Photograph: Maggie Nichols/Twitter
It was another fantastic week of gymnastics. Oklahoma impressed with the third consecutive 198+ of the season. Behind the Sooners, Florida posted a massive 197.850 and UCLA was close behind with a 197.750. Individually, Florida’s Kennedy Baker posted a perfect 10.0 on floor and Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols the second consecutive perfect 10.0 on beam.
Oklahoma posted the third consecutive 198+, a 198.150 to tie the highest score posted in the season so far, and to beat North Carolina (195.750). The Sooners started off strong on vault, where Maggie Nichols and AJ Jackson posted two 9.925s and Brenna Dowell a 9.900. On bars, the two national champions, Nichols and Nicole Lehrmann, led the field with two 9.950s, followed by Brenna Dowell’s 9.925 and by Stefani Catour’s 9.900. Beam queen Maggie Nichols posted the second perfect 10.0 in a row, followed by Anastasia Webb (9.925), and by Bre Showers and Carly Woodard (9.900). Anastasia Webb impressed also on floor with a career high 9.950, tied with Brenna Dowell, and Bre Showers and Evy Schopfer followed with two 9.900s. Carolina had a super strong rotation on floor, with all counting scores above 9.8. Khazia Hislop posted their best score, a 9.900. Carolina also impressed on beam, where Morgan Lane posted a huge 9.950 and Hislop a 9.900. Maggie Nichols won the all around with a 39.675.
What a competition it was for Maryland, which won a quad meet with a 196.575, ahead of Rutgers (193.950), William & Mary (193.650) and Brown (193.325). Maryland had incredibly solid rotations, with most scores in the 9.8s on all apparatuses, but impressed especially on bars, where Alecia Farina and Audrey Barber posted two big 9.900s. Barber also won the all around with a 39.475.
Auburn had a great meet on the road, winning with a 196.500, ahead of Pittsburgh (196.100), North Carolina State (195.925) and Texas Woman’s (195.200). The Tigers had to count scores in the 9.7s on all apparatuses, but they also posted some big scores, which allowed them to score 49 or better across the board. On vault, Gracie Day posted a big 9.925 and Drew Watson a 9.900. On bars, Gracie Day posted another 9.900, followed by three scores in the 9.8s. On beam, Abby Milliet and Taylor Krippner scored two 9.925s and on floor Milliet posted another big 9.900. The other three teams impressed as well. North Carolina State did great on vault with four solid scores in the 9.8s. Pitt impressed with three 9.875s on bars. And Texas Woman’s did an outstanding job on floor, with two 9.900s by Mallory Moredock and Schyler Jones. Pitt’s Haley Brechwald won the all around with a 39.325.
Arizona won against Stanford 195.725-195.025. Despite a weak rotation on beam, Arizona won thanks to strong rotations on the leg events, vault and floor. Stanford had a terrible rotation on bars, and could not redeem themselves from that, despite a very strong rotation on beam. Ebee Price did not have her best day, but won both floor and vault with a 9.925 and a 9.900 respectively. Stanford’s freshman Kyla Bryant won the all around with a 39.400.
Kent State defeated Western Michigan on the road 195.575-194.975. Kent State’s Rachel Stypinski had a mesmerizing meet, scoring a 9.900 on floor, a 9.925 on beam and a 9.950 on bars, and winning the all around with a 39.350.
Northern Illinois won on the road at UIC 195.025-193.625. Northern Illinois’s Katherine Prentice impressed on bars and beam with two 9.875s. She also won the all around with a 39.275.
Ball State defeated Bowling Green 195.000-194.275. Ball State impressed particularly on bars, where three gymnasts scored in the 9.8s and Jordyn Penny posted a 9.900.
Temple won a quad meet on the road with a 194.700, ahead of Bridgeport (194.225), Pennsylvania (193.725) and Ursinus College (186.900). While Temple was the most consistent team overall, Bridgeport impressed on bars, with most scores in the 9.7s and a 9.800 by Kelli Tereshko, and Pennsylvania put up a couple of outstanding scores on floor, a 9.925 for Alex Hartke and a 9.900 for Kyra Levi. Bridgeport Maya Reimers also impressed with a 9.925 on floor. Temple’s Monica Servidio won the all around with a 38.975.
Alaska won on the road at Centenary College 189.050-188.750. Alaska’s Kendra Daniels impressed on beam with a 9.825.
Cortland State defeated Rhode Island College 185.850-179.300. Rhode Island’s Miranda Murphy won the all around with a 36.775.
Oklahoma is the #1 team in the nation for one reason – because it the best. It is consistent, it is precise and it sticks landings. And it is impressive. Behind the Sooners, UCLA looks particularly impressive, although Florida and Utah also look very good. LSU is still one of the top teams in the nation, but I have a feeling this is not the Tigers’ year. The Bruins are now ranked #2, ahead of Utah, LSU and Florida.
Highest scores of the week
Team: Oklahoma – 198.150
All around: Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma), MyKayla Skinner (Utah) – 39.975
Vault: Alex McMurtry (Florida) – 9.975
Uneven bars: Ivy Lu (Minnesota) – 9.975
Balance beam: Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) – perfect 10.0
Floor exercise: Kennedy Baker (Florida) – perfect 10.0
Routines of the week
Vault: Myia Hambrick (LSU) – Finally a stick for the queen of sticks. OH MYYYYIA!
Uneven bars: Ivy Lu (Minnesota) – Such beautiful lines and floated double layout dismount. This gymnast is a joy to watch.
Balance beam: Grace Glenn (UCLA) – What a beauty of a gymnast, all the time we waited to see her compete was worth it.
Floor exercise: Kennedy Baker (Florida) – Nobody competes a double piked Arabian like Kennedy Baker. Nobody.
Next Sunday big rivals UCLA and Utah will come face-to-face for the second time this season in Los Angeles. It is going to be big! Among other important meets, Georgia will host Florida, Alabama will host Kentucky, and Oklahoma will compete against Nebraska.
Article by Talitha Ilacqua