It Begins

The first meets of the season are soon to begin, featuring Florida, Stanford, LSU, Oregon State, and Michigan.

7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Ball State @ [3] Florida (Scores)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [22] NC State @ [8] LSU (Scores)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Cancun Classic – [9] Oregon State, [10] Michigan, BYU
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [6] Stanford, UC Davis, Sacramento State @ San Jose State

Rhonda nearly said something honest about the level of her opponent. I suppose it’s good to provide more exposure to the lower-ranked teams, but it doesn’t exactly make for the most compelling meets. She says she’s going to compete a lot of underclassmen, except two of the freshmen are out, one will be doing exhibition on one event, and Sloan will not be doing the all-around. So, I suppose that means a bit more Kiersten Wang in this meet than we will see later in the year.

LSU’s lineup is already available in the scoring link above. I’m pleased to see Savona in on three events. I’m sure she will be a major contributor on vault and floor, but watch for beam tonight. They could use some beamers. Of the other new ones, Ranzy is currently injured, but Wyrick will be making her debut on bars. I’d like to see her on beam eventually as well, but we’ll see.

As for the Cancun Classic,  I picked Michigan to win this meet (barely), so we’ll see how things go whenever we get a chance to parse the scores. It appears that those were just the warmups that were being described on facebook, hence the lack of information. I believe the meet is still yet to start.

Florida is tweeting updates @GatorZoneGym. Their live scoring is notoriously pokey. Bridget Sloan debuts with a 9.925 vault (up 4th). Welcome to Florida 2013. The vault landings in their first meet last season were clearly in the early stages, so this may be a bit higher score than what I was expecting today if that is any indication.

Florida lineups:
VT: Shisler, Wang, Johnson, Sloan, Dickerson King (Stageberg Exo)
UB: Dickerson, King, Hunter, Sloan, Johnson, M. Caquatto (Wang Exo)
BB: Stageberg, Johnson, Sloan, Hunter, M. Caquatto, Dickerson (Wang Exo)
FX: Shisler, Wang, Stageberg, King, Dickerson, Hunter

Not much can be gleaned from those lineups as to who is in favor to compete all season, since they will clearly change (no Hunter on vault, no King on beam, etc.)

Florida goes 49.325 on vault, led by 9.925s from Sloan and Dickerson. Compare that to last season when Florida opened the year with a 48.925 on vault (albeit away). A 9.725 from Wang was dropped. Shisler went 9.825, which is strong for her, especially in the first meet. Johnson went 9.850 and King went 9.800.

Down Cancun way, Oregon State is competing Witherby and Ohlrich on beam and putting Stambaugh fifth. Grab a rosary now if that’s your thing.

Second rotation in Florida (bars), Dickerson started with a 9.825, then King went 9.800, and Hunter recorded a career-high 9.900. Tying a career high in the first meet, so there’s that. 9.900 is about Hunter’s ceiling on bars, it being her worst event.

Sloan goes 9.800. We know she’s capable of better, but that’s not as relevant in the first meet. Judging by the scores already, I expect this to the lowest home bars score of the season.

Another 9.800 from Alaina Johnson, which should confirm for us that they aren’t up to true levels yet. That’s perfectly acceptable (actually recommended) for the first meet.

Macko finishes with a 9.850, so Hunter wins bars at this meet (unexpected). Florida goes 49.175 for a two-event total of 98.500. Florida leads Ball State by two points (just the two?). BSU on pace for a 193.000. Kiersten Wang scores a 9.750 in her exhibition.

I predicted that Florida would go somewhere in the 196.6–196.7 range in this meet, and they are above that pace right now (though I expect the other rotations to be closer in scoring to bars than to vault). If they do reach 197 in this meet without big routines from such major contributors, it will tell us a lot about how this season will go.

LSU is underway on vault with a 9.825 from Dickson and a 9.775 from Hall. Savona has replaced Lee in this lineup, but otherwise it’s similar to what we saw last season.
For Florida on beam, Stageberg opens with a 9.750 and Johnson follows with a 9.825.
It’s all happening now.

9.800 from Sloan on beam. Her debut is over, and it’s a successful one. She should be 9.9s on every event in a month or two, but nothing problematic here.

In Cancun, Michigan has started on bars with two 9.775s and a 9.700. Harris received a 9.700 on beam for OSU. A bit slow on the start here. Hopefully no one pulls an LSU from last year.

Savona debuts on vault for a 9.850 and Morrison goes 9.900, which is major for her. NC State has suffered a fall on bars with three routines left. We have the makings of a good positive vault score for LSU. They must be consistently going at least 49.300 on vault once Feb/March arrive to contend.

Witherby has fallen or suffered a fall-equivalent on beam for OSU (my fault?), so the Beavers will be couting a 9.700 and a 9.625 already.

LSU gets a 49.275 on vault. Great start for them, just a half tenth short of what Florida put up. Bars next, the event where the most improvement is needed. NC State has to take a 48.450 on bars. Ouchie.

Michigan looks to have recorded a 49.075 on bars (fine, regular), while Oregon State is having a beamtastrophe. Not an ideal way to start the season. 48.225.

Ashanee has fallen on beam for Florida (it’s been a while), but they can drop the score. 49.000 on beam, led by a 9.875 from Macko. It’s huge that they have her back on this event. Uncharacteristic 9.750 from Hunter.

Miele and Sugiyama will lead off beam for Michigan – a trial for those who haven’t always scored the best in the past. It’s important that they give nothing back to Oregon State.

Jessie Jordan has fallen on bars to lead off for LSU. Welcome, Jay! And now an 8.600 for Fox. And they started so well. . .
Randii Wyrick rights the ship with a 9.775. I think she can do better eventually, but for a freshman in her first routine going up after multiple falls, it’s a good hit.

Oregon State has a fall in the second floor routine. This meet looks like trouble. Counting a 9.700 on floor already.

The final four for LSU saved bars, but 9.825 (Morrison) was the high, and the event finishes as just a 48.250. Work to do. LSU leads NC State by just .150 after two rotations.

Shisler leads off floor with a fall for Florida. The day started so strongly, but now we’re seeing evidence of the first weekend all across the nation.

In a huge boost for the Wolverines, they survive beam (more than survive, really). Should be mostly in the clear now to win the meet (of course that will prove false, knowing gymnastics). Zurales leads with a huge 9.925. 49.275 is the score, highest beam score of the day. Well now, Michigan.

LSU starts with 9.725 and 9.750 on beam from Garcia and Dickson. Jordan and Courville are the stars here, but really anyone else can make this lineup. This is an opportunity for anyone who gets a usable score.

Florida is not going to get a big number on floor after the 9.675 from King, so this score will probably be lower than my expectation but still in the mid 196s, which is a good opening for a top team. We’ll hear a lot about how this score is a positive because it shows them what they have to work on. Hunter finishes with a 9.900 to win her second event of the evening.

First final of 2013: Florida 196.575, Ball State 190.500

Ah, the final score missed my range by .025. So close! Sloan and Dickerson win vault, Hunter wins bars, M. Caquatto wins beam, and Hunter wins floor. Dickerson wins the AA. Let’s see if Michigan can beat Florida’s score.

LSU has righted the meet on beam, led by a 9.875 from Courville and able to drop the 9.725 from Garcia. 49.025 is a good score for now, and LSU will widen the lead over NC State by a touch with one rotation left. 196 is going to be unattainable for LSU, but 195.750 looks possible.

It sounds like Oregon State had a bit better go of things on vault, but like LSU it will be difficult for them to recover from that one bad rotation. The score is still just a 48.850, lower than the 48.875 from floor (so never mind about it being a better rotation). They had to drop a 9.550 from McGregor in her comeback routine.The best score was a 9.825 from new transfer Gaspar.

It’s weird to see Beilstein leading off on floor for Michigan, but they continue the great run with 9.9s from Sugiyama and Sampson. 49.300 on floor. This is going to be a major statement, similar to what Arkansas did here last year but with an even stronger score. Vault still to come. They would need 49.350 on vault to score a 197.

Rough day for Jessie Jordan of LSU, her second fall. Savona has started well for the Tigers, but it’s a pressure situation now. They can’t count a fall and expect to win. Huge 9.925 from Savona. That’s what she was recruited for.

Did I say LSU wouldn’t get a 196? Courville just recorded a 9.975 on floor, so one of the judges was ready to give our first ten of the season. I’ll need to see that. If LSU is going to have a big season. floor will lead the way. We know that. Now what are they going to give Hall?

Oregon State opens with a fall on bars. Just that kind of day. Is even 195 going to become a stretch?

Well, the judges weren’t setting the stage for a Hall 10. She gets a paltry 9.950. That’s a powerful little lineup there. LSU goes 49.525 on floor, by far the highest rotation score of the day. Final score: LSU 196.075, NC State 194.975 

Michigan scoring under capabilities a little bit on vault, with three scores under 9.800 to start. It’s nice to see Casanova joining in already. They’ll need her. Oregon State now sure to count a fall on bars as well. They’ll be just mid-194s at this rate.

The Wolverines surprisingly have their worst rotation of the night on vault with a 48.975. Sampson’s 9.875 was the only bigger score. A couple conflicting scores along the way, but it looks like Michigan’s final is somewhere between 196.575–196.625. On pace with Florida and a very good result, even if vault was a little letdown.

Oregon State is having another nutty on bars, counting a fall, a major mistake, and two other scores well under 9.800. Did I say mid-194s? I meant 193s. Something like 193.600 will be the final. That is an extremely poor result, even for the first week. Teams can come back from this kind of start (Stanford did last year), but this is dire for the Beavers. I don’t expect this to continue in the same level of badness, but the Beavers are verging on not being one of the top 12 teams, certainly. Not making Nationals is a very real concern.

6 thoughts on “It Begins”

  1. I love how no one gives a flying fig about what ball state is doing #irrelevant

  2. okay, every year, EVERY team says this is their year, blah blah blah. but michigan really killed it tonight, and I for one am psyched (and really hoping they can carry this through). great coverage! I really really like your blog. do you write professionally? if not, maybe you should. you have a real flair for just the right amount of snark.


  3. Thanks so much, and I agree about Michigan. That's a perfect tone to set for a new season with very different results than the last one.

    I don't write professionally, but I would love to.

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