The first meet of the season is three days away! So to tide you over until it’s time to sit on the couch and watch NCAA gymnastics on your small tablet or even smaller phone screens, prepare yourself for all that’s to come with an in-depth look at every team in the preseason top 25. From what the teams are losing and gaining to routines you don’t want to miss, we’ve got you covered with all the information you want and need to know.
No. 1 Oklahoma
Losses: Erica Brewer, Rebecca Clark, Haley Sorenson, Brenna Dowell (deferring to train for the Olympics)
Gains: Nicole Lehrmann, Megan Thompson, Alex Marks, Nicole Turner (transferred from Oregon State)
Realistic Expectations: The Sooners can win in 2016 and spoil Florida’s four-peat hopes. They have solid 9.9+ potential from multiple routines on every event and very deep lineups with backups that can fill in and make it look like there wasn’t even a switch.
Things to Worry about: Oklahoma has peaked too early in past years, so working to ensure that doesn’t happen this year will be important. Replacing Brewers beam and floor, Sorenson’s beam and Dowell’s everything will make a difference as well.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Keeley Kmieciak on bars and beam, Haley Scaman on vault, bars and floor, Chayse Capps on beam and floor, Lovan on floor, McKenzie Wofford on bars, Natalie Brown on beam and Ali Jackson on vault and floor (make that every Sooner on floor)
No. 2 Florida
Losses: Kytra Hunter, Jamie Shisler, Rachel Spicer, Kiersten Wang
Gains: Alicia Boren, Amanda Cheney, Lacy Dagen, Peyton Ernst, Ashley Hiller
Realistic Expectations: Anything short of winning the national championship for a fourth-consecutive time will be a disappointment for the Gators. And the team has the talent to get the job done yet again. Yeah, you’re losing Kytra Hunter but you’re gaining a three-time JO champ in Boren. It won’t be an equal trade right off the bat but give her time and Boren will be a star.
Things to Worry about: Similar to its strengths, replacing the graduated seniors will be a tough task. However, if any set of newcomers can do it, it’s Florida’s. Then there’s first-year head coach Jenny Rowland. The team will undoubtedly have growing pains but having a new coach won’t show on with the Gators as much as it might on other teams.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Bridget Sloan on vault, bars, beam, floor, breathing, walking, pommel horse — the works, Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto on bars, Kennedy Baker on floor, Alex McMurtry on vault, Alicia Boren on floor and Peyton Ernst on beam
No. 3 Alabama
Losses: Kaitlyn Clark, Hunter Dennis, Lora Leigh Frost, Kayla Williams, Dominique Pegg (medical retirement)
Gains: Abby Armbrecht, Jenna Bresette, Angelina Giancroce, Ariana Guerra, Amanda Huang, Avery Rickett
Realistic Expectations: Alabama always doesn’t look like it’ll be super fabulous at the beginning of the season or even the middle then comes out and wins another SEC championship or makes Super Six. Never doubt the Tide and never be surprised when they exceed your expectations.
Things to Worry about: The team lost a lot of great routines and more than a few 9.9+ scores from the seniors. The freshmen coming in are more of an unknown, so what they end up being able to do this season will ultimately determine the team’s success at least in part.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Lauren Beers on all four, Carley Sims on floor, Katie Bailey on bars and Aja Sims on beam
No. 4 Utah
Losses: Georgia Dabritz, Corrie Lothrop, Becky Tutka, Tory Wilson
Gains: MaKenna Merrell, Shannon McNatt, Erika Muhaw, Sabrina Schwab
Realistic Expectations: Don’t expect as great of a result as 2015. Without Dabritz, Wilson, Tutka and Lothrop and no standout freshmen coming in, it’s almost impossible to repeat upon an almost national championship. Greg Marsden retiring should be a non-issue with Megan still co-leading the program. A Super Six berth is still a viable goal and not making it to the top six would probably be a shock with the talent on the team.
Things to Worry about: There were some beam issues at the Red Rocks Preview so consistency is something that needs to be worked on for season. Also, filling the holes left by last years seniors will be tough, so getting usable, hit routines from the freshmen is crucial.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Kailah Delaney on vault, Kassandra Lopez on bars, Baely Rowe on beam, Kari Lee on beam and Schwab on beam and floor
No. 5 LSU
Losses: Rheagan Courville, Lloimincia Hall, Jessie Jordan, Britney Ranzy, Scarlett Williams, Shonacee Oliva (medical retirement)
Gains: Julianna Cannamela, Sarah Finnegan, McKenna Kelley, Lexie Priessman, Kaitlyn Szafranski
Realistic Expectations: LSU is poised to make another run to the top. After showing extremely solid sets at their Gymnastics 101 event, the Tigers don’t look like they’re missing the graduated seniors very much at all.
Things to Worry about: Beam kept LSU from making a run at its first national championship in 2015. Fix beam and it’s a possibility again in 2016. That and the big name freshmen need to show they haven’t burned out and can still be a thing past their elite days.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Jessica Savona on floor, Ashleigh Gnat on vault, beam and floor, Shae Zamardi on bars, Myia Hambrick on vault and Sarah Finnegan on beam
No. 6 UCLA
Losses: Ellette Craddock, Sam Peszek, Jordan Williams, Alex Waller (unknown departure), Jennifer Pinches (medical retirement), Karli Dugas (unknown departure), LaNiesha-Jopré Irvin (unknown departure), Jessy MacArthur (unknown departure)
Gains: Katelyn Ohashi, Madison Preston, Nicki Shapiro, Macy Toronjo
Realistic Expectations: Who even knows with UCLA. Fans always expect big things from the team after just seeing the names on the roster and knowing their reputations, but the Bruins always seem to come up short. However, the team looked strong in the preseason, so maybe a Super Six berth is a realistic goal this season?
Things to Worry about: The health of the team is always questionable with so many former elites filling out the roster. Big name recruits also need to show why they were recruited. Endurance could also be an issue but is relatively easy to fix. Plus there’s the little thing of not having Sam Peszek on the team anymore. Oh wait, that’s a big thing and will be tough to replace.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Danusia Francis on beam, every floor routine, Peng-Peng Lee on bars and beam and Katelyn Ohashi on beam
No. 7 Michigan
Losses: Annette Miele, Brooke Parker, Sachi Sugiyama, Cailee Hills (medical retirement)
Gains: Olivia Karas, Emma McLean
Realistic Expectations: It’s finally Michigan’s year to make Super Six. Or it should be. The Wolverines have all the pieces and parts to make a run at the top six at nationals. However, 2015 showed just being consistent isn’t enough. So Michigan needs to bring it in 2016 to have a chance, and we think they can do just that.
Things to Worry about: Injuries and illnesses can be the downfall of this team as fans saw at the preseason intersquad with Eastern Michigan where the team only managed to total a 183. While we don’t expect this to become a thing by any means, it did prove it’s a possibility.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Lindsay Williams on bars, Nicole Artz on all four, Talia Chiarelli on beam, Lauren Marinez on beam and Brianna Brown on bars
No. 8 Stanford
Losses: Pauline Hanset, Samantha Shapiro, Kristina Vaculik, Rebecca Wing, Carinne Gale (medical retirement), Sophia Lee (medical retirement)
Gains: Taryn Fitzgerald, Nicole Hoffman, Hailee Hoffman, Dare Maxwell
Realistic Expectations: One thing you can expect from the Cardinal is a crappy start with a much stronger finish. There might be some meets where the team can barely produce six (or even five) gymnasts for each event and others where they’re hitting in the 197-range. But come the end of the season, expect another strong push toward the Super Six thanks to Elizabeth Price, Ivana Hong and co.
Things to Worry about: Depth will be a major issue if there’s even a wiff of injury or fatigue on the team. With lineups already pretty thin, one falter and it’s a steep slope down with no ladder to climb back up. The girls who are expected to produce big scores need to do so and not just go out and be average.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Hong on bars and beam, Price on all four and Taylor Rice on floor
No. 9 Georgia
Losses: Kiera Brown (dismissed, transferred to Penn State) Chelsea Davis, Demetria Hunte, Whitney Kirby, Sarah Persinger
Gains: Caroline Bradford, Gracie Cherrey, Sydney Snead
Realistic Expectations: The Gym Dogs really aren’t losing too many routines from last year’s seniors, so with a strong crop of J.O. standouts coming in, the team should expect an improvement on ninth from last year. How Brittany Rogers does after taking the fall “off” will also be crucial. She could make or break the team. Get beam together and stay consistent overall and the team will be looking at a return to the night session of SECs if not the Super Six.
Things to Worry about: Beam was not cute last year. So the team really needs to get that together asap. Also bars looks like it might become an issue based off preseason training if things don’t change for the better fast. But the return of Rogers from deferral should raise the level of the team tenfold.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Brandie Jay in the all around (finally!), Brittany Rogers on all four, Mary Beth Box on beam and floor, Rachel Schick on bars and Sydney Snead on vault and floor
No. 10 Auburn
Losses: Bri Guy, Caryn Kadous, Kelsey Thomasson, Megan Walker, Brittany Webster, Meggie Lim (medical retirement), Lucia Scaglione (medical retirement)
Gains: Telah Black, Emma Slappey, Emma Engler, Samantha Cerio, Taylor Krippner, A’Miracal Phillips
Realistic Expectations: Don’t expect a repeat of 2015. That result was an accumulation of a great senior class and circumstance. It won’t be surprising if the Tigers are back in the afternoon session of SECs and just outside the top six at nationals but not making it out of regionals would be quite the disappointment.
Things to Worry about: Filling the routines lost from Guy, Walker and Webster will be tough, no matter how many freshmen are on the team. Expecting the freshmen to come out of the gate consistent superstars is like expecting a rookie baseball player to replace a Cy Young award winner in the pitching rotation. But if the team can find useable routines that have the potential to develop as the season goes on, it will work its way back to 2015 success.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Caitlin Atkinson on vault and beam, MJ Rott on vault, Abby Milliet on bars and beam and Lexus Demers on vault
No. 11 Nebraska
Losses: Jessie DeZiel, Amanda Lauer, Jennifer Lauer, Desiré Stephens, Ariel Martin (medical retirement), Kamerin Moore (medical retirement)
Gains: Kelli Chung, Sienna Crouse, Megan Kuo, Kami Shows, Catelyn Orel, Megan Schweihofer
Realistic Expectations: If the freshmen can grow up quickly and be half the gymnast DeZiel was, the team stands a chance of making it back to Fort Worth. That and Grace Williams continuing to develop into a strong collegiate gymnast and Ashley Lambert and Hollie Blanske continuing where they left off and the team will be in a good place.
Things to Worry about: The team is thin. Due to medical retirements and no more DeZiel, Nebraska will have to fight to make nationals again this year.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Blanske on vault and floor, Lambert on vault and floor, Jennie Laeng on bars and Williams on beam and floor
No. 12 Oregon State
Losses: Katelyn Ohlrich, Nicole Turner (transferred to Oklahoma), Chelsea Tang, Taylor Keeker, Cerise Witherby, Kailie Ponto
Gains: McKenna Singley, Mariana Colussi-Pelaez, Mary Jacobsen, Elizabeth Yu
Realistic Expectations: First-team All-Americans Erika Aufiero and Madeline Gardiner will lead the team this season and hope to build upon last year’s nationals appearance. If the team can put together consistent performances and find a few more 9.9 routines to add to the lineups, qualifying won’t be an unrealistic expectation.
Things to Worry about: It’ll be tough to make another full-team nationals appearance without the senior routines lost from the seniors. Filling those holes as well as getting Kaytianna McMillan back to full health and competing again will be important to the team’s success.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Gardiner on beam and floor, Risa Perez on floor and Jacobsen on vault
No. 13 Arkansas
Losses: Cailee Ellsworth
Gains: Makenzie Anderson, Sydney McGlone
Realistic Expectations: The Razorbacks didn’t lose all that much last year and gain a couple of successful JO competitors. Those additions paired with the Amanda Wellick/Paige Zaziski double threat and Arkansas could make moves in 2016.
Things to Worry about: The team is 9.7/9.8-y at times, which is good but won’t fly against other SEC teams and those outside of the conference looking to make nationals. Up the scoring potential and stay on the beam and bars and the Razorbacks could be making their way to Fort Worth.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Wellick on vault and floor, Zaziski on vault and bars and Sydnie Dillard on floor
No. 14 California
Losses: Madison Kratzke, Crystal Paz
Gains: Emily Howe, Chelsea Shu, Sofie Seilnacht, Sylvie Seilnacht
Realistic Expectations: Cal has been steadily on the rise the past few years now and will continue to improve. Toni-Ann Williams has a year under her belt as well as international experience and should continue to be the Bears’ superstar. The rest of her teammates have also shown strong routines and skill sets in training. While it will be difficult for Cal to break into the night session at Pac-12s or make it to nationals, the team will certainly make it close and could take advantage of other teams’ mistakes.
Things to Worry about: Beam consistency was a little low in 2015 with the rotation stuck more in the 9.7 range rather than 9.8 or even 9.9 average.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Williams on vault and floor, Charlie Owens on bars, Draghi on beam and floor and Palomares on beam
No. 15 Illinois
Losses: Kelsi Eberly, Jordan Naleway, Gabriella Nguyen, Suren Kanchanavaleerat (injury retirement), Tori Fujinami (injury retirement)
Gains: Rachael Donovan, Julia Hutcherson, Lizzy LeDuc, Brielle Nguyen, Haylee Roe
Realistic Expectations: Illinois is set up for a season similar to 2013 and 2014 when it made nationals. It will almost certainly improve upon its preseason ranking with help from LeDuc, Sunny Kato and 2015 nationals qualifiers Giana O’Connor and Mary Jane Horth.
Things to Worry about: Not much, honestly. If the team stays consistent, healthy and taps into the freshmen’s potential, it should be a good year for the Illini.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Kato on bars and beam, Horth and O’Connor on all four, Erin Buchanan on floor and Sarah Lyons on bars
No. 16 Denver
Losses: Alix Angelopulo, Ellese Sakai-Hart
Gains: Grace Broadhurst, Diana Chesnok, Claire Kern, Kaitlyn Schou
Realistic Expectations: When Nina McGee announced she was coming back for her redshirt senior season, gym fans everywhere rejoiced. Her floor is fabulous and entertaining, and her other events not too shabby as well. While Denver isn’t quite ready for the national stage just yet, it would be a huge shock if McGee doesn’t find her way back to Fort Worth and maybe even improve upon her runner-up finish on floor from 2015.
Things to Worry about: Sakai-Hart graduating will leave a bit of a hole but the talent from the freshman class is plenty good to help plug it. Improved consistency on beam will also be another important task.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Nina McGee everywhere because obviously but especially floor, Maggie Laughlin on floor, Julia Ross on bars and vault and Rachel Fielitz on vault
No. 17 Penn State
Losses: Lexi Carrol, Sidney Sanabria-Robles, Krystal Welsh, Alexandra Witt, Lauren Li (transferred to LSU), Samantha Musto (unknown departure)
Gains: Amber Autry, Kiera Brown (transferred from Georgia), Sabrina Garcia, Madison Heckman, Mason Hosek, Jessica Jones, Gianna LaGuardia, Peyton Schuller
Realistic Expectations: Penn State actually started out the season strong last year but absolutely imploded on beam at regionals, thus ending their realistic nationals hopes. The editions of Brown and the freshmen should help, and Briannah Tsang will continue to be an asset for the team.
Things to Worry about: That beam consistency on beam needs to improve so the Lions don’t have another episode again this season. Also, the team can’t continue to randomly lose people from its roster.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Brown on bars, Sibson on vault and Tsang on vault, beam and floor
No. 18 Arizona
Losses: Allison Flores, Shay Fox, Kristin Klarenbach, Amber Wobma
Gains: Charle Dembo, Haylie Hendrickson, Lauryn Mattson, Brittany Robertson, Skyler Sheppard, Danielle Spencer-Bearham
Realistic Expectations: First-year Tabitha Yim needs to be worshiped, and this is being said before the season even starts. But she’ll do great things for the Arizona program, it’s just a matter of how long it’ll take. if the team can stay consistent, it’s prepared for a strong finish in 2016.
Things to Worry about: While Yim is well-loved, having a new coach is also a bit of a transition, so how well the team adapts to the changes will directly correlate to its success.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Jessie Sisler on floor (she was the co-Pac-12 champion on the event), Lexi Mills on floor and Shelby Edwards on vault
No. 19 Boise State
Losses: Kelsey Morris, Ciera Perkins
Gains: Sarah Means, Shani Remme
Realistic Expectations: Boise State always seems to pleasantly surprise fans after flying under the radar then coming into regionals as a legitimate upset threat. That can be the case yet again this year but the team will need to find viable 9.9+ routines if it wants to continue to be the almost-spoiler.
Things to Worry about: Morris and Perkins were two great competitors for the Broncos. Losing them will hurt if the team can’t find a way to replace those 9.9+ routines.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Diana Mejia on bars, Maddie Krentz on vault and Krystine Jacobsen on bars and beam
No. 20 Minnesota
Losses: Jenny Covers, Bailey Gardner (unknown departure), Cierra Tomson
Gains: Rachel Cutler, Selena Ung
Realistic Expectations: Minnesota’s got to do it big for Lindsay Mable in her senior season. After a couple years of making it to nationals, the team has suffered a bit of a drop that past couple of seasons. However, with a strong couple of freshmen coming in and Mable at her best yet, the team should see a rise from its No. 20 preseason ranking.
Things to Worry about: The depth is thin on the events, so too many injuries might really hurt the Gophers. Also filling the spots Covers and Tomson left due to graduation will be important if the team doesn’t want to experience a drop.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Lindsay Mable on everything even her walking from event to event and Hanna Nordquist on beam
No. 21 Kentucky
Losses: Shelby Hilton, Khadijah Hudson (injury retirement), Shannon Mitchell, Sara Shipley
Gains: Taylor Carlson, Danaea Davis, Sidney Dukes, Alex Hyland, Molly Penner, Aubree Rosa, Katie Stuart
Realistic Expectations: It would be hard for a team to suffer more bad luck than Kentucky did last year, so 2016 is already looking to be better. The crop of freshmen coming in is a strong one with Dukes and Stuart among others, so utilizing their potential will aid in the team’s success.
Things to Worry about: Bouncing back from a dismal 2015 season where it seemed like more gymnasts were hurt than healthy will be crucial. Consistency also needs to improve, especially on the road and on beam. Finally, sophomore Sydney Waltz, who was injured at the end of last season, was the Wildcats’ lone nationals qualifier and a real asset to the team when other gymnasts went down. The team will need to get her healthy if it wants a shot at doing well.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Stuart on bars (full-twisting double layout!), Marissa Beucler on floor, Taylor Puryear on vault (Yurchenko half-on front pike), Montana Whittle on bars and Dukes on floor
No. 22 Ohio State
Gains: Casey Carvalho, Janelle McClelland, Addyson Ruby, Jamie Stone, Jennifer Taylor
Realistic Expectations: Ohio State didn’t have any seniors on the roster last year, so since they won’t be losing any routines due to graduation, it’s safe to say they can only improve upon last year’s results barring injury. Also redshirt freshman Kaitlyn Hofland is a former Canadian elite and world championships competitor, so she should contribute right away and bring a new level to the Buckeyes’ lineups.
Things to Worry about: Maggie Dunn and Hofland coming back from injury will be important for the team.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Hofland on bars and beam (and potentially floor), Tenille Funches on vault and bars, Taylor Harrison on vault, beam and floor (she qualified to nationals last season for OSU), and Stefanie Merkle on floor
No. 23 Missouri
Losses: Briana Conkle, Rebecca Johnson, Laura Kappler, Katelyn Trevino
Gains: Allison Bower, Madeleine Huber, Brooke Kelly, Xarria Lewis, Morgan Porter, Michaelee Turner, Britney Ward, Storee Yzaguirre
Realistic Expectations: Missouri has slowly been on the rise, finishing about 20 places higher in 2015 than the previous season. With a year now under Shauna Miller’s belt and her teammates to back her up, the Tigers should continue to climb.
Things to Worry about: The freshman class is huge. Not five or six members huge, but EIGHT. How well they adapt to college gymnastics and contribute after graduating Conkle, Kappler and the other seniors will be important in the team’s success.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Miller on vault (she scored a 9.975 there last year) and in the all around in general and Kennedi Harris on floor
No. 24 Southern Utah
Losses: Jamie Armijo, Rochelle Bernier, Ana Jaworski, Brittney Jensen, Carly Sigler
Gains: Kamryn Bayer, Caitlyn Kessel
Realistic Expectations: Southern Utah finished 2015 very strong after a great showing at regionals. And that was without the help of Memory Shettles who tore her ACL after a strong freshman campaign.
Things to Worry about: Losing Jaworski and Armijo (both qualified to nationals for SUU) will be tough, but the rest of the team should be able to pick up the slack enough to continue where it left off in 2015. Shettles’ health is also crucial to the Thunderbirds’ success. How well she’s recovered from her knee injury will be an important on all four events.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Danielle Ramirez on vault, Stacie Webb on beam and Shettles on whatever events she ends up competing.
No. 25 Central Michigan
Losses: Becca Druien, Kylie Fagan, Tori Garcia, Preslee Harrald, Halle Moraw, Taylor Noonan
Gains: Kailey Miller, Skyler Memmel, Kasey Janowicz, Abbie Rose Zoeller
Realistic Expectations: Central Michigan typically finds its way into the top 18 by regionals time and is often a team people pick as a potential upset to the top-ranked squads.
Things to Worry about: Losing the likes of Fagan and Noonan will hurt a bit. With a smaller class coming in and a history of freshmen not competing all too often at first, CMU will have to have past benchwarmers step up to continue it’s reign of top 18 success.
Routines You Don’t Want to Miss: Senior Taylor Bolender’s floor and Karlee Teet on vault and bars will be routines to keep an eye out for. However, Central Michigan is typically pretty solid on floor from start to finish — watch for that.
Days until the 2017 National Championships