The Regionals have finally arrived. With all the top teams competing nearly simultaneously in must-hit situations, this really is the most exciting day in NCAA gymnastics. In the words of Our Lady of Perpetual Valorie, “It makes for Fantastic. Sport.” As always I’ll be commenting on all the action in a live blog after the jump, trying desperately to keep up with everything that is going on. Since there will be moments when we have four Regionals happening at the same time, I will invariably miss things, so keep me up to date in the comments.
Do any of the top six seeds have a chance of going down? I don’t see it, but it wouldn’t be a Regional without an upset, so I may be rooting for it, especially as we get toward the end if the early Regionals have been breezes. It’s just better that way. Regionals can be a nervous breakdown of a day, so lots of nonsense can happen. Remember last year when Ashanee had that beam disaster and Shayla fell on her bars mount?
Regionals. This is what happens. Get ready.
The 2012 Balance Beam Situation Room, with all your Regionals needs:
Not too far away from the beginning of action now. I’m pleased that we’ll just have one Regional to start with instead of the cavalcade we will see later in the day. That way we can get comfortable with a slower start, especially seeing as Ohio State and Penn State are both on byes to start the first Regional. So, we’ll really have only Florida on bars to focus on in that first rotation.
Just watched yesterday’s press conference from the Fayetteville Regional. Val mentioned that Peszek might be questionable because of a dislocated rib (true story?) at Pac-12s. Could make things interesting.
I expect the scores in Raleigh to go quite high, and Florida on bars in the first rotation will give us a good sense of how high. If Dickerson and Hunter go over 9.850, it will be a high scoring day. I expect to see a 49.400 from Florida, but anything 49.200+ is fine. To get off on the right foot, NC State needs to break 49 on vault in that first rotation.
Coverage beginning now in Raleigh. We’re yet to introduce the teams, so we have a while to wait. Ugh, pre-meet festivities are unbearable. It’s very difficult to cover a quad meet, so I’m interested to see how much of the non-host teams we see on these feeds. Hopefully they give us sufficient focus on the other top teams.
Temp tattoo numbers. Harrowing.
Underway in Raleigh, NC State starts with an OK Yfull with low body and step forward. We’re seeing some North Carolina on floor now, some low tumbling to start things off.
Dickerson on bars, misses one handstand but sticks the DLO nicely. This stream has been very inconsistent for me. and live scores have not yet updated. Let’s pull it together. Score is a 9.900, so note what I said before about high scoring.
Barr for NCST on vault, pretty nice yhalf with a little tucking and a step to the side.
King looks very nice on bars, just a larger hop back on the DLO, so won’t score as well as Dickerson. Kent State has a fall on beam, so they’re counting a score under 9.7 now.
The commentator mispronounces Caquatto. Seriously? Nice routine but probably shouldn’t go higher than 9.900. She can be a bit cleaner, but very solid.
North Carolina (Durkac?) attempts a triple on floor, but whirls out of it and out of bounds, so likely will be a drop for them.
NC State goes 49.125 on vault, so the judges were pleased with that performance, giving out two 9.850s. Florida leads as expected with a 49.300 on bars, Dickerson and Johnson go 9.900 to lead the rotation. It’s within the solid range for Florida but lower than their RQS. Kent State and NCar will be trailing after the first, a bunch of 9.650-9.675s for both teams.
North Carolina got away with an OOB on floor, but way to many low scores to even reach the high 48s, which would have been the goal. 48.625 is the total there. Still waiting on the final score from Kent State on beam, but it’s not looking great.
Raleigh Rotation 1: Florida 49.300, NC State 49.125, North Carolina 48.625, Kent State 48.350
The second rotation will feature Florida on beam, Ohio State on floor, and Penn State on bars. The commentators are really noting that they think the scores are low, which they aren’t, but they are lower than I expected them to be so far. Both PSU and OSU need to go over 49 on these rotations to keep pace with what NC State put up, even though NCST should go a bit lower on bars and beam later on.
Stageberg starting on beam for FL. She’s right on here, a minor wobble but very solid start. If Spicer hits, I expect them to be home free on this event. She’s the one who has fallen earlier in the season.
Welsh on bars for Penn State, a little sluggish in the swing, but nice stuck double front. Spicer wobbles on her loso, very tentative in this routine but hits her gainer full dismount. Similar to the beam routines we saw at SECs that went in the 9.7s.
Stumble out of a 2.5 from DeLuca on floor for Ohio State. North Carolina is performing some very 9.7 vaults. Over to Johnson on beam, she’s also looking a little tentative but not letting it show in her landings with a stuck dismount. Penn State goes over on a handstand, neither PSU or OSU really impressing so far, and as I say that, a fall for Ohio State from Jones on the floor dismount.
Ashanee is clean on beam, obviously a far cry from last year, with a stuck double back. That will score quite well. We’re only getting bits and pieces of penn State on bars in inset, but Musser looks strong. Ohio State recovers well on floor.
Kytra has to grab the beam, which means they’ll be counting Spicer’s 9.675. Uh oh. Pressure on Marissa now. Good clean tumbling from Dean for Ohio State. I don’t expect them to have to count that fall, but Miller still has to go. King is completely in focus on beam, looking very strong, and a gorgeous stuck dismount. Should be the highest score yet for Florida.
Miller on floor, a little lunge out of the double arabian but it was fine, good loso out of final pass. Strong way to finish the rotation. It’s now time for our next two Regionals to begin, so once we get the scores here, I will switch over to Fayetteville, probably. Peszek is in the AA lineup, so no worries there.
Nearly underway at the Arkansas Regional . . . We’re looking at Maryland starting on floor now. Apparently we’ve had a mistake from De La Torre on bars. Oh UCLA. Let’s watch out for this. Disastrous start for the Bruins.
Checking out the scores in Raleigh, we see a bunch of 9.800s to start from OSU and PSU.
Just OK from Missouri on vault so far, some 9.7-level routines. We’re not seeing a ton of gymnastics on this feed. Lots of waiting. More low landings for Missouri on vault.
Fall alert: Penn State will be counting a fall on beam, so a huge opening for Ohio State and NC State here. This could really go either way between the two.
We’ve barely seen any of UCLA on bars. Larson is a little sloppy but it’s a hit, which is all they really need from the final three competitors to save the rotation. Don’t have any scoring updates from the Champaign Regional yet. Anyone?
Peszek hits well, flings out her DLO a little but sticks it anyway. Zamarripa is absolutely excellent except for a little hop together on the dismount. They just need Gerber to hit now to save it. Huge stumble back from Gerber on the dismount. That was a very weak rotation from UCLA, but they can probably overcome it.
In Raleigh, Ohio State and NC State are neck and neck at the halfway point, both with beam still to go. Penn State had a poor beam rotation, so they are well back as of right now, along with Kent State, who counted a fall on floor.
Scoreboard for the Arkansas Regional is terrible at updating. Very slow, but it looks like Maryland got a 48.850 on floor, which is very strong for them.
Over in Illinois, Oklahoma has a low score on bars that they will be hoping to drop, a 9.475 from Ward [Changed, though]. UCLA squeaks by bars with a 49.050, and they are lucky to escape by going over 49, but they need to be excellent, not just OK, on beam. Still, they have a lead before Arkansas and Boise State begin.
In the second rotation, Arkansas will have to erase those SEC memories. Like UCLA, Oklahoma escapes bars with a low 49s score, so they should be fine going forward. Illinois is right with them after a solid vault rotation, which has been a weakness for them this season. This could be a close one here.
Zumwalde starts floor for Arkansas, exactly what they needed, fine, clean, solid. Baer hits beam very cleanly, important for her coming back into the lineup, especially after Gerber struggled (but hit). This is a different Arkansas team on the floor so far.
Larson hits beam nicely with a slightly low dismount. Impressive for Lewis coming back on floor for Arkansas after her injury two weeks ago. Did she do two double tucks? I think so.
Over in Raleigh, Florida is hitting floor well to maintain the lead. NC State is struggling a little bit, so Ohio State should be feeling pretty good about their chances.
Boise State is looking strong on bars, and UCLA has been fine on beam, but the scores haven’t really been coming. So beam scoring looks a little tighter than I expected at this meet. Pisani hits floor exceptionally well as expected. It will be interesting to see how Grable does coming into the event.
Florida goes 49.275 on floor to extend their lead with on vault remaining.
Peszek is very clean through her routine, just a little hop back, so UCLA’s score should once again be fine but not great. They are not out of the woods at this meet. Arkansas will get some huge scores on floor after Grable’s hit routine. Could get close with UCLA and Boise State, but UCLA still has the benefit of vault coming up, so they should escape.
Now that we’ve seen two rotations in Fayetteville, I’ll switch back over to Raleigh to see how things are starting to wrap up there. Over in Raleigh, Florida is in great shape to go over 197, while NC State’s wobbly beam has taken them down a bit.
Spicer starts well on vault for Florida with a yfull with a little pike down. Good vault, though. Wang surprisingly comes in on vault for Florida, she has improved that vault A LOT from the beginning of the season.
Alaina Johnson vaults very cleanly as well, they have improved this quite a lot since SECs. Apparently there was a change from Oklahoma on bars, so they scored higher than expected, and they are also scoring extremely well on beam, so they should have no problems. These vault scores have been very high (though for very nice vaults) and Florida will get a humongous total.
Hunter hits vault well, so Florida will win this meet easily, total score is a 49.550 on vault for a 197.325 total. Ohio State will just have to hit through the rest of the meet to take the second position, it looks like. They will lead NC State by .550 going into the last event, so it’s still alive for NC State because OSU will be on beam, but it will be tough for them to get through.
Keeping up with Stanford, they had a fall from Ashley Morgan on floor that they did not have to count, and scored a 49.100 to go a tenth ahead of Illinois right now. Denver had a pretty poor bar rotation for 48.625. Doesn’t look like it will be a problem for Oklahoma and Stanford here.
So far on vault, Arkansas is scoring fine but not great numbers. I bunch of 9.800s, so they’ll need Pisani to bump up the rotation.
Last rotation coming up in Raleigh, it’s all up to Ohio State. A brief check back in with the Fayetteville Regional now, where it looks like Potvin-Green just hit a strong beam routine for Boise State. The remedial live scoring for that meet is helping no one. Arkansas finished vault with a 49.200, so it does look like the Razorbacks will have the highest two event score. Boise State is counting a couple low scores on beam, and Missouri got a 48.625 on bars, so Arkansas and UCLA should be feeling pretty good right now.
Back in Raleigh to close things out, Ohio State on beam, NC State on floor, Penn State on vault. First two routines from Ohio State are hits. Good first score from Penn State on vault, but a couple wonky landings after that. NC State is putting up a couple fine scores on floor, but it doesn’t look like it will be enough as of right now with Ohio State hitting cleanly on beam.
In Illinois, Stanford has two scores in the 9.7s so far on vault, so they are keeping things interesting. 9.725 from Pechanec and 9.700 from Hanset. Although, Illinois and Denver aren’t scoring high enough to take advantage.
Penn State finishes with a 195.650, which will not be enough this year. Ohio State has a few wobbles in the fifth routine, but it’s a hit which should ensure that the Buckeyes go to Nationals. Time to head back to Fayetteville. Finals: Ohio State 196.225, NC State 195.975. Close, but not enough.
Very schizophrenic coverage at the Arkansas Regional with flipping back and forth between routines in the middle of them. Zamarripa is very clean on floor, and Olivia Courtney hits very well. They are finding their stride after that poor start. These are very nice floor routines so far.
In Illinois, Stanford went under 49 on vault, but they still have a .250 lead on Illinois. Oklahoma is well out in front.
Pritchett hits floor for UCLA, while Missouri is struggling on beam and Maryland is getting a bunch of 9.7s on bars. UCLA looks in control now, and if Arkansas can hit beam they should be just fine. Peszek’s leaps were a little Peszek-y, but other than that it was an excellent routine with a minor bounce back out of the double pike dismount.
Updike from Issouri is clean on beam, and EHH is doing her 2010 routine very well, just a minor bounce back out of the double back, but otherwise an excellent hit rotation for UCLA. 49.475, so they can still go over 197 with even an average vault rotation.
Ah! It’s already almost time for our fourth and fifth Regionals. Too much! Soon the Seattle and Auburn regionals will begin, so I’ll check in with those early on if these two Regionals continue to be dominated by the top seeds. While I think the top seeds should go through comfortably, we never know. We haven’t seen enough surprises yet. I blame everybody.
Huge scores coming from Oklahoma on floor, a couple 9.900s already early in the rotation. They’ll be trying to catch Florida’s 197.325. Illinois trying to avoid counting a fall on beam, which would take them right out of it.
Fifth rotation getting underway in Arkansas, UCLA will try to solidify the qualification spot on the vault, while Boise State will try to get back in it on the floor and hope that something happens to Arkansas in the next two rotations. Arkansas is having a few handstand issues in these first two rotations, but good stuck landings. Scoreboard still isn’t working for this Regional, so it may be a while before we know what’s happening.
Illinois gets out of beam to keep within sight of Stanford, Peszek sticks one of her best yfulls of the year. Should score very well, if we were to get any scores, of course. 9.950 for Peszek in the third position, but Courtney does not stick as she usually doe. Grable hits bars to continue the good news for Arkansas.
Apparently not the best vault from Frattone. She hasn’t hit that well since her 10 on Senior Day. Another hit from Pisani on bars, very clean. They’ve worked these landings well. Zamarripa does not stick her vault, but just with a tiny hop and should obviously score very high.
Very nice on the tkatchev and jaeger from Howdeshell, a big hop on the DLO. Maryland is having a minor disaster on the beam, which will take them totally out of it.
The commentators inform us that UCLA finishes with a 197.225, which will easily be enough to advance. Arkansas will have a significant lead over the rest of the teams as well.
I think it’s time to check in with the Auburn Regional, which should be about underway. Four events at once, how am I supposed to handle this? So Persinger did come in on bars for Georgia after all, but came in for Tanella. Shayla hit for 9.850. It’s an Auburn miracle. Really erratic stream there for me, a lot of buffering, so I’m switching over to Georgia’s audio for that meet. 9.900 for Nuccio. Georgia scoring very well on bars. Ding sticks the DLO.
Big score from Michigan, 49.225 on vault. Pressure on Oregon State, who is starting on a bye. Georgia is just ahead with a 49.300. Michigan’s score has been bumped up to a 49.300, so they are level with Georgia.
In Illinois, Stanford gets a huge 49.400 on bars to erase the problems from Pac-12s. They will advance if they hit beam in the final rotation. Oklahoma finishes with an average vault rotation to score 197.025, which will help them qualify easily.
In Seattle, Alabama gets 9.900s from Sledge and Stack-Eaton, so they will be leading after the first rotation regardless of Priess’s number. Washington recorded a very strong 49.200 on vault. Alabama finishes bars with 49.350 with beam to come soon. In most cases, bars is the weakness for Alabama, so they seem to be through the toughest one with a great score.
I haven’t watched any of the Seattle Regional yet, so I’m going to check in there for a little bit for Alabama’s beam and LSU’s floor. I’ll also keep an eye on Georgia’s beam score and whether Arkansas and Stanford can finish out their qualification places with hits on beam. Arkansas has hit the first two beam routines.
Dickson starting floor for LSU, very confident on her tumbling to start, will not score nearly as low as it did at SECs. Jacob hits beam for Alabama, 9.825. Milliner next, very confident in her acro, looking solider than I saw her earlier in the season, just a couple minor steps on the dismount.
Williams next on beam, it’s interesting that beam has become her major contribution to the team instead of vault or floor. One wobble and a step on the dismount, but it’s fine. We’re only seeing the very end of these LSU routines, so it’s difficult to judge.
Demeo now, right on for her acro, great routine.
Stanford has had a fall from Pechanec on beam, so I’m going to head over there because they now need four hits in a row, otherwise this thing gets good. Hong hit in the third position. Shona Morgan up now, solid on series, hits the routine. Down to Spinner and Brown now.
Good series from Spinner and hits her loso. Really strong routine in a pressure situation. Brown is a good anchor for this team because she has a relatively low-risk routine, not to jinx her.
(I switched away from Fayetteville, did Arkansas close it out on beam as they should have?)
Brown has a minor wobble on the punch front, but she hits and Stanford will go to Nationals. Looking at the scores, they probably could have even counted that fall.
Alabama ended up hitting beam well for 49.225. LSU was just OK on floor for 49.050, so they will be behind Washington after one event, but I don’t expect that to last. Arizona had a disaster on bars to take them right out of it.
Shayla hit bars, so she had to miss somewhere just so we knew it was still her. 9.400 on the beam, but it doesn’t matter. 49.100 rotation for Georgia. Oregon State goes 49.075 on floor and Auburn goes 48.900 on bars. Lots of teams in this right now.
In between rotations right now in Seattle and Auburn, waiting on SLC to start. The first lull we’ve had in hours.
Watch out for Michigan on bars and Oregon State on vault, these could be some interesting rotations because they aren’t exactly strengths, which seems strange to say about Michigan on bars. They need Martinez back. Low score to start for Oregon State on vault.
In Seattle, Washington starts bars with two scores in the 9.7s, and LSU has a 9.800 and a 9.700.
Miele clips her heels on the bar for Michigan but continues the routine, won’t be a high score. 9.575, so they’ll need to drop it. Lots of scores in the 9.7s at the Auburn Regional (which Kevin Copp also just said, oh dear).
Over in Seattle, odd fall for Courville on vault, so LSU scores just a 49. Low scores on LSU’s best two events, which leaves an opening for Washington, but they will have to hit beam, a big ask for this team. Washington currently leads LSU by .225 at the halfway point.
In Auburn, Oregon State scores a 49.125 on vault. Just fine, but it is not unassailable. Really close between a bunch of team here. Great to see! Georgia 98.400, Michigan 98.350, Oregon State 98.200, Auburn not too far behind. Let’s settle in because this will be close, even West Virginia is not totally back of the pack. Both Auburn and WVU are less then half a point behind Oregon State. In the next rotation, Georgia goes to floor and Michigan goes to beam.
In Utah, no routine from Schleppenbach on bars, so Nebraska has a fall from Busacker (the problem with their lineup, no one else had competition experience), 49.125 on bars in the first rotation, below their average and no one goes 9.900.
In Seattle, Alabama getting ready to go on floor, Washington heading into that all-important beam rotation. Warmups going on now. Georgia also about to get going on the floor in Auburn. Interesting that Davis is coming in on floor for Shayla and Cheek is debuting on vault. I love these changes, but it’s very un-Jay.
Little bounce out of the double pike for Milliner, following a 9.800 from Jacob. Earls hits floor for Georgia. Washington is having some serious wobbles on beam, but it appears they are staying on so far. They’ll need to drop a 9.550.
Huge stumble for Alabama on floor from Priess I believe but she stayed on her feet. More hits for Georgia on floor. Earls goes 9.850 in the leadoff position. Michigan is having a few wobbles on beam but nothing disastrous.
Bounce back out of the mount for Sledge, too many minor errors for Alabama on floor. They should be scoring much better. Gutierrez up now, great DLO and kept it in bounds, very good form in the second pass. Washington has a fall on a mount, so LSU looks like they will probably be out of the woods in their Regional even though the first two rotations have been average.
Georgia getting a bunch of 9.850s on floor, outpacing Michigan’s beam, though Michigan is hitting which will put pressure on Oregon State. Davis goes 9.900 on floor for Georgia and Kevin Copp is positively giggly about something Julie Clark just did. I don’t even know what’s happening . . .
Big scores continuing for Georgia, so I expect them to take this Regional with just vault to come. Michigan will be trying to stay ahead of Oregon State, but the Beavers are capable of a big number. Michigan looks like they will be at 147.100 after three events. Just ahead of West Virginia’s 146.975.
Noel Couch goes 9.925 for a 49.400 rotation for Georgia. Alabama scores just 49.125 on floor, but they are certainly capable of a big vault score as we all know. LSU needs to go high 48s on bars to stay ahead of Washington.
Utah has started floor with some 9.850s, and Nebraska will be counting a 9.750 on beam but no falls yet, so they should get through this just fine as no one else is scoring competitively.
Alabama getting started on vault, Kayla Williams solid with a step back. A few form breaks for LSU on bars, but nothing problematic. Nice vault from Priess with a hop back, they need to fix these landings, though. Nicely done from Priess. Randi Lau has a little problem on the pak for LSU but stays on the bars. Washington will still feel in this if LSU continues to have some of these 9.7s on bars.
Sledge scores lower than Priess on vault, but I think hers was better. Nice from Gutierrez but she takes a step. We know she can stick, and they’ll need that in two weeks. Milliner also has a minor step to confirm Alabama’s advancing to Nationals. Final score is a 197.025.
Lindsey Cheek debuts on vault for Georgia with a minor step. Kat Ding finishes witha yfull with a step, so Georgia will advance easily with a solid score 197.100.
Utah scores 49.325 on floor, so they will be on pace to lead by a bunch early on.
Oregon State scoring well on bars to open up a lead over Michigan that they should be able to keep up as long as they hit beam. The main focus will now be on LSU and Washington who are nearly tied going into their final events. That could go either way since LSU is on beam and Washington is on floor, which could be their best event.
Michigan would need to gain .400 on the final rotation to catch Oregon State, so it would need to come down to a fall or fall equivalent.
Utah is getting some strong scores on vault, so they look to have complete control of this Regional.
All-important last rotation starting in Seattle. It could go either way. Hit routine for Washington to begin with just a minor stumble out of the second pass.
Shelby Prunty has a fall for LSU. They now need five straight hits to advance. Podlucky for Washington is very low on the double pike mount and has a huge stumble out of the second pass. They’ll need to drop this score.
Third floor routine from Washington opens with an OK double pike and is certainly a countable score for the Huskies. They’re showing us way too many irrelevant routines and not enough of LSU on beam. Now we’re seeing Hall, big wobble but she fights through it and stays on.
Looks like Washington hit the fourth routine. Courville hits her Arabian and the loso series well. Another hit routine for LSU. Fechter matches with a nice hit for Washington. I think LSU has a slight advantage right now, but it will come down to the last routine. Exactly what we could have hoped for! Jordan hits the final routine for LSU and that will probably do it, but we’ll have to wait for our final scores. LSU finished with a 196.075, which will indeed outpace Washington’s 195.825. A shame for the Huskies, they were very close.
After we get the result here, head over to Auburn where Oregon State might be throwing this thing away to Michigan in the final rotation! This should come down to the last routine as well. Michigan will not be counting a score below 9.800 on floor.
Oregon State needs probably 9.850s from Vivian and Mak, which they are certainly capable of, but they have to convert. Vivian sticks her landing, so Mak will be capable of taking this for OSU. The 9.875 from Vivian makes Mak’s job easier. She may just need a 9.825. Mak sticks the routine, which should be enough to just barely pass Michigan. Uhhhhhh . . . so close. Officially, Oregon State will defeat Michigan on the strength of Mak’s 9.925.
So after all that all of our top seeds are going through? Pending Utah and Nebraska, of course, which does not look close at all.
Our qualifiers so far are Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA, Arkansas, Georgia, Oregon State, Alabama, and LSU, with Utah and Nebraska out to big leads in the final Regional, so we can assume that is our National picture.
After three events, Nebraska is on solid 196.500 pace and leading Arizona State by a point. After two events, Utah is on 197 pace and looks to win the event easily unless there is another mishap on the beam.
Nebraska finishes out the meet with a 9.950 from DeZiel on vault to score a 196.525. Utah looks like they will just have to hit beam to exceed that number, but the Schleppenbach-less Nebraska Huskers will advance to Nationals.
Confirmed now. Utah finishes with 196.825 to become our final qualifier to National Championships. I’ll be back tomorrow with a roundup and analysis of all the Regional action.