2012 Capsule Previews: Teams #1 to #12


 1.  UCLA Bruins


2.  Alabama Crimson Tide

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 16/24
Head Coach: Valerie Kondos Field
Associate Head Coach:  Chris Waller
Assistant: Randy Lane
Returning Starters (7):  Olivia Courtney (So), Monique De La Torre (Jr), Tauny Frattone (Sr), Aisha Gerber (Sr), Elyse Hopfner Hibbs (Sr), Samantha Peszek (So), Sydney Sawa (So/I)
Other/Injured Returners (6): Kaelie Baer (Sr), Tiffany Hyland (Sr), Kassidy Kozai (So), Alyssa Pritchett (Sr), Lichelle Wong (Jr), Vanessa Zamarripa (RS Jr/I)
Graduated (5):  Talia Kushynski, Brittani McCullough, Mizuki Sato, Allison Taylor, Niki Tom
Other Losses (2): Danielle Greig, Courtney Shannon
Newcomers (6):  Sadiqua Bynum (Fr), Ellette Craddock (Fr), Mattie Larson (Fr), Ti Liu (Fr), Dana McDonald (Fr), Cassie Whitcomb (Fr)
Quick Assessment:  The Bruins lose five gymnasts but only six routines, with four of those coming from graduated AA star and former National FX champ McCullough.  But, Hopfner-Hibbs and NCAA BB champ Peszek both return to lead the way.  The Bruins also return star Vanessa Zamarripa, who should fill the graduation losses immediately.  With added depth from elite frosh Larson and Whitcomb, the Bruins are set to challenge to recapture the title.

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 20/24
Head Coach: Sarah & David Patterson
Assistant: Brian Raschilla
Returning Starters (8):
Becca Alexin (Jr), Sarah DeMeo (So), Marissa Gutierrez (Jr), Kim Jacob (So), Diandra Milliner (So), Ashley Priess (Sr), Geralan Stack-Easton (Sr), Ashley Sledge (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (5):  Olivia Carisella (So), Ria Domier (So), Lindsey Fowler (So), Rachel Terry (Sr), Hannah Toussaint (So)
Graduated (3): Alyssa Chapman, Kayla Hoffman, Megan Mashburn
Other Losses (1):  Jordan Moore (So/R)
Newcomers (4): 
Kaitlyn Clark (Fr), Lora Leigh Frost (Fr), Brooke Parker (Fr), Kayla Williams (Fr)
Quick Assessment:
Last season Bama captured the title despite sizeable graduation losses and a large contingent of talented, but inexperienced frosh.  This season, they enter the campaign missing the four routines from star Kayla Hoffman.  But with three elites, including a former World Champion, the Tide are well equipped to defend the
title.  Priess, Stack-Eaton and Sledge lead a large contingent of AA options for the Tide.



3.  Florida Gators

4.  Oklahoma Sooners

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 21/24
Head Coach: Rhonda Faehn
Assistants: Adrian Burde, Robert Ladanyi
Returning Starters (8): Mackenzie Caquatto (So), Ashanee Dickerson (Jr), Amy Ferguson (Sr), Alaina Johnson (So), Marissa King (Jr), Dalia Lemezan (Jr), Elizabeth Mahlich (Sr), Randy Stageberg (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (3):  Nicole Ellis (Sr), Lauren Rose (So), Jade Wiggins (So)
Graduated (2):  Alicia Goodwin, Maranda Smith
Other Losses (2):  Liz Green (R), Brittney Noble (R)
Newcomers (2): 
Kytra Hunter (Fr), Kiersten Wang (Fr)
Quick Assessment:  Caquatto, Dickerson, Johnson and King provide a solid core of potential all-around stars for the Gators.  The Gators also welcome Kytra Hunter and Kiersten Wang, providing more firepower to address their losses.  Consistency has been an issue for the Gators, particularly on the BB, and it kept them from the Super Six last season.  (It almost kept them from Nationals)  Solving the consistency issue and avoiding injuries to their stars will be keys to making a title run. 

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 21/24
Head Coach: KJ Kindler
Assistants: Lou Ball, Tom Haley
Returning Starters (8): Megan Ferguson (Sr), Natasha Kelley (Jr), Madison Mooring (So), Kayla Nowak (Jr), Brie Olson (Jr), Taylor Spears (So), Hayden Ward (So), Sara Stone (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (1): Candace Cindell (Sr)
Graduated (2): Natalie Ratcliff (Sr), Melanie Root (Sr),
Other Losses (2):  Hope Bruce (So/?), Nitya Ramaswami (Jr/?)
Newcomers (6):  Lara Albright (So/TR from UW), Erica Brewer (Fr), Rebecca Clark (Fr), Jaclyn Shelfton (Fr; starts in December), Lauren Smith (So/TR from Texas Tech), Haley Sorensen (Fr)
Quick Assessment:
The Sooners started the 2011 season without 9 routines from some key "end of the lineup" stars; but those losses quickly proved to be a nonissue as the vets stepped up while the new frosh added instant depth.  This season, the losses are comparatively minor, although perhaps the losses on vault may be an area of concern.  With another year of experience, the Sooners should be tough once again, proving the value of hard work and good coaching.  The veterans will lead the way, with Brewer the early frosh standout in the released workout videos.

5.  Utah Utes

6.  Nebraska Cornhuskers

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 18/24
Head Coaches: Greg and Megan Marsden
Assistant: Tom Farden
Returning Starters (7): Cortni Beers (Sr), Nansy Damianova (So), Lia Del Priore (So), Mary Beth Lofgren (So), Corrie Lothrop (So), Stephanie McAllister (Sr), Victoria Shanley (So/I)
Other/Injured Returners (3):  Hailey Hansen (So), Fumina Kobayashi (Jr), Kyndal Robarts (RS Sr)
Graduated (2):  Jacquelyn Johnson, Gael Mackie

Other Losses (1):  Alyssa Gale (So/R/I)
Newcomers (5): 
Georgia Dabritz (Fr), Kailah Delaney (Fr), Kassandra Lopez (Fr), Becky Tutka (Fr), Tori Wilson (Fr)
Quick Assessment: The Utes lost half their lineup and four All-Americans in 2010, but a team that had to depend heavily on frosh came through with another Super Six showing in 2011.  This season, another set of five talented frosh could push the Utes to the next level, and possibly challenge for the title.  Preseason training looks to be going well, with no major injuries and the potential for a much stronger tumbling team than we've seen in the past.  However, it is not 100% guaranteed that a strong fall will translate into a strong competitive season. 

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 15/24
Head Coach: Dan Kendig
Assistants:  Heather Brink, Dan Miller
Returning Starters (6):  Lora Evenstad (Sr), Janelle Giblin (Jr), Kassandra Nathe (Jr), Jamie Schleppenbach (So), Brittany Skinner (Jr), Emily Wong (So)
Other/Injured Returners (1):  Deanna Barmore (So)
Graduated (4):  Erin Davis, Brittnee Habbib, Maria Scaffidi, Maddie Steinhauer
Other Losses (1):  Kaitlyn Reid (Sr)
Newcomers (6):  Katelyn Busacker (SR TR/Ball State), Jessie DeZiel (Fr), Kailyn Hawkins (Fr/I), Amanda Lauer (Fr), Jennifer Lauer (Fr), Desire Stephens (Fr)
Quick Assessment: 
A measure of coaching excellence is how many assistants get lured away to head up other programs.  Such is the case with Nebraska, as hard work and good coaching pushed them to the Super Six once again.  Gone this season are numerous veterans (9 routines) and both assistants.  Leading the way among the incoming frosh is future superstar Jessie DeZiel, an elite and member of the Gold Medal Pan Am Games US team.  Coach Kendig is already citing depth as a possible issue, despite a strong top six lineup on each even

7.  Oregon State Beavers

8.  Stanford Cardinal

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 19/24
Head Coach: Tanya Chaplin
Associate Head Coach:  Mike Chaplin
Assistant:  John Carney
Returning Starters (6):  Kelsey Blalock (Jr), Brittany Harris (So), Mel Jones (Jr), Leslie Mak (Sr), Makayla Stambaugh (Jr), Olivia Vivian (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (2):  Hannah Casey (So), Stephanie McGregor (Sr/I)
Graduated (2):  Becky Colvin, Jennifer Kesler
Other Losses (3):  Leilani Alferos (Jr/TR/Cal), Britney Ranzy (So/TR/LSU), Amanda Schulberg (So/R/I)
Newcomers (6):  Stefanie Daley (Fr), Taylor Keeker (Fr), Katelyn Ohlrich (Fr), Kailie Ponto (Fr), Chelsea Tang (Fr), Cerise Witherby (Fr)
Quick Assessment:   Some unexpected off-season losses have left the Beavers with only nine (original) scholarship athletes (like the Gators).  However, the core set of returners led by Mak, Stambaugh and Vivian should provide enough firepower for the Beavers to challenge for a return trip to Nationals.  The frosh will be expected to step in immediately and fill some gaps in the depth chart, especially if injuries occur.

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 12/24
Head Coach: Kristen Smyth
Associate Head Coach:  Chris Swircek
Assistant:  Tabitha Yim
Returning Starters (5): Alyssa Brown (Sr), Nicole Dayton (Jr), Ashley Morgan (Jr), Shona Morgan (So), Nicole Pechanec (Sr)
Other/Injured Returners (3):  Lucy Meyer (So), Jenny Peter (Sr), Amanda Spinner (So)
Graduated (3):  Shelly Alexander, Danielle Ikoma, Allyse Ishino
Other Losses (4): Lauren Caldemeyer (So/R), Alexandra Skoly (Sr/?), Kristina Vaculik (So/sitting out a year to train for the Olmpics), Ming Ya Zhou (Jr/R)
Newcomers (5):  Alex Archer (Fr), Pauline Hanset (Fr), Ivana Hong (Fr), Samantha Shapiro (Fr), Rebecca Wing (Fr)
Quick Assessment:  Falls on the BB proved costly last season as the Cardinal missed Nationals.  The squad also struggled in the post season with injuries and a lack of depth, placing 4th in the conference and 4th again at Regionals.  Gone are four major AAers, creating a gap that would hurt any squad.  All is not lost, however, as Stanford welcomes one of the nation's top recruiting classes.  They'll need the newcomers to adjust quickly and become major contributors if the Cardinal are to return to Nationals

9.  Georgia GymDogs

10.  Michigan Wolverines

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 17/24
Head Coach: Jay Clark
Assistants: Julie Ballard-Clark, Doug McAvinn
Returning Starters (8):
  Mariel Box (Sr), Lindsay Cheek (So), Noel Couch (Jr), Kat Ding (Sr), Cat Hires (So), Gina Nuccio (Sr), Christa Tanella (Jr), Shayla Worley (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (4): Bekah Bennetts (So), Kati Breazeal (Jr), Kaylan Earls (So), Laura Moffatt (So)
Graduated (2):  Hilary Mauro, Cassidy McComb
Other Losses (0): N/A
Newcomers (5):  Chelsea Davis, Demetria Hunte, Whitney Kirby, Sarah Persinger, Camille Pfister
Quick Assessment: Georgia loses two seniors, but they were two important ones:  McComb and Mauro.  Frosh Davis and Persinger are both former elites and L10 standout Earls is coming back from injury.  Health is a big variable in UGA's quest to return back to the Super Six.  Keeping their stars healthy will be key to their success this season, as the talent is certainly there but many of the key players have missed significant competition time in the past with injuries. 

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 11/24
Head Coach: Bev Plocki
Assistants: Scott Sherman, Shannon Welker
Returning Starters (6): Natalie Beilstein (Jr), Shelby Gies (So), Britnee Martinez (Jr), Joanna Sampson (So), Reema Zhakharia (So), Katie Zurales (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (3): Teresa Arthur (So), Stephanie Colbert (So), Kristin Nagle (So)
Graduated (5):  Kylee Botterman, Sarah Curtis, Kari Pearce, Jordan Sexton, Trish Wilson
Other Losses (1): Tori Kane (?)
Newcomers (2):  Annette Miele (Fr), Sachi Sugiyama (Fr)
Quick Assessment: The Wolverines return just 11 routines from last year's Super Six squad.  Gone are five seniors, including NCAA AA Champ Kylee Botterman.  With just two incoming frosh and nine returnees, MIchigan will need to stay healthy and have step-up performances from veterans and newcomers alike.  Four of six UB routines are gone, and this event will be the biggest challenge depth-wise, especially if injuries occur.  These graduation losses explain why the Coaches' poll has them down several notches to start the season. 


11.  Arkansas GymBacks

12.  LSU Tigers

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 21/24
Head Coach: Mark and Rene Cook
Assistant: Samantha Cortez
Returning Starters (11):  Amy Borsellino (Jr), Katherine Grable (So), Mariah Howdeshell (Sr), Kelci Lewis (Jr), Jamie Pisani (Sr), Shelby Salmon (So), Jordan Salsberg (Jr), Ginny Salvatore (Sr), Amanda Siebert (Jr), Scarlett Williams (So), Bailee Zumwalde (So)
Other/Injured Returners (0):  NA
Graduated (3):  Stacey Bartlett, Molly Lewis, Michelle Stout
Other Losses (1):  Natalie Bohonsky (Jr/R/I)
Newcomers (2):  Stephani Canizaro (Fr), Sammy Kolbas (Fr)
Quick Assessment:  Arkansas returns 11 veterans all with NCAA Championships experience.  Although Bartlett and Stout will be missed, the veterans alone should be enough to cover their absence.  With a veteran team and a pair of solid newcomers, Arkansas should once again challenge for a slot at Nationals.  With the continued progress they've shown throughout the fall, they will also take a shot at an elusive berth in the Super Six.

Official Web Site: Link Schedule Roster
Starting Routines Returning: 17/24
Head Coach: D-D Breaux
Assistants: Bob Moore, Philip Ogletree
Returning Starters (7):  Kaleigh Dickson (So), Lainie Fleming (So), Janelle Garcia (Jr), Ashley Lee (Sr), Maliah Mathis (So), Sarie Morrison (So), Shelby Prunty (Jr)
Other/Injured Returners (3): Casey Duvall (So), Mckenzie Fox (So), Ericka Garcia (Jr/I)
Graduated (2):  Samantha Engle, Gloria Jackson
Other Losses (2):  Sidney Sanabria-Robles (So/?), Sarah Zoldos (So/?)
Newcomers (5):  Rheagan Courville (Fr), Lloimincia Hall (Fr), Jessie Jordan (Fr), Randi Lau (Fr), Britney Ranzy (So/TR/Oregon State)
Quick Assessment:  LSU fell back in the rankings last season with a number of key injuries and the resulting lack of depth and experience.  Gone is star AAer Samantha Engle, but Coach D-D Breaux welcomes a highly touted class of newcomers.  In-state elite Courville is a standout in difficulty and execution, while elite transfer Ranzy and top L10 Hall bring power, amplitude and big skills.  For the veterans, NCAA qualifier Dickson and Morrison are potential AAers, while Mathis excels on VT and FX.  How quickly the frosh can make an impact will determine LSU's fate.

  Table:  Teams #1 to #12

Table:  Teams #13 to #25

Key to the Tables:

Ranking: By 2012 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

Status Codes for Returners:

I = major season ending injury in 2011
R = retirement/not competing (for any other reason than transfer or injury)

S = Under suspension
TR = Transfer
RS = Redshirt (note:  not all eligible gymnasts will employ or are awarded a redshirt year)
?=unconfirmed/unknown information



Last modified on Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:11