LIVE BLOG: California Grand Invitational with No. 2 UCLA, No. 9 California, No. 14 UC Davis and No. 33 Michigan State

This meet is way too interesting not to have a stream, but what can you do?

Well, you can’t do much, but I can LIVE BLOG. I’m in Anaheim after a good bit of driving that I’m not super excited to repeat in a few hours, and I’ll do my best to get as much of the action across as I can. I’ll probably prioritize from the top down in terms of rankings just because you guys don’t have a way to watch this (otherwise I’d be all in on the Aggies; you guys know how I operate), but please feel free to comment or tweet me @rebeccakscally if there’s a specific routine you want me to catch!

Before last weekend, I’d have said that this meet would have split into two pairs, but I’m not so sure now. MSU had a fairly painful first week while UC Davis soared to register its highest first-meet total in program history, so it’s hard to imagine the Spartans contending there—but anything is possible, and they have a really talented lineup; I won’t be taking my eyes off them for too long.

Meanwhile, Cal finished the first week of the season in the top 10, but it’ll need a higher score this week if it wants to stay there with forty-odd more teams joining the fray. If it can avoid some of the bizarre scoring it received at LSU, that will go a long way, but I’d also like to see more underclassmen work their way into the Bears’ lineups. UCLA also has a few lineup questions, including when its other four(?!) 10.0 vaults will crack the top six, but it mostly just needs to settle in after a whirlwind first week.

Hi everyone! I’m in the arena and this place is LOUD. If you’ve been online in the last decade I’m sure you’ve noticed that this meet doesn’t have live scores, but we’ll be keeping track right here so head over there to keep track. Several teams will be Facebook living their performance, so don’t miss those either!

A couple points from the lineups we’ve gotten so far: UCLA has shuffled lineups to  rest Grace Glenn and Felicia Hano, both of whom had a bad landing last week of home but neither of whom are hurt in the long term. Norah Flatley will make her debut in the AA and Margzetta Frazier on vault and floor to fill the holes.

Cal’s shuffled a bit too, just taking Abi Solari out of rotation today. Not sure why, she looks fit from what I can see in the arena.

UC Davis is wearing a gorgeous new glittery leotard that I believe is a Rebecca’s Mom creation. UCLA’s in the pink loopy collar

They didn’t strictly announce the meet starting but it’s starting.


Hits from Kramer and Seilnacht while I figured out what was happening.

HOFELICH – MSU: Beautiful dancer.

FLATLEY – UCLA: Yurchenko full big and pretty with a hop in place.

GEORGE – CAL: Huge Tkachev, good bail, toe on to full in dismount and almost… sticks but has to hop back.

FRAZIER – UCLA: Ugh didn’t catch which vault she did. Need to get my eye in. It’s a hit though with a midsize hop back.

JONES – CAL: Maloney to Pak, a touch archy but that’s usual, half turn on the low bar, missing her handstands a little, full in and STUCK. Really nice one.

TRATZ – UCLA: Big full, she flares that so beautifully, with a hop back. Her distance really stands out from this angle.

BORDAS – CAL: Jaeger to overshoot so precise and lovely, a breath short on one hand, blind full double back with a hop back. That was rostered to be Kuc but it wasn’t. Bordas or Shu. BORDAS! Yay good for her.

ROSS – UCLA: One and a half, technique if anything better than last week, little hop forward.

SCHANK – CAL: pike Jaeger is one of the absolute best. Pops up on her toes to hold her double lay but just about does.

DENNIS – UCLA: One and a half, not quite over her feet… she knew it was off and tucked the last half twist. Lands it deep with a step back to stand it up.

WATTERSON – CAL: Lost her swing on the high bar. Saw her toe to van Leeuwen, toe full double back stuck. Pity.

RAYBON – MSU: Great double front. Not a stick this time but still really solid.

YEKTAPARAST – UCD: Cat leap switch side, I’m joining in the middle here.

Just missed Kendal Poston in exhibition for UCLA but judging by the absolute roar in the arena I’m guessing she hit her handspring pike 1/2. She’s a good one.

Kuc in exhibition for Cal, really pretty. Maybe shy on a couple of handstands.

HEBERT – UCD: Triple series is rock solid. Sissone to switch side really pretty. One and a half dismount flared with a hop forward. I missed a few things but a really secure hit for the Aggies who have put together a great rotation.

DOUGLAS – MSU: Beautiful double pike, bounds back out of it. One and a half front lay is beautiful, tour jete 1/2 split full leap, closing double back is fabulous.

MITCHELL – MSU: Oooh creepy music, Double back, scoots her foot just a touch. One and a half front lay is WHIPPY but she gets it to her feet. Switch side Popa double stag great, double pike with another foot scoot.

UCLA 49.075, MSU 49.025, CAL 49.0, UC DAVIS 48.95

Heyyyyy there MSU.


FRAZIER – UCLA: Maloney to Pak gorgeous, van Leeuwen, just caught a bit of toes, stuck dismount.

SHU – CAL: missed most of this one. Very sorry Cal.

Looks like a lineup change for UCLA, Kooyman chalking.

AGAH – UCD: Such a presence on floor, deep squat on her last landing but a hit.

CLAUSI – CAL: Clean thru leap series. Flic loso beautiful. Pretty full turn, Cat leap side aerial dismount with a tiny hop back in place.

KOOYMAN – UCLA: Maloney with a touch of Legs, Pak with the same and bent arms, good handstands. Missed a handstand on high bar, full in dismount messy with chest down but only a tiny foot shift on landing if at all.

GLENN – UCLA: Blind change to Jaeger, really nice Pak. Making her handstands, blind full double back beautiful with a hop in place. Seemed a touch surprised by the landing but no biggie.

Sarah Liddle is looking really nice on floor for Davis and MSU has put up some pretty good vaults.

KEELEN – CAL: Switch to split really nice, front aerial clean. One and a half twist and leans to hold the stick.

FLATLEY – UCLA: Jaeger is really high, she’s gotten a lot cleaner since MtB. Bail with a back arch, beauty of a double lay with a hop in place.

LANDESS – UCD: Yay I can look somewhere else for a second!! Big double pike. Double back with two steps and one out of bounds, clean to finish.

KOCIAN – UCLA: Maloney to Pak really nice, definitely got her groove on compared to last week. Normal dismount with a hop in place.

SEILNACHT – CAL: Caught her side aerial back full dismount close to the beam with a hop back.

ROSS – UCLA: Usual Maloney to bail to toe shoot, double lay absolutely murdered. They way these scores have been going I would not be shocked or upset about a ten.

WILLIAMS – CAL: Saw a good punch front, switch switch side, stuck dismount.

Kyla just went ten and everything exploded.

Good hit for Macy Toronjo in the exhibition for UCLA.

GEORGE – CAL: Double wolf turn, but of a lean but hangs onto it. Cat leap front aerial bhs (?) with legs and a check. Some other stuff. Gainer full dismount landed with her weight forward, big hop to keep the landing.

YEKTAPARAST – UCD: Absolute ray of sunshine. Great landing on her first pass, front lay Barani LOSO second. Really nice double back to close. Just love to watch her. Also they spelled her name wrong on the arena scores but I doubt that’s anything new to her, poor kid.

Bordas in exhibition on beam. She gets the switch switch with no dramatics!! Good for her and her inner thighs. Flic loso really nice, some acro skill with a little adjustment, side aerial with a step. Gainer full dsmt with a little hop but it’s the really good kind.

Hebert in exo for UCD and she’s doing Seven Nation Army which I LOOOOVE. Little bound back on her double pike. Better presence on this than we saw last week at Norcal, you really can’t go too big with music like this. One and a half front lay beautiful, switch ring switch side tuck drop to front support… sure there’s a name for that skill but I don’t have it offhand. Double back stuck to close, she’s really uncanny on that skill.



NGUYEN – UCLA: Just saw her land the front full dismt with a hop but pretty sure it was clean.

SO. SEILNACHT – CAL: Front lay to Rudi double stag, stuck. Little wild in the air on her leap series. One and a half Barani to another leap… great control on the landings. One and a half front lay. Good start.

KOCIAN – UCLA: Really pretty flic layout. Front aerial? to split. She’s nice and steady. Full turn, switch to split, double twist basically stuck.

MASTRANGELO – CAL: Double pike with a super solid landing. She’s doing the godforsaken Hands Clap song. I just want my suffering to end. It’s pretty tightly choreographed for what it is. Two and a half twist is gorgeous.

FLATLEY – UCLA: Aerial to LOSO with the usual touch of knees. Lost her for a second as the entirety of Cal walked in front of the beam. Switch ring to beat REALLY cleanm handspring one and a half dismount with a hop back.

GEORGE – CAL: Started with I think a Rudi? Switch ring tj1/2 is great. Front double twist, nice steady landing, undercooked on whatever that double salto pass was.

DENNIS – UCLA: Full turn, front aerial-LOSO by far the best of the lot. Switch 1/2 to beat fabulous. Hop on dismount.

ROSS – UCLA: Flic loso the usual. Switch ring!!, tiny arm adjustment into beat jump. Switch to split, easy front aerial. Side aerial back full and another effortless stick.

CLAUSI – CAL: So obsessed with this one. Full in great, just the lunge, she’s a fabulous dancer. Justin Howell is strolling back and forth behind the team smiling smugly. Front lay front full to close great.

OHASHI – UCLA: Nails the layout. Bit of leg split but cleaner than last week. Switch split with oversplits. Front aerial bhs loso back full STUCK. Really nice, that’ll go high.

WILLIAMS – UCLA: Double lay deep but STUCK. I think the best choreo that she’s had in college. Front lay front full, touch awkward on the landing but gets it done, double pike also slightly deep with a hop straight back.

Poston in exhibition for UCLA is really clean. This’ll definitely make lineup in that one weird meet in February, not sure what happens after then. Little step forward on a one and a half dismount.

BORDAS – CAL: Double pike, bounce into lunge, her weight was ever so slighly forward but made it work. Switch 1/2 wolf 1/1 is slightly underrotated. Rudi with a bounce back. Her choreo is ridiculously beautiful. One and a half front lay.

UCLA 148.000, CAL 146.875, MSU 146.125, UCD 146.025

MSU is knocking it out of the absolute park here. I’m really sorry that I’m not getting as much of the lower ranked teams 🙁 Love them both and they’re having fantastic meets. I can report from touch that Gabby Landess’ double Arabian off bars is rocking and Cammi Johnson looks great too.


FLATLEY – UCLA: Choreo is beautiful, I adore this one. Front double twist really pretty, double pike with a bit of a bounce back. Switch ring switch half is great, one and a half front lay… oh she could have sat that, it crunched as she hit the ground, but saves it with a step back.

GEORGE – CAL: Yurchenko full is pretty with a big bounce back.

Caught the MSU lead somehow overrotating a switch 1/2 on beam and having a lean check. How do you do that?? It was huge, too beautiful to live probably.

Stuck landing for Davis on bars. I want to say it was Aya Suzuki but wouldn’t put money down.

SEILNACHT – CAL: Near stick on a Y full.

KRAMER – UCLA: Getting more attached to this routine as time goes on. Double full front pike is great, back with a front full punch layout. Switch side Popa beautiful, facials are next level, winks to Miss Val in the corner before her third pass. Rudi to the gorgeous arch jump. Really good hit. Going to get a ten one of these days.

JONES – CAL: Big hop forward on her Y3/2.

ROSS – UCLA: Double back SKY high. Holy crap I’ve never noticed how big that is. Front foot not quite planted. One and a half front lay is great, switch whatever Popa shush really nice. She’s taken the Ferrari out and it’s probably not a bad idea. Double pike is good.

WILLIAMS – CAL: Y full big and effectively stuck.

Spectacular bars routine from Davis that I want to sat was Kara Jones. Great handstands great landing.

FRAZIER – UCLA: Soooo excited to see this in comp and it looks like she is too. Full in great and she keeps the front foot down! Planted on her leap series. Whip thru double back great, tiny shuffle on the landing but she’s holding her nerve. So in love with this dance sequence after the second pass. Double pike great. GET. IT. Pointing at Cal in her closing choreo and they’re jumping and screaming for her.

TRATZ – UCLA: Another routine that’s growing on me. Right on top of the landing on her full in. One and a half front full is beautiful. Leap series is fantastic. Right there on her double back again. This is spectacular.

Saw a fall from Davis on bars. Think it was Cammi Johnson.

OHASHI – UCLA: Basically stuck the double lay ok this can go 10 I don’t care. I’ve long since stopped trying to identify everything in her combo pass in liveblogs but it  was right there. Cal is ROCKING OUT to this routine. It’s playing unbelievably in this room. Cheers from the crowd when the old MJ music kicks in and we’re getting ten hands from the entire arena. Unreal. 10.

Gorgeous exhibition from Brielle Nguyen, I had most of UCLA hanging out in front of my face so I couldn’t see much but she planted her double pike.

FINAL: UCLA 197.7, Cal 196.75, MSU 194.9, UC Davis 193.825

Well well well UCLA. That was a very convincing answer to Oklahoma’s challenge over the last few weeks. The Bruins aren’t quite there, mostly on vault which was bouncy today, but considering they were missing three of their strongest in Wright, Hano and G. Glenn it was a pretty spectacular performance.

Cal is showing signs of rounding into form. I was particularly impressed by Maya Bordas, who did the virtual AA today with strong exhibitions on vault and beam as well has her two 9.8s in competition. They’ve got bits and pieces to clean up but it was a strong performance.

UC Davis got screwed a bit by this

I’m not sure if they knew about it, since they referred to Hebert as the anchor in livetweets. Bummer to go with what was otherwise a pretty solid meet. Once they’ve got Kessler back in everything will be fine.

MSU should be absolutely thrilled with its performance today, improving by about three points over last week. The Spartans have the potential to fight with the middle of the B10 and they showed it today. I was sorry not to hit more of their routines but they looked ultra clean to my eye, I was so impressed.

Live blog by Rebecca Scally

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  1. Can you keep us update on a couple of MSU routines?!? I am interested to see how some of the WOGA alumni’s do, it’ll be fun have a bunch of them in there tonight! So excited for such an exciting meet!

  2. Any idea why the lineup for UCLA doesn’t have Gracie Glenn on Beam? She’s one of the best scoring beam openers in all of college. Sure hope she’s not injured.

  3. 49.7 on Floor for the team is unreal!! And those string of 9.925’s could have easily all been 9.95s! That might stand as the highest team score on floor for the entire year.

    49.475 for the beam score might stand as the highest this week too.

    …but that Vaul score leaves a lot to be desired. Once UCLA can get that even clicking sky’s the limit! Oklahoma is a beast on Vault and that ultimately gives them the current edge so far in the season.

    Great meet!

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