Authored by LetsGoDU Contributor Jill Cattrysse-Larson
And then there were none. With the loss of graduate student Emily Glynn at Penn State on Saturday, all three fifth-year gymnasts on the DU roster are out. Glynn suffered a lower leg injury, possibly an Achilles injury, on floor exercise (DU rarely provides public details of student-athlete injuries), as she was carried off after failing to complete her first tumbling pass. Glynn was injured just like her teammates, Lynnzee Brown and Mia Sundstrom.
Oddly all three suffered apparent Achilles injuries on floor. All three were injured at away meets. What does this say about the equipment at NCAA facilities? Or is it the coaching/training staff at DU? Or the repetition and strain at this level of athletics for five years straight? Also, what does this say for other scholarship athletes who had to give up their opportunities for these three to continue on the team? I guarantee you, this is not the season head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart had in mind for her three powerhouse gymnasts coming back for a fifth season with a very real chance at bringing a national team title in gymnastics to DU.
Unfair, and heartbreaking. @emilyglynn24 you’re a star forever and a legend. Proud of you always, and it’s been an immense joy to watch you and we are so lucky we got to have you back for most of this year. Thank you, Em. https://t.co/NvZDyGnrAQ
— Tom Parrott (@Tom_Parrott23) March 7, 2022
On the plus side, Denver improved to 7 wins and 2 losses on the season with their 2nd highest team score of the season. Their meet on Saturday was against host Penn State, Southern Utah, and Cornell. The fact that Denver achieved a 197.075 at an away meet, with a far-from-full-strength lineup reiterates the comments made by LetsGoDU in a previous post about the Colorado judges’ low scores at our home meets. Denver will now be counting four away meets in their top 6 scores for calculating their National Qualifying Score (NQS), with their top score being an away meet that gets dropped in the NQS calculations. But we’ll take the win, nonetheless.
As a reminder, what makes collegiate gymnastics unique, especially for teams with national ambitions, is regional scoring which rolls up to national rankings. So, closely following scoring and scoring standards is an integral part of being a gymnastics fan. Just winning a meet may be great but, ultimately, you want superior scoring as well and tenths of a point have real meaning!
For example, this recent meet win will improve #13 DU’s NQS from 196.71 to 196.82, which may move them up one spot in the rankings. Denver’s only two losses have come in meets against the #2 Oklahoma Sooners. Unfortunately, Oklahoma is the only top 15 team Denver will see in the regular season. Better NCAA scheduling to recognize the DU’s accomplishments in this sport in the past decade would be helpful in seeing better head-to-head competition for the Pioneers. As a comparison, fellow Big XII team, the Sooners face #1 Michigan, #3 Florida, #7 Alabama, and #15 Arizona State in their regular-season competitions. Bringing top teams into Magness might wake up the Colorado judges or at least highlight their differing interpretation of the rules if we get teams used to scoring 10.0’s coming to Denver. When will the NCAA recognize this team in its scheduling of top-ranked teams?
The continuing good news story for the Pioneers lineup is sophomore Jessica Hutchinson who has now won five All-Around titles in a row! Hutchinson, who is a Pennsylvania native, traveled to Penn State with the Pios and continued to dominate in the All-Around. She has not had a miss all season since entering the All-Around in week five! Five AA titles in a row! Hutchinson’s average AA score is 39.55, which is the same average Lynnzee Brown had through her first three meets prior to the injury. If we compare her average to NQS rankings, Jess would be in 3rd spot. That’s how good Hutchinson is! Hold your breath as we head into the last regular season meet and on to the postseason. If we’re lucky, Hutchinson will be on the national stage. Maybe an all-around contender who is not Lynnzee Brown will finally get DU some national recognition.
And another one! Jessica Hutchinson is a #Big12GYM Gymnast of the Week for the third week in a row!
— Denver Gymnastics (@DU_Gymnastics) March 1, 2022
DU’s next meet is back home in Magness on March 13th against Arkansas, Oregon State,and Nebraska. One of the student-athletes to watch in this meet will be Tokyo Olympic floor Gold Medalist, freshman Jade Carey, who is a standout competitor at Oregon State. We’ll see if the Colorado judges give her the 10.0 on floor that she has gotten used to from PAC12 judges. As always, Let’s Go DU, but also, let’s appreciate the Olympic greatness that will be in Magness on Sunday!
And, of course, a speedy recovery for Emily Glynn. Her hard work and dedication while giving DU an extra year are a reflection of her dedication to her team, her sport and her academic development.