Happy Friday, everyone! Welcome to this good ol’ fashioned inter-conference tri-meet. The last time Denver and Florida faced off was in Corvallis last April… Awkward.
Honestly, though, Florida has been impressive this season. I’m not saying missing out on nationals was a good thing, but it certainly seems to have ignited a fierce fire and drive within the Gators. If they have a real vulnerability, it’s vault, where their event totals have ranged from a 48.925 in week three to a 49.475 last week at Kentucky (the most polished and controlled they’ve looked on vault so far). Also, for context, they’re ranked fifth on vault nationally; Florida’s doing just fine.
Meanwhile, Denver has proven that its appearance in last season’s finals was no fluke. The Pioneers are holding their own in 2020, ranking top five nationally on bars and beam and No. 4 overall. Their slim roster has proven more than capable of competing with the best teams in the country; the question now is whether or not they’ll be able to maintain this level of competition through the postseason.
While the Cyclones are unlikely to upset either Florida or Denver, they could make the most of SEC scoring and earn a very cushy away score as NQS rankings loom. Iowa State is a talented crew with the potential for big scores, especially on bars and floor. The team boasts nine freshmen and 10 international gymnasts, perhaps most notably Puerto Rican national team member Andrea Maldonado (of the eponymous front triple twist). Maldonado the Elder—younger sister Alondra is a freshman on the team—has consistently led the team on floor, notching a 9.950 season high.
A few last minute updates:
Per Denver’s Twitter account, Mia Sundstrom was injured during warm-ups and will not compete tonight. Florida’s Nya Reed is also not expected to compete either (she was out last weekend due to illness, and is presumably still recovering).
Florida broadcast tonight will be a quad-box showing each team and the 4th box will be scores! Announcers will call Florida routines until they are finished and will then call other action!— Shelby Granath (@Shelby_Granath) February 7, 2020
Oh goodie… I’ll provide as much content about as many routines as possible!
Rotation One: Florida vault, Denver bars, Iowa State beam
Foberg: Yurchenko full, stuck. Welcome back, Jazzy! 9.825
Skaggs: Really big Y full, small hop back. 9.85
Baumann: Yurchenko 1.5 with the usual legs and a hop back. 9.800
Schoenherr: Nice height on Yurchenko full, but not a ton of distance. Small hop. 9.825
Thomas: Very nice Yurchenko 1.5 with just a hop fwd to take. 9.900
Ruiz: Lovely first handstand. Nice height and rotation on her Tkatchev. Stuck DLO. 9.850
Subject: Little leg sep on the Maloney, but nice bail. Shy on the last handstand, but a stuck DLO. 9.900
Brown: Lovely Pak. A little wonky on her Van Leeuwen. 9.875
Glynn: Beautiful Geinger. Bail, well done. Hits the handstand positions. FTDT, stuck. 9.900
Karr: Great handstand and giant full. Ugh, comes off on the Geinger. 9.350
Morton: Filling in for the injured Sundstrom. Tkatchev, not a ton of height, but fine. Short on low bar handstand. Lands the DLO crunched and has to step forward, but held on so Karr’s score can be dropped. Clutch! 9.575
Steinmeyer: Switch split to straddle quarter looked a touch shy. Round-off one and a half with a stick. 9.850
Turner: Bhs bhs loso with a hip check. Side somi with a swim. 9.750
Semple: Bhs loso with a hip check, lovely form in the air. Switch split to switch half to a beat; switch half looked a little shy. Side aerial to a stuck full. 9.875
Palacios: Cat leap to stuck full, well done. 9.850
Converse: Straddle mount, very pretty. Bhs loso, the slightest bobble but well-covered. Split series, good. Front toss to beat, perfect. Tiny waver on full turn. Cartwheel to a HIGH one and a half, wide stance but a stick. 9.875
AFTER ONE: Florida 49.225, Denver 49.100, Iowa State 49.200
Scores seemed a touch high across the board based on what I saw. Regardless, really strong start for the Cyclones, especially given they’re starting on their weakest event. Florida vault was Florida vault; it’s fine, but doesn’t quite measure up to the other events. Denver will be disappointed not to be able to capitalize on the Gators’ meh rotation, but should be pleased at going over 49 with a last-minute shake-up and a fall.
Rotation Two: Florida bars, Denver beam, Iowa State floor
Sorry, my computer hung up.
Gowey: Beautiful handstand half. Short on final handstand, but a nearly-stuck DLO. 9.875
Hundley: Maloney, Pak, Van Leeuwen, all on point. FTDT, stuck. 9.85
Skaggs: Stuck DLO, good. 9.875
Thomas: Nearly goes over on her handstand but sticks the DLO. 9.900
Schoenherr: Double tucked Arabian half dismount was fantastic and stuck. 9.950
Brown: Gainer full, stuck. 9.900
Brown: Front aerial *pause* back tuck with a leg up. Sheep, good. Side aerial, well done. 9.900
Ruiz: Hitch kick to switch split, lovely. Bhs loso, got a little hung up but no bobbles. Stuck gainer full. 9.800
Lockhart: Fought through some wobbles on her acro. Split positions a little short. Bhs gainer full, stuck. 9.850
Karr: Side aerial to bhs, solid. Hitch kitck to side somi, nice. Beat to split full, didn’t quite hit 180. Round-off to stuck one and a half. Utterly unconcerned about the last rotation. 9.925
Ruiz: Front aerial bhs loso, had to take an extra step but covered well. Switch leap to split, flawless. Needle full turn, good. Side aerial to stuck full. Beautiful routine. 9.925…
Langkamp: Front lay, whip half to split. Double tuck, stuck. 9.650
Diaz: I seriously hate the tornado sirens at the beginning… Front lay, front full looked good. Round-off double pike, good power and control. 9.800
Diab: Front full to front pike, maybe underrotated the pike? Popa series, good amplitude. Front lay, front full to stag, great. Missed the last pass except the loso, which was really pretty. 9.800
Maldonado: Gorgeous fhs Randi. Front double full to front tuck, well done. Really high double pike to finish. 9.950
AFTER TWO: Florida 98.675, Denver 98.525, Iowa State 98.425
So far, Iowa State is hanging in this thing! Great work on floor, really fun routines. Florida did Florida things on bars, with nearly the entire lineup sticking their dismounts. Denver ended up just shy of its season high beam score, which they’ll happily take (I would have liked to see more differentiation between the scores, but c’est la vie).
Rotation Three: Florida beam, Denver floor, Iowa State vault
Hundley: Front aerial to Sissone, a little off and maybe missed the connection. Bhs loso with a leg up and fall, too bad. Straddle quarter, solid. Check on the full turn. Sideways and a small hop on the one and a half. 9.300
Johnson-Scharpf: Tiny check on front tuck. Bhs loso, again a small wave. Beat to switch half, good. Handstand to full dismount, stuck. Nice bounce back. 9.875
Richards: Bhs loso loso with a small hip check, good. Switch split to straddle, lovely. Side aerial with some knees, but stuck full. 9.950
Baumann: College stuck one and a half dismount. 9.900
Gowey: Switch leap to split, good. Bhs loso loso, lovely. Front aerial to Sissone, solid. Stuck gainer full. 9.900
Thomas: Switch split to Sissone, lovely. Bhs loso, excellent. Korbut, great. Stuck full dismount. Truly gorgeous routine. 10
Glynn: Very nice double pike. 9.825
Subject: Double pike that literally went out of frame, fabulous. Front lay to front full, good. Ouch, cowboyed her double tuck and landed basically on her knees but didn’t put hands down. 9.350
Ruiz: Tight double tuck to open. Really beautiful Popa. Front full to front lay, floaty. Very nice double pike to finish. 9.875
Lockhart: Punch front to double tuck, great. Tour jete half to Popa, so dynamic. Big double pike, stuck.
Karr: Opening double twist, very solid. Fun wolf fullish jump. Switch full, true wolf full, nice. Front full to front full, excellent. 9.900
Brown: DLO with a little slide back, so pretty. Love her ring position (and that Shushanova), One and a half to front lay to Sissone, perfect. KISS! FYI, I’m not crazy about photos of this leo, but it looks fantastic in motion. Big, floaty, kicked-open double pike. Great.
Converse: HUGE Yurchenko full with a small hop back. One of the best we’ve seen today. 9.750 is way too low comparatively.
Turner: Solid Yurchenko full with a stick, not as much distance as Converse. 9.725
Steinmeyer: Yurchenko 1.5, good height and distance and a small shuffle on the landing. 9.825
Maxwell: Gorgeous Yurchenko 1.5, almost stuck. 9.850
Maldonado: Yurchenko 1.5, good power, but crooked and a large hop. 9.850
AFTER THREE: Florida 148.275, Denver 147.925, 147.425
I have issues with several of the Florida beam scores, but Trinity’s 10 isn’t one of them. That was the best beam routine of the night. Props to the entire Gators beam lineup for shaking off that lead-off fall. Iowa State did very well on vault; to be blunt, I don’t think there’s enough parity between their score and Florida’s vault score. Denver powered through a rough start and turned in some really nice performances on floor. All three teams are poised for a big final score.
Rotation Four: Florida floor, Denver vault, Iowa State bars
Richards: Fantastic opening DLO. Leaps looked a bit shy. Front tuck to low double tuck, some feet on both. 9.850
Gowey: Front lay to Rudi to double stag, beautiful. Ooh, the commentator almost shaded everyone else, but caught herself: “She has great artistry, unlike–“. Great double tuck to finish. 9.850
Johnson-Scharpf: Slightly overroated the double Arabian, but hides it well. Front full to front lay, great. Nice amplitude on her leaps and Shushanova. Double tuck, solid. Really good routine. 9.925
Hundley: Whip to double tuck, well done. Double pike with chest just a touch low. Front full to front lay, excellent. Great comeback for her. 9.875
Thomas: Of course, my stream cuts out as her music starts up… Comes back right in time to see her slide the double pike right to the line, but stay in bounds. 9.975, okay…
Baumann: Love that slide down to straddle. Excellent double tuck, perfectly controlled lunge. One and a half to front full, good. CHOMP. Tour jete half to switch full, perfect. Double pike, excellent. Okay, if Thomas gets a 9.975 for a routine with a freaking slide nearly OOB, this should be an 11… 9.975
Subject: Powerful Yurchenko full. 9.775
Ruiz: Her usual Yurchenko full, small hop forward 9.800
Glynn: Yurchenko full with a large bounce back. 9.775
Brown: Stuck Yurchenko 1.5, not a ton of distance but overall very nice. 9.975
Karr: DAMMIT! Karr gets a 10 and they didn’t broadcast it…
Diaz: Pretty straddled Jaeger. Didn’t quite hit the bail or final handstand. Pretty DLO with a step.
Burns: Flawless handstands and DLO with the tiniest hop. 9.875
Vella-Wright: Maloney, good legs. Van Leeuwen, great form. 9.900
Ros Vaquer: Really pretty handstands. Stuck DLO. 9.950
AFTER FOUR: Florida 197.875, Denver 197.250, Iowa State 196.800
Oh, Carol… That’s all I have to say about that. Excellent floor performances from the Gators. Denver apparently did well on vault, I would have liked to see all of it! My biggest takeaway is that Iowa State is really, really good. If they can get their vault landings under control, they could pose a legitimate postseason threat.
Article by Claire Billman
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