The NCAA Weekly|6 January

Here is the first weekly news post of 2019! Check out the blog tomorrow for a recap of Week 1 of the 2019 Season.

1. Minnesota competed at their last intrasquad of the 2019 pre-season. Sophomore Lexy Ramler posted the highest scores of the day on all apparatuses, including a 9.875 on bars. Junior Ivy Lu did also very well on bars, with a 9.825. Freshman Tiarre Sales impressed hitting both her vault and bars routine for a 9.725 and a 9.700 respectively.

2. UCLA red-shirt sophomore Grace Glenn posted a brand-new bars routine on Twitter, where she showed off not only some beautiful lines and handstands, but also a newly-learnt double layout dismount. I can’t wait to see her in the bars lineup! She added the caption: ‘Never thought I would be able to learn this dismount but after months of hard work I finally got it! Never give up on your goals!’ Miss Val also praised Grace’s hard work, writing on Twitter: ‘This is sheer consistent commitment to the plan from and  👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻’.

3. Illinois posted on Twitter two ‘Winter Break’ interviews. The first is with sophomore Nicole Biondi, who talks about going home for Christmas and working hard for the 2019 season. The second is with junior Karen Howell, who talks about seeing her family once more for Christmas before the beginning of the new season. Karen was also the protagonist of a a ‘Preseason Training’ interview.

4. Nebraska‘s weekly introductory video this week was about senior Sienna Crouse. She says that her goal in her final season as a Husker is to leave her mark on the programme.

5. New Rutgers head coach Umme Salim-Beasley explained in a new interview with FloGymnastics that things are about to change for the Scarlett Knights. Ms Salim-Beasley is bringing her successful experience as head coach at Temple to Rutgers, she has changed the training programme and the Scarlett Knights are set to become a serious contender in the Big Ten Conference.

6. A couple of schools posted their first meet previews. Seniors Abby Milliet and Sam Cerio and coach Jeff Graba introduced Auburn‘s 2019 season on Twitter. And senior Michelle Amoresano previewed Rutgers‘ 2019 season also on Twitter.

7. A few more freshmen were introduced this week. Florida introduced Halley Taylor and Trinity ThomasIllinois introduced their very tall freshman, Shaylah Scott, who is 5’9”, and early enrolee Grace HesterNC State, on the contrary, published an article on their four seniors: Caitlyn Fillard, Alexa Phillips, Paris Phillips and Maggie Tamburro.

8. Utah unveiled a gorgeous new leotard in a video on Twitter, featuring senior MaKenna Merrell-Giles and junior Missy Reinstadtler. The leotard embodies the beauties of Utah, including a finely-designed mountain chain on the chest.

9. Former Florida Gator Nicole Webb transferred to NC State. She is in her sophomore year. As a freshman at Florida, she competed once on beam and scored a 9.725. Best of luck to Nicole in her new home, she is a gorgeous gymnast, hopefully she will get to compete and shine more often. She deserves it!

10. Commits keep working hard! Stanford commit Victoria Nguyen posted a video of herself on Twitter, in which she is training a super difficult acrobatic series on beam: a free cartwheel to LOSO to LOSO. Gorgeous! LSU commit Olivia Dunne also posted a video of herself on Twitter, training instead a very difficult combination on bars: a Tkatchev to Bhardwaj. Equally gorgeous! USA Gymnastics also posted a video on Twitter, showing some elite gymnasts’ winter upgrades. The video features, in order, UCLA commit Jordan Chiles, Florida commits Kayla Di Cello and Olivia Greaves, Oregon State signee Jade Carey, Utah commit Grace McCallum, Konnon McClain, Auburn commit Sunisa Lee and Florida freshman Trinity Thomas.

Commits of the week: Kaia Parker to Iowa State (2020-21), Arianna Mamelka to William & Mary (2019-20), Mia Takekawa to Illinois (2019-20), Jenna DeVincenzo to New Hampshire (2020-21).

New Year’s Bonus: Here are a few bittersweet New Year’s posts from collegiate gymnasts who went through a lot in 2018, but who fought back and are positive about the future. Michigan assistant coach Polina Shchennikova wrote on Twitter: ‘2018 had a few interesting turn of events that I never in a million years thought possible, but that is what life is. It shows you the painful truths, teaches you the hard lessons, and gives you memories you’ll never forget. Thank you for being a part of this crazy journey! #2019’. Florida sophomore Alyssa Baumann wrote on Instagram: ‘This year was filled with ups and downs, but I’m so thankful to be surrounded by people who lift me up without hesitation.❤️ I couldn’t be happier to have been able to get back to competing again esp with this team. Thanking God for all my blessings, and can’t wait to see what He has in store for next year.’ Oklahoma junior Maggie Nichols wrote on Twitter: ‘No matter what happened over this past year… the good, the bad…be thankful to where it brought you. Where you are is where you are meant to be at this moment. Make this next chapter amazing. ⭐️🤞🏻💛’. Nebraska senior Catelyn Orel, who just underwent knee surgery, wrote on Twitter: ‘New Year New Knee?!😍 Not exactly the way I imagined my senior season starting but as always I know God has much bigger things in mind. Can’t wait to be back with my sisters in post-season and can’t wait to watch them SLAY this first part 💜👑‘. And LSU commit Haleigh Bryant wrote on Twitter: ‘what a year! 2018 has had the highest of highs and lowest of lows! So thankful for all the experiences I have had & all the life lessons I’ve learned! I’m so ready to take on 2019 🎉THE BEST IS YET TO COME 🔥’.


Routine of the week

Lexy Ramler’s near-perfect bars routine at Minnesota’s last intrasquad of the 2019 pre-season.


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