College Gymnastics is coming…

The Olympics are sadly over, but …all you gymnastics fans won’t need to wait another four years to watch your favorite sport.  You don’t even need to wait until next summer.  It’s going to be college season very soon!!!  If you caught any meets last year, this year should bring us even more excitement.  If you break down the USA gymnastics levels, very few make it to an “elite” status.  Even the ones who do make it that far, only four will be able to compete in the next Olympiad.  Not only is it extremely hard to compete at the elite level, but the body does not always “hold up” in competitions.  We are seeing a large increase in ACL tears, Achilles ruptures, and back surgeries.  With injuries and a new code  of skills, college gymnastics will be similar to elite gymnastics in the next few years.  Each year a new freshman class joins the already talented full rosters, and in this article I will introduce a few from the top schools in the nation.  It’s time to start breaking down the top teams in NCAA gymnastics, by their newest athletes coming in and see what they can add to the teams.  Lets meet the freshman of the 2016 super six gymnastics teams.

Oklahoma:

Lets start the list off by talking about the 2016 NCAA champions!  They have a great freshman class coming in with Olympic, World, and National experience.  Maggie Nichols was third place on floor in the 2015 world championships.  She was on her way to the Olympics when she, unfortunately, hurt her knee and the injury did not heal in time to be 100% at the trials.  This gymnast is not only known because of her high flying tumbling but, also because of her ability to be so consistent.  She is ready to go on any event, as the lead off or the anchor.

Florida:

All I need to say is Amelia Hundley.  This girl was born to compete in collegiate gymnastics.  She also competed at the USA trials this year and has a huge vault to add to the line up.  She has a contagious smile and really preforms each routine for the audience.  She is a product of Mary Lee Tracey and really started to put up some big scores this year.  I am excited to see her personality really shine through her routines.  She will be joined by Rachel Gowey who competed elite, but suffered from some ankle injuries that kept her out of most of the elite season.  She trained at Chows gymnastics and will be a strong contender for the beam lineup this year.  Maegan Chant from Canada is also in this freshman class.  She has some powerful tumbling passes and finished 4th this year at the Canadian nationals.  These freshman join an already strong line up contention.  Jenny Rowland is going to have her work cut out for her trying to decide who competes on each event. Here is Amelia on vault…

UCLA:

The strongest recruiting class I have seen in a long time.  Their combined resumes include Nationals, Nastia Cup winners, World Championships, Olympics, Pan Am Games, and Pacific Rims.  You name the competition and one of these gymnast has competed in it.  As long as no one is injured and the girls stay healthy, they could easily put up 3 10.0 routines on each event.  Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian, Anna Glenn, Grace Glenn, Felicia Hano.  These girls could basically go out in this line up and crush it. Kyla Ross is one of the most elegant gymnasts and competed in 2012 Olympics. Madison Kocian joins her as another Olympian who placed 2nd on the uneven bars this past year. Both of these gymnasts could make the line up in each event. Here is a video of upcoming freshman Kyla Ross…

LSU

Ruby Harold from Great Britain joins the Tigers this year after a great presentation in the Olympics this past summer.  She is in the best shape of her life and will be a strong asset to this already packed team. I’m hoping she will anchor the bar line up because she is innovative and has a unique presence on this event.  I do worry about the change in the bar settings, and if she will still be able to include her crazy bar change shown below…

Alabama

Maddie Desch bursts onto the elite scene in 2011 and in 2012 placed second in the all around to Simone Biles at the Secret Classic. Unfortunately, after showing some success in the junior field she was plagued by injuries in the senior division. She did, however, help the USA team win gold in Jeslo in both 2014 and 2015.  She is coming in as a strong beam worker and will be contributing in the all around.  Joining her is level 10 gymnast Wynter Childers.  A two time Nastia Cup competitor and a 2015 JO champion from Spearfish gymnastics. This team rose in the standings last year and has a chance at the 1-2 spot at NCAA’S.  Here is Maddie Desch on the balance beam…

Georgia
Rachel Dickson is a level 10 gymnast from Michigan. This past year she placed first on the uneven bars and third in the all round at the JO championships.  Joining her in the freshman class is Sabrina Vega from Gage gymnastics. She is five time national team member and placed tenth in the 2012 Olympic trials. Georgia is still rebuilding their program but with the help of these freshman they will be looking to place higher in super six this year. Here is a video of Rachel on bars…

Other notable freshmen this year…

Boise state: Courtney Mcgregor, a 2016 Olympian from New Zealand.

Denver: Maddie Karr, 2016 JO champion and Nastia cup winner

Michigan: Polina Shchennikova, a senior international elite

Ohio: Victoria-Kayen Woo, Gym-Richelieu, Sr. High Performance

Utah: Mykayla Skinner is 2016 Olympic alternate, and Kim Tessen is a level 10 JO uneven bars champion.

 

*These are just a few of the 2016-2017 freshman

 

 

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