The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Sunday Live Blog – March 4, 2018

Sunday, March 4 Scores Stream
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Maryland, Rutgers, Towson @ [19] George Washington LINK GW($)
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Eastern Michigan @ Ball State LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Bridgeport, Brockport, Southern Connecticut @ Brown
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – West Virginia, Penn State, Temple @ Pittsburgh LINK ACC+
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – [2] UCLA, [23] Iowa State, Kent State @ [16] Nebraska LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Western Michigan @ Northern Illinois LINK ESPN3
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Michigan State @ Illinois-Chicago LINK
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Iowa @ TWU LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Centenary @ Illinois State FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – DIII West Regional (@ St. Peter, MN) LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – West Chester @ William & Mary LINK FREE
3:30 ET/12:30 PT – [15] Auburn @ [3] LSU LINK SECN
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Lindenwood, Bowling Green @ Illinois LINK BTN+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Central Michigan, Seattle Pacific, Air Force @ San Jose State LINK

Nebraska is hosting a quad and LSU is hosting Auburn. So pay attention or something.

It’s a record kind of weekend (because scoring). Arkansas already set its all-time team record, Kelley Hebert of Davis set a school and conference AA record, and a couple other teams (Oklahoma, Davis) recorded team totals in the top three all time.

George Washington just came oh so close to a school record, going 196.825 (record was 196.875). So, the next one to watch is Pitt, over 49 on the first two events and looking to break a record of 196.525.

It’s senior day for Nebraska. Their seniors are Williams, Breen, and Epperson.

One thing we really don’t appreciate enough about the conference networks is how they’ve freed us from being exposed to school arena hype guys.

Just intros beginning now at Nebraska, so you’ve got time. And another 30 minutes until LSU/Auburn.

Kooyman is on bars today for UCLA. No Kramer on floor. A Glenn still on vault.

Biggest intro cheers went to Kocian, Ross, Wieber, and Miss Val. The four Olympians.

“We’ll be doing the announcing today, so bear with us.”

That bodes well.

Nebraska vault, Kent State bars, UCLA beam, Iowa State floor

I don’t think we spend enough time talking about Heather Brink’s biceps. Just throwing that out there. There is also a solid chance LSU is going to start first at this rate.


Verceles Carr – VT – small adjustment on landing, some legs in the air.

Nguyen – BB – check on aerial, has to repeat – we cut away from her re-attempt at the series to show a replay of Verceles Carr. FUN! Back to her side leap, a little tentative this time.

Williams – VT – holds the stick on her full, chest a little forward.

Already here for how upset the other teams are going to be about not being shown enough. It’s a quad meet.

Epperson – VT – better open and height than Williams, just a small adjustment on landing but should get rewarded for straight position and dynamics.

We’re seeing a little of Kocian on beam now – switch to sheep, bend correction – bhs and a check, has to redo – 2 UCLA beamers have already bailed out of their series and had to repeat it.

Houchin – VT – sticks her 1.5. Nebraska’s vaults have started to be Nebraska vaults it appears – very clean 1.5 and stuck cold. 9.975.

We’re seeing just bits and pieces of the other routines.

Schweihofer with a solid stick on her full, a little direction.

Grace Glenn – lovely aerial to split – switch to split, small hesitation, good individual skills – sticks gainer full.

Crouse – VT – nearly stuck on her 1.5 it appeared – not quite as dynamic as Houchin’s it appeared in the twisting but good hold on the landing control.

Looks like Kent State is hitting bars. I’ve seen some close catches and late verticals though, a really late giant full to double tuck in the 6th spot.

It’s a 49.475 for Nebraska on vault. Scored I think pretty realistically. There are places where that would have been 49.6s. Cough.

Ohashi – BB – saw her hit the switch ring and the side aerial to full dismount.

Kyla hits switch ring to beat jump – full turn, OK – aerial, strong – side aerial to full, nearly stuck.

Stumble back and OOB on a double tuck on floor from Paz from Iowa State.

Peng on beam – shampooing the hair and throwing away the bottle. Mostly hits 2 turn, maybe a slight hesitation – side aerial to stuck full.

If this person we’re piking up on the mic doesn’t stop shouting 10, I’m going to scream.

Young – FX – Iowa State – struggles landing the full in with a stagger.

Meraz doing exhibition on beam for UCLA.

Nebraska will have a lead on UCLA after the first, and from what we’ve seen, it’s warranted. UCLA’s first two wobbling in the middle of their series and Nebraska nailing the crap out of vault.

LSU and Auburn starting now

Finnegan – VT – LSU – pretty as usual but not the landing she wants, hop back, a little off to the side. 9.825.

Watson – UB – Ray, a littel close but caught – bail, solid – step back on FTDT, but a solid enough hit.

Cannamela – VT – She’s debuting the 1.5 today, so this should be interesting – she hit it, but fairly short with a lunge back and to the side. Not there yet to be score worth it, but close. 9.825.

Moss – UB – fantastic legs on her gienger, solid bail, legs together, a little short of vertical – DLO, chest a bit down with a step.

Harrold – VT – 1.5 – pretty solid improvement – step forward, but she has a tendency to land it short, which I was worried about in the air, but she got it. Not under.

Krippner – UB – arches first handstand but pulls it back – nice broomstick shape on bail – hits tkatchev, a little loose legs – short cast, FTDT, chest forward with a step

Edwards – VT – falls on her 1.5 – she didn’t block as evenly as she wanted, which took her off to the side and lower than usual. Oh, LSU, I’m still worried about your 1.5s.

Day – UB – toe on to toe 1/2 to great high jaeger to overshoot, solid – shortish final hs – double front step forward.

Hambrick – VT – hop forward on her 1.5 but not a fall-risk looking vault now – probably won’t get too much else taken beyond the full-tenth hop.

Orel stuck a DLO on bars with some straddle legs. We saw Kocian’s ending pose on floor. HELPFUL AND TELLING.

Cerio – UB – saves her 1/2 turn to L into piked jaeger but a huge break as she dropped at the hips to try to save it like a pommel horse dismount – rest was clean.

Edney – VT – 1.5 – hop forward on hers as well – always risks a .05 knee deduction but not too significant this time so maybe not.

Schweihofer – UB – Nebraska – nice high piked jaeger –

Milliet – UB – toe on  to Ray, a little close but caught it – super high Pak – short final hs – giant full nice vertical, swims to hold stick on double tuck.

49.325 for LSU on vault is fine, but didn’t have the landings to go any higher.

Stuck DLO on bars for Epperson.

Dennis – FX – double tuck with bounce back and OOB to finish.

Houchin – UB – good giant full finish position, clean tkatchev with nice toes – holds the bail – giant full to double tuck, small slide back. Simple but pretty.

Auburn 48.975 on bars and fairly fortunate to get away with that after some significant mistakes.

Crouse – UB – Nebraska – Weiler 1/2, good vertical finish to huge gienger to overshoot, leg breaks on both – FTDT with hop back.

Tratz – FX – finishes with a pretty secure double tuck, just a little leaning forward

Wait didn’t Dennis go OOB? That’s what it looked like to me. Still went 9.850.

End of Hano’s routine – very secure double pike, chest up.

Becker – VT – Auburn – step back on full, fairly flat, a little pike

Ohashi – FX – DLO, strong, chest up and controlled – 1.2 to 1/2 to split to front tuck, solid –

Hit from Durante on bars with a hop back on FTDT.

Oh no. Now we’re hearing that one of the judges missed Becker’s vault. Did it really happen this time?

Phillips – VT – high full, some legs, and a lunge back

Hambrick – UB – Ray, good – giant full a little rushed this time, clean bail, good toe point – shortish on final hs – FTDT, stuck. A couple small things but very good set. Still gets 9.950.

Krippner – VT – tries to hold the stick on the full, maybe, good control regardless, a little pike

Harrold – UB – arrrccches the Zuchold, holds it but a clear and fairly large deduction – double front with step back.

Watson – VT – pretty large lunge forward on her 1.5 but very nice shape in the air and direction

Edney – UB – Hirdorff, solid – clear hit to bail, a little short of vertical – DLO, solid stick. Kathy pointing out the bent elbows on casts, but that nevvvvver gets taken. 9.975. Oh dear. This meet started almost normally…and now…

Day – VT – almost identical lunge forward to Watson on her 1.5.

Priessman – UB – tkatchev to Pak, good legs on that Pak – solid 1/2 turn – a little short on final cast – DLO comes in a little close with some piking, hop.

Glenn – VT – 1.5 with a crossover step, a little bit more knees that the first two. Interesting that they go in reverse form order, with Watson the strongest form, then Day, then Glenn.

Finnegan – UB – Ray , fab – bail, super clean – muscles up handstand after shoot to high that was close, lovely confident stick on DLO.


Becker – VT – a little better on her full than the first time, hop back

You KNOW some clueless person walked in front of the judge and she was like…there’s a vault happening?

After 2: LSU 98.875, Auburn 98.150

So, it’s a 49.550 for LSU on bars that got pretty charitable in places, but they worked through it. A few errors, like the Harrold arch, the Finnegan muscle up, the Priessman dismount, that they won’t be in love with.

Crouse – BB – Nebraska – aerial, solid – switch to straddle 1/4, good extension in that straddle 1/4 – aerial to bhs, a little arm wave correction in between – gainer lay full off the end, cool.

Ooooh, a fall from Tratz on vault that we didn’t see. Did she try something new? Hard to see her falling on that full.

Schweihofer – BB – Nebraska – bhs to lay-pike, secure – switch to switch 1/2 with a check – finishes with stuck 2/1, crossed legs

Macadaeg – BB – switch to switch 1/2 to beat, excellent as always – aerial, secure – bhs loso, solid – gainer full, stuck. One of her lovely ones. 9.950. It’s a huge score to give for a leadoff because where do you go from there? But the virtue of Macadaeg being so well known now is that they know they probably won’t see a stronger routine in the lineup. At least until Finnegan.

Just 49.050 for UCLA on vault after a fall from Tratz and 9.650 from Hall.

Hambrick – BB – hitch kick to side aerial, a little lean but nothing – switch to straddle 1/4, nice – bhs loso with a fairly big swim to keep it on the beam – 2/1, stuck.

Glenn – FX – Auburn – double pike with abounce back – split leap 1/1 to popa, short on split, popa was OK – 1.5 to layout, no punch on layout and sits it –

UCLA maintains a slight lead over Nebraska heading to the final event. Nebraska on floor, UCLA on bars.

Edney – BB – aerial to split, solid, flexed feet – bhs loso, mostly solid, a little quiver on landing – swithc to straddle 1/4 with a check, also not quite to 180 on straddle – kickover front, good high landing position – 1.5, stuck. 9.925. You can’t give her the same score as Macadaeg with those leaps –

Watson – FX – double pike, nice shape, slide back – switch side to popa – double tuck, another slide. 1.5 to layout with a step out but better control. Good technique.

Desiderio – BB – aerial to split, good – bhs loso, strong extension and right on – switch to switch 1/2 was good, closer to Macadaeg/Finnegan level. gainer full. One of her best ones. 9.925.

Slappey – FX – front lay to rudi, good height on rudi and keeps her twisting shape well – switch 1/2 to split jump 1/1, not quite there – double pike, a little slide back – double tuck, same.

Campbell – BB – aerial to bhs, keeps it moving, some knees on the aerial as she came in a little short – full turn – back tuck to split jump, solid – switch to switch 1/2 with a check and a little floppier in the legs – 2/1 with small slide.

Day – FX – stronger on the double Arabian, just a little short with a hop, but minor – L hop full – front full to front lay, very clean – double tuck, small adjustment. Good.

Finnegan – BB – wolf turn, an arm wave but keeps it without a check – bhs loso series, check to the side this time – switch to switch 1/2, perfectly 180 – side somi, holds it – side aerial to full. Her usual except what is was a full tenth check on the series.

Milliet – FX – front lay to rudi, also lovely twisting shape on that rudi, not ragged like so many NCAA rudis – switch ring to switch 1/2, rushed out of that switch 1/2 – bounce back on double pike, chest forward – 1.5 to layout, some arch.

Williams – FX – Nebraska – double pike, good power, slide back – front lay to rudi, also a little bouncy – double tuck, a little deep but a reasonably hit routine

We didn’t see any of UCLA’s bars, but they went 49.475 with 9.925 for Peng and 9.950 for Ross.

UCLA finishes with 197.500, which will bring up the RQS a hair, but not much more than a hair. We’ll see what LSU does now. Needs 197.775 total to match UCLA in the rankings, which would be just a 49.375 on floor.

Oh good. The floor died at LSU and they have to fix it before the final rotation.


Riddle – BB – bhs loso, large break at the hips – switch to straddle 1/2, pretty solid – cat leap to side aerial to tuck full, stuck. Lowish but stuck.

Kirby – FX – switch side to popa, good 180s but indistinct landing position – layout to rudi with a slide back – double tuck, a little forward with a hop – front lay to front full. (I know. I saw it too. We don’t talk about it.) 9.825.

Cerio – BB – cat leap to switch side, good 180 position – bhs loso, tentative with a check – full turn, also a little uncertain – switch 1/2, flexed feet – 1.5 dismount

Desiderio – FX – DLO, good control, some chest forward – double tuck with a bounce back – switch ring to split full, nice – double pike, chest forward again with a step. Getting there but not 9.9 level yet. Still goes 9.875.

Sylvia – BB – side aerial, looked like she had it but checks working out of it – full turn – aerial to bhs – split jump to sheep with a lean correction, not close on split, which is weird because she’s good at leaps – the sheep is actually really good, but then the split jump isn’t? -gainer full

Cannamela – FX – double pike, good chest up – 1.5 to layout, pretty flat on the layout, will get deducted for amplitude – switch side to popa, cheats the switch side a little – double tuck, controlled, a little forward

Slappey – BB – full turn, smooth – bhs loso and falls – a lot of them have been off line on their series – switch 1/2, short of 180 – switch to split – cat leap to side aerial to stuck full.

Edney – FX – strong double arabian, just a small slide adjustment back but one of her best ones – 1.5 to layout, solid, a little dance out – switch ring to a split 1/1, good switch ring, short on split full – double tuck, perfect stick. 9.975. Dear. LOL.

I would have gone 9.900. I think it would get murdered if I were a judge in the south.

Milliet – BB – and she falls on her loso series too. They’re ALL off on them.

39.775 for Edney in the AA.

Finnegan – FX – 1.5 to 2.5, great control on 2.5 landing – double tuck, perfect shape – interstitial front tuck and actually control it – switch ring to switch 1/2 – double pike, perfect. Well, now, this routine was far stronger than Edney’s, so what do you do now, judges?

And she gets a 10.000. If you gave Edney 9.975 you couldn’t not give Finnegan a 10.

Finnegan’s routine is lovely.

Krippner – BB – aerial to beat jump, does well to keep the combiantion going through a lean – switch to split, also a little pause in between, gorgeous execution on thise leaps – bhs to loso, check – 1.5 with a lunge-salute.

Hambrick – FX – DLO, usual form, stuck landing – 2.5 to front tuck with a crossover step – split leap full to wolf jump 1/1 – double pike, perfect. I saw two .05s in there, the form on the DLO and the step on the second pass, so we’ll see.

10.000. It’s a no from me on that one.

49.700 for LSU on floor.

FINAL: LSU 198.100, Auburn 195.625

And we still have to pretend that regular season conference champion is a thing? Fun.




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