LIVE BLOG: Centenary, Kent State and UW-Oshkosh at No. 24 UIC

Hello from the UIC Dorin Forum!

Well, UIC had itself a nice week one didn’t it! We checked and are pretty sure that’s UIC’s best opening meet since at least 1998, as far back as Road to Nationals records go. Yes, not every team competed last week, but coming in, in the top 25—ahead of teams like Illinois, N.C. State and Iowa—is nothing to sneeze at. Keep an eye on this squad this year; it has something to prove and isn’t going down without a fight. Alisa Sheremeta is an absolute gem, and the freshman has already proven to be a key player. With her solid three events and Mikailla Northern in the all around, the Flames look strong.

UW-Oshkosh also competed last week, falling to Hamline. Emily Gilot was a surprise all around star for the team with her squad-best 9.450 on vault leading the way for her title performance. She will do battle with Centenary’s strong all arounders Cami Bea Austin and Tavia Smith. I also have my eye on Navia Jordan, who could give the DI girls a run for their money on floor.

Kent State will be fighting UIC for the win here. The Flashes finished 2018 well ahead of the Flames but graduated star Rachel Stypinski and are coming off the bye. They also appear to be without Abby Fletcher who has been in a boot. It will be interesting to see who emerges as the leader of this squad. Maybe Jade Brown, who took the all around title at the team’s intrasquad?

I’m here at the UIC Dorin Forum! The last rotation of warmups is underway. There’s a big Kent State crowd in the audience. I’m seeing some BIG bars work from UW-O and unique beam series from Centenary. This should be a good one!

The big scoreboard is behind my head, naturally, so my IDs might be…less than perfect. I’m going to do my best! Vault is very far away, so you might get some “nice FTY from UW-O” type updates. Apologies in advance.

Part of the UW-O pep talk: “You are exactly where you need to be.” Love that. Ready to see some DIII gems here.

The UIC intro video is, quite literally, flames. There are big flames. It’s pretty wonderful.

This is UIC gym homecoming! There are alumni here, and they’re being presented flowers while they walk in to “I Will Remember You”. It’s weirdly sad? I guess when the program is being cut, sad is your aesthetic. 🙁

They’re all getting huge hugs from head coach Peter Jansson. I’m going to cry?

OK, now we’re marching in to the “Y’all ready for this” song that goes hand-in-hand with Chicago sports (thanks, ’90s Bulls), so the mood has lifted significantly.

Rotation 1: UIC vault, Kent State bars, UW-Oshkosh beam, Centenary floor

Lippowitsch (KSU): Blind full HUGE Tkatchev! Can’t see her transition around UW-O, but blind full double tuck was her dismount.

Sander (CC): Front lay front 1/1, nice, She has nice presentation, playing to the crowd. Switch + tour jete half was nice, couldn’t see her feet, though.

Nowak (UIC): FTY, pike pike, couldn’t see the landing.

Jackson (CC): Caught a great double tuck opening pass, couldn’t see the rest around a very excited UW-O squad in front of me.

Fulton (KSU): Blind + Jaeger, some legs, but good catch. Bail hand little shy. Good last handstand. DLO, I think a step back, couldn’t see well.

Gilot (UW-O): Long wait to start. Bhs loso, steps back but otherwise great. Pike punch front, low landing but! Switch + switch 1/2 RO 3/2, just a step forward. That is a GREAT beam set.

Mahoney (UIC): Y half, nice body position, couldn’t see the landing, but looked like a small hop.

Nore (UW-O): Bhs loso, solid. Team right in front of me LOVES it. Switch + back tuck LOVELY split. Beat + popa not quiiiiite there but she covers the rotation well. Pike gainer, step forward. This team is rolling.

Bernardo (UW-O): Pretty lines! Bhs loso some knees, breaks at chest, but holds it. Cat + side aerial, steps back but another save. She’s determined. Switch + split 1/4, small hesitation between. RO 3/2, step forward. She really powered through.

Knapps (CC): Rudi + back tuck LOVE that was wild. Not great height on the tuck but very original. Switch + cat leap 2/1 (? couldn’t see half of it!). Front lay front tuck, good landing, not the biggest amplitude.

UW-O’s Keller had a fall, as did a KSU bar set.

Baddeley (UIC): Tucked Yfull, nice in the air, couldn’t see the landing.

Hammond (UW-O): She has some sass! Cat + loso, excellent. Bhs loso, almost wobbled but saved it. Switch + straddle 1/4. Bhs + gainer full, couldn’t see her feet on the landing, but it had good amplitude.

Smith (CC): Double pike, good feet on landing, chest a SCOSH low. Switch ring + switch side, nice, fun combo. FHS front 1/1 front pike, lands a touch on her heels, but covers well. Whip + 3/2, nice! A fun set.

Jordan (CC): Double pike, great landing. Switch ring + ring 1/1. She’s so engaging. Couldn’t see her combo pass, but she landed well. Front aerial. If you could all see her FACE amazing performance. Rudi + straddle MASSIVE. Oh. My. Yes.

After one: UIC 48.125, Kent 48.125, Oshkosh 47.400, Centenary still waiting on scores

UW-O is a fun team, my friends. Beam is right in front of me, which means the beam team is right in front of me, so I can mostly see beam. Getting as many looks at other events as possible, but rest assured I’ll cover you favorite when they’re on beam!

Rotation 2: Centenary vault, UIC bars, KSU beam, UW-O floor

Baddeley (UIC): Maloney + bail hand, good. Blind, front giant, half,  toe on front half. Phew! That’s a fun set, and she performed it well.

Ali (UW-O): Double pike, low chest, but good feet. Switch 1/2 popa, nice. FHS front lay barani, good. Double tuck, lands low and sits.

Klein (KSU): Dances right out full turn, nice. Bhs loso, drops chest, hands down and falls. Beat + split 3/2, not quite 180 and drops her chest. Cat + side aerial, medium bobble. Gainer full stuck. That was KSU’s second routine, but pressure is now on for the next four to hit.

Lippowitsch (KSU): Bhs loso, great extension, ah she’s off and tries so hard to save it but falls, now they’re counting one. Beat + HUGE split 3/4. HUGE. Cat + 1/1, good landing.

Alicke (UIC): Some wobble in her core on the bail hand. Missed part of the beginning but saw her catch a Jaeger cleanly. Excellent 2/1 to end.

Henry (KSU): Solid front toss. Bhs loso, little unsteady but covers. Beat + split 1/1, good. Cat + Gainer full, stuck.

Nore (UW-O): Front through double tuck, little low but good landing! She’s a fun performer. Switch side popa good rotation. FHS front 1/1 front tuck. She’s fun.

Danielson (KSU): Front toss bhs, good! Swtich siwtch, good splits, maybe a touch shy in the second. Bhs loso 1/1 dismount, thats fun! Good set, the Flashes needed that.

Fletcher (KSU): She’s been marking through this set the whole rotation. Pressure is on with two falls. Cat + front aerial, nerves got her, she touches the beam and falls. Bhs loso, so much height! Totally steady. Cat+ switch side, great position. Front 1/1, stuck.

We are waiting a LONG TIME on floor, between every routine.

Bernardo (UW-O): Oooh, Michael Jackson music! Double pike, good landing, just a low chest. Moon walking! Wolf 3/4, not the highest front leg. 3/2 + front lay juuuuust keeps her toes in bounds. Switch side Popa, just a touch shy on Popa rotation. That’s a fun routine. UW-O is such an engaging team!

Finin (UW-O): Double tuck, high! Good landing. Rudi, nice landing, some leg sep in the air. Switch side Popa, not quite full split on the switch. 3/2 front lay, excellent landing. She has a very energetic and fun set. Good anchor routine.

After 2: UIC 96.225, Kent State 95.350, Oshkosh 94.250, Centenary 92.975

Kent had a little beam meltdown, but there were some strong sets in there too, so catching UIC isn’t out of the question. This is shaping up to be a good one, with a race for first and second and one for third. That said, Oshkosh is strong and not incredibly far behind Kent. Anything could happen!

Rotation 3: Oshkosh vault, Centenary bars, UIC beam, Kent State floor

Bernardo (UW-O): Ylay, nice in the air, some flexed feet.

Maciel (UIC): Bhs loso, solid. Might get the pause deduction there, though. Switch + switch half + beat, strong. Side somi, solid. Gainer pike, STUCK cold. Wow, great opening.

Richard (KSU): Rudi loso, pretty! Switch side popa, really nice splits. Front 2/1 LAST PASS wow, undercooked a little and sits, but I love those guts!

Squillo (UIC): Front tuck mount, solid. Switch + double stag, really pretty. She’s very steady. Bhs loso, small check. Beat + split full, great amplitude. Gainer full off the side small hop.

Trott (KSU): 5/2 punch front, very good, maybe a touch low on the front. Split full + popa, nice rotation, little shy on positions. Rudi, good landing. Great set.

Mahoney (UIC): Front toss solid. Switch + tuck full, drops shoulder a little and steps back, maybe a .15 error. Bhs loso, lifts front leg but saves it. Cartwheel stuck gainer full off the side. This team came to fight.

Iannuzzo (KSU): Big double pike to open, great landing. 3/2 front lay to close, a touch low on the lay.

Baddeley (UIC): Pretty L full! Bhs loso, no movement. Switch + sheep, again, totally solid. It was a good sheep position. Hitch + front aerial + sisonne, pretty. RO 3/2, tiny hop. Wow.

Sheremeta (UIC): Her TOES. YES. Wolf + split, good oversplit. Bhs loso, medium check but great extension. Hitch + switch side, good. Front aerial + split, solid. Side somi, she’s just so precise. RO 3/2, big step forward.

Ali (UW-O): Big Ylay! Some flexed feet but HUGE.

Smith (CC): Clear hip hand, good, pak was a little messy but good catch. DLO to finish, good landing.

Ponder (CC): Blind full + Tkatchev, and she misses. Bail hand. Something happened  a transition, she’s sitting and slow to get up. Seems okay, but not going to finish.

Northern (UIC): Bhs loso some knees and long pause before, but very secure. Hitch + side aerial no movement on the landing. Cat + switch side, some knees. RO 3/2, they could give her a stick There was a teeny tiny hop.

Fletcher (KSU): DLO, BIG great, landing, chest up and controlled lunge. Full twisting shush, pretty! Switch side Popa, great splits, cheated the popa by over doing the switch rotation. 3/2 + front lay, good landing! That’s a solid anchor spot.

After 3: UIC 145.125, Kent State 143.250, Oshkosh 140.575, Centenary 134.100

Bars was a bit of a struggle for Centenary, but that’s true of many non-top teams. Oshkosh vaulted all layouts, so by virtue of start value have fallen off the pace of the top two. Kent looked good on floor, but UIC was very strong on beam and pulled even further ahead.

Rotation 4: Kent State vault, UW-O bars, Centenary beam, UIC floor

Looks like UW-O is planning to go five up on bars. Risky!

The UIC men just did a big chant. Fun that they’re here!

Danielson (KSU): Tucked Tsuk 1/2, nice!

Sanders (CC): Bhs loso, small check. Switch, stumbles, popa + beat, just nervy on that whole combo. Cat + loso, little wobble. She was so steady warming up, just nervy. Split + tuck 3/4, much steadier. RO 1/1, medium step back. Little things throughout.

Lindway (KSU): FTY, I think she’s hurt. Landed very low, fell forward, stayed down. Okay, she’s up, maybe just a stinger?

Jarvis (UW-O): HUGE HUGE Tkatchev. Clear hip hand, bail hand, nice. Blind full, Layout dismount. Stuck.

Harris (CC): Bhs loso, good. Switch half + beat. She poses and smiles at the judge and the team says “LADIESSS” cute. Front toss, solid, beat, not quite connected. Tucked front 1/1, step forward.

Alicke (UIC): Split full, nice. 5/2 punch front, a little low on the landing of the punch, but stays on her feet. FHS rudi, nice. 5/2, not quite there and sits.

Very long waits on every event.

Baumgartner (CC): Split + back tuck, low chest but no movement. Bhs loso, knees. Drops chest, touches the beam, can’t save it and falls. Cat + split full, cheats the rotation a touch. Front 1/1 dismount, small step to the side. Good recovery from the fall.

Austin (CC): I caught her nailing a triple series out of the corner of my eye!

Baddeley (UIC): Front through to 5/2, great! Switch side Popa, her oversplits are so strong. Flies on a double pike. Double tuck, chest a touch low, but didn’t move the front foot.

Fletcher (KSU): FTY, some pike down, but good landing.

Gilot (UW-O): Pike Geinger, great, lovely pak, little late on blind. Blind full + double tuck, step back. That’s a very good bar set.

Smith (CC): Changed her mind and mounted on the opposite side from where she was. Switch + straddle 1/4, good. Front toss some wobble, bhs swing down! Pike + straddle 3/4. Gainer full off the side, nice.

Sheremeta (UIC): FHS 2/1, good. Switch side popa, massive! Front 1/1 + front lay stepout love it. Little over powered so the stepout got a touch wild. FHS rudi + straddle, good landing. She’s lovely.

Jordan (CC): Her toes are a thing of dreams. Front aerial + back tuck, lost the connection a bit. Split + straddle 1/4, good splits! Gainer full, stuck!

Northern (UIC): Front through to double tuck. Switch side half + popa, love that. 3/2 + front lay, good. Double tuck to end, great chest up landing with no foot movement. Love seeing her rock floor her senior season.

FINAL: UIC 194.200, Kent State 191.250, Oshkosh 185.450, Centenary 181.800

That is an EXCELLENT score for the Flames! They’re off to a very good start this year. For Kent, this meet had highs and lows. Definitely places to work, but it has the pieces of a solid season and some truly huge gymnastics. Oshkosh is a very fun team, with a lot of great work. Centenary also looked god here, with the building blocks all there.

Live blog by Emily Minehart

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