All posts by balancebeamsituation

Week 5 Rankings and Notes

This video has been making the rounds for the past day or so. If you happen to be new to NCAA gymnastics and are perhaps curious about why there is an intense cult of adoration around Valorie Kondos Field, this is the reason. It’s not the floor routines; it’s this–sharing all the explicatives she’s feeling with the rest of us in contrast to the stream of positivity and lies we are usually subjected to. Apparently, the theme of this week is Everyone except Sam Peszek is garbage.

Week 5 Rankings – (Gyminfo)
1. Florida – 197.365
Week 5: 197.175
Week 5 leaders: AA – Sloan 39.675; VT – Hunter 9.925; UB – Sloan, M Caquatto 9.900; BB – Sloan 10.000; FX – Hunter 9.925

It’s a respectable road score for the Gators and enough to keep them in first place for the moment, though the margin is getting tight and interesting. Florida didn’t put out entirely full lineups over the weekend (Macko sat out on the leg events), but it was mostly a first-team experience. A couple people had marginally weaker showings than what they have produced recently, but the scoring also did not hit the heights we saw at the home meets over the past few weeks. That is, except for Sloan’s 10, which was suddenly and surprisingly big. I don’t begrudge this 10 all too much, but Sloan has done her routine in that exact same way a number of times without getting a 10.

2. Oklahoma – 197.300
Week 5: 197.325
Week 5 leaders: AA – None; VT – Capps 9.950; UB – Scaman 9.925; BB – Brewer, Kmieciak 9.875; FX – Scaman 9.975

The Sooners were on pace to take over the #1 spot after the first two events of their meet on Sunday, but it was a beam problem that pushed them back into second and back behind LSU for a loss. A beam problem? What is this? How are you supposed to be the undisputed, swooned-over queens of beam if you’re going to count a fall and be ranked third in the country on the event like some common raggedy peasant children? I expect this problem to be resolved instantly. Are we clear?

3. LSU – 197.296
Week 5 A: 197.225
Week 5 A leaders: AA – Courville 39.600; VT – Courville, Gnat 9.900; UB – Morrison 9.925; BB – Courville, Jordan 9.925; FX – Courville, Hall 9.925

Week 5 B: 197.650
Week 5 B leaders: AA – Jordan 39.525; VT – Morrison 9.975; UB – Morrison 9.925; BB – Gnat 9.900; FX – Hall 9.950 

The Tigers should be quite pleased by the weekend’s showing, taking a chunk out of the Florida advantage with two strong meets and a whole heap of 9.9s. It may have taken an opponent’s fall to do it, but beating Oklahoma away is a significant feather in their caps if they want to keep up this assault on a historic ranking position and remain in the conversation as a spoiler for the “next team to win a title” debate. The most important LSU routine of the weekend was Gnat’s 9.900 on beam from Sunday. She has had some falls recently and seemed like a major question mark, but they need her score to help them through their weak event, so her winning beam against Oklahoma is a big deal.

4. Utah – 197.135
Week 5: 197.825
Week 5 leaders: AA – Wilson 39.600; VT – Wilson 9.975; UB – Dabritz 9.975; BB – Lofgren 9.925; FX – Dabritz 9.975

The Utes used a massive home score to keep pace with the lead pack of three, ranked top in the country on both vault and floor, and Dabritz continues to be the sultan of three events. Well, really the whole team continues to be the sultan of three events. There’s enough strength on vault and floor for the most part to expect these scores to continue (not 49.7s, but strong numbers), and for the time being at least, stunted performances on beam are not significant enough to hurt the team score. Facing off against Stanford away on President’s Day next week will be telling in that regard.

5. Alabama – 196.930
Week 5: 197.500
Week 5 leaders: AA – DeMeo 39.400; VT – Milliner 9.925; UB – Clark 9.925; BB – Clark, Sims 9.875; FX – Jacob, Milliner 9.950

Alabama shot up two ranking spots after recording a season high and the #3 score of the weekend in the showdown against Georgia. The Tide was close with Georgia for three events, recording fine but unremarkable numbers on the first three events with a few landing and handstand issues and some uncharacteristic beam errors, but they pulled away on floor to a comfortable victory. It’s significant not just because of the win but because floor had been the slow event to this point. Seeing the team hit in the way they are capable of was an expected but notable progression. I still have some questions about vault – the absence of Williams is really showing there – and bars, where we need to start seeing some cleaner gymnastics, but they’re moving in the right direction to challenge the teams currently at the top.  

6. Georgia – 196.864
Week 5: 196.825
Week 5 leaders: AA – Rogers 39.450; VT – Jay 9.900; UB – Brown 9.925; BB – Earls 9.950; FX – Box, Reynolds 9.875

If not for these nasty little beam falls, we would be praising Georgia for five consecutive meets over 197. That would have been a surprise, given the makeup of that team, which I didn’t think would be this strong this early on. Against Alabama, they were cut down again by a final-rotation beam struggle, and that whole lineup remains nerve-wracking. However, even though she was responsible for a fall, getting Sarah Persinger back in there is a necessary switch toward becoming strong on all four events. We can expect the vault landings to be made more consistent, and bars has been very impressive all year, but this group still has to prove that they are more than a two-event team. Two-event teams don’t make Super Six.

7. Nebraska – 196.705
Week 5: 197.225
Week 5 leaders: AA – DeZiel, Wong 39.575; VT – DeZiel 9.950; UB – Wong 9.900; BB – J Lauer 9.925; FX – Blanske, Wong 9.900

Nebraska is not one of those teams that gets a ton of attention because we don’t get streams to check in on them regularly, but the Huskers are quietly hanging around these 7th and 8th positions and staying within sight of the top teams, helped by a season-high last weekend and the first 197 on the year. The meet was marked by a big beam score of 49.400, which is one of the program’s all-time high marks on the event, and a somewhat unexpected accomplishment. If this is for real, and they can continue hitting beam that way, they will have carved away a big weakness perpetually keeping them down below the top teams. 

8. Michigan – 196.650
Week 5: 195.800
Week 5 leaders: AA – Sampson 39.300; VT – Sugiyama 9.900; UB – Artz, Gies 9.825; BB – Gies 9.850; FX – Sampson 9.925

The Wolverines experienced a little bit of plummeting in the rankings action as a result of that 195 over the weekend, and I already expressed my thoughts on the uncharacteristic scoring choices in that meet. Still, they did leave the door open with mistakes that they shouldn’t be making on bars, and this team has enough troubles on beam to begin with without the scoring refusing to give them favors. The lack of Beilstein didn’t help either, and even though she hasn’t been performing quite to the expected level on vault and floor so far this season, over the last year or so she has become someone capable of 9.9 on three events, and Michigan will need that kind of performance in order to win the exciting clash with Nebraska over the weekend.

9. UCLA – 196.485
Week 5: 196.925
Week 5 leaders: AA – Mossett 39.325; VT – Courtney 9.925; UB – Peszek 10.000; BB – Peszek 9.950; FX – Sawa 9.925

Miss Val has made her feelings about this meet quite wonderfully clear, and I have very little to add. The Bruins had some wimpy, uninspiring, preseason showings on each event, so even though the final team score is acceptable, this was an opportunity at home to put up a huge number and make up some ground on the teams that should be their peers, and they missed it. The path this team will take to success is apparent: it goes through Peszek, Courtney, and Francis getting huge scores and everyone else supporting them by being acceptable, but there are also routines they must use in these bars and beam lineups that don’t look like they have even the possibility of becoming competitive with the top teams. We shouldn’t be really proud of someone for getting a 9.825, but that’s where we are right now with some of these routines.

10. Stanford – 196.154
Week 5 A: 195.750
Week 5 A leaders: AA – N McNair 39.300; VT – N McNair, Vaculik 9.900; UB – N McNair, Vaculik 9.875; BB – S Morgan 9.900; FX – Vaculik 9.925

Week 5 B: 196.825
Week 5 B leaders: AA – Vaculik 39.600; VT – N McNair 9.900; UB – Vaculik 9.925; BB – Vaculik 9.925; FX – Vaculik 9.900

Stanford finally climbed into the top 10 this week after the usual struggle of starting out somewhere in the teens and slowing working up the hill. The top-10 debut has actually come a bit earlier than expected this season, and the absolute most important thing for this team right now is how much Kristina Vaculik’s name is appearing in the above stats. Her collegiate career has been characterized by so many beautiful mistakes and headcase moments, but with Hong out and Shapiro reduced to an occasional supporting specialist who either gets a 9.9 or a 9.2 on bars, the pressure is on Vaculik to emerge as the leader of that once-potential-filled trio. Nicolette McNair has also necessarily established herself as a scoring leader early in her collegiate career, and while we’re seeing shades of the excellence this team can attain, there are still pieces (Ivana Hong) that are missing (Ivana Hong) that will need to be there (Ivana Hong) for this team to make Super Six (Ivana Hong). 

11. Arkansas – 196.145
Week 5: 196.275
Week 5 leaders: AA – Grable 39.625; VT – Grable 9.875; UB – Grable 9.900; BB – Grable 9.900; FX – Grable 9.950 (The sweep!)

12. Auburn – 196.090
Week 5: 195.950
Week 5 leaders: AA – Guy 39.500; VT – Rott 9.925; UB – Walker 9.850; BB – Walker 9.875; FX – Guy 9.950

13. Oregon State – 196.088
Week 5: 197.100
Week 5 leaders: AA – Tang 39.350; VT – Blalock 9.875; UB – Aufiero, Harris 9.925; BB – Tang 9.925; FX – Blalock 9.950

14. Minnesota – 195.825
Week 5: 196.025
Week 5 leaders: AA – Mable 39.175; VT – Mable 9.900; UB – Covers, Holst, Slechta 9.825; BB – Schermann 9.825; FX – Mable 9.925

15. Illinois – 195.780
Week 5: 195.575
Week 5 leaders: AA – See 39.075; VT – O’Connor 9.850; UB – Kato 9.800; BB – Kato, McNabb 9.825; FX – Buchanan 9.825

16. Boise State – 195.720
Week 5: 196.325
Week 5 leaders: AA – Morris 39.275; VT – Perkins 9.875; UB – Perkins 9.875; BB – Morris, Urquhart 9.850; FX – Perkins 9.900

17. Arizona – 195.690
Week 5: 194.425
Week 5 leaders: AA – Flores 39.350; VT – Sangston, Valentin 9.825; UB – Flores 9.850; BB – Mills 9.850; FX – Flores, Wobma 9.875

18. Denver – 195.685
Week 5: 196.050
Week 5 leaders: AA – Martin 39.450; VT – Martin 9.900; UB – Martin 9.925; BB – Martin, McGee, Ross 9.775; FX – McGee 9.875

19. Central Michigan – 195.432
Week 5 A: 195.925
Week 5 A leaders: AA – None; VT – Moraw 9.875; UB – Druien 9.850; BB – Noonan 9.800; FX – Moraw 9.850

Week 5 B: 196.500
Week 5 B leaders: AA – B Petzold 39.225; VT – Moraw, B Petzold, K Petzold 9.875; UB – Fagan, B Petzold 9.850; BB – Noonan 9.900; FX – Moraw 9.925

20. Ohio State – 195.250
Week 5: 195.900
Week 5 leaders: AA – Shaffer 39.400; VT – Shaffer 9.900; UB – Aepli 9.875; BB – Miller 9.900; FX – Shaffer 9.950

21. Penn State – 195.175
Week 5: 196.150
Week 5 leaders: AA – Stauder 39.350; VT – Sibson 9.950; UB – Stauder 9.900; BB – Stauder 9.925; FX – Musgrove 9.850

22. Arizona State – 195.075
Week 5: 194.950
Week 5 leaders: AA – None; VT – Kraus 9.850; UB – Kraus 9.875; BB – Perez 9.875; FX – Sundby 9.925

23. Washington – 195.030
Week 5: 196.200
Week 5 leaders: AA – Northey, Vaccher 39.275; VT – Yacalis 9.875; UB – Metcalf 9.850; BB – Northey 9.850; FX – Vaccher 9.900

24. California – 195.010
No meet

25. Kent State – 194.860
Week 5: 195.675
Week 5 leaders: AA – Case 39.300; VT – Case, Mims 9.850; UB – Baxter 9.850; BB – Case 9.850; FX – Mims 9.900

Saturday Notes

We enter a solid day of Saturday competition, starting with UCLA and Arizona State in Pac-12 action, coming off a Friday marked by highs and lows. Utah finished the day yesterday by putting up a colossal 197.825, led by a 49.725 on floor in a season already characterized by big floor scores. Going into this season, we hadn’t seen a team score over 49.700 on floor in the regular season since 2008, and it has already happened twice so far.

Alabama also recorded a huge floor number of 49.625, which seems frankly paltry this year by comparison even though it is Alabama’s 4th-best floor score in the history of the program, en route to a 197.500, which will see them bounce up a couple places in the rankings to a place closer to where we expect to see Alabama. LSU and Florida also managed low 197s in road performances that they will gladly take for RQS and that will keep them in a comfortable ranking position.

On the contrasting side, we saw Michigan record a score in the high 195s in a meet with just weird scoring, a fair amount of the scores–but notably not each and every one of the scores–were lower than we would expect. You can always find reasons to justify a low score because the deductions exist even if the judges rarely elect to take them, but in the two rotations of that meet that I saw before Georgia and Alabama started, the standard of scoring was different from and inconsistent with what we have seen throughout the country this season. The Wolverines didn’t look great, we’ve seen much better from them, but they didn’t look all that bad either. They were evaluated with a different standard, which primarily accounts for the 195.

Bev Plocki had this to say about it:
“You can only control what you can control. You can’t control the judging. This was one of the strictest-officiated meets I’ve been at across the board in all my years. There were some really high-quality routines that were being scored well below their average. No matter how upset or disappointed we are with the way they were judging, we still opened the door for them to take those deductions. Tonight, they just chose to take more. We have to button those things up.”

The Oregon State and Cal meet has been cancelled because of poor weather, which is rough for everyone, especially if you were relying on Erika Aufiero’s bars score in your fantasy lineup to offset the low scores from Michigan. Just as an example.

I’ll be watching UCLA against Arizona State, which begins at 3:30 ET/12:30 PT and giving some general notes on the rotations as we go along.

UCLA will have Peszek on two events today, which they desperately need. Really, they desperately need her in the AA.

UCLA vault: Courtney had by far the top vault in that rotation, giving us her usual powerful yfull. She had to windmill to hang onto the stick and bent for it, but otherwise it was strong. Cipra and Bynum are both still trying to get the landings in order, Cipra with a big bounce back and Bynum with a lunge forward, though her vault was very clean in the air. Much of the early rotation was marked by significant piking in the air and not maintaining the shape we would expect and landing low. A weaker showing from Sawa in that regard in particular because she has been much better than that early in the year. Sawa and Mossett both took hops, but smaller, controlled hops, on their landings. 49.225 

Arizona State bars: ASU had a fall from Gades in the fifth spot on her double front dismount but were able to drop it. They had some handstand and form issues in much of the rotation, especially the beginning, along with some close catches and late pirouettes here and there. Miceli and Kraus showed the best line and strongest handstands in that rotation to hang onto an acceptable score and get the team over 49. They need to stick a few more of those dismounts because we saw hops even on the double tucks. 49.025

UCLA bars: It was the tale of two rotations for UCLA on bars. It started with two falls from Craddock in the first position in a disastrous routine, and both Sawa and Mossett struggled through their performances, Sawa with leg breaks and a large step on dismount, and Mossett with missed handstands and the usual struggle on the stalder. 9.850 was charitable for her. But, they got it together for the final three and hit one of the best series of three routines they have so far this season. Courtney was very clean, probably her best of the year. DeJesus also did quite well and stuck her dismount brilliantly, but the score of a 9.975 was out of control because she did still have some crazy legs on the gienger (though it’s getting better), and Amanda Borden commented that it looked like she caught it close as well. Peszek returned to the end of the lineup and hit a brilliant routine, and we knew if she stuck the dismount it was going to be a 10 because it was stronger than DeJesus’s routine. You can argue it, but they had nowhere to go after the DeJesus 9.975. It’s a 10 in the same way that the Sloan floor routine was a 10 against Georgia. 49.525. 

Arizona State vault: It was a solid enough rotation, including a tucked 1.5 from Sundby, which is also nice to see as a different look on vault. We saw some strong distance throughout the rotation on many of those vaults, especially for Kraus on her 9.850, but they need a little bit more control on the landings. A lot of people were bounding out with fairly large steps. They decided to do only five vaults because they were happy with the first five scores. Because they don’t have the huge, huge power, they’ll need some more control in the landings to get into those 49s but the talent is there. 48.975 

UCLA beam: If they could just get Peszek and Francis into the lineup at the same time, this rotation could actually be something for as much of a problem it has been so far, but Danusia is still sick, so we have to wait for that to happen. The rotation started off well enough with Craddock and DeJesus hitting their most comfortable beam routines of the season. DeJesus was in line for a great score before a hop on her 1.5 dismount. Then Gerber came up third to debut in the lineup and fell on her mount choreography and never pulled it together after that, with major wobbles on every skill, looking very tight and frail. Mossett got through her routine with nervous wobbles, and Sawa somehow saved a poor walkover and stayed on the beam with some fancy bending and facial expressions. It was mostly the facial expression. I’m still not really sure how that happened, but this rotation is far from comfortable. Lots of nervous struggles all over the place. They were saved by Peszek at the back of the rotation being all the kinds of excellent and performing exactly as we expect from her. Well, they went over 49, so that’s a victory. 49.175

Arizona State floor: There was not a ton of difficulty in this floor lineup except for the big tuck full from Sundby in the anchor spot, but the level of the double backs improved as the rotation went along, as we would expect. The back half showed strong amplitude, and Steigerwalt in particular showed the most comfort dropping into those landings. Perez had the showpiece routine choreographically and hit her tumbling securely, but the biggest score struggle for this team in the early part of the rotation is the dance elements, which aren’t hit to full extension and hurt the scores even if the tumbling is controlled. The scores are going up, and it looks like the judges are ready to give out some big numbers here. Lots of hugs from Hollie Vise. She needs to be in this rotation. 49.300

UCLA floor: UCLA was on pace for a very big score in spite of some of the early errors going into floor, but it was just a whole mess throughout. Mossett started off all right, though she’ll need to upgrade at some point, but then DeJesus came up with a wonky dance element and some low amplitude on her tumbling, Bynum had short landings on her DLO and her double pike dismount, and then Cipra upgraded to a tuck full mount and bounced OOB. She appeared to hurt her foot during the routine and was in tears after it, getting looked at by the medical staff. Talk about not being able to afford that injury. Courtney bounded way out of her double arabian and didn’t look ready to do a full floor routine coming off her wisdom teeth removal, just pulling off her double pike dismount. Sawa didn’t have her absolute best routine – a little bouncy on the mount – but it was by far the strongest showing on the team. 49.000

Arizona State beam: Arizona State started fairly well on beam with comfortable, confident routines from Steigerwalt and Perez with minimal wobbles, but then Gades, Miceli, and Sundby all came up with falls on their series make the rotation a disaster with two counting falls. There is potential there, but just a very insecure showing for almost the entire gang. It was one of those disaster days where the mistakes just compound each other. Not much else to say other than let’s pretend it never happened. 47.650.  

Final Score: UCLA 196.925, Arizona State 194.950

Friday Friday Friday, Meets Meets Meets: Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Alabama

Friday, February 7th
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [1] Florida @ Kentucky (Scores) (Video – All-access)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [15] Minnesota @ [21] Ohio State (Scores)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [19] Central Michigan @ Eastern Michigan
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Northern Illinois @ [25] Kent State (Scores) (Video)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [3] LSU @ [11] Arkansas (Scores)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [6] Michigan @ [14] Illinois (Scores) (Video – All-access)
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [5] Georgia @ [7] Alabama (Scores) (Video – free)
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – Chicago Style – [18] Boise State, North Carolina, Illinois-Chicago, Bowling Green
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [13] Arizona @ [4] Utah (Scores)

This week’s top 10:

Major action begins with Florida and Kentucky at 7:00 ET/4:00 PT, with the big question being exactly how too cool for school Florida’s lineups will be in this meet. Because of the schedule this season with many teams beginning competition in the second weekend of January instead of the first, most teams do not have a week off during the regular season this year, so expect most coaches to look for opportunities like this at winnable away meets over the next month or so to Miss Val some of their lineups, “explore depth,” and give their major contributors a chance to back off on a couple of events so they’re not doing the AA every single weekend right into the postseason. [At least, this is what I expected based on Florida’s schedule. We didn’t end up seeing much resting at all.]

Minnesota will also be facing off against Ohio State at the same time, and Minnesota is still yet to get things going this season in that contending-for-the-top-ten way we would expect, particularly on bars and beam, which were always going to be their struggle events. Lindsay Mable had a surprisingly poor meet last weekend with a couple falls, and the team certainly cannot afford that from its star. Minnesota is capable of a high 196, but not when they’re topping out at 9.850s like last week against Nebraska. Ohio State is ranked about where I would expect right now, but they’re yet to record a meet without counting a major mistake. They’re still looking for that all-important third contributor to help Miller and Shaffer get the scores. Is it going to be Tenille Funches? Am I just looking for any opportunity to use the name Tenille Funches?

Intros now for the Kentucky team. Kentucky is certainly a top-25 quality team, but that -6 they scored last week against Georgia with 5 beam falls destroyed their ranking, and it will probably take until RQS kicks in for them to climb back up to where they belong. Is Florida even at this meet? Why was there only one team standing there all pathetically? That was amusing looking. 

We’re getting started now, with Harrison on vault for Kentucky. Front handspring on, front pike – bent knees and a hop forward. 9.775.

BDG begins for Florida on bars, with a clean routine – strong shaposh and bail and a stuck DLO – one of her better of the season so far.

Beucler – VT – UK – yfull and a stuck landing with it – pretty piked and a low landing as a result, but strong landing there.

Hunter – UB – UF – Another great showing, highlight was the big hindorff as always, but the bail looked clean and the tuck full was stuck. Very nice start for Florida.

Hilton – VT – UK –  another stick or near stick on a yfull – deductions to take for leg form and piking again, but they’re not giving away on these landings, which is very important for this team early in the vault lineup. 9.800

B Caquatto – UB – UF – Just a huge tkatchev, handstands are all very clean and precisely held, hops back on her DLO which she hasn’t been doing, but it should be another big score for her. She has been the highest bars score surprinsgly a couple times for this team.

Mitchell – VT – UK – Another front handspring front pike – same bent knees as the first one – and a step forward on landing.

Sloan – UB – UF – Great power on that Ray – excellent handstands – and a stuck DLO – she had the usually legs flopping apart a tad on the bail, as she always does, but an excellent routine. I wish we were getting Florida’s scores. 

Hedges – VT – UK – Yfull, best height or distance on any vault so far for Kentucky – maintained her straight shape better as well, clean landing. They look pretty good on vault so far.  9.800.

M Caquatto – UB – UF – We missed the very beginning of Macko’s routine, but the Tkatchev looked nice, still a step back on the dismount, and she hasn’t been sticking that these last weeks. I always expect her to stick that every week, but it’s not happening this year.

Cunningham – VT – UK – Clean yfull – best form on the team with straight legs throughout – some separation though – and a stuck landing. This has been a pleasing vault rotation for Kentucky. 9.850. 

Johnson – UB – UF – Gorgeous Ray – otherwise I thought one of her early handstands was rushed and the legs came apart on the bail and the second salto in the DLO, so not her absolute best routine, but she did stick the DLO this time, so the landings are coming along for the most part.

SCP does exhibition on bars for Florida – and while she’s a solid backup, there are just a few too many deductions for her to make the lineup right now. An arched handstand here, steps on the DLO there. The Gators have the luxury of not having to use that routine.

-For Kentucky, one of the problems has been the low scores early in the vault rotation, so getting those landings early and avoiding having to endure an early 9.6 is huge for them. That vault rotation was pretty much competitive with what we see from teams in the 15-20 range in the rankings.

I was pleased by the progression on Florida’s landings. We’ll wait on the scores, but they didn’t give away as much as they have in a couple meets so far this year. They trotted the full lineup out, and delivered for the most part. A strong showing.

Over at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have a lead of .250 after the first rotation 49.025-48.775 led by a 9.900 from Shaffer on vault. Bars is the most challenging event for Minnesota, and they got through it, but had to count a 9.550 from Mable and dropped a fall from Hanley. Those two should be two of their highest scorers on the event, so they couldn’t recover from their lower scores. Not yet is the answer for Minnesota, but they’re a stronger vault team, so they can get it back in the second.

It’s a 49.325 for Florida, led by 9.9s for Sloan and Macko. I thought Sloan’s routine warranted a stronger score than Macko’s. Just cleaner.

Spicer – VT – UF – Solid yfull, could distance, small hop – not the pop we see from some of the others. Meanwhile, Kentucky begins with a serviceable bars routine from Roemmele – clean straddle back, a couple short handstands, step back on tuck full.

Johnson – VT – UF – yfull with a small hop in place – she’s pulled together that landing after a couple struggle weeks in there.

Hilton – UB – UK – Catches a big gienger with a little bit of crazy legs – that’s the showpiece of her routine – another with a DLO who completely straddles the second salto, but she stuck it.

On Kentucky coverage, we often miss some opponent routines for replays of Kentucky’s routines, and that appears to be the case with some of these vaults here, like Sloan’s. But she gets a 9.900.

Sienkowski – UB – UK – Nice rhythm and power in her routine – mixed grip jaeger? Cool. I saw some missed handstands and a couple places to take for leg form, but visually pleasing. 9.750.

So we’ve given up on showing Florida’s vaults. That’s going to make it harder to maintain energy for this meet once the 8:00/5:00 meets start.

Hartley – UB- UK – High tkatchev and a nice full turn, some pretty significant hip angle on the bail, but a stuck DLO. Really good routine. They should be happy with that.  That could be 9.8s. Never mind. 9.775. OK.

Harrison – UB – UK – Good height on jaeger. I’ve been enjoying the releases for this team so far. The problem has been the details. Like for Beucler, who just followed her with a strong enough routine but completely missed her first handstand, which will help keep her score down.

We barely saw anything from Florida in that rotation, but the score is just a 49.250, which is fairly low for this team. We saw our first swap out of the night, with Macko coming out on vault for SCP, who scored a dropped 9.700. Kytra and Sloan went into the 9.9s as we always expect from them, but no one scored anything massive. Scores have been what I would consider appropriate so far, but I like a harsh scoring landscape. We certainly see more charitable numbers in most places. Kentucky was pretty 9.7y on bars because of form breaks in all of these routines – leg separations – that kind of thing, but there are some nice qualities.  

Florida still on pace for a low 197 so far, which would make it challenging but definitely imaginable for Oklahoma to pass with a big home score.

Minnesota lost more ground on Ohio State in the second rotation after a 49.075 on vault. Mable got her 9.900 to recover from last week’s fall, but they had three scores in the 9.7s. They can still become the stick machines for 9.900s throughout the end of the lineup that they were in the postseason last year – the lineup is almost entirely the same, but we’re not there yet. Ohio State went low 49s on bars with a bunch of 9.8s, led by Aepli’s 9.875.

Boyce starts Florida with a clean enough showing – a split here, some lack of control there, but fine. We’ve seen better from her. Mitchell is up second for Kentucky on beam, and she is usually very secure but takes a bend at the hips in her back tuck after the walkover, which will bring down the score. Good stick on the front full dismount.

SCP is into the floor lineup for Florida and landed pretty low on her layout out of the middle pass and had to tuck it a little, but held on. Nice to see her in, but probably won’t stay there. Roemmele on beam for Kentucky now, and she’s another with a big hip bend on acro, a side aerial this time, one step back on her 1.5 dismount.

Sloan – FX – sticks her front double full as we’ve come to expect. Listening to other people, I think I may be the only person in the world who likes this floor routine, but that just makes me like it more out of spite. Another really clean showing. Fought slightly to hold onto the stick on her final pass. Really only a small notch below what we’ve seen the last couple weeks at home. 9.875. Hilton takes a fall on beam for Kentucky.

Johnson – FX – Yay for Alaina in this lineup today. Strong double arabian to open – it seems forever ago that she got this routine, but we’ve seen it only so rarely. A good showing, not quite there yet – a little short on her double pike landing for instance, but they should consider keeping her in this lineup.  

Beucler – BB – Must hit because they’re already counting a 9.650. Break on the gainer loso, but that was the only significant mistake in the routine, and they’ll take that score. They’ll have to.

For all Rhonda’s talk of resting people, we’re seeing no rest for Hunter and Sloan, just Macko really. Hunter – FX – big DLO that loses some impact with the close up camera angle – there’s no perspective for hugeness when gymnastics is shown in close up. It loses it’s impressiveness. We don’t need to see faces. We need to see amplitude. Another excellent showing with little to take. I sincerely doubt a road 10, but she’s on fire this year. Better than two weeks ago, worse than last week. 

Nice layout to two feet on beam for Kentucky’s Harrison in the final position – capped with a stuck 1.5. Strong way to finish, and they won’t be counting a fall. And Bridgette finishes up cleanly for Florida. Another who lands slightly short on her double pike but otherwise strong. Should be a solid if slightly unimpressive score.

It’s a 49.275 for Florida on floor, so they should still comfortably jump into the 197s, but we’re not seeing the huge numbers this week on the road, which is not particularly surprising. Kentucky pulled out a 48.625 on beam, so they should still be on track to break 195. 

I’m switching over to Michigan and Illinois now. I got behind so I missed some of the early routines. Sorry about that one. Michigan is already going to have to drop a 9.575 from Sugiyama on bars. Uh oh.

Gies – UB – clean firs hs, legs firmly together, strong tkatchev, small hop on the double back. A borderline handstand here and there, but strong. They’ll take it.

Nice height and distance on the yfull for O’Connor Illinois, a hop on the landing, but impressive.

Sheppard shows she excellent piked tkatchev, and she appears to be getting this routine together after some early errors in the season. Sticks the cowboyed double front. I had some buffering so must has missed a mistake for her 9.550. I’ll pull it together for the second rotation. I promise. Same thing happened for Sampson’s routine. What I saw looked nice, but it was jumpy and the score is a 9.750.

Buchanan finishes with a stick on her yfull for Illinois. That’s the kind of vault that has kept them in the top 15 even without Weinstein this year.

It’s a rough start for Michigan with a 48.725 on bars, though I didn’t see any of the mistakes, but they’re trailing Illinois by over two tenths and will have to pick it up significantly on vault.

Minnesota got it together on floor with 49.300 to take the lead over Ohio State, and Arkansas got an important 49.250 on vault to take the lead over LSU after 1. That 49.250 may be the boost they need to finally get out of the low 196s. LSU gets a 9.925 from Morrison, but has to count a 9.775 from Dickson. As pointed out in the comments, Wyrick is back on bars. They need her.

I’ll watch this next rotation for Illinois and Michigan before switching over to the Alabama and Georgia main event, which won’t start for another 15-20 minutes or so if the past is any indication. 

Brooke Parker is in for Michigan on vault – clean enough yfull it appeared – not a huge vault – step back – she’s getting there.

Naleway – UB – big leg break on the shaposh but hit – a little late on her gaint full and a hop on the double back. 9.725.

Zakharia – VT – (No Beilstein this week?) – Handspring pike half is solid but slightly off line, so her step to the side goes a little off the mat.

See – UB – All about the jaegers to open – nice composition and sticks the DLO to finish well.

Chiarelli – VT – sticks her yfull, which they needed – a little bit for leg form on the horse and she had to pike and hold to the stick, so the score shouldn’t be huge, but they needed that landing.

O’Connor – UB – Clean straddle back and a hugely high taktchev – small hop on the DLO and a short handstand or three, but good enough. 9.725.

Sugiyama – VT – Strong 1.5 with a small step forward, should be a high score. Much needed. 9.900.

McNabb – UB – Good full, catches tkatchev – not as high but a fine skill – step on DLO, and bail looked like it might have been a bit short. Fine.

Sampson – VT – looked like just a small hop in place on that landing for the yfull – maybe came in a little shorter than she usually would, at least it looked that way from behind.

Fielder for Illinois shows by far the best form on the team so far with her jaeger and finishing with a stuck DLO, and she is followed by Sheppard who does her usual huge and amazing yfull that she opens out of, had to fight and bend to hang onto the stick, so not her absolute best but a strong vault. Kato finishes on bars with a strong jaeger, and another clean enough showing overall – gets high on her DLO but lands it a little squatty – does hold onto the stick, though.

9.800 for Sheppard. Scoring has just been weird at this meet so far. I’m not sure what the deal is. Michigan hasn’t looked great, but has looked much better than a sub-196 pace would suggest.

Thanks for the heads up about Sloan getting a 10 on beam. She’s always close, so it seemed like it would be coming one of these days. That’s the first perfect 10 on beam since the 2010 UCLA/Georgia meet in which both Taylor and EHH got beam 10s, isn’t it? Was it merited?

Florida finishes with a 197.175. LSU is currently on pace for a similar number after two events, getting 9.9s from Gnat and Courville on vault. Now it’s time to switch over to Alabama and Georgia. Stream working for anyone? Not for me so far.

Now we’re up in time to see Dominique Pegg tuck her yfull. What was that? Lots of 9.8s leading up to this for both teams. Cheek hasn’t done much of that, so let’s see what she does.

Cheek – UB – clean first hs, looked like she caught her tkatchev as little close or awkwardly, and the final handstand was short, step back on the DLO. She’s been better than that most of this year. 9.850.

Beers – VT – Big power on the yfull – love that height and distance, but a pretty large step back.

Rogers – UB – Lovely stalders, excellent ricna, clean bail, and a stuck tuck full. Really good routine. So clean and pretty in the legs throughout, and very precise. 9.900.

Milliner – VT – Bam! Huge height on her 1.5 and a stick. One of her better vaults ever. I would be fine with 9.950, but the judges keep it in line with a 9.925. She’s gotten that score for a non-stick before, which is interesting.  

Davis – UB – Great first handstand and tkatchev, looked like one of her handstands was a little struggle and has to bend to hold onto her stick on the DLO, but very good. 9.900

Shocked Lauren Johnson caught her gienger in bars exhibition – it was basically in Mississippi, but she falls on the dismount.

Alabama goes 49.300 on vault, which is their score so far this year. They were able to drop Pegg’s weird tuck – but Beers’ vault was great except for getting that landing a little more controlled to make 9.9s more realistic, and Milliner’s was excellent. Georgia has the one tenth lead after the first, led by Brown’s 9.925, which I missed but we can assume she was rewarded for her amazing tkatchev. Both Cheek and Davis were fine, but neither had her absolute best routine. I thought Rogers was great.

Rotation 2 – Alabama on bars, Georgia on vault
Alabama bars:
1. DeMeo – Hate that random half turn to start and there were a couple handstands to argue, but she sticks the DLO and it’s a mostly clean showing. Great leg form throughout.
2. Bailey – Looked like she would be a little close on her opening release but she worked it out with sufficient swing – still doing the double back – small step. Clean but unremarkable routine. 
3. A Sims – Big leg break on her bail handstand and floppy legs on the DLO with a step back but a workable routine – the leg form was my main concern for her in this lineup.
4. Jacob – Misses first handstands, huge ray and does well to control the swing afterward, great stick on the DLO. Still a couple handstand issues to take for, though. 
5. Jetter – Strong Ray, but she struggled on her double front with an immediate hop and then another step. A couple handstands were borderline as well. 
6. Clark -Her shaposh and bail combo that makes up the majority of her routine is well done, finishes with her DLO 1/1 dismount with a step back.

Georgia vault:
1. Davis – Excellent yfull – maybe not a stick – she kind of stepped salute. Good height, though.
2. Broussard – Really strong distance on her yfull – small hop back – good form in the air.
3. Hires – good form on the yfull but a big bounce back out of it – not her best.
4. Jay – 4th now, and she has upgraded to the 1.5 – nice to see – fairly notable step but she’s progressing. 9.900.
5. Cheek – Lands a little short on her yfull with a step forward. She’s been fine so far, but it’s her weakest showing of the season through two events. Just not what we expect.
6. Rogers – 1.5 for her as well – more controlled landing than Jay, just a small step back. Very nice.I thought her vault was better than Jay’s, but whatever. 9.875.

Johnson sticks an exo vault for Georgia with a little fight, and now we’re seeing McNeer do an exo on bars. Interesting. Clean first handstand and strong Ray, bail is short of handstand with a leg break. DLO is a little whippy with a hop back. Potential, but not yet.

Alabama cuts the deficit to just a half tenth after two rotations. They needed to be close to take it on the final two events so they seem to be in good shape, since I would give the Tide the edge on the final two events. It wasn’t a particularly strong bars rotation for Alabama, though. I saw a lot of missed handstands and too many leg breaks. Georgia also needed to get a few more landings to hope for a score any higher than what they got.

Rotation 3 – Alabama on beam, Georgia on floor
Alabama beam:
1. Milliner – clean walkover, hits switch and straddle – works deliberately but hits – no wobbles on the loso series – good secure leadoff – step forward on double full dismount.
2. DeMeo – Handspring mount looks comfortable, biggish break on her series – bend at the hips and the leg flies up – she can be so great but she’s also the member of this lineup most likely to have an error. The splits are pristine. Step back on double pike. It won’t be terrible but they’ll want to drop it. 9.800. Hmm. Better than I thought after the large wobble, but she does give away very little elsewhere. 
3. Jetter – Windmills a little bit on her switch side – hits her loso well – gets her front tuck around but it’s not exactly comfortable – she’s hitting but it still looks nerve-wracking at every moment just like in elite. Small hop on 1.5 dismount.
4. A Sims – Lovely walkover and split jump – secure loso series – this is how you hit dance elements – holds onto her switch side like a veteran without giving up a wobble – a little short on her double back dismount with a step forward, but that was the only major thing to take. 9.875.
5. Clark – A little off on her loso series and raises a leg but does well not to give away a bigger wobble than that, small check on the front tuck, walkover is OK but she’s fighting it a little bit here. Sticks her 1.5 to help, but there were a couple checks in that routine. 9.875 seems high.
6. Jacob -Secure on her dance series – series of layouts is excellent – WOAH – big wobble on her barani and graps her legs to stay on the beam. We take that skill for granted from her. She always hits it. Hmmm. You can bend over a grab your thighs on a skill and still get a 9.825? Who knew. 

Georgia floor:
1. Earls – Really secure opening her Georgia as well – the split jump wasn’t quite there and some lack of control on the double back dismount as the hips slide back – but otherwise it’s a controlled and solid leadoff.
2. Hires – A little low on the double pike to open – and not quite there on her double back to finish as well – in a squat and not quite controlled – just not quite secure enough in the tumbling to get the big score. 9.800.
3. Reynolds – mount looks great, a little low chesty on her double pike – we’ve seen her be a bit stronger than this, but her dance elements look hit and her tumbling was under control. 9.875.
4. Box – Nice high double pike to open – keeps the landing in control enough, straddles look hit – same height on her double back – 1.5 to front layout is hit. Good showing. 9.875.
5. Rogers – Looked like she had her front double full but hops forward – perhaps minorly short of 180 on her split full but it was fine – small bits here and there on the tumbling – a little hop a little slide. 9.825
6. Jay – Very low on her tuck full and almost puts her knees down but it’s not a fall. Did she bail out of that middle pass a little? What was that? Anchor trouble. Hits the double pike to finish at least, but they could have used a big score from her. 9.800. OK. . .  

Both teams score a 49.225 in the third rotation to keep the margin razor thin at just .050 going into the final rotation, where I would say Alabama still does have the edge, though I thought Alabama would gain something in the third rotation. They had mistakes, wobbles throughout the routines from some of the big hitters – and then that really uncharacteristic mistake from Jacob. Even the one who looked the best on the beam, Sims, had a struggle on the dismount.  Similar, Georgia could have used some big hitting from the final two, but neither landed as well as they needed to, so Box and Reynolds had to carry floor, which Georgia should not be relying on.

Shot of Kayla Williams on crutches. Uhhhhhh. Sadness.

This is almost an identical situation to what Georgia did against Florida before Florida had the 49.875 heard round the world and Georgia melted down on beam. They’ll hope for a better result this time around. Persinger back in the lineup is an upgrade.

Rotation 4 – Alabama on floor, Georgia on beam
Alabama floor:
1. Jetter – Clean double back to start – splits are OK – hits 1.5 to front full as well – I was unsure whether she would make this lineup, but she’s making the most of hit. 1.5 to layout dismount. 9.875. 
2. Beers – Secure double tuck (Alabama with first two gymnasts starting with double tucks? Where are we?) long pause before second pass – slightest stumbly step on layout to layout full middle pass – Umm, this choreo before the dismount? What is that supposed to be? – Great double pike dismount. 9.925.
3. Bailey – Excellent double arabian mount and secure layout to front full middle pass – that double arabian mount is a big asset to this lineup – Milliner Lite – a bounce back out of her rudi. 9.875.
4. DeMeo – Another great double arabian – so maybe Bailey is DeMeo Lite – a little slide on the 1.5 to layout – Oh, a forgot about this travesty of a music melange. We call this iTunes vomit. Mute. Great 2.5 dismount. 9.925.
5. Jacob – A little slidey lack of control on the pike full in mount but well performed in the air – secure double pike – good straddles – takes her 1.5 to front full right up to the edge but stays in. 9.950.
6. Milliner – So high on her double arabian but lands just slightly short with a step back – great dynamic middle pass – excellent and secure double pike to finish. Excellent routine, stronger than Jacob’s, but not really a 10, so the judges have a little pickle here. 9.950.

Georgia beam:
1. Box – tuck jump full to start – clean loso series – she’s really making sure of these landings, squatting and holding each one – walkover is hit – small hop on 1.5. Tentative in places but hit well. 9.875.
2. Broussard – Never had a chance on her layout series. She had fallen the second she started that bhs. Well, Georgia, what are you going to do now? She’s off again on her side aerial.
3. Rogers – A little slow in her dance connection but gets it – strong loso series – just very small corrections on everything – tight – bhs 3/4 to stag is excellent this time – hits her bhs 1/1 to layout 1/1 dismount as well. Great finish after a tentative start. 9.850. 
4. Persinger – Excellent L turn – a little slow in that full turn but fine – hits walkover and hangs onto her loso series well without giving up much of a wobble if at all – does her front toss and barely even sniffs the beam on it. Counting a fall again after having a chance to win. Oh Georgia.
5. Cheek – Just trying to limit the damage at this point – and a clean loso series is a good start – lovely switch side – small adjustment on the side aerial – sticks gainer full. They needed that, and would have needed it more if they were still in this. 9.925.
6. Earls -Hits her two layouts series – small correction on switch split before straddle 1/4 – this is an important routine for the team score because they cannot count that 8.400 or anything close to it. Nice stick or close to it on the double back dismount. They were very close to a great rotation score here, but needed Persinger to be in form. 9.950. Still a good overall team score.  

Final score: Alabama 197.500, Georgia 196.825.

This is the team score Alabama has been needing, finishing with a big floor performance. It was all to play for in the end, and Alabama won it in the final rotation as much as Georgia lost it.

The Weekend Ahead – February 7th-9th

Last week, Florida used a six-tenth home victory over Oklahoma to leapfrog the Sooners into the top position and officially become the chased team. Because we have had a fair chunk of meets in the season now, it’s getting harder to move up several tenths in a single weekend, so the Gators should be safe in the first position for the moment as long as they continue doing what they’re doing with at least a low 197. Oklahoma would have to outscore them by .500 and LSU by .775 to jump into the first spot. The margin for LSU and Oklahoma is small enough that those two could end up in either order. The second pack is beginning to drop some of its more struggling members, but Utah, Georgia, and Michigan are all still close enough to overtake each other. 

We’re into the second month of the season now, which means the margin for mistake forgiveness is going to become a little less cushy over the next few weeks. The “it’s only January” excuse for being ragged and/or on the ground is out of play, so if a team has been all manner of bouncy bounce on landings, or perhaps is still holding back on difficulty or still waiting to hit six for six on beam, that starts to become less acceptable now.

We have six of the top ten teams in action on Friday, beginning with Florida, who will go back on the road to face Kentucky. I’ll check in on that, but I’ve seen quite a bit of Florida so far this season, so I also want to spend at least a little quality time with Michigan, a team that has been consistently strong so far this year and should be in 197 contention each week. They got two 9.975s last week and look to be rounding into strong form to challenge for a top five spot.

Of course, the big meet on Friday is Georgia visiting Alabama, which should be fascinating as always. It doesn’t have the same bite as in the Suzanne v. Sarah years, but it’s still a treat gymnastically.

Based on overall quality shown so far this season, the meet should be a toss-up. Except, it’s Alabama at home. It’s been what, 1150 years since they lost at home? Breaking the meet down by event, Georgia is the stronger team on bars, but while Georgia has scored the bigger number on beam so far this year, I trust Alabama’s beam lineup more and think they will have the edge there.

Then, things get really interesting on vault and floor. Alabama is the higher-ranked team on vault as we would expect from Alabama, but Georgia may have the consistently bigger scorers at the end of the lineup this year. The Tide will need Beers, DeMeo, and Clark to get those landings to help Milliner keep them ahead of what Rogers, Jay, and Cheek can do. That could be a fun battle and will define the meet early on. I wouldn’t be surprised by a Georgia lead at halfway, but an Alabama lead should mean a smooth rest of the evening.

And then there’s floor. Neither team has been out-of-this-world so far on floor, and neither is currently ranked in the top ten in the country. On paper, Alabama should have the hugest advantage of all on floor, but that hasn’t been the case so far this year. It will need to be the case on Friday for Alabama to have a comfortable journey. Milliner needs to be back in form, and these 9.800s need to disappear. The event to watch is all of them.

In the late action, Utah hosts Arizona in a meet the Utes should win comfortably if they keep riding Corrie Lothrop’s beam solidity, but Arizona could make a nice case for being the team to finally break up the Pac-12 Big Four with another strong score here.    

There’s also some nice, fancy action for the rest of the weekend featuring Nebraska, Auburn, Stanford, and Oregon State if you’re not too distracted by the Olympics and your inevitable attempt and failure to use your gymnastics knowledge to evaluate the snowboard flipping events even though you know nothing about snowboarding and start getting angry with Phoebe Mills for not deducting for body position on these landings. Early on Saturday, UCLA hosts Arizona State, and for all the talk of beam, vault has been blahsville the last two weeks on the road for UCLA, so the Bruins need to get that event in order as well against a Sun Devils team that has been sniffing around 196.000 early in the season this year in a vast improvement over recent 194ish opening months.

Don’t overlook Oklahoma and LSU on Sunday, which will be easy to do since it’s another of those Oklahoma meets shown on the Fox Sports Middle North Southeast Network. Depending on what LSU does on Friday, this Sunday meet could be a fight for #2, so we should all follow the scores if nothing else and play “Count the 9.9s” because there will be a lot of them. 

Top 25 Schedule

Friday, February 7th
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [1] Florida @ Kentucky
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [15] Minnesota @ [21] Ohio State
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [19] Central Michigan @ Eastern Michigan
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Northern Illinois @ [25] Kent State
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [3] LSU @ [11] Arkansas
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [6] Michigan @ [14] Illinois
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [5] Georgia @ [7] Alabama
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – Chicago Style – [18] Boise State, North Carolina, Illinois-Chicago, Bowling Green
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [13] Arizona @ [4] Utah

Saturday, February 8th
3:30 ET/12:30 PT – [20] Arizona State @ [9] UCLA
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [8] Nebraska @ [23] Penn State
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [10] Auburn @ Air Force
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [12] Stanford @ [24] Washington
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – NC State, Southern Utah @ [17] Denver
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [22] Cal @ [16] Oregon State

Sunday, February 9th
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [19] Central Michigan @ Bowling Green
2:45 ET/11:45 PT – [3] LSU @ [2] Oklahoma

Week 4 Rankings

Week 4 Rankings – (GymInfo)
1. Florida – 197.413
Week 4: 197.875
Week 4 leaders
AA – Sloan 39.750 (Season Best: Sloan 39.750)
VT – Sloan, Hunter 9.950 (SB: Sloan, Hunter 9.950)
UB – Sloan 9.900 (SB: B Caquatto 9.950)
BB – Sloan 9.950 (SB: M Caquatto, Sloan 9.950)
FX – Hunter 10.000 (SB: Hunter, Sloan 10.000)

2. Oklahoma – 197.294
Week 4: 197.225
Week 4 leaders
AA – None (SB: Brewer 39.450)
VT – Scaman 9.925 (SB: Scaman 9.950)
UB – Clark, Wofford 9.875 (SB: Spears, Brewer 9.925)
BB – Spears 9.900 (SB: Spears 9.950)
FX – Scaman, Albright 9.900 (SB: Scaman 9.950)

3. LSU – 197.225
Week 4: 197.650
Week 4 leaders
AA – Courville 39.500 (SB: Courville 39.600)
VT – Courville 9.975 (SB: Courville 9.975)
UB – Morrison 9.950 (SB: Morrison 9.950)
BB – Jordan 9.900 (SB: Courville, Jordan 9.925)
FX – Hall 10.000 (SB: Hall 10.000)

4. Utah – 196.963
Week 4: 197.200
Week 4 leaders
AA – Wilson 39.450 (SB: Wilson 39.450)
VT – Delaney 9.950 (SB: Dabritz, Wilson 9.975)
UB – Dabritz 9.925 (SB: Dabritz, Wilson 9.950)
BB – Lothrop 9.950 (SB: Lothrop 9.950)
FX – Dabritz 9.950 (SB: Dabritz 9.975)

5. Georgia – 196.871
Week 4: 197.300
Week 4 leaders
AA – Rogers 39.175 (SB: Rogers 39.525)
VT – Cheek 9.950 (SB: Cheek 9.950)
UB – Cheek 9.950 (SB: Davis 9.975)
BB – Cheek 9.875 (SB: Earls 9.950)
FX – Jay 9.950 (SB: Jay 9.950)
6. Michigan – 196.863
Week 4: 196.800
Week 4 leaders
AA – Sampson 39.650 (SB: Sampson 39.650)
VT – Sheppard 9.975 (SB: Sheppard 9.975)
UB – Sampson 9.975 (SB: Sampson 9.975)
BB – Sampson 9.925 (SB: Sampson 9.925)
FX – Sampson, Artz 9.875 (SB: Sampson 9.950)

7. Alabama – 196.788
Week 4: 196.825
Week 4 leaders
AA – DeMeo 39.450 (SB: Jacob 39.525)
VT – Clark 9.925 (SB: Beers 9.950)
UB – Clark 9.900 (SB: Jacob, Jetter 9.925)
BB – Jacob 9.925 (SB: Jacob 9.925)
FX – DeMeo, Jacob 9.875 (SB: Milliner 9.950)

8. Nebraska – 196.575
Week 4: 196.975
Week 4 leaders:
AA – Wong 39.525 (SB: Wong 39.550)
VT – Wong 9.925 (SB: DeZiel 9.950)
UB – Wong 9.950 (SB: Wong 9.950)
BB – J Lauer 9.875 (SB: J Lauer 9.925)
FX – Wong 9.950 (SB: Wong 9.950)

9. UCLA – 196.375
Week 4: 196.575
Week 4 leaders
AA – Courtney 39.425 (SB: Courtney 39.425)
VT – Courtney 9.900 (SB: Courtney 9.975)
UB – Mossett 9.900 (SB: DeJesus 9.950)
BB – Courtney, Mossett 9.875 (SB: Francis 9.950)
FX – Sawa 9.925 (SB: Sawa 9.975)

10. Auburn – 196.125
Week 4: 196.550
Week 4 leaders
AA – Atkinson, Guy 39.450 (SB: Atkinson 39.525)
VT – Rott 9.950 (SB: Rott 9.975)
UB – Atkinson 9.850 (SB: Atkinson 9.900)
BB – Atkinson 9.900 (SB: Walker, Atkinson 9.900)
FX – Guy 9.875 (SB: Guy, Atkinson 9.900)

11. Arkansas – 196.113
Week 4: 196.100
Week 4 leaders
AA – Grable 39.575 (SB: Grable 39.575)
VT – Williams 9.925 (SB: Grable 9.950)
UB – Canizaro 9.825 (SB: Salmon, Wellick 9.875)
BB – Grable 9.925 (SB: Grable 9.925)
FX – Grable 9.950 (SB: Grable 9.950)

12. Stanford – 196.088
Monday meet

13. Arizona – 196.006
Week 4: 196.500
Week 4 leaders
AA – None (SB: Williams 39.225)
VT – Edwards 9.875 (SB: Edwards, Klarenbach 9.900)
UB – Flores 9.875 (SB: Flores 9.875)
BB – Fox 9.875 (SB: Fox 9.875)
FX – Flores, Klarenbach 9.900 (SB: Klarenbach 9.925)

14. Illinois – 195.831
Week 4: 196.475
Week 4 leaders
AA – See 39.325 (SB: See 39.350)
VT – Buchanan 9.875 (SB: See 9.925)
UB – Fielder, Kato 9.875 (SB: Kato 9.900)
BB – Kato, McNabb 9.900 (SB: Kato, McNabb 9.900)
FX – See 9.900 (SB: Buchanan 9.925)

15. Minnesota – 195.785
Week 4: 195.900
Week 4 leaders
AA – Covers 38.950 (SB: Mable 39.600)
VT – Schermann 9.850 (SB: Mable 9.925)
UB – Hanley 9.875 (SB: Tomson 9.900)
BB – Nordquist 9.875 (SB: Nordquist 9.900)
FX – Schermann 9.850 (SB: Mable 9.975)

16. Oregon State – 195.750
Monday meet

17. Denver – 195.594
Week 4: 196.550
Week 4 leaders
AA – Martin 39.300 (SB: Martin 39.325)
VT – Martin 9.900 (SB: Martin 9.900)
UB – Martin, McGee, Pulgarin Linero 9.875 (SB: Martin 9.925)
BB – Hall 9.925 (SB: Hall 9.925)
FX – Martin, Menhinick, Moorhead 9.825 (SB: McGee 9.925)

18. Boise State – 195.569
Week 4: 195.250
Week 4 leaders
AA – Morris 38.400 (SB: Morris 39.150)
VT – Otuafi, Perkins 9.850 (SB: Perkins 9.925)
UB – Black 9.900 (SB: Perkins 9.925)
BB – Jacobsen 9.775 (SB: Jacobsen 9.875)
FX – Perkins 9.850 (SB: Black, Perkins, Morris 9.875)

19. Central Michigan – 195.120
Week 4: 196.600
Week 4 leaders
AA – None (SB: B Petzold 39.175)
VT – K Petzold 9.875 (SB: K Petzold 9.925)
UB – B Petzold 9.875 (SB: Fagan 9.900)
BB – Noonan 9.925 (SB: Heinz, Noonan 9.925)
FX – Bolender, Harrald 9.900 (SB: Moraw, Harrald, Bolender 9.900)

20. Arizona State – 195.106
Week 4: 194.900
Week 4 leaders
AA – Conrad 38.925 (SB: Conrad 38.925)
VT – Sundby 9.825 (SB: Salas 9.875)
UB – Kraus 9.825 (SB: Kraus 9.900)
BB – Miceli 9.825 (SB: Miceli, Perez 9.850)
FX – Sundby 9.875 (SB: Sundby, Perez 9.875)

21. Ohio State – 195.088
Week 4: 195.625
Week 4 leaders
AA – Shaffer 39.350 (SB: Shaffer 39.350)
VT – Miller 9.900 (SB: Miller 9.900)
UB – Shaffer, Aepli 9.850 (SB: Shaffer, Aepli 9.875)
BB – Miller 9.875 (SB: Miller 9.875)
FX – Shaffer 9.875 (SB: Shaffer 9.925)

22. California – 195.010
Week 4: 195.550
Week 4 leaders
AA – Asturias 39.350 (SB: Asturias 39.400)
VT – Leong 9.850 (SB: Asturias 9.950)
UB – Asturias 9.900 (SB: Asturias 9.900)
BB – Howe 9.900 (SB: Howe 9.900)
FX – Leong 9.900 (SB: Leong 9.900)

23. Penn State – 194.980
Week 4: 196.150
Week 4 leaders
AA – Sanabria-Robles 39.275 (SB: Stauder, Sanabria-Robles 39.275)
VT – Lau 9.850 (SB: Lau, Sibson 9.850)
UB – Stauder, Welsh 9.850 (SB: Stauder 9.875)
BB – Stauder 9.875 (SB: Stauder 9.900)
FX – Musgrove, Welsh 9.850 (SB: Welsh 9.925)

24. Washington – 194.738
Week 4: 195.475
Week 4 leaders
AA – Northey 39.050 (SB: Vaccher 39.275)
VT – Yacalis 9.800 (SB: Vaccher 9.825)
UB – McCartin 9.875 (SB: McCartin 9.875)
BB – McCartin 9.875 (SB: Janik, McCarton 9.875)
FX – Vaccher, Yacalis 9.850 (SB: Vaccher 9.875)

25. Kent State – 194.656
No meet

Friday Live Blogs – Oklahoma v. Florida, UCLA v. Cal

Friday – 1/31/14
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ [2] Florida (Scores) (Video – school subscription)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan State @ [4] Michigan (Scores) (Video – all-access)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [7] Alabama @ [3] LSU (Scores) (Video – school subscription)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [12] Auburn @ [10] Arkansas (Video – school subscription)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Iowa @ [17] Illinois (Scores)
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [9] UCLA @ [22] Cal
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [16] Boise State @ Southern Utah (Scores)
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [18] Denver @ BYU (Scores)

Current top 10:

The Oklahoma and Florida clash will get underway at 7:00 ET/4:00 PT. Be there. For now, feel free to muse about who will receive 10s tonight.

Lineups – looks like Charity Jones is doing exhibition on bars, which is nice to see. Kanewa is also in that lineup. No Brewer on bars, but she is back on beam and floor. Apparently. Wofford is only doing exhibition on beam because no one listens to me. Florida’s lineups look the same as last week.

We’re done with Oklahoma introductions, and now we’re meeting the Gators. Dancing, etc. You haven’t missed anything yet.  

Rotation 1 – Florida on vault, Oklahoma on bars
Florida vault:
1. B Caquatto – yfull – clean in the air but a very large bounce back on landing, not as controlled as last week. 9.750
2. Spicer – yfull – pretty strong, controlled her landing with just a small hop in place, a little piking. 9.850
3. M Caquatto -Better than last week, better block and landing farther up, hop back though, so the landings haven’t been great so far. 9.850.
4. Johnson – Also better in the air than last week, higher, small hop back. 9.875.
5. Sloan – Big and excellent on the yfull with a stick. Similar to the stick against UCLA I would say. 9.950. 
6. Hunter – Gorgeous 1.5, but she’ll still be looking for the 10 with a small hop forward there. Nice job, though. 9.950.

Oklahoma bars:
1. Kmieciak – nice tkatchev, clean in bail, step back on the tuck full dismount but looked clean on the bars themselves, didn’t see any problematic handstands. 9.825.
2. Clark – Leg break in shaposh on the swingback but clean in the skill, also hops back on her dismount (double tuck). 9.875
3. Scaman – Nice piked jaeger, bail looked a little floppy but hit – near stick on her full out, small adjustment. Strong. 9.800.
4. Kanewa – Strong jaeger, it’s a clean routine overall but she cowboys her double front dismount quite significantly, which is unusual for an Oklahoma bars lineup. Not the cleanliness we expect from them. 9.825
5. Spears – beautiful handstands and big jaeger, everything was going quite well until a hop forward on the double arabian, so not as strong as we saw from her last week. 9.775. Not sure what I missed there, but we’ll see. Maybe short on the bail? Couldn’t tell. 
6. Wofford – Excellent handstands, clean on the bail, her jaeger is gorgeous and the tuck full dismount is very nice in the air but she had a step (borderline two) on the dismount. 9.875.

Charity Jones has trouble on her overshoot and goes wonky in exhibition but stays on the bars. She has big gymnastics, but there are areas to clean up to get into the lineup.

After 1: Florida 49.475, Oklahoma 49.200

Florida has the lead after the first rotation, and it’s due to a much-improved vault performance over last week. Macko and Alaina blocked way better and had more height, and Bridget Sloan stuck very well. This is the best Florida has looked on vault so far this year, but there’s still room for improvement in the landings from everyone except Sloan. We’re getting to the point in the year where we can start expecting more sticks.

Oklahoma looked pretty on the bars themselves. It’s tough to judge handstands from this camera angle, but I didn’t see anything that looked too bad. I assume I missed something on Spears’ routine for a 9.775, but that’s definitely possible. The dismounts were not that great. Lots of steps except for Clark, so they gave away probably a couple tenths in the rotation score just on those dismounts. Definitely advantage Florida so far, which is not what Oklahoma needed. They needed a lead after the first. 

Rotation 2 – Florida on bars, Oklahoma on vault

Florida bars:
1. BDG – Excellent shaposh, hits bail, this is her usual routine including the high DLO with splayed legs on the second layout, fights for stick and may have kept it, lots of bending for it, though. 9.875.
2. Hunter – Excellent Hindorff as always, solid bail, lands hunched over on her tuck full with a step – looked a little close to the bar on that. 9.875. 
3. B Caquatto – Very big Ray – too big? – had to work for that next handstand, strong bail, sticks her DLO. Her dismount is very nice. 9.875.
4. Sloan – Another great Ray, floppy legs in her bail handstands and has to struggle for her next handstand. Amazing DLO, but not her best routine because of some awkward low bar action. 9.900. 
5. M Caquatto – strong shaposh and bail, good counter rotation on her tkatchev, lands low on her tuck full with a large lunge forward. 9.850. 
6. Johnson – Her Ray is the best of the Ray sisters, lovely stalder, small leg break in bail, DLO with a step back, but overall strong. 9.875.

Oklahoma vault:
1. Mooring – Pretty yhalf, a little short on the landing so had to take a step back, but fine. 9.800.
2. Lovan -Fine yfull but not the power we have seen from most of the other vaulters today, some piking. 9.825.
3. Kmieciak – nice stick on her yfull – comparatively with Sloan’s stick I would say she didn’t have the same distance, but a very good vault. 9.900.
4. Capps – Pretty yfull with very good distance, tries her hardest to hang onto the stick with the smallest of adjustments. Very nice. 9.900
5. Scaman – It’s probably smart that she’s down to the full instead of the 1.5 because it’s beautiful and she controls it so well. Good, just a small step. 9.925. 
6. Kanewa – Pretty good yfull, very high, hop back, not her absolute best, but this has been a strong vault rotation. 9.875.

SCP gives us a bars exhibition to show off her stalders, as she should. Would make most lineups but enough deductions in this routine to keep her as a backup – also some leg bend in her DLO.  

After 2: Florida 98.875, Oklahoma 98.625

Pretty strong rotation for both teams. Florida is still giving away too much at the end of that lineup. Macko and Alaina did not get their dismounts again this week. Sloan did but wasn’t at her best on the bars themselves. They can still get stronger here but have the lead at halfway, which is very important for them. Oklahoma looked much better on vault than on bars, pulling out that rotation with four strong vaults to end the lineup. A couple more landings would have given them a 49.5.

Rotation 3 – Florida on beam, Oklahoma on floor
Florida beam:
1. Spicer – Small adjustment just standing there but not a wobble, hits loso series, just a few very small corrections here and there. Switch leap is OK, sticks gainer full. Fine start, a little tentative early. 9.825
2. Johnson – hits opening aerial + bhs series, hangs onto her leap series after the split and does well to connect, comes off strangely on her side aerial into the dismount and has to tuck her dismount a little and lands pretty much completely off the mat. 9.750.
3. Boyce – hits aerial to bhs combo, a little sluggish in connecting the two but it won’t be a problem or deducted, hits loso series, switch and split look fine, solid stick on gainer full. One of her better beam routines so far this year. 9.900. 
4. Hunter – Better front tuck mount this week, check on the loso but it could easily have turned into a bend at the hips and she saves it from going that far, everything else looks good, one small step on the double tuck. 9.875
5. Sloan – Hits loso series well, hits her aerial to scale as well, excellent fluidity on the full turn, wobble on her side aerial – that’s the one issue area in this routine it seems – excellent double full dismount with a stick. 9.950. 
6. M Caquatto – Strong loso series, wobbles slightly on her aerial before connecting it to the swingdown, strong switch and split, steps back on her gainer full. Oh, Macko! 9.875.

Oklahoma floor:
1. Spears – She always has my favorite Oklahoma floor music – all moody, split full wasn’t quite there, front double mount is OK – perhaps could use a touch more control? – 1.5 + layout middle pass, small bounce back on rudi, but a good starting off point. 9.825
2. Capps – Bounces back on her double pike, layout + full is strong as a second pass, pushing the truck choreo before her final pass – double full to loso is strong – biggest problem was the landing on the mount. 9.800.
3. Brewer – Strong double tuck to open, bounces on her layout + full, gets good height on her dance elements to complete them, secure double pike to finish. 9.800.
4. Kanewa – missed her opening pike full unfortunately, clean middle pass, it’s good for them to get that big E difficulty into the lineup. Secure double pike to finish. There are small areas of refinement, but nice routine. 9.875
5. Albright – promoted to fifth after leading the team for the last two weeks with 9.900s. Clean front double full to start, and a strong 1.5 to full as well, best landing control on the team so far. It’s worthy of this spot in the lineup. Hits rudi to finish. Good routine. 
6. Scaman – Strong DLO – she has the biggest gymnastics on this team – and you know how I always love a loso out of a pass, bounces back on her double back dismount so not the score she could have had.

Colussi-Pelaez doing exo on beam – wobbles on her switch and her back tuck knocks the cap off the end of beam. Has a large break on her side aerial as well. Oh, Silvia. You’re not going to make the lineup with this.

Florida extends the lead after the third event. Florida 148.300, Oklahoma 147.925

Much like on bars, Florida looked pretty good on beam but can do better than this. Johnson botched her dismount and Kytra and Macko both had a break or two that we wouldn’t expect them to have. So the verdict for Florida so far is good, but there is clear room for fixing on every event, which is probably what we would expect for January 31st. On floor for Oklahoma, it was a bit better than the last couple weeks, but there’s still room for more control on these landings. Some bouncing that really brought the scores down. 49.300 is not a problem; it just won’t help them win this meet.

But now we’re arriving at the moment of truth. Florida and the floor. I think we’re all dying to see what happens here. WAIT. I muted it during the commercial so I could type and I missed Marissa King talking! I’m the worst. What’s the point of anything if I miss an interview with Marissa King?  

Rotation 4 – Florida on floor, Oklahoma on beam
Florida floor:
1. Boyce – front double full, small slide of the back leg there, 1.5 to front pike second pass, splits look OK this week, secure rudi. 9.825. Appropriate.
2. M Caquatto – front double full – minor lack of control in the landing as well but OK – full + pike with a little bounce, 1.5 + layout is strong. Funny that this routine was better or equivalent to last week. 9.850.
3. Spicer – pike full but not stuck this time, an awkward locked landing and bounce there, full + pike looks good, question on leaps but not major, a little squatty on the dismount landing, so not as strong as last week. 9.850. 
4. Sloan – Another excellent landing on the front double full mount, good splits in the corner before her ASac rub, double pike looks equivalent to last week, excellent stick on the 1.5 + layout. Very nice routine. 9.950. Didn’t have a strange 9.975 before her this time or a crowd shouting 10.
5. Hunter – DLO is her DLO, didn’t look like there was a bounce this week, either. Her middle pass is such a good decision because it is both impressive and low risk for her. Straddles look fine, and the double tuck dismount looked more secure than last week. Now this will be interesting because I thought this was better than last week’s routine that got a 10. 10.000. Here we go.
6. B Caquatto -front double full to front tuck is strong to open, 1.5 to split jump and has to struggle to control the big split jump – she got too high for herself it looked like – good straddles and secure double pike. Good.

Oklahoma beam:
1. Kmieciak – Loso series looks good, small wobble on straddle half, step back on double tuck but a solid opening. 9.825.
2. Capps – pretty mount, she moves very well on beam, but comes off on her bhs + loso + bhs series on the final bhs – just off on the loso and couldn’t get either foot on the beam there on the last bhs. Strong aerial, as well as switch and straddle, step-salute on her gainer full.
3. Brewer – strong loso series to open, good straddle 1/2, large step back on double back, but that’s most of the deductions. 9.850.
4. Mooring – Lovely legs in her loso series, clean aerial, switch leap is good, this is excellent so far, large hop forward on her 1.5 dismount, which once again will account for most of the deductions.  
5. Spears – beautiful onodi to open her routine, nice leaps. Clean aerial, this is lovely in every way so far, small boucne on the gainer full it looked like, but best routine so far. 9.900.
6. Clark – Clean aerial, hits her sheep jump, controls her side somi, sticks her 1.5 dismount. Another good beam rotation for Oklahoma, coming back from the fall. 

Final Score: Florida 197.875, Oklahoma 197.225

A really strong meet from both teams overall. There weren’t really any problems except for the one fall for Oklahoma on beam. All things taken into account, this was a stronger meet for Florida than last week’s I think. There were places of high scoring throughout as we would expect, but nothing that went too too crazy this time. On floor, the score was a 49.575 for a performance that was probably mostly equivalent to last week’s. A few people were better, a few people were worse, but overall the same. The difference is that the judges kept it under control for the first couple routines, so the final score didn’t seem as strange. As for Kytra’s 10, I doubt we’ll hear much argument because it was better than last week’s 10. Sloan’s routine was probably about the same as last week’s.

Oklahoma wasn’t really in this for the win after the first rotation, but it was a solid meet. The story of their falling behind will be landings. A couple floor landings weren’t there, and those who are doing the double back beam dismounts are giving away tenths on landing that bring the scores down below where we would expect them to be, but they had only one stick on six beam dismounts, which hurt. If they had some more sticks, this meet would have been very close.

I was pleased by Florida’s vaulting. Best vault performance of the year for them. Still some areas to work on for those bars and beam routines, though, with the bars landings and the beam wobbles. They can be better than this. Sloan wins the AA with a 39.750. 39.7s are just normal for her now.

OK, bonus coverage! I’m going to stick around to do UCLA against Cal.

Rotation 1 – Cal on vault, UCLA on bars.
Cal vault:
1. Crawford – some leg break on her yfull block and a big hop back but strong. 9.700
2. Owens – big pike on her yfull with a very low landing and short. 9.600.
3. Howe – much better yfull with only a small landing adjustment – piked in the air as well. 9.850. 
4. Leong – Strong yfull, some small piking at the end and a minor hop but a good vault. 9.850.
5. Asturias – Good height and distance on her yfull, large step back on landing, but nice. 9.800
6. Paz – Not a ton of height or power but OK on the landing of her yfull. Didn’t look like she came onto the horse as intended there. 9.650

UCLA bars:
1. Francis – Thank you for being back, very clean until the double pike dismount with a hop forward, but it would have been one of the best of the rotation last week. 9.825.  
2. Sawa -good first hs, high tkatchev, short final handstand, and short on the double pike dismount with a hop. 9.850.
3. Craddock – good handstands, leg break on her pak, but this is a bit better than last week but very late on her giant full and a small hop on the double back. OK. 9.775.
4. Courtney – Good shaposh, clean bail, hits her toe on, buffered on the dismount but they seem pleased. 9.875. 
5. Mossett – good first handstand and stalder shoot, bail and pak look strong, lets see this stalder, though – a little better this time but still a big elbow bend there – small hop on the dismount, pretty good overall though. 9.900.
6. DeJesus – clean first handstands, crazy legs on the gienger (or as Amanda says, “flawless form”), bail looked borderline, big chest down on her dismount with a step but otherwise things looked OK. 9.850.

Well, UCLA looked much better on bars this week than last week. They got some more benefit of the doubt in the scoring as well, which certainly helps. They still need some Peszek action. A 49.300 doesn’t speak to some of the form mistakes and non-stuck dismounts we saw, but it’s a hit and they can go on from there to events like vault and floor where they have looked stronger so far. Cal has some good vaults in the middle of that lineup but didn’t get enough landings to receive the scores to get them into the 49s, lots of big steps and hops.  

After 1: UCLA 49.300, Cal 48.850

Rotation 2: Cal on bars, UCLA on vault
Cal bars:
1. Richardson – Big taktchev and very nice handstands, some form on the bail, misses final handstand, hop on double pike. Good start, some sloppiness crept in at the end, but potential there. 9.675.
2. Howe – hits jaeger, close on her pak and had to adjust, some form breaks there on the low bar, nice double back, but struggled on the pak and had some handstands. 9.775. 
3. Owens – Nice bail and I love that she does the clear hip up to the high bars. Also missing some handstands, way off on the dismount with a large lunge forward. 9.725.
4. Asutrias – Bhardwaj time! You can deduct for form but I’m glad that she did it. Best handstands so far and one hop on the double back. 9.900. 
5. Crawford – Excellent tkatchev, pretty handstands early in this routine, straddle back. I have a really jumpy stream so apologizes for missing some things. 9.825. 
6. Alferos – She has a nice line, very clean legs on this routine throughout, double front with a step forward. 9.875.

UCLA vault:
1. Pinches – Most secure landing on her yfull so far this year, definite piking and lands pretty short but solid. 9.725. 
2. Mossett – Good power but lands a little over and hops to the side. OK. 9.750.
3. Sawa – Good stick on her yfull, doesn’t come in as upright as she can and a little piking but nice form overall and a very secure landing. 9.875. 
4. Cipra – Clean in the air on the yfull, the hop that we have come to expect from her now. 9.775.
5. Bynum – Yhalf – probably the best she has done it this year, just one smaller step back and a slightly short landing. 9.850.
6. Courtney – Her usual big yfull, but she does hop back again, not the stick that we saw at the beginning of the year. Still strong, though. 9.900

More conservative scoring for UCLA in that rotation, but it looked like they did get docked pretty significantly for some of the height and landing position issues. Sawa had a very strong vault, just a tad weaker than her one that got a 9.950 at home, but they are not landing well enough or maintaining strong enough body shape early in the lineup right now to get those higher scores. I’ll be saying it a lot, but they’re also missing the Peszek here. A lot of form errors early in the bars lineup for Cal, but the back half looks very nice.

After 2: UCLA 98.450, Cal 97.925

Rotation 3 – Cal on beam, UCLA on floor
Cal beam: 
1. Asturias – good full turn, a little short on the aerial but holds on well, a little tentative on that switch split, sticks a front 1.5 dismount, a little hunched over. 9.750.
2. Owens – Some form on the loso series but hits it, wobble on full turn, hits aerial well, good leaps, large lunge back on the double full dismount. 9.800.
3. Leong – wobbles on both of her dance elements to start, very strong layout to two feet, though, right on. Does the double back but lands it short with a big hop. 9.750.
4. Palomares – wobble on opening aerial, hits loso series and the side aerial, wobble on the sheep jump, large step forward out of 1.5 dismount. 9.800.
5. Howe – small pause in her aerial to split connection but OK, strong loso series and the best leg form of the group so far, does the side aerial to layout full dismount like Alaina Johnson and sticks it. 9.900.
6. Paz – Large break at the hips on her three series, just some wobbles here on most skills, again on the full turn, nice gainer full to finish though – good stick. 9.750.

UCLA floor:
1. Francis – slide back on the double pike mount, has to save her middle pass with a very very low double back, splits look great, small stumble on 2.5 dismount but covers it up by dancing out of it well. 9.775.
2. DeJesus – It’s good that they’re getting the dancers into the rotation this year. Huge stumble back on her double pike mount and OOB. Oh, UCLA. Has anyone else ever tried to watch an online stream on the Pac-12 netowrk website? It’s a disaster. Sophina had a disaster to start but the rest of the routine was very clean. 9.550. 
3. Bynum – Huge DLO but steps OOB, front tuck through to double back is low but securely landed, but she’s exceptionally short on her double pike with a large lunge forward and barely hangs onto it. 9.650.
4. Cipra – High double back to open with a small hop, 1.5 to layout is OK, lovely choreo before her final pass – it really makes the routine, strong double pike to finish. First one to really hit a floor routine in this rotation. 9.900.
5. Courtney – Better landing on the double arabian than we have seen in some of the previous meets. 1.5 to half to loso is strong – maybe a slight adjustment after the loso but this looks good. But then she lands very short on the double pike and lunges forward. 9.775.
6. Sawa – Strong double back mount and a secure double pike as well, this is very good so far, just the dismount to go, and very strong, maybe came in a little short on her final half but saved it by going into the stag jump. That should be the highest UCLA score so far in a blah rotation.

That was kind of uninspiring, everybody. I want you to know that. Cal was fine on beam and should be happy about staying on, but there were a lot of wobbles throughout that rotation. Howe’s routine was the clear highlight there. UCLA, oh UCLA. Floor has been the good one! What was this. Lots of missed passes, and they needed to be saved by Cipra and Sawa just to break 49. And they still have to do beam. UCLA probably has to hit beam for the first time this year (actually hit it) or they could lose to Cal, which would be a thing.

After 3: UCLA 147.475, Cal 146.925

Uh oh, we saw Danusia in the touch miss her dismount. Why would that happen, people? We can’t emotionally handle this.

OK wait. Is there a sign behind beam that says “Tears of Hitler”? I have to think it doesn’t, but that’s what it looks like. 

Rotation 4 – Cal on floor, UCLA on beam
Cal floor:
1. Palomares – Low double pike mount with a hop back but just does stay in bounds, solid on the middle pass, and again just does stay in on her 1.5 to layout. Big deductions on the landing control, but she hit. 9.725
2. Owens – A little low on the double back, punches to a front double full which was awesome but does barely get it around with a little stumble, 1.5 to front layout dismount looks good. 9.675.
3. Asturias -Of all the losos out of passes, hers may be the best. She gets major points for that. Nice splits, 1.5 to layout is very good. Layout + full is the dismount, strong routine. That should help get them out of the 9.7s. 9.850.
4. Howe – Really strong double pike to start, 1.5 to layout is very strong but unfortunately she does a pretty elite stag jump out of it, just landed her front tuck full on the dismount low and stumbles OOB on it. 9.425
5. Leong – Strong double back mount with a bounce, again a little bouncy on the front layout front full but a clean routine so far other than small issues of landing control, a little low in double pike but secure. Strong routine. 9.900
6. Paz – Lunges back out of her double pike, looked like she would be able to control it better than that, stumbles on her front layout + front full and takes a seat, so they’ll be counting some low scores in this rotation, which is the tagline for this meet. “UCLA vs. Cal: They’ll be counting some low scores in that rotation”

UCLA beam:
1. Craddock – small correction on full turn, again on the walkover to front handsrping, and again on the side aerial – just very small – might not even warrant deductions, small step on her front layout – good routine for her overall. 9.825. 
2. Mossett – wobbles on opening full turn, good splits, hits the aerial to bhs, she’s slowly looking more comfortable, just hangs onto the side somi with a small correction but that could very easily have been a fall, sticks gainer pike this time. 9.875.
3. DeJesus – She hasn’t really hit a beam routine yet, pauses between her aerial and her bhs loso but no wobbles, correction on her split jump, front toss is OK, front full dismount is stuck. She’s getting there, still not there, but no major mistakes this week. Question: did she get her leap combo? Watch the score for that. 9.775
4. Cipra – she’s another looking for her first real hit, another big wobble on her loso series, good full turn, switch half looks strong, but comes off on her side aerial. They’re playing “Who comes out when Peszek is back?” and she might be winning so far. 9.300.
5. Francis – The rotation started well, but they need some help now, aerial to bhs is excellent, switch and dance elements are perfect as well, strong y spin, here comes the dismount, pauses in the connection between the aerial and the layout full. Sticks it, but is she going to get the connection that she needs for her SV? 9.700. So yes, that means she started from a 9.8 not a 10. Boo. This is what I was afraid of. 
6. Courtney – Olivia Courtney in a must-hit beam situation, which is a very scary sentence. Secure early in her routine, but pauses after her kickover front before the bhs, hits her splits, good full turn, sticks her double back dismount the best I’ve ever seen it.  Long conference, but she gets a 9.875 after all.

It looks Gerber is waiting to do an exo on beam, but we won’t see it because of the TV broadcast. Boo to that as well.

Final Score: UCLA 196.575, Cal 195.550

Mehhhhh. Done.