The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Sunday Live Blog – March 13, 2022

Denver hosts a fascinating quad meet today, where the biggest challenge presents itself to Nebraska, which is finding the door closing on regionals, and quickly. With today’s results thus far, Western Michigan, Penn State, and Kent State have moved into 36th, 37th, and 38th places, all with NQSs over 196, ensuring that it will take an NQS over 196 to make regionals this year for the first time ever. So even with a season high today, Nebraska won’t be able to get into the top 36 and will need to go big today and then hope for another high score at Big Tens while some other teams miss.

Today’s results have also eliminated Pitt, George Washington, and UC Davis from regionals contention.

In other implications for this quad meet, Oregon State will hope to go over 197.3 in order to pass Michigan State for 12th place, while Denver and Arkansas are in a little seeded-position fight. Denver is currently sitting 16th but precariously, while Arkansas has been dropped to 20th for the moment but could move into the top 16 with a season high today.

The number of gymnasts on crutches in this Denver intro is all of them.

Denver starts on vault, Arkansas on bars, Oregon State on beam, and Nebraska on floor.

Rotation 1

Iwai – VT – Denver – Yfull bounce back, soft leg position. 9.750

Young – BB – Oregon State – aerial, small lean, good leg position – bhs loso, secure, high – split to stag ring, secure – hit dismount. 9.700

Spence – FX – Nebraska – 1/2 through to 2/1, controlled step, crossed legs – hits wolf double comfortably – switch ring to split leap full, around – double tuck, a little movement

Ruiz – VT – Denver – solid yfull, only small hop back, good amplitude. 9.775

Leah Smith with a hit first up for Arknasas on bars. 9.850

Casali – VT – Denver – large bounce back on Yfull and some pike. 9.725

Scalzo – Ub – Ark – blind to jaeger, loses form a little at the end, connects to overshoot – solid final cast hs – DLO, slide back, a bit of piking

Good open position on a yfull from Hutchinson, nice amplitude.

Hall bounces OOB on FX for Nebraska.

Letzsch finishes beam with a hit, hop back on tuck full dismount.

Jones – UB – Arkansas – blind, a llittle late into piked jaeger, great high Pak – short 1/2 turn on low – DLO, good height, nearly shows stick, step-salute. 9.825

Mundell – VT – Denver – Y1.5 is very good, stuck landing, a bit of leg form. 9.950 and no 6th vaulter.

Denver will take a 49.075.

Shaffer – UB – Arkansas – toe on to maloney, great leg position, bail, solid vertical – DLO, overcooks it with a bounce back, pretty on the bars. 9.800

Huge split for Lauren Letzsch on beam with a range from 9.650 to 9.800.

Hambrick – UB – Arkansas – blind to piked jaeger to overshoot, a bit of feet – rush final cast hs – FTDT, hop back. Solid.

O’Hara – UB – Arkansas – toe 1/2, good finish into jaeger – clean hs – bail, hits vertical – strong final cast hs – DLO, near stick, step salute. But nice one.

Gonzalez with a secure aerial to back tuck on beam for Oregon State – switch 1/2, a bit short into split jump – side aerial to tuck full, holds the landing.

Curtis finishes FX for Nebraska, just pulls around a double tuck, chest down.

Arkansas also went 49.075 on bars.

Dagen – BB – Oregon State – bhs loso, secure, a little low – switch to switch 1/2 to beat, comfortable, good rhythm – side aerial to full, good landing. Well now 9.950

Piringer – FX – Nebraska – bounce back double pike – 1.5 to layout, slide – double tuck, stuck, chest down.

Carey – BB – Oregon State – forward roll mount – hits full turn – aerial, secure – bhs loso series, little arm wave to show no check – switch to switch 1/2, pretty solid, beat jump – gainer full.

Higgins hits front 2/1 on FX and sticks her 1.5 to layout – I do like this knee spring middle pass.

Nebraska 48.650 on FX, which will not help the 196 cause.

Carey with another 9.950 to get Oregon State to 49.475 on beam. Looks like Letzsch’s score had a SV issue and was resolved to a 10.0 start and a 9.825 score.

After 1:
Oregon State 49.475
Denver 49.075
Arkansas 49.075
Nebraska 48.650

Rotation 2

Ruiz – UB – Denver – giant full to tkatchev, hit, some feet – bail, shy of vertical, some hip angle – DLO, good, little bounce in place.  9.800

Gamiao – BB – Arkansas – standing loso loso is hit – side somi, secure – switch to split, a bit short on split position – 1.5 dismount, deep landing but holds it.

Piringer hits a yfull for Nebraska, little hop in place.

Young – FX – Oregon State – double pike, large lunge back, keeps it in bounds – double tuck, same, bounce back – split leap 1.5 to jump full, good amplitude, somewhat indistinct landing position – front lay to front full. 9.725

Hebinck – UB – Denver – good hs – Ricna to pak, hit, some legs apart on pak and late 1/2 turn on low bar – DLO, chest forward, step.

Smith for Arkansas on beam, correction on her loso series but saves it. Pulls around double tuck dismount.

Bird – FX – Oregon State – struggles on rudi to straddle jump, low rudi, can’t get much onto her straddle jump – switch 1/2 to popa, hit – 2.5, loses leg position at the end, crossover step. 9.700

Pretty DLO on bars for Hutchinson, slide back.

Gianfagna – BB – Arkansas – bhs loso series, secure, knees on bhs –

Curtis last on vault for Nebraska, bounce back on yfull, piking

Mundell – UB – Denver – tkatchev, great amplitude, hits hs – toe on to bail, solid toes point – a bit of loose back in final cast hs but hits vertical – chest forward on DLO with a hop. 9.850

Denver also doing just five on bars. Goes 49.175.

Nebraska 49.000 on vault.

Lovett – BB – Arkansas – aerial, small hesitation before loso but pulls it out, secure landing – switch, nice split position but check and no connection – redoes it, shorter split this time, checks a little but does a split jump this time – side aerial to layout full, stuck. Gets out of there with a 9.8.

Oregon State has an OOB from briones on FX in the third spot after two 9.7s.

Hambrick – BB – Arkansas – straddle back over mount – bhs loso series, large break but keeps it on, onto one foot, leg up and back, leans forward – switch and switch 1/2 are nice – beat to straddle 3/4 is secure – gainer full, stuck. 9.650

Letzsch – FX – Oregon State – 1.5 to front full, solid amplitude – switch ring 1/2 and an actual solid ring closure – double pike, nice. Good one. 9.875

Elswick – BB – Arkansas – bhs loso series, pretty – split jump to split jump 3/4, around, small posture lean to hold it – aerial, solid – bhs 1.5, hop forward. Strong. 9.875

Dagen – FX – Oregon State – punch front 2/1, around and under control – switch 1/2 to popa, clean – front lay to front full, a bit of leg position on lay, again well controlled – double pike,chest forward, step.

A shaky beam rotation for Arkansas but they get through with over 49.

O’Hara hits beam in exhibition for Arkansas.

Carey – FX – Oregon State – double double tucked, keeps front foot under control – front full to front lay to sissone, comfortable – switch 1/2 to popa, around, high – double tuck, little bounce.

Still waiting on the score for her. It’s OK, I didn’t need to know.

Cal against Iowa moving toward a start now.

It was 9.950 for Carey for Oregon State to go 49.075 on floor.

After 2:
Oregon State 98.550
Denver 98.250
Arkansas 98.125
Nebraska 97.650

Rotation 3 from Denver getting started first.

Garcia vaults for Oregon State, stumble back on yfull, lunge and additional step.

Pennese – FX – Arkansas – front 2/1, controlled step, some leg position – 1.5 to layout, hit, legs flash apart on 1.5 – ro double tuck, hit, chest down

Chavez a bit deep on her yfullfor Oregon State, bounce back

Ruiz cleanly through beam first up for Denver.

Letzsch – VT – Oregon State – clean yfull in the air but chest forward on landing and a hop forward

Looks like scores died, which is fun.

Mabanta – BB – Denver – wolf single, good – bhs loso, check – split leap, lovely – switch 1/2, good back leg into split jump – bhs 1.5 dismount, stuck. Good. 9.875

Gonzales – VT – Oregon State – full on back pike, hit, bounce back, some chest position –

Colombo on UB – hits piked jaeger, a couple short casts – front giant 1/2 to double tuck, deep, hop forward.

Dagen – VT – Oregon State – Y1.5, medium lunge forward

Iwai – BB – Denver – switch to split, nice positions – bhs loso loso, right on – side aerial, good leg extension – gainer full, a bit flat, hop back

Carey – VT – Oregon State – DTY – huge height, little hop back, as per usual

Brown – BB – Denver – aerial, keeps arms moving into back tuck, some knees in aerial – beat to split jump to sheep jump, a bit low on those dance elements – gainer full, little hop. 9.850

Davis finishes bars for Nebraska witha  little slide back on high DLO.

Carey gets another 9.950 to get Oregon State to 49.300 on vault.

So fun, apparently Cal and Iowa has started and all we’re getting is the big screen’s footage of twitter?

Smith on floor for Arkansas huge piked full in, chest down but very secure.

Hutchinson on beam for Denver has a lean on her kickover front, otherwise clean, small scoot on gainer full.

Nebraska is done on 48.925 on bars, so it’s down to a good beam to keep the season alive.

Mundell – BB – Denver – bhs loso series, clean – switch to switch 1/2, shows 180, small lean – 1.5 a little low but fine, slide back

Hambrick – FX – Arkansas – double tuck, very nice – rudi to layout to straight jump, solid – double pike, solid, chest down. 9.875

Mundell went 9.900 so Denver is on 49.400 on beam, cuts Oregon State’s lead to two tenths.

Lovett – FX – Arkansas – DLO, hit comfortably – double tuck, nice closed tuck position, clean landing – switch 1/2 to popa, hits 180s – front lay to front full, good one. 9.875

After 3:
Oregon State 147.850
Denver 147.650
Arkansas 147.475
Nebraska 146.575

Oregon State with a lead but going to a potentially lower score, Denver two tenths back and going to floor, but floor also a deeply depleted event for Denver at this point.

So the Cal stream is just dead as a door nail, but Cal went 49.225 on vault featuring a counting score from Solari in the anchor spot. Iowa meanwhile went 48.775 on bars after counting a 9.450, so it will be again up to the other events to pick it up.

Rotation 4

Yamaoka – UB – Oregon State – toe on to maloney, legs together – a bit short on cast on high – bail – just a couple missed verticlas – giant full into double tuck, down, hop forward

Spence – BB – Nebraska – bhs loso, check after landing, shoulder dip – side somi, lean forward, pulls it back – switch to beat jump, nice – 1.5 dismount, stuck.

The Cal stream is back to life – Perea sticks a DLO dismount in the leadoff spot. And it’s 9.950. Well, it’s a different meet than Friday.

Iwai started Denver with 9.825 on FX.

Brown – FX – Denver – 2.5, crossover step but controls the back foot – switch ring to switch 1/2 to wolf full, switch ring is good flexibility but a very open ring – 1.5 to layout, solid.

Dagen – Ub – Oregon State – catches tkatchev – bail, a little over vertical – short cast hs on high – toe on, hesitation into giant full to double tuck, pulls in some, step back.

Looks like Shaffer sticks her Y1/2 on vault, but we can mostly just see Chris’s back. 9.925 for her. Nearly the perfect 9.950.

Zivat is 4th on vault for Iowa, small slide back on Tsuk full. Good. Some pike.

We have a peel off for Bird on bars for Oregon State. That looked ouchie.

Schank – UB – Cal – up 4th – pretty piked jaeger to overshoot, legs together – good cast hs on high – DLO, hop back.

Guerin – VT – Iowa – medium hop back on Yfull.

Li – UB – Cal – hits first hs – pak is high – toe on to van leeuwen, solid – giant full to double tuck, stuck. Pretty.

Roby is up on beam for Nebraska – clean aerial – bhs loso, lean to the side, covers –

Jakubczyk has a couple leg breaks on bars for Oregon State but overall one of her more secure bars this year.

Bordas finishes bars for Cal with a stick on her giant full double tuck dismount.

Mundell finishes floor for Denver, punch rudi, controlled step.

Carey – UB – Oregon State – slightly loose back in first hs – maloney to bhardwaj, hit – solid cast hs on low – van leeuwen, legs together – solid final cast hs – FTDT, stuck.

After a huge vault score, Arkansas gets up to 196.975 after looking like it would be low 196 for most of the day.

Carey finishes out her day of 9.950s for a 39.800.

Oregon State finishes 196.875, so will be behind Arkansas.

Hutchinson – FX – Denver – good front 2/1, control – 1.5 to front lay, secure –

Briones just did exhibition on bars for Oregon State with a routine that should be in the six.

Critical final beam for Nebraska now, needing a hit from Thlaer – aerial through to bhs bhs, clean – switch to beat, good feet – kickover, solid – 1.5 a bit under, hop to the side. A counter.

Hutchinson’s 9.900 gets Denver to 196.800 and third place as Arkansas comes from behind to win it.

FINAL
Arkansas 196.975
Oregon State 196.875
Denver 196.800
Nebraska 195.750

Meanwhile Cal went 49.625 on bars to sit on 98.850 after two events. Iowa 49.075 on vault to go to 97.850.

So, not enough for Oregon State to pass MSU. Oregon State still in 13th.
Denver moves ahead of Ohio State and into 15th.
Arkansas moves ahead of UCLA and into 17th.
Nebraska goes to 41st but is eliminated from regionals contention with a max NQS after next week of 196.140 and with 36th place already at 196.150.

I only just noticed no Henderson for Iowa on vault or floor today.

Rotation 3

DeSouza – BB – Cal – cat leap to aerial, smooth – bhs loso, hit, chest a little low – beat to sheep, secure, hip angle – sissone – 1.5 dismount, small hop. Comfortable opener. 9.850

Killian – FX – Iowa – 3/1, only a hair under, solid – front full to front pike, some knees – switch side and popa, not as high as those at the end of the lineup – double tuck, chest position, controlled. 9.800

Clausi – BB – Cal – kickover to beat, secure – bhs loso secure, composed not to check there – full turn, slight tentative check there – switch to switch, solid back leg position – side aerial to tuck full, stuck. 9.925

Rojas – FX – Iowa – front tuck through to double tuck, bounce back – switch to split leap 1.5, pulls it around – double pike, deep landing, lunge back, covers it pretty well. 9.675

Williams – BB – Cal – wolf double, hit – bhs loso series, good extended legs – aerial, again straight knee throughout – switch to split, a whiff of hesitation but connected – side aerial to tuck full, holds the stick. 9.900. I would have ranked that higher than Clausi’s.

Kenlin – FX – Iowa – front 2/1, crossover step, keeps back foot down – glad to see this back in the lineup – 1.5 to layout, some leg crossing in the 1.5 – switch to split ring full – 9.875

Bordas – BB – Cal – aerial to split jump, keeps arm moving through a hesitation, some back leg – bhs loso, solid – switch to split, solid split position in the switch – full turn – bhs gainer full goes a little crazy, chest well forward on the lean to hold the landing. 9.750

Greenwald – FX – Iowa – full in, secure landing – switch side to popa, around – 2.5 to front tuck, holds the step, some leg position. 9.875

Li – BB – Cal – aerial to split jump, smooth – bhs loso series, lovely – LOLOLOLOLOL full turn fall onto the beam and then sits side saddle about it – gainer tuck full, stuck.

And 9.450 with a fall onto the beam. Maybe some funny bonus there.

Kaji – FX – Iowa – 1.5 through to 2/1, wonderful speed, control – switch full, pretty – double pike, secure. Switch 1/2 to split full. Excellent routine. 9.900

Lauzon – BB – Cal – switch to split, secure – bhs bhs loso, very good – cat leap side aerial to layout full, holds stick. Confident. 9.925

Guerin – FX – Iowa – FTDT, keeps front foot down – switch side to popa to straddle jump, huge – front tuck through to double tuck, chest a little forward. Strong rotation. 9.950

Cal 49.350 on beam to get to 148.200. Iowa 49.400 on floor to go to 147.250.

Watterson pulls out a hit on beam in the exhibition spot, as does Jones. Both good ones. Jones nearly lost it with her foot placement on the dismount but survived.

Rotation 4

Ebeling – BB – Iowa – bhs loso series, hit, somewhat soft knee – full turn, hit – split to split ring to beat jump, gets to horizontal there – aerial, bend at the hips to save it – gainer pike, stuck. 9.700

Schank – FX – Cal – double tuck, chest up, controlled, good – double pike, similar – switch side to popa to popa, looked like pretty solid finishing position today – 1.5 to layout, gets low on that pass, some knees, secure. 9.900

Vance – BB – Iowa – bhs loso series, lots of knees, hit – aerial round off, leg up wobble – straddle to straddle 3/4, lean – side aerial to tuck full, stuck. 9.750

DeSouza – FX – Cal – double pike, hit, chest pretty far down – switch side to wolf full, around, a little hoppy – 1.5 to front full, solid – rudi to double stag, high, arm wave to try to control it. 9.875, that’s a bit high for me.

Killian – BB – Iowa – bhs loso, some tight hips, hit – front tuck, good composure to hold it – switch to switch, higher back leg in second switch – 2/1, high, small movement. 9.825

Clausi – FX – Cal – double pike, secure, chest forward, not as far as DeSouza – comfortable leap combination – 1.5 to front lay, super crisp body position on layout – double tuck, very good. Expect a big one. 9.950

Kaji – BB – Iowa – full turn, good rhythm – bhs loso series, super high but a wobble, leg up – cat leap to side aerial, another lean – gainer full, little slide. 9.700

Bordas – FX – Cal – double tuck, controlled step – 1.5 to layout, leg separation in the layout – switch to switch ring 1/2, bounce – rudi, controls her front foot. Another 9.950. Oh boy.

Rojas – BB – Iowa – bhs loso series, secure – front tuck is low but holds is well, connects into beat jump – split to split jump 3/4, a bit low – gainer full, hop back. 9.750

Green – FX – Cal – front 2/1, nice twisting form but lunges into a stag jump that was verging on out of control – switch to popa, good – 1.5 to front…pike?, some legs in the 1.5 – 9.850 I do not understand.

Kenlin – BB – Iowa – bhs loso, solid – hitch kick to aerial, check lean – switch to split jump to split jump 3/4, excellent leap positions – side aerial to full, holds the landing.

Quinn – FX – Cal – front lay to rudi, good form and control, comfortable – switch side to popa to wolf jump, smoothly around – double pike, chest a little forward, presents with a step ahead.

9.925 for Quinn gives Cal 49.600 on floor, which is a program record score. Cal was like, “Admit one SEC floor scoring please.”

197.900 for Cal, the high for them on the season.

Iowa goes 196.175 which will not count and will keep them in 23rd.

Cal will move ahead of Missouri and back to 10th but will not catch Kentucky.

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