Michigan's 196.975 still stands as the top score in the country after yesterday's very first-meet showing from pretty much every team. We've got two big meets happening somewhat simultaneously today, but I'll try to keep on top of it. Here's the whole schedule:
Saturday, January 9
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – UW-Oshkosh @ Gustavus Adolphus
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Illinois-Chicago @ Western Michigan - SCORES - ESPN3
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Rhode Island @ Springfield - Stream
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Oklahoma @ LSU - SCORES - SECN Stream
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Rhode Island @ Springfield - Stream
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Oklahoma @ LSU - SCORES - SECN Stream
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Northern Illinois @ Iowa - Stream ($)
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – New Hampshire, George Washington, Rutgers (Boston, MA) - SCORES
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Iowa State @ Minnesota - SCORES
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Southern Utah, West Virginia @ Denver - SCORES
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Illinois State, Seattle Pacific @ Air Force
Of note in this LSU intrasquad video from yesterday, we see a lot of Lexie Lee and no McKenna Lou. (Right?) Though there are a number of gymnasts we don't see, so...
A team of the people this season, Michigan's stream will be free for everyone. LSU's, as always, requires a login.
I know I talk about this every time they have a meet, but one of my favorite Georgia/Michigan memories was 2010, back when Michigan scoring was Michigan scoring, and Cassidy McComb got a 9.675 on floor for a perfectly 9.800 routine, and then Grace Taylor and Kat Ding gave a...passionate hallway gymnastike interview about how stupid the scores were. Ah. Good times. Gymnasts are so rarely allowed to have a thought in public without getting in trouble for it, so I appreciate when they are to an admittedly unwarranted degree. Also, I did not have to look up McComb's floor score from that meet, which also says a lot about my mental problems. What was the name of a person I met yesterday? No idea. What did Cassidy McComb get on floor at a random dual meet six years ago? 9.675.
In the weekend preview, I picked Michigan for this one. Anyone taking Georgia for the win?
Looks like we're getting Cherrey and Snead in their debuts on bars, stepping into the Davis/Brown gaps in the lineup. The other four remain the same as last year. Michigan's vaulters are identical to last weekend when they scored a 49.225. Eager to see what difficulty Jay is showing on bars and how the 10.0 SVs look for Michigan here.
This is a good way to display scores, as long as the graphic does not end up obscuring landings, which it often can. But if that's not a problem, other broadcasts and networks need to get on this train.
Come on, meet. At this rate, you might not even get two rotations out of the way before everyone switches over to Oklahoma and LSU. Think it through.
Rotation 1 - Michigan on vault, Georgia on bars
Casanova - VT - 1.5 - Dammmmmmn - short on her 1.5, stumbles back and sits it. We've seen a couple people so far this weekend go for the difficulty and have it not pay off.
Vaculik - UB - high piked jaeger - a little late on her first half turn though - small pike and leg break on the bail - handstands are borderline - large pace forward on the tuck full - breaks but an OK season opening. Clean up the bail and control the dismount, and this will be the 9.85 from last season. 9.775.
Cherrey - UB - Already on to this one - missed beginning but did see the DLO I was worried about because of the leg splay - it's not that pronounced but is an issue. Hop forward.
McLean - VT - Nicely nice height on that full -= opens out of it and stick with just a touch of stagger in the landing, though not even really on replay. Strong vault. 9.750 is maybe a little tight but we can't judge distance from here, so that may have been a factor.
Artz - VT - does the yfull - I know she was training something different for a while - solid enough - a minor pike and a larger hop back.
Snead - UB - Good opening tkatchev - nice height - small leg break on bail - good toes and extension - looks like she piked the DLO at the end but a stick or close to it. Nice routine. 9.900. Well now.
Chiarelli - VT - Strong 1.5 from her - loses knee form at the end for a little tuck and lands with the feet a bit apart - small hop. 9.875.
Schick UB - good first hs - hits tkatchev as well as the jaeger - cleaner on the bail than her predecessors - hs on the whole team look pretty good for an opening meet, but that DLO was never, never. No chance to save it. Hands down. Counting the 9.7s from Vaculik and Cherrey now.
Sheppard - VT - now that's how you do height on a full - step back, so not the control we often expect on this vault, but good chest position on the landing - 9.800
Jay - UB - hits opening hs - solid bail - hits shush VERY well - full twisting DLO with the usual amount of pike in a DLO 1/1 and then a small step back followed by another on controlling the landing. A couple formies in there but good difficulty. 9.825.
Karas - VT - strong 1.5 - good distance - also a little knees at the end but less pronounced than Chiarelli - step off to the side should keep it down from the score last weekend. Still 9.900 actually.
Rogers - UB -Mounts - cures cancer - saves an orphan from a burning building - lovely stalders - strong Ray into pak - struggles a tad to cast out of the pak - excellent shap 1/2 - hop back on DLO - just a couple breaks in there but great difficulty - will get consistent 9.9+ again this year.
Vault scoring was a little swayed by difficulty there - difference between those full and 1.5 scores here is more pronounced that just the 0.05 SV difference.
Sanders is doing exhibition on bars for Georgia - JUST caught that piked jaeger - step forward on double front - OK routine but didn't take a place from anyone in the lineup with that.
After 1: Georgia 49.125, Michigan 49.050
Both teams hurt by the falls there, having to count 9.7s they wouldn't have planned on originally. Michigan needs Casanova hitting that 1.5, but it was a solid enough rotation. Just more control needed on a couple of those key landings, but it will come along. Thought McLean's was better than a 9.7. Georgia had some form issues in the first couple routines and the fall from Schick, but Rogers looked her usual excellent and Snead impressed. I was worried about this lineup (and still am about having enough big scores because there will be breaks in Jay's routine when she goes for this difficulty), so I'll take a 49.125.
Rotation 2 - Georgia to vault, Michigan to bars
Austin Sheppard is in the bars lineup for Michigan. She was pulled last week.
Broussard - VT - Looks like solid height and distance on the full - leg form OK - larger bounce back, though. 9.750.
Casanova - UB - strong opening hs - only slightly late on the full - pretty good legs together on gienger - hitting hs well throughout with toe point city - small step on double back dismount - clean enough leadoff - 9.800
Vaculik - VT - does excellently to stick that full - not the dynamics that Broussard or most of the other UGA vaulters will have, but she'll make it up with the landing. 9.800.
Christopherson - UB - solid first hs - Ray is good, not hugely high but strong and comfortably caught - legs together on the bail - late on the final full turn and also a small hop on the double back - 9.825.
Snead - VT - Pretty legs and good distance on the full - slightly off to the side and a bounce - she can do more difficulty at some point.
Sheppard - UB - better finish on full turn and high on the tkatchev - arches on her straddle back but holds onto it - good hs - very piked on the DLO and a hop forward - different dismount but with its own issues now. 9.800.
Marino - VT - Identical 1.5 to Casanova - sits. The 1.5 gonna getcha!
Artz - UB - high piked jaeger and well caught - better finish on her blind change before it as well - clean unproblematic hs - higher DLO than the others, just a slide back. 9.900. Well.
Rogers - VT - a couple paces back landing the 1.5 there - looks like the landing sneaked up on her a little bit - also had some crazy legs on the block - not her best 1.5 but she'll get there. She'll get there.
Karas - UB -hits shaposh but loses a little swing on it and she could never really recover from that - catches the pak but can't cast out of it, ultimately comes off the bar trying to save everything - finishes with a MUCH improved DLO, though.
Jay - VT - Now that's a 1.5 - NEARLY sticks it, but has to bend for it and then take a big lunge forward as she tries to college salute it - will probably end up a bigger deduction than just a small step on the landing would have been. 9.800. Would have gone 9.9s without the bend and lunge/salute.
Brown - UB -Excellent Ray to pak combo - solid on her hs on the low bar - best handstands of the bunch - hop back on DLO was really the only main thing - saves the rotation and should be a pretty high score. 9.875.
Bars exhibition from Lauren Marinez now - needs a bit more counterrotation in that ray and loses her legs on the bail, which is a shame because she has some potential here with those handstands and that toe point.
After 2: Michigan 98.250, Georgia 98.050
Georgia's landings aren't there yet, not enough to get any higher score than that. Good potential in the difficulty, and Snead is once again the highlight of the rotation. Someone's going to be a star for Georgia. But, too many major landing errors there to warrant a 49. Michigan pulled it back on bars there with a perfectly fine rotation. Breaks, the dismount landings aren't there yet either, but mostly clean potential - Artz and Brown continue showing the capability for the big scores - the releases are there along with the handstands for the most part. It's a lot of 9.8 gymnastics, which is normal for this time of year.
I don't know why my WatchESPN app already knew I wanted to watch Oklahoma and LSU and had it come up immediately, but I'll take it. Remember that one's about to get underway as well. Don't get distracted by the meet you have. There are others!
Rotation 3 - Michigan to beam, Georgia to floor
Here we go.
Karas - BB - solid on the punch front - stays composed without giving away a wobble - but has no chance on the switch half, comes right off. Definitely not the day she had in Cancun. Nice amplitude on loso series. Hits gainer pike. Note what I mentioned about the scoreboard graphic - it's a great idea, but we cannot actually see the beam, which is a HUGE problem.
Snead - FX - She's all over the place today - a little slide on double back - good rebound into her split on the middle pass - dance elements are completed - short ladning on the double pike with a low chest and a lunge forward - not extreme but a deduction for sure.
Brown - BB - Pressure situations now for this lineup. Pretty unexpected from Karas even though she's a freshman, she's going to be a solid one for them - loverly legs in the walkover to bhs combo - switch and split jump are 180 - secure side somi - a little tight on full turn but no check - just holds on to the stick ont he 2/1 - excellent routine. Just a 9.800.
Babalis - round off to double back is well landed - also completes her splits well - front lay to front full is solid - is she not able to BHS? - and finishes with a double pike - good control on all those landings -
Marinez - BB - split jumps onto the beam - similarly pretty on her walkover to bhs combo - solid walkover - wobble on the stag - 1/2 dismount with a step. Not bad.
CHAYSE CAPPS IS DOING BARS! -
Oklahoma vs. LSU
Lexie is back already. Ahead of schedule.
Macadaeg - VT - comes in short on her full with a step forward - not the dynamics the others will have.
Jackson - UB - solid piked jaeger - small leg break in the bail - toes are getting better - small hop on a high full twisting double tuck - this routine is coming along from being definitely not a strength for her in her previous career life.
Ewing - VT - Easily completed 1.5, medium-szied step forward, into a further pace - minor leg break.
Lehrmann - UB - lovely finishes on early handstands - good toes - hits jaeger, but arches her bail and could not save it - comes off the bar - tons of potential in her routine. CLose on tuck full dismount with a step.
(Williams for Michigan hitting beam - solid on loso series - nearly sticks 1.5)
Priessman - VT - last we heard was mid-January, but she's here - interesting just a full from her so far - assume we'll see an upgrade later? - good distance, some legs and a slide back, though. OK, but she'll obviously be a big vaulter for them soon. That vault still looks like it's coming back.
Capps - UB -small arch in a cast to half turn - close on that tkachev - hits bail - good handstands and toes - last handstand is borderline - step back on tuck full - you can tell it's not her main event, but it's a workable routine. 9.700.
Checking in on Georgia again, MBB justgot a 9.900 instead of a 9.875. Now it's Rogers
Rogers - FX - large lunge forward on double arabian, just does keep it in bounds - sticks the 1.5 to layout with just a small leg cross in the twist - low chest on double pike but controlled landing.
Chiarelli - BB - secure loso series - nice straddle 1/2, sol;id and correct straddle position - confident on the side aerial as well - pretty tull turn - hop on double back - saves the rotation and they will go over 49 for it once again.
Wofford looking extremely Woffordy on bars - great toes and handstands and sticks the tuck full, just an excellent routine.
Gnat - VT - ALMOST stuck her DTY - tried to pretend but she took at least one if not two small steps on the salute. But still. DTY.
Kmieciak - UB - a little tight on opening hs but good height on tkatchev, though catch may have been a bit close - subsequent hs are better - step on tuck full dismount -
Wyrick and Gnat both go 9.900 for LSU on vault. How long do we think until the "Yurchenko 1/2 to front layout" is devalued to a 9.950 as well?
Hemry doign exhibition on bars for OU - she has the line and toe point - late on the full and a step on the double back.
LSU 49.250 to Oklahoma 49.100. Oklahoma couldn't come back from the fall and having to count a 9.700 from Capps there, but Wofford was just tremendous.
Close in Michigan still! Michigan 147.350, Georgia 147.200. I missed the Jay fall on floor, but she does tend to have a few iffy ones early in the season. Got through with an acceptable score even so. This has been an OK meet for both teams, nothing remarkable so far but nothing disastrous. Michigan did very well to hit five in a row at the end of that beam rotation, and there's some very pretty work going on there.
Broussard starting on beam for UGA - right off on her loso series - way off line - both teams will have to work against an opening fall, but oh, Georgia. Georgia beam.
Lehrmann gets good distance on her full for Oklahoma, but not the amplitude we'll see from others.
Gnat - UB - solid first hs - a bit late on full and some legs on gienger though it has been worse - good first hs - hop back on hs - it's still a ragged routine, but they'll need it again this year and it's usable.
Very good landing on the full from Jones for Oklahoma - slightly lower chest and not humongous distance, but will be a good score.
Hambrick - UB -some feet on the Ray but a solid catch - also a bit late on her full - everything else looks clean - comes in a little low on the tuck full with a step forward.
Kmieckiak with the smallest slide with one foot on her full - or according to the commentator, "stuck, no doubt about it" - really secure landing, though, and should score well for that.
Savona - UB - better legs on the shap - small break on the bail - tkatchev is still pretty close but not entirely WOGA anymore - pretty close on DLO with a hop back. OK, but nothing big for LSU so far on bars.
Capps - VT - better distance on her full - medium hop back. Usual Capps vault except for the landing -
Schick falls on beam for Georgia. Gymdogs counting a fall now. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Wyrick - UB -fine tkatchev - somewhat close - clean on the bail - a few moments of toes and feet shivering apart - two steps on DLO dismount - a small one and then a larger to salute. OK, but she can be more precise and will be later in the year.
Scaman - VT - Interesting. Just doign the full - amazing for most of it as always - height distance form opens etc. Just the slide back. They're going for clean instead of difficulty so far, so we'll see how that compares to some of the teams going for more difficulty.
FINNEGAN - UB -great first hs - nice toe point on that tkatchev - clean bail handstand and back up to high bar - sticks DLO. Excellent. SO little to take there. The bars routine LSU desperately needs this year. 9.850. Could have gone higher. Better than a tenth stronger than those 9.775s.
Jackson - VT - she's the one doing the 1.5 - not much loss of form in there - hop forward, very similar to what we saw most of last year.
Zamardi - UB -good legs together on the shap and maintains swing and body position back to low bar - comfortable on khorkina - not bad ont he double arabian dismount this time - small step back and then looks like another into salute - they need to control these landings more, but Finnegan was an important highlight here.
Priessman doing bars exhibition today - easy tkatchev into pak - half turn on low bar is solid - godo final hs - piks the DLO and a large stumble back with many steps - that's clearly the thing keeping her out of the lineup because the rest was excellent. Once they get that DLO together it will be late-lineup.
Rogers - BB - Georgia already having a disaster on beam - need some Rogers magic now - bhs 1/1 is well done - solid on the loso landing - easy full turn - we need to see the New Rogers on beam now and we're seeing it so far - holds onto the bhs 3/4 to stag, you could see the twitch in the elbow but she worked it out and held it - hop forward on 1.5 but good. Necessary hit. Already counting a fall and a 9.500.
Michigan is also working against a fall already on floor but also got a 9.950 from Karas.
Chiarelli - FX - came in a little short on her double arabian and steps back but keeps it to her feet - 1.5 to layout with step forward - good straddles -secure double pike to finish - a bit of lack of control in a landing or two so shouldn't be her best score but will still be very good. Still a 9.925. Floor scoring has been by far the loosest event so far this season across the board.
Box - BB - tuck jump full is right on - solid on the loso as well - hits her straddles and full turn well - walkover to scale is almost actually a walkover to scale, just a small pause in between - large hop forward on 1.5 - but she and Rogers saved this mess as well as they could.
Artz - FX - a littel bounce on her piked full in but fine - split half and straddle full look well completed - very secure on the front lay to front full - strong double pike - better control on landings than Chiarelli's routine, so we'll see where this goes.
MACADAEG ON BEAM. WHERE IS KATHY? Comes off on pretty loso series. Say it with me: The sophomore lost her MIND!
Brandie Jay also on beam doing exhibition - I thought she had made the lineup this year? Good side aerial but wobbles on a couple acro skills, so it wouldn't have been much better had she been in the lineup. Girl! We need you!
FINAL: Michigan 196.925, Georgia 195.200
Georgia was right in it until the last two events. How many times have we heard that story. Another beamtastrophe destroys the Gymdogs. The party drugs kicked in for the judges there during the Michigan floor rotation, but it was quite solid from what I saw. Similar score to last week after all. Things to work through, but Michigan remains the only team to hit 196.9 now.
Hambrick up on beam for LSU - following the Macadaeg fall - wobble on her switch side as we has to swim to keep it together, but otherwise pretty - secure on her loso - sticks that huge and lovely 2/1. Good routine, looked more comfortable than in a lot of her routines last year.
Lovan - FX - punch rudi to stag to start, clean and fine - full to layout, showing the tight body position in simplicity that always gets her big scores - and very secure on the double pike. Nice
Ewing - BB - good layout 2ft with secure landing - crooked on switch side - the whole team is holding hands through this - nothing like seeing the confidence your team has in you to spur you on - sticks the 1.5, just a tad off to the side? A couple minor checks there, but nice.
Capps - FX - CHAYSE CAPPS. Not doing the DLO, double pike mount, very high but does come in with slightly low chest. very nice front full to layout - "A lot of shimmy shake in this routine." Don't even pretend like you can speak about this routine - staggered on her rudi. Landings just OK, but the routine is all there for me now.
Priessman - BB -loose knees on the loso series but secure - MLT WILL CUT YOU FOR THOSE KNEES - She'll throw that dog into your face - also a bit crooked on switch side with a check - tentative on the walkover but OK - step on gainer full. It's a very "getting back" kind of routine.
Jones - FX - 2.5 to front tuck (not the full in, which is also an option for her), does it well - comfortably connected into the full - 1.5 to layout and just does keep that back foot down - feet on those dance elements - yeah, I don't feel the choreography on this one - but strong tumbling and solid on the double pike - good height and control for most everyone so far.
Finnegan - BB - hits the triple wolf confidently - solid on the loso series - good position on the switch and, even more impressively, also good position on the switch 1/2 - has to squat a little to hold the side somi without a wobble but good - aerial into full dismount - well done. Good debut for the Finnegan.
Jackson - FX - half to rudi - not mounting with the difficulty she is capable of doing, at least right now, going for simpler twisting skills but finishes with a high and controlled double pike - would have enjoyed this routine if the commentators hadn't talked through it. Is the composition a reaction to injury or trouble last season controlling landings?
Gnat - BB - Does well to hold the walkover combination without a wobble and continue the combo - good switch to straddle 1/4, level position in that straddle, but then also quite crooked int he switch side with a low back leg - secure loso series - sticks 2/1. LSU saved the event.
Scaman - FX -Took that DLO right to the edge but solid landing and very high as always - I think I could get really into Scaman's routine, but I want her to facially and energetically commit more to it - it's almost there - wins my heart with her loso obviously - controlled double back, somewhat low chest? Very confident landings already, though.
After 3: Oklahoma 147.525, LSU 147.425
Neck and neck. Normally, you favor the team going to floor at this point, but you know, Oklahoma. Natalie Brown is doing exo on floor - I haven't seen this one yet, but she is using the Game of Thrones theme, so Khaleesi can stay. Except she has a disaster on her middle pass - butt front connection pass.
Finnegan has been the highlight of the meet so far. Best LSU routine on both of her events. On the first two events, Oklahoma did look a little depleted, but floor was more like it. Good shape for the first meet of the year.
Kmieciak - BB - continues her eternal role as a leadoff - commentators talking about how she's in this role because she's experienced, ignoring the fact that she has had this role since she was a freshman. Solid routine, but a larger lunge back on the double back.
Ewing - FX -secure landing on 2.5 - high front full to layout, just does keep it in bounds with a small step forward - solid straddle - secure double pike, should score well enough.
Lehrmann - BB - solid on walkover - came in a little short but did well to correct without a wobble - hits loso series - that's how you do a switch side, very nice - sticks 1.5 dismount. Great debut beam. Very clean. KJ has another one.
Wyrick - FX - doing a full in, low chest and a step forward - half to front layouts middle pass - high straddles, well played - bounces back out of double tuck, just does stay in bounds but will get hit for that bounce back. 9.875 is way too high.
Jones - BB - She made this lineup. Interesting. I wondered about that. She doesn't have the extension and line of some of the others, but she can be a solid one - as she is one the loso series - step on the kickover front, but fine - very good on the switch+switch series - just a tad underrotated on the 1.5 with a hop forward, but she showed why she's in the lineup. Good enough.
Hambrick - FX - a bit short on her DLO with a bounce "great job to land it in the corner" - slightly bouncy on her landings and a bit short - nothing major or significant, but once again on her final double back, just down ever so little with a step.
Brown - BB - clean walkover to two bhs - straddle 3/4 wasn't that crisp or fully straddled - just a little tight on some of the splits that she can usually hit, but very comfortable on the gainer full -
Zamardi - FX - so she is making the lineup after all. Hits the double arabian pretty well, a little bounce back but she completed that easily - 1.5 to a slightly whippy layout -a little staggered in the rudi but not a huge deal. Fine routine. Impressed because I didn't think we'd see her on floor.
Lovan - BB - Good switch - a little LSU on that side though - gets bizarre on the loso series and comes right off - the final loso was barely on the beam at all. Did not expect that from her, and Oklahoma couldn't afford that at this point as LSU is getting the home benefit of some scores here.
Kelley - FX - High DLO but lands it with a pretty low chest, she can do better than that - HOW MANY TIMES CAN WE MENTION MARY LOU? - short on the splits - also low chest on her double back - and then she shot us with a rifle - great?
Capps - BB - Pretty loso series - comfortable full turn - easy walkover - switch to straddle 1/4 is well hit as well - we know it's going to be pretty, but is it secure? And this one is. Sticks gainer full. A few errors on each event for Oklahoma today, but a nice start.
Gnat - FX -High and excellent DLO - almost comfortable on the 2.5 front tuck, tuck goes off to the side a bit - also good chest position and a stick on the double pike. Great routine, best of the rotation by about two tenths honestly. Maybe an exaggeration, but a whole heap better than the rest of the team. She'll get regular 9.950s this year.
Oh yeah! Stefani Catour is on this team! Doing exo for Oklahoma - was going to be a nice full turn but just a bit tentative - a couple checks here and there, just pulling it back ever so much on every skill - gainer pike.
FINAL: LSU 196.950, Oklahoma 196.725
It was a close meet - the judges once again getting a little home-team happy in the final rotation made it seem less close than it was. For me, Oklahoma was the better team by a touch, but not clearly better enough to win on the road against an LSU team that was getting home floor. Both teams were a little more ragged than I expected them to be. That's normal for a first meet, but based on what they usually do and what we had seen so far, I expected a little more polish. Oklahoma had a couple falls and a couple 9.7s and usually starts much better than that. You know they'll be pissed about losing.
No major problems for either team and nothing to worry about. Oklahoma needs to figure out who is doing bars (it's not really Capps' event, though she has some Cappsy qualities and got through it) and what they're doing about vault difficulty for people like Scaman/whether it's going to be worth it to upgrade. The rest will come. Beam is beam, and floor looked pretty clean, if lower difficulty. I agree with the commenters who said Lovan seemed underscored on floor. She has no difficulty in that routine, but it's a 10.0 start and clean as all get out. LSU's bars is the worry for me because there are quite a few people in that lineup who don't need to doing bars, but getting Priessman in full form will help a ton there. Beam will come along as long as Macadaeg develops that comfort, and once Savona is back on vault and floor, those events will look stronger and more complete.
In other news, Kiera Brown went 9.950 on bars in her Penn State debut. And hit beam! Will wonders never cease. Although, Penn State overall had a nasty and lost to NC State 194.700-194.125.