Regionals Draw & Pac-12 Championship Recap

First things first, the regional draw has been made and “announced” via the medium of an entirely unnecessary, dramatic-soundtrack web show that kind of didn’t even work. A good thematic representation of just everything. FYI, we would have been cool with a tweet.

Anyway, here’s how the part we didn’t already know shapes up for competition on April 1.

Rotation order is a follows
Team #1 – begins on bars, ends on bye
Team #2 – begins on vault, ends on floor
Team #3 – begins on bye, ends on beam
Team #4 – begins on bye, ends on vault
Team #5 – begins on beam, ends on bars
Team #6 – begins on floor, ends on bye

Semifinal #1:

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON REGIONAL
[1] Oklahoma – “KJ Kindlers”
[12] Kentucky –
[13] Washington
[24] Utah State
[32] Stanford
[34] BYU

AA
Alexis Brown, UC Davis (rotates w/ Oklahoma)
Caitlin Soliwoda, Sac St (rotates w/ Kentucky)
Lauren Rice, Sac St (rotates w/ Washington)
Kaitlin Won, San Jose St (rotates w/ Utah St)

VT
Ariana Harger, Seattle Pacific (rotates w/ Stanford)
Julia Konner, Sac State (rotates w/ BYU)

UB
Yonni Michovska, UC Davis (rotates w/ Stanford)
Rachel Heinl, San Jose St (rotates w/ BYU)

BB
Yasmine Yektaparast, UC Davis (rotates w/ Stanford)
Taylor Chan, San Jose St (rotates w/ BYU)

FX
Ariana Harger, Seattle Pacific (rotates w/ Stanford)
Taylor Chan, San Jose St (rotates w/ BYU)

CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS REGIONAL
[5] UCLA
[8] Oregon State
[17] Iowa
[19] Illinois – “Lizzy Deluc”
[22] Eastern Michigan
[26] Ohio State

AA
Nicola Deans, Michigan State (rotates w/ UCLA)
Anna Corbett, Western Michigan (rotates w/ Iowa)
Rachel Underwood, Western Michigan (rotates w/ Oregon State)
Ashley White, Centenary (rotates w/ Illinois)

VT
Jovannah East, Bowling Green (rotates w/ E. Michigan)
Lauren Feely, Bowling Green (rotates w/ Ohio State)

UB
Jessie Peszek, Western Michigan (rotates w/ Ohio State)
Hailee Westney, Michigan State (rotates w/ E. Michigan)

BB
Jessie Peszek, Western Michigan (rotates w/ Ohio State)
Jovannah East, Bowling Green (rotates w/ E. Michigan)

FX
Elena Lagoski, Michigan State (rotates w/ E. Michigan)
Kira Frederick, Michigan State (rotates w/ Ohio State)

FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS REGIONAL
[4] Utah
[9] Denver
[16] Cal
[21] Auburn
[27] Arkansas
[28] Central Michigan

AA
Mikailla Northern, UIC (rotates w/ Utah)
Alexis Brawner, SEMO (rotates w/ Denver)
Ashley Potts, NIU (rotates w/ Cal)
Katherine Prentice, NIU (Rotates w/ Auburn)

VT
Schyler Jones, TWU (rotates w/ Arkansas)
Kierstin Sokolowski, Lindenwood (rotates w CMU)

UB
Jamyra Carter, NIU (rotates w/ Arkansas)
Courtney Dowdell, NIU (rotates w/ CMU)

BB
Nichelle Christopherson, Arizona St (rotates w/ Arkansas)
Kierstin Sokolowski, Lindenwood (rotates w/ CMU)

FX
Gabrielle Cooke, Illinois St (rotates w/ Arkansas)
Courtney Dowdell, NIU  (rotates w/ CMU)

Semifinal #2, aka the SEC semifinal:

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA REGIONAL
[2] LSU
[11] Boise State
[14] Nebraska
[25] Arizona
[29] Iowa State
[36] Minnesota

AA
Mariana Murphy, Air Force (rotates w/ Boise State)
Kara Witgen, Air Force (rotates w/ LSU)

VT
Anna Salamone, Air Force (rotates w Nebraska)
Riley Hill, Air Force (rotates w/ Iowa State)
Jamie Lewis, Air Force (rotates w/ Arizona)

UB
Anna Salamone, Air Force (rotates w/ Nebraska)
Darby Germain, Air Force (rotates w/ Iowa State)
Jamie Lewis, Air Force (rotates w/ Arizona)
Brittney Reed, Air Force (rotates w/ Minnesota)

BB
Rita Koenigbauer, Air Force (rotates w/ Nebraska)
Riley Hill, Air Force (rotates w/ Iowa State)
Brittney Reed, Air Force (rotates w/ Minnesota)
Chelsea Grimison, Air Force (rotates w/ Arizona)

FX
Darby Germain, Air Force (rotates w/ Iowa State)
Jamie Lewis, Air Force (rotates w/ Arizona)
Brittney Reed, Air Force (rotates w/ Minnesota)
Casey Bell, Air Force (rotates w/ Nebraska)

When not enough ranked AAers exist in a region, extra individual event specialists fill out the spots. Air Force is the only team with people in this “region.” Now you know why I hate regions. Air Force is sending an entire team to regionals even though they didn’t qualify a team, just because they are located in a more sparsely populated part of the country in terms of gym programs.

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA REGIONAL
[6] Alabama
[7] Michigan – led by “Taleeeah Cheeraralli”
[18] Southern Utah
[20] George Washington – Oh, “Jillian Wistingly”
[23] West Virginia
[31] Kent State

AA
Majesta Valentine, West Chester (rotates w/ Alabama)
Lyanda Dudley, Cornell (rotates w/ Michigan)
Caroline Morant, Brown (rotates w/ Southern Utah)
Libby Groden, Rutgers (rotates w/ George Washington)

VT
Tracey Person, Pittsburgh (rotates w/ West Virginia)
Kimberly Stewart, Bridgeport (rotates w/ Kent State)

UB
Taylor Laymon, Pittsburgh (rotates w/ West Virginia)
Daisy Todd, Temple (rotates w/ Kent State)

BB
Brianna Comport, Bridgeport (rotates w/ West Virginia)
Kaitlin Green, Cornell (rotates w/ Kent State)

FX
Brianna Comport, Bridgeport (rotates w/ West Virginia)
Maya Reimers, Bridgeport (rotates w/ Kent State)

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA REGIONAL
[3] Florida – You go “Alexis MuMurty”
[10] Georgia
[15] Missouri
[30] New Hampshire
[33] Penn State
[35] North Carolina

AA
Chelsea Knight, NC State (rotates w/ Florida)
Gabriella Yarussi, Towson (rotates w/ Georgia)
Tyra McKellar, Towson (rotates w/ Missouri)
Kristen Peterman, Maryland (rotates w/ NH)

VT
Sarah Faller, Maryland (rotates w/ Penn St)
Paris Phillips, NC State (rotates w/ UNC)

UB
Amanda Fillard, NC State (rotates w/ Penn St)
Melissa Brooker, NC State (rotates w/ UNC)

BB
Sarah Faller, Maryland (rotates w/ Penn St)
Mary Elle Arduino, Towson (rotates w/ UNC)

FX
Emily Brauckmuller, Maryland (rotates w/ Penn St)
Alecia Farina, Maryland (rotates w/ UNC)

-The announcer had a few really nice odes to the “Lymeenis Hall” incident of 2014 in there.

-Semifinals look a bit uneven, potentially, with the majority of the more dangerous floaters in the second semifinal. The semifinal with basically all the SEC teams bunched together.

-We see the problem with doing away with #4, #5, and #6 seeds and placing “geographically” here in that some of the regionals are wayyyyy more challenging than others when it comes to the unseeded teams. For instance, Gainesville has no one above #30, while Champaign has no one under #26. There’s some real parity in that Illinois regional and not a huge difference between a lot of those challenging teams. That will be a tough one if one of the 197ers has a mistake.

-It’s a shame that Southern Utah and George Washington got the West Virginia regional. They would have been more serious upset threats in other regionals, but they will have to rely on Alabama or Michigan making mistakes to get into that one.

-Kentucky/Washington/Stanford(?), Cal/Denver, and Boise State/Nebraska are the mouth-watering situations here.


Item #2: My notes on Saturday’s Pac-12 Championship which I attended and didn’t tweet about as much as I should have because I was watching the meet, or because my phone is “too old to tweet.” Depends on who you ask.

Anyway, here are all the things I’m allowed to talk about without getting in trouble.

The end.

I mean, kind of.

-Maples is a pleasant venue for gymnastics. It’s fairly small, which makes for an intimate viewing experience and allows a medium/small crowd to fill up the venue and look the appropriate size, while also not being that black-box-theater-for-mice alternate venue Stanford has to compete in sometimes.

-The Pac-12 broadcast was shown in-arena on the big screen, which was appreciated since their graphics allowed us to keep track of the scores and see, you know, who was winning—something these competitions have trouble with from time to time. Because this isn’t a sport or anything. Basic minimum competence is for losers.

-The music and temperature were problems. Not to get too old-man-yells-at-cloud, but the non-floor arena music was so loud that the gymnasts could not hear each other cheer and we couldn’t hear anything at all. It’s a little thing, but let the sights and sounds of the meet speak for themselves and not have Bruno Mars speak for them. Also, it was 100 trillion degrees in there and everyone was made of sweat.

-The evening session ended up being a bit of a letdown because once it became clear that UCLA brought its C-game to the meet (which was clear beginning with the touch warmup for vault), the outcome was never in doubt. Utah didn’t have to hit its best meet of the season to win, but I’d say this probably was Utah’s best meet of the season anyway, at least when you ignore the one bad routine per event, which you get to do. The Bruins did not perform well, had at least one fall on every event, and save for a couple excellent beam sets, did not show impressive routines. But, as Miss Val came over and said to us after beam, “at least we put on a show.” True statement. You sure did.

-I had the pleasure of spending the second session sitting with Casey Magnesium (see his tweets for what are also my views on the meet/judging), so I can confirm that it was indeed Casey’s fault that Gracie Kramer fell on vault. Right before Kramer was about to vault, Val came over and asked whether Kramer should go or not—you know, like you do, for fun—and Casey made his fateful decision, so I think we can all agree that her fall was 100% Casey’s responsibility and no one else’s, as are all lineup decisions from now on (#onstaff #whereisyoursalary), and he received more than his share of Miss Val Eyes for this regretful blunder. Basically the highlight of the meet.

(Having Kramer go with the 1.5 was the right decision and was going to happen anyway, by the way. This wasn’t an elimination meet, and you learned something from Kramer doing the 1.5 that you wouldn’t have learned if Kramer had done the full or if Cipra had gone.)

-Bars was where it really fell apart for UCLA, and I still don’t physically understand that Meraz dismount. She released and was so far on top of the bar that it looked like she was trying to do a Kovacs. The only explanation for how she managed not to hit the bar on the way down is witchcraft.

-Oh, also, the scoring was epic lunacy. Did you guys know that catching close on releases, insane Nabieva-legs vault pre-flight (and post-flight), and short-landed tumbling passes just aren’t deductions anymore? Important life lesson learned. The floor and vault scoring were both aggressively “you get a 9.900, you get a 9.900, everybody gets a 9.900!” The problem started in the first session, particularly in the case of Stanford, where it became clear that if some of those routines were getting 9.9s, then we were going to see some 20s in the evening session. And we pretty much did.

-I sat right by beam, so that was the event I had the best view of, both for gymnasts and for evaluating level of crack. There was a tonzo of crack. Also, Kaytianna McMillan’s beam routine is such a treat. Other highlight of the meet.

-Annoyingly, the individual judges submitted their scores electronically and did not have to display them in the area, so while we got all four scores on the final scoring display, we didn’t know which one was judge 2 and which one was judge 4, which makes accountability difficult. And by accountability, I mean heckling their scores from right behind them. Hey, we don’t come to where you work and credit acro series that didn’t happen.

-The crackiest score of all was the Maddy Stover beam, where she didn’t have an acro series or a backward element, had 27 balance checks, and still got a 9.8 from one judge and a 9.7 from another. There’s really no way her score should have been more than 9.4. But whether those cracky scores came from Nancy Diet Coke, Minnie Mouse, Fake Kristen Maloney, or Clumsy Ferguson, there’s no way of knowing. (We may have given them names. Also, three of those might be the same person.) I’m guessing the 9.8 came from the one who just flopped all of her start value sheets onto the ground as that score was coming in and never ended up displaying a start value at all. That’s the only way you can give that a 9.8, since it should have started from at most 9.8 and received a flat 0.1 composition deduction. And then all the balance checks.

-But then again, nothing is a deduction anymore, so whatever.

-Let’s also talk about Washington. Washington was on it at this meet. Beam was excellent in the first rotation, and several gymnasts showed all-time best vaults. I didn’t really know Burleson could vault like that. Overall, the ceiling just isn’t there in terms of the number of routines that can get 9.950 to run up the total, but 197.100 remains an excellent result and a season-high away score by over six tenths. There was no doubt that Elise Ray would win conference coach of the year. Bars was a bit sloppier than the other schools, which kept the score down, and something that hadn’t really translated on TV before is how a number of those bars dismounts really are just “cannonball and pray.”

-Oregon State executed the most consistent and composed meet of any of the teams. There were no mistake routines at all. Aufiero nailed her bars set (and given the way scoring was going, we all thought that would be a 10 too, but she’s not famous, so alas). Even though by the time they got to beam the scoring had gone full-on crack-town, those routines were also exceptional. The scores were soooooo set up for Maddie Gardiner to get her 10, and then of course she had a giant balance check. WE WERE ROOTING FOR YOU WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU. A 49.325 on vault is a big number for OSU, though may be somewhat misleading. That 9.900 given to Jacobsen stood out as…special.

-In the afternoon session, Stanford had its best meet of the season. Low bar, but still. As expected for Stanford in the postseason. It still wasn’t an overwhelming performance and would not have won the first session had Cal not simultaneously both imploded and exploded on beam. That was a weird one for Cal because the falls came from the two people I would have ranked least likely to fall on beam. The team looked very loose before the beam rotation—and in terms of improvising choreography for the other teams’ floor music that was better than those actual routines, Liz and the Cal gymnasts won in a landslide—but once Seilnacht fell, pretty much the entire rest of the rotation looked scared of their own lives and 400% pee pants. And then Alicia Gallarzo randomly went, “Didn’t I tell you, I’m like a beamer starting now.” So yeah…weird.

-Back to Stanford, the highlight was certainly Aleeza Yu following a tremendous save on beam that showed impeccable balance by running straight over to her teammates in the corral and falling on a hug. It was awesome. But also, why was that mat even there? Just for her to trip over?

-As for Price on beam, she was in at least one of the 1100 versions of the beam lineup Stanford had and did warm up the event. The lineup didn’t actually get changed until after the second gymnast had already gone, so perhaps there was some sort of “if the first two people hit, then Ebee won’t go” strategy. (Does that make sense? It doesn’t have to. It’s Stanford.) Or they were just like, “oh yeah, we need to change the beam lineup, let’s wait until the last possible second.”

-Many of you had commented on the Stanford team’s flat or tired-looking demeanor during meets this season, so I was interested to see that in person. The Stanford team certainly stands in contrast to all the other teams because they aren’t dancing/cheering/screaming every minute. By comparison, it looks like they hate every moment of their own lives, but not screaming every second is perfectly fine with me. In fact, it’s encouraged. RBF may just be the personality of the team. But they also performed pretty well in this meet, which would provoke different emotions than a 193.

-Arizona should be pleased with its performance. Seventh place really doesn’t do it justice, but they hit and got back over the 196 mark, which was the goal. Lack of comfort and confidence in the vault and floor landings took away a higher score, as did some tentativeness on beam for balance checks. That really hurt because beam is supposed to be an excellent score for Arizona. They rely on it.

-Arizona State may have finished last, but it was a very strong meet by their standards that showed continued improvement. They just don’t have the vault difficulty or form on bars or floor to compete with the other teams in the conference and are always going to finish last unless they get some help. Also, cool your jets with the “A-S-U” chanting, bow tie coach.

-The ability to tape the floor lines on landing mats has reached an epic low, and something must be done, you guys. It was just in clumps, and squiggles, and not lined up with the actual floor lines for so many teams. I couldn’t even look at it. Pick it up.

-Also, UCLA and Utah do not like each other. Breaking news. You may find that hard to believe.

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82 thoughts on “Regionals Draw & Pac-12 Championship Recap”

    1. The teams that advance out of the Seattle, Champaign, and Fayetteville regionals will be in semifinal 1 at nationals, and the teams that advance out of the Lincoln, Morgantown, and Gainesville regionals will be in semifinal 2.

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      1. That’s kinda weird, isn’t it? Like, if any #2 seed makes Super Six, that means two teams will literally go against each other in all 3 rounds of post season. I thought it used to be that #1 advancers were in the opposite session from the #2 advancers from the same regional…when/why did it change?

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      2. I don’t remember it every being the #1 in one session and the #2s in another session. Doing that would be the first session incredibly more difficult than the second session.

        They used to divide the sessions by using a National Qualifying Score which combined the RQS with the regionals score. It gave the regional score a little bit of weight.

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      3. (I still can’t figure out the formatting of comments, not sure where this will appear).
        I remember them moving to NQS at some point maybe around 2008 or 2010? Before that, I would swear that they like randomly put 3 first place regionals finishers in each session, and then each 2nd place regional finisher went in the opposite session from the 1st place finisher *from the same regional*. So the afternoon session would have 1st place finishers from regionals A, C, D, and 2nd place finishers from regionals B,E,F. Something like that. I liked that system – meant you couldn’t end up against the same team three times in a row!

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  1. Watching the “selection show,” I was very confused as to how AFA got so many individuals in without their team qualifying, so thank you for the clarification. Weird indeed.

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  2. I’m a bit more optimistic about GW’s (admittedly tiny) chances to get through. Michigan had four meets below what GW normally scores and SUU had five scores under 196, most of which were away meets. I wouldn’t be surprised to see GW place third and it isn’t totally inconceivable that they could place second.

    Also, the Seattle regional will be straight cray.

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  3. 2nd and 3rd notes about regionals seem to directly contradict each other? Am I missing something because I’m not sure what you’re bitching about?

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    1. The second note is referring to Nationals. The second session (Florida, WVU, Neb regionals) appears to be more cutthroat and bunches many of the SEC teams into one session. For example, if the favorites win out:

      Session 1: Oklahoma, Kentucky, UCLA, OSU, Utah, Denver
      Session 2: LSU, Boise St., Alabama, Michigan, Florida, Georgia

      The favorites going in would have to be Oklahoma, UCLA, and Utah out of session one, but one could imagine a UCLA or Utah upset given past Nationals experiences. Session two favorites would have to be LSU, Alabama, and Florida, but counting out Michigan and Georgia, in particular, at Nationals is dangerous. That second session would be insane.

      The third regional note is talking about the regional seeding — some regions appear to be more difficult than others. Florida may be one of the easiest because the third seed isn’t terribly strong. Sure, Mizzou could pull an upset a la 2010, but it’s not incredibly likely. Meanwhile the three seed at Washington, Nebraska, Illinois, Arkansas, etc. could pull the upset of the #2 seed and people wouldn’t be completely shocked.

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      1. Either GymDude has never followed NCAA gymnastics and lacks reading comprehension skills or GymDude is a troll.

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      2. If Rachel Dickson’s ankle doesn’t allow her to compete AA and UGA has to sub in Beth Roberts on vault/floor and Morgan Reynolds on beam, it’ll really hurt their chances and allow for a Missouri upset to be a stronger possibility.

        Also, the Nationals are in St. Louis, Missouri, one has to wonder if the NCAA would like “home” team in the event in order to drum up extra (local) fan support.

        UGA is much closer to the bottom four teams in the SEC then they are to the top three, as was proven at the conference championship. Wouldn’t it have been great if UGA and Kentucky were competing against each other in the same session to see who came out on top?

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      3. Honestly, I wouldn’t count out a Missouri upset at all. They had some really strong scores late in the season, and could definitely finish higher than Georgia with a strong meet, if Georgia has an okay to decent meet. Also, Missouri had a higher score when they were in Gainesville earlier this season than Georgia did. I’d be more surprised by a Southern Utah or Iowa upset at their respective regionals.

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  4. It was interesting how different the energy was in the arena from the first session to the second. Kinda sad for Stanford given they are the home team, but I barely heard any cheers for them, the Cal fans were louder. Pleasantly surprised by all the UCLA fans drowning out the Utah ones though 🙂

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    1. I insisted that my sister, who is a Stanford student with zero interest in gymnastics, attend and cheer really loudly since I couldn’t fly out there. Sooo I take 100% credit for any cheering you did hear : P

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  5. Bummer for Kentucky. Admittedly, the #12 seed is not really a good place anyway because usually the #12 and #13 seeds aren’t that much different in scoring potential, so it’s basically anyone’s guess who goes through. But having to face a #13 seeded home team AND Stanford makes things much worse. That being said, they still have a decent chance of making it through, or even if they can’t, fingers crossed that Korth, Dukes, and/or Hyland can still go to nationals as individuals!

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    1. If Kentucky doesn’t qualify as a team, I hope Korth and Dukes qualify as AAers and Hyland qualifies on beam. Her beam is lovely and I’m so glad she won SECs.

      Stanford is such a wild card. Price, if she competes AA, could definitely qualify, but she didn’t look too sharp at PAC 12s.

      My dream for this regional: Oklahoma and Kentucky qualify. Burleson and Goings qualify AA and Price qualifies on UB.

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      1. Kentucky looked great at SEC’s! Their 4 AAers (Stuart, Korth, Hyland, and Dukes) are rock solid and look great heading into post-season. If they all hit at regionals, they will be tough to beat in the #2 spot.

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  6. I have to admit, I’m an SEC fan.
    I tuned into the PAC-12’s this past weekend and came away with a rather poor impression of “Miss Val.”

    First, she looked like she had been drinking a lot of wine 🍷 during the day. I have a feeling that’s pretty standard for her.

    Second, she doesn’t seem to be much of a gymnastics coach. How is this team not easily winning nationals? What is happening to these elite gymnasts? I know she has 6 national titles, but she really seems disconnected and lacking in the coaching department.

    Finally, did anyone notice how un-happy Maddison Kocian looked all night? Something seems off with that situation.

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    1. Ur seriously gonna say that’s standard for her srsly.

      Also kocian has been pretty stoic all season, I saw close to the same person, just disappointed in her own performance. Plus Utah. I give her props for not having perma stink eye and or constant resting bitch face cuz that’d be me no doubt.

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      1. Stef, what do you mean by “Plus Utah.” Do you just mean UCLA was upset Utah won or are you trying to say Utah didn’t deserve it?

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      2. Madison Kocian has a torn shoulder (hurt BEFORE arriving at UCLA). She has been trying to rehab it and still compete. She may get surgery after the season.

        Despite not being healthy this season, she has significantly contributed to the team both on and off the competition floor. Hopefully her extensive freshmen year competitions haven’t risked a more severe injury/future.

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    2. I think Miss Val sometimes comes across more as a friend than a coach and UCLA, in general, tends to be more loose than other programs in competition. I don’t think it’s a bad thing and I certainly don’t think Miss Val was drunk. Her style might not be for everyone, which is fine. I will say that I find it interesting she was interacting with fans during a championship meet. Imagine if a football coach asked fans what play to run or just talked to them during the PAC 12 Championship game — it would be all over the media.

      In regards to Kocian, she is always more stoic and quiet. I find it refreshing that she is more serious, especially when so many other gymnasts are constantly shouting “10” and dancing nonstop on the sideline.

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      1. Since you brought up football I need to say something…

        During the SEC telecast when Dana Duckworth went up to DD Breaux to congratulate her on the first championship in 36 years and they shared a hug, I couldn’t help but wish that Nick Saben would hug the LSU coach in congratulations of him leading the Tigers to the SEC title. The image in my head is delicious. 🙂

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    3. I was at the meet and I thought her behavior was worse than usual. She kept trying to get the crowds to yell louder during other school’s routines – particularly Utah. True , no love lost there but screaming like that during the floor was pretty bad, didn’t have much of an effect. IT was unfortunate for UCLA – They had a bad day, it probably won’t happen again. Any team can have that happen. Val just looked vicious through out the meet. Hated the way she circled the judging tables – really not appropriate and should not be allowed. Loved most of the meet both sessions and the girls for the most part did well. Loved watching Elizabeth Price. Still can’t figure out how skinner missed either Freshman of the year or Gymnast of the year – considering her body of work for the season and her acknowledgements as fresh or gymnst of the week throughout the season. A bit of a snub – Oh well. Minor detail. I hope this year will bring about some better oversight for judging because it has been really off. Looking forward to the culmination or this year – hopefully less drama and vitriol. just an afterthought – UCLA – Best Leos of the year. Ultra class – total sophistication and elegance.

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      1. Skinner not receiving the Freshman of the Year nor the Gymnast of the Year could be due to a type of multi-nomination Oscar effect…

        The voting coaches may have thought that Skinner could win either or both of the awards, but many of the individual coaches decided to just vote for Skinner to win just ONE of those two awards. Some coaches likely voted for Skinner to win ONLY the Freshman award, while other coaches likely voted for Skinner to win ONLY the Gymnast of the year award. This splitting of the votes can result in not winning in either category.

        It has happened at the Oscars when an actor is nominated in both the leading category AND the supporting role category (for two different films)…the result is that the actor can lose in both categories because the voters don’t want the actor to win BOTH awards, so some vote for the leading category and some vote the supporting role–and this vote splitting results in the multi-nominated actor/actress losing in both categories.

        There also could be another effect involved: Voters think that so-and-so will definitely win a particular award, so some voters decide to just vote for someone else (perhaps not realizing that their vote could be a deciding factor in the otherwise “obvious” choice not actually winning after all).

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      2. The coaches could’ve also considered that these awards need not be based fully on results, but also on the important intangibles like sportsmanship, of which Skinner has none.

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      3. Skinner spends what seems like half her time on social media putting down others and has continued to not learn her lesson. The entire Utah team seems to have trouble with this, honestly… One of their recent team pictures in a locker room referred to ASU as “trash” on a white board.

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      4. I cannot even believe Skinner didn’t get gymnast of the year, let alone Freshman of the year. McMillan is nowhere close to as accomplished as Skinner. Total travesty.

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    4. I think it’s been established she’s more of a life coach/mentor than a gymnastics coach. And I guess that can work. What’s bizarre to me is discussing line up changes with an member of the crowd and not one of the other UCLA coaches.

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      1. replying to a couple of the comments above – I have been to meets at multiple schools and I don’t recall any bad sportsmanship from Skinner any different to the other gymnasts at any of the schools. If they are still harping back to the Olympic trial thing – that was just dumb and a reaction to being totally screwed. She has been a great team mate and good sport all through NCAA time – In my opinion it was just pure sourness from the other coaches . There are many gymnasts who get a little snarky after a missed routine that is just disappointment not bad sportsmanship. – As to miss Val if you want to discuss bad sportsmanship = she is the poster girl. Her behavior was one step below vile and the getting the crowds to cheer during particularly the Utah Floor was really bad. I was in the 1st row of the upper area and I couldn’t hear the music. It wasn’t just cheers for UCLA but absolute screaming. Really bad. She is always very vocal about the behavior of other schools – maybe a little self reflection is warranted.

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  7. Lalalalala!!!! Oklahoma is coming to Seattle!!!!!! I just bought tickets for me, my sisters, and my nieces! So excited!!!

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  8. Thanks for addressing the scoring issues, Spencer. I was wondering about Stover’s beam when I watched it. I didn’t quite understand how she scored so high with the lack of acro series in addition to several balance checks. Obviously, it doesn’t matter at all in the context of this meet since her score was the one they dropped anyway, so it’s not like I’m super upset about it. However, I think beam scoring really needs to be addressed before next season. I can remember at least two beam routines from the regular season (one from Georgia and one from UCLA) where at least one judge gave a score that was mathematically impossible.

    Please note: I used the two examples that came to mind of egregious beam scoring errors. I’m sure there were tons more that aren’t coming to mind at the moment.

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    1. I think scoring needs to be looked at everywhere. I actually think over all beam was one of the least egregious. Bars and floor seemed to go crazy this year.

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      1. I agree that floor and bars were probably worse with the sheer amount of craziness, but the reason I mention beam is because there have been a lot of errors involving aspects of scoring that are completely objective. While it is frustrating when the judges clearly only deducted 0.05 for a large step on a bars dismount, it’s also a bit more understandable to me because the line between a 0.05 step and a 0.1 step is subjective. The issue on beam that I find more troubling than that is things like giving a 10.0 start value to a routine that had no acro series or no dance series. I don’t mean routines with a slow/questionable connection, I mean routines where it just plain wasn’t in there. That is a completely objective failure to meet the special requirements, and the fact that any judge failed to deduct 0.2 from the start value in that situation is really concerning. While it’s always going to be an uphill battle to achieve consistency on scoring subjective errors, it should be the expectation that objective problems such as failure to meet special requirements will be marked down consistently.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, scoring.
        I think they need to spend the off-season getting the actual judging aligned with the code that is supposed to be the basis of the judging. Don’t care about leg form? Write in the code that a certain permissable amount of loose legs/feet is no deduction. Don’t care about handstands? Same. Write in the code a larger allowance before deducting. Want to call minor foot movement on a landing a stick? Write it in the code!

        Or, you do think these things should be deductions? Then make the judges take the deductions, but force them to be consistent with each other and with the code.

        Also, want to give extra bonus for routines that go above and beyond in difficulty? Do an overhaul on start value a-la 2000-2004 elite code making it so that only the best have a 10 start. I have liked what this (devaluing the Y-full) has done for vault, and think the other events need to follow suit. Because the judges are just making up their own rules in the meantime. And I like the spirit of saying that a harder routine should get scored higher, but there has to be a real system for awarding those extra points.

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      3. I totally agree with Robin. What I think should happen is that current 10.0 routines should become 9.95. In order to get to 10, you have to do an E pass on floor or an equivalently difficult move on bars/beam. It’s kind of like devaluing the Y Full. Many people will still do the Y full because it isn’t that much less than the 1.5, but the people who do the 1.5 still have a tangible advantage.

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  9. You’d think they’d at least draw the regions in some way so that there’s an equivalent number of teams in all of them. They might look wonky, but it’d probably still have nothing on congressional districts. 😛

    Still could cause issues if certain regions have a disproportionate number of teams qualifying for regionals (and thus, less competition for individual spots), but less likely to cause an outcome that egregious.

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    1. What? Regions have really nothing to do with geography outside of the placement of teams 19-36. Every regional has 6 teams, so I’m not sure what you mean by an equivalent number of teams.

      If you mean conferences (SEC, PAC, B1G, etc) — changes will never happen based on gymnastics. Not every school has gymnastics and the decision on whether to have it is up to the school administrations.

      In NCAA, post season is open to the best teams and is rarely, if ever, limited to a certain number of teams out of a conference or region. Look at the March Madness brackets. The top seeds get seeded closer to home, but everyone travels.

      Are a lot of the commentators on this blog new to NCAA gymnastics or NCAA, in general. I just can’t remember ever seen this amount of confusion and “backlash” towards the post season before. Maybe a primer on the post season process would help.

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      1. I wasn’t responding to Spencer’s commentary about REGIONS, not regionals. Namely, about the situation that resulted in Air Force being able to essentially send a full team of gymnasts to regionals despite not qualifying thanks to the way individual spots are allocated.

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  10. The Arkansas regional teams need to be careful of Auburn. They showed some fight at SECs and I wouldn’t be surprised if they put up a season high at regionals.

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    1. I totally agree. Assuming Utah has the first slot, I would say that Denver, Cal, and Auburn all have an equal shot of qualifying.
      Controversial opinion time: We complain about over scoring of the top teams but I feel that Denver is one of the most over scored teams of all. Am I the only one who isn’t sold on Denver? (and I’ve seen them compete in person)

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      1. I agree about Denver. I really like Maddie Karr and I think they are a talented team, but I think they have definitely received some overscoring this year.

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  11. I know people will start to doubt Georgia, like they do nearly every year since 2010, but it looks like Georgia is one of the “safer” 2 seeds. Even if Dickson is limited to bars, I think they are fine. Reynolds is normally solid on beam. She won’t go 9.9, but she’s capable of 9.75-9.85, which is good enough to advance to Nationals. Roberts on floor can also go around 9.8 and will likely be the dropped score. On vault, I’d put Roberts last and hope she can hit, and if not, her score at least won’t hold down the scores behind her.

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      1. They’ve had strong meets, but so has Georgia. Could an upset happen? Of course, anything can happen. But there’s a reason Georgia has already beaten Missouri three times this year — they have proven themselves. Ever since 2010, people doubt Georgia at regionals. There are other two seeds in a much more precarious spot than Georgia.

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  12. Absolute agreement on that screaming/dancing/high-fiving literally everyone should not be required behaviors. Frankly, the way that Kramer was like, forced to awkwardly high-five a bunch of people after falling made me uncomfortable to watch. Just let her be bummed! It’s not like any other event where you can say, great recovery and good work finishing up strong or something. But maybe if they didn’t high five her she’d feel terrible like she was being shunned! I guess in summary, I have no idea how the actual gymnasts feel in those situations but I’d be curious to find out.

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    1. When I was competing in college and fell on vault my teammates gave me high fives and Pat’s on the back but they were more subdued. They meant good try and you’ll get it next time and we don’t hate you. I appreciated it but sometimes after falls I see some gymnasts trying to keep the energy overly high and still sprinting at them and jumping up and down and I feel like that would have been weird. But each person understands their teammates and probably knows that they may need to do that to keep their head in the game or something.

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      1. Thanks for sharing your experience! You’re right that the team probably knows what any particular gymnast would appreciate in that scenario : )

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    2. Thank you for saying this, it has always looked weird to me when a team enthusiastically high fives a teammate after a missed routine. I come from the philosophy of meet people where they are at, and this seemingly-celebratory vibe has looked incongruent to me. But, I am only a spectator, with opinions from the outside.

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  13. The Lincoln regional would have Lisa O’Donnell (UWW, 38.47 RQS) and Eboni Jackson (Winona, 37.955 RQS) competing as AAers if it weren’t for D3 Nationals happening on the same weekend. But your point about the uneven regions for individual qualification still stands. Why don’t they just get rid of anything geographic, take the top 24 AAs and 12 event specialists not on a qualifying team, and divide them up across the regionals?

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  14. I attended Session 2 of Pac-12s and I was impressed by the sportsmanship of everyone in the building. There was no booing by anybody from any team. Most fans clapped along for most of the routines (the entire arena was LOUD for Hailey Burleson’s floor). Elise Ray got a standing ovation from a lot of non-Washington fans when she won COTY. Utah fans applauded the 10 by Ross on beam and some of the stuck vaults from other teams. UCLA and Utah fans wished each other luck in the line outside Maples. I even heard that Madison Kocian complimented Megan Marsden’s look that night.

    Obviously gymnastics fans are a passionate group, but it was refreshing that the vibe in the building was friendly, collegial, and that everyone appreciated good gymnastics. Even the Stanford staff who put on the event were friendly to non-Stanford fans. I think we all get caught up in the drama (which we love, obviously) but it was fun to be at a competition where everyone appreciates high-quality gymnastics.

    I didn’t attend the first session, but judging by scores it looks like every team HIT when the pressure was on. Congratulations to all 8 teams for putting on a great show for the fans.

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  15. I’m not sure where to reply anymore 🙂

    I’ve never seen Skinner, nor anyone on the Utah team put anyone else down on twitter. Not that I stalk their twitters, but from what I have seen, I’ve never seen anything that fits that description. If I’m not mistaken, the photo you are talking about, stated something like “kicking ASU’s trash”, which you know means kicking their butt’s. It doesn’t mean they are calling them trash. Come on. Don’t make something out of nothing.

    Should Skinner have been on the Rio Olympic Team? Absolutely. She was screwed, big time. And from what I gather, treated pretty badly on the national scene (along with many other gymnasts who weren’t in Martha’s clique) for the past few years. Should Skinner have been PAC-12 Freshman of the Year or Gymnast of the Year? Absolutely. She won the most Freshman of the week’s, right? Seem’s logical. But whatever. Still shouldn’t take away from Ross and McMillan, who are both fabulous gymnasts, and well deserving of the awards they received.

    So maybe give Skinner a break. She’s competed her whole life in a sport that demands perfection for a dream of competing on the biggest stage in the world. She was actually good enough, and one of the 5th best gymnasts on the day of qualifying. But, unlike other sports…..gymnastics doesn’t work that way. They said a big “F” You to Skinner. Told her she really wasn’t good enough. Psych. JK. We’re gonna take someone else in your place.

    I dunno. Gotta be pretty hard on someone, I would think. I’ve never walked in those shoes, but I would imagine it would have been devastating. I’m sure some of those feelings resurfaced on Saturday night. Maybe? I dunno. She won Freshman of the Week a ton of times. But then doesn’t win any of the awards? People are always on her case about her retweeting when people say good things about her on twitter. What does it matter? Maybe it’s a way for her to feel validated? I have no idea, but it makes some sense to me. After all, she was kicked in the face pretty badly at the trials, in my opinion.

    Gymnastics is a tough sport. It messes with your head. You are dealing with perfection all day, everyday. Just my thoughts. 🙂

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    1. Well said! I don’t consider myself pro- or anti- Skinner and have no strong feelings either way. I also have no dog in the fight when it comes to Utah and UCLA (or the entire PAC 12). With that being said, you can’t deny the awesome freshman season Skinner is having. I honestly feel like Skinner not winning a season award at PACs would have been the equivalent of Nichols not winning any season award in the Big 12. In no way am I taking anything away from McMillan or Ross, but Skinner’s weekly awards and individual rankings alone should have gotten her an honor. If this was an issue of splitting votes between Freshman and Gymnast, the PAC should have stepped in and placed her in a category for votes. If it’s not an issue of splitting votes, then I question the criteria of the awards and the intentions of the coaches or SIDs who voted.

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    2. Love your version. I think people have treated Skinner pretty badly all season. I think she is amazing and exhibits a fun personality. If she wins it isn’t a big enough win. If she doesn’t win it’s proof that she’s not that good. Name any coach in the country who wouldn’t want her on their team. She adds great point value. She may not be demure and quiet but she is great fun to watch. Hang in there Mykayla you are loved by thousands and we’re pulling for you.

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    3. I wouldn’t say Skinner absolutely belonged on that Rio team. Yes, she had a fantastic trials. That was the first meet where she hit 4 for 4 all year. I wasn’t convinced of her ability to hit at Rio based on one meet, you think Martha should have been? You could count on her vault, and hope she hits floor, but that was it. No way she was usable on bars or beam. And that just didn’t fit the picture for team USA.

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      1. I totally agree with Robin’s assessment of Skinner and her potential to be on the Rio team….great meet, great trials, but she didn’t fit the needs of the team . And Skinner and company knew the “rules” going into trials…it was never ” the top 5 are going to Rio”…she could really learn a lesson from Elizabeth Price, who also finished 4th at the prior Olympic trials , and was also named an alternate, on how to move on gracefully when things down go like you hope they will…

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      2. I totally understand your point Robin, and you are right, Skinner and company did know the rules (as did I). Personally, I felt more confident in Skinner hitting at Rio based on how she performed leading up to the trials, and at the trials……over Gabby. If I had to hear one more time during the broadcast, that we (USA) were so talented and deep, that we could send two teams to Rio and still have no competition for gold and silver, I was going to poke my eyes out. If that’s the case, then take the top 5 scorers that day. Just like all the other sports do. Just like they used to do it. It’s absolutely ridiculous how they’ve changed it. In my opinion. Of course, I started gymnastics after I saw Olga Korbut in the ’72 Olympics, so l’m old school 😉

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  16. Skinner retweeted a picture of herself that had the caption “the real PAC 12 GOTY and Freshman of the year is Mykayla Skinner…#PAC12fail”….I get that she was disappointed but Ross and McMillan didn’t deserve this response..and that is how Skinner comes off as being a poor sport…

    Someone needs to teach her to count to 100, and run it by an impartial 3rd party before she posts anything….although it might be a familial thing as I’ve seen posts from her father that are of questionable taste…

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    1. Seriously? It’s like olympic trials all over again. Kinda seems like she didn’t learn her lesson and is a bitter loser. Most athletes in the public eye are smart enough to at least *appear* gracious and hide their bitterness. So … points for authenticity???

      That said, as a total non-Skinner fan, I agree that she is the most successful gymnast in the pac-12 and am shocked she didn’t get any award there. (If she had gotten it, I would agree that she deserved it, but don’t want to take away from Kyla and Katiana and their successes by saying Skinner deserved it more than them).

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      1. It’s probably a similar situation you see with other young athletes:

        Cam Newton, after losing the Super Bowl.
        Grayson Allen at Duke
        Lebron James when the Cavs are struggling.
        And other numerous athletes who tweet or behave poorly because they don’t quite understand how to control their competitiveness and lack maturity.

        Some people mature quicker, while others take more time. That may be the case with Skinner.

        It’s so interesting how men can be cocky and confident and it’s praised, while women are labeled “bitches” and “poor sports.”

        I never appreciated some of the things I heard about Bridget Sloan and her character, but I did love watching her compete with tenacity and strength. I don’t want a stoic athlete, I want a passionate one.

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    2. Why are you reading her father’s tweets? I don’t understand why people (adults–not other college students) follow so many of these college kids’ social media platforms and I really don’t understand looking at the athete’s family member accounts.

      That being said, if Skinner posted that picture, it’s in poor taste and the Utah athletic department should address it. Not only is it offensive to Ross and McMillan, but it could jeopardize future Utah gymnasts (and athletes in other sports) from getting conference honors. Voters may hold Skinner’s reaction against the school in future years.

      To be fair tho, Skinner deserved an award after all of the individual titles she won during the regular season, plus the three titles at PACs. She beat Ross and McMillan twice this season.

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    3. I still don’t see how retweeting things like that, automatically makes Skinner have no sportsmanship. And just because you didn’t see any negative tweets from Ebby 8 years ago (did you follow her back then?), she handled everything with perfect grace.

      Yes, maybe those retweets weren’t the best to retweet, and sounded unsportsmanlike. But unless you know Skinner, Ebby Price, McMillan, Ross, etc. personally, making those kinds of defining statements are wrong.

      A lot of these girls are still under the age of 20, and I’ve seen so many negative comments from adults this year. Most of them directed at Skinner, and it’s shocked me. I know this site and gymcastic are all about the snark, and being catty. I get it, I’ve been a follower and listener for years now. But when adults that have a following and influence with other fans in the community, start being openly mean and seem to single out one gymnast in particular, it doesn’t sit right. Everyone starts jumping on the bandwagon and it’s like a gang mentality. Like cyber-bullying.

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      1. A poster on another site pointed out that Kassandra Lopez won PAC 12 Specialist of the Year over Francis ( who had the higher RQS) and Atkinson won SEC GOTY (over Sloan) and although there was debate back and forth, you didn’t see those that thought they might win (i.e. Francis etc) calling out the conference as a “fail” for not naming them.

        It is more than results and I don’t think it is “cyberbullying” to point out that certain posts are offensive and generally unwise for an athlete to have posted….I’m frankly surprised that her school or coaches haven’t addressed this matter because as a prior poster pointed out, it colors how future voters will see Utah athletes…and not in a good way.

        And I actually saw the father’s post (and no, I do not follow him) on another site as it was highlighted as to how his daughter may come about how she feels…he thinks she’s the best college gymnast ever and points out where he sees others lacking, multiple times …but I still think there should be restraint in what the daughter posts with regards to other competitors because while Gymfan may not think it is in poor taste, others do and some of those “others” may be PAC 12 coaches voting on the whole package of the gymnast, not just her results.

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      2. You do realize Skinner never called out the conference for not naming her, right? She merely “liked” a tweet that someone else tweeted. I never said it wasn’t in poor taste, I just said it didn’t make her 100% unsportsmanlike, as others have said above. I have seen MyKayla be very sportsmanlike at meets, She is very team oriented with her teammates, and seems to have embraced the team atmosphere, which is what collegiate athletics is all about.

        I just find it interesting that so many people are doing to MyKayla Skinner, exactly what they are accusing her of doing to others. That’s where the gang mentality and cyber-bullying come in to play, in my opinion. One person says something, and instead of checking all the facts, it gets blown out of proportion and everyone jumps into the game.

        Again, just my thoughts and opinions.

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      3. The post didn’t magically retweet (or ‘like’?) itself, Gymfan, and it seems to be part of a pattern of behavior. Like you said, she is young and far from irredeemable, and is an excellent gymnast! But accepting losses graciously, even when the loss seems unfair, IS part of being a good sport. Being a good sport isn’t just being supportive of teammates or being nice to fans. Retweeting or liking posts where others say that the winners didn’t deserve their awards is super shady. It doesn’t matter that she didn’t write it herself, think of it as her personally ‘endorsing’ that message.
        Also, she wasn’t ‘robbed’ or ‘screwed’ during the olympic trials process– the final all-around standings at trials have not been the deciding factor in who makes the team for quite a while. As has been mentioned already, the fourth-place finisher in 2012 was made an alternate as well. Understandably disappointing for her, but not a shock. I’m sure it must be really tough to have awards/team slots she values keep being these ‘close but no cigar’ situations. But I can’t say I see it as cyberbullying for people to say, ‘no, she’s an excellent gymnast but her placement on the olympics/selection for pac-12 award wasn’t a foregone conclusion, and endorsing messages that undermine the wins of others isn’t polite behavior’.
        If only there was a ‘pro’ league after college, like NBA or or something but for gymnastics, where they could be as salty or loud-mouthed as they want and have feuds with other players and maybe there could be fouling as well.

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  17. “There were no mistake routines at all. Aufiero nailed her bars set (and given the way scoring was going, we all thought that would be a 10 too, but she’s not famous, so alas)” Um, she won the meet with that 9.95, so the judges got that right, no?

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  18. Casey Magnesium is cute.

    The judging at PAC 12s was not.

    I was hoping to see Oklahoma at the Lincoln regional, but I’ll take LSU! And I have seen not one routine of Boise State all season, so it will be fun to see them live.

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  19. Well said Poster!…and I agree with you about this thread here not being “cyberbullying”. The conference awards are never just about who won the most or who is in first place …if that were true, Elise Ray wouldn’t “deserve” her COTY award nor would Larissa Libby in the BIg 10….

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    1. To clarify my cyber-bullying comments….. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest that this thread in particular is cyber-bullying.

      It’s my opinion that when grown adults in a position of power (not sure if that is the right wording), like hosts a blog, podcast, runs a twitter with a lot of followers, etc. and puts something out there, that may or not be 100% fact, or maybe just their opinion, or maybe one side of a story (I’m not talking about the “n” word tweet or anything specific), and hasn’t shared the other side of the story or issue…..and then their followers take that information and run with it, and start name calling teenagers, or non-legal adults pretty awful things, and a kind of pack mentality happens. And before you know it half the people involved don’t even know what really happened in the first place, or all of the facts.

      In my opinion, that becomes a type of Cyber-bullying. Especially, when it seems to come from a place of just being mean, and people wanting to hurt someone just for the sake of being mean.

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    2. Personal and character attacks happen on this board all the time. That’s cyber bullying, whether you want to agree with it or not.

      People need to start worrying more about themselves, and less about what some teenage girl re-tweets or likes on Instagram. God, grow up!

      Have you ever heard the phrase, “appearances aren’t always what they seem.” None of you no shit about any of these girls, so stop pretending like you do.

      Also, Elise Ray falls perfectly under the term “COY,” she just took a Washington team to a top 15 ranking and a 3rd place finish. Do you not follow any other sports? I’m guessing you don’t.

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  20. As I said Poster, MyKayla “liked” someone else’s tweet. That’s all she did.

    From what I have seen THIS YEAR, since she has been with UTAH, she has never said anything negative about another team, nor another gymnast from another team. Nor has another other Utah gymnast, said anything negative about another team or gymnast.

    It’s all of the fans, bloggers, podcasters, etc. that are saying such mean spirited stuff about everyone. All teams included. It’s ridiculous.

    I guess we can just respectfully agree to disagree 🙂

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  21. Lol! I love hopping on this message board and seeing all the drama.

    Let me put it this way, if you’re on here complaining about scores, judges, etc. you’re a poor sport. Simple fact! You’re using social media to get out all of your frustrations. “Well, so-and-so shouldn’t have got a 10 because I’m a judge and I didn’t think it was a 10!” 😤

    We all like generalizations on this board, so I’m going to use a broad brush to paint you all as poor sports. The rest of us will just continue to laugh at how much you care about something you can’t control.

    Like

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