The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Friday Live Blog – January 10, 2020

Friday, January 10
Scores Stream
6:00pm ET/3:00pm PT – [8] Missouri @ [10] Kentucky LINK SECN
6:00pm ET/3:00pm PT –UW-Whitewater @ Hamline    
6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT –Washington, TWU @ Michigan LINK BTN+
FLO
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT – Arkansas @ Florida LINK SEC+
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT – UW-La Crosse @ UW-Oshkosh    
7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT – [7] LSU @ [12] Georgia LINK SECN
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT – Alabama @ [16] Auburn LINK SECN
11:00pm ET/8:00pm PT – [22] SEMO, UW-Eau Claire @ Alaska   FREE

Much to do, much to do. It’s our first big, busy day of the season. I’ll try to keep an eye on all of the five big meets today simultaneously, which will go terribly. Hooray!

We’re already off to quite a start for week 2 because just yesterday we had a should-have-been-a-10 for Taylor Houchin on vault as well as a fairly dubious 10 for Mia Takekawa of Illinois on beam (a lovely 9.900 but…), so who knows what today shall bring. Let’s hope it’s truly bonkers.

We start with Missouri and Kentucky, two teams that will both look at the current SEC landscape and think there’s room for them to get into the top 4. All hopes and dreams are alive in January. Except for yours. Never going to happen.

Broadcast news: Aspen Tucker may not compete tonight.

Missouri/Kentucky begins

Rotation 1

Kwan – VT – very good full for her – just a bit of knees in the air and a hop in place. Strong. 9.750

Yeah, no Tucker in the bars lineup.

Christensen – UB – giant full, solid position, into tkatchev, low, amplitude deduction there – short on bail handstand but will probably get credit for the element – fine final cast hs and giant full position, double tuck, stuck. 9.725

Angeny – VT – bounce back on her full, piking in the air and not a ton of distance so this won’t be a super high score. 9.675

Schreiber – UB – toe on to Maloney, small leg break but good – overshoot, well short of handstand if she was going for hs – DLO, leans to hold the stick. Some handstand positions will get here there. 9.725

“Looks like the judges are a little rusty on judging here.” Bridget bringing the truth early in 2020.

Warren – VT – best yfull of the group so far, better distance, a little piking in the air, small hop, but good. 9.775

Sheremeta – UB – short first hs – 1/2 to a high jarger – clear hip to bail, leg break in catch – some moments of feet in here – quite short on final cast hs – back 1.5 dismount, small hop. Fine but probably keeps the team in the 9.7s. 9.675. Warranted. Fine with it.

Worley – VT – pretty comfortable full, one controlled step back – only pikes toward the end. 9.750. Bounce back larger than I originally thought on replay.

Porter – UB – high jaeger – solid hs – a little leg break on toe on and a separation on the bail hs – strong final cast hs – double front, hops legs together. Things got a little messy on the toe on to bail, but otherwise quite nice. 9.750

Patterson – VT – handspring pike half, powerful, has the amplitude and comfortably shows the shape in the air – but a large bounce back. 9.725

Hu – UB – good first hs – Chruch to pak, very strong – good hs on low – Shap 1/2, only a small leg break – toe full to double back dismount, small hop. Very good. That’s the routine we’re looking to see from her. 9.875

Korth – VT – Y1.5 – beautiful! Stuck landing, exceptional vault. She doesn’t quite have the amplitude that we saw from Houchin and a little bit of legs at the end coming into landing. 9.925 is fair.

Brandt – UB – giant full, quite late, into pak, a little over the bar and struggles to cast out of it – 1/2 tur – toe shoot, dead hang on high – DLO, bounce back. Came in for Tucker in the lineup and will be the drop score. 9.475

Kentucky 48.925, Missouri 48.750

A lot of January routines in there but nothing to really be concerned about. Korth saving Kentucky’s lineup score with her excellent vault. Hu doing the same to Missouri to keep them both sort of semi near 196 pace. I take no issue with the scores so far, which is an accomplishment in itself.

Rotation 2

Schreiber – VT – very nice stick on her full, well done – pikes down at the end, but no question on the stick. Some distance to take as well, most deductions will be amplitude/distance. 9.800

Angeny – UB – 1/2 to jaeger to overshoot, comfortable – good cast hs – giant fulll to immediate DLO and sticks it. Another very strong routine. Some feet here and there, nothing large at all. 9.800

Gottula – VT – improves on Schreiber’s height but has some angle on the vault and lands off to the side, lunge back. 9.700

Nixon – UB – good first hs – Maloney to bail, only a little loose back on catch – short final cast hs position – FTDT, super high and impressed that she completes it so easily with such a slow twist, step back. 9.775

Hu – VT – lands short on her full, step forward, doesn’t get a huge block there and comes off somewhat horizontally. 9.650

Worley – UB – clear hip to tkatchev, catches with some feet – pak with a leg break – 1/2 turn on low, past hs – solid final cast – FTDT, stuck landing, got really nice at the end there. 9.800

Porter – VT – Y1.5 – pretty solid, small shuffle back and some knees in the air at the very end. 9.800

Kwan – UB -1/2 turn into a huge jaeger to overshoot, well done – short final cast hs – giant full, good vertical but listing a little bit – double tuck, hop forward. 9.750

Brandt – VT – handspring pike half, great landing with a stick, it’s a knee-eater landing, which will be most of the deductions, plus not the most distance. 9.800

Warren – UB – a little rushed on first hs and blind change but lovveely jaeger – clear hip to bail, nice vertical and keeps legs together – DLO, small slide back and just one or two rushed handstands in there. 9.875

Christensen – VT – not bad full coming in as a replacement for Tucker, hop to the side, piking and a lack of distance/amplitude. 9.725

Korth – UB – rushes first hs – great piked jaeger – small leg break in bail – just does hit that final cast hs – DLO full, nails it with a stick. Good. 9.925

Of course Papa Korth Cam is on track for the season.

After 2: Kentucky 98.100, Missouri 97.575

Scores got a little high there for Kentucky at the end of that bars rotation but otherwise it has been pretty normal.

Michigan/TWU/Washington begins

Heiskell had a large bounce back on her initial full for Michigan but still went 9.775. Mariani followed her with a stick with some knees and goes 9.875 for a full.

Brenner – VT – Michigan – solid Y1.5 – medium hop forward, a bit of knees, mostly her usual. 9.850

Brooks – VT – Michigan – strong 1.5, good direction and distance, kind of paces forward which will end up counting as two steps on landing, some knees in the air. 9.875

Wojcik – VT – Michigan – large lunge forward on her Y1.5. (And the scores were setting her up for a 10 with one of her sticks, but she lunged today, which always seems to happen. 9.825

Wilson – VT – nearly sticks her 1.5 – small hop to the side – doesn’t have quite the distance of Brooks but good control on that landing. 9.900 for the best score in the rotation.

49.325 vault score for Michigan.

Rotation 3 from Missouri/Kentucky

Harman ends her leadoff beam with a stuck gainer pike

Sheremeta – FX – Missouri – front 2/1, not quite controlled on the step out – switch side to popa is nice – rudi to a lovely loso, just some feet in the rudi – 1.5 to front loso to “I’m trying to do these little steps on landing because it’s CHOREOGRAPHY so ha.” 9.775

Ruttan competes her first floor for Washington and goes 9.775, finishing with a well-controlled double pile.

Warren – BB – Kentucky – side aerial to bhs, controlled well with no check – switch to straddle 1/4, hesitation in connection and a little lean on landing – 1.5 dismount, stuck. 9.875

Brandt – FX – Missouri – double pike, controlled step back – front lay to front full, slightly bouncy – split leap full to popa, just a bit of feet – I think looking confused might be part of her choreography – double tuck, small slide back. 9.775

Poland – BB – bhs bhs loso, check to the side, small lean – front handspring on one hand – switch to very high straddle 1/4, pretty – gainer tuck full dismount, stuck. Kentucky looking quite nice on beam so far. 9.725. They got her for the check, appropriately, but the rest was good. Score revised to 9.850, which is a bit high for me, but the 9.725 did seem tight.

Gottula – FX – double pike, bounce – punch 1/2 to rudi with a another bounce back, so they’ll get her for lack of control here – split leap full to split jump full, back leg issues on the leap – good control on double tuck, just a bit of chest position.

Over to Washington, very strong full-in from Hoffa, just a little bounce – less control on front layout combo second pass – short on double tuck with a lunge

Korth – BB – Kentucky – one-arm bhs to loso, nailed it – great switch to loso, nice speed – 2/1 dismount with a hop back. Pretty routine overall. She looks more confident on beam this year. 9.850

McCrary – FX – Missouri – front lay to rudi, a little bouncy, double pike pretty well secured – 2.5 dismount, just a little under rotated on landing with a crossover step. 9/850

Worley on beam has a small lean on her aerial to bhs loso series but not large – 1.5 dismount, some knees and a step forward. 9.800

Porter – FX – Missouri – double pike, nice height, slide back – a little loose in front lay second pass -double tuck final pass is excellent.

Meanwhile, Washington showed 5 floor routines and went 48.825 there.

Angeny – BB – Kentucky – bhs loso loso, mostly exceptionally solid, just an arm wave – aerial, secure – switch to beat – side aerial to a tuck full, some knees, solid stuck landing. I guess that’s what an anchor would do.

Hu – FX – Missouri – front 2/1 has a huge lack of control, a couple lunges forward and OOB, so assume this won’t be the counter.

49.200 for Kentucky on beam, really strong rotation.

Arkansas v. Florida begins

Alexander – VT – Florida – her hair is the most – Yfull – great distance as always, large lunge back. 9.775

Evanni Roberson just stuck a fabbbbb full for Washington on vault

Brooks – UB – Michigan – falls on a piked jaeger noooooooo

Yamzon leads off bars for ARK duh and does exactly her usual. Stuck DLO 1/1. 9.700

Jordyn’s like, “Stuck landing gets 9.7? Where am I?”

Reed – VT – Florida – Y1.5 – fantastic distance, small shuffle forward, one of her better vaults. 9.875

Carter – UB – Arkansas – good first hs – 1/2 turn into jaeger, some feet but well caught – bail, legs together, a bit of hip angle – strong final cast hs – extremely late full into double tuck, step back. Dismount may get her. 9.575

Baumann – VT – Florida – yeouch, sits down her Y1.5 attempt but at least it looks like she’s OK. Was worried about that landing for a sec.

Michigan was able to drop Brooks’ fall and go 49.150 on bars. Washignton 49.100 on vault after putting up 5 there as well.

We have a fall third up for Arkansas on bars from Gillings, so they’ll be counting the 9.575 for Carter.

Schoenherr – VT – Florida – hits her 1.5, controls the bounce forward so it doesn’t become too much of a problem. Some knees in the air. But good. 9.800

Very secure hit beam from Schreiber for Missouri first up in the final rotation there.

Thomas – VT – Florida – Y1.5 – huge bounce forward on landing, very reminiscent of the beginning of last season. 9.825

Arkansas pulling it together in teh second half of the bars rotation – stuck FTDT from Hambrick for 9.825. Lovett hits her Ray in the 5th position for 9.825 as well.

Richards – VT – shows the 1.5 to us and hits it – another pretty large bounce forward, but this will be a solid-enough rotation score. 9.850

49.125 vault score for Florida. It was fine, but the landing control was pretty reminiscent of early last season, where everyone’s bouncing to end up in the 9.8s.

Hundley will do exhibition for Florida – full, bounce back, some knees, fine, but not necessarily getting her into the lineup.

Laird finished up with 9.725 for Arkansas so they went 48.625, which is not great but it looked like things might go worse early on.

Albores OOB on final double pike for second floor up for Kentucky.

Sheremeta – BB – Missouri – bhs loso, lands wayyy short but does well to save it, there’s a lean and a step so some major deductions, but she stayed on – aerial to split jump, leg-up wobble there – gainer full, stuck with some chest position

Poland – FX – Kentucky – front tuck through to rudi, secure though not super high – front 2/1 second pass (and final pass), a crossover step and some leg crossing in the air –

Nicholson injury update – bone bruise in foot

Porter has a check in her aerial to back tuck combination, so watch for that on score – also a large check to the side on a front tuck

Worley with a gigantic full in to open on floor for Kentucky.

Rotation 2 from Ark/FL underway

Hit full from Yamzon (Ark) lunge back

Richards – UB – Florida – shap with some legs into bail, slightly short of vertical – short final cast hs – DLO, some legs, slide back

Gowey – UB – Ray – lovely Ray and toe point – pak, cleanly done, legs together – a little short on 1/2 turn on low bar – DLO, stuck landing, a bit of chest down, but great routine. 9.850

Arkansas hitting its fulls but with large bounces back

We have a fall second up for Michigan on beam from Heiskell.

Hundley – UB – solid first hs – Maloney to pak, secure, that little bit of legs on pak – good low bar handstand – shap 1/2, small legs, a little shor ton final cast hs – FTDT, holds onto the stick with a bit of leg stagger. 9.875

Schoenherr – UB – good first hs – blind change to a high jaeger – toe on to bail, legs together – hitting these hs – late 1/2 turn into double front 1/2 out, stuck. This is a very strong rotation so far.

Super pretty front 2/1 from Ella Warren on floor as always.

Shaffer – VT – Arkansas – a little short this week on her lovely Y1/2, hop back and to the side

Thomas – UB – Florida – Maloney to clear hip to pak, some back position and legs on the pak – gorgeous shap 1/2, no leg break – super high DLO, leans to hold the stick. A few things this time but still a great routine. 9.925

Hu – BB – Missouri – bhs loso series, does well to avoid a real check there – switch to split, controlled well – Y spin, doesn’t show a lot of y but it’s under control – aerial to beat jump, comfortable – aerial to scale, a little more hesitant than last week but no problem – nearly stuck gainer full, small slide. Excellent.

Small hop back on DLO from Skaggs on bars, and a small leg break on her pak, otherwise good. 9.850

Florida 49.350 on bars for what was a pretty rotation with lots of potential for more.

Korth – FX – Kentucky – pretty solid FTDT, some chest down and hops to present – final pass was great double pike. Gets 9.925 to finish.

Things getting nervy for Michigan on beam with two 9.725s and a 9.500 already counting. Just Wojcik left to go.

Wojcik – BB – Michigan – aerial to beat, gorgeous – switch to split jump, perfect – bhs bhs loso and falls. Wow. Was perfect before that too. So Michigan will end up with a very low beam score here.

FINAL: Kentucky 196.475, Missouri 195.500

Really nice competition for Kentucky. Those lineups look complete, which was a big question this year.

LSU/Georgia begins

Ward on vault for Georgia follows Cashman who had a 9.800, very nice landing control for Ward, some chest position and distance. 9.900 Oh high hello.

Rivers – UB – LSU – she follows a 9.800 from Johnson – hit first hs – toe on to Maloney, a bit of legs, into bail, just small quivers of legs apart – cast hs on high with an arch but pulls it back – late tkatchev – a little ragged – DLO, bounce back. Great opening, accumulated deductions in the second half. 9.750.

Magee – VT – Georgia – good full, small bounce back, not a lot of distance or height here either but fine. 9.850. Scores high in this one for both teams it looks like so far.

(BTW it ended up a 48.100 for Michigan on beam, so they’re behind Washington with one to go.)

Durante – UB – good first hs – 1/2 turn to high jaeger, lovely toes – pak with some legs apart, a little short on cast 1/2 vertical on low bar – cassts are great – FTDT, stuck with some body position. 9.850.

Vega – VT – UGA – pretty much her usual full – good distance, bounce back, some knees. 9.850.

Shchennikova – UB – here we go – Maloney with legs and peels off immediately and does an improvised tucked Jaeger basically. Oof.

Starts over again – Maloney to tkatchev to pak, gets it this time – DLO is a bit of trouble, whippy with a lunge forward. Potential time issue in resuming.

Hundley hit beam for Florida for 9.825.

Hawthorne – VT – UGA – lovely shape in the air on her vault, bounce back but great position and height. 9.825

Richards – BB – FLorida – hits her loso loso series – switch to straddle, good – long pause before side aerial to full dismount, some knees in that aerial but she pulled it together.

Edney – UB – LSU – Hindorff – caught, somewhat close – bail, small hip angle but good legs together – one short hs in here – DLO, a hair short and a hop forward, things here and there but a solid hit.

Looks like it was a 0.000 for Shchennikova because of time to resume after fall, I’m assuming.

Lukacs – VT – UGA – huge DTY, very strong overall, hop back and just the usual legs

Harrold – UB – large arch on low bar on her zuchold but saved it – jaeger, solid – double front, large lunge forward. A ragged one but she saved it.


Florida has a hit from Leah Clapper up in the third position on beam.

Baumann – BB – 4th up for Florida on beam – switch to split, pretty – bhs loso, very strong – switch 1/2, among the better completions on that element – full turn – side aerial, crisp – 1.5, holds the stick with a little lean. 9.900

So, Georgia with a big lead after the first rotation 49.325 to 48.900. LSU tried to pull it out on bars there, but mistakkkees.

Gowey – BB – Florida – switch to split, holds it – bhs loso loso, also secure, she has looked unueasy in first two landings but it hasn’t manifest in checks – aerial to sissone, pretty – full turn, no trouble – gainer full, stuck, a bit of chest position, nice. 9.950

Gorgeous DLO from Lovett on floor for Arkansas.

Rotation 2 UGA/LSU

Maddie Rau is in the vault lineup for LSU. She is brannnnnnndd new.

Rivers – VT – LSU – great power, she’s finishing that full, much better than last week and nice stick’ 9.875

Lukacs – UB – UGA – tkatchev, bery close but caught – pak, some legs – 1/2 turn on low a little short – one short final cst hs – DLO, some piking, hop back. Did what she had to do.

Thomas – BB – FLorida – switch to split leap, excellent – one arm bhs to loso, perfect – full turn, glorious flair – aerial to beat to korbut –

LSU WILL BRING YOU IN IF YOU HAVE A 1.5

Rau – VT – LSU – short landing on a Y1.5 with a large lunge to the side – some knees. 9.775 is high there.

9.700 for Lukacs, Cashman hits with some formies.

Harrold – VT – LSU – Y1.5, a hair under, which causes a step back, and a usual built-in deduction for knees. 9.875

De Jong – UB – UGA – toe on to Ray, good – nice cast – bail is short of vertical, quite a bit of angle – hesitation stepping up to high – DLO is lovely – some handstand issues but lots of potential. 9.800

It ended up 9.975 for Thomas on beam. Florida 49.475.

Edwards – VT – LSU – medium step forward on her 1.5, knees, otherwise good.

Roberts – UB – UGA – shorter first hs – toe on to maloney to bail, rushes a little out of the bail but nice position in the air – a handstand issue – DLO, bounce back. Fine. 9.750

Florida on pace for a huge number this week.

Johnson – VT – LSU _ very nice on the DTY, good completion and a small hop back and pretty good form too. Better than last week. 9.925

Vega – UB toe on to toe shoot – small arch in handstand on high, goes for Gienger and falls. That means the three 9.7s will have to count earlier in the lineup. Remumes with a pak and catches too close and has to come off again. Finishes FTDT bounce back.

FINAL” Michigan 195.650, Washington 195.300, TWU 189.850

Three solid event scores for Michigan but the counting fall on beam. Washington had a 9.6-a-thon on beam to miss the chance at an upset.

Edney – VT – LSU – small hop forward on her 1.5 and then a little step-salute out of it. 9.875

49.425 on vault for LSU. Good score, important for them after bars.

Long wait figuring out the score for Vega because she won’t get credit for a lot of that routine. 8.500

Oakley – UB – UGA – higgins to piked jaeger, took it too far and falls, which will have to count for Georgia – the rest is glorious obviously – deep on FTDT landing with a shuffle forward.

Final rotation in Florida up now.

Johnson-Scharpf – FX – Florida – double pike, slide back with front foot – 1.5 to front layout to stag, a bit out of control on the stag out of it – switch side to shushunova 1/2, lovely switch position, leaps are a highlight – double tuck, small slide back. Things on every pass but OK. 9.775

Georgia counts a 9.050 from Oakley and goes 48.050 on bars.

Gowey – FX – getting into the floor lineup, which is interesting – lots of options there, so we’ll see how things filter out this season – front lay to rudi, pretty in the air, a little foot adjustment on landing – switch 1/2 to wolf full, strong dance series – double tuck, secure landing, a little chest down – really nice!

Excited to see Lovett competing for Arkansas. She has a lot of potential – Pretty splits on beam, and also she just fell well great fab cool.

Hundley – FX – Florida – whip to double tuck, pretty solid – double pike, small bounce back – 1.5 to layout, keeps it under control, potential for some amplitude deductions in here but good control

Magee leads off beam for Georgia – lean to the side on her bhs bhs loso series – 1.5 dismount, hop forward. 9.700

Harrold – FX – front 2/1, usual step forward and a little drag of the back foot but not too large – double pike, pretty – switch ring to switch 1/2 are good – 1.5 to layout ooooof super deep, just did get it to her feet, major deduction though. 9.700

Lukacs – BB – UGA – kickover front, solid – bhs loso series, also secure, knee form – standing back tuck to straddle 1/4, low to beam but OK – double tuck, holds the stick. A Sturdy German routine. Form things but progressively fewer. She was a “never on beam” as a JO athlete, so she’s getting better. 9.825.

Gunter – FX – LSU – opens up double Arabian, steps OOB but a smaller OOB than last week – 1.5 to layout, solid amplitude – struggles to control her switch side to popa combination, out of control and not quite there to split – double tuck, deep landing and a two-step stumble back. Rough start for LSU’s rotation.

Florida sailing into the 197s at this point.

Thomas – FX – FLorida – DLO is perfection – front full to front layout to sissone, lovely elements – so good on her dance elements that she incurs a control deduction, surprised herself with how high she went there LOL – double pike, small slide. Lovely.

Carter will finish up for Arkansas on beam – bhs loso series witha large break but keeps it on the beam – lots of wobbles here, more tentative than we’re used to seeing from her.

Edwards debuts the DLO for LSU on floor but also goes OOB on her second pass.

Another 9.975 for Trinity. LOL. I mean she’s wonderful, but that was a 9.900. Yes, the judge that gave Trinity a 10 for that routine is named Carole.

Baumann – FX – Florida – double tuck, larger bounce back – 1.5 to front full – switch 1/2 to popa is perfection, so extended and high – double pike, more secure there, good finish.

Annnnd Oakley has fallen on her series on beam.

Campbell – FX – LSU – back 2.5 with a cover step dance out of it – 1.5 to layout, very low on layout, pulls around horizontally. Double pike final pass, short with a large lunge forward. LSU in trouble on floor. 9.750 is their high and it was kind of charitable

9.850 for Baumann gives Florida 197.350 final. Arkansas 194.400.

R Baumann – BB – Georgia – side aerial to loso series, very strong – beat to switch side, very nice – tries to sell the stick on 1.5 dismount but no, step forward. Good routine. 9.875

Edney – FX – LSU – double arabian, OK, but a little short again with a step back – 1.5 to layout, solid – a little short on second element in her leap series – double tuck final pass, short, lunge forward. They’re struggling with those double back last pass. 9.800

Vega – BB – Georgia – split leap mount – switch to split ring jump, we’ll have to talk about the back leg position there – aerial to split jump, good split position – bhs loso series, she’s doing a good job of not showing checks here – side aerial to full, bounce back. They saved this rotation.

Johnson – FX – LSU – huge FTDT, good – slide back on landing – 1.5 to layout basically in the middle of the floor, some knees – switch 1/2 to popa – double pike final pass was literal perfection. Not quite as strong as last week’s but the class of the rotation easily. Still gets 9.925.

Kupets has gotten excellent at NCAA coach turd-selling, so she’s well on her way. There are so many high points in this meet you guys. So many.

48.825 for LSU on floor. Still a chance to save a reasonable 196 with a hit beam. But that’s not a given.

Back for some reflections on Florida, the team looked quite nice on bars and beam, quite prepared, so they’re warranting one of the higher scores we’ve seen so far, even if Trinity’s second 9.975 was actually crazy. No fears allayed about vault landings yet this season though. For Arkansas, we did see some of those questions about filling out lineups but not as many as there might have been. Stuff to work with here.

This is a fascinating performance from LSU so far because there really shouldn’t be a huge drop off from last season even though they lost those athletes because you have Johnson and you have Rivers, but they seem really rusty, especially the returners that you’d have thought would hit the ground running. Fascinating beam rotation coming up.

Rotation 4

Dean – BB – side aerial to bhs series attempt and right off from the beginning and falls. Here we go. Is this rotation going to be interesting? Yes, yes it is. She’s tentative on aerial to dance as well – side aerial to full dismount, stuck. 9.250

Perez-Lugones – FX – Georgia – nice power on double pike but a huge stumble backward, does stay in bounds but multiple steps – back lay 1/2 to front layout, solid – switch side to popa to wolf jump full, a little out of control on third landing but good positions – double tuck, well short with a lunge forward. 9.700

Rivers – BB – and now she has to do beam – bhs loso, pretty solid – full turn, hit – switch 1/2, not quite there – switch to split 1/4, some back leg on all her split elements – cat leap to side aerial, secure – gainer pike, stuck – not the cleanest routine but a big deal to be secure there.

9.950 for Rivers and a 10 from one judge. UM WHAT? But like what? That should have been like 9.850. I feel insane.

Magee – FX – Georgia – has the piked full in pretty well down now – step forward but small – switch 1/2 to popa, fabbb popa – 1.5 to layout to stag, layout was pretty flat, some soft form there – double pike, bit short, step. 9.825

Durante – BB – LSU – Kathy and Bart cannot with the 9.950 for Rivers and nor can I – aerial to split, pretty – bhs loso series is strong but some knees – switch to straddle 1/4, small lean – side aerial to full, stuck.

Baumann – FX – Georgia – attempts a hilarious triple wolf turn, not all the way around and some real wobbling to wrench it – back 1.5 to front full, a little off line and some knees – L turn, nice – double pike, bounce back. 9.875

Kathy giving some NOTES to judges right now and I’m in heaven.

Johnson – BB – LSU – full turn – bhs loso series, small knee adjustment – front tuck, nailed – switch to switch 1/2, some knees – aerial, lean correction – 2/1, small slide back. Good.

Hawthorne – FX – Georgia – double pike with a fairly large bounce back – great amplitude on her dance combination – front lay to rudi to split, there are moments of form, but also moments of nice positions like the initial layout there – double tuck, just a hair deep but a nicely controlled landing.

And 9.950 with a 10 from one judge for Hawthorne. SHE LITERALLY BOUNCED BACK ON A PASS.

Campbell – BB – LSU – small adjustment on loso series, very small – full turn – aerial to split jump – switch to switch 1/2, nice positions even on the switch 1/2 – 2/1, stuck landing, a bit of knees, their best routine so far so what even happens now?

9.975 for her.

Lukacs – FX – Georgia – DLO, good control, that’s what a controlled step is – 2.5 to half to shushunova, a little travel but hit pretty well – switch side to wolf full, short of position on switch side – double pike, great landing.

Alabama and Auburn has started by my focus will be on this nonsense until the end –

Edney – BB – LSU – aerial to sissone, some foot position – bhs loso with an arm wave correction – switch to straddle 1/4, another arm wave, tentative combination – kickover front is great – 1.5 stuck, great finish. Paige is like 11.1111!

Lukacs got 9.950 as well.

9.925 for Edney. Sure why not?

Vega – FX – Georgia – double pike, small movement of plant foot – 1.5 to front layout to sissone – lovely leaps of course – indistinct finish position on split 1.5, didn’t quite get it all around – double tuck, controlled landing. I mean, it was a good 9.900, but the way things have gone today…

9.950 for Vega.

This final rotation was truly a fever dream. Somehow, this meet ended 196.725 for LSU to 196.150 for Georgia. It might as well have ended Georgia JHDFLKSDF.DSAKDJSF to LSU at SDADAFKJL.SDASDFJKH.

Some nice moments here and there, some crazy truly crazy judging. No fears allayed for either team really.

Alabama Auburn

We’re at the business end of the first rotation here. Watson hits a Y1.5 for Auburn, good form, just a little deep on landing with a small slide back.

Mahoney – UB – Alabama – bail, small hip nagle – hit tkatchev – lovely toes – FTDT, two small steps back but a good one.

Gobourne – VT – Auburn – crossover step on her 1.5 this week, a bit of legs on the block, good vault. 9.875.

Doggette – UB – her debut – good first hs – nice height on tkatchev into a clean pak – good vertical position 1/2 turn on low – slightly short on final cast hs – DLO, small step back. Just some small things. Pretty. 9.875.

Alabama goes 49.175 to Auburn’s 49,075.

Rotation 2

Mahoney – VT – pretty full as always, such great form in the air and direction, hop back. Nice. 9.750.

Stevens – UB – toe on to Ray, some elbows on a catch – bail, a bit of an angle – some short hs in here – DLO, a little flat, small hop back. 9.700

Desch – VT – full, quite a bit of piking there and a bounce back, OK. 9.700

Sabados – UB – Ray, also close on the catch – toe on to bail, legs together, good – short final cast hs – DLO, deep landing, larger lunge forward. 9.700

Blanco – VT – already in on vault – a very pretty full, and just a small hop in place. Nice. 9.800

Brusch – UB – Maloney to bail, a little over on bail but fine – close on final cast hs – DLO, bounce back. Getting there. 9.825

Burgess – VT – also joined late with Blanco – great power on her full, more amplitude than Blanco, hop back. 9.825

Watson – UB – godo first hs – best Ray of the bunch so far but a very short cast handstand to follow – holds the bail position – very loose back in cast handstand – FTDT, finds the landing. 9.750

Graber – VT – solid 1.5 in the air, fairly large bound forward, not the control she can have but otherwise her usual. 9.850

Day – UB – shorter first hs – toe 1/2 to great jaeger, very high, connection to overshoot – just a couple hs – much better dismount today, small shuffle back on double arabian. 9.875

Olsen – VT – DTY, large bounce back this time – I think our commentator just put her on the Canadian Olympic team. OK cool that’s already decided. 9.800

Gobourne – UB – 1/2 turn on high (a bit too late there) to tkatchev to pak, good height on those releases – FTDT, stuck. Nice finish after the somewhat rushed beginning. 9.925

After 2: Alabama 98.200, Auburn 98.150

Well, it’s super close. And it should be. Not a lot between the teams so far. A lot of just OK, but no red flags.

Rotation 3

Slappey – BB – bhs loso series, secure, knees – switch to switch 1/2, some back leg deductions there – cat leap to side aerial to full, step back. Fine. 9.800

Mahoney – FX – double tuck, very comfortably landing, crooked in her side split position there in the leap combination – front full to front lay, fine, a little position in the full – double pike, solid landing, just some chest position. Good. 9.825

Brusch – BB – slightly rushed on opening full turn – aerial to beat, hit – bhs loso landed short and bent at the waist with a check, good save – switch to back tuck, some back leg on switch, secure landing – bhs 1.5 dismount, stuck. 9.700

James – FX – Alabama – she exists – opens with a FTDT, a little out of control on landing with a hop to the side but nice power – leap is nowhere close to 180 but she does rise into a fine wolf after that – rudi, a bit too deep, step forward – 9.825 is pretty high

Stevens – BB – bhs loso series, walk-dances back out of it, some knees – switch ring, some form – gainer kickover front to knee, awesome! – then she has an arm wave correction on her wolf turn – 1.5 stuck. 9.750

Desch – FX – double pike, fab, great form and control – 1.5 to half to split to front tuck – double tuck, just a little shy, small foot movement. Good one for her. “Strong as an ox” from Dana. LOL. Thank you? 9.900

Sylvia – BB – aerial to khorkina-style rulfova, a little crooked but OK – sissone to sheep, not quittte there on either position but held the landing – gaienr full, stuck. 9.900

Olsen – FX – double double, gets it around, small hop to the side – double turn – switch through to some solid split positions – front tuck through to double tuck, short with a hop forward. 9.850

Watson BB – bhs loso series, solid, nice feet – cat leap to side aerial, small lean but very small – swtich to straddle 1/4, a little tentative – 1.5 with a small hop. Good one. 9.875.

Graber – FX – great popa position – full in, bounce back, great power but a lack of control just did keep it in – mostly nice dance element positions, but did have a wolf jump 3/4 where it looked like she was intending wolf jump full – front tuck through to double pike, just a little landing adjustment. 9.900

Sheppard – BB – bhs loso series, secure, some foot form – hitch kick to side aerial, very strong – cat leap to switch side, crooked position – full turn – bhs 1.5, fights to hold the stick. 9.925

Scores in this rotation are starting to flyyyyy.

Doggette – FX – piked full in, the telltale leg stagger that we see from most on that skill but good control on landing – front tuck through to double tuck, didn’t have it yet, very short landing with a large lunge

9.750 for Doggette, so Alabama will have a lead of a tenth going to the final rotation.

After 3: Alabama 147.500, Auburn 147.400

All to play for here, but overall quality-wise, Alabama looks comfortable and pretty prepared, much more prepared than we’ve seen from LSU or Georgia so far. And this is a nice comeback performance from Auburn, mucccch fewer problems than last weekend.

Rotation 4

Olsen – BB – switch to split, pretty good positions, just some bent back knee in the second one – bhs loso loso series, small lean to the side correction – aerial, held well on her toes to avoid a check – bhs 2/1, hop back. 9.800

Slappey – FX – front lay to front full, a bit of a loose body position there but well controlled – double pike, short, hands down – switch 1/2 to split jump 1/1 a little rattled now – andddddd she just does a layout as her final pass. Makes you think something is wrong. 8.900

Burgess – BB – bhs on one arm to loso and she falls – trading falls now! – side aerial, and she falls again – fun introduction to NCAA? – side aerial to full, hop back. 8.550

Stevens – FX – SHE HAS COMPETED IN FOUR NASTIA LIUKIN CUPS – double pike, solid, just a bit of chest down – switch ring,front leg down – switch 1/2 – front lay to rudi, well hunched over – double tuck, short, lunge forward. 9.600

Klopfer – BB – wolf turn – aerial to bhs, a little slow but kept moving – check on dance – cat leap to side aerial, a second small check – 1.5, pace forward. Some things but a necessary hit. 9.700

Bursch – FX – full in first pass and just does keep it in bounds with not a large step back – 1.5 to layout, just whips around that layout a little – switch 1/2 to popa, rises into the popa well – double pike, down a bit, step to the side. 9.875

Blanco – BB – been looking forward to this routine – aerial, smootly done – bhs loso, lovely extension and toes, just a small slide back – switch to switch 1/2, and she’s among the few people allowed to do that skill – L turn, and she’s also among the few people allowed to do that skill – 2/1, a bit short, hop forward. But lovely. Can’t wait for Kathy to commentate on this one. 9.900

Sheppard – FX – 1.5 to layout, well controlled landing – split leap full to popa, good popa position – 3/1, some crossed legs as usual but got it around. Good. 9.900

Doggette – BB – bhs loso, on the back foot a little too much but doesn’t check – swtich to switch 1/2 to beat, swtich 1/2 not as extended – side aerial to full, small movement. 9.850

Watson – FX – double pike, slide back – 1.5 to front layout, just does work to keep that back foot down – double tuck, also a little slide back – good routine but some critical deductions for landing control. 9.900

Graber – BB – bhs lay-pike series and she totally missed her foot and falls. Ooof. That will hurt, and she comes back up on the beam despite looking like she was limping – switch to straddle 3/4 – cat leap to kickover front and is tentative landing that second foot – gainer full, stuck. Well she went back up. 9.175

Gobourne – FX – walk off is going to be goooood if she hits this one – open double tuck, so easy for her – switch ring to split leap full – front full to layout with a dance out – double back, a little front foot movement – AND THE WALK OFF HAD A CROWN THIS WEEK.

That will mean Auburn beats Alabama, just waiting on the score.

9.950 for Gobourne – means Auburn goes 196.625 to Alabama’s 196.025

Definitely an encouraging point forward for Auburn, and I’d still say encouraging for Alabama, even though counting the fall on beam undermined that a little. Doggette and Blanco posted good initial benchmarks, and they’ll be so essential this year.

See you tomorrow. Today, I leave you with the knowledge that this pass got a 10 from one judge.

Also looks like a late score adjustment took Alabama from 195.925 to 196.025. Broke 196 now.

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