Utah @ Arizona State – Live Blog

Watch Live from 4:00 ET / 1:00 PT [NOTE CORRECT TIME – I had it wrong before]

Though Florida put up a tremendous score this week, it looks like all Utah has to do at this meet to retain the #1 ranking is score over 196.  That should be no problem for them, but that also should not be the concern for them.  With Pac-12s and Regionals both in Salt Lake City, this team will have few opportunities to become accustomed to competing on the road (and scoring on the road) before Nationals, so this meet takes on added importance both for eventual seeding and for road experience.  It will be important for Utah to get the freshmen Dabritz, Delaney, and Lopez in the lineup significantly over the next two weeks so they can be ready for a Nationals atmosphere.

The gymnast I’ll be paying the most attention to in this meet is Corrie Lothrop.  At least through the first month and a half of the season, she has made the successful transition out of the 9.825 territory with strong performances late in the beam and floor lineups.  She has been quite solid in landing her acro elements and appears to be performing with more confidence.  However, I do still have questions about her amplitude and landing positions.  Those questions were not shared by the judges at home, but how she scores on those events at an away meet will be very telling.

Commentary after the jump when the meet begins:

Is watching flames on a loop a form of hypnosis?

We got a little intro from our commentators for this meet, which was followed by the woman saying “I didn’t like that one.”  Love it.  I actually thought they were fine.  The male anchor seems more knowledgeable and engaged than they usually are.

Not a fan of these Arizona State leos with the ASU on the back.

First vaulter from ASU pikes slightly on her Yfull and lands to the side, and Lopez hits her DLO dismount for Utah on bars, but we didn’t see the rest of the routine.

Price for ASU sticks a nice Yfull. (9.850)

Hansen in for Utah on bars – a little close on jaeger and a leg separation on the pak.  Good tuck full dismount with a step – good to get her in the lineup, but I don’t see her staying there, though she has nice line. (9.750)

Sundby has good distance on her yfull but pikes down a bit with a step. (9.775)

Beers – she’s cleaned up this routine but a little leg sep and a late handstand on the low bar.  Just an inch backward on the DLO. (9.800)

Seaman – ASU – a little low on her YFull, but a pretty controlled landing.  It’s not national-class, but this is a solid vault rotation with nice difficulty. (9.775)

Jones – ASU has good power on her Yfull (9.875)

It looks like Dabritz is having trouble on her bar routine with her swing – couldn’t exactly see what it was, and then she had a broken handstand, but she hits her dismount well.  I hope she finds her consistency because she’s their best bar worker. (9.500)

Lothrop – hits both jaegers well and had nice position on her bail hs, step forward on the DLO.  I don’t think she hit a couple of her handstands quite vertically, but that was the biggest issue in the routine. (9.825)

ASU will send up only 5 vaulters, but they put up a very nice 49.000, led by Jones with a 9.875.

McAllister – long wait before this routine.  I don’t think there should be any problem with Lothrop’s start value – it seems very straightforward.  Here we go, a little close on the gienger, hits weiler and bail hs, good stick on the tuck full dismount. (9.875)

Damianova did an exhibition for Utah, and after one rotation we have a surprising tie score, each team at 49.000 on the first event.  Lofgren also exhibitioned on bars and showed off her nice line but had a few form breaks in her legs.

Rotation 2: Utah on vault, ASU on bars
Kahoku Palafox – quite possibly my favorite name in NCAA

Rew starts on bars for ASU and has a fall on her shaposh – she wasn’t really close to catching.

Good Yfull from McAllister – proper direction with a hop back.  Didn’t see Lothrop’s routine to start.

Strong stick on the YFull for Utah (they said it was Beers, but it wasn’t.  Tori Wilson, right?)

Jones hits a Shaposh but misses the handstand on the bail and has a big lunge forward on her DLO.  Looks like we missed Dabritz on vault for Utah.  Thanks.

Delaney – great height and distance on her Yfull – hop back.

Palafox dismounts with a DLO with a step forward – a bit of leg form several times throughout the routine.

A bit for leg form and a hop back on the latest Yfull from Utah. I believe it was an exhibition from Del Priore(?)

Good pak from Gades on bars, and stuck a cowboyed double front.  That’s their strongest routine so far.

Damianova exhibitions for Utah and sticks her Yfull very well.  This angle from behind is not the best for judging deductions.

Hangartner has a few issues on her bar routine, with a step forward on the double front.  Seaman catches her gienger extremely close and has to come off the bars – so ASU will be counting a fall and will drop way back after this rotation.  An injury appears to have happened there, but it was difficult to see.  Not sure what happened there, exactly.  Commentators say it may be a neck issue but that she is smiling.

On vault, Utah scores a 49.300, so they will be at 98.300 after 2, and it looks like ASU will be at 96.850.  If Utah wants to hit 197 this week, they will need to go 49.350 on each of the last two events.  197 is not completely necessary, and anything over 196.600 is a fine score for this meet, but 197 looks within reach.

Rotation 3: ASU on beam, Utah on floor
Jones – ASU – hits loso series right on the beam, solid punch front as well – hit start for ASU.

Tutka – Utah – tuck full mount, dance elements aren’t quite there but good body position on acro.  We can’t hear the floor music really at all – pet peeve alert! (9.800)

Robarts – Utah – good Dbl Arabian landing and high body position on the double pike.  This routine has notably improved since the beginning of the season. (9.850)

ASU is scoring well so far on beam – Gentile is next and hits her loso series and her double full dismount – this is a much stronger event for them than bars – much more confidence.

Delaney – Utah – a bit staggered on an otherwise strong tuck full, huge stumble on her second pass – a layout + layout full – they’ll hope to drop this score because that was several tenths right there, finishes with a double tuck with a slight slide to the side. (9.700)

Palafox – ASU – confident three series, weakness is the split positions and a stumble on a switch split – this will be their lowest so far.  Surprised she didn’t add in another leap after she broke her leap connection.

Dabritz – Utah – had no chance of controlling her pike full and fell back – very surprising mistakes from Utah here, so they will be counting Delaney’s score – a big stumble out of her 3/1 dismount as well.

Snowden – ASU – bend in the hips on her series, a slight wobble on choreo as well –

Lothrop – missed her first pass, solid on second pass – just a little stumble out of it and a bounce back on her double pike, should score well, but it’s not the 9.950 from last week. (9.900 – that’s still a little high for me, but precedent is a wonderful thing)

Steigerwalt – ASU – slight stumble back on ring jump – extremely low and off on her loso, no chance to save it, so they will be counting a 9.525 from Palafox, and another fall here, uh oh.

McAllister – She was completely off on her loso connection and had to put her hands down just at the end of the routine.  I never would have thought Utah would be counting a fall on floor, but they have to keep it together and show their usual consistency on beam now.

So Utah has their worst floor performance of the season to score a 48.550 on floor.  Now it’s about fighting to go positive on beam and get into the 196s.  They need to go 49.175 to break into the 196s for this meet, which should not be a problem for them if they hit to capability, but now it’s about mental recovery.

After three events, Utah 146.850, ASU 145.550

Rotation 4: Utah on beam, ASU on floor

Lopez – Utah – extremely tentative on her layout stepout series and comes off.  Utah did not count a fall on beam all of last season, they will be putting that to the test for the next five routines here.  Absolute must hits for them if they want to hold onto their position.  Hits a very nice double full dismount.

Seaman – ASU – she has returned from her injury on the bars, so that’s a great positive – can’t have been too serious.  Odd that the commentators were mentioning that she doesn’t watch her teammates routines – very un-NCAA.

McAllister – Utah – great on her three series, slight wobble on dance, hits double full dismount with a small slide back – very confident recovery.

Sundby – ASU – really fun mount – 2.5 + layout + shushunova, good height on her double back with a minor, minor slide of the front foot and a nice double pike to finish.

Lofgren – Utah – she is right on as well for this routine so far, no break in confidence so far after the Lopez fall,

Steigerwalt – ASU – a little low on double pike, same with the double tuck with a slide back as she came out of it – low again on dismount with slight stumble to the side.

Lothrop – Utah – small stumble on her aerial cartwheel but hits the loso series, sticks the double back dismount but still iwth a low chest.

Snowden – ASU – she has been showing a nice line on her events today – front double + front tuck – a little low on her second, they will need to work on these low landings to contend, we’ve seen a lot of them.  A little piked on her dismount, but a hit routine.

Beers – Utah – biggest deduction in this routine was a slide back on the gainer full – very solid on her acro – just a little sluggish in some of her movements for my taste – maybe a little deliberateness that comes across as tentativeness in some of these skills – she doesn’t attack the routine.

Jones – ASU – has an unfortunate fall on her double pike dismount – they can’t afford that from a gymnast of her calibre on floor.

Once again, Utah is able to avoid counting a fall on beam by putting up five strong routines that gave little away – only minor stumbles here and there – the scores should be strong and put Utah well over that 196 mark.  It will not be the score they hoped for, but a good recovery on the last event with a 49.300 to match their score on vault. (Good hit from Delaney in her beam exhibition as well.)

Odd from ASU on the last floor routine, they moved the sting mat out from under Gades and she had to put hands down in the middle of her choreography.

So that will do it here.  Utah will win the meet easily, but the score of 196.150 is much lower than what we expected and puts more pressure on their final two away meets.  They will have to count this 196.150 as one of their six scores for RQS.  The biggest issues in this meet for me were missed handstands and leg separations on bars and unexpected uncertainty on the floor tumbling, though McAllister’s fall did look to be a total fluke.  This will be a motivator for Utah on the road next week.  Dabritz is one of their top workers, and they cannot afford her to miss two of three routines – even when they are able to drop the score, it’s a potential 9.9 lost.

No competitive routines from Damianova today, but she did a few exhibitions and I expect to see her in a few lineups moving forward.

FINAL SCORE: Utah 196.150, ASU 194.000