LIVE BLOG: Athens Regional Round Two, Session One

Hello from the always exciting Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia, and welcome to my first in-person live blog in over a year! [For the record, I am fully vaccinated, masked up and blogging from a socially distanced press row.]

We have frontrunners Minnesota and Denver both coming off surprise wins at their respective conference championships and hoping that momentum carries them all the way to nationals. Minnesota certainly has an edge heading into this session, but it also has some weird misses this year (Illinois says hi), and Denver has been solidly mid-196 to low 197 this season. If Denver does dip into that range, Georgia will be waiting. The Gymdogs typically save their best performances for home and broke 198 when they hosted regionals in 2019 despite a lackluster season, so there is precedent for an upset. Then there’s Oregon State: Granted, this isn’t the 2019 Beavers team that upset top-ranked Florida, but it is certainly capable of hitting that mid-196 mark. 

This session also has two excellent individual qualifiers, all arounder Elizabeth Culton from North Carolina and Texas Woman’s Isabel Goyco on floor. Culton is tied for sixth nationally on beam and could very well advance to nationals on the strength of that event.

I’ve got to give major props to the Minnesota fandom. They’ve not only showed up, but they’ve shown up in FUZZY GOPHER MASKS.

Thirty seconds, folks… It’s getting real!

Rotation One: Oregon State VT, Denver UB, Minnesota BB, Georgia FX

Bird (OSU): Some knees on her Y full, but nice amplitude and  a solid landing. 9.750

Peterson (OSU): RO half on stuck off, basically stuck. 9.775

Yanish (OSU): ENORMOUS Y full with a moderate rebound back. 9.775

Gonzales (OSU): RO half on pike off, great. 9.825

L. Dagen (OSU): Bonkers high Y full, solid landing. 9.850

M. Dagen (OSU): Y 1.5 stuck cold. Knees in the air, but very nice. 9.950

Culton (UNC): Solid Y full. Not a ton of height, slight pike down. 9.575 is pretty harsh. 


Ruiz (DU): Stuck DLO. Great start. from what I saw. 9.725

Casali (DU): Perfect Maloney to bail. Double tuck with a tiny hop. 9.825

Hutchinson (DU): Fantastic DLO, stuck. 9.875

Glynn (DU): Lovely Giener. Handstand positions solid all the way through. HIGH FTDT and takes multiple steps sideways. 9.650

Sundstrom (DU): Clear hip to Tkatchev, good. Loses it on the Pak, doesn’t come off, but may as well be a fall. 9.350

Brown (DU): Van Leeuwen looked a hair off, but could be my angle. Didn’t seem to affect her flow at all. Gorgeous DLO, fights for the stick. 9.900


Koch (UM): Nice bhs loso. VERY shy on her splits. Stuck RO 1.5 with a tiny slide back. 9.850

Montogmery (UM): Beat to split half, a hair shy. Very off on her switch half leap  and a large leg up check. Nails her dismount, no movement. 9.725 is generous with those issues on the leaps. 

Loper (UM): Candle mount, nice. Bhs loso with soft knees and a big of a hip check. No prblems on the front tuck or jumps. Drills her 1.5 dismount. 9.875

Sales (UM): Pretty full turn. Gainer pike off the end with a medium hop forward. 9.825

Korlin-Downs (UM): Rushes through her candle mount. Bhs loso, gorgeous. Split jump to double stag, well done. Side aerial to a stuck full. Rock solid after the mount. 9.850

Ramler (UM): Kicks out of the full turn, gorgeous. Bhs loso, excellent. Front aerial to beat, lovely. Beat to ring, maybe low front leg? Side aerial to stuck full. Wow. Just casual Lexy Ramler things. 9.950


Perez-Lugones (UGA): One of my favorite routines of the season. Beautiful double pike to open. Didn’t get the best rise on her layout in the second pass. Slightly shy on her final double tuck, but covers well. 9.825

Magee (UGA): Pretty opening pike full-in, chest down just a bit. Gorgeous Popa. Goes out on her final double pike. 9.700

Austin (UGA): Overcooks the double pike, has to take a lean. Much better fhs full lay. Nice amplitude on her leaps. 9.825

Roberts (UGA): Big pike full-in to open, a little shuffle on the landing. Front full to lay, good. 9.850

Baumann (UGA): RO 1.5 to full, basically perfect. A huge double pike, slight bounce back covered well. 9.875

Hawthorne (UGA): Nice double pike. Opens a second early and steps forward. Front lay to Rudi with a split rebound, great. Rocking her Kiss! choreo. Switch half to switch full. Cheated the landing a bit, but nice in the air. Fantastic double tuck to finish. 9.900

Goyco (TWU):  Beautiful double pike. Popa series, fantastic. This is another one of my favorites from this season. Front lay to full, gorgeous. RICK ROLLLLL! APL is getting down in Georgia’s corral. Gigantic double tuck to finish. Love it. Excellent job. 9.850 is low 

AFTER ONE ROTATION: Minnesota 49.350, Georgia 49.275, Oregon State 49.175, Denver 48.975

OK, obviously not the start Denver wanted, but not insurmountable. Minnesota is off to a fabulous start, and Georgia and Oregon State will be pleased with their performances. Hope this stays tight!

Rotation Two: Georgia VT, Oregon State UB, Denver BB, Minnesota FX

Lukacs (UGA): Fantastic Y double. 9.800

Baumann (UGA): 9.800

Magee (UGA): Ugh, sits the Y 1.5. 9.275

Ward (UGA): Y full with a large step back. 9.750

Roberts (UGA): Stuck Y 1.5, great. 9.925

Hawthorne (UGA): Powerful Y 1.5 with a small hop. 9.800 seems low in comparison to what we’ve seen.


Peterson (OSU): Sorry, missed this one! 9.650

M. Dagen (OSU): Nice bail to handstand. I little shy on her final handstand position, but very nice full pirouette to double tuck. 9.750

Hoiland (OSU): Some leg sep on her piked Jaeger. Slightly shy on her full pirouette, but a stuck double tuck. 9.775

Yanish (OSU): Nice toe shoot. Pretty DLO nearly stuck. 9.750

Bird (OSU): Nice handstand on her bail. Gets the Tkatchev over. Small hop on FTDT, well done. 9.800

Domingo (OSU): Loses momentum after her release. Tries to power through, but hops off on her bail. 

Culton (OSU): Lovely, deliberate handstand. Stalder, beautiful. Tkatchev, very nice. A little off on her bail, but it might be my angle. Lovely blind full to double stuck, stick. 


Brown (DU): FLove her splits. Gorgeous front aerial. Gainer full, great. 9.900

Thompson (DU): Side aerial to loso with some feet, but very secure. Switch split series with a check. Smiling through her full turn. Side aerial to stuck full. Nice. 9.875

Ruiz (DU): A little nervy on her leaps, but covers well. Stuck gainer pike. 9.775

Hutchinson (DU): Nice position on leap series. Front aerial to wolf, great. Cartwheel to stuck gainer full. 9.875

Mabanta (DU): Bhs loso and she comes off. Ugh… Split leap, gorgeous. Switch half to switch jump, nice position. RO full, very deep. 9.150

Vasquez (DU): Love her mount. Front aerial bhs loso with a waver. Y full turn, great. Side aerial to stuck full. 9.800


Koch (UM): Slightly underrotated the punch front. Fhs Rudi with some legs, but great height. 9.800

Nylin (UM): Excellent double pike, kicked out. Whip 1.5 to punch tuck. Solid double tuck. 9.850

Leneave (UM):  Nice double pike. Front full to lay, great. Strong double tuck to finish. 9.875

Ramler (UM): SDouble pike to open, negligible foot slide. Good switch ring. Back 1.5 through to Rudi, great. Front full to lay, beautiful. 9.925

Hooten (UM): Ridiculously good FTDT to open. Switch half to Popa, all the way around. Fhs full to pike, excellent. Drills her double tuck, no lunge, just a definitive stick. 9.900… Honestly don’t know what the deduction was. 

Loper (UM): Good opening front lay to Rudi. Nice leap series. Floats her back 1.5 to layout. Gophers are ON. 9.950 

AFTER TWO ROTATIONS: Minnesota 98.850, Georgia 98.350, 98.200, 97.900

Remember what we said about Georgia hitting at home? Denver had a good, but not great beam rotation and will really need to make up some ground on floor. Minnesota is looking fantastic, like a nationals-caliber team. 

Rotation Three: Minnesota VT, Georgia UB, Oregon State BB, Denver FX

Grotenhuis (UM): Y full with a little hop. 9.775

Gerdes (UM): Another big Y full, but a bit out of control on the landing. 9.750

Hooten (UM): HUGE Y 1.5, nearly stuck.  9.900

Ramler (UM): Basically perfect Y 1.5. Sure. 9.950

Loper (UM): Another basically perfect Y 1.5. The Minnesota contingent is changing, “TEN!” and I’m OK with that. Yep, it’s a 10.0.  

Quarles (UM): Y 1.5 with a small hop. 9.900


Finnegan (UGA): Really nice handstands throughout. 9.825

Schild (UGA): HUGE Tkatchev, one of the best she’s done this season. Some leg form on the bail. Very nice DLO, stuck.  9.825

Roberts (UGA): Pretty DLO, stuckish. 9.825

De Jong (UGA): Beautiful Ray. Georgia’s really doing great so far. DLO with a tiny hop back. 9.875

Nguyen (UGA): Some leg sep on her in-bars Gienger. Pretty nearly stuck DLO. 9.800

Oakley IUGA): Lovely piked Jaeger. HIGH FTDT with a small hop. 9.875


Peterson (OSU): A little shaky on her bhs loso, but covered well. 9.200

L. Gonzales (OSU): Pretty front aerial. Side aerial to full. Goes a little sideways, but finessed the landing well. 9.750

Young (OSU): Kicks out of the full turn nicely. 9.750

Domingo (OSU): Really nice jump series, especially her double stag. Front gainer full, stuck. Nice routine. 9.850

S. Gonzales (OSU): Front aerial to back pike, great. She’s a truly pretty beam worker. Side gainer full, stuck. 9.825

M. Dagen (OSU): Bhs loso with a little arm wave. Very nice side aerial to full, a touch flat but a definitive stick. 9.900

Culton (UNC): Bhs loso, gorgeous. Switch split leap to straddle quarter, the tiniest hesitation. NOOOO! Major break after her front aerial and has to grab the beam, but stays on. Cat leap to straddle quarter that KJC herself would approve of. Side aerial to full with a small hop. 9.550


Ruiz (DU): Solid pike full-in for Ruiz. Good leap series. A bit deep on the double tuck, but a strong start. 9.800

Casali (DU): Excellent pike full-in. Back 2.5, gorgeous. 9.875

Thompson (DU): Our second Prince routine. Nice opening double tuck. Good amplitude on her leaps. Usual form on the triple full, but a really nice routine that the Pios will be pleased with. 9.900

Hutchinson (DU): Very nice fhs double full. Switch half to switch full, didn’t quite hit 180 on the latter. RO 1.5 to front lay, floats it. Fhs Rudi to straddle rebound, fabulous. 9.900

Brown (DU): Good lord, you really could walk under that DLO. Back leg a touch low on her split full. Love this middle choreo. Back 1.5 to front lay. Would love to know her hangtime. Giant double pike with a minor foot slide back. 9.950

AFTER THREE ROTATIONS: Minnesota 148.375, Denver, 147.625, Georgia 147.575, Oregon State 146.975

Denver did what they needed to do on floor, but they need to have an excellent vault rotation, help from Georgia, or a combination of the two to secure their spot for the final. Georgia is doing is really doing its thing today, as evidenced by scoring all 9.8-pluses on bars (not counting, mind you, scoring).  


Rotation Four: Denver VT, Minnesota UB, Georgia BB, Oregon State FX

Casali (DU): Giant Y full with a small hop. 

Ruiz (DU): Her usual clean, solid Y full with a small hop. Not a ton of amplitude or distance. 

Hutchinson (DU): Stuck Y full with leg sep in pre-flight. 

Brown (DU): Nails her Y 1.5. Might see our second 10 of the day… 

Glynn (DU): Tsuk full, stuck. Usual form, but really powerful and well-controlled. 

Thompson (DU): Blocks way high on the table on her Y full and knees nearly touch the floor. I’m not sure that’s going to put it out of reach for Denver…. 


Remlinger (UM): Great positions throughout, and a high, stuck FTDT. 

Hooten (UM): Lovely Tkatchev. 

Willmarth (UM): Major air on her release. 

Loper (UM): Great Maloney. 

Sales (UM): Pretty handstand positions. Well done Markelov. NAILS her dismount. 

Ramler (UM): Excellent Maloney-Pak series. Nailed the FTDT. 


Magee (UGA): Lovely position on her leaps. Slight wave on her bhs loso and again on her full turn. 

Schild (UGA): Pretty pressed straddle handstand. Front aerial to bhs loso with a small waver. 

Nguyen (UGA): Lovely Y full turn. Moderate check after her leaps. 

De Jong (UGA): Split jump, beautiful. Front aerial to beat, really aggressive and pretty. Bhs loso; almost missed her foot, but didn’t waver at all. Nice straddle quarter. Side aerial to stuck full. Georgia is keeping this as dramatic as possible. 

Baumann (UGA): Side aerial to loso; some feet, but nice. Beat to straddle quarter, well done. HIGH RO 1.5, stuck. 

Oakley (UGA): Nice wolf turn. Gainer bhs bhs loso, excellent. Gorgeous height and position on her leaps (from my angle at least). Gainer full with a crossover step. Overall, lovely routine. 


S. Gonzales (OSU): Pretty fhs full to front lay. Really nice amplitude on her leaps. A  little underrotated on her double pike and has to step forward. 

Bird (OSU): Back 2.5 (?) to straddle rebound, good control. Switch half to Popa, nice amplitude. 

Peterson (OSU)P: A little dodgy landing after her fhs full, but really strong leaps. Great dboule pike to finish. 

Force (OSU): High double pike. Big double tuck to finish. 

M. Dagen (OSU): Massive punch double front. Switch half to Popa, great. Punch full to front lay, good. Chest down on her double pike, but really fun routine. 

Yanish (OSU): Her usual gigantic DLO. fhs full to front lay; didn’t quite get the rise. Big double tuck with a slide back. 

Culton (UNC): Nice double tuck to open. Front lay to front full, had a wonky take-off but didn’t seem to affect her. Switch side to Popa, great. Great finish for her. 

AFTER FOUR ROTATIONS: Minnesota 197.625, Denver 196.775, Georgia 196.750, Oregon State 196.375

Denver advances to the final by the thinnest possible margin. That was a strong showing for both the Gymdogs and the Beavers; they kept things interesting right up to the very end. 

Apologies for no scores in the last rotation; the stats page has decided to stop working (because of course it has). 

Wondering how individuals make nationals? Read up on the complicated process here.

Live blog by Claire Billman 

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