We’re drowning in 10s — Thoughts from Jade Carey — Must-click links

The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Jessica Taylor Price, February 12, 2022

We’re drowning in 10s. All four of the 2020 Team USA members who are in NCAA scored perfect 10s this week.

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It’s thrilling, really, to see the influx of elite talent in NCAA reach a crescendo in this way. The fact that four recent Olympians — including the AA gold medalist — feel they can continue their careers after spending over a decade in the sport is surely a sign of progress. Plus, it’s great for the sport, which is getting a lot of media attention this season. 

The first perfect score came on Saturday, when Sunisa Lee got her career-first 10 on bars, helping Auburn earn a 197.7500 against LSU’s 197.9750.

Kiya Johnson also got one on floor.

Then, Jade Carey led her team to a ​​197.3750 win over Arizona State, with a 10 on bars:

… And Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum both earned 10s on Friday, as previously discussed. All four earned mad props from the GOAT herself.

On Sunday, Oklahoma beat Texas Women’s with a massive 198.0500. Another Olympian, Ragan Smith, got a 10 on beam:

Michigan is still holding them off for the number one spot, though, with an average score of 198.035. As we move into the halfway point in the season (HOW is it mid-February already), the top four teams have remained constant, though it remains to be seen whether a nonsensical seeding system will throw that for a loop.

On Friday, Oklahoma beat George Washington with a 197.425, with Smith repeating her perfect performance on beam. Alabama bested Georgia with a 197.475, and Florida and LSU went 198.150-197.825, including Nya Reed‘s second perfect 10.

On Saturday, UCLA heads to Stanford, Ohio State competes against Minnesota, and Utah travels to Cal. On Sunday, Washington faces Oregon State and Penn State meets Michigan. Check out scores at Road to Nationals, and an up-to-date schedule at College Gym News.

Gymnastics news

  • Viktoriia Listunova, Vladislava Urazova, and Oksana Chusovitina are all on the roster for the Doha World Cup, happening in early March.
  • In very exciting news, Fisk University announced that it will launch the first-ever women’s gymnastics program at an HBCU (Sports Illustrated).
  • Elze Geurts tore her ACL (The Gymternet).
  • Simone Biles was featured in Porter magazine, and she looks incredible.
  • Sekai Wright‘s exhibition floor routine is getting a lot of attention (Essence), including from my favorite person, Leslie Jones.
  • Sam Mikulak and MyKayla Skinner will be in-stadium announcers for the Winter Cup.
  • Jordan Chiles has a new fan in the form of Lizzo.
  • UCLA gymnasts deserve more comprehensive response to racism claims (Daily Bruin)

Tweet of the week

Aliya giving us something to think about:

Five at the IX: Beavers Gymnastics

Oregon State University head coach ​​Tanya Chaplin, freshman Jade Carey, and senior Madi Dagen spoke to the media after their meet against ASU. Edited for clarity and length.

What is your reaction to today’s meet?
Coach Chaplin: I told the athletes afterwards, I was just really proud of the fight that they showed tonight. We’ve had different emotional things going throughout the week, and they put those things aside and really came out and trusted themselves and trusted their abilities and were on fire, so there were so many great things, even the ones that may not have gotten 9.9s, there were so many others that scored higher than they had on different events. And vaulting was one of those where we saw a lot of upgrades and sticks, and those are the things that we have to start putting together to keep climbing the ladder in the rankings. Really proud of them.

How does it feel to get that first 10 out of the way?
Jade Carey: I was really excited after that bar routine. I’ve been trying not to really think about it and just try to do my gymnastics, but it’s really special to me that my first 10 comes on bars because it’s typically known as my weaker event.

CC: But it’s not.

Was today the best all-around score you’ve posted?
Madi Dagen: I think so, yes. 

What does that represent to you?
MD: The highlight of today was definitely my bar routine. I’ve worked really really hard on that event, and to see it come together finally tonight was really exciting.

CC: She’s been working hard on getting her bar routines, so like Jade said, for her everyone always thought that was her weaker event, and yet she can go out there and she’s beautiful on that event and scores a 10. And Madi is coming along, working hard, and scores a 9.9 I believe. They’ve both worked so hard every day and it’s great to see all of these things coming together for them.

You all started with a bunch of sticks on vault. How were you able to get the momentum going?
JC: We started really strong on vault and the momentum just kept growing and growing until the very last person, and it was just really exciting to see all the vaults that we’ve been working so hard on in the gym, for us to replicate them in the meet.

MD: I think you could feel the energy from the sideline teammates and just the trust they had in us, and that’s always reassuring. So it was really fun to see those vaults and all those sticks.

CC: They started us off really really high and then they did a great job of dialing it down and breathing and getting to a nice calm state for bars, and then we had some of our best bar performances of the year over there, so I think that is something that we talked about last week because going into Cal, we struggled a little bit coming off floor and going into beam, and dialing it down and getting back into our zone. So to be able to do that coming off of such a great vault rotation and then being able to bring down everything and focus in on bars was remarkable. They took ahold of what we talked about last week and learned and moved it into what they needed to do this week.

What was it like to perform in front of the crowd tonight?
MD: That’s my favorite part for sure. And with it being our Dam Cancer meet, it made it even more special. And I feel like everybody went out there and competed for a bigger purpose and it really makes it that much more special, to do well, and we do better when we’re just really enjoying it.

JC: I agree. Tonight was bigger than just us doing our gymnastics, and we just wanted to represent and spread awareness, and it was just a really fun energy.

When you see the size of that crowd, what does that mean for gymnastics?
CC: It’s great to have those crowds back; we’ve gone from back in the 90s having huge crowds, and to see everyone coming back and to support this remarkable team that works so hard, and all the teams that have come before them have kind of laid that groundwork for this team to be where it is. It’s just great to share this sport that we love so much with so many people and I think that’s what’s fun, too, is we’ve really gotten more new fans to gymnastics than what we had before. I’ve heard so many people say, I’ve gone to football, I’ve gone to basketball, but I’ve never gone to gymnastics. Now they’re coming and seeing a meet and buying another ticket, and buying another ticket. So it’s great to see that we’re kind of getting more and more as we go on throughout the season.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By: Addie Parker, @addie_parkerThe IX
Fridays: Hockey
By: Anne Tokarski, @annetokarski, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Jessica Taylor Price, @jesstaylorprice, Freelance Gymnastics Writer