Friday, January 18, 2013

Live Blog: NCAA Gymnastics Night

There are a lot of big meets going on the the SEC and around the country tonight, so let's try to have a manic moment and get to all of them.

The Florida Gators are widely regarded as being the favorites for the NCAA title, yet they really struggled last week against LSU, having to count a fall off of beam. A few of their routines were perhaps flat and a few others underscored. They need to pay attention to landings and handstands, because the newer (somewhat controversial) rules in NCAA gymnastics are allowing judges to reward easier gymnastics with higher scores. A few years ago, ending with a gainer pike off of beam was a composition deduction. Even when it wasn't, judges wouldn't score girls above a 9.900 because they'd always 'find something,' in order to adequately rank routines with easier dismounts. The trends of aerial+back handspring series, series dismounts, gainer pikes and two rudis on floor are bringing back the days when the level of difficulty was regarded as a joke by gymnastics fans, but it is certainly helping out teams lacking star power and depth this season. Stay tuned.

The Gators are being introduced and grooving with pom poms. They all have their own dance move in the middle of the floor. It is long as they back it up with some stuck landings and a win. It may take this team a few weeks to get into the groove. They have freshmen coming in the lineup by mid February who have only competed a few times in the last four years. It may take them a while to push toward 198, so they cannot afford to suffer a loss to Mizzou. That is simply unacceptable at this point.

Jamie Schissler will start off vault-FTY hop, chest up.  9.775

Mizzou is going, frankly I'm going to focus on Florida and type during Mizzou. I'm sure you understand.

Wang next on VT...clearly a 'let's get experience meet.' Not going for 198...  MUCH improved FTY, but a hop with a step back. Improved, needs the landing, but showing potential.   9.825 (bit high perhaps. But a much better vault with just the landing, but I would've been the 9.8.)

Trying not to vomit listening to all of the school's own commentators telling us how their gymnasts shit ice cream.

Some very average bar work going on. I don't feel guilty ignoring it.

Macko- FTY, small hop back, good body position. Solid vault. Flairs it a tad. About the best she can do.  9.850.  (Fair)

King- She needs to stick this in order to get aptly rewarded for the difficulty of this vault. Tsuk 1.5...hop forward. Likely will not go 9.9.  The hop was too big and uncontrolled, but the vault is incredible.   9.800

"The SEC is a tough conference..." Love the patronizing

Ashanee- FTY, big stick with the chest up. 9.975. (I was definitely the 9.950)

Hunter-1.5TY, small hop forward and chest down a tad. Good vault. 9.875

The Gators need to start finding the landings in order to challenge the ridiculous scores put up at UCLA, but the vaults look more dynamic overall and they are putting up a number of different girls and keeping the competition in the gym alive.

Morgan Frazier- 'the exhibitionist...lordy' Yurchenko 1/2...big steps forward. Below average vault.

Vault: 49.325  (I say we give them a B for this apparatus. B- compared to their potential.)

Gators are warming up. Ashanee missed her hindorff and the camera pans away for the rest of warm ups. The commentators are taking a break. In case you missed it, __________________ does a great job at _______________ for the Gators. This is the level of intellect we are dealing with.

Kevin has been converted into a gym fan. Not thinking of converting him elsewhere tonight...not his best look.

Dramatic intro begins. Who to mute? It is both so mind numbing. Frankly, Kevin does the better job.

Ashanee- She is currently the lead off, yet will likely lose her spot should both Bianca and Bridgey earn spots in the lineup. Their scoring potential is simply a tenth higher, especially in post season. Catches the hindorff. Usual form. Bail handstand, two giants to a double layout with one baby step back.

Waiting for the pledge and prayer to begin at Georgia.

"I don't think I've seen the dismount off that event"- Gator commentator discussing a pike front vault.

King- Little cross of the shoulders on the bail. Good Khorkina release. Nice stuck double layout with clean form.  Commentator claims that she posted five season bests last week. Season best on beam with a fall last week?! I believe the commentator is mistaken.  9.875

Solid vault for Davis at UGA...slight hop. Good vault.  9.775

Hunter on bars- Hindorff, Stuck full out dismount. 9.925

Persinger- Pikey FTY with a hop.  9.825

Sloan falls on her piked ray. Sloan is looking strong, but she just needs another month or so to really get into top all around form and challenge. She appears slightly sluggish on bars. The quality of her gymnastics is better than much of the other competitors. Has not showed her full potential on bars yet in college. 9.325

Great Stuck FTY from Lindsey Cheek at UGA.  Third great vault this season. 9.900

Johnson- Great Ray. Great toe point, Bail, Stuck double layout dismount. Great to see her mental strength after a fall from Sloan.

Rogers-1.5TY almost stuck, but took a step forward and across with her right foot. One of the judges on vault is tough and will definitely take both deductions. 9.850

Macko- Pak, Maloney+Bail, Stuck full out dismount. Great routine. So clean and avoids handstand deductions by eliminating the same bar release.  10.000

Hires- low FTY, pikey, hop in place. Don't get why she is after Cheek.

Bianca Diancose Giambatista De Quebec De Canada- Gorgeous routine, small step on the double layout. She just earned a spot over Sloan next week. Slight form on the dismount.  Great bar routine. Class work.

Jay- Almost stuck a 1.5TY, but low and a step back.  9.800

UF: 49.600
UGA: 49.150 VT  (Auburn 49.125 UB, their anchor did a gorgeous Yezhova on bars)

Florida gets an A on bars. Strong routines and overcame a fall from a top star to put up a strong score. They just earned some valuable experience.

UF: 98.925

Spicer is warming up on beam and wobbling about. She is in better shape this season.
"The Gators dropped a 9.325, didn't even need it." (No...they did not.)

Randy Stageberg-Aerial+BHS, Switch 1/4 dive back hip circle, bobble on full turn, bhs+layout stepout+Back full dismount with a step. Could've done without the bobble and the step, but a solid start.   9.750

Updating Georgia scores.

Cheek-giant full+tkatcehv, bail, good handstands, step on the double layout dismount (full tenth step)

Johnson- sizable bobble on aerial, crooked on a series dismount, did a back tuck full off that was not strong. This won't be a great score.  9.625

Hires- short hs, jaegar, short bail, double layout with a step. Loses shape on the double layout and fights to keep a straight body throughout. (A bit funky)

Sloan-Needs to deliver here. BHS+Layout, great, Aerial_BHS, stuck double full dismount. Great form. Finally showing her experience and mental win. Coming back from a fall last week, a fall on the last event and a botched routine by Johnson.  9.900

Great routine for Tanella with a great stick. Continuing to improve. 9.875

Rogers- Fabulous routine, Ricna, Bail, great stalders, Ray to highbar, stuck full twisting double back...just flexed feet on the dismount. 9.875 ( a bit low)

Hunter- Punch Front mount.  Big wobble on BHS+Layout Stepout. Cat Leap+Switch side. Stuck double back. Good to see her fight.  9.825 (high score given the wobble but great dismount.)

Worley- Best double layout of her life.  A slight short hs and a short bail, good tkatchev. Much improved this year. The new coaches are working for her.  9.850  (The UGA scores are very accurate tonight.)

Davis-Tkatchev, Bail, Stuck Dismount. Great job.  9.950

Macko- They need her routine from last week. Much improved on beam this year. Maturity. BHS+Layout Stepout, fights off the wobble, Front Aerial+Back swing down, FTurn, Front Aerial to 2ft (slight bobble), Double Full-stuck. Good routine. Good mental focus. Steady.   9.850

9.775 bar exhibition for Jay.

Ashanee-solid series 1 arm bhs+loso, solid leaps, so sick of her unimaginative dance, double back-stuck. Solid. Average form. She is a rock.  9.850

Another 'exhibitionist on beam.' It is like Spicer is wearing a trench coat with a thong underneath.

Spicer- wobble on series, looks rusty in terms of nerves, wobble on gainer layout, lacking the presentation and confidence we expect from her. stuck gainer full with chest a tad down.

Florida gets a C+ for beam. They are capable of much more.
49.175 for beam.
UF: 148.100

Beam for UGA

Lindsey Cheek-Falls on series. Her attitude is slightly bad ass like Kelsey Erickson's of years past. Great switch side. Side Aerial, Moonwalk, Stuck gainer full dismount (cat leap into it)  9.225

Tanella: Confident, Aerial+BHS, Switch+Split, Small Wobble on Side Somi, Small hop on bhs+Gainer full (pikey)  Solid routine. Much improved this season.  9.750

Kevin Copp is glad he has years of experience to call bullshit on the college sticks. (The Bama shuffle as Yoculan calls in.)

Much tighter scoring at Georgia than at Florida. 

Florida needs to pick it up on floor and really bring home a strong score. 

Does Auburn only have one leotard?

Persinger-L Turn, BHS+Layout, Such great quality on beam, Stuck 1.5TY  Pet Peeve: Chin down and eryes down before the dismount...sell it and exude confidence.

Wang- Front through to Double Tuck, Solid Second Pass, Solid Double Pike.  Good leadoff routine. Rhonda is clearly resting some of the top guns this week, but it is smart. They aren't peaking too early and they aren't wearing out the girls. 

King-Double Arabian with a step, Front Layout Front Full, Double Pike. Excited to see her upgrade to the double layout soon. She never scores as well with her 'easier' routine. I do miss her old middle pass.

Rogers-Wobble on front aerial, big bobble on L Turn, Good dismount.  Fought for the routine after her teammate fell earlier.  9.175  (No series.)

Sloppy bent-legged beam work for Mizzou. 

Randy-Low Pike Full In with a step back, The Gators just aren't nailing it like they can. Whip+Double Full (little off balance, but didn't move.) Switch Side+Popa, Double Pike- low, lock legged, steps.  That routine slipped away from her more than beam did. 

Worley-Twiddle+Sheep, BHS_Loso, Class work, F Turn, Kochetkova+Split+Gainer Full with a step back. Better body shape on the gainer, but she is not a great dismounter off beam.

Sloan- Jeremy really expanded on her style on floor. FHS+Front Double Full, stuck. Great to see her fight for her pride after a rough meet last week and a fall on bars, Double Pike, stuck, but had to bend her knees for the stick, Rhonda looks unimpressed. 1.5+Front Layout. Can tell that the double pike will go last. Good start on floor. Hopefully she will bring back the piked full in. 9.775

Earls- Double Tuck with a step.  9.800

48.500 for UGA on Beam.

Johnson- Gorgeous dancer. Love her double arabian with pointed toes, Would like to see her own the choreography a bit more, 1 1/2+Front Layout, she is the queen of the acceptable lunge tonight, Double Pike. Stuck.  Strong routine. 9.875

Ashanee- Double Arabian, Front through to Double Back, Double Pike.  Lands like a cat as always.  Gator chomp.

Likely a B/B- from Florida on floor. 

Lauren Shisler exhibition on floor.  Solid. 

49.200 on FX for UF

197.300 for UF.

And now we head to Bama for Bama vs LSU  (And really, it's all about Llomincia.)

Earls- Double Pike, Front Layout+Front Rudi, Double Tuck with a small step. Solid.   9.850

Kayla Williams stuck a FTY on vault.  9.925

Fall over in HS for LSU on bars.   So weird to see Jay sighing about on the LSU sidelines.

Gutierrez-big FTY, step back/to the side. Feet slightly flexed. Big rise off the table.

Courville-UB-Great swing, little shy on the handstands, fall on transition to high bar. LSU losing the momentum they've had thus far this season. They are crumbling in rotation one.

Tanella-FX- Double Pike, Solid second pass, FHS+Front Rudy. Solid, not spectacular. Not a fan of all of the music changes and ringing telephones during the routine. Stereotypical SEC trash that isn't fun enough to 'work.' 9.875

Milliner-VT-Nearly stuck 1.5TY, great vault.

Morrison- Jaegar, Bail, Love seeing the Jay handstands, full twisting double back dismount-stuck. 

Hires- Double Pike...multiple steps OOB. They need to get her out of these lineups. There is a reason Jay only had her on vault. Double tuck...low with a step forward. Really don't understand why she is later in the lineups, as it prevents her from building. Is it stamina?  Spends a ton of time in the corner. Is it technique?  Lacks the presentation of her teammates. She will surely be replaced by Noel couch on 2-3 events.

Geralen Stack Eaton working the crowd with great brown hair this year.

Persinger- Front through to Double Tuck (stick), Double L Turn, Double Pike (another stick), Rudi.  9.900

Jay-Double Pike, Front Double Full+Punch Front, Double Tuck.  9.875

They need Shayla to hit in the anchor position. Perhaps they wanted to take the pressure off of Shayla, as she is capable of being great on floor...or botching it. 

Worley- Stuck double pike  (Remember when she couldn't control it in 2006?) Front Double Full (not quite all the way around, kind of sneaks it around). They may need to switch the order of her passes. Front Layout+Front tuck...almost to her seat. Missed her foot and her punch. Botched effort. 

Stuck FTY for LSU. 

Sledge- Big bar routine, stuck effort with a strong double layout.  LOVE the rise and amplitude of her double layout.  9.900

Llomincia Hall: Fall on vault for LSU. They really need a crowd to lift them tonight.

Becca Alexin: Shaposh, Pak, Giant Full+Double Tuck,  Bryan (Big Red) blocks her, but it looks like she took a small shuffle. 9.850

Stuck FTY for LSU again.

More improvement for UGA overall, but they still are botching the second half. In the words of Jay "we need to finish the meet."

196.050 for UGA

Jacob-short handstand in the interior, stuck double layout. Bama must do fantastic landing drills.

Step back on a Hristakeava for LSU. (I don't have that audio on.)

Clark (turning audio on)- Ray, Bail (little closed shoulders, slight short), big swing to a big Bama double layout with a step back.

Morrison-VT- FTY with a small hop for LSU.

Priess-UB- Tkatxhev+Pak, Nearly/sorta stuck double layout with a slight pike in the second flip as Priess/CGA often does.

Courville-(Jay looks over it)-FTY with a near stick.

DeMeo- short giant 1/2 (a la Komova), Jaegar, bail (short), Full Twisting Double Layout...near stick.  Hiding her a bit by putting her last with her lack of pure swing on bars compared to a few of her impressive teammates. Not a complete Romania '96 compulsory beam situation.

Kayla Williams exhibitioning on bars. It is amazing how far she has come on bars since her elite days.  The time with MLT at CGA and with Bryan has helped. Jaegar, (slightly short first hs), Pak, little off under the low bar, but solid effort thus far, Sort of stuck full twisting double back.  Good effort for someone who is undoubtedly weakest on bars.

Scores for the first half in T-Town:

I would say DeMeo's 9.900 is a bit high, but the judges are clearly rewarding the difficult dismount. 

Almost time for Llomincia on floor. The excitement builds.

Gutierrez- BB- Switch, Side Straddle, Aerial (bobble and bend over at the waist), BHS+Loso (wobble), Intentionally flexed foot choreography like she is doing a Val floor routine. Twiddle Jump+Gainer Layout, Stuck Cat Leap+Gainer full off beam. Rough routine for one of Bama's locks. They are very much in the hunt to threepeat.

Dickson-FX-FHS+Rudy+Layout Stepout (cheap first pass), Low double pike with a step forward, LSU is really fighting for the #3 spot in the SEC with UGA. They need to up their game. FHS+Front Full+Front Pike. One's mount and dismount should not be a token middle pass from the Yoculan era at Gerogia circa 2005/2006.

Milliner-BB- Not a natural beam worker, but is much more solid. Would love some pointed feet. (Call me Kathy Johnson Clarke) Hesitant full turn. BHS+Layout stepout (wobble, raised one leg), Solid leaps, Nearly stuck double full, but raised her right leg off the mat and slightly moved to the left.

Jordan-FX- Double Pike with a slight bounce back. I love how LSU's entire floor lineup is drum line inspired. 1 1/2+Front Layout (not done with flair to make it exceptional, a bit dumped over in terms of amplitude), 1 1/2+Front Layout Full (again, body shape not great.) Really not impressed with the direction of the NCAA tumbling. LSU is really taking advantage of the rules. Hard to know if their scores will hold up during the post season.

Williams- BB-Big switch side. Stuck punch front.  Twiddle+Back swingdown, bhs+layout stepout (solid, could use better form), Split 3/4, Full Turn, Would like her chin up and to see more presentation and confidence. Beam is a matters.  1 1/2 with a near stick, but one small step forward. Much improved over last season.

Savona-MJ Remix, 1 1/2 through to double back, full twisting double back (not great amplitude, legs apart and crossed, but toes pointed), Would like to see her change the order of the first two passes and do at least one with great amplitude, Double pike dismount had the most amplitude. Steady set. Solid. 

DeMeo-BB-McCool Mount, Stag Jump, Front Aerial with a wobble, Twiddle jump, bhs+layout stepout, Good presentation...thank you, Armine. Full turn, Handstand work, Switch leap+split leap, Round Off+Double Pike dismount with one step. Strong routine. Not in post season 9.950 form, but it is a process and she is on track.

Matthis-FX-Big double layout with a short landing and step forward, LSU just lacks the fire they had last week. Pike Front through to double tuck. Double Pike- slightly short and step forward again.

"I feel like Dance Mom Holly would be saying, 'Why does XYZ gymnast from LSU get all the tribal music? That's type casting."-MLT's Pooch.

Priess- BB Straddle+Sheep, Front Aerial+Back Swing Down, (She is the queen of connections on beam. Thank you, MLT's OCD), L Turn that she saves midturn and prevents a wobble-good finesse, Switch Leap+Gainer Full (stuck.) Hope she adds the rulfova back into the routine for a bit more content. The routine is a bit empty.

Courville-Stuck Double Arabian, Sells those arms before the front through the double tuck, loses her performance quality before the swing ring+cat 1 1/2 combo on floor, needs to perform the entire routine. Goes in and out. Short double pike with a step forward. Just not as nailed as last week. Lacking the energy and attack.

Jacob-Switch 1/2, BHS+Loso+Loso, Twiddle+Straddle 3/4, F Turn, Side aerial to two feet, Round off+1 1/2 dismount with a small hop forward. Strong routine.

Bama is certainly on track for the top score in the SEC tonight.

Hall- FX-Here we fuckin go. Werq. I never know if we are laughing with her or at her, but she is awesome and so is the tumbling. Stuck double layout, Front Full+Front Layout stuck, Stuck Double Tuck. Give her a 10.  (9.900- too low. Deserved at least a 9.950)

Clark beam exhibition.  Solid backup routine.

It is pleasant watching the meets without commentary, but it is difficult to be as engaged without seeing the scores being flashed.

YMCA at 2013...sigh.

Free Krispy Kreme doughnuts for a year...thank goodness none of the gymnasts can win.

147.825 for Bama thus far.

Garcia-BB-bhs+back pike/layout, Front Aerial+Wolf Jump- swung the arms to keep the connection, Switch+Straddle Quarter, lacks the extension and amplitude of the bama girls, gainer pike dismount. (Note LSU taking advantage of all of the loopholes in the rules.)

DeMeo-FX-Double Pike (wish she didn't flex her feet slightly with her extension in her legs), 1 1/2+Front Layout, Selling this with strong presentation. The years being yelled at by Armine really pay off later on when one can loosen up and not look as rigid. 2 1/2 twist dismount with a step.

Dickson-BB-1 arm bhs+loso (fall), gross front handspring with bend legs, gainer pike with a hop/turn college stick. (Another cheap dismount by LSU.)

Parker-FX-We didn't see her break into the lineup last year, but the girl is talented. Double Arabian. 1 1/2+Front Tuck (supposed to be a layout, mis-timed the punch and saved it), Gym-acro, The routine is meh. Double Pike (good landing). Much stronger tumbler than her elite days. Whatever Bama does for weight training and conditioning has helped her and added to her Capital technique.

Savona-BB- Side Somi, bhs+loso, Switch leap, stops and bobbles and pauses before a bobble on a switch 1/2, Moonwalk, Double Pike with a step back. 

Sledge-FX-Front through the double tuck (stuck), Bama has really figured out how to land the last four to five years. FHS+Front Layout+Front Layout (powerful and stuck, very 2005 compositionally---except she does it with power so it is not completely a Nikki Childs pass), Double Pike. Would love to see her do a soaring double layout, but a really strong routine.

Hall-BB-Switch side, bhs+loso, Switch+straddle 1/4, Round off+Double Back. The interior lacks content, but the dismount is great.

Gutierrez-FX-Double Layout, (I love how every song you'd expect Bama to use is used.), Front Full+Front Layout, Double Pike to her knees...a great routine with a finish that was rather unexpected. 

Courville-BB-Scale, Standing arabian (stuck like Lobaznyuk), bhs+loso, front aerial+split+twiddle, LSU has absolutely no rhythm on beam...they pause endlessly and all do the switch 1/4's and switch 1/2's, Punch front-small check, gainer pike dismount. (Another. This is where a composition deduction should be taken, as it is an extremely weak dismount for a routine with a standing arabian. She is clearly capable of much more.)

Jacob-FX-Pike Full In, 1 1/2+Front Full, 1 1/2+Front Layout.  Strong exercise.

Jordan-BB-Another LSU beam. This with a stuck 1 1/2 dismount. Lacking the extension/amplitude in the leaps. No beam choreography.

Milliner-FX- Double Arabian, so wrong that she is using LVE's old music, Front Layout+Front Full, Double Pike to her knees...another finish that one did not expect. Both times, the girls looked okay in the air, tried to stick and dropped that left knee.

196.575 for Bama. 

Oklahoma put up a 197.325 tonight with a solid, steady effort:

And that's a wrap.  Goodnight, everyone.