1. The USA dominated the team competition at the Pan American Games (171.000), ahead of Canada (160.600) and Brazil (158.550). The U.S. team was formed of Florida commits Riley McCusker and Morgan Hurd (2021), Utah commit Kara Eaker (2022), LSU commit Aleah Finnegan (2022) and Leanne Wong, who is still uncommitted. The Canadian team also included two NCAA gymnasts: Alabama sophomore Shallon Olsen and UCLA commit Brooklyn Moors. UCLA alumna Danusia Francis and Cal alumna Toni-Ann Williams competed for Jamaica. This was Toni-Ann’s first competition since she tore her Achilles last February. It’s incredible that she is already back! Riley and Kara qualified first and second to the all around final, but mistakes in the final prevented them from repeating the result. Riley finished second (55.125), behind Ellie Black of Canada (55.250) and ahead of Flavia Saraiva of Brazil (54.350), and Kara was fourth (53.750). Other NCAA gymnasts were competing in the AA final as well: UCLA alumna Danusia Francis (Jamaica) was seventh, Denver alumna Simona Castro (Chile) was fourteenth, BSU alumna Sandra Collantes (Peru) was seventeenth and Iowa State junior Ariana Orrego (Peru) was twentieth.
2. In the event finals of the Pan American Games, Utah commit Kara Eaker stunned everyone with a sublime beam routine, which won her a long awaited international gold medal on this apparatus (15.266). Second was Ellie Black of Canada and third Florida commit Riley McCusker, who won a medal despite falling on her dismount. UCLA alumna Danusia Francis made history, becoming the first female Jamaican gymnast to compete in a final at the Pan Am Games. On floor, UCLA commit Brooklyn Moors performed a painfully beautiful routine to win the competition (13.900), ahead of Kara Eaker and Brazil’s Flavia Saraiva. On bars, Florida commit Riley McCusker won her own individual gold medal (14.533), ahead of a delighted Leanne Wong (USA) and Ellie Black. Ellie also won vault (14.450), ahead of Cuba’s Yesenia Ferrera and Alabama sophomore Shallon Olsen (Canada). Shallon competed a strong DTY but suffered a bit on her Cheng.
3. Minnesota junior Lexy Ramler showed off an incredibly difficult routine on bars in training: Maloney with full pirouette to Pak salto and Maloney half to Comaneci. Impressive!
4. Florida junior Jazmyn Foberg, who did not compete last season at all due to injury, is back – here she is training a double layout on floor!
5. A video from the GK U.S. Classic has surfaced, showing Florida sophomore Trinity Thomas performing the most perfect double pike on floor.
6. Utah commit Grace McCallum, who recently finished third in the all around at the GK U.S. Classic, is training an Amanar on vault.
7. Utah commit Ella Zirbes was seen training a triple twisting double layout (though from a springboard and into the pit).
8. LSU (?) commit Alyona Shchennikova, who tore her Achilles last month, is already back in the gym and was filmed doing giants on bars.
9. LSU commit Aleah Finnegan is training a Dos Santos II on floor (double Arabian straight)!
10. Coaching updates: After serving six seasons as an Assistant Coach at Missouri, Casey Jo MacPherson was promoted to Associate Head Coach; West Chester alumna Cassie Hageman will join Temple as a Graduate Assistant Coach; Sunny Marchand will return to Bowling Green as Assistant Coach, after graduating from there in 2013; and Nebraska alumna Catelyn Orel was named Volunteer Assistant Coach at Arkansas.
Weddings: Congratulations to Missouri alumna and Eastern Michigan Assistant Coach Danielle Guider who recently got married. Congratulations also to Florida alumna and Oklahoma Assistant Coach Ashley Kerr who just tied the knot!
Inside Gymnastics Magazine‘s interview with U.S. junior national team member Ciena Alipio – link
College Gym News’s interview with Yale incoming freshman Reagan Walker – link
Utah alumna and 2008 Olympian for Germany Daria Kiehne (née Bijak) on why it took her ten years to get her Olympic tattoo, in College Gym News – link
‘Column: Dan Guerrero and UCLA need to stop playing favorites with athletics admissions’, Los Angeles Times – link
‘Mistreatment of young gymnasts alleged against Anna Li, USA Gymnastics’ new athletes’ rep, and her mom’, The Orange County Register – link
Alaska’s financial difficulties
‘Legislative Impasse over College Scholarship Funds Means Hard Choices, Uncertainty for Alaska Students’, Anchorage Daily News – link
‘Wasilla Gymnast is First Athlete to Leave UAA Because of Financial Uncertainties’, Anchorage Daily News – link
Routine of the week
Utah commit Kara Eaker’s sublime beam routine during the event finals at the Pan American Games.