Is anybody else in disbelief that we’re already in week six? Why does the offseason last so long only for season to go by so quickly? Regardless, we have quite the matchup tonight.
These two head coaches are probably the most decorated in the NCAA with three Olympic medals, five world championship medals and 14 NCAA titles (as either a coach or a competitor) between them. But I’m sure they would both agree that we should focus on the athletes instead.
The best event for both of these teams is floor, so expect the second half of this meet to be spectacular. The first half, however, could be what determines the outcome. Georgia is the better team on paper, but both of their road scores this season have been lower than either of Arkansas’ home scores. If the Gymdogs can get through vault and bars without counting any low scores, they should be the favorite to come away with the win.
Freshmen have been major contributors for both teams, with Kiara Gianfagna competing weekly all around for the Razorbacks, not to mention redshirt freshman Bailey Lovett on three events, and all four Georgia freshmen are contributing key scores every week.
Both teams have had multiple injury setbacks early in the season but are starting to settle into consistent lineups. Upperclassmen Sabrina Vega (who was a teammate of Wieber at 2011 Worlds) and Rachael Lukacs have shined in star senior Rachel Dickson’s absence, while Arkansas’ core group of Jessica Yamzon, Sarah Shaffer and Kennedy Hambrick remains strong.
Arkansas has released its lineups and apparently Amanda Elswick is competing vault! It’ll be her season debut after injury kept her out of lineups. Exciting!
Rotation 1: Arkansas vault, Georgia bars
Yamzon VT: Y-full, a lot leg separation on the block and then a large step back on the landing. 9.65
Lukacs UB: Low amplitude on the Tkatchev then short on the next handstand. Leg separation on her Pak then short on handstand after her half pirouette. Another short handstand on the high bar but nice DLO, stuck. 9.725
Gianfagna VT: Another Y-full, better than Yamzon’s. Clean in the air, large hop back. 9.675
Cashman UB: Nice Tkatchev, a little short on following handstand. Nice bail. A little short on last handstand. DLO dismount, chest down on landing with fairly large step forward. 9.725
Hickey VT: Nice Y-full, a little off center but nice landing, just about stuck. 9.75
Hattaway UB: Good release, some leg separation on transition, good transition. Stuck DLO. 9.825
Hambrick VT: Another Y-full, good distance but takes a hop back on the landing. 9.8
Roberts UB: Maloney to bail, nice. Good handstands. DLO stuck. Great routine. 9.85
Shaffer VT: Y-half, a little short and a decent-sized step back. 9.75
De Jong UB: A little piked on her handstands. HUGE Tkatchev but REALLY short on her next handstand. DLO with some leg separation and a hop forward. 9.75
Elswick VT: Great Y-full, a slight hop back but really nice in the air. 9.875
Oakley UB: Beautiful Jaeger, great handstands and Pak. Last handstand is perfect. Slight hop back after her FTDT but hard to find any other faults with that routine. 9.875
After 1: Georgia 49.025, Arkansas 48.850
Not a huge start for either team, and scoring seems tight, but Georgia especially will take that relatively clean bars rotation and the lead. No major errors from either team so far but there are plenty of things to clean up.
They’re playing the Price is Right music which makes me flash back to my elementary school days when I would fake sick and watch TV all day…
Rotation 2: Georgia vault, Arkansas bars
Baumann VT: Y-full, great in the air, stuck landing. Very controlled, great vault. 9.8
Yamzon UB: A little piked in her handstands. Low amplitude on her Tkatchev. Not quite a handstand on the bail, nor on the last handstand on the high bar. FTDL dismount, a little piked but stuck. 9.825
Ward VT: Tsuk full, a little overrotated on the landing with a hop back. 9.75
Gianfagna UB: Great Ray. Bail a bit uncontrolled. Maybe a little short on a couple of her handstands. Great FTDT with a stick. 9.875
Roberts VT: Nice Y-1.5, hop forward on the landing, some leg separation. 9.8
Garner UB: Full turn to Gienger to bail. A little short on her last handstand. Full turn to double tuck, step back on the landing. 9.875
Magee VT: Y-1.5, step forward on the landing but clean in the air. 9.775
Lovett UB: Nice Ray, a little close to the bar. Good bail to handstand. Her handstands are good. Full turn to double back, stuck. Nice routine. 9.875
Hawthorne VT: Y-full, low in the air and then falls forward onto her hands. 9.125
Hambrick UB: Beautiful Jaeger to bail. Her handstands are right on! Nice FTDT, stuck with legs slightly apart. Beautiful routine. 9.95
Lukacs VT: Yurchenko double with a step back, pretty clean in the air. 9.85
Laird UB: Ray with low amplitude. A little arched on her next handstand, but nice bail. Clean DLO with a small step forward. 9.85
After 2: Arkansas 98.275, Georgia 98.000
Arkansas killed that bars rotation with a 49.425. I’m not sure the gap should be 0.275…these teams feel about equal so far for me. Let’s see how the rest of the meet unfold.
We’re getting some Miss Val/Jordyn Wieber fluff right now. It’s worth a watch if you care about such things.
Rotation 3: Arkansas beam, Georgia floor
Yamzon BB: Cat jump to straddle half, nice. BHS LOSO LOSO, solid with perhaps a slight check at the end. Front toss with a low landing but preserves the connection to the beat jump. Good gainer full dismount, stuck. 9.825
Perez-Lugones FX: Good double pike to open. “She’s having so much fun, look at her smile there.” Layout half to front layout, clean. Good leaps. Double tuck to close, good landing. No obvious errors. 9.75
Gianfagna BB: BHS LOSO is right on. She has a good rhythm, no major pauses. Front toss, good. Switch leap to back tuck with major check, leg up high. Good leap series to follow. RO 1.5 with a hop forward. 9.775
Roberts FX: Piked full-in is gorgeous. Front layout to front full, pretty clean. Double pike to close, a little low on the landing but she manages not to take a big step. 9.8
Lovett BB: Candle mount, good hold. Nice leap series. Front aerial to BHS, a slight wobble in between. Gainer pike dismount with a hop forward. 9.825
Lukacs FX: DLO with some leg separation, clean landing. RO 1.5 to front layout half to Shushunova. Double pike to close, another good landing. 9.875
Hambrick BB: BHS LOSO with some soft knees. Back leg a little low on her leaps. Beat jump to straddle 3/4, well controlled. Gainer full dismount, stuck. She’s awarded with the stick hog nose (is there a technical term for that?). 9.925
Hawthorne FX: HUGE double pike to open. Leaps are very low. Front layout to Rudi with a jump; clean pass. Double tuck to close is nice. 9.875
Carter BB: BHS LOSO is beautiful. Front aerial, fantastic. Split leap to sheep jump; her front leg is a little low on the first leap. Side aerial to back full dismount, stuck. Nice routine. 9.925
Baumann FX: Back 1.5 to front full, clean. Great turns and leaps. Double pike, beautiful. 9.85
Shaffer BB: Good to see her back on beam. Front aerial with a check but she quickly recovers. BHS LOSO with another check. Leap series is a little low. Side aerial to back full dismount, it looked like she missed her back leg a little bit after the aerial so she ended up a little short and had to take a hop forward on the landing. 9.725
Vega FX: FTDT is beautiful, her lunge isn’t exactly controlled but she manages to make it look nice. Back 1.5 to front layout to jump, nice. Her ring position isn’t perfect but this is college. Double pike with a bit of a slide back. 9.95
After 3: Arkansas 147.550, Georgia 147.350
Georgia closed the gap slightly after that 49.350 floor rotation, but they’ll go to beam–a relative strength of theirs–while Arkansas goes to floor, their best event. This one will come down to the wire!
Rotation 4: Georgia beam, Arkansas floor
Magee BB: Great leaps to open. BHS BHS LOSO, nice toepoint throughout. Great RO 1.5 dismount, stuck. I didn’t see any deductions but I’m not a judge. 9.9
Yamzon FX: Great double tuck to open, maybe a little low on the landing. Double pike second pass, some leg separation but controlled landing, again maybe a little low. Nice leaps. Front layout to front full, soft knees. 9.775
Lukacs BB: Front toss to beat jump, well controlled. BHS LOSO, solid. Wolf jump to straddle quarter, nice. Major break after another leap. Double tuck dismount, very low landing with a large step forward. 9.725
Gianfagna FX: Double pike to open, gorgeous. Back 1.5 to front layout, nice. Double tuck to close, not sure if that’ll count as a controlled lunge but still a good landing. 9.8
De Jong BB: Check after her full turn. Beautiful leaps. Front layout to beat jump, lovely. BHS LOSO, solid. Almost loses her footing after another jump but saves it. Side aerial to back full dismount, stuck. Why is “free falling” being played in the background? 9.925
Hambrick FX: Huge double tuck. Front full to front half to a jump, great. Double pike to close, well controlled. Really nice routine. 9.925
Oakley BB: Wolf turn to open. BHS LOSO LOSO, big wobble at the end. Great leaps, just beautiful. Side aerial, solid. Cartwheel to gainer full dismount with a slide back. 9.875
Shaffer FX: Double pike, good landing. Double tuck, fantastic. Leaps a little short of horizontal perhaps? Back 1.5 to front layout to close, very clean. 9.875
They’re showing a panorama of the crowd and saying it’s nice to see as many men as women, but I only count four men as opposed to about 20 women?
Baumann BB: Side aerial to LOSO, major check at the end but stays on. Beat jump to switch side, very nice. RO 1.5 dismount, a little short with a step back. 9.775
Lovett FX: Very nice DLO. Nice combo pass. Huge double tuck to close, a bit of a deep squat on the landing and then a step forward to keep from falling. 9.925
Vega BB: “Such a dramatic facial posture with her hands and her gestures.” Beautiful leaps. Nice aerial to split jump. There’s the moonwalk. BHS LOSO is solid. Great dismount, stuck landing. 9.925
Carter FX: Very nice double tuck to open. Back 1.5 to front full, a little but uncontrolled on the lunge forward. A little low on her leaps. Double pike to close but she’s leaning back a bit on the lunge…we’ll see if the judges notice. 9.875 so they probably did notice.
Final: Arkansas 196.950, Georgia 196.750
There was definitely some cracky scoring happening in this meet, but the outcome seems about right. Georgia didn’t live up to their full potential while Arkansas did about the best they could. I don’t think it was the meet that either team was looking for, but it wasn’t a disaster either. Georgia now has three road meets left to get some 197+ scores or else they won’t be in a favorable position going into the postseason.
Live Blog by Jenna King
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