Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Washington Regional Preview

It’s time to get rid of some people! Phew. None too soon. After enduring eleven weeks of not being allowed to care who wins and who loses because we’re all just one big happy family that’s learning life lessons together, we have finally entered the elimination round.

Elimination round. Add that to the list of names that would be better than “regionals.” Knockout stage. National quarterfinals. Potluck hoedown. The end of days. Of course, it’s not a true knockout stage because half the teams that advance will have lost their meets. But you know…progress?

Let’s begin the previews with the top-seed Oklahoma Sooners and their trip to the long-anticipated, inevitably contentious Washington regional.

April 1, 2017, 7:00 ET/4:00 PT

Teams (starting event)
[1] Oklahoma (bars)
[12] Kentucky (vault)
[13] Washington (bye before floor)
[24] Utah State (bye before bars)
[32] Stanford (beam)
[34] BYU (floor)

Alexis Brown, UC Davis (AA)
Caitlin Soliwoda, Sacramento State (AA)
Lauren Rice, Sacramento State (AA)
Kaitlin Won, San Jose State (AA)
Ariana Harger, Seattle Pacific (VT, FX)
Julia Konner, Sacremanto State (VT)
Yonni Michovska, UC Davis (UB)
Rachel Heinl, San Jose State (UB)
Yasmine Yektaparast, UC Davis (BB)
Taylor Chan, San Jose St (BB, FX)

The favorite – Oklahoma
While we should still expect the Washington regional to fulfill the ancient prophesy of excitement and competitiveness when it comes to Washington and Kentucky (and…Stanford…?) competing for the second spot, Oklahoma will be about a point better than any other losers in this competition and should run away with it. It would take Oklahoma counting two falls to start getting interesting, but there are nonetheless aspects of Oklahoma’s performance that will be telling moving toward nationals.

Keep an eye on vault. That’s the one event where Oklahoma is not currently ranked #1, and it is a potential vulnerability in the title chase with LSU, a team with equivalent ability, one extra 10.0 start, and superior stickitude displayed over the last couple weeks. Oklahoma needs to begin getting sticks out of Dowell and Jackson more regularly because even a hop forward for 9.875-9.900 may mean losing ground at nationals. On the other hand, if Nichols, Dowell, and Jackson are all going 9.950, that minimizes or eliminates any advantage LSU might gain because of vault and would put less onus on OU’s bars to create a margin of victory. Things to keep in mind for next month.

It’s also imperative that Nichols get back to the AA for Oklahoma truly to be at title strength. The staff has been conservative with her on the leg events this month because of a sore knee, but clearly she showed no rust in her return to vault at Big 12s. You know, a 10, NBD. She’ll come back on floor at regionals, and similar lack of rust will need to be shown to give Oklahoma the full complement of competitive 9.9+ routines. Continue reading Washington Regional Preview

Sunday Live Blog – March 12, 2017

Sunday, March 12
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Penn, Southern Connecticut, Ithaca @ Temple FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Stanford, NC State, Yale @ [18] George Washington LINK GW $
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Cornell, Brockport @ Towson LINK FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – North Carolina @ [4] UCLA LINK P12
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ [17] Cal LINK P12

While UNC is the lowest ranked and least heralded among this batch of teams, today is significantly more important for North Carolina than it is for any other team competing today. It’s sort of all about UNC because of what happened yesterday.

Many of the bubble-ranked Michigan teams did their jobs yesterday, meaning that North Carolina has dropped from 33rd in Monday’s rankings to 38th in the in-progress rankings, outside regional-qualifying territory. It’s critical for UNC to get a good score today to be situated to qualify after EAGLs. Continue reading Sunday Live Blog – March 12, 2017

Saturday Live Blog – March 4, 2017

Saturday, March 4
Scores Watch
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Ithaca @ Cortland FREE
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – UW-Oshkosh @ Hamline
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – North Carolina @ William & Mary LINK FB
3:30 ET/12:30 PT – Temple @ Cornell Ivy $
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ [11] Michigan LINK FREE
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Iowa State @ [14] Iowa LINK BTN
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – BYU @ Minnesota LINK BTN+
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [25] Ohio State @ [7] Denver LINK DU $
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – UC Davis, Seattle Pacific @ Sacramento State LINK FREE

American Cup is not a role model. I repeat, not a role model. Neither in terms of performance nor crazy scoring. (Are we just not going to talk about how McCusker finished fifth even though she fell a billion times and didn’t even have a beam dismount?)

So yeah, that was super bleak on the women’s side. Just a big old mess. Let NCAA keep us warm.

Nichols on only bars today for Oklahoma. DeGouveia vaulting, Jackson on beam, Turner on floor.

Artz and Chiarelli are already seniors, you guys. That’s a lot of scores. Good thing the Michigans did so well at the NLC last night, but there’s a year in between Artz and Chiarelli leaving and when they arrive. This year’s freshman class has shown some solid contributions but will be called upon for a lot more routines next year.

The stream is up. Be sure to refresh if you opened it before the broadcast started. Touch starting now.

Rotation 1:
Funk – VT – lunge back on the full, good distance, normal, lunge a little large, though. 9.750.

Capps – UB – good giant full finish – tkatchev OK – hits cast – tiny tiny bit of legs in the bail – pretty precise – flings out tuck full somewhat this time with a step back. 9.850.

Zaziski – VT – nearly gets the stick on her full but ends up with a hop forward, so won’t be a big total. A little piked as well. 9.775.

Catour – UB – strong Ray – toe on to bail, clean legs together, arches the bail but holds it – sticks DLO. Good one, arch on the bail wasn’t too bad but a clear deduction. 9.850.

Artz – VT – lunge back on the full, similar to Funk, but a bit farther and straighter. 9.825.

Dowell – UB – Excellent counter on her Ray – toe on to bail, pikes that a little in the air – sticks DLO cold. Good cast handstands as well, expect a step up in scores from the first two. 9.900

Chiarelli – VT – still with the full – too piked in the air and a small hop – I like her 1.5 better. 9.825.

Lehrmann – UB – hecht mount – 1/2 turn to jaeger, excellent toes and height – hitting her casts – a little angled coming into that bail it appeared from this angle – sticks the tuck full. They’re on with these dismounts today. 9.900.

Karas – VT – exceptional height on that 1.5, just ideal dynamics – a larger lunge forward to control this time, and they can also take for crossed legs in the twist. 9.875

Wofford – UB – great full turn to half turn to jaeger – vertical and pointed toes throughout – clean through the bail – shortish final handstand and then a small step on the tuck full, though, so she won’t make the 10 a trend. Just lost her perfection juice at the very end. 9.875

McLean – VT – good 1.5, smaller lunge forward than Karas had, just a normal step, so expect a higher score. Some mushy knees in hers as well.

Nichols – UB – strong Ray, caught a little bent it appeared from her but no trouble – great leg form through the bail and shap 1/2 – sticks DLO. I say one questionable handstand in there but not much else. And it’s a 10.000. One routine up, business done. It wasn’t her 10iest bars this year. She has been more precise.

So now Nichols has a 10 on every event. Usually, you know, the pinnacle of a career.

After 1: Oklahoma 49.525, Michigan 49.200
Oklahoma got those handstands and those dismounts today for a huge score. I would have had Nichols at 9.950, but otherwise I thought the scores were pretty appropriate in that rotation. Michigan will need to get some more control on the majority of those landings to get a competitive total in the postseason, but 49.200 is perfectly fine.  Oklahoma is pretty much ready. Just an arch here and there and a couple handstands. Catour and Wofford can go cleaner, and they still broke 49.5.

Rotation 2:
Jones – VT – good full, small hop back – stays pretty well extended throughout. 9.875.

Funk – UB – that giant tkatchev where you think she gets lost in Narnia halfway through but catches – short on her bail, which will hurt – sticks DLO – other than the bail, quite a strong set, but that will take the score down. 9.800.

Marks – VT – just a little short on her FTY this time with a step forward. 9.800

Karas – UB – toe on to shap, leg break but not too extreme – very strong vertical on bail – a little whippy on her DLO but a great stick. Expect a high score on that. 9.925

Capps – VT – small slide back on her DLO – this angle emphasizes the leg separation at the end, but it rarely shows up to the side, maybe bigger this time. 9.800

Marinez – UB – arches in several handstands, once somewhat significantly, flings out her DLO with a larger bound forward. Good toes in her tkatchev but I sometimes worry she’s not going to clear the bar. 9.775.

DeGouveia – VT – she has brought in the 1.5 the last couple weeks – good clean legs for the most part in the air, just loses them at the very end, and then a fairly sizable hop forward. That’s a nice development for the lineup, though. 9.825.

Shchennikova – UB – shap to pak is pretty, maintains her legs better than most – giant full to a basically stuck double tuck – one of her good ones. 9.900.

Dowell – VT – nearly looked like she was going to hold the stick on her 1.5 but a hop forward this time. 9.900.

Artz – UB – 1/2 turn to piked jaeger, solid – a short cast handstand after that, which is rare for her and you could tell she was off – things went crazy on the bail and she doesn’t catch. Shame. Sticks DLO obviously. 9.225.

Jackson – VT – small small hop to the side on her 1.5 but among her more controlled landings. Great in the air. 9.900.

Zaziski – UB – giant full to giant Tkatchev, great height – good extended body throughout the bail – I saw a short cast at the end and rushed on that first giant full, step back on DLO. 9.925 seems high in there.

Lehrmann stucks her exhibition full it appeared. Still challenging for lineup.

Brianna Brown is a person again! Doing exhibition on bars – she looks pretty much there with the routine we expect from her, near stick on the DLO. Should come into the lineup for the postseason.

After 2: Oklahoma 98.825, Michigan 98.525
I’m actually legitimately pleased with the scoring in this meet. So weird. I don’t understand this emotion. Things got a little high at the end of bars for Zaziski, but otherwise not too too crazy. Karas was the highlight of bars for Michigan for me. Her bail is so crisp and vertical. Polina also had a good one.

Oklahoma didn’t have the best landings this week on vault with Dowell and Jackson having hops to give away the big, big numbers, and then Nichols wasn’t there so the score wasn’t as high as it could have been. DeGouveia’s 1.5 is a significant development as a 4th 10.0 start. It won’t score the same as the other three 1.5s but it looks comfortable enough for her and good enough to be in the lineup because of the SV. It makes for a legit question about what they do with this lineup when Nichols is in it. Who comes out? Probably Marks?

Rotation 3:
Karas – BB – great chest up when she lands her punch front – works into the beat jump quickly to cover any lack of control on landing – high leaps – bhs loso with a balance check – punch rudi, stuck – excellent first routine. 9.850.

Jones – FX – 2.5 to front tuck, securely landing and finishes easily – 1.5 to layout, maybe a little bouncy – loses her feet in her split leap – solid double pike, borderline chest down but not a thing. 9.825.

Zaziski – BB – cat leap to switch side, a tad crooked – lean correction on loso series – switch to straddle 1/4, excellent 180s shown there – check on full turn, girl what is this January – strong kickover front – OMG SHE’S DOING THE MOONWALK LET’S DEFINITELY MAKE THAT A THING THAT WE TALK ABOUT A LOT – gainer full. A couple checks but overall positive execution. 9.875.

Brown – FX – rudi to start this time instead of the front 2/1 – front lay to another rudi – loso side pass, as pretty as ever – hits her split and straddle shapes very well – another rudi – Just a big ol’ rudi fest? Why?

Funk – BB – secure on her opening loso series – switch and split, strong – hitting comfortable leaps – this is what her preseason showcase routine looked like when she was basically the best one in the rotation – step on dismount. 9.900.

We don’t have a score for Brown yet. I think the judges were like, “Wait, did she just do three rudis?” too.

Dowell – FX – short on double front this time with two pretty large steps back to save it – 1.5 to layout, well extended, high, controlled – no trouble on the landings of her final two passes, just that first one coming in short. 9.775.

Artz – BB – pike jump to straddle 3/4, no trouble – aerial to bhs, smooth and comfortable – full turn – nails kickover front to beat – hop to the side on punch rudi dismount. Really the only issue, though, expect a high score.

Tuner – FX – good height on double pike, step back, I’m fine with it because she kept her front leg down but a little far for a controlled step – slight stumble landing the layout on her middle pass – slide on double tuck. Fine, but this won’t be a normal Oklahoma floor rotation total.

Marinez – BB – check on aerial – strong bhs loso to split jump, extended and secure – side aerial – beat jump to double stag – quite strong after the initial break on the aerial – pretends she stuck her 2/1 and that bouncy around was just extreme excitement, but she didn’t really stick that.

Capps – FX – slide back on double pike – front full to layout, comfortable – excellent height and extension on straddles – final pass magic spell tutting (thanks, Melanie!) – chest down a bit on rudi but fine –

Chiarelli – BB – Speaking of magic tricks, somehow she stayed on the beam for her series but a massive break that will mean this is the dropped score regardless – sticks double tuck. Of course she would this time.

Jackson – FX – open fill in, excellent – also tremendous height and extension on her straddles – maybe a little slide forward on the middle pass – strong double pike, controlled landing – excellent set. 9.950.

Brianna Brown doing exo on beam as well. Has a big wobble but her execution is as it was. Will be an option for the lineup but not a given based on that.

After 3: Oklahoma 148.125, Michigan 147.900

Closer than a lot of us expected through three. Oklahoma won’t be happy with that floor rotation. A couple good routines but Dowell had a pass error and then Brown with the SV issue. Scores started to go a little high there on the beam rotation for my taste, but only minor checks until Chiarelli. She could have come close to catching Oklahoma with a hit.

Rotation 4:
Jones – BB – loso series, solid – kickover front to beat jump – switch to split – hitting comfortably, no balance checks – small step on 1.5. Good one.

Funk – FX – powerful double pike – gets amplitude on her switch side and popa – very deep landing on double tuck with a lunge back, kept it to her feet but it was touch and go there – solid otherwise.

Lehrmann – BB – aerial, smooth – cat leap to switch side – large check on loso series, leg flies up – sticks 1.5 cold.

Marinez – FX – front layout to rudi – whips the front layout somewhat, twists very quickly – switch to split jump full to wolf full, some indistinct landing positions – double pike, secure chest down –

Catour – BB – smallest wiggle correction on her series but basically nothing – cat leap to switch side – aerial, comfortable – hop forward on gainer pike, she took that really high, maybe surprised herself.

McLean – FX – slide-ish on landing on double pike – otherwise strong, hitting her 180s, Paise Zaziski’s background facial expressions are artistry – excellent double back, high and controlled, that was the highlight.

Brown – BB – aerial to two bhs series – beat jump to straddle 3/4, a touch under and then scoots the last 1/8th around – full turn  and lovely leaps – sticks gainer full.

Karas – FX – controlled double arabian landing, some cowboy, not extreme, as usual – super height on that wolf jump, now that’s a wolf jump – front lay front full – high double pike, slide back.

After we ban the switch side + popa combo on floor, I would like to see fewer front lay front full middle passes.

Jackson – BB – bhs loso with a fairly significant wobble, correction and then a second correction – good position on switch side, squats to avoid a real wobbles – straddle jump to loso – sticks 1.5.

Chiarelli – FX – nails double tuck, controlled, chest up – 1.5 to layout to front tuck, I like the idea of the pass, too arched around on that layout though – hits leaps – strong control on double pike as well, chest down.

Capps – BB – strong control on loso series – easy and fluid on the full turn – aerial and does it to scale this time, keeps moving pretty well through it as well – switch to straddle 1/4 – gainer full. One of her good ones. Will make it tough on Artz to get the necessary score. 10.000. Well now. Such a pretty routine. Beam scores were also on the high side today.

Artz – FX – strong piked full in, good control – hits her leaps very well – perhaps arching over a layout on the middle pass – and maybe a little slide on the double pike, but pretty much her usual floor – she didn’t open the door too much in case the judges want to give her a senior day 10. One did. 9.975.

FINAL: Oklahoma 197.575, Michigan 197.525
Came down right to it there. I love that Oklahoma got a 197.575 with two 10.0s and we’re like, “WHY DID YOU SUCK SO MUCH?” In some respects it was an off meet for OU, mostly due to a couple floor errors and not having the landings on vault. And not having Nichols on three events. Still nothing to worry about, though. When we talked to KJ on Gymcastic, she mentioned peaking and dropping multiple times throughout the season, and this looks like one of those little drops. Nothing to worry about but not a postseason showing.

Also, Kara Lovan just hit a “shades of 2015” beam routine in exhibition.

Good showing from Michigan. They’ll be happy with this. Scoring started normally, went a little high toward the end of the meet with some beam scores and then a home floor 9.9 fest that was very strong and well controlled but wouldn’t get as many 9.9s in a neutral context. Still, nearly beat Oklahoma and certainly proved competitiveness and danger when it comes to the postseason.

YIKES. Zaziski was doing exhibition on floor, totally tripped mid-pass or botched a punch or something and then basically did an improvised side somi/wild frog leap. She’s fine, though.

Big day of meets tomorrow! Rest up.


Sunday Live Blog – February 26, 2017

Sunday, February 26
Scores Watch
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Southern Utah @ [9] Michigan LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – [24] Iowa State, Maryland @ West Virginia LINK FREE
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Bowling Green @ Central Michigan LINK ESPN3
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Air Force @ Bridgeport
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Ursinus, Brockport, Rhode Island @ Ithaca FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ TWU LINK FLOG
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Winona State, Hamline, Gustavus Adolphus @ Minnesota LINK BTN+
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Western Michigan @ Illinois-Chicago LINK
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – [22] Illinois, Illinois State @ [8] Denver LINK DU $

Today’s fun little factoid is that if the season ended right this minute, regional #1 would contain Oklahoma, Michigan, and Nebraska, in Nebraska. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR #1. Continue reading Sunday Live Blog – February 26, 2017