The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Saturday Live Blog – February 5, 2022

Welp, yesterday Michigan got the highest score since 2004 and the highest road score ever, including three straight 10s to start the vault rotation. So…that’s sort of where we are. What shall today bring?

(For the record now that I’ve seen them, I’m good with the Wojcik 10, thought Guggino was a little flatter and Heiskell didn’t show enough landing control, so I wouldn’t have those as 10s.)

LSU has been stuck in the 196s for its first two meets, and this season, a 196 is an F. So they’ll be looking to get a nationals-level number this time around and beat Auburn, which has been consistently scoring better than LSU so far this season.

Why are there always 815 minutes left in the basketball game? And why are there so many basketball games? Let’s work on this.

LSU is not vaulting Shchennikova today. Aleah Finnegan is joining the floor lineup, and Johnson and Bryant are back. So this looks like a try. No Piper Smith on bars for Auburn.

The alert that this meet is starting on the app called it men’s college basketball. I resent this. Temporary streaming link.

Rotation 1

LSU VT 1 – Arenas – clean yfull, step back, just got a little low at the very end, good layout. 9.850

Auburn UB 1 – Watson – Ray is close, elbows on catch – good hs – toe on to bail, small leg break – short cast hs on high – FTDT. 9.750

LSU VT 2 – Rivers – struggles on the landing on her yfull, wanted to stick, ends up with a large lean forward and a step forward, which should take away the score. Still gets 9.750

Auburn UB 2 – Sabados – Ray, good height – toe on, some elbows – bail, legs, some back position – short final cast hs – DLO, nearly sticks, little slide to salute. 9.775

LSU VT 3 – KJ Johnson – “One of the few yurchenko fulls” we just saw two…? – strong distance on her yfull, small slide back, some direction, good straight shape. 9.900, so they didn’t take anything but the landing.

Auburn UB 3 – Stevens – toe on to Ray, a little close but not as close as Watson – some hip angle in her bail – also tight on final cast hs – DLO, whips it around a little, small movement. 9.850

LSU VT 4 – Edwards – lands very short on her Y1.5 with three lunges back. Still gets 9.675, not sure how with three lunges.

Auburn UB 4 – Brusch – toe on to maloney to bail, looked a tad shy of vertical on that bail but her final cast hs position was the first one to hit it – pretty DLO, small recoil back. 9.850

LSU VT 5 – Johnson – hits her DTY, pulls it around, chest forward today with a hop forward. 9.875

Auburn UB 5 – Gobourne – tkatchev, good counter into pretty pak – a bit late on 1/2 on low bar – short final cast hs – FTDT, stuck landing – probably will get deducted for not bringing heels together there because that’s definitely important. 9.875

LSU VT 6 – Bryant – excellent handspring pike 1/2. Stuck. I would imagine 10 given the way scoring has been going. Comparatively, this should be a 12.950.

10.000 for her. Yeah.

Auburn UB 6 – Lee – good first hs – maloney to pak to van leeuwen, super clean and good efficiency in composition – shortish final cast hs I think – stuck FTDT. I only had the last handstand, but it was close. Excellent.

Anddddddd 10.000 for her too. Here we go.

We’ve hit 20 tens on the season so far now.

After 1: LSU 49.375, Auburn 49.350

Well, they both got saved by the ends of their lineups. LSU had two weak vault landings that had to be worked against, while Auburn looked pretty tight on bars in those handstands in the first couple routines with a bunch of them cutting off their final casts.

Rotation 2

Auburn VT 1 – Walsh – bit larger bounce back on her Yfull. 9.825

LSU UB 1 – Johnson – Maloney to bail, a bit of loose back in the bail – just rushing a little on some handstands – toe on – DLO, hop forward. 9.800

Auburn VT 2 – Groth – very solid stick on her yfull – it’s not the biggest/farthest so you need to take for that, but clear stick. 9.900, so they didn’t take much for it.

LSU UB 2 – Rivers – good first hs – toe on to maloney to bail, great bail, a little bit of legs in maloney – solid cast hs – tkatchev, hits, closed hip position in the air – DLO, bounce back. 9.750

Auburn VT 3 – Lee – nice open on her yfull, showing a good position, hop in place, more dynamic than Groth though. 9.900. So they only took landing.

LSU UB 3 – Dunne – good first hs – tkatchev, good counter into pak, just a bit of legs – 1/2 turn on low bar nice vertical position there – final cast is borderline – DLO, sticks it but gives away leg form in both saltos. 9.825

Auburn VT 4 – Hubbard – lands short on her Y1.5 and has to jump back quickly to save it. 9.825 is high. They had to go higher than Edwards because she kept it to one jump back.

LSU UB 4 – Bryant – good first hs – jaeger, hit – cast, good – bail, right up to vertical – casts look nice – 1/2 turn to double front 1/2 out, deep landing with a step. Fab until the dismount.

Auburn VT 5 – Watson – pulls around her Y1.5, shuffle back, knees throughout. 9.900. I mean…

LSU UB 5 – Shchennikova – Ray to pak, good amplitude – 1/2 turn on low, slight angle but a bit more vertical – DLO is the usual, small hop back. One of her stronger sets on the bars.

Auburn VT 6 – Gobourne – nearly finds her y1.5 landing, just a bit short, small shuffle back. Not sure there’s room to score her though since they already gave Watson a 9.9 and Gobourne had cleaner body position and a smaller landing movement.

Well they found room. 9.950.

LSU UB 6 – Durante – blind to jaeger, a little crooked in the air but finds it – pak, hit – FTDT, pulls it in a little close but finds the stick and holds it with a hunch down correction.

9.975. I don’t see how you go 10 there on the landing with the hunch and control.

Scores in the opium den today, as expected.

After 2: Auburn 98.825, LSU 98.750

So Auburn with the lead. Not a lot that can separate the two quality wise at this point. LSU was similar to Auburn is struggling a bit on the first few bars routines and giving away things they didn’t need to, LSU more on dismounts than handstands.

A surprise that Auburn got the highest score on vault, but they didn’t have to count a rough landing like LSU did. Auburn’s best landing control of the season as a group.

Rotation 3

LSU BB 1 – Desiderio – switch to switch 1/2 is secure – bhs loso, smallest shiver adjustment – a bit tentative on full turn but smooth – aerial, again a hint of a 1/2 adjustment there – cat leap to gainer full, little bounce.

9.925 signals that…….you know the story

Auburn FX 1 – Stevens – front lay to rudi, a bit of pike – split leap full to wolf full, pulls around – double tuck, solid landing, chest up. “She’s a beautiful athlete when she competes.” 9.875

Apparently her music stopped. I didn’t notice.

LSU BB 2 – Durante – smooth full turn – aerial, clean, small hesitation before bhs bhs – switch, shoulder dip before straddle 1/4 – back leg lower in switch – side aerial to full, stuck. Don’t think they’ll do anything about her combinations, but she was risking some in there. 9.850

Auburn FX 2 – Brusch – front tuck through to double tuck, takes it far and steps back OOB – switch 1/2 to popa to wolf full, great height – double pike, shows the stick, I think surprised herself. 9.700

LSU BB 3 – Bryant – aerial to bhs, so well extended – switch to straddle 1/4, good switch, straddle 1/4 wasn’t all the way up – front tuck with a wobble, leg slightly up and pulls arms down – rudi, solid work. 9.875

Auburn FX 3 – Groth – front 2/1, lunge forward too far to be control – switch 1/2 to wolf full, clear finish – 1.5 to layout, good extension – rudi, controls step. 9.900

LSU BB 4 – Finnegan – bhs loso loso, secure – switch to split, good 180, loses back foot a bit at the end – aerial, hint of arm wave correction but covers it as choreo – bhs 1.5, little hop. Good. 9.900

Auburn FX 4 – Watson – double arabian, hop forward, tries to lean to keep it in bounds but ends up having to step out – 1.5 to layout, clean layout position – split leap full to popa is out of control in a weird way that I enjoyed – double tuck, chest up, small movement. 9.725

So the music is ending before the final pass on every floor routine, which I find to be hilarious.

LSU BB 5 – Dean – side aerial to bhs, off line and falls – she’s been having trouble with that this season, which is unusual – switch to split – aerial to beat is hit – side aerial to full, stuck. 9.275

Auburn FX 5 – Lee – DLO, pretty solid landing, chest somewhat down – switch ring to split full, perfect – 1.5 to front full, controls her step – pretty work. And 9.950.

LSU BB 6 – Johnson – full turn, hit – bhs loso series, hit, holds it to avoid a check – switch to switch, hit – split jump afterward – kickover, secure – bhs 1.5, step back. Solid one. More confident than last year’s beaming. 9.900

Auburn FX 6 – Gobourne – open double tuck, little slide back – switch side to wolf full, shows control on landing well, great amplitude – front full to layout, good rise in that layout – double pike is excellent. 9.925

LSU 49.450 on beam to Auburn 49.375 on floor with those two OOBs. So we’re tied heading to the final rotation. Look how that happened.

After 3: Auburn 148.200, LSU 148.200

Rotation 4

Auburn BB 1 – Hollingsworth – bhs loso series, secure landing – switch to switch 1/2, shortish front leg in switch 1/2 – split 1/2 from side, little lean movement – side aerial to full, stuck, some piking. Just little things. 9.875

LSU FX 1 – Desiderio – hits DLO, under control, chest a bit down – 1.5 to layout, bounce forward – split leap full to jump full, shows 180s – double tuck, shows control again. Solid.

Oh it’s a 9.950 in the first spot. Judges are like, “Michigan did a who now on vault?”

Auburn BB 2 – Brusch – aerial to split, holds securely, aerial somewhat low – bhs loso series, little check, covers – switch to straddle 1/4, arm wave swim correction – gainer full, little movement. 9.875?

LSU FX 2 – Shchennikova – front 2/1, a little jarring on landing but controls her dance out – back 1.5 to front full – switch to switch ring 1/2, low front leg – rudi to loso, how did she pull around that layout stepout I thought she was going to be one inch off the floor. 9.925

Auburn BB 3 – Stevens – bhs loso, slightly off line, doesn’t show much – split to stag ring jump, check – kickover to knee, nailed, into wolf turn – 1.5, hop-salute. 9.875

LSU FX 3 – KJ Johnson – big full in, chest up, some sliding back – 1.5 to layout, clean layout shape, again doesn’t really show control on landing – switch side to popa, good 180s, a tad under rotated on popa – camera in the corner is like CUT AWAY CUT AWAY – double tuck, hit. 9.950 why not.

Auburn BB 4 – Groth – bhs loso bhs, good amplitude, little lean working out of it – switch to switch 1/2, nice positions – aerial, pretty – side aerial to full, stuck. That was much stronger than the 9.875s so far but she did have a check, so we’ll see where we go. We go 9.950

LSU FX 4 – Finnegan – double arabian to stag jump, very nice, a real stag position not an afterthought – good split 180s, some arm wave control – 2.5 to front tuck, takes the landing OOB. 9.800

Auburn BB 5 – McLaughlin – switch to bhs loso, large break on loso, leg up to horizontal – beat to side aerial, adjustment – switch to straddle 1/4, big lean back and an arm wave, pulls it back – gainer pike, little hop. 9.725

LSU FX 5 – Bryant – double front, hit – front lay to rudi, little movement – switch ring to switch 1/2, great height on switch 1/2 – front 2/1, dance out, not quite control. 9.950 of course.

Auburn BB 6 – Lee – wolf single – aerial to bhs, pretty positions, smooth connection – switch to switch 1/2, not her highest switch 1/2 but better than most – bhs gainer full. Excellent.

9.975 for her there again.

Enough to tie an Auburn team record. 197.750.

39.825 for Lee in the AA.

LSU FX 6 – Johnson – full in, chest up, little bounce back – 1.5 to layout, good straight layout position – switch 1/2 to popa, gorgeous – double pike, excellent. I had control on her first pass but also it was clearly better than all these 9.950s in this rotation so don’t be surprised.

10.000. Yeah, don’t be surprised.

FINAL: LSU 197.975, Auburn 197.750

So Auburn tied all-time team record.

LSU sets new floor record with that rotation.

%d bloggers like this: