The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Four on the Flippin’ Four Floor Whatever – Live Blog

Saturday, April 20
Scores Stream
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Team Final
[1] Oklahoma
[2] UCLA
[3] LSU
[5] Denver

Great work with the name. It’s cool how everyone knows what this meet is called, and it’s name isn’t stupid. Super well done, once again, team.

Welcome to the winning part where someone is going to do the winning. Based on yesterday’s performances, you like Oklahoma for the win overall because of that 197.850 with some eh-ish-ness on beam, but no one was that…greatly great? So if someone turns out to be…great…

That’s where we are at this point. The last two seasons, the best team in the semifinal has not won the title.

Your rotation order is LSU on vault, Oklahoma on bars, UCLA on beam, Denver on floor. I’ve been saying recently that starting on bars is the new worst rotation order because of the SVs on vault, but that doesn’t really apply to Oklahoma because Oklahoma does have a full vault lineup of 10.0s.

I don’t think any of the teams hate this rotation order. Denver got the semi-dreaded starting on floor order, but Denver’s best scores can come on bars and beam anyway, so that works. Plus, Denver’s super happy to be here, so whatever order you like…

Should we do rotation-by-rotation based on yesterday’s scores? Sure, why not.

Rotation 1 – LSU VT, Oklahoma UB, UCLA BB, Denver FX
1. Oklahoma – 49.5625
2. LSU – 49.450
3. UCLA – 49.3625
4. Denver – 49.2625

UCLA’s the one that needs to pull up the scores in that first rotation. Oklahoma starts on a huge score, but UCLA should be as well and can’t drop two tenths to Oklahoma right away.

Rotation 2 – Denver VT, LSU UB, Oklahoma BB, UCLA FX
1. UCLA – 98.975
2. LSU – 98.8875
3. Oklahoma – 98.850
4. Denver – 98.3625

UCLA starts on what really should be its two best scores, so it’s essential for UCLA to be out in front after the second rotation. LSU would love to be this close, and Oklahoma wouldn’t mind being only a tenth or so back. That works for them.

Rotation 3 – UCLA VT, Denver UB, LSU BB, Oklahoma FX
Oklahoma – 148.450
UCLA – 148.2625
LSU – 148.0375
Denver – 147.7500

This is the best comparative rotation for Oklahoma versus all the other teams, so Oklahoma can abide not having the lead after two, but not really after three. Then it would be trouble.

Rotation 4 – Oklahoma VT, UCLA UB, Denver BB, LSU FX
Oklahoma – 197.850
UCLA – 197.675
LSU – 197.5125
Denver – 197.0375

There’s still only a couple tenths in it based on yesterday’s scores, so not that much has to change.

There is so much B roll of chalky hands clapping being shot right now in front of me. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LIGHTS TURNING ON IN AN EMPTY GYM WHILE IT’S STILL DARK OUTSIDE TO SYMBOLIZE THE HARD HOURS NO ONE SEES.

It will be interesting to see if it does end up being Oklahoma and UCLA for the title because they have the two quickest rotations for the 4th event, while Denver and LSU will be competing long after. Not ideal if the 4F format was designed to eliminate anticlimactic finishes with winning teams on byes.

Start lists are out. UCLA has Dennis and Tratz on floor and no Frazier again on the list. Although Frazier did just warm up her floor in the first spot—along with 1700 other UCLA gymnasts—and it’s UCLA so who knows.

Miss Val can’t wait to dance. There’s a lot.

UCLA also has Kendal Poston warming up vault, but she just sat a handspring pike 1/2.

So of course the talk of gymnastics is Maggie’s floor routine and the two passes and winning the all-around. I mean, I agree there’s no difficulty, but what are they supposed to do? It starts from a 10, so it has to be evaluated from there, and they can’t just arbitrarily add in a “Maggie should do more” deduction that they haven’t taken from anyone else. We complain about the judges not following the rules and inventing scores, so we can’t also be mad that they followed the rules. At the same time, I think there’s a solid justification for a .05 distribution deduction. All the difficulty, such as it is, is packed in the front of the routine. Will be interesting to watch today after the judges have had a day of getting feedback from their peers about it.

Teams leaving the floor now for costume change. If there’s no full-on headdress when they reemerge, then miss…

Lineup change: Denver has put Chesnok in on vault instead of Schou.

“There is only one song, and it is called ‘This Girl Is on Fire'” – NCAA gymnastics championships.

UCLA has tweeted a lineup with Marz back in rather than Tratz. #UCLAThings

The competition for drunkest team moms has been won by all the teams. But mostly LSU.

The usual as we wait for intros. Miss Val bullying you into dancing with her. Jordan Chiles in the front row in her UCLA garb, living her best life.

I think the number of times this MC woman has asked these gymnast dads to be “loud and proud” is a hate crime.

The number of coaching rumors I have heard the last few days, you guys. If even a quarter of them come true, this offseason is going to be intense.

DD’s outfit is all of it.

Finally time for intros. Got to build the tension.

I like how UCLA separates the Glenns in the lineup just cuz.


Apparently UCLA is wearing a repeat leo for team finals, and the fashion police are not having it. But I mean, better than yesterday, right?

SIDs sassing the other teams’ media guides is the kind of petty content I’m here for.

We’ve still got a couple minutes left in the touch.

OK here we go.

Finnegan – with a very strong full obviously

Glenn – BB – UCLA – crisp on loso series today – aerial a little short but works well into split – leap series is gorgeous of course. Stuck gainer full, pretty start.

Webb a little short on her double front 1/2 dismount with a hop forward today –

Mostly 9.8s for Webb

Harrold – VT – LSU – strong control on her 1.5 this week following a near-perfect 9.9125 for Finnegan.

Marks – UB – OU – good first hs – toe shap , small leg break 0- bail, – nearly there on final cast hs – sticks with a stagger

nice leap series for Nguyen on beam – really slow on her aerial to loso combination but very secure. They’ll give it but you can take for rhythm.

Small hop of Kelley on vault.

Christ, are they rounding these scores to three decimal places? KILL ME.

Kern finishes a hit floor for Denver, solid double back, chest down.

Mostly 9.850s for Marks.

Thomas – UB – OU – short first hs – toe 1/2 to solid jaeger – bail is hit – a short hs at the end – DLO, a little forward with a hop. Oklahoma looking fine but not crisp early on.

Cannemela a litlte bouncy on her full on VT.

Kocian – BB – UCLA – bhs loso series -large break with a bend at the hips, keeps it on but enough to need to drop – aerial with knees into split jump – 1.5 with a walking bound out of it, not a strong routine.

Edwards – VT – LSU – very strong landing, some knees throughout, but one of her stronger vaults

Dowell – UB – OU – Ray, good – toe on to bail, some angle in the air, ends in solid position – DLO, baby slide back. First one to really bring it.

Mostly 9.900 and 9.850 for Dowell. Should be more separation between that and Thomas. Thomas was not nearly at the same level.

Denver solidly mid 9.8s on floor.

Edney – VT – LSU _ she lands short today on the 1.5 with a step back. Won’t be the score they wanted, but it was a pretty solid rotation before that.

Lehrmann – Ub – OU – lovely toes in jaeger – bail – clean – pretty much there on final cast hs – small step back on FTDT, but a good one

Flatley is very crisp on beam – pretty quick series – nailed side aerial and L turn – punch front 1/1 with a little hop. A score they needed with the big two coming

Nichols – UB – OU – Ray, great height into pak, strong – a short hs on low back – toe shap 1/2, only the smallest bit of legs – DLO, just a ltitle flung out but held the stick. I had a couple handstands in there, but will be a big score.


Split of 9.900 but mostly 9.950s for Nichols. They aren’t posting the final scores int he arena either.

Ohashi – BB – UCLA – aerial to bhs loso with a BREAK – a lean at the hips – covered quickly and well but that should be pretty significant. VERY interested to see what they do. The rest of it was perfect. Will still alow to drop Kocian’s score, but nopt what they needed.

Karr finishes up on floor with a struggle rudi, ragged legs and a crossover back step

ONE OF THE JUDGES GAVE OHASHI 9.900. This is why we drop a score?

Also surprised to see 9.850s for Karr’s floor with that last pass. One judge went as low as 9.700.

Brown – FX – DU – fantastic DLO and good control today – 1/5 to layout to sissone, strong – double pike, well done. A better routine than she won a share of the floor title with yesterday.

Ross – BB – UCLA – bhs loso very secure – switch to split, supreme – side aerialt o stuck dismount. The routine UCLA needed.

I’m seeing mostly 9.950s for Ross. Two 9.900s?

9.9375 for Brown. 9.925 for Ross.

After 1:
Oklahoma 49.450
UCLA 49.3875
LSU 49.375
Denver 49.200

Well, we’ve got some crazy ranges and scores so far. Just as you always hoped. UCLA the only team that will be disappointed in that rotation with Kocian and Ohashi both not up to par. They needed more there, but not out of it, just a tenth back of Oklahoma. But they need floor to be one of those 49.650 days now.

UCLA’s team score just rained to 49.3875 to move ahead of LSU.

Looks like Flatley’s number got bumped up.


Durante – BB – LSU – good first hs – 1/2 turn to pretty jaeger – pak, smoothly done, late 1/2 turn on low with a bit of legs – FTDT, short with a bound forward, pretty strong until the dismount.

Trautman hitting well on beam

Tratz – FX – UCLA – full in, a little short with a step forward – 1.5 to front full, better under control – switch ring to split leap full, a bit of feet – double tuck, controlled step back

9.900s for Trautman on beam.

Ferrer – UB – LSU – short first hs – 1/2 turn to jaeger, fine – bail, some feet – DLO with just a little slide

Dowell – BB – OU – aerial to back pike, some chest down but secure – switch to switch, as usual second switch better than the first, first a little low – kochetkova solid – punch front full, hop forward

Dennis short on her full in piked witha  step forward – lovely hgih layout second pass, a little steppy – double tuck also a little slidey. Not ideal UCLA floor routines to start.

Harrold – UB =- LSU – that arch on her zuchold again today but not too bad – hit jaeger, double front with a step

Spread of 9.750 to 9.900 for Harrold on bars – mostly 9.900s

Karr – VT – DU – some knees on the 1.5 – good landing

Edney – UB – LSU – Hindorff, usual, some piked shape but a solid catch – good legs together on bail – not quite there on final cast hs – DLO, holds the stick with a little lean

Lehrmann – BB – OU – secure loso series – aerial to beat, hit – cat to switch side, a little crooked but solid

Kramer – FX – UCLA – bouncy on her front 2/1 to front pike and OOB. UCLA not performing like a championship team today. The rest was good, but this rotation bascially needs two 10s at this point to be the kind of score UCLA wants

hop forward on 1.5 for Brown on VT

Priessmn – UB – tkatchev to pak – 1/2 turn is a little late – iffy final cast hs – DLO, small slide

9.900 for Priessman.

Finnegan – UB – LSU – Ray with lovely toes – bail, only the smallest legs – good shoot (a little close?) DLO, nearly basically sticks it, the little piked body shape.

Woodard pretty on her keap combination –

Ross – FX – whip to double tuck is bouncy – 1.5 to layout, also a little archy – good split full to popa, hit those positions – double pike was pretty solid, but once again not the best routine she can do

LSU got the bars score it needed – 49.4625

Still 9.9125 for Ross. Guys.

Webb – BB – OU – very strong on series landing – cat leap to aerial, a bit of knees, super solid – You can take a bit of leaps – sdei aerial to full, holds it, chest a touch forward.

Hano – FX – UCLA – DLO, controlled landing – front full to 1/2 to air run, solidly done – split leap 1/1 to wolf jump 1/1, well hit positions – double pike with a bounce back and the flag is up. Ooof. UCLA.

Nichols – BB – OU – aerial to split, lovely – bhjs loso, a little squeeze to hold that landing – switch to split leap, loverly – 1.5, stuck landing. Fab routine.

Ohashi – FX – UCLA – split leg DLO with a solid landing today – 1.5 to 1/2 to split to front tuck – front full to 1/2 to drop split. The first person to show up in this floor rotation

Two 10s for Maggie. The rest 9.950s.

9.950 for Ohashi.

Story of this rotation will be UCLA falling back on what should be its best event with five weaker-than-expected routines, but Oklahoma destroyed that beam rotation.

After 2
Oklahoma 99.0625
LSU 98.8375
UCLA 98.6875
Denver 98.4125

UCLA needed to be winning at this point and is…not winning. Edge to Oklahoma now, going to a strength compared to LSU. You expect Oklahoma to add to the lead in this rotation. If they can add something like .150 to .200 to the lead in this rotation—on floor while LSU is on beam—then this is pointing a single direction. If not, LSU will have a shot going to floor at the end.

I think there’s going to be a lot of second guessing not having Frazier lead off that floor lineup.

They should put her up to do the DTY now because why not at this point.


Dennis – VT – UCLA – big full, needed it, stuck.

Desiderio – BB – LSU – aerial to sissone is solid – hits loso series – switch to switch 1/2 to beat, better today, still a deduction on switch position –

Webb – FX – OU – front 2/1, controlled landing – 1.5 to front full, keeps that back foot down – rudi, good height, a little bouncing back there

Wright – VT – UCLA – lunge forward on 1.5

Really nice full finishing position for Ruiz on bars – legs together bail – short final cast hs – SLO, holds stick, legs apart

Dean – BB – LSU – side aerial to bhs, hit with knees – switch to split 1/4, a touch of knees – stuck dismount. One of her solid ones.

Tratz – VT – UCLA – hop back on full

I’m seeing some 9.950s for Webb on floor.

Schoepfer – FX – OU – double tuck, stumbles backward and sits it down!

Hano – VT – UCLA – 1.5 pretty solid direction, not too large on the hop

Durante – BB – LSU – aerial to beat jump, smoothly done – bhs loso series, super crisp -switch to split 1/4 – a bit of feet here and there but this is very nice  – chest down on dismount with a bounce, but that was the biggest thing.

Ross – VT – UCLA – 1.5 with a small slide back. At least to me from my angle because I see one judge with a 10.

Degouveia – FX – OU –  hits the front 2/1 under control, some legs – front lay and full, just some touch of position here and there but solid work – pretty extension on leaps – 1.5 to layout, whips it over a little

Kramer – VT – UCLA – bounce forward on her 1.5

Edney was short of position on her sissone – small arm wave adjustment on series – switch to straddle 1/4, working tight in those leaps tofay – stuck 1.5.

Brown finishes bars with excellent stuck DLO. Had a small arch on low bar earlier on

UCLA will take 49.4 on vault any day, especially at nationals, but they dug themselves a hole before that.

Nichols – FX – OU – double pike, very solid, controlled step – split leap 1.5, great position and around – front full to front layout stepout, grogeous – switch ring to split leap full – I mean it’s a gorgeous routine. You can take the distribution I think, but very little else. It starts from a 10.

Campbell as a hesitation on a leap landing on beam, but switch and split were pretty good.

I’m seeing 9.950s from everyone for Nichols. and I can’t really disagree.

Miss Val just winked at me while being interviewed by Holly Rowe, so there’s that.

Dowell – FX – OU – nailed her Dowell – 1.5 to layout, supreme – split leap full to popa, solid work – front layout o front full, very controlled, will be another big number.

Finnegan’s leaps are gorgeous and exceptional – stuck dismount, great set.

LSU competing exceptionally well today, but as long as Oklahoma gets a hit from the final routine from Trautman, it’s next level.

Trautman – FX – OU – DLO, keeps front foot down comfortably – front lay to front full to sissone – split leap full to popa, great positions – double tuck, solid landing. Strong routine.

Oklahoma brought it today.

I see one 10 for Trautman. The rest 9.950s.

Oklahoma extends its lead to over four tenths on LSU going to the last rotation. So as long as Oklahoma goes normal, it would take basically a mathematically impossible score from LSU to catch.

We’re in a TV hold on the touch warmup for rotation 4.

After 3
Oklahoma 148.7125
LSU 148.300
UCLA 148.1125
Denver 147.650

So this fourth rotation is all about Oklahoma


Lehrmann – VT – OU – hop on 1.5, but solid

Harrold crossover step and OOB on her front 2/1 on FX. Double pike was excellent –

Frazier – UB – UCLA – shaopp to pak, great pak, a little legs on shap – toe shap 1/2 is more solid in form – DLO short with a hop forward

Webb hits 1.5, a bit larger bound to the side

Webb still going mostly 9.850s for her vault.

Dennis – UB – UCLA – toe shap to bail, good position, one shoert hs – DLO is not strong, large bend forward at the hips and then a step

How did Harrold still go 9.8375 with an OOB flag out on floor?

Desiderio _ FX – DLO solid, some chest but she worked out that pass this year.

Degouveia hits vault today, not a large hop, and then Trautman also more under control, still some knees and a little hop together, but viable 9.900. And we’re seeing 9.950s. OK.

Maggie hits 1.5 with just a little shuffle, which will clinch the championship. No one is coming back on that score.

Dowell – VT – OU – sticks her 1.5. Just icing for Oklahoma. Untouchable score. They had one weak routine the whole day, the fall on floor, which was dropped.

Flatley catches a little close on her jaeger, the rest clean, goes mostly 9.900s with a 9.950.

Priessman – FX – LSU – small bounce on double pike, chest down – crazy bouncy on split leap and popa combination – double tuck – 1.5 to layout, bouncy landing, a little low

Vasquez – BB – Denver – pretty aerial, small adjustment – bhs loso, small slide back –

Kocian does one of her best routines of the year until the end, slide back on FTDT.

I CANNOT with the judge going 9.950 for Priessman’s routine. Not possible.

Edney – FX – LSU – double arabian, a little slide forward – lands short on her final double tuck with a lunge forward

Oklahoma’s final score 198.3375. Not quite the record but close.

Ross – UB – UCLA – toe shap to bail, perfect – toe shoot, strong – great final cast hs – DLO, stuck with an arm wave.

All 9.950s for that one from Ross, so it would have been straight 10s without the dismount. They got away with 197.5375, which is still a strong score, but the first two rotations took them out of it. Not the quality of the season.

Finnegan – FX – LSU – 1.5 through to 2.5 – double tuck is exactly as it should be – switch ring to switch 1/2, strong extension obviously – double pike, a small bounce back and an extended college salute because get it girl.

Schou finishing up on beam for Denver – hits sheep – bhs gainer full, stuck.

A good day for Denver. They should be happy with the performance and getting here of course. Just weren’t quite going to have the routines in this comparison.

Kelley – FX – LSU – big DLO, some legs apart, controlled step, chest position – front lay to front full, bounce forward – split leap full to tuck jump double, will be a deduction on split full for lack of 180 – double tuck, solid control.

Your final results will be Oklahoma in 1st, LSU in 2nd, UCLA in 3rd and Denver in 4th. Correct.

Oklahoma the strongest team today. LSU also had a very good day but just wasn’t going to have the routines to challenge a hit from Oklahoma, which is what happened. UCLA will be the only team of these four that will feel it left tenths on the table with those first two rotations, but it ended up being a difference of 8 tenths behind Oklahoma. UCLA didn’t leave 8 tenths on the table and likely would have finished 2nd with a strong meet.

Welp, I guess DD’s got to stay on for a few more seasons.

Scoring will be interesting to dissect because CLEARLY there was a directive about giving out too many 10s. Because it was such a drastic change in that regard versus what we saw during the season, but there was still just such a variable lens and such a massive range. Obviously, I’ll have a lot to comb through.

This final was VERY 2017. Similar kind of performance for Oklahoma, similar margin over LSU.

But I feel like I’ve got a live show to take care of now.


%d bloggers like this: