LIVE BLOG: No. 7 Denver at No. 30 West Virginia

Well, this could be an interesting one. Even besides the fact this is in the literal middle of the day on a Thursday.

Denver competed without seven of its athletes available on Sunday. According to the meet preview, the Pioneers expect to travel to Morgantown without five of those seven gymnasts. Exactly which of those five remains to be seen. However, there’s a good chance it is the five gymnasts not present at all at Sunday’s meet: Jessica Hutchinson, Rylie Mundell, Rosie Casali, Isabel Mabanta and Amoree Lockhart.

Despite the personnel issues, Denver managed to score a 196.725 on Sunday while putting up just five routines on every event except floor. The team showed perseverance, hitting 21 for 21 routines competed. Lynnzee Brown was the star of the show once again; her 39.700 in the all around is just 0.075 off the school record set by her and Maddie Karr. Putting up even a fraction of the performance should realistically give Denver an edge in this meet, but the lack of available gymnasts could surely make things interesting.

West Virginia is coming off a season-best 195.175. The Mountaineers have yet to hit a fully complete meet, though last week’s performance is a step in the right direction. Bars is of particular interest; the Mountaineers have only had one of three bar rotations that didn’t have to count a fall, though beam has been shaky too. With that, McKenna Linnen’s beam has been a highlight, along with her floor. According to head coach Jason Butts, we can expect some lineup shakeups today, but he didn’t specify what could be changing. That’s certainly something to look for. We also know that West Virginia has had just one practice between last week’s meet and today’s meet due to the condensed schedule—we’ll see if that pays off.

The meet is being streamed on ESPN+ and live stats can be found here.

Denver’s lineups today. 6 up, no Mundell.


Rotation 1

oops, totally missed the first two routines grabbing the lineup tweets. Ruiz ended bars with a nice DLO. 9.825 for her. 9.55 for Kianna Yancey, who went first on vault for WVU.

Waldron (WVU): yfull, some pike and a hop.

Thompson (DU): nice piked jaeger, bail hs good, slightly over next hs pulls it back, dlo stuck. 9.8

Lewis (WVU): good yfull, clean in air, small hop. 9.75

Casali (DU): fine first hs, Maloney clean to bail hs good, another fine hs, dlo clean and stuck. great return to the lineup for her! 9.85

Pierson (WVU): just a full today, clean and hop back. 9.8

Hutchinson (DU): good first hs; Maloney to pak some legs on pak; arch hs pulled in, dlo good, small step. 9.775

Linnen (WVU): half, pretty clean, good sized step forward. 9.725

Glynn (DU): good first hs; clean hip ginger good; saved next hs; bail hs good; nice final hs; ftdt almost held the stick but takes a step back. 9.725

Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): yfull, preflight leg sep, step. 9.675

Brown (DU): nice first hs, Maloney to pak good; nice van Leeuwen; dlo, clean, small hop back. Great anchor performance. 9.875

AFTER ONE: Denver 49.125, WVU 48.725

A solid bars rotation for Denver to open the meet. It was refreshing to see more regulars back in the lineup and to see the Pioneers put 6 up again. It wasn’t their best bars rotation, but it wasn’t bad by any means either–it was quite solid. West Virginia had a fine vault rotation. The landings weren’t quite there and they’re definitely not the most dynamic vault team, but they did hit. It will be interesting to see if Pierson upgrades to the 1.5 any time soon.

Rotation 2

It’s WVU’s cancer meet. We got a nice tribute from the gymnasts to loved ones with cancer.

Casali (DU): yfull, clean, some pike, small hop. 9.725

Abarca (WVU): geinger with leg sep, bail his good; nice final hs, blind full double tuck stuck, legs slightly wide on landing. 9.8

Ruiz (DU): yfull, chest slightly low, lacking distance, small hop forward. 9.75

Combs (WVU): good first hs; Maloney with leg sep; pak with leg sep; good final hs; blind full double tuck another stick with slightly wide legs. 9.8

Vasquez (DU): clean yfull with a normal sized step back. Probably the best vault so far for Denver. 9.725

Hornung (WVU): straddled jaeger good; beautiful bail hs; another good hs; another stuck double tuck, better leg distance on landing. 9.725

Glynn (DU): tsuk full, entry leg sep, hop back. 9.725

Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): straddled jaeger wayyy far out, misses catch. bail, fine, blind full double tuck small step back. We’ll see if the final 2 can put this routine behind them. 8.775

Hutchinson (DU): yfull, slight leg sep preflight, but stuck. 9.8. It was the best full, that score seems fair.

Judges taking a long time to get Holmes-Hackerd’s score. Assuming there’s also a tricky SV thing in there, as she usually connects the jaeger to the bail.

we just missed Lynnzee Brown’s vault…rude! they said it was a “big vault”. 9.85

a real mood.

Ki. Yancey (WVU): Maloney to pak, some legs on pak, saved hs on low bar; ftdlo, step back. She fell on Sunday — good comeback routine for her. 9.725

Norris (WVU): slightly short first hs; piked jaeger hit, muscled up next hs; bail hs fine; good final hs; dlo, leg sep, had to tuck at the end to make it around and hop forward. 9.7

AFTER TWO: Denver 97.975, WVU 97.475

It wasn’t Denver’s best vault rotation. The vaults were fine, but there’s a good amount of room for improvement. Hopefully Mundell and Sundstrom will be back soon to bolster this lineup. WVU didn’t have to count a fall on bars, which is good considering the past bars rotation this season. I was really impressed with their dismount landings, even if they were mostly double tucks. There was the one miss, but the Mountaineers will certainly want to build on this performance.

WVU head coach Jason Butts is “happy with their performance” so far.

Rotation 3

Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): attitude turn, fun! cal leap front aerial back tuck, secure, unique and fun combo there! cat leap switch leap straddle 1/4 secure. WHY 2 cat leaps though? of all skills? tuck front full, stuck. Clean leadoff, exactly what you want on beam. 9.7

Ruiz (DU): just the double pike again today, clean one; switch side popa popa, good splits; front punch through to double tuck, lunge small hop sideways. 9.775

Pierson (WVU): full turn good; standing front punch deep landing connected to a couple leaps. bhs lo 2 foot secure; switch leap to back pike good; tucked front full, another stick for WVU. 9.75

Thompson (DU): great opening double pike; switch side popa solid, could be more extended but not bad; lay Rudi good; triple twist to close, step to the side. 9.775

Hornung (WVU): wolf turn–don’t know if I would call that unique, Julia Merwin; good leap series; missed her acro series apparently; ro 1.5 step. 9.7

Casali (DU): in for Vasquez; piked full in, stuck but then lifts leg and balances; switch half wolf full good; 2.5 to punch front stuck. Good. 9.825

Ki Yancey (WVU): bhs loso loso secure; cat leap switch leap secure; ro 1.5 hop forward. Another solid routine for WVU. 9.775

Glynn (DU): front punch through to double tuck good; switch half popa popa, would like more extension on her straddles; double pike solid lunge, maybe slightly large. 9.875

Linnen (WVU): front aerial bhs, pretty and secure; cat leap front aerial straddle 1/4, slightly awkward landing but covers; more leaps, and a wobble; front tuck full stuck. Not her best. 9.45

Hutchinson (DU): fhs double full, well controlled landing (even the tininess of steps; solid leaps; ro 1.5 to lay clean; fhs Rudi straddle jump good. Nice to have her routine back also. 9.875

Asper (WVU): bhs loso loso secure; L turn, leg dips below horizontal; solid leaps; ro 1.5 good landing. 9.8

Brown (DU): dlo, great per usual; switch half wolf full great amplitude and positions; ro 1.5 lay sissone good; clean double pike to close. Easily the highlight routine of the meet. 9.95

AFTER THREE: Denver 147.275, WVU 146.200

The scores don’t necessarily reflect it, but this beam lineup has the potential to be GOOD for West Virginia. Some tiny tweaks and mistakes to fix, but the potential is certainly there. Denver increased its lead on floor with six clean hits. Some room for landing improvement at times, but this is certainly a good place to be at the beginning of February. And Brown was obviously the highlight. One more to go!

Denver head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart is impressed with grit and resiliency of the team. Says they just got the athletes back out of quarantine.

Rotation 4

Brown (DU): front toss bhs very secure; switch split good; front aerial wolf jump, again clean and secure; stuck gainer full. She’s such a rock for this beam team. 9.8

Linnen (WVU): another 2 pass routine, lots of those today; fhs Rudi loso, lots of travel but good landing, nearly oob but stays in; interesting leap that I didn’t catch; switch ring tour jet half pretty good; fhs double full controlled landing. Great leadoff! 9.85

Thompson (DU): side aerial loso, nice and secure; switch switch secure, could have slightly more extension; side aerial lay full stuck. Great routine! 9.775, hmm, seems conservative.

Oh, an interesting point:

Holmes-Hackerd (WVU): good opening double tuck; fine leaps, would like more extension; fhs lay lay full good; double pike slide back. 9.8

Schlottman (DU): she’s so pretty. bhs loso, secure; switch split 3/4, good positions and secure landing; side aerial, secure; bhs gainer full, basically stuck, tiny hop to salute. 9.775

Ki. Yancey (WVU): double pike, hop to lunge; tour jete half popa, slightly uncontrolled; ro 1.5 to half to stag jump, good; double tuck, well controlled. 9.8

Ruiz (DU): hitch kick switch side, good; bhs loso, secure; side aerial split, pretty secure; gainer pike, the TINIEST of shuffles on the landing. 9.8

Hornung (WVU): double pike, good landing, slightly low chest; ro 1.5 to lay good; switch switch side popa good positions; ro 1.5 to pike, slightly short and small step back. 9.65

Mabanta (DU): her official lineup debut; wolf turn good; bhs loso, small front foot slide; switch half split jump, small check but great split positions; side aerial lay full stuck. Not perfect, but a solid hit for her first official performance. 9.825 seems slightly high for this particular set in comparison to others. She’s going to be a STAR though.

Combs (WVU): front punch through to double pike slightly uncontrolled and steps OOB; switch side wolf full straddle half good extension; double tuck, better control. 9.775

Vasquez (DU): bhs loso, secure; switch half split jump, nice extension and secure; great y turn; another good leap; side aerial lay full stuck. A great way for Denver to end the meet! 9.9

Pierson (WVU): biiiig dlo to open, slightly uncontrolled; good combo pass; switch side wolf full good; good closing double tuck. 9.9

FINAL: Denver 196.375, WVU 195.325

A solid outing for Denver and one the Pioneers will certainly want to build on. There’s room for improvement to hit that 197 range again, but they’re on the right track. West Virginia should be happy with its performance also. 195.325 marks a season high. Again, there’s definitely room for improvement, especially on vault, bars, and beam, but it’s easy to tell that they’re improving.

VT: Lynnzee Brown, 9.850
UB: Lynnzee Brown, 9.875
BB: Alexis Vasquez, 9.900
FX: Lynnzee Brown, 9.950
AA: Lynnzee Brown, 39.475

Live Blog by Tara Graeve

Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year! [wpedon id=”13158″]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.