Category Archives: Regionals

2021 Regionals Draw

The regional championship assignments have been announced, and we now know which unseeded teams have been “geographically” placed at which regional sites. I put “geographically” in quotes because it is a farce, since if you were actually geographically assigning teams, most teams would end up going to West Virginia, and instead, you ended up sending Temple to Utah because of…checks notes…the geography.

So, yeah, the selection-show-that-could-have-been-an-email has revealed exactly how many ways they screwed this up. (IT’S A LOT.) Including how the image to illustrate “women’s gymnastics” was of Jade Degouveia, who hasn’t competed for a year.

Let’s dissect it as a family.

Format review: The winner of each Thursday (April 1) play-in joins semifinal #1. The top 2 teams in each regional semifinal on Friday (April 2) advance to the regional final on Saturday (April 3). The top two teams in the regional final advance to nationals.


Thursday play-in
NC State v Western Michigan

Semifinal #1
[1] Florida
[4] Illinois
Central Michigan
Play-in Winner

Semifinal #2
[2] Minnesota
[3] Denver
Oregon State

AA Individuals
Emily Shepard – NC State
Elizabeth Culton – North Carolina
Payton Murphy – Western Michigan

Event Individuals
VT – Anika Dujakovich – Nebraska; Chloe Negrete – NC State
UB – Kynsee Roby – Nebraska; Kinsey Davis – Nebraska; Katelyn Cox – NC State; Meredith Robinson – NC State
BB – Kynsee Roby – Nebraska; Kaitlyn Higgins – Nebraska; Kathryn Thaler – Nebraska; Chloe Negrete – NC State
FX – Chloe Negrete – NC State; Kylie Piringer – Nebraska; Isabel Goyco – TWU

**Event individuals include those from play-in teams so that if they happened to be eliminated in the play-in, they can still compete the next day in the hope of advancing to nationals, as individual qualification to nationals is based on the Friday results.

Continue reading 2021 Regionals Draw

Regional Finals – Where Are We Now?

My previews of the regional finals were pretty limited because we didn’t yet know who would be competing in them (although it turns out we definitely did) or what the rotation order would be, so here’s a fresh look at those finals heading into tonight’s competition.


[1] Oklahoma, [8] Georgia, [9] Kentucky, [15] Cal

The regional with the most charitable judging overall also went the most cleanly to plan, with Oklahoma and Georgia advancing with the highest scores and what appears to be a clear edge over the other two. Oklahoma dominated with a historically high 198.300 (the highest road score ever recorded at a regional—and a tenth shy of the record for highest road score ever, set by UCLA two weeks ago…2019 sure is fun).

I think it’s fair to say that Georgia used some home scoring to develop a level of separation over the remaining teams that we wouldn’t have seen at a neutral venue, but you can point to gifts everywhere. What it means is that Oklahoma and Georgia look like your favorites to advance, and Kentucky or Cal moving into the top 2 spots would be an upset. Although we won’t really know what’s up until the last rotation because Georgia finishes on bum bum bum…beam. And it was an adventure even yesterday.

Let’s look at this rotation by rotation, using both NQS and yesterday’s scores.

Rotation 1– Cal VT, Kentucky UB, Oklahoma BB, Georgia FX
1. Oklahoma – 49.555
2. Georgia – 49.375
3. Kentucky – 49.275
4. Cal – 49.195

Everything is supposed to be going to plan after 1. Given the way vault scoring went yesterday, Cal will feel it can’t be this far behind at this point given how high those numbers were, though it’s worth noting that the judges do move around events for today, so it’s not going to be the same people.

1. Oklahoma – 49.500
2. Cal – 49.350
3. Georgia – 49.325
4. Kentucky – 49.125

Yesterday’s scores would have Cal in second place after 1, which you have to think Cal needs to have a shot. Kentucky had to work against a fall on bars yesterday and was a little 9.7y, and can’t have that again and can’t be multiple tenths back after what should be a pretty good event.

Rotation 2 – Georgia VT, Cal UB, Kentucky BB, Oklahoma FX
1. Oklahoma – 99.125
2. Georgia – 98.740
3. Kentucky – 98.600
4. Cal – 98.470

Kentucky would be totally OK with this deficit after two events because Georgia is heading to bars and beam in the second half, which is where things would go wrong if they go wrong. Kentucky will feel the opportunity is still alive.

1. Oklahoma – 99.125
2. Georgia – 98.825
3. Cal – 98.625
4. Kentucky – 98.300

And that scenario means that Georgia will be looking to have something more like yesterday’s kind of edge on Kentucky after two events. Cal looked quite good on vault and bars to end the meet on Friday and needs to keep that up today to be in this kind of situation while bringing beam and floor up to that same level. Cal would be thrilled with these exact rankings after 2. Continue reading Regional Finals – Where Are We Now?

Regionals Preview Part 5: Oregon State Regional

Play-in: April 4, 3:00 PT
Semifinal #1: April 5, 2:00 PT
Semifinal #2: April 5, 7:00 PT
Regional Final: April 6, 7:00 PT

Qualification procedure: The winner of the play-in advances to semifinal #2; the top 2 teams at each semifinal advance to the regional final; the top 2 teams at the regional final advance to nationals; the top all-around gymnast and top gymnast on each event on April 5 (who are not part of a team that ultimately qualifies) advance to nationals as individuals.

Semifinal #1

[5] Denver, [12] Boise State, [18] Washington, [24] Southern Utah

The semifinal of opportunity. Of all the semifinals across all the regionals on Friday, this is the only one that isn’t headlined by a traditional powerhouse, and as such, will be viewed as a major opportunity for all involved.

Still, Denver should advance. Denver has both the talent and the scoring pedigree to record the best total in the session by a comfortable margin, and even though the last couple performances have been more 197.2y than 197.7y, a 197.200 is still a very comfortable score for a semifinal and would cause no problems for the moment.

Boise State, too, will fancy its chances to advance to Saturday after dominating the MRGC Championship a week and a half ago with a 196.950—also exactly the kind of score that will advance from a semifinal. At the same time, we’ve seen lower numbers crop up for Boise State here and there following the injury to Shani Remme, and every second meet lately has been a lower 196, which is a very beatable score for a team like Washington.

For Boise State to be “we got such a high score you can’t even” successful, the team is reliant on bars and beam to deliver huge results. Bars we know about. Bars is always Boise State’s best event, but beam has joined it this season as a massive potential score and a top-10 event nationally. (Gabriela Bouza’s beam routine is the greatest thing you’re not obsessed with yet.) When those deliver to potential, Boise State is close to 197 pace.

For the most part, Washington is in a very similar position, also reliant on bars and beam. When Washington recorded its season high team total at Davis a few weeks ago, the bars score was suddenly at UCLA level, with beam not far behind, and that’s what needs to happen again for Washington to challenge a hit meet from Boise State. Overall, beam hasn’t been the same score it used to be for Washington—taking away Goings, and Burleson, and Schaefer, and now Roberson will do that—but it still should be a relative strength and a score over 49. Continue reading Regionals Preview Part 5: Oregon State Regional

Regionals Preview Part 4: LSU Regional

Play-in: April 4, 3:00 CT
Semifinal #1: April 5, 2:00 CT
Semifinal #2: April 5, 7:00 CT
Regional Final: April 6, 7:00 CT

Qualification procedure: The winner of the play-in advances to semifinal #2; the top 2 teams at each semifinal advance to the regional final; the top 2 teams at the regional final advance to nationals; the top all-around gymnast and top gymnast on each event on April 5 (who are not part of a team that ultimately qualifies) advance to nationals as individuals.

Semifinal #1

[6] Utah, [11] Minnesota, [17] BYU, [20] Arkansas

We need to spend some real time with this first semifinal because it happens to be the best-ranked of any of the semifinals at regionals and presents one of the ripest upset possibilities. This is the showcase session at the LSU regional. All of the challenging teams here will expect a mid-196 of themselves, which is a serious score for a semifinal and not to be taken lightly.

Utah is probably in the clear since even a repeat of the kind of 197.1 performance that characterized the first half of the season will be enough to advance to Saturday with tenths to spare, but Utah has a bit less buffer for disaster rotation than most of the other top-8 teams enjoy in their semifinals.

For Minnesota, the scoring expectation in this semifinal will be something 196.8 or better—that’s what we’ve come to expect in the second half of the season—and that score will be enough get through. But that score also requires a fully hit meet. That means the early vault and floor gymnasts can’t be too 9.725y, and certainly no more counting falls on beam. At Big Tens, Minnesota did count a fall on beam, which took the total score down to a 196.425. The encouraging part of that for Minnesota is that 196.425 is still a legit total, one that will advance from a number of semifinals on Friday and one that Minnesota would love for a hit meet in most seasons.

What saved the score at Big Tens was the massive number on bars, which will be Minnesota’s most important event again in this semifinal. Those huge potential bars routines from Ramler and Lu can either send Minnesota clear of the unseeded teams, or keep Minnesota in contention even if things get ugly elsewhere. Continue reading Regionals Preview Part 4: LSU Regional

Regionals Preview Part 3: Michigan Regional

Play-in: April 4, 3:00 ET
Semifinal #1: April 5, 2:00 ET
Semifinal #2: April 5, 7:00 ET
Regional Final: April 6, 7:00 ET

Item 1) Emotionally prepare yourself that if you aren’t willing to go with the Flo, you won’t be able to watch this one.

Qualification procedure: The winner of the play-in advances to semifinal #2; the top 2 teams at each semifinal advance to the regional final; the top 2 teams at the regional final advance to nationals; the top all-around gymnast and top gymnast on each event on April 5 (who are not part of a team that ultimately qualifies) advance to nationals as individuals.

Semifinal #1

[7] Michigan, [10] Alabama, [23] Penn State, [26] Ohio State

Much of the anticipation for this loaded Michigan regional centers on the potentially insane regional final (we’ll get there in a second, don’t worry), but first some thoughts on the semifinals. In the first semifinal, Michigan and Alabama will be asked to fend off what should be reasonably 196ish challenges from Penn State and Ohio State.

Both are expected to do so. Save for that bars blip at Missouri, Michigan has been going into the 197s for the last month and a half, and Alabama…well it looks like Alabama is finally starting to get itself together for gradually increasing 197s of its own. These two went 197.400 and 197.350 respectively at their conference championships, and repeats of those performances will advance to the regional final. Alabama’s slow start to the season still lingers in the mind, but all of those 196.8s that we lamented early in the season because they weren’t 197s would still be a fine advancing score in this semifinal.

Penn State has been scoring into the 196s regularly enough lately to expect to reach that mark again at regionals and establish itself as the upset threat in this semifinal. Watch out for bars. With the strength of Bridgens and Garcia in that lineup, Penn State can legitimately look to beat Alabama there, hoping that gives the team enough of a foothold in the meet to take advantage of an Alabama mistake that might crop up elsewhere.

Lately, Ohio State has struggled to rise to the quality of its first-month performances, scores that had the team in the top 15 for a time. Of course, the late-season injury to Jamie Stone is the biggest and most compelling reason Ohio State has been a little more 195.8 than 196.2 lately. There’s no replacing those scores, and OSU has found it difficult to come up with a sixth hit in a few of those lineups. Still, there’s enough 9.850 gymnastics on this team that Ohio State can have a realistic goal of rising back into the 196s.

Presumably, Ohio State and Penn State will be fighting each other to become that next-best team, and in that comparison, Ohio State is the more depleted side, having to use a couple “we’re putting this 9.650 in the lineup but need to drop this score.” At the same time, there are similarities between the two, particularly that Ohio State also excels on bars—Swartzentruber’s routine is fairly unheralded but fantastic—and can adopt the same strategy as Penn State, hoping to be the team that does surprisingly well on bars and can therefore threaten a team that makes a mistake.

Semifinal #1 – Score Comparison
RQS: 197.320 [1]
Season high: 197.750 [1]
Season average: 196.842 [1]

VT RQS: 49.305 [1]
VT average: 49.185 [2]
UB RQS: 49.355 [1]
UB average: 49.233 [1]
BB RQS: 49.385 [1]
BB average: 49.210 [1]
FX RQS: 49.385 [2]
FX average: 49.213 [2]

RQS: 196.990 [2]
Season high: 197.350 [2]
Season average: 196.658 [2]

VT RQS: 49.235 [2]
VT average: 49.196 [1]
UB RQS: 49.235 [2]
UB average: 49.192 [2]
BB RQS: 49.270 [2]
BB average: 48.965 [2]
FX RQS: 49.410 [1]
FX average: 49.306 [1]

Penn State
RQS: 196.070 [3]
Season high: 196.775 [4]
Season average: 195.594 [3]

VT RQS: 48.970 [3]
VT average: 48.796 [4]
UB RQS: 49.220 [3]
UB average: 49.079 [3]
BB RQS: 49.005 [4]
BB average: 48.760 [4]
FX RQS: 49.135 [3]
FX average: 48.958 [3]

Ohio State
RQS: 195.990 [4]
Season high: 196.850 [3]
Season average: 195.519 [4]

VT RQS: 48.955 [4]
VT average: 48.900 [3]
UB RQS: 49.150 [4]
UB average: 49.021 [4]
BB RQS: 49.040 [3]
BB average: 48.767 [3]
FX RQS: 49.045 [4]
FX average: 48.831 [4]

Semifinal #1 – Rotation-by-rotation NQS
Rotation 1 – Michigan VT, Ohio St UB, Alabama BB, Penn St FX
1. Michigan – 49.305
2. Alabama – 49.270
3. Ohio State – 49.150
4. Penn State – 49.135

If Alabama gets through beam with a strong score and sits in a top-2 position, a major avenue for a potential upset here will be closed. We’ll know whether we have a meet pretty early on. Continue reading Regionals Preview Part 3: Michigan Regional