The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Sunday Live Blog – January 27, 2019

Sunday, January 27 Scores Stream
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Central Michigan @ Western Michigan LINK
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – New Hampshire @ Yale ESPN+
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Brockport, Rhode Island @ Southern Connecticut
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – West Chester @ Springfield FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – George Washington, Kent State @ West Virginia LINK FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Bowling Green, UIC @ Northern Illinois LINK NIU($)
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Lindenwood @ Iowa State LINK ISU($)
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Penn, Ithaca, Ursinus @ Temple FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Centenary, UW-La Crosse, UW-Stout @ TWU LINK FREE
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [14] Ohio State @ Michigan State LINK BTN
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Sacramento State, Alaska @ UC Davis LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [2] UCLA @ [24] Stanford LINK P12N

Only one meet to follow right now, so I’ll go back to the old tried and true format, which I think is easier to follow when checking back in on what happened after the fact.

I swear I’ve paid for tickets to go to gymnastics at Stanford before…? Just me…?

Valorie’s miming a microphone. So…normal.

Rotation 1 – Stanford on vault, UCLA on bars

Stanford Vault:
1: Cole – Yfull, small hop back, some piking, not the most distance, her normal, 9.750
2: Fitzgerald – Yfull, lunge back, larger landing error than Cole but better shape in the air and distance so could score better. Nope 9.700. Landing.
3: Bryant – Yfull, a bit of a bounce back, not too big, good dynamics, high, only a little pike at the end. 9.775. Not enough reward for dynamics.
4: Flam – Omel, lunge forward, about a one tenth lunge, does a pretty good job keeping her pike position. 9.800. Remember when Ferrer died on this vault and went 9.825 because anchor and Finnegan apology?
5: Yu – pretty Yfull, good height and direction, medium-sized bounce back. 9.825
6: Garcia – Tsuk 1/1, lands it – pretty clear pike in the air and a leg separation on block – lunge back, fairly low. 9.675

UCLA Bars:
1: Frazier – toe Shap to Pak, very high, a little leg break, shap 1/2, nice legs together there, one borderline hs, small hop back on DLO. 9.850
2: Kooyman – in for Toronjo (#FreeMacy), short first hs – Shap to pak, legs breaks on both, solid position on 1/2 turn on low – a couple hs deductions – FTDT, high, some ragged legs, near stick with chest down. 9.775
3: A Glenn – 1/2 turn to jaeger, good height, hit – nice hs on high bar – Pak is a little ragged in the legs – 1/2 turn a touch late on low bar – cast hs are nice – giant full to double tuck, both extremely clean, vertical finish on giant full and great tight tuck position. 9.875
4: Flatley -borderline first hs – higgings to jaeger, very clean – good cast hs – bail a little closer to vertical this week, still a bit loose – short final hs – DLO, small hop back. Solid. 9.825
5: Kocian – Stalder shap to Pak, nicely done, good legs together on pak – 1/2 turn on low – crisp final cast hs – FTDT, short with a lunge forward. Super clean on the bars but that was probably .150 on dismount. 9.800
6: Ross – good first hs – toe Shap, strong to bail, both crsip as usual – small arch in hs on high bar – DLO, perfect stick. They’ll take for the high bar arch but not much else, I assume. 9.900

After 1: UCLA 49.250, Stanford 48.850
Notes: Stanford will mostly take that first rotation. The landing control wasn’t there (pretty much everyone gave away a tenth on landing), but they got into the 9.8s for the better vaults and are getting toward having Garcia in there, a SV they’ll really want.

UCLA keeps faking out putting Toronjo in there and I’m not sure why. The big money routines were pretty good but had some give-away moments to keep UCLA in the lower side of the 49s.

Rotation 2 – Stanford on bars, UCLA vault

Jim, don’t say skid.

Why is this rotation break so long? Pull it together.

Stanford Bars:
1:  Lawson – toe Shap a bit of legs – same on bail but hit – good height on shoot to high – full to double tuck, a little break, into double tuck. Her routine form is improved over last year. 9.750
2:  Waguespack – toe on to toe Shap, hit – into Pak, good legs together overall, a little loose in 1/2 turn on low but not too bad – lateish final hs – DLO, with a lean to hold the stick. Nice. 9.800
3:  Yu – good first hs – Shap to bail, clean legs – shot to high – hits final hs – stalder to double tuck, a little foot ragged there with a hop forward. 9.800
4:  Bryant – good first hs – hit tkatchev – crisp and quick hs – lovely Pak – a little late on 1/2 turn on low – final cast hs strong – big high DLO with some feet, hop to the side. 9.875
5:  Brunette – angle on cast hs – hop 1/2 turn to deltchev, hits into overshoot – the hs are going to get her here, quite short – DLO, piking, holds the stick with a lean. A number of form errors in there but a hit. 9.700 is too high. Jim thinks it’s too low because literally no reason
6:  – Flam – 1/2 turn with leg break into jaeger, hit very short in cast hs – larger leg break on bail – very late hs throughout, so this should probably be the drop score – DLO 1/1 dismount with a larger lunge forward.

UCLA Vault:
1: Frazier – Yfull, bounce back, medium size – a little bit of pike in the air, clearly easier for her. 9.775
2: Hano – Y1.5, solid one for her, a bounce forward with both feet, good amplitude, some knees and a little direction. 9.825
3: Tratz – Yfull, large bounce back on hers this time, her usual distance and solid position. 9.775
4: Wright – Y1.5, nice again, she’s entrenching herself in this lineup, some knees throughout, small .05 hop forward, good direction. 9.875
5: Ross – Y1.5, massive stumble back on her 1.5 as she tries to save it, doesn’t sit it down but lunges back so many times that it takes her back into the vaulting table, though she was moving slowly enough that it was fine. Essentially a fall. 9.325
6: Dennis – with the full again because they needed a hit, hop back this time, but not large, of course the dynamics are great. 9.850

After 2: UCLA 98.350, Stanford 97.775
Notes: Stanford’s score will end up being sub-49, but they’re moving in the right direction on bars, especially with those early ones. Lawson is better this year, and Bryant was solid. This lineup has four routines right now instead of the 2 from last season, so there’s hope here. It was a hit.

UCLA just OK on vault. Hano hit, and Wright was the best 1.5 of the bunch again. Dennis’s full will always score well, but too bouncy on those other fulls to get into the 9.8s, and then Kyla with another miss on her 1.5.

Rotation 3 – Stanford on beam, UCLA on floor

Stanford Beam:
1: Cole – bhs loso series and immediate fall, off line – switch to double stag, hit – Sam was totally going to say “personal shame” then had to adjust to turn it into “personal…bummer” – finishes 2/1, solid, small hop. 9.225
2: Stephenson – aerial, nice and smooth – bhs loso series, check with a step back on the beam to save it – switch to sheep, a bit of back leg in that switch – gainer full, hop back. A hit, some things to take. 9.750
3: Lawson – Arabian. Strong. Jim says it’s her first scoring routine this year, which is false. cat leap to switch 1/2, good extension there – bhs loso series, small check working out of it – gainer pike, hop back. Nicely done on the Arabian in a pressure position. 9.825
4: Bryant – bhs loso, has to dance out of it to avoid a check, still a deduction, great form and height  – amazing switch split jump, perfect – nails punch front – two bhs to double tuck, lunge back, perfect tuck shape on dismount. Nicely done. 9.825
5: Fitzgerald -long pause before full turn – aerial to back tuck series, large break at the hips as she tries to stay on, also pretty slow in series – switch to split is fine – hitch kick to aerial to two feet is solid as usual – 1.5 dismount with bounce forward. Will have to count, but some major deductions. 9.625
6:  Flam – bhs to layout, and she falls on it this time. So Stanford counting a fall and that 9.625. And you even got through bars! Hit front tuck with a check – finishes punch front lay full with a hop.

Stanford was like, “All these new people in the crowd. Can’t let them get the wrong idea. Better count a fall.”

UCLA Floor:
1: Kramer – front 2/1 to front pike, camera angle too close, looked maybe a little less controlled int he front pike landing this week – 1.5 to layout, has to arch around the lay – switch side to popa, well hit – rudi is fine to stretch jump. 9.800
2: Dennis – pike full in is pretty solid this week, just a little hop when she lands it, some stagger in landing – front full to layout, excellent position and rise in that layout – no trouble on her split positions – double tuck was high enough but came up short with a step forward. 9.775
3: Tratz – great stick on full-in, one of her good full-in says, very nice – 1.5 to front full with a dance out, keeps that back leg down – switch ring to split full, around – double tuck a little short with a step forward as well, but mostly it was one of her good ones. 9.850
4: Hano – DLO, a little forward this time with a step as she comes back into the lineup, but fine – front full to 1/2 to running fish – solid position on leaps – double pike, solid landing. Still clearly getting back into it after the ankle, but good. 9.850
5: Frazier – full-in, good chest position, slide back – split full to popa, can also get deducted for a short split position in the split full – whip through to double tuck, good, also a little slide but small – double pike, a bit better keeping the foot down there. Passes are comfortable for her, so it’s just about refining that college step back. 9.875
6: Ohashi – DLO, normal type this time – controlled step back – 1.5 to 1/2 to split to front tuck – switch ring to switch 1/2 look good – front full to 1/2 to drop split. Good one. Nothing super obvious you have to take there, so let’s see. 9.975. One of our judges was like, “Pass…”

After 3: UCLA 147.700, Stanford 146.025
Notes: UCLA solid enough on floor. They need to work out some landing control still and had some short passes to take away the score for Dennis and Tratz, but overall good. Important to get Hano back in there because she’s part of the best six.

Stanford counting a fall and another low score on beam to take away what was looking like it would have been an acceptable total to help the ranking if nothing else.

Rotation 4 – Stanford on floor, UCLA on beam

Stanford Floor:
1:  Cole – 2.5 to front tuck, well controlled, just a little legs in twist – switch ring to switch 1/2, solid positions – rudi, just a bit short but controls it to minimize step. 9.750
2: Hoffman – front tuck through to rudi, bounce back, good twisting form – switch ring to split leap full, some back leg – double tuck, a bit short with a step – rudi to double stag, nice twisting form in both those rudis, a highlight, but some landings to take. 9.775
3: Flam – fantastic double arabian, great form and perfect stick – front full to front pike, a slide forward after the pike – switch side to popa – double pike, a short with a small step. 9.775
4: Lawson – 1.5 through to double tuck, a little slide back and some chest down – split leap full to split jump full, short of 180 on the jump – hop on her random front tuck to get a front skill – double pike, really nice security there. 9.850
5:  Hoang – good on her DLo this week – switch to split 1.5, good 180s, loses her feet a little in those leaps – front lay to front full, dance out, keeps front foot down – double tuck, very solid. Strong routine. 9.850
6:  Bryant – full-in, great height, solid, kept front foot down – front tuck through to double pike, a little bouncy, no chest position problems, a comfortable pass for her – switch side to popa, switch side was pretty crooked – open double tuck, also super high, a little bounce. A couple landing control things but will be a big score.

UCLA Beam:
1: Kocian – bhs loso – “each week I try to give them a little bit of wisdom, and this week I told them to be brilliant.” MUCH VAL WISDOM  – aerial with a check – breaks connection to split jump switch to split jump, nice – 2/1 with a bounce back. Not her strong one. Tentative. 9.575. Did not start from 10.
2: Poston – beat to straddle 3/4 with a lean – bhs bhs to loso, really clean, nicely done – full turn, solid – 1.5 dismount, small hop. Good hit. A lineup possibility. 9.850
3: Flatley – aerial through to loso series, squeezes to minimize the little lean – side aerial, hit – L turn to full turn combo, keeps the leg up on the L – switch to split, better chance for big scores without the switch ring – 1.5 dismount, hit, small slide. Good. 9.900.
4: Dennis – smooth full turn – aerial with a lean into loso, will probably get it because she kept moving but that’s not a connection – switch to split, lovely split positions – 2/1, tries to sell the stick, coming in a little short. Nearly. 9.875. These beam scores getting too high
5: Ross – bhs loos, floaty and good as usual, a little lean – aerial to sissone is perfect – full turn, tiptoes out – switch to split, very strong – side aerial to full, stuck. That one lean, a little rhythm, but not too much to take. Very nice. 9.925
6: Ohashi – bhs bhs layout, absolutely perfect, legs looked better this week from this angle – switch to split, great – aerial to bhs loso full dismount, nearly stuck, maybe a little slide but not much to take there. Another 9.975.

After 4: UCLA 197.225, Stanford 195.125
Notes: Beam definitely UCLA’s best rotation of the meet. Those last two routines were very very strong, but didn’t get a hit from Kocian and got some charity on those middle scores with some pauses that could have been evaluated harsher. Overall one of those kind of flatter UCLA road performances (though those used to be, like, 195s), some misses and some mehs on every event. Nothing drastic or outrageous.

Stanford also at its best in the last rotation on floor, the most composed, comfortable, and postseason-level of their events by a wide margin. The miss on beam and the vault landings took this away from being a useful score.

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