All posts by balancebeamsituation

Things Are Happening – April 25, 2017

It’s an emergency Tuesday edition of Things Are Happening because Things. Are. Happening. Well, one thing in particular.

A. (But also B…and C through S.) GEORGIA

So, the Georgia died.

In case you were laboring under the misapprehension that the NCAA season ended after Super Six, let me get you up to speed on all upsets that have been recorded since then.

Georgia qualified to nationals this season, but from the moment the team boarded the Hindenburg for their trip to St. Louis, it was all a little…

The meet ended with a 195.800 and a last-place finish after everyone scored a 2 on everything.

And I know exactly what you’re thinking: this sounds like it was Jasmine Arnold’s fault!

Once Georgia returned from nationals, the Gymdogs became the first-ever team to count a fall on beam after the season ended with the bizarre announcement that Danna Durante had called Natalie Vaculik, Jasmine Arnold, and Caroline Bradford into her office and said,

At first, Danna said, “I feel like there should be as much confusion and as many random rumors as possible about this, so I’m not going to say anything and just let this weirdness sit there. That works always.”

Shockingly, that ended up being a poor choice, so she called up Emily Giambalvo and was like, “Instead, I’ve decided to make everything worse,” adding an official comment on the situation:

“Dismissal makes them sound like a problem, which they weren’t.”

Continue reading Things Are Happening – April 25, 2017

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European Championship – Event Finals Day 2

And thus, the European Championship comes to an end for another year. We’ve grown so much over the past five days. Last week at this time, we were all just little Olegs, tiny egg children gazing up at the world from our too-big pajamas with wide-eyed wonderment, and now we’re full-grown Berkis, all too aware of the unjust cruelty of a cold, cold world.

Just imagine…when we began, we didn’t even know that Kyla Roos had switched her nationality to Toorkey, a giant rabbit child was coming to eat our families, or that “I’m going to record an electronic version of ‘Que Sera Sera,’ and it will be a D+,” is a sentence a human person would say. So young. So naive.

But, before we part, we have several more lessons of the adult world to learn from the remaining five event finals. So, grab your face mask, your wooden stake, your onions, and your emergency contact information, because we start with men’s “vault.”

Men’s Body Chuck

First, by way of a social PSA, we really need to discuss the epidemic that is Artur Dalaloyan.

Young people these days are bombarded with constant images of his perfect TTY and his glorious twisting form, where he sticks landings and ascends directly into the sky to join Mount Olympus as a stream of rainbow-colored sour candies rains out of all his orifices. And yes, his vaulting is gorgeous, but it’s just one type of vaulting, and it’s not realistic for most people. To set him up as though he reflects a common level of vaulting for others to strive to achieve can lead to so many unrealistic expectations and body image problems among preteens and other vaulters.

Dalaloyan opened the Body Chuck final like a vicious tease, tricking us poor hopeful wretches who don’t know any better into believing that the days of watching experimental surgeries from the 1760s masquerading as a gymnastics event were finally behind us. Continue reading European Championship – Event Finals Day 2

European Championship – Event Finals Day 1

The first lesson learned from today’s opening batch of event finals is not to wake up in the middle of the night to watch gymnastics and then try to go back to sleep, because if you do, you will have a dream where Julia Roberts cuts out your tongue.

Don’t worry about it.

But worry about it a little bit.

Anyway, the event finals began as they always do: with you in a groggy haze through the majority of the men’s tumbling and one Japanese handstand final.

Men’s Tumbling and One Japanese Handstand
The most important thing about this final is not to even pretend you understand the execution scores. Today’s scores were brought to you by charitable donations from the John D. and Catherine T. Blind-ass Crackwhore Foundation, Donald and Darlene Alcoholism, the Corporation for Public Da Fuq, and meth heads like you.

Fortunately, a five-year-old’s birthday party named Marian Dragulescu was able to transcend this drug-addled world order by downing his everlasting-youth potion, throwing his walker away, not tumbling like dehydration brought to life, and being Romanian. This allowed him to win his ∞ international floor title and MOMMY I GO VROOM VROOM LIKE AIRPLANE all the way up to the top of the podium.

Other medal contenders were not so lucky. Rayderley Zapata went all “my short landings do not define the beauty of my spirit” across the entirety of the arena, while Dom Cunningham hit a rather composed and precise routine compared to most, and the judges were like, “Thank you for your time, Mona [hiccup].”

Instead, taking silver was Dmitri Lankin, heretofore best known for his head being the shape of an exact cube, like a cartoon cat that got its face stuck in a tin of anchovies.

Anchovy Cat opened his floor routine with a fantastic triple back, followed by CASE DISMISSED YOU’RE FREE TO GO. That meant he could dance around a maypole on his second pass like a common farm girl and it didn’t count even a little bit. As the announcer told us, “He was so high to begin this competition,” getting his notes on Lankin mixed up with Judge # All of Them.

Last but definitely more important than anyone you’ve ever met, the gymternet’s future ex-husband Alex Shatilov decided not to ruin all hope for the future and chose not to throw away our patient love by (TWIST) hitting a whole routine (the whole thing! All the passes!), ensuring that no one had to hurl any radiators through any plate-glass windows, which is just good for the crime rate.

I don’t want to nestle in his beard like Thumbelina. You want to nestle in his beard like Thumbelina.

Just missing out on the podium was the true hero of these finals, the song choices. The songs were hand-selected for each gymnast after a hearty spin of the Wheel of Stereotypes. That’s how Artem Dolgopyat got “Hava Nagila” because of…name a Jewish thing. Ray Zapata got “Y Viva España” because of authentic Spanish culture, Coline Devillard got the arena announcer saying, “Mime in a beret holding a baguette” over and over again, and Teja Belak got “Happy Birthday” because either it’s her birthday or the event organizers were like, “Eff this, Slovenia doesn’t have a song.”

It’s the only time I’ve wished the US could compete in this meet, because I really needed them to follow a Donnell Whittenburg pommel horse routine with a moody electro-pop version of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Continue reading European Championship – Event Finals Day 1

European Championship – Women’s All-Around

Friday’s medium-anticipated all-around competitions began with an opening act from that new up-and-comer on the performance scene, men’s gymnastics. (You’ll make it one day!)

As expected by exactly all living persons and most dead persons, the gold medal went to the 72% of Oleg Verniaiev that decided to show up today. In a stunning twist, Oleg strategically elected to compete without a left arm, a spleen, or the concept of converting food to energy. A gamble, yes, but it paid off as Verniaiev managed to drag himself to victory nonetheless, while also maintaining some stamina reserves for the two World Cup events and half-marathon he’ll be competing in later tonight.

The remaining places also mimicked qualification as Artur Dalaloyan took second place with only one fall (a “Russian hit”), coming fairly close to catching Verniaiev. We’re being told that Saint Oleg allowed this near-breach of his supremacy because Dalaloyan may be the only one on earth who makes Oleg look normal height. If they gain each other’s trust and work together, they might be able to reach the sink one day.

A particularly thrilling development saw the bronze medal go to Great Britain’s newest star, a picture of your old stoner roommate brought to life by a sorcerer.

But now, let’s turn to the main event, the women’s all-around, where the big question on everyone’s mind entering the competition was, now that Russia and Romania have turned into a pile of old lady bone dust, who gets to win medals? Well, we have our answer, so let me be the first to congratulate our new European all-around champion…Eythora Thorsdottir!

Obviously, no. Eythora fell 62 times and finished 12th. Duh. Keep dreaming, monkeys. Continue reading European Championship – Women’s All-Around

European Championship – Women’s Qualification

Today brought the women’s first opportunity to jump up onto the competition podium and compete to see who could be the most European. (That’s what we’re doing here, right?) There were a lot of compelling nominees. Much Europe. Many techno remixes of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Enough to make you want to grab some acid-wash jeans, an Oksana Baiul, and a glow stick and head to Germany.

Anyway, once we sift through all the front layout beam dismounts that scored “abandoned shoelace on floor of public bathroom,” some significant developments actually rise to the top. So, let’s emotionally work through what you missed. Or what you saw and just can’t.

We’ll start with the big fat controversy because clearly.

-Here’s how it went down. In the final floor routine of the day, home-nation hero, legend, and part-time aspiring dominatrix Catalina Ponor got up and said, “I’m going to belch the alphabet, leave, and you’re still going to put me through to event finals,” and the judges said, “With this ring, I thee wed…”

So, normal. Nothing to report there. Ponor goes up, hikes her leo up into the center of the earth, and performs her usual floor. Fine. She did have one “the doctors say there’s nothing they can do” double pike landing and the twisting form, but whatever. Nothing too major. She’s into 4th place. Continue reading European Championship – Women’s Qualification

Things Are Happening – April 19, 2017

A. European Championship schedule

Wednesday, April 19
Watch
3:00am ET/12:00am PT – Men’s Qualification Subdivision 1

Featuring:
Oliver Hegi (SUI), Eddy Yusof (SUI), Jimmy Verbaeys (BEL)

LINK
7:00am ET/4:00am PT – Men’s Qualification Subdivision 2

Featuring:
Alex Shatilov (ISR), Krisztian Berki (HUN), Marcel Nguyen (GER), Lukas Dauser (GER), Nikita Ignatyev (RUS), Artur Dalaloyan (RUS), James Hall (GBR), Joe Fraser (GBR), Artur Davtyan (ARM), Igor Radivilov (UKR), Robert Seligman (CRO), Filip Ude (CRO)

LINK
11:00am ET/8:00am PT – Men’s Qualification Subdivision 3

Featuring:
Oleg Verniaiev (UKR), David Belyavskiy (RUS), Nikita Nagornyy (RUS), Marian Dragulescu (ROU), Eleftherios Petrounias (GRE), Rayderley Zapata (ESP), Bart Deurloo (NED), Sam Oldham (GBR), Frank Baines (GBR), Dom Cunningham (GBR), Courtney Tulloch (GBR), Ferhat Arican (TUR), Pablo Braegger (SUI), Christian Baumann (SUI)

LINK
Thursday, April 20
Watch
3:00am ET/12:00am PT – Women’s Qualification Subdivision 1

Featuring:
Great Britain (2), France (2), Hungary (2)

LINK
6:30am ET/3:30am PT – Women’s Qualification Subdivision 2

Featuring:
Russia (2), Romania (2), Netherlands (2), Germany (2), Italy (2)

LINK
9:00am ET/6:00am PT – Women’s Qualification Subdivision 3

Featuring:
Great Britain (2), Netherlands (2), France (2), Italy (2), Belgium (2), Switzerland (2)

LINK
11:30am ET/8:30am PT – Women’s Qualification Subdivision 4

Featuring:
Russia (2), Romania (2), Germany (2), Hungary (2), Switzerland (2), Spain (2), Alma Kuc (POL, Cal 2018)

LINK
Friday, April 21
Watch
6:00am ET/3:00am PT – Men’s All-Around Final LINK
10:30am ET/7:30am PT – Women’s All-Around Final LINK
Saturday, April 22
Watch
6:30am ET/3:30am PT – Event Finals Day 1
Men’s Floor
Women’s Vault
Men’s Horse
Women’s Bars
Men’s Rings
LINK
Sunday, April 23
Watch
6:30am ET/3:30am PT – Event Finals Day 2
Men’s Vault
Women’s Beam
Men’s PBars
Women’s Floor
Men’s HBar
LINK

The European Championships have quite charitably decided to take place this week and weekend in order to soften our descent into the abyss that is the NCAA season being over. They’re like the nicotine patch of gymnastics. We need it. A lot.

All the sessions will be streamed on the UEG site for free. Yippee! Less yippee: I couldn’t get the replays of men’s qualification to actually…you know…play (at least for now), but Flo also has the rights to broadcast the streaming—behind the paywall—and I could get the first subdivision replay to play there, if you’re looking.

So, everything’s going great so far. Continue reading Things Are Happening – April 19, 2017

National Championship Final Notes

To round out nationals for another year (8.5 months away…), here are a few residual thoughts that have been rattling around my head since returning.

  • Largest margin of victory since 2006

The general sentiment about Super Six, from me and I think everyone: Oklahoma was ridiculous.

This was not supposed to be a blowout year. This wasn’t like some of those Kupets/McCool/Heenan seasons for Georgia, or UCLA in 2010, or Florida in 2013 (before counting a fall and making Super Six much more interesting than it had any right to be), where there was a clear #1 team that really should win by a lot.

Super Six 2017 was supposed to be extremely close between Oklahoma and LSU, but instead we were treated to a romp thanks to a comically excellent performance (particularly on beam) from Oklahoma, the only team to perform better in Super Six than it did in the semifinal. It’s very rare to see a team look that good and bring season-best gymnastics at Super Six, but that’s what Oklahoma did. Usually, Super Six brings performances more like what LSU showed. Continue reading National Championship Final Notes

Super Six Live Blog

The final day has arrived, the day we crown a champion. We entered nationals weekend with Oklahoma and LSU, and it’s still Oklahoma and LSU (with a soupcon of Florida thrown in if they keep competing like that ridic vault rotation during the semifinal). The big question now is whether the LSU we met in the semifinal is going to show up again and make a real challenge against Oklahoma.

Here’s the rotation order:
Rotation 1 – UCLA vault, Alabama bars, Florida beam, Utah floor
Rotation 2 – Utah vault, Oklahoma bars, Alabama beam, LSU floor
Rotation 3 – LSU vault, UCLA bars, Oklahoma beam, Florida floor
Rotation 4 – Florida vault, Utah bars, UCLA beam, Alabama floor
Rotation 5 – Alabama vault, LSU bars, Utah beam, Oklahoma floor
Rotation 6 – Oklahoma vault, Florida bars, LSU beam, UCLA floor

Warmups are currently underway. We’re heading into the second rotation now. There’s not so much lineup suspense since we saw all of these teams yesterday, but I’ll let you know if something abnormal happens.

(“Abnormal for gymnastics, or abnormal for ordinary people?” you say here.)

Utah had Rowe do a little bit on vault but it looked like she may not be going?

As is typical, the warmup period day-of is 87% dancing, 11% practicing celebrating, 1% gymnastics, and 1%…bowling I think Florida?

Alex McMurtry basically has to warm up floor covered in couch cushions because her back is so not-even-having-a-back.

Rowe is in Utah’s released lineup for vault, so perhaps just taking it easy for the warmup. Alabama also has McNeer back in the third spot on beam, as originally announced yesterday before the swap.

UCLA also has Meraz in the floor lineup instead of Ross today. We’ll see if it lasts. Meraz is also in the beam lineup instead of Mossett. Mossett’s knee heavily taped.

Warmup is over, so we’ll be in a waiting period before intros now.

Intros beginning. Appropriate amount of flamethrowers. Understated, not Glasgow, but a good solid amount. Classy flamethrowers.

Rotation 1 – UCLA vault, Alabama bars, Florida beam, Utah floor

Here we go.

Baker – BB – hits series, major issue is a check on the split 1/2 but nothing else, sticks dismount.

Brannan – UB – catches jaeger, a little ebnt elbows – angle on the bail – slow gfinal handstand but hit vertically – small hop DLO

Roberts finishes 1.5 to layout to stag on floor, looked fine. 9.850s up for Baker. 9.825 for Brannan.

Mahoney a little short on a handstand and on her dismount, hop forward.

McLaughlin hits side aerial well – hop back gainer full.

Stumble backward from Reinstadler on opening floor pass, stays in but a coupel steps. Three judges went 9.850. Oh dear.

McNeer – UB – nice tkatchev – a little floppy in the bail – short final handstand – great stick on DLO.

hop forward 1.5 from Hall for UCLA.

Hundley – BB – secure loso with knee form – hits switch side – tight full turn but gets it – side aerial to full – not a super clean routine in form but secure.

Jetter falls on tkatcehv –

Lewis bounces back and OOB on floor. So…9.850? Chest way down final pass –

Kyla sticks full. Well, one Bruin showed up tonight.

Winston major hesitation on the low bar, has to improvise and recast with a very short handstand. Alabama will have to count the score. Not good news.

Gowey sticks gainer full.

Preston – VT – very short full with a lunge forward. She hasn’t been happy with her vaults all weekend and won’t be happy with that.

Merrell – OOB on piked full in – they already have a 9.6 from Lewis and cannot afford that.

One judge went 9.850 for Winston, which is criminal. No. What did you even watch? Nothing? Others are int he 9.4s and 9.5s that I’ve seen.

Saw the end from Gowey but missed a fall. 9.225. The end looked pretty….?

Boren – hits kickover front – secure loso series – very solid in this routine – she’s calm – one very small wave on the gainer loso is all – hits –

Bailey also has to take an extra swing on bars – a smaller error than Winston’s but Alabama imploded early – hop forward full out –

Utah counting a 9.6 on floor.

Rowe – FX – solid double pike – feet on split leap – secure second pass, a little ragged in leg form –

McMurtry – BB – excellent high kickover front – check on loso series – switch to hip circle – high 2/1 hop in place.

Florida endures beam.

49.000 for UCLA
48.8875 for Alabama and it could have been worse. Three mistakes in that rotation.

Skinner – FX – double double, Keeps front foot down – close your mouth please, MyKayla, we are not a codfish – not to 180 on split leap – 1.5 through to 2/1, smallest little bounce – small slide on tuck full as well, but best of the rotation by about 1000%. Still gets three 9.950s.

Florida 49.300
Utah 49.0625
UCLA 49.000
Alabama 48.8875

Florida did the job by getting through beam with a pretty reasonable score, but the other three did nothing to help their upset bids. Oklahoma and LSU will not be worried by anything that happened in that first rotation. They’ll enter the meet now.

Rotation 2 – Utah on vault, Oklahoma on bars, Alabama on beam, LSU on floor

And yes, Dana Duckworth is wearing a cape. Because of course she is. DD is wearing Tiger #34B.

Ewing – FX – small slide forward on front 2/1 but keeps back foot down – front full to layout – step back on double pike, stumbles around to try to keep herself in bounds but couldn’t save it in the end. OOB.

Capps – UB – good full position and usual tkatchev – just a touch of angle in the air on that bail – maybe a little tight starting the meet but only a little on that last handstand – sticks tuck full, good start.

Roberts a little short on her full with a step forward.

Catour – UB – strong Ray – solid bail as well – muscles up final hs a tad – sticks the DLO, just a small lean to keep the stick.

Zamardi – FX – bounce forward on double arabian but stays in – a bounce/stumble on her double pike

Breaking news: Aja Sims can leap –

Dowell – UB – great Ray – precise hs – a little angle on bail – better final hs it appeared from this angle – PERFECT double layout dismount – great shape and stuck –

Utah not getting the landings on vault.

It’s a fall from McNeer on beam. She looked off from the start.

Hambrick – FX – DLO, usual second salto but controls it, small bounce – great leaps, extended and completely finished – slide back on double pike – better, but LSU not as good as yesterday on floor.

Great extension from Lehrmann on her jaeger – sticks tuck full – tremendous routine – befitting a national champ, so little to take.

Skinner’s DTY – a bit larger on the bounce back than she has been lately –

Small amount of bent elbows from Wofford on her jaeger – angle on the bail and short final hadnstand – another great tuck full, but not her most precise on the bars. Scores have still been exactly what Oklahoma wants.

Large check for Desch on beam and a fall. Alabama counting a beam fall now. NOT Alabama’s day, nearly from the start.

Finnegan – GORGEOUS opening pass to 2.5, just I can’t even – very secure double tuck as well, you could say a little deep? just very very little – strong double pike – that’s more like it for LSU.

Nichols – UB – strong Ray – lovely pak to toe to toe shap, nailed – I see one handstand but nothing else, stuck DLO. Oklahoma is here.

9.9500 for Nichols. Advantage OU. LSU needs at LEAST 9.925 from Kelley and Gnat now.

Kelley – FX – good DLo, chest a touch low but only a touch – nails open full in, pretty much ideal – split leap, usual but gets the tuck jump around completely – front tuck through to double back, with a slide, dances out to avoid anything more than a slide.

YOU GUYS. MCKENNA KELLEY IS MARY LOU’S DAUGHTER.

Kelley gets three 9.950s and three 9.850s. 9.950 though? LEAPS DON’T EXIST.

Gnat – FX – fab DLO as always, did bounce just a touch – 2.5 to front tuck, strong and excellent – short on double pike with a lunge forward – WHAT – very un-Gnat. Basically the weakest double pike she’s done in maybe three years.

DEAD that a judge went 9.950 for that. DEAD.

After 2:
Utah 98.1250
Alabama 97.5125
Oklahoma 49.5875
LSU 49.3250
Florida 49.3000
UCLA 49.0000

Advantage Oklahoma after one event. I thought that Oklahoma bars rotation was actually a little weaker than yesterday’s, but still excellent and crisp. Lehrmann, you guys. LSU struggled at the beginning of that floor lineup, and I would say Finnegan is really the onely one who truly shone. Kelley was also solid, but Gnat missed a landing short, which is ridiculous, and we had some landing and OOB issues at the beginning. They need to pick up some ground on their best event now, but can’t vault with the idea of making up tenths. That’s where weak landings come from.

Really disappointed in how weak Alabama’s performance has been. Already eliminated themselves from contention a third of the way through the meet.

LSU got a usable score out of floor, but not as big as they would have hoped/expected, and after Utah’s opening OOBs, the curse of starting on floor in Super Six (for teams that aren’t Alabama) continues.

Rotation 3 – LSU vault, UCLA bars – Oklahoma beam, Florida floor

Hop back from Finnegan on vault – McLaughlin lands a touch short on front 2/1 but no biggie – split leap could be a little more split – better rudi landing – 1.5 to layout, very crisp.

Meraz falls on Ray. Jones hits beam –

Large stumble backward from Hambirck on her 1.5 – multiple steps. Shame. She was struggling more than yesterday during warmups as well.

Lerhmann – BB – pretty full turn – hits aerial – small adjustment on switch side – secure loso series – straddle 1/4, good – step on 1.5

Slocum had a couple very small slides landing two of her passes. Honest hits bars, one short handstand

Ewing – VT – two small steps back, a usable score but not as strong as her semifinal vault. Theme so far.

Catour – BB – second half – hits switch side – clean aerial, small adjustment – sticks gainer pike

Harrold – VT – awesome 1.5. She’s here today, one of her best this season, small step forward and some knees –

Hundley slides on whip double tuck – lunge forward out of second pass – nice leap amplitude on that straddle jump – secure, lowish double pike.

Edney – VT – a little short with a step back as well. So many of them performed better in the semi on these first two events.

I also see you, floor judge who gave Hundley 9.900.

Kocian – UB – stalder shap to pak, clean – usual leg breaks and a very short final handstand, weird, but makes it up by FINALLY sticking that dismount. 9.9375 is because Kocian and because stick. I guess.

Gnat – VT – bounce back on DTY, but better than yesterday.

McMurtry – FX – usual 3/1 – sticks front full second pass – a little indistinct on that wolf jump 1/1 landing, but it won’t be taken – strong high double tuck.

Ross very clean on bars, small step on DLO. Should be a strong total as well.

One judge gives McMurtry a 10. Four 9.950s and a 9.900. I’m with the 9.900 judge because of course I am, but it was a very strong routine.

Nichols – BB – aerial to beat jump, excellent – secure loso series, better than yesterday – great split jump – sticks double tuck – (no punch front today?) – superior routine, very little to take.

Boren hitting her usual floor routine, nails double tuck. Should be a strong score.

Peng was fantastic on bars until DLO, lands short and a lunge forward into salute.

Nichols gets a 10 on beam. Told you very little to take. First Super Six 10 since Zamarripa on vault I believe. (that’s right about Dabritz as well!)

Capps – BB – lovely loso series, even better than usual – full turn, smooth – great aerial to scale, nailed – switch to straddle 1/4, maybe the smallest of adjustments on that, maybe – sticks gainer full – excellent. One 10 for Capps. The rest 9.950s.

Baker – FX – strong Dos Santos – almost sticks the double tuck, thought she had but ends up a with a little bounce – fantastic final pass. Yes.

One 10 for Baker. Mostly 9.900s. Clearly, the floor judges are passing the crack because it’s a different one each time.

Oklahoma 99.2875
Florida 98.8000
LSU 98.6250
UCLA 98.4375
Utah 98.1250
Alabama 97.5125

LSU wasn’t poor on either vault or floor, but they did not perform nearly as well as yesterday on either and need a comeback on the remaining events. The judges have proven willingness to go into the 9.9s there. Kind of a lot. So it could happen. Strong start for Florida, but they’ll still need to vault as well as they did yesterday here.

Rotation 4 – Florida vault, Utah bars, UCLA beam, Alabama floor

Hundley – VT – good stick on her full – some legs and not the distance of others, but pretty much her peak full –

Skinner has a small handstand arch on her bail – a touch short on final hs – sticks dismount –

Alexander – VT – small hop back on full –

Gerber – BB – good wolf (I mean, relative…) – aerialt o split jump, clean, hits 180 – check on loso series –

reinstadtler a little short on early handstands, better later – hop forward on dismount.

Baker – VT – strong 1.5, hop back, some knees, but minor errors both.

Merrell hits deltchev well, one of her better ones on the season – muscles up final hs, small hop on double tuck, but solid overall –

Boren lands very short on 1.5 – a stumble back with a couple steps, just like Hambrick. Uncharacteristic for Boren.

UCLA deciding that Mossett has one more beam routine in those legs after all, and it pays off with a hit.

Slocum a hop back on vault but not too too big. She stuck hers in the warmup and it was tremendous.

McMurtry – VT – small hop on the DTY this time, but otherwise as fantastic as always. But, Florida needed to vault as well as yesterday and did not –

Baely Rowe awfully clean on bars, one of her stronger sets.

Kocian – BBB – aerial to sheep, small adjustment out of sheep but good shapes – hits loso series – tentative on full turn, I’d call that a check – switch and split, strong – bounce back on 2/1. I’d call Kocians beam work this year fragile, and that one fit the theme. One judge still went 9.9. K.

In better news for Alabama, Ktie Bailey’s double arabian was excellent –

Kari Lee short on final bars handstand and just barely stands up her dismount with a couple lunges back.

Ross – BB – nails loso series, elite career style – large check on switch ring and does not connect to beat – aerial, clean – switch to split to get her leaps, split a little eh – side aerial to stuck full. One judge goes 9.900.

Good one from Aja Sims. Her opening double pike was quite secure.

Peng – BB – magical flares – leaps, pristine and perfection – nails bhs layout – very controlled on the double turn as well! – side aerial to an alllllmost stuck full. A little slide. Now we don’t have to complain about a Peng bonus! That deserves all the bonus. OK, well maybe we complain a little. Another 10. She didn’t really stick that dismount, but on the beam, there was nothing to take.

Winston – FX – excellent doulbe lay – maybe a little slide on second pass but not much if any, nails double tuck. Where was this routine quality two rotations ago?

Ohashi – BB – aerial to bhs, secure and smooth – a pragmatic choice enforced by injury but one that will get the scores – hits her leaps – comfortable full turn – bhs loso to stuck full. Another completely secure set. Very little to take again. The Bruins were a little eh, but Peng and Ohashi were far from eh.

Only one judge goes 10 for this one. 9.950s from the rest. Used them up on Peng?

After 3:
Florida 148.1625
UCLA – 147.9250
Utah 147.4375
Alabama 146.8375
Oklahoma 99.2875
LSU 98.6250

UCLA will be very happy with the way this meet is going. Florida gave up a little too much ground with that vault rotation. 49.3s is still strong, but like LSU, it’s a “wish it had been yesterday’s rotation” situation.

Rotation 5 – Alabama vault, LSU bars, Utah beam, Oklahoma floor

Childers – VT – near stick, just a lean, good full

Zamardi – UB – one shortish hs early – solid on shap and pak – step forward double front – good, but not her most precise in the hs

Jones – FX – 2.5 to punch front comfortable – 15 to layout, just a small bounce in place – some feet and bounciness on leaps, down to choreo – solid double pike. 9.900s are a little enthusiastic for that, but that’s what landing control will do for you.

Strong vault from armbrecht

Hambrick – UB – excellent opening hs to Ray – giant full a little rushed, great vertical in her bail – hop back tuck full.

Hop back from Winston on vault, great amplitude

Merrell with a check on an aerial –

Brown – FX – just a bounce in place on the front 2/1 – strong second – her side-long loso continues to be what dreams are made of – excellent rudi, stuck, legs together.

Harrold – UB – toe shap 1/2 good – one arches hs but saved it – close catch on jaeger – step back double front – good – a couple places to take.

Edney – UB – hindorff to fingertips but good catch – clean bail – one shortish hs – step back DLO. Again, good but not perfect, and that’s where they’re losing out to Oklahoma tonight.

hop forward for Guerrero on 1.5.

Dowell – FX – a little short landing her double front but does well to save it into a stag – much better on the leaps than she was earlier in the season – solid landings overall on remaining passes.

Finnegan – gorgeous on the Rayu and bail – shoot up to high – good DLO – a thing here and there, but Finnegan delivers another event –

McNeer 15 with a hop forward. Her last routine, and this is when the tears begin. And now everyone on the team is crying.

Priessman tkatche vto bail – her usual, where you’re like “how are you hitting this but you are” leg break on the pak and a hop back on the DLO. They haven’t stuck these dismounts and needed to.

Capps – FX – does the DLO and it’s excellent, chest up and landing secure – I’m going to miss her floors – is it OK if I start Keely McNeering now? – 1.5 to layout, stuck – controls rudi. Excellent floor.

Baely Rowe falls on her loso series on beam.

Nichols – FX – strong landing on piked full in – keeps front foot down on 2/1 – switch ring to split leap full, showing people how to hit 180 – small slide back on double pike, but another big hit. One 10, the rest 9.950. Honestly fine with 9.950 for that one.

McNatt – BB – check on sheep jump – leg up wobble on aerial – redoing the skill, gets the connection this time. Check on y spin – chalk blow – sticks dismount very well –

Jackson – FX – open full in and bounces out of it again today like yesterday – front full, dances a little – excellent amplitude on straddle – opens out of her double pike, you know like you do – small slide. Still gets a bunch of 9.950s. Like, is bouncing out of a pass not even a thing now? Or just we love her choreography so much that deductions don’t exist? OK.

After 5:
Utah 196.5875
Alabama 196.0000
Oklahoma 148.9000
Florida 148.1625
LSU 148.0125
UCLA 147.9250

Oklahoma. The end. With a lead of over 7 tenths heading to the final rotation over the closest contender. Oklahoma barely even has to be meh.

Rotation 6 – Oklahoma vault, Florida bars, LSU beam, UCLA floor

We though this rotation was going to be the big fight between Oklahoma and LSU didn’t we?

Boren – UB – good tkatchev and following hs – leg break in the bail – one short hs hop forward on DLO

Only the smallest bounce in place on the Marks vault. Remember that time I though Lehrmann should be in the lineup over her? Ooops.

Good thing ESPN is showing Macadaeg on beam, otherwise we wouldn’t know what to do – good switch leaps – hits loso series, stuck gainer full. Macadaeg things.

Capps a hop back on vault and a touch off line, not as strong as yesterday.

Chant falls on tkatchev.

DeGouveia – VT – hop forward on 1.5 – good direction – some knees.

Gowey – Ub – good Ray – clean pak – a little short on half turn on low – sticks DLO, strong routine –

Hambrick hitting beam, maybe one check – sticks 2/1

Small hop forward fro Dowell on vault. Good 1.5.

Ohashi lands final double pike quite short with a lunge forward.

Baker – UB – good ray – clean bail, legs together and vertical – hop back on double front but hit

Jackson – VT – very good 1.5, quite a small hop on landing – excellent height and direction. It’s a 9.950 too.

Ewing sticks 1.5 with a lean after another beam hit.

Nichols – VT – sticks a 1.5. Pretty excellent way to clinch the championship – and if they gave Jackson 9.950…….Only two 10s. The rest 9.950s. Only two 10s. Like a loser.

Hundley clean on bars until a final short handstand – leans to hold stick on tuck full.

Oklahoma done and made entirely of tears.

Scores going ridic on pretty much all the events right now. The judges are tooooo excited.

Cipra finishes strong double pike.

McMurtry – Ub – great Ray, one of her good ones – clean bail, very precise – sticks tuck full – excellent routine. Will be another big score.

EVERYONE gives a 10 to McMurtry because McMurtry feelings. Edney gets all the 9.950s even though, leap? That straddle?

It’s almost like the beam judges aren’t even aware that the meet is already over and are trying to make themselves the story anyway.

Finnegan – BB – good loso series – switch to switch 1/2 – hits side somi – please do gymnastics for the rest of my life – side aerial to stuck full. Well, if you were giving out the 9.950s like candy already… 10s from some of the judges. 9.975 total.

Kocian – FX – front 2/1, a little under this time but not bad – finishes with a good double pike, chest down.

Gnat – BB – nailing her acro – switch to straddle 1/4 good – switch side, secure – hits loso series – hop back 2/1. Excellent.

Ross – FX – excellent double tuck – only the smallest lside on the a double pike – switch side to straddle, better than whatever she did yesterday… – struggles on final pass, just gets it around –

Scratch that about Mossett! Good! I thought we were one routine farther than we were. Mossett still to go to finish the meet.

LSU uses Gnat’s 9.950 to move just ahead of Florida after 49.725 on beam (the beam scores today, you guys…….) and the fans are celebrating that like it was a title.

Mossett – FX – appropriate final routine to be the only one going to finish the meet – fitting – whip to double tuck – strong landing – the OU team is really getting into Mossett’s routine, which is easy to do when you’ve just won – phenomenal leaps – smallest slide on double pike, but great.

Oklahoma getting trophy now – they’re kind of happy. But just a little. A touch.

FINAL:
1. Oklahoma 198.3875 (record)
2. LSU 197.7375
3. Florida 197.7000
4. UCLA 197.2625
5. Utah 196.5875
6. Alabama 196.000

Damn, I almost got the placement of the top six right in my preseason rankings. I just had Alabama ahead of Utah.

Teams finishing 1, 3, and 4 will be pretty happy with their performances. UCLA wasn’t really ever going to do better than 4th until they get some vaults. Florida started extremely well, and will rue not vaulting as well as yesterday, but still a very strong meet. No one was going to catch Oklahoma the way Oklahoma competed tonight. LSU could have come the closest, but they didn’t get the vault and floor landings from yesterday.

Honestly, biggest surprise to me was Alabama’s implosion.

Oklahoma was just ridiculous tonight. Their best meet of the season, and they’ve had some good ones.

Trophy presentations now. Or well, little buttons? Or whatever the fifth and sixth teams get? Thank you for your service?

Nice moments between the UCLA fans and the Oklahoma team. They’re like, “We get each other.”

The top four teams get mini-trophies. No buttons or whatever.

Oh goody, now we’re all covered in confetti. Imagine how much this thrills me.

McKenzie Wofford dropped the trophy. We see you.

National Championship Headquarters

The national championship begins on Friday (FRIDAY), but since I’ll be traveling to the event soonish, this is probably the last post I’ll put up before the competition begins. So, here’s every piece of information you could ever possibly need for nationals.

As last year, all sessions will air on the ESPN family of networks, and the WatchESPN live streams will have a main feed and the dedicated individual event feeds. For television coverage of the second semifinal, after the first hour of competition on ESPNU (the first hour of three……), main coverage will pick up on ESPN, while ESPNU will continue with a four-event feed.

This is ESPN trying to save college gymnastics from itself and issuing a not-so-subtle message that maybe if the competition were two hours (or under), it would be more reasonable and possible to show it on real networks that people watch. The fact that even some of a national semifinal is going live on main ESPN on a Friday night (and live on ESPN2 during the day) is a step up from the years of tape delays and literally nothing, but it would have happened earlier if the competition weren’t so unwieldy. You think ESPN wants to give college gymnastics three hours on a Friday night? I barely want to give it three hours, and I’m me. Continue reading National Championship Headquarters