The UCLA Bruins are the favorite for the Pac-12 title in 2018 but not particularly overwhelmingly; Utah is ranked only one place lower in national rankings and has a comparable high score, so it should be an exciting meet. Washington and Cal will be targeting Oregon State for third place, and they’re matched equally closely, with consistency favoring the Huskies but the Bears having the slightly higher ceiling.
Okay, I’m starting from behind because instead of gymnastics, Pac-12 Arizona was a bunch of guys talking about football.
— UCLA Gymnastics (@uclagymnastics) March 25, 2018
Scores to beat:
- Team – OSU 196.575
- VT: Cairo Leonard-Baker, Elizabeth Price 9.90
- UB: Price 9.975
- BB: Victoria Ortiz, Ashley Szafranski, Destinee Davis 9.875
- FX: Price 9.95
- AA: Price 39.65
ROTATION 1: UCLA VAULT, UTAH BARS, CAL BEAM, WASHINGTON FLOOR
MERRELL-GILES – UTAH: Deltchev, solid bail. Stalder to double back stuck.
GEORGE – CAL: Something to front aerial with a check. Flic loso with a lean, Rudi dismount with a step back.
ROBERSON – UW: 2/1, big lunge out. Rudi-LOSO is beautiful, deep on double back and rebounds forward a little
TRATZ – UCLA: FTY, great direction, little hop back.
REINSTADTLER – UTAH: Toe 1/2 to Jaeger, leg flicker on bail, full in dismount stuck.
KEELEN – CAL: Full turn, flic loso nice and steady. Switch split, front aerial to split is good. 3/2 dismount has big distance, hops forward.
SCHAEFER – UW: Double back, big lunge. Front full front lay double stag, super precise! Switch ring tour jete 1/2, double pike.
ROSS – UCLA: They need to start sticking. Oh, perfect, stuck that one. You guys all know what this vault looks like already. She was smiling from the block pretty much.
LEE – UTAH: Blind change to Jaeger, caught close, to overshoot with bent arms. Half to half to double back, underrotated with a hop.
GALLARZO – CAL: Full turn is pretty, front aerial flic loso with a little adjustment. Switch split is good, hop on dismount.
HOFFA – UW: Double pike, lands a bit staggered and lunges out. Tour jete 1/2 wolf 1/1 is good, great double back!
HANO – UCLA: 3/2, nice in the air, small hop forward.
TESSEN – UTAH: Missed her Jaeger, grips not over the bar. Good bail, full in dismount stuck.
WILLIAMS – CAL: Standing front to LOSO with a bit of legs, cat leap switch side – looked tentative in the middle. Gainer full, foot shuffle.
WASHINGTON – UW: Secure landing on the double back, killer straddle split positions. Front lay front full. Double pike just a touch underrotated, steps forward.
HALL – UCLA: Normal slightly crunched body position, really precise landing with a little side hop.
SKINNER – UTAH: Missed first handstand, normal Maloney. Toe on, full in dismount, stuck with leg sep.
SO. SEILNACHT – CAL: Flic loso is good with a bit of knees. Switch double stag beautiful, side aerial back full stuck!
What a rotation for the Bears. Couldn’t have been much cleaner. Liz looks emotional.
BURLESON – UW: Would love a 9.9 here. Double pike, bigger lunge but arrests the momentum with her arms. 3/2 thru 2/1, love that pass. Switch ring wolf full, 2.5 twist with a cross step but works it into the choreo.
CAL 49.4, UTAH 49.3, UCLA 49.275, UW 49.175
Okay, sure, Cal. Not every rotation will have the ceiling of that one but STILL. Utah and UCLA both had some unconvincing moments – yet to be seen if that’s how the whole day will be or if it’s just first rotation wobbles.
ROTATION 2: UW VAULT, UCLA BARS, UTAH BEAM, CAL FLOOR
RILEY – UW: Y arabian, beautiful in the air with a hop straight forward so probably a 9.7 right???!??!?! (it’s a 9.8, thank goodness.)
DENNIS – UCLA: Shap to bail is really nice, great handstand on HB, DLO with a little scoot back.
STOVER – UTAH: Front aerial – wobbles and has to redo. Front aerial bhs is slow, beat to ring with a leg shift, split straddle is great, cartwheel gainer full stuck.
SO. SEILNACHT – CAL: Front lay to Rudi is great, illusion turn, tour jete 1/1. 3/2 barani split punch front is awesome, 3/2 punch front pike is solid!
ROY – UW: Tsuk 1/2 with a step back, but definitely completely rotated.
HONEST – UCLA: Giant Tkachev, blind change to straddle back is solid, full in dismount with a tiny hop but a super clean dismount.
MERRELL-GILES – UTAH: Switch split is good, flic flic loso with some knees. Front aerial to beat is good, pretty full turn. Double full dismount stuck, wow!
ROBINSON – CAL: Double arabian with a foot shuffle, 3/2 front pike. Tour jete 1/1 is good, double pike solid, just has to reach with back foot.
GOINGS – UW: FTY, never the biggest amplitude but stuck DEAD. Basically the most distance I’ve ever seen her get.
MERAZ – UCLA: Toe on to bail, one elbow bent a bit but worked through it. Good Tkachev, just over on a handstand but hangs on, double layout with a shuffle back. She’s improved her legs so much on that dismount.
BURCH – UTAH: Flic loso, front aerial – big check and falls. Switch to straddle 1/4, 3/2 dismount stuck.
GEORGE – CAL: Front lay 2/1 with a bound out, missed the middle pass, best splits ever, beautiful Rudi.
HOFFA – UW: Blocking off the back of the table, massive distance, lands with legs apart to stick.
OHASHI – UW: Great bail. Tkachev the usual, missed a handstand a bit, DLO two steps forward. Underrotated just a touch there.
LEE – UTAH: Full turn, flic loso with a bit of an adjustment. Side aerial is good, switch to straddle 1/4, double twist stuck.
SY. SEILNACHT – UCLA: Double back, big lunge out. Double pike is much more controlled. Beautiful switch ring switch side. Rudi to split is a bit crazy but it works out
COPIAK – UW: FTY, a little underrotated, tiptoes forward
LEE – UCLA: Ray is great, Bhardwaj – can’t catch it straight, crumples and has to recast, Van Leeuwen is fine, DLO with a hop back.
REINSTADTLER – UTAH: Front aerial split is solid. Flic loso, nice and easy, switch straddle 1/4 is wobbly and a bit short of positions, cartwheel gainer full with a hop back.
GALLARZO – CAL: Good double pike, lots of finesse in the performance here. Double back with a little stumble, tour jete 1/2 wolf 1/1, 3/2 front lay is great. Justin’s reactions through these are just goldd.
BURLESON – UW: Beautiful high FTY, pikes down a little and sticks it dead.
ROSS – UCLA: Maloney to bail to toe shoot great, awesome last handstand, stuck dead and she takes a second to absorb it before she salutes. That was amazing. 10 is fine.
SKINNER – UTAH: Side aerial sissone, full turn is great. Hits the straddle jump combo, double back is a little underrotated but holds it with a hop in place.
WILLIAMS – CAL: Double layout is great, beautiful switch side to Popa. front lay front full, steps out quickly but it’s fine. Beautiful landing on the double pike.
UTAH 98.55, CAL 98.475, UCLA 98.425, UW 98.325
Somehow UCLA not that far behind after counting two iffy routines, Cal still holding strong after a weaker event. Washington put together one of its best vault rotations of the year, and it only gets better.
ROTATION 3: CAL VAULT, UW BARS, UCLA BEAM, UTAH FLOOR
KEELEN – CAL: FTY, piked down a bit but stuck.
NELSON – UW: Blind change to Jaeger, nice and pretty – it’s been way close a few times this season. Nailing handstands, full turn to double back STUCK.
G. GLENN – UCLA: No Anna in the lineup today. Front aerial beat with a check, switch switch is great, full turn, bhs gainer full dismount stuck. Good start.
LEWIS – UTAH: Double pike, solid leap series, closing double back and bounds way back.
GALLARZO – CAL: Y arabian, great direction with a hop forward.
GOINGS – UW: Great Jaeger, blind change to straddle back is nice, full in dismount and lands way deep
KOCIAN – UCLA: Wow, my brain is really shorting out now, deep in the seventh hour of liveblogging… not sure how Spencer does this all the time. Um, she had a few wobbles but was overall okay.
LEE – UTAH: This Sail routine is so cool. Literally no one at the media table is watching. 2.5 twist, steps out quickly but it’s fine. Switch to switch ring 1/2, front lay front full done really well. Double full LOSO is beautiful.
SY. SEILNACHT – CAL: FTY, a bit piked with a hop back.
ROBERSON – UW: Cast over pike Jaeger to overshoot is just beautiful. Double layout a bit deep with a hop back.
NGUYEN – UCLA: Full turn is nice, front aerial LOSO great, timing her dance to her music and it’s kind of perfect. Switch split good, split 1/2 nailed – please fix every elite’s side leap – front full nailed. Aw, she’s suuuuper emotional about that.
REINSTADTLER – UTAH: Double back to open, dance in this is some of my favorite. Switch ring tour jete 1/1, 3/2 front lay step to arabesque, double pike nailed.
GEORGE – CAL: Great body position, just a little slide back on FTY.
BURLESON – UW: Gorgeous Tkachev, nice bail. Full turn double back, drilled. That was stunning.
OHASHI – UCLA: Full turn is great, they’ve got MJ playing for her. Aerial flic loso great, switch ring to beat is awesome, flic loso back full stuck!
SOLOSKI – UTAH: DLO, kind of shuffles her back foot into a lunge, switch 1/1 is good. Nice double full, awkward but okay on last landing.
ROBINSON – CAL: Sticks the Ilg. Okay. Wow.
COPIAK – UW: Church to overshoot is great, I… think she hit the low bar with her feet, stuck dismount. Interested to see where she goes wth that.
ROSS – UCLA: Flic loso and BEAMING. Switch ring beat jump is awesome, full turn and a slight lean. Front aerial is great, side aerial back full drilled. Wow.
MERRELL-GILES – UTAH: Pike full in underrotated with a big step forward. 3/2 front lay front pike is great, I think the Facebook group determined that this music is Lindsey Stirling? It’s very catchy. Rudi straddle jump is great. Good one.
WILLIAMS – CAL: Oh, bless. FTY basically stuck, just a tiny foot shift – I love it so much.
RILEY – UW: Toe on to Maloney to bail, beautiful. Rocking handstands, double lay STUCK.
LEE – UCLA: Homma flairs, beautiful. Flic pikeout nailed, double turn in combo nailed. She’s grinning through this whole routine. Side aerial back full, nailed. 10!!
SKINNER – UTAH: L hop good, nailed the double double. Tour jete 1/1 is great, 3/2 thru double full, full in with a bigger lunge but solid.
UCLA 148.025, UTAH 147.875, CAL 147.775, WASHINGTON 147.5
UCLA back in the lead after a very mortal floor rotation from Utah. It’s still close enough to go either way, with Utah going on vault and UCLA for floor.
UTAH VAULT, CAL BARS, UW BEAM, UCLA FLOOR
REINSTADTLER – UTAH: FTY, hop back.
STERNBERG – CAL: Good Tkachev, and then the stream broke.
ROSE – UW: Jump to split, front aerial bhs is lovely. Maybe just the tiniest shift as she sits into her back hip there. Y turn is great, switch to split great. Hitch kick side aerial….. a bit off…. beat jump and works through it without really having to react. Side aerial back full with a little step back.
KOCIAN – UCLA: Front double full is lovely, this routine is really growing on me. 3/2 front lay, slightly awkward landing, switch side Popa if anything a little overrotated. Rudi… supposed to be a double stag but doesn’t quite get it, just kind of kicks one leg up.
LEE – UTAH: Great FTY, good direction with a hop back.
WILLAMS – CAL: Hindorff is great, clear hip to bail I think? double layout with a tiny step.
SCHAEFER – UW: Good front aerial, flic loso great. Split double stag is good, 3/2 dismount stuck.
KRAMER – UW: 2/1 front tuck – stays in bounds today, good control. 3/2 front lay beautiful. Switch side Popa is great. Rudi to straddle lovely. One of her best!
LEWIS – UTAH: FTY with a step back.
KUC – CAL: Short on first handstand, misses her toes on the toe on and comes straight off. Maoney to Pak is good, missed another handstand, full in dismount with chest down and a hop.
COPIAK – UW: Full turn, flic loso really solid. Switch 1/2 to beat jump, a little wonky in the middle but makes it work. Side aerial is great, 3/2 with a little hop to salute. Great!
ROSS – UCLA: A little short on double back with a step forward, 3/2 front lay is awesome, leap series good. I just love Ferraris guys. Nailed double pike.
TESSEN – UTAH: Y3/2, jumps to salute but hangs onto the stick for a second first.
SCHANK – CAL: Toe shoot is huge, blind to pike Jaeger to overshoot, double layout drilled.
GOINGS – UW: Flic flic loso, aggressive and easy. Beat to straddle jump is awesome, nice full turn! Standing LOSO, pops her hip in a tiny lean but doesn’t move anything else. Side aerial back full, nailed.
TRATZ – UCLA: Nails the full in. I’m still so obsessed with this routine. 3/2 front lay is effortless, switch ring tour jete 1/2, great closing double back just a slightly big lunge. SO GOOD. They needed to break into 9.9s and that should do it.
MERRELL-GILES – UTAH: Y3/2 is great, hops back to salute.
GEORGE – CAL: Tkachev is slid, great bail. Toe on to full in and STUCK. Recovering well from Kuc’s error.
ROBERSON – UW: Nailed leap series, good full turn, setting up for the series which Amanda is kind of obsessed with – loso loso with a little lean back check. Cartwheel gainer full with a stick.
HANO – UCLA: Great double lay! All of the vault judges are turned around watching. Great combo pass to running jump, teammates doing the worm chain again. Tour jete 1/2 wolf 1/1 is great, double pike a touch underrotated with a step forward.
SKINNER – UTAH: DTY with two steps back.
WATTERSON – CAL: Last second change to bring Emi in here. Good Pak, toe to van Leeuwen a bit messy, toe full double back stuck!! Massive team hug there, such a great moment.
BURLESON – UW: Front aerial bhs great, tiny adjustment, side aerial to switch leap is great. Straddle straddle 1/4 perfect, full turn is good, side aerial back full stuck.
OHASHI – UCLA: Double lay, nailed. 3/2 front 1/2 to some combination stuff that I usually have memorized but HEY GUYS IT’S BEEN A LONG DAY. The faces in her dance segments are just the best thing. Switch ring switch 1/2 tuck 3/2, 3/2 front 1/2 to split drop.
First shot we get after she finishes is Miss Val turning to give Jo a high five. They’re Pac-12 champions for the second time in five years.
PAC-12 CHAMPION: UCLA 197.5
Obviously not the Bruins’ best day particularly on bars, but finished well enough on the power of the back ends of the beam and floor lineups to hold the Utes off. There’s still some work to do to get bars into postseason shape, and vault landings could have been better, but overall an encouraging day for the Bruins.
#2 UTAH 197.35, #3 CAL 196.95, #4 WASHINGTON 196.75
Utah registered a strong team score despite some wobbles throughout. It finished on vault with by far its strongest event score, and will be doing a lot of detail work as regionals approach. Cal had a great day, and will be pleased with its resilience recovering from the very few errors. Washington also had a fairly tidy day, with just a few hiccups; I wouldn’t be surprised to see some lineup changes for regionals,
PAC-12 INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS:
Vault: MaKenna Merrell-Giles 9.95
Bars: Elizabeth Price, Kyla Ross 9.975
Beam: Peng-Peng Lee 10.0
Floor: Elizabeth Price, Katelyn Ohashi, MyKayla Skinner 9.95
All Around: Kyla Ross, MyKayla Skinner 39.675
Live blog by Rebecca Scally