The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Saturday Live Blog – January 16, 2021

Saturday, January 16
Scores Stream
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT – Ohio State @ Michigan LINK BTN+
6:00pm ET/3:00pm PT – [10] BYU @ [11] Arizona State LINK FREE
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT – Towson, Eastern Michigan @ Temple LINK ESPN+
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT – Lindenwood, SEMO @ TWU LINK FREE
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT – Air Force @ [13] Southern Utah LINK FREE

Eager to see Michigan get underway today because, on paper, this is a damn good team. Easily a 197+ team. But what’s the actual situation here? Every team is sort of at risk for an Oregon State moment until we see them compete because what is this season.

So, um, twiddling thumbs and whatnot.

Michigan vault lineup is Heiskell, Brenner, Wojcik, Wilson, Morrison, Brooks. OSU bars is Pritchard, Malas, Edwards, Hankins, Miller, Swartzentruber. So just two people who’ve competed scored bars before in the Ohio State lineup.

Michigan moved Heiskell into the lineup instead of Koulos, who will exhibition.

Rotation 1

Heiskell – VT – Mich – solid full in the air, good position and amplitude, fairly large bounce back. 9.825

Pritchard – UB – OSU – short first hs – toe on to piked gienger to overshoot, holds legs together pretty well, some foot form – giant full to double tuck with a step-salute. Solid. Useful. 9.775

Brenner – VT – Mich – hits her Y1.5, hop forward, slight soft knees. 9.875. Scores pretty high for those first two vaults.

Malas – UB – OSU – blind to jaeger, pretty toe point there, into a solid overshoot – hits hs on high but can’t pull around an intended giant full and has to hop off and crumble into a ball on the mat. It was pretty until that point. 9.150

Wojcik – VT – Mich – third up in the lineup, which is interesting – lunge forward on her Y1.5, great distance and extended form in the air as usual. 9.850

Edwards – UB – OSU – good first hs on low – toe on to maloney, has the amplitude into a good pak, legs together – 1/2 turn on low – toe full to double tuck dismount, lunge back. Again, solid potential there. 9.750

Wilson – VT – Mich – another with a larger lunge forward, hers taking her a bit sideward as well so shouldn’t score as high as Brenner/Wojcik. They’re hitting but don’t have the landings yet. 9.800

Hankins – UB – OSU – short first hs – hits jaeger, not the highest but pretty toes, pak – will get docked for some of these cast hadnstand positions – DLO, a bit whippy, small hop. 9.750

Morrison – VT – Mich – already with a position of honor in this lineup – Y1.5 – lunge forward on hers, very similar to Wojcik’s, but you can see the possibilities there with the form and the distance. 9.825.

Miller – UB – OSU – toe on to maloney to bail, slight angle on bail but legs together throughout the combination – well short on final cast hs on high – DLO, chest forward with a step. 9.800

Brooks – VT – Mich – best landing of the 1.5 club so far by quite a margin, only a small hop forward. Will lead the scoring. 9.925

Swartzentruber – UB – OSU – Maloney to pak, great height there – solid hs on low – van leeuwen, hit well – one shortish handstand – DLO, flung out a bit but stuck. Well done. 9.875

Good control on the vault landing from Koulos in exhibition. Viable lineup option.

After 1: Michigan 49.300, Ohio State 48.950

Michigan will take that vault rotation. They don’t have the landings yet with a bunch of full tenth lunges, but there were a number of a vaults in which the judges only took for landing and didn’t take anything in the air, so things could get big in that rotation of five 10.0 starts. Ohio State did have to work against a fall, but they dropped it, and a number of those untested bars routines showed 9.8+ potential. So I’d rank that as a win.

Rotation 2

Gagliardi – VT – Ohio State – round off half on to front tuck, hit vault, step to the side. We don’t see it a lot, so that’s fun. It’s now a 9.950 start value, so the same as a Yfull. 9.750

Heiskell – UB – misses her opening Jaeger. Resumes with a hit pak, good handstand on high – giant full to double tuck, hop back. 9.050

Riccardi – VT – OSU – bounce back on her Yfull, has the pop, a distinct pike throughout. 9.800

Mariani – UB – Mich – clear hip to tkatchev, high, just a bit ragged – bail, small hip angle – DLO, does well to hold the stick despite coming in a little forward. 9.825

Lowe – VT – OSU – bounces back on her full as well, a clearer layout shape than in the previous vault but less amplitude, so evens out. 9.800

Wilson – UB – Mich – shortish first hs – 1/2 to piked jaeger, hit – bail, good vertical position, legs together – DLO, finds the landing, small step. A couple handstand moments, but solid. 9.825

Miller – VT – OSU – nice height on that full, good form, but a backward crossover step and a little more off balance on landing. 9.775

Brenner – UB – Mich – good hs – high jaeger to overshoot, well done – short cast hs before dismount – DLO, most comfortable dismount so far, good stick. 9.900

Edwards – VT – OSU – vaulting with a bionic knee – best control on her full landing so far, smaller step. 9.850

Brooks – UB – Mich – nearly has an issue on her initial handstand but keeps it on the good side of “really going for that handstand” – piked jaeger, solid – toe on, bail – crisp position there – one slightly short handstand – sticks a DLO 1/1, so that works. 9.925

Jennings – VT – OSU – come sup short on her otherwise pretty Yfull this week, hop forward. 9.750

Wojcik – UB – Mich – toe on to her deltchev, super high and well done as always – strong toes throughout – a hint o floose back in that bail – best handstands of the team so far, small slide back on DLO. Should be another 9.9. 9.925.

It’s a 48.975 for Ohio State on vault with a rotation of viable Yfulls.

Michigan goes 49.400 on bars thanks to the brigade of 9.9s to end the rotation. Unlike on vault, the landings were the gift in this rotation, helping those last few routines stay in the 9.9s. Handstand situation looks solidly mid season. Koulos is doing very well in exhibition today. Could earn some lineup spots.

After 2: Michigan 98.700, Ohio State 97.925

Rotation 3

Farley – BB – Mich – bhs loso loso series, effectively pretends her check was some chill arm choreography but it wasn’t – efficient split and split jump 1/2, signature 1.5 turn, nice – side aerial, secure – gainer pike gets weird, short with a lunge forward. 9.775

Warga – FX – OSU – 2.5 to front tuck, hits it, front tuck was a little low but pulled it around and kept it in bounds – solid leap positions – effective floor writhing as choreography – looks like she attempted a front 2/1 final pass but couldn’t get it around and falls. 8.900

Mariani – BB – Mich – side aerial with an arm wave into split jump, good split position – beat to switch side, hits her horizontal split – bhs loso, secure landing – 1.5, holds the stick with a little lean. Solid one. 9.900

Chesney – FX – OSU – starting while dead – wolf jump 1.5, good – double pike, solid, chest down – switch side to popa, clear finishing positions, a touch short in popa – Meredith is the one who is the most invested in the choreography – back 1.5 to layout, short on layout and has to slide back to hold it. 9.725

Wilson – BB – Mich – bhs loso series, good lift, small lean correction – wolf hop to switch side, slightly crooked on split position – double tuck, good position in the air, lunge back. 9.775

Pritchard – FX – OSU – 2.5 to punch front, pops forward and OOB – switch 1/2 to split jump full, good – front layout to rudi, comfortably landing. 9.700

Heiskell – BB – Mich – cat leap to side aerial, arm wave check – switch to split side, arm wave – bhs loso series and falls – 1.5 dismount, step back. So a couple 9.775s counting on beam now. 9.175

Hankins – FX – OSU – full in, pulls it around, short with a lunge – front lay to barani to split, travels to the side in combination – double tuck, under control, chest down. 9.825

Brooks – BB – Mich – bhs loso loso, large break but keeps it on the beam, lean and a leg up – switch to switch combination is solid – kickover front, very strong – bhs 1.5, hop forward. A hit but not the score they wanted. 9.725

Gagliardi – FX – OSU – actual scream at the beginning of her routine, and same – double pike, secure, again some chest position – front lay to rudi, comes up a little short with a hop to the side – double tuck, solid landing. best landings – and now she’s lost and dying, which is the appropriate way to end a routine. 9.850

Wojcik – BB – Michigan – pretty aerial – switch to split, well extended – triple series ends with a slight lean – 1.5 to hop forward. A couple things but should score well because nothing built in. 9.900

Malas – FX – OSU – 2.5 to punch front, pulls it around, just a tad short – switch ring to switch 1/2, not quite there but nice toes – double tuck, holds secure landing.

Both teams avoid counting falls in that rotation. Michigan at 49.075 after a somewhat tentative beam rotation but that was saved by a couple 9.9s. Ohio State keeping the trend going with a 48.975 on floor.

Nicoletta Koulos hitting well in exhibition on every event. Did she tell a story about Bev farting or something? In the exhibition doghouse.

After 3: Michigan 147.775, Ohio State 146.900

Rotation 4

Lowe – BB – OSU – we cut to her doing some sort of hip circle mount – bhs loso series, small lean – switch to straddle jump 1/4 and couldn’t save it after a large wobble, falls – hits side aerial – 1.5 dismount with a step salute. 9.150

Guggino – FX – Mich – so it’s interesting that we’re not seeing Carly Bauman on any events today, a very successful Chow’s L10 – double pike, slide back – cat leap full – pretty bouncy on those leaps – front lay to front full, slide forward – she has a very Claudia Fragapane thing going on – rudi, lunge to the side. 9.825

Miller – BB – OSU – long pause before loso series, hits it but a fairly big leg-up check – side aerial to split jump and a good save there, only leg completely off the beam landing the split jump – some decisions to make on combinations in these early OSU beams – gainer tuck full dismount, step-salute. 9.725

Koulos – FX – Mich – actually in a lineup – switch leap full, good split position, nearly all the way around – 2.5, controls the landing – double pike, also solid, chest a bit down – front lay to front full is the first issue, somewhat short with a step back. 9.825

Hankins – BB – OSU – single wolf – bhs loso, secure landing, good toes – kickover with a lean check, breaks combo into beat jump – switch to switch combination – split jump 1/4, nice element – 2/1, bounce back. 9.800

Brenner – FX – Mich – controls her full in well, takes it right to the side but no movement – 1.5 to layout, has to whip over the layout and loses some leg form – switch side to popa looks solid – double pike, secure, some chest down. Good. 9.875

Oliveros – BB – OSU – hits a side aerial loso series comfortably – switch to split with a short back leg – small correction on full turn – strong aerial – side aerial to full, nearly holds stick with a lean, tiny hop. 9.900. Well now.

Brooks – FX – Mich – very comfortable full in, good chest up position, possible slight front foot movement – back 1.5 to layout, loses legs together in layout – nice extension in split elements – double pike, a bit short, slide forward. 9.900

Pritchard – BB – OSU – cat leap to side aerial, hit – loso series, lean wave but keeps it on – switch to straddle 1/4, back leg on switch – 2/1, hop back

Wojcik – FX – Mich – schnitzel with noodles and whatnot – double pike to start today, small slide – split leap full and wolf full, great positions, bouncy landing – front 2/1 to front pike, nicely done – rudi to straddle jump, well controlled. 9.900

Hodges – BB – OSU – standing split jump, straddle jump 3/4 – bhs loso, arm wave – gainer loso, secure – 1.5 dismount, lunge forward. 9.850 gets Ohio State to exactly 196.

Wilson – FX – Mich – awesome open full in, and a secure landing – front lay to front full, super floaty – switch side to straddle jump 1.5, pulls that 1.5 around, a little bouncy on landing – double tuck, a bit short, hop forward. 9.950 is a lot for me given that final pass landing.

FINAL: Michigan 197.225, Ohio State 196.000

Both teams will be pleased with that result. That will put Michigan at #3 in the in-progress standings, barring what happens for the rest of the weekend. Only Florida, Oklahoma, and LSU have recorded higher numbers so far. Ohio State’s 196.000 would have been the team’s second-highest score all of last season, so starting out from a much higher place.

BYU and Arizona State is soon to get started.

Same 9 in the lineup for ASU as last Sunday in Oklahoma.

Rotation 1

Boyer – VT – ASU – larger bounce back on her full – a little piking. 9.700

Zhong – UB – BYU – jaeger to overshoot, good, some knees in jaeger but high – solid cast hs on high bar – DLO, slightly flat but controls landing, small hop. 9.775

Mangahas – VT – ASU – better amplitude on her full, nice height, same bounce back. 9.725

Hunter – UB – BYU – good first hs – high tkatchev – hitting casts well – clear hip to bail, slightly loose back but good vertical – solid cast hs – DLO, stuck. Really strong work. 9.875.

Barbarnette – VT – ASU – lineup change here, she’s into the lineup – hits a yfull – chest down on landing with a step back. Didn’t have the distance of Mangahas. More controlled landing. 9.750

Beeston – UB – BYU – clear hip to a big gienger, only a small leg break – hits overshoot – solid cast hs – some piking in DLO, stuck landing. Good. 9.850

Smith – VT – ASU – Y1.5 and hits it, came in somewhat short with a lunge to the side. 9.850

Alvarado – UB – BYU – good first hs on low – toe on to maloney to pak, gorgeous form – hits 1/2 turn on low bar quite vertical – strong hs – DLO, stuck landing. This is an amazing rotation. 9.925.

Scharf – VT – ASU – verrry strong Yfull. clean form, stuck landing, right now the center. Nice. 9.825. Slightly tight score there.

Pitou – UB – BYU – blind change to jaeger, solid amplitude – one shorter hs, small leg break in bail, hits vertical – FTDT, sticks the landing, some legs in the air. That one goes 9.900 though it was not as strong as the previous two. Some lineup order scoring there.

Leonard-Baker – VT – ASU – solid enough yfull, but not her best, good distance, pace backward, some chest position. 9.725.

Stainton – Ub – BYU – small angle in first hs – very strong piked jaeger to overshoot – couple shorter handstands – FTDT, small step. 9.800

Big 49.350 for BYU on bars. Alvarado’s routine was a real highlight. Exceptional.

Gracie Reeves, who was pulled from the lineup, tests out her tucked Y1.5 in exhibition, lands it, fairly short with a lunge back.

Cyrenne a pretty bars routine in exhibition. If she can control that DLO, I’d have her in the lineup.

After 1: BYU 49.350, ASU 48.875

Zhong – VT – BYU – bounce back on Yfull, some legs on block – 9.775

Reeves – UB – ASU – short first hs – bling to a high jaeger, loses her toes at the catch – bail, hits vertical, some leg separation – DLO, chest forward, step forward. 9.700

Pitou _ VT – BYU – has solid distance on her full, larger bounce back than Zhong. 9.775

White – UB – ASU – good first hs – van leeuwen, some leg break – 1/2 turn on high, short of vertical, good bail position – maintains pretty feet throuighout – deep DLO, lunge back. 9.825

Bennett – Vt – BYU – round off full on to back tuck, gets her distance, bounce back. 9.775

Scharf – UB – ASU – good first hs – maloney to pak, high combo, a bit of foot form – shortish cast hs on high – FTDT, holds the stick with a lean. 9.850

Mason – VT – BYU – yfull – looked like it was going to be the most controlled of the lineup but she has to take a second step back to meet her foot from the first lunge. 9.725

Clark – UB – ASU – short hs o n high – nice distance on jaeger, good feet – well executed pak, a little short on 1/2 turn on low – DLO, a tad short with a hop forward. 9.750

Miner Alder – VT – BYU – their best full by quite a margin, near stick, small step back, good position in the air – 9.825

Boyer – UB – ASU – good hs on low – toe on to maloney to pak, very pretty, legs together – slightly late 1/2 turn on low bar – borderline final cast – FTDT, deep with a lunge back. Nearly there. 9.825

Miner – VT – BYU – Yfull, could see almost none of it from this camera angle but looked like a medium bounce back – 9.800.

BYU 48.950 on vault.

CLB – UB – ASU – short first hs – maloney to bail to piked toe shoot to high, good form through the combination – stuck landing on FTDT. Two short handstands but should be the best score of the bunch. 9.875.

ASU goes 49.125 on bars. Gaining back some ground in the second rotation. Both teams looked good today in the handstand department as a group, but BYU’s stuck landings were the difference.

Alina Miller stuck DLO in exhibition. Viable option.

After 2: BYU 98.300, ASU 98.000

Rotation 3

Thompson – BB – ASU – “ASU will be on the bar” – bhs bhs loso, secure – switch to straddle 1/4 – side aerial to full, small rebound – a couple positions but basically no checks. 9.850

Bain – FX – BYU – ro double tuck, keeps that front foot down on her step – good amplitude in leap combination – rudi, secure – front lay to front full to …something – no punch in that combination, sits down that front tuck attempt. 8.800

White – BB – ASU – bhs loso series, extended well – L turn, would not give L credit, large lean at the hips as well – aerial to beat jump is pretty – split to stag ring – I authorize Heather to break social distance to slap this guy if he calls this “the bar” one more time – 9.700

Matthews – FX – BYU – double pike, chest up, controlled landing – back lay to front full, good height, some legs apart deduction – switch side to wolf jump full, loses toe point some there but hits her positions – double tuck, bounce back. 9.800

Boyer – BB – ASU – bhs loso and can’t save it – tries a leg up wobble adventure but has to hop off in the end – aerial to beat was pretty – switch to switch, hits her positions – side aerial to full, stuck. 9.275

Vitkauskas – FX – BYU – punch front 2/1, lunge out was a little big – 1.5 to front lay, solid height – nice flexibility in that popa – punch rudi, secure landing. 9.875

Clark – BB – ASU – bhs loso loso, really nice mid-air adjustment on the final loso to keep herself on the beam – switch to split, some back leg deductions – aerial, tiny lean – bhs 1.5, small slide back. 9.900. OK…?

Miner Alder – FX – BYU – good DLO, chest up, just does keep the front foot down – split leap full to jump full, hits her positions – 1.5 to layout, bouncier landing, lunge forward – double pike, lunge back, borderline OOB but may have kept her heel from hitting

Reeves – BB – ASU – nails bhs loso loso series – switch to split, switch looked good, short leg on the split – her signature aerial to basket – 1.5, pace forward. 9.850

Johnny “run through on the bar” also thinks Heather came up with “pressure is a privilege.”

Stainton – FX – BYU – double pike, good height, a tad forward – back 1.5 to 1/2 to split jump, control – low on ring position, split leap full was good – well controlled double tuck. 9.875

Scharf – BB – ASU – wolf turn double, pretty solid – bhs loso series, best elevation – holds side somi – switch to split, loose back knee – 1.5, holds the stick. 9.925

S Miner – FX – BYU – hits her DLO – is a little short on her 1.5 to front full, has to stagger on landing with a step back. 9.825

49.175 for BYU on floor, 49.225 for Arizona State on beam as scores got a little fancy toward the end there.

After 3: BYU 147.475, ASU 147.225

The Temple tri-meet is also underway now. Fab bars from Jada Rondeau for EMU with a stuck DLO.

Hurst for Towson had the fortune to split the beam on her switch to switch combination.

EMU goes 48.725 on bars to Temple’s 48.650 on vault.

Rotation 4 for ASU and BYU

Mather – BB – BYU – side aerial, pause before split jump – bhs loso series, small lean, – switch to a straddle 1/4, secure, short on straddle position – gainer full hop back. 9.775

Thompson – FX – ASU – double pike, forward landing with a step – switch side to wolf jump full, indistinct landing positions there – 1.5 to layout, has to tuck around that front lay a little. 9.725

Zhong – BB – BYU – switch to split, good back leg – bhs loso series, well short, fights to stay on the beam wuth a large break, bends at the hips – aerial to sissone was pretty – 1.5 dismount, small hop. 9.600

White – FX – ASU – double pike, comfortable pass, bounce back – rudi with a very large bounce back – switch ring and split ring 1/2 open the door for deductions because turning ring elements – front full to front tuck, just does get it around. 9.650

Miner Alder – BB – BYU – hitch kick to kickover front, another large break and another save, leg-up correction – hits loso series – switch to split jump 3/4, risking no combo credit there because she did stop moving for a sec in between – gainer full, stuck. 9.750

Lots of scoring delay problems happening on floor.

Boyer FX – ASU – has a bounce back on her front lay to rudi – double pike, has the height, small movement again – “has an expression on her face, definitely rare for Juliette.” LOL – split leap full to wolf jump full, split has a short leg – 1.5 to layout, good lift in layout. 9.850

Mason – BB – BYU – bhs los series, secure landing – switch to split, solid extension – side aerial, pause before split jump, good individual elements – 1.5, hop forward. 9.800

Mangahas – FX – ASU – gets the full in around, chest down with a step – just a front lay front lay second pass – double pike, deep landing in the knees with a step forward. 9.775

Rollins – BB – BYU – switch to straddle jump 1/4, good straddle position – aerial with a check, no combo on that element – bhs loso series and right off the beam, maybe a quarter of one foot touched the beam there, will have to count the 9.600 now. Gainer full, stuck.

Scharf – FX – ASU – front tuck through to double tuck, secure landing – front full to front tuck, most control so far – high double pike, stagger on the landing leg flies back. 9.900, high for that last pass.

Stainton – BB – BYU – hitch kick to kickover front to bhs, high kickover – switch to straddle 1/4, almost too high there, finished too early with a small lean – 1.5, stuck landing. Good finish. 9.850

Clark – FX – ASU – double pike, holds the control – double tuck, chest just a bit forward, small step forward- she needs a 9.800 for ASU to win – back 1.5 to layout, has to arch around that layout some.

I;m seeing exactly a 9.800 posted for Clark (and maybe a 9.700/9.900 judge split, I want to see the judge splits for this floor rotation because there were some long delays.)

Arizona State moves just ahead of BYU and will win 196.275 to 196.250

Both teams will be happy with this score, an improvement over the first week.

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