The main thing we learned about the code yesterday is that controlled landings are no longer required if your first pass is a full-in, so I expect that to be maintained throughout every meet today. All that matters is that you did it and we’re so proud of you for trying, so we want to give you a 10 to make us all feel warm and gooey. Who cares if someone else is doing the exact same thing for 9.875? She’s not in front of us right now and therefore does not exist.
Onward and upward to Illinois and Iowa. I mentioned in the rankings post this week that Iowa’s score-scape could really use some similar drugs right now because the solid 196s that got the team into the top 10 a few weeks ago are now basically garbage scores because anyone who’s anyone gets a 197 for every cough. Though it will be tough to improve the current setup this week because Iowa already has two strong home scores of 196.800 and 196.775. So today would have to be better than that to count. Illinois, meanwhile, has a 196.075 to get rid of and could even pass Iowa in the rankings with a huge score today.
We’ve got quite a little meet logjam starting in the 8:00 ET/5:00 PT block, so I asked the twitter which meet I should focus on (in addition to Florida/Alabama, the top-ranked meet of the weekend), and the winner was Arkansas/Auburn in a landslide. So that will be the other stream I have open in a bigger window. This life.
In today’s earlier action, Minnesota went 197.400 and there was some sort of palace coup with Mya Hotten scoring 10.000 on floor even though it was the Ramler/Loper senior day. Ramler got two additional 9.975s to add to her collection, which now stands at 11 career 9.975s. Nebraska also went over 196 in this one, which was a significant development for their ranking, which looks slightly less scary now, though is still going to be in the 30s after this week.
Here’s a rundown of the various randoms I’m thinking about heading into the…second-to-last weekend before conference championships. You know, the big one.
UCLA @ Cal – Saturday afternoon is going to be a thing. In this season’s shifted hierarchy, UCLA currently ranks 4th in the Pac-12 to Cal’s 3rd, while Arizona State leapfrogged both to move into 2nd after last week’s two meets. It’s a different world. And yet in dual meet results so far, it’s pretty much been the same world. The normal expectations have held. UCLA and Cal have both defeated Arizona State and suffered their only losses in pretty tight meets away against Utah. Those are basically the results you would expect in any old season. This weekend, Cal will be eager to confirm that these shifted 2021 roles—where Cal is the numerical favorite against UCLA—are a real life thing with an actual win in a dual meet.
In practice, there hasn’t been much separating these #2, #3, and #4 teams in the conference in their scores all season. All three have been in the low 197s thus far for their good hits, so UCLA/Cal result—as well as their final season rankings—should be considered a toss-up. Arizona State hosts Arizona simultaneous to the UCLA/Cal meet, though ASU’s low home score is already a 197.150, which means there’s probably not a ton of room to continue improving that ranking this week. Meanwhile, UCLA is trying to drop a 196.600 and Cal is trying to drop a 196.075, so there’s clearer room for those two to raise their NQSs with quality performances in a bid to catch ASU.