Photograph: Alex McMurtry/Instagram
I have decided to split my recap into two parts, because there is SO much going on. #5 Florida defeated #1 Oklahoma and both teams posted crazy scores in the 198s. Utah kept impressing with a score in the mid-197s, while Arkansas had the meet of a lifetime, scoring over 197! Perfect 10.0s were flying high on Friday night. Florida’s Alex McMurtry scored two perfect 10.0s on vault and beam, teammate Kennedy Baker scored a 9.975 on floor and Gator freshman Alyssa Baumann scored a 9.975 on beam. Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols also posted two 9.975s on vault and floor. And Arkansas freshman star Sophia Carter kept her impressive streak of victories on beam with a huge 9.975.
It was a CRAZY meet between Florida and Oklahoma. Florida edged Oklahoma by 0.025 to win the meet at home in front of a sell-out crowd with the highest score of the season so far, a monstrous 198.150. Oklahoma, for the record, scored a 198.125 on the road, what an accomplishment. It was CRAZY night of perfect 10.0s. Florida’s senior Alex McMurtry posted not one but TWO perfect 10.0s, on vault for her huge DTY and on beam. It was the first time Alex scored a perfect 10.0 on beam, as well as the only apparatus in which she had not scored a perfect 10.0 before. She deservingly joins the Gym Slam Club, only the tenth gymnast to have ever scored a perfect 10.0 on all apparatuses. Alex McMurtry is now also the gymnast with the highest number of perfect 10.0s in Gator history. What a gymnast! Other 10.0s were thrown out by the judges, for some outstanding 9.975s. Florida’s freshman Alyssa Baumann posted a 9.975 on beam for a slightly overscored but yet impressive routine. And Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols posted two 9.975s on vault and floor. Both scores could easily be perfect 10.0s. It was also a CRAZY night for scores, especially in the second part of the meet. For Oklahoma, routines with obvious mistakes, such as Evy Schoepfer’s on floor and Bre Showers’ on beam received 9.900s, while Nicole Lehrmann, who had a practically perfect routine, also received ‘only’ a 9.900. And Maggie Nichols, whose only real deduction on beam was a shuffling of the feet on the dismount, received only a 9.875. Florida was also overscored on floor. Alyssa Baumann, Megan Skaggs, Alicia Boren and Jazmyn Foberg all had more or less evident mistakes there, with short landings and missed elements, and yet scores ranged from a 9.825 to a 9.925. Controversial scores, however, take away nothing from the fantastic gymnastics we saw from both teams on Friday night. Maggie Nichols and Alex McMurtry are two rare gems, examples to follow in the gym and in life. Alex won vault and beam with two perfect 10.0s, Maggie won the all around with a huge 37.775 (tying for the highest score in the nation so far) and tied for the bars (9.950) and floor (9.975) titles. By the way, both gymnasts now belong to the Gym Slam Club, such an honour to see them compete together. Florida’s senior Kennedy Baker was a bit off all night, but came back strong on floor for an outstanding 9.975. Freshmen impressed all around. Oklahoma’s Anastasia Webb had a fantastic competition, which included a 9.950 on bars, a 9.900 on vault and a 9.925 on floor for an outstanding 39.625 all around score. Oklahoma’s Carly Woodard kept impressing on beam with a fantastic 9.950. For Florida, Alyssa Baumann scored a 9.975 on beam and a 9.925 on floor to clinch the victory for the Gators; Megan Skaggs posted two 9.900s on beam and floor and Jazmyn Foberg a 9.900 on bars.
Utah continued its streak of 197+ this week with a strong performance against Arizona, 197.550-196.225. Utah had an outstanding rotation on vault, where MaKenna Merrell-Giles shone with a 9.950, followed by Kari Lee’s and MyKayla Skinner’s 9.900. Other impressive scores came on beam, where Kari Lee posted a 9.925, and MaKenna Merrell-Giles and freshman Alexia Burch two 9.900s, and on floor, where MaKenna again impressed with a 9.925, and MyKayla Skinner and freshman Sydney Soloski posted two 9.900s. Bars, like last week, was Utah’s weakest apparatus. There, the only 9.900 was Kari Lee’s. MaKenna Merrell-Giles won the all around with a career-high 39.625. Star MyKayla Skinner was a bit off on bars and beam, but still posted big 9.900s on the other two apparatuses. Arizona kept impressing on its own right, both individually and as a team. As a team, they had a spectacular rotation on floor, with five counting scores of 9.825 or better, including two outstanding 9.925s by Kennady Schneider and Lauryn Mattson. Payton Bellows impressed on vault with a huge 9.950 for a Yurchenko one-and-a-half, while Christina Berg impressed on vault with a 9.900.
Arkansas had an outstanding meet, beating Georgia 197.175 to 196.125. Arkansas had out-of-this-world rotations on beam and floor. On beam, freshman Sophia Carter posted a 9.975 (!!!), followed by Jessica Yamzon’s and Michaela Burton’s 9.950. And on floor, Sophia Carter posted another huge 9.950, followed by Sarah Shaffer’s 9.900 and by three 9.875s. Georgia is suffering a bit from lack of depth in the lineup. The injury to GiGi Marino left the Gymdogs with only five available gymnasts on vault and floor, which unfortunately is reflected in the scores. Georgia also keeps having problems on beam, and that is hardly surprising – long-standing problems are not solved in a day. Sydney Snead had the best day for the Gymdogs, scoring a 9.900 on bars, a 9.925 on beam and winning the all around with a big 39.525.
Kentucky rose from the ashes of last week’s disappointment, scoring a big 196.700 at Auburn (196.250). Kentucky showed impressive consistency all around. On vault, it scored four 9.850s or better, topped by Mollie Korth’s 9.900. On bars, Mollie Korth and Katrina Coca posted two 9.900s. And on floor, all five counting scores were 9.800s or better, including an impressive 9.900 from Sidney Dukes. Beam was Kentucky’s weakest apparatus, where the best score was Hailey Poland’s 9.850. Auburn also had a very good competition, with excellent performances on bars and beam. On bars, all five counting scores were 9.850s or better, incuding a 9.900 by Samantha Cerio. And on beam, Abby Milliet scored a 9.900 and Allie Riddle and Meredith Sylvia two 9.850s. Abby Milliet also scored a 9.900 on floor. Mollie Korth won the all around with a 39.300.
It was another disappointing meet for Alabama, which scored a poor 195.850 against Missouri (194.525). The Crimson Tide did not have a terrible competition, but they failed, once again, to produce five solid scores in the 9.8s on all apparatuses. On vault, Nickie Guerrero posted a big 9.925, but all other scores for Alabama were in the 9.7s. On floor, Abby Armbrecht impressed with a 9.950, followed by Maddie Desch’s 9.900 and Nickie Guerrero’s 9.850, but the Crimson Tide had to count a score in the 9.7s and another in the 9.6s. On beam, things were going well, with Kiana Winston posting a 9.900, followed by three scores in the 9.8s, but the Crimson Tide also suffered two falls and had to count one. On bars, disappointment was overcome by the fact that freshman Lexi Graber is back in action and debuted with a bang on bars, where she posted a big 9.900. Missouri had a fairly good competition, with the highlight of the meet coming from Aspen Tucker, who posted a 9.900 on floor.
BYU had a great competition against Air Force, winning 196.450-192.700. BYU excelled especially on floor, where it posted five scores of 9.825 or better. Mackenzie Douglas impressed with a 9.925. BYU’s Shannon Hortman won the all around with a 39.300.
Iowa won on the road at Maryland 196.000-195.350. Iowa had two impressive rotations on bars and beam, while Maryland excelled on floor exercise. Iowa’s best apparatus was beam, where Nicole Chow scored a 9.900, Nikki Youd a 9.850 and Charlotte Sullivan and Rose Piorkowski two 9.825s. Charlotte Sullivan also impressed on bars with a 9.875 and won the all around with a 39.300. Iowa’s Lanie Snyder won floor with a 9.900, but it was Maryland to impress there with three scores of 9.8 or better with Audrey Barber, Alecia Farina and Karrie Thomas.
Boise State had a good meet on the road at Southern Utah, winning with a 195.475 to a 193.475. Shani Remme impressed once again, scoring a 9.900 on beam, a 9.925 on floor and winning the all around with a big 39.500. Southern Utah impressed on bars, where it posted four scores in the 9.8s.
Host Iowa State won with a 195.275 against Texas Woman’s (191.050). Iowa State’s senior Haylee Young won the all around with a good 39.300.
West Virginia won on the road with yet its lowest score of the season so far, a still good 195.050. It won ahead of host UC Davis (194.200) and UIC (193.025). West Virginia’s Kirah Koshinski impressed on vault with a 9.900 and on floor with a 9.875, score posted also by teammate Jordan Gillette. UIC had instead a fantastic rotation on bars, where it counted four scores in the 9.8s.
San José State won at home against Sac State 194.425-191.775. San José’s Taylor Chan impressed, winning floor with a 9.850 and the all around with a 39.025.
Carolina won a quad meet with a 194.600, ahead of host Towson (194.275), Yale (192.050) and Ursinus (187.425). Carolina’s senior Morgan Lane won the all around with a 39.100.
Lindenwood won on the road (193.875) against host Seattle Pacific (190.725) and UW-Eau Claire (184.900). Lindenwood’s Kierstin Sokolowski impressed with a 9.825 on vault and teammates Kayla McMullan and Ryan Henry impressed on floor with two 9.800s.
S.E. Missouri won on the road at Pennsylvania 192.700-192.200. S.E. Missouri’s Alexis Brawner impressed on floor with a 9.900.
UW-Stout defeated Gustavus Adolphus 185.275-179.050. Brooke Terry won the all around with a 37.825.
UW-Whitewater won with a 187.525 over host Winona State (186.400) and Hamline (183.675). Winona State’s Eboni Jackson won the all around with an impressive 38.275.
Article by Talitha Ilacqua