This one is a whopper. Not only are we saying goodbye to Michigan seniors Emma McLean and Olivia Karas (internal screaming), we’re getting a rematch of the 2017 meet between these two teams in Ann Arbor when Michigan came oh-so-close to upsetting the Sooners. Keep in mind that Karas has never scored a 10.0 and is on some folks’ lists of people who should have by now. Is her senior night the night?
Denver, at No. 6, has created too big a margin for Michigan to realistically overtake it; the Wolverines’ primary concern will be holding onto No. 7, with Georgia, Alabama and even Minnesota all able to overtake them with big hits—Georgia overtook No. 7 after its strong meet Friday night, but a 197.375 secures Michigan at No. 7 going into next week. Oklahoma is safe at No. 1 with No. 2 UCLA unable to catch it this week regardless of what happens.
What will perhaps be most fascinating in this meet is the battle between freshmen phenoms Natalie Wojcik and Olivia Trautman, especially if Trautman appears in the all around for the Sooners. Likewise, seniors Brenna Dowell and Karas will likely face-off on floor; Dowell’s eponymous skill and Karas’ double Arabian are can’t-miss gymnastics.
Having the Sooners in town, a team that has a six-10.0-vault lineup, begs the question: Will Michigan throw upgrades? McLean, who did not vault during the middle of the season thanks to a sore shoulder, has been doing a full but is capable of an excellent one and a half. If she upgrades, the Wolverines will be at five 10.0 starts. Freshman Maddie Mariani is also capable of a one and a half but hasn’t competed it in college.
Another upgrade watch: Wojcik has a full-in in her back pocket but has yet to put it on the competition floor.
Looks like Abby Heiskell will make her competitive bars debut!
— Michigan Women’s Gymnastics (@UMichWGym) March 9, 2019
A tip from someone who just figured it out! If you’re watching MSU basketball on BTN2Go, wondering where the gymnastics will be, follow this link and log in again: https://t.co/I5daDGDX3i.
You should be seeing a blue BTN screen with a live clock running on the bottom.
Oooh we’re getting a snazzy intro video! Higher production quality than regular Big Ten fans are accustomed to.
We’ve got Illinois alumna Alina Weinstein in the booth!
Oh, by the way, this week Bev Plocki won Most Flirtatious Dancer at a fundraiser.
Rotation 1: Michigan vault, Oklahoma bars
Mariani (UM): NEW LEO! FTY, stuck! little off line.
Webb (OU): Pak, good catch. Nice handstands. Van Leeuwen. Short last handstand. Toe half to double front half, stuck.
Maxim (UM): Everyone, Maxim and Plocki, looks confused. Are the judges pulling some shenanigans? Can’t tell, but we’re waiting. OK, here we go! Tsuk 1/2, good body position, step to the side.
Marks (OU): Toe hand to Maloney, good. Bail hand, good. Good last handstand. full-in, low chest and a step.
Brenner (UM): Y1.5, slight hip angle and a little hop.
Thomas (OU): Hect mount. Toe half + Jaeger, good form. Bail hand little loose. DLO, stuck.
McLean (UM): FTY, huge distance, small hop.
Dowell (OU): Ray, good. Shy handstand to toe hand, bail hand touch shy. DLO, stuck.
Karas (UM): Y1.5, bit! Hop forward.
Lehrmann (OU): Hect mount. Great handstand to hop. Blind + Jaeger good, some feet. Bail hand. Half in half out.
Wojcik (UM): Y1.5, hop forward.
Nichols (OU): Ray, feet to pak leg sep. Good handstands. Toe hand, van Leeuwen some leg sep. DLO leg sep and swims for the stick, drops her chest and manages to hold her feet still.
AFTER ONE: THE SCORES ARE BROKEN, OF COURSE.
Michigan went 49.225. Waiting for OU to tweet a score. Overall, scoring is what you expect in this part of the country. Not super high, not ridiculously strict. Michigan is on track for a solid score but won’t be thrilled with those hops.
OK, 49.550 for Oklahoma.
Rotation 2: Michigan bars, Oklahoma vault
Lehrmann (OU): Y1.5, stuck. Wow.
KJ lost her mind amazing.
Mariani (UM): Bit of a long wait, which is weird for a leadoff! Actually, this is absurd. What are you doing judges?! Clear hip hand nice big Tkatchev, good toes. Bail hand tiny bit of leg sep, little loose. full-in, hop forward.
Webb (OU): Y1.5, some knees, wanted to step but held her feet down. She might have slid one, more obvious on the replay.
Heiskell (UM): Good first handstand, Tkatchev, good. Toe hand to pak, some leg sep. Switch kip. Touch of an arched last handstand. Blind to front giant to half to double tuck, step.
Degouveia (OU): Y1.5, some knees and a hop to the side.
Farley (UM): Hect mount. Blind + pike Jaeger, she falls. Just took it out too far. She also had looseness in her knees throughout all that early work. Bail hand shy. Good last handstand. Blind + double front, deep knees but holds her feet.
Stern (OU): Y1.5, Knees, small hop.
Karas (UM): Toe hand to Maloney, good. Bail hand, arched, but brings it in. Good last handstand. DLO some leg sep stuck.
Dowell (OU): Y1.5, huge, stuck. Excellent.
Brenner (UM): Hect mount, arched first handstand. Blind + Jaeger some feet. Bail hand good. Good last handstand. DLO, low some crazy legs on the second flip, step forward.
Schoepfer (OU): FTY, knees, hip angle, bounced out of the landing.
Wojcik (UM): Hect mount. Her TOES. Blind to Jaeger, good. Bail hand touch loose. Nailed last handstand. DLO. little foot shuffle, they could call it a stick if they’re feeling nice.
AFTER TWO: Oklahoma 99.100, Michigan 98.550
The biggest difference in these scores is landings. Despite a few small hops on vault, OU is hitting more of them. The Wolverines are heading to what can be a spectacular event in beam, and will look to gain some ground while Oklahoma is on its weakest event in floor.
Rotation 3: Michigan beam, Oklahoma floor
Farley (UM): Let’s see how she comes back from that bars fall. She has this smirk on beam, like she knows a secret. Bhs loso loso, solid. Better knees than usual. Switch + split. 3/2 turn, good. Side aerial + split, good.Gainer pike stuck. Wow, what a comeback!
Webb (OU): FHS 2/1, good landing dropped right in. 3/2 + front 1/1 good. Tour jete 1/2 + split 1/1, cheated the rotation there and seemed to get a little lost in the air, but covered it well. FHS rudi, some leg sep and she hopped to the side a touch.
Osman (UM): She has very quick, snappy beam work. Bhs loso completely solid. Punch front, good. Split + wolf 1/1, good. Gainer 1/1, leg sep but good landing.
Draper (OU): whip half + 3/2, hip angle and leg sep. FHS 1/1 + front lay, some knees in the 1/1. Switch to missed her second jump.
Karas (UM): Her Madonna music is rolling. Bhs loso beat, good. Switch split + pike. Gainer loso + beat, steady. rudi dismount, some leg cross and a small hop back.
Lapinta (OU): She lacks some of the precision in toes while dancing that we expect from OU. 3/1 good height, some leg cross. Front 1/1 + front lay arched and foot slid. Double tuck great landing, feet in the air.
Mariani (UM): Little check on full turn. Side aerial + split, check. Split + straddle 1/4. Beat + switch side, better. She’s relaxing now. Bhs loso, steady. RO 3/2 knees, stuck.
Degouveia (OU): FHS 2/1, good landing, some foot cross. Front lay + front 1/1, good. Switch 1/2 + popa. good. 3/2 + barani, some leg sep in both but great landing.
Funk (UM): Bhs loso, small check but she works through it. Apparently she’s working with a toe flexor issue. Switch side 1/4, excellent. Beat + popa, massive, so secure. Side aerial 1/1 stuck. Wow, great!
Dowell (UM): I’m so excited guys. THE DOWELL, great landing. 3/2 + front lay, stuck it! Tour jete 1/2 + popa, good rotation. Front lay + front 1/1 + stag. Wow. That was stellar.
Wojcik (UM): Front aerial + beat, great flow. Let’s talk about her toes a little more. Switch + split, good. Bhs loso, solid. Cat + side aerial no movement. Now she has a little smirk too. RO 3/2, stuck! Well then!
Crowd and announcers want a 10, but it’ll be 9.950.
Stern (OU): Double pike, feet, but good landing. Front lay + front 1/1. Wolf 1/1 + step wolf 1/1, some wonky wolf positions there. Double tuck, low chest and feet in the air, lunges forward.
McLean (UM-exh): Switch + straddle 1/4, good 180s. Loso loso, turns to the side and bends at the hip but stays on. Cat + switch side, some knees. Side aerial + 1/1, holds the stick.
AFTER THREE: Oklahoma 148.575, Michigan 148.000
Wow, what a beam rotation for the Wolverines! A 49.450 is very strong. Not quite enough to gain ground on Oklahoma, which is looking improved on floor, but still with some little details to perfect. KJ Kindler won’t be mad at the 49.475, though.
Michigan needs a flat 49.0 to hit 197, which should be doable. A 49.425 gets Oklahoma to 198.
Just saw a score change for Karas, up to a 9.900, which brings the beam total to a 49.500, and the total to 148.050.
Rotation 4: Michigan floor, Oklahoma beam
Dowell (OU): Front aerial + layout two feet, very piked, but that’s allowed in NCAA. Switch + switch, good. Kotchetkova, small bobble, slight pause before. Front 1/1, stuck, just rocked up on her toes.
Funk (UM): Double pike, very good control. UM is all wearing sunglasses? Front 1/1 + front lay, good amplitude. Switch side + popa, cheated the rotation a touch. Rudi to end, some leg cross.
Lehrmann (OU): Very confident from the start. Bhs loso, solid. Front aerial + beat, good. Cat + switch side, good. Gainer 1/1 off the side, stuck.
Osman (UM): Full-in good, lunges forward. Switch side + popa. Front through double pike, lunges forward again and some feet. Rudi, some leg cross but good landing.
Schoepfer (OU): Bhs bhs loso, off to the side and windmills some, but stays on. Switch + straddle 1/4. Pause before dismount RO 3/2, stuck. Good recovery.
Brenner (UM): Full-in, low chest but good controlled lunge. 5/2 + front tuck, just doesn’t get the punch and sits it. Switch side + popa, good. UM will now count Osman’s 9.775. Double pike, good.
Woodard (OU): Side aerial bhs, good. Front toss. Needle scale, nice. Switch + split, some back foot form. Side aerial + 1/1, good.
McLean (UM): Double tuck SO HIGH, she bounces out a bit. FHS front lay front 1/1, good control. Tour jete 1/2 + popa, good 180s. Double pike, good chest position, lunges forward. Her last home floor (until regionals here).
Webb (OU): Very small check on the full turn. Bhs loso, good. Cat, bobble, she’ll repeat it. Cat + front aerial, knees. Switch + split. Side aerial + 1/1, stuck.
Wojcik (UM): WILL SHE FULL-IN?! SHE DID IT!!!! Low chest but stuck! Tour jete 1/2 + wolf 1/1, good rotation. FHS 2/1 + front pike, good. FHS rudi + straddle SO BIG. Wow, great routine. With two E passes, no less!
Nichols (OU): Front aerial + split. Bhs loso, some feet, little off to the side but she pulled it in. Switch + split, back foot form. RO 3/2 stuck.
Karas (OU): One more last home floor. Double Arabian, bounced forward, but it was so big. Switch 1/2 + wolf 1/1. 3/2 + barani, good landing. Double pike, great landing to close, and a big group hug in the center of the floor.
FINAL: Oklahoma 198.200, Michigan 197.425
Wow. Both teams will be happy with those totals, especially since there are things for both to clean, meaning these are not ceiling scores for either squad. With this score, Michigan secures staying ahead of Georgia, Alabama and Minnesota this week at No. 7.
Live blog by Emily Minehart