Some of them might even be interesting. An early start to today’s action as Utah visits Michigan beginning at 6:00 ET / 3:00 PT.
Michigan has carved out a little place for the team in the 20s in the rankings, and while the team may eventually climb up into the teens, it’s hard to expect much more than that with how depleted they are. They have only ten healthy gymnasts and two of them are non-competers. Utah is looking to rebound after an uncharacteristically inconsistent meet last week.
Utah 196.150, Michigan 194.850
Florida 197.500, Auburn 196.875
Oklahoma 197.400, Missouri 196.375
Alabama 197.650, Arkansas 196.125
UCLA 196.775, Oregon State 196.775
The only lineup change from last week for Utah is Damianova in on floor instead of Delaney [Never mind, Delaney is back in]. I’m a bit surprised to see Hansen remain in the bars lineup. She didn’t look ready last week. Hansen scores a 9.700 this week following Lopez’s 9.775.
Michigan has a mistake from Zakharia on vault – (that she has to vault is evidence of this team’s dire situation) – so they’re counting a 9.725.
Beers goes 9.650 for Utah. She has some very tenuous form on that event – this will happen from time to time. Not an auspicious start for Utah. Now they need Dabritz to hit to capabilities this week. But it’s just more scores in the high 9.7s. I’m sure they’re surprised by these numbers. Welcome to Michigan.
Good for Michigan. They get biggish scores from Zurales and Sugiyama on vault to go 49.100. Beam will tell us how this meet goes, but you can’t deny that they do have some talented performers capable of big scores (just not enough). The bigger surprise is that they lead Utah after one event (49.100 to 48.850). Utah had no routines scoring over 9.800.
Bars is not the strength for Utah. They can come back on the other three events by showing their difficulty, but this kind of road scoring should be worrisome for them. It will be interesting to see how the Michigan judges respond to Utah’s “E passes” narrative.
Utah is getting a bit more help from the judges on vault, where Tory Wilson has finally broken the 9.800 barrier for them, and Dabritz follows with a 9.900. The final three in the Utah vault rotation do have pretty nice form and can score exceptionally well when they hit their landings.
Utah recovers a bit on vault with two 9.9s from their freshman duo (where would this vault lineup be without them?) to score 49.200. After two rotations, they lead Michigan now 98.050-97.825. Just like Utah, Michigan had a walking 9.7 of a bars rotation. In most cases, the top teams put themselves in a position where they can count a fall and still have a solid 196-y meet that is at least respectable in the grand scheme of a season. At Michigan, Utah has no room to count even an OOB, let alone a fall.
Delaney is back into the floor rotation instead of Damianova. Tutka opens with a big 9.850. Zurales has been doing the largest share of the work for Michigan tonight – a 9.850 on beam is exactly what they needed. Surprised a little at the mistakes we’re seeing for Utah on floor. I thought for sure they would come back on a mission and hit well after last week, but if Lothrop and McAllister hit they can still go a couple tenths over 49. Don’t expect those home 9.950s, though.
Michigan looked to be on the way to a serviceable beam rotation until 9.200s from the final two competitors deflated any scoring potential.
Utah scores 49.100 on floor, so a 196.500 looks a bit too far out of reach for them in this meet. But they should focus on hitting six beam routines so they can put up something respectable for this road score. The #1 ranking looks in serious jeopardy.
Lopez struggles again in the beam leadoff position for Utah, scoring 9.575. Pressure’s on again in the last rotation this week. Utah will be counting at least a 9.600 from McAllister, and Michigan will be counting at least a 9.675 from Sugiyama. This is just about getting through the meet now for both teams and then hoping to move on to bigger and better scores.
The 9.925 from Sampson on floor is the highest score of the meet so far. Michigan finishes, though, with a disappointing 194.850.
Utah finishes with a 9.825 from Robarts to just barely scrape above the 196 mark. Both this score and the 196.150 will be counting toward their RQS. The home scores are probably big enough to keep Utah in the top six going into regionals, but at this point it’s likely that we will see another one of the top 9 teams in the Utah regional, which Utah would not prefer. You always want to have a buffer.
Moving on, Oklahoma is currently visiting Missouri and the queens of the road are on the lookout for yet another road 197.
Well, hello, Missouri. The Tigers just scored 49.350 on vault with three scores at 9.900+. I was……not expecting that. Oklahoma avoids counting a fall from Brie Olson, but is not able to break 49. The Sooners surprisingly trail by .375 after the first rotation. I can’t imagine this will continue, but watch this space.
In the second rotation, Taylor Spears (whose name is a sentence, and I have no time for that) scored a 9.850 on vault. I’m going to need to see these Oklahoma vaults again. They’re scoring too well to be as unmemorable as I think they are. Apparently my amplitude standards are too high, among other gymnastics-related psychoses. Sara Stone scores 9.950, and Oklahoma recovers from bars with a 49.450 on vault, which is near UCLA/Alabama levels of scoring.
Over at the Auburn/Florida meet, Ashanee scored a 9.850 on bars, which we should just accept as a positive because she was scoring like an 11.000 at home, but I still have a lot of questions about leg separations and handstands and foot form. Marissa King appears to have emerged as that third bar worker we were looking for in preseason, scoring a 9.900 to introduce similar scores from Caquatto and Johnson. Johnson scoring only .050 more than Dickerson is not an adequate separation to reflect the difference is subtle qualities. 49.400 is the final bars total.
Over with Alabama/Arkansas, it looks like Alabama is pulling out the ideal lineup on each event (at least as I see it). Very positive that they have moved Sledge to #4 on bars.
Florida was supposed to be putting up sort of a B+ lineup today, but this looks pretty close to their ideal lineup (and they’re scoring like it), except for King on vault it appears. Hello, Florida just vaulted 49.575. We have an official 198 watch happening here.
Alabama is vaulting very well through the first two. They’ll be challenging Florida’s score here. Do we hear another 10? A little hop back for Sledge, so that shouldn’t go quite as high. Oooh, I had Gutierrez in the 10 pool, but she steps back pretty far. Not as strong as usual.
Fall from Salmon for Arkansas, but they had strong enough routines from Pisani and Grable that Howdeshell should be able to save a fine rotation.
It was tough to judge Geralen’s 9.950 because the replay didn’t show her legs (thanks), and Milliner got a 9.925 for her 1.5 with a step to the side. Overscoring was clearly there (no way was Milliner a 9.950 – which one judge gave her), but it was relatively minor, expected, home overscoring. The total of 49.525 still feels too high – though not relative to other teams. Unfortunately for Arkansas, Howdeshell had some really bent arms on catches and a big lunge forward on the dismount. They finish bars with 48.950 and are more than a half point behind Alabama.
Clark has a few form breaks on bars and should score about where she usually does, but Alexin had a handstand issue and a poor dismount, so they’ll hope to drop that. Arkansas has been solid enough on vault so far, but they lack the dynamics of Alabama at the beginning of the lineup – they improve tremendously toward the end. Pisani and Grable are a treat.
Sledge was very close on her gienger and had to muscle up a handstand – so unfortunately not her best routine. Geralen hits well with just one handstand not up to scratch, and Priess does about the same. For DeMeo, GSE, and Priess this was very solid progress on bars.
Okay, I know Oklahoma is the most confident, best trained team on beam, but still…a 49.600 is wow. They finish with 197.400, another huge away score. At this rate, they’ll be counting only away scores for RQS.
Where were we? So, Alabama had another strong rotation on beam, led by Priess with 9.925, to put them on pace for well over 197. They will be potentially challenging Florida and Oklahoma’s scores, especially with most of the big guns in the floor lineup tonight.
Jacob has staked a claim to this leadoff spot because she has solid 9.8-level tumbling and energetic routines. This performance was on par with her usual.
Frost can sell her routine and is pretty solid on her DLO always – let’s see about this dismount. It’s a tuck, which is smarter and she hits well – probably the best she’s been on floor.
Arkansas’s first three beam routines have little wobbles here and there. They’re not bad by any means, but they don’t keep the team competitive with the top beam teams. I agree with KJC and Suzanne that there’s a little lack of attack early in that lineup.
Milliner’s choreography doesn’t really do much for me. It’s a lot of arms and smiling when the music asks for a harder attitude and stronger, more committed movements. That being said, the tumbling was excellent.
Rough time for Arkansas with the fall from Williams. They’ll be counting two scores in the 9.6s.
Gutierrez was mostly excellent except for a really upsetting ring position and perhaps a little issue (very minor) on the second pass. This rotation has been scoring high, so I don’t expect that to be reflected too much in the score.
Pisani has a little wobble in her routine, but she rights things for Arkansas. Her dismount is a confident joy.
Geralen lands very low on her double arabian, but I’m impressed she got it around because it looked like she set it awkwardly. The rest of the routine is a hit, but the composition is a little strange because the most intense part of the music (which has too much of that film score feel – because it is one) comes when she is prepping for her dismount – odd choice. The 9.950 is kind of a joke because of the low mount.
Grable dismounts with her ambitious double pike, but it’s very low with a big step forward.
Priess hits her floor in the final routine of the meet. It will probably get a 12. (9.950)
Alabama goes 49.600 on floor – their tumbling is very nice, but there were definite issues ignored here – to score 197.650 and lead the day. UCLA and Oregon State could potentially pass this up, but I feel confident in concluding that this will win the day. Arkansas scores 196.125, which will certainly hurt them in the standings.
UCLA is starting on beam at Oregon State. This will be an adventure. Aisha returns to leadoff (…..) and scores 9.750. That’s the kind of score Wong or Baer might be getting in the first spot, but Aisha needs to be going higher [Score revised to 9.825]. Harris leads the first half of OSU’s lineup with a 9.875, until Blalock goes 9.925 – it will be interesting to see what UCLA’s lineup gets – going after OSU is a bonus because UCLA has the more dynamic vaults.
OSU finishes with 49.200 on vault. They looked to go higher but had to drop Jones’s anchor score of 9.725. UCLA is hovering around 9.750-9.800, which is not great, but they’ve hit 4/4 so far, so it’s not the end of the world. Good to see Zam in the lineup, which likely means her injury is not bad – but she, too, needs to be going much higher than 9.750.
Scratch that about Cal. The score was momentarily wrong. They had to count a fall on bars and went 48.325. Sad for them, but much more believable.
Uncharacteristic fall from Peszek (her first of the season), so UCLA scores just a 48.950 on beam. After today, UCLA has only three regular season meets remaining. The time is passing where we’re just OK with getting through a meet. The high-level performances need to start coming, especially from gymnasts like Larson, who hasn’t really put it together yet.
Gerber’s score was revised to 9.825 – (one judge went up .1 and the other went up .05, so it can’t have been a start value issue, right?) to put UCLA over 49 with a bit more respectable of a score. Still, they need to have multiple people going over 9.825.
De La Torre is in the floor lineup (oddly, because I would put her probably 9th on a UCLA floor depth chart. Are we still exploring depth? Aren’t we exploring good yet?) and scores 9.750 to start.
Unexpectedly, it appears Zamarripa has come in on floor (after Val just got done telling us that she wasn’t ready yet yesterday. She’s a tricky one.) and scored 9.800 in her season debut.
OSU runs through all the 9.8 combinations to score 49.325 on bars, which is an excellent score, but since this is their best event, they probably want more than 9.875s from Mak and Vivian.
UCLA ends up putting up a pretty makeshift floor lineup to score 49.100. It’s of concern that Peszek did not compete floor after her issue on the beam. Hopefully nothing is wrong there. Perhaps that’s why MDLT had to come in. Pritchett also had a fall to break her streak. I wonder if she can maintain that lineup spot with Zam back and when Larson and Peszek come back in.
After 2: Oregon State 98.525, UCLA 98.125, Cal 95.550 (disaster on beam)
OSU to the beam now, and UCLA to the vault. This is where UCLA could make up those four tenths in one go.
Another odd lineup for UCLA on vault with no Larson or Peszek (which makes me think something is wrong or potentially wrong) and with MDLT in (and she goes 9.925, which is also sort of bizarre). Nonetheless they put together a 49.450, which is not their best but we desperately needed. They won’t hit 197, but they could manage high 196s again if they do something on bars.
Leslie Mak goes 9.950 on beam with a 10 from one of the judges.
After 3: Oregon State 147.700, UCLA 147.575, Cal lagging well behind after another struggle.
Oh man, Ellette Craddock comes in for UCLA on bars (and good for her for scoring a 9.800). Is this just about depth, or is this team all of the sudden crazy depleted?
UCLA is able to withstand a fall from De La Torre on bars and score 49.200 (without Larson and Peszek again), so they finish with a solid, fine, respectable 196.775, though they are capable of much more and will not be satisfied by that score. I’m expecting something very 197-y from them at home next week.
In a surprising turn of events, we actually have a tie final score. It looked like OSU had it in the bag, but Mak scored just 9.750 on floor, so they came back to the Bruins. That will be disappointing for Oregon State because UCLA was slightly off and didn’t have their best gymnasts available all the time. They probably should have won this meet. Reaching back for this tie on the road will be a mental victory for UCLA.