The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Sunday Live Blog – February 6, 2022

I’ll mainly be following the Minnesota/Illinois meet today but also checking in on the rescheduled Arkansas meet, which runs simultaneously. Oklahoma’s meet has been rescheduled to follow, though it’s still unclear whether the same Bally Sports broadcast that was planned for Friday will be in effect for today’s meet. Denver’s meet is on a school-specific subscription and even I am not messing with that.

For those keeping track at home and weeping, we’re at 22 tens for the season so far, and by my count the record for tens at this point in the season is 23. So I guess that’s what we’re shooting for today. Ha ha. Ha.

Scores and streams

Is Arkansas’s lineup telling us that Bailey Lovett is vaulting? I didn’t know that was one of the choices. Ah, now it’s Emma Kelley. The scoreboard has Lovett in the first spot.

Still waiting on Illinois to start, so let’s begin with Arkansas. Kelley hits a yfull, medium bounce back, legs apart in the air. 9.775.

Maxwell – UB – SEMO – clear hip to tkatchev, form but solid – overshoot, probably not getting handstand credit there if she was going for it – giant full to double tuck, step back. 9.425

Pennese – VT – Arkansas – lands chest down on her yfull with a lunge forward, better amplitude, but the short landing will take away the score. Still 9.750.

Albrecht – UB – SEMO – toe on to maloney, some legs, connected to overshoot – short final cast hs – giant full, not bad, into double tuck, short, large lunge forward. 9.475

Smith – VT – Arkansas – nice position and height on yfull, bounce back, just a bit of foot flexing. 9.850. So they just took a tenth for the landing.

Webb – UB – SEMO – toe on to blind to jaeger, solid amplitude – bail, legs apart – cleaner vertical positions than the first two – giant full to double tuck, stuck. Good. 9.825

Elswick – VT – Arkansas – very nice yfull, opens up, good position, bounce back. Will have to take a tenth, but if Smith was 9.850 this one will have to be as well. Or 9.900, which is what she gets. That was a tenth landing for me, but you know. It was better than Smith’s

Minnesota/Illinois starting now.

Why is this meet starting on bars instead of vault? Or both at the same time?

Mueller leads off for Illinois on vault, bounce back on her yfull, some knees.

Sedlacek hits a Y1.5 for Arkansas.

Takekawa – VT – Illinois – solid yfull overall, medium bounce back, better leg position. 9.825

Leneave – UB – Minnesota – hits tkatchev, arches a cast hs but brings it back – bail, catches with bent elbows and a small form break – FTDT, lunge back. 9.750

O’Donnell – VT – Illinois – good control on her yfull, small step to the side, chest forward on landing. 9.825

Little crossover step for Kennedy Hambrick on her Y1.5 for Arkansas.

Willmarth –  UB – Minnesota – good first hs – Ray, close catch, elbows – nice cast hs – bail, very good position – casts look vertical – giant full to double tuck, stuck. That’s better. Pretty routine. 9.825 with a 9.750/9.900 split. Probably disagreed on severity of close Ray.

Nataraj pulls out a stuck Yfull for Illinois. 9.875

Loper – UB – Minnesota – maloney, fingertips but retains form, a bit of a low backswing – clean pak – shorter final cast hs – giant full to double tuck, little movement. Not her very cleanest but fine. 9.875

Powe -= VT – Illinois – good position and direction on yfull, bounce back . 9.850

Hooten – UB – Minnesota – blind to piked jaeger, great amplitude, but connects into overshoot  and catches way too close and piked and has to stop her routine – FTDT, small step. 9.250

Simons – VT – Illinois – best open position on her yfull, small step.

Ramler – UB – Minnesota – good first hs – maloney to pak to immediate clear hip – then casts to handstand, composition adjustment there – van leeuwen – good cast hs on bars – toe on, comes out a bit late – FTDT, lands with a slight a stagger. So not her best, still lovely.  9.875 for her.

Meanwhile, Arkansas went 49.300 on vault.

Scalzo opens bars for Arkansas – good stick on DLO. 9.900

A surprise out of Illinois with Illinois at 49.225 on vault to Minnesota’s 49.075 on bars. A sloppier rotation than Minnesota’s usual, and neither Loper nor Ramler had their best routines.

Maddie Jones is on bars for Arkansas this week, catches somewhat close on piked jaeger, good Pak, step back on DLO. 9.850. Smith follows her, maloney to bail is clean, DLO, small hop back. That’s her cleanest bars so far. 9.850 for her as well.

Hambrick 4th on bars – good first hs – blind, a bit short to piked jaeger, close on that and can’t really get overshoot, also close, has to stop against the bar and do 800 hip circles about it.

Kaziska – VT – SEMO – hits a yfull, bounce back and a second little shuffle, some pike. Good. 9.750

Shaffer – UB – Arkansas – toe on to maloney to bail, legs together throughout – a bit short on final cast hs – DLO, holds the stick, came in a little low and had to control. 9.925

Ockler – VT – SEMO – good amplitude on her yfull, larger bounce back – 9.750

O’Hara – UB – Arkansas – shortish first hs – makes same mistake as last time we saw her, can’t get her hand around on her blind change – gets off at an angle and peels off. So again that’s a counting mistake at what otherwise looked like it was on track to be a big 197 kind of day. Still could be a 197 honestly the way things are going. I.e. this rotation was still over 49 somehow.

Rotation 2 in Illinois

Jencks hits yfull, chest a bit forward with a bounce in place. 9.800

Borden – UB – Illinois – pretty toe point on jaeger into overshoot – rudi dismount, nearllly holds the stick, goes onto her heels for a bit, ultimately has to step into salute

Gerdes – VT – Minnesota – solid amplitude on yfull, bounce back. 9.850

Judges conference on start value over Borden. One judge had her at 9.9 start, the other on 10. They converge on 10, for a 9.7 final.

Mizuki – Ub – Illinois – small arch in first hs, pulls it back – piked jaeger, clow with elbows – bail, hit – giant full, some angle into double tuck, stuck. 9.700

Hooten vaults only a yfull today for Minnesota, pike and a chest down landing with a hop. That was odd. 9.775

O’Donnell – UB – blind, some angle into jaeger to overshoot, solid, some pike in overshoot – good final hs – giant full somewhat late into double tuck, step back. 9.750

Ramler – VT – Minnesota – hits y1.5, comes in shorter today and takes a slide back. 9.875

Ewald – UB – Illinois – blind to jaeger, comfortable – hits next cast hs – pak, very small leg break – 1/2 tuyrn on low, a bit short – solid final cast hs – FTDT, holds stick with an arm wave. 9.775

Quarles – VT – Minnesota – better landing on her y1.5, hop forward, some knees, but didn’t land short. 9.875

Gianfagna had a large break on beam for Arkansas leading off but pulled it back.

Takekawa – UB – Illinois – small arch in first hs – piked jaeger, hit – better next cast – bail hs, some hip angle – strong final cast hs – DLO takes it a little close to the bar, holds the landing, some pike in the air. 9.850

Loper – VT – Minnesota – doesn’t have the stick this week but a pretty y1.5, hop forward. 9.900

Knight – Ub  – Illinois – blind to piked jaeger, good height – bail, small leg separation, good vertical – giant full, a bit late into high double tuck, stuck. Nice. 9.875

So that’s 49.300 on vault for Minnesota, which is still a good score but not their best vaulting today either. Illinois 48.950 on bars, so Minnesota will take the lead by 2 tenths after vault.

Lovett holds on for Arkansas in the second spot on beam but did have a couple checks and a borderline-connected aerial to loso acro series. 9.775

Smith – BB – Arkansas – good candle mount position – swtich to straddle 1/4, short back leg on switch, straddle 1/4 looked good – bhs loso is solid – small hesitation working out of full turn – double tuck, chest a bit forward, small hop.

Sedlacek is 4th on beam for Arkansas and falls on a side somi, cannot hold it after squeeeezing, which means the 9.6 will count now.

Rotation 3 in Illinois

Mueller – BB – Illinois – bhs loso, small correction – switch to split 3/4, well connected – kickover, somewhat deep, holds onto it – 1.5 dismount, stuck. 9.775

Hambrick rights things for Arkansas on beam.

Koch – FX – Minnesota – front 2/1 to front tuck but bounces forward out of it – switch leap full to wolf full, a bit short on wolf position – this is some unique camera work – 2/1 side pass – rudi is securely landed. 9.825 with a 9.750/9.900 split. Not sure what routine the 9.9 was watching

Borden – BB – Illinois – aerial, a little short, squeezes it into fhs to straddle 1/4, great straddle 1/4 position, I assume they’ll say she kept moving in that combination – full turn, lean adjustment – beat to sheep, hit – front full dismount, holds the stick but a large lean forward at the hips to do so. 9.750

Gerdes – FX – Minnesota – front tuck through to double back, bounces backward but no OOB – switch ring to split leap full to split jump short, short of 180s – double pike, short landing, chest down, bounce – 9.775

Knight – BB – Illinois – switch to sissone, nicely done – side aerial to bhs, comfortable connection – full turn, hesitation – beat to side somi to tuck full dismount from side, nice quick combination, bounce back. 9.775

Quarles – FX – Minnesota – 2.5 to front tuck is nicely done, good amplitude – switch 1/2 to wolf full – round off double tuck, controls the step, that was a very solid floor option. 9.900

Takekawa – BB – Illinois – side aerial to bhs, smooth – switch to straddle 1/4, strong 180 positions – Ramler is just laying on the floor ther dead for 18 minutes? Why are they starting floor? – gainer full, stuck. 9.900

We saw Ramler do a great split ring full in the corner but missed her first pass entirely, love it, no notes – switch ring to switch 1/2 – rudi, good form – 1.5 to layout, soft shape in layout to pull it around. 9.850

I think they were like, this meet is taking soooo efffing long, we’ve just got to start the next routine. here’s an idea: fewer exhibitions

Morgan – BB – Illinois – bhs loso, large break and grabs the beam but keeps it on – ends up falling later on her switch 1/2

Remlinger – FX – full in is solid, chest up, hops present to the side – 1.5 to layout, dance out, good layout position – double tuck, also chest up, little rebound. 9.925

Nataraj – BB – Illinois – smooth bhs loso series, little shoulder drop – switch, pauses before straddle 1/4, so that would break the combo for me – beat to side aerial, large break, bends over past horizontal – full turn, over turns – 1.5 dismount, near stick, steps back into salute. That will have to count.

Loper – FX – so no Hooten this week, after she did only a full on vault – front lay to rdui, sold landing well since she came in a little short – switch ring to split leap full, shows clear 180s – 2.5, good completion – 1.5 to layout, not quite as high on the layout. 9.875

So that’s 49.375 for Minnesota on floor with no Hooten, but Quarles emerging as a good option as Remlinger has.

Judges still talking about Nataraj’s score. In addition to the large break at the hips, I had her without a leap combination in that routine.

Wow, one judge originally had her at a 9.6 SV but after conference brought it up to a 10. That’s a break for Illinois. Her 9.350 will have to count, but that one judge originally had her at 8.9.

48.550 for Illinois on beam.

Over Denver-a-ways, Denver has a 49.100 on vault, with Iwai coming back into the vault lineup for 9.775 replacing Brown.

Hambrick has 9.950 for Arkansas in the third position on floor, so watch that space. After 9.875 for Smith, Arkansas has its 197 despite counting 9.525 on bars and 9.600 on beam.

SEMO went 48.950 on beam to end up over 194 on the day.

Rotation 4 in Illinois

Koch – BB – Minnesota – bhs loso, good – beat to split jump 3/4, short back leg – kickover to scale, nicely done to keep it smooth – 1.5 dismount, stuck. 9.875

Lovett hit a good routine for Arkansas in the final position on floor but on the last pass didn’t show control. 9.925. Arkansas done on 197.050.

Mueller – FX – Illinois – double pike, chest up – front lay to front full, under control, slightly soft – switch 1/2 to wolf full looked nice – double tuck, solid. 9.850

Tyson – BB – Minnesota – bhs bhs loso, solidly landed – switch to straddle 1/4, good attention to amplitude on those – 1.5, lunge forward. 9.825

O’Donnell – FX – Illinois – wolf jump 1.5, around – rudi to split jump, controls the split, a bit of leg crossing – 1.5 to layout, lands somewhat short with a step correction – good toe point maintained on leaps. 9.750

Gerdes – BB – Minnesota – aerial, secure, just a bit of knee bend – bhs loso series, very nice – split jump to stag ring jump, large break, hip bend to horizontal – side aerial to full, holds landing but with chest forward. 9.675

Ewald – FX – Illinois – rudi to loso, efficient – wolf jump 1.5, around but short of wolf position – switch side to popa, closer to leap position but a little under rotated – front full to front lay, under, knee bending to get it around. 9.750

Denver came through on bars with 49.125, dropping a miss from Hebinck. Glynn went 9.900.

Loper – BB – Minnesota – or as the graphic calls her, Ona Lopwer – bhs loso, pretty – kickover with a wobble, leg up correction – switch to straddle 1/4, she never gets the highest on her leaps but she gets to 180 – 1.5, stuck. 9.850

Takekawa – FX – Illinois – double pike, secure landing – 1.5 to 1/2 to split jump, lots of travel – switch side to popa, a little crooked on popa but gets around, good split on switch side – rudi to split jump, again a lot of travel backward. 9.825

Nylin – BB – Minnesota – bhs bhs loso, right on – hitch kick to switch side, good amplitude but not quite to 180 – 1.5, holds stick. Good. 9.850

Nataraj – FX – Illinois – front lay to rudi, control – switch ring to switch 1/2, pretty solid – double tuck, good rise, bounce back – like it. 9.825

Ramler BB – Minnesota – bhs loso series, lovely – aerial to beat jump, keeps it moving smoothly, did have a little shoulder dip in between – beat to split ring jump, great – side aerial to full, stuck. Nearly perfect.

9.975. They tried to keep the 10 train going, but it will be all up to Oklahoma now…

Knight – FX – Illinois – front 2/1, slightly jarred on landing, controls the step – wolf hop full to switch 1/2, a little under – double tuck, short, chest down, step – 1.5 to layout, low layout, gets it to her feet. 9.725

49.375 for Minnesota on beam takes the total to 197.125. Illinois goes 49.000 on floor to end up on 195.725.

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