Saturday, February 27
So anyway, I guess I’ll just be blogging Utah and Cal. Let me know how UCLA and Arizona State look. I’m actually trying to remember the last UCLA meet I didn’t see. It has been multiple years, I would guess. My life…
Mmmm, SD. What a treat. It’s so blurry…
No Francis or Peng for UCLA today, so maybe it’s OK to be missing it…
Palomares – VT – hop back on yfull – oh, look, the reverse angle…fun… – not a ton of distance – some leg break. 9.800
Partyka – UB – high, close jaeger – a little angle on the bail – some feet issues – really strong DLO, floated and stuck. 9.850.
Gallarzo – VT – y1/2 – “arabian”… – well off to the side – hop to the side as well – no way in hell is that an arabian…
Lewis – UB -a bit late on full turn – high tkatchev – handstands look fine, last one a bit short – hop back on DLO with a leg break in second salto.
Robinson – VT – front handspring, handspring front pike – love this vault, but a large lunge forward and leg break on the block. 9.825.
Schwab – UB – good toe on – a bit flat on tkatchev but no biggie – solid bail and best handstands of the group so far – just a double back dismount, out of a stalder, with a hop back.
Sy. Seilnacht – Y1/2 – also not an arabian – also a hop forward but not as extreme, also a little pike. 9.850.
Lopez – UB – some leg quiver on the full but fine positions – high tkatchev – another small leg break on bail – borderline final hs, but I’ll give it – small hop on DLO with another leg break in second salto. A bit sloppier than her usual, but solid. Still 9.875.
Richardson – VT – hops back on Kaz, kind of far – pretty good straight shape and solid distance for a WAG Kaz.
Hughes – UB – does well to finish full in vertical – it looked like it was going to be rushed – tkatchev is fine, bends elbows a bit to catch – one issue handstand in there – some N Vaculik legs on her tuck full dismount but stuck – 9.900.
Williams – VT – Just the full this time – easy height for her, but does hop back once again, but best form and dynamics of the group.
Rowe – UB – starts with a bit of dead hang this time – pauses on her giant full in between the halfs – keeps it going but a serious pause – better onto the bail – pikes down her DLO a little with a hop – shame about the full turn since that’s usually the highlight of her routine – I think Sam is right, she was trying to be so precise that she ended up having a bigger issue. Still gets a 9.850.
Looks like UCLA had a nightmare on vault and ASU is having another meet of counting an 8 on bars. At least one. Every time, ASU. Every time.
Just seeing the highlights of UCLA’s vaults on the linked stream from the comments. These landings…yikes.
After 1: Utah 49.300, Cal 49.175
Not crazy overscoring, but a charitable rotation for both. Utah fine on bars, but just the one stuck dismount and a few too many tiny breaks in the legs and the feet across the team. Hughes was the best of the group, did very well to keep her full turn in vertical in spite of basically traveling all the way across the bars. If Cal had any 10.0 SV vault for the Y1/2s in that rotation, that’s unacceptable judging because those were both clearly Y1/2s. Fine vaulting for Cal, but no great landings in there. Williams was the closest to a stick, but everyone was bouncing back.
Three 8s and a 46 for ASU on bars. It’s just so horrifying…
Merrell – VT – Back to the lineup because of the absences this week – very low landing on her full, quite hunched over, not a lot of distance, near-stick at least, but they’ll probably want to drop that. Still 9.825 in fantasy land.
Richardson – UB – tkatchev to overshoot non-hs is high – a couple leg issues here and there – one short handstands – DLO dismount is somewhat whippy with a hop. I love when Sam tells people about pinging off the bar on their DLO. She’s knows.
Lopez – VT – Appears to have stuck her full – good landing – solid distance, some piking. Why was hers only .025 higher than Merrell’s? Appropriate score for Lopez, but separation?
Takara – UB -big gienger, just a bit of feet – overhsoot – a tight handstand – lands her tuck full a bit squatty and a small hop.
Muhaw – VT – her first vault – huge bounce back and has piking – definitely a backup and not in the ideal lineup, but it will be there when needed. 9.800.
So. Seilnacht – UB – some leg break on piked jaeger, but good height – handstands looked good until the last one, which was short – LOVE seeing a twisting dismount – 1.5 twist, small hop.
Rowe – VT – Good stick on that full – not question there – very solid landing – doesn’t have the amplitude of the best fulls, but not bad on the chest or straight position. Her best competition vault.
Howe – UB – good finish on full turn – fine tkatchev but not a lot of counter – small leg sep aon the pak – VERY short final hs – step back on tuck full – could be great, with the amplitude and line, but the handstands let her down there.
Hughes – VT – almost a stick on that 1.5 – just a tiny step on landing to correct, but very strong – just one wonky knee, not extreme.
Willaims – UB – shap has good legs but struggles to maintain her rhythm out of it – has to muscle a touch – leg break on bail – just holds onto the stick on tuck full with a lean – strong, but a couple places pushing up handstands and losing her swing
Lewis – VT – nice form and amplitude on her full, a pretty vault in the air, did have a real hop back to the tune of probably a tenth.
Sternberg – UB – high but close tkatchev – better line than some of the others – another short handstand in here – just holds onto her double tuck dismount with a bend –
Utah goes 49.275 on vault. A good rotation, highlighted by the strong full from Rowe and the near-stuck 1.5 from Hughes. Thought the scores for the weaker vaults went high, meaning there wasn’t really appropriate separation with the strong ones. Watch Merrell and Rowe back to back and tell me that Rowe’s vault was only .050 better than Merrell’s.
After 2: Utah 98.575, Cal 98.350
Cal remaining stuck in the 9.8s there, handstands being the biggest issue. Most of the members of that lineup missed their final handstands before the dismount, which brought down the score. Not too many form breaks, a lot of good line going in there, but need that handstand precision to contend with what a team like Utah is going to score on bars.
Utah still on that low 197 pace that they can’t seem to get out of. I would expect floor to help bump the pace up, but it will really come down to beam to see whether this score can really be higher.
UCLA’s bars scores look to be a little better but it will be decided by Sophina’s routine whether this is an OK rotation or not. It was one of her good ones – usual Sophina legs on the gienger, and flung out her dismount a million miles but landed pretty chest up this time, if a bit squatty.
After 2: UCLA 97.925, ASU 95.325
Oh ASU… Just five vaulters today.
So. Seilnacht – BB – full turn, a little self-conscious of it but secure – small bend on loso series – split jump full with a step back – very good switch+ switch series, good 180 – near stick on side aerial to full –
Merrell – FX – front 2/1 to front tuck is controlled with solid twisting form – 2.5 to front tuck to follow it, slightly short on front tuck with a step back – near 180 on split half – rudi dismount – a bit more chest over on that rudi landing, but a solid start.
Owens – BB – wobble on loso series, leg flies up – a little tight here to follow with the full turn – stag is strong – tight on switch, not hitting 180 – small hop on double full, wobble on series will kill the score.
Lewis – FX – damn, I thought she had the full-in worked out now, very low landing with a large lunge forward, nearly had to put her knee down on it – a shuffle out of her front full middle pass as well – much better double back, chest up and secure.
Williams – BB – this routine is always either awesome or terrifying – holds onto her standing front tuck well this time but has to pause connecting into the bhs – fine switch, tight on straddle jump – good full turn – punch front full dismount this time, hop to the side.
Rowe – FX – bounce back on double pike but good height and chest up – 2/1 to loso is solid – finishes 1.5 to layout, good punch into layout – solid routine – why is this not in the lineup? –
Palomares – BB – small correction on walkover in straddle but holds it well – efficiently little loso series – attitude is very well done – bend correction out of sheep jump – sticks a staggered gainer full.
Stover – FX – front 2/1 with a lunge out, a bit too big on that lunge, same on front full, one large step but too bit to be under control – mid-routine loso is nice – switch ring and split full – good body position on rudi – Sam: “Sometimes the judges will look at your smile and not at your skills.” Yeah, we know.
Howe – BB – small bend and pause after lovely walkover into split – another bend on loso series – very pretty full turn – side aerial to full is gorgeous and stuck. Best part of the routine. Sam wants to see more amplitude on it, but let’s pick our battles, Sam.
Schwab – FX – Bounces back on her double pike this time, usually more controlled than that – nice high 1.5 to layout with form to spare, also another slide, though – pretty solid 2.5, but another tiny slide – didn’t look as confident landing those skills as in previous meets – just budging.
Savvidou is debuting on beam for UCLA – a couple wobbles here and there but a hit – 9.9/9.75 split. I was closer to the 9.750 judge, but much better than her bars debut.
Draghi – BB – Cal has a pretty good score going on beam with a hit here… – confident walkover, good legs – secure loso series as well, most composed beam work on the team – not the first pike jump in this lineup with uneven legs – OK sheep – bhs to a stuck gainer full with a bit of a lean. Good beam rotation for Cal this week.
Hughes – FX – better double pike than some of the others – controlled landing – hitting her 180s and leaps looked around – good punch out of 1/5 into layout – low chest on double back but stuck.
Ohashi back on beam! Hits her layout 2ft series, very solid – switch ring has a low front leg but solid – good splits otherwise in other dance elements – bends to hold side somi – solid bhs loso full dismount now with step back. The comeback begins!
49.125 for Cal on beam. Improved rotation, certainly over last week, and did not look nearly as scary as Cal beams of the past couple years have. Some slow connections and balance checks but just the one major error with the wobble from Owens, which was dropped.
Still waiting on the Hughes score but it should be good to bring up Utah’s rotation score. Not quite the score Utah would have hoped on floor this week, missing a couple of the big scorers in this lineup and not getting the big number from Schwab because of all those slides on landings. Still it’s 9.925 from Hughes, which brings it up to 49.250. Fine, but still just on that low 197 pace going to beam. Rowe filled in well and is going to be a solid option.
After 3: Utah 147.825, Cal 147.525
Cal is still in this, going to floor while Utah goes to beam.
Sophina just had a touch of a wobbleburger for UCLA on beam.
ASU got a 49 on floor in spite of putting up just five! Maybe there’s hope!
Nicki Shapiro is anchoring beam for UCLA now. Splits the beam and pretends she meant to do it. Love. That’s what I wanted!!
Partyka – BB – solid side aerial -LARGE wobble on loso series with a leg up, which will take away the score – switch+ switch series is nice in the 180 position – sticks 1.5. Still gets 9.775. Somehow.
Owens – FX – solid boule tuck, controlled and chest up – mostly around on tj full – chest down on punch rudi – sticks 1.5 to layout, much better, small issue on the middle pass but a worthy hit.
Merrell – BB – balance check on opening walkover – good switch and split 180, loses her back leg form a bit in split but that’s a minor thing – another check on loso series – better control on kickover front – strong stick on 2/1 as well – good second half of routine
Palomares -FX – slides back on double pike, slightly down – good switch ring and split full, hitting 180 – sticks her double tuck, but chest down as well – Sam Peszek is doing a really good job of mixing in criticisms into her commentary instead of just the sounds and positivity that others do. Some leg break on layout to front full, and a small hoppy hop, but a usable hit.
Hughes – BB -Huge break on her loso series and finally falls after a valiant fight – split jump is a bit tight, into split 3/4 – side aerial to full with a tiny, tiny shuffle.
Howe – FX – secure double pike, chest down – another doing the switch ring to split full – good punch on that rudi, gets the height and stays laidout the whole time – 1.5 to lay to stag final pass, very pretty stag, a bit whips on the layout but not bad –
Lopez – BB -good amplitude on split to straddle 1/4 – secure loso series, and once again on punch front – really strong on the acro this time – small correction on straddle 1/2 – hop back on 2/1, but best of the rotation so far.
Robinson – FX – comes in short on her double arabian, step back to prevent the fall – stumbles out of that split 1.5, trying to wrench the turning around – better on 1.5 to layout, high layout – very slightly short on double pike, just a tiny lean forward, but OK. Couple early errors, though.
Rowe – BB – wobble on straddle 1/4 coming off the switch – three series into loso is secure, a bit mushy in the legs – very good full turn – secure kickover front – 1.5 dismount – wobbles but they’re close to dropping that fall.When people dismount out of shot…
Williams – FX – gigantic DLO, controlled – front layout to full is high and solid enough, a little slide – switch side and popa have good 180 position, popa could have been around a little more – bounces back out of her double pike way too far and goes OOB. Drat upon drat.
Stover – BB – lovely walkover to split – slight bend to hold loso series – smooth full turn – strong positions on split and straddle – check on standing split ring – sticks gainer full. They got through the fall. Will be another low 197 it appears for Utah.
Draghi – FX – Finishing the meet – high double tuck, bounces up out of it and nearly goes OOB – lay to front full with another bit of bouncing – split 1.5 – I don’t love dance elements that try to include a ton of twisting, but in this case I do prefer it to the parade of switch side+popas that most teams throw out there. finishes punch rudi with another slideish.
197.025 the final total for Utah. No major problems for Utah, just once again too many 9.850s to get those huge scores. Cal finishes 196.750, which is a loss but a very important score for their assault on the rankings and recovery from last week.
Back to UCLA, Pua has returned this week and is going on floor. Adventure. low double tuck after 1.5 twist, lunge forward – splits and straddle are the highlight of the routine – front full to layout – some better control on double pike, but chest down once again.
Allex – BB – nervous full turn, small bend but otherwise OK – long pause before loso series, bend again but holds onto it – has the amplitude on her dance elements – strong kickover front but she should get a couple pause deductions for this routine. large bounce back on rudi dismount.
DeJesus – FX – “the darling of the download” – How long have you been working in that one? – punch front 2/1, crossover step but kept the other leg down – secure landing on double tuck but chest down, a theme on the UCLA floors today – switch ring and L jump full, a skill that I despise, but it should be a bit more L throughout – 1.5 to layout to drop split, not a ton of amplitude on it this time, but nothing significant. Will be huge score obviously.
“You forget that it’s about the gymnastics.” No, you don’t. Two 9.925s today for Sophina.
Conrad – BB – excellent height on loso series and focuses on keeping her toes – switch to back tuck also secure – a bit tight on full turn – side somi – not a big switch side but just a lean landing it – punch front full with a step. Not a depressing second half of the meet for ASU, but that start… 192.950. Yikes.
Bynum – FX – step back on DLO this time and just stayed in bounds – double back side pass, dances out of a slide there – front tuck through to double tuck, great control, but they all have to work on chest position. Gets a 9.950 for it.
UCLA finishes 196.625, mirroring last week’s score, but it’s all they could have hoped for after a disastrous vault. Not a totally useful score for UCLA at this point, and boy did they miss having Cipra, Francis, and Peng out there. Honestly, without those assets, this is as much as could be expected. Ohashi’s beam return was significant. When the full lineup is there, this still has the potential to be a Super Six team, but we need to see the full complement to truly judge how UCLA matches up against the SEC teams.