Monday Live Blog – January 15, 2018

Monday, January 15 Scores Stream
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Oklahoma @ Georgia LINK SEC+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Lindenwood @ SEMO LINK

Oklahoma finally gets in on this whole “NCAA gymnastics season” nonsense with a visit to Georgia. Oklahoma needs to score 197.225 to move into 1st place in the rankings. Last season, Oklahoma opened with a 197.725.

And Georgia, let me talk to you for a second. We’re all worried about you. Following the injury to Gigi Marino on Friday, Georgia is planning on putting up only five on vault, bars, and floor today. So, that’s not a great place to be.

Can we discuss how the SEC Network is replaying Georgia/Alabama right now, while the actual Oklahoma/Georgia meet is about to begin? If you’d like to complain about conference-specific TV deals, this would be a place to start.

Kevin’s like, “Yeah, it’s gonna be ROUGH.”


Kevin confirms it’s an Achilles injury for Gigi Marino. Yikers.

Jackson going on bars for Oklahoma again this season. No Showers. No Nichols on vault today.

Vega – VT – so glad the camera angle is behind the vault? Full, knee form, hop back, hit. How many times are we going to say this is Sabrina’s first vault in 17 years?

Jackson – UB – Hits piked jaeger – bail – full out dismount with hop back. A little tighter in the handstands, with some feet, more than we’ll see from the rest of the lineup, but solid.

Oakley – VT – Looked like good shape on full – we can’t see landings at all from this camera angle – but we get a good angle on the replay, so they actually have it…?

Webb – UB – nice first hs – lovely Pak, legs together – Toe shap 1/2, good, small leg break – 1/2 turn to double front, not much cowboy, step back.

Dickson – VT – Slide back on a full. Nice open.

Catour – UB – arches first handstand but pulls it back – Tkatchev – bail, very clean – muscles up final cast handstand – sticks strong DLO.

Johnson – VT – best dynamics of the group so far, hop back, some leg form.

Dowell – UB – Strong Ray – shortish handstand – bail, a little floppiness in the air but good vertical – some hip angles in here, strong DLO, stuck.

Snead – VT – lovely height and shape on the full – hop back, a little bigger hop. Well, they got through five hits, but nothing that’s going to be a big score. They won’t be able to expect 9.850s for fulls with medium hops back as we go.

Lehrmann – UB – 1.2 turn to very high Jaeger, nice – hitting handstands – very good vertical position on bail – one iffy hs toward the end, FTDT, great toe point and stick. Yeah, this is a good rotation.

Nichols – UB – Church, excellent – Pak to toe on, very smooth – legs together right through Shap 1/2 – holds the stick on a DLO, chest forward but keeps it with a lean.

Marks is doing exhibition on bars – annnnnnnd she started with a cast handstand and then was in a heap on the ground? Annnnnd can’t do it again, comes off, and they’re just like, “You’re off the team forever. Just salute and go sit in the corner.”

After 1: Oklahoma 49.425, Georgia 49.050

Oklahoma starting the season as prepared as we would expect, good dismounts, showing very nice and precise vertical bail handstand positions, which separates the lineup from other teams we’ve seen so far this season. A couple handstands in some of the early routines especially, which will be resolved as we go. Good start.

Kevin: “They’ll be back in the top 25, you expect” on Georgia. How expectations change.


Showers – VT – small hop on a full – good shape and height – not the most distance we’ll see. Hop to the side.

Johnson – UB – clear hip to Gienger, legs – foot cross in bail – some leg breaks – handstands look a little better than Friday, but a lunge back on DLO.

Lehrmann – VT – Clean full, our first stick of the day on vault – comes in with a smallest of pikes, maintained throughout much of the vault – medium distance and height.

Oakley – UB – Toe Shap to Pak, good shape on Pak – tentative 1/2 turn handstand on low but holds it with good vertical – sticks double tuck. Pretty. Also improved over Friday. 9.725.

DeGouveia – VT – Y1.5 – a medium-sized bound forward on landing – not her strongest but fine –

Vaculik – UB – giant full to Vaculik Gienger – excellent shape – small body angle in the bail – usual FTDT, step back.

Dowell – VT – Sticks a Y1.5 You know, like you do. Will be a huge score. Knees, but not much else to take there.

Snead – UB – clear hip to tkatchev, caught – nice handstand line and extended feet – one iffy hs – small slide back on DLO. Good.

Webb – VT – Omelianchik – good shape on her pike – hop forward, but nice. Just tucks slightly at the very end.

Dickson – UB – Ray, hit – clean bail – tight final hs from her as well – pretty shape on DLO, hop back.

So Georgia got through the first two events of five gymnasts.

Jackson – VT – big 1.5 as always, best distance of the bunch, small hop forward.

AFTER 2: Oklahoma 98.875, Georgia 98.125

Oklahoma puts up four 10.0 starts, all realistic. They’ll have 5 when Nichols is in. We did not see the 1.5 from Schoepfer, who seemed to be struggling with it a little in training. As expected, Oklahoma looking comically more prepared than any other team at this early point in the season.

Georgia getting through with low 49s in the first two rotations, which is as good as could be expected. Some charity on some of these scores, but a reasonable rotation.


Georgia has six people on beam! But also it’s beam!

Snead – BB – bhs loso bhs series, nice extension – cat leap to swtich to back tuck, tight on the switch, otherwise solid – full turn – front tuck with a check but saves it – 2/1 hop back.

Showers – FX – very high double pike, good shape, just a little shuffle landing it – front full to front lay, good height – switch ring, excellent extension, the Ferrari afterward is still a Ferrari and never looks good on anyone – back 1/2 to front full – controlled dancing out of landings.

Oakley – BB – wolf turn – switch leap, low back leg and a check, leg up – split to split ring jump – bhs loso, hit it and then another check working out of it – cat leap to aerial to split jump, lean correction – gainer full –

Dowell – FX – double front to stag, fab – back 1.5 to layout to “I stepped on a bee” choreography – split leap full to popa, not the most extended split full – front lay front full, nailed her landings.

Vaculik – BB – cat leap to side aerial to wolf jump, hit, slow in combination but hit, credit? – bhs loso series, hit – switch to straddle 1/4 with a check – full turn – 1.5 to hop forward

Webb – FX – front 2/1, a little bounce out of it – 1.5 to front full, good height, keeps the back leg down – bouncy travel on leap combination, good extension – rudi with a bounce back and slide. Solid, not the most secure landings.

Long score wait for Vaculik. 9.675.


Babalis – BB – aerial to layout stepout combo, no check but slowish – switch to split to back tuck, nice extension in those leaps – full turn – piked kickover front to beat jump, also a little lean in between the combo – front full with hop. 9.900. So they gave her all those connections.

DeGouveia – FX – opened with a rudi? May have intended a front 2/1, did not have her landing and falls, way too high to turn that into a rudi so she just had to flop to the ground – double pike with a large bounce back – back 1.5 to layout, lunge –

Dickson – BB – aerial to switch to straddle 1/4, clean – bhs loso with step back to save a wobble – switch to split, tightish positions – bhs 1.5 with hop forward.

Nichols – FX – just a double tuck, she’s like “what’s a double tuck” a little bounce – front full to front layout stepout to dance out – swtich ring and split leap 1/1, great extended positions, even without the most height she has gotten – double pike, a little stagger step/hop.

Vega – BB – switch ring, small correction – loso series, smooth, comfortable – full turn – cat leap to aerial to beat jump, small hesitation – switch to split 1/4 – side aerial to full, short with a hop.

Jackson – FX – open full in, like she can do, bounce back – layout 1/2 to front full, dances out of it, they do a lot of dance-covers on landings, but they still can be taken – amazing amplitude on her leaps – nailed double pike, good control

49.325 for Georgia on beam. Some charitable judging again in several places, but an important hit.

Arnold in exhibition on beam. Those leaps look better than at the First Look. Becoming a more real option here. Not going to make the best-case lineup, but she could go if needed.

Schoepfer doing exo for OU. Bouncy on a double pike, good height second pass, short on double tuck, hands down.

AFTER 3: Oklahoma 148.250, Georgia 147.450


Catour – BB – full turn – loso series, hit – switch to straddle 1/4, leg-up wobble, a little tight and ruskhed perhaps – cat leap to aerial, smooth – gainer pike, hop back

Arnold – FX – double pike, secure – double tuck, same, chest down but controlling the landing – dance elements not quite to 180 – 1.5 to layout – hit

Showers – BB – full turn – loso series, very secure, could be a little more extended – switch leap straight hop 1/1 to Korbut, LOVEEEE – kickover front to beat, a little deep in kickover but works into the combination well – hop in place on gainer full. 9.900.

Babalis – FX – whip double tuck, deep squat, near-buckle in landing but held it – front full, solid – split leap 1.5 to split full – double pike bounce backward

Jackson – BB – full turn – hits loso series, low body with some leg form but secure – switch side, lean to hold it – pike jump to loso and falls – good 1.5 dismount

Snead – FX – whip through to double tuck, controls landing – rudi to straddle shushunova, good position on that straddle – a touch deep on double pike landing but works it out

Lehrmann – BB – Love that mount – full turn – aerial with a leg-up wobble – cat leap to switch side, strong extension – hits solid loso series – switch to korbut, elegant – slide back on gainer full

Dickson – FX – double pike, good control on landing, chest downish – back 1.5 to front lay, very straight position and controlled – switch side to popa, good finishing positions and hits her 180s – double tuck – really nice routine

Webb – BB – full turn, lovely flair – bhs loso, good amplitude – cat leap to aerial, small lean correction – switch to split jump, great – side aerial to full, hop back

Vega – FX – double pike, small bounce but good height and chest position finish – 1.5 to layout – switch ring to split leap 1/1 – tries the split leap 1.5, not the strongest part of the set, it’s a little short of split and risking not being all the way around – double tuck, small slide

196.600 for Georgia

Important hit meet. These depleted lineups are unsustainable, but they got through one.

Nichols – BB – aerial to beat to split ring jump, check – bhs loso series, another lean – switch to split, great extension – sticks 1.5. A couple small leans, overall lovely execution of elements, don’t love split ring jumps on beam (hard to make them look right if you’re not Chinese), but will be a great score.

197.550 for Oklahoma ties Michigan for the top score in the nation this year and will put Oklahoma into #1 in the rankings.

About what we’d expect for Oklahoma, save those couple falls. That beam lineup still needs Natalie Brown. But they have a lot of people who can go in that they can play around with. Most prepared first-meet team, as is typically the case.




52 thoughts on “Monday Live Blog – January 15, 2018”

    1. They have an Instagram, and they’ve been posting on their “story”. Similar to Snapchat, which I don’t know if they have

  1. What is the purpose of only putting 5 girls up when you have a roster of 15? It would seem like a Hail Mary at getting a useable score from someone who doesn’t normally compete would be better than nothing.

    1. They don’t have anyone else. Everyone is injured and many athletes were specialists and not AA. This coaching staff is doing the best they can with what they have.

      1. Gotcha. I wasn’t commenting on the coaching or anything. I love CKC. I only know of a couple injuries and didn’t realize they were out so many girls. Hopefully their specialists start training other events.

    2. UGA gymnast events:
      Seniors –
      Babalis has competed beam and floor (hands free and no front tumbling due to elbow issue) throughout her Georgia career. She’s stepping up and training vault this year.

      Arnold had never competed a routine until this season where she’s training beam and floor.

      Vaculik competed three events (vault, bars, beam) her first two season but was ill as a junior and only did two bar routines. She’s back in the bar and beam lineups and is apparently training vault again.

      Sanders never made more than one or two early season lineups her first two years, but as a junior stepped up onto bars and beam.

      Johnson (redshirt senior) was the SEC vault co-champ as a freshman and has consistently trained vault and bars throughout her career.

      Marino (out with achilles tear) has only ever competed vault and floor in her career though she is reliable as one of the team’s highest scorers on both events.

      Juniors –
      Snead is an AA gymnast though she’s not always in the beam lineup and generally misses a meet or two in February to rest a bad back so she’s ready for post season.

      Sophomores –
      Dickson does the AA.

      Vega did beam and floor in her first year and is vaulting this year and training bars (she was a good bars worker as an elite but hasn’t really trained them for years – I’d be surprised if she’s ready to go this year but a simple, clean routine at the end of the bars lineup in 2019 – a Bridgey – may get a high score)

      Pederson had exhibitions on bars and floor as a freshman but is rehabbing from a separated shoulder.

      Freshman –
      Emily S is a AA gymnast that busted her kneecap training floor in November, she’s expected back in the bars lineup in early February.

      Foss had surgery in March and is slowly making her way back to be in the bars and beam lineups.

      Oakley had a sore shoulder but is back on three events and is training floor. She’s most likely to join Dickson and Snead in the AA to give UGA a complete floor lineup.

      I’d vote for Pederson on bars and Vaculik on vault, unless neither is close to looking presentable in which case they’ll wait for Emily on bars. Will be interesting to see if they pub up a sixth vaulter against Auburn – I understand not doing it on two days rest, the last thing they need is another injury because an athlete was rushed into a lineup.

      1. I think Sanders will be back on bars next week, which gives them 6 on bars and beam. I suspect Vaculik will be back on vault sometime soon and Oakley will find her way into floor by early Feb. Then add Schild into bars for Johnson or Sanders in February and bars will look pretty good!

  2. Anyone know the status of the injured Georgia frosh? When can they expect them back?

    Thank God Arnold and Vaculik were asked back by Kupets!

    1. Actually UGA fans should be thanking god that Lauren Johnson had a redshirt year available – if it weren’t for her they’d be putting four up on vault and bars.

  3. I agree and Johnson’s form has improved this year too!

    I just keep thinking about Vaculik and Arnold getting dismissed by Durante. UGA would have 4 available gymnasts on FX and UB without them.

    1. Sanders has the flu. And Vaculik is now training vault (didn’t train it last year).

  4. I feel like Oklahoma really takes their time with their routines. They don’t rush anything, which is rare to see in NCAA and it’s refreshing.

  5. And it looks like Alex marks ran out of time to get back on the bar. If it’s after the 30 seconds you can’t finish your routine

  6. Shout out to Sabrina Vega for competing two solid vaults after all these years when her team needed her. I love her!

    1. Had a knee injury in the off season. She’s fine but they don’t want her to do too much too fast.

      1. Nice to see Kindler being careful with Maggie’s knee, not that I’m surprised. I miss seeing some of the more difficult tricks from her (full in on floor and I assume from the pre-season that the double tuck dismount is out on beam) but the cautious approach is the right one.

      2. Thanks! Longtime elite fan, but recently getting deep into NCAA gymnastics. I’m glad they’re taking it slow with Maggie’s knee and hope that means she can repeat post-season victories.

  7. I don’t like all of OU’s dance elements out of landings on floor. I get it’s allowed under the code, but it seems ridiculous for a team of OU’s caliber to have those elements/landings in so many routines.

    1. Totally agree – I think dancing out of one landing should be allowed, but all of them (Brenna)? I think that needs to be something NCAA needs to revisit.

  8. Oakley is beautiful on beam. And so is Vaculik I forgot how nice she was on beam. If they can get rid of those wobbles they will be in good shape

  9. does anyone know if exhibition routines get scored? if so, what was Jasmine Arnold’s beam score?!

    1. It was a 9.8 on exhibition for Jasmine Arnold. One judge gave it a 9.85, the other a 9.75.

  10. Emily is out with a knee injury since end of November. Should be back mid season on bars

  11. I have to give it to UGA. They were on today. There were some generous scores on beam, but we’ve seen that everywhere this season, so it’s only fair that UGA/OU got it today.

    Georgia – the persistedness is real!

  12. I’m pleasantly surprised with how the scoring was today, there were a couple of generous scores, but overall nice and reasonable. Take note everyone else!

    1. Agreed. There were actually two or three routines I thought could go higher. Which is really odd for NCAA!!! 🙂

  13. Georgia team score average put them in . . . 12th in the country (using the chart Greg Marsden posted on Twitter). I’m pleasantly surprised.

    Also, I love watching Arnold on floor. I’m glad she’s competing for them!

  14. I think there floor choreography and performance is way way way better than last year and years past

    1. So glad Kupoculan took out the “Go Dawgs” fist pump thing they kept trying to make happen over the last few years. It was always so ill-timed and seemed forced.

  15. I think Georgia girls should be happy they hit the meet, and that was big for them. In the big picture, that is probably close to the best score they will get. They lost by a point at home with no falls, and a few scores a little high. But the girls should be proud of a better performance.

    OU has superior form, execution and choreography. Georgia will be a mid range team and it will be a tough road ahead. OU has 10.0 vaults, E level tumbling, etc.

    I know injuries have hit Georgia, but to be honest I am tired of hearing Suzanne blame the former staff as to part of their issues. Just like close to 50% of the country had coaching changes last year & I do not hear them all complain. It has been nearly 10 years since Suzanne coached a team and now there are so many good teams. I think it will be several teams have a chance for nationals.

    They promised Championships at Georgia, but unless they can get some top recruits over several years it is going to be a tough ride. I mean Danna had a few top 6 finishes in her 5 years.

    1. Where has Suzanne blamed the former staff??? Girls are injured and they have no depth. The depth issue is on the former staff because they recruited a team with not too many AAers. Unfortunately, that’s just reality. They’ll get healthier and stronger as the year goes on.

      Sometimes I think people want to hate on Georgia because they have some personal dislike of Suzanne or are still mad about UGA’s run in the 2000s.

    2. This is not the best score they can get. You really think they peaked in the second meet at a 196.600?? The Georgia haters and doubters are out in full force.

      VT: All gymnasts can improve and raise their scores — Snead and Dickson in particular.
      UB: Again, all gymnasts can get better. I suspect they’ll improve handstands and dismounts as the year progresses.
      BB: I think their score today is a great score for this team, but the first half and Vega can improve.
      FX: All, but maybe Arnold can improve in execution and difficulty.

      Georgia isn’t a title contender at all, but they currently sit 12 in the country after today. If they hit, they can certainly be in the conversation for nationals, especially as the freshman get healthy and join the line ups.

    3. Umm, Georgia has one of the best classes coming in next year. They have extremely talented freshman who will be great once healthy. Dickson and Vega are sophomores. I’m not sure where your doom and gloom outlook for UGA is coming from.

      Honestly, you sound like you’re either a Durante friend or just a Georgia hater (maybe Bama fan).

    4. Actually the lack of depth is from so many gymnasts being scared away from the instability at UGA – three different coaching staffs since 2010 and four in 10 years. When planning their college future most students and student-athletes want to go somewhere stable, knowing so many things like injuries, are out of their control.

      The UGA administration/athletic department is to blame for not understanding that college gymnastics have changed in the years since UGA was always on top – there are many more competitive teams and the chances of another dynasty (after OU in the next couple of years) are probably slim.

      It would be event more interesting if NCAA ranked the gymnasts like in football (i.e. five start, four star, three start, etc.) and only allowed the Florida’s and UCLAs and other top schools to have a maximum number of five-star calibre athletes on its roster at a time. This would allow other schools (Nebraska, Minnesota, Washington, NC State types) the ability to have a gold-star former elite as a possibility. Or at least the very best Level 10s.

      Not saying the lesser tiered schools don’t get get Level 10s now but it’s usually because the gymnast wanted to go to the school for family reasons, close to home or it was the dream school.

      Anyways UGA needs coaching stability – the current junior and senior classes were put together by the last coaching staff from the gymnasts that hadn’t already been recruited by other schools – the castoffs so to speak. There had to be reasons why no one else had offered scholarships to them (injuries in JO for example). The freshman class this year and in 2019 are the first recruiting classes the last coaching staff put together.

      This year really is a “free” year for CKC and her staff – though I don’t see the UGA administration giving up on them anytime soon because if they do they might as well just cancel the whole gymnastics program.

  16. I love Maggie, but that floor routine was nowhere near a 9.9.
    Two poor landings on three of her passes. Most other gymnasts would have been penalized and received a mark closer to 9.8 – 9.825.

    Oklahoma does look good, though! Nice bounce back for Georgia on beam!

  17. I feel like the last coaching staff wasn’t really tough on the girls. For a program like that 9.7s are not acceptable. You just kept seeing the same mistakes all the time. They had a lack of depth last year too. And athletes knew they had a spot in lineup and you didn’t really see the attention to detail. I already see an improvement with this staff. And the healthier the team gets the better they will be. Don’t forget it’s not a sprint this season is long. It’s about you they finish and peaking at the right time not how they start off.

  18. What the hell was that with Marks for OU on bars? Did she run out of time? Why didnt they tell her, her her ass up, or was she a spaz and didnt wanna risk injury? She was on the verge of tears when they told her no;.

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