Monday, 02 September 2019 12:36

Back to School: Returners & Newcomers

Written by Greg
(c) Maggie Nichols Returns to Lead the Sooners (c) Maggie Nichols Returns to Lead the Sooners (c) 2018 Lloyd Smith, Used by Permission

As the teams report back to campus, they will welcome their newcomers and begin to tackle new challenges.  With the Fall training season upon us, the teams will be hard to bolster their lineups and recover from their losses.  At the same time, they'll be working to refine changes and upgrades to their routines (if at all) that will be required under the 2020 NCAA Code Modifications.  Here's a quick summary of who's departed and who's new at the Top 25 programs, and a quick summary of the resulting challenges.

"Routines Lost" are counted from the last full meet of the season for the team on each event:  VT / UB / BB / FX


1.  Oklahoma

Gymnasts Lost:

Brenna Dowell

Ashley Hiller

Nicole Lehrmann

Alex Marks

Routines Lost:  2 / 3 / 2 / 1


Vanessa Deniz

Jenna Dunn

Erin Hutchinson

Ragan Smith

Brooke Weins

The defending Champions have some work to do this Fall, with some huge holes in the lineup left by the departure of Dowell and Lehrmann.  OU will be counting on Smith staying healthy and doing what she's clearly capable of doing, while others will need to step up to fill in the gaps.  Nichols will continue to lead the way, but the rest of the squad will be counting on her leadership.   


2.  LSU

Gymnasts Lost:

Julianna Cannemela

Sarah Finnegan

McKenna Kelley

Ashlyn Kirby

Lexie Priessman

Routines Lost:  3 / 2 / 1 / 3


Courtney Goodrich

Kiya Johnson

Kai Rivers

Kamryn Ryan

Alyona Shchennikova

Caitlin Smith

LSU lost a huge amount of top-line scoring power in Finnegan, Kelley and Priessman, along with a good measure of depth.  Fortunately, the coaching staff has brought in a standout frosh class, led by Kiya Johnson and Kai Rivers.  Shchennikova was a late add, and her Achilles' injury may limit her in her first season.   

3.  UCLA

Gymnasts Lost:

Brielle Nguyen

Katelyn Ohashi

Stella Savvidou

Routines Lost:  0 / 0 / 2 / 1


Emma Andres

Paige Hogan

Chloe Lashbrooke

Laney Madsen (may defer to 2020-2021)

Samantha Sakti (Transfer from W&M)

Kalyany Steele

The Bruins lost a huge fan favorite in Ohashi, and some steady beam work from her and Nguyen.  The Bruin incoming class has been hit by deferrals (Moors, Esparza, Chiles, possibly Madsen), but former elite Steele and transfer Sakti lead the way.  The Bruins have so much talent, however, the replacement routines could just come from the existing returners.  


4.  Denver

Gymnasts Lost:

Grace Broadhurst

Diana Chesnok

Claire Kern

Maddie Quarles, Transfer to Minnesota

Kaitlyn Schou

Routines Lost:  1 / 1 / 1 / 2


Emma Brown

Amoree Lockhart

Callie Schlottman

Akoray "AK" Subject

Denver loses five and brings in just four.  Although they lose only five routines, the impact is a little greater due to the small size of the squad.  The departed gymnasts really made up a good portion of the depth chart.  With just 11 athletes, the three frosh will need to step in immediately, led by 2019 JO National Team member Subject.   Lockhart is an expected late add, as she signed this fall. 


5.  Michigan

Gymnasts Lost:

Olivia Karas

Emma McLean

Routines Lost: 1 / 1 / 1 / 1


Sierra Brooks

Abigail Gaies

Nicoletta Koulos

Gabryel Wilson

The loss of the high scores and leadership of Karas and McLean (who missed the final part of the season) are greater than the four routines shown here.  Fortunately, the Wolverines have another super strong class this season.  Brooks, a 2019 JO National AA champion, has graduated a year early while Wilson is a three-time JO National AA champ (2016, 2017, 2019).  Together, the pair could be the next Michigan superstars.


6.  Oregon State

Gymnasts Lost:

Leah Bivrell

Mariana Colussi-Pelaez

Mary Jacobsen

McKenna Singley

Routines Lost:  2 / 2 / 1 / 2


Kayla Bird

Jenna Domingo

Jane Poniewaz

Oregon State has lost some solid leadership and scoring potential, led by Jacobsen and Singley.  They'll look to the large returning lineup and three solid L10 frosh to step into the lineups.  Bird brings a strong potential 10.0 Start Value vault to help the Beavers losses on that event while Poniewaz is coming off a 7th(t) place AA finish at the 2019 JO Nationals.   


7.  Utah

Gymnasts Lost:

Kari Lee

Shannon McNatt

Makenna Merrell-Giles

Macey Roberts

MyKayla Skinner

Lauren Wong

Routines Lost:  4 / 3 / 3 / 4


Jillian Hoffmann

Emilie LeBlanc (Transfer from Maryland)

Maile O'Keefe

Abby Paulson

Jaedyn Rucker

There's no doubt that the Utes have experienced some huge losses, with the graduation of Merrell-Giles and Lee, and the loss of Skinner to her Olympic run.  These cumulative losses are the largest in the Top 25, and present many challenges for the coaching staff in Fall training.  Fortunately, the Utes have brought in one of their strongest classes in some time, led by former two-time jr. National elite champ Maile O'Keefe.  Former elite Paulson and L10s Hoffman and Rucker add further firepower.


8.  UGA

Gymnasts Lost:

Alexa Al-Hameed

Sami Davis

Sydney Snead

Routines Lost:  1 / 2 / 1 / 2


Amanda Cashman

Soraya Hawthorne

Haley De Jong

Loulie Hattaway

UGA will do without the services of superstar Snead, on a team where depth has been a challenge, primarily due to lingering injuries.  Canadian elite De Jong and L10s Cashman and Hawthorne lead the way.  Hawthorne is known for some big skills while De Jong has an elite skill set that will need to be pared down for the NCAA. 


9.  Kentucky

Gymnasts Lost: 

Katrina Coca, Graduate Transfer at Pitt

Danaea Davis

Sidney Dukes

Alex Hyland

Aubree Rosa

Katie Stuart

Routines Lost:  4 / 3 / 3 / 3 


Raina Albores

Kaitlin DeGuzman

Kassidy Howell

Shealyn Luksik

Elyssa Roberts

Raena Worley

Kentucky has the 2nd largest set of losses to graduation, with six gymnasts among the graduates.  They were all contributors, including stars Hyland and Dukes.  However, the Wildcats welcome a strong incoming class with a high potential for impact.  Leading the way are two-time JO National team member Raena Worley and former jr. elite and Phillippine National Team member Kaitlin DeGuzman. 


10.  Florida

Gymnasts Lost:

Alicia Boren

Amanda Cheney

Routines Lost:  1 / 1 / 1 / 1


Payton Richards

Florida enters 2020 without the services of superstar Alicia Boren.  They welcome just one frosh, as like the Bruins their commit pipeline is filled with 2020 Olympic deferrals.  Former elite Payton Richards is a four time JO National Team member (2016 co-champ, 2017, 2018, 2019) with strong skills across the events. 


11.  California

Gymnasts Lost:

Sofie Seilnacht

Sylvie Seilnacht

Chelsea Shu

Toni Ann Williams

Routines Lost:  1 / 1 / 2 / 3


Nevaeh DeSouza

Maya Green

Natalie Sadighi

Ashton Woodbury

Cal's losses are a bit understated as the Bears lost the services of star Williams during the season.  The Seilnacht twins and Shu were fixtures in the Cal lineups.  They welcome four strong L10s, led by Nevaeh DeSouza, a two-time JO National Team member (2016, 2018).  Green is the daughter of former Cal great and Stanford coach Kristen Smyth. 


12.  Alabama

Gymnasts Lost:

Abby Armbrecht

Asia DeWalt

Angelina Giancroce

Ariana Guerra

Bailey Key

Routines Lost:  2 / 1 / 1 / 2


Emma DeSantis

Makarri Doggette

Macy Orosco

Mati Waligora

Bama faces a number of losses to graduation, including Armbrecht and Guerra, two stalwarts of the program.  They add another strong frosh class, led by Doggette and Waligora.  Doggette won or tied for every event at the 2018 L10 JO Nationals, while placing 3rd AA in 2019 and 1st in 2017.  Waligora is a three-time JO National team member, and the AA champ in 2017.     


13.  Minnesota

Gymnasts Lost:

Rachel Cutler

Becca Taylor, now a student manager

Selena Ung

Routines Lost:  0 / 0 / 0 / 1


Maya Albertin

Kate Grotenhuis

Mallory LeNeave

Maddie Quarles, Transfer from Denver

Halle Remlinger

The Gophers have the lightest losses of any team in the Top 25, setting themselves up for another step forward in 2020.  The newcomers are led by DU transfer Quarles, a former L10 standout who has been slowed by back problems.  The Gophers will also look to boost their depth, especially on VT, where Remlinger has a high potential. 


14.  Nebraska

Gymnasts Lost:

Kelli Chung

Sienna Crouse

Catelyn Orel

Megan Schweihofer

Megan Thompson (Transfer to ASU)

Rachel Thompson

Routines Lost:  1 / 2 / 3 / 2


Clara Colombo

Kylie Piringer

Kathryn Thaler

The Huskers lost eight routines from 2019, but the impact is potentially even larger with stars Crouse and Schweihofer now graduated, along with key contributor Orel.  NU brings in a strong incoming class, with Italian elite Colombo and a pair of talented L10s in Piringer and Thaler.


15.  Boise State

Gymnasts Lost:

Alex Esmerian

Tessa Depasquale

Sarah Means

Shani Remmi

Routines Lost:  1 / 1 / 2 / 2


Erin Elkabchi

Erin Morden

Adriana Popp

Boise State lost the services of superstar Remme before the end of the season, or their finish would have been even stronger.  Means was also a standout and Esmerian was a key part of the Bronco lineups.  A smaller class will face some challenges, with potential standout Elkabchi limited to two events last season.  Former jr. elite Popp will be looked upon for an immediate impact.   


16.  Auburn

Gymnasts Lost:

Samantha Cerio

Taylor Krippner

Abby Milliet

A'Miracal Phillips

Reid Schaefer

Mia Schlarbaum

Routines Lost:  2 / 2 / 1 / 1


Aria Brusch

Morgan Leigh Oldham

Elise Panzner

Adeline Sabados

Piper Smith

Cassie Stevens

Anna Sumner

The Tigers head into 2020 missing some key big scores from Abby Milliet as well as from Cerio and Krippner.  They welcome another large class of seven, led by former jr elite Aria Brusch and L10 standout Cassie Stevens, a four-time Top 10 AA finisher at JO Nationals.  They'll be further bolstered by strong L10s in Sabados and Smith, in a class that could really strengthen the team.


17.  Missouri

Gymnasts Lost:

Francis Bidwill

Allison Bower

Mya Cotner

Madeleine Huber

Brooke Kelly

Paige Kovnesky

Xarria Lewis

Becca Schugel

Michaelee Turner

Britney Ward

Routines Lost:  1 / 3 / 3 / 2


Helen Hu

Adalayna Hufendiek

Grace Kaiding

Anna McGee

Hollyn Patrick

Sienna Schreiber

Alisa Sheremeta, Transfer from UIC

Mizzou loses nine routines but 10 gymnasts, including some key contributors like Ward, Schugel, Kelly, Bower and Huber.  The large losses even potentially understate the total impact on depth and scoring potential from the entire ten.  Leading the way for the Tigers is Hu, who is sure to be a fan and judge favorite.  Transfer Sheremeta had a solid rookie campaign at UIC, while Scheiber is coming off a strong club season.  


18.  Arkansas

Gymnasts Lost:

Michaela Burton, Transfer to Pitt

Sydney McGlone

Routines Lost:  1 / 1 / 1 / 1


McKenna Clarke

Kiara Gianfagna

Arkansas had an unexpected loss in Burton, who had her finest season in 2019, anchoring the BB.  McGlone was a powerhouse gymnast in a team lacking VT and FX depth.  Arkansas welcomes two athletes, both L10s from JPAC.  Gianfagna is coming off a big AA/UB/BB/FX win at the Indiana L10 State meet, with a big 38.7 AA.    


19.  Washington

Gymnasts Lost:

Madeline McLellan, now a student coach

Monica Riley

Malory Rose

Routines Lost:  1 / 1 / 2 / 1 


Morgan Bowles

Alliie Smith, Transfer from EMU

Isa Weiss

Washington's depth problems last season were compounded by the loss of star Evanni Roberson.  The five routines shown as lost here are overstated by two.  They welcome four gymnasts, with two potential 10.0 SV vaults in the mix of less-heralded specialists, including EMU transfer Smith.


20.  Iowa State

Gymnasts Lost:

Sydney Converse

Madeline Johnson

Kelly Martin

Meaghan Sievers

Routines Lost:  3 / 2 / 2 / 1


Loganne Basuel

Maddie Diab

Andrea Maldonado

Hannah Morrow

Laurie Lou Vezina

Iowa State will look to replace eight routines in 2020, including four key routines from star Sievers.  They welcome up to five athletes, including elites Maldonado (Puerto Rico) and Vezina (Canada).  Vezina is known for her unusual skills on UB and BB, while Maldonado may bring a rare Randi (front 2 1/2 twists) to the NCAA.  (Note the ISU roster is unconfirmed) 


21.  BYU

Gymnasts Lost:

Cheyenne Hill

Natasha (Trejo) Marsh

Routines Lost:  1 / 1 / 2 / 0


Anyssa Alvarado

Lindsey Hunter

Allix Mason

Maya Page

Elease Rollins

BYU lost two seniors from 2019, including Marsh, a key contributor on UB and BB, and who also competed at times on FX.  Hill was a regular contributor on VT and BB.  BYU will welcome five frosh for 2020, including signee Maya Page, who was 13th AA at the 2019 L10 JO Nationals and in-state standout Allix Mason, the 2019 Region I UB champ who finished 20th AA (t) at the 2019 L10 JO Nationals.  Elease Rollins is a BB ace who should challenge for lineups immediately, having score 9.85 already in the L10 ranks. 


22.  Stanford

Gymnasts Lost:

Taryn Fitzgerald

Hailee Hoffman

Nicole Hoffman

Routines Lost:  1 / 0 / 1 / 1


Jade Chrobok

Kelly Ramm

Adela Stonecipher

Chloe Widner

Stanford loses just three routines from their 2019 roster, while welcoming a standout class of four.  The class includes Chloe Widner, the 2019 L10 National AA, BB and FX champion.  She's a three-time JO National team member with elite-level skills.  She'll be complemented nicely by Canadian National Team member Chrobok and 2017 JO National team member Stonecipher. 


23.  Illinois

Gymnasts Lost:

Rachael Donovan

Julia Hutcherson

Mary Jane Otto

Haylee Roe

Routines Lost:  1 / 1 / 2 / 2


McKenzie Eddy

Maggie Lampsa

Olivia O'Donnell

Lexi Powe

Arayah Simons

Mia Takekawa

Mia Townes

Julia Waight

Illinois loses the services of standout Otto and BB/FX specialist Roe.  They combined for six post-season routines, including some of the top marks.  The Illini will welcome no less than 8 frosh, led by L10 standouts Simons, Takekawa and Townes.  In total, the eight will not only increase the program's depth but will also provide some high scoring potential.  


24.  PSU

Gymnasts Lost:

Amber Autry

Sabrina Garcia

Mason Hosek

Jessica Jones

Gianna LaGuardia

Routines Lost:  2 / 1 / 1 / 2


Amy Bladon

Bella Romagnano

Cassidy Rushlow

PSU loses 6 routines from five gymnasts, including key standouts Garcia, Hosek and LaGuardia.  Along with Jones, the impact on the potential depth of the program is greater than six. They welcome three newcomers, led by Canadian elite Bladon, who has a strong Yurchenko 1 1/2, and Rushlow, who is coming off a strong final club season.


25.  ASU

Gymnasts Lost:

Corinne Belkoff

Justine Callis

Mekayla Jones

Anne Kuhm

Katelyn Lentz

Kaitlyn Szafranski

Stephanie Tripodi

Heather Udowitch

Routines Lost:  2 / 2 / 2 / 4


Juliette Boyer

Jordyn Jaslow

Alina Miller

Isabel Redmond

Gracie Reeves

Hannah Scharf

Megan Thompson, Transfer from Nebraska

ASU loses no less than ten routines from eight gymnasts, including standouts Callis and Kuhm.  The depth and scoring potential of this group will have a major impact in 2020.  Fortunately, the Gym Devils welcome seven athletes.  They are led by Canadian elite Scharf and L10 standouts Boyer, Jaslow, Redmond and Reeves. 

For the other team, please check out our Newcomers section to find out who's joining the teams this year.


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