Monday, 12 December 2022 21:41

2023 Season Previews: Teams #13 to #25

Here's the Top 13 to 25, based on the 2023 WCGA Preseason Coaches' Poll.

 13.  Denver Pioneers

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach: Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart
Associate Head Coach:  Linas Gaveika
Assistant: Stephen Hood
Starting Routines Returning: 22/23
Routines Gone/Missing:  0 VT, 1 UB, 0 BB, 1 FX
Finish Last Season:  13th
Returning Starters (8):  Rosie Casali (Jr), Jessica Hutchinson (Jr), Mia Hebinck (So), Momoko Iwai (So), Bella Mabanta (Jr), Rylie Mundell (Jr), Alexandra Ruiz (Gr), Callie Schlottman (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (3):  Lynnzee Brown (Gr/I), Victoria Fitts (Sr), Abbie Thompson (Jr) 
Graduated (2):  Emily Glynn, Mia Sundstrom (Volunteer Assistant)
Other Losses (1):  Emma Brown (Sr/?)
Newcomers (4):  Mila Brusch, Cecilia Cooley, Ava Mabanta, Kiley Rorich

Quick Assessment:
  Denver enters the season at #13, the same place as their final finish in 2022 (they finished #15 by final National Qualifying Score).  They need to replace two routines from last year's final lineup, from a trio of departed gymnasts.  However, the Pioneers return eight starts, led by juniors Hutchinson, Mabanta and Mundell, as well as grad student Ruiz.  Sophomore Iwai was also a key contributor last season, especially on BB.  Classmate Hebinck was a top performer on UB but missed the recent intrasquad.  Junior Casali appears ready to make a big step forward this season and has added a Yurchenko 1 1/2 on VT.  Hutchinson attracted attention at the intrasquad not only for her upgraded Yurchenko 1 1/2 but because she is unveiling a version of her own FX based on her mother Silvia Mitova's famous Blues for Kook routine.   Denver is especially anxious for the return of superstar Brown, now in her sixth year of competition.  An All-Around powerhouse, she'll likely need to be eased into competition after her second Achilles' injury ended her season early last year.  DU also returns Thompson, who competed on three events in Round 2 of the Regionals and qualified for NCAAs as an individual on BB, but missed the Regional final. 

Although Denver could easily fill out their lineups with the returning athletes, DU also welcomes a quartet of talented frosh.  Brusch, a L10 from CGA, placed 10th AA at the 2022 Women's Development Program (WDP) Nationals.  She also tied for 3rd on VT with a big Yurchenko Full.  Earlier in the year, she won the Region V AA title.  Cooley, a L10 from Gotham, tied for 3rd on BB and 18th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also won Regional titles on UB (Ray), BB (bhs to two layouts), FX and the AA.  Mabanta is the younger sister of Bella.  A L10 from Twin City Twisters, she won the Region 4 BB title in 2022, after being limited to BB/FX all season.  She unfortunately did not compete in 2021.  She placed 3rd on VT and tied for 4th on BB at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  The fourth recruit, Rorich, is a L10 from Southeastern.  She placed 5th AA, 4th(t) on UB (full twisting double layout) and 6th on FX at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  She also won the state FX title and placed 5th AA in 2022 before her season came to an end.          

Denver has an experienced and talented set of core gymnasts.  The key issue for them has been depth and the avoidance of injuries.  With a strong set of returners and four newcomers, DU is set up for an even better year, as long as the squad stays healthy.


 14.  Oregon State Beavers

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 21/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 2 UB, 0 BB, 1 FX
Head Coach: Tanya Chaplin
Associate Head Coaches:  Mike Chaplin, Bryan Raschilla
Finish Last Season:  14th
Returning Starters (11):  Carley Beeman (So), Kayla Bird (Sr), Jade Carey (So), Karlie Chavez (So), Madi Dagen (Gr), Jenna Domingo (Sr), Kaitlin Garcia (So), Sydney Gonzales (Jr), Phoebe Jakubczyk (So/I), Lauren Letzsch (So), Ariana Young (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (6):  Trinity Andrews (RS Fr), Natalie Briones (So), Kaitlyn Hoiland (Jr), Julia Melchert (Jr), Kristina Peterson (Gr/I), Brianna Yamamoto (So)
Graduated (3):   Kaitlyn Yanish, Alexa McClung, Colette Yamaoka
Other Losses (3):  Grace Johnson (Jr/I/R), Trinity Pyle (So/?), Anna Yeates (Jr/I/?)
Newcomers (3):  Francesca Caso, Jennifer McMillan, Savannah Miller, Ellie Weaver

Quick Assessment:   Oregon State returns 11 starters from their final 2022 lineup, plus six other gymnasts.  They lose a total of six athletes, but these athletes accounted for just three routines in their final meet lineup.  The Beavers, however, will sorely miss Yanish, a standout on the FX who contributed on up to three events.  They also unfortunately lost Jakubczyk to a season ending injury.  She looked set for bigger contributions in 2023.  They will be led again by Olympic and World Champion Carey.  A consistent source of 9.95+ scores, she gives the Beavers an intangible extra benefit on all four events, that many other teams lack.  They also regain the services of grad student Dagen, who emerged as a top AAer after her improvements on UB last season.  They also return sophomore Letzsch, a standout in her rookie campaign on three events.  Other key gymnasts include senior Bird, an AAer in 2021 and Gonzales, who competed on up to three events last season.  Other key gymnasts include Domingo, a top BBer who could break through on UB this season, and Young, another contributor on up to three events.  Oregon State also looks forward to the return of Peterson, a former three event contributor who brings a 10.0 Start Value (SV) vault and a triple series on BB.  

The Beavers have brought in four frosh with a key recruiting focus, the UB.  The UB has been the notable weak spot for the program the last two seasons, finishing #48 in 2021 and #25 in 2022.  Despite progress last season, the loss of two starters will hurt an already thin lineup.  McMillan, a L10 from Southeastern, leads the way.  She was the 2022 WDP UB Champ in 2022 and 2021.  She also tied for 6th on VT and placed 7th AA in 2022, and 15th AA in 2021.  Miller, a L10 from Michigan Elite, tied for 10th AA, 7th on FX (full-in) and 9th on UB at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  She also vaults a roundoff half-on half off to back pike.  Caso is a L10 from All Olympia who has competed as an elite in Germany.  She tied for 9th on UB and placed 25th AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  Like Miller, she did not compete in 2022 but both showed UB routines at the Orange and Black exhibition in December.  Weaver, a L10 from Naydenov, placed 23rd AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals, after sweeping the Region 2 L10 Regional meet.   She was also the BB National Champ at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  

Led by Carey and Dagen once again, the Beavers seek a return to the National meet.  To do this, improvements on the UB still remain the critical task.  A huge returning roster and some talented frosh give Oregon State the opportunity to take that next step.  


 15.  Arkansas Razorbacks

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 15/24
Routines Gone:  3 VT, 2 UB, 2 BB, 2 FX
Head Coach: Jordyn Wieber
Assistants: Chris Brooks, Kyla Ross
Finish Last Season:  16th
Returning Starters (9):  Kiara Gianfagna (Sr), Kennedy Hambrick (Gr), Kalyxta Gamiao (So), Madison Hickey (Sr), Maddie Jones (So), Emma Kelley (Jr), Bailey Lovett (Gr), Jensen Scalzo (Jr), Leah Smith (So)
Other/Injured Returners (3): Frankie Price (So/I), Makenzie Sedlacek (So), Cami Weaver (So/I)
Graduated (5):  Amanda Elswick, Abby Johnston, Maggie O'Hara, Savannah Pennese, Sarah Shaffer  
Other Losses (2):  Claire Rogers (Jr/?), Allie Gard (Fr/TR/Nebraska)
Newcomers (5):  Reese Drotar, Nora Flatley (GS/TR/UCLA), Jaime Pratt, Cally Swaney, Lauren Williams

Quick Assessment:  The GymBacks lose no less than 9 routines from their final lineups from last season, including key sets from stellar stars like Elswick, O'Hara and Shaffer.  Arkansas finished 16th in the final rankings (18th in the final regular season rankings) but moved up to #15 in the Preseason Poll, likely based on the strength of the returning squad and their newcomers, led by a key transfer.  Nine returners are led by star Hambrick, an All-American AAer who had a terrific year in 2022, capped with an individual AA qualification to the NCAAs.  She's complemented by Lovett, another grad student, who looks sharp in preseason training and looks ready to compete on up to three events.  Senior Gianfagna was an AAer in the past and lends experience and depth to every lineup.  Sophomore Maddie Jones was also another key contributor on UB and FX.  The GymBacks will also look forward to getting back the full services of Smith, an AAer who was limited by an ankle injury late in the season.  She'll provide key VT and FX routines, two of the GymBack's weakest events.  Arkansas also looks forward to the debut of Frankie Price and Cami Weaver, who both injured last season.  Sedlacek is another key soph who missed the Regional meet, and who can contribute on up to four events.  Like Smith, Sedlacek, Price and Weaver should bolster the VT and FX lineups.

Coach Wieber welcomes five athletes, led by UCLA transfer Flatley.  Flatley will make an immediate impact on up to four events, having qualified as an individual AAer to the NCAA Finals last season.  She hit her career high of 39.75 in the AA last season.  Swaney is a L10 and former junior elite from First in Flight.  She tied for 3rd on UB and 13th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She was also 9th AA and 9th(t) on UB and FX in 2021.  An in-state recruit, Williams is a L10 from Aspire who placed 15th AA and 7th on VT at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 20th in 2019.  Pratt is a 2021 L10 National team member from Hanover who placed 4th on UB (Ray) and FX (front layout to front double twist) and 3rd AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  She did not compete in 2022.  The final recruit, Drotar, has not competed since 2020 due to injury but excels on UB and with her excellent form and extension. 

Arkansas will look to return back to the Regional final and challenge for one of the spots at Nationals.  With a core group of talented gymnasts and the addition of an impact gymnasts in Flatley, the GymBacks could achieve their goal.  They'll need however for gymnasts like Smith, Sedlacek, Price and/or Williams to be healthy and at full strength on VT, while the squad continues to improve on UB and BB.           


 16.  Minnesota Gophers

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach:  Jenny Hansen
Associate Head Coach:  Rich Stenger
Assistant:  Geralen Stack-Eaton
Starting Routines Returning: 15/24
Routines Gone:  2 VT, 3 UB, 2 BB, 2 FX
Finish Last Season:  6th
Returning Starters (8):  Gianna Gerdes (Jr), Mya Hooten (Jr), Emily Koch (Jr), Abbie Nylin (Gr), Maddie Quarles (Gr), Halle Remlinger (Sr), Tiarre Sales (Gr), Ali Sonier (Gr)
Other/Injured Returners (7):  Maya Albertin (Sr), Kate Grotenhuis (Sr), Katie Horak (Jr), Marissa Jencks (So), Mallory LeNeave (Sr), Lauren Pearl (So), Ella Sirjord (Jr)
Graduated (3):  Ona Loper, Lexy Ramler, Hannah Willmarth
Other Losses (4):  Erin Fortman (Jr/R), Alissa Fuelling (So/?), Olivia Reed (So/?), Haley Tyson (So/TR/Iowa)
Newcomers (4):  Seria Johnson, Sarah Moraw, Brooklyn Rowray, Megan Steensland

Quick Assessment:   Minnesota finished last season in 6th place, in a fine ending for superstars Loper and Ramler.  Ramler, the 2021 AAI Award winner, finished the regular season as the #5 AAer in the country whereas Loper was just behind at #7.  A total of seven gymnasts are gone from last year, complicating a rebuilding process and perhaps explaining the 10 spot fall in the Preseason Poll.  There is still plenty of Gopher talent, however, with 8 returning starters from their last competition lineup.  They are led by juniors Gerdes, Hooten and Koch, who each competed on up to three events last season.  All-American Hooten excels on FX but was also a regular on UB and VT (Yurchenko 1 1/2).   Grad student Sales is another key returner, a gymnast who excels on UB and BB but who has been an All-Arounder in the past.  Another grad student, Quarles, has an excellent Yurchenko 1 1/2.  Senior Remlinger has competed on up to three events in the past, but excels on FX with a high full-in mount and showed a tuck Yurchenko 1 1/2 on VT (10.0 SV) at the recent intrasquad, the same vault as Koch competed last season.  Gymnasts like Grotenuis, LeNeave, Nylin and Sonier all have lineup experience and could step up this season.  Two sophomores, Jencks and Pearl, had standout club careers and have upside potential for this season.

Minnesota welcomes a quartet of frosh, led by Moraw, a L10 from Champion.  In 2022, Moraw won the VT with a huge Yurchenko 1 ½ and placed tied for 3rd AA at the WDP Nationals.  She also placed 3rd on BB and tied for 8th on FX.  In 2021, she won the AA title at the L10 Nationals and tied for the BB title.  She also placed 6th on UB and tied for 9th on FX and 10th on VT.  She has all the makings of a future Gopher star.  Rowray is a L10 from Chow's.  She won the Region 4 L10 Regional in 2022 and placed 4th on BB at the WDP Nationals.  In 2021, she tied for 7th AA, 4th on BB and FX and 9th on VT.  Steensland, a L10 from Legacy, tied for 14th AA and 9th on BB at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 31st in 2021, placing 10th on FX, where she has a 2 1/2 twist to punch front.  The fourth recruit, Johnson, tied for 18th AA and 10th on VT at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 3rd on VT with her big Yurchenko Full, and tied for 34th AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  She was the only frosh to do AA at the Gopher intrasquad in early December.  Moraw appeared only on BB.   

The Gophers will certainly miss the big end of the lineup scores from their departed stars.  These type of scores are tough to replace, and Minnesota will look to both the returners and the frosh to step up so the squad can again compete for a spot in the Regional final.  While they have a path to 6 10.0 start value vaults, their UB lineup is not nearly as deep or yet as polished as in past years. 


 17.  Stanford Cardinal

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach: Tabitha Yim
Assistants:  Hallie Mossett, Vince Smurro
Starting Routines Returning: 13/24
Routines Gone:  2 VT, 3 UB, 3 BB, 3 FX
Finish Last Season:  14th
Returning Starters (5):  Madison Brunette (5th Yr), Jade Chrobok (Sr), Anapaula Gutierrez (So), Brenna Neault (So), Chloe Widner (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (6):  Ira Alexeeva (RS So), Sandra Jessen (Jr), Katya Sander (So), Addie Stonecipher (Sr), Isabela Onyshko (RS So), Amanda Zeng (Jr)
Graduated (7):  Kyla Bryant, Morgan Hoang, Taylor Lawson, Eve Micco, Lauren Navarro, Wesley Stephenson, Grace Waguespack
Other Losses (2):  Kelly Ramm (Sr/?), Sze En Tan (Jr/R),
Newcomers (6):  Ashley Carter, Claire Dean, Taralyn Nguyen, Anna Roberts, Ava Sorrento, Porsche Trinidad

Quick Assessment:   Stanford finished strong last season, qualifying for the Seattle Regional final and placing 14th overall, after finishing the regular season ranked just 29th.  They lose 11 routines and 9 members of that squad, including superstar Bryant and standouts Lawson and Navarro.  They return a core of five starters, led by sophomores Gutierrez and Neault.  The Cardinal also get back Brunette, a COVID year senior who has been a steady contributor on three events.  Senior Widner was named by the squad to the Pac 12 Watch List, a clear sign that the senior will return to be a major impact gymnast in the lineup.  She had an injury in the first half of the season in 2022 and was not able to return on VT and FX, two very strong events for her.  The Cardinal will also look to get more contributions from their remaining returners, including Alexeeva and Onyshko, both former elites with a high potential.  

Despite the losses to graduation, a good portion of the Cardinal's high preseason ranking is the strength of the large frosh class.  It is headlined by Roberts, one of the top L10s recruits in the country.  In 2022, she placed 2nd in the AA, VT (Yurchenko 1 1/2), and FX (full-in) and tied for 2nd on BB at the WDP National meet.  In 2021, she won the All Around at the WDP Nationals, placing 2nd on VT, tying for 2nd on FX and placing 9th on UB.  Nguyen also looks to be an important contributor to this team, with superb difficulty on VT (Yurchenko double twist), where she has scored a 10 in the and on FX, where she competes some exceptional difficulty.  She was the WDP VT champ in 2021 and placed 3rd(t) in ’22 and ‘19.  She’s a spectacular tumbler, opening with a double layout and ending with a pike full-in, and was the WDP National FX Champ in 2022, 2019 and 2018 (she tied for 6th in ’21).  She was also 7th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals and tied for 15th in 2021.

Dean is a former junior international elite (2018, 19th at the US Championships) who placed 10th at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  She also placed 2nd on UB and tied for 4th on BB at that meet.  This past season, she was only able to compete two events at Regionals but won her event specialist session at the WDP Nationals.  Back in 2019, she made the L10 National Team and finished 2nd on BB and tied for 4th on UB and 5th on VT.  Canadian National Team member Sorrento finished 14th (t) AA at ’21 Canadian Championships.  She has beautiful form and execution, with some big elite level skills, but has missed some competition time.  Carter placed 15th AA and 7th on UB at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  This past season, she qualified to Nationals but only competed two events.  She was also 11th AA and tied for 7th on UB in 2019.  Trinidad is a local product from Airborne Gymnastics.  She finished up her club career strongly, placing 7th on BB and 24th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also won UB and BB at her state meet in 2022.

Despite some large losses to graduation, Stanford has a high potential to improve on their strong finish in 2022.  They have a strong returning core led by Gutierrez, Neault and Widner and some dynamic frosh led by Roberts and Nguyen.  Injuries and the resulting depth have been an issue in the past, however, and the full recovery of some of these gymnasts could be a key to how high the Cardinal can rise. 


 18.  Iowa Hawkeyes

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach: Larissa Libby
Assistants:  Quest Hayden, Jessa Hansen Parker
Starting Routines Returning: 12/24
Routines Gone:  2 VT, 3 UB, 3 BB, 4 FX
Finish Last Season:  15th
Returning Starters (6):  JerQuavia Henderson (Sr), Adeline Kenlin (Jr), Kendall LaPlante (Jr), Marissa Rojas (So), Linda Zivat (Sr), Allison Zuhlke (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (5): Alex Bradford (So), Alexa Ebeling (So), Kareena Mcsweeny (Jr), Aubrey Nick (Jr), Ellie Rogers (Sr)
Graduated (7):  Alex Greenwald, Allie Gilchrist, Lauren Guerin, Clair Kaji, Bridget Killian, Carina Tolan, Mackenzie Vance
Other Losses (3):  Caelen Lansing (So/?), Allyson Steffensmeier (Sr/?), Kamryn Martinez (So/?)
Newcomers (8):  Hanna Castillo, Avery Chambers, Emily Erb, Bailey Libby, Gianna Masella, Karina Munoz, Haley Tyson (So/TR/Minnestoa), Kaia Vanney

Quick Assessment:   Iowa has suffered some of the largest losses of the Top 25, losing a total of 10 gymnasts and half the lineup routines from 2022.  These losses include standouts like Greenwald, Guerin, Kaji and Killian.  They finished 15th in the final standings last season, finishing strong and earning a spot in the Regional final, after finishing in 22nd place in the National Qualifying Score (NQS) standings.  They fortunately return 11 gymnasts and six starters from last year's squad, led by senior Henderson and junior Kenlin, the NCAA runnerup on BB in 2022.  Both are two-time All Americans and potential AAers.   Sophomore Rojas contributed on two events last year but is another potential AAer.  Both Zivat and Zuhlke were originally transfers and can contribute on up to three events.  Zivat's layout Tsukahara full is a key in the vault lineup.  The GymHawks also have five other returners that will be looking to break into the lineups. 

Iowa welcomes 8 newcomers, led by Minnesota transfer Tyson and frosh Castillo, Masella and Munoz.   Tyson was a standout as a L10 at Phenom, a former L10 National Team Member (2018) who placed 15th(t) at the 2021 WDP Nationals and 8th AA at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  Castillo, L10 from American Twisters, was a five time L10 National qualifier.  She was 2nd on VT and 4th AA at the 2022 Region 8 L10 Regionals, but did not compete at Nationals.  Masella trained as a L10 at the Tampa Bay Turners.  She placed 9th AA and tied for 9th on VT and UB at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  In 2022, she posted a 38.65 in the AA before her season ended.  Munoz (Head Over Heels) also qualified to L10 Nationals, despite an injury at Regionals.  She also won her state L10 meet with a 38.875 AA and a 9.95 on VT (She has scored a 10 on her Yurchenko 1 1/2).  She placed 7th on BB and tied for 7th on VT en route to a 12th(t) place finish at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  Chambers, a L10 from BIG, also qualified to the 2022 WDP Nationals, placing 23rd AA.  Hailing from Arena, L10 Erb tied for 2nd on BB and placed 4th on FX at the 2022 Region 7 L10 Regionals, qualifying for the WDP Nationals as an Individual Event Specialist.  Finally, Vanney has been training in Canada before moving back to the US to train, and so has not had a lot of competition time.  She does throw some impressive skills, including a Ray to Pak salto on UB.             

With 12 routines missing, include four routines, the GymHawks will look to the returners and newcomers to step up immediately to fill out the lineups.  This will be challenging for any team, and so you can expect Iowa to grow in strength throughout the season as the newcomers get used to NCAA competition and gymnasts return from injury. 


 19.  Ohio State Buckeyes

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Head Coach:  Meredith Paulicivic
Associate Head Coach:  Lucas Wasson
Assistants:  Randy Monahan
Starting Routines Returning: 24/24
Routines Missing:  0 VT, 0 UB, 0 BB, 0 FX
Finish Last Season:  20th
Returning Starters (14):  Stephanie Berger (So), Elexis Edwards (Sr), Claire Gagliardi (Gr), Savannah Gonzalez (Jr), Kaitlyn Grimes (So), Alexis Hankins (Sr), Jenna Hlavach (So), Sydney Jennings (Gr), Raina Malas (Sr), Colby Miller (Gr), Hannah Oliveros (Jr), Emma Pritchard (Jr), Nicole Riccardi (Jr), Jojo Warga (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (3):  Ella Hodges (Sr), Maddy Pike (So), Tory Vetter (So)
Graduated (0):  N/A
Other Losses (4):  Miriam Perez (Sr/?), Ella Robins (Fr/I/TR TBD), Sarah Rowland (Sr/?), Zoe Schweitzer (Sr/R/I/Student Assistant)
Newcomers (3):  Mallory Gregory, Payton Harris, Kaylyn Mintz

Quick Assessment:  Ohio State returns the entire lineup from a squad that placed 20th in the final rankings last season.  They did lose some depth from the loss of the four athletes, but the core lineups remain.  They will be led in 2023 by senior Edwards, senior Hankins and sophomore Hlavach.  Edwards advanced to the NCAA Final as an individual VT specialist, but has competed as an AAer.  Hankins was a mainstay on three events, while Hlavach is coming off a big impact rookie campaign on three events as well.  Both tumble full-ins on FX (tuck for Hankins, pike for Hlavach).  Another sophomore, Berger, is a former elite athlete who could see expanded contributions this season, after focusing on UB/BB last season.  Unusually, the Buckeyes are returning 14 starters from 2022.  This means the roster is filled with gymnasts that are currently contributing as one event specialists, like fifth year Miller, the 2022 Big Ten co-champ on UB.  However, this large set of competing returners provides a lot of healthy competitive pressure on making the lineups.  Ohio State could also see bigger contributions this season from Vetter, a club standout who competed just once last season.  

The Buckeyes welcome a trio of talented gymnasts, with some key vaults to help lift the Buckeye lineup.  Harris tied for 3rd AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also placed 3rd on VT (Yurchenko 1 ½) and tied for 6th on FX, 7th on BB and 9th on UB.  In 2021, she tied for 2nd on FX (double pike, front double full to split jump) and 4th on VT en route to a 20th(t) AA finish.  She has the potential to develop into a major AA force for the Ohio State.  Mintz, a two-time L10 National qualifier from SGA, tied for 8th on FX and placed 35th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She had an excellent 2022, hitting 38.725 in the AA, but her best events are UB and FX (full-in).  The final member of the class, Gregory, is a L10 who train at Brady Johnson's Global Gymnastics.   She placed 25th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals, but has posted her highest marks on VT (Yurchenko 1 1/2) and FX (double layout).   

Ohio State will look to challenge for a spot in the Regional finals, continuing their momentum built in 2022.  With their entire lineup returning and a large and deep roster of contributors, they can focus on improving each event without the need to close new gaps.  Big gains on VT might be possible with the newcomers to the lineup while another year of experience will help improve consistency on BB.   


 20.  UGA Gym Dogs

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 8/24
Routines Gone:  4 VT, 4 UB, 4 BB, 4 FX
Head Coach: Courtney Kupets Carter
Assistants: Ryan Roberts, Sam Wellbourn (interim)
Finish Last Season:  30th
Returning Starters (3):  Amanda Cashman (Sr), Haley de Jong (Sr), Soraya Hawthorne (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (4):  Sarah Cohen (So), Katie Finnegan (Jr), Maeve Hahn (So), Loulie Hattaway (Sr)
Graduated (7):   Rachel Baumann (Gr/TR/Florida), Rachael Lukacs, Mikayla Magee, Alyssa Perez-Lugones, Megan Robert, Emily Schild, Abbey Ward
Other Losses (3):  Nhyla Bryant (Jr/I/?), Victoria Nguyen (Jr/TR/Florida), Riley Milbrandt (So/?)
Newcomers (11):  Josie Angeny (Gr/TR/Kentucky), Madelynn Crow, Vanessa Deniz (Sr/TR/OU), Sandra Elsadek (Gr/TR/Ball State), Sidney Fitzgerald, Naya Howard, Nicole King, Jacquie Moran, Ariel Posen, JaFree Scott, Erin Williams

Quick Assessment:   UGA returns just 8 routines from their final lineups, with 16 routines lost from 10 departed gymnasts.  This level of turnover is unprecedented in our 21 seasons of covering the sport.  They have just three returning starters:  Cashman, de Jong and Hawthorne.  All three will be called upon to provide leadership, with de Jong an AA candidate and Hawthorne and Cashman having contributed on up to three events.  The Gym Dogs will also look to their other returners for more contributions this year.  Cohen, Hahn and Finnegan each showed a pair of routines at the Georgia First Look exhibition, and look ready to break into the lineups. 

Georgia brings in a huge class of 3 transfers and 8 frosh that will, as a group and as a necessity, bolster every lineup.  Leading the way for the transfers is Angeny, a three event standout for UK who excels on BB.  An AA role is not out of the question.  Deniz, a transfer from OU, competed on up to three events while Elsadek was an AA standout for Ball St who placed 3rd on UB at the MAC Championships. 

Scott was a standout as a junior elite but has unfortunately struggled with injuries since 2019.  In her most recent meet, she placed 13th as a senior at the 2021 American Classic.  When healthy, she is known for her difficult and unusual skills and her excellent execution, especially on UB and BB, the two events she showed at the recent Georgia First Look.  Another former junior elite, Posen placed 7th on BB and finished 22nd AA as a junior at the 2019 US Championships.  However, she only competed one meet during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.  Last season she was limited to UB/BB but did win the Region 7 L10 Regional title on UB.  However, she reportedly sustained another injury.  Moran has not competed in three years but is back training.  In 2019, she won the UB and placed 5th AA and on BB at the 2019 L10 Nationals. 

Howard is the standout among the frosh and has all the attributes of a strong all arounder for UGA.  She won her ’22 state meet with a sweep of all the events.  At the 2022 WDP Nationals, she tied for 5th on BB but finished 25th AA after unusual problems on UB.  In 2021, she made the WDP National Team with a 4th place(t) finish in the AA.  She also tied for 2nd on BB and placed 5th on UB.  Fitzgerald had a standout season in 2022, placing 6th on BB and 11th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She was also 23rd AA in 2021.   Her strongest event may be UB (Tkachev, overshoot, double layout).  King showed solid work on VT and FX (front double full punch front) at the First Look exhibition.  She tied for 1st on VT and FX at the Georgia L10 State meet in 2022.  She qualified to the L10 Nationals in 2021, placing in the top 14 in both VT (Yurchenko Full) and FX.   Crow picked up the ’22 Region 8 L10 Regional beam title on her way to a 29th place AA finish at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also qualified to Nationals in 2019.  Williams was the Region 8 L10 Regional floor champ this past season.  She also placed 38th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  FX is her best event, and at the UGA preview she showed a great expressive style and two double backs

UGA will attempt to the turn the page on a new season, with 11 newcomers outnumbering a small core of 7 returners, plus two new assistant coaches.  Given good health, pacing and hard work, UGA should build momentum during the season.  There is a lot of talent on the roster and the stage is set for a big jump this season. 


 21.  Washington Huskies

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 19/24
Routines Gone:  1 VT, 2 UB, 1 BB, 1 FX
Head Coach: Jennifer Llewellyn
Assistants: Jeffrey Langenstein, Cody Llewellyn
Finish Last Season:  21st
Returning Starters (7):  Morgan Bowles (Sr), Brenna Brooks (5th Yr), Amara Cunningham (5th Yr), Kennedi Davis (RS Sr), Skylar Killough-Wilhelm (Jr), Lana Navarro (So), Taylor Russon (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (4):  Ashley Blum (So/I), Deiah Moody (So/I), Isa Weiss (Gr), Gabi Wickman (Jr/I)
Graduated (1):   Geneva Thompson
Other Losses (2):  Cathy Ekstein (Jr/I/R), Lauren Thomas (Jr/TR/Iowa State)
Newcomers (7):  Emily Innes, Caitlin McWilliams, Thu Nguyen, Olivia Oppegard, Hadley Roberts (Gr/TR/Lindenwood), Emma Schrady, Lilly Tubbs

Quick Assessment:   Washington exceeded expectations with a 21st place finish last season, taking MSU to the wire at Regionals and finishing just 0.15 behind.  They return 19 of 24 routines, with their primary loss being Thompson, a top vaulter and key UB/FX worker.  Leading the way in 2023 will be star AAer Killough-Wilhelm, who hit 39.55 in the AA last season.  She is supported by COVID year fifth year seniors Brooks (VT/UB/BB) and Cunningham (VT/BB).  Transfer Davis made the most of her debut, competing on VT/BB/FX.  Russon also showed big improvements last season, and looks to add another event this season.  Last year's top frosh, Navarro, is looking sharp on BB and FX, and has the team's only regular 10 start value vault.  Of the other returners, Moody was a regular on UB/BB and Blum on VT/FX before both went down with injuries during their strong rookie campaigns.  Moody was back in form at the Purple and Gold exhibition in early December, but Blum did not compete.      

The Huskies were impacted by limited depth last season, and so seven newcomers will have a big impact on maintaining lineup quality from positions 1 to 7.  Grad transfer Roberts was a star at Division II Lindenwood, and excels on BB (triple flight) and FX.  Of the frosh, Tubbs, a L10 from Acrotex has had the most success, placing in the Top 10 AA at the last two WDP Nationals.  She also was 4th on BB (front aerial to bhs layout) in 2022 but also excels on UB.  Nguyen (L10, Wildfire) placed 8th on BB and 19th AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  She was also the state L10 Champion in the AA in 2022.  Innes is a two-time L10 National qualifier from Gymkhana who missed 2022 due to a shoulder surgery, but like Nguyen showed VT/FX at the Purple & Gold Exhibition.  Schrady is a two-time L10 National qualifier who tied for 20th AA in 2022.  She was the state champ on FX (front double full) in 2022, her best event.  Oppegard a L10 from SCATS, qualified as an event specialist on BB to the 2022 WDP Nationals but also excels on UB, where she finished 2nd at the L10 State meet.  McWilliams, a L10 from Incline, placed 36th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals and was the 2021 and 2022 CO State champ on FX (double Arabian).        

Washington will look to continue their progress from last season and build upon their success with increased depth.  Their improvement under the new coaching staff was impressive last season, and they may continue to exceed expectations this season. 


 22.  BYU Cougars

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 12/24
Routines Gone:  3 VT, 3 UB, 2 BB, 4 FX
Head Coach: Guard Young
Associate Head Coach:  Natalie Broekman
Assistant:  Brogan Evanson  
Finish Last Season:  24th
Returning Starters (7):  Anyssa Alvarado (Sr), Sophie Dudley (So), Lindsey Hunter (Sr), Mina Margraf (So), Allix Mason (Jr), Lauren Ono (Jr),  Elease Rollins (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (10):  Sarah Barron (Sr), Sydney Benson (So), Anna Bramblett (So), Melissa Earl (RS Fr), Rebecca Leach (RS Fr/I), Olivia Matern (RS Fr), Eliza Millar (So), Rebekah Bean Ripley (Sr), Heidi Schooley (So), Jazlyn Wood (RS So)
Graduated (6):  Abby Beeston, Rachel Heaton, Haley Pitou, Adeline Rieder, Sadie Miner-Van Tassell, Brittney Vitkauskas
Other Losses (2):  Lexi Griffith (Sr/?), Sophia McClelland (Jr/TR/Nebraska)
Newcomers (7):  Elaina Greco, Emily Wisehart, Jayda Lealaogata, Kauri Hunsaker, Kylie Eaquinto, Madison Raesly-Patton, Morgan Trevor

Quick Assessment:  BYU will look to continue the progress they made after finishing 24th in the final standings in 2022 (and 21st in the NQS standings).  The Cougars however lost half their lineups and eight gymnasts from last season, including standouts Beston, Pitou, Miner-Van Tassell and Vitkauskas.  This is the second year in a row that BYU has faced some major losses, but like last season, this gives an opportunity for new gymnasts to step up.  BYU will be led in 2023 by senior Alvarado, Hunter and Rollins, as well as junior Mason.  Mason was a three-event standout last season, but could go AA.  Alvardo excells on UB but added VT at Regionals.  Hunter was a regular on UB and FX while beamer Rollins added VT last season.  BYU could see an expanded contribution from sopohomores Dudley and Margraf this season, after another year of training and experience.  They feature a large roster that includes 10 other gymnasts, any of whom could take that step forward this season.  Benson was a key gymnast last season on VT and FX and Millar saw time on BB and FX.  Barron and the Bean-Ripley (unfortunately slowed by injury in the past) are two others with lineup experience.           

BYU welcomes seven newcomers, with the potential to make an immediate impact.  Local L10 standout Eaquinto (Bold) leads the way, having placed 6th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 6th on VT and FX, and 9th on BB at the event.  In 2021, she tied for 4th on UB and 7th AA at the L10 Nationals.  She’ll be a strong AA candidate for the Cougars in the coming years.  The Cougars also signed Raesly-Patton, a L10 from Dento.  She placed 24th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals after finishing 14th in 2021.  She brings an important 10.0 Start Value vault (round off on, half off to back pike) and two double backs on FX.  Hailing from the Arizona Dynamics, L10 Hunsaker had a great club season, tying for 13th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  Her UB set includes a high Jaeger and Pak salto and she tumbles a front double full on FX.  BYU also added Trevor, a L10 and former junior elite from WOGA.  She's missed quite a bit of competition in 2021 and 2022.  

Lealaogata is a L10 from Arizona Dreams.  A two-time L10 National qualifier, she tied for 4th on UB at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also won the Region 1 Regional UB title in 2021 and 2022.  Another Arizona gymnast, Wisehart, trained at Gold Medal.  She placed 10th AA, 3rd(t) on VT and 5th on FX at the 2022 Region 1 L10 Regionals.  The final frosh, Greco, is a L10 from Brestyan's.  She's a 2022 WDP National qualifier who placed 2nd on FX at her State L10 meet and tumbles a triple flight on BB

BYU's coaching staff has developed a reputation for cultivating a large roster to provide consistent year-on-year performance.  Despite the losses, this year should be no different.  With the strong frosh class, however, there is the potential to do even more this season.


 23.  Illinois Fighting Illini

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 23/24
Routines Gone:  1 VT, 0 UB, 0 BB, 0 FX
Head Coach: Nadalie Walsh
Assistants: Kaitlyn Betts, Ross Thompson
Finish Last Season:  19th
Returning Starters (10):  Rachel Borden (Gr), Katie Ewald (Jr), Amelia Knight (Jr), Mallory Mizuki (5th Yr), Abby Mueller (Jr), Ruthuja Nataraj (So), Olivia O'Donnell (Sr), Arayah Simons (Sr), Mia Takekawa (Sr), Mia Townes (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (6):  Olivia Bowsman (So), McKenzie Eddy (Sr), Kadyn Fitzgibbon (So), Makayla Green (So/I), Allie Morgan (Jr/I), Julia Waight (Sr)
Graduated (0):  N/A
Other Losses (5):  Katherine Klugman (So/TR), Lexi Powe (Sr/R/Team Manager), Ashley Resch (Jr/R/Team Manager), Mia Scott (So/R/Team Manager), Keira Wai (So/?)
Newcomers (4): Alea Byrne, Tali Joelson, Arielle Ward, Emma White

Quick Assessment:  Illinois returns virtually their entire lineup from their final meet in 2022.  They finished 19th in 2022 and will look to improve upon that this season.  They lose five gymnasts but just one routine (a VT from Powe) from 2022.  The Illini welcome back 10 starters, including senior stars Takekawa and Townes and junior Knight.  Takekawa is known for her BB, where she has posted a 10, but is a leading AAer as well.  She qualified to the 2022 NCAA finals as an individual on UB.  Townes competed on up to three events for the Illini last season and qualified for the NCAA finals on VT with her Yurchenko 1 1/2.  Brit Knight was also a three event standout.  Grad student Borden lends experience on UB and BB as does 5th year Sr Mizuki.  Senior Simons has competed on all four events during her career, while O'Donnell has contributed on three.  Likewise junior Ewald and Mueller have competed on three events, and exhibitioned on the fourth.  Sophomore Nataraj had a breakout year as a frosh, and then continued to improve through the summer as an elite, representing India at the World Challenge Cup and the Asian Championships.  Ilinois also brings back six other gymnasts, including Green, who was the top recruit for the Illini in 2022 but missed her rookie season with an injury. 

Coach Walsh welcomes a quartet of frosh, who should boster an already deep lineup.  Byrne is a L10 from WOGA who excels on FX (triple full).  She was the WDP National Champ on the event in both 2021 and 2022.  She also tied for 4th on BB and 6th AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  Ward won the VT and placed 2nd AA at the 2022 TX L10 State meet.  The Metroplex-trained athlete was the State AA, VT, UB and FX champ in 2021 and also tied for 2nd AA at the Region 3 Regionals that year.  She has missed the last two WDP National meets.  White, a two-time WDP National from Elite Gymnastics (MA), tied for 36th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also won UB, BB, FX and the AA at the MA State L10 meet.  The fourth recruit, Joelson, is a L10 from Cascade Elite.  She won the Region 2 L10 VT title and placed 2nd on the FX, advancing to the WDP Nationals as an individual event specialist.  

The Illini are inexplicably down from their final and NQS finish in 2022, despite relatively light losses from their last competition lineup.  With a deep core and star Takekawa leading the way, they could push to advance beyond the Regional second round in 2023.      


 24.  ASU Gym Devils

Official Web Site:   Link    Schedule      Roster
Head Coach:  Jay Santos
Assistant:  Lacey Rubin
Starting Routines Returning: 21/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 0 UB, 2 BB, 1 FX
Finish Last Season:  22nd
Returning Starters (9): Sarah Clark (Jr), Skye Harper (Jr), Jordyn Jaslow (Sr), Jada Mangahas (Jr), Isabel Redmond (Sr), Gracie Reeves (Sr), Cienna Samiley (Jr), Hannah Scharf (Sr), Emily White (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (5):  Cassi Barbanente (Jr/I), Juliette Boyer (Sr/I), Mallory Marcheli (So), Anaya Smith (Jr/I), Alex Theodorou (So)
Graduated (2):  Jasmine Gutierrez, Megan Thompson
Other Losses (1):  Alina Miller (Sr/?)
Newcomers (5):   McClaine Daigle, Isabella Kowan, Kayla Lee, Caroline Lichtman, Kimberlly Smith

Quick Assessment:   ASU returns 21 of 24 routines from a team that finished 22nd in the final standings last season.  The GymDevils finished 16th in the final NQS standings but finished 4th in their Regional.  They lose three gymnasts from that roster, including a pair of key BB routines.  They are also down to just two coaches for this season.  ASU will be led in 2023 by seniors Scharf and Reeves and juniors Clark, Mangahas and White.  Scharf was stable high-level AAer in 2022, earning 2nd team All-American honors.  She will lead the team once again in 2023.  Reeves has also competed AA and has a 10.0 Start Value vault.  White is another AAer, known for her grace and execution on all four events.  Clark is a three-event star who excels on UB and BB.  Mangahas has competed on all four events, but really shines on FX (full-in) and VT.  The GymDevils also await the return of several key gymnasts, as injuries really impacted ASU's performance in 2022.  Theodorou was making a big impact as a frosh AAer and will be a key gymnast to have back.  Boyer was regular on UB and FX, and sometimes the AA, in her first two years.  Smith contributes a key Yurchenko 1 1/2 to a lineup that sometimes struggled with depth in the past. 

ASU welcomes five newcomers, led by Kimberly Smith, a L10 from Azarian.   Smith placed 5th on BB and tied for 10th on VT and 20th(t) place AA finish at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for the BB title and placed 2nd AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  At that meet, she tied for 4th on VT and placed 7th on UB.  She has no weak event, is very consistent and should be a solid AA contender for the Sun Devils.  Lee is in-state L10 from the Arizona Sunrays.  She tied for 3rd on FX and 8th on BB en route to a 16th place AA finish at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  Kowan is a Canadian L10 who was a former Eastern Canadian AA champion.  Texan Daigle is a L10 from World Champions Centre.  She placed 29th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also won the TX State L10 AA title, tying for 2nd on VT (piked Luconi) and FX.  The final recruit, Lichtman, is a L10 from West Coast Elite.  She placed 30th AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals but did not compete after her State meet.  

ASU looks to improve upon their preseason rank and regain the form that saw them finish 9th in 2021 (they return 18 of 24 routines from that squad).  They have some challenges ahead, and getting the likes of Theodorou, Boyer and A Smith back in the lineups could be the key.  At the December intrasquad, that talented trio, along with top frosh K. Smith, were not in the lineups.           


 25.  Arizona Wildcats

Official Web Site:  Link      Schedule      Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 23/24
Routines Gone:  0 VT, 1 UB, 0 BB, 0 FX
Head Coach: John Court
Associate Head Coach:  Taylor Spears
Assistants:  Dallas Becerra
Finish Last Season:  26th
Returning Starters (11):  Jessica Castles (Jr), Madison Courney (Jr), Elena Deets (Jr), Alysen Fears (So), Malia Hargrove (Sr), Caroline Herry (Jr), Sirena Linton (Sr), Bailey McCabe (Jr), Emily Mueller (So), Danielle Nosek (Sr), Libby Orman (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (5):  Zaza Brovedani (Sr), Lara Burhans (Jr), Elizabeth LaRusso (So), Halli Mayberry (Jr), Taylor Raskin (Jr)
Graduated (1):  MacKinzie Kane
Other Losses (1):  Avery Stauffacher (Sr/?)
Newcomers (5):  Gianna Lenczner, Indigo Morgan, Jordan Schultz, Sophia Stephens, Emma Strom

Quick Assessment:  Arizona grabs the #25 spot in the Preseason Coaches' poll, after finishing 26th last season (and just 32nd by NQS).  They return nearly every routine from 2022, with the only loss being Kane's UB set.  They welcome back all their key stars, including AAers Fears, Mueller and Hargrove.  Hargove excels on VT (Yurchenko 1 1/2) and FX (full-in) but is the top AAer overall.  Fears and Mueller both had strong rookie campaigns, and look to continue that in 2023.  The Wildcats also welcome back Linton, who made the NCAA Finals as a BB specialist.  Herry was called out as "one to watch" in the Pac 12 this season, possibly signifying strong improvements since last season.  Castles, a junior, is another key returner, competing on up to four events for Arizona in the past.  Classmate Deets was also another key contributor, competing on up to three events as well, including a career best on 9.925 FX at the Regional.   

The Wildcats welcome five newcomers that provide pure upside to the deep returning core.  Strom is a two-time WDP National qualifier who finished 20th AA in 2021 and tied for 25th AA in 2022.  Hailing from Premier in NE, her best events are VT, BB and FX.  Schultz is a L10 from LaFleur's, with a twin sister Heidi at Kent St.  Schultz placed 18th AA and 2nd on FX at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  Her season came to early end in 2022, after a strong start.  Stephens is a three-time L10 National qualifier who won the National VT title back in 2018.  She was 4th on UB and 14th AA at the 2021 Region 3 L10 Regionals.  Unfortuantely, her season ended early in 2022.  Morgan is an in-state L10 from Gold Medal who qualified as an individual event specialist to the WDP Nationals, after a 3rd place finish on FX at Regionals.  Lenczner is a L10 from Salto who has been working to come back from injury for the last two years.  She showed BB at the Arizona public intrasquad.   

Arizona brings back a large and deep roster for 2023, after losing just one routine from two gymnasts.  With the likes of Hargrove, Fears and Mueller leading the way, the Wildcats are set up to continue their improvement trend.    


Link:  Teams #1 to #12

Link:  Intro


Key to the Tables:

Ranking: By 2023 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 2022 or preseason 2022-2023
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 Sunday, 01 January 2023 09:53