1. The 2018 World Championships are underway in Doha, Qatar. After qualifications, the United States lead the field, ahead of Russia and China, by almost nine points. Simone Biles qualified for all event finals and for the all around with a huge 60.965, despite a kidney stone. Simone landed her new vault, a Yurchenko half-on with two twists, which is now officially called the Biles!!! Florida commit Morgan Hurd qualified alongside Simone for the all around, uneven bars and floor final, while the Beam Queen, Kara Eaker, qualified for the beam final. Among the event finalists, Alabama freshman Shallon Olsen of Canada qualified second for the vault final. I shall post more on the World Championships (including on current, former and future NCAA gymnasts) later in the week, once the finals take place…
2. Michigan Radio published the first episode of the podcast Believed. It follows closely the team of women survivors, detectives and prosecutors who brought Larry Nassar to justice, and explores the failure of a system that favoured victories and prestige over the wellbeing of the children they were entrusted with.
3. We finally have some updates on Alabama! Senior Abby Armbrecht is training a Yurchenko 1.5 on vault, and a high double layout on floor. Junior Shea Mahoney is training a BHSO + LOSO and a cartwheel to Gainer full dismount on beam. Sophomore Bailie Key (!!!) is training a one-and-a-half twisting dismount and a BHSO + LOSO on beam. Freshman Emily Gaskins is bringing back her back handspring support mount on beam, and is training a high and straight FTY on vault. Freshman Asia Dewalt is training a Maloney to Pak salto on bars. Junior Wynter Childers is training a front double twist on floor. Senior Ariana Guerra is training a big double layout on floor. And freshman Jensie Givens is training a straddled Jaeger and a bail handstand on bars.
4. Florida is aiming big on vault. Sophomore Alyssa Baumann and junior Amelia Hundley are training two brand-new Yurchenkos 1.5. Junior Maegan Chant is training a front handspring pike half out, just when we were starting missing Rachel Slocum! And senior Alicia Boren is becoming increasingly consistent in her DTY.
5. The Gators also looked impressively strong on floor. FOUR gymnasts are training double layouts: freshmen Halley Taylor, Nya Reed and Trinity Thomas, and juniors Amelia Hundley and Sierra Alexander. Amelia and Sierra trained a double layout also last year, but did not get to compete the skill last season. Freshman Savannah Schoenherr, on the contrary, is training a huge triple twist.
6. Oklahoma is looking phenomenal on floor. Freshman Allie Stern is training a high full-twisting double tuck. Junior Jade Degouveia is training a front double twist. Senior Brenna Dowell looked incredibly consistent on her own eponymous skill, a front double pike to stag jump. Junior Maggie Nichols is training a strong full-twisting double pike. And freshman Olivia Trautman has a big double layout.
7. UCLA junior Kyla Ross showed off her new full beam routine. It is very similar to the one she has been competing for the past two years, but she has added a very fun mount!
8. Washington showed off lots of upgrades this week. On beam, junior Maya Washington looked solid in her BHSO + LOSO + standee jump. Senior Monica Riley stuck her one-and-a-half twist off the apparatus. And freshman Meaghan Ruttan is training a solid BHSO + LOSO. On floor, senior Evanni Roberson is training a gorgeous front double twist to punch front. And freshman Hannah Vandenkolk is training a front double twist.
9. Georgia is also showing big improvement. On bars, freshman Alexa Al-Hameed is training a giant full to a HUGE Tkatchev. Another freshman, Megan Roberts is training a Maloney to bail handstands. On floor, junior Rachel Dickson is training a gorgeous double Arabian. And on beam, sophomore Emily Schild showed off a new very fun mount.
10. Here are the commits of the week: Peyton Gillen to Sac State (2019-20), Colleen Addario to New Hampshire (2019-20), Lyden Saltness to Auburn (2023-24), Ava Mabanta to Denver (2022-23), Elizabeth Henshall (2019-20), Angelica Labat to Illinois State (2019-20), Lauren McKeown to Brown (2019-20), Aimee Titche to Yale (2019-20).
Routine of the week