Recapping The Action: Sooners, Bruins Keep Rolling

No. 1-ranked Oklahoma posted a score above the 198 mark for the third straight week, this time totaling a season-best 198.150 to top North Carolina on Sunday in Norman, OK.

Balance beam was the strongest event for the Sooners for the second week in a row, as Oklahoma finished with a 49.600, including a perfect 10 from sophomore standout Maggie Nichols. It marked the ninth career 10.0 for Nichols and her second in as many weeks on balance beam.

Brenna Dowell had a stellar meet for the Sooners, with a 9.900 or better on all three events. She also performed well in her exhibition routine on beam, so it will be interesting to see if head coach KJ Kindler can find a place for her in an already solid Sooners beam lineup.

The visiting Tar Heels finished with a 195.750 after a rough opening rotation on uneven bars. But UNC continued to improve on the other three events and capped off the meet with Morgan Lane’s gorgeous beam routine, which scored a 9.950.

Michigan rebounds in rivalry meet

The No. 7 Wolverines had one of their best meets of the season as they topped visiting rival Michigan State 197.275-194.950 on Saturday. It was UM's first meet of the season without junior standout Olivia Karas, who ruptured her Achilles tendon against Maryland on Feb. 4.

Michigan was excellent on both balance beam and floor exercise, where the Wolverines hit three routines of 9.900 or better on beam and did not count a score below a 9.850 on floor exercise. Emma McLean led the way on the floor with a 9.950.

Freshman Lauren Farley and sophomore Polina Shchennikova shared the title on the balance beam with matching 9.925s.

Lineup changes? No problem for Bruins on the road

Fourth-ranked UCLA made some changes to its lineups on all four events at Cal on Saturday. The result wasn’t too different than past weeks, with the Bruins scoring above the 197 mark for the fifth straight weekend and beating the Bears 197.750-197.225.

UCLA hosts Pac-12 rival and No. 2-ranked Utah on Sunday, Feb. 18, and opted to rest some of its top athletes, such as Peng Peng Lee, Kyla Ross, and Katelyn Ohashi on certain events. The changes gave some athletes a change to gain additional experience in the competition lineups this season.

Freshman Savannah Kooyman hit just her second uneven bars routine of the season for a 9.875 and added a 9.825 in her first floor routine of the year. Grace Glenn and Ohashi tied for the top spot on balance beam while Napualani Hall posted her second straight 9.950 on vault for the title. Kyla Ross and Peng Peng Lee shared uneven bars title with a 9.950 in the only event for each of them on the afternoon.

Cal senior Toni-Ann Williams earned the all-around title and a share of the floor title for the Bears, who scored a season-best team total on the afternoon. The Bears hit 24 clean routines and did not score below a 9.775. Freshman Kyana George was stellar on vault with a 9.900 for a great Yurchenko full, and Alma Kuc hit a season-high on bars with a 9.900.

But it was balance beam where Cal put it all together with a 49.325 — the best event total on beam in school history.

Utah, LSU falter

Second-ranked Utah and No. 3 LSU both struggled just a little bit in uncharacteristic meets for both teams this past Friday. Hosting Arizona State, Utah was forced to count a low score on floor — a 9.650 from Missy Reinstadtler after a fall from Macey Roberts.

At Missouri, LSU’s troubles came on balance beam, where the Tigers had two falls in the middle of the lineup from Kennedi Edney and Reagan Campbell.

Despite the falls, both squads posted scores over the 197 mark — LSU with a 197.150 and Utah with a 197.075 — to win their respective meets. LSU has not scored below a 197 all season, while Utah has posted 197s in five of six meets and only miss hitting 197 by 0.025 in week two.

Baker soars to perfection

Kennedy Baker posted her first 10.0 of the season on floor exercise in No. 5 Florida’s win over No. 9 Alabama on Friday. The Gators came out on top 197.850-197.075 and posted a huge 49.625 on floor, with all six athletes scoring a 9.875 or better.

Teammate Alex McMurtry nearly had a 10.0 of her own on vault but scored a 9.975 on her double-twisting Yurchenko (which had arguably a better landing than the vault that hit a 10.0 against Oklahoma two weeks ago).

For the second straight week, Alabama posted a season-best team total and went over the 197 mark. The Crimson Tide struggled a little bit earlier in the season with landings and putting together all four events but have come on strong the last two weeks. Nickie Guerrero clinched the balance beam title with a 9.950 for this gorgeous routine.

Event Finals Qualifiers - 2018 Junior Pan American Championships

Christy Ann Linder

Below are the gymnasts who qualified for the individual event finals at the 2018 Junior Pan American Championships, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The finals will be held Friday, June 15. The top eight gymnasts on each event, with a maximum of two gymnasts per country, qualify for event finals. 

USA, Bowers Strike Gold At 2018 Junior Pan Am Championships

USA Gymnastics

Press release below via USA Gymnastics:

2019 Nastia Liukin Cup Series Qualifying Meets Announced

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Press release below via USA Gymnastics:

Wong, Bowers Lead Top USA Junior Women In The 2018 Pan American Champs

Christy Ann Linder

The 2018 Junior Pan American Championships takes place this week, with competition starting on June 13 and concluding on June 15 in Buenos Aires. The event includes a team final, all-around final, and event finals for both the men and women. Team USA is sending top juniors Jordan Bowers, JaFree Scott, Tori Tatum, and Leanne Wong. 

Team USA Set For Junior Pan American Championships

Team USA is set to compete at the Junior Pan American Championships this week in Buenos Aires. The men's and women's competition will be held June 13-15 and consists of a team competition as well as individual all-around and event competitions.

A New Mentality For Kyla Ross In UCLA's Title-Winning Season

Kyla Ross has competed on some of the biggest stages in elite gymnastics—the Olympic Games in London, the World Championships in Belgium and China. She was a two-time world all-around medalist and was the silver medalist at back-to-back national championships.

Opinion: The Engaged, Strategic Leadership That USA Gymnastics Needs

© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

For over a year now, USA Gymnastics has been operating in a state of turmoil from the backlash of Larry Nassar’s horrific crimes. What started as the largest sex abuse scandal in sports history has evolved to show major flaws in the way that the national governing body for gymnastics is run. They have been through a wave of resignations at the highest levels: the president of USAG, the national team coordinator, and the senior vice president of the Women’s Program, to name a few. 

Utah To Host 2018 American Classic And Hopes Classic

Press release below via USA Gymnastics.

More Difficulty Leads To Consistency For Nebraska's Sienna Crouse

Nebraska Athletics

Sienna Crouse’s favorite event is vault.

Most Difficulty In The 2018 NCAA Super Six: Vault Edition

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

In our fourth and final installment on the most difficulty in the 2018 NCAA Super Six, we are taking a look at vault. Specifically, we're analyzing which teams had the most 10.0 start value vaults. In 2016, the Yurchenko full was devalued to a 9.95 start value, and many teams since then have reacted by upping the difficulty of the vaults their gymnasts compete. We have seen more Yurchenko 1.5s and even Yurchenko doubles.