LIVE BLOG: No. 21 Arizona, No. 27 Oregon State at No. 58 Sacramento State

Sacramento State is a very interesting team this year. While the Hornets are far from reliable, there’s a lot of potential on this squad. The freshman group is deep and useful, and I’m excited to see Amber Koeth settle in this year.

That said, Sac State isn’t really part of the primary dynamic of this meet. Right now, Oregon State is second-to-bottom in the Pac-12. Most people who know things about this sport look at that fact and say, “Uh, no, that’s fake,” because the Beavers have been so recently successful and haven’t lost many of the routines that got them to nationals last year, but there’s no escaping that the first two meets have been very erratic. To my eye, two bad meets can be a fluke but three is a trend, so let’s see what the Beavers do today.

Meanwhile, Arizona has been uncannily good, with many returning athletes making serious technical improvements since last year. The whole team seems tangibly more focused and energetic than last year. But if the Wildcats want to prove they can play with the big kids this year, it’s time to crack 196.

While winning a meet doesn’t typically mean much in gymnastics, with so much left to learn about the dynamics of the Pac-12 this year, who comes out on top could really affect how we feel about the conference as a whole. Let’s see what happens.

Rotation 1: Sac State vault, Arizona bars, Oregon State beam

MacLeod (CSUS) Yurchenko layout, not much amplitude but clean, hop back. 9.45

Leydin (UA): Maloney to Pak, leg form in the air, missed a handstand, blind to Markelov pretty. Blind full to double back big and stuck. Wow!

Davis (OSU): Front aerial, tentative, check. BHS LOSO clean, touch of flexed feet, arm swing. Split to double stag, questionable positions, full turn. Kickover front, gainer front full with a bit of foot stagger and a step. 9.75

Catour (CSUS): Yurchenko layout, WAY far back on the table, hop back. 9.475

Swanson (UA): Blind full to Tkachev, low but clean, pikey handstand to very messy Pak. Apparently one hand slipped! Missed a handstand on HB, double lay a bit whippy with a hop back. 9.65

Lowery (OSU): BHS LOSO we didn’t see, switch split double stag tentative splits. Side aerial, great, punch front full and fights but holds the stick. 9.85

Watley (CSUS): Off to one side on the table, Yurchenko tuck full, big step back and to one side off the mat. 9.625

Lahmidi (CSUS): Yurchenko tuck full, so far back on the table. These blocks are way off. Okay in the air with a step.

Bird (OSU): Missed some, front aerial, commentators say she had a big check on a full turn. Punch front full with a hop. 9.65

Belkoff (CSUS): Yurchenko Arabian, piked shape with a big hop forward. 9.7

Brent (CSUS): Yurchenko full, big with a big step back. 9.75

L. Dagen (OSU): Beat jump front aerial, BHS LOSO, pretty, off line and looks like she’s going to have a problem but steps back and holds on. Gainer pike with a little hop, good one. 9.85

Weber in the exho for Sac State, FHS front tuck with chest down and a lunge foward.

Kane (UA): Jaeger to overshoot lovely, blind to double front. 9.8

M. Dagen (OSU): BHS LOSO pretty, switch switch half beat jump all right. Full turn, side aerial back full with a hop. 9.9

Looks a lower score counted for the Wildcats, but no falls.

Brovedani (UA): Coming in halfway to see her beautiful Pak, double lay with maybe a small hop back. 9.875

Lazaro (OSU): BHS layout, pretty leaps, side aerial back full. Great. 9.925

Berg (UA): Blind to pike Jaeger to overshoot, the usual. FTDB big and slow with a hop back.

Oregon State 49.275, Arizona 48.875, Sac State 48.075

Best rotation of OSU’s season for sure. Commentator lady was really convinced that Lazaro deserved a ten which… okay.

Rotation 2: Sac State bars, Arizona beam, Oregon State floor

For some dumb reason they’re very carefully alternating the first routine on each event and then giving up.

Peterson (OSU): Double tuck chest down but okay, cut to bars. Yay, we’re back! Double pike, never opens up, runs backwards but just about stays in bounds.

Belkoff (CSUS): Cast handstand painful, half turn to straddle back I think??, double lay, piked and straight to her knees and falls forward. Not even close to up to level, fall aside.

Watley (CSUS): Half turn to bail to toe shoot, FTDB with a step. Again, difficulty issue but MUCH cleaner.

Mack (OSU): Wiggling her head because that’s choreography. Front lay Rudi, big scoot back, switch side to Popa really nice. Double pike, big stagger back, drastically bent arms in her BHS caused problems there. Full turn to straddle drop, cool!

Weber (CSUS): Tkachev, blind to straddle back. Half to half, oh, BARELY gets that over the bar, double back all right.

Sure would love to see more than one skill at a time from Arizona beam.

M. Dagen (OSU): Front double full all right, double pike well done.

Brovedani (UA): Switch half to split, one of the best in the NCAA. One and a half, step forward. Commentators MIGHT have a favorite team here, since they can’t get over how perfect everything OSU does is and here they’re like “Uhhh, Courtney Cowles?”

Repeated music issues from OSU.

Force (OSU): Double pike a bit lock legged but all right. Switch half to Popa underrotated, front lay front full wrong in the air and puts her hand down.

Brent (CSUS): Just caught her FTDB dismount which got sort of stuck in the air and barely made it around.

Cowles fell on beam. Switch, arm swing, split. Gainer full with a little step.

Koeth (CSUS): She’s so stylish. Maloney, loses the legs a touch, KCH to bail. Slight handstand issues but moving through. Blind full, leg flicker, double back with a step back.

Lowery (OSU): Caught the Rudi, good stick. I blame her for starting the god-awful put a crown on trend.

Yanish (OSU): Double lay, they said it’s good but we didn’t see it. Front full front lay is pretty, switch side to Popa has a split issue, double back. Usually the key for her is to watch her control on her front foot and I honestly couldn’t today. Oh well. 9.9

Oregon State 98.050, Arizona 97.900, Sac State 96.100

Really tight between the top two here, and Sac State is getting through!

Rotation 3: Oregon State vault, Sac State beam, Arizona floor.

Weber (CSUS): Pretty leap series, chest dropped a little. Side aerial back full strong.

Looked like a clean start for Libby Orman on floor and a fall on vault for Niya Mack.

Peterson (OSU): Full on pike off, not so high with a little scurry back.

Catour (CSUS): BHS LOSO, leg up, fights and falls. Side leap combo, kick front I think?, BHS gainer full with a step back.

Saw a big rebound with low chest from Yanish on vault.

Berg (UA): Front double full, back foot slipped ever so slightly and worked through it with no problem. Split full wolf full, one and a half front pike with a bounce, Rudi to split strong.

Brent (CSUS): BHS LOSO, second guesses it but she’s fine. Switch back tuck, split issue and a check, side aerial split, cut away, cut back, good dismount landing.

Swanson (UA): Front double full good, back double full punch front! Love that pass. Switch half to Popa good, double tuck lands a touch staggered but it’s fine.

Gillen (CSUS): BHS LOSO I think, flexed feet, split LOSO, switch straddle half, punch front full tucked is really nice!

Davis (UA): Bounce back out of a Rudi but stays in bounds.

Cowles (UA): Double back good, front lay front full. Switch ring tour jete half split full, question on the rotation.

Koeth (CSUS): Back walkover across the beam. BHS LOSO BHS is really special. Beat jump Yang Bo, front aerial, full turn. BHS gainer full great. She is so snazzy. Love forever.

Leydin (UA): Front through double back GREAT. Double pike with an extra step that she pretended was choreography, that’s all we saw.

Oregon State 146.450, Arizona 146.375, Sac State 144.700

So, sh*t has gone down here. Courtney Cowles sounds like she got injured on floor, which is the worst and fairies are dying right now in consequence. Also Oregon State may have incurred a 0.1 ND for vaulting out of order. What? I don’t know. This meet is close, with neither top team heading to a dream event. We’ll see what happens.

Rotation 4: Arizona vault, Oregon State bars, Sac State floor

Yamaoka (OSU): Toe to … wait misses it. Toe to Maloney, foot form, misses a handstand, good bail. Blind full slow double back with two steps back.

Nosek (UA): FTY, pikey but okay, hop in place.

Braida (CSUS): Rudi good, big lunge, front lay front full underrotated and cross steps back. Double back with hands down.

Leung (UA): FTY, nice, hop back and BEAMING.

Lowery (OSU): Maloney to Pak, high and splits her legs, double lay deep with a big hop forward.

Hargrove (UA): Pikey FTY, little hop back.

Bird (OSU): Her Tkachev is really weird. So high but no counterrotation. FTDB a bit messy with a step back.

Leydin (UA): ONE AND A HALF AND IT’S SO GOOD. Hop forward but clean.

Briscoe (OSU): Blind to Jaeger, great turnover, bail lovely. Double lay looked good.

Leroy (CSUS): Rudi back tuck! Straddle leap series with rotation issues, back lay back double full strong.

Gill (OSU): 9.9 ties the meet. Maloney, clean but not powerful… jumps off. She didn’t have the swing to get the connection, I guess. Maloney again and the same freaky front tuck bail that Alyona did last week. Salutes and she’s out.

Brent (CSUS): Double pike, front lay front full good. Ankle cruncher on the last pass. She’s okay I think but holding her calf on the sidelines.

Weber (CSUS): Double pike with a bit of a rebound and two steps back, front lay front lay, good twisting pass to close. Pressure on the freshman after the Hornets had two falls earlier and she made it.

FINAL: Arizona 195.425, Oregon State 194.875, Sacramento State 191.725

Arizona is cruising. The flickers on floor today showed where the Wildcats can improve to move toward 196, but beating Oregon State so resoundingly is really promising.

For Oregon State, this has moved from early week jitters to a full-on rut. There’s a significant mental component that could end at any time, but three bad meets to open the season—and two of the six precious road meets taken up with scores the Beavers won’t want in NQS—isn’t fun.

Sac State showed us about what we expected today. There’s some style and some potential on this team, but there are also serious start value problems and built-in deductions that will prevent the Hornets from going too high.

VT – Maddi Leydin (UA) 9.875
UB – Zaza Brovedani (UA) 9.875
BB – Maela Lazaro (OSU) 9.925
FX – Kaitlyn Yanish (OSU) 9.900
AA – Jordyn Brent (CSUS) 38.725

Live blog by Rebecca Scally

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