Photo Credit: Andy Cripe | Corvallis Gazette-Times
Now that the school year is gearing back into session with official practices and the height of the elite season is over, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back at some of last year's NCAA women's gymnastics freshman. Here's a list of freshman that appeared on the College Commits page.
Class of 2013
*Amanda Jetter - University of Alabama
*Dominique Pegg - University of Alabama
*Silvia Colussi-Pelaez (ESP) -
University of Florida Oregon State University
*Talia Chiarelli (CAN) - University of Michigan
*Ashley Lambert - University of Nebraska - c/o 2014, start Jan 2014 season
*Charity Jones - University of Oklahoma
*McKenzie Wofford - University of Oklahoma
*Maddie Gardiner - Oregon State University
*Mikaela Gerber (CAN) - UCLA
*Hallie Mossett - UCLA
In my opinion, hands down, most successful freshman goes to Madeline Gardiner of Oregon State University. It's difficult to break into any school's competitive lineup, and by the end of the year, Gardiner managed to do that as an all arounder. Although OSU didn't qualify a team to the National Championships, Maddie Gardiner earned a spot with a 39.350. She scored a 39.225 in the AA at NCAA Championships and made the beam finals with a 9.925. Maddie was one of the first few up in the beam final and her score of 9.8875 kept her in first place for quite some time. Eventually, she was bumped to 3rd place which is still an amazing accomplishment for a gymnast attending Nationals without her team as a freshman. I'll be curious to see how she grows into her role at OSU as the seasons continue.
The following gymnasts may not have managed to break the AA lineup but they showed that they were consistent and were much needed.
Talia Chiarelli was the lead beamer for Michigan. She often started the apparatus with a 9.8+ beam routine that helped set the stage for many successful Michigan lineups. Also strong on vault and floor, Chiarelli was able to provide clean tumbling with scores also around 9.8+.
Amanda Jetter was a stable competitor for Alabama. She was often later in the lineup and found herself tying scores of senior athletes with more competitive NCAA experience. Injury has hampered much of Jetter's elite career so hopefully we get a few more years to enjoy her gymnastics.
UCLA struggled quite a bit last year with consistency issues. More often than not, however, Mossett was able to deliver a solid performance that tried to set the pace, even on the most trying apparatus: the balance beam. For the majority of the season, she scored above 9.8 on beam and managed to compete successfully in the all around a few times.
Who else do you think belongs on this list?