The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Sunday Live Blog – January 17, 2021

Sunday, January 17
Scores Stream
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT – Bowling Green @ Kent State LINK FREE
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT – [3] Utah @ [2] Oklahoma LINK ESPN2
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT – Maryland @ Penn State LINK BTN

Utah and Oklahoma is probably the only non-conference ooooooh meet we’re going to get this season, though we will get various conference things later on like Florida-LSU and (hopefully?) Utah-UCLA. Just not as many this season.

Initial lineups have Anastasia Webb, Maile O’Keefe, and Cristal Isa in the AA, so no surprises there.

Maryland and Penn State have the misfortune of going at the same time and probably won’t get a ton of eyes as a result, but that should be a solidly interesting matchup as well.

Ragan Smith into the AA now as well, vaulting this week instead of Audrey Lynn. No Carly Woodard this week, with Schoepfer in on beam and Thomas in on floor.

Utah and OU starting now.

Rotation 1

Davis – VT – OU – strong amplitude on her full, good position in the air, step back. 9.825

Paulson – UB – Utah – good first hs – maloney to pak, small legs apart – good cast hs on high – giant full to double tuck, stuck. Strong. 9.825

Smith – VT – OU – pretty large bounce back on her full, some piking, will want to drop that one. 9.725

Over in Penn State, broadcast says Lauren Bridgens is out for the season for PSU. Not Great, Bob.

Sabado – UB – Utah – hits a jaeger, short cast hs after it on high, small leg break on bail – will get docked for these casts – DLO, secure landing. 9.800 a little high for me.

Stern – VT – OU – lands short on her Y1.5, lunge back and it almost looked like her legs started to give out and she had to take another step to ensure she didn’t sit down. Will be lower than they want. 9.675. Oof.

Burch – UB – Utah – hop grip change to solid jaeger, legs together on bail, nice vertical – casts look pretty solid – DLO, slide back. Solid, normal. 9.825

LeVasseur – VT – OU – thats more like it – great distance and form on her Y1.5 – small hop forward. Strong. Pretty vault, very Degouveia. 9.875

O’Keefe – UB – Utah – maloney to pak, good legs together – just slightly short on 1/2 turn on low – shortish cast hs on high – double arabian, big stick this week. One of her best dismounts. 9.875

Webb – VT – OU – strong 1.5 from her as well – big height, not as much distance as Levasseur but higher – medium hop to the side. 9.925

LeBlanc – Ub – Utah – shorter first hs – high jaeger to overshoot, good form – shortish cast hs on high – DLO, nearly sells the stick, leans, has to take a little hop. 9.875

Schoepfer – VT – OU – tucked Y1.5 – fine – pace forward and another small step to meet it. Will be a usable score, but not quite an Oklahoma vault rotation here. 9.800

Isa – Ub – Utah – Ray, a bit of elbows this week – clean bail, nice toes – DLO, not as high as she wanted but finds the stick, holds it with a lean. 9.875

After 1: Utah 49.275, Oklahoma 49.150

The story so far is an uncharacteristic Oklahoma vault rotation in which a 9.725 had to count and the team went just 49.150 with no sticks. Not what we’re used to seeing, and Utah has developed a lead so far. After Levasseur’s 9.875 I was going to say scoring was tight, but the rest of the rotations for both teams were fairly loose.

Over at Maryland/Penn State we’re in the late/middle of the first rotation.

Bonsall – VT – PSU – hits a full, medium bounce back, a little bit of piking at the end. 9.825

Silverman – UB – Maryland – hits a gienger, bail, some looseness but gets to vertical – one short hs on high – stick on the DLO. Nice one.

Rushlow – VT – PSU – Yfull – good amplitude and direction – bounce back, small pike at the end, similar to bonsall

Rotation 2 from Ou and Utah

O’Keefe – VT – Utah – big full, one of her best college vaults, gets the distance and sticks it – a step up for her. 9.850

Thomas – Ub – OU – good first hs – toe 1/2 to jaeger, hit – small arch on bail but holds it well – DLO, stuck, good one. 9.825

Isa – VT – Utah – struggles on her full, lands short on her full with a pretty large bounce forward. 9.700

LeVasseur – UB – OU – maloney is hit – good vertical on bail position – borderline final cast hs – DLO, finds the stick, chest a little forward but again holds it. 9.875

Rucker – VT – Utah – huge full but a larger bounce back. 9.825

Draper – UB – OU – blind to a piked jaeger, solid, some feet – high pak, small leg break – double front dismount, small step

Hall – VT – Utah – can’t control the landing on her Y1.5 today, large lunge forward. 9.800

Smith – UB – OU – Ray to Pak, missed one hand on the Pak and has to step off – resumes with a DLO, some whip but controlled landing. Tough day for Ragan on the first two. 9.175

Burch – VT – Utah – sits down her Y1.5. Landed well short. 9.125

This meet as been…not awesome so far.

Large judging delay on bars. Probably whether to give the Pak as a completed element resulting in range. Smith down to a 9.075 after judge conference.

Webb – UB – OU – high Pak, makes Bart give a Kathy moan – good van leeuwen – nailed handstand on high bar – double front 1/2 out, leans to the side to hold the stick

Stanhope – VT – Utah – anchoring today – does a full, bounce back, not super large. Wonder if they held back because there was a fall beforehand.

Davis – Ub – OU – good hs on high – great height on piked jaeger, handstands are very precise, pak, pretty – L grip giant into double front, pace forward. Lovely work.

9.900 for Davis leads OU’s rotation and gives thema perfectly fine 49.300 on bars, dropping the fall. Utah goes 49.000 flat on vault.

After 2: Oklahoma 98.450, Utah 98.275

Both teams well under 197 pace through the first two events, which I would not necessarily have called. Potential for big numbers coming in the last two rotations, which I would expect, but no overwhelming gymnastics thus far from either team.

Cross – UB – Penn State – PSU had a fall on the first bars routine from Maddie Johnston, got lost in her initial handstand and had to hop off- blind to jaeger, nice toe point and height – saves an arched handstand on high – hits bail – some hip angle positions – double tuck, deep with a step-salute forward. 9.750

Gilbert – VT – Maryland – lunge forward on her Y1/2

Verdeflor – UB – Penn St – good first hs – blind to jaeger and falls. Well crap. Jaeger was too pretty to live.

Rotation 3 – OU and Utah

Thomas – BB – OU – side somi, solidly done – bhs loso series, small arm adjustment – switch to switch to straddle 1/4, leg-up wobble on her straddle 1/4 – side aerial to full, holds the stick. 9.725

Isa – FX – Utah – double tuck, comfortable, keeps front foot down – double pike, pretty clear bounce back there, but keeps it in bounds – back 1.5 to layout, controlled lunge out of it. Solid start. 9.775

Schoepfer – BB – OU – bhs loso, very secure landing – quick full turn, flourish of the leg, could call it a hesitation – side aerial landed on one foot directly through to switch and split – 1.5, small hop. 9.750. Already will have to count.

Gilstrap – FX – Utah – solid double tuck, chest up, very smooth – front lay to rudi, good lift into that rudi – leaps are no trouble for her, where she excels – front lay to front full, stuck landing. yes, that routine will work. 9.850

Dunn – BB – OU – love the punch the beam at the beginning – that’s the fury we’re looking for – bhs bhs loso, right on – split to straddle 1/2, solid – gainer full, stuck. very confident routine. 9.900

Paulson – FX – Utah – front lay to front full to stag, solid – single wolf turn to intentional Paseka – 2.5, struggles on the landing, large lunge forward, just stays in bounds, looks like she lost her finishing position – good 180s – 1.5 to layout, solid. 9.825

Davis – BB – OU – pretty flexibility opening – bhs loso series, secure – onodi, perfection – beat to ring jump, steps forward to manage the check – 2/1 dismount, step back. 9.775. Kind of surprised at a couple of these 9.7s. Thought they would be 9.8s.

Rucker – FX – Utah – FTDT, great open position, lands a tad short with a step – switch half to split full to wolf full, good extension – front full with a lunge forward. 9.850

Smith – BB – OU – bhs loso, comfortable – aerial to straddle jump, very crisp – beat to straddle 1/4 to korbut, just slightly off line in the swingdown – great elements – gainer full, stuck. Well that was stellar. 9.900

O’Keefe – FX – Utah – double pike, keeps front foot down on step – front lay to front full, went straight up there – lunge forward – strong leap positions – 1.5 to layout, landed comfortably as well. 9.875

Webb – BB – OU – bhs loso eries, very secure – aerial, works into beat jump without betraying a check even though she seemed a bit off line – switch to switch, has improved over the years on that position – side aerial to full, stuck. Very good. 9.900

Soloski – FX – Utah – high DLO, – switch 1/2 and split leap full, rises further into split leap full, which is nice – front lay to front full, a little bouncy – 1.5 to layout, strong height again

9.900 for Soloski, so Utah goes 49.300 on floor to Oklahoma’s 49.225 on beam to eat into OU’s lead.

After 3: Oklahoma 147.675, Utah 147.575

Oklahoma ended up with a solid beam score but had to count two 9.7s, so won’t be pleased with it at all, keeping Utah in contention.

Over at Penn State, PSU is working against two falls in the first two beam routines. Johnston up now – bhs loso series, secure, some knee position – hits split jump to sheep – side aerial, small lean – 1.5, nearly sells the stick, step-salute. 9.825

Rotation 4 OU and Oklahoma

LeBlanc – BB – Utah – switch to split 1/4, solid – bhs loso series and falls. Well now. Aerial to split, hit – Another check on full turn, struggling today – dismounts 1.5, well off to the side and has to step off the mats entirely. 9.125

Draper – FX – OU – starts with a double pike, chest a bit forward but hops to present without betraying a lack of control – front full to front full, small bounce – switch 1/2 to popa, good lift into popa and 180 positions, some feet in switch 1/2 – half to rudi, again small bounce. 9.875

Burch – Bb – Utah – bhs loso series, controlled landing – split to stag ring, steadies herself – cat leap to aerial – gainer full, stuck. A couple moments of hesitations, did not give away checks. 9.800

Schoepfer – FX – OU – double tuck, comfortably drops into landing, good – 1.5 to front layout – switch ring to wolf hop full – double pike, tiny bounce back – 9.850

Isa – BB – Utah – candle mount, drops quickly but hit the position – kickover quite deep, lean correction – bhs loso loso, very solid – split and straddle 1/4, good – gainer full, bounce back. I think Kelly may just have said, “Coach Dumbledore.” 9.625

La Pinta – FX – OU – hits her 3/1, small crossover back step – front full to layout, good rise into layout – split leap full to split jump full, some feet – double tuck, bounce back. 9.900, scores hadn’t been going too crazy until now

Randall – BB – Utah – bhs loso, whips hands down quickly to avoid a check – not bad position on her sheep – rulfova, hits pretty well, slightly off line, probably can’t tell from the side – 1.5, stuck landing. That was better. 9.875

Webb – FX – OU – good lift in front 2/1, keeps foot down – 1.5 to front full, no trouble at all – split leap 1.5 was weird, strange stumble on landing, maybe also a little under the 1.5 – rudi is quite clean. Gets 9.850

O’Keefe – BB – Utah – side aerial to loso, very strong – switch to split leap, lovely positions – side aerial to full, stuck landing. her usual, very good. 9.950

Smith – FX – OU – double tuck, solid – 1.5 to layout, combfortably landed as well – switch side to wolf jump full, high, no trouble hitting positions, a little bouncy on landing – double pike, bounce back. 9.875

Paulson – BB – Utah – side aerial to loso is trouble today, larger bend at the side to save it – switch to split, a little off line again with a check – cat leap to side aerial to full, stuck. 9.725

Deniz – FX – OU – back 2.5 first pass – large bounce forward and OOB, means this one probably won’t count – some on the floor pommel horse hand placements before her final pass – rudi, a bit short with a hop. 9.750

Utah had a shot at this one but did not perform the usual type of beam for this team, going just 48.975 after a tentative rotation. They’ll finish on 196.550. Would have needed a huge beam score to catch OU anyway, but it would have been possible with one of Utah’s best beam days.

Oklahoma won’t use that score from Deniz so it will be a 197.025 for them. Of course it’s not a bad score, but it’s not a score Oklahoma will be super happy with, showing uncharacteristic mistakes in a number of places.

Meanwhile, Penn State and Maryland have both started with misses in the final rotation., though Maryland is still in contention for a 195 if the remaining five beam routines are hits.

Bladon – FX – Penn St – double pike, chest down, some steps – back leg on split – 1.5 to layout, pulls layout around – double tuck, can’t pull it around, ahnds down, so Penn State will be counting a fall on floor in addition to bars and beam.

Rouse – BB – Maryland – standing loso to straddle jump – bhs loso series, arm wave correction – switch to straddle jump 1/4 – close enough in these combos but opening the door for nitpicking the rhythm – 1.5, hop forward. 9.700

Rushlow – FX – Penn St – double tuck, chest up, bounce back – 1.5 to layout, loses shape in the layout as she pulls it around – rudi to split jump, a little crooked on the split jump but through with a hit. 9.825

Silberman – BB – Maryland – switch to loso, huge break but stays on the beam, multiple arm swims – bhs loso series, hits it, back leg – switch to straddle 1/4, small lean – 1.5, good stick. 9.700

Bonsall – FX – Penn St – double tuck, chest up, a hair slidy – 1/2 to front full, just does keep her lunge from going OOB – double pike, some msall adjustment steps again but comfortable passes. 9.825

McClure – BB – Maryland – aerial to bhs, slow in combination but kept her arms moving – switch to straddle 1/4, loses her back foot some – kickover, nice and high – small lean after split jump – strong rudi stick and war cry. 9.925

Allen – FX – Penn St – DLO, does well to control it, sell the landing despite coming in a little chest forward – switch side to popa, precise landing position – front tuck through to double tuck, little slide there. Good work, best of the lineup so far. 9.850

Barber – BB – Maryland – aerial to bhs loso, off line on the loso and falls – so Maryland will have to count that beam fall.

Astarita – FX – Penn St – open double tuck, nails the landing, very nice – 1.5 to layout, also secure on the landing – switch side to popa – double pike, also comfortable, good finish.

FINAL: Maryland 194.875, Penn St 193.875

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