1. Elisabeth Crandall-Howell, Cal’s associate head coach since 2014, was promoted to co-head coach. She will share the position with her husband Justin. The latter said: ‘Liz has worked tirelessly for the past six years to help take all aspects of our program to the next level. She knows this program inside and out, and she cares deeply about the holistic development of our student athletes. She is a tremendous asset to our program.’ Crandall-Howell joined the Golden Bears as assistant coach in 2012, and was named National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2016. She said of her new position: ‘I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue to represent this university, and to be inspired by the surrounding excellence. It’s a very exciting time for Cal Women’s Gymnastics. I’m honored to work with our student-athletes, and help them strive to get One Day Better in all aspects of their lives.’ Crandall-Howell is a former member of the U.S. national gymnastics team from 1987 to 1992. She later joined BYU, and competed for the Cougars for four years, earning two All-American honours and winning three times the Regional uneven bars title.
2. Utah showed off early potential lineups this week. They first proved to have a very strong vault lineup. Sophomore Alexia Burch, senior Macey Roberts and senior Kari Lee all performed solid FTYs, Kari’s being the best one. Freshman Cammy Hall showed off a Yurchenko 1.5 and junior Missy Reinstadtler also unveiled a brand new Yurchenko 1.5. Junior MyKayla Skinner performed her very powerful DTY, and the lineup was topped off by MaKenna Merrell-Giles‘ huge Yurchenko 1.5. They then showed off four routines on bars. Freshman Hunter Dula performed a half pirouette to Jaeger and a bail handstand. She has awesome handstands! Freshman Cristal Isa competed a Ray and a bail handstand. Senior MaKenna Merrell-Giles showed off her Deltchev and another bail handstand. Finally, senior Kari Lee performed a half pirouette to piked Jaeger to overshoot. Fantastic job! On the balance beam, the Utes proved to have plenty of gymnasts to choose from. Sophomore Alexia Burch, freshman Adrienne Randall and junior MyKayla Skinner all showed off solid BHSO + LOSO series. Senior MaKenna Merrell-Giles competed her usual triple series: BHSO + BHSO + LOSO. Junior Kim Tessen, for the first time seen on beam, showed off a gorgeous free-walkover to Wolf jump. Freshman Cristal Isa performed a front Toss to beat jump. Senior Kari Lee showed off a unique beat jump to free cartwheel. And junior Missy Reinstadtler performed a beautiful switch leap to switch leap half. I hope she will become this year’s Utah beam queen!
3. Michigan sophomore Syd Townsend is (almost) ready to carry on the Canadian tradition of starting a beam routine with some flares. Peng-Peng Lee would be very proud!
4. Speaking of Michigan, the Wolverines unveiled a new story this week, this time concerning freshman Madison Mariani and her twin sister Makenna. The sisters began doing gymnastics together aged five, but Makenna decided not to continue with the sport, while Maddie continued to Level 10. Despite being best friends, during high school they realised that they wished to pursue different paths in life. Maddie wanted to continue her gymnastics career in college and leave the state of Arizona, while Makenna wanted to attend university in Tucson. Living in different states is hard for the twins, but they stay in contact as much as possible. ‘It is hard with us both being in school and the three-hour time difference’, explained Makenna. ‘We talk as much as we can. My mom jokes that I talk to Maddie three times a day and she only talks to her once a week. We both make time for it.’ Maddie, however, is convinced that attending Michigan was the right decision for her. She said: ‘When I visited here it was my favorite school by far with the combination of academics and athletics. When I came here and visited it felt like home. I loved the facilities too. I was at practice when Bev (Plocki) called to offer me a scholarship, and I said yes right away.’
4. At Florida someone was playing twins as well. Freshman Trinity Thomas and junior Rachel Gowey showed off synchronised crisscrossed acrobatic series – BHSO + LOSO + LOSO – it looked gorgeous!
6. Sac State participated in Inclusion week, in conjunction with Big Sky and the NCAA. The goal was to create dialogue on inclusion and diversity, and to emphasise the gymnasts’ individuality beyond their status of student-athletes. Cydney-Elise Kone wrote: ‘Who am I outside of gymnastics? I am a poet, an artist, and a musician.’ And Courtnee Marquez added: ‘I find joy in expanding my mind in the classroom. I am family oriented and have a passion for photography.’
7. Here are the training updates of the underclassmen!
FRESHMEN: Temple’s Ariana Castrence is training a Yurchenko 1.5 on vault. Cal’s Milan Clausi showed off a beautiful bail and a double layout dismount, as well as a new Gienger, on bars. And on beam, she is training a super combination: front Toss + beat jump + BHSO + LOSO. Teammate Grace Quinn is training a Tkachev and a Pak salto on bars. UCLA’s Norah Flatley is training a free-walkover to LOSO on beam. Ohio State’s Miriam Perez is training a solid BHSO + LOSO on beam. William & Mary’s Samantha Sakti is killing a very high full-in on floor. Georgia’s Alexa Al-Hameed is training a full pirouette to a gigantic Tkachev on bars, teammate Mikayla Magee is training the same combination, and Megan Roberts is training a Maloney to bail also on bars. UC Davis’ Devon Kiehne is learning a full-in on floor. Bowling Green’s Tess Muir is training a double layout on floor! Minnesota’s Ali Sonier is training a BHSO + LOSO on beam. Michigan’s Abby Brenner showed off a beautiful Yurchenko 1.5 on vault, and a huge two-and-a-half-twists into full twist on floor. And teammate Natalie Wojcik a huge full-twisting double layout off bars. Missouri’s Hannah McCrary is also training a Yurchenko 1.5. And UCLA’s Margzetta Frazier gave it all in her new floor choreography, which redefines the concept of sassiness!
SOPHOMORES: UC Davis’ Kelley Herbert is training a big double layout on floor, and teammate Kyla Kessler a Yurchenko 1.5 on vault. Lindenwood’s Jordan Boogerd‘s bars routine includes a Deltchev to overshoot and a double layout dismount. Teammate Samantha Borges‘ bars routine consists of a bail, a Tkachev and a full pirouette to double tuck dismount. And Andavea Alexander showed off a switch leap to split jump 3/4 on beam. Cal’s Victoria Salem showed off beautiful lines on bars, and an equally beautiful Maloney to Pak salto. Nina Schank is training a HIGH full-twisting double layout off bars, teammate Kyana George showed off a Tkachev also on bars, and Alma Kuc showed off some beautiful inverted grips work on bars. In the meantime on floor for the Golden Bears, Emi Watterson performed a beautiful double Arabian and a front layout to Rudi. Georgia’s Marissa Oakley rocked her BHSO + LOSO + LOSO on beam. Alaska’s Hope Nelson is training a piked Jaeger to overshoot on bars. UCLA’s Nia Dennis is training a free-walkover to LOSO and switch leap to switch leap half on beam. Ohio State’s Danica Abanto is training a floaty BHSO + LOSO on beam. Nebraska’s Makayla Curtis showed off a split jump to front somersault, and a BHSO + LOSO on beam, while teammate Kayla Quinn is training a Yurchenko 1.5 into the pit. Oklahoma’s Anastasia Webb is training a gorgeous switch leap to switch leap on beam, and a Pak salto to Maloney half on bars. Oregon State’s Lexie Gonzales is training a free-walkover to switch leap to beat jump on beam. Minnesota’s Ona Loper is training a big front double twist on floor. Boise State’s Emily Muhlenhaupt is training a Jaeger to bail on bars. Florida’s Alyssa Baumann is back training bars, including a beautiful Tkachev!
8. Here are the training updates of the upperclassmen!
JUNIORS: The QUEEN of all, Maggie Nichols, is training a switch leap to free-walkover to split jump on beam, and a stunning Ray to Pak salto on bars!!! Teammate Bre Showers is training a beat jump to split jump full on beam, and a full-twisting Tkachev and a bail on bars. AND Jade Degouveia IS TRAINING BARS: a piked Jaeger and a Pak salto for her. Illinois’s Rae Balthazor is training a Yurchenko 1.5 on vault, a full-in on floor (those pointed toes!) and a beat jump to straddle 3/4 on beam. Teammate Brittany Jones showed off a beautiful double turn to split jump on beam. Alaska’s Sophia Hyderally is training a super high Jaeger on bars, and a beautifully floaty free-walkover to free-walkover on beam. San José State’s Taylor Chan is training a gorgeous full-twisting double pike on floor. UCLA’s Macy Toronjo is training a switch leap to split jump on beam, and a double layout off bars. Teammate Felicia Hano showed off her powerful double layout on floor, and a big Ray on bars. In excellent Georgia fashion, Rachel Dickson is training an Omelianchik on vault! Oregon State’s Isis Lowery is training a double turn on beam, and teammate Maela Lazaro a rare one-and-a-half pirouette on bars. LSU’s Ruby Harrold STUCK her double front dismount on bars. Texas Woman’s Bria Northrop showed off a gorgeous tour jete full on beam. And UCLA’s Kyla Ross danced through her beam routine like a queen!
SENIORS: Florida’s Alicia Boren is training a DOUBLE-TWISTING YURCHENKO on vault!!! Illinois’s Haylee Roe is training a Yurchenko 1.5 – big upgrades for the Illini on vault! Teammate Mary Jane Otto is training a beautiful combination on bars: Maloney to Pak salto. And another Illini, Julia Hutcherson, is training a Gainer BHSO + LOSO. Oregon State’s Lacy Dagen sported a high FTY on vault, while Mary Jacobsen is training a front pike half out also on vault, a big double front on floor, and double front half out dismount on bars. UC Davis’ Yasmine Yektaparast is training a big front double twist on floor. Oklahoma’s Brenna Dowell is bringing back her Kochetkova on beam (!!!), and Nicole Lehrmann showed off her big Jaeger on bars. Michigan’s Emma McLean had a bit too much power on her Yurchenko 1.5! And Missouri’s Madeleine Huber is training a full-twisting double layout off bars.
9. UCLA juniors Madison Kocian, Kyla Ross, Felicia Hano and Mercedez Sanchez provided a virtual tour of their flat in Woodward in a new YouTube video. They talked decorations, healthy food, books and photos and VERY old security blankets – enjoy!
10. Here are the commits of the week: Eve Jackson to Utah State (2020-21), Ashton Woodbury to Cal (2019-20), Amanda Gruber to William and Mary (2019-20), Madison Brooks to Temple (2019-20), Sierra Bauman to New Hampshire (2020-21), Kenzington Martin to George Washington (2019-20), Victoria DeMeo (2019-20), Cyrena Whalen to Temple (2020-21), Caroline Williams to Nebraska (2020-21) and Morgan Bowles to Washington (2019-20).
Routine of the Week
Elisabeth Crandall (now Crandall-Howell) on the uneven bars at the 1992 Olympic Trials. She was named co-head coach at Cal this week.