Hello from Stegeman Coliseum! Top ten match-ups are always exciting, as are conference match-ups. Throw in some SEC scoring, a little good-natured sibling rivalry and we’re in for a killer meet!
Georgia has undoubtedly struggled with injuries this season, with freshman Amanda Cashman being the latest casualty. And yet the Gymdogs have rallied time and time again, breaking the magic 197 barrier at three of their last four meets.
Conversely, everything seems to be going Florida’s way in 2020, and it’s making the most of every opportunity. Not only are the Gators undefeated, they have yet to count a single fall this season. Additionally, they’re ranked in the top five on all four events and are less than two-and-a-half tenths behind first-ranked Oklahoma’s NQS (not to mention first in CGN’s Power Rankings!). They’ve already secured the SEC regular season title and are heavy favorites for the SEC championship title as well.
In all likelihood, Florida is going to come out on top of this one. Never say never, though; during last year’s match-up, the seventh-ranked Gymdogs upset the third-ranked Gators at home. And even if the team competition plays out as expected, the individual titles are up for grabs.
Bear in mind, too, that these are two of the best beam and floor teams in the country. Regardless of the outcome, the final two rotations should be pretty spectacular (the routines, that is, although the scores are probably going to be pretty spectacular, too…).
Rotation One: Georgia vault, Florida bars
Magee (UGA): Yurchenko full, nice form in the air but landed deep and has to take a small hop back. 9.800
Richards (UF): Overarches her first handstand. Legs on the Shaposh. Leg sep on the DLO and takes a tiny hop back. 9.775
Ward (UGA): Tsuk full, closer to the vault than usual. Slight pike-down and a small hop. 9.875
Gowey (UF): Lovely Tkatchev. Such precise handstands. Pak was excellent. A bit short on the final handstand. Tries to stick the DLO, has to take a step. 9.800
R. Baumann (UGA): Major power on her Yurchenko full, less pike-down than usual. Large hop back. 9.800
Hundley (UF): Great Shaposh/Pak combo. Slightly over on handstand, but recovers. Van Leeuwen good. Fantastic FTDT, stuckish. 9.825
Vega (UGA): Lovely Yurchenko full. Flairs out her arms at the end for a stick. 9.875
Skaggs (UF): Excellent Tkatchev to Pak combo. Looked like the final handstand was short. Some leg sep on the DLO, and a small foot shuffle. 9.875
Hawthorne (UGA): Overpowers her Yurchenko full and has to take a big, bounding hop back. 9.800
Schoenherr (UF): Blind change to straddled Jaeger… Unreal. Nice tension in her bail. Huge double front with a half dismount, more-or-less stuck. 9.850 feels comparatively low
Lukacs (UGA): WOW. Double Yurchenko, nice body position in the air and a definitive stick. 9.925
Thomas (UF): Beautiful Shaposh. Pak, great. Perfect Van Leeuwen. Stuck DLO, just gorgeous. 9.975
AFTER ONE ROTATION: Florida 49.325, Georgia 49.275
Well, cool! Scoring didn’t go completely off the rails (no worries, I’m sure that’s coming!). Georgia vault continues to be fine, but not the knock-out punch it really needs to be to keep pace with its SEC peers. Barring upgrades, would love to see more control on the landings (because things look really good in the air). Florida gave away a few tenths on bars, mostly in the form of short handstands and landings; the majority of their big skills looked pretty great! Hoping things stay this close and exciting throughout the meet.
Rotation Two: Georgia bars, Florida vault
Skaggs (UF): Well-stuck Yurchenko full. Legs came apart towards the end in anticipation of the landing, but great start for the Gators. 9.875
Lukacs (UGA): Good first handstand. Usual low Tkatchev, but she got through it. Rushed the handstand after a bit. Some leg sep on the Pak. DLO really close to the bar and a little piked, but stuck. 9.725
Alexander (UF): Gah… Massive Yurchenko full with the tiniest little foot shuffle. Maybe some crossed feet in the air? But wow, her power is incredible. 9.850
Hattaway (UGA): Got a tad hung up on her full pirouette, but worked through. Geinger with a straddle out. Very nice DLO with a hop back. 9.675
A. Baumann (UF): Yurchenko 1.5 with soft legs and a little stiff-legged on the landing. College stick. 9.825
Vega (UGA): Very nice toe shoot. Some separation on her Geinger, but not bad. Nice Pak. Her handstands have been very nice throughout. FTDT with a stagger and small step. Her best bars of the season! 9.775
Schoenherr (UF): Very nice Yurchenko 1.5, lost the form toward the end and a small hop forward. 9.900
Roberts (UGA): A hair shy on the first handstand. Shaposh to bail, great. Fantastic DLO with a stick. 9.850
Thomas (UF): Nice, a stuck Yurchenko 1.5 for Thomas! 9.950, and I’m okay with that.
De Jong (UGA): Ray caught a bit close. Really nice, aggressive handstands throughout. DLO nice in the air, but landed deep and she has to take a big lunge forward. 9.725
Richards (UF): Yurchenko 1.5, doesn’t quite find the landing (was slightly short) and has to take a small hop back. 9.875
Oakley (UGA): Beautiful blind change to piked Jaeger. Pak, great. Hung onto the low bar pirouette. High FTDT with pointed toes, but lands deep and steps forward almost identical to De Jong. 9.825
AFTER TWO ROTATIONS: Florida 98.775, Georgia 98.175
Great vault rotation for the Gators, punctuated by Thomas’s fabulous stuck Yurchenko full. They were able to press their advantage and secure a six-tenth buffer heading into the final two rotations. The Gymdogs didn’t have a bad rotation, per se, but really needed to go lights out to keep up with Florida at this point. We knew this would likely be the case, and Georgia will have ample opportunity to make up ground with its two strongest events coming up.
Rotation Three: Georgia beam, Florida floor
Magee (UGA): Bhs loso, gorgeous. Sorry, had someone stand in front of me for a bit, that’s totally cool… Round-off 1.5 nearly stuck, one foot step. 9.850
Gowey (UF): Front lay to Rudi, double stag a little uncontrolled. Beautiful kicks. Switch half to wolf full, nice amplitude. Double tuck, well done. Short but sweet routine. 9.875
Hawthorne (UGA): Like Magee, she finishes every skill down to the fingertips. Bhs loso with a body wave but her feet don’t move. Switch split to beat split, good. Foot up after the Hawthorne, but it’s still such a fun skill. Round-off 1.5 with a little hop. 9.700
Hundley (UF): Whip to big double tuck, nice. Florida fans are clapping along. Nice control on her double pike. Popa to Shushanova half, well done. One and a half to front lay, great. Awesome routine. 9.875
De Jong (UGA): Waver on the full turn. Lovely switch split to straddle. Front aerial to beat, good (thoought the beat didn;t get a ton of height). Bhs loso, nice. Straddle 3/4 with a bend at the hip. Side aerial to full with a hop back. So many small things to take that will add up… 9.825 is very generous.
Johnson-Scharpf (UF): Slightly short on her tucked double Arabian, slides back. One and a half to front lay, good. Love the Shushanova. Gator chomp. Double tuck with the chest down, but a solid landing.
Oakley (UGA): Love her wolf to straddle. Gainer bhs bhs loso and she comes off, too bad. Front leg was low on the ring. Small check on her side aerial, covered well. Cartwheel gainer full, stuck. 9.150.
Reed (UF): Yay, she’s baaack! Overpowers the DLO and stumbles OOB. Super dynamic Popa to wolf full. Fhs front lay to Rudi, well done. Double pike juuust shy and she takes a step forward. Welcome back, Nya! 9.650
R. Baumann (UGA): Beautiful straddle mount. Side aerial to loso, rock solid. Full turn from the knee, kicked out; love it. Hitch kick to straddle quarter. Round-off one and a half with a tiny hop. Excellent routine. 9.900
Thomas (UF): Beautiful DLO, great landing. Fhs front full front lay to Sissone, excellent. Popa series was great. Double pike almost looked like it was landed on one leg. Another gorgeous routine. 9.950
Vega (UGA): Always love her floaty switch split mount. Switch split to ring jump, nice. Front aerial to split jump with a hip check. Bhs loso with a well-covered waver. Side aerial to stuck full, lovely. 9.900 is high
A. Baumann (UF): That opening slide down to straddle is so cool. Gorgeous opening double tuck (with toes pointed, obviously). One and a half to front full, danced out of it a bit. Switch half to Popa, nice. Double pike with a minor bounce out. 9.900
AFTER THREE ROTATIONS: Florida 148.150, Georgia 147.350
Solid rotations for both teams, if not spectacular. Georgia had a few too many nervy mistakes to gain any ground. Rachel Baumann’s beam was the best of the bunch; we’ll see how Alyssa responds! Similarly, Florida held their ground but weren’t able to press more of an advantage. They have a large but not insurmountable lead heading into the final rotation.
Rotation Four: Georgia floor, Florida beam
Richards (UF): Fabulous bhs loso loso. Switch split to straddle, nice positions. Side aerial with some legs to stuck full (slightly off to the side). Great start! 9.875
Perez-Lugones (UGA): Pretty double pike to start. Whip half to front lay, good. Popas great, wolf full position was a bit iffy. Great double tuck to finish. She’s really grown into this lead-off position. 9.825
Hundley (UF): Front aerial to Sissone, lovely. Looked like she balked her acro series. Bhs loso right to the edge of the beam. Hitch to straddle quarter, nice. Kicks out of the full turn (maybe a clever cover for being off balance?). Stuck round-off one and a half. 9.775
Roberts (UGA): Big piked full-in to open. Sorry, missed her leap series. Front lay to front full, a little legs but nice power. Nailed the double pike. 9.800
A. Baumann (UF): Beautiful straddle mount. Switch split to split jump, perfect. Bhs loso, solid. Swtich half, very nice. Side aerial, rock solid. Stuck round-off 1.5. Best routine of the night so far. 9.975
R. Baumann (UGA): Huge amplitude on her round-off 1.5 to full. L turn to en dehors turn, nice. Switch split, perfect. Love her choreo so much. Crunches her double pike but doesn’t put hands down. Switch side, great. 9.800 is high for that last landing
Gowey (UF): Switch split to split, lovely. Bhs loso loso, right on. Front aerial to Sissone, excellent. Gainer full, stuck. 9.900
Hawthorne (UGA): Massive double pike, bounces out but stays in bounds. Switch 1.5 to switch full, seemed to get hung up on the latter but hit the position. Front lay to Rudi to split, nice. Big double pike with a slide back. 9.775
Thomas (UF): Switch split to split, fab. Pretty full turn. One-armed bhs loso, no problem. Front aerial to beat to Korbut, flawless. Love the shoulder shimmy. Side aerial to full, tiny hop. 9.950
Lukacs (UGA): Her usual giant DLO, slight leg sep. She just floats that thing. One and a half to full to Shushanova, perfect. Switch side to wolf full, well-done. A touch short on the double pike and has to hop forward. 9.825
Clapper (UF): Bhs loso loso right to the edge, nice. She’s already smiling. Switch split to split, back leg was slightly low. Side aerial to another stuck full. Strong finish for Florida. 9.950
Vega (UGA): NICE FTDT to open. Round-off 1.5 to front lay to Sissone, great. Switch ring to switch full, good. Gogean looked completed from where I’m sitting across the arena. Big double pike to finish, slight foot slide. Awesome routine. 9.900
AFTER FOUR ROTATIONS: Florida 197.800, Georgia 196.500
That was a fabulous final rotation for Florida and allowed them to really put it away. Georgia didn’t have the floor they’re capable of, but no disasters. So, basically, no surprises here. Trinity Thomas had a phenomenal night, securing a well-earned 39.825.
Live blog by Claire Billman
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