LIVE BLOG: No. 5 UCLA and No. 34 Utah State at No. 15 BYU

OK, guys, this should be a good one! In years past, the outcome would be a foregone conclusion, with UCLA sweeping everything. This is 2020, though, when a Big 10 freshman scores a 10 before anyone in the SEC and Maryland’s ranked No. 8; anything is possible! BYU has been impressive, even without standout Shannon Evans in the all around. If its hot streak continues, the Cougars could make things really interesting (especially with its home team advantage). Utah State has put up its fair share of well-scoring routines, too, including a trio of 9.800-plus scores for junior Autumn DeHarde at last week’s Best of Utah meet; don’t count them out of the individual titles. 

What to Watch For


  • Shannon Evans: The standout senior is still coming back from injury and was limited to vault and beam last week. BYU will need a strong contribution from her if it hopes to upset UCLA. 
  • Abby and Sadie Miner: The sisters have led the way this season, earning seven of the team’s top 20 scores.
  • Other: The Cougars have one of the (if not THE) most diverse vault lineups in the NCAA. They competed five different vaults last week for an impressive 49.200. 


  • Grace Glenn: Everyone’s on Kyla 10 Watch (as they should be), but Grace Glenn got a 9.975 on beam last week. When will she finally get her lead-off 10?! 
  • Other: UCLA is currently ranked top three on vault, bars and floor, and 39th on beam. Guess which event they’ll be starting on?

Utah State 

  • Autumn DeHarde: She scored a season-high 9.900 on beam last year at BYU; can she do it again tin 2020?
  • Other: The Aggies’ head coach Amy Smith is a UCLA alumna. This will be the second time her past and present teams have gone head-to-head, and the first under head coach Chris Waller. 

The meet will be in Provo and air on BYUtv at 9 p.m. ET, with live scores that will be available here

I don’t know what this sketch comedy show is that I’m watching, but I’m literally nauseous. I’ll spare you a full recap, but it involved packets of jelly, jelly fish and tartar sauce…. Not cool, BYU. Not cool. 

Oh god, the close-up of the retirement home food is making it woooorse.

I swear this commentator just called BYU “the Goobers,” and I dig it. Oh, good, it’s Spencer and McKell! I like them. 

So, I’m a Clemson fan and know I have absolutely no room to talk about mascots, but the jacked Cougar walking around always terrifies me. 

Amy Smith’s hat is amazing, total power piece. 

Rotation One: BYU vault, Utah State bars, UCLA beam

Matthews (BYU): Good Yurchenko half to start, nice form in the air. Hop forward. 9.750

Vernadore (USU): Maloney with some form. A little hang up on the blind half, and a stuck double tuck.

Glenn (UCLA): Bhs loso, slight shuffle of the front foot. Front aerial to split, gorgeous. Switch split to split with a small bobble. Love the needle scale. Bhs gainer full with a small shuffle. 9.825

Bennett (BYU): Full on tuck off, good. A little bouncy in the landing. 9.775

Gutierrez (USU): Maloney with some legs. Doesn’t quite hit the handstand on the bail. Pretty full pirouette to double tuck with a small hop. 

Frazier (UCLA): Switch leap to straddle, great amplitude. Front aerial to back tuck, slight wobble. Nearly fell off on her low beam choreo, I think… Side aerial to beat, good. Bhs to double full, stuck. 9.800

Evans (BYU): Pretty Yurchenko half. Not a ton of amplitude, but good distance. Small hop. 9.800

Sullivan (USU): Hop change to straddled Jaeger, great. Clear hip to Pak, good form. Really nice handstand positions. Gorgeous DLO with a small hop. 9.800

Ross (UCLA): Bhs loso, floaty. Switch ring to beat, beautiful. Love her full turn with the leg free floating. Front aerial to beat, great. Side aerial to stuck full. Spencer calls it “pristine,” and I agree. 9.975

A. Miner (BYU): Stuck Yurchenko full, excellent. 9.850

Fishwick (USU): Good Maloney and bail. Ugh, stumbles and eventually sits the double front dismount. 9.00

Poston (UCLA): Beat to straddle 3/4, very good. Bhs bhs loso with legs and a hip check. One and a half with a small slide. 9.850

Scores are trickling in. Am updating as I see them!

Miner (BYU): Yikes, under-rotates her Yurchenko 1.5 but somehow falls forward. Has to put both hands down. 9.275

Rojas (USU): Maloney with some legs. Bail to handstand, good. Pretty handstands. DLO with some leg sep and landed a little deep, but saves with a hop forward. 9.800

Flatley (UCLA): Front aerial with a pause to front aerial to Korbut; don’t think she’ll get the connection. Good side aerial. Bhs one and a half with a hop. 9.825

Stainton (BYU): Yurchenko tucked 1.5, off center and a big hop to the side. 9.625

Jeppeson (USU): Big Tkatchev. Really working to hit these handstands, a little shy on the bail. Pretty DLO with a step forward. 9.775

Sakti (UCLA): Floooaty loso loso. Switch half to beat, good. Looked a little off on the full turn, but covered nicely. Side somi, fine for what it is. Side aerial to stuck full, great! 9.900

AFTER ONE: UCLA 49.375, UTAH STATE 48.975, BYU 48.800

UCLA will be very pleased to break 49 on an event that’s been something of a bugaboo this season. Really nice rotation from them (especially Ross, obviously). Utah State did well, coming within a hair’s breadth of breaking 49, but a solid improvement from Week One’s 18.6250. Good handstands and body positions throughout the lineup. So, that was actually the highest vault total the Cougars have put up this season, but it felt like a little ragged. Just finding the landings will make this a knock-out event for BYU. 

Rotation Two: BYU bars, Utah State beam, UCLA floor

My husband just looked at BYU’s lineup and said, “Three Abbeys is too muuuuch.” 

Beeston (BYU): Good handstand. GEinger with some leg sep, but good. Sails through the bail. Short on last handstand. Pikey DLO with a hop. 9.650

Vernadore (USU): Bhs loso with form and a leg up check. Front aerial to beat, good. Switch leap series, good. Gainer tucked one and a half with a hop, very cool. 9.650

Dennis (UCLA): FHS front loso to double tuck, um… WOW. Really dynamic jumps. Fhs, front full, front lay. Fhs Rudi to an out-of-control split, but really cool routine. Maybe everyone should partially tear their bicep? 9.825

S. Miner (BYU): Nice straddled Jaeger and bail. Saves an overarched handstand. DLO, very nice. 9.775

Rojas (USU): Switch split to switch split, good positions. Bhs loso with a slight hip check. Missed the connection on her side aerial. Cartwheel gainer full with a hop. 9.450

Tratz (UCLA): Short FTDT, chest almost on the ground. One and a half to front full, again short and skids out. The Pulla Scream, cool. Double tuck landed a touch deep, but stuck. 9.675

Hubbard (BYU): Hop to straddled Jaeger, good. Sorry, computer glitched out. Wonky and really close FTDT. 9.700

Dittmar (USU): Love her handstand mount. One-handed bhs loso, solid. Well done straddle half. Small wave after her full turn. Bhs bhs one and a half with a hop, really nice. 9.700

Kocian (UCLA): One and a half to Rudi, weird legs but didn’t affect the landing. Tour jete half to Popa, good. Double tuck got hung up a bit and landed with a low chest, but again, good landing. 9.850 is too high for me 

Cyrenne (BYU): Stepouts on low bar, good. A basically straddled Maloney. Some pike on the DLO and a small hop. 9.775

Loomis (USU): Another cool press handstand mount. Front aerial to beat, well done. Legs on bhs loso with a small check. Switch split to double stag, okay. Gainer pike with a step back. 9.650

Kramer (UCLA): Great fhs double full pike. One and a half lay to Shushunova, well done. Really dynamic Popa. Fhs Rudi to rebound, seemed controlled. Great set. 9.950

Pitou (BYU): Blind change to straddled Jaeger, well done. Really nice handstand to bail. Great handstands throughout. FTDT with a small hop back. Very nice. 9.775 seems low in context. 

DeHarde (USU): Front aerial, spot on. Bhs loso, gorgeous. Love the pike jump. Cartwheel gainer, stuck with a wide stance. Lovely. 9.900

Frazier (UCLA): Really nice half in half out. Marz is going off! Side somi to big double tuck. Leaps were a little bouncy, but good amplitude. Double pike, boom. 9.90

Stainton (BYU): Blind change to piked Jaeger, well done. A little shy on handstand. Stuck FTDT. 9.850

Sullivan (USU): Front aerial to back pike, damn. Switch split to back tuck, geez. She is simultaneously aggressive and graceful. One and a half with a hop. Wow. 9.900

Ross (UCLA): Whip to massive double tuck. One and a half to front lay, good. Beautiful straddle positions on her leap series. The Cougar boppin’ along in the background. Lands her double pike really deep, but no movement. 9.900

Whoever’s doing USU’s beam exhibition is wearing literal rose-colored glasses, and I love them.

AFTER TWO: UCLA 98.800, BYU 97.650, UTAH STATE 97.575

Shocker, UCLA is leading after floor. Great performances from them, though I would’ve liked to have seen more separation between the scores (ahem, judges…). BYU looked very solid on bars. They’re doing a good job of hitting those handstand; again, cleaning up the landings is going to make a big difference in their scores. Utah State was tenthed to death on beam, but showed some really unique and impressive routines. Excited to see what they can score once they work out the nervous mistakes. 

Rotation Three: BYU beam, Utah State floor, UCLA vault

Mather (BYU): Nice front aerial. Bhs loso, very calm. Big break after her switch leap, doesn’t get hte connection. Gainer full with a hop. 9.750

Dennis (UCLA): Her usual big ol’ Yurchenko full flaired out. Hop back. 9.850

Toomey (USU): Front double full, great. Fhs full lay, stutters out of it. Didn’t quite hit positions on her switch full to wolf. Front full front lay, very well done. Good lead-off after she got iced after the in-arena announcers went out of order. 9.550

Poston (UCLA): Fhs pike half, chest is way low and she has to take astep forward. 9.675

Bain (BYU): Bhs loso with a hip check. Beat to split half, cheats the rotation a little. Switch leap to gainer loso, comes off. Round-off one and a half stuck deep. 

Sullivan (USU): Huge double pike. Fhs full front tuck that is about a foot off the ground, but she doesn’t technically fall… Geez. It kind of looked like she hit a dead spot. Crunched double tuck almost to her knees, still manages not to put hands down. 9.300

Kramer (UCLA): Yurchenko one and a half with crazy legs and closed hips. Lands in a deep squat. 9.725

A. Miner (BYU): Nice split jump. Beat to front toss to bhs, solid. Beat to split 3/4, tiniest bobble. cartwheel to stuck gainer full. Clutch performance. 9.875

Golison (USU): Fhs to HUGE double full, bounces out of it with no control whatsoever. Standing loso to back bend, crazy! Really dynamic Popa series. Fhs front full front full, great. 9.625

Frazier (UCLA): Yurchenko full with a ton of distance and a bounce back. 9.800

Cyrenne (BYU): Bhs loso, the usual soft legs but solid. A little check on the full turn. Spencer’s learning the terminology, yay! Switch split to switch half to wolf, good. Almost sticks her piked gainer. 9.900

Hamar (USU): Gorgeous double tuck. Weird take-off on her one and a half to pike, goes a little sideways. Beautiful Popa series. Ouch, lands the double pike basically on her face. Ugh. 8.950

Hano (UCLA): Yurchenko 1.5 with a hop and college salute. Good one. 9.850

S. Miner (BYU): Front toss to bhs with some form, a little jittery. Switch split to switch quarter. Nice stuck Round-off one and a half, good. 9.875

DeHarde (USU): Fabulous double pike, so much control. Fhs Rudi to Shushunova, traveled back a bit but stayed in bounds (I think). Great amplitude on her leaps. Fhs Rudi loso, gorgeous. Awesome routine. 9.825

Ross (UCLA): Her usual power and form, a little stagger and shuffle on the landing. 9.875

S. Miner (BYU): Bhs loso with a swim. Switch split to straddle quarter. Hitch kick to side aerial, good. Round-off one and a half with a micro hop. 9.825

Varnadore (USU): One and a half to front lay, tons of power. Shy on the wolf full. Good position on her Popas. Gorgeous double tuck to finish. 9.850

AFTER THREE: UCLA 49.100, BYU 49.025, UTAH STATE 48.350

The Bruins vault rotation was fine, but will need to either bump up the SVs or clean up the landings to keep pace with the top teams. BYU had a very nice beam rotation, great recovery after a tough start. Utah State really struggled on floor, but finished strong with clutch performances by DeHarde and Varnadore. It mostly looked like a combination of nerves and running out of steam; hope they can figure it out, because they have some pretty cool routines that could earn some big scores. 

Seriously though:

Rotation Four: BYU floor, Utah State vault, UCLA bars

Rojas (USU): Powerful Yurchenko full with a small pike down. 9.625

Hano (UCLA): Nice Ray, rushes through the bail. Off center on the full pirouette, but a nice double tuck with a small hop. 9.850 

Stainton (BYU): Really good double pike to open. Always love the air guitar. One and a half front lay to split jump, nice. Switch split to switch full was good, I think? Strange camera angle. Round-off double tuck, well done. She’s thrilled, and rightly so. 9.825

DeHarde (USU): Yutchenko full, big bounce back. 9.750

Kooyman (UCLA): Way off on the Maloney, feet hit the floor on the Pak. Good DLO with a hop. 9.625

Bain (BYU): Good double full to open. Round-off double tuck, lands back on the heels. A bit short on her switch full and wolf full. Love that she choreographed whipping her ponytail, haha. Front lay front full to front tuck, good. 9.775

Meyer (USU): Really nice block on the Yurchenko full, pikes down and hops back. 9.700

Kocian (UCLA):  Apologies, my feed cut out and I missed most of it! Stuck FTDT, so that’s good. Wasn’t expecting her in the lineup. 9.950

Vikauskas (BYU): Dynamic double twist to open. One and a half to front lay, also powerful. Good amplitude on the Popa series. Excellent Rudi to close. 9.800

Sullivan (USU): Full on, pike off. Not a ton of height, but good landing. 9.750

Flatley (UCLA) : Nice first handstand. Blind change to straddled Jaeger, lovely. Over-arches a handstand, but saves it. Great position on her DLO, hop back. 9.825

S. Miner (BYU): Big DLO, minor (Miner?) leg sep. Really nice double pike. Popa, wolf full, to Shushanova half; not sure she got 180. One and a half, front lay, front pike and she literally toes it in. 9.800

Frazier (UCLA): Good Maloney and Pak. Van Leeuwen, beautiful. Floaty stuck DLO. Very nice routine. 9.900

Pearson (BYU): Front double full(ish). Good leap series (although I’m not convinced that was a switch ring). UCLA’s dancing along in the background. Fhs Rudi, looked a little surprised by the landing, goes up on the toes. One and a half to front lay, very good. 

Varnadore (USU): Nearly stuck Yurchenko half, excellent form. 9.850

Ross (UCLA): It was perfect, okay? 10.000

A. Miner (BYU): Another big DLO. Switch full series, good positions and amplitude. One and a half to front lay, very well done. Big double pike, a little stutter on the landing. 9.875

AFTER FOUR: UCLA 197.425, BYU 195.825, UTAH STATE 194.750

Really pretty bars rotation from UCLA, inevitably culminating in a 10 for Ross. This is arguably their most polished event (as is to be expected with Manfred at the helm), and a great way to close out this meet. BYU showed all the essentials on floor: E passes, good conditioning and fun routines. They just need to perfect those small details to break out of the low-49s. In any case, the Cougars showed why they’re currently ranked in the top 15. USU finished strong after a tough floor rotation, with technically precise vaults (in the air). Once they figure out the landings, this will be a very solid event for them.

 Article by Claire Billman 

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