The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Friday Live Blog – March 11, 2022

It’s the last Friday live blog of the season!

Two different worlds to follow today. We have the top teams, aiming to break various scoring records and give me a heart attack, who might be jockeying for regionals placement but are safe for the big stuff at this point. And then we have the teams desperately trying to get into or stay in the regionals hunt with a score today.

In the second category, Central Michigan (hosting Ball State at 7:00 ET) is the one to keep an eye on because any kind of 196 is going to elevate them right into the hunt and make it tougher on all the other teams trying to get up there, like Pittsburgh, currently sitting in the #37 spot and competing at the same time. Today, Pitt is looking for a 196 of its own—the more the better—along with a sub-196 score for Central Michigan. That’s the scenario that would keep Pitt breathing for another week. Or at least another day as we wait for West Virginia, North Carolina, Western Michigan, Nebraska, and Penn State to compete later in the weekend. Also going tonight is Southern Utah, but Southern Utah’s quest for safety will mostly hinge on the conference championship away score.

In the top-team world, Florida and Oklahoma compete today in a race to see how many 10s and 198s they can get (Oklahoma’s visit to Arizona State is also interesting because Arizona State is looking for 196.750 to keep UCLA out of the evening session at Pac-12s). We also have what should be a competitive dual between Michigan State and Kentucky, which will provide an interesting counterpoint to Cal as Cal and Kentucky try to jump over each other in the rankings.

And then of course Utah and LSU, which is probably not that significant for ultimate ranking purposes but should be fun. Maybe a beam cap will come off or something.

Schedule and links

Meanwhile, ESPN still thinks the meet is between Kentucky and Michigan.

Ahem hem shall we?

OK, Kentucky and Michigan State win and are starting first.

Procasky – VT – Kentucky – Yfull, loses her leg form a little at the end, some direction, slide back. 9.800

Stephen – UB – MSU – toe on to maloney, hit – toe on to bail, looked solid – giant full, slightly crooked into double tuck, good. 9.800

Wilson – VT – Kentucky – handspring pike 1/2, good amplitude, some legs, hop back. 9.825

Loomis – UB – MSU – blind to jaeger, solid – hits cast hs – pak, legs apart – giant full, a bit late into double tuck, lunge back. 9.850

Clapper led off floor for Florida with 9.750

Magnelli – VT – Kentucky – handspring pike 1/2, bounce back, chest a bit farther down than Wilson. 9.825

Richards up 2nd on FX for Florida, hits her DLO, right into the corner but in bounds, some knees –

Mitchell – UB – MSU – toe on to maloney to bail, some body position in the bail – we can’t see handstands from this angle but they look OK – DLO, has to pike it down to find landing, little slide forward. 9.875

Nixon – VT – Kentucky – uncontrolled yfull, large bounce back and another step. 9.750

Jackard – UB – MSU – blind to jaeger, shows toe point – bail, legs together – giant full to double tuck, small hop. Cleanest on the bars so far. 9.925

Patterson – VT – Kentucky – handspring pike 1/2, larger bounce back. 9.875

Schulte – UB – MSU – maloney to bail, legs apart on maloney – solid final cast hs – DLO, nice body position. Good.

9.950 with a 10 from one judge. I…didn’t think she even stuck…?

9.900 for Skaggs in the third spot for Florida on FX.

Worley – VT – Kentucky – Y1.5 is strong, small slide to the side, some knees. 9.925

Harkness – UB – MSU – toe on to gienger hit, perhaps a tad close – bail, good vertical position – hits vertical on final cast hs – FTDT, a bit deep, hop to the side. 9.900 for Harkness.

MSU goes 49.500, bars scores very loose, so we’ll see what happens with Kentucky.

The Ohio State tri is now starting, after Kentucky/MSU is through a rotation.

Cal gets a near stick from Perea on a DLO, hop.

Wong is up 5th on FX for Florida – 3/1, around, under control, a bit of leg crossing – split leap full to split jump full – back 1/2 to front full, a bit of legs, under control – double pike, keeps front foot down it looked like, good.

Annddddd it’s 9.975.

DeSouza clean for Cal, small step on FTDT. Good amplitude for Jennings on VT for OSU, small movement on landing.

Reed anchors FX for Florida, no Thomas today – DLO, bounce back, just does keep it in bounds – front lay to rudi, solid control and amplitude – switch 1/2 to wolf full – double pike, secure

Ohio State is done on 49.125 on vault.

Nya Reed went 9.900 to get Florida to 49.500 on floor.

Li on bars for Cal finishes with a small arch on her giant full into a double tuck dismount with a step. The scores look like that’s the kind of day it has been on bars for Cal, but we’ve mostly seen partials.

Bordas – UB – Cal – nice blind – jaeger to overshoot, good amplitude – solid cast hs on high – giant full to double tuck, chest well down with a lunge. Yes, looks like the landings are not there today.

Very good beam routine from Sidney Washington for Pitt. As close as we see to an actual two-foot layout on beam in NCAA.

Meanwhile Kentucky and MSU are into the 2nd rotation, Nixon very clean on shap to bail, FTDT, small slide of heels together.

9.950 and one judge goes 10. My novel about this NCAA season will be called “And One Judge Went 10”

Just 48.925 for Cal on bars, which is the kind of score you would expect for them counting a fall basically.

Angeny up 5th for Kentucky on bars, moving to gain some ground on MSU – blind to jaeger, good distance, some feet – connected to overshoot, some piking – nice DLO. 9.950.

Great amplitude on Yfull for Stephen from MSU but a large bounce back

Worley – UB – Kentucky – good first hs – clear hip, a bit late into tkatchev, solid – nice position on Pak – 1/2 turn on low bar, solid vertical – hits final cast hs – FTDT, good landing

Florida is underway on vault, Schoenherr with a good stick on her Y1.5, knees to deduct for.

And 9.975. And one judge went 10.

Kentucky goes 49.575 on bars to take a one tenth lead on MSU.

And Wong follows Schoenherr with a 9.975 of her own. Different judge went 10.000 this time.

Reed up 4th for Florida, Y1.5 – nearly sticks hers, hop forward, some knees. And it’s 9.850. When we talk about the only thing being judges being sticks. It’s like if you don’t stick, you’re suddenly eligible for the other deductions that happened.

Blakely 5th on vault, not as much distance as Reed but solid, hop forward. 9.900

Thomas – VT – Florida – hop forward on Y1.5 – full “I know I’m happy and it’s fine but also I could have gotten a 10…” face – 9.900 for her.

Florida 49.600 on vault, over 198 pace through 2 events.

We saw partial beam rotation for Clausi for Cal, solid kickover front. Williams in the third spot with a large break at the hips on her split jump.

Hankins from Ohio Stte, close on her jaeger, short hs on high, hits pak, missing a couple handstands, DLO, pikes down to find the stick.

Miller – Ub – Ohio St – toe on to maloney, good legs into bail, clean vertical position – DLO, good flight but deep landing, chest down with step.

Pitt has an OOB from Ewing on FX but nice body position on both tumbling and leaps.

Riccardi on bars for OSU, just fingertipped it her tkatchev but short on the following handstand

Copperwheat – Pitt – FX – secure double tuck – switch 1/2 to wolf full, both around – 1.5 to layout, layout gets low, loses leg form to pull it around – double pike, hit. 9.800

Bordas on BB with a gainer full, stuck. 9.925

Washington FX – Pitt – double pike, big height, bounce back OOB

Swinging over to Kentucky and MSU – Lea Mitchell is up 4th on FX for MSU, double tuck, controlled landing – 1.5 to layout, not the highest but maintains layout shape – double pike, secure, chest a bit down

Kentucky had a fall from Patterson in the 4th spot on beam.

Winder overdoes her double pike for Pitt, multiple large lunges OOB

Angeny – BB – Kentucky – bhs loso series, small step adjustment – aerial, secure – switch to sheep, short back leg on switch – sticks tuck full dismount, beam cap intact

Looks like Cal righted things on beam with a 49.425. We mostly saw dismounts, which were stuck. Cal takes over the lead.

“Watterson with an exhibition performance on beam, we call it a bonus performance.” We do not.

Worley finishes beam for Kentucky with a stuck 1.5 dismount, lean to hold the stick.

In other news, Central Michigan counted a fall on bars, which is a big deal for the other regionals challengers. And now has a counting fall on beam. Teams like WMU, Pitt, Nebraska, and Penn State breathing a little easier right now.

We see the end of McCusker’s bars for Florida, struggles to pull around her double tuck dismount out of the stalder but does, bounce back. 9.825

Michigan State has pulled ahead of Kentucky by .025 going to the last rotation.

Schoenherr up 3rd – blind to jaeger, high – solid hs – toe on to bail – double front 1/2 out, holds the stick with a bit of jelly legs

NC State was in an OK ranking position heading into today’s meet but won’t be happy with all the 48 that’s going on.

Skaggs went 9.950 in the 4th spot for Florida on bars, and Trinity Thomas stuck her dismount in the smallest box ever.

9.975 for Thomas.

Wong – UB – Florida Maloney to Pak, good form, pak looked a bit close from this angle – van leeuwen, good – DLO, nice basically almost stick – holds for a sec into step salute. 9.950

That gets Florida to 49.600 on bars. Wong has two 9.975s and a 9.950 so far.

Final rotation starting with MSU and Kentucky.

Wiedeman – BB – MSU – bhs loso, little check – cat leap to kickover, holds it – beat to straddle 3/4, short of split, arm wave to hold it – gainer tuck full, little hop in place and some direction. 9.775

Procasky – FX – Kentucky – front lay to front full, under control, some knee crossing – switch ring to split leap full, not quite up there on her split positions – double tuck, very short, two lunges forward. 9.550

Kalefe – BB – MSU – bhs bhs loso, secure, some feet – switch to tuck jump full to beat jump, nice combination, good position attention – gainer full gets a little low, pulls it out, hop back. 9.850

Patterson – FX – Kentucky – 1.5 to layout, good height – switch ring 1/2 – switch ring to switch side, excellent switch side position – double tuck, chest down with a step, not nearly as extreme as Procasky. 9.850

Stephen – BB – MSU – aerial to two feet attempt and falls, nearly the most amazing layout aerial but was way way off –

Magnelli – FX – Kentucky – 1.5 to loso, clean – switch side to popa, very good form – double pike, somewhat deep – 9.850

Schulte – BB – MSU – switch to switch 1/2, clean work – bhs loso, also comfortable – side aerial to layout full, holds stick. Good one.

And 9.950

Haigis – FX – Kentucky – rudi to loso, pretty twisting position – switch side to popa, shows positions – double pike, secure landing, some feet. Nice.

And it’s 9.975. A pretty routine. A senior. 2022 scoring.

Mitchell – BB – MSU – bhs bhs loso, hit, foot flexing – aerial, a little short, holds it well without a check – split jump to straddle 1/4, nice – 1.5 dismount, holds landing. 9.925

Davis – FX – Kentucky – double pike, secure – switch side and popa, good position and amplitude – 1.5 to layout, opens early out of layout, almost too early but lay is fine – double tuck, under control.

And 9.950 for her. Worley will get a 34.

Garcia – BB – MSU – bhs loso series, hit – aerial to split jump, smooth – switch to split jump, hits her 180s – side aerial to full, holds stick allllmost, step salute. 9.900. MSU on 197.500.

Florida is underway in the final rotation with 9.900 for Skaggs.

Worley – FX – Kentucky – good high full in, little bounce back – switch ring and switch side, hit – sticks layout in combo pass – double tuck, chest a little down, holds the landing. 9.950.

They tried but it wasn’t her best one.

Kentcuky done on 197.650 for the win.

LSU and Utah is underway, Arenas on vault with a stuck yfull. Shchennikova back to vaulting with a larger lunge forward on y1.5. 9.900 for Arenas, 9.800 for Shchennikova.

McCallum 2nd on bars for Utah, following 9.850 for Morgan – maloney to pak looks comfortable – van leeuwen, hit – FTDT, stuck. Clean work. 9.925

Edwards third on VT for LSU, like Shchennikova, large bound forward on y1.5. Also 9.800

Florida has to work against 9.650 from Baumann on beam in the 3rd spot.

Paulson – UB – Utah – maloney to pak, solid positon – loses momentum on switch on low bar but fine – giant full to double tuck, lunge back. 9.825

Wong up 4th on BB for Florida – we’re seeing 2nd half, switch ring is hit – aerial, controls it pretty much. 9.950 for her for a 39.850 AA day. Just that.

Stuck yfull from KJ Johnson for LSU, some direction. 9.850. I had 9.900 there actually, so that’s interesting.

Burch – UB – Utah – takes her jaeger too far and falls.

Looks like O’Keefe is out of all lineups today for Utah, which will have an effect.

Kiya Johnson – VT – LSU – sticks her DTY, great landing, just leg form if they choose to take it, maybe direction but not too obvious. 9.975. One of the 10ier of all the 9.975s we’ve seen today.

Remarkable save from Leah Clapper on beam for Florida – kicked her foot on the beam on her series and took two steps forward and still stayed on. But 9.625

McCusker – BB – Florida – clean wolf double – front aerial, pretty – bhs loso, lean to the side, holds it on – bounce back on dismount.

Bryant – VT – LSU – sticks her handspring pike 1/2 – she gets the 10.

Isa finishes for Utah on bars – good first hs – Ray, caught – bail, to vertical – giant full, gets to vertical well into DLO, stuck. Isa and McCallum really the only ones who brought it today.

LSU goes 49.525 on vault, four of the six did pretty much as well as they can possibly do, but they had two weak ones that got away with scores as high as 9.800. So a good one overall, but need another score in there.

Utah gets to 49.300 on bars, which they will take to the bank because they’re still in it despite having some moments in that rotation.

Cal is done on 196.875 as Ohio State racks up the floor scores to finish.

Florida got 9.850 for McCusker for a 197.975 (it wasn’t even a 198???) after counting a 9.6 on beam.

Rutgers going 196.400 is a big deal for them, but it’s going to be too late to save a chance at regionals.

Pitt has to count a 9.550 on bars and will end on 195.375, which is not what they needed today.

Rotation 2 – Utah/LSU

Thompson – VT – Utah – lands short on yfull, chest down, hop forward. 9.725

Johnson – UB – LSU – maloney to bail, hit – toe on – DLO, stuck landing. Just a couple borderline vertical positions. Good one. 9.900

Hall – VT – Utah – Y1.5 – legs apart in the air, finds the landing but a shuffle with both feet. Still goes 9.850.

Arenas – UB – LSU – toe on to tkatchev, good toe point – a bit short on hs – pak, legs – good 1/2 turn position on low – hits final cast hs – DLO, not so high, finds the stick. 9.875

Stanhope – VT – Utah – solid Y1.5 – medium hop forward, a bit of knees – 9.875

Dunne – UB – LSU – tkatchev, a bit low but hit, connects into a good pak – 1/2 turn on low attempt but can’t get her hand over and falls – finishes DLO, piked, step back

Rucker – VT – Utah – good early completion of Y1.5 – step forward. 9.875

Bryant – UB – LSU – blind to jaeger, hit – bail, secure, some form in giant swing into it – hits final cast hs – blind to double front 1/2 out, shuffle back. 9.900

Burch – VT – Utah – y1.5, lands just a touch short with a step back for 9.875

Shchennikova – UB – LSU – Ray to pak, hit, good form on pak – 1/2 turn on low bar is fine – a bit rushes on a couple cast hs – dismount is the usual, finds the stick. 9.925

McCallum – VT – Utah – Servente, little hop back, feet. 9.925

Utah gets to 49.400 on vault, a hit rotation, no one quite zoned in. Which is 49.400 now.

Durante – UB – LSU – godo frsit hs – blind,a  little crooked into jaeger – hits hs – pak, clean – 1/2 turn on low, solid – FTDT, deep, bounce back. 9.825

LSU 49.425 on bars. Got through the fall from Dunne. Needed a score from Durante there though.

Looks like the stream for the tri meet at ASU is dead? FUN. But at least we saw intros. That’s the important thing.

After 2: LSU 98.950, Utah 98.800

You can tell this isn’t an SEC Network meet because it is 700 hours between rotations.

Rotation 3

Desiderio – BB – LSU – switch to switch 1/2, solid – bhs loso, secure landing, good position – aerial, holds it – cat leap to gainer full, good one. 9.925

Paulson – FX – Utah – front tuck through to 2.5, lunge forward – front lay to front full, controlled – switch 1/2 to sissone, clean – 1.5 to layout, crisp layout position – solid after the first pass control issue. 9.850

Rivers – BB – LSU – bhs loso, holds it – switch 1/2, short of 180 – switch to straddle 1/4, short back leg on switch, solid on the straddle 1/4 – 2/1, holds the landing. 9.900

Gilstrap – FX – Utah – double tuck, high, chest up, a lunge back but kept the front foot – front lay to rudi, pretty – switch ring to split leap full, one of the very few who shouldn’t get leap deductions – front lay to front full, a bit of legs in the layout. 9.875

Dean – BB – LSU – side aeiral to bhs, knees, secure – switch to split, hit – aerial to beat jump – side aerial to layout full, slide back. 9.850

Interesting: Boise State leads Oklahoma after 1.

Stanhope – FX – Utah – full in, hit, backward crossover step to control – switch side to wolf full, around, a bit tight on switch side – front tuck to double tuck, feet, controlled. 9.875

Bryant – BB – LSU – aerial to loso, connected – switch to straddle 1/4, has the height – front tuck, break, lean to the side and an arm wave – makes a bit of a meal of the full turn but not a check – rudi, stuck. 9.850

Rucker – FX – Utah – nice position on FTDT but lands short, stagger bounce back – switch 1/2 to split full and wolf full, looked slightly out of control from our angle – front lay to front full, hit, legs on front lay. 9.775

Finnegan – BB – LSU – bhs loso loso series, hit, good height – switch to split jump, good split jump, switch perhaps a little under – aerial, secure, front knee – side aerial to tuck full, slide back. Good. 9.875

McCallum – FX – Utah – spent a long time identifying Lucy Stanhope as Grace McCallum there… – FTDT, hit, chest forward but under control – split leap full to popa, around – front lay and a big save to get her rudi around since she got negative punch there, solid landing considering, but should be deducted – 9.850

Johnson – BB – LSU – bhs loso series, confident – switch to switch, good back leg, split jump, hit – kickover holds it – bhs 1.5, stuck, legs apart. Brings together to salute but later. 9.950.

Good rotation for 49.500 there for LSU.

Soloski – FX – Utah – DLO, controls well – switch 1/2 to split full, feet, around clearly – front lay to front full – 1.5 to front lay, good layout position. Solid one. 9.950

LSU 49.500 to Utah on 49.400 and overall LSU 148.450 to Utah 148.200. Utah has been the more ragged and tired-looking team today but managing to keep it surprisingly close.

Meanwhile, Arizona State will just have to stay upright on beam and floor to get the score they need to make the evening at Pac-12s.

Rotation 4

Morgan – BB – Utah – bhs bhs loso, secure, some leg softness – switch to split, good back leg in switch – beat to side aerial to layout full, stuck. 9.925. It’s going.

Desiderio – FX – LSU – good DLO, under control – 1.5 to layout, secure, some leg form – split leap full to split jump full, good work – double tuck, chest down, little bounce. 9.925

Someone’s getting a 25 around here.

McCallum – BB – Utah – candle mount, hit – wolf double, comfortable – bhs loso, faint arm correction – switch, small hesitation before stag jump – cat leap to sdie aerial to layout full, slide back. 9.900

Shchennikova – FX – LSU – front 2/1, some knees, controls the step – 1.5 to front full, lands short, covers – switch to switch ring 1/2 – rudi to split jump, a little travel. 9.900

If you get below a 9.9, it means you fell.

Burch – BB – Utah – bhs loso, very small hesitation on landing – split jump to stag ring, arm correction – cat leap to aerial, strong – gainer full, stuck. 9.900

Edwards – FX – LSU – front 2/1, controls, some knees – switch side to popa to straight jump full, not the splittiest but gets enough height to get them around – front 1/5 to front full, minor slide.

9.975. Sure. What. Why. Who can say.

Paulson – BB – Utah – side aerial to loso, secure – switch to split, nice leg position – beat jump to side aerial to layout full, stuck. Some knee things but probably her best this year.

9.975.

We’ve moved back into our 9.975 era.

KJ Johnson – FX – LSU – open FTDT, slide back, chest up – 1.5 to front lay, good layout position – switch side to popa, perhaps a tad underrotated – double tuck, controls step. 9.900

Isa – BB – Utah – candle mount, good – bhs loso loso, secure landing, some foot position – smooth rhythm in full turn – beat to straddle 1/4, hits positions – bhs gainer full, solid.

9.975, you knew it would be.

Finnegan – FX – LSU – double arabian, holds the landing, tries to connect it into her stag jump but it goes a little backward – split leap full to split jump full, loses her back leg in split jump but already knows to cover it by giving IT WAS AMAZING face – 1.5 to layout, has to tuck the layout some.

I was about to type “things to take there, will need to drop” and then the score came up as 9.925. Love that for me.

Eaker – BB – Utah – full turn, lovely – side aerial to layout stepout, wobble, step back, turn to the side to cover – switch to korbut is nice – cat leap to side aerial to tuck full, holds the stick.

9.875, which is a fall.

So it’s 197.875 for Utah.

Bryant – FX – LSU – double front, keeps back foot down on lunge forward – switch ring to switch 1/2, around – front lay to rudi, little crossover step.

9.950 for Bryant, LSU finishes on 198.125.

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