The 2018 season came to a close for many teams with the USA Gymnastics Women’s Collegiate National Championships, which is the national competition for teams with fewer than seven and a half scholarships. Over three days of competition, so many thrilling things happened—from Texas Woman’s winning its 11th national title to Pioneer Schyler Jones nearly sweeping the event titles, placing first on vault, beam, floor and in the all around and second on bars. If you happened to miss all the excitement, catch up with our recaps of each session below.
|Semifinal One: No. 1 Lindenwood, No. 4 Bridgeport, No. 5 Air Force and No. 8 Pennsylvania|
|Full Results||LU: 194.950||USAFA: 194.950||UB: 194.850||Penn: 193.925|
|VT: Sokolowski 9.825||UB: Salamone 9.900||BB: Sokolowski 9.950||FX: Alexander, McMullan, Baze 9.900||AA: Burns 39.100|
Lindenwood and Air Force tied for first in the opening semifinal of the championship, both advancing to the team finals. Lindenwood was held back by having to count a fall on bars after Samantha Borges fell on her release and Ryan Henry didn’t land her dismount. Things improved for the Lions on beam, where Kierstin Sokolowski led the team with a session-leading 9.950, and they caught fire on floor to score a 49.400, led by three 9.900s from Andy Alexander, Kayla McMullan and Kyndall Baze. Air Force equaled Lindenwood’s mark of 194.950 to advance, with an exceptional bar rotation that passed 49.000 for only the second time in school history. Sophomore Anna Salamone led the rotation and event qualification standings with a 9.900 on the piece.
Bridgeport missed advancing by only a tenth after having to count some lower vault scores, but the Purple Knights still registered a strong score in a competitive semifinal and qualified numerous event specialists, including Maya Reimers, who advanced to the floor final with a 9.875. No. 8-seed Pennsylvania set a season high, highlighted by a great beam rotation that totaled 48.800.
|Semifinal Two: No. 2 Texas Woman’s, No. 3 Yale, No. 6 Cornell and No. 8 Brown|
|Full Results||TWU: 195.700||Cornell: 195.000||Yale: 194.350||Brown: 193.825|
|VT: Jones 9.850||UB: Jones, Wang 9.900||BB: Jones 9.925||FX: Moredock 9.950||AA: Jones 39.600|
Senior Schyler Jones’ career day led Texas Woman’s through two falls on bars to qualify first to the team final. Jones scored over 9.850 on every event, winning three events and the all around for a total of 39.600. The Pioneers were outstanding on each event, with three going over 9.850 on beam for a total of of 49.225, as well as registering two marks over 9.900 on floor from Jones and Mallory Moredock. Cornell had a program-best day to join TWU in the final, registering a 195.000 for the first time in school history. The program also set a team record on floor, with four scores of 9.800+ for a total of 49.125, led by a 9.900 from Izzy Herczeg.
Yale had a strong day but wasn’t able to keep up as Cornell excelled. It did have a stellar day on bars, though, with both Jessica Wang and Jacey Baldovino scoring over 9.850 on that piece and registering the Bulldogs’ highest score in a national semifinal in program history. Brown had its second-best team performance of the year and tied its program record on beam; several gymnasts set career highs, including senior Regan Butchness’ 9.850 on beam and freshman Emma Hanson’s 9.875 on bars.
|Team Final: No. 1 Lindenwood, No. 2 Texas Woman’s, No. 5 Air Force and No. 6 Cornell|
|Full Results||TWU: 196.525||LU: 195.800||USAFA: 195.675||Cornell: 193.650|
|VT: Jones 9.900||UB: Salamone 9.925||BB: Kelly 9.875||FX: Jones 9.925||AA: Jones 39.425|
Texas Woman’s scored only its second 196.000+ scorein program history to defend its national title at home on Saturday. Once again, the Pioneers were led by Schyler Jones, who scored 9.900+ on two pieces. The title was eventually brought home by sophomore Bria Northrop, who anchored the Pioneers on bars with a 9.900 for a near-perfect routine. Lindenwood also had a great day, registering its third-highest score in program history, but couldn’t match TWU’s supremacy across four events. Senior Kierstin Sokolowski did have a great day to lead her team, with scores over 9.850 on all three of her events.
Air Force also tied a program record, as well as recorded the highest score in head coach Doug Day’s tenure. Freshman Tyler Davis set an all around career high for the second time this weekend, this time scoring a 39.125. Cornell couldn’t match its program-best day from Friday but still recorded a great total, recovering from an opening fall on bars to put together a clean meet.
|Full Results||VT: Jones 9.9125||UB: Wang 9.900||BB: Jones, Kelly 9.825||FX: Jones, Davis, Reimers 9.900|
Nationals wrapped up with event finals on Sunday, starting with a thrilling vault final in which half the field had stuck landings, keeping things close at the top. TWU’s Schyler Jones stuck her Yurchenko arabian to pick up the title, with fellow senior Mallory Moredock close behind with a great full and West Chester’s Meghan Chan rounding out the podium. Yale’s bars star Jessica Wang predictably picked up the title with a 9.900 in her best event, followed closely by teammate Jacey Baldovino and once again Jones, who both scored 9.850s to tie for second. Impressively, Baldovino finished on the podium from the first spot in competition order.
Beam was the most closely contested final, ending with a four-way tie for third place. Jones picked up yet another title, tying with teammate Alyssa Kelly who turned in a stylish and elegant routine. The tie for third included Air Force’s Analise Howard who impressed with a gorgeous switch ring, Erin Alderman of TWU who memorably dabbed to the judges just before her dismount, stylish Kaitlin Green of Cornell whose beautiful form always makes her stand out and SEMO’s McKinzie Jones, who performed a precise routine. Floor closed the meet with another tie—this time a three-way tie for the title. Jones closed her career with a fifth national title in 2018 after sticking her second pass, Maya Reimers of Bridgeport impressed with her amazing full-in and Air Force’s Tyler Davis concluded an incredible weekend by winning a share of the title with a 9.900 in the very last routine of the weekend.
Want to receive the latest collegiate gymnastics news in your inbox? Sign up for the NCAA Gym NewsLetter here.
Article by Rebecca Scally