Category Archives: Live Blog

Live Blog – National Semifinal #1

Over the course of a season, we see a number of teams score well. Be it because of an outstanding performance, preposterous home scoring, or just a cruel trick played by swift-footed Hermes, so many teams record large scores that it is only our collective qualitative assessments that separate one from another. Today, we put those assessments to the test.
Six teams will advance to Super Six Team Finals. Logic would seem to tell us that Florida, UCLA, and Alabama will cruise safely into tomorrow, but it is impossible to be certain when a random fall on beam can make all the difference. I’m nervous, and I don’t even know about what in particular. I’m nervous for everyone in general.
And before we begin, a quick note to the judges. Please, in the name of my precious sanity, have some self-respect. Your 9.950 is precious. Don’t just give it away to anybody because all the cool kids are doing it. If Carole Ide jumped off a cliff, would you do it too? There are only a few routines that really deserve your 9.950, and I don’t want to see you throwing it away on some average stuck dismount that went up second on bars and won’t treat you right. Thanks for listening. I really do want what’s best for you.
OK. Now we can begin.
Here you may find your Live Stream links.
Semifinal 1, 12:00 ET: UCLA, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Utah, Stanford, LSU 
Semifinal 2, 6:00 ET: Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Oregon State, Ohio State
Follow along after the jump for live commentary and panicked murmurings around 11:30 ET.
We’re almost there. There are a few lineup decisions I’m still interested to hear about, like how much Kayla Nowak is actually doing. Oklahoma needs her on vault otherwise they will be sending up a 9.9 SV. Automatic drops are a big no-no at Championships.

Your judges for Semifinal 1:

Event Number Name Rating
Vault Judge 1 Charlene Christensen Brevet
Judge 2 Lee Bjella National
Judge 3 Marian Dykes Brevet
Judge 4 Gay Ann Valkoun Brevet
Bars Judge 1 Carol Ide Brevet
Judge 2 Kat Sgamba Brevet
Judge 3 Linda Fenton National
Judge 4 Donnalyn Trevethan Brevet
Beam Judge 1 Kelly Dornon-Heimsoth National
Judge 2 Mary Dillard Brevet
Judge 3 Patricia Ethredge Brevet
Judge 4 Donna Meinecke Brevet
Floor Judge 1 Lois Colburn Brevet
Judge 2 Catherine Batsche Brevet
Judge 3 Laurie Reid Brevet
Judge 4 Kim Riley National
Stream is up. Let’s get excited. I’m starting to get an overwhelming sense of uncertainty, like we might see some serious upsets today. Just a feeling.

UCLA introductions first. Kozai is always one of their people on floor event though . . . does she do gymnastics? She’s the new Tiffany Hyland. Natasha Kelley is there on the floor for Oklahoma.

Intros over, warmups soon to start. Upwards of several people are waiting for the meet to start. It looks like about 64 Bruins are warming up vault, including De La Torre and Larson.

It always looks so awkward for the individual competitor. Judges are taking control of their events. Here we go.

Rotation 1:
Cut away from Tutka on floor so we can see the crowd. Helping no one, cameras. Finishes with a strong double tuck. Vault warmup still concluding.

K.J. holding forth at beam. Bars from Nebraska – we see a moment before cutting to Damianova on floor. Camera operators Utah fans? High double pike.

What we’ve seen from Nebraska so far on bars has been clean. DeZiel sticks a nice dismount.

Olson has a minor wobble on her series on beam, but hits the rest. UCLA getting some pretty low scores on vault. Interesting.

Dabritz finishes well on floor. I’m seeing 9.850s being waved around.

Bounce back from Zamarripa – not her best. Maybe we’re seeing some nerves here from UCLA because these scores are poor. Frattone won’t make vault finals again. UCLA gets just 49.275. They’re in trouble. Utah is hitting floor.

The bits of Nebraska we’ve seen on bars have looked good but not great. We’ll see how Giblin and Evenstad do.

Pretty major wobble for Spears on Oklahoma’s beam. They don’t look quite on yet either, but good dismount from her.

Megan Ferguson waiting on the beam, our last competitor of the rotation for Oklahoma. She’s hitting very well. UCLA could be behind both Oklahoma and Utah after the first rotation, which I would never have picked. Robarts hits floor to finish things off for Utah.

After Rotation 1: Oklahoma 49.325, UCLA 49.275, Utah 49.275, Nebraska 49.150.

Standout score of the rotation was a 9.950 from Ferguson on beam. Oklahoma and Utah did their jobs. Nebraska and UCLA have some work to do.

Rotation 2:
UCLA and Oklahoma go to byes. Stanford and LSU enter the competition. I’m interested to see what the judges make of Stanford on floor and how Utah vault now compares to UCLA since UCLA had troubles with landings. Will everybody?

LSU starts on bars, some sloppy legs in this routine into a double tuck dismount.

Big bounce back from Dayton on her floor mount, I don’t expect this to be a very big score. No major problems, though. Second from LSU on bars also has a little sloppiness into the dismount. Utah is losing it on vault, but I don’t know what about.

Some wobbles from Skinner on beam but she got through it, and we see Shona Morgan finishing strong on floor. We’re not getting any scores yet on the live scoring.

Huge mistake from Nebraska on beam, but she stayed on. Hall has to come off the bars for LSU. Disaster. Ivana Hong looking lovely on floor. Huge lunge forward from Robarts on vault. That won’t score well. Courville hits bars well to start saving things for LSU.

Hanset on floor for Stanford, followed by Morrison on bars for LSU, stuck dismount there. Wong on beam for Nebraska hits, and we’ll see Pechanec on floor, a little low on double tuck mount, good presentation but the tumbling in underwhelming.

If we had scores, we would know how Nebraska is scoring on beam, but things don’t look great. These camera angles are horrible. Everything is cut off or behind a sign. Ahsley Morgan finished floor for Stanford.

Some individual competitors finishing up now. Any word on scores? Utah 49.525 on vault? I have a lot of questions for these judges. UCLA will feel cheated by this since Courtney went just 9.900 for a stick. It will be fascinating to see what the judges do with Oklahoma now. Look at Marian Dykes’s scores for Utah on vault (judge #3). She was not as impressed as the others.

Rotation 3:
Utah and Nebraska on to byes, UCLA and Oklahoma rejoin the competition. UCLA probably needs a 49.250-49.300 on bars right now, but I don’t know if that’s in the cards. Rotation starting now.

Big lunge out of the mount for OK on floor, so Albright won’t get the 9.9s she’s been seeing. Score is 9.850 which is high. Floor seems a little charitable so far.

Ashley Morgan pretends to stick her yhalf but takes a big step forward. Hanset is very low-chested but appears to stick. MDLT starts UCLA with a needed 9.850 on bars. Pechanec bounces out of a Yfull.

Larson on bars now. Too much sloppiness everywhere but she hits her DLO better than usual.

Wobbles all over the place for Lau on beam. They’ll need to drop this. Oklahoma doing fine on floor, but the tumbling is not totally controlled. Good stick from Dayton on vault for Stanford.

Hall has some struggles on beam but stays on to help LSU stay slightly alive. Stanford scores a 49.300 on vault. These judges are judging landing and not form and amplitude. This is not acceptable. Dayton barely even left the table and got a 9.950 from one judge.

Courville hits her Arabian well, but has to struggle to save her front tuck.

UCLA has finished bars and scored a massive 49.450 to mostly make up for vault. They will feel much better about their chances now. We didn’t get to see anything except Larson, who was scored appropriately at 9.775, so it’s hard to judge.

Big wobble from Jordan on beam, but other major wobbles haven’t seemed to matter because the judges are giving everyone a 9.850, so we’ll see . . .

Interesting about the judging on floor, I mentioned it was loose, but it only seems loose for the weaker routines and harsher for the better routines. They’re keeping everyone too close together. Everything is a 9.850-9.875. Even Ferguson gets just a 9.900, when she has been going 9.925-9.950.

HALFWAY SCORES:
1. Utah – 98.800
2. UCLA – 98.725
3. Oklahoma – 98.575
4. Stanford – 98.450
5. LSU – 98.200
6. Nebraska – 98.150

Well, we certainly won’t be seeing any teams advancing with 196.200s like we did last year. Everyone is still in this. Oklahoma going to vault now, which will be the make or break event for them. They probably need to break UCLA’s score to feel safe enough. Similarly, UCLA is going to beam, so we know that it’s all still on the table. I thought LSU was overscored there, so let’s see what happens now.

Rotation 4:
Stanford and LSU leave the floor, Utah and Nebraska come back on. Just looking at the LSU beam scores some more. Courville had a clear full tenth wobble on a single skill and still got a 9.950 from one judge, so this is what we’re dealing with today. I can tell you right now that this session will not be controversy-free.

Oklahoma starts vault with Brewer doing a fine Yfull with low chest. Nebraska desperately needs a good 49.400 on floor right now to contend.

Looks like Gerber hit beam to start for UCLA. Baer now, have her dance elements deteriorated a bit from earlier in the season? Good same on the side somi as one foot was nearly off the beam entirely. This won’t be a great score but she’s staying on.

I hate seeing DLO bars dismounts head on, they always look terrible. Beers appears to hit bars. Utah started that rotation with a couple of 9.800s. Baer gets 9.875 on beam, which is too high but consistent with what LSU was getting.

These Nebraska floor routines are very 9.825, but we’ll improve as we get later in the lineup. Oklahoma went 49.125 on vault. Not good enough to feel safe now.

Zamarripa comes off on beam. Disaster for UCLA, and very unexpected. Wow. Everything to play for now. Huge pressure on EHH and Peszek.

McAllister finishes bars for Utah with a stick. EHH to go now on beam. She looks terrified.

DeZiel looking strong on floor. She needs to be 9.900 for Nebraska to get in this, little bounce out of dismount, but a strong routine.

EHH goes on beam now. HUGE hit for them. That should score well. Just huge pressure on Peszek. Well, we know she won’t be throwing her tuck full, that’s for sure. Evenstad follows to finish Nebraska off with a very nice routine. I enjoyed that even though the music choice has become a cliche.

Peszek now – hits series and gainer loso. Just the dismount left. Consider that bullet dodged by UCLA.

Wrong music on floor. Love that annoyed body language. Was focused on UCLA, but Utah gets a 49.225 on bars, which is OK but not great. No 9.9s in that rotation, so UCLA has actually moved .025 ahead of Utah. Would not have expected that after Utah’s massive vault scores. Both Utah and UCLA should feel OK right now, except Utah still has beam.

Rotation 5:
UCLA and Oklahoma head away, LSU and Stanford come back. Watch out for Stanford’s bar scores in this rotation. Oklahoma should not feel safe in their lead over the Cardinal right now. Nebraska and Utah will be finishing their competitions in this rotation.

Lothrop starts on beam (I still don’t like that decision), she hits very solidly but it will be hard for her to score that high here, just a minor hop on dismount. Stanford leads off witha hit bars and we see just a moment of LSU on floor.

Skinner vaults a fine Yfull with a pretty big step back, Giblin follows with a comfortable stick. It may be too little too late. LSU appears to be hitting floor, and Lofgren looks solid enough for Utah on beam. They probably just need to hit two more beam routines to advance.

Our first final: Nebraska finishes with a 196.625. Would have been enough to advance out of either session last year, but it won’t be enough this year. Ashley Morgan hits bars. Stanford is right in this. We may have a nice qualification fight in the last rotation.

Mathis is strong on floor except for the leg separations in her tumbles. Huge wobble for Robarts on beam now, but they can drop it.

LSU is looking out of this, but Courville appears to be hitting her routine well. She’ll still be looking for some EFs potentially. Big wobble from Lopez’s feet (thanks a lot camera work) on beam, but she hits. Utah should be fine.

My stream kept cutting out during Hall on floor, which seemed appropriate.

Oooh, Stanford is currently .050 ahead of Oklahoma going into the last rotation. Everything to play for, ladies and gentlemen.

Utah finishes with a 197.200. Oklahoma and Stanford would need really big scores in the final rotation to pass that, so the Utes are comfortably in the clubhouse right now. UCLA needs just a 49.175 to guarantee qualification, which is certainly very attainable for them on floor. They basically just need to hit.

Rotation 6:
Utah and Nebraska are done. Nebraska, done for the season. Oklahoma will be on bars and Stanford on beam in what will likely be the qualification race. UCLA warming up floor. Cory is dancing more than anyone on the team, as usual. Love.

I think we have to give the slight edge to Oklahoma here because bars is lower risk than beam, but Stanford has proven 9.9 capability from many corners on beam and Oklahoma ust lost Hayden Ward on bars, so who knows. LSU will be on vault, where they can score well, but not well enough to make it into the top three unless we see many falls.

Stanford begins on beam with Becky Wing. Minor wobble after walkover, solid on series. Lunge forward on dismount, but job done.

Mathis on vault for LSU, solid. Brewer on bars, clean, efficient, fine. Zam on floor looks nice, but those legs on the dismount I’m still not happy with.

Stanford and Oklahoma are trading off mid-9.8s. This could still go either way. HUGE 9.900 from Ivana Hong. Olivia Courtney hits floor, so they need just two more hit routines to win the session.

Stanford continues to set the pace on beam, Oklahoma will need something special from the final two bars workers to advance. Wow.

It’s official: Zamarripa will not advance to vault finals. That’s such a shame. So few can actually perform two real vaults.

Olson hits a solid bars to Oklahoma. Will it be enough? Outlook is doubtful.

Peszek bounces out of DLO, but it’s fine. She was ONE pass away from securing UCLA’s advancement to Super Six and she fell. Oh UCLA. Big pressure on EHH now. This is NOT a guarantee.

Pechanec hits beam for Stanford. GREAT day for the Cardinal. Huge surprise that they put four events together. EHH now has to hit her last pass and not pull a Peszek. She could even go OOB and it would be fine, she just needs to stay on her feet. Done. That was a nailbiter the whole way for the Bruins.

It’s official. Stanford will advance. They actually almost beat Utah. Huge for them after the horrendous most of the season they had. Devastating for Oklahoma. It’s so tough for a top team to come into semifinals, have no major mistakes, and still come away in 4th.

You have to feel for Oklahoma. With the injuries they’ve had, there’s not much they could have done better. They just didn’t have the routines top to bottom.

FINAL SCORES:
1. UCLA – 197.400 (that was the hardest easy victory I’ve ever seen)
2. Utah – 197.200
3. Stanford – 197.125
4. Oklahoma – 196.925
5. Nebraska – 196.625
6. LSU – 196.550

Note, every single one of these scores would have advanced from BOTH Semifinals last year.

Individual Qualifiers:
Vault – Delaney, Courville, Giblin, Dabritz
Bars – Gerber, Courtney, Zamarripa, Olson, Shapiro
Beam – Ferguson, EHH, Peszek, Wong, Stone, Hong, Spinner, Matusik
Floor – Zamarripa, EHH, DeZiel, Ferguson

Remember when I said that beam would have the fewest qualifiers? I’m smart.

Current AA leader: Rheagan Courville with 39.475, which will absolutely not hold up after the second session. It’s strange – a lot of people could have scored very well save for a weird fall. Zamarripa would have been the runaway leader had she not screwed up beam – same thing happened in 2010.

This thing is lengthy, so when we return for the second SF at 6 ET, I’ll start a new post, so follow along there.

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Regionals Live Blog – This Is the Show

The Regionals have finally arrived. With all the top teams competing nearly simultaneously in must-hit situations, this really is the most exciting day in NCAA gymnastics. In the words of Our Lady of Perpetual Valorie, “It makes for Fantastic. Sport.” As always I’ll be commenting on all the action in a live blog after the jump, trying desperately to keep up with everything that is going on. Since there will be moments when we have four Regionals happening at the same time, I will invariably miss things, so keep me up to date in the comments.

Do any of the top six seeds have a chance of going down? I don’t see it, but it wouldn’t be a Regional without an upset, so I may be rooting for it, especially as we get toward the end if the early Regionals have been breezes. It’s just better that way. Regionals can be a nervous breakdown of a day, so lots of nonsense can happen. Remember last year when Ashanee had that beam disaster and Shayla fell on her bars mount?


Regionals. This is what happens. Get ready.

The 2012 Balance Beam Situation Room, with all your Regionals needs:

4:00 ET / 1:00 PT – Raleigh Regional   VIDEO   SCORES
Florida, Ohio State, Penn State, NC State, Kent State, North Carolina

5:00 ET / 2:00 PT – Champaign Regional   VIDEO   SCORES  (Individual apparatus video)
Oklahoma, Stanford, Denver, Illinois, Kentucky, UIC

5:00 ET / 2:00 PT – Fayetteville Regional   VIDEO   SCORES
UCLA, Arkansas, Boise State, Missouri, New Hampshire, Maryland

7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – Seattle Regional   VIDEO   SCORES
Alabama, LSU, Arizona, Washington, Iowa, Central Michigan

7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – Auburn Regional   VIDEO   SCORES
Georgia, Oregon State, Auburn, Michigan, West Virginia, Michigan State

8:00 ET / 5:00 PT – Salt Lake City Regional   VIDEO   SCORES
Nebraska, Utah, Minnesota, Iowa State, Arizona State, San Jose State


Not too far away from the beginning of action now. I’m pleased that we’ll just have one Regional to start with instead of the cavalcade we will see later in the day. That way we can get comfortable with a slower start, especially seeing as Ohio State and Penn State are both on byes to start the first Regional. So, we’ll really have only Florida on bars to focus on in that first rotation.

Just watched yesterday’s press conference from the Fayetteville Regional. Val mentioned that Peszek might be questionable because of a dislocated rib (true story?) at Pac-12s. Could make things interesting.

I expect the scores in Raleigh to go quite high, and Florida on bars in the first rotation will give us a good sense of how high. If Dickerson and Hunter go over 9.850, it will be a high scoring day. I expect to see a 49.400 from Florida, but anything 49.200+ is fine. To get off on the right foot, NC State needs to break 49 on vault in that first rotation.

Coverage beginning now in Raleigh. We’re yet to introduce the teams, so we have a while to wait. Ugh, pre-meet festivities are unbearable. It’s very difficult to cover a quad meet, so I’m interested to see how much of the non-host teams we see on these feeds. Hopefully they give us sufficient focus on the other top teams.

Temp tattoo numbers. Harrowing.

Underway in Raleigh, NC State starts with an OK Yfull with low body and step forward. We’re seeing some North Carolina on floor now, some low tumbling to start things off.

Dickerson on bars, misses one handstand but sticks the DLO nicely. This stream has been very inconsistent for me. and live scores have not yet updated. Let’s pull it together. Score is a 9.900, so note what I said before about high scoring.

Barr for NCST on vault, pretty nice yhalf with a little tucking and a step to the side.

King looks very nice on bars, just a larger hop back on the DLO, so won’t score as well as Dickerson. Kent State has a fall on beam, so they’re counting a score under 9.7 now.

The commentator mispronounces Caquatto. Seriously? Nice routine but probably shouldn’t go higher than 9.900. She can be a bit cleaner, but very solid.

North Carolina (Durkac?) attempts a triple on floor, but whirls out of it and out of bounds, so likely will be a drop for them.

NC State goes 49.125 on vault, so the judges were pleased with that performance, giving out two 9.850s. Florida leads as expected with a 49.300 on bars, Dickerson and Johnson go 9.900 to lead the rotation. It’s within the solid range for Florida but lower than their RQS. Kent State and NCar will be trailing after the first, a bunch of 9.650-9.675s for both teams.

North Carolina got away with an OOB on floor, but way to many low scores to even reach the high 48s, which would have been the goal. 48.625 is the total there. Still waiting on the final score from Kent State on beam, but it’s not looking great.

Raleigh Rotation 1: Florida 49.300, NC State 49.125, North Carolina 48.625, Kent State 48.350

The second rotation will feature Florida on beam, Ohio State on floor, and Penn State on bars. The commentators are really noting that they think the scores are low, which they aren’t, but they are lower than I expected them to be so far. Both PSU and OSU need to go over 49 on these rotations to keep pace with what NC State put up, even though NCST should go a bit lower on bars and beam later on.

Stageberg starting on beam for FL. She’s right on here, a minor wobble but very solid start. If Spicer hits, I expect them to be home free on this event. She’s the one who has fallen earlier in the season.

Welsh on bars for Penn State, a little sluggish in the swing, but nice stuck double front. Spicer wobbles on her loso, very tentative in this routine but hits her gainer full dismount. Similar to the beam routines we saw at SECs that went in the 9.7s.

Stumble out of a 2.5 from DeLuca on floor for Ohio State. North Carolina is performing some very 9.7 vaults. Over to Johnson on beam, she’s also looking a little tentative but not letting it show in her landings with a stuck dismount. Penn State goes over on a handstand, neither PSU or OSU really impressing so far, and as I say that, a fall for Ohio State from Jones on the floor dismount.

Ashanee is clean on beam, obviously a far cry from last year, with a stuck double back. That will score quite well. We’re only getting bits and pieces of penn State on bars in inset, but Musser looks strong. Ohio State recovers well on floor.

Kytra has to grab the beam, which means they’ll be counting Spicer’s 9.675. Uh oh. Pressure on Marissa now.  Good clean tumbling from Dean for Ohio State. I don’t expect them to have to count that fall, but Miller still has to go. King is completely in focus on beam, looking very strong, and a gorgeous stuck dismount. Should be the highest score yet for Florida.

Miller on floor, a little lunge out of the double arabian but it was fine, good loso out of final pass. Strong way to finish the rotation. It’s now time for our next two Regionals to begin, so once we get the scores here, I will switch over to Fayetteville, probably. Peszek is in the AA lineup, so no worries there.

Nearly underway at the Arkansas Regional . . . We’re looking at Maryland starting on floor now. Apparently we’ve had a mistake from De La Torre on bars. Oh UCLA. Let’s watch out for this. Disastrous start for the Bruins.

Checking out the scores in Raleigh, we see a bunch of 9.800s to start from OSU and PSU.

Just OK from Missouri on vault so far, some 9.7-level routines. We’re not seeing a ton of gymnastics on this feed. Lots of waiting. More low landings for Missouri on vault.

Fall alert: Penn State will be counting a fall on beam, so a huge opening for Ohio State and NC State here. This could really go either way between the two.

We’ve barely seen any of UCLA on bars. Larson is a little sloppy but it’s a hit, which is all they really need from the final three competitors to save the rotation. Don’t have any scoring updates from the Champaign Regional yet. Anyone?

Peszek hits well, flings out her DLO a little but sticks it anyway. Zamarripa is absolutely excellent except for a little hop together on the dismount. They just need Gerber to hit now to save it. Huge stumble back from Gerber on the dismount. That was a very weak rotation from UCLA, but they can probably overcome it.

In Raleigh, Ohio State and NC State are neck and neck at the halfway point, both with beam still to go. Penn State had a poor beam rotation, so they are well back as of right now, along with Kent State, who counted a fall on floor.

Scoreboard for the Arkansas Regional is terrible at updating. Very slow, but it looks like Maryland got a 48.850 on floor, which is very strong for them.

Over in Illinois, Oklahoma has a low score on bars that they will be hoping to drop, a 9.475 from Ward [Changed, though]. UCLA squeaks by bars with a 49.050, and they are lucky to escape by going over 49, but they need to be excellent, not just OK, on beam. Still, they have a lead before Arkansas and Boise State begin.

In the second rotation, Arkansas will have to erase those SEC memories. Like UCLA, Oklahoma escapes bars with a low 49s score, so they should be fine going forward. Illinois is right with them after a solid vault rotation, which has been a weakness for them this season. This could be a close one here.

Zumwalde starts floor for Arkansas, exactly what they needed, fine, clean, solid. Baer hits beam very cleanly, important for her coming back into the lineup, especially after Gerber struggled (but hit). This is a different Arkansas team on the floor so far.

Larson hits beam nicely with a slightly low dismount. Impressive for Lewis coming back on floor for Arkansas after her injury two weeks ago. Did she do two double tucks? I think so.

Over in Raleigh, Florida is hitting floor well to maintain the lead. NC State is struggling a little bit, so Ohio State should be feeling pretty good about their chances.

Boise State is looking strong on bars, and UCLA has been fine on beam, but the scores haven’t really been coming. So beam scoring looks a little tighter than I expected at this meet. Pisani hits floor exceptionally well as expected. It will be interesting to see how Grable does coming into the event.

Florida goes 49.275 on floor to extend their lead with on vault remaining.

Peszek is very clean through her routine, just a little hop back, so UCLA’s score should once again be fine but not great. They are not out of the woods at this meet. Arkansas will get some huge scores on floor after Grable’s hit routine. Could get close with UCLA and Boise State, but UCLA still has the benefit of vault coming up, so they should escape.

Now that we’ve seen two rotations in Fayetteville, I’ll switch back over to Raleigh to see how things are starting to wrap up there. Over in Raleigh, Florida is in great shape to go over 197, while NC State’s wobbly beam has taken them down a bit.

Spicer starts well on vault for Florida with a yfull with a little pike down. Good vault, though. Wang surprisingly comes in on vault for Florida, she has improved that vault A LOT from the beginning of the season.

Alaina Johnson vaults very cleanly as well, they have improved this quite a lot since SECs. Apparently there was a change from Oklahoma on bars, so they scored higher than expected, and they are also scoring extremely well on beam, so they should have no problems. These vault scores have been very high (though for very nice vaults) and Florida will get a humongous total.

Hunter hits vault well, so Florida will win this meet easily, total score is a 49.550 on vault for a 197.325 total. Ohio State will just have to hit through the rest of the meet to take the second position, it looks like. They will lead NC State by .550 going into the last event, so it’s still alive for NC State because OSU will be on beam, but it will be tough for them to get through.

Keeping up with Stanford, they had a fall from Ashley Morgan on floor that they did not have to count, and scored a 49.100 to go a tenth ahead of Illinois right now. Denver had a pretty poor bar rotation for 48.625. Doesn’t look like it will be a problem for Oklahoma and Stanford here.

So far on vault, Arkansas is scoring fine but not great numbers. I bunch of 9.800s, so they’ll need Pisani to bump up the rotation.

Last rotation coming up in Raleigh, it’s all up to Ohio State. A brief check back in with the Fayetteville Regional now, where it looks like Potvin-Green just hit a strong beam routine for Boise State. The remedial live scoring for that meet is helping no one. Arkansas finished vault with a 49.200, so it does look like the Razorbacks will have the highest two event score. Boise State is counting a couple low scores on beam, and Missouri got a 48.625 on bars, so Arkansas and UCLA should be feeling pretty good right now.

Back in Raleigh to close things out, Ohio State on beam, NC State on floor, Penn State on vault. First two routines from Ohio State are hits. Good first score from Penn State on vault, but a couple wonky landings after that. NC State is putting up a couple fine scores on floor, but it doesn’t look like it will be enough as of right now with Ohio State hitting cleanly on beam.

In Illinois, Stanford has two scores in the 9.7s so far on vault, so they are keeping things interesting. 9.725 from Pechanec and 9.700 from Hanset. Although, Illinois and Denver aren’t scoring high enough to take advantage.

Penn State finishes with a 195.650, which will not be enough this year. Ohio State has a few wobbles in the fifth routine, but it’s a hit which should ensure that the Buckeyes go to Nationals. Time to head back to Fayetteville. Finals: Ohio State 196.225, NC State 195.975. Close, but not enough.

Very schizophrenic coverage at the Arkansas Regional with flipping back and forth between routines in the middle of them. Zamarripa is very clean on floor, and Olivia Courtney hits very well. They are finding their stride after that poor start. These are very nice floor routines so far.

In Illinois, Stanford went under 49 on vault, but they still have a .250 lead on Illinois. Oklahoma is well out in front.

Pritchett hits floor for UCLA, while Missouri is struggling on beam and Maryland is getting a bunch of 9.7s on bars. UCLA looks in control now, and if Arkansas can hit beam they should be just fine. Peszek’s leaps were a little Peszek-y, but other than that it was an excellent routine with a minor bounce back out of the double pike dismount.

Updike from Issouri is clean on beam, and EHH is doing her 2010 routine very well, just a minor bounce back out of the double back, but otherwise an excellent hit rotation for UCLA. 49.475, so they can still go over 197 with even an average vault rotation.

Ah! It’s already almost time for our fourth and fifth Regionals. Too much! Soon the Seattle and Auburn regionals will begin, so I’ll check in with those early on if these two Regionals continue to be dominated by the top seeds. While I think the top seeds should go through comfortably, we never know. We haven’t seen enough surprises yet. I blame everybody.

Huge scores coming from Oklahoma on floor, a couple 9.900s already early in the rotation. They’ll be trying to catch Florida’s 197.325. Illinois trying to avoid counting a fall on beam, which would take them right out of it.

Fifth rotation getting underway in Arkansas, UCLA will try to solidify the qualification spot on the vault, while Boise State will try to get back in it on the floor and hope that something happens to Arkansas in the next two rotations. Arkansas is having a few handstand issues in these first two rotations, but good stuck landings. Scoreboard still isn’t working for this Regional, so it may be a while before we know what’s happening.

Illinois gets out of beam to keep within sight of Stanford, Peszek sticks one of her best yfulls of the year. Should score very well, if we were to get any scores, of course. 9.950 for Peszek in the third position, but Courtney does not stick as she usually doe. Grable hits bars to continue the good news for Arkansas.

Apparently not the best vault from Frattone. She hasn’t hit that well since her 10 on Senior Day. Another hit from Pisani on bars, very clean. They’ve worked these landings well. Zamarripa does not stick her vault, but just with a tiny hop and should obviously score very high.

Very nice on the tkatchev and jaeger from Howdeshell, a big hop on the DLO. Maryland is having a minor disaster on the beam, which will take them totally out of it.

The commentators inform us that UCLA finishes with a 197.225, which will easily be enough to advance. Arkansas will have a significant lead over the rest of the teams as well.

I think it’s time to check in with the Auburn Regional, which should be about underway. Four events at once, how am I supposed to handle this? So Persinger did come in on bars for Georgia after all, but came in for Tanella. Shayla hit for 9.850. It’s an Auburn miracle. Really erratic stream there for me, a lot of buffering, so I’m switching over to Georgia’s audio for that meet. 9.900 for Nuccio. Georgia scoring very well on bars. Ding sticks the DLO.

Big score from Michigan, 49.225 on vault. Pressure on Oregon State, who is starting on a bye. Georgia is just ahead with a  49.300. Michigan’s score has been bumped up to a 49.300, so they are level with Georgia.

In Illinois, Stanford gets a huge 49.400 on bars to erase the problems from Pac-12s. They will advance if they hit beam in the final rotation. Oklahoma finishes with an average vault rotation to score 197.025, which will help them qualify easily.

In Seattle, Alabama gets 9.900s from Sledge and Stack-Eaton, so they will be leading after the first rotation regardless of Priess’s number. Washington recorded a very strong 49.200 on vault. Alabama finishes bars with 49.350 with beam to come soon. In most cases, bars is the weakness for Alabama, so they seem to be through the toughest one with a great score.

I haven’t watched any of the Seattle Regional yet, so I’m going to check in there for a little bit for Alabama’s beam and LSU’s floor. I’ll also keep an eye on Georgia’s beam score and whether Arkansas and Stanford can finish out their qualification places with hits on beam. Arkansas has hit the first two beam routines.

Dickson starting floor for LSU, very confident on her tumbling to start, will not score nearly as low as it did at SECs. Jacob hits beam for Alabama, 9.825. Milliner next, very confident in her acro, looking solider than I saw her earlier in the season, just a couple minor steps on the dismount.

Williams next on beam, it’s interesting that beam has become her major contribution to the team instead of vault or floor. One wobble and a step on the dismount, but it’s fine. We’re only seeing the very end of these LSU routines, so it’s difficult to judge.

Demeo now, right on for her acro, great routine.

Stanford has had a fall from Pechanec on beam, so I’m going to head over there because they now need four hits in a row, otherwise this thing gets good. Hong hit in the third position. Shona Morgan up now, solid on series, hits the routine. Down to Spinner and Brown now.

Good series from Spinner and hits her loso. Really strong routine in a pressure situation. Brown is a good anchor for this team because she has a relatively low-risk routine, not to jinx her.

(I switched away from Fayetteville, did Arkansas close it out on beam as they should have?)

Brown has a minor wobble on the punch front, but she hits and Stanford will go to Nationals. Looking at the scores, they probably could have even counted that fall.

Alabama ended up hitting beam well for 49.225. LSU was just OK on floor for 49.050, so they will be behind Washington after one event, but I don’t expect that to last. Arizona had a disaster on bars to take them right out of it.

Shayla hit bars, so she had to miss somewhere just so we knew it was still her. 9.400 on the beam, but it doesn’t matter. 49.100 rotation for Georgia. Oregon State goes 49.075 on floor and Auburn goes 48.900 on bars. Lots of teams in this right now.

In between rotations right now in Seattle and Auburn, waiting on SLC to start. The first lull we’ve had in hours.

Watch out for Michigan on bars and Oregon State on vault, these could be some interesting rotations because they aren’t exactly strengths, which seems strange to say about Michigan on bars. They need Martinez back. Low score to start for Oregon State on vault.

In Seattle, Washington starts bars with two scores in the 9.7s, and LSU has a 9.800 and a 9.700.

Miele clips her heels on the bar for Michigan but continues the routine, won’t be a high score. 9.575, so they’ll need to drop it. Lots of scores in the 9.7s at the Auburn Regional (which Kevin Copp also just said, oh dear).

Over in Seattle, odd fall for Courville on vault, so LSU scores just a 49. Low scores on LSU’s best two events, which leaves an opening for Washington, but they will have to hit beam, a big ask for this team. Washington currently leads LSU by .225 at the halfway point.

In Auburn, Oregon State scores a 49.125 on vault. Just fine, but it is not unassailable. Really close between a bunch of team here. Great to see! Georgia 98.400, Michigan 98.350, Oregon State 98.200, Auburn not too far behind. Let’s settle in because this will be close, even West Virginia is not totally back of the pack. Both Auburn and WVU are less then half a point behind Oregon State. In the next rotation, Georgia goes to floor and Michigan goes to beam.

In Utah, no routine from Schleppenbach on bars, so Nebraska has a fall from Busacker (the problem with their lineup, no one else had competition experience), 49.125 on bars in the first rotation, below their average and no one goes 9.900.

In Seattle, Alabama getting ready to go on floor, Washington heading into that all-important beam rotation. Warmups going on now. Georgia also about to get going on the floor in Auburn. Interesting that Davis is coming in on floor for Shayla and Cheek is debuting on vault. I love these changes, but it’s very un-Jay.

Little bounce out of the double pike for Milliner, following a 9.800 from Jacob. Earls hits floor for Georgia. Washington is having some serious wobbles on beam, but it appears they are staying on so far. They’ll need to drop a 9.550.

Huge stumble for Alabama on floor from Priess I believe but she stayed on her feet. More hits for Georgia on floor. Earls goes 9.850 in the leadoff position. Michigan is having a few wobbles on beam but nothing disastrous.

Bounce back out of the mount for Sledge, too many minor errors for Alabama on floor. They should be scoring much better. Gutierrez up now, great DLO and kept it in bounds, very good form in the second pass. Washington has a fall on a mount, so LSU looks like they will probably be out of the woods in their Regional even though the first two rotations have been average.

Georgia getting a bunch of 9.850s on floor, outpacing Michigan’s beam, though Michigan is hitting which will put pressure on Oregon State. Davis goes 9.900 on floor for Georgia and Kevin Copp is positively giggly about something Julie Clark just did. I don’t even know what’s happening . . .

Big scores continuing for Georgia, so I expect them to take this Regional with just vault to come. Michigan will be trying to stay ahead of Oregon State, but the Beavers are capable of a big number. Michigan looks like they will be at 147.100 after three events. Just ahead of West Virginia’s 146.975.

Noel Couch goes 9.925 for a 49.400 rotation for Georgia. Alabama scores just 49.125 on floor, but they are certainly capable of a big vault score as we all know. LSU needs to go high 48s on bars to stay ahead of Washington.

Utah has started floor with some 9.850s, and Nebraska will be counting a 9.750 on beam but no falls yet, so they should get through this just fine as no one else is scoring competitively.

Alabama getting started on vault, Kayla Williams solid with a step back. A few form breaks for LSU on bars, but nothing problematic. Nice vault from Priess with a hop back, they need to fix these landings, though. Nicely done from Priess. Randi Lau has a little problem on the pak for LSU but stays on the bars. Washington will still feel in this if LSU continues to have some of these 9.7s on bars.

Sledge scores lower than Priess on vault, but I think hers was better. Nice from Gutierrez but she takes a step. We know she can stick, and they’ll need that in two weeks. Milliner also has a minor step to confirm Alabama’s advancing to Nationals. Final score is a 197.025.

Lindsey Cheek debuts on vault for Georgia with a minor step. Kat Ding finishes witha yfull with a step, so Georgia will advance easily with a solid score 197.100.

Utah scores 49.325 on floor, so they will be on pace to lead by a bunch early on.

Oregon State scoring well on bars to open up a lead over Michigan that they should be able to keep up as long as they hit beam. The main focus will now be on LSU and Washington who are nearly tied going into their final events. That could go either way since LSU is on beam and Washington is on floor, which could be their best event.

Michigan would need to gain .400 on the final rotation to catch Oregon State, so it would need to come down to a fall or fall equivalent.

Utah is getting some strong scores on vault, so they look to have complete control of this Regional.

All-important last rotation starting in Seattle. It could go either way. Hit routine for Washington to begin with just a minor stumble out of the second pass.

Shelby Prunty has a fall for LSU. They now need five straight hits to advance. Podlucky for Washington is very low on the double pike mount and has a huge stumble out of the second pass. They’ll need to drop this score.

Third floor routine from Washington opens with an OK double pike and is certainly a countable score for the Huskies. They’re showing us way too many irrelevant routines and not enough of LSU on beam. Now we’re seeing Hall, big wobble but she fights through it and stays on.

Looks like Washington hit the fourth routine. Courville hits her Arabian and the loso series well. Another hit routine for LSU. Fechter matches with a nice hit for Washington. I think LSU has a slight advantage right now, but it will come down to the last routine. Exactly what we could have hoped for! Jordan hits the final routine for LSU and that will probably do it, but we’ll have to wait for our final scores. LSU finished with a 196.075, which will indeed outpace Washington’s 195.825. A shame for the Huskies, they were very close.

After we get the result here, head over to Auburn where Oregon State might be throwing this thing away to Michigan in the final rotation! This should come down to the last routine as well. Michigan will not be counting a score below 9.800 on floor.

Oregon State needs probably 9.850s from Vivian and Mak, which they are certainly capable of, but they have to convert. Vivian sticks her landing, so Mak will be capable of taking this for OSU. The 9.875 from Vivian makes Mak’s job easier. She may just need a 9.825. Mak sticks the routine, which should be enough to just barely pass Michigan. Uhhhhhh . . . so close. Officially, Oregon State will defeat Michigan on the strength of Mak’s 9.925.

So after all that all of our top seeds are going through? Pending Utah and Nebraska, of course, which does not look close at all.

Our qualifiers so far are Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA, Arkansas, Georgia, Oregon State, Alabama, and LSU, with Utah and Nebraska out to big leads in the final Regional, so we can assume that is our National picture.

After three events, Nebraska is on solid 196.500 pace and leading Arizona State by a point. After two events, Utah is on 197 pace and looks to win the event easily unless there is another mishap on the beam.

Nebraska finishes out the meet with a 9.950 from DeZiel on vault to score a 196.525. Utah looks like they will just have to hit beam to exceed that number, but the Schleppenbach-less Nebraska Huskers will advance to Nationals.

Confirmed now. Utah finishes with 196.825 to become our final qualifier to National Championships. I’ll be back tomorrow with a roundup and analysis of all the Regional action.

Live Blog – Conference Championships

Our first day of nonstop postseason gymnastics has arrived. We’ll probably have set a land speed record for Yurchenko fulls by the end of the Pac-12 Championships tonight.

The pride of winning the conference championship will be on the minds of our competitors, but as fans we also know how important this day is in foreshadowing the postseason. If there are cracks, we’re going to see them today. Last year, this was the day we saw Florida start to crumble on the beam. If a team wants to win National Championships, performing well today is a must. The last time a team won Nationals without having placed in the Top 2 at the conference championships was 1989. Pay special attention to which gymnasts underperform today. Those who let the pressure get to them today will be on nail-biting watch come Regionals and Nationals.

Primary attention will be paid to our big four conferences, with Oklahoma the clear favorite to take the Big 12, Nebraska the clear favorite to take the Big 10, UCLA and Utah battling for the Pac-12, and Alabama, Florida, and (maybe) Georgia battling for the SEC. These teams will get all the focus today, and could legitimately sweep all of the individual titles, so let’s take a minute and root for Jamie Pisani to take some titles so that it’s not a complete rout for the big 7.

Remember that we will also have four judges starting today. This usually has little effect other than to regularize the scoring. We see fewer .075 and .025 scores because the outliers (usually the more charitable judges) will get thrown out.

As mentioned before, no streams today for Pac-12s or SECs, so it’s all about our meager live scoring. I’ll be around beginning at 3:30 ET / 12:30 PT for all kinds of jibber jabber. In the meantime, feel free to pay attention to the first session of the Big 10s, which begins at 2:00 ET / 11:00 PT.


Live Scores:
Big 10
Big 12
Pac 12 Session 1
Pac 12 Session 2
SEC

Getting ready for the major action to start soon. Taking a look at the first session at Big 10s, we have a close battle between Michigan and Illinois. Illinois leads 146.950-146.850 after three rotations. Michigan will be on bars and Illinois on beam for the final rotation. These scores will not hold up for the second session, but it will be a matter of pride to win the first group.

Of note on vault, Michigan’s Sachi Sugiyama scored a 9.950, Joanna Sampson scored 9.925, and Illinois’s Amber See scored 9.900. No one else has broken into the 9.9s on any event.

Adavtange Michigan so far in the final rotation, 9.800 and 9.825 versus two 9.725s from Illinois. Ending on beam, the odds are not in Illinois’s favor.

As we look toward SECs beginning, note that Shayla Worley will be in on floor for Georgia. Risky, but they need her hitting.

Ack, Michigan and Illinois have each had falls in the final rotation now. Anyone’s game in the final two routines.

Neither team has to count a fall after all, and Michigan JUST sneaks past Illinois 195.875-195.850 on the strength of Sugiyama’s 9.900 on bars. Can’t get closer than that. Let’s hope it’s a trend. Looks like Joannides of Illinois is our current AA leader with 39.400. Iowa finishes with 195.450 and Michigan State scores 194.675.

Oh, Michigan. I suppose winning the session is a victory, but what a tremendous letdown from last year. The good news: they’re not losing any seniors. Looking at the group they’ll have next year, they can at least be a Top 12 team again.

And now, we shift attention to SECs and Pac-12s Part 1, both of which will begin momentarily, and by momentarily I mean probably after a while because there’s no way these things start on time.

Our first rotation at SECs will see Georgia on vault, Alabama on bars, Florida on beam, and Arkansas on floor. We’re getting the big guns out right away. Georgia, Alabama, and Florida all start on events where they MUST stay afloat. Georgia is the worst of the three on vault, same with Alabama on bars, and then we all know what happened with Florida and the beam last year, so that holds some extra mental importance as well.

Over at Pac-12s, none of these teams will contend for the title, but Arizona in particular has some important positioning to do for Regionals. As of right now, they’d be with Oklahoma and Stanford. Not bad. Maybe they don’t want to move up after all. I’d rather be with the #2 seed as Stanford instead of Arkansas, that’s for sure. To me, Washington also has more potential than they’ve shown this season. I hope to see them going into the 196s.

Arizona starts on floor, so expect them to lead after the first rotation.

We’ve done introductions, just waiting on the warmups and the action now.

And GASP, it looks like the SEC has a legitimate scoreboard this year. Joys and miracles. Pac-12s has begun. Get ready. Just waiting on the scores right now, which may be lagging. “Pac-12s!” he says shaking his fist in their general direction. Boo!

Well, let’s leave Pac-12s for the moment then since SECs has begun. Big 9.850 for Davis to start for Georgia. Questions for Florida already with Stageberg’s leadoff 9.725 on beam. Demeo (ALA) and Zumwalde (ARK) start with solid 9.800s.

Georgia is starting off in true home meet form with a 9.875 now from Couch. Florida gets another socre below 9.800 from Spicer (9.750). Is it too early to say “Ruh Roh”?

Ack. Fall from Canizaro for Arkansas on floor. Razorbacks already having to fall into keep it together time. Over on vault, Earls and Persinger break UGA’s momentum with 9.800s. Fine, but not competitive with ALA and FL.

Johnson goes 9.800 for Florida to start to pick things up, and Sledge gets 9.850 on bars. No really major scores so far. Georgia needs Ding to go into the 9.9s to have a competitive vault now.

Poor Arkansas. Two falls on floor out of three routines. Can’t come back from that. Kolbas is not the answer to Grable in these lineups, so there was little chance without her.

Really important 9.900 from Stack-Eaton on bars for Alabama. This will be the kind of rotation they needed on the first event. Anything 49.250+ is fine and they can build on it. Florida is NOT excelling on beam, but they have not had a fall.

Ding goes 9.850 on vault – fine not great for her. 49.175 will not cut it against teams that can go 49.500, so that’s a little disappointing for Georgia.

Ashley Priess goes 9.875, so Alabama will have the lead after the first rotation with 49.275. They are right on pace, and look to be the only one right now. Florida will need a big routine from King to catch Georgia for current 2nd, probably impossible.

Oh no. More disaster for Arkansas on floor. I feel terrible for them. They are already counting two bad scores (9.125 and 8.900). They got an 8.300 from Lewis, so potentially an unfinished routine or multiple falls and loss of SV.

King gets another OK score (9.850), so Florida gets 49.050 on beam. For most teams that would not be a disaster, but in this competition it really cuts into scoring potential. How will they react? Certainly Alabama has come out of this first rotation with the momentum, and it’s not like 49.275 is even THAT great a score.

Still no help on the scores at Pac-12s. If they don’t get this figured out for the evening session, I’m leading a rebellion. Who’s with me?

Geralen Stack-Eaton and Jamie Pisani are the only gymnasts to hit 9.900 in the first rotation. I would not necessarily have predicted that. It will be interesting to see how tight the scoring really is. Georgia had a few 9.900s from individual judges that were dropped. Someone gave Noel Couch a 9.950, so it doesn’t sound like they’re being too picky.

After 1 Rotation: Alabama 49.275, Georgia 49.175, Florida 49.050, Arkansas 47.575
Arkansas needs to regroup on the bye. Any hope of a top 4 finish is over for them. They’ll probably need help to stay above Auburn. Alabama is going straight to beam for the second rotation, so they could amass a big lead before anyone else has really warmed into the meet. We’ll see LSU, Auburn, and Kentucky entering in the second rotation as well.

Finally scores from Pac-12s! Arizona leads after the first rotation with a 48.900 on floor. Washington also had a strong vault to keep pace. Arizona State counted a fall on bars (Seaman and Hangartner fell), so they will actually trail Cal after the first rotation. Highest score so far is a 9.850 for Cristello on floor.

Second rotation has begun at SECs. Auburn starts solidly on vault. Jacob gets a low 9.725 on beam to start for Alabama, just like how Florida started. LSU starts with a 9.675 on floor, and Kentucky has a disaster as a leadoff score on bars. What is happening in this society? I know we’ll hear about the podium after this meet, but that’s what podium training is for. Champions adjust.

Milliner follows Jacob with a 9.775. This was my concern with the Alabama beam lineup, but they did get through those routines. The rest of the lineup should improve (?)

Kayla Williams still in Alabama’s beam lineup after her 9.900 last week, goes 9.800 this week, still matching Florida’s scores performance for performance. LSU gets a good 9.850 from Jordan on floor to break the 9.6 trend.

Auburn ends solidly on vault (led by Guy’s 9.850) to get 48.900 and keep pace. Demeo’s 9.825 leads Alabama on beam so far. Highest score in this rotation so far is still a 9.850. Kentucky avoids counting a fall and scores 48.575, so they will hope to stay ahead of Arkansas as the rotations progress.

Low for Stack-Eaton (9.700), so Alabama is not avoiding the general troubles. Might Georgia be in this after all? Alabama needs a 9.875 from Priess to go 49 on beam.

Over at Pac-12s Session 1, Arizona will lead Washington 97.750-97.625 at the halfway point. Cristello is the class of the meet so far.

Priess gets only a 9.700 as well (9.800 from one judge, 9.550 from another. Let’s watch this.) So Alabama scores a disappointing 48.825 on beam. No high scores today, that’s for sure. Meanwhile, LSY totally recovers from two weak opening routines for a 49.150 on floor. Wouldn’t it be the most fun thing ever if they won? It won’t happen, but still. Hall’s 9.925 on floor is the highest score of the meet so far.

SECs after 2: Alabama 98.100, Georgia 49.175, LSU 49.150, Florida 49.050, Auburn 48.900, Kentucky 48.575, Arkansas 47.575
Since Alabama has gone twice, I say Georgia is our leader after two rotations. They can put up a big score on bars, so they should have some serious forward momentum right now. Who expected we would consider 9.850s momentum at this meet?

For rotation three, Arkansas on vault, Georgia on bars, Kentucky on beam, and Florida on floor.

Tanella starts Georgia with a 9.850. That’s a huge score at this meet. She’s gotten very good at sticking that landing. Ferguson starts Florida with 9.800, which is her usual. They can build on that.

9.775 for Couch. Scores range from 9.650 to 9.850. We’ve been seeing that a lot today. Judges don’t seem on the same page. I have a feeling there will be complaints. Stageberg scores 9.875 for Florida in the second position. I feel a big rotation coming on.

Ah! I forgot Big 12s were starting now too (It’s too much!). Oklahoma starts vault with two scores in the 9.7s. Trend. At SECs, Arkansas is getting some solid 9.8s on vault. Fine but nothing that will make up for floor.

Shayla totally Shaylas on bars. All that needs to be said. 9.500. 9.825 from Davis. She’s been consistently in the 9.9s lately, so they needed better. Still, they can rely on Nuccio and Ding. 9.850 for Nuccio. They’ll need a huge score from Ding to challenge Alabama’s number on bars, but we know she’s capable.

49.050 for Arkansas on vault. 9.775s for Dickerson and Johnson on floor. Neither is scoring that well so far today. Hunter and King must get into the 9.9s.

At B12s, Oklahoma picked it up for a 49.225 on vault. 9.875s from Ward and Olson.

9.900 for Ding. Georgia goes 49.200 on bars, which is fine for this meet so far. 98.375 through two.

9.850 for Marissa King. Florida will score adequately here, but Georgia will be the leader for now. Hunter gets a 9.900 (Florida’s first of the day), so the Gators will be ahead of Alabama but behind Georgia.

At Pac-12s, Arizona does well on bars for 49.025, so the lead will be safe after three events. Washington is having some problems on beam.

Remember how I predicted that the winner of SECs would go over 197.500? I’m smart.
After 3 Rotations:
1. Georgia – 98.375
2. Florida – 98.250
3. Alabama – 98.100
4. Kentucky – 97.300
5. Arkansas – 96.625
6. LSU – 49.150
7. Auburn – 48.900

LSU is coming up on their best event, vault. Don’t be surprised if they have the highest two-event score of the meet.

Fourth rotation: LSU on vault, Auburn on bars, Georgia on beam, Alabama on floor. Alabama should feel OK about this position since they have the potential to score so well on the final two events. Georgia must not give away the kinds of wobbles on beam that Alabama and Florida did. They cannot afford 9.7s.

Washington is having an enormous nasty on the beam. McCartin finally came in but scored 8.025 on beam, so they are counting two falls. Arizona State will move into second, but will still be a point behind Arizona, the clear leaders. Sweet Mike (that’s an expression, right?), Washington scores 47.375 on beam. Disaster.

Next rotation underway at SECs, and Lau starts LSU with a 9.825 on vault. Good start. They have a few who can go into the 9.9s. Couch starts Georgia’s beam with a 9.775. Will you believe that’s the highest beam leadoff score so far today?

Big start for Alabama on floor with Jacob’s 9.850. She’s been around 9.800 usually, so that’s an improvement for her, which is extremely rare today.

Watch out for LSU! 9.900 and 9.925 from the 2nd and 3rd on vault (Jordan and Mathis). Judge #2 gave them both 10s. This is the same judge who gave Couch a 9.950. Can we find out who judge #2 on vault is?

They are having trouble with the internet at the arena for SECs (not acceptable), so that may account for the lull we’re having with the score updating.

Judge #2 on vault has given a third ten, this time to Ashley Lee (9.925 final score). Judge #2! We need to have a talk! Not every vault deserves a 10. No other judges thought any of them were 10-worthy. Imagine if we were at a meet where you couldn’t drop one of the judge’s scores. Then where would we be?

LSU finishes with a 49.475 on vault (dropping a fall from Hall. Did judge #2 give it a 10?). They’re at 98.625 after two events. By far the highest two-event score. Auburn got a 48.825 on bars. Georgia has not impressed on beam, and Alabama is hitting its stride with a 9.900 from Priess on floor.

Worley leads UGA’s beam with a 9.850, so they score 49.050, somewhat dropping the momentum with their lowest rotation yet and falling behind Alabama, who score a 49.350 on floor with 9.900s from Stack-Eaton and Priess.

After 4 Rotations:
1. Alabama 147.450
2. Georgia 147.425
3. LSU 98.525
4. Florida 98.250
5. Auburn 97.725
6. Kentucky 97.300
7. Arkansas 96.625

Alabama is in the driver’s seat all of the sudden, as they should score better on vault than Georgia will on floor. Florida is off to vault now, and they can certainly reach Alabama’s three-event number even with an average rotation.

At Big 12s, Oklahoma had an enormous bars score of 49.475, led by Ferguson’s 9.925. Scores appear to be going pretty high across the board there, as both Missouri and Iowa State have had 49+ rotations as well.

The first session at Pac-12s is winding down, and Arizona will cruise to the lead at the halfway point, though no one will break 196 as Arizona finished with a 195.900. Second is Arizona State with 194.550. Cal scores 193.525, and we’re still waiting on Washington.

LSU’s vault score has been adjusted down to 49.375. (So judge #2 gave only two 10s instead of three).

Rotation 5 at SECs: Florida on vault, Arkansas on bars, Auburn on beam, Kentucky on floor. Eyes on Florida this rotation.

Spicer starts Florida with a 9.825. That’s big for her. She’s been in the 9.7s.

Pac-12 Session 1 Final Scores:
1. Arizona 195.900
2. Arizona State 194.550
3. Washington 194.125
4. Cal 193.525

Dickerson scores 9.900 on vault. Her first big score of the day. Arkansas has started with 9.700 from the first two bar workers. Marissa King scores 9.925 on vault (yay!), one of her first big scores of the season. This should be our highest vault rotation score yet.

Kytra Hunter must have stuck her vault as she gets a 9.975, our first huge score of the day. She got a 10 from Judge #2 (no surprise), but also Judge #3, so it’s OK. Florida scores 49.525, and all of the sudden they have a massive lead. Florida will really like their chances to take this thing on bars in the final rotation, where we will know exactly what score they need.

Oklahoma is continuing the big home scoring and knocking into more 9.9s on the beam.

Auburn is 9.750-ing all the way to an adequate score, and they should be able to slide in easily for 5th place here. Arkansas scores a 48.850 on bars, while Kentucky struggles to get out of 9.500 territory on floor.

If we look at Alabama, they are going to need at least a 49.500 on vault to have any hope of staving off Florida in the final rotation. It looks like Georgia will have to settle for third after all unless they manage something special on floor. LSU likely cannot match their current pace on bars and beam, but we’ll keep an eye on them as well.

After 5 Rotations:
1. Florida – 147.775
2. Alabama – 147.450
3. Georgia – 147.425
4. Auburn – 146.400
5. Arkansas – 145.475
6. Kentucky – 145.350
7. LSU – 98.525

On rotation 6, we’ll see Alabama on vault, LSU on bars, Arkansas on beam, and Georgia on floor. Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia will be finishing their competitions in this rotation. Arkansas will probably be glad when it’s over.

Oklahoma matched the bar score on beam with 49.475. They will easily win this event, and are on solid 197.500 pace, which would be their highest score of the season. Note that Iowa State and Missouri are also currently on pace to go over 196. This is what they mean when they talk about how you can’t compare scores between meets.

Alabama starts big on vault with Clark’s 9.875. That’s the kind of score they need to start with to have a chance at Florida. Earls scores 9.800 on floor for Georgia (as she has on every event today). LSU has a fall on bars in the second position.

Since Clark and Priess have gone 9.875, we can expect 9.900s from the rest of the lineup, unless they have landings like they did at the last home meet (where nearly everyone had a .100 slide back). Please note that judge #2 on vault has had the lowest scores for each of the first three Alabama vaulters. I wonder if someone had a little convo with her between rotations or if she got the hint and is now trying to overcompensate lower.

Ding gets a nice 9.875 on floor, but the 9.700 from beam erased her chance at the AA title. Similarly, two scores in the 9.7s now have erased Stack-Eaton’s chances.

Hmm, some disappointing scores for Stack-Eaton and Milliner on vault give Alabama a 49.325. That will not cut it, I’m afraid. Can Georgia move ahead of them? Doubtful but possible. Alabama had four routines at 9.900 today, but nothing that went higher. 196.775 is the final score for Alabama. They may not keep the #3 ranking if UCLA has a big meet.

LSU salvages the bars rotation with a 48.900. Should be our clear 4th place team.

Applause for Jamie Pisani’s 39.500 in the AA. She’s our current leader. Nuccio’s 9.700 on floor erases Georgia’s chance at passing Alabama. Couch would need a 10 for them to tie.

So, Florida will need a 49.025 on bars to take the SEC title, which they will surely do. Right? We don’t have another twist in store?

Noel Couch’s 9.800 means Georgia finishes with 196.575, two tenths behind Alabama. Important for Georgia that Shayla hit floor. Arkansas can finally say goodbye to this disaster of an evening with a 194.175. None of these teams are having a meet to remember.

After 6 Rotations:
1. Alabama – 196.775
2. Georgia – 196.475
3. Arkansas – 194. 175
4. Florida – 147.775
5. LSU – 147.425
6. Auburn – 146.400
7. Kentucky – 145.350

Note that LSU still has a shot to pass Georgia with a good beam rotation.

As for the AA, it looks like Hunter and Courville will be the major challengers to Pisani in this rotation.

Oklahoma finishes with a 197.475 to easily win the Big 12s and record their highest score of the season.

Nicole Ellis starts Florida with a 9.875. Just a matter of staying on the bars for them to win, but they also want to record a statement score, which will be difficult with the first two rotations.

Overall a weak meet for Dickerson with a 9.750 on bars. I wonder if she made a mistake or if they just really took deductions that we’ve haven’t seen taken this season.

Kytra Hunter continues her big day with a 9.875 on bars to easily pass Pisani in the AA with a 39.625, which should tie up the title for her (and should also tie up SEC FOTY pretty handily).

LSU has a fall from Lau on beam, so they have to hit now to have any hope of breaking 196.

After waiting around all day, Macko comes in with a strong 9.900 on bars to wrap up the title for Florida. Johnson’s routine will be a formality – except for the chance to win the bars title.

Auburn is having a disaster on floor, which should give some hope to Kentucky for a possible unexpected 5th place finish, after UK finished with 194.350.

Johnson’s 9.925 will indeed win her the bars title outright, as well as ensuring Florida wins the SEC title with a 197.150. I would NEVER have expected the winning score to be that low given the near-2004 level scoring we’ve been seeing for much of the season.

LSU manages a 49.000 on beam to record a very respectable 4th place finish with a score of 196.425, not far behind Georgia at all.

Auburn’s disaster continues on floor and sees them finish in an extremely disappointing last place. Applause to Kentucky for managing that 5th place finish. I had them in 7th for sure.

SEC Final Scores:
1. Florida – 197.150
2. Alabama – 196.775
3. Georgia – 196.475
4. LSU – 196.425
5. Kentucky – 194.350
6. Arkansas – 194.175
7. Auburn – 194.100

Individual winners: VT: Hunter, UB: Johnson, BB: Pisani, FX: Hall, AA: Hunter

I’m very interested to see what kind of reaction we get from the coaches about the scoring today. Starting relatively soon, we’ll have the second session of Big 10s, where I expect Nebraska to cruise, and then at 9:00 ET / 6:00 PT we’ll have the grand finale of the Pac-12s. (Futilely) Comparing scoring between SECs and Pac-12s will be an interesting side story this evening.

Alright, Big 10s Session 2 is already underway (they don’t give us a break!) and Nebraska has started well on bars with two scores of 9.875 already. As usual, Nebraska will have 5 AAers today, with Evenstad and Lauer doing two events each.

Musser leads Penn State to a 49.100 on vault. It will be an interesting battle between PSU and OSU today, especially because we expect them to be fighting it out for the second qualification spot in the Florida Regional.

Nebraska goes 49.425 on bars. Watch out, Oklahoma’s score. The Minnesota Gophers are in a surprising 2nd after the first rotation by scoring 49.150 on floor, and Ohio State trails the group after a disappointing beam rotation that put them behind the pack at 48.725.

Nebraska will be on beam in the next rotation, which should tell us everything we need to know about how they will be performing today. They’ve had some . . . adventures on the beam recently.

Nebraska starts with 9.775 and 9.625. Skinner is not having a great meet through the first two events. Minnesota continues its nice pace with the opening on vault, 9.850s. Definitely did not expect Minnesota to be in the fight for #2, but that’s what we’re seeing so far. I still think Nebraska will have a stranglehold on the meet, though.

Minnesota is doing its best to prove me wrong, though. 49.300 on vault led by Slechta’s 9.900 to extend the lead over Penn State. Nebraska must score a 49.050 on beam now to retain the lead, which is possible but not definite given these early scores.

This could end up being a fun AA race as well. Wong, DeZiel, Musser, and Russell are all within .100 of each other.

Nebraska has to count three scores under 9.800 for a low 48.850, meaning that Nebraska will trail Minnesota by nearly two tenths at the halfway point. Beam is probably the event that will keep Nebraska from challenging for a national title.

Minnesota has started on bars with two routines in the 9.7s, so Nebraska will have a real chance here. While they don’t have any depth on floor, the six have been much more consistent than they have been on beam this season.

So am I crazy? Apparently I had the wrong time for Pac-12s Session 2. Won’t start until 9:00 ET / 6:00 PT. Sorry for any confusion.

Minnesota had a weak bars rotation, and now the Gophers stand less than a tenth ahead of Ohio State. Penn State is not scoring so well on beam, but Nebraska has a very strong chance to retake the lead as long as they hit the final two floor routines.

Nebraska did hit those floor routines and ends the rotation with a strong of 9.900s that put the Huskers well into the lead again. They have an edge of over four tenths on Minnesota going into the last event. Penn State trails the group but can still beat Michigan with a 49.025 on floor.

Minnesota will have to withstand a fall on beam in the second position to stay ahead of Ohio State. Nebraska will record a big number on vault to easily win the meet. Emily Wong’s 39.600 looks like it will be enough to win the AA title over DeZiel and Musser.

Big 10 Final Scores:
1. Nebraska – 197.100
2. Ohio State – 196.225
3. Minnesota – 195.950
4. Michigan – 195.875
5. Illinois – 195.850
6. Penn State – 195.700
7. Iowa – 195.425
8. Michigan State – 194.675
Shortly, the Pac-12 Championships Session 2 will be getting underway (actually, this time), so I’ll be here for full commentary on that.

Good point in the comments that now Nebraska has moved ahead of Georgia in the rankings. So, Georgia will be in the Utah Regional, and Nebraska’s opponent will depend on Oregon State’s performance tonight.

Utah begin on vault, OSU on bars, Stanford on beam, and UCLA on floor. This rotation order doesn’t necessarily benefit one team over another, other than the fact that Utah should enjoy having the home crowd and home rotation order. I expect Utah to have the lead after the first rotation, but if UCLA can keep it close, they will be in a strong position. Oregon State is also starting on the strength, so watch out for them in the beginning.

Interesting that Lothrop is the vault anchor now instead of Robarts. I’m not sure I think Lothrop can score as well under ideal conditions. UCLA is bringing out the big guns on floor, with Zamarripa in the 2nd position and no De La Torre (no Larson either, but we knew that). Zam would normally be later, but her watered down routine this year probably warrants #2.

Oregon State starts with a 9.700 on bars. Let’s hope the scores are a little more with it than they were earlier today in the first rotation. 9.825 for Frattone on floor. Fine, regular. Big start for Stanford with a 9.900 for Wing on beam. Love Becky Wing, so I’m happy with that big leadoff number.

Not a great score from Dabritz for Utah (9.750), so they’ll need the end of the lineup to help drop that.

9.850 from Zamarripa, and the same from Tory Wilson on vault. I’m interested to see what the judges will do with EHH on floor and whether they will judge her harshly for opening with an easy pass.

Pretty big scores flying so far. We’ve already had a couple 9.900s early in the first rotation. Definitely a far cry from the 9.7s we were starting with at SECs. Stambaugh scores 9.925 on bars, the highest score of the meet so far. Utah is in shape to score something in the 49.3s on vault if Lothrop hits well.

Another 9.900 on beam for Stanford (Hong). These will be some big scores for everyone. 9.875 for Courtney on floor.

Oregon State will go 49.200 on bars as the anchor, Mak, had a fall. There goes her shot at the AA. Pritchett gets a 9.850, which seems about right. Her mount is nice, but she’s consistently low on the dismount. Stanford gets a third 9.900 on beam. I expected bars to be my favorite event for them this season, but it has been beam. Floor is the question, so we’ll know how this is going for them soon enough.

Peszek scores 9.900 for UCLA, but EHH goes OOB, so they will finish with 49.300 on floor, tying Utah’s vault score. Stanford will have the lead after the first rotation by quite some margin. Hmmm. Where did this come from? Stanford finished with 5 straight 9.900s for a 49.500 on beam.

After 1 Rotation:
1. Stanford – 49.500
2. UCLA – 49.300
2. Utah – 49.300
4. Oregon State – 49.200

We’ve already seen 10 scores in the 9.9s from the first rotation of this session. We saw 18 total during the SECs (with seven teams versus four).

Expect UCLA to take the lead after this next rotation since they will go to vault, while all the rest of the teams go to weaker events for them.

Lopez starts Utah on bars with a 9.850, Stambaugh goes 9.775 on beam. Another 9.900 from Hansen. I haven’t seen this routine since she started scoring well, so maybe the judges aren’t crazy. I’ll try to allow for that.

Baer starts UCLA with 9.825 as per usual. They will build from there. Harris falls on beam for OSU in the third position. They’ll be relying on Mak quite a bit in this rotation.

EHH in on vault for Larson (I wonder if this is yet another case of Mattie not warming up well) for 9.900. 9.900 for Beers on bars, followed by a 9.950 for Dabritz with a 10 from one judge. Why don’t we just give everyone 198s?

Courtney sticks vault for 9.950, with Frattone and Zamarripa still to go for UCLA. Frattone goes 9.900 with a step. Utah is throwing up the 9.9s all over the place on bars. These will be the highest rotations we’ve seen all day at any of the events.

Utah scores an insane 49.600 on bars, and we have now officially seen more 9.9s through the halfways point in the second session of Pac-12s than we saw at all of SECs.

UCLA goes 49.550 on vault after Zamarripa scores 9.950 as well. Nevermind about UCLA being in the lead after 2, though. I hadn’t counted on the scoring. The way things are going, OSU’s 49.275 on beam is low.

Waiting to hear about Stanford on vault. They’ve had a fall from Shapiro with two routines to go. Two more huge scores help Stanford go 49.425 on floor and retain the lead. I’m not predicting anything anymore.

24 scores of 9.900 or above out of 48 total routines so far. Remember this. You know how 8-10 years ago, every routine was a 9.925? This feels a lot like that.

After 2 Rotations:
1. Stanford – 98.925
2. Utah – 98.900
3. UCLA – 98.850
4. Oregon State – 98.475 (Oh no, OSU is only near 197 pace. How lowly.)

I’m watching some of the Stanford routines on youtube to get a sense of the scoring. All I can say is this: NO. I live for judging messes like this.

For as crazy as this scoring has been, at least it’s close. This could go to anyone really. Although it will be a problem for Utah, as they will have this scoring for Pac-12s and Regionals and then go in to Nationals where it will not be like this.

Important that UCLA has been able to remove EHH from the bars lineup since she can’t dismount. Looks like Olivia Courtney is doing the AA tonight.

De La Torre (bars) and Morgan (vault) open with 9.850s. De La Torre must have really missed her handstands to get a 9.850 tonight. That’s such a paltry little score.

Utah starts with a fall on beam from Lopez, but Beers will probably get an 11, so it doesn’t matter. If Stanford goes anywhere near 49.400 on vault, I’m walking.

Ohh, Lofgren has fallen. Utah counting a fall on beam for the first time in two years. Now this is anyone’s ball game. Looks like Stanford is going to win. I’m not kidding. Ivana Hong goes 9.950 on vault.

I can’t wait for Val’s press conference when she says, “What a great meet,” with that knowing look.

Stanford scores 49.450 on vault, so scores are just meaningless at this point. Peszek botched her bar routine for 8.750. Oh heavens, what happened there, dear?

Utah scores 48.950 on beam while counting a fall. UCLA avoids having to deal with Peszek’s disaster, but they don’t have anyone score a 9.900 on bars, which is devastating for this meet.

After 3 Rotations:
1. Stanford – 148.375
2. UCLA – 148.050
3. Utah – 147.850
4. Oregon State – 147.825

This could still go to anyone, especially because I expect Utah to score a 78.900 on floor. Fourth rotation coming up with OSU on vault, Stanford on bars, UCLA on beam, and Utah on floor. What fresh madness will befall us here?

Interesting that UCLA is throwing in Courtney on beam with so few routines this season, but it’s the right idea since she has much higher scoring potential than Baer.

Gerber opens beam for UCLA with a 9.900. She usually deserves that score, so I’m OK with the fact that she actually gets it tonight. Stanford starts with two 9.825s on the way to securing the unexpected title. Olivia Courtney follows with multiple falls. UCLA. Beam.

Stanford has had a fall from Shapiro on bars, so they must hit the final two routines. UCLA has had TWO scores in the 8.7s tonight. Oh boy. Larson goes 9.700 (Scores range from 9.55 to 9.85). They’ll have to rebuild for Regionals because they are going to finish unacceptably low in the standings tonight.

Oregon State is our first team to finish. 197.025 total score.

Is Stanford counting a fall on bars now? The scores have suddenly changed. What. Is. Happening? Is Utah going to win this meet? I don’t even know anymore.

Apparently, Stanford has now finished with a 196.825, BEHING Oregon State after choking on bars. Zamarripa is out current AA leader at 39.575.

9.975 from EHH on beam! Two judges went 10. Yay! The circus is in town! Yippee!

One routine left for UCLA and Utah. It’s coming right down to it! Peszek vs. McAllister.

McAllister goes 9.925, but Peszek’s 9.850 is enough to put UCLA over the top. I’m not going to delete that part a few paragraphs ago where I said that UCLA would have to rebuild after this meet because that emphasizes how CRAZY this meet has been. UCLA wins the Pac-12 Championships with 197.425. Utah scores 197.375. Oregon State 197.025. Stanford, who should have won easily, finish last in the session with 196.825.

Lothrop wins the AA with 49.625. So there’s that.

FOTY goes to Dabritz. Well deserved.
GOTY goes to Mak. Ohhh, I did not expect that, but I’m very happy for her. She’s a beautiful gymnast. Everyone loves Leslie Mak.
COTY goes to Miss Val. I thought they would give it to Greg since he’s new to the conference, but I’ll never argue with Miss Val getting any award. It’s her 4th COTY award, I believe.

Has anyone done the math about what this score means for RQS? Does UCLA move ahead of Alabama? I’m far too overcome with the vapors at this scoring to figure it out myself. I believe UCLA will move back up to #3, but that’s just an assumption. It would mean that UCLA will travel to Arkansas for the Regional, right?

I’m excited to watch the actual coverage of this competition to make real judgments about the scores. I’ll keep you posted. That’s all for now.

2012 Pacific Rims – (It Used To Be a) Live Blog

Wow! That Pac Rims commercial had all my favorites: Aly Raisman, Shawn Johnson, AND Nastia Liukin. I can’t wait to see how they perform today!
It’s time for another NBC gymnastics experience. By all accounts, this competition was a bit of a mess last night, so I’m especially excited for the broadcast. Make a special note of how they handle the Gabby Douglas hype situation, whether they bother to show any other countries, and whether Tim claims that Russia barely sent a team because they were mad about Jordyn Wieber or because they don’t understand how “prestigious” this competition is. What are we going for today, “Most Important Biennial International Gymnastics Event Sometimes Held on American Soil”? Sounds good to me.
Here we go from 1:00 ET / 10:00 PT

“The Eyes of Martha Karolyi” will be the theme today.

It was nice of Al to pretend like the other countries sent viable teams.

Ohashi’s DTY is getting better. It’s a little less scary than it used to be in the landing. A little leg form at the end, but otherwise it’s fine.

Reports were right that Priessman is twisting SO MUCH onto the horse. Plus a stumble back.

“A fall is bad.” Emily Little has a fine but sluggish beam routine with a fall on a tuck full. She should consider doing NCAA.

“Some Japanese problems on the vault.” Nice that we’re seeing some highlights from the first session. Lee looked excellent on bars, then a bunch of mistakes from the rest of the crowd. Elfi has provided helpful clarification that PPL prefers Peng Peng instead of Christine. Good and good to know. Excellent beam routine from her as well. I really love watching her gymnastics. Her 1.5 to double arabian was great, as was Moors on the double double.

Our trio is effectively setting up Gabby’s vault disaster. Completely missed her hand and jammed her ankles on the landing – OUCH. They’re right that it could have been worse, but she was just completely off. Probably would have been better not trying to land this on her feet and just accepting the zero, but that’s a very difficult decision to make in mid-air.

Nice flexibility from Simpson on beam, but some mistakes. At least they didn’t pair Gabby’s disaster with Georgia’s on floor. Terrible dismount. This really is a mess of a competition so far.

Who exactly is calling Kyla Ross the X-Factor, Andrea? HA! Kyla didn’t look so bad on the Amanar except for the legs, but then she just continued running straight off the mat. It was almost like Anna Li at 20120 vault event finals. That was very poor in the landing, but at least it wasn’t dangerous. Jordyn is much stronger and performs what has become her usual Amanar.

Lauren Mitchell never looks that strong early in the season. This was a fine routine, except for her wonky tuck turn and a bad double tuck dismount. Everyone looks totally sloppy and off so far.

What would this competition look like if you were a non-fan who just happened to turn it on? You would be thinking, “Why are all these gymnasts so horrible at gymnastics?”

China is bad/unremarkable on vault.

Fine from Hundley on bars. One REALLY late pirouette (MLT will be displeased), but she improved at the end into the stuck dismount. Very strong on bars from Ohashi. Still some handstands that need to be worked on, but I expect this routine to get very good.

To any following: due to storms, I’ve lost my TV signal, so I can’t comment anymore. ARG. I may be back.

Well, this is a disaster on my end as well as theirs. Sorry. Maybe this is a sign that I should just stop with the elite. Yesterday it was the scores, today it’s the TV. I’ll see what I can see and post overall thoughts later.

And we’re alive again! That is, if anyone stuck around. We’re getting a look at our NZL juniors. There are some nice basics here, but of course almost no elite-level difficulty.

Back to the US for beam. Hundley was probably a bit stronger in training – a little less confident on some of her acro here. Kyla Ross has such excellent form on this event that it is easy to forgive some of those wobbles. I’d like to see her upgrade the double tuck dismount. She finishes it so easily that it’s a clear place to pick up some difficulty.

That really nice interview with Gabby Douglas (she’s more comfortable with interviews than people usually are when they’ve recently turned senior) precedes her major struggle on the beam, one that seems pretty clearly a result of that ankle issue from vault. Fortunately, it doesn’t really seem like a major or long-term injury, at least from what we can see here.

Ohashi was glorious. I approve of the downgrade on the dismount. The double pike works much better for her. She’s never looked more confident on her layout full. We can also see why Wieber got the high score that she did because she had very few errors. I still hate her handspring sandwich around the back full, but it was the best she has done it. (Still, should it actually get connection value? I say no, but my code exploitation resentment may be showing.)

Opinion is divided about Ohashi’s floor routine. I don’t hate it, but I don’t care for the music choice and I still think she has some maturing to do as a performer (which is expected for her age). Also, some of the moves are a little stock WOGA/Rebecca Bross. She has more potential as a mover/dancer and should not be subjected to that. She has the potential to be given a great floor routine down the line, but this isn’t it yet.

Lexie Priessman was pretty sloppy through her routine on several passes. I don’t know if I dislike this routine as much as I’m supposed to, but I definitely have some questions. Most of them regard that absolutely bizarre music change right before the last pass. What is happening? Priessman is having an OK but unremarkable competition. Nothing that will keep her on the forefront of 2013 conversations, especially given how many returners I think we will have from the 2011-2012 classes.

Great. Now I’m going to have Phantom stuck in my head all through the elite summer. Thanks, Kyla. This routine in unremarkable in terms of both choreography and tumbling. Tim is trying to pretend that this performance is what Kyla needs in order to peak for the summer, but I think she has set herself up as an attractive alternate but hasn’t made an Olympic case with any of her routines. 5.5 difficulty on floor doesn’t do it.

The only one who can really take a positive from this competition is Wieber, who can point to this to say that she really is the best AAer in the country and that the American Cup loss to Douglas was just a random thing instead of the rule. Douglas will not be pleased by the performance today, but it’s hardly the end of the world. After American Cup, she was the darling of the world, and now she will be the pariah. Obviously, the truth is somewhere in between. Her bars routine will keep her right toward the top of the Olympic competition, but she will still have to earn her spot this summer. Remember, she had a horrid Championships last year, and Martha still chose her for the World team, so a bad performance (especially one largely due to injury) will not somehow hurt her chances too drastically.

China ended up barely passing Canada for second because of quality on beam, so the US ended up winning by only 19 points instead of 20. I was so close! Australia finished fourth after a bars disaster.

Jordyn actually just used the words “it’s an honor to be nominated.” Haha, love it.

Oh NBC, how dare you give us an interview will adorable little New Zealand girls to erase my disaste with whatever nonsense you were just saying about Gabby Douglas having to find a way to get her confidence back. Am I the only one who thinks this weaker performance was not a big deal at all for Douglas? As long as her ankle is OK, we’ll forget about this in thirty seconds.

Final Friday – Florida, Utah, Alabama, Pac Rims

It’s our last Friday of regular season competition. Shed a fake tear.

Of note:
7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – [7] Utah @ [1] Florida
7:30 ET / 4:30 PT – [9] Arkansas @ [16] Missouri
8:00 ET / 5:00 PT – Iowa State @ [6] Nebraska
8:00 ET / 5:00 PT – West Virginia @ [10] LSU
8:30 ET / 5:30 PT – North Carolina @ [4] Alabama
10:00 ET / 7:00 PT – New Hampshire, Seattle Pacific @ [8] Oregon State
10:00 ET / 7:00 PT – Pac Rim Women’s Subdivision 2 (USA Session)


Lots of scores to follow, plus the live feed from Alabama. Full discussion after the jump from 7:00 ET / 4:00 PT.



As we wait to get started in Florida, a minor update from the Pac Rim Championships, where our dear Canadians dominated the early session, opening up a 6.5 point lead over Japan’s C team and a 8.5 point lead over Russia’s R team. USA, Australia, and China will compete in the later session.

Future UCLA gymnast Christine Peng Peng Lee (Which is she going by? Does anyone know?) leads the senior AA by a ton over her teammates Vaculik and Moors with a very nice score of 57.800. Elegance, originality, and performance quality. Root for her.

Looking at Utah against Florida, the first rotation will tell us a lot. I have doubts about several Utah UB workers (Hansen, Beers), and they either need to be out of the lineup or making themselves better as of this week. For Florida, vault should be a strength with their power, but they haven’t yet proven the ability to match Alabama and UCLA’s consistent 49.500s.

Over in Michigan, the Wolverines have gone over 49 on vault, but their problems usually start on the other events. Vault is the good one.

Well, one of my questions for the rotation has been answered with Beers going 9.850. I have questions, but still. She’s a better fit for the leadoff position. And now Hansen has gone 9.900. Shows what I know. We’ll wait to see what Dickerson gets. Bars scoring at Florida this season has been a little participation ribbon.

Florida has started with 9.775, 9.800 on vault. It’s about right for those two, but like I mentioned, a few other teams don’t have to wait until #3 to start scoring. And as expected, Dickerson, King, and Johnson arrive with stronger scores to push Florida up into what can be the 49.400s depending on Hunter.

Fall for Lopez from Utah. Pressure on Dabritz now, who has been the best yet least reliable worker for Utah this year. Once again, live scoring from Florida is a molasses mess.

Florida scores 49.325 on vault. Fine but not exceptional. Just one score hitting 9.900. They might even be behind Utah after the first rotation, which I never would have expected.

Well, Utah got the hit they wanted from Dabritz, but it was McAllister who had the mistake, recording 9.400. What could have been a 49.400 for Utah is, instead, a 48.900. More road struggles. Lopez and McAllister are certainly not the two athletes I would have expected to fall.

I am fascinated to see how Florida scores on bars. Do I hear 49.600? Utah needs a stick from Robarts on vault to gain some momentum back.

Interesting that Dabritz is going so early in Utah’s vault lineup now, but she scores 9.900, and Tory Wilson also scores well, which I wouldn’t have picked out in preseason. She did not stand out at all a few months ago.

Ashanee Dickerson has received 9.950 on bars. Remember this.


I’m just going to move on. It’s for the best. Kytra Hunter had a fall, which means Florida will be counting two scores in the 9.8 range. Utah is scoring consistently well on vault, but just a 9.825 from Robarts. They could have gone even higher. Lothrop is doing her Omelianchik as well now and scored a 9.825. I’d like to see her in vault finals at Championships if for no other reason than that she has a legitimate repertoire of vaults and won’t throw some lame layout as her second vault.

Ah, Florida scores 49.500 on bars. I was so close to predicting it! Dickerson and Johnson receive the same score, but Johnson’s toe point, rhythm, control, and line are so much stronger that it’s a frustrating result to see those qualities not be rewarded. There are events where Dickerson is as good as (if not better than) Johnson, but bars is not one of them.

After two events, Florida leads 98.825–98.225. Florida is on 197.600 pace.

Stageberg starts beam for Florida with a 9.775. The lineup will once again be the same as it has been all season.

Utah’s coverage used multiple exclamation points to describe Becky Tutka’s routine, so we can assume so hit well. Score is 9.850, which matches Spicer on beam, who recovered from her recent fall with a strong score.

A fall from Robarts (Utah’s third of the meet) will put them in an even bigger hole as Florida’s scores continue to skyrocket with a 9.925 from Johnson on beam. Florida’s vaulting lows (ish) seem to have been a momentary blip. I could certainly see them exceeding the 197.550 they need to move up in RQS.

You mean Florida only scored 49.475 on beam? Slackers. They won’t be able to reach 198 today because of bars, but 197.7-197.8 is doable. They need 197.700 to ensure they hold onto #1 regardless of what Oklahoma does.

Does anyone have scores for Arkansas? The live scoring isn’t working for me.

Utah doesn’t have to count Robarts’s fall and scores a respectable 49.175. A hit beam could get them into the higher 196s, but it’s nothing that will really help their RQS or momentum much. They’ll have to rely on Pac-12s to do that. Utah will have the benefit of home crowd and Olympic order then, so expect it.

After 3: Florida 148.300 Utah 147.400

Final rotation begins with a McAllister 9.825 on beam. Better leadoffs for Utah today. I like her in this position more than Lopez. Amy Ferguson caps off her home career with a 9.825 as well in the leadoff position for Florida.

After the scores finish off here, I’ll be keeping an eye on Alabama for the final home performances for Priess and Stack-Eaton, along with our last opportunity to hear “Gaoow, Guh Bama, Gaoow” this year.

Utah is hanging around the 9.800 area for the first three routines, scores dropping for each successive gymnast – bad sign. Florida is following their 9.825, 9.875, higher pattern so far.

Johnson scores 9.900 and Dickerson goes 9.925 – can we expect higher from King and Hunter? Quite possibly. Watch for another 49.500+ here.

Robarts has a fall for Utah, meaning they are in danger of going below 49 again unless Lothrop goes 9.850+. That’s two falls and a weaker than usual vault for Robarts. Lothrop gets a 9.900, so Utah finishes with 196.450.

King, Dickerson, and Johnson have all gone over 39.600 in the AA.

Missed the very start of Alabama, but Priess vaults a very nice Yfull with a little bit of low body but a stuck landing. North Carolina has a Chelsea Davis-alike named Emily Cornwell.

Sledge vaults a yfull with a little bit of a low chest and a step back. Won’t score as well as Priess.

Over in Florida, Hunter and King got their 9.950s, so Florida goes 49.600 here. See, I knew there would be a 49.600 somewhere. Total score for Florida is 197.900, which is their highest of the season and the second-highest score in the country overall.

Huge bounce back for Stack-Eaton. Not her best. Overall the Alabama vaults were just OK. Not their best landings by any means except Milliner, who stuck hers for 9.950 to help the team score 49.475. Great score, but quality-wise they won’t be so happy with it. It wasn’t a postseason-level performance.

Over in Nebraska, the Huskers had a great bar rotation, but beam looks like it will bring down the score a bit. 197 is still attainable.

Demeo hits bars, but not with the composure in handstand that I’d like to see. I still have some concerns about these first three on bars, especially when one of the final three doesn’t hit for a huge score like Stack-Eaton here.

***

Back now. Time to keep track of the big score Alabama is building going in to the final rotation, as well as the start of the evening subdivision at Pac Rims, featuring the USA. Alabama went 49.525 on beam, featuring a 9.950 from DeMeo.

Alabama just has to go 49.275 on this rotation to ensure that they tie UCLA in the rankings. Not quite so solid on the tumbling from Priess, but it should be a fine score.

PR: Ohashi opens the US vault with 14.850 on a DTY. Priessman hits her Amanar well, and Ross records a fine score, but it looks like Douglas has fallen on her Amanar. And she looked so solid at the American Cup.

Very insecure on the DLO from Sledge. That will hurt her score. Gutierrez looks like she will score well. Not her best from Stack-Eaton in terms of body position on the tumbling, but it was a fine routine overall.

In Arkansas news, they’ve recorded another very low score of 195.450, missing Grable again.

PR: Wieber scores the best of the group on the Amanar with a 15.700. They’ll drop Douglas’s score. Lauren Mitchell scores a 14.800 on beam, and Tan Sixin performs just a 5.5 floor routine for 13.900. Don’t expect the US to have much trouble winning this competition.

Stack-Eaton gets a 9.925, which is too high, and Alabama ends with a 197.625, which should allow them to pass UCLA for 3rd for the time being. Not sure yet which position would be more advantageous at this point. The #4 team might very well get the Arkansas Regional, which looked like a land mine early in the season, but with the injury situation the Razorbacks are facing, that might be a very attractive Regional indeed. But who knows, Arkansas could be in a battle for that ranking with LSU at SECs.

PR: The US will score a 60.700 on vault. It could have been higher. Remember last time when the US won by like 15 points? We could see a repeat . . . or more.

Amelia Hundley leads off bars for the US with a 14.000, which is fine for her. Interesting that she got the bars spot over Priessman (whose score will not count toward the team on this event). She is improving at a much faster rate.

Ohashi follows up with a 14.650, 8.650 on execution. This is a routine I expect to become very strong over the next few years. As she grows, I do expect her to lose some of her current skills, but I think the growth will help her on bars.

Ross exceeds 9.000 on execution for her 15.250 bar performance. Good execution score, but she’s going to need a higher difficulty score if she wants to earn a spot performing bars on the Olympic team. She has to prove that she is notably better than Wieber. This is a start, but she’s capable of more.

China is vaulting a bunch of Yfulls, except for a fall from Luo P on a DTY. Douglas scores 15.500 on bars for a 6.4 routine to lead the team on bars recovering from the vault mishap. I will be interested to see how that routine shapes up when they show it tomorrow morning. I’m impressed that she’s added such a competent Healy to her routine so quickly.

The US almost matches the vault score on bars with a 60.400. That’s a great sign for them. My money is on a 20-point margin this year. I made a Harlem Globetrotters reference during the American Cup, but maybe it’s more appropriate here.

From Blythe, it sounds like a major injury to Georgia Simpson (broken ankle?) is the culprit for the current wait on the floor. Emily Little scores a 14.150 following up after the injury, which is a strong score. She’s setting herself up as the clear #2 on this team.

Lauren Mitchell puts up a big floor difficulty of 6.3, which exceeds what Raisman competed at American Cup, and scores a 14.850 to lead Australia to a 56.250, the highest floor score of the competition so far despite the injury and scratch from Simpson.

The US in currently in the bye between bars and beam. I’m going to call it a day on the scoring, but we’ll pick things up here tomorrow at 1:00 ET / 10:00 PT for the actual NBC broadcast of the competition. Mmmm tape delay. Don’t we all just love it?

Senior Sunday – Oklahoma @ UCLA Live Blog

2:30 ET / 11:30 PT – NC State @ Georgia
5:00 ET / 2:00 PT – Oklahoma @ UCLA

It’s Senior Day for the gymnasts from Georgia and UCLA, so a little nostalgic look at highlights for these seniors before we get to the day’s action. Along with Alabama, these teams are going to have the biggest shoes to fill next year.

Probably not even the best beam she’s done at UCLA, but she’ll always have that 10. Through all the UCLA beam troubles, she’s been the unifying force. EHH fixes things.
Our dynamic duo on bars for Georgia. That’s how you land. Never a moment’s doubt. They’re the last Suzanne gymnasts on this Georgia team, and to me, they are this Georgia team.

The most graceful gymnast UCLA has had in a number of years, carrying on her Tousek legacy. Imagine how many big scores she would have had if she hadn’t been leading off the last two seasons. 

Tauny Frattone. Coming alive. 
The best vault and floor she’s ever done have come in her senior season. No easy feat.
The walk-on with the bad legs who gets a 9.925 on floor.

Written off by everyone (ahem . . . me) and having an important season for the Bruins.

Comments on scores and routines after the jump when the action begins.


Georgia has its true lineups back today, with Ding and Nuccio back in on their events and Worley on bars and beam. This is very close to what we should expect in the postseason, if not the exact lineup.

We’ll start the actual meet a bit later than usual because of the senior presentations.

Since Georgia is at home (and they already have 3 high home scores), the Gymdogs don’t have much room to move up in RQS save for about a tenth if they were to record a season-high. They won’t be able to catch UCLA or probably Alabama, but they’ll want to try to stay ahead of Nebraska for now.

We’re underway now. 9.800 for Davis on vault. Fine score, but she can go higher with a stick. Shouldn’t matter as much with Ding in the lineup, though. Less pressure on the early vaulters than there was on Friday. Exact same can be said for Couch’s 9.800.

Persinger goes 9.825, followed by Kaylan Earls with a 9.750 (step forward). Jay will be disappointed by the landings from most of these early vaulters. At this point in the season, anything less than a stick starts to be a disappointment. The top vault teams have 4 people who can go 9.9 even when not producing their best work.

Kat Ding shows the rest of her team how to do it with a 9.925. It’s nice to see her start well. You never know how people are going to react on Senior Day/Night. Sometimes it can just be a river of tears the whole meet with no chance for a good performance. After 1 Rotation: Georgia 49.175, NC State 48.750. NC State had a bunch of 9.7s, but was led by Fincham’s 9.850


Tanella is able to stick her landing on bars pretty consistently now, which is making her a valuable contributor even though she’s having an off season in terms of making other lineups. 9.850.

We’re a little slow with the scores here for a moment at the Georgia meet. Sounds like Davis went career high (9.950) which is excellent for her. She’ll be the featured routine next year. So far I’ve seen Tanella at 9.850, Couch at 9.775, Davis at 9.950, Nuccio at 9.825, and Ding at 9.925.

Kat Ding goes 9.925. Everyone was hoping for a 10, but not quite there this time. Overall, Georgia went 49.325 on bars, and Georgia leads 98.500 to 97.550 after 2. Never got a score for the missing routine (Shayla?) but it didn’t count toward the team score. No surprise there. Sigh. It was a 9.775 from Shayla, so fine. . . no disaster there.

On beam, Couch recovers from Friday with a 9.825. Kat Ding had a major wobble on a full turn and goes 9.725, so they’ll need to drop it if they have an eye on something over 197. They’ll have to average 49.375 on the remaining events if they want to move up at all in RQS.

Earls steps up with a 9.900 on beam. Is that her first of the season? She’s been entrenched in the 9.8 range for a number of weeks now. Other than that they’ll be counting 9.825s with Shayla still to go.   Shayla goes 9.950 with an iffy landing. You feel they really wanted to give her a 10 today.

Georgia leads 147.825-146.475 after three events, so the Gymdogs need just a 49.175 to hit 197 today.

We’re beginning the final rotation of this meet now, with Earls scoring 9.850 to lead off floor. No Worley in this lineup (which is three weeks in a row now and will probably continue, I would think). get ready for some big scores in this rotation. Persinger at 9.900, so they should go well over 197 if these first two scores are any indication.

If not for the issue on beam, this would have been a career performance for Kat Ding. Really excellent 9.925 on floor. Thrilled for all these seniors ending the right way on floor. This is a major rotation, especially on an event that’s been such a problem for them this year – 49.550 for the rotation.

Final Score: Georgia 197.375, NC State 195.525
Georgia should be happy with this performance. I still don’t see them taking SECs (I can’t imagine they will be able to outscore both UF and Bama), but this is the kind of meet where you say “that’s the way I want them.” They shouldn’t change a thing. This is the lineup, this is the team.
A short break, and then we’ll have UCLA and Oklahoma

Oklahoma @ UCLA
Olivia Courtney has a concussion and will not compete. This team really can’t catch a break this year. There’s always an injury. UCLA is also reporting that EHH is warming up her 2010 floor routine. That was by far my favorite of hers.

Have I mentioned lately that I don’t care for mascots?

Olivia Courtney is there for the introductions, good sign. Honestly, I forgot Kozai and Ti Liu were on this team.

Rotation 1: UCLA on vault, Oklahoma on bars
Darren just told us that Sawa is doing an exhibition on floor today. Wasn’t the whole thing that she wouldn’t be able to do that because of red shirt issues?

Baer on vault – better than it has been, small step (9.825)

Ward – OU – just a little overbalancing on a handstand, but otherwise strong, stuck landing. (9.775)

MDLT – UCLA – very similar to Baer. A bit more dynamic, but not as much control on the landing. (9.800)

Brewer – OU – She does the one foot at a time toe on thing, which is distracting, but very clean. (9.850)

Larson – UCLA – Best distance so far, but the hop back as well. Not good landings from the last two for this part of the season. (9.900 – a touch too high)

Spears – OU – misses two handstands and a hop on the dismount, not her best, but fine.

Peszek – UCLA – pretends it’s a stick, but she’s actually low and takes a big step forward. (9.875)

Nowak – OU – totally flung out her double tuck dismount, but held onto it well.

Frattone – UCLA – perfect stick. Senior Day. Watch for the 10. She gets it. It’s the exact same vault as a 9.950 she got recently, but we’re fine with it. I’m really happy for her.

Olson – OU – very low on the DLO full with a lunge forward, but otherwise extremely strong. (9.800 – so nearly everything was on the dismount)

Zam – UCLA – hops back – she needs to be sticking this now, so that’s a weak performance. (9.900)

Ferguson – OU – looked strong but we didn’t see much of that.

Cindell does a fine exhibition on bars, but it probably shouldn’t go into the lineup.

After 1 Rotation: UCLA 49.500 Oklahoma 49.175
Frattone was really the only one who brought it in that rotation. Peszek made a bit of a rookie mistake in trying to hold onto a stick that wasn’t there and ended up incurring more deductions because of it. Everyone except for Frattone has work to do. Oklahoma had a few mistakes, an overbalanced handstand, a low landing, and enough to keep the score down.

OK, it looks like Val is crying and we don’t even get to hear it. Is Tauny giving an acceptance speech about her 10? Love it. Oh, she’s just telling people to buy season tickets. HA.

Rotation 2: Oklahoma on vault, UCLA on bars


Brewer – OU – a little lack of height and a hop back – (9.750)

MDLT – UCLA – fine routine but not her best – hop back on dismount and a missed handstand – (9.775)

Spears – OU – didn’t show it (9.800)

Larson – UCLA – one of the better routines she’s done. A leg separation on the bail and a shuffle on the landing. (9.850)

Ward – OU – off on direction and a big hop back – not the strongest. (9.800)

EHH – UCLA – not quite as clean as she usully is on the bars themselves, but just a little step on the landing. (9.825)

Olson – OU – didn’t show it either – pick it up cameras! (9.850)

Peszek – UCLA – one handstand I wasn’t happy with, and a big step on the landing, otherwise strong. (9.825)

Mooring – OU – Yhalf with a small step. Clean. (9.850)

Zamarripa – UCLA – Absolutely beautiful on the bars, but another step on the dismount (pretty big too). They haven’t stuck a dismount yet. Not acceptable. (9.875)

Stone – OU – Solid yfull with a step back. Should be their highest score yet. (9.900)

Gerber – UCLA – beautiful stick on her dbl arabian dismount – the best she’s done that skill – but a few form breaks on the bars. (9.950 – high)

Exhibition from Frattone – one of the better ones she’s done. Pretty clean from Craddock as well except for a late giant full.

After two rotations: UCLA 98.825, OU 98.375.
Oklahoma is certainly not having their best meet. The landings haven’t been there for nearly all the routines so far. UCLA stuck only one dismount of six during the bar rotation, which will not cut it. The handstands are getting a bit better, though.

Rotation 3: UCLA on beam, Oklahoma on floor


Gerber – UCLA – very clean as always, but a hop on the dismount which is uncharacteristic. (9.825)

Spears – OU – little hop back out of the mount, some of these dances elements aren’t quite there either, falls on the front double full. Not strong. (9.150)

Baer – UCLA – extremely clean on the beam, but a poor landing that should incur a significant deduction. (9.675)

Olson – OU – oh, K.J.’s choreography (love that she does something different, but I often have issues with it) – was she supposed to tuck her front full? Doubt it. That could be an issue – fine rudi dismount, but that second pass will cost her. (9.750)

Larson – UCLA – absolutely great routine with a stuck dismount – I’m pleasantly surprised with her consistency on this event in the second half of this season. (9.875)

Brewer – OU – apparently an OOB on the mount, we didn’t see it – but picked up the quality after that. Still, not a great day for Oklahoma so far. (9.700)

Zamarripa – UCLA – perfect on all the acro – takes an uncharacteristic fall while doing a 2.5 dismount – it was going to be a great score. Why are they having her do the 2.5? Seems like there’s no need. (9.400 with a fall – it was going to be that great.)

Nowak – OU – big lunge back out of double pike mount but no OOB, and very low on the front layout. This will be another lower score.

EHH – UCLA – a little wobble on the illusion turn, but otherwise strong routine. Hop on dismount. They’ll need another hit from Peszek now. Will be interesting to see if they let her do the standing full. (9.900)

Stone – OU – best floor routine of the rotation by far – should get them into the 9.8s for the first time. (9.850)

Peszek – UCLA – no standing full because they needed the hit – a bit of a hop on the dismount – necessary hit and will be a solid score, and they should still go over 49. (9.925)

Ferguson – OU – a little bit of legs on the middle pass – really strong dismount. They needed that routine – only minor deductions. (9.875)

After 3 Rotations: UCLA 148.025, Oklahoma 147.250
Oklahoma had a weak floor rotation from the first four gymnasts, and they couldn’t recover. Not UCLA’s best on beam either, but enough to retain a sizable lead. I’m still not happy with anyone’s landings.

Rotation 4: Oklahoma on beam, UCLA on floor
This is Oklahoma’s best event, so they can make up some ground here, but I do expect UCLA to get some big scores on floor. UCLA needs a 48.975 to go 197 at this meet. Oklahoma needs a 49.250 to reach 196.500.

Nowak – OU – didn’t know where the judges were for a second – very clean on series – a little wobble on the side aerial – gainer full dismount – best leadoff for OU today by far. (9.800)

Frattone – UCLA – clean – good leadoff – well done – good that they’ve dropped the shushunova. (9.850)

Mooring – OU – very nice hit routine – I agree with Allison about the sheep jump – (9.825)

MDLT – UCLA – I assume she is filling in for Courtney – or maybe Val is just in love with this choreography and wants people to see it as many times as possible – solid routine from her – better than it has been – I’d like just a little more control on the front landing elements. (9.850)

Brewer – OU – had a good routine going, but no chance on the double tuck dismount and falls – just a weird day for Oklahoma. (9.350)

Zamarripa – UCLA – love her layout stepout out of her second pass – she’s a bit more in control of this routine than she has been, but still dismounting with the rudi. (9.900)

Stone – OU – the only thing I don’t like about this routine is the two swingdowns – dismounts a little low with a step to the side. (9.850)

Pritchett – UCLA – fine half in half out mount, but not quite her best – low double pike to finish. (9.825)

Spears – OU – looked a little uncertain at the beginning but got more confident through the routine – big hop on dismount. (9.850)

Peszek – UCLA – this routine has grown on me a little – not sure why – good double pike to finish – I saw a few deductions, but this should be a high score. (9.950)

Ferguson – OU – tremendous dismount after a great routine – where would they be without her?

EHH – UCLA – LOVE that she’s doing the 2010 routine. It was excellent. Really great routine – for my money it was her best of the season – maybe that’s just the choreo. Now it’s with all the crying. She gets a 10 from one judge, but I don’t think you can give it to her with the double tuck mount.

Exhibition from Sawa on floor – ouch – botched her second pass and landed on her neck, but she’s fine. High fives Olivia Courtney mid-routine. Nice, but just a layout as her dismount. Hopefully they figured out a way for this not to be an issue with red-shirting.

Final Score – UCLA 197.525, Oklahoma 196.475


Nice to see the senior presentations.

Friday Scores Central – Georgia, Michigan, Alabama, Utah

Today’s important action: 
7:00 ET / 4:00 PT – [5] Georgia @ [20] Michigan
8:00 ET / 5:00 PT – [9] LSU @ Iowa
8:30 ET / 5:30 PT – [14] Missouri @ [4] Alabama
9:00 ET / 6:00 PT – [6] Nebraska @ [7] Utah

We’ll start with Georgia, where word comes today that Shayla Worley is battling an injury, making my post from yesterday essentially moot. Awesome. Gina Nuccio is also out for this meet, and Kat Ding is limited to bars. After all the discussion about how healthy this team was this year, they’ve been bitten at the worst possible time. And now they have a two-meet weekend. Fun fun fun fun. The 4,5,6 performers on floor now are Box, Tanella, and Couch. Not what one would be looking for.

This meet is obviously about making do for Georgia, but our other top teams competing today will be looking to show finalized lineups in preparation for the postseason, which will give us an excellent opportunity to compare quality. Alabama is the most naturally talented of the teams competing today, but they have hit their potential only twice this season. Even though the score last week was fine, blowing the lead was not, so there is still something to prove today.

Follow along after the jump for all the nonsense from 7:00 ET / 4:00 PT


I’m really rooting for Michigan to have a strong performance this week. It’s been such a poor season for them so far, but they’ve recorded their two highest scores of the year in the last two weeks and still have a shot at being a #3 seed at a Regional (that’s actually a big deal, then they would potentially need only one implosion to sneak into Nationals). It’s still unlikely, but the nice thing is that they have no seniors, so no one is going out on this sour note.

We’re underway, and Christa Tanella has recorded a 9.875 on bars as leadoff. Does our famous Michigan scoring not extend to Ypsilanti? Noel Couch follows with a 9.775, to match Stephanie Colbert’s vault score. Michigan started with a score they hope to drop in Zakharia’s 9.650. Zakharia is not much of a vaulter, but such is the necessity of this season.

Big vault score of 9.925 for Zurales. This has been the event Michigan has been able to manage on the most this year. Over on bars, it looks like Georgia is going to be able to hold firm without Nuccio in the UB lineup, at least so far.

Another big vault score for Michigan, 9.925 from Sampson. They need to build up the advantage here if they want to have any hope of a relatively big score because the scoring pace will fall as the meet goes on. Unfortunately, now they will have to drop Sugiyama’s fall and count Zakharia’s vault.

Chelsea Davis converts again on bars for 9.925. How much will they be relying her on this event next year without Ding and Nuccio? Ding goes 9.950. Dear Judges on Sunday, we all expect you to go 10 for Kat on bars. You have my official permission to do so. No one will hold it against you.

Disaster for Michigan on vault. Two falls to end the rotation from Sugiyama and Miele. Uh boy . . . it could very well go down from here. Let’s hope not.

After 1 Rotation: Georgia 49.325, Michigan 48.500
Important strong start for Georgia. I expect them to be fine on vault as well. Beam and floor without Ding, Worley, and Nuccio will be the deciding factor. By the way, perhaps my most pleasant surprise of the season has been Kat Ding’s new ability to hit beam and floor. So refreshing.

Chelsea Davis starts vault with a 9.800, which is solid for her. She can sometimes go 9.850 with a stick, but that’s about her range. Fine for a leadoff. Hires will have the pressure today, and they’ll need something from Earls to make up for the lack of Ding. [Davis’s score has been raised to 9.850]

Persinger puts up a big 9.900, while Annette Miele has gone 9.525 on bars, meaning Michigan will be fighting against an early low score again. They can’t keep putting themselves in these positions.

9.8 range scores from Sampson and Sugiyama will keep Michigan afloat on bars. They don’t have big scoring potential much of anywhere, so they need to get a 49.1-49.2 to try to make up for vault. Kaylan Earls puts up Georgia’s third 9.800 on vault, so this looks like this rotation will go lower than bars.

Georgia got high scores from Hires and Persinger and a bunch of 9.800s to score 49.225, which is just OK. For this meet they’ll take it, but they’d really rather not rely on having Breazeal in the lineup. Still waiting on a score for Brittnee Martinez for Michigan, unless they just put up five this week, which would be another low point. If that’s the case, Michigan goes below 49 again. They had a shot in this rotation with 9.850s from Gies and Sampson. So yes, Michigan showed just five UB routines, spare a thought for the memories of Botterman, Wilson, and Sexton.

After 2 Rotations: Georgia 98.550, Michigan 97.350
Georgia is currently on 197 pace, but I think they’ll gladly take anything around 196.800. They’ll need something in the low 197s to challenge UCLA with today’s score, but they’ll have another opportunity on Sunday – though they will have to do much better in trying to drop an already high home score.

Gies starts Michigan with a 9.625 on beam. The struggle to drop a score begins anew. Strong start for Georgia on floor with 9.825, 9.875. This has been Persinger’s best scoring performance of the season so far along with last week. She’s starting to deliver. Box and Tanella will be the big question marks here. This is a unique lineup decision by Jay to put some of the bigger concerns at the end of these lineups. Perhaps he wants to keep his usual workers in the same spots, but it does kill score building.

Through three beam routines, Michigan has not gone above 9.700. The bad news just keeps getting worse. Now they’re hoping to score 195. Zurales is carrying this team singlehandedly. 9.900.

Davis hits 9.750, and Box scores 9.800. Davis hasn’t looked secure at all on floor when I’ve seen her this year, and that’s about what we would expect from Box. It doesn’t help the scoring potential much, but they’re on track versus expectations. I don’t see Davis in the postseason six on this event.

Michigan finishes with a 48.725 on beam, meaning they have to go 48.925 (which they haven’t done yet today) on floor just to hit a 195. Meanwhile, Georgia manages to put up another 49.225. No one has been spectacular except for Ding on bars, but they are doing enough to still have a shot at 197, which I did not expect when the meet started. As long as they hit five routines on beam, they’ll take this meet any day given the lineup situation.

After 3 Rotations: Georgia 147.775, Michigan 146.075

Very unexpected fall from Noel Couch on beam, 9.150. She’s supposed to be the solid one. As a commenter just mentioned, Georgia has been extremely consistent this year, so this rotation will be an important test of their ability to handle competition adversity.

Moffat hits for 9.900. Clutch. She might just earn herself a lineup spot if she can do things like that. Still four more hits to go – Breazeal, Earls, Persinger, Tanella. The dream team. Breazeal did her job, 9.825.

Michigan has hit the first two routines for good scores for the first time today (9.800, 9.825 on floor).

We’re coming up on Alabama’s scheduled start time now, but the actual start won’t be for a while yet. We can probably wait for this meet to finish before shifting attention.

Michigan looks to be salvaging their night on floor. They just need one solid hit in the next two routines. Earls and Persinger have converted for Georgia, so it’s up to Tanella now. They need a 9.850 from her to go 197.

Georgia was so close. Tanella scores just a 9.425 on beam, which counts. Georgia finishes with 196.575. Michigan, meanwhile, has an excellent floor to break the 195 barrier, at least.

Final Score: Georgia, 196.575, Michigan 195.300


Alabama hosting Missouri soon to get underway now. Only major lineup changes for them are Frost coming back in on floor (unsure . . .) and Priess coming back in on beam (definitely sure). Surprisingly, Alabama still has a low home score on their RQS, so this is a prime opportunity for them to move up on UCLA.

Buh, by the time this meet actually starts, Utah will have begun. I also now make it a point not to watch anything that happens at Alabama before the meet begins because I don’t like horror films, so I’m just blindly waiting for things to get themselves going.

Ah, I see we’ve started. Alabama is playing their one song again, fine 9.8-level vaulting from Clark and Priess. Very weak vault from Sledge. Low with a lunge forward. They’ll want to drop that one. 9.725. I might have gone even lower.

Missouri is also happening on bars, but the form is extremely poor. This is not a #14 in the country kind of rotation. Though they are improving significantly as we go through the lineup.

Big hop back from Stack-Eaton. The landings really aren’t there today. All of the first four have incurred at least a tenth on landing. Gutierrez gets them on track, just a little body position issue. I assume the judges will go 9.950.

Milliner has her usual legs and a step to the side. It would be a 9.850 from me, but I’ll assume 9.900 from the judges. Let’s see. Yep. Good exhibition from Kayla Williams.

So Alabama goes 49.325 on vault, which is low for them especially at home. I think we saw about .100-.150 of overscoring overall, so nothing to get worked up about.

After 1 Rotation: Alabama 49.325, Missouri 48.475


Taking a break now, so talk amongst yourselves.

Update: Alabama was able to withstand a low score from Demeo on bars and score well again. They are on solid low-197 pace right now, but they will have to drop a beam fall from Gutierrez. I expect them to be able to do so. Just Stack-Eaton and Priess who have to hit now.

Over in Utah, both Utah and Nebraska recorded massive scores on the opening event, featuring a 9.950 on vault from Robarts and a 9.925 on bars from Giblin. It looks like the Utah judges have changed back into early-season mode.

Some nice individual passes from a few of Missouri’s floor workers. Stack-Eaton was extremely clean throughout her beam routine, as was Priess so this is going to be a big score.

Alabama will score 197 if they go just 49.000 on floor, so they have a big opportunity to zoom up in RQS. I expect the scores to go into the 9.9s frequently for this rotation.

Ultimately not as strong as we might have thought from Alabama on floor, with some 9.7s to lead things off, but they score a 197.175, which is respectable and will help their RQS.

Nebraska scores a colossal 197.600 with their seven competing gymnasts. I said early in the season that this was unsustainable, but maybe they are proving me wrong. Watch out for this group. They just ensured they won’t be overlooked. Utah also managed a hefty 197.450, and they probably would have won if not for a beam rotation that was just OK. Both teams will enjoy a little bump of momentum. We could see this meeting again at Regionals in just a few months time (though maybe not as this result should shoot Nebraska up more than a tenth in RQS so that they can challenge Georgia next weekend when Georgia is off).

Otherwise, not much else to report around the country. LSU and Stanford both scored in the lowish 196s, which should do little to advance their causes. I still expect both teams to make championships, but that’s about all. There’s a lot of talent on each team, but too many holes. I feel a bit the same way about Oregon State, so they need to prove themselves as legitimate spoilers for finals with a strong showing tomorrow.