LIVE BLOG: SEC Championship Session Two

Welcome to session two of this year’s SEC championship! The night session features the top four teams in the conference as determined by NQS, which are (in order): LSU, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky. The Gators won the regular season title, but have an NQS 0.05 lower than the Tigers, so they have to settle for the second seed.

LSU enters as the two-time defending champion, with Florida finishing as the runner-up both years after winning the title in 2016. With both teams having an NQS about half a point higher than the rest of the session, I would peg these two as the main contenders for the title.

The Gators defeated LSU when the two faced off in the regular season, which snapped LSU’s home win streak that had been going since the 2014 season. The Tigers are entering this meet on a two week 198 streak and are certainly looking for revenge against Florida. Also, the all around battle between Sarah Finnegan, Trinity Thomas, Alicia Boren and Kennedi Edney is going to be amazing, so buckle in.

While slight underdogs, Georgia and Kentucky will definitely factor into individual event battles as well as the team race if Florida and LSU aren’t hitting. Sydney Snead of Georgia will certainly contend for the vault title, as well as the all around podium, and Kentucky’s Mollie Korth could honestly finish top three on any event, including the all around. The key for Georgia will be avoiding literally any mistakes on bars with Emily Schild now sidelined with an injury, and the Wildcats will have to hit their first three events and then rack up the big scores finishing on beam, their best event.

LSU will be rotating in Olympic order as the top seed, Florida will start on bars, Georgia on beam and Kentucky on floor.

Lineups for tonight!!

This morning’s session saw Alabama post a 197.350 to take first in the session and set the bar for this evening’s teams to beat. Arkansas finished second with an 196.475, Auburn finished third with a 196.375, and rounding out the early session was Missouri posting a 195.900.

Event leaders after the first session are Amanda Elswick (Arkansas), Derrian Gobourne (Auburn), and Lexi Graber (Alabama) on vault with 9.9’s, Sarah Shaffer (Arkansas) on bars with a 9.9, Graber on beam with a 9.95, and Graber and Ariana Guerra (Alabama) on floor with 9.925’s. Also, Graber leads the all around standings with a 39.650.

You can follow along with live scores and the meet will be on TV on ESPN2! WatchESPN will also have all the different event feeds if you’re trying to watch one specific team.

Rotation One: LSU – Vault, Florida – Bars, Georgia – Beam, Kentucky – Floor

Finnegan (LSU): Yfull gorgeous in the air. Just a tiny movement on the landing. 9.900

Snead (UGA): small wobble on the flight series, small hop on a double full dismount.

Harrold (LSU): Y1.5 just a small hop sideways. Better form in the air than usual. 9.900

Hundley (UF): shaposh to pak small leg separation. Nice shap half. FTDT dismount stuck! Hit all handstands too!

Kelley (LSU): front pike half nearly stuck. Lowish chest on landing but overall very nice. 9.900

Schoenherr (UF): sky high jager. Hits handstand on bail. Good final handstand. Stuck double front half dismount. 9.900

Priessman (LSU): Y1.5. Some knees in the air and a hop back.

Edwards (LSU): Y1.5. lunge forward. 9.800

Skaggs (UF): great tkatchev to pak. stuck double layout just some leg separation in the air.

Edney (LSU): Y1.5. great height just a small step forward.

Thomas (UF): shaposh to clear hip to pak done perfectly. shaposh half beautiful. perfect handstand. double layout just a small slide back.

Oakley (UGA): small bobble on a leap. nice cartwheel to gainer full dismount stuck.

Gowey (UF): gorgeous ray. nice pak. bit over on the half pirouette. hits last handstand. double layout dismount kinda piked and slide back. 9.800

Hyland (UK): her music is Finesse and she’s definitely finessing this choreography. Great leap series. Good height on the wolf full. RO 1.5 to punch layout beautiful form in the layout.

R. Baumann (UGA): side aerial loso a wobble and arm swing but stays on. full turn tiny bobble again. cat leap to switch side done nicely. RO double full dismount just a hop forward. 9.775

Korth (UK): RO bhs full-in nice landing just slightly low with the chest. tour jete half to split full done well. fhs to rudi to loso nice and floaty. last pass is a RO bhs double pike just a small slide on the landing but a hit routine.

Vega (UGA): split leap mount. switch leap to ring leap done well. front aerial slide pause to split leap. moonwalk draws some cheers. bhs loso well done. good full turn. side aerial to stuck layout full. just the small connection issue but nothing major.

Dukes (UK): RO bhs double pike. soooo much height. good landing too. great ring leap. fhs to front full to layout. final pass is a RO bhs double tuck just the tiniest move of the foot on the landing.

After One: Florida: 49.425, LSU: 49.375, Georgia: 49.050, Kentucky 48.625

Florida jumps out to the early lead because LSU couldn’t get more from those vault landings. Bobbles from Oakley, Magee, and Baumann kept the Georgia scores low and Kentucky unfortunately had some misses early from Stuart and Warren that will be hard to bounce back from.

Rotation Two: Kentucky – Vault, LSU – Bars, Florida – Beam, Georgia – Floor

Durante (LSU): nice jager, good pak, small leg sep, FTDT dismount stuck.

Hundley (UF): beautiful bhs loso, cat leap to switch side, nicely controlled full turn, dismounts with a stuck RO 1.5. great leadoff.

Dukes (UK): Yfull just a step forward. nice in the air.

Skaggs (UF): opens with a double wolf turn. done well. switch leap to split leap and hits 180. bhs loso, solid. cat leap to side aerial to stuck layout full. another good one for Florida!

Harrold (LSU):  nice zuchold. hits her jager. double front dismount nearly stuck just a tiny step forward with one foot.

Hyland (UK): stuck Yfull. super high.

Stuart (UK): Y1.5 nearly just just a small adjustment.

Boren (UF): beautiful front toss. bhs loso just a small wobble to the side. nice leaps. nice cat leap to loso. good full turn. cartwheel to stuck gainer full.

Edney (LSU): played side by side with Boren. syncronized stuck dismounts

Korth (UK): stuck Y1.5!

Priessman (LSU): tkatchev to pak super fast and clean. good pirouette. dismounts with a double layout. smallll hop back.

Gowey (UF): switch leap to split leap. gorgeous. bhs loso loso basically perfect. front aerial to sissone. nice full turn. stuck gainer full. such a beautiful beam worker.

Finnegan (LSU): opens with a beautiful ray. great handstand. nice bail. hits final handstand. dismounts double layout. stuck cold.

Thomas (UF): forward roll mount. switch half to beat jump. one-arm-bhs loso some wobbles on the landing. front aerial to wolf so high in the jump. dismounts with a double full and slide back.

Dickson (UGA): RO bhs double arabian, nicely controlled lunge. RO 1.5 to punch layout and dances out. switch side to straddle full completely rotated. final pass RO bhs double pike. good landing.

Baumann (UF): bhs loso perfect. switch leap to switch half. great full turn. good side aerial. moving so fluidly. dismounts RO 1.5 stuck!

Vega (UGA): so much sass! opens with a RO bhs full-in very nice. RO 1.5 to punch layout done well. switch ring to tour jete half maybe a little less than 180 on the second leap. tour jete full. RO bhs double pike with a lunge forward to finish.

Rotation Two: Kentucky: 49.125, LSU: 49.475, Florida: 49.625, Georgia 49.300

After Two: Florida: 99.050, LSU: 98.850, Georgia: 98.350, Kentucky: 97.750

Florida was bringing it on beam! LSU did its job on bars, however, beating out Florida’s score on that event by .05. Vega missed an opportunity on floor to bring in a huge score for Georgia (personally, I think it was underscored – a 9.825 for one slightly short landing?) but the GymDogs are hanging in there. Kentucky missed some landings again and if these small mistakes continue the Wildcats might get beat by Alabama from the first session.

Rotation Three: Georgia – Vault, Kentucky – Bars, LSU – Beam, Florida – Floor

Magee (UGA): stuck Yfull!

Desiderio (LSU): nice bhs loso, switch leap to switch half just a tad short of split . cat leap to stuck gainer full. good leadoff!

Skaggs (UF): tour jete half to split full done well. final pass RO 1.5 to punch layout way short but somehow stands it up.

Nixon (UK): a bit late on a full pirouette and a hop back on the double tuck dismount.

Vega (UGA):  nice Yfull just a slide back.

Dean (LSU): side aerial to bhs. some knee form issues. split jump to split side. front aerial with a confident finish. side aerial to layout full stuck.

Kwan (UK): blind change to sky high jager to overshoot. misses final handstand a bit. full pirouette to double tuck with just a step forward.

Dickson (UGA): half-on front pike off with wayyy too much power and takes several bounds forward. missed opportunity for a big score there.

Durante (LSU): front aerial, bhs loso just the slightest bobble, switch leap to split half just a bit of bent knees, smooth full turn, side aerial to stuck layout full dismount.

Lukas (UGA): solid double full just a hop to the side.

Reed (UF): opens with a RO bhs double layout and lunges back OOB with one foot. nice leaps. good height in the wolf full. nice second pass. finishes with a RO bhs double pike well controlled.

Edney (LSU): front aerial way off but saves it. bhs loso solid. switch leap to split side nicely done. quick full turn. front toss piked just a tiny adjustment. RO 1.5 dismount stuck.

Boren (UF): RO bhs double layout a tiny bit short but covers well on the landing. RO 1.5 to great punch layout. nice and high. so much energy in this routine! super high leaps and well controlled. RO bhs double tuck dismount such a good landing.

Campbell (LSU): bhs loso. small check on the full turn. front aerial to sissone nice split. switch leap to switch half. best switch half of the night so far. RO double full with a small hop.

Thomas (UF): RO bhs double layout. I don’t think she could take it and higher. front layout to front full. looks so easy for her. tour jete full with a controlled lunge. RO bhs double pike with a small slide back. great routine.

Finnegan (LSU): wolf turn. bhs loso with all the toe point. switch leap to switch half. side somi very nice. side aerial to layout full with perfect form. ends the rotation strong with a 9.950!

Baumann (UF): RO bhs double tuck. great landing. second pass RO 1.5 to front full to gorgeous pose. tour jete half to split full. perfect form. ends with a RO bhs double pike just the small controlled step. a great finish for the Gators too!

Rotation Three: Georgia: 49.175, Kentucky: 49.200, LSU: 49.450, Florida 49.425

After Three: Florida: 148.475, LSU: 148.300, Georgia: 147.525, Kentucky: 146.950

A much improved rotation for Kentucky! The miss for Dickson on vault was costly for Georgia but Snead’s 9.9 at the end helps. A few wobbles on beam kept the scores lower for LSU than what they could’ve been but the Tigers were able to make up some ground on Florida with that one. Skagg’s near fall and Reed’s OOB opened the door just a bit, so Florida is going to NEED to find those landings on vault with LSU ending on floor.

Rotation Four: Florida – Vault, Georgia – Bars, Kentucky – Beam, LSU – Floor

Skaggs (UF): Yfull nice in the air and just a tiny hop.

Harrold (LSU): opens with a double full just a Shawn Johnson amanar step to the side. RO bhs double pike and redeems herself with that landing. good leap to switch half. ends with a RO 1.5 to punch layout and controlled landing. good start for LSU if its going to mount this comeback.

Alexander (UF): Yfull. nice in the air again and a good landing but not stuck. more controlled for her than usual though!

Reed (UF): Y1.5. just a small hop forward. maybe a little low if we’re being nit-picky.

Desiderio (LSU): first pass RO bhs double layout great landing just slightly low chest. front tuck through to RO bhs double tuck and another good landing. better chest. good through the leap series. ends with a RO bhs double pike. chest definitely low but only a controlled step.

Thomas (UF): nearly stuck Y1.5. just a hop in place!

Schoenherr (UF): Y1.5. just some knees in the air and short so a slide back.

Boren (UF): Y1.5. nearly stuck! almost identical to Thomas’.

Florida is done now. I’ll update on the target score shortly.

Priessman (LSU): RO bhs double pike and the most controlled lunge back. tour jete full to split full just a little hoppy on the landing. RO bhs double tuck just a bit short and low chest. RO 1.5 to punch layout just a bit of movement forward. solid routine.

Florida finishes with a 197.750. LSU will probably have to mess up to not win… but this is gymnastics. Nothing is guaranteed.

Dickson (UGA): gigantic ray. a bit short on final handstand. stuck full twisting double layout!

Edney (LSU): stuck opening double arabian. RO 1.5 to punch layout super hight. switch ring to tour jete full, tiny adjustment on the landing. finishes up with a RO bhs double tuck, great landing. that’s gonna be a big score.

Dukes (UK): nice bhs loso. front aerial to split jump. switch leap to split side super solid. dismounts with RO 1.5 stuck!

Kentucky and Georgia have been killing it this rotation! Too bad we’re not getting to see much of it…

Finnegan (LSU): RO 1.5 to RO bhs 2.5 and a great landing. RO bhs double tuck super controlled step. switch ring to switch half, perfection. closes with a RO bhs double pike perfectly stuck.

Bart and Kathy informed us she only needed a 9.925 to win it and that routine will 100% do it.

Finnegan gets a 10! LSU claims the title before Kelley even competes to close out the meet.

Kelley (LSU): basically a “just for fun” routine. opens with a RO bhs double layout. a bit short and a lunge forward. front layout to front full and a small step forward. tour jete half to tuck 1.5 done well. ends with a RO bhs double tuck with a great landing. definitely not a 10 but it didn’t need to be.

Rotation Four: Florida: 49.275, Georgia: 49.475, Kentucky: 49.275, LSU: 49.600

Final: LSU: 197.900, Florida: 197.750, Georgia: 197.000, 196.225

It was an exciting one! Florida needed to be just a little bit better on those vault landings, especially the 10.0 start value ones, and/or avoid those mistakes on floor and this could’ve easily gone either way. LSU kept it close through the first three events, like it needed to, and then destroyed that floor to take its third consecutive title.

With their struggles, Georgia and Kentucky got beat by some teams from the early session. Georgia finishes third overall and Kentucky seventh. But both team’s had fantastic final rotations to finish their championships on a good-note!

LSU may have gotten the best of Florida today, but in the postseason I expect both of them to be battling it out, not only for SEC supremacy, but possibly for an NCAA title as well.

Event Winners:

AA: Finnegan (LSU) 39.800

Vault: Thomas (UF) 9.950

Bars: Finnegan (LSU) 9.950

Beam: Skaggs (UF) 9.950

Floor: Finnegan (LSU) 10.000

Check out the Twitter Moment for the social media take on these championships!

Live Blog by Brandis Heffner

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