LIVE BLOG: Elevate The Stage Toledo with No. 6 Michigan, No. 10 Denver, No. 37 Utah State and No. 38 Bowling Green

It’s time for Elevate part two, and this should be a good one! Michigan and Denver come into this meet in very similar situations. Both teams are without a star (Olivia Karas for Michigan and likely still Lynzee Brown for Denver) and are attempting to navigate lineups. The Wolverines need hits from Paige Zaziski, who can show nerves and get sloppy under pressure, and Emma McLean, who competed in the all around for the first time in 2018 last week and had an utter meltdown on bars—an event where she is prone to sub-9.0 (and even sub-8.0) scores. Denver is also relying on the strengths of standouts: Hits from Maddie Karr and Nikole Addison can propel the Pioneers past Michigan if the Wolverines start showing cracks. Denver absolutely needs to hit, though, as the team has continued to put up only five routines on vault and floor, which is a dangerous game to play, especially on podium.

Utah State and Bowling Green will battle for third, and it will likely be close. The Aggies need to shake off a rough outing last week that featured a disaster bar rotation, and Bowling Green will be looking to continue improving week after week to notch a big road score and put itself into the regionals picture.

Keep an eye on the all around battle. Michigan could put up any of these three all arounders—Brianna Brown, McLean and Paige Zaziski—all of whom are capable of a huge total with a hit meet. If she is ready, Denver’s Brown is also an all around threat, as is Karr. Bowling Green’s Jovannah East added bars last week to notch a 39.4 total, so she is also in the mix. Don’t count out the possibility of a perfect score, either: McLean has been close on floor, as has Karr on vault.

A note about the plan for tonight: Elevate (usually!) features a stream of each event. I’ll do my best to get you every routine I see, assuming all streams cooperate. Priority given to Michigan and Denver, but I’ll get you as many Utah State and Bowling Green routines as possible as well. Both teams have some real gems we won’t want to miss!

I’ve preloaded expected lineups to make the four stream circus go as smoothly as possible, but note that the lineups are subject (and likely) to change as we go.

Injury report: Lauren Farley (UM) is questionable; she was pulled from lineups without explanation last weekend. She has been seen in heavy ankle tape. Lynzee Brown (DU) is also questionable; she is working back from an ankle injury and has been seen out of a boot and training bars. While we could see her there, she is unlikely on leg events at this point. Randi Morris (BGSU) is out; she recently underwent an unknown surgery.

Notably, Farley is still out and McLean is not on floor in Michigan’s projected lineups. Michigan will put five up on floor.

Flo is periodically kicking me out of one event stream at a time, which will be a fun addition to the four event madness! If I have to drop to three, I’ll probably lose vault, so if that happens, you know why ahead of time!

So a full six for Denver on all four! And this will be Maggie O’Hara’s collegiate debut, as well as our first look at Polina Shchennikova on floor. Have to wonder what is happening with McLean, though.

In classic non-SEC fashion, the meet isn’t actually starting now, just the march in and pre-meet hoopla. We’ll get to the gymnastics eventually.

National Anthem time; we’re close!

Rotation 1: UM vault, DU bars, USU beam, BGSU floor

Lexi Funk (UM): FTY, some crazy legs, hop.

Claire Kern (DU): Hop change, pretty piked Jaeger. Nice landing on the dismount.

Elle Gollison (USU): Bhs loso some knees. Rudi dismount nice landing.

Nacaida Kearns (BGSU): Double pike to start, some feet. Double tuck second pass, good height. Low on punch front out of last pass.

Polina Shchennikova (UM): FTY. Piked a bit, small step.

Mia Sundstrom (DU): Clear hip hand + big Tkatchev. Bail hand pretty. Littly shy last handstand, tiny hop up straight on dlo.

Leighton Vernadore (USU): Bhs loso tiny back leg bend but solid. Switch switch, pretty!

India McPeak (BGSU): Giant step forward and low chest on opening double tuck. Front through to 2.5, some legs in the air but much better landing. Pretty nice routine aside from the opening landing.

Brianna Brown (UM): FTY, crazy knees big step to the side.

Diana Chesnok (DU): Gant full + big tkatchev, some knees. Stuck full-in dismount.

Taylor Dittmar (USU): Bhs loso small wobble. Bhs + bhs 2 feet 1.5 dismount, very cool! Good landing.

Lexi Augustine (BGSU): Front double full to start, some crossed legs but good landing! 1.5 + punch pike, nice. Rudi to end. Solid.

Syd Townsend (UM): Looooong wait. Y1.5, small hop, slightly closed shoulders on the table.

Emily Glynn (DU): Clear hip hand misses handstand + Geinger, some legs.

Autumn DeHarde (USU):  Front aerial + beat, pretty. Straddle 3/4 no problems, nice split position.

Kayla Rose (BGSU): Huge double pike to start, just feet. Follows with big double tuck.

Paige Zaziski (UM): Another long wait. FTY flaired and stuck! Leg sep on table.

Lynzee Brown (DU): Leg sep on Pak, great Maloney. Tiny hop on dlo.

Emily Briones (USU): Hitch + front aerial, nice. Pretty choreo, wobbles on a leap.

Laura Mitchell (BGSU): Double pike nice landing. Really performing. 1.5 + punch lay, nice. High double tuck to end.

Emma McLean (UM): Just the FTY tonight, hop back, not the tightest legs. She looks tired.

Maddie Karr (DU): Giant full + Geinger, huge! Immediate bail. Stuck dlo. Gorgeous throughout.

McKinley Pavicic (USU): Pretty mount! Like her presence on the beam. Bhs loso no trouble. Switch half misses 180. Bhs gainer full off the side, stuck I thin.

Jovannah East (BGSU): 2.5 + punch front, some legs, but sky high. Switch side great split. RO double full side pass! That’s fun! The only side pass I can think of in NCAA. FHS front full front lay, slides out of the lay a bit but covers it well.

After 1: UM: 48.825, DU: 49.35, USU: 48.825, BGSU: 49.1

Well, that’s not how Michigan wanted to start. They were sloppy vaults. Denver, on the other hand, looked great on bars. Good amplitude on single bar releases and nice landings. Bowling Green was also strong on floor, with mostly clean landings, and Utah State was very steady.

USU’s score was just raised to 48.875, leaving Michigan alone in last.

Rotation 2: BGSU vault, UM bars, DU beam, USU floor

Kearns (BGSU): Low FTY, big step.

Townsend (UM): Great first handstand . Shaposh + bail hand. Giant full + double tuck, tiny hop. Good start.

Nikole Addison (DU): Bhs loso, solid. One of the prettiest side somis. Stuck dismount.

Leighton Vernadore (USU): Double tuck to open, followed by a low double pike. Little crazy legs last pass.

Shannon Goniwiecha (BGSU): Fine FTY, big step.

Funk (UM): Huge Tkatchev. Stuck dlo.

Chesnok (DU): Split + sheep, pretty. Wobbles on full turn.

Briones (USU): Opens with cowboy-ed double tuck. Really performes well.

Katie Morsefield (BGSU): Fty, huge step back but nice in the air. She must have fallen and I missed it? Seeing a 9.2 and a 9.3

Shchennikova (UM): Big Shaposh, some leg sep. Pak nice. Stuck double tuck.

Glynn (DU): Bhs loso, and she falls. 

Faith Leary (USU): Switch side + popa pretty.

Lauren DeMeno (BGSU): FTY small hop.

Zaziski (UM): Big Tkatchev. Bail hand nice. Toe shoot dlo stuck. UM is coming back.

Sundstrom (DU): Switch + switch half nice. She’s solid. Bhs loso no problems, small hop on gainer pike.

DeHarde (USU): Front lay rudi little low. Double tuck to end, good landing and height.

East (BGSU): Huge 1.5, some knees, great landing.

Brown (UM): Tkatchev, nice. STuck dlo.

Karr (DU): Very long wait. Side aerial bhs pretty! Side somi no problems. Beat + split full, barely gets it around chest drops but saves it. Stuck rudi good recovery.

Ward (USU): Full in to open, travels out more than up but stays in and lands well. 1.5 front lay really floaty! Pike half shushenova I LOVE IT. Nice double pike to end.

Mitchell (BGSU): Ylay, pretty body position.

Marinez (UM): Big Tkatchev, loose in the bail hand. Small hop forward on the dlo.

Kaitlyn Schou (DU): Front aerial bhs loso, tiny bobble before the bhs but keeps connection. Bhs gainer full off the side stuck. Pretty lines!

Mikaela Meyer (USU): Huge double pike. In the rafters. Fhs rudi loso love that pass. missed first jump + popa, really floated the popa. This is a great routine. Fhs rudi sushenova. Two shushenovas in a row we’re spoiled here! Really great way to close the rotation.

Looks like UM’s rotation 1 score was raised to 48.875 while we weren’t looking. Bev Plocki was having none of being fourth, I suppose.

Rotation 2 totals: UM: 49.2, DU: 49.025, USU: 49.075, BGSU: 48.5

After 2: UM: 98.075, DU: 98.375, USU: 97.95, BGSU: 97.6

Michigan made up some ground with big amplitude and great landings, but Denver also was rock solid on beam. Michigan still has work to do to catch the Pioneers who are on a roll. Utah State is also bringing a lot to this meet; the Aggies look strong halfway through, and could catch Michigan if they keep it up! Bowling Green was pretty sloppy on vault, and had to count the Ylay because of a fall. Onward!

Rotation 3: USU vault, BGSU bars, UM beam, DU floor

DeHarde (USU): FTY, little pikey and loose.

Leslie Delgado (BGSU): Short first handstand + geinger, nice. Pretty toe shoot.

Funk (UM): Bhs loso completely solid, danced right into it. Switch straddle half + pike, pretty, stuck dismount. some feet.

Sundstrom (DU): Opens nice double tuck. Lands low on front full in combo pass but stays on her feet. Tour jete half + wolf half, little loose.

MaKayla Bullitt (USU): FTY crazy legs on the table doesn’t get much distance.

Grace Logan (BGSU): Legs on Maloney. Short last handstand, step on double tuck.

Zaziski (UM): Cat + switch side, nice. Bhs loso tiny bobble.

Glynn (DU): Nice double pike. Pretty split positions and toes. Solid combo pass. Fun choreo. Double tuck, toes.

Elle Golison (USU): FTY big step back.

DeMeno (BGSU): Front giant + Jaeger, toes and knees.  Hop on double pike, really just messy legs throughout.

Brown (UM): Nice front aerial. Good landing on 1.5.

Schou (DU): Closes with a pretty rudi + split!

Leary (USU): FTY, nice height, step back.

Augustine (BGSU): Giant full + double tuck, knees down.

Shchennikova (UM): Gorgeous toes as always, press mount. Y turn, leg a little low. Bhs loso, small wobble. Nice landing on dismount.

Karr (DU): Double pike, little low but great landing. 1.5 + front full nice. Tour jete half + split full, good.

Ward (USU): FTY, little piked, nice otherwise.

East (BGSU): CRAZY legs on bail, stuck dlo.

Marinez (UM): Bhs loso, slightly off line but saves it.  Split half big bobble. RO double full stuck. Good way to finish. Fhs rudi, nailed.

Addison (DU): Double lay, huge leg sep, but good height. 1.5 punch lay, nice, sort of big step forward but controlled it. Switch side + popa, split looked fine. Double pike, keeps it too open and hops forward out.

Meyer (USU): FTY, nice control, small step.

Mitchell (BGSU): Short first handstand. Toe hand + tkatchev between the bars, nice. tiny shuffle on double tuck.

Maggie O’Hara (UM): This is her collegiate debut! Side aerial bhs, big knee bend between but keeps connection. Off on a front aerial. This doesn’t look like a first routine though! Double stag + split, gorgeous. Side aerial + full. Nice routine for her debut.

Claire Kern (DU): Opens with a double pike, some knees and toes, and she bounces out of it. Huge smile on her face! Double tuck, much much better. Front lay front full, little archy, but good landing. GUYS DU put up six floor routines. Hooray!

Rotation 3 totals: UM: 49.225, DU: 49.2, USU: 48.75, BGSU: 48.2

After 3: UM: 147.3, DU: 147.575, USU: 146.9, BGSU: 145.8

Well! This is not where we expected to be after three. Utah State is having an excellent meet. Michigan continues to claw closer to Denver, but the Wolverines may have given too much up on vault to catch up. That said, vault scoring has been tight, and that’s where the Pioneers find themselves now. This could be a nailbiter!

Rotation 4: DU vault, USU bars, BGSU beam, UM floor

Chesnok (DU): FTY, stuck! What a leadoff.

Leighton Vernadore (USU): Double pike dismount! Very cool, and sutck.

Kearns (BGSU): Solid bhs loso. Nice standing loso. Handstand down to shoulder stand. This routine is packed with fun details.

Townsend (UM): Opens with a front through to a double tuck, some feet. short on a split. Double pike, deep knee bend. Whip double full.

Sundstrom (DU): FTY, some loose body, good landing.

Bullitt (USU): Jaeger, some knees. Bail hand nice. Stuck dlo.

Julia Beyer (BGSU): Front toss, little wobble, beat jump. Long pause. Standing loso stuck full! These beam routines are awesome.

Funk (UM): She was not in place when her music started, but seems to catch up fine? Maybe my stream is off. Big double pike. Switch side popa, nice toes! Front full front lay nice.

Schou (DU): FTY, piked big hop back.

Ward (USU): Big but sloppy piked Jaeger + bail. Nailed FTDB.

Augustine (BGSU): Bhs loso solid. Switch + split full, shy of 180. Bobbles full turn.

Brown (UM): 2.5 to start, nice, big step forward but covers it. Ends with a 1.5 + front lay, nice.

Glynn (DU): Tsuk full, nice, just a step to the side.

Brittany Jeppesen (USU): Big Tkatchev, bail hand nice. Stuck dismount.

Mitchell (BGSU): Backward jump to chest stand mount! YES! Pretty choreo. RO double full, just a step and some knees. Nice routine!

Zaziski (UM): Nice double pike. Front lay front full, little archy but gets it to her feet. Nice double tuck.

Addison (DU): Big FTY, some knees and a small step back. Flared it a bit.

Meyer (USU): Nice first handstand. Just a step on the dismount.

East (BGSU): Bhs loso big wobble but covers it. She POPS that loso up. Tuck full, that’s different. Ro 1.5, just a step back. These BGSU routines are awesome.

Marinez (UM): Fhs front lay rudi, nice. 2.5, steps out of it a little wildly but nice in the air. Double pike lands low, big step forward.

Karr (DU): 1.5 some knees and tries too hard for the stick, has to step back.

McPeak (BGSU): Long long wait. Pretty presence. Love her head and shoulder position as she mounts. Bhs loso some knees on the bhs. Cat + split half not 180. Cat + side aerial, almost falls but stays on! Big error though, bent at the hips. RO double full, nice finish.

Shchennikova (UM): Not sure if we’ll see her or not? Doesn’t look like she’s prepping to go. UM sticking with five. LOL it looks like a UM DU tie. I’m dead.

 FINAL: UM: 196.575, DU: 196.575, USU: 195.325, BGSU: 194.75

Hahahaha. Bet you didn’t think you’d see a tie tonight, but here we are! To be totally honest, it’s a fair representation of the meet. DU and UM are pretty evenly matched teams. DU looked cleaner tonight, but UM had the advantage of Olympic order. Phew! Thanks for sticking with me through the madness!

Event Winners:
VT: Zaziski, 9.925
UB: Glynn, Karr, Zaziski, 9.9
BB: Schou, Brown, 9.9
FX: DeHarde, 9.925
AA: Zaziski, 39.575

Live blog by Emily Minehart 

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