National Semifinals Live Blog

The day has arrived, when twelve become six and you become vaguely emotionally unhinged again.


I’m here in the arena, so I’ll be letting you know everything I see, beginning with the warmups. Currently Oregon State is on vault and we’ve seen some crashed Y1.5s from both the 1.5ers. Fun start.

We’ve moved to the third warmup rotation now. UCLA is on beam and Katelyn Ohashi is warming up in her usual lineup spot. The Denver gymnasts all have “Denver” temp tattoos on their temples, and from the side, it looks like they all wear glasses now, and I’m obsessed.

Nichols a couple 1.5s in warmups, both with small steps. Normal. Also, the coaching-pose-posture fight is REAL. Lots of contenders.

Baely Rowe warms up beam with a foam block in her hand. Kari Lee did not warm up beam. McNatt warmed up in the 6th spot and Lewis in the 7th (alternate) spot.

Low-key obsessed with Nikole Addison’s vault run. She’s going to take you out.

Commenter: UCLA hasn’t warmed up floor or vault yet, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

UCLA warming up floor now. I count Toronjo, Ohashi, Ross, Cipra, Hano, Kocian, Mossett, and Meraz. No Preston. Hano struggled with a double tuck landing that I saw, so I’d guess we’re unlikely to see her suddenly jump into the lineup. Ross’s landings looked pretty secure. Ohashi warming up passes. A little bouncy. Kramer has just joined the floor warmup mix toward the end. Why not? Keep things interesting. The order of their music was the usual lineup, followed by Ross and then Hano.

On to the final rotation of warmups. Kramer and Meraz are warming up vault along with the regionals lineup for UCLA. Hano showing a pretty well controlled full, small hop back, not like regionals. Hall sits first 1.5. Kramer sat first 1.5. Alexis Mattern warming up with UCLA. UCLA is like, “OUR TEAM PLEASES?!?!?!?!

Pua squats her second 1.5 but lands it. That one she does sometimes where it looks like she’s going to fall and then it turns out she sticks. Kramer pretty strong on second 1.5. Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions. Val has not asked my opinion…

Warmups over. Leaving the arena to prepare for competition now. And by prepare for competition, I mean coach costume change.

Internet in the arena is in and out, so if I disappear for moments at a time, you can probably assume that’s the reason. In-house emcee isn’t Macready, and I don’t know what to do with a normal human person (relative) in this role…

Lineups in, UCLA has Kyla currently in the third spot on floor. Toronjo, Ohashi, Ross, Cipra, Kocian, Mossett.

Natalie Brown back in Oklahoma’s floor lineup. No Turner.

Introductions beginning now.

Neutral venues for never… I think of all the venues that would be sold out right now…

Rotation 1 – Utah vault, Washington bars, Denver, beam, Oregon St floor

It’s the “who’s really in this for the upset?” rotation.

Here we go. Touch over.

Rowe – VT – small hop back y full

goings finishes bars with jaeger, close catch – short following handstand – couple short handstands – sticks tuck full. I see 9.750s and 9.80s from judges.

Hit beam from Ogden for Denver. Seeing some 9.8s for this one.

Ricci finishes floor, short double pike with a bounce forward.

Roberts – VT – also bounces back out of full, stronger dynamics than Rowe.

Merrell 1.5 fairly deep with a larger lunge to the side.

Aufiero finishes floor with stagger bounce –

Burleson bars – a borderline handstand or two – sticks doubele tuck chest up.

Muhaw – VT – also a lunge back – Utah not getting the vault landings early.

Loper – BB – Denver – tight on aerial but solid – repeats aerial, slow but does connect it into bhs –

Lowery – FX – deep but secure on double pike –

Janik hits jaeger – DLO small hop –

Lewis – VT – great amplitude on full and just a small bounce. Their first championships vault.

Scores low so far but warranted. TIGHT gymnastics.

Skinner – VT – one of her best DTYs – near stick.

Copiak – UB – hits bail – some short final hadnstands in these routines – sticks very strong tuck full, chest up.

SCP – FX – whip doublt tuck with a lunge – Y spin – rudi – solid 180s on leap elements – very low double pike, step forward.

Duranczyk – UB – hits jaeger -to overshoot – doesn’t stick the DLO this time, chest forward with a step. Shame. It was perfect in the touch warmup just now.

49.0875 for Utah on vault.

Ross – BB – Denver – full turn, solid – hitch kick to switch ring, lovely – aerial to bhs series, no checks – short on dismount, chest down and a lunge forward – will take down the score with that.

Gardiner – FX – pretty much almost around on 3/1 – a little bouncy on double pike. OSU floor landings OK but not pristine in too many places.

Washington 49.0375 on bars.

Tanya having to show McMillan’s number to all the judges because she has a backspin.

Karr – BB – hits series with small lean – full turn – side aerial to side position, some knee form but secure – a litlte under on leaps but hit – sticks dismount. They get away with it, no counting a fall.

McMillan – up to a DLO first pass and very good – rudi finish, chest up, solid – Oregon State pulled it together toward the end and should be leaping after one? I thought Gardiner’s landings were a little weaker than 9.875, though. 9.900 for McMillan.

48.9875 for Denver on beam.

Metcalf for Iowa hits beam, strong series – small lean on 1.5 landing. Vertical stripe overalls is the theme of the day for the Iowa fans. Significance?

Very secure floor landings for Haylee Young. Should be a nice score.

That’s the end of rotation 1.
Utah – 49,0875
Oregon State – 49.0875
Washington – 49.0375
Denver – 48.9875

Well, they couldn’t really be tighter packed. Utah did not get the desired separation over Oregon State there, but it’s still early. Bars isn’t typically a higher score for Washington, so they’ll be pleased being so close to all the other teams at this point.

Rotation 2 – Oregon State vault, UCLA bars, Washington beam, Oklahoma floor

Oklahoma and UCLA in the same leos as regionals. UH OH FASHION FAUX PAS NEVER BE SEEN IN THE SAME LEO TWICE.

Jones – FX – clean 1.5 to layout second pass, controlled – a litlte bouncy on final double pike.

Meraz – UB – good first hs – htis ray, good extension – clean hs – a small bit short on bail, misses final handstand – step back DLO. 9.800.

Nelson for washington has a lean correction on beam but saves it – small hop on 1.5.

Aufiero 9.800 on vault.

Honest – UB – hits tkatchev – some short handstands – hits straddle back – flings out tuck full the usual amount, holds the stick.

Hop back on vault for Gill.

Bit of a stumble for Brown on her front double full, not big but a corssover step – OOB on second pass. Still gets 9.750 even with the stumble step and OOB.

Large break for Washington on beam.

Hit for Savvidou. Clean.

Hop back on vault for Jacobsen –

Dowell – FX – hop forward on double front but stays in – secure second pass and leaps looked pretty solid for Brenna from here – strong routine aside from the opening hop, expect a good score.

Kocian – UB – toe shap – hits toe shap 1/2 as well – small hop back on tuck full again and then a little uncontrolled salute but not significant.

McMillan – VT – large bounce forward out of her 1.5 but she made the correction from sitting it in the warmup and hit, so progress.

Ross – UB – nearly arches first hs but fine – good shap to bail to stalder shoot – sticks DLO. Good one overall.

Capps – FX – large bounce back on double pike and OOB, another OOB for Oklahoma, second of this rotation and third overall already in this semifinal. Good rudi.

Dessaints – VT – a little off line this time on the 1.5 with a hop to the side. BUT, two hit 1.5s after none in the warmup.

Peng – I missed her Ray – hits bhardwaj and shap 1/2 – small hop forward on DLO.

Goings – BB – pristine loso series – beat jump to straddle 1/4, good 180 position – lean correction on gainer loso – side aerial to full –

Shoutout to the judge who gave Capps a 9.900 with that bounce –

Nichols – strong piked full in, usual staggered landing but kept that front foot down – 1.5 through to 2/1, excellent and controlled – secure double pike. This will be a good point to judge how high the floor scores are willing to go because…you know, good. 10 from two judges. 9.900 from the other four.

Burleson – BB – aerial to bhs series, keeps it moving  – straddle jump to straddle 1/4 –

Jackson – FX – Oklahoma in the crowd and the team does the chalk in her routine as usual – bounces back on her open full in – more control on the second pass – we’re seeing some bounciness from OU, so while it will be a good score, it won’t be as high as they would have hoped. Also, I’m even more obsessed with this routine than before. Bounce back on the double pike as well. Not her usual landing control. 9.925 is ridic for two out-of-control landings, though.

Remme – BB – small lean correction on series – switch and switch 1/2- small hop forward on 1.5.

49.000 for Oregon State on vault. for 98.0875

UCLA – 49.3625

Washington – 49.1875 for 98.2250

Oklahoma – 49.350. Oklahoma fine on floor but got away with one a little bit there because that was far from their good rotations. Also, can we talk about how Nichols and Jackson got the same score? Or should we just not?

UCLA didn’t reach RQS on bars, but no one is reaching RQS today, so they’ll take being ahead of Oklahoma any day.

Rotation 3 – Oklahoma vault, Utah bars, UCLA beam, Denver floor

OK, lost internet for a long time there. Let’s see. Capps amazing stuck full on vault, Dowell with a large bound forward on her 1.5.

Skinner nearly arched a handstand on the low.

Mossett fell on beam after a good hit from Gerber.

Kocian – aerial to sheep – aerial great, small check on sheep – hits loso series – switch to split, good – hit.

Lewis – UB – hits tkatchev – , nice handstand – secure bail –

Jackson small hop forward on 1.5. Should be a strong score.

Nichols – VT – small shuffle to the side on her 1.5, excellent in the air.

Ross – BB – good loso series, hits switch ring to beat jump – solid aerial –

We’re continuing the trend of Nichols and Jackson being evaluated the same even though Nichols was stronger.

Karr hits final rudi on floor well.

Lee – UB – Utah – good vertical on first hs – fingertips that piked jaeger but hits – nearly knees down on the dismount, keeps it together but a large lunge forward will take away the score. I’m surprised she’s able to dismount right now.

Great stick from Braie Speed on a yfull.

Peng – BB – flares – switch to split, good – large break on layout to two feet but manages to stay on – side aerial to stuck full – too out a bunch of difficulty

Addison finishes floor with a bounce back on double pike but solid before that. Denver has been controlling these tumbling passes very well.

They’ll still get a somewhat usable score from peng’s routine, so it’s one more moment of truth.

Ohashi – BB – aerial to bhs series – they are in WE WILL NOT FALL composition – solid leap shapes – smooth full turn – sticks dismount. So UCLA will get through beam and will end up with a pretty usable score to keep them alive.

Hammen – FX – lovely 2.5, nailed that landing – front full to layout, not the beat line, but fine and solid.

49.3625 for UCLA after all that. This is exactly the kind of lead they wanted since they’ve already done their good events.

Mattern hits beam, punctuated by a stuck gainer full.

They’re showing 9.7375 for Hammen, thought it was better than that. I was impressed by Denver’s landing control.

Metcalf quite secure on floor, no trouble with landing control.

UCLA – 98.7250
Oklahoma – 98.7000
Denver – 98.2250
Washington – 98.2250
Utah – 98.1750
Oregon State – 98.0875

UCLA – mission accomplished so far, leading after three and with a fall of buffer heading to the bad-ish events. Utah is the one that will be a little nervous now. They won’t mind a little bit of a deficit going to their last event because it’s floor, but too close for comfort right now. Beam needs to be not just hit but hit comfortably into the 49s.

Rotation 4 – Denver vault, Oregon State bars, Utah beam, Washington floor

The first rotation was the “let’s see who’s in the for upset” rotation, but since they couldn’t decide that amongst themselves, it becomes this rotation as the four trailing teams will have to try to establish which one is going to put itself in qualification position for the moment.

Stover got her acro series this time and hit a very smooth routine. Schaefer a little bouncy on her opening pass on floor but secure after that. Clean hit for Garinder.

Jacobsen – UB – a little floppy but solidly caught in tkatchev to overshoot – hop forward double front.

Addison – VT – awesome amplitude and one of her good landings, hop back but not huge.

Merrell – BB – switch to split, good – hits loso series – sticks 2/1.

MCP on bars for Oregon State, when was the last time she went – good jaeger though – and clean handstand on the bail – hop forward on dismount.

Karr – VT – Denver – exceptional 1.5 – just a hop in place if that.

Singley with either a knee down or an almost-knee -down on bars.

Reinstadtler with a third hit for Utah –

Music problems for Duranczyk – steps off – back on with right music now – front tuck through to double pike, short with a lunge – stumble backward on double back and OOB –

McMillan also comes in short on her DLO dismount with a lunge forward, struggle dismounts for OSU on bars.

Skinner – BB – solid loso series – a little tentative on side aerial but fine – switch to straddle – straddle jump to back tuck, smallest lean – sticks double tuck.

Aufiero sticks DLO on bars, better.

Denver scratched Chesnok on vault because they already had five scores higher than she would get.

Love Washington for Washington’s leap ampltiude.

Haylee Young was crazy-close on a jaeger but worked out of it – good DLO.

Rowe – BB – Utah – switch and straddle 1/4, loses her foot form on both – a little low chest on three series but secure – does her full turn without the foam block, small waver – solid 1.5 dismount.

Yacalis – FX – good chest up on full in – secure double tuck as well. Washington really coming through on these final floor routines.

Oregon State goes sub-49 on bars. Devastating.

McNatt – BB – secure sheep jump – works out of her aerial into bhs, came in short on her aerial but dealt with it – overturns her full turn with a check – hit

Burleson – FX – solid opening double pike – switch ring – 1.5 to layout, a little archy – 2.5 is well controlled. Washington will be happy with this rotation. The problem for them will be that they finish on vault while Utah finishes on floor.

Remme – FX – a crossover step on front 2/1, but solidly around – very slight lack of control on final pass, but a good one. She’ll take it.

Denver and Oregon State fall out of it a little after their rotations. Washington and utah almost tied with one event remaining for both.

Utah – 147.5625
Washington – 147.5375
Denver – 147.175
Oregon State – 147.000

Rotation 5 – Washington vault, Oklahoma bars, Oregon State beam, UCLA floor

Copiak – VT -one of her better full landings, smallish hop back –

Capps – UB – her usual – excellent handstands – flat tkatchev, strong dismount.

Toronkjo – FX – nails double pike, good control – a little short on double tuck with a lunge forward – 1.5 to layout, just a touch bouncy, but useul overall.

Catour – UB – great first hs – strong tkatchev, great amplitude, legs right together on bail, a little arch, also muscles up final handstnd – hop in place on DLO.

One of the beam judges just posted 9.870 for OSU’s first beam. No.

Floor scores zooming. 9.875 for Toronjo.

Ohashi – FX – bouncy on double tuck – 1.5 to 1/2 to split to front tuck – bounces again on double pike but got through a routine on her ankle.

Dowell – UB – excellent tkatchev obviously – legs together though bail, a little angle in the air – small hop on DLO

Goings sticks yurchenko full, chest a little down.

Lehrmann – UB – giant jaeger, cmooth handstand – hits bail – precise hs – sticks tuck full. So yeah.

Riley – VT – step forward on y1/2, much better control than the last couple.

Kyla – FX – here goes nothing – bounces on double tuck – more secure on double pike, maybe a slight slide – pulls out of a wolf jump full a little, that wasn’t really anything, didn’t hit position – this Monique De La Torre “I’m owrried about your endurance” choreography – 1.5 to layout. Hit. What a time to reemrge.

Wofford – UB – precise full and half turns – catches close onjaeger with bent arms – hop on dismount, solid but not one of her good ones.

Yacalis – VT – excellent amplitude on full, small step –

McMillan – BB – kickover front to bhs, slow in combination but very secure –

Nichols – UB – great Ray – excellent pak to toe on to shap 1/2 – legs togerther throughout – maybe a stick on the DLO? If anything, it was small –

Cipra’s phone routine is back. Oh, I’m just so ecstatic…some bounciness on that final double pike. Otherwise good.

Floor scores are going through the roof.

Dessaints – BB – hits series comfortably – switch to double stag, good – kickover to two feet, nailed – sticks gainer full – doing what they can to get back in.

Kocian – UB – front double full, controlled step out, good twisting shape – back 15 to front 1.5, just a little hop, strong straddle positions, obviously – this routine is translating a little better for me in this venue than it did during the season, she’d still rather die than emote the way Val wants her to but…strong and controlled double pike. Will be a big one if Cipra was 9.925.

Mossett a little slidey, just a little bit, on her first pass but quite secure on her other pass. One of her better landing routines –

Big numbers for Oregon State on beam, but could not get ahead of Washington.

49.525 for Oklahoma on bars

49.3615 for Oregon State on beam.

49.5375 for UCLA on floor. LOLOLOLOLOL.

Mattern – FX – to finish out the rotation – big DLO, small slide – front layout to front full, a little steppy – short of position on her straddle combination – good double pike – ends with a dab – immediate disqualification.

Finished: Washington 196.5625, Oregon State 196.3625

UCLA and Oklahoma got huge scores on their third events, meaning they basically just have no not die in the final rotation to go through. Utah just has to go over 49 to get ahead of Washington, and the way floor scores have been going…

Final rotation – UCLA vault, Denver bars, Oklahoma beam, Utah floor

No reason for UCLA to go for anything challenging in this vault rotation. Pua hits her 1.5 in touch. Kramer sits another 1.5 in the touch. UCLA, that is a vault you don’t have.

Roberts – FX – good double pike, controlled – rudi, keeps that front foot down, tight twisting form. Good opening set. 25.999!

Near-stick from Cipra on vault, small hop. One of her better ones.

Jones hits beam, sticks 1.5.

Kocian – VT – also improvement onher full – small bounce back.

Fall from Lomonte on bars – a rare sight today. And we have a second fall.

Reinstadtler – FX – tight tucked form but a stumble back on double tuck, stays in bounds – switch ring and split shapes, excellent – chest down double pike with a little stagger.

Hall – VT – hop forward on her 1.5, usual knees, but a hit vault.

Hano – VT – another near stick on her full – small hop. They are finding these landings, and none too soon.

Merrell – FX – piked full in, chest well down but good control – travels too much on her rudi to straddle jump, but nothing major in that one.

Oklahoma nailing beam early. Catour looked suuuuuper close on her gainer pike from this angle, but she was fine with it.

Ross – VT – small hop back on full again. The theme.

Lewis – FX – small slide back on double pike – deep on double tuck but stood it up well, only bucked slightly.

Preston – VT – to her knees. Well, that was unexpected. She was unhappy with every single vault she did in warmups, but unhappy to the tune of a small step, not a fall. Something was off for her. You could tell. UCLA doesn’t need the score, already with 197.500.

Natalie Brown with a bigger wobble on her beam routine, but it’s still a hit and they don’t need her score yet anyway.

Great DLO from Karr.

Crap on a crap. Maggie Nichols fell on her punch front on beam. I guess there goes the AA title. Oklahoma doesn’t need the score (especially because Brown got a huge score anyway)

Denver hitting well after the disaster from Lomonte, they’re just too far back.

Skinner – FX – step back on double double but controlled – slides back on final full in, otherwise controlled landings well, leaps usual.

Capps – BB – gorgeous mount obviously – smooth loso series, easy – aerial to scale and done comfortably and smoothly, no hesitation in between – switch to straddle 1/4 – great gainer full.

That will do it for our qualifiers, Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah.

Two-step stumble backward on a double pike from Yamzon. Front full to layout is ore secure – chest down double tuck with a lunge.

Katie Becker for Auburn finishing on beam – kickover front – check on loso sereis – switch to straddle 1/4 – small hop on 1.5.

Oklahoma – 197.725
UCLA – 197.500
Utah – 197.050
Washington – 196.5625
Denver – 196.4750
Oregon State – 196.3625

All three teams end up about a fall ahead of the contenders. We knew this one would be the more straightforward of the two unless one of the major seeds counted a fall, and that did not happen.

The Nichols fall on beam put Skinner into first in the AA, Ross with her surprise “I do the AA starting now” is in second.

I love that the teams were supposed to stay out on the floor for the announcement of the advancing teams, and like three of the UCLA gymnasts stayed, and they’re all just coated in ice.

A bit…anti-climactic, I suppose. But we knew it would take a fall.

So, thoughts.

Oklahoma will be pleased with portions of this meet. And by portions, I mean bars. Room to improve on the other pieces. Beginning on floor, they seemed to struggle with landing control, a couple OOBs, the bounciness from AJ Jackson that apparently didn’t occur according to the judges. Vault landings could be more controlled (except for Capps, that was brilliant), and then there was the FALL THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED on beam.

On the bright side for Oklahoma, they’ll enjoy the fact that they hit, you know, only one event really the way they would have wanted and still won the session. That bodes well for them in Super Six.

It got nerve-wracking for the Bruins for a second on beam after the Mossett fall (didn’t I say that Meraz should have been in the beam lineup…? DIDN’T I???) but otherwise UCLA will have no complaints about how this meet went. They finished second, and finished pretty close to Oklahoma, and it sort of couldn’t have gone better than that.

We knew the bars and beam scores could be good, but they also got the necessary competitive numbers on vault and floor. Floor scores started out only a little insane, like the Jackson score for Oklahoma, but by the end of the meet, they lost their minds completely, so UCLA will not necessarily be able to count on that in Super Six. But then again, this second-place finish got the Bruins Olympic order tomorrow, so they can put their hopes on scores going crazy at the end of Super Six as well. (But, like, Cipra’s score you guys. Can we even?) Vault landings were much improved, though. It was still UCLA’s lowest score, because obviously, but it was 9.8s instead of 9.7s, like it could have been.

Fine from Utah. Enough to advance and do so rather comfortably. They also benefited from scores getting more enthusiastic toward the end of the meet because it was a little too tight for their comfort early on. They also benefited from not having any falls on beam, which is apparently a magical development right now. Landing errors on vault (too bouncy) and short handstands and some landing errors as well on bars kept the total down toward low-196 pace early on.

They’ll have to control those landings much more tomorrow to at least put up a score that would make some other teams nervous. A decision will have to be made re: Kari Lee on bars as well. She struggled with that dismount today, and if she can’t dismount consistently, can you use her in Super Six? But at the same time, does Utah have anyone else they’d consider using on bars at this point? McNatt has been the alternate on bars lately, but she doesn’t compete bars.

A fourth-place finish for Washington. They’ll be somewhat disappointed just because of being one spot away from making Super Six, but this was a hit meet and as strong of a finish as Washington really could have expected unless the meet had been a complete splatfest. They qualified to nationals this season, already a victory, and now have guaranteed a top-10 season finish. They’ll absolutely take that.

It wasn’t Washington’s ideal meet. A couple wobblies early on beam took away what needed to be the team’s biggest score, and a couple bars dismounts ensured those scores stayed in the 9.7s. Duranczyk won’t be too pleased with her meet, struggling on landings on both of her events. But also, hit. No falls. No counting scores lower than a 9.7. A team that is well positioned for next season as well.

Denver did not have a weak meet by any means, but I did think Denver was going to make this a little bit more interesting than they did. If they had mimicked those low 197s that had been the story for so many weeks lately, this semifinal would have been live. And it wasn’t. Both the vault and beam lineups went sub-49, vault a little bouncy although I also think Denver can feel a little miffed about some of those vault and floor scores not being as charitable as a couple other teams received. Vault scores were fairly tight early in the meet, but they did not stay that way for some of the later teams. Karr’s 1.5 should have been 9.9-zone. Denver was finally bitten by not having six competitive vault scores that they would love counting because it could have mitigated some of the 9.7itis.

Beam was too shaky to get a competitive score, but I was very impressed by the control of the floor landings. A lot of teams were very bouncy and had trouble controlling, but Denver did not. If they had gone to floor later in the meet, the total would have been a couple tenths higher and much more competitive. By the time things were already decided, Denver went to bars and withstood a catastrophe from Lomonte for a much more competitive score to bring the total well over the 196 zone.

Oregon State
The Beavs will likely be the team most disappointed with what happened today, since they were the lower-seed best poised to challenge one of the top teams and ended up finishing last. It started out OK. Vault was a little bouncy, but fine, and the final few floor routines were quite strong. They’ll also rue not getting to go on floor later in the meet, but several of those routines were also not up to their usual level at the beginning (Ricci going OOB and Lowery not as crisp in those landings as she has been most of the time).

But, the thing that really broke the day for Oregon State was bars, in particular the landings. Singley brushed the mat with her knee, and McMillan landed shockingly short on her DLO (one of the truly unexpected mistakes from this meet, along with the Nichols beam fall to ruin everyone’s day). Aufiero hit, but by that point the damage had been done, and when every team was taking advantage of the rising scores on their second-two apparatuses, Oregon State was not able to. By that point, the pristine beam sets from McMillan, Dessaints, and Gardiner were not able to make up a deficit that had grown far too large.

Welp, a meet that was Maggie Nichols’ to lose suddenly became everyone else’s to win after she fell on her punch front on beam. Nichols needed 9.850 on that beam routine to be the AA leader after the first session, a score she would have comfortably achieved with a hit.

Instead, Skinner is the leader with 39.6125. Skinner did Skinner. Honestly, I would be rather surprised if that score stands up through the second semifinal. It’s a bit low for an NCAA all-around winning total and is within the capability of the Florida AAers (or Hambrick, or Winston). The next big surprise there is Kyla Ross’s second-place finish, a surprise entrant in the AA to begin with. She was solid on floor, but wasn’t completely controlled in those landings, and vaults just the full, which was always going to make it a challenge. Really, she scored as well as she possibly could have in the AA, just outpacing Kocian in third and Karr in fourth.

Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh. We have a bunch of ties so far, which is rather hellish. Although, many of them look poised to be broken in the second semifinal.

Vault – We currently have four tied on 9.900 – Nichols, Jackson, Capps, and Skinner. Those vaults were not created equal, and in fact the strongest of the bunch was the Capps full. Would have been fine with that one going 9.950. What else could she have done? But, being tied for the lead with a full is an accomplishment. Both Gnat and McMurtry will be licking their lips in the second semifinal and will expect to break that 9.900 tie.

Bars – We have three tied on bars with a 9.950 – Ross, Lehrmann, and Nichols. That’s one that will be harder to break in the second semifinal. There are people who can do it, but going over 9.950 with six judges and two dropped scores is quite difficult. Happy to see Lehrmann in that group. She doesn’t have the name, but her routine was just PRISTINE. Excellent.

Beam – It gets better on beam. We have an outright leader in Kyla Ross, with 9.9625, just ahead of Chayse Capps. Both had one little almost-wobble in their routines, and it could have gone either way. That’s a score that can stand up unless it gets super crazy in the second semi. This was the stronger of the two beam semis, and the winner would have been expected to come from this one.

Floor – The situation is the same on floor, with Skinner’s 9.9625 leading. This is the one event where my prediction system (the last person to go, the end) delivered for me. As expected because of final-rotation floor. This one could hold up because it’s such a high score, but it may not necessarily because…if this semifinal had crazy score rising, what are they going to do when the SEC semifinal comes along? The judges have already ensured they cannot rank appropriately on floor in this meet because of some of those 9.925s in the last couple floor rotations have allowed no room. There will be routines well over a tenth better than those. Like, kind of a lot. There already have been.

We’re not too far away from warmups beginning for the second semifinal, so see you then.

We’re going to make this semifinal the more interesting one, right? Right. Good.

The themes of the warmup leos are Fallopian tubes and bondage. Just in case you were wondering. Normal.

First rotation of warmups – 7 Alabamas are warming up floor, including Jetter, who did not go at regionals.

Watching Alex McMurtry’s vault timer is like watching Simone’s vault timer. It’s that much different from everyone else’s. Hundley’s isn’t too shabby herself, though. I hope to see Hundley upgrade next season.

Maddie Desch was mimicking a vault correction for herself, but it looked like she was just doing the angriest dab in the world and I’m dying.

McNeer is warming up vault. We had some wonky landings from Alabama on a couple warmup vaults – which is the event I’m closest to.

Beth Roberts and Rachel Dickson both warming up floor.

Hambrick warmed up a 1.5 on vault – step forward. Did it again with a stick. Big for LSU’s potential vault advantage if she’s actually comfortable and nailing the 1.5. Harrold sat a 1.5. Cannamela landing short on her full attempts. Harrold’s final 1.5 was better, but she’s the one who looks like she’s struggling with it. The others, strong.

It does not appear that Rachel Dickson will be warming up vault, though. Jacket on for now. Beth Roberts’ vault run is bizarre.

Can we talk about how all the Michigan coaches are wearing shirts that say “#keeppounding? Because that’s what you want Bev Plocki telling you.

Keely McNeer will indeed be on three events for Alabama, but leading off none of them. Third up on all three of her pieces.

These teams need to be more interesting in this warmup. They’re being all…doing the routines they did all year with the lineups they did all year. What do they think we’re here for? We want nonsense and insanity please.

Polina’s eye glitter during her vault run made it look like she was bawling tears while sprinting down the runway. You know, like you do.

The in-person experience of Rachel Slocum’s insane dancing really is a sight to behold.

Alabama has moved McNeer to sixth on vault. She did warm up a 1.5 once. Maddie Desch has been removed from the lineup in favor of Childers, who will lead off.

Intros about to begin. Phew. Here we go.

Off to the touch now.

Rotation 1 – Florida vault, Nebraska bars, Georgia beam, Alabama floor

Hundley – VT –  sticks opening full – good.

Vega – BB – second half of routine, comfortable aerial, swing of arms on side somi but just the single swim –

Guerra – FX – bouncy on opening double tuck and OOB – similar problem to the first session – lunge back on last pass as well

Houchin very clean on bars, one short hs – lovely finish position on full turn, sticks double tuck –

bounce in place from Breen on DLO, solid

Alexander in on vault instead of Gowey. Gowey crashed her final full in warmups – lovely amplitude, bounce back, fine.

Childers – FX – opens full in, ragged form but secure – same on 2/1, some leg shape to take but nothing about the landing – finishes rudi to stag.

Sanders – BB – secure on loso series – crooked switch side – slightly overturns full turn but fine – standing front tuck, usual, deep but hit – front 1/1 dismount hop forward.

Baker – VT – jusssst holds the stick on her 1.5, maybe the smallest slide but should be a very strong score.

Crouse peels off bars on the low bar. Four good hits before that.

Boren – VT – Excellent height on her 1.5, some knees, just a hop together on salute.

Reynolds a little short on 2/1 beam dismount with a hop forward.

Desch – FX – hits double arabian – chest down final double pike but pulled it out –

Slocum – VT – one of her sticks on the handspring pike 1/2, Florida is vaulting excellently, just excellently. Just the chest down issue –

Broussard – BB – secure loso series – finishes stuck gainer full.

McMurtry – VT – sticks her DTY – phenomenal vault – one of her best of the season. Florida did its job on that vault rotation.

Sims – FX – secure double back to start – excellent straddle leaps obviously – 1.5 to what was supposed to be a layout, doesn’t really get her punch and turns it into a pike – small hop double tuck.

Babalis – BB – check on first attempt at aerial – gets the combination on her second attempt – full turn – kickover to beat jump is solid – sticks front full dismount. I’ve apparently missed all the juicy parts of Georgia’s beam rotation because every time I look over it’s going fine, and then the score is 1.

Winston – FX – nice high DLO – front lay to front full, well extended, looked like she was going to slide out of it but kept her back leg down well – switch ring and switch 1/2, excellent – solid double tuck as well, she’s well on her way.

And a fall from Schich on beam for Georgia. So this meet is over for them. That’s such a letdown in the first rotation.

Muhammad’s floor will finish the rotation – excellent DLO, chest up and very high – nearly there on leaps, strong finishing positions – secure double tuck – great start.

Alabama 49.3875 on floor. Florida 49.5125 on vault. Comfortable starts for both, and Nebraska will take 49.250 on bars, definitely. Georgia will not take this 48. Florida outperformed RQS on vault, and Nebraska not too far behind its own on bars.

Yes, scores higher than they started out in the first semifinal, but quality of gymnastics also better than it started out in the first semifinal. That Florida vault rotation. Word is that Alex McMurtry hadn’t done a DTY in a month. Didn’t even warm one up. Just a full. And then went out and did that.

Rotation 2 – Alabama vault, Michigan bars, Nebraska beam, LSU floor

McNeer sure looks like she’s going for that 1.5. And they look solid.

Childers – VT – sticks her opening full. So good decision to put her in the lineup?

Ewing – FX – hits front 1/2 – 1.5 to layout is strong as well – strong chest up double pike, maybe the smallest slide

Houching smooth on beam and Funk sticks her DLO on bars. High level start –

Karas – UB – toe shap good legs together, same ont eh bail – clean and precise – step back DLO, one of her good ones, though. Should score well.

Zamardi – FX – hits double arabian – opens a touch early out of her double tuck and slides –

Winston – VT – only the smallest hop on her full if that –

Polina – UB – shap to pak, lovely – really appreciating the legs together o these transition combos – foot break on her giant full and then a step back on double tuck.

Bailey – VT – sticks her y1/2, Alabama’s vault is back. Order has been restored.

Hambrick – FX – good landing on DLO, just wish she didn’t pike that second salto – 2.5 to front tuck, dances out of it but it’s a classic cover – good 180 position on leaps – sticks double pike. That’ll do.

Guerrero – VT – small hop forward but won’t be much of a deductions –

Artz – UB – shortish first hs – fingertips piked jaeger – good DLO, just that first hs but then she got it together.

McNeer hits her 1.5, small hop forward. Well, what a little surprise Alabama had for us –

Finnegan – FX – comes out a little awkwardly on her 2.5 with a crossover step but stays in bounds – secure double tuck – sticks double pike, a little too forward but held the landing quite well.

Error from Zaziski on bars. Clips her foot on a catch and then has to pause and recast –

The floor judges are fully in crack land now. Gnat will get a 25.

Willaims – BB – does well to hold three series to loso, lands with really only one foot secure but no check – side aerial to full, small step –

Kelley secure landing her passes – she’ll get hit for her attempt at a split, as she willevery time – finishes front tuck through to double tuck.

YOU GET A 9.950. YOU GET a 9.950.

Breen – BB – hits loso series – small check on a college sheep but useful leaps overall – sticks 1.5.

Gnat – FX – already has a 30 now – small slide on DLO – 2.5 to front tuck – great 180 position on that split full – solid double pike. Well, they really shouldn’t go 10 because of the slide on the first pass, but otherwise how do you reward its superiority to the other routines in the lineup when they were all 9.950? Two judges went 10. The rest decided it was the same as Kelley’s. Yeah, those leaps are the same.

Korth – FX – secure landing on piked full in – it gets a little crazy in the air, but no question on that landing – front full to loso, smooth – deep on double pike, squat with a step back.

LSU got a 480 trillion on floor and is fine.

Alabama 98.7500
Nebraska 98.5500
LSU – 49.7125
Florida – 49.5125
Michigan – 49.3000
Georgia – 48.5000

A good bars score for Michigan, but they’ll have to keep it up on beam to avoid letting Alabama get clear in that race for the third spot. Also impressed by Nebraska’s ability to hang pretty close with these teams through two events. Good meet so far for them.

Rotation 3 – LSU vault, Florida bars, Michigan beam, Georgia floor

Karas – BB – good punch front –  one balance check on there but a hit – controls double full dismount well –

small hop on DLO for Boren –

Finnegan – VT – almost sticks her full but leans and steps forward in her attempt to get the stick, which will make for a larger deduction –

Hambrick – VT – comes in just a touch short on her 1.5 to the tune of a small step back, but a useful vault for LSU to have again.

Chant – UB – flat on tkatchev but caught – some hip angle on a handstand and a bigger one on the bail – some form errors to take there but a hit

Zaziski – BB – hits loso series comfortably – switch to straddle 1/4, mostly there –

Gowey – UB – Ray is strong – pak, clean and legs together – good one for her, good recovery –

Ewing sticks her 1.5 – excellent – two 10s and four 9.950s. How do they then reward gymnasts with cleaner leg form and more distance?

harrold’s 1.5 was a million times better than any she did in warmups – hop forward –

Baker falls on double front dismount on bars. It just got interesting. Or the AA race just got less interesting.

Funk for Michigan falls on her side aerial – three big routines coming up.

Now Edney sticks her 1.5. Better distance than Ewing, so let’s see what happens. A number of the judges have left themselves no room. Four 10s and two 9.950s. That will go ahead of McMurtry, which is sort of insane. Just the event order, the only thing accounting for that difference.

Gnat comes in short on her DTY with a hop forward.

Hundley sloppier than usual on bars, a couple more legs breaks and a short handstand at the end, but got through with a hit.

Artz on beam – smooth on aerial to bhs series and front – secure set – sticks front 1.5 dismount, should be a strong score.

Very good vault from Hyland, just the hop with legs together –

McMurtry had one short handstand in there on bars but otherwise her normal. They won’t have to count the fall but did get stuck too much in the 9.8s there.

9.950s up for McMurtry on bars. After two events, she’s looking like the heavy frontrunner in the AA.

Pedrick hits her DTY for CMU, just a touch short with a hop forward – should get a strong score – nice to see.

Rachel Dickson fell on floor. They needed to try her.

Marinez – BB – comfortable loso series – secure side aerial – beat jump to double stag, lands on the front of her feet but controls without a check – small hop back 2/1 –

Snead a little bounce back on double tuck, double pike is stronger –

Ebee – UB – good shap to clear hip to Chuch rot bail combination, maybe not quite her most vertical on the bail and final handstand, but otherwise her usual – step forward on DLO, so it won’t contend for the bars win. Shame.

Chiarelli – BB – and she falls on her loso series – well the meet was almost interesting… sorry, Michigan. Beam has undone two of the three teams who have gone there so far.

A good DLo for Marino on floor, chest up – very clean legs on 1.5 to layout – just a tad forward on double pike, but should be a rare high score for Georgia so far today.

LSU – 99.275
Florida – 98.9375
Alabama – 98.7500
Nebraska – 98.5500
Michigan – 98.1125
Georgia – 97.7250

Hyland – BB – finishes side aerial to stuck tuck full.

Well, it’s in Alabama’s hands now. If they go cleanly through bars and beam. Nebraska is still hanging in there, though, but floor can be an issue and will tell the tale of whether they’re in it in this coming rotation.

Rotation 4 – Georgia vault, Alabama bars, Florida beam, Nebraska floor

George Washington is in one of its Easter Pride Parade leos, but I enjoy that it does have a giant picture of George Washington on the back. More leos should have giant pictures of presidents.

brannan UB -close catch on jaeger, small arch on subsequent cast – strong after that. 9.850

Baker – BB – check on wolf turn – aerial to bhs series – just a couple twitches here and there but a good hit with a stuck dismount –

mahoney – Ub – toe on to toe shap, does not reach horizontal on back swing – good legs together on bail – a couple hip angles here and there – hop back on tuck full

McLaughlin – BB – aerial to bhs – sissone – lean correction on side aerial – slide back on gainer full and a step to salute.

Houchin quite nice on the doube pike – ends 2.5, underrotated but controls landing without giving away much

McNeer with a little angle on her bail as well but strong final handstand – sticks DLO. Good.

Jetter – UB – tkatchev, hit, close – bail, short of handstand – near-stick on doubel front, just a little step salute.

Hundley – BB – hits series – switch side – check on full turn – side aerial to full with a hop – good save to get that dismount around, she was off line on her side aerial and didn’t get a full punch.

Winston – UB – great ray except or the feet – short on teh following handstand – gorgeous Ray – just a little tenative in a handstand or two – small hop on DLO – still a good one, just not her best one.

Snead short on 1.5 with two steps back.

Gowey – BB – lovely switch and split – secure three series to two losos, very nice – aerial, solid – hit, one of her more confident sets.

Katie Bailey excellent on bars – sticks full out.  9.950 for Bailey. One of many, many. Could this be the second straight year of an event title for Bailey?

Boren – BB – gainer kickover front, nailed – loso series, solid – gainer loso, strong – overturns her full turn, an epidemic today, not much else – hits gainer full. She’s having one of her good days.

Crouse – FX – good front 2/1 to punch front – but using the “bali, mali, chile malawi” music in a little on the nose, don’t you think? – struggles punching out of second pass, adjusts to a tuck – straddles could be closer to 180 – rudi to back tuck final pass, rare, mistake?

Good beam set from McMurtry, just knees on the loso series and perhaps a hesitation on the full turn, but I expect a strong score that will keep her in front of the AA race.

Lambert – FX – obsessed immediately – I love this routine – strong DLO, legs apart but chest up and landing secure – also very composed on front tuck through to double tuck – nails double pike, chest a little down but that really should be a big score, especially given how floor has been going.

I like Briannah Tsang’s Kochetkova + back full dismount on beam. Just a little less common.

CDA – FX – good full in, ragged legs but controlled – front full to layout, also solid – a little crooked on her switch side – hits split leaps – slide back double tuck –

Palomares – BB – secure loso series, no check – a little crazy on her attitude turn but found the beam somehow – pike jump to sheep jump, small check – aerial to straddle, very strong – bhs to stuck gainer full, staggered landing. Good.

After 4:
Florida 148.3125
Alabama 148.2375
Nebraska 147.9625
Georgia 146.6375
LSU 99.2750
Michigan 98.1125

Lambert went 9.9125 on floor. At least three tenths too low.

McMurtry basically just needs an average hit on floor at this point to win the AA. Nebraska hanging somewhat close to Alabama right now, but Alabama will have to give them an opening on beam to get this thing interesting.

Rotation 5 – Nebraska vault, LSU bars, Alabama beam, Michigan floor

Childers – BB – tight form in loso series but secure landing – kickover front to scale, nice – leans to hold the stick and then quickly college salutes – good start.

Zamardi a little staggered on double arabian with a step forward on bars –

Good stick from Schweihofer on a full on vault.

hambrick – good Ray , excellent finish position on gaint full, good legs on bail – step forward on tuck full dismount.

Aja Sims all leapy on beam – lands her loso series with legs very far apart a la amanda spinner but hits securely – STICKS double tuck dismount. That’ll work as well. Alabama not letting Nebraska in.

Lambert sticks her full on vault as well – Nebraska nailing this meet, but Lambert in particular. She has been phenomenal.

Stuck 1.5 from Crouse. Nebraska hasn’t competed anywhere close to this level all year. Tremendous.

It’s a 9.8125 for Harrold. Missed the routine but she looked unpleased afterward.

armbreht has come int eh beam lineup in the third spot for Alabama – falls on a loso series. It JUST. GOT. INTERESTING.

Good double arabian from Karas but slide back on final double pike.

Laeng final vault for Nebraska – a little lock-legged on landing with a lunge forward. Houchin landed a little short before her, so not the heights for Nebraska.

Finnegan sticks an awesome DLO on bars.

Chiarelli – FX – good double tuck to start

Desch – BB – check on aerial to bhs series, but I assume she’ll get it – sticks 1.5.

9.950 for Finnegan, join the club –

Priessman finishes bars with a stuck DLO as well, close and pikey but she makes that dismount work somehow.

Final 197.2125 for Nebraska. Just awesome day for them, however it plays out, no one thought they would be this good today.

Korth stuck her DLO 1/1 on bars and it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me

Slide back from Artz on piked full in this time but stays in bounds –

Winston – BB – split jump to straddle 1/2, phenomenal – aerial to bhs, nailed – hop back on double tuck, but exceptional routine.

Zaziski – FX – nails double pike – stagger back on second pass but stays in –

Guerrero – BB – three series to loso and hit – hop back on 1.5, and that should seal the qualification fight baring anything really freaky in the final rotation.

Hyland – FX – controlled double pike, chest a little down but solid – nice lift into leaps and hitting 180 positions – 1.5 to layout, archy into the layout.

Alabama 197.6000
Nebraska 197.2125
LSU 148.6875
Florida 148.3250
Michigan 147.4875
Georgia 146.6375

Florida just needs to go 48.9 on floor to get in. LSU just needs like a 1.1 on beam.

Rotation 6 – Michigan vault, Georgia bars, LSU beam, Florida floor

This semifinal will not end as excitingly as I wanted it to, but it did get tense in there a little at the end of Alabama’s beam rotation.

McLaughlin – FX – front lay to front full, fine – a little stumbly on her dance element landings, but she was heading to the ground anyway for her choreo, so she was just like, “might as well” –

Macadaeg – BB – lovely full turn – switch to switch 1/2, excellent as always – aerial to straddle jump – a little tight on loso series but fine – sticks gainer full

Artz – VT – short on full with lunge forward –

Slocum – FX – good leap amplitude – second pass front full to front pike, very good – rudi – good –

Hambrick – BB – side aerial, very strong – switch to straddle 1/4, strong – solid loso series as well – two hits down –

Lauren Johnson just did the most insane gienger on bars, she caught it basically facing sideways – somehow she kept her routine going. It wasn’t pretty, but she didn’t fall.

Karas – VT – awesome 1.5, basically hangs onto the stick, salutes out of it, but they’ll probably call that a stick.

Hundley – whip to double tuck, solid – a little archy on a front lay – a little bouncy on double pike.

Ewing – BB – hits series, usual switch side – sticks 1.5.

Hop forward from McLean on vault on her 1.5.

McMurtry – FX – AA moment of truth here – a little bounce landing her 3/1 but good – front lay to front full, good height and stays in bounds – sticks double tuck. That’ll do it.

Edney – BB – large break on aerial but works out of it into sissone – small adjustment on loso series – small hop forward on 1.5 dismount

If it wasn’t going to be Nichols, McMurtry was next in line, and she is the one who hit today.

Finnegan – BB – single wolf turn, hit – secure loso series – switch and switch 1/2, awesome – hits side somi – sticks dismount, lovely set.

Boren – FX – huge full in, just a little bounce – 1.5 to layout, comfortable – short double tuck with a lunge forward, strange for her. No biggie but odd to see.

Gnat – BB – aerial to beat, hit – full turn – switch to straddle 1/4, small adjustment – switch side – solid loso series – sticks 2/1. Pretty much an ideal meet for LSU. I can think of maybe two routines that weren’t.

Baker – FX – lunge forward on Dos Santos – but stays in – comfortable on the double tuck – excellent final pass – just a moment or two, but it should be a high total as well.

Korth a little checky on beam –

Briannah Tsang’s floor will be the final routine of the meet – hits double Arabian well, a little cowboy – 1.5 to half second pass – not there on the leaps – solid double pike.

LSU 198.2750
Florida 197.8125
Alabama 197.600
Nebraska 197.2125
Michigan 196.4625
Georgia 195.8000

So, it will be LSU, Florida, and Alabama through, and in the end the six teams ranked in the top six all season will end up as our six in Super Six.

I sort of love that Alex McMurtry won the national AA by two tenths. That doesn’t really happen.

The vault winner is Kennedi Edney, which pretty much no one had. Good vault, but McMurtry’s was more than good, it was memorable.

Billion-way tie for bars.

Ross’s beam score holds up, and Gnat ties Skinner for floor.

Award ceremonies for the individual winners coming up. I’m DESPERATELY hoping they make all the bars winners try to stand together on the top of the podium.

Ugh, 8 trophies per event. WE ALL NEED 8TH-PLACE TROPHIES.

We’ve already made everyone tied with 9.900 cram together and pull focus. There are nine people on one podium tier and I’m already in heaven – Ashley Labmert is sitting on Rachel Slocum’s lap.

On to bars, where the winner is everyone, and then Priessman and Korth have to sit together all randomly off to the side because they got 9.9125. Like losers.

All the 9.950s are together and laughing at the stupidity of it all. Unfortunately, Kyla is standing on the third-place spot for ease and McMurtrty on the 2nd place. They’re all variously standing up and crouching when each of the winners’ names are announced and I can’t continue.

Only three people are shoved into the third-place section for beam, and four people crammed into 8th place. No point. Must try harder.

Congratulations on your floor trophies, ENTIRE LSU TEAM.

311 thoughts on “National Semifinals Live Blog”

  1. Wow! Just wow! Kennedy just beat Alex’s DTY! I didn’t think it was possible! OMG! I just don’t even know how to deal with all of these mixed emotions! And also how did Gnat’s vault score they same as all of those stuck/almost stuck vaults in the first semi?

  2. Darn! I really wanted to see Michigan qualify for the Super Six or be close to it!

  3. Why are people so harsh on LSU? They’ve had two first great routines. And their floor routines were a tad bit better than Nichols. And Edneys vault was cleaner than McMurtrys. McMurtry had leg separations. Give LSU some credit. Geesh.

    1. It’s not harshness, it’s just the difference in scoring between the first and second semi final that are annoying me. Like those routines while inferior, were scored quite tightly (at least in the beginning) and these routines are generally not being scored as tightly. Although I do completely agree with you tonight, LSU is doing so beyond phenomenal tonight

  4. Oh, this is too confusing. Please just use NBC’s Olympic style Green, Yellow. or Red! LOL!

      1. I agree. You could clearly see McMurtry’s leg separation on the double. I don’t think she normally has separation that noticeable, but tonight it was. Edney nailed it, as did Ewing.

  5. “More leos should have giant pictures of presidents.” Lol, Spencer is making my night.

  6. Differences between Session I and II.

    VAULT – The session two teams are bringing it. They are actually sticking vaults. Outside of Capps and Karr, session I left a lot on the floor on landings alone.

    UB: Scores seem about the same. A lot of 9.825 – 9.875s with a smattering of 9.9s. McMurtry was on the same level of Nichols (who didn’t stick her dismount), Lehrmann (who was beautiful), and Ross (not much difficulty, but gorgeous).

    BB: Scoring seemed a little looser in the first session, but the second session teams have had more major breaks. Although, Nebraska had a great rotation.

    FX: The second session has had better landings and control. LSU stuck passes, which we didn’t really see in session I. Bama and Georgia both hit great rotations.

    I think the higher scores, so far, are deserved. They are better routines. I hope LSU can keep up this pace and have a repeat performance tomorrow night.

    1. I agree that the higher scores are deserved, they should just be a notch lower

      1. Yes, but I would also argue that the session one scores should have also been a notch lower on all events but vault.

  7. Well, Beam has already weeded out two team of these second semifinal teams. Any bets as to a third team subject to being dismissed by beam?

  8. As an OU fan, I really hope they can pull it together tomorrow, because LSU is BRINGING it!

  9. What happened to Vega? Was she injured coming into NCAAs or did she get injured in the floor warm-up? She normally nails floor and I miss her routine.

  10. LSU should consider putting Gnat into the UB lineup. She has a shot at the AA title.

    Also, Katie Bailey is killing it. This is her best meet of the year.

  11. I hope someone from LSU or UGA goes higher than a 9.95 on bars. If not, they are going to need a bigger podium and more trophies for the individual awards presentation.

    Although, this may also motivate the coaches to bring back event finals.

    1. I hope that only happens if someone does a truly amazing routine. The 5 routines we’ve seen go 9.95 so far were really awesome routines that deserve to win, so I’ll be annoyed if someone is gifted a higher score just to avoid the 5-way tie.

      1. I’m not saying someone should be a gifted a higher score in order to break the tie. I just meant that I truly hope someone nails a routine for higher than a 9.95.

        I think Hambrick, Finnegan, Priessman, Dickson, and Snead have potential to nail routines for a 9.95+. If they do, I hope they get the score.

    2. Rachel Schick for bars gold 😛

      Really, though, looks like a million way tie for 9.95. I just wanted Eebee to hit for the win. Once she stepped on her landing, I just don’t care any more

  12. Any other sad Gymdog fans out there? I grew up watching the Gymdogs dominate back in the day and now to see a 48.5 score on any apparatus at the end of the year for Championship weekend is incredibly disappointing.

    1. I am a gymdog fan. All teams will have highs and lows. Georgia will be back. Don’t forget that a lot of people didn’t even think Georgia would make Nationals — yet, here they are.

      I think starting next year, Georgia will begin to rise again. They have a lot of talent coming in and their freshman and sophomore classes are extremely talented.

    2. They have a lot of talent coming in these next two years. This was always going to be a rough season. That said, they really aren’t performing well. Vault and floor were both pretty dismal in addition to the low 48.500 on beam.

  13. I feel like someone in one of the last two rotations is going to win bars, regardless of whether or not they actually do a routine better than the 9.95s we’ve seen, just so they don’t have a 5 or 6 way tie for the bars title.

    1. Don’t be so negative. Let it play out.

      Plus, if the judges had been doing their job, there wouldn’t be a huge tie. All of the 9.95s so far were great, but I personally thought Lehrmann had the best bar routine so far.

      1. I completely agree that there shouldn’t be a 5-way tie. As people have been saying all day, this is exactly why the event finals should be brought back. There’s no way they’d have given all of those routines the same score in an event final.

  14. Wow. McMurtry needs only a 9.75 on floor to win AA. I hope it doesn’t get in her head too much because she’s had a phenomenal day, and I’d love to see her do a great floor routine.

  15. My ESPN feed is stuck on “aa channel” with the tiny boxes for viewing. Anyone else? How do I get full screen with commentary and protractors?

    1. Are you still watching on ESPN U? The broadcast feed is now on ESPN. The AA feed is on ESPNU.

  16. “More leos should have giant pictures of presidents.” – ..but should they?

  17. SIX 9.950s. Is this even happening right now?! I kind of hope its a six way tie for the bars title, just so they bring back the event finals

    1. I wouldn’t have cared if both Priessman and Korth also went 9.95, but they got 9.925s. They had great routines.

      I also wouldn’t have had an argument if Finnegan had gone higher than 9.95. Her routine was absolutely beautiful today and she has flawless form.

    2. Good point! It’s ridiculous that individual titles are determined in this setting where the scores and mental game are all based on the team competition.

  18. That Finnegan DLO off bars . . . amazing. She keeps her legs glued together the whole time, which is rare now it seems.

    1. And lands with her feet touching, too! Impressive, and I agree, I would have been happy to see her break the 9.95 ceiling.

  19. Well. Nebraska’s going to set the record score for not advancing to Super Six. Sad for them- what a great job they did.

    1. Yep. They are likely wishing they were in the first session.

      Nebraska was amazing tonight.

  20. Kiana Winston barely misses out on beating Skinner in the AA. Winston finished with a 39.6.

  21. Rowland seems like a teenager (or drunk college student) in her interviews. She has a high voice, which doesn’t help, but she just doesn’t seem like a head coach. It’s almost like when you see a mom who acts more like a friend than a mother.

  22. LSU 9.9+ average after three rotations. I hope they bring this tomorrow and make things interesting with Oklahoma. I’d like to see OU sweat a little and have to work for the win.

    1. I would love to see an LSU/OU show down with both teams hitting. Tomorrow night is going to be one of the most exciting finals we’ve had in a long time (if everyone hits).

  23. Anyone else feel Jenny Rowland is a little cray cray? Remember when Tiger Woods wife chased after him with a club? Yeah… I feel Jenny has a lot of those same qualities. Seriously, why does she change her hair color every week? Is it to avoid the cops?

    1. Ha, yes! She seemed drunk in that interview. It looked like she was struggling with eye contact and with finding her words.

  24. Congrats to McMurtry on the AA title. She had an incredible day and totally deserves that title.

  25. LSU’s beam rotation was the highlight of both semifinals. 5 routines hit cold.

    1. LSU was on fire tonight. I hope they can repeat tomorrow and win their first title (and I say that as a Georgia fan).

  26. 6 athletes tied for the bars title. I hope this convinces the NCAA gymnastics powers that be that they need to bring back event finals. I wouldn’t be so upset about a 2 person tie, but when you can’t even count all of the champions on one hand it really takes something away from the being the winner.

  27. Poor job by ESPN keeping audience up to date on individual apparatus leaders during the meet.

    1. Sorry, but it’s not an individual sport in college – I was very pleased by the coverage

      1. But they give out individual titles; thus, there should have been some mention of the individual races before the end of the meet.

        Plus, they should have shown at least a handful of the routines of the individual qualifiers.

    1. Possibly. It seems like the hot team in semis often struggles in finals, but this LSU team has been on fire all year. Even if they falter, I don’t see them falling too far.

    1. The floor cam is showing the podium from the nose bleeds, but no sound thus far.

  28. I’m so happy for all of the athletes who won individual titles. They all had great routines and deserved to win. That being said, I’m sad that Nichols didn’t win any individual titles. While she certainly has ample opportunity to win one in the next 3 years, I was really hoping she’d have an individual title to show for her phenomenal year this year.

    1. She was one of the six 9.950s on bars- so she’ll get to share that one

      1. Oh shoot, you’re right. There were so many people involved in that bars title that I forgot she was even one of them.

    2. Maggie was under scored today. That 9.925 for a perfectly hit floor?!? I was watching it thinking it didn’t matter, because of course she would win the aa. But since she fell, yeah, I wish she would have gotten an event title.

      I really hope she kills it tomorrow and ends the day feeling proud of herself.

  29. I really don’t think this is Oklahoma’s by any means. LSU’s performance today would be tough to top even on one of Oklahoma’s best days. It will be interesting to see if Oklahoma can overcome the nerves they showed today.

    1. I agree, I think tomorrow night is going to be a show down. Ou needs to overcome the nerves they showed today, and hopefully LSU won’t be burnt out by awesomeness they showed today. Looking forward to some tough competition

    2. I think OU and LSU are the clear favorites, but I wouldn’t count out Florida. They surprised me tonight and that was with some uncharacteristic errors.

  30. Wow! So excited for Alex tonight! Even if Maggie hadn’t fallen on beam, Alex would’ve probably beat her still

  31. So should they take a lesson from golf and have a Bars-off (playoff) to determine the winner? Everyone just keeps performing their bars rotation until only one is left…

    PS – In golf when there’s a tie at the end the two (or three or four) golfers play a playoff hole. If it’s still tied there do a second playoff hole, and so and so, until someone actually wins.

  32. I know McMurtry’s form want perfect but I really think her vault should’ve won it. Edney was good, but not that good.

    1. Edney stuck her 1.5 cold. It’s a stretch to say she isn’t deserving, especially when you admit McMurtry had a form break today. Let Edney have her moment. McMurtry won two individual titles, so it’s not like she missed out on a moment of glory.

  33. Ok, this is ridiculous! We’ll just casually lean/sit on the podium….

  34. Had there been event finals this year, this would be the lineup:

    Vault: Skinner, Capps, Nichols, Jackson, Edney, McMurtry, Ewing, and Crouse

    UB: Ross, Lehrmann, Nichols, Catour, McMurtry, Bailey, Finnegan, Korth, Priessman

    BB: Ross, Capps, Lehrmann, Ohashi, Skinner, Gardiner, McMurtry, Hambrick, Gnat, Sims

    FX: Skinner, Kocian, Nichols, Jackson, Cipra, Mossett, Rowe, Gnat, McMurtry, Hambrick, Finnegan, Kelley

    THIS WOULD BE AMAZING! Although, it is basically an LSU, OU, UCLA meet.

    1. You are totally on crack – UCLA has no one in vault, only 1 on bars, 2 on beam and I’ll grant you floor. Not a Bruinfest by any means

  35. Positives for Semi II:

    1. LSU’s everything. Literally everything.
    2. Gnat’s floor title. I love that she won floor.
    3. McMurtry hitting all four.
    4. Nebraska and Alabama having the meet of their lives.

    Negatives for Semi II.

    1. Baker having an off night.
    2. Georgia and Michigan having mediocre performances. Although Dickson and Schick were great on UB and Michigan had some beautiful routines in every rotation.
    3. Price having a large step on her UB dismount. I was hoping she could at least be an All-American this year.
    4. Nebraska having their best meet of the year and failing to qualify to Super Six.

  36. Did anyone but Skinner get an individual placing? I think it’s silly to do so many, like, top three, move on. But I was only half watching the awards and didn’t notice.

      1. Nope. Skinner was in a 9-way tie for 5th on vault, a 4-way tie for 8th on beam, a 2-way tie for 1st on floor, and she was 2nd in the all around. Nobody else from Utah placed in the top 8.

  37. I just don’t understand! It seems really unfair that Nebraska outscored Utah by almost 2 tenths of a point and they are not going through!
    They deserve to be in the final!

    1. Judging varies so much between sessions example FX they have to seed the way they do

    2. This happens nearly every year at Nationals. It’s just part of the sport.

  38. OU and LSU both better watch out.

    Most are saying the finals will be a shootout between those two, but they might get caught just worrying about each other, then both make mistakes, and then another team moves right in to take the National Championship!

    Who might that be?

  39. Hmm So Kyla finishes just behind Skinner in the All Around and wins two events (one outright) to Skinner’s one tie for first. And leads her team to better overall placement than Utah. I guess that Pac 12 Freshman of the Year wasn’t so cooked. Obviously it could’ve easily gone to Skinner too, but I don’t like that people act like Kyla was wholly undeserving.

    1. you are so bitchy 7 gymnast of the week and PAC 12 AA she got screwed deal with it and quit bashing the girl, she takes so much crap and you and the rest of the haters need to find a new whipping boy

      1. continuing on McMillan got Gymnast of the year over Skinner Hmmmmmm didn’t she sort of crash today your analogies are sooooo off base.

    2. Skinner beat Ross today. That alone seems to go against your conclusion.

      No one is saying Ross is a bad gymnast. Clearly she is one of the best in the NCAA, but Skinner had an insane season and won more PAC 12 weekly honors than any other gymnast has done in one year. She wins the AA at PAC 12s and places second at NCAAs and you are using that as justification that she didn’t deserve an award from the PAC? What would you have said if Nichols didn’t win Big 12 freshman of the year?

      Are you an elite fan that is new to NCAA? It seems like a lot of elite gym fans are now commenting on BBS and other gym blogs and their bias for UCLA (and their ex-elites) are clouding their view of NCAA.

    3. Oh good grief. Both are incredible gymnasts who did very well this year and have much to be proud of. Today further illustrated that they are both very good, but maybe in slightly different ways (i.e. Kyla won more events today, but Mykayla did better in the all around). Both athletes deserve much recognition like they have both gotten this year. There was really no need to bring up the conference awards topic again when it has nothing to do with today.

      1. Seriously guys… In the Final AA standing with McMurty finishing over 2 tenths over 2nd, 2nd-7th in the rankings were separated by a little more than half of a tenth! Showing that between Ross, Kocian and Skinner (and several other awesome gymnasts from other teams) were very close in terms of performance today. That closeness in ranking as we all know is one tiny detail in one routine separating the scores.

        So basically… they are all incredibly close in terms of ability and performance today and honestly the “of the week” awards have no impact on NCAAs or any sort of ranking at this meet.

    4. M…are you serious??? This was Kyla’s first floor routine where she didn’t fall all season? She only competed 3 all-arounds. Kyla is a beautiful gymnast and her strengths are bars and beam. Mykayla’s are floor and vault. Why the negative jabs???

  40. I agree with many of the commenters:
    Oklahoma can do better than they did today but they were rattled in their semifinal performance and the nerves may carry over.

    LSU had the best performance of the day by far but it was more than good meet for them, it was the meet of a lifetime. I’m not sure what it will take to get them to replicate a performance like that 24 hours later.

    I do think it could be an interesting, down to the wire battle between Oklahoma and LSU.

    That said, if Oklahoma’s nerves carry over and LSU is emotionally drained after that amazing performance, I could see Florida or even UCLA taking it. Florida and UCLA had strong performances today and were in a great place mentally – those are type of performances that you can build on in the Super Six.

  41. I’m glad Spencer pointed out Lambert’s floor score was too low. She got screwed! Love that routine. She had an outstanding day as did the whole Nebraska team. Wish they would have made the Super Six, but great way to finish her career. I would have given the top beam score to either Hambrick or Finnegan. Finnegan or Bailey were my top 2 on UB.

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