Conference Championships Fake Live Blog – March 21, 2020

Because we need this. And by we, I mean me.

Today—what would have been conference championships if the NCAA season were still going on—I’ll be blogging a couple of old conference championships as if they were happening live. Here’s the schedule.

Saturday, March 21Video
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT – 2008 SEC ChampionshipLINK
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT – 2012 Pac-12 ChampionshipLINK

I’m pressing play on the YouTube videos at the exact moment listed. Do the same if you want to be part of this cool kids sleepover.

Up first, the 2008 SEC Championship.

Georgia has won the last three national championships and Suzanne’s cheekbones are more confident than ever. Georgia comes into the conference championship as the #1 team in the country and de facto host of the event but is critically without Courtney Kupets, who tore her Achilles (again) four meets prior. That development has given #3 Florida, #5 LSU, and #6 Alabama hopes of snatching an upset win.

A whole ELEVEN 10.0s have been awarded so far this season including TWO (!!!!) at Georgia’s senior night last week, team scores have been trending into the higher part of the 197s, and we’re all worried about what this means for rising scores again.

YouTubes at the ready…

Annnnnnnnnddd….GO!

Well, this isn’t Bart, so already life is a cruel joke.

The days before the SEC Network. I feel like I’m living in the 20s. Is this a local news broadcast?

It’s the mini national championship! Georgia is the most dominant team in the world and that will never change.

What was with everyone’s voice being so much higher in old broadcasts. This doesn’t even sound like Lori Strong.

LSU is led by Ashleigh Clare-Kearney. Cut to DD whispering “PS YOU WILL BE MINE FOREVER.”

Oh year remember the SEC Champs draw ceremony? Where they had to randomly pick their events?

The backdrop for these coach interviews has…seen some things.

You know time travel doesn’t exist because no one is coming in to yell “NEVER LEAVE FLORIDA” at Rhonda during this interview.

Georgia starts on floor.

Grace Taylor – FX – Georgia – falls out of a double L turn to popa but I love the intent – controlled whip through to double pike landing – small bounce on double tuck – LORI said it was a three-ring circus – DON’T YOU KNOW IT’S A FOUR RING CIRCUS?!?!?! – 2.5 with a crossover step.

9.850. YOU MEAN NOT A 9.950?

“Compete like you’re crazy.” I believe Ashleigh told us that was DD’s advice. SAME.

Susan Jackson – UB – LSU _ hits a Jaeger – some leg break in a bail handstand – some early vertical positions – stuck FTDT.

So weird to see an LSU gymnast stick a bars dismount and not have Jay doing a coronary embolism next to it.

ACK – UB – LSU – giant full to large tkatchev to straddle back, some loose back position – good handstand on high – FTDT, small step.

What exactly is an “all-time leading points scorer.”

Oh look it’s Rachelle Thompson. Great.

This Julie Dwyer featurette voiceover has a real “learning about your changing bodies” tone to it.

OK let’s just pretend the Thompsons never happened and move on.

Dwyer – BB – Auburn – bhs loso loso, small leg movement but good speed and extension – has a step back on her wolf jump full – punch front, slightly deep – Lori’s like “this is ballet probably!” – 2/1 with a slide back.

9.850 for her. These scores are very expected based on the current lens, honestly. This is what I would expect them to get now. Though that’s not really a compliment.

Oooooh Suzanne’s 2005 hair in this flashback. Kind of wish this were 2005.

Heenan – FX – Georgia – awesome lift in her front tuck out of the front 2/1 – 1.5 to 1/2 stepout, love this tumbling in this routine – I mean she does have a cat leap and some “Lucy tries to get in the show” choreography, but there are some great moments – solid double pike, some chest position.

Why was Tolnay having constipation on that chair about this routine?

9.925.

McCool – FX – Georgia – 2.5 to front full, secure landing – switch ring to Kathy would have some words about losing her toes in that split leap – the 2/1 is quite smooth and well extended – PERSONALITY – DRAMATIC ROLLING DEATH – front 2/1 final pass.

That’s a “10.000 at every home meet” routine now.

9.900. Oh. Bless. It was a different time. Back when 9.900 was a good score.

Georgia is winning by a lot after 1.

Sarah interview looking like she’s about to take over the CEO position at the makeup company, but hasn’t revealed her evil scheme yet.

Hoffman – UB – Alabama – nice counter rotation on her tkatchev – giant full to bail, just a little floppy in the air – good handstands – whips out DLO but sticks it. I miss Kayla Hoffman.

Nicole Lyons – BB – LSU – kickover with a check – really tentative loso series with a hilarious save attempt but falls – I’m old enough to remember LSU having problems on beam.

“It’s really not that difficult of a tumbling series.” YEAH NICOLE.

Kassi Price – UB – Alabama – big Hindorff, somewhat close catch, and nice handstands in her routine – better height on DLO, hop back. 9.900 is too high. Phew. I feel so much better. An overscore on bars.

Esposito – BB – LSU – bhs bhs loso series is smoothly done – I’m not having that L turn position – hits gainer loso – verrrrrry short on split positions – double tuck dismount, small step back. 9.825.

Remember how much we focused on Florida’s pacing in the pre-championship days? The big storyline was that they always came out of the gates really strong and then were blecccchhh at the end.

Hartung – FX – Florida – front 2/1, controlled – 3/1 middle pass, just a little under with a step – this routine is so mid 2000s and it makes me feel safe – whip 2.5. I love that she has all these hugely difficult twisting passes and we’re like, “NOT SO MUCH POWER.”

ACK – BB – LSU – high popa – switch to tuck jump full, very solid, some back leg on switch – bhs loso loso has a small adjustment – side aerial to side position (which people used to do, non-accidentally) – gainer pike with a step. Tsk tsk tsk. I guess you’ll have to spend the rest of your life as a volunteer assistant coach.

Amanda Castillo – FX – Florida – very strong pike full in, easily completed – whips to double tuck – love the chest-up positions here – she’s under on a popa – but the double pike is strong as well.

Adrian and Robert and Jeremy all look exactly the same. I think they might be holograms.

On to rotation 3!

Georgia is unsure of its vault lineup! Lauren Sessler has to do her Y1/2! It’s not great! “We think Sessler might have to go” was a lengthy Georgia journey on vault.

Puckett – FX – Auburn – bounces back on her double tuck in combination – her floor routine is a little “stripper that’s doing a rodeo themed performance” for me – hits her final double pike. 9.875.

Heenan – VT – Georgia – Yfull is excellent, great distance and a stuck landing, just a little bit of piking in the air. That one started from a 10.000 then, so I’m expecting 9.950.

Tolnay – VT – Georgia – Suzanne’s favorite child with a Y1.5 – a hair short with a step back. Suzanne just screams right into her face in joy.

Oooh 9.900. How 2020 of you.

Basically the Georgia at a home SEC Championships scoring became the every team, every meet scoring.

BEING ABLE TO HIT THE 197 MARK IS A BIG DEAL.

Overton – BB – Alabama – pretty aerial but a check – hesitant in a loso series with a check – “not a single wobble” except for those first two? – lots of pauses but does a double pike dismount in the leadoff position (#SHALLONNOTES).

9.900. NOPE.

Please. Please don’t call Arkansas the “LadyBacks.” Very glad we’re not doing that anymore. Looks like they’re counting a miss on bars.

Dennis – BB – Alabama – excellent floaty aerial – bhs loso loso series is super high and excellent – I have some problems with these dance element positions, really from everyone. Another double tuck dismount, step back. 9.900

Alabama just .075 behind Georgia after 2 events.

Emilie Rymer – Kentucky – UB – hits a piked jaeger to overshoot with just a little leg break – some verticals – double tuck – this was Kentucky’s HAPPY TO GET A 9.8 era.

9.775. Fired.

Casey Jo Magee – BB – Arkansas – all we’ve ever needed – loso mount – why yes, I am deciding to ignore the back leg on that switch – round off layout stepout was perfect – double turn with a pretend 1/2 turn after finishing like a true Russian – what a star – side aerial – 2/1, slide back. We did not deserve this routine.

9.850 is fair

Jackson – FX – LSU – slides back on her DLO – back headspring is worth it – front 2/1 to front pike – she basically invented Myia Hambrick – double pike, very strong.

The turning cat leaps were a thing in this era especially because you had to show two different shapes in dance elements. Should we bring that back?

9.875. Aw, remember when that was a score you’d get for a big routine toward the end of the LSU floor lineup?

ACK – FX – LSU – DLO is excellent – double pike lands a bit short – why are these people in the media area dancing to her routine? – 9.950 with that double pike and those straddle positions? Crazy pills.

Castillo – VT – Florida – lands short on her Y1.5 with a lunge back. FLORIDA IS RAISING THE BAR ON VAULT DIFFICULTY WITH 1.5s. 9.875 lol.

Reed – VT – Florida – love her late twist on that 1.5 – nearly stuck it – just a little deep and a step together. 9.950

God, Bernie, back off Lori.

That Jeff Thompson interview was a LOL in introspect. YOU HAVE TO KEEP IT FUNNNNN.

Puckett hits a Yfull for Auburn with a bounce back for 9.900. Now I’m remembering why the scoring of this meet was so controversial. We have some scores that are clearly lower than they would be now but most of them are very 2020.

A look in on Suzanne from UNDER THE LIGHTS, the greatest film experience of our era. It’s like the deleted scenes and I need to watch it three times a day forever.

“I’ve said things that I shouldn’t have said before.” Mmmmm.

McCool – Ub – Georgia – I’m taking for some of these handstands and that tkatchev height – the final handstand was nice – DLO 1/1, holds the stick with an arm wave. 9.900 is some Olympian scoring, if we’re being honest.

Dwyer – VT – Auburn – Y1/2, holds the landing, some knees. I don’t at all miss the Y1/2 being the same SV as the Y1.5.

That seems like such an obvious thing now but that change was so controversial for so many years. BUT HOW WILL THE OTHER TEAMS KEEP UP. Meanwhile, it has changed zero.

Taylor – UB – Georgia – love that endo 1/2 to pieces – and a comaneci – I’ve really forgotten how obsessed I was with Grace Taylor.

Heenan – UB – Georgia – good height on jaeger, a little close – cleanest handstands of the group – double front, large lunge forward. 9.850

Aw, back when large lunges were a tenth instead of “but it can be a .050 if you’re at home and popular” like it is in the code now.

Hoffman – FX – Alabama – piked full in with some chest down – same floor music as Sac that year, yes? – at the beginning at least – but we have the classic Alabama “17 songs mushed together for no reason” floor music trademark – double pike. 9.900

Dennis – FX – Alabama – classic DLO, you felt about Morgan Dennis’s DLO then the way you feel about Trinity thomas’s now – full in, also awesome, chest up – dance elements not there – “abstract music matches with some abstract dance.” – front tuck through to controlled double tuck.

A reminder that this routine never got a 10. At that point, 10s on floor just weren’t things that you got. Lots of 9.950s.

ACK – VT – LSU – Yfull “scored out of a 10 obviously” – tries to find the stick and is chest forward with a hop in place. Still goes 9.925.

Childs – BB – Georgia – her iconic “death to the side” beam mount – bhs loso series, good leg extension, small movement – switch ring, pretty solid ring position, front leg low once she gets to ring – check on aerial, some of the best individual skill execution we’ve seen so far. Gainer full is an issue with a hop.

OMG A GEORGIA GYMNAST DOING THE MOONWALK.

Smith – UB – Florida – she ultimately got a 6th year (basically Peng before Peng) – which was controversial after her transfer from UCLA – love her height in that double front 1/2 out – step back. 9.825

Willis – UB – Florida – love her Gienger, that was some Maddie Karr action there – bail wasn’t quite to vertical – stuck DLO. 9.900

Taylor – BB – Georgia – Moceanu mounting – Suzanne says Grace will get a 10 on beam in her career – SHE’S A SOOTHSAYER – lovely one-arm bhs to two-foot layout – switch to high straddle – L turnt o gainer loso with an arm wave correction – aerial, fab extension – 2/1, stuck with a stagger.

Reed – UB – Florida – high Tkatchev, too far and falls – and she’s deep on her DLO with a lunge back.

Heenan – BB – Georgia – bhs loso series, good extension and secure – sheep jump was really NCAA but her leap series was secure – lands that front tuck a bit too deep – interesting to see these beam judges sitting right next to each other, which they’re not allowed to do now.

“Needs to stick to get a 9.9”
“A little bit of a leg deduction in the air.”

LOLOLOLOLOL. Oh.

Melanie Sinclair – UB – Florida – connects a Gienger directly into that time she got arrest in 2009 for harboring stolen computers and guns (and asomenecklace, right?) – also a lovely Gienger and DLO, but obviously I want to talk more about the arrest.

McCool – BB – Georgia – hits her signature front handspring mount (she def didn’t invent that though) but checks out of it and again on her loso series – her side somi was always one of those non-ugly ones – this fake-y spin hasn’t gone out of fashion in NCAA yet but we need to make that happen, when the leg goes up for exactly one nanosecond – love her lift on that switch side – 2/1, pretty and stuck. 9.875.

Georgia is done with 197.350.

IT’S THE SEVENTH ROTATION. WHICH IS A THING WE HAD TO DO THEN.

Puckett – UB – Auburn – I really like her speed on her giant fulls but these vertical positions on casts and bail are not cutting it.

Lebegern – VT – Alabama – sticks a Y1.5, great landing, some knees, not the most height, otherwise fab. 9.950. YOU MEAN SHE DIDN’T GET 10s FROM ANY JUDGES?!?!

Hite – FX – Kentucky – good height on double pike, large lunge back but keeps the front foot down, which is always key, or at least used to be – goal for Kentucky is to qualify to nationals – sunrise, sunset – BACKGROUND FLORIDA BEAM FALL GASP

“Florida, Georgia, and even Alabama.” KNIFE IF IN THE BACK.

Dennis – VT – Even Alabama – huge lift on her full, some pike throughout, little movement – back in the day when she would be doing a full instead of a 1.5

9.950. CAROL IS THAT YOU?

Hoffman – VT – Even Alabama – beautiful shape in full, not as high as Dennis but better position, small hop back

“The judges need to take a one tenth deduction.” 9.925. Magical.

The two-foot slide back, even small, really is supposed to be a full tenth, but that has gone by the wayside long ago.

And Alabama finishes at 197.325, .025 behind Georgia.

Zaiser – BB – Florida – hits a loso series – switch to straddles that get progressively low – aerial with a pause before her back handspring—A COMPOSITION TRAILBLAZER— 2/1 dismount, step back.

Sinclair – BB – Florida – full-twisting bhs to gainer bhs to loso with a check – her pike jump to straddle jump is among the best dance series we’ve seen in this meet, where the leaps have been disappointing – double pike, step back. But the beam dismounts have WAY more risk. Many more double backs than we’re seeing right now.

9.825.

Hartung – BB – Florida – bhs loso to scale, love it, perfect – switch to shushunova hip circle, well, she ruined it with that. – I don’t think many were doing hip circles in 2020 beam routines and I’m so glad to see it – 2.5 dismount, hop forward. 9.900

I feel like this is back in the era when Rhonda was like, “Let’s do interesting gymnastics!” before she was like, “Eff that, let’s put Bridgey in the anchor position and gets us a title.”

Castillo falls on a layout to 2 feet series. This was the anchor routine, and they needed a hit from her to win. Which was realistic going into the routine. Double pike dismount was excellent.

197.325 for Florida, tying Alabama for 2nd. Georgia wins with 197.350.

SUZANNE COULDN’T BELIEVE IT. She is also resting her hand right on Lori’s butt and we need to talk about that.

Suzanne hated the rotation order but now she loves it.

One thing that really stood out to me in watching this is the more variable and creative and difficult beam composition. Let’s work on finding out why that happened then, and what we can do to get that back now.

As much as I get annoyed by the split positions right now, and the lack of discerning judging in that regard, they are better as a group than they were 12 years ago.

Ashleigh Clare-Kearney wins the SEC all-around title and the SEC Gymnast of the Year award. “I’ve worked so hard, my team has worked so hard, and I guess we got something.” LOL.

OK, let’s take a 25-minute breather, and then back for the Pac-12 championships from 2012.


2012 Pac-12 Championship

It’s Utah’s first year in the Pac-12, and the #7 Utes are hosting the event, trying to knock off the favorites, #4 UCLA. Oregon State is the defending champion and sits at #8 in the rankings.

UCLA in 2012 is led by Vanessa Zamarripa, Sam Peszek, and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, while little freshman Georgia Dabritz has been a huge deal to Utah. DID YOU KNOW SHE DOESN’T WEAR GRIPZZZZ.

Jim is here, introducing us to stock footage of someone skiing. SO IT MUST MEAN WE’RE IN UTAH.

Jim and Amanada at Huntsman. Is it yesterday?

Stanford has picked up momentum suddenly in its last couple meets. YEP. Nicole Pechanec (remember when you were really into calling her Nicole Pechancova?) is our featured gymnast for Stanford. If I cared about football I would have something current and relevant to say or whatever.

EWWWWWWWW this was the year of the leg numbers. Remember how much Miss Val hated that?

Looking back on the first session teams, like Aubree Cristello doing a double Arabian. Really pretty double pike.

Dallas Crawford on bars for Cal. This is the single Danna season at Cal, and I’,m glad they ditched this leo in the intervening years. That yellow paw print on the boob.

Beate Jones! Huge pop in her full, some piking, step back. 9.850.

The main thing about McKenzie Fechter is that you knew when the commentators didn’t know anything because they called her “Fletcher.” It was a real gymnastics Shibboleth moment.

Why do I remember the 2008 SEC gymnasts better than the 2012 Pac-12 gymnasts?

Nice leap elements from Molly Quirk. Arizona led the first session with 195.900 and the top four teams were like, “HAHA CUTE.”

Kristen Smyth is looking SHINY and Val is working athletic-chic in the interview sessions.

McAllister – VT – Utah – bounces back on a layout full

Zamarripa – FX – UCLA – front 2/1, pretty control – this is her post-Achilles/elite season – rudi to loso, lovely extension in loso, getting Zamarripa to get all UCLA in her dancing was a four-year journey – switch ring is pretty – rudi with a slide back. The fact that she did two rudis in this routine was a THING. You were NOT happy about it.

Pechanec – BB – Stanford – switch to back tuck, nice and quick in combination – you have to stan – side aerial with a check to remind you that it’s Stanford – bhs loso to full and stuck.

Delaney’s huge full for Utah – great amplitude, small hop back and some piking.

“Some good scores already! A 9.800!”

Oh yeah, the saga of getting Corrie Lothrop an Omelianchik. This was one of the good ones. Slide back, some knees.

Mak – UB – OSU – lovely height in her piked Jaeger, but she falls on her Bhardwaj, which was one of the better ones in terms of not looking crazy. We were obsessed with that skill.

Jim letting us know that Ivana Hong went 9.9 on beam and we didn’t see it. Mad about it in retrospect.

Peszek – FX – UCLA – bounce back on a DLO – this floor choreography is entirely hair and rolling on the ground – good double pike – this was not her strongest one in the tumbling department.

I loved Stambaugh’s style on her blind change. Great handstands and toe point. 9.925 with a non-stick and I’m not even that mad about it anymore.

Alyssa Brown – BB – Stanford – strong bhs loso – this Stanford beam team was at least the equal of anyone else in the conference this year, if not the best one – SIGH OF NOSTALGIA –

EHH – FX – UCLA – uncontroversial: this was my favorite EHH floor routine in her career – opens with the double tuck instead of the double Arabian at this point and bounces back OOB. That would also happen significantly in Super Six this year. Good double pike.

Stanford’s 49.500 on beam gave them the lead over UCLA and Utah.

AMANDA HAS NEVER SEEN A TEAM HAVE ALL 9.9s!!!!

Rotation 2

Lopez – UB – Utah – her tkatchev was a little close on catch despite being high and I remember that really bugged me when everyone would be like AMAZING TKATCHEV because I’m such a little sourpuss.

Stambaugh – BB – Oregon State – “starts the routine right here” yeah we know, it’s the beginning – she has a really nice straddle 1/4 – has to save a switch to one-arm back handspring –

Hansen – UB – Utah – blind to a good Jaeger, high pak – she has nice handstands and toes FTDT, shuffle and a bit of leg separation there –

EHH – VT – UCLA – “UCLA has had some changes in the vault lineup” well yeah – she sticks one of her best fulls.

NO GRIPPSSSSSSSS – UB – Utah – “Look at her hands” – “The first thing you think of is, is she from another country? – noticeable how much she improved over her Utah career – a clean routine, but her releases got bigger and her leg separations resolved by the time she was getting 10s regularly.

9.950 and it’s met with a cheer instead of booing at Utah. WHere am I?

Peszek – VT – UCLA – huge full with a medium bounce back – Sam, we’re going to need to find that stick…

Olivia Courtney’s Yfull invented Sierra Alexander’s 2020 Yfull.

Lothrop – UB – Utah – she hits her piked jaeger with some feet – DLO with a slide back. That efficient little bars routine she did every time.

Jones – BB – Oregon State – very important part of the Australian pipeline – solid front tuck – switch 1/2 with some checking – fake-out wolf turn before we hated wolf turns, but this one isn’t an actual wolf turn so it’s acceptable –

This was back when you could do your acro series as part of the dismount. An important change we’ve seen since.

One of the judges gave her a 10 with that obvious check on her switch 1/2 – I FEEL LIKE HOME.

Frattone did not stick her Omelianchik this time with a hop forward.

McAllister’s bars routine is also very solid, and she does a WEILER YOU GUYS SHE’S JORDYN WIEBER. I feel like I remember thinking Utah’s lineup order was weird this year and I still kind of do.

Zamarripa’s Yfull remains a dream in the height and the open. Slide back.

I like Leslie Mak’s rhythm in her switch to switch 1/2 – all elites doing that combo need to watch that.

Oh yeah, when we had to have to look at Ugh Joe Morgan every time because Ashley was on Stanford’s team. (Imagine if Al Trautwig had a daughter who did gymnastics and you were like, “I’m not happy about you for unfair reasons…”) I think I was always mostly annoyed about Ashley Morgan getting good scores because of him, but that double Arabian was very strong.

Stanford, Utah, and UCLA all within a tenth after two events.

MDLT – UB – UCLA – hop full to Gienger, I love this routine content – DLO, hop back – these UCLA leos are not it. There was one point where De La Torre had a Shayla moment on bars, but it wasn’t on the broadcast and she wasn’t Shayla, so it doesn’t get the play.

Ashley Morgan with a fake-o stick on her Y1/2 on vault with a slide salute.

McAllister – BB – Utah – bhs bhs loso series and nice toe point maintained there – not quite up to split on her straddles – hop back on 2/1.

Courtney – UB – UCLA – She has good legs together on her Maloney – Amanda used to have more helpful commentary than she does now, like noting Courtney twisting into her Pak catch. I wonder if she got scared away from giving real notes.

Ivana Hong sticks a full with her chest slightly forward. Because yes, vault is the event of Hong’s we wanted to see…

9.950 for that full with the chest position. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Peszek peels off on her dismount and nearly landed on her neck, but she’s fine.

Welp moving on from that terror.

Lothrop – BB – Utah – I feel like I had to answer a lot of live blog comments about why she wasn’t getting 10s on beam and it was the leapppppps but they’re not THAT big of a deal? The first one was short but the switch and straddle were fine? Good 1.5.

A Brown – VT – Stanford – lovely pop on her full, a bit of piking and a step back.

Robarts – BB – Utah – a check on her full turn, some back leg on dance elements, strong acro elements – stuck 2/1 with some legs.

Zamarripa – UB – UCLA – perfect Zamstand at the beginning – maloney – stalder – bail with a leg separation that you’re supposed to ignore – her final handstand was short though, and she bounced back on her DLO.

#RandyWithHair

Gerber – UB – UCLA – pretty Jaeger toes – small arch in a handstnad on high, lovely Pak – double Arabian dismount. She had a double pike dismount earlier in her career and everyone was like “IT’S TOO EASY” and then she casually upgraded to a double Arabian.

Stanford has a .325 lead going into the final event!

Back to Gerber leading off beam, inventing Grace Glenn – switch to split is lovely – she has the style on the side somi, even if it was sometimes a wobble burger – stagstand as part of her dismount combo – was short on dismount with a hop.

Damianova – FX – Utah – Remember “Dancy Damianova” – really tight double tuck, small bounce back – they were always like, “THIS IS GOING TO BE THE PRETTY DANCE ONE IN THE LINEUP” – double pike very strong.

Courtney – BB – UCLA – it was always a drama whether she was going to be in this lineup, or whether they needed Frattone or something. And she falls on her loso series. Falls a second time on her kickover front. And this is why it was a lineup drama.

Robarts – FX – Utah – not quite there on her wolf and popa positions – whip to 2/1 with good control.

A Morgan – UB – Stanford – starting with a toe shoot and inventing Sabrina Vega’s 2020 composition I guess – really like that DLO but overdoes it with a lunge-salute

Dabritz with that piked full in she always did, this one a little forward on landing – whip to 2/1 was too high and she had a little bounce – she was always so quick on her switch side elements (specifically later once she added beam) that it always seemed like she wasn’t getting enough height to complete them but then she would quickly get to position. A stumble on her 3/1.

Zamarripa – BB – UCLA – almost wobbles on choreography – checks on both her Onodi and her aerial – pretty individual elements and lovely splits, not a secure one though – 2/1 finds the stick. She got a 9.950 for this routine and that remains bonkers. You’ve forgotten about it in the intervening years, but that is crazy.

Lothrop has very nice control on her FTDT – whip to 1.5 to layout, I like that composition choice but the layout got low – double pike with a bounce. Utah also got some crazy floor scores in this rotation, and I remember the general sentiment being “WELL THEY BOTH GOT OVERSCORED.” So that’s nothing new.

Pechanec – UB – Stanford can’t catch her Maloney which means Stanford is counting a fall on bars. (TOO SOON.)

With a hit, Stanford would have won this championship.

EHH – BB – UCLA – front handspring mount, great – one of her good days on the side aerial to loso – switch to wolf jump, strong – illusion turn with a borderline correction – 2/1, stuck landing.

Two of the judges went 10.000 for this routine to give her 9.975.

McAllister – FX – Utah – FTDT is well controlled – 2.5 to front tuck, overdid the 2.5 and had to adjust the front tuck, a low element – 2/1 to loso, a little steppy. She goes 9.925 for that.

Peszek – BB – UCLA – aerial with a check before her back pike so she ended up doing a back tuck to back pike – oh god the BLUETOOTH ROUTINE – large check on loso with a leg up – standing loso to full, bounce back. Annnnddd this one got 9.850.

You guys, how did UCLA win this meet? How were these beam scores good?

I am having PROBLEMS in retrospect.

“Had to go to the math to get it done.” That’s literally every meet. Numbers.

“Not quite your night.” VAL EYE ROLL.

Ah, I miss Honest Val. She was a lot funnier than Important Work Val. Telling us about how they were kind of bad in this meet.

So anyway, those were some conference championships. Thank you for joining me on this no-gymnastics-and-how-do-we-survive journey.

18 thoughts on “Conference Championships Fake Live Blog – March 21, 2020”

  1. I don’t care that it wasn’t her best – Courtney McCool beam! Balm for the soul. I started following gym in 2005 – it’s so fun to see these names again, I loved them all!

    Like

  2. >little freshman Georgia Dabritz has been
    >a huge deal to Utah. DID YOU KNOW
    >SHE DOESN’T WEAR GRIPZZZZ.

    Hey, here’s a brand new idea: Let’s call her “No grips Dabritz”

    Like

  3. The very first Pac gymnastics championship in 1987 was won by UCLA led by their star gymnast Tanya Service (who won Bars, Beam, AA) who has since been the long-time Oregon State Head Coach Tanya (Service) Chaplin!

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  4. We need more of the vaulters wearing gopro live video cameras on their heads…perhaps the judges could also replay that view to help with their scoring.

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  5. The first two Huntsman Center rows are empty–not a good look…I zoomed in to read…they seem to be labeled “Press/Photo”. Looks like they could have significantly cut down the number of those reserved press/photo seats.

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  6. Georgia is so glad the season ended b/c no way the would have made nationals. Hope to see Rachel Dickson at LSU. CKC needs to figure out how to recruit b/c they can not compete w/ other schools and Jay!!

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    1. I’m not sure Dickson is a good move for LSU- they only get one year and it really shifts around lineups/Dynamics for someone who will be gone. On top of that- as much as I love this gymnast- she is wildly inconsistent. If Durante, CKC, and Yoculan all failed to crack that nut, I’m not sure what the pressure cooker of a top six team would do to find even keep.

      Kupets is doing fine in recruiting. Those late adds to last year’s freshman class helped- save Al Hameed who was a bit of a hail Mary and opted out of gym as she’d flirted with before. The big problem for UGA has been injuries. Durante recruited and kept too many injured gymnasts so whenever they had another injury it exaserbated the existing problems with depth. I think Nguyen is the difference maker for next year- that and if the medical someone else to hold Dickson.

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  7. I didnt follow college gym back then so I knew Zamarippa as a power gymnast, mostly her vault. But daaaaamn, her bars were gorgeous. The first hanstand!!

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    1. Wow! Thanks for the tip about checking out Vanessa Zamarripa’s handstands. INCREDIBLE! Starts at approx 49:24 into the 2012 Pac12 Championships youtube video (linked near the top of Spencer’s intro post above) if anyone is looking for it.

      Even now, Vanessa Zamarripa still has supernatural powers:

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