Super Six Live Blog

The final day has arrived, the day we crown a champion. We entered nationals weekend with Oklahoma and LSU, and it’s still Oklahoma and LSU (with a soupcon of Florida thrown in if they keep competing like that ridic vault rotation during the semifinal). The big question now is whether the LSU we met in the semifinal is going to show up again and make a real challenge against Oklahoma.

Here’s the rotation order:
Rotation 1 – UCLA vault, Alabama bars, Florida beam, Utah floor
Rotation 2 – Utah vault, Oklahoma bars, Alabama beam, LSU floor
Rotation 3 – LSU vault, UCLA bars, Oklahoma beam, Florida floor
Rotation 4 – Florida vault, Utah bars, UCLA beam, Alabama floor
Rotation 5 – Alabama vault, LSU bars, Utah beam, Oklahoma floor
Rotation 6 – Oklahoma vault, Florida bars, LSU beam, UCLA floor

Warmups are currently underway. We’re heading into the second rotation now. There’s not so much lineup suspense since we saw all of these teams yesterday, but I’ll let you know if something abnormal happens.

(“Abnormal for gymnastics, or abnormal for ordinary people?” you say here.)

Utah had Rowe do a little bit on vault but it looked like she may not be going?

As is typical, the warmup period day-of is 87% dancing, 11% practicing celebrating, 1% gymnastics, and 1%…bowling I think Florida?

Alex McMurtry basically has to warm up floor covered in couch cushions because her back is so not-even-having-a-back.

Rowe is in Utah’s released lineup for vault, so perhaps just taking it easy for the warmup. Alabama also has McNeer back in the third spot on beam, as originally announced yesterday before the swap.

UCLA also has Meraz in the floor lineup instead of Ross today. We’ll see if it lasts. Meraz is also in the beam lineup instead of Mossett. Mossett’s knee heavily taped.

Warmup is over, so we’ll be in a waiting period before intros now.

Intros beginning. Appropriate amount of flamethrowers. Understated, not Glasgow, but a good solid amount. Classy flamethrowers.

Rotation 1 – UCLA vault, Alabama bars, Florida beam, Utah floor

Here we go.

Baker – BB – hits series, major issue is a check on the split 1/2 but nothing else, sticks dismount.

Brannan – UB – catches jaeger, a little ebnt elbows – angle on the bail – slow gfinal handstand but hit vertically – small hop DLO

Roberts finishes 1.5 to layout to stag on floor, looked fine. 9.850s up for Baker. 9.825 for Brannan.

Mahoney a little short on a handstand and on her dismount, hop forward.

McLaughlin hits side aerial well – hop back gainer full.

Stumble backward from Reinstadler on opening floor pass, stays in but a coupel steps. Three judges went 9.850. Oh dear.

McNeer – UB – nice tkatchev – a little floppy in the bail – short final handstand – great stick on DLO.

hop forward 1.5 from Hall for UCLA.

Hundley – BB – secure loso with knee form – hits switch side – tight full turn but gets it – side aerial to full – not a super clean routine in form but secure.

Jetter falls on tkatcehv –

Lewis bounces back and OOB on floor. So…9.850? Chest way down final pass –

Kyla sticks full. Well, one Bruin showed up tonight.

Winston major hesitation on the low bar, has to improvise and recast with a very short handstand. Alabama will have to count the score. Not good news.

Gowey sticks gainer full.

Preston – VT – very short full with a lunge forward. She hasn’t been happy with her vaults all weekend and won’t be happy with that.

Merrell – OOB on piked full in – they already have a 9.6 from Lewis and cannot afford that.

One judge went 9.850 for Winston, which is criminal. No. What did you even watch? Nothing? Others are int he 9.4s and 9.5s that I’ve seen.

Saw the end from Gowey but missed a fall. 9.225. The end looked pretty….?

Boren – hits kickover front – secure loso series – very solid in this routine – she’s calm – one very small wave on the gainer loso is all – hits –

Bailey also has to take an extra swing on bars – a smaller error than Winston’s but Alabama imploded early – hop forward full out –

Utah counting a 9.6 on floor.

Rowe – FX – solid double pike – feet on split leap – secure second pass, a little ragged in leg form –

McMurtry – BB – excellent high kickover front – check on loso series – switch to hip circle – high 2/1 hop in place.

Florida endures beam.

49.000 for UCLA
48.8875 for Alabama and it could have been worse. Three mistakes in that rotation.

Skinner – FX – double double, Keeps front foot down – close your mouth please, MyKayla, we are not a codfish – not to 180 on split leap – 1.5 through to 2/1, smallest little bounce – small slide on tuck full as well, but best of the rotation by about 1000%. Still gets three 9.950s.

Florida 49.300
Utah 49.0625
UCLA 49.000
Alabama 48.8875

Florida did the job by getting through beam with a pretty reasonable score, but the other three did nothing to help their upset bids. Oklahoma and LSU will not be worried by anything that happened in that first rotation. They’ll enter the meet now.

Rotation 2 – Utah on vault, Oklahoma on bars, Alabama on beam, LSU on floor

And yes, Dana Duckworth is wearing a cape. Because of course she is. DD is wearing Tiger #34B.

Ewing – FX – small slide forward on front 2/1 but keeps back foot down – front full to layout – step back on double pike, stumbles around to try to keep herself in bounds but couldn’t save it in the end. OOB.

Capps – UB – good full position and usual tkatchev – just a touch of angle in the air on that bail – maybe a little tight starting the meet but only a little on that last handstand – sticks tuck full, good start.

Roberts a little short on her full with a step forward.

Catour – UB – strong Ray – solid bail as well – muscles up final hs a tad – sticks the DLO, just a small lean to keep the stick.

Zamardi – FX – bounce forward on double arabian but stays in – a bounce/stumble on her double pike

Breaking news: Aja Sims can leap –

Dowell – UB – great Ray – precise hs – a little angle on bail – better final hs it appeared from this angle – PERFECT double layout dismount – great shape and stuck –

Utah not getting the landings on vault.

It’s a fall from McNeer on beam. She looked off from the start.

Hambrick – FX – DLO, usual second salto but controls it, small bounce – great leaps, extended and completely finished – slide back on double pike – better, but LSU not as good as yesterday on floor.

Great extension from Lehrmann on her jaeger – sticks tuck full – tremendous routine – befitting a national champ, so little to take.

Skinner’s DTY – a bit larger on the bounce back than she has been lately –

Small amount of bent elbows from Wofford on her jaeger – angle on the bail and short final hadnstand – another great tuck full, but not her most precise on the bars. Scores have still been exactly what Oklahoma wants.

Large check for Desch on beam and a fall. Alabama counting a beam fall now. NOT Alabama’s day, nearly from the start.

Finnegan – GORGEOUS opening pass to 2.5, just I can’t even – very secure double tuck as well, you could say a little deep? just very very little – strong double pike – that’s more like it for LSU.

Nichols – UB – strong Ray – lovely pak to toe to toe shap, nailed – I see one handstand but nothing else, stuck DLO. Oklahoma is here.

9.9500 for Nichols. Advantage OU. LSU needs at LEAST 9.925 from Kelley and Gnat now.

Kelley – FX – good DLo, chest a touch low but only a touch – nails open full in, pretty much ideal – split leap, usual but gets the tuck jump around completely – front tuck through to double back, with a slide, dances out to avoid anything more than a slide.

YOU GUYS. MCKENNA KELLEY IS MARY LOU’S DAUGHTER.

Kelley gets three 9.950s and three 9.850s. 9.950 though? LEAPS DON’T EXIST.

Gnat – FX – fab DLO as always, did bounce just a touch – 2.5 to front tuck, strong and excellent – short on double pike with a lunge forward – WHAT – very un-Gnat. Basically the weakest double pike she’s done in maybe three years.

DEAD that a judge went 9.950 for that. DEAD.

After 2:
Utah 98.1250
Alabama 97.5125
Oklahoma 49.5875
LSU 49.3250
Florida 49.3000
UCLA 49.0000

Advantage Oklahoma after one event. I thought that Oklahoma bars rotation was actually a little weaker than yesterday’s, but still excellent and crisp. Lehrmann, you guys. LSU struggled at the beginning of that floor lineup, and I would say Finnegan is really the onely one who truly shone. Kelley was also solid, but Gnat missed a landing short, which is ridiculous, and we had some landing and OOB issues at the beginning. They need to pick up some ground on their best event now, but can’t vault with the idea of making up tenths. That’s where weak landings come from.

Really disappointed in how weak Alabama’s performance has been. Already eliminated themselves from contention a third of the way through the meet.

LSU got a usable score out of floor, but not as big as they would have hoped/expected, and after Utah’s opening OOBs, the curse of starting on floor in Super Six (for teams that aren’t Alabama) continues.

Rotation 3 – LSU vault, UCLA bars – Oklahoma beam, Florida floor

Hop back from Finnegan on vault – McLaughlin lands a touch short on front 2/1 but no biggie – split leap could be a little more split – better rudi landing – 1.5 to layout, very crisp.

Meraz falls on Ray. Jones hits beam –

Large stumble backward from Hambirck on her 1.5 – multiple steps. Shame. She was struggling more than yesterday during warmups as well.

Lerhmann – BB – pretty full turn – hits aerial – small adjustment on switch side – secure loso series – straddle 1/4, good – step on 1.5

Slocum had a couple very small slides landing two of her passes. Honest hits bars, one short handstand

Ewing – VT – two small steps back, a usable score but not as strong as her semifinal vault. Theme so far.

Catour – BB – second half – hits switch side – clean aerial, small adjustment – sticks gainer pike

Harrold – VT – awesome 1.5. She’s here today, one of her best this season, small step forward and some knees –

Hundley slides on whip double tuck – lunge forward out of second pass – nice leap amplitude on that straddle jump – secure, lowish double pike.

Edney – VT – a little short with a step back as well. So many of them performed better in the semi on these first two events.

I also see you, floor judge who gave Hundley 9.900.

Kocian – UB – stalder shap to pak, clean – usual leg breaks and a very short final handstand, weird, but makes it up by FINALLY sticking that dismount. 9.9375 is because Kocian and because stick. I guess.

Gnat – VT – bounce back on DTY, but better than yesterday.

McMurtry – FX – usual 3/1 – sticks front full second pass – a little indistinct on that wolf jump 1/1 landing, but it won’t be taken – strong high double tuck.

Ross very clean on bars, small step on DLO. Should be a strong total as well.

One judge gives McMurtry a 10. Four 9.950s and a 9.900. I’m with the 9.900 judge because of course I am, but it was a very strong routine.

Nichols – BB – aerial to beat jump, excellent – secure loso series, better than yesterday – great split jump – sticks double tuck – (no punch front today?) – superior routine, very little to take.

Boren hitting her usual floor routine, nails double tuck. Should be a strong score.

Peng was fantastic on bars until DLO, lands short and a lunge forward into salute.

Nichols gets a 10 on beam. Told you very little to take. First Super Six 10 since Zamarripa on vault I believe. (that’s right about Dabritz as well!)

Capps – BB – lovely loso series, even better than usual – full turn, smooth – great aerial to scale, nailed – switch to straddle 1/4, maybe the smallest of adjustments on that, maybe – sticks gainer full – excellent. One 10 for Capps. The rest 9.950s.

Baker – FX – strong Dos Santos – almost sticks the double tuck, thought she had but ends up a with a little bounce – fantastic final pass. Yes.

One 10 for Baker. Mostly 9.900s. Clearly, the floor judges are passing the crack because it’s a different one each time.

Oklahoma 99.2875
Florida 98.8000
LSU 98.6250
UCLA 98.4375
Utah 98.1250
Alabama 97.5125

LSU wasn’t poor on either vault or floor, but they did not perform nearly as well as yesterday on either and need a comeback on the remaining events. The judges have proven willingness to go into the 9.9s there. Kind of a lot. So it could happen. Strong start for Florida, but they’ll still need to vault as well as they did yesterday here.

Rotation 4 – Florida vault, Utah bars, UCLA beam, Alabama floor

Hundley – VT – good stick on her full – some legs and not the distance of others, but pretty much her peak full –

Skinner has a small handstand arch on her bail – a touch short on final hs – sticks dismount –

Alexander – VT – small hop back on full –

Gerber – BB – good wolf (I mean, relative…) – aerialt o split jump, clean, hits 180 – check on loso series –

reinstadtler a little short on early handstands, better later – hop forward on dismount.

Baker – VT – strong 1.5, hop back, some knees, but minor errors both.

Merrell hits deltchev well, one of her better ones on the season – muscles up final hs, small hop on double tuck, but solid overall –

Boren lands very short on 1.5 – a stumble back with a couple steps, just like Hambrick. Uncharacteristic for Boren.

UCLA deciding that Mossett has one more beam routine in those legs after all, and it pays off with a hit.

Slocum a hop back on vault but not too too big. She stuck hers in the warmup and it was tremendous.

McMurtry – VT – small hop on the DTY this time, but otherwise as fantastic as always. But, Florida needed to vault as well as yesterday and did not –

Baely Rowe awfully clean on bars, one of her stronger sets.

Kocian – BBB – aerial to sheep, small adjustment out of sheep but good shapes – hits loso series – tentative on full turn, I’d call that a check – switch and split, strong – bounce back on 2/1. I’d call Kocians beam work this year fragile, and that one fit the theme. One judge still went 9.9. K.

In better news for Alabama, Ktie Bailey’s double arabian was excellent –

Kari Lee short on final bars handstand and just barely stands up her dismount with a couple lunges back.

Ross – BB – nails loso series, elite career style – large check on switch ring and does not connect to beat – aerial, clean – switch to split to get her leaps, split a little eh – side aerial to stuck full. One judge goes 9.900.

Good one from Aja Sims. Her opening double pike was quite secure.

Peng – BB – magical flares – leaps, pristine and perfection – nails bhs layout – very controlled on the double turn as well! – side aerial to an alllllmost stuck full. A little slide. Now we don’t have to complain about a Peng bonus! That deserves all the bonus. OK, well maybe we complain a little. Another 10. She didn’t really stick that dismount, but on the beam, there was nothing to take.

Winston – FX – excellent doulbe lay – maybe a little slide on second pass but not much if any, nails double tuck. Where was this routine quality two rotations ago?

Ohashi – BB – aerial to bhs, secure and smooth – a pragmatic choice enforced by injury but one that will get the scores – hits her leaps – comfortable full turn – bhs loso to stuck full. Another completely secure set. Very little to take again. The Bruins were a little eh, but Peng and Ohashi were far from eh.

Only one judge goes 10 for this one. 9.950s from the rest. Used them up on Peng?

After 3:
Florida 148.1625
UCLA – 147.9250
Utah 147.4375
Alabama 146.8375
Oklahoma 99.2875
LSU 98.6250

UCLA will be very happy with the way this meet is going. Florida gave up a little too much ground with that vault rotation. 49.3s is still strong, but like LSU, it’s a “wish it had been yesterday’s rotation” situation.

Rotation 5 – Alabama vault, LSU bars, Utah beam, Oklahoma floor

Childers – VT – near stick, just a lean, good full

Zamardi – UB – one shortish hs early – solid on shap and pak – step forward double front – good, but not her most precise in the hs

Jones – FX – 2.5 to punch front comfortable – 15 to layout, just a small bounce in place – some feet and bounciness on leaps, down to choreo – solid double pike. 9.900s are a little enthusiastic for that, but that’s what landing control will do for you.

Strong vault from armbrecht

Hambrick – UB – excellent opening hs to Ray – giant full a little rushed, great vertical in her bail – hop back tuck full.

Hop back from Winston on vault, great amplitude

Merrell with a check on an aerial –

Brown – FX – just a bounce in place on the front 2/1 – strong second – her side-long loso continues to be what dreams are made of – excellent rudi, stuck, legs together.

Harrold – UB – toe shap 1/2 good – one arches hs but saved it – close catch on jaeger – step back double front – good – a couple places to take.

Edney – UB – hindorff to fingertips but good catch – clean bail – one shortish hs – step back DLO. Again, good but not perfect, and that’s where they’re losing out to Oklahoma tonight.

hop forward for Guerrero on 1.5.

Dowell – FX – a little short landing her double front but does well to save it into a stag – much better on the leaps than she was earlier in the season – solid landings overall on remaining passes.

Finnegan – gorgeous on the Rayu and bail – shoot up to high – good DLO – a thing here and there, but Finnegan delivers another event –

McNeer 15 with a hop forward. Her last routine, and this is when the tears begin. And now everyone on the team is crying.

Priessman tkatche vto bail – her usual, where you’re like “how are you hitting this but you are” leg break on the pak and a hop back on the DLO. They haven’t stuck these dismounts and needed to.

Capps – FX – does the DLO and it’s excellent, chest up and landing secure – I’m going to miss her floors – is it OK if I start Keely McNeering now? – 1.5 to layout, stuck – controls rudi. Excellent floor.

Baely Rowe falls on her loso series on beam.

Nichols – FX – strong landing on piked full in – keeps front foot down on 2/1 – switch ring to split leap full, showing people how to hit 180 – small slide back on double pike, but another big hit. One 10, the rest 9.950. Honestly fine with 9.950 for that one.

McNatt – BB – check on sheep jump – leg up wobble on aerial – redoing the skill, gets the connection this time. Check on y spin – chalk blow – sticks dismount very well –

Jackson – FX – open full in and bounces out of it again today like yesterday – front full, dances a little – excellent amplitude on straddle – opens out of her double pike, you know like you do – small slide. Still gets a bunch of 9.950s. Like, is bouncing out of a pass not even a thing now? Or just we love her choreography so much that deductions don’t exist? OK.

After 5:
Utah 196.5875
Alabama 196.0000
Oklahoma 148.9000
Florida 148.1625
LSU 148.0125
UCLA 147.9250

Oklahoma. The end. With a lead of over 7 tenths heading to the final rotation over the closest contender. Oklahoma barely even has to be meh.

Rotation 6 – Oklahoma vault, Florida bars, LSU beam, UCLA floor

We though this rotation was going to be the big fight between Oklahoma and LSU didn’t we?

Boren – UB – good tkatchev and following hs – leg break in the bail – one short hs hop forward on DLO

Only the smallest bounce in place on the Marks vault. Remember that time I though Lehrmann should be in the lineup over her? Ooops.

Good thing ESPN is showing Macadaeg on beam, otherwise we wouldn’t know what to do – good switch leaps – hits loso series, stuck gainer full. Macadaeg things.

Capps a hop back on vault and a touch off line, not as strong as yesterday.

Chant falls on tkatchev.

DeGouveia – VT – hop forward on 1.5 – good direction – some knees.

Gowey – Ub – good Ray – clean pak – a little short on half turn on low – sticks DLO, strong routine –

Hambrick hitting beam, maybe one check – sticks 2/1

Small hop forward fro Dowell on vault. Good 1.5.

Ohashi lands final double pike quite short with a lunge forward.

Baker – UB – good ray – clean bail, legs together and vertical – hop back on double front but hit

Jackson – VT – very good 1.5, quite a small hop on landing – excellent height and direction. It’s a 9.950 too.

Ewing sticks 1.5 with a lean after another beam hit.

Nichols – VT – sticks a 1.5. Pretty excellent way to clinch the championship – and if they gave Jackson 9.950…….Only two 10s. The rest 9.950s. Only two 10s. Like a loser.

Hundley clean on bars until a final short handstand – leans to hold stick on tuck full.

Oklahoma done and made entirely of tears.

Scores going ridic on pretty much all the events right now. The judges are tooooo excited.

Cipra finishes strong double pike.

McMurtry – Ub – great Ray, one of her good ones – clean bail, very precise – sticks tuck full – excellent routine. Will be another big score.

EVERYONE gives a 10 to McMurtry because McMurtry feelings. Edney gets all the 9.950s even though, leap? That straddle?

It’s almost like the beam judges aren’t even aware that the meet is already over and are trying to make themselves the story anyway.

Finnegan – BB – good loso series – switch to switch 1/2 – hits side somi – please do gymnastics for the rest of my life – side aerial to stuck full. Well, if you were giving out the 9.950s like candy already… 10s from some of the judges. 9.975 total.

Kocian – FX – front 2/1, a little under this time but not bad – finishes with a good double pike, chest down.

Gnat – BB – nailing her acro – switch to straddle 1/4 good – switch side, secure – hits loso series – hop back 2/1. Excellent.

Ross – FX – excellent double tuck – only the smallest lside on the a double pike – switch side to straddle, better than whatever she did yesterday… – struggles on final pass, just gets it around –

Scratch that about Mossett! Good! I thought we were one routine farther than we were. Mossett still to go to finish the meet.

LSU uses Gnat’s 9.950 to move just ahead of Florida after 49.725 on beam (the beam scores today, you guys…….) and the fans are celebrating that like it was a title.

Mossett – FX – appropriate final routine to be the only one going to finish the meet – fitting – whip to double tuck – strong landing – the OU team is really getting into Mossett’s routine, which is easy to do when you’ve just won – phenomenal leaps – smallest slide on double pike, but great.

Oklahoma getting trophy now – they’re kind of happy. But just a little. A touch.

FINAL:
1. Oklahoma 198.3875 (record)
2. LSU 197.7375
3. Florida 197.7000
4. UCLA 197.2625
5. Utah 196.5875
6. Alabama 196.000

Damn, I almost got the placement of the top six right in my preseason rankings. I just had Alabama ahead of Utah.

Teams finishing 1, 3, and 4 will be pretty happy with their performances. UCLA wasn’t really ever going to do better than 4th until they get some vaults. Florida started extremely well, and will rue not vaulting as well as yesterday, but still a very strong meet. No one was going to catch Oklahoma the way Oklahoma competed tonight. LSU could have come the closest, but they didn’t get the vault and floor landings from yesterday.

Honestly, biggest surprise to me was Alabama’s implosion.

Oklahoma was just ridiculous tonight. Their best meet of the season, and they’ve had some good ones.

Trophy presentations now. Or well, little buttons? Or whatever the fifth and sixth teams get? Thank you for your service?

Nice moments between the UCLA fans and the Oklahoma team. They’re like, “We get each other.”

The top four teams get mini-trophies. No buttons or whatever.

Oh goody, now we’re all covered in confetti. Imagine how much this thrills me.

McKenzie Wofford dropped the trophy. We see you.

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156 thoughts on “Super Six Live Blog”

  1. I’m really annoyed that they brought up Nichols’ Olympic trials situation when they interviewed her. Yes, it’s true that Nichols and Skinner didn’t make the Olympic team, but what does that have to do with NCAA gymnastics? They have both had an incredible year. Why do we have to bring up the times when they haven’t achieved their goals when we are interviewing them about their great performances in the NCAA championships? Congrats to Nichols, Skinner, and all other athletes in the NCAA championships. It was fun to see them all try their hardest all year and tonight. This was a great year of NCAA gymnastics, and tonight was no exception. I can’t wait to see more beautiful gymnastics next year.

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  2. Can we just pretend that event finals were tonight and Maggie won the AA. But with that being said, if it wasn’t going to be Maggie yesterday for the AA title, I was totally okay with giving it to McMurtry

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      1. Agreed. Even if Maggie hit her beam Friday, without basically a 10, she wouldn’t have beat Alex. Alex had her beat on vault and floor. McMurtry earned her title and she was phenomenal.

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    1. Actually even when they had a special day for Event Finals, the AA was always decided during the semifinals.

      Personally I think if they do decide to bring back Event Finals, they should also decide the AA at the same time – perhaps have the Semis on a Thursday, Super Six on Saturday to give the teams a day of rest/preparation and then do the individuals on Sunday.

      Also, they shouldn’t take the Event/AA qualifiers from Regionals/Semis, competitions that are team-oriented. They should make the regular season count and take the top eight gymnasts in each category and then to make it inclusive for all conferences add the top RQS gymnast from each conference NOT represented in the Top 8.

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  3. Okay the scoring was a litttle out of hand at the end ESPECIALLY LSU BEAM but OKLAHOMA!!! YESS! Even though I was wrong, I was rooting for them from the beginning of the season!

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    1. Those first two LSU beam routines are perfection. Wonder if LSU will reverse its beam lineup next year when Erin and Myra are seniors so they’ll have the chance to get 10s? Though I can’t see anyone coming close to replacing them as the 1-2 dynamite combo.

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      1. I would love to see Finnegan anchor beam for LSU. I think Erin and Mya have proven that they can still get 9.9+ scores in the first two places in the line up. I wouldn’t be too surprised if they kept them in those spots or if they only move one (maybe Mya) to the 5th spot. I could see the last three being Edney, Hambrick, and Finnegan.

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  4. During the award presentation, the Oklahoma athletes knocked over the National Champion sign and trophy…so they have been disqualified. 😉

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  5. Thank you Spencer so much for all you do!! As a former collegiate gymnast this blog is my life!! Hopefully you’ll be able to get some rest soon! Thank you once again!!

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  6. Did anyone else watch the award presentation and see the Florida gymnast who covered herself in the strands of the confetti and walked around the floor? I was dying.

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    1. No idea, literally covered in confetti strands to the point of no visible skin. I would assume Rachel, but I can’t say for certain.

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      1. The linked photo shows a confetti strand monster-of-sorts on the left side of the photo. Hopefully UCLA wasn’t attacked! LOL.

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      2. Can we assume from the photo of the UCLA gymnasts with the three graduating seniors in the front that Peng (who is behind the sign) was granted an extra year of eligibility?

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  7. I’m just thinking of next year and how Florida does not lose anyone and gets some good routines for next year. Enjoy this ou because next year is Floridas time.

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    1. I wouldn’t count UCLA out. I think UCLA will get better and better for the next 3 years as their freshmen mature. Plus the Glenn twins and a full strength Macy Toronjo.

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      1. I think the big wild card for UCLA is their vault lineup. They can very easily continue to be good on bars and beam, and I think maintaining their current level of floor performance shouldn’t be very hard, but they’re going to need to make significant improvements on vault if they intend to make a run for NCAA titles.

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      2. You’re also assuming that their athletes who are made of glass are going to stay healthy. UCLA doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to keeping their athletes injury free.

        I think OU and Florida will be the favorites next year, but I think UCLA, Utah, and LSU will all be in the mix again. Utah only loses Rowe and gains the three injured girls from this year plus the incoming freshman. I get that people don’t “like” Skinner, but she could definitely lead that team to a good finish at Nationals next year. She seems to be much more sturdy and healthy than other former elites.

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      3. From Miss Val’s post Super Six interview 4/15/17:
        “We need to improve vault,” Kondos Field said. “We have great vaulters but just weren’t able to train them enough to compete. The fun part now of the postseason is watching them step up and figure how to get those 10.0 vaults ready to compete next year. ”

        Hmmm…I think that same quote could have been made 12 months ago in April of 2016…but no improvement in UCLA vaulting was found in the entire past year. If the 2018 regular season starts AGAIN with few if any 10.0 SV vaults, then the UCLA fans will be frustrated AGAIN.

        I think UCLA’s strategy this year was that a stuck 9.95 SV vault is worth more than a non-stuck 10.0 SV vault…but the problem was that UCLA was NOT sticking those 9.95 SV vaults.

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      4. Not so sure – UCLA always manages to have a strong freshman class and great expectations for the season but seem to fall a little short. First – vault – must improve; 2nd conditioning. They love to dance – Zumba all summer girls and do it until you drop; and finally, their floor falls flat with tooooooo much choreo. The gymnastics actually get lost in many of their routines. the entertainment value is only part of the whole. Love the girls – need Val for comic relief (couldn’t live the whole season without the facial expressions – especially if Utah has the audacity to beat them – those faces are the best) and I do like her relationship with her girls. BUT – 1,2&3 have to be taken care of before they can win at Nationals. They have the talent but one or two puzzle pieces are still missing.

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    2. I agree UF will be good since they lose no one, while both LSU and OU will likely take a step back – OU especially is losing a HUGE amount of star seniors. Though they still have Maggie. LSU is a bit of a wild card without Gnat’s leadership, not sure how Mya and Erin will be able to take on the added leadership responsibilities.

      UCLA could be dominant if they figure out floor on a consistent basis and get some more 10-start value vaults. Even if they just get two from athletes who can land them consistent without form breaks like the two in their 2017 lineup always seemed to have.

      I also expect Stanford to have a major bounce back year with their incoming freshmen, hopefully the sophomores make slight improvements and they don’t waste Ebee’s senior year.

      But, in the SEC, I expect Auburn to have a stronger regular season then they did this year – their main loss is MJ Rott on vault and bars. Hopefully they’ll find a replacement in a freshman.

      Also, Kentucky loses relative little in terms of key routines and could improve upon this season. Missouri as well. If Arkansas is healthy they should also improve, though I’m not sure it’ll be enough to really challenge their SEC rivals.

      Finally, Alabama and Georgia both have really strong freshmen classes coming in, plus Bama gets Peyton Ernst at leas on beam. Alabama also has a strong senior class for next year especially if Brannon is healthy all season. UGA might be a year away from really challenging but their 2018 seniors are all good on at least two events (Marino, vault/floor; Bablis, beam/floor; Sanders, bars/beam, and Vaculik, if she returns to competition, is a decent early lineup possibility on vault/bars/beam). Plus the two AAers in Dickson and Snead, and Vega’s beam/floor.

      But, I do agree that if UF is going to win a fourth NCAA title next year is the time to do it with the last go-around of Baker, McMurtry, Slocom, Grace M. and Fassbender (?).

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      1. I forgot about UGA’s incoming class. They really need them. And Bama gets Bailie Key too. So both of those programs get a boost.

        I think the LSU sophomores-turning juniors will take a lot of the leadership responsibility, just from observing their team. D-D has said Mya is more of a follower but that sophomore class is strong.

        Also, isn’t Nebraska like 7 freshmen or something like that? Didn’t they have a bunch of red-shirt freshmen and some true freshmen? I expect them to be better next year since they were tenths away from making super six.

        I think UCLA could be great if they could figure out vaulting. If I were athletes on their team who didn’t get a lot of time in the line-up, I would go home this summer and train a 10.0 vault. Preston needs to vault a 1.5. Kramer and Hano need to be vaulting dtys regularly.

        UF+Baumann and Skaggs will be wow. Watch out. I hope McMurtry’s back holds up for one more season.

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  8. The UCLA fans and apologists are out in full force. Geez, these elite fans are insane. I hope they start to appreciate all of NCAA gymnastics and multiple teams over the next few years and not get stuck on the UCLA/Ross/Kocian train permanently.

    If you are new to NCAA — go watch past year championships and meets on youtube. There is so much fun in NCAA gymnastics and it’s not just UCLA.

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    1. You do realize that NCAA is primarily school-oriented, right? Most people will never hop off the respective OU/LSU/Florida/UCLA/Utah/Alabama train because they either went to the school or grew up watching it. Good for you for watching it for the gymnastics, but please respect other gymnastics fans who also want to support their school.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This comment misses the point of the original poster who was speaking to Elite fans who are watching NCAA this season for the first time because of the UCLA Olympians. He/She is just suggesting these Elite fans check out other teams and see there’s more to college gymnastics then former elites/Olympians. The elite fans probably have no tie to UCLA other than their Olympic love.

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      2. Yes, Neil, as a graduate of Michigan, I understand how cheering for a program works. If you have followed the comments this season, particularly in the post season, you’ll note that several people have said they are new to NCAA and are cheering for UCLA due to the ex-elites. I was merely pointing out that those fans should watch more than UCLA meets.

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  9. I feel like Kocian is still training elite, even if she hasn’t said so openly. She just seems tired all the time. Maybe her head isn’t in the college game yet. I hope she goes to worlds and then comes back strong next year.

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    1. Kocian’s amount of training was significantly reduced this season as she has been rehabbing a shoulder injury (from before the season started). She now has to decide whether to get shoulder surgery this off-season.

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  10. When making predictions for next year, I honestly look less to the roster of athletes and more to the quality of the program and their coaching. Of course, if a program just doesn’t have the roster of healthy athletes to put together a strong lineup, (like Stanford or Arkansas this year) or even a full lineup of 6 routines, that is one thing. When we talk about the top six from this year, they all have the (theoretical) talent to be on top next year. It’s more a matter of how that talent translates onto the competition floor.
    OU and LSU have, in my mind, proven themselves to be the strongest in this regard. Their level of fitness, preparation, and ability to hit, pacing to peak at nationals (I’ll just disregard that LSU peaked one day too soon), are by far the top in the country. Florida used to be in this category under Faehen’s leadership, but isn’t there yet with Rowland.
    Sadly, I have to say that UCLA is among the weakest in this regard. I am a big fan of theirs (from the early 2000’s, NOT due to their elite stars), and I get frustrated wondering WHY those Omelianchek’s were never ready to see the light of competition, WHY so many injuries, WHY it takes them the whole season to be able to make it through a floor routine. This has nothing to do with WHO is on the roster. Conversely, I look at the “ninja L10’s”, like Lehrmann, Capps, and Catour, who consistently get 9.9’s (deservedly) for OU, and I give the coaching staff credit for making this the rule on their team, not the exception.

    I would be shocked to not see OU and LSU as the strong 1-2 punch again next year. And I wouldn’t worry too much about their graduating seniors, the coaches will be able to continue to fill the lineups with championship worthy routines.

    I’ll add Washington and Kentucky in the category of programs I’m impressed with.

    I’m in no way discrediting the athletes in their successes, only saying that the success of the team as a whole is more a reflection of how the program is run, if they have some talent to work with.

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    1. I agree with your comments. Many programs never get elites but they have strong line ups. I was impressed this year with some of the lesser known programs. Southern Utah did well and were vastly improved. That is just an example there are so many more. Washington is leaps and bounds better this year than last and I think next season will see them even better. I am originally from England and am astounded that just about any of the college teams could compete internationally and win. The amount of talent in US gymnastics blows me away. Elite gymnasts are fabulous but so many of these other girls in other countries would compete on national teams. NCAA is my favorite format. Have loved watching Nichols, Ross, Skinner (she leaps to the moon) and Kocian. But equally impressive have been McMIllan, Burleson, and so many more. Hope they can all get healthy. Would love to see Utah have a complete healthy team next season – they did well with 9 this year who knows what an even dozen would do for them.

      I also hope there will be kinder comments next round. Less vitriol. Can’t wait. Thanks to this blog and all contributors – helps with understanding and enjoyment.

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