Week 5 Rankings

Florida extends its hold on the top spot in the rankings while Georgia and Utah ride solid performances into the heart of the top 10. Full rankings

1. Florida  – 197.135
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – Sloan, Dickerson (39.550)
VT – Dickerson (9.950)
UB – M. Caquatto (9.950)
BB – Sloan (9.925)
FX – King, Dickerson (9.900)

Top performers – Season:
AA – Hunter (39.688)
VT – Dickerson (9.935)
UB – Hunter (9.900)
BB – M Caquatto (9.890)
FX – Hunter (9.917)

2. Oklahoma  – 197.025
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – Olson (39.575)
VT – Scaman, Kmieciak (9.900)
UB – Olson, Spears (9.875)
BB – Mooring, Spears (9.925)
FX – Scaman (9.950)

Top performers – Season:
AA – Spears (39.425)
VT – Scaman (9.860)
UB – Brewer (9.856)
BB – Spears (9.885)
FX – Scaman (9.917)

3. Michigan – 196.855
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – Sampson (39.600)
VT – Sampson (9.900)
UB – Sampson (9.900)
BB – Sampson (9.875)
FX – Sampson (9.925)

Top performers – Season:
AA – Sampson (39.460)
VT – Sampson (9.865)
UB – Sampson (9.860)
BB – Zurales (9.880)
FX – Sampson (9.895)
It’s not too hard to find the all-star on this team . . . 

4. UCLA – 196.719
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – Zamarripa (39.675)
VT – Zamarripa (10.000)
UB – Zamarripa, Wong (9.850)
BB – Francis (9.925)
FX – Zamarripa (9.925)

Top performers – Season:
AA – Zamarripa (39.608)
VT – Zamarripa (9.900)
UB – Zamarripa (9.863)
BB – Zamarripa (9.900)
FX – Zamarripa (9.950)
Likewise, but somehow I think we’re all less surprised by this one.

5. Alabama – 196.638
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – Jacob (39.250)
VT – Milliner, Gutierrez, Clark (9.900)
UB – DeMeo (9.875)
BB – Priess (9.875)
FX – Jacob, Milliner (9.950)

Top performers – Season:
AA – Jacob – (39.294)
VT – Milliner (9.906)
UB – Priess (9.869)
BB – Jacob (9.844)
FX – Jacob (9.913)

6. Georgia – 196.492
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – N/A
VT – Jay – (9.950)
UB – Davis (9.925)
BB – Earls (9.950)
FX – Jay (9.900)

Top performers – Season:
AA – N/A
VT – Cheek, Rogers (9.879)
UB – Davis (9.908)
BB – Couch (9.875)
FX – Couch (9.875)

7. Utah – 196.319
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – Dabritz (38.900)
VT – Wilson (9.975)
UB – Dabritz (9.950)
BB – Lothrop (9.875)
FX – Tutka (9.925)

Top performers – Season:
AA – Lothrop (39.317)
VT – Wilson (9.944)
UB – Dabritz (9.900)
BB – Hughes (9.838)
FX – Tutka (9.881)

8. LSU – 196.290
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – Courville (39.225)
VT – Lau (9.900)
UB – Morrison (9.850)
BB – Courville (9.950)
FX – Hall (9.875)

Top performers – Season:
AA – Courville (39.270)
VT – Lau (9.900)
UB – Morrison (9.875)
BB – Courville (9.845)
FX – Courville (9.875)

9. Nebraska – 196.225
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – DeZiel (39.425)
VT – Schleppenbach (9.925)
UB – Giblin (9.950)
BB – J Lauer (9.850)
FX – Schleppenbach, DeZiel (9.850)

Top performers – Season:
AA – Wong (39.492)
VT – Schleppenbach, Skinner (9.900)
UB -Wong (9.881)
BB – J Lauer (9.881)
FX – Wong (9.892)

10. Stanford – 195.900
Top performers – Week 5:
AA – Hong (39.550)
VT – Hong (9.900)
UB – Hong (9.875)
BB – Hong, A Morgan (9.900)
FX – Hong, A Morgan, Hanset (9.875)

Top performers – Season:
AA – Hong (39.550)
VT – Hong, Dayton (9.875)
UB – A Morgan (9.835)
BB – Hong (9.888)
FX – Hong (9.875)

11. Denver – 195.665
12. Oregon State – 195.560
13. Minnesota – 195.550
13. Arizona – 195.550
15. Auburn – 195.465
16. Boise State – 195.300
17. Maryland – 195.275
18. Kentucky – 195.240
19. Arkansas – 195.125
20. Ohio State – 195.035
21. Central Michigan – 194.945
22. Illinois – 194.931
23. California – 194.920
24. Kent State – 194.875
25. Washington – 194.800


[4] UCLA @ [11] Stanford Live Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[5] Alabama @ [8] Georgia Live Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Friday Meets

All-access subscribers will be able to watch LSU @ Kentucky here. Otherwise, today will be all about following scores from the likes of Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Florida. If Florida doesn’t go into the 197 stratosphere, Oklahoma has a solid shot at taking over the #1 ranking for the moment. LSU will be looking to show that the 197 from last week wasn’t just a Metroplex thing.

Today’s schedule:
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [2] Oklahoma, Western Michigan, William & Mary @ West Virginia Scores
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [6] LSU @ [16] Kentucky Scores
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [19] Illinois @ [7] Nebraska Scores
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [10] Minnesota @ Michigan State Scores
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [17] Auburn @ Missouri Scores
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [1] Florida @ [22] Arkansas Scores
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Arizona State @ [9] Utah Scores
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – BYU @ [21] Boise State
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [12] Arizona @ Washington

Kentucky and LSU are getting started now. Jessie Jordan on the bars.The handstands weren’t all there but the toe point was strong, one step on the DLO. Harrison vaults a handspring front pike with a step. Having a non-10 vault in the lineup will keep Kentucky from contending.

Hall had some sloppiness on bars and nearly went over on a handstand but saved it. Big flying leap out of the dismount. This is not her event. As we’ve seen before from Kentucky, once they get passed the first two vaulters they have some quality. A leg separation and a hop back there, but not bad.

Wyrick was precise in her bars routine, really hitting the handstands that have caused her trouble in previous meets. Strong vault in the air from Kentucky 4th up but a little crunched in the legs and a step back.

Courville has a lovely high jaeger and sticks her dismount. The only major deduction will be the closeness on the shoot to high bar. Cunningham near-sticks her Yfull with solid form. Good finish.

 Dickson misses a handstand, but I actually thought the routine was stronger than the 9.900 from last week, though it won’t score as well. Good stuck yfull from Hilton of Kentucky in the final position. Those last two vaults should help this rotation in the higher 48s, which is a perfectly fine score. Morrison finishes bars for LSU with the cleanest, most dynamic routine of the group, only problem is a fairly sizable step on the dismount. They needed that stick to bring the score up.

Ranzy is doing exo on bars for LSU. Ranzy on bars… hmm… barely hangs onto her shaposh and hops forward on her DLO, but a fine performance for this being not her event at all. Good job. I’d consider putting it in the lineup over one of the first two routines with a few more weeks of work.
After 1 Rotation: LSU 48.875, Kentucky 48.825 

Someone at West Virginia needs to go easy on the caps lock. We’re not shouting the scores. This isn’t football. Nebraska has started with 9.800s and 9.850s on vault, on pace for a strong score. They’ve changed up the lineup with DeZiel and Wong going earlier because Schleppenbach is back. She can be the best vaulter on the team when in form, so it’s an important step to get her back. 9.925. Skinner vaulted quite well last week (good stick just a little direction for 9.925 then), and anchors this week for a strong 9.875. 49.300 on vault for Nebraska, and with maybe one change this should be the postseason group for them. Olson and Spears saved Oklahoma on bars for a 49.150 in the first rotation.

Dickson starts on vault for LSU, which was about 85 feet away with the camera angle, but it looked like a stick. Sienkowski misses her final hs by rather a lot but is otherwise proficient in leadoff for Kentucky. She may have brushed her legs on the mat while on the low bar, but it was hard with the angle. That would account for the score.

Wyrick sticks her vault as well, much stronger start on vault which should be no surprise. Shipley is a bit short on her bail hs, and the handstands will be the only major deductions in this routine after a stuck double tuck dismount. Hilton performs a solid routine with a crazy legs stuck DLO. Apparently it has become too difficult to show the LSU vaults. Thanks. Really, a little precision in handstands is the only thing keeping these bars routines from being perfectly fine 9.800s. Biggest flight and dynamics from Harrison so far on bars. In time, this team can go 48.9s here.

If we had seen the routines, we would have seen a 9.900 on vault from Randi Lau. Gross finishes up bars for Kentucky and falls on what looked like a tight jaeger that was just too far from the bars. LSU records a 49.175 on vault, which is low by their standards, but they did get some new people into the lineup, so I wouldn’t have expected some 49.500 again. Still, two routines in the 9.7s for Courville so far is below her capabilities.

After 2: LSU 98.050, Kentucky 97.325

Minnesota isn’t off to nearly the start we saw last week (and it’s hard to be that surprised), counting some quite low scores on bars and starting vault with 9.675s. They have some very strong vaulters in the last couple spots, and they will need to stick again to keep this rotation over 49. Nebraska is currently fighting against a leadoff fall on bars. Brittany Skinner comes in on bars this week and takes a fall, which means Nebraska will now be counting a fall and probably fighting for 196 now.

Dickson starts floor for LSU. LSU is just about on 196 pace right now, so if they’re going to record the kind of road score they’ll want to use for RQS, they’ll need to go way positive on floor. Dickson starts them on the right track.

Harrison hits beam well for Kentucky. She reminds me a bit of Diandra Milliner where her face says that she’s terrified the whole time and reads like a wobbly book, but then you realize she just hit a solid routine with very few mistakes. Oh, I’m so glad the feed cut away from LSU on floor to give us a beam score. I’ve almost had it with this. Is that any way to treat us?

Nebraska got big hits for 9.9+ from Wong, DeZiel, and Giblin to save the rotation and stay near 196 pace, though now ust three tenths ahead of Illinois, which has been consistently 9.750 today.

Savona Smooth Criminal-ed her way through a strong, powerful routine (at least the last two thirds that we saw), which should help keep up the positive pace. Just before, Buecler was a bit more wobbly on beam than the previous two, but she got through it. This team is looking 195 today and can go higher, but I’m not sure I see those 196s in the future.

Mathis is a bit short on her DLO opening, but it’s fine, then stumble-bounces out of her double pike dismount. Not the best routine she can do, but it shouldn’t score too poorly. Gross is quite low on her punch front but stays on and hits an OK routine not without deductions.

I haven’t decided how I feel about Courville’s floor routine, but she hits for what I expect to be the kind of score they need. I think she bounced forward a bit on the dbl Arabian, but it was the strongest routine so far in the rotation aside from Savona’s. There were things to take, certainly, but I didn’t expect it to score lower than Jordan’s routine, or even Dickson’s. Perhaps I missed something. Kentucky is very well drilled on beam and this rotation could go around 49.

Hall on floor, and we don’t get to see the beginning. Don’t they know this is what we’re waiting for. I actually much prefer Hall’s floor routine on the road because she keeps it more contained and doesn’t go crazy in the expressions as much like she’s too excited by herself. Even though it’s less crazy and probably less fun for those who enjoy fun, her routine is better this year.

After 3: LSU 147.125, Kentucky 146.300  196 will be dependent on a solid beam rotation from LSU.

Over in Nebraska, Skinner began on beam with a 9.800, which is big for her especially in leadoff because she has struggled in the past. They’ll hope to drop Nathe’s 9.625. Oklahoma is hitting beam the way they can, and I expect to see 197 pace after the first two rotations. Vault will be the one to watch for them, as it’s time to start showing the improvement and national competitiveness.

We have the lineups for Florida/Arkansas. BDG is back in on bars after her big score last week. I wouldn’t trust these lineups too much, though. Kaitlin Moorhead is going fifth on vault for Florida in spite of the fact that she goes to Denver.

Oklahoma goes 49.475 on beam and is at 98.600 after two. Auburn is on solid mid-196 pace, led by two 9.900s from Atkinson in the first two rotations.

Garcia started beam for LSU with a number of wobbles but a hit routine. 9.700, which they’ll hope to drop if 49 is to be in the future. Dickson follows and looks like she wobbled oddly on her close to the beam choreography. Strange. Otherwise it’s a hit. Phipps from Kentucky looks to have gone OOB on her mount.

Savona takes a minor wobble on her side somi and falls off on her series, no chance to save it. This won’t be a 196 for LSU. Speaking of beam falls, Wong falls unexpectedly for Nebraska. It won’t count, but they will be scoring just a 48.800 on beam, so 196 is going to be a struggle. Rough day for a couple top teams so far. Oklahoma and Florida will need to save it.

Hall in a must-hit position on beam, hits loso series, wobbles on dance series, sticks double tuck. Should be the best score of the rotation to my eyes, but I’ve said that before. 9.725, which is the top score but this scoring is tight. These aren’t great routines by any means, but I would hav expected to see 9.800 for that. I think the judges are getting them on their dance elements and appropriately deducting for leg form (which is uncommon enough that it makes the scores seem especially low), so we’ll see how Courville goes because she’s a few steps above in that department and hits a very strong routine. 9.950. There we go, and it’s clear why she scored so much higher. You absolutely can’t take anything on her split positions and leg form, and she’s the only one so far for whom that’s true. This is the definition of creating separation between fine and great.

Kentucky is performing a lot of fine 9.775-9.800 gymnastics on floor. Jordan anchors beam and hits her loso well, but takes a big swimming wobble on her side somi, which will hurt an otherwise strong score. Hartley finishes floor for Kentucky with a Pirates routine and has a few errors on tumbling like lunges and low landings. Fine routine – fine meet. It looks like Kentucky will go just over 195 and LSU will fail to reach 196.

LSU 195.875, Kentucky 195.250 

Over in Arkansas, Florida begins with a 49.450 on bars, which almost feels low for this team. Sloan goes 9.900 and Caquatto goes 9.950 to lead the team. They are still without Alaina Johnson because of her back injury (and likely will be for another few weeks). This is not a problem now because the team is so deep, but they will need her for the postseason, expecially if we’re not seeing routines on the leg events from the Caquattuses.

Arkansas scores a 49.150 on vault, which is strong for them, led by Grable’s 9.900. They had to put in Hardin on vault because they don’t have a sixth vaulter. Last I knew, Hardin vaulted only a Yurchenko layout, but they may be teaching her something new.

Oklahoma has overcome a relatively slow start on bars with another 49.450, this time on floor. That’s a much bigger deal for them than getting a 49.450 on beam, which we’ve come to expect. The 9.950 from Scaman is what she was recruited to do and is crucial for this team’s success. A 9.925 from Olson doesn’t hurt anything either. This meet could have been on pace to match Florida’s 197.600 from last week if bars had been stronger.

Minnesota has imploded a bit this week and is looking like a 194. Top 10 was nice while it lasted. Keep and eye on Auburn. That mid-196 score is looking realistic. I’m going to check in on that Missouri feed to watch Auburn’s beam rotation.

Yokay begins with a very nice series, bhs + loso + bhs, but has a major wobble on her side somi. Manages to stay on but it won’t be a great start. Meanwhile, Nebraska got 9.850s from Schleppenbach and DeZiel on floor, trying to salvage a second good rotation and get over 196.

Kadous, the 2nd for Auburn, hits a confident and well-executed routine. The mat snuck up on her on the dismount causing a stumble, but they’ll take that. 9.825

Is there a wrestling meet going on at the same time right next to the floor exercise? What is this, a county fair? Are we not special?

Habicht third up for Auburn on beam, right on for the loso series that could use a bit more amplitude but whatever. Wobble on dance, bounce on double full dismount. Another fine job. Still certainly on that strong 196 pace. Keeping half an eye on Missouri on floor, and they are incurring far too many landing with stumbles in these routines.

Oklahoma goes 197.375 for the meet after a 49.300 on vault, led by 9.900s from both Scaman and Kmieciak. This is quite encouraging for Oklahoma because those freshmen are doing exactly what we expected them to do and are leading the scoring on vault and floor to begin erasing a traditional weakness.

I’m a bit concerned because we haven’t seen a floor score for Emily Wong. Just five scores for Nebraska. I hope nothing happened to her on that beam fall. That would be devastating for the team.

Guy goes 9.750 on beam for Auburn, which means they’ll still need a couple solid 9.8s in the last two spots to go 196.500. Walker up 5th, minorly off on punch front but it’s fine, good loso series, good split position and fine sheep jump. Hop on gainer full salute that seemed unnecessary. Good routine.

Atkinson finishes beam for Auburn. She’s had a good meet so far. Good walkover, very minor correction on loso series, another minor wobble after wolf jump, step out of double pike dismount. Very slightly off on a couple of skills, but it should be a good score. Great meet for Auburn. We’ve stopped updating the scoring for some reason, but it should be around that mid-196 mark.

Florida goes 49.400 on vault, which is important because this is probably only half of their postseason group. Do we expect Shisler, Stageberg, and Wang to be there all year? I suppose I expect Wang to be there if she continues to 9.900. They’re going to have a lot of options here as well. 9.950 for Dickerson won the event. Arkansas should also be extremely pleased with the performance so far. On pace for high 196s after a 49.250 on bars, led by Salmon and Freier. Important score for Freier. She has great lines and could be a strong contributor on bars and beam.

I just opened the Utah stream to check if things had started and some woman had a box on her head. I don’t understand. I really never do. I wasn’t expecting to be able to do Utah’s meet, but I’ll do the first rotation.

Damianova starts vault for Utah with a pretty solid yfull. She doesn’t have the flight of some of her teammates and hopped back pretty significantly, but the body shape was straighter than it has been at times in the past.

This is the first I’ve seen from Taylor Allex, came off the vault a little flat and missed some distance. Low chest and a step forward. Two fine vaults to start, though. Damianova was stronger to me.

Del Priore – fine yfull but a pretty significant hop back for a .100, minor leg bend in the air as well upon replay. OK, but she can do better. So far for ASU on bars we’ve seen some fine hits with clear form break.

Dabritz shows up her teammates so far with a very nice stuck yfull. Good power, good landing position, a little piking in the air but that much else to take. Palafox fingertips a jaeger, but otherwise this is the best form we’ve seen from ASU. Good stuck DLO.

Lothrop take a pretty big hop forward out of her Omelianchik. She can do that much better as well. Gades is really late on a giant full and takes a step back on the double front. A little ragged that one but fine.

Wilson gives us her usual stick. It wasn’t quite as strong as some of her others as she had to hold onto the stick with her toes, but it was nice again. The power is there, the body form is there, and she sticks every time, so we can’t be surprised by 9.950s. They’ve been beating the 10 drum for her for a while, so this 10 from one judge is not super surprising, though she has vaulted better than this and could have been solider on the landing. 9.975. They certainly reacted to that like it was a 10. Don’t mess with us, dramatic hugging.

49.325 for Utah to begin, and that score was saved by Wilson because a couple people performed weaker vaults than they have been.

A 49.275 on floor for Florida keeps the mid-197 alive going into beam. 9.900s for King and Dickerson. Shisler anchored for 9.750, and they’ll want to get Hunter (or Johnson) in there soon. Is there a reason why Hunter is off everything but bars or is she ust being rested. The plot thickens. Also, if they go mid-197s without Johnson and Hunter (mostly) . . . this team kind of scares me.

The Weekend Ahead — February 1-3

Florida comes into the weekend as the top-ranked team with a 197.025 average. The only problem with that kind of average is that the Gators will have to go mid-197s again (this week on the road) in order to increase the average meaningfully. If Florida scores around that 197 and stays the same, Oklahoma and Michigan will have the best chances to jump ahead, Oklahoma with a 197.400 and Michigan with a 197.550. It’s possible, but Florida is probably going to have to drop tenths to lose #1 after this week. While that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, Florida has just four road meets remaining and still needs three big road scores for RQS, so those road meets are starting to become more important.

I’ll be around through the early half of Friday for the usual action, most notably LSU @ Kentucky, but the big day is Saturday. Be sure to get your provisions beforehand because it starts with Alabama @ Georgia in the afternoon (Iowa/Michigan is another fine choice in the same time slot) and runs right into UCLA @ Stanford on pac-12.com. I’ll be blogging both, and it should be a grand old time. Alabama/Georgia is always the most fun meet of the year, and don’t expect Alabama to tolerate dropping tenths the way they have been. Danna Durante seems like the level-headed and polite type, but it would be a good investment in all of our futures if she were to decide to hate Sarah Patterson at least once a year.

Every once in a while the teams try to make the UCLA/Stanford rivalry happen, but no one’s heart is in it. It’s just another meet, but one between two teams that are precise, refined, and always on the verge of collapse, which should provide great entertainment.

Top 25 Schedule
Friday – 2/1/2013
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [2] Oklahoma, Western Michigan, William & Mary @ West Virginia
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [6] LSU @ [16] Kentucky
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [19] Illinois @ [7] Nebraska
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [10] Minnesota @ Michigan State
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [17] Auburn @ Missouri
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [1] Florida @ [22] Arkansas
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Arizona State @ [9] Utah
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – BYU @ [21] Boise State
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [12] Arizona @ Washington

Saturday – 2/2/2013
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Iowa @ [3] Michigan
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [5] Alabama @ [8] Georgia
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [25] Kent State @ Bowling Green
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [15] Maryland @ North Carolina
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – [23] Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Illinois State @ Illinois-Chicago
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [4] UCLA @ [11] Stanford
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [18] Ohio State @ Penn State
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [24] NC State, San Jose State, Air Force @ [13] Denver

Sunday – 2/3/2013
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [14] Oregon State @ [20] California

2013 v. 2012 – Event Scores

Last week I compared scoring as a whole between this season and last season. Now, it’s time to break it down by team and event. Where have teams improved? Where have they fallen off? Score comparisons are based on average score at the same point last season.

Vault: +0.269 
Bars: +0.138
Beam: -0.075
Floor: +0.131
Total: +0.463

The Gators have improved the most on vault, where a few of the then-freshmen struggled in the first few weeks of last year and earned some low scores. There have been no such 9.7s from the front of the lineup this year.

Vault: -0.043
Bars: +0.112
Beam: +0.244
Floor: +0.181
Total: +0.494

The big expectation for this season was that vault and floor scoring would increase with the influx of gymnasts strong on those events. The floor numbers look good, but vault can get better. It should also be encouraging to see such improvement for the Sooners on what was already their best event.

Vault: +0.008
Bars: +0.413
Beam: +1.161
Floor: +1.027
Total: +2.609

No surprise here that Michigan is all kinds of MGoBlue given the dramatic improvement in depth and quality over last season and the scarcity of falls so far this year. I still think vault can get better, but it was the Wolverines’ best event last season, so the increase will never be what we’re seeing on beam. 

Vault: -0.264
Bars: +0.211
Beam: +0.150
Floor: +0.323
Total: +0.420

I’m actually a bit surprised that UCLA has increased scoring on three out of four events. Vault was never going to be better because the Bruins were so good from the start last year and are accepting a few too many 9.8s this year. The big bump on floor is the most interesting to me, but it remains to be seen if that is just a home thing or an all-the-time thing.

Vault: -0.166
Bars: +0.366
Beam: -0.058
Floor: +0.066
Total: +0.208

Similarly to UCLA, Alabama has not started as quickly on vault as it did last season, but dissimilarly to UCLA there should be no depth concerns. Bars was a struggle at the beginning last year and has shown the most improvement this season. Even beam, which hasn’t been great so far, is not significantly different.

Vault: +0.100
Bars: +0.338
Beam: +0.594
Floor: +0.463
Total: +1.545

See: Michigan. It’s all going better everywhere for the Tigers this season, which probably says more about last season than it does about this year. The improvement on beam and bars was absolutely vital, but there is still territory left to be covered.

Vault: -0.208
Bars: -0.033
Beam: +0.884
Floor: -0.158
Total: +0.485

This number is all about not counting falls on beam. That has been the single most important development for Nebraska in the first month of the season. Imprecise landings are the biggest factor contributing to the negative scores elsewhere.

Vault: +0.069
Bars: +0.086
Beam: -0.264
Floor: -0.120
Total: -0.229

It’s a big accomplishment for this team that they have improved the scoring on bars after the losses of Ding and Nuccio. The negative numbers on beam and floor are not unexpected, and beam composition has been the watchword of the month for the Gymdogs.  

Vault: -0.050
Bars: -0.317
Beam: -0.200
Floor: -0.141
Total: -0.708

I’m a bit surprised that Utah is the only completely negative team in the top 10. A little bit of this is still having to bear those scores from the first meet (especially on bars), but beam has been notably less reliable than we would expect from a Utah team.

Vault: +0.425
Bars: +0.558
Beam: +0.592
Floor: +0.377
Total: +1.952

See: Michigan, LSU. This team is altogether better than it was during the first month last year. Let’s see if the scores continue to tell us the same story.

Vault: +0.313
Bars: -0.014
Beam: +0.544
Floor: -0.133
Total: +0.710

Even though Stanford is flying under the radar this year, the start has been significantly stronger than the 194 factory it was last year. There is no major hole to dig out of right now.

Week 4 Rankings and Notes

The Florida Gators won week 4 with a 197.650, the highest score recorded so far this season. Expect the home 198s to start coming for the Gators before too long. Florida was followed by a couple of the significant totals recorded at Metroplex, Oklahoma’s 197.275 and LSU’s 197.100.

1. Florida – 197.025
The Gators move up to #1 in the nation this week, a post they seem primed to occupy for many weeks to come. This week marked the highest-scoring vault performance for Florida along with another 49.5+ bars rotation, made more impressive by the fact that Alaina Johnson didn’t even compete. Dancose-Giambattisto came in on bars for a 9.925, providing yet another option for 9.9+. Florida on bars looks to be the most difficult lineup to make in the country this year. Looking ahead, there are still a couple question marks on beam and a couple people underperforming on floor, which is the difference between the current level and a home 198.

2. Oklahoma – 196.938
Oklahoma recorded the highest road score of the season thus far, a 197.275 at Metroplex, a performance that was fine but not without significant room for improvement. Vault was a little bit of a missed opportunity because of several gymnasts giving away tenths on landing. Oklahoma doesn’t have the easy power of an LSU, Alabama, or Florida, so each vaulter must hit her landing to contend with those scores. Brie Olson had a weak meet, but it didn’t end up affecting the team score significantly. While there’s not a ton of depth on bars, the Sooners do appear to have six strong workers, and be sure to check out Lauren Alexander’s 9.975 on beam, the team’s best event. Through February, continue watching for how many potential 9.9s the Sooners have on vault and floor that can become 9.9s by March. They showed two at Metroplex; I’d like to see the number around five.

3. Michigan – 196.900
Michigan was upset on the road this week by Minnesota, but the score of 196.775 is very usable as a road score for RQS, so there’s nothing wrong with this 9.850 of a performance. I saw the bars rotation, and the dismounts in particular were far less crisp than they have been the last two weeks at home, which was true for several road teams this weekend. Natalie Beilstein had a poor meet, and while it has been important to get Lindsay Williams competition time, she’s not a solution on either of her events. I’d like to start seeing Briley Casanova incorporated into a couple more lineups in the coming weeks.  

4. UCLA – 196.650
The Bruins lost ground on the top three this week after an overall lackluster road performance that was saved by Zamarripa returning to the Yfull and getting a 9.950. This team really cannot score well without her, which was evident on beam and floor. Some lineup changes were encouraging, like getting Wong in on beam and Sawa in on floor. Even though Sawa had an error, she should be in the lineup over Bynum from here on out, which will raise the scoring potential. Otherwise, bars dismounts were a concern (but I’m not ready to call it a trend), and Mattie underperformed (which we all long ago started calling a trend). Like I said at the time, though, if 196.375 is the bad road score of the year, then the Bruins don’t have reason to worry. In particular, watch the bars dismounts next week at Stanford.

5. Alabama – 196.533
The Tide is still stuck in this mid-196 territory after a fall on beam from Ashley Priess in the anchor position prevented the team from reaching 197. I’m not worried about Ashley Priess hitting beam, but Gutierrez is probably not a long-term solution there. There were a few positive developments in terms of lineups and content, with Williams showing the Y1.5 and Priess coming in on floor. Vault was still a bit disappointing with a number of inexact landings. Next week at Georgia, sticks are going to earn huge numbers, so if the team zeros in on landings, I see a 49.500. Bars was a good score (and Jacob improved over last week), but I still think this is a two-gymnast lineup, which is a concern. Watch in particular for how the handstands are evaluated by the judges at Georgia because I haven’t been that happy with those handstands yet.

6. LSU – 196.394
For LSU, the big news of the weekend was a bars score of 49.450. Don’t use this score as a barometer for future performances on uneven bars because it was at Metroplex and much of the scoring utilized poetic license (9.900?). Regardless of the score, the overall performance was significant because it showed that bars may not be a debilitating weakness this season. It is still a weakness, but the score this weekend was hunted and gathered from secure landings, and if those keep up, bars could be an event that LSU gets through without having to dig out of. The 49.500 on vault, though, seems much more likely to be a recurring guest star. 

7. Nebraska – 196.383
Nebraska didn’t put up a great score against Ohio State in what was a strange meet overall. We weren’t getting scores after the routines, and based purely on observational evidence, it shouldn’t have been as close as it was. Nebraska wasn’t on and gave away many tenths but was clearly the better team. Blanske, Nathe, and Lauer all struggled on bars, and I’m not sold on any of them as late-season workers. Beam was wibbly-wobbly from most, and everyone had landing issues on that floor. You kids these days with your hula hoops and snap bracelets and sliding back out of double pikes every time. The Huskers had the weakest performance of the top 10 teams this week overall, and a lot of cleaning is in order for next week at home against Illinois.

8. Georgia – 196.290
For Georgia, a 4th-place finish at Metroplex might be taken as a negative, but like Michigan, they’ll appreciate that 196.775 away score when it comes RQS time. The Dogs didn’t quite have a full contingent of routines, with Kirby coming in on beam and Breazeal coming in on floor, neither of which I expect to be all-the-time things. Overall, the team is still more ragged than the rest of the top group and more likely to throw in the occasional 9.725-9.800, but there are already reasons to be optimistic that the Durante era will be stronger than the Clark era. In terms of fitness, creativity, and grace, the team appears stronger. There are still many issues to be resolved: floor consistency, the mercurial nature of the vault performance, and Brittany Rogers on beam to name a few.

9. Utah – 196.283
Like the other strong road scorers, Utah will absolutely take the 196.600. This team is on a fine track, but a fan base that is so dedicated and so expectant of greatness needs more than fine. There is work to be done and routines to find if the Utes are to become a Super Six team again. When it comes down to it, I expect Utah to be contending with the likes of LSU, Georgia, Stanford, and Michigan for those final Super Six spots, and they don’t have those big, constant 49.450 rotations the way some of the others do. I’m not worried about vault (and floor should be able to get by) but continue to watch bars for someone besides Dabritz to emerge and beam for routines that can always go 9.9, of which there are currently none.

10. Minnesota – 195.958
Minnesota is our new friend of the week after a 196.800 home performance pushed the Gophers ahead of a perfectly acceptable Stanford. Any team of this tier can have a strong home score here and there, so proving that the team belongs in this conversation will be dependent on going over 196 multiple times on the road. I’m not convinced. Although, I did see the vault rotation from this 196.800 meet and was impressed with the sticking capability of the final few gymnasts. That’s a strong-scoring rotation that should be so every week. In all, this team is probably a gymnast or two on each event away from top-10 level, but if you’re looking for a good spoiler choice once they become a #3 seed at Regionals, Minnesota is your team.

11. Stanford – 195.825
12. Arizona – 195.638
13. Denver – 195.569
14. Oregon State – 195.438
15. Maryland – 195.238
16. Kentucky – 195.238
17. Auburn – 195.150
18. Ohio State – 195.125
19. Illinois – 194.992
20. California – 194.975
21. Boise State – 194.788
22. Arkansas – 194.775
23. Central Michigan – 194.713
24. NC State – 194.675
25. Kent State – 194.567

Full Rankings