What We’re Talking About
The Great Debate! To compete or not to compete. When regular season wins and losses don’t matter—only your national qualifying score (NQS) has an impact on postseason rankings—and you have a marquee matchup on your schedule, do you ignore the head-to-head clash or do you try and make a season-defining statement by getting a victory over your opponent? This was the big question after second-ranked Florida decided to rest several gymnasts on floor when competing against first-ranked Oklahoma. Of course there is no right answer, but it does make you wonder why bother to schedule top tier matchups if you’re not going to try and win with your most competitive roster.
This is where we concede that if any athlete is injured and needs a rest, they should absolutely rest. However, that didn’t seem to be the case with Florida since the athletes who rested also competed on the other events without showing any type of limitations in their performances. And again, this meet wasn’t a surprise on the schedule. In fact, during the Oklahoma versus Michigan meet 72 hours later (Michigan now No. 2 after Florida calculated their Friday NQS road score), Sooner coach K.J. Kindler was asked about the back-to-back showdowns and she said they knew it was coming all year and they wanted to put out their best product. As Bart Connor and Kathy Johnson Clarke both mentioned during the Monday broadcast, the quick turnaround is great preparation for the postseason format where advancing teams will have to do this multiple times. So Oklahoma competed as if it were a dress rehearsal for the postseason and Florida rested to be better prepared for the postseason. Is there a right approach? Remember, once the knockout bracket begins the scores won’t matter, the head-to-head results will. (For what it’s worth, Michigan did put up their top lineup and they handed Oklahoma their first loss of the season. What would the conversation be if Oklahoma lost both tough matchups?)
In a sport that’s so mental, does going on the road and getting that victory matter? Could it give you an edge? Could it plant a seed of doubt in the mind of the reigning champion Sooners? How many meets has Oklahoma won in the past before they ever stepped into the arena? These are all considerations when thinking about this rest versus compete conundrum. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Regardless of where you land on this issue, as fans were going to be treated to one incredible, high quality post season run from all the contenders.
- You get that AI money Livvy. Olivia Dunne promoted an AI program that helps write school papers and LSU issued a formal statement in response.
- We won’t use the sponsored coaching position title when referencing the UCLA head coach. This is gymnastics, not NASCAR and they aren’t paying us to say it.
- Also, we hope more programs get endowments to help secure their future.
- The Kentucky vs. Auburn meet was postponed due to weather. Let’s hope this doesn’t become more common.
- Utah’s gonna be a contender next season too with the return of Maile O’Keefe, Abby Paulson and Jaedyn Rucker.
- Is any team more charitable with their NIL cash than Utah? Jaedyn used her NIL money to fly the mother of a friend, a football player, who was killed at a house party to celebrate the Red Rocks’ Senior Night.
- If you’re going to do rings, add the neck swivel like Liu Yang.
- Game recognizes game.
- We live in a world where Chuso has competed twice in 2023 and has two medals. Bless.
- If athletes need a rest, they should rest. Need is the operative word.
- Jordan Chiles might be the hottest gymnast in the country right now.
- Jade Carey became the 13th gymnast in NCAA history to complete the gym slam with her 10 on beam this week.
- Michigan State broke 198 for the first time in program history.
- Aided by the perfect 10s from Jori Jackard and Nikki Smith.
- Denver broke 198 for the first time in program history too.
- They were propelled by the perfect 10s from Lynnzee Brown and Jessica Hutchinson.
- eMjae Frazier scored the first perfect 10 on floor in Cal’s history.
- LIU broke 196 for the first time in program history.
- Jordan Chiles chalked up a 10 on uneven bars. She’s up to five and they’re all on bars and floor. She also tied the highest all-around score of the season with Jade with a 39.875.
- Minnesota had back to back 10s on floor thanks to Halle Remlinger and Mya Hooten
- Mya is now ranked No. 2 on floor.
- This was Halle’s first prefect 10 and her last performance at home.
- Luisa Blanco posted a perfect 10 on beam for the second week in a row.
- Olivia Trautman has vaulted three times this season; and on four of the six judging sorecards she’s received a 10. Two judges agreed this weekend.
- Skill of the Week: Kazuki Minami
- Home Closer: Halle Remlinger
- Humanitarian award: Jaedyn Rucker
What’s On the Socials?
Last year I promised @gabicstephen that I would attempt a backflip when @MSU_Gymnastics broke 198…well today they did it! 🤣😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/XCQQ6OBC4g
— Patrick Stephen (@pstephen) March 5, 2023
It’s official. A 3.5 twisting double back is now in the CoP valued at a H – performed by Kazuki Minami (JPN) pic.twitter.com/dYN8gBpcpD
— Heath Thorpe (@thorpeheath) March 3, 2023
4⃣7⃣ years old & targeting her 9⃣th Olympics🤯
Oksana Chusovitina, who has competed at every Olympics since Barcelona 1992, just won her second artistic @gymnastics World Cup medal of the year.
The Uzbekistan athlete is aiming for #Paris2024 and we can’t WAIT to see her there! pic.twitter.com/m9kQAqlZpZ
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) March 6, 2023
With yesterday's victory over Georgia, @RazorbackGym has matched its program record for 197+ team scores in a season with four.
10 of Arkansas' 21 marks over 197 have come under head coach @jordyn_wieber, along with new program team, vault, and beam score records in 2023. pic.twitter.com/qQqk89skEP
— Razorback Communications (@RazorbackComms) March 6, 2023
“NIL—everybody thinks it’s the monster, But it’s not necessarily the monster if it’s used positively.” ~ Tom Farden, Leader of Good Humans
Farden’s comments come after gymnast Jaedyn Rucker used her NIL money to fly a grieving mother to Senior Night.
“Due to the schedule changes this weekend and training plan, we’ve decided it’s best to rest Suni today. She’s excited to compete against Penn State on Friday in her final meet at Neville Arena.”
~ Jeff Graba, Tiger Tamer
Graba discussing the pacing of Sunisa Lee for her final run at college glory before she steps away from NCAA to focus on Paris.
“However, using AI to produce work that a student then represents as one’s own could result in a charge of academic misconduct, as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.” ~ LSU
The school released a statement following a TikTok by Olivia Dunne promoting a new AI tool that helps students write papers with the click of a button.
“For us to have our best success at the end, it was important that we gave them a break on floor.” ~ Jenny Rowland, Gator Wrangler
Rowland shared the strategy of resting some of the team’s stars in the head to head matchup with No. 1-ranked Oklahoma. Rowland went on to discuss the heightened emotions and adrenaline that impacted some performances during the meet.
College & Cocktails
Listen to this week’s bonus episode: Florida at Oklahoma
Cocktail of the Week:
Week 9: Line-Up Depth
This late in the season, let’s test out what’s been chillin’ on the back shelf
2oz Japanese Whisky
3oz Sencha Green Tea
1oz Yuzu Ginger Lemongrass Syrup
6oz Sencha Green Tea
1.5oz Yuzu Ginger Lemongrass Syrup
Meet Week Prep 1: Yuzu Ginger Lemongrass Syrup
2 Lemongrass Stalks, crushed flat and roughly chopped
50g Fresh Ginger, sliced thin
60ml Yuzu Juice
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain out solids and store in airtight container until ready to use.
Meet Week Prep 2: Sencha Green Tea
Find your favorite Sencha Green Tea and steep to listed instructions. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
Make the Drink:
Stir together Syrup and Whisky in a highball glass. Top with ice and chilled Sencha Tea.
Stick the Landing:
Garnish with Fresh Shiso.
What? You want even more? Join Club Gym Nerd and you get a bonus episode, College & Cocktails, every Friday after our meet of the week. Once the NCAA season is over you continue to get a weekly bonus episode every Friday afternoon. Plus you get access to all of our archives, exclusive content and more. Then we give the sober analysis on Monday (or Tuesday) after we’ve allowed the data to penetrate our feelings.
This column was composed and compiled by Steve Cooper, Editor, GymCastic; as performed by hosts Jessica O’Beirne and Spencer Barnes.
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