|Saturday, January 13||Scores||Stream|
|1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Illinois, Yale, Southern Connecticut @ Rutgers||LINK|
|1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Ursinus, Ithaca, Springfield @ West Chester||LINK|
|2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Utah State @  Bowling Green||LINK|
|4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Nebraska @  Penn State||LINK||BTN+
|5:00 ET/2:00 PT –  Maryland, Northern Illinois, Winona State @ Minnesota||LINK||BTN+
|5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Bridgeport @  New Hampshire||LINK||FREE|
|6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Ohio State @  Michigan||LINK||ESPNU|
|6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Oregon State @ Pittsburgh||LINK||ACC+|
|6:00 ET/3:00 PT –  Central Michigan @ Eastern Michigan||LINK||EMU($)|
|7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Iowa @ Michigan State||LINK||BTN+
It’s Big Ten Saturday! Two of the Big Ten schools have already finished up in early action, and…it started well for Illinois?
Illinois was on the preseason “uh oh” list with fears for how 2018 would go without Leduc and with Horth injured, so scoring over 49 on bars and beam in the first two rotations was a big deal. It got worse from there. A depleted floor rotation had to feature two routines from upperclasswomen (Givens, Donovan) who have never competed floor before. Yada yada yada, 48.000. Illinois’s vault was still Illinois’s vault, but not devastatingly, meaning a final score of 195.100. We’ve seen worse.
And it was enough to win the meet, since everyone else had nightmares of varying description. Yale took second with 191.550, ahead of Rutgers with 191.425, and So Conn with 187.550.
Nebraska @ #17 Penn State
The Nebraska season opener is always worth watching just from a…what is this team going to be this year?…perspective because we know relatively little about how preseason went, which freshman are going to contribute, who’s back from injury, and all of that.
The Penn State leos have a big shiny S on the front. S is for Pennsylvania.
ROTATION 1: Penn State on vault, Nebraska on bars
Nebraska makes it rain in a huddle before bars? K.
Laguardia – VT – Solid distance on a full, some leg form, lunge back. Solid. 9.750.
Roby – UB – nice to see her already in a lineup from the start after tearing ACL last March. She’s supposed to be a star. 1/2 turn to Jaeger (hit). Legs together through Pak, a little flat. Half turn on low was not quite vertical, but good final cast handstand, and a stuck DLO (some pike). 9.850. Well now.
Garcia – VT – better control on full. Small hop back. Late twist technique. 9.825.
Houchin – UB – Also back from her preseason injury – nice counter on Tkatchev – legs right together on bail – smooth cast handstand – full turn to double tuck, holds stick. Nice, the clean execution we came to expect last year. 9.875.
Bonsall – VT – Bounce back on full, a little off to the side and some mushy legs on block, good distance. 9.775.
Breen – UB – falls on opening cast to handstand, got nowhere close to vertical, couldn’t hold it and came off. Same problem when restarts, can’t get up to handstand and falls again. Gets it the third time, hits Jaeger, clean bail – DLO pace forward. It was getting that cast up to grip change for the Jaeger that was the problem.
Chinnery – VT – Bounce back on full as well. Solid though. 9.850 a little high for that. Scores not nearly as tight as they were here last week. 9.825.
Judges have the vapors about trying to score Breen’s routine.
Schweihofer – UB – 1/2 to piked jaeger (nice) to overshoot (legs). DLO dismount (whippy but stuck). 9.825.
Bridgens – VT – full, small bounce back, some piking in the air, pretty consistent with what the others in the lineup have been showing. 9.800.
Orel – UB – Tkatchev (flat but hit). Bail (some hip angle). Handstands OK, mistake on DLO release, no chance to get it around and lands hands first. Fall. Nebraska counting a fall on bars now, peppered in between three other strong routines.
Tsang – VT – Pretty good 1.5, a larger lunge forward than she would like, but good direction and mostly kept her shape. 9.825.
Epperson – UB – 1/2 turn to Jaeger (caught). Bail (leg break but vertical). Hitting handstands. DLO, nice and high, hop back. One of her better bars sets. 9.800.
Torri Hutchinson gets an exhibition for Nebraska on bars – arches an early handstand but saves it – Jaeger to overshoot – giant full double tuck dismount, stuck. Will be an option, probably won’t be part of the first-choice six, but she can give them a routine.
After 1: Penn State 49.075, Nebraska 48.375
Nebraska probably should be leading after that rotation with a few really nice sets, particularly from Houchin, but you know, falling. Good vaults from Penn State. A little better control than last week, also some friendlier scoring. They have a group of six very usable vaults, with one 10.0, that should be a top 15ish lineup this season.
Williams – VT – weirdly off to the side on the table but works it out – full with a step back – will get deducted for direction. 9.700.
McCracken – UB – Tkatchev (hit). Bail with some legs, just a little. Hesitation in stalder into double tuck but works through it this week. 9.800.
K Hutchinson – VT – Very short run – solid full – good height and direction, pace back, some pike. 9.775.
Verdeflor – UB made lineup this week after exhibition last time – pause working into Jaeger but gets it – nice toes – hits bail – VERY vertical final handstand, awesome – giant full to double tuck and fall. We were rooting for you, we were all rooting for you. 9.250.
Dujakovich – VT – clean full in the air, but comes in short with a hop forward. 9.825 is a little high.
Bridgens – UB – Toe Shap to bail – nice legs through bail, right together – a little short on handstand positions, giant full to double tuck, stuck. Nice legs on bail and double tuck. That stands out. 9.875.
Epperson – VT – Better full – chest up, small step back – solid. 9.875.
Garcia – UB – Great piked Jaeger – toe on – bail, clean and vertical – hits final handstand – small hop back on DLO. Good one.
Schweihofer – VT – Great distance on her full, stuck, just a touch of direction. Nice. The judges have penned themselves in a little here by overscoring Dujakovich. Nowhere left to go.
Bonsall – UB – Ray to overshoot – hit, not the biggest but solid – hits cast handstand – DLO with a near-stick. Solid set. This is quite a good rotation post-Verdeflor. 9.900.
Crouse – VT – Sticks her 1.5. Excellent vault. This is Nebraska vaulting. Coaches in the way from really judging the shape from this angle, but a little bit of knees it appeared. Great distance. 9.950.
Tsang – UB – Hits Jaeger, connected to overshoot – fine – good handstands, and a stuck DLO. This was actually a REALLY nice rotation for both teams. 9.900.
Politz hits bars in exhibition, probably in the lineup next week unless Verdeflor works it out.
After 2: Penn State 98.400, Nebraska 97.700
Strong performances. It was difficult to judge Penn State’s handstands from the awful camera angle, but the rest of the routines looked composed and comfortable. Good landings. Nebraska was among the more prepared teams in terms of first-meet vaults that we’ve seen so far this season. Great sticks from Schweihofer and Crouse. They’ll want a few more 1.5s as the season goes (Houchin once she gets back—we didn’t see Verceles Carr here—Schweihofer trains one), but this was a good start.
McCracken – BB – wolf turn full – aerial to bhs series, slow in combination but no check – cat leap to side aerial, misses beam entirely with both feet, fall – split jump double stag – slide back gainer full.
Epperson – FX – front 2/1 first pass, crossed legs, controls landing – 1.5 to layout, clean – switch ring to wolf hop full, low front leg on switch ring – rudi finish.
Schuller – BB – switch split (very low back leg) to straddle 1/4, tentative – aerial to bhs series, rather slow in combination – full turn – cat leap to kickover front to beat jump, small lean corrections out of everything but getting through – front full dismoutn, stuck.
Dujakovich – FX – double pike, small slide but good – 1.5 to front full, mushy knees and some arch in that series – struggles with the 180 position on the split full – rudi, some legs, slide. 9.700.
Bonsall – BB – bhs loso series, saves it with a step backward, not bad – switch split, large break correction – split to straddle 1/4 combo – hitch kick to side aerial, check – front full dismount, lungeforward and to the side. After the fall, they are working very tightly but getting through. 9.600.
Hassel – FX – front 2/1, gets it around, lunge forward – front full to layout, stuck, some arch – switch 1/2 to wolf jump full, NICE positions – rudi, a bit of legs, small slide back. 9.750.
Bridgens – BB – hitch kick to kickover front, lean correction – switch to split, not the highest split – full turn – loso series, off direction and fall. Penn State counting a beam fall now. It had started so well. Gainer loso, hit – 1.5 with a hop. Almost forgot to salute.
Williams – FX – double pike, solid, some slide – front lay to rudi, chest downish – split full to popa, short of position on both elements – double tuck, looks like she just does keep that front foot down. Best landing control but will get hit for splits.
Tsang – BB – hits loso series, maybe smallest lean – switch side, leg-up wobble but saves it – side somi, crisp – full turn – bhs 1/1 to layout full dismount, stuck. Endured. 9.800.
Crouse – FX – that “bali, mali, chile, malawi” music – front 2/1 to front tuck – back 1.5 to front layout, small stumble correction – really bails out of her dance elements as well, not close, they are struggling with them quite a bit. Did they all get pulled hamstrings? – Nice rudi to loso, good legs. 9.675.
Hosek – BB – side aerialt o beat jump, solid – loso series, secure and controlled – switch to straddle 1/4, tight on straddle 1/4 – aerial with a medium-sized check – gainer full.
Schweihofer – FX – full in, good, a hair short with a pop forward – front lay to rudi, comfortable – switch 1/2 to wolf jump full, same series as Hassel’s and those are the two that won’t get significantly deducted for splits – double tuck, solid – best of the rotation by far. 9.825.
Politz struggles on her aerial to bhs series in exhibition and falls.
Karley Hutchinson doing exhibition for Nebraska on floor. I was looking forward to this set because she had a double front in JO. She does it! Just gets it around, lunges forward and OOB. So that’s probably why she’s not in the lineup. Worth working into the lineup though.
After 3: Nebraska 146.500, Penn State 146.500
Counting a fall on beam for Penn State has leveled things up heading to the final rotation. So advantage Penn State then. A very nervy beam rotation for Penn State after the opening fall. Nebraska OK in the tumbling department (not as much BIG as they’d like to have), but many of them got stuck in the 9.7s because of dance elements.
Over checking in with the Minnesota quad for a moment.
Barber – UB – Maryland – Hindorff was good but had no cast handstand after it, basically went vertical, which will take away the score. DLO with lunge forward.
Roby – BB – aerial to bhs bhs series, hit – small hesitation on full turn – side aerial to full with hop back.
McCracken – FX – 1.5 to layout, had to arch the layout quite a bit but got it to her feet and kept it in bounds – 1.5 to front pike, fine – switch ring to split full, low front leg on switch ring – attempting a rudi final pass, but went crazy in the air and landed in-between twists, kept it to her feet and I’m pleased she didn’t roll an ankle at the very least because she came into the floor twisting.
Delay on this score – perhaps deciding whether to give her the rudi for the final pass or not. It was a full to me.
Epperson – BB – full turn, check – loso series is solid – switch to split jump – cat leap to kickover front, hesitates into beat jump – stuck gainer full. 9.750.
Still waiting on the McCracken score. And she got a 9.900 start. 9.450 total.
Politz – FX – 2.5 with small stumble to the side, two steps – 1.5 to layout – switch split to switch 1/2-3/4? Unclear. full to front tuck, shuffle but does well to keep it in bounds. 9.675.
Schweihofer – BB – bhs to layout, right on, very secure – switch to switch 1/2, switch 1/2 was quite short of split – full turn – 2/1 dismount, hop back. 9.825.
Bridgens – FX – double tuck, bounce backward – rudi to a HIGH layout stepout – switch 1/2 to wolf jump 3/4 – front full to layout, some arch – 9.700
Breen – BB – one-arm bhs to loso with a step back to save it – double stag, hit – sheep jump was rough but secure – 1.5 dismount, couldn’t get it around, fall. Sits it down. Tough day for her.
Bonsall – FX – double pike, large bounce back and OOB – switch 1/2 to popa, OK – 1/2 to front full – double tuck, hands down, fall.
Well, this rotation devolved quickly.
Hassel – BB – bhs loso series, large break at the hips but stays on and does not grab the beam – aerial – split jump to sheep, a bit better on the sheep – full turn – sticks 1.5.
Garcia – FX – double tuck, controlled, same with double pike – good extension in straddles – 1.5 to rather whippy layout to finish. Solid. 9.825.
Williams – BB – bhs loso loso series is very secure, some knees, usual – cat leap to switch, somewhat tight – side aerial to full, stuck. 9.925 seems a little enthusiastic.
Tsang – FX – piked full in, secure landing, controlled step back – 1.5 to 1/2, came in ever so slightly short but it didn’t show up in the landing much – split full to popa-ish, somewhat short on split full – double pike, solid. 9.900
FINAL: Nebraska 195.550, Penn State 195.050
Nebraska will take it. Highlight was vault and getting through beam with five hits. Lots of potential on bars, just the counting fall there. Floor needs to work on dance elements. Penn State started extremely well on the first two, but things fell apart on beam and didn’t get much better on floor with having to count a 9.9 start from McCracken after the fall from Bonsall.
Short break before Michigan against Ohio State (and also Oregon State/Pittsburgh)
Michigan and Ohio State broadcast has begun. Apparently Olivia Karas really stepped it up this season. By doing the same thing she has been doing for two years?
Funk – VT – Yfull, solid, small hop in place, not the most distance. Good. 9.725.
Merkle – UB – quite close catch in the jaeger, has to muscle out of it – hits bail – short handstand and giant full with a leg break – double tuck with a step. 9.625.
Polina – VT – Good amplitude on full, chest down on landing with a smallish slide back. Fine.
Huang – UB – half to Jaeger, good toes – hitting handstands – nice shape in the air on the bail, just a tad shor tof vertical – ftdt small hop. Pretty. Alabama would totally be using that bars routine this year.
“But overall, very good routine.” Every time.
Zaziski – VT – nice open on her full, has the dynamics to do that – hop back this time – some pike. 9.850.
Adamski – UB – wayyy too close on tkatchev, hits her ankle on the bar and keeps it going – bail is nice – shortish final handstand but btter than last week – DLO with hop back.
Townsend -VT – MUCH better on the 1.5, small hop in place, a little direction, quite good. 9.925. Maybe too high because what about Karas. Probably needed to keep that 9.900. Allowed not enough room above it and there were a couple deductions to take there.
Mattern – UB – takes Jaeger very far but catches well – overshoot – short final hs – ftdt double tuck, stuck but legs staggered.
Karas – VT – Sticks her 1.5. Very strong, great dynamics – also off to the side like Townsend, but very nice. 9.875. Split of 9.950 and 9.800. Don’t know what judge #2 wanted there.
Aepli – UB – finishes with FTDT with hop back.
McLean – VT – Best 1.5 of the bunch. Another excellent vault. Great stick and no direction problems.
Swartzentruber – UB – Shap to Pak, gorgeous Pak – nice handstand on low – hits Shap 1/2, a little loose back in a cast handstand afterward – pings the DLO a tad, short with a step forward. Good one.
Fantastic final three vaults from Michigan. Quite excellent. Ohio State much less horrifying on bars than last week.
After 1: Michigan 49.375, Ohio State 48.925
Checking in with Oregon State.
Jacobsen – UB – Oregon State – hits tkatchev to overshoot, a little rushed but solid – 1/2 turn to double front, step forward, some cowboy. 9.750.
Gill – UB – Oregon State – toe to shap, good legs together throughout Shap, loses her leg form on the Pak, final hadnstand is good – DLO, short, large lunge forward. Rushed, but she’s essential to get in here.
Merkle – VT – sticks Yfull – knees throughout, a pike – 9.775.
Townsend – UB – SHap to bail – very vertical, almost too – precise handstands and toes – giant full to double tuck – stuck. Clean and excellent. 9.900. Could anchor.
Swartzentruber – VT – not too much trouble – shortish on a full with a stagger forward.
Farley – UB – 1/2 to piked Jaeger, solid – also hitting he handstands – some leg break on the bail – borderline final handstand – double front and does manage to hold onto the stick with a squat.
Lowe – VT – full, near-stick, not a ton of dynamics, but a good landing.
Judging delay for Farley. Didn’t really see anything that should create a delay.
Shchennikova – UB – Shap to pak, clean and lovely – near on the final hs – pretty good giant full finish position, hop back on double tuck. A few things to take. Fine.
Aepli – VT – another solid full – good direction, acceptable distance, hop in place, hip angle.
Karas – UB – toe on – toe shap to bail – really catches bail in vertical with a little arch – and then everything falls apart trying to SQUAT ON UP TO THE HIGH BAR. Literally the easiest part of her routine. She just missed her feet entirely. DLO, short, large lunge forward.
Stone – VT – came in REALLY high onto the table, got no amplitude and couldn’t complete the Y1/2.
Brown – UB – Ray, lovely, great height – Pak, super clean – some shortish handstands, one or two – DLO with a hop in place. Should be good score.
(In Pittsburgh, Taylor Laymon just fell on a gignatic piked jaeger)
Once again, not sure why the judging delay. It was just a fall. I’m wondering if it’s an issue with the computers, because it shouldn’t be a judging evaluation delay.
Mattern – VT – handspring pike 1/2, good, small slide back, stronger than last week – comes in chest down but you basically have to on that vault.
Zaziski – UB – late giant full with an arch – hits tkatchev – bail, another little arch – short final handstand – DLO stuck. Some form errors, really attacking early and then tentative late, but some strong qualities as well.
(Just a Y layout 1/2 vault from Dessaints for OSU with a step forward, followed by Jacobsen with a hop back on her Tsuk 1/1.)
After 2: Michigan 98.750, Ohio State 97.850
Michigan looking good today. Very prepared, some quite clean routines. Able to drop the Karas bars score and had five other good ones. Once again Townsend’s was the best of all of them. She could get 9.950 or more going late. Scores also less tight than they were in Michigan’s opener.
Also Pittsburgh is leading Oregon State, so……….
CMU not having nearly as nice a time this weekend as last weekend.
Karas – BB – change-leg gainer layout, very secure – switch split jump to pike jump, also secure – a little too many pauses, large break on loso series, bend at the hips and check to the side – full turn, easy – front lay 1.5, hop back. 9.800. For a weaker routine than the one that scored 9.725 last week. Cool. Thanks.
Swartzentruber – FX – 2.5 to front tuck, couldn’t tell if she went OOb on that or not because the tape looked crazy – wolf turn double – double pike, short and a shuffle forward. OK. 9.750.
Zaziski – BB – cat leap to switch side, somewhat crooked – loso series, solid – switch to straddle 1/4, better – full turn – kickover front – gainer full, stuck. Good. Paige is back (he says before floor like a fool). 9.875.
McClelland – FX – double pike, keeps that front leg down to control it – switch side to popa, good positions, a little indistinct landing on switch side – front full to front lay, comfortable – double tuck, solid, proficient.
Funk – BB – good amplitude on her loso series – switch side 1/4 to pike jump, EXCELLENT – hits the leap position, finishes clearly, quite good – split jump to back pike – beat jump to straddle 3/4, large break with a bend at the hips – front layt full with a hop. First 1/2 of the routine was basically perfect. 9.875 even still.
Aepli – FX – double tuck, bounce back – front full to front lay, arched too much to pull around the front lay – double pike, lowish. Will be a lower score.
One of the Ohio State gymnasts is wearing a fur vest. Can we talk about that? Does Ohio State have a STICK FUR VEST?
Brown – loso series, excellent – switch to split, extended – side somi, secure – finishes 2/1, stuck but staggered. Nice.
Stone – FX – clean shape on double pike, keeps toes pointed – 2.5 to front tuck, OK, a little hop backward – amplitude on dance elements, slightly crooked – 2.5 stagger landing.
Farley – BB – switch to split, secure – two loso series, small lean adjustment but basically nothing, chest downish during the layouts – side aerial to split jump – gainer pike, not enough height on that with a hop. 9.850. Not enough separation in these scores, but they’re all for good routines.
Merkle – FX – full in, knee-eating chest position but secure – 2/1 loso second pass – double tuck, keeps it controlled. They’ve done that pretty well overall in this rotation. Not a lot of bouncy landings. It helps.
Marinez – BB – aerial with a check correction – loso series, hit – split jump – full turn, very smooth – cat leap side aerial, lifts the foot a tad – beat jump split 1/2, pretty large break with a leg-up wobble – 2/1, short with a hop forward. Not one of her good ones, but they don’t need the score.
Mattern – FX – DLO, hit, controlled, just pike down a bit at the end – great amplitude on leaps – front lay to front full, straight body position through it – double pike. Solid. best of the rotation. Scores haven’t been low by any means, so it will be a big number. 9.900.
Ugh. Ohio State really does have a STICK FUR VEST. If your best friend jumped off a bridge would you do it too?
After 3: Michigan 148.025, Ohio State 147.025
Michigan having a strong day. I don’t really know why all the beam scores were so bunched (you had Karas with a major error, getting 9.800, and then you had Brown get a 9.800 from one of the judges, and that doesn’t really track for me). But quite a solid beam rotation. Ohio State under control on those floor passes, which made the difference there.
Force making her floor debut for Oregon State, was going really well, crisp double pike, until a very short final pass with a large lunge forward.
Brown’s score upped to 9.900 on beam, from 9.875.
Swartzentruber – BB – wolf turn – large break on loso, big leg up wave but pulls it back on the beam – but has nothing on her dance combo and can’t complete it, grabs the beam and comes off. Well, that didn’t go great.
Zaziski – FX – double pike, good shape, slide back – front lay to front full, a little more arched than I would like to see in both those – double tuck, shortish with a hop forward. 9.825.
Mattern – BB – never had a shot on that loso series. Off right from the start. Second fall in two routines. Oh, OSU, it was going so well. Kickover front, check – switch side with a check – gainer full, hop in place. 9.200.
Funk – FX – front 2/1 first pass, a bit of a slide out of it, good twisting form – front full to front lay, good lift in second element – double pike, secure, smallest buckle in the legs but held it. 9.900 is too high.
Apeli – BB – kickover front to beat, deep in the kickover front and then a lean after the beat – loso series, leg-up wobble – full turn, tentative – switch to straddle jump, quite short on straddle jump – gainer full, lean to save the stick.
Marinez – FX – front lay to rudi, very secure landing, not much amplitude – 2.5, crossover step but keeps the back foot down – good twisting shape – double pike, a touch short with a step forward.
Lowe – BB – large break on loso series, leg-up but holds it – switch to split, good extension – side aerial is better, solid – 1.5 hop forward. Another routine with a large break but a hit.
Brown – FX – 2.5, keeps back foot down pretty well, a smaller step – double pike, secure – a tad forward – good positions on the leap combo but way bouncy landing it – 1.5 to layout, some arch. Fine.
Stone – BB – loso series, large break again, bend at the hips – ROUGH rotation – switch side, tight position, more like a split 1/4 or something in between – 2.5 dismount with lunge forward.
McLean – FX – double tuck, comfortable landing, chest up, ease – front lay front 1/1, good amplitude, keeps straight shape – double pike, comfortable landing as well – not the standout difficulty, but she has enough amplitude not to give away the things like chest position and arches that others do. 9.975. Oh. Oh judges. Settle down. I mean, it was good, but…
Merkle – BB – smoother loso series – aerial, shortish, holds on without much of a wobble – switch side – gainer pike, step forward.
Karas – FX – double Arabian, very strong, controls landing – great lift onto her wolf jump full element, super high – front lay front full, a little slide – double pike, controls well. Now, see judges, because you went too high for McLean, you have no room for Karas, since this was a better routine but still not a 10. You left no room for that routine to exist.
9.950. One judge goes 10.000 for Karas. The other goes 9.900. The one who went 9.900 for Karas is the one who went 10.000 for McLean. We’ve seen some weirdly inconsistent scores from individual judges in this one. Like beam judge #1 as well.
Final: Michigan 197.550, Ohio State 194.925
So it’s the highest score in the country so far this year for Michigan, and it’s not that close. The scoring didn’t really go completely off the rails until floor. It was a very strong meet for the Wolverines, with those three excellent vaults and a precise beam rotation. Floor was strong, but normal-strong, we-see-floor-like-this-from-the-best-teams-most-weekends-strong. It just started to get a little 10-happy. Very complete performance, though.
The final for Oregon State is 194.850 (eeeee), to beat Pittsburgh’s 194.125. No 49 rotations for OSU there.
Meanwhile, Iowa had a catastrophe on bars for 47.650 against Michigan State, and it looks like the FLO stream for that one isn’t working. I see.
Central Michigan just did defeat Eastern Michigan, 194.525 to 194.125, but it’s time to say goodbye to that #3 ranking.