Friday – 1/17/14
7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Michigan, North Carolina, Towson @ NC State (Video - free) (Scores)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Rutgers, Eastern Michigan, George Washington @  Kent State
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – William & Mary @  Central Michigan (Scores)
7:30 ET/4:30 PT –  LSU @  Georgia (Video - all access) (Scores)
7:30 ET/4:30 PT –  Arkansas @ Missouri (Video - all access) (Scores)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Iowa State @  Oklahoma (Scores)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT –  Florida @  Auburn (Video - all access) (Scores)
9:00 ET/6:00 PT –  Denver,  BYU @  Boise State
10:00 ET/7:00 PT –  Utah @ Cal (Scores)
The top 10 entering the weekend:
We have seven of our top ten teams in action today, beginning with Michigan and company visiting NC State at 7:00 ET/4:00 PT, and turning immediately to the LSU and Georgia clash.
As we wait, do you think that any team this weekend can come close to topping the Oklahoma number?
I'm hoping that we'll be able to see a whole rotation from the NC State/Michigan meet before it comes time to switch to LSU and Georgia. Anyone else also keeping an eye on the Australian Open at the same time as gymnastics, because you might get some random tennis updates as the evening goes on depending on how much Maria can screw this up against Cornet. So just know that.
Did they just introduce "Kim Chiarelli" for Michigan? Kim?
I have a lot of important routines for fantasy gymnastics coming up in the next couple hours since basically my entire team is LSU and Michigan. I got a 197.375 last week, which was much better than expected, though I was cautious on Angi Cipra, which cost me a 197.4. She has been promoted this week.
Michigan underperformed on bars last week with a 49.050, with a few surprising mishaps, so I would expect something stronger this week in the first rotation, probably multi-tenths stronger if they're performing close to the level we expect. And Austin Sheppard just warmed up her glorious piked tkatchev.
No Miele in the bars lineup for Michigan after she had that twinge during her routine last week. Nicole Artz is coming in instead.
We saw a 9.7ish opening vault from Fallanca on vault, yfull with a large step back, and Towson has a fall on floor. Ellen Marion barely got her yhalf finished with a large squat and lunge forward. UNC just took a fall on beam on a loso that didn't touch the beam, she basically completed the loso solidly, just happened to land it on the floor instead of the beam. It was like a loso dismount.
Artz and Sugiyama have opened with 9.850s on bars for Michigan, so it's already an encouraging start. We'll see Sheppard now, and the piked tkatchev is excellent, she was a little late on her giant full and super cowboyed her double front dismount with a step back, but otherwise strong. NC State gets its first vault stick from Watkins, UNC has a fall on a beam dismount, and Sampson on bars misses her last handstand pretty significantly but sticks her DLO beautifully. We'll assume the rest of the routine was perfect besides that handstand because she got a 9.925.
Ouellette had the best amplitude for NC State so far on vault, with a small step back. Ham finishes with another fairly strong yfull - some deductions like a low chest and a small hop. UNC is having an utter beamtastrophe so far. We haven't gotten any of the scores, but we've seen at least three falls.
Brooke Parker does exhibition for Michigan on bars, has a pretty large step forward on her piked layout.
Beilstein just a 9.800 this week after the 9.900 last week, but Michigan gets a 49.275, to step up from last week by multiple tenths, just like they needed. Of course, the dreaded beam is still to come next. NC State trails with a 48.850 from vault, but that will put them into second for the moment.
Off to Georgia we go! Notable applause for Jay Clark on his introduction. Georgia's intro video is much better than last year, with a lot less committing to the G. This year's slogan appears to be "Fight for more," which as far as NCAA team slogans go, is solid. At least it doesn't involve regrets or being all in things.
No real surprises in the lineups for either team. Gauthier is in on beam for LSU instead of Ewing.
UGA VT: Davis, Broussard, Hires, Jay, Cheek, Rogers
UGA UB: Jay, Hires, Brown, Cheek, Rogers, Davis
UGA BB: Broussard, Reynolds, Box, Rogers, Cheek, Earls
UGA FX: Earls, Hires, Reynolds, Box, Rogers, Jay
LSU VT: Dickson, Jordan, Ranzy, Gnat, Morrison, Courville
LSU UB: Savona, Dickson, Jordan, Ranzy, Courville, Morrison
LSU BB: Gauthier, Savona, Hall, Gnat, Courville, Jordan
LSU FX: Mathis, Jordan, Gnat, Savona, Courville, Hall
Oh hey, Kevin Copp. We missed you.
Rotation 1: Georgia on vault, LSU on bars
Given various strengths and weaknesses on events to come, Georgia needs a lead after this event.
1. Davis - The yfull we expect from her, missing the distance and nothing else, very nice stick. 9.900
2. Broussard - Great distance on this one, hop back. 9.800
3. Hires - Good height but a large bounce back out of her yfull. 9.850
4. Jay - Finished her yfull so early, but does bounce pretty far on the landing, doesn't lack for power but needs to find that landing. 9.850
5. Cheek - Glorious height, form, and distance but took at least one step on the landing and looked to take another one on the salute, but otherwise very nice. 9.900.
6. Rogers - She has also downgraded her 1.5 to a full and struggles to control the landing with a hop back but little else to take from that. 9.875.
1. Savona - a little floppy on her bail, slightly overarch a handstand, a scraper of a tkatchev and then a hop on the DLO. She's stronger on power events, but it was OK. 9.800 - a tad charitable.
2. Dickson - a little close on her jaeger but OK, has to rekip, misses handstand on her bail, looked like she would stick her tuck full dismount but then took a couple steps. 9.525
3. Jordan - nice large jaeger, best routine on the team so far, big stick on the DLO and strong form throughout. 9.875.
4. Ranzy - Strong shaposh, hits bail, good amplitude on her shoot back to the high bar, arches over on a handstand, flings out her piked layout dismount and tries to hold onto the stick but steps. 9.750
5. Courville - Excellent jaeger as always, that toe shoot has improved much, and she sticks her tuck full dismount, very clean performance. Should be better than last week's 9.850. 9.900 this time.
6. Morrison -piked jaeger is caught well, hitting her handstands, sticks her staggered tuck full landing and bounces around a little in salute but it's fine. Pretty routine, Jay was celebrating the stick before she did it. 9.875.
After 1: Georgia 49.375, LSU 49.200. The Gym Dogs needed a lead after the first and they got it. Georgia needs to find the landings on those big vaults, but the sticks, and even the near sticks, were rewarded with big numbers. LSU looked a bit sloppy in places, especially with a couple people really trying to go for those handstands and going too far, but a couple people showed clean work to get that 49.200, and now they get to go to a great event for them.
In the land of elsewhere, the scores for the NC State meet are being a little erratic, so I have no idea what's happening there. Now I see that Michigan got a 48.925 on beam, which is about in lineup with what we've come to expect. Dropped a 9.400 from Zakharia but counted a 9.550 from Miele coming back in. The leader was Sampson with a 9.875, and "Kim" Chiarelli went 9.850.
Rotation 2: LSU on vault, Georgia on bars
1. Dickson - yfull, a somewhat low landing with a hop back. 9.850 is higher than I would have thought, but scores are going high, so. . .
2. Jordan - high and far on the yfull, arches a little to hang onto the landing with just a hop in place. 9.825. Hm, thought hers was stronger than Dickson's.
3. Ranzy - Powerful yfull, stuck and also arches a little to hang onto her stick, but a great vault. 9.875
4. Gnat - Great, high y1.5 and she drops into the landing on that one, small step. 9.900
5. Morrison - No question about that stick on her yfull. Best vault of the day so far for either team. 9.925.
6. Courville -Here we go. Ridiculous distance on her yfull, but she doesn't stick, a fairly significant hop back again but otherwise there's little to take. 9.875.
1. Jay -Good shaposh, hitting handstand, that looks cleaner than much of what we saw last year from her, stick on her tuck full dismount. 9.875
2. Hires -Big piked jaeger, floppy legs on her bail handstand, a few form struggles, a little short in her DLO landing with a step back. 9.800
3. Brown - The enourmous tkatchev that is becoming her trademark, hits her pak, a lot of casting on the low bar (intended?), strong handstand, just overdoes her tuck full landing with a step back. 9.800
4. Cheek - Went so far on that tkatchev it looked like she might not catch but she did, has great form overall, one borderline handstand and one moment of legs, but sticks her DLO. 9.925.
5. Rogers -lovely stalder work, one arched handstand after an excellent stalder tkatchev, stick or near stick on her full out dismount. Expect another big score. 9.900
6. Davis - Another brilliant tkatchev, takes it all the way through to a brilliant DLO dismount, very nice routine from what we saw, but the angle was difficult to judge the handstands on that one. 9.975. Still never gotten a 10, but she's getting closer. Definitely nothing you could take on the tkatchev or DLO.
Scores are going high, but consistently and for both teams. Last weekend set the tone, and we're seeing it continue, that a 197.000 this year will be an average score and that high 197s will be the norm, and we're seeing that pace again so far. After 2: Georgia 98.850, LSU 98.625. Georgia is on pace for a 197.700 (although going to weaker events), and LSU is on pace for a 197.250.
We have a lot of scores to keep up on now. Oklahoma keeps it going from last week with a 49.400 on vault to open the meet. 9.900s from Kmieciak and Scaman. Florida starting with some pedestrian scores on bars against Auburn with the big three still to come (but Bri Guy got a 9.950 on vault), and Arkansas is currently on 196 pace against Missouri.
Rotation 3: Georgia on beam, LSU on floor
This is where we can expect LSU to make up ground.
1. Broussard - Clean loso series, hits switch split and straddle, strong full turn, side aerial to split jump is right on, sticks a gainer full dismount with legs apart. Good start. 9.775
2. Reynolds - Clean front tuck, only a very small adjustment on her series, a little angled on her switch side, low trail leg, side somi is hit, double full to finish with a small hop back. 9.800. Hm, I thought Broussard's was a touch stronger, fewer wobbles.
3. Box - tuck full jump, large wobble on her loso series but holds on, small correction on her walkover, squatty landing on her 1.5 dismount with a hop forward. They'll hope to drop it. 9.700. Tell me how that routine was only .075 lower than Broussard's? Huh?
4. Rogers -switch leap and a split 1/4 to open, bhs 1/1 to a bhs and she comes off the beam on her bhs. She struggled on beam to start the season last year as well. Still hits her bhs 3/4 to stag as always, sticks dismount. 9.300.
5. Cheek -Lovely full turn, clean loso series, nice amplitude on her switch side, some people just stay on level but she rises up into hers, clean side aerial and switch split, a little wonky on straddle 1/4, holds onto the stick on the gainer full. 9.875.
6. Earls -Very solid on her two layouts series, switch split to straddle 1/4 is hit, side aerial is clean, they desperately need this hit and she's doing it, but this lineup still misses some Shayla even though Cheek and Earls both did well. Good double tuck dismount with a step back. 9.850.
1. Mathis -Very low on her DLO landing with a large lunge forward, unusual for her but she is still recovering from injury, front through to double back is good, straddle jumps are all the way completed, very low again on her double pike and hands down. Uh oh. Opening fall.
2. Jordan -Huge bounce out of her double pike mount, front 1/1 + layout is clean, pulled around the front full out of her dismount to stick it without giving away the step back she might have. Strong after the mount. 9.825.
3. Gnat -Huge pike full in mount but does bounce back out of it as well, they're having a bit of control problems, 2.5 + punch front is clean, switch ring missed split a little bit, but excellent double pike dismount. 9.850.
4. Savona -1.5 to double back is secure, first one to really hit her mount, tuck full as a middle pass, huge difficulty in the middle of this lineup, split full looked under 180, a little low in the chest on the double pike dismount, but very secure routine in the landings. 9.900.
5. Courville - Takes her big double arabian way far and steps OOB, also lacks some control on her double back landing, this is surprising from her becasue there are clear deductions here, strong double pike finish, but she has been much better. Um, apparently one judge gave her a 9.950, which is way off even not taking into account the OOB. One judge went 9.950 and another went 9.700. Oh brother. They figure it out a little for a 9.725 final.
6. Hall -Here we go, Ridiculous DLO, but I see what people have been saying about her using the same choreography to different music this year, at least until the end. That's probably not a great sign. Front full front layout is hit, slightly short on her double back and a step forward, so still not the huge score we will expect to see. 9.875
OK, woah. LSU disappointed on floor there, with multiple gymnasts really lacking control in their tumbling, which we see from them from time to time early in seasons but I wasn't really expected. They have excellent difficulty, though, and seem unlikely to make this a regular thing. Mathis really struggled, but otherwise we'll expect them to pull it multi-tenths higher in the coming weeks. A 49.175 isn't even bad. Georgia goes 49.000 on beam after some weird wobbly stuff throughout the middle of the lineup, but Cheek and Earls looked strong.
After 3: Georgia 147.850, LSU 147.800. Still a tossup here, going to an event where both teams have had some issues in the past.
Broussard's beam has been raised to a 9.825. Good.
And in case you're wondering Maria Sharapova was serving for the match and has screwed it up a couple times, surprising no one. Oh dear.
What elese do we have here, Michigan has one more vault to go from Sheppard, but it looking like high 196s will be the story of the day. Floor might have become a problem, but big scores from Sugyama, Zakharia, and Sampson saved a strong score. Sheppard vaults for 9.925, so Michigan finishes with 196.800, a solid improvement over last week.
In a bit of a back-to-earth surprise, Oklahoma got a 49.150 on bars, after Kmieciak had a disaster and no one else got into the 9.9s, and they're already counting a 9.700 on beam. First crack in the #1's veneer here. Which team can take advantage?
Florida got big scores from Macko and Sloan to save what could have been a weak bars rotation for 49.125 (Alaina Johnson 9.725 WHAT?) But Macko got it together on vault this week for a 9.925 and Sloan got a 9.950.
4th Rotation - (LSU on beam, Georgia on floor)
1. Gauthier - knees on a hit series, good switch split, wobble on tuck 3/4 jump, didn't quite hit her split but gainer loso afterward is good, 1.5 dismount with a raised leg but no movement. 9.700.
2. Savona - hits loso series, could have a higher chest on some of these acro elements, and she will get hit on a couple splits, but in the giving away wobbles department, she has been strong, double pike dismount with a step back. 9.750.
3. Hall - Big pause before her series and did well to stay on just giving away a single wobble, could have slid right off the beam, hits her straddle dance elements securely, double back with a step. 9.800.
4. Gnat - They need scores from the big three now to win this one, lovely walkover, hits full turn, switch split and switch side are pretty, huge wobble on her loso series, lifts up her leg, sticks dismount, so really just that one big wobble to take, but it was a big one. 9.800.
5. Courville - Hits L turn, big wobble on her arabian, that's a shame, she's not having her best meet by any means. Small correction on her loso series, sheep jump, leaps are always the highlight for her and they are again, doesn't connect her walkover + sissone but sticks her gainer full. 9.875 is a little charitable, but we'll forgive the judges being forgiving on that arabian.
6. Jordan - Small wobble on walkover, good loso series, switch leap is strong but rushes that straddle 1/4 and doesn't hit the full position, wobble on side somi, short on her 1.5 dismount with a step back. 9.850.
1. Earls - Double pike is secure but with a low chest, same chest on the double back but everything in this routine was hit and landed well. 9.825
2. Hires - Very high double pike but can't control it, bounces back, gets the layout around on her front full + front layout, hits final double tuck, but there are things to take. 9.800
3. Reynolds - Rudi to loso is nice, you know how I love a loso on floor, secure double pike but a very low chest, bounces a little on the front layout on her dismount, but a fine routine. 9.900.
4. Box - High double pike. Oh, are we changing rotations at Worlds already? That's all I will ever think of with this song now. She also had some low chest time, a little under on her front layout on the dismount and had to bend her knees to get it.
5. Rogers -2.5 is lovely but she did slide forward out of it, hits her 1.5 + layout, somewhat low chested on her double pike but one of the better floor routines she has done for Georgia because she has had struggles from time to time. 9.850.
6. Jay - bounces back out of her double back mount, wolf full and popa, excellent rudi to back layout to stag, which is a combo we don't see a lot, so points there, sticks double pike with a low chest to finish. 9.900
So Georgia gets the win, which is an upset as much as we can have upsets in January.
Final scores: Georgia 197.175, LSU 196.875
Georgia had some issues on every event and got the benefit of Stegeman scoring to keep them in 197 land, but it was an impressive meet in a number of places. Bars was the highest score and the best performance. LSU won vault and dropped a few tenths on bars as expected, both teams had issues on beam, but it was those floor landings that really cost them. It's not too hard to make the argument that they gave away the whole .300 deficit on those floor mounts. I would certainly not have expected Georgia to win floor at this meet, and that made all the difference.
Moving on Arkansas needs a hit from Grable on beam to get 196 this week, so the chances are pretty good. Oklahoma had a rough beam for 48.875, so they will definitely come back to the pack this week. Very interesting. No 9.9s on either bars or beam. A good floor rotation can salvage a high 196, but 197 looks out of the picture now.
Colussi-Pelaez has come in for Florida on floor this week, but after a fall from Boyce, they'll be counting two 9.7s. Oklahoma and Florida are both having their struggles this week. Hmmmmm. I say struggles for Florida, they could still get a 197, but relative to what we have been seeing and what we expect, that counts as a struggle now. Florida counting 4 scores in the 9.7s is uncharted territory.
I think it's about time to turn over to Florida and Auburn for that final rotation. Florida needs a 49.350 on beam to get that 197.
Arkansas does salvage a 196.050 after Grable hits beam, and Oklahoma is getting the scores to get that high 196 now on floor, counting a 9.900, 9.875, and 9.850 so far.
Florida on beam, Auburn on floor
Spicer - BB - Huge wobble on her opening loso, hits gainer loso securely, otherwise it's similar to what we expect but did not stick her gainer full, small slide back. 9.750
Kluz - FX - Tuck full mount, solid landing chest in knees, misses her 180 on the split full, and the commentator even pointed it out, which is rare, double tuck dismount with a small slide. 9.775
Johnson - BB - lovely aerial, pretty enough that she is forgiven for putting the bhs after it and pretending that's a series, only very minor pauses, hops back on her side aerial + full dismount. 9.850.
Webster - FX - pike full, another very low chest on landing, lacks some control on the 1.5+pike landing, but everything else has looked good until she completely overdoes her double back and lands it to her back.
Alert that Oklahoma had to count a 9.725 on floor after dropping a fall from Mooring, so they finish with a 196.675. The door is open for Alabama to become #1 with a big score tomorrow.
Boyce - BB - opens with a small correction on her walkover, hits her splits, sticks her gainer full, pretty similar to the 9.8y routine we saw last week at UCLA. 9.850.
Demurs - FX - Really bringing the difficulty is Auburn, another pike full mount, that's what you have to do, great tumbling but the theme so far has been low chests, a little under on her front full in the middle pass and has a stumble. Very low on her double pike and buckles slightly in the knees. 9.725.
Hunter - BB -Much better front tuck mount than last week, right on, high loso as always, this was one of her solid days on beam, small hop back on the double back dismount but very strong. 9.850.
Rott - FX - Really clean DLO to mount, again not quite there to 180 in the split. She has very clean form in her tumbles, and interestingly no twisting elements in this routine. Another double pike that lands a bit low with squatty knees. 9.800.
Sloan - BB - Excellent loso series, walkover to scale is hit again, now lets make sure she gets through the side aerial this time because everything else has been great, she hits it, and a stuck double full, well that was great. Should be in the 9.9s easily, potential for 9.950 with a happy judge. Gets a 9.925, which is fair for that.
Atkinson - FX - Another pike full, best one so far in terms of chest, and stuck, good double pike as a dismount, bits here and here, but the best floor routine of the rotation by far. 9.875.
M Caquatto - BB - Needs a 9.875 to get Florida a 197 here, layout is excellent, as is the walkover, so she's on track for it, hits full turn, she's right on today, stuck a gainer full. Good routine, let's wait and see on the score. 9.950.
Guy - FX - Big DLO to start, I like the way she walks out of her front handspring on the middle pass, it adds fluidity to the routine and is a different look from the usual, excellent double tuck to finish, nothing you can take on that one. That will help save a 196 for Auburn in this meet.
Final Score: Florida 197.075, Auburn 196.200
Both should be happy with their scores. Florida salvaged a 197 even with two rotations below what we would expect, so that's an encouraging sign for them. Beam is all that I saw, but it looked very good this week. Sloan and Caquatto in particular were excellent, and Hunter was also much more secure than last week and would have been in the 9.9s if not for the dismount step.
In score watch, next week Florida will be at 196.863, LSU will be at 197.038, Georgia will be at 196.608, and Oklahoma will remain in the lead for the moment with 197.188. Alabama will need a 197.225 tomorrow to tie Oklahoma and a 197.250 to move ahead.
Well, that's the end of action for me for the day, but be sure to keep an eye on the scores for Utah, just about to get underway. Thanks for following!