The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Sunday Live Blog – February 27, 2022

Well this should be something. Today, UCLA hosts Washington, and before the season started this wouldn’t have been circled on the calendar as anything other than an obvious rout, but with UCLA coming off a barstastrophe of a 195.4 away meet, while Washington put up a “we’re good again” 197.2 at home against Utah…suddenly we’ve got ourselves a gymnastics or two.

In the in-progress rankings, Washington currently sits in 33rd (keeping in mind that Cal, Oregon St, and Arkansas don’t have NQSs yet so 33rd is basically 36th) but with a chance to go as high as 18th in Monday’s rankings with another big score. This meet presents an opportunity to drop a 194.450, and if that’s dropped with fervor, Washington could get to a pretty safe spot after today. UCLA is currently 24th, maintaining a lead over Georgia by .050, but could go as high as 15th in Monday’s rankings if this is a good one.

Today for UCLA, Steele returns on bars (and not a moment too soon), while Chiles, Campbell, and Malabuyo will be in the AA.

Jim is telling Janay to be worried about palm weevils, so that’s where we are.

Rotation 1

UCLA VT 1 – Flatley – medium bounce back on her yfull, usual clean shape. 9.800 with a 9.850/9.750 split.

Washington UB 1 – Moody – toe on to maloney to pak, some leg break on pak – can’t get over on her attempted cast half and collapses to the side, banging her leg on the cables, which is an ouchie. We can see she’s bleeding on the leg.

So this will be the situation where they could give her a two-minute injury evaluation period, but they’re going to take her to the back to look at that.

UCLA VT 2 – Malabuyo – good control on her yfull landing, looking like just minor movement – not the most distance, chest a little forward. 9.825

Now we have a delay before the 2nd bars for Washington. Not really sure what we’re about here. Ah, judges trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do with a short routine. It’s not a zero because she did Maloney to Pak. 8.300

Washington UB 2 – Russon – blind to jaeger good height and toes, connected to overshoot – slow final cast hs but gets to vertical – giant full to double tuck, looked like her legs turned slightly to jelly on landing, a couple ginger steps back. 9.650

UCLA VT 3 – Wright – Yfull still for her – good amplitude, chest up, small hop back, some knees. 9.800

Washington UB 3 – Brooks – shap to clear hip to bail, pretty solid bail position, legs on the shap – shortish final cast – giant full, gets crooked there and finishes late – double tuck, good control on landing. 9.775

UCLA VT 4 – Moors – handspring pike 1/2 – chest well down, pulls it out, bounce back. 9.725. Got her for chest position and lack of distance.

Washington UB 4 – SKW – hop grip change, small pause into piked jaeger to overshoot, very clean combination – short final cast hs – blind to front giant 1/2, good finish position, to double tuck, stuck. Strong work. 9.850

UCLA VT 5 – Chiles – Tsuk 1/1 – solid, small hop back, good layout position. 9.900

Washington UB 5 – Thompson – blind to jaeger, high, a bit of elbows on catch – bail, hit – solid final cast hs on high – DLO, takes it somewhat close, small hop in place. Oh on replay is was rillll close. 9.725

UCLA VT 6 – Campbell – excellent yfull, great height and finds the landing today. 9.925, one judge goes perfect. She moved eeeeever so slightly but not really enough to consider it not a stick. Some direction, so there were possible things to take. But strong work.

Washington UB 6 – Bowles – giant full to deltchev, way too far and falls – so it’s not going to be a 197 for Washington…finishes with her DLO, short landing, lunge. 8.725

Well I said it wasn’t going to be boring. Washington caught the barstastrophe this week and will have to count a fall as well as a 9.6 and a couple 9.7s.

UCLA goes 49.250 on vault, which is fine, thanks to the excellence of the last two gymnasts. Some fine fulls to start out, but they were just fine fulls, which is not going to get the big numbers. Scoring has seemed reasonable so far. I haven’t had any medical problems about it.

After 1: UCLA 49.250, Washington 47.725

Jim tries to make BUT THE BARS DELAY happen, and Jen is like, “no.”

The big trouble for Washington now is that they have a 194.450 road score and a 195.100 road score and this is the second-to-last road meet. So it’s still going to be possible to pull this one over 195.1, but it’s going to need to count, and bars was a 47.

Rotation 2

Washington VT 1 – Blum – gets solid height on her yfull but ends up coming in shorter, chest forward, hop. 9.700

UCLA UB 1 – Campbell – good first hs – maloney to bail, legs together on bail – blind to double front, pretty large bound forward. 9.825

Washington VT 2 – Brooks – y1/2 – solid landing, small slide back – probably an amplitude deduction, but good. 9.750

UCLA UB 2 – Steele – good first hs – maloney to pak, very small leg break on maloney – short cast 1/2 on low bar – a bit short on final cast – DLO, has to pike it in both saltos to get it around but does, hop. 9.675

Washington VT 3 – Navarro – Y1.5 – hit, medium hop forward, a bit of knees, should be a useful score. 9.825

UCLA UB 3 – Malabuyo – good first hs – maloney to pak, good height, only small leg breaks – keeps her cast 1/2 on low bar vertical – strong final cast hs – DLO, small hop in place. Pretty. 9.875

Washington VT 4 – SKW – very solid yfull, small movement – has the distance, smallest pike position. 9.825

UCLA UB 4 – Padurariu – good first hs – toe on to maloney to bail, keeps solid leg form – short cast hs on high – giant full to double tuck, low landing with a hop forward. 9.850

Washington VT 5 – Thompson – excellent amplitude as always on her yfull – some legs apart, holds the landing, not the most distance. 9.825. They’re not soaring for Washington here. Normal human scoring. Thompson went up high but was really close to the table.

UCLA UB 5 – Chiles – piked tkatchev to pak, takes pak too close and has to improvise a hip circle with a big muscle out – shap to gienger is nice – hits final cast hs – FTDT, stuck. Major deduction on the pak there. The rest was probably going to be a 10. 9.750

Washington VT 6 – Cunningham – very nice yfull again – has the distance and shows an open position. 9.900. Campbell probably scared off a 9.950 for her because Campbell goes bigger.

UCLA UB 6 – Flatley – good first hs – higgins to jaeger, lovely and high, a bit of elbows on catch – toe on to bail, perfect bail position – nice cast hs on high – DLO, bounce back. 9.875

Washington goes 49.125 on vault, with the back half of the lineup doing about as well as they can do.

UCLA at 49.175 on bars, which is an improvement, but the large error from Chiles had to count. Still not the score they’re looking for, but an improvement. Malabuyo was the highlight for me, would have been fine with that going into the 9.9s.

After 2: UCLA 98.425, Washington 96.850

UCLA on high 196 pace so far, which is not really what they need to make up for that 196.3 road score that already has to count, so that means they can’t afford an iffy beam in the next rotation.

Rotation 3

UCLA BB 1 – Padurariu – hits candle mount – side aerial to bhs is secure, a whiff og knees but good – sissone to full turn, small check – beat to sheep jump, excellent position – side aerial to full, little rebound in place. Nice. 9.875

Americans: “Wow, she’s fluent in English and French!”

Canadians: “……..yes”

Washington FX 1 – SKW – front 2/1, a little deep int he knees, but landed, step, keeps it in bounds – switch to switch ring 1/2, shows the back leg closure – 1.5 to front layout went off line so her step forward took her OOB, and then another step after that. 9.675

UCLA BB 2 – Moors – switch to split, small hesitation on switch landing, keeps it moving – aerial to fhs, hit this week, secure – side aerial, wobble walking out of it – throwing her necklace off choreography because you can’t BUY her with your cheap jewels! – fhs rudi dismount, bounce back. 9.750

Washington FX 2 – Navarro – double tuck, chest up, bounce back – switch side to popa, shows the height – 1.5 to layout, a little low but secure – double pike, solid, chest down. 9.800

UCLA BB 3 – Chiles – side aerial, excellent amplitude – beat jump to immediate loso is nice, controlled – switch to straddle jump, high – aerial to bhs combination this week, arm wave correction – more new composition for her – all the changing of composition left this one with a moment where she just kind of had to back up for a second – double pike dismount, bounce back. Good work. 9.775

Washington FX 3 – Blum – front tuck through to double tuck, bounce back, stays in bounds – switch 1/2 to popa to popa, short of split position on the switch 1/2 – double pike, chest forward and a little adjustment. 9.675

UCLA BB 4 – Campbell – bhs loso, a little slow but fine, wobble back and forth – switch to switch 1/2 to beat, shows connection – split jump to straddle 1/4, good height – gainer full, holds the stick. 9.825

Washington FX 4 – Thompson – whip through to double tuck, chest up but pretty large bounce back – straddle jump to front tuck – switch to split leap 1.5, didn’t quite get the 1.5 all the way around – double pike, chest forward, step. 9.750

UCLA BB 5 – Malabuyo – wolf single – bhs loso series, pretty extension, lean correction – aerial to beat, strong work – split jump to split ring jump is nicely done – bhs loso layout full, stuck. Very good one. 9.900

Washington FX 5 – Cunningham – front tuck through to double tuck, secure landing, chest slightly forward – switch 1/2 to wolf full to wolf full, well done – double pike, controlled step. 9.850

UCLA BB 6 – Flatley – aerial to bhs loso combination, check – L turn, pretty large break, arm wave and leg up – switch to split, good extension – bhs 1.5 dismount, slide back. 9.775

Washington FX 6 – Weiss – ro double pike, chest down, small step forward – 1.5 to layout, has to soften the layout around – split leap full to split jump full, short of split – double tuck, step back. 9.725

UCLA kind of checky but kind of fine on beam for 49.150 there, which will continue to mean the team is on a 196 pace and will rely on some good home floor scores to get this thing to the 197 they really need.

It’s 48.800 on floor for Washington, which means it will take a big beam score now just to get over that 195.100 score. Should still be able to drop the 194.450 given a hit beam, but the hope would have been much more than simply dropping that 194.

After 3: UCLA 147.575, Washington 145.650

Rotation 4

Washington BB 1 – Brooks – kickover to bhs, connected, some knees on bhs – switch to split jump, comfortable – full turn, slightly tentative – aerial to beat jump, hit – stag to gainer full , leans to hold the stick. 9.775

UCLA FX 1 – Wright – 2.5, slide forward out of it – front full to lay 1/2, little bounce up but shows control in her step – split leap full to popa is around – 1.5 to front tuck, gets low but pulls a tuck out, slide forward, would have needed the layout for SV.

Washington BB 2 – Thomas – kickover, small check, works to connect into bhs, wobble, leg up, saves it – switch to straddle 1/4 is smooth – ro 1.5 dismount, hop forward. 9.675

Long delay for Moors. Judges presumably resolving SV on Wright. We see one judge with a 9.700 for a 9.9 SV. That judge originally had 10.0 SV, so revised the total down to 9.675

UCLA FX 2 – Moors – front 2/1 to front tuck, pulls it out, little hop up – lovely loso side pass – switch ring to switch 1/2 to wolf full, shows positions, clearly around – rudi, bounce back. Good. 9.900

Washington BB 3 – Bowles – check on choreography at the top – side aerial, pause before side aerial so risking that acro series, lean at the hips – split jump, wolf jump full, check – hitch to gainer front full, stuck. Now we wait to see what they do with all her composition requirements. 9.650

UCLA FX 3 – Tratz – double pike, pulled around, chest down, controlled – split leap full to jump full, shows positions – 1.5 to front lay, good height – double tuck, also solid. Useful. 9.925

Washington BB 4 – Navarro – bhs bhs loso series, leg-up check – beat to switch side, a little tight there but secure – full turn with a large break, bend at the hips – 2/1 dismount, hop back. 9.625

UCLA FX 4 – Malabuyo – DLO, chest up, small bounce back – 1.5 to front lay, dances out – switch rign to switch 1/2, lovely closure on the switch ring – double pike is short, lunge forward. 9.775

Washington BB 5 – Davis – bhs bhs loso, hit, just some knees, secure – beat to straddle 3/4 with a large break, 58 backstrokes but brings it back – aerial, nice – full turn, check – 1.5 is nicely stuck. 9.650

UCLA FX 5 – Chiles – DLO is perfect, very satisfying – front tuck through to double tuck, controls her step back – split leap full to wolf jump 1.5, gets it around too – double pike, slide back. Wasn’t much before that slide. But UCLA is getting the scores needed to get this to 197. 9.950 for her.

Washington BB 6 – SKW – aerial, slow into bhs loso but keeps moving, secure – kickover to beat is solid – switch to split, shows positions – side aerial to 1.5, stuck.

Ending it with a good one, but this will be a drop score for Washington and will mean they have to count a 195.100 road score this season, which is going to keep them vulnerable.

UCLA FX 6 – Campbell – full in, chest up, well done – split leap full to popa, smoothly around – front lay to front full, slide forward – double tuck, very good, controlled landing.

Oh. They went 10. I didn’t have 10 because of landing control on the 2nd pass. The rest was excellent.

FINAL: UCLA 197.125, Washington 194.300

So that’s the #2 score of the season for UCLA, which they’ll take for a meet that was mostly just OK until the very end. Brings their NQS to 196.430, which currently sits 14th but with Cal and Arizona State still to come.

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