Posts Tagged ‘Suzanne Yoculan’

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.)

Amber Trani didn’t know how to do a Yurchenko full?

October 31, 2008

In her latest dispatch answering fans’ questions, Georgia coach Suzanne Yoculan discloses that freshman Amber Trani, formerly of the Parkette’s, would be competing a Yurchenko full this season.

But according to Yoculan, Trani, who won a silver medal on vault at the 2007 Pan-American Games with a double-twisting Yurchenko, had to learn the simpler full-twisting version after arriving at Georgia. “Funny, but she did not know how to do it,” Yoculan commented.

How is that possible?

Amber Trani, 2007 Pan-American Games Event Finals, Vault:

Shayla Worley to compete for Georgia

October 31, 2008
Shayla Worley has announced plans to compete for Georgia.

Shayla Worley has announced plans to compete for Georgia.

Arguably the biggest recruit in the nation has made up her mind to compete for the University of Georgia. Says Rick at Gymnastics Coaching: “The rich get richer.”

This is a huge coup for Georgia associate head coach Jay Clark, who will take over from Suzanne Yoculan at the end of this season. Worley’s class will be the first in more than a quarter-century not to be influenced by Yoculan.

According to GymnastTV, Worley said the choice was between UGA and UCLA. That’s a disappointment for Florida, which is still seeking its first national championship. Worley will join freshmen-to-be Christa Tanella, Noel Couch and Kati Breazeal.

What this does is cast doubt as to whether Worley will have the ability (or the ambition) to make a run for 2012. Then again, the Georgia girls are pretty sharp — Courtney Kupets was think-tanking a return to elite competition and competed a beam routine with a super-high A-score last season — and Athens isn’t that far away from Worley’s home gym.

Also: The Gym Dogs’ “Where are they now?” page has been updated. And it sounds like everyone has a new floor routine.

(via Gymnastics Coaching, GymnastTV)

New NCAA roles for Durante, Dantzscher

October 23, 2008

David Durante will be an assistant coach at Stanford this season.

David Durante will be an assistant coach at Stanford this season.

With the Olympics over, it’s time to start thinking about the college season. 2008-09 will be filled with familiar faces, although in different roles than in the past.

Olympic alternate David Durante has accepted a position as one of Stanford’s assistant coaches. By the accounts of all who have met him, Durante is a hugely likable and personable fellow, and college coaching should suit him. He’s just one more talent in Stanford’s already stocked corner. The Cardinal may be out for revenge this year after last year’s home NCAA loss to Oklahoma.

2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher has signed on to be an assistant coach with Arizona State (Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth got her coaching start the same way.) Despite the talents of Tia Orlando, Nicole Harris (before she retired mid-season) and Tiana Jean, the Sun Devils languished at the bottom of the Pac-10. Seven of the Sun Devils’ 17 gymnasts this year are freshmen.

Dantzscher was something of a showstopper in the NCAA. Check out this floor routine from the 2003 NCAA Championships:

Rick at Gymnastics Coaching reports that Shayla Worley visited Georgia but hasn’t made a final decision about her NCAA future. Many people think because she’s from Florida she’d go with the Gators. With Worley on their team, they might finally get that elusive NCAA title they’ve been so close to for the past three years.

Vote for where you think Shayla will go at Difficulty Plus Execution.

WOGA’s Christa Tanella, however, has already made her choice.

Three gymnasts – Christa Tanella, Kati Breazeal and Noel Couch – said they have told Georgia associate head coach Jay Clark that on signing day, Nov. 12, they will sign letters of intent to attend Georgia.

Another strong class for the Gym Dogs. Suzanne Yoculan or not, they’re sure to stay strong.

Inside interviews Suzanne Yoculan

May 1, 2008

Suzanne YoculanInside Gymnastics Magazine has posted the first of a two-part interview with the wildly successful Suzanne Yoculan, coach of the University of Georgia.

From her words, Yoculan still seems to be glowing from Georgia’s NCAA Championship win at home last weekend. Or maybe she’s just like this all the time.

INSIDE GYMNASTICS: Have you had time yet to absorb the magnitude of winning four NCAA Championships in a row?


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


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.


Depth, Georgia and the Red Rocks

January 18, 2008

Let the NCAA mudslinging begin.

From the Daily Utah Chronicle:

Following the Utah gymnastics team’s narrow win over No. 1 Georgia last week, Gym Dog head coach Suzanne Yoculan questioned whether the Red Rocks have the depth to be one of the best teams in the nation.

“I thought that their depth was a little weaker than ours,” Yoculan said. “Obviously Ashley (Postell) and some of the strongest girls looked really strong. The thing is, there’s a lot of teams in the country that have a one-two punch. It’s going to come down to that fourth or fifth score at the end of the season.”

Utah junior Kristina Baskett is likely to sit out tonight's competition against NebraskaThat’s interesting coming from Yoculan, whose Gym Dogs currently aren’t at full strength either. And while the Utes take on rival Nebraska tonight without star Kristina Baskett, who has is suffering from displaced ribs, Georgia has traveled to Florida and will take on the newly No. 1-ranked Gators. Florida posted the highest score of the season so far with its 197.125 last week against Illinois-Chicago.

Yoculan has said she expects Grace Taylor, recovered from her sprained ankle, to be back in the lineup, but others are still injured. Georgia might have taken a little hit to its depth as well.

Florida sophomore Melanie SinclairAnd if Utah had no mercy at home, Florida likely won’t either. The Gators, despite being no. 1 right now, are the least appreciated gymnastics team in the nation. Their top three — sophomores Melanie Sinclair and Amanda Castillo (who was third in the all-around at the 2007 NCAA championships behind better-known names Courtney Kupets and Postell) and junior Corey Hartung are an unstoppable force when they hit.

No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 3 Utah — tonight!

January 11, 2008

Utah's Ashley Postell

For all the talk in gymnastics about competing against yourself and just doing your best, it’s refreshing to see an article like Lya Wodraska’s in this morning’s Salt Lake Tribune shooting all of that to hell.

College gymnastics is about scores, not settling scores. It’s about getting to nationals, not getting the best of your opponent, about concentrating on the best you can do, not what your opponent is doing.

Then there are meets between the University of Utah and the University of Georgia, where conventional wisdom is ignored, emotions run high and success is judged by showing up one another, great score be damned.

“If you gave me an option of getting a 197 and losing or a 194 and winning, I’d take the win in a heartbeat,” Georgia coach Suzanne Yoculan said. “I’m not about vanilla and fluff, I want the win.”

And so do the Utes, who are willing to agree with their biggest rival in philosophy, if only for a night.

“I get her point and I couldn’t agree more,” said Utah coach Greg Marsden, who sported an “I hate the SEC” T-shirt at practice Thursday.

Despite pre-season rankings, the Gym Dogs and the Utes are more or less 1-2 in the nation in a lot of people’s minds, making both teams’ season-opener one of the more interesting meets of the season.

Advantage on this one probably goes to Utah, who are a) at home and b) not as injury-plauged as Georgia, who will be competing without sophomore Grace Taylor, senior Megan Dowlen and junior Tiffany Tolnay. Taylor and Dowlen have sprained ankles and Tolnay is sick, according to a UGA press release.

The Georgia Gym Dogs are hungrily eyeing the Utah Utes.Never count Georgia out, however. The Gym Dogs certainly have the depth to get it done. Junior Courtney Kupets is training some of the hardest stuff in the NCAA, and she’ll be backed up by a more or less healthy Katie Heenan and sophomore Olympian Courtney McCool.

Utah, meanwhile, will compete big guns Ashley Postell and Kristina Baskett and likely also expects huge performances from Annie DeLuzio and Katie Kivisto.

Mackie to join Utes for 2008 season

December 7, 2007

The University of Utah women’s gymnastics team got an early Christmas present yesterday in the form of Canadian star Gael Mackie, who is set to join the team Dec. 26.

Soon-to-be-Ute Gael Mackie.

The Daily Utah Chronicle, the student newspaper at the University of Utah, reported yesterday that Utes coach Greg Marsden is “99.9 percent sure” Mackie will be in the Utah lineup for its home-opener against top rival Georgia Jan. 9.

There is one step yet to complete. Mackie and the Red Rocks are waiting for Mackie’s high school diploma to be awarded by the Ministry of Education and sent to the NCAA for approval.

The Ministry of Education represents an additional step to graduating high school in Canada that is not present in the United States. Canadian graduates must be approved by the government in the form of the Ministry, rather than by high schools, as is the case in America.

“We’re hoping that (her transcripts are approved) at the end of this week, next week at the latest,” Marsden said.

As soon as the NCAA announces Mackie’s eligibility, then “it’s just a matter of her getting a plane flight and being here,” Marsden said.

Mackie in top form might be just the thing Utah needs to give them the edge over Georgia. Then again, nobody expects Suzanne Yoculan’s Gym Dogs to just lie down.