The theme in Salt Lake City this year is apparently “Be Very Afraid of the MRGC,” because Utah State is a sneaky danger in this session. While it’s difficult to imagine a world in which LSU fails to qualify to Saturday out of this session, Kentucky is by no means a sure thing. Both Kentucky and Utah State have spent most of the season producing mid-196.000 scores, and Utah State has substantially superior road meet creds.
Also in this meet, look forward to the remnants of unfortunate Washington, which ended its season as a team on a very disappointing note but can get some redemption here with all arounder Skylar Killough-Wilhelm, three vaulters and one gymnast each on bars and floor. Arizona enters this meet at a substantial technical disadvantage yet well-rested after an unexpected bye yesterday when Temple withdrew due to COVID contact tracing.
Rotation 1: Arizona VT, Kentucky UB, LSU BB, Utah State FX
Herry (UA): FTY piked with a closed hips.
Nosek (UA): Decent sized FTY well controlled.
Hargrove (UA): One and a half twist, great, cross step back. That vault has been mercurial.
Roland (Temple): FTY, gorgeous, hop back.
Luksik (UK): Ray, closed straddle position and awkward catch, double layout stuck.
Nixon (UK): Maloney to bail, hop on dismount.
Angeny (UK): Jaeger to overshoot, solid.
Worley (UK): Saw a Pak. FTDB dismount stuck.
Desiderio (LSU): Kathy mentioned a check that I didn’t see. Front aerial,
Durante (LSU): Fell, that’s all I saw.
Bryant (LSU): Front aerial, has to redo, front aerial BHS. Kickover front, check. Got the dismount. 9.375, not sure if that was SV or just an aggressive response to checks.
Dean (LSU): Full turn, side aerial BHS very solid. Front aerial to beat. Side aerial back full stuck. That was clutch.
Johnson (LSU): BHS LOSO, looks a little off line but no check. Switch switch half, baby check on a kickover front. Double full dismount stuck.
DeHarde (USU): Great double pike, switch side Popa.
Gutierrez (USU): Front through double back, overrotated and OOB.
Killough-Wilhelm (UW): Double back, scooty, overrotated front double full. Switch ring switch half. One and a half front tuck, probably a mistake, step OOB. 9.575
Cunningham (UW): Front through double back, controlled well. Switch half wolf full, double pike. That’s her good routine and she may get out of this. 9.85 judges said not today
After 1: Kentucky 49.475, Utah State 49.175, Arizona 49.050, LSU 48.700
That was exciting, huh? Utah State had some landing aberrations on floor and missed a chance to put LSU in real trouble, but who knows what happens from here. That’s also a vault season high for Arizona.
Rotation 2: Utah State VT, Arizona UB, Kentucky BB, LSU FX
Lost a bunch of routines due to acute confusion about where the heck we are in the rotation.
Wells (USU): Great FTY, hop straight back. This is such a robust vault.
Smith (UW): Tucked one and a half nearly stuck. 9.9
Deets (Arizona): Blind full to Tkachev, really pretty, cast over and fell. Pretty DLO with a hop.
DeGuzman (UK): BHS LOSO is all I got of that.
Bunn (UK): Cat leap switch side. I’m not convinced this is actually Bunn because I thought she was blonde but that’s what kathy told me so that’s what we’re going with. Check, full turn, one and a half twist stuck.
Angeny (UK) BHS LOSO LOSO great.
Ballard (LSU): Double layout, good, great double pike to finish. She always seems to land really hard on her ankles and then work it out.
Bryant (LSU): Double front well controlled, front lay to Rudi. Switch half Popa great. Fall on her front twisting, just didn’t anticipate the ground and collapsed.
Johnson (LSU): Full in, substantial slide of probably around a yard. Switch half Popa. Clean to finish and will be able to drop the Bryant score. 9.95 well…
After 2: Kentucky 98.700, Utah State 98.200, LSU 98.050, Arizona 97.550
Rotation 3: LSU VT, Utah State UB, Arizona BB, Kentucky FX
Brock (LSU): Stuck the FTY. Here we go.
Shchennikova (LSU): One and a half, short and lands swiveling, big step back. 9.85
Arenas (LSU): Bit of leg sep but her usual huge FTY, hop back.
Edwards (LSU): One and a half good, decent sized step forward.
Johnson (LSU): DTY, high and pretty
Bryant (LSU): Baby hop back on the front pike 1/2, pretty much her average vault.
Meyer (USU): Jaeger to overshoot, bit of form, blind full double back stuck.
Gutierrez (USU): Okay Jaeger, double layout stuck DEAD.
Jackson (USU): Half turn to Tkachev to overshoot, FTDB with chest down and a big step forward.
Brooks (USU): Missed her Tkachev twice in a row the same way, flung way out and didn’t get her fingers on the bar at least a bit.
Varnadore (USU): Maloney to bail, soft knees on the backswing, blind full double back with a tiny hop.
Stauffacher (UA): Kathy loves the side split mount. That’s about all I caught but it was a solid hit.
Herry (UA): Full turn, BHS LOSO lovely. Side somi, arm swing, straddle straddle half with a check. One and a half twist stuck.
Deets (UA): BHS LOSO, one shoulder is leaning back and she has to swim a bit to get back in line, major bend check on mixed series.
Castles (UA): BHS LOSO, switch split, check on front aerial, wolf turn. Got the dismount, in business.
Linton (UA): Double wolf, triple series, nailing it. Switch split, side aerial back full. Stuck the dismount and started crying in what I assume is a happy way because that was freaking fantastic.
Albores (UK): Front lay front full, good double pike.
Angeny (UK): Good double pike, one and a half front lay a touch low but nothing concerning. Knees down on her double tuck.
Worley (UK): Great landing on the full in. Switch ring switch side, front full front lay landed really securely. Double pike, whoa, tried to avoid going out and ended up doing basically a
After 3: Kentucky 147.775, LSU 147.575, Utah State 147.225, Arizona 146.750
Rotation 4: Kentucky VT, LSU UB, Utah State BB, Arizona FX
Bunn (UK): FTY, short with a hop forward.
Magnelli (UK): FHS pike half, way bigger than her usual and twisting early, hop back.
Nixon (UK): Huge FTY, hop back.
Johnson (LSU): Maloney to bail, arch on the high bar, double lay planted.
Brock (LSU): Over on a cast handstand and fall. Tkachev, FTDB with a step back.
Dunne (LSU): Tkachev to Pak. DLO with a step back.
Bryant (LSU): Blind to Jaeger, slightly awkward catch but makes it, good bail. Blind to double front with a step.
Shchennikova (LSU): Ray to Pak. Shy on a high bar handstand. Double layout awful but nearly stuck.
Durante (LSU): Jaeger, messy catch, solid Pak, arch on a handstand, FTDB stuck. That’ll do it for LSU.
Brooks (USU): Front aerial BHS BHS is gorgeous, great extension. Korbut to backward roll.
Dittmar (USU): Fall on the dismount.
DeHarde (USU): Good series, pike jump split 3/4 great. Cartwheel gainer full.
Bayles (USU): Front aerial BHS BHS, chaotic.
Horton (UA): One and a half front full. Front full front pike. Rudi, bounce and a few steps back.
Castles (UA): Two and a half punch front. One and a half through double twist. Really good one.
Hargrove (UAL) Pulls the front foot back on her full in, whup half front full also a bit overcooked.
Roland (Temple): Double back, great control. Tour jete half Popa. Front lay front full awkward but gets it to her feet. Double back very low, just avoided putting her feet down.
Leary (Temple): Front lay to Rudi. Super control on her double back.
FINAL: Kentucky 197.175, LSU 197.025
Tigers survived drama on several events and Haleigh Bryant recovered from a nightmare start. Arizona and Utah State also produced great totals despite some mistakes. Arizona in particular counted a fall and still cracked 196.000. It’s hard not to wonder what could have been for the Wildcats if their full lineups had come together a little earlier in the season.
Wondering how individuals make nationals? Read up on the complicated process here.
Live blog by Rebecca Scally
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