Friday, April 15, 2011
NCAA Prelims - Afternoon Session Live Blog
This report will be brought to you by Catty Comments and Aunt Joyce. They teams are currently marching in. Unfortunately, the stadium is not event 1/10 full. The preliminary sessions are never packed, especially the afternoon session. Having it in Cleveland may not have been the best thing for getting a crowd.
In this session are Val Kondos, KJ Kindler, Jay Clark, Bev Plocki, Rene and Mark Cook and the backup singers known as their teams.
Elise Ray is commentating and already let us know that no one thought Kent State was good enough to make this championship. She also let us know what neutral means and that the table setter is important. That is why they're paying her the big bucks.
Rotation 1: Arkansas in on Vault, Georgia is on Uneven Bars, Michigan is on Balance Beam and Oklahoma is on Floor Exercise.
12:23 ET (Catty) - Kittens, here we go! And Elise Ray is already giving us useful information - the leadoff gymnast is important! The beam is 4" wide!
12:25 (Catty) - Tanella hits & sticks. She is large & in charge. Apparently this is the non-stop Georgia bars coverage. I already miss the Denver regional meth head video producers.
12:28 (Catty) - We're watching Sarah Curtis wait for beam. Apparently Oklahoma fx doesn't exist and isn't viewer-worthy. And these Michigan leos are, with yellow bottoms and cutouts that are all about emphasizing horizontals on the torso.
12:31 (Catty) - McComb hits, small dismount hop. Unfortunately she is rocking extra poodle hair today. Save the poodles!
12:33 (Catty) - Oooo - clever camera angles! Watching beam, the camera is capturing the screen showing bars! Thank you! PS - today is not tax day, announcer who doesn't know about the little-known DC holiday Emancipation Day. Kittens, your taxes are due on Monday, not today.
12:35 (Catty) - Elise commented how hard a blind landing on 4 inches is. I am refraining from making Selena Gomez jokes right now because I am a lady. See how proper I am?
12:38 (Catty) - Botterman hits beam for Michigan, shuffle on the bhs, lso, layout full dismount. Her ponytail is all bleach blonde 70's glam rock. Ding rocks bars with her usual perfect stick on the dlo dismount. Scores have NOT caught up with reality - only Tanella's 9.775 is shown.
12:43 (Catty) - Oh Shayla, 9.225 - really? And one judge gave her 9.05. No wonder Suzanne is done with her.
12:48 (Catty) - Warmups for rotation 2 - UCLA on floor, looking dark blue & hella sparkly. Eye of the Tiger is playing - Cleveland is apparently the heart of 1981 rock & roll.
Via AJ - Margaret Thatcher has declared Elise brings a semblance of class to the announcing - no Kimbo & Betty Northland Christian or Spring Creek with Carly. Also, McComb's hair is courtesy of the Judds.
12:51 - Frattone is ready for UCLA, and the judges/music are taking so long she steps back off the floor. She nails all the tumbling - I adore her easy, airy gigantic opening double pike.
PS - this is all Catty at the moment - AJ will feed me his notes to put here.
12:55 - Cheek nails the acro pass for Georgia beam, sticks the ro-double full dismount with hella wonky crossed legs. Ooooo - now the coverage replayed the slo-mo of those legs. I may get hives from that.
12:57 - large hop for Oklahoma fty. Now Sawa on fx for UCLA. Huge opening double tuck. Sawa should not be doing torso body waves for her choreography. Amplitude is her strength, not isolation choreography. Easy double pike to end.
1:01 - Looks like Tanella has fallen on beam, earning 9.225. Two judges gave her a 9.10, one gives her a 9.50. Cracktastic scoring spread here in rotation 2 of 12 today for these judges.
1:04 - Per AJ, Sawa mounts double tuck as if she's competing at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. I point out that she wouldn't have made the Soviet team that year mounting double tuck.
1:06 - EHH's choreography works for me today for the 1st time this season. Apparently Worley had a big bobble for Georgia beam. Up next on beam - poodle hair.
1:08 - Poodle Hair covers up a bobble on her acro pass, and another one on her front tuck. Hops back on her ro double full dismount. The entire routine it seemed like she was leaning to her right.
1:10 - Replay for McCullough's fx - Elise Ray just called her tucked full in like a double arabian, with a 1/2 twist. Bokay. Yeah, that technique is exactly the same...
1:11 - McCullough ends with a double tuck. Clean routine, but will that get her into fx finals to defend?
1:12 - Margaret Thatcher on Sawa: "winning Canadian nationals is like winning 10th at 2000 (USA) Olympic Trials"
1:22 - de la Torre on vault for UCLA fty - hop back. Curtis had a clean leadoff fx for Michigan with huge tumbling & forgettable attitude. McCullough went 9.925 on fx, so she will definitely qualify to fx finals.
1:24 - Peszek powerful fty, still hop back. EHH for UCLA fty - shuffle back, looked awesome from the side slo-mo for a 9.9. Per AJ, the Georgia 48.7 beam without counting a fall sums up their season.
1:26 - McCullough nails her fty cold for UCLA and pulls a 9.95 after Peszek's 9.875 & EHH's 9.9. Wonder what her 2nd vault will be on Sunday...
1:28 - Courtney vaulting for UCLA - clean fty, but tiny hop. Where's Frattone's piked Omelianchik which has been anchoring for most of the season?
1:31 - Ah - Frattone went earlier. Courtney anchored, probably to boost her AA score today. Buckley on beam for Illinois - straddle jump immediate layout stepout - bobble. Then falls on another jump combo - too bad. I like watching them more than Michigan.
1:34 - Fernandez anchoring beam for Illinois after the fall, Elise building up the tension for all of us in streaming video land. AJ is yelling at the coverage because they are showing Illinois on beam, but I say better them than Michigan fx, because I'm mean. Fernanez is nailing the routine to the wall - landing everything perfectly. Perfect roundoff double full dismount, with a form and stick like we should get from the Georgia gymnasts but do not.
1:37 - Botterman fx replay - gigantic, easy clean pike full-in opening. Really enjoying the current pop music mix, choreography is okay but boring. I want to hunt & kill her ponytail like a woodland creature, and I'm a vegetarian. Another double tuck dismount - clean, but seriously, is this the 1980 Olympics?
1:46 - Halfway through - although UCLA is leading by .55, they haven't done beam yet. Michigan's 98.0 is impressive since they've already finished beam - they're on track to qualify. Beam as usual has been the telling score - Michigan's 48.75 has been the top team score so far.
1:51 - AJ & Margaret Thatcher love Botterman's fx choreography & ponytail. I'm questioning their taste levels. Pisani on beam for Arkansas - per AJ, she is the Snooki of NCAA gymnastics. I want her basics - stunning. And she's old-school 80's beam shoes. Her dismount of bhs, tucked 1.5 is easy and stuck - girl rocks my world.
1:54 - Awesome 1.5y from Michigan, large step forward & to the side. Now Botterman, her rocking cardio body, and woodland creature ponytail. Clean fty, hop backward. I say 9.9.
1:55 - Botterman & her woodland creature score 9.925. Oklahoma appears to be nailing bars.
1:57 - Worley has apparently fallen on her final pass for floor. Suzanne may personally come down from the crowd and strangle her for messing with her legacy.
2:00 - During Natasha Kelley's hit bars for Oklahoma with spirit and only 1 ACL, it is revealed that Elise Ray does not know the difference between a Ray 1, Ray 2, or Ray 3 on bars. Bad Elise - no bone.
2:04 - McComb & her poodle on fx for Georgia. Between this & the entire Arkansas distressed ponytail team on beam, this is my hair nightmare. Lovely opening double pike, then risky middle pass of 2.5 to front tuck. Easy double tuck to end. Elise Ray goes southern while describing how nice it is to hear classical music instead of them darn pop funk mixes that the kids listen to. I didn't know Elise Ray was in World War II - color me informed.
2:06 - Mauro just face-planted her running double front. Georgia is now out with another fall - so sad. I'll miss McComb's poodle in Super Six! McComb has earned my love this year. As AJ said, Georgia needs McComb to go 10 times this meet, and you wouldn't have said that a year ago.
2:10 - The only gymnast competing right now is Washington's individual, Alisha Vaccher. Elise Ray is doing a good job pumping her up, but with steps on her first 2 passes, she will not make fx finals. Georgia & their mesh paneling are out of Super Six after their lowest fx of the season, 48.425.
2:14 - Rotation 4 - UCLA back on bars. For the commenter asking about WWGym, it is crappy timing for a sever move that took the site down. The site should be back up later today.
2:19 - Fashion report - the UCLA leotards appear to be new, even though they're very typical for them - dark blue mesh 3/4 sleeves, boob crystals, all dark blue torso with mesh neckline. Oklahoma's leos are plain with all maroon, and a sunburst pattern of crystals coming from their busts, with "Oklahoma" crystals down one sleeve. McCullough nails her leadoff bars routine with a stick on the double pike dismount, very courteous considering her foot form. Couch sticks vault, very needed for Georgia.
2:25 - Cheek sticks her fty for Georgia. Too little too late imo, but stranger things have happened.
2:26 - Mauro talks to herself as the video feed freezes. Then Ding inexplicably bombs a tucked fty.
2:27 - McComb vaults 1.5y with her poodle, only a hop on the landing. Great job to come through in the clutch.
2:30 - Peszek nails her bars routine except for a step back after the double layout dismount. Per AJ, Jay said something harsh in the huddle - they all look like ghosts.
2:34 - Kelley hitting a nice beam routine for Oklahoma without the knee brace for her non-ACL. 9.9. Georgia is done literally & figuratively finishing with a 195.45. Oklahoma is going tomorrow with a 196.775.
2:42 - Rotation 6! Hungry Like the Wolf is playing in the arena, which means they're now up to 1982. By this evening the arena people may have evolved enough to play Livin' on a Prayer.
2:47 - Gerber on beam for UCLA leadoff - hitting everything clean & without hesitation. Easy side somi, perfect hard dismount sequence of handstand stepdown, bhs, lso, layout full stuck cold. Hopefully she can hit that well in Super Six.
2:51 - Gerber goes 9.85, EHH fights and saves her aerial-lso combo with a foot adjustment & barely a wobble. Ro double full stuck cold. Val made the right choice putting those 2 first in the beam lineup.
2:53 - Sexton goes 9.85 bars for Michigan - Tom on beam for UCLA. Clean routine, short & hop forward on her ro double full dismount. We are officially on track for UCLA, Michigan & Oklahoma in Super Six tomorrow.
2:58 - It officially got interesting - McCullough missed her front foot on her acro series to fall off. Peszek is up now.
2:59 - Peszek delivers like the pro she is - spectacular hit, stick on her bhs, lso back full dismount.
3:00 - Score flash for Peszek is 9.875. For some reason Courtney is not going on beam, and Frattone is on. Hopefully she's okay. Frattone nails the acro series, then misses a foot and falls forward on her front somi, but doesn't fall. Freaky, but amazing for her to even stay on.
3:04 - Musser for PSU off on her acro series - too bad. Botterman is done with a 39.525 AA.
3:06 - Your afternoon qualifiers are: Oklahoma 196.775, Michigan 196.700, and UCLA 196.500. Arkansas & Georgia tied with 195.45, Illinois with 195.1. See you for the evening session, kittens!