Friday’s Featured Meets – Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU

Friday schedule
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [5] LSU @ NC State Scores Video(free)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Maryland, Rutgers @ [21] West Virginia
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – SEMO, New Hampshire, Cornell @ [22] Kent State
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ [4] Alabama Scores Video(free)
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [23] Boise State @ Utah State
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [25] Iowa, San Jose State @ Southern Utah

Action begins with LSU visiting NC State. NC State has often been a fixture at the bottom end of the top 25, so it’s a bit surprising to see the team ranked down at #32 this year. Brooke Barr was a big scorer who graduated, but most of the other scoring leaders are still around.

LSU begins with a challenge right from the start on bars. I want to see what those first three gymnasts are scoring. They’ve been able to get away with a couple 9.7s this year, but they won’t be able to get away with that at SECs and can’t afford to be the team that’s giving away half a point on bars. They must be able to keep it close enough.

Rotation 1: NC State on vault, LSU on bars
Jessie Jordan is back in on bars for LSU. I like this decision even though she has had a few falls this year. NC State opens with an OK Yfull with a bigger hop back.

Jordan hits her jaeger well, had one short handstand and a step back on her DLO, but it was a good routine that is certainly one of their routines with the highest scoring potential. She needs to be in the lineup.

Fallanca sticks a yfull for NC State, piking down significantly but good job.

Ranzy is very slow in her bars work, but she hit a very contained routine with no major problems. Her DLO form is wonky, but she took only a small step. Fine routine. NC State has another fine Yfull from Ouellette. They’re doing fairly well so far.

Good to see Dickson back in this week, a form break on her bail handstand but it wasn’t too bad. One pretty significantly missed handstand and a step on the tuck full.

Woodford shows a lowish yurchenko full with a sizable hop back for NC State. 

LSU scoring well enough on bars so far going into the top three workers. Courville shows a nice high jaeger, a bit of a leg separation down to the low bar and close on her shoot back to high again, step on dismount as well.

NC State has a much higher yfull in the fifth position. Stuck landing. That 9.900 for Ouellette was high, but otherwise they have looked solidly 9.750-9.800 before this.

Wyrick has a nice handstand position on her giant full, good tkatchev, stuck DLO with some bending to save the stick. Good routine, strongest handstands. She has worked out this routine after looking sloppy early in the year.

Ham finishes vault with another yfull with a minor step. Morrison up on bars, her piked jaeger didn’t have a ton of height but she hit it well, one short handstand before her dismount, which looked a little low in landing but she stepped back only once and saved it with good control. Good routine but not her best.

NC State receives three 9.9s for a 49.250, which is huge for them. I think it’s high, but that was a very proficient rotation with competitive difficulty and overall strong landings. The amplitude is where they are missing out a bit and where they may struggle comparatively at Regionals.

LSU will score perfectly acceptably on bars with a 49.200. It’s a bit odd that they are trailing to NC State right now, but they will certainly take that score for bars. From what I had seen earlier in the year, LSU has improved some of the handstand and leg separation issues. They were not great with the sticking today (only Wyrick stuck), so there’s room to fix these routines. They gave away a bit there. Hall does an exhibition to stay in form, but I think the six competing today should be the final six. 

Rotation 2: LSU on vault, NC State on bars
Ranzy is in on vault today for LSU, no Mathis or Morrison. Ideally, Ranzy is a top vaulter and was the anchor for OSU when she was there, but it will be interesting to see how she is coming along on that event.

Dickson has a nice high yfull but a weaker landing for her, hop and a step to salute after that, which should bring down the score rather significantly. NC State hits a fine bars routine with a close shoot to high and a step on landing.

Ranzy shows a strong full, pretty good form, distance wasn’t quite what I remember from her and a step back. 9.775. One judge went 9.700, which is too low for that, but the score isn’t that far off in the end. Ham has a few struggles with leg separations and handstands, sticks a 2/1 dismount. She’s quite tall for a bars worker, so well done to her.

Taylor also has a hop back on her yfull, not the same oomph as Ranzy’s vault. No one has stuck for LSU so far, which is uncharacteristic. 9.850. Watkins for NC State has some borderline handstands and a step on her double back but will get hit for leg separations on most releases.

Jordan has the best yfull so far, didn’t quite stick with a hop in place, but good control. I was just about to admire the amplitude on Haradedian’s deltchev, but it was so high and far that she missed her catch.

Lau one-ups Jordan in the landing department. That was definitely a stick and the best vault so far for the team. I’d probably put that in the 9.9s. Ouellette hits her tkatchev and straddle back, a few short handstands, step back on DLO.

Courville finishes by putting everyone to shame on vault. Huge distance on her yfull, fought and swam for the stick but held onto it. I could see that going 9.950, and that’s what she gets. Fincham finishes bars with an aggressive routine, it’s clear why she’s the anchor. One handstand issue and straddled legs on the dismount but good. Hall exhibitions vault and bounces far out of her yhalf.

Good landings from the final three save vault a little bit for LSU. 49.350 is by no means a bad score, but they did not land those early vaults to potential and underperformed on the event compared to expectations. For being just OK on the first two events, that the Tigers are still on 197 pace is an accomplishment.

After 2: LSU 98.550, NC State 98.100

Rotation 3: NC State on beam, LSU on floor 
Ouellette has a major pause before her three series but hits it solidly, huge wobble on the punch front but stays on, sticks gainer full.

Jordan starts on floor, good that she is back in the AA today, strong double pike to start, clean front full to front layout, good double turn, 1.5 + layout full is also strong. Perhaps they’re getting things together a bit tonight now that they’re on floor and should finally debut with something out of the 9.7s.

Ham has a minor correction on her switch half, hits her loso, another small adjustment on her side somi, but overall she is hitting the acro, small hop in place on her front 1.5 dismount. 

Taylor for LSU, hits her double pike, we’re getting some closeups during the dance elements, which is helping no one. Not much trouble on the shushunova this week, perhaps a bit bouncy out of her dismount, but she turns it into choreography. It should be another clean 9.8ish score.

Woodford is secure on beam for NC State but lacks a bit of amplitude in some of her early acro, wonderful 2.5 dismount, stuck. Great job and impressive difficulty, which should help score well because of the absense of wobbles.

Dickson opens with a rudi+loso, good high and controlled double pike, efficient is the word for her in her acro, not giving away much on these landings. Fincham to beam now, a few very small corrections on everything early that can’t really be called wobbles. Stuck dismount, clean hit that will really depnd on how the judges evaluate those half correction/adjustments.  

Mathis, big DLO. How should we feel about leg separations on a DLO on floor? I’m pretty forgiving of them I suppose, much more than on bars dismounts. Huge bounce back out of her double tuck, but great double pike finish. That should be enough of a deduction to make this the one they want to drop.

Harabedian hits her loso with bent knees (that’s a trend for this team, not quite refined in the form), a couple of wobbles, hop forward on 1.5. Courville on floor for LSU, double arabian is great but she came very close to going out on her controlled step, out of frame though, strong double back in her middle combo pass, very minorly short on her double pike but it doesn’t show too much, the strongest routine so far. 

Fallanca anchors for NC State, small correction on her series and again on her turn, biggish hop forward on 1.5 dismount. Fine routine, and they look to end up around something like 49 on thsi event. Still 196 pace for NC State.

Hall now on floor. I’ve come around on her rotuine, I suppose. It’s as ridiculous as this sport. Hits DLO, clean front full front layout – almost gave away something trying to save the stick but it was fine, bounces back out of her double back pretty noticeably, so it certainly won’t be a 10 this time. I would go 9.900 tops. And that’s what it is.

LSU gets a 49.275 on floor to stay in strong 197 pace as long as they go 49.175 on beam (not a given). Even though it scored lower than vault, LSU looked to be more on track for this event. Still too many tenths given away, though.

After 3: LSU 147.825, NC State 147.150

Rotation 4: LSU on beam, NC State on floor
Huge wobble for Garcia on her layout series and she comes off after trying to save it. This is the test now for LSU. Are you a beam team?
    
Harabedian starts with a nice high double pike but is very low on her punch out of the middle pass, has to tuck and lands very squatty. Otherwise hit.

Taylor second on beam, wobble on full turn, hits aerial, quite tentative in her leaps combo, wobble on loso series, just hangs onto the stick on the 1.5 dismount. A little wobbly and nervy but hit.

Jarred bounces out of her 2.5 mount, double L turn and an illusion. I like the composition of this routine, crossed legs on the front double dismount but overall a good routine.

Taylor managed to squeeze out a 9.800 for her routine, so LSU will take that and stays in good shape. Wobble on full trun from Dickson, another on her loso, sticks gainer pike dismount. She got it together after the wobbly start.

Woodford attempts a pike full in mount but struggles to control the landing and steps a few times, OOB, punch rudi to finish. Took too many deductions in her tumbling, so they’ll probably want to drop it.

Hall now up following two 9.800s in a row. Very bent knees on her loso series but she hit it, another wobble on her full turn. She’s very tight in her movements on beam, everything is cut off. Step back on double back dismount. Another one who go through but it won’t be a big score.

I’ve noticed in Ham’s work she never looks like she’s getting enough height but she pulls it around. Hits double pike mount, a little bit of a low chest on her double back dismount. Overall a hit.

Courville, very clean and confident L turn, saves arabian with a small correction, it looked like it could have been off more than she let on, her routine has huge scoring potential when she hits, which she is doing. Very clean aerial + sissone followed by a stuck gainer pike. Well done.

Watkins opens with a tuck full, looked to me like she went OOB but apparently not, good tumbling overall other than the control on the mount. Very open double pike dismount.

Jordan anchoring beam for LSU. They’re almost out of the woods after the opening fall. Good aerial, step back on loso series but saves it. Does well to give away only a small wobble on the side somi because it looked like her center of gravity was a little back. Sticks 1.5. The scores have let us down in the updating department, but LSU gets through beam after the opening fall.

Ouellette has steps back on her pike full mount. I love the commitment to difficult on the mounts for this team. She’ll get knocked down for these leaps – that switch ring wasn’t there, small bounce back out of the whip double dismount, and that will do it for the meet. Let’s see when we get a scoring update how it all went.

Alabama/Oklahoma time now.
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Interesting that Oklahoma went nearly full strength at both meets over the weekend but had to put in a few backups today for the big meet against Alabama. No Kmieciak for Oklahoma. Sorenson has to come in on vault. What is this, postseason 2012?

Rotation 1: Alabama on vault, Oklahoma on bars
Kayla Williams was maybe just a little excited about that stuck yfull. She goes 9.950 in the leadof positon. Well, they’re not afraid of giving away the big scores early.

Step forward on the double back for Clark. Not her cleanest routine.

Big high Yfull for Sledge with a pretty significant hop back. That often happens with her. She’ll need to start gaining control in the coming weeks.

Scaman on bars, piked jaeger and bail handstand looked good, one handstand a little rushed, stuck tuck full.

Jacob in on vault this week, does just the full this time, still crazy legs and a step back. Just OK. Interesting that she’s in for Sims.

The feed is horrendous, so I can’t say much about Hayden Ward’s bars routine other than it looked like a hit. Beers on vault, one of her best, strong landing on the yfull. It’s amazing how much better Alabama can be on ault when they stop pretending everyone is going to do Y1.5s.

Nice stuck DLO dismount from Brewer in the fourth position. I’m not sure what I missed in this routine, but she went 9.725, so I missed something. In general, I think some of these Oklahoma routines are a little rushed in the handstands and they’re losing a bit there, but otherwise they look strong so far. Clark has her usual good height on the yfull, but a step back this time.

Olson fifth on bars for Oklahoma, Olson goes very clean until she misses a handstand before the dismount and takes a big step on the DLO 1/1.

Milliner either sticks of near-sticks her Y1.5, but I think it was a stick. Given how thrilled the judges have been to go 9.950 so far, I wouldn’t be that surprised by a 10, but she had to control the landing a little bit and had the usual knees. I would go 9.900 actually, and she gets a 9.925, so that’s appropriate.

Spears finishes for Oklahoma, and she too was going well until the dismount when she took a major leap forward. That’s unexpected that the last two would give away so much on their dismounts. This rotation could have been competitive

Even though Alabama had to put in Jacob and had Sledge and Clark vault at fine-but-not-their-best levels, they got season-best or near-season-best vaults from three out of the six, which was enough to go 49.525. For Oklahoma, the first few looked somewhat tight in the handstands, and the last two need to land much better, so it’s a 49.200, which is much lower than what we have been seeing from them.

Rotation 2: Alabama on bars, Oklahoma on vault
This will be the most telling rotation of the meet.

Brewer lands a little low on her opening yfull. Sledge opens for Alabama, and it’s her usual great amplitdue and clean routine, sticks the DLO. The vault judges were willing to go big early, so we’ll see about bars.

Spears does a fine yfull as usual with a hop back. It’s her weakest event, but she has been solidly 9.8 so far this season.

Alexin now on bars, good shaposh, hits the pak, a little late on the 1/2 turn on the low bar, good handstand before the giant full, hop back on double tuck. Sledge goes 9.950, so the bars judges are just as willing.

Mooring lands pretty stiff-legged on her yhalf and has to take a larger step back. She can do much better than that. Since it’s a yhalf, the landing usually has to be better to get the same kind of scores the yfulls do.

Beers in on bars, a little short on a handstand or two and a bigger step back on the dismount, but it should score higher than Jacobs has been. Missed Kanewa on vault but she seems happy with it, now to Clark on bars, she looked pretty short on her bail handstand but it’s a strong DLO to finish. Pretty clean overall, a few of the early handstands were borderline, so it will be interestint o see what the judges thing.

Scaman has a pretty big step forward on her 1.5. Apparently she is in instead of Sorensen, who was on the original lineup. Oklahoma is not very on in the landing department today.

Demeo has been rather hit and miss on bars this season, but this was a hit. Olson comes in very low on her yfull and takes a step forward. Just OK and I don’t expect a big score.

Priess will finish on bars, let’s watch the dismount this week. All her early releases are strong as always and a controlled step back on the DLO. Given that DeMeo went 9.900, that should go quite high as well. 9.875.

Yes to the commenters, the Alabama feed is almost unwatchable, but I’m going to push through and give as much as possible. I understand if you need to turn it off to save your sanity and ears. Jacob does exhibition on bars and the handstands were still short but a little improved. Stuck DLO. She can come in, but they may be happy enough with these scores.

Alabama goes 49.425 on bars, which is a huge accomplishment for them. Sledge hit a tremendous routine, Jacob came out of the lineup for Beers, DeMeo was on a better day, and Priess appears to have her DLO at least somewhat in order, which bodes well for Alabama at least getting through this event. The middle of the rotation is still a bit of a scoring depression, and I’m not ready to change my feelings aobut this rotation after one meet, but this is a step.

Oklahoma’s landings were not nearly what we’ve come to expect again on vault. Most were taking full tenth steps, a few as a result of very low/short landings. 49.075 on vault for a significantly underperformed rotation.

After 2: Alabama 98.950, Oklahoma 98.275

Rotation 3:
For those of you who turned off the meet, the stream quality has improved tremendously since the last rotation, so you may want to check back in.

Milliner starts on beam, clean aerial, solid through her acro, hits full turn, her work is a little slow for my teste, but she hasn’t given away a wobble yet. Stuck double full. The judges may feel the need to go big for a leadoff routine again.

Albright on floor, a slight stumble/step out of her front double full, but it was mostly fine, another minor hop to the side after her middle pass, dance elements and straddle positions look good, a little bounce out of dismount. Like the rest of the day so far, just not quite on.

Clark had to wobble after her sheep jump, but that’s really the only sizable error, front toss is strong, step forward on 1.5. Controlled, solid routine.

Spears going second for Oklahoma on floor. This is my favorite routine on the team choreographically, her front double is strong. She’s been just OK for the first two rotations, like the rest of the team, but this is her strongest of the day so far. Maybe Oklahoma is getting on track.

Williams on beam, switch side is good, front tuck is perfectly solid, surprisingly has to take a big wobble on her loso, bend at the knees and the leg comes up. I say surpring because it looked like she had it. Wobble on the full turn now, step forward on 1.5. It won’t be the worst score ever, but they will want to drop it.

Brewer starts with a hit double back, came in short on her front layout full and had to stumble a little, big pause before her dismount, which is quite low with a step forward. Lots to take in that routine. Not memorable third routines for either team.

DeMeo’s handspring mount is nice, good aerial, has to step wobble and save on her series, a pretty significant break there on a routine that will need to count after Williams’ low score, step back on double pike.

Mooring on floor now, whip 1/2 to rudi is fine, perhaps a little lower in the chest than I would like but not a big deal, very low on her double pike landing and puts her hands down. Touch day for Oklahoma all around.

They’ll be counting a 9.700 from DeMeo already, so a crucial routine for Jacob, layouts series is very nice, confident full turn, barani is right on as always, small hop on 1.5 dismount. Really important hit.

Olson has to get it back together for Oklahoma, good double pike, front layout + rudi comes very close to going out but she does well to pull in her legs and stay in, solid hit.

Priess to finish on beam, rushes her sheep jump a little – it’s been more realistic before, but it’s fine, aerial and swingdown are hit, Lturn was OK, hop back on gainer full. She was a little rushed through that whole thing but didn’t give away too much.

Scaman is the one with the most capability of bringing it in the tumbling department. Good DLO, everything looked quite strong except for a somewhat low double back to finish. It should still be a strong enough score to keep the rotation positive and ahead of vault.

Neither team will be happy with that third rotation. Alabama started and finished well but had some unexpected wobbling in the beginning that took them down and dashed any vague hopes of a 198. Oklahoma continued the weaker landings trend. A few of them hit well enough for 9.8s, but the tumbling wasn’t strong enough to get those 9.9s. To me, Spears had the strongest routine of the rotation, but she was stuck in the second spot.

Oklahoma has a shot at a high 196 with a good beam rotation, but that won’t be relevant for RQS, so this meet is already kind of a wash for them. Florida looks very good to jump back up to #1.

After 3: Alabama 148.100, Oklahoma 147.425 
I expect a lot of “See, Oklahoma isn’t that good” rhetoric after this meet, but it really depends on them. The struggles today have been almost entirely about the landings, which can be resolved (and must be resolved).

Rotation 4:
No Kmieciak today, so Mooring opens on beam, excellent bhs+loso, pretty big correction on her front aerial, hop forward on the 1.5 dismount.

Priess leads off floor today, and Sledge comes in for Frost. A slight lack of control on the double back mount, slide, 1.5 + layout is strong, tuck jump double turn is good, long pause with fake arm choreo before double pike dismount, strong finish.

Long wait for Alexander on beam, good split positions, small fight to get the dance connection in, front to back tuck is good, has to correct out of her ring jump, gainer back pike with a step. She has been much stronger than that, but it was not a fall. Still gets a 9.9.

Sledge on floor, I always worry about the control of the landings with her, but this looks good. Of course, in my world doing front layouts as a middle pass would be a composition deduction, but we don’t live in that world, not quite enough control on the double pike dismount, but otherwise strong. A senior night moment for her. It’s senior night for Priess as well, but she’s had a senior night before, hasn’t she?

Clark looks very secure for Oklahoma, that sheep jump is questionable with the closure, just does hit that side somi, she was almost under but no wobbles, stuck dismount. Good overall.

Beers on floor, slight low in the DLO mount, I’m not happy with that switch ring, hits double back dismount. I doubted she would make this lineup, but she’s hitting now.

Olson takes a big wobble on her roundoff layout, but I love that she does that as her series, good aerial, good stick of layout full dismount.

DeMeo to floor, minor hop to the side out of the double arabian with nice tight form, gets the 2.5 around and just does keep her step forward in bounds. Strong routine with good difficulty.

Brewer is fifth on beam, and her three series is right on, hits her straddle jumps, good double back with a step back. Oklahoma is salvaging the meet at least a little bit on its best event.

Jacob lands a little low in her pike full but she doesn’t move, minor slide back out of the double pike. There was nothing really wrong with the landings in this routine, but she has been more secure than this in some of her past 9.950s.

Spears finishes for Oklahoma on beam, strong onodi smingdown. She works at a good pace throughout her routine, the acro was right on and followed by a stuck gainer full. Strongest routine for Oklahoma on this event.

Milliner finishes the meet, comes in short on her double arabian and has to take multiple steps back. The scores have gone very high for everyone for Alabama, so that alone should be enough for this to be the dropped routine. Finishes a little low on her double pike as well.

Spears gets a 9.950 for her very strong routine, and Oklahoma saved things a little bit with a 49.450 on beam, by far the strongest event of the night for them. Even so, it was a little more tentative in places than I would expect from them on this event.

Alabama was strong from top to bottom on floor, and the scores reflected that with very little divergence until the mistakes from Milliner. There were some issues with low landings and minor corrections to the side but nothing major.

Final scores: Alabama 197.525, Oklahoma 196.825
The Sooners were not at full strength in terms of lineup depth or quality of performance, and I think this will be a meet they pretend never happened. They will have the misfortune of not facing much stiff competition at conference championships, but they will need to be competing with themselves to not show landings like this again.

Another strong home showing for Alabama. Beam got a little wonky there in the middle, but there were tanglible developments on bars, which is a big deal. There’s still a question of the lineup both there and on vault, so that will be something to watch at SECs. It was not a dream performance for Alabama since there were minor corrections and mistakes here and there on every event, but the majority of routines on each event were at or very near postseason level. 

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The Weekend Ahead – March 15-17

Okay, crazies. It’s the final weekend of meets before all the various conference championships. We’ve now long since passed “There’s still time” territory. If teams aren’t showing postseason-level gymnastics this weekend, they can’t claim that they’re still getting on the right track.

It’s also a big weekend for fans of free streams since you will be able to watch both of the big Friday meets and both of the big Sunday meets (provided you have access to ESPN3 for Georgia/NC State). LSU is in action earlier on Friday and needs to show strong bars and beam rotations. That bars lineup is still in flux, and I want to see what kind of solution the coaches have devised. Jessie Jordan is certainly one of the top six in terms of quality of routine, but she’s a hitting risk.

That meet will be the opening act for the main event, Oklahoma and Alabama. You can bet Alabama is having none of Oklahoma’s higher ranking, and they likely consider themselves the better team. Oklahoma has seemed for all the country to have improved by miles on vault and floor, but this will be a crucial side-by-side test of that improvement. Also, Alabama’s bars, Alabama’s bars, Alabama’s bars.

I know it’s frustrating for those of you who are sans Pac-12 Network, but I will be here for Florida/Utah relaying all of the important points, both nonsensical and routine-based. This is one of those meets, like UCLA/Oklahoma, where Utah could lose by a point and still call it a victory. Alaina Johnson will not be competing but could be back on bars at SECs.

It’s a busy weekend, as it should be, so there’s no respite on Sunday. NC State has quite the tough little weekend with both LSU and Georgia both visiting. Georgia will be hungry for a good road score to shake off its status as the only top-ten team without a road 197. In the final action of the weekend, UCLA hosts Arkansas. The Razorbacks have been on an upswing of sorts, and the Bruins will be looking to cobble together a lineup capable of keeping them in contention with the very best.  

Top 25 Schedule

Friday – 3/15/13
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [5] LSU @ NC State
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Maryland, Rutgers @ [21] West Virginia
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – SEMO, New Hampshire, Cornell @ [22] Kent State
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ [4] Alabama
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [23] Boise State @ Utah State
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [25] Iowa, San Jose State @ Southern Utah

Saturday – 3/16/13
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Eastern Michigan @ [24] Central Michigan
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Iowa State @ [3] Michigan
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – [17] Illinois, every team from Illinois @ Illinois-Chicago
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Missouri @ [18] Arizona
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [12] Auburn @ Pitt
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [20] Ohio State @ [14] Minnesota
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [19] Kentucky @ [16] Penn State
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [2] Florida @ [7] Utah
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Michigan State @ [13] Denver
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [11] Nebraska @ Cal

Sunday – 3/17/13
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – [6] Georgia @ NC State
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [15] Arkansas @ [8] UCLA

Home/Road Disparity and RQS Update

As we head toward the postseason, it’s natural to wonder how regular season performance is going to translate into performance at Regionals and Championships. Is that big home score really indicative of a team’s quality, or are those road scores going to be as good as it gets?

That’s why I’m looking at the disparity between home and road scores this week. Below, teams are ranked by the average difference between their top three home scores and their top three road scores. (These are not necessarily the six RQS scores since occasionally more than three road scores count for RQS.) Teams at the top of the list are getting the biggest boost from competing at home (Boise State and Nebraska are scoring over a point better at home on average), and teams at the bottom are getting the smallest. A negative number indicates a higher average on the road.

In general, the larger the disparity between home and road scores, the more questions we should have about realistic performance level, either because of charitable home scoring or a lack of consistency on the road (or both). Note that both Ohio State and West Virginia appear in the top 5. This is why I have been warning about the seeds who get placed in the Ohio State and West Virginia Regionals. We’re going to see some scoring fireworks there.

Largest Home/Road Disparity
1. Boise State +1.167
2. Nebraska +1.100
3. Ohio State +0.958
4. Florida +0.908
5. West Virginia +0.900
6. Arkansas +0.767
7. Minnesota +0.642
8. Georgia +0.575
9. Iowa +0.525
10. Oklahoma +0.442
11. Stanford +0.375
12. Penn State +0.367
13. Auburn +0.358
14. UCLA +0.317
15. Kent State +0.308
16. Oregon State +0.208
17. Utah +0.200
18. Arizona +0.183
19. Denver +0.167
20. Illinois +0.100
21. LSU +0.025
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22. Michigan -0.050
23. Kentucky -0.133
24. Central Michigan -0.142
25. Alabama -0.158

As always, RQS:

1. Oklahoma (Current RQS: 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

2. Florida (Current RQS: 197.440)
Road Score 1: 197.575
Road Score 2: 197.300
Road Score 3: 196.575
Road/Home Score 1: 198.425
Road Home Score 2: 198.100
Road/Home Score 3: 197.650

Both Florida and Oklahoma are away this weekend, but since Florida still has that measly little 196.575 counting, the Gators are more likely to improve. They will need a 197.250 to pass Oklahoma if Oklahoma doesn’t change. I expect both teams to score much higher than that, but the Gators should move in front as long as they score close to or above the Sooners.

3. Michigan (Current RQS: 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

4. Alabama (Current RQS: 197.125)
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: 197.075
Road/Home Score 3: 196.850

Alabama has the slightly lower score to get rid of this weekend, but these teams are close enough that it will probably be back and forth until the last rotation of conference championships.

5. LSU (Current RQS: 197.055)
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: 196.875

6. Georgia (Current RQS: 196.985)
Road Score 1: 196.825
Road Score 2: 196.825
Road Score 3: 196.775
Road/Home Score 1: 197.650
Road/Home Score 2: 197.500
Road/Home Score 3: 197.000

7. Utah (Current RQS: 196.940)
Road Score 1: 197.125
Road Score 2: 196.975
Road Score 3: 196.600
Road/Home Score 1: 197.300
Road/Home Score 2: 197.050
Road/Home Score 3: 196.950

8. UCLA (Current RQS: 196.905)
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: 197.075
Road/Home Score 3: 196.950

The Bruins’ secret weapon is that low road score they can potentially drop after Pac-12s.

9. Oregon State (Current RQS: 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

10. Stanford (Current RQS: 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

11. Nebraska (Current RQS: 196.565)
Road Score 1: 196.300
Road Score 2: 196.150
Road Score 3: 196.150
Road/Home Score 1: 197.675
Road/Home Score 2: 197.175
Road/Home Score 3: 197.050

12. Auburn (Current RQS: 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 (Current RQS: 196.340)
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: 196.050

14. Minnesota (Current RQS: 196.250)
Road Score 1: 197.175
Road Score 2: 195.550
Road Score 3: 195.525
Road/Home Score 1: 196.800
Road/Home Score 2: 196.775
Road/Home Score 3: 196.600

15. Arkansas (Current RQS: 196.090)
Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 195.650
Road Score 3: 195.625
Road/Home Score 1: 197.100
Road/Home Score 2: 196.650
Road/Home Score 3: 196.175

16. Penn State (Current RQS: 196.085)
Road Score 1: 196.700
Road Score 2: 196.300
Road Score 3: 195.150
Road/Home Score 1: 196.975
Road/Home Score 2: 196.700
Road/Home Score 3: 195.575

17. Illinois (Current RQS: 196.030)
Road Score 1: 196.350
Road Score 2: 196.300
Road Score 3: 195.450
Road/Home Score 1: 196.300
Road/Home Score 2: 196.125
Road/Home Score 3: 195.975

18. Arizona (Current RQS: 195.960)
Road Score 1: 196.125
Road Score 2: 195.950
Road Score 3: 195.800
Road/Home Score 1: 196.500
Road/Home Score 2: 196.075
Road/Home Score 3: 195.850

19. Kentucky (Current RQS: 195.860)
Road Score 1: 196.500
Road Score 2: 196.075
Road Score 3: 195.525
Road/Home Score 1: 196.375
Road/Home Score 2: 195.825
Road/Home Score 3: 195.500

20. Ohio State (Current RQS: 195.815)
Road Score 1: 195.950
Road Score 2: 195.575
Road Score 3: 195.000
Road/Home Score 1: 196.850
Road/Home Score 2: 196.300
Road/Home Score 3: 196.250

21. West Virginia (Current RQS: 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

22. Kent State (Current RQS: 195.755)
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: 195.675

23. Boise State (Current RQS: 195.665)
Road Score 1: 195.575
Road Score 2: 195.425
Road Score 3: 194.700
Road/Home Score 1: 196.575
Road/Home Score 2: 196.325
Road/Home Score 3: 196.300

24. Central Michigan (Current RQS: 195.620)
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: 195.725
Road/Home Score 3: 195.050

25. Iowa (Current RQS: 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

Week 10 Rankings and Notes

Just one week of the regular season remaining. Can you deal with that? I can’t.

1. Oklahoma – 197.570
Week 10 A: 197.875
Week 10 A leaders: AA – Spears 39.600; VT – Kanewa 9.950; UB – Kmieciak 9.925; BB – Kmieciak, Spears 9.900; FX – Spears, Scaman 9.950
Week 10 B: 197.525
Week 10 B leaders: AA – Spears 38.950; VT – Scaman 9.925; UB – Olson 9.975; BB – Spears 9.925; FX – Scaman 9.925

With 197.570, Oklahoma now boasts the highest team RQS since UCLA’s 198.055 at the end of the 2004 season. Next week against Alabama will be the Sooner’s first legitimate road test in months. Watch for how the vaults (especially stuck vaults) are evaluated for both teams. Proving competitive on vault with a team like Alabama would be a significant hurdle passed. Of note, the Sooners have seen a fall on beam in four of the last five meets (two from Olson, two from Alexander). None have counted.

2. Florida – 197.440
Week 10: Bye

The Gators’ off week rendered them a fairly comfortable stepping stone for the Sooners to #1. The two could switch once again next week since Florida still has an iffy road score that should be dropped with a strong performance at Utah. We all know that Florida has the late-lineup 9.950s to beat any team in the country, but watch the first two positions on each event. Even when achieving the 198.425, half of Florida’s 1st and 2nd routines scored under 9.850. The Gators need to make sure they’re not settling for worse than their team potential in the early positions.

3. Michigan – 197.175
Week 10: 197.550
Week 10 leaders: AA – Sampson 39.575; VT – Beilstein, Sampson 9.925; UB – Sugiyama 9.950; BB – Casanova, Martinez, Miele 9.800; FX – Sampson 9.950

Last weekend was a major step for the Wolverines, not only because they beat a top team but because they showed strong proficiency in landings on all events. The season is moving into the time of sticks, where that alone seems to make the difference in meets, and from the bits and pieces shown during the broadcast, this team looks postseason ready and looks like a serious-to-likely contender to make Super Six. If they don’t make it to the final day, it will be because of beam.   

4. Alabama – 197.125
Week 10: 197.725
Week 10 leaders: AA – None; VT – Williams 9.975; UB – Priess 9.925; BB – Priess 9.950; FX – Jacob 9.950

Alabama went down Louisiana way and recorded the highest road score seen yet this season. Even though they had the fall from DeMeo on beam, beam and floor seem to be in strong shape, especially with Gutierrez sounding more likely to return and beef up floor. Vault scored very well, but the landings still need a little work in the coming weeks. It’s a broken record, but if it weren’t for bars, this team would be a definite challenger for the championship. That Priess hit her dismount is a big deal (watch for it this weekend), but those missed handstands in the middle of the lineup are rotation killers. I’m very excited to see how this team matches up with Oklahoma. They’ll need to bring the landings.  

5. LSU – 197.055
Week 10: 197.500
Week 10 leaders: AA – Courville 39.600; VT – Dickson, Lau, Morrison, Courville 9.925; UB – Courville, Wyrick, Morrison 9.925; BB – Jordan 9.875; FX – Hall 10.000

The Tigers keep plugging away with these 197s. An oddly weak start to the floor rotation last weekend ended up being erased by Hall’s 10, but I would be surprised if any struggles there continued. Watch for the health of Dickson, who had to be removed from beam and floor after an awkward bars fall. LSU is not exactly swimming in depth, especially on bars, so that could be a problem if Dickson is sidelined for any period. While the Tigers have enjoyed the friendly confines for the last few weeks, the way those bars routines are evaluated next week on the road will be telling going into SECs. 

6. Georgia – 196.985
Week 10: 197.650
Week 10 leaders: AA – Rogers 39.575; VT – Rogers, Cheek 9.950; UB – Davis 9.950; BB – Worley, Rogers, Earls, Cheek 9.875; FX – Worley 9.950

The Gymdogs had a nice little senior night for themselves, and in the process managed to jump up to #6 in the country. Particularly encouraging was the vault rotation, where the quality of landings jumped up a bit from previous weeks. I’m not ready to declare this team out of the woods on beam and floor, especially if Noel Couch can’t come back at all. Breazeal has come in on beam, but Georgia doesn’t really have a great sixth option there. That rotation will never not be terrifying. I had the same concerns about floor, but Rogers hit well enough (not 9.900 well, but well) for that event to receive a one week hold on squinting. 

7. Utah – 196.940
Week 10: 196.975
Week 10 leaders: AA – Dabritz 39.350; VT – Wilson 9.950; UB – Dabritz, Damianova 9.900; BB – Lofgren 9.900; FX – Tutka 9.900

Utah stage one is complete. The Utes have hit six-for-six on both bars and beam. Now, let’s start cultivating slightly higher expectations. A bunch of 9.7s littered the scoreboard for them at a meet where the scoring wasn’t particularly tough, and those floor landings left much to be desired. Floor probably won’t be an issue at home, but pay attention to the scores they receive on bars going right after Florida. The judges will have the opportunity to make a clear comparison. Dabritz did hit beam after moving to the anchor position, so well done, but it was terrifying. She needs to move up another level next week.

8. UCLA – 196.905
Week 10: 197.075
Week 10 leaders: AA – Zamarripa, Courtney 39.400; VT – Zamarripa, Courtney 9.950; UB – De La Torre 9.925; BB – Francis 9.850; FX – Pritchett 9.950

The most frustrating thing about the Bruins this season is how good they could have been when completely healthy. Losing Larson is likely one blow too many, and while the other teams in the nation are focused on polishing and sticking, UCLA is still trying to get the right people back into competition. De La Torre came back well on bars, so UCLA really only missed Larson for beam and what could have been on vault. Touches of championships gymnastics pop up here and there (which are keeping them in the top 10), but this team will show some 9.775-9.800s as well. Zamarripa has to pull it back together and get rid of her 9.8s if this team is to be better than #8.

9. Oregon State – 196.790
Week 10: 197.275
Week 10 leaders: AA – Stambaugh 39.600; VT – Blalock 9.950; UB – Stambaigh 9.925; BB – Jones, Tang 9.900; FX – Stambaugh 9.925

Makayla Stambaugh has been crowned the queen of Oregon at this point, and by reaching this current level, the team has already outperformed expectations. The Beavers’ regular season is over, so they will focus now on hosting Pac-12s. While I would not rate this team as a favorite to win, the home advantage could tip things since all of the Pac-12 teams have weaknesses, and none of them are as strong as they were last year. I’m surprised vault has been such a scoring strength for Oregon State this year, but one of the other concerns, scoring potential and depth on floor, is still a spot of bother.

10. Stanford – 196.590
Week 10: 196.000
Week 10 leaders: AA – A Morgan 39.325; VT – Dayton 9.900; UB – Hong 9.875; BB – Hong 9.875; FX – A Morgan 9.900

Like Oregon State, Stanford’s team has already finished its always-paltry regular season and will be preparing for Pac-12s. The 196.000 wasn’t a great note on which to end this portion of the season, and Stanford’s twitter had to be scrubbed of commentary on the state of the scoring. (If I had to do that, this blog would be blank.) Of more concern than minor scoring issues, however, were the falls and 9.6s. You don’t get those for hit routines regardless of the harshness of the panel. If Stanford gets those out of town and transforms Vaculik into someone consistent, they will contend for the conference title.  

11. Nebraska – 196.565
12. Auburn – 196.510
13. Denver – 196.340
14. Minnesota – 196.250
15. Arkansas – 196.090
16. Penn State – 196.085
17. Illinois – 196.030
18. Arizona – 195.960
19. Kentucky – 195.860
20. Ohio State – 195.815
21. West Virginia – 195.780
22. Kent State – 195.755
23. Boise State – 195.665
24. Central Michigan – 195.620
25. Iowa – 195.600
26. Maryland – 195.580
27. Washington – 195.520
28. Arizona State – 195.450
29. BYU – 195.320
30. North Carolina – 195.200
31. California – 195.140
32. NC State – 195.125
33. Southern Utah – 195.090
34. Pittsburgh – 195.040
35. Bridgeport – 194.895
36. Iowa State – 194.855
————————— [Regionals cutoff]
37. Rutgers – 194.685
38. Michigan State – 194.585
39. George Washington – 194.540
40. New Hampshire – 194.535
41. San Jose State – 194.465
42. Missouri – 194.425

[3] Michigan, Cal, Iowa St @ [6] UCLA

Mattie thinks she’s getting into the vault lineup today. She better.
In a season where a mid-197 is good, a high 196 is fine, and a mid-196 is bad, UCLA has suffered two bad meets out of the last three. So far this week, all of the title contenders have gone 197 or higher, and UCLA must do that today to avoid being dropped to the back of the conversation and the back of the top 10. 
Seeing the Bruins ranked at the back of the top 10 at this point in the season is not unusual. The ranking, however, is usually the result of one or two disaster meets where excellent gymnasts performed poorly. This year has been notably free of disaster meets, but it has been rife with 9.750s, the result of average routines performed to expectations, which is a more troubling situation. The postseason routines and gymnasts need to start appearing.
For being ranked #3 in the country, Michigan has remained on the periphery of the conversation for a couple of reasons. The first is lower expectations. The Wolverines were not expected to contend this year, and it takes time for the narrative to change. This team is still largely expected to fall away once championship season begins. The second is a lack of high-profile competition. Michigan faced Oregon State and Nebraska in the first two weeks but other than that has not competed against much top-tier competition. Beating UCLA away would be a victory of the level the Wolverines have not yet had this season.

—————————————-

The meet will begin at 5:00 ET/2:00 PT. This is a quad meet, but thankfully it appears UCLA is not pretending like doing one routine at a time is a good idea. It remains to be seen how many routines from each team will get to see on the broadcast, but hopefully there will be a degree of awareness as to which routines we viewers would actually like to see.

Oklahoma is currently in action for the second time this week, on pace for a mid-high 197 after three events. Once again a fall on beam that is dropped. I would not have expected to be concerned about Oklahoma’s beam. Stanford looks to be getting hit in the scores and needs a very nice bars rotation to go even mid-196.

The vault rotation is going to be crucial for UCLA. It seems that everyone can go 49.500 on vault this year, so the fact that the Bruins have not yet reached 49.400 is a problem. Michigan can be one of the stronger bars teams when they stick their landings, so they will look to have the lead after the first.

Morgan Smith introduced for Michigan. Does anyone know what happened with her this year?

UCLA introduced. We have no crowd mic, so it sounds like no one is cheering for them. So sad and feeble sounding.

UCLA starts on vault (obviously), Cal is on bars, Michigan is on beam, and Iowa State in on floor. Mattie is not vaulting for UCLA. It will be the usual vault lineup we’ve seen for many weeks now – McDonald, Wong, Pritchett, Baer, Courtney, Zam.

It’s times like this I wish the sound hadn’t started working. You have a microphone. You don’t need to shout. We’ve made significant advancements since can-and-string technology.

Oklahoma finishes with 197.525 today, Stanford scores 196.000.
—————————————-
Rotation 1:
McDonald – UCLA – VT – yfull, knees, a little piked, step back. OK but just OK. 9.725.

Martinez – M – BB – finishes with a 1.5 with a hop forward, looked to have a little wobble before that. 9.800.

Wong – UCLA – VT – Good height, some slight piking, hop in place, one of her stronger vaults. 9.850.

Pritchett – UCLA – VT – a lower landing than usual with a hop forward instead of the large step back. 9.725.

Miele finishes beam with a brilliant stuck double pike. We’re getting no intros and only partial routines for the other teams, so it’s hard to keep up. 9.800.

Baer – UCLA – VT – good height, pretty strong landing with perhaps a shuffle. It’s a much better vault than in 2012. 9.900

Casanova – M – BB – bit of a wobble/correction forward on her punch front, otherwise strong, another wobble on the straddle 1/4. 9.800.

Courtney – UCLA – VT – looked for a moment like she wouldn’t get the lift but she finished it quite well and stuck the landing. Well done. They need it to recover from the two 9.725s we’ve seen so far. 9.950.

Zam – UCLA – VT – everything was usual but she slid back. She needs to be sticking when they don’t have six strong vaults in the lineup. 9.950.

We’ve seen only partial routines from Michigan so far on beam, but they are stuck in 9.8 land so far. Zurales got completely crooked on her side aerial and couldn’t keep the bhs on the beam. Fall. Michigan will now be counting a 9.750 on beam and will go 48.925.  

UCLA gets 49.375 after being saved by the end of the lineup. It’s not a bad score considering the rotation included two 9.725s. If Mattie’s injury is serious, then they need to find someone else for this lineup, be it MDLT or Sawa or something. They can’t necessarily depend on Baer getting 9.9s for non-sticks, which has happened twice lately. They need one or preferably two new vaulters.

Cal will drop a fall on bars and score a very respectable 48.775. Iowa State will be counting a fall on floor. Lindsay Williams is going exhibition for Michigan on beam, good routine for her.

Ivory finishes her floor routine for Iowa State with a slightly uncontrolled double pike, which will end the rotation.

After 1: UCLA 49.375, Michigan 48.925, Cal 48.800, Iowa State 48.500.
—————————————-
Rotation 2:
We’ll have to see who is forced to come in for Mattie on bars for UCLA. That will decide the success of the event. Good that it will be MDLT. She should be in the lineup anyway.

Beilstein – M – FX – opens with a tuck full, slightly low on landing but very secure, 1.5 + layout is OK with a slight slide.

Over to Francis now, she was worked out that double pike dismount, which helps her routine get out of that 9.6 territory, good stick. Fine start and it’s probably important she’s back in the leadoff position.9.875 – well now, scoring.

Courntye on bars, good shaposh, clean bail hs, slightly rushed in one handstand but a good stuck on her tuck full. Nice routine for her. Not a lot of content but clean. Another 9.875.

Casanova on floor looks clean, Beilstein goes 9.900. We didn’t get to see the full routine, but it looks like floor scores are going high so far. A little low on the double pike dismount with a small correction forward. Nice routine. 9.850.

Lovely jaeger from Wong, not completely pleased with some of these handstands but it’s a difficult angle to judge. Another stick on her DLO. Very nice dismount especially since it has been an issue sometimes. 9.875.

Zurales – M – FX – wonderful height on double pike, what we saw was excellent, high, and clean, now over to De La Torre.

MDLT – UCLA – UB – not sure if she’s a little short on her handstands, hop full has crazy legs, very good stick on the DLO, though. She can get knocked for those handstands though. They are much cleaner at her best. 9.925. Either they decided to go high, or my handstand angle is misleading (which is possible).

9.850 for Zurales on floor. Reema hits her double front well to open, but now we go over to bars again. This must be very frustrating for Michigan fans to see only bits of a couple routines, but it’s nice to see all the UCLA routines this time. De Jesus had crazy legs on her gienger as usual and then missed all her handstands by a lot. That should be a drop. Zakharia finishes with a strong double pike.

Zam needs a hit to make this a good rotation after the De Jesus routine. Overbalanced her first handstand very slightly but kept it together, everything else was nice until she locked her legs on her DLO and took a major step. She was the only one who didn’t stick. 9.825. That could have been a great score for the team before that landing. 49.375 is still good, but it could have been better.

Sugiyama also appears very strong on floor. Michigan is having a much better floor rotation than beam rotation. Exhibition on bars from Baer. The leg separations are the biggest deductions here.

Nice DLO to start from Sampson on floor, front full to front layout is totally clean, great high double pike. This should be a very strong score after a flurry of 9.9s already. 9.950. Well done, and a 49.500 on floor for Michigan. That was a very secure rotation.

Iowa State is counting a fall on vault and Cal is counting a fall on beam, which probably will take both of them out of 195 contention.

Halfway: UCLA 98.750, Michigan 98.425, Cal 96.875, Iowa State 96.625 

Aside from Zamarripa, those were by far the strongest bars landings UCLA has had this year, which accounts for the score. It was on its way to being a much higher score before the last two routines, so that is a bit of a missed opportunity. The other thing that accounts for the score is bars judge #2, who was feeling a little score happy and got rather inaccurate with these numbers and gave a 10 to De La Torre. Michigan recovers from beam, but both UCLA and Michigan, while performing perfectly well, have work to do to reach that mid-197 pace that all their closest competitors are reaching.
—————————————-
Rotation 3:
Michigan trailing so far but is already done with beam has two strong events still to come.

Baer opening on beam for UCLA. She had a fall last week at Alabama, so this is a big routien for her. Mostly secure on the side somi this time. Hitting her dance elements with very, very minor corrections. Sticks dismount. Hit opening. 9.800.

Zurales sticks her opening vault for 9.900 and Beilstein follows with a hit. 9.925. This is where they make up the ground. 

Courtney comes in on beam for Larson. Small corrections on her series and couple of early skills, hits the punch well, hop back on double tuck dismount. Another hit but it won’t be a big score. 9.825.

Michigan en route to something like a 49.600 on vault, which will probably close the gap going to the last event.

Wong on beam has to wobble on the bhs out of her aerial, a few small corrections on other skills similar to Baer, hop forward on 1.5. OK, another hit, but they need to build to the 9.9s in these last few routines. 9.775.

Sheppard finishes on vault with a hop back, so Michigan will drop that score and go 49.550 on vault with five consecutive scores of at least 9.9 to start the event. That’s what landings get you. 

Small wobble for DeJesus out of her aerial, much better one out of her series. She’s not having her best meet so far, quite ragged. Sticks front full dismount – I like that better than the tuck 1.5. 9.775.

This beam rotation has been very much like UCLA’s season so far. Fine, but not clean or impressive enough to be a thing.

Zamarripa needs a big score to make this rotation something usable. Huge wobble out of her onodi – that has become a surprising issue these last few weeks. She’s has suddenly become a wobbler on beam again. This puts more pressure on Francis. Sticks double full but not a good routine by her standards. 9.750.

UCLA needs something very significant from Danusia in the anchor position. Also has a big wobble on her bhs coming out of the aerial. She’s the second one to do that today. Everything else is very nice and clean, so it should still be a pretty strong score. 9.850.

After 3: Michigan 147.975, UCLA 147.775, Iowa State 145.800, Cal 145.800
Michigan takes the lead after an excellent vault rotation and a flat, wobbly beam rotation from UCLA. Val is going to be upset at how tentative and tight they were on beam. It’s still close enough to be a meet, but UCLA now has some work to do on floor to make sure this meet goes over 197. The landings were pretty poor last week, so watch for that this time.
—————————————-
Rotation 4:
Allison Taylor is reporting that Miele fell on bars. Not that we got to see it.

McDonald starts floor for UCLA. Fine double pike, perhaps a little low, clean middle pass with some bent knees, not happy with the front leg on the ring, rudi is hit. Good start but not without deductions. 9.875.

Wong going second on floor (yay!), but first we see Sugiyama on bars with an excellent stuck landing. They should win this if they get three more hit routines. 9.950.

Wong lacks a little control in her bounce into the split jump out of the rudi, front layout is much stronger this week. Look at Mattie with her leg in that huge brace in the background. Sadness. Front full to front pike is a little under but she holds onto it well. 9.800.

Martinez has a nice tkatchev and a beautiful stuck DLO. What we’ve seen on bars has been hit and brilliant. 

DeJesus now for UCLA, pretty strong double pike, the tumbling is worlds better than it was last week against Alabama so far, still the dismount to come, pretty strong on the 1.5 layout with maybe a hop. 9.800

Sampson finishes bars for Michigan with a 9.925, so she will win the AA and Michigan will win the meet with a 197.550. Beilstein does exhibition pretty well with a questionable handstand or two.

Pritchett now on floor and does a carbon copy of what she always does, perfectly solid. UCLA needs big scores from the final three gymnasts to go over 197s, and they are getting some cooperation. 9.950 for Pritchett.

Zam bounces significantly out of her double pike, and it’s been another weaker day for her. Otherwise it was a hit. Still gets a 9.875, so UCLA will break 197 but only by a touch.

Courtney will finish the meet, huge lunge out of her double arabian and goes OOB, so this will not be a counting score. That’s not what they needed from her.

Final Scores: Michigan 197.550, UCLA 197.075, Cal 194.925, Iowa State 194.650 
Huge day for Michigan. We didn’t get to see much of their routines, but what we did see was very clean and showed many, many stuck landings. Great meet except for beam, which is going to hold them back and is the major thing keeping this team out of the first tier of contenders. Very strong performance.

Val is giving a speech about Pritchett getting a 9.950 on floor. Once again, UCLA was nice in places, and we can never call a 197 a bad score (even though the scoring this year kind of makes it into a bad score), but the lack of Larson is another blow this team cannot afford. Larson in a massive leg brace may just be one injury too much. UCLA still showed seven scores under 9.8, and at this point in the year one is too many. Bars landings were a highlight, but there weren’t that many others. The end of the vault rotation was strong, but everyone was at least a little wobbly on beam, and floor just doesn’t have the punch this year we have come to expect. Either they have the dance and don’t have the tumbling, or they have the tumbling and don’t have the dance.

In the new rankings, UCLA will fall behind both Utah and Georgia into 8th, and Michigan will retain #3.

[7] Utah @ [8] Georgia Live Blog

It’s senior day in Athens. This class has been quite the little journey for us all. When Jay Clark is an old man in a rocking chair shouting at kids to get off his lawn and bemoaning the state of the world today (if that’s not already the case), he’ll have whole patches of gray hairs named “Shayla” and “Christa.” Maybe he’ll try dying the Christa patch red. To Danna Durante’s credit, she has both of them competing the best gymnastics of their collegiate careers this year.


Shayla was recruited to get 9.9s on three events every week. That hasn’t happened, not remotely, which is why her career will largely be remembered as a missed opportunity and she will be seen as the star that could have been. To some extent, those expectations were too high. With her injury history, floor was always going to be an “if her legs can handle it” event, and on bars, the elite code masked significant weaknesses like the dismount. She was never able to master an NCAA-ready dismount, and that has been an ongoing saga. Even though consistency will never be a thing with Shayla, beam has been the bright spot lately and the most likely place for a 9.9. Might we see a senior 10 today?

This has been a big year for Tanella. She’s finally in shape and in form enough to get those 9.850s that should have always come naturally for her. I had certainly given up on seeing anything more than borderline-lineup 9.775s, and the change in coaching staff has obviously been a necessary progression for her. Noel Couch will not be competing, but as much as she gets knocked for her form (by me), she has been the sturdy Romanian for this team for years. Imagine how many 195s they would have recorded without her.


The meet will get underway at 6:00 ET/3:00 PT. Expect the numbers to go rather large, and be sure to procure some kind of medication or Temple Grandin hugging machine for the beam rotations because they will make us all feel very unsafe. I give Georgia the edge here based on home advantage and higher scoring ceiling. Overall, I think these teams are very similar in terms of having two strong events and two weak events.

If you turn on the broadcast right now, you can listen to Kevin Copp practicing his counting.The sights and sounds of Georgia gymnastics. There are not too many people there today.

Utah has switched Lofgren and Dabritz at the back of the beam lineup in an attempt to protect Dabritz a bit more. We’ll see if it works. Her beam routine is the most important gymnastics for Utah today.

In other news, Ohio State just had a home win with 196.850, which is of importance to the two teams competing right now because either or both could end up going to that Regional. An upset is quite possible there given the scoring that we’ve seen. Penn State also just recorded a 196.975. This has become the season where a 196.800 is bad.

The audio for the broadcast is wonky. Let’s hope they work that out.
Georgia has been a little low in the vault scoring the last few weeks, so they need something in the 49.4s this week.

Rotation 1:
Georgia vault
1. Davis – Good stick, similar to LSU vault, which was 9.900. This goes 9.875.
2. Persinger -A little piked and a large step back in her yfull with a slide of the front foot as well. 9.850 – Davis’s vault was more than .025 better than that.
3. Hires -yfull with a step back, looked like the body position was better than at the middle of the season, not as piked as in February. 9.900.
4. Rogers -Stuck Y1.5, excellent, probably best she has done. Still a little direction but much better in that respect as well. 9.950. Fair score in a vacuum, but not reflective of trend from earlier scores, which is the problem with going high early. She was at least a tenth better than Hires.
5. Cheek -Good height, nice stick as well from her, a little low body position. 9.950
6. Jay -Y1.5, some crossed legs in the air and a hop forward, so she won’t go as high as the others. 9.850.

Utah bars
1. Wilson -Some sloppy legs throughout from Wilson, sticks her tuck full, may have hit her feet on the mat? 9.700.
2. Hughes – Good tkatchev, nice line, bail hs looks clean, minor step on tuck full, some borderline handstands but otherwise strong. 9.800.
3. Hansen -I thought she was going to have some trouble out of her jaeger but she worked out of it well. Step and a bouncy salute on dismount. As usual, the only real issue  on the bars was that 1/2 turn on the low bar. 9.775.
4. Lopez -good height on tkatchev, floaty DLO but came in a little short and hopped forward. 9.850. Perhaps a touch high for me.
5. Damianova – catches shaposh well, she has improved these handstands, minor struggle out of the tkatchev catch, stuck double back. 9.900.
6. Dabritz – clean jaeger, nice handstands, stuck tuck full, class of the rotation. Well done to put this rotation together after it looked troublesome early. 9.900
Exo – Lofgren – some leg separations, hop forward on DLO. She could potentially come in for Wilson, but it’s not too different in general. It would have scored higher today, though.  

Rotation 1 scores: Georgia 49.525, Utah 49.225
As much as could have been hoped for or expected for both teams. Georgia looked very nice on vault overall, with Rogers showing the best vault I’ve seen from her. A couple of the scores went high, but the landings as a whole were excellent and much improved. Utah got through one of the weaker events for them because of strong dismounts from the final two. I would have liked to see some separation between Dabritz and Damianova because Dabritz’s routine is stronger. Lopez and Hansen needed to get their dismounts, though.

Rotation 2:
Georgia bars
1. Cheek -great high tkatchev, handstands are hit well, overrotated DLO and took a big step back. She had something great going before that. 9.825.
2. Tanella – as usual, the kchs are good, the pirouetting is a little late, stuck double back, one of her better routines. 9.925.
3. Jay -a litlte over on first hs but holds on, muscles a hs, khorkina is strong, small stumble on dismount. Fine, but not what she can do. 9.825.
4. Worley -she misses both of her handstands from kip casts, tkatchev is good, fine DLO by her standards, step back. She’ll get hit for those handstands. 9.800.
5. Rogers -great stalder tkatchev, great toe point, misses on handstand, sticks tuck full. Strong routine, would have been great other than the one hs. 9.850.
6. Davis -wonderful tkatchev, extremely clean, hop back on salute, can’t say that’s a stick. 9.950. She’s been better than that for 9.950s before.
Exo – Unick – struggles on her pak with a big bend in the knees but stays on, sits the dismount.

Utah vault
1. Allex -yfull, a little lacking in height and distance, hop back. 9.800.
2. Del Priore -yfull, hop back, some leg form.9.825.
3. Lofgren -gets good distance but not the height, down a little bit, small hop back. 9.825.
4. Damianova – hop back on yfull, similar to Lofgren in landing position and height. 9.850.
5. Dabritz – Better position on her yfull but another hop back. They’re not getting these landings. 9.900.
6. Wilson -Obviously the best landing on the team. Piked in the air. She gets a ton of height, so next year they should really focus on getting rid of that pike. 9.950.
Exo – Tutka goes similar to Allex and Del Priore, also carbon copy. Lange also goes, hs pike half with a pretty strong landing, hop forward, good vault.  

Rotation 2 scores: Georgia 98.900, Utak 98.575 (Rotation 2: Georgia 49.375, Utah 49.350)
Utah will need to improve the landings on vault. We’ve seen both teams received 9.9s for landings with noticeable hops back. You can’t always expect those performances to go 9.9. Utah lacked a little height in most of these vaults, so the landings become that much more important to hope to go over 9.850 at some point. Georgia was fine on bars, but Tanella was the only one who put together a highlight reel performance for her, and she got her senior night score. Everyone else has been better and had at least one significant mistake that needed to go away. Some stumbly dismounts and some clearly missed handstands. Through two, good not great from both teams.

It’s beam time for Georgia. Breazeal is in for Couch once again, and Persinger leads off again as well.

Rotation 3:
Georgia beam
1. Persinger – good L turn, strong aerial, huge balance check on her series adjusting after landing, does well to stay on, very minor correction on front toss, sticks 1.5 dismount. Strong other than the big mistake on the series. 9.725.
2. Breazeal – huge break on her loso series as well but she can’t hand on. Fall. This is it, Georgia. This is what you have to do. Wobbles throughout, a little short on switch split, step on layout full. 9.075.
3. Cheek – first good loso series we have seen, good amplitude on swtich side, hits all her leaps, pikes a little to hand onto gainer full. Good routine. 9.875.
4. Rogers – good switch leap, bhs 3/4 to double stag is very nice, only very slightly wibbly on her Lturn, excellent bhs 1/1, sticks layout full dismount. Quite possibly her best on this event as well. Great meet for her so far. 9.875.
5. Worley -good sheep jump, hits loso series, big wobble on bhs 1/1 that she totally saves by pretending she did it to scale, nice cover, shuffle on gainer full. OK. 9.875.
6. Earls -Three great routines in a row, but she still needs a big hit to save the event, two losos and excellent, big pause before the dismount, and big step out of double tuck. Strong routine overall. 9.875.

Utah floor
1. Lofgren -good double pike to open, pikes down a little at the end of her whip 2/1 but it’s a controlled landing, dance elements look good, strong rudi to loso. Good start. 9.850.
2. Del Priore – somewhat smushed down on her tuck full landing and hops to the side, just does stay in bounds, second pass is strong, illusion is a little off to the side, very squatty in her double back dismount. Not near what she has been doing. 9.750.
3. Wilson – drilled that DLO landing, confident tumbling overall, bounces back out of her double tuck, needed a bit more control there but a fine routine. 9.825 
4. Dabritz – A little squat on her pike full landing with a hop to the side, similar to what we saw from Del Priore, whip 2/1 is stuck, minor lack of control on the 3/1, fine routine but she’s been much better. 9.775
5. Damianova -a little bounce out of her double back, they’re having more trouble with these floor landings than I’ve seen so far this season, bounces out of the double pike as well. 9.875.
6. Tutka -pretty good tuck full to start, uses that leap to punch front combo well in that middle pass, good double tuck. By far the strongest routine for Utah. 9.900.
Exo – Lange – a little low in her mount with a large step forward, significant lack of control in landings, very low in double tuck as well.

Christa Tanella’s mom: “You’re hair looks awesome!” into the mic. This is what is happening. Was she talking to Cassidy?

Rotation 3 scores: Georgia 148.125, Utah 147.800 (Georgia 49.225, Utah 49.225)
Utah got out of that rotation with a fine score, but they probably wanted something better going into beam. Most had trouble finding their landings, a lot of squatty, low tumbling that I would not have expected. They’re still on solid 197 pace, but they need a good beam rotation to get there. Georgia got through beam after the fall with four strong routines at the end, but it still doesn’t give me a great deal of confidence in this group as we move toward the very end of the season.Fine work in the third rotation as a whole, but seeing only one 9.900 in this rotation from either team is telling. Little mistake adding up was the theme.

We’re getting a photo retrospective of the seniors, most of which appear to have been taken when they were freshmen and behaving very freshman. I think everyone looks back at photos from their freshman year of college and thinks, “Gasp! What are these appearance and behavioral choices? Burn all of this instantly.”

Rotation 4:
Georgia floor
1. Earls – good double pike, some crossed legs on the 1.5 second pass but the landing is strong, pretty good double tuck. Nice opening. 9.875.
2. Tanella – also very slightly low on her mount but the landing was secure, strong rudi to finish out. Her usual performance overall except for slightly weaker on the mount, taking a little moment on the floor. 9.875.
3. Persinger -punch front through to slightly low double back, secure double pike landing, dance elements look strong. Very composed. 9.900.
4. Rogers – This is a big routine for her. Hits the double arabian, a little low but contained and overall strong, hops forward a little out of the layout, a little low on the double pike but a stick. By far her best floor routine. Great day for her. 9.900. The 9.950 from one judge was way too high.
5. Worley -Finishing out her senior night with a big double pike, hits the front 2/1 as well, finishes with a very strong rudi. Nice routine. 9.950.
6. Jay – A little low on tuck full out, it’s a massive floor score for the first time this year regardless of how Jay does, bounces back out of her double tuck dismount. 9.900

Utah beam
1. Tutka – short in both of her dance elements, very minor correction on loso series, large waist wobble on side aerial, another huge wobble on stag jump, step on gainer full after landing between mats. Not her best. 9.700. Could have been worse, I would have gone in the 9.6s.
2. Hughes – very secure in her landings of all elements. I’d like to see a little more amplitude overall but a very good routine, hop on dismount. 9.875.
3. Wilson – hits her layouts well, surprised herself with a little wobble – funny facial expression, hop forward on 1.5. Steady overall but not a big score because of some breaks here and there. 9.750.
4. Lopez -has to take a step back to secure her series, hits punch front, a little short of 180 on her split full, good 2/1 dismount, one of her better beam routines lately. 9.875.
5. Lofgren – good strong series. Cassidy thinks this is Georgia Dabritz, step back on gainer full, but this is a strong routine. A big accomplishment for Utah with this beam performance. 9.900.
6. Dabritz -Shouldn’t be a ton of pressure in this position with nothing under a 9.7 counting, a coulple of wobbles so far, still quite tentative in these skills. Stuck 2/1. It’s a hit, but she still took a number of wobbles. Progress. 9.775.

Final scores: Georgia 197.650, Utah 196.975 (Rotation 4: Georgia 49.525, Utah 49.175)
It was the strongest floor performance from Georgia this year by a long way. They can still get better in these landings, a few low ones here a little lack of control there. It’s a big step, though, especially the hit from Rogers. It wasn’t the most brilliant performance from the Gymdogs, but it’s a big score and overall a step forward even though there were the mistakes here and there and the fall on beam.

Utah is at an interesting place. Yes, they hit all the events, which is important and was the goal a few weeks ago, but now we look toward whether this team is going to contend in the postseason. To do so, getting through beam with three scores in the 9.7s must stop seeming like a victory. They were still tentative and wobbly there. Also, because vault and floor are the strengths, they can’t afford days like today where the landings aren’t secure. I expect vault and floor to be in better order next week at home against Florida, but it will be a good comparison to see where Utah still needs to go.


Back here tomorrow for UCLA/Michigan at 5:00 ET/2:00 PT.

Friday Scores – Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Oklahoma

Friday – 3/8/13
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Bowling Green @ [20] Kentucky Scores Video(subscription)
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – [19] Illinois @ Missouri Scores Video(subscription)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [16] Arizona @ [2] Oklahoma Scores
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [5] Alabama @ [4] LSU Scores
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Lindenwood @ [11] Auburn Scores Video(subscription)
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [23] Boise State, Davis, Seattle Pacific @ San Jose State Scores

Alabama’s lineups are slightly different today (now that they have been fixed).
Sledge is back in on vault and the order has been jumbled up again. Clark is back to the leadoff position even though she was the highest scorer last week. Floor is also different, but I think good-different with Jacob anchoring. Sledge is still off floor, though, in favor of Beers. While Kayla Williams was first listed as anchoring bars, that has been changed to better reflect the actual universe.

For LSU some changes have been made, obviously with consistency in mind (especially the first two). Hall is in on bars for Jordan, Garcia is back on beam for Ranzy, and Taylor is in on floor for Jordan.

Not much going on until 8 ET, but in addition to the big names in action, it will be important to follow Auburn’s progress. They are #11 in the country now, ranked ahead of Nebraska, so the era of the condescending “Look, Auburn got a 196! Awww, great for them!” has passed. It’s now about how they compare with the best teams. The standard is higher.

I’m keeping an eye on Kentucky since that’s the only thing to keep an eye on right now. Kentucky’s vault landings have improved noticeably since the last time I saw them – a crunched stick from Hedges and another stick from Cunningham. 49.100.
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Checking in on Missouri and Illinois. Missouri is currently 37th in the country, so they have a big of unexpected Regionals panic going on. I do expect them to make it, but they have yet to get even into the 195s this year. I like the double kip jaegers from See. Some 9.7y bars work from Illinois. Missouri trying to salvage that much from these early Yfulls after just a layout Yurchenko is the first spot.

Nice amplitude in the tkatchev and DLO in the third spot for Illinois from O’Connor. I like the composition of these routines, but they are giving away a lot on handstands and leg form that is keeping them from 9.850s. Amplitude on releases is nice, though. Sunny Kato is an awesome name. Too bad that pak was not awesome. That should be the dropped score. Weinstein anchors well, similarly good amplitude but will get dinged for leg separations. 

Missouri has a fall in the anchor position on vault, just a 48.625 there. Illinois goes 49.025 on bars after a 9.900 from Weinstein.
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After 2 rotations: Kentucky 98.125, Bowling Green 97.650. This is on the way to being a very important score for both teams. Bowling Green is on low 195s pace (with a season high in the mid 194s).
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Color me wrong about Oklahoma’s lineups. I thought we would see some resting at this the first of two weekend meets, but they are going with full strength and Spears and Olson both in the AA. Also note that Alabama’s lineups have been fixed and Priess is competing bars. Phew.

OK, let’s get going with the good stuff. I’m attempting the Alabama audio/Auburn video double, so we’ll see how that works out.

Missouri is counting a fall on bars now, and the Tigers may very well be fighting for that Regionals spot right up through SECs.

LSU has been getting those sticks for 49.5s on vault, and Dickson begins with a stuck Yfull. Sledge goes on bars, sounds like a strong routine as usual for her. A 9.925 in the leadoff position tells us a lot about both LSU’s vaulting and the way the scoring can go tonight. Taylor hops in the second position. 9.900 for Sledge. Big start. 9.950 from one judge and a 9.850 from the other.

Alexin with a 9.850 in the second position. Jacob missing her handstands, which has been the trend for her. 9.900 and 9.875 for LSU on vault before Lau goes with a couple of steps apparently, but it’s a 9.925. Interesting that Jacob goes 9.800 because it sounded worse that that and has often gone lower than that this year, Clark also apparently struggling with handstands before a strong dismount. 

If Alabama can get through these middle routines with strong scores, they will be in excellent shape. 9.850 for Clark. They’re setting it up for LSU to get major scores on bars if Alabama is getting 9.8s for handstand problems. Also sounds like DeMeo is struggling.

Courville has a minor hop on her vault, but LSU hardly needed it because they will go well over 49.500 yet again. Audio announcers tell us that Priess hit her DLO, which is like the sun has finally come out for her. She goes into the 9.9s, which is new.

LSU goes 49.600 on vault. We know they can be great, but it sounds like they had a few steps that could have been deducted but weren’t. 49.350 for Alabama which is a big victory after all the low scores on that event (though it also sounds like they got a couple gifts in the middle).
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Auburn hasn’t quite gotten the landings so far on vault, Bri Guy up now, great power on her yfull as always with a hop in place – very minor.

Obviously it’s going to be a work in progress for Lindenwood, and those first bars routine were roughsville, but I just saw something quite nice in the fifth position. Good for them. Two bars routines that should be solidly 9.7 in the final two positions. Arkinson finishes for Auburn with her 1.5, bent knees and a pretty sizable hop to the side.

Note: Oklahoma 49.500 on vault. 198 watch at home again?
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Clark has a step on her yfull for Alabama, but she usually sticks, so that’s a big of an under-performance. Hall goes on bars, has handstand issues which she always does and then sounds to have had an awkward landing. Sledge also hops on her vault, which can happen. She has more trouble controlling her power.

9.850 and 9.875 for Alabama in the first two, good scores for missed landings. Ranzy also had handstand problems with a step on dismount. Williams sticks yfull. How high can that go? 9.975. Stick for 10s, that appears to be the rule today.

Dickson falls on her jaeger, so they’ll be counting Hall’s 9.700. It won’t be that major bars score again. The scores have been covering up some weaknesses this year, even though LSU is much improved on bars.

Step from Sims on her yfull. Courville on bars, she usually has a very clean routine except for her shoot to the high bar, which is often a struggle. Sounds like a strong routine. 9.925 – same score as Priess. Beers also took a step for 9.925. One stick for Alabama so far, but a huge score coming. Milliner also takes a step on her 1.5. She has to work out that stick for this lineup to score well in the postseason. They need a 9.950 from her.

The final three routines for LSU save the bars rotation, so this will be a big score even counting the 9.700 from Hall. Alabama vaults a 49.525 after Milliner’s 9.875. Both teams are looking to go well into the 197s today. It’s extremely likely that Alabama passes LSU in the rankings now if they hit these last two rotations for 9.875s and the like.

LSU gets a 49.300 on bars, so at the halfway point we have LSU 98.900, Alabama 98.875
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Walker now for Auburn on bars is clean, some legs and a latish pirouette but a great stick on the DLO.

First final of the day: Kentucky 196.375, Bowling Green 192.700. Big score for Kentucky’s RQS. Low 49s on every event.

Like Walker, Atkinson is mostly clean, a couple of rushed handstands but a nice stick on the dismount. Petrina finishing for Auburn, love the difficulty in the pirouetting and transitions but she will get docked for being late – step on the double tuck. Solid routines in those last few spots.
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Frost leads off floor for Alabama today instead of Priess, has some lack of control on her DLO.
Wyrick has been added to the beam lineup at the last minute for LSU, sounds like a strong stick. Two scores over 9.8 in the first two positions is rather a big deal for LSU. Priess goes clean in the second position. 9.875.

Taylor having a struggle on beam, issue on full turn and major bend on straddle quarter. They’re messing with the lineup a bit, which is necessary given the recent struggles. 

Beers now on floor for Alabama. She has struggled in her routines so far this year and is the smart money choice to come out when Sledge comes back, but she does have stronger difficulty and will be useful if she gets the consistency down. Dismount – double back instead of double tuck, step but stays up. 9.875.

A few balance issues for Hall and a step on dismount. They’ve taken Dickson off beam, and the commentators said she looked pained after her bars fall. Was DeMeo’s routine called “so polished” “so solid” or “so college”? I couldn’t tell, and any of them could fit.

Courville hits her Arabian, has a wobble on her aerial, otherwise hit. The earlier scores were setting up for a huge score for Courville.
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Oklahoma will be fighting against a beam fall from Alexander. It’s a shame that she’s struggling lately because it’s such a fun routine with the flexibility in the center.
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Milliner has a major floor routine in the tumbling area. Balance checks from Jordan on beam but nothing major happening there. Hit beam rotation from LSU, which is very significant. Jacob finishes floor for Alabama. Sounds like Alabama has its strongest event of the day on floor, which was the case last week as well. 9.950 from Jacob, which gives Alabama a 49.500 – lower score than vault but that doesn’t always reflect quality.

After 3: Alabama 148.375, LSU 148.150
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Walker up fifth for Auburn on beam, wobble on front toss, again on the series, a little low on dismount with a step. A bit of a struggle but nothing major. They’re trying to drop a 9.675 on beam, and this will certainly score higher than that.

Final: Illinois 196.200, Missouri 194.125. Missouri can’t get out of that scoring funk, this time because of bars where they showed five routines, two of which were falls.

Atkinson for Auburn finishing up with a fair shot at making this the strongest event of the day so far. Clean through her acro skills but is well short on her double pike and falls. No major problem, though, and the rotation will skill go over 49.
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Milliner on beam has one check and a step on dismount. Wyrick in again for LSU and for Dickson, this time on floor – she was supposed to compete one event and is now competing three. Not completely controlled in the tumbling but a hit.

Big wobble for Clark on her sheep jump, otherwise hits with a step on the dismount. 9.800. Sounds like either a fall or a brush for Taylor in the second position for LSU, but she scores a 9.775 – so what happened there?

In Oklahoma, the Sooners got through beam after the fall with a 49.300, but it’s the lowest scoring event for them so far. The 198 is now quite unlikely, but the high 197 is still very likely.

Back in Louisiana, in our non-fall routines so far tonight, we’ve seen just two scores under 9.8, both 9.775s. Wobble for Kayla Williams on an under-done popa – step on 1.5 landing.

Mathis hits until a step and OOB on floor, not LSU’s day on floor, which is unexpected.9.625, so they’ll be counting two 9.775s so far. Alabama has been giving away wobbles on their routines, and now DeMeo had a great routine going until a fall on her dismount. 9.300.

Savona lacks a little control on her mount but otherwise hits. Jacob gets things back on track for Alabama with solid acro, hop on 1.5 dismount.

Must hits in the final positions for both teams, Courville does the job for 9.900, and now Priess on beam – ensures that DeMeo’s fall goes away and that the beam score will be strong and that both teams will go over 197. Jacob and Priess finish with 9.925 and 9.950. That ensures the Alabama victory.

All I can hear is screaming, so I assume Hall’s floor routine was a hit. Another home 10 for her. There wasn’t really a doubt if she hit given how the scoring was going tonight. The next challenge for her will be getting that kind of score on the road.

Final: Alabama 197.725, LSU 197.500
Season highs for both teams, which means that Alabama will move ahead of LSU in the rankings now that the Tide can count the previous 197.650. Alabama also moves ahead of Michigan for the time being, but Michigan is yet to compete this weekend.
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Bri Guy finishing fo Auburn on floor. They have a 9.650 here they’d like to drop. The DLO was very high to start and she controlled it well enough. Hit routine for her, so they will drop that low score and go into the mid 196s. Lindenwood finishes at 190.450, which is higher than their current RQS.

Oklahoma manages a 49.600 on floor with a 9.9 festival. (I cannot remember seeing this many high scores on floor in a season. Scores have been high all year on all events in all places, but floor stands out to me the most.) Oklahoma finishes with 197.875, their second-highest score of the season. Arizona will also go over 196.

Still waiting on that last score for Guy, but that does it for the day. I’ll be back tomorrow for the Georgia/Utah meet at 6:00 ET/3:00 PT. It should be a great one.

Auburn finishes with 196.400 after Guy’s 9.850.