The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

National Championship – Live Blog

And so, old friends, we arrive at the final day of the season. The big question presented to us is whether we’ll see a repeat of the semifinal day, when Oklahoma looked like the best team, or a repeat of the regional finals, when Florida went 298.999.

Today, Florida starts on vault, Auburn on bars, Utah on beam, and Oklahoma on floor. On those events in the semifinals, Oklahoma went 49.675, Utah 49.600, Auburn 49.4375, and Florida 49.2375. Obviously, Florida will need to step up from those raggedy-ann 9.7s on vault from Thursday to win today, but it’s as critical for Oklahoma and Utah to keep up those scores and not get any “it’s the championship and this is a 9.8 now” in the first rotation because they’re on more important events for their team scores. Utah would certainly need some tenths on Florida in the first rotation to have a shot.

“On Saturdays, we get morning-drunk” – every gym dad.

Kathy walked out of the intro curtain right after Florida and I was like, put her on beam.

Intros and anthem done, ready to rotate. The leo reveal has given a lot of white.

OK let’s go.

Rotation 1

Morgan BB – Utah – bhs loso loso is solid, good landing on side aerial to full. 9.8875

Skaggs pretty on yfull but more of a bounce up than usual. 9.8375

Johnson – FX – rudi, control, slight pike – double tuck, solid –

Schoenherr – VT – Florida – shortish on her Y1.5 again, hop back. Still got 9.800

Groth on bars stick her double tuck after giant full, somewhat late. 9.8875

McCallum – BB – candle mount, hit – wolf double, solid – bhs loso, secure, some feet – cat leap to side aerial to layout full, step-salute. 9.875

Woodard – FX – slide forward on front 2/1 landing – controls front full – switch sdie to split jump full, pretty positions – 9.850

Wong with a small slide back on her vault.

Good stick from Stevens on DLO on bars. 9.850

Reed – VT – Florida – lands super short as well, a couple lunges back. Florida not vaulting better than Thursday.

Bounce back from Brusch on bars, Paulson with a stick on side aerial to full dismount.

Fletcher finishes floor with a crossover slide on 2.5

Just 9.700 for Reed and it could have been lower. Thomas is like, I have to save the team again. Gorgeous stick on Y1.5.

Gobourne – UB – stkatchev to pak, hit, a bit short on 1/2 turn on low – FTDT, holds landing.

Isa with a check on loso loso series, holds onto it. Solid gainer full. 9.8375

nearly 10 for Thomas, two judges went 9.950. 9.9875

Richards vaulting instead of Blakely – short on her Y1.5 but saves the landing with a bounce back.

Sievers hits FTDT on floor, front tuck through to double tuck, good control –

Lee with shap to Pak to van leeuwen with a leg separation, FTDT, hop back.

Eaker – BB – Utah – side aerial to loso very smooth – switch to korbut, good – cat leap to side aerial to tuck full, stuck just a little off line. Good.

Bowers – FX – OU – double pike, lovely, step back keeps it in bounds – front full to front tuck, wellll OOB, onto the extra mat off the floor –

O’Keefe – BB – Utah – side aerial to loso is solid – switch to split leap, good – cat leap to side aerial to full, leans forward to try to hold the stick. 9.900

Smith – FX – OU – double tuck, bounce back, another OOB – 1.5 to front lay, not her usual crisp layout shape, a little low – switch side to wolf full is nice – double pike, holds it

WELL. Florida and Oklahoma both underperforming in that first rotation. Florida went 49.350 on vault which will keep them in it, but they should be thanking their lucky stars that went 49.350 because those short 1.5s could have been docked much more. It was like they were taking for the steps but not also the coming in short. Oklahoma’s double OOBs for the final two on floor hurts A LOT.

Auburn will be pleased with an on-track bars score that’s starting to look good given how the others do. The same for Utah, with a beam total that isn’t as good as the semifinal, but will it even need to be given how today is going?

After 1:
Utah 49.5125
Auburn 49.425
Florida 49.350
Oklahoma 49.1875

Ouch Oklahoma.

Rotation 2

Stern – VT – OU – solid Y1.5, medium hop forward. 9.900

Blakely – UB – Florida – shap to pak is hit, a little close on pak but works through it – hits final hs – toe 1/2 to front giant to double front, step forward

Hollingswrth smooth on series on beam, pause before switch 1/2 but secure.

Paulson finishes FX with clean 1.5 to front full.9.900

Levasseur with a very nice stick or near stick on her y1.5 today. 9.975

Annnd McCusker falls on her stalder to double tuck dismount on bars.

Bowers – VT – OU – also good control on her y1.5, little hop in place.

Gilstrap – FX – Utah – good chest up on double tuck, very small foot movement – front lay to rudi, bounce back – front lay to front full, a bit low

Brusch with a lean on her switch side on beam, pulls it back

Schoenherr – close on her jaeger but works through it – bail. nice vertical – double front 1/2 out, stuck. Saved potential disaster there.

Sievers with a medium step forward on Y1.5, not quite the dynamics of the last couple. 9.850

Skaggs has to lean forward to hold the stick on bars but does.

Trautman – VT – OU – very good stick on her y1.5, nailed vault, perhaps not the distance. 9.9625 for her as well. I would say she was helped by her lineup more than Thomas because she didn’t have the same dynamics.

Rucker controls her front lay to front full to finish on floor.

Oklahoma goes with Fletcher today in the 6th spot and she hits her 1.5 after struggling again today in warmup, Hop forward.

Thomas – UB – Florida – maloney to pak, nice – good hs on low – toe on to van leeuwen – good hs on high – DLO, nice landing.

Groth with a wobble on her series for Auburn.

49.6625 for Oklahoma on vault. Big comeback rotation.

McCallum – FX – Utah – FTDT, controls, some chest position – front lay to rudi, under control

Wong – UB – Florida – maloney to pak, good – van leeuwen, legs together – loose back arch on final cast hs – DLO, hop back.

McLaughlin – BB – Auburn – switch to bhs loso, holds it well – beat with a pause before side aerial, clean – switch to straddle 1/4, nice – gainer pike, hop.

49.525 for Florida on bars.

O’Keefe – FX – Utah – double pike, bounce back – switch to split leap 1.5, good split positions – fully puts her hand down on her double wolf turn to try to maintain balance – 1.5 to front tuck full attempt and falls. The problems started with the wolf turn.

Lee – BB – Auburn – aerial to bhs loso is lovely – check on switch 1/2 with leg up – solid on gainer full. Good for normals, but not a Suni 10, which is what Auburn needed.

Utah still waiting for Soloski to go. They had four usable scores before O’Keefe, but they’re going to need Soloski welllll into the 9.9s given the events to come.

I see a range of 8.4 to 9.0 for O’Keefe.

Soloski – FX – Utah – DLO, bounce back – switch 1/2 to split full, good height, good 180s, some feet in switch – front lay to front full, small rebound – 1.5 to front lay, not her highest, pulls it out. It will be enough to put Utah into first still, but enough to withstand vault?

After 2
Utah – 98.975
Florida 98.875
Oklahoma – 98.850
Auburn – 98.625

Florida staying in it and Oklahoma pulled themselves back up with that vault rotation. If they had done normal floor, they would be dominating the competition so far. Utah needs some landings on vault now because it will be a tough act to follow that Oklahoma rotation, although Florida still got the scores for short landings. Florida now going to what can be its two highest scores.

Rotation 3

O’Keefe – VT – Utah – nearly finds the stick on her yfull, step salute

Skaggs – BB – Florida – wolf single, smooth – switch to split is nice – bhs loso, comfortable – good switch side – side aerial to layout full.

Sievers – UB – shap to pak is good – solid cast hs positions, and a stuck FTDT. That works.

Stanhope – VT – Utah – out of control on her Y1.5 landing with a bounce forward and another step.

Well now. Sievers goes 9.975 for her opening bars routine.

Levassuer – UB – OU – toe on, a bit late into tkatchev, nice – bail, good position – DLO, little rebound

Blakely – Bb – Florida – aerial to bhs, good – switch 1/2 is secure – side aerial layout full, bounce back. 9.8625

Another solid stick for Rucker on vault.

Tratuman – UB – OU – shap to pak is hit – 1/2 turn on low a bit late – DLO, hop back.

Burch with a hop on her y1.5, not too large.

Baumann – BB – Florida – bhs loso, well done – switch to split, solid – aerial to beat, also hit – side aerial., secure – 1.5 dismount, bit of a step salute.

McCallum chest down landing on vault with a rebound. 9.8375

Stevens finishes FX for Auburn with double tuck, chest forward some, hop to present.

Hall finishes vault for Utah with a fall on her Y1.5. So they’ll have to count Stanhope.

Bowers – Ub – OU – Ray is excellent – toe on to ak, legs together well – 1/2 turn on low is nice – sticks dismount.

Wong was leaning a little on her switch to split opening combination but covered herself on line, the rest was nice, but she did lean welll forward on dismount to try to hold the stick and didn’t. 9.8375

Groth – FX – Auburn – front 2/1, little slide – switch 1/2 to wolf full, very nice – 1.5 to front layout, good position maintained on layout – controls rudi landing.

Davis – UB – OU – good first hs – higgins to iked jaeger, lovely – good hs – pak, smooth – 1/2 turn on low, good position – double front 1/2 out, holds stick with a stagger.

Thomas – BB – Florida – they need another Trinity saving routine – good switch mount – one arm bhs to a good loso – aerial, little arm wave – korbut is hit – side aerial to layout full, little slide. 9.900

Lee – FX – Auburn – DLO, chest up pretty well – switch ring and split full are comfortable – 1.5 to front full, controls step.

49.725 for Oklahoma on bars. Well damn.

Clapper – BB – Florida – bhs loso loso series is secure – switch to split, hit – side aerial to layout full a bit off line, holds the stick.

Gobourne – FX – Auburn – open double tuck, good control on landing – switch side to wolf full, nice – front full to layout, control – double pike, maybe a little slide. Good one.

After 3:
Oklahoma 148.575
Florida 148.375
Utah 148.200
Auburn 148.0125

Oklahoma in control now and should be able to decide how this thing plays out, but with Florida going to floor, Florida will entertain the possibility of gaining two tenths on Oklahoma here. In the semifinal, Florida’s floor score was .2375 higher than Oklahoma’s beam.

Rotation 4

Groth – VT – Auburn – hits yfull, shuffle back, some pike

Dunn – BB – OU – bhs bhs loso, on – finishes gainer full with slide back

Skaggs – FX – Florida – rudi to double stag with a control kick thing – split leap full to jump full – 1.5 to layout, good straight position

9.850 for Dunn to 9.875 for Skaggs.

Trautman – BB – OU – bhs loso series, secure landing – cat leap to sdie side, good – kickover, small wiggle to hold it – 1.5 dismount, off line but holds the stick

Baumann – FX – Florida – 1.5 to front full, under control – L turn to full turn – double pike, holds landing. And it’s 9.950. The floorening begins.

Gobourne – VT – Auburn – shuffle forward on 1.5

Levasseur – BB – OU – a bit of a check on her series – switch to straddle 1/4, again a small movement to hold it, good split position – aerial to beat – bhs gainer full, stuck. 9.900

Thompson – Ub – Utah – good pak, shap, a ltitle low but fine, connects to gienger – some hip angle in hs – small step on landing

Wong – FX – Florida – 3/1, good landing, leg crossing – split leap full to split jump full, good – 1/2 to front full, good – double pike, controlled, chest forward. And that’s 9.950 as well.

O’Keefe with small step on double arabian bars dismount.

Davis – BB – OU – bhs loso series, very small adjustment – aerial, is good – beat to split ring jump, pretty – 2/1, stuck landing. Excellent. 9.9375

Isa – UB – Utah – Ray, good, solid cast hs – a bit of back position on bail – giant full to DLO, tries to sell stick, ends up leaning forward witha  hop salute

Reed – FX – small foot movement on DLO – front lay to rudi, keeps foot down – switch 1/2 to wolf full – double pike, chest forward, step. 9.9125

Woodard – BB – OU – side aerial to bhs, hit – kickover to beat, strong – switch to split, lovely positions – side aerial to full, stuck. Good one.

Thomas – FX – Florida – DLO, huge, little rebound – split leap full to popa to popa, wonderful – 1.5 to front lay, literally perfect layout.

I see a lot of judges trying to find their 1s. It’s 10s from all six for Thomas

Smith – BB – OU – aerial, smoothly done – straddle 1/2 to korbut, lovely – bhs gainer full, stuck landing. That really should do it.

Richards – FX – Florida – DLO, some leg position, good control – switch side to popa to wolf full, pulls it around – 1.5 to front lay, a bit deep in step, doesn’t move back leg.

Smith’s 9.9625 will clinch the championship for Oklahoma.

But a close one!

9.900 comes up for Richards to get Florida to 198.0875, but it will be Oklahoma on 198.200 for the win.

And ultimately I think justice done with the gymnastics today. It really didn’t look like Oklahoma had it in that first rotation, but they were exceptional on the final three pieces. Florida just couldn’t have afforded to vault like that and still win the title.

And a huge accomplishment for Oklahoma, a team that really shouldn’t have been this good this year with all the world team members and Olympians coming in for other teams, but they won with execution.

The two happy teams out here are Oklahoma and Auburn.

%d bloggers like this: