If Week 5 started well on Friday, it did not disappoint on Saturday either. Utah posted the highest score of the week so far, an outstanding 197.700. Georgia also posted its first 197 of the season, a 197.000 flat. Nebraska, Denver and Oregon State again posted three big scores in the high 196s, and Division III UW-Whitewater impressed by posting its first 190+ of the season, a 191.175. Individually, this was Utah’s MaKenna Merrell-Giles week. She posted the first perfect 10.0 of her collegiate career on vault, as well as an outstanding 9.975 on floor.
What a competition it was for Utah, which thrived, posting a massive 197.700, against Washington, which had a slightly disappointing competition for a 196.250. This was Utah’s junior MaKenna Merrell-Giles’ competition, who is having the season of a lifetime. MaKenna posted the first perfect 10.0 of her career on vault for a stuck Yurchenko one-and-a-half, and went on to post another huge 9.975 on floor and to win the all around, ahead of star MyKayla Skinner for the second consecutive week with a 39.675, a new career-high. The Red Rocks impressed on vault, where four of the five counting scores were 9.9s or better. Tiffani Lewis posted a 9.900 for a stuck FTY, MyKayla Skinner a 9.925 for her DTY with a step back, Kim Tessen a 9.950 for a stuck Yurchenko one-and-a-half, and Merrell-Giles a 10.0 for the same vault. Utah struggled to score in the 9.9s on bars and beam, but put up some solid scores in the 9.8s. On bars, the best scores were MaKenna Merrell-Giles’ and Missy Renstadtler’s 9.875s, while on beam MyKayla Skinner was the only gymnast to score a 9.900. The Red Rocks, however, ended the competition in outstanding fashion on floor, where again four out of five counting scores were 9.9 or better. Sydney Soloski and Kari Lee (debuting on floor this season) posted two 9.900s, MyKayla Skinner a 9.950 and Merrell-Giles a 9.975. Washington had an average competition, posting some good scores in the 9.8s, but having to count some 9.7s on all apparatuses. Monica Riley impressed on bars, winning the event with a 9.900.
As I had predicted a couple of weeks ago, Georgia was showing solid improvement towards the magic 197 score, and guess what? This week the Bulldogs finally reached an exact 197.000 for the first time this season. Congratulations! Georgia is clearly working on its weaknesses, and it is rewarding to see such talented gymnasts showing off the gymnastics they deserve. The news of the week is that the Bulldogs finally have a six-gymnast lineup on bars – sophomore Jordyn Pedersen made her college debut there yesterday, and she made it to stay. She scored a very good 9.850 for a solid routine, which could score in the 9.9s with some more experience. This gives Georgia time to breathe a little bit more, although they still have to manage five-gymnast lineups on vault and floor. Georgia had a solid vault rotation, failing, however, to score into the 9.9s. Rachel Dickson and Sydney Snead posted the best score, two 9.850s. On bars, Dickson and freshman Marissa Oakley impressed with two 9.900s, followed by Snead’s 9.875. Georgia had a jaw-dropping competition on beam, where the lowest counting score was a 9.825, and with Rachel Dickson posting a 9.925 and Sabrina Vega a 9.900. The Bulldogs were on fire on the last rotation, floor, where Rachel Dickson and Sydney Snead posted two 9.950s and Sabrina Vega a 9.925. Missouri had a solid competition, with most scores in the 9.8s. Britney Ward impressed on beam with a 9.900. Georgia’s Rachel Dickson won the all around with a 39.625.
Nebraska had another outstanding competition, posting a 196.850 to Minnesota’s 196.375. Nebraska impressed particularly on beam and floor. On beam, Grace Williams posted a 9.925, followed by two solid scores in the 9.8s. On floor, the lowest counting score was a 9.850, and on top, Megan Schweihofer posted a huge 9.950, Sienna Crouse a 9.925, and Abbie Epperson and Sierra Hassel two 9.875s. Minnesota also had an excellent competition. On bars, Ivy Lu kept impressing with a 9.925, followed by freshman sensation Lexy Ramler with a 9.900. On beam, Ramler posted another 9.900, followed by Ciara Gardner’s 9.875. Finally, on floor, Ona Loper posted a 9.925 and Ciara Gardner a 9.900. Minnesota’s Lexy Ramler also won the all around with a 39.475. Both teams are on the rise, watch out, we could see a 197 soon!
Denver also had another outstanding competition, winning a quad meet with a 196.750, ahead of Ball State (195.450), BYU (194.875) and Bowling Green (194.525). Denver had a fantastic competition on vault, beam and floor. On vault, all scores were in the 9.8s and Maddie Karr posted a big 9.925. On beam, Karr and freshman Mia Sundstrom posted two 9.925s, followed by Kaitlyn Schou’s 9.900 and two other scores in the 9.8s. And on floor, freshman Lynnzee Brown posted an outstanding 9.950, followed by Nikole Addison’s 9.900 and Maddie Karr’s 9.875. Denver’s bars rotation was not bad, and Maddie Karr even scored a 9.900, but they also had two falls, and had to count one. Bowling Green’s Jovannah East kept impressing with a 9.925 on vault, while BYU’s Brittni Hawes posted an outstanding 9.925 to win bars. Denver’s Maddie Karr won the all around with a 39.625.
Oregon State also had the eyes of the prize, posting a fantastic 196.725 against Arizona State (195.050). The Beavers had an outstanding rotation on floor, where the lowest counting score was a 9.850. Isis Lowery won the event with a 9.925, followed by Kaitlyn Yanish’s 9.900. On vault and bars, Oregon State posted solid scores in the 9.8s, and on beam, despite some balance checks here and there, some routines were impressive, including Dani Dessaints’s 9.900 and Sabrina Gill’s 9.875. Arizona State had two solid rotations on vault and bars, but had a disastrous rotation on beam and major problems on floor. Cairo Leonard-Baker’s 9.900 on floor was the only score in the 9.9s of the meet for ASU. Oregon State’s Sabrina Gill won the all around with a 39.375.
North Carolina State won a quad meet with a 194.600, ahead of Temple (193.875), host Pittsburgh (193.125) and Towson (192.050). NCS’s Chelsea Knight had an impressive competition on beam and floor, scording a 9.800 and a 9.875 respectively. Pitt impressed on bars, where Haley Brechwald and Megan Tripp posted two 9.825s and Lucy Brett a 9.800. Brechwald also won the all around with a 39.075.
Ohio State won another quad meet with a 195.850, ahead of Rutgers (194.800), West Chester (191.600) and UW-Whitewater (191.175). Ohio State impressed particularly on vault with four scores in the 9.8s, topped by Alexis Mattern’s and Morgan Lowe’s 9.875s. Teammate Jamie Stone impressed on floor with a 9.875. Rutgers’ Makenzey Shank impressed on beam with a 9.850. A shout-out to Whitewater, which posted its first score in the 190s this weekend – impressive work!
Air Force won on the road with a 193.100, just ahead of Sac State (193.000) and of host Alaska (190.125). Air Force had a solid competition, with most scores in the 9.7s on all apparatuses. It was Sac State, however, to impress on bars with three scores in the 9.8s – Courtney Soliwoda scored a 9.850, Jordyn Brent a 9.825 and Annie Juarez a 9.800. Outstanding on floor was Alaska’s Isabelle Fox, who won the event with a 9.875. Sac State’s Annie Juarez won the all around with an outstanding 39.125.
Pennsylvania had another very good meet against Cornell, winning 192.675-192.400. Penn had an outstanding rotation on beam, with Darcy Matsuda posting a 9.850, and Alex Hartke and Caroline Moore two 9.825s. Cornell instead impressed on floor, where Claire Haklik, Maddison Smith and Samantha Henry posted three 9.825s.
Southern Connecticut defeated Rhode Island College 189.525-177.550. Kathleen Aberger impressed on floor with a 9.800.
Article by Talitha Ilacqua