It’s been a long time since I’ve posted one of my Top Ten Lists so I thought I would bring one out with a post on the 2007 Women’s NCAA Championships. The competition aired yesterday afternoon. Here are my top ten impressions of the meet, in no particular order…

Photo by Chris Peddecord

10. The coverage was great. Amanda Borden called it well as a commentator and the TV audience got to see so much more gymnastics than it did during the coverage of Nationals or the American Cup.

9. I was thrilled for Georgia’s win after losing Kelsey Erickson and Ashley Kupets to injuries just a few weeks prior. It definitely had an impact on their line up and put the pressure on the rest of the athlete’s. The Gym Dogs really pulled together and fought hard to the end. However, I was equally disappointed to see Florida fall to 3rd. After leading the SEC conference all season, it really seemed like their breakout year and it would have been huge to cap it off with a win at Nationals. Only four schools have won NCAA Gymnastics titles (Utah, UCLA, Georgia & Alabama) and it would have been amazing to see the underdogs steal the show. Maybe next year.

8. Is it just me or was UCLA underscored? It’s hard to tell without having seen the competition live but it seems like they got robbed. Did anyone else feel this way?

7. I liked seeing Corey Hartung in action. I have heard of her for years. It seems like she was on the cusp of the elite scene for a few years but I hadn’t seen her compete until now. She has wonderful long, clean lines.

6. Speaking of Florida, I am now a huge fan of Amanda Castillo. I had never even heard of her before. Seems like she came out of nowhere. She is such a firecracker. She has excellent form, she’s quick and dynamic and she knows how to sell her gymnastics. She looks like she’s having a blast on every event. It would be hard not to like this athlete. Florida found a keeper.

5. Still thinking about Florida… this team impressed me with their difficulty level. Among other things, I saw two double pike dismounts off Beam and three yurchenko 1.5s on Vault. Not too shabby.

4. It was so good to see Courtney McCool competing again. She is absolutely exquisite. I am so pleased to see her out there again. Her Beam routine was gorgeous and she rocked the entire set. Well done. I can’t wait to see more of her.

3. Courtney Kupets was, of course, great all around. The thing that stands out in my mind, however, is her double layout off Bars. I have never seen anyone float their double layout like her. It looks effortless. That is how gymnastics is supposed to look.

2. Grace Taylor of Georgia is another athlete I was eager to see and she did not fail to impress. Like Corey Hartung, I had heard of her but hadn’t actually seen her perform until yesterday. She was only shown on Beam but she was so fluid and graceful. She was a pleasure to watch. I hope to see more of her in the future.

1. Ashley Postell was the one athlete I was most curious to see. Since announcing her intention to make a run for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I have been eager to see her skill level and competitive-readiness. I was so excited to see that she is in fantastic shape. I have long been a fan of hers and was incredibly disappointed when she was injured in 2004. She looks better than ever.

What did the rest of you think? What were some of your impressions of the competition? Did any of you see it live?

To see more photos of the competition by Chris Peddecord, click here.

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