Sunday Live Blog – March 12, 2017

Sunday, March 12
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Penn, Southern Connecticut, Ithaca @ Temple FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Stanford, NC State, Yale @ [18] George Washington LINK GW $
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Cornell, Brockport @ Towson LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – North Carolina @ [4] UCLA LINK P12
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ [17] Cal LINK P12

While UNC is the lowest ranked and least heralded among this batch of teams, today is significantly more important for North Carolina than it is for any other team competing today. It’s sort of all about UNC because of what happened yesterday.

Many of the bubble-ranked Michigan teams did their jobs yesterday, meaning that North Carolina has dropped from 33rd in Monday’s rankings to 38th in the in-progress rankings, outside regional-qualifying territory. It’s critical for UNC to get a good score today to be situated to qualify after EAGLs.

North Carolina must score at least 195.025 to move ahead of Minnesota for 36th in the in-progress rankings, though that’s still an extremely precarious position. A 195.325 or more would see them move ahead of Maryland for 33rd, which would look a lot safer.

Some of the other scoring intrigue was taken out of today by Washington scoring 196.925 yesterday, which clinched the evening session at Pac-12s and relegated Cal to the day session, though Cal is still in seeded-spot danger at 18th. Something mid-high 196s today would solve that situation pretty well.

UCLA was let off the ranking hook by relatively weak scores from Utah and Alabama this weekend, meaning 4th is already guaranteed for Monday. Catching Florida moving into 3rd is possible, though. It would take 197.800 today.

Also, Stanford is having another catastrophe. Five went on bars and one of them was in the 8s. Imagine if Price weren’t there. In other news, George Washington’s score has moved them temporarily ahead of Cal, but Cal will have a very good chance to pass right back in a couple hours.

Stanford ending up having to put Nicole Hoffman up on beam (7.850) and so counted an 8.8 from Cole. Final score: 193.275. Lord and butter.

George Washington’s final is 196.500, which means Cal has to get 196.325 later to pass GW and get back into the seeded spots.

FINAL: GW 196.500, NC State 194.825, Yale 194.575, Stanford 193.275

“One thing’s for sure, UCLA is loaded.” I think you mean the judges…

No Kocian today, as was announced before. Smart. She’s been hanging by a single thread physically since about Olympic Trials. They’re just trying to get her through the season somehow.

Is Val imparting coaching advice or checking to see whether Peng has lipstick on her teeth? Either or.

Sam is campaigning for floor 10s for Cipra and Mossett already.

Rotation 1:
Meraz – VT – comes in somewhat short again this week (not as extreme as last week) with a hop forward – good layout shape

Nettles – UB – hilf turn to high jaeger to overshoot – solid – nice final hs – DLO, small amount of legs, hop back – a couple late early handstands as well, but this is a competitive set.

Cipra – VT – also short, shorter than Meraz – hop forward, comes in very far forward with chest down. Shouldn’t be a particularly high score. Higher than Meraz, which is a bit of lineup order scoring.

Donaghy – UB – tkatchev, flattish but solid – feet on her giant full, pretty pak – struggles up to handstand on the low and has to re-cast – short hs – whippy DLO with legs and a hop.

Hall – VT – they’ve brought back the terror of the y1.5 for her, but it was OK – not as crazy as it has been in the past – mushy knee form throughout and a lunge forward.

Marchese – UB – lovely first handstand through shap, small leg break on pak – she has the same problem struggling to cast into perfect handstand on the low, has to re-cast – toe-tuck 1/2 turn dismount a la the Canadian elites, lunge back.

Ross – VT – strong full – small hop in place, chest up, should be a good score –

Lane – UB – 1/2 turn to bail, clean legs – hitting handstands pretty well – DLO, just flung out a tad with a lunge forward – simple routine, pretty form.

Preston – VT – excellent amplitude on the full as always, great layout shape – hop back, we’ll see whether it’s a half tenth or a tenth hop. Borderline. 9.900. Did we ever doubt?

Hedelund – UB – shap to bail – loses her legs on the bail, comes in awkwardly and takes a fall. That low bar is killing these UNC gymnasts. finishes flung out tuck full, way deep on the landing and sits it.

Kramer – VT – solid 1.5 – hop forward – some knees as well but not too bad.

Can we have a chat with the judge who saw Hall’s and Kramer’s vaults and thought they warranted the same score?

Pheil – UB – tkatchev – some legs on clear hip – hits vertical on the bail – very short final cast handstands – giant full to double tuck, step. Fine.

After 1: UCLA 49.275, UNC 48.225
A fine, not great, first rotation for UCLA. Ross and Preston did very well, and Kramer was solid. Theoretically, having Hall’s 1.5 in the lineup is a boost, though that vault is so inconsistent and occasionally terrifying that we’ll see whether it’s actually a boost. I think it’s necessary to try for it because Operation Omelianchik was a bust, though. They need more 10.0 starts even if they’re risky. Meraz and Cipra can’t be landing short if they want a big rotation score come the postseason. They have to start in the 9.8s to push the rest of the scores up

Disappointing first rotation for UNC, which does not help the regionals qualification project. Some regionals-level basics and skill quality there, especially in the first part of the lineup, but they lost it trying to be too precise on handstands and ended up giving away way too many tenths.



Rotation 2:
Robinson – VT – y tucked full – hop back – not quite tight in the tuck shape.

Meraz – UB – good height on Ray and getting more counter, does come in close – legs on bail and a little short of vertical – solid final cast handstand – DLO, lunge backward.

Marchese – VT – full – comes in short – piking in the air – hop forward –

Honest – UB – tkatchev – hitting handstand positions – clean straddle back – strong interior set – tuck full dismount, chest down and step forward.

Allen – VT – Y half, not a ton of distance, lunge forward, good height – maintains her layout shape.

Dennis – UB – Oh yeah, her – rushes first hs – great height on gienger and keeps her legs – overshoot – giant full to double tuck with a hop. Some late handstand positions.

Lane – VT – yurchenko full on – back pike – AWESOME – basically stuck landing, small hop – Sam correctly points out that she gets very little block, but it’s a yurchenko full on, you’re not going to get much of a block –

Savvidou – UB – good first hs – great height on piked jaeger – clean legs through vertical – pulls out that final hs with smallest arch while showing vertical – sticks double tuck, that cowboy will be the death of me but she did stick – her cast handstands are very strong but she does finish some of these giant fulls past vertical.

Nettles – VT – solid full – hop in place, chest up – keeps her form – should be another score over 9.8, which they need right now.

Ross – UB – Shap to bail, extremely clean – good counter on shoot to high, nails cast handstands – nearly holds the stick on the DLO with a lean. Pretty, though, really only the dismount will be taken.

Hedelund – VT – y tucked 1.5 – angles that vault off to the side and a lunge on landing – also not the tightest tuck shape, which is a main danger of the tucked 1.5 vault, tough to keep that tuck.

Peng – UB – strong Ray as usual – clean hs – comfortable bhardwaj catch – gets the shap 1/2 – short on final cast, sticks excellent DLO. I could still see 9.950 for that, though.

Oh, dear. 10.000 for Peng. That’s a senior day 10 because of the pretty clearly short final cast handstand. Otherwise excellent. Even Sam was like, yeah that handstand was short.

After 2: UCLA 98.725, UNC 97.725

UCLA pulled together that bars rotation at the end to get a real score there. Great, gorgeous sets from Peng and Kyla. Savvidou clean enough with a stuck dismount. They were a little sloppy early in the rotation which took away an even bigger score, and then not having Kocian, of course. Bars is on track for the postseason, though. For UCLA, you’re not worried about bars. You’re worried about floor.

Pretty competitive vault rotation from UNC, definitely worthy of a regionals spot, especially once we got past the first couple, which were at a lower level. 49.050 really helps recover from bars.

“Her handstands were also phenomenal during this bars routine,” Sam has decided starting now. LOVE that the highlight reel of Peng’s routine casually eliminated that final cast handstand while showing the whole rest of the routine and all of Kyla’s.

Rotation 3:
Sorry, computer freezing issues at the beginning of this rotation.

Gerber had a few more checks than usual and appeared to break a connection that would have had her starting from 9.9 as well.

Weisel got 9.725 on floor, landing short on a rudi with a stumble.

One of Mossett’s cleanest routines.

Marchese – FX – layout to rudi first pass, good control on landing, chest down – very strong 180s on her leap positions – 2.5, damn crossover steps OOB, out with both feet on two separate steps.

Meraz – BB – two bhs to loso, secure – switch 1/2 to wolf jump, excellent positions – check moving out of a full turn – 1.5 dismount, a little off to the side with a step.

Robinson – FX – big double arabian and doesn’t cowboy much at all, steps forward OOB – front full to front layout, a little soft but fine – switch side, popa, tuck full, to straddle sit – double tuck, secure, chest.

Ross – BB – falls on loso series, way short. First time you’ve ever seen Kyla miss a loso series? 9.950! Aerial is smooth – side aerial to full dismount, swims to hold the stick.

Nettles – FX – controlled double pike, chest down – front lay to front half, keeps that front foot down – switch side, popa, solid 180s – rudi to double stag, very composed, solid.

Peng – BB – Flares, lovely, obviously – switch to split, excellent – bhs layout, steps backward and checks dancing out of it – pretty double turn, secure – basically her biggest checks have been just walking – sticks dismount.

Apparently they’re petitioning for a Maranda Smith year for Peng. Not complaining.

9.925. Peng doesn’t wobble. She just artistries harder than everyone else.

Lane – FX – double pike, small slide – rudi to layout stepout, gorgeous – strong switch side and popa, hits 180 and finishes precises – rudi, just a little bounce on a couple passes but excellent shapes and form and should be a big score. 9.900.

Ohashi – BB – perfect on the layout series this time – switch to split, strong – comfortable full turn – aerial, smooth, easy – bhs loso to stuck full. Well, that was better than the routine she got a 10 for last week, so I’ll be surprised if we don’t see it.

And it is a 10 for Ohashi.

Hislop – FX – I love how this guy says “Pac-12 caliber gymnast” like that’s a thing – punch double front! That’s new from earlier in the year, a touch short with a step back – front layout to rudi, high, pretty twisting form, bounce back – excellent height on leaps and 180s – double tuck, steps OOB. Wait, is she Shaka Hislop’s daughter? And how did I not know that until now?

Great form, shame about some of those landings. Um, she also still got 9.950 from one of the judges. The judges were HERE for UNC’s floor, which gives us a preview of how much they’re going to be here for UCLA’s floor.

After 3: UCLA 148.150, UNC 146.325

UNC staying on track for that 195 as long as they hit beam. As long as. But would need a very strong 49 to get that 195.325 I mentioned at the beginning. UCLA heading to floor. Would need 49.650 in this rotation to move ahead of Florida for 3rd in Monday’s rankings. That’s quite a score, but also…UCLA floor on senior day.

Errors from a couple on beam, but not major except for the Kyla fall. I mean, the Peng error was major but the judges decided it wasn’t.

Kocian needed “a mental break.”

Rotation 4:
Marchese – BB – back roll on her mount – smooth and secure loso series – switch to split series, large wobble landing the split – illusion turn, kind of awkward as illusion turns are, but you know, fine – holds the stick on a 2.5 dismount with a bit of a lean.

Meraz – FX – slide and step back on double tuck – front lay front full, she’s just staggering a little on landing – excellent straddle positions – more secure on double pike, chest down.

I don’t like the way they talk about forcing shyer people to break out of their shells. It constructs shy as “less than” compared to gregarious people. That has not been my experience at all. Shy is not something wrong with you that needs to be fixed by gregarious people.

Donaghy – BB – tight in some of these early skills, loso series and leaps not the most extended, but very secure – side aerial, hit – check and overturns her full turn – step on gainer pike, nice open shape.

Toronjo – FX – nice double pike, maybe a small slide but not much – nails the double tuck, more control and better chest position on that landing – 1.5 to layout, high, better than last time. Clean set.

Wait. 9.950. 10 from one judge for Toronjo. LOLOLOLOL. Here we go. She’s as shocked as all of us. Like, it was really good, but also….huh? Just…huh?

Hedelund – BB – falls on loso series – nice on leaps and side aerial after that – check on full turn – three very important beam routines coming up for UNC to get the score they need to move back into the top 36. Hop on 1.5.

Ohashi – FX – double tuck, just does keep the front foot down, basically, but also sliding back apparently isn’t anything anymore – travels a bit on second pass combinations but fine – switch ring to switch 1/2, very nice positions – very deep landing on double pike, chest down.

Hislop – BB – aerial to bhs, clean form, a little slow in combination – sissone – switch to split, a lean between the skills so getting a dance series credit will be interesting – punch 1/5 dismount, hop. But a solid hit. One down, two to go.

Cipra – FX – double tuck, similar to Ohashi, just does keep front foot down but could be construed as lack of control – 1.5 to half to split to front tuck, a little low on the half – great switch ring and split full – short on double pike, lunge forward. 9.900 BECAUSE SURE WHY NOT???

Lane – BB – gorgeous press handstand mount – right into loso loso series, secure – beat jump to straddle 3/4, small lean – smooth full turn – sticks 1.5 with a lean. Really nice set, not her absolute most secure, but she has no built-in deductions so just the two checks really. 9.900 is fair.

Preston – FX – front tuck through to double tuck, short with a lunge forward – gets her split leap 1.5 around – really tight on her leap combination, which is uncharacteristic, did not hit those 180s – double pike, deep with a slide back. Fine, but clearly rusty. ANOTHER 9.900 SUREEEEEEEE.

Allen – BB – one hit away from a really useful score for qualifying to regionals – switch side, nice height, small lean – just a bhs, will redo to perform her series – does it the second time and secure – hitch kick to side aerial, smooth – full turn – gainer full, very small slide. Did the job.

Mossett – FX – whip to double tuck, slide back – great leaps, 180s and finishes crisply – piked side somi that is the best side somi you’ll see – secure double pike. So, no, it shouldn’t be a 10, but we’ll see what the judges decided that they saw… 9.975. So, one judge decided not to see that slide on the first pass, one judge was like, “I have eyes.”

UCLA goes 49.650. Not representative. Still issues to work through on landings on most if not all routines. But, overall, good hits through the lineup with routines that can be postseason competitive with top teams if the landings come into line. It’s still very simple tumbling, which shouldn’t be taken into account if starting from a 10 but may be when compared directly to E-pass parades.Even if Preston was rocky on the landings, it’s progress to get her back out there and she should be a reasonable postseason option.

FINAL: UCLA 197.800, UNC 195.400
UCLA gets exactly the score needed to pass Florida for third, though I’m not sure we got any new answers to questions about vault and floor in this one. We know bars and beam will be right with any other team. The floor and vault landings still need to become more secure if winning a championship is going to be a realistic goal. As we’ve all been saying since maybe the first week.

UNC got the necessary score. 195.400 will put them ahead of Maryland, BYU, CMU and Minnesota for the moment at least, which is a more comfortable position heading into EAGLs. The teams will be chasing UNC, not the other way around.

And now we get Cal and Oklahoma!

Scoring link for Cal has been updated at the top.

Nichols on just bars and beam today. We get some actual word on her. Sore knee. Resting for the important meets.

Charlie Owens proving that baking cookies for Jim gets you featured before the meet starts.

Oh yeah, the entire Cal team is seniors. I kind of forgot.

Justin is killing it in the pants department today.

Rotation 1:
Gallarzo – VT – clean y half in the air but far too large of a lunge forward out of it this time.

Capps – UB – great first hs – good finish on giant full – tkatchev – clean bail vertical – shortish on final hs – tuck full, holds the stick. One short handstand, that tkatchev amplitude, not much else.

Takara – VT – big height on her full, hop back, a little piking –

Catour – UB – muscles a little on that first handstand more than I’d like to see – very good ray – nice vertcial on the bail – final cast is hit – small step back on DLO. Good.

Peterson – VT – super clean full – great landing, the smallest hop back – pretty laid out as well. Excellent.

Dowell – UB – excellent Ray – arch up on the handstand after it, not vertical – better on the bail – hits final cast – sticks DLO pretty much, a bit of a bounce up and lean.

Robinson – VT – front handspring front pike gets the stick this time – sometimes she has the lunge but not one this one, well held – a little off line but not too bad, would still be within bound lines if they had those.

Lehrmann – UB – gorgeous on the jaeger, saves an arched handstand after that but it will be a deduction – strong bail and final cast – sticks tuck full. Pretty pristine other than that one handstand.

Richardson – VT -Kas, small hop back, keeps her layout position much better than she was earlier in the year. This is a much-improved Cal vault rotation in the landing department.

Wofford – UB – smooth hs – great giant 1/1, fab finishing position, best there is on that – awesome jaeger – solid bail – borderline short final hs – hop back on tuck full.

Mastrangelo – VT – good full, hop back, a small amount of piking. A useful option in her debut – nice distance.

Nichols – UB – Ray, strong – legs on the pak this time – toe to toe shap 1/2, great – DLO, stick, no question. Excellent routine. She did break the connection between the pak and the toe on but just added an extra cast. Not her strongest pak but pretty pristine in every other way. 9.900.

After 1: Oklahoma 49.425, Cal 49.175

Good bars rotation for Oklahoma as expected. The distribution of scores was a little funky (like, I had some of those 9.850s as 9.900s and some of those 9.900s and 9.850s, and then Nichols seemed a little low, but we have a terrible angle for judging bars so I’ll hold off on that one. The pak could have been more of a struggle than we saw). Oklahoma should be quite pleased with that rotation, just a twitch of a handstand in most routines to refine before regionals.

Also, very pleased with the landing control demonstrated by Cal in that one. That’s a step up and is a rotation more likely to get high 9.8s than we’ve seen on several occasions this year.

Scoring seems pretty sane/conservative to me so far. Not breaking into hives about overscores through one rotation at least.

Rotation 2:

Jim just gave us a TV-friendly version of “Ugh, Stanford.” We know, Jim. We know.

Jones – VT – small hop back on full, otherwise strong – legs together and direction is good

So Seilnacht – UB – half turn to piked jaeger, small legs but secure – smae on the bail, small leg break but hits vertical – short final hs – 1.5 twist, a little short of rotation with a hop forward.

Marks – VT – comes in short on her full this time – good shape throughout, but short with a step forward.

Takara – UB – clear hip to huge gienger, pretty strong legs (Amanda isn’t happy, but on the scale of Sophina/Chelaru legs, it’s not bad) – overshoot – hitting hs – tuck full and stuck, one of her best sets, very strong.

Capps – VT – great stick on her full – best landing of the season? – great open, keeps her chest up, feet a little far apart but as long as she pulls her heels together to present, it’s fine.

Shu – UB – short first hs – solid tkatchev to overshoot – really struggling with these cast handstands like we’ve seen from her before – near stick on tuck full, small hop in place and a lean.

Really happy with the separation the vault judges are creating here between good and great.

DeGouveia – VT – just a touch short on her 1.5, step back, a very little bit of knees.

Sternberg – UB – toe on toe Ray, solid, not a ton of counter but a solid catch – legs together through bail – some flexed feet throughout routine – stalder to double tuck, and a good stick. Solid set.

Dowell – VT – small hop forward on the 1.5 this time, not much else you can take, great form throughout, perfectly straight direction, height and distance. Strong.

Richardson – UB – small arch on opening cast – solid tkatchev, better distance from bar and counter – overshoot – DLO – flings a little, hop forward on landing.

Jackson – VT – very similar to Dowell, small hop forward – nothing else you can really take there.

Gallarzo – UB – 1.2 turn to big jaeger, looked crooked in the air but caught well – deep landing on DLO with a hop forward, similar to Richardson but a little more extreme.

After 2: Oklahoma 98.850, Cal 98.300

Solid start both both sides, nothing remarkable or unexpected, but they’ll both take this through two. Marks didn’t have a great vault for Oklahoma, but everyone else was as expected. It’s not going to score as well as it could without Nichols. When she comes in for Marks, this should be a 49.5+ rotation.

Cal had a few things to clean up in each routine, some handstand issues early in the rotation and some dismount issues later that prevented the scores from going as high as they might, but no one had major errors. Cal still on track for that score on the higher side of the 196s, which is what they’re looking for.

Rotation 3:
So Seilnacht – BB – full turn, good – balance check on her loso series this time – beat jump to split full, very nice position and finish – switch to switch – side aerial to a stuck full. Her usual pristine work except for the error on the series. 9.825.

Jones – FX – 2.5 to front tuck, solid – 1.5 to layout, very clean, good straight shape in layout, just a slide forward this time – also slides back on the double pike. Good skills, not quite the landing control she often has.

Shu – BB – aerial to bhs series, small lean on bhs – switch to split to beat, pretty – full turn – side aerial to full, small hop back. A couple errors, but only a couple and all .050. 9.875.

Brown – FX – front 2/1, so not a whole routine of rudis this time – front lay to rudi, somewhat short on rudi with a hop forward – wonderful layout stepout side pass – strong leap positions – finishes rudi, maybe a small slide.

Palomares – BB – secure loso series – she no longer possesses a back, it has been replaced entirely by tape – pike jump to straddle 1/4, good, a little foot separation in pike jump- aerial to straddle, awesome – sticks gainer full. 9.850.

Turner – FX – solid double pike, small slide – front full to layout – solid shapes, they are struggling to control these passes more than their usual meets. Not large lunges or any bounces, but slides forward on most passes through three so far – better on the double tuck, secure and chest up.

Draghi – BB – cat leap to aerial, comes in a little short but holds well to avoid much of a check – smooth and extended on the loso series – switch to sheep, great amplitude on that sheep – gainer full.

Dowell – FX – nails double front to stag, stuck, excellent ( I mean, stag is a little flat but the tumbling was awesome )- layout to “I burned my feet but it’s choreography” to cover up any landings errors, strong straddle shape split can be an issue for her – front lay front full, solid, one of her best floors this year.

Richardson – BB – bhs loso series, lean – switch to straddle 1/4 – check on full turn but small – sticks double tuck basically sort of! Small slide back with one foot.

Capps – FX – strong double pike, good chest up – 1.5 to layout, lovely – rudi, chest just a touch forward, but excellent positions and controlled landings –

Howe – BB – she lives! Aerial to split to stag, nice – bhs, a little crooked on it but saves without much of a check – clean on loso series, good but not her smoothest that we came to expect last year – side aerial to full, small hop. Still a good one.

Jackson – FX – open tuck full, excellent, controls the landing, chest up – 1/2 to front full, dance out but not an uncontrolled dance out – strong leaps – strong and secure double pike as well, excellent, one of her good ones.

After 3: Oklahoma 148.375, Cal 147.625

Oklahoma not going to get the huge, huge score here but will get a usefully high 197 as long as beam is normal. Cal staying on track for that high 196 after a quite strong beam rotation. It’s their event with the fewest built-in deductions, which is rare, so they can go higher when the checks are minimized, which they were for the most part.

Fun fact: I was beset by a contraband lizard during the last rotation, so the hits were a little…distracted. The show must go on.

Rotation 4:
Jones – BB – strong loso series – full turn – kickover front to beat, it was weirdly deep last time (? time before?) but this was a little better – switch to split, 1.5 dismount, stuck. Good start. 9.825.

Owens – FX – great punch front 2/1, excellent height – 1.5 to layout, controlled landing with a very small inch backward – split leap 1.5 – rudi, a little bounce. Solid start, controlled landings, didn’t give away much.

Lehrmann – BB – so crisp on that full turn – hits aerial – cat to switch side, the trouble part of her routine, a check and a little short of the big straddle position – smooth loso series – sticks 1.5.

So Seilnacht – FX – front lay to rudi, not huge but clean and laid out – switch split, hitting 180s – 1.5 to front pike, also clean – why has she been the not-floor Seilnacht? Ohhhhh, that’s why. Front layout to full and sits it. Got it. Four more to get through.

Catour – BB – full turn, strong – hits loso series well, cat leap to switch side, comfortable – aerial, no trouble – she does not give away balance checks – gainer pike, stuck.

Peterson – FX – double pike, good amplitude, small slide – rudi, same – split position is close, not quite there but not egregious – 1.5 to layout, hit – normal routine, good, only small control issues on a couple passes.

Brown – BB – aerial to two bhs series, small lean coming out of the second bhs, otherwise lovely – pulls around that 3/4, good shape, scoots around that foot to get the 3/4 – leaps excellent – switch to gainer full, stuck. Good one.

Robinson – FX – sticks double arabian perfectly, excellent pass, never done it that well before – 1.5 to layout, good height, holds her step forward within reason – double pike just a hair forward. One of her strongest floor routines.

Nichols – BB – aerial to beat jump, smooth and solid – secure loso series – easy full turn – calm and precise – switch to split jump, excellent positions – nailed front tuck and does well to hold her feet down in the landing with the momentum carrying her forward – double tuck with step back. Will be a huge score.

Palomares – FX – sticks double pike, strong start – switch ring to split full, quick, doesn’t get a ton of height but moves quickly enough to ger to her 180s – deep landing on double tuck, lunge back – strong front lay front full, two excellent passes, just the struggle on the middle one.

Toni Ann just ran into the camera. Our hearts.

Capps – BB – bhs loso, fantastic – smooth full turn, that’s how you flare that leg out of a turn while showing control, contrasted with those who throw it out there to retain balance and pretend it was intentional – aerial to scale this time, keeps worthing through it fairly well – great leaps, sticks gainer full. Good.

Draghi – FX – big double tuck, hips go back on that lunge but she kept the front foot down – straddle and splits, excellent – front lay to front full, rises higher into the front full than the layout instead of collapsing onto it – strong rudi. Solid finishing routine, just a little bouncy on a pass but will be another big score.

FINAL: Oklahoma 197.800, Cal 196.775

Oklahoma doesn’t need a score at this point in the season, but that’s a solid one even though it doesn’t match their giant RQS setup. What will be more important is that this meet was not scored crazily in any way. The judges were clearly fairly conservative with regard to throwing out the huge number and scores over 9.900, even when we wouldn’t have made fun of them for doing so, like on those final two beam routines from Nichols and Capps, both of which I expected to go 9.950 based on precedent. It could have gone ridiculous and it didn’t, which leads me to believe this is the type of score Oklahoma could get in a championships scenario.

This score moves Cal ahead of Southern Utah for the moment (SUU has a meet on Monday) and into a tie with Iowa. A solid position especially with a 195 still to drop at Pac-12s, though not a completely secure position when it comes to ensuring a seeded place. Still work to do at Pac-12s with a hit meet.


110 thoughts on “Sunday Live Blog – March 12, 2017”

  1. what is going on with stanford? is it a coaching problem? does anyone have insight

    1. I was just at the meet and honestly the girls just seemed tired and injured. They look like their bodies need rest. I just don’t know what’s going on with them. Something has to be done. They looked sloppy (except for Ebee) and we all know they aren’t sloppy gymnasts. They are so much better than that. Side note: I saw Ebee’s bar routine in person and I still don’t know how one judge found a tenth in deductions. Her gymnastics was just so much cleaner and a step above everyone.

      1. Anyone know why Aleeza Yu didn’t compete for Stanford? They need her routines.

    2. Does anyone know if they have trouble recruiting because of the high academic standards?

      1. ucla has very high academic standards as well, not as high as stanford but still very very hard school to get into. the differences in their available gymnasts is staggering

      2. I think anon just meant that standford wont let you commit (or whatever it’s called) to them until you are accepted academically. Yes ucla is hard to get into and they are great academically but I know they do try to help out their athletes academically sometimes. Stanford doesn’t really do that

      3. Not to mention Michigan is also a top-level university and they have done extremely well in competition and recruiting.

        Cal is also a great school with tough academics and they’ve been the better team as of late (when compared to Stanford).

      4. There were rumors that Ross didn’t go with Stanford because she couldn’t get in academically.

      5. Can we please avoid talking about athletes not getting in to a school due to academics? Would you want a list of schools you didn’t get into published?

      6. Oh Stanford wanted Ross to take some extra AP classes but then she decided she wanted to go to UCLA.

      7. Not letting people commit until senior year HAS to hurt their recruiting when people are committing at like 12.

    3. I would have no problem with Stanford making a coaching change. Blow off the regular season and hope someone else screws up at regionals so you can get to nationals isn’t a strategy.

      Also, I’m starting to have questions about Yim at Arizona, although she is young and deserves time to figure things out. Kristen Smyth is the only college coach Yim has ever learned from both as a gymnast and as an assistant. Arizona’s performances look a little bit like Stanford’s this year (a new injury every week, intentionally putting five up in the lineups, inconsistent scores, similar ranking) I hope Yim is willing to analyze what happened this year and possibly make changes so she can be a great college coach.

  2. Commentator: “Utah is ranked 5th, having lost to Georgia yesterday.”
    I feel like if you were new to the sport and didn’t know much about it, this comment would imply that the rankings have something to do with wins and losses. I wish the commentators would just say a quick blurb about how rankings are based on scores, not wins and losses, when they talk about rankings during meets so that casual fans would have a better understanding of what was going on.

  3. Today is the most bra unfriendly leo of all time, even for UCLA!
    It’s B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L, but its really awkward as well.

    1. 100% agree… If there was a built in bra I would say they were my favorite of the year, but did you see Pua’s clear bra disaster?! 😫

    2. That leo is a terrible choice. I don’t understand why UCLA can’t design bra-friendly leos — they have gorgeous details that are ruined by the bra-unfriendliness. KJ Kindler manages to come up with pretty leos that aren’t backless or mesh such that bras can be worn.

      1. Ehh, I hate these UCLA leos but Oklahoma is another team I notice that has a lot of backless leos. But to each their own.

    3. I hate almost all of UCLAs leotards. They are women not 12 yr olds. They need to be held in. Also the slow motion on HD tv is not free-boob friendly.

    1. And apparently that same judge also thought Kramer’s was 9.90. Really? The judge didn’t see a difference in those two vaults?

    2. It just doesn’t make sense that they continue to put Pua in the line up with that 1.5. Any other meet and she would be lucky to break a 9.7.

      1. That’s what I was saying in the comments on another post. She was lucky to go 9.85, that should’ve maybe been 9.80 at best. If they do that in the post season where the scores will likely be more realistic, how is this actually an upgrade compared to one of their cleaner fulls?

      2. @Mary, I agree 100%, she should just focus on a great full and sticking the landing and not risk the possible 1.5 disaster!

    3. Also, that same judge gave Kramer a 9.900. Those two vaults were clearly not equivalent. I think a 9.900 and Kramer’s end score of 9.875 were appropriate though. After I saw that vault I assumed it would just go 9.925-9.950.

  4. I just do not understand the boob situation with these Leo’s, is it tape? Just how!? These poor women!!! But of course they do look beautiful.

    1. They could have raised the black backing and not had as much mesh on the back. They gymnasts could have had either built in bras or worn bras.

      I remember hearing Miss Val talk about leos a few years ago and she said they sometimes find a gown an actress has worn to a red carpet event and use that as inspiration for a leo design. I love that idea, but the leo needs to be practical.

  5. I don’t understand why they haven’t changed Saavidou’s jaeger to straddled eather than piked. It would save a deduction. It is a shame because her lines and handstands are so, so good.

    1. as i’ve said before, there’s just something about her I don’t like. I feel like she makes silly mistakes time and time again

  6. It is cute that Sam acted like Peng wouldn’t get a 10 after missing the last handstand.

  7. I’m super biased, but my heart rejoices for Peng <3 She's been out almost all of the time, imagine what a 10-Machine she would have been if healthy for 4 seasons!

  8. In regards to what Spencer said about how they replayed all of Peng’s bars routine except for the short handstand: I’ve noticed that’s been happening in quite a lot of gymnastics broadcasts this year. They’ll replay a routine that was overscored, and then just conveniently cut out the part where there was an obvious deduction that was not taken.

    1. Which indicates someone knows what should be going on with deductions. Maybe the editor should be doing commentary LOL
      Any other sport they would be focusing on the bad call. If they did that on TV coverage, the judges might stop some of this nonsense. No one likes to be called out on national ( or regional) television as bad at their job or showing actual bias.

      1. I agree. Gymnastics seems to be one of the few sports in which the broadcasts actively try to cover up errors made by officials. I remember getting annoyed when watching a meet recently (though I can’t remember which team) in which a gymnast didn’t do the dance series she originally had in her routine and then tried to fulfill the requirement with a split jump and wolf jump connection. The commentators acted like there was ambiguity about whether or not this fulfills the dance series requirement when one of the judges didn’t mark down the start value. I was like: “Um, no, there was no C skill in that series, so that objectively doesn’t fulfill the requirement.” As I say often, I don’t really understand why we have commentators if they won’t inform the viewers about what’s happening.

    1. Ok UCLA. No complaints about Skinners dance out with a 9.75 score. That was an obvious error so call it. ohashi. Amazing. Well done

  9. Oh they are petitioning for a 6th year for Peng? Is that likely to get granted? I would love to see Peng compete for another year so that is exciting.

    1. I think I remember hearing about a basketball player somewhere who got a 6th year, so it’s not unheard of in the NCAA.

    2. It’s not unheard of in NCAA. There have been several athletes across all sports who have been granted a 6th year. The universities just have to show that injury limited the competition time and meet the 6th year requirements.

      My only concern with the Peng is whether a 6th year is best for her health-wise. She has had so many injuries and I would hate to see her have another one and possibly have long-term health issues due to her injury issues.

      Also, where does her scholarship come from? Whose scholarship gets pulled for Peng’s 6th year?

      1. Is Nica Hults actually coming next year? She was supposed to start with this freshman class and then in January and then just didn’t and fell off the radar. If she doesn’t come, that’s a scholarship.

      2. I’m always a bit confused about who exactly has a scholarship at UCLA but with Nia Dennis and Pauline Tratz the only ones coming in (afaik) and four graduating there should be two scholarships left over? I was thinking Sonya and JaNay might get them for their last year, but if Peng gets the sixth year she could keep hers?

      3. I find it interesting that apparently a fair number of gymnasts that get 5th years of eligibility get told they may have to pay for it due to commitments to recruits. I always just assumed they got another year of scholarship, but that does not automatically follow.eligibility. Hard to imagine Peng-Peng not getting one, but with the 4 year plan there may not be much wiggle room. Although UCLA seems to be able to finagle other types of scholarships/assistance when needed..

  10. Has Peng been bringing fruit baskets or something? I don’t think she’s had a routine in the last two meets that didn’t get some padding in the score. (Please note, I don’t actually mean to imply that the overscores are in any way the gymnast’s fault. This is a joke.)

      1. Apparently senior night started a week early, too because her bars and beam last week also got some gifts.

  11. Hadn’t heard that bit about trying to get another year for Peng! Would love!

  12. Now that is an Ohashi beam 10. Absolutely perfect. Also, plllleeeassse get Peng a 6th year. She brings variety to the college gymnastics skills set every week (but I’m ignoring that 9.925 because I don’t understand how that is even a thing???? No judges no.)

    1. Yes I am so happy she got one that was 100% a 10 that you cant take anything away from!

  13. Ohhhhhh really really liked that 2.5 dismount from Emma Marchese. I don’t get to watch UNC much but I’m really liking some stuff from them.

  14. “I don’t like the way they talk about forcing shier people to break out of their shells. It constructs shy as “less than” compared to gregarious people. That has not been my experience at all.”

    Thaaaaank you.

    1. Preach! I’m an introvert who is polite and friendly, but not exuberant. I’ve been told many times that I need to be more “out there.” Some people are more “out there” than me and I am glad that those people are the way they are because we need some people like that in the world, but I think we also need some laid back people like me in the world. It bothers me when people act like ebullient is the only proper way to be.

    2. Also, people need to stop thinking shyness equates to a lack of confidence. People can be quiet, shy, and/or introverted and still be confident in who they are.

      As a side note, it has always bothered me how much UCLA stresses smiling during beam and having large personalities. It seems so forced. Even watching the way Meraz was talking with Miss Val after her beam seemed a little awkward. I think UCLA generally has a great team environment and they do tend to be more upbeat as a group than other teams, but sometimes I get this weird Stepford vibe from them.

      1. I completely agree. I have no problem with coaches telling their athletes to really perform the routines and not just go through the motions, but the coaches need to make it extremely clear that they’re talking only about making a change in performance level and not about making a change in the athlete’s personality.

  15. We always see Macy doing beautiful beam sets on the UCLA Snapchat and she’s done at least one beam exhibition this year. I keep waiting to see her on beam considering she’s done so well on floor…

    1. Macy has done multiple exhibitions on beam this year and afaik, today was the first time she hit — and only to the tune of a 9.750 if I’m not mistaken.

      And Lane looked very good, especially on beam — very impressive set.

      1. Oh, interesting, well it’s hard to know since PAC-12 channel pretends exhibitions don’t exist. Someone should tell them that the SEC network lets us watch them.

  16. I know that most people are watching this meet for UCLA, but can we all just take a moment to appreciate how awesome Morgan Lane is.

    1. Absolutely love Lane. She is so perky and solid. Loved her mount. Compared to previous scores. She was under scored. Great performance

    2. Yes. It was my first time seeing Morgan Lane and what a treat. Love her hs-lo-lo on beam especially.

  17. Ugh, I really hate when commentators say things like: “I don’t know what else she could’ve done to prove that she deserves a 10,” about routine’s like that one we just saw from Mossett. They’re convincing the casual fans that she’s been robbed if she doesn’t get a 10 when in fact that there was pretty clear slide on the first pass. I wouldn’t even mind if they didn’t mention the slide, it just frustrates me when they confuse casual viewers by implying that there were no errors when the clearly was one. Why couldn’t they say: “That was a nice routine. It should get a high score.”

    1. Totally agree with all of this, but Sam is a young commentator and she is still learning. Also, I bet its hard to remain neutral when commenting about a former teammate/friend on her senior night. I actually like Sam as a commentator in general and I think she will get better with experience.

      1. I’m pretty sure Sam was the one who said “I don’t know what else she could’ve done to prove that she deserves a 10”

      2. Sorry to spam you, but I hit submit too early. I meant to add that I’m just annoyed in general with this kind of commentary. This particular comment about this particular routine at this particular meet is not unlike what we’ve been seeing all season long all over the place. I wish all commentators would be more frank about errors. It’s not disrespectful to a gymnast to point out that she slid back on a landing, missed a handstand, etc., and a commentator is not doing his/her job if he/she fails to accurately explain what’s happening to the viewers with less knowledge of the sport. I actually think Sam does better than many at this because she points out balance checks, missed handstands, and slides on landings far more than many commentators.

  18. I was impressed with SEC scoring this week. Seemed like they were lowering scores to prep for post season. Then we come to UCLA home floor where the judges don’t care and everyone gets a 10; it’s comical.

      1. Curious — what score did you think Georgia deserved? I think they were scored on par with the rest of the country this year. Utah was judged a little more strict and should have been closer to a 197 when compared to nationwide scoring.

        People have this attitude towards Georgia that I just don’t understand. They had a disaster the first meet of the season, but has been extremely consistent since then. A 196.9 – 197.3 is perfectly when Georgia’s range when they hit. If you compare their meet yesterday to the rest of the season, the scores line up pretty good.

        Utah/PAC 12 fans just seem very bitter. It’s fine when high scoring happens with your team, but God forbid another team gets the benefit of the doubt.

  19. Did Miss Val and Amy Smith coordinate their outfits on purpose? If so, I love it.

    1. Replying to your Georgia comments. I do not hate Georgia I do not hate any team but when regional places are up for grabs I have an issue with non-parity in the same meet. The scores for Utah were pretty much on as I said with a few pretty obvious under scores but for Georgia to be way over scored on multiple routines by the same judges in the same meet is a problem for me. I am not the only one vommenoas such. The commentators. Bloggers. And blog participants responding in a similar fashion to myself. I have enjoyed Georgia for years and am always impressed by their class and demeanor So I am offended by your assertion of my hatred. That said. I hope with the national disgust with this years scoring that maybe next year will be improved

  20. I’m not sure how I feel about these floor routines with only 2 tumbling passes… I know they make up for it with difficult leaps but ehh..

    1. An NCAA routine with only 2 passes doesn’t do it for me either, unless they opened with a double double and ended with a full in…Mossett’s routine is entertaining, as are the other UCLA routines, but I’m watching a gymnastics routine, give me more tumbling and less winking and playing to the crowd…it wouldn’t be a 10 for me without some sort of wow factor that it was indeed, perfect.

    2. It’s the same way I feel about bars routines without a same bar release. I love Kyla Ross, but her bar routine is just so boring. I think about how many other gymnasts in NCAA could do that same routine and score 9.9 week in and week out.

      1. And I agree on bars too…if level 10s are “expected” to have same bar releases then so should NCAA D1 top 10 ranked team gymnasts, especially former gold medal Olympians! If we’re going to throw scores in the high range due to name recognition and pedigree, then they should be dinged for their pedigree too if they don’t meet those expectations…the door swings both ways…

        I wouldn’t give a bar routine without a single rail release a 10, because to me, it’s still lacking ….but how Price doesn’t get a 10 baffles me…I get that those in front of her aren’t getting huge scores to lead up to her but that shouldn’t be held against her.

    3. I think I’m in the minority, but I prefer that the judges score based on what is actually in the code, not based on bonuses or deductions that aren’t in the code. I think a routine that has difficulty far beyond what the code requires (example: Ohashi’s beam) should be evaluated the same as all other beam routines. If she lands with a low chest on that full, she deserves a deduction, just the same as anyone else making an error on a skill that isn’t valued as highly. She knows her routine is harder than it needs to be, and she should accept the risk. On a similar token, I don’t think a talented gymnast who chooses not to do an abnormally difficult routine should be scrutinized more harshly than others (example: Ross’s bars). That routine is valued at 10.0 based on the code, just like any other 10.0 routine, and it shouldn’t be judged more harshly than someone else who chooses to take a risk, knowing full well what risk they’re taking. Again, this is just my opinion.

      1. I’m with you! The code is the code, and Ross starts out of a 10. She can’t get dinged for not doing a harder version of a 10 — that’s not a thing. If enough people have a problem with that, they should change the code to require a same-bar release — and while they’re at it, an E pass on floor and an actual rebounding flight series on beam.

        (I actually don’t mind Ross’ bar routine because she does two real transitions. None of this squat-on-jump-to-high nonsense.)

      2. I agree with you. I’m the person above who commented that I don’t personally like Ross’s bar routine. I’m not saying she doesn’t deserve a 10 when she hits it beautifully. But I think there are a lot of gymnasts nationwide who could do that exact same routine and do it well. I don’t want to see gymnasts of Ross’s caliber water down routines. I LOVE when gymnasts like Lee, Ohashi, Skinner, Gnat, etc. do difficult routines and do them well. Not saying that one method deserves a 10 over the other — just saying that I prefer the difficulty versus what I feel is boring.

      3. Yes, I agree with this so much! If there was such thing in NCAA as starting from a 10.1 if your routine was really difficult, then yeah, give them that extra 0.1 bonus for a difficult routine. But that isn’t in the code, so the judges shouldn’t be doing that. The primary focus in NCAA is to hit clean routines, so they should be judged on how clean they hit their routines, difficult. Nothing else should matter. I could name tons of routines that were cleaner than say Peng’s beam and got a lower score. It just doesn’t seem right.

      4. I too would like the judges to score what’s in the code as well, for ALL gymnasts, but that’s not what happens … I have no problem if Ross got a 10 for her bar routine as is, if someone who wasn’t her or from a lesser known program, did the same routine and also got a 10….but they don’t…and that’s where I have an issue for “bonus” due to their name or reputation…and by bonus I mean either less deductions or a higher score.

        I remember a former Olympian grabbing the beam, among other wobbles, getting a 9.7 because….deductions obviously weren’t taken… but watch other meets and see a kid with a minimal balance check goes 9.7 or less…

        And the kicker is, the gymnast from the higher ranked program doesn’t need the gifts as the other scores are generally high enough to compensate for the bobbles but the lower ranked and bubble teams are only hurt by the dings they get…

  21. Hopefully, we won’t hear about “SEC scoring” after this year. Yes, the scoring in the SEC is often times absurdly high, especially in Gainesville the last several years, but the scoring at Utah and UCLA primarily has been every bit as bad, if not worse. I cannot remember the last time UCLA faced a tough judging panel.

    1. Preach! I couldn’t agree more. The crazy scores have been nationwide. In fact, Washington and Cal have had high scores as well. Michigan, generally a tougher environment, has also had some high home scores.

      1. Agreed!! Honestly, I feel like EVERY meet I watch there’s a least one rotation where the scores do not correlate to the routines because they’re inflated, and I’m like huh??

  22. Stanford had the lowest individual score on all 4 events in the quad meet, including the lowest 2 on beam and lowest 3 on floor. That’s unacceptable for a team that should have Super Six goals.

    I hope Price can throw together a beam routine for regionals so she at least has a shot of competing AA at Nationals. Otherwise, she may be able to qualify on bars, but depending on the teams in her regional even that could be tough.

    1. I have to imagine that Price doing AA at Regionals is the plan. How could it not be? It’ll be like 05 (?) when Tabby qualified to NCAAs as an individual. I feel bad for Nikki McNair whose bar and beam routines are often slightly underscored because she’s the sort of person who, if the rules allowed individual event qualifiers not on an advancing team, I think she’d have a chance too.

      1. I know they allow individual qualifiers, but they have to win the event (unlike AA, where it’s top 2 on non-qualifying teams). It’s really hard to do, and I think someone like Nikki McNair is hurt by that (going up first in the lineup doesn’t help either, to be fair).

  23. Ohashi’s 10 this week would feel so much better if she hadn’t gotten a 10 last week for a routine that didn’t deserve a ten. Also, STANFORD WHY? Like what’s going on?! They seemed to actually be back in focus and in a pretty good place for regionals (I mean, not great but still) Now, who knows. They were pretty close to top 25 but this isn’t going to help them at all.

    1. 100% agree. When they said that UCLA has 8 10s this season, I couldn’t help but think: “Yeah, but 3 of those had really obvious errors.” If the judges hadn’t given out 10s to those 3 routines with clear errors, UCLA would still have 5 10s this season from 3 different gymnasts. That’s really great. That’s indicative of a very talented team. There’s no need to pad scores to exaggerate things. Their ability level would have been clear from the scores if there hadn’t been overscoring, and I feel that the overscoring really cheapens their accomplishments. It’s a similar situation with many other teams in the country. We have seen lots of wonderful gymnastics from many teams this year. We don’t need exaggerated scoring to hammer the point home. That actually takes away from the accomplishments of athletes across the country.

  24. I gave up on the UCLA meet after bars. Cleaning the litter box and mopping the kitchen floor seemed like a better use of my brain cells and time. I just can’t with the ridiculous scoring.

    1. You didn’t miss much, except for lots of crack. I almost turned it off after beam because I just couldn’t do it with the judges anymore, especially after Peng’s ridiculous beam score…

  25. The 197.8 from OU and UCLA today were not comparable. I like UCLA, but the overscoring they are receiving this year…..:(

    1. That was my exact thought when I saw they had the same score. Oklahoma looked much better overall. With that being said, I think it’s clear that Oklahoma and LSU are the favorites this year, but if UCLA can put a whole meet together and actually hit vault and floor, they could challenge.

  26. I was at the Stanford meet and could not get over the lack of energy the team displayed. Yale beat them by over a point and they are not even a scholarship school!!!! Also Yale has the same, if not more rigorous academic standards so that is not an excuse. It was an unacceptable performance!

    1. To be fair, Yale did have the meet of their lives (it was their highest score in about fifteen years). But putting up a 193 the week before conference championships is still very, very bad news for a team like Stanford.

      1. And Yale does have Jade Buford, a Texas Dreams kid, who is pretty good…I believe she does a full in on floor so that was a pretty good get for them…

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