Posts Tagged ‘Susan Jackson’

NCAA report!

January 17, 2009

Michigan won over Kent State and North Carolina State (194.325-193.525-191.15).

Alabama won handily over Kentucky 195.825-194.075. (Bama’s Ricki Lebegern took the all-around with 39.275. Other notable scores: Crimson Tide freshman Ashley Priess, last week’s SEC Freshman Gymnast of the Week, scored a 9.925 on uneven bars. Bama’s Morgan Dennis delivered a 9.9 on vault and Priess, Alabama’s Geralen Stack-Eaton and Kentucky’s Heather Hite tied for the beam title with 9.875.) Only three gymnasts — UW’s Ashley Houghting (floor), Stanford’s Allyse Ishino (bars) and Stanford’s Shelley Alexander (vault) broke 9.9.

Stanford coasted through a quad meet with Washington, Sacramento State and Seattle Pacific University, winning 196.45-194.25-193.55-188.425. No Stanford gymnast competed in the all-around, which was taken by Sacramento State’s Marina Borisova (a very respectable 39.175).

Georgia ruled LSU 196.850-195.950. This was undoubtedly a huge improvement for the Gym Dogs, who opened up their season last week against West Virginia without breaking 196, disappointing outgoing coach Suzanne Yoculan. Georgia’s Courtney Kupets swept the first place finishes (to be fair, underrated LSU senior Ashleigh Clare-Kearney tied with Kupets on vault), tallying 39.65 in the all-around. Is she the best NCAA gymnast ever? It gets harder and harder to argue.

Behind Kupets and Clare-Kearney, Susan Jackson (LSU) and Tiffany Tolnay (Georgia) also did extremely well here (Tolnay finsished second in the all-around with a 39.4).

Florida barely held off the surging Auburn team, scoring 49.5 on floor to beat the Tigers 196.5-196.25. The Gators overcame their lowest team beam total since 2006 (48.325, led by Corey Hartung’s 9.75). This makes no. 4 Auburn, who barely lost to in-state rival Alabama last week, like, the most successful 0-2 SEC gymnastics school ever. If they can keep this up, they’ll see action in the Super Six. (Florida senior Hartung won the all-around with a 39.475.)

NCAA report

January 10, 2009

A few highlights:

Surprise, surprise, Georgia held off West Virginia, 195.425-194.075. Courtney Kupets was back to her old tricks, winning the all-around with a 39.45.

Alabama barely held off the surging Auburn Tigers, 195.675-195.650. (Auburn’s A.J. Mills won the all-around.)

Florida defeated Oklahoma 196.500-195.075 (UF’s Melanie Sinclair took the all-around title.)

LSU overcame a couple “slow” rotations to beat Iowa and Southeast Missouri State, 194.175-191.675-191.375. (LSU’s Susan Jackson won the all-around and had a 9.95 on vault.)

Utah barely held off UCLA, 196.175-196.075 after Ute seniors Kristina Baskett and Nina Kim fell on floor exercise. Junior Beth Rizzo also badly sprained an ankle on the event. Rizzo, who put in a solid two years for the Utes as a walk-on (she was denied a scholarship last year so Canadian Gael Mackie could join the team last year) has finally attained a scholarship.

UCLA was carried by its freshman; the Deseret News reports that 16 of its 24 routines were performed by frosh gymnasts, and only two were performed by upperclassmen.

The Bruins have also permanently lost senior Kristina Comforte, who retired after suffering a torn labrum in her shoulder. Also, Utah’s Stephanie Neff, a senior, has given up gymnastics due to back problems.

Utah’s Jamie Deetscreek, in her first meet as an all-arounder, won with a 39.1 to Baskett’s 39.05.

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