2016 NCAA Championships

Highest Difficulty in the NCAA Super Six: Floor

Highest Difficulty in the NCAA Super Six: Floor

Next in our series on highest difficulty in the 2016 NCAA Super Six is the floor exercise.

Oct 1, 2016 by Justine Kelly
Highest Difficulty in the NCAA Super Six: Floor
Next in our series on highest difficulty in the 2016 NCAA Super Six is the floor exercise. We have taken a look at the six teams that competed at the NCAA Championship finals this past year and rated them on difficulty in their floor lineup.

In this case, difficulty is calculated by both D- and E-skills in tumbling, as well as connection value, with E-skills weighted higher than D-skills. For the purpose of this exercise, we're looking at the lineups used during the Super Six. Check out our full rankings below.

1. LSU

LSU ranks No. 1, largely thanks to some big tumbling passes from their whole lineup. Across all six gymnasts who competed at the Super Six, they performed five E-skills and nine D-skills. Ashleigh Gnat, Myia Hambrick and Jessica Savona performed the hardest tumbling, with all three of them competing two D-skills and one E-skill. Gnat and Hambrick had the exact same passes -- a double layout, 2 1/2 twist, and double pike. Savona performed a full-in, double tuck, and double pike. Each of the LSU gymnasts also got an extra 0.20 in connection bonuses. For instance, both Gnat and Hambrick performed a 2 1/2 twist connected into a punch front. Check out Gnat's routine below at the SEC Championships, one of her four perfect 10s of the season:

Video via NCAA Gymnastics

2. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is known as being one of the best teams on floor for its great choreography. In addition to the Sooners' unique dance, they also have some of the most difficult routines in the country. In contrast to LSU, Oklahoma got much of their difficulty this past year from connection value. In our rankings, OU tied Florida for the most connection bonuses in its lineup from Super Six. Ali Jackson and Charity Jones were two of the Sooners' standout gymnasts for combination passes, with both getting 0.40 total from two passes. Jackson performed a whip 1/2 to Rudi for 0.20, in addition to a whip 1/2 to front full for another 0.20. Jones performed a 2 1/2 twist to punch front for 0.20 and a 1 1/2 twist to punch front layout for 0.20. In terms of D- and E-skills, Oklahoma only had two E-skills in its lineup (from Natalie Brown and Haley Scaman) but had a healthy 11 D-skills.

3. Florida

Florida cracks the top three, mostly thanks to connection bonus. The Gators tied Oklahoma for the most connection value, placed third for the most E-skills, and third for the most D-skills. On connection bonus, Grace McLaughlin and Bridget Sloan had the most. McLaughlin performed a front layout to front full and a 1 1/2 twist to front pike, worth 0.40 total. Sloan performed an indirect connection of 1 1/2 twist to round-off, back-handspring, 2 1/2 twist for 0.20, and a 1 1/2 twist to punch front layout. The Gators also had four gymnasts perform E-skills in their routines -- Kennedy Baker competed a double Arabian, Alicia Boren competed a full-in, Bridgette Caquatto competed a front double full, and Alex McMurtry performed a triple twist. Check out Sloan's 10.0 routine from a meet in October:

Video via Florida Gators

4. Alabama

Alabama ranks fourth overall, although the Crimson Tide actually had the most E-skills out of all teams in the Super Six. Every gymnast in their lineup performed one. Half of their lineup competed double Arabians (Mackenzie Brannan, Katie Bailey and Amanda Jetter), while the other half performed double layouts (Lauren Beers, Kiana Winston and Carley Sims). Their overall ranking goes down a bit, because they didn't perform as many D-skills as the other teams. Each of Alabama's gymnasts had at least one pass that was below D-level. Jetter had two passes that were below D-level, but she made up for this in connection bonus and got the most bonus in the lineup.

5. Georgia

Coming in fifth place is Georgia, which got most of their difficulty from connection bonus. They tied with Alabama in the No. 2 spot for connection value. Brandie Jay got the most connection bonus in the lineup from her front full to punch front layout (+0.20) and her whip 1/2 to front full (+0.20). On D- and E-skills, Mary Beth Box, GiGi Marino and Brittany Rogers got the most. Box pulled out a double front just for Super Six, an E-skill, and she also competed a double tuck, a D-skill. Check out her routine from finals:

Video via NCAA Gymnastics


In sixth place is UCLA, which got most of its difficulty from D-skills. The Bruins had a total of 11 in their lineup and tied with Oklahoma for the most in the Super Six. Sadiqua Bynum was the only gymnast in the lineup who performed an E-skill (a double layout), and she also competed a double tuck as a side pass. Danusia Francis had a D-skill for every tumbling pass -- a double tuck, 2 1/2 twist, and double pike, and she also got an additional 0.10 in connection bonus for her opening pass. For connection value, four gymnasts in their lineup got 0.20 -- Angi Cipra (1 1/2 twist to 1/2 twist), Sophina DeJesus (1 1/2 twist to punch front layout), JaNay Honest (punch front layout to front full), and Hallie Mossett (whip to double tuck).

Full D-Skill Ranking:

1T. Oklahoma
3. LSU
4. Florida
5. Georgia
6. Alabama

Full E-Skill Ranking:

1. Alabama
2. LSU
3T. Florida
3T. Georgia
5. Oklahoma

Full Connection Value Ranking:

1T. Oklahoma
1T. Florida
3T. Alabama
3T. Georgia
5. LSU

Highest Difficulty in the NCAA Super Six: Beam
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