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Women's Gymnasts of the Week – Jan. 6-12, 2020
Gymnast of the Week awards are given by conference offices. More will be added throughout the week as they become available.

Big Ten Conference

Gymnast and Freshman of the Week
Mia Takekawa - Illinois
  • Collected four individual event titles in the Illini’s tri-meet victory against Temple and Lindenwood
  • Finished at the top of the podium on bars (9.875), beam (10.0) and in the all-around (39.350), tied for third on vault (9.750) and finished seventh on floor (9.725)
  • Recorded the first perfect 10.0 on beam in Illinois history
  • Earns her second Big Ten Gymnast and Freshman of the Week in as many weeks
Event Specialist of the Week
Sierra Hassel - Nebraska
  • Won four of her events with scores of 9.875 or better in two meets last weekend against Brigham Young and Southern Utah
  • Recorded individual event titles on beam (9.875) and floor (9.900) at BYU on Monday
  • Claimed the beam title with a score of 9.925 and a share of the floor title with a career-best score of 9.950 in the Huskers’ win at Southern Utah

Big 12 Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Maggie Nichols - Oklahoma
Nichols earned Gymnast of the Week after posting the highest all-around score in the nation on the weekend with a 39.750, helping the top ranked Sooners to a win at No. 14 Arizona State. She took home three event titles in addition to the all-around, notching a 9.95 on vault, a 9.975 on beam and a 9.925 on floor. Nichols led the Sooners to the nation’s top team score with a 197.675 and their fourth win against a ranked opponent in as many chances. With a 9.9, she kept her streak of scoring a 9.9 or higher on bars in her last 26 meets and has scored a 9.9 or better on at least two events in all 32 meets of her career.

Specialist of the Week
Alexis Vasquez - Denver
Vasquez was named the Event Specialist of the Week after she followed her perfect 10 from a week ago with a 9.975 score on beams in her lone event of the weekend en route to earning the individual title. Her performance helped the Pioneers achieve a final score of 196.750 to top Minnesota. Vazquez’s 9.975 matched the highest score on any event in the Conference last week.

Newcomer of the Week
Ragan Smith - Oklahoma
Smith was tabbed as the Newcomer of the Week, continuing her strong freshman campaign by competing in three events for the Sooners and posted at least a 9.875 in each. She took home the bars title with a 9.925, her second week with a 9.9 or better in the event. Smith also tallied a career-high 9.9 on floor, improving on her 9.775 score from week one.

East Atlantic Gymnastics League

Gymnast of the Week
Michaela Burton - Pittsburgh
Senior Michaela Burton (Downers Grove, Illinois) from Pitt was voted EAGL Gymnast of the Week on January 14th after winning all three events she competed in, including bars, beam and floor. This was her first meet with Pittsburgh after transferring from Arkansas this past summer. Pittsburgh fell to UNH in their opening meet, but Burton was a star, finding herself atop the podium for bars (9.85), beam (9.85) and floor (9.825)

Specialist of the Week
Khazia Hislop - North Carolina
Senior Khazia Hislop (Concord, Massachussetts) of UNC earned EAGL Specialist of the Week honors on January 14th. Hislop led UNC to an opening meet victory against William & Mary after winning each event she competed in this weekend. The senior placed first in vault (9.900), beam (9.825), and floor (9.850). She is averaging a score of 9.850 on floor over the past 20 consecutive meets dating back to 2018.

Rookie of the Week
Elizabeth Culton - North Carolina
Freshman Elizabeth Culton (Durham, North Carolina) of UNC was tabbed as EAGL Rookie of the Week on January 14th after earning the all-around title (39.050) in her collegiate debut against William & Mary. She added two podium finishes, earning first on bars (9.850) and tied for third on beam (9.675).

Eastern College Athletic Conference – Division I

Gymnast of the Week
Ariana Castrence – Temple
All-arounder Ariana Castrence kicked off the 2020 campaign in outstanding fashion. The sophomore scored a 39.125 (9.8-vault, 9.775-bars, 9.8-beam, 9.75-floor) in the all-around competition in Temple's first meet of the season on the road against Illinois and Lindenwood. Her performance on vault earned her the title on the event, she took second in the all-around competition.

Specialist of the Week
Natalie Yang – Penn
Penn hosted Towson on Sunday, January 12th in The Palestra. Sophomore Natalie Yang won the balance beam with the highest score of the meet with a 9.825.She was only one of two gymnasts to score above a 9.8, the other was her sophomore teammate Sydney Kraez.

Rookie of the Week
Raegan Walker – Yale
Yale had a difficult rotation on bars this past week with a few falls, however Raegan Walker anchored the event as a freshman competing for the first time in college and nailed a beautiful routine. She scored a 9.825, which won her the bars title for the competition, and it was an instrumental moment for the team to come back and finish the meet in 1st place with a total score of 191.525. Raegan excelled when her team needed her most and proved that she is a confident and reliable rookie.

Coaches' Choice
Alyssa Firth – Yale
Description: Alyssa Firth contributed two very high scores this past weekend, which were critical to the teams overall success. Additionally, Alyssa was tasked with competing all around for our team, and she fought through the entire meet to help take first place. Specifically, Alyssa was a highlight of the first event where she did a gorgeous floor routine, which scored her a 9.825 and ultimately earned her the floor title. After that she once again did a beautiful yurchenko full that received a 9.75 and got her 2nd place on the event. Alyssa struggled on bars, however she fought back and hit her beam routine for a 9.5, which not only helped our team to regain confidence, but ultimately led us to earning the highest team score on beam.

Eastern College Athletic Conference – Division II

Gymnast of the Week
Jessica Meakim – West Chester
Jessica had an amazing meet scoring her 2nd highest career All-Around Score of a 38.725. Her performance helped her team earn their highest season opener in program history with a 193.250. She had the 4th highest vault score of a 9.75 in the meet and tied for first place on the floor exercise with a 9.825.

Specialist of the Week
Sarah Boyd – West Chester
Senior, Sarah Boyd started her senior season off with an amazing beam routine. Her 9.8 was the third highest score in the meet and the highest for her team on this event.

Rookie of the Week
Kiah Johnson – West Chester
Freshman, Kiah Johnson had an amazing start to collegiate career. She anchored vault scoring a 9.8, which was the highest score for her team on that event and was the 4th highest vault score in the meet. Her Collegiate floor debut was amazing finishing with the 4th highest score of the meet of a 9.75 on that event.

Coaches' Choice
Jordan Miranda – West Chester
Senior, Jordan Miranda returned to Massachusetts where her gymnastics career started. She had a great meet and went three for three leading her team to their highest season opener in school history.

Mid American Conference

Co-Gymnasts of the Week
Jovannah East - Bowling Green
Jovannah East opened the season with a 39.300 all-around score to take the all-around title in Bowling Green’s meet against MAC opponent Eastern Michigan. She placed in the top four on all four rotations, including winning both vault and floor exercise. Her 39.300 all-around score was a strong start for the former NCAA qualifier as she surpassed that total just twice a year ago.

Denelle Pedrick - Central Michigan
Denelle Pedrick had an outstanding start of the season, recording four top-two finishes in Central Michigan’s opening win at Michigan State. The senior took first on floor (9.875) and second in the all-around (39.325), vault (9.825) and bars (9.875). Her score on bars matched a career high. Central Michigan’s score of 195.625 place the Chippewas 14th in the nation.

Specialist of the Week
Samantha Marion - Bowling Green
After spending two years on the sidelines for Bowling Green, junior Samantha Marion opened 2020 with a bang. In her first collegiate meet, Marion won the balance beam (9.875) and placed second on vault (9.825) as the Falcons began the year against MAC opponent Eastern Michigan. Marion’s balance beam score tied for the highest in the MAC this year and her vault score ranks tied for third.

Midwest Independent Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Dahlia Solorzano-Caruso - SEMO
Solorzano-Caruso registered career-bests on vault, bars, beam, floor and in the all-around competition to win her first three career individual titles and etch her name in the Southeast record books this past Sunday as the Redhawks overcame Alaska Anchorage, 191.225-190.825, in a dual meet. Solorzano-Caruso was also second in the all-around competition (38.650) and on vault with a 9.650 this past Friday in a tri meet at Alaska Anchorage with Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She was also fourth on bars (9.650) and floor (9.725) and sixth on beam (9.625).

Performance of the Week
Angelica Labat - Illinois State
Labat posted a career-best effort of 9.925 on beam to finish in second place during her second collegiate meet. Throughout the rest of the competition, she continued to post career-highs on vault with a 9.700 and on bars with a 9.775. The Chesapeake, Virginia, native concluded the meet with a fifth-place finish in the all-around.

Newcomer of the Week
Anna Kaziska - SEMO
Kaziska won her first three event titles in 2020 this past Friday at Alaska Anchorage's Tri Meet to increase her career total to 14. Kaziska registered her third career-best beam mark of 9.875 to earn the crown. She also won the all-around with a total of 38.950 and the vault with a 9.675. Kaziska was also third on floor with a 9.750. This past Sunday, Kaziska totaled an all-around score of 38.675 (third) in a dual at Alaska Anchorage. She also chipped in a 9.775 on beam for fourth and made the podium for vault (9.650, third).

Mountain Pacific Sports Federation

Gymnast of the Week
Shyan Phillips - San Jose State
San Jose State freshman Shyan Phillips (Oakland, CA) made her collegiate debut at the NorCal Classic in Davis (Jan. 12), where she finished fourth all-around (38.800) in a field which included No. 9 California and No. 22 Stanford. Phillips shared a team-high and tied for fifth overall on vault (9.80). She added routines on bars (9.65), beam (9.725, tied for second on SJSU), and floor (9.625). This is the first career MPSF honor for Phillips.

Specialist of the Week
Courtney Cunningham - UC Davis
UC Davis sophomore Cortney Cunningham (Hayward, CA) posted career- highs on vault (9.850) and floor (9.725), placing fourth on the former, in the NorCal Classic which included No. 9 California and No. 22 Stanford (Jan. 12). Cunningham, the reigning MPSF Freshman of the Year, wins her third career weekly conference award (second as specialist).

Freshman of the Week
Kenadi Brown - Alaska-Anchorage
Alaska-Anchorage freshman Kenadi Brown (Las Vegas, NV) helped the Seawolves to a 191.125 total in their opening meet, defeating SEMO and UWEC (Jan. 10). Brown produced UAA’s top vault (9.575) and second-best uneven bars (9.7) and floor (9.775). She then scored 38.725 in her collegiate all-around debut in the dual meet vs. SEMO (Jan. 12), earning her first career win with a 9.825 on floor. She also had the Seawolves’ second-best score on beam (9.625) and bars (9.775), and third-best on vault (9.5). This is the first career MPSF honor for Brown.

Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championship

Gymnast of the Week
Abbey Miner - BYU
Miner set a career-high all-around score of 39.375. Her performances on vault (9.850) and floor (9.875) contributed to her record, earning her MRGC Co-Vault and Co-Floor Specialist of the Week.

Specialists of the Week
Co-Vault - Abbey Miner, BYU; Leighton Varnadore, Utah State
Uneven Bars - Shylen Murakami, Southern Utah
Co-Balance Beam - Helody Cyrene, BYU; Autumn DeHarde, Utah State; Sofi Sullivan, Utah State
Co-Floor Exercise - Abbey Miner, BYU; Hannah Nipp, Southern Utah

National Collegiate Gymnastics Association East

Gymnast of the Week
Kelsey Gates - Rhode Island College
Kelsey Gates, a freshman from Orangeville, Pa., took first in the all-around with a score of 36.275 in her collegiate debut for Rhode Island College. The Anchorwomen kicked off the 2019-20 season with a 186.800-177.750 loss to Brockport. Gates alsofinished second on floor exercise with a score of 9.525.

Specialist of the Week
Emma Schulz - Cortland
Emma Schulz, a junior from Poughquag, N.Y., won two events in each of Cortland’s two dual meets during the week. She opened the season Tuesday with wins on balance beam (9.625) and floor exercise (9.70) and a runner-up finish on vault (9.40) in a dual competition at Brockport. She followed that performance on Sunday with wins on vault (9.55) and beam (9.80) and a fifth-place showing on floor (9.05) in Cortland’s dual win at Ursinus.

Pac-12 Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Kyana George - California
  • Won the all-around with a score of 39.425, assisting her team to a first-place finish at the NorCal Classic.
  • Took first-place in beam (9.875) and floor (9.825).
  • Claimed the second-place spot in vault (9.9) and bars (9.825).
Specialist of the Week
Kim Tessen - Utah
  • Earned first-place finishes in both bars (9.95) and floor (9.9).
  • Posted a career-high on bars.
  • Helped secure her team’s top place at the Rio Tinto Best of Utah quad-meet.
Freshman/Newcomer of the Week
Zaza Brovedani - Arizona
  • Tied for first-place in bars and assisted her team to first-place overall (195.950).
  • Earned two career-high scores in bars (9.875) and beam (9.825).
  • Brovedani made her debut on the balance beam, and tied for fourth place.
Coaches' Choice
Hannah Vandenkolk - Washington
  • Competed in her first competition after missing all of freshman year with a fractured back.
  • Secured second place on beam with a score of 9.8.
  • Majors in education.

Southeastern Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Trinity Thomas - Florida
Thomas, a sophomore from York, Pa., won four event titles in the season-opening win over preseason No. 19 Arkansas. Thomas claimed her seventh all-around win at 39.70, which ranks as the nation’s third highest all-around of the season. She also won three apparatus titles – uneven bars (9.925), balance beam (9.975) and floor exercise (9.975) – to up her collegiate event titles to 30.

Specialist of the Week
Derrian Gobourne - Auburn
Gobourne, a sophomore from Sarasota, Fla., won two event titles and finished second in the third event to help Auburn clinch Friday’s win over preseason No. 10 Alabama. After scoring a 9.875 on vault to finish second overall, Gobourne followed with a career-high 9.925 on bars to take the title. She then closed out the meet as the final competitor on floor, tying her career high of 9.95 to seal the team victory.

Freshman of the Week
Raena Worley - Kentucky
Worley, a freshman from Riner, Va., took third place in the all-around with a 39.250 behind UK upperclassmen Mollie Korth and Ella Warren as the Wildcats won their home opener over No. 8 Missouri. Worley took second on the floor with a season-high score of 9.900.

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NCGA West)

Blaise Wilson - UW-Whitewater
Wilson won the all-around competition to help the Warhawks to a season-opening 185.825-180.850 victory at Hamline University (Minn.) on Jan. 10. She registered a score 36.800 and placed among the top 10 in all four events, including the top five in two. Wilson recorded a 9.300 to finish second on the uneven bars, then tied for eighth on vault with a 9.225. She tied for fifth on floor exercise with a 9.400, and wrapped up her meet with an 8.875 on balance beam, good for 10th overall. Wilson’s performance helped UW-Whitewater record the highest team score of any WIAC team so far in 2020.

Acacia Fossum - UW-Whitewater
Fossum won a pair of events and tied for fifth in another to help the Warhawks to a season-opening 185.825-180.850 win at Hamline University (Minn.) on Jan. 10. She claimed the uneven bars by a full tenth of a point with a 9.400, and finished first on balance beam by a tenth with her 9.625, five hundredths of a point shy of her career best. Fossum also tied for fifth on floor exercise with a 9.400. Her performance helped UW-Whitewater record the highest team score of any WIAC team so far in 2020.