Photograph: Denver Gymnastics/Twitter
The 2018 NCAA season is still months away, but it is never too early to start knowing the incoming freshman class for each team. This is both a way to begin thinking of potential lineups, and a way to get to know less well-known gymnasts and their routines.
The Denver Pioneers had an outstanding 2017 season. They qualified to the NCAA National Championships for the first time since 2007 and finished ninth, the best result in school history. The Pioneers are seeking to build their newly-found momentum with new outstanding freshmen, after recruiting perfect 10.0-scorer Maddie Carr last season.
The Pioneers said goodbye to two seniors in 2017: Julia Ross, who was a strong all arounder, and Rachel Fielitz, who competed on vault and occasionally on beam.
Denver has welcomed three new outstanding freshmen: Lynnzee Brown, from Raytown, Missouri; Emily Glynn, from Longmont, Colorado; and Mia Sundstrom, from Boulder, Colorado.
Lynnzee Brown trained at Great American Gymnastics Express (GAGE), the gym that produced Olympians and NCAA stars Terin Humphrey (Alabama), Ivana Hong (Stanford) and Sarah Finnegan (LSU).
Brown has qualified to the J.O. National Championships every year since 2012 and is a two-time J.O. National Team Member (2015 and 2016). At the J.O.s in 2016, she finished third on vault, fourth in the all-around and tied for fifth on floor. She also finished at least tied for fourth in the all-around, on vault and on bars at the 2015 J.O. Nationals. In 2016 she swept all events and the all around at the State Championships, and in 2015, at the Region 4 Championships, she won the all around and the vault title, and was second on bars, beam and floor. Brown had an outstanding 2017 season. In March she competed at the Nastia Liukin Cup, where she finished eighth in the all around. At the Missouri State Championships also in March, she won gold on all events but bars, where she was second. At the Region 4 Championships in April, she was second in the all around and tied for second on vault and floor. Brown ended her club career at the J.O. National Championships, where she had a stunning competition. She was second in the all around, she tied for second on floor and bars and tied for third on bars.
Brown is an incredible all arounder. On floor, she has great presence, and competes a double layout, a high one-and-a-half twist into front layout, and a double pike. On vault she performs a one-and-a-half-twisting Yurchenko, which is worth a 10.0-start value in the NCAA. On bars she competes a very difficult combination: full pirouette into Maloney into Pak salto, and also a Maloney half. Finally, on beam she competes a BHS + LOSO series, a free-walkover, an inverse full turn, a side somi, and a very difficult dismount: round-off + BHS + double twist. Sometimes she loses some straight form in the air on beam, but she is very consistent. She will be a great asset for the Denver Pioneers next year!
Emily Glynn trained at Airborne Gymnastics. She qualified to the J.O. Nationals three years in a row (2013, 2014 and 2015). In 2014 she tied for seventeenth on vault, and in 2015 she tied for eighteenth on balance beam. In 2015, she competed at the Region 3 Championships, where she had an outstanding competition, winning gold on the uneven bars and bronze on floor and in the all-around. In 2015 she was also the Level 10 State all-around, beam and floor champion. After missing the 2016 season due to injury, she came back strong in 2017. At the Colorado State Championships in March she tied for fourth place on beam, fifth on vault and eighth both on bars and in the all around. And at the Region 3 Championships in April, she tied for fifth on vault and for eighth on the uneven bars.
Glynn is a powerful gymnast, who has potential on all apparatuses. On vault, she performs a high FTY. On bars, she competes a solid routine, which includes a Gienger, a shoot-over to the low bar, and a full-in dismount. She has pretty lines on beam, where her series is a BHS + LOSO. Finally, on floor, she competes an E-pass, a full-in, with ease. There is also footage of her performing also a double-double!
Mia Sundstrom also trained at Airborne Gymnastics, alongside Emily Glynn. She is a two-time National Junior Elite Compulsory Qualifier (2013 and 2014) and a three-time J.O. National qualifier (2013, 2015 and 2017). At the J.O.s in 2013 she finished fifth in the all around and fourth on the uneven bars. In 2015 she tied for twelfth place on beam and for eighteenth on vault, while in 2017 she tied for eleventh on vault. In 2015, at the Colorado State Championships, she won both vault and bars and tied for gold in the all around. At the Region 3 Championships the following month she tied for gold on bars, took second in the all around and third on vault. Her 2016 season was limited due to injury, but Sundstrom came back strong in 2017. At the Colorado State Championships in March she was second in the all around, third on floor, and she tied for second on bars and for third on vault. At the Region 3 Championships in April she was fourth both in the all around and on beam and she tied also for fourth on floor.
Sundstrom is a very elegant gymnast. On floor, she performs with style, competing a double pike, a front full to front pike and a double tuck. On vault, she performs a very clean FTY. On beam, she has beautiful lines and pointed toes. She performs an excellent switch leap to switch-half, a free cartwheel, and a piked Gainer dismount. Finally, on bars she once again has beautiful lines. She performs a Tkatchev, a shoot-over to low bar and a full-in dismount, a perfect routine for the NCAA. Certain poses remind me of Russia’s Angelina Melnikova!
Good luck to the future Pioneers!
Article by Talitha Ilacqua