LIVE BLOG: No. 19 Arizona State at No. 2 UCLA

The biggest news for the UCLA Bruins is a series of leading tweets that associate head coach Randy Lane posted on Friday about his team’s vault lineup. Apparently the Bruins are hoping to put up five 10.0 vaults today, one of which will be Kendal Poston’s handspring pike half. I’ll be keeping an eye out for these; a middling vault performance dragged UCLA’s score down last week. If it can boost this lineup and keep the others in line, a 198 should not be out of reach.

Arizona State started the season off on a strong foot, but its freshmen have been AWOL so far this season. I’ll be trying to track down injury statuses on those three if there’s something going on besides lineup competitiveness, but in the meantime keep an eye on the increasingly competitive all around rivalry between Anne Kuhm and Cairo Leonard-Baker.

UCLA lineups are really interesting today! Two new 10.0 vaults in the lineup (though Tratz is still warming up her full) and Anna Glenn back on beam, though Grace is still out today.

ASU is throwing fairly similar lineups to what we’ve seen the last few weeks, though I did see a few bonus routines in warm up that we might see in exhibitions.

In hilarious news, there was a small balance beam situation in meet warm up. Everything’s fine now but there were some serious talks between coaches and Chris Waller was at various points holding between one and three (!) wrenches.


TRATZ – UCLA: Big full, beautifully flared with a hop straight back. Twisting a touch onto the table.

HART – ASU: Blind to Jaeger to overshoot, nice and high. Think she missed the first handstand but it’s fine. Double layout with a tiny step back. Great start!

POSTON – UCLA: Lineup debut for the sophomore.  Handspring pike 1/2 solid with two steps back. Good first one! We’ve seen her land it better, but she just needs to be landing it on her feet enough to stay in the lineup week to week.

CALLIS – ASU: Short on first handstand, really odd technique on her Tkachev and low. Bail to toe shoot is solid, double lay rotates a bit slow but it’s there with a hop in place.

WRIGHT – UCLA: Roar from the crowd from the freshman. One and a half, big with a small hop forward, team rushes her, one weirdo in the crowd is yelling TEN. That was great and you get the feeling it meant a lot for her to be back in. Crying as she gets a hug from Miss Val.

K. SZAFRANSKI – ASU: Okay Ray, catches a bit close. Making handstands though, leg split on her blind full, double back with a tiny hop.

HANO – UCLA: One and a half, weight going back… takes a step to the side and saves it. Momentum was just wonky there.

WILSON – ASU: Blind to Jaeger, really nice, just a bit of feet. Borderline handstands, good bail, blind full to double back stuck! Close to the bar, but still.

ROSS – UCLA: Deep on her one and a half with a step back. Not the Bruins’ day with these landings, but no one’s fallen yet and on the “throw everything” day that’s a victory in itself.

KUHM – ASU: Cast over to Jaeger, misses a kch, toe on to bail nice. Short on another kch, double lay lovely and stuck. This routine frustrates me so much. She’s a beautiful technical bars gymnast and her construction is letting her down.

DENNIS – UCLA: Just a full today after some drama with her one and a half in the meet warm up and STUCK. Super impressive. No, dude behind me, it’s not a ten.

LEONARD-BAKER – ASU: Great Maloney to Bail, lost track for a second as a roar went up for Dennis’ PERFECT 9.95 on that vault! Half in half out a bit messy but stuck or as good as. Really great anchor. 9.975!!! Okay this meet is happening.

Good FTY in the exhibition for Gracie Kramer, she’s downgraded the past few weeks. Jessica Ginn on bars for ASU, bit of feet but overall hitting positions, awkward landing on her DLO but makes it.

ASU 49.250 – UCLA 49.175

Gorgeous bars rotation from the Sun Devils, taking full advantage of the fact that the judges are pretty excited about life today. UCLA could have been better on bars, but considering how many risks they took there they won’t be too upset about the outcome, which is still an improvement over the same rotation at California Grand.


KUHM – ASU: Beauty of a full, a bit piked down as usual, but STUCK. What a start.

FRAZIER – UCLA: Maloney to Pak, beautiful, she’s so clean on this apparatus. Zamarripas a handstand on the low bar, tiny bit short on one on the high, double lay with a little hop back.

RUSHTON – ASU: This one looked hairy in meet warm up, we’ll see how it goes. Twists hard onto the table, gets it around but it’s very piked with a hop forward and she is not far from the table at all.

DENNIS – UCLA: Maloney to bail, really nice, ooooh casts over on the high bar and comes off. Double lay virtually stuck. She’s on her landings today, just trying a bit too hard there.

GINN – ASU: Really nice full, got some meaningful distance this time, leans a bit to hold her landing, can’t tell if there was a foot shift there or whether she did.

A. GLENN – UCLA: Blind to Jaeger, really nice, Pak, ooh nailed her half turn on the low bar. Blind full double back STUCK. Really nice.

K. SZAFRANSKI – ASU: Twists on hard on her Yurchenko full but gets it around okay, solid landing with a hop in place.

FLATLEY – UCLA: Giant to blind to Jaeger, girlfriend is shedding chalk at the top of every circle, lost the transition sequence, double layout great and stuck again. Bruins on a hot streak of landings. 9.975!!!

LEONARD-BAKER – ASU: Nice full, big and flared, her technique is fantastic. Not quite there on the landing and rebounds forward, gets it back under control quickly.

KOCIAN – UCLA: Ooh I think she did a Chow to Pak, adding the difficulty back in, fantastic handstand, half in half out dismount and pulls her heels together. Major ten hands. There it is.

WILSON – ASU: Okay full, piked down, impressive to get it done with the noise level in the arena right now.

ROSS – UCLA: Ten is hers to lose. Borderline on one handstand… we’ll see. Ooh “just” a 9.95! Still a ridiculous rotation for the Bruins.

Didn’t catch ASU’s exhibition but she fell, wildly underrotated full and hands went down. Oh, it was Belkoff. UCLA put up Kooyman and she was fine not amazing.

UCLA 98.875 – ASU 98.100

Definitely happy scoring for UCLA but not outright crack. Five sticks there, a few slightly borderline handstands but overall fantastic. ASU had a few really impressive sticks but you don’t want to be following Nia Dennis on vault if you struggle with amplitude, and the landing let CLB down though she was technically the best vaulter.


KOCIAN – UCLA: The quality of her choreo has improved a lot in the last two years. Flic loso really nice, front aerial, tiny shift to get her second foot down, to split. Full turn is nice, switch split, double full stuck. Really good start.

LENTZ – ASU: She’s such a performer, double pike… oh no. Missed her punch, landed on her face, looks like an ankle injury. That’s awful.

NGUYEN – UCLA: Good leap series, front aerial, little check. Front aerial again to LOSO. Big applause for the fixed version. Split 3/4 just a breath short like usual, front full, I didn’t see the landing but it was at least good.

BELKOFF – ASU: Incredibly hard to follow a friend going down like that, but she’s off to a great start with a double pike landed well. Front double full, nicely done, switch side Popa great. She’s not quite there in terms of presentation but I can’t blame her. One and a half front lay, flirting with the line but holds a stick. So impressive on every level.

A. GLENN – UCLA: Flic layout, a tiny bit off, keeps it under control. Beat to ring good. Front handspring, gets a gasp from the crowd on her side scale choreo every time, full turn, flic loso MISSES HER FOOT sticks the dismount anyway

KUHM – ASU: Whip double back, quick step back but it’s fine. Two and a half with a cross step out but it’s still the best she’s done today. Great leap series, front full front tuck… way off direction but gets it to her feet.

DENNIS – UCLA: Full turn, front aerial – LOSO nailed. UCLA needs to get the scores moving at this meet. Leg up check on her switch 1/2, covers it with choreo.  Switch split nice, double twist with a hop back.

K. SZAFRANSKI – ASU: Missed the first pass unfortunately but think it was good! Great leap series, quirky choreography. Under on double back, step forward. Hopefully her extensive ankle tape protected her from some of the sting on that. One and a half front lay is beautiful!

FLATLEY – UCLA: Front aerial – LOSO, lean but pretends it’s not happening and might be convincing enough. Side aerial beautiful, she’s so good at milking her landings, L turn really nice. Switch ring to beat steady, back handspring one and a half with a little hop forward.

GINN – ASU: Really cute choreography. Front thru double back!! Right on top of herself at the end there but nails it. Front lay Barani, switch side to Popa, deep on her double pike and a big lunge back.

ROSS – UCLA: Is that new handstand choreo off the top or am I just losing it? Flic loso nice and steady, switch split beautiful. Arabesque full turn is my favorite thing, switch ring to beat, side aerial back full… arm swing on the landing with her hands winged, I got major Mustafina vibes for a second there.

LEONARD-BAKER – ASU: Double back and the floor bounces as she lands. I love her choreography this year too. It’s got some quiet moments. One and a half front full with a cross step, tour jete 1/2 Popa with a bounce, crowd is REALLY into her choreo. Bounce back on her back foot on her double pike. She’s just got a bit too much energy on everything today.

Poston in the exhibition for UCLA. Nailed the triple series, stuck dismount, really solid. Wilson for ASU, stuck her double back with her chest down to open.

UCLA 148.125 – ASU 146.800

UCLA had too many little adjustments in that beam rotation to really make an impact. ASU got some gifts at the end there with some really rocky landings getting the benefit of the doubt, but no one’s really going to be mad after the injury off the top there.


KUHM – ASU: Front aerial to bhs is really nice, she’s such a pretty beamer, switch to sheep… way short of position. Side aerial back full with a step forward.

KRAMER – UCLA:  Front double full front pike really nice, one and a half front lay, switch side to Popa, Rudi to arch jump doesn’t get quite the elevation it usually does but really good hit to start the Bruins off.

WILSON – ASU: Flic loso with knees but really secure landing. Full turn is nice, cat leap switch half short.  Kickover front to beat really nice, stick on gainer full dismount. Nice steady start for the Sun Devils.

DENNIS – UCLA: Pike full in underrotated with a step forward. Front full front lay, hops into dance like usual, ridiculous leaps. Student section is really into this one. Fantastic landing on the double back.

Someone in the audience has some kind of horn they keep blowing really halfheartedly. Don’t know if it’s someone in the alumni band screwing around or what.

LEONARD-BAKER – ASU: Straddle to LOSO, love that combination. Full turn is nice, beat to straddle 3/4 beautiful, flic loso with a touch of knees. One and a half twist is great with a little hop in place.

ROSS – UCLA: Whip double back. Amplitude on that pass is monstrous in person. One and a half lay is off line and close to the edge… sticks it to avoid trouble! Leap series with Shushunova, much more reliable than her Ferrari even though I miss that skill, the little hip pop before her last pass is perfect. Hop in place on her double pike.

A. SZAFRANSKI – ASU: This routine’s a fun one in person. Front aerial to Korbut, beautiful, switch split short of position. Full turn is really nice, no lift on her Rulfova and hits the beam a quarter short but gets it around. Gainer full with messy legs.

Pep talk and a big hug for Justine Callis, who follows her on beam. Really sweet.

TRATZ – UCLA: Full in majorly underrotated with a big step forward. Ouch.One and a half front full is gorgeous. Double back great landing, touch of cowboying.

CALLIS – UCLA: Gasp from the crowd on her beam mount, which is gorgeous. Triple series nailed, split to double stag, front handspring to knees, side aerial gainer full stuck. Best beam routine of the day, should be the title.

FRAZIER – UCLA: Full in went a bit sideways, more a half in half out, but she lands it fine. Maybe a foot shift on her leap series landing if we’re being fancy. Whip thru double back and a ROAR from the crowd. This one gets such engagement. Tiny baby lunge on her double pike. Amazing.

UDOWITCH – ASU: Front aerial to beat, nice, flic loso with a serious back leg situation. Switch split massively short, kickover pike front is really nice. Side aerial back full with a hop back.

OHASHI – UCLA: Half the crowd is already on its feet and she hasn’t even started yet. Double lay, foot on the line but not over but everyone can melt down over it anyway, one and a half… I never mange to track that thing. Oh well she hit it. Obsessed with atching Nia and Sekai on the student side of the arena dancing along. It’s weirdly silent in here. Oh here they are, everyone woke up for the MJ section. it’s SO LOUD.

FINAL: UCLA 197.775 – ASU 196.125

VAULT: Nia Dennis 9.950
BARS: Madison Kocian 10.000
BEAM: Justine Callis 9.925
FLOOR: Margzetta Frazier, Katelyn Ohashi, Kyla Ross 9.950
AA: 39.450

Season high for both and should be a nice little ranking boost for ASU! Weird meet, lots of stuff going on and some weird shakiness and some very generous scores for both teams. (Yes, both teams. Looking at you, back half of ASU floor rotation.)

It was fun, though! UCLA is creeping closer to OU, and ASU is still fighting in the middle of the Pac-12.

Live blog by Rebecca Scally

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  1. DId I miscalculate? Cuz when I average UCLA’s scores over 3 events I get 197.65 and when I run OU numbers I get 197.625. If I’m right UCLA just took over the number 1 spot from Oklahoma. Either way though this year is shaping up into an incredible battle– w/Florida right on their heels!

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