Category Archives: Live Blog

[4] UCLA @ [11] Stanford Live Blog

UCLA Gymnastics posted this picture, and it’s all I’ve ever needed. Presenting Evita Kondos Field.
UCLA comes into this meet after a mostly pleghhhh performance at Arizona State. The time for good road scores is immediately, so I expect Zamarripa back in on all the events. Now, the best teams are consistently going into the 197s (or at least high 196s), so this month will be the deciding point as to whether UCLA keeps pace all season with the top 4 or has one of those years where it enters the postseason in 6th-9th and has to talk about peaking at the right time.
For Stanford, there’s an opportunity to make up a little ground here with a strong score. Minnesota had a poor meet, and Utah counted a fall this week. This is one of just three home meets this year. The Cardinal doesn’t get the frequent home boost that other teams do, so when the opportunity arises, it is impotant to take it. Otherwise, the team becomes reliant on big road scores, which can’t always be counted on. 

The meet will begin at 7 ET/4 PT, and can be veiwed here.

Our main commentator looks like he’d rather been anywhere else than a gymnastics meet, called it a “match,” and then successfully named all four apparatuses. Good thing we have a mustachioed hero helping him out who can correctly pronounce Vanessa Zamarripa and name-dropped a Lopez on vault. A+. 

Warmups just getting underway now. Mattie looked positively Zam-like in her warmup. Do that in competition, girl. Val is known for “very extravagant floor exercises.” Ha.

Rotation 1:
Stanford Vault
1. A Morgan – yhalf, hop forward but a bit more control than usual. Fine start. (9.825)
2. Rice – good form on the yfull (this has improved from JO) with a big hop in place on landing.(9.775)
3. Chuang – solid yfull, lacking in power on block with a step back. (9.750)
4. Hong – Great stuck yfull – that’s reminiscent of what she was doing at the end of last season. (9.900)
5. Dayton – yhalf with a pretty big hop forward. They probably needed a stick from her. (9.825)
6. Hanset – handspring pike half, hop back on landing with the inherent low chest for that vault.(9.875)

UCLA Bars
1. Francis – good first hs, hits shaposh, a few leg seps here and there with a hop forward on double pike. This is not her event, and they need to find a sixth worker soon. (9.675)
2. Courtney – good shaposh, clean bail hs, sticks tuck full. I really like this critical commentary, pointing out things like bent arms on giants that never get deducted. Keep it up. (9.800)
3. Larson – clean start, very strong bail hs, hits tkatchev as usual with no flight, hop forward on DLO – worse than her warmup in the handstands and the dismount. (9.750)
4. DeJesus – good first hs, crazy legs on her gienger, a few slightly missed handstands and a stuck tuck full. (9.825)
5.Wong – hits jaeger, misses handstand afterward, otherwise perfect, minor hop on her DLO. Best so far for UCLA. (9.850)
6. Zamarripa – milking that handstand like no one’s business but doesn’t stick the DLO very well again this week with a low chest. They’re losing tenths on these dismounts at these road meets. Not as strong as we saw against Utah at home. (9.850)
Exo – Baer – a little sloppy in the legs, feet on the tkatchev but fine, sticks her dismount. It’s not phenomenal, and there are breaks everywhere, but it could come in for Francis. (9.725)

Scores after rotation 1: Stanford 49.200, UCLA 49.075
Some average gymnastics in that first rotation, but we’re also seeing some tigher scoring than at Georgia (and we’re all shocked). Stanford didn’t capitalize on vault because of some uncharacteristically missed landings. It was just OK except for Hong, who was the standout for them by far. UCLA overall looked tight in the handstands and uncertain on the dismounts, which we also saw against Arizona State. They have five routines. They need a Peng. If they stick those vaults oin the next rotation, though, there’s a very strong chance to outperform Stanford.

Rotation 2:
Stanford Bars
1.S. Morgan – close on shoot to high bar, good piked jaeger, double front with step forward. (9.800)
2. A. Morgan -good routine overall, big step back on DLO, enough breaks to take down the score. (9.825)
3. Hong – her usual tkatchev, lovely bail hs, sticks the DLO. Great routine other than her tkatchev, which is as low as ever. (9.875)
4. Vaculik – big wobble on her squat up, wonderful gienger and other than that silly mistake it was fine. Crazy legs on DLO second salto with a step on landing. (9.850)
5. Shapiro – good shoot, fine jaeger – close, pak is great, misses last hs, flings DLO and was never close to landing it, falls to knees. (9.175)
6. Dayton – comes off on her tkatchev, couldn’t get her hands. They were looking good until the final two. Counting a fall now. Finishes strong. (9.275)
Exo – Archer – great line, dead hang after shoot, sticks DLO. Fine routine, great to have as a backup.

UCLA Vault
1. McDonald – OK yfull but she took a hop back. Not the level we’ve seen in the 9.850s she’s received previously. (9.775)
2. MDLT – We missed it, but do these people really not know how to pronounce Torre? Apparently it was a good landing but lacked amplitude – so same as always. (9.800)
3. Pritchett – Just OK on the yfull with a major step back. It has improved, but she’s still a few months away on this vault and probably shouldn’t be in the lineup. (9.725)
4. Baer – Hop back on the yfull, but she has improved her lift and power over last season. Same crazy legs on the block, though. (9.850)
5. Courtney – big power on her yfull with a one-foot step back. They needed these sticks and aren’t getting them, same as bars. (9.875)
6. Zam – wonderful stuck Yfull – she postured very slightly and crunched to hold the stick, but she’s gotten 10 before for an identical vault. It was stronger than the Super Six 10 in terms of vaults that fight for the stick. (10.000) It’s basically a given when she sticks these days.

Scores after rotation 2: UCLA 98.375, Stanford 97.825 (UCLA 49.300, Stanford 48.625)
UCLA had looked kind of blah on vault, and Zamarripa’s 10 will cover up some deficiencies in the first few workers. Baer and Courtney can land better, but they’re on track. They still need to work out what they’re doing with that Pritchett position in particular. Even though it’s been a ragged start, UCLA is still on high 196s pace, which is what they need from this meet. A long way to go still. Stanford has been looking perfectly fine 9.825-9.850 so far today, so that fall will underrate their performance so far. Other than Zam and Hong on vault, though, I’ve seen very little exciting gymnastics. These teams are farther away from peaking than the SEC teams right now.

Why are they showing us all these videos from last season?

Rotation 3:
Stanford Beam
1. S. Morgan – good aerial, clean loso series, very nice line on this event and very few deductions, good 2/1 dismount with a small hop. Strong opening. (9.825)
2. A. Morgan – loso series looks fine, right on punch front, sticks double tuck? It was out of frame. (9.900)
3. Hong – her lovely mount, minor wobble on her aerial bhs loso connection. Good sheep. She has permission to perform that skill. Great hit. (9.900)
4. Spinner -great routine so far, a little off to the side on the dismount, but that looked very similar to the 9.9s we saw from her last season. (9.875)
5. Vaculik – love seeing a Rulfova but she was slightly off to the side, hits loso series,great high double full but a big lunge back out of it. (9.825)
6. Rice – slight correction on sheep jump, otherwise solid until a big wobble on her loso. They won’t count this but won’t need to. (9.725)

UCLA Floor
1. McDonald – a little low on double pike with a lunge forward – crazy legs on the rudi middle pass but hits it, hits rudi dismount. Fine start. (9.775)
2. Bynum – still in the lineup, needs a hit after last week, big bounce out of double pike, front full is fine, slightly short on double tuck with a step forward. Not strong, but it’s a hit this time (9.825)
3. DeJesus – good double pike to start, low chest on double tuck but stuck, 1.5 + layout dismount is hit. This is the best I’ve seen her do. It will be a big score if Bynum’s score is a comparison. (9.850 – which is fair, but was notably better than Bynum’s)
4. Pritchett – she has become the dependable member of this lineup, and I think training the double double tuck has helped her landing position on the tuck full. Low double pike landing but hit. “This is the least expressive routine.” (9.875)
5. Zam – great high double pike, and I could see that becoming the DLO if they want to take the risk, popped up the loso out of her middle pass, but it was fine, usual rudi dismount. Strong, not much to take there. (9.925)
6. Courtney – dbl arabian mount, stumbles back out of it, which she never does. That’s a shame. Just slightly off today, like the whole team has been. No real problems, but tenths away from their best showings. She can get higher on the double pike but sticks the landing. (9.850)
Exo – Francis – so glad to see her, whip double pike, low landing, floppy layouts for her second pass, splits are great, but the tumbling is not up to lineup. Poor double back and OOB. That’s a shame. I need her in this lineup, but it’s not happening.
Exo – Wong – Here’s another who needs to be in the lineup, not totally around on her layout out of the front full. UCLA doesn’t usually exo at home meets, so they’re getting their money’s worth today. Bounces a little out of 1.5 front pike. There’s no difficulty in this routine, but she’s 9.9-capable at her best. The two exhibition routines aren’t there yet, but they stood out for having stronger dance elements than most of the lineup.

Scores after rotation 3: UCLA 147.700, Stanford 147.150 (Stanford 49.325, UCLA 49.325)
Zam is saving these UCLA scores again, so UCLA could even sneak a 197 out of this after beam if they hit to capability, but that’s always a saga. This could be a countable road score for RQS, which they’ll be thankful for after some just OK gymnastics. I’m happy with the final four floor routines, but there is room for alternation in this lineup. Stanford is probably looking at low-mid 196s depending on how far along they are on the floor, but that beam rotation was elegant and clean, their best event so far today by far. 

Rotation 4:
Stanford Floor
1. Chaung – fine double pike opening, layout + full, appears to slide a bit, stumble on the layout on dismount. Just OK as well. Missing splits and low amplitude overall. (9.700)
2. Hong – good tight double tuck mount, low double pike landing, layout + layout full is slightly underrotated on the twist, but it’s fine. (9.875)
3. Rice – good double pike, this is her event, totally splats her layout + layout full – had no punch into that full. That’s a shame. Low double back. Rough routine.
4. S. Morgan – very low double pike with a lunge forward, really misses her dance elements, but the judges have been a little here and there with deducting those today, big lunge back out of double tuck. Not a strong routine again. (9.725)
5. Hanset – doesn’t get a ton of height on her tumbling, but she’s solid in the way only Hong has been so far, a little low on double pike. It’s a hit. (9.875)
6. A. Morgan – too much of a lunge out of double arabian, so it will get deducted, sloppy legs on her layouts second pass, not her best routine overall, but good double back dismount. (9.875)

UCLA Beam
1. Baer – hits side somi, she doesn’t complete the popa, yes, but she never does, steps on the layout full dismount. Just OK. (9.800)
2. Wong – “she has a gorgeous beam routine when she hits.” That’s could be the slogan of UCLA on beam, big wobble on bhs out of series, comes way off the side on her 1.5 with a step. Still just OK but she hit. (9.750)
3. DeJesus – good aerial and bhs loso, great start for her, this is the most solid she’s been on beam so far, hop back on that tuck 1.5 dismount, but this was nice and should score pretty well. (9.850)
4. Zam – minor wobble on onodi, and again on aerial, not her best routine, but that’s all you can take so far, sticks double full. Great routine with just the two minor corrections. (9.900)
5. Francis – hits her leap series well to open, aerial + bhs is fine, minor wobble on full turn, wonderful loso + layout full dismount. A couple wobbles but once again that’s really all you can take. (9.925)
6. Larson – lovely mount, hits her dance series, very clean aerial + bhs, tried to add in her aerial to scale but comes off. She wouldn’t have done it if they needed it, but it will keep them from going 197. (9.325)
Exo – McDonald – good loso series with not awesome knees, but it’s fine, wobble on side somi, more wobbles and not quite hitting her dance elements, 1.5 with a step forward.

Final Scores: UCLA 196.925, Stanford 196.200 (UCLA 49.225, Stanford 49.050)
UCLA came out with a near-equivalent score to Alabama, and I think that should be encouraging given how much improvement still needs to be done and still can be done. These lineups are not finalized, and several people gave away uncharacteristic tenths. The beam routines from Zam and Francis were the highlights of the meet along with Zam’s 10 for them, and I still maintain that this beam rotation can be among the (if not the) best in the nation when they all hit if Peng comes back in form.
For Stanford, vault was OK but can be better if the landings are hit, and beam had five strong routines. I have little concern about those events. Floor looked underprepared, and event those who got 9.875s can improve. Bars was going perfectly fine until the falls, but the Shapiro routine in particular is an issue because she’s the best one and needs to be 9.900 every week.

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[5] Alabama @ [8] Georgia Live Blog

Get excited.
Even post-Suzanne, this is the best meet of the year. The least appealing part of NCAA gymnastics to me is that winning doesn’t matter during the season. A team could theoretically lose every regular-season meet and still win the Championship. For this meet, however, winning absolutely matters. January is over, so it’s time for Alabama to begin moving out of the “we’ve counted a fall for 196.500” stage and into the sturdy 197 stage, while it’s time for Georgia to move into the “we’re not counting 9.7s on beam and floor anymore” stage. I give Alabama the edge, but you never know what’s going to happen in a rivalry meet. Things get bizarre.
Georgia Lineup:
Vault: Davis, Persinger, Cheek, Rogers, Hires, Jay
Bars: Cheek, Tanella, Jay, Rogers, Worley, Davis
Beam: Cheek, Persinger, Couch, Rogers, Worley, Earls
Floor: Earls, Tanella, Persinger, Jay, Worley, Couch
Georgia has been falling behind on both beam and floor, so it’s vital for them to have Couch back on those events this week. In the past, I’ve been critical of having Couch anchor floor because she has had enough built-in deductions to stunt building toward a big-scoring sixth routine, plus I haven’t been a fan of her routines/music choice, but she and Shayla are the best (or only) options for that spot, so I suppose it makes sense given the team. I’d go with Shayla, but Couch can still get a 9.900 if she’s in form.


The meet begins at 4:00 ET/1:00 PT. Get ready. Suzanne is being introduced before the meet. Yay. Now we’re meeting the all-star team and all their babies. So many babies. Don’t bring your purses out there, ladies. It looks like you’re getting ready to leave already.

Introductions time now. Good crowd there. Sold out? It looks like it could be close – a few empty spots but good energy for the crowd. We’re still introducing the all-stars. 

Rotation 1:
Georgia Vault
1. Davis (Rank: 174) – yfull, hop back for .100. Her usual vault other than the landing deduction. Fine start. (9.850)
2. Persinger (Rank: 96) – A little leg separation and another .100 hop back. Not the power off the table as the others and a little piked. (9.825 – high)
3. Cheek (Rank: 25) – Good yfull with a stuck landing. The scores are going a little high anyway, and hers was definitely a tenth better than Davis’s. (9.925)
4. Rogers (Rank: 20) – Sticks her 1.5 and takes a hop on the salute, slightly off to the side but very strong. Not much to take. No one is burying you on the internet, Kevin. (9.900)
5. Hires (Rank: 52) – OK, better block than a couple recent ones, step back. She can still be better than this. (9.850)
6. Jay (Rank: 33) – Sticks her 1.5. Very nice vault. I wouldn’t go 10 because of knees, but it was quite strong. (9.950)

Alabama Bars
1. Clark – fine shaposh, good short in bail hs, casts over on a hs and comes off. She was having her best handstands at the beginning but went too much for it on that last one. Low on DLO 1/1 with a step. (9.275)
2. Alexin – big leg break in shaposh, solid pak, minor step on the double back, occasionally she rushes in her routine which hurts her hs, and that happened here. She has great toe point, if she could hold the handstands a little longer she would make them stand out. (9.825)
3. Jacob – Good ray, slightly short on the hs, but a good bail, very low chest on DLO with a step. Three missed hs there, which will be the major deductions along with the DM. (9.625)
4. DeMeo – good jaeger, slightly short on bail hs, whipping DLO with a hop. Strong routine.(9.875)
5. Sledge – Finally up 5th. I approve.Barely hold onto her first hs, great gienger, muscles up final cast hs and has to hang on again, brilliant DLO but does have a step. Not her best. (9.775)
6. Priess –good first hs, great tkathev + pak, pikes her DLO a little with steps back. Great other than the dismount. (9.850)
Exo – Sims – strong tkatchev, near stick on double back, this probably won’t make the lineup, but it’s a solid backup. Similar to Alexin in the sense of being a little rushed.

Scores after rotation 1: Georgia 49.475, Alabama 48.950
Georgia vaulted well, in particular the landings were much stronger than some of the recent meets. Certainly, those scores went on the higher side of what would be normal, which I would expect, but this was a very nice rotation. Alabama was really going for those handstands on bars, which resulted in errors, especially from Clark and Sledge. This was not a particularly strong performance with some giveaways on dismounts that I also wouldn’t have expected. A nervy rotation overall. I’m afraid that the fall in the first position today will cause Sarah to put Sledge back in the leadoff position. I like today’s order much better.

Jacob in for Sledge on vault. I wonder if something happened because I wouldn’t expect that normally.

Rotation 2:
Georgia Bars
1. Cheek (Rank: 43) – big tkatchev (slightly close but fine), leg separation in bail hs, short on final hs, minor step on DLO. Good routine but not her best. (9.800)
2. Tanella (Rank: 52) – good first hs, late 1/2 turn good jaeger, she hits her cast hs always but is late on her pirouetting handstands, hop on double tuck. When it’s a double tuck it needs to be stuck.(9.825)
3. Jay (Rank: 33) –leg separation on shaposh, way over on cast hs but hangs on, step on tuck full dismount. Fine routine but a little sloppiness here and there. (9.825)
4. Rogers (Rank: 21) – good stalder, and stalder tkatchev, lovely toe point in stalder shoot, stuck tuck full. Great routine. Best so far by quite a ways. (9.900)
5. Worley (Rank: 44) – Kevin wants Shayla demoted in the lineup for Rogers. I’m there. good bail hs, slightly short on hs, nice tkatchev, usual DLO with a major step back. Fine, 9.8y. The dismount has stopped improving, though. (9.800)
6. Davis (Rank: 3) – great tkathev, nothing much to take so far, in stuck tuck full. That will score higher than Rogers, and should at least be in the 9.9s. (9.925)

Alabama Vault
1. Clark – Good yfull with a slight hop in place, similar leadoff to Davis but a more controlled landing. (9.900 – that’s highish in a vacuum but consistent with Georgia’s scoring, so that’s good.)
2. Beers –Y1.5 with bent legs, off to the side, plus a step to the side. It’s ragged but good to have her in the lineup ultimately. (9.775)
3. Jacob – Yfull, bounces in place on the landing and missing a little bit of power. (9.825)
4. Williams – Y1.5 with a major hop forward that will take the score down. Fine but she can do better. (9.850)
5. Gutierrez  – Good distance as always, still hopping back quite significantly, but it will come. (9.900)
6. Milliner – 1.5 with a step forward, good power and her usual vault other than the step forward. (9.900)

Scores after rotation 2: Georgia 98.750, Alabama 98.325
Good recovery for Alabama on vault after a nervous bars rotation. They can be much better than they were today and nearly everyone gave away .050 (at least) on the landing. I’ll be interested to see if Beers remains as we move forward because this team likely won’t accept vaulting anyone that cannot go 9.900 consistently. Davis and Rogers were great on bars for Georgia, but everyone else had mistakes, most often in the handstands just like Alabama. 

Vintage Suzanne interview. Love it. The Georgia lead is four tenths, but they’ve already done their best events. Beam will be crucial. 

Rotation 3:
Georgia Beam
1. Cheek (Rank: 139) – huge wobble and fall on the loso series. We could see Couch moving to the first position if this keeps up. Stuck gainer full. Rough start. (9.250)
2. Persinger (Rank: 94) –strong aerial walkover, good loso series, she’s right on so far, stuck 1.5 Perhaps the best beam routine I’ve seen her do. Very few mistakes. (9.850)
3. Couch – Kevin calls this one of the most anticipated orutines of 2013, right on for loso series, she really is an inch big, sticks double full dismount. Great debut for her in a tough situation.(9.875)
4. Rogers (Rank: 240) – new routine, necessary. Maybe we don’t have to be on series watch anymore. Wobble coming out of her bhs 3/4 to double stag, bhs 1/1 now in the middle, less interesting but a better decision, sticks layout 1/1 dismount. Good other than the weird wobble. (9.875)
5. Worley (Rank: 11) – good sheep, hits loso, very slight correction on bhs 1/1, as usual the biggest deduction is the gainer full with a slight pause in connection and then a step. (9.875)
6. Earls (Rank: 25) – secure on her losos, side aerial to side position is strong, sticks double tuck dismount. Best routine for her this season. (9.950) Kevin and Cassidy may be having nervous breakdowns. It’s difficult to tell. Someone should check on them, I have blood pressure questions.

Alabama Floor
1. Demeo – bounces out of her double pike significantly and just barely stays in bounds, a little slide out of her 2.5 dismount as well. Not quite there in the tumbling landing yet. (9.800)
2. Parker – solid landing on dbl Arabian, bounces out of her tuck full but points for difficulty, hits double pike – four pass routine which is unusual.(9.825)
3. Frost – pretty good DLO but slightly crunched, more secure than last year, though. Fine double tuck. Good routine to have as a backup, she’s improved from the inconsistency last year that kept her out. (9.850)
4. Gutierrez – nice height on her DLO, better than Frost’s, maybe slight lack of control on landing if any, front 1/1 + layout and flops out of it slightly, good double pike. Strong but like vault she’s still not quite there yet. (9.900)
5. Jacob – stuck pike full, minorly low on the double pike but good landing, very secure tumbling overall. It’s important to upgrade her to the 5th position from the leadoff last year. (9.950)
6. Milliner – slight bounce out of her dbl Arabian, but otherwise this is strong, good double pike dismount. Best floor performance for Alabama overall this season. (9.950)

Scores after rotation 3: Georgia 148.175, Alabama 147.800
This is the first time this season Georgia has counted all beam scores over 9.800, which is more impressive coming after a fall. Huge scores in this rotation, Georgia with 49.425 and Alabama with 49.475. Alabama still has beam to come, which was an issue last week, but that floor rotation is closer to what I expected from them today. Exhbitions from Kirby on beam and Beers on floor. Georgia was extremely secure through five routines after the fall, which impressed me. Season high for Georgia should be a definite, and the same for Alabama if they hit beam. 

Rotation 4:
Georgia Floor
1. Earls (Rank: 63) – strong double pike, she’s been a solid leadoff all year and occasionally the most secure in tumbling of the whole rotation, sticks her double tuck as well. She doesn’t appear like she’s getting a ton of lift into this tumbling, but she sticks it. (9.875)
2. Tanella (Rank: 25) – good double pike, looked a little surprised by the height of her bounce into the double stag, she has improved significantly on this event, 1.5 dismount. Another hit.(9.875)
3. Persinger (Rank: 194) – low on double tuck with a big lunge forward, double pike second pass, a bit staggered in the rudi. Fine, but not as strong as the first two by any means.(9.800)
4. Jay (Rank: 239) – tuck full as the mount this week, a little low but OK, good easy front tuck out of her middle pass, good double tuck especially because she’s struggled with the endurance earlier in the season. (9.900)
5. Worley (Rank: 142) –big bounce out of double pike. Cassidy thinks she kept her front foot down but she didn’t. Huge bounce out of her front 2/1 as well, way OOB. This should be the drop if Couch is ready to hit. This is why Couch is the anchor, because she’s much more reliable than Shayla.
6. Couch – Sticks pike full just the same as it’s always been, whip double full is fine with crossed legs, good double pike dismount. (9.875)

Alabama Beam
1. Williams – I like her in this position, secure punch front. The first routine I saw her do was a beam routine at Classic in 2009 and she looked petrified but completely hit it. Minor slide on series and a wobble on the popa. A few breaks, so not her best, stuck 1.5 that finishes so early. (9.800)
2. Clark – hits loso series, deliberate but solid throughout the routine, big step forward/sideward on the 1.5.(9.800)
3. Gutierrez – slightly wibbly on the straddle 1/4 but fine, major wobble on loso but stays on, she always makes me so nervous on beam, stuck gainer full. It’s a hit. (9.825)
4. DeMeo – wobble on aerial walkover to start, comes off on her loso series. This is unexpected, but she looked very tight from the first moment of this routine. Hop back on strong double pike. (9.150)
5. Priess – Had a mistake last week that had to count, another challenge this week, this is much more secure, very little to take. It’s not the most complex routine but I think that’s the idea. (9.875)
6. Jacob –I like her anchoring, but let’s see how she handles this pressure situation. Minor wobble on losos series, strong routine, hop forward out of 1.5 dismount. Fine but not the strongest. (9.850)

Final Scores: Georgia 197.500, Alabama 196.900
It’s a great meet for both teams, overcoming problems that marked the first month of the season. Alabama still cannot quite break that 197 barrier, but after bars it was a strong meet. Beam was wibbly wobbly in places and not quite as secure as it can be, but it was a hit. For Alabama, it was a step in the right direction, but I looked at very few of these routines and thought it was the best that those gymnasts could do. They’re still a few weeks away from that. Georgia will revel in this 197.500 for a while. There were certainly mistakes, but the mistakes did not compound each other. This is the first time this season I would venture to use the word secure when describing Georgia, and that is major progress. Couch coming back will be the headline, but this was the best meet of the year for both Jay and Rogers, and I think that’s the most significant factor in the result today.     

I will be back in not too long from now to do Stanford/UCLA (look for a new post). They certainly have some big scores to fill.  

The Friday Swarm Live Blog – Florida, Nebraska, Alabama, UCLA, Utah

Val wants us to guess her anchors. Hmm, UCLA on the road at the end of January against a beatable opponent? Sadiqua Bynum will anchor bars. That’s my pick.

As the top home teams, expect Florida and Alabama to set the scoring pace for the night. Now that Florida has broken 197, anything less than that at home is a disappointing score. Alabama should be in prime position to match those lowish-midish 197s as long as everyone hits. 
It’s already easy to forget about Arkansas because the team dropped out of the top 25, but with Grable returning this week from her “absence,” the scoring should increase. Also keep an eye on some of the surprisingly ranked teams like Denver and Kentucky to see if they can maintain a mid-195 pace or even show signs of improvement. They are currently in line for those sought-after #3 Regional seeds from which most upsets arise.
Later, Utah and UCLA will both want to prove proficiency at scoring away from home. UCLA has yet to compete away, and Utah had a disaster in their only attempt so far. UCLA’s lineup will be interesting because normally this meet, the easiest away opponent of the year, would be the “exploring depth” meet where Tauny Frattone would do bars and MDLT would do floor, but I wonder whether the lack of total numbers this year will keep the lineups closer to what we’ve already seen.

Meets will begin at 7:00 ET/4:00 PT. 
Streaming links:
If you feel so inclined, you can check out the Ohio State stream, but the quality is just OK because of the angle.

Ohio State vault: DeLuca begins with just a handspring front pike, followed by Grady with a fine Yhalf with some lack of distance and a hop. Schaffer sticks/near sticks a proficient yfull with good direction. Marohn performs a similar yfull to Shaffer but hops back, looked 9.800y to me but we’re not getting scores. Miller sticks an Omelianchik nicely, difficult to judge potential tucking from the angle, but it looked good.

Nebraska bars:  Blanske leads off and struggled with some handstands but hits. Nathe follows with a clean routine featuring more precise handstands and a nice tkatchev. The double front dismount looked a little off in the release timing but she got it around well with a minor hop. Lauer goes third and rushes some of her hs and pikes a DLO with a major hop – fine, but not notable with definite deductions. Wong is slightly close on the gienger, but otherwise hits cleanly with good hs and a stuck tuck full. DeZiel performs similarly to Wong – these routines are not packed to focus on cleanliness, and it’s working. Giblin finishes with a lovely gienger, one questionable handstand, and a stuck tuck full – should be her best score of the year.

No scores yet, but Nebraska’s final three bars workers looked very nice and should make up for sloppiness early in the rotation. Ohio State vaulted just five, I believe, but likewise three of them were strong. Nebraska should be leading by multiple tenths, but apparently OSU is leading 49.050-49.025. I don’t see that. Nebraska’s unnamed exhibition on bars looked very nice – strong pace and amplitude, a few bits of sloppiness.

Florida is already having a Florida vault. Two 9.925s in the first four routines (Sloan and King). Get on 197.500 watch.  I won’t say 198 watch yet because beam and floor haven’t been as high yet.

Ohio State bars: De Luca is late on some pirouetting and not quite vertical in all her handstands, but she did well to hold onto the dismount with a minor step. Aepli has sloppy legs throughout and imprecise handstands, the DLO full saves the routine. Herr(?) has best lines and handstands so far, one step on dismount. Abrams a leg separation early and again later in the pirouettes, finishes with a just OK double tuck with a step. Marohn is minorly close on the jaeger but everything else has strong amplitude – step on double front. Shaffer works with nice speed but went over on a handstand – finished with one hop on tuck full.

Nebraska vault: Stephens begins again with a yfull with a low chest but stuck/near stuck landing. JLauer follows with a similar vault in terms of chest position but a definitely stuck landing. Giblin sticks her yfull – they’ve been working these landings, that’s for sure. Skinner in on vault for this meet, also sticks her yfull but was off to the side. DeZiel breaks the sticking streak but her power should mostly make up for it, one step. Wong bounces out of her yfull and is slightly off to the side – not her best.

I see Nebraska only extending the lead with that performance, but I’d love to see some scores or something. You know, whatever. Some very 9.7-looking gymnastics from OSU, and Nebraska’s vaults were consistently better by a tenth+

Kytra goes 9.975 on vault (the 10 is coming), and Florida vaults 49.625. Yep. And it’s January, and Macko didn’t compete. Auburn went 48.950 on bars, which is a good score for not their best event. BDG has come in for Florida on bars at this meet and debuts with a 9.925.

Ohio State beam: Dunn starts with a hit – a few wobbles and a general lack of amplitude on all skills. Herr has a minor break in her loso+back tuck connection but should get it – struggling here a bit – hop forward on 1.5. Grady has a slight wobble on her switch side and hits 1.5. Shaffer also struggles on her switch side and another couple wobbles will keep the score down, double back dismount with a step. Marohn begins with a strong onodi, finishes with a hit cowboy double back with a step. Miller starts right on (love a dance+dance+acro connection), and will score very well. The class of the team. I just wish she didn’t dismount with a gainer full because it takes away from the difficulty/quality. 9.950

Nebraska floor: JLauer slides back out of her double pike mount, but otherwise hits solidly but unremarkably. Stephens mounts similarly to Lauer with a slide out of her double pike, dance elements aren’t quite there, lower in her double tuck dismount with a step. Schleppenbach (do you think she would mind if I called her Schlep?) mounts with a dbl pike as well, better height but stumlbed out of the landing slightly, rudi dismount is somewhat low and ragged, but best performance quality so far. DeZielhas best dbl pike mount of the group (but they all do mount with double pikes), but stumbles majorly on the punch front out of the middle pass and barely stays on her feet. A shame. Blanske’s power supports her position in this lineup, but finishes with a low double back.Wong stumbles slightly out of her 3/1, but there’s very little to take from the rest of the routine. Good finish.

With the exception of Miller on beam, that was a very 9.775 rotation from both teams. Nebraska needs work on the tumbling consistency. Most mounts were slightly overdone and most dismounts were under. Nebraska leads by about three tenths overall and should go low-mid 196s.

Florida goes just 49.525 on bars. Psh. Pedestrian. 198 pace. No Alaina Johnson today. BDG and Sloan tie for the win with 9.925. Spicer has fallen on beam, so let’s see how the team reacts. Sloan and Hunter hit.

Ohio State floor: Dunn bounces slightly out of her double back but stays in, sticks double pike dismount, same issues with amplitude as on beam. DeLuca starts with a nice double front, stumbles on layouts middle pass, sticks dismount. Aepli (middle-aged man shouts “Sell it Tory!”) slight bounce out of double pike mount, comes in way low for her dismount into Shushunova and hits it. Herr starts with a crooked 2.5 with a stumble, and stumbles again out of middle pass, good straddle positions, another stumble on her layout out of the dismount. Shouldn’t score very well. Shaffer starts with a fine tuck full (slight shift with front leg but not notable), strong 1.5+lo, fine double pike dismount – strongest so far. Miller sticks a cowboy double arabian well, again by far the best on the team. No contest.

Nebraska beam:  Blanske begins with a fine loso series (legs), super low on punch front and I can’t believe she stayed on the beam, another major break on Lturn, this will be very low. Nathe wobbles on mount, hits lo series excellently, well contained overall after the early problem, hop back on dismount.  DeZiel has a slight wobble on the aerial and again on the series, another nervy start because she’s right on for these skills and then correcting, low on front toss, hits 2.5 dismount. Giblin has a few minor wobbles but gets the rotation back on track for Nebraska and should score well, stuck dismount. JLauer loso series is hit with leg bend, dismounts out of frame but it looked solid again. Wong slight wobble on loso series but the best amplitude of the day in her beam acro, just slightly wobbly on everything, though, stuck double full.

Who knows when we’ll see the final scores, but Nebraska shows the much stronger potential. Floor landings need work and beam was very tentative this time, but otherwise the team is on the right track. Sarah Miller for Ohio State is excellent, but the team is basically Miller and her merry 9.775s.

Florida ends up hitting beam for 49.275. 198 is probably gone but a hit floor will mean by far the highest score yet this season.

For the rest of the evening, I’ll probably go back and forth between Alabama and UCLA, and hopefully the Utah readers can keep us updated on the Utes’ performance.

Florida begins floor with two 9.750s from Stageberg and Wang, and Auburn’s quest for 196 begins with a 9.775, 9.700, and 9.800. Both 9.750s will count for Florida, so the Gators are probably looking more in the 197.500 range, but Kytra’s floor could put them in the 197.6s.

Caitlin Atkinson gets Auburn its 196 with a 9.875 beam anchor performance. Kutra finishes with a 9.925 (39.700 AA) and a team score of 197.650.

Alabama will begin on vault with Clark, Jacob, Sledge, Williams, Gutierrez, and Milliner.

Clark – lovely height on a yfull (no distance) with a stuck landing or perhaps a minor hop in place. 9.800
Jacob – some sloppy legs on the block and a step back – not nearly her best. 9.700
Kentucky has a slightly sloppy first routine with handstands and legs and a fall on a jaeger in the 2nd position.
Sledge – her usual excellent distance and flight, and her usual hop back as well. 9.875
It appeared last week like Kentucky has 4 routine on each event, and that is continuing. Third routine was solid with leg separations, and fourth routine has a severely missed hs and is otherwise fine.
Williams – does the 1.5 (nice to see) with a hop back. Good upgrade and better distance than she’s had in some past vaults. It won’t score as well as the Yfull right now, but it’s a forward-looking decision. 9.800
Gutierrez – similar to what we’ve seen – good distance but a pretty big step back. She’s not close to the stick yet. 9.825
Milliner – step forward on the Y1.5, so expect a 9.9 based on previous scores. (9.875)
Kentucky takes a fall in the final routine and will have to count a fall and a 9.6.
Beers does exhibition and barely hangs on to the Y1.5. Nice option to have, though.

Scoring was pretty fair in that first rotation, I thought. Alabama leads 49.175-48.300. Sledge is the only one who was notably high for me. The landings aren’t there yet for Alabama, and it shows in the score.

A bunch of 48.9 rotations between Denver and Arkansas so far. Arkansas will take it after last week.

Alabama on bars will be Sledge, Alexin, Jacob, Clark. DeMeo, Priess

Sledge – wonderful gienger, hit bail hs, slightly muscled kip, stuck DLO. Excellent. 9.875
First two vaulters for Kentucky struggle for scores that should be under 9.7.
Alexin –  usual leg separation on shaposh, and a slightly late pirouette, sticks double tuck, solid enough routine. (9.850)
Jacob shows one of her better routines, good amplitude in releases and stuck DLO.
Pretty strong Omelianchik from Harrison of Kentucky. Slight bend in knees and lack of distance but stuck.
Clark – only problem is a separation in the bail hs, shows the DLO full but it’s essentially piked with a step. Worth it? Not the way it was performed today.
Demeo – in the fifth position now, misses a couple handstands and hops back on the dismount.  
Priess – strong tkatchev to excellent pak, flings her DLO slights and has to fight a step slightly to get the landing.

Sledge was probably the best one for me for Alabama on bars, and there were a couple too many breaks to justify a 49.400. It was better than the last meet, though, in terms of those handstands. Halfway through in Alabama and the Tide is on 197 pace. Time to take a look in on UCLA.

The Bruins on bars started with a 9.750 from Francis and 9.800s from Courtney and DeJesus. Not a great start but fine. Mattie takes a slight hop in her DLO dismount. Wong goes over on her handstand on the bail hs and falls. Oh brother. Struggles. Who are these commentators? They’re struggling just as much as UCLA on bars. Zam was looking good until an uncharacteristically poor DLO with a step forward. 9.825, and that’s the best score of the rotation. Dearie me. UCLA leads 48.925-48.725.

Utah starts with a 49.175 with their bars rotation, led by a 9.875 from Dabritz after an overall mid-9.8 rotation. Alabama will be trying to recover from an early beam fall from Gutierrez.

Something terrible is happening with a sandwich on the ASU feed. I don’t understand people or their choices. I’m struggling with the UCLA/Arizona State feed, so I’m switching somewhere else. Hopefully the Bruins can pull it together. Fine vaults from McDonald and MDLT.

The feed from Arizona is in much better shape. Big struggle from Arizona on bars as I arrive from Mills.
Del Priore – VT – a little bit of bent legs and a major hop back on the landing.
Arizona is getting through these routines, but breaks abound with leg separations and handstands.
Dabritz – VT – lovely yfull – good height and a stuck landing, will be the highest score. 9.925
Lothrop – VT – sticks Omelianchik, almost, this is much improved over two weeks ago.
Cristello strongest so far for AZ, but also missed a couple handstands
Wilson – her usual stick, she’s improved the height over last season.

Utah will go 49.325 on vault because of strong performances from Dabritz and Wilson. UCLA recovers from a bars with a 49.350 on vault. Pritchett went over Sawa and Wong and scored a 9.800, but Zamarripa’s 9.950 lead the team. If UCLA hits beam, a mid-196 is still believable. 

Alabama counts a fall on beam so is now also looking at another mid-196 instead of a 197. I’m checking back in with them for the final rotation.
Arkansas and Denver both still struggling to get 49, but no one getting there. 

Priess will be in for Alabama on floor this week, which is a good step, but we’ll see how it goes. Kentucky starts beam with a fine hit.

Demeo – FX – big stumble out of her dbl pike, way OOB, and a miracle she didn’t fall. Still, the score will need to be dropped. 2.5 dismount is strong but also flirting with OOB.

Nervy performance from Mitchell for Kentucky, but she gets through it with some wobbles and a dismount step.

Sledge – FX – slides back out of her double back mount, really that’s the only thing to take in this routine (even though I wish I could take off for “not up to the talent level of the gymnast” for her layouts middle pass), and perhaps ever so slightly low on the double pike dismount. 9.875.

Kentucky is getting through it on beam with no major problems to deduct for. This rotation could save the meet for them a little bit to remain in 195s, perhaps.

Priess – FX – good double back to start, this is such an Alabama routine, and she’s hitting very well. There will be some who say she shouldn’t be in the lineup for lack of difficulty, but she can certainly be a top six scorer (or top three scorer) in form. Low on the dismount with a step back.

Gutierrez – FX – DLO is excellent and a great double pike to finish. Another very strong performance. That could go 9.9s. (9.900)

Jacob – FX – pike full is fine, but landing staggered takes away from it, small bounce out of a double pike with a low chest, a perfectly fine routine overall but not her best. Still, it goes 9.925 because she’s 5th perhaps? Gutierrez was clearly stronger.

Syd Sawa has come in for UCLA on floor and scored a 9.500 that will have to count. This is what happens when you can’t get Larson and Francis working floor at lineup level.

Kentucky takes a fall from the beam anchor and will finish at 194.800.

Milliner – FX – great dbl Arabian, needs a touch more control on the front 1/1 on the middle pass, and double pike looks strong. Similar to Jacob, good routine but not her best. 9.900

Alabama finishes with a 196.575, which is on par with how they have been performing this season so far. Florida will be the clear winner of the day.

Utah manages a 49.275 on floor. They’ve placed Tutka in the anchor position because she’s been the only one hitting in form so far, but I don’t see that as a strong long-term plan because they will get more value eventually from putting Dabritz there.

Keeping Zam off floor hurt UCLA this week because they had to count a 9.500 instead. 48.925 floor rotation means that even a 196.500 may be out of reach, and even a 196 is dependent on a 5/6 beam rotation.

Finals score from Arkansas: Arkansas 195.475, Denver 195.125

Utah in line for a 197 with a hit beam rotation, starts with Wilson. Major wobble on series but stays on. I don’t see her staying in this lineup. Hits 1.5 dismount.

Tutka struggles to hit her switch split and straddle 1/4, anotehr major wobble on her loso series, and again on her aerial cartwheel and barely stays on. Big struggle of a routine, so the 9.750 from Wilson will have to count. Commentators pronouncing it “Toot-ka.” Ha. I’m five.

Arizona being very 9.800 in the first two floor routines. Fine landings, missing dance elements and amplitude.

Hughes is the first to hit her series well, and is such a necessary newcomer to this rotation. Double full dismount is off to the side with a hop. That dismount will be the majority of the deductions.

Williams for Arizona has a bit more amplitude than the first two, some floppy legs in that dismount, but a perfectly fine routine.

Dabritz had no chance on her loso series from the beginning, was off on the bhs. So Toot-ka’s 9.575 will now count, so the first road 197 of the season is out of the picture. Poor girl, she can be great but hits so rarely.

Quirk is very low on her double pike landing and had crazy legs on her 2.5, but I do love to see a 2.5 middle pass in NCAA.

Lothrop in a must-hit. This is a carbon copy of almost all her routines, which is what you want on beam. She won’t ever be the big, big scorer because she barely gets an inch above the beam ever, but it’s a necessary hit with minimal wobbles.

I like this Kristin Klarenbach, good intensity and a mostly weird routine. Does a stag out of her middle pass that could have been confused for a lunge, honestly.

Lofgren has a very minimal wobble on the side somi, but this is a major improvement over the UCLA meet, good stick of a gainer full for what should be the best score.

In the final routine, Cristello lands a strong double arabian with a stick, but steps OOB on her double back middle pass that also could have used more amplitude. It’s tough in a combo pass. Fine double pike finish. The OOB will be the major deduction.  

Looks like Utah wll go 196.600, which is still one of the stronger road scores of the season. Arizona will just break 196 for 196.075

Still waiting on the final score from UCLA’s beam to finish up the meets for the day. It was a 9.775 in the beam anchor position, so UCLA finishes with a 196.375, which is a comparatively low score for what seemed to be an up-and-down meet overall. The lack of Zamarripa on two events was certainly a contributor, as was the slow start on bars. There is nothing really the matter with that score (and if this is their bad road meet of the season, then it’s much better than usual), but they won’t want to keep it for RQS. Arizona State finishes with 195.550.

[10] Stanford @ [9] Georgia Notes

Both Georgia and Stanford are currently languishing at the very bottom of the cool teams table, just above the also-rans. The top teams have now established a pace well into the 197s, so the highs for both of these teams (196.200 for Georgia and 196.025 for Stanford) are beginning to seem shabby by comparison. Stanford will be pleased by having better start than the team did last season, but Georgia will start to feel the pull of being left behind without a bigger score this weekend.

I wouldn’t characterize the situation for either team as anything nearing urgency, especially for a Stanford team that probably won’t peak until 11 minutes before Super Six again, but this will be the fourth meet for Georgia already, which means early-season kinks like beam composition credit and 9.5s and 9.6s on floor need to go away. We’re now starting to move out of “It’s early in the season” territory.

The meet begins at 2:00 ET/11:00 PT

Formatting things a little differently today. The lack of Ivana Hong is hurting me in my heart and brain and is going to hurt Stanford in its score and . . . score.

Christa Tanella was legitimately enjoyable in that interview, talking about keeping Shayla off the equipment because she’s totally going to get injured.

Brandie Jay coming in on bars is the only major change for Georgia from Friday. We don’t know what happened to Hong yet, but it will be rough for Stanford without her with routines coming in like Spinner on bars.

Rotation 1:
Georgia Vault
1. Davis – Yfull – very strong, stuck landing, good direction and excellent form. Strong start. Distance and amplitude are the only missing parts. (9.850) I could have seen 9.875-9.900 for that, actually. It would have received it later in the lineup.
2. Persinger – Yfull – too piked in the air and a major bounce out of it. Won’t score well. (9.750) Davis was more than a tenth better than that.
3. Cheek – Yfull – very nice stick, very similar to Davis with perhaps a bit stronger leg form. (9.925)
4. Rogers – Y1.5, near stick but takes a hop on the salute that she would have had to take anyway, a bit of direction but stronger than Friday’s vault. (9.900) The judge who gave a 9.950 credited it as a stick, but I wouldn’t have.
5. Hires – She didn’t get a great block at all and lost amplitude, held onto the stick, but had to swim for it with a very low chest. (9.825)
6. Jay – Y1.5, better direction than Rogers had but a hop forward on her landing. Probably the best I’ve seen her do, more contained. (9.900)

Stanford Bars
1. S. Morgan -piked jaeger ot overshoot is strong, good line, big step out of double front. Nice. (9.750)
2. Dayton – tkatchev opening lacks amplitude and she comes off, never got her grip, hits her handstands well, sticks a DLO with not a ton of flight. (9.200)
3. A. Morgan – hits piked jaeger, not a ton of complexity in this routine and it all feels a little rushed, but her DLO is nice and high and stuck. (9.850)
4. Vaculik -way close on her stalder shoot and has to muscle up, otherwise very strong routine so far, good elite amplitude, hop salute on the DLO. They are so pleased to have her back. (9.675)
5. Shapiro -handstands are beautiful, high staddle jaeger, clean pak, missing almost nothing in this routine, comes in a little short on her DLO and hops forward. (9.850)
6. Spinner – tkatchev opening, clean line, some leg separations, late on her blind full and a major step on the double back. She has potential on this event, but it’s clear why she hasn’t competed before. Important hit to erase the fall, though. (9.725)

Rotation 1 Scores: Georgia 49.400, Stanford 48.850
Georgia back to its comfort zone on vault with a very strong performance. Davis and Cheek vaulted about as well as they can, and there’s still some landing improvement that can come from Rogers and Jay. Hires and Persinger vaulted far from their best. Don’t be surprised by some home 49.500s as the season progresses.
Stanford certainly missed having Hong but also lost the opportunity to pick up tenths after a mistake from Vaculik and a slightly missed landing from Shapiro. Those potential 9.9s could have saved things and helped go over 49. This rotation is not as weak as the score reflects, though.

Rotation 2:
Georgia Bars
1. Cheek – a little struggle on first handstand, sticks the DLO the way we saw in those training videos that made everyone want her in the lineup. Good start. (9.875)
2. Jay -just catches her shaposh, sticks her tuck full dismount, strong debut for competition in this routine. (9.900)
3. Tanella -hits first hs, her biggest mistakes are late pirouettes, overbalances her final handstand and takes a step on the double tuck, far weaker than Friday’s routine. (9.750)
4. Rogers -stalder tkatchev is hit, and bail hs is clean, almost mostly stuck landing again on her tuck full, hop on salute. (9.875)
5. Worley -slightly flopping in catching her bail hs but fine, the handstands all could be better. Shayla-ed the DLO, lands short, but holds onto it with a big step forward. (9.850) Could have gone lower.
6. Davis -wonderful tkatchev as alwalys, hits bail hs, hitting all her handstands, sticks(?) tuck full dismount with a step salute. (9.900)

Stanford Vault
1. A. Morgan – Yhalf with that major hop that she usually has, otherwise fine form (9.725)
2. Rice -Yfull with a hop and a low chest on the landing. OK but just OK. (9.775)
3. Chuang -Another perfectly fine Yfull (9.825)
4. Vaculik -great distance on her Omelianchik, but tucks to land and takes a big step forward. (9.800)
5. Dayton – best vaulter on the team because she always sticks that Yhalf. Well done. (9.925)
6. Hanset – front pike half, lands low and has to take a big hop back. (9.800)

Rotation 2 Scores: Georgia 98.800, Stanford 97.975
Georgia now on pace for a 197.600, but that’s not going to happen. Unick is doing exhibition on bars, jaeger was far away but she fingertipped it, falls on double front. Fix the dismount and this could be a workable backup. I wasn’t completely happy with all of Georgia’s handstands this week. They weren’t missing them completely, but several of them we short in borderline deduction land. The freshmen are really standing out today. Aside from Cheek, the upperclassmen were just OK by their own standard. Davis had a great routine but she can and usually does stick that landing, which would have taken her to the 9.950 she usually gets.
Stanford is currently lacking both amplitude and landing on most of the vaults, two qualities that feed into each other. Aside from Dayton, none of these vaults can expect to go any higher than 9.800 until the tenths on landing are resolved.

Rotation 3:
Georgia Beam
1. Cheek – clean full turn, hits two loso series well, hits moonwalk (I can’t . . .), sticks gainer full dismount. Clean leadoff routine, good improvement. (9.875)
2. Tanella – major break on walkover but stays on, watch for the acro connection now, her splits seem improved? nowhere close on her side somi and comes off the beam, no way to save it. See, I compliment her interview at the beginning and now she has a bad meet. (8.800)
3. Persinger – slight wobble on L turn, good aerial, another huge break but she did well to stay on the beam. It will be a low score, though. She was going well before that. Hits 1.5 dismount. (9.625)
4. Rogers – minor wobbles on dance but should get dance combo, hits bhs 3/4, aerial + bhs is good this time at least to me, a few wobbles but probably the best she’s done, a little floppy crooked leg on her bhs full but she hits and sticks the dismount. Still problems over SV. 9.8 SV. I spoke too soon about her getting it. I thought she would/should have. Problems problems problems. Her previous mistakes have made judges wary about giving her connection, perhaps, judging her more harshly than they would judge others. (9.550)
5. Worley – hitting confidently, her usual great routine and a bit better on the gainer full landing than we have seen. (9.875)
6. Earls – hits two loso series, leaps look good, minor correction on side aerial to side position, step back on the cowboyed double back dismount. Good routine. (9.900).

Stanford Floor
1. S. Morgan – she may have died on the floor, no just a music problem, hits double pike, major stumble on her 1.5 + layout and is nowhere hear around on her layout and falls, a little short on the double tuck. Rough start. (9.000)
2. Rice – Strong double pike start, she looks so much like Cassie, slight stumble out of layouts second pass but stays in, falls on her turn. Hey, Kim Kelly. Low double tuck. We get word that Ivana is fine. (9.025)
3. Shapiro – slight stumble on her 1.5 + front full, a bit low on her double back, fine tumbling but not the most secure she can do, 1.5 + front tuck. OK but needs more time. (9.800)
4. Hanset – 2.5 + front tuck to mount, hit routine with proficient tumbling. Good recovery routine. (9.875)
5. A. Morgan – Big stumble out of double arabian that will drop her score significantly, but otherwise good tumbling and expression. I think I might like this choreography. Why is she not anchoring?(9.850)
6. Chuang – low landing on the double back mount, layout + layout full is almost completely in control but does almost step out, 1.5 + layout dismount is strong. There’s not a lot of difficulty in this lineup aside from Morgan’s mount, but they recovered to hit. (9.825)

Rotation 3 Scores: Georgia 147.625, 146.350
Whitney Kirby takes a fall on her series in beam exhibition. Georgia had a couple highlights in that rotation. Cheek looked strong and Earls was fine. Shayla showed her usual nice beam work. Otherwise, they cannot continue putting up Rogers until they are positive she’s going to get her 10 SV. Tanella was all over the place and Persinger had a major break, so all told 48.825 could have been worse based on the level of performance.
It was a bizarre fall from Rice on her turn that killed Stanford’s floor rotation after Shona Morgan’s fall. Ashley Morgan is the class of this group as she has been for the last couple of seasons, and there are some solid leadoff-type routines peppered throughout the rest of the lineup, but Hong and Shapiro will need to give them more than the 9.8s the others can provide for this to eventually become a 49.300 rotation.

Rotation 4:
Georgia Floor
1. Earls – double pike mount is strong, this was the only good routine in that very first meet against Oklahoma, and she’s hitting again. (9.900)
2. Tanella -hits double pike, lands out on her second pass before the stag jump, but did the flag go up? Rudi dismount is fine. There were definitely parts of that heel that were OOB on the second pass. Apparently not. OK. (9.850)
3. Hires – slightly low chest on double pike landing. This is much improved so far, again low on the double tuck landing but it’s a hit. (9.875)
4. Persinger – Similary to Hires, she’s hitting her tumbling with confident landings but I’d like to see a higher chest in the landing position, underrotated on her rudi with a hop forward. Areas to improve for her, but she’s starting to inch toward her potential. (9.825)
5. Jay – good double pike, strong landing on front 2/1 + tuck, this is the best she’s been until the double tuck dismount, overrotated and bounced well back, landing also looked a little locked. Otherwise the tumbling is more powerful than Hires or Persinger. (9.850)
6. Worley – good double pike, crazy legs on middle pass with a minor stumble out of it, rudi is fine with a low chest. Hit routine, improvement from Friday. (9.900)

Stanford Beam
1. S. Morgan – wobble on front aerial before a split jump, good loso series, more wobbles here, she looks close but minorly just off on all her acro. (9.675)
2. Vaculik – hits loso, split positions are good, stumble on her side aerial but remains on the beam well, big step back out of double full dismount. Too many stumbles. (9.800)
3. A. Morgan – big wobble on loso series but saves as well, minor step out of punch front and another minor step out of double tuck dismount. (9.800)
4. Spinner – She was the 9.900 star last season. Performing that was right now. Hits double full with maybe a minor step. Should be the best score so far. (9.925)
5. Hanset – check on her loso series, like the beam caught her a little earlier than she was expecting, another check on the aerial and then again on the side somi, should be similar to Vaculik and Morgan in scoring. Hits 1.5 dismount. (9.750)
6. Rice – takes a wobble on her opening acro, but I’m pleased to see her on beam. Slight check on series, sticks gainer full. Fine debut, but not a packed or lengthy routine. (9.775)

Final Scores: Georgia 197.000, Stanford 195.400
We saw some Georgia scoring at this meet, particularly in the last rotation that could realistically have gone several tenths lower and still reflected reality, and I wouldn’t look at this performance and say it was a 197, though it was clearly the strongest performance of the year so far. Vault and bars are farther along than beam or floor, and I was impressed with Jay and Rogers on both those events, moving toward being worhy of those consistent 9.9s that we will expect from them every week. The consistency isn’t there on beam (and the lineup probably still needs some tweaking; it’s the event where Couch is missed), and the tumbling on floor is just OK but will pale in comparison to some of the more powerful teams. Kati Breazal hits a perfectly fine floor exhibition to finish the day.

Without Hong, Stanford looked generally depleted and uncertain today. It’s clear that landings have not been as much of a priority because the Cardinal incurred multiple tenths per rotation because of big bounces out of landings. Right now, we’re seeing a situation where the freshmen are just OK and not yet ready to bring in those notable scores, so it will be up to the likes of Vaculik and Shapiro to be a bit more secure to make up for the major scores lost from last year’s seniors.

All Friday’s Disasters (and Successes or Whatever)

Friday’s live feeds:
7E/4P Missouri @ Florida (free)
7E/4P Arkansas @ Kentucky (paid)
7:30E/4:30P Auburn @ Georgia (paid)
8:30E/5:30P LSU @ Alabama (free)
10E/7P Cal, UIC, UCD @ Washington (free)

It’s a busy Friday of SEC action with lots of opportunities for movement at the top of the rankings. I will be interested to see if Rhonda has changed Florida’s beam lineup after counting a fall at LSU (putting in Ashanee?) or if it remains the same. Georgia’s first two meets have been marked by too many 9.6s (meaning that they’ve been getting 9.6s), and those will need to disappear, especially at home. I expect a big-scoring meet between LSU and Alabama, and it will be vital to watch how LSU’s home scores compare to road scores.


I’ll probably start with a second of Kentucky and Arkansas, then I will move to Auburn/Georgia, then check in on a bit of LSU/Alabama. It should be a fun day.

Florida is offering a free preview of their streaming service for this meet, but you have to create an account, which was already too much work for me to be worth it to watch 3/4 of a vault rotation before I switch to Georgia’s meet. Lazy alert!

Macko in on vault for Florida tonight, no Sloan.

I haven’t seen anything from Kentucky in a while, and we started vault with a proficient Yfull followed by a very pikey one with an uncontrolled landing.

2nd bars worker from Arkansas (Elswick) goes over on a handstand and has to improvise, then has crazy legs on a few skills including the bail hs. It won’t be a high score. The first vault was encouraging for Kentucky, but the following ones have been far from competition level. We may be having a score issue on that bars routine for Arkansas.

3rd on bars for Arkansas (Glover?)  (I’m realizing how few of the new ones I recognize at this point) is much stronger. Low amplitude on the jaeger, but an overall solid routine. Love that I just saw a front handspring vault from Kentucky. Good form, just a step forward.

Salmon also puts up a perfectly fine bars routine, but amplitude and handstands still aren’t quite there. Pretty good flight on a yfull from Kentucky, but she still piked and had a wonky landing, which it wouldn’t seem like she needed based on the height.

Lewis falls on a Jaeger that was way too far from the bar, so Arkansas will be counting a 9.350. You can see why Cunningham in the anchor for Kentucky on vault with that line and landing position, but she tried to salute through what was an obvious step. The judges won’t be fooled.

Question: where is Miss Katherine Grable? This meet will be trouble without her. Freier goes on bars and is a little erratic and floppy but she gets through it. Needs a little more control in that routine. Arkansas will be trailing after the first because of counting a fall. Kentucky has four vaults but needs six.

Georgia time? Georgia time. Anyone watching any of the other meets can keep everyone updated.

Florida alert: Ashanee got a 9.975 on vault. She usually doesn’t get 10s because of legs.49.325 for Florida. They are on pace for that 197.225 they need to pass UCLA.

Georgia lineup:
Vault – Davis, Persinger, Cheek, Rogers, Hires, Jay
Bars – Cheek, Hires, Tanella, Rogers, Worley, Davis
Beam – Cheek, Tanella, Persinger, Rogers, Worley, Earls
Floor – Earls, Tanella, Hires, Persinger, Jay, Worley

No surprises there. the only change is Tanella’s placement on beam, going earlier after her fall last week.

Our second-tier teams are in 9.800-watch right now. Through one rotation, Kentucky has two, Arkansas has one, and Missouri has zero.Ashanee starts on bars for FL with a 9.850.

Davis starts on vault for UGA – best one she’s done so far, best landing position with a hop back. Still missing a little distance, which will keep her around 9.800. (9.775 – fine, fair)

Kluz for AU is clean on bars.

Persinger pikes a little and has a bigger hop back. Better distance than Davis but otherwise weaker.

Guy – AU – UB – clean in first standstand and straddle back, major leg sepration on the blind ful, but sticks the double tuck and has a nice tkatchev. Good efficient 2nd up.

Cheek – UGA – VT – very nice yfull with a stick. This is Georgia’s clear strength this season and it shows. Will be in the 9.9s. (9.900) I thought it would go 9.925. I’m surprised a judge gave it 9.850.

Habicht looked a little far away in her jaeger but caught it. A few of these DLO dismount are lacking in amplitude, a couple hops in place.

Rogers – UGA – VT – Y1.5 with some bent knees and a hop to the side on landing, glad to see the difficulty, and it was a near stick.

Walker struggles in one handstand but keeps going, bigger DLO than the others but and uncertain landing with a large step forward.

Hires – UGA – VT – Doesn’t get quite the block she should so missed some amplitude. Big tuck in the air and pike in landing but a controlled hop in place.Will be low and could/should be credited as tucked.

Atkinson’s (minor) experience at the elite level shows in her amplitude. Good stuck tucked full and a very strong routine overall. They will love having this routine for the next four years. She was a serious recruiting get for Auburn.

Jay – UGA – VT- Y1.5, barely gets it around with a major step back. Some weakness in the vault lineup today. Lots of unexpected bent knees in the air.

Petrina Yokay – love the Bhardwaj in this routine, just a minor step on the double back landing, but she is the most explosive and engaging worker for Auburn with her speed. Her name seems like a sentence. Petrina, y’okay?

Georgia leads 49.150-49.125.  

Macko gets a 10 for Florida. I’d love to see the video of it at some point. She’s had it coming for two seasons now, so it’s hardly surprising. Florida is able to drop a fall from Sloan and go 49.600 on bars. I predicted we’d see a 49.700 at some point this season, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. 198 is unlikely, but breaking that 197.425 barrier looks well within reach.

This has been a very rough meet for Arkansas, trailing Kentucky by a significant margin at the halfway point. 

Vault has been the good event for Georgia this season, and they gave away way too many tenths. They will have to improve on the other events to make sure they stay out of 195 land.

Auburn shows a Yfull with low amplitude but a controlled landing. Cheek starts on bars for UGA with a very clean routine, comes in a little short on her DLO with a major step back. The tkatchev was very high but she caught it a bit close with some bent arms.

My internet is having some emotional problems, so bear with me and talk amongst yourselves.

Hires finishes her DLO with a minor hop back.

Yokay on vault shows a hs pike 1/2 with a major hop back. Good power but not controlled in the landing. Tanella had gotten a bit more methodical and less flingy on bars which is helping her score. She’s starting to warrant 9.8s. (9.875). They think it was low. I would have gone 9.850, so let’s not pretend it was a masterpiece. It was proficient.

Rogers on bars, Kevin knows the term Ricna out there for us (definite points for that), great elegance on the stalders from Rogers, hits handstands, barely hangs onto the stick on the tuck full. Very strong routine. That’s more what a 9.9 looks like. (9.875) I would have gone 9.900 on that one, but these scores are valid.

Auburn is vaulting solidly with good power on their Yfulls. The landings aren’t quite there yet. Most are incurring .1 with steps. Shayla hits bars well but not her best, one rushed hs. The DLO still doesn’t get high enough, but it has improved and she lands well. (9.850) Probably fair.

Atkinson had a good yfull in the air but flew into Atlanta on the landing and will score low because of that. 

Davis has the best combination of amplitude and elegance and sticks her tuck full better than Rogers stuck hers. No fighting for it. That was the best routine they’ve had, and I would even potentially go 9.950 for that. (9.950 – even though the judges have been way apart on their scores, I think they’re balancing out to do a good job)

We didn’t see Jay’s routine, but I’m surprised she hasn’t come in for Hires yet. Georgia goes 49.400 on bars for by far their best bars performance yet. The landings were vastly improved. Georgia 98.550, Auburn 98.125.

Florida won’t be going quite as high on beam, counting already a 9.750 from Stageberg. Kentucky is in line for a big win over Arkansas. No Grable today for Ark, and they are not a competitive team without her. Kentucky has a couple of strong routines on each event, and I think a ranking somewhere in that 15-20 range will be attainable for them.

Florida goes 49.175 on beam, led by a 9.900 from Sloan (good recovery). No King on beam this week.

Cheek takes a fall on beam, and Kluz starts floor for Auburn with a pike full in (good difficulty but a stumbly landing that will incur deductions).

Tanella hits her walkover + bhs connections well, solid sheep jump, one of the best she’s done until the side somi, which was wobbly, takes a big hop on her gainer full salute which will be deducted and was not necessary. (9.750)

Similarly to Kluz, Garcia starts with difficulty (2.5) but takes a big stumble out of it that will hurt her score. If they gets these landings worked out, this will be an impressive rotation, but we will see some lower scores today. Control, control, control.

Persinger drops the leg slightly on her L turn but fine. Everything is minorly off but she’s pulling it back well. A harsher judge will have seen deductions on each skill so far, though. Just a bit tentative. It’s a good hit after a fall, though. Very nice 1.5 dismount. 

Kaddous comes in form Auburn on floor and goes OOB on a 1.5 punch front, with a major error (but not quite a fall) on the double pike dismount. She came in at the last minute to this lineup.

Rogers looks strong (a little back leg issue on split positions), until major wobbles on the walkover and full turn. Hits the bhs full + layout full dismount perfectly, but the two major wobbles will destroy hope for a good score. Hmm, didn’t get credit for an acro series. She’s had composition problems every week. That can’t be allowed anymore. I think the judges are going to have a chatty chat about that.

Webster is incurring landing deductions on her tumbling, but she was a bit more comfortable in her pike full in mount.

Still talking about the Rogers routine. 9.275.

Shayla hits her routine quite well, good elegance as always, and also as always, the gainer full is the weakest part of the routine, but just a step this time.

Atkinson does another pike full in for Auburn and has some crazy legs but sticks it. Low tumbling a few times but a more confident routine and a hit.

Earls wobbles on her loso + loso, step on the double tuck dismount. It’s a nice routine when a nice routine was vital. They’ll have to count a poor score from Rogers, and they have to fix that routine.

Guy’s DLO is massive, which is what needs to be said about this routine. A little stumble out of her middle pass. It’s interesting how often powerful gymnasts hit a great, difficult first pass and then struggle with the easier combination pass. Still should be the best score for them.

This meet just got close. I’ll keep you posted on the scores. 

Alabama time? Alabama time.

Arkansas finished with a 193.075, recording just three routines that hit the 9.800 mark (all 9.825s). Kentucky wins by several points with what should be a solid score for their RQS.195.500.

Sloan has come in on floor for Florida and scored a 9.775, which will have to count. The Gators are farther behind on beam and floor for the most part.

Apologies for missing the beginning of Alabama/LSU, but now we have Clark on vault. 9.825 from jacob.

Clark – Al – VT – Very good amplitude and a great landing, a little low chest which will bring down the score slightly. 9.900

Savona – LSU – UB – misses hirst hs, a little leg separation in the transition, tkatchev is fine but missing amplitude, DLO is solid. It’s not her strong event, but it’s a hit routine.

Sledge – Al – VT – Bounces out of her yfull to the fune of .100, but good form in the air and power. 9.850.

Hall – LSU – UB – misses first hs, Jaeger is close and caught with bent elbows, bail hs is OK, flings DLO a little with a major step back. Not a great routine. It’s a hit but there’s a lot to take. 9.700

Williams – Al – VT – good to see her in. She sticks her yfull, which is what she does, but the amplitude and distance can improve, which would take her into 9.950 territory. (9.925 – a smidge high for me, but sticks always make everything else look better. If there were a .05 step on this vault, no way it goes over 9.850)

Wyrick – LSU – UB – completely overbalances her first hs, goes over and has to come off the bars. A little talking to from Jay. Big leg break in the pirouette, She has the line but not the routine yet, major nounce out for DLO.

Guti – Al – VT – the distance is to die for, a step on the landing with a bounce, but otherwise very strong. She’ll be sticking in good time.

Courville – LSU – UB – very nice Jaeger, woah, completely botches her toe shoot and is nowhere close to the bar. That’s a very rare error. Did her foot get stuck so she couldn’t release it. That’s a shame. Counting a fall on bars now. She didn’t redo the transition, so will she lose for composition? 9.100

Milliner- AL – VT – Minor hop in place on her otherwise excellent Y1.5. I’d probably go 9.900 for it, and that’s what she gets.

Morrison – LSU – UB – A little rushed in her first hs, good piked Jaeger, big routine for 9.925 to save them.

Alabama finishes vault with a big 49.425, led by Williams and her 9.925. It’s vital that she be in the lineup. I wonder if we will see that Y1.5 at any point.  LSU goes 48.400.

Florida is led on floor with a 9.900 from Dickerson. The Gators go 197.300, which is short of the highest score but will move them up just past UCLA in the rankings for the time being. Dickerson wins AA, VT, and FX. Caquatto wins bars obviously, and Sloan wins beam.They achieved this score without Hunter on floor, King on beam, and Johnson and Sloan on vault.

Georgia is working to drop a 9.500 from Hires on floor, and Auburn will be counting a 9.550 on beam. They were so close to getting a better score.If Georgia can get hits from Jay and Worley, they could work this into a respectable score.

Does Alabama take longer between rotations than other schools, or is it just having to look at these people that makes it take forever?

Dickson – LSU – VT – pikes on a yfull but also sticks. Good start.

Sledge – AL – UB – Nice Gienger, hits bail hs, why is she still leading off after all these years of being excellent? Usual strong DLO with a minor hop in place. Strong routine. 9.900

Hall – LSU – VT – Well that was quite a little fall there.

“Don’t take picture with flash bulbs.” Flash bulbs? What year is this? We just say flash.

Alexin – AL – UB – She rushes her routines a bit which makes it hard for her to show handstands. Pretty good but a hop on the dismount and worse by being compared to Sledge. 9.850.

Savona – LSU – VT – Excellent Yfull with a stick. That’s what she crucially brings to this team. Great recovery from the Lloiminica Hall saga. 9.875

Jacob – AL – UB – hugely misses first hs and subsequent ones, gets better as the routine goes, sticks a very nice DLO. Must improve the beginning because the judges can just destroy that hs that was closer to horizontal than vertical. 9.775

Mathis – LSU – VT – A little lock-legged on her yhalf landing, but saves it with just a step back.

Clark – AL – UB – Good ray, she’s also a little short on her hs positions but nothing dire. Good high DLO but a step back. Fine routine but nothing that will score impressively high. 9.775

Morrison – LSU – VT – Nice clean yfull with a hop back for .100, worse landing than Savona but better dynamics, so scores could be equivalent. 9.850

Update: Shayla 9.375ed on floor. Georgia goes 196.050 to Auburn’s 195.700

Priess – AL – UB – wonderful tkatchev pak, better precision in her handstands than the last couple, that’s certain. Her usual Priess work, really. 9.900

Courville- LSU – VT – wonderful height and distance, a hop back, and potentially some minor knee form in the air but it was hard to tell. It will be a good score for LSU, but not quite Alabama’s number. 9.900

Demeo – AL – UB -again misses her first hs, hits jaeger, this is a competend routine but I don’t see why it’s anchoring other than having the most difficult dismount. Step back on DLO full. (9.900 – high)

Is Kayla Williams going to exhibition bars? Really? MLT made her a better bars worker, but I don’t see this routine in the lineup. It can go, certainly, and she hit her dismount well, but it’s still quite flat. 

After two: Alabama 98.775, LSU 97.750. Can Alabama beat Florida’s score for the day?

That’s it for me for the routine-by-routine talk, but I’ll be checking in throughout the evening. Over in Oklahoma, the Sooners have been 49.275ing everyone to death in their first home meet and can potentially hit 197 with this performance depending on floor. 9.9s so far from Spears on vault and Kmieciak on bars (that’s a big deal).

Putting together the other results, Oklahoma had a huge 49.425 on floor to record a 197.325 to just outpace Florida’s score. Denver also continues a fine start with a 195.850. Alabama surprisingly has to count an error on floor with low scores from Gutierrez and Milliner, and yet Alabama still scores a 196.575, which would have been over 197 otherwise. LSU had a poor balance beam rotation to go with the poor floor score, and the Tigers score just a 195.525, which will hurt their average noticeably. 

Utah @ UCLA Live Blog

Wait, college gymnastics live on television? What is this glamorous life I’m leading? Am I a movie star?

More please

I don’t know what to expect from this meet, which is the usual narrative for UCLA but slightly new territory for Utah. The Utes, especially without Delaney and Allex for the time being, are unusually patchy in some of these lineups. At the same time, they are still able to show more than six competition-ready routines on each event, so they are still ahead of UCLA, who put out six routines on each piece last week but really had five floor routines and 2.75 vaults. Fortunately, good, responsible Utah always gives us the lineups in advance.

UCLA lineups: (Note: UCLA lineups always change after warmups)
Vault: McDonald, Sawa, Pritchett, Courtney, Baer, Zamarripa
Bars: Francis, Courtney, De Jesus, Larson, Wong, Zamarripa
Beam: Baer, Larson, Courtney, De Jesus, Zamarripa, Francis
Floor: McDonald, Bynum, De Jesus, Pritchett, Zamarripa, Courtney

Is Bynum really any more ready to compete floor than she was last week? I’m not going to be happy with that floor lineup until Larson and Francis are in (so, never). Pritchett looked months away from being competition-ready on vault in exhibition last week, but then again so did Wong in her actual competition routine. Courtney is in on beam. Hitting is a victory. I’m disappointed to see wonderful Lichelle Wong on only one event, but she didn’t exactly earn her other spots last week.

Utah lineups:
Vault: Lofgren, Damianova, Del Priore, Dabritz, Lothrop, Wilson
Bars: Lofgren, Hughes, Damianova, Hansen, Lothrop, Dabritz
Beam: Wilson, Tutka, Hughes, Dabritz, Lothrop, Lofgren
Floor: Lofgren, Damianova, Wilson, Tutka, Lothrop, Dabritz

Red alert: that beam lineup. I’ll need to be proven wrong. It’s nice to see Hughes in on two events, though. Are we dealing with an injury for Lopez? I would have expected her on multiple events, otherwise. The first couple vaulters will have trouble scoring well, but they can certainly hit. That’s about the bars lineup I would expect except for Lopez being out. I’m pleased to see Dabritz in the AA. She needs to be there every meet and needs to be outscoring Lothrop on two to three events.

The meet begins promptly at 7:30 PT (10:30 ET), and is available on the Pac-12 network.


Notes here when the competition begins or just before. What does everyone expect from this meet?

Catching up on the end of Ohio State/Oregon State, which is on before the meet begins. This isn’t in HD, though. What is this, the 50s? Oregon State at least managed to avoid another disaster in this meet. When everyone’s really relieved about a 195.375 . . . Amanda Borden is pretending we don’t know the result until the final score.

Earlier in this meet Amanda Borden called a Yurchenko layout 1/2 a Yurchenko Arabian. Is that proper terminology? Doesn’t it need to have a half turn before a front salto to be an Arabian?

Soon to start now for UCLA and Utah. The routines will start only shortly after the coverage begins.

Introducing Peng at the beginning only makes us miss her more. Live college gymnastics in HD. Pac-12 Network, you’re my hero. Dozens of people are waiting for the meet to start. Amanda Borden’s preview amounted to “This is a gymnastics meet.”

Rotation 1: UCLA on vault, Utah on bars 
Val is looking stern and ready for TV. Good job, lady. Everyone’s all dressed up looking dapper in their suits.

McDonald – UCLA – VT – Yfull, good stick, unexpectedly strong, a little bent knees and not a ton of amplitude, but much better than last week. (9.875) It’s going to be a big scoring meet.

Lofgren – Utah – UB -I’d like a little more flight on the tkatchev, completely goes over on handstand on the low bar and has to come off. Flung DLO dismount with crazy EHH legs. Poor start.

Sawa – UCLA – VT – Let’s hope for better than last week – Better landing, hop back, not as strong as McDonald, but more flight than last week. (9.800)

Hughes – Utah – UB – good positions, line, and toe point. Hits bail hs well, they need her on this event like no one’s business, sticks tuck full dismount. That should go high-ish. I’d like more counter rotation on the tkatchev, ideally. (9.850)

MDLT – UCLA – VT – In for Pritchett, good. A little shuffle on the landing, but her usual 9.800-9.850 vault. Nice to see her in the lineup today. (9.825)

Damianova – Utah – UB – totally botches a kip cast handstand and came off. What happened there? She was going for a toe-on shaposh and missed her toe. Did she really need to come off? Maybe. Finishes up well but just a double back dismount. (9.225)

Courtney – UCLA – VT – Yes you did! Great amplitude and a stick. Should easily go 9.9. (9.900)

Hansen – Utah – UB – lover he toe point and stalder. Completely misses her jaeger. This is such an unexpected start for Utah. They don’t do this. Crazy legs in a cast up, Good tuck full. This looks like nerves more than lack of preparation.

Baer – UCLA – VT – Landing is good. Her block still has crazy legs and misses a little amplitude, but it should be a 9.825 or something. (9.875 – a touch high)

Lothrop – Utah – UB – piked jaeger, hit, a couple early short handstands, but this is the best orutine they’ve had, stuck DLO. They needed that. That’s what she brings to this team. (9.850)

Zam – UCLA – VT – 1/2 layout 1/2, pikes again and bounces out of it like crazy. Honestly should be the lowest score of the rotation, but who knows if it will happen. Variety is great, but they’re giving a lot away. (9.825)

Dabritz – Utah – UB – slightly past on the first ahndstand but fine, good jaeger, everything else is excellent, minor step on tuck full. Lothrop and Dabritz saved this. (9.875)

After 1 event:  UCLA 49.300 Utah 48.075

This is a different UCLA team in terms of landings than last week. They still aren’t there with the amplitude and distance, and they need to take a look at that Zamarripa situation, but they came to stick today, and that can make all the difference. Utah has to count two falls, and some of those mistakes were so uncharacteristic like Damianova just sort of flopping off after a missed foot. Dabritz, Lothrop, and Hughes will be the class of the lineup and showed it. They are missing Lopez’s 9.800.

Rotation 2: UCLA on bars, Utah on vault
Utah needs a recovery. The Lofgren and Damianova vaults will be crucial and need to be 9.800 to keep things in shape for the top women. UCLA needs to stay on course. I’m interested to see how De Jesus scores this week after last week’s creative scoring choice of 9.900.

Oh brother. Don’t ask basketball coaches to do commercials. That’s like rule #1.

Lofgren – Utah – VT – Yfull, short, low landing and lacks a little amplitude and distance. Not a huge vault. (9.700)

Francis – UCLA – UB – same problem as Damianova but didn’t come off, which also should have happened to Damianova. Big bounce forward after double pike dismount. Not a good routine, lots of breaks. Shame. (9.675)

Damianova – Utah – VT – Yfull, very nice, very little movement on landing. She pikes and flexes feet on this vault, but better than I’ve seen from her sometimes. (9.825)

Courtney – UCLA – UB – good shaposh, clean bail hs, step back on tuck full but she usually sticks. Would have been great other than that. Still Strong. (9.850)

Del Priore – Utah – VT -Good height, a little low but very minorly, hop back. Some bent knees in the air, should score similarly to Damianova. (9.850)

De Jesus – UCLA – UB – better first hs, crazy legs on her Gienger again and comes off. Francis will have to count. They started so well. Hits bail hs, had a lot of height on the tuck full but took a major step back. (9.300)

Amanda is pretending that UCLA is known for its level of consistency.

Dabritz – Utah – VT – beautiful Yfull, just a minor step back when saluting. Good direction, good toes, good amplitude. Well done.  (9.875)

Larson – UCLA – UB – It’s a must hit situation for Larson, which is a scary sentence. missed hs slightly on bail hs, tkatchev needs more amplitude as always, hop forward on DLO. Fine but not amazing. The handstands have improved. (9.875 – highish)

Lothrop – Utah – VT – Omelianchik, just slightly under but saves it with just a step back. She can do this vault better than that this year. That looked closer to last year. (9.800)

Wong – UCLA – UB -misses first hs, good jaeger, very precise bail hs, a little short on DLO and hop forward. Not nearly as strong as last week. This is a much more nervy rotation than it was last week. (9.900 – way high)

Wilson – Utah – VT – Great amplitude and a stuck landing, a bit better distance than last year, just minorly low in the chest when she lands. (9.900)

Zamarripa – UCLA – UB – handstands like Zam, lovely stalder that I live for, nothing wrong with this so far, stuck DLO. I’d take .05 for the leg break on the bail hs, but this will be in the 9.9s. Should be an 11 if Wong was a 9.9. (9.975) Career high-tying routine.

After 2: UCLA 98.575, Utah 97.325

Well, so much better from Utah on vault. There’s some improvement there from last year and aslo some room for improvement still from some. The landings were nice for a first meet. UCLA got some charity on that bars rotation because it was noticeably worse than last week. Still a 49.275 is strong. Zamarripa was lovely as always, but not quite 10 lovely. It will be all about beam for UCLA. They’re on pace for a 197 right now, but still . . . beam.

Peszek hopping around on that boot pretending to do warmups. That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.

This could be Utah’s strongest event, and beam is beam, so I expect some tightening of the margin, which is 1.250 right now and would need a counting fall to change entirely.

Baer – UCLA – BB – good switch side, hits side somi, popa is slightly under the full turn but no problem there and no wobble, just the dismount left, minor hop on the loso+full. Good hit to start. (9.775)

Lofgren – Utah – FX – double pike is strong to start, dance elements just a little under 180, bigger bounce outof the whip double full, rudi + loso with some sloppy legs and not a ton of power on that punch into the loso. (9.800)

Larson – UCLA – BB -lovely split position in mount, no wobbles on dance combo this week, hits aerial + bhs a little slow in the connection but should get credit, methodical but composed, gainer back pike dismount (which I don’t love) but executed well. (9.850)

Damianova – Utah – FX – good tight double tuck, back 1/5 + layout is strong, not much to deduct so far, she remembers to smile for a second, a little low in the double pike but fine. Strong. (9.850)

Courtney – UCLA – BB – huge wobble on her loso and grabs the beam, followed by wobbles. She didn’t need that major break because she looked right on line with the beam in the air. More wobbles on the punch front. This is the same as her first routine last season so far, extremely tentative. Double back is fine with a step forward. (9.525)

Wilson – Utah – FX – DLO is high but she bounces back and goes OOB (questionable but the flag went up, Tom isn’t happy and I think he has a point, she looked just in to me), minor stumble on the front full landing, another bounce out of the high double tuck. Not her best on those landings.(9.725)

De Jesus – UCLA – BB – major wobble on front aerial but hangs on, strong moving past that, she has refocused on the performance after the mistake, which will make her a Val favorite. Front hs + tuck 1.5 is not my favorite dismount (don’t really love the fhs), minor step. Overall a hit. Val is expressing exactly what I thought she would. (9.825)

Tutka – Utah – FX – good precise tuck full to start, she has put the most energy and confidence into the tumbling of the Utah gymnasts we’ve seen so far, needs to work on her horizontal leg on that wolf jump, sticks double tuck dismount. (9.850)

Zamarripa – UCLA – BB – going 5th to protect Francis in the last spot, her full turn is like water, minor wobble on onodi, again on the walkover, loso series is great. Val is right, she does give herself too much time to make mistakes. Sticks double full. I see high 9.8s in her future for that routine. (9.925 – slightly high for a routine with 2 clear, if minor, wobbles)

Lothrop – Utah – FX – a little low in her tuck full and a hop to the side, otherwise it’s a strong routine that should continue this 9.850 trend that Utah has gotten into on floor. They’ve fixed things after bars. (9.825)

Francis – UCLA – BB – needs to help drop that 9.525 and redeem after a wonky bars routine. Val is doing some talking and Danusia looks pertrified. Lovely dance elements with hit split positions, slow in the aerial bhs connection but will get credit, floppy leg in L turn but no wobble, dismount left, stick or near stick on the loso full dismount. Good hit overall. No low scores counting. (9.925)

Dabritz – Utah – FX – I could have done with her changing this music this year, very low landing on the pike full with the chest down. She’ll get there but that skill clearly needs a bit more time, nearly there on the 3/1 but had to readjust her feet after being slightly underrotated, which made it look worse. (9.775)

All of a sudden, UCLA gets a 49.300 on beam after those final two 9.925s. They need just a 49.125 to get the first 197 of the season. Still some questions in that floor lineup, though.

After 3 Rotations: UCLA 147.875, Utah 146.425

I don’t see any problems for Utah on floor. They need a little bit more time on some of those passes, but I expect this to be a 49.300 before long. It was 49.100 today. Tutka looked the most confident and farthest along. I love that Francis hit well for UCLA, but I don’t see Courtney staying in that lineup if Wong gets herself together.

Rotation 4: UCLA on floor, Utah on beam

Wilson – Utah – BB – two loso series, hits well, straddle 3/4 is on, she was doing well until the back pike and then came off on it. Amanda is disappointed that she came off on such an easy skill. Rough fall in the first routine. She was being a solid Jennifer Lauer before that. (9.275)

McDonald – UCLA – FX – music started before she was ready, Val stops the routine, a little low on double pike but good landing, I love that she has emerged as a competition performer on two events, some twisted legs on the second pass, dismounts with a strong rudi. Deductions on each pass but they were minor. Good hit to lead off.  (9.850)

Tutka – Utah – BB – hits loso series right on, minorly tentative on her side aerial but hits it with no wobble, was that supposed to be a gainer dismount or did she miss a foot? Funny angle on that one. Good landing, though. Important hit. (9.750)

Bynum – UCLA – FX – bounce out of double pike but she doesn’t go OOB. I don’t see this being in the lineup all season, and she needs to work a little bit more on her facial commitment, but she’s hitting so far, tuck double back is short but she stayed upright this week so it’s an improvement. They’ll probably still want to drop it. (9.800)

Hughes – Utah – BB – wobbles on loso series but saves it well, something flies off her hair mid-routine, good switch split + side aerial, a little rushed in some dance elements and not quite hitting the positions, but that’s the only problem. Minor hop on double full. This is very lineup. Great debut meet for her.  (9.800)

De Jesus – UCLA – FX – minorly short on double pike, I’m liking this choreography more each time, very short on the double tuck landing. That was always my worry, that the tumbling wouldn’t live up to the dance. No fall, though. Fine on the 1.5+layout with a minor stumble. Another hit, which is what they needed, but not great. If Bynum was 9.800, this should be the same. (9.875 – some UCLA scoring there)

 Dabritz – Utah – BB – perfect loso, same with side aerial, Amanda really likes her facial expression, leg form in the double full but stuck. We were unsure about her status as a beamer, but she has erased that uncertainty. Good routine that should be clearly the best score. (9.875)

Pritchett – UCLA – FX – the chest position on landing is getting better on that tuck full, or maybe I’m just getting nicer. I hope it’s the former because otherwise what kind of world is this? Just the dismount left, pretty strong double pike. This is still the kind of proficient but not awesome or memorable routine I would give a 9.850-9.875 because she hit it very well this time, but judging by the trend it will be way higher. (9.925)

Lothrop – Utah – BB – she is very consistent on beam, but I’d just like to see a little more amplitude in all skills, which would bring her into the 9.9s. Otherwise, she’s a solid 9.850. No wobbles so far. Small hop on the 1.5 dismount, great height on that one and I thought she would stick. (9.825)

Zam – UCLA – FX – She got a 9.975 last week, so let’s see. Better double pike, no problems there. Love this smile from her and love how much UCLA is reacting to the moment and embracing this meet atmosphere. This is the most comfortable I have seen Zam as a performer. Sticks rudi dismount. Confirms the 197, but lets do something about that vault. In no way should vault be Zam’s worst-scoring event of a meet. (9.950) Another 39.675 in the AA. Doesn’t she always do that?

Lofgren – Utah – BB – good side somi, very off on the loso series from the beginning but saves it with a major break in the hips, more wobbles, not Utah’s day but not a completely dire meet for the first time out. (9.600)

Courtney – UCLA – FX – She was brilliant last week, let’s see if she can match it. Perfect double Arabian again. It has improved since last season. No deductions through the first two passes. Not a huge fan of this choreography but whatever. A little low chest on the double tuck but no problem on the landing. We can talk about UCLA scoring certainly, but this was a thoroughly delightful performance through four events regardless of the score. This team will be exciting to watch all year. (9.950)

So, UCLA goes 49.550 on floor. I thought the treatment of De Jesus and Bynum was a bit soft, but this was an excellent rotation. Zamarripa is performing the best gymnastics of her career on three events.

Final Score: UCLA 197.425, Utah 195.300   

I’m not worried about Utah. This was a poor performance by their standards, but after bars it was perfectly acceptable for a first meet. I was surprised that the veterans were the ones who looked the most tentative on bars. UCLA was worlds better than they were last week, and we certainly saw that in the score. They have clearly been working those landings and will be the #1 team in the rankings next week, which I would not have picked after watching last week. It’s hard to say what this score would have been outside of UCLA, but it still would have been quite high, at least in the upper realms of 196. Some UCLA (obvious) freshmen are being utter freshmen in front of the camera. Please stop.

It’s still so surprising to me how nervous Vanessa gets when she’s on camera. It’s like she’s a different person.

Fun meet overall. I loved the live TV coverage and look forward to more of it. The much higher production quality than we get on the live streams gives a better sense of atmosphere for those who aren’t in attendance.  

Live Blog – Nebraska @ Michigan

The Michigan Wolverines come into their home opener on the heels of their highest score since April 15th, 2011. Part of the impressiveness of that performance was that Michigan succeeded in spite of a less than strong score on its purported best event, vault. The teams that competed in Cancun felt that the vault scoring was inaccurate. Traditionally, Michigan has the most realistic scoring in the nation, so this meet should be more telling. Usually the rule of thumb at Michigan is to add a tenth to the team score on each event to see what the score would have been at some more charitable locales that shall remain nameless.  

Also watch for the Wolverines on beam. At Cancun, they received competent performances from some who struggled last year on that apparatus. This week should give us more information as to whether this is a trend of improvement or a one off.

For Nebraska, I think we know what to expect from DeZiel, Wong, Giblin, and Schleppenbach as the season progresses (even if they are not up to form yet), so the fifth and sixth workers on each event will be crucial. Is there at least 9.800 potential there, or is there going to be a lot of withstanding early low scores this season. The Huskers should have more depth this year; let’s see if they show it today.

The meet begins at 4:00 ET/1:00 PT. Enjoy.

Video (for a price . . .)
Scores

Keep at least half an eye turned on Oklahoma/ASU as well. Video, Scores

Introductions now. Wow, it’s like Michigan actually has a full team or something.

Rotation 1: Michigan on vault and Nebraska on bars
Nearly ready to begin.

Colbert – Mich – VT – Good yfull, near stick, a little direction (9.800)

Blanske – Neb – UB – good bail hs, struggles a bit and has to take an extra circle, a little piked in a stuck DLO. A bit of a struggle in debut. (9.700)

Casanova – Mich – VT – she gets good air on her Yfull but a large bounce back (9.725)

Nathe – Neb – UB – good tkatchev, precise hs, big cowboy on her double front with a large bounce back. (9.750)

Zurales – Mich – VT – good distance on yfull, a little piking and a hop to the side. (9.800)

 J Lauer – Neb – UB – good tkatchev from her as well, a little rushed, flung out DLO with little amplitude and a lunge forward. They are losing probably .150 on these dismounts. (9.825)

Zakharia – Mich – VT – hs front pike half with a little hop in place. It’s difficult to land that vault with good chest position, so she may get docked for that, but it’s a good score. (9.775)

Wong – Neb – UB – lovely first hs, gienger to bail, goes a bit over on a hs but saves it, a little low on the tuck full with a hop. Started wonderfully but . .  (9.800)

Sampson – Mich – VT – lovely yfull with a hop back, best combination of direction and distance so far. (9.800) We can see the Michigan scoring a bit here. I would have gone 9.850.

DeZiel – Neb – UB – good piked jaeger, hitting hs, best tuck full so far. That can go 9.9s (9.875)

Sugiyama – Mich VT – a little bent legs on the 1.5 and a hop forward. (9.825)

Giblin – Neb – UB – lovely gienger with huge height, oooh misses a hand on transition but good fix, hits her tuck full quite well, but this will be getting those 9.9+s soon enough. (9.475) I assume this is the only time she’ll be dropped this year.

Austin Sheppard bails out of her vault on exhibition. Not sure what happened there.
After 1: Michigan 49.000, Nebraska 48.950

Michigan vaulted proficiently. The landings and landing positions aren’t there yet, so that’s keeping the scores down, but this rotation will be scoring higher quite soon. I don’t expect a couple of those early Nebraska bar routines to remain in the lineup, but DeZiel, Wong, and Giblin will be great soon enough. The dismounts aren’t there yet for those first few workers. The positive for Nebraska is that this year they actually have enough routines to play around with those lineups.

Rotation 2: Michigan on bars, Nebraska on vault

Stephens – Neb – VT – yfull, comes in a little low with a step forward. (9.775)

Zurales – Mich – UB – love a deltchev, hits bail hs well, hitting all these hs, a little crunched in her DLO landing with a step back. Very good start. (9.900)

J Lauer – Neb – VT – hilarious run face, very short on landing with a big step forward, one of the weaker we’ve seen so far. (9.675)

Williams – Mich – UB – jaeger with a little lack of amplitude, not as clean as Zurales, not nearly, fine form on DLO with a step back. (9.725)

Giblin – NEb – VT – minor step on her Yfull, a little piked in the air but overall good form and landing, best so far.

Gies – M – UB – great line, misses on hs after the tkatchev, a little late on her full before the double tuck, but cleanly done. (9.875)

Wong – N – VT – comes in low as well on her yfull with a hop forward. No one’s getting enough height yet. (9.750)

Sugiyama – M – UB -a little close on her gienger, solid pak, some of the hs are a little rushed, and sticks a very nice tuck full. (9.900)

Shcleppenbach – N – VT – by far the best one, amplitude distance and landing were excellent, stuck. (9.875)

Martinez – M – UB -miss her first hs, good bail hs, wonderful high tkatchev, stuck a beautiful DLO. Michigan is on. (9.850)

DeZiel – N – VT – very good height, not quite the distance as Schleppenbach, but just a minor step. (9.775)

Sampson – M – UB – great tkatchev, way over on her hs on bail hs but saves it, love the DLO full idea, but steps back and almost didn’t hold onto it. (9.825)

Miele is doing exhibition, a leg separation on her bail hs, great DLO dismount.

After 2: Michigan 98.350, Nebraska 97.900

No real problems for either team in this rotation. Aside from the final two, Nebraska didn’t have the amplitude on their vaults and so came in low on those landings and had to step forward on each. Schleppenbach looked very good and while DeZiel’s vault was probably .100 worse (so, consistency), I think 9.775 is a little harsh for that.

Michigan had some of the best bar routines I’ve seen so far this season. Zurales, Martinez, and Gies were my preferred routines, but we can clearly see how much farther along Michigan is on those dismounts. They weren’t giving away the .150 that a lot of the Nebraska gymnasts were. That’s to be expected with Nebraska being in the first meet of the season and Michigan being in the second.

Rotation 3: Michigan on beam, Nebraska on floor

Miele – M – BB – significant wobble after walkover, minor stumble on the popa, another wobble on the side aerial, hits her connection, front 1.5 dismount with good step. Nervy routine but fine start. (9.725, which Sarah Curtis tells us is a very good score)

J lauer – N – FX -good position on the double pike mount, 1.5 + layout, very low double back landing with a major step. Endurance may be an issue in this rotation. (9.750)

Sugiayma – M – BB – great amplitude on her loso, very low on her punch front and can’t stay on the beam, and she started so well. Nearly misses her double full dismount with a major step to the side. Needs to be dropped. (9.050)

Stephens – N – FX – strong double pike similar to Lauer to begin, but finishes with a better double back. I’m impressed by her today, after we saw nothing from her last year. (9.775)

Gies – M – BB – hits loso cleanly, strong aerial, little complexity in this routine but hit perfectly well. (9.825)

Giblin – N – FX – very low crunched landing on her double pike mount, nearly goes out on her double tuck but hits this one well, switch ring is not happening for me, improves on the tumbling as the routine goes, but her score won’t recover from the first pass. (9.725)

Martinez – M – BB – hits loso series, pretty significant wobble on her side aerial, minor stumble on the gainer full, otherwise strong. (9.875)

Schleppenbach – N – FX – nice height on her double pike but goes out, finishes with a minorly underrotated rudi, but this should be the highest score (at least before the OOB) (9.750)

Sampson – M – BB – a couple wobbles at the beginning, including on the sheep jump, side aerial is strong but the split after it is not hit, sticks a nice high double full dismount.  (9.850)

Deziel – N – FX – she is clearly farther along on all these events than a few of her teammates, rudi dismount is strong as well. The first one with no problems and should easily go into the 9.8s. (9.875)

Zurales – M – BB – best split positions on the team, very nice series, a minor check after the sheep jump, great height on the double full with a small hop in place. She is the class of the team on this event by far. (9.900)

Wong – N – FX – lovely triple full with a little lack of control to the side on landing but nothing real, great line as always, lots of rudi dismounts. You could criticize this rotation right now for a little lack of difficulty (nothing more than a double pike, lots of rudi dismounts), but the last two were very pleasant. (9.925)

Zakharia comes off of the beam early in exhibition

After 3: Michigan 147.525, Nebraska 146.975

Michigan did well to avoid hacing to count that Sugiyama score. Miele was very tentative and there are some split positions here and there that I’m not happy with, but otherwise it was a strong group. DeZiel and Wong saved Nebraska on floor with great scores for their best rotation yet. It’s difficult to tell which team will be better eventually (and beam will of course be crucial for Nebraska as always), but Michigan is clearly farther along in the preparation.

Checking in with Oklahoma, they had to use Sorensen on vault but were able to drop the score and put up a very nice 49.250 led by the 9.900 from Mooring. Good to see Erica Brewer back in the lineup there. Bars appears to have been a bit more of a struggle, nothing more than 9.825. After two events, Oklahoma is on pace for another mid-196 score with 98.200.The improvement on vault should be extremely encouraging.

In the fourth rotation, a good floor score should see Michigan easily eclipse the number from last week, and Nebraska is looking on pace for something like a 196. They need some new freshman beamers, though, so this event will be interesting to watch for them. My hit confidence is not sky high.

Rotation 4: Michigan on floor, Nebraska on beam

Blanske – N – BB – She’s one of these necessary freshmen I was mentioning. Huge wobble on series, but well done to her for not coming off. A little low on her punch front, minor wobble on some choreography, low double full with a major hop forward. Not a great routine at all but there’s potential. (9.525)

Beilstein – M – FX -2.5 looks better than it did at the preview,  I’m so glad she’s back, but it’s strange to see her leading off. She can go later, for sure, front double full dismount. Very nice in the tumbling overall. I was concerned about her doing so much  twisting but she has cleaned it up. (9.900)

Nathe – N – BB – huge wobble on the punch front mount, and another wobble on her bhs layout to two feet, good split positions here, I can see why they need her back. Definite deductions but few of them are built-in. Stuck 1.5. This will score well eventually. (9.800)

Colbert – M – FX – good punch to double back and steps out of it a little, stays in bounds, just layouts for the second pass, which I always think is too simple for this level, fine double pike dismount with a low chest. Won’t score as high as Beilstein did at all. (9.850)

DeZiel – N – BB – a little wobble on her walkover, I’d like to see more amplitude on her loso and some of these leaps, but it’s because I expect more from her than some others. She can do better than this, but very few definite errors and a strong 2.5 dismount. (9.850)

Gies – M – FX – big steps out of a double pike, I always like her floor work but she often hasn’t made the lineup, let’s see how she handles this dismount which was a problem at the preview, good 1.5 + layout. Nice hit. (9.800)

Giblin – N – BB – Yes, commentators, yes you did mis-identify this Nebraska gymnast as Jennifer Lauer. Strong side somi even though it pains me to say that about a side somi, hop out of 1.5 dismount. I’m encouraged overall by this Nebraska beam work.  (9.825)

Zakharia – M – FX – Barely gets that double front around but stays on her feet, won’t score that well because ot it, a little bit low on the double pike and a bounce out. Not quite there yet on the tumbling. (9.825)

J. Lauer – N – BB – hits a sheep jump, solid on her loso. If she continues to be this solid, she should continue her reliability from last year. Nothing majorly impressive as everything is sort of low to the beam, but she hits so solidly. (9.950 – she really did have few deductions at all in that routine, but I wasn’t blown away by anything and didn’t expect a 9.950 to come at all)

Sugiyama – M – FX -lovely high, contained double back, but just a double back to mount with. Low double pike to finish with a hop forward. Giving a little bit of the lead back on these routines. (9.875)

Wong – N – BB – great loso series, a little bit tentative in her leaps but good positions, big wobble on her switch side, had to swim a little to stay on, bounce back out of her double full. Lovely work. (9.900)

Sampson – M – FX – double full + loso mount, good height and I always love an loso combo, but it is strange to see just a double full on a mount, good high double pike with a major bounce back because of overrotation. Fine routine overall. (9.925)

Amanda Lauer does exhibition on beam and has the similar solid work to her sister, hop forward on the 1.5 dismount.

Final Score: Michigan 196.900, Nebraska 196.300

Scores went big in that final rotation, something I’m not used to seeing at Michigan. Really only a couple of vaults had the aura of traditional Michigan scoring, and the rest of the scoring went higher than I expected. Michigan defeats the current leaders LSU for the highest score of the weekend so far. Sampson just edges DeZiel and Wong by .025 to win the AA. Nebraska had four very solid routines at the end of that beam lineup, and that event looks healthier at least so far than it has in a few years.

Michigan should be thrilled by this result. There’s still an opportunity for some new people or some improvement on beam, and I don’t know that floor will always score that well, but this team should continue to be ranked in a high position all year. Nebraska starts with a great meet overall, considering the perfectly respectable score and the lack of landing readiness that we saw on vault and bars. They can be much better than this. 

Over in the state of Arizona, Oklahoma was able to drop a floor fall from Kmieciak and score another 49.225, to stay on pace. With the strength of beam still to come, this could go into the higher 196s.