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#NCAAMGym Week 11 Recap

Believe it or not, we now have just one more weekend full of non-postseason gymnastics. That slate will be kicked off with the USAG Nationals on March 29-30 (though there will still be a couple of regular season meets with UIC @ Michigan and California @ Stanford).

What that means is a B1G regular season champion will be crowned this coming weekend! We’ll get more into the shifts in those standings as we break down each meet from last weekend. First, the One Thing We Learned

Oklahoma’s Historic Run

Okay, so we didn’t necessarily learn about this over the weekend, we were merely reminded of it. The Sooners’ victory over Navy cemented the program’s place in not just the NCAA men’s gymnastics history books, but the entire collegiate sports landscape’s history books.

I don’t care if you have 4 teams in your sport or 400. Winning 111 straight meets/games/matches is outstanding and not something that happens coincidentally. I’m confident in saying that we haven’t seen the end of Oklahoma’s streak, though regardless of when it ends, a gigantic hats off to every single gymnast and coach that has been a part of it.

Oklahoma @ Navy

Oklahoma topped Navy 416.7-400.6 in Annapolis last Saturday to secure their 111th-straight victory.

OU stood out on floor, vault and high bar but had struggles on horse, the only event they forfeited to Navy. Earning titles for the Sooners were Gage Dyer (MPSF Gymnast of the Week) on floor and high bar, Yul Moldauer on horse, rings and p-bars, as well as Matt Wenske/Vitaliy Guimaraes on vault.

Navy getting back above the 400 mark was a win in itself — they haven’t crossed that threshold since Feb. 9 (they hit 400 flat on March 1). It shows that the Midshipmen are finally starting to hit their stride in the five-up, five-count portion of the season.

Highlights for Navy included outscoring OU on horse with Jake Carlson and Ryan Orce on the podium, Lucas Beltran’s solid floor showing, and Max Gerber and Cash Buske just missing the podium.

Navy is off until the ECAC Championships on April 6. OU goes up against Cal and UIC in Berkeley on Saturday. — Alex Wittenberg

Check out full results here.

Illinois/Michigan @ Penn State

A meet with tremendous implications resulted in Michigan solidifying themselves as the favorites to win the Big Ten regular season title.

The Wolverines trailed both Penn State and Illinois through five events until a monster vault rotation (71.90) launched them to the top of the leaderboard. Kevin Penev (14.50), Marty Strech (14.40) and Jacob Moore (14.250) all stuck their vaults. Meanwhile, Anthony McCallum capped off the rotation with his signature tsuk double pike (14.85) to earn him the event title, and Michigan the win.

Cameron Bock also had a bounce back day after he struggled last week against Iowa. Bock took home both the p-bars (13.70) and high bar (14.50) titles. It is clear that Michigan is a different animal when the sophomore is in form.

This win is a big deal as Michigan now moves to 4-1 in the Big Ten and is joined by Iowa as the only one-loss teams. Iowa will face both Penn State and Minnesota this coming week and Michigan will head to Nebraska.  If both teams are undefeated in their final weekend, they will each take a share of the title.

Head Coach Kurt Golder believes that his team can finish what they started. “We just have to go out to Nebraska and get the job done. Of course, the last two NCAA Championships they have beaten us, we just gotta be sharp when we go out there.”

Penn State came up just over a point and a half short of Michigan. Although the Nittany Lions are likely disappointed with the outcome, they proved they can hang with the top teams in the Big Ten.  They counted just three falls in the competition, compared to Michigan’s two, and won three events on the day (PH, SR, HB). 

Penn State did their usual thing on pommel horse (66.60) and we finally got a head-to-head battle between Michael Paradise and Stephen Nedoroscik. Both of them did arguably their best sets of the season but Paradise (14.70) came up just short of Nedoroscik (14.85).

We already knew what Penn State can do on pommel horse and rings, but they showed signs of life on some other events. Sam Zakutney (14.65) and Brennan Pantazis (14.60) placed second and third on vault, an event PSU has been very weak on the past few years. Senior Michael Burns had his best competition of the year, including a second place finish on high bar (14.15) to give Penn State their highest team total on that event.

The day did not go as planned for a very good Illini team, but there were still some highlights. Alex Diab seems completely untouchable on rings where he grabbed another title with a 14.75 performance. Michael Fletcher continued his tour as one of the best freshman in the country while tallying a second place finish on p-bars (13.45).

The final title on the day for Illinois was won by Clay Stephens with his 14.7 floor set. Unfortunately, Stephens suffered an apparent knee injury later in the day on vault. This is something we never want to see happen to anybody, let alone someone of his stature and character. Stephens was voted a team captain after spending just one semester with the team.  Illinois will fight on and hope for a speedy recovery for their talented leader. — Ben Cooperman

Check out full results here.

Air Force @ Minnesota

Minnesota breezed past the Air Force Falcons 402.05-387.35 during a dual meet in Minneapolis on Sunday.

Coming off a big victory over Ohio State, the Gophers had a somewhat unbalanced day, with mistakes in strange spots and big highlights in others. That’s partly due to the fact that they rested some of their top guys, such as Shane Wiskus and Shaun Herzog, and gave others a crack at a lineup spot.

Air Force was keeping pace with Minnesota at the halfway point after their solid vault rotation and a measly rings performance from the Gophers. The Falcons also scored a 66.4 on rings while Minnesota put up just a 63.15, a season-low. But Minnesota’s vault juiced them back up, in large part due to freshman Garrett Kasiski’s (NCAA/B1G Rookie of the Week) stuck handspring double-front — the Gophers took over from there.

After that, the Falcons had real struggles, scoring just a 62.7 on high bar and a 60.4 on p-bars, a season-low. Highlights for Air Force included a horse and rings title for Ethan Esval and solid performances from Frankie Valentin, Lukas Texeira and Christian Kalustian.

Minnesota had team titles on every event except rings. Earning titles for Minnesota were Eric Nakamura on floor, Vitali Kan on pommels, Kasiski on vault, and Shane Wiskus on p-bars and high bar. Wiskus (NCAA/B1G Gymnast of the Week) had quite a day despite resting on a couple events, posting a 14.9 on p-bars and a 14.4 on high bar — both were season-highs for the sophomore.

The Gophers will be back to full strength next weekend when they face Penn State and Iowa at home. While the odds are long, each team will in fact be fighting for a Big Ten regular season championship.

The Falcons are home against Washington on Saturday. They’re fighting for a spot at the NCAA Championships. — Alex Wittenberg

Check out full results here.

Ohio State @ Iowa

Stay hot, Hawkeyes. On Saturday afternoon in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes enjoyed a celebration of their seniors while simultaneously taking down yet another B1G opponent in Ohio State.

With the win, Iowa has now put themselves in a position of potentially winning the B1G regular season crown if they can defeat Penn State and Minnesota this weekend and also have Michigan lose to Nebraska.

Regardless of whether that happens, Iowa has been the biggest surprise of 2019. Now — on to what happened this weekend.

Full disclosure, this wasn’t the Hawkeyes’ best performance. They endured a drop off in scoring on five of six events from the week prior while being thoroughly outdone by the Buckeyes on PH and VT. Then again, a win is a win is a win.

The highlight performance from this one came from Nick Merryman. The junior snagged a pair of event titles on PB (tied with teammate Jake Brodarzon) and HB — capitalizing on a pair of events that Ohio State severely struggled on. Merryman keeps things fairly simple, difficulty-wise, but there aren’t many gymnasts across the NCAA who are more enjoyable to watch given the cleanliness of his gymnastics.

Bennet Huang and Evan Davis also both stepped up with rock-solid days, contributing great scores on four events each.

I was quite impressed with Ohio State through four events. They limited mistakes on PH and absolutely crushed VT, claiming four of the top-five spots on the event. That rotation, specifically, was highlighted by three stuck landings coming from Joey Bonnano, Alec Yoder and Dexter Roettker.

Unfortunately, PB and HB happened. The Buckeyes bottomed out with season-low team scores on both — including a 59.95 on high bar. Certainly Yoder’s presence on the latter event would help, but even with him, there’s no team in the NCAA that can tread water while having to deal with counting a pair of 10’s anywhere in their team score.

Ohio State’s event winners were Jesse Tyndall on FX, Yoder on PH, Max Andryuschenko on SR as well as Yoder and Bonnano on VT. — Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

Army, Springfield and Temple @ William & Mary

In what turned out being a two-team battle, Army was able to hang on to take down their host, William & Mary, by just over two points.

I think we now know that Army is just about a mid-390 team with the potential to hit 400 with a great day. All-arounders Matt Davis (79.75) and Cole Casanova (79.15) snagged the 1-2 spots for the day. Davis was able to win FX while Casanova took home a win on PB.

One Black Knight gymnast of note from the day was Erik Del Cid. The junior grabbed a pair of top-two finishes on FX and VT, including an event title on the latter event.

Army will now focus their attention on USAG Nationals and ECAC Championships, a pair of postseason meets that they should find themselves in heavy contention for.

Despite being winners of three events (FX, VT, HB), William & Mary fell short of taking down their ECAC rival. Their horse team also came to play as the Tribe locked up the top-three spots there with Spencer Schrandt finding himself in the top spot.

David Watkins continued his fantastic 2019 season with another title on SR — this one of the 13.75 variety. Now ranked no. 8 in the NCAA — Watkins will qualify with ease to NCAA’s and should have a shot at becoming an All-American. Also winning a title was David Allen on HB.

Springfield boasted a trio of top-three finishes this weekend. Those came from Stephen Lewis (AA- 3rd), Jannik Haas (PB – 3rd) and Noah Candocia (VT – 2nd).

The Temple Owls wrapped things up with a pair of top-ten event finishes themselves with Evan Salters on PB and Taden Thurber on HB. — Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

#NCAAMGym Week 9 Power Rankings

Every week we’ll release a “Power Rankings,” aiming to provide a fluid picture of how each team across the NCAA is doing at the moment. The idea is to try not to focus too much on scores and look more at the current state of the team. The (+) or (-) next to each team’s name relates to how far they rose or fell from last week’s rankings.

This year’s power rankings are an average based off of the individual rankings of five individuals:

  • Logan Bradley (former Illinois gymnast)
  • Ben Cooperman (former Penn State gymnast)
  • Alex Wittenberg (former Minnesota gymnast)
  • Andrew Misiolek (former Stanford gymnast)
  • Jessica Frankl (CGA gymnastics expert/photographer)

To see a list of each individual’s rankings, scroll all the way to the bottom of this page.

1. Oklahoma Sooners (-)

Yul Moldauer was out in Greensboro making history while his team was at home with the weekend off. The Sooners are back home this Saturday against Illinois, who’s coming off of a huge win over Stanford and Minnesota. —Alex Wittenberg

2. Stanford Cardinal (-)

The pressure was on Stanford to perform at Illinois in their first competition of the season outside of the West Coast. It was not the result they were looking for, but coming within two points of a talented Illinois team is impressive. The Cardinal proved they are a legitimate 410+ team regardless of location. — Ben Cooperman

3. Michigan Wolverines (-)

Michigan did not compete this weekend and will need to be on their game at home against Iowa to remain ahead of a surging Illini team. — Logan Bradley

4. Illinois Fighting Illini (-)

In upsetting Stanford and beating Big Ten rival Minnesota, the Fighting Illini last Saturday showed they can take on the best of the best this season. But can they do the unthinkable and beat OU in Norman this Saturday? It isn’t likely, but even getting close would bode well for their chances against Michigan, the Illini’s biggest Big Ten rival at the moment, who put up a poor challenge to OU in Norman a few weeks ago. — Alex Wittenberg

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (+1)

Yet another up and down meet for Penn State resulted in their first Big Ten loss of the season. This defeat sets the stage for an enticing competition March 16th when Illinois and Michigan come to State College, Pennsylvania to wrap up the season. Led by Sam Zakutney, who put up another monster all-around performance this past weekend, Penn State still has a shot at the regular season trophy if they can find a way to beat the Wolverines and Fighting Illini. — Ben Cooperman

6. Minnesota Golden Gophers (-1)

We’re over halfway through the season and I still don’t have a good feel for this Minnesota team. It’s a talented bunch, no doubt. One that has B1G-winning potential. We just might learn a little bit more as the Gophers travel to the proverbial Wild Wild West of judging, Columbus, this weekend. — Logan Bradley

7. Nebraska Cornhuskers (-)

After big wins over Illinois and Minnesota, Nebraska’s momentum sputtered out against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Huskers fell to Iowa 406.7-403.55 last Saturday. There were still highlights, though — freshman Charlie Giles, Anton Stephenson and Jake Bonnay each had a good showing. Now coming off of a loss, Nebraska faces a challenge this Friday in Columbus against Minnesota and Ohio State. Minnesota is reeling from a disappointing showing of their own, and Ohio is riding a high after having their best meet of the season by over 10 points. Every routine will matter on Friday. — Alex Wittenberg

8. Ohio State Buckeyes (+1)

The Buckeyes coming in this far down the list after becoming just the fifth team to go 413+ this season may seem puzzling. Even more shocking than that, Ohio State shattered their previous season high by over 10 points. While this team is looking more refined than earlier in the season, the misleading score they put up this past weekend was courtesy of some inexplicably lenient judging. — Ben Cooperman

9. Iowa Hawkeyes (-1)

A B1G upset and Iowa drops in the power rankings? What a cruel world. Truthfully, there is a good case to be made for Iowa leapfrogging Ohio State in these rankings, and as you can see by the the voting (see bottom of page), they’re awfully close. In reality, there’s an argument to be made that the Hawkeyes should be as high as No. 6. Very excited to see what they can do the rest of the way. — Logan Bradley

10. California Golden Bears (-)

Cal didn’t compete last weekend. The Golden Bears are up against Washington on Sunday. —Alex Wittenberg

11. Navy Midshipmen (-)

It was a busy weekend for the Mids as they traveled to both William & Mary and Springfield. The first competition went well as they broke back above the 400 mark. The second meet was a different story as they posted their worst team score of the season. Navy will look to bounce back to their winning ways as they head out to warm weather Arizona this weekend. — Ben Cooperman

12. Army Black Knights (-)

Colorado was unkind to the Black Knights last weekend, but despite that, Army still remains ahead of the Falcons in this week’s power rankings. We know full-well what Cole Casanova and Matthew Davis can do…what about the rest of the team? If those two can get some support, Army will easily find themselves competing as a team at NCAA’s. — Logan Bradley

13. Air Force Falcons (-)

Air Force had a big upset over Army last Saturday, taking down the Black Knights 394.25-389.95. They get to go against another military rival this Saturday, when they’re set to face Navy, Nor Cal United, Penn State and Arizona State in Tempe. — Alex Wittenberg

14. William & Mary Tribe (+1)

The Tribe has been on a stellar run resulting in a jump over a talented Sun Devil team. William & Mary will head to the Windy City this weekend as they look to continue their 390+ streak. — Ben Cooperman

15. Arizona State Sun Devils (-1)

Arizona State was off last weekend but will pick things back up on Saturday with a big home meet against Penn State, Navy, Air Force and NorCal United. — Logan Bradley

16. Springfield Pride (-)

Springfield suffered a tough-fought loss to Navy on Sunday. Highlights for the No. 16 team included Stephen Lewis’s all-around performance and the team’s showing on rings and p-bars. Springfield will face Army in West Point on Saturday. — Alex Wittenberg

17. Washington Huskies (-)

Washington did not compete last weekend and will be facing Cal in their second and final home competition of the year this Sunday. — Ben Cooperman

18. UIC Flames (-)

UIC didn’t compete last weekend but will welcome ECAC rival, William & Mary, to Chicago on Sunday. — Logan Bradley

#NCAAMGym Week 9 Recap

This past weekend might’ve been the most intriguing set of meets that we’ve seen all season. FOUR of the six competitions featured upset winners, including the unquestioned No. 2 team in the country, Stanford, going down.

Before we get to everything that happened, we need to first give a shout out to the now back-to-back-to-back American Cup champion, Yul Moldauer.

The Sooner narrowly (and I mean narrowly: 85.932 to 85.931) edged out former Michigan Wolverine, Sam Mikulak. Undoubtedly, the Oklahoma senior has his sights set on Tokyo and this win was just one step closer to achieving that goal.

Now, to our One Thing We Learned…

Don’t Forget About Illinois

The Fighting Illini made the biggest wave this weekend, taking down not just No. 2 Stanford, but No. 5 Minnesota as well. Not only does this beg the question of who is the second-best team in the NCAA, it sets the stage for quite the regular season meet in two weeks.

The Illini will travel to Happy Valley for a battle with Penn State and a strong Michigan team. With Illinois seemingly settling into a groove here just past the halfway point, it will be interesting to see whether the Wolverines (or Nittany Lions) have the goods to step up and take down the now B1G favorites.

It looks like our first season of crowning a B1G regular season champion will be an interesting one.

Penn State @ Ohio State

Whatever Ohio State did during their month-long respite from competition worked miraculously well — the Buckeyes came charging back from a calamitous start to their season to top their season-high by 10 points and upset rival Penn State 413.15-409.0.

The Buckeyes were consistent throughout, scoring above 68 on every event besides rings (where they weren’t far from 68).

Penn State was mostly solid but forfeited their typical advantage on pommel horse, scoring just a 64.85. That was just a tenth and a half from a season-low for the Nittany Lions, and a lot of it had to do with Stephen Nedoroscik’s 13.05, which was about two points less than his usual. Had PSU hit their three-score average of 68.15, they would have been less than a point back from the Buckeyes.

Ohio State, however, looked determined from the beginning to make a statement, to insert themselves back into a dialogue from which they’ve been notably absent. They hit season-highs on floor, horse, rings, p-bars and high bar. That’s quite a way to bounce back.

That said, many a skeptic would scratch their head at such a rebound. Can a team transform themselves so much in a single month? High bar’s season-high, for example, was over three and a half points greater than their next-best score. So is 67.75 a fair portrayal of OSU’s high bar potential?

It could be. Dexter Roettker turned an 11.45 into a 13.45, Max Andryuhschenko an 11.85 into 14.05. There’s the difference. And while your writer could opine on the judging, better to just refer you, reader, to last week’s statement on that matter — because it isn’t just Ohio.

Earning titles for the Buckeyes were Alec Yoder on horse, Andryuhschenko on rings, Alex Wilson on vault and Jesse Tyndall on p-bars.

Penn State’s Sam Zakutney earned titles on floor and high bar. He also put up a solid all-around performance, scoring an 83 flat.

Ohio State is home against Minnesota this weekend in a crucial meet for both teams. Ohio will look to solidify their comeback, and Minnesota will aim to bounce back from a disappointing showing against Illinois.

Penn State is up against Air Force, Arizona State, Navy and Nor Cal United in Tempe on Saturday. — Alex Wittenberg

Check out full results here.

Stanford/Minnesota @ Illinois

Everybody had a good feeling that this would be the meet of the weekend, and it didn’t disappoint one bit. Competing in front of a home crowd in Champaign, Illinois was able to complete the upset, defeating both No. 2 Stanford and No. 5 Minnesota.

It surely was an impressive afternoon for the Illini who kept consistent pressure on both of their opponents right from the start. All-in-all, Illinois was forced to count just two scores below a 12.75.

The headline performance came from newly-minted Nissen Emery Award finalist, Alex Diab (B1G Gymnast of the Week). The senior snagged two event titles (FX and SR) along with a runner-up finish on VT. He made a little bit of history as well, setting the new Illinois record on rings with this 15.2.

Another notable gymnast was freshman Hamish Carter. Although he competed on just two events, he made the two count with a 14.1 on FX and a 14.2 on HB. The British Senior National Team member just might be the difference between Illinois being a good team or a great team.

Other event titles for Illinois came from Michael Paradise who continues his tear on PH and freshman Clay Stephens on PB.

Second isn’t where the Cardinal wanted to finish on Saturday, but they really should be commended for competing tough after a disastrous start to the meet on PH. Despite three falls, the Cardinal was able to pull things together and still come within a point-and-a-half of defeating Illinois.

It was PB and HB in particular where Stanford brought the fire, registering six top-five finishes between the two events. Ryan Sheppard took home the PB crown while freshman Brody Malone showed out on HB. Although Malone didn’t compete all-around this weekend, you’d be hard-pressed to find an all-arounder outside of Yul Moldauer that I’d rather have on my team at the moment.

It wasn’t the day that Minnesota envisioned on Saturday. Despite the third place team finish, Shane Wiskus continued to show that he’s one of the nation’s top all-arounders by posting an 83.75 and doing everything he could to propel his team forward.

Unfortunately, lackluster performances on HB and the traditionally stellar event, VT, was what ultimately did the Gophers in. There will be no time to dwell on this one, though, as Minnesota travels to Columbus for a huge conference tri-meet with Ohio State and Nebraska. A great opportunity to bounce back. — Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

Nebraska @ Iowa

After weeks of being considered one of the weakest teams in the Big Ten, Iowa shocked everyone, upsetting Nebraska at home.

Nebraska came into this meet on a hot streak, recently beating both Illinois and Minnesota at home. Few believed the Hawkeyes had what it took to grab a highly-coveted conference win. This statement victory from Iowa proves the parity amongst Big Ten teams is unlike anything we’ve seen in quite some time.

Iowa cruised through this meet earning season high totals on their first five events before cooling off on high bar. This team was knocking out sets, getting significant contributions from the entire roster. Bennet Huang (14.60) and Andrew Herrador (14.20) lit the fire on floor where they both scored 14+ to take second and third, respectively, on the event.

The Hawkeyes have struggled this season on pommel horse but were able to turn that narrative around. All five of their scores were above the 13 mark and Kevin Johnson showed what he can do, posting a 14.00 to take the event title.

While typically a good high bar team, Iowa ran out of gas by the time they got there. Their 63.50 was well off their season high of 66.70. This could tell us that Iowa’s ceiling is even higher than the 406.70 they scored on Saturday.

The Cornhuskers found themselves suffering their second Big Ten defeat on the road this year. Definitely a setback for this team, but the meet was far from a disaster. Their 403.55 was still eight points higher than their season low. 

Pommel horse is what really hurt Nebraska as they had three scores in the 12’s to put up a 64.50. This is unfortunate considering they finally turned things around on rings where they scored a season high 67.650.

Highlights for the Cornhuskers include a 14.70 from Charlie Giles (B1G Freshman of the Week) to take the vault title, a tremendous feat when you are on the same team as Anton Stephenson. Stephenson earned a title of his own on floor (14.70). Jake Bonnay rounded out the event champions with his 13.85 high bar routine. — Ben Cooperman

Check out full results here.

Navy @ William & Mary

The Mids started their two-meet weekend with a trip to Virginia where they took down the Tribe.

Navy was lighting up the scoreboard earlier this season but the fireworks came to an abrupt halt when they struggled a week ago at Penn State. A solid competition got the Midshipmen back over the 400 mark ever so slightly this past Friday.

The main takeaway from this competition is that Navy is a great high bar team. Ben Provost (13.85), Cash Buske (13.85) and Ryan McVay (13.60) took the top three spots en route to a team total of 66.70 on the event. Navy is now ranked No. 4 in the country on high bar. 

William & Mary put up their third straight score of 390+ as they settled in back home. Cutter Fugett won the floor exercise with a 14.20 and Andrew Lyubovsky (ECAC Rookie of the Week) won the p-bars title with a 13.65. The Tribe have been good as of late and will look to creep closer to the 400 mark. — Ben Cooperman

Check out full results here.

Army @ Air Force

Take on a service academy on the road and you’d best come prepared. It seems like any time that Navy/Army/Air Force compete at home, there’s a 99% win percentage. While that’s an exaggeration, Air Force continued the trend by upsetting the Black Knights in Colorado.

The elder statesman of the group, Lukas Texeira, led the way for the Falcons with a trio of top-five finishes, including runner-up on SR and an event title on HB. That was enough to make the senior the MPSF Gymnast of the Week.

Air Force really got the job done on pipe compared to their competitive counterpart. Their 4.5 point advantage on that event proved to be the difference in this one.

Other Falcon winners were Scott McMurray on PH, Frankie Valentin on SR and Allen Shadan on PB.

Save for a season-low on HB, it was a fairly ho-hum day. In classic fashion, freshman Matthew Davis (79.95) and Cole Casanova (78.95) went 1-2 in the all-around with Davis tacking on FX and VT titles as well.

There was plenty left to be desired past the two Black Knight stars, but they provide a nice floor for an Army team that, despite the loss, remains improved from last year’s squad. — Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

Navy @ Springfield

A double-header weekend proved too much for Navy to handle — after scoring 400 flat on Friday, Navy fell more than 10 points two days later.

They still managed to get a win, beating Springfield 387.9-383.05. They also claimed individual titles on every event.

Earning titles for Navy were Lucas Beltran on floor, David Toussaint on horse, Christian Correale on rings, Beltran on vault, Max Gerber on p-bars and Ben Provost on high bar.

Although Springfield didn’t have any individual titles, they did beat Navy as a team on rings and p-bars. Stephen Lewis (ECAC Gymnast of the Week) also had another solid day, scoring a 79.25 in the all-around.

Navy goes against Air Force, Arizona State, Nor Cal United and Penn State on Saturday in Tempe. Springfield will face Army in West Point on Saturday. — Alex Wittenberg

Check out full results here.

#NCAAMGym Week 8 Power Rankings

Every week we’ll release a “Power Rankings,” aiming to provide a fluid picture of how each team across the NCAA is doing at the moment. The idea is to try not to focus too much on scores and look more at the current state of the team. The (+) or (-) next to each team’s name relates to how far they rose or fell from last week’s rankings.

This week’s power rankings are an average based off of the individual rankings of three individuals:

  • Logan Bradley (former Illinois gymnast)
  • Ben Cooperman (former Penn State gymnast)
  • Alex Wittenberg (former Minnesota gymnast)
  • Andrew Misiolek (former Stanford gymnast)

To see a list of each individual’s rankings, scroll all the way to the bottom of this page.

1. Oklahoma Sooners (-)

Let’s see…how do I sum up the Oklahoma Sooners…Yul Moldauer. 88.3. I could easily stop there, but gymnastics is a team sport, and the senior has a great supporting cast who is performing very well. — Logan Bradley

2. Stanford Cardinal (-)

Stanford again did that thing where they beat Cal in a dual meet. Snark aside, the Cardinal was impressive and again just a hair away from 420. The real story is this coming weekend’s matchup, which we’ve been eagerly awaiting: Stanford will go against Illinois and Minnesota in Champaign on Saturday. It’ll be the first true look at how competitive the team is. — Alex Wittenberg

3. Michigan Wolverines (-)

A solid performance in Norman made it clear that this team does not quite have the ability to catch the OU juggernaut. It did confirm, however, that Michigan is the team to beat in the Big Ten. The Wolverines could very well win both a Big Ten regular season and tournament title, it is just a matter of execution. — Ben Cooperman

4. Illinois Fighting Illini (+1)

Just how good is this Illinois team? Are they the team who put up a 410+ in a defeat of a B1G foe in late-January? Or are they the roughly 400 team we saw in a loss at Nebraska. We’ll find out this weekend as they’ve got a BIG test with Stanford and Minnesota coming to town. — Logan Bradley

5. Minnesota Golden Gophers (-1)

Minnesota had a disappointing loss to Nebraska last weekend and faces a huge challenge this weekend: beating Illinois in Champaign. The Gophers and the Illini will be battling with a Big Ten regular season title on the line, and the outcome of the meet will lend some insight into how the Big Ten championships will play out later this season. The Gophers need solid performances from Shane Wiskus, Shaun Herzog and Vitali Kan to get a win. — Alex Wittenberg

6. Penn State Nittany Lions (-)

Penn State’s decisive win against Navy and Air Force did not tell us much that we do not already know about this team. Backed by Stephen Nedoroscik, they have likely the strongest pommel horse team in the country. The same goes for rings where Isaac Hammett has made a name for himself. What about the other four events? The question of “how good will be Penn State be when they hit?” is slowly turning into “is Penn State capable of hitting?” — Ben Cooperman

7. Nebraska Cornhuskers (-)

Defending their home turf and taking down a B1G rival? That’s great. Continuing a downward trend on pommel horse? That’s not great. The Huskers’ team score on that event has decreased by over a point with every passing meet in 2019. They must right the ship. — Logan Bradley

8. Iowa Hawkeyes (-)

Iowa didn’t compete last weekend. They’re at home against Nebraska this Saturday, and an upset is far from out of the question. — Alex Wittenberg

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (+2)

Ohio State did not compete this weekend and will face off against Penn State in a Big Ten regular season match up this weekend. — Ben Cooperman

10. California Golden Bears (-)

By this point in the season it seems that we know what type of team Cal is. They’ve got a high floor (meaning you’re not going to see them bottom out in any particular meet), but a somewhat low ceiling (meaning their potential might not be quite as high as other teams ranked similarly). — Logan Bradley

11. Navy Midshipmen (-2)

Navy’s prospects this season took a hit last weekend, after dropping almost 15 points from their season-high performance two weeks prior. All that means is this weekend’s meet at William & Mary is extra important: Navy needs a resounding recovery to put themselves back on solid ground. Bad meets happen, but last weekend was troubling. — Alex Wittenberg

12. Army Black Knights (-)

The Black Knights have looked awesome this year backed by the freshman-senior duo of Matt Davis and Cole Casanova. Army put up yet another score of 395+ this past weekend and are sitting nicely in line for an NCAA Championship bid. — Ben Cooperman

13. Air Force Falcons (-)

Air Force seems to have flown (no, I don’t mean to make this a bad pun) a little bit under the radar in 2019 but is just 1.3 behind Ohio State in terms of three-score average. It’s probably because there’s no single standout gymnast to point to, rather a team full of individuals with no glaring weakness. Don’t count them out of the race for a spot at NCAA’s. — Logan Bradley

14. Arizona State Sun Devils (-)

ASU came out on top at the Sun Devil Classic last Saturday. But the team was still well below their season high of 395.9. They’re off this weekend, and that should give the team some time to recharge and focus on getting back into the mid-390 range. — Alex Wittenberg

15. William & Mary Tribe (-)

It was strange to see two meets in one weekend penciled into the Tribe’s schedule, but apparently it was the right move. William & Mary put up back-to-back season highs on their action packed road trip. — Ben Cooperman

16. Springfield Pride (-)

It’s been a bit of trying season thus far for Springfield. After ending January with a mid-380 score, the Pride has seen a significant dip in production on pommel horse and rings. Five-up-five-count is never easy on any event — though PH could continue proving especially tricky for this young team. — Logan Bradley

17. Washington Huskies (-)

Washington stayed in the mid-370s in their loss to ASU. The team was again weighed down by pommels and high bar. Washington is off this weekend and faces Cal on March 10. — Alex Wittenberg

18. UIC Flames (-)

The Flames broke the 360 mark for the first time this year in their last outing despite a disastrous pommel horse rotation. If they can clean things up on that event, they could be within striking distance of the 370 mark. — Ben Cooperman

#NCAAMGym Week 8 Recap

Two weeks without NCAA competition somehow felt like a lifetime. Nevertheless, five-up-five-count action started out with a bang as we adventure into the second-half of the NCAA season.

Before we get into everything that happened, as always, here’s the One Thing We Learned…

Inconsistent Judging Is A Real Problem

I wish this wasn’t always a topic, but unfortunately it is. Also, to make clear, it’s not a problem for just one particular region or school — the inconsistency rears its ugly head all across the country.

The reason it’s such a big issue is because it renders the rankings almost completely useless. Sure, they give us a general idea of how teams and individuals stack up, but nobody really has any clue as to how legitimate they actually are. This isn’t just a problem that I’ve observed, either. I’ve had multiple current NCAA gymnasts reach out to me regarding their own scores and how they were MUCH higher than they should’ve been — as in 1+ points too high. How does that even happen? This then leads to (in some cases) the gymnast them self being put in a sticky situation just because they were given a score that they had no control over.

I know there are some fantastic judges out there who don’t deserve criticism, but as is the case in many situations, the bad outweigh the good. I dream of a day where I can look at a West Coast, East Coast and Midwest score all from the same weekend and know it’s accurate. It feels like that day will never come. — Logan Bradley

Michigan @ Oklahoma

Yul Moldauer made his all-around season debut to lead the No. 1 Sooners to their best meet of the season last Saturday against Michigan. In doing so, OU shrugged off all doubt about their right to the throne; it was also a stark demonstration of how valuable Moldauer is to the team.

Beating the Sooners in Norman was a huge demand of the No. 3 Wolverines from the start. But their 411.2 was nonetheless a big disappointment for those who had hoped the gap between OU and the second and third-ranked teams was narrowing.  

Oklahoma excelled on all six but was especially impressive on vault: Their 73.45 was the top team score on the event this season by nearly a point. Leading the charge on vault was Levi Anderson and his Tsuk double pike, which earned him a 14.8 to tie for the title with Michigan’s Emyre Cole.

Moldauer, for his part, proved yet again that he’s untouchable in the all around. His 88.3 is the top all-around score of the season by almost four points. He also put up the country’s best floor and p-bars scores of the season, with a 15.3 and a 15.1 on each.

Michigan looked fairly confident at the start of the meet, but their rings rotation ended up being a surprising turning point. Their season-low 65.6 on the event came after a few strange mistakes, and after OU’s eruption on vault, the Wolverines were set back much too far to recover.

Highlights for the Wolverines included another solid floor set from Jacob Moore, a third-place finish on horse for Mack Lasker, a 14.55 on rings from Ryan Dunning, Cole’s vault title, and Cameron Bock making podium on p-bars and high bar.

The Wolverines have this weekend off. They face Iowa in Ann Arbor on March 9.

OU has the weekend off, too, although Moldauer will be representing at the American Cup. The Sooners’ next meet is at home against Illinois on March 9. — Alex Wittenberg

Check out full results here.

Cal @ Stanford

Going at each other for the sixth time in 2019, Stanford handed their rival their largest defeat of the season en route to a season-best team score.

Nothing lower than a 68.4 is quite a feat, and it should say something about the consistency that the Cardinal is finding as the season continues.

Two Stanford gymnasts competed all-around and both of them, Brody Malone and Ryan Sheppard, enjoyed fantastic days. The freshman, Malone, took home the crown with an 84.1 while Sheppard came away with a not-too-shabby 82.95.

Stanford swept the events in Palo Alto with Malone taking HB and Sheppard PB, along with Bryan Perla on FX, Joey Ringer on PH, Josiah Eng on SR and Connor Lewis on VT. Of that group, Perla is a name to really keep an eye on come MSPF and NCAA Championships. He has the talent to push for a top-three finish on floor.

Cal, on the other hand, stumbled a little bit following their upward trend prior to Winter Cup. The good: the Golden Bears continue looking great on parallel bars — a bit of unique event to have as your strength. Not a single gymnast scored below 13.1. The bad: there isn’t much in terms of fire power on vault. Not a single Cal gymnast competed a 5.0+ VT. — Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

Navy/Air Force @ Penn State

Penn State cruised to victory over Air Force and Navy last Saturday and cracked 410 for the first time this season.

The No. 4 Nittany Lions struggled on floor but were poised otherwise. They set season highs on pommel horse, rings and p-bars, and earned individual titles on every event besides floor. Their 69.1 on pommels, led by Stephen Nedoroscik’s 15.25, was the highest team score on the event so far this season.

Navy had a disappointing meet, putting up just a 393.95, a nearly 15-point drop from their last meet two weeks ago. Ben Provost earned Navy’s sole individual event title with a 13.95 on floor.

Air Force had a lackluster day as well. After breaking 400 two weeks ago, the Falcons dropped to the low-390s, scoring a 392.65 to keep pace with Navy. Air Force had the top team score of the night on floor but struggled badly on pommels. It was a squandered chance for the Falcons to avenge their loss to Navy on Feb. 9.

Penn State will face Ohio State in Columbus this Saturday, and the Falcons face Army at home the same day. Navy will face William & Mary in Williamsburg on Friday. — Alex Wittenberg

Check out full results here.

Minnesota/UIC @ Nebraska

A tightly-contested matchup came down to the wire in Lincoln this past weekend with Nebraska defending their home arena, taking down Minnesota and UIC.

While this win will not count towards their Big Ten regular season record (the two teams will meet again March 8), the Cornhuskers made a statement defeating a great Minnesota team. Interestingly, both teams seem to have similar compositions: weaker pommel horse and rings but very strong on the other four. This formula made for one of the closest competitions we have seen so far this year.

Nebraska was led by Evan Hymanson who scored an 81.00 in his all-around debut. Hymanson had a trio of top-four finishes (FX, SR, PB). Nebraska has really shined recently on high bar, where they needed to deliver this past Saturday. Griffin Kehler and Khalil Jackson each took a share of the event title (14.00) to close out the win.

The Cornhuskers have now taken down Illinois and Minnesota in their previous two outings after a tough loss to Penn State. It is safe to say that Nebraska is back on track.

Minnesota had a great chance to take this one, down 4.3 heading into vault while Nebraska went to high bar. The Gophers made a couple of mistakes to close out the meet that allowed victory to slip from their hands. Regardless, this was still a great showing from a young team who was without one of their key contributors, Shaun Herzog.

Mike Moran had a breakout performance, tallying a first place finish on floor (14.40) and a third place finish on vault (14.55). The freshman adds to the longstanding tradition of dominant floor and vault competitors from Mike Burns’ teams. Shane Wiskus, who only competed on three events, grabbed the p-bars title (14.25).

UIC rounded out the field and broke the 360 mark for the first time this season. Sam Montague continues to look great on floor where he placed fourth with a 14.00. — Ben Cooperman

Check out full results here.

William & Mary @ Army

What a resurgence Army is experiencing this season. For the fourth-straight meet, the Black Knights registered a 395+, and in this case, came away with a victory over William & Mary.

Leading the charge were your usual suspects in Cole Casanova (81.55) and Matt Davis (78.9). Fresh off of competing in Las Vegas, Casanova captured the HB and PB titles along with all-around. I’m sure he’s been able to prove valuable to Davis in bringing him along during his freshman campaign.

As a team, Army gained the most ground on W&M thanks to a stellar 67.0 effort on FX.

As long as the Knights can keep up this level of competitiveness, they’ll be looking at an NCAA berth come April.

As for the Tribe, Friday represented a step in the right direction. It was also their first meet of a double-meet weekend where they posted their two highest team scores of the year. While competing at West Point, William & Mary actually brought home four event titles: Cutter Fugett on FX, Jacopo Gliozzi on PH, David Watkins on SR and Andrew Lyubovsky on HB. — Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

William & Mary/Temple @ Springfield

The great weekend continued for the Tribe with an easy victory at Springfield on Sunday afternoon.

William & Mary bested Springfield and Temple on each event, adding up to a season-best 394.15. If all goes according to plan, W&M should be able to stay in the low-to-mid-390 range for the rest of the season.

Highlights came in the form of event wins from Gliozzi on PH, Watkins on SR, Jack Hasenkopf on VT and Lyubovsky on both PB & HB. It should be noted that Lyubovsky, who’s just a freshman, is having quite the campaign. He now sits No. 24 nationally on HB.

It was a less-than-ideal day for Springfield at home. PH was their ultimate undoing as the Pride could muster just a 58.4 on the event. Five-up-five-count was a bit of their undoing as they were forced to count a sub-10 score on the event.

On the bright side of things, Stephen Lewis recorded his second 80+ all-around score of the season. That was highlighted by an event-winning 13.7 on FX. — Logan Bradley

The Temple Owls finished with a team score of 352.55 and were led in the all-around by Garrett McDaniel. — Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

The Sun Devil Classic

Three teams battled it out at the Sun Devil Classic where Arizona State proved they are the powerhouse of GymACT.

It was not their best competition, but it was enough to get the job done.  The Sun Devils were led by none other than Kiwan Watts. Watts won the all-around title with an 80.40 and took home three event titles as well (SR – 14.0, VT – 14.70, PB – 13.80). The other Sun Devil mainstay, Jordan Williams, took the day off after a stellar Winter Cup performance.

In the absence of Williams, it was Kirk Malm who stepped up as the number two guy. Malm won both pommel horse (13.15) and high bar (13.25). All in all, it was another great day for ASU as they took five of six event titles from their GymACT rival.

Washington put up their third score of 375+ but it was not enough to take down the talented Sun Devil team. Nathan Tsuji was once again the highlight, winning floor with a 13.80. Michael Sibley was able to notch a second place finish on p-bars (13.15). Sibley was joined by his teammate, Oscar Hemmert, who also grabbed a second place finish. Hemmert’s clean high bar set earned him a 13.00.

William Pearce led SC United to a third place finish tallying a 70.00 in the all-around. — Ben Cooperman

Check out full results here.

#NCAAMGym Week 6 Power Rankings

Every week we’ll release a “Power Rankings,” aiming to provide a fluid picture of how each team across the NCAA is doing at the moment. The idea is to try not to focus too much on scores and look more at the current state of the team. The (+) or (-) next to each team’s name relates to how far they rose or fell from last week’s rankings.

This year’s power rankings are an average based off of the individual rankings of five individuals:

  • Logan Bradley (former Illinois gymnast)
  • Ben Cooperman (former Penn State gymnast)
  • Alex Wittenberg (former Minnesota gymnast)
  • Andrew Misiolek (former Stanford gymnast)
  • Jessica Frankl (CGA gymnastics expert/photographer)

To see a list of each individual’s rankings, scroll all the way to the bottom of this page.

1. Oklahoma Sooners (-)

Coming off a rock bottom performance by OU standards, it’s astonishing to think they’re still far and away the favorite to bring home a fifth straight national title in April. That is how good the Sooners are, and have been, for four plus years. As most teams are at home getting rest, Oklahoma has seven current team members competing this weekend at Winter Cup.   Don’t be surprised if these guys put up another 410+ on their week off. — Ben Cooperman

2. Stanford Cardinal (-)

Stanford flirted with 420 on their way to defeating Cal last weekend. Sound familiar? Hope so — it was the Cardinal’s third dual meet with Cal this season, and by now this recurring story has taken on the feel of a chalkier “Russian Doll.” I think it’s fair to say everyone is eager for Stanford’s meet against Illinois and Minnesota on March 2. But we’ll have to endure one more Stanford-Cal matchup before then. — Alex Wittenberg

3. Michigan Wolverines (-)

With just three meets under their belt (and having not competed last weekend), I’m still not completely sold on Michigan. It’s no fault of their own, I just want to see a larger sample size of success. Luckily, we’ll get a great sample coming out of the Winter Cup break as the Wolverines travel to Norman in what could be one of the best regular season meets of the year. — Logan Bradley

4. Minnesota Golden Gophers (-)

Shane Wiskus was out resting and only did four events this past weekend, winning three of those. We all know he is good, but it is becoming more and more apparent he could soon be the best gymnast in the NCAA. Minnesota has been remarkably consistent behind their leader this season, dipping below the 400 mark just once. — Ben Cooperman

5. Illinois Fighting Illini (+1)

Illinois didn’t compete last weekend and won’t again until March 2, when they face Minnesota and Stanford at home. — Alex Wittenberg

6. Penn State Nittany Lions (-1)

It was essentially two events that send the Nittany Lions down one spot: parallel bars and high bar. I know that there were some technical difficulties with the high bar in Chicago last weekend, so I can give that a slight pass, but the PB performance was concerning. — Logan Bradley

7. Nebraska Cornhuskers (-)

Nebraska did not compete this weekend and will face off against Minnesota and UIC at home on February 23rd. — Ben Cooperman

8. Iowa Hawkeyes (-)

Iowa got within 10 points of the Sooners last weekend but struggled badly on horse. The Hawkeyes don’t have the requisite difficulty this season to contend with the top Big Ten teams, meaning they have to rely on high hit percentages and strong execution, both of which were lacking to some degree against OU. Iowa is off until March 2, when they face Nebraska at Carver-Hawkeye. — Alex Wittenberg

9. Navy Midshipmen (+1)

The Mids have finally done enough to crack the inside of our top-ten. A convincing 5+ point victory at the All-Academy Championship certainly helps, but they’ll need to keep proving themselves to stay in this spot. The difference between the teams ranked No. 8 through No. 11 in these rankings is razor-thin. — Logan Bradley

10. California Golden Bears (+1)

Pommel horse has long been known as the hardest event in gymnastics and Cal has been no stranger to that fact over the past few years. This past weekend that all seemed to change when the Golden Bears put up a 68.45, helping them achieve their season high team score of a 404.00.  Cal is looking great heading into Winter Cup weekend. — Ben Cooperman

11. Ohio State Buckeyes (-2)

Ohio State didn’t compete last weekend and won’t again until March 2, when they face Penn State in Columbus. — Alex Wittenberg

12. Army Black Knights (-)

Parallel bars is now looking like the official thorn in Army’s side. Currently sitting No. 15 on that event as a team, the Black Knights will now have a couple of weeks to figure out what is ailing them. Other than that event, this has looked like a much-improved team in 2019. — Logan Bradley

13. Air Force Falcons (-)

The Falcons have competed only three times this year and find themselves No. 13 in the RTN standings. They proved that they are a great team this past weekend at the All-Academy Championships, but unfortunately are not in a great place heading into the Winter Cup break. The battle for that twelfth qualification spot will be a dog fight this year, one that Air Force expects to win. — Ben Cooperman

14. Arizona State Sun Devils (-)

ASU had a tough day against the Gophers last weekend, putting up their lowest team score so far this season. They were without the full contribution of Kiwan Watts, who was resting for Winter Cup, but were nonetheless in poor form, having to count far too many misses. ASU next faces NorCal United, SC United and Washington at home on Feb. 23. — Alex Wittenberg

15. William & Mary Tribe (-)

There was no meet for William & Mary this week as the Tribe will look to improve upon their roughly 389.00 average over the previous two weeks. With not much else to be said, let’s bring attention yet again to Jacopo Gliozzi’s latest amazing accomplishment. — Logan Bradley

16. Springfield Pride (-)

The trip out to Chicago did not bode well for Springfield who regressed by roughly 15 points from their previous showing. This young team will have to shake off a tough outing and get back in stride at home against Temple and William & Mary on February 24. — Ben Cooperman

17. Washington Huskies (-)

Washington didn’t compete last weekend. They’ll be back in action on Feb. 23, when they face ASU, NorCal United and SC United. — Alex Wittenberg

18. UIC Flames (-)

UIC’s team score from last weekend is a bit deceiving strictly due to a disastrous pommel horse rotation. Other than that, they actually competed quite well, setting season-high team scores on a pair of events (FX and PB). — Logan Bradley

#NCAAMGym Week 5 Power Rankings

Every week we’ll release a “Power Rankings,” aiming to provide a fluid picture of how each team across the NCAA is doing at the moment. The idea is to try not to focus too much on scores and look more at the current state of the team. The (+) or (-) next to each team’s name relates to how far they rose or fell from last week’s rankings.

This year’s power rankings are an average based off of the individual rankings of five individuals:

  • Logan Bradley (former Illinois gymnast)
  • Ben Cooperman (former Penn State gymnast)
  • Alex Wittenberg (former Minnesota gymnast)
  • Andrew Misiolek (former Stanford gymnast)
  • Jessica Frankl (CGA gymnastics expert/photographer)

To see a list of each individual’s rankings, scroll all the way to the bottom of this page.

1. Oklahoma Sooners (-)

Oklahoma bested Nebraska and Illinois last Saturday to add another win to their streak. The Sooners did struggle somewhat on horse and high bar, but the errors were hardly enough to dull the usual OU pomp. They face Iowa next weekend in what should be something of a repeat. Expect some of the mainstays to be sitting out on some events to rest before Winter Cup. — Alex Wittenberg

2. Stanford Cardinal (-)

While Stanford’s 418 from last weekend probably wasn’t an actual 418, it was still a great showing from a great team. I want to use this space to wonder aloud how judges are still so massively off at certain meets, but that’s not what the Power Rankings are for. To get back on track: I’m already excited to see what Brody Malone will be able to do on a national stage at NCAA Championships. — Logan Bradley

3. Michigan Wolverines (+1)

Five weeks into the season and Michigan finds themselves in a terrific spot.  Cameron Bock is a legit top-five all-arounder. Emyre Cole has transitioned from a FX, VT guy to an all-around stud, Kevin Penev is coming alive and to top it all off: they are currently first place in the Big Ten regular season standings. All is well in Ann Arbor. — Ben Cooperman

4. Minnesota Golden Gophers (+2)

Minnesota again distanced themselves from their early-season struggles, beating the Iowa Hawkeyes on their home turf last Saturday. In Illinois’ loss to Nebraska, Minnesota gained new optimism about their chances in the Big Ten regular season race. They face Arizona State at home this weekend, which should make for a good opportunity to stride forward further. — Alex Wittenberg

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (-)

Penn State was off last weekend but will return to the competition this weekend as they travel to Chicago to face UIC and Springfield. — Logan Bradley

6. Illinois Fighting Illini (-3)

The Fighting Illini took the biggest tumble down the rankings after a devastating Big Ten defeat at the hands of Nebraska. While this loss does not bode well for their chance at the regular season title, there is no reason for Illinois to panic. This team is young. After the senior class they lost, it is only natural for them to stumble. The Illini will be back, hungrier than ever the next time they take the floor. — Ben Cooperman

7. Nebraska Cornhuskers (-)

Nebraska is sitting pretty after upsetting rival Illinois in Lincoln last Saturday. It was a huge improvement for the Huskers, whose 395.0 against Penn State the week before seemed to be symptomatic of a rocky Big Ten season. They’ve done away with that notion for now. The Huskers are off this weekend but face Minnesota, whom they beat at the Rocky Mountain Open, at home on Feb. 23. — Alex Wittenberg

8. Iowa Hawkeyes (-)

Iowa has been consistently sitting in the 8-9 range so far in 2019. Even though at times it has felt like there’s a significant gap between the top-seven and the Hawkeyes, they proved otherwise last weekend. Finishing within five points of a solid Minnesota squad should give the rest of the NCAA pause for concern when matching up with Iowa. Nobody expects the Hawks to beat Oklahoma this weekend, but keeping the deficit within single-digits would be a victory in itself. — Logan Bradley

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (-)

Ohio State clearly has not started the season the way they were hoping to.  On a brighter note: wherever there is struggle, there is room for growth. It will be interesting to see how this team handles the adversity going forward, more specifically, looking at freshman Jesse Tyndall and Angel Leon.  Both of these two have extremely high ceilings. — Ben Cooperman

10. Navy Midshipmen (+1)

Navy, by less than a point, prevailed over Army in a dogfight of a meet that the rival teams had been anticipating since the start of the season. More impressive yet, Navy did it on the road. The Midshipmen have real talent in their ranks, evidenced by their clutch high bar performance to seal the win. They’re at home this weekend against Army and Air Force (All-Academy Championships). Expect another battle. — Alex Wittenberg

11. Cal Golden Bears (-1)

Despite a season-best team score, Cal falls one spot in this week’s rankings. Such is the nature of the beast. Though they were handily beat by their BFF (Stanford), their day was still highlighted by a 70.3 FX rotation — the eighth-single rotation we’ve seen from a team on that event in 2019. Still, (cover your ears/eyes if you’re sick of hearing it) pommel horse continues to bite. It’s the only event that the Golden Bears fall outside of the top-13 nationally. — Logan Bradley

12. Army Black Knights (-)

Despite a great performance this past weekend, Army came up just shy of beating Navy in the highly-anticipated matchup. There is still reason for the Black Knights to be optimistic moving forward, they are currently sitting at No. 12, meaning a trip to Champaign in April if they can sustain this success. — Ben Cooperman

13. Air Force Falcons (-)

Air Force didn’t compete last weekend, but expect the Falcons to come prepared for a fight against Navy and Army this Saturday. — Alex Wittenberg

14. Arizona State Sun Devils (-)

I really wish Arizona State was afforded the opportunity to compete against more top-10 teams. The Sun Devils came within three points of an improved Cal team at the Pac-12 Invitational and could certainly put a scare into many teams ahead of them in these rankings. It’s also a shame that Kiwan Watts doesn’t get the national attention that he probably deserves. — Logan Bradley

15. William & Mary Tribe (-)

The Tribe had another solid performance this weekend and featured a healthy Cutter Fugett. William and Mary will get a few weeks of rest as they prepare for their back-to-back matchups on the road February 23 and 24. — Ben Cooperman

16. Springfield Pride (-)

Springfield didn’t compete last weekend. They face Penn State and UIC this Sunday. Springfield hit 388 in their last meet, and it’d be huge if they can again manage to get close to the 390 mark. — Alex Wittenberg

17. Washington Huskies

Though they finished a distant fourth at the Pac-12 Invitational, last weekend marked a season-high for the Huskies. They continue to be buoyed by all-arounder Nathan Tsuji whose 79.9 placed him just outside the top-five. The major hurdles for this team are PH and HB. If you took the average of their other four events at Pac-12’s, Washington was on pace for a 392.775. — Logan Bradley

18. UIC Flames (-)

UIC posted another score in the 350’s this past weekend as the No. 3 team in a tightly-contested B1G meet. The Flames will host Springfield and Penn State this coming weekend as they try to crack the 360 mark. — Ben Cooperman

#NCAAMGym Week 5 Recap

Amazingly, we’re already five weeks into the NCAA season. Winter Cup is fast approaching, and before you know it, postseason will be bearing down upon us. Even though a few teams will enjoy a bit of a break here starting shortly, a few have already begun to find a groove. Oklahoma is doing Oklahoma things, Michigan is enjoying a resurgence and Stanford is doing everything they can to put themselves in the national title conversation.

Speaking of the Cardinal, a member of that team is the centerpiece of the One Thing We Learned this week:

Brody Malone Is The Next NCAA Superstar

In the NBA, and a couple of other professional sports, there’s something about athletes on the west coast that makes them fly under the radar. Well, I guess the main thing is that they’re usually starting games/matches/competitions while everyone on the east coast is settling into bed. In case that’s been you so far this season, let me clue you into the NCAA’s next superstar, Brody Malone:

I’d say that speaks for itself, but I’ll elaborate a bit. Though Malone came into his freshman year as arguably the top recruit in his class, there wasn’t a whole lot of chatter about his debut. He’s quickly changed things with two 84+ all-around performances in a row. His 84.55 from January 27 stands as the second-best single score this season behind Cameron Bock’s 84.7.

In a nutshell, it seems that we might have the NCAA’s next superstar on our hands. It will take a whole lot before we can put him into conversation alongside the Mikulak’s and Moldauer’s of the world, but you get my point.

It should be a lot of fun to follow Malone’s growth as a gymnast over the next four seasons.

Pac-12 Invitational

With the inaugural Big Ten regular season championship title on the line, most of the conversation has surrounded the teams itching for their shot at the trophy.  However, the four teams out west clearly wanted some shine for themselves as they all posted season-highs at the Pac-12 Invitational.  Stanford made the biggest statement with a 19+ point victory in Tempe.

(via RoadToNationals.com)

The Stanford Cardinal have found a new leader in freshman phenom Brody Malone. Just two years after Akash Modi’s departure, it looks like Thom Glielmi has already found another transcendent talent. Malone has been lights out so far in 2019 and was his usual self this past weekend. The freshman took home the all-around title with an 84.200 and placed in the top six on all six events.

Sophomore Andrew Bitner had a great performance as well, putting up an 81.100 in the all-around, good enough for fourth place. Grant Breckenridge finished right above him in third (81.750) and took second on high bar (13.700). Three Cardinal went 80+, reminding OU they are not the only team with multiple all-around threats.

David Jessen only competed on two events but made them count.  Jessen took home both the pommel horse (13.950) and high bar (13.750) titles.  Stanford will need more of the same from their pommel horse squad as this event is clearly their Achilles heel. All in all, it was another impressive showing for Stanford, but not enough to prove they are the top team. We will have to wait for MPSF Championships for them to have their shot at Oklahoma.

Cal posted a season high 398.800, inching closer and closer to jumping the 400 mark. They were led to a second place finish and it was once again Darren Wong who paced the Bears. His 80.900 was good enough for fifth place as the freshman continues to churn out solid performances. The Golden Bears have something very special in this guy. 

Fellow Canadian Aaron Mah was also great for Cal, including a 13.650 high bar set, earning him a third place finish. Cal has looked steady this year as they continue making incremental improvements meet after meet.  In order to really make the leap JT Okada will have to solve this team’s pommel horse issue, where they struggled again. Their 61.950 has now pulled them down to No. 14 in the country on the event.

Arizona State has now gone 390+ in three straight meets. They have been led by none other than Kiwan Watts who took second place in the all-around (82.550). Watts does have some company in Jordan Williams who finished in seventh with a 79.450. That included a huge second place vault (14.750). The pair of Sun Devils are blazing a path for their quickly-improving team.

Washington rounded out the field in fourth place, but posted a season-high team score at 376.800. Nathan Tsuji posted a sixth place finish (79.900) including a second place showing on floor (14.600). Similar to Cal, if the Huskies can figure out pommel horse, they will easily jump the 380 mark.  They posted a lackluster 56.350 this past weekend. — Ben Cooperman

Check out full results here.

Ohio State at Michigan

The Buckeyes traveled up north this week to face the Wolverines and got their first taste of conference competition. A meet that was close after two events turned into an 11-point blowout with Michigan coming out on top.

(via RoadToNationals.com)

Ohio State had the exact pommel horse rotation they needed to start off the competition. Alec Yoder led the charge with a meet-high 14.900 en route to a huge 68.100. All five counting scores were in the 13+ range.  Unfortunately, it all started to unravel from here for the Buckeyes.

Overall, it was a sloppy competition for Ohio State after pommel horse.  Multiple scores in the 11’s and 12’s popped up on the score sheet. This trend has continued for three meets now, and is surprising given some of the talent on their roster. 

There were some bright spots for the scarlet and gray, despite dropping to 0-1 within the Big Ten. Highly-touted recruit out of Canada, Jesse Tyndall, showed a spark on p-bars. The freshman posted a 13.900, good enough for a fourth place finish. Sean Neighbarger took home a pair of second place finishes as well (FX – 14.300, VT – 14.700). Ohio State did break the 400 barrier for the first time in 2019.

This meet was really about the reemergence of Michigan as a top team in the Big Ten. On a day that Cameron Bock was battling illness, his teammate Emyre Cole (B1G Gymnast of the Week) stepped up in a big way. The Las Vegas native had an outstanding competition, tallying an 84.100 all-around score. Cole also reeled in two first place event finishes (FX – 14.600 and VT – 14.750). The emergence of Cole as an all-around threat could be what really tips the scale in Michigan’s favor down the road.

Michigan won five of six events in the blowout and the help did not come from just upperclassmen. Freshman Kevin Penev stepped up in a big way after a shaky start to his NCAA career. Penev posted a 14.300 on floor to tie for second place. His 15.8 start value puts him just one-tenth behind reigning NCAA champ Yul Moldauer. Penev adds serious difficulty to an already scary floor lineup.

The Wolverines proved themselves as the frontrunners in the Big Ten after this weekend. Despite getting some favorable judging (take a look at rings to see for yourself), Michigan is a really talented team that can execute.  Our previous thoughts have been confirmed: Michigan is back. — Ben Cooperman

Check out full results here.

Oklahoma and Illinois @ Nebraska

No. 1 Oklahoma, to no one’s surprise, sailed to victory over Nebraska and Illinois in Lincoln last Saturday. Far more dramatic, however, was the battle for second place, which was won by the No. 7 Huskers.

(via RoadToNationals.com)

Nebraska’s 401.25 was good enough to beat Big Ten rival Illinois, who finished with a 399.15 after a number of uncharacteristic mistakes. Nebraska didn’t just improve markedly on their performance against Penn State the prior week; they also demonstrated an ability to show up when it matters most: a Big Ten regular season championship matchup.

The No. 6 Illini struggled particularly on high bar — their 62.8 was a season-low by over a point, and it was more than two points behind Nebraska’s score on the event. Their horse score was also their lowest of the season by over a point, but it was surprisingly on par with the horse scores of Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Nebraska looked comfortable at home and stayed composed throughout the meet. Anton Stephenson had another solid day — save for p-bars — and claimed individual event titles on high bar (in a tie) and in the all-around.

Oklahoma looked sturdy throughout the meet. Their horse and high bar scores were low for them, though, and not all of that can be traced back to judging — OU did look weaker than usual on those two. Still, they earned individual titles on floor, vault, p-bars and high bar: Yul Moldauer won floor and p-bars, Tanner Justus won vault and Genki Suzuki tied for the high bar crown.

Illinois, despite the loss, had their highlights too. Michael Paradise planted one of the most clutch sets of this season to save his team’s horse lineup with a 14.95, which was the meet’s top score by 1.4. Alex Diab’s ring dominance remained indubitable as well; he won the event with a 14.65.

But the big story is the loss, as we know. This was a meet many had hoped the Illini would use to prove they were capable of at least challenging the Sooners, of making it a contest. Instead, they crumbled during a competition that they knew would impact their chances of winning the Big Ten regular season championship. Bad meets happen, but this was especially bad timing. The Illini will have to sit with that bitter result for a little while: They’re off this weekend, the following week is Winter Cup, and they’re off again the weekend after that. Their first meet back, on March 2, is at home against Minnesota and Stanford. It should be one of the regular season’s most intense matchups — if Minnesota can show up and if Stanford can remember how to compete east of the Mississippi. — Alex Wittenberg

Check out full results here.

Minnesota and UIC @ Iowa

Despite a season-best day from the Hawkeyes, Minnesota was able to escape the weekend with an all-important conference road victory thanks to their second-consecutive 406+ team score.

(via RoadToNationals.com)

“For some reason, Iowa has always been a tough place for us to compete so this was a very satisfying win for us. It was a tight meet back and forth and the lead changed hands a couple times throughout the afternoon,” Minnesota head coach, Mike Burns, told GopherSports.com. “Winning on the road in the Big Ten is never an easy thing to do so I’m proud of how these guys stuck together and how they managed the problems they ran into through the course of the afternoon and were able to bring home the victory.”

By no means was this a perfect day for the Gophers — they left Iowa City with a pair of sub-65 event scores (PH and HB) signaling plenty of room for growth.

https://twitter.com/GopherMGym/status/1092552908502126593

Among the positives was another 82 all-around score for their star, sophomore Shane Wiskus. The Minnesota native racked up four top-three event finishes, including meet-high scores on SR (13.7), PB (14.35) and HB (13.55). Other winning Gophers were freshman Eric Nakamura grabbing his first collegiate title on FX along with seniors Vitali Kan (VT) and Justin Karstadt (PH). That’s a nice combination of youth and experience showing out.

As I mentioned earlier, despite not coming out on top, Iowa had a nice showing in their first home meet. One thing that jumps out about the Hawkeyes is the success they continue to have on high bar in 2019. Iowa now ranks No. 5 in the NCAA on the event and their 66.05 on Saturday was one of the best scores of the weekend. Everyone knows how important HB is, and if the Hawkeyes can keep it up there, that’s a huge advantage for them.

Doing all six events for the third weekend in a row was Bennet Huang who has now racked up three-straight 79+ scores. That’s good enough to have him sitting at No. 16 in the NCAA rankings.

Team captain Jake Brodarzon also chipped in with a good afternoon, posting a pair of runner-up finishes on SR and VT.

The Flames of UIC took a slight step back, score-wise, from the last time they met with these teams just two weeks ago at the Windy City Invite. Sam Montague led his team with a season-high 69.9 all-around score, good enough for a top-five finish. — Logan Bradley

Check out full results from the tri-meet here.

Navy @ Army

Back in December, coaches of both Army and Navy explained to me that they had February 2 circled on the calendar. The rivalry between these two feels like something you can’t quite fully understand unless you’ve been on one of the two sides. I can tell you one thing from a pure observational standpoint: this head-to-head meet always means a lot to both teams.

This time around, the Navy Midshipmen were able to grab a very, very rare road win in a tight battle with Army.

(via RoadToNationals.com)

It truly went right down to the the last event, high bar, for both teams. As you can see, the Mids were able to overcome a slight deficit thanks a 66.9 on the event (the seventh-highest score across the NCAA on HB in 2019). Talk about stepping up, freshman Cash Buske was the eventual event winner, scoring a 13.6. To come up big in such a pressure-packed scenario says a lot about the first year gymnast.

All-in-all, there was no single star for Navy on Saturday. In fact, seven different Mids recorded at least one top-three finish. To have that type of depth speaks to the job that Kip Simons has done in recruiting and building this team.

I know it surely isn’t an adequate consolation prize, but the Army Black Knights were able to secure their highest team score of 2019 by over five points. In fact, this was Army’s highest score dating all the way back to February 4, 2017.

A few Knights chipped in on the effort, including Cole Casanova whose 80.9 was the top all-around score on the day. The senior also took home titles on VT and PB. Others securing titles were Matt Davis (FX), Matthew Martin (PH) and Taka Giese (SR). — Logan Bradley

Check out full results here.

Temple @ William & Mary

No. 15 William & Mary beat No. 20 Temple 388.5-342.65 on Saturday.

(via RoadToNationals.com)

William & Mary swept the event titles and kept close to 390, a mark they surpassed last weekend in their loss to Navy. Earning individual event titles were Cutter Fugett on floor and p-bars, Jacopo Gliozzi on pommels, David Watkins on rings, Jack Hasenkopf on vault and David Allen on high bar.

William & Mary is off until Feb. 23 when they face Army on the road.

Temple was weighed down most by their scores in the low-50s on pommels and high bar. Nicolino Dibattista, the meet’s only all around competitor, placed second on floor and finished with a 72.3 in the all-around.

Temple will get another crack at it on Feb. 24 when they face William & Mary and Springfield.

#NCAAMGym Week 4 Power Rankings

Every week we’ll release a “Power Rankings,” aiming to provide a fluid picture of how each team across the NCAA is doing at the moment. The idea is to try not to focus too much on scores and look more at the current state of the team. The (+) or (-) next to each team’s name relates to how far they rose or fell from last week’s rankings.

This year’s power rankings are an average based off of the individual rankings of five individuals:

  • Logan Bradley (former Illinois gymnast)
  • Ben Cooperman (former Penn State gymnast)
  • Alex Wittenberg (former Minnesota gymnast)
  • Andrew Misiolek (former Stanford gymnast)
  • Jessica Frankl (CGA gymnastics expert/photographer)

To see a list of each individual’s rankings, scroll all the way to the bottom of this page.

1. Oklahoma Sooners (-)

It took until Feb. 24 last year for Oklahoma to break the 420-mark. This season it happened on Jan. 26, nearly a month earlier. Yul Moldauer has yet to compete more than four events in a single meet. Translation: they’re probably only going to get better. — Logan Bradley

2. Stanford Cardinal (-)

Stanford’s 417.8 was a 10+ point improvement from the week prior, and it put the team in spitting distance of the coveted 420. Still, it’s a stretch to say that Stanford is anything but second-best, and the fact that they don’t face an opponent who can legitimately challenge them until March 2 makes assessing the team’s potential particularly difficult. That said, these no-pressure meets are great for a team’s confidence. Perhaps Stanford can use another relatively easy meet this weekend to make a bigger statement. Now would be the time, too; defeating Illinois will be no walk in the park for OU. — Alex Wittenberg

3. Illinois Fighting Illini (-)

The good news from last weekend: Hamish Carter made his collegiate debut and looks to be ready to make a positive impact on a number of events for the Illinois. The bad news from last weekend: Danny Graham suffered a season-ending injury in warm-ups. The junior ring-man looked significantly improved from last year, making it a serious blow to the Illini SR lineup. — Logan Bradley

4. Michigan Wolverines (-)

The “MGymDynasty” hashtag has been used desperately out of place over the past few years. With OU taking the last four NCAA Championships and a win streak of over 100 and counting, I don’t think there’s any doubt whose world we are living in. But maybe Cameron Bock and the 2019 Michigan Wolverines are here to bring the program back into the light.  Their statement win on Saturday certainly showed they are capable. — Ben Cooperman

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (+1)

Penn State put up another impressive performance in their defeat of Nebraska last weekend — their 409.7 kept them in the cohort of the top teams in the Big Ten. But the Nittany Lions are off this weekend, and they don’t face another Big Ten rival until March 2. So we’ll have to wait a bit to see how PSU handles tougher competition. — Alex Wittenberg

6. Minnesota Golden Gophers (+1)

The Gophers have been solid this year, but they kicked it up a notch with their latest showing. Minnesota posted a season-high 408.300 behind Shaun Herzog’s electric vaultShane Wiskus quietly put up an 82.900 this weekend that got lost in some of the other big all-around scores. If Wiskus can continue to get closer to his potential, this team will go as far as he takes them. — Ben Cooperman

7. Nebraska Cornhuskers (-2)

Nebraska’s 395.0 at Penn State was the lowest team score for the Huskers over the last three seasons. We don’t need to make any knee-jerk assumptions based off a single meet, but usually a team will go one of two directions following a disappointing weekend. We’ll see just how mentally tough this team is with Oklahoma and Illinois coming to town on Saturday. — Logan Bradley

8. Iowa Hawkeyes (+2)

The Hawkeyes had a lot of doubters coming into this season, but they have outperformed expectations thus far. Iowa took on Illinois this weekend in a tough competitive environment and still managed to best their previous performance by five points. Evan Davis and Bennet Huang will be a powerful duo for the rest of the season and beyond. — Ben Cooperman

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (-1)

Ohio State had another disappointing showing in their meet against OU last weekend. Competing in Norman is no easy task, but the Buckeyes’ 395.4 was far behind the top Big Ten teams’ weekend scores. OSU will need to conjure up some strength they haven’t yet possessed to put up a fight against a Michigan team rallying from a huge win against Minnesota. OSU needs to prove this weekend that they’re still a serious contender. — Alex Wittenberg

10. California Golden Bears (-1)

It was another solid one for Cal last Sunday against Stanford. The Golden Bears scored a 395.4 to keep consistent with where they’ve been so far this season. However, Cal is a team who can hit 400. Bump up pommels and high bar a couple points each, and that benchmark is tangible. Cal will go against Stanford, Arizona State and Washington in the Pac-12 Invitational this weekend. Let’s see if they can further channel the team’s electricity into a season-high performance. — Alex Wittenberg

11. Navy Midshipmen (-)

  • FX/PH/SR/VT average: 67.4
  • PB/HB average: 62.325

Those averages are from Navy’s meet against William & Mary last weekend. It’s no secret you’re going to get higher scores on events like FX, SR and VT, but those averages need to even out a bit more for Navy to be competitive with team’s consistently ranked No. 1-10. — Logan Bradley

12. Army Black Knights (-)

A 395 with just one event from their second-best all-arounder (Matt Davis) is a great sign for an Army team that seems to be making strides in 2019. The area of concern remains parallel bars for the Black Knights — their 63.633 average ranks No. 14 in the NCAA. — Logan Bradley

13. Air Force Falcons (-)

It was a bye weekend for the Falcons who will remain dark until the always-important All-Academy Championships on February 9. — Logan Bradley

14. Arizona State Sun Devils (-)

Arizona State didn’t compete last weekend, but they face off against Cal, Stanford and Washington in the Pac-12 Invitational this weekend. The Sun Devils could put some legitimate pressure on Cal; they’ve only been about three points behind the Bears in their last two meets. A tussle between those two would be mutually beneficial: Cal needs a real opponent because they can’t touch Stanford, and ASU needs an underdog story. — Alex Wittenberg

15. William & Mary Tribe (-)

A lot of awesome news has been popping up for William & Mary lately.  David Watkins has been quite the storyline this year with his No. 3 ranking in the country on rings. Jacopo Gliozzi had a tremendous performance this past weekend and it was announced he will receive the Thomas Jefferson Prize in Natural Philosophy. Advancements in theoretical physics will have to wait as Gliozzi and the Tribe continue to impress on the competition floor. — Ben Cooperman

16. Springfield Pride (-)

It was a nice weekend for Springfield who was forced to count only three scores below a 12.0. With the exception of floor, they really hung with Army, even defeating the Black Knights on PH, SR and PB. If they can follow up this performance with something similar on Feb. 10 in Chicago, a top-three ECAC finish will be well within sight. — Logan Bradley

17. Washington Huskies (-)

Washington didn’t compete last weekend. They’re going against Stanford, Cal and Arizona State this weekend at the Pac-12 Invitational. Washington is looking to improve on their somewhat disappointing performance at the Windy City Invitational — their 370.15 was about six points less than what they put up in their season opener. — Alex Wittenberg

18. UIC Flames (-)

The Flames did not compete this weekend and will take on Iowa and Minnesota in their next matchup. — Ben Cooperman

#NCAAMGym Week 3 Power Rankings

Every week we’ll be releasing a “Power Rankings” which aim to provide a fluid picture of how each team across the NCAA is doing at the moment. The idea is to try not to focus too much on scores and look more at the current state of the team. The (+) or (-) next to each team’s name relates to how far they rose or fell from last week’s power rankings.

This year’s power rankings are an average based off of the individual rankings of five individuals:

  • Logan Bradley (former Illinois gymnast)
  • Ben Cooperman (former Penn State gymnast)
  • Alex Wittenberg (former Minnesota gymnast)
  • Andrew Misiolek (former Stanford gymnast)
  • Jessica Frankl (CGA gymnastics expert/photographer)

To see a list of each individual’s rankings, scroll all the way to the bottom of this page.

1. Oklahoma Sooners (-)

There is no question that Yul Moldauer is the best gymnast on Oklahoma, or in the NCAA for that matter. Despite the apparent resting of their top performer, OU has been able to remain dominant. Their depth has allowed for a new regular season MVP to emerge: Genki Suzuki.  His transformation from mostly competing as a pommel horse specialist to an all-around stud has been astounding. As long as Moldauer remains out of the all-around, it’s Suzuki who paces No. 1 Oklahoma. — Ben Cooperman

2. Stanford Cardinal (-)

Stanford again performed well enough to give legitimacy to the claim that they’re OU’s top contender — although their 406.3 was a far cry from the Sooners’ 418.55. Stanford needs to be hitting consistently above 410 to remain relevant in the NCAA-upset conversation. Better showings on pommels and high bar will help get them there. — Alex Wittenberg

3. Illinois Fighting Illini (-)

There has been a lot of talk about freshmen this season, a conversation that should be started with Illinois. After Michael Fletcher shined in week two, it was Clay Stephens showing out in week three. It is quite possible that Hamish Carter jumps into the conversation as well. The Fighting Illini could have three gymnasts in the conversation for freshman of the year – that’s scary. — Ben Cooperman

4. Michigan Wolverines (+1)

We finally got to see what to expect from Michigan last Saturday, and the takeaway was still somewhat uncertain. While star sophomore Cameron Bock shone, freshman Kevin Penev stumbled. Still, Michigan was right on Illinois’ heels, and if Penev can clean it up, they could be quite good. We’ll know a lot more about the team after seeing how they fare against Minnesota this weekend, in each team’s first Big Ten regular-season championships face-off. — Alex Wittenberg

5. Nebraska Cornhuskers (+2)

Nebraska didn’t compete in week three but will open up their B1G slate this weekend on the road against Penn State.

6. Penn State Nittany Lions (-2)

Was this week’s issues on PB (60.9) and HB (61.35) the result of an off afternoon, or does it signal a deeper problem for the Nittany Lions? That remains to be seen, but meltdowns aren’t going to fly once Penn State dives into its conference slate, starting this weekend. — Logan Bradley

7. Minnesota Golden Gophers (-1)

What Minnesota has done so far this year is a testament to how far their program has come. After a second place NCAA finish, the Gophers still look hungry even after losing an outstanding group of seniors. Still, the Gophers won’t truly reach their full potential unless they can shake early season struggles on pommel horse and rings. — Ben Cooperman

8. Ohio State Buckeyes (-)

Ohio State didn’t compete last weekend, but the Buckeyes are looking to improve upon their performance at the Rocky Mountain Open, where they were beat by conference foes Nebraska and Minnesota. They face OU in Norman this weekend, an especially tough atmosphere in which to compete. How Ohio manages that challenge will lend insight into how they’ll make out this season. — Alex Wittenberg

9. California Golden Bears (+2)

Darren Wong and Aaron Mah led Cal to a solid Week 3 showing that was an improvement over Week 2. But Cal was still about four points away from 400. A big question this season will be whether Cal can consistently hit 400+ and secure themselves in the top 10. — Alex Wittenberg

10. Iowa Hawkeyes (-1)

The Hawkeyes made their debut this past weekend with a fourth place finish in Chicago. The bright spot for them came on high bar where they posted a 66.550, good enough for the current No. 3 spot in the country. Iowa will head back to the state of Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini this coming weekend. — Ben Cooperman

11. Navy Midshipmen (-1)

It took Navy until Feb. 3 to reach the 400-point mark in 2018. In 2019? Jan. 19. Granted, it’s early, but the Midshipmen look like they’ll have a strong grip on the ECAC this season. There’s room to grow, too. As a team they’ve averaged just a 63.375 on PB through two weeks of competition. — Logan Bradley

12. Army Black Knights (+1)

It’s clear that Army is an improved team. If I’m the Black Knights, I’m happy having ended last week’s competition within six points of Penn State. It should be a lot of fun watching freshman Matt Davis grow this season and learn alongside fellow all-arounder, and senior, Cole Casanova. — Logan Bradley

13. Air Force Falcons (+1)

The deeper NCAA field does not bode well for Air Force.  The Falcons have been a consistent top-12 team for several years.  With the reemergence of Army, this team is going to be in a tough race to stamp their ticket to the NCAA Championships in April. — Ben Cooperman

14. Arizona State Sun Devils (-2)

ASU notched a 392.5 in Week 3, which wasn’t good enough to beat Air Force. Kiwan Watts had another good day, however, putting up an all-around score of 82.25. Arizona State is a legitimate competitor, and if they can overcome some struggles, like last week’s pommels, they could inch closer to 395. — Alex Wittenberg

15. William & Mary Tribe (-)

The Tribe has a high bar problem and it was evident this past weekend when they lost nearly nine points to Navy on the single event alone. One William & Mary gymnast enjoying a nice early part of the year is David Watkins. The senior is No. 4 nationally on SR based off average score. — Logan Bradley

16. Springfield Pride (-)

The Pride showed great improvement last week at the Navy Open and were able to continue to develop their young team. Springfield has their first home meet this coming weekend against Army where they will look to continue the positive trend. — Ben Cooperman

17. Washington Huskies (-)

Washington scored a 370.15 at Windy City last Saturday to beat UIC. It’s becoming an old refrain here, but Washington struggled severely on pommels, scoring a 55.45. Washington should focus on getting pommels and high bar above 60 and continue nourishing Nathan Tsuji to jump up in the rankings. — Alex Wittenberg

18. UIC Flames (-)

The Flames are obviously reeling from losing valuable gymnasts to transfer, but they’ve still got young gymnasts stepping up. Xan Weaver and Sam Montague (freshman and sophomore, respectively) both cracked the top-20 in the all-around at the Windy City Invite. — Logan Bradley