1. A former Level 10, elite and NCAA gymnast is bravely sharing her gymnastics experiences and stories of abuse on an Instagram account called Surviving Gymnastics. A must-follow.
2. The Pac-12 Network premiered a preview of its new segment, called Our Stories, which features Valorie Kondos Field. The UCLA head coach, who is retiring at the end of the 2019 season, reflects on her career and on how she is now taking her ‘last bow’.
3. Michigan had its first public intrasquad last weekend and did really well – you can watch the highlights here. The freshman class was particularly impressive: Natalie Wojcik began her journey to stardom here, winning the all around, bars and floor titles, and finishing second on beam – video here. Another freshman, Abby Brenner, won vault, while junior Lexi Funk won beam. Junior Maggie O’Hara was second on bars with this lovely routine, while junior Maddie Osman scored a 9.800 for her first floor routine in over a year. Senior Olivia Karas was also back, here on beam, after tearing her Achilles last season.
4. Oklahoma also had their annual intrasquad this weekend, you can watch the highlights and an interview with head coach K.J. Kindler here. On vault, senior Nicole Lehrmann showed off her new Yurchenko 1.5, and that same vault was also performed for the first time by sophomore Anastasia Webb (she used to compete a handspring front pike last year). On bars, Anastasia showed off her new dismount, while on beam, junior Maggie Nichols looked smoother than ever. On floor, Maggie impressed again with an astonishing choreography. Among the surprises, freshman Olivia Trautman is leading off the Sooners on beam and is anchoring them on floor, while here is Brenna Dowell for the first time on beam!
5. Utah also returned to action at their Red Rocks season preview – highlights here. Junior MyKayla Skinner did not miss a beat (as usual), hitting four beautiful routines, including this vault, this beam set and her double double on floor. Senior Kari Lee performed a beautiful FTY on vault, while senior Makenna Merrell-Giles looked on fire on beam and floor. Impressive were also the freshmen. Adrienne Randall lit up the stadium with her full twist onto the beam, while Cristal Isa fought for her landing on bars. Here is also a short interview with the other freshman, Hunter Dula. Unfortunately, the fourth freshman, Cammy Hall, seems to be out with an injury. We wish her a speedy recovery!
6. Georgia competed in front of their fans on Saturday at their First Look event. Sophomore Marissa Oakley had a fantastic meet, winning bars with a 9.900 and beam with a 9.875. Senior Sydney Snead won vault with a 9.900, while junior Rachel Dickson and freshman Rachael Lucaks won floor with a 9.875.
8. Nebraska‘s video segment this week was dedicated to sophomore Makayla Curtis. She talks about training very hard on all four apparatuses, after competing only vault last season, and about the depth and potential of the Huskers this year.
9. Auburn‘s new volunteer assistant coach Bryan Raschilla is doing an amazing job on vault, watch him encouraging his gymnasts in training here!
10. A couple of coaching updates this week: First, William and Mary head coach Mary Lewis, who has led the Tribe for twenty-five years, announced her retirement at the end of the 2019 season. During her time as head coach, William and Mary won six conference titles, including three consecutive titles from 2001-2003 and back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015. The Tribe also claimed a league crown in 1999. Second, Janelle McDonald joined Cal as assistant coach. Ms McDonald has been coaching at club level across the United States for almost two decades. She has most recently spent six years at WOGA in Texas.
Routine of the week
Freshman Abby Brenner began this career at Michigan this week with this impressive Yurchenko 1.5 on vault. Her future looks bright!