Category Archives: Live Blog

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.

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Friday Scoring Blog – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Arkansas

Alabama v. Missouri at 7:30 ET
Florida v. LSU and Georgia v. Arkansas at 8:00 ET.

I’ve missed the beginning of the meet, so I don’t have the chance to set the stage or have thoughts about what I expect. Whatever. Alabama and Missouri are already underway.

Kim Jacob on bars for Alabama. Not quite there on any of her handstands yet, but otherwise this is a strong routine with a single step on the DLO dismount. It should be worth 9.850s before too long.

Clark is a little past on her first handstand and, like Jacob is missing her handstands mostly. This is normal for the first meet of the year. Good DLO to finish, I liked the flight.

The scoring has updated, Alabama begins with a 9.825 from Sledge (I thought she was supposed to be going later this year?) and a 9.750 from Alexin.

The quality of this stream is not my absolute best friend as there are a lot of audio and buffering problems, but I’ll give updates as I can. Low scores from Clark and Jacob, in the 9.7s. They are missing all of their handstands, so it’s difficult to score very high. I missed Demeo, but she gets a 9.900, so well done.

Priess is on a different level to the rest of the team on bars. Hits all handstands but one. I liked to see a bit tighter legs on the pak, and she took a sizable step on the DLO, so it won’t be a higher score than Demeo, but it will be. The score from Demeo is encouraging because this team needs three bars workers. Priess is one and Sledge can be another, but Demeo needs to fill that third spot.

Alabama goes 49.050 in the first rotation, leading Missouri by .425.

We have the lineups for Florida and LSU. Hunter, Johnson, and King are coming in for the AA for Florida as expected. Sloan is still not competing on floor. Ashanee is off beam, which is interesting but not entirely unexpected. I’d probably keep her over Stageberg, but I don’t think they’re sacrificing much if anything.

Alabama is getting ready on vault with Jacob. I’m interested to see how many of those potential Y1.5s we see. Jacob has a little bit of leg form and a large step back. Just sort of fine. Many form breaks on bars for Missouri from Ostad, so I don’t expect a counting score (at least ideally).

Clark does her Yfull well with a hop. From the angle, it looked like she might be missing amplitude, but I don’t think she was. It certainly didn’t show in the landing. Should score much better than Jacob’s 9.800 if that’s our starting standard. The second Missouri bars worker goes over on a handstand and comes off. Clark gets a 9.825, but her vault was more than .025 better than Jacob’s. Same problem again for Missouri and she just salutes. Rough days.

Beers goes for Alabama and unexpectedly does a Yurchenko back tuck. So this is the world. 9.425. Acting like they planned that? Conkle is much better from Missouri on bars. Sufficiently clean. Sledge vaults, great amplitude as always, a very little but low and some leg form and a step, but that makes it seem worse than it was. Good first meet vault. The judges are being sufficiently critical.

Over at LSU, Florida on a good track on bars led by another 9.900 from Hunter, matching her success from last week. Savona and Mathis have vaulted 9.850s, but LSU is already a touch behind.

Gutierrez does her Yfull. A bit more piked than it usually is with a sizable step back. Otherwise, it was her normal excellent vault.This will be a very low bars score for Missouri, but I can see the potential 9.8s later in the lineup.

Milliner is our only Y1.5 of the day (not surprising) and it looked bufferingly excellent. A stick with the usual knee bend. It would be a 9.950 at home, so let’s see what it is here. 9.925. Fair.

Once again, Florida had a big start on bars but didn’t capitalize. An unexpected fall from Caquatto is dropped (is this the first time she’s fallen on bars? I can’t remember another one). 9.9s from Morrison and Courville give LSU a .050 lead after the first rotation. Expect some big scores here all night long.

Low scores from Hires and Cheek on bars for Georgia. Lineups overall are very reminiscent of the first meet, except no Worley on beam according to these scores. Why, exactly?

Alabama looking on pace for an expected mid-196s for the meet, 98.225 after two rotations. Missouri will not be able to overcome that bars disaster. 

Arkansas has to bury Erin Freier at the end of vault (she probably shouldn’t be vaulting), but they drop the score and score 49.100, led by the 9.875 from Grable. They should be pleased with that start. Christa Tanella tied for the highest bars score for Georgia, which should tell us everything and more. 49.025.

Lauren Beers is debuting on floor for Alabama. This is one of her better events. A bit bouncy out of the first two landings, the switch ring is a real problem, and a lower double pike. Not a great routine but nothing to worry about.

Some wobbles everywhere from Missouri in the first few beam routines, but it’s much more proficient work than on bars from the first couple. You can at least see these routines scoring not terribly at some point. Clark goes on floor for Alabama and has similarly bouncy landings but a bit stronger routine than from Beers.

Florida takes a .150 lead over LSU after vaults of 9.900 from Dickerson and 9.950 from Hunter. Sounds about right. LSU avoids having to count a fall on bars this week (just the one from Wyrick), so victory! Both teams still around 197 pace after two events.

Brooke Parker has improved on floor. Good for her. That should be the highest score yet. Missouri looks to have about three to four competition-ready routines on each event right now, which is not enough even to get 195s. Jacob is moving up in the Alabama floor lineup, but that may be a result of several top workers not yet being ready. Good routine from her. I believe she is going to upgrade that mount at some point this season, at least allegedly.

Missouri just had a bhs loso series that wasn’t close. Second fall. We’re looking at a potential 192 here.

Georgia is going well on vault with a 9.900 from Cheek and a 9.875 from Rogers. Arkansas is struggling a little on bars, which we always knew would be a problem without Howdeshell and Pisani.

Demeo hits floor well and Missouri’s beam is like a Saw movie. Tough to start this way, especially with a lot to prove as a new SEC team. Milliner anchors floor (no Sledge, Gutierrez, or Priess because no seniors allowed), and she hits to confirm that Alabama will go easily over 49. That mid 196 pace looks solid as long as they hit beam. Is this Sims doing an exhibition? Nowhere close on the double pike, but they are grooming her to be lineup, that’s for sure.

Georgia hits another big vault score with 49.325. They have at least four who can go 9.9, so I expect this to be a trend all season. This is the best event for both Rogers and Jay (or should be). Arkansas can’t get above a 9.775 on bars and now has a deficit of over half a point.

Florida has started poorly on floor with a  9.675 and 9.700, all but giving the lead back in just a routine or two.

Okay all, have fun watching the rest of the scores or the torrent of buffering issuing from Missouri. I’ll probably update at the end of the night, and I’ll be back tomorrow at 4 ET/1 PT for Nebraska @ Michigan.

Big news of the day is that Florida has to count a fall on floor and loses to LSU. Florida would have broken 197 without the fall, but in the end its LSU 196.875, Florida 196.575. I’m interested to see how LSU fares on the road now after two strong home results.

Georgia finishes with a 196.200, which is an improvement with no counting of falls. Still too many low scores counting. Arkansas scores 195.775, which is not bad at all, but bars will be a problem all year I expect.

Southern Utah @ UCLA Live Blog

UCLA in January. Oh, the long, strange beam rotations we’ve had. Part of the fun of watching the Bruins in January is that we know one of two things will happen: they will bring the beautiful gymnastics that have won them so many fans over the years, or they will be a disaster and provoke a satisfying Val interview after the meet. Either way we win.

In spite of how many routines they’ve lost from EHH, Gerber, and Frattone and the injury to Sam Peszek, I’m still vaguely optimistic about UCLA’s chances this season. Part of that is confidence in the coaching staff to bring along even a depleted group and the rest is confidence in the potential of the remaining gymnasts. Then, I look at this pre-Christmas intrasquad group. Take out Peszek, and there is reason for concern. It’s clear why Val thinks the team will have a slower start.

The three most important gymnasts for UCLA this season will be Mattie Larson, Lichelle Wong, and Peng Peng Lee. Obviously we won’t see Lee for a while, which makes Wong’s performances all the more vital. She must be fully recovered from her Achilles injury and finally competing up to her talent on bars and beam to make up for the lack of Lee. Larson should be the #2 AAer on this team without Peszek. She must be more than simply a mid-lineup factor in order for UCLA to have a chance this season.   

Southern Utah is also a team. Let’s find out about them together.

The meet begins at 5:00 ET/2:00 PT and may be viewed here


For UCLA, I’m looking for a hit beam rotation, six bars workers who belong and who can conceivably be at least 9.850 at some point, the degree of Mattie’s contribution, and how close the freshmen are to deserving lineup spots on their good events. Anything over 196 will be fine. If UCLA records the high score of the week (they would need a 196.600), it will be accomplished on the back of Zamarripa. I’d love to see her with a bit faster start than last year when she was still recovering.

The pre-meet festivities will be lengthy as always. 2:00 really means 8:25.

UCLA intros time. Peszek with her big boot. Sad. Looking forward to seeing Danusia compete for the first time in NCAA. She’s going to need to be one of my new favorites.

Rotation 1:
Glad that Sam Peszek is helping with the broadcast. Alyssa Pritchett is in the vault lineup and Baer is going 5th. This is the new normal (?) Oh dear. Sam is already pretending that her injury is making the team better. Good girl. Stay on message.

Sawa in for Pritchett now on vault suddenly? According to the new lineup. Always changes for UCLA after the warmup.

UCLA vault: McDonald, Sawa, Wong, Courtney, Baer, Zamarripa

McDonald – UCLA – VT – Yfull, a bit of bent legs and a hop back. Fine. (9.750)

Amor – SUU – UB – good jaeger, misses handstand on low bar, but the difficulty is there. Larger step forward on the DLO. (9.675)

Sawa – UCLA – VT – extremely low and very little flight, hop forward. Not great.  (9.600)

Bernier – SUU – UB -short on handstands, leg separation on the girenger, otherwise clean, 2/1 dismount with a hop. (9.775)

Wong – UCLA – VT – horrible vault, missed her block and got no distance or height. Hand down. UCLA is starting quite poorly in this meet. (9.475- apparently the hand only brushed or didn’t touch at all, but I kind of think it did.)

Jaworski – SUU – UB – good between the bars gienger, big leg separation on the bail hs, step back on the tuck full dismount. (9.625)

Courntey – UCLA – VT – Better than anything we’ve seen so far, obviously. Not her absolute best, step backward, but fine. (9.875 – maybe a bit of a pity score there, but it was a good vault)

Anyone else lose the feed? Apparently yes, everyone did. Talk amongst yourselves about how poorly UCLA was vaulting there. Armijo got a 9.725 on bars.

Baer – UCLA – VT – needs more height, hop back, her usual 9.800 (9.800)

Chernoch – SUU – UB – very low jaeger, pak, the handstands aren’t there, a bit flippy on the DLO with a step back. (9.775)

Zamarripa – UCLA – VT – She needs about an 11. Does her yhalf on, half off, which is going to score a bit lower for her right now. Very piked and a hop back. Shouldn’t be a huge score, but she’s Vanessa. (9.825)

Click – SUU – UB – clearly the best of the group, methodical on the inverted giants, hop forward after the double tuck dismount. (9.850)

Pritchett will do exhibition after she was taken out of the lineup after the warmup. We can see why. Very low amplitude on yfull and a thousand steps out. Kennedy will do a bars exhibitoion for SUU, missing every handstand by a lot. Bynum also doing exhibition on vault, just a Y layout so that she can do something, I guess. Participation award exhibition.

After 1 Rotation: UCLA 48.850, SUU 48.800
What a dire vault rotation that was. I know you lost some routines, but come on. McDonald was the same as she was in exhibition last year, but now she has to be in the lineup. Sawa wasn’t ready, and Wong missed her vault totally (which happens to her too often). For now, the choice for Zamarripa’s vault is clearly lowering the team score by about a tenth. They’re really feeling that none of these healthy freshmen are vaulters.

Rotation 2:
UCLA to bars. Improvement is necessary. I wonder what kind of handstands we’re going to see.

UCLA bars: Francis, Courtney, Wong, De Jesus, Larson, Zamarripa.

I bit surprised to see Sophina on bars. I haven’t seen a bars routine from her in such a long time. OK Mattie, you need this start to the season to be special.

Divino – SUU – VT – Y full, very low, step forward, similar to Sawa’s. (9.500)

Francis – UCLA – UB – this is not as much her event, shaposh with a leg separation, near stick on the double pike dismount. Good routine, form breaks certainly, but she has improved on this event. (9.775 – fair, good start)

Armijo – SUU – VT – round off full, back tuck, love to see that but a lack of amplitude and a step back.

Courtney – UCLA – UB – good shaposh to bail hs, slightly past on one handstand but no bit deal, still no same bar release, good tuck full dismount. This rotation is looking better. (9.825)

Kennedy – SUU – VT – handspring tuck half – good vault, should be their best so far, low chest and a hop to the side. (9.675 – I think it was better than that.)

Wong – UCLA – UB – She needs to be a contrtibutor here, I’m interested in what dismount she has, good hs t start, nice jaeger (toes), strong bail hs, this is better composition thn last year. Great DLO. Yes, this is the routine she’s needed for four years. Good job. (9.900)

Bernier – SUU – VT – ro full as well with a back tuck, low but fine. (9.750)

De Jesus – UCLA – UB – missed a first handstand, big leg break on the gienger, another slightly short handstand, not a super solid routine. Step back on tuck full. Probably lowest score yet. (9.900 – preposterous, do my eyes not work? Tell me if I’m insane.)

Amor – SUU – VT – Yfull, good in the air, but low landing and a notable step. Should be in line with the other scores.

Larson – UCLA – UB – good bail hs, low tkatchev as always but hit, slight hop in place on the DLO. It was better than De Jesus’s routine, so if that’s any indication . . . (9.875)

They’re all remarking with amazement about a vault I didn’t see. Show us what is happening.

Zamarripa – UCLA – UB – handstands great as always, I don’t like the clear hip out of shaposh, minor leg separation on the bail hs as always, good tkatchev, huge stumble on the DLO, otherwise it would have been a great score. (9.800)

Exhibition Yfull for SUU, looked good – should have been in the lineup.  They showed us the interesting vault, just a brush on the table instead of a block is what they were talking about.

De Jesus and Wong win bars. I need to see the De Jesus routine again because I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. I would have given it a 9.750. Craddock does an OK exhibtion with a very late giant full turn. Great hs front pike in exhibition for SUU. Their exhibitions are better than their competition routines.

After 2 Rotations: UCLA 98.150, SUU 97.400 
There is plenty to say about the judging of that bars rotation, but it was clearly a massive improvement over vault for UCLA. The freshmen can contribute here (which was one of my major questions). Zamarripa, Larson, and Wong all can be regularly 9.9s if they continue as they are.

Rotation 3:

UCLA beam: Baer, Wong, Francis, De Jesus, Larson, Zamarripa
This is the lineup I was hoping for on this event, more or less. Good scoring potential here, but also are they going to hit? I have some serious concerns about that. Sam Peszek is shilling for Adidas, etc.
Darren’s pronunciation of Alyssa is driving me crazy as always.

Baer – UCLA – BB – good switch side, right on, that’s her best skill, a bit uncertain on the side somi but balances it out well, popa with a little shuffle but well done, this is a great leadoff, but let’s watch the dismount. A little off line on her loso to dismount but stick with staggered feet. Good start. (9.775)

Jaworski – SUU – FX – lands her 2.5 punch front OOB, but no flag. OK. front layout + front layout full. We have no music, but I thinks that’s an issue with the broadcast not the arena. stumble out of the front full. (9.625)

Wong – UCLA – BB – tentative in her leaps but great psoitions, I wouldn’t credit her aerial + bhs connection but she tried to fake it, wobble on switch side, very nervous routine, wobble on full turn, sits 1.5 dismount. Probably shouldn’t have fallen. Not a good routine.(9.275)

Trejo – SUU – FX – double back mount, more confident in the tumbling than the first rotuine, barely gets her front tuck around out of the dismount. Yes, Allison, you could tell she was underrotated. (9.700)

Francis – UCLA – BB – tough situation to start a beam career, but this is what she does. minor wobble on leaps to start. Good aerial +bhs connection. Hits a little bit of a tentaive L turn. She’s capable of more difficulty that I’d like to see eventually. Good lift on her loso + back full dismount. Solid job. (9.800)

Armijo – SUU – FX – Good rudi on the mount, if only we could actually hear the music. Very low on her tuck front full on the dismount, not sure if it was supposed to be tucked or if she just had to save it. Very low. (9.675)

De Jesus – UCLA – BB – good aerial + bhs + loso with a minor wobble at the end, another bobble, this is a nervy routine (.050 on every acro skill) but she’s getting through it. Front handspring into a front 1.5 tuck dismount, which is unusual but not necessarily the most elegant dismount. (9.800)

Click – SUU – FX – front 1.5 to loso mount, lands the loso completely OOB. And I was so ready to congratulate her loso, bounces forward out of the second pass. Deductions abound in this routine. Front layout + front tuck full, another bounce forward out of it.

Larson – UCLA – BB – lovely flexibility on mount, major break on her her dance elements but she holds on, good amplitude on loso. Nowhere close on front aerial, has to come off. UCLA couldn’t really get through the first meet without counting a beam fall, could they? gainer back pike dismount, unexpected. (9.175)

Amor – SUU – FX – fine double pike to start, first one we’ve seen from SUU, front layout + front full, slightly underrotated but just a step to control it, low chest on double back dismount but fine. (9.800) 

Zamarripa – UCLA – BB – Already counting a fall, can’t count two. Beautfiful on the Onodi, minor pause in her aerial, loso connection but nothing real. No significant deductions here, good double full dismount with minor movement. Should be the best score of the rotation. Clearly the class of the beam group in both form and confidence. (9.875)

Chernoch – SUU – FX – major bounce out of rudi on the mount, a lot of slightly underrotated layouts in these middle passes. Tuck front 1.5 on the dismount, not around all the way and a step to the side.

Sawa will exhibition on beam, slight wobbles on dance, bhs full has a little trouble but completes the skill and stays on, stuck 1.5 dismount. We’ll probably see her on this event this year. Fall for SUU in exhibition. Craddock also doing exhibition, wobble on front aerial, methodical work but nice form overall, gainer full dismount which we never see from UCLA. Solid. 

After 3 Rotations: UCLA 146.675, SUU 145.900
Not a dire beam rotation in terms of future potential. This group will be good at some point. Wong and Larson were clearly tentative, Mattie looking almost resigned, but Francis and De Jesus will be important additions to the lineup.

As long as UCLA doesn’t count any more falls, they will win, which shouldn’t even really have been an issue. SUU on pace for a good score, though. For a bid to make Regionals, this is a keeper. 

UCLA floor: Francis, McDonald, De Jesus, Pritchett, Courtney, Zamarripa. Looking forward to seeing Danusia and Sophina. Interesting that McDonald made this lineup, otherwise it’s about what we expected. Hopefully Larson can come in at some point, but who knows these days?

Rotation 4:

Trejo – SUU – BB – some minor wobbles here and there but a hit routine, 1.5 dismount with a step forward. (9.750)

No Francis now? Boo.

McDonald – UCLA – FX – jams the double pike landing a bit and bounces out of it, I like this routine overall, and it should score pretty well. Rudi dismount is fine, just like everything about this routine. May not make the lineup eventually, but it’s fine for now. (9.850)

Jaworski – SUU – BB – wobble on her ro + loso, not really hitting these dance elements, similar step forward on her 1.5. (9.675)

Bynum – UCLA – FX – It’s like the walk-on brigade today. Why did she exhibition vault with a nothing if she was ready on floor? Fine double pike to start – good power in her tumbling. This is an unremarkable routine choreographically, and completely misses her double tuck dismount. Hands down. (9.225)

Kennedy – SUU – BB – major wobble on full turn, not really hitting her positions on dance, but it was a good fr. aerial + fr. aerial. Best 1.5 dismount so far. (9.800)

De Jesus – UCLA – FX -a little low on the double pike, I wish we could hear the music because this routine is a strong one, good double tuck, sloppy on her dance skills, 1.5 + layout dismount. Good hit. (9.825)

Chernoch – SUU – BB – good L turn, no problems with loso series, doesn’t hit the position on her straddle, another who is much more comfortable with her acro, good 1.5. (9.775)

Prtichett – UCLA – FX – Usual tuck full mount, 1.5 to layout is strong, slight bounce out of the double pike. That should be similar to that 9.850s she put up last year. (9.900)

Click – SUU – BB – they’re all very confident in these routines, minor wobbles but none of the tentativeness UCLA had in some routines, nice front to one foot, sticks gainer full. (9.875)

Courtney – UCLA – FX – perfect double arabian, one of the best she’s done, love that 1.5 + front .5 + layout. What is this choregraphy? Not necessarily in a bad way, just . . . so there’s that. Hits double tuck as well. Better than Pritchett’s 9.900. (9.925)

Armijo – SUU – BB – nice attitude turn, comes off on a side aerial, but they won’t have to count it.

Zamarripa – UCLA – FX – She can get them to 196 with a good hit, slightly low on the double pike landing, which she didn’t really need to be. No other problems in the routine at all, so I expect another big score that should help UCLA to that 196 level. Another 9.9? Survived floor. (9.975 – let’s not get carried away, OK judges? Are we good?)

Final Score: UCLA 196.150 SUU 194.875

The final three rotations for UCLA were about what I expected. They will be disappointed by the beam fall, but I would be more disappointed by that vault rotation, which looked too sparse to be getting on with. Multiple people still need to come in on that event for it to be anywhere near the level of the better teams (or even the average teams). There were the usual charitable UCLA home scores that I’m sure will provoke discussion, but I’m just pleased we didn’t see a full meet that followed the quality of that vault rotation.

Floor was the strongest event for UCLA, and I was particularly pleased with Courtney because that was one of if not the best routine she has done. I’d love to see Francis and Larson go, but otherwise this rotation is in a healthy position, along with bars and beam (probably).  

Oklahoma @ Georgia Live Blog

As is always the case in the first week of the season, this is a meet of question marks. No question mark looms larger than Georgia’s new head coach, Danna Durante. It is the nature of the Georgia gymnastics program that Durante’s behavior in her first meet will be dissected to a preposterous degree. Her every bit of body language will be recorded and scrutinized, all leading to the inevitable conclusion that she is not Suzanne, and the results of this meet will be used to make sweeping, likely unfounded statements about the future path of the program. (By me? How dare you?) After Jay Clark’s first meet, when Georgia scored a low 195 to sneak past Stanford, the shouts of his inadequacy began and didn’t really stop until he was removed two and a half years later.

In today’s meet, falls won’t be conclusive or even particularly significant for me. It’s early. I’m more interested in lineups and team usage. Which gymnasts are in favor? Jay Clark gave Noel Couch a significant role, including anchoring floor. Does Durante feel the same way about her? Is Brittany Rogers ready? How much is Shayla being used (and in what positions)? Regardless of concerns about Shayla’s consistency, this team needs her. They won’t be successful if they bury her and simply anticipate this will be another year of the same. She needs to be deep on three events. 

For Oklahoma, freshman success will be necessary on the power events, so watch for Scaman and Kmieciak and their scores on vault and floor. They will be integral in taking Oklahoma out of the era of the Yhalf. Also, keep an eye on the first three workers on bars. Who is stepping in to take those open positions, and are they up to par?

This should be a delightful meet, and even though it is the first week of the season, it’s the kind of meet Oklahoma needs to be winning to raise its national standing and continue the argument that this team is title relevant.

The meets begins at 4:00 ET/1:00 PT, and follow here for live comments. If you subscribe, you can watch the meet on All-Access here.

Lineups
Georgia
VT: Davis, Persinger, Cheek, Rogers, Hires, Jay
UB: Cheek, Hires, Tanella, Rogers, Worley, Davis
BB: Cheek, Hires, Rogers, Tanella, Worley, Earls
FX: Earls, Tanella, Hires, Persinger, Worley, Jay

Oklahoma
VT: Brewer, Spears, Kmieciak, Mooring, Olson, Scaman
UB: Clark, Brewer, Kmieciak, Scaman, Olson, Spears
BB: Kmieciak, Alexander, Olson, Brewer, Mooring, Spears
FX: Albright, Kmieciak, Brewer, Spears, Olson, Scaman

I’m pleased to see that Rogers is already in on three events and that Shayla is deep in the lineup on all her events. Noel Couch is nowhere to be seen. That’s probably a result of an injury, but there’s no telling the severity right now. Watch out for Tanella. When was the last time she competed three events? She made no lineups last season except for her last-minute substitute disaster on bars at Championships.

Four AAers for Oklahoma. Scaman is already anchoring two events (as is Jay for Georgia), and Kmieciak is showing all four routines. Their performances will be key, especially on bars where neither is as proven as on vault and floor.

Meet Judges  (Top)
 Event  Number  Name  Rating
 Vault  Judge 1  Gwyned Bius  National
 Judge 2  Augusta Lipsey  National
 Bars  Judge 1  Carole Ide  Brevet
 Judge 2  Jay Miller  National
 Beam  Judge 1  Carole Ide  Brevet
 Judge 2  Gwyned Bius  National
 Floor  Judge 1  Augusta Lipsey  National
 Judge 2  Jay Miller  National

Coverage has started, so the meet is soon to begin. Get ready. We’re meeting Danna who’s telling us about energy and being relaxed.

Scores here if you haven’t already found them. Kevin telling us about the schedule. Georgia really does have one of the toughest schedules this year, probably second to Alabama.

But what if I don’t want to commit to the G? Is that like a drug? I’m feeling a lot of peer pressure right now. You can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do.

Warmups now. Hand injury for Noel Couch, but it’s not season threatening. Kevin thinks she’ll be an anchor in most places. She won’t. She’s a perfect early-lineup worker on three events.

Rotation 1:

Davis – UGA – VT – Very low landing and a step to the side. Won’t be a large score. (9.625)

Clark – OU – UB – a couple of late handstands and a hop forward on the double tuck. Just OK. (9.725)

Persinger – UGA – VT – much better than Davis, good distance, a little legs and piking, solid landing. Pleasant vault. It’s what we should expect from her, and she can improve on it. (9.825)

Ward (They said Brewer?, it all goes so fast) – OU – UB -she works methodically, but everything is pretty precise, another dismount of just a double tuck but it’s stuck. This is a strong early lineup routine but won’t be a major score. (9.800)

Cheek – UGA – VT – a single step back on the Yfull. She can do better, but this is a good January vault. A little direction issue as well. (9.825)

Kmieciak – OU – UB – Fall on the Tkatchev to start the routine. Tough start to her NCAA career, but this is not her strongest event. Close on shoot to high bar, struggle in handstand, hits tuck full dismount. (9.200)

Rogers – UGA – VT – Good lift in her Yfull, step back, but she opens out of it better than the others so far in this lineup. This will be 9.9s once the landing comes. (9.850)

Scaman – OU – UB – Misses first handstand by a little, nice jaeger and bail hs, only problem is the handstands, near stick on the tuck full. Good hit, I’m happy with that routine. (9.875)

Hires – UGA – VT – Great stick. She doesn’t quite have the lift and distance as Rogers, but the landing was much stronger. Good form overall. Little to critique there. (9.925)

Olson – OU – UB – Great between the bars deltchev – a little break of form but I love the difficulty. One missed hs and a hop on the DLO full. Good routine but can be more refined as the season goes. (9.875)

Jay – UGA – VT – She goes for the 1.5, and I’m pleased to see it. A little step forward and some bent legs, but this will be a great anchor for them. (9.875)

Spears – OU – UB – nice first handstand, good height on jaeger but a little close. As a team they all need to continue working on these handstands, hop forward on the double arabian. Every single one of them missed the last handstand before the dismount. (9.875)

After 1 Rotation: Georgia 49.300, Oklahoma 49.150

Good first rotation. There’s much work to do for both teams, but Oklahoma seems to be in a healthy position on bars. I was pleased by the end of the Oklahoma rotation, with three routines that can be 9.9s once the handstands come. Hires and Jay were the class of the Georgia rotation as expected, and Rogers will get there. Rogers has the biggest flight, so she may have the highest scoring potential in a month or two. Davis didn’t look quite ready yet. When Couch is ready, I’d expect her to come in for Davis at the moment, but there may be a difficult decision to make there later.

Kevin Copp just got the crazy giggles about how terrible he is at advertising things. What is happening? I’m happy to see Hires and Cheek on bars as they both looked strong in intrasquads. Vault is the most important event for Oklahoma to show their development.

Rotation 2: 

Spears – OU – VT – Good Yfull (important upgrade for her) to leadoff. (9.775)

Cheek – UGA – UB – nice tkatchev, a little leg separation in a giant full, but otherwise this is a hit. Big distance on the DLO with a stuck (or near stuck) landing. Strong leadoff. (9.850)

Kmieciak – OU – VT – missed (9.850)

Hires – UGA – UB – a little lacking in amplitude on the jaeger and a little form on the bail hs, minor step on the DLO. Not as strong as Cheek’s routine, but she has improved on this event and she could potentially make the lineup as we go on. (9.825 – a bit high perhaps)

Mooring – OU – VT – Yhalf, major hop forward and a little lacking in dynamics, but it’s fine. (9.800)

Tanella – UGA – UB – good jaeger, she’s rushing this a bit and completing her straddles up to handstand late, hop after the double tuck. Since it’s just a double tuck, she needs to be sticking every time, but this is her usual 9.775-9.800 routine that we’ve come to expect. (9.775)

Olson – OU – VT – Yfull, we’re cutting to these very late. (9.675)

Rogers – UGA – UB – Love her jaeger, you can see the elite refinement in this routine. Flings that tuck full really far. Swims a little bit trying to stick and takes a step. (9.800 – it will be higher soon)

Scaman – OU – VT – 1.5 looked very good in the air but she took a major step forward. She needs to work on the landing, but it will come. (9.800)

Worley – UGA – UB -good on bail hs, nice tkatchev, clean overall, but let’s watch this dismount. Better on the DLO, with just a hop forward. They’re clearly working on that dismount, finally. She’s increasing her scoring potential. (9.800)

Price – OU – VT – she has to vault because Brewer has been removed. Just a handspring front pike – step forward. (9.625)

Davis – UGA – UB – lovely tkatchev as always, hits bail hs, handstands are the best so far, doesn’t really stick the tuck full but tries to pretend. Should be the best score so far. (9.875 – fair)

Jay is going to exhibition on bars. I was wondering about seeing her here. Leg separation on the shaposh, no shushunova, sticks tuck full. She should be in this lineup soon. This was better than most of the competition routines. (9.825)

After two rotations: Georgia 98.450, Oklahoma 98.050

Overall, I think the scores were appropriate and reflected the kind of January gymnastics we saw. It was all very 9.800. It’s nice to see Shayla looking more confident on her bars dismount. It may not be a nervous wreck soon, and she will have a higher ceiling if that DLO continues to improve. It was better but still needs work. I was not particularly impressed with Oklahoma’s vaulting, but they had a lineup change, which hurt them. Scaman will be a 9.9 when the landing comes. Olson must do better. She’s near anchor level at her best. Some of the amplitude is still not competitive with the best teams.

It’s interesting that Worley is not anchoring beam, but I assume they’re trying to protect Earls in that final position. The goal here for Georgia will be to get through beam with those same 9.800s we saw on bars. This is about finding a group of six to compete because there are open slots to be sure. I’m not expecting 9.9s.

Rotation 3:

Cheek – UGA – BB – good full turn, minor wobble on the three series, a little methodical/tight here. Switch side is strong, small wobble on aerial cartwheel, dance elements are the stronger part of the routine for her. Sticks a slightly staggered gainer full. Good start. (9.800)

Albright – OU – FX – front double full with slight lack of control but fine, second pass is strong, the choreography is so KJ. Perhaps plays a little better on a smaller scale, but it looks fun. A little bouncy out of the rudi. Fine routine. (9.775)

Hires – UGA – BB – Huge break on her layout, layout series and falls. No way to hang onto that as hard as she tried. Stumbles on choreography, oh dear, so very tight. Clean gainer full, but overall a miss on a routine that is not particularly complex. (8.975)

Kmieciak – OU – FX – good height on double pike, that’s the kind of amplitude they need from these frehsmen, gets her second pass around – from this angle it looked like she went into that front pike awkwardly but pulled it around with no problem. Good rudi to end. The power on the later passes needs to match the mount, though. (9.775)

Rogers – UGA – BB – LOVE that back handspring 3/4. It’s a great signature piece. This is a clean, confident routine, back handspring full to immediate layout full dismount. Good ingenuity, but I wonder about the connection. There was a definite pause. (9.750)

 Mooring – OU – FX – a little crossed legs on the mount but fine, a low chest on the double pike but strong landing to finish out the routine. Acceptable 9.800-level performance. Nothing perfect, nothing wrong. (9.850)

Tanella – UGA – BB – breaks her walkover/bhs connection with a wobble, gets the connection later on the side somi, though. Step on the gainer full dismount. This is another 9.7-ish performance from her. (9.725)

Spears – OU – FX – Love the choregraphy at the beginning of this one. Front double full to mount, cleanest, most refined routine from OU so far, very expressive performance with good line, bounces out of the rudi, but that’s the only notable deduction. (9.850)

Worley – UGA – BB – hits sheep jump, one of the few NCAA gymnasts who should be doing a sheep, his loso series – good full twisting bhs. Still the weakest part of the routine is the gainer full – stuck but slightly piked with a low chest landing, which there’s really no excuse for on a simple dismount. (9.900) Improve the dismount and she can get her 10. 

Olson – OU – FX – good dbl pike, this supposed to be one of those fun routines, which never appeal to me as much because I don’t know what fun is. A little bent legs on the front layout in the middle pass. She commits to this routine totally, so no complaints from me with the choreo because it’s not an “I’m having fun, right?” routine. Oklahoma should trim the deficit after this rotation. Good job. (9.850)

Earls – UGA – BB – great loso, loso series, she’s looking confident here, no problems so far. I was a bit worried about her in the anchor position because she struggled going up after a fall at Championships, but this is good. A big step back after double tuck dismount, but that’s all. (9.800)

Scaman – OU – FX – huge DLO with a somewhat low landing, but nothing problematic. I love a loso out of a middle pass, so she gets points from me. Good lift, dismounts with a hit double tuck. Great routine, needs a little work on landing positions, but I’m being picky. (9.875)

Breazeal is doing exhibition on beam, lifts well into her loso, very methodical work (that’s the nice way of saying unfortunately slow), doesn’t quite hit that switch split, low landing on the full dismount, but a good routine.   

After three rotations: Georgia 147.425, Oklahoma 147.250. This could go either way still.

I was pleased overall with Georgia on beam. Worley, Earls, Cheek, and Rogers all looked good with little bits that can be improved here and there. Hires was the weak link and looked very unsure of herself. Tanella is just a 9.7 at this point. Oklahoma looked strong on floor with a few routines that could go into 9.9s with time. Spears was the clear standout for me with a lovely routine, but Scaman will be a good anchor. 

They’re making us miss Kat Ding now with a montage. As if we needed help. This meet could use some Kat Ding, but it has been exciting. It looks like we’ll get a few more mid-196s from these two. Normally when meets are close, you favor the home team/team on floor going into the last rotation, but Oklahoma is such a strong beam team that it erases some of that usual advantage. This could get close.

For the person who asked about leos, I’m colorblind, so I usually try to refrain from commenting on leos to avoid embarrassing myself. No hideousness is what I can tell you.

Rotation 4:

Kmieciak – OU – BB – hits loso series, Kevin Copp just gave Carole Ide a shout out. I can see why she’s been assigned the leadoff spot, very confident work. Sticks double tuck with a bit of a low chest. Not a packed routine, but perfect for a leadoff with a difficult dismount. (9.850)

Earls – UGA – FX – Good double pike to start, bounces out of the 1.5 front a little on the second pass. Good double tuck. Should be a strong 9.800 leadoff. (9.850)

Alexander – OU – BB – she looked absolutely great here in the preseason, great split and straddle positions, good aerial + back tuck, no wobbles at all so far, great elegance and flexibility, gainer back tuck dismount but hops back when trying to salute. Good work. (9.800)

Tanella – UGA – FX – hits double pike, goes close to the line on the second pass but stays in. I can’t really take this routine, but she’s hitting. Ugh, miming a phone call. Sound effects and miming are my floor pet peeves. Front layout+rudi to end. Hit. (9.825)   

Olson – OU – BB – wonderful layout series, right on, wobble on front aerial, aeiral cartwheel to full dismount – stuck. Confident routine again, as we always expect. (9.850)

Hires – UGA – FX – This music is so familiar – what is it from? Low on the double pike and steps out of it – everyone is going for a layout + rudi today, a little pose-y and slow in the choreography, falls on double tuck dismount. She has looked off all day after vault. 

Clark – OU – BB – great beam choreography as always. We’ll have to find out what happened to Brewer, hopefully nothing serious. Sheep jump is fine, hits the side somi, eeeeee completely misses her foot on the dismount and lands it to her back but looks to be okay. Scary but no lasting damage. (8.875)

Persinger – UGA – FX – very low on the double tuck with big step forward, drops her foot on the leg-up double turn, but the idea and beginning were nice. Extremely low on double pike and just avoids a fall. She looks unready to compete. She doesn’t have these passes ready yet. Good illusion. Hits rudi dismount. This will be a very low score that has to count. (9.375)

Mooring – OU – BB – good loso series, uncharacteristic wobble on front aerial, hits 1.5 dismount. It was a little tentative overall, but a good hit for going after a bad fall. (9.825)

Worley – UGA – FX -bounces out of double pike but good amplitude and good to see her competing it. The landings aren’t quite there yet, but it’s important to have her healthy enough to compete this event. Bounces out of every pass. It didn’t look like she went OOB but it’s not a great angle to judge and the flag went up (?). Will be a lower score. (9.775 is too high, but she didn’t get the OOB deduction after all, which is the correct decision).

Spears – OU – BB – can comfirm the win with a hit, great Onodi+swing down, perfect on aerial walkover, she’s proving herself a strong heir to Ferguson here. Minor hop on gainer full dismount is the only issue. (9.875)

Jay – UGA – FX – Big bounce out of double tuck on the mount. Nearly goes OOB on the middle pass but stays in, traveled very far on that front tuck out of the pass, falls on the double pike dismount. Frankly, they look completely unprepared to compete on this event after a long meet. Endurance. Earls was the only one who brought it. (9.175)

Oklahoma finishes with a 49.200 on beam, which is appropriate and will go higher as we progress. Albright doing an exhibition on beam, good aerial, she looks more prepared than Clark and perhaps should have come in for Brewer instead, and as I say that she has a major wobble on the series. So there’s that. Good side somi. Good 1.5 dismount.

Final Scores: Oklahoma 196.450, Georgia 195.425 All-Around winner is Taylor Spears with a 39.375.

This was everything we would expect until Georgia threw the meet away on floor. These weren’t random falls. The meet could have gone either way before that. Oklahoma looked like their 9.875 selves on three events with a slightly disappointing vault rotation. The challenge for Oklahoma now will be finding those 9.9s. They had none in this meet, and that is one of the major concerns after the graduation of Megan Ferguson. Most of the weaker routines did come from people who were filling in for Brewer and wouldn’t otherwise have competed, and we’ll still have to find out what happened to her. 

For Georgia, vault was pleasing, bars and beam can come along, and floor needs a ton of work. The positive is that we did see the makings of a 197 team. Rogers and Jay will need time, but they both should be competing at least three events every week for high scores. I’d like to see some experimentation with the beam and floor lineups because I’m not sold on all of these competitors, but that’s what January is for. There is nothing dire about this performance, but some of those routines looked very December.

In the debut competition, Durante did beat Jay Clark by a few tenths, but I anticipate some criticisms of the team’s readiness based on floor.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow for UCLA/Southern Utah at 5:00 ET/2:00 PT. 

It Begins

The first meets of the season are soon to begin, featuring Florida, Stanford, LSU, Oregon State, and Michigan.

7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Ball State @ [3] Florida (Scores)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [22] NC State @ [8] LSU (Scores)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Cancun Classic – [9] Oregon State, [10] Michigan, BYU
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [6] Stanford, UC Davis, Sacramento State @ San Jose State

http://www.gatorvision.tv/mediaPortal/embed.swf

Rhonda nearly said something honest about the level of her opponent. I suppose it’s good to provide more exposure to the lower-ranked teams, but it doesn’t exactly make for the most compelling meets. She says she’s going to compete a lot of underclassmen, except two of the freshmen are out, one will be doing exhibition on one event, and Sloan will not be doing the all-around. So, I suppose that means a bit more Kiersten Wang in this meet than we will see later in the year.
 

LSU’s lineup is already available in the scoring link above. I’m pleased to see Savona in on three events. I’m sure she will be a major contributor on vault and floor, but watch for beam tonight. They could use some beamers. Of the other new ones, Ranzy is currently injured, but Wyrick will be making her debut on bars. I’d like to see her on beam eventually as well, but we’ll see.

As for the Cancun Classic,  I picked Michigan to win this meet (barely), so we’ll see how things go whenever we get a chance to parse the scores. It appears that those were just the warmups that were being described on facebook, hence the lack of information. I believe the meet is still yet to start.

Florida is tweeting updates @GatorZoneGym. Their live scoring is notoriously pokey. Bridget Sloan debuts with a 9.925 vault (up 4th). Welcome to Florida 2013. The vault landings in their first meet last season were clearly in the early stages, so this may be a bit higher score than what I was expecting today if that is any indication.

Florida lineups:
VT: Shisler, Wang, Johnson, Sloan, Dickerson King (Stageberg Exo)
UB: Dickerson, King, Hunter, Sloan, Johnson, M. Caquatto (Wang Exo)
BB: Stageberg, Johnson, Sloan, Hunter, M. Caquatto, Dickerson (Wang Exo)
FX: Shisler, Wang, Stageberg, King, Dickerson, Hunter

Not much can be gleaned from those lineups as to who is in favor to compete all season, since they will clearly change (no Hunter on vault, no King on beam, etc.)

Florida goes 49.325 on vault, led by 9.925s from Sloan and Dickerson. Compare that to last season when Florida opened the year with a 48.925 on vault (albeit away). A 9.725 from Wang was dropped. Shisler went 9.825, which is strong for her, especially in the first meet. Johnson went 9.850 and King went 9.800.

Down Cancun way, Oregon State is competing Witherby and Ohlrich on beam and putting Stambaugh fifth. Grab a rosary now if that’s your thing.

Second rotation in Florida (bars), Dickerson started with a 9.825, then King went 9.800, and Hunter recorded a career-high 9.900. Tying a career high in the first meet, so there’s that. 9.900 is about Hunter’s ceiling on bars, it being her worst event.

Sloan goes 9.800. We know she’s capable of better, but that’s not as relevant in the first meet. Judging by the scores already, I expect this to the lowest home bars score of the season.

Another 9.800 from Alaina Johnson, which should confirm for us that they aren’t up to true levels yet. That’s perfectly acceptable (actually recommended) for the first meet.

Macko finishes with a 9.850, so Hunter wins bars at this meet (unexpected). Florida goes 49.175 for a two-event total of 98.500. Florida leads Ball State by two points (just the two?). BSU on pace for a 193.000. Kiersten Wang scores a 9.750 in her exhibition.

I predicted that Florida would go somewhere in the 196.6–196.7 range in this meet, and they are above that pace right now (though I expect the other rotations to be closer in scoring to bars than to vault). If they do reach 197 in this meet without big routines from such major contributors, it will tell us a lot about how this season will go.

LSU is underway on vault with a 9.825 from Dickson and a 9.775 from Hall. Savona has replaced Lee in this lineup, but otherwise it’s similar to what we saw last season.
For Florida on beam, Stageberg opens with a 9.750 and Johnson follows with a 9.825.
It’s all happening now.

9.800 from Sloan on beam. Her debut is over, and it’s a successful one. She should be 9.9s on every event in a month or two, but nothing problematic here.

In Cancun, Michigan has started on bars with two 9.775s and a 9.700. Harris received a 9.700 on beam for OSU. A bit slow on the start here. Hopefully no one pulls an LSU from last year.

Savona debuts on vault for a 9.850 and Morrison goes 9.900, which is major for her. NC State has suffered a fall on bars with three routines left. We have the makings of a good positive vault score for LSU. They must be consistently going at least 49.300 on vault once Feb/March arrive to contend.

Witherby has fallen or suffered a fall-equivalent on beam for OSU (my fault?), so the Beavers will be couting a 9.700 and a 9.625 already.

LSU gets a 49.275 on vault. Great start for them, just a half tenth short of what Florida put up. Bars next, the event where the most improvement is needed. NC State has to take a 48.450 on bars. Ouchie.

Michigan looks to have recorded a 49.075 on bars (fine, regular), while Oregon State is having a beamtastrophe. Not an ideal way to start the season. 48.225.

Ashanee has fallen on beam for Florida (it’s been a while), but they can drop the score. 49.000 on beam, led by a 9.875 from Macko. It’s huge that they have her back on this event. Uncharacteristic 9.750 from Hunter.

Miele and Sugiyama will lead off beam for Michigan – a trial for those who haven’t always scored the best in the past. It’s important that they give nothing back to Oregon State.

Jessie Jordan has fallen on bars to lead off for LSU. Welcome, Jay! And now an 8.600 for Fox. And they started so well. . .
Randii Wyrick rights the ship with a 9.775. I think she can do better eventually, but for a freshman in her first routine going up after multiple falls, it’s a good hit.

Oregon State has a fall in the second floor routine. This meet looks like trouble. Counting a 9.700 on floor already.

The final four for LSU saved bars, but 9.825 (Morrison) was the high, and the event finishes as just a 48.250. Work to do. LSU leads NC State by just .150 after two rotations.

Shisler leads off floor with a fall for Florida. The day started so strongly, but now we’re seeing evidence of the first weekend all across the nation.

In a huge boost for the Wolverines, they survive beam (more than survive, really). Should be mostly in the clear now to win the meet (of course that will prove false, knowing gymnastics). Zurales leads with a huge 9.925. 49.275 is the score, highest beam score of the day. Well now, Michigan.

LSU starts with 9.725 and 9.750 on beam from Garcia and Dickson. Jordan and Courville are the stars here, but really anyone else can make this lineup. This is an opportunity for anyone who gets a usable score.

Florida is not going to get a big number on floor after the 9.675 from King, so this score will probably be lower than my expectation but still in the mid 196s, which is a good opening for a top team. We’ll hear a lot about how this score is a positive because it shows them what they have to work on. Hunter finishes with a 9.900 to win her second event of the evening.

First final of 2013: Florida 196.575, Ball State 190.500

Ah, the final score missed my range by .025. So close! Sloan and Dickerson win vault, Hunter wins bars, M. Caquatto wins beam, and Hunter wins floor. Dickerson wins the AA. Let’s see if Michigan can beat Florida’s score.

LSU has righted the meet on beam, led by a 9.875 from Courville and able to drop the 9.725 from Garcia. 49.025 is a good score for now, and LSU will widen the lead over NC State by a touch with one rotation left. 196 is going to be unattainable for LSU, but 195.750 looks possible.

It sounds like Oregon State had a bit better go of things on vault, but like LSU it will be difficult for them to recover from that one bad rotation. The score is still just a 48.850, lower than the 48.875 from floor (so never mind about it being a better rotation). They had to drop a 9.550 from McGregor in her comeback routine.The best score was a 9.825 from new transfer Gaspar.

It’s weird to see Beilstein leading off on floor for Michigan, but they continue the great run with 9.9s from Sugiyama and Sampson. 49.300 on floor. This is going to be a major statement, similar to what Arkansas did here last year but with an even stronger score. Vault still to come. They would need 49.350 on vault to score a 197.

Rough day for Jessie Jordan of LSU, her second fall. Savona has started well for the Tigers, but it’s a pressure situation now. They can’t count a fall and expect to win. Huge 9.925 from Savona. That’s what she was recruited for.

Did I say LSU wouldn’t get a 196? Courville just recorded a 9.975 on floor, so one of the judges was ready to give our first ten of the season. I’ll need to see that. If LSU is going to have a big season. floor will lead the way. We know that. Now what are they going to give Hall?

Oregon State opens with a fall on bars. Just that kind of day. Is even 195 going to become a stretch?

Well, the judges weren’t setting the stage for a Hall 10. She gets a paltry 9.950. That’s a powerful little lineup there. LSU goes 49.525 on floor, by far the highest rotation score of the day. Final score: LSU 196.075, NC State 194.975 

Michigan scoring under capabilities a little bit on vault, with three scores under 9.800 to start. It’s nice to see Casanova joining in already. They’ll need her. Oregon State now sure to count a fall on bars as well. They’ll be just mid-194s at this rate.

The Wolverines surprisingly have their worst rotation of the night on vault with a 48.975. Sampson’s 9.875 was the only bigger score. A couple conflicting scores along the way, but it looks like Michigan’s final is somewhere between 196.575–196.625. On pace with Florida and a very good result, even if vault was a little letdown.

Oregon State is having another nutty on bars, counting a fall, a major mistake, and two other scores well under 9.800. Did I say mid-194s? I meant 193s. Something like 193.600 will be the final. That is an extremely poor result, even for the first week. Teams can come back from this kind of start (Stanford did last year), but this is dire for the Beavers. I don’t expect this to continue in the same level of badness, but the Beavers are verging on not being one of the top 12 teams, certainly. Not making Nationals is a very real concern.

Event Finals Live Blog

The last competition from Nationals gets underway soon. It will take forever, as it always does, so buckle in. We don’t have that many vault qualifiers this year, though, because some of the best vaulters didn’t make finals. When you’re watching people flop out lame Yurchenko layouts, remember that we won’t see Vanessa Zamarripa because the rules are stupid. If you can’t do two 10.0 vaults, you shouldn’t be eligible for Event Finals.

Alabama is the National Champion for the second year in a row. I really feel for Florida because they did everything right this year and didn’t mentally implode at Nationals. Alabama landed their skills, and in a year when it was all about landings, that won them the title. It will take a little more time to reflect on what we saw and make some determinations, so on to Event Finals.

Watch Live

I sort of love Event Finals because the judging is often insane, but no one has much of a vested interest in the result, so we can all just laugh about it and enjoy the gymnastics.

Introductions starting now. I’m rooting for some Georgia and Oklahoma victories and for EHH to redeem herself from yesterday and win an event. Did someone just fall from the ceiling? What was that? They’re having people drop from the ceiling and then carry the signs? That’s just weird.

Marching to our events now. I hope we see people really go for it and pull out their big skills. DTY? Peszek’s standing full? I assume the latter would be a definite.

Vault and Bars:
Courville – VT – Low chest on Yfull with a step forward, that won’t do it. 9.800 is high for that. Second vault is just the layout, but stuck.

Zamarripa – UB – not quite as precise as Super Six and then the step on landing. Not her best.

Cheek – VT – good stick on the Yfull with a minorly low chest. Tucked Yfull, good for her for not doing the layout, but big steps back.

Olson – UB – nice deltchev, minor step back on the DLO dismount. Good routine, but I doubt it will stand up.

Gutierrez – VT – stuck Yfull, best so far. Layout second vault  – Alabama usually does this, but I assume Milliner will do a full later on.

Courtney – UB – surprise qualifier here, excellent dismount. She’s improving so much on this event, but I agree with Suzanne that she doesn’t have the appropriate level of difficulty. 9.8875, current leader.

Delaney – VT – fine Yfull with nice distance, but a hop back. Layout  with a big step back. At least we don’t have a thousand vaulters doing these weak vaults.

Ding – UB – lovely first ahndstand, missed her giant full handstand, beautiful stuck DLO. That should be in first place and I hope it wins again this year. The commentators told us it was a 10, but it’s not according to the scores. Still, she will win, but it would have been nice to see her finally get a 10. Sure she missed that handstand on the giant full, but who cares at this point? I would have expected to see a career 10 from all of them.

King – VT – defending champ – step back on her Tsuk 1.5, could have been better, a little uncertain on that landing. Low landing on Tsuk full. Two iffy landings, so her difficulty may not help her here. She goes in behind Gutierrez, so no repeat.

Warmups for the second group now. Hopefully we see some difficulty from Milliner and Hunter because our winner should not have a layout second vault.

Giblin – VT – very nice stick with good body position, similar to Gutierrez but maybe a bit less distance.  Tucked Yfull as second vault, hop in place. She will end up below Gutierrez.

Caquatto – UB – misses a handstand on the low bar and takes an odd step on her dismount. She almost never does that.

Ding – VT – beautiful in the air on the Yfull but had to take steps on her salute. Should have been a stick. Tuck full as well – they’re being critical about people just tucking their legs to do a second vault, but I’d rather see that than the layouts. Current leader.

Shapiro – UB – her handstands have improved at Stanford because they deteriorated during elite, close on dismount but a good stick.

Dabritz – VT – big hop back on landing the Yfull, which is a shame because she really does have those two vaults. I guess she didn’t. Same vault. She can do the 1.5, but didn’t here.

Gerber – UB – Handstands weren’t awesome, but she was lovely. Step back on the dismount. Great career. UCLA will need PPL to be their new elegant Canadian.

Milliner – VT – Starts with the full, step back with a little piking. Will probably still go ahead of Ding if she pulls out a good 1.5. Pretty good with a step back. Neither were awesome, but she’ll go into first surely.

Johnson – UB – Major issue at the start. I’ve never seen her miss this routine. That’s a shame. Ding is our winner, Shapiro 2nd, Courtney 3rd. Of the UCLA gymnasts in this, who would have thought Courtney would finish highest?

Hunter – VT – She starts with the stuck 1.5, best vault so far in the competition. Huge bounce back out of the Yfull. That could give it to Milliner. Florida looks spent.

We’re not getting updates on the scores for Milliner or Hunter (or Johnson but she had an error). Ding will win bars as we wait and move to our second two events. Scoring? Could we, please? Milliner goes 9.825 to move ahead for now. Hunter is our winner with 9.8750. Nice consolation for Florida.

How about this for a vault solution? Gymnasts must show two different vaults during the season to be eligible for vault finals at Championships.


Beam and Floor:
Stone – BB – nice pass into the Korbut, two swing down skills, though. Hop forward on dismount. Suzanne mentions the crossed legs deduction on dismounts, which they never take anyway.

Ferguson – FX – good 3/1, complete. “This reminds me of a mime or something. It’s so fun-loving.” Oh Suzanne. Good punch out of double full. Nice routine, but I don’t think it will win.

Peszek – BB – wobble on standing full, which is a shame. She can do that much better. Punch front, that’s new and nice. They should consider adding that next year. She won’t win with these mistakes, but this is fun to see.

Hunter – FX – good high DLO, she’s performing very well and seems to be the only Gator who’s in this mentally today. 9.925 is very good but not unreachable.

Grable – BB – excellent loso series, but doesn’t have to difficulty to contend with this routine.

Updike – FX – huge bounce back out of a double pike mount and has to put her hands down. Huge height on her 2.5, but another fall on the punch layout.

Stack-Eaton – BB – good acro, has to hang on with her toes on the walkover, good sheep (as far as sheep jumps go), onodi is very nice, I’m glad she added it back. Sticks 1.5 dismount, and she will be the leader and be hard to beat.

Pisani – FX – let’s get this girl a title. Bounce out of her half in half out, but it was minor. A little low knees in the double pike, so I think this won’t be enough to pass Hunter.

Wong – BB – wobble on her two loso series, so she won’t be the leader. Good popa and a stuck double full dismount.

EHH – FX – Didn’t upgrade the mount, so she won’t have enough difficulty, but this is excellent. Beautiful hit routine. Can we give this to her? Performance-wise it was no contest, and that should count in EFs. She goes ahead of Hunter. Could we really see a win here? I’d love that.

Priess – BB – They have been right on on this event all weekend. That was a little wonky on the Rulfova, so I don’t think it should go ahead of Stack-Eaton. Good difficulty, and I’m glad they are throwing it in. Nice, but GSE was better.

Warmups now for the final routines of our season.

Ferguson – BB – this has been perfectly clean through most of the routine. Sheep is a little lacking, but good stick on the double full. Clean but may not go ahead of GSE.

Ding – FX – Good first pass with a straddle + punch, drills double pike middle pass, lovely landings on everything in this routine. Best she’s done? Probably. She goes ahead of EHH, which is not appropriate, but this day is all about Kat Ding, and it’s hard to argue with that. Kat Ding NCAA FX Champion?

Hong – BB – clean on her walkover + bhs loso elite series. Wobble on the side somi will take her out of it.

Dickerson – FX – perfectly stuck landings on all of her tumbling, but just something a little missing. I don’t think it will go into the lead.

Pisani – BB – misses her switch split in both position and wobbling, otherwise a clean, strong routine.

Jones – FX – Efficient tumbling, nice split positions, this is an overlooked routine that is pretty nice. I hadn’t seen it for a while. Kathy is making it clear she thinks EHH should be ahead of Ding.

Matusik – BB – Well done to her for making finals, just a few too many deductions in this routine. Gainer 1.5 dismount.

Zamarripa – FX – She’s getting a bit better as a performer, but this routine is not up to event final calibre.

EHH – BB – Just off on her side aerial + loso series, didn’t fall but had enough of a wobble that she will not win a title. Not her best routine.

GSE – FX – Good dbl Arabian as always, great double pike to end. This could challenge Ding.

Spinner – BB – Finishing up the competition for us on beam, she’s been consistently 9.9, but the lack of stick means she won’t do that today.

DeZiel – FX – Last on floor, good pike full but I’d like to see her land a little more legs together. Good clean routine, but I don’t think it will be the leader.

Titles:
Vault – Kytra Hunter
Bars – Kat Ding
Beam – Geralen Stack-Eaton
Floor – Kat Ding

The only result you can really argue with is floor. Ding? I don’t see it, but a fun competition with some nice beam upgrades that made that final the most interesting.

Super Six Live Blog

Watch Live – 4:00 ET
Rotation Order: Florida VT, Stanford Bye, Arkansas Bars, Utah Beam, Alabama Bye, UCLA Floor.
Super Six is always a blur. A few short routines and then it’s over. You remember senses more than actual routines. We can only hope it’s not a dud. We’ve been building to this for months. I want excitement, and I’m going to be sad when it’s over.
We spend all this time and watch all these meets, and the end of all our discussion is to arrive right back where we began. In December, I said that the teams with a realistic shot at the title were Florida, UCLA, and Alabama. Now, hours before Super Six, I’m saying that the teams with a realistic shot at the title are Florida, UCLA, and Alabama.
After the performance in Semifinals, I’ve re-promoted Alabama to the top flight of contenders. However, I was not completely wowed by them on some events. With the scoring as it was, they should have gone much higher than 49.400 on vault by getting some sticks in the middle of the lineup. If Georgia is getting a 49.6, Alabama needs to be getting a 52. 
Florida looked mostly excellent and controlled, and they will be considered the favorites today, but they are not completely free of concerns. They looked shaky on floor at SECs, had two OOBs at Regionals, and had two OOBs (from the same people) in Semifinals. It’s very difficult to correct trends for Super Six. Marissa King will be the one to watch. She has a history of broken brain in major competitions, and she was definitely off yesterday. They probably need to be dropping Wang-VT, Ellis-UB, Spicer-BB, and Ferguson/Stageberg-FX. They can’t afford to drop a King score today.
UCLA scored lower than the other two in Semifinals, but they shouldn’t be concerned about the scoring from yesterday because they were in the afternoon session and were kind of bad. They will need to hope for some happy scoring from the start today, though, as they need to be 49.400 on floor to be competitive. I don’t expect to see repeats of the Zamarripa and Peszek mistakes, but watch out for Mattie. She’s Mattie and she scored 9.775 on her two routines yesterday. No one was impressed.
As for the other teams, Utah will have to be very solid for 9.875s and hope for a sloppy competition. Arkansas and Stanford should be very proud of making it this far, but they will struggle to reach above their Semifinal scores, and it’s going to take at least a 197.500 to win this (though I do expect the scoring to be more contained than it was last night).
Competition begins at 4 ET. Here we go!


Almost time now. Getting the stream connected to my TV so I can watch luxuriously, testing ESPN3 to make sure we have no hiccups.

Judges have switched events from yesterday. Vault and Beam switch, Bars and Floor switch.

Will we have the ESPN trio commentating? Or are they just doing the delayed TV broadcast? I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

Your event is about to begin. Please stand by. (Um, it’s 1:00 . . .) (Um, it’s 1:05 . . .)

Dear ESPN, this isn’t football, where you can just leave us dangling and no one will care or notice. We’re gymnastics fans. We’re feisty, hungry, and judgmental. Don’t tell us to stand by.

Here we go. Oh dears, everyone but Sam Peszek should not pursue a career on camera.

Really glad we’re getting Bart, Kathy, and Suzanne. Kathy doesn’t know if Alabama can get better from yesterday, but they better do it because some of those landings were not up to championship level.

Rotation 1:
They’re starting us all of the sudden! Very little introduction at all. Lothrop looks fine but a little tentative. Hop on dismount. Spicer’s vault is fine with a hop back.

Canizaro on bars, a few handstand issues and a hop back. McAllister on beam, nice three series. Kathy and Suzanne agree with me about the lack of separation yesterday. Hop back on dismount.

Waiting on Ashanee for vault. Spicer got a 9.850, which is a little high. Very minor hop in place (maybe?)

Olivia Courtney on floor – don’t like these UCLA leos much. Courtney looks very nice in her tumbling. She has peaked at the right time. Really nice routine.

Beers on beam, she lacks amplitude in her elements and had an off split position. Pisani on bars, stuck dismount – very nice.

King was ever so slightly low on her vault, so not her best, but still excellent. Hunter has a huge leap forward, so Florida will be a little lower than yesterday.

Howdeshell on bars, trying to recover from yesterday’s fall – good releases – let’s watch the dismount – just a minor step.

Peszek on floor – strong DLO – big lunge out of double pike, but better than yesterday.

Lopez on beam, Utah is scoring very well here – just a wobble on the series, and another on a leap – so this won’t be a great score.

EHH now on floor, just a minor hop out of double tuck, but I wish she had kept doing her 2010 routine because it was the best one. Bounces OOB so they won’t count this score. Not an acceptable mistake for UCLA, so they’ll be counting Pritchett’s 9.825. Probably a tenth in overall score given away there, and you can’t do that in Super Six.

Kathy’s eating a potato chip. After one rotation, UCLA let Florida get away from them a little bit. I thought UCLA needed a 49.400, but they went 49.350. Not a problem, but they needed a bit better. Florida’s 49.475 is less than yesterday on vault, but it’s fine. Utah goes 49.350 on beam, which is a huge improvement for them from yesterday, and Arkansas trails with 49.175 on bars.

Rotation 2:
Florida and Utah go away while Stanford and Alabama come back in. It’s an opportunity for Alabam to get some distance on UCLA after the first rotation. UCLA goes to vault, and they need probably a 49.500.

Beam for Arkansas to start – solid landings on her acro – a little bit of leg form, and totally came off the side of the beam for her dismount but landed it. 9.775 – scoring is high on beam.

Baer on vault – she has to stick to minimize those leg deductions. Hop in place – fine.

Shapiro on bars – just a step on the tuck full. Solidly clean routine with good form.

Kathy is in love with Sam Peszek. Great distance, needs a bit more amplitude, minor hop. Priess on floor, not quite controlled on her tumbling but clean enough.

Alabama is scoring very well on floor so far. On pace to outscore UCLA there. Tauny tried to stick and almost did it. Better than it has been. Arkansas is stepping it up a little bit on beam.

Zam now – Bart butchers her name “Zarripova?” – needs a stick. FINALLY sticks it when they needed. Should be a 9.950.

Why on Earth is Hong in on bars? Well they have certainly fixed her DLO. Note this, Valeri.

Pisani hitting beam well – maybe not quite the 9.950 from yesterday with a minor shuffle on the landing.

10 for Zamarripa and UCLA NEEDED it. Wow. A 10 in Super Six is big deal.

Gutierrez on floor, perhaps a bit sloppier on some of this tumbling than yesterday, but good stick on the double pike to finish, so we probably won’t see it in the score.

Arkansas is not doing poorly, but they aren’t getting the 9.9s to keep pace. Stack-Eaton on floor, they need a 9.9 from her. Very nice on her dbl Arabian. Hits excellently, so Alabama will outpace UCLA on floor. Vault will be very telling now.

Zamarripa’s 10 has kept UCLA in this, but Florida and Alabama both started extremely well. Stanford and Utah are on pace with 49.350 rotations and Arkansas is falling a bit behind.

Rotation 3:
Florida to bars, where they need a 49.400, and Utah goes to floor where they will have to keep up with the previous teams. UCLA and Arkansas going on break. Alabama to vault, where they will probably need to match Florida’s 49.475 and will certainly need to be better than yesterday. They must have sticks.

ESPN3 momentarily told us that our event had ended. Um, no. Florida needs a 49.400 to level UCLA and Alabama needs a 49.425, both attainable but they will have to be very clean. I expect to see all three of those teams within two tenths by the halfway point, and Stanford and Utah must stay within about the same margin to stay in it.

Suzanne and Val having a talk. Val is excited now. We’ll see if it keeps up.

UCLA has bumped up the scores on vault, and Alabama may benefit. Shuffle from Kayla Williams.

Hong on beam, wobble on the walkover, otherwise very elegant and clean, hop back on dismount.

Dickerson fell on bars, which I think she also did in warmups. I’m assuming on her Hindorff. Four pressure routines now, but they’ll be glad it’s bars instead of beam. She’s a little tight on some of her handstands, but nice hit.

Williams got a 9.900 on vault, which I think is a little high, so we can assume the scores have been bumped up. Watch out for Alabama if Florida has a mistake right now on bars. Geralen sticks and may get that same 10 that Zam did, except she’s earlier in the lineup. 9.975.

Good stuck tumbling from Damianova, just a little low body position. Step back from Gutierrez on vault, not her best. 9.900 is high for that step.

Macko on bars now – sticks dismount. They shouldn’t have to count a fall, but they are counting a few 9.850s, so not quite the highest possible score here for them.

Dabritz with a triple full dismount, well landed just with the usual crossed legs.

Stanford is staying right in this with some 9.900s on beam. Don’t forget about them yet. Same with Utah.

Alabama goes 9.625 on vault, so they are .2 ahead of UCLA and will probably be the favorites right now at the halfway point.

Ashley Morgan on beam to finish – she hasn’t always competed this event. They are changing these lineups around a lot for Super Six. Good hit routine. They’ll be right there near UCLA.

Big bounce back for McAllister on mount, the flag went up, but it didn’t look like she went OOB there, did it?

Robarts will be the last to go on floor for Utah. Good dbl Arabian mount. Slight bounce out of double pike, but good hit overall. Utah should go ahead of Stanford but be just behind UCLA.

HALFWAY SCORES:
1. Alabama – 99.075
2. Florida – 98.900
3. UCLA – 98.875
4. Utah – 98.675
4. Stanford – 98.675
6. Arkansas – 98.400

It’s less than two tenths of a lead for Alabama, so this could still obviously go any direction, but you just get the sense that this will be Alabama’s day, don’t you. They have benefitted from this rotation order.

Rotation 4:
UCLA comes back in for bars, and they need to match yesterday’s scoring. Alabama and Stanford are on break. Florida goes to beam in the unfamiliar position of trailing after vault and bars. How will the freshmen respond? Utah to vault – will they take advantage of the rising scores as well?

De La Torre getting ready on bars. I really think UCLA cant contend unless they get a 49.375 here, which is a stretch for this team regardless of how they did in Prelims. DE La Torre is very low on her DLO dismount. Not the start they needed because now they will have to count Larson.

Can’t see much of beam from this angle. Can they please show us some of these routines? Stageberg starts beam with a 9.900.

Courtney sticks her dismount on bars to right things. Looks like Spicer hits beam as well. Putting pressure on Alabama.

Canizaro on floor and steps OOB and then falls. Johnson on beam – very solid on her series. A little too deliberate in this routine for my liking but clean. Peszek on bars wile Dickerson goes on beam. Peszek hits well, Dickerson must hit here and she looks confident, just a step back on dismount.

Perfect routine from Zamarripa. I know people have problems with her bars, but really, find the deduction. It may just be not enough though given how well Florida is scoring on beam. Hunter hits a similar routine to Dickerson, just a step on the dismount.

Gerber looking very nice on bars. Just a small hop on the dismount, so it won’t be the 9.925 from yesterday, but will certainly be higher than MDLT.

Grable on floor – must hit for Arkansas. King finishes up a great beam routine for Florida, so they are still right in this, but it was not enough to make me think they will pass Alabama right now.

UCLA has improved by leaps and bounds on bars in the last month, and they got a 49.475 to stay just .025 behind Florida. That could go either way at the end. Alabama needs a 49.300 on bars to go level with Florida.

Arkansas finishing the rotation last with Pisani on floor. Arkansas isn’t in this, but she’s a joy to watch. A little bounce out of the mount and then a ridiculous fall punching out of her middle pass. That’s such a shame and so unexpected.

Rotation 5:
UCLA will be finishing the meet in this rotation on beam and needs to be the best they’ve ever been to have a shot at reaching Alabama. Alabama goes to bars, where they will need those big 9.9 routines from Stack-Eaton and Priess, and they will need the first three to squeeze every bit of 9.850 life out of their routines.

Suzanne just said Florida’s beam was the best they’ve ever had. What?

Gerber starting beam for UCLA but we don’t get to see it finish, so that we can watch Arkansas wait. Why? Nice from Lewis.

Alabama has a mistake from Demeo to start on bars. Interesting. Pressure on the rest of them now. Jacob hits? Is this getting interesting? Dear ESPN, less Arkansas, more UCLA and Alabama right now.

It appears Aisha Gerber had a mistake on beam. Florida, are you seeing this?

Hong on floor, beautiful movement as always, but the tumbling isn’t quite there yet.

Ugh, they think Mattie is Vanessa. How hard is it to recognize Mattie Larson? A little low on landing, but a good clean routine. 9.900, which is high but consistent with the rest of the competition.

Good vault from Pisani with just a minor slide back. Sledge on bars now, great gienger, and excellent DLO as always. They are recovering from DeMeo’s mistake.

Great hit from Zamarripa on beam. That was better than Mattie’s routine, so we’ll see what happen.

Priess on bars, must hit – nice but a step on landing. They won’t get those same 9.9s from yesterday, so Florida is in this.

EHH has a fall on beam – bad competition from her – so they are counting the 9.725 from Gerber and will be out of this. That’s a shame, so it’s down to Florida and Alabama now. EHH is crying now, such a shame. She knows they can’t come back from that.

First final score – Arkansas at 196.300.

Waiting for Peszek on beam, she needs about an 11 to help UCLA here. Good hit, and UCLA will get an excellent score, but not quite good enough. They really were a good EHH day away from winning a national title.

The other big news, Alabama was not able to move ahead of Florida so they are within .025 going into the final rotation. This will be a great fight. Can’t wait.

UCLA gets a 49.450 while counting a 9.725 on beam. Where would they have been otherwise? Florida will need a 49.375 on floor to tie UCLA. Alabama will need a 49.400 on beam to tie UCLA.  Even though it was not the best for the Bruins, 197.750 is not a Super Six score to be disappointed in.

Rotation 6:
UCLA and Arkansas are done. Florida is on floor and Alabama is on beam.

Jacob has started on beam, and it looks like Florida has started floor as well. So why are we seeing Utah?

Ferguson starts with 9.850 for Florida, Stageberg must stay in bounds. She did this time. Alabama’s first two are hitting beam very well. This is going to be such a fight right now. Edge to Alabama on the first scores.

Johnson a little wonky on the dbl arabian, but fine – Williams a little wobble on beam – and hits overall, as does Johnson very well.

Now it’s up to Dickerson and DeMeo – scores getting very big in this last rotation. Dickerson has huge step out of her dbl Arabian – it’s the opening Alabama needs, but that was the only real deduction in the routine.

Major bend at the knees for DeMeo, she matches Dickerson in giving something away, minor step on double pike.

Marissa King time now, impromptu dbl Arabian – love her. A little low in her double pike, but it was solid.

Stack-Eaton now – hit routine that should confirm that they move ahead of UCLA and put some pressure on Florida after the King routine.

Final routine for Florida now – Hunter – beautiful DLO – she needs a 9.925 and should probably get it.  Going into the final pass now – must nail it though. And she did. It will probably be a 9.950.

Alabama can pass Florida, though, with a big routine from Priess – this is going to be within a tenth for the top three teams. Priess sticks her dismount, and I think that will be enough.

Florida passes UCLA by .025 and I think Alabama will pass them. They did.

That was all the excitement we could have asked for. Devastating for Florida. Alabama wins the second straight title. Top three teams were all within a tenth of each other. I felt UCLA and Alabama had places where they gave it away, but Florida really didn’t (except for Ashanee on bars I suppose). Great job by all the top teams, but I have to admit I’m a little disappointed by this result. I thought Alabama was the beneficiary of a good rotation order in terms of building scores (going right after UCLA) and that Florida was the stronger team overall today. What more could they have done? Part of this is also that it would have been great to see a new Champion. Alabama did very well, so I don’t want to be too hard on them, but this was Florida’s year.

I haven’t mentioned Stanford because they weren’t really in this by the end, but a huge 197.500 is a great accomplishment for them as well. They never went away.

FINAL SCORES:
1. Alabama – 197.850
2. Florida – 197.775
3. UCLA – 197.750
4. Stanford – 197.500
5. Utah – 197.375
6. Arkansas – 196.300