This Pac-12 matchup might not be particularly close, but each team is interesting in its own right. For Arizona State, the 2020 season was a tense and short-handed one in which freshmen had no choice but to make up the bulk of the team’s lineups and produce virtually all of the key routines under immense pressure. The 2021 Sun Devil sophomores seem to have been galvanized by their bizarre entry into college gymnastics and look rock-solid and prepared to carry the team for the next three years.
After a frightening first meet, Oregon State rallied admirably last weekend to improve its team total by almost three points. Vault continues to excel, anchored by Madi Dagen’s jaw-droppingly stickable Yurchenko one and a half, and the Beavers’ strategy of pivoting to lower-SV but hittable bar routines rather than going after dangerous ones that start from 10.0 paid off to the tune of a two point increase on a single event. True excellence in 2021 would require the return of several injured athletes plus a few new bars routines materializing out of thin air, but grinding out a respectable season in scary circumstances could set the Beavers up for a great 2022 much as the Sun Devils’ pressure-cooker 2020 set the team up for long term growth.
Keep in mind that for all of OSU’s angst on bars for the last two weeks, the Beavs haven’t had to open a meet on that event until right now.
Rotation 1: ASU Vault, OSU Bars
Mangahas (ASU): Pikey FTY, comes in way low and takes a big step forward, narrowly avoids touching the ground. 9.5
M. Dagen (OSU): Bail to handstand, toe on to toe shoot, bent elbow catch. Shy on cast handstands, toe on to blind full to double back. Doesn’t start from a 10 but solid, clean start. 9.525
White (ASU): Pretty FTY, big hop back but super clean in the air. 9.75
Hoiland (OSU): By far the most grown-up bars routine the Beavs have to offer this year. Blind to pike Jaeger, a bit close with flexed feet, goooorgeous bail. Blind full, leg flicker, double back with a step back. Good one. 9.7
Reeves (ASU): Tucked one and a half, lands with her weight back and her knees completely locked out. Ran back four steps but she’s lucky her knees survived that, I had Sam Cerio flashbacks. 9.525
Poniewaz (OSU): Toe on to Ray, loose form on catch, to overshoot. FTDB a bit low with a step forward. 9.725
Smith (ASU): DRILLED the one and a half. Saw a little leg separation in the air but that was amazing. 9.875 is a bummer of a score.
Bird (OSU): Bail to stalder, iffy handstand, okay Tkachev with zero counterrotation. FTDB with a hop in place. 9.725
Scharf (ASU): Pretty full with a step back. 9.8
Mack (OSU): Shy on the first handstand, Tkachev with flexed feet. Blind to straddle back, short of handstand, FTDB with a step forward. She’s done massive work on her cast handstands since the first week. 9.75
Leonard-Baker (ASU): Pretty much stuck FTY. We didn’t get to watch that one close so I couldn’t see details but it looked good.
Young (OSU): Toe on to Maloney to overshoot, commentators don’t seem to realize that you’re allowed to do that skill without going to handstand. Double layout piked down HARD but good landing, hop in place.
Jasmine Gutierrez stuck a FTY in the exhibition there for the Sun Devils.
After 1: ASU 48.800, OSU 48.500
That’s probably about as high as OSU bars can go. Five routines starting from a 10.0, solid handstands and dismount landings, there’s just not a ton more room to grow. Kudos to the coaches for figuring out what they had to do fast after the week one drama.
Not Arizona State’s week on the vault landings, but got through fine anyway and now has a friendly event coming up.
Rotation 2: OSU vault, ASU bars
Poniewaz (OSU): Okay FTY, not the highest and a bit pikey, hop back. 9.775
Reeves (ASU): Short on her first handstand, blind to Jaeger with a slightly loose catch. Small foot issues throughout, bail, double lay that she tried to stick and then had to scoot. 9.75
Peterson (OSU): First of three 10.0 starts for the Beavs. Full on pike off, quite far back on the table, not the highest but lots of distance and a hop back. 9.775
White (ASU): Van Leeuwen super clean, half turn to bail. Super floaty DLO with a hop back. 9.85
Bird (OSU): FTY quite far back and crooked on the table, solid in the air with a hop. 9.75
Scharf (ASU): Maloney to Pak, FTDB stuck. Super super clean. 9.875
Yanish (OSU): Her usual gorgeous, open FTY with a medium hop back. 9.825
Clark (ASU): Blind to Jaeger, high and pretty, great Pak. Double lay stuck. Sun Devils zoning now. 9.9
S. Gonzales (OSU): Much more twisted on the table than Peterson’s was, which is a good thing for this vault. Full-on pike big with a large step back. 9.825
Boyer (ASU): Toe on to Maloney to Pak, super clean, FTDB a little deep with a step back. 9.8
M. Dagen (OSU): One and a half stuck dead. THIRD STICK IN A ROW THIS YEAR. Unbelievable. 9.95 yes girl.
Leonard-Baker (ASU): Maloney to bail to piked toe shoot, clean, FTDB stuck. Ridiculous bars rotation for the Sun Devils. 9.875
After 2: ASU 98.100, OSU 97.650
Dagen is the best vaulter in the country right now, I said it. Beyond clutch. One of the stories of the season. The Sun Devils’ stick streak in that rotation was absurd too. No early-season jitters left for any of these teams.
Rotation 3: ASU beam, OSU floor
Thompson (ASU): BHS BHS LOSO, touch of knees but super steady. Switch straddle quarter, full turn, side aerial and misses the second foot on the beam!! but gets the back full around and sticks it anyway. 9.825
Mack (OSU): Rudi overpowered with a big shuffle back, switch side Popa gorgeous. Clean double pike landing. 9.75
White (ASU): BHS LOSO, full turn, front aerial to beat, split to double stag. Side aerial back full with a hop. 9.825
Force (OSU): Double pike super clean. Switch half to Popa a bit underrotated. Front lay front full with some form issues, double tuck deep with chest down but makes it work.
Mangahas (ASU): Cat leap kickover front, good, BHS LOSO with some knees. Switch to split. Front aerial with form and a check. Side aerial back full stuck-ish. 9.7
Gonzales (OSU): Double pike okay, switch ring switch half. Front full, misses the punch, front tuck and shuffles around a bit. Double tuck and falls there. Not enough gas, plain and simple. 8.85
Clark (ASU): Full turn, strong triple series, front aerial, BHS one and a half twist with a step. 9.825
Bird (OSU): Front lay to Rudi to straddle, bouncy but pretty, I lost the stream for a sec but the commentators sound happy. 9.875
Reeves (ASU): BHS BHS LOSO with big knee problems. Switch split, split issues and a check, front aerial to cradle jump with some form again. One and a half twist with a check. 9.725
Peterson (OSU): Double back, overrotated with a front foot scoot, front lay front full dancing straight out. Switch half Popa. Double pike under with chest down. 9.825
Scharf (ASU): Double wolf turn, BHS LOSO pretty with a front foot pivot. Good side somi, switch split, one and a half stuck. Really good anchor. 9.85
Yanish (OSU): Manifesting no overrotated double saltos. PLEASE. I want a ten for her so bad but it’s in her own hands. Double lay, front foot bounces but at least stays in the same place. Touch of knees in the front lay front full, her adorable little side jump after the switch side Popa to avoid landing deductions, aaaaaaaaaand overrotates the double back and pulls the front foot. Yeah, it was bound to happen. 9.9
Exhibitions are Jordyn Jaslow and Julia Melchert.
After 3: Arizona State 147.150, Oregon State 146.825
Rotation 4: OSU beam, ASU floor
L. Gonzales (OSU): Front aerial, leg up check, front aerial BHS good. Switch straddle 1/4, cat leap kickover front, side aerial back full. 9.725
Reeves (ASU): Two and a half twist, whip half front full with messy form. Switch to switch ring half, iffy position, Rudi solid. 9.65
Poniewaz (OSU): Kickover front BHS super secure. Full turn, beat to split to double stag with slightly off leap positions, gainer full stuck. That was rock-solid. 9.825
Clark (ASU): Double pike, solid, missed the second pass, one and a half front lay really secure. Great, great day for the freshman. 9.8
Kayla Bird (OSU): Kickover front BHS fast and secure, orphan sissone, check on a cat leap, cat leap switch half and another check, punch front full pretty good. 9.675
Boyer (ASU): Front lay to Rudi, low chest and a stumble on the double pike. Tour jete half wolf full with super ambiguous rotation. One and a half front lay. 9.8
Young (OSU): Front aerial, bend check. BHS LOSO good. Switch to split, check, split to double stag, solid landing on her dismount. 9.625
Mangahas (ASU): Full in, chest low and a step forward, front to double back a little deep but clean lunge out. I think that was a switch half wolf full.
S. Gonzales (OSU): Commentators have had some problems telling the sisters apart but luckily I watch pretty much every OSU meet and I know what their respective acro series are! Front aerial side somi clean. Switch half BHS great. Side aerial back full nailed. Her composition is so weird but it WORKS for her. 9.9!
Scharf (ASU): Front thru double back great, I think that was a front lay front full front tuck, switch half wolf full. Double pike, right on top of the landing. Another big AA score on the way for the sophomore. 9.85 brings her to 39.375 AA.
M. Dagen (OSU): BHS LOSO super steady, switch switch half with a minor check. Side aerial back full stuck. No drama. 9.9
Leonard-Baker (ASU): One and a half front full super secure. Chaotic on her leap series, bouncing out of the wolf 3/2 a bit, that’s a tough one to control. Chest way down on the double pike with a step forward. 9.8
Kristina Peterson in the ex for Oregon State today. Love her shoulder stand mount choreography to death. Emily White wraps up floor for the Sun Devils.
FINAL: Arizona State 196.225, Oregon State 195.850
Solid season high for the Beavers despite a shaky beam rotation. They’re still short-handed and will stay that way for the foreseeable future, but the team is doing a great job being strategic with what they have available and hitting.
Arizona State looks absolutely rocking on bars and honestly could have scored higher on a lot of those routines. The Devils’ freshman class combined with the Hannah Scharf renaissance means a lot of pretty, pretty gymnastics on this roster.
VT: Madi Dagen (OSU) 9.950
UB: Sarah Clark (ASU) 9.900
BB: Madi Dagen, Sydney Gonzales (OSU) 9.900
FX: Kaitlyn Yanish (OSU) 9.900
AA: Hannah Scharf (ASU) 39.375
Live blog by Rebecca Scally
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