We love a good inter-conference matchup, and we love them even more when they’re confusing and weird. This meet is confusing and weird. We know very little about either of these teams, with the intermittent training updates we’ve seen supplying more questions than answers. There’s a decent chance that this evening will turn into a total trash fire, but there’s a lot to be excited about too.
Boise State had a 2020 to forget, more than doubling its 2019 ranking after losing Courtney McGregor to injury and then entirely running out of bars routines. With a lot of major recruits thus far not bringing in high scores, Boise State will need to either spice up some former 9.700 routines or get great routines from its fairly mysterious freshman class if it wants to jump back up into the teens in rankings. I’m excited to see who Boise chooses for the beam lineup today: A lot of newcomers are lovely beamers, including Seattle Pacific refugee Kayli Tran.
Oregon State graduated almost its entire team in 2020, and many of the routines that return are fairly forgettable ones. Veteran Lacy Dagen will stabilize the situation, as will Kaitlyn Yanish, but a LOT of new routines are needed here especially on bars where only two routines return and neither scored above 9.800 all season.
Custom masks for the Beavs!!
Rotation 1: Oregon State vault, Boise State bars
Poniewaz (OSU): FTY, piked down a touch with a step back. Debut for the sophomore, who was injured last year. 9.600
Cavinta (BSU): Clear hip to Tkachev, hitting handstands, double layout with a hop. 9.775
Peterson (OSU): The first of probably four 10.0 vaults for the Beavers today. Yurchenko full on, pike off with chest down and a big hop back. Amplitude gets her on this vault regularly. 9.725
Masiado (BSU): Toe on, bit of an arch but gets it under control, to Tkachev. Nice Pak, just avoids hitting her feet on the ground, shy on a high bar handstand, blind full double back stuck. 9.725
Greene (OSU): Front pike 1/2! Great performance in her comeback meet after being injured in the first meet of the 2020 season. Form in the air and a hop back but lots of power. 9.800
Bruden (BSU): Blind to Jaeger, touch of knees in the air and missed the handstand out. The commentator is a “heighth” person, send help. Double layout with a little scoot. 9.825
S. Gonzales (OSU): Yurchenko full on, pike off with amplitude in a different universe to Peterson. Hopefully the scoring differentiates between the two. Little hop. 9.825
Nilson (BSU): Missed the first handstand quite badly, clear hip to Tkachev good, bail. Shy on another handstand, pretty DLO with good leg form and a small hop. Landings looking pretty good for the Broncos. 9.775
Yanish (OSU): Pretty full, big hop back. She’s always gorgeously laid out in the air and then pikes down at the last instant and ends up with her feet in front of her body weight when she hits the ground, forcing the hop. 9.800
Lopez (BSU): Her ankle tape is coming unwrapped and flapping around, which is SUPER distracting. Lovely piked Jaeger, bail, double layout stuck. Absolutely gorgeous. 9.925
M. Dagen (OSU): One and a half stuck!!! The usual little bits of form but that was great. In slow-mo you can see her lift one foot but not really place it back down, so I’m happy to call that a stick. 9.900
Muhlenhaupt (BSU): Blind to Jaeger to overshoot her usual snappy and great. Double layout stuck. Her weight was behind her a bit but she managed not to step. WOW. 9.95!
After 1: Boise State 49.250, Oregon State 49.050
Great start for both teams, but Boise State should feel incredible about producing a bars rotation like that in the first week. Lopez has always been theoretically gorgeous, but competing so aggressively in the first week is deeply impressive.
Rotation 2: Boise State vault, Oregon State bars
Masiado (BSU): Full with her chest down and a bit of a hop forward. Soft knees in the air. Winced a bit as she rejoined her team but it seemed humorous rather than an indication that she’s in pain. 9.525
Peterson (OSU): Cast over to half turn OK, solid bail. Blind to double front with aggressive cowboying and three steps back into her salute. 9.575
Nilson (BSU): A bit of body position again on a FTY with a large step back. 9.725
Mack (OSU): She was slated to vault today but missed one badly in warm ups and was moved out of the lineup in favor of Poniewaz, apparently. Very labored first cast, Tkachev with form issues. She bends her knees on every cast. Half turn to straddle back, missed a handstand badly, FTDB and falls backwards. Lot of technical issues there. 8.875
What I called a straddle back isn’t actually one, she kept a straight body position throughout the half front salto. Don’t know what that’s called but it’s interesting.
Smith (BSU): Pretty and convincing Yurchenko full, nearly stuck. 9.8
Hoiland (OSU): Blind to pike Jaeger, leg separation and flexed feet, and falls. Form break on her bail catch, missed a handstand, giant full double back stuck. Rough go for a freshman debut but having to follow a fall is good experience. 8.875
Lopez (BSU): Great full, step back. This is a really solid, unscary meet for Boise. 9.775
Poniewaz (OSU): Toe on to Ray, catches super close and has to take some extra swings to cast back up. Messy bail, FTDB messy and low with a large step forward. 8.925
Cavinta (BSU): Another really pretty full! These are all so gorgeous, what is in the water in Boise? Little hop back. 9.775
Bird (OSU): Bail, short of handstand, to stalder. Missed another handstand, Tkachev with absolutely zero counterrotation and may have touched the coach, missed a handstand badly, FTDB with a big step forward. 9.35
Otuafi (BSU): I’m running out of things to say about fulls, guys. She waited to twist and came in a bit low compared to some of the others. 9.525
Domingo (OSU): Missed first handstand, okay Ray, all of her handstands are not even close to there. Very soft catch on the bail, seriously these handstands are like 130 degrees tops, fun toe-on front pike 1/2 dismount with her chest way down and a hop. 9.1
After 2: Boise State 97.850, Oregon State 94.850
Boise State had some great vaults! I think those were a little underscored compared to the Beavs but they were probably hit on amplitude.
Oregon State has a big problem there. If they just all fell, I wouldn’t worry. The fact that there was only one counted fall and the rotation score still added up to 45.800 is far, far more worrying because it’s all technical and much harder to fix. There’s really no great bars routine there.
Rotation 3: Oregon State beam, Boise State floor
Bird (OSU): BHS LOSO, soft knees, no real connection with the beam and stumbles off. Beat jump switch half, punch front full with a hop. 8.75
Masiado (BSU): Double pike, ALMOST overrotates it and steps out but manages to hold on with an arm swing. Switch half wolf 3/2, I think, adequately rotated which is not easy to do on that leap. Front lay front full, really solid landing. Bit of a cross step on her Rudi. 9.525
Peterson (OSU): Gorgeous switch half, lands right on the end of the beam on her triple series but she’s fine. Nice jump series, this is gritty after what she’s just seen. Gainer pike with a step. 9.75 and it feels like a major victory.
Morden (BSU): Interesting music, not typical for gymnastics. Oh, apparently it’s from La La Land. Front lay front full pretty solid, very pretty leaps, whip half front full and doesn’t really get a grip on the ground, basically slides out of bounds. Whip to 3/2 twist, good landing. 9.200
L. Gonzales (OSU): Lovely series, split straddle 1/4, good full turn. Kick front and misses a foot, falls off the side. She tried to hold that with one foot but had too much downward momentum. Side aerial back full stuck. 9.3
Smith (BSU): Going for lots of light, pretty music today, I can’t tell if this is My Favorite Things or Seven Rings honestly. Double pike, BARELY in bounds but I think she kept it. Steps forward on her double back, switch half to Popa. One and a half front lay, she was twisting on the takeoff which looked really scary but she was ultimately fine. 9.55
S. Gonzales (OSU): Front aerial side somi, connection very questionable. Switch 1/2 BHS is a fun series, side aerial back full with a hop. If she’s awarded the acro series this will be a solid hit, but it’s an open question. 9.75 OK they gave it.
Elkabchi (BSU): Hop-scoots out of her double tuck. Ambiguous rotation on leaps, nice pretty combo pass. Missed the last pass because my stream cut out. It can’t take this meet any more either. 9.625
Domingo (OSU): Front aerial back tuck, switch split straddle 3/4, she means BUSINESS. She’s done beam in pressure situations before and it shows. Gainer full off the side. Rock freaking solid. 9.825
Nilson (BSU): Front layout to Rudi, really solid. Wait, is her floor music Mamma Mia? Dying. Switches to Dancing Queen before the last pass. I’m obsessed. Double pike, hop in place. Yes girl get it with the ABBA. I love it. 9.775
Dagen (OSU): Another one who’s not gonna get stressed out in a weird situation. Great series, arm adjustment at the end, switch switch 1/2, full turn super fluid, side aerial back full. Looks easy for her. 9.85
After 3: Boise State 145.525, Oregon State 143.325
Oregon State escaped beam with just one beam fall there thanks to some clutch performances by veterans at the end there. Boise went five up on floor. Haven’t had eyes on Adriana Popp yet, and Lacy Dagen is definitely missing.
Rotation 4: Boise State beam, Oregon State floor
Cavinta (BSU): BHS LOSO, medium check, looked like she was heading into hip break territory but pulls it back with some arm flourishes, Kickover front, split straddle 1/4 very pretty, full turn. Front aerial to beat. Solid dismount. 9.6
Mack (OSU): Front layout to Rudi, switch side Popa very clean. Double pike, bent knees in the air, overrotates and rolls out. Thought for a second she would stop the routine, but she came back to finish her choreography. 9.0
Lopez (BSU): BHS LOSO, bit of knee bend in the trailing leg. Switch leap to BHS, pretty leap series, kickover front, front full with a step back. Great first meet for the freshman. 9.7
Force (OSU): Okay double pike, uncertain landing, positions questionable on leaps. Front lay to front full with bent knees. Double back, out of bounds. 9.475
Popp (BSU): Oh hey, she’s here! Two BHS to her two foot lay and the AIR is just unbelievable. Never seen one anywhere near that good in NCAA. Good switch 1/2, gainer full with a scoot. Short and sweet. 9.825
Bird (OSU): Front lay to Rudi to straddle jump, crossed legs and very bouncy landing. Switch something to split full, underrotated. Two and a half, bouncy landing again. At this point we’re hoping for completed routines and that’s good after two rough turns for her today. 9.775
Elkabchi (BSU): BHS LOSO, aerial round off is great! Switch half, good, this is super secure today. Beat jump side aerial. One and a half twist with a hop forward. That was a great, great routine. 9.700 is robbery.
Edit from after the meet: This score was retroactively bumped to a 9.750. Still mad about it, but improvement.
Peterson (OSU): Making faces on the sideline as she gets ready to go. Double back, overrotated and scoots back but keeps it in bounds. Front lay front full, solid, switch half to Popa. Double pike comes in a touch low but lands well. 9.7 wraps up her AA set.
Masiado (BSU): L turn from kneel, very fancy. BHS LOSO with a bit of leg form, check in the middle of her switch switch 1/2 series and split issues too. Side aerial tuck back full, she might not have a dance series. 9.65
M. Dagen (OSU): Front double full, pretty solid, switch 1/2 Popa. Front lay front full is great. Double pike, takes an extra step back and narrowly stays in bounds. 9.775
Muhlenhaupt (BSU): BHS LOSO, little adjustment, I think that was a straddle + sheep + split combination? Side aerial good, 1.5 dismount stuck beautifully. 9.85
Yanish (OSU): Beautiful double layout and her trademark scoot back out of it. She’s so incredible on floor and could be contending for 10s on a weekly basis if she just stopped overrotating her double saltos but it seems impossible for her. Good combo pass, her trademark leap series to fall sideways that I still think is cute, another scoot back on the double back. 9.900 is too high but like… they can have this one after what they’ve been through tonight.
FINAL: Boise State 194.300 – Oregon State 191.950
Oregon State showed a montage of family and friends who recorded good luck messages for the team, but like 80% of them were about Jane Poniewaz.
What a rough ride for the Beavers, and there’s no indication the problems might be magically fixed next week. Getting Lacy Dagen and Colette Yamaoka back into lineups from… wherever they are right now… should be a substantial boost, and some falls like Hoiland’s on bars are easily fixable blots on fundamentally good routines. Landings on floor will clean up in time, even if no one is going to be filling Isis Lowery’s shoes on that event. But the handstand and form issues on bars are major and won’t disappear overnight. It’s hard to imagine this roster contending for the Pac-12 night session this year, to say the least.
Boise State had some amplitude and landing issues that pervaded the team but, in my opinion, didn’t look as bad as the scores conveyed. There’s a lot of pretty gymnastics on this team and it should be scoring weekly 196s pretty soon. A sixth floor routine would definitely be nice, and Alexis Stokes and freshman Courtney Blackson were nowhere to be seen, but it was a solid first meet with plenty to build on.
VT: Madi Dagen (OSU) 9.900
UB: Emily Muhlenhaupt (BSU) 9.950
BB: Dagen, Muhlenhaupt 9.850
FX: Kaitlyn Yanish (OSU) 9.900
AA: Kristina Peterson (OSU) 38.725
Live blog by Rebecca Scally
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