The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Wednesday Live Blog – February 10, 2021

Wednesday, February 10
Scores Stream
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT – [11] BYU @ [10] UCLA LINK FREE

A rare Wednesday live blog, as UCLA competes in its third meet of the season while BYU is already doing its 6th like it’s a normal season. In a rare development, this UCLA home meet is also free for anyone to watch.

Sekai Wright enters the vault lineup for UCLA to give them six there. Ulias and Dennis replace Taubman and Tratz on bars. Sakti will exhibition on floor. So these look like slightly fuller lineups with some depth progress made.

Everyone else: *Model struts down this makeshift runway for intros*
Marz: I’M SPIDERMAN

The Shapiros reciting a Maya Angelou poem before the meet might be the peakest of Peak UCLA.

Rotation 1

When they cut off the dog’s ears for the pet cutout, it’s one of the most disturbing sights.

UCLA is verrrry gold.

Tratz – VT – UCLA – solid yfull, medium bounce back, the rest is strong, distance and shape and whatnot. 9.775

Zhong – UB – BYU – my favorite part is that we missed this entire routine until the DLO, small hop back. 9.800

Poston – VT – UCLA – handspring pike 1/2 – pretty solid control on her landing, small slide back – deep landing, a bit of squat and chest forward. 9.825. 9.750/9.900 split. 9.900 is a lottttt.

Hunter – Ub – BYU – slight rushed first hs – hits her foot on the bar on tkatchev but keeps going (that’s a flat 0.2) – solid bail position – did well to maintain the rest of the routine into a strong DLO, but a major deduction. 9.400. Adjusted to 9.500.

Frazier – VT – UCLA – what we’ve come to expect – medium bounce back on her full, notable pike throughout. 9.800. Shouldn’t score higher than Tratz for me.

Cyrenne – UB – BYU – toe on to maloney, legs apart into bail, looked pretty solid – some body shape in final cast hs – DLO, small hop back. 9.775

Wright – VT – UCLA – competes her Y1.5 – lands quite short and has to lunge back to save it, but got it around. 9.725.

Beeston – UB – BYU – clear hip, short of vertical – gienger to overshoot, good legs together on gienger – struggles on another handstand on high – DLO, somewhat whippy, slide back. 9.775

Dennis – VT – UCLA – solid yfull as usual, small slide back – from this angle looked like she piked down a little at the end to find the landing, which is unusual for her, so maybe not her highest. 9.850

Alvarado – UB – BYU – excited to see her back in the lineup – good first hs – toe on to maloney to pak, very small leg breaks, good toes and height – smooth 1/2 turn on low – short final cast hs – DLO, small step back. 9.825

Campbell – VT – UCLA – gigantic yfull, very good – medium full tenth bounce, has the amplitude and layout shape, so could still go 9.850. And does. 9.850

Stainton – UB – BYU – shortish first hs – blind to piked jaeger to overshoot, good releases, some late verticals – FTDT, step to the side. 9.825

UCLA 49.100 on vault.

Miner-Alder just in exhibition this week on bars. Def would have counted had she been in the lineup.

After 1: UCLA 49.100, BYU 49.000

A fine bars rotation for BYU but not their best. They can be a lot crisper on those handstands than they were today, with most of the people missing their last casts.

UCLA will be pleased to get a sixth vaulter in there, even though Wright’s score didn’t count. No sticks in there, so the fulls are never going to go THAT high.

Rotation 2

OK. Ellen cutout. We got it.

Zhong – VT – BYU – hits a full, small bounce back, not quite the dynamics of the UCLA fulls so expect a slightly lower score, pretty solid body position. 9.775

Campbell – UB – UCLA – some hip angle in first hs – maloney to bail, small leg breaks – better cast hs on high – blind to double front, good stick, some cowboy, not too too bad. 9.850

Griffith – VT – BYU – a clean Y1/2 in the air, has to take a fairly large bounce forward. 9.725

Kooyman – UB – UCLA – short first hs – maloney to pak, leg breaks there – 1/2 turn on low bar is late – some cast positions – DLO, pretty large bounce back. A struggle today. 9.725

Bain – VT – BYU – a pretty large bounce back on her full – some piking, efficient vault but not the highest. 9.675

Ulias – UB – UCLA – good first hs – toe 1/2 is late into jaeger, caught but close – nice cast hs on high – bail, leg break, not quite to vertical – shorter final cast – stalder to double tuck, hop forward and a stepping salute. Through it. 9.725

Mason – VT – BYU – much better control on her full, small hop back – soft knees throughout, some pike. 9.800

Dennis – Ub – UCLA – maloney is high – bail gets kind of crazy, large leg break on catch – continues – solid cast hs on high – DLO, kind of holds the stick into a slide salute. Nice to have her back, though the bail was an adventure. 9.800. That’s a little high for that bail.

Bennett – VT – BYU – full on to back tuck – medium bounce back, pretty solid chest up position. 9.775

Esparza – UB – UCLA – rishes first hs – maloney to pak is very nice, legs together – arches cast hs on low but pulls it back – good van leeuwen – DLO, stuck landing. Very nice. Easily best of the rotation. 9.900

Miner-Alder – VT – BYU – strong full – better height, shows some open, small slide back. 9.850

Frazier – UB – UCLA – maloney to pak, good legs on pak – solid cast hs on low – van leeuwen, strong form – smooth-looking cats – DLO, slide back. 9.850

Reeder exhibition vault for BYU, falls on a Yfull attempt. Taubman exhibition bars for UCLA, takes jaeger way too far and falls. Matthews falls on Y1/2 in BYU exhibition vault. So 0/3 on exhibitions, looks like the right choices were made there.

After 2: UCLA 98.225, BYU 97.925

A 49.125 on bars is a positive rotation for UCLA, and today’s lineup was compositionally fuller than previous meets, though there were also some raggedy ann moments in the middle of that rotation that they kind of got away with. Tratz would totally have gone 9.750 and then pretended to be inhabited by the spirit of an old ghost woman, and we really missed out on that.

BYU too bouncy on those full landings to get into the 49s because they don’t have the same amplitude to rely on that UCLA does.

Rotation 3

Would like a Miss Val blog post about how she learned to process the indignity of her hair being kind of cut off in her cutout and instead embrace every moment.

Frazier – BB – UCLA – switch to straddle, nice extended switch – aerial to back tuck, larger leg-up check – full turn – side aerial, check, broken connection into beat jump – front gainer full, hop back. 9.725

Bain – FX – BYU – round off double tuck, holds her stick with an arm wave – split leap full to wolf full, pretty solidly around – front lay to front full to front tuck – better control this week – punch rudi, slide back. 9.825

Poston – BB – UCLA – beat to straddle 3/4, arm wave check – bhs bhs loso, another minor check – some leg position softness – 1.5, good stick there. 9.800

Bennett – FX – BYU – we missed her first pass because of replays – double pike, steppy on landing, some chest position – cat leap 2/1 was a tad under – 9.750

Esparza – BB – UCLA – bhs loso series, good, has the leg extension – switch to straddle 1/4, mice – aerial to beat – struggles on her side aerial to full, pikes down the full and a couple steps on landing. 9.750

Matthews – FX – BYU – double pike, pretty secure, maybe some front foot movement, chest down – back 1/2 to front full, shortish with a slide – switch side to wolf full, over a bit on switch side – double tuck, solid. 9.800

Dennis – BB – UCLA – full turn, smooth – bhs loso series, solid and high, some leg position – switch to switch 1/2 to beat, strong split positions, small hesitation between the switches – 1.5, quickly salutes out of it. A very solid beam for her. 9.900

Stainton – FX – BYU – round off double pike, medium slide back – back 1.5 to 1/2, some soft knees, under control – double tuck, solid. 9.775

Campbell – BB – UCLA – wolf double, fine, a little army – bhs loso series with a major break, bend at the hips – switch 1/2, good height, some feet – switch to split is quite nice – gainer full, hop in place. 9.775. A fascinating 9.700/9.850 split…

Vitkauskas – FX – BYU – front 2/1, good height, lunge forward – back 1.5 to front lay, another lunge out, good straight position in her layout – solid switch side to popa – punch rudi, good, keeps front foot down. 9.850

Sakti – BB – UCLA – standing loso loso and falls – so it will be a sub-49 beam for UCLA – side somi is hit but with a lean forward – side aerial to full, step back.

Miner-Alder – FX – BYU – DLO, hit, keeps it under control – split leap full to split jump full, hits her 180 positions, some soft knees – 1.5 to layout is clean – double pike, solid. Should be a good score. 9.925 well now.

Kooyman in beam exhibition – that poor woman in the back who has to look away so she doesn’t get subject to full planche-crotch – side aerial, good – bhs loso series, secure, some feet – switch to back tuck, pause to break connection – gainer full, hit. Nice.

Reeder floor ex for BYU – front 2/1 to front tuck.

After 3: UCLA 147.175, BYU 147.100

UCLA was throwing out tenths like mardi gras beads in that beam rotation. It just doesn’t look like a confident rotation yet. Allowed BYU back into the meet after BYU hit a fairly normal floor rotation.

Rotation 4

Mather – BB – BYU – side aerial to split jump – bhs loso series, hit, some knees in bhs – full turn – switch to straddle 1/4, small hesitation in between – gainer full, stuck. Solid. 9.875

Andres – FX – UCLA – front 2/1 to front tuck, lunge forward, keeps it in bounds – double tuck, hit, slide back – switch – switch 1/2 to popa, nice feet in her dance elements – that was her strongest floor thus far, landing control issues but solid elements. 9.775

Cyrenne – BB – BYU – bhs loso series, under control – switch 1/2 to split jump, short of position on switch 1/2 – 1.5, hop forward. 9.775

Wright – FX – UCLA – 2.5 with a lunge out – rudi to a slightly ragged double stag out of it – split leap full to popa, does pretty well to get those around – back 1.5 to layout, pulls around the lay, somewhat flat. 9.775

Miner-Alder – BB – BYU – split jump, some back knee – switch to kickover to bhs, pretty secure work in combo, deepish kickover – beat to split jump 3/4, solid – gainer full, small slide back. 9.775

Tratz – FX – UCLA – full in, step back, looks like she kept it in bounds, chest down – switch ring to split leap full – back 1.5 to layout, some better height on that layout – double tuck, very solid. 9.900

Someone went 9.950. So Nia’s ready.

McClelland – BB – BYU – wolf double, good – bhs loso series, near adjustment out of it but solid – beat to stag ring, good – fairly long pause before bhs 1.5 tucked, slide-salute. 9.600

Frazier – FX – UCLA – whip through to double tuck, a little forward on landing, controls it – double pike, solid, keeps front foot down – split full to popa to popa, rushes some of those positions this time, gets crooked. I am on board with this floor routine. 9.925

Rollins – BB – BYU – switch to straddle 1/4, short back leg on switch – aerial to bhs bhs, good extension on that one, just a little slow out of aerial – hitch kick to side aerial, solid, chest down – gainer full, step back. 9.850

Campbell – FX – UCLA – front 2/1, controls the step out of it fairly well – switch leap full to popa, good extension on popa – double tuck, solid, chest up – front lay to front full, little step to the side. Another good one.9.900

Stainton – Bb – BYU – kitckover to kickover to bhs, good solid elements – switch to split 1/4, back leg there – 1.5 dismount, finds the stick. 9.900

Dennis – FX – UCLA – front loso through to double tuck, keeps front foot down – front full to layout, good layout position, looks like she sold the control enough on that one, but borderline – split leap full to split jump full to straight full, defined finish positions – rudi to split jump, travels to the side on split jump. Not a 10 but best of the rotation. We shall see, both have given 9.950 for other routines so far.

9.925 with a 10.000/9.850 split. Pure NCAA. Although no qualms with the final average, that feels about right. I would have been fine with a 9.900 for that one. I expected 9.950.

Sakti in floor exhibition for UCLA, OOB on a double tuck. Pretty feet on her leaps. Struggles to pull around double pike.

FINAL: UCLA 196.600, BYU 196.275

So that will be BYU’s 3rd-best score so far this season, knocking out a 196.250 among their NQS four, so not a huge change there. But, you know, a low 196 for not their best meet is a solid result.

UCLA 196.600 is lower than last week but competitive this season. Floor, clearly the team’s best event, saved the day. And some clear progress in lineups.

One judge had UCLA’s floor at 49.350 and the other had it at 49.600. Those are VERY different quality rotations. Kind feels like you should get on the same page.

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