Authored by LetsGoDU Contributor Jill Cattrysse-Larson
Denver fans, it’s time to hitch our wagons to Sophomore Jessica Hutchinson on the road to nationals! As a team, the wheels officially fell off this weekend at the 2022 Metroplex Challenge. This meet was the culmination of a weekend of gymnastics in Fort Worth, TX with everything from young competitors to Team USA elite qualifiers.
The #12 Pioneers faced off against #3 Oklahoma, #18 Stanford, and #38 Washington. Denver finished in last place with a season-low score of 195.05. Mistakes and injuries continue to plague this team, but Hutchinson’s star is rising. Hutchinson won her third all-around title in a row with a 39.6! Scores like that will put her in the top 10 in the nation. She has hit 16 for 16 this season after a slow start battling back from a COVID infection over the holidays.
Fellow Big XII member Oklahoma, meanwhile, cemented its spot in the top echelon of NCAA gymnastics, being the 4th team in the nation to surpass 198 points in 2022. Denver, who beat Oklahoma last year in the conference championships, finished over three points behind Oklahoma – a large margin to say the least. Lucky for gymnastics fans in Colorado, we’ll get to see the Sooners compete in the Big XII championships at Magness on March 19.
Denver has battled a host of injuries and the loss of star Lynnzee Brown this season. In a team sport like collegiate gymnastics, all it takes is a depleted roster and a few mistakes to fall dramatically in the standings. Let’s hope the DU team can follow Jessica Hutchinson’s lead and gain some consistency and confidence in their last three regular-season meets before they face the Sooners again. DU is back at home on February 27 against Air Force.
As always, Go Pioneers!