Saturday Live Blog – January 9, 2021

Saturday, January 9
Scores Stream
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT – Best of Utah ([4] Utah, [17] BYU, [23] Southern Utah, Utah State) LINK BYUTV

Let’s all travel to the land of beehives for today’s lone meet. Southern Utah starts on vault, Utah starts on bars (probably the event where I’m most interested in seeing the lineup) , BYU on beam, and Utah State on floor.

One thing I didn’t mention yesterday because there was so much going on is that the judging assignments haven’t been made public for any of the meets yet, and if college gymnastics thinks we’re going to be OK with that lack of transparency because of a pandemic, it has another thing coming. We need to know exactly who is giving out these terrible scores, especially because in one day we’ve already had clear, objective mistakes in both start value and deductions. Gymnasts have to put their names and faces on their mistakes, so judges should too.

Anyway, I feel so much better now that I’ve gotten a scoring rant paragraph out of my system.

BYUTV: long answering the question, “What if just anyone and anything were a TV show?”

Rotation 1

Varnadore – FX – USU – bounce back on a double tuck – double pike, another rebound backward, slightly soft knees – switch side to popa to popa, good straddle positions shown – 1.5 to layout with a bounce forward.

I feel like the SEC Network would be having a coronary embolism about this meet pacing.

Utah started with 9.775 on bars for Paulson.

Zhong – BB – BYU – switch to split, reaches good back leg position – check on full turn – bhs loso series, small lean, slightly tight position – aerial, works well into sissone – check on choreography – 1.5, holds the stick, some loose knees.

Sabado followed for Utah with 9.700. I look forward to Utah Twitter’s feelings about the number of Utah routines we’ve seen so far.

Alfaro – VT – SUU – very nice amplitude on her Yfull – bounce up

Burch – UB – Utah – this is new – jaeger, some feet, but fine – good cast hs out of it – hit bail, legs right together, very slight angle – a bit short on final handstand – DLO, probably held the stick long enough. Nice work. 9.800.

McClain – VT – SUU – hits a full, bounce upward in place, some hip angle throughout the vault. 9.750

Miner-Alder – BB – BYU – BYU’s roster notes are always the most fun each season because of all the new last names – lands her kickover a bit deep but holds it – bhs loso series, hit – full turn, slightly over-turned – switch to split jump 3/4, good position on split, bit slow on combo rhythm – gainer full, strong stick.

Toomey – FX – USU – punch front 2/1, nearly all the way around, just a hair short with a bounce – somewhat short of 180 on her switch – back 1.5 to full, short on the full with a multi-step stagger back, did well to not sit it.

O’Keefe – UB – Utah – rushes first hs – Maloney to pak is lovely – short 1/2 turn on low – nice double Arabian with a little hop, pretty solid control today – handstands just look a little early season. 9.775. Realistic scores…and quite a bit lower than some of the teams would have received last night for the same routines.

Smith – VT – SUU – Yfull on back tuck, step back, got pretty good amplitude on it for being a full in.

Isa – UB – Utah – Ray, catches a tad close – bail, very clean position, nice toes – giant full, a bit late directly into DLO, tiny slide. Strong.

Isa goes 9.850 to lead Utah’s bars scoring, but the team total will be just 48.975.

Jackson – FX – USU – big amplitude on her double pike, large bounce back but manages (somehow) to keep it in bounds – front lay to front full, and this time she did lunge OOB – another large bounce back on double tuck, also OOB. Best amplitude so far but will be a low score.

Boden-Stainton – BB – BYU – Counting two 9.6s already in this rotation – hitch kick to kickover, check and lean, looks like a broken connection based on her FML face about it – full turn – good split shapes – redoes a kickover to bhs to get an acro series, slow but will get credit – 1.5, stuck landing. 9.725

Fishwick – FX – USU – punch front 2/1 to front tuck, came up a little short connecting into her front tuck but landed it – closeup during a pass of losos? – front lay to front full, deep landing and a stagger.

After 1
Utah 48.975
SUU 48.625
USU 48.475
BYU 48.450

Utah with a lead as expected. Overall, I’m seeing the kind of gymnastics I would have expected from this first meet of the COVID season. It’s a little rusty, lineups a little incomplete. Tentative beam, a couple of those Utah State floor routines looked like the routine theme was “preserve your endurance so that you don’t die on your final pass.” Scoring keeping its hands to itself, which is good.

The TV window for this meet was originally 3 hours (now it’s 2) so I wonder if there was a plan at some point to go one routine at a time. I’m glad they’re not.

Utah had Emilie LeBlanc’s score changed from 9.775 to 9.800, so they’re up to 49.000. A routine we didn’t see.

Rotation 2

Rachel Bain-Heaton – FX – BYU – round off immediate double tuck, good control – split leap full, around, a bit short of split, into wolf – punch rudi, also solid control – lay to front full to front tuck, arched over pretty clearly in her layout but good landing control overall.

Nipp – UB – SUU – good hs on high – goes wayyyyyyyyy too close on her jaeger, catches with her humerus, makes it out of it – the DLO was pretty with just a small step.

Rojas – VT – USU – good amplitude on full, bounce back

Burch – BB – Utah – full turn, solid – bhs loso series, secure, a bit of feet – split jump to stag ring, larger wobble there, leg up check – aerial, smaller check – gainer full, lands chest forward. 9.750

Brooks – VT – USU – controls the landing on her full with a smaller slide back but not as much amplitude and more pike than some of the others we’ve seen so far

Isa – BB – Utah – good candle mount – kickover is deep, works out of it into beat jump – bhs loso loso series very smoothly done – straddle jump to straddle 1/4 – bhs gainer full, stuck. 9.900

Boden-Stainton – FX – BYU – round off double pike, slightly steppy – 1.5 to 1/2 to split jump, and they just cut to her doing high fives at the end of her routine even though it’s the middle? Now that’s talent. Double back, solid.

Meyer – VT – USU – really strong full, good stuck landing, just a tad piked, quite nice, not the most distance.

Murakami for SUU with a solid FTDT to finish bars, small bounce in place.

Miner – FX – BYU – good DLO, comfortably, small front foot movement – finishes 1.5 to front full with a shuffle forward that she keeps in bounds

O’Keefe – BB – Utah – side aerial to loso with no trouble – switch to split, nice attention to back leg – comfortable full turn – cat leap to side aerial to full, stuck. Very strong routine. 9.925

Logan Varnadore vaults a Y1/2, clean in the air, step back.

SUU on bars – very close tkatchev – stalder to bail, legs together but some hip angle – DLO is short, chest forward with a lunge

Paulson – BB – Utah – side aerial to loso, small lean – switch to split jump, under control – side aerial to full, stuck. Not quite as strong as O’Keefe’s but a good one. 9.925. Same as O’Keefe, that’s some lineup order because O’Keefe’s was better.

Vitkauskas – FX – BYU – front 2/1 with a pretty large lunge out of it – 1.5 to layout, nice height in the second element, some leg crossing – rudi, some sliding. 9.850. Scoring getting higher…

49.375 for Utah on beam for a strong rotation, from what we saw of it, though it looks like LeBlanc had a struggle.

Miner-Alder – FX – BYU – DLO, chest up pretty well – split leap full to split jump full, pretty precise on the split jump – 1.5 to layout, just a bit soft in the layout. Double pike, steppy. 9.900. BYU also goes 49.375 in the second rotation.

After 2
Utah 98.375
BYU 97.825
SUU 97.625
USU 97.400

BYU down to 97.725 after losing one tenth for competing out of order.

Rotation 3

I was eating so I missed the first USU bars routine, but there was a bail handstand shortness issue.

Isa – FX – Utah – opens with a comfortable double tuck – less control on double pike with a bounce back – solid straddle and wolf position – 1.5 to front lay, just a little arch on layout.

hernandez – SUU – BB – aerial, small hesitation before beat jump – split to double stag, secure – bhs loso series and a fall, looked like she might have been able to save by grabbing the beam but alas –

Zhong – VT – BYU – solid height on her full – bounce back – some pike

Smith – BB – SUU – roundoff loso series, leg up break – side aerial and falls, falls in the first two routines for SUU.

Rucker – FX – Utah – FTDT, strong, chest up ladning, a bit of stepping – leap combination looks solid – front lay to front full, the layout was a bit ragged, solid control. 9.875

Bennett – VT – BYU – Yfull on back tuck – solid distance there, slide back – both full ons we’ve seen today have been strong.

Murakami – SUU – BB – check on full turn – bhs loso bhs, good extension and secure – split to sheep with a small lean – side aerial to tuck full, stuck

Miner Alder with a medium full – hop back – solid.

Gutierrez – USU – UB – Maloney , some legs into bail, pretty solid vertical, some loose back – short final cast hs – high DLO, bounce back

Nipp – BB – SUU – aerial to beat, smooth – bhs loso with an arm wave check and lean to the side – split jump to split jump 3/4, secure – gainer full, chest down landing.

Stanhope – FX – Utah – full in, control the landing with a step, kept in bounds, chest down on landing – double tuck, comfortable – pretty sure this music is copyright Pihan-Kulesza at this point – 1.5 to layout, control, whips over the layout a tad. Solid debut for her and Rucker in this rotation, one of the things I was looking forward to seeing.

S Miner – VT – BYU – Just does pull out the landing on a Y1.5, lands short with a lunge back

McClain – BB – SUU – hits loso, some feet, secure – side aerial, quite strong – switch to straddle 1/4, a bit tight in position – 1.5 dismount, stuck

Rojas – UB – USU – Maloeny to bail, just a bit short of vertical there – close final cast hs – DLO, small slide back.

Vultaggio – BB – SUU – switch to back tuck to one knee, cool combination, but short position on switch and slow combination – bhs loso loso series, just keeps it on the beam with a check – and then she fell on a cartwheel because gymnastics.

O’Keefe – FX – Utah – nice pop on double pike, a little steppy on landing – front lay to front full, lunge forward out of it – strong leap positions of course – 1.5 to layout, slides forward out of it. 9.900 is way high for that landing control.

Brooks on bars for USU has a huge ray but struggled on some handstand positions on the bail and a cast afterward – high DLO with a bounce.

Soloski – FX – Utah – uncharacteristically bouncy on her DLO, large bounce back, borderline OOB, couldn’t tell – front lay to front full, another bounce – 1.5 to layout, arches over her layout. Not quite there yet with those routine. 9.775, so I’m thinking she didn’t go OOB.

49.350 floor for Utah

Fishwick – Maloney to bail, pretty position on her bail, but struggles on the double front with a large bound forward. Was in line for a big score until then. Still got a 9.800 out of it.

After 3
Utah 147.725
BYU 146.525
USU 146.375
SUU 145.500

SUU falls back after the three-fall beam rotation.

“oooooh deltchev!” #Deltchevreactions

“It’s kind of like if a Gienger and a Jaeger got married”

This is BYUTV, so we have to make it clear that they’re married. The Gienger and the Jaeger are not LIVING IN SIN. But Gienger and Jaeger are both BOYS, so…I’m gonna say BYU just endorsed gay marriage.

Rotation 4

[Extended crotch closeup] Do we need to go through the broadcasting gymnastics rules again?

O’Keefe – VT – Utah – nice distance on her full, a bit of legs, bounce back – 9.775

Zhong – BYU – UB – jaeger to overshoot, solid, some legs – did she just say “cow hop?” DLO, stuck landing. Strong routine.

Wells – BB – USU – side aerial, solid – switch to split leap 3/4, a bit soft in the 3/4, but worked it out well – secure loso series, loose knees – 2/1 dismount, holds the stick with a squat.

Isa – VT – Utah – hits a full, had a very small step but kind of maybe saluted herself into a bigger step

Beeston – UB – BYU – nice height on her Gienger – small amount of feet into overshoot – good final cast on hb – DLO, minor piking – small hop back

Aragon – BB – USU – switch to split, good extension on that split – bhs loso and wayyy off line, no chance to save, like a quarter of one foot touched the beam – finishes 1.5 with a lunge

Stanhope – VT – Utah – a full from her today – easily completed – fairly large bounce back though

Schwartze – FX – SUU – front 2/1 with a crossover step – split leap full to wolf full, got them around crisply – rudi to loso was comfortable – finishes with another rudi, struggles with this landing, short with a lunge

Rucker – VT – Utah – also just a full from her today – huge vault, bounce back, great distance and position. 9.825.

Brooks – BB – USU – aerial was pretty but quite slow into bhs bhs – switch to korbut – she has nice execution on elements but some tentative pausiness – side aerial to full, off line but stuck

Hall – VT – Utah – sticks the landing on her Y1.5. Very strong landing, some form on the block and in the air.

Miner-Alder – Ub – BYU – comfortable jaeger to overshoot – short cast hs – on high – comes in a bit deep on DLO with a hop. 9.725

Jozwiakowski – FX – SUU – front 2/1 to front tuck with a lunge – 2/1 second pass, steppy landing – punch rudi, very small foot adjustment – 9.825

Dittmar – BB – USU – one arm bhs loso series, very solid – bionic knee – good split position – bhs bhs 1.5 with a bounce forward

Utah went 49.175 on vault to finish on 196.900, which will put Utah into 2nd overall behind Florida.

Pitou – UB – BYU – good toe poiint on jaeger – bail, some leg break, good vertical – hits final cast hs – FTDT, got a bit leg crazy at the beginning, lands somewhat short with a hop.

McClain – FX – SUU – double pike, bounce back – back 1.5 to front layout, crisp form on that series – switch 1/2 to popa, not the highest split position – double tuck, chest up, slide back

Bayles – BB – USU – aerial with a check, breaks connection into split jump, and now falls on the split jump. USU and SUU both doomed by beam – they’ll have to count the 9.050 now in addition to a 9.550.

BYU, meanwhile, is done with a 195.700 after Stanton’s routine – who went 9.825 with a solid pike jaeger to overshoot, somne feet – small step on FTDT

Le varnadore – BB – USU – bhs loso, corkscrew leg on loso but secure – aerial was sooooo low a miracle that she kept it on the beam – gainer tuck 1.5 dismount, hop to the side. 9.700.

FINAL
Utah 196.900
BYU 195.700
SUU 194.325
USU 194.100

Comfortable opener for Utah. A couple lineups have some stuck in the 9.8s moments, but these are complete and competitive lineups from what we saw, with more difficulty to add on vault. Disappointed we didn’t see any of Gilstrap today. Solid debuts for Stanhope and Rucker with room to grow.


26 thoughts on “Saturday Live Blog – January 9, 2021”

  1. The “pulling out mask” each time they yell tells me they aren’t doing a good job with COVID protocol.

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  2. The BYU commentator is really, really good. Informational, honest, doesn’t talk too much. The guy also just stays in the background and lets her do her thing. I wish they did more meets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She has made so many mistakes!! She is only “informational” if you don’t care if the information is correct or not.

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    2. Yeah I’m impressed. For a school production, they have good camera work, graphics, commentating…. Flo could learn a thing or five from them 😛

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  3. These bars scores seem a little inconsistent…feel like Utah was hit harder than every other team so far!

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  4. I like to see BYU with true hitchkicks on beam, instead of bent leg hitchkicks masquerading as cat leaps. Also, they showed at least three E passes on floor. Between the high quality gymnastics and coverage, I’m turning into a fan!

    Two different teams with Yurchenko full on, back tuck off!?! This is why the Y full was downgraded!

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  5. These scores seemed “real”. Not inflated. Also competing on podium is really different and harder. Pretty Impressed with Utah. BYU was solid

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