Archive for the ‘NCAA Women’s Gymnastics’ Category

Inside Gymnastics’ Terin Humphrey interview

April 10, 2008

“I had accomplished all my goals [in gymnastics] and there wasn’t anything left.”

Terin HumphreyIn a new interview posted on Inside Gymnastics Magazine’s website, recently retired Alabama senior Terin Humphrey is perfectly candid. Among other things, she discloses that she really wanted to quit after the Athens Olympics, even forgoing her NCAA eligibility.

The first part of the interview is online, a teaser for Inside Gymnastics’ May/June issue.

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Notes from the stands at the Pac-10 Championships

March 31, 2008

1. Stanford 197.000
2. Oregon State 196.550
3. UCLA 196.200
4. Arizona 195.725
5. California 193.400
6. Washington 193.375
7. Arizona State 191.925

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Michigan topples no. 1 Georgia

March 14, 2008

Michigan senior Katie LiebermanSo that happened nearly a week ago, and it’s still blowing my mind.

Losing to Utah in Utah is one thing. Losing to Michigan in Michigan may be seen as another.

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Nicole Harris’s unexpected departure shakes up ASU

March 7, 2008

Nicole Harris has resigned her scholarship and left the Arizona State University gymnastics team, one of ASU’s student publications reported this morning.

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Kupets has surgery on torn Achilles

March 4, 2008

Well, that was quick.

Courtney Kupets in 2004.From The Associated Press:

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Two-time NCAA all-around gymnastics champion Courtney Kupets won’t get a chance to win a third straight title. The Georgia star and 2004 Olympic medalist is out for the rest of the season after surgery today to repair a torn right Achilles tendon.

Kupets, who won a silver and a bronze at the Athens Olympics, is expected to fully recover in time for her final college season. The junior was injured Saturday during a meet against Arkansas while performing her floor routine.

If my understanding of NCAA rules is correct, it’s way too late in the season to redshirt Kupets, meaning she won’t get a fifth year of eligibility to make up for missing part of this season due to this injury.

Redshirting is especially popular among freshman football players. Coaches do it for a number of reasons, including the fact that guys get bigger as they mature.

From an earlier post on Kupets:

Only two years into her college career, Kupets has already racked up five NCAA titles. If she keeps this up, she’ll break former University of Kentucky Jenny Hansen’s NCAA title record. (Hansen, who competed for Kentucky, won eight NCAA titles from 1993 to 1995. In 2006, the NCAA honored Hansen as its most outstanding gymnast in 25 years of competition.)

Nothing’s impossible of course, but for Kupets to break Hansen’s record, she’d likely need four appearances at the NCAA Championships. Whatever she does or does not do next year, she’ll go down as one of the great NCAA gymnasts.

Ever.

Perfection awarded to Postell — sort of

February 2, 2008

Utah's Ashley Postell was awarded a 10 on vault against Minnesota, but only after one judge saw the other's score.From The Salt Lake Tribune:

Ashley Postell has long been recognized as one of the top vaulters in the country and several times she has gotten shorted for what Ute coaches thought were routines worthy of a perfect score.

She finally got one Friday in second-ranked Utah’s 197.750- 194.100 win over Minnesota in front of 10,133 at the Huntsman Center, but too bad the career milestone didn’t come on her own merit.

Postell capped off Utah’s best vault set of the year with a vault she stuck, feet slightly apart. One judge saw it as a 10.0 routine. The other judge, Mary Ann Mahoney, gave it a 9.95, that is until she saw the other judge’s score and quickly changed her mark to a 10.0 as well.

What a snafu. Knowing that its judges are not scoring completely independent of one another taints that sky-high team score a little as well. Despite the controversy, it was a great night for Postell, who recorded a career-high 39.8 in the all-around as well.

Can this kid be beaten at the NCAA Championships? Hard to say, although NCAA all-around titleholder Courtney Kupets seems to have made more mistakes in Georgia’s first four meets of the season than she has in her entire NCAA career.

As Georgia pulled off a win against no. 4 Alabama 196.925-196.000 Friday night, Kupets’ 9.150 on floor exercise stood out amongst her other stellar performances, but only because it was so rare.

New 2008 floor routines…

January 31, 2008

From Courtney McCool at Georgia…

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UCLA beats Stanford, remains undefeated

January 28, 2008

There’s not much difference at the very top.

A week after Georgia defeated rival Florida by 0.025, we have UCLA edging Stanford by the same margin. UCLA won with a 195.05 to Stanford’s 195.025.

The meet came down to the final routine. Bruin senior Tasha Schwikert needed a 9.8 to earn the victory for her team and scored just that to keep UCLA undefeated on the year.

Very interesting.

At last, Hollie Vise’s NCAA uneven bars routine

January 23, 2008

Hollie Vise as an elite.Oklahoma University gymnast Hollie Vise was honored as Big 10 event specialist of the week today after finishing second and third on balance beam and uneven bars, respectively, during the Sooners’ dual meet with Texas Woman’s University Saturday.

Teammate Kiara Redmond-Sturms, who has been busy establishing herself as an all-around force, was named Big 12 Gymnast of the Week after capturing her third overall title of the season against TWU.

Redmond-Sturms has more difficulty, including a very pleasant double layout on floor exercise. But Vise has the more dramatic backstory, as the 2003 World Champion on bars who was left off the 2004 Olympic Team, the result of a back injury at the wrong time and a fall on balance beam at the selection camp.

As a freshman in 2007, Vise competed only on balance beam for the Sooners. Her bar routine has been highly anticipated by NCAA gymnastics fans.

Youtube user Alexandrite105 has videos.

Hollie Vise, 2007 OU vs. Texas Woman’s, Uneven Bars:

Hollie Vise, 2007 OU vs. Texas Woman’s, Balance Beam:

At times during her freshman year, she looked out of shape and still slightly out of focus, somewhat dazed from the ordeal that was 2004. Nice to see she’s retained the style (on beam) and impeccable form (on bars) that won her so many fans during the last quad.

Youtube user Doublelayout10 gives an excellent primer on Vise’s younger days with this montage.

LSU, with a bullet

January 22, 2008

Georgia. Florida. Utah. Alabama. Stanford. UCLA.

Louisiana State?

LSU junior Ashleigh Clare-Kearney.The LSU Tigers have been making a strong statement so far this season that they belong in the Super Six. First it was at the highest opening meet score in school history, a 195.725 over Denver, Minnesota and Texas Woman’s at the Cancun Classic Jan. 4.

Then it swept Iowa at home and posted a 195.9 against Arkansas, moving in three weeks from being ranked no. 10 to no. 5.

Now, as it looks forward to Saturday’s meet at Georgia, LSU looks stronger than ever. Does that mean it actually has a chance at beating the SEC powerhouse Gym Dogs? Probably not. But with a good score, the surprise team of the season so far could surprise a bit more. 

The lynchpin of LSU’s pre-2007 success was LSU star April Burkholder, who delivered energetic performances and much of the team’s choreography. LSU has did not seem to have a performer who was been able to replace her last year, although Ashleigh Clare-Kearney nad Susan Jackson, a former training partner of Carly Patterson and Hollie Vise at WOGA, are both fairly strong.

As it happens, Clare-Kearney is this week’s SEC Gymnast of the Week.

Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, 2007 SEC Championships, Uneven Bars:

In addition, junior Clare-Kearney is currently ranked no. 1 in the nation in the all-around, tied with Florida’s Melanie Sinclair.

Can they keep it up? Could LSU, ranked 10th in preseason polls, break into the Super Six? Nothing is certain. Even Georgia has hardly exceeded expectations so far this season.

Also: New blog The Olympic Effect takes a closer look at Florida’s successes and shortcomings, suggesting the former is due to successful politicking by coach Rhonda Faehn. Faehn, of course, learned it during her elite days with Bela Karolyi, who is undoubtedly the greatest politicker in gymnastics history.

The Top 10:
1 Florida 196.975
2 Georgia 196.642
t3 Alabama 196.362
t3 Utah 196.362
5 LSU 195.725
6 Michigan 195.675
7 Oklahoma 195.583
8 UCLA 195.550
9 Stanford 195.375
10 Arkansas 195.275