By Emily Minehart
There were superstars on each team that qualified to nationals this year—MyKayla Skinner, Maggie Nichols, Alex McMurtry, Ashleigh Gnat. No doubt they are incredible gymnasts and contribute largely to their team’s success. But each team also has two- and three-event specialists who consistently put up the solid scores without which no team can be successful. We take a look at some of the gymnasts who don’t always get the glory but who were indispensable to their nationals-bound teams in 2017.
By Caroline Medley and Elizabeth Grimsley
While we love seeing former elites like Kyla Ross, Maggie Nichols and Bridget Sloan continue their careers in the NCAA, that hasn’t always been the case. Some of our favorites from past quads (or even those still competing) have either chosen not to set their sights on college or are ineligible due to turning pro. But that doesn’t mean we can’t wonder what could have been.
By Emily Howell-Forbes
We’re back today with the top 10 bar routines from the incoming freshmen. Putting up six consistent high scoring routines can be a struggle for many teams. These freshmen routines have scored consistently well and several are headed to schools that struggled on bars in 2017. Because the requirements for J.O. are different than those in NCAA, there are a few routines that will need to be upgraded or reconstructed to be considered “up to level” in NCAA.
By Emily Howell-Forbes
With the sheer number of incoming freshmen it can be difficult to sort out who may consistently deliver a high score on an event week after week. In an attempt to narrow it down, we broke down the top 10 on each event based on their average score in J.O. this season (plus a few honorable mentions that either did not make nationals or haven’t been mentioned previously).
For the sake of an accurate picture of a gymnast’s abilities, a single low score on each event was left out of the average if it was more than a point lower than the next lowest score. This prevents bad days and injuries from majorly skewing a gymnasts’ average. Also, for fairness, gymnasts with less than three scores on an event were not included to prevent skewing in the other direction.
Over the next four days, take a look at the top gymnasts across the four events that will be joining your favorite team in 2018. Today we’ll look at vault, followed by bars on Tuesday, beam on Wednesday and rounding things out with floor on Thursday.
By Elizabeth Grimsley
While the standard response is "it's all about the team," individual event titles will be given out at the NCAA National Championships in St. Louis, this weekend. Champions on vault, bars, beam, floor and all around will be crowned as well as the top eight from each semifinal combined earning first-team All-America honors and those placing ninth to 16th will be named second-team All-Americans. While each of the 12 teams will put up individuals capable of winning the titles, a number of individuals without teams also qualified to compete in Missouri. It'll be a tight race, and really, whoever is on top of their form on that given day will walk away national champion.
Days until the 2017 National Championships