sarah finnegan

LIVE BLOG: No. 19 Arkansas at No. 3 LSU

Ready to start your SEC season? We definitely are! Tonight kicks off SEC inter-conference competition with the Arkansas Razorbacks against the LSU Tigers. We’ll be getting underway at 8 p.m. ET when the broadcast starts, but LSU has already said first vault won’t be until closer to 8:25 for those of you looking to tune in.

Just a quick injury recap for those not in the preseason know: McKenna Kelley has a ruptured Achilles and will be out for the 2018 season, serving a big blow to LSU’s floor lineup and a minor one to the vault lineup, as she was set to regularly compete her new handspring pike half. Both Sami Durante and Lexie Priessman recently had cartilage removed in their knees, so at Gym 101 they only did bars and had to separate their dismounts from the rest of their routines. On the opposing team, Makenzie Anderson of Arkansas was seen in a boot┬álast month, so it’s uncertain what, if anything, we’ll see her do tonight.

And we have lineups from Arkansas!

8:22pm: Okay, folks here we go! Here’s the vault lineup from LSU, and you’ll find all the Arkansas lineups up above.

Interesting to see no Edney in this lineup, and Cannamela so late. Hoping to get some updates on that here soon.

8:28pm: Edney rolled her ankle in practice this week, so she won’t be vaulting tonight.

Macadaeg, VT: Yfull, good distance, decent size step back on the landing.

8:29pm: Yamzon, UB: Tkachev, bail, both good. Tkachev a little low but that’s normal for her. FTDLO dismount, bounce back.

8:30pm: Priessman, VT: only the full tonight, but sticks like she had glue on her feet! Good for her!

Laird, UB: good first handstand, Ray, very easy. Bail a little bit iffy but fine, and a stuck DLO dismount! Great first outing for the freshman.

8:33pm: Edwards, VT: Y1.5, a little funky on the landing, looked like she wasn’t expecting the mat so soon. Her left leg buckled a little? But a solid showing for her.

Garner, UB: Gienger to overshoot, really dynamic, good. Grazed her feet on the ground after the overshoot though, and last handstand was a little under.

8:35pm: Cannamela, VT: Yfull, small hop. Her standard vault, a decent sub for Edney but won’t bring the big scores.

Shaffer, UB: Disappointing fall on her Maloney, unfortunate for her. Glad to see her competing though!

8:36pm: Finnegan, VT: STUCK FULL! Slightly off-center, but really great for her.

Wellick, UB: big wait for the score on Shaffer, but she’s finally about to start here. Shaposh to bail, very clean. Double front dismount, hop forward. That dismount is so hard to stick, ugh. On the handstand graphic, we see her final handstand was a little short too.

8:41pm: Hambrick, VT: Sat her 1.5. Feet were too far out in front of her. This inconsistency on vault cannot be a thing at LSU if they’re going to make a run at the championship again.

Speed, UB: Such an easy, patient swing, lovely. Jaeger, caught a little close. Bail, dead on. Double tuck dismount, good.

LSU should still be ahead after the first rotation, but this is not the margin they should have over Arkansas.

Scores after the first are LSU 49.175, Arkansas 48.65. LSU is working on getting their live scoring link up and working, but of note, Priessman leads vault with a 9.9 and Wellick leads bars with a 9.85.

8:51pm: Rotation 2!

Yamzon, VT: Yfull, big bounce back but good initial distance.

Durante, UB: big Jaeger, good. nice pak, lovely. full in dismount, nice! What a great routine for her college debut!

8:53pm: Rathjen, VT: Yfull, a little close and a buckle in the knees on the landing.

Hambrick, UB: Ray, nice. Bail, dead on as usual. Stuck full in – THIS is the Myia Hambrick that needed to show up today. Good for her for being able to reset.

8:55pm: Shaffer, VT: HUGE bound forward on her Yhalf, and another step out of it. It’s a good place to start but that needs some work.

Harrold, UB: immediate Zuchold out of her Hecht mount, that’s a composition change. Jaeger, nice. Hop change to prep for her dismount. Double front stuck!! Well done.

8:57pm: McGlone, VT: Yfull, a little stutter but I don’t think her feet moved? Much better than the landings before her.

Edney, UB: Hindorff, gorgeous as usual. Bail, straight on, nice. Handstands look good from our angle but hard to see. DLO straight as a rod and STUCK! Glad her ankle survived that.

Wellick, VT: Yfull, a little bit piked but a great first vault back for her. Hop back on the landing.

9:00pm: Priessman, UB: Great first handstand. Floaty Tkachev straight into her pak, better than usual. Nice straight body in her giants, and a little baby bounce back on her DLO dismount. Very nice.

9:01pm: Speed, VT: Great height on her full, not as much on the distance, but a hard stick! They needed that score.

Finnegan, UB: Great first handstand, nice. Lovely Ray, though maybe not as much height as she usually gets? Bail is textbook. DLO dismount and stuck as well! That’s how you reset after a rough rotation.

All of LSU’s bars scores were higher than Arkansas’s, giving them a 49.6.

LSU is at 98.775 and Arkansas at 97.55, after two rotations.

9:11pm: Rotation 3!

Macadaeg, BB: Looking beautiful and steady as usual, lovely extension, everything dead on – and I say that, and then she bobbles on the end of her series, yikes. She stays on though and doesn’t wave around too wildly. A little wonky on the dismount too, a little hop on her gainer full.

9:12pm: Yamzon, FX: Double tuck, good pop and a decent landing. Second pass is double pike, also good. Combo pass last, solid, dances out of it. A great lead off for her!

9:14pm: Hambrick, BB: Hitchkick to side aerial, steady. Switch leap to straddle quarter, maybe a little bit short on the straddle? Bhs loso, straight on. Good hit for her.

9:16pm: Bargiacchi, FX: Good to see her tumbling so strong again! Decent split positions on her dance elements, maybe a little short on the popa. Last pass, solid. Back spin, that’s fun. Another good hit for Arkansas!

9:19pm: Cannamela, BB: Big balance check on her full turn right off the bat. Bhs loso and she’s off. Switch leap to straddle quarter, fine. Loso, bobble again, into the beat jump. 1.5 twist dismount, fine. They’ll want to drop this one.

9:20pm: Garner, FX: Double pike, good! Great positions on her dance elements. Front lay to front full, and she sits it. I think only a two-pass routine? That won’t do them any favors.

9:23pm: Desiderio, BB: Yay! Excited to see her! Front aerial to split jump, nice. Bhs loso, solid. Switch leap to switch half to beat jump, a little scary through there but covers well. Gainer full, excellent! Showing really great maturity to not let the nerves get her after Cannamela’s fall.

9:24pm: Burton, FX: Our first look at Burton today, she’s supposedly fully healthy now, so that’s good. Big double pike to open this little Charleston-y routine. Front full to front layout, good. Double tuck stuck cold, excellent! Glad to see that she’s got the stamina back too.

9:28pm: Campbell, BB: Front aerial to bhs series, she’ll need some more bonus then to cover that. Back tuck to split jump, bobble. Misses the connection between switch and switch half, might lose some SV for that, we’ll see.

9:30pm: Shaffer, FX: Double pike to kick it off, nice and high. Double tuck on second pass, heel goes OOB. Some fun floor acro/flexibility showing off, cool. 1.5 twist to front lay, good. Good to see her mostly hit everything after some mistakes earlier in the night.

9:32pm: Finnegan, BB: Bhs loso, perfecly balancced. Switch leap to switch half, lovely extension. Looked a little wonky on the side somi takeoff but she landed it fine. Side aerial to back full, good. Quick and efficient beam work from Finney, should be a good score.

9:34pm: Carter, FX: Another of Arkansas’s freshmen coming in to bring the depth, excellent. 2.5 twist to open, lovely form but a little too much energy there. OOB on her second pass, a double pike. Choreo is fun but will need more energy to play well in these big SEC arenas. 1.5 twist to front layout, good. Will drop the fall from Garner but won’t be a high rotation score for the Gymbacks.

After the third, LSU is leading 147.825 to Arkansas’s 146.2.

9:44pm: Rotation 4!

Yamzon, BB: Cat leap to switch side, good. Triple series, really solid! I missed something, my feed skipped? They said something about a miss, but she got a 9.825, so good!

9:46pm: Kirby, FX: Double pike to open, good. Double tuck second pass, very nice. She has way more energy here than she did at Gym 101, this is good to see. Switch side to popa, good but not the strongest straddle positions. Front lay to front full, good. Much better than I expected!

9:48pm: Laird, BB: Ooooh, lovely mount! Solid on the series, good. She’s showing early shades of beam queen, Arkansas needs one of those. A little low on the gainer full and a little bounce, but great first beam routine for her!

9:50pm: Macadaeg, FX: Double tuck, big lunge back but solid. Front lay, front full, stag jump a little out of control but she ran with it. Lovely splits on her dance elements. I love this music for her, very elegant and a little bit of drama. Double pike a little bit short, but she covered decently. I love that routine! Awesome to see her in three events tonight.

9:52pm: Wellick, BB: Switch leap to straddle quarter, good. Side somi, little check. Bhs loso, a little balance check but she covers like a pro. Front aerial, straight on. Reverse gainer front full to dismount. Three events back already, I’m so here for her comeback season if this is what it looks like.

9:54pm: Harrold, FX: Front double full, too much power and goes out of bounds. Double tuck, nice and high. A little tight on her switch half, but I’m loving the energy in her dance. 1.5 twist to front full, good. Great performance, especially for a last-minute substitution.

9:56pm: Carter, BB: Bhs loso series, good. Split to sheep, good positions. Not the best sheep but not atrocious. Side aerial to back full dismount, a little hop back. This freshman class is going to be so key for Arkansas.

9:58pm: Edwards, FX: Surprise front double full! Wow! This is like a musicals medley and I’m kind of in love with it. Missed her middle pass, but last was a front layout-front full, and she hit everything! She is going to be the sleeper hit of this class for sure.

10:00pm: Burton, BB: Front aerial, good. Bhs loso, big break at the hips but stays on. Switch leap, break. Split jump to sheep, good. Gainer full dismount, good. Not quite the triumphant score they needed but not a fall.

10:02pm: Finnegan, FX: 1.5 through to 2.5, really nice landing. Big double tuck, great control on the landing. A different sort of music for her this year, a little more mysterious and maybe a little more sassy. Great extension in her dance elements as always. Big double pike, really deep on the landing but her feet did NOT move. What a great AA night for her! I believe that’s the title for her? Official word to come.

10:04pm: Shaffer, BB: Bhs loso, really straight on, good! Side aerial, big balance check but stays on. It’s really just nerves for her tonight, she looks like she has the foundations to be a great all arounder. Tucked 1.5 dismount, a good hit for her.

10:06pm: Hambrick, FX: I believe she only needs a 9.8 for LSU to break 197 tonight? We’ll see. Great DLO, super high. Love that. 2.5 to front tuck for her second pass, doesn’t travel with it like she normally does but still good. Loving the brass in her music! Double pike to close, and that should do it! Great fight to bring it back after her initial fall on vault.

Final Score: 197.1 to 195.35, LSU wins! Sarah Finnegan also scores a career-high all around score with a 39.65!

That’ll do it for us tonight! Don’t miss the rest of our liveblogs for Week One and come back every week for widespread gymnastics coverage throughout the country!

Live blog by Caroline Medley

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