LIVE BLOG: No. 3 Utah at No. 2 Oklahoma

Hark! What’s this!? A widely available Oklahoma home meet?! What a treat to actually be able to watch the defending national champs and national No. 2 while not living in Oklahoma! /sarcasm

This is the banner meet of the weekend. It’s not that often we get a No. 2 vs. No. 3 (or No. 2 vs No. 1 for that matter) since those top three or so teams are usually scattered among different conferences. This is our lucky day.

Oklahoma is favored; the Sooners broke 197 last week while Utah just missed that mark at a 196.900. They’re also at home in the Lloyd Noble Center where they’ve been nigh unstoppable for going on half a decade. The Utes may just be up to the challenge, though. A messy bar rotation is what kept Utah a pace behind Oklahoma and Florida last week. Cleaned up work there, and these two squads could be neck-and-neck. The Sooners, meanwhile, had some floor routines below their usual level of precision in week one. That’s their big area of improvement for this week.

This all around battle is also shaping up to be a nail biter. Anastasia Webb is the favorite, but Cristal Isa and Maile O’Keefe are hot on her heels; if Webb opens the door with even small errors, the Ute all arounders will be there to pounce.

It’s worth keeping in mind, too, that Utah’s last headlining dual was at UCLA in 2020. The Utes upset the Bruins in Pauley.

Injury updates: Olivia Trautman is out for the first half of the season.

We’re keeping an eye out for Carly Woodard, who has been posting on her Instagram story this morning as though she won’t be competing today.

Also: Oklahoma is undefeated at home since February 9, 2014, with a loss to LSU. Yep, a nearly seven year streak.

We’ve got lineups!

I don’t know why WordPress is refusing to render that, good grief. Anyway, indeed no Woodard. I’ll keep an eye out for her on the sidelines.

Alright folks here we go. Are you ready? Is it possible to be ready?

Rotation 1: Oklahoma vault, Utah bars

Someone was injured in vault warmups.

Davis (OU): FTY, very pretty, good hip angle. Small step. 9.825

Paulson (Utah): Maloney, some leg sep, Pak, more legs. Blind 1/1 little shy good double tuck. 9.825

Smith (OU): FTY, big hop back, some leg sep. 9.725

Audrey Lynn was the injury, a sprained ankle. Quinn Smith also warmed up, but Smith got the nod.

Sabado (Utah): Blind Jaeger, some knees on the catch, short handstand. Bail hand to toe shoot, smooth. DLO, sloppy legs good landing.

Stern (OU): Y1.5, big step back, almost sat but saved it.

Burch (Utah): Hop change Jaeger, nice. Good bail hand, nice position. DLO, leg sep tiny hop. 9.825

LeVasseur (OU): Y1.5, very good in the air, almost stick then small hop. 9.875

O’Keefe (Utah): Maloney, some legs on the backswing, Pak, good. Short last handstand. Double Arabian, stuck.

Webb (OU): Y1.5, small hop in place, clean in the air. 9.925, not mad about that.

LeBlanc (Utah): Blind to Jaeger immediate bail, tiny bit of leg looseness. DLO, almost holds the stick, small hop forward. Her chest was low. 9.875

Schoepfer (OU): Tuck Y1.5, medium step forward. Hands REALLY low on the table.

Isa (Utah): Ray, nice. Good handstands. Bail hand solid. Blind 1/1 late, DLO, feet in the air. 9.875

AFTER ONE: OU 49.150, UU 49.275

Well, did you think that’s how that would go?! I didn’t! Bars is where the Utes were weak last week, but they cleaned up a lot of details. There are still fixable errors in that rotation, but it’s tidier. Oklahoma was uncharacteristically steppy. Just not finding those landings like usual.

Rotation 2: Utah vault, Oklahoma bars

O’Keefe (Utah): FTY, some hips, but stuck cold. 9.85

Thomas (OU): Hect mount. Toe 1/2 good, Jaeger. Bail hand holds it for a moment. DLO, stuck. Wow. Ah, on replay it was a collegey stick. 9.825

Isa (Utah): FTY, major hips, chest low, hops forward. 9.7

LeVasseur (OU): Short first handstand. Maloney to bail hand solid. DLO, low chest but no feet movement. 9.875

Rucker (Utah): FTY, BIG! Step back. 9.825

Draper (OU): Hect mount, Blind to pike Jaeger, some bent arms on catch. Pak, feet. Blind to Double front, big cowboy and feet, stuck. 9.85

Hall (Utah): Y1.5, big step forward. 9.8

Smith (OU): Ray to Pak, misses a hand and comes off the bar. DLO, stuck. 9.075

Burch (Utah): Y1.5, soft knees, sits it. 9.125

Webb (OU): She’s dancing in the chalk while the judges decide how to score Smith. Judges are in face shields. We stan the safety. This is an extremely long wait. Pak, some feet. Van Leeuwen, good. Toe half to double front half out, holds the stick, her usual feet in the air. 9.85

Stanhope (Utah): FTY, good body position, small step back. 9.825

Davis (OU): My fave bar set in the NCAA I said it. Hect mount. Great handstand. Blind slightly late, huge lovely pike Jaeger. Pak, slightly closed shoulders. Blind, perfect, front giant double front, cowboyed, small step. 9.9, just that step.

AFTER TWO: OU 98.450, UU 98.275

Phew this is staying close! The Sooners made up some ground with tidy handstands, but steps and small errors are keeping this thing close. Utah was absolutely hurt by the Burch fall, that would’ve been a big number if she’d been able to hold the stick. Onward!

Obviously by “made up some ground” I meant took the lead. Heh.

Rotation 3: Oklahoma beam, Utah floor

Thomas (OU): She’s getting a classic KJ beam pep talk. Lots of gesticulating happening. Split mount. Side somi, completely solid. Bhs loso, small check, nice in the air. Switch switch to straddle quarter, check with leg up. Side aerial 1/1, feet a touch too far apart, but no movement. 9.725

Isa (Utah): Double tuck, big lunge but no foot movement. Double pike, slides backward. Switch side Popa wolf 1/1, little imprecise in the rotation and low wolf front leg. Combo pass is solid. 9.775

Schoepfer (OU): Bhs loso, solid. Kelly says she was put in for LeVasseur after warmups. Aerial into leap series, little shy on her splits. RO 1.5, leg sep and small hop. 9.75

Gilstrap (Utah): Courtney McCool helping her stay loose during a judges conference. Her floor debut after exhibition last week. Double tuck, excellent landing. She has great presence, very engaging. Front lay to rudi, good amplitude. Switch ring to tour jete 1/2 was nice. Front lay to front full, good landing but a little flat in the air. Great routine! 9.85

Dunn (OU): Some pressure! OU doesn’t usually start off with two sub-9.8s on beam. Bhs bhs loso, solid. Split + split 1/2, nice. Gainer full, stuck. That’ll get scores back on track. 9.9, that’s earned

Paulson (Utah): Front lay front full to stag, solid, would like to see the full a little more punchy, but that’s picky. 2.5, great save, she overrotated but used the lunge to bring it into control. Switch to tour jete 1/2, nice splits. 1.5 to front lay, good. She really minimized deductions on that middle pass. 9.825

Davis (OU): She has nice flow when moving across the beam, it really stands out. Bhs loso, some soft knees in the bhs. Onodi, lovely. Beat + ring, step. RO double, step back. 9.775

Rucker (Utah): FTDB, has to lunge forward but great form in the air, legs together. That’s so rare. Tour jete to split full to wolf full, got a little offline in the air. Front lay to front full, good. Nice. 9.85, I could’ve gone higher but that lunge forward is a big ding.

Smith (OU): Bhs loso, some knee softness but solid landing. Front aerial to straddle, great, her usual big straddle. Beat + split 1/2 + bhs swingdown, little offline on the swingdown, otherwise strong. Bhs gainer full off the side stuck. 9.9

O’Keefe (Utah): Double pike, very high and a good landing. Front lay to front full, little too much energy in the lunge but she holds it together. Switch to tour jete 1/1, I’d say she cheated the rotation a touch. 3/2 to front lay, excellent landing, Bart says “wooooowwww.” 9.875

Webb (OU): Her signature quick twitch movement on full display. Bhs loso, solid. Front aerial slight adjustment to a beat. Switch switch, good. Cameraman thought that’d be the dismount whooo panned too far. Side aerial 1/1, feet a little far but stuck. 9.9, that’s correct.

Soloski (Utah): DLO, leg sep, landing looked good but Griffeth was in my way. Switch half to split full, nice. Little wild out of her combo pass, but dances out to cover it, probably deduction-free. 3/2 to front lay, great landing, higher on the lay which is what you want. 9.9

AFTER TWO: OU 147.675, UU 147.575

Oh baby! These scores are legit. We’re in the Twilight Zone I guess! This is very interesting, floor has been Oklahoma’s weak spot, and they threw Thomas in for Woodard, so it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. Beam, meanwhile, is Utah’s showpiece. Can the Utes come back and steal this one?!

O’Keefe is just .075 behind Webb in the all around race as well. Don’t look away from this one.

Rotation 4: Utah beam, Oklahoma floor

LeBlanc (Utah): Switch to split 1/4 is good, could use a touch more oversplit. Bhs loso, offline from the start and she falls. Well here we go folks, pressure’s on. Front aerial to split, good. Wobble on her full turn. RO 1.5, step to the side right off the mat. 9.125

Draper (OU): Double pike, feet in the air, jumps into the lunge. FHS front full front full, hops a touch into that lunge too. Split half to popa, some messy feet. Whip half to 1.5, little low and low chest. 9.875

Burch (Utah): Small check on full turn. Bhs loso, drops a should a touch. Split + double stag, good. Cat to front aerial, I think there was meant to be something at the end but she held. Gainer full off the side stuck. Good recovery set! 9.8

Schoepfer (OU): This was going to be Thomas, but I guess the meet was too close to pop in a brand new set. Double tuck good landing but feet in the air. Leg sep on combo pass but a good landing right into choreo. Switch ring to hop wolf full, little chaotic on the wolf position. Double pike, feet, moved her front foot a touch on the lunge. 9.85

Isa (Utah): Back toss mount. Front toss to beat, was very deep in the knees. Bhs loso loso, no problems at all. Straddle to straddle quarter, good splits. Bhs gainer full off the side small hop. 9.625??? I think they took the connection on the toss to beat.

LaPinta (OU): 3/1, not nearly there, a full quarter short and legs in the air, but she lunges to cover it. Front full to front lay, good amplitude. Tour jete 1/2 to split 1/1, sloppy rotation. Double tuck, slides her front foot on the lunge. 9.9, that’s the first score I feel is way too high. I’d take .15 on the triple alone.

Randall (Utah): Bhs loso, good. Beat to sheep, no movement. Head release was good. Bhs 1/1 swingdown. Stuck dismount. 9.875

Webb (OU): FHS front 2/1, good landing, bounced the tiniest bit. Good combo pass. Tour jete 1/1, very short on rotation and steps to the side. FHS rudi to straight jump, good. 9.85

O’Keefe (Utah): Chance to take the AA from Webb here. 9.9 needed I think. Side aerial loso, great, no deductions. Switch to split, good, nice oversplits. Cat to side aerial to stuck full. Ooooooooooo. 9.875, so close! Misses by 0.025. JK! I must have misread! 9.95! She’ll take it!

Smith (OU): Double tuck, moves her front foot a touch. Good combo pass right into choreo. Switch side to wolf full, overcooked the first and undercooked the second. Double pike, slid her front foot a good bit. 9.875

Paulson (Utah): Bart says they’re inquiring about Isa’s score. Eyes emoji. Bobble on her series, but recovers in her leaps. She’s nervy, just a touch off in her shoulders. Cat to side aerial to stuck full. Good way to close. 9.725, ouch.

Deniz (OU): In for Thomas who was in for Woodard who is out with a foot injury. Phew. Whip to 2.5, big step out of it and OOB. Switch ring to straddle full, neither split was there and she had a lot of softness in her knees. FHS rudi to… a little hop up in the air?

We’re waiting for that inquiry on Isa’s score.

FINAL: OU 197.025, UU 196.550

Shame that Utah melted down a bit on beam. The Sooners really used floor to step out of reach. The big takeaway, though? The Sooners look good, but beatable. They’re not untouchable right now. Utah will walk away from this one mad. The Utes had a shot, and watched it fly away. We’ll see if they can use that to power them forward. O’Keefe really made a statement.

Event winners:
VT: Webb, 9.925
UB: Davis, 9.900
BB: O’Keefe, 9.950
FX: Soloski, LaPinta, 9.900
AA: O’Keefe 39.550

Live blog by Emily Minehart

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