Hello and happy Saturday, friends. Minnesota is at home in the Pav taking on a team that isn’t Iowa for the first time in almost three weeks, so buckle your seatbelts and prepare for a new conference face off. I’m reporting live from the Pav again, and it feels worth mentioning that I feel extremely grateful to be here this season.
Let’s start with the Gophers. This is a team that is more than capable of a big score if they hit on every event; the problem is they have yet to truly do that. There seems to be at least one event every meet that proves to be at least semi-problematic. Perhaps most strangely, the event that makes me the most nervous to watch is beam, which is a far cry from how I felt watching this team last year. The absence of Sales in that lineup is noticeable, although Lexi Montgomery has improved consistently throughout the season, and Abbie Nylin is proving to be a dependable option as well. Bars is the other event that seems to be the shakiest, although there are some fabulous routines in there when everyone hits. Floor and vault continue to be standout events, although Halle Remlinger’s absence last week was definitely noticeable as well. All in all, the Gophers can easily hit 197-plus when they make it through a meet without needing to count a sizable mistake, so let’s hope that today shows just how much they are capable of.
Rutgers, which has an extremely young roster (12 freshmen!) is still trying to figure out what lineups work best. However, the team has consistently improved on its performance each week and will be looking to continue that momentum today. Hannah Joyner and Belle Huang continue to be all stars for the Scarlet Knights, with Calah Newman also stepping up with some big scoring potential—earning a scholarship for her hard work.
As Emily M pointed out last week, the Big Ten has a United as One campaign this academic year. It appears that each team is designating one home meet as being part of that initiative, and it looks like Minnesota will be doing that today.
𝕄𝔼𝔼𝕋 𝔻𝔸𝕐 x 𝕊𝕠𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝 𝕁𝕦𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕔𝕖 ℕ𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥
— Minnesota Women’s Gym (@GopherWGym) February 20, 2021
They released this video today as well, narrated by the athletes and filmed by freshman Ella Sirjord:
𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝗧𝗼𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿. pic.twitter.com/3VjZzEwwLp
— Minnesota Women’s Gym (@GopherWGym) February 20, 2021
Tonight’s Gopher leo:
— Minnesota Women’s Gym (@GopherWGym) February 20, 2021
Wow, intros kicked off at 4:40; perhaps ESPN being here will lead to a Big Ten meet actually starting on time!?
An interesting in-house tidbit I doubt they will show on the broadcast: they are playing the Black national anthem in honor of Black History Month: Lift Every Voice and Sing.
Notably absent from the Rutgers bar lineup… Belle Huang. Trying to see if I can even get eyes on her – kind of at a difficult vantage point for IDing gymnasts.
WOW Loper just NAILED a 1.5 in warmups.
Rotation 1: Minnesota vault, Rutgers bars
Grotenhuis (MIN): FTY, big step back, bit of a pike down. 9.725
Drauss (RU): Good first HS, blind change straddle jaeger, good. Pak to switch kip, nice. Little short on the final handstand. Blind full double back dismount with a hop back. 9.775
Albertin (MIN): FTY, bounce back with a lean forward. 9.700
Doherty-Herwitz (RU): Blind change straddle jaeger to overshoot, pretty good. Short handstand. Blind full double back dismount with a small hop. 9.650
Hooten (MIN): Y1.5 with a big step forward. Nice to see her having too much power as opposed to too little here. 9.875
Newman (RU): clear hip to tkatchevm good. Bail to handstand was sharp. Blind full into double back dismount, little slow on the full. 9.725
Ramler (MIN): Y1.5 stuck cold. Well then. 9.975
Balser (RU): Great first HS. Blind change straddle jaeger, good height. Pak with some leg separation. Short final HS, DLO, almost holds the stick 9.750
Loper (MIN): Y1.5, teeny tiny hop in place. 9.950
Karolewski (RU): Clear hip nice handstand .Ray was good. Overshoot good, short final HS. DLO, deep knees tiny step back. 9.775
Quarles (MIN): Y1.5, landed a little short and took a step back. 9.925
Joyner (RU): Beautiful first HS. Blind change straddle jaeger, some piked feet. Bail to HS good. Good final HS, maybe a smidge short. FTDT with a step back. 9.800
Koch just went on vault in an exhibition but she did not wait until Joyner was finished so that was confusing.
Stats feed is not working and they are not posting scores in the arena so hang on tight folks.
AFTER ONE: Minnesota 49.45, Rutgers 48.825
Super solid start for Minnesota on vault; that was possibly the best vault I’ve ever seen Ramler do. She really set Loper up for another 10 there, alas it was not meant to be today. Rutgers had a solid rotation as well, I believe that is a season high on the event for them.
Rotation 2: Minnesota bars, Rutgers vault
Ferguson (RU): FTY, slight pike and a hop back. 9.775
Montgomery (MIN): blind change jaeger to overshoot, good. Great final HS. Blind change double front dismount, big step forward. 9.750
Balser (RU): FTY, piked down, step back. 9.700
Hooten (MIN): Little short on the first HS. Blind piked jaeger to overshoot, beautiful form. Blind change double front dismount, real close to the bar, but stuck. 9.850
Leese (RU): FTY, not a lot of amplitude, big step back. 9.700
Willmarth (MIN): Pretty first HS. Ray was high. Short HS before the bail, but that HS was sharp. Blind full double back stuck. 9.900 (career best I believe)
Newman (RU): FTY, piked down but stuck. 9.800
Loper (MIN): Held that first handstand nicely. Pak nice and floaty. Looks like she took one extra swing on the low bar. Finishes with a nice blind full double back, small hop. 9.775
Huang (RU): FTY, tiny pike down and almost holds the stick. 9.875
Sales (MIN): Beautiful handstands to start from Sales, as usual. Little archy before her markelov. Tiny bit short on the final one. DLO hop back. 9.875
Joyner (RU): FTY, tiny hop in place. Solid rotation for Rutgers on vault! 9.900
Ramler (MIN): Maloney to pak, her normal. Van Leeuwin nice. FTDT dismount, tiny hop. 9.950
AFTER TWO: Minnesota 98.800, Rutgers 97.875
Both teams had good rotations here and are on pace for good scores. Both vault and bars scoring was a wee bit generous for both teams if I’m being honest, but at least it was the same across the board.
Rotation 3: Minnesota beam, Rutgers floor
Montgomery (MIN): BHS LOSO, soft knees but solid. Full turn was controlled. Beat jump straddle half, tuck. Punch front, big bend at the waist, touches the beam. RO 1.5, lands a little short and takes a step back and to the side. 9.125
Balser (RU): Double tuck to open, little under roated. Legs looked a little shy of 180 on her leap series. Second combo pass was good, controlled lunge forward. Finishes with a front 1.5 9.725
Sonier (MIN): I love her mount series. BHS LOSO, floaty. Beat jump, shy of 180 on on her leap. Side aerial was good. Finishes with a BHS one armed BHS 1.5, step to the side. 9.800
Zanella (RU): Double back to open, under rotated and lands short – takes a step forward. Back double full, some loose legs in the air. Last pass was good. 9.700
Loper: BHS LOSO, beautiful. Front toss beat jump, good. She’s struggled with that combo this season for some reason. Switch leap switch side, good. Finishes with a RO 1.5, tries to hold the stick but leans forward. 9.900
Wood (RU): Opens with a FHS 1.5 LOSO, nice. Leaps series looked good. FHS double full, some loose legs in the air but overall nice. 9.825
Nylin (MIN): This beam music is a choice. So upbeat. Full turn good. BHS BHS LOSO, right to the end of the beam but good. Hitch kick switch side, good. Finishes with a RO 1.5 and a hop forward. 9.850
Newman (RU): First pass is a double pike, lands with chest a little low. Double back with with a scoot back. Good straddle position on her leaps, possibly a bit shy on the final one. Finishes with a 1.5 to front lay, good.
Korlin-Downs (MIN): Candle mount, held the handstand position nicely. BHS LOSO, nice and controlled. Beat jump split jump double stag, lovely. Full turn, good. Finishes with a side aerial back full, tiny hop in place.
One 10 for Mary! 9.975
Joyner (RU): Opens with a Big double pike. Front full front lay second pass was good and controlled. Pretty leaps. Finishes with 1.5 + front pike. Good routine!
Ramler (MIN): BHS LOSO, controlled. Front aerial, big balance check. Beat jump ring jump, pretty. Cat leap side aerial back full, hop. Not her best, unusual mistake. 9.875. That is… generous
Huang (RU): Starts with a front double full, lovely per usual. Rudi to LOSO, not a lot of power or something because her knees were super bent there. Front 1.5, great control on the landing.
Nice Sales ex for Minnesota.
AFTER THREE: Minnesota 148.200, Rutgers 146.775
If I am being honest, that 9.875 for Ramler was a wee bit generous, but aside from that it was a solid rotation. Lovely lovely routine from Korlin-Downs especially. Rutgers had a solid floor rotation as well and is on pace for another season high if they can hit beam.
Rotation 4: Minnesota floor, Rutgers beam
Ferguson (RU): BHS LOSO, lovely and controlled. Switch switch half, balance check. Pretty full turn, unique presentation for it. One-armed BHS 1.5 dismount 9.700
Koch (MIN): Opens with a FHS double full punch front, slightly bouncy but good. tour jete ½ to wolf full looked good. Side pass – RO back full good. Wish she had a bit more energy on her choreo here. Finishes with a FHS 1.5, nice controlled landing. 9.850
Newman (RU): Full turn good. Front toss beat jump, good. Two foot BHS LOSO, leg up on a balance check. Legs a little short on her leaps. Gainer full dismount. 9.675
Nylin (MIN): Double pike to open, controlled landing. Second combo pass was good, slight hop forward on her punch front. Leaps had good straddle position. Fun little front handspring choreo. Finishes with double back, low and lands on her knees basically. That’s too bad. 9.050
Doherrty-Herwitz (RU): Front aerial side aerial, little pause between but good. Beat jump split 3/4, little short. Split jump, good position. Gainer full dismount with a hop.
LeNeave (MIN): Double pike to open, controlled lunge back. Switch half + wolf 1/1, maybe a bit short on her split position there. Nice second combo pass. Finishes with a double back, cowboyed but good landing. 9.825
Zanella (RU): Switch ring, tiny balance check before the beat jump. BHS LOSO, another balance check but covers. Lovely penche hold. Ring + split jump. Beat side aerial full dismount with a hop back.
Ramler (MIN): Ring full to open, nice. Double pike, controlled lunge. Pretty switch ring position through to switch half. RO 1.5 through to 2/1, legs a little loose but good landing. Finishes with a 1.5 to front lay, pretty. Solid routine, pretty much her normal here. 9.900
Joyner (RU): Full turn, pretty. BHS LOSO, good. Switch leap to switch half, good. Side aerial, big full and sticks the landing.
Hooten (MIN): Some weird music mishap here. Opens with a full in, solid landing but chest a tiny bit low. Good straddle position on her leaps. Second pass FHS front full front lay, good. Finishes with a sky high double back, good landing. 9.925
Huang (RU): Side aerial front aerial, lovely. Full turn, Y hold – beautiful. She is so pretty to watch on beam. Gorgeous double full dismount. That was a fantastic routine. 9.875. Seems low.
Loper (MIN): Front lay to rudi, great control and good form in the air. Switch ring tour jete half, looked good. Second pass a 2.5, small controlled step forward. I don’t know how that isn’t an E pass, but its fine. Finishes with a 1.5 to front lay, step to the side.
Sales exhibition on floor.
FINAL: Minnesota 197.625, Rutgers 195.925
Season high for Minnesota (also ties the second-highest score in program history) and a season high for Rutgers (fourth highest score in program history).
Great day for both teams!
All Around: Ramler 39.700
Vault: Ramler 9.975
Bars: Ramler 9.950
Beam: Korlin-Downs 9.975
Floor: Hooten, Loper 9.925
Live blog by Kalley Leer
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