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Women's Gymnasts of the Week – Jan. 6-8, 2023

Atlantic Coast Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Lali Dekanoidze – North Carolina
Dekanoidze helped the Tar Heels place second in the UNC Quad Meet, recording a career-high 9.925 on vault to tie for the meet’s highest score. The 2023 EAGL First Team All-American and Co-Specialist of the Year topped her previous best of 9.900 which she had scored six times prior. The Matthews, North Carolina, native is now tied for third highest score all-time in UNC history on vault.

Newcomer of the Week
Emily Todd – Pitt
Todd made her collegiate debut in Pitt’s second place finish at the Keystone Classic quad meet. Competing in three events, the Bristol, England, native produced her best score of the meet with a 9.800 on bars – receiving a 9.850 from one judge.

Big Ten Conference

Co-Gymnasts of the Week
Gabby Wilson – Michigan

  • Competed on bars, beam and floor, posting three 9.900s in her first meet of the season on January 5
  • Placed second on the floor, only .025 points behind first
  • Tied for third on the bean (9.990)
  • Placed fifth in the all-around with a score of 39.45
  • Collects her second career Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honor

Payton Harris – Ohio State

  • Tied for the highest all-around score among Big Ten gymnasts in the opening week with a 39.45
  • Competed on vault and bars, earning a 9.875 on both events to tie for third against No. 3 LSU
  • Was second on the team on beam (9.825) and floor (9.875)
  • Helped the Buckeyes to tie the best season opening score in program history – 196.775
  • Earns her first career Big Ten Event Gymnast of the Week honor

Event Specialist of the Week
Sage Kellerman – Michigan State

  • Finished at the top of the podium on vault with a perfect 10.0 at the Super 16 on January 5
  • The 10.0 was the second of the season and first on vault in the NCAA in 2024
  • Her perfect score marks the fourth on vault and fifth overall in program history
  • Competed on bars where she scored a 9.850, leading the Spartans to a third-place finish at the Super 16
  • Collects her first career Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week honor

Freshman of the Week
Jordyn Lyden – Minnesota

  • Posted 9.825 on the uneven bars in her Gophers debut on January 6
  • Helped the Gophers defeat No. 13 Oregon State, No. 24 Southern Utah and No. 31 BYU to open the season
  • Earns her first career Freshman of the Week award

Big 12 Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Faith Torrez – Oklahoma
Torrez recorded a career-high overall score of 39.625 en route to claiming the all-around title in her season opener. The 2023 Big 12 Gymnastics Newcomer of the Year also placed first in beam (9.950), second in bars (9.950) and tied for third on floor (9.875). Earning a team score of 197.850 against three top-10 ranked teams (Michigan, Michigan State and Kentucky), the Sooners garnered the third-highest opening score in program history. In national ranks, the criminal justice major is tied for second in the all-around and tied for fourth in the uneven bars. This is the eighth career weekly award for the sophomore.

Specialist of the Week
Anyssa Alvarado – BYU
Coming off an appearance in the Los Angeles Regional as an individual performer in the uneven bars last season, Alvarado opened her season with a podium finish in the event. Earning a 9.950 on the uneven bars, the neuroscience major was 0.025 points away from her career high. Competing against Southern Utah, Oregon State and Minnesota, she tied for second on the uneven bars. The Cougars finished the bars rotation with a score of 49.425.

Newcomer of the Week
Madison Ulrich – Denver
Ulrich claimed two podium finishes and finished second in the all-around in her first collegiate meet. She tied for the gold medal in the vault after scoring a 9.900, which matched the second-highest score posted by a Pioneer freshman in their debut. The Fort Mill, South Carolina native then tied for third in the floor exercise with a 9.800 that counted toward her overall score of 39.325. Her total marked the third-best score by a DU freshman in her first meet. Ulrich also registered a 9.850 in the uneven bars which helped to set a record for the team’s score (49.350) on the event to open a season. Competing against Washington, Illinois and San Jose State, the Pioneers recorded its third-highest season opening score of 196.850.

Mid American Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Raisa Boris – Eastern Michigan
Raisa Boris was a key contributor to the EMU gymnastics team this past weekend in the season opener at Western Michigan University. Of all three all-arounders, Boris was the top all-around gymnast in the meet with an overall score of 39.425. On Eastern’s second rotation, the Green and White scored 48.700 on vault. Boris recorded a 9.875 on the apparatus for the top spot among Eagles and tied with one other Bronco for the overall top spot in the event. EMU’s third rotation took the team to the floor where the Eagles grabbed a 48.500 event score. Boris recorded an impressive 9.900 in her routine, tying with WMU’s Cassie St. Claire once more for the event highest.

Specialist of the Week
Suki Pfister – Ball State
Senior Suki Pfister opened the 2024 season on a high note, tying to top honors on vault at the UNC Quad with a score of 9.925. It tied as the sixth-best vault in the nation and was the best score for a MAC individual on any event opening weekend. The effort helped the Cardinals secure the best season-opening score in program history, at 194.925, and helped BSU start the season with head-to-head wins over North Carolina, Rutgers and Utah State.

Midwest Independent Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Nirel Bart-Williams – Illinois State
Bart-Williams, the reigning MIC Newcomer of the Year, had a great start to her second season as a Redbird finishing with an all-around score 39.025 to finish second overall in Illinois State’s season-opening victory at Bowling Green. The Murphy, Texas, native recorded a pair of top 3 individual finishes, including a first-place finish on beam with a career-high score of 9.900. She also tied for third place on the floor with a 9.825, as she helped the Redbirds post the fourth-highest score in school history (195.950) and tally the best season-opening score in program history.

Performance of the Week
Jaye Mack – Illinois State
Mack continued her dominance on the floor for the Redbirds, as she picked up an event win with a score of 9.900 at Bowling Green. The two-time defending MIC champion on the event picked up right where she left off with win on floor and tied for the event win on vault with a 9.875.

Newcomer of the Week
Reese Grolla – Illinois State
Grolla put together two solid routines in her collegiate debut, as she helped the Redbirds to the victory over the Falcons. The Calgary, Alberta, Canada native recorded a pair of top 5 finishes, tying for fifth on beam with a 9.800 and tying for fifth on bars with a 9.750.

Coaches’ Choice Award
Mya Robinson – Illinois State
Robinson was set to lead on three of the four events but was moved out of the vault lineup at the last minute at Bowling Green. However, another Redbird gymnast went down in warmups and Robinson had to go back in and lead things off. With only one warmup turn, Robinson scored a 9.775 and later led off on floor with a 9.600 and beam with a 9.850.

Mountain Pacific Sports Federation

Gymnast of the Week
Niya Randolph – Southern Utah
Southern Utah freshman Niya Randolph (Las Vegas, NV) scored team-highs of 9.825 on floor and 39.300 all-around as the Thunderbirds compiled 196.025 at the Mean Girls Super 16 in Las Vegas to kick-off their MPSF era (Jan. 6). Southern Utah competed against three ranked opponents-No. 13 Oregon State, No. 18 Minnesota, and No. 31 BYU. Randolph also had scores of 9.875 on uneven bars, 9.825 on vault, and 9.775 on the balance beam in her collegiate debut. This is the first career MPSF award for Randolph.

Specialist of the Week
Aubri Schwartze – Southern Utah
Southern Utah senior Aubri Schwartze (Ames, IA) recorded a career-high 9.90 on the bars, along with a 9.85 on the beam and 9.775 on floor, to help the Thunderbirds total 196.025 in their season opener at the Las Vegas Mean Girls Super 16 against No. 13 Oregon State, No. 18 Minnesota, and No. 31 BYU (Jan. 6). Her 9.90 led the way to SUU’s 49.300 bars total, tied for fifth-best in school and conference history. This is the first career MPSF award for Schwartze.

Freshman of the Week
Alex Routsis – Southern Utah
Southern Utah freshman Alex Routsis (Falcon, CO) helped the Thunderbirds achieve a 49.300 total on the bars with a score of 9.850 in her collegiate debut at the Las Vegas Mean Girls Super 16 (Jan. 6). Southern Utah took on three ranked opponents-No. 13 Oregon State, No. 18 Minnesota, and No. 31 BYU. The 49.300 team bars total tied for fifth-best in SUU and MPSF history. This is the first career MPSF award for Routsis.

Mountain West Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Lauren Macpherson – San José State

Freshman of the Week
Marissa Ashton – San José State

Vault – Madison Kirsch – San José State
Uneven Bars – Jada Mazury – San José State; Emily Lopez – Boise State
Balance Beam – Lexi Aragon – Utah State
Floor Exercise – Courtney Blackson – Boise State

Pac-12 Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Maile O’Keefe – Utah

  • Helped No. 4 Utah take down Boise State in the Utes’ season-opening meet at home, 197.300 – 194.350.
  • The fifth-year senior won three individual events, posting three scores above 9.9, including a 10.0 to win the beam.
  • The reigning NCAA Champion on the beam recorded her 11th career perfect 10 in the event.
  • Added a 9.925 on bars to tie for first and a 9.950 on floor to win outright.
  • Seventh Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week of her career and ninth career weekly award overall.

Specialist of the Week
Jade Carey – Oregon State

  • The two-time Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year helped the Beavers finish second in their session at the season-opening Mean Girls Super 16 in Las Vegas with a 196.525.
  • Took home a title on the bars and finished second on the floor.
  • Won the bars with a 9.975 which ranks No. 1 in the nation after the first weekend of the season.
  • Recorded a 9.900 as the runner-up on the floor.
  • First career Specialist of the Week honor and 16th weekly award of career (Nine-time Gymnast of the Week; Six-time Freshman/Newcomer of the Week).

Freshman/Newcomer of the Week
Taylor DeVries – Oregon State

  • Contributed to Oregon State’s second-place finish in the Beavers’ session at the Mean Girls Super 16 event in Las Vegas.
  • Competing in her first collegiate event, scored a 9.900 on the bars to finish tied for fourth among 28 gymnasts in the rotation.

Coaches’ Choice
Natalie Briones – Oregon State

  • Competed in three events in one meet for the first time in her three-year career at Oregon State after battling injuries and competing sporadically over her first two seasons.
  • Posted a career-best 9.900 on the bars to finish tied for fourth in the event.
  • Tied for ninth on the floor with a 9.800 and added a 9.675 on the vault.

Southeastern Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Haleigh Bryant – LSU
Bryant, a senior from Cornelius, N.C., recorded the nation’s highest all-around score of 39.675 in the season-opening win over No. 14 Ohio State. Bryant claimed the meet titles for the all-around and vault (9.950) and earned podium finishes on bars (9.875 – tied for third), bean (9.925 – second) and floor (9.925 – tied for second). She now owns 62 wins, which ties her with Ashleigh Gnat and Jennifer Woods at eighth place for most career titles in school history.

Specialist of the Week
Gabby Gladieux – Alabama
Gladieux, a sophomore from Greensboro, N.C., tied for the nation’s highest individual score to finish first on floor with a career-high 9.975 at the Super 16 Gymnastics Championship. Gladieux was the only gymnast in the session versus No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 California, and No. 17 Auburn to earn at least one 10 on a routine. She earned her first career title on floor to help the Crimson Tide post a team score of 197.125 to finish first at Saturday night’s session.

Co-Freshmen of the Week
Lily Smith – Georgia
Smith, a freshman from Limerick, Pa., placed first on bars with a 9.975 in the win over NC State to open the 2024 season. Smith is only the seventh gymnast and fourth freshman in program history to start a season with a 9.975 on any event. She is also the fourth to achieve the mark on the uneven bars in the first meet, none of which were freshmen. Smith also tied for second place on floor (9.825) and tied for seventh place on beam (9.750).

Amari Drayton – LSU
Drayton, a freshman from Spring, Texas, registered a pair of 9.925s in her collegiate debut in the win Friday night against No. 14 Ohio State. Drayton captured second place on vault in her first event. She then entered the floor lineup just before the fourth rotation in the anchor spot to earn a share of second place and secure the win for the Tigers.

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NCGA West)

Mia Lucero – UW-Oshkosh
Lucero won both the vault and floor exercise in the Titans’ 190.875-176.625 win over Hamline University (Minn.) on Jan. 5. She scored 9.725 points on the vault, her second-highest score, and a 9.675 in her first career outing on the floor.