Happy…Wednesday? I don’t know! We have few Wednesday meets this year. I have to assume shorter season plus all online classes equals let’s hop on a bus on a Tuesday.
Anyway, I hope you’re avoiding work, or checking your phone in stealth mode while combo parenting-teaching-working, or just checking in periodically while you do a Very Important Job—that is to say any one of you who is required to go physically be at your place of work right now. Thank you, you are amazing.
Alright. Gymnastics! We always love to see a matchup between ranking neighbors. They usually turn out to be fun. In this case we’ve got a BYU squad that is very much reliant on specialists and two-event stars because it can (seriously go look at the size of that roster if you haven’t recently). UCLA has to be a little more conservative, but when your all around and three-event gymnasts are Nia Dennis, Marz Frazier and Chae Campbell, uh it works out.
Both teams are in the middle of a bit of a crunch period, with three meets across the course of not a lot of days. This is inevitable when you schedule Wednesday meets. We should expect some lineup surprises from both in the interest of keeping everyone healthy and fresh through this tough mid-season stretch.
Injury updates: Haley Pitou (BYU, COVID-19 protocols) missed the Cougars’ Friday meet. Norah Flatley (UCLA, ankle) is out for the next three meets.
It’s lineup o’clock!
I’m glad UCLA told us to tune in 15 mins early to the stream to see…a black screen during the national anthem. Very good.
Oh okay, we get march in, that’s nice.
Looks like we’ve got the new UCLA gold leo and the BYU floral number from…two? years ago.
We’re getting a message about racial injustices while both teams kneel. Is this our first instance of both teams fully kneeling? Maybe! Also possible some have and we haven’t seen it on streams.
Oooo boy just FYI it is 5:03 ET and we’re starting the four minute touch now. So, this’ll be starting a touch late.
Heh the DJ played Tik Tok and they censored “bottle of Jack” and “tipsy”. ???? ‘Murica.
Rotation 1: UCLA vault, BYU bars
Tratz (UCLA): FTY some hips and a little hop. 9.775
Zhong (BYU): Lol we missed everything but the DLO with a hop. 9.8
Poston (UCLA): FHS pike half, very low chest and a hop. 9.825
Hunter (BYU): Short first handstand, catches a foot on her Tkathcev, big arch on a clear hip hand. Bail, gets that cleanly. DLO, couldn’t see her feet but chest up landing. 9.4 oop they updated to a 9.5.
Frazier (UCLA): BIG FTY, piked it down and hopped back. 9.8
Cyrenne (BYU): Quite a wait here, which I don’t get since we have the score already. Toe hand to Maloney, leg sep on release and back swing, to bail hand. DLO, small hop back. 9.775
Wright (UCLA): Y1.5, deep squat and a big step back. 9.725
Beeston (BYU): Hect mount. Clear hip hand touch shy to Gienger immediate bail, tiny bit of core looseness. DLO, whipped a bit and a hop back. Could’ve been higher. 9.775
Dennis (UCLA): FTY, big as always, twisted a touch early and a small hop. 9.85
Alvarado (BYU): Toe hand to Maloney, mostly clean but leg sep on the back swing. Good pak. DLO, step back. 9.825
Campbell (UCLA): FTY, best hip positions of the bunch, just a hop. She gets SO HIGH. 9.85
Stainton (BYU): Hect mount. Short handstand to blind, pike Jaeger to immediate bail. All of that was rushed and a bit clipped. FTDB stuck. 9.825
Miner Alder (BYU, exh.): Hop change to straddle Jaeger immediate bail. Could use more amplitude on the Jaeger. DLO, hop forward.
AFTER 1: UCLA 49.100, BYU 49.000
Oooooo close close. Both teams had some hoppy landings, but nothing went disastrously. BYU is hurting from missing Pitou’s score, but a 49 flat is nothing tragic.
Rotation 2: UCLA bars, BYU vault
Zhong (BYU): FTY, some hip angle in the air and a hop. 9.775
Campbell (UCLA): Maloney with leg sep, to good bail hand. Blind to double front, cowboyed but stuck. 9.85
Griffeth (BYU): Yhalf, good distance, hop forward. 9.725
Kooyman (UCLA): Short first handstand to Maloney with leg sep, low pak. Short last handstand. DLO, hop back. 9.725
Bain (BYU): FTY, big hop back. 9.675
Ulias (UCLA): PRETTY KCH blind to straddle Jaeger. Toe hand to bail hand slight leg sep on the flight. Her toes are lovely. Stalder to double tuck two hops forward. 9.725, the landing got her, but she has huge potential here.
Mason (BYU): FTY, twisted early, hip angle and a hop. 9.8
Dennis (UCLA): Maloney, leg sep to bail hand leg sep again. DLO, was leaning forward but held the stick. 9.8 judges are NOT feeling friendly. These scores are legit.
Bennett (BYU) Y 1/1 on tuck, little low and a hop back. I would say she got the 1/1 around, but those vaults never do and it doesn’t seem to be a problem so shrug. 9.775
Esparza (UCLA): Maloney good legs! to nice Pak. Van Leeuwen good. Strong last handstand. DLO, some leg sep low chest and an arm swing. Great set! 9.9, works for me.
Miner Alder (BYU): FTY, some hips and a little hop. 9.85, yeah, it was the best BYU FTY.
Frazier (UCLA): Maloney some legs to good Pak. Van Leeuwen GREAT catching position. DLO, small hop. 9.85
Rieder (BYU, exh.): FTY, bent arms on the table, not enough juice and takes it to her knees.
Taubman (UCLA, exh.): Jaeger, waaaaay too far out, falls. She didn’t get her hands on, so she’ll need to repeat. Oop jk, toe hand to bail hand, loose in her back. DLO, deep knees and a big hop back. Yeah, I don’t think that release will be credited.
Matthews (BYU, exh.): Yhalf, very lethargic just no punch, sits it.
AFTER 2: UCLA 98.225, BUY 97.925
This is going just fine. BYU is just under 196 pace and UCLA is looking at a mid-196. Both, I think, would want to be higher at the halfway point, but it’s by no means a bad showing. Just those early-seasony landing issues, really.
Oh okay! This is actually a season high for UCLA on bars. So I rescind my “just fine” comments.
Rotation 3: UCLA beam, BYU floor
Frazier (UCLA): She’s so instantly engaging, even on beam. It’s so special. Switch to straddle, great positions. Front aerial to back tuck, leg up check and some knee bend in the aerial and feet on the tuck. Side aerial check to beat. They miiiiight give her the connection. Gainer front 1/1 off the end, little hop. She’s mad but it wasn’t tragic. 9.725
Bain (BYU): Double tuck, swims to hold the stick with a low chest. Jumps were fine. Front lay front 1/1 punch front, knees on the lay and just lacking some amplitude. Punch rudi with a foot adjustment to end. 9.825
Poston (UCLA): Beat to straddle 3/4, little check well covered. Bhs bhs loso, check and soft knees in all three. RO 3/2 true stick. 9.8
Bennett (BYU): We cut into her landing a front tuck after her first pass. Good landing! Wish we’d see the beginning of these routines! Argh. Double tuck little off balance in the lunge and sort of dances out to the side. Switch side to cat 2/1 very interesting. 9.75
Esparza (UCLA): Bhs loso no deductions there. Switch to straddle 1/4, little forward lean but worked it well. Front aerial to beat was solid. Side aerial 1/1, big hip angle, sort of stumble steps out. 9.75, that landing.
Matthews (BYU): This is the Napoleon Dynamite set! Double pike, good landing, little low in the air. Whip half to front lay, lands on her heels and slides, they’ll take a step on that. Switch side wolf full, one of the nicer wolf positions. Double tuck, low chest but holds the lunge. 9.8
Dennis (UCLA): Bhs loso, great amplitude, was a touch off balance but she covered it, don’t think it’ll be a deduction. Clean on her leap combo. RO 3/2, small hop that she tried to cover with the salute. 9.9
Stainton (BYU): Double pike, leaned waaaay back in the lunge and lifted her front foot a bit. RO 3/2 to barani to split, could use more height on the barani. Swtich ring to switch 1/1, good rotation. Double tuck, better landing, still adjusted that front foot a bit. 9.775
Campbell (UCLA): wolf turn 2/1, some arm swimmies. Bhs loso, feet in the loso and a chest down check. Swtich half, bout as good as those ever look on beam. Switch to split HUGE splits. Cartwheel gainer 1/1, good landing. 9.775
Vitkauskas (BYU): Front 2/1, good, little too much oompf into the lunge. Great amplitude on combo pass, some foot adjustment on the landing. Switch side popa, bit deep on the popa landing. Rudi to end, couldn’t see her front foot but looked clean. 9.85
Sakti (UCLA): Loso loso so floaty, but just quite offline and falls. Switch to split, good. Side somi, low chest. Side aerial 1/1, good hips, little foot slide. 9.125
Miner Alder (BYU): DLO, great landing, but not great amplitude. Tour jete 1/2 split 1/1 was clean. RO 3/2 front lay, nice landing but again could use more amplitude. Double pike, best pass yet. 9.925
Kooyman (UCLA, exh.): Press mount to planche, I just cannot express how hard that is it blows my mind. Cat to side aerial, little check. Bhs loso, clean. Check on her full turn. Switch to back tuck, really paused between the two and knees on the leap. Bhs gainer 1/1 off the side stuck.
Rieder (BYU, exh.): FHS front 2/1 to punch front, got a little rushed on the punch, not great height. Switch side wolf 1/1, the wolf was underrotated. Back 2/1 to straddle, bounced back in the jump. FHS rudi, lunged forward.
AFTER 3: UCLA 147.175, BYU 147.100
Oooooooooo eyes emoji. This baby is CLOSE as expected. I like this score scape. It’s not super strict but you’re not going to get away with lunging forward, either. Both teams are on track for a good-not-great number, which is just fine in early February.
Rotation 4: UCLA floor, BYU beam
Mather (BYU): Side aerial to split, feet in the aerial. Bhs loso, soft knees in the bhs and a small check. Switch to straddle 1/4. Cartwheel gainer 1/1 stuck. 9.875, oh okay? That feels a touch high.
Andres (UCLA): RO 5/2 punch front, took the front out rather than up but not egregiously so. Double tuck, fell back into the lunge a bit. Switch to…nothing? Was that an error? Pretty sure the answer is yes, something should’ve been there? Switch 1/2 to popa, realllllly muscled the popa around. 9.775
Cyrenne (BYU): Bhs loso, soft knees in the bhs. Switch half to split everyone stop doing switch halfs challenge. RO 3/2 hop forward. 9.775
Wright (UCLA): A BACKSTREET BOYS ROUTINE WHAT. 5/2 great landing. BACKSTREET’S BACK BABY. Rudi to double stag, little off balance in the jump. Tour jete 1/2 split full, little imprecise on those rotations. RO 3/2 front lay, arched the lay some. WAIT. NOW WE’VE GOT N’SYNC. Okay okay okay. 9.775
Miner Alder (BYU): Orphan split. Beat to front toss bhs, clean. Beat to split 3/4, the split was a little wonky as it rotated. Cartwheel gainer 1/1 good. 9.775
Tratz (UCLA): Full-in, riiiiiight on the line, couldn’t see if a flag went up but I think it’s likely. Fine on her jumps, front leg a little low on the ring leap. RO 3/2 front lay, good landing but a bit low on the lay. Double tuck, high and great landing. 9.9 I guess she didn’t go out!
McClelland (BYU): Wolf turn 2/1 falls right into her choreo, that’s smart construction. Bhs loso, small shoulder check. Beat to double stag, nice, clean landing. Bhs tuck 3/2, leaning forward covers a step by saluting. 9.775
Frazier (UCLA): RO whip through double tuck, clean. Side somi in her choreo. Double pike, high and a great landing. Tour jete 1/2 popa popa, great, little short on the tour jete split. That somi is her front element. 9.925
Rollins (BYU): Switch to straddle 1/4, landed well. Front aerial bhs bhs, clean, just some soft knees in the aerial. Hitch to side aerial, good. She’s very steady. Gainer 1/1 off the side, step. 9.85
Campbell (UCLA): FHS 2/1, clean landing. Tour jete 1/2 popa, GREAT splits and rotation. Really superior on those. Double tuck, no deductions on that landing. FHS front lay front 1/1, little off balance and lunges to the side, that’s a tiny deduction. 9.9
Stainton (BYU): Hitch front toss bhs, clean throughout. Switch to split 1/4, soft knees in the 1/4. RO 3/2 true stick. 9.9
Dennis (UCLA): Here we go folks! FHS front lay stepout through double tuck, good. Love that pass. She so clearly loves performing this routine. It just radiates. FHs front 1/1 front lay, little low on the lay, clean landing right into choreo. Strong on her jumps, she gets good height. FHs rudi to split, really travels in the split. 9.925
Mason (BYU, exh.): Bhs loso, she’s a little timid but landed well. Clean side aerial. Switch to split, good 180s. RO 3/2, holds the stick.
Sakti (UCLA, exh.): Open double tuck, too much juice and lunges OOB, plus was a bit off balance. Big, clean leaps. Front full front lay, landed on her heels and slid a bit. Side aerial. Double pike, doesn’t quite pull it around enough and lands chest low, lunges forward.
FINAL: UCLA 196.600, BYU, 196.275
The Bruins really used floor to pull away there. This is right where they’ve been sitting so far this year. It’s getting close to 197-o’clock, but not super urgent just yet. The really promising thing is seeing more depth with those exhibitions. Waller has a little more room to rest people and to play with lineups. This isn’t BYU’s best showing, but is by no means bad. They have a number of away meets left, so it’s not an NQS emergency.
VT: Miner Alder, Dennis, Campbell 9.850
UB: Esparza 9.900
BB: Stainton, Dennis 9.900
FX: Miner Alder, Frazier, Dennis 9.925
Live blog by Emily Minehart
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At this point, Flatley should take a red-shirt year. All the winter athletes are given another year of eligibility, but why not take a red-shirt year if she can. She could be the next Peng Peng.