And now we're here. Championship day. It's about time. The meet will begin at 7:00 ET/4:00 PT.
We have a rotation order:
The lowest seeds, Auburn and Stanford, end on byes, which should provide for maximum drama. Oklahoma ends on beam once again. In theory, that's a good rotation order for them, but after yesterday...
Conversely, Florida begins on beam, which will be the most telling performance of the first rotation. It certainly told us a lot two years ago. They'll need to be much better than the 49.275 from yesterday. So will everyone. On everything. But mostly beam. It was an epically poor day for beam work. If you haven't checked in on DD's post-meet comments yesterday, they're a hoot. She's not exactly pleased with her team.
The results from yesterday were great news for Oklahoma in spite of the bizarre beamtastrophe (the beam mistakes for Oklahoma were much more interesting to me than the beam mistakes for LSU, because the LSU mistakes had been building for weeks. They hadn't looked comfortable on beam all postseason, but Oklahoma had). Oklahoma would have blown away the competition with a hit meet, which should be reason for confidence. If they can hit today. Super Six weirdness is never out of the picture.
On the other hand, Utah put together about as solid a meet as we can expect from them to score 197.475. There were a couple missed routines, but mostly, we saw what Utah is going to give us. It's a relatively similar case for Alabama, though Alabama had two strong events, one OK event, and a weak event for that 197.100 yesterday. They can, and certainly should, improve on that score and performance, but it was still three-tenths lower than Oklahoma counting a fall. At the same time, this is pretty much exactly the position Alabama was in when they won their last two titles. Alabama is in it, but they'll need today to be a lot like yesterday for Oklahoma and Florida.
Florida is sticking around. The scoring potential is there in these routines to win this outright, but I haven't yet been wholly inspired with confidence by their postseason performances. They will need to step it up. Watch those first two scores on each event. Florida's early scores haven't been that high this postseason, which has put them at a disadvantage to Oklahoma.
I will have to run immediately after Super Six ends, but I'll be sure to have a lot of thoughts tomorrow about whatever happens.
The first bit of chatter is that Price is in the beam lineup. Because Stanford. By the time May rolls around, Stanford is so going to be the best team in the country...
Bridgey Caquatto is also back in on vault for Spicer.
Thanks for the heads up about Brewer on floor. Didn't catch that one. Interesting. Brown has received strong scores in the anchor position on floor a couple times, but this is a definitely case of Bridgey-ing.
I'm really hoping for some better camera angles today. They were not happening yesterday. Head on. Nothing on beam that wasn't a butt closeup. None of the landings in the shot.
For the teams going in the first rotation, their scores yesterday on those events were Alabama 49.475, Florida 49.275, Stanford 49.250, Auburn 49.250. Alabama will certainly want a lead after one. Must take advantage of vault.
We have broadcast liftoff.
Cheering, etc. Pep, and the like.
Bart and Kathy and perfection greeting us. Kathy's heart is broken for LSU.
KJ really enjoys being on a bye. Just thrilled about it.
Guy - UB - solid straddle back - nice position - good handstands - hits her tkatchev - a litle late on full turn - hop back on double tuck - OK start. 9.825
C Sims - VT - OK vault - lands a bit lower than usual - chest down. 9.825
Everyone getting mid 9.8s so far. Boyce 9.850 for Florida is a big step up.
Vaculik - FX -huge bounce on her double tuck and OOB - need to drop this again - also struggles on her layout out of her middle pass, had to arch the layout quite significantly - short on double pike as well with a lunge - will be a low score.
Clark - VT - Pretty good vault - but she can stick that one and didn't today - hop back - Alabama doing well but not epically so far. Allowing an opening for other teams with these non-sticks.
Beers - VT - That will help! Stuck full and good position. Her best full of the year, I think. 9.950 to bring Alabama into the useful 49.4s.
Sloan - BB - check on her aerial into the bhs combination - switch to split - easy full turn - why are we also into the head-on view? Great side aerial - had to bend quite a bit on her 2/1 with a step - will get hit in the score there - wouldn't say the check on the series was enough to compromise the combo because she kept moving, but would you? 9.850.
Atkinson - UB -Coming off a 9.925 for Walker - clean bail - handstands look close enough - hits tkatchev - but low on her tuck full - "went a little mushy" - large lunge forward.
Stanford counting a 9.650 on floor. Aka devastating.
Florida now has a 9.700 from McMurtry - will need a hit from Kytra, otherwise this score will be too low.
Hunter - BB - nice series - and hugely high as always - that crooked switch side but no wobble. Big double back and a hop back but a very usable score.
Bart is reporting the wrong scores. He's looking at the first judge instead of the total.
Price - FX - Nailed her DLO - stucks because Ebee - strong switch ring and very comfortable straddles - front tuck through to double back with just a little hop in place on the landing but excellent - does bounce pretty far out of the double back. Oh, Stanford. Still a 9.900 because Ebee, but they have very low scores in this rotation.
Rice - FX - Fine double pike with a little bounce - half to front full is fine - she needs an 11,000 for this routine at this point, though. nailed her double tuck. Will be a solid score, but won't bring them close to 49.
After 1: Alabama 49.425, Florida 49.300, Auburn 49.250, Stanford 48.875
Basically, all the teams doing about what they did on day 1, except Stanford. No one pulling away yet. Florida would have liked a bit more on beam there. 49.300 is not an intimidating result, but it doesn't compromise anything. Just a lack of the big score there, with Sloan and Hunter not hitting their dismounts, and some of the early people getting exactly the 9.850 they would be expected to get.
Rhonda is incredibly pleased with beam. She's on the positive pills today. They can use that 49.300, though.
Capps - FX - a bit of a bounce out of that double pike - solid form on the front layout front full - happy with the switch side and popa - 2/1 to loso is lovely as well - so high on the loso - it won't be a massive score because of the early bounce, though. Tough to do "O" hands after a routine. That doesn't need to be a trend for anyone. 9.800
Rice - VT - Very strong vault - good form - not huge distance - small bounce on landing -
Lovan - FX - punch rudi to stag to front tuck - travels a little on her stag - front full to layout is very clean - Bart is telling us that Kmieciak is out, but he's talking about Kanewa. Don't freak out.We know she's out. strong and clean double pike. Gave only very little away there.
Price - VT - Heavens, girl. Does have a hop forward this time, though. Still gets a 9.950. Good evidence that vault scores are softer than they were yesterday. Same score.
Dowell - FX - Double front to stag - same as yesterday, which didn't seem to be a problem for the judges - 1.5 to layout this time, and it's much more bouncy than yesterday - bounces right OOB. Saw signs of that yesterday but she kept it together. Final pass is solid, but a bit of trouble now for OU.
Utah is getting exclusively 9.900s on bars. So it's that kind of day. When Lewis gets a 9.900, then Dabritz will get a 53.
Dabritz - UB - Comaneci is excllent - jaeger with the toes - strong handstand on bail - sticks tuck full again, she does land staggered, but they have worked with her on bringing her legs together. Gets a 10 again. When the 10 is a trend, the judges often feel like they have permission, so more come. 49.575 on bars for Utah. Interested to see what Alabama gets now. That will be fascinating.
Oklahoma giving it away. Another 9.750 for Jackson, which will count, along with the Capps 9.800. Bad news bears.
Scaman - FX - Strong DLO with a little bounce - very pretty rudi to loso, clean form throughout - switch side to popa were fine - very strong double back landing - that will help save the score.
Bart just called them the "Stooners" - they're competing like Stooners a little bit so far on floor.
Brown - FX - slides back on that double tuck a bit - Kathy reveals that she loves the blues - of course she does - pretty low body on the rudi, lands staggered and a step forward - rudi again as final pass and solid this time, but this won't be a big score.
Auburn counted a fall on beam. Utah got all the scores on bars.
Just 49.175 for Oklahoma on floor. Not cool. Really curious about Brewer being taken out. I'm sure there will be some questions, but Brown has been much cleaner in her previous showings, so that 9.800 (which is still pretty forgiving there) is somewhat surprising.
After 2: Stanford 98.125, Auburn 97.675
Utah 49.575, Alabama 49.425, Florida 49.300, Oklahoma 49.175
We have an open competition now with that Oklahoma floor score. Any edge Oklahoma seemed to have going in is not there now. Will be basically looking for a 49.600 now.
Amanda Pflugrad is giving Tory Wilson the "inspiring" edit. Nice comments about the team making it about themselves rather than her.
Boyce - FX - the usual slight stumble on the front double full - clean and secure on the 1.5 to front pike - good leaps - the rudi landing always looks a bit short but secure - fine.
Jetter - UB -fins first hs - solid Ray - solid handstands - clean on the bail - manages to stick her double front this time with just a lean to hold onto it - strong.
Dabritz - BB - good full turn - strong loso series - pretty big swim on the switch 1/2, which was also somewhat short - OK on the side aerial, just pulls it back - slight pause in the leap series - sticks 2/1 - but a wobble and come clear moments of tightness in there, so won't be a huge score. One judge still went 9.900. OK. 9.825 total.
Jackson - VT -Good 1.5, but not as strong as the last couple - clear hop forward -
Sloan - FX - (Just saw Scaman nail her full in the background) - sticks her front 2/1 this time like she usually does - good height on her leaps - very clean and high on 1.5 to front pike - sticks 1.5 to layout as well. Well, she certainly nailed those passes. Dayum girl. 9.950. Florida getting it done so far on floor.
Clark - UB - Alabama not getting that many huge scores so far on bars - leg separation on her shaposh and the bail - strong DLO but does have a hop back and she can stick it. Alabama giving little things away, but nothing disastrous.
Hunter - FX - It was a 9.925 for Baker. Perfection on the DLO - great control - 1.5 to layout to front pike was almost amazing but she was a little short on her front pike with a step back - sticks the double back, though. Wish she had nailed the middle pass because that would have been a 10 million. Yes you did. And that's a 9.975, when there was actually something real to take there to bring it down to 9.950. Sure. Still, that was the only thing.
Kathy's intro to Bridgey's floor: "Now this routine..."
Caquatto - FX - 2open pass is solidly landed - legs a little floppy but OK - rudi to a huge split and had to work to control the split - excellent switch side and popa - solid double pike - lower level than the Sloan and Kytra routines, but not a problem.
49.650 for Florida. That's how you do it. One of the best Florida floor rotations I've seen from this squad.
After 3: Florida 98.950, Utah 98.825, Alabama 98.700, Oklahoma 98.650, Stanford 98.125, Auburn 97.675.
Oklahoma would have to do some serious bringing it now.
KJ's face is like "no they were not that controlled on landing." She acknowledges the slow start. "We'll actually, we're going to bars and beam, which are not the leg events." Florida can seriously keep this going if they find the sticks from Hunter and McMurtry this time.
Macko looking constantly on the verge of tears.
Caquatto - VT - yfull to her knees. So that's why Spicer was in the lineup last time. What was that?
Walker - FX - Back in the floor lineup today. She's doing the "we're already counting a fall on beam" Super Six dance.
Could we see some Stanford bars instead of this dancing? Or some more Florida vaults? Or Alabama beam? Or anything?
Walker - FX - solid double back to start - popped up a little but pulled that 1.5 around - finishes pretty well in the rudi final pass - solid enough work.
Sloand and Baker go 9.900 which is good but not dominant. Hop back from Sloan when she can stick.
Small hop forward from Kytra. More controlled than the 9.850 from the semifinals. Much more controlled. 9.925.
McMurtry - VT - Huge yfull as always - but does have a pretty big hop back. Florida needed way more sticks in that rotation. A fall, weirdness, and then some hops.
Shapiro - UB - JUST THESE TOES YOU GUYS. lovely point - legs together - so clean - sticks the DLO - had to bring her chest down a little. In tears for her final routine. At least it was amazing. 9.900 is soft for that.
49.450 for Florida on vault. Good not dominant, but unless Utah gets some crazy on floor, Florida should have a lead going to the last event, but it's Florida on bars and Utah on vault.
Price - UB - great shaposh to clear hip - strong on the Church and clean on the bail - hop forward on the DLO, but otherwise excellent - should be another big score. 9.925 in spite of the hop.
Hong - UB - great first hs - toe toe point in that release - perfect form on the bail - sticks the excellent DLO. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Wait, Dabritz is a 10 and that isn't? OK. Sure. Fine.
Stanford gets the same bars score as Utah. 49.575.
Sims got a 9.950 on beam, but otherwise Alabama getting stuck at the 9.850s, which is not what they needed to close that gap.
Clark - BB - good switch to split jump - strong on the loso series as well - big big break landing the sheep! Swims to keep it on the beam, but this score will have to count and is not what Alabama needed. Kickover front is excellent - hop forward on 1.5.
What was the deal on floor in this rotation? Why are they a million routines behind?
Alabama escapes beam with a 49.200, which is all you could hope for counting a medium error like that.
Auburn is not getting it on the floor. Counting a 9.6 and a 9.7 so far, trying to drop a fall from Hlawek - no Rott today. Better from Kluz, though.
All kinds of mixing up the lineup for Auburn. No Atkinson on floor. Demers anchoring. very strong piked full in with a step back - nice straddle - strong on the layout to front full - low landing on the final double pike and then - is falling on your final pose like a thing this year?
After 4: Florida 148.400, Alabama 147.900, Stanford 147.700, Auburn 146.550, Utah 98.825, Oklahoma 98.650.
Utah would need a 49.575 on floor to tie with Florida for now.
Dana is telling us they're going to floor to have fun. So she knows the deal.
Rowe - FX - small bounce back out of double pike - solid 1.5 to loso - dances a bit of her 1.5 to layout - the usual Utah opening routine - solid tumbling - some issues with toes in dance elements (the things that don't get taken...but it's Super Six).
Kmieciak - UB -Very strong on her Ray - fine on the bail, just a bit angled - almsot stuck the tuck full, looked like she would, but a step-salute out of it.
Brewer - UB - Fine tkatchev - good handstands - solid on the bail - just a hop and step in place landing her DLO, but another solid routine, though they need magical at this point.
Lee - FX - a little bounce on her triple full, not as controlled as usual - a little lower landing her middle pass as well, not quite as precise with a bounce out of it - solid splits - small slide back out of double back - should be a good score, but little things on each -
Vaculik - BB - Bart identified her as Natalie - nope - switch to rulfova is nice - strong on the loso series - good switch to wolf - hop back on 2/1 - pretty strong work there. They're trying to come back from a fall.
Fall from Scaman. 9.8s for the rest. Oklahoma falling out.
Dowell - UB - Strong shaposh - hitting hs - excellent Church - legs together on the bail - does the DLO 1/1 - hop back - should be a big score regardless. To save the rotation a bit. 9.850? Huh?
Dabritz - FX - just a bit less control on the piked full in this time with a slide back - loso out of he middle pass is strong - fine on the 3/1, but not the stick she can get - a little sideways step there. Just gave the judges room to bring it down a little, but they'll take the score. Still a 9.900.
Hong - BB - Kathy is appropriately fangirling right now. onodi to bhs is lovely - perfectly strong on loso series - ideal full turn - sheep - sticks gainer pike - nothing at all to take there. 9.975. So is there an "only Dabritz gets 10s" rule? Seriously, if that's not a 10, what is?
Tutka - FX - strong on her full in - controlled landing - the layout in the middle pass was a little better today, but still ragged - they'll be happy with this score. It won't be enough to catch Florida, but they'll keep it close going to their best event, secure double tuck.
After 5: Stanford 197.250, Auburn 195.625
Florida 148.400, Utah 148.250, Oklahoma 147.950, Alabama 147.900
Advantage Florida right now. Utah going to a strength, Florida going to a question mark.
Kmieciak - BB - solid on the loso series - calm and hit on the straddle 1/2 - just a small step on her high double back - very well done -
Lewis - VT - clean - not the biggest distance - hop back. OK, but not huge.
Jam-Buddhist - Coming off an important 9.850 from Baker. strong shaposh - clean legs together on the bail - nice final hs - very low on her DLO landing with a hop back. That's not what was called for.
Lee - VT - Nicely done - very clean - looks like perhaps a hop in place, but their best vault so far.
Hunter - UB - big on her hindorff - clean on the bail - good final hs - totally flung out her dismount. Florida throwing this away a little right now given Utah's vault quality. Big lunge forward.
Delaney - VT - Excellent vault - I wouldn't call that a true stick because she leaned back into the salute, but nice. Still gets a 9.925. Dabritz can make this huge.
Dabritz - VT - Sticks her full - the first nailed, true stick, not the distance or direction of the previous vaults though -
Caquatto - UB - A little close on her Ray - clean on the bail - hop back on her DLO - giving it away too much. They have to be much better than this. Another 9.850.
Florida needs better than 9.9 average on the last two bars routines.
Sloan pretty much needs one of her 10s now. We know she can do it.
Sloan - huge release - just hangs onto that bail - looked like she would have a problem there. sticks her DLO - just greatness - the twitch on the bail - but just greatness there.
9.950 for Sloan.
That means they need a 9.900 for McMurtry to tie. Wow.
McMurtry - nice first hs - good full turn - clean on the bail - nice handstand - dismount - huge and stuck. WILL SHE DO IT????
It's a 9.950 for McMurtry. THEY DID IT. WOW.
So close. Amazing day from Florida. Utah fans, feel free to unleash all your swears. But from what we saw, I thought Florida was stronger.
Oklahoma is nailing beam so far, just gave away too much early on floor and a bit on bars as well. Still great from Capps in this beam routine. Sticks her gainer full.
The win for Florida. Three in a row. Rhonda looks slightly terrified by what has just occurred.
Brewer - FX - To finish things off here, strong loso series - nice straddle 1/2 - good full turn - sticks her double tuck. Great.
C Sims - FX - Big on the DLO and good control - could have had a little lack of control on the middle pass but did well to pull it in without sliding much - nice straddle and split positions. small slide on double pike, but good finish for Alabama.