The College Gymnastics Association has released its 2019 CGA Preseason Coaches Poll. They are based off of each (20) schools receiving a single vote.
To nobody’s surprise, the Oklahoma Sooners (419 points) top the poll having received 19 of the 20 possible votes. As they go for their fifth-consecutive NCAA title, they will do so while returning the best gymnast in the nation, Yul Moldauer. Moldauer returns to Norman for his senior year having already won seven individual NCAA titles. Coming in at No. 2 is the Stanford Cardinal (390 points) with a single first place vote. Stanford returns a few key seniors (including Grant Breckenridge) but it’s their impressive freshman class that could separate them from other teams. At No. 3 is the Illinois Fighting Illini (366 points). Justin Spring’s squad will hope to use the momentum of a B1G team title to propel them on to a successful 2019 season. They will be dealing with the departure of a few key gymnasts including, but not limited to, Bobby Baker, Chandler Eggleston and Brandon Ngai. The No. 4 spot belongs to the Minnesota Golden Gophers (353 points). Similar to the Illini, the Gophers will be dealing with a massive exodus of important talent. Their momentum will come in the form of a runner-up finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships. Rounding out the top-five we have the Michigan Wolverines (324 points). This young team is now a year older and will return a pair of key gymnasts, Cameron Bock and Jacob Moore, who are now sophomores.
Moving down the line to No. 6 is the Ohio State Buckeyes (323 points). No doubt, the face of this team is Alec Yoder who will return for his final season in a OSU uniform. Sorely missed will be his former partner-in-crime, Sean Melton. Following Ohio State at No. 7 is the Nebraska Cornhuskers (313 points). The losses of gymnasts like Kyle King and Christopher Stephenson will be felt, though the latter’s brother, Anton Stephenson, is still there to help the Huskers. Lincoln will be home to an intriguing group of newcomers as well. The eight spot belongs to the Penn State Nittany Lions (301 points). Fortunately for PSU, they will be returning a vast majority of their team, including two-time pommel horse national champion Stephen Nedoroscik and All-American Sam Zakutney. No. 9 is JD Reive’s Iowa Hawkeyes (267 points). Reive’s squad is fairly young and will feature a pair of talented sophomores in Bennet Huang and and Addison Chung. Claiming the final spot in the top-ten is the defending ECAC champion Navy Midshipmen (225 points). The Mids will feature just three seniors in 2019 to go along with their top freshman, Josh Williams.
The remaining ten teams go as follows:
11. California (217 points)
12. Air Force (208 points)
13. William & Mary (171 points)
14. Arizona State (158 points)
15. Army (153 points)
16. Springfield College (117 points)
17. Washington (100 points)
18. UIC (91 points)
19. Temple (57 points)
20. SC United (47 points)
“After a lengthy preseason of preparation, the 2019 NCAA season is rapidly approaching,” said CGA President and Minnesota head coach, Mike Burns. “After one of the most well-attended and closely contested NCAA Championships held at UIC last April, these teams will soon be doing battle again in the very near future. The release of the CGA Preseason Coaches Poll is the green light letting the thousands of fans of college gymnastics know that it’s time to get ready to witness some outstanding athletes performing some outstanding skills in what will prove to be some epic contests between powerhouse programs. It’s going to be another exciting season of NCAA Men’s Gymnastics and you won’t want to miss any of it!”
The majority of teams’ seasons will get underway the weekend of January 11 (with meets like the West Point Open and Rocky Mountain Open). The conclusion of the 2019 campaign will come at the NCAA Championships in Champaign, IL on April 19-20.