Regional Scoring Comparison

I will have full analysis of each regional coming next week, but for now this is a comparison of some relevant scores and averages (home averages for host teams, road averages for everyone else) for each regional championship. Each score is followed by the team’s ranking within the regional in that category.

Gainesville, Florida Regional

[1] Florida
RQS: 197.840 [1]
Season high: 198.425 [1]
Season average: 197.486 [1]
Home average: 197.504 [1]
Home VT average: 49.458 [1]
Home UB average: 49.504 [1]
Home BB average: 49.163 [1]
Home FX average: 49.379 [1]

[2] Minnesota
RQS: 196.615 [T2]
Season high: 197.225 [2]
Season average: 196.110 [2]
Road average: 195.729 [3]
Road VT average: 49.175 [2]
Road UB average: 48.471 [5]
Road BB average: 49.013 [3]
Road FX average: 49.071 [2]

[3] Auburn
RQS: 196.615 [T2]
Season high: 197.175 [3]
Season average: 196.085 [3]
Road average: 196.007 [2]
Road VT average: 49.054 [5]
Road UB average: 48.968 [2]
Road BB average: 49.039 [2]
Road FX average: 48.946 [4]

[4] Maryland
RQS: 195.810 [4]
Season high: 196.175 [T5]
Season average: 195.446 [4]
Road average: 195.307 [4]
Road VT average: 49.121 [3]
Road UB average: 48.546 [4]
Road BB average: 48.779 [4]
Road FX average: 48.861 [5]

[5] Bridgeport
RQS: 195.485 [5]
Season high: 196.200 [4]
Season average: 194.725 [6]
Road average: 194.880 [5]
Road VT average: 49.095 [4]
Road UB average: 48.418 [6]
Road BB average: 48.418 [5]
Road FX average: 48.950 [3]

[6] Pittsburgh
RQS: 195.065 [6]
Season high: 196.175 [T5]
Season average: 194.750 [5]
Road average: 194.575 [6]
Road VT average: 48.671 [6]
Road UB average: 48.654 [3]
Road BB average: 48.413 [6]
Road FX average: 48.838 [6]


Norman, Oklahoma Regional

[1] Oklahoma
RQS: 197.570 [1]
Season high: 198.375 [1]
Season average: 197.335 [1]
Home average: 197.775[1]
Home VT average: 49.425 [1]
Home UB average: 49.450 [1]
Home BB average: 49.381 [1]
Home FX average: 49.519 [1]

[2] Stanford 
RQS: 196.710 [2]
Season high: 197.275 [3]
Season average: 196.368 [2]
Road average: 196.143 [2]
Road VT average: 49.175 [2]
Road UB average: 49.046 [2]
Road BB average: 49.054 [2]
Road FX average: 48.868 [3]

[3] Penn State
RQS: 196.500 [3]
Season high: 197.325 [2]
Season average: 195.685 [3]
Road average: 195.308 [3]
Road VT average: 49.092 [3]
Road UB average: 49.033 [3]
Road BB average: 48.463 [4]
Road FX average: 48.721 [4]

[4] Washington
RQS: 195.965 [4]
Season high: 196.625 [4]
Season average: 195.440 [4]
Road average: 195.163 [4]
Road VT average: 48.813 [5]
Road UB average: 48.871 [5]
Road BB average: 48.888 [3]
Road FX average: 48.592 [6]

[5] Iowa
RQS: 195.600 [5]
Season high: 196.375 [5]
Season average: 195.030 [5]
Road average: 194.854 [5]
Road VT average: 48.911 [4]
Road UB average: 49.018 [4]
Road BB average: 47.961 [6]
Road FX average: 48.964 [2]

[6] Southern Utah
RQS: 195.145 [6]
Season high: 196.200 [6]
Season average: 194.802 [6]
Road average: 193.935 [6]
Road VT average: 48.720 [6]
Road UB average: 48.485 [6]
Road BB average: 48.090 [5]
Road FX average: 48.640 [5]

Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional

[1] Alabama
RQS: 197.415 [1]
Season high: 197.800 [2]
Season average: 197.116 [1]
Home average: 197.080 [1]
Home VT average: 49.380 [1]
Home UB average: 49.280 [1]
Home BB average: 49.125 [1]
Home FX average: 49.295 [1]

[2] Utah
RQS: 197.105 [2]
Season high: 198.125 [1]
Season average: 196.809 [2]
Road average: 196.508 [2]
Road VT average: 49.367 [2]
Road UB average: 48.925 [3]
Road BB average: 48.963 [2]
Road FX average: 49.254 [2]

[3] Denver
RQS: 196.470 [3]
Season high: 197.200 [3]
Season average: 196.081 [3]
Road average: 196.043 [3]
Road VT average: 49.168 [3]
Road UB average: 49.125 [2]
Road BB average: 48.729 [3]
Road FX average: 49.021 [3]

[4] Kent State
RQS: 195.815 [4]
Season high: 196.250 [4]
Season average: 195.391 [4]
Road average: 195.113 [4]
Road VT average: 48.983 [4]
Road UB average: 48.746 [5]
Road BB average: 48.563 [4]
Road FX average: 48.821 [6]

[5] BYU
RQS: 195.365 [5]
Season high: 195.875 [6]
Season average: 194.860 [5]
Road average: 194.768 [5]
Road VT average: 48.814 [5]
Road UB average: 48.900 [4]
Road BB average: 48.225 [6]
Road FX average: 48.829 [5]

[6] Iowa State
RQS: 195.105 [6]
Season high: 196.175 [5]
Season average: 194.567 [6]
Road average: 194.663 [6]
Road VT average: 48.546 [6]
Road UB average: 48.738 [6]
Road BB average: 48.517 [5]
Road FX average: 48.844 [4]

Corvallis, Oregon Regional

[1] Georgia
RQS: 197.260 [1]
Season high: 197.800 [2]
Season average: 196.721 [1]
Road average: 196.796 [2]
Road VT average: 49.254 [2]
Road UB average: 49.329 [1]
Road BB average: 49.129 [1]
Road FX average: 49.086 [2]

[2] Oregon State
RQS: 196.900 [2]
Season high: 197.850 [1]
Season average: 196.368 [2]
Home average: 196.830 [1]
Home VT average: 49.305 [1]
Home UB average: 49.320 [2]
Home BB average: 49.005 [2]
Home FX average: 49.200 [1]

[3] Arkansas
RQS: 196.435 [3]
Season high: 197.100 [3]
Season average: 195.898 [3]
Road average: 195.617 [3]
Road VT average: 49.008 [5]
Road UB average: 48.913 [4]
Road BB average: 48.833 [3]
Road FX average: 48.863 [4]

[4] Boise State
RQS: 195.970 [4]
Season high: 196.575 [4]
Season average: 195.583 [4]
Road average: 195.292 [4]
Road VT average: 49.179 [3]
Road UB average: 48.963 [3]
Road BB average: 48.408 [4]
Road FX average: 48.808 [5]

[5] Arizona State
RQS: 195.495 [5]
Season high: 196.025 [6]
Season average: 194.927 [6]
Road average: 194.667 [5]
Road VT average: 48.713 [6]
Road UB average: 48.821 [5]
Road BB average: 48.329 [5]
Road FX average: 48.804 [6]

[6] California
RQS: 195.340 [6]
Season high: 196.525 [5]
Season average: 194.982 [5]
Road average: 194.408 [6]
Road VT average: 49.125 [4]
Road UB average: 48.554 [6]
Road BB average: 47.771 [6]
Road FX average: 48.942 [3]

Morgantown, West Virginia Regional

[1] Michigan
RQS: 197.235 [1]
Season high: 197.550 [2]
Season average: 197.033 [1]
Road average: 197.039 [1]
Road VT average: 49.346 [1]
Road UB average: 49.243 [1]
Road BB average: 49.111 [1]
Road FX average: 49.339 [1]

[2] Nebraska
RQS: 197.145 [2]
Season high: 197.800 [1]
Season average: 196.718 [2]
Road average: 196.592 [2]
Road VT average: 49.325 [2]
Road UB average: 49.129 [2]
Road BB average: 49.025 [2]
Road FX average: 49.113 [3]

[3] Illinois
RQS: 196.210 [3]
Season high: 196.475 [5]
Season average: 195.671 [3]
Road average: 195.484 [5]
Road VT average: 48.788 [5]
Road UB average: 48.938 [3]
Road BB average: 48.863 [5]
Road FX average: 48.897 [5]

[4] Kentucky
RQS: 196.060 [4]
Season high: 196.775 [3]
Season average: 195.550 [4]
Road average: 195.629 [4]
Road VT average: 48.968 [4]
Road UB average: 48.793 [5]
Road BB average: 48.882 [4]
Road FX average: 48.986 [4]

[5] West Virginia
RQS: 195.780 [5]
Season high: 196.550 [4]
Season average: 195.366 [5]
Home average: 196.235 [3]
Home VT average: 49.135 [3]
Home UB average: 48.865 [4]
Home BB average: 49.045 [3]
Home FX average: 49.190 [2]

[6] North Carolina
RQS: 195.200 [6]
Season high: 195.675 [6]
Season average: 194.802 [6]
Road average: 194.517 [6]
Road VT average: 48.483 [6]
Road UB average: 48.742 [6]
Road BB average: 48.483 [6]
Road FX average: 48.808 [6]

Columbus, Ohio Regional

[1] UCLA
RQS: 197.200 [1]
Season high: 197.425 [2]
Season average: 196.850 [1]
Road average: 196.721 [2]
Road VT average: 49.304 [2]
Road UB average: 49.158 [1]
Road BB average: 49.158 [1]
Road FX average: 49.100 [T2]

[2] LSU
RQS: 197.180 [2]
Season high: 197.700 [1]
Season average: 196.808 [2]
Road average: 196.768 [1]
Road VT average: 49.407 [1]
Road UB average: 49.054 [2]
Road BB average: 48.971 [2]
Road FX average: 49.336 [1]

[3] Arizona
RQS: 196.090 [3]
Season high: 196.625 [4]
Season average: 195.731 [3]
Road average: 195.475 [4]
Road VT average: 49.032 [3]
Road UB average: 48.846 [4]
Road BB average: 48.682 [4]
Road FX average: 48.914 [5]

[4] Ohio State
RQS: 196.005 [4]
Season high: 196.850 [3]
Season average: 195.592 [4]
Home average: 196.060 [3]
Home VT average: 49.015 [4]
Home UB average: 49.020 [3]
Home BB average: 48.925 [3]
Home FX average: 49.100 [T2]

[5] Central Michigan
RQS: 195.810 [5]
Season high: 196.125 [5]
Season average: 195.271 [5]
Road average: 195.121 [5]
Road VT average: 48.929 [6]
Road UB average: 48.571 [5]
Road BB average: 48.654 [5]
Road FX average: 48.968 [4]

[6] NC State
RQS: 195.350 [6]
Season high: 196.050 [6]
Season average: 195.102 [6]
Road average: 194.679 [6]
Road VT average: 48.971 [5]
Road UB average: 48.261 [6]
Road BB average: 48.575 [6]
Road FX average: 48.871 [6]

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Regional Selection

The Regional Selection Show gets underway here at 3:00 ET/12:00 PT.

Why we need a selection show to tell us what we essentially already know (except for the assignments to the Ohio State and West Virginia Regionals) is beyond me, but it gives everyone something to tweet about, I suppose. I contend they should spent less time organizing selection shows and more time thinking about the postseason format and how it’s awful, but maybe that’s just me.

We have six regional championships:
Florida (6:00 ET/3:00 PT)
Oklahoma (5:00 ET/2:00 PT)
Alabama (7:00 ET/4:00 PT)
Oregon State (7:00 ET/4:00 PT)
Ohio State (6:00 ET/3:00 PT)
West Virginia (6:00 ET/3:00 PT)

(Please note the absolutely terrible timing of these regionals. They’re all at the same time, which is extremely fan unfriendly.)

And 36 teams to be placed:
1. Florida
2. Oklahoma
3. Alabama
4. Georgia
5. Michigan
6. UCLA
7. LSU
8. Nebraska
9. Utah
10. Oregon State
11. Stanford
12. Minnesota
12 Part 2: Auburn
14. Penn State
15. Denver
16. Arkansas
17. Illinois
18. Arizona
19. Kentucky
20. Ohio State
21. Boise State
22. Washington
23. Kent State
24. Maryland
24 Part 2: Central Michigan
26. West Virginia
27. Iowa
28. Arizona State
29. Bridgeport
30. BYU
31. NC State
32. Cal
33. North Carolina
34. Southern Utah
35. Iowa State
36. Pittsburgh

Here’s how it will play out in twelve days:
Florida Regional: [1] Florida, [12] Minnesota, [12] Auburn, Maryland, Bridgeport, Pittsburgh
Oklahoma Regional: [2] Oklahoma, [11] Stanford, [14] Penn State, Washington, Iowa, Southern Utah
Alabama Regional: [3] Alabama, [9] Utah, [15] Denver, Kent State, BYU, Iowa State
Oregon State Regional: [4] Georgia, [10] Oregon State, [16] Arkansas, Boise State, Arizona State, Cal
West Virginia Regional: [5] Michigan, [8] Nebraska, [17] Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina   
Ohio State Regional: [6] UCLA, [7] LSU, [18] Arizona, Ohio State, Central Michigan, NC State

It’s not surprising that UCLA and LSU go to Ohio State since LSU and Ohio State are both technically in the Central region. Plus, otherwise the Ohio State Regional would have been too Big Ten heavy.

So there’s that. We have a few third seeds that could cause some damage, but no teams should be that disappointed. The Ohio State Regional is probably the deepest.

(It turns out that the breaker in the event of a tie is the best seventh score, not the season average.)

Conference Championships Live Blog – The Storm before the Better Storm

As championship season begins, the title picture remains relatively unchanged from its position at the beginning of year. Oklahoma has proven itself a serious contender instead of a peripheral one, and UCLA has dropped down because of injuries, but by and large this is where we expected to be.

We might have hoped that the Super Six outlook, which seemed rather fuzzy in December and January, would work itself out during the season, but it remains as uncertain as ever. The top eleven teams in the country can all claim a Super Six status of at least possible. For the teams currently at the back of that group (Nebraska, Oregon State, and Stanford), today will be crucial in determining their postseason fates. There will be no more playing around with lineups or strategies about peaking at the right time. This begins the peaking time, and those teams will decide whether we whittle down that group of eleven today.

Since 1989, no team has won the National Championship without placing in the top two at a conference championship. Also remember that we will have four judges beginning today instead of two. Throwing out scores tends to even out the scoring a little bit and mitigate the influence of slaphappy judges. Gymnasts who have been getting a bunch of forgiving 9.875s and 9.925s will see those go down to 9.850s and 9.900s today.


Championships Schedule
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Big Ten Championship – Session 1Scores
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – MAC Championship – Scores Video(free)
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – EAGL Championship – Scores Video(free)
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – SEC Championship – Session 1 Scores
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Big 12 Championship Scores
4:30 ET/1:30 PT – Pac-12 Championship – Session 1 Scores
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Big Ten Championship – Session 2 Scores 
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – SEC Championship – Session 2  Scores?
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – WAC Championship 
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Pac-12 Championship – Session 2 Scores

Our opening major action will be the first session of the Big Ten Championship, which is already underway. I expect the teams in the second session to outpace the first, certainly Michigan and Nebraska, but Illinois and Ohio State could jump into a top-four placement with a good meet/mistake from Minnesota or Penn State.

In this first session, I’m mostly keeping an eye on Ohio State. This team is going to be dangerous as a regional host, and I think any of the teams in line to go there (Georgia/Michigan, LSU, Utah, UCLA) will hope that OSU makes it up to the top 18 to be a #3 seed. It’s hard enough to deal with a host that can go high 196s at home without also having to deal with a feisty #3 seed. However, no manner of home advantage can make falls not happen, so if Ohio State is to make Nationals again this year, proving hit capability today is a must.

After the first rotation, Illinois leads with a 49.025 on bars, host Michigan State is second with a 48.825 on floor, and Ohio State is third with 48.750 on vault. That number is well below Ohio State’s expected score, so a slow start there. Ohio State is yet to break 196 on the road this year. If the team is to make it to the top 18, a low-mid 196 is the minimum requirement, so work to be done there.

Iowa had a shambolic beam for 46.550, so that’s it for them.

As it stands after two rotations, it appears that Illinois is going to 9.800 everyone to death for a session victory. Illinois stands at 98.125, followed by Michigan State and Ohio State at 97.775 and 97.675. Revision from Iowa on floor, much improved event, still trailing significantly, though. 

The MAC and EAGL Championships are soon to begin. EAGL is providing live video (link above). These are seven- and eight-team, so there will be plenty of time to check in on them over the coming decade if you are interested.

This is a very important potential result for Michigan State. The Spartans currently sit at #42 but with a 193.450 still to drop, they have great potential to move up. A lot will depend on Iowa State’s and Pittsburgh’s results later, but a high 195 would put great pressure on those teams.

Michigan State managed another high 48, this time on bars, so they are still on that high 195 pace but only just. A major beam rotation is necessary.

I have the EAGL stream on right now. Maryland is just getting through beam so far. They already have a 9.450 and just eked out a tentative but hit routine with wobbles. Both Maryland and NC State have been 196 at their best, and it may very well take a 196 to win today, so Maryland already looks to be competing from behind a bit. Nope, now there is an 8.525, so that 9.450 is counting. Maryland is no longer getting through beam.

Ohio State saved beam after an early fall from Aepli, so they continue to exert some pressure on Illinois, but the Illini just finished with a 9.9 parade from O’Connor, See, and Weinstein for a big floor score. With just vault left, Illinois should be able to hang on for a strong mid 196 in this session.

These last few floor routines for Pittsburgh are solid and very acceptably 9.7s. They should have the lead after the first rotation, which puts a little more pressure on Michigan State in that top 36 battle.

Kent State leads the MACs after the first rotation with a 49 on floor, dropping a 9.575 and receiving a 9.900 from Case. 

We’re rounding to the end of the first session at Big Tens, with Illinois just putting things away on vault. Ohio State is recovering from a sloppy beginning for what looks like a respectable, 196 contending score.

Oh, NC State really needed a better vault score than 48.950. That needed to be in the 49s. Disappointing 9.750 from Ouelette after she stuck well last weekend. They’ll still lead, but that should have been a better margin.

Illinois didn’t do spectacularly on vault (counting a 9.650), but it will be enough for 196.475 and the session win. That could potentially place higher than fifth. I wouldn’t necessarily guarantee that Minnesota and Penn State will go 196.500 on the road.

Michigan State has a fall in the last position on beam, but it doesn’t count. It does mean that a few lower scores do count and that the final number is 195.450, which I think is going to be too low to make top 36. It does, for the moment, put them in front of current #36 Iowa State, but Iowa State, George Washington, New Hampshire, and Rutgers still have time to pass.

Big Ten Session 1 Final Scores:
1. Illinois – 196.475
2. Ohio State – 195.950
3. Michigan State – 195.450
4. Iowa – 193.400

Ohio State still didn’t pass 196 on the road and will not move into the top 18.

Ack! It’s already almost time for Big 12s and SEC 1. This day is moving so quickly! Oklahoma will be the first high-scoring team of the day to compete and will set the scoring tone for the second sessions happening later. It’s going to be difficult to adjust after all the 9.7s that have peppered the early sessions.

EAGL after 1 event:
1. NC State – 48.950
2. New Hampshire – 48.900
3. Pitt – 48.775
4. George Washington – 48.675
5. Maryland – 48.550
6. North Carolina – 48.475
7. Rutgers – 48.400
8. Towson – 47.600

That floor score is big for New Hampshire in their top-36 race.

At the MACs, Central Michigan had a rough opening on bars and was probably the only team that could challenge Kent State. It should be a calm run to the title for Kent State if they stay clean.

Pitt gets a 48.900 on vault. They have a bit of a cushion over New Hampshire and George Washington in the rankings, but they must keep up that kind of scoring.

On the scores for Big 12s, I see only two judges listed per event. That’s a mistake, right? Four judges per event is the requirement for a conference meet.

Maryland is giving more away on floor. No one breaks 9.800. I’m pretty sure I saw a Maryland gymnast land with 1.5 feet out of bounds, and yet that is not showing up in the score. Creative. I saw a pretty strong DLO from Rutgers on bars, and they keep in the conversation with a 48.875 on that event.
———————————–
SECs is underway. A light delay has pushed Big 12s back slightly. Kluz starts Auburn on vault with a 9.775. The top three teams in this session are all capable of and should be expecting low 49s on vault. Auburn probably has the biggest scoring ceiling, but Arkansas gets a nice boost from Grable.

North Carolina has a mess from the final two beam workers, taking them essentially out of the running.

Big 12s has now started as well. Ward leading off bars instead of Clark, and she gets a 9.850. SECs is a 9.775 parade in the early going.

Kentucky starts beam with a 9.775 and a 9.825. It’s nice to see Mitchell go into the 9.8s because she is very secure and was getting 9.750s for routines that would have received easy 9.8s from a name team. The judges range from a 9.700 to a 9.900 for Yokay’s vault. She goes 9.825. Welcome to the four-judge system, where everything begins to balance out.

Big action for Oklahoma to begin on bars. Two 9.850s and a 9.900 from Clark now in the third position. This is easily shaping up to be the biggest rotation of the day so far. Iowa State gets a 49.050 on vault, somewhat beginning to crush the hopes of all those EAGL teams hoping to move ahead. Iowa State’s previous season best on vault was a 48.700, so there’s that.

Auburn scores a 49.100 on vault. It’s fine, but they’ve been better. Others can pass that. Atkinson and Guy go 9.850. The other rotations are a bit slow to update, but Missouri is putting in a solid floor.

Kentucky is now counting a fall on beam, which is entirely my fault after talking up their beam quality. Sorry. 48.500.

Oklahoma finishes bars with 9.950s from Olson and Spears. 49.550, dropping that measly opening 9.850. I wish we were getting the individual judges’ scores. 

Arkansas finishes with a 48.850 on bars. They were able to drop a fall from Borsellino, but that’s certainly not the score they were looking for after a strong showing last week at UCLA on the event. That puts more pressure on a somewhat terrifying beam lineup coming up next. Missouri hit a stronger floor rotation to stay in, but vault has been a nightmare for them this year.

SEC Part 1 – After 1:
1. Auburn 49.100
2. Missouri 48.975
3. Arkansas 48.850
4. Kentucky 48.500
———————————–
At EAGLs, NC State avoids counting a fall on bars, but a 48.800 puts them less than a tenth ahead of New Hampshire and Pitt at the halfway point.  

At Big 12s, Oklahoma had 49.550, Iowa State has 49.050, and West Virginia has 48.725. Still no Kmieciak for Oklahoma. It seems like it’s always something with that team, and yet they still have 9.850s to spare with Ward coming in on bars and Mooring coming in on beam already for 9.850s today. 

Second rotation has begun at SECs. Lots of 9.775-9.800 scores. While this is the first rotation, these are talented, 9.9-capable teams, but that hasn’t been reflected in the scores/performances yet. 

Auburn is now fighting against a fall from Walker in the final couple routines. Big routines needed from Atkinson and Yokay now. They get 9.800s from both to get through the event with 48.875. Still not what they were looking for. Just on 196 pace now and a chance for Arkansas to gain some ground. That 9.550 on beam from Glover won’t help, though.

Kentucky has steadied their world on floor with the highest rotation score of the day so far at 49.125. They’re not out of it given the way things are going.

Oklahoma was picking up on beam right where bars left off until a fall by Brie Olson. That’s becoming a thing, a fall from either Alexander or Olson. They haven’t had to count one yet, so let’s see if that continues.

Arkansas drops the score from Glover and endures beam for 49.100. That’s a major obstacle out of the way.

SEC Part 1 – After 2:
1. Auburn 97.975
2. Arkansas 97.950
3. Kentucky 97.625
4. Missouri 97.425

That’s still anyone’s game. I like Arkansas on floor over Auburn on beam, so expect the Razorbacks to have the lead going into the final rotation.
———————————–
With all the falls Oklahoma had been giving away on beam these last few weeks, it had to happen sometime. With Brewer’s fall, Oklahoma will be counting a fall on beam. For them, it’s just better to get it out of the way now and fix the problem for regionals. Who would have expected this turn of events? Still a 48.825 even with a counting fall. That’s better than the scores we’re seeing for hit rotations anywhere else.

Big 12s After 2:
1. Oklahoma 98.375
2. Iowa State 98.075
3. West Virginia 97.825
———————————–
At EAGLs, Pittsburgh gets another 48.800 on bars, but Maryland gets a 49.175 on vault to jump right back into the conversation. NC State and New Hampshire are on a bye. Rutgers counted a fall on beam to fall completely out of contention both here and in the RQS race. 

Oklahoma must regroup after beam. Low-mid 197s is still attainable, and the title shouldn’t really be in question.
———————————–
Arkansas has a fall on floor from Elswich in the second position, while Auburn has had two nice beam scores to begin. It appears I have jinxed again. I must stop doing that, but won’t because it’s not a real thing.

I would like to announce that once the first session of Pac-12s begins (a few minutes away), I will have three monitors going at the same time. Never underestimate my level of gymnastics dorkiness. 

Oklahoma getting things back together on floor, two 9.900s already with two routines to go.

Has anyone else lost scoring updates for SECs, or is it just me? I think that’s a cue to turn focus to Pac-12s for a moment.

West Virginia has a disaster on bars to fall out of the running, while Iowa State gets through beam remaining above 196 pace.

Oh SECs, you had been doing so well after discovering (in 2012) that live scoring was something you could do. This is now a problem.
———————————–
 Uh oh. Pac-12s is trying to do one routine at a time in a quad meet. This is going to take forever.

Vaccher starts on bars for Washington, not quite all the way on a handstand or two and a large bounce forward on the tuck full. I’m not going to do every routine, but I’ll provide overall updates.

Oklahoma gets a huge 49.500 on floor, so that mid 197 is still alive.

Clean, wobble-free beam start for Arizona State. Flores goes OOB for Arizona on floor to start.

EAGLs has been shaken up by NC State counting a fall on beam. Now New Hampshire, Pittsburgh, and Maryland are all within a tenth going into the final event. Well, well, well.

Very piked yfull for Cal but a pretty controlled landing. Vault must be unbreable in this format when you have to wait through a bars, beam, and floor routine before your team can do another three-second routine. ASU is getting through beam well through the first couple routine.

Another OOB for Arizona on the mount. This is supposed to be Arizona’s event, and they can’t afford to give this much away.

SEC update is that Auburn and Arkansas are tied going into the last event. This would be really exciting if we had scores.

Cal isn’t getting much of a block on these yfulls, but they are controlling the dismounts for minimal deductions. Third bars routine from Washington starts strong, but a missed handstand at the end and a very piked DLO will bring the score down a bit. Stuck landing, though.

Steigerwalt falls on a double stag for Arizona State. Three routines left to fight against that.

Oklahoma has a couple lowish scores by their standards on vault, but nothing problematic. The final few vault closer to standards, 9.9 from Olson and 9.925 from Kanewa.  

Arizona is cleaner on the third floor routine, but they’re already counting something under 9.600.

We are now halfway through the first rotation at Pac-12s. For. Ev. Er. Northey got no amplitude on her piked jaeger, way early release, falls.

Oklahoma finishes with a 197.200. Fine, but that fall on beam is a concern since it has been a while in coming.

Arkansas scores a 49.150 on vault at SECs, and it looks like Auburn will be able to beat that on floor and take the first session title by getting one more hit for 9.800. It will be close.

Arizona has another major stumble out of a mount from Sisler. She stays in, but it will be a deduction they can’t afford. Rotates her double full way under but she punches into a front so it’s fine.

Is Cal going to win this rotation? Better distance from Leong, a little piking and a largish step back. Big bars routines from Metclaf and Rogers now, must hits. Very low double front from Metcalf, but she holds onto it with a large step back.

Still a little lack of control from Arizona in the fifth position on floor. They could have accumulated something much better on this event. Not hitting those landings, lots of sliding back.

Rogers hits to save the bars rotation for Washington. Arizona State counting in the 9.5s, Sundby has a break and falls, so a fall will be counting as well. Rough start after a nice opening routine.

Maryland and Pitt both gave it away on their last rotations at EAGLs. Huge opening for New Hampshite and NC State. NC State could still win this with a fall.

Cal will be the only team to break 49 in the first rotation of Pac-12s. Watch out for that.  ———————————–
Auburn takes the first session at SECs 196.550 to 196.400 from Arkansas. Expect all the second-session teams to break 197 unless they have to count falls. Perhaps the exception might be LSU if they’re stuck on lower scores for bars and beam. 

Big 12s Final Scores:
1. Oklahoma 197.200
2. Iowa State 196.175
3. West Virginia 194.675

That’s a disappointing result for Oklahoma because of the fall on beam. Expect much higher scores at the second sessions of SECs and Pac-12s. 

Cal leads Pac-12s, but the highest score so far comes from Cristello on floor who saved Arizona from a poor rotation.
———————————–
About to start the second rotation at Pac-12s.

New Hampshire is in nice position to take EAGLs with a clean beam, but it does require a clean beam. NC State needs to go over 49 on floor to guarantee passing Maryland.

Cal begins with a nice high jaeger that was completely far away fromthe bar, no chance, fall.

New Hampshire is counting a fall on beam, so the competition has opened back up. NC State is fighting against a fall on floor but can drop it with three more hits.

To sum up what we’ve seen so far at Pac-12s in the second rotation, 9.700. Wobbles, bounces, leg breaks. Not a lot of clean or precise gymnastics. Big bounce and an OOB for Arizona State on floor.

NC State does just enough on floor to take the EAGL title over Maryland, winning while counting a fall on beam.

EAGL Finals:
1. NC State – 195.175
2. Maryland – 195.100
3. Pitt – 194.875
4. George Washington – 194.750
5. UNC – 194.225
6. New Hampshite – 194.175
7. Rutgers – 193.925
8. Towson – 192.675

Kent State looked to be crusing to a title, but ended up having a disaster on beam to finish sitting third. Host team Western Michigan ties Central Michigan for the MAC title with 194.800, both teams counting a fall.

It’s a long day of gymnastics. Time for a little break for me. Remember that Big Tens gets underway at 6:00 ET/3:00 PT. At that point maybe Pac-12s will have moved into the third rotation. I’ll be sure to catch the final rotation to see how things are shaking out heading into the night session.

Nice stuck 1.5 for Rogers on beam. Fall for Perez on floor.

In the second roation of Pac-12s, I was most impressed with Washington on beam. That was the best rotation at this competition so far today for me. Arizona State followed Arizona by also having poor landings on the floor. Still, I think the scores overall have been mildly charitable.

Pac-12 Group 1 After 2:
1. Cal 98.025
1. Washington 98.025
3. Arizona 98.000
4. Arizona State 96.475

Starting rotation three, Arizona has a handstand and extra swing problem before a fall on the dismount. O’Brien begins for Cal on beam. Last time I saw Cal on beam it was a catastrophe. She has a couple wobbles and a hop on the 1.5.

This meet is like a Val nightmare. One routine at a time, temp tattoo numbers, messy hairstyles.

Miceli for ASU is very short on a yfull with a bounce forward. Just got it complete. Arizona’s second has trouble grasping her gienger, second fall in a row. Washington (after a fairly strong first floor routine from Graber) looks in prime position to take this session. These aren’t the strongest beam routines, but Cal is getting through the event. Washington shows a nice high double pike from Tham, a small stumble on the first pass and a low landing at the end, but okay.

Steigerwalt looked to collapse on her block on the yfull but gets it around with a major pike. Edwards hits her UB routine for Arizona, but breaks in the legs and a severely missed handstand at the end. The 9.850s from two judges are certainly too high. The scores overall have been charitable so far, leaving little room for the second session. Either the judges will have to start the second session lower so that the scores aren’t congruent between the two, or they will have to go well into the 9.9s for most of the second group.

Cal’s third misses her foot on her combo dismount and dismounts to her back. Fall from ASU on vault. Cristello is much cleaner for Arizona on bars, large hop forward on the DLO. Fall from Asturias on beam for Cal. It just got that much easier for Washington, and they have been the class of the day by a large margin so far – the only team that is showing consistent 9.825-9.850 gymnastics.
——————————————————————————

Let the actual games begin.

Now we’re moving into the real action as the second session of Big Tens gets started.

If the teams hit, they should have no trouble outpacing the mid-196 from Illinois earlier. Michigan has been the strongest team so far this year, but it may come down to beam, where both Michigan and Nebraska have struggled.

Nebraska opens on bars and can be excellent here, especially Wong, DeZiel, and Giblin.

We’ve already started with a problem for Michigan. Casanova comes in on floor and gets an 8.450. Four big routines coming up now. This can be a 49.500 rotation for Michigan still, but it’s no mistakes time. 

Nebraska moves Nathe to the final position, and the strategy seems to work as she gets a 9.700. Earlier in the year, she was getting a tenth or so lower than that in the early rotation. Nebraska goes 49.375 on bars, led by a 9.925 from Wong.

Penn State got some solid scores from the M’s at the back of the rotation on vault, but a 48.925 will see them fall behind the pace after the first event. At this rate, this meet could catch up with the first session of Pac 12s, which is still in the middle of the third rotation.

Michigan is now counting a 9.750 from Zurales. This is already a far cry from those complete 9.9 sweeps we’ve seen.

A number of messy routines litter the third rotation at Pac-12s, especially from Arizona State on bars. Washington will have a lead of over a half point heading into the last event. Even something in the 195s should win the session now, but Washington is capable of going over 196 still. 

Sugiyama hits for Michigan, and one of Sampson’s 9.950s would do nicely right about now. Michigan will still be trailing Nebraska after the first event, but they can still get through this event in contention. Minnesota, meanwhile, is recording some positively home-like numbers on beam and will be right in this as well after the first.

That 9.950 is exactly what Sampson gets (from all four judges), so Michigan will not be trailing by much at all after the first rotation.

Big Ten Part 2 After 1:
1. Nebraska 49.375
2. Michigan 49.250
3. Minnesota 49.200
4. Penn State 48.925

Nebraska moves to beam. If the Huskers get through this one still at least in sight of the lead, then we have ourselves a real meet. It’s unlikely that Nebraska will be able to hold the lead after this one given Michigan’s scoring capabilities on vault.

Already a 9.900 from Beilstein and a 9.950 from Zurales on vault. The Wolverines are back. Three judges went 9.950 for Zurales. They only one who didn’t wen’t 9.950 for Beilstein.

Nebraska will be counting a 9.725 from Skinner after a fall from Nathe on beam. How quickly things turn. 

I haven’t been updateing much from Pac-12s because we’re seeing a lot of really rough-hewn gymnastics. This is better from Arizona in the third position on beam. And an absolutely excellent layout stepout from Asturias on floor for Cal. That’s the best single element I’ve seen all day.

Do we think the SEC will get the scores together for the second session? They’ve still never updated the first part. We will have Kevin Copp’s audio to help us through it. 

Penn State gets a 9.900 from Musser on bars to help them to a 49.175 and stay on the edges of being in it.

Scary moment for Whitney from Washington on vault, slides her hand on the block and does a tuck. Something’s wrong (ankle) but they’re Strugging her off.I think I may have overestimated Washington’s ability to keep a .600 lead on vault.

Michigan makes up for floor and then some with a 49.575 on vault featuring five 9.9+ scores. Minnesota is getting 9.8s on floor and Nebraska is just an Emily Wong routine away from being able to drop a fall and score well on beam. Wong gets a 9.900 (which was listed in the 9.6s originally), so Nebraska will train Michigan by just over two tenths at the halfway point.

All the teams are still fairly tightly packed at the halfway point of Big Tens.

Big Ten Part 2 After 2:
1. Michigan 98.825
2. Nebraska 98.600
3. Minnesota 98.425
4. Penn State 98.100

Nebraska and Minnesota are, crucially, already through beam.

Pac-12s is getting a bit close, but Washington probably needs only an adequate final score on vault to take the first session.

Georgia’s SEC audio is starting. Get ready. What would we do without them?

Michigan now to bars. This can be a strong event, but there have been a few issues lately. The 9.875 hit for Gies is a big routine to get through.

Washington gets the vault they needed from Rogers to take the first session.

Pac-12s Part 1 Final Scores:
1. Washington 195.875
2. Arizona 195.525
3. California 195.075
4. Arizona State 193.425
——————————————
Kevin Copp is telling us that Sledge is in on bars. What’s going on? Apparently he had an old lineup. Looks like no scores. Boo. No, more than boo. Unacceptable.

Sugiyama has a fall for Michigan on bars. Pressure there now. 

Persinger hits beam to start for Georgia. They needed that. Beam is crucial for the Gymdogs to hit for something like 49.3s to keep pace. 9.850 for Persinger.

Couch has a small break after her layout series and a step on landing. Two hits so far.9.825.

Sloan gets 9.925 on vault for Florida. 9.775 Spicer, 9.825 Macko. King does her step plus step-salute on the Tsuk 1.5.

Michigan drops the Sugiyama mistakes and goes 49.400 on bars. Minnesota on track for another big score on vault, their best event.

Scores are back. Phew. Kim Jacob has come in for Sledge on bars and goes 9.825, which is huge for her with her handstand troubles. Big routine. Kytra hops on 1.5. Still no 10.

Apparently Cheek hit a near-perfect routine. 9.925. The beam scores certainly don’t seem as conservative as they were last year.

Alabama has 9.875s from Alexin and Beers so far on bars. They needed those scores without Sledge in. Florida is getting fine scores on vault, but it seems like no one except Sloan and Hunter showed up on the landings. This is getting interesting.

Another hit for Georgia on beam for Rogers. This will be a very important rotation if Alabama and Georgia can get through these events competitive if not ahead of Florida. It’s officially a 9.9 parade, ladies and gentlemen. 9.950 for Rogers. Wow. Especially wow after her start to the year.

Ashley Priess goes 9.925 on bars, and Alabama’s bars rotation has officially outscored Florida’s vault. Now that is something I wouldn’t have called, especially without Sledge. I can’t wait to see these routines when the meet is shown.

Shayla hits. Georgia and LSU could be leading, and Florida looks to be in last after the first event. It’s still early. 9.950 for Shayla. Everyone is a 9.950. This is happening.

Over at Big Tens, Nebraska has a big floor rotation to stay within a tenth and a half of Michigan. 9.975 for Wong. Nebraska has the event that’s easier to score higher on coming up (vault over beam), so this is not over.

Just in case you were worried that you wouldn’t see enough 9.9s today. False start, no 10 for Hall. 9.950.

Big Ten After 3:
1. Michigan 148.225
2. Nebraska 194.075
3. Minnesota 147.775
4. Penn State 146.700

SEC After 1:
1. LSU 49.625
2. Georgia 49.500
3. Alabama 49.400
4. Florida 49.375

Well. Can I complain again about how we’re not seeing this? Twelve scores in the 9.9s during the first rotation. Shayla Worley, Rheagan Courville, and Lloimincia Hall all received 10s from one judge in the first rotation. I’m out of breath after that one.

LSU needed that score on floor because it will be hard for them to live up to these other scores on bars and beam. Another pressure rotation for Georgia on floor. If they can get through this event staying in this position . . .

Earls bounces out of her double pike but hits the double back dismount. 9.825.

Giblin gets a 9.950 on vault for Nebraska in the leadoff position at Big Tens, as does Blanske including one 10. Are these competitions trying to match each other? And what will the Pac-12s do as a response? Martinez opens beam for Michigan with a 9.600. Nebraska is moving ahead.

Milliner opens with 9.800 on beam. Dickerson and Dickson go 9.850 in their leadoff positions.

LSU is shuffling a bit on these landings but still getting huge scores in the 9.9s.

Tanella gets a 9.850 on floor. That can be the effect of the four judges. A routine that always goes 9.875 comes down to 9.850.

Marissa King goes 9.925. Florida absolutely needs those huge late bars scores, which they can certainly get, but those early 9.850s aren’t cutting it with the scoring tonight. Sounds like Sloan nailed her routine, so this could get huge.

Courville gets a 10 on vault for a stick. The scores are flying to such a degree it’s impossible, and Kevin’s screaming about stuck double Arabians, Nebraska got a 49.725 on vault, and I feel like I can’t process this.

It’s a 197.800 for Nebraska, and Michigan won’t be able to match it. I guess Nebraska stays in the conversation.

Persinger got 9.900 for Georgia, and it sounds like Rogers will go better, but she doesn’t. 9.875. Cassidy just made a technical comment about switch ring form. Yay, Cassidy!

Shayla goes OOB on her second pass. Georgia isn’t scoring poorly but isn’t keeping pace on floor. LSU should be the big leader after two events, but the rest will have opportunities to catch in the next two rotations. 9.800 for Shayla.

Williams and Jacob both have 9.925s for Alabama on beam.

LSU goes 49.525 on vault, Florida 49.500 on bars. Live scores are having an issue again, and we would expect nothing less. 9.875 for Priess on beam. 

After 2:
1. LSU 99.150
2. Florida 98.875
3. Georgia 98.850
4. Alabama 98.800

Everyone still in. This will go anywhere and everywhere in the final two rotations.

Big Ten Final Scores:
1. Nebraska 197.800
2. Michigan 197.225
3. Minnesota 196.775
4. Illinois 196.475
5. Ohio State 195.950
6. Penn State 195.825
7. Michigan State 195.450
8. Iowa 193.400

Wong wins the AA with a 39.725. Second straight Big Ten title for her, yes?
———————————————
Just one meet to focus on now until Pac-12s gets going. Heading into the second half of SECs, the lowest rotation score is a 49.350. Remember when everyone was up in arms last year about LSU’s 49.375 on vault? The world has changed.

Protest on Shayla’s floor score about the OOB. Couch back on vault for Georgia.

Davis hits her yfull to open, step-salute. She’s 9.9 capable on vault, and that would be a big start for Georgia. Cassidy is upset by a .150 separation. Girl, you should have seen the first session. 9.850 for Davis.

Priess goes 9.900 on floor to open for Alabama, and Couch steps back on her yfull. They need a stick from her looking toward regionals. 9.800. Hires has a step back on her yfull. Better than the step forward we were seeing at some points this year. 9.850.

Rogers is short on her 1.5 and steps back. This is a relatively rough rotation for Georgia and could push them back. Florida and Alabama are getting 9.9s and 9.875s, and things could start to even out closer to what we expected to happen. 

Cheek sticks her yfull to keep Georgia in this rotation. 9.900. They needed that. Sloan gets 9.925 on bars, and she looks like our AA leader so far, but it’s going to be very close among a number of them. Tied with Courville perhaps so far. Step for Jay on vault. 9.825.

Georgia goes 49.225, lowest of the day so far while still waiting on LSU’s bars. 9.900 for Dickerson on beam.

Alabama has a 9.750 on floor they’re looking to drop, but with Jacob and Milliner still to come, it looks like that will happen. Milliner (floor) and Macko (beam) left to finish out the rotation. 9.875 for Hunter and 9.925 for Jacob. This is going to be very close. Lack of control for Milliner on the dismount, but it should be a good score. Still a 9.950. Alabama goes 49.550 on floor, and Florida goes 49.500 on beam. They will be within a quarter tenth going into the last rotation.

LSU comes back with a 49.175 on bars, now the lowest rotation of the day. Florida takes the lead just barely now, but LSU will likely fall back on beam. It should be a Florida/Alabama game on the last event.

After 3:
1. Florida 148.375
2. Alabama 148.350
3. LSU 148.325
4. Georgia 148.075

Hmm, Alabama on vault versus Florida on floor. Who do you like? It will be completely dependent on Alabama’s landings on vault. LSU proved that the judges are willing to go massively for both vault and floor.

Final rotation starting now. Cheek apparently hit a heel on her bars routine and took a step on the dismount. Crazy stuck yfull, I’m assuming Williams? Yes.

LSU starts beam with a 9.925. Taylor in as the leadoff on beam. Wow. Not writing off LSU yet? Florida and Alabama start with 9.9s on floor/vault. 9.975 from Williams. Almost impossible to get a 10 in the first position, but she came close.

Tanella didn’t stick her double back, which she must do every time, so Georgia is going to fall back a little again here. Jacob goes 9.800 on vault. Dickson gets a 9.875 on beam for LSU, so this is happening. Tanella still gets a 9.850 on bars.

LSU has a fall in the third position, so what seemed like a potential upset rotation is going to be fighting against that for the final three.

Florida is getting 9.9s on floor to start, which can be enough if Alabama isn’t sticking the subsequent vaults. Only Williams has stuck so far. 9.900 for Jay on bars.

Shayla sticks her DLO. Are there miracles in the world? 9.925. Well now.

Milliner vaults a 9.925, going before Gutierrez, who is back anchoring. Rogers hits bars, so it looks like the Georgia back half is keeping up with the rest of the teams.

Dickerson goes 9.900 on floor, Rogers goes 9.950 on bars even with a missed handstand. Sounds like Davis could match it. 9.925 for her. Georgia finishes with a 197.625, which looks like it might finish last depending on LSU’s beam, but LSU gets a 9.950, so that could get close. 

Have Sloan and Courville tied in the AA?

Florida is closing in on a 198. Alabama finishes with 197.900, and Florida will pass that with Marissa King’s 9.925, so Hunter’s floor routine just looks like bonus.

Florida will win regardless of Hunter’s score, just waiting on the final standings. LSU goes 49.375 on beam, which is massive for them. Just a 9.950 bonus.

Final Scores:
Florida 198.000
Alabama 197.900
LSU 197.700
Georgia 197.625

So, that was an exhaustingly exciting and massive-scoring competition. I’ll wait until I see the meet on Thursday to do all my complaining about the scores and separation. It would feel strange to do it without seeing the routines (but I still could, believe me).

Everyone take a break. Come back at 10 ET/7 PT for the Pac-12s. Will those judges feel jealous?

As we wait, let’s look at the current RQS picture. Our top three are set and all hosting their own regionals.

Michigan moves to 197.235, but with this score Georgia moves to 197.325 to jump into what looks like it will be the Oregon State Regional. LSU moves just behind Michigan to 197.180. Nebraska has moved up to 197.145, which can challenge UCLA and Utah and is currently ahead of both.

Utah can still move up but would need high 197s to do it. UCLA cannot move any higher than 7th.
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Now it’s time for the Pac-12 to have a say. Four of the five highest scores in the nation so far today came from the recently concluded SECs. The Pac-12 has shown an ability over the years to go toe-to-toe with the SEC in the scoring department, and that may be the biggest rivalry we see on display tonight. Pac-12 judges, 198.000 is the number you’re trying to beat.

We saw a very close competition for the SEC title, and we could see another one beginning in a few minutes. My feeling is that this meet could go any way but normal.

Broadcast beginning. Stanford’s strength is depth? You learn something every day. Jim just alleged that this competition will be taking two hours. Not if they go one routine at a time like the last session. 

Rotation 1:
Francis on bars to begin -good shaposh, small break on bail hs, late handstand, hop in place on double pike. OK routine. This will be a good early test of the scoring. 9.850 – high. We’re getting high tongiht ladies and gents.

Blalock – BB – OSU – nice loso to bhs series, safe ending with the bhs, oddly tentative handspring down to the beam, minor wobble on dance, stuck gainer full, very sparse routine but hit. 

Lofgren – FX – Utah – not great for Utah to start on floor, where they could get their best scores, a bit lower than usual on her double pike but secure landing, whip double full is fine, bent back leg on loso on dismount. Odd. Fine, not her best.

AMorgan – VT – Stanford – huge bound out of her yhalf, multiple steps, should be very low. 9.650 is even a little high for that.

DeJesus – UB – UCLA – good first hs, very much improved on the gienger, a little awkward on her shoot, stuck tuck full, perhaps her best of the year, easily a tenth better than Francis, so let’s see what they do. 9.900.

Stambaugh – BB – OSU – wobble out of aerial, has to repeat for series, falls this time. Extremely tentative, switch side is fine, good double full with a hop. Tension for OSU now.

Del Priore – FX – Utah – low on tuck full with a step forward, just maybe a littel tight early in the tumbling for Utah, nice middle pass, secure double back. Worked it out after the mount.

Rice – VT – Stanford – her run, ha. Yfull with a large hop back, better than Morgan, but not great. Too much of a hop.

Wong – UB – UCLA – nice jaeger, some of these handstands are borderline or short, sticks DLO, though. They can take for the hs but little else. Nice job. 9.850.

Ohlrich – BB – OSU – This is the big test now that Stambaugh had the fall, secure on a slightly floppy loso series, tentative work but she’s hitting it, fine aerial, sticks gainer full, everything was a bit cut off, but they’re not going for difficulty in these routines, so it works.

Wilson – FX – Utah – strong DLO, the tumbling is sscure, which they always need from her. They’ll want to drop Lofgen, so they’ll take a 9.850 for this, minor lack of control and slide on the double back. Fine.

9.850 is the theme for the night for every team. And Wilson gets one.

Vaculik – VT – Stanford – comes in very short on her Omelianchik, large step back. Rough start for Stanford. That’s a shame. I really want to adore her. 9.725.

Courtney – UB – UCLA – fine shaposh, really late hs before the bail, she’s struggling a little bit through this, needs a stick, step forward, they’ll want to drop that. Tight routine, not great. 9.825.

Harris – BB – OSU – hangs onto her kickover with no wobble, not right to those split positions, pretty low on her gainer full combo dismount with a hop forward.

Dabritz – FX – Utah – pike full in is solid, sticks the whip double full, I don’t love that she has to throw in an orphan front tuck to get her font tumbling, but this has been clean so far, nearly around on 3/1. This was better than her routine against Florida, so this will be a good test of scoring. 9.900.

Hong – VT – Stanford – clean and stuck yfull, lacking a little in distance and dynamics, so it shouldn’t go too high, but it was quite strong.

MDLT – UB – UCLA – clean bail hs, hop full and holds onto the stick on her DLO. Bends to save it and seemed to barely leave the bar on her hop full, but clean. 9.900. One judge has given UCLA almost exclusively 9.950s.

Tang – BB – OSU – good kickover, clean gainer loso, did a wolf turn as well as you can do such an umpleasant skill, gainer full combo dismount is hit. 9.900.

Damianova – FX – Utah – minor hop back on double back mount, secure tumbling overall with minor corrections. Clean. 

Dayton – VT – Stanford – small hop forward on yhalf, and they probably needed the stick given the current scores.

Zam – UB – UCLA -no mistakes, even the bal hs had no breaks this time, stuck DLO, competitive with the best routine she’s done this year. 9.950 – but got a 10 from on judge.

Jones – BB – OSU – nice punch front, not quite there on the splits but OK, very nice full turn, hits layout full series. Good routine.

Tutka – FX – Utah – good tuck full mount, just like the first meet of the year, her tumbling has been the strongest, maybe slightly back in the hips in her double back dismount, but good. They won’t have a problem with this rotation.

Archer – VT – Stanford – just a yurchenko layout, large step back. Rough opening for Stanford.

After 1:
1. UCLA 49.450
2. Utah 49.400
3. Oregon State 49.275
4. Stanford 49.050

Stanford had three poor vaults out of six and is lucky to escape that rotation over 49. Oregon State does the smart, but not necessarily interesting thing on their weak event, really cutting down on the content and sticking to those gainer full dismounts. It worked for a strong score on their bad event. UCLA stuck quite well on bars for most of the dismounts. Most people performed up to capability except for Courtney. I thought Utah started slow with the landings on floor but were able to overcome it with stronger landings in the later routines.

In all, I think scores are going minorly high but nothing completely untoward. Certain judges are going way high on certain events, but they are being balanced out by the rest and their scores are dropped. We’re learning that you have to make a major mistake to go under 9.8.

Rotation 2:
SMorgan – UB – Stanford – close on her shoot to high bars, nice jaeger, last handstand was borderline, large lunge out of double front. 9.825.

Baer – BB – UCLA – wobbles early on her wolf hop, clean side somi, minorly correcting on several skills including the straddle 3/4, missed her foot on her combo dismount and puts her hand down. They’ll have to drop it. 9.525. They treated the hand down as a brush.

Witherby – FX – OSU – compact double back, minor bounce out of the middle pass, low on the double pike but secure landing. Fine start, regular.

Allex – VT – Utah – very large bounce out of yfull, won’t be her best score. 9.850 is too high.

AMorgan – UB – Stanford – good piked jaeger, it depends on how the judges want to treat her handstands, stuck DLO.

Wong – BB – UCLA – good dance elements, corrects and hides a check well on her aerial, has to steady herself a little on the switch side, sticks 1.5. OK, got through it, bits of balance in many places.

Tang – FX – OSU – secure routine, you can take for her switch ring, but the tumbling is hit until she came in slightly low on her final layout with a small stumble.

Del Priore – VT – Utah – collapses slightly on her block, low landing on yfull but stuck. Deductions to take, so we’ll see how much the judges are valuing landings. It must go higher than Allex’s vault, which was already a 9.850, so where do they go?

Hong – UB – Stanford -her usual tkatchev, which I wish they would just get rid of, it is below on her talent level. Everything else is perfect including a stuck DLO. Just remove the tkatchev and it could contend for a 10.

Courtney – BB – UCLA – Clutch everything you have because this is going to be a nailbiter with a low score already happening, full turn is good, hits loso series, minor wobble on a split, very tight work, front toss is strong, two small steps on double back but she hit. She hit.

Harris – FX – OSU – looked like she wouldn’t get the high on her 2.5 but she did, that’s common with taller gymnasts, long pause before double pike – somewhat low, not hitting her dance positions, in particular the wolf. Hit, got through it, fine.

Lofgren – VT – Utah – similar low landing to Del Priore, buckled slightly, didn’t get much of a block at all. They’re sticking to squeeze as much as possible out of these early vaults that don’t have the power.

Archer – UB – Stanford – a bit of leg separation in an otherwise strong gienger, majorly missed hs, step forward on the dismount. Two pretty large areas of deduction there.

DeJesus – BB – UCLA – completely short on her aerial and takes a fall. They’re kind of a mess in this rotation right now, counting Baer’s 9.525. They’ll probably need some help from Utah now. Short on front full with a step.

Blalock – FX – OSU – strong double back, clean 1.5 to loso as well, a little stumble in her 2.5 landing is the only problem. Pretty good routine, with two potential great ones to come.

Damianova – VT – Utah – comes in a little high on the table, pikes with a hop in place, better distance than Del Priore or Lofgren.

Vaculik – UB – Stanford – appeared to catch her gienger but didn’t have her grip and peeled off on her swing. They’ll be counting Archer’s score now. Another rough day for Vaculik, hop forward on DLO. 9.300 is high, but it shouldn’t matter since it should be dropped.

Zam – BB – UCLA – Well now these last two routines are must hits if there ever were, how do Zam and Francis respond? A bit cleaner in the onodi than the last few weeks, minor correction on aerial, perfect loso series, just the dismount left, stuck extremely high 2/1. One of her best in a while. That should be a big score. One judge gave it a 9.600, which is not correct. 9.875 overall.

Jones – FX – OSU – 2.5 to tuck half is excellent, as is front 1.5 to loso. I’m not as into this choreo as last year’s routine, but she sells it. Extremely clean routine overall. Nice job.

Dabritz – VT – Utah – Nice stuck yfull, pikes and lacks distance, so there’s justification for a 9.900, but it should go high, and a 9.900 would be incongruous with previous vault scores.

Shapiro – UB – Stanford – straddle jaeger is good, her toe point is excellent, clean routine to save the rotation, hop on DLO dismount.

Francis – BB – UCLA – Now this is huge pressure for her, but she’s been in this position many times with Team GB. Great dance elements, nice aerial to bhs series, saves it from being a wobble, wobble on full turn, ust the dismount, stuck the layout full. Saved this rotation.

Stambaugh – FX – OSU – slightly short on her whip 2.5 with a hop back (or as Amanda would call it, “No problems there”), not quite her cleanest in some of the tumbling landings, but it will still be a strong score.

Wilson – VT – Utah – near stick on her yfull, you could call it a small shuffle, plus slight piking. Both are borderline deductions but could be taken if a judge wanted to go 9.900. They give it a 9.950. 

After 2:
Utah – 98.875
Oregon State – 98.725
UCLA – 98.425
Stanford – 98.300

UCLA got away with a 48.925 on beam, which is as much as could be expected after the fall and the Baer routine, where the hand was charitably called a bursh. Utah was average on vault with the first three missing power but went 49.475 to take the lead, and Oregon State once again rode those two excellent floor routines to a big score. Stanford go through counting a 9.675 on bars to stay close. I’m not really sure how they are still close, but they are.

Oregon State is in strong shape after two events, and I don’t see them faltering on the remaining two events. They’ve overperformed at this meet and this season. A bit of it is home scoring, but another bit of it is smart routine construction to minimize deductions, especially on beam.

Zamarripa’s beam has been corrected to 9.925, which is appropriate. 

Rotation 3:
Wilson – UB – Utah – first hs is short, leg breaks in full, gienger, and bail, missed last handstand, minor step-salute on tuck full. She is secure, but like last week, there are deductions on every skill. Once again, a 9.850 is way too high. It’s like it doesn’t even matter if you have breaks on every skill.

SMorgan – BB – Stanford – minor correction on her aerial, hits loso well, very nice side aerial and side somi, great difficulty. Compare the content here to Oregon State.

Wong – FX – UCLA – Leading off instead of McDonald. I think it’s a good move, nice double full, turns a potential stumble out of a loso into dance, still short on her front layout but secure, front full to front tuck is strong. Good opening routine.

McGregor – VT – OSU – Yhalf, not a ton of height and a large leap forward. 9.800 is too high for such an uncontrolled landing.

Hughes – UB – Utah – close on her tkatchev, hop in place on tuck full, pretty solid, but if Wilson is a 9.850, then where do you go?

AMorgan – BB – Stanford – wobble on her loso series, getting rather wobbly on everything, steps out of punch front, wobble on double stag, she’s fighting a little bit, big step back on double back.

Sawa – FX – UCLA – clean double back to start, maybe slightly low, low on the double pike and then completely loses endurance at the end and sits her front tuck out of the dismount. Rough meet for UCLA.

Jones – VT – OSU – comes in a little short on her yfull and hops forward with a pike. OK but not great. 

Hansen – UB – Utah – not enough amplitude on her jaeger but she catches, everything else is usual until the larger hop back on the tuck full. They probably needed a stick there.

Hong – BB – Stanford – wonderful mount as always, very strong aerial bhs layout stepout, just ahngs onto her gainer pike but a harsh judge could take for a step-salute.

DeJesus – FX – UCLA – Since we don’t have Mattie or Danusia on floor, at least we have Sophina. Low on double pike landing, also on the double back, this is like the Alabama meet again, lots to take from the tumbling on this routine. Flashes of greatness for UCLA but too many weak routines to win today. 9.875 is too high for the body position on those landings. She got some choreo points I think.

Tang – VT – OSU – very short on her yfull and lands on her knees. Rough vault. It would be rougher if they had scored the first two with a harsher eye.

Lopez – UB – Utah – misses hirst hs, good height on tkatchev, but she’s not getting these handstands, very short on the last one, hangs onto the stick on the DLO.

Spinner – BB – Stanford – really hits her dance elements, which so few do, smallest correction on her gainer loso, stuck double full. A tiny bit ragged in places, but that was very nice.

Zam – FX – UCLA – bounces back out of her double pike again, they haven’t found the balance between her not hitting her DLO and having way too much power for the double pike, pulls around her rudi loso well to avoid giving away a deduction, last rudi is fine. They need to work this out for regionals because there’s no excuse for her not getting a 9.900 on floor.

Gaspar – VT – OSU – just a small hop back on her yfull, not a lot of distance, but good form and pretty controlled.

Damianova – UB – Utah – big leg separation on her shaposh, very close on tkatchev, some borderline handstands, stuck double back, things to take there but not terrible, not her best.

Rice – BB – Stanford – small wobble on sheep, low on kickover landing but she hangs on, completely missed her foot on loso series and came off. They’ll be counting the 9.700 from Morgan now, low gainer full dismount with a hop.

Pritchett – FX – UCLA – tuck full is clean, otherwise it’s the same routine as we have seen get 9.950s the last few weeks at UCLA, so it will be interesting to see what it gets here. That double pike is still too low for my taste, but her landings were more secure than the 9.875s we’ve just seen.

Stambaugh – VT – OSU – very nice yfull, similar to Gaspar in that she had minor piking and then a  hop in place. Two clear deductions, so the 9.950 is a touch high.

Dabritz – UB – Utah – hits jaeger, clean bail hs, hop forward on tuck full. Not quite as strong as last week in the handstands as well as the hop on dismount.

Vaculik – BB – Stanford – very nice rulfova, she needs to get it together for this event, clean loso, hits her dance series, very minor wobble on full turn, huge bounce back on double full. Oh, she was going so well. Still, it’s a hit.

Courtney – FX – UCLA -small landing correction on double arabian, but it was solid, she’s maybe just slightly doubting these landings but pulling them around, perfect double pike dismount, should still be a strong score.

Blalock – VT – OSU – good, strong yfull, best so far, so what do they do with it? Clear piking and perhaps a small hop in place, but otherwise solid. Note that one judge gave her a 10. Even if you call a hop in place a stick, which it isn’t, she piked noticeably.

After 3:
Utah 148.250
Oregon State 148.175
UCLA 147.875
Stanford 147.450

If the scores started high, they are going extremely high now, but I will say I think they are consistently high across all teams. It could be either Oregon State or Utah at this point. A slight edge goes to the Beavers because they are on a stronger event than Utah is. UCLA probably gave away a bit too much on beam to be in the conversation at this point. They would need a fall to move up. Oregon State has continued the trend of overperforming my expectations. I think they are easy to overlook because the gymnastics is secure but not striking. They will struggle to contend with the SEC teams.

Rotation 4:
Here we go. Who takes it?

Casey – UB – OSU – very late on a giant full, nice gienger, handstands are borderline, low DLO and swimming but a stick.

Tutka – BB – Utah – short in her leaps, very small correction on loso series, huge break in the hips on the punch front, barely stayed on the beam, another small wobble on double stag (we have seen more problems on double stags today). Advantage OSU. 

Dayton – FX – Stanford – large-ish bounce out of double pike mount, layouts middle pass, extremely low double back dismount, should be a very low score to start.

Wong – VT – UCLA – huge bounce out of her yfull, now they will be relying on Pritchett. Looks like no McDonald today.

McGregor – UB – OSU – clean shaposh, nice bail, a little ragged in all her skills but not clear deductions, possibly short final handstand, sticks DLO with a small fight.  A 9.950 is a bit crazy for that, but she did hit about as well as she can.

Hughes – BB – Utah – secure if lacking amplitude on her acro series, very low on her side aerial and a break at the hips, just as a big cheer went up, stuck double full,

Rice – FX – Stanford – big bounce out of double pike, just not hitting much of anything today Stanford, the rest of her routine is fine, including a nice double tuck dismount.

Prtichett – VT – UCLA – they need a repeat of last week but don’t get it, hop back, leg form, and no amplitude.

Tang – UB – OSU – a little late on giant full and very close on her shoot to high bar, small step back on tuck full.

Wilson – BB – Utah – her two layout series is secure, doesn’t hit her switch split, fairly large wobble on the straddle 3/4, good 1.5 dismount.

SMorgan – FX – Stanford – clean double back, crazy long front layout out of her middle pass but just held onto the landing, very nice double pike dismount, better than some of the times I’ve seen her this season, especially in her double backs.

So, Sawa is anchoring vault for UCLA, so something must have happened to McDonald for her to come out. Just what UCLA needs, another injury.

Baer – VT – UCLA – Stick or near stick on her yfull, minor deductions to take for distance and block, but today those haven’t been taken, so we’ll see. 9.925, so yeah, distance and block don’t matter as much today. She’s been better than that this year. I thought this was a touch weaker than he last two 9.9s.

Aufiero – UB – OSU – rushing a little bit at the beginning through a handstand but a nice tkatchev gets her on track, good form after the opening, step back on double back dismount.

Lopez – BB – Utah – small correction back out of loso series, hit punch front, big step back on double full. Another OK routine for Utah, but it won’t be enough.

Shapiro – FX – Stanford – came in very low on a layout out of her mount that will be the majority of her deductions, nice double back, does the same thing as Sawa and sits her punch out of her dismount.This has been a rough performance. Stanford may be the team of the eleven that I’m writing off.

Courtney – VT – UCLA – tremendous yfull, stuck, had better distance and block than Baer, so what do they do? Very nice vault, one of her better of the season.

Harris – UB – OSU – good shaposh and clean bail in combo, struggles a little in her shoot and final hs, leg separation in her DLO but stuck. OK, but it will be enough for OSU to win.

Lofgren – BB – Utah – wobble on side somi, clean loso series, wobble again on aerial, hangs onto the stick on her gainer full.

Hong – FX – Stanford – a little squatted in her double back but stuck, double pike was slightly better, everything else was clean and she moves so elegantly.

Zam – VT – UCLA – They can save a nice score if she sticks for a 10. And she does, a minor quiver like she saw last week at home, but that was superb. 10.000

Stambaugh – UB – OSU – very clean jaeger, hits her tuck full dismount as well. So where does that go, 13? 9.975. 

Dabritz – BB – Utah – huge break in the hips on her loso series and falls. Ugh. She’s so clearly the best gymnast on this team, and it kills me that she can’t get beam together. Utah will end up third, below UCLA.

AMorgan – FX – Stanford – lunges a bit out of her double arabian, but otherwise it is strong. They can throw a score her way since Stanford has had such a rough meet. They’ve thrown enough scores around tonight.

Sawa – VT – UCLA – Throwing her in at the end, I wonder how far along she is in her training, just doing a layout, but she sticks it.

Final Scores:
1. Oregon State 197.850
2. UCLA 197.375
3. Utah 197.075
4. Stanford 196.625

I said two things needed to happen for Oregon State to win, home scoring and help from the other teams. Both of those things happened tonight. Granted, everyone got the benefit of charitable scoring. Couple that with the fact that every other team threw the meet away, and I don’t think anyone can claim righteous indignation about this one. Oregon State was the team who hit and the only one that showed up for 24 routines with the most consistent landings. They will still run into trouble against some of our more powerful SEC teams, but when the meet is about the team that hits, Oregon State is in very good shape once they get through beam.

Tomorrow will be about crunching the numbers and finding out where everyone is going in two weeks, but for now it has been a long day.

Hope you enjoyed all the action. 

The Conference Championships Ahead

Come one, come all. We have more championships going on tomorrow than you could possibly know what to do with. This day is becoming increasingly less frustrating in terms of updates every year, and the addition of a live TV broadcast of Pac-12s helps significantly, as does the fact that the SEC now understands that the internet is a place where information can be communicated to others. They already have the scoring link up this year! I’m so proud.

It’s going to be a lo-ong day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll be popping in with updates throughout the day, giving special focus to the second sessions of Big Tens, SECs, and Pac-12s. Updates from the Big Ten Championship from those who can watch it on the Big Ten Network would be much appreciated. 

A few of the lesser championships will be providing live streams for those interested, so really the only lagging conference is the SEC. We’ll all have to follow the scores together and make really self-righteous, really unsubstantiated comments about them. Yay!

I’ve already picked UCLA for Pac-12s and Florida for SECs, so here it goes for the rest. I say Michigan takes Big Tens with something in the mid 197s. Nebraska will contend but can’t match Michigan’s scoring potential. If Oklahoma wins Big 12s by anything less than 1.500, it counts as an upset. I like NC State to upset Maryland at EAGLs, but I’ll take the top seeds, Denver and Kent State, in their respective conferences.

Championships Schedule
Saturday – 3/23/13
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – ECAC Championship – William & Mary, Brown, Cornell, Penn, Yale, Temple

1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Big Ten Championship – Session 1 – [18] Illinois, [20] Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan State

1:00 ET/10:00 PT – ECAC Division II Championship – Bridgeport, Southern Connecticut, West Chester

2:00 ET/11:00 PT – MAC Championship – [21] Kent State, [22] Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ball State

2:00 ET/11:00 PT – EAGL Championship – [22] Maryland, NC State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, George Washington, New Hampshire, Rutgers, Towson

3:00 ET/12:00 PT – SEC Championship – Session 1 – [12] Auburn, [16] Arkansas, [19] Kentucky, Missouri

3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Big 12 Championship – [2] Oklahoma, [25] West Virginia, Iowa State

4:30 ET/1:30 PT – Pac-12 Championship – Session 1 – [17] Arizona, Washington, Arizona State, Cal

6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Big Ten Championship – Session 2 – [4] Michigan, [9] Nebraska, [14] Minnesota, [14] Penn State

6:00 ET/3:00 PT – MIC Championship – Southeast Missouri, Illinois-Chicago, Illinois State, Texas Woman’s, Lindenwood, Centenary

7:00 ET/4:00 PT – SEC Championship – Session 2 – [1] Florida, [3] Alabama, [5] Georgia, [6] LSU

8:00 ET/5:00 PT – WAC Championship – [13] Denver, [24] Boise State, Southern Utah, Sacramento State, San Jose State, Utah State

9:00 ET/6:00 PT – MPSF Championship – UC Davis, Air Force, Seattle Pacific, Alaska

10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Pac-12 Championship – Session 2 – [7] Utah, [8] UCLA, [10] Oregon State, [11] Stanford

SEC Championship Preview

At the season’s outset, the SEC looked to be a clear two-team race, so we have the improved refinement of Georgia and cleanliness of LSU to thank for this becoming a more competitive event than it appeared it would. While a Georgia or LSU victory would still be a surprise since each team has at least one weak event, their 197 potential will surely keep the action broadly focused on all four teams through the last rotation. That would be the case, at least, if anyone actually got to see the competition, but alas no. The SEC can’t manage such a thing. Might we hope that the newly live Pac-12 Championship would put a little pressure on ESPN to do the same thing for the SEC, at least online? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Florida has been the favorite at this competition since the day that Bridget Sloan committed, and that remains the case. The Gators come in as the #1 team in the country, and the lack of clear weaknesses and the expectation (not just potential, but expectation) of double-digit 9.9s should put them ahead of Alabama. If the Tide is to win the title, landings will be to thank. Florida is too 198-capable when sticking, but if the Gators are stepping, Alabama can erode a lead .05 by .05 with sticks.

Even if Georgia and LSU hit perfectly, they’re going to need some help to win. If not a counting fall, getting them in the title picture would have require at least a couple counting 9.7s. I don’t see both Alabama and Florida succumbing to that, which is why the others remain on the outside. Georgia has a bit more potential to win because, on an ideal day when beam is in order and the floor landings look like they did last weekend, the mid-high 197s is a legitimate goal. LSU will be just a bit too glad to get through beam and will likely lose too much ground there to make it up on floor and vault against equally powerful teams. LSU will also be starting on vault and floor, so the team may be susceptible to stunted early scores in places where it needs huge ones.

The rotation order is as follows:
Session 1: Auburn – VT; Arkansas – UB; Kentucky – BB; Missouri – FX
Session 2: Florida – VT; Alabama – UB; Georgia – BB; LSU – FX


Vault:


Each of the four teams in the final session is capable of scoring a 49.500 on vault, so if any team gains an advantage here, it will be because of sticks. For most of the season, Alabama has lagged behind in the landing department, but last week the Tide got several crucial sticks while Florida, LSU, and to a lesser extent Georgia all gave away tenths. If that can be used as evidence, Alabama should be starting to find the 49.600 form that we always knew existed. 

However, if the Gators are not as bouncy as they have been too many times on the road this season, they can certainly snatch this event. Hunter is the strongest vaulter in the conference, King is obviously stellar, and Sloan and Dickerson can go well above 9.900 for sticks. They will record a big score regardless, but they must control the landings to outpace Alabama. If Alabama is still forced to use Jacob or Sims, that could also tip things toward the Gators.

Georgia’s freshman Yurchenko 1.5s have saved this team on an event where it looked like they would give up some ground after last year, but the landings for both Jay and Rogers have been rather hit and miss these last few weeks. When they stick, they go 9.950, but when they hop forward, they go 9.850. The Gymdogs don’t have to win vault (and probably won’t), but they certainly can’t be fighting against 9.850s from top performers. A stick from Davis for 9.900 in the leadoff position usually does wonders for the rest of the scores, so watch for that.

Of these four teams, LSU is the most reliant on a successful vault rotation. While the others can make up for OK vaults on other events, the Tigers know they will be losing tenths on bars and beam no matter what, so an average rotation, even to the tune of 49.300, could take them out of the running. Therefore, LSU sticks will be the most important sticks. If they don’t get them, they at least better hope for that same vault judge as last year. 

In the first session, Auburn should pick up some ground here with Guy’s power and Atkinson’s clean 1.5. Arkansas will be looking to get through a depleted event with something over 49, and Kentucky will be looking to the back four for solid 9.850s to try to keep pace.  

Bars:

 

This is where Florida outstrips the rest. Alaina Johnson is still a maybe-but-possible to return on bars, and the triumvirate of Sloan, Johnson, and M Caquatto could earn a 49.400 solely on their own merits. The clear 9.9 potential from Dancose-Giambattisto, Hunter, and King is just icing. I would be very surprised if the Gators aren’t leading after the first two rotations.

The rest of the teams will be simply hoping to lose minimal ground on the event. Georgia has some very nice qualities, especially from Davis and Rogers, who can both go boldly into the 9.9s. If Shayla can get through her dismount and Cheek, Tanella, and Jay can go cleanly for their 9.850-9.875 scores, this should be a strong rotation.

Alabama’s bars have been a saga this year, one that I am not convinced has been adequately addressed. Ashley Sledge is the clear standout, but her routine will be the very first one of the session, and the judges will be wary of scoring it too high. Jacob has come out of the lineup, but the handstand problems in the middle mean that the majority of routines are looking at 9.850s for hits. Priess’s dismount has improved but still looks to be made of little more than spit and hope. She must stick it.

If vault was a must-stick event for LSU, then bars is a must-must-stick. The routines have improved significantly this year, but there are still more built-in issues than the other three teams must endure. Stuck landings can mitigate built-in issues. Depending on who makes the lineup this weekend, the Tigers will see some early 9.7s and must make up for them with late 9.925s.

In the first competition session, no team is likely to stand out too much here. Arkansas’s landings looked superior last week, so they may be able to pick up a few tenths.

Beam:


Beam is beam, and there’s still the sense that any of the teams could give the meet away here. Through the middle of February, Florida looked more ragged on beam than during last season, almost enough to begin producing 2011 flashbacks, but these last few weeks have been much better. It’s interesting that Florida has come to rely on Hunter, Sloan, and Caquatto for their big beam scores, three elites not exactly known for their beam stability through much of their careers.

Alabama shouldn’t have any problems on this event and looked well on their way to another sturdy beam season before a hiccup last week. I don’t expect that to become a thing, but it’s something to watch. Look for Jacob and Priess to be characteristically solid in those final two positions, but those first-half routines might give a few too many .05s away to Florida unless they are wobble free.

Georgia is just as likely to score 49.400 as 48.400. I commend the team on working through those massive beam problems of the first two months of the season, but nothing about that rotation fills me with confidence. The return of Couch is a major deal, but Persinger and Cheek must hit so that there is no chance of a Shayla situation.

LSU, like most of the teams in the first session, won’t sneeze at a 49.000. Courville performs a challenging routine that can often incur wobbles, but she has by far the high scoring potential on the team. They cannot afford even a medium-severity break. Watch for how the judges evaluate these early performances because there is room to take for flexibility on dance elements in several of the routines. A harsher judging panel will give out several 9.7s.

Like bars, it’s not a strong event for any team in the first group, but watch out for Kentucky. Beam judging at Kentucky has been stricter than expected the couple times I’ve seen it, and I think the team is a bit underranked there, at least when they hit.

Floor:


Florida, LSU, and Alabama have all received 9.9 parades on floor this year, especially at home. Much like on vault, LSU has huge scoring potential but also a great deal more riding on the event and a larger risk potential. I can’t imagine we will see major breaks in the Florida and Alabama routines, but we might see them in the early LSU lineup. Hall’s floor routine is the most likely 10 in the whole competition, and a third 10 of the season would be a significant boost. That will be a score to watch.

I expect to see Alabama more controlled in the landings than Florida, which could tip the balance, but Florida has more potential 9.9s in the lineup. Alabama will get the big scores from Jacob and Milliner, both of whom can go 9.950, but Florida has Hunter, King, Sloan, and perhaps Dickerson all capable of that score. Floor is going to be a 49.500 parade that, by the end of the night, might turn into a 49.600 parade, so we’ll probably be picking over differences between 9.950s and 9.925s from the two teams.

The Gymdogs are at the back of the pack on floor because they just don’t have the power of the other three teams. Getting the sturdiness of Noel Couch back may be vital because only she and Earls have the magnetic landing security that makes a competitive floor rotation. I’m a bit too concerned about OOBs and low landings from Persinger, Rogers, and Jay to give Georgia particularly high marks on floor at this point.

Arkansas has three good floor routines at the end of the rotation, which will help them contend with Auburn for the bragging rights of winning the first session. While Kentucky might put up a good overall score, the group should come down to Arkansas and Auburn which team has superior 1st-4th performers. Are you throwing up early 9.775s or 9.825s?

Outlook:
I still say this year is Florida’s to lose, both at Championships and at SECs. Alabama can likely stick with Florida through three events and may very well win vault or floor (or both) depending on the security of the landings from both teams, but bars is such a difference that it should be the margin of victory for Florida. If Florida outscores Alabama by four tenths on bars, that should decide the competition. If the margin is within two tenths, Alabama should become quite confident. While beam is a hitting concern for both Georgia and LSU, I’m actually more wary of Georgia’s floor and LSU’s bars. Both teams have received big scores on those events this season, but they may pale in comparison to other top teams now that everyone is in the same room. Even a 49.200 on those events probably takes them out of the title race.

Pac-12 Championship Preview

The Pac-12 has been a funny little creature this year, sort of injured and ragged but still nice in places, like one of those baby ducks that they wash the crude oil off in dish soap commercials.

This year, there is no true top team, no feature force that will surely contend for the national title and should have no trouble winning the conference championships when hitting 24/24. While it would still be somewhat surprising if no Pac-12 team advances to Super Six, it wouldn’t be shocking in the way we would normally expect. Every team has weaknesses, and every team could lose to any number of teams around the nation, even on a good day. With the top four seeds so closely ranked, nothing separates them except potential. The results have given us no reliable guidance. That will serve to make the final session a sight to see. A potential mess, yes, but a sight to see.

Oregon State and Stanford haven’t featured in the top conversation this year, but don’t count them out of the title race. For the Beavers to win, they’re probably going to need to be served assistance two ways: home-gym assistance and other-teams-faltering assistance. They’ve peaked out in the low 197s this year for hit competitions, and for that kind of score to win, others will have to make mistakes. Stanford has also peaked in the low 197s, but they have been more often on track for higher scores before being done in by a fall or a rash of 9.6s. I’m still not really sure how good this team can be because we haven’t seen it. Stanford is the biggest consistency risk in the conference. The multiple potential 9.9s, however, are undeniable.

Utah is probably the safe choice to win. However, that 198 has been the talk of the town for the last few days, and I almost wonder if that will end up hurting the team by pairing “Utah” and “overscored” too much, causing a reaction the other direction. A season-best beam rotation will be vital for them because they won’t be getting 9.850s for major mistakes. UCLA has been the most injury-depleted team this year, and a lot of the Bruins’ success will depend on who they can get in the lineup and who is far enough along to hit for more than a 9.800. They’re cutting it close, but they’re also UCLA.

The rotation order is as follows:
Session 1: Cal – VT; Washington – UB; Arizona St – BB; Arizona – FX
Session 2: Stanford – VT; UCLA – UB; Oregon State – BB; Utah – FX

There is a pretty big gap in quality between the first session and the second session, and if all of the top four teams hit, they will be the top four finishers. Let’s take a look at how they stand each event.

Vault:

Even a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have expected to be talking up UCLA’s chances on vault, but the Bruins are starting to land. The results on vault could largely hinge on their lineup. Even though Pritchett hit a much better vault last week, I still don’t think she and McDonald are postseason material. Should the Bruins get an in-form Sawa and/or De La Torre hitting for early 9.850s, they can win vault. Otherwise, Utah should take the event.

In comparing the Bruins with the Utes, both teams have a guaranteed big score at the back of the lineup, but Courtney and Baer in the 5th and 4th spots have been landing better than Dabritz and Damianova these last couple weeks and have somewhat more dynamic vaults. Neither team has been getting great quality from the first three vaulters, but Utah has been a bit more reliably 9.800, which is why UCLA’s early lineup is a deciding factor.

Oregon State has squeezed as much as seemed possible out of the vaulters, and the addition of Gaspar has helped significantly. I wonder about the power and landing positions in comparison to the competition, especially from the first three. Blalock and Stambaugh are strong, but they’ll need some sticks to get out of 49.250 land and contend. Stanford has two strong vaults as well in Dayton and Hong and another potential one in Vaculik, but the rest of the rotation could bring down the score just a bit too much to win the event. Ashley Morgan has occasional landing trouble with her vault, and Hanset has enough built-in deductions with landing position to prevent her score from going very high.

Bars:

Bars is anyone’s game and could very well be the deciding event. Oregon State actually comes in as the highest ranked of the teams on bars, which is quite an accomplishment after losing Mak and Vivian. The Beavers rely on Stambaugh to bring that score up much in the same way Utah relies on Dabritz and UCLA relies on Zamarripa. To avoid losing too much ground, the Utes must stick in the same way they did against Florida and the Bruins must stick in the same way they did against Michigan. Both teams are far too susceptible to getting stuck in 9.825 land until the anchor saves them, which won’t cut it.

None of the teams have looked as refined as they probably should on bars at this point in the season, which is why any team that can stick for something like a 49.400 should have a nice advantage. Stanford has tremendous potential to be that team on paper with Hong, Shapiro, and Vaculik leading the way. It hasn’t worked out that way often enough this season, but it could still happen if 2012 postseason Stanford shows up.

Beam:

If Stanford is going to contend for the title and make a serious push into the postseason, it will be because of beam prowess. Now that UCLA has lost Larson, Stanford doesn’t have much competition to the claim of most refined beam team in the Pac-12. Hong, Spinner, Shona Morgan, and Vaculik are all capable of 9.900 brilliance. That Stanford isn’t ranked in the top three on beam is solely the result of consistency. They must get six hits. Vaculik must have it together.

Remarkably, this has been one of UCLA’s most consistent beam seasons, and we saw none of those three-fall implosions we’ve come to expect, even at the beginning of the year. Francis is an utter gem, and Zamarripa should be able to trot her way to a strong score. The first three of Baer, Wong, and Courtney probably won’t go too far above 9.8, but if the back three save them, it should still be a big rotation.

Utah and Oregon State are looking more to get through the event. The Beavers have some supremely nervy 9.7s, and it’s difficult for most of their routines to get above a 9.850 even at the best of times. Utah has a similar problem to most of the other teams with some 9.8ish early showings, but the lack of consistency at the back of the rotation makes the event a red flag for them. Utah going 6/6 with no major breaks would be the unexpected outcome.

Floor:

Floor has been tough to read this season across the country because the scores have been going so much higher, especially for home teams at the ends of meets. You’re a 9.950, you’re a 9.950, everyone’s a 9.950! If Utah is going to win the title, that title will almost certainly have to include winning floor as well. In the past, the Utes have built their success on secure landings, so the occasional slight stumbles and bounces back out of dismounts have to go.

UCLA has turned Pritchett’s 9.950 into a thing these last few weeks, and they will need 9.9s from each of the last three to keep in contention on this event. The beginning of the lineup makes me somewhat nervous because a discerning judge can take a lot from McDonald’s routine and Sawa is just coming back and did no more than get through her routine last week. The scoring potential is still strong, but it’s not the UCLA floor rotation we’ve come to expect.

Oregon State and Stanford are way down in the rankings, both below Arizona, a team that could make a nice push toward the mid-196s and a top-four finish (if a second-session team has a fall) with a big floor rotation. The Beavers have two brilliant routines from Jones and Stambaugh that could contend for the event title, but they haven’t shown enough from the rest of the team. Stanford likewise has several routines that can score well but has not been at all consistent with the tumbling landings.

Outlook:
This thing is going to come down to the last rotation. A different team will probably be leading after each rotation, and a different team could very well win each event. If you force me to make a pick, I’m taking UCLA. The Bruins finish on vault, and if the scores increase throughout the night, they could get a big boost there to take the lead.

Week 11 Rankings and Final RQS Update

Depending on whether you consider the conference championships as part of the regular season (they still count for RQS and the results still don’t matter, just like all the earlier meets) or the postseason (they have the word championships in them), the regular season is either over or almost over. Let’s take a look at how things stand heading into the last opportunity to make a difference.

1. Florida – 197.700
Road Score 1: 197.875
Road Score 2: 197.575
Road Score 3: 197.300
Road/Home Score 1: 198.425
Road Home Score 2: 198.100
Road/Home Score 3: 197.650

In recent memory (meaning in the span of the GymInfo archive), only UCLA (2003, 2004) and Georgia (1999) have recorded a higher RQS.

2. Oklahoma – 197.570
Road Score 1: 197.625
Road Score 2: 197.450
Road Score 3: 197.375
Road/Home Score 1: 198.375
Road/Home Score 2: 197.875
Road/Home Score 3: 197.525

It will be extremely difficult for Oklahoma to pass Florida at this point. Florida needs a 197.675 at SECs to secure the #1 ranking regardless of Oklahoma’s performance, which is well within the realm of possibility. Oklahoma would have to break 198 this weekend to even have a shot.

3. Alabama – 197.260
Road Score 1: 197.725
Road Score 2: 197.100
Road Score 3: 196.950
Road/Home Score 1: 197.650
Road/Home Score 2: 197.525
Road/Home Score 3: 197.075

For the top three, ranking fluctuations at this point mean little more than bragging rights. All three will obviously remain in the top six and will be the top seeds at their home regionals going up against the back end of the top 12. After #3, things get a bit more interesting. Regional host Oregon State is unable to get any higher than 9th and therefore should meet the highest-ranked team not called Florida, Oklahoma, and Alabama in that Regional. Georgia has closed the gap on Michigan, and the two could finish in any order with the others not far behind.

4. Michigan – 197.175
Road Score 1: 197.550
Road Score 2: 197.300
Road Score 3: 196.925
Road/Home Score 1: 197.375
Road/Home Score 2: 197.350
Road/Home Score 3: 196.925

5. Georgia – 197.160
Road Score 1: 197.800
Road Score 2: 196.825
Road Score 3: 196.825
Road/Home Score 1: 197.650
Road/Home Score 2: 197.500
Road/Home Score 3: 197.000

6. LSU – 197.065
Road Score 1: 197.275
Road Score 2: 197.100
Road Score 3: 196.975
Road/Home Score 1: 197.500
Road/Home Score 2: 197.050
Road/Home Score 3: 196.925

7. Utah – 197.010
Road Score 1: 197.125
Road Score 2: 196.975
Road Score 3: 196.600
Road/Home Score 1: 198.125
Road/Home Score 2: 197.300
Road/Home Score 3: 197.050

8. UCLA – 197.000
Road Score 1: 197.200
Road Score 2: 196.925
Road Score 3: 196.375
Road/Home Score 1: 197.425
Road/Home Score 2: 197.425
Road/Home Score 3: 197.075

9. Nebraska – 196.840
Road Score 1: 197.525
Road Score 2: 196.300
Road Score 3: 196.150
Road/Home Score 1: 197.675
Road/Home Score 2: 197.175
Road/Home Score 3: 197.050

Watch out for Nebraska. The Huskers have been very much under the radar, but with a 196.150 to drop this weekend, they could still shoot up a few places. Oregon State and Stanford shouldn’t see too much movement, and Stanford will almost surely be heading to either Florida or Oklahoma. 

10. Oregon State – 196.790
Road Score 1: 197.175
Road Score 2: 196.825
Road Score 3: 196.300
Road/Home Score 1: 197.275
Road/Home Score 2: 196.925
Road/Home Score 3: 196.725

11. Stanford – 196.590
Road Score 1: 197.075
Road Score 2: 196.450
Road Score 3: 196.025
Road/Home Score 1: 197.275
Road/Home Score 2: 197.200
Road/Home Score 3: 196.200

12. Auburn – 196.510
Road Score 1: 196.725
Road Score 2: 196.575
Road Score 3: 196.025
Road/Home Score 1: 197.175
Road/Home Score 2: 196.825
Road/Home Score 3: 196.400 

13. Denver – 196.470
Road Score 1: 196.800
Road Score 2: 196.400
Road Score 3: 196.150
Road/Home Score 1: 197.200
Road/Home Score 2: 196.600
Road/Home Score 3: 196.400

14. Minnesota – 196.365
Road Score 1: 197.175
Road Score 2: 195.550
Road Score 3: 195.525
Road/Home Score 1: 197.225
Road/Home Score 2: 196.800
Road/Home Score 3: 196.775

14. Penn State – 196.365
Road Score 1: 196.700
Road Score 2: 196.300
Road Score 3: 195.150
Road/Home Score 1: 197.325
Road/Home Score 2: 196.975
Road/Home Score 3: 196.700

With those low road scores, Minnesota and Penn State are particularly capable of jumping up the rankings into #2 seed spots if they can extract some big scores over the weekend and if Stanford and Auburn falter. Even if they don’t move up, they will still end up in those Florida, Oklahoma, and Alabama regionals as #3 seeds. No one wants a 197-capable #3 seed, and it would seem like the 5/8 and 6/7 seeds are getting the better deal as far as that is concerned. However, no one wants a #3- or #4-seeded host either, which is what the others will get.

16. Arkansas – 196.285
Road Score 1: 196.600
Road Score 2: 196.350
Road Score 3: 195.650
Road/Home Score 1: 197.100
Road/Home Score 2: 196.650
Road/Home Score 3: 196.175

17. Arizona – 196.090
Road Score 1: 196.125
Road Score 2: 195.950
Road Score 3: 195.800
Road/Home Score 1: 196.625
Road/Home Score 2: 196.500
Road/Home Score 3: 196.075

18. Illinois – 196.080
Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.300
Road Score 3: 195.700
Road/Home Score 1: 196.300
Road/Home Score 2: 196.125
Road/Home Score 3: 195.975
 
So there we are, our current top 18. Don’t take this as final because I do like Kentucky’s chances to move into a #3 seed position, but this is where we stand now. Here is how I see the various regionals shaking out based on current rankings.

Florida Regional: [1] Florida, [12] Auburn, [13] Denver
Oklahoma Regional: [2] Oklahoma, [11] Stanford, [14] Minnesota/Penn State
Alabama Regional: [3] Alabama, [9] Nebraska, [14] Minnesota/Penn State
Oregon State Regional: [4] Michigan, [10] Oregon State, [16] Arkansas
West Virginia/Ohio State Regional: [5] Georgia, [8] UCLA, [17] Arizona, WV/OSU
West Virginia/Ohio State Regional: [6] LSU, [7] Utah, [18] Illinois, WV/OSU

Beware Arkansas and Penn State. They aren’t going to let you count a fall. If I’m a 5-8 seed, I’d probably prefer going to West Virginia over Ohio State. A regional with Illinois and West Virginia doesn’t look half bad. I’d take that over having Arkansas or Penn State hanging around any day.

The remaining seeds will be grouped into pots of six and distributed geographically, so it’s hard to tell how that will go at this point.

19. Kentucky – 196.060
Road Score 1: 196.500
Road Score 2: 196.075
Road Score 3: 195.525
Road/Home Score 1: 196.775
Road/Home Score 2: 196.375
Road/Home Score 3: 195.825

20. Ohio State – 195.825
Road Score 1: 195.950
Road Score 2: 195.575
Road Score 3: 195.050
Road/Home Score 1: 196.850
Road/Home Score 2: 196.300
Road/Home Score 3: 196.250

21. Kent State – 195.815
Road Score 1: 195.800
Road Score 2: 195.800
Road Score 3: 195.450
Road/Home Score 1: 196.250
Road/Home Score 2: 196.050
Road/Home Score 3: 195.975

22. Maryland – 195.810
Road Score 1: 196.150
Road Score 2: 195.975
Road Score 3: 195.300
Road/Home Score 1: 196.175
Road/Home Score 2: 196.025
Road/Home Score 3: 195.600

22. Central Michigan – 195.810
Road Score 1: 195.875
Road Score 2: 195.875
Road Score 3: 195.575
Road/Home Score 1: 196.125
Road/Home Score 2: 196.000
Road/Home Score 3: 195.725

24. Boise State – 195.785
Road Score 1: 195.575
Road Score 2: 195.425
Road Score 3: 195.300
Road/Home Score 1: 196.575
Road/Home Score 2: 196.325
Road/Home Score 3: 196.300
 
25. West Virginia – 195.780
Road Score 1: 195.775
Road Score 2: 195.450
Road Score 3: 195.150
Road/Home Score 1: 196.550
Road/Home Score 2: 196.375
Road/Home Score 3: 196.150

26. Washington – 195.765
Road Score 1: 196.000
Road Score 2: 195.950
Road Score 3: 194.875
Road/Home Score 1: 196.625
Road/Home Score 2: 196.025
Road/Home Score 3: 195.975

27. Iowa – 195.600
Road Score 1: 195.875
Road Score 2: 195.325
Road Score 3: 195.200
Road/Home Score 1: 196.375
Road/Home Score 2: 195.875
Road/Home Score 3: 195.725

28. Arizona State – 195.495
Road Score 1: 195.675
Road Score 2: 195.450
Road Score 3: 195.250
Road/Home Score 1: 196.025
Road/Home Score 2: 195.600
Road/Home Score 3: 195.500 

29. BYU – 195.365
Road Score 1: 195.875
Road Score 2: 195.250
Road Score 3: 195.125
Road/Home Score 1: 195.800
Road/Home Score 2: 195.500
Road/Home Score 3: 195.150 

30. NC State – 195.290
Road Score 1: 194.975
Road Score 2: 194.925
Road Score 3: 194.875
Road/Home Score 1: 196.050
Road/Home Score 2: 196.000
Road/Home Score 3: 195.675 

31. Bridgeport – 195.255
Road Score 1: 196.200
Road Score 2: 195.725
Road Score 3: 195.325
Road/Home Score 1: 195.300
Road/Home Score 2: 195.200
Road/Home Score 3: 194.725

32. Cal – 195.240
Road Score 1: 195.000
Road Score 2: 194.925
Road Score 3: 194.575
Road/Home Score 1: 196.525
Road/Home Score 2: 195.925
Road/Home Score 3: 195.775 

33. North Carolina – 195.200
Road Score 1: 195.600
Road Score 2: 195.550
Road Score 3: 195.300
Road/Home Score 1: 195.675
Road/Home Score 2: 195.050
Road/Home Score 3: 194.500

34. Southern Utah – 195.145 
Road Score 1: 195.600
Road Score 2: 194.875
Road Score 3: 194.075
Road/Home Score 1: 196.200
Road/Home Score 2: 195.700
Road/Home Score 3: 195.475

35. Pittsburgh – 195.040
Road Score 1: 194.875
Road Score 2: 194.750
Road Score 3: 194.750
Road/Home Score 1: 196.175
Road/Home Score 2: 195.650
Road/Home Score 3: 195.175 

36. Iowa State – 194.950 
Road Score 1: 195.125
Road Score 2: 194.850
Road Score 3: 194.825
Road/Home Score 1: 195.550
Road/Home Score 2: 195.175
Road/Home Score 3: 194.775
——————————- [Regionals cutoff]
37. George Washington – 194.810
Road Score 1: 195.300
Road Score 2: 194.825
Road Score 3: 194.750
Road/Home Score 1: 195.350
Road/Home Score 2: 194.675
Road/Home Score 3: 194.500

37. New Hampshire – 194.810
Road Score 1: 194.875
Road Score 2: 194.675
Road Score 3: 194.225
Road/Home Score 1: 195.650
Road/Home Score 2: 195.425
Road/Home Score 3: 194.850

You know you send too much time thinking about gymnastics when you type “New Hampshire” into Google and expect it to take you right to the New Hampshire gymnastics team’s schedule.

39. Rutgers – 194.740
Road Score 1: 195.550
Road Score 2: 195.050
Road Score 3: 194.175
Road/Home Score 1: 195.975
Road/Home Score 2: 195.000
Road/Home Score 3: 193.925

39. Sacramento State – 194.740 
Mathematically eliminated from contention.

41. UC Davis – 194.615
Mathematically eliminated from contention. 

42. Michigan State – 194.605
Road Score 1: 196.000
Road Score 2: 195.600
Road Score 3: 194.850
Road/Home Score 1: 194.875
Road/Home Score 2: 194.250
Road/Home Score 3: 193.450

43. San Jose State – 194.600
Road Score 1: 195.700
Road Score 2: 195.000
Road Score 3: 194.250
Road/Home Score 1: 195.575
Road/Home Score 2: 194.550
Road/Home Score 3: 193.625

All subsequent teams, including Missouri, have been eliminated from contention.

Full Rankings