This week, we had zero 10s. Are the judges…chilling? (I do say the silliest things sometimes.) For the top scores of week 2, I’m looking at the routines that got a 10 from one judge, or a consensus 9.950 from both judges. Have at it.
Florida retained the #1 ranking in week 2 despite not quite matching the strength of its first-meet performance (a national theme) and having this weird thing happen where Trinity Thomas fell on beam. Nonetheless, Florida’s 197.250 proved to be nearly the top score of the weekend, receiving a necessary boost from Nya Reed’s final rotation 9.975.
2. Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners fell to #2 in the rankings this week after a meh-for-Oklahoma 197.025, the team’s lowest score in two years. The lineup felt the strain of the additional injuries to Audrey Lynn and Carly Woodard in a hoppy vault rotation and tight beam performance, though will take comfort that the “off” meet still featured six 9.9s—an improvement over last week’s five—and a score over 197.
3. Michigan Wolverines
A statement season opener saw Michigan debut among the best teams in the country, and very nearly break into the top two in the process. The five Y1.5s on vault will be a formidable force, and the bars dismounts look almost postseason ready. Michigan will be particularly encouraged about being able to open comfortably into the 197s with a nationally competitive score, even on a day when beam was only OK.
4. Minnesota Gophers
A first-rotation zero didn’t seem to bode well, but then Lexy Ramler and Ona Loper took over to bring the team into the 197s as Loper jumped into the top position in the national all-around rankings. The addition of Mya Hooten, who debuted with a 9.950 on floor after the vault unpleasantness, should give Minnesota some much-needed oomph on floor, the weak event for last season’s roster.
5. LSU Tigers
LSU pulled itself up from last week’s performance with a much stronger 197.275that turned out to be the top score in the country this weekend. The improvement came largely thanks to the bars scores and slightly more hitting on beam—though Kiya Johnson still needs to get that hex taken off of her. Haleigh Bryant competed the all-around for the first time for a casual 39.600 and made a compelling case for herself as a beamer in addition to the other events.
6. Utah Utes
Utah will be ruing a missed opportunity this week as Oklahoma’s average performance opened the door for an upset if Utah had been at its best. It was an anxious performance on beam, typically the team’s strongest event, that took away any chance for the victory. A 196.550 is still a fine score, but probably not a road score that a team like Utah wants to have to count come the end of the season.
7. Denver Pioneers
Denver will be fairly pleased with 196.600 as a foundational score as Lynnzee Brown competed all four events in her return to lead the team. The promise of increased depth from the freshman class also came through as they delivered 11 of the team’s 24 routines. Vault landings proved the lone stumbling block for a low event score there despite what should be a greater number of options this season, so watch out for that.
8. Arkansas Razorbacks
It was kind of a weird one for Arkansas. The team did not come as close to upsetting LSU this time around and had to count a fall on bars, but still somehow improved on last week’s result to score a quite strong 196.625 and rank as the #3 team in the conference. To a large extent…it’s good to be home. But the makings of a very competitive SEC team are there, Maggie O’Hara’s scores are thriving, and Sarah Shaffer has never looked stronger in setting an all-around career high.
Utah and Oklahoma is probably the only non-conference ooooooh meet we’re going to get this season, though we will get various conference things later on like Florida-LSU and (hopefully?) Utah-UCLA. Just not as many this season.
Initial lineups have Anastasia Webb, Maile O’Keefe, and Cristal Isa in the AA, so no surprises there.
Eager to see Michigan get underway today because, on paper, this is a damn good team. Easily a 197+ team. But what’s the actual situation here? Every team is sort of at risk for an Oregon State moment until we see them compete because what is this season.
So, um, twiddling thumbs and whatnot.
Michigan vault lineup is Heiskell, Brenner, Wojcik, Wilson, Morrison, Brooks. OSU bars is Pritchard, Malas, Edwards, Hankins, Miller, Swartzentruber. So just two people who’ve competed scored bars before in the Ohio State lineup.
Michigan moved Heiskell into the lineup instead of Koulos, who will exhibition.
Heiskell – VT – Mich – solid full in the air, good position and amplitude, fairly large bounce back. 9.825
Because it’s going to be a loooooong one, I’ll split up today’s live blog into two parts. This one will handle the start of the day, and then once the SEC meets begin at 7:00 ET/4:00 PT, I’ll switch over to part 2.
I’ve been eyeing the Illinois/Nebraska meet this week, even more so because Nebraska’s press notes list a roster of just 13 gymnasts, absent Sarah Hargrove and Megan Verceles-Carr. So that’s going to be interesting.