LIVE BLOG: No. 12 Iowa State at No. 17 Georgia

Who’s ready for some MLK Jr. Day gymnastics?

Iowa State travels south to Athens to take on Georgia. The Cyclones are coming off their first meet of the season at Arizona, where they put up a solid showing. Floor was the main struggle in that meet, as they had to count a couple scores in the 9.6 range. Sydney Converse put up a good showing and is one to watch for; she scored a 9.875 on beam to lead the Cyclones. Natalia Ros Vaquer has a gorgeous bars set that yielded a 9.850 while Sophia Steinmeyer’s Yurchenko one and a half is always a highlight. Makayla Maxwell trained a Yurchenko one and a half in preseason, but it has yet to materialize in competition.

Georgia rebounded from its Critique Classic performance with a 196.150 at home against LSU last week. Don’t let its ranking at this point fool you, though; this team is better than the numbers indicate. If not for a lackluster bars performance, the Gymdogs could have easily upset LSU. That said, bars is the event that Georgia is weakest on, and it is certainly one to keep an eye on. Sabrina Vega has added bars to compete in the all around this season; her debut on the event hasn’t been great, but don’t expect her to make the same mistakes again. The Gymdog freshmen are quietly excelling: Soraya Hawthorne posted a 9.950 on floor last meet, Haley de Jong posted two scores over 9.800 and Amanda Cashman scored a 9.800 on vault and has been seen training a Yurchenko one and a half. Don’t expect to see the upgrade soon, but it is something to watch as the season progresses.

Injury Update: Iowa State senior Molly Russ is out for the season with an unknown injury. Her teammate Sami Strickler was also seen with her arm in a sling. 

Both Haley de Jong and Sterlyn Austin did floor dance throughs after Vega and we could see them in exhibition. Loulie Hattaway is also in the Georgia bars lineup. No word on whose place she’s taking yet.

Kevin Copp is commentating! As well as Georgia alum Sarah Persinger.

Rotation 1: Georgia vault, Iowa State bars

Iowa State’s bars lineup:

Georgia vault lineup:

Cashman VT: nice yfull, some pike down and just a tiny hop. 9.825

Langkamp UB: first handstand awkward, piked jaeger to nice bail to hs; another ok handstand, tad short. nice dlo with a small step. 9.775

Ward VT: tsuk full, nice! Great form and landing. 9.85

Diaz UB: nice first handstand, straddle jaeger, some form; fine bail, solid dlo, tiniest of hops. Nice one. 9.775

Magee VT: nice form on the yfull, good sized hop back. There’s potential there!

Palacios UB: apparently was injured last year. nice first hs; good piked jaeger., bail good, nice next hs, and knees down on dlo. Shame about the dismount. 9.05

Ariana Orrego is taking this season off and deferring to train for the Olympics.

Vega VT: yfull, tiny hop but lots of distance! 9.8

Vega won’t compete bars today.

Burns UB: good first hs; nice Ray, nice next hs, great bail hs, good last hs; stuck ftdlo! That’s the routine you want after a fall. 9.85

Hawthorne VT: yfull, good form, normal sized hop. She’s capable of a DTY, but just a full today. 9.85

Vella-Wright UB: freshman from Australia, because you know Ames, Iowa is just such an international hotbed; Maloney to bail nice! van Leeuwen, good form; stuck ftdt. Great routine! 9.875

Lukacs VT: dty, some crossed legs at the end but a stick. crooked and not the most distance, but still a good vault. 9.875

Ros Vaquer UB: Maloney to pak, good! I love her on bars, so clean and pretty; good hs, stuck double layout with great form! If you didn’t know her before, you do now. 9.925. I believe that’s a career high!

Baumann (exh) VT: yfull, not the best but solid.

Basuel (exh) UB: nice first hs, good straddle jaeger, nice bail to hs nice ftdt, low chest on landing. 9.75

AFTER 1: GEORGIA 49.200, IOWA STATE 49.200

We’re tied after one! That was a solid start for both teams. Georgia will want to hone those landings in in the future, but the potential is certainly there. A nice bars rotation for Iowa State as well; despite the Palacios fall, the Cyclones put up a good total led by Ros Vaquer’s career high 9.925.

Rotation 2: Iowa State vault, Georgia bars

Iowa State vault lineup:

Georgia bars lineup:

Converse VT: Georgia native making her meet debut; leads off with a nice yfull with a tiny hop. 9.8

Lukacs UB: nice tkatchev, nothing special; clear hip; pak good; dlo kind of archy and small hop. 9.75

Palacios VT: yfull, fine landing but practically no distance and piked down. 9.7

Cashman UB: nice first handstand; good tkatchev; bail with some leg sep but nice hs; dlo with a small foot slide. Sarah, that was not a stick.

Turner VT: yfull, good sized hop back. Phoebe, where’s your DTY? We know you have it. 9.8. Ok. because her and Converse were totally the same quality…

Hattaway UB: Georgia native making her home debut; nice first hs; some form on geinger; fine bail; short next hs; dlo, hop back but pretty good form. 9.775

Boychuk VT: yfull, some preflight leg sep, good landing. maybe a tiny pike down but not much. 9.75

Roberts UB: great first hs; nice Maloney to bail; great next hs; dlo, stuck. Nice! 9.925

Steinmeyer VT: nice y1.5, small hop. And they’re acting shocked that ISU has a 10.0SV. She’s been doing this forever, guys. 9.85

de Jong UB: nice first hs; beautiful ray; good bail; nice final hs; dlo, arm circle but pretty good landing. So pretty! 9.875

Maxwell VT: will we see her 1.5? yes! 1.5! stuck. nice! 9.95

Oakley UB: nice first hs; good jaeger, nice next hs; pretty pak; stuck ftdt! good! 9.925

Cooke (exh) VT: fine yfull, nothing special. 9.675

AFTER 2: GEORGIA 98.475, Iowa State 98.350

Both teams on pace for season high totals. Also. Only 0.125 separating these two! The back half of that Georgia bars lineup is excellent when it’s on, and it was on today! Maxwell debuted her 1.5 for Iowa State on vault and it was lovely. They’re still putting up some fulls, but all in all it’s a solid lineup.

Rotation 3: Georgia beam, Iowa State floor

Iowa State floor:

Magee BB: nice straddle; next leap also good; bhs bhs loso, small check; ro 1.5, small hop; that’s a good leadoff. 9.85

Langkamp FX: it took me way to long to realize that they all have the tornado siren in their music; get it? cyclones? whip to double back good; good extension on leaps; lay lay half split solid; double tuck to end, good. 9.85

Lukacs BB: secure front toss; bhs loso, small check; back tuck, another check and doesn’t connect to leap series; ro double tuck, step; another hit. 9.65

Diaz FX: nice opening double tuck; missed the leap but looked good; lay lay full, pretty good; would like to see a little more control on that landing but not bad; ro double pike, good landing! Solid routine. 9.825

de Jong BB: switch split, nice, good extension; front aerial beat jump, good; Persinger just called it a double switch?? solid series; another nice leap; aerial to lay full, stuck. Good routine! 9.875

Diab FX: front double full to front pike, nice! her brother competed at Illinois; fhs lay lay full to stag jump, jump was a lil awk; fhs rudi loso, pretty! I must’ve missed her leap series? 9.875

Oakley BB: starts with a wolf turn; gainer bhs bhs loso, pretty! her extension on her leaps is lovely; side aerial, small check; gainer full, small hop; editor-in-chief Elizabeth’s mom called her staying on the beam a “festivus miracle”. 9.85

Converse FX: big double Arabian, decent landing; 1.5 to double full, a little short. some spunky music! some leap to a good Popa, lovely! fhs rudi, good! 9.7

Baumann BB: side aerial loso, slight lean but pretty good; beat jump to switch side, lovely extension; stuck 1.5 dismount. Great routine! 9.925

Maldonado FX: fhs 2.5, good; we know she’s capable of a front triple (named after her in the elite COP!)  but not worth it to do in college; front double full to punch front, good; very latin/spanish influenced routine, love it! nice double pike to finish! 9.95

Vega BB: pretty split jump mount; then I sneezed and missed something lol; front aerial to split, good; the ever famous Georgia moonwalk; bhs loso, solid; side aerial lay full, stuck; great routine for the senior! 9.9

Palacios FX: double pike, a little too much power, may have gone OOB? lay lay full, would like a little more control on the landing; nice triple leap combo; rudi, good. Another hit. 9.65. About right. 

Burns (exh) FX: solid opening double tuck; 1.5 to lay to looked like a split jump but Persinger says stag; caught a glimpse of her Popa which was lovely; double pike, short and deep squat to save the landing. I want her to sell this performance more too. 9.7

AFTER 3: GEORGIA 147.875, Iowa State 147.550

That was a very nice beam rotation for Georgia. Only one score below 9.85, and that gets dropped. Iowa State was also solid on floor. Some little things here and there, but hit six for six and highlighted by Maldonado’s huge 9.95. I just realized that Steinmeyer wasn’t in the lineup which is slightly odd. One more to go!

Rotation 4: Iowa State beam, Georgia floor

Iowa State beam:

Georgia floor:

Steinmeyer BB: front toss beat jump, secure; bhs loso, small lean; switch straddle quarter, good; 1.5   dsmt, stuck but lean forward. Solid leadoff. 9.775

Perez-Lugones FX: opening double pike, would like a little more control; has Nichols’ music; ro half to lay, again would like a little more control; switch side Popa wolf full, good; finishes with a good double tuck; it was a hit! 9.85

Dear Sarah Persinger, a switch side is not a switch half.

Turner BB: bhs bhs loso, good! nice and secure; witch straddle quarter, some flexed feet but secure; side somi, good; gainer pike, step forward. Another beam hit. 9.8

Magee FX: nice opening piked full in; pretty leaps; 1.5 to lay to stag, good; good closing double pike. 9.875

Burns BB: cat leap side aerial, arm wave; switch leap to beat jump, breaks the connection; bhs loso, secure; 1.5 dsmt, tiny hop. Solid overall. 9.6. Started out of a 9.8 after that missed connection.

Baumann FX: double wolf turn to start; ro 1.5 to full, good; pretty L turn and switch leap; short double pike. switch right switch side, gorgeously. Really a shame about that short pass. 9.8

Semple BB: solid bhs loso to open; small check on turn; switch switch half, secure, would like more extension on the half; side aerial lay full, small hop. Good! 9.825

Hawthorne FX: loving her choreo thus far; HIGH double pike! great landing. We know she can do a double double. leaps so high too! Love it. lay Rudi split jump, another good pass; closing double tuck, a little short and a step forward. 9.875

Palacios BB: aerial bhs, check; switch split half, good; cat leap side aerial lay full, good landing, would like chest slightly higher. A hit. 9.8

Already over a 196 for Iowa State which is a season high!

Lukacs FX: double layout, good landing, some leg sep; 1.5 to lay half to shush, good; switch side wolf I think half kind of missed it, finishes with a good double pike. Overall good! 9.9

Converse BB: bhs loso, solid; switch straddle half, very nice and extended; front toss beat jump, secure; cartwheel 1.5, small hop. You don’t see that very often! 9.875

196.625 is a huge total for the Cyclones. UGA over 197!

Vega FX: nice opening double pike; 1.5 to lay to split, also good; switch ring split half, good; another lovely leap there; double tuck to close, lovely. Great way to end the meet!

Maldonado (exh) BB: solid punch front; bhs loso good; switch split, good; ro 2.5, step; that’ll be a good routine for the Cyclones to have! 9.8

Austin (exh) FX: high full in to open, would like slightly more control; leaps with good extension; fhs full lay, good; short double tuck, puts hands down. Endurance just not quite there yet.

FINAL: GEORGIA 197.325, Iowa State 196.625

Great totals for both of these teams, and both season highs! This was a really good meet all-around with lots of highlights. Great for Georgia to finally put a full, complete meet together, and Iowa State showed its potential today also. If the Cyclones can keep this up, they’re certainly one to watch as the season progresses.

Thanks for joining me on this special holiday edition of gymnastics!

Event Winners:
Vault: Makayla Maxwell (ISU), 9.950
Bars: Megan Roberts, Marissa Oakley (UGA), Natalia Ros Vaquer, 9.925
Beam: Rachel Baumann (UGA), 9.925
Floor: Andrea Maldonado (ISU), Sabrina Vega (UGA), 9.950
AA: Rachael Lukacs (UGA), 39.175

Live Blog by Tara Graeve

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