Editor's note: The following is an excerpt of an article first published on College Gym News. The full article includes the judge's breakdown of every perfect 10 in January.
Each month, I’m going to take a look at all the 10.0 routines in NCAA women’s gymnastics. To be clear, each and every one of these gymnasts is an incredible athlete, performing world-class gymnastics, but if we are honest with ourselves, sometimes the judges overlook small or blatantly obvious errors that really should have put the athlete at a 9.950 or a 9.900. In this article, I’m going to point out the obvious — and not so so obvious — errors that the judges missed, then rate the “10-iest” of each routine on a five-star scale.
⭐ This was clearly not a 10.0 routine (but still very good!)
⭐⭐ There was definitely a deduction there, but maybe the judges blinked?
⭐⭐⭐ 10.0 vibes, but not actually perfect
⭐⭐⭐⭐ It was a “college 10”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 100% a perfect routine
Trinity Thomas, floor (Jan. 13)
Please bear with me on this one, especially with the change in camera angles, since it makes it hard to track the turn completion in her leaps. When she takes off for her tour-jete, her take-off foot and hips are angled toward the corner of the floor, and when she finishes her jumps, she is facing square to the side of the floor. If you watch her feet closely, she slightly under turns her second straddle full. I know I’m being very picky, but I am a stickler for dance passes on floor, and Thomas was slightly under turned on this pass.
Definitely a college 10. That double layout would make me forget to watch her feet on her dance pass, too.
Kara Eaker, beam (Jan. 13)
This is the most perfect 10 that I have seen so far this season! This was an absolutely stunning routine. The constant flow and artistry of her choreography from her fingers to her toes is one of a kind. She made everything look so easy and beautiful. All hail beam queen, Kara Eaker!
Sunisa Lee, beam (Jan. 7)
Balance error (-0.050)
Notice as she steps forward out of her turn, her hips sway to the right before she quickly corrects them back to center
Switch leap half (E)
Knee bend prior to switch (-0.050)
Definitely a college 10. If the panel missed the bent leg on the switch half (to be fair, it happened very quickly and would have been hard to see for the judge on Lee’s back side), I can see why they wouldn’t have deducted for a slight wobble on something that’s not even a skill.
The full routine:
The author is a former national-rated NAWGJ women’s gymnastics judge with over 15 years of USAG judging experience and nine seasons judging NCAA gymnastics.