For Saturday and Sunday, I probably won’t be doing much of the normal routine-by-routine live blogging (save that for Monday, when I’ll be all over it), but I’ll be popping in and out watching bits of things over the two days and will keep this post here for some basic reactions and impressions as needed. Feel free to use the comments to communicate all your feelings/profanities/side-eyes/insane commentator quotes/crack-smoking-judge reports from whatever you’re watching. I’d love to know what I’m missing. We’re all in this together. We can get through NCAA gym as a family.
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Brown, Springfield, Ithaca @ Southern Connecticut
The Rutgers/Illinois feed was going Rutgers-only for the first half of the meet (it’s also fun when they cut away from a floor routine to show a judge just doing some judging), but I’m still slightly appalled that a team with Horth, Kato, and O’Connor all going on bars can keep scoring a 2. Those are three would-be 9.9s. I picked Illinois to have a big year before the season started, and I’m sticking to it. The pace at halfway is still an improvement on last week, though. Ish. This will not be a usable score for Rutgers after a bars rotation in which every single person fell on a gienger. Did I spy with my little eye a Mustafina dismount, though? You go, Rutgers.
Gianna O’Connor did do a FAB floor routine, with excellent control on all of her landings, and got a 9.875.
Also, Pebbles Flintstone is not a hair role model.
Michigan’s stream will be free, but Penn State and Minnesota will require a BTN2Go subscription, which is just one too many subscriptions for me, especially since Michigan is free this year. That really saps the motivation.
The story of Michigan’s opening vault rotation was landing control. They have the difficulty (though Casanova and Chiarelli can get hit for knees, and I think McLean is getting hit for distance on her full though the camera angle is not ideal to judge that), but once those landings are under control this lineup will be competitive with most/all. Sheppard in particular still looks uncertain with her landing as she hasn’t had much time training it, which accounts for the 9.800s. She’ll get there.
Nebraska went over 49 on bars, getting Orel into the lineup in the race to have more routine options from freshmen.
I’m in love with Alexis Mattern’s handspring pike half.
Artz just looking not quite as crisp as usual. No major problems, but a larger than normal bounce back on her bars dismount brought her down to 9.800, and then she had a couple uncharacteristic breaks on beam when she’s usually the biggest rock. Though it didn’t show up in her score because she still got a 9.875. A normal home floor rotation would put Michigan solidly into the 197s this week.
For all the scaries Michigan has had on beam in the not-too-distant past, most teams would LOVE to have Briley Casanova as a backup. It will be interesting to see how this lineup goes this year because Marinez has so, so much potential on beam and could be so great, but tentativeness and not being hugely comfortable on that dismount have rendered her the weak link so far. We’ll see who ends up in the lineup come the business end of the season.
Kiera Brown not having the meet Penn State needs. 9.825 on bars when they rely on her for 9.9s, and then a 9.125 on beam, which is a distinctly 2015 score from her.
Nebraska more like it on floor, getting Sienna Crouse back there and inching toward a much more competitive score than last week, in spite of continuing to be so un-Nebraska on vault. Still beam, though.
I love hilariously fitting beam music moments. “Why am I doing this to myself” FALL. Why indeed.
Michigan and these 196.9s! Three straight weeks now. It’s not a bad score by any means, especially for January, but they just can’t get out of it. Missed opportunity this time since they needed just a 49.300 on floor to do it, which is a very attainable score for this team, but they gave it away with some awkward landings—Karas lunging out of her double arabian and Chiarelli landing short on hers. The floor judges were also out of sync, with judge #1 much tougher than judge #2. They had two straight 9.750/9.900 splits in the beginning of Michigan’s rotation (and a couple larger splits for OSU too), which is within normal range but honestly a pretty different way of seeing the same routine. 9.750 and 9.900 are very different scores. For a team like Michigan, one is a disappointment and the other is excellent. Come on, was it disappointing or excellent? Make up your mind.
Oklahoma and Arkansas
George Washington is competing right now in an epic miniseries of a quint-meet, and it’s not exactly going 196ishly. Especially interesting is the low vault score of 48.275 since that should be the team’s best event with CDA and Winstanley. Drouin-Allaire has officially graduated to initial status. It’s an honor.
Arkansas showed a more complete vault lineup on Friday than I expected we would see this season.
Oh dear. “That extra bounce at the end is something that happens on pretty much every vault and doesn’t usually get counted against you, so that was a pretty good stick.” WHAT.
MacMoyle and Zaziski both bounce back out of their fulls, so apparently those are pretty good sticks.
Nicole Lehrmann is just gorgeous as all get out on bars.
I love when people stick vaults on bionic knees. Did I put Braie Speed in on my fantasy vault lineup? No.
Very interested to see Capps on bars after that 9.925 last week.
Chayse has lovely handstands and finishing positions on bars, cleaned up some of those leg breaks from the opening meet, just a quiver apart on the full, just pulls around her tuck full with a pretty big lunge forward, so it won’t reach the 9.925 of Friday, but it’s coming along as an option.
Arkansas is sticking these vaults. Look at you, Arkansas. Speed and McGlone stick and the Wellick basically sticks. Both teams should be pretty happy with these rotations.
“A lot of it is the degree of difficulty you put in your routine.” No.
I would expect Wofford to get 10s this season. Her routine is made of so much perfection. Not this time, because she hopped on the dismount and had one less-then-comfortable handstand, but that full turn just kills me every time. In a great way. But also in a not great way. Because I’m dead.
Hemry hit her exhibition well. Should challenge Capps for a lineup spot. Little difficulty but she has spent a couple years now cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.
Not really sure how Oklahoma ended up with just a 49.175 for that rotation. Was that an accurate report? We wouldn’t know because apparently this meet is taking place in 1974. Thanks, Arkansas.
Ah, 49.275 for Oklahoma. That makes a bit more sense. 49.200 for Arkansas. They did give Wellick a 9.900, without a stick, which means they wanted to go no-deduction for a stick. So that’s where scoring is.
We’ve learned twice that this is the best show in town. But what about the cattle show?!?!?!?
We’ve lost the commentators’ audio. I didn’t do it, but I also might have. Her name is basically Keara “Open Heart Surgery” Glover at this point.
First look at Marks on vault, excellent height and form, the uncontrolled landing is what will get her, but she’ll be an asset on this event and hopefully more in time. Like beam? Please?
We’re seeing some really fancy 9.900s on vault for non-stuck yfulls so far.
“Bars and vault, the two strength events.”
Canizaro has really come along on bars over the years, but that bail not to handstand destroys her score often.
Chayse Capps’ vault arms should be donated to the Smithsonian at some point.
Scaman is up to the 1.5 on vault now, after going for the full in the first week. Good 1.5 with the medium step forward, very similar to her freshman year 1.5s. She got just a 9.825 for that full the opening week, so was not getting the reward they expect from her on vault. It makes sense that they would try for the 1.5 now. Always a 9.875 when she steps forward on her 1.5. Always.
Jackson shows more control on the landing on her 1.5, just a small hop back.
Zaziski finished on bars for Arkansas, with a pretty clean routine although she did not get much amplitude on her shoot to the high bar and lost some swing, which also hurt the subsequent handstand. Also some leg breaks that didn’t look like the judges decided to see them.
Vault scoring is going WAY more charitable than bars scoring in this one, though Oklahoma should be quite pleased with that vault rotation. Bumping Scaman up to the 1.5 looks like the right move so far, Jackson was stellar, and someone on the judging panel really likes Charity Jones, so it all works out. Half-point lead for Oklahoma through two. 98.675-98.150.
Just remember to be rock solid. That’s all you need. I WON THE BEAM.
Wobbles – “that is something that we probably wouldn’t call rock solid”
On Friday, Arkansas won the award for the most nervous-looking beam rotation of the year, especially at the end of the lineup. Arkansas getting the home benefit scores in a couple cases, so it’s important that they take advantage of it for a usable RQS score when the opportunity presents itself. Amanda Wellick wobbled a hundred times and still got a 9.700.
I’m perfectly fine with Chayse Capps sticking with the double pike and not upgrading. It removes the tumbling from being a worry and lets the dance stand. She’s not the type who is going to get lost doing a lower-difficulty routine because she has the dance ability and name recognition, much like when EHH was forced to downgrade in her senior year and got some of her very best floor scores. Does bounce back on the double pike, but otherwise a tremendous routine.
The judges also decided to play this fun game where Natalie Brown obviously went out of bounds and they deemed it never happened. AH HA HA HA.
Really? Ali Jackson walks onto the floor and “I think she’s another sassy one.” This routine is like catnip to me, though.
I do appreciate that even though this male commentator clearly isn’t a gymnastics person, he has a basic grasp of the terms and knows what he’s doing. He’s making an effort, so that’s a positive.
Floor scoring was relatively conservative for Oklahoma in that rotation, so we’ll see what happens to Arkansas. And by relatively conservative, I of course mean accurate and not a unicorn fantasy.
You can tell Alex Marks is new because she did a just OK floor exhibition and then had come off with facial expression that matched her performance. Don’t you know you’re supposed to scream with joy in every possible circumstance?????
Gymbacks is a huge missed opportunity to call themselves the Gymhogs.
Note: It’s not a wobble if it happens on a dismount. That’s just called stepping.
NO OUT OF BOUNDS IN THIS MEET. Almost seems like you should have people with flags sitting there who can identify such things…
And that was how Natalie Brown suffocated KJ Kindler….
“Just like in a football game there are four quarters, in gymnastics there are four events.” OH NOW I GET IT! I was so confused before, but that cleared it up for me.
Kara! What is with Kara Lovan on beam so far this year? Second fall in three meets, and she looked tight on that right from the start. Also fell on floor on Friday. They’ll have to count Lehrmann’s wobble now, so not an Oklahoma beam score today.
And then Chayse Capps happens. 9.925.
Sad that Scaman fell in exo on beam. I want her to make the lineup this year, but I want about 15 people to make OU’s beam lineup this year. 196.950 to 195.900 final score.