The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Sunday Live Blog – March 8, 2020

Sunday, March 8
Scores Stream
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – [15] Auburn, Central Michigan, Rutgers @ New Hampshire LINK FREE
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Maryland, Yale, Towson, William & Mary @ George Washington LINK FREE
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Kent State @ Western Michigan LINK ESPN3
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – North Carolina @ Ball State LINK ESPN3
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Bowling Green, Rhode Island @ Brown LINK  
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – Brockport @ Cortland LINK FREE
2:00pm ET/11:00am PT – West Virginia @ Iowa   BTN+
FLO
2:00pm ET/11:00am PT – Gymnix Event Finals LINK FREE
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT – [9] Cal @ [3] UCLA LINK P12N
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT – [12] Washington, San Jose State, Alaska @ [7] Denver LINK DU($)
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT – Pittsburgh @ Arizona State LINK FREE
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT – Ursinus @ Temple LINK FREE
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT – Ohio State, Bridgeport @ [24] Arizona LINK FREE

Before we get to Cal and UCLA, there have been some significant developments on the regionals cut-off front so far today. George Washington got near a season high to keep its hopes alive, especially in the face of Central Michigan and New Hampshire not getting the scores they were looking for (both teams will be out of the top 36 in next Monday’s rankings).

North Carolina’s score was not totally ideal since it was in the 195s, but enough to drop another 194 and stay right in contention. Western Michigan got a good score in the 196s, but it’s a major uphill battle at this point, and WMU will be well down in Monday’s rankings, especially because Northern Illinois came through to get itself up into the hunt this week. Pitt competes now, and that score will be quite significant (as will Ohio State’s as Ohio State is suddenly teetering on the edge of being in danger and needs to remove that danger with a good score today).

As for Cal and UCLA, UCLA is looking for 197.475+ to move back ahead of Utah for 3rd place, while Cal now knows it will take anything over 197 to move back ahead of Minnesota and Alabama and into 8th in the rankings.

Cal has Kyana George back in the AA lineups, though she’s currently listed as anchor on floor, so that may be a “we’ll see how things go” position. Although I think she should anchor that lineup anyway. She’s the cleanest on the team.

For UCLA, Frazier is back on bars, Kocian is back on floor but not bars, and no Tratz. Ross on all 4. Per Sam, Kocian also warmed up bars.

Rotation 1

Dennis – VT – UCLA – huge full and stuck it today – one of her best so far this year, but a bit chest down. Strong. 9.850. Reasonable number.

DeSouza – UB – Cal – blind to piked jaeger to overshoot, solid legs together – good cast hs on high – FTDT comes up low with a hop forward, solid on the bars. 9.800

Kramer – VT – UCLA – Y1.5 – very good control on her landing today – near stick, kind of held it for a nanosecond and then adjusted – knees in the air and whatnot. 9.950. Never mind about reasonable/conservative. That’s very high with those knees and not a real stick.

George – UB – Cal – hits tkatchev, a little flatter today – bail is clean, good toes – solid cast hs on high ote on to FTDT, slide back. 9.825

Poston – VT – UCLA – handspring pike 1/2, one of her stronger ones – medium bounce back, chest position is solid on landing today. 9.900 with a full tenth slide back.

Schank – UB – Cal – beautiful first hs – piked jaeger to overshoot, smoothly done – good cast on high – DLO, stuck landing. Gorgeous routine. 9.925

Wright – VT – UCLA – lands short on her Y1.5 with a lunge back, saves the landing, some knees throughout. 9.800

Watterson – UB – Cal – great first hs – pak, lovely, smalll leg break but OK – toe on to van leeuwen, legs together – crisp hs – great finish position on toe full, double tuck – slide back. Perfect until dismount. 9.825 is an underscore. That’s stick judging.

Hano – VT – UCLA – a larger bounce forward on her Y1.5 this week – good in the air. 9.875

Bordas – UB – Cal – huge jaeger to overshoot, some feet and elbows on catch, close on jaeger – a bit short on cast on high – giant full to double tuck, stuck. 9.850. That was higher than Watterson’s score. I cannot.

Ross – VT – UCLA – gorgeous stick on her Y1.5. True perfection.

10.000 for Ross and fine with it. Great stick and form, and they really had to with the overscoring of the rest of the rotation.

Green – UB – Cal – clear hip is quite low – gienger good, nice position in the air – bail, solid – a bit rushed here and there on some handstands – FTDT, hop back. 9.875. Some…interesting ranking here on bars…some of these too low, some of them too high…

After 1: UCLA 49.575, Cal 49.300

Big vault score for UCLA, some clear overscores on some 1.5s in the middle, but the highlight was Ross’s nailed vault. Getting her sticking is a huge deal for the potential competitiveness of that lineup.

Cal will take a 49.300 on bars, which works for their goals and probably ends up being a reasonable total in the end, though I don’t understand some of the individual scores.

Meanwhile Denver went 48.900 on vault, taking 5 routines, and Washington 49.225 on bars.

Rotation 2

Schank – VT – Cal – pretty full, strong stick, chest up – not the biggest vault but not bad amplitude. Looks like small landing movement on replay. 9.850

Kocian in for Steele (?) on bars.

Hano – UB – UCLA – good handstand – Ray, some elbows into overshoot, little leg break – good hs on high – giant full is late into double tuck, stuck landing. 9.850 too high.

Bordas – VT – Cal – a slide back on her full but not too large, improving the control there – good layout shape. 9.825

Kooyman – UB – UCLA – well short on first hs – maloney to pak, leg breaks on both – muscles up handstand on low bar – pause stepping up to high bar – DLO is nice and floaty, small movement, close to bar. A struggle. 9.675

George – VT – Cal – big full, great power and height, small hop back, perfect shape in the air. Good. 9.850

Flatley – UB – UCLA – giant to higgins to jaeger, pretty – toe on, a bit awkward – bail, hit – better cast hs on high, a couple short earlier vertical positions – DLO 1/1, some piking at the end, small hop forward. 9.850.

Mastrangelo – VT – Cal – short on her Y1.5 this week, a step back and then a second step back to meet it, a little off balance on landing. 9.750

Kocian – UB – UCLA – good first hs – stalder shap to pak, small legs on pak – cast 1/2 on low a little rushed this week – good cast on high – FTDT, small step back. 9.875

DeSouza – VT – Cal – she’s also well short on her 1.5 with a lunge back and another step – not the sticks from the last couple weeks. 9.725

Frazier – UB – UCLA – maloney to pak, good legs together – strong hs on low – van leeuwen, solid – a bit short on cast hs on high – DLO, small bounce. Good. Ginger walking afterward. 9.900

Clausi – VT – Cal – Y1.5 – and she sits her vault. They did not have those Y1.5s this week. They were amazing last week and rouggggghhh this week.

Ross – UB – UCLA – good first hs – maloney to bail, nailed – toe shoot – good cast hs on high – DLO, stuck. Another fab routine. Let’s wait for it. Amazing. 9.975.

Ross’s is probably the cleanest and most 10-worthy bars routine in NCAA, but she often does have a hip angle in that first cast handstand. We didn’t have a great angle for that this week, but more often than not that’s what one judge will see for 9.950, especially now that she has improved her elbows on catching her otherwise high and fantastic shoot to high bar.

After 2: UCLA 99.025, Cal 98.300

UCLA goes 49.450 on bars, obviously mostly based on the amazingness that is Ross, but it’s also so important to have Kocian and Frazier in there. Neither at her absolute best today, but helpful. Kind of surprised that Kocian came in last minute for Steele instead of Kooyman, which is clear routine you would replace in that lineup. Wonder if Steele had a bad warmup.

Cal a disappointing vault rotation that they’ll be pleased even hit 49, since the 1.5s were all trouble. Pressure on that last two events now to get to that 197 mark.

Rotation 3

G Glenn – BB – UCLA – lovely loso series – aerial to split jump, nailed – switch with a lean hesitation into split jump, I’m sure she’ll still get combo credit because NCAA but a deduction – bhs gainer full, stuck. Mostly great. 9.875

DeSouza – FX – Cal – double pike, bounce back – switch side to popa, tight in position on the popa – back 1.5 to front full, got a little soft in the knees on the full – rudi, slide back. OK. 9.775

Sakti – BB – UCLA – standing loso loso, super high, small lean – switch to split jump, a bit of back leg – side somi, secure – side aerial to full is off line and forward, lunge forward. 9.825. One judge went the same score for Glenn and Sakti. I have some questions.

Bordas – FX – Cal – full in, solid landing, chest down – switch 1/2 to wolf jump full, good splits, a bit of feet – rudi, keeps front foot down, good – 1.5 to front layout, whips around the layout a bit. 9.850

Flatley – BB – UCLA _ aerial to back pike, good speed in combination – side aerial, smoothly done – L turn, holds it to split jump beat jump – bhs 1.5 with hilarious hop-forward-mid-air-salute. 9.900

Mastrangelo – FX – Cal – triple full, controls her lunge back – back 1.5 to layout, also controlled, just a bit soft in layout – switch side to popa, well short of split positions – looks like she got lost in her back 2.5, did a 2/1 but overdid it and sits it down. Justin turns purple. 9.050

Shapiro – BB – UCLA – switch to switch, some back leg – bhs bhs loso series, hit with an arm wave – full turn with a fairly large arm wave check – side aerial to full, a little deep, small slide. 9.825

Quinn – FX – Cal – frotn lay to rudi, fun camera angle of DeSouza’s back during this routine – front lay to front full, solid landing – switch side to popa, hit – back 1.5 to half, strong, good landings. 9.775. Odd judges split there.

Hano – BB – UCLA – bhs to layoutish, small check, leg up – switch 1/2, some back leg – switch to split, hit – 1.5 dismount, hop forward. 9.775

Clausi – FX – Cal – full in, good power, some foot adjustments – switch side to popa – back 1.5 to layout, pretty smooth – double tuck, solid. Just a couple split positions here and there, good landing control. 9.925

Ross – BB – UCLA – smooth and high loso, solid – switch ring with a checkkkkk into beat jump, sold it but that was a weird lean – swtich to split, nice – aerial, another check, an oddly uncertain one for her – side aerial to full, stuck. 9.850

George – FX – Cal – front tuck through to rudi, solid – switch ring to split leap full, best split positions in the lineup – front 2/1, very strong landing as well, that should be a very helpful score. 9.900

UCLA 49.275 on beam, not a bad score but kind of an eh beam for them. Checks and non-stuck dismounts.

Cal gets out of floor with 49.225, again not ideal but with some landing issues and a fall from a key routine. Going to be tough to get to that 197 mark now.

After 3: UCLA 148.300, Cal 147.575

Meanwhile, Washington counted a fall on beam. Denver went 49.425 on bars.

Do you think Miss Val’s husband has ever spoken a single word?

Cal goes up for 49.275 on floor after an inquiry on Grace Quinn’s SV bumped her up to 9.825.

It’s raining right now? I feel like learning that it’s raining only through the commentary of a UCLA meet is peak me.

Rotation 4

DeSouza – BB – Cal – straddle jump to sheep, secure – aerial, holds it, goes up onto her toes – bhs loso, hit – sticks her 1.5. Some knees in places, solid first up. No checks. 9.850

Flatley – FX – UCLA – front lay to rudi, solidly done – front 2/1, very smoothly done – switch ring and switch 1/2, excellent positions – back 1.5 to layout, just a bit soft. Very nice. 9.900

Clausi – BB – Cal – kickover to beat, solid, just a tad deep – bhs loso series, leg-up check – switch to straddle 1/4, tentative in splits and another leg-up check there – side aerial to full, small slide. A shaky one. Still comes out with 9.775. I feel like the shakier routines are being held up too close to the strong ones in these beam rotations.

Kocian – FX – UCLA – back 1.5 to rudi, nice power there, just a bit of knees – switch 1/2 to a huge popa – double tuck, got right up there and an efficient tuck shape, pulllls it around but lands forward, goes up on her toes to try to sell it. 9.850

George – BB – Cal – aerial through to back tuck, keeps arms moving through a lean – wolf double turn, hits it – DID YOU GUYS KNOW THE TRIPLE WOLF IS THE GEORGE IN THE JO CODE – switch to split, secure – gainer full was weird, well deep with a hop forward. 9.775

Dennis – FX – UCLA – front loso through to double tuck, steppy landing – split leap full to split jump full to straight full, nice finishing positions this week – front full to layout, a bit short, pulls it back with an arm wave – rudi to split jump, high, good control on that one.

9.950 too high. You guys. I’m beginning to think that the scores in this sport might not be based on the gymnastics performed.

Bordas – BB – Cal – aerial to split, short back leg – bhs loso, solid – some more back leg in switch elements – side aerial, good – hitting acro elements comfortably here – gainer full, stuck. Solid. 9.875

Kramer – FX – UCLA – front 2/1 to front pike, solidly done – back 1.5 to front tuck, was really high on the 1.5 and kind of had to adjust the front tuck as a result – switch side to popa, good height this week – rudi to stretch jump, a little legs in rudi. 9.900

Watterson – BB – Cal – smooth wolf double – aerial and falls – not the day for Cal – bhs loso, small check – switch to split leap – side aerial to full, stuck. 9.300.

Hano – FX – UCLA – high DLO, some chest position but solid control – front full to half to high stag, a little pike in the half – wolf jump – double pike, good chest up, slide back

YOU MEAN THE TEAMMATES DO THE ROUTINES ON THE SIDELINES WHAT NEWS IS THIS???

9.950 is also a loooot.

Schank – BB – Cal – bhs to back lay-pike, small check – straddle jump , very high but with a check pause before sheep and beat – 1.5 very deep with a bound forward.

Cal will have a fine 196 out of this meet but not the result they were looking for. They do have another road meet next week to drop it.

Ross – FX – Cal – whip to double tuck, secure, chest up – back 1.5 to front lay, hit – the idea that Kyla has the most bonus on the team reinforces that the JO code is too combination based on floor – double pike, short landing, lunge forward. 9.900

FINAL: UCLA 197.900, Cal 196.675

UCLA with some highlights, vault mainly. Good improvement there, and some more completeness in the bars lineup. Floor was sort of normal, home, fine, as expected. Flatley’s was the strongest routine of that rotation in real life. The 197.900 is enough to move back ahead of Utah and stay #3 for another week.

Cal’s 196.675 does improve the NQS and get the team back to 9th and ahead of Minnesota, but they won’t be that happy with this performance. Could have been a big score today, and they gave it away in too many places, especially vault.

Big scores out of ASU, where Arizona State went 196.825 to Pitt’s 196.200. That will move ASU near the top 20 and Pitt up to 34th currently. That score is bad news for the other regionals challengers.

Washington got a huge number on floor, but the 196.125 final will be dropped because of the beam fall. Denver has a couple routines left to go, could get a high 196 here to improve NQS a tad.

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