National Semifinals Live Blog

The time is now. The teams are here. The beam is angry. The only thing we have to fear is everything.

The first semifinal begins at 2:00 ET/11:00 PT, so you’ll be familiar with this as the moment when you start to get weirdly nervous, like too nervous, even though you’re not one of the competitors and don’t even have a vested interest in one result over another. And yet you’re still inexplicably freezing.

Live scores 
Live scores – Semifinal #2
ESPN3 stream-a-thon

By way of unnecessary repetition and…it’s nationals today!…here’s the rotation breakdown with team RQSs for each event. The highest score in each rotation is highlighted, i.e. the team that “should” win that rotation/gain ground there, but mostly just so that there are colors here to make it look brighter and therefore interesting.

The first semifinal begins with the favorites, Florida and LSU, on byes, so we’ll get a useful look at the presumed fight for the third spot with Auburn on vault, Stanford on bars, Georgia on beam, and Minnesota on floor. For Stanford, leading after this rotation is essential since bars must be such a high mark. For Georgia, it’s all about enduring. A whisker over 49 again? They’ll take it. We can talk about how important this rotation is to all the teams, but really this is about being glued to every quiver of a toe for Georgia on beam. No performance is more pivotal in this session.

ESPNU is showing the Sarah and Suzanne Insane Blouse Championship Documentary right before each session of the semifinals, just to get you in the mood if you want.

Remember, six judges per event in the semifinal now. Don’t freak out.

In typical Stanford fashion, Ivana Hong is doing the AA suddenly today. For the first time in exactly three years, since the day she tore her ACL on vault in the semifinal.

Ashleigh Gnat is in the AA, adding another option to the AA champion race. Wyrick is out. She hasn’t been scoring that well since coming back, but her peak score is higher than Gnat’s, so LSU perhaps taking a hit on what has been the most questionable event.

Florida’s lineups are intact, and Baker is returning on all the events along with McMurtry on floor. So really the ideal lineups for Florida. Fassbender is the one who makes way on floor.

It better.

Well, now that SEC Storied: I Love Your Bracelet Where Did You Get It? is over, let’s get to the action, right? Right?

Bart and Kathy are welcoming us. Everyone is amazing. News.

Event feeds are slightly on the struggle bus right now, but we’re still in warmups.
Would you like to watch Ivana Hong do a hundred toe ons in a row? Why, yes I would.

Chalk up those inner thighs, Brandie.

Wait, have we started? Bart! Focus!

Rotation 1:

Step back from McNair on the bars dismount for Stanford.

Kopec vaulting for Auburn – following a bounce back from Garcia on a full.

Don’t worry, we already aren’t getting scores.
Jay – BB – hits side aerial – slowish on kickover front to bhs but no wobbles – switch to clear hip – hop forward on 1.5. Great start.

Taylor falls on bars! NOOOO! couldn’t catch jaeger!

Big moments for the other McNair and Maxwell now fro Stanford.

Nicki McNair got a 9.8125 on bars. Stab me now.

Piking from Kopec on her full –

Babalis – BB – Up second? – tentative walkover to loso but secure – good switch – long pause before kickover front, very well performed – hop on front full. Two solid hits so far.

9.7625 for Jay on beam – tight score

Krippner on vault – very low and piked landing on her full, bends chest down at the hips, step forward, not what they needed.

D McNair – UB – catches jaeger well – to overshoot – not much amplitude on shoot but fine – DLO with a hop back. One down.

BRog – BB – slight check after opening walkover – secure switch 1/2 – great bhs 1/1, calm and secure – another small bend on her loso series, but not significant errors – hop forward on 1.5, off to the side. Three hits.

Demers – VT – no distance but better chest position than the others.

Hit bars from Maxwell, one short handstand. Bend to keep stick on double tuck.

Waiting on Price for bars now.

Price – UB -strong hap to upraise – great church to bail, perfect vertical on the bail – hitting handstands – small hop back on DLO, but excellent.

Rott – VT – large hop back on her full – better dynamics and body position, but they needed a stick from her.

Broussard – BB – solid loso series

Hong – UB – WOGAtchev but hit – wonderful bail – magical handstands – pikes down her DLO and hops back. They got through with a hit rotation, but perhaps not the huge score they needed.

Atkinsons – VT – small step forward on her 1.5. Good, opportunity to save the rotation a bit with that.

Broussard hit.

Have I mentioned how much I hate this extra decimal place?
Minnesota doing what was needed, getting 9.8s on floor, bounce back for Demuse.

Box – BB -slightly underrotation on tuck jump full but secure – exceptional loso series, good extension and confident – switch and straddle 3/4 were a little better in the split as well – pause before walkover, nailed – sticks 1.5. Georgia is hitting. Scores are just OK, but this is the most confident beam rotation of the year for Georgia through five.

Gardner – FX – rudi to loso, comfortable but crossed legs – secure landing on double pike, slightly loose knees, excellent straddle positions – strong splits throughout in this routine – 1.5 to lay – fine.

Schick is going on beam for Georgia! Back from the dead! No pressure, just return ot the lineup after months to do a beam routine at nationals. They have five hits already.

Schick – BB -slide back on loso series but hit – walkover to sissone – smooth but slow on full turn – she is lovely on beam and will be NEEDED next season – small bend on one-handed walkover – good switch – minor bend on walkover – sticks gainer full.

Oh NBD, just our best beam rotation of the season.

Mable – FX – lovely high double pike, small slide – lovely attitude, very high straddle elements – travels a bit on her punch rudi to straddle – 1.5 to lay with a bit of a bounce as well – nothing to take on form, just a couple moments of landing control.

Northey on beam now as an individual – secure dance series – large break on her loso series, saves it – another step back on her kickover front – small steps on 1.5.

We’re still waiting on Mable’s score, but looking like Georgia will have the LEAD after BEAM.

Porter – FX – great height on her double pike, controlled step back – strong dance elements, 180s – 1.5 to layout at about the middle of the floor – nails double back – very good, worthy of a high score.

AFTER 1: Georgia 49.1125, Minnesota 49.0375, Stanford 49.0250, Auburn 48.9625
Laura just asked Graba what a giraffe thought of his team’s vault rotation, and he was like FML I don’t know…

Scores tight everywhere, except not really on floor so far. Not a good rotation for Auburn. That needed to be a 49.2, and this isn’t. Some short vaults and struggles on landings. No Kluz as well. Very few of these people would have been expected to vault at the beginning of the season.

OK for Stanford, enduring the Rice fall, but 49.0250 is not high enough for bars with vault and floor still to come. Pressure on the team to pick up those scores now. Minnesota solid, over 49, but a BIG rotation for Georgia. Not necessarily the score, but leading the teams they’re competing against after their weak event is a huge development. Advantage Georgia.

In rotation two, we’ll get LSU and Florida joining things, while Minn goes to vault and Stanford to beam. This being the last opportunity for Stanford to get a massive number, this beam score needs to be big. Beam scores were fairly tight in Georgia’s rotation.

Rotation 2:
McLaughlin – FX – front lay to front full with a stick, nice start – wolf full is around – bouncy and ragged a bit on the rudi –

steps for Savona on her DLO but hit –

Step back from Nicki McNair on her loso series -hits side somi – bend on full turn – just a little right -htis side aerial – small hop on 2/1.

Hambrick – UB – catches Ray well – small break in the legs on thebail – sticks tuck full – loverly. Should be a good score.

Bart said Hoist instead of Holst.

Rice – BB – secure straddle to sheep – calm full turn – solid kickover front if a bit low – FALLS on gainer full! TAYLOR!

Gnat – UB – solid first handstand – a little late on full and strong legs on the gienger – some short handstands here and a form quiver on the bail – pikes her DLO with a leg separation and hop forward. OK. Usable. Wont be a large score.

Priessman – UB – Hits tkatchev – good vertical on half turn on low bar – solid handstands – whips around DLO and sticks – her best bars routine of the season by several miles.

Hong – BB – Stanford competing with even more pressure on every routine now. FUN! slow connection on onodi through the bhs but also Hong – lovely full turn – nailing all her dance –  sticks gainer pike. HONG.

McMurtry – FX – Hits 3/1, a little less staggered than last time – some crossed legs – front lay to front full with a bounce forward – a bit uinderrotated on dance elements – solid landing on double tuck, chest a bit low.

They’re losing their shit about McMurtry’s 3/1. Best in the world, Bart? Really?

Finnegan – UB -strong tkatchev this time – hitting handstands – legs together on that bail – no question in these hs – sticks DLO. Magical. Wonderful routine.

Mable – VT – gorgeous full, stick. Wow.

Price – BB – solid walkover – strong layout series as well – smalllll step on doubel pike – should be another excellent score –

Sloan – FX – Small hop forwar don 2.5 – strong and secure double pike, high, perhaps a tiny slide back? – 1.5 to layout is excellent – Florida and LSU in control so far.

Zamardi – UB – good shap to pak – legs together on that pak throughout – solid khorkina – close on double arabian and a step back.

Chuang falls on beam. Stanford is out. Counting a fall now.

Baker – FX – Oh hi, I just nailed my Dos Santos – a little short on her double pike again this time, which is where she hurt herself at regionals, but seems fine, a step forward – strong split positions – 1.5 to half to straddle is excellent.

Daum trying to save something for Stanford, but this meet is basically the team’s nightmare so far.
Daum – BB -walkover to bhs is hit – a little tight on full turn – hits side aerial –

Bridgey – FX – front double to front tuck is solid – very awkward on split jump out of middle pass, swings her arms and stumbles slightly landing it – great straddles – double pike is fine.

Dukes for Kentucky on beam. Exciting future for Kentucky on beam. strong full turn – very secure loso series – solid walkover as well – hitting splits – sticksish 1.5.
Hyland on floor – a little short on double pike but OK – soldi 1.5 to lay.

After 2: Minnesota 98.075, Stanford 97.500, LSU 49.325, Florida 49.300, Georgia 49.1125, Auburn 48.9625
Minnesota doing what was necessary and staying steady, though they’ll need a couple more teams to Stanford to get into this. Stanford could not afford those first two rotations, and now has to go to the weak events. LSU and Florida pulling away early. Particularly impressed by LSU’s beam score.

LSU heading to beam in the third rotation. Should get interesting. Auburn also needs some nailed DLOs on bars to avoid giving up a serious deficit to Georgia.

Dukes, Hong, and Price are all currently tied for the lead on beam. Yeah, no ties with six judges…

Rotation 3:
Macadaeg – BB – Do you think Kathy has it in her contract that they have to show Macadaeg? Good switch to switch half, secure and lovely – walkover to straddle is refined – strong loso series – small steps back on gainer full – THE SOPHOMORE DIDN’T LOSE HER MIND.

Reynolds – FX – a bit low chest on double pike and some lack of control, but very small – 1.5 to lay, slightly whipped – rudi

Bridgey bounces back on her full as usual – good amplitude – high chest position –

Hambrick – BB -strong side aerial – switch to straddle 1/4 – hits loso series – hugely high 2/1, hop back.

Sloan – VT – sticks her full. No trouble for Florida today.

Kopec – UB – good jaeger – hitting slow and precise handstands – a leg break in there – hop back on DLO. Needed a stick there.

Boren – VT – very very short on 1.5, stumble back, stays on her feet.

Babalis finishes floor with a secure double back.

Cannamela falls on beam. Two great ones, but now trouble trobule tume – off on a standing loso.

Baker – VT – much stronger – great height and everything, hop forward.

Rogers – FX – No Snead on floor today – low in that double pike with a staggered landing.
Kluz – UB – strong straddle back – sticks a great DLO. That’s the landing they needed.

McMurtry – VT – alllllmost sticks her full, tries to save with a small hop forward. Great in the air.

Ewing – BB – hits layout to 2 feet – crooked switch side as it often is but secure – bend correction on full turn, telltake sign of tightness – solid standing loso to straddle 1/4 – sticks 1.5.

Milliet hits bars, Marino bounces OOB on her DLO on floor – not what Georgia needed

Atkinson – UB – Strong tkatchev – one tight hs in there – obviously stuck her stuck full.

Finnegan – BB – hits her wolf – this is the critical routine – break on her loso series, leg-up wobble but still elegant because Finnegan – wonderful leaps – hits side somi – side aerial to a stuck full. One more to get through.

Box – FX – nails her double pike as always – 1.5 to layout is strong, you can see the leg break from this angle but not all – good 180 on straddles and gets the turns around –  music stops – strong landing on double tuck regardless.

Gnat – BB – switch and straddle 1/4 is fine -no trouble on switch side – wonky legs form on loso series but strong – sticks 2/1, a bit off to the side. No repeat of the trauma for LSU.

Jay – FX – large stumble on her full out – right after I praised her improved control this year! – did she go OOB on it? Not going to be a particularly high rotation score for Georgia. The rest was fine.

Artz doing Artz things on beam at the same time. Hop forward on 2/1.

Mills – BB – slow combo on walkover to bhs series but her lovely style obviously – Kathy needs to meet and fall in love with this routine – great switch form – bend forward on side somi – sticks aginer full.

Halfway: Florida 98.650, LSU 98.625, Georgia 98.075, Minnesota 98.075, Auburn 98.050, Stanford 97.500. 
Not nearly the expected score for Georgia on floor, opening this thing back up for the others. It’s the help Auburn needed, but Auburn and Minnesota still have to do beam. What if Minnesota qualified?

Chiarelli – FX – strong double arabian, stayed in bounds with a minor hop forward – 1.5 to layout to front tuck, small slide as well – solid splits – goes for a full in – lands short with a lunge forward.

Georgia goes to vault and Auburn goes to beam. Georgia must build up a multi-tenth lead with this rotation, otherwise it’s advantage Auburn. Minnesota to bars. Bars is like Minnesota’s beam.

Rotation 4:
Broussard – VT – so glad we cut away just as she was landing –
Hlawek – BB – large break on opening series and falls. Yikes. OK auburn here we go – solid kickover front – shortish on 1.5 with a hop back.

Was that Cutler on bars for Minnesota? Opening fall as well. You’re welcome, Georgia.

Marino – VT – 1.5 is off to the side and short, hop back, similar to Boren.

Snead – VT – bounces back on full – we all want the 1.5 next season.
Cerio BB – strong loso series.
Gardner – UB – solid jaeger – hits bail – toes – good position on double front but a large bound forward – will have to count.

Rogers – VT – NEAR stick on the 1.5 – smallest quicker with one foot. Excellent, will be a very important score.

DeMuse – UB – really struggling with form – Kathy tells us this is a resumption of the routine – fell on piked jaeger. Another one bits the dust. Minnesota counting a fall on bars.

Jay – VT – STICKS 1.5. No question. There you go. That will score higher than Rogers, who got a 9.900. This is looking like Georgia’s day in spite of that floor rotation.  9.950. One judge goes 10.

Krippner – BB – solid full turn – annnnnnd she’s off.

Johnson hop back on her full, her best of the season so far?

Northey VT – very good full, small hop forward – leg form throughout is strong.

Minnesota bars meltdown. Third fall of the rotation. Bars is Minnesota’s beam.

Demers – BB – competing with dead eyes – solid loso series – check on sheep jump – side aerial to stuck full –

HONG ON FLOOR – slides back on double pike, lovely movement style and everything, obviously – pretty secure passes as well – wonderful to see her get to do floor on her last competition day. Feelings.

Milliet also has a check on her sheep jump – Mable hit bars with a couple form issues – wonderful loso series from Milliet – bend correction on full turn – a little short on walkover and great save without a wobble – sticks gainer full.

Spector – FX – bounds forward on double arabian – also a slight stumble on front lay to full – solid double back.

Atkinson on floor now -the AA fight is still very real – strong loso series – smooth walkover – switch and wolf, almost had a correction on the switch and worked well into the wolf – goes for double pike! hop back.

Price – FX – a little short on DLO with a hop forward – tremendous leap amplitude – slide forward on front lay to front full – this is the most I’ve ever seen Ebee perform. nails double back.

Stanford has moved back ahead of Auburna nd Minnesota since now all of the teams are counting a fall somewhere, but Georgia has a lead of greater than a point over all of them. As long as Georgia hits five for six on bars, we’ll see the Gymdogs again tomorrow, and Florida and LSU now have the luxury of counting a fall and still being fine if they’d like.

Interview with Danna. She’s doing a really good job not just leaning into the camera and shouting “BLAMO!”

This rotation is still going on? Tsang on floor for Penn State.

“It’s going to be a tight battle to see which teams make it through.” No. It isn’t.

Baker, Sloan, Mable, Hambrick, and Price are all REALLY close in the AA right now, but the Floridas and LSUs still have two events left.

After 4: Georgia 147.350, Stanford 146.425, Auburn 146.200, Minnesota, 147.7375, Florida 98.650, LSU 98.625

Fourth rotation was decisive here. Auburn and Minnesota both counting falls, Georgia going to 9.9 town on vault.

Rotation 5:
Ewing – FX – small slide out of front 2/1 this time – front full, whips around her layout this time, flat but pulls it around – strong straddle combination – bounce back on souble pike – not her best control, but a solid routine.

Baker – UB –  sticks her double front this time, huge boost for Florida.

Chuang a bit low on her y full, chest down bend and a step.
Boren follows with a stuck DLO.

Hambrick – FX – pikes that second salto a bit on the DLO, though Kathy seems happy with it – but maintains great control – 2.5 to front tuck – precise on split and wolf – secure double pike, chest up, nailed. She’s having a big old day.

Nonspecific McNair vaulting – small step back on that full, but good form and dynamics.

Caquatto – UB – strong Ray – lovely hs – exccellent vertical on bail, legs together – either sticks or a small slide back on DLO. Will be a big score. Yeah, hop back.

Hong – VT – sticks a full. Not a big vault, close to the table, but she stuck her final vault, so I’m fine with it.

Sloan – UB – ooooh, has the leg separation in the bail this time, and a little too angled – sticks the DLO. Great finish, we’ll see about the score. 9.950. You knew it would be.

Strong double back from McKenna Kelley.

Price – VT – allllmost sticks her DTY, just comes in a little short with a small hop forward.

McMurtry – UB – Small leg break on the bail this time – small hop back on tuck full this time – she relies on sticking that but Florida is in crusie control right now.

Savona – full in middle pass, slide back – she opened with a controlled 1.5 to double back, slightest bit short but didn’t show up in the landing that much, great double back to end.

9.900 for Price. Remember the time she got the same score when she stuck?

Wyrick – FX – she’s still OK to do floor. Stumble landing on full in with a bounce – great height on her dance elements – strong control on double back –

Mable on beam at the same time – just being Mable – lovely series, small check on walkover, almost tried to turn it into scale but just a check – side aerial to a stuck full.

Gnat – FX – bounces back a bit on her DLO this time, slightly awkward this time – 2.5 to front tuck is good, but she may have given up the vault title with her landing on the first pass – good switch ring and tj 1/2 positions – slide back on double pike.

Nordquist – BB – side aerial to loso opening acro series – strong, maybe small adjustment – good switch side this time – hits full turn – a little short on switch 1/2 – side aerial to a full with a bounce in place. 9.9125. She’s leading beam. For now.

“Kristen, this was a terrible day, so let me not ask you about any of that.”

Artz – FX – finishes with a solid double pike, chest slightly down but OK control.

Stanford finishes 195.575. Minnesota finishes 194.9875. Neither will be strong enough.
Florida and LSU running away, Georgia in control with a hit bars rotation.

In the first AA fight of the day, Ebee comes in ahead of Mable. 39.550 to 39.5375. Still waiting on Sloan, Baker, Hambrick, Atkinson etc in the last rotation.

Rotation 6:
Snead – UB – nice tkatchev – very clean legs on that bail, nailed vertical position – low landing on DLO with a hop forward. Shame because the rest was great. 9.800. That will do.

Good double pike from Milliet on floor, Baker hitting beam, Cannamela nearly sticks full on vault, hop back.

Ewing – VT -solid 1.5, step forward, not as much distance as some other 1.5s will have.

Ernst – BB – good wolf, a little squatty on kickover front, but secure – aerial to back tuck, slow in combo as so many front to backs are, but hit – gainer pike.

Cherrey on bars, a couple form breaks, especially on giants at the end, but they just need hits.

Milliet just does stay in bounds on final pass –

Finnegan – VT – fake stick on her full, steps back to salute – lovely form –

Vaculik hitting – form beak on her bail, pulls it together and saves it – sticks tuck full. Three hits. Two more to go.

Hlawek a bit short on final pass on floor.

Savona – VT – much better landing on her 1.5 this time – step forward and some mushy knees, but much better control.

Schick – UB – good piked jaeger – no trouble on the bail – sticks DLO. Georgia having a magnificent day.

Rott – FX -large bounce on DLO and another step, just not Auburn’s day today. Little mistakes everywhere and then a big one on beam – nearly goes OOB again on second pass – big bounce again on double pike.

Fassbender had a check on her full turn on beam but otherwise fine.

Hambrick – excellent form and height on full – hop back and a little off to the side –

Jay – UB – good toe on – solid bail – gets through the shush well enough – hop back on DLO full – and Georgia just made Super Six.

Gnat – VT – also a small hop back on her DTY. Hmmm, both Price and Gnat hopped, Jay stuck her 1.5. LSU is also through.

Rogers – UB – nice stalder – escellent Ricna, the usual closeness on the pak but works through it comfortablyu thsi time – strong shap 1/2 and NAILS her DLO. Get it!

McMurtry going through comfortably – hop back on 2/1, and Florida completes the set of qualifying teams.

Hambirck in ahead of Price in the AA. Sloan still to go.
Rogers and Sloan are tied for the lead on bars.

Demers on floor –
while Sloan is on beam – lovely walkover from Sloan – secure on loso series as well – switch and split very strong, this is one of the Sloan good ones – long pause before dismount – sticks 2/1. That will put her into first in the AA. Kathy talking about moving Bridget to the anchor spot, which is wrong. She has anchored every single meet this year.

Atkinson – FX – good chest height on full in – controlled landing – front full to layout to wolf, goes OOB. Shame. Typifying Auburn’s day. Bounces on double pike as well.

Tears time.

Sloan into first on beam. Rogers and Sloan tied on bars. Jay first on vault. Hambrick is winning floor. Well, I was wrong about Gnat on vault and Atkinson on floor, but I’ve still got Rogers on bars alive.

FINAL: Florida 197.475, LSU 197.3375, Georgia 196.725, Stanford 195.575, Auburn 195.100, Minnesota 194.975 

Sloan’s 39.700 leads the AA. Hard to see anyone in the second session beating that, tbh.

Well, this thing was decided by falls. Stanford, Auburn, and Minnesota all counted falls, which ended their chances since Georgia had a hit meet. Particularly disappointing day for Auburn, sort of off from the very first rotation and not able to get it back. Well below their capabilities.

PHEW. Three hour break, and then into our next semifinal. Be a little bit more exciting at the end, please, second semifinal.


OK, goblins. The second semifinal is nearly upon us. Already. The first semi was supposed to be the exciting one, but then Georgia finished more than a point clear of the three challenging teams. This second semi is supposed to be the boring one, so it has some work to do to break free of this type-casting.

The first rotation will be all about telling us if an upset is in the cards. UCLA’s bars rotation in particular should be an experience. What secrets do they have in store for us?

Lineup news already. Ohashi is returning on bars and Mossett is returning on floor. No DeJesus on floor still, but Mossett can be a step up based on what she was doing in January.

Pua Hall is anchoring vault. Yeah, I don’t know about that…

We’re up with the original second-semifinal scoring link now. Again. UGH. Why must you toy with us like this?

OK, time to have energy again. Come on.

It begins. For a second time.

Guess who’s dancing. It’s Danusia.
Watching UCLA’s bars warmup now. Ohashi did like a quarter of a skill, and Peng overbalanced a handstand. Get that one out of your system.

Alabama is “bringing their lunch pails” to the meet today. I’m sure that’s not allowed in gymnastics.

Rotation 1:
Francis – UB – good first hs – solid shap to bail, some leg break this time – muscles a finial handstand a little but sticks that double pike this time. Good start.

Rowe – VT – holds the stick on her full, almost bend forward to take a step – some soft knees but good control on landing.

Lopez – VT – nice height, but too much power, large bounce back. Weaker landing than the last few weeks.

Meraz – UB – short first handstand – slightly floppy legs apart on her bail but OK – better hs before tkatchev – a bit flat – DLO, legs apart, chest down and a hop forward.

Partyka – VT – hops back on her full – she can stick that one as well, not bad but giving things away on these landings.

Nebraska low opening scores. Cal very high opening scores. 9.8875 leadoff of beam. Dayum.

Ohashi – UB – toe on  – bent elbows – fine bail, small legs papart – hits the WOGAtchev – low landing on full out with a hop forward, but VERY helpful to have her back.

Lewis – VT – step forward on full.
Hughes – VT – 1.5 – better vault – hops slightly back/to the side, but solid control, a step up on difficulty, and just a bit of a hop.

PENG – UB – ggood dhap 1/2 – low landing on DLO with a large bounce forward – won’t be the 9.950 they wanted from this routine.

Delaney – VT – good stick/near-stick on her full – she’s been having more stick issues this season – good distance obviously, a bit off to the side.

Just a 9.825 for Peng. They’re getting through bars but getting stuck in the lowish middish 9.8s.

Howe – BB – tentative on walkover with a lean correction – split and stag are very nice – secure loso series – side aerial to a full with a hop forward.

Williams – FX – just missed a punch on her middle pass – sat it down – they’ll be counting a 9.6 on floor now.

Honest – UB – solid in the straddle back – the usual routine from her – stuck landing on tuck full. Saw the second hanlf and looked like a good one. 9.8625 for her.

DeJesus – UB -good full turn finish position – usual gienger – legs mostly together on bail – one borderline hs – sticks tuck full with a MUCH better chest position. One of her good ones, good improvement on that.

Draghi – loso series, small quiver -pike jump to sheep with a balance check – good full turn to a lovely split jump – hop back on gainer full – a couple errors but still a usable score.

Laeng – FX – huge routine – bounce back on opening double pike – short of opening split leap, better on wolf – front full to front pike is fine – errors but a countable routine.

Richardson – BB – wobble on loso series, leg goes up – switch to straddle 1/4 is much better – Cal started really well on beam but has been giving away bits in the later routines – hop back on high double tuck. They’ll take this beam rotation score – over 49.

Blanske – FX – good high DLO and controls the landing – front lay to rudi to stag, secure, crosses her legs a bit in the rudi – nails double pike – necessary score, but they’ll still be sub 49 for floor, which is trouble.

After 1: UCLA 49.2375, Utah 49.1000, Cal 49.0750, Nebraska 48.9625
Lisa Burt on floor – obsessed with her layout to two feet out of her opening pass – good straddles and splits – bounces back on double pike – sticks rudi.

UCLA right on RQS after one rotation, but the rest of the teams below. UCLA will be the most pleased with that score, didn’t let bars become a weakness. Cal will also take that beam score. Utah would have hoped for more from vault but did not have the landings, some serious bounces on those vaults. Nebraska did as well as could be expected with those landing errors, but floor scores are ‘too critical to be OK with a sub-49. Lots of pressure on the other events to be strong and mimic what Georgia did.

UCLA must reinforce that bars score with a solid beam rotation to get things really moving here. Nebraska to vault, Alabama will start on bars and Oklahoma on floor now.

Rotation 2:
Williams – VT – not much distance – solid form – step forward

McNeer – UB looked a lad short on that bail this time – just a tight routine in places – hop forward on her DLO. Solid, a little less precise than her usual.

Brown – FX – did she go OOB on her opening? Very close. Strong rudi, good form –
Wobble for Gerber on her series – better on her dance elements – solid side somi – sticks gainer full – worjs through unexpected wobble.

Beers – UB – goos shap and pak opening – msall leg breaks – good hs – just the smallest hop on her double front. Alabama needed that from her. Good.

Crouse has a large pace back on her yfull.

Capps – FX – gooood double pike, chest up and secure – all the chreography points obviously – front full to floaty front lay with a bit of a bounce but not uncontrolled – excellent straddle elements – nails rudi, chest up – one of her best routines of the year acrobatically –

Breen – VT – hop forward on yhalf –
Hit beam from Meraz – hop forward on 1.5

Bailey – UB – wonderful jaeger – excellent and crisp bail, vertical and legs together – great full out and just the smallest step. Alabama hitting bars well so far.

Winston – UB – high but close on her ray this time – sublime pak – smooth handstands – small hop on DLO – nice – just a tad given away on all these landings, but it shoudn’t be a big deal for them.

Shapiro – BB – three series into loso is right on – solid switch to split – side aerial to full, step back – the first three did their jobs –
Kmieciak – great chest position on her landings her –

Brannan – UB – strong jaeger – hits bail – sticks DLO – there’s the stick.

Looks like a wobble from Ohashi out of the corner of my eye on her layout – better on walkover – layout stepout through to near-stuck full dismount. More solid, but not huge, performances.

Blanske sticks a 1.5 on vault. Boy, has she kept that team in it so far today.

It’s a 49.3125 for Alabama on bars. They’ll take that.
Jones – double pike final pass – chest up, nailed. The chest position on the tumbling passes is really setting OU apart even from the other top teams right now.

DeJesus – BB -walkover to bhs, usual speed but secure – strong save on her kickover front, small chedck but one foot was totally up – switch and shushunova is good, attitude 1.5 which always looks like she’s correcting a mistake – front gainer layout full – almost sticks it, holds stick for a second then leans forward to salute.

Jackson – FX – half to rudi is strong – half to full second pass is so floaty, just a quiver of a leg adjustment – some indistinct finish positions on her switch side and popa but great 180s, opens up on double pike, also secure.

Francis – BB – good walkover – strong loso series – hits switch and split perfectly – nothing to take so far – y spin is better than usual too, higher leg position – dismount – side aerial to full is stuck. That should finally get UCLA into the 9.9s. One of her best, and that’s a tough standard.

Scaman – FX – high DLO, controlled step back and keeps it in bounds – rudi to loso – nails double back – fantastic routine to finish a fantastic rotation. Oklahoma is here. 9.8875. 49.450.

Francis 9.950 on beam to tie Sloan.

Gardiner – FX – 2.5, slightly crossed legs and controls the step forward out of it – 1.5 to half to straddle is a bit low but corrects well – strong control on doubel pike.

After 2: UCLA 98.600, Nebraska 98.0125, Oklahoma 49.4500, Alabama 49.3125, Utah 49.100, Cal 49.0750. 
UCLA will take this score and this performance, especially because scores have been tighter today, though they would have hoped for another 9.9 or two on beam to really get a strong total. They’ve left work for Utah to do on bars, however, needing a 49.500 to tie. Oklahoma was excellent on floor and Alabama solid on bars if just a tad steppy for a .050 that didn’t need to be given away on most of the landings.

Rotation 3:
Moment of beam truth for Alabama.

McNeer – BB – smooth walkover to bhs, solid – full turn – check on loso series – switch and split are easy and solid – sticks 1.5 off line.

Jones – VT – nearly sticks her full but ends up bending and hopping and incurring way more deductions than she needed to –

Price – VT – GREAT handsrping pike half – legs and small hop, but that’s really it.

near stick for Partyka on bars, very small slide back.

Lewis – UB – solid finish position ion full turn – one short handstand post release but everything else looking clean – strong DLO, smallish quiver of a step back.

Kmieciak – VT – FAB vault. Sticks her full. Extended body position. At least 9.9000. If not 9.9500.

A few moments of leg form for Brannan but a useful hit.

Schwab – UB – WOGAtchev but hit – good toe point and legs together on that bail – strong handstand and stalder – sticks double back – that will be a big score.

Capps – VT – sticks her full as well – a little deeper landing than Kmieciak, but also stuck –

Sanders – BB – switch to straddle is strong – large break on loso series, though with a bend at the hips –
Scaman – VT – just a small step forward on her 1.5. Great control this time. Just the step and some knees, otherwise excellent –

Lopez – UB – strong form on bail – another stick on a DLO – doing what’s needed to get back to UCLA.

Hughes – UB – amazing cover on her routine to work into the tkatchev but she did have an extra swing there – sticks tuck full – should be a hit, though.

Sims – BB – just casually sticks a double back. You know. Aja Sims.

Jackson – VT – Sits her 1.5. Comes in way short. Damn. They didn’t need the score by any means.

Rowe – UB – muscles first hs a little – good position in full turn – better distance away from the bar on her tkatchev – a little tight on bail but great form – small slide on DLO. Good, not her best.

Winston – BB – fantastic splits – slow but lovely walkover to bhs – slow routine, pause deduction? – hop back on double tuck. Another strong score.

Wellick here as an individual – hitting bars – that dismount trouble is gone, small hop forward on double front.

Cal staying in the 9.7s on floor – Sylvie Seilnacht is the one who’s into the lineup for Williams – bounces back on her double pike and goes OOB. Rough. Better 2.5, crossed legs but secure – small stumble on 1.5 to layout.

Huge landing error for Taylor Allex on her 1.5, lunges back and off the mat.

Guerrero – BB – very strong two losos series – secure – a little slow on her switch to straddle combo, but I’m sure it will be fine – side aerial to a full with a hop forward.

Draghi – FX – bounces back on double tuck – front lay to front full is better – nails rudi –
McGee – BB – swings her arm on her standing loso but covers well because she’s just Nina McGee and she waves her arm on her beam routine – same on loso series – large break on straddle jump, wobbles but stays on – sticks gainer full.

Drenth is rotating with Cal, finishing the rotation on floor – slide back on double pike – strong straddle positions – also bounces back on rudi – 1.5 to layout, a little whippy.

Halfway: Oklahoma 98.8500, Alabama 98.6125, UCLA 98.6000, Utah 98.3875, Nebraska 98.0125, Cal 97.9500
Oklahoma starting to pull away, but UCLA will be pretty happy keeping pace with Alabama through two, though everything about UCLA has the caveat of vault still to come. That’s why UCLA will hope to build up a bigger lead on Utah in the next rotation, on floor while Utah is on beam, because otherwise a lead of this side will be too attackable when Utah finishes on floor. Utah has the misfortune now of having not yet done beam while both UCLA and Alabama have.

Leduc on floor – bounces back and OOB on opening double pike –

KJ getting a little Cheshire cat about Oklahoma’s performance so far. She’s acknowledging that they are amazing. “Yes, thank you, I am great.”

Extended closeups of Val being all Val.

Ohashi FX – secure double tuck – 1.5 etc middle pass but looks like she went OOB in the middle of it, should not be a high score – low chest on doubel pike, lunge forward.
Partyka – BB – switch is good, straddle 1/4 a bit tight – side aerial with a large break and off the beam. OK, Utah, this is it. Five must-hit routines.Two switches series – hop forward on 1.5.

Errors from Crouse on bars – extra swing –

Delaney – BB – straddle to tuck jump full is tight but secure – small bend on loso series – just moments of awkwardness, and then a fall on her standing loso. Tried to save with everything she had. Two falls to start beam for Utah. I guess the UCLA party is really on now.

Wow. Tight tight tight tight tight. That was the theme of the first two routines for Utah.

Mossett – FX – works into double tuck well – splits and acrobatic choreography are wonderful – but very deep landing on her final double pike, just does avoid putting her knees down –

Robinson – VT – front handspring to handspring front pike – a leap forward this time.

Hughes – BB – small check on loso series but looking so determined – very tight on splits as well and short of split but getting through – side aerial to full was WAYYYY off line, huge stumble and off the mat, no fall…but near equivalnt.

Francis – FX – slides back on the whip to double back this time – just a little lack of control on the 2.5 as well, no major issues but not as secure as it has been this year – great split positions – lock-kneed on that double pike with a small awkward stumble. UCLA not great on floor so far with these landings, but Utah has ensured it doesn’t matter so much.

Lopez – BB – great opening switch and straddle 1/4 – secure on her loso series – fine full turn – front tuck is confident, the first confident skill I’ve seen from Utah on beam so far. Hop back on 2/1.

What has happened on bars? I see Laeng with a 1 and the feed has gone out.

Now we’re getting the update – Laeng is still down on the mat and being attended to.

Rowe on beam meanwhile – switch to straddle 1/4 is nice – legs in loso series but secure – the moonwalk isn’t so fun today – great stick on 1.5. They’re pulling it together, but it’s likely too late.

UCLA getting some 9.8s here, but they’ll need some scores from Cipra and Bynum anyway – high double back, keeps the front foot down – very strong switch ring and split positions – also what fun to do this now, with the Laeng injury – came in very awkwardly on her middle pass, landing staggered to try to punch into straddle, fine but not ideal and will be a deduction – nails double pike.

Oh gah. Laeng still down on the mat –  getting the head board for her.

Stover – BB -check on walkover – good full turn – very strong switch and straddle – split ring works well –  hits gainer full –

Bynum – FX – huge DLO as always, good control – small bounce out of double tuck middle pass this time – half twisting sissone – front tuck through to double back, chest down a little but controlled –

Laeng being carried off now. Jessica in the arena is communicating good signs, like moving her knees and the spine board being precautionary.

Brown – FX – fine double pike, a bit locked with a bounce up – great extension on split elements – small bounce on double tuck.

Blanske resuming on bars – strong jaeger – hitting excellent handstands – step back on DLO – good hit – smiles with her stick and then immediately back to devastation –

Laura with an update on Laeng – smiling and feeling OK –

Williams – UB – DELTCHEV (that was a) – great hit – small leg break on her bail – squatty landing on tuck full but holds it – small step –

Tom really pleased to be interviewed right now. When Laura said “little bit of a hard start,” he was like, duh…..little bit?

Well, more drama than we needed there.

 Anyway after 4: UCLA 147.7125, Cal 146.850 Nebraska 146.800, Utah 146.5250, Oklahoma 98.8500, Alabama 98.6125
Aside from Laeng’s injury, Utah’s beam implosion was the story there, Utah falling to last. Can pick up the ranking with a big floor, but really all UCLA has to do in the next rotation is land vaults to their feet to assure a spot in Super Six.

Bart also informing us that Cal is getting a .100 neutral deduction for competing out of order. Well, this really was the weirdest rotation ever. Although Cal’s score just went up, so…not sure what’s going on there.

Rotation 5:
Brannan FX – solid double arabian, step forward stays in bounds – chest slightly down on double pike but not a real problem – 1.5 to layout – solid, nromal, good start –

Cipra – VT – very deep landing on her full with a lunge forward.

Nebraska opening with a check on a sheep jump on beam.

Honest – VT – sticks her full – strong landing – low chest and feet, but great stick –

Lehrmann – UB – lovely toe point and handstands – jaeger – broomstick bail – step forward on tuck full.

Meraz – VT – large bound back out of her full –
Jetter strong 1.5 to front full on floor –

Capps – UB – great finish position on full turn – hits tkatchev, lowish – solid bail – sticks her tuck full. Damn. She’s in it to challenge Sloan with a Capps beam.

Just caught a fall from Nebraska on a side somi but didn’t see who it was.

Bynum – VT -two steps back on her arabian – UCLA is doing enough but will have to improve on these floor and vault performances.

Bailey – FX – solid double arabian, control on that landing, back foot stays down – strong twisting throughout, should be another very useful score – Alabama cruising now –

Kmieciak is a little close on her Ray – good vertical on the bail – hop forward on tuck full dismount, fine but not her strongest. Will keepo hger behind Capps in AA

Preston – VT – also a large bounce back on her full, but better dynamics than the others.

Hall – VT – Sticks her 1.5 this time. Somehow. Crazy legs and squatty landing as always, but sticks it.

Wofford – UB -great full turn position – solid jaeger, though not as big and high as sometimes, bent elbows – toe point is magic – great vertical on bail – sticks tuck full. Nice. 9.9375, lower than Sloan/Rogers –

Breen – BB – solid one-arm bhs to loso – hitting everything – sticks 1.5, small lean to hold onto the stick but does.

UCLA finishes 196.700, which will be plenty.

Beers – FX – high DLO but steps back and OOB – also dances forward on 1.5 to layout – better control on double tuck, will be a fine score but probably dropped because of the OOB.

Blanske – BB – check working out of her three series to loso, bent knees – high front tuck and very secure – switch side -sticks 2/1.

I wish this day had been a little more exciting. Looks like both semifinals will end in landslides.

C Sims – FX – good high DLO, chest isn’t too bad this time – bounds forward on her middle pass, pretended it was controlled but too big to be really controlled – good security on double pike, chest down but solid –

Williams – BB – finishes side aerial to a full with a hop back.

Interview with Val. “Chill gymnastics”
Nina McGee floor in the background of Miss Val interview – but we see her stick that DLO, so it’s fine – pauses in the middle of her dance element series but strong positions on both – front full to layout, just does keepo that back foot down – nails double pike. Let’s watch the score. Hambrick is still the leader, but this has to be higher, right?

9.950 for McGee. She is the floor leader. Deserved.

After 5: UCLA 196.700, Nebraska 195.7750, Oklahoma 148.3125, Alabama 147.900, Cal 146.8500, Utah 146.5250

UCLA is already going through. Cal would have to get a 49.850 on bars to tie, which isn’t happening.
Oklahoma and Alabama really just have to hit a couple routines. Both could probably count a fall and still be fine. Will be interesting to see how Utah reacts on floor now to being all-but-mathematically out of this.

Bridget Sloan has the AA unless Capps gets a 10.000 on beam, then it would be a tie. She could get it.

Kmieciak on beam – check on loso series but fine -double tuck, swims to hold the stick
Rowe FX – low chest on double pike, small hop – solid 1.5 to lay to end –
McNeer – VT – sticks full, leg up but stays in place.

Takara – UB – great high gienger – hop forward on tuck full –

Lehrmann – BB – smooth walkover – a little tight in bhs loso series in the chest but secure – good switch side – sticks high 1.5. Yep.

Bailey  – VT – brings her 1/2 back FINALLY – sticks – smarter to do it because she could do it as a fake arabian – it isn’t but that hasn’t stopped some others. Great vault.

Guerrero – VT – hops legs together on 1.5 – her form is more ragged, but that will be a big score as well.

9.9500 for Bailey. Perfect scores from all six judges.

Brannan – VT – also sticks her 1.5. Alabama is vaulting like MONSTERS.

Beers – VT – step forward on 1.5 – best distance of the group –

Brown – BB – walkover to bhs – lovely –
Howe resuming bars after a fall – step back on double tuck –

Sims is getting to vault! Instead fo Bresette – because they’re just like…psssh great height on full, a little piking and a hop back – runway strutting down the vault runway –

Checking in on Partyka – chest down on rudi but secure –

Jones – BB – strong loso series – smooth full turn – kickover front to beat jump, slightly low but secure – switcha nd split lose toe point but good 180s – glad they got rid of the two switches series – sticks 1.5. Well hi Oklahoma –

McGee – VT – small hop but mostly nailed –

Schwab – FX – stumble back on double pike – how do you think she felt when Hong used this music earlier – like “oh, crap” when Ivana uses your music is like showing up in the same Oscar dress as Charlize Theron – finishes 2.5 with a hop together.

Capps – BB – strong loso series to beat jump – lovely style on full turn – slight bend on her walkover this time and didn’t do it to scale, takes away the AA and probably the beam title – good switch and straddle – sticks gainer full – still a great routine, probably not an event-winning one.

Hughes – FX – high double pike, comfortable landing – high 1.5 to layout with a slide forward – hits doubel tuck.

9.9125 for Capps.

FINAL: Oklahoma 197.7875, Alabama 197.3875, UCLA 196.700, Cal 195.8500, Nebraska 195.7750, Utah 195.7625
So…who had Utah finishing last in this session? Would have been really interesting if Utah had hit beam. Probably still goes to UCLA based on the lead they had to begin with and the scores on the other events, but it would have been exciting.

Bridget Sloan wins the AA with a 39.700, as we all sort of knew she would.

Event winners:
VAULT: Jay and Bailey (?!?!?!)
BARS: Rogers and Sloan
BEAM: Francis and Sloan

So, now the question is whether the judges all gave Bailey a perfect score or if they (incorrectly) gave her a 10.0 SV.

Dana Duckworth is screaming and holding up some salsa for no reason. Honey, you have Super Six tomorrow. You can’t start drinking yet.

Super Six tomorrow is Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, and UCLA.

Meets decided by falls and not close at all, which is a bit of a letdown. Still entertaining, and I have to say the race to the event champs actually made today more entertaining than it would have been, even though I’ve railed against it. Otherwise, we would have been snoozing toward the end of this.

Nothing I saw today hurts my impression of Oklahoma as the favorite, but we should have a very good four-way race there regardless. Georgia and UCLA’s victory is likely making it this far, but we know they can both 197 their way through this.

Super Six rotation order: Oklahoma (vault), LSU (bye before bars), Georgia (bars), Florida (beam), Alabama (bye before floor), UCLA (floor). Miss Val got her loathed rotation order.

74 thoughts on “National Semifinals Live Blog”

  1. Mollie Drenth of Iowa had a beautiful beam routine for a 9.9125! I love to see gymnasts competing as individuals hit excellent routines!

  2. It looked like Shapiro also warmed up on bars for UCLA. I didn't know a team could have 7 gymnasts participate in the touch warm up. Brianna Brown of Michigan and Bev looked a little surprised and you could see Bev walk over to the UCLA girls making sure Brianna would get a turn. It seems like a 7th girl would take away time from the individual.

  3. Touch warm-ups are longer than they used to be… They've been calling them each round here: either 4:30 or 5:00–maybe depending on how many individuals that round? Can't think of why else
    itd be different from round to round…. Anyway, they prob knew they'd have plenty of time, but I don't blame Bev for being concerned!

  4. Agreed. They are both having great nights, as is OU altogether. But I also think scoring is a tad looser in this second semifinal compared to the first semi.

  5. Did anyone see what happened to Laeng? She's been down for a long time. I'm hoping for the best for her.

  6. from flo gymnastics:

    Jennie Laeng, Nebraska UB: Gienger extremely far from the bar and over rotates it looks like to her head. Very scary fall hope she's ok. The coaches and staff run over to her and are holding her head.

  7. She went OOB and they take the .1 after the average is completed b/c it's considered a neutral deduction

  8. (also: 9.8 x3, and 9.85 x 1 – drop the low and the high, then average the middle 4 scores.)

  9. I hesitate commenting because we don't know anything… But my husband and I are sitting directly behind the bars… On the dismounting side. I wasn't watching but my husband was and he said she came down on her shoulder. His instant reaction was “she broke her collar bone.” For what it's worth…. I could barely look at her parents waiting by. The whole team went up and hugged them. I would've been insane waiting but they looked pretty calm.

  10. I'm extremely happy with the individual event winners. Yay for Brandie Jay and Brittany Rogers! So happy Sloan is going out on a high note! Love Katie Bailey's vault and Danusia's beam! And super pumped for Nina McGee. It's awesome to see someone from a “non-powerhouse” team win a title.

  11. Dana has been going on about salsa all season, I think, and I've never quite figured it out – shorthand for “they were hot!” I guess – but what was that? A hot sauce packet from Taco Bell or something?

  12. In the final rotation of Super Six (hopefully a tight, close 4-way race between the the competing teams – sorry UGA and UCLA):
    Vault: LSU
    Bars: Florida
    Beam: Alabama
    Floor: Oklahoma

    Will McMurtry stick her dismount to give Florida its 4th straight title? (If it's not Bridgy on floor it's Alex on bars…)

  13. In the final rotation Florida will have completed their bars rotation before Oklahoma is even halfway through floor.

  14. Not impressed that the NCAA took away the event finals. I really don't think it was fair to have gymnasts qualify and then all of a sudden every gymnast there is in the running for the finals. It also takes away the opportunity to Peszek-throw-a-full difficulty because the teams will play it safe to ensure they make it to night two.

  15. If Oklahoma wins a close meet with that snoozefest of a floor rotation…ugh ugh ugh

  16. And someone on Twitter pointed out that we could have had a vault final with three DTYs!

  17. I have to agree with you that it could be a disadvantage for Oklahoma to end on floor.

  18. Hands down this was the best vault of the day! Jay is easily the most consistent vaulted, factor in height, power etc. Have enjoyed watching this vault all season and shoulder width is okay-move your feet they no longer consider it a stick(rightfully so) of corset IMO

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