Week 4: Review (Part 3)

Photograph: YouTube

Here is the third and last part of my recap of Week 4! What a week it was. On Sunday, we again witnessed some big gymnastics. Arizona State impressed with a big score of 196.800 against California. ASU’s freshman star Cairo Leonard-Baker posted a huge 9.950 on bars and Cal’s Toni-Ann Williams responded with a 9.975 on floor. Central Michigan’s Denelle Pedrick posted a big 9.925 on vault.

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Arizona State had an outstanding competition against California, winning with a big 196.800 to Cal’s 194.850. Arizona State started well on vault, with Cairo Leonard-Baker and Morgan Wilson scoring two good 9.850. They then had an outstanding rotation of bars, where the lowest counting score was a 9.800. Cairo Leonard-Baker won the event with an outstanding 9.950, followed by Nichelle Christopherson (9.875), and Anne Kuhm and Morgan Hart (9.850). ASU went on to have a very good rotation on beam, with four scores in the 9.8s, topped by Ashley Szafranski’s 9.875, and finished the competition with another outstanding rotation on floor. There, Cairo Leonard-Baker posted a 9.925, Kaitlyn Szafranski a 9.850 and other three gymnasts three 9.825s. Cal counted some very good routines, but also some disastrous rotations. On bars, they suffered two falls and had to count one, and on beam they suffered three falls and had to count two. What was good, however, was very good. On vault, all of the Golden Bears’ scores were 9.8s and Sylvie Seilnacht posted a big 9.900. On bars, Nina Schank posted another big 9.900, followed by Toni-Ann Williams’ 9.850. Toni-Ann also shined on beam and floor, where she posted a 9.900 and a 9.975 respectively. She and ASU’s Cairo Leonard-Baker tied for the all around title with two 39.575s.

George Washington defeated New Hampshire on the road 196.175-195.925. It was an impressive away score for GW! George Washington impressed particularly on vault and beam. On vault, Camille Drouin-Allaire and Jillian Winstanley posted two impressive 9.875s. On beam, Jillian and Elizabeth Pfeiler posted two outstanding 9.900s. New Hampshire, on the contrary, impressed on bars and floor. On bars, they counted four incredible 9.875s with Danielle Mulligan, Lauren Diggan, Makenzie Kerouac and Riley Freehling. On floor, Lauren Diggan posted a big 9.900, followed by Lia Breeden’s 9.875 and Danielle Mulligan’s 9.850. Casey Lauter kept impressing on beam with another 9.875. George Washington’s Jillian Winstanley won the all around with a 39.450.

Host Western Michigan defeatd Bowling Green 195.675-195.500. Both teams impressed particularly on floor, where Western Michigan posted a 49.175 and Bowling Green a 49.150. Western Michigan’s Morgan Spence won the all around with a 39.075.

Ball State defeated Kent State by exactly two points 195.600-195.600. Ball State dominated on vault, beam and floor, and were particularly impressive on the latter two apparatuses. On beam, they counted four 9.800s (Baylee Bell, Kaitlyn Menzione, Rachel Benoit and Vicky Garcia). On floor, the lowest counting score was a 9.825, and the leaderboard was topped by Sydney Finke’s impressive 9.900. Kent State also counted some very good performances. On floor, Rachel Stypinski scored a big 9.875. On bars, Brooke Timko scored a 9.825, and so did Ali Marrero on beam. Ball State’s Kaitlyn Menzione won the all around with a 39.150.

Central Michigan won on the road at Northern Illinois 195.650-194.950. Central Michigan’s Katy Clements had a great day on beam and floor, scoring two 9.900s, and teammate Denelle Pedrick posted a big 9.925 on vault. Northern Illinois also had some impressive performances. Katherine Prentice got a 9.900 on bars and Ashley Potts a 9.900 on beam. Ashley also won the all around with a 39.350.

In the last quad meet of the week, host Temple won with a 193.225, ahead of Cornell (191.600), S.E. Missouri (189.325) and Ithaca College (188.075). SEMO impressed on floor, where Alexis Brawner posted a 9.875 and McKinzie Jones a 9.850. Cornell’s Izzy Herczeg impressed on beam with a 9.850.

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Thoughts

We were blessed with gymnastics royalty this week. Florida and Oklahoma put up a power contest, and they both proved to be once again in contention for a national title. UCLA, Utah and LSU also impressed, hitting big scores and even bigger routines. I was very impressed with the Bruins, because they are working on their weaknesses beautifully, which is a sign of wisdom and humility. The differnce between UCLA and LSU was one of experience. The LSU team is a younger one, which still needs some experience to get adjusted to everything. A lot of teams that too often pass under the radar made important statements this weekend. These include Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Arizona State and Denver. Individually, we have seen an impressive number of 10s this week. Florida’s senior Alex McMurtry joined the Gym Slam Club after posting her first perfect 10.0 on beam, as well as a perfect 10.0 on vault. UCLA’s Peng-Peng Lee posted the second perfect 10.0 of her career on beam. Several 9.975s were also posted. Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols scored two on vault and floor; LSU’s Myia Hambrick, Florida’s Kennedy Baker and Cal’s Toni-Ann Williams posted other three 9.975s on floor. And Stanford’s Ebee Price posted all by herself a 9.975 on bars.

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Highest scores of the week

Team: Florida – 198.150

All around: Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) – 39.775

Vault: Alex McMurtry (Florida) – perfect 10.0

Uneven bars: Elizabeth Price (Stanford) – 9.975

Balance beam: Alex McMurtry (Florida) and Christine Peng-Peng Lee (UCLA) – perfect 10.0

Floor exercise: Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma), Kennedy Baker (Florida), Myia Hambrick (LSU), Toni-Ann Williams (Cal) – 9.975

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Routines of the week

Vault: Alex McMurtry (Florida) – No one performs a DTY like Alex McMurtry.

Uneven bars: Nina Schank (Cal) – No one talks about this freshman, but look at her lines, her poise and that stick. She has a bright future ahead of her!

Balance beam: Alex McMurtry (Florida) & Peng-Peng Lee (UCLA) – These two perfect 10.0s are so well-deserved. Patience and hard work pay off!

Floor exercise: Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) – Such beauty, poise and precision from hero Maggie Nichols!

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What’s next?

The meet of the week in Week 5 is taking place on Sunday, when #1 Oklahoma will visit #4 UCLA. The other top teams are measuring themselves with teams of the rise, which will make all these meets incredibly exciting to watch. On Friday, Florida will compete at Auburn, Alabama will host Arkansas, and LSU will host Kentucky. On Saturday, Washington will visit Utah and Missouri will travel to Georgia. On Sunday, Michigan will be back home after two weeks on the road against Maryland.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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