Saturday Live Blog – February 18, 2017

Saturday, February 18
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – West Chester @ Cornell Ivy $
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Stanford @ Arizona State LINK P12
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [24] West Virginia @ [19] Ohio State LINK OSU $
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Ball State @ Bowling Green LINK FB
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – UW-Oshkosh @ UW-Whitewater LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [12] Oregon State @ [18] Cal LINK P12
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Minnesota @ [11] Denver LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – San Jose State @ Air Force FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [4] UCLA @ [5] Utah LINK ESPNU

Saturday means it’s the Pac-12’s turn. The number to beat is 198.350. AH HA HA HA STAB.

The big showdown with UCLA/Utah is later, but before that, we have Stanford’s visit to Arizona State, which is interesting for a number of reasons. And by interesting, I mean harrowing. Stanford has three road meets remaining, and its current road scores are 194.175, 194.150 and 193.800. None of those can be allowed to count, so we’re into the land of urgency starting today. Today really needs to be at least in the 195s. That should be asking nothing of this team (Price! The McNairs!), but we know from experience this year that it’s asking a lot.

Meanwhile, Arizona State got a season-high 195.100 last week, and the scores do appear to be on the upswing. The team-high during the reign of Rene the Impaler was 195.375, so while ASU’s numbers aren’t high enough for regionals contention at this point, beating that score seems an attainable short-term goal.

For Stanford, Price is back on bars today, so at least that’s something. Otherwise, the lineups are the same as last week. But, you know, having six whole bars workers is a step in the right direction (he says, jumping into a volcano.)

All six people in the crowd look excited for the meet.


Rushton has a tucked yfull with a medium-sized hop back to start for ASU.

N McNair – UB – good on the piked jaeger this time, clean on the bail – short on all of her cast handstands, not aggressively short but short – deepish landing on tuck full dismount but holds the stick. 9.775.

Belkoff steps up to the layout full for ASU, chest well down and piked shape for much of the vault, hop to the side.

Yu – UB – good legs together on the shap to bail combination – quite close on her shoot to tight, muscles up the handstand, hops on a double tuck dismount, also had a slightly arched opening cast handstand position.

Lentz – good control on the landing on her full, also quite piked in the air but not much of a hop at all.

D McNair – UB – “Daniel McNair” – unfair to show shots of Ivana – just so mean nostalgically – scores on bars are taking forever to come up – super clean set, small step back on the DLO but strong hit – a bit more precise on the handstands than Nikki, but a couple were still a touch short.

Wilson – VT – best laid out shape on her full so far, lands deep with a hop to the side, but the shape on the vaults is progressing.

Daum – UB – crazy legs on the bail, short on her handstands – high tkatchev, though – same problem as last week, sits her double Arabian dismount. She hasn’t really been close either time – it’s almost like she’s not a bars worker whop has been forced into the lineup.

Ginn for ASU has best dynamics of the group – more height and distance, pretty good laid out shape until the end, step back.

Price – UB – shape to clea gip to Church to bail to stalder shoot – and it’s all excellent – sticks DLO. FAB. Just FAB. “I have a sprained toe and I’m still 78 tenths better than everyone else in this lineup.” 9.950 again. Like every time.

Nichelle – just a Yurchenko layout.

ASU has a couple somewhat competitive fulls from Ginn and Wilson, but they just don’t have the difficulty to be competitive here.

Maxwell – UB – clean body shape but pretty short on some handstands – late on a giant 1/1 and a double tuck with a step. Won’t be a huge score, but it’s a hit.

So…Stanford didn’t count a fall? Hooray?

“We did see Nichelle Christopherson make a big statement.” We really didn’t. She had the weakest vault.

Maxwell sneaks out with a 9.775 (somehow…). Stanford goes 49.075 on bars, which is like a 70. That’s good pace for the needed 196 since we know floor is going to be an experience.

After 1: Stanford 49.075, ASU 48.500

“She’s just a big aggressive work.” – Kristen Smyth on Ebee. Eloquence? Thanks?

Without Price, Stanford’s bars score would have been 48.250. She’s a big aggressive work.

Rotation 2:
H Hoffman in for Daum.

N McNair – VT – good control ont he landing on her full this time – she’s still missing the distance she used to have, but not much piking and then the smallest slide to the side.

“Mom is Shirley, dad is dead”?????????

OHHHH. “Dad is Ted.” OK. Now I get it.

Rushton – UB – huge tkatchev but struggles with everything after that – short handstands and crazy-legs bail – nice form on DLO though with a step back. Wait, 9.775? Like the same as McNair? No.

Hailee Hoffman does a full, large bounce back. Big amplitude, though.

Hart – UB – leg breaks on 1/2 turn and overshoot – Jaeger was fine – short on some cast handstands and a piked body shape in giants and the DLO.

Cole – VT – can’t control this vault – huge bounce back out of the full again. Piking as well.

Imbus – UB – Nice Shap and bail with just a little foot break – very short on a cast handstand – struggles through a stalder into double tuck, just gets that double tuck around.

Tai – VT – good stick on her full, chest down and some Nabieva legs on the block.

Wilson – UB – good finish position on giant full but took the jaeger wayyy too far and falls. resumes with some pretty short handstands but a stuck double tuck.

D McNair – VT – only a small hop back on her full – good leg shape and direction, not much piking either, should get a strong score.

Szafranski – UB – shap to pak combination, loses legs in both – a little short on 1/2 turn on low bar and on final cast handstands – two steps back on DLO – a little too ragged to be the big score her talent could deliver. 9.850 is crazy high for that routine. Watch Price and Szafranski back to back and tell me there’s only a tenth difference.

Yu – VT – large bounce out of her full this time, not the stick of last week – great distance but didn’t have the landing at all this time.

Christopherson – UB – solid Ray – way arches a handstand but pulls it back – bail – a short handstand at the end – a little late on giant full, sticks the double tuck. so….10?

After 2: Stanford 98.025, ASU 97.450
It’s a 48.950 on bars for ASU, and they should thank the crack gods for that score. Stanford didn’t have the landings on vault with Yu, Cole, and Hoffman all bouncing into the next state. Dani McNair had the best of the group for my taste, with strong form and distance, but she didn’t stick which is why she ended up scoring the same as Tai and her sister.

This commentator just has a note card that says “ASU = rock bottom.”

Stanford still on 196 pace, but floor will be telling. A couple of these routines have a tendency to get a little 9.6.

Sometimes the pictures they show in these Pac-12 Profiles are weirdly grainy in a little too much of a “these are the victims of the bus accident” kind of way. Like, you took that picture this year? Not in 1984?

Rotation 3:
Callis – BB – two bhs to loso series is secure – switch to split, focusing on getting that back leg up, and I appreciate it – full turn – beat to a tentative double stag with a check – side aerial to full, stuck but piked and a little off line. 9.725.

D McNair – FX – super high on her double pike, way over-flipped and sat it down – it was very “Seda at the Olympics” – secure double tuck – pressure on the Hoffmans now both to get countable scores – I like how Sam is pretending to be surprised that Stanford is struggling early in the season – layout out of final pas is a little whippy but solid. 9.025.

Conrad – BB – She has seen some things in her time at this program – hits loso – a couple small lean corrections in here – secure on the side somi – cat leap to switch side – punch front layout dismount, stuck. Strong. 9.850.


H Hoffman – FX – travels too far on double tuck and OOB – switch ring, split leap 1/1, switch ring was good, split leap was short of 180 – front lay front full, a little too much of a lunge out of that one – bouncy on the rudi. 9.725. Got away with a 9.725 there. Did they not take the OOB deduction?

Udowitch – BB – Went to “Spring Valeri this is a real school” school – aerial to back tuck, broke the connection and then a leg-up wobble on the back tuck – switch to split – smooth full turn – pretty kickover front to beat jump – side aerial to full, stuck. Excellent set after the beginning, but she should not get acro series credit for this routine.

Cole – FX – 2.5 to front tuck, no trouble this time – good twisting form and body position on the tuck landing – great high straddle, wonderful skill – chest down double tuck but secure – front full to front pike, a little short on pike with a step back to control – but a hit.

Lentz – BB – check on loso series – solid standing loso – full turn – cat leap to a tightish switch side – step forward on 1.5.

Tai – FX – chest down double tuck but hit – 1.5 to front lay, pulls around the layout to get it to her feet, but not high enough on that – knee-chest double pike but she didn’t bounce on these landings so it will probably be a usable score.

Szafranski – BB – aerial to Korbut – a litlte slow in connection but will get it – side aerial, small check – quite short of position on a switch split – check on full turn – rulfova is hit, was a little short of rotation on that but pulled it around with her placed-hand well – gainer full with a step.

Stanford getting through with 9.7s so far.

Daum – FX – higher in the double pike than some others, chest could be less forward but not too bad – 1.5 to layout, fine – switch and switch 1/2, close enough – also a bounce OOB on her double tuck – we’ll see if they take this one or if that’s just not a thing anymore. 9.650, so they did take the OOB this time.

WHAT is with this guy and name-checking all the parents?

Chirstopherson – BB – good full turn – kickover front to Korbut, smooth and solid – huge break on double stag with a major bend at the hips – hop forward 1/5 dismount.

N Hoffman – FX – need a hit from this one to stay above water – double tuck, step back, borderline in bounds or not – switch, split full is very short of position, may not get credit – 1.5 to layout, whips around and then lunges forward – wolf full + wolf full is fine – 1.5 to front pike, hit.

This rotation probably takes Stanford out of 196 contention, but they should still be able to get that necessary 195 with a hit beam. With a hit beam. Meanwhile, Arizona State hit beam.

After 3: Stanford 146.650, ASU 146.200

ASU still in this if Stanford has mistakes on beam. Have I mentioned that Stanford needs Ebee on floor (and Spector)? Because yeah. They just don’t have the competitive routines there. No 9.8s in that rotation.

Rotation 4:
N McNair – BB – pretty solid on loso series – side somi is fine, she looks tight but she’s not giving up wobbles early – smooth and easy on the side aerial this time – switch and split and straddle, small lean on that straddle – sticks gainer full, good hit. 9.850.

Brook – FX – music problems – HOW MANY TIMES ALYSSA – wolf jump 1.5 – apparently the music cure error will give the team confidence? OK? – chest down on rudi – back 1/5 to a high and floated layout – legs on a 1.5 to pike. Hit.

This is another meet where the leo fit issue is a real epidemic.

Fitzgerald – BB – check on full turn – does well to hold kickover to two feet without a check since one of her feet was basically in Narnia on it – “11th place on this event” in a dual meet is not a thing – aerial, check, broken connection to bhs – punch front layout full with some tucking, stuck. We’ll see about the combination credit. 9.800. So she got it. Shouldn’t have.

Mekayla “yes, that’s how I spell my first name” Jones – FX – solid enough double pike – switch side is good, once we get into the popa and wolf full it gets a little ragged – chest down on double tuck with a slidey/bouncy back – 1.5 to front “indistinct shape” somehow pulled that around and got it to her feet. 9.800 is very high.

Cole – BB – good loso series – switch to a straddle 1/4, tight – aerial to beat with a lean check in between – check on full turn – tries to stick 2/1, leans and then steps forward quite far to salute.

Belkoff – FX – large lunge back out of double pike, not out of bounds? 1.5 to front pike – a little short on some straddles – 1.5 to layout – flattish tumbling but controlled the final two passes. 9.850. There are no rules in this house.

Tai – BB – “9.850 and 9.800” is not a “streak” – fall on opening loso series – here we go – a least she smiled while falling? – aerial with a check – solid 1.5 dismount – 9.175.

Callis – FX – 2.5, a little under rotated with a  crossover step – wolf jump 1.5. is a thing on this team – 1.5 to layout, also not a lot of punch into that layout – switch ring and split 1/2, Sam promised us impressive flexibility? – low from leg on switch –

Daum – BB – secure loso series – smooth full turn – aerial a little short but pulls it up well no check – split to “sheep” with a check, would you give that sheep credit? – near-stick on 1.5 with a step/salute. One more routine to get through.

Lentz – FX – check down but secure on double pike – switch side and popa are fine – 1.5 to layout, just pulls that around, they struggle with the second element on combo series, getting the height on them – tight tuck shape on double tuck, chest way down.

D McNair – BB – she can get them to another high 195 with a hit – check on loso series but hits it – fine full turn – switch 1/2 is good – hits side aerial – swtich to straddle is quite good – gainer pike and stuck. Stanford survives a meet.

Christopherson – FX – chest down double pike with a  slide, but best amplitude – chest on double tuck as well – “she’s here on this team because she wants to be an all-arounder” – switch is good – 1.5 to front tuck, not sure if that was supposed to be tucked.

Stanford 195.775. Good? Improvement? It’s counting for RQS, and while it’s not a good score, it is a qualifying to regionals score that should make things look a little better. 195.200 is the final for ASU. Not quite the 195.375 we were looking for but a season high, though definitely some home cooking in that one they won’t necessarily get elsewhere.

Stanford is able to use that 195.775 to erase a 193.250, which is a huge improvement, should allow them to be top-30 or thereabouts in the new RQS rankings on Monday.

Back for Oregon State and Cal later.


There is such a thing as “too close” for a close-up. GAHHH.

That little Toni-Ann Williams mobility scooter is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. Updates – Dana Ho, torn MCL – Cassidy Keelen, dislocated knee.

Rotation 1:
CAL: Gallarzo shows good shape on vault with a y1/2, medium leap forward on landing. 9.775.

OSU: Nice to see Shireen back in the bars lineup – Shap to bail, legs apart on Shap but good on bail – sticks DLO.

CAL: Takara has a large lunge back of of her full. She was among those training a tucked 1.5 in the preseason, but it has not materialized.

OSU: Delay for lineup discussion confusion, but now Gardiner is going, clean and dandy. The weakest part of her routine in the amplitude on her double tuck out of the stalder, which doesn’t rise above the bar, but she controlled the landing.

CAL: Sylvie Seilnacht sticks a yurchenko full, best I’ve seen her vault – a little piking at the end but not too much to take.

OSU: More scoring talk – Justin is aggressively flirting with the camera while we wait. Yeah, we see you winking. Jacobsen shows good height on a tkatchev and sticks a double front. Short handstand at the end and feet on the tkatchev were the things I saw.

CAL: Peterson sticks a full as well. This is a very high-quality start for both teams. Very clean in the air, not much piking at all. Strong vault. I’d say it should go higher than Seilnacht’s 9.850 since it was a little better in the body shape. 9.825? No idea.

OSU: The PA announcer has NO idea who is competing. Singley has excelletn finish position on a giant 1/1 but loses her momentum on her bail and has to recast and improvise some composition on the low. Really short on DLO and then a lunge, they’ll need to drop this, but she did improvise an entire full turn, so props for that.

CAL: Robinson front handspring, handspring pike – she can stick this one but she’s the one not sticking today, lunge forward. 9.875.

OSU: Up next is apparently Kaytshireeen Aufissaints, I guess, going by this PA announcer – McMillan very clean, just one short handstand. 9.900

CAL: Not the strongest Tsuk full from Richardson, more piked and sloppy than usual, didn’t have her block and had to adjust, lost her shape and some sets.

OSU: great giant 1/1 to tkatchev combination from Aufiero – clean bail – also short on her final handstand, though – sticks DLO. Similar to McMillan, another strong set. Both teams should be happy with this start.

Oregon State 49,300, Cal 49.150
Impressive rotation from Oregon State. Great sticks on bars. I cannot explain to you the scores from Cal’s vault rotation at all. Richardson really struggled and got 9.825. Peterson was awesome and stuck a full and got 9.825? OK? Anyway, good moments in there from Seilnacht and Peterson.

Please tell me you saw that shot of Toni-Ann trying to negotiate the mats on her scooter and then falling. I’m laughing because I’m crying.

Rotation 2:

OSU: Shireen back to doing the events she did last season – solid control on her full with a medium-sized hop back.

CAL: UB/BB Seilnacht starts for them – she has some legs on her 1/2 turn to piked jaeger – front 1.5 twist dismount, which I love to see just because of rareness. Stuck it this time.

OSU: Aufiero has two smaller steps back on her full. She’s still not quite to the vaulting level she was before injury but she’s getting there. Her vaults were pretty 9.6y earlier in the year, and this is better than that.

CAL: Takara has a giant gienger out of her clear hip – she’ll get docked for some handstands – flings out the tucked full horizontally a bit but it works for her a la Janay Honest, small hop.

OSU: Pretty full from Gardiner, the same vault we’ve seen from her many, many times. Sticks it, right down the center, good shape, not the farthest vault but precise.

CAL: really really short on first handstand for Shu, works out of it for a tkatchev, but her cast handstands are taking away a ton from the score – does stick tuck full. 9.900 is just wrong and insane. Am I…what are we…watching?

OSU: Jacobsen moves us into the 10.0 start portion of the lineup – Tsuk full, also comes in really short  and off to the left like Richardson, didn’t have the same crazy legs though. But a big bounce forward.

CAL: Sternberg is quite clean, finishing stalder to double tuck, if Shu was a 9.900, this should be a 10.450. So…who knows?

OSU: McMillan gives us a 1.5, finishes fully, medium-sized hop forward.

CAL: Richardson has nice rhythm and height on a tkatchev, pretty close on these handstands, flings out a DLO very far, gets it done comfortably with a hop.

OSU: Dessaints also has a 1.5 on vault, great leg shape, keeping those together the whole time – just a small hop in place – great vault – doesn’t have the distance of McMillan but makes that up with superior twisting form.

CAL: Gallarzo finishes on bars – 1/2 turn to jaeger to bail, showing pretty precise verticals, better than the rest of the team, and then sticks a DLO. Good choice to anchor with her, cleaner through the handstands than anyone else, which should help bump up her score.

I still haven’t really gotten past the 9.900 for Shu. Like…I had that routine at 9.7?

So, Cal just got a 49.475 on bars. Um…good job? I mean, crack. But good job?

Also, Arianna Robinson and Dani Dessaints got the same vault score. Because huh?

After 2: Cal 98.675, OSU 98.375

Maddie Karr just got a 10.000 on vault for Denver. And Minnesota broke 49 on bars, which is also an accomplishment worthy of reporting.

Liz is telling us about beam lineup strategy.

Rotation 3:

CAL: Seilnacht – full turn – gorgeous bhs loso series, extended – beat to split jump full, just does get it around with a small bend correction – two switches series, which I usually hate but she hits those positions – side aerial to full with a hop back.

OSU: Jacobsen gets through floor well, she has a slide back on a rudi and chest down on her double pike first pass, but solid.

CAL: Shu is back after being showered with gifts on bars – aerial to bhs series – switch to split, good shapes – full turn to clap with cloud of chalk, OMG YOU BETTER DEDUCT HER 0.2 FOR THAT CHALK – side aerial to full, basically stuck, good set.

OSU: SCP does floor again? Very nice chest position landing that whip double tuck – a little ragged legs on rudi but controlled, hitting her splits – squatted over double pike landing but secure. Usable.

CAL: Palomares right on with her loso series – attitude turn, a little hesitation but works it out – pike jump to sheep jump with a small check – large break on aerial, bending side to side, significant deduction – bhs to gainer full, stuck.

OSU: Ricci punch rudi to a high and far loso – 1.5 to half, piked over on the half a pit too much – gets good amplitude on leaps but could be closer to the position, a little short on split and wolf – chest down double pike but secure.

CAL: Draghi Queen up on beam – check on aerial – another check on loso series with a bend at the waist – good height on switch and actually hits a sheep that looks how it’s supposed to look – great turn – chest forward lean on gainer full –

OSU: Lowery with small bounce back on double pike – a little bouncy on teh rudi as well – she’s just very bouncy in general even in her choreography is a Dos Santos kind of way – front full, slide back.

CAL: minor lean correction on a loso series from Richardson – straddle 1/4 is very high and extended but a lean forward in landing – dismounts double tuck, comes in a little short and a hop forward.

OSU: I’m amazed at the way Gardiner is always able to control that step out of her 2.5 when it looks like she should be running the 400m out of that pass – 1.5 to 1/2 to straddle, a little low on the 1/2 but otherwise good – chest down double pike but controlled.

CAL: Gallarzo also anchoring this one – raises her leg forward to control her loso series – aerial to bhs is secure – switch to split – 1.5 dismount with hop legs together – Cal will be happy with this beam, a few wobble errors but nothing too significant or that showed up in the scores.

OSU: McMillan finishes – front 2/1 completes it well – high straddle positions – back 1.5 to front tuck, didn’t quite get the punch she’d want into the front tuck but pulled it around – rudi, solid.

After 3: Cal 147.850, OSU 147.475

With a hit beam, Oregon State should still get that usable road score out of this one. Cal is pretty much definitely going to brak the season high.

We’ve discussed this Pac-12 gymnastics commercial where the woman says, “…and the power…to stick it” over a shot of a not-even-remotely stuck vault right? She should be a judge.

Rotation 4:
OSU: Jimenez kickover front to beat jump – lean correction on loso series – switch to straddle 1/4, tentative but hit, small correction – step back on gainer pike

CAL: Charlie Owens is bribing Jim and Amanda with cookies now – short on front 2/1 with a  step to save – 1.5 to layout with a hop – chest a bit down on rudi

OSU: Gill out of the other events but on beam today – fluid full turn – great split, wobble correction on double stag – aerial with a check – strong loso series, very sharp – switch 1/2, solid – chest down gainer full.

CAL: Seilnacht – fine double tuck – switch ring and switch 1/2, nearly there – solid double pike – 1.5 to lay – a good set, nothing wow, some chest down on landings, but fine.

OSU: SCP on her normal beam – lean correction on a double stag, those are killing people today – I like how aggressive and quick she is into the loso series – does well not to over turn her full turn, plants that leg – side aerial to stuck full.

CAL: Peterson has a slide back on a double pike with strong amplitude – a little ragged on a punch rudi but controlled – short of position on split and wolf – 1.5 to front layout is nice.

OSU: McMillan does a kickover front to bhs series, a little slow in combination – front handspring to knee, love it every time, so well done and weird in a good way – oddly tight on a switch split, that back leg was not befitting her – sticks gainer full.

CAL: Draghi high double tuck, good landing position and controls her step back – a little bouncy on the split and straddle combination but hit 180 – front lay to front 1/1, high, completed easily – bounces pretty far out of the rudi, but until then it was a step up for the rotation.

OSU: Dessaints, flower pot coming out of her head, starts with a solid full turn – lean correction on loso series and then has to lean again working out of it – switch to stag is solid – kickover front to beat jump, nice – sticks gainer full. Good.

CAL: sticks double arabian, feet are all over the place but very good landing – 1.5 to layout, a bit lungey landing that – good controlled landing on double pike.

OSU: Gardiner finishes up, obviously – wolf turn to split, strong – “that spin turn” Amanda says like she’s never seen one before – she’s very strong on the double stag – aerial is smooth – precise loso series – a bit of a lean back to correct the side somi – sticks gainer full.

CAL: Palomares is their last routine – bounce back out of double pike, one of the rare lack of control first passes in this rotation so far – sticks double tuck to make up for it, chest down – front lay to front full, just a little short with a step back.

Well, no one is going to mistake that for a strictly evaluated meet, but both teams will take those performances and will definitely take those scores.

Final: Cal 197.075, OSU 196.825

About 45 minutes until UCLA/Utah.


Just a heads up that this basketball game on ESPNU isn’t going to finish anywhere near in time for the meet.

Is there any sport more self-indulgent than basketball? Fit in your stupid time limit.

Here’s the ESPN3 link for the start of the meet before we go to ESPNU.

First vault in 21 minutes? What am I THE KING OF TIME???

It’s very weird to have Bart and Kathy doing Utah/UCLA. My world is inverted. “We’re going to see some outrageous gymnastics.” JUST OUTRAGEOUS.

We still haven’t done intros yet, so you’ve got some time.

The basketball is done, so they’ll probably have to talk about it for 1500 minutes, knowing basketball.

Intros done, heading to the touch warmup now.

“Three Olympians.”

The UCLA teammates who got to take the charter flight made signs for the gymnasts who had to fly in later. Like they’re an elementary school teacher who’s in the hospital?

Rotation 1:
“Of course she was married to the legendary Greg Marsden.” Was? Greg, do you need to tell us something?

Rowe – VT – a little flat off the vault, some piking, small hop back. 9.725.

Meraz – UB – good first hs – a little close on that Ray but clasts out of it well – solid legs together on bail, some angles on hs, short final hs – DLO with a larger lunge back – not one of her best ones. 9.775.

Roberts – VT – a bit better amplitude on vault and distance, still somewhat piked with a hop back. 9.850.

Honest – UB – high tkatchev, usual feet – half turn to straddle back – good vertical on her casts – much better tuck full, higher and less flung out – stuck. Nice one. 9.875.

Lee – VT – good shape on the full, small hop back. Judges painting themselves a little bit with that 9.850 from Roberts. This was already better. 9.900. So we’re already at 9.900 for a non-stuck full. UCLA will appreciate this score-building when it’s their turn.

Savvidou – UB – 1.2 turn to high piked jaeger – good vertical on bail, legs together – solid cast handstands – cowboy double tuck with a little slide back. Lost it a bit at the end but one of her best routines until then.

Merrell – VT – large lunge out of her 1.5 this time. She’ll want that landing back. Solid in the air. Still 9.875.

Kocian – UB – Chow is good – to pak, pretty – hitting casts – shap 1/2 is good – great until the dismount but two steps back out of the tuck full which will take away the score to some degree – the leg separations were better than last week, though.

Lewis – VT – a touch deep on her landing and then a step back – some piking

Ross – UB – Good shap to bail combination, very clean – high shoot to high – borderline final handstand – excellent stick on the DLO. I saw one handstand in there but not too much else to take. 10.000. We’re all shocked.

Skinner – VT – DTY – larger bounce back out of it this week. That’s probably a tenth bounce. Kathy recognizing that her twisting form is improving, she still loses the feet but doesn’t cross the legs. 9.925. I would have had 9.900, so that’s not too off.

Peng – UB – Excellent Ray – hitting hs – bhardwaj was close this time – saved it very well to cast out of it – caught her Shap 1/2 but couldn’t cast out – She just got off a little on her Bhardwaj when she caught close and never got her rhythm back. No fall, but had a struggle handstand. So they’ll drop this one and have to count Meraz.

After 1: UCLA 49.400, Utah 49.400

Tied. Scores look about equally creative and generous for both. UCLA not as crisp as last week, with the Peng mistake and a few more landing hops. Utah fine on vault, and a step up from recent performances. Will need to get the landings in order for this kind of score later in the year since we saw some big hops.

Megan looks…displeased with this bars warmup.

I like how the history of Megan and Utah sort of glosses over the fact that she and Greg were together when she was competing and how….um….that wouldn’t be allowed today?

Good use of old shots of people’s 80s hair.

Rotation 2:
Honest – VT – solid full – small hop back – good distance, not a ton of height, keep a laid out position.

Merrell – UB – muscles up her first cast – strong and high Deltchev – short of handstand on the bail, quite a bit – tight final hs – stalder double tuck, with a stick-salute. 9.825.

Kramer – VT – just the full this time, that’s a letdown – lowish landing and a couple paces back – not her best.

Reinstadtler – UB – nice high jaeger – short on a cast handstand and a leg break on her bail – better final handstand – justrushed a bit in the middle – two steps back on her tuck full, but steps back with is an improvement over those steps forward.

It was rain, guys. It was not “torrential.”

Kocian – VT – bounce back was a little too far, similar to Utah’s vaulters – very good shape, though

Skinner – UB – leg break on that Shap, more than she has been lately – good shape on bail – a little arch on a final cast – sticks tuck full. 9.925. AHAHAHAAH

Cipra – VT – deep landing on her full this time and a larger hop back. Not an impressive vault rotation for UCLA so far.

Lee – UB – short handstand to start – high piked jaeger – catches overshoot a little close but fine – short on some of these handstands and then too many steps back on tuck full dismount, a bounce and then some uncontrolled steps to salute after that. 9.775.

Ross – VT – even she bounces back on her full, which she hasn’t been doing lately – better control than Cipra, though, and Cipra got a 9.850, so… 9.875.

Lewis – UB – good giant full – legs on tkatchev but solid – overshoot – hitting he cast handstands – hop back on DLO.

Preston – VT – kind of crazy? she was totally off line – landed sideways – large lunge back. Worst vault I’ve ever seen her do. Apparently she missed a hand. Skinner is like, “so…?

Rowe – UB – full to tkatchev is good – hit her bail – one shorter handstand – whips out her DLO with a leg break and a hop back – just rushed that dismount.

Don’t ask Val “How do you think they did on vault?” because she will tell you. It wasn’t very good.

After 2: Utah 98.800, UCLA 98.600

Pretty much the same as before. Utah had some moments of good landings but also some moments of weak landings and multiple steps, like from Lee and Reinstadtler. They’d also hope that Lewis and Rowe would stick, which they’ll need to to get those scores under normal circumstances. UCLA did not land vault that well. Too many bounces, even from Kyla. Didn’t have the 1.5 from Kramer either. Step back from last week there.

Oh, they’ve been doing cupping on Kyla. Kyla! You’re a scientist. You should know better.

Rotation 3:
Stover – BB – full turn, pretty – aerial to bhs is a little slow in connection – switch to straddle, excellent shape – split ring jump, good – gainer full with a hop together. Good hit. 9.850.

Honest – FX – bounce back on double pike – front lay front full with a bounce – switch side and popa looks good – controlled step back out of double tuck, fine. This will give us a good sense of how floor scoring is going. How does normal rank?

Merrell – BB – switch to split, a little tight in that second split – lean correction on loso series – aerial, just a tentative this time but nothing major – long pause before dismount, got no punch on that dismount after she missed a foot, had to tuck it and a step back. Saved it but that will hurt the score. 9.825 still? So, one judge gave that the same score as Stover’s routine, which was brillaint? OK?

Savvidou  – FX – stumble forward out of 2.5, just stays in. Better control on her second pass – lovely leaps – very pretty and controlled on that double turn to split this time, so precise – sits double pike. Such a UCLA-away-floor thing to do. There’s something about a fetish in this routine theme now. OK.

Reinstadtler – BB – aerial to bhs, small check on bhs – switch to straddle 1/4, just some hesitations here and there landing her skills – full turn, almost overdoes it – sticks gainer full.

Ohashi – FX – Small slide back on double tuck – middle pass travels a little much on the leap this time but nothing real, a little awkward into her sit split but she covered – chest down on double pike, but this got the rotation back together, solid and controlled hit.

Skinner – BB – hits loso series, knees – side aerial to split – switch to split – L turn – straddle to back tuck, solid – double tuck, weirdly short this time with a lunge forward – that’s not a very Skinner dismount. Still gets 9.875.

Kocian – FX – front 2/1, crossed legs but nice landing – 1.5 to 1.5 is excellent – switch side and popa, easy peasy for her – a little short on double pike, step forward. 9.925.

Lee – BB – full turn – lean correction on her loso series – switch to straddle 1/4, Kathy doesn’t like it but pick your battles – very secure side aerial – 2/1 dismount, hop back and crossed legs.

“Bart we’ve talked about, Bart we’ve talked about, Bart we’ve talked about.”

Cipra – FX – strong double tuck, controlled and chest up – yeah Cipra is “coming of age” in this routine all right – booty wiggle theme – very short double pike and a lunge forward. Still 9.825.

Rowe – BB – switch to straddle, kind of a signifciant wobble on that – bhs bhs to loso – knees but secure – full turn to full turn, fine –  good 1.5. Kathy thinks it was her best beam. She literally wobbled kind of significantly. They’re giving her the split protractor to show that she’s clearly short on her switch. 9.925.

Mossett – FX – whip to double tuck, slide back – falls out of her double turn but Hallie so no one cares – lovely leaps – pretty solid on the double pike this time. 9.925.

After 3: Utah 148.200, UCLA 147.950

In case you were worried that the scores weren’t going to be cracky….they are. Those UCLA vaults and not having the start value is really the only difference in the meet so far. I’m anticipating some last-rotation insanity. Gird your loins.

Rotation 4:
Gerber hurt her foot on beam in warmups and is not in the lineup.

Meraz – BB – small correction out of loso series – strong switch 1/2 – switch to straddle, good – full turn solid – sticks 1.5. Good start. 9.875.

Roberts – FX – bounce back double pike – slide back on rudi as well, just needs a little more control – solid switch side, a little short on wolf shape – 1.5 to half to stag, solid, a little piked in the half as many are.

Mossett – BB – a little rushed on full turn – switch and split ring, small lean to avoid a check – wobble on loso series – insane toes – side somi to layout full dismount, stuck and excellent – I’m just waiting to see if any judges are like “that’s not a combination” but they can’t really justify that because it’s no different than those aerial to bhs that get credit. 9.900. What are they going to do when the later ones don’t wobble? Same standard as gave that 9.875 to Skinner.

We have a crowd controversy. We’ve shown some people shouting. Calm down everyone. It’s Hallie Mossett.

Reinstadtler – FX – good double tuck this time – switch ring and split full – this is the gymnastics we expected from her from her JO career – 1.5 to layout, slides out a bit too much – a little short on double pike but securely landed. Good one.

Kocian – BB – excellent aerial to sheep, slowish combination but good – precise loso series, so crsip, no trouble – full turn – switch to split, hits her 180s, smooth – sticks 2/1, pretty much, I think she held that long enough. Really just one lean correction in there. Will go higher than Mossett since it was better. 9.950.

Lewis – FX – solid double pike – front lay to front full, a little stumble stagger on the landing there – good straddles – chest down double tuck, secure.

Ross – BB – strong loso series, quite nice – switch ring, kinda sorta connects it into the beat jump this time – smooth full turn – huge break at the hips on her aerial – GIRL! – side aerial to full, would have been a huge score if not for the aerial.

More booing of the UCLA scores – 9.875 for Kyla.

Merrell – FX – secure landing pike full in – chest way down but nailed the landing – short on split leap 1/1 – 2.5 to front tuck, good, a little off line but good – rudi with crossed legs to straddle jump, good one. 9.950. They’re setting up to give Skinner a 50.

One judge gave Kyla 9.950? OK, I would boo that too. But like, look at your own scores –

Peng – BB – lovely on the flares – switch with a  check into split jump – GIRL – FOCUS – bhs to layout was excellent – leg up wobble on double turn – large break again on front tuck, they’ll have to drop this one – sticks dismount but not one of her solid ones almost from the very start. 9.825. LOOOL. But…what?

Rowe – FX – chest down double pike, secure landing – double full to layout stepout – back 1.5 to layout. Good. Regular. A little flat for a fifth-up, but lineup strategy is lineup strategy. 9.950. Just anything. For anyone. YOU ALL GET 9.950s.

Ohashi – BB – does her layout full – chest on it but hit it once again – we’ll see if she gets the difficulty bonus – a little over-turned on her full turn – aerial, small correction – bhs loso to full dismount, stuck and perfect on this dismount. 9.950. Sure why not?

Skinner – FX – If anyone ever had a ten before they started – like she basically just has to cough and she’ll get a 10. double double, looked like a small slide out of it – rando front tuck – 1.5 through to 2/1 – hits full in. 9.950.

9.950 for Skinner. AHAHAHAHA. Laughing because what? You gave everyone a 9.950 just so you could give Skinner a 10, and then you didn’t? What even is this meet? I mean, the score is not too low if you watched that routine, but it’s just amusing to me because…all the scores were crazy high. I thought Skinner 10 was like the whole ruse we went through or the last two hours.

Anyway, FINAL: 197.875, UCLA 197.500

So, thoughts.

  1. I actually have no problem with Utah fans booing high UCLA scores. This is a sport. That’s what you do. I like it when things get a little salty. Is it rude and uncharitable and disrespectful? Absolutely. But that’s fine.
  2. You have literally no reason to boo. Both teams were bestowed exactly the same benefit of the doubt and received the same level of ridiculous, not-based-in-reality scoring.

Season-high for Utah. Very usable road score for UCLA. Really, it was just that they didn’t really have the vaults and then were too wobbly on the beam, though that won’t show up in the cracky final-rotation scores. UCLA a little bit of a step back from last week, and we still need vault and floor to get to postseason level, but fine standard for February. Reinstadtler was a highlight for Utah for me. She was supposed to be a star for this team, and we’re starting to see the beginnings of that.

But also, that judge who gave Kyla a 9.950 on beam. The end.

Just probably go to sleep or start drinking now. Or continue drinking now. You’ve earned it. We’re all 358 years older.

104 thoughts on “Saturday Live Blog – February 18, 2017”

  1. I get people wanting Ebee to get a 10 every time, but I think our expectations have been skewed over the last couple seasons. A 9.95 is a GREAT score. We should be thankful the judges aren’t just throwing out 10s like Mardis Gras beads in this meet.

    Also, Ebee is following a rather lackluster UB lineup. As much as it shouldn’t matter, she doesn’t have the “building scores” to help her. Put Ebee behind Kocian and Ross in a lineup or put her behind Wofford and OU’s lineup, she’d likely get a 10.

  2. So sick of UCLA getting 10s on a regular basis and NONE of them are as perfect and powerful as Elizabeth Price. That was stunning. So sad not to be rewarded for perfection

    1. Peng’s UB routine last week was absolutely excellent and I prefer that routine over Ebee’s today. Ebee is excellent and should have had a 10 on UB by now, but there’s no need to tear down everyone on a team just because you like one gymnast at a different school over them. You can’t honestly argue that Lee, Ross, and Kocian are not as good as Ebee. They are all excellent gymnasts who deserve to be rewarded for excellent routines.

      I would also understand people being so upset if Ebee was getting a 9.85 or even a 9.9 for flawless routines. But she’s going 9.95 — judges may see something small (Ebee’s toe point isn’t always there).

      1. Point taken but last week the only true 10 was Peng. It gets a litt old when Price is never given the same credit as other teams throughout the top teams in the field. She should not be penalized for mediocre routines coming prior to hers. peng is one of my favorites to watch so in line with some of the other comments, should she not receive a 10 for her routine if her team was weak. Each should be judged on their own efforts not just upping the scores in line with the team

    2. Ebee’s routine really isn’t as perfect as everyone seems to think. It might not be as obvious this year. Her bent arms and lack of toe-point really showed when compared right next to the lovely Ivana Hong over the past two years. 9.95 is pretty accurate.

      1. Not that it should matter, but I’m sure Ebee would have had a 10 by now had she been more fortunate with injuries these last few years. She hasn’t been in as many meets as some of these other gymnasts getting 10’s. I agree about her lack of toe-point but do feel she has had some 10 worthy UB routines.

    3. Peng’s bars routine deserved the 10. She’s throwing skills that simply aren’t done in NCAA and doing them essentially perfectly. You can’t say hers isn’t as good as Ebee’s. They’re different, sure, but Peng certainly deserved her 10.

  3. Those ASU bar scores were way way too high. A 48.95 total is not an accurate representation of how those routines looked.

  4. Does anyone know the story of ASU? How did they go from being a powerhouse gymnastics team to where they are today? They are certainly rebuilding and look better this year, but the fall they made in just 15 years is staggering, especially for a PAC 12 (or any major conference) team.

    1. Their head coach retired after the 2014 season and was replaced by Rene Lyst, who was an unmitigated disaster. She only lasted two seasons, during which time nine gymnasts left the team. There was one meet in her first season where they only put up four gymnasts per event and scored in the 160s. There were rumors that she was verbally abusive and obsessed with weight, and that she was forcing the athletes to get cortisone shots they didn’t want. She was put on administrative leave right before conference championships last season and fired over the summer. She was replaced this year by Jay and Jessica Santos (formerly of Eastern Michigan), and there was much rejoicing.

  5. If you fall, and you fall out-of-bounds, do you get both deductions? If you take several steps back before you fall, do you get deducted for the steps and the fall, or just the fall?

    1. Fall and OOB — deducted for both. Fall and steps — just the fall. (Similar for wobbling and then falling — you just get the deduction for the fall.)

      1. Oh also if you don’t actually fall you can’t get a bigger deduction that if you fell (for one mistake) – so if you dismount and stagger a million steps back but hold onto it you can’t lose more than a fall. But obviously multiple separate mistakes can add up to more than a fall (and on floor massive stagger + OOB could be more than a fall I guess, plus if you land OOB you lose D-value).

  6. Is the OSU/Cal meet at 7 or 7:30? The link says 7:30. Don’t want to miss my beavs!

  7. Okay Stanford’s score – Ebee on floor especially is good. It’s an improvement.

    1. Yep, I’m really impressed by Ohio State this year. Harrison and Mattern are great. I would love to see them place top 3 at Big Tens, which is certainly possible for this team.

    2. Ohio State needs a good choreographer….their routine construction is lacking given the skills some of their gymnasts have had/have…

  8. Thanks for specifying who goes to what school! I’ve only recently started following NCAA gymnastics, and it can get confusing following along when it’s school(s) that I’m not super familiar with.

    1. I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one shaking my head at Shu’s score…I thought to myself “did I not see the deductions I saw or were the judges watching someone else?”…I had her at 9.7 tops, and only because it’s PAC 12

    1. Only 2 athletes went below 9.85 on UB total in this meet. One was a 9.8 and the other with an obvious error for a 9.5. That’s just crazy. No separation in scores!

  9. Yes, some of the scores are a tad high in the OSU/Cal meet, but after watching OSU get grossly over scored last week, their scores are much more in touch with reality this week, I think.

  10. Just FYI per Utah’s twitter, there timeline (local time so meet start at 8pm MT on ESPNU) is intros at 8 and meet starts at 8:15, so hopefully the basketball will just have us miss some of the fluff!

    1. If you have ESPNU in your cable package, but can’t watch on TV. It’s available on the watch ESPN app. They also leave the full meet replays up for a long time.

  11. Prelim UCLA lineups show no Mik-a-brick Gerber on beam. Why? I notice she also wasn’t on the private jet, but she is there today.

    1. She’s not competing today, probably resting her for Monday! Meraz going to lead off on beam for her.

  12. For a preview of upcoming unique skills, the broadcast didn’t show Ohashi’s incredible beam skill…Do you think Ohashi will have that skill in her beam routine tonight or not?

  13. Lol at the commentator saying Mykayla Skinner was the “6th member of the Olympic team.” The alternates were unranked, but nice effort on adding to the intensity, ma’am.

  14. Well, I’m a bit shocked Kyla got the 10 at Utah.
    Also, wasn’t there some serious leg sep there?

  15. UCLA will lose ground to Utah on this next event, they needed a lead after the first rotation. Their vault just can’t keep up with a hit Utah bars.

  16. “There were like, a lot of hops on that.” – my 8-year-old niece on Kocian’s UB dismount

  17. Can we play a drinking game in which we drink every time the announcers mention UCLA’s canceled flight?

    1. Hahaha!

      I live in LA and that storm was forecast for weeks. Could UCLA not have planned to leave earlier? I feel like that snafu was totally preventable.

    2. We could also drink every time they mention personality. But we might end up with alcohol poisoning.

      1. Or risk death by drinking each time a tv announcer mispronounces a gymnast’s name. Burt…err Bart…thought UCLA’s Mossett rhymed with faucet.

        I wonder if he mispronounces Nadia’s maiden name too. JUST KIDDING! Bart is cool.

  18. They do cupping on Kyla and then show her running around with a cup “getting ready for floor” 😀

  19. Bart said JaNay Honest moved from Walk-on to Scholarship. JaNay is great, but I think Bart is incorrect.

    Broadcast also said a 1983 clip was “right after Kathy’s Olympics”. Hmm…I didn’t know that 1984 came before 1983.

    1. *gasp* people make mistakes

      Everyone is so hard on the broadcasters. We all make mistakes at work, I’m just glad I don’t have all Internet commentators following me around every day.

  20. Uh, Stella Savidou’s floor “theme”?!

    Also she fell because of travel, so drink.

  21. Ugh, I’m sorry but I can’t enjoy Kyla’s 10 this week. Her routine is kind of boring to me and honestly, she still has some handstand and form issues.

    1. I always laugh when they talk about floor “characters” and “themes”. I just picture Miss Val sitting at a desk thinking what type of characters haven’t I used before and how weird can I make it.

    1. Agree. All future meets must be held at neutral third party sites located equidistant between the two schools. lol

  22. These scores are crazy. Cipra went 9.825 even with that last pass?

    I’m starting to wonder if scores are really ridiculously high or if I should just lower my expectations.

    1. Yes, Cipra benefitted from the new “we’re not deducting it even if it’s obvious rule” when she pitched out of her last pass….other schools would looove rules like these for them….side note to judges: teams in the top 8 don’t need scoring gifts, thank you.

    1. Not a fan of Cipra’s routine this year….more gymnastics and less embellishment please…

      1. It’s also the exact same floor music that Brittani McCullough used in 2011. To paraphrase Val, why be a second-rate Brittani McCullough when you can be a first-rate Angi Cipra?

    1. Also that judge gave Ross a 9.95 on BB and Kocian a 9.9 on BB — HOW WAS ROSS BETTER THAN KOCIAN ON BEAM??? Ross had a huge break at the hips.

    2. Or the ones who gave Peng the 9.825….leg in the air has to be at least 2 tenths alone, or at least at other meets…and Ross, bends at the waist and 9.95? Will have to let other teams know that that is only a .05 deduction….

    1. I honestly wouldn’t have had an issue with the judges giving Skinner a 10 for that floor. I was never a big Skinner fan, but her difficulty level and performance level were excellent tonight.

      1. And they gave lesser routines a 9.95. She was better. Should have been a higher score.

    1. Yeah, while nearly all of the scores were nuts, the 9.825 for Lee was the most egregious. It should have been no higher than a 9.6. HUGE wobble on the punchfront, large balance check on double turn, and appeared to have a small issue on her leap series as well. I love Lee as much as the next person, but c’mon…..

  23. Not bad for the UCLA athletes who had to swim underwater for all 700 miles from LA to arrive in Utah’s arena just seconds before the meet introductions. 10.0 for UCLA’s massive swimming skills. Wait for Pac-12’s!

    1. I can’t help but laugh how they made it seem so dramatic. I’m sure the people in California who have water/mud in their homes or a tree through their roof feel so bad for the UCLA gymnasts having to reschedule a flight to Utah.

  24. What does Skinner need to do to get a 10 on floor? Also, Ross’s score on beam was whack. I know folks are gong to say Utah was out of line to boo, but honestly, they were right to call that out to the judges.

  25. Was anybody else extremely uncomfortable at the end of that post-meet interview with Kocian and Skinner when the interviewer commanded them to hug like preschoolers who had just fought over the blue crayon?

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