Live Blog – San Jose St. @ UCLA

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We’ve had a bit of a topsy-turvy weekend, which always makes everything more interesting.  Nebraska came back to the field a bit, and Florida and Alabama continued to low 196 their way through January, but Arkansas maintained their upward trajectory, and Oklahoma finally arrived.  Oklahoma should be even more pleased with their season-leading 197.450 because it was a road score, which will be very valuable when RQS comes into play.

As it stands now, Arkansas should take over the #1 ranking on Monday from an idle Utah (196.775 to 196.713 average score).  UCLA has an outside shot at taking the top spot, but they would have to score 197.600 today to do so.  It’s possible but highly unlikely.  Let’s just go for 24/24, shall we?  UCLA does, however, have a prime opportunity to move into the #3 or #4 spot with Nebraska, Oregon St, Alabama, and Georgia all dropping points (in average) this weekend.  The big ranking loser of the weekend was Michigan, whose 193.150 will see them plummet.  Still no official word on Beilstein’s injury, but it can’t be good.  I think we call this a rebuilding year.

For UCLA, the huge beam score (too huge, but a UCLA team hit 6/6 on beam in January, so let’s just enjoy it) from last week should help their confidence to do it again.  If they hit the first five routines well, I’d like to see Peszek’s standing full come back in (the routine without it is a bit too easy for her skill level).  Also important will be Mattie Larson’s floor routine.  She’s been taking the marionette thing a bit too seriously when landing her passes, and she hasn’t fully hit a floor routine in competition since August 2010.  That kind of thing wears on you.  She needs to get hitting immediately.  On vault, the judges at Cal broke the 10 barrier for Zamarripa, so now we can expect to start seeing them every time she sticks at home.

Live commentary after the jump

OK, anyone else without sound so far?  Let’s get that working.  Why do we always have sound issues at these UCLA meets?  Now we have bits of some music…progress?  And the music they’re playing is really inappropriate for this dancing.  Awesome.  “A little ceremony”?

SJ State lineups first.  I’ve never seen a San Jose State meet before, so it’s always fun to see a new team.  I’m thankful that there is commentary on this meet because I won’t be able to identify these SJS gymnasts by sight. (Actually that might be a lie.  I think I’ve seen a regional with them before, but I wasn’t paying particular attention.)

UCLA’s intro video.  I really can’t deal with this.  It’s so cheesy.  I mean, there’s pretend karate…
Courtney didn’t compete beam or floor last week. We’ll see if she’s back on those events.  Are we going to see Ti Liu this year?

Rotation 1: UCLA on vault, SJ State on bars

Looks like EHH is going to be on vault this week for the first time this season.  The male commentator is asking Allison about strenuous competitive schedules…

Nice to hear that Zamarripa will be back in the beam lineup.  That’s a necessary step for this team.

Baer – UCLA – yfull seemed a bit cleaner in the air than before but hop back and lower landing. (9.800)

Harrison – SJSt – leg separations through routine but hit the tkatchev and stuck the dbl tuck landing.  Solid start but clear deductions. (9.675)

EHH – UCLA – yfull – her usual one – a little short on distance and the hop backward.  Should score a bit better than Baer. (9.875)

McCord – SJSt – a bit cleaner in legs and handstands than the previous gymnast – hit the tkatchev – then over on the handstand and off the bars – dbl tuck dismount with step back.  Tough going ahead for SJSt on bars. (9.125)

Courtney – UCLA – good distance and stuck – a little off to the side, but that’s probably her strongest landing this season. (9.900 – fair score).

Field – SJSt – very short on bail hs – seemed like she had good enough height on the tkatchev but could not catch the bar – disaster already for San Jose State – another dbl tuck dismount – this one very low and major steps forward. (8.800)

Frattone – UCLA – excellent stuck omelianchik again.  Should score extremely well – the legs even looked a little more together than usual.  I don’t think this is quite a 10, though. (9.950 – UCLA is mad, but I think it’s fair)

Gregory – SJSt – very similar composition in all these routines – no same bar release here – (9.675)

Peszek – UCLA – biggish hop and a little lack of control on landing, so this won’t be her best score. (9.875)

Telles-Nolan – SJSt – best tkatchev and bail of the group by far – dbl stuck with just a hop – will be their best score. (9.800)

Zam – UCLA – didn’t stick this week – definitely a .1 slide back. (9.900) If he mispronounces her name one more time, I’m just going to die.

Wallace – SJSt – shaposh + bail – nice – dbl front dismount was a little unstable with a big step back, but a strong recovery. (9.850)

McDonald Exo – UCLA – third week exhibitioning, and still nothing that will get her into the lineup.  A little weaker on form and landing than the rest of the lineup.  De La Torre also did an exhibition, but we didn’t see it.

Looks like UCLA scored “just” a 49.500, their weakest score of the year, which is hilarious.  San Jose State goes 48.125.

Rotation 2: SJ State on vault, and UCLA on bars

Same UCLA bar lineup as usual – nice that we’ll see Wong and Whitcomb on exhibition.  I’d really like both of them to get in the lineup.  UCLA had way too many 9.7s in this rotation last week, and they need to clean those up to keep this pace and hope to go into 197 territory.

Lee – SJSt – and we had to see the crowd instead?  Thanks. (9.625)

MDLT – UCLA – hop full gienger as usual – a little wacky on form – step back on the DLO – she’ll need to be sticking that soon. (9.800)

Valleau – SJSt – yfull tucked – very low landing and a step (9.575)

I love how snippy Allison Taylor is in correcting this guy when he mispronounces things.  This is the most I’ve ever liked Allison

Gerber – UCLA – hits jaeger, a little late on giant full and the usual leg sep on the pak – best dbl arabian dismount I’ve seen her do s0 far – small hop. (9.900)

Greer – SJSt – handspring tuck half – similar with low landing and step forward. (9.625)

Larson – UCLA – she fingertips that shaposh – dbl layout with a small hop – she missed a handstand, but it’s a mostly clean routine. (9.875)

Montalban – SJSt – better landing here with the chest position and the movement, but still a little wonky on form which is hurting the whole team.

Peszek – UCLA – efficient little routine – flung the DLO a little bit with a step back – this was a solid routine – about what we should be expecting from her. (9.850)

Harrison – SJSt – first yfull layout we’ve seen (actually I might credit it as piked – which will hurt her) (9.725)

Zam – UCLA – clean shaposh – maybe a little low on bail hs – uncharacteristic DLO in the landing with a large step back, but it should still score well enough.  (9.875 – a little charitable given that dismount).

Wllace – SJSt – yhalf – huge lunge forward – barely kept it in the city. (9.700)

Courtney – UCLA – better swing through shaposh this time – stuck her dismount which will bring up her score – but there’s too much hip angle and toes for me to see this as a huge scoring routine. (9.900)

SJSt Exo – yfull – a little uncertain on landing but they’ll want her difficulty in the lineup.

Wong – UCLA – excited to see this – a little bent arms on jaeger – bail hs – just a dbl tuck dismount with a step – they’ll need to find a dismount for her because she can score extremely well if she puts it all together – great line and skill. (9.775)

Whitcomb – UCLA – they’ve added the gienger – good – stick the double tuck dismount – clear progress from the last time she exhibitioned, but it’s still not lineup ready – MLT would be so mad at her for those handstands.

After 2 Rotations: UCLA 98.900, San Jose State 96.500

UCLA goes 49.400 on bars, which is their best of the season.  I thought all the scores were just a tad high, but the scoring has been consistent.  I’m not wild about all these shaposhnikovas in the UCLA lineup.  I appreciate the difficulty, but they all lose either swing or form on them right now and it breaks the flow of the routine.

If UCLA hits 5 for 6 on each of the next two apparatuses (big IF), they are in great shape for the 197 range.

Rotation 3: UCLA on beam, San Jose St on floor

Oooh, the beam.  No setbacks, please.  Looks like Wong remains in the lineup after her 9.925 last week.  I assume Zamarripa will be taking Frattone’s slot.  We’ll see.

Gerber – UCLA – good mount turn and leaps – hits side somi – good walkover – dismount series – near stick on landing – very minor shuffle.  This would be a huge score later in the lineup. (9.825)

Lee – SJSt – clean tumbling so far – impressive form for a leadoff routine for SJ State (9.525)

Wong – UCLA – good leaps – much more confident on series than two weeks ago – a little uncertain on full turn – minor hop up on 1.5 dismount – it’s like she’s a different person on beam all of the sudden. (9.875)

Harrison – SJSt – confident dbl pike, also very solid landing on the double full – dismounts dbl tuck. (9.725)

Larson – UCLA – notable wobble on walkover – comes off on her loso (here we go again) – she looked off from the moment she mounted the beam.  It’s always an adventure with Mattie. hits dbl full dismount.  Major case of Miss Val Eyes in the background. (9.250)

Montalban – SJSt – another dbl pike mount – a little less control than Harrison – dismounts with 1.5 + front tuck. (9.675)

Zam – UCLA – lineup debut on beam – huge wobble on onodi – hits loso series very well – hit dbl full dismount to keep UCLA in this.  Must hits for EHH and Peszek now. (9.825)

Break while we discuss scores and OOBs.  Judging controversy.

Greer – SJSt – front dbl – big bounce back out of her rudi on the second pass (9.700)

EHH – UCLA – she missed her series in warmups but hits it well here – took out the illusion turn and wobbles on ust her full turn – that’s two gymnasts who have wobbled on full turns – hop back on dismount.  Hit routine, but far from her best.  Now it’s up to Peszek. (9.850)

Wallace – SJSt – big tumbling ability, but just a layout + layout on her second pass – big step back out of her dbl tuck as well – energetic routine but definite deductions. (9.800)

Peszek – UCLA – she’s the anchor for her solidity and they need it desperately now – hits her dismount series with layout – hops a bit on the landing.  HUGE accomplishment for UCLA that they were able to get past a mid-rotation fall and hit. (9.900)

Valleau – SJSt – huge bounce out of her opening pass – the lines on that sting mat are not even close to the actual floor, it’s totally askew.  Rudi to finish.

Baer Exo – UCLA – little wobble on her first jump – had to save her side somi and did well to stay on – same dismount series as Aisha – little step on landing.

S. Wong Exo – SJSt – stumbles way OOB on her dbl pike mount – and a fall on her layout + layout pass – baisl out of the dismount and just does a layout

Frattone Exo – UCLA – nicely done on her loso series, low on her punch front but hits it – dbl ful dismount with step back – she hit well because she wasn’t in the lineup.

UCLA scores 49.275 on beam, which they’ll take any day.  We still have to deal with this Mattie situation, but that’s a strong recovery.  They are on pace for well over 197 if they can hit floor.  It would be a huge disappointment if they can’t convert for a big score again.

After 3 rotations: UCLA 148.175, San Jose State 145.075

Rotation 4: San Jose State on beam, UCLA on floor

Greer – SJSt – aerial comb + bhs, solid routine with few errors – front full dismount with step (9.775)

Gerber – UCLA – god dbl tuck mount, she looks to have figured out that second pass since the first meet, dismounts with a dbl pike – a little low but a beautiful routine as always. (9.775)  She did have a wonky leg on one her leaps, which was uncharacteristic.

Harrison – SJSt – steps back on loso series, but I thought it would be worse given the angle she went into it, wobble on dance elements, very low on punch front but saves it – major deductions here but she’s staying on.  gainer pike dismount. (9.550)

Frattone – UCLA – hits her double pass opening pass very well – better on the dbl pike than two weeks ago – rudi  shush dismount.  The shushunova is getting a little better, but I’m still not wild about it’s inclusion. (9.850)

Shearer – SJSt – small wobble connecting aerial to bhs – comes off on acro, so they’ll have to count the 9.550.  This is a disappointing meet coming off the first meet that got them to #19. (9.175)

Wong – UCLA – hits dbl pike mount – I liked her 2011 routine better than this one, which is a shame because we didn’t get to see that one much.  Tremendous leaps, really stand out from the rest of the crowd – dbl tuck with a minor bounce back.  Good recovery from last week. (9.850)

Lee – SJSt – tries to connect side aerials but was way off and fell – now they’re counting a fall on this event as well.  hits tuck front 1/1 dismount. (9.275)

Courtney – UCLA – back into the lineup after last week – much better dbl arabian than week 1 when she vaulted out of it – more control this week – hits dbl tuck dismount as well. (9.875)

Wallace – SJst – good loso series, minor wobble on side somi – she’s getting them back on track with this hit.  1.5 dismount, very low and big step back. (9.825)

Peszek – UCLA – (5th instead of anchor this time) – excellent hit on DLO – let’s watch these leaps, that’s her biggest weakness in the routine – big lunge back out of the dbl pike dismount, which will keep this from being a big score. (9.875 – one judge gave it a 9.950 – what is happening?)

Field – SJSt – good punch front – little leg issues on loso series but she hits it as well as the sheep jump – back tuck full dismount – (9.700)

EHH – UCLA – she’s still just mounting with that dbl tuck – I need that upgraded like yesterday – her shushunova is much higher and better than Frattone’s – good dbl pike dismount.  They’ll be contending for top score of the season after this routine.  It will be close to Oklahoma’s score. (9.950 – just got upgraded from a 9.9 so that UCLA will go 197.575….I don’t think I believe in 9.950s for routines that mount with double tucks)

Well, we won’t see any cranky Val after this meet, that’s for sure.  Sam Peszek wins the AA for the third week in a row with her highest score yet, 39.500.

We’re not getting to see De La Torre’s exhibition on floor.  Pritchett has hit her exhibition routine.

UCLA got right around score that I just said would be highly unlikely for them to get.  Shows what I know.  That score is insane and will be the highest score of the season for any team so far.  We are seeing SO MANY 197s for January, and none of them are from Florida.  Where will the scores be when these teams actually start rounding into form?  The judges aren’t leaving any room.  This is a colossal score, and yet UCLA can perform better than they did today – the dismounts are not there yet.

FINAL: UCLA 197.575, San Jose State 193.200

7 thoughts on “Live Blog – San Jose St. @ UCLA”

  1. Agreed about the judges not leaving room to go higher when the teams are peaking. I wouldn't be surprised if we see some frankly, undeserved 198s at midseason because scores all over seem to trending unusually high in January. It's almost like the judges are trying to keep up with each other. UCLA deserved to go over 197, but in general, I thought the scoring was on the high side everywhere but beam and vault to lesser extent. Not outrageous by any means, just a bit high.


  2. The best part of the UCLA meet is now the rest of the nation doesn't have to listen (read) UCLA fans bitch and moan about over-scoring…

    There seems to be a wave of over-scoring going on and after yesterday the Bruin's and their watered down routines raking in the 9.90's have leaped into the early lead for most gifts from NCAA judges.


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