Saturday, 11 December 2021 17:09

2022 Season Previews: Teams #13 to #25

Written by Staff

Here's the Top 13 to 25, based on the 2022 Preseason Coaches' Poll.

 13.  Kentucky Wildcats

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach:  Tim Garrison
Associate Head Coach:  Rachel Garrison
Assistant: Chad Wiest
Starting Routines Returning: 24/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 0 UB, 0 BB, 0 FX
Returning Starters (11):  Raina Albores (Jr), Josie Angeny (Sr), Baily Bunn (So), Hailey Davis (So), Kaitlin DeGuzman (Jr), Anna Haigis (Sr), Shealyn Luksik (Jr), Isabella Magnelli (So), Cally Nixon (Sr), Arianna Patterson (Sr), Raena Worley (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (6):  Makenna Clarke (Jr/I), Carissa Clay (So), Kassidy Howell (Jr), Ashlyn Laclair (Jr), Elyssa Roberts (Jr), Krista Zultevicz
Graduated (4):   Madison Averett, Mackenzie Harman, Megan Monfredi, Ella Warren
Other Losses (1):  Gianna Ortiz (So/TR/Rutgers)
Newcomers (4):  Jillian Procasky, Annie Riegert, Lila Smith, Makenzie Wilson

Quick Assessment:   Kentucky returns every routine from a squad that finished tied for third at the Salt Lake City Regional, finishing just 0.15 points behind Utah and matching the best score in school history.  UK did lose five gymnasts from last year, including former AAer Ella Warren, but none of these departed gymnasts were in the final lineups in their last meet last season.  Junior Makenna Clark is unfortunately out for the season with a reported knee injury. 

They'll be lead once again by a trio of AAers:  senior Josie Angeny, junior Raena Worley and sophomore Bailey Bunn.  Angeny had been a top BB and UB worker but has now emerged as a top AAer.  Worley excels on all four events posting a 39.75 at the Regional meet, but is knowm for her power on VT and FX (full-in).  Bunn hopes to follow up a strong frosh campaign with an even stronger 2022.  The trio of AAers is capably supported by the remaining roster, including powerful senior Arianna Patterson (front pike half on VT) and her classmate VT/UB standout Cally Nixon.  UK could also see expanded contributions from junior Raina Albores and sophomore Isabella Magnelli.

Kentucky welcomes four frosh, lead by L10 Jillian Procasky.  Procasky was the BB co-champion at the 2019 L10 Nationals and is known for her beautiful lines on the event.   The Gym Cats also welcome L10s Annie Riegart, Lila Smith and Makenzie Wilson.  They also have six other returners who will continue to develop and challenge for lineup slots.

With no major losses to graduation, Kentucky can pick up where they left last season and build upon their strong finish at Regionals.  They finished #11 in the rankings last season and are slotted at #13 in the preseason.  They will need to close the gap on FX with the leaders to better that rank, as they finished just #23 in the Nation on the event last season.  With continued improvement and the avoidance of major injuries to their stars, they should be back in the running for the Regional Final, and thus, for a slot at Nationals.        


 14.  Auburn Tigers

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach: Jeff Graba
Assistants: Kurt Hettinger, Ashley Johnston
Starting Routines Returning: 23/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 0 UB, 1 BB, 0 FX
Returning Starters (10):  Aria Brusch (Jr), Derrian Gobourne (Sr), Morgan Leigh Oldham (Jr), Gabby McLaughlin (So), Adeline Sabados (Jr), Payton Smith (So), Piper Smith (Jr), Cassie Stevens (Jr), Anna Sumner (Jr), Drew Watson (Gr)
Other/Injured Returners (4):  Jada Glenn (Sr/I), Olivia Hollingsworth (So/I), Allie Riddle (Sr), Tara Walsh (So)
Graduated (1):   Meredith Sylvia 
Other Losses (3):  Brooke Butler (So/?), Elise Panzner (Jr/R), Sabrina Cheney (Sr/R) 
Newcomers (5):  Ananda Brown, Sophia Groth, Sara Hubbard, Sunisa Lee, Caroline Leonard

Quick Assessment:  Auburn missed last year's Regional meet due to COVID related protocols.  They lose just one routine from their last competitive lineup last season and return nearly all of their top gymnasts.  They also have a strong frosh class, headlined by Olympic Champion Suni Lee.  Thus, it is no wonder the Coaches' have installed Auburn in the #14 Preseason slot.

Leading the way for the Tigers is grad student Drew Watson, senior Derrian Gobourne and junior Cassie Stevens.  All three have competed AA in the past and bring some big skills, including 10.0 Start Value Yurchenko 1 1/2 vaults.   Auburn also got key sets last season from juniors Aria Brusch and Adeline Sabados.  Last season, the Tigers were without full contributions from senior Jada Glenn and sophomore Olivia Hollingsworth, a former elite.  Junior Piper Smith is also looking strong in the preseason.  Glenn can bring a big VT for the Tigers while Hollingsworth competed AA twice last season and can bring in big scores on the VT and FX.  Getting these two back in the lineups could boost the Tigers' weakest two events from last season.

Any mention of AU this year must include their new superstar, Suni Lee.  She's had a busy year to say the least.  She's has had to overcome injuries in the past, so she'll need to be paced throughout the year.  Auburn also welcomes four other freshman, including Ananda Brown, Sophia Groth, Caroline Leonard and Sara Hubbard.  Groth, a Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier, has been an early standout in fall training, and is particularly strong on UB (Ray, double layout).  Hubbard brings another strong Yurchenko 1 1/2  and a full-in on FX for AU.  She was 3rd on VT, tied for 9th on FX and tied for 17th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.   In-state signee Caroline Leonard placed 3rd on VT and UB at Regionals in 2021.  Another frosh, Brown, was a Region 8 L10 VT champion in 2019. 

Auburn never got a chance last season to make a run at Nationals  and returns a veteran crew complemented by some exciting new talent.  Auburn lagged behind the top teams last season on VT and FX, due to injuries and the resulting lack of depth and consistency.  With Lee expected to pull down some big scores to complement the leaders, the Auburn depth gets an immediate boost.  When you add in the injured returners plus some strong frosh on key events, and the potential to exceed expectations is quite high.   


 15.  UGA Gym Dogs

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 21/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 1 UB, 1 BB, 1 FX
Head Coach: Courtney Kupets Carter
Assistants: Josh Overton, Jason Vonk
Returning Starters (11):  Rachel Baumann (Sr), Haley de Jong (Jr), Katie Finnegan (So), Soraya Hawthorne (Jr), Rachael Lukacs (Sr), Mikayla Magee (Sr), Alyssa Perez-Lugones (Sr), Victoria Nguyen (So/I), Megan Roberts (Sr), Emily Schild (Sr), Abbey Ward (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (3):  Nhyla Bryant (So), Amanda Cashman (Jr), Loulie Hattaway (Jr)
Graduated (2):   Sterlyn Austin, Marissa Oakley 
Other Losses (0):  N/A 
Newcomers (3):  Sarah Cohen, Maeve Hahn, Riley Milbrandt

Quick Assessment:   UGA finished last season with a 3rd place finish in the first round at the Athens Regional, just 0.025 points from the Regional Final.  They return 21 of 24 routines, notably missing key UB and BB sets from Marissa Oakley.  But the Gym Dogs bring back 11 starters from year's regional lineup, led by seniors Rachel Baumann, Mikayla Magee and Megan Roberts.  Roberts had a breakout season last year, bringing a big Yurchenko 1 1/2 VT, an exciting FX set and the ability to go AA.  Baumann too is another potential AAer, but excels on BB.  Magee is also a key BB worker but can also bring on big scores on VT and FX.

Junior Haley de Jong is another key potential AAer, who competed AA four times last season.  Sophomore Victoria Nguyen went AA once last season but has the potential to contribute even more this season, if she is healthy.  Seniors Alyssa Perez-Lugones, Emily Schild and Abbey Ward can bring key routines on FX, UB/BB and VT especially.  The health of the lineups overall will be key, with various gymnasts having missed time last season and in the preseason.  Getting expanded contributions from Nhyla Bryant, Amanda Cashman, Katie Finnegan and Rachel Lukacs could be key.  Several of the gymnasts have not shown the same skill level as they had earlier in their careers, and will need to work back to top form.     

Georgia welcomes a trio of frosh  Sarah Coehn, Maeve Hahn and Riley Milbrandt.  Cohen is a L10  who placed 3rd(t) on BB at the the 2019 L10 Nationals.  She also placed in the top 8 on FX at the 2018 L10 Nationals.  Hahn is a former junior elite who dropped down to L10 in 2021, placing 4th AA at the NC State Championships.  She also qualified to the 2019 L10 Nationals.  Milbrandt is a L10 who placed 8th on UB at the 2018 L10 Nationals.  This past club season, she competed primarily on UB.     

Georgia brings in an experienced crew that represents the core of their lineups from 2021.  They have the talent and experience to post a challenge at Regionals.  However, injuries have paid a factor in the past.  The Gym Dogs will need some step up performances from their roster to help elevate the lineups and strengthen their depth.      


 16.  Missouri Tigers

Official Web Site: Link       Schedule       Roster
Head Coach:  Shannon Welker
Associate Head Coach:  Casey Jo (Magee) MacPherson
Assistants: John Carney
Starting Routines Returning: 20/24
Routines Gone:  1 VT, 1 UB, 1 BB, 1 FX
Returning Starters (7):  Adalayna Hufendiek (Jr), Amaya Marshall (So), Hannah McCrary (Sr), Hollyn Patrick (Jr), Sydney Schaffer (So), Sienna Schreiber (Jr), Alisa Sheremeta (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (4):  Kyra Burns (So/I), Helen Hu (Jr/I), Kalise Newson (So), Jena Swanson (So/I)
Graduated (3):  Chelsey Christensen, Lauren Clevenger, Gabrielle Gottula
Other Losses (2):  Kambrie Brandt (Jr/?), Macy Orosco (Jr/?)
Newcomers (6):   Amari Celestine, Grace Anne Davis, Victoria Gatzendorfer, Alonna Kratzer, Jocelyn Moore, Alyssa Ojeda

Quick Assessment:  Missouri finished #14 last season, after placing 4th at the Tuscaloosa Regional final.  They lose four routines from that meet, with three of those coming from Gabrielle Gottula.  She competed three events for most of last season.  Last season, Mizzou excelled on BB, where they ranked 10th.  However, their worst events were VT and FX, two areas they'll seek to improve this season.

Leading the way for the Tigers in 2022 will be seniors Hannah McCrary and Alisa Sheremeta, junior Sienna Schreiber and sophomores Amaya Marshall and Sydney Schaffer.  Schreiber was the top Mizzou AAer last season, with a 39.525 at the Regional final, but really excels on BB, with a consistent triple series (bhs-layout-layout).  Marshall also had a strong debut season, hitting a high of 39.3 in the AA.  McCrary was a three-event standout, with VT and FX being her strongest events.  She qualified to the NCAA Championships as an individual on FX.  Sheremeta was also a three-event standout, and is known for her beautiful form and extension.  Schaffer also had a solid rookie campaign, competing up to three events and qualifying to the NCAAs as an individual on BB (bhs-bhs-layout series).  The Tigers also looking forward to the return of standout Helen Hu.  A stunning gymnast with eye catching originality and flexibility, she is capable of top scores on all four events.  The Tigers also get back Jena Swanson, who competed on up to three events before an injury cut her season short.  They also return Kyra Burns, another top L10 who missed her rookie season.            

Things just get better from there.  This Tigers add perhaps their strongest incoming class in some time:  Amari Celestine, Grace Ann Davis, Victoria Gatzendorfer, Alonna Kratzer, Jocelyn Moore and Alyssa Ojeda.  Celestine and Moore have had some outstanding club careers as L10 gymnasts.  Celestine finished 5th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals and tied for 7th AA at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  She also won a National Title on VT at the 2019 meet with her Yurchenko 1 1/2 and is a dynamic performer on FX (full-in).  Moore tied for 2nd AA, placed 3rd on UB and won the National Title on VT at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  She also placed 10th AA and 3rd(t) on VT in 2019.  Moore vaults an impressive Yurchenko 1 1/2 and tumbles a big double layout on FX.  She twice scored a 10 on the VT last season.  Kratzer is a senior elite who placed 14th AA at the American Classic and qualified to the GK US Classic.  Gatzendorfer is another strong L10 who tied for 12th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals and placed 7th AA in 2018.  Davis is a L10 Regional qualifier who excels at VT (Yurchenko 1 1/2) and FX (double Arabian).  Ojeda will provide depth as another former L10 National qualifier.     

Missouri welcomes back a strong core from last year's final starting lineup, plus they welcome back star Hu and two talented sophs back into the lineups.  On top of all this, the Tigers add one of their most heralded recruiting classes in years.  The newcomers and other returners perfectly complement the experienced veterans with some standout skills on the leg events, and some very strong UB and BB routines as well.  As the newcomers adapt to collegiate competition, and as injured returners return to form, the Tigers have a high potential to exceed their preseason rank, by a good measure.   


 17.  Oregon State Beavers

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 17/24
Routines Gone:  2 VT, 1 UB, 2 BB, 2 FX
Head Coach: Tanya Chaplin
Associate Head Coaches:  Mike Chaplin, Bryan Raschilla
Returning Starters (7):  Kayla Bird (Jr), Madi Dagen (Sr), Jenna Domingo (Jr), Sydney Gonzales (So), Kaitlyn Hoiland (So), Kaitlyn Yanish (Sr), Ariana Young (So)
Other/Injured Returners (7):  Jade Carey (RS Fr), Grace Johnson (So/I), Alexa McClung (Sr), Julia Melchert (So), Kristina Peterson (Sr/I), Anna Yeates (So/I), Colette Yamaoka (Sr/I)
Graduated (5):   Lacy Dagen, Savanna Force, Lexie Gonzales, Lena Greene, Niya Mack
Other Losses (1):  Jane Poniewaz (Jr/R)
Newcomers (8):  Carley Beeman, Natalie Briones, Karlie Chavez, Kaitlin Garcia, Phoebe Jakubczyk, Lauren Letzsch, Trinity Pyle, Brianna Yamamoto

Quick Assessment:   Oregon State placed 4th in a competitive Athens Regional semi-final, 0.4 behind the advancing pair of teams.  They lose a total of seven gymnasts from last year, including VT/BB specialist Lacy Dagen and FX ace Savanna Force.  Oregon State also suffered the loss of senior all-arounder Kristina Peterson to a season ending injury.  The Beavers finished last season with a rank in the Top 18 on VT, BB and FX.  However, on UB they could only managed a #48 ranking.  It was a weakness that extended to the routine's start values, and further exacerbated by injuries to some of their top UB workers. 

Oregon State will be led in 2021 by seniors Madi Dagen and Kaitlyn Yanish, junior Kayla Bird, and sophomore Sydney Gonzales.  Dagen is a key athlete on three events for the Beavers, with her consistent Yurchenko 1 1/2 and clean and consistent work on BB and FX.  She was also the top AAer last season.  Yanish brings a big double layout and big Yurchenko Full on VT, and can do four events if necessary.  Gonzales competed on three events last season, and has a big 10.0 SV vault.  Oregon State also returns six other athletes, including sophomores Grace Johnson and Anna Yeates.  Both had strong club backgrounds but were out with injury last season.  

Jade Carey enrolled at Oregon State last year but continued to train for the Olympics.  The Gold Medalist will be an immediate force on all four events, but in particular on VT, FX and UB.  To this, the Beavers add eight newcomers:  Carley Beeman, Natalie Briones, Karlie Chavez, Kaitlin Garcia, Phoebe Jakubczyk, Lauren Letsch, Trinity Pyle and Brianna Yamamoto.  Headlining the ranks of the true frosh is British senior National Team member Jacubczyk, who is coming off a strong year that saw her compete at the European Championships.  She earned that spot after a strong performance during the UK Olympic Trial process.  Briones had a strong L10 campaign and finished 14th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  Her best event is FX, where she can open with a pike full-in.  Chavez is another powerful gymnast, with a Yurchenko 1 1/2 and a double layout on FX.  She tied for 5th on VT and placed 17th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  Letzsch is a former junior international elite who has struggled a bit with injuries the last several years.  However, she is training well and was featured prominently in the recent Beaver intrasquads.  Another gymnast coming off a strong fall is L10 Garcia.  Another L10, Beeman, is a 2021 L10 National qualifier who excels on UB.

For Oregon State, the long awaited arrival of Jade Carey to the Corvallis campus is being met with high expectations.  Her high scoring potential should combine with the solid core of returning athletes to provide an immediate boost.  However, the Beavers will still need to get further improvements from the rest of the roster on UB, while getting the frosh adapted to collegiate competition as soon as possible.  The team has high scoring potential on VT, BB and FX and it is that last remaining apparatus that will tell how far the program will rise this year.        


 18.  Iowa

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach: Larissa Libby
Assistants:  Quest Hayden, Jessa Hansen Parker
Starting Routines Returning: 23/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 1 UB, 0 BB, 0 FX
Returning Starters (11):  Alex Greenwald (Sr), Lauren Guerin (Sr), JerQuavia Henderson (Jr), Clair Kaji (Sr), Adeline Kenlin (So), Bridget Killian (Sr), Aubrey Nick (So), Ellie Rogers (Jr), Allyson Steffensmeier (Jr), Carina Tolan (Sr), Mackenzie Vance (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (5):  Allie Gilchrist (Sr), Caelen Lansing (So), Kendall LaPlante (So), Kareena Mcsweeny (So/I), Allison Zuhlke (So)
Graduated (2):  Erin Castle, Emma Hartzler
Other Losses (3):  Dani Castillo (Jr/?), Giovanna Deo (So/?), Sophia Hunzelman (So/?)
Newcomers (5):  Alex Bradford, Alexa Ebeling, Kamryn Martinez, Marissa Rojas, Linda Zivat (Jr/TR/MSU)

Quick Assessment:   Iowa placed 3rd in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Regionals with a strong 197.05 team score.  They finished just 0.2 behind 2nd place Arkansas and scored the 2nd highest score in team history.  They lose just one routine from that squad, Emma Hartzler's UB routine.  They have a total of 11 starters returning, along with five other returning athletes.  Floor was by far the GymHawks best event last season, with some of the biggest tumbling in the NCAA (first passes:  3 full-ins, a triple full, a front double full to punch front and a 1 1/2 twist step out through to a double back) and a #4 National ranking.   

The 2022 GymHawks will be lead by seniors Alex Greenwald, Lauren Guerin, Clair Kaji and Bridget Killian, along with junior JerQuavia Henders and sophomore Adeline Kenlin.  Henderson was the top Gym Hawk last season, posting an AA high of 39.3  Her best events are VT and FX.  Kenlin also competed on up to four events as a frosh, hitting an even higher AA tally, a 39.5.  She'll be key to Iowa's fortunes.  Iowa also got a big boost when Kaji decided to take her COVID year and return.  She's a 9.9+ threat on UB, BB and FX.  Another three event star is Killian, who excels on VT, BB and FX.  Classmate Greenwald is another key gymnast on up to three events, but was strongest last season on FX (full-in).  Last but by no means least is Guerin, the #8 (tie) FX worker in the nation last season.  She opens with a clean full-in and adds a solid VT as well.  Iowa brings back a wide array of specialists, including some returners like Kendall LaPlante that have the potential to make bigger contributions in 2022.   

To that strong core, the GymHawks welcome five newcomers:  Alex Bradford, Alex Ebeling, Kamryn Martinez, Marissa Roja and transfer Linda Zivat.  Zivat was a standout L10 in her club career before she started at MSU.  She tied for the 2019 L10 National VT title with a flighty Tsukahara layout full.  She also tied for 6th AA at that meet.  However, she missed her first year of competition at MSU due to injury and then sat out last season while awaiting a transfer opportunity.  Rojas is coming off a strong club that saw her place 7th(t) on UB, 9th(t) on BB and 8th(t) AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  She also brings a double layout on FX.  Bradford is a 2021 L10 National qualifier, where she tied for 32nd AA.  Ebeling is also a former L10 National Qualifier who placed 10th at the Region 4 L10 Regionals in 2021.    

The GymHawks return their entire powerhouse FX lineup and will seek to bring up their other three events to the same level.  If they accomplish this, they may be able to significantly improve their Preseason ranking.  BB was their lowest ranked event last season, at #24, but that is typically an event where  experienced athletes gradually improve over their careers.  Experience and hard work on the details do tend to pay off in time.  With the continued health of their stars and some contributions from other returners and newcomers, the GymHawks could find themselves back in contention for a Regional final. 


 19.  BYU Cougars

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 10/24
Routines Gone:  3 VT, 3 UB, 4 BB, 4 FX
Head Coach: Guard Young
Associate Head Coach:  Natalie Broekman
Assistant:  Brogan Evanson  
Returning Starters (8):  Anyssa Alvarado (Jr), Abby Beeston (Sr), Rachel (Bain) Heaton (Sr), Allix Mason (So), Sophia McClelland (So), Haley Pitou (Sr), Elease Rollins (Jr), Brittney Vitkauskas (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (9):  Sarah Barron (Jr), Sydney Benson (RS Fr), Anna Bramblett (RS Fr), Lexi Griffith (Jr), Lindsey Hunter (Jr), Sadie Miner-Van Tassell (Sr/I), Lauren Ono (So), Adeline Rieder (Sr), Rebekah Bean Ripley (Jr/I)
Graduated (6):  Abbey Miner Alder, Avery Bennett, Helody Cyrene, Jordan Matthews, Abby Stainton, Angel Zhong
Other Losses (3):  Lexi Mather (Jr/?), Maya Page (So/?), Ashley Kernan (Jr/?), 
Newcomers (8):  Sophie Dudley, Melissa Earl (FR/TR/Dixie State), Rebecca Leach (I), Mina Margraf, Olivia Matern, Eliza Millar, Heidi Schooley, Jazlyn Wood

Quick Assessment:  BYU placed 3rd in the first round of the Morgantown Regional, just 0.175 behind Ohio State.  At that meet, small problems on BB held the Cougars back.  BYU unfortunately returns just 10 routines from that squad, the smallest number by good measure in the Top 25.  This season, we're seeing some very experienced rosters and nearly intact lineups from the other competing programs.  What's more, the 9 departed gymnasts include a number of top scoring "end of the lineup" performers.  Gymnasts like Abbey Miner Alder, Helody Cyrene and Abby Stainton provided some of the biggest scores for the Cougars during the last four years.  Both Stainton and Alder were AAers at various points in their careers, while Cyrene was counted on for big scores on UB and BB.  All six graduated athletes contributed to lineups during their careers, along with departed junor Lexi Mather.  The loss of the big scores and missing depth will be felt.

BYU will be led in 2022 by seniors Rachel (Bain) Heaton and Haley Pitou.  Pitou is the only 2021 Cougar senior taking an extra year.  She competed on VT and UB last season.  Heaton overcame past injuries to compete VT and FX last season.  Junior Elease Rollins has been a key BB performer for BYU while senior Brittney Vitkauskas has been a stalwart on the FX with her front double full.  Sophomore Allix Mason competed on up to two events last season and could be looked upon to do more.  There are a number of returning athletes with past lineup experience, including Sadie Miner-Van Tassell and Rebekah Bean Ripley.  Van Tassell is capable of some big skills and some big scores, but has been hampered by injuries.  Two of last year's frosh, Sydney Benson and Anna Bramblett, had successful club careers and could make an impact in 2022.  The Cougar coaching staff has a good history of developing gymnasts in a large roster (25 this year), and most of their gymnasts will eventually break through to lineups over the course of their careers.  

BYU welcomes another large frosh class, comprising eight gymnasts.  The class is led by Sophie Dudley, Melissa Earl, Rebecca Leach, Mina Margraf, Olivia Matern, Eliza Millar and Jazlyn Wood.  Dudley is a two-time L10 Regional qualifier who excels on VT.  She was 8th AA at the 2019 L10 Regionals.  Earl is actually a transfer but qualified in 2021 to the L10 Nationals and won the state L10 title in her division.  Leach placed 5th(t) on FX and 17th AA at the 2018 L10 Nationals but has been limited in competition on all four events since then.  Margraf placed 13th AA at the 2018 L10 Nationals and was 2nd AA at the L10 Regionals in 2019.  She shines on VT, BB and FX.  She's unfortunately battled some elbow problems that have hindered her in the past.  Matern is a 2021 L10 National qualifier who excels on VT while Millar is another 2021 L10 National qualifier who excels on UB and BB.  Finally, Wood is a L10 from SCEGA whose best event is UB.  Several of the most accomplished frosh unfortunately had limited to no competitions on record during the 2021 club season.     

BYU has some big challenges in finding gymnasts to fill the missing 14 routines, including some of the highest scorers on last year's team.   In the past, the coaching staff has successfully developed their depth to be ready to step into the shoes of the departed stars.  This will likely happen again, with new specialists emerging from the large roster.  The health of the squad will be key, as some of the most promising returners and frosh have lost at least some time to injury in the past. 


 20.  Iowa State Cyclones

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 24/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 0 UB, 0 BB, 0 FX
Head Coach: Jay Ronayne
Associate Head Coach:  Nilson Medeiros
Assistants:  Haylee Young
Returning Starters (13):  Loganne Basuel (Jr), Kelsey Boychuck (Sr), Addy de Jesus (Sr), Maddie Diab (Jr), Emilie Hong (So), Natalie Horowitz (Sr), Madelyn Langkamp (Sr), Andrea Maldonado (Sr), Makayla Maxwell (Jr), Meixi Semple (Sr), Sophia Steinmeyer (Sr/I), Phoebe Turner (Sr), Jade Vella-Wright (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (6):  Laura Cooke (Jr), Maya Ford (Jr), Alondra Maldonado (Jr), Ariana Orrego (Sr), Ana Palacios (Sr), Kaia Parker (So/I)
Graduated (1):  Natalie Ros Vaquer
Other Losses (1):   Laurie Lou Vezina (Jr/?)
Newcomers (8):  Josie Bergstrom, Maddie Crosse, Maya Ford, Marina Gonzalez, Hannah Loyim, Emma Ricks, Sydney Saturnino, Rachel Wilke

Quick Assessment:  Iowa State returns every routine from a lineup that placed 4th in the first round at the Tuscaloosa Regional, with a 196.525 score that tied the program's best score at a Regional competition.  Only two gymnasts depart from the program and no less than 13 starters return from that Regional lineup.  In total, the Cyclones have a huge 27 gymnast roster, filled with international talent from all over the globe, that will give them tremendous options in choosing lineups.

Iowa State will be lead by seniors Kelsey Boychuck, Natalie Horowitz, Addy de Jesus, Sophia Steinmeyer and Phoebe Turner.  Former transfer de Jesus has injected the program with an AA star.  Her success should continue in 2022, although she may be challenged to hold all four lineup slots.  Classmate Boychuck, like de Jesus, vaults a Yurchenko 1 1/2 and adds strong sets on BB and FX.  Similar to Boychuck, Turner and Steinmeyer shine on the same three events.  Meanwhile, classmate Horowitz shines on UB and also added BB last season.  Another senior, Andrea Maldonado, has an exceptional floor routine that opens with a front 2 1/2 twist (a Randi).  She also has the front triple twist named after her in the FIG Code of Points.  Junior Makayla Maxwell also brings a strong Yurchenko 1 1/2 while sophomore Emilie Hong has competed the VT in the past as well.  Vault was the Cyclones highest ranking event in 2021, and could be improved in 2022.  One area of improvement is on UB, as it was the squad's weakest event at Regionals.

Iowa State also brings back three other key returners.  Arian Orrego is a two-time Olympian from Peru who has contributed in all four events in the past.  She had some stellar routines in Tokyo, including a double layout mount on FX.  Senior Ana Palacios has also competed as an AAer and competed on all four events during the 2020 season.  Finally, Kaia Parker competed on three events before an injury ended her rookie season.         

Iowa State brings eight newcomers, led by Josie Bergstrom, Marina Gonzalez, Hannah Loyim, Sydney Saturnino and Rachel Wilke.  Gonzalez was a member of the Spanish National Team and competed at the 2019 World Championships and the Toyko Olympics, where she finished 63rd AA in the qualifications.  She also won a gold medal on FX (full-in) at the 2019 World Challenge Cup in Szombathely.  Saturnino is a former elite National Team member from Italy who placed 8th AA at the 2018 Italian Championships.  She has missed some time due to injury but returned to competition in 2021.  Loyim is a potential high impact L10 who tied for 3rd on UB, 6th on BB and 7th on FX (double layout) at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  Rachel Wilke is a three time L10 National qualifier.  She excels on VT and FX, tying for 4th on FX in 2021 and placing 4th in 2019.  She tumbles a double layout and is also capable of a pike full-in (which she did in the last club season).  The Cyclones also added Josie Bergstrom, an in-state L10 and three time L10 National qualifier who placed 2nd AA at the 2021 Region 4 Regionals.  She also placed 15th AA at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  Iowa State also adds L10 Nationals qualifiers Maddie Crosse, Maya Ford, and Emma Ricks.  

Iowa State has a large, experienced core with every routine returning from 2021.  With eight talented newcomers plus other key returning athletes, the Cyclones are set to exceed their preseason ranking.  To do this, they'll need to keep key athletes healthy while letting the frosh develop.  Vault will be once again a big strength, but significant improvements on FX and UB look to be in the works.  If the pieces come into place, Iowa State will put themselves in position to challenge for the Regional final or even more.    


21.  NC State Wolfpack

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach:  Kim Landrus
Assistants:  Phil Ogletree, Bob Starkell
Starting Routines Returning: 16/24
Routines Gone:  2 VT, 3 UB, 2 BB, 1 FX
Returning Starters (7):  Madison Benson (So), Kailand Foland (Sr), Carina Jordan (So), Chloe Negrete (Jr), Meredith Robinson (Sr), Emily Shepard (Jr), Nicole Webb (Gr)
Other/Injured Returners (5):  Brooke Conley (So/I), Gabrielle Diaz (So), Grace Hunter (Jr), Alexis Ortega (Jr), Haley Zarett (Sr)
Graduated (5):  Katie Cox, Olivia Hunter, Lauren Kent, Kasey Nelson, Victoria Prati
Other Losses (2):  Alliah Harrison (Sr/?), Alexis Sheppard (Sr/?)
Newcomers (8):  Shruthi Ananad (Jr/TR/Ursinus), Peyton Childs, Macy Jennings, Gabrielle Kistner (Gr/TR/UB), Lucy Lehman, Hailey Merchant, Lauren Rutherford, Brooke Smead

Quick Assessment:  NC State wrapped up 2021 with a 4th place finish at the Regional final, well back from the top three.  It was a triumph for the squad however, as they had to battle through the "play in round" and advanced all the way through to the Final.  At the Final, after two prior strong meets, NCSU suffered a few problems on BB and lagged the field on the UB.   They lose a total of eight routines from that lineup, including key routines from Katie Cox, Olivia Hunter, Lauren Kent, Kasey Nelson and Victoria Prati.  Three of those routines came from Nelson.

The 2022 NC State squad will be lead by junior NCAA qualifier and EAGL Gymnast of the Year Emily Shepard, junior Chloe Negrete and sophomore Carina Jordan.  AAer Shepard is known for her precise form and execution.  She posted a 39.5 in the AA three times last season.  Classmate Negrete also had a great breakout season, excellling on VT, BB and FX.  Jordan had a solid debut season, producing solid scores on up to three events.  Grad student Nicole Webb will lend her experience on BB and FX while sophomore Benson competed on every meet on VT in her first season, and then added FX.

The Wolfpack welcome eight newcomers, including two transfers.  Lauren Rutherford highlights the class.  She was 6th(t) on VT (Yurchenko 1 1/2), 7th(t) on UB and 6th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  She's a three-time L10 National qualifier and was 6th(t) on VT again in 2019.  Hailey Merchant, a three-time L10 National qualifier had put together a great L10 season before suffering an apparent injury at L10 Nationals.  She posted a big 38.5 AA at her state championships.  A former National UB co-champ, she tied for first on UB at the 2018 L10 Nationals (Van Leeuwen, full-twisting double layout).  Childs is a former L10 National Qualifier whose strongest event is the UB.  Lucy Lehman, a L10 Regional qualifier from Phenom, was the 2021 Region V champion on VT (Yurchenko 1/2).  NCSU also adds Macy Jennings, a L10 Regional qualifier from Team Attraction.     

NC State is seeking a return trip to the Regional final and would like to avoid a tiring play-in round once again.  They have a number of roster holes to fill, but with 20 gymnasts, including 8 newcomers, they have the numbers to do it.  Shepard and Negrete will lead the way, but they'll look for immediate contributions from gymnasts like Rutherford and Merchant. 


22.  Ohio State Buckeyes

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach:  Meredith Paulicivic
Assistants:  Randy Monahan, Lucas Wasson
Starting Routines Returning: 18/23
Routines Missing:  3 VT, 1 UB, 1 BB, 1 FX
Returning Starters (10):  Elexis Edwards (Jr), Claire Gagliardi (Sr), Savannah Gonzalez (So), Alexis Hankins (Jr), Ella Hodges (Jr), Sydney Jennings (Sr), Colby Miller (Sr), Emma Pritchard (So), Zoe Schweitzer (Jr), Jojo Warga (So)
Other/Injured Returners (5):  Raina Malas (Jr), Hannah Oliveros (So), Miriam Perez (Jr), Nicole Riccardi (So), Sarah Rowland (Jr)
Graduated (4):  Brooke Chesney, Morgan Lowe, Kali Schierl, Jenna Swartzentruber
Other Losses (1):  Kaitlyn Gilson (Sr/?)
Newcomers (5):  Stephanie Berger, Kaitlyn Grimes, Jenna Hlavach, Maddy Pike, Tory Vetter

Quick Assessment:  Ohio State placed 4th at Berkeley Regional Final, after defeating BYU and Towson in the semi-finals.  They accomplished this feat despite only using five gymnasts on VT in the Finals.  They lose five routines from that squad, including three from star Jenna Swartzentruber.  Only three Buckeyes return on VT, although senior Colby Miller did VT in the Regional semi-final.  

The 2022 Ohio State squad will be led by seniors Claire Gagliardi and Colby Miller as well as juniors Elexis Edwards and Alexis Hankins.   Edwards is the Buckeye's top returning AAer, although she competed on three events in the post-season.  Miller is the top returning Buckey on UB and has competed on BB and VT.  Classmate Gagliardi is the Buckeye's top returner on FX and a key vaulter.  Hankins was a key player across her three events last season while sophomore Emma Pritchard was a top performer on BB but also competed UB.  Senior Sydney Jennings was a key vaulter but has also competed BB in the past.  The Buckeyes also have five other returners who could step and fill the remaining spots, including several with lineup experience: Raina Malas, Miriam Perez, Nicole Ricciardi and Sarah Rowland.  Hannah Oliveros was a top club performer as a L10.  Her return could provide a boost, especially on BB.   

Ohio State welcomes five frosh, in what is Head Coach Meredith Paulicivic's best recruiting class yet.  It includes former sr. elite Stephanie Berger, and L10s Kaitlyn Grimes, Jenna Hlavach, Maddy Pike and Tory Vetter.  Vetter is a 2021 L10 National Team member with two top 6 finishes at the L10 Nationals to her credit.  She is also a former junior AA champion at the Nastia Liukin Cup.  This past season she tied for 6th on VT, 7th on UB and BB and 9th on FX at the L10 Nationals.  Hlavach is a powerhouse athlete who placed 5th(t) on VT and FX (pike full-in) and placed 13th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  She also tied for 12th AA in 2019.  Berger qualified to the US Classic in 2018, the same year she tied for 2nd AA at the L10 Nationals.  She's had a few problems with injuries since then but showed a strong bhs to layout-layout during preseason training.  Grimes is another solid AA who tied for 7th on UB and placed 10th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  She also tied for 4th on UB, 8th on FX, 9th on VT and placed 10th AA at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  Pike, a two-time L10 National qualifier, was the 2021 Ohio State AA champ and the 2021 Region V L10 Vault champion.            

Ohio State has a strong core of returning gymnasts and some exciting newcomers as they seek to continue the momentum of last year's season finish.  However, it is very difficult to predict how easily frosh will adapt to the changes in NCAA competition.  We will definitely see an impact from this crew, and how far they can progress will mirror the Buckeye's progress this season. 


 23.  Illinois Fighting Illini

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 16/24
Routines Gone:  1 VT, 1 UB, 3 BB, 3 FX
Head Coach: Nadalie Walsh
Assistants: Kaitlyn Betts, Stephen Buckner
Returning Starters (10):  Rachel Borden (Sr), Katie Ewald (So), Amelia Knight (So), Mallory Mizuki (Sr), Abby Mueller (So), Olivia O'Donnell (Jr), Lexi Powe (Jr/I), Mia Takekawa (Jr), Mia Townes (Jr), Julia Waight (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (4):  McKenzie Eddy (Jr), Allie Morgan (So), Ashley Resch (So), Arayah Simons (Jr/I)
Graduated (5):  Nicole Biondi, Kasey Meeks, Kylie Noonan, Tessa Phillips, Jaylen Spence 
Other Losses (1):  Shaylah Scott (Sr/R)
Newcomers (7): Olivia Bowsman, Kadyn Fitzgibbon, MaKayla Green, Katherine Klugman, Ruthuja Nataraj, Mia Scott, Kiera Wai

Quick Assessment:  Illinois looks to 2022 with 16 of the 24 routines from their last competition lineup in 2021.  They finished 3rd in the semi-final round of the Athens Regional, 0.4 back from NC State.  They lose six gymnasts from last year, including AAers Nicole Biondi and Shaylah Scott (she announced a medical retirement this fall) plus key specialists Kasey Meeks and Kylie Noonan.  The Illini will have to replace half of their routines on BB and FX this season. 

The 2022 Illini will be lead by juniors Mia Takekawa and Mia Townes, plus sophomore Abby Mueller.  Takekawa is a BB ace, having already achieved the magic 10.0 mark.  She's also a potential AAer and showed all four events in the preseason intrasquad.  Townes was a standout on three events last season but has competed on all four events as well.  Mueller competed on up to three events for the Illini but was primarily a regular on VT and FX.  The Illini will also look forward to expanded contributions from Brit elite Knight, who has competed on up to three events.  Sophomore Allie Morgan and junior Arayah Simons are also both back and looking strong, and will figure prominently in the Illinois plans.  Simons in particular has the potential to bring big scores on VT and FX, but has competed all four events in the past.  There are also a wide array of other specialists who could make the step up on other events.   

Head Coach Nadalie Walsh welcomes a large clas of 7 frosh to the squad.  The Illini will also be looking to big contributions in the future from MaKayla Green.  Green won the 2021 L10 National title on FX (full-in) and placed 2nd AA.  She also tied for 2nd on UB (Van Leeuwen) and BB (double back dismount) and 6th on VT at the meet.  Katherine Klugman impressed in the recent Blue vs Orange meet, showing a full-in on FX and showing strong work throughout.  She tied for 2nd on BB and 17th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  Ruthuja Nataraj also performed well at the Blue vs. Orange meet.  She tied for 19th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  Bowsman is a two-time L10 National qualifier and 2021 UB champ in Region V.  Illinois has also added two international gymnasts:  Mia Scott and Kiera Wai.  A Brit, Scott placed 14th at the 2019 British Championships.  A Canadian, Wai placed 17th AA at the 2019 Canadian Championships.  She also finished 20th AA at the 2020 Elite Canada meet.  

Illinois welcomes a strong core of returners to lead the team, as they embark on a quest to improve on last year's Regional finish.  They'll need top performances from the likes of Takekawa and Townes, and the return of Araya Simons.  The big difference maker for the Illini could be the frosh, notably Green and Klugman.  The Illini will also need to manage past some current and past but lingering injuries, as they develop their depth across the events and seek to replace the key missing routines.  There are some challenges there but the large roster affords plenty of opportunity for new gymnasts to step up.                   


 24.  Boise State

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 22/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 1 UB, 1 BB, 0 FX
Head Coach: Tina Bird
Assistants: Patty Resnick, Ivan Alexov
Returning Starters (10):  Courtney Blackson (So), Erin Elkabchi (Jr), Talia Little (So), Emily Lopez (So), Hope Masiado (Sr), Emily Muhlenhaupt (Sr), Maddi Nilson (Gr), Tessa Otuafi (Sr), Adriana Popp (Jr), Samantha Smith (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (4):  Erin Morden (Jr), Dani Nakayama (RS Fr), Alexis Stokes (Sr), Kayli Tran (Sr)
Graduated (2):  Tatum Bruden, Gabriela Cavinta
Other Losses (0):  N/A
Newcomers (4):  Emma Loyim, Elaina McGovern, Blake Pascal, Alyssa Vulaj

Quick Assessment:  Boise State was in 2nd after two rounds at the Salt Lake Regional semi-final last season, but fell short, eventually placing 4th after counting a fall on BB.  They lose just two routines from that lineup, both from the graduated Gabriel Cavinta.  They also lose the services of Tatum Bruden, who was a regular on up to three events during her career.  BB will be a focus area for the Broncos in 2022, as they finished just 31st in the country last season on the event.  

The Broncos will welcome back 10 returning starters and four other gymnasts for 2022.  They will be led by grad student Maddi Nilson, seniors Emily Muhlenhaupt and Hope Masiado and a pair of sophomores, Courtney Blackson and Emily Lopez.  Nilson has been a strong competitor for the Broncos but excels on UB.  The big UB ace on the Bronco's best event is Muhlenhaupt, one of the nation's top returning UB workers.  She'll continue to chase the elusive 10.0 while also contributing on BB.  Classmate Masiado has been a steady competitor on three events, while two sophomores, Blackson and Lopez, show AA potential after competing three events for most of last season.  Junior Adriana Popp also returns, and excels on BB (two bhs to a two footed layout) and FX.  Boise State could also benefit from expanded contributions from Talia Little.  The former L10 standout competed mostly on UB last season but is a former L10 National champion (2019, AA, UB(t), BB).  Boise State could also benefit from the return of senior Alexis Stokes, who won the MRGC UB title as a frosh.    

Head Coach Tina Bird welcomes a quartet of newcomers for 2022:  Emma Loyim, Elaina McGovern, Blake Pascal and Alyssa Vulaj.  Loyim is coming off a strong L10 club season in 2021 and shows tight, precise form and execution.  She tied for 3rd on UB (Ray, double layout), 7th on VT (Yurchenko 1/2), 9th on BB (bhs to layout-layout) and placed 9th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  (Her sister Hannah is a frosh at Iowa State).  McGovern placed 7th AA, 5th(t) on FX and 6th on BB at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  However, she competed only on UB this past year.  Hailing from California, Vulaj tied for 5th on BB and placed 13th AA at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  A consistent BB worker, she also swings a huge Gienger and high double layout dismount on UB and won Regionals with her round-off, half-on, half-off to back tuck vault. Pascal qualified for L10 Nationals in 2021 and placed 33rd AA.  Her best event is FX, where she shows excellent extension in her leaps.        

Boise State has a strong set of returning gymnasts to help fuel their run in 2022.  With another year of experience and polish, they are well set to challenge for a Regional final once again.  They also have the potential to get some strong contributions from their newcomers, especially Loyim and Vulaj.  Look for the Broncos to get stronger as the squad continues to develop over the course of the season. 


 25.  Southern Utah

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 24/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 0 UB, 0 BB, 0 FX
Head Coach: Scotty Bauman
Assistants: Jeff Richards, Jamie Wysong
Returning Starters (13):  Morgan Alfaro (Sr), Celine Barney (Jr), Mayson Bentley (Sr),  Kayla Horton (Jr), Caitlin Kho (Sr), Karley McClain (Sr), Shylen Murakami (Sr), Hannah Nipp (Sr), Aubri Schwartze (So), Rachel Smith (Sr), Stephanie Tervort (Sr), Nikki Thomas (Jr), Emma Wissman (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (8):  Brianna Alacantar (So), Aly Coutu (So), Anna Hartley (So), Ruby Hernandez (Jr), Emma Ingrassia (So), Kaylee Kho (Jr), Tiffani Stufflebeam (Jr), Hailey Vultaggio (So)
Graduated (3):  Mikaela DeFilippo, Molly Jazwiakowski, Alyssa Ladieu
Other Losses (0):  NA
Newcomers (8):  Madeline Amundson, Elle Cacciola, Taylor Gull, Summer Horsley, Isabella Neff, Katie Ours, Madeline Tyau, Jocelyn Wittwer

Quick Assessment:  SUU placed 3rd in the semifinal round of the 2021 Salt Lake City Regional, edging out Boise State.  They return every member of the lineup from that meet.  They do however, lose three seniors, including VT/FX specialist Molly Jazwiakowski.  Vault was the Flippin' Birds weakest event last season, at #25 nationally, and is an area they'll need to improve to keep pace with the other contenders for the Regional final. 

Southern Utah returns a unusually large set of 13 starters from their final lineup in 2021.  They will be lead by seniors Caitlin Kho, Karley McClain, Shylen Murakami, Hannah Nipp and Rachel Smith.  These five seniors have been key gymnasts at the core of the Thunderbird lineups since their frosh campaigns.  McClain has been a strong AAer with a career high (set in 2020) of 39.525.  Murakami has competed up to three events for SUU but is a key gymnast on UB and BB.  Nipp excelled on three events for SUU, but was strongest on BB and FX last season.  The Flippin' Birds also got a big rookie year from Aubri Schwartze.  She competed on up to three events and went 9.9 on BB and FX.  SUU has a total of 21 returners who will be pushing to break through the lineups.  

Head Coach Scotty Bauman also welcomes eight newcomers for 2022.  Ellie Cacciola brings a potential strong Yurchenko Full to the squad, having posted a 9.9 to win the OK L10 state VT title in 2021.  Hailing from Maryland, Katie Ours is a four time L10 National qualifier.  Summer Horsley is a two-time L10 National qualifier and the 2021 Region 2 AA, VT, UB and FX champion.  Hailing from Hawaii, Madeline Tyau is a three-time L10 National qualifier while Madeline Amundson and Isabella Neff are both former L10 National qualifiers.   

With 29 gymnasts and every starting routine returning, SUU is well set to improve on their scores from last season.  With some established stars and a large roster to cultivate specialists, the Thunderbirds will need to focus on the details as they seek to knock off the higher ranked teams.  




Teams #1 to #12



Key to the Tables:

Ranking: By 2022 Preseason Coaches' Poll

Coaches: Only regular, paid coaches are listed.

Starting Routines: Defined by starting lineup in last meet of the post season.
Returning Starters:
Defined by starting lineup in last competition
Year in School:
(Is listed as reported on the school's roster)

Fr = Freshman
So = Sophomore
Jr = Junior
Sr = Senior

Gr = Grad Student

Status Codes for Returners:

I = major season ending injury in 2021 or preseason 2021-2022
R = retirement/not competing (for any other reason than transfer or injury)
TR = Transfer
RS = Redshirt (note:  not all eligible gymnasts will employ or are awarded a redshirt year)
?=unconfirmed/unknown information

Last modified on Thursday, 06 January 2022 21:33
More in this category: « 2009 Capsule Previews #13 to #25