The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Sunday Live Blog – February 14, 2021

Sunday, February 14
Scores Stream
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT – [24] Ohio State @ Rutgers LINK BTN+
2:00pm ET/11:00am PT – Temple @ Pittsburgh LINK ESPN3
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT – Northern Illinois @ Ball State LINK ESPN3
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT – Kent State @ Eastern Michigan LINK  
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT – Illinois State @ Lindenwood   FREE
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT – [10] UCLA @ Washington LINK P12N
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT – [14] Arizona State @ [16] Cal LINK FREE

Should be a couple fun ones in the Pac-12 starting shortly. UCLA competes in Washington, and we’ll see if the strict reputation of Washington judging holds up in this week of insanity. Starting a bit later it’s Cal against Arizona State, as Arizona State tries to use this season to challenge Cal’s spot at #3 in the conference.

UCLA’s floor lineup today is…something. Taubman, Ulias, and Sakti in the lineup. No Dennis. No Campbell. No Tratz. I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel safe.

UCLA will be getting Steele back on bars this week. No Dennis there or on floor, but she will be doing vault and beam, same as Campbell, just on those two. No Sekai Wright on vault. Emma Andres is sitting in the 6th spot for vault. May be a “we’ll see if we can count the first five” situation.

LOL. My summary of the P12N opening was, “Crap, we prepped this whole thing about Nia’s floor and now she’s not doing floor.”

Rotation 1

Thomas – VT – UW – ylayout, medium step back, some piking, under control. 9.500

Kooyman – UB – UCLA – shirt first hs – maloney to pak, legs separation on both – 1/2 turn on low, short but not bad – better cast hs on high – DLO, chest down, hop forward. 9.750

Weiss – VT – UW – tsuk tuck 1/2, pretty well controlled landing, a bit short, small step. 9.650

Steele – UB – UCLA – maloney to pak, good leg position – 1/2 turn on low bar is fairly solid – gets up to vertical on final cast – DLO, some feet, lunge back. Pretty much her normal from last season on the bars. Not quite there on the dismount yet. But solid. Important to have her back. 9.725

Smith – VT – UW – ytucked full, doesn’t have the landing control today – pretty large bounce back – 9.625

Ulias – UB – UCLA – good first hs – toe 1/2 to high jaeger, good toes, but goes over on her next cast handstand and has to come off – resumes with toe on to bail, some angle in catch, small leg break – great hs on high – stalder into double tuck, lunge back. 9.225

Cunningham – VT – UW – hits her yfull, not the stick she can do with a medium bounce back this week, but good height. 9.750

Esparza – UB – UCLA – strong first hs – maloney to pak, grerat psoitions – short cast on low – hits van leeuwen well, legs together – DLO, good stick. A couple short handstand positions, great form on her value elements. 9.875

Thompson – VT – UW – holddds the tick on her yfull – great height and layout shape, major lean forward to hold the stick though with a swim and legs apart. 9.875

Dennis – UB – UCLA – maloney to bail, solid legs together – into the bars lineup after all – good final cast hs – DLO, nearly holds the stick there but bounces out into salute. 9.850

McNamara – VT – UW – round-off full on to back tuck – well off to the side of the table but holds control on her landing – step salute. 9.700

Frazier – UB – UCLA – maloney to pak, small leg break on maloney, great pak – van leeuwen, legs together – DLO, good landing, bounce up in place? 9.925.

After 1: UCLA 49.125, Washington 48.600

Three solid routines to end that rotation for UCLA. Able to drop the fall from Ulias but did have to count a couple ragged scores in the first two spots. Expect Steele’s number of get back up to her usual with a more comfortable dismount, so important to have her back.

Washington’s lowest vault number for the season so far. Thompson did well, Cunningham was pretty good and could have gone 9.8s for that. But it’s still pretty much a two-person rotation.

Rotation 2

Tratz – VT – UCLA – good full, medium bounce back, small piking in there. Solid. 9.800

Replay of SKW’s hand slipping on a cast in wamrup.

SKW – UB – UW – piked jaeger to overshoot, nice height – hit cast hs – front giant full to double tuck, hop forward. Smooth work. 9.775

Poston – VT – UCLA – handspring pike 1/2, hits it – chest well down, small hop forward, pulled it out, but not a ton of distance. 9.800

Brovedani – UB – blind to piked jaeger, hit, a little low, some feet – hits her bail solidly, legs together – short cast on high – giant full to double tuck, pace forward. 9.700

Frazier – VT – UCLA – the larger bounce back we’ve come to expect on her full, piking. 9.675. I mean it’s fair.

McNamara – UB – UW – strong first hs – blind to jaeger and falls. Drag. Really pretty form in the air on that jaeger. Resumes with pak, leg break – great cast hs on high – giant full is low into double tuck, step

Dennis – VT – UCLA – well it was an excellent full, great height and a stickkkk…….until she leaned over and literally ran away from vault. LOL. That’s one for the GIF book. 9.800. Probably at least 9.850 if she had done a normal person step.

Bowles – UB – UW – shortish first hs – deltchev to overshoot, hit, some legs on the overshoot with an awkward catch and feet on the deltchev – nice cast hs on high – giant full, late, to double tuck, stuck. 9.525

Campbell – VT – UCLA – fab yfull as always – huge, great position, smallish slide back. 9.875

Thompson – UB – UW – good frst hs – blind to jaeger, high and comfortable – bail, small arch that she had to pull back – hits cast on high – FTDT, stuck. Good work. Now that’s a college salute. 9.875

UCLA will scratch Andres on vault and count the 9.675 for Frazier. 48.950 rotation.

Wickman – UB – UW – some angle in first hs and can’t get over on her blind change attempt, swings for a second and then hops off. Resumes to do her blind into piked jaeger in a close overshoot – very short handstands – double tuck, step.

Oh Washington.

After 2: UCLA 98.075, Washington 96.475

Wickman gets out of there with a 9.000 but that will put Washington on 47.875 on bars, another season low. That’s a shame because we did see some improvements. Those final cast handstands on high bar were, for the most part, really strong and better than what the other teams are doing.

For UCLA, it was a light vault rotation without a lot of landing control and in a “we’re not going to lift you up when you’re off” scoring environment.

Rotation 3

Brovedani – BB – UW – aerial to bhs, keeps arms moving – switch through to switch to split – side aerial, secure landing – side aerial to tuck full, stuck. Confident first routine. 9.850

Andres – FX – UCLA – 2.5 to front tuck, hit with a step forward, gets a little low on her front tuck – round off double tuck, controlled step – switch – switch 1/2 to popa, not quite all the way around on her popa rotation. 9.825

Eksteen – BB – UW – aerial to bhs bhs, off line on second bhs and falls – full turn and sissone are nice – beat to sheep, short of closure there – holds the landing on her 1.5, low but solid. 9.125

Taubman – FX – UCLA – hmmm, didn’t know she was doing Pritchett’s routine – double tuck, bounce back – front lay to front full gets crazy, legs and low and a hilarious pose out of it – switch ring and switch side somewhat low but not abysmal – finishes double pike, works it out, low chest, and a step. I didn’t know she had a floor routine, so that’s something. 9.650. I think I saw a 9.750/9.550 split……

Thompson – BB – UW – solid candle mount position – switch with a hesitation into split jump 3/4, arm wave check and a possible broken SV – bhs loso series, step back and a check bend at the hips – 1.5, hop forward.

Ulias – FX – UCLA – “sassy Betty Boop” – rudi, under control on landing, just a little forward, good twisting position – swtich to split leap 1.5 attempt, good splits, not quite around on 1.5 – 1.5 to layout, good height on layout, a little slide – split leap full to split jump full gets low in the jump and a little off balance. 9.725

Cal and ASU is start. Schank with a medium slide back on a yfull. Reeves on UB with a couple leg breaks but a solid dmt stick.

Bordas – VT – Cal – similar to Schank – bigger power and good direction, bounce back. 9.850

LOL. Judges had a 10/9.6 SV split for Thompson. Long break. 9.550 for Thompson.

Thomas – BB – UW – full turn, small hesitation – kickover with a check into bhs, another sv break pause – swtich with another hesitation into straddle 1/4, another question of sv – 1.5 dismount, step. No combinations there which will hurt.

Clausi went back to the y layout full this week for Cal, 9.800.

Sakti – FX – UCLA – open double tuck, hit, just a bit forward with a step – switch 1/2 to split jump full, good positions though I don’t think she got that fully around at the end – punch front full to front tuck, very very low, just did pull the combo around, some leg crossing – double pike, hit, chest down, step forward.9.625

8.850 and a 9.2 SV for Thomas on beam. Yikers.

Mcnamara – BB – UW – bhs loso series with a leg-up break, brings it back – cat leap to switch 1/2 to beat, a little short on switch 1/2 but a solid combo – side aerial, pretty – sticks her tuck full dismount. 9.800

Wright – FX – UCLA – front full to layout, pretty solid landing, just a bit low in layout – punch rudi to double stag, good height – split leap full to split jump full, some soft knees, has to bounce it around – 1.5 to layout controls the step – her most comfortable floor of the year thus far. 9.800

Cal gets a handspring pike 1/2 out of Solari this week. A little short, chest down with a hop to the side.

SKW – BB – UW – bhs loso series, very solid – kickover, solid – switch to sissone – hit, not quite to position on sissone – side aerial to 1.5 dismount, small shuffle back. Two good hits to end that rotation.

Cairo Leonard-Baker just pike shooted her feet right into the high bar on bars. Had to extra swing.

Frazier – FX – UCLA – whip through to double tuck, pretty solid control on landing there – double pike, a bounce back – split leap full to popa to popa, did not commit to that first split leap position, short of 180. 9.900

After 3: UCLA 146.975, Washington 144.525

48.050 turns out to be Washington’s best beam of the year so far, but they had to count a fall because of the other SV apocalypse. Three good routines in there.

UCLA goes 48.900 on floor with its B team, which is pretty much they best they could have hoped for.

Elsewhere, Cal goes 49.200 on vault, led by a 9.900 from DeSouza, which is their best vault so far. A good showing. ASU only 49.075 on bars, which is not their best. Partially because they didn’t get the CLB score, also because they didn’t bring the sticks today and several people gave away a tenth there.

Rotation 4

Cal and ASu have already started their second rotation – Mangahas led off vault for ASU with a bounce back on a full, DeSouza very solid on bars as always – high piked jager, control on FTDT dismount. 9.850/9.950 split for her.

Poston – BB – UCLA – beat to split jump 3/4, secure landing – bhs loso loso, also solid, bent knees on each element – 1.5, stuck. a comfortable set. 9.850

(Andrea Li sticks her bars dismount with a little arm wave. 9.925. Well I guess Cal is glad to be home.)

Smith – FX – UW – double tuck is well controlled – rudi to a double stag and the arm waving on the stag jumps are really starring this week, some wonderful windmills – back 1.5 to layout, some soft knees. hit. 9.775

Frazier – BB – UCLA – switch to switch, wobbles and decides to take it to scale because that’s what you do with a leg-up wobble – aerial to back tuck, keeps her arms moving – side aerial, arm wave – front layout full, small slide back. 9.825

(Nice stick on a yfull for Scharpf for ASU.)

McNamara – FX – UW – switch ring 1/2, not bad on the ring position – rudi to straddle jump, straddle gets a little low – switch ring to switch 1/2, good 180s, loses her feet a little – back 1.5 to front tuck, hit. 9.600

Esparza – BB – UCLA – bhs loso series, hit with a little hesitation this time, good amplitude – switch to straddle 1/4, another little arm wave, great split positions – aerial to beat, nice – side aerial to full, nearly misses her foot on the aerial, gets a full around but a larger bounce back. Dismount struggles a couple times in a row. 9.750.

Wickman – FX – UW – attempts punch 2/1 but it’s rather short, to the point where she may not get credit – nice leap positions – 1.5 to layout, some legs apart – punch rudi, slide back. 9.775

Dennis – Bb – UCLA – smooth full turn – bhs loso series, off line and falls. 9.300

Cal opts to put Emi Watterson in for her first bars routine of the season -she falls, but with a 49.325 rotation score before that, they didn’t need a number from her. Will of course be important to have her in the lineup later on. ASU gets a 9.925 fron Anaya Smith on her Y1.5 to match Cal’s 49.200 vault number.

Thompson – FX – UW – great double tuck, high, but a slide back – split fulla nd swtich 1/2, shortish on switch 1/2 – front lay to front full – split leap 1.5, pulls it around for the full 1.5 – rudi, under control, strong. 9.900

Campbell – BB – UCLA – wolf double, loses a little rhythm but brings it around – bhs loso series, solid – switch 1/2, secure landing – swtich to split, comfortable hitting positions – gainer full, small slide. A little tentative in her work but a solid set. 9.900

Cunningham – FX – UW – front tuck through to double tuck, chest up, good pass – love her lift on her wolf elements – double pike, slide back, a little steppy on that one. 9.925.

Sakti – BB – UCLA – off on her standing loso loso so UCLA will be counting a fall on beam. This meet was pretty much going to be a drop score anyway because of vault and floor and the sparse lineups, and now it’s conrimed as such. Finishes side aerial to stuck full.

FINAL: UCLA 195.625, Washington 193.500

Rotation 3 starting with Cal/ASU now

Clausi – BB – Cal – kickover to sissone, shoulder drops working out of it witha check – bhs loso series is solid – cat leap to switch side – side aerial to tuck full, stuck. Great second half. 9.850

Reeves – FX – ASU – 2.5 with a crossover step – a little soft in body position in her middle combo pass – ring 1/2 is a struggle – rudi, controls front foot, chest down. 9.725

DeSouza – BB – Cal – aerial, smooth, hit, covers well for being a little under – bhs loso, solid – straddle jump to sheep with a check, hip angle in the sheep – 1.5, solid stick. 9.900

Clark – FX – ASU – double pike, chest up, slide back – double tuck very nice, under control – switch to switch ring 1/2 with a hop to the side and some position. I don’t think turning rings are working for them. 1.5 to layout, good, nice lift into layout. 9.825

Li – BB – Cal – aerial to beat, good, pretty – bhs loso, stays secure – just a teeny “they turned the air conditioning up a notch” sways after landing some elements – split jump to split ring to beat, small pause before beat, nice split position – gainer pike, small step. 9.850

Boyer – FX – ASU – front lay to rudi, nice work on rudi, good lift anf twisting positions, slide back – double pike, solid – split and wolf work is good – 1.5 to high layout. Strong work. 9.875

George – BB – Cal – aerial, keeps arms moving into back tuck – hits wolf – switch to split jump to beat, loses her back leg in the switch, short, which is unusual for her – gainer full, holds stick with a chest down lean. 9.825

Mangahas – FX – ASU – just does pull around her full in, but her chest on landing was lower than her knees, so some deductions there – front tuck through to double tuck, more secure – switch 1/2 to wolf full to wolf full – 9.825

Bordas – BB – Cal – hitch kick to aerial to split jump, small hesitation before split jump – bhs loso series, secure, good extension – switch to split, hits her 180s – gaienr full, slide back. Strong work. 9.8250

Scharf – FX – ASU – front tuck through to doubel tuck, very strong, chest up, quite secure – front full to front tuck with a slide forward out of it – switch 1/2 to wolf, a bit short on switch – double pike, good control there

Watterson – BB – Cal – stops her wolf turn at 1.5 with a tucked leg against the beam, and it was getting hairy in that last half turn – bhs loso series is pretty – switch to split leap, lovely 180s – cat to side aerial to full with a slide back.

Watterson got a 9.8 start and a UTL we can see from one judge.

CLB – FX – ASU – back 1.5 to front full, good work maintaining a straight shape in those twisting elements – split leap full to wolf 1.5 is quite bouncy – double pike, solid landing, chest down. 9.900

After 3: Cal 147.775, ASU 147.600

Perea in beam exhibition – good wolf double – standing back tuck to back pike, connected pretty well and hit – switch to split to beat – check standing up from being low to the beam – side somi to back tuck full, good. That’s the best it has looked. She’s getting close to that lineup. But that as her acro series truly terrifies me.

Jaslow in floor exhibition – hits 2.5 with a crossover step, rudi with a slide – front lay to front full, a little steppy.

Rotation 4

Thompson – BB – ASU – bhs bhs loso series, hit, well held because she came in a little short on loso – switch to straddle 1/4, I think low but this elevated angle also makes them look like they’re 1 degree of split – side aerial to full, small slide back. 9.800

Quinn – FX – Cal – front lay to rudi, solid landing – switch side to popa, good splits – double pike landing is quite deep, survives it, lunge back. 9.850. OK whoa. Remember when she usually does better and gets 9.775?

Mangahas – BB – ASU – kickover with a check – bhs loso series, solid, some knee bending – swtich to split, good – split jump 1/2 from side, small check on landing – side aerial to full, small hop back. 9.700

Bordas – FX – Cal – double tuck, keeps that front foot down but a pretty large lunge – 1.5 to layout, solid – switch to switch ring 1/2, that’s a more realistic turning ring – rudi, hit, small foot adjustment. Good. 9.775. Are we sure they didn’t invert those first two scores?

Reeves – BB – ASU – joining partway through because of replays – switch to split, some back leg? – aerial, keeps arms moving into her back neck injury but fairly slow – 1.5, small hop – 9.750 with a 9.850/9.650 split.

DeSouza – FX – Cal – double pike, hit, chest a bit down – switch side to popa, nice extension – back 1.5 to front full, pulls it around, good leg positions – rudi, secure landing – 9.900.

Four 9.900s for her today for a 39.600

White – BB – AS – bhs loso series with a step back – aerial with a check bend to the side – split jump to stag ring is quite nice – side aerial to full, good stick. I don’t understand 9.850 here. She had two larger checks?

Schank – FX – Cal – double tuck, controlled landing, some chest position – double pike, overcooks it with a large bounce back, nearly OOB but I don’t think so – switch side to popas, overturns her switch side to get into combination – back 1.5 to layout. 9.725

Clark – BB – ASU – bhs loso loso series very strong – switch to split, excellent positions – aerial, smoothly done – bhs to 1.5, stuck. Really nice work. 9.950. OK hello.

Clausi – FX – Cal – double pike, large bounce back, stays in – switch side to popa – 1.5 to layout, just a bit of knees – double tuck is solidly landed. 9.850

Scharf – BB – ASU – bhs loso and a major break – a lean back and then brings it back and has to do a leg-up wobble – side somi, hit – switch to split – 1.5 dismount, got no punch and falls, which will give the meet to cal.

George – FX – Cal – front 2/1 to front tuck, strong – switch ring to split leap full, perfection – I like that they integrate her back tumbling requirement into choreo so that it’s not like “hi, I have to do my layout stepout now” – rudi, solid. Nice finish. 9.950

FINAL: Cal 197.100, Arizona State 196.650

A huge score for Cal to improve that ranking. Certainly their best meet thus far, and also combined with some much loosere judging than we saw in the last meet. Much more comfortable work on all the events, especially vault and floor which looked more competitive today.

A loss for ASU, but their second-best score of the season and best road number yet, so a worthwhile result. They didn’t bars the way they can bars, which made a big difference.

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