All posts by balancebeamsituation

Friday Live Blog – February 23, 2018

Friday, February 23 Scores Stream
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Maryland, West Chester, Southern Connecticut (@ Philadelphia, PA)  LINK
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [2] LSU @ [15] Georgia LINK SECN
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [11] Arkansas @ [5] Florida LINK SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [6] Michigan, [12] Denver, Utah State, Bowling Green (@ Toledo, OH)  LINK FLO
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [20] Missouri @ [9] Kentucky LINK SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – SEMO @ Centenary LINK CC($)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – UW-Oshkosh @ UW-Eau Claire  LINK
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Winona State @ Gustavus Adolphus FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [19] Minnesota, Michigan State, UW-Stout @ [25] Iowa State LINK ISU($)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – West Virginia @ [1] Oklahoma   LINK FSGo
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [7] Alabama @ [16] Auburn LINK SECN
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Iowa @ Southern Utah LINK FREE
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [13] Boise State @ [18] BYU LINK FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Sacramento State, Alaska @ Seattle Pacific LINK FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – UC Davis @ San Jose State LINK FREE

Remember to check out the RQS update if you’re watching the scoring benchmarks for these meets.

We have a pretty busy schedule in front of us in the early part of the day with simultaneous significant SEC matchups and the Elevate the Stage, going right into Oklahoma an hour later. I’ll try to live blog as much of all of them as possible.

Who else wants Danna to show up to the Georgia meet in full LSU regalia? Basically in a D-D costume. SECN cameras, you have your assignment. Continue reading Friday Live Blog – February 23, 2018

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Things Are Happening – February 23, 2018

A. Is for Ashton

I alluded to ASHTON DRAMA ALERT last week because she had been mysteriously removed from the national team list on the USAG website. Really, just her gym was stricken from the record, not Ashton herself as a human person.

The deal right now: Ashton Locklear has left Everest. As for the rest…don’t worry about it. Yet.

So I’m going to use this opportunity to talk about Ashton’s gymnastics moving forward. (What? Actual gymnastics? Say it ain’t so?!?) We’re at a turning point for one-event specialists with the increasingly shrunken team sizes not benefiting those specialists who come from team-focused countries that don’t care about apparatus world cups.

Did the last world championship—along with the impending emergence of Gabby Perea—serve as the writing on the wall for Locklear’s time as a US bars specialist and international team member? For the answer to be no, Locklear would have to get enough crazy bars difficulty back to shove herself onto a 5-person worlds team with only one contributing event. It’s possible (she and Kocian both made a 6-person team), but her bars would have to be really worth it.

In that respect, I understand the occasional push we hear that ASHTON IS GOING TO TRAIN THE ALL-AROUND AGAIN, the idea being that having prelims-usable sets helps her chances to make a team. But at the same time…don’t. The real way she makes a team again is if her bars D is so aggressively good that you can’t NOT take that routine—meaning it provides a significant upgrade over a Biles or Smith “well, we could just use that and it would be fine” routine. Working hard to get a 4.8 D score on floor doesn’t help her stay healthy enough to unearth her “you must take me” difficulty on bars.

Plus, if you’re looking to 2020, Ashton’s route would be in one of the individual spots since a 4-4-3 (Q) and 4-3-3 (TF) format is very unfriendly to one-event gymnasts. Being a legit medal contender on bars (with the other events entirely irrelevant) is how she’d get that spot. The question now is whether she physically has that in her still.

B. Melbourne World Cup

Qualification has concluded at the first world cup event of the year in Melbourne, and it was…fine I guess?

Chen Yile, the savior of China, leads the field on bars by nearly a full point and on beam by more than 1.5 points. Because she’s, like, better than everyone else.

Yep. Continue reading Things Are Happening – February 23, 2018

NCAA Week 8 – Schedule and Links

 

Friday, February 23 Scores Stream
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Maryland, West Chester, Southern Connecticut (@ Philadelphia, PA) LINK
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [2] LSU @ [15] Georgia LINK SECN
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [11] Arkansas @ [5] Florida  LINK  SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [6] Michigan, [12] Denver, Utah State, Bowling Green (@ Toledo, OH)   LINK  FLO
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [20] Missouri @ [9] Kentucky  LINK  SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – SEMO @ Centenary  LINK  CC($)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – UW-Oshkosh @ UW-Eau Claire  LINK
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Winona State @ Gustavus Adolphus  FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [19] Minnesota, Michigan State, UW-Stout @ [25] Iowa State LINK  ISU($)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – West Virginia @ [1] Oklahoma  LINK  FSGo
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [7] Alabama @ [16] Auburn  LINK SECN
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Iowa @ Southern Utah  LINK  FREE
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [13] Boise State @ [18] BYU  LINK  FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Sacramento State, Alaska @ Seattle Pacific LINK  FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – UC Davis @ San Jose State  LINK  FREE
Saturday, February 24 Scores Stream
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [22] George Washington @ Penn State  LINK  FREE
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – William & Mary @ NC State  LINK  ACC+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – UW-La Crosse @ UW-Whitewater  LINK  FREE
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Arizona @ [17] Arizona State LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [22] Stanford @ [10] Washington  LINK  FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Western Michigan, Towson, Ursinus @ Rutgers  LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Pittsburgh @ [14] Nebraska  LINK  UNL
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – New Hampshire, Temple @ Air Force  FREE
Sunday, February 25 Scores Stream
11:00 ET/8:00 PT – US Elite Verification FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Eastern Michigan @ Kent State  LINK  FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Cornell, Penn, Yale @ Brown  Ivy($)
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Brockport, Rhode Island @ Ithaca  FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [4] Utah @ [21] Cal  LINK  P12N
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [24] Central Michigan, Ohio State @ Bowling Green  LINK
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [25] Iowa State, Illinois State @ Lindenwood  LINK  FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Gustavus Adolphus @ Hamline
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Ball State @ Northern Illinois  ESPN3
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Bridgeport, Centenary, SEMO @ TWU
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [20] Missouri, Illinois-Chicago @ Illinois  LINK  BTN+
FLO
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – [8] Oregon State @ [3] UCLA  LINK  P12N

*Meets marked SECN or P12N will be broadcast live on TV and may also be streamed online for those who have cable-subscriber log-ins or subscriptions to participating Sling, Roku whatnots.

*Meets marked SEC+ or ACC+ may be streamed on the WatchESPN app for those who have cable-subscriber log-ins or subscriptions to participating Sling, Roku whatnots.

*Meets marked ESPN3 may be streamed on the WatchESPN app for those who have a participating ISP.

*Meets marked BTN+/FLO may be streamed either through a paid subscription to BTN+ ($10/month) or a paid subscription to FloGymnastics ($30/month).

*Meets marked [School]$ are streamed through school-specific services and require a subscription to that school’s web streaming.

*Meets marked FREE are streamed through school-specific services and require no log-in or subscription fee.


Marquee Meets

[8] Oregon State @ [3] UCLA

Surprisingly, the only top-10 matchup on the schedule this weekend is Oregon State’s visit to UCLA, rounding out the action on Sunday. Oregon State’s ability to come up with useful 9.850-level routines from presumed non-competing sophomores like Minyard, Lazaro, and Greene has allowed the team to stay close with those pecking around the outside of the Super Six conversation despite losing so many gymnasts after last season.

While the Beavs won’t be expected to defeat UCLA in this one, they still have a 194 road score from that “you ALL get a 1” meet at Pitt that needs to be dropped for RQS. And it will be as long as they…basically show up at this meet. There are few better places to get your big road score, and a 196.650+ would assure OSU of staying in the top 8 when we switch over to RQS on Monday. That’s the score to watch. Continue reading NCAA Week 8 – Schedule and Links

Best Routine of Week 7 Poll

Your instructions
1. Vote for the best routine
2. Don’t get upset when this inevitably devolves into a twitter popularity contest. It’s not that important.

Criteria
1. Only routines scoring 9.950+ will be included in the poll
2. There must be video available of that routine so that the voters can, you know, watch it.
3. Each gymnast may appear only once per week. The higher score (or my discretion in the event of a tie) is used. This is why you don’t see the DTYs from Price and Skinner here. It wasn’t their highest-scoring event of the day.

1st 2nd 3rd
Wk 1 Price (STAN) – UB Lee (UCLA) – UB Finnegan (LSU) – UB
Wk 2 Crouse (NEB) – VT Price (STAN) – VT Gowey (UF) – BB
Wk 3 Glenn (UCLA) – BB Ramler (MIN) – BB Hambrick (LSU) – FX
Wk 4 McMurtry (UF)-BB Lee (UCLA) – BB Carter (ARK) – BB
Wk 5 Hano (UCLA) – FX Lee (UCLA) – BB Dowell (OU) – VT
Wk 6 Baker (UF) – FX Hambrick (LSU) – FX Lane (UNC) – BB

This week, we had enough 10s and 9.975s to make up an entire poll, so only those routines are used.


1. Maddie Karr (Denver) – Vault


2. Alex McMurtry (Florida) – Bars


3. Shea Mahoney (Alabama) – Bars


4. Lexie Priessman (LSU) – Bars


5. Ivy Lu (Minnesota) – Beam


6. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) – Beam


7. Elizabeth Price (Stanford) – Floor


8. Sydney Snead (Georgia) – Floor


9. Myia Hambrick (LSU) – Floor


10. Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA) – Floor


11. Felicia Hano (UCLA) – Floor


12. MyKayla Skinner (Utah) – Floor


RQS Update – Week 7

Beginning this Monday, teams will be ranked offically by RQS (What’s RQS?), so here’s a look at where the RQS picture currently sits, including where teams would be ranked if RQS were in place now and what RQS/ranking teams can reach based on scores from their next meets.

For reference, these are the RQSs required last season for a series of benchmarks if you’re feverishly watching what a certain team might need:

Advance to regionals – 195.420 RQS
Seeded #3 at regionals – 196.380 RQS
Seeded #2 at regionals – 196.845 RQS
Seeded #1 at regionals – 197.355 RQS

Scores in bold will be part of the six scores used for final RQS and can no longer be removed because the team in question has fewer than six meets remaining (or fewer than three road meets remaining).

1. Oklahoma – 197.535
Road Score 1: 198.125
Road Score 2: 198.050
Road Score 3: 197.550
Home/Road Score 1: 198.150
Home/Road Score 2: 197.525
Home/Road Score 3: 196.425
RQS: 197.535

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.880

Oklahoma has that one low score hanging around after last week but also six opportunities left to drop it with the rest of the scores already looking solid. There is an outside chance that either LSU or UCLA could move up on OU’s #1 ranking this weekend, but Oklahoma can ensure retaining #1 on Monday by scoring just 197.100, which shouldn’t be much to ask.


2. LSU – 197.475
Road Score 1: 198.075
Road Score 2: 197.375
Road Score 3: 197.250
Home/Road Score 1: 198.175
Home/Road Score 2: 197.450
Home/Road Score 3: 197.225
RQS: 197.475

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.665

LSU does have a chance to move as high as #1 after the weekend if the Tigers produce another big number and Oklahoma throws in another weak one, though it’s not the most likely outcome. LSU is already guaranteed to stay at least #3 but is quite close with UCLA, so it would take a 197.925 for LSU to ensure staying ahead of UCLA. 


3. UCLA – 197.460
Road Score 1: 197.750
Road Score 2: 197.625
Road Score 3: 197.300
Home/Road Score 1: 197.950
Home/Road Score 2: 197.425
Home/Road Score 3: 197.200
RQS: 197.460

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.610

UCLA also has a very outside chance to move up #1 after this weekend, or a somewhat more realistic chance to move up to #2. Whether UCLA actually has a chance to move ahead of LSU with a strong result against Oregon State on Sunday will depend on the score LSU puts up against Georgia on Friday, so we’ll know more at that point.

The Bruins do have a solid buffer over Utah, meaning that it will take just a 197.250 for UCLA to ensure staying ahead of Utah.


4. Utah – 197.320
Road Score 1: 197.550
Road Score 2: 197.550
Road Score 3: 196.975
Home/Road Score 1: 197.700
Home/Road Score 2: 197.450
Home/Road Score 3: 197.075
RQS: 197.320

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.465

Utah has a few lower scores hanging around than do LSU and UCLA (that road score still in the 196s, that home score at 197.0), so the peak RQS is not going to be as high. There is an outside possibility that Utah can catch UCLA this weekend, but it would take a 197.675 for Utah to have a chance to tie, and that’s only if UCLA throws in a score of 197.200 or lower.

Utah is quite likely to be able to fend off Florida, and can guarantee staying top 4 with a 197.075 this weekend.


5. Florida – 197.130
Road Score 1: 197.400
Road Score 2: 196.950
Road Score 3: 196.325
Home/Road Score 1: 198.150
Home/Road Score 2: 197.850
Home/Road Score 3: 197.125
RQS: 197.130

Maximum possible RQS after next meet: 197.335

Florida is at home this weekend and will therefore not have a chance to get rid of the 196 road scores, stunting the maximum RQS it can reach. The Gators do still have the slimmest of chances of catching Utah, but it would take a score in the 198s along with a low result from Utah.

Note the 197.400 in bold, which Florida is now guaranteed to keep around with just two road meets remaining. It’s not a bad score, but it’s not exactly the kind of score that’s going to catch the teams ranked above.

Florida is already guaranteed to stay at least #5 in the rankings, so the score this week is about improving the home totals and positioning to make a real move once one of the road scores can be dropped again.

Continue reading RQS Update – Week 7

Week 7 Rankings

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.638
Previous ranking: 1

Oklahoma hangs on for #1 this week because of the sheer size of the lead built up over weeks of 198s, despite the 3-beam-fall 196.425 performance on Friday—the team’s lowest score since January 13, 2012. The last time Oklahoma scored that low, Maile O’Keefe was 9 years old, so just sit with that. The score will be dropped soon to preserve Oklahoma’s ranking, and there’s no reason yet to think this will turn into a thing, the positive bringing a positive because of the return of Natalie Brown, a necessary cog (particularly on floor) if Oklahoma is going to score its best.


2. LSU Tigers

Average: 197.481
Previous ranking: 4

The story thus far had been LSU not hitting up to potential, throwing in a score-smothering mistake in nearly every meet. That trend was reversed in a two-meet weekend in which the Tigers were able to rest people here and there and still put up two complete meets for 198s, restoring the #2 ranking and rendering the RQS picture much healthier. Of particular importance were the three hit routines from Ruby Harrold in the second meet, as her presence on those three events still should be part of LSU’s best-case-scenario lineups.


3. UCLA Bruins

Average: 197.357
Previous ranking: 2

UCLA recorded a perfectly acceptable score of 197.425 at home against Utah but will be displeased by the performance, not only losing the meet but performing far from its peak level, throwing in multiple mistakes, and regressing in quality closer to what we saw in the first meet of the season. Many of the errors didn’t seem like they would be repeated errors, though watch what happens with the Nia Dennis floor routine since she has struggled with that double Arabian multiple times this season and is averaging 9.757 despite being Nia Dennis. Downgrade? Kocian comes into the lineup? Maybe some decisions to make there. It’s very difficult to do a double Arabian for no deduction in NCAA unless you’re Kennedy Baker.


4. Utah Utes

Average: 197.329
Previous ranking: 3

Utah will certainly feel better about the meet against UCLA than the Bruins will (because of winning and all), though it was not a peak performance for the Utes by any means either, with victory determined mostly by committing smaller mistakes than UCLA did. The performance quality improved as the meet went on (floor was precise, beam mostly secure), though the team gave away quite a bit in the first half of the meet on vault and bars, not landing the way we would expect. That’s something still to be ironed out, though it seems like Utah has settled into final lineups already—I don’t necessarily see anyone else outperforming the people currently competing. 


Continue reading Week 7 Rankings

Sunday Live Blog – February 18, 2018

8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [3] Utah @ [2] UCLA SCORES P12N

Game on, people.

Can’t stop 10ing; won’t stop 10ing.

UTAH LINEUPS:
Vault – Reinstadtler, Lee, Lewis, Tessen, Merrell-Giles, Skinner
Bars – Lewis, Merrell-Giles, Reinstadtler, Lee, Tessen, Skinner
Beam – Stover, Merrell-Giles, Burch, Lee, Reinstadtler, Skinner
Floor – Lewis, Lee, Reinstadtler, Soloski, Merrell-Giles, Skinner

UCLA LINEUPS:
Vault – Dennis, Tratz, Ross, Hall, Hano, Kramer
Bars – Dennis, Ohashi, Honest, Lee, Ross, Meraz
Beam – Nguyen, Kocian, G Glenn, Ohashi, Ross, Lee
Floor – Kramer, Dennis, Ross, Tratz, Hano, Ohashi

I am living for Meraz in the anchor spot on bars for UCLA. We’ll see if it comes through, but it’s a strategic play to potential crazy scores today. Continue reading Sunday Live Blog – February 18, 2018