The end's not near, it's here.
This is the part where we're supposed to use a lot of nonsense sports cliches, I think. It all comes down to this. The best of the best. All in this together. Teamwork-sisterhood. Teamwisterhood. Lessons. Desire. Heart and grit and other terms that are ambiguous enough so as to avoid actually providing analysis or having anything to say. Montage beginning with a closeup of a sweat droplet to symbolize the hard work no one sees. Leave it all on the floor. Is that making you feel sporty and championshipy enough?
Anyway, it's Super Six. So, try to enjoy it or whatever. Or actively loathe it if that's your thing. Utah fans, that's probably your thing today. We begin at 9:00 ET/6:00 PT.
Here is the rotation order, along with the semifinal scores for each team on each event. Once again, the highest score of that rotation is highlighted.
Alabama ending on beam, Florida ending on bars, LSU ending on vault...everyone always gets the same order. We all remember Florida finishing on bars last year because McMurtry, and Alabama had this rotation order in 2012, 2013, and 2014. UCLA also famously had this order in...2012? The year EHH went OOB in the first rotation and that ended up being the difference for the title.
Nothing that occurred during the semifinals gives any reason to question Oklahoma's status as the favorite to win this year, performing the cleanest gymnastics on the day. Although that was also true last year and the top four are pretty well bunched.
The second will be a telling rotation as to LSU's chances, starting on bars. Scoring over 49.3 was a critical moment for the Tigers on bars yesterday, with Priessman showing her best routine of the season and Gnat coming in solidly as a replacement for Wyrick, and that performance must be repeated. I'm also curious as to whether Alabama can repeat the scores/sticks from yesterday's vault rotation or whether they used up the magic.
Sophina on floor? Sophina on floor.
I think she should be leading off, though. Famous routine status could overcome first-up stinginess to lift the scores for the whole lineup. Or this could all just be a clever ruse.
In other news, Jay and Box have switched places on floor. OK. Why now, but OK.
All I really ask is that this be more exciting than yesterday's meets ended up being at the end. Neither of the fourth-place teams ended up within a fall of the top three. Either no one falls on beam or everyone falls on beam. Agreed? It doesn't matter which, just pick one.
Also, are we going to talk about how this bowling (bowling) that's on ESPNU doesn't look like finishing any time soon?
We're getting close now. The chalk clouds are gathering. Inexplicable nervousness returns.
RED ALERT: Because bowling is a thing, the competition will begin on ESPNEWS at 9:03 ET.
We're still being asked to stand by on the streams. Yeah, we're standing by. We got it.
The way this woman said "Kathy...Clarke, and Bart...Connor" is not OK. You do not stumble over the names of legends!!
The gymnasts are basically summing up the opening paragraph of this blog. Like...too literally. Too word-for-word.
Bart is welcoming us. Everything is historic and exciting and historic. Kathy is letting us know the importance of rest and rotation order. Fire in heart. Water in veins.
STREAMS STILL DELAYED.
Baker - BB -good wolf turn - usual deliberate connection from walkover to bhs but secure - also secure on straddle to split 1/2 - side aerial to full, came in short on the full with a hop forward but great before that.
Jones - VT - pretty much stuck her full, step-salute out of it but held the stick for a while.
Price - VT - handspring pike half, not as strong as yesterday but still good - step to the side, chest down a bit more.
small hop back for Cherrey on DLO on bars.
Kmieciak - VT - large bounce back on her full, not the usual controlled landing we expect. This angle on vault is horrific, and that is one of her weakest vaults of the season. 9.775 is sort of high for that.
Vaculik - UB - short opening hs - strong piked jaeger - clean legs on bail and vertical - hop back on tuck full this time, stuck yesterday.
Ernst sticks a gainer pike.
Honest went 9.8375 on floor.
Capps - VT - small hop back on full. They're not getting the landings they did yesterday - others will have more distance.
Schick - UB - great catch on piked jaeger - lovely line on bail - hitting handstands - near stick on her DLO.
Scaman - VT - This broadcast is the Oklahoma show so far - a little off line on her 1.5 this time, some knees and a slightly larger step forward than last time.
break for Fassbender, leg goes up on sheep jump but stays on - got through
Jay - UB - good first hs - solid bail - Georgia great on the bars so far today - hit her shush in every meet this year - STICKS dLO 1/1 - excellent.
Francis - FX -good control on double back - took it far but a small step back to stay in - crossover step on her 2.5, JUST does stay in bounds again - she is playing with fire but staying in -
Jackson - VT - MUCHHHHHH better - step forward on 1.5 but fine.
Rogers - UB - great Ricna, close on the pak but works out of it - solid shap 1/2 - nails perfect DLO, but the close catch on the pak will hurt her.
Boren - BB - secure kickover front, very confident - nails loso series as well - solid positions on switch and straddle - small check/bend on standing loso - hop back on gainer full -
Sophina is getting a full calf massage and hamstring massage for this routine.
crossover step on her front 2/1, a bit awkward and lacking control - double back is better - L jump full is more defined in its position than it was before, when it looked like a botched wolf jump kind of - 1.5 to layout to sit split - a couple areas of form and not the control on the first pass, but useful.
Oklahoma went 49.225. Not what they wanted. 49.400 yesterday on vault.
Sloan - BB - smooth walkover to beat jump - solid loso series as well - strong switch and split - small step back on 2/1 dismount -
Cipra - FX - opneed wayyyy to early on that double back, large bounce back - not what UCLA needed - 1.5 to half to straddle is better - another bounce back on double pike and OOB. "And someone hung up on her." Yep, this routine did. UCLA needed a 9.9 from Cipra and will have to drop the score. Rough.
More hamstring massages from UCLA.
Broadcast switching back to ESPNU now and freaked me out.
Bynum - FX - Great DLO, controlled - controls the double back side pass well as well - one more pass to get through to drop Cipra's nasty - dance elements remain deductible, but she has cleaned up the tumbling control a ton - front through to double back, chest down and a bit of lean forward, still a useful routine. They'll be within range of the others after one, but probably wanted more from floor.
Dana is REALLY southern today.
After 1: Oklahoma 49.225, Florida 49.2125, UCLA 49.2000, Georgia 49.1875
Very tightly bunched after one. No one pulling away. Pretty much everyone would have hoped for a higher score than this, though. UCLA is the only one that bested the semifinal score on this event. Particularly Oklahoma gave away too much with those vault landings, and Georgia lost out on a big Brittany Rogers score because of that pak, and they need that score.
Just a bit of wobblies on most of those Florida routines. Nothing major, but no big scores there, peaking at the Sloan 9.900000000000.
Time for Alabama and LSU to get in on the 49.2 party. Anyone with a 49.4 could blow things out early.
Savona - UB - Solid shap small leg break - hits bail - full to a stuck DLO, strong start.
Brannan hits double arabian to begin for Alabama, step back - secure final double pike
Cipra - VT - smller hop back on her full - one of her better ones, good distance and directions.
Jay - BB -check and a second bend on her side aerial - kickover front to bhs is slow but fine - switch to shush to hip circle - sticks 1.5 because Brandie.
Hambrick - UB - very high Ray - good position on full turn, just a small leg issue on the bail - sticks tuck full - magical routine, very well done.
Gnat - UB - solid fuinish on full turn and excellent legs on gienger - leg break on bail and a couple toe and handstand issues - pikes down her DLO, small hop in place - good one.
Honest - VT - slightly off to the side, small hop back.
Meraz - VT - very little amplitude and dynamics - low landing but secure.
Babalis - BB - kickover front and just walks out of it to cover up a wobble - check on full turn -
Priessman - UB - loses legs a little on pak after tkatchev but both solid if not HIGH - hop back on her DLO this time and the piking second salto -
Bynum - VT - hop forward on her arabian today. UCLA doesn't really have the vaults this year to make a splash in Super Six.
Finnegan - UB - falls on her ray again - Gaaaaaahhh - inconsistent skill to her - Kathy's about to cry.
Rogers - BB - strong bhs 1/1 - hits loso series well - hop forward on 1.5. Three hits.
Preston - VT - sticks her full this time, bends and pikes to hold the stick - very high, not a lot of distance.
Hall - VT - sticks her 1.5 - she found that vault suddenly. Wow. Still messy knees and legs apart to stick and a bit low.
Zamardi - UB - good shap - leg break on pak, but minor - hits her khorkina - one short hs in there - step forward on double arabian, some moments to take away the big score, but LSU endures.
Bailey finishes floow with a bounce back on a rudi -
Broussard - BB -one-arm bhs to loso is good - sstrong switch and straddle 1/4 - hits side aerial slowly but confidently - sticks gainer full -
Winston - FX - very secure DLO landing, just pikes her second salto a tad - front lay front full - high and controls her step out - great switch ring - huge double back, just moves her front foot and didn't need to because the landing was super secure.
Let's not overuse "the best routine I've ever seen her do." I know I do it too, but still...
Broussard just got a 9.9125 on beam. Dayum. The Georgia train is leaving the station.
Box - BB - solid tuck jump full - hits loso series - tight on her switch again but lands well - lovely full turn style - no trouble with walkover - sticks 1.5.
Beers - FX - keeps the DLO under control today - front leg is a little low on her switch ring, but split leap is solid - maintaining control much better on these passes - strong double tuck and chest up. Alabama will be out leader after this first rotation by a big margin.
Schick - BB - check and bend at the hips on her loso series - lovely walkover to sissone - one-arm front handspring to switch - she has a wonderful style - gainer full with two steps,
C Sims - FX - Strong DLO, some of her best chest position - straddles and splits are quite nice - chest down a bit more on double pike, but Alabama hit an important floor.
LSU 49.125 on bars. Needed more, didn't get to use the Finnegan score and it hurt.
Val is proud of their vault sticking, but the score still isn't high enough.
Well, damn, Georgia.
After 2: Georgia 98.550, UCLA 98.2875, Alabama 49.3750, Oklahoma 49.2250, Florida 49.2125, LSU 49.1250
Advantage Alabama.That's the first rotation score that looks worthy of Super Six, along with Georgia's beam. Alabama has given itself an edge. Oklahoma needs to do some Oklahoma bars to get back into it. Floor scores rising, let's see how Florida is evaluated. Both teams will be hurt by another 49.2.
McNeer - VT - sticks her full with a bend forward -
Macadaeg - BB - Macadaeg things - walkover to straddle, small bend correction on her straddle - hits loso series - gainer no problem. Great hit.
Jackson - UB - piked jaeger is good - nice vertical on bail - handstands look fine - hop in place on tuck full.
Guerrero - VT - small hop back on 1.5 -
Lehrmann - UB - good height on jaeger - perfection on the bail, no pike, no angle, noleg separation - sticks her tuck full. What Oklahoma needs.
Hambirck - BB - secure on side aerial - good extension on switch and straddle 1/4 - solid loso series - hop back on her 2/1.
Bailey - VT - lunge forward on her y1/2 this time.
Capps - UB - great position on full turn - flatter tkatchev - small leg break on bail - calm and precise final hs - sticks her tuck full without a question. Strong work again. "Chayse Capping off..." OH KATHY YOU CARD.
Brannan - VT - shawn johnson crossover step on her 1.5 - not as strong as floor/vaulting yesterday.
Cannamela - BB - secure loso series this time - fine switch - bend correction on her straddle 1/4, loses her toe point in the splits - standing loso to beat jump is fine - hop forward on 1.5.
Beers - VT - basically sticks her 1.5, very good - B and K are calling it a stick but she quivered a little in the feet -
McMurtry - FX - triple full, staggered landing but secure, crossed legs (being picky because it's not as perfect as the narrative is making it out to be) - front lay to front full with a bit of a step forward - chest down a bit on double back with a lunge forward -
Kmieciak - UB - low chest on tuck full with a jump forward, she's just a little off tonight.
Bresette - VT - sits her omelianchik. They don't need the score.
Wofford - UB - great finish on full turn - high jaeger, no close catch this time - one borderline handstand in here, there's always something isn't there? - oooooh, suddenly doesn't stick her tuck full, step forward and chest down. Weird.
Sloan - FX -1.5 through to 2.5, keeps her back leg down on the lunge but it is a bigger one - excelletn high straddle position as always - slides back on her double pike - 1.5 to layout to college back salute - excellent final pass. Will be big score.
Finnegan - BB -good wolf turn - fine loso series - magical split positions, small bend after the 1/2 - covers well on side somi, was a little forward but swung her arms back to save - side aerial to full - off line but sticks.
Baker - FX - STICKS Dos Santos - yes she did - wonderful - nooooooo, huge bound back after her double pike, somehow stays in bounds but a massive deduction there - final pass is perfect, and it basically could have been a 10 if she hit the middle but instead it should be the dropped score.
Gnat - BB - a little tight on that walkover but fine - solid switch and straddle 1/4 - LSU is going to start soaring on the second half events - switch side is a bit crooked - huge wobble on series, stayed on the beam but a major bend and swim, will be dropped.
Caquatto - FX - 2.5 to front tuck with a step forward, too much of a step so probably a lack of control deduction - travels a bit too much on the rudi to straddle but not too bad - strong straddles - excellent double pike.
Wait, how did Baker still get 9.825 for that routine? That middle pass alone...
Halfway: Alabama 98.700, Oklahoma 98.6750, Florida 98.5750, Georgia 98.5500, LSU 98.4625, UCLA 98.2875
Clooooooooose. The game is on. Georgia has done very well to keep pace going to floor and vault. Anyone's game. Except UCLA's. But still doing fine, just not Super Six level. Alabama vault scores a bit looser than they were yesterday because the landings were weaker but the score isn't ALL that much lower. Oklahoma destroyed bars to get back into it, but Wofford had basically her worst routine of the year, which took away a truly massive score.
Lots of high numbers in that rotation, which was weird because I thought the scores were pretty contained early on. Someone broke out the booze too early.
Fassbender hop back on full.
Kmicieak - BB - check on side aerial - short on double back dismount with step forward. She's been short on a lot tonight.
Reynolds - FX - bounce back on double pike - 1.5 to a very flat layout, overcooked the 1.5 but pulled it around - this choreo doesn't really fit the music at all - like at all - fine rudi -
Francis nearly sticks double pike, small hop -
Caquatto - VT - larger bounce back this time.
Sloan - VT - alllllllmost sticks her full but I'm going to call that step before showing control - she held the stick for a while but then lean/salute/stepped.
Lehrmann - BB - lovely walkover and loso series -sticks 1.5 - that will do just nicely.
Boren - VT - sits her 1.5. Struggles both days on it. Yikes. Counting a 9.7 now.
Ohashi - UB - toe on - solid bail, good vertical, very small leg sep - xcellent handstand before tkatchev - very low landing on tuck full with a lunge forward, will take away the score.
Baker - VT - basically sticsk that 1.5 - another excellent vault - small movement of the feet - good direction - yeah, that's a step back.
Catour - BB - strong walkover -
Lee - UB - gorgeous Bhardawj - catches shap 1/2 as well - excellent final hs - hop back on DLO but solid -
McMurtry - VT - lovely usual full - small hop back -
Brown - BB - lovely walkover to bhs, slow but keeps her arms moving throughout - beat jump to straddle 3/4, hits the straddle position - strong switch to stuck gainer full - that girl has FOUND this routine. It's now clearly the second best on the team.
Rogers - FX - better control on final double pike, chest a bit down -
Babalis - FX - good control on DLO but piked it a bit more this time, she bounced back yesterday and corrected out of that - excellent straddles - 1.5 to layout slide forward - bounce on double pike
Jones - strong and secure on loso - a little low on kickover front but works into beat jump - switch and split are solid - MUCH better than the switch + switch series she was doing earlier in the year - step forward on 1.5. Good hit.
What judge gave McMurtry a 9.950 for that, you know, DEFINITELY NOT STUCK vault?
Jay - FX - improves the full out, chest down but no question of control - sticks front 2/1 to front tuck, no question - wolf full is still not happening, with the position or the full - front full is controlled as well, to quote Kathy - IT'S THE BEST SHE'S EVER DONE.
Capps - BB - smooth on loso series - no trouble on full turn - walkover to loveliness to unicorns - switch to straddle 1/4 is nice - this is stronger than her semifinal performance, which was a little tight - sticks gainer full. a moment of legs on an early bhs, but not much else there.
Box - FX -DOING THE TROUBLE FRONT - large lunge forward but who even cares - props - 1.5 to layout - good straddles - maintains control on double back. Will drop the score, but yay for doing it!
Oklahoma 49.425 on beam puts pressure on Alabama's bars now.
After 4:Oklahoma 148.100, Florida 147.900, Georgia 147.600, UCLA 147.3875, Alabama 98.7000, LSU 98.4625
Can Oklahoma's floor hold off Florida's bars? Can Alabama and LSU smoooosh themselves into the mix as well. This thing is going to be GOOOOOOOD in the last rotation. Making up for yesterday and then some. Florida's semifinal bars score was just .025 larger than Oklahoma's semifinal floor score. Alabama went 49.3125 on bars in the semifinal and needs at least a repeat. LSU needs a home floor rotation right about now.
A ghost just passed through Kathy Johnson as she tried to say Morgan Reynolds. It was like "Roewernolds."
McNeer - UB - a bit close on her ray but ok - an arch on a hs in there - just some moments early - bail - better later handstands - hop back on DLO.
very low landing for Broussard on vault, step forward, one of her weaker of the year (TAKE THAT KATHY).
Ewing - FX - goes OOB on her double pike with a step. Now what LSU needed.
Beers - UB - solid shap to pak combo, tiny leg breaks, good rhythm - strong final hs - large lunge forward on double front - uh oh. Won't be the score they wanted.
Marino - VT - step back on 1.5 - off line - knees - pretty good control though
Hambrick - FX - solid once again on her DLO landing - 2.5 to front tuck - she goes straight up on that 2.5 - precise splits - bam double pike - she has brought it throughout this championship - great meet.
Snead - VT - medium hop back on full, great form -
Bailey step back on full out.
Jetter - UB - good ray this time - a little short of vertical on bail? - good legs together - hitting hs - better double front than Beers - small hop in place.
Rogers - VT - a bit short on her 1.5 this time, step back.
Jay - VT - hop forward on her 1.5. Neither did their 1.5s the way they can - steps this time.
Kelley - FX- MARY LOU ALERT - great control on DLO - a little lack of control on middle pass, slide forward - tuck jump full is a good choice that more gymnasts who aren't so splitty might now - another smaller slide back on double tuck. "Her mom helped her lift off." Yeah. She used Mary Lou Jesus juice to push her daughter's tumbling pass up. 9.900 is a Retton score.
Winston - UB - beautiful Ray and her wonderful pak as walsy - smmmmmalll hop in place on DLO.
Brannan - UB - great legs on bail - wonderful final hs - legs apart on DLO but great stick. Precise work.
Savona - FX - 1.5 through to double tuck, short and a step forward. Tuck full ius better, as it pretty much always is - really went for her dance elements this time, but hopped landing them - positions were good, but forgot about her control - bounce out of double pike - not her best.
DeJesus - BB - a little squatty on her kickover but holds on - good position on her switch - attitude 1.5 - hop forward on gainer front lay full.
Wyrick - FX - she has been inconsistent with some of these landings - better on the tuck full this time, just a small scoot on landing - secure landing on half to layout to half, just legs apart - high straddles and hitting the positions - 9.8875?
Francis - BB - walkover - sort of devastated that this is the last time we'll see this routine - strong loso series - switch and split are excellent - y spin is great as well - dismount: stuck it again! Great way to finish!
Gnat - FX - bounces a little back of that DLO, Jay Clark is in the way again - ugh - 2.5 to front tuck - hitting position on switch ring and tj - big double pike, smallest quiver of foot - good one. LSU is in this.
HERE WE GO. One to decide it.
Danusia beam 9.950 puts UCLA just ahead of Georgia in the fight for 5th.
AFTER 5: UCLA 196.825, Georgia 196.8125, Oklahoma 148.100, Alabama 147.9875, LSU 147.9250, Florida 147.900
Wow. Legitimately four different teams could win this going to the last rotation. Oklahoma leads and is going to the highest-scoring event that has seemed to be getting a little loose as the meet has progressed. So, perhaps some advantage Oklahoma, but this is going to be last-routine intense.
LSU will finish first with vault and will set the standard. Oklahoma gets to put up the last routine of the meet. We've seen that work for Bridgey before.
OK. Brace yourselves.
McNeer - BB - walkover to bhs is strong - full turn - wobble on loso series! - sticks 1.5.
Brown - FX - controls front 2/1 well - front lay to front full JUST stays in this time after OOB last time -good rudi -
Cannamela goes 9.900 for a yfull, scores going up -
Boren lunges forward on DLO after an arched hs
Ewing - VT - small hop forward on 1.5 - good direction -also gets 9.900. Judges very excited in the last rotation.
Finnegan - VT - sticks a full - very well done - not a lot of distance, but great control on the landing and chest up.
Capps - FX - small bounce up on her double pike, chest up - front full to front layout, fine - chest up and controlled on rudi -
BDG - UB - good shap to bail and legs together - stics her usual straddled DLO.
Caquatto - UB - a bit close on ray this time, minor, bent elbows - good bail - excellent final hs -squatty landing on her DLO but holds the control.
Savona - VT -larger pace forward on 1.5.
Hambrick - VT - small hop back on very straight 1.5.
Gnat - VT -good DTY - hops back - better distance, still a little legs.
Sloan - UB -Great Ray - legs and angle on bail hs again - strong final hs - sticks the DLO no question - basically identical routine to the semifinal.
A Sims - BB - secure loso series. Small hop forward on double tuck. 9.900.
Gnat gets the 9.950 with the hop back. Huge vault total for LSU. 197.450.
McMurtry - UB - piked Ray but good catch - strong bail and vertical - sticks her tuck full. Would basically need to be a 10. 9.925. Florida a tenth behind LSU!
Jones - FX - 2.5 to front tuck is strong.1.5 to layout with a bound, keeps her back leg down but a pretty large lunge - loses toe point and not the most extended on her dance elements - very secure double pike, chest minorly down but minorly - scores are going up in the final rotation, and this should be no exception.
Winston - BB - great split and straddle 1/2 - perfect psition - she's slow in her beam work but no technical deductions - good walkover - full turn - hop forward on double tuck. Did Alabama succuimb to that big dismount difficulty just a little here?
Guerrero - BB -three series to loso is great - sticks dismount - great meet for Alabama. It won't be enough to win this thing, but a great meet.
Jackson - FX - strong first pass - controlled - half to front full, small stuble this time but small - high and bouncy straddles. Jackson doesn't have to do much now, just hit. opens up out of double pike and nails it. That should be good enough to take the pressure off of Scaman.
Can't imagine that won't be enough. It's an Oklahoma day. I can't say it isn't deserved. Very very close meet, and Oklahoma did not start that well on vault, but has been the most precise team across four. All teams have been overscored in this last rotation, though.
Alabama finishes 197.4375 just behind LSU.
9.9125 for Jackson. High.
Scaman - FX - huge DLO, good control this time - coronation senior floor performance for Scaman - rudi to extended loso - great straddles - nails double tuck - they didn't need it, but that would surely have done it anyway, even if they had shown a mistake. Scaman giving all the photographers their pictures.
Florida finishes FOURTH. Who had that one.
KJ said "Holy cow."
Keeley Kmieciak crying, "I don't even know what to do."
Oklahoma 197.675, LSU 197.4500, Alabama 197.4375, Florida 197.3500, UCLA 196.8250, Georgia 196.8125
It's going to take a while to process that thing. Very even meet. Oklahoma the cleanest team. You can argue the difficulty, but those routines were, overall, the most precise. I'll want to go back and watch some more of Alabama because I feel like I didn't see enough of those routines. Great meet, didn't have the vault landings from yesterday, which could have been a difference maker. LSU finishes second! Great result for them, finished on the right events at the right time, but needed more from bars at the beginning.
Florida hmmm. Surprised by this result and it will be very disappointing for them, but good result for a new coach. Just bits here and there. Not getting the Boren vault score that they rely on. Not getting the Baker floor score, which is equally if not more important. Starting on beam and not getting the benefit of those rising beam scores also hurt the ultimate total. Rotation order was important today. I would contend that Florida's beam was better than LSU's and yet scored over a tenth lower.
Based on the routines I saw and my vaguely fuzzy memory in the aftermath of the competition, my rankings would have been Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, UCLA. Fair? Unfair? Switch Alabama and Florida? What about yours?
PA announcers giving instructions is one of my pet peeves. "Gymnasts, please salute your fans." Like they wouldn't have otherwise. Shut up.
Everyone's dancing. DD is bouncing.
Alabama is doing a really good job of pretending to be happy about finishing third.