NCAA week four — Thoughts from Savannah Schoenherr — Must-click women’s gymnastics links

The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Jessica Taylor Price, February 5, 2022

It was kind of a slow NCAA gym news week, which personally is a blessing because of the winter Olympics, which I’m covering for Bleacher Report and which is taking over my life. 

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Gymnastics, on the other hand, has been pretty steady, with Michigan continuing to lead the way in the standings for the fourth week in a row, followed by Oklahoma, Utah, and Florida. I would be perfectly happy if those teams made up the Four on the Floor, and if my prediction is not correct I will be entirely put out.

Here are some quick hits from week four:

  • Stanford competed at Utah on Saturday, with Utah hitting for a 197.6750. Maile O’Keefe earned a 10 on beam.

  • Jade Carey won everything in a meet against Cal where OSU earned 196.5750. Carey won the all-around with a 39.7750 and scored a 9.95 on three events. She’s in second in the national all-around standings, behind Lexy Ramler and in front of Sunisa Lee.

  • On Sunday, Michigan State competed at Michigan, where Michigan won with a ​​197.9250 and Sierra Brooks led the all-around with a 39.7250.
  • UCLA improved on previous meets with a 196.4000 against Arizona. 
  • Oklahoma won over Denver with a 198.200. Carly Woodard scored a perfect 10 on beam.

And week five:

  • On Friday, Florida beat Missouri with a 197.775 to Missouri’s 197.625, a great score for them. Trinity Thomas led in the all-around with a 39.75.
  • Michigan bested Alaska and Rutgers with an incredible 198.525 on the road, including four perfect 10s in a row. Here’s Gabby Wilson‘s 10 on floor:

Obviously, that score is massive; Michigan is really dominating this year and it’s great to see. Natalie Wojcik is also thriving, scoring a whopping 39.825.

  • Utah met UCLA in a Grace McCallum/Jordan Chiles reunion, and UCLA continued their upward trajectory with a 197.650 to Utah’s 197.750. Each of our Olympians scored a 10 with Chiles scoring one on floor and McCallum getting one on bars:

  • Alabama scored a 197.875 against North Carolina and Western Michigan.
  • West Virginia at Arkansas was canceled due to inclement weather.
  • On Saturday, Auburn competes at LSU, and Arizona State at Oregon State. On Sunday, Texas Women’s heads to Oklahoma.

Check out College Gym News for the full schedule and live blogs, and Road to Nationals for results and stats.

Gymnastics news

  • Australia’s former national team coach Peggy Liddick could be banned from involvement in the national team after a tribunal found that she had emotionally abused athletes (The Age).
  • It’s a rough week for Greek tendons. Denver fifth-year senior Lynnzee Brown tore her Achilles this week, and Georgia junior Rachael Lukacs announced on Instagram that she also tore her Achilles and is retiring from the sport. 
  • USA Gymnastics and FloGymnastics broke up. As Lauren Hopkins pointed out, the partnership was supposed to last through 2025, but I guess USAG was fed up and it turns out we won’t have to rely on Flo for meet coverage anymore, which is a blessing tbh.
  • Oksana Chusovitina is on the roster for Doha. Retirement much?
  • Sunisa Lee hung out with Charles Barkley.
  • UCLA Needs To Keep The Same Energy Protecting Racism For The Gymnasts Targeted By Racism (First And Pen)

Tweets of the week

Five at the IX: Savannah Schoenherr

Florida senior Savannah Schoenherr spoke to the press after a Friday win over Arkansas, where she scored a 9.95 on vault and a 9.975 on bars. Edited for clarity and length.

What do you think led up to that performance?
It was one of my better meets, to say the least. I told all of my coaches afterwards, I was like, ‘I think that might be the least I’ve ever thought during a meet or during my routines.’ This past season I’ve been very in my head and I haven’t been my normal self right before my routines and out there dancing and just really letting loose. Typically my muscle memory will take over, and I will do my gymnastics, just as I know it.

But for the first few months of the season, I felt like there might have been more expectations on me as a senior to perform. But I realized that that wasn’t the case at all, and that was just me putting ridiculous ideas into my head, so I really just decided to let loose this past meet and stop letting my thoughts get the best of me, and in turn it definitely paid off.

How will you approach future meets?
I think I’m just going to go into future meets with the mindset that I have practiced for this for so many years, I’ve had these skills for so many years, and my body definitely has the muscle memory that it needs to completely take over. It’s almost like going into autopilot when I do these routines and there’s no reason that I can’t go into competitions and compete exactly the way that I train. I don’t go into a bar routine at practice and sit there and breathe for 20 seconds straight and go through so many mental routines in my head and really overthink everything. In practice, I just get up on the bar and do it, and so I think I’m going to go into the next competition doing the same thing.

How excited were you when you saw your scores come up?
I was super excited. Like I said, it definitely wasn’t my best start to the season, but to see that my thought process leading into this past meet definitely helped and paid off and that my practice has been paying off and my hard work was able to be shown through the scores, it was definitely very rewarding and I was super happy to be able to contribute those scores to my team.

Are you looking forward to seeing some snow?
I am definitely looking forward to seeing some snow. Living in Maryland for four years, I definitely miss the cold and the snow.

What’s the team’s mindset going into your meet against Missouri?
Travel meets are always very different than home meets. So we always go in with the expectation of making the arena our own and bringing in as much energy as we possibly can. So we’ve definitely been training for that in the gym this week and we’ve also been practicing normalcy and continuing to emphasize that message of just competing exactly the way that you train.

Today is Women in Sports Day. What does the day mean to you?
Women in Sport Day definitely hits close to home, being a female athlete and being surrounded by so many other great female athletes on my team, I feel like it’s definitely such an important day to recognize all the contributions that women and female athletes have made to sport and to society in general. 

I feel like today’s a day where we can really just highlight the excellence that women bring to the world of sport and embrace our femininity and know that there are strides being made toward equality and gender equity in sport so it’s definitely a super special day and I hope that in my future in sport, I can continue to emphasize the importance and the influential power that women have in sport.

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