Welcome to week three! Rankings at this point in the season are admittedly kind of silly and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, Denver is off to an objectively great start, out-scoring perennial favorites like UCLA and LSU in its first two meets. Arkansas made its season debut last weekend, its first meet under head coach Jordyn Wieber. Though the Razorbacks will no doubt want to improve on that 194.400, they showed plenty of promise (particularly on floor). This should be a fun match-up between two scrappy teams that are emerging from the shadows of their respective conference rivals.
What to Look For
- Alexandria Ruiz: The sophomore is the definition of quiet consistency and technical precision.
- Other: Denver’s stars have been doing their jobs so far, with Brown, Karr and Vasquez each notching at least one score of 9.950-plus.
- Jessica Yamzon: The gymternet was predictably outraged after the senior got low-balled on bars last week. Whatever deductions there are (or aren’t) to take, her full-twisting double layout dismount is a showstopper.
- Bailey Lovett: Even with a fall on beam, the freshman impressed in her collegiate debut. You definitely don’t want to miss her sky-high tumbling.
Intellectually, I knew this was Wieber’s first home meet, but hadn’t thought about it. Cool!
Rotation One: Arkansas vault, Denver bars
Yamzon (AK): Pretty good Yurchenko full with a little hop. Not a ton of amplitude or height, but a solid start. 9.775
Ruiz (DEN): A little over on the first handstand, but pulls it back. Pretty Tkatchev. Handstand on bail ,good. Really pretty final handstand. Close double lay with a hop back, but another good lead-off. 9.800
Gianfagna (ARK): Powerful Yurchenko full with a big hop back. Also, please don’t call non-Anglo Saxon last names “fun.”
Sundstrom (DEN): Free hip to good handstand. Big Tkatchev. Great bail. A little shy on the final handstand. Gorgeous double lay, swims for the stick. 9.825
Hickey (ARK): Another fine Yurchenko full with a big step, also some pike down. 9.775
Still waiting on scores.
Subject (DEN): Some leg sep on the Maloney. Passed through the dismount on the bail. Decent form on the DLO, small shuffle back. 9.875
Rogers (ARK): Missed her block, really piked Yurchenko full and had to put her hands down. Just came in January. 9.125
Brown (DEN): Gorgeous first handstand. Nice form on Pak. Excellent cover after going over on a low bar handstand (a la Glynn). Nails the DLO. 9.900
Shaffer (ARK): Stuck Yurchenko half, very pretty in the air. 9.875
Glynn (DEN): Fabulous Gienger. A little shy on handstand, nice overshoot. Lovely FTDT stuck but chest down. 9.900
Hambrick (ARK): Kind of bounces out of her Yurchenko full (not the 1.5). 9.825
Karr (DEN): Great pirouette to Geinger. Rushed through the bail. Holds that last handstand. Some pike on the DLO, and just a small shuffle. 9.925
After One: Denver 49.425; Arkansas 49.050
Denver looks excellent on bars, especially for so early on. The small details–handstands, landings, leg form on releases–is already making a difference in their presentation and scores. Arkansas looked okay on vault, there’s definitely potential. Since they don’t have the 10.0 SVs, they’re really going to need to clean up the landings and work on those anemic blocks.
do we seriously have to remind commentators not to use the word "exhibitionist"— Jenna (@touringgym) January 18, 2020
Rotation Two: Arkansas bars, Denver vault
Subject (DEN): Some legs on the pre-flight and soft knees throughout. Small bounce out of her Yurchenko full. 9.750
Yamzon (ARK): The usual butt-scraping Tkatchev. Really nice bail, excellent handstand positions throughout. Slight pike-down in the FTDLO and a step, but very nice routine. 9.800
Ruiz (DEN): Her usual Yurchenko full, not a ton of distance or amplitude and a hop, but so clean. 9.750
Gianfagna (ARK): Big Ray, just a touch close! Didn’t quite hit the bail handstand (and some feet), and a little shy on her final. HUGE FTDT stuck, great. 9.850
I’m here for Chris leaving that top button open. I’m also here for Jordyn’s dress.
Glynn (DEN): Tsuk full , big pike down and a step back. 9.750
Garner (ARK): Thrilled to see her back!BEAUTIFUL Geinger, no one does it better. Passed right through the bail. Blind full to stuck double tuck, fantastic. 9.875
Sundstrom (DEN): Big Yurchenko full, hop in place. Best vault so far. 9.900
Lovett (ARK): Stepout to a BIG Ray. Great bail. Clean form and handstands throughout. Step on the double tuck, but a nice routine. 9.875
Brown (DEN): Stuck Yurchenko 1.5! Soft legs in the air, but great job. 9.900
Hambrick (ARK): Lovely handstand. Really nice, far piked Jaeger. Good bail. High FTDT, went for the stick and had to take a step. 9.850
Karr (DEN): Another stuck Yurchenko 1.5, very similar to Brown’s.
Laird (ARK): Good Tkatchev. Rushing through handstands just a bit. Hits the bail. A little close on the DLO and a small hop, but good routine. 9.925
After Two: Denver 98.675 Arkansas 98.350
Good vault from Denver. They’ll want to upgrade, of course, but none of the Yurchenko fulls are liabilities. Arkansas should be very pleased with that rotation. Like Denver, they’re already showing a good bit of polish and control; this is shaping up to be a knock-out even for the Razorbacks. They should be very pleased to be keeping pace with the Pios.
Rotation Three: Arkansas beam, Denver floor
Yamzon (ARK): Nice leaps, good position. Bhs bhs loso,very good. Good front toss to beat. Sticks the gainer full. Always so clutch. 9.825
Ruiz (DEN): High double tuck to open, a tiny scoot back. Beautiful straddle half and Popa. One and a half to front lay, a little stutter step. Good double pike to finish, chest a little low and has to step forward. Nice start for Denver. 9.800
Gianfagna (ARK): They’ve said her name differently every time, come on… Gee-ahn-FAHN-yay, It’s not that hard. Bhs loso, some knees and a small check. Front toss with a little leg up that she covered well. Switch split to back tuck. Beat to straddle half, again a little check. Beautifully stuck round-off one and a half. Lots of small breaks, but she covered them all very well. 9.825 is too high for the number of bobbles
Brown (DEN): Lands her double tuck a little low. Falters on her leap series, but nothing major. One and a half to front lay, gorgeous. Fhs Rudi to close, well done. 9.700
Lovett (ARK): A “unique” candle mount… Beautiful front aerial to loso, just a small hip check. Sticks her piked gainer dismount, really nice. 9.850
Glynn (DEN): Punch front through to double back, lots of height (maybe a slide back). Good amplitude on leaps. Opens too early on double pike and stumbles forward. Love the dark and dramatic choreo. 9.600
Hambrick (ARK): Bhs loso, soft knees. Switch split half to a short switch split, leg up. Another check on the straddle quarter. Gorgeous stuck cartwheel gainer full. 9.725
Lockhart (DEN): Front tuck through to double tuck, just a tiny bit low. Loving her dance. Switch half to Pop, great amplitude. Fhs Rudi with some weird legs. Double pike to finish, just a touch short and has to step forward. 9.775
Shaffer (ARK): Front aerial with a huge break, but stays on. Bhs loso, off from the beginning and she falls. Switch split with a short straddle quarter. Cat leap, side aerial to stuck full. 8.875
Karr (DEN): Fhs to enormous double full. Really cool full L jump. She’s having fun. Switch split full to wolf full, I think okay (angle wasn’t great). One and a half to front full, well done. 9.900
Carter (ARK): Bhs loso with a big check, but stays on. Front aerial and maybe a missed connection? Switch split to sheep, tentative but no wobbles. Side aerial to full, tiniest slide. Way to regroup! Love her, but 9.825 is way too high…
Brown (DEN): Flawless double lay, so good. Switch ring to switch half to Shushunova, great. One and a half to slightly low front lay to Sissone. She’s playing to the camera, excellent. Giant double pike to close, great job. 9.925
After Three: Denver 147.775; Arkansas 147.400
Not a great rotation for Denver. Yes, they broke 49, but the control and amplitude on their tumbling as a whole wasn’t there. Arkansas had a decent beam rotation (though I am calling shenanigans on that breaking 49). They did a great job of working through and covering mistakes without losing their poise.
Rotation Four: Arkansas floor, Denver beam
Ha, OF COURSE Miss Val is there sitting with Mark Cook. I’m honestly shocked Ohashi isn’t sandwiched in between them.
This is cool! The Wieber Effect.
Brown (DEN): Front toss to bhs, very well done. Front aerial to wolf, so pretty. Stuck gainer full. To quote Ms. Elswick the Elder, “Do the dang thing!” 9.900
Yamzon (ARK): Huge double tuck to open, jsut a little slide back. Love her choreo. Double pike that she juuuust keeps in bounds. Switch half, straddle half, Popa; just slightly short. She’s from Vegas, did you guys know she’s from Vegas? Front lay with soft knees to front full, well-done. 9.800
Brown (DEN): Front aerial to back tuck, solid. Split jump to sheep, fine for being a sheep. Side aerial, no wobbles. Kicks out of her full turn. Orphan beat jump, I’m not mad. Gainer full stuck, well done. 9.850 is a touch high
Gianfagna (ARK): High double pike, nice. Brooks is feelin’ it. Front full to front lay, good. Love her confidence. Switch split to wolf full to wolf, good. Double tuck to finish, very good. 9.825
Ruiz (DEN): Hitch kick to straddle quarter, lovely. Bhs loso, soft legs and a slight wobble. Another slight wobble on the full turn. Side aerial to split jump, great. Hop back on piked gainer. 9.800
Hickey (ARK): High double pike, kicks out and has to step back. Nice position on straddle series. One and a half to front lay, messy legs. Piked her Shushunova, but I still liked it. Wonky take-off and set on her double tuck and has to bound foward. 9.725
Lockhart (DEN): High kick to front aerial, pretty. Bhs loso, well-done. Beat to switch 3/4, a little shy and a bobble. Love her showing off her flexibility. Bhs to gainer full with some legs and a small step back. 9.825 is a little high
Hambrick (ARK): Bounces out of a massive double tuck. Rudi to layout (no step-out) to double stag, very cool. Barani to straight jump half, really cool! Switch full to straddle half, great position. Big double pike with a scoot back. Nice routine. 9.900
Karr (DEN): Totally missed her foot on aerial to loso, but covered well. Side somi a little wonky. Beat to split full, didn’t quite hit 180. Round-off one and a half with a hop forward. 9.925… Really?
Lovett (ARK): Floaty DLO! Front lay to full, double stag half, very nicely done! Switch full to Popa, really dynamic. Enormous double tuck, and she’s thrilled. Great job! 9.950
Vasquez (DEN): Front aerial bhs loso, gorgeous. Switch split to split jump, perfect. Y full, slightest waver. Side aerial to stuck full. She’s unreal. 9.925. I don’t disagree with that score, per se, but her routine should have scored hire than Karr’s.
Carter (ARK): Huge double tuck, excellent. Rudi to front full, a little stutter step. Great position on leap series. Double pike with a little hop back. Not a 10, but lovely routine. 9.950… Okay.
After Four: Denver 197.225; Arkansas 196.825
Really strong–if over-scored–final rotation by both teams. Denver beam was lovely, and it should be pleased by the distinct lack of major errors. Arkansas looks pretty darn good on floor, lots of fun routines and dynamic tumbling. Coach Jo and Caitlyn Orel are doing their jobs well.
Both teams should be pleased by their respective performances, especially Arkansas. They already look sharper from last week, and showed they can keep pace with the top teams.
Live blog by Claire Billman
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