I think it’s fair to say that this is not the spiciest regional session of the day. The 25-spot ranking difference between the presumed qualifiers and the presumed losers of this meet tell the story. For Ohio State and Towson, this one is a hit-and-hope-for-falls situation. That said, this is an exciting opportunity for us to gauge the top two teams’ readiness for postseason. California entered last week’s Pac-12 championship as the No. 1 seed only to wilt a little under the postseason pressure and finish behind Utah, which did its best to give the title away on vault. Both of the Bears’ truly great meets in 2021 have been at home, and if they prove unable to produce a big (and I’m talking 197.500-plus) number in a postseason environment, that leaves them vulnerable to something like a peaking UCLA tomorrow. Meanwhile, BYU definitely can produce a 197-plus on the road, and while it’s a clear underdog to make nationals, a great day today would give us something to believe in.
Don’t lose sight of Rutgers all arounders Belle Huang and Hannah Joyner today. Both can produce big numbers on both individual events (vault and beam for Joyner, mostly floor for Huang) and in the all around. Also keep an eye on Pittsburgh’s Katie Chamberlain, who is rostered to compete bars but hasn’t actually done so since February.
Rotation 1: Towson VT, BYU UB, Cal BB, OSU FX
Stewart (TU): Yurchenko half, missed the block and sits. 8.8
Zuhlke (TU): The FHS Tsuk situation is so cool, little hop. Good recovery. 9.6
Bolen (TU): Yurchenko full, little bits of leg separation but solid with a hop back. 9.825
Vitoff (TU): One and a half, leg separation on the table and a bit shapey, landed slightly lock legged with a hop back. 9.725
Joyner (RU): FTY with a bit of shape and a hop back.
Huang (RU): Tries the one and a half, haven’t seen this one since last year, soft knees and fell.
Cyrenne (BYU): Maloney to Pak, solid, double lay. Her best routine right there. 9.85
Beeston (BYU): Gienger to one of those 135 degree bails. Double lay with hips closed in the first salto, step forward. 9.75
Alvarado (BYU): Great Maloney to Pak, double lay, stuck gorgeous. BYU is definitely the loudest team in the room.
Pitou (BYU): Maloney to bail, FTDB with chest forward and a big hop forward.
Boden Stainton(BYU): Blind to pike Jaeger, bail, FTDB stuck.
Clausi (Cal): Just saw the tuck back full dismount with a hop 9.8
DeSouza (Cal): Cat leap front aerial. Split to sheep, big step forward, one and a half twist with a hop. 9.825
Li (Cal): Front aerial to split BHS LOSO. Messy ring jump. Good dismount. 9.85
George (Cal): Front aerial back tuck, low chest. Double wolf turn, gainer full stuck with a baby hop. 9.9!
Bordas (Cal): Full turn, front aerial to split, switch to split. Gainer full.
Gonzales (tOSU): Double pike, front lay front full. I love Under Pressure as floor music. One and a half front lay with a messy punch and leg separation on the layout. 9.7
Edwards (tOSU): Slight overrotation on double pike, back with one and a half front lay gorgeous. Switch side Popa, great extension, double back.
Hankins (tOSU): Great control on the full in! Finishes with a double back, scoots the front foot after I thought she had it. 9.9
Gagliardi (tOSU): Slightly shuffly pike, great control on the Rudi and phenomenal presence as usual. Slightly undercooked on double back, step forward. 9.875
Warga (tOSU): Two and a half punch front with a baby hop to the side. Awkward front double full with a cross step.
After 1: California 49.400, BYU 49.375, Ohio State 49.175 Towson 48.725
Pretty much what we expected in the first rotation. It looks like a good day for Ohio State, but the Buckeyes are still just hoping for a fall while the top two seeds control their own destiny.
Rotation 2: Ohio State VT, Towson UB, BYU BB, Cal FX
Lowe (OSU): Great full, looks nearly stuck and sounds like it too from the team roar. 9.8
Miller (OSU): Lots of time in the air on her FTY, twists late.
Swartzentruber (OSU): Solid FTY, hop.
Edwards (OSU): Massive FTY, baby hop. Remember her debut vault where she got a 9.925 without sticking? They were honestly right. 9.85
Jennings (OSU): FTY, big, hop back.
Gagliardi (OSU): Yurchenko half on, tuck off, big step forward.
Bolen (TU): Bit of legs apart on her blind full, stuck double back. 9.7
Vitoff (TU): Clear hip Gienger overshoot, very solid. FTDB open, hop back. 9.725
Zientek (TU): Clear hip, goes BACKWARDS, half turn, was that intentional? I think it was, went straight into the bail. That made me nervous but it was good. Double back.
Stewart (TU): Hop change to pike Jaeger, Pak legit gorgeous. Double lay shapey.
Vaillancourt (TU): Late blind to Jaeger to overshoot. Double lay with a baby step back.
Zuhlke (TU): Wild fall on her Jaeger, way too close to the bar and flopped onto her back with her legs bent underneath her. She’s good, though.
Sorry, I had a bit of a WordPress crisis but clean bars routines from Joyner and Huang from Rutgers.
Mather (BYU): Good leaps, solid BHS LOSO, switch to bend check and falls. Stuck gainer full.
Cyrenne (BYU): Under pressure now. BHS LOSO, good. Got the leaps. I think that was a side aerial back full, clutch. 9.725
McClelland (BYU): Wolf turn, BHS LOSO lovely with straight legs. Straddle to beat to double stag, little adjustment, tuck one and a half a touch lock legged with a step back.
Rollins (BYU): Switch straddle quarter, iffy splits. Front aerial BHS BHS is one of my favorite series, looks off line but she works through it. Hitch kick side aerial, check, gainer full with a weird soft knee situation. 9.75
Boden-Stainton (BYU): Kickover front, major check. Switch switch side, kick front BHS, oh that was her series and she had to redo it. One and a half stuck.
Quinn (Cal): Bouncy Rudi. Switch side Popa, double pike well controlled. 9.825
Bordas (Cal): Double back, chest a touch low. One and a half front lay, switch ring half sketchy, I hate Cal’s obsession with rings when none of them are good. 9.825
DeSouza (Cal): Double pike, touch overrotated. 9.85
Clausi (Cal): Good double pike. Switch side wolf full. Overrotated double back.
Li (Cal): Great control on double pike. One and a half front lay well done. She’s been a great, reliable floor routine since they decided that the pike full in is a nonstarter.
George (Cal): Didn’t write about this one because WordPress hated me but solid hit, basically sprinted to the training table afterwards to get her leg re-taped.
After 2: Cal 98.800, Ohio State 98.175, BYU 98.100, Towson 97.500
Big deal for Ohio State to be in qualifying position at the midpoint, but now it has to withstand the storm from two strong BYU rotations. It could go either way.
Rotation 3: Cal VT, tOSU UB, Towson BB, BYU FX
Sadighi (Cal): Late change, replacing Bordas. Shapey FTY, knees and feet but big. 9.85 is a no.
Li (Cal): FTY, leg separation and flexed feet but stuck. 9.85
George (Cal): Big FTY, baby scoot back.
DeSouza (Cal): Knees, feet and a scoot back on the one and a half.
Clausi (Cal): One and a half with two steps back. Better than the last few times she’s tried it this year. 9.775
Schweitzer (tOSU): Back arch and swims a bit in the air on her toe full but makes the double back.
Edwards (tOSU): Keep catching the back halfs of the routines. Missed a hand on a Pak, touches the ground but keeps going, toe on toe full double back.
Miller (tOSU): Stuck the double lay. I keep missing the releases trying to catch floor. 9.925! Great setup for Swartz.
Swartzentruber (tOSU): Maloney to Pak just spectacular, van Leeuwen with the babiest leg separation, slightly shy on a high bar handstand, double lay stuck. 9.875
Coca (Pitt): Blind to Jaeger, high and archy catch, good bail. Scurry back on the FTDB.
Vitoff (TU): Full turn, a bit shaky, missed the middle, side aerial tuck back full good.
Zuhlke (TU): Switch split 3/4 with split issues, switch leg aerial is phenomeonal, one and a half twist with a hop.
Weitz (TU): Switch LOSO split. BHS LOSO. Missed the end but she’s really gorgeous.
Hurst (TU): Excited for this one. Full turn, BHS LOSO, little lean. Lovely leaps, weirdly loses her legs on the punch front full? but nearly stuck anyway. 9.85
Joyner (RU): BHS LOSO, great. Super clean and a 9.925.
Huang (RU): Bend check, front aerial and misses the connection, front aerial BHS.
Bain-Heaton (BYU): STUCK the double back, it lands basically in the middle of the floor.
Bennett (BYU): Was that a… one and a half through one and a half punch front?? Double back. Switch side through cat leap 2/1.
Matthews (BYU): Double pike, whip half front full a little low throughout. Great double back.
Vitkauskas (BYU): Front double full, little bouncy. BYU floor hasn’t been keeping pace with Ohio State bars but there’s still some time to get that back. Double back to finish.
Miner Alder (BYU): Double lay, strong landing, tour jete half split full. One and a half front lay, bit of knees, good double pike I think. 9.9
After 3: Cal 148.125, Ohio State 147.350, BYU 147.275, Towson 146.325
Trying to clinch an upset on beam is always terrifying but it’s been a strong event for the Buckeyes this year. Meanwhile, BYU can get hot and stick a streak of vaults.
Rotation 4: BYU VT, Cal UB, Ohio State BB, Towson FX
I’m going to prioritize the Cougars and the Buckeyes here, since that’s where the real action is.
Pitou (BYU): FTY, way to the side and hops sideways almost off the mat. 9.65
Zhong (BYU): Now we’re in business. FTY stuck. 9.825
Bain-Heaton (BYU): Didn’t see this one but 9.775
Bennett (BYU): Full on tuck off, big hop back,
Mason (BYU): FTY, hop. 9.8
Miner Alder (BYU): FTY, really pretty body position, baby hop back.
DeSouza (Cal): pike Jaeger to overshoot, FTDB with a hop.
Schank (Cal): Pike Jaeger to overshoot, double layout great as always. Just saw Kyana George has pom poms.
Watterson (Cal): Okay I’m back after the Ohio State stressfest. Pak to van Leeuwem, toe full double back stuck.
Schweitzer (tOSU): BHS LOSO, little leg up check, split to ring now THAT’S a ring position. Side aerial tuck back full, hop in place. 9.8
Miller (tOSU): BHS LOSO great. Full turn, cat leap side aerial. Straddle straddle quarter, a second of uncertainty. Gainer tuck full stuck.
Hankins (tOSU): Good wolf turn. BHS LOSO. Split split 1/4. Double full, little scurry forwards.
Swartzentruber (tOSU): Wolf turn good, BHS LOSO ever so slightly shaky. Cat leap kickover front split. Switch split. Stuck gainer full.
Pritchard (tOSU): Side aerial, slightly shaky, full turn. BHS LOSO, check. Switch split 1/4. Double full stuck. I think that might take the Buckeyes to Saturday.
Hodges (tOSU): Caught the one and a half twist with a step back. DIdn’t need it, Pritchard delivered the win.
Stewart (TU): Messy legs on the Rudi.
Casper (TU): Man, I’m kinda emotionally gassed at this point. Foot slid on the double pike and she totally could have sat it but made it work. Front lay front full also a little frightening.
FINAL: California 197.725, Ohio State 196.525 will advance to the Round Three Regional
WOW Ohio State. That’s a big time performance from the Buckeyes and no matter what happens tomorrow, they’ll get to flaunt the top-16 final ranking for months. California had a great day and showed its ability to play with the big kids in a postseason scoring environment. Watch out for Abby Beeston’s 9.950 on bars and Hannah Joyner’s 9.925 on beam in the nationals qualification race.
Wondering how individuals make nationals? Read up on the complicated process here.
Live blog by Rebecca Scally
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