Utah State is a very young, very exciting team this year. It has a great bars rotation, and it should be really exciting to see superstars Leighton Varnadore and Madi Ward-Sessions on such a big stage. Some fans have even speculated that this meet might be an opportunity for Ward-Sessions, a senior, to earn a 10.0 on floor after previously scoring 9.975 on the event this season.
There might be something else happening at this meet too, but I’m not sure. We’ll have to wait and see.
I’ll be at Pauley several hours before the meet today. Keep an eye on our Insta story for updates!
OK it’s happening! Everyone looked great in warm ups! UCLA’s in a brand new leotard! This happened!
In recognition of Miss Val's career, the UCLA floor has been named the Valorie Kondos Field Floor And has her name printed on the border. pic.twitter.com/JtxvyFEIgY
— Rebecca Scally (@rebeccakscally) March 16, 2019
Also Grace Glenn is doing bars! Life is really good.
ROTATION 1: UCLA VAULT, USU BARS
DENNIS – UCLA: Usual gorgeous full, small scoot back. 9.85
LE. VARNADORE – USU: Maloney, CRAZY legs, to bail and just a little. Toe on blind to half to double back, little hop.
HANO – UCLA: One and a half, ambiguous hop-heels together moment. Ten hands from the coaches. I’d say no but we’ll see. 9.95.
TUELLER – USU: Blind to Jaeger, feet but great distance, overshoot, one arm not quite right, clips her feet. Blind full double back with a step. 9.475
WRIGHT – UCLA: Balked on the first try. Didn’t touch so she’s good. Randy’s on her in a second to check she’s ok, but she seems fine. One and a half, bend forward to hold the stick but DOES IT. 9.775
BULLITT – USU: Jaeger, awkward heavy catch, bail is GORGEOUS. Really methodical style, I love it. DLO stuck but not much distance. 9.825
USU might be in a new leo too. Uncertain.
TRATZ – UCLA: Solid full. Hop back. 9.825
ROJAS – USU: Maloney to bail, nice, DLO is off in the air and lands to her knees. 9.325
ROSS – UCLA: Comes in just a breath short on the 1.5 and sits it. Well, this is thoroughly weird. 9.325
WARD-SESSIONS: Blind to Jaeger to overshoot, FTDB pretty in the air with a hop back. 9.825
KRAMER – UCLA: Little smirk as she gets ready. One and a half, awkward landing, step to one side. Far from perfect but the best one I’ve seen from her this year. 9.7
BECK – USU: Short on first handstand, true Shap to Pak with leg sep. Blind to half to double back with a hop.
UCLA 49.100 – USU 48.525
So weird. We knew there was a chance everyone would be off their game today, but still. I assumed the reason Kramer was anchoring was that they could downgrade her to the full if there was a mistake earlier in the rotation. If they’re not doing that I’m at a loss.
ROTATION 2: USU VAULT, UCLA BARS
GOLISON – USU: Tsuk tuck full, one hand slipped on the table, got it around fine. Bit soft in the air but solid landing. 9.575
FRAZIER – UCLA: Maloney to Pak, goooorg, van Leeuwen gets a roar from the crowd. Arch on a handstand, got it back, DLO stuck. 9.9 oh THERE’S Carol.
DEHARDE – USU: Lovely full, twists with one arm over her head which is my FAVORITE. Not huge but pretty with a big hop back. 9.625
DENNIS – UCLA: Question on the first handstand, Maloney to bail PERFECT. Nailed a handstand on the HB, DLO stuck. Depending on the first handstand (my angle is really poor for those) that COULD go 10. 9.95
ROJAS – USU: Nice full, chest down on the landing, cross step back. 9.625
G. GLENN – UCLA: So excited to have her back today. Blind to Jaeger, the best in the NCAA, the turnover is just sublime. Off on her Pak. DLO with the tiniest hop in place. 9.35
LO. VARNADORE – USU: Yurchenko arabian, knees in the air, larger cross step. 9.675
FLATLEY – UCLA: Really nice Jaeger, just the usual slightly iffy legs on the catch, great bail. Hitting handstands, DLO stuck-ish. 9.925
LE. VARNADORE – USU: Beauty of a Yurchenko arabian. So floaty. Little hop. 9.825
KOCIAN – UCLA: Chow to Pak, keeps the legs together, FTDB with a hop.
WARD – USU: Great full, flared like crazy. Little hop back and milks the landing.
Every media table I’ve ever been at just has the WORST view of bars. Right now the USU team huddle is in the way.
ROSS – UCLA: Maloney to bail, normal, casts way over on the HB and jumped off. Counting a fall on bars now, this’ll be a drop score. Stuck the DLO. 9.475
Toronjo in the exo for UCLA. Off on the Ray.
UCLA 98.300 – UTAH STATE 98.100
This is a lot. Apparently Tanya and Michael Chaplin are here. I don’t see them but that’s really cute.
ROTATION 3: UCLA BEAM, USU FLOOR
G. GLENN – UCLA: BHS LOSO, seemed to lose concentration for a second as she hit the beam but got it fine. Front aerial to split, full turn to scale, BHS gainer full with a little hop. 9.95. I’ll take it.
GOLISON – USU: Missed the first pass, front lay Barani to straddle. Very intense choreo. Cute little bit of dancing to the team, straddle series is solid, front full front lay with a tiny hop. 9.7
NGUYEN – UCLA: Switch split beat, fabulous, aerial LOSO. Love her split half. Very few people can do those competently. Front full dismount and pulls her heels together.
LEARY – USU: Front lay to Rudi, twists into the lunge, her faces are SO fun. Switch side Popa, didn’t really get a solid jump into the Popa but it was fine, double back comes in a touch low but lunges out ok. 9.65
KOCIAN – UCLA: Hangs out in the split in her shoulder roll for a second and it’s glorious. BHS LOSO great. Front aerial to split. Full turn, switch split, one and a half twist with a little hop back. 9.825 why?
BRIONES – USU: Rudi, front lay Barani LOSO. just love that pass, these routines are choreographically really quality. 9.675
FLATLEY – UCLA: Knees on the front aerial BHS as usual, lifts her hip on the L turn combo but keeps going. Punch front full with a bigger hop. 9.85
LE. VARNADORE – USU: Full in is LOW but around. Double pike coming back is quality. One and a half front lay. 9.825
OHASHI – UCLA: Front aerial front aerial with a larger leg up check. This has to be girlfriend’s sixth or seventh distinct beam routine this year. Switch split, arm swing adjustment, BHS LOSO back full with a little step. 9.825
DEHARDE – USU: I really love this routine. Contemporary and gorgeous. Double pike, lifts the front foot, Rudi LOSO traveling very sideways. Straddle leap combo, Rudi to Shush ok GET IT. 9.875.
ROSS – UCLA: Okay, breathe. BHS LOSO good, smiling. Front aerial sissone good, steps out of the arabesque turn awkwardly, that’s the kind of thing they could ignore on a cracky day but today isn’t that. Side aerial back full with a baby hop I think, couldn’t see her feet. Thank goodness. 9.975 maybe it is that day.
WARD – USU: Full in, back with one and a half front lay, I’m speechless. Switch side pike Shush 1/1… is there a name for that? my elite COP skills fade during NCAA season. Nailed the double pike. Pauley is in love. 9.925
Dennis in the exo for UCLA. Full turn, a touch off, front aerial LOSO. She’s the GOAT of that series. Double full dismount, little hop, bows to the team as they run toward her. I love it.
UCLA 147.750 – UTAH STATE 146.100
That was better. Still sane to tight scoring throughout, I thought USU was low on floor there. The Ross routine was an exception… but how many people honestly begrudge her that?
ROTATION 4: USU BEAM, UCLA FLOOR
LE. VARNADORE – USU: BHS LOSO, arm swing. Switch switch, gainer tuck 3/2 off the side!! Holy crap I’ve never seen that and I love it. 9.7
FRAZIER – UCLA: Full in really solid. Whip through double back, Pauley is LOUD, double pike rotates too slowly and comes in a little short with a hop forward.
DEHARDE – USU: She was announced as Rojas but I think Rojas tweaked her ankle on bars. Aerial to beat… I forgot to write down the rest of her skills but they’re really pretty, she reminds me a bit of Stefani Catour in face as well as gymnastics… double full dismount wiht a step. 9.825
KRAMER – UCLA: Double full front pike, one and a half front lay, Rudi to arch jump, all the usual stuff. Getting ten hands from the whole student section. 9.925 got booed.
BRIONES – USU: Hitch kick front aerial, looks low but makes it. Full turn, BHS LOSO great. I think that was a punch front full with a hop. 9.775
TRATZ – UCLA: Dennis was originally rostered. NAILED the full in. One and a half front full. I’ve thought she deserved a ten once before this season… the last pass can get her. We’ll see. Heel up, toes stay down in the lunge. I wouldn’t be mad. 9.95
WARD – USU: BHS LOSO, veryyyy soft trailing leg. Switch switch side, little check, double back with a step.
ROSS – UCLA: Student section standing. Whip double back, it’s just SO high. One and a half front lay great, great double pike. They’re pushing for a 10. And she got it!! Gym Slam, finally.
BECK – USU: BHS LOSO, solid, touch of knees. Switch… was that a cat leap 1/2? Side aerial, adjustment, beat jump. Punch front full tucked and stuck. The arena hasn’t chilled out after Ross’s 10 yet. 9.75
USU clean through beam despite only putting up 5. Really impressive from the Aggies, and so much style.
HANO – UCLA: DLO maaaaybe a little low? but lunges fine. Whatever to Barani to running jump, lovely, double pike great. It’s SO loud in here. 9.95.
OHASHI – UCLA: Straight double lay today, no split leg, nailed it. Yada yada Barani punch front. Whole arena’s clapping, switch ring switch half, one and a half Barani to split drop. Yeah 10 lol.
FINAL: UCLA 197.575 – UTAH STATE 194.85
Miss Val is dancing along with the student section to Shut Up And Dance.
VAULT: Hano 9.950
BARS: Dennis, Kocian 9.950
BEAM: Ross 9.975
FLOOR: Ross, Ohashi 10.0
AA: Ward-Sessions 39.275
Live blog by Rebecca Scally
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