LIVE BLOG: No. 32 Arkansas at No. 1 Oklahoma

As of getting this live blog draft into WordPress by deadline on Thursday, I still don’t know how I’m going to watch this meet. I’m sure there will be a VPN involved, or some monkeying with entering my zip code somewhere. But I’m going to figure it out for you people!

By “you people” I certainly mean our lovely, loyal readers. We love you.

Sliding in on Sunday to add that it took a paid VPN service that allows you to choose a media market and some sneakery but my laptop thinks I’m in Dallas and we’re good to go. Phew! Real talk, DM me if you want the full details so you can watch OU home meets, too.

Anyway, this meet is cool not just because both teams will be wearing bright red. Chris Brooks is returning to the mothership. He competed for Oklahoma’s men’s squad and left his assistant gig here to join Wieber’s staff (awww). I’m sure we’re in for many vintage Brooks moments tonight. Today? What time is it. Holiday weekends are weird.

Aside from that, we’ll be keeping our eyes on the Sooners’ vault and floor lineups, which seem anything but locked in when it comes to those edge routines. Expect lineups to be a little extra odd since this is the second half of a double meet weekend, and Oklahoma’s Friday matchup with Alabama is the tougher dual. It’s the weekend of red I guess.

Arkansas will also be coming off a Friday dual. The Razorbacks take on Denver (MORE RED) in Barnhill for their home opener (we all saw Brooks flipping around on a tramp yelling about free chicken, right? Good.) Arkansas’ opener at Florida was fine. It wasn’t spectacular, and it wasn’t a disaster. Bars and beam got a little danger zone-y, but vault and especially floor kept the meet above water.

Here’s how Friday went down for both teams. Oklahoma broke the 198 barrier, so from here on out its about replicating that performance. Ragan Smith is still settling in, but she showed sparks of greatness, and we had a Maggie Nichols 10.0. Arkansas enjoyed some SEC home shenanigans but we don’t feel too mad about it since it was in line with the rest of the conference. Don’t be mad at me, the SEC is extremely talented but does have home scoring gifts. It’s just a fact at this point, and honestly I’d rather see every team get it if some are apparently always going to. We’ll see if the Razorbacks can get a solid away score in the books.

Alright, let’s get rolling on #BrooksWatch2020. I mean gymnastics.

Friends we’re a few minutes out and my VPN is fighting me. I’m working on it. Stay tuned.

Hulu is telling me this thing starts at exactly 1:32 CT so we have precisely five minutes for everything to cooperate.

Alright! Fox Sports GO app coming through. I think we’re good to go. I’m doing my best here, friends.

OU wore what I think is a new warmup.

OK in all of my monkeying around, I’ve got a feed going! It’s a little glitchy so forgive me if I say something like “ooh that came through blurry” or if I lose my feed, which just happened while Kelly Garrison was talking. Ha this’ll be something.

We also don’t seem to have scores. There’s no score link on Oklahoma’s site, anyway. Good and normal for the national No. 1. Mhm mhm.

We have a kind friend on Instagram (roundoffedits) who is live with the feed, and that’s going to be my backup.

Rotation 1: Oklahoma vault, Arkansas bars

OU indeed in new!

Weins (OU): Yfull, piked, step forward. 9.75

Yamzon (Ark): Arched first handstand, Tkatchev little low. Bail hand loose back. FTDL, some leg sep and not big amplitude. Loose legs and shape issues throughout. 9.8

Stern (OU): Y1.5 hop forward, twisted early and some small hip angle. 9.825

Gianfagnia (Ark): Feet on Ray, good height Toe hand to bail hand short and loose legs. Short last handstand. Full-in, good landing. 9.8

Degouveia (OU): Y1.5 very big, good body position. Small hop forward. 9.9

Carter (Ark): Blind to Jaeger is good, some knees. Bail hand best yet. Blind full little late to double tuck close to the bar small step, Kelly says she hit her toes. 9.675

Webb (OU): Y1.5. Knees in the last half and a hop. 9.9

Lovett (Ark): SHort handstand to Ray, nice catching position. Bail hand some looseness in the core. Blind full touch late double tuck slings it out and hops.

Nichols (OU): Y1.5. Stuck. Her usual heels pulled together. The vault she always does. She did have a slight hip angle in the replay, but hard to see in fast motion. 10.000. There it is.

Hambrick (Ark) Blind to pike Jaeger soft knees to bail. FTDB, step back. Some head position issues throughout. 9.875

Schoepfer (OU): Tucked Y1.5, big step forward. 9.85

Laird (Ark): Pretty Toes. Ray, nice. Toe hand to bail hand, little short. Best body shaping so far. DLO, little whipped, step forward. 9.9

LaPinta (OU, exh): Yfull some piking and soft knees, plus a step.

Gillings (Ark, exh): Blind to straddle Jaeger, she put it out too far and falls. Really great extension. Toe hand to bail hand short a touch. Shy last handstand. Blind full late to double tuck, step.

After one: OU 49.525, Ark. 49.025 (per broadcast)

Well, that’s the start you expect from the Sooners. Scores were not strict by any means, but I’m not furious at the scores either. I’d call them comfortably loose so far, on both sides. Arkansas has a lot of little nagging things on bars, short handstands, loose core bodies, shaping issues, steps. Starting out over 49 is great for this squad, and there’s the obvious room to improve.

Hey, OU tweeted a stats feed!

Alright, the broadcast was wrong! Arkansas is at 49.250! That’s a huge total.

Rotation 2: Oklahoma bars, Arkansas vault

Yamzon (Ark): Yfull, big leg sep onto the table, some pike and a step back. 9.775

Webb (OU): Pak, usually crunchy toes. Van Leeuwen, good. Toe blind to double front half out. Toes throughout, some body shape. 9.9, lol. Those toes man.

Gianfagna (Ark): Yfull, big distance, hop back, some pike. 9.775

Trautman (OU): Maloney, some leg sep on the back swing to pak, good. Good shoulder extension, DLO small hop. 9.875

Hickey (Ark): Yfull, big step back, she pulled her feet down too soon. 9.775

Thomas (OU): Hect mount. Blind to straddle Jaeger, no great amplitude. Bail hand some loose core. DLO, stuck but toe form. 9.95

Rogers (Ark): FTY, nice in the air, small hop. Little leg sep. 9.775

Degouveia (OU): Hop change. Pike Jaeger very big. Pak, good. full out, stuck, whipped it in the air a touch. Very solid set. 9.95, that one is legit.

Shaffer (Ark): Yhalf, lovely body position, good chest up landing.

Smith (OU): Ray to Pak, good. DLO, her usual, very whipped. Her tempo was a little wild, but it was clean. 9.925

Hambrick (Ark): Yfull, best body position in the lineup, small hop back. 9.85

Nichols (OU): Ray to pak, caught close and that will be a deduction. Maloney, better catch but had to muscle it a bit. DLO, lands feet quite staggered, but holds the landing. (WHOOPS Van Leeuwen, not Maloney, sorry!) 9.95, yeah no that’s crack.

Draper (OU, exh): Hect mount. Blind late to pike Jaeger, soft knees. Toe hand arched to pak, caught very low, pinged off to a sit. Remounts. Blind to double front, feet and a hop back.

AFTER TWO: OU 99.200, Ark. 98.275

Well, the crack is setting in a bit. Oklahoma absolutely has superior extension and execution on bars, but that shouldn’t exempt the Sooners from foot and shoulder angle deductions when they exist. I think about half of the scores are around .05-.1 too high, the other half, Degouveia’s included, are spot on. Arkansas looked a little flat on vault (who doesn’t following OU, though, really), but should be pleased with this effort so far, going into what should be its best two.

Rotation 3: Oklahoma beam, Arkansas floor

Thomas (OU): Side somi, drops her chest, maybe .05 deduction. Bhs loso, nice knee extension, solid. Switch switch to straddle quarter, long pause between the last two. Small adjustment on her full turn. Side aerial to 1/1, no deductions there. 9.85, yes correct.

Yamzon (Ark): Double tuck, good control on the lunge. Double pike, some foot slide, but Brooks loved it. Selling her choreo pretty well. Switch side Popa Popa, the rotation was all over the place. Front lay to front 1/1, good control, wanted a little more amplitude on the full. 9.8, I buy that.

Dunn (OU): Bhs bhs loso, honestly no deductions on that, amazingly well done. Split + split 1/2, not quite 180s there. Front 1/1, big step forward. 9.825

Gianfagna (Ark): Double pike, chest could be up a bit more but that’s being picky. 3/2 to front lay, nice body in the lay and a controlled lunge out. Switch to wolf 1/1 + 1/1, rough rotation and low on the split. Double tuck, better chest, toes in the air. 9.825

Woodard (OU): She’s so quick and precise. Side aerial bhs, small bobble and touch of soft knees on the bhs. Front toss to beat good. Switch to split, good 180s but a tiny bobble. Side aerial to 1/1, wide feet but stuck. 9.875, that works for me.

Hambrick (Ark): Double tuck so high! But she bounces back out of it, could be a full tenth there. Missed her combo pass, but the landing was solid, she rebounded out into choreo. This set is very fun and she’s selling it well. Leaps were clean, best rotation yet. Double pike, slightly deep knees, but good amplitude. 9.85

Webb (OU): Bhs loso very good no movement. Front aerial, leg up bobble. I think a missed connection there, but I’m sure she has extra built in bonus. Switch switch, clean. Cat + side aerial (cat probably added to get that tenth) to 1/1, step to the side. 9.8, feels a touch high.

Shaffer (Ark): Double pike, knees buckled a touch but she was quite high. Double tuck, better landing but still adjusted her front foot. Tour jete 1/2 to popa + popa, travelled quite far and missed some rotation on the final jump. Good landing on her combo pass. 9.825

Smith (OU): Bhs loso, soft knees but no movement. Front aerial to straddle, she has the best straddle in the NCAA, maybe aside from Lexi Funk. Wobble on choreo. Bhs gainer 1/1, staggered feet but stuck. 9.875, that seems fair.

Lovett (Ark): DLO, so big! Slightly big lunge, but it’ll be a small deduction. Front lay + front 1/1, little overly arched but not too extreme. Tour jete 1/2 + split 1/1, very good 180s. Tore her UCL in her elbow in the preseason ouch. Double tuck, knees buckled a touch, but that set! 9.85, okay, yes.

Nichols (OU): Front aerial bhs loso, small check and soft knees and feet. Just not quite her usual form. Switch + split, usual flexed front foot, some low back leg on the second. RO 3/2, stuck cold. 9.975 absolutely not that was a 9.85 routine max.

Carter (Ark): 1/1 + 1/1, lovely. Tour jete + split 1/1, she’s very clean on that. Double pike, so high, best landing on the team yet. Really really strong. 9.9, correct.

Deniz (OU, exh): Side aerial bhs, little loose. Split to double stag, check. Front aerial to beat, clean. Side aerial 1/1, stuck.

Hickey (Ark, exh): Double pike, very big ,good. Leaps were solid. 3/2 + front lay, twist had some hip angle, and her timing was off on the punch so she had to tuck the lay. Double tuck, very high, good landing.

After 3: OU 148.600, Ark. 147.525

Yeah that was going along pretty well until that Nichols score. That was pure unadulterated crack. Yes, her usual routine is a 9.975, but that was loose, she had a .1 wobble, I just. I cannot. Arkansas is POWERFUL on floor. The BroWiebs (yes? no? work in progress?) conditioning program has this team very strong and ready. It was a solid rotation.

Rotation 4: Oklahoma floor, Arkansas beam

We’re hearing that Nichols will do a two-pass set today just to let her rest a little bit on this double meet weekend.

Yamzon (Ark): Cat + switch side 1/4, good. Bhs bhs loso, some foot form but solid. Dances right out of her full turn. Front toss + beat, good. GAiner 1/1 off the side, covers a step with a stick and feet were a touch far apart. Very strong. 9.825, I could’ve gone a touch higher, but the dismount landing hurt her.

Draper (OU): Double pike, a good landing, maybe some form on the bhs. FHS 1/1 1/1, good on that bonus combo. Some loose knees on her jumps, but her form has improved. Whip 1/2 + 2/1, some loose legs, and a little leg cross. 9.9, a bit high but not wildly so.

Gianfagna (Ark): Bhs loso, check and some leg form in the air. Front toss, solid. Slight hesitation between switch and back tuck, big check but saves it. Split 1/2, nice. RO 3/2, feet a bit far apart. 9.65

Smith (OU): Double tuck, textbook landing. 3/2 + front lay, could’ve gone a little out of control but she kept it together well, it was a touch off line. Switch side + wolf 1/1, weird wolf position. Double pike, chest low, but held a stick. 9.875, I had her higher than Draper, but.

Lovett (Ark): Candlestick mount, Kelly “loves. that. mount.” Switch + split + beat, nice. Front aerial loso, pretty, I think she’ll get the connection, kept her arms moving. Gainer pike off the end, step back. 9.9, not mad at that.

LaPinta (OU): 3/1, off line, crossed legs, loose knees, uncontrolled lunge. Front 1/1 + front lay, much more under control. Tour jete 1/2 + split 1/1, short on the second. Double tuck, reallyyyy pulls it around, lands well. 9.9, yeah no way. I had more than that on the first pass.

Hambrick (Ark): Bhs loso , soft knees, has to step back and drops her chest. Leaps were a touch short. Beat + straddle 3/4, good split. Cartwheel gainer 1/1, good landing. 9.75

Degouveia (OU): Front lay + 2/1, short and lunges a little out of control to the side. Front lay front 1/1, much much better. Tour jete + split 1/1, good 180s and rotation. 3/2 + front 1/1, some soft legs but great landing. 9.85, that’s more on track

Carter (Ark): Bhs loso, small check, excellent extension through her knees. Front aerial, solid. Switch + sheep, low front leg on the split. Tiiiiiniest check on the full turn, she covered well. Side aerial + tuck 1/1, off to the side a bit, step. 9.8

Webb (OU): FHS 2/1, some leg form, but a good controlled landing. You can tell she loves this routine. 3/2 + front 1/1, good control on the lunge out. Low back leg on her leaps. FHS rudi, rebounded out a touch, covered with the lunge. 9.925, I’ll buy that.

Shaffer (Ark): Front aerial, little check, might have to make up some missed bonus there. Bhs loso, really pretty knees and feet, good landing. Switch + straddle 1/4, good 180s. Cat + side aerial + 1/1, low chest and has to hop forward, assuming the cat is that extra bonus. 9.75? I guess that’s real, but not in line with the scores we’ve seen.

Nichols (OU): 3/2 + front lay stepout directly into tour jete 1/1, little wild on the landing. Double pike, good lunge out, covers a step with choreo. Now she’ll just dance, I think, keeping to two passes today. Switch ring + tour jete 1/2, pretty. 9.975, mmm a touch high, I’d go 9.95, so I can’t be too mad.

FINAL: OU 198.175, Ark. 196.550

Well I mean that separation is about right. Arkansas had lovely moment and some touch and go bits, clear errors to address in the coming weeks. I agreed with the Oklahoma vault scores, and most of beam, but bars and floor got a little out of hand, that Nichols beam score boggles the mind. I’m rooting for Nichols! But the scores have to be legit, you know? So. I feel mediocre about this one. I would put OU more in the 197.8-197.9 range.

I guess get on Nichols 40-watch if this is how she’s being scored at home. I do believe she could do it for real, with four legitimate 10s! But it’s much more likely if scores will be this forgiving.


VT: Nichols, 10.000
UB: Nichols, Degouveia, Thomas, 9.950
BB: Nichols, 9.975
FX: Nichols, 9.975
AA: Nichols 39.900

Live blog by Emily Minehart

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