Tag Archives: LSU

Super Six Live Blog

The final day has arrived, the day we crown a champion. We entered nationals weekend with Oklahoma and LSU, and it’s still Oklahoma and LSU (with a soupcon of Florida thrown in if they keep competing like that ridic vault rotation during the semifinal). The big question now is whether the LSU we met in the semifinal is going to show up again and make a real challenge against Oklahoma.

Here’s the rotation order:
Rotation 1 – UCLA vault, Alabama bars, Florida beam, Utah floor
Rotation 2 – Utah vault, Oklahoma bars, Alabama beam, LSU floor
Rotation 3 – LSU vault, UCLA bars, Oklahoma beam, Florida floor
Rotation 4 – Florida vault, Utah bars, UCLA beam, Alabama floor
Rotation 5 – Alabama vault, LSU bars, Utah beam, Oklahoma floor
Rotation 6 – Oklahoma vault, Florida bars, LSU beam, UCLA floor

Warmups are currently underway. We’re heading into the second rotation now. There’s not so much lineup suspense since we saw all of these teams yesterday, but I’ll let you know if something abnormal happens.

(“Abnormal for gymnastics, or abnormal for ordinary people?” you say here.)

Utah had Rowe do a little bit on vault but it looked like she may not be going?

As is typical, the warmup period day-of is 87% dancing, 11% practicing celebrating, 1% gymnastics, and 1%…bowling I think Florida?

Alex McMurtry basically has to warm up floor covered in couch cushions because her back is so not-even-having-a-back.

Rowe is in Utah’s released lineup for vault, so perhaps just taking it easy for the warmup. Alabama also has McNeer back in the third spot on beam, as originally announced yesterday before the swap.

UCLA also has Meraz in the floor lineup instead of Ross today. We’ll see if it lasts. Meraz is also in the beam lineup instead of Mossett. Mossett’s knee heavily taped.

Warmup is over, so we’ll be in a waiting period before intros now.

Intros beginning. Appropriate amount of flamethrowers. Understated, not Glasgow, but a good solid amount. Classy flamethrowers.

Rotation 1 – UCLA vault, Alabama bars, Florida beam, Utah floor

Here we go.

Baker – BB – hits series, major issue is a check on the split 1/2 but nothing else, sticks dismount.

Brannan – UB – catches jaeger, a little ebnt elbows – angle on the bail – slow gfinal handstand but hit vertically – small hop DLO

Roberts finishes 1.5 to layout to stag on floor, looked fine. 9.850s up for Baker. 9.825 for Brannan.

Mahoney a little short on a handstand and on her dismount, hop forward.

McLaughlin hits side aerial well – hop back gainer full.

Stumble backward from Reinstadler on opening floor pass, stays in but a coupel steps. Three judges went 9.850. Oh dear.

McNeer – UB – nice tkatchev – a little floppy in the bail – short final handstand – great stick on DLO.

hop forward 1.5 from Hall for UCLA.

Hundley – BB – secure loso with knee form – hits switch side – tight full turn but gets it – side aerial to full – not a super clean routine in form but secure.

Jetter falls on tkatcehv –

Lewis bounces back and OOB on floor. So…9.850? Chest way down final pass –

Kyla sticks full. Well, one Bruin showed up tonight.

Winston major hesitation on the low bar, has to improvise and recast with a very short handstand. Alabama will have to count the score. Not good news.

Gowey sticks gainer full.

Preston – VT – very short full with a lunge forward. She hasn’t been happy with her vaults all weekend and won’t be happy with that.

Merrell – OOB on piked full in – they already have a 9.6 from Lewis and cannot afford that.

One judge went 9.850 for Winston, which is criminal. No. What did you even watch? Nothing? Others are int he 9.4s and 9.5s that I’ve seen.

Saw the end from Gowey but missed a fall. 9.225. The end looked pretty….?

Boren – hits kickover front – secure loso series – very solid in this routine – she’s calm – one very small wave on the gainer loso is all – hits –

Bailey also has to take an extra swing on bars – a smaller error than Winston’s but Alabama imploded early – hop forward full out –

Utah counting a 9.6 on floor.

Rowe – FX – solid double pike – feet on split leap – secure second pass, a little ragged in leg form –

McMurtry – BB – excellent high kickover front – check on loso series – switch to hip circle – high 2/1 hop in place.

Florida endures beam.

49.000 for UCLA
48.8875 for Alabama and it could have been worse. Three mistakes in that rotation.

Skinner – FX – double double, Keeps front foot down – close your mouth please, MyKayla, we are not a codfish – not to 180 on split leap – 1.5 through to 2/1, smallest little bounce – small slide on tuck full as well, but best of the rotation by about 1000%. Still gets three 9.950s.

Florida 49.300
Utah 49.0625
UCLA 49.000
Alabama 48.8875

Florida did the job by getting through beam with a pretty reasonable score, but the other three did nothing to help their upset bids. Oklahoma and LSU will not be worried by anything that happened in that first rotation. They’ll enter the meet now.

Rotation 2 – Utah on vault, Oklahoma on bars, Alabama on beam, LSU on floor

And yes, Dana Duckworth is wearing a cape. Because of course she is. DD is wearing Tiger #34B.

Ewing – FX – small slide forward on front 2/1 but keeps back foot down – front full to layout – step back on double pike, stumbles around to try to keep herself in bounds but couldn’t save it in the end. OOB.

Capps – UB – good full position and usual tkatchev – just a touch of angle in the air on that bail – maybe a little tight starting the meet but only a little on that last handstand – sticks tuck full, good start.

Roberts a little short on her full with a step forward.

Catour – UB – strong Ray – solid bail as well – muscles up final hs a tad – sticks the DLO, just a small lean to keep the stick.

Zamardi – FX – bounce forward on double arabian but stays in – a bounce/stumble on her double pike

Breaking news: Aja Sims can leap –

Dowell – UB – great Ray – precise hs – a little angle on bail – better final hs it appeared from this angle – PERFECT double layout dismount – great shape and stuck –

Utah not getting the landings on vault.

It’s a fall from McNeer on beam. She looked off from the start.

Hambrick – FX – DLO, usual second salto but controls it, small bounce – great leaps, extended and completely finished – slide back on double pike – better, but LSU not as good as yesterday on floor.

Great extension from Lehrmann on her jaeger – sticks tuck full – tremendous routine – befitting a national champ, so little to take.

Skinner’s DTY – a bit larger on the bounce back than she has been lately –

Small amount of bent elbows from Wofford on her jaeger – angle on the bail and short final hadnstand – another great tuck full, but not her most precise on the bars. Scores have still been exactly what Oklahoma wants.

Large check for Desch on beam and a fall. Alabama counting a beam fall now. NOT Alabama’s day, nearly from the start.

Finnegan – GORGEOUS opening pass to 2.5, just I can’t even – very secure double tuck as well, you could say a little deep? just very very little – strong double pike – that’s more like it for LSU.

Nichols – UB – strong Ray – lovely pak to toe to toe shap, nailed – I see one handstand but nothing else, stuck DLO. Oklahoma is here.

9.9500 for Nichols. Advantage OU. LSU needs at LEAST 9.925 from Kelley and Gnat now.

Kelley – FX – good DLo, chest a touch low but only a touch – nails open full in, pretty much ideal – split leap, usual but gets the tuck jump around completely – front tuck through to double back, with a slide, dances out to avoid anything more than a slide.

YOU GUYS. MCKENNA KELLEY IS MARY LOU’S DAUGHTER.

Kelley gets three 9.950s and three 9.850s. 9.950 though? LEAPS DON’T EXIST.

Gnat – FX – fab DLO as always, did bounce just a touch – 2.5 to front tuck, strong and excellent – short on double pike with a lunge forward – WHAT – very un-Gnat. Basically the weakest double pike she’s done in maybe three years.

DEAD that a judge went 9.950 for that. DEAD.

After 2:
Utah 98.1250
Alabama 97.5125
Oklahoma 49.5875
LSU 49.3250
Florida 49.3000
UCLA 49.0000

Advantage Oklahoma after one event. I thought that Oklahoma bars rotation was actually a little weaker than yesterday’s, but still excellent and crisp. Lehrmann, you guys. LSU struggled at the beginning of that floor lineup, and I would say Finnegan is really the onely one who truly shone. Kelley was also solid, but Gnat missed a landing short, which is ridiculous, and we had some landing and OOB issues at the beginning. They need to pick up some ground on their best event now, but can’t vault with the idea of making up tenths. That’s where weak landings come from.

Really disappointed in how weak Alabama’s performance has been. Already eliminated themselves from contention a third of the way through the meet.

LSU got a usable score out of floor, but not as big as they would have hoped/expected, and after Utah’s opening OOBs, the curse of starting on floor in Super Six (for teams that aren’t Alabama) continues.

Rotation 3 – LSU vault, UCLA bars – Oklahoma beam, Florida floor

Hop back from Finnegan on vault – McLaughlin lands a touch short on front 2/1 but no biggie – split leap could be a little more split – better rudi landing – 1.5 to layout, very crisp.

Meraz falls on Ray. Jones hits beam –

Large stumble backward from Hambirck on her 1.5 – multiple steps. Shame. She was struggling more than yesterday during warmups as well.

Lerhmann – BB – pretty full turn – hits aerial – small adjustment on switch side – secure loso series – straddle 1/4, good – step on 1.5

Slocum had a couple very small slides landing two of her passes. Honest hits bars, one short handstand

Ewing – VT – two small steps back, a usable score but not as strong as her semifinal vault. Theme so far.

Catour – BB – second half – hits switch side – clean aerial, small adjustment – sticks gainer pike

Harrold – VT – awesome 1.5. She’s here today, one of her best this season, small step forward and some knees –

Hundley slides on whip double tuck – lunge forward out of second pass – nice leap amplitude on that straddle jump – secure, lowish double pike.

Edney – VT – a little short with a step back as well. So many of them performed better in the semi on these first two events.

I also see you, floor judge who gave Hundley 9.900.

Kocian – UB – stalder shap to pak, clean – usual leg breaks and a very short final handstand, weird, but makes it up by FINALLY sticking that dismount. 9.9375 is because Kocian and because stick. I guess.

Gnat – VT – bounce back on DTY, but better than yesterday.

McMurtry – FX – usual 3/1 – sticks front full second pass – a little indistinct on that wolf jump 1/1 landing, but it won’t be taken – strong high double tuck.

Ross very clean on bars, small step on DLO. Should be a strong total as well.

One judge gives McMurtry a 10. Four 9.950s and a 9.900. I’m with the 9.900 judge because of course I am, but it was a very strong routine.

Nichols – BB – aerial to beat jump, excellent – secure loso series, better than yesterday – great split jump – sticks double tuck – (no punch front today?) – superior routine, very little to take.

Boren hitting her usual floor routine, nails double tuck. Should be a strong score.

Peng was fantastic on bars until DLO, lands short and a lunge forward into salute.

Nichols gets a 10 on beam. Told you very little to take. First Super Six 10 since Zamarripa on vault I believe. (that’s right about Dabritz as well!)

Capps – BB – lovely loso series, even better than usual – full turn, smooth – great aerial to scale, nailed – switch to straddle 1/4, maybe the smallest of adjustments on that, maybe – sticks gainer full – excellent. One 10 for Capps. The rest 9.950s.

Baker – FX – strong Dos Santos – almost sticks the double tuck, thought she had but ends up a with a little bounce – fantastic final pass. Yes.

One 10 for Baker. Mostly 9.900s. Clearly, the floor judges are passing the crack because it’s a different one each time.

Oklahoma 99.2875
Florida 98.8000
LSU 98.6250
UCLA 98.4375
Utah 98.1250
Alabama 97.5125

LSU wasn’t poor on either vault or floor, but they did not perform nearly as well as yesterday on either and need a comeback on the remaining events. The judges have proven willingness to go into the 9.9s there. Kind of a lot. So it could happen. Strong start for Florida, but they’ll still need to vault as well as they did yesterday here.

Rotation 4 – Florida vault, Utah bars, UCLA beam, Alabama floor

Hundley – VT – good stick on her full – some legs and not the distance of others, but pretty much her peak full –

Skinner has a small handstand arch on her bail – a touch short on final hs – sticks dismount –

Alexander – VT – small hop back on full –

Gerber – BB – good wolf (I mean, relative…) – aerialt o split jump, clean, hits 180 – check on loso series –

reinstadtler a little short on early handstands, better later – hop forward on dismount.

Baker – VT – strong 1.5, hop back, some knees, but minor errors both.

Merrell hits deltchev well, one of her better ones on the season – muscles up final hs, small hop on double tuck, but solid overall –

Boren lands very short on 1.5 – a stumble back with a couple steps, just like Hambrick. Uncharacteristic for Boren.

UCLA deciding that Mossett has one more beam routine in those legs after all, and it pays off with a hit.

Slocum a hop back on vault but not too too big. She stuck hers in the warmup and it was tremendous.

McMurtry – VT – small hop on the DTY this time, but otherwise as fantastic as always. But, Florida needed to vault as well as yesterday and did not –

Baely Rowe awfully clean on bars, one of her stronger sets.

Kocian – BBB – aerial to sheep, small adjustment out of sheep but good shapes – hits loso series – tentative on full turn, I’d call that a check – switch and split, strong – bounce back on 2/1. I’d call Kocians beam work this year fragile, and that one fit the theme. One judge still went 9.9. K.

In better news for Alabama, Ktie Bailey’s double arabian was excellent –

Kari Lee short on final bars handstand and just barely stands up her dismount with a couple lunges back.

Ross – BB – nails loso series, elite career style – large check on switch ring and does not connect to beat – aerial, clean – switch to split to get her leaps, split a little eh – side aerial to stuck full. One judge goes 9.900.

Good one from Aja Sims. Her opening double pike was quite secure.

Peng – BB – magical flares – leaps, pristine and perfection – nails bhs layout – very controlled on the double turn as well! – side aerial to an alllllmost stuck full. A little slide. Now we don’t have to complain about a Peng bonus! That deserves all the bonus. OK, well maybe we complain a little. Another 10. She didn’t really stick that dismount, but on the beam, there was nothing to take.

Winston – FX – excellent doulbe lay – maybe a little slide on second pass but not much if any, nails double tuck. Where was this routine quality two rotations ago?

Ohashi – BB – aerial to bhs, secure and smooth – a pragmatic choice enforced by injury but one that will get the scores – hits her leaps – comfortable full turn – bhs loso to stuck full. Another completely secure set. Very little to take again. The Bruins were a little eh, but Peng and Ohashi were far from eh.

Only one judge goes 10 for this one. 9.950s from the rest. Used them up on Peng?

After 3:
Florida 148.1625
UCLA – 147.9250
Utah 147.4375
Alabama 146.8375
Oklahoma 99.2875
LSU 98.6250

UCLA will be very happy with the way this meet is going. Florida gave up a little too much ground with that vault rotation. 49.3s is still strong, but like LSU, it’s a “wish it had been yesterday’s rotation” situation.

Rotation 5 – Alabama vault, LSU bars, Utah beam, Oklahoma floor

Childers – VT – near stick, just a lean, good full

Zamardi – UB – one shortish hs early – solid on shap and pak – step forward double front – good, but not her most precise in the hs

Jones – FX – 2.5 to punch front comfortable – 15 to layout, just a small bounce in place – some feet and bounciness on leaps, down to choreo – solid double pike. 9.900s are a little enthusiastic for that, but that’s what landing control will do for you.

Strong vault from armbrecht

Hambrick – UB – excellent opening hs to Ray – giant full a little rushed, great vertical in her bail – hop back tuck full.

Hop back from Winston on vault, great amplitude

Merrell with a check on an aerial –

Brown – FX – just a bounce in place on the front 2/1 – strong second – her side-long loso continues to be what dreams are made of – excellent rudi, stuck, legs together.

Harrold – UB – toe shap 1/2 good – one arches hs but saved it – close catch on jaeger – step back double front – good – a couple places to take.

Edney – UB – hindorff to fingertips but good catch – clean bail – one shortish hs – step back DLO. Again, good but not perfect, and that’s where they’re losing out to Oklahoma tonight.

hop forward for Guerrero on 1.5.

Dowell – FX – a little short landing her double front but does well to save it into a stag – much better on the leaps than she was earlier in the season – solid landings overall on remaining passes.

Finnegan – gorgeous on the Rayu and bail – shoot up to high – good DLO – a thing here and there, but Finnegan delivers another event –

McNeer 15 with a hop forward. Her last routine, and this is when the tears begin. And now everyone on the team is crying.

Priessman tkatche vto bail – her usual, where you’re like “how are you hitting this but you are” leg break on the pak and a hop back on the DLO. They haven’t stuck these dismounts and needed to.

Capps – FX – does the DLO and it’s excellent, chest up and landing secure – I’m going to miss her floors – is it OK if I start Keely McNeering now? – 1.5 to layout, stuck – controls rudi. Excellent floor.

Baely Rowe falls on her loso series on beam.

Nichols – FX – strong landing on piked full in – keeps front foot down on 2/1 – switch ring to split leap full, showing people how to hit 180 – small slide back on double pike, but another big hit. One 10, the rest 9.950. Honestly fine with 9.950 for that one.

McNatt – BB – check on sheep jump – leg up wobble on aerial – redoing the skill, gets the connection this time. Check on y spin – chalk blow – sticks dismount very well –

Jackson – FX – open full in and bounces out of it again today like yesterday – front full, dances a little – excellent amplitude on straddle – opens out of her double pike, you know like you do – small slide. Still gets a bunch of 9.950s. Like, is bouncing out of a pass not even a thing now? Or just we love her choreography so much that deductions don’t exist? OK.

After 5:
Utah 196.5875
Alabama 196.0000
Oklahoma 148.9000
Florida 148.1625
LSU 148.0125
UCLA 147.9250

Oklahoma. The end. With a lead of over 7 tenths heading to the final rotation over the closest contender. Oklahoma barely even has to be meh.

Rotation 6 – Oklahoma vault, Florida bars, LSU beam, UCLA floor

We though this rotation was going to be the big fight between Oklahoma and LSU didn’t we?

Boren – UB – good tkatchev and following hs – leg break in the bail – one short hs hop forward on DLO

Only the smallest bounce in place on the Marks vault. Remember that time I though Lehrmann should be in the lineup over her? Ooops.

Good thing ESPN is showing Macadaeg on beam, otherwise we wouldn’t know what to do – good switch leaps – hits loso series, stuck gainer full. Macadaeg things.

Capps a hop back on vault and a touch off line, not as strong as yesterday.

Chant falls on tkatchev.

DeGouveia – VT – hop forward on 1.5 – good direction – some knees.

Gowey – Ub – good Ray – clean pak – a little short on half turn on low – sticks DLO, strong routine –

Hambrick hitting beam, maybe one check – sticks 2/1

Small hop forward fro Dowell on vault. Good 1.5.

Ohashi lands final double pike quite short with a lunge forward.

Baker – UB – good ray – clean bail, legs together and vertical – hop back on double front but hit

Jackson – VT – very good 1.5, quite a small hop on landing – excellent height and direction. It’s a 9.950 too.

Ewing sticks 1.5 with a lean after another beam hit.

Nichols – VT – sticks a 1.5. Pretty excellent way to clinch the championship – and if they gave Jackson 9.950…….Only two 10s. The rest 9.950s. Only two 10s. Like a loser.

Hundley clean on bars until a final short handstand – leans to hold stick on tuck full.

Oklahoma done and made entirely of tears.

Scores going ridic on pretty much all the events right now. The judges are tooooo excited.

Cipra finishes strong double pike.

McMurtry – Ub – great Ray, one of her good ones – clean bail, very precise – sticks tuck full – excellent routine. Will be another big score.

EVERYONE gives a 10 to McMurtry because McMurtry feelings. Edney gets all the 9.950s even though, leap? That straddle?

It’s almost like the beam judges aren’t even aware that the meet is already over and are trying to make themselves the story anyway.

Finnegan – BB – good loso series – switch to switch 1/2 – hits side somi – please do gymnastics for the rest of my life – side aerial to stuck full. Well, if you were giving out the 9.950s like candy already… 10s from some of the judges. 9.975 total.

Kocian – FX – front 2/1, a little under this time but not bad – finishes with a good double pike, chest down.

Gnat – BB – nailing her acro – switch to straddle 1/4 good – switch side, secure – hits loso series – hop back 2/1. Excellent.

Ross – FX – excellent double tuck – only the smallest lside on the a double pike – switch side to straddle, better than whatever she did yesterday… – struggles on final pass, just gets it around –

Scratch that about Mossett! Good! I thought we were one routine farther than we were. Mossett still to go to finish the meet.

LSU uses Gnat’s 9.950 to move just ahead of Florida after 49.725 on beam (the beam scores today, you guys…….) and the fans are celebrating that like it was a title.

Mossett – FX – appropriate final routine to be the only one going to finish the meet – fitting – whip to double tuck – strong landing – the OU team is really getting into Mossett’s routine, which is easy to do when you’ve just won – phenomenal leaps – smallest slide on double pike, but great.

Oklahoma getting trophy now – they’re kind of happy. But just a little. A touch.

FINAL:
1. Oklahoma 198.3875 (record)
2. LSU 197.7375
3. Florida 197.7000
4. UCLA 197.2625
5. Utah 196.5875
6. Alabama 196.000

Damn, I almost got the placement of the top six right in my preseason rankings. I just had Alabama ahead of Utah.

Teams finishing 1, 3, and 4 will be pretty happy with their performances. UCLA wasn’t really ever going to do better than 4th until they get some vaults. Florida started extremely well, and will rue not vaulting as well as yesterday, but still a very strong meet. No one was going to catch Oklahoma the way Oklahoma competed tonight. LSU could have come the closest, but they didn’t get the vault and floor landings from yesterday.

Honestly, biggest surprise to me was Alabama’s implosion.

Oklahoma was just ridiculous tonight. Their best meet of the season, and they’ve had some good ones.

Trophy presentations now. Or well, little buttons? Or whatever the fifth and sixth teams get? Thank you for your service?

Nice moments between the UCLA fans and the Oklahoma team. They’re like, “We get each other.”

The top four teams get mini-trophies. No buttons or whatever.

Oh goody, now we’re all covered in confetti. Imagine how much this thrills me.

McKenzie Wofford dropped the trophy. We see you.

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National Semifinals Live Blog

The day has arrived, when twelve become six and you become vaguely emotionally unhinged again.

LIVE SCORES – SEMIFINAL 1
LIVE SCORES – SEMIFINAL 2
LIVE STREAMS Continue reading National Semifinals Live Blog

National Championship Preview Part 4: Super Six

I always hesitate to do a Super Six preview at this point because…well…we don’t actually know who’s going to be competing in Super Six or what sort of catastrophes may transpire in the semifinal to alter our view of what might happen, but as it stands, I don’t think the setup is dramatically different than we thought it would be heading into the season.

The first-tier favorites are Oklahoma and LSU. Oklahoma’s route to victory is through superior scores on bars (the Sooners’ 0.160 edge over LSU in the bars rankings is the largest for either team on any event) and the overall control and pristine execution of dance elements on beam and floor. Both teams are excellent on beam and floor, but it has been the Sooners’ precision that has put them ahead of LSU in the rankings on both events for most of the season.

If LSU were to win, it would be far from a major upset, but I still would characterize it as an upset. If it happens, it begins on vault. LSU has a giant collection of 1.5s, but the strength of the lineup is not just the 1.5s (even though they garner the most attention). LSU’s early-lineup fulls are the most stick-likely fulls in the competition, which can be just as much of an asset. In fact, LSU’s early-lineup scores are a critical potential advantage across most of the events, where they’ll hope to be rewarded for bigger floor routines to start the rotation and where no other team can match the quality of their first two beam routines. Oklahoma has the edge in the later-lineup beam routines, so LSU will need to gain a scoring advantage on those early routines and also use them to drive up the scores of the later sets. Continue reading National Championship Preview Part 4: Super Six

National Championship Preview Part 2: Eastern Semifinal

The evening semifinal is shaping up to be the juicier and more uncertain of the two. While the first semifinal has three favorites and three challengers waiting to see if it’s a sloppy meet (which it will be), the second semifinal defies classification when it comes to the middle seeds. Really only the qualification of Nebraska, the most mid-196y of the teams in this semifinal, would constitute a true surprise or upset.

April 14, 7:00 CT

Teams (starting event)
[1] LSU (bye before floor)
[2] Florida (vault)
[3] Alabama (floor)
[4] Michigan (bye before bars)
[5] Georgia (beam)
[6] Nebraska (bars)

Individuals
Mollie Korth, Kentucky, AA (rotating w/ LSU)
Briannah Tsang, Penn State, AA (rotating w/ Florida)
Alex Hyland, Kentucky, AA (rotating w/ Michigan)
Zaakira Muhammad, West Virginia, AA (rotating w/ Alabama)
Sabrina Garcia, Penn State, AA (rotating w/ Georgia)
Cami Drouin-Allaire, George Washington, AA(rotating w/ Nebraska)
Denelle Pedrick, Central Michigan, VT (rotating w/ LSU)
Elizabeth Price, Stanford, UB (rotating w/ Florida)
Katy Clements, Central Michigan, BB (rotating w/ Michigan)
Chelsea Raineri, George Washington, VT (rotating w/ Georgia)
Desiree Palomares, Cal, BB, (rotating w/ Florida)

LSU
LSU enters the first day of competition as the Oklahoma of the second semifinal, the team that really should qualify to Super Six barring any kind of 2015-style “the freshman LOST HER MIND” moment. The Tigers did, however, score a low-for-them 197.450 at regionals without counting a fall—which is cause for some vague concern about what would happen if they did count a fall—but the overall scoring potential is too high to see LSU being vulnerable without multiple and significant mistakes. LSU would have to give qualification away. No one is going to take it from them.

A flew blips did crop up in that regionals 197.450, and fairly unexpected ones. Aside from a bit of a flopsy-daisy in the middle of the beam lineup, LSU did not perform as well on vault as we would expect, an event that must not only be an asset but a win at nationals if LSU is to take the championship. At regionals, Harrold didn’t go—Cannamela’s full replaced her—and LSU ended up counting a couple lowish 9.8s. That would be fine even if replicated in this semifinal (because Gnat, because Edney) but wouldn’t be enough to give LSU the necessary advantage in Super Six. Something to watch. Continue reading National Championship Preview Part 2: Eastern Semifinal

Nebraska Regional Preview

Next stop, Nebraska. Or, as it should more accurately be known, the Air Force Regional of Nebraska, starring Air Force.

Let’s just get through that nonsense so we can talk about the actual competition. Because of a geographical quirk, Air Force is the only (non-DIII) team in the North Central region that did not qualify a full team to regionals. That means Air Force was the only team eligible to receive individual spots here and qualified the whole competition roster, including a gymnast for beam who didn’t even make her own team’s postseason beam lineup but had an RQS from earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, gymnasts like Lindsay Lemke (Michigan State, 9.845 RQS on UB), Jordyn Penny (Ball State, 9.840 RQS on UB), India McPeak (Bowling Green, 9.825 RQS on BB), Kayla Rose (Bowling Green, 9.850 RQS on FX), Kaitlyn Menzione (Ball State, 9.850 RQS on FX), Katey Oswalt (Lindenwood, 9.825 RQS on FX), Erin Alderman (TWU, 9.845 RQS on FX), and Anna Martucci (Northern Illinois, 9.845 RQS on FX) didn’t qualify to regionals only because their schools are located close to other schools and for no reason related to gymnastics at all. Almost like this system should be fixed…

The NC region is always sparse, but typically either Iowa State doesn’t qualify and sends a bunch of individuals as well, or the DIII sides qualify people to mix things up. But this year, Iowa State is going as a team and DIII nationals conflicts with regionals (what is WRONG with everyone?), so the DIII schools can’t send anyone.

Anyway, rant over. To the competition.

April 1, 2017 – 5:00 ET/2:00 PT

Teams (starting event)
[2] LSU (bars)
[11] Boise State (vault)
[14] Nebraska (bye before floor)
[25] Arizona (bye before bars)
[29] Iowa State (beam)
[36] Minnesota (floor)

Individuals
Mariana Murphy, Air Force (AA)
Kara Witgen, Air Force (AA)
Anna Salamone, Air Force (VT, UB)
Riley Hill, Air Force (VT, BB)
Jamie Lewis, Air Force (VT, UB, FX)
Darby Germain, Air Force (UB, FX)
Brittney Reed, Air Force (UB, BB, FX)
Rita Koenigbauer, Air Force (BB)
Chelsea Grimison, Air Force (BB)
Casey Bell, Air Force (FX)

The favorite – LSU
LSU occupies an identical position as Oklahoma when it comes to regionals, placed in what should be a very competitive meet but so much stronger than the other teams that it’s going to be a cakewalk, barring a multiple-fall disaster. All things mirroring the regular season, LSU will expect to be about a point clear of the peloton.

Like Oklahoma’s vaulting, LSU’s bars is a strong lineup that nonetheless looks like it could give away valuable tenths in the title hunt, at least in its current state. It has also been LSU’s lowest event score the last four meets in a row, so stepping up the precision on the difficult landings (Zamardi, Harrold) and the form (Harrold, Priessman) will be a critical development looking toward nationals on an event that doesn’t have to be the biggest score but still needs to be over 49.4.

Floor should be right there with the other very top teams, but LSU is spoiled for choice and still has some decisions to make about that lineup. Do you go with the big routine from Edney or play the execution card with Finnegan? (Or go with Priessman if she’s OK again, but it’s unlikely to be worth the risk.) It’s one of those decisions where they’ll probably be fine either way, but it will be revealing about how risk-averse/risk-embracing they’re feeling. Continue reading Nebraska Regional Preview

SEC Championship Preview

The arrival of the conference championships marks the beginning of the onset of the opening of the first stage of an NCAA gymnastics season’s march toward maturity, like a disgusting larva transforming into a slightly less disgusting larva.

Results still don’t really matter, but this is the last time results won’t matter. And that’s something. Also blah blah blah, bragging rights. The SEC coaches are always eager to tell us that winning the SEC Championship is harder than winning the national championship, which is just blatantly false and dumb to say, but also…a trophy? Hooray! Winner and losers! Life is happening!

Here, I break down prospects for victory and what I’ll be watching at the SEC Championship for each of the teams.

The championship will be conducted in two sessions, the first at 2:00 ET and featuring Kentucky, Missouri, Auburn, and Arkansas, and the second at 6:00 ET and featuring LSU, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Teams will compete in seeded order in each session, so LSU and Kentucky begin on vault, Florida and Missouri on bars, Alabama and Auburn on beam, and Georgia and Arkansas on floor.

Session I – Kentucky, Missouri, Auburn, Arkansas
It’s not impossible to get a high score out of the first session. Last season, Georgia totaled 196.850 even with a mild beamtastrophe. Jay, Rogers, Box, and Schick all hit the 9.9 zone on at least one piece, and Jay scored high enough to finish third overall in the AA. So, there is precedent for a useful total.

At the same time, since the SEC went to a two-session format, no team has hit the 197 mark in the first group. With regional seeding and placements riding on how Kentucky and Missouri score in this meet, attempts to hold down the scores in the first session to leave room for the better teams in the second session (reasonable) will have implications for all the teams in the final season standings, not just the teams in this meet. Continue reading SEC Championship Preview

Friday Live Blog – March 10, 2017

Friday, March 10
Scores Watch
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [22] West Virginia @ [3] Florida LINK SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Towson @ NC State LINK ACC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Ball State @ Kent State LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Temple @ William & Mary LINK FB
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Winona State @ UW-Eau Claire LINK
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – UW-La Crosse @ Gustavus Adolphus LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [12] Kentucky @ [15] Missouri LINK SEC+
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Pitt @ [20] Auburn LINK SEC+
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – San Jose State, Centenary @ Arkansas LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Lindenwood @ Illinois State FREE
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – New Hampshire @ [2] LSU LINK SEC+
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – Iowa State @ [6] Alabama LINK SEC+
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [8] Denver @ [10] Boise State LINK FREE
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [21] Southern Utah @ [23] Utah State LINK FREE
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Arizona @ BYU LINK FREE
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Sacramento State, Bridgeport @ Arizona State LINK FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Air Force @ UC Davis LINK FB

Today is made for bopping around from meet to meet as they become interesting (or the opposite of that). West Virginia/Florida is the primary meet starting off the slate, but keep an eye on the scores coming from Ball State and Towson as well. Both teams are teetering on the edge of falling out of regionals contention but could save themselves with mid-195s today and remain in  contention on the final weekend.

Here is our key group:

With those mid-195s, Towson and Ball State would move up to the 194.9 territory. It’s still out, but it’s at least within striking distance. Arizona State is in action later on and in a similar position, but what’s really hurting their chances is a low road score, which can’t be dropped until Pac-12s. To give themselves a chance at Pac-12s, though, they’ll need another good beating-Arizona-level 195 today. Continue reading Friday Live Blog – March 10, 2017

Sunday Live Blog – March 5, 2017

Sunday, March 5
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Brown, Yale @ New Hampshire LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Rutgers @ Central Michigan LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Penn State, Bridgeport, West Chester @ Penn LINK Ivy $
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Western Michigan @ Ball State LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Brockport @ Ursinus
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Southern Connecticut @ Springfield
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [6] Alabama @ [8] Georgia LINK SEC
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [16] George Washington, [24] Eastern Michigan, Pitt @ West Virginia LINK FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Bowling Green @ Michigan State LINK BTN+
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – TWU @ Lindenwood LINK FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Air Force @ SEMO LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – [17] Washington @ [9] Oregon State LINK P12
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Arizona State @ [23] Arizona P12
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – [20] Illinois, Northern Illinois, Illinois-Chicago @ Illinois State FREE
3:30 ET/12:30 PT – [3] Florida @ [2] LSU LINK SEC
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [19] Cal @ [4] UCLA LINK P12
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [22] Utah State @ San Jose State LINK FREE
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Centenary @ Alaska LINK FREE

Alabama/Georgia. The old favorite. Kind of weird that it’s the opening act now. Suzanne in a random cocktail dress for old times sake?

Thanks for the info about the time for UCLA/Cal. That’s very annoying. They had it scheduled perfectly and then changed it after the original schedule release just to make things worse for all of us.

I enjoy that they’re still calling this Friday Night Heights. The Wednesday Afternoon Fine Arts League meets on Thursdays.

Rotation 1:
Broussard – VT – full – great dynamics and shape, lands a little deep and a hop back. 9.800.

Sims – UB – toe on to Ray, strong catch – legs on bail and throughout – one iffy handstand – whips out DLO, deep landing and a bound forward. 9.850.

Beth Roberts strep throat. Out.

Reynolds – VT – Good choice, nice stick on the full – pretty much, bounce in place – flat off the table.

Mahoney – UB – toe shap, good legs but doesn’t get up to horizontal on the back swing – very clean bail, excellent vertical – also deep and squatty in her tuck full landing with a large step to the side. 9.875.

Scores going high early, particularly bars. We would expect nothing less.

Johnson – VT – excellent dynamics and layout position, small hop.

Jetter – UB – Ray, high but close, the usual  – strong bail positions – double front, third deep landing in a row, with a hop back.

Marino – VT – she brings back the 1.5! Necessary for the postseason – hop forward, some legs at the end. 9.800.

Keely McNeer was in a car accident on Thursday! Broken pinkie.

Childers – UB – shap to bail – some legs – late on a 1/2 turn into the dismount but she does pull out the stick, which no one else had done.

Dickson – VT – excellent full, sticks – leans back to salute, not showing control on the stick – a little off to the side but not too much to take.

We missed Winston on bars. “THEY’RE USUALLY SUPPOSED TO WAIT FOR OUR CUE.”

Snead – VT – NEARLY sticks her 1.5, just a small shuffle forward – excellent form and direction. Strong vault.

Winston got 9.925 for the routine we missed.

Bailey – UB – fantastic Jaeger – holds a perfectly vertical bail on bars – hitting casts – full out, hop back. Good one.

After 1: Alabama 49.400, Georgia 49.275
Actually thought the scores were appropriate for Georgia on vault. It looked like they were going high early, but that was fine. I didn’t really think Alabama was appropriately docked for the first three gymnasts having quite weak dismounts, but Bailey did very well. Of course we missed Winston, the best score in the lineup.

DANA AND DANNA ARE SUCH GOOD FRIENDS. Alright, Kyla and McKayla.

“We’ve had quite a…interesting time already.” Holly gets us.

Apparently the winner of Florida and LSU will win the SEC “regular season championship.” Translation: literally nothing.

Ha! I didn’t even notice that they said metatarsal. I would have enjoyed making fun of that!

It wasn’t an all-time program low for Georgia. Just lowest in a long time.

Rotation 2:
Childers – VT – “thrown into the fire” that must hurt – good stick on her full coming into the lineup – not the most distance and clear piking throughout, so it won’t get the huge score, but didn’t give anything away on landing.

Reynolds – UB – catches Jaeger – good pak as well – hitting her handstands, last one questionable – holds the sticks on the DLO, a little squat. Good one. She has some moments of feet in there, but near her peak.

Armbrecht – VT – also good control on her landing, small shuffle forward. Also lacks some of the distance and extension of the others, but good landing.

Sanders – UB – hecht mount – arches up first handstand with loose great – strong distance on piked jaeger – some legs, not quite vertical on bail – stalder to double tuck, “sticks” but has to lean enough to hold the stick that it’s no different than a step –

Winston – VT – fab height and shape, but she doesn’t have the stick with a hop back.

Johnson – UB – hecht mount for her as well – shortish early handstands – high gienger as usual but some legs – bail – short final cast – hop forward on the DLO, not a big hop but that’s the highlight of the routine so they want a stick there from her.

“Up to a five-tenth deduction” LOLOOLOLOLOL.

Guerrero – VT – one of her stronger 1.5s. Very good landing, basically a stick. Mushy knees throughout.

Snead – UB – Tkatchev, smooth, not the biggest – holds the handstand on the bail but does arch it, good save – not her most precise set – sticks the DLO well, small pike down at the end but a great landing.

Bailey – VT – a hop forward on the Y1/2 this time, so not the stick from last week – small hop and excellent shape in the air.

Dickson – UB – good height on tkatchev, close catch though – solid overshoot – ooo very short final cast hs – squatty landing on DLO, tries to sell the stick but it wasn’t, with a step back to salute.

Desch – VT – sticks a 1.5! Her best vault of the season – serious leg form throughout the vault, but that’s a fab landing.

Schick – UB – nice piked jaeger – fractured thumb and is like…I’m still doing bars what – clean on bail – forward on the DLO landing with a hop –

After 2: Georgia 98.700, Alabama 98.675
Scoring-wise, I thought the standard maintained of realistic scoring on vault and highly unrealistic scoring on bars. Close one, which is fun, but some real gifts handed out on bars there. Georgia’s bars landings were stronger than Alabama’s, but Alabama was cleaner on the bars in the handstand department this time, which Georgia missing some in several routines.

Kupets all bragging about Baby and Hot Husband. Baby is on Suzanne’s lap. Uh oh. Is she going to put her in the fat group? Suzanne is def giving that baby extra morning workouts.

Dana Duckworth’s wisdom of the week: “Absorb. Sell.”

Rotation 3:
I’m sure Maddie Desch is enjoying that closeup right now.

Vega – BB – smallest lean working out of loso series but nothing – aerial to beat jump – side somi with a couple significant swims to save it – strong leaps – side aerial to full, stuck.

Trend: commentators not knowing what anchoring the lineup is.

Guerra – FX – solid double tuck – 1.5 to layout to stag, the stag covers up the lack of control ont he landing, but it was there – strong height on leaps – a little chest on double pike but controlled.

Sanders – BB – hits loso series, a little tight – switch side, crooked – overturns her full turn and makes it a 1.25 turn – hits that standing front tuck to beat, very very deep on landing but hit – punch front full, small hop.

Childers – FX – nails full in, good control, chest but well controlled – facial expression city – front tuck to 2/1 – split jump 1.5 to split 1/2, good 180s – rudi to double stag, flatish but fine.

Dickson – BB – switch to split 1/4, tight on that split position and then a wobble landing it – secure on loso series – aerial to beat – bhs 1.5 with a hop forward.

Desch – FX – solid double arabian, she has worked that pass out, it still looks like she’s going to butt-a-arabian it every time, but no trouble on the landing – 1.5 to half to split to front tuck – switch ring and split full, pulls that around – double tuck, chest.

Broussard – BB – one-armed bhs to loso – switch to split 1/4, tight back leg, which often happens on the 1/4 – I agree with Kupets about the SEC regular season champion, that’s nothing – falls on side aerial. Oh, Broussard.

Bailey – FX – solid landing on the double arabian, small squattiness – front lay to front full, good height – switch ring to split full, short on split full it appeared from this angle – rudi a little slide.

Babalis – BB – aerial to loso series, hit – switch to split, hits 180s – check on full turn – kickover front to beat, another check – punch layout full, some knees and a hop/slide on landing, tiny.

Winston – FX – DLO, high, laid out, controlled well – front lay to front full – switch ring and switch 1/2, awesome – nails double tuck. Strongest routine of the lineup so far.

Schick – BB – check on loso series but keeps it minor – aerial to split 1/4, not the quickest combination but individual execution is good – switch with a check – adds split to wolf – side aerial, another small check – gainer full.

Sims – FX – large lunge back out of the double pike this time – switch and split, excellent – 1.5 to front lay, whips around that front lay, barely, doesn’t get the punch – she’s off on her tumbling today – double tuck was better. Still 9.825. Somehow.

Yay! Love that Danna is explaining the problem with Schick’s score to the viewing audience. Don’t be afraid to get technical. Also she’s like, “we’ll see what the judges do…” Yeah, they need to start her from 9.8. That’s what they’ll do.

Although I will say gymnasts need to be aware of their requirements, so if she broke that switch series, she needs to know that she has to go back and repeat that skill.

9.725 for Schick right now, which is too high. One judge is still 9.8 even though she should have started from 9.8.

After 3: Alabama 148.175, Georgia 147.850

Alabama moves ahead after Georgia was meh on beam with the fall and the checks and the SV. Scores are going way high on floor, so get ready for that when Georgia gets there. It’s going to be silly if it continues at this rate. But so is beam. It’s getting real. And by real aI mean entirely fictional.

Rotation 4:
Armbrecht – BB – aerial to beat jump, not pleased with the speed of that connection with a lean – check on turn – lean on loso series landing – split to sheep, solid on the sheep shape but another lean to the left, basically every skill – sticks great high 1.5. Endured but not comfortable. 9.875. Oh brother, here we go. She had literally three obvious balance checks in there, minimum.

Reynolds – FX – front 2/1, hot high but solid – 1.5 to layout, great 1.5 but too whippy on the layout, needed more height – switch side to popa, solid positions – secure rudi.

Sims – BB – leaps, fab, obviously, the end – extended and comfortable in the loso series – switch – split to straddle 1/4 – it’s smart of them to make this as much about leaps as possible. Minimum acro. Double tuck dismount, good, step back.

Babalis – FX – ooooh, Georgia team is doing the team chalk drop now. Oklahoma copyright infringement – great double tuck, chest up – front lay to front full, lunges forward out of that, uncontrolled – split 1.5 to split 1.25? Ish? – good extension but very indistinct landing position – huge bound back on her double pike. So like…9.975 then?

Childers – BB – solid loso series – that full turn – split to sheep, not the best closure on the sheep – kickover front to scale, not the most comfortable scale but she did it – 1.5 dismount, didn’t get the best set – some legs and a hop to the side.

Vega – FX – whip to double tuck, a little bouncy but it’s a better choice than the full in – 1.5 to layout, good extension and height but a little lungey – solid double pike as well, slide – just a little lack of control in each pass.

OSU and Washington has started.

OSU: McMillian – VT – larger bound forward out of 1.5 this week, and some legs –

Wash: Copiak – UB – Church is strong – not quite hitting her verticals – final cast handstand was closer – sticks staggered tuck full.

Desch – BB – aerial to bhs series – overturns her full turn and corrects into 1.25 – side aerial – two bhs to a stuck 1.5. Strong.

OSU” Dessaints – VT – squatty landing on 1.5 with a hop forward, so not her strongest but a fine one.

Wash: Duranczyk – UB – jaeger to overshoot, good jaeger, some legs in overshoot – giant lunge backward on DLO dismount, shame. Elise is like, “crap.”

OSU 49.250, Washington 49.100

Snead – FX – Back to floor! – bounces back out of double tuck and a slide back out of double pike, but she’s getting there – switch and splits, nice positions – rudi, fine, but not all the way back yet.

Winston – BB – split and split 1/2, check – aerial to bhs, also tight and slow in combination – full turn – great double tuck, high, excellent shape, small step back. 9.925. OK SURE. HAVE FUN.

Dickson – FX – secure double pike, somewhat staggered in landing – 1.5 to layout, a little flat on layout – switch side and popa, hit – slide back double tuck.

Guerrero – BB – two loso series, no trouble – switch to straddle, strong shapes – full turn – 1.5 dismount, stuck.

Marino – FX – DLO, good, extended – 1.5 to layout, excellent straight position and set – short on double pike with a lunge forward. Great until the end. 9.950. With that last pass. NOTHING MATTERS FRIENDS.

FINAL: Alabama 197.700, Georgia 197.325

FUN WITH SEC SCORING. But progress for both in performance. They’ll take both the scores and the results.

I also can’t believe they didn’t fix the Schick beam score. There was no question there. It’s just wrong.

OSU: Jacobsen – UB – tight first hs – nice height and toes on tkatchev – struggling with her cast handstands – and then sits her double front – off from the start –

Wash: Riley – VT – lands pretty lock-legged on her y1/2 again – some piking in the air – step forward.

BUT WHO WILL BE THE REGULAR SEASON SEC CHAMPION?

LSU and Florida beginning. DD is even golder than usual.

Rotation 1:

Finnegan – VT – lovely full, smallest step back and will probably get hit for distance, but pretty.

Boren – UB – solid hs and tkatchev – clear hip to bail, legs – borderline final hs – better DLO landing, just a hop in place.

Hambrick – VT – 1.5, one of her better ones – still comes in a little short with a step back – but not a fall. I love when I type things as Kathy says the exact same thing. We get each other.

Chant – UB – tkatchev, not much counter – a little arch in a cast handstand – YIKES – flung her dismount out like crazy and landed face-first. She’s fine. Worst part was that coach Owen also stepped on her as he was jumping to her rescue.

Ewing – VT – excellent 1.5, small step back, but she comes in so easily, ready for the landing – laid out.

Gowey – UB – much better counter on her Ray, lovely – pretty bail – one handstand to take – DLO, sticks with chest down.

Harrold – VT – sticks 1.5! Good one – knee form throughout, but a great landing.

Priessman out of vault because she hurt her knee in warmup. Of course she did.

Baker – UB – strong through the Ray and bail – double front and a hop in place. Erika Aufiero got 9.975 for her senior day bars, and I missed it. Great.

Edney – VT – I agree with Kathy, didn’t get her usual block but worked it out anyway – some knees and a step forward.

Bart is trying to tell us about basketball.

Hundley – UB – shap to pak, pretty – to shap 1/2, does well to keep the legs – one handstand – tuck full, small hop back. Good one.

Gnat – VT – sticks her DTY this time. Let’s see what this scores, although we don’t really need to. She digs in to lean to hold the stick. And the legs, so there’s that. 10.000.

McMurtry – UB – Just went over on a handstand! Then catches her Ray close but stays on through it even though she took an extra swing and a correction that will be a major deduction – hop back on tuck full.

After 1: LSU 49.625, Florida 48.925

Great vault rotation from LSU. The score is high but actually not totally ridiculous. (Edney is the one that stands out to me as being too high but mostly they’re within reason, that was an amazing rotation. There are deductions in Gnat’s vault in the air, but we know from precedent she’s going to get a 10 when she sticks.)

Florida is the big story there. Quite unexpected with those two mistakes, counting a 9.450. When was the last time Florida went sub 49 on bars?

Rotation 2:
When are we getting Kennedy Baker back? We can’t take this.

Gowey – VT – full – some piking – hop to the side. Fine.

Zamardi – UB – shap to pak, legs – solid – double arabian landing sneaks up on her a little this time with a shoulder-width lunge back. Otherwise clean. I miss the Khorkina but it’s a smart composition choice for this year.

Chant – VT – Struggles with her Tsuk full – piked in the air and then a very large bounce back.

“At least a three tenth of a point deduction.” LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

Hambrick – UB – Damn girl, over balances a handstand as does an extra swing – keeps it going – bail – a short handstand – small hop back on tuck full.

Hundley – VT – solid on the full – near stick, small slide – she does that – comes off a little flat on the table – but she does well to pull things around even without a ton of amplitude.

Harrold – UB – shap 1/2, to Zucchold – grat legs this time, she has worked on that – 1/2 turn to giant jaeger – double front with a step forward – she is progressively improving the in-between-awesomeness form each week so that the skills can shine. Getting there.

Boren – VT – horrible camera work, good vault? No idea about landing?

It was a small hop and just some bent knees for Boren.

Edney – UB – Kindorff a little close but fine – clear hip to bail – legs together, handstandishness in a couple places – lovely straight shape in DLO, small step and then another step back to salute though.

Slocum – VT – Florida is off today, chest way down and a hop forward. Won’t be a horrific score but it is her worst vault of the season by a mile.

Finnegan – gorgeous Ray obviously – hits bail very well, legs together and clearly vertical – sticks DLO, whippy but stuck –

McMurtry – VT – DTY and stuck! Well, if Gnat was a 10. Excellent. Nailed. Wonderful.

And she gets a 10.000. If it hadn’t been after Gnat, that would have been injustice.

Priessman – UB – I love how we cut away from this routine to see McMurtry celebrate – AH HA HA HA – some usual legs on the pak and the DLO but not much else. Hop back on DLO.

After 2: LSU 99.050, Florida 98.300

LSU was able to drop its mistake on bars and use a couple 9.925s to get 49.425. I’m really not sure how Priessman keeps getting the same or better scores than Finnegan on bars, but…

Florida really needed that McMurtry 10 to save some of these scores because it had been a poor day until then, even Boren on her vault 9.900, which is a good score and the other high-level vault of the rotation, did not do her best.

And of course, because of SECN positivity, we have to ask Jenny about McMurtry’s vault and reference not at all how weak this meet has been so far. It wouldn’t be interesting to get her thoughts or explanation of her team’s performance at all….

UCLA and Cal getting start. MULTITASKING ALERT.

UCLA: Meraz VT – holds the stick basically – lunges forward in her salute, which the judges should account for – but solid as she often is.

CAL: So Seilnacht – UB -good first hs – small leg break in 1/2 turn, solid piked jaeger, also has that same small leg shift in bail – a handstand in there – 1.5 twist dismount, love, step back.

UCLA: Kocian – VT – hop back on full, smallish hop but not her best landing.

CAL: Takara – UB – borderline first handstand – huge piked gienger and keeps her legs throughout – overshoot – small hop back on tuck full and then a couple handstands but should be a useful score

UCLA: Cipra – VT – small hop back on her full, one of her better controlled landings.

LSU: Macadaeg – BB – switch and switch 1/2, awesome – aerial to straddle, clean and crisp – loso series, comfortable – sticks gainer full. Fantastic. Did you even see anything to take? 9.950 and deserved.

FL: McLaughlin – FX – front lay front full, fine – a little bouncy on the Rudi – 1.5 and overflips it, nothing into her front after that, just pulls it to her feet but a large stumble backward.

UCLA: Ross – VT – nearly sticks the full, step back.

UCLA: Preston – VT – almost sticks her full, tries to hold it but is short with a step forward into her salute.

LSU: Hambrick – BB – side aerial, small correction – switch and straddle 1/4, excellent – smooth on loso series – small step on 2/1

CAL: Richardson – UB – big tkatchev to overshoot – hop back on DLO, one-tenth hop back and some moments of feet but solid –

UCLA: Kramer – VT – goes for the 1.5 but doesn’t have it, has to tuck her knees and a stumble backward. Not a good vault rotation for UCLA.

Gowey falls on her double back on floor, but on the plus side does try to Yao Jinnan it to handstand. Points. Florida is having a ROUGH day.

Gallarzo for Cal falls on a jaeger –

LSU: Ewing – BB – second half – standing loso to straddle 1/4, well executed – hop forward on 1.5. The camera work at this meet has been terrible. We’ve missed so many landings.

After 1: UCLA 49.100, Cal 49.100

FL: Slocum – FX – whip to double pike with a lunge back – front full to pike, small slide – rudi, fine, not the highest. It’s a solid routine for her but not her best.

Heads up that Oregon State is about to score a 48 billion.

LSU: Li – BB – remember that time she got essentially kicked off the Penn State team and then her “punishment” was to  transfer to a team that was contending for a championship? I HOPE YOU’VE LEARNED YOUR LESSON – a couple small leans, aerial and then loso series, aghain on the full turn, pretty just a couple tight corrections – gainer full, stuck, chest down.

FL: Hundley – FX – whip to double tuck, solid – front lay to front full – high leaps, hits her straddles – secure on double pike – comes through with classic Hundley straightforward solid solid, which Florida needed right now.

LSU: Finnegan – BB – well she actually tried to add back the triple wolf – spins herself right off the beam like a top –

FL: McMurtry – FX –  always eats a Snickers bar before floor, apparently. Martha would be like “OFF THE TEAM FOREVER – solid on the 3/1, nailed – front layout to front full, bouncy – nails double tuck – good overall, trouble on second pass.

UCLA: Meraz – UB – Ray, flattish but improved – a little angled o that bail – small hop on DLO.

I know McMurtry’s 3/1 is amazing, but we all just pretend she doesn’t have crossed legs, do we?

LSU: GNat – BB – check on aerial – full turn – switch to straddle 1/4, solid – switch side, excellent position – secure loso, some knees – nails 2/1.

FL: Boren – FX – tuck ful, good, a little stumble step on the landing but not too much – 1.5 to layout, good height and stragith position in the layout – bounces on the double tuck but fine.

Savvidou just did one of her better bars routines.

Cal: Robinson – VT – lunges forward this time –

If performance and scoring continue to go this way, LSU is looking at a 198.

UCLA: Kocian – UB – Chow to pak, some legs but better – shap 1/2, catches – stalder to tuck full – short landing with another large lunge forward – she does not have that dismount. I wonder why they don’t give her some giants. She doesn’t need the stalder for her SV.

Cal; Richardson – VT – Tsuk full – better layout than the last couple times I saw it – hop back – but recently it has been more piked than that with a step forward, so this is improvement.

UCLA: Ross – UB – toe shap to bail, clean – some legs in the shap but small – hitting handstands well – sticks DLO, chest forward but in a safe-landing way not a chest-down way. One of her good ones. 9.975.

Cal: Palomares – VT – flat coming off the table on her full but she holds the stick quite well with a lean forward –

UCLA: Peng – UB – excellent Ray – smooth through that Bhardwah – catches Shap 1/2 – nearly sticks DLO this time with a small shuffle – Another good one. Looks like they’ll end up dropping Kocian’s routine, lol. 9.975 is too high for that because, you know, she didn’t sitck. This world. This life.

After 2: UCLA 98.650, Cal 98.175

After 3: LSU 148.525, Florida 147.425

FL: Hundley – BB – aerial, solid – long pause – secure bhs loso series – full turn, solid – side aerial to full, small slide, good.

LSU: Ewing – FX – front 2/1, a little slide forward this time – front full to layout, excellent straight shape, controlled – switch side to popa, great height – sticks double pike.

FL: Cheney – BB – loso three series – huge break and grabs the beam to hold herself and stay on – switch, short back leg, to appendix-slam – side aerial to full. Stayed on but will need to drop this score. Actually it doesn’t really matter at this point because this will be a dropped score for RQS. Still gets 9.625 even though it should be a flat three tenth just for grabbing the beam.

LSU: Zamardi – FX – double arabian, gold – I meant to write good, but it was also gold – just looking a DD things – she does come in short on her double tuck, bounce up and forward – switch side is good, popa is short of 180 – 1.5 to layout.

McLaughlin – BB – landed her aerial slightly off the beam with a little lean, continues working into bhs – I wouldn’t give connection but probably will get it – beat jump to double stag – side aerial – hop back gainer full.

LSU: Hambrick – FX – love her height and landing on the DLO, though she does pike the second salto a little which is a shame because it is otherwise so great – 2.5 to front tuck, sticks front tuck – split to wolf, hits positions – slide back on double pike.

FL: Gowey – BB – switch to split, lovely leaps – series to two loso, check working out of it – largeer hop back on gainer full. Some errors.

Yep, ASU just beat Arizona you guys. Whole new world.

UCLA: Mossett – BB – split to split ring – looked tight on the original split, which is surprising for her – smooth on loso series – side aerial to layout full, sticks –

LSU: Finnegan – FX – 1.5 to 2.5, lovely twisting shape – solid double tuck – switch ring to switch 1/2, awesome – double pike, good, just a touch forward and then a small lunge.

FL: Boren – BB – kickover front secure – bhs to loso with a lean to the side check – switch and straddle, nice positions – standing loso, good – hop on gainer full, but good.

UCLA: Kocian – BB – aerial to sheep, smooth – smallest lean correction on loso series – switch to split, yes – stumbles backward on 2/1 with multiple steps, she doesn’t have her landings today. Val’s hug was full of reluctance.

LSU: Kelley – FX – Mary Lou count: 2 already – DLO, strong, chest down but controlled – open full in, nailed – front tuck to double tuck, just the chest situation really.

FL: McMurtry – BB – secure kickover front and series, comfortable – switch to hip circle – high 2/1, best of the rotation.

LSU will get the 198 today.

LSU: Gnat – FX – strong DLO, chest up, controlled – 2.5 to front tuck – hits her 180s in leaps well – bounces way back on the double pike which is uncharacteristic for her. Inevitable 9.950 even though that should have been a full tenth for final pass.

UCLA: Ross – BB – smooth loso series, easy – switch ring to a fake combo into beat jump but she did it – full turn, solid – aerial with a check – side aerial to full, stuck.

FINAL: LSU 198.150, FLorida 196.600

FINAL: Oregon State 197.325, Washington 196.450

Cal: Robinson – FX – open double arabian, controls – split leap full, just loses feet sometimes in tumbling and dance elements – 1.5 to layout – short on double tuck with a stagger forward.

UCLA: Peng – BB – lovely on the flares – a little awkward on switch to split, the easy part of the routine, but works through it – nails the layout and the double tuck to beat was pretty strong this time as well – punch front, a bit of a lean – front layout full, stuck. 9.975. Oh lord above. I know. It’s Peng. But come on. Two checks. Two checks.

Cal: Draghi – FX – double tuck, lunge back – split leap full to straddle jump, good positions, a little bouncy – front lay to front full, awkward stumble correction – better on the rudi. 9.875 is high.

UCLA: Ohashi – BB – bhs bhs to layout, not the full, I approve – small lean – switch to split, fine – full turn – aerial, smooth and clean – bhs loso to stuck full. Good one, one of her better this season. 10.000. Oh, you guys, you don’t have to pretend you didn’t see checks when she doesn’t do the layout full. Great routine, but she did have a lean correction on the layout so it shouldn’t be a 10.

Cal; Palomares – FX – solid double pike, just a touch forward with a little hop – switch ring to split full – double tuck, secure, a little staggered – layout to full, solid, some built-in issues but a good hit.

After 3: UCLA 148.200, Cal 147.475

Oh, scores. Good beam rotation for UCLA, though, aside from Kocian’s weird-ass dismount. Her last two landings have been so un-her, it’s clear that her aggressive injuries are actually becoming a problem. Scores were about a half tenth too high for Peng and Ohashi, but a good rotation. They’re getting the numbers they need to move back up the rankings.

Rotation 4:
So Seilnacht – BB – CLAPS HER HANDS AND A PLUME OF CHALK – BETTER DEDUCT TWO TENTHS – gorgeous loso series, beat jump to split jump full, small lean, good 180 – two switch combo, a tough one to make look good but she hits both – side aerial to full, stuck.

Meraz – FX – fine double tuck, a little short with a hop – front lay front full to front pike, small hop forward again, also not totally straight in the layout – great height on her straddles – way forward on double pike with a hop.

Shu – BB – aerial to bhs, a little slow in combo and len dances out of bhs to not give away a step – switch and beat, nicely done – a little tight in full turn – side aerial to full, stuck.

Toronjo – FX – double pike, small slide back – double tuck, secure and chest up – 1.5 to layout, doesn’t get her punch, has to tuck her layout quite significantly, just does get it around.

Palomares – BB – solid loso series, small lean? – attitude turn, comfortable – pike jump to sheep, solid – aerial to split jump, pristine – sticks gainer full. Good one.

Ohashi – FX – solid double back first pass, some chest – comfortable on the middle pass – switch ring to switch 1/2, hits those positions very well – double pike, step back but under control – it’s the chest position on landing that will get her, but other than that she held those landings and hit her dance elements.

Draghi – BB – aerial with a check – lovely loso series, extended and hit – switch to sheep, a step back on the sheep but bonus points for actually hitting the sheep position – crisp full turn – sticks gainer full. Another good one.

Cipra – FX – bounces back too far on double tuck – a little bouncy on the middle pass as well, will need to get the control on those ladnings in the next couple weeks because they need this score – chest way down on double pike.

BUT WILL UCLA WIN THE PAC-12 REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONSHIPPPPPPP?

Richardson – BB – strong loso series, up to her toes but doesn’t really check – switch and straddle positions, no trouble – full turn – ANOTHER CLAP OF CHALK – double tuck dismount with a full-tenth hop back.

Kocian – FX – front 2/1, a little hop out of it but mostly controlled – 1.5 to front 1.5, doesn’t get her punch on the rudi and has to tuck it pretty significantly – switch ring, pretty pretty – good double pike but not her day really.

Gallarzo – BB – a little tight on full turn – loso series, fine – aerial to bhs, basically connected – switch to split, back leg a little low – short on 1.5 dismount with a hop back. Six hit beam routines and a big total for Cal, though. That will help get into the seeded territory.

Mossett – FX – whip to double tuck, short this time with a lunge forward – excellent amplitude and positions in her leaps, pretty – same problem on the double pike, a little short with a lunge forward.

FINAL: UCLA 197.525, Cal 196.800

Good score for UCLA, certainly, and some standout individual routines, though they weren’t at peak level on any event and, as we’ve been saying pretty much all season, will need to step up the level of the landings on vault and floor to truly challenge in the postseason. I will say on floor, though, that like Oklahoma, UCLA really isn’t cheating those leaps, which means the scores often depend only on the tumbling passes. That will help keep the scores somewhat high, even in more neutral scoring circumstances. Very rarely will the judges deduct anything for leaps on those UCLA floor routines.

Impressive from Cal on beam there. They definitely some UCLA-scoring afterglow in a few of these rotations, but that beam group is an impressive set that also hits its dance elements for the most part and only gave away a few check deductions. That’s a very competitive lineup come regionals and will be an asset on an event that hasn’t always been one. There are #2 seeds that will not score as well as Cal on beam. Like UCLA, it’s the vault and floor landings that are the biggest concern right now when it comes to postseason prospects.

LSU looked pretty much ready for the postseason against Florida and got that 198. Those scores definitely got creative toward the end of the lineups, but a number of those 9.9s were also realistic. We saw a team today that can beat Oklahoma on vault, and when Macadaeg and Hambrick are on for beam to this degree, can challenge anyone there as well. The biggest difference between LSU and Oklahoma, however, is Oklahoma’s strength on bars, so keep an eye on that for LSU.

Florida, just a big old mess today. Pretend it didn’t happen?

 

Friday Live Blog – February 24, 2017

Friday, February 24
Scores Watch
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Maryland, Temple, Southern Connecticut, West Chester (@ Philadelphia, PA)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [13] Missouri @ [3] Florida LINK SEC
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [8] Denver @ [20] Ohio State LINK OSU $
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [18] Washington, [22] Illinois, Northern Illinois @ [11] Kentucky LINK SEC+
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – William & Mary @ North Carolina LINK ACC
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Rutgers @ Towson LINK FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Ball State @ Eastern Michigan LINK ESPN3
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Air Force @ [23] New Hampshire LINK FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – UW-Whitewater @ UW-La Crosse FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – UW-Eau Claire @ UW-Oshkosh FREE
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – UW-Stout @ Gustavus Adolphus LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [7] Georgia @ [1] Oklahoma LINK OU $
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [2] LSU @ [14] Auburn LINK SEC
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [12] Boise State @ [4] Alabama LINK SEC+
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [10] Oregon State @ Stanford LINK P12
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [17] Iowa @ BYU LINK FREE
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – Sacramento State, San Jose State, Seattle Pacific @ UC Davis LINK FB

For today, the top four in the rankings are set and will not move regardless of result. Tomorrow, it will be possible for both Utah and UCLA to challenge Alabama depending on how everyone does. The 4-6 teams could end up in any order in Monday’s rankings, but no lower teams can challenge that group of six for this week. Continue reading Friday Live Blog – February 24, 2017

Sunday Live Blog – February 19, 2017

Sunday, February 19
Scores Watch
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – UW-La Crosse @ Illinois State
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Central Michigan @ Kent State LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Temple @ New Hampshire LINK ESPN3
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Cortland @ Brockport FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Ithaca @ Springfield FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [9] Kentucky, William & Mary, Penn @ Maryland LINK BTN+
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Penn State, Western Michigan, Sacramento State @ TWU LINK FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Brown, Seattle Pacific @ Lindenwood LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Rutgers @ Illinois-Chicago LINK
3:30 ET/12:30 PT – [20] George Washington, [22] Iowa @ [2] LSU LINK SEC+
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [25] Arizona @ [14] Washington LINK P12
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Alaska @ UC Davis LINK FREE

Remember that UCLA/Utah meet last night? I know. Me too. I just started laughing again. #neverforget

Anyway, there are no rules in this house anymore, so I can’t wait to see what happens next. Continue reading Sunday Live Blog – February 19, 2017