The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

National Championship Final – Live Blog

Saturday, April 17
Scores Stream
3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT – Team Final


Oklahoma, Michigan, Utah, Florida. Oklahoma starts on vault, Utah on bars, Florida on beam, and Michigan on floor.

The general consensus seems to be to crap on Florida’s chances after yesterday—and certainly if they bring anything like the gymnastics we saw in the semifinal, they won’t come close to winning—but it’s still Florida, the best team for the first 10ish weeks of the year.

Based on yesterday, this looks like an Oklahoma-Michigan deal. Very interested to see Michigan’s floor in the first rotation. Because it’s been the question event for Michigan this year, because Michigan does have bigger routines than Oklahoma there and—theoretically at least—could turn it into an advantage, and because the scoring was soooo high there yesterday. The lowest team floor score was 49.425, which would have ranked 2nd on bars, 3rd on vault, and 4th on beam. Florida was the only one among the four qualifying teams that went sub-49.6 on floor.

On the starting events, yesterday Oklahoma went 49.525 on vault, Utah went 49.5125 on bars, Florida went 49.3875 on beam, and Michigan went 49.650 on floor. So Michigan is going to be looking for a lead here, and Florida will need to be up in the 49.5s or 49.6s on beam this time to be in contention. Basically, any sub-49.5 score in the first rotation here is a miss.

Scores page is up. No Gallentine in the Florida lineup. Florida will compete just 8 gymnasts. Richards will continue leading off beam.

Bart and Kathy have rocket fueled to the moon or something. Yesterday was exciting and whatnot.

Rotation 1

Richards – BB – Florida – bhs loso loso and she falls again

Davis – VT – OU – looks like she got the stick again today, a little more lean to hold it this time – 9.850

Bauman – FX – Michigan – double pike, controlled landing – switch 1/2 to wolf fulls, a little off balance on final wolf, very slightly – double tuck, slide back – 1.5 to layout, big straddle on that layout and a little short on landing. 9.8125

Stern – VT – OU – nearly sticks her Y1.5, small slide back – good one. 9.950 for a no stick, that’s how today is going

Sabado – UB – Utah – small hesitation on first hs – jaeger – hit – toe on to bail, leg break, nice toe point – some ragged handstands – DLO, small step. Follows 9.8625 for Paulson, which is one of her higher scores.

Webb – VT – OU – comes up more under this time, medium slide back

Koulos – FX – Michigan – 2.5, hit, a bit too much of a step – double pike, under control – front full looks good – 9.9125

Skaggs – BB – Florida – wolf is solid – great switch and split – bhs loso, holds it, maybe a smalll lean – aerial, another very small adjustment – cat leap to switch side, good 180 position again – side aerial to full, stuck. Good. 9.8625

We see Schoepfer stick in the background. 9.9375

Burch a little low on her DLO dismount, chest down and a step

Wojcik – FX – Michigan – double pike, good position, slightly bouncy – split leap full to popa is excellent – front 2/1 to front pike, small bounce –

Levasseur – VT – OU – hits her Y1/5 but a fairly large crossover step so should be as high.

Lazzari – BB – Florida – bhs loso loso, very strong – great split position – full turn – side aerial to full, golds the stick, a tad low. 9.9125

Trautman – VT – OU – huge stick, would expect a 10 given what we’ve seen from the other ones like Stern. 9.9625. Only a10 from some.

O’Keefe – UB – Utah – great maloney to pak – solid vertical position on 1/2 turn on low – good cast hs on high – double arabian and stuck again. Strong work.

Hesikell – FX – Michigan – good double pike – 1.5 to lay, just a little slide stagger on landing – 9.9125

Baumann – BB – Florida – bhs loso series, perfect – switch 1/2, securely landed – 1.5, nearly holds the stick, arm wave and a small step. 9.925

Isa – UB – Utah – good ray – bail was just a tad crooked – giant full to DLO, hop back. Got out of there with a 9.900 though. High for that one.

49.575 on vault for Oklahoma.

Brooks – FX – Michigan – huge FTDT, small bounce – front tuck through to double tuck, strong and secure landing – double pike, controls landing, chest a bit down, so something to take there. 9.9125

49.425 for Utah on bars.

Thomas – BB – Florida – switch to split leap, good – full turn, holds it, nearly out of control – bhs loso series and fallllls! Basically. Lots of falling onto the beam and and staggering and hooking her leg and GIF – side aerial to full,s tep back.

Well, that sucks for her and will take Florida out of this.

Wilson – FX – Michigan – open FTDT, great, small bounce – front lay to front full, so high and laid out – switch side to popa, huge lift – double tuck, another small movement, would expect that to get the 9.9 she needs to take the lead after this rotation.

Clapper – BB – Florida – after Thomas 9.175 that will count – bhs loso loso, securely hit – switch to split, hit, she has improved on split positions, still some soft knees but she’s getting to 180 – side aerial to full, tries to hold the stick, a little off line and a lean.

After 1
Michigan 49.625
Oklahoma 49.575
Utah 49.425
Florida 48.7625

Good first rotations for Michigan, Oklahoma, and Utah. Michigan leads with a score over 49.6 on floor, so met the goal, and Oklahoma improved on yesterday’s vault total to stay right there. A 49.425 is a strong bars score for Utah, but it’s the final, and anything that isn’t a 49.5 doesn’t help that much. And Florida well…counting a fall. When Florida won nationals counting a first-rotation beam fall, the floor score was a very controversial 49.7 to bring them back in it, but these days a 49.7 on floor doesn’t bring you back in it because everyone gets 49.6.

Cool how the live scores aren’t giving us the individual gymnast scores. Good thing the ESPN quad box has them.

Yesterday Oklahoma went 49.400 on bars and Michigan 49.350 on vault. Both will look to improve on those numbers, and certainly Michigan will need to do better than a 49.350 to take the title.

Rotation 2

Heiskell – VT – Michigan – sticks her Y1.5 – excellent work

Trautman – UB – OU – maloney to pak, good legs together – 1/2 turn on low, some leg crossing – good cast hs on high – DLO, slides heels together, very clean. 9.9125

Burch – BB – Utah – bhs loso, small check – split jump to stag ring, a little short on split 180 – hits aerial. 9.850

Wojcik – VT – Michigan – another stick for Michigan – great one – nailed the first two of the rotation. Following 9.975 for Heiskell, and hers has more distance. 9.9375, weird that it went lower than Heiskell.

Levasseur – UB – OU – good toes – maloney with quite a large straddle into bail, good verticla position – a bit hesitant in final cast hs – DLO, shuffle back. 9.8625

Wilson – VT – Michigan – doesn’t keep the stick streak going with a medium sized hop forward –

Draper – UB – OU – good first hs – 1/2 turn to piked jaeger, some feet flexed but hit – pak, legs apart in the air – solid final cast hs vertical – double front, finds stick. 9.9375 very high.

Stanhope – BB – Utah – bhs 1/1 to bhs is soolid – switch and split, under control – 1.5, stuck. Good solid work.

Morrison – VT – Michigan – hop forward, doesn’t look as large as Wilson’s on her Y1.5 – still a full tenth hop.

Webb – UB OU – pak, very good – van leeuwen, solid – toe 1/2 is a bit late – double front 1/2 out, holds the stick witha little lean.

Brooks – VT – Michigan – a third stick of the rotation for her Y1.5 – another great one. Another 9.975 in this rotation.

Guggino – VT – Michigan – medium step forward, solid hit – doesn’t have the dynamics of a Brooks, but another good one. 9.875.

Smith – UB – Ou – Ray, good hit – toe on to pak, good – hits vertical on her 1/2 turn on low, good – DLO, whippy and some piking, hop forward. 9.875

Thomas – FX – Florida – DLO is very nice today – split leap full to popa to popa is excellent – front full to front lay, great extension – very clean work.

Michigan is at 99.275 after 2.

Davis – UB – OU – higgins to huge and excellent piked jaeger – great cast hs on high – pak is clean – solid 1/2 turn on low – hits cast – higgins to front giant to double front – step back on landing. 9.900

Paulson – BB Utah – side aerial to loso, securely done – switch to split, good positions – side aerial to full, stuck. Nice. 9.9375 keeping Utah up there.

Reed – FX – Florida – DLO, very strong and secure – front lay to rudi, legs right together – switch 1/2 to wolf full, tight on switch 1/2, good wolf – double pike, comfortable.

Randall – BB – Utah – bhs loso, secure work – beat to sheep, solid position – sissone, good – rulfova, very strong – 1.5, holds the stick

Baumann – FX – Florida – double tuck, bounce back – wanted them to tell us that she “warmed up a DLO and we might see it in competition” just for old times sake – 1.5 to front full, good positions – control switch 1/2 to an elegant popa – nearly holds onto the stick on her double pike and then stubbed her toe on a forward roll. 9.900

O’Keefe – BB – Utah – side aerial to loso, very high, solidly landed – switch to split leap, nice 180s as always – cat leap to sdie aerial to full, stuck. Very good.

Michigan will extend its lead on Oklahoma after a 49.650 on vault. Oklahoma went 49.5625 on bars for a rotation that I thought got held up a little. Florida recovers with 49.550 on floor, but given this meet, that’s not a super high floor total. But it’s Utah that wins the rotation with a 49.700 on beam to stay RIGHT in it, going to the gift horse that is floor.

After 2
Michigan 99.275
Oklahoma 99.1375
Utah 99.125
Florida 98.3125

Look out for Utah on floor now. Utah went 49.600 on floor yesterday, Oklahoma 49.525 on beam, Michigan 49.3875 on bars. Like in the last rotation, big room for Michigan to improve that number. Because Oklahoma finishes on floor, Michigan’s going to need to extend that lead in this rotation.

Rotation 3

Trautman – BB – OU – bhs loso solid – switch side, little arm wave – gainer pike, slide back

Heiskell – UB – Michigan – she looked a tad close on her jaeger catch, but the rest was solid, gets 9.9125

Randall – FX – Utah – double pike, secure landing – 1.5 to layout, a little soft in the knees – 9.8625

Baumann vaulted, bounce back on yfull. Lazzari follows – clean, slide back

Bauman – UB – Michigan – high jaeger and nice overshoot – toe 1/2 to double front, full tenth pace forward

Schoenherr struggled on vault again in the warmsup and we’re seeing the replays – she goes in compeittion and hits it – holds onto the stick well, deep landing and not her most distance. 9.825

Wilson – UB – Michigan – piked jaeger, nice – hits cast – small angle in bail positions – a bit of strength on final cast hs – DLO, chest down, hop forward. 9.8375, not the score they needed here.

Trautman started beam with 9.875, Davis follows with hit. 9.8875

Skaggs – VT – Florida – clean, holds onto the stick, a hair forward, hands on well

Dunn – BB – OU – PUNCH THAT BEAM – bhs bhs loso series and falls – well now.

Stanhope – FX – Utah – full in, secure landing, chest down – double tuck, again very well controlled – switch side to wolf full, hit – 1.5 to layout

Apparently Abby Brenner came back on bars and no one informed us?

Brooks – UB – Michigan – good first hs – blind to piked jaeger, solid – good cast hs – bail, hits vertical, legs together – one borderline hs – slide back on landing –

Thomas – VT – Florida – solid Y1.5, small hop forward. One of her more controlled landings.

Wojcik – UB – Michigan – short first hs – toe on to Deltchev, hits it today – good hs – rushed bail, a bit short of vertical – stronger cast hs on high – pings off on DLO, lands squatty with a lunge back. So hit her deltchev but a number of other deductions in there. gets away with 9.8625, which will count, high score for that.

Woodard – BB – OU – side aerial to bhs, secure, bent knee in bhs – kickover, holds it well to beat jump – switch to split, good toe point – side aerial to full, hit. Good.

49.4875 for Michigan on bars. 49.3625 for Florida on vault.

O’Keefe – FX – Utah – Rucker went 9.925 before her – double pike, clean work – front lay to front full, good height, a little loose in layout position – switch to split leap full, wonderful split – 1.5 to layout is clean

Smith – BB – OU – bhs loso with an arm wave check, saves it – aerial, solid – straddle 1/2 to korbut very strong – again just slightly off line on korbut but it doesn’t really show – gainer full, stuck.

Soloski – FX – Utah – DLO, looks like pretty solid control – switch 1/2 to split full, gets to 180, has some foot flexing – front lauy to front full, slight bending – 1.5 to layout, hit. 9.8875

Webb – BB – OU – a hit for her here would but OU in very solid position heading to the floor treasure – smooth full turn – bhs loso, strong extension – cat leap to aerial, hit comfortably – switch to switch with a check, leg up, fakes an arabesque like she meant to – side aerial to full, nearly holds stick long enough, shifts a little at the end.

Michigan 49.4875 on bars to Utah’s 49.475 on floor. So not a huge floor number for Utah but they’re staying right in it. Will have to hit those vaults as well as Michigan did though.

Webb gets 9.925 for that, so Oklahoma goes 49.4875 on beam to tie Michigan’s total from this rotation.

After 3
Michigan 148.7625
Oklahoma 148.625
Utah 148.600
Florida 147.675

Michigan has a lead of more than a tenth, but Oklahoma goes to floor while Michigan is on beam and Utah is on vault. You’d want to have that Oklahoma rotation if given the option.

Rotation 4

Here we go.

O’Keefe – VT – Utah – leans forward to control her landing

Bauman – BB – Michigan – bhs loso series, smoothly landed – switch 1/2 to split jump, hitting splits – pike side somi, good – side aerial to full, holds landing, chest forward. 9.850

Draper – FX – OU – double pike, chest a bit down, only a small bounce – front full front full, clean – 1/2 to rudi, controls landing, some leg crossing. 9.8875

Hall – VT – Utah – hits her Y1.5, but a sideward lunge – not too large

Good stick for Lazzari on FTDT on bars.

Isa – VT – Utah – kind of a larger bounce back on her yfull

Wilson – BB – Michigan – hitch kick – high bhs loso, arm wave similar on landing, similar to Smith – cat leap to switch side and another check, leg up hesitation – double tuck, small hop back, chest up

Stanhope – VT – Utah – hop forward on her Y1.5 as well, not getting the landings they need

Good stick on DLO for Skaggs

Rucker – VT – Utah – that was the landing. Good stick, her best of the year.

OU got 9.900 for Schoepfer on floor, has already closed the gap. 9.750 for Wilson on beam –

La Pinta – FX – OU – 3/1, little bounce – softer layout position in combo pass – double tuck, bounce back. 9.850

Farley – BB – Michigan – bhs loso loso, her usual, low, covers a balance check – split jump to split 1/2 – 1.5 turn, good – side aerial, another little arm wave – gainer pike, can’t stick it, leans and a little step-shuffle. 9.7625 OUCH.

Schoenherr falls on bars, nasty back fall and doesn’t continue the routine.

Burch – VT – Rucker got 9.9875 Lordy – another stick, good final two vaults for Utah.

Utah done on 197.9875

Johnson – FX – OU – double back with a stagger bounce on landing – switch to swithc 1/2 to wolf full, short on switch 1/2 position – 9.850

Brooks – BB – Michigan – bhs bhs loso, solid – switch to switch, confident – kickover, nicely done – double tuck, excellent, only small movement, should be huge score.

Webb – FX – OU – OU not getting great floor scores but Michigan even lower on beam – front 2/1, good control – back 1.5 to front 1/1, good height, controls landing – clean – switch 1/2 to split full, feet, hits split positions – rudi to stretch jump, a little travel this time

Wojcik – BB – Michigan – Following 9.9625 for Brooks – aerial to beat jump, smoothly done, nice – switch to split, lovely – bhs bhs loso, hits it comfortably this time – 1.5, stuck landing. Awesome.

Webb got 9.9625 on floor to move OU ahead of Utah and make this TOUGH for Michigan.

Trautman – FX – OU – DLO is solid – switch side to popa to split jump full, good – front lay to front full to sissone –

Baumann gets a hit on bars for Florida for 9.8875.

Trinity finishing on bars for Florid a- maloney to clear hip to pak is lovely – hesitation on low bar, steps up to high bar – DLOstuck landing.

Wojcik 9.9875 on beam. Heiskell now – teams currently tied – cat leap to side aerial, good – switch to straddle 1/4, some short back leg – bhs loso series, solid work – 1.5 dismount, small hop. BUT THAT WILL BE A HIGH SCORE.

Oklahoma 9.9375 for Trautman. Michigan only needs 9.850. And that should do it.

AMAZING finish from Michigan, because OU was running away and then Michigan went nearly perfect at the end on beam. Shade of UCLA in 2018.

Heiskell’s 9.925 is up.

Michigan finishes on 198.250 to win the championship!

A well-deserved win. It was close, but Michigan was the best team today. After that counting 9.7625 on beam, it seemed done, but Oklahoma just counted a couple 9.8s and Trautman’s score was “only” 9.9375.

Michigan becomes the 7th team to win a title. 198.250 is a Michigan program record.

Michigan 198.250
Oklahoma 198.1625
Utah 197.9875
Florida 197.1375

Also a valiant effort for Utah. Didn’t expect them to be as close as this to the top.

Shifting over to GymCastic live reaction show for thoughts in about 10 minutes.

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