t have received in the second spot.

TANGENT OVER! Felicia Hano now. While I’m optimistic about our chances to see leg events from Kocian and Ross, I expect their most prolific contributions to come on bars and beam. Taking charge of vault and floor may then fall to a gymnast like Hano.

The defining characteristic of Hano’s time as an elite was her preposterous ability to stick every DTY she ever performed. True life fact. More often than not, Hano’s vault D actually ended up being 5.9 because of that stupid extra tenth of stick bonus.

That vault training video from this fall features Hano continuing to do this DTY. It did not look competition-ready, at least at that point, but her ability on vault should allow us to assume that Hano can provide a 10.0 start value of some description this year. And yes, I have decided to ignore entirely the existence of that wildly misguided Tsuk 1/1 that caused her injury at Classic in 2015. We’re just going to pretend that never happened. Cool? Cool.

Double layout. UCLA 2017 will be a pretty floor team, with more and better options for 9.9s than the Bruins have had the last couple seasons, but across the board, these floor routines aren’t all that big. Hano, however, does have some pop and should be counted as a significant floor contributor, whether they decide to keep the DLO or go for a Syd Sawa-style “this double pike is way too easy for me” routine.

I’m less certain about bars and beam. Bars has never been the good event for Hano. She’ll still provide an option, and if Janay Honest and Sonya Meraz can make the bars lineup, Hano certainly can, but she’s not going to be a Kyla Ross on bars. No one’s expecting that. On beam, Hano can provide solid acrobatics across a well-hit routine, no question, but there’s quite a bit of competition for that lineup and her positions aren’t as pristine as some of the others. Will her routine prove a more prudent choice than, say, a Mikaela Gerber or Grace Glenn? There won’t be room for everyone.

Speaking of Grace Glenn, let’s admire that transition for a moment.

Done.

TWINS. Though the Glenns don’t have the name recognition or familiarity of the elites on this team, don’t overlook Team Glenn. We’ll start with Grace, whose basics on bars and beam are fabulous.

It’s just pretty gymnastics. I imagine Team Bruin having a very difficult time resisting the lure of that beam routine. On bars, the amplitude, handstands, and toe point are a yes from me. The dismount difficulty will be a question, though she has performed that double tuck with a full twist in competition in the past.

Grace’s floor work fits right into that category of not being big work, but she is very clean through her twisting elements, even if it’s not WOWFLOOR. She has been training a front double full so far this fall, which seems the ideal choice.

Both Grace and Anna Glenn present technically sound Yurchenko fulls, though we’ll have to see what the needs of the team are on that front as they aren’t among those who have shown us 10.0 starts.

As for Anna Glenn, it should be noted that she hasn’t competed since May of 2015 and has yet to appear in any of UCLA’s training uploads. But, like her sister, Anna does show excellent line on bars and sharp beam work with extended acrobatic elements. From what I’ve seen, I don’t think her splits are quite as strong, but their gymnastics is similar enough that we’re going to need some sort of an elaborate identifying sound-effect procedure for meets—something the McNairs are disappointingly still yet to accomplish—like a whale call when Grace performs and a rooster when Anna performs. I don’t know. I’m just spitballing here. I’ll let Miss Val decide what the final sound effects should be. But also, rooster.

Grace Kramer is an interesting one. A year ago at this time, she was signing an NLI with Arizona State. Yada, yada, yada, not that. Now, she’s walking on at UCLA, much to the delight of the Bruins’ prospective vault scores. Kramer’s event is, without question, vault. She boasts a Yurchenko 1.5 and, GET THIS, actually has competition experience with it.

Everyone in the known universe is fully aware that UCLA needs to be better on vault this year. The 10.0 vaults in 2016 came only from Pua Hall’s occasional Terrorchenko 1.5 and the Yurchenko Arabian (RIP, no one misses you) from Sadiqua Bynum. That isn’t good enough. Kramer’s 1.5 is a significant part of the revolution.

I’d imagine Kramer will also be somewhere in the mix on floor, though there are quite a few viable 9.850s on this roster that could shake out in many different lineup permutations. Kramer is another who goes the front double full route and shows respectable punch and solid landings in her tumbling overall. In fact, she should be at least in the conversation on all four events, though leg breaks (and just a double back bars dismount) will put her farther down the depth chart on bars and beam. Still, Kramer is far from your average random walk-on who just showed up.

Speaking of random walk-ons who just showed up…

I kid.

Sort of.

The freshman class is rounded out by Giulianna Pino, Mercedez Sanchez and Maria Caire.

Pino has competed internationally for Ecaudor, with beam being by far her strongest piece. In fact, her beam work is lineup realistic. Pino has the mix of splits and acro and will be able to give the Bruins an option there, just one that they may not actually need.

Sanchez can also put together some vault and some beam. On vault, she works a perfectly normal Yfull, which can act as a useful backup should things go south with Project 10.0 Vault and Project Your Legs. She actually has some chops on beam as well, though in what I’ve seen of her beam, she also looks so terrified of her own life that she might faint.

As for Maria Caire,
screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-3-31-36-pm

I have exactly nothing for you, the end.

Comings and Goings

Oklahoma won the national title six whole days ago, which is like a thousand years ago. Sorry, Oklahoma. We’re moving on. What have you done for us lately? Basically nothing? That’s what I thought.

The 2017 season is just around the corner, as long as that corner is really, really far away. We don’t know anything real about 2017 yet, but we do know which valuable gems and enthusiastic leaders in the training gym we won’t see next year, along with which bright new lights full of possibilities and undiagnosed shin problems will be joining the teams in their place.

Detailed looks at each team and roster will come much later, when the season approaches and I actually vaguely know who these JO gymnasts are, but let’s call this a preliminary glance at who’s coming and who’s going on each team now that the 2016 season is closed and locked away forever and the traditional eight-month moratorium has been placed on the terms “parity,” “yurchenko arabian,” “confident leadoff,” and “life lessons.” I’ve placed the top teams into various categories based on the current outlook and added the RQSs for the routines they will lose after 2016.

This is, of course, assuming that people do what they’re supposed to and don’t suddenly turn pro or run off to join a traveling circus or whatever.

Smooth sailing

LSU
Out: Jessica Savona, Randii Wyrick, Michelle Gauthier
In: Ruby Harrold, Kennedi Edney, Ashlyn Kirby

Savona – VT – 9.820 avg; UB – 9.840; FX – 9.902 avg
Wyrick – UB – 9.810; FX – 9.905

The Tigers certainly lose a few critical routines, the most important being Savona’s floor, though they already gained some experience with life after Savona’s vault and floor when she was out early this season (and life after Wyrick’s bars when she didn’t compete in the postseason). They survived, for the most part. Several of these openings should be filled by people already on the roster, and while I don’t think we can have any expectations for Priessman at this point because any week she’s healthy enough to compete is just a bonus, Kelley should do more next year. Add to that this freshman class, and I think there’s every reason to expect LSU 2017 to be stronger than LSU 2016.

ALABAMA
Out: Lauren Beers, Carley Sims
In: Maddie Desch, Wynter Childers, Shea Mahoney

Beers – VT – 9.905; UB – 9.690; FX – 9.915
Sims – FX – 9.868

Alabama is in a similar position to LSU in terms of not losing that many routines, though Alabama’s losses carry a bit more significance, especially on floor with the team’s two strongest floories departing. They’ll need some of the upperclassmen like Brannan to step up and be a little more Beersy on those events and a little less middle-of-the-lineupy, but with increased contribution from a potential star like Ari Guerra who didn’t figure at all by the end of the season and the introduction of Maddie Desch and Wynter Childers, Alabama’s first-ever recruit who’s also a citizen of District 1, I’m not too worried about the look of Alabama’s future roster.
Continue reading Comings and Goings