The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Sunday Live Blog – March 3, 2019

Sunday, March 3 Scores Stream
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – [2] UCLA @ [1] Oklahoma LINK ESPN
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Central Michigan @ Ball State LINK ESPN3
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Cortland @ Ithaca FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Rhode Island @ Springfield
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Penn, UIC @ Lindenwood LINK FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Winona State @ Hamline
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Arizona, Air Force, Centenary @ TWU LINK FREE

So ready. All in, all regrets.

Early lineups from the live stats look like they have Maggie Nichols competing, but not on vault in the first rotation. UCLA has switched the pre-linups and put Toronjo back into the bars lineup in the third spot instead of Grace Glenn, who is still on beam.

If the scoring is only normal-high in this meet, it’s going to be such a letdown. I’m ready for wild mathematically impossible 10s for every single gymnast. I’m expecting none of these judges to have email, is what I’m saying.

2018 Super Six retrospective. Our Val can weave a story, that’s for sure.

Latest: Kyla and Maggie are both good at gymnastics.

Rotation 1

Note: Nebraska has also attempted six 10.0 starts

Lehrmann – VT – OU – strong 1.5 as usual, small hop to the side, a little knees, good distance and height. 9.875. A reasonable score to start.

Frazier – UB – UCLA – toe shap to pak, high, a bit of leg break – toe shap 1/2, nice form there – tight final cast hs this week – DLO, step back. Not as clean as her usual, but only a few small things. 9.800

Webb – VT – OU – a little locked on landing coming in for her 1.5, hop forward, solid leg form in the air 9.850

Hano – UB – UCLA – Rau to overshoot, solid height, some leg form – short cast hs on high – giant full, late, to double tuck, stuck. Good. 9.800

Degouveia – VT – OU – managed to stick her 1.5 somehow despite coming off nearly entirely horizontal on her vault, so probably a height deduction, maybe a bit of legs, not much else. 9.950

Toronjo – UB – UCLA – toe on to Ray, close catch – a little arch in hs on high, holds it – bail, solid legs together – short final cast hs – DLO super pretty in the air, comes in low with a hop. 9.800

Stern – VT – OU – solid 1.5 for her as well – small hop forward – doesn’t have the distance of the previous vaulters – a bit of knees in the air and on landing. 9.800

Flatley – UB – UCLA – a bit tight on first hs – higgins into lovely jaeger – to on, a little loose back – very strong bail position, crisp vertical – will get a couple hs deductions – DLO, nice control. 9.875

Trautman – VT – OU – 1.5 – hops forward on hers this week, larger than her usual – a bit of legs apart that can also be deducted – 9.850

Kocian – UB – UCLA – godo first hs – stalder to pak, nice, just a bit of legs – arch in cast 1/2 on low bar, pulls it back – they’re all mising those final cast hs – hop back on FTDT. 9.825

Dowell – VT – OU – powerful 1.5, hop forward, looked for a while like she was going to be able to stick – good. 9.900

Ross – UB – UCLA – shap to bail, perfect – shoot tight – hits final cast hs – DLO, nails the stick. Her usual. Excellent.

Oh Holly Rowe. We’ve had “Kayla Ross” and “Brenna McDowell” so far.

It’s a 10 for Kyla. Carol was like…….BUT WE HAVEN’T GIVEN OUT ANY 10s YET WHAT DO WE DO. I do agree with Kathy that was one of Kyla’s better 10s this year.

After 1:Oklahoma 49.425, UCLA 49.300

Lower scores than we would have expected for those two in the first rotation, but that less reflects conservative scoring than the performances, which were tight for both squads.

Oklahoma had the one stick out of six, which the judges were willing to go high for, but the rest were hoppy. UCLA was quite tight on bars until Kyla, not their usual, especially in those final cast handstands. Several missed their landings until Kyla as well, who pretty much saved that rotation score to keep things close.

Rotation 2

Nichols will be back in on bars for Oklahoma here. And the 10 barrier has already been broken to give permission.

Kramer is back in UCLA’s vault lineup.

Kramer – VT – UCLA – sticks with the full – it’s fine, clean shape, small hop back, a bit of piking. 9.750

Webb – UB -OU – gorgeous high Pak – toe shap 1/2, just a bit of ankles but solid – toe 1/2 to double front 1/2 out, doesn’t have the control on the landing this week, lunge back. 9.825

Hano – VT – UCLA – Y1.5 with a large bound forward this week – 9.825

Marks – UB – OU – great first hs – toe on to Maloeny to bail – pulls those feet together but there is an ankle break – borderline final cast –  FTDT, holds a staggered stick. 9.875

Wright – VT – UCLA – fairly large lunge forward on her 1.5, lunge and a slide with a back foot – knees deduction. 9.725

I like the amount of separation the vault judges are willing to create on these 1.5s.

Thomas – UB – OU – toe 1.2 to jaeger, solid – good cast hs out – bail, just a touch of floppiness in catching – DLO, gets the stick. 9.925

Dennis – VT – UCLA – Yfull with a bounce back – great dynamics as always – all of that was strong – opens out, but does have the hop. 9.875 is a bit high there. That was a full tenth hop for me.

Dowell – UB – OU – Ray, strong – good cast hs – toe to bail, solid position – a bit short on final cast hs – DLO, stuck it. Strong.

Ross – VT – UCLA – sticks her 1.5. Very nice. She has that little deeper bend to hold the stick again this week like her 10 from a few weeks ago, but this one is a little too low in the sit on landing for me. She showed up today. Amazing.

10.000. Not a 10 for me this time because of that little lean adjustment as she finessed that stick. It didn’t show total control.

Lehrmann – UB – OU – lovely jaeger – toe on to bail, super crisp legs together, excellent – FTDT, stuck. Excellent. 9.925

Tratz – VT – UCLA – strong enough full as usual – small hop back and a bit of chest forward body position – great height and distance. 9.775

Nichols – UB – OU – Ray to pak, exceptional – so high – toe shap 1/2 – excellent – short final cast hs – DLO, somehow managed to hold the stick for 80 hours despite being leaning a little back. A thing or two that they need to take, but great. 9.925.

After 2: Oklahoma 99.000, UCLA 98.525

Well, Kyla has two 10s. So that’s what’s happening. And UCLA needs it because everyone else has been just OK. Not the strongest vault landings from the rest of them to fall farther behind Oklahoma. Oklahoma goes 49.575 on bars after everyone scores 9.925 for everything. The handstands were stronger than UCLA’s, and they got a few more critical sticks, that accounts for the difference there. A cleaner, crisper rotation for Oklahoma.

They note how teams are all setting attendance records when UCLA comes to visit The view numbers on this site are also comically higher for live blogs involving UCLA than for any other team.

Rotation 3

Dowell – BB – OU – aerial to bhs series, had an arm wave after the aerial but will probably get credit for the series for continuing to move, which is a bad rule – switch to switch series, a bit low – larger balance check on Kochetkova – punch front full dismount with a hop. Not her strongest. A hit. 9.750

Confirmation that Showers is out with ACL.

Frazier – FX – UCLA – full in- stuck, excellent this week – split leap full to popa, strong – whip through to double tuck, keeps that front foot down – double pike, a little short with a small hop but overall her best landing control of the season. Kathy fangirling over this vogue femme routine makes me so happy. 9.825. That tells us that the scoring is trying to be sensible here. That would have been easily 9.9s at some UCLA home meets. Good. [Spoke too soon, obviously]

Lehrmann – BB – OU – full turn, smooth – bhs loso series, secure – aerial to beat jump, good extended legs – cat leap to switch side, extended – gainer full, step. Good. 9.875

Kramer – FX – UCLA – front 2/1 to front pike, sold the control – 1.5 to layout, crisp body shape on the layout throughout – excellent height on her switch side to popa – rudi to stretch jump, an excellent one for her. 9.925

Schoepfer – BB – OU – bhs bhs loso, secure this week, just a bit of knees. switch to straddle 1/4 with a big break, large leg-up wobble and lean to save it – 1.5, short with a step back. So that will be a lower score along with Brenna’s. No Trautman in the beam lineup this week. She’s not at 100%. 9.750. Could have gone lower there.

Tratz – FX – UCLA – full in, comes up short with a step forward – 1.5 to front full, secure landing, leg form on the full as she had to adjust to get it around – switch ring to split full, strong position – double tuck, controlled step. Some things on landings, but should still be usable. 9.850

Woodard – BB – OU – full turn – side aerial to bhs series and falls. Wow. Oklahoma letting UCLA back in this meet in the third rotation. Kickover front, strong – switch to split, a bittt of back leg on that split but overall the position is nice – side aerial to full, chest forward, leans to hold stick

Ross – FX – UCLA – whip to double tuck, chest up, controlled step – 1.5 to layout, also keeps that back foot down – split leap full to popa to shushunova – double pike, nailed the landing, chest a little forward. She’s having an excellent day.

Webb – BB – OU – full turn, a little tentative with a small lean – bhs loso, just moving back a little on that landing but not a check – cat to aerial, lovely aerial – switch to split leap, back leg on leap – side aerial to full, stuck. A slightly nervier performance for her, but a good hit.

It’s 9.975 for Ross. Someone was like NOT TODAY CAROL. It’s a good routine for Kyla, that has improved a ton in the tumbling and endurance, but it’s still a little normal in its composition, not standout difficulty, to get a 10 in this position of the lineup when narrative isn’t driving the scores.

Hano – FX – UCLA – DLO, a little chest, good control – punch full to 1/2 to running fish – 1920s mermaid – split leap full to wolf, a little travel in landings there, good positions – 9.925

Nichols – BB – OU – aerial to split, good positions but a flexed back foot this week – bhs loso series, covers with slamming the arms down so that she doesn’t really have a lean correction – good full turn – switch through to split leap, well done – 1.5, stuck landing. Excellent.

9.975 for Nichols.

Ohashi – FX – UCLA – split leg DLO, better layout position in second salto this week – front foot maybe going back a little bit, tried to keep that toe down – solidly performed middle pass as always – switch ring and splits, excellent – front full to 1/2 to drop split. Excellent again. I’d maybe have control on the first pass landing to take, but the score will be huge.

10.000. You knew. Third 10 of the day for UCLA.

We’re tied after 3: Oklahoma 148.200, UCLA 148.200

Oklahoma got saved by the Maggie there on beam, much like UCLA got saved by the Kyla on the first two events, because it was a pretty shaky rotation with a couple counting 9.7s to go 49.200. UCLA excelled on floor for 49.675. One of their strongest 1-6 floor rotations on the season in terms of the landings — Kramer, Ross, Hano, and Ohashi all totally delivered on those landing and Frazier had her best landing control. Moving forward there.

Advantage in a tie always to the home team on floor, but that’s where OU has had issues this season.

Rotation 4

G Glenn – BB – UCLA – bhs loso series, secure, perfect extension – aerial to split jump, nailed – switch to split, truly exceptional positions in the air – full turn with a little Peng style out – bhs gainer full, stuck. Excellent. 9.900

Webb – FX – OU – front 2/1, controlled step out, good height there – 1.5 to front full, also under control – split leap full and split jump full, feet – rudi, great twisting shape. Strong opener. 9.900

Nguyen – BB – UCLA – switch to split to beat, solid – aerial to loso combination with a little check in between that will risk credit – another little lean check afterward – solid on the side position jump – punch front full, stuck. The rest was great, let’s see what they do with the series. 9.775

Draper – FX – OU – 1/2 to rudi, secure landing, some knees – front full to layout, a bit of arch – switch to switch full, around, not quite all the way up. Solid. Some things. 9.900. Here we go. Carol’s here.

Kocian – BB – UCLA – bhs loso, another check, bend at the hips – aerial with a check, I’d say broken connection to split jump – full turn smooth – switch to split is nice. 1.5 dismount, small hop. More tentative beam work from Kocian. 9.825 is high. I didn’t have her starting from 10 because of the broken connection.

LaPinta – FX – OU – 3/1, the best she has done it, just a little slide back and some leg crossing but not too bad – 1.5 to layout, small arch – double tuck, solid – huge improvement for her. 9.875 still pretty high there.

Flatley – BB – UCLA – aerial to loso series, really smoothly connected, no question of credit – side aerial with a check – L turn to split jump to beat jump, great split – punch rudi dismount with a hop back. 9.825

Degouveia – FX – OU – front 2/1, only a bit of a dance out but pretty much showed control – front layout to front full, a bit of legs – switch and popa were exceptional, high and extended – back 1.5 to layout, traveling just a bit. Another solid one. 9.900

Ross – BB – UCLA – bhs loso series, smooth and nailed – aerial to sissone – full turn and choreograph out of it (a revelation) – switch to split, super high and excellent – side aerial to full, small step back. Oh Kyla, you almost had a third 10 there.

Oh 9.875 is surprisingly low for that one.

39.850 AA score for Ross, tying her season high

Dowell – FX – OU – Dowell, hit it, step forward but controlled the step out so well not to go OOB, still a deduction for the step – 1.5 to layout, perfect, stuck, straight position – front lay to front full to stag, excellent –

Ohashi – BB – UCLA – aerial to aerial to bhs series, not doing the layout, I actually like this composition better, scandalous I know – switch to split, strong – bhs loso to layout full, stuck, another excellent routine.

9.950 for Ohashi.

Trautman – FX – OU – DLO, great chest up, a slight foot adjustment – front lay to front full to sissone, powerful – split leap full to popa, great height – double tuck, a small hop back

9.950 for her as well.

FINAL: Oklahoma 197.775, UCLA 197.575

An appropriate result here. We had neither team at its very best, but Oklahoma was the better team in three of the four rotations we had. OU had some issues on beam, that was a surprisingly weak rotation, but floor was a lot better than it has been in recent weeks, and OU was the stronger of the two teams on vault and bars today by  a noticeable margin.

UCLA was a tale of two teams today. Ross and Ohashi showed up with great performances, but on VT/UB/BB, they didn’t really have the top-level routines from the rest of the performers (except for on floor) – there were tight routines, ones that didn’t allow Carol to truly Carol, and kept UCLA’s score down lower.

I have to say, we saw some crazy scores today, but overall it was pretty normal-top-ranked-team high, not on all the drugs like I expected.

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