Kittens, it's... *stretch* ... event finals! *yawn* If you think that I'm tired, just imagine the gymnasts that competed yesterday in Supah Six on the floor now getting ready to throw one vault they throw 10x a day and one vault they kind of worked on a couple of Saturdays ago in case they made vault EFs.
The arena music is tired too, as it's regressed back to Kool and the Gang. Do you remember? The night we had in September?
Elise and Manly Voice are talking about energy levels and fatigue. She then comments how fun it is to compete for "yourself" in EFs. The fatigue brings out Elise's inner diva - LOVE.
In EFs, skill level, execution, and most of all, leotard choice will be judged more harshly than in the past 2 days. This is the ONLY time all year a gymnast doesn't have to worry about sticking an easier dismount for the team score or wearing a dark color to disguise a tiny bit of torso fat. Today is the You Go Girlfriend! day.
AJ notes and I will underscore - EFs are insufferable. They take forever, have many, many layout Yurchenkos, and have crazy judging. Everything is down to the 10,000ths of a point. This is not a joke.
10:20am Pacific Time - Giblin of Nebraska is first on vault, already verifying my leo freakdom observation by wearing a red leo with bright disco tinfoil sleeves.
10:24am - Wilson of Michigan competes a flawless bars with an unusually-nice in-bar Geinger and double layout dismount. She steps back because she's exhausted, probably taking her down to a 9.8113 or 4...
10:26 - Botterman and her off-kilter woodland creature vault a nice fty, and barely tucks an fty.
10:28 - Ding from Georgia is up on bars - mostly black leo and nails her routine cold. Jay looks very classy in a white shirt and black suit. He leaves the top button unbuttoned as well as the jacket to go 9.8215 in my scorebook.
10:30 - Schleppenbach of Nebraska vaults her layout fty for the 1st stick of the afternoon. She bounces back a layout Yurchenko to waste the first stick.
10:31 - DeMeo in a Bama Fuck Yeah! bright crimson leo, but nails her routine and the double layout dismount. Hard to see any deductions.
10:33 - Mooring of OK is up on vault. Nice delayed twist y1/2, but shuffled the landing. I adore her black bottom, swirly dark maroon top w/ alternating black mesh on one arm. She dumps a fty that looked pikey and off-kilter, as evidenced by her hop forward and to the side.
10:35 - Wong of NB on bars - bright red leo. Nice routine, but wonky legs & a step on the dismount take her out of any consideration
10:37 - McCullough UCLA vault does a picture-perfect fty and sticks it COLD. That's the vault she wanted yesterday as her team barely lost. She's wearing the dark navy torso, bright blue arms with thick back criss-crosses UCLA leo. She ass-plants a y1.5 with a smile - congrats Brittney!
10:38 - Vivian of Oregon State - lovely form, high piked Jaeger, and dismounts a high, cowboyed double front that she sticks cold. Right side leo black, left side disco tin foil, thick white bedazzled Rorshach squiggly separating the 2.
10:39 - Borselino of Arkansas completely messes up the landing of her 2nd vault, layout Yurchenko.
10:41 - Ferguson of OK bars - gorgeous, perhaps a foot separation on the bail. Messes up the landing of the tucked full-in as Elise says that the step may affect her placement in the standings. REALLY?!! DO YOU THINK A LANDING STEP CAN AFFECT THE SCORE? Sorry, I get yell-y sometimes...
10:42 - Zurales of MI scares the fuck out of me on vault by balking the run start twice, then vaults an easy neat fty. She's wearing nice dark, dark blue leo with a yellow shoulder stripe. Nice - adore the Michigan leos this year. She really floats a layout Yurchenko with a small hop back.
10:43 - Scaffidi NB on bars. Nice, but giant foot flex on Tkachev, didn't hit the bail handstand, and steps back on the double layout dismount. I give it a 9.7943.
10:46 - Johnson FL vault - amazing, floaty fty with almost stick gets a gasp from Elise. Now the mystery is the second vault as I get to stare at her solid blue leo, blue mesh sleeves and Vegas showgirl crystal glitter. And she absolutely nails a layout Yurchenko for a stick - she should be the leader.
10:47 - Stack-Eaton bars - nice Hindorff, then pulls a Pak on the Pak salto. Which is historically accurate, but a fall here on bars. Nice
10:49 - To the commenter who asked if Alaina Johnson vaulted anything harder than a fty as an elite, the answer is no. Here is her 2008 Olympic Trials fty.
10:51 - Elise & Manly interview Kat Ding. She is surprised to interact & get along with other gymnasts on other teams at Nationals. I like her - purrs, kittens!
10:55 - Mooring of Oklahoma is inexplicably in the vault lead with a 9.8250314527 after not sticking either vault and a major hop. Giblin is in second with a 9.8000000000000000000000000oooooooooo baby baby all Bieber-style. Johnson is third for a BOO from me.
10:58 - And it's Group 2! These EFs are going to take 4 hours! Gutierrez of the Bama nails a lovely fty - perhaps slightly piked down, but solid. She wears deep crimson tin foil with a glitter A. Her second vault is a layout Yurchenko with a big step back that wastes the 9.9375 of her first vault.
11:01 - EHH for UCLA on bars - caps a perfect routine by totally flinging out her double layout with a leg separation, low chest and large step forward. Someone buy this girl a dismount.
11:03 - King FL absolutely sticks a crazy-hard Tsuk 1.5. That was stunning. She has the same leo as Johnson. She vaults an easy, high huge Tsuk full that she flares out and landed with a bounce. Someone please place her over Mooring.
11:05 - de la Torre UCLA bars. Lovely hop-full to Geinger. She absolutely sticks her double layout, just like yesterday in Super Six.
11:07 - Stack-Eaton Bama vault - she completes a perfect layout Yurchenko, just a small bounce in place. Pat Benatar tell us you're the right kind of sinner. To complete her fantasy. Stack-Eaton's 2nd vault is a lovely fty, identical landing.
11:08 - Kesler Oregon State bars - nails a nice routine and small-hops the landing. She goes to second with a 9.87501378675309, calling Jenny. I can make 1982 jokes based on the arena music.
11:09 - Davis Nebraska vault - y1.5, small step to the side. She has a large leg separation off the board - let's see if the judges deduct for it. They do - 9.8625. Vault 2 is a fty with a step forward.
11:10 - Johnson FL bars - tiny foot separation on the bail 1/2, and on her dismount Elise yells stick! and she does not, taking a step forward.
11:11 - Hoffman Bama vt - sticks a giant, long fty that is so stuck, 2 seconds later she throws her head back and emphasizes the stick. I wave hi to Poodle Hair in the background. Her second vault is a giant layout Yurchenko, but takes a shuffle back on the dismount.
11:13 - Novak OK bars - good routine, but slings the double layout dismount out and steps forward. Also, she has a leg separation on the bottom of every giant swing which SHOULD be deducted but is not. The only time it's acceptible to separate legs on a giant is to avoid the low bar. Her ankles are together passing the lowbar, then wonk out on the bottom of the swing.
11:14 - Cheek Georgia vault - shuffles the fty landing to take herself out. Her tucked fty is absolutely stuck, and suddenly now Elise starts obsessing as to whether the legs were bent enough.
11:15 - Makayla Stambaugh Oregon State bars - nice routine, hopped forward on the tucked full-in dismount.
11:16 - McAllister of Utah vault - her vaults will be to Heart's "Crazy on You." She sticks her fty, but hops her layout Yurchenko to my groans.
11:20 - Martinez Michigan bars - GIGANTIC Anna Li-esque Tkachev, and a teeny tiny step on her dismount.
11:22 - Sledge Bama vault - monster fty, tiny landing shuffle. 2nd vault is a giant layout Yurchenko with a big hop.
11:24 - Your vault & bars winners are King & Ding! This is not a joke.
11:30 - Manly Voice makes his hokiest joke yet as he notes on bars it was raining "Kats and (Georgia Gym) Dogs." That moan is me groaning 1/2 continent away.
11:34 - Evanstad NB fx - huge tucked full-in mount, step forward. I like that her routine has a nice choreography with many acrobatics - it's perfect for her. Also slightly short on her fhs rudi dismount.
11:36 - Jacob Bama beam - Elise is obsessing on background music. She takes a step on the ro double full dismount.
11:38 - Davis NB fx - does an identical huge tucked full-in with identical step forward.
11:39 - Hoffman Bama beam - I would like to note that she has brought this Bama team the championship. She's a real beamer, showing off all of the skills and emphasizing every movement. There are zero deductions. Stunning conclusion to a great NCAA career.
11:40 - My girl Pisani Arkansas fx - love her basics so much I won't even make fun of the fact that she hasn't combed her hair since SECs. She nails the routine.
11:42 - Botterman Michigan beam - 1st skill, 1st wobble the entire weekend. She & woodland creature are fatigued, but she ends perfectly. Someone give the woodland creature an energy drink or meth or something for fx.
11:43 - Stack-Eaton Bama fx - nice double Arabian mount, high double pike dismount. Afterwards she looks as tired as I feel. AJ would like you to know her Parkette teammate did a better Tango de Roxanne in 2002.
11:44 - Lofgren UT beam - she competes well while Manly Voice chooses this time to ask Elise what her beam music was. She dismounts a nifty 1-arm cartwheel gainer full.
11:45 - Poodle Head, Georgia fx - there is a slight music delay. Huge double pike mount, easy 2.5 punch front, bounce on the triple turn, high double tuck dismount. She didn't look as sharp as SECs, but I love her and will miss her.
11:47 - Ferguson OK beam - great routine, short on her ro double full dismount for a large step forward. Love her - bottle her like a fine wine.
11:49 - King FL fx - mounts with a gigantic double layout. Accidentally bounces out of her punch front, roundoff double tuck. Huge double pike dismount.
11:53 - Break for Group 2. I have no attention span left as Elise & Manly Voice yak and interview Stack-Eaton.
11:55 - Stambaugh Oregon State fx - Mounts amazing huge whip 2.5, small bounce out. She is tall & a twister, and in Elise's eyes that means she didn't flip at all. At all. Memo to Elise - neither did you.
11:57 - Fernandez IL beam - she has a couple of bobbles that don't connect her jump series. Perfect ro double full dismount to end her NCAA career.
11:59 - Botterman Michigan fx - her woodland creature loves techno & the huge pike full-in mount. Love her signature shoulderwheel move. Double tuck dismount - perfect routine.
Noon - Peszek UCLA beam - standing full, bobble - you go girlfriend! Front aerial, bobble. Sticks her bhs, lso, layout full dismount series into a huge hug from Val. 9.900000000 rewarding as she goes into the lead.
12:02 - McCullough UCLA fx - huge tucked full-in with messy legs, but she is bringing the energy back into the arena. I feel the energy from her routine and I'm 2000 miles away. Double tuck dismount, small bounce. She wakes me up more than all of the other fx routines tonight combined.
12:04 - Kelley OK beam - nails the Kotchetkova, then bobbles the full turn.
12:06 - Johnson FL fx - sexes up the floor as she again cowboys the Arabian double front to birth Rush Limbaugh.
12:08 - Gerber UCLA beam - smooth routine, small bobble on full turn. She also nails her dismount sequence .
12:10 - Smith FL fx - 17-year senior is so old she freezes the video feed. Boo.
12:20 - Video unfrozen, and it's all over! King is insanely well-spoken in her interview, and the charming accent just makes her seem extra smart. The standing full put her over the top, even with Hoffman's perfectly-executed routine.
Thus ends 2011 NCAA Nationals. Congratulations to the EF law firm winners of King, Ding, Peszek & Stack-Eaton. We'll miss they amazing seniors, we'll miss the glitter, we'll miss the Cleveland guitars. I'll miss you out there reading - thanks for making it fun kittens!