LSU, Lindenwood Score Big At GymQuarters Mardi Gras Invitational

The 2019 GymQuarters Mardi Gras Invitational was a huge success this past weekend, drawing gymnasts from near and far to St. Charles, Missouri. This large competition had both club and NCAA teams competing, giving any gymnastics fan enough excitement to last long after the weekend was finished.

Both NCAA sessions featured a lot of action. In the matinee session Lindenwood swept the meet, taking first place over Texas Women’s University (TWU), Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) and Iowa State. The Lions scored a 195.275, quickly defeating the other teams and ending up on top.

Iowa State had defeated Lindenwood earlier in the season, a loss which Lindenwood more than redeemed, beating the Cyclones by a wide margin in St. Charles, despite not beating the team’s previous season high score of 195.350.    

Iowa State took second at the Mardi Gras Invitational with a 193.575, an uncharacteristically low score for the Cyclones, who have been consistently scoring over 194 in most competitions this season and almost reached 196 at two recent competitions.

TWU followed with a 190.725, a score that, like Iowa State’s, was significantly lower than most of its team scores this season. As expected, SEMO finished in fourth place, scoring a 188.450. 

The evening session turned out to be much more of a nail biter, with all teams scoring within 1.5 points of each other. Louisiana State took home the victory with a 197.250, topping Utah (197.075), Missouri (196.475) and Stanford (195.850).

Highlights from LSU included Sarah Finnegan winning four titles, including vault with a 9.950, bars and floor with a 9.925 and all-around with a 39.650. After an average start on bars and ending up behind Utah after the team’s beam rotation, the Tigers went into floor with energy. The excitement and good spirits paid off, and LSU hit a season high of 49.475 on the event. Ruby Harrold matched her previous career high with a 9.900 and Reagan Campbell set a new career high of 9.900. 

Finnegan opened up the Tigers’ last rotation with a Yurchenko full on vault and hit a new career high of 9.950, helping LSU close the meet strong. 

No. 4 Utah took second place, barely missing with just 0.175 points less than LSU. Utah began on vault, where the team started strong and scored a 9.800 or above on every vault. Bars were just as strong, but the Utes ran into problems on beam, an apparatus where they have had some difficulty all season. Although they ended with high energy and clean routines on floor, and Mykayla Skinner scored a solid 9.925, it was not enough to cinch the top spot.

Missouri scored a 196.475, its second-best team score of the season, and just 0.375 points behind its high of 196.850. This score snagged third place for Mizzou, which was the goal coming into the meet, as it was unlikely the Mizzou Tigers would overtake highly ranked LSU or Utah. 

Missouri even reached a season high of 49.175 on bars and hit a 49 or better on all four events. Hitting a new bars score was particularly exciting for this team because bars was its final rotation, making it one of high pressure and adrenaline. Sometimes this pressure going into a final rotation can help, but other times it can lead to uncharacteristic mistakes, so Mizzou has a lot to be proud of from its bars performance in St. Charles. 

“I thought we did a nice job,” Missouri head coach Shannon Welker said. “We had some new people step up in places, so I was really pleased about that.”

Stanford was the underdog in this meet, and despite taking last, the Cardinal still ended the competition with some gains to celebrate. Stanford’s gymnasts were more consistent on all four events, giving the team extra confidence and strength going forward. 

The Mardi Gras Invitational marked the first time Stanford hit all 24 routines this season. Three gymnasts hit career highs on floor, one hit a career high on bars and another matched a career high on the same event. The team also missed tying its season high on bars by a mere 0.025.

Biles Easily Wins 2019 Debut At Stuttgart World Cup

Ahead of the 2019 World Championships to be held in Stuttgart in October, Simone Biles won all-around gold at her first meet of the year at the DTB Pokal World Cup in Stuttgart by more than 3.500 points. Canada's Ana Padurariu and Germany's Elisabeth Seitz earned silver and bronze, respectively.

UNC Grad Student Megan Ruzicka Has Walked An Unconventional Path

It is no secret that gymnastics is a hard sport to stay in. It’s extremely wearing on the body, tough mentally—honestly it can just be downright scary. Many gymnasts’ careers are marred by injuries, and the higher you progress in the sport, the more of your teammates start dropping out for one reason or another. Only a lucky few ever make it to the elite or college levels.

Simone Biles Ready To Dominate 2019 Debut At Stuttgart World Cup

After returning to international competition for the first time since the 2016 Olympics, Simone Biles was nothing short of dominant at the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. The reigning Olympic all-around champion came home with gold for team, all-around, vault and floor. She also claimed silver on bars and bronze on beam, making her the first American gymnast to medal on every event at Worlds. So it's safe to say she had a strong comeback.

Senior Spotlight: Boise State Gymnastics' Shani Remme

In the return of this ongoing series, FloGymnastics features a gymnast in her final collegiate season. Next up is Boise State's Shani Remme. 

Individual Medals Awarded At 2019 City Of Jesolo Trophy

The City of Jesolo Trophy was a weekend full of new seniors, international debuts, surprises and, most importantly, amazing gymnastics. On Saturday, we watched the U.S. senior team take gold and Sunisa Lee win the senior all-around title, while Russia won the junior competition and the U.S. came in second as a team, with Konnor McClain winning the junior all-around title. 

Jesolo: Team USA, Sunisa Lee Win Senior Titles

The U.S. women continued their international dominance with a relatively new group of seniors at the 2019 City of Jesolo Trophy, winning the team title, while Sunisa Lee won the all-around in her senior elite debut. Both as a team and individually, China and Italy were successful. China won the team silver while Italy won bronze, and the top seven all-around gymnasts were all from USA, China or Italy.

Russia Wins Junior Team Title, USA's Konnor McClain Wins All-Around

The junior gymnasts opened the 2019 City of Jesolo Trophy with an exciting team and all-around competition as Russia outperformed the U.S. to maintain the junior team title while American Konnor McClain hit four for four in her first international competition to win the junior all-around title. Team USA and Belgium rounded out the junior team podium with silver and gold, respectively, and Russian gymnasts Vladislava Urazova and Elena Gerasimova won silver and bronze, respectively, in the junior all-around competition.

Rachel Borden's Journey From Manager To Illini Gymnast

Rachel Borden wasn’t even supposed to be in Carver-Hawkeye Arena when Illinois competed at Iowa on Feb. 16. But she was. And instead of donning an Illinois gymnastics t-shirt like she would when acting as manager at Illinois home meets, she was wearing a white and orange leotard, complete with a big block "I" on the back. 

What To Watch On FloGymnastics This Week: Feb. 27 - March 4

This weekend has quite a few gymnastics competitions coming up, and luckily for gym fans, FloGymnastics is streaming many of the big ones. If you’re looking for some gymnastics to watch this weekend, keep reading to find out which meets are streaming live this weekend.

Senior Spotlight: Ohio State Gymnastics' Jamie Stone

In the return of this ongoing series, FloGymnastics features gymnasts in their final collegiate season. Next up is Ohio State's Jamie Stone.