Saturday Live Blog – January 5, 2019

Saturday, January 5 Scores Stream
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [25] NC State @ Michigan State LINK BTN+
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [18] Ohio State @ [7] Georgia LINK SEC+
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Penn State @ [5] Utah LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [2] Oklahoma @ [12] Arkansas LINK SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [10] Kentucky @ TWU LINK FREE

Yesterday was SUCH a first day. Even the teams that scored well had a bunch of falls, which is very much what we get in the first weekend, but I have to say there might have been a little more “not cute” than even I expected.

The judging is all over the place. We had some moments of pretty tight evaluation—that judge going 9.700 for Olivia Karas’s Yfull when Bev almost exploded in Cancun, some of those beam scores at the Cal/LSU meet—but it was not consistent, even within the same meet or the same rotation, as we also saw a number of judges not super interested in the new pause deductions on beam and throwing out 9.9s, two vaults going 9.975 that weren’t quite 10.0 level, some realllll home floor for the big-name teams.

So overall nothing new here. Sunrise sunset. Let’s see how today’s victims fare.

Our first competition of the day has also been a very first-weekend affair between NC State and Michigan State. Michigan State’s score will be held way down by the two multi-fall routines on bars and counting a fall on beam. NC State’s problems came on vault, having to put up two Ylayouts that both counted because of a fall. One rotation left in that one. NC State’s hoping to hold onto a 194 with a hit beam rotation.


Oh hey there Kevin.

Meredith Paulicivic is holding a soccer ball for some reason.

Rotation 1

Oakley – VT – full, hit, comes in a little short with a hop forward – not a lot of distance. 9.650.

Huang – UB – hits jaeger – small arch in cast – bail hs, close, a little angle there – FTDT, stuck. Good start. 9.750.

Vega – VT – she’s like, “I thought all these freshmen meant I didn’t have to vault anymore” – full, nice, a little short coming in with a small hop, good distance – much improved over last season – Suze is pumped – a little bit of knees. 9.825.

Hinterberger – UB – hits jaeger – good vertical positions – clean bail vertical, just a little bit of legs in the air – short final hs – full turn to stuck double tuck – also good. A few form things, but composed. 9.750.

Dickson – VT – debuts her Omelianchik – good height – fairly significant bound forward but looks a reasonable option for her. 9.775.

Miller – UB – small arch in opening cast – shaposh, good legs together into bail hs, nice form – shortish final hs – giant full to stuck double tuck. This is quite a solid start for OSU. 9.800.

Ward – VT – Tsuk 1/1 – medium-sized hop back – good hit – some hip angle – 9.775.

Stone – UB – short first hs, nice toe point in jaeger – to overshoot – good final hs position – giant full to double tuck, step to the side – really tried to stay vertical on that giant full but it made it look a little awkward, so will get some form deduction there. 9.675.

Snead – VT – Y1.5, really nice, clean form, small hop in place – 9.925. I was probably 9.9 on that one, so a touch high for me but obv within reason.

Aepli – UB – shortish first hs – Shap and can’t catch – first fall for OSU – redoes the Shap, catches this time, connected to bail with a little legs, good vertical – FTDT, small hop with  lean

Lukacs – VT – does her DTY, plants the landing – not quite a stick with a little movement and a stagger – some form – 9.825. Pleased with the accurate score there. Not blinded by the difficulty.

Swartzentruber – UB – nice shap to pak – good hs – Shap 1/2 with great legs, DLO, small hop – pretty routine. 9.750 is tight for me for that one, but our angle was not the best –

Rachel Baumann is doing her full in exhibition – bounce back on her full. An option. Would have been in the lineup last season.

PRETTY Yezhova from Gagliardi in exhibition – unfortunately struggles later in her routine, comes off on the high bar. Just as we were all about to say, “Why isn’t that in the lineup.”

After 1: Georgia 49.125, Ohio State 48.725

Successful first rotation for both teams. The OSU score isn’t big, but I was impressed by most of the routines in that lineup, and it’s certainly a huge improvement over the bars disaster they had to start the season last year. That’s a lineup with six realistic 9.8+ routines.

Georgia brings out a full lineup with four 10.0 starts (and four different vaults). Lots of potential there. We’ll see how those Dickson and Ward landings come along. Actually the thing that impressed me most about that vault lineup was Vega’s improvements over last season. That vault looks a tenth better than 2018.

FINAL: NC State 193.750, Michigan State 191.700

Rotation 2

Swartzentruber – clean full, small hop in place – a little flat coming off the horse so probably some dynamics deduction – 9.725.

Snead – UB – tkatchev, nice, good toes, not the most flight or counter rotation but the form is good – bail, very precise – good hs – DLO, just a tad short with a hop – 9.850

McLelland – VT – Y1/2, pace forward – a little hollow in there but fine. 9.700

Lukacs – UB – tkatchev, flat but hit – Pak, some legs – 1/2 turn on low – rushed final hs a little – DLO ends up a little close to the bar but did not appear to clip it – nearly holds the stick with a step salute. 9.750

Jennings – VT – solid full, good height, a bounce back – useful addition to lineup. 9.725

Al-Hameed – UB – good first hs – giant full to her huge tkatchev – hit – bail, pretty clean – small adjustment standing on the low bar stepping up to high because of course that happens too often – FTDT, flung out flat with a little with a pace -9.800

Lowe – VT – another full that looks solid in the air but with a large bound back – not the biggest. 9.725.

Schild – UB – Ray, nice open on catch – pak, small legs apart in that one – good 1/2 turn position on low and amp on shoot to high – DLO, good position, comes in a little low with a step. 9.825

Aepli – VT – full, better control on that landing with a small hop – a little low coming in, some pike shape throughout. 9.725

Dickson – UB – huge Ray, good swing out of it – good position on bail hs – a little tight on final cast hs – DLO 1/1, basically sticks with a small hop in place, so probably worth it but you can take for a little bit of pike shape in those saltos. 9.875.

Stone – VT – Y1/2, small hop, cleanest vault of the lineup – really pretty

Oakley – UB – good first hs – higgins roll to piked jaeger, super smooth – pak – 1/2 turn on low – nice toe point in these hs – FTDT takes it way too close to the bar with a pretty big bound forward – great on the bars but will be a large deduction on dismount

Suze is the parrot on Courtney’s shoulder at every moment.

After 2: Georgia 98.325, OSU 97.375

Georgia extends its lead to nearly a point. Some really nice moments in a bars rotation that I think should be Georgia’s best event this season. They’ll probably want to swap out Lukacs once everyone is healthy since bars isn’t really her thing, but there are more than enough potential 9.9s in that group.

Ohio State stuck in the 9.7s on all those vaults, with some weird evaluation there for me since those were not equivalent vaults. They don’t have the difficulty, but the better ones weren’t separated from the weaker ones.

Rotation 3

Snead – BB – bhs loso bhs series, secure – cat leap to switch, some back leg – straddle jump 1/2 with a check – front tuck, small adjustment – 2/1 with a bounce back, good one, not as secure as she can be, but will be a useful score. 9.775

Huang – FX – double pike, controlled step, not the biggest pass – back 2.5, a little crossover step to finish the rotation – 1.5 to layout final pass, clean work. 9.750

Dickson – BB – aerial to split, clean – full turn – bhs loso, huge break leg up and has to grab the beam to stay on – switch to switch series, a little hesitation afterward – bhs 1.5 with a hop forward. 9.650 is wayyyyyyyyy too high for that if you have a mandatory .300 for grabbing the beam. Mathematically impossible.

Abanto – FX – double pike, bounce back – 1.5 to layout, solid, some legs in the 1.5 – switch ring to split leap full – double tuck, way short and hands down. Both teams working against trouble now.

Schild – BB – lovely mount – loso series, secure – switch to sheep with a check, a little slow in the combination there – aerial to split – side aerial to full, small hop – some tiny issues here and there but a good one. 9.775.

Gagliardi – FX – double pike with a fairly significant bounce/slide back – front lay to rudi, shortish with a step forward – switch side to popa, a little indistinct – double tuck, solid. 9.800

Baumann – BB – side aerial to loso with huge break, a swim and an arch and a save – 1.25 turn, overturns it  there but covers well – L hop to switch side, hit – 2/1 dismount, hop back. 9.775 for Baumann

One of the judges went 9.850 for Baumann with that huge break. Oh guys, you’re not even trying. Same judge that went 9.700 for Dickson’s hand-down beam routine.

Aepli – FX – double back, clean – a little tight on split leap full, popa is fine – front full to front lay, a little whippy – double pike, low chest, lunge back.

Oakley – BB – wolf turn single – bhs loso loso, does well to avoid a real check with a squeeze lean – split jump to split ring jump, pretty – stuck gainer full, good routine. 9.850

McLelland – FX – double pike, good control – punch front full to layout – most controlled passes of the lineup so far – switch side to popa – double tuck, good height with controlled step.

Vega – BB – switch to ring jump – aerial to split – controlled even when she’s a little off – bhs loso, secure, maybe some feet – side aerial to full, stuck. 9.900.

So Georgia goes 49.075 on beam even with some issues there, with a little help from their friends named judge #2.

Stone – FX – big double pike with an equally big bounce back, keeps it in bounds – 2.5 to front tuck to choreography bounce out of it, some helicoptering in the 2.5 – Another 2.5 to end with  a crossover step.

Magee is doing exo for Georgia. Loved her on beam in JO – good opening jumps combo – check on loso series – switch to switch side with a lean – toe point is there – side aerial to full, small hop back

After 3: Georgia 147.400, Ohio State 146.325

Georgia had its shaky moments but also some solid moments there for a beam lineup that should be just fine. Show stolen by the judges there for being literally blind.

Ohio State’s best rotation score so far there for a solid five floor routines. Should be able to get through this one with a 195 with a hit beam.

Georgia’s aim for this floor rotation will be to go 49.400 and therefore outscore LSU’s opening meet total.

Rotation 4

Swartzentruber – BB – wolf turn single – bhs loso, secure, good legs – cat leap to kickover front, falls , way short on that – gainer full. 8.950.

Perez-Lugones – FX – double pike with a stumble back and OOB – 1.5 to front layout, a little mushy, controlled – switch side to popa is good – double tuck, short and hands down. Well, that will be the drop score.

Huang – BB – bhs loso, saves it with a large break, leg up wobble – switch to korbut, good shape on that swingdown – a little close to the beam on all of this – split to sheep with a bend at the hips – 2/1, nearly around, small adjustment.

9.650. Beam judge 2 gave that 9.700, so at least she’s being cracky for both teams.

Magee – FX – pike full in – lands it somewhat staggered but very secure – switch side to popa, nice – 1.5 to layout to stag – good toes in twisting, a little whippy – double pike, lands awkwardly with a bounce back. A hit. 9.725.

Lowe – BB – bhs loso series, really nice height on that loso – switch to straddle 1/4, large break with a swim there, saves it – side aerial, hit – holds stick on 1.5. Some strong moments other than the leap series. 9.625.

Snead – FX – whip through to double tuck, lunge back, just stays in bounds – wolf jump 1/1 to popa – rudi to shushunova – switch – double pike, controlled step back, good final pass. 9.850

Stone – BB – bhs loso, good legs, secure landing – switch side, not quite 180 but not too crooked – 2.5 dismount with a bounce forward. 9.800

Lukacs – FX – DLO, pretty good control, small slide back – wolf hop full to popa, gets it around – probably a smart dance combo choice for her – layout to back 1.5 to front – wolf hop and switch side were short of 180 – double pike, super easy for her, good control. 9.850.

Gilson – BB – bhs loso with a lean correction – cat leap to switch 1/2, short of split position there – sheep, actually solid closure on that – bhs 1.5, stuck.

Dickson – FX – double arabian, good completion position so that she can control landing – back 1.5 to layout, straight body position in that layout – switch side to popa is pretty exact in landing position, which we haven’t seen a lot today – double pike, secure, best of the rotation so far.

Aepli – BB – bhs loso series, small lean, knees throughout – kickover front a little deep but pulls it out into beat jump – switch to straddle jump – gainer full, stuck.

Vega – FX – piked full in, open shape, better landing than when that was in her routine in the past, a little deep but reasonable – 1.5 to layout to stag, clean layout position – switch ring to split leap full, hitting positions – gogean, and it’s pretty legit – double tuck, well held, controlled step back. Nice. 9.875.

FINAL: Georgia 196.600 to Ohio State 194.900

For Georgia, that’s the #3 score so far in the country, and they’ll take it. Beam was iffy, but those lineups look reasonable for the most part throughout, and they’ll hope to add Megan Roberts into maybe three of them once she gets back. She has the potential to step in for a weak set on vault, bars, and floor to complete those lineups.

Georgia’s best opening score since 2007. Reminiscent of UCLA last night in that there were still some major errors, but it was a hit meet and a reasonable benchmark when they don’t always have that in the first meet.

And it’s even done quickly enough that we get a slight break before Utah.


OK, looks like one of those non-TV meets where they are not even close to beginning at the posted time.

They have been given the wrong class years for the Penn State roster for these intros. They’re like, “Nope.” “Nope.” “Nope.”

Rotation 1

Lee – VT – full, good stick-ish for her, clean vault – little pike forward coming in for landing. 9.875. That’s a bit high for me.

Verdeflor – UB – nice hs – small leg break into jaeger, toes are to die for – bail, solid – giant full to double tuck, short with a bounce forward. She’s one of their cleanest if they can get her hitting, and this was a hit. 9.775.

Isa – VT – full, also solid, a little flatter coming off the table than Lee, hop back. 9.825.

McCracken – UB – tkatchev, hit, a little flat – bail, hits vertical, some back – “a couple tenths will be taken there” no they will not – stalder to double tuck. Hit. 9.775.

Burch – VT – improvement on her full, could have stuck but came in just a little short so she had to step forward. 9.800.

Chinnery – UB – Hindorff, nice – overshoot, hit – shortish cast handstand – giant full double tuck, came off flat on the double tuck but got it around, large step to the side. 9.750.

Roberts – VT – good full in dynamics, nice pop off the table compared to the last couple – slide back, probably a tenth of a hop. 9.850 is a little high since the tenth came completely from the landing.

Bridgens – UB – toe Shap to bail, clean vertical – giant full to double tuck, clean double tuck, just a small movement on landing – 9.850.

MMG – VT – brings out her 1.5, holds onto the stick, came in a little short so she had to squat there – some knees as well – does really well to hold the stick. 9.900. Is accurate for that but not enough separation from the fulls. You’re giving the same score to MMG and Lee, one of the judges? They were ultimately equivalent in execution with just a couple little things for both but MMG had the .05 difficulty edge.

Allen – UB – short first hs – close catch on jaeger with seriously bent elbows and loses a little rhythm – finishes DLO – comes in super deep with a bound back –

Skinner – VT – sticks her DTY – probably one of her best college vaults – comes in just a hair short but does well to hold the landing as well. 9.950.

10 from one judge, 9.900 from the other. Probably got it right in the end.

Garcia – UB – good toes in first hs – piked jaeger, hit – toe on – hits bail cleanly – short final hs – DLO, better height on that, step forward on DLO.

After 1: Utah 49.400, Penn State 48.950

Fine enough bars from Penn State. Good clean moments from Bridgens and Garcia. Happy to see Verdeflor in there hitting.

Utah in good shape on those vault landings, finished with two sticks to bring up that total. Not showing full complement of difficulty that they’ll hope to add later. That’s probably a real-life 49.250 vault rotation, which is a solid performance for the first meet. Add in another 10.0 start or two, and they’re already in shape.

Rotation 2

Bonsall – VT- full, pretty solid, small step, small pike – didn’t have the distance that the Utah fulls did, so won’t be quite the same scores. 9.700

Tessen – UB – jaeger, good toes, maybe a little close – bail, hit – a vertical position or two in here – FTDT, stuck. Nice opener. 9.850.

Garcia – VT – Y1/2 and it’s a MIRACLE that she was able to even perform a vault with that block – came in super high on the table, major shoulder angle on table – large deductions for shape and landing, though. 9.500

Lee – UB – piked jaeger pretty, connected to overshoot, a little shape in that overshoot – front giant 1/2 to double tuck, flung out a little, hop forward – 9.825

Astarita – VT  -some piking on her full at the end, lunge back – not a huge amount of height.

MMG – UB – good first hs – toe on – deltchev, good height, hit – nice hs – bail, short of vertical – FTDT, small step – 9.850

Chinnery – VT – good distance on her full – some pike shape – hop back

Reinstadtler – UB – 1/2 to jaeger, good extension on jaeger – bail, a little loose – FTDT, a little bit of form in the air on that, hop forward – 9.850

Laguardia – VT – full with a large bounce backward – pikes down at the end –

Isa – UB – Ray fingertips it but hits it – some casts a little short – good bail hs positions – giant full a little loose to a nearly stuck DLO (actually stuck?) – 9.925. That looked similar to the other routines for me, but she had the landing.

Bridgens – VT – pulls around a 1.5 – just does get it to her feet – a little short, with a squat position and a lunge back –

Skinner – UB – a little loose back in opening cast hs, but minor – Ray, just a touch close – good bail, hit position – nice final hs – FTDT, step back – 9.950. So they only took for the dismount.

Penn State stuck in the 9.7s for pretty much all those vaults – they either had enough of a landing error or enough of a form error to take them out of the 9.8s.

49.425 for Utah on bars.

After 2: Utah 98.825, Penn State 97.575

Rotation 3

McNatt – BB – split jump to double stag, fairly short on split jump – aerial to bhs, moves through it quickly to get credit but did have a lean in the middle – small check on full turn – beat to sheep – gainer full, stuck. 9.700. Dean went 9.6. Probably was not happy with the series.

McCracken – FX – 2.5 first pass – large bound forward and OOB – 1.5 to front tuck, sits it down, had no punch on that front tuck – rudi is better but they’ll need to drop this.

Randall – BB – bhs loso, solid, good extension – beat to sheep, a bit of an NCAA sheep but secure – switch to split, solid – Rulfova, nicely done – 2/1, step back and some legs in twisting. Good set. This routine will stay in the lineup.

We’re already set to get going with the next one as well


Yamzon – VT – Ark – hit full, hop back

Showers – UB – OU – Shushunova, hit – giant 1/2 to grip change to bail, a little short of vertial there – FTDT with a little step – solid, some tight moments here and there but a good set

Shaffer – VT – Ark – Y1/2, good height and shape, large lunge forward, though, which will take away the score

Marks – UB – OU – Shap, a little legs – bail, some angle – FTDT, nice open tuck position there -just does hold the stick

MMG – BB – Utah – switch to split with a little lean to keep herself on line – three series to loso, secure – 1.5 stuck

Burton vaults a full for Arkansas, bounce back –

Webb – UB – OU – big Pak, nice – toe shap 1/2, legs together well – double front 1/2 out dismount now, stuck, don’t know how she stuck it because it looked like she totally flung that out but she did stick

Pennesse for Arkansas, good full with a little pike and a little hop –

Dowell – UB – OU – Ray, excellent – good hs – toe on – bail, ends up in vertical well – one borderline hs – DLO, overdoes it by a hair and hops back. Good one overall, though.

Penn State having a disaster on floor.

Hambrick – VT – Ark – clean full, good distance, small hop back, that will be an important vault for them this season.

Reinstadtler – aerial with a little lean in split jump, fall on loso series, so Utah will be counting the 9.700 for McNatt.

Lehrmann – UB – OU – jaeger, lovely – toe on – bail, perfectly crisp – clean hs – FTDT, stuck. Great one. 9.950.

McGlone good power on her full with a bounce back.

Nichols – UB – OU – Ray to Pak, huge, almost too huge, I definitely thought she was going to brush the mat swinging through but don’t think she did – Toe Shap 1/2, legs right together – final cast hs was in between – DLO, stuck – good one. 9.900

Astarita with an open double tuck on floor for Penn State, struggled with the landing, but cool.

Lee – BB – Utah – bhs loso, good, smallest lean – switch to beat to straddle 1/4, a little slow in first combo but the second one was fine to me, may lose some needed connection bonus though – beat to side aerial to layout full with a hop back. Three little moments or so there but a good one.

49.475 on bars for Oklahoma. 48.825 for Arkansas on vault with the last two breaking 9.8

Skinner – BB – covers possible lean on loso series with arm choreo – hits side aerial to sissone – a few small corrections in here this time, and some knees on acro skills – switch to straddlle jump to back tuck, no trouble – double tuck hop back. Not her most secure beam routine but a good hit. 9.850.

48.975 for Utah on beam. Just the one fall but a couple people a little first-meet tight.

Showers – VT – OU – Big full, bounces fairly far up in place – not much form, though,

Yamzon – UB – tkatchev – bail, hit, good vertical – DLO full with a little pike and a small slide. Nice.

Lehrmann – VT – OU – adds her 1.5  – very clean in the air, hop forward – that’ll work for this lineup – not much you’re taking other than the hop

Carter – UB – Ark – jaeger, pretty – shrot hs casting out of it and a hip angle in the bail hs – a big arch on high bar but does well to pull it back into double tuck dismount with a step

Trautman – VT – OU – also with a 1.5 – a little softer in the knees than Lehrmann – and a lunge forward

Laird – UB – Ark – Ray, good power – nice toes – some vertials not quite there but the bail was nice – DLO, a little close, step back

DeGouveia – VT – OU – 1.5 – nearly got a stick on that one – fab vault – just a small adjustment, small hop – leg form is strong.

Garner – UB – Ark – gaint full to gigantic gienger, excellent – overshoot – good hs – giant full to double tuck, step back. The step on the dismount and the first hs were really the only things.

Nichols – VT – OU – stuck a fantastic 1.5. Because Nichols. On replay, not quite a sitck, a little slide to the side with one foot.

10.000 for Nichols. Shouldn’t have shown us the replay. I might have been there with it. I have that as 9.950 because of the landing adjustment.

Shaffer -Ub – great line in her transitions – finishes DLO with a hop back – good toe point throughout, legs always together

Dowell – VT – OU – hop forward on her 1.5, good shape in the air – just the tenth for the hop, really

Burton overbalances her first handstand on bars and comes off. Another fall on her Shaposh, so they’ll drop this one.

A casual 49.625 for Oklahoma on vault in the first meet.

Stern does her 1.5 in exhibition for Oklahoma, lunge forward but presenting a possibility. Not quite there yet.

Kari Lee does well to pull around the loso out of her 2/1 on floor since it looked like it might be going a little low – just the lunge out of the opening 2.5

Utah started with a 9.600 from Lee. I was watching OU, so I won’t pretend I saw every moment of that one to evaluate the score there. I had that one in the 9.7s from the passes I saw, which was two of them.

Roberts – FX – front lay to rudi, love the height she gets in that rudi, but a bounce back landing that will get hit – double pike, just a little short but holds the control – 1.5 to layout, a little leg break. 9.875. Making up for Lee score?

Bastardi – BB – PSU – aerial with a check into loso, probably wouldn’t give that combo, or at least a significant deduction – kickover front to beat jump – switch to straddle – side aerial to full, off the side of the beam a little but hit.

Reinstadtler – FX – high double tuck, bounce back, clean, easy for her – switch ring, back leg a little low and looks like she got lost in her leap series and choreography and had to improvise – 1.5 to layout – switch to split leap full, so she has a leap combination – double pike, hit. May lose a tenth in SV there? – and a hesitation deduction.

Still got a 9.775.

Yamzon – BB – Ark – switch side 1/4, good – bhs bhs loso, secure – kickover front, super secure – beat jump to gainer full. Nice solid routine. Good for her. 9.875.

Showers – FX – OU – gets electrocuted at the beginning, which I’m in favor of – lovely double pike, good toes, control – back 1/2 to front full, step – oh damn, not sure what her lass pass was supposed to be, probably rudi, but she didn’t get the punch and got lost in between with hands down – 9.175

Gillings – BB – Ark – bhs loso loso series with a check to the side – split jump with a check, has to do a beat jump straddle 1/4 to get a leap combo – 1.5 with lunge forward

DeGouveia – FX – OU – front 2/1 to start, large lunge forward but keeps it in – front lay front full second pass – switch 1/2 to popa – 1.5 to front full, a little bit of legs. Things to take but good hit coming back into floor this year.

Good pike dfull in from MMG on floor

Garner – BB – Ark – split jump 3/4 with a check – side aerial to loso series, large leg-up wobble but good strength to hold it – side aerial to full, holds stick with a lean. These last two have been “get up, get off beam routines” no need to stick around

Dowell – FX – OU – fab double front, nailed – 1.5 to layout to foot-burning, didn’t need it because she was going to stick anyway – split leap full to popa was close but not quite there – front lay front full to stag, super solid. 9.875.

Skinner good control on double double tucked. 1.5 through to double full, same – finishes with a solid full in as well, to get Utah over 197.

197.175 final score for Utah, second best in the country so far. Though Oklahoma on pace for the top score to bump everyone else down.

Carter – BB – Ark – split to sheep with a little check – hits series – big brek on aerial, large bend at the hips –

Webb – FX – OU – front 2/1 with a crossover step, little lack of control – back 1.5 to front full – split leap full to split jump 1/1, jump was short of 180 – front rudi, good control.

Also happening right now, Kentucky has been 48.9 through the first two events.

Shaffer – BB – Ark – switch to straddle 1/4, on “the beams” apparently – bhs loso with a lean – split jump 3/4 with a check – side aerial, secure – bhs tucked 1.5 dismount with a lunge back

Nichols – FX – OU – double tuck, comically easy for her as a first pass – but keeps the control which can be hard when you can do much more – front full to front loso – hits her leap positions – double pike, a little short with a hop forward –

Burton – BB – Ark – aerial to beat, good – bhs loso, secure, good extension – split jump to sheep, secure as well, this is solid – gainer full, stuck.

Trautman – FX – OU – DLO, big, well controlled – front lay to front full to split, good height, comfortable – split leap full to popa, a little short on split leap full – double tuck, small adjustment. That works.

One of the judges goes 10 for Trautman which is too enthusiastic, I saw a couple little things in there to take away a 10. I’m with the 9.900 judge

Hambrick doing beam exhibition for Arkansas – good loso series – stag jump to switch 1/2 which is interesting and cool, well done – side aerial – straddle 3/4, hit – gainer full, stuck. Yeah, I’d put that in the lineup. That was the 3rd-best BB routine we saw from Arkansas.

Really open position from Stern in that double pike first pass in her exhibition. Botched second pass it appears with a tuck 1/2 out of it – fall on final pass

At this point, Oklahoma will basically just have to barf on the beam in the final rotation to have the highest score of the weekend.

After 3: Oklahoma 148.475, Arkansas 146.400

Rotation 4

Trautman – BB – bhs loso, solid – switch to split leap, real split leap too – cat leap to kickover front piked, balance check – 1.5, stuck. Good start.

Yamzon – FX – double tuck, good height, slide back – double pike, just a hair short – switch side to popa – front lay to front full, some knees, a little whip – another good one

Lehrmann – BB – full turn, nice – bhs loso to swingdown, lovely – cat leap to switch side, a little on angle – front hs – gainer full, stuck

Hambrick – FX – nice high double tuck, bounce – front lay to front full with a lunge forward out of it – finishes double pike, keeps that front foot down. 9.800

Woodard – BB – side aerial to bhs, pretty, hips traveling back but kept it in control – kickover front, lean to avoid the check – switch to split down to knee, good 180 positions – side aerial to full, tried to hold the stick, leans and steps – 9.875

Burton – FX – controls double pike, just a little deep in landing – switch 1/2 to popa, good finish position – double tuck, a little short with a shuffle – frotn full front lay, also comes in short on that one with…basically a leg-up balance check

Dowell – BB – IT’S HAPPENING – aerial to bhs series, a little slow in connection but fine – switch switch series with some low back leg deductions – Kochetkova, solid – front layout full dismount with hop forward. 9.875 is high for me. Maybe a little BRENNA DID BEAM SCORING there.

McGlone – FX – double pike, lunge back and OOB – finishes up with solid double tuck, under control

Webb – BB – nice style on full turn – bhs loso series, great height and toe point, balance check – cat leap to lovely aerial – switch to split jump – side aerial to a stuck full. Well, that will do.

Shaffer – Ark – FX – double pike, good toe point, keeps that front foot down – double tuck, same story – split leap full to popa – 1.5 to front layout, good routine.

Nichols – OU – BB – aerial to split jump, solid – bhs loso, secure – full turn – added a little flexibility pose – switch to split leap combination now, also hits a real split leap – back 1.5 dismount, stuck. Just like, shut up, Maggie.

9.975 for Nichols –

Carter – FX –  double tuck, well controlled pass – 1.5 to front full second pass, some crossed legs in twist but more difficult as a middle pass than most – double pike, a little short with a slide into choreography

So anyway, Oklahoma started the season with 198.050. I think they might be in first place.

Arkansas 195.575, which is in the top 10 right now.

Good beam rotation gets Kentucky to 195.975 to finish, which will rank quite well after the first week.

49 thoughts on “Saturday Live Blog – January 5, 2019”

  1. I used to be able to watch SEC+ meets on my ESPN app and now it says “that channel is not part of your cable package.” Damnit.

    1. This happened to me a few months ago during volleyball season. Call your cable provider and make sure it is still apart of your package. sometimes they’re just doing maintenance or the app may be buggin. If it is not apart of your package anymore, explain you weren’t made aware and the CSR may give you a credit on the next billing cycle.

    1. Yes they have variety, but some of the scores were questionable. When will vault judges in college start looking at twist early, pike down, knees in air, height of vault? You have to judge what you see in all phases of the vault.

      1. It seems apparent that they haven’t been doing that the past few years, especially on Y1.5s and DTYs. I’ve seen so many cases of stuck Y1.5s or DTYs that went 9.95-10 that had obvious in-air form deductions. It seems like a 10.0 start value Yurchenko vault just needs to be stuck in order to score very well.

      2. Yeah, the scoring issue on vault is not a Georgia issue. It’s NCAA scoring. It’s been this way since at least the late-1990s.

  2. Interesting to see Suzanne standing behind meet ref and talking to her during a bar routines wonder what she was saying. Are volunteer coaches allowed to speak to meet judges/ officials?

  3. these judges are on crack already. one judge gave Rachel b. a 9.85 even with that big wobble and a hop on the landing. say what?

  4. Rachel Dickson beam 9.65? Leg in air and hand touches beam on series. Her 2 switch leaps both back legs low, hop on dismount. It is frustrating when deductions are not being taken especially so early in season.

  5. Grasping beam to avoid a fall is a flat .30 deduction. It is not an up to deduction. So please explain how one judge had a 9.7? She was not 180 on either jump with a hop on dismount as mentioned above.

  6. It’s inconsistent beam judging like this that makes me hate college gym. It’s not like some of those scores were half a tenth high. They were multiple tenths high/mathematically impossible. Annoying.

  7. Lol, even poor KCopp was like, “No.” on Dickson’s score.

    I like Kevin Copp a lot as a broadcast announcer. This does not stop me from wanting to call him K-Cup.

  8. Judges should be disciplined , in the form of suspensions, when they flat out refuse to take deductions that are blatant, like grabbing the beam. Until there is any recourse or accountability, the poor judging will continue.

  9. Scores aside, it seems to me that the aura, enthusiasm, and excitement that used to surround UGA gymnastics is back. Meanwhile, that aura and excitement seems to be fading a bit at Bama.
    I’m not partial to either team so that’s an objective observation.

    1. I agree that UGA is on a clear upswing, but it’s hard to really say what the tone is in Alabama when they had a 194. It’s hard to get pumped for that.

      1. Oh, I agree. I was talking about the general trajectory of both programs. UGA appears to be on an upswing that started last season and Bama appears to be falling a bit based on last season overall and their start yesterday. They’re still very good but look different than when they were contending for the title every year.

  10. “At this point, Oklahoma will basically just have to barf on the beam in the final rotation to have the highest score of the weekend” – A+ 10/10 best comment of the season already

  11. WHO are these OU/AK announcers? Overheard on SEC+ “That’s um, a triple series, layout stepout to swingdown, that um, helps her to like, not fall”


    1. We were also subjected to the “she’s showing her personality” as gymnasts executed arm wave choreography.

  12. sheesh, 198 in the first meet of the season… more than impossible beam scores and home floor nonsense, this is what bothers me. I’d really like for Oklahoma to stop being so good… it’s boring and a bit annoying… I know that sounds terrible but it was fun and exciting tonight to see if Utah was going to be able to pull ahead of UCLA in the rankings. Know that OU could average a 9.7 on beam and still be first in the rankings was neither fun nor exciting.

    1. The rankings are meaningless especially after Week 1 – unless you’re CMU who pulls off a 3rd place you can frame for eternity. 🙂

      I’m currently living in a bubble of happy since Swaggie Maggie and her 39.750 AA score is one of my “foster kids” in Fantasy this season.

      PS – I was going to say one of my adopted kids, but since I will more than likely have to give Maggie to someone else in 2020, it’s more like a foster situation.

  13. First week of NCAA gym and the complaining about scores and announcers have already started.

    Just ENJOY the season and be thankful we can now watch so many talented athletes every weekend from now until April. Some scores may be high, others may be low, but generally the “right” teams end up at Nationals.

    Also, remember that a lot of the announcers for online meets are volunteers with no journalism or broadcasting experience. Others may have little background in gym and got the assignment because they work for the athletic department. Cut them a break. They aren’t all paid ESPN/SEC/PAC crews.

  14. Your narrative brought back visions of streaming 4 meets a at a time on my dual screen desktop. This is the first weekend and I’m NOT missing that CBSSportsonline subscription. Got to see 6 meets so far. Adding NFL Wildcard ganes sndvim in pig heaven!
    Bravo Spencer, great job keeping those judges in line!

  15. Speaking of announcers, I found Maddie Stover’s comments about Penn St during the meet to be condescending and rude ….for example, “Penn State struggling a bit but their talent isn’t like ours” & “Penn State needs to work harder in the gym as they were unprepared” among others… …ouch. And I’m no Penn St fan but my god, really??

    When a Utah gymnast faltered (Reinstatler) , “that’s why 6 compete, not worried at all” . I think even if Maddie was commenting on the Utah broadcast, besides all the “we” and “our” references, she could have been more diplomatic about the opponent.

    1. Yeah, I thought the exact same thing. The comments, particularly regarding preparation and talent, were pretty uncharitable, especially given that Utah is ranked 5 and Penn State is ranked… 27. I’m new to NCAA but thought Penn State had some good moments in there.

    2. I completely agree. Very unprofessional. I don’t mind when former gymnasts sound like cheerleaders for their own team when commentating, it’s understandable (with the exception of Kelly Garrison). However, in all my years of watching NCAA gym, I have never heard anyone be that condescending to an opponent. The worst thing she said was that Sarah Brown “hasn’t had time” to recruit good gymnasts yet.

    3. Jesus christ. How you treat your opponents says a lot about your team. Also Penn State have some lovely, talented gymnasts and the programme as a whole is bouncing back from some prettttty intense problems.

    4. I noticed that too and found it a bit off-putting. I know it’s her first season not competing for Utah but I felt like she was speaking as if she was one of coaches being interviewed post-rotation.

      1. Honestly that kind of commentary would be unprofessional and inappropriate from a coach, let alone a commentator. There are a million ways to politely note that your team is in a different league than your opponent that don’t involve tearing them down so rudely.

  16. I feel for this Penn State team. Several of these girls had to deal with a lot with the Thompson’s. It is never ending as he is still trying to sue PSU. At least they have a coach that treats them with respect and dignity.

    1. Agree. I’m a major Utah fan and Stover was way out of line. The crowd was super supportive of Penn as were the Red Rocks. Very early in the season especially at altitude. Please don’t hold it against all of the Utes and their fans for the whole season. The atmosphere was really positive.

      1. I’m glad you agree that Stover was out of line. Personally I would like it if every time the behavior of someone from Utah was criticized, people didn’t pop up saying #NotAllUtes. No one said Utah’s crowd acted poorly. Spectators weren’t even mentioned.

  17. I thought Bev’s comment was highly appropriate. All it takes is one thing to happen and Utah fans are crucified for the entire season. I know they didn’t say that “all fans” but if you look over the comments of past seasons all it takes is one negative comment for the ball to start rolling. Stover needs to learn from this and realize that her comments now count and maybe the Utah fans are a little sensitive – they have reason to be. Let’s hope for a good season. (I notice that no one mentioned the brief interaction between a Utah athlete and the Penn Athlete who took the really hard fall on floor – just a quick – are you OK. Kind of a nice sportsmanship moment – the kind that so often goes unnoticed) Both teams seem like lovely young ladies and I was impressed with a great deal of the Penn routines, especially a couple on Beam. Beautiful movement. Wish them the best.

    1. You’re kind of proving my point. No, no one mentioned the Utah gymnast demonstrating standard good sportsmanship by checking on a Penn St. gymnast. (1) That’s basic good behavior and (2) It’s not out of character or otherwise remarkable for a Utah gymnast to have good sportsmanship. So why are you saying that it should be recognized? It doesn’t have anything to do with Stover’s performance as a commentator. It doesn’t cancel it out.

      Maybe you’re right that Utah fans get attacked all the time. I don’t see it, but then, I’m not a Utah fan. Since no one attacked Utah’s fans this time around, it just comes across to me as sidelining the actual criticism, which is that Stover’s commentary was rude and unprofessional.

  18. I didn’t comment on the Utah crowd, just the announcer Stover…and I was willing to give her a pass if it was one comment and then maybe she caught herself but nope, there were a couple that were very cutting and demeaning to the Penn State gymnasts and their coach. Stover may be a lovely girl but definitely needs a little tutelage in this area…

    On another board, one of the commentators said “she only spoke the truth” …well, so says you. Utah is a team that scores better than Penn State but heck, they have Skinner so they should .,…and even if that is the truth, one could point out difficulty or execution versus calling them “not in our league” …

    My bigger issue was her calling them “unprepared” ….that to me was like a punch to the gut for these gymnasts who work hard every day in the gym , give up their free time for “voluntary activities” , vacations cut short or not at all…yes I get that they get the scholarship but even the walk ons do all this. A Towson gymnast recently had an IG post addressing this as well with her point being , yes we are ranked lower but we work hard , and sometimes harder, as teams who are better than us…but lower ranked teams get the “unprepared” “don’t want it as much” comments because of the talent level of their team.

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