The last week before conference championships was surely exciting. With plenty of new program records and teams making their final pushes toward the postseason, there was lots to pay attention to. Read on to see our recap of some key meets and storylines from Week 10 of NCAA women’s gymnastics.
Georgia continues with makeshift venue
#2 Michigan vs. #18 Georgia
The visiting Wolverines ended up taking this meet 197.825 to Georgia’s 196.9. Overall, this was a clean meet with both teams going 49+ on all four events.
The biggest story from this meet was that some fans believed Michigan was being scored very conservatively on uneven bars. The angle on the livestream was not ideal, but it seemed like each routine was scored a little lower than what would be expected across the country for a routine of that quality.
Overall, Michigan still had a great team score and seemed to have gotten some “makeup scoring” on beam and floor to effectively counteract the low bars scores. The Wolverines seemed to have wobbles on beam and bouncy landings on floor exercise that were forgiven.
Michigan was able to retain second place in the NQS rankings despite switching up lineups a bit. Senior Nicoletta Koulos was rested on both bars and floor for the Wolverines. As a result, freshman Kaylen Morgan was able to make her competitive debut on bars and junior Reyna Guggino slid into the floor lineup. This showed that Michigan can mix up its lineups in the postseason and still hit competitive numbers.
Georgia put together a nice away score, but unfortunately, it was not enough to move them up in the rankings. Beam remains the event to watch for the Bulldogs. The team was forced to count two scores in the 9.7s on the event this time out. Freshman Sidney Fitzgerald got the flex spot on the event, but her routine served as the drop score.
Georgia also did a better job with its vault landings, which led to all five counting scores being 9.85 or above. This is quite impressive considering the Bulldogs do not have any 10.0 start value vaults in their lineup.
This was a good final regular season meet for both teams ahead of their respective conference championships in Week 11.
#4 Utah @ #13 Oregon State
The Oregon State Beavers were able to get the win at home over the Utah Utes. As a result, there was a four-way tie for the regular season Pac-12 championship between Utah, UCLA, California, and Oregon State.
The talk of this meet was around the apparent over-scoring of Oregon State. Utah head coach Tom Farden even went on to voice his concerns in a respectable manner.
Despite the loss and the drop to no. 5 nationally, Utah had some great individual moments. Specifically, Jaylene Gilstrap did a nice job in her expanded role for the Utes. In only her second competitive beam routine of the season, Gilstrap followed a rare fall from teammate Maile O’Keefe with a career-high 9.9.
Additionally, the Utes saw the return of vault specialist Lucy Stanhope in her first routine since late January. Unfortunately, she missed her block and had to sit down her vault, but to have her back as a lineup option is key as postseason approaches.
After exceptional performances the previous two weeks, the Utes struggled a bit on vault, similar to the first couple meets after sophomore Grace McCallum’s injury. Olympic alternate Kara Eaker remained out of the beam lineup for the second-straight week since it was announced that she was in concussion protocol.
Despite perceived over-scoring, the Beavers put together a good meet and were able to move up two spots in the NQS rankings to no. 11.
Bars has without a doubt been Oregon State’s event to improve this season, but it was a different story this week. The team scored a season-high 49.55 on the event with four scores of 9.9 or better. If the Beavers can keep this up in the postseason, they are going to be a team to look out for.
The Beavers scored a 49.55 on beam and floor as well. Their lowest-scoring event was vault, with a total of 49.3. While their vaults with 10.0 start values are scoring well, none of their Yurchenko fulls scored above a 9.8.
Both teams should be motivated as they gear up for a rematch at the Pac-12 Championships. Utah will be looking for redemption while Oregon State will be looking to ride the momentum of its first win over Utah in six years.
Cal hosts two quad meets
#15 Ohio State, #20 Stanford, Utah State @ #7 California
In their first quad meet of the weekend, the California Golden Bears earned their first 198+ score this season with a 198.1. California was finally able to put up a vault rotation that could hang with their other three events.
The Stanford Cardinal finished second with a score of 197.4. This was their highest away score of the season and allowed them to move up to no. 19 in the NQS rankings. Beam mainstay Isabela Onyshko was notably absent from the Cardinal’s beam lineup while senior Chloe Widner appears to have solidified her spot in the floor lineup after being in and out all season.
Ohio State finished in third place after a rocky bars rotation where the Buckeyes were unable to manage a 49. Their vault rotation, however, was very promising, and they were able to receive some 9.9s which should set the Buckeyes up well for the postseason.
Utah State continues to struggle after a mass exodus of gymnasts and a new head coach. The Aggies only broke 49 on floor. This team is not going to qualify for regionals, but getting the experience under new leadership should set them up for a better season next year.
#29 Arizona, Sacramento State, UC Davis @ #7 California
The second meet of the weekend for California was even better than the first. Despite starting with only a 49.225 on vault, the Golden Bears rallied on the other three events to earn a program-record 198.275 team score. The most impressive rotation was beam, where California earned a program-record 49.825 highlighted by Mya Lauzon‘s program-best perfect 10 on the event. This beam score tied Denver’s floor rotation from Week 9 as the highest score on any apparatus this season.
Arizona finished in second with a 196.525, which allowed them to move up to no. 28 in the country. This means that, currently, the Wildcats would not have to participate in the play-in round of regionals.
UC Davis was close behind in third with a 196.425. This was a really good meet for the Aggies and could have been even better if they were able to hit better routines on bars. They moved up one spot nationally to no. 40 but could have moved up even more with a 49+ bars rotation. They did enough to put them in a position to still have a chance at qualifying to regionals.
Sacramento State was mathematically eliminated from regionals after its fourth-place finish in this meet. Beam, however, was a bright spot for the Hornets as they tallied a 49.2 on the event. Fifth-year Amber Koeth will likely qualify for regionals on beam as an individual.
Around the country
- Nebraska hit another 197 team score, moving up to 22nd nationally.
- Brockport won the NCGA-East Regionals with a score of 192.2 and qualified to NCGA Nationals along with Springfield and Ithaca.
- Ball State set new program-record team score with a 196.9.
- Gustavus Adolphus set a new beam record with a 47.675.
- Illinois set a new floor exercise record with a 49.525.
- Michigan State’s 49.725 on bars was good for a new program record.
- Southern Connecicut posted new floor record with a 49.2.
- Rhode Island College hit a new beam record with a 48.475 and program record with a 188.95.
- Rutgers sets three new program records: 49.275 on vault, 49.4 on beam, and a 196.875 team score.