This weekend, we saw three more routines join the 10 club, with Ashley Lambert getting her second 10 on vault, and Brenna Dowell and Haley Scaman of Oklahoma getting their first 10s of the season on bars and vault respectively. We're on a pretty furious pace for 10s considering that it's only January 26th. Six 10s have been awarded so far, compared to two at this point last season. We've already seen more 10s in 2015 than in the whole 2012 season.
Dowell's 10 highlights why Oklahoma has included the DLO 1/1 in her routine. She doesn't get any SV benefit for it and could be doing the DLO instead, but since she's one of the rare gymnasts who can stick it while maintaining a pretty straight position throughout, it makes sense to put it in her routine so she can bank on the stuck DLO 1/1 WOW factor.
Now, to the rankings.
Week 3 Rankings - (Gym Info)
1. Oklahoma - 197.325
Week 3: 197.850
Week 3 leaders: AA - None; VT - Scaman 10.000; UB - Dowell 10.000; BB - Capps 9.950; FX - Dowell 9.975
The Sooners regain their comfortable lead after a national-high 197.850 over the weekend, featuring the two 10s above. Two 10s in the same meet is perhaps not the accomplishment it used to be (both LSU and Florida also managed that last year), but it speaks to how far along this team is for January. They were looking solid for a 198 until floor, when having to count an OOB put them down to a paltry 49.275 and took them off the pace.
2. LSU - 197.025
Week 3: 197.350
Week 3 leaders: AA - Courville 39.625; VT - Courville 9.950; UB - Courville 9.950; BB - Jordan 9.925; FX - Hall 9.975
LSU put together its first meet of four solid rotations so far this year to move up into the 2nd spot, and they did it without some of their usual vaulters, which is a big reason why vault was their lowest-scoring apparatus on the day. As goes Courville, so goes the team, and Courville had her first meet of the year with four scores of 9.850 or above.
3. Florida - 196.975
Week 3: 196.800
Week 3 leaders: AA - Hunter 39.550; VT - Hunter 9.975; UB - McMurtry 9.825; BB - Boyce 9.900; FX - Hunter 9.975
Florida suffered no major mistakes in the meet against Alabama, but medium-sized errors on both bars and beam took them all the way down to six tenths below Alabama, which is a surprisingly significant margin in a meet they were supposed to win. It's very unusual to see a Florida team record one-third of their scores under 9.800, but that's what happened.
4. Michigan 196.808
Week 3: 196.850
Week 3 leaders: AA - Sugiyama 39.425; VT - Sugiyama 9.875; UB - Sugiyama 9.875; Artz - 9.900; FX - Artz 9.950
Michigan continues to look solid and reliably 9.850 each week, which is enough to keep them at #4 in the rankings. The Wolverines have been perhaps the solidest team out there so far, which I'm pretty sure no one would have called to start the year. They've had just the one fall across three meets (that time Brooke Parker had to fill in on beam), which few of the other teams can boast. Beam and floor continue to look more comfortable with each meet, and the gradual return of Austin Sheppard will be a vital boost on the other events.
5. Utah - 196.767
Week 3: 196.725
Week 3 leaders: AA - Dabritz 39.575; VT - Dabritz 9.950; UB - Lothrop 9.900; BB - Lee 9.900; FX - Dabritz 9.925
The Utes are another team that has started the year looking even-keeled and consistent. A few more non-Dabritz 9.9s popped into the lineups this weekend, including Lothrop on bars and Kari Lee on beam, which is the next step for Utah in maintaining pace with the top teams as those 197s become more common and expected. Though like Florida, too many sub-9.800 scores wriggled their way in the meet on Friday for a team that expects to be in the top 5.
6. Alabama 196.600
Week 3: 197.400
Week 3 leaders: AA - Beer 39.500; VT - Clark 9.975; UB - Beers 9.900; BB - Bailey 9.900; FX - Clark 9.900
Alabama got exactly the recovery meet this team needed. A 197.400 and a victory over Florida, so now we're all ready to pretend the beam issue from the previous meet never happened. While it wasn't their biggest score on the night, the safety and solidity of that beam rotation coming off a disaster was the most impressive part. They nailed it as part of an overall confident and consistent 9.875 of a meet.
7. Nebraska - 196.225
Week 3: 196.250
Week 3 leaders: AA - DeZiel 39.350; VT - Lambert 10.000; UB - DeZiel 9.900; BB - Laeng 9.850; FX - Williams, Blanske 9.900
Nebraska did not manage to repeat the 197 heights of the previous week because they had to count a fall on beam, which brought the total back down into the pedestrian sphere. Still, they did follow up their 49.750 on vault last week with a 49.600 this time out. The Huskers currently own the two highest vault scores in the nation.
8. Arkansas - 195.825
Week 3: 196.250
Week 3 leaders: AA - Wellick 39.300; VT - Wellick 9.900l UB - Zaziski, Freier 9.850; BB - Zaziski 9.800; FX - Wellick 9.900
Look at this. Arkansas at #8 is another revelation no one would have called going into the season, but with some of the big-name teams struggling so significantly in early meets, there is still room for low 196s to push teams up into the top 10. This week, Arkansas did not get those same massive vault and floor scores from their home performance last weekend (shock!), but they did enough for a manageable January score, even in a loss to Auburn.
9. Penn State - 195.750
Week 3: 196.550
Week 3 leaders: AA - Tsang 39.500; VT - Lu 9.875; UB - Welsh 9.900; BB - Tsang 9.950; FX - Tsang 9.875
Rule: Any time you expect Penn State to do well (like in Musser and Merriam's senior year), they falter, and any time you expect nothing, they do well. They're another team this week that rode 9.825s to 49.1s and a solid overall score. Briannah Tsang's 9.950 on beam puts her into the top 10 on that event, as well as in the AA.
10. Oregon State - 195.713
Week 3: None
Oregon State was not in action over the weekend and won't compete until tonight, but given how things have been going for some of the traditional powerhouses over the last couple weeks, not competing is the probably safest thing you could possibly do. Georgia and Auburn, ranked just below, both had excellent meets over the weekend, but are still trying to save their averages from previous disasters and need more time to get back into the top 10.
11. Georgia - 195.669
12. Auburn - 195.625
13. Boise State - 195.625
14. Illinois - 195.608
15. UCLA - 195.567
16. Ohio State - 195.300
17. Washington - 195.275
18. Arizona - 195.244
19. Stanford - 195.225
20. Denver - 195.219
21. Michigan State - 195.150
22. Southern Utah - 195.058
23. Cal - 194.975
24. New Hampshire - 194.933
24. Kentucky - 194.933