Yes, it’s me. Yes, I’m at another non-SEC meet. Yes, law school scheduling is whack.
Illinois cruised to a 196.500 at Big Fives last week. The Illini looked solid on all four events, including its typically weaker vault lineup. Going into the evening session at B1G championships, all the Illini can hope for is another hit meet; they’ve scored similarly on the road this season and could do it again.
Iowa suffered a drop in the rankings this week after counting a beam fall last week. The Hawkeyes will be comforted by coming into the meet as B1G regular season champions for the first time in program history after an 8-0 record on the season. They’ll need a big home score to punctuate a successful season and climb back up the NQS rankings going into B1G championships. To augment that, let’s see if Lauren Guerin can anchor the second-highest ranked floor squad in the country with the 10.000 she’s been chasing all season long.
Rotation 1: Iowa VT, Illinois UB
Tolan (Iowa): Nice full, floaty, piked down but it’s a stick. 9.750
Borden (Illinois): Jaeger caught close to the bar, bail, short on the last handstand, Rudi small step. 9.750
Greenwald (Iowa): Not the biggest block on the full, small hop. 9.750
Biondi (Illinois): Floaty Jaeger, missed a handstand on the high bar, double layout pikey but stuck. 9.825
Kenlin (Iowa): Huge air on the full, big bounce back. 9.825
O’Donnell (Illinois): Jaeger, pretty pirouette, double front close to the bar, small hop. 9.900. Ties a career high.
Guerin (Iowa): Sticks the full with chest slightly down. Looked amazing. 9.800. Better landing than Kenlin…hmm.
Takekawa (Illinois): Jaeger to bail, pretty handstands, DLO shuffles back a little. 9.775
Killian (Iowa): Super clean full, controlled bounce back. 9.800
Ewald (Illinois): Jaeger caught SUPER close, pretty position on the Pak, short on the last handstand, full-in step back, not the most secure landing but lovely form. 9.825
Henderson (Iowa): Another strong full, step back. It’s been a consistent lineup for the Hawkeyes this season.
Mizuki (Illinois): Super precise Jaeger or so I thought…fall. She goes for it again. Lovely last handstand, sticks double back to end. 9.200
After 1: Illinois 49.075, Iowa 49.050
Unfortunate end to Illinois’s rotation from Mizuki, who’s had some excellent hits the past few weeks. Iowa bringing the air on its vaults for a good start. We are neck and neck to begin, folks.
Rotation 2: Illinois VT, Iowa UB
Tolan (Iowa): Bail, missed the beginning, double front almost sits it but takes a big hop back.
Waight (Illinois): Yhalf today, controlled step back. 9.600
Greenwald (Iowa): Nice first handstand, Tkatchev caught close, pretty pak, stuck DLO. 9.650
Mueller (Illinois): 9.775
Henderson (Iowa): Maloney, bail back to the high bar and goes over on her handstand. Loses her rhythm, tries to regain and muscles back up, great fight, full-in small hop. 9.100
Biondi (Illinois): Yhalf very pretty in the air, hop forward. 9.800
Steffensmeier (Iowa): Piked Jaeger, short last handstand, nice lines, double back small step. 9.750
Townes (Illinois): STUCK Y1.5. 9.825
Kaji (Iowa): Pak, DLO excellent form small step back. 9.800
O’Donnell (Illinois): 9.700
Kenlin (Iowa): Maloney, Pak a little arched over, double back chest down but a stick.
Powe (Illinois): Full landed with chest super down. 9.750
After 2: Illinois 97.925, Iowa 97.900
Illinois looks about as good as it will get on vault going into postseason. Getting Powe back to her 1.5 would be an excellent punch to end the lineup at conference championships, but given the form on her full as of yet, it doesn’t seem super likely.
Iowa bars can go higher, but the Hawkeyes should be fine to move on and forget the weird miss from Henderson.
Rotation 3: Iowa BB, Illinois FX
Henderson (Iowa): Leg comes up on her BHS LOSO but stays on. The poise is unmatched. Switch side series is good, double back dismount with a hop and chest down. 9.700
Ewald (Illinois): Rudi LOSO really pretty. Front full front lay good. It’s usually a three pass routine for her so I must have missed her first go. 9.725
Castle (Iowa): BHS LOSO. Front tuck to beat jump super confident. Tries to hold the stick on her back 1.5 but college salutes it out. It’s senior day, we’ll allow it. 9.725
Noonan (Illinois): Front double full really clean, front lay to Rudi. Switch ring to cat leap 3/2, 1.5 front lay solid. 9.800
Nick (Iowa): BHS LOSO no hesitation, super lovely. Front aerial to beat jump, switch leaps not quite 180. But very confident. Back 1.5 and that’s a legit stick, chest down. 9.825
Biondi (Illinois): Double pike very high, FHS front lay front full, always sells the choreo, straddle to wolf jump good positions, double tuck chest down controlled lunge back. 9.825
Killian (Iowa): BHS LOSO decent check, front tuck, pretty tentative on the leaps and a decent landing on the full. 9.750
Townes (Illinois): Front double full, quick step forward. One and a half front full deep with a big and quick step out, tour jete half Popa. 9.825
Kaji (Iowa): Zero hesitation on the BHS LOSO, she looks ready to attack, side aerial super imperceptible check, split to split 3/4. BHS gainer full with a hop back. 9.900
Mueller (Illinois): Double pike chest slightly down. Front lay to front full, double pike. 9.825
Kenlin (Iowa): BHS LOSO. Front aerial to cat jump, first time watching her on her signature event in college and it’s really a joy. Excellent form on the back 1.5. 9.925
Scott (Illinois): Front double full, good leaps, one and a half front full really pretty, good control on her Rudi. 9.850
After 3: Illinois 147.050, Iowa 147.025
It will come down to the final rotation.
Rotation 4: Illinois BB, Iowa FX
Townes (Illinois): Switch leap to straddle half a bit tentative, front tuck small check, BHS LOSO, side aerial to tuck full. 9.800
Love Kaji holding a sparkly tervis on the sideline.
Killian (Iowa): Pretty triple full straight into 1.5 to front pike. Switch side Popa, double back super high. Really crisp routine. 9.800
Borden (Illinois): front aerial FHS straddle quarter slightly tenuous on the connection. Back walkover to knees, beat to sheep, sheep super sketchy position, front full dismount tries super hard to hold the stick but can’t. 9.800
Castle (Iowa): Last time we’ll hear Tequila in Carver Hawkeye. 🙁 Big double pike has to slide out of it a bit and almost goes out of bounds but doesn’t. Rudi, 1.5 to front lay…aw man seems like they changed to Fireball by Pitbull instead of Tequila, not sure if that was new. 9.750
Biondi (Illinois): BHS LOSO, switch leap to stag, side aerial check but steps out of it, back 1.5 small step out. 9.875 wow!
Greenwald (Iowa): Full-in great landing. This sounds like the soundtrack of an A24 horror movie. Love the hand-ography. Back 2.5 to front tuck. Wonderfully dark. 9.875
Noonan (Illinois): BHS LOSO strong, switch leap to standing LOSO, didn’t quite get the connection, gainer full 9.800
Kaji (Iowa): 1.5 through to double back great. Beautifully dark choreography, I’ll miss her a lot. Great position on leaps. Nice double pike here come the tears. 🙁 9.925 tho!
Takekawa (Illinois): Side aerial BHS, switch leap to LOSO, forgot how unique her routine is. Dismount was nice but a tiny step back was the only error I saw. 9.900
Henderson (Iowa): Full-in excellent landing. Switch side to Popa to straddle, front tuck through to double back nearly perfect landing. Love the big band vibes of that routine. 9.925
Scott (Illinois): Front toss to BHS misses the connection, switch leap, front aerial no hesitation, this is a little shakier on the whole than it should be tho, switch leap to split leap check, eek…full off the side stuck. 9.500 oh my.
Guerin (Iowa): 10.000 watch. Big full-in no problems. Leaps looked good, front tuck through to double back. That will be just about as close to a 10.000 as you could want. 9.900. Nope!
FINAL: Iowa 196.450, Illinois 196.225
Good day for both teams on the whole. Illinois gave it away towards the end on what should be its best event, but the promise is there- floor looked really strong today, especially. Iowa will look for a hit day from Henderson at B1G champs to bolster what was an otherwise strong performance today.
Live blog by Katherine Weaver
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