Friday Live Blog – Michigan, UCLA, Utah, Alabama, Stanford

Friday – 3/7/14
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – West Virginia @ [2] Florida (Scores) (Video – school subscription)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [6] Utah, [8] UCLA @ [7] Michigan (Scores) (Video – all-access)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [22] California, Centenary @ Kentucky (Scores) (Video – all-access)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [25] NC State @ [1] LSU (Scores) (Video – school subscription)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [21] Arizona State @ [3] Oklahoma (Scores)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Missouri @ [11] Auburn (Scores) (Video – all-access)
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [10] Stanford @ [4] Alabama (Scores) (Video – free)

Current rankings: 

I’ll be here for Michigan/UCLA/Utah beginning at 7:00 ET/4:00 PT. It should be a good one. Head-to-head comparisons of top teams are always helpful this time of year, especially because these teams should be fighting it out for Super Six spots in just over a month’s time.

This is the second Michigan tri-meet in recent weeks, and keep in mind that it’s tough to cover the routines from three simultaneously competing teams so we might not get a ton of full routines from UCLA and Utah. Last week we got a lot of half routines and then cutting away to the scoreboard. I say this just so that UCLA and Utah fans watching can be prepared and temper any potential frustration.

UCLA getting introduced now. The injured don’t appear to have made the trip other than Peng, which should obviously make every trip everywhere.

You know that thing where people march out for intros wearing their bars grips and for a split second you think they have two casts on? I think that’s maybe only a me thing.

Intros done. It’s a big first rotation for UCLA starting on beam where they’ll need an advantage. Michigan similarly will need to stick some of these early vaults to try to get a margin while they’re on a strong event. If the Utes are level or close after they do bars, they’ll feel good about their chances. Touch warmups beginning now, so we should get underway shortly.

Rotation 1- Michigan on vault, Utah on bars, UCLA on beam
Chiarelli – Mich – VT – Good power on her yfull, some piking, but a couple steps back on landing there. One step originally, and then more on salute.

Hughes – Utah – UB – Finishes up cleanly with a stuck tuck full.

Zakharia – Mich – VT – Love her run. So feisty. Handspring pike half looked pretty good in the air and everything before the landing, which was a larger bounce back.

Wilson – Utah – UB – Big gienger to open, and the legs are getting more under control – still small breaks on her releases. I saw a definitely missed handstand there before the dismount, but a stuck tuck full.

Sugiayma – Mich – VT – Nice 1.5 from here. We’ll see some more distance from the later vaulters, but good form and just one step forward.

DeJesus – UCLA – BB – Secure on the front toss, clean full turn, and a near stick on her front full dismount, she tried to pretend but it wasn’t, lunge forward.

Beilstein – Mich – VT – huge 1.5. It looked for a bit like she would stick it this week but takes a step forward.

Craddock – UCLA – BB – So she’s back in the lineup this week. Hits her walkover front handspring series, but then takes a waist bend right afterward.

Sampson – Mich – VT – Big power on her yfull as always, and opens out of it beautifully, but does hop on it. Just a little too much on that one and can’t control the landing quite enough with a bounce.

Lothrop – Utah – UB – Finishes with a stuck DLO.

Sheppard – Mich – VT – Gorgeous. Huge, open yfull, and gets the stick this week as well. Awesome vault. Ha! at Bev’s reaction, pumping her fists in the air. She’s excited. 9.975. Sheppard and Cheek are going to have to start the “awesome vault for 9.975” club.

Damianova – Utah – UB – Pretty stalder work, and it looked like she stuck her double back but Tom was in the way. We didn’t see Hansen’s routine but it appears she had a fall, so they’re working against that one.

Dabritz – Utah – UB – Good first handstand, catches her jaeger, good amplitude on her shoot to the high bar, and a stuck tuck full dismount. Strong routine.

Francis – UCLA – BB – Pretty walkover to bhs, excellent switch split, small wobble on her split jump, comes out of her y spin a little early to make sure she made it, but it was fine. Prepping for the dismount – nails it perfectly. A little tenser on the beam itself than she usually is, but still a great routine.

We’re just waiting for UCLA to finish beam. Both Utah and Michigan are done with their rotations and both are in the 49.4s, so it’s on already.

Sawa – UCLA – BB – Good switch split to straddle jump, does her bhs to loso series and lands it on one leg and has to do a little dance with the other one to stay on. Another wobble on the side somi. Looks like they’ll want to drop this one. Sticks her 1.5, though.

UCLA will be trailing after this first rotation with a 49.300 on beam. It’s a fine score, so not the end of the world, but I think they probably needed a bigger number given the competition at this meet. They got 9.9s from Peszek and Francis as expected – even though they’ve come to rely on even more than a 9.900 from Francis, but she had a new wobble this week. They will have to count the 9.750 from Craddock. UCLA could really use a Larson hit for 9.900 about now. That was always its own question mark, though. 

After 1: Michigan 49.475, Utah 49.425, UCLA 49.300
It’s a good score for Michigan on vault, but it could have been better. They didn’t get any sticks until Sheppard’s awesome final vault (which I would have been fine with receiving a 10), but still have enough quality in the air and power to get a very good score. At least one judge was willing to go 9.900 for Beilstein and Sugiyama with steps, so the potential with sticks is tremendous.

Gerber finishes a fairly solid beam exhibition for UCLA, the only real issue being the dismount with a large step back.

It’s a good bars rotation for Utah. They needed to be close after 1 and they are. We didn’t see a ton of these routines, but I saw clean work from Dabritz and Damianova and a bunch of stuck dismounts, which always helps.

Florida got a 49.400 on vault with no Sloan.

Rotation 2 – Michigan on bars, Utah on beam, UCLA on floor
Now it’s Utah on the challenge rotation. They haven’t hit 49.300 so far this year on beam, but that’s the standard UCLA has currently set for that event.

Sugiyama – Mich – UB – Looks like a clean routine to start – powerful with composed form, nice final hs – right on top, and a stick on the tuck full. This has been the day of bars sticks so far.

Artz – Mich – UB -Good first hs, high poked jaeger and good form on the overshoot. She has great line throughout – legs fly apart a little on the DLO but a good stick. Michigan starting very well on bars.

Gies – Mich – UB – Looks like she just rushed a handstnd in there early, but the tkatchev and bail handstand are very nice, clean final handstand, full turn was right on top of the bar, and a stuck double back.

Pinches – UCLA – FX – Finishes with a very strong double pike, maybe her most controlled of the season.

Sheppard – Mich – UB -Excellent first hs, strong full turn and big taktchev as well, going into the double front – and a stick. They are nailing bars so far – best they’ve looked this season.

We haven’t seen any of beam yet, but Wilson has a fall for them in the first three, so they’ll be fighting it a bit at the end of this rotation.

Mossett – UCLA – FX – We almost got to see this routine before .  . .

Sampson – Mich – UB – Excellent high tkatchev, legs pasted together on the bail handstand, no trouble at all through this, – just the smallest shuffles on the very nice DLO. Almost had it.

Beilstein – Mich – UB – Her height on that gienger is just preposterous – sometimes it’s hard for her to control her immense power on this event but she does well here. She also sticks her dismount. What a great rotation for Michigan, just excellent throughout.

Francis – UCLA – FX – Good to see her back in this lineup. She’s not quite back yet. A little bounce on the double pike and low on her whip to double back landing. We cut away to see Williams hit a fairly strong bars exhibition. Solid routine from Williams.

Utah is just getting through beam, counting two 9.7s so far. But if they get a good hit from Lothrop, they could still break 49.

Lothrop – Utah – BB – She looks secure early, through the loso series. Judges can take for some of the smaller things like extension on leaps and legs on the loso series, but just one or two small wobbles here otherwise. Basically a stick on the 1.5. They escaped beam.

Bynum – UCLA – FX – We come in late to she her finish a little slidey on the double back dismount. UCLA has some low scores in here so far that they must drop to have any chance at this meet.

Michigan should have a comfortable lead at the halfway point of this meet with a strong bars rotation.

Pezek – UCLA – FX – She’s in this lineup. Oh, how we’ve missed you. Just slightly short on landing her DLO but she pulls off the landing pretty well. Solid 1.5 to layout as well. A few areas where she just looks a little tight – which is normal for her first competitive floor routine in a thousand years. Very strong final double pike. Welcome back. 9.925. The judges say welcome back too.

 Looks like no Olivia Courtney today for UCLA.

Sawa – UCLA – FX – Good double back mount, drops into it. Anyone else randomly get this music popping into their head in the middle of the week? A little short on the double pike this time with a step forward. 1.5 to half to stag is fine as usual. They finished well to get rid of some of those early scores.

UCLA finishes with a 49.375 on floor, thanks to the strong final routines from Peszek and Sawa. It’s another good number, but both other teams can pass that 49.375. Peszek adds another important dimension to that lineup, and once they have Courtney in at the same time, they should be very competitive on this event. Also nice to see Pinches get a 9.875 in that opening position. She’s great on floor, so it’s always been in her, but it’s important to see her get there.

After 2: Michigan 98.900, UCLA 98.675, Utah 98.425

Still anyone’s meet at this point with Michigan still to go beam. That was more like the Michigan bars rotation I expected to see based on the preseason exhibition. They were (almost entirely) phenomenal on bars at that preseason meet, and this is more like the potential we saw then. Tons of stuck dismounts. They needed that.

As for Utah, well they endured beam. It may be tough to win this meet with a 49.000 on beam, but they’re right in this with their two best events to come. They didn’t have to count a fall, so that’s something.

Florida leads West Virginia 99.025-97.500 after two rotations and a 49.625 on bars, led by Johnson’s 9.975. Yep. 198 pace is still happening. Alaina Johnson is nailing the AA so far with a 9.950 and a 9.975.

Rotation 3 – Michigan on beam, Utah on floor, UCLA on vault
Artz – Mich – BB – good pike jump to straddle 3/4 with a little bend to hold it. Just completely to the side on her front toss and comes off the beam. Uh oh, here we go. Sticks an excellent 1.5 dismount at least, but now it’s struggle time for Michigan with five routines to go.

Mossett – UCLA – VT – Looked great on her yfull in the air but had no control on the dismount with multiple steps.

Chiarelli – Mich – BB – Wobble on her loso as the leg flies up, straddle 1/2 is hit, strong side aerial, hits her full turn, a little hunched on her double back with a hop forward, but they’ll take that hit. One down four to go.

Gies – Mich – BB – Hits her bhs+loso series to start after a split jump and a full turn. Wolf jump full is solid, hits her walkover, and sticks her 1.5 dismount. Another good hit. Chiarelli got a 9.875 for her routine, and this was stronger so we’ll see.

Peszek – UCLA – VT – Could quite see the landing on her yfull, but it looked at least mostly controlled if not stuck. Great in the air as well. Maybe some small movement.

Zakharia – Mich – BB – good full turn, was a litlte low on her front tuck landing but hung onto it with a minor wobble. She’s taking a couple more wobbles here on mostly everything, but they’ll need to count this one. Another break on a back tuck. Lunge forward on front full dismount. She endured.

I thought Courtney was out since she didn’t do floor, but she’s here on vault and gets a 9.950 for UCLA’s 49.475 to match Michigan’s score.

Sampson – Mich – BB – Just the smallest of balance corrections on her loso series, good full turn, wobble on the sheep jump, gets her side aerial to sissone, and sticks a great double full dismount. A couple wobbles there, but a really good routine.

Dabritz – Utah – FX – Finishes with a solid landing on her triple full. Not the stick we’ve seen, but well under control certainly. She finally gets the 10 for this one. And of course we only saw the ending.

Casanova – Mich – BB – very strong front tuck, clean full turn, and another very solid routine for Michigan. She has really come along this season. Stuck dismount. They won’t even mind counting Zakharia’s score all that much. And after all that, come in with a 49.275, which is just behind UCLA’s 49.300.

Utah got the floor rotation they needed to get back into good shape in this meet going into their best event, but this is still anyone’s game with Michigan clinging to a lead and going to floor.

After 3: Michigan 148.175, UCLA 148.150, Utah 147.975
All three teas right in it going to the final event after three strong rotations. We didn’t see much of UCLA vault, and while they need to pull those first couple vaults together and get some landings, they finished very well. Utah appears to have nailed floor, featuring the Dabritz 10, which she has been in line for for weeks and weeks. We’ll have to hope to see the whole thing later on. The dismount was solid (I mean, crossed legs, but that doesn’t get deducted in NCAA). Michigan also appeared to have thrown this away early on beam, but pulled it back with some strong showings. I thought the Chiarelli score was high, but the Gies and Casanova routines were excellent, and Sampson was pristine apart from a distinct wobble and another borderline nothing.

Florida looks to be on pace to record the highest score of the season with just a home floor rotation remaining. They’ll probably have to make an error at this point to go under 198 given what we’ve seen them receive at home so far. It’s going to be another statement score. Sloan got a 9.975 on beam and Johnson is keeping up her crazy AA number with another 9.950.

Oklahoma started off a little normally on vault with a 49.2, but they’re nailing the scores on bars, Scaman with a 9.975 already. LSU opens with a 49.500 on vault. Obviously.

Rotation 4 – Michigan on floor, Utah on vault, UCLA on bars
Sugiyama – FX – Mich – Looked like she would bounce back out of that double tuck mount but she held onto that front leg – she was not going to move. Good form and completion on her dance elements, and she ends with a solid double pike. Good opening.  9.925. Wow, OK.

Parker – FX – Mich – Huge bounce out of her double arabian mount, front tuck to double back is fine, and she ends with a solid double pike, so really the only major thing is that huge bounce out of the double arabian. 9.875. These are getting very high.

Utah is already done with vault for a 49.375. Eeenteresting. The lowest vault rotation score of the day. We saw none of those routines, so impossible to say.

Beilstein – FX – Mich – Excellent tuck full mount, high and stuck. Also nails her 1.5 to layout middle pass. She’s on today. Same with the 2.5 to pike dismount. Great tumbling. One of her straddles was a little wonky, but otherwise that was a great routine.

Artz – FX – Mich – Strong and solid pike full in to start, good positions on her split and straddle elements, nothing to take from that. Fine layout to front full. Secure double pike. Another good routine. The judges have left themselves nowhere to go after the scores for the first two routines, but these are excellent showings.

Zakharia – FX – Mich – Double front to mount, just a little slide forward, but I love that pass. Michigan has this meet in the bag now, which it a big statement even though it’s at home. Small stumble on the middle pass. Hits her double pike. Not as strong as Beilstein or Artz, but a good routine.

Sampson – FX – Mich – Just putting the tiara on the win here. Excellent DLO. One of the best in NCAA. I think she needs a 10.00 to tie Peszek for the AA win. The way this rotation has gone, why not think that will happen? She’s hitting her passes and her dance elements without concern. Sticks her double pike. Great job. Let’s see about this score. 9.950. Fair for that one.

Well there we have it. Big win and enormous score for Michigan, but positive performances for all three of the teams in this meet.

Final score: Michigan 197.825, UCLA 197.475, Utah 197.350

I thought Utah would have been more in it than there were finishing on vault, but they didn’t get the scores we have come to expect. We saw none of those routines, but I’m guessing a couple fewer sticks this week. That’ll make the difference. UCLA didn’t really have any problems in this meet. They had a few low scores on each event, most of which ended up being dropped, but that’s still a question. A top team can’t have any 9.6s ever, even if they’re being dropped.

For Michigan, it was an overall very strong performance. The talk will be about their getting a high 197, but it was a good showing. They recorded strong numbers on vault and bars which I thought were appropriate. They showed strong routines on both those events, even if I would like to see more than one stick in a vault rotation for it to get a 49.475, but this is pretty much the new normal. The scoring started to get a little bit fancier toward the end of the meet, especially on floor where they scores went high early and then stayed high. However, those routines were very, very good and deserved high scores. Beilstein, Artz, and Sampson all nailed it.

We’re doing flowers for all the seniors now. Damianova and Sawa having a little Canadian moment. I’ll switch to Alabama and Stanford in a moment. Michigan seniors now. Oh no! You’re not using “Time of Your Life,” are you? Is this your sixth-grade graduation in 1998 (autobiographical)?

This is supposed to be all about being emotional and celebratory, but I’m just thinking how much Michigan is losing next year without Sampson, Beilstein, and Zakharia. That’s like all your scoring. Pressure on Artz and Chiarelli next year.

P.S. Kytra got another 10 on floor in another huge rotation for Florida.

The Gators finish with a  198.325, the highest team score of the season, after three rotations in the 49.6s. OK, now let’s see that same thing happen on the road. Alaina Johnson recorded a 39.825 in the AA, which is almost unheard of these days. When was the last time we had a score that high? Wow.

Oklahoma was nailing bars but then had mistakes from Brewer and Wofford and had to count a 9.4. They were doing so well that they still broke 49 on the event.

I flipped over to Alabama but just missed Milliner’s 10 on vault! Was it worth it?

After 1: Alabama 49.625, Stanford 49.225
That was Alabama’s way of telling me to stop saying that they’re really missing Kayla Williams on vault this season.

LSU is currently looking on pace for a strong 197, especially considering Gnat just got a 9.950 on beam.

The three 10s so far today bring this year’s total up to 16. 5 on vault, 1 on bars, 1 on beam, and 9 on floor.

Rotation 2 – Alabama on bars, Stanford on vault
Chuang – VT – Nice distance on the yfull, a little bent knees and a step back.

Bailey – UB – Nice jaeger, handstands looks OK, good finishing position on her full turn this time, and a stuck double back. Good start.

Daum – VT – Good height on yfull – she’s a powerful one so that’s what we should expect – bounce back on landing.

DeMeo – UB – Nice to have her back in these lineups, short on her half turn handstand, solid jaeger, and a stick on the DLO as they are prone to do.

Rice – VT – Another run that I love. She has improved her body position on the vault this year. Bounce back on the yfull, but nice in the air. No landings so far for Stanford, though.

A Sims – UB – Weiler 1/2 to bail handstand is hit, but these leg separations are killing me. Whips out a DLO a little bit with a step back.

McNair – VT – Really nice form and power on her yfull, looked like a hop back again (?), but strong showing.

Jacob – UB – Excellent Ray, good hs after it, hits her bail more on top of the bar this time. She missed her final hs, but that looked a little better than it has been. Stuck DLO as always.

Vaculik – VT – Excellent yfull – definite stick on that one. Good form, power, and distance. Where has this vaulting come from? 

Jetter – UB – Her Ray isn’t quite as powerful as the others, but it’s strong. Good bail, and hitting her Mary Lee handstands through to the end of the routine. Stuck double front.

D McNair – VT – She goes for the 1.5 this week. Basically identical to her sister in the form department as well as the look department. Step back on the vault and landed maybe a litlte short, but nice to see and well done.

Clark – UB – Fingertips on her huge Ray, but she holds onto it and controls her swing afterward as well. Another who sticks her DLO. They absolutely nailed those bars landings.

McNeer is doing a bars exhibition for Alabama. She’s another with a strong Ray. This is just the season of the Ray. This is a nice routine, and she sticks her whippy DLO as well. If they’re already set on the lineup for this season, she’s a great nominee for next year.

After 2: Alabama 99.150, Stanford 98.525
Is Alabama a little jealous of Florida? I didn’t see the vaults, but that is quite a score for that bars rotation. Nice things happen when you stick your dismounts. It has always been true, and it will always be true. I still have some concerns about the insides of some of those routines and the form, but it was a step forward in a lot of ways in addition to the dismounts. For instance, Kim Jacob is getting those handstands a little more in order.

A pretty good vault showing for Stanford as well, especially considering how many big steps and lunges they had on those landings. We got the straight on angle for N McNair and Vaculik, so it was hard to make a real judgment on those vaults, but they looked very nice in the air. Stanford is way back but could squeeze through for a necessary 197 here with two solid final rotations.

Oklahoma’s scoring got tired and upset and is refusing to update, but LSU remains on middish-highish 197 pace after three events. They had to count a beam 9.750 from Courville (these wobbles are killing me – you should have an 11 every week), but got a 9.975 from Jordan.

Everyone is getting a 197 so far today. 

Rotation 3 – Alabama on beam, Stanford on floor
Milliner – BB – Good walkover – clean and no wobbles, strong switch and straddle, but is completely off line on her loso series and falls! Very unexpected. She has been exceptionally solid as a beam leadoff for them. Step on the double full dismount. This is an unusual situation for Alabama to handle now on beam. They haven’t too many of the early falls this year.

Morgan – FX – A little short on her opening double tuck with a step forward, and a slide forward out of her 1.5 to layout, comes in low on her double pike dismount but holds onto the stick for it. Some tumbling issues there for her.

Jetter – BB – Wobble on the opening switch side, another very small correction on her loso series, good front tuck – very secure, long pause before that full turn, but good switch split. She’s becoming more comfortable as she goes. Step forward on 1.5. Deductions, but hit.

N McNair – FX – Good to see her into the lineup. That’s an important step. Huge lunge forward out of her double arabian – barely landed that to her feet – couldn’t see the flag but looked from here like she went well OOB. It’s still good to get her in this week because they’ll need this routine come the postseason. Secure enough on the double tuck dismount.

Bailey – BB – Pretty L turn, and a very solid loso series, and hits her side aerial to side position, right on with her tuck full turn as well. Step back on the double full, but a really nice routine.

Frowein – FX – Hits her opening double pike, and is fine on her 1.5 to front pike as well. Double L turn, and it looked like she went far enough around on the second turn with that to be a true doubel turn. Good job. Switch ring in a dance pass. (I honestly just accidentally wrote lance bass instead of dance pass, and then got distracted). Hit dismount. Nothing big about that routine, but a necessary hit.

Sims – BB – Strong loso series, excellent switch split and straddle jump – easily 180, big and hit switch side as well. High double tuck dismount with a step forward. Another strong hit. Three freshmen going up in a row after a fall and three straight hits.

Rice – FX – Good, high double pike mount, maybe a little bounce in place on the landing. Solid switch ring and switch side as well. Layout half to front full middle pass is hit as well. This music fits in on the Alabama floor. Double tuck is solid as well. Best routine of the rotation by far.

Clark – BB – Good switch, secure loso with good extended legs, hits her sheep jump and front toss. They’re giving away very little in these last few routines. Stuck 1.5 dismount.

Daum – FX – Solid double pike to open, and split half looked nice and hit to 180, strong 1.5 to layout. Sticks her double tuck dismount. One of the stronger routines I have seen her do. That will go nicely with Rice’s routine to make this a solid rotation score.

Jacob – BB – Nice pretty mount, switch split is good and straddle full is just around but around, small correction coming out of her two layouts series but well done. No more piked barani. Boo. 1.5 dismount with a step forward. How could you take the barani out of her routine? That was what the whole thing was about. 

Vaculik – FX – Just every so slightly short on her double back mount with a leany step forward. NO! Sits down her middle pass. I had the feed jump in the middle of the pass, and then she’s on the ground at the end of it. How disastrous. I blame the feed mostly. They’ll probably still have to count this routine, but the meet score is lost. Low on her double pike but hangs onto the landing well. 

After 3: Alabama 148.575, Stanford 147.050
Counting that fall with be devastating for Stanford’s score in a meet that they need for their ranking. Floor has been a problem this year, which is why I still think it’s a good idea to get McNair in there. They have to go for it with the difficulty because she has it and the rest of them don’t really.

Very well done by Alabama to put up a good beam rotation after the fall. 198 is still looking very possible here.

In the land of elsewhere, Haley Scaman got a 10 on floor to add her name to the ever-growing list as Oklahoma pulled it out in the final two rotations with huge scores to get a 197.450. It started tepidly, and they counted a mistake on bars, but still came out with a solid score.

LSU had some uncharacteristic lower scores on floor for them (and Ranzy came in for Jordan), but still pulled off a 197.500 for the meet mostly based on that big vault score and solid performances elsewhere. Isn’t it bad this year that a 49.3 seems like a meh rotation score? But that’s where we are.

Rotation 4 – Alabama on floor, Stanford on beam  
Morgan – BB – I love this routine. It’s so full of difficulty, and she hits all of it so well. Most people deign to do one D acro element in a routine, and she does a thousand of them. It’s all side aerials and side somis – no wobbles here – stuck double full. Great routine.

Sims – FX – Solid double pike opening, switch side and popa are excellent here – just like her straddle elements on beam – a little bouncy hop on the layout out of her middle pass, solid double tuck. Good leadoff routine. Nothing shockingly impressive, but all well executed.  9.925. Well now. Alabama is feeling left out of the scoring parade.

Wing – BB – Pretty Kathy Johnson of a full turn, whipping her leg out at the end. Walkover is strong, and no wobbles on the loso series – another with good leg extension on that. Sissone to a stuck gainer full. Well done.

Frost – FX – DLO opening –  a little low but secure on her landing, full to layout middle pass. Does she do a seat drop in this routine? And why? Solid double pike dismount.

N McNair – BB – Nice loso series, great wolf jump to straddle 1/4 – high and great positions, strong side aerial, switch split to back tuck – another set of great skills – small hop on the double full dismount, but she nailed that one.

Jacob – FX – Third? Interesting. Good double pike. Oh yes, remember how she has an elephant sound effect in her routine? Nails her middle pass. Another with a strong switch side to popa, which is the most popular dance element combination. Sticks her 1.5 to layout as well. Great rotuine. What do we think, 12.775?  Also a 9.925. So, just for everyone?

Vaculik – BB – Wobble on the back tuck out of her switch split, rulfova is shocking and excellent, hits her loso series. Big bounce out of her double full dismount – not as solid as the first three have been.

Jetter – FX – Nice double arabian – much better than the last time I saw it when it was short and she had to stumble – 1.5 to front full middle pass – which she has been doing for like 35 years – and it’s a good one for her. And hits her final pass as well. Another solid hit. Another 9.925?  Oh, 9.950 for that one. OK.

Spinner – BB – Loso series to open is strong, good full turn. We’re seeing really well hit straddle skills on beam in this meet, and she’s another. Hits her loso securely, and hangs onto the stick on her double full dismount but has to bend for it. 

Beers – FX -Pretty strong DLO mount, which they have added in – maybe came in slightly short but the landing was fine. Her switch ring was a little iffy but the split full was strong. I will say this, no one has had any issues on any tumbling passes in this rotation so far. They’re hitting them like they hit those bars dismounts. Remains true on her double back dismount.

Daum – BB – Nice back tuck, just a little short on her loso series and wobbles but hangs onto it, another pretty full turn, switch to wolf is strong. Good walkover. The score won’t really be a standout, but this has been a very nice beam rotation for Stanford. Five really pretty, hit routines to count there. Hop forward on 1.5 dismount.

Milliner – FX – They’ve been building up to another 10 for her after everyone else has been in the 9.9s. Let’s see. Double arabian mount is good, not the nailed stick we sometimes see, but control enough in the landing. Layout and full middle pass is solid, and her dance combo looked hit. Secure double pike landing. Good job, now we wait. 9.925 for that one. I agree with that score for that routine as a standalone, but the standards in this rotation have been a little strange. So every routine was just the same quality?

Final score: Alabama 198.250, Stanford 196.300    
Oh, the scoring. The scoring! I actually haven’t felt that Alabama had been hitting the home scoring drum too hard this year. Yes, in places and particularly on bars, but it had been mostly normal and expected. Today, it was all about the 9.9s for everyone at every moment, and they almost managed to catch Florida’s humongous score. Close. Welcome to 2014, where 197.000 is a bad score and 9.900 is the new 9.825.

I will add that this was actually an exceptional meet for Alabama for the three rotations I saw. Great, hit gymnastics with remarkably solid and consistent landings. Those are the landings they’ll want to bring to Super Six.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend meets!

38 thoughts on “Friday Live Blog – Michigan, UCLA, Utah, Alabama, Stanford”

  1. Know the rotation for Utah & UCLA for the meet? (Assuming one will start on bars and the other on beam)

  2. So UCLA will start on the “dreaded” balance beam… the plot thickens. 🙂 Signed, Canadian Gymnastics fan

  3. i only have access to florida–dont have all access–and i realized i have never heard of morgan frazier, but apparently she is a person on that team. so is a jamie something. who knew?

  4. Nice high, competitive scores from all 3 teams to start out. Are you sure we're in Michigan??

  5. PHEW! Utah survived beam. Sucks that we have to just hope to make it through beam but a 49 flat on beam? I'll take it! Sucks that Tory fell again (was it on her 3/4 leap?) She needs to take that out. She's fallen twice on it. Michigan is up by .475, but Utah is going to its 2 best events. If Michigan goes very low 49s and Utah kills it on floor we could see a tie going into the final event.

  6. Florida just scored a 49.625 on bars (Sloan and Macko had 9.9950s and A. Johnson had a 9.975). CGF

  7. Question, because I'm not watching the meet live: How big are these Michigan beam bobbles? I read your analysis, think YES! but then see scores like 9.875, 9.925. Are they big bobbles and Michigan is getting generous scoring or are they just minor flinches?

  8. Zakharia had major mistakes, but for the rest of them they were mostly minor adjustments. I thought the scores were a little high but nothing remarkable. They're also getting really good dismounts, which helps.

  9. Florida gets another 49.625 this time on beam.
    Mathis Exhibition for LSU on vault. (She's been out of the LSU lineup since January.)

  10. Were Utah's vaults not very good? It sounded like UCLA and Michigan got huge scores, but Utah didn't. Was the scoring off or did Utah just not stick the landings? Utah ends with a 197.350 – best away score and 3rd highest this season, but it doesn't look like a win. Boo.

  11. The scary thing about Florida's 198.325 — Bridget Sloan ONLY did bars and beam. CGF

  12. Milliner stuck, and her leg form looks a little better this year. Probably more of a 9.95 but no worse than the other 10s that have been given out this year.

  13. It's not senior night in Alabama… that's next week vs. Auburn. CGF

  14. Oklahoma is having another fairly mediocre meet through 2 events. Surprising.

  15. Add Haley Scaman to the night's 10 club. She got a 10 on floor (second of the year) as Oklahoma scored a 197.450.

    LSU had a 197.500.


  16. McNair also put her hand down on the arabian. You could tell Vaculik was going to sit it before she landed the 1.5.

  17. About Bama: Jacob has struggled on beam in two of the last three meets, including a fall (shocking I know) last week, so they probably simplified her routine after the the opening fall because they needed the hit.


  18. Don't insult the 49.300 scores 🙂 as Auburn just had them back to back on beam and floor to go 197.000 against Missouri.


  19. After Jetter on floor…
    Could Milliner score two Perfect 10s in one meet? Has that been done this year? If Beers and Milliner both hit their floor routines it's possible…


  20. Just saw that score- pretty significant that they were able to do it without Bri. Huge confidence booster for them.

  21. Milliner's vault looked pretty terrific to me – I don't see it often enough to make comparisons to other meets but it was big and opened up beautifully, plenty of time to land, and she stuck. I didn't have a problem with the score.

    High AA scores: last time 39.825 or better was Courtney Kupets in 2009, and only Courtney Kupets: 39.9 NCAA Finals, 39.85 vs Florida, and 39.825 vs Alabama (also 39.8 in NCAA Prelims), Before that, Ashley Kelly in 2006 (39.875) and April Burkholder, Kristen Maloney and Tasha Schwikert in 2005 (39.825), and of course too many to list here in 2004.

    Closest since 2009 to C. Kupets – Kytra Hunter last year, at 39.8. And that's it. Nobody else.

  22. None of the Utah gymnasts individually got a big score, but combined they only finished a tenth behind Michigan and UCLA on vault. Bouncy landings, Damianova windmilled her arms, low chest, that sort of thing. But overall pretty good and you can see where just a few things need to be cleaned up.

    It was a really entertaining meet. So much good gymnastics.

  23. Funny how I was impressed by Alabama's score and kinda rolled my eyes at Florida. I guess it's cause Bama has been getting fair scores up to now, even at home, so to see a 198 it must mean they really turned it on. UF has become notorious for home meets that are little more than pre-planned coronations with 9.9s for everyone orange and blue. Can't wait for post-season now to see who the real Bama and Florida are.

  24. Must say I agree. Though the same thing happened with Florida last season and they did still end up winning both the SEC/National titles. Yet one has to wonder about Florida's nearly 1 point higher average at home than in their away meets. One thing I do think is certain–they are not going to count a fall and win the national championship this season and them and any of the other teams in the super six are going to have a hard time bringing home the prize in the state of Alabama.

  25. I worry too since UF's outings in the state of Alabama so far have been very herp derp compared to their home meets. I suppose if I was Alabama I wouldn't read too much into UF's home scores at all. I'd be much more concerned with LSU.

  26. Not that I wouldn't be worried about Florida is I was ANY team, but LSU is scoring just as well on the road as they are at home. Florida is scoring a full point LOWER on the road.

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