1. The 2018 U.S. World Championships team has been announced. The six gymnasts who will represent the United States in Doha are Simone Biles, Kara Eaker (uncommitted), Morgan Hurd (Florida 2021), Grace McCallum (Utah 2022), Riley McCusker (Florida 2021) and Ragan Smith (Oklahoma 2021). The alternate will be announced in Qatar.
2. Utah introduced some of their opening tumbling passes on floor. Freshman Cristal Isa competed a full-twisting double back, senior MaKenna Merrell-Giles a full-twisting double pike, junior MyKayla Skinner a double double (!), and senior Macey Roberts a front layout to Rudi. And they also showed off some stuck dismounts. On beam, freshman Cristal Isa is training a unique Gainer 1.5 – absolutely gorgeous! – junior Kim Tessen competed a Gainer full and senior Kari Lee a double twist. On bars, Cristal Isa stuck her double layout and MaKenna Merrell-Giles almost stuck her full-in.
3. There seems to be a growing double-twisting Yurchenko club this year: Missouri junior Aspen Tucker, Nebraska junior Taylor Houchin, and UCLA freshman Margzetta Frazier join Utah junior Mykayla Skinner and, it seems, Florida senior Alicia Boren.
4. A lot of gymnasts are also showing off old and new Yurchenkos 1.5: Denver junior Maddie Karr, Pitt sophomore Sophia Bochenek, Florida freshman Savannah Schoenherr, UCLA sophomores Nia Dennis and Pauline Tratz, UCLA junior Felicia Hano, Nebraska sophomore Maykayla Curtis, Arkansas freshman Amanda Elswick, Missouri senior Morgan Porter and freshman Hannah McCrary, Oklahoma sophomore Anastasia Webb, senior and NCAA co-champion Brenna Dowell, senior Nicole Lehrmann and freshman Olivia Trautman.
5. UCLA showed off loads of training videos this week. Red-shirt sophomore Grace Glenn showed off a beautiful BHSO + LOSO and a BHSO to Gainer dismount on beam. Junior Gracie Kramer is training beam, including a double twisting dismount. On floor, she is training a front double twist to front pike (it was a front tuck last year). Sophomore Pauline Tratz is training a unique BHSO to front Toss on beam. And junior Felicia Hano showed off a full-twisting double back dismount on bars.
6. Florida equally impressed in training this week. Freshman Savannah Schoenherr is training a high Jaeger on bars. Another freshman, Leah Clapper, is training a BHSO + LOSO + LOSO on beam. And yet another freshman, Nya Reed, is training a huuuuge double layout on floor. And one more freshman, Halley Taylor is training a one-hand BHSO + LOSO. Sophomore Nicole Webb performed a beautiful BHSO + LOSO. Junior Maegan Chant is training a bail handstand on bars, while sophomore Megan Skaggs showed off a gorgeous double layout on bars. Junior Rachel Gowey is training a Van Leeuwen on bars! Finally, freshman Trinity Thomas is training a free-walkover into switch leap to straddle jump on beam, and a Pak salto and a Van Leeuwen on bars.
7. And so did Nebraska. Freshman Abigail Johnston is training a Ray on bars. Sophomore Kynsee Roby is training a triple series on beam: free-walkover + BHSO + LOSO. Senior Sienna Crouse is training a very difficult front double twist to front full twist on floor. Senior Megan Schweihofer is training a switch leap to switch leap half on beam.
8. Impressive was also Oregon State. Junior Maela Lazaro is training a solid BHSO + LOSO on beam, and the same acro series was shown by sophomore Savanna Force and by freshman Alexa McClung. Red-shirt junior Lacy Dagen is training a Gainer pike dismount on beam. Freshman Madi Daren is training a superb switch leap to switch leap half also on beam. Finally, future Beaver Jade Carey was shown training a Bhardwaj on bars.
9. Michigan‘s inspirational yet informative news story was dedicated this week to freshman Abby Brenner. Ten years ago, Abby was watching a Michigan meet on TV, and was struck by the confidence on beam of the then Wolverine Kelsey Knutson. Abby wrote her a letter and, to her surprise, she received a reply. Knutson ended her letter, saying: ‘Dream Big! Work Hard! and Anything is Possible!’. The following year, she got the chance to meet Knutson in person during a Michigan away meet at Minnesota in Indianapolis. Already in love with Michigan, Abby then began to attend the Wolverines’ summer campa, and finally committed to the University of Michigan in 2015. Last week, Kelsey Knutson was back at her alma mater for the Weekend of Champions at Homecoming, and she and Abby met again for the first time in nine years. Abby said: ‘It was super exciting to see her at Homecoming. We took a picture by our locker. It was fun to think about her being the gymnast and now I am following in her footsteps. I let her know how much of an inspiration she was to me.’
Routine of the week
Kara Eaker posted an insane 15.150 for this beam routine at the U.S. Team Selection Camp earlier this week. Lucky the team who will sign her for college!