LIVE BLOG: No. 37 Central Michigan at No. 22 Illinois

This meet is a fantastic opportunity for gym fans to watch two teams that tend to get overshadowed, and I am excited to see them face off today!

Illinois is coming off of a season-high  performance at Big Fives last weekend. Overall, it was a fantastic meet for the Illini: They recorded season high totals on vault and bars, and standout freshman Mia Takekawa made her return to the beam lineup for the first time in three weeks. The goal here will be to build off of that momentum and record a similar team total.

Central Michigan had a strong showing against Bowling Green last weekend, but, generally speaking, has been performing below its capabilities all season. A big road score would be huge for the Chippewas, who are currently looking to move up in the rankings into a regionals play-off position. The end of the regular season is fast-approaching and they are running out of opportunities to boost their NQS.

Vault will be a key event today: It is the Chippewas’ strongest event and one where they will potentially be able to establish a lead. Conversely, it is the Illini’s weakest event, but they put together a really strong rotation last week; if they can repeat that performance here, they are setting themselves up for a nice score.

Waiting for this score link to reflect the correct meet…

Rotation 1: Illinois vault, Central Michigan bars

Howell (ILL): FTY, little short with a step forward. 9.725

Kotas (CMU): Toe on piked tkatchev into a bail, good. Short on the last handstand, blind full into a double back dismount, pretty much sticks it but with a big lean back so we’ll see what the judges do with that. 9.775

Biondi (ILL): Yurchenko half with a big hop forward. 9.700

Hammond (CMU): Beautiful first handstand. Blind full into a big tkatchev. Little short on the handstand into the bail. Short final handstand. Blind full to double back dismount WITH POINTED TOES, hop. 9.800

Townes (ILL): FTY, tiny foot shuffle on the landing. 9.825

Johnson (CMU): Slightly short on her first handstand. Giant full into her tkatchev, little short on the cast. Bail was nice. Little short on final handstand it looked like FTDB dismount, looked stuck. 9.775

“Was that the best bar you’ve seen so far?” asks the male commentator. Hmmk.

Scott (ILL): FTY, tons of power, big step back.

Williams (CMU): Great first handstand. Giant full into an absolutely MONSTROUS  Tkatchev, holy hell. Messed up her bail, unfortunately, because I am SHOOK over how high that Tkatchev was.  9.325

Simons (ILL): FTY, step on the landing. 9.800

DeMers (CMU): Another giant tkatchev, beautiful bail to handstand. Little short on the final cast handstand FTDB dismount with SUPER pointed toes and a tiny hop. 9.825

Meeks (ILL): Really crooked on her FTY and she lands short and puts her hands down.

Pedrick (CMU): Pak to switch kip was beautiful. Great final handstand. Toe on front half dismount stuck. Gorgeous.

AFTER ONE: Central Michigan 49.025, Illinois 48.750

I don’t know what is in the water at Central Michigan, but let’s take a minute to appreciate how HIGH those tkatchev releases were. The Chippewas will be happy with that bar rotation and have a nice lead going into vault, which is their best event.

Rotation 2: Illinois bars, Central Michigan vault

Kotas (CMU): FTY, step on the landing. (they said Kotas but it may have been Tong) 9.800

Biondi (ILL): Had some stream issues and missed most of Biondi’s routine, but  blind full double back dismount stuck 9.775

Johnson (CMU): FTY, pretty in the air, tiny hop. Little crooked off the table though. 9.825

Borden (ILL): Hop into a jaeger into the overshoot, some leg separation. Stuck rudi dismount, that’s fun. 9.850

DeMarinis (CMU): FTY, chest down big step forward. 9.575

O’Donnell (ILL): Little short on first handstand. Jaeger was pretty. Bail to handstand looked nice. Great final handstand Blind full into double back dismount stuck. 9.900

Williams (CMU): Big FTY, tiny hop 9.825

Powe (ILL): Short on the first handstand. Blind half into a jaeger with piked feet a little close. Short on final handstand FTDB dismount, step forward.

DeMers (CMU): Beautiful FTY, looked stuck at first but side camera angle shows a tiny hop. We’ll see what the judges do with that. 9.850

Howell (ILL): Piked jaeger was good. Pak salto had some leg separation and her hand slipped but she had a nice save there. Blind full double back dismount stuck. 9.900

Pedrick (CMU): DTY, lands short and takes a step forward. 9.625

“At that point it’s like, hey you didn’t fall over.” – male commentator.  K.

Takekawa (ILL): Blind half into a piked jaeger with pointed toes. Beautiful bail to handstand. Last handstand looked good. DLO dismount, tried to hold the stick but shuffled her feet. 9.825

AFTER TWO: Illinois 98.000, Central Michigan 97.950

THIS MEET IS CLOSE. Central Michigan left some tenths on the table after that vault rotation, with mistakes from Pedrick and Demarinis. Illinois had a wonderful bar rotation, recording a season high 49.250. The Illini take the lead by less than a tenth of a point going into the third rotation.

Rotation 3: Illinois beam, Central Michigan floor

Biondi (ILL): BHS LOSO, very solid. Switch leap into stag jump, good. Side aerial, balance check. Controlled full turn. RO 1.5 dismount, stuck with a quick salute to cover a step.9.700

Fettinger (CMU): 2.5 punch front first pass that I didn’t see because the camera was on Illinois. Wolf 1/1 looked good. Leap series was pretty. Commentators currently discussing whether or not you can compare floor routines to figure skating based on personality. Double tuck with a bounce step back to finish. 9.775

Howell (ILL): Wobble on choreography before her series. BHS to layout two-feet. Leap series looked fine. Cat leap switch side, big wobble. Step back on her gainer pike dismount. 9.650

Demarinis (CMU): double back to open, nice landing. Really nice leaps. Double pike, landed with her chest low and takes a step forward. RO 1.5 front layout, nice. Minus the low landing on the double pike that was a great routine. 9.825

Noonan (ILL): BHS LOSO, controlled. Switch leap, didnt get enough height so she repeats the switch leap to connect to her acro. Beat jump to stag jump with balance check. Cartwheel gainer full dismount, tiny hop. 9.750

DeMers (CMU): Front handspring double full to open, looked nice. Double pike second pass also looked good. Nice leaps. Last pass front lay out to a rudi, little uncontrolled on the landing but overall great routine. 9.875

Scott (ILL): Front toss to BHS, good. Switch leap with a big balance check. Repeats the switch leap to connect into stag jump. Another wobble. Cartwheel gainer full dismount stuck. 9.700

Williams (CMU): double pike to open, way too much power bounces way back but mayyyyybe stayed in bounds? Hard to tell. Front full to front layout second pass, shuffled her feet on the landing. Beautiful double back to finish, stuck it. 9.725

Takekawa (ILL): Side aerial to BHS step out, beautiful. Switch leap to gainer back LOSO with a little wobble. BHS gainer full stuck dismount. 9.900

Pitchell (CMU): Big double pike to open, kind of a funky landing but she covered it well. Front layout front full looked nice. Double back to finish, goes out of bounds.

Borden (ILL): Front aerial front handspring sissone to start, lovely. Stag jump looked nice. Beat jump to sheep jump, big wobble. Stuck front full dismount. 9.825

Pedrick (CMU): triple full to start, it is so pretty, but a slightly uncontrolled landing. Leaps looked a little short. Front 1.5 front layout second pass, lovely. Love her middle choreography. Pretty much stuck double pike to finish. Beautiful! 9.875

Simons and Jones exhibition on beam for Illinois, and I didn’t catch the name of who did exhibition on floor for Central Michigan

AFTER THREE: Central Michigan 147.075, Illinois 146.875

Central Michigan pulls ahead of Illinois after the third rotation, with a strong floor rotation compared to a lackluster showing by Illinois on beam. I don’t know about you all, but I am at the edge of my seat going into the final rotation.

Rotation 4: Illinois floor, Central Michigan beam

DeMarinis (CMU): BHS LOSO, solid. Cat leap to switch side looked good. Front aerial, big balance check. RO 1.5 dismount, step forward. 9.575

Townes (ILL): Front full front full to start, looked good. Looked a little short on her leaps. Front layout to rudi to straddle jump to finish. 9.850

DeMers (CMU): Leap series looked short. Cat leap to front aerial beautiful. BHS LOSO, solid. Side aerial to a full with a tiny hop. 9.800

Noonan (ILL): Front double full to start, step to the side. Front layout to a rudi, good. Switch ring was pretty. 1.5 to front layout to finish. 9.900

Vanderbeek (CMU): BHS LOSO, solid. Cat leap side aerial, loses balance but covers it relatively well. RO 1.5 with a step forward. 9.700

Biondi (ILL): Double pike to open with a big bounce back. Front layout front full, did not get much height there at all I’m impressed she saved that. Double back to finish and almost goes out of bounds but I think she stayed in. 9.800

Kotas (CMU): Beautiful (and unique) press handstand mount. Front aerial with a balance check. Front aerial slooooowly connected into BHS LOSO. Leap series looked pretty good, not the best angle. Side aerial tucked full, almost stuck but not quite. 9.675

Scott (ILL): My favorite floor music!! Yes. Front double full to open, mostly controlled landing. RO 1.5 front layout solid. Leaps looked good. Rudi to finish. 9.900

Tong (CMU): Beautiful press handstand mount to front walkover. Front aerial to BHS LOSO and she FLIES off the beam. That was… interesting. That’s too bad. BHS LOSO, solid. Switch leap to sheep jump, big balance check. Stuck her dismount. 9.300

Howell (ILL): Front tuck step-out through to double back, lands short and takes a step forward. Leap series looked great. Double pike to finish, lands weird and shuffles back out of it.

Pedrick (CMU): BHS LOSO, big balance check and she covers by posing like a flamingo. Leaps looked good. Front aerial, solid. RO double full dismount with a tiny hop. 9.875

Simons (ILL): Beautiful double pike to start. 1.5 front layout, very well done. Leaps looked nice. Double back to finish with a controlled step out. Beautiful routine.

FINAL: Illinois 196.225, Central Michigan 195.500

AA: DeMers 39.350
VT: DeMers 9.850
UB: Howell, O’Donnell 9.900
BB: Takekawa 9.900
FX: Noonan, Scott 9.900

Live blog by Kalley Leer

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