Stanford @ UCLA: Watch Live
UCLA has scheduled today’s meet at 12:30pm local time as a way of giving us something to enjoy before I begin my annual exercise in complaining about how the rules of football are stupid.
[tangent] Okay, so a guy gets tackled, and then he just flings the “ball” (it’s a prolate spheroid, goobers) anywhere, and then the referee collects it and places it at some random spot where he assumes it landed. And then they get out those chains and measure for a first down, and he says, “Oopsie, you missed it by two millimeters,” even though he just set it down where he thought it stopped using the scientific measurement of pointing to the grass with his toe. And everyone just thinks it’s fine and treats the spot like it’s inarguably accurate. That would be like us not questioning any of the cracked out scores we see in gymnastics. What is happening? [/tangent]
Through three meets, Stanford has revealed that they are truly a lackluster team without Hong and Shapiro, and I don’t expect them to be relevant in the national conversation until they get both back competing regularly on many events (so…never). UCLA needs to be in full recovery mode after last week. I expect any “disciplinary issues” to be magically resolved so that the best possible lineup can be in on each event. The judges will also have made note of the scoring of Alabama’s vault rotation on Friday, and may view this as an “anything you can score, I can score higher” opportunity. Watch the score on Kaelie Baer’s opening vault as a helpful barometer of what we’ll need to laugh about for the rest of the week. If UCLA can manage to hit five routines on each event, I would be surprised if they don’t go over 197. Just like with Alabama’s beam dismounts, we’ll need to watch UCLA’s bar routines to see if some of those same-bar releases are getting in. These shaposhnikovas aren’t doing it for me.
Follow along after the jump for live commentary.
UCLA’s Super Action Hero Super Bowl (don’t worry, I don’t either…) meet is soon to get underway, and we’ll also be following the scores of Arkansas/Oklahoma, each in their second meet of the weekend. Oklahoma needs to pick up the scoring from Friday if they are going to resist a drop in the rankings.
Over in Arkansas, Grable and Pisani lead the way on vault, giving the team a 49.325 to open. Oklahoma looks consistently 9.85 on bars for 49.275. This could be pretty close all the way to the end. Pay attention to these scores instead of the off-off-off-off-Broadway production of Urinetown that’s happening at the UCLA meet right now. It’s 12:30 and we’re not even close to lineups, so take your time.
Oh god, they roped Stanford into doing the superhero thing, too? I apologize to everyone on behalf of everyone. And UCLA didn’t even wear the capes? UCLA is getting outshone on their own theme. MDLT is carrying a dog for no reason. Can it hit beam?
80’s a cappella featuring Overenthusiastic Yellow Pants Girl is back to sing the national anthem.
(Note that Oklahoma just scored 49.525 on vault. Oklahoma leads 98.800 to 98.550)
Uh oh for UCLA, Gerber has an ankle sprain and Courtney is sick. This beam rotation will be interesting…maybe not the scoring expectation overall that we had coming in.
Yuck, Joe Morgan is in the crowd. It’s cheating. He’ll egotistically bore everyone to death.
Baer – UCLA – solid start with leg form on the horse and a hop back. (9.825)
Wing – ST – a little iffy in the legs to start – looked good in the tuck dismount but took a big hop back. (9.750)
Larson – UCLA – good form and direction, it was difficult to judge the landing because of the camera angle, but it should score more than Baer’s 9.825. (9.875)
Dayton – ST – sloppy legs and a little bit of a WOGA tkatchev, stuck the DLO but had to swim for it, so it will incur deductions. (9.725)
Wong – UCLA – slightly under on her Yfull as usual, and a little piked in it – I’ve never really seen why she’s in the lineup sometimes on vault. (9.850 – high)
Shapiro – ST – interested to see this routine. How are the handstand? This is a solid, clean routine from her overall. Remember when she was the great bars hope as a junior? (9.875)
Peszek – UCLA – hop back on a vault that she’s been sticking most of the year, but good power and direction. Needs a little more distance for me, though. (9.900)
S. Morgan – ST – she does the distracting one foot at a time thing, but good line in this routine. (9.875)
Frattone – UCLA – hop forward – like Peszek she needs to be sticking – and then a larger step to salute after the small hop. This isn’t the 49.500 level rotation that we’ve been seeing. (9.900)
A Moregan – ST – Kristen has been hyping this routine this year. It’s too sloppy for me and her DLO had a big hop back. (9.725)
Zam – UCLA – A little hop in place and a lean forward to hold onto the landing. Judges can take a full tenth for this if they want to. (9.950)
Pechanec – ST – good original composition and a stuck DLO, their best routine of the rotation by far. She’s much cleaner and more confident than the rest of the team. It’s a question of depth when they are sending up a routine like Ashley Morgan fifth. (9.900)
After Rotation 1: UCLA 49.475, Stanford 49.125
UCLA probably needed a bigger boost from the rotation even more than their large 49.475. It’s a big score, but there is concern about the other events especially with Gerber and Courtney out. They’ve vaulted much better than that this year. It’s a fine score for Stanford, but Wing and Dayton just aren’t quite there – too much sloppiness in the legs to put up usable routines.
Frattone is in the lineup for UCLA on bars…nail biting time. (Hong is vaulting!)
Meyer – ST – handspring front pike with feet apart but stuck. (9.825)
Frattone – UCLA – hit the jaeger this week – the handstands were not there and a hop on the dismount – but a necessary hit. (9.775)
Hanset – ST – handspring front pike with 1/2, very low and a step forward – commendable originality, but a lot to deduct for. (9.800 – high)
Baer – UCLA – (this is nearly B team again this week) – big leg separation on her pirouettes and then she hits the bar. Very low on the dismount. Pressure to hit now. (9.200)
A Morgan – ST – Yhalf with a large hop forward and to the side – that’s the biggest risk on the Yhalf. (9.875)
Larson – UCLA – I don’t like this closeup angle on the bars – not a great tkatchev, but it’s good that she’s adding it. Smaller stumble back on the dismount – not her best routine, but it’s important to get this composition into competition. (9.775)
Pechanec – ST – yfull (missed it)
Peszek – UCLA – very clean hit for her – one of her better routines with the stuck dismount (though flung out) – this will score well (9.875)
Dayton – ST – hits her Yhalf – it was better than Morgan’s. How high will the judges go?
Wong – UCLA – this is a bit of a makeshift lineup today – by far her best bar routine of the year in that there were no major mistakes – a hop on the dismount and a little unclean in places, which is almost guaranteed with her composition. (9.800)
Hong – ST – great to see her in this lineup. Hop back on her yfull. Allison is pretending that Ivana was one of her WOGA teammates, like they were there at the same time. (9.900)
Zam – UCLA – a clear leg separation on her bail handstand and a hop back on the dismount. Maybe her best of the season, but let’s step up the composition. (9.950 – that’s just ignoring what you see. It’s a very clean routine, but there were two clear .05 deductions.)
Whitcomb is getting better every time she exhibitions, and they need to get her into this lineup soon. The gienger still needs some work, but the handstands and bail have improved.
Zamarripa’s score saved UCLA’s overall pretty sloppy rotation. Peszek and Zamarripa were the only ones who brought it. Stanford enjoyed the consistent scoring on vault from the first rotation to put up a 49.300, and UCLA goes 49.175 on bars.
After 2 rotations: UCLA 98.650, Stanford 98.425
It’s not the kind of score UCLA needs on bars usually, but for having to put in Baer and Frattone, it’s a victory. Where was MDLT? She has good scoring potential here. It’s very important for Stanford to get Hong into these lineups, but they’ll need to work on most of their landings in order to earn those 9.9s in the future. The amplitude also isn’t yet competitive with the top teams.
UCLA scraped through bars without having to count anything bad, but we’ve got a Gerber-less beam rotation, and a (potentially) EHH, Gerber, Courntey-less floor.
Wong – UCLA – some wobbles here and there, but they’ll take wobbles if she stays on. 1.5 with a hop forward on dismount. Clear deductions, but they can count this score. (9.775)
Dayton – ST – hands down on dbl pike after a stiff-legged landing. It looked like she had it in the air, but she jammed into the mat and had to secure herself. 1.5 + front dismount was sloppy in the legs and low. (9.100)
Larson – UCLA – wobble on free walkover, but hits her series pretty well, weird wobble on her ring jump – I don’t like that skill on her anyway. She still doesn’t look certain in this routine, but she never really did as an elite either. Lowish on her double full with a hop forward. (9.800)
Wing – ST – effectively using bangs to seduce the judges – bit lunge back on double pike mount – this choreography is not making me feel safe – stumble on her front tuck out of the dismount.
Baer – UCLA – can she hit the dismount this week? She was nice until the end last week. Her split positions are excellent. Hits the dismount this week with a small step. She looked very nervous going into it, but she hit it. Her back leg was a little off on the loso, but she saved it. (9.850) If she can keep doing that, a lineup spot may be hers over Wong, Frattone, or Courtney.
S Morgan – ST – opens with a dbl tuck, then does what I would refer to as a “side illusion turn” – that is not what it’s supposed to look like. Her tumbling is more confident than the first two. Nothing too impressive, but it was relatively clean. (9.700)
Zam – UCLA – beautiful full turn and onodi – big wobble on her loso – that’s a shame she was perfect until then – hop back and a little legs on the dismount. Could have been a great score. (9.825)
Hanset – ST – solid 2.5 opening, a little low on the double pike – it may be because we can’t really hear the music, but these routines seem super boring. (9.850)
EHH – UCLA – important that she’s competing this week. Hits her illusion this time (that’s what it’s supposed to look like). Maybe a small step on her dismount, but few deductions in this routine. Should be the biggest score of the rotation. (9.900)
Pechanec – ST – nice double tuck opening, her dance elements are far superior to the rest of the team. A little out of control on her front full, but the best routine for them in my mind. (9.900)
Peszek – UCLA – only real deductions were a wobble on the loso and a hop on the dismount, but this routine is way too easy for her. It’s hard to be impressed. (9.875)
Morgan – ST – way low on her DblA with a stumble forward – just layouts as the second pass – the first pass will keep her from scoring too well. (9.825)
Frattone stays on for her exhibition, but had a weird mistake on her switch split. And a major mistake with OOB for Stanford on their floor exhibition.
UCLA slays the beam monster to an acceptable degree with a 49.250 to beat Stanford’s 49.000 on floor. UCLA needs 49.100 on floor to make the 197 mark.
After 3 rotations: UCLA 147.900, Stanford 147.425
Stanford has struggled on beam so far this year, so this is a major hurdle if they are going to go into the 196s for the first time this year. Interesting that UCLA has competed only 7 gymnasts through three rotations – how very un-UCLA. [Score change – Larson goes to 9.800 from 9.725]
Important that EHH is in on floor (if she’s well) because they don’t have Gerber or Courtney. Pressure will be on Wong and Pritchett to show they belong in this lineup.
Wing – ST – this is my favorite event for her, good line and deliberate style – a few wobbles and a little overall uncertainty in this routine , but this is a good necessary hit. (9.825)
Frattone – UCLA – hits her opening two passes well with good body position on landing – that’s improved since the first meet – now let’s watch this shushunova…I think she totally forgot her choreo for a moment – the shushunova was bad again. (9.800)
Pechanec – ST – even though it’s a total white knuckle rotation, I like Stanford’s gymnasts on this event. Another strong hit for them. (9.750 – did I miss something?)
Pritchett – UCLA – hits her tuck full quite well, maybe a little low chest – dances out of her second pass well to cover the lunge forward – another low chest on the double pike, but it’s a solid hit routine that should be in the 9.8 range. (9.875)
AMorgan – ST – really confident routine with a stuck double back dismount – this is an overall improvement for this team. (9.875)
Wong – UCLA – a tiny bounce back on the double pike, but she’s hitting really well in the AA today – hits dbl tuck dismount with good body position. (9.900)
SMorgan – ST – great landing on her series – this is a necessary confidence meet for Stanford – very strong on her acro and a stuck dismount – very strong. (9.875)
Larson – UCLA – she HAS to hit this week – stumbles a little out of her front 2/1 – great form on her second pass and hits her triple turn – huge lunge out of her 2.5, but it finally counts as a hit routine. Maybe she can move onward and upward from here. (9.875 – okay…)
Great hit from Stanford (Alyssa Brown?) with few mistakes. (9.700 – Hm?)
Peszek – UCLA – only a minor bounce out of her nice DLO, and a bigger bounce out of her dbl pike – that’s been her biggest deduction on floor all season, bouncing out of all her tumbling passes.
Hong – ST – a little wobble on loso – leans way forward to save her side somi, but hits her sheep jump very well. Back pike dismount – not a great routine, but great to get her into the lineup. (9.700)
EHH – UCLA – still doing that double tuck mount, but at least she does it perfectly. Huge bounce out of her dbl pike with an OOB, so they’ll drop this score, but they already had 5 countable routines. (9.750 – that’s still too high)
Overall, not UCLA’s best gymnastics, so they will be happy to get out of it with a very solid 197.250 (which, based on the rest of the country this season, isn’t even a huge score). It’s enough to help them keep pace with the rest of the top 7, and is commendable without Gerber and Courtney. They will not fall in the rankings.
It’s not a great score in the long run for Stanford, but it is good progress for them to get into the 196s. They need to build on this performance.
FINAL: UCLA 197.250, Stanford 196.450
Other final: Oklahoma 197.425, Arkansas 196.175. The first real break we’ve seen from Arkansas this season, they had to count some 9.7s on beam and a fall on floor. The 9.9s were falling all over the place for Oklahoma. Watch out for Oklahoma’s road RQS. This marks the second time they’ve broken 197.4 on the road.