gymnastics-women-nc flag

College Gym News | March 29, 2022

Predictions for the women's gymnastics championships, team, events and all-around

Who to watch in 2022 NCAA women's gymnastics regionals

After 11 long weeks, countless broken program records, a plethora of perfect 10s and too many other exciting moments to count, it’s finally time for the 2022 NCAA gymnastics championships. With five rounds of competition over just about four weeks, the most exciting time of the season is right around the corner. The bracket has been released, and we finally know where every team and individual is going for regionals.

Let’s break down each round of competition, go through what you should watch for and highlight any particularly interesting storylines to keep an eye on.

 Everything you need to know for the 2022 NC gymnastics championships

Auburn Regional

Round One: No. 28 Iowa State vs. No. 36 Western Michigan

When to Watch: Wednesday, March 30 at 4 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Sophia Steinmeyer (Iowa State), Maddie Diab (Iowa State), Payton Murphy (Western Michigan), Sarah Moravansky (Western Michigan)
Why to Watch: Iowa State is the easy favorite here; the Cyclones shouldn’t have been placed in a play-in meet based on their NQS ranking and sit comfortably above Western Michigan. That said, on an off day for Iowa State, the Broncos are a strong enough team to take advantage and advance. 

Round Two Session One: No. 7 Auburn, No. 10 Kentucky, No. 23 Georgia & No. 27 Southern Utah

When to Watch: Thursday, March 31 at 2 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Suni Lee (Auburn), Derrian Gobourne (Auburn), Raena Worley (Kentucky), Rachel Baumann (Georgia), Shylen Murakami (Southern Utah), Hannah Nipp (Southern Utah), Mara Titarsolej* (LIU), Mei Li Costa* (Brown), Alyssa Guns* (Kent State)
Why to Watch: Auburn and Kentucky sit a step above their competition here. Georgia has had two scores in 2022 that could compete to advance but is coming off of a disappointing SEC championship performance. Everything would have to go in their favor for the Gymdogs to advance.

*Qualified individuals without teams are listed under session one. However, it is unknown at the time of publishing in which round two session they will compete. 

Round Two Session Two: No. 2 Florida, No. 15 Denver, No. 17 Ohio State & Round One Winner

When to Watch: Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Trinity Thomas (Florida), Leanne Wong (Florida), Jessica Hutchinson (Denver), Rylie Mundell (Denver), Jenna Hlavach (Ohio State), Elexis Edwards (Ohio State)
Why to Watch: Florida should storm away with the second session. Ohio State has a very realistic chance at upsetting a depleted Denver to advance to the final. The Buckeyes fell off of 197-pace in the last rotations of the Big Ten championship while Denver excelled at Big 12s, though, so it will be a tight contest.  

Regional Final: First- and Second-Place Teams From Round Two

When to Watch: Saturday, April 2 at 6 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Why to Watch: Florida and Auburn are the easy favorites here, led by stars Trinity Thomas and Suni Lee. Raena Worley’s Wildcats will be hoping a strong and steady season has set them up for an upset, though. Denver—missing three of its top gymnasts with Achilles injuries—proved at its conference championship that it can hit solid numbers with limited depth, but it would need help from one of the top two to land a nationals berth.

College Gym News Prediction:

Round One: Iowa State
Round Two Session One: Auburn, Kentucky
Round Two Session Two: Florida, Ohio State
Teams Advancing to Nationals: Florida, Auburn
Individuals Advancing to Nationals: Raena Worley, Kentucky (all-around), Makayla Maxwell, Iowa State (vault), Shylen Murakami, Southern Utah (bars), Stephanie Berger, Ohio State (beam), Maddie Diab, Iowa State (floor)

Norman Regional

Round One: No. 31 West Virginia vs. No. 32 Arizona

When to Watch: Wednesday, March 30 at 4 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Alysen Fears (Arizona), Malia Hargrove (Arizona), Kendra Combs (West Virginia), Abbie Pierson (West Virginia)
Why to Watch: This tightly ranked first round matchup will see two foes enter on hot streaks as both teams needed strong ends to their regular seasons to make regionals. The Mountaineers just notched their season high at the Big 12 championship, but the Wildcats own the best score between the two to create a scenario where this matchup has no true favorite to advance.

Round Two Session One: No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 California, No. 24 Boise State & No. 25 Utah State

When to Watch: Thursday, March 31 at 2 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Emily Muhlenhaupt (Boise State), Alexis Stokes (Boise State), Maya Bordas (California), Neveah DeSouza (California), Andi Li (California), Mya Hooten (Minnesota), Ona Loper (Minnesota), Lexy Ramler (Minnesota), Brie Clark (Utah State), Rebecca Wells (Utah State), Angelica Labat* (Illinois State), Suki Pfister* (Ball State), Jaye Mack* (Illinois State)
Why to Watch: Both eyeing back-to-back trips to nationals, Minnesota and California will begin their quests against two top 25 foes from the MRGC. The Gophers will be looking to dispel a rough fourth place showing at the Big Ten championship while Pac-12 runner-up and regular season co-champ California is aiming to build on its conference meet. Utah State, the MRGC champion, will be hoping to beat higher-ranked Boise State for the second time in as many meets.

*Qualified individuals without teams are listed under session one. However, it is unknown at the time of publishing in which round two session they will compete.

Round Two Session Two: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 16 Arizona State, No. 18 Arkansas & Round One Winner

When to Watch: Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Hannah Scharf (Arizona State), Alex Theodorou (Arizona State), Kennedy Hambrick (Arkansas), Bailey Lovett (Arkansas), Jordan Bowers (Oklahoma), Audrey Davis (Oklahoma), Ragan Smith (Oklahoma)
Why to Watch: After notching the highest NQS in NCAA history, the top ranked Sooners will start off their title campaign against a slew of top 20 programs. The Sun Devils narrowly missed nationals last season and will face tough competition from the start to accomplish the feat with a tough and tricky matchup with Arkansas, who’s ready for postseason success after injuries bogged down its regular season.

Regional Final: First- and Second-Place Teams From Round Two

When to Watch: Saturday, April 2 at 6 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Why to Watch: With the Sooners, Golden Bears and Gophers having made nationals last year and the Sun Devils missing out by mere tenths, this regional final with two nationals bids on the line should be a thrilling one. Top overall postseason seed and home team, Oklahoma, will be the easy favorite, but it cannot afford an off day as the other three ultra-motivated squads will be ready to capitalize on any opportunity to advance.

College Gym News Prediction:

Round One: Arizona
Round Two Session One: Minnesota, California
Round Two Session Two: Oklahoma, Arizona State
Teams Advancing to Nationals: Oklahoma, Minnesota
Individuals Advancing to Nationals: Hannah Scharf, Arizona State (all-around), Angelica Labat, Illinois State (vault), Maya Bordas, California (bars), Andi Li, California (beam), Bailey Lovett, Arkansas (floor)

Raleigh Regional

Round One: No. 33 Towson vs. No. 35 North Carolina

When to Watch: Wednesday, March 30 at 3 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Elizabeth Culton (North Carolina), Julia Knower (North Carolina), Clara Hong (Towson), Steph Macasu (Towson) 
Why to Watch: Towson is coming in hot, finishing second at the EAGL championship for the second year in a row while North Carolina finished a disappointing fifth after counting a fall on beam. However, the Tar Heels have proven themselves capable of hitting the mid-196 mark even without star freshman Lali Dekanoidze in the lineups. If both teams hit, this should come down to the wire. 

Round Two Session One: No. 6 LSU, No. 11 Missouri, No. 22 Iowa & No. 30 N.C. State

When to Watch: Thursday, March 31 at 1 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Haleigh Bryant (LSU), Kiya Johnson (LSU), Amari Celestine (Missouri), Jocelyn Moore (Missouri), Sienna Schreiber (Missouri), Lauren Guerin (Iowa), JerQuavia Henderson (Iowa), Emily Shepard (N.C. State), Lauren Rutherford (N.C. State), Hannah Joyner* (Rutgers), Belle Huang* (Rutgers)
Why to Watch: The SEC’s dueling Tigers are the heavy favorites in session one, but don’t sleep on either the Hawkeyes or the Wolfpack. N.C. State was controversially assigned to round one last year, and its subsequent bracket-busting run to the Athens regional final was spectacular (and that was without the home arena advantage). Iowa similarly drew the short straw bracket-wise and saved its best performance of the season for its final competition. 

*Qualified individuals without teams are listed under session one. However, it is unknown at the time of publishing in which round two session they will compete.

Round Two Session Two: No. 3 Michigan, No. 14 UCLA, No. 20 Maryland & Round One Winner

When to Watch: Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Sierra Brooks (Michigan), Abby Heiskell (Michigan), Gabby Wilson (Michigan), Natalie Wojcik (Michigan), Jordan Chiles (UCLA), Chase Campbell (UCLA), Norah Flatley (UCLA), Audrey Barber (Maryland)
Why to Watch: Barring disaster, Michigan should easily cruise to the next round and would probably squeak through even with a disastrous performance. UCLA is nothing if not chaotic, with over a three-point swing between its season high and low scores (it’s also worth noting that the team has not broken 197 at any away meet this year). The Bruins’ ceiling is certainly higher than the Terps, but it’ll still have to hit when it counts. It’s also just feasible that either North Carolina and Towson, both of whom have scored consistently in the high 195 to mid-196 range this season, could capitalize on an off performance from the seeded teams.  

Regional Final: First- and Second-Place Teams From Round Two

When to Watch: Saturday, April 2 at 5 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Why to Watch: Reigning national champion Michigan is a virtual lock to advance; even a mediocre performance by its 2022 standards should be enough to clinch a nationals berth in this field. The major battle is going to be for that second spot: LSU has been streaky all season, as evidenced by its struggles at the conference championship. It'll have to outperform the upstart Missouri Tigers, who are having their best season in program history (and who have beaten LSU in both of their match-ups this year). UCLA is the dark horse in this race and will need to be at its absolute best on all four events to fend off both sets of Tigers. 

College Gym News Prediction: 

Round One: North Carolina
Round Two Session One: LSU, Missouri
Round Two Session Two: Michigan, UCLA 
Teams Advancing to Nationals: Michigan and LSU
Individuals Advancing to Nationals: Sienna Schreiber, Missouri (AA), Jocelyn Moore, Missouri (VT), Jordan Chiles, UCLA (UB), Helen Hu, Missouri (BB), Lauren Guerin, Iowa (FX)

Seattle Regional

Round One: No. 29 Stanford vs. No. 34 San Jose State

When to Watch: Wednesday, March 30 at 6 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Kyla Bryant (Stanford), Brenna Neault (Stanford), Jada Mazury (San Jose State), Emma Milne (San Jose State)
Why to Watch: These two West Coast teams have both had resurgent 2022 seasons after 2021 outings critically disrupted by COVID. San Jose State is having arguably its best season in history, blowing its program record five times over and qualifying to regionals for the first time since 2014 on the strength of a dominant win at the MPSF championship. Stanford’s huge and decorated senior class, led by fifth-year Kyla Bryant, is favored to lead the Cardinal to round two and a potential 20-plus year-over-year ranking improvement from 2021’s No. 52 finish.

Round Two Session One: No. 5 Alabama, No. 12 Michigan State, No. 21 BYU & No. 25 Washington

When to Watch: Thursday, March 31 at 4 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Luisa Blanco (Alabama), Lilly Hudson (Alabama), Lexi Graber (Alabama), Gabrielle Stephen (Michigan State), Skyla Schulte (Michigan State), Baleigh Garcia (Michigan State), Ashley Hofelich (Michgan State), Sadie Miner-Van Tassell (BYU), Anyssa Alvarado (BYU), Elease Rollins (BYU), Brittney Vitkauskas (BYU), Geneva Thompson (Washington), Skylar Killough-WIlhelm (Washington), Amara Cunningham (Washington), Natalie Hamp* (Northern Illinois), Jolie Miller* (SEMO), Anna Kaziska* (SEMO)
Why to Watch: The biggest question mark in this meet is the injury status of Alabama all-around star Luisa Blanco. The junior went down at the SEC championship with an unidentified lower leg injury and her recent social media posts have been cryptic in the extreme. If Blanco isn’t ready, Alabama’s backup routines are still likely good enough to carry the Tide safely through this meet. Michigan State has been a real revelation in the latter half of the 2022 season and is also heavily favored to advance despite BYU’s depth and Washington’s home-field advantage. Either of those teams could challenge with their very best day, but it would likely take mistakes from the top two as well to make this one close.

*Qualified individuals without teams are listed under session one. However, it is unknown at the time of publishing in which round two session they will compete.

Round Two Session Two: No. 4 Utah, No. 13 Oregon State, No. 19 Illinois & Round One Winner

When to Watch: Thursday, March 31 at 10 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Who to Watch: Grace McCallum (Utah), Maile O’Keefe (Utah), Cristal Isa (Utah), Sydney Soloski (Utah), Jade Carey (Oregon State), Madi Dagen (Oregon State), Mia Takekawa (Illinois), Amelia Knight (Illinois), Mia Townes (Illinois)
Why to Watch: There’s absolutely no reason to worry about Utah’s safety in this meet, but an Illinois upset of Oregon State is very much possible. These two teams have had similar peaks in 2022, and while both have been better at home, the Beavers’ home-field advantage has been more pronounced. Additionally, all of Illinois’ top three scores of the season have come in March, meaning the Illini are peaking at the right time. Oregon State’s biggest argument against any upset attempt is No. 1-ranked all-arounder and Olympic floor champion Jade Carey, but behind Carey the Beavers have much less depth than most top-16 teams. If you like upsets, watch this one closely.

Regional Final: First- and Second-Place Teams From Round Two

When to Watch: Saturday, April 2 at 8 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN+
Why to Watch: The only realistic upset scenario in this meet is Michigan State beating an injury-hampered Alabama. Utah has only scored lower than Michigan State’s NQS twice this season and it would take a catastrophe for the Utes to fail to advance. Alabama, like Michigan State, carries a great deal of momentum into regionals, but the Crimson Tide’s best asset in this meet might be depth: 32 different Crimson Tide routines have scored at least 9.900 this season. (Remember, only 24 routines can be used in a given meet.) That means that the Alabama worst-case scenario, i.e. Blanco’s injury proving to be season-ending, is likely still surmountable. Still, many of those borderline Alabama routines can be very inconsistent, so there’s a chance.

College Gym News Prediction:

Round One: Stanford
Round Two Session One: Alabama, Michigan State
Round Two Session Two: Utah, Illinois
Teams Advancing to Nationals: Alabama, Utah
Individuals Advancing to Nationals: Jade Carey, Oregon State (all-around), Gabi Stephen, Michigan State (vault), Anyssa Alvarado, BYU (bars), Skylar Killough-Wilhelm, Washington (beam), Ashley Hofelich, Michigan State (floor)

National Championships

Semifinals

Semifinal One: Advancing Teams From the Norman and Seattle Regionals
When to Watch: Thursday, April 14 at 1 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN2

Semifinal Two: Advancing Teams From the Auburn and Raleigh Regionals
When to Watch: Thursday, April 14 at 6 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ESPN2

Who to Watch: While we don’t know which gymnasts will advance to compete in Fort Worth, Texas, we do know the likely contenders that will be gunning for individual national titles, with or without their teams. Olympians Jade Carey (Oregon State) and Sunisa Lee (Auburn) will almost certainly be there and are in the conversation to stand atop the podium on every event. Florida teammates Trinity Thomas and Leanne Wong hold the top score in the all-around this season with 39.850s. Oklahoma’s Jordan Bowers (vault) and Ragan Smith (beam) also lead the country on their pet events and are challengers for gold as well. However, with gymnastics it’s important to remember that anything can happen, especially when one routine takes all at the national championship. No prior results matter; it’s what each individual brings on the day and in the moment that will matter.

Team Final: Top Two Teams From Each Semifinal

When to Watch: Saturday, April 16 at 3:30 p.m. ET
How to Watch: ABC
Why to Watch: Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma and Utah are the four front runners for the national title and have been all season, with a clear separation between the top four and any of the teams that have rotated in and out of the fifth position this season. If there’s a vulnerable team, it’s Utah, but the Utes proved in 2021 they know how to peak when it counts. However, assuming these four make it all the way to the final day of the 2022 season, it will be an absolute knock-down drag-out fight for the title. Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma all scored 198.200 at their respective conference championships, setting this up to be perhaps the most exciting and tightly contested national final ever.

College Gym News Prediction:

National Champion: Florida
National All-Around Champion: Jade Carey, Oregon State
National Vault Champion: Haleigh Bryant, LSU
National Bars Champion: Sunisa Lee, Auburn
National Beam Champion: Maile O’Keefe, Utah
National Floor Champion: Nya Reed, Florida

Way-too-early power rankings for the 2023 college gymnastics season

2022 champion Oklahoma leads the way in our way-too-early power rankings for the 2023 college gymnastics season.
READ MORE

Oklahoma captures fifth national title in come-from-behind win

Oklahoma edged out Florida by less than one point to capture its fifth national title on Saturday.
READ MORE

WATCH: Ragan Smith clinches 2022 NC women's gymnastics title for Oklahoma

Ragan Smith put up the highest score of the day on the balance beam to clinch the 2022 title for Oklahoma.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners