The Friday Swarm Live Blog – Florida, Nebraska, Alabama, UCLA, Utah

Val wants us to guess her anchors. Hmm, UCLA on the road at the end of January against a beatable opponent? Sadiqua Bynum will anchor bars. That’s my pick.

As the top home teams, expect Florida and Alabama to set the scoring pace for the night. Now that Florida has broken 197, anything less than that at home is a disappointing score. Alabama should be in prime position to match those lowish-midish 197s as long as everyone hits. 
It’s already easy to forget about Arkansas because the team dropped out of the top 25, but with Grable returning this week from her “absence,” the scoring should increase. Also keep an eye on some of the surprisingly ranked teams like Denver and Kentucky to see if they can maintain a mid-195 pace or even show signs of improvement. They are currently in line for those sought-after #3 Regional seeds from which most upsets arise.
Later, Utah and UCLA will both want to prove proficiency at scoring away from home. UCLA has yet to compete away, and Utah had a disaster in their only attempt so far. UCLA’s lineup will be interesting because normally this meet, the easiest away opponent of the year, would be the “exploring depth” meet where Tauny Frattone would do bars and MDLT would do floor, but I wonder whether the lack of total numbers this year will keep the lineups closer to what we’ve already seen.

Meets will begin at 7:00 ET/4:00 PT. 
Streaming links:
If you feel so inclined, you can check out the Ohio State stream, but the quality is just OK because of the angle.

Ohio State vault: DeLuca begins with just a handspring front pike, followed by Grady with a fine Yhalf with some lack of distance and a hop. Schaffer sticks/near sticks a proficient yfull with good direction. Marohn performs a similar yfull to Shaffer but hops back, looked 9.800y to me but we’re not getting scores. Miller sticks an Omelianchik nicely, difficult to judge potential tucking from the angle, but it looked good.

Nebraska bars:  Blanske leads off and struggled with some handstands but hits. Nathe follows with a clean routine featuring more precise handstands and a nice tkatchev. The double front dismount looked a little off in the release timing but she got it around well with a minor hop. Lauer goes third and rushes some of her hs and pikes a DLO with a major hop – fine, but not notable with definite deductions. Wong is slightly close on the gienger, but otherwise hits cleanly with good hs and a stuck tuck full. DeZiel performs similarly to Wong – these routines are not packed to focus on cleanliness, and it’s working. Giblin finishes with a lovely gienger, one questionable handstand, and a stuck tuck full – should be her best score of the year.

No scores yet, but Nebraska’s final three bars workers looked very nice and should make up for sloppiness early in the rotation. Ohio State vaulted just five, I believe, but likewise three of them were strong. Nebraska should be leading by multiple tenths, but apparently OSU is leading 49.050-49.025. I don’t see that. Nebraska’s unnamed exhibition on bars looked very nice – strong pace and amplitude, a few bits of sloppiness.

Florida is already having a Florida vault. Two 9.925s in the first four routines (Sloan and King). Get on 197.500 watch.  I won’t say 198 watch yet because beam and floor haven’t been as high yet.

Ohio State bars: De Luca is late on some pirouetting and not quite vertical in all her handstands, but she did well to hold onto the dismount with a minor step. Aepli has sloppy legs throughout and imprecise handstands, the DLO full saves the routine. Herr(?) has best lines and handstands so far, one step on dismount. Abrams a leg separation early and again later in the pirouettes, finishes with a just OK double tuck with a step. Marohn is minorly close on the jaeger but everything else has strong amplitude – step on double front. Shaffer works with nice speed but went over on a handstand – finished with one hop on tuck full.

Nebraska vault: Stephens begins again with a yfull with a low chest but stuck/near stuck landing. JLauer follows with a similar vault in terms of chest position but a definitely stuck landing. Giblin sticks her yfull – they’ve been working these landings, that’s for sure. Skinner in on vault for this meet, also sticks her yfull but was off to the side. DeZiel breaks the sticking streak but her power should mostly make up for it, one step. Wong bounces out of her yfull and is slightly off to the side – not her best.

I see Nebraska only extending the lead with that performance, but I’d love to see some scores or something. You know, whatever. Some very 9.7-looking gymnastics from OSU, and Nebraska’s vaults were consistently better by a tenth+

Kytra goes 9.975 on vault (the 10 is coming), and Florida vaults 49.625. Yep. And it’s January, and Macko didn’t compete. Auburn went 48.950 on bars, which is a good score for not their best event. BDG has come in for Florida on bars at this meet and debuts with a 9.925.

Ohio State beam: Dunn starts with a hit – a few wobbles and a general lack of amplitude on all skills. Herr has a minor break in her loso+back tuck connection but should get it – struggling here a bit – hop forward on 1.5. Grady has a slight wobble on her switch side and hits 1.5. Shaffer also struggles on her switch side and another couple wobbles will keep the score down, double back dismount with a step. Marohn begins with a strong onodi, finishes with a hit cowboy double back with a step. Miller starts right on (love a dance+dance+acro connection), and will score very well. The class of the team. I just wish she didn’t dismount with a gainer full because it takes away from the difficulty/quality. 9.950

Nebraska floor: JLauer slides back out of her double pike mount, but otherwise hits solidly but unremarkably. Stephens mounts similarly to Lauer with a slide out of her double pike, dance elements aren’t quite there, lower in her double tuck dismount with a step. Schleppenbach (do you think she would mind if I called her Schlep?) mounts with a dbl pike as well, better height but stumlbed out of the landing slightly, rudi dismount is somewhat low and ragged, but best performance quality so far. DeZielhas best dbl pike mount of the group (but they all do mount with double pikes), but stumbles majorly on the punch front out of the middle pass and barely stays on her feet. A shame. Blanske’s power supports her position in this lineup, but finishes with a low double back.Wong stumbles slightly out of her 3/1, but there’s very little to take from the rest of the routine. Good finish.

With the exception of Miller on beam, that was a very 9.775 rotation from both teams. Nebraska needs work on the tumbling consistency. Most mounts were slightly overdone and most dismounts were under. Nebraska leads by about three tenths overall and should go low-mid 196s.

Florida goes just 49.525 on bars. Psh. Pedestrian. 198 pace. No Alaina Johnson today. BDG and Sloan tie for the win with 9.925. Spicer has fallen on beam, so let’s see how the team reacts. Sloan and Hunter hit.

Ohio State floor: Dunn bounces slightly out of her double back but stays in, sticks double pike dismount, same issues with amplitude as on beam. DeLuca starts with a nice double front, stumbles on layouts middle pass, sticks dismount. Aepli (middle-aged man shouts “Sell it Tory!”) slight bounce out of double pike mount, comes in way low for her dismount into Shushunova and hits it. Herr starts with a crooked 2.5 with a stumble, and stumbles again out of middle pass, good straddle positions, another stumble on her layout out of the dismount. Shouldn’t score very well. Shaffer starts with a fine tuck full (slight shift with front leg but not notable), strong 1.5+lo, fine double pike dismount – strongest so far. Miller sticks a cowboy double arabian well, again by far the best on the team. No contest.

Nebraska beam:  Blanske begins with a fine loso series (legs), super low on punch front and I can’t believe she stayed on the beam, another major break on Lturn, this will be very low. Nathe wobbles on mount, hits lo series excellently, well contained overall after the early problem, hop back on dismount.  DeZiel has a slight wobble on the aerial and again on the series, another nervy start because she’s right on for these skills and then correcting, low on front toss, hits 2.5 dismount. Giblin has a few minor wobbles but gets the rotation back on track for Nebraska and should score well, stuck dismount. JLauer loso series is hit with leg bend, dismounts out of frame but it looked solid again. Wong slight wobble on loso series but the best amplitude of the day in her beam acro, just slightly wobbly on everything, though, stuck double full.

Who knows when we’ll see the final scores, but Nebraska shows the much stronger potential. Floor landings need work and beam was very tentative this time, but otherwise the team is on the right track. Sarah Miller for Ohio State is excellent, but the team is basically Miller and her merry 9.775s.

Florida ends up hitting beam for 49.275. 198 is probably gone but a hit floor will mean by far the highest score yet this season.

For the rest of the evening, I’ll probably go back and forth between Alabama and UCLA, and hopefully the Utah readers can keep us updated on the Utes’ performance.

Florida begins floor with two 9.750s from Stageberg and Wang, and Auburn’s quest for 196 begins with a 9.775, 9.700, and 9.800. Both 9.750s will count for Florida, so the Gators are probably looking more in the 197.500 range, but Kytra’s floor could put them in the 197.6s.

Caitlin Atkinson gets Auburn its 196 with a 9.875 beam anchor performance. Kutra finishes with a 9.925 (39.700 AA) and a team score of 197.650.

Alabama will begin on vault with Clark, Jacob, Sledge, Williams, Gutierrez, and Milliner.

Clark – lovely height on a yfull (no distance) with a stuck landing or perhaps a minor hop in place. 9.800
Jacob – some sloppy legs on the block and a step back – not nearly her best. 9.700
Kentucky has a slightly sloppy first routine with handstands and legs and a fall on a jaeger in the 2nd position.
Sledge – her usual excellent distance and flight, and her usual hop back as well. 9.875
It appeared last week like Kentucky has 4 routine on each event, and that is continuing. Third routine was solid with leg separations, and fourth routine has a severely missed hs and is otherwise fine.
Williams – does the 1.5 (nice to see) with a hop back. Good upgrade and better distance than she’s had in some past vaults. It won’t score as well as the Yfull right now, but it’s a forward-looking decision. 9.800
Gutierrez – similar to what we’ve seen – good distance but a pretty big step back. She’s not close to the stick yet. 9.825
Milliner – step forward on the Y1.5, so expect a 9.9 based on previous scores. (9.875)
Kentucky takes a fall in the final routine and will have to count a fall and a 9.6.
Beers does exhibition and barely hangs on to the Y1.5. Nice option to have, though.

Scoring was pretty fair in that first rotation, I thought. Alabama leads 49.175-48.300. Sledge is the only one who was notably high for me. The landings aren’t there yet for Alabama, and it shows in the score.

A bunch of 48.9 rotations between Denver and Arkansas so far. Arkansas will take it after last week.

Alabama on bars will be Sledge, Alexin, Jacob, Clark. DeMeo, Priess

Sledge – wonderful gienger, hit bail hs, slightly muscled kip, stuck DLO. Excellent. 9.875
First two vaulters for Kentucky struggle for scores that should be under 9.7.
Alexin –  usual leg separation on shaposh, and a slightly late pirouette, sticks double tuck, solid enough routine. (9.850)
Jacob shows one of her better routines, good amplitude in releases and stuck DLO.
Pretty strong Omelianchik from Harrison of Kentucky. Slight bend in knees and lack of distance but stuck.
Clark – only problem is a separation in the bail hs, shows the DLO full but it’s essentially piked with a step. Worth it? Not the way it was performed today.
Demeo – in the fifth position now, misses a couple handstands and hops back on the dismount.  
Priess – strong tkatchev to excellent pak, flings her DLO slights and has to fight a step slightly to get the landing.

Sledge was probably the best one for me for Alabama on bars, and there were a couple too many breaks to justify a 49.400. It was better than the last meet, though, in terms of those handstands. Halfway through in Alabama and the Tide is on 197 pace. Time to take a look in on UCLA.

The Bruins on bars started with a 9.750 from Francis and 9.800s from Courtney and DeJesus. Not a great start but fine. Mattie takes a slight hop in her DLO dismount. Wong goes over on her handstand on the bail hs and falls. Oh brother. Struggles. Who are these commentators? They’re struggling just as much as UCLA on bars. Zam was looking good until an uncharacteristically poor DLO with a step forward. 9.825, and that’s the best score of the rotation. Dearie me. UCLA leads 48.925-48.725.

Utah starts with a 49.175 with their bars rotation, led by a 9.875 from Dabritz after an overall mid-9.8 rotation. Alabama will be trying to recover from an early beam fall from Gutierrez.

Something terrible is happening with a sandwich on the ASU feed. I don’t understand people or their choices. I’m struggling with the UCLA/Arizona State feed, so I’m switching somewhere else. Hopefully the Bruins can pull it together. Fine vaults from McDonald and MDLT.

The feed from Arizona is in much better shape. Big struggle from Arizona on bars as I arrive from Mills.
Del Priore – VT – a little bit of bent legs and a major hop back on the landing.
Arizona is getting through these routines, but breaks abound with leg separations and handstands.
Dabritz – VT – lovely yfull – good height and a stuck landing, will be the highest score. 9.925
Lothrop – VT – sticks Omelianchik, almost, this is much improved over two weeks ago.
Cristello strongest so far for AZ, but also missed a couple handstands
Wilson – her usual stick, she’s improved the height over last season.

Utah will go 49.325 on vault because of strong performances from Dabritz and Wilson. UCLA recovers from a bars with a 49.350 on vault. Pritchett went over Sawa and Wong and scored a 9.800, but Zamarripa’s 9.950 lead the team. If UCLA hits beam, a mid-196 is still believable. 

Alabama counts a fall on beam so is now also looking at another mid-196 instead of a 197. I’m checking back in with them for the final rotation.
Arkansas and Denver both still struggling to get 49, but no one getting there. 

Priess will be in for Alabama on floor this week, which is a good step, but we’ll see how it goes. Kentucky starts beam with a fine hit.

Demeo – FX – big stumble out of her dbl pike, way OOB, and a miracle she didn’t fall. Still, the score will need to be dropped. 2.5 dismount is strong but also flirting with OOB.

Nervy performance from Mitchell for Kentucky, but she gets through it with some wobbles and a dismount step.

Sledge – FX – slides back out of her double back mount, really that’s the only thing to take in this routine (even though I wish I could take off for “not up to the talent level of the gymnast” for her layouts middle pass), and perhaps ever so slightly low on the double pike dismount. 9.875.

Kentucky is getting through it on beam with no major problems to deduct for. This rotation could save the meet for them a little bit to remain in 195s, perhaps.

Priess – FX – good double back to start, this is such an Alabama routine, and she’s hitting very well. There will be some who say she shouldn’t be in the lineup for lack of difficulty, but she can certainly be a top six scorer (or top three scorer) in form. Low on the dismount with a step back.

Gutierrez – FX – DLO is excellent and a great double pike to finish. Another very strong performance. That could go 9.9s. (9.900)

Jacob – FX – pike full is fine, but landing staggered takes away from it, small bounce out of a double pike with a low chest, a perfectly fine routine overall but not her best. Still, it goes 9.925 because she’s 5th perhaps? Gutierrez was clearly stronger.

Syd Sawa has come in for UCLA on floor and scored a 9.500 that will have to count. This is what happens when you can’t get Larson and Francis working floor at lineup level.

Kentucky takes a fall from the beam anchor and will finish at 194.800.

Milliner – FX – great dbl Arabian, needs a touch more control on the front 1/1 on the middle pass, and double pike looks strong. Similar to Jacob, good routine but not her best. 9.900

Alabama finishes with a 196.575, which is on par with how they have been performing this season so far. Florida will be the clear winner of the day.

Utah manages a 49.275 on floor. They’ve placed Tutka in the anchor position because she’s been the only one hitting in form so far, but I don’t see that as a strong long-term plan because they will get more value eventually from putting Dabritz there.

Keeping Zam off floor hurt UCLA this week because they had to count a 9.500 instead. 48.925 floor rotation means that even a 196.500 may be out of reach, and even a 196 is dependent on a 5/6 beam rotation.

Finals score from Arkansas: Arkansas 195.475, Denver 195.125

Utah in line for a 197 with a hit beam rotation, starts with Wilson. Major wobble on series but stays on. I don’t see her staying in this lineup. Hits 1.5 dismount.

Tutka struggles to hit her switch split and straddle 1/4, anotehr major wobble on her loso series, and again on her aerial cartwheel and barely stays on. Big struggle of a routine, so the 9.750 from Wilson will have to count. Commentators pronouncing it “Toot-ka.” Ha. I’m five.

Arizona being very 9.800 in the first two floor routines. Fine landings, missing dance elements and amplitude.

Hughes is the first to hit her series well, and is such a necessary newcomer to this rotation. Double full dismount is off to the side with a hop. That dismount will be the majority of the deductions.

Williams for Arizona has a bit more amplitude than the first two, some floppy legs in that dismount, but a perfectly fine routine.

Dabritz had no chance on her loso series from the beginning, was off on the bhs. So Toot-ka’s 9.575 will now count, so the first road 197 of the season is out of the picture. Poor girl, she can be great but hits so rarely.

Quirk is very low on her double pike landing and had crazy legs on her 2.5, but I do love to see a 2.5 middle pass in NCAA.

Lothrop in a must-hit. This is a carbon copy of almost all her routines, which is what you want on beam. She won’t ever be the big, big scorer because she barely gets an inch above the beam ever, but it’s a necessary hit with minimal wobbles.

I like this Kristin Klarenbach, good intensity and a mostly weird routine. Does a stag out of her middle pass that could have been confused for a lunge, honestly.

Lofgren has a very minimal wobble on the side somi, but this is a major improvement over the UCLA meet, good stick of a gainer full for what should be the best score.

In the final routine, Cristello lands a strong double arabian with a stick, but steps OOB on her double back middle pass that also could have used more amplitude. It’s tough in a combo pass. Fine double pike finish. The OOB will be the major deduction.  

Looks like Utah wll go 196.600, which is still one of the stronger road scores of the season. Arizona will just break 196 for 196.075

Still waiting on the final score from UCLA’s beam to finish up the meets for the day. It was a 9.775 in the beam anchor position, so UCLA finishes with a 196.375, which is a comparatively low score for what seemed to be an up-and-down meet overall. The lack of Zamarripa on two events was certainly a contributor, as was the slow start on bars. There is nothing really the matter with that score (and if this is their bad road meet of the season, then it’s much better than usual), but they won’t want to keep it for RQS. Arizona State finishes with 195.550.

12 thoughts on “The Friday Swarm Live Blog – Florida, Nebraska, Alabama, UCLA, Utah”

  1. I liked the scoring of the Alabama vault rotation. It's good to see the judges score a home team correctly for once. I agree that Sledge's was high, but Clark's was a bit low, so it evened out.


    Kassandra Lopez 9.800
    Nansy Damianova 9.750
    Breanna Hughes 9.825
    Hailee Hansen 9.825
    Corrie Lothrop 9.850
    Georgia Dabritz 9.875



    Nansy Damianova 9.775
    Taylor Allex 9.800
    Lia Del Priore 9.750
    Georgia Dabritz 9.925
    Corrie Lothrop 9.875
    Tory Wilson 9.950


    Tory Wilson was incredible!! It's only a matter of time until she gets a 10. She really needs scores to build to get the 10 but if she's this good and consistent as a sophomore she will be earning vault medals throughout her career.

    And not to be nitpicky but Arizona's Lexi Mills touched her hand to the mat on her bars dismount but still scored a 9.6. This was their low score and they didn't count it, but still….it was overscored. Overall scoring for both teams has been very consistent and very fair, no complaints here (except the one). And good for Arizona! They look a lot better than I expected. This has been a great meet so far!


    Mary Beth Lofgren 9.800
    Tory Wilson 9.825
    Nansy Damianova 9.850
    Corrie Lothrop 9.875
    Georgia Dabritz 9.825
    Becky Tutka 9.900


    GOOO BECKY!! Good for her to move from leadoff to anchor from one season to the next. I wonder if they'll keep her here. She's solid, consistent and has such a fun routine. She was amply rewarded for her kickassery tonight. And good for Tory Wilson too. She's been going out of bounds all season so I'm sure she's thrilled to have this one under her belt. This was a great floor rotation for Utah.


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