It would be an understatement to say that this one is a little lopsided. Kentucky has held a spot in the top 10 the entire season and has clinched a spot in the night session of the SEC championship. Vault is a question; the Wildcats can get a little too 9.7-y there for comfort. The big problem, though, continues to be beam. The team has had one beam fall (two of them by Alaina Kwan) in each of the last three meets. Maximizing scoring potential means eliminating that weekly mistake, something Kentucky will want cleaned up by SECs for sure.
For Illinois State, this year has been a challenge. A very big, very young roster has meant playing with lineups throughout the season. The team is led by all arounder and floor standout Gabrielle Cooke and a strong bar set from Anna Marema. Savannah Remkus is a capable freshman, especially on beam and floor, but she has been plagued by inconsistency. At the State of Illinois Classic Sunday against Illinois, UIC and Northern Illinois, the Rebirds struggled from top to bottom and posted a season-low 188.550. The team will look to get back to 193.000 pace before the MIC championship next week. DII Lindenwood is dominating the MIC conversation with its huge 196.400 last week. Illinois State won’t get that high, but staying relevant means at least getting close to 193 mark.
— Kentucky Gymnastics (@UKGymnastics) March 14, 2018
The broadcast is underway! Here we go! Illinois State is hosting in its bigger venue, Redbird Arena. We’ll see what kind of crowd they get on a Wednesday.
Rotation 1: Illinois State vault, Kentucky bars
Megan Knoernschild (Ill. St.): Ylay, nice in the air, just a bit piked at the end. 9.525
Katie Carlisle (Ky): Blind + Jaeger some toes. Bail hand little short. Great last handstand. Full in, stuck. 9.825
Kylie Meyer (Ill. St.): Ylay, again great body. Less pike, but a medium step back. 9.575
Ella Warren (Ky.): Blind + huge Jaeger, clear hip hand + bail hand, nice. DLO, very hollow, tiny step back.
Mary Kate Bihary (Ill. St.): Tucked FTY, bounces back out of it maybe four steps, twisted too early. 9.575
Katie Stuart (Ky.): Tkatchev, sort of wild body into it. Clear hip hand + bail hand. Little shy last handstand. FTDLO step forward. 9.775
Savannah Remkus (Ill. St.): FTY, upgrade from a Ylay. Knees, a little piked. 9.725
Katrina Coca (Ky.): Blind + Jaeger, little low. Bail hand, little off and hops on her hands, but small error. Full in, small hop forward. 9.85
Meredith LaRoch (Ill St.): FTY, hop back. 9.65
Alex Hyland (Ky.): Giant full + Geinger, leg sep on the catch, Bail hand a touch shy. Toe shoot. Full in, feet shuffle back. Not getting these landings. 9.8
Gabrielle Cooke (Ill. St.): FTY, piked it down and small hop. Best vault by far. 9.825
Mollie Korth (Ky.): Blind + piked Jaeger, and she falls. Just a bit far out. Bail hand, nice. FTDL, small hop straight up. 9.175
Rotation 1: Illinois State: 48.35, Kentucky: 49.075
Well. Not great for either team. Kentucky will not be thrilled with those hoppy landings this late in the season. Hopping that much at SECs next week will be a problem. For Illinois State, the low YLay start values are killer. The Redbirds also have some work to do on piking vaults down. That said, its a solid start for this team.
Looks like quite a few Kentucky fans made the shortish trip to Normal for this one. Lots of blue in the stands!
Rotation 2: Illinois State bars, Kentucky vault
Sidney Dukes (Ky.): Yhalf, little off line and biggish step forward. Moves the back foot as well. 9.75, got her on moving the second foot I’d guess.
Jessica Rothman (Ill. St.): Tkatchev, little low. Clear hip hand nice bail hand, little loose. Giant full big form break + double tuck, nice landing. 9.6
Danaea Davis (Ky.): FTY, some knees, big distance and a hop back. 9.775
Marissa Piper (Ill. St.): Giant half, Geinger, rough feet. Bail, crazy form. Little shy last handstand. DLO crazy legs. Rough but survived. 9.525
Aubree Rosa (Ky.): FTY twisted early. Some leg sep and a step back. 9.7 these feel a little tight.
Katherine Locher (Ill. St.): Tkatchev, nicest release for them yet. Giant full some form. Bail. Little shy last handstand. Giant full lands right on top + double tuck, stuck. Rough toes throughout. 9.7
Hyland (Ky.): FTY, very pretty. Just a small step. 9.8
Cooke (Ill. St.): Shaposh, bail hand little loose. Giant full some arm bend + double tuck. 9.65, hit on looseness throughout.
Stuart (Ky.): FTY, best yet. Just small foot shuffle. 9.825
Alyssa Wiggle (Ill. St.): NICE first handstand. Giant full rough form + Geinger legs. Bail. Giant full really falls out of it + double tuck, step back. 9.625
Korth (Ky.): Y1.5, tries for the stick and has to step back. 9.825, that’s a tight score.
Anna Marema (Ill. St.): Aw, her father just passed away this month and today is his birthday. Hect mount. Clear hip hand + Deltchev, nice, some legs. Nice bail hand. Full in, low chest and steps forward. Nice routine. 9.725
Rotation 2: Illinois State: 48.3, Kentucky, 48.95
After 2: Illinois State: 96.65, Kentucky: 98.05
The vault scores felt tight. Kentucky is still not finding landings, but overall based on the scores we saw earlier, I thought a few of those could go higher. The Wildcats NEED to think about landings before next week. Illinois State has some nice bars work, just really loose and a lack of attention to form kept that score down.
Rotation 3: Illinois State beam, Kentucky floor
Wiggle (Ill. St.): Bhs loso some form on the bhs but very secure. Switch + straddle 3/4, nice split positions. Hitch + side aerial, slightly off in the shoulders. Gainer pike off the end, medium step forward. 9.725
Hailey Poland (Ky.): Punch front + fhs + rudi, very cool combo. Cartwheel loso. Fhs double full, some legs but pulls it around. Switch side + popa doesnt’ quite get the popa rotation. Nice leadoff. 9.8
Marie Priest (Ill. St.): HEADSTAND MOUNT I’M OBSESSED. Bhs loso, and she’s off. Fell last week too. Switch + switch side solid. Beat + wolf. Side aerial + tucked full great landing. Good recovery. 9.2
Warren (Ky.): FHS double full really pretty twist easily around. Great pass. Switch side + popa fine. FHS rudi loso nice. Fhs front full front lay, hops forward. Loooooong pause before that pass. 9.85
Cooke (Ill. St.): Pretty pretty lines and extension. Switch + double stag tiny bobble. 1.5 ATTITUDE TURN. Big wobble, chest down. BUT THAT TURN. Cat + front toss, off line but doesn’t wobble. Bhs loso medium wobble. Gainer full off the side stuck. That is a COOL routine. 9.6, ahh those wobbles.
Cori Rechenmacher (Ky.): Front through to double tuck, fine landing. Chest maybe a touch low. Switch ring + tour jete + split half. Not super engaging choreo. Double pike, lunges forward instead of back. Fine, not spectacular. 9.6
Cameron Topp (Ill. St.): Bhs loso picks foot up but stays on. Switch + switch side breaks at hips. Side aerial another bobble. Sissone + gainer pike, good landing. Pretty, just wobbly. 9.55
Hyland (Ky.): Now we’re getting some performance quality! Double pike, big!, great landing. Tour jete half + wolf full, nice. 1.5 front lay, nice. Solid. 9.825
Remkus (Ill. St.): Bhs loso. She moves with great confidence. Switch + straddle 3/4 tiny wobble. Side somi, drops chest. Moon walk. Tucked front full, big hop sideways. Not bad. Most attacked routine yet. 9.7
Dukes (Ky.): Double pike, no problems. Switch ring pretty! + missed the second jump because that RING position. FHS front full front lay solid. Random front aerial. Double tuck, not the best of her landings but not bad. 9.875, yep.
Meyer (Ill. St.): Bhs loso, pretty, small wobble. Switch + switch side misses the splits just slightly. Beat + loso, really nice. Small bobble on full turn. Cartwheel. ? Didn’t connect to dismount maybe. Gainer pike step forward. 9.75
Korth (Ky.): Instantly smirking. Double tuck, solid landing. Tour jete half popa, little off balance in the air on both but no problems with splits or landings. FHS rudi loso, nice. Double pike, lands chest quite low. Just that last landing. 9.9
Rotation 3: Illinois State 48.325, Kentucky 49.25
After 3: Illinois State 144.975, Kentucky 147.325
Ah that was frustrating to watch for Illinois State because the team has all the pieces of a GREAT beam rotation, it just got wobbly! Some really excellent creativity. It is notable that after three falls last meet they had none today; good comeback. Kentucky was good on floor, but not stellar. The scores seemed fair. Good tumbling, good landings, just missing some of the dynamic performance we expect of the top ten.
Rotation 4: Illinois State floor, Kentucky beam
Stuart (Ky.): Pretty chest stand mount. Switch + double stag doesn’t reallyyyy get her head back. Bhs loso, totally off line and she falls. Bent arms in the bhs as well. Cat + side aerial + tucked full, she’s so off lands off the landing mat and walks out of it. Really upset. 9.0
Wiggle (Ill. St.): Double pike, several steps back, maybe 3? Team yells “WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE” ! Missed jumps because I was so amused. 1.5 punch front barely gets the front off the ground but stays on her feet. Double tuck, great landing. 9.625
Warren (Ky.): Side aerial bhs, nice. Switch, secure. She is very calm. RO 1.5, stuck. Very nice. 9.2? Did she miss something??? Hmm. Didn’t connect the switch to anything.
Piper (Ill. St.): Wolf 1.5 barely around. Rudi, nice. Front lay + punch pike, no problems. Switch side popa, some feet. 1.5 punch front, feet out of frame so couldn’t see the landing. 9.5
Poland (Ky.): Bhs bhs loso, no problems. One armed fhs very cool. Switch + double stag. Gainer pike great height fights and gets the stick. 9.875
Priest (Ill. St.): Double pike, lands low but nice. Switch side popa. FHS rudi doesn’t quite get the rotation. FHS front lay front full almost steps out but keeps it in. 9.525
Korth (Ky.): One arm bhs loso, tiniest check. Cat + switch + back tuck solid. Little wobble on choreo, probably .1. RO double full, great landing. 9.875
Brianna Barrett (Ill. St.): Double pike, steps forward rather than back. Front lay front lay, very archy and leg sep. Switch side wolf full, wild wolf position. 1.5 punch front, not a great tuck position but good landing. 9.475
Dukes (Ky.): Bhs loso, solid. Front aerial little wobble, maybe missed a connection? Switch + straddle 1/4, nice. RO 1.5, stuck. Great landing. 9.875
Remkus (Ill. St.): Great smile from the start. Double tuck, high, huge lunge out. Switch + double stag. Wolf 1.5 really short. That jump is just not a great look for anyone. 1.5 punch front, solid. Front lay front full, some rough form.
Hyland (Ky.): Switch + split, great positions. Cat + front aerial, bobbles but covers it. Bhs loso secure. Cat + side aerial + tucked full. Nice. 9.875
Cooke (Ill. St.): Double tuck huge, slightly uncontrolled lunge. 1.5 attitude turn + full turn. Switch ring + tour jete full nice. Just gorgeous, creative dance! Whip double full, pretty. FHS rudi double stag, little tight in the jump. Really fun, exciting routine! 9.825
FINAL: Illinois State 193.1, Kentucky 196.025
Scores were pretty accurate here; definitely strict, but I really only have questions about the first few Kentucky vault scores. The Redbirds will be happy with this one! Great recovery from the rough previous meet, and counting no falls is a win. Kentucky will be less pleased. The Wildcats hopped on vault and bars and that missed connection from Warren hurt beam after the leadoff fall. Lots of mental work to do before SECs next week.
VT: Cooke, Stuart, Korth, 9.825
UB: Coca, 9.85
BB: Poland, Korth, Dukes, Hyland, 9.875
FX: Dukes, 9.9
AA: Hyland, 39.35
Live blog by Emily Minehart