Live commentary after the jump from 5:00 ET / 2:00 PT
UCLA pushed up the start time of their meet on Super Bowl Sunday, but they have not for Oscar Sunday. I’m not okay with this choice. We’re gymnastics fans. We care more about the Oscars than we do about the Super Bowl.
That being said, this meet will likely be less predictable than the whole of the Oscar telecast. According to Val, Sam Peszek is still limited to only beam, so there are multiple Wong and Peszek spots that need to be filled on the other events. If they are filling those spots with 9.7s, it could be a long meet. Fortunately for UCLA, they do have Zamarripa back in the all-around. They’ll need a 39.500+ from her.
Val’s. Hairstyle. Yes, she did. One thing is for sure, she COMMITS.
Well, the intro video is appropriate for the 80’s theme this week, at least.
Rotation 1: UCLA on vault, ASU on bars
UCLA will be putting up EHH and Baer to lead the vault rotation, followed by the usual Larson, Courtney, Frattone, Zam. Interesting that MDLT will not be vaulting after she scored 9.925 last week, but she was just scratched from exhibitioning.
Baer – UCLA – solid yfull off to the side with a leap back. (9.800)
Jones – ASU – not her strongest event, piked in the DLO dismount.
EHH – UCLA – near stick (maybe a shuffle) on a nice yfull. Could use a bit more amplitude. (9.925 – hello home)
Gentile – ASU – handstand issues in this routine. A bit low on the DLO with a hop forward.
Larson – UCLA – better distance than EHH but not quite as clean on form with a hop back. (9.850)
Seaman – ASU – more handstand issues, and a hop forward on the tuck full dismount.
Courtney – UCLA – lovely vault! Stuck landing with really improved form from the first few meets. Better than EHH’s, certainly. (9.975 – boy howdy) I’m fine with that score. Like a couple other vaults this year, it was extremely clean but lacked that “Wow 10” factor.
Gades – ASU – does well to save a handstand, but it’s still a major break. Sticks double front with low legs.
Frattone – UCLA – pretty poor for her. lowish landing with a big leap forward. (9.825)
Hangartner – ASU – a bit cleaner on line than the previous gymnast, but similar deductions in each routine. (9.775)
Zamarripa – UCLA – hops back, which should be a tenth, so I would expect 9.9. (9.900) Darren said 9.825 originally (it was actually Frattone’s score), which I think could have been justified but would have been really low comparative to the rest of the rotation.
Palafox – ASU – good jaeger, wonky on the overshoot and a step on the dismount.
After 1: UCLA 49.475, ASU 48.800
Courtney and EHH delivered for UCLA, but no one else was really hit to capability. Frattone and Zamarripa need to be sticking their vaults at this point, which would have given UCLA up to two more tenths. Still, once Peszek comes back in for Baer, UCLA will be hard to beat on this event.
Rotations 2: ASU on vault, UCLA on bars
Gentile – ASU – huge stumble back on yfull, will be very low
EHH – UCLA – extremely clean in handstands, but flung out her double back with a small hop. Should still score well. (9.850)
Price – ASU – extremely short on yfull with a fall. Disaster so far.
Courtney – UCLA – a little short on bail handstand, uncharacteristic step on her dismount. No same bar release. (9.825)
Sundby – ASU – first really hit vault for ASU, but not strong on form.
De La Torre – UCLA – sticks DLO after a really strong routine. Her best of the year, especially in the handstands. (9.950)
Seaman – ASU – a little piked in the yfull with a hop back. Best so far for them.
Larson – UCLA – big leg sep in bail handstand, needs to work on her flat hips a little, but saves the score with the stuck DLO. (9.900)
Jones – ASU – big hop back in the yfull and needs to work on distance, but solid.
Gerber – UCLA – usual form, leg separation on pak and step on dismount. I could still watch her compete all day long. (9.900)
Hangartner – ASU – solid vault, with a step forward
Zamarripa – UCLA – not quite her best , but still lovely form, too much of a hop back on the dismount. (9.875)
After 2: UCLA 98.950, ASU 96.875
Relative to what ASU received on bars, these scores were in line, but they cannot expect to score this well going forward unless some people (Mattie) pick up the form. It is very important that MDLT hit to potential, but Zamarripa needs to find that landing on the DLO. UCLA is on pace to go WELL over 197 should they hit beam.
Rotation 3: UCLA on beam, ASU on floor
Gerber – UCLA – a minor, minor wobble on the walkover is the only real deduction in the whole routine. Absolutely beautiful work. This would easily go 9.9 toward the end of the lineup. (9.875)
Seaman – ASU – clean in the tumbling on the first two passes, and hits the rudi dismount. Probably the best ASU routine of the day so far. (9.775)
Baer – UCLA – nowhere close on the side somi and comes off the beam – terrible sign to UCLA. Time to get into postseason pressure mode. (9.250)
Sundby – ASU – this is clearly ASU’s strong event – the tumbling is very confident. Low on double pike but hits it solidly. (9.800)
Larson – UCLA – makes me nervous to have Mattie following a fall – hits walkover and loso well, confident on dance elements, stuck double full dismount. By far her best beam routine of the season – great progress on the mental front for her. (9.925)
Steigerwalt – ASU – big lunge back out of the double tuck middle pass, but otherwise a clean routine. Good improvement for her. (9.825)
Zamarripa – UCLA – best full turn in the sport right now, right on on all her acro as well. hugely beautiful stick on her double full dismount. Aside from the Baer routine, these have all been season best performances so far for UCLA. (9.925)
Gades – ASU – huge stumble out of double pike with OOB, much better on the second pass, ending with a loso, but they will want to drop this routine to keep them in contention for a 49 rotation. (9.650)
EHH – UCLA – well done to hit her series because her foot was a bit off on the side aerial – not even a wobble, but then gives away tenths on simple dance – very frustrating, low on the double full with a hop. Not so strong from her, but it’s a hit. (9.850)
Jones – ASU – this is her showcase event – huge stumble back out of double tuck combo pass. Watching her is like watching Dos Santos in some ways – there’s so much potential but she so often can’t control the power. A little low on double pike dismount.
Peszek – UCLA – standing full – love that she just threw it in and it was perfect, especially after a fall. Really appreciate the risk taking. She’s right on on this hands-free routine, maybe she should keep it. Just a minor hop on the loso, layout full dismount. This will score very well. (9.925)
Davies – ASU – bounce back out of double tuck mount, a little low on rudi dismount, but she has nice amplitude and performance presence. (9.875)
Are we calling them the “new UCLA,” a team that can withstand an early fall on beam? There were some absolutely excellent routines in this group and four season best performances. I know I should probably be talking about overscores, but there was so much excellent gymnastics in this rotation that I think this is pretty much deserved (except maybe EHH, which was high). Don’t look now, but if UCLA scores 49.550, they will go 198. Watch out. They will need 49.400 to tie Florida’s season record.
After 3: UCLA 148.450, ASU 145.800
Rotation 4: ASU on beam, UCLA on floor
Jones – ASU – hits series, then a minor wobble on a lowish punch front, gainer pike dismount with hop.
Frattone – UCLA – a little less control on the double pike than usual, but good landing position. This is the best routine of her career performance-wise. The shushunova is probably the best it’s been, so this should be a fine score. (9.875)
Gades – ASU – excellent loso series and L-turn, nice line for beam, hits aerial layout full dismount.
Larson – UCLA – big on the double pike (not a DLO yet, probably advisable) with an OOB, otherwise excellent on the double full, turns, and 2.5. Should still be able to salvage something in the 9.7s. (9.675 – fair with the OOB)
Gentile – ASU – solidly hit routine with a few form breaks here and there. (9.800)
Zamarripa – UCLA – opens with her front double, there is some leg separation on this twisting, dismounts with the rudi again – will be a double pike soon. (9.925)
Palafox – ASU – hits three series with a minor slide back, nice full turn, not quite there on the leaps, stuck gainer full. (9.850)
Pritchett – UCLA – better on the tuck full than last time, dismounts with a hit double pike with a low landing. This routine is a good hit, but performance-wise is just sort of there. (9.900)
Seaman – ASU – front tuck mount, very well done – extremely solid with stuck dismount. This has been a great recovery after a poor vault event.
Courtney – UCLA – hits the double arabian with more control this time, nice – floaty layout out of her second pass – perfect double tuck dismount. This will be another big score. (9.950)
Steigerwalt – ASU – a few wobbles to begin the routine, and a major break on the full turn. This will be the dropped score.
EHH – UCLA – minor slide back on double tuck mount, same on the double pike dismount, but this should help UCLA record the highest score of the season. Will we see the 198? It could be close. (9.950 – high) Well they did it. Wow. We’ll have a lot to say that.
FINAL: UCLA 198.050, ASU 194.850
That’s all from me, but I’m sure the fans will have a lot to say. Some overscoring for sure, but also a lot of positives to be taken out of that for UCLA, especially the gorgeous beam performance. They will need to add back a bit more difficulty and clean up some landing positions, but for the first time this season they look like a team that could win a national championship.