Photograph: FSHS Lions/Twitter
The 2018 NCAA season is still a few 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.
2017 was a season of records for Kentucky. On 20 January, they posted the highest score in programme history, a 197.100 at home against Auburn, just to better it to a 197.475 on 10 February against Alabama. In that same meet, they also beat Alabama for the first time in history. On 18 March, they finished fifth at the SEC Championships, their best ever result. And a few days later, freshman Mollie Korth was named SEC Freshman of the Year.
Such results were particularly impressive, because Kentucky was a very young team, with no seniors on the team. Going into the 2018 season as one of the most improved teams, it is not losing any gymnast, and instead it is welcoming a freshman class full of potential.
Kentucky has welcomed five new freshmen: Madison Averett, from French Settlement, Louisiana; Mackenzie Harman, from Raleigh, North Carolina; Katherine Marianos, from Johns Creek, Georgia; Megan Monfredi, from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania; and Allison Snyder, from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Madison Averett trained at Athletes in Motion (Gym Gems).
Averett began competing as a Level 10 gymnast in 2015. That year, she had an amazing Louisiana State Championships, where she won a gold medal on floor, silver on beam and bronze on vault and in the all around. She then qualified to the Region 8 Championships, where she tied for thirteenth on floor. In 2016, she won gold on bars at the State Championships, and tied for bronze on floor at the Regional Championships. She then qualified to her first Junior Olympics, where she tied for ninth on floor exercise and for twenty-third in the all around. In 2017, she won a silver medal on beam at the State Championships, and tied for seventh also on beam at the Region 8 Championships.
Averett’s best apparatus is floor exercise. She is a very elegant performer, and competes a front double twist, a front layout into front pike and a Rudi to split jump. She is also very good on bars. There, she competes a full pirouette to Gienger, a shoot-over to the low bar and a double tuck dismount.
Mackenzie Harman did her club training at Team Attraction.
Harman began competing as a Level 10 gymnast in 2014, and since then she has improved year after year. In 2014, she competed at the Region 8 Championships, where she finished twentieth on balance beam and twenty-ninth in the all around. In 2015, she again competed at Regionals, where she tied for seventh on bars and for eighth on beam and in the all around. In 2016, she competed at the North Carolina State Championships, where she was fifth on beam, sixth on bars and tenth in the all around. She then qualified to the Region 8 Championships, where she finished fifth on beam and fifteenth in the all around. In 2017, she competed at only two meets: the Pikes Peak Cup, where she won gold in the all around and on vault and silver on floor, and at Nashville Nights, where she won silver on bars and bronze in the all around.
Harman excels on beam, where she performs a triple series (BHSO + LOSO + LOSO), a switch leap with half turn and a one-and-a-half twisting dismount. She is also very good on floor exercise, where she can compete a two-and-a-half twist and a double pike, and on bars, where she performs a high Jaeger somersault and a double pike dismount.
Katherine Marianos trained at Gymnastix Training Center.
Marianos began competing as a Level 10 gymnast in 2014. That year, she was fourth on floor and eighth in the all around at the Georgia State Championships, and fifteenth on floor at the Region 8 Championships. In 2015, she won gold on vault at the State Championships and silver on floor and Regionals. In 2017, she was eight on vault and bars at the State Championships, and sixth on floor and the Region 8 Championships.
Marianos excels on vault and floor. On floor, she competes a high FTY, but there is also footage of her training a one-and-a-half-twisting Yurchenko and even a DTY. On floor, she is training a lot of difficult tumbling passes: a double layout, a full-twisting double back and a full-twisting double layout. She competed consistently both a double tuck and a double pike.
Megan Monfredi trained at X-Cel Gymnastics.
Monfredi turned Level 10 in 2014, but that year she competed only at the Greater NY Gymnastics Invitational, where she won silver on floor. In 2015, she competed at the Pennsylvania State Championships, where she was tenth on beam and twenty-second in the all around, and at the Region 7 Championships, where she finished fifteenth on floor. In 2016, she again competed at the State Championships, where she won bronze on floor, and qualified to Regionals, where she was fourth on floor and fourteenth in the all around. In 2017, she competed only at the IGI Chicago Style Gymnastics Meet, where she won bronze on vault.
Monfredi excels on floor exercise, where she competes a very difficult front tuck into double tuck, a front full twist into front layout and a one-and-a-half twist into front pike.
Allison Snyder did her club training at Perfection Gymnastics School.
Snyder began to compete as a Level 10 gymnast in December 2015 at the Hoosier Cup, where she won gold on vault. In 2016, she won a silver medal on vault at the Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational, and silver on floor and bronze in the all around at the IGI Chicago Style Gymnastics Meet. She had a phenomenal season in 2017. She competed at the Ohio State Championships, where she tied for gold on vault, was fourth on bars and ninth in the all around. She qualified to the Region 5 Championships, where she won silver medals on vault and bars, tied for fourth on floor and was fourth in the all around. She ended her club career at her first Junior Olympics, where she tied for eleventh on the uneven bars.
Snyder’s best apparatus is vault, where she can perform a front handspring front tuck vault and also a front handspring front pike vault. It will be interesting to see at least one non-Yurchenko entry vault in the lineup next year!
Good luck to the Kentucky freshman class!
Related: Meet the 2018 Denver Freshman Class
Article by Talitha Ilacqua