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 Rebecca Scally
While the NCAA and J.O. seasons are over, the elite season is just beginning, meaning those top-level gymnasts transitioning from the international world to college can have one last hoorah before hanging up their country's leotard. Many present and future NCAA gymnasts have competed outside of the US in the last two weeks. However, the highest-profile NCAA showing was from a graduate. Georgia alumna Brittany Rogers competed at the Canadian Championships, showing three events and winning the uneven bars. In finals, she showed a somewhat downgraded routine that included a missed connection on the low bar and only a D dismount (a change that was made after she didn’t land her full-twisting double layout in qualifying). She also had a big break on a pirouette, resulting in a low-for-her score of 13.634. However, her difficulty score was 5.9 with a few more tenths still to add back in, making her a good option to make Canada’s World Championships team when the time comes.
By Elizabeth Grimsley, Christina Marmet and Caroline Medley
Teams sure ended their seasons with a bang with their leotard game! With so many new leotards, it was extremely difficult to choose our favorite! But we managed… The criteria is the same as always. But to refresh your memory: up to three points for design; two points for fabric, sparkle, etc.; and two points for school spirit; three points for overall appearance. After assigning points to each category, we’ll tally up the scores and average them with the previous week’s. So by the end of the season, we’ll know for sure which team has the best leotards (according to us) and which teams not so much. We want to know what you thought too (or if we forgot one of your favorites from this weekend)! Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter. And make sure to vote in our poll at the bottom of the page to make your opinion heard in the fan vote, new this season.
All photos courtesy of Christy Ann Linder Gymnastics Photography.
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.
By Christina Marmet
At first glance, one might think this subdivision will be a walk in the park for Oklahoma, Utah and UCLA. While these three are coming in as the favorites to advance, we are also facing a subdivision with a high potential for upset and no team (other than Oklahoma, let’s be real) should considered itself as an absolute lock to make Super Six. As a reminder, the best three teams from each subdivision will advance to Super Six. Here, we basically have a repeat of the evening session of the Pac-12 championship with Utah, UCLA, Washington and Oregon State, along with the best two teams of the Big 12 conference, Oklahoma and Denver. We have already witnessed UCLA being challenged by Oregon State and Washington at Pac-12s, while Utah was distanced by Denver halfway through last week’s regionals. Anything is possible here, and none but Oklahoma have the luxury of giving an average performance here and hope to advance.
Days until the 2017 National Championships