LIVE BLOG: No. 11 Denver at No. 12 BYU

Thursday night’s action wraps up with quite an exciting meet as BYU hosts Denver in a highly ranked matchup! These two squads enter tonight only one ranking apart and with less than one tenth between their NQS as well.

Denver enters tonight’s meet having had its best performance of the season last weekend. The Pioneers posted a big 197.650 at home, and will hope they brought some of that scoring with them on the road tonight. One of key factors in that season high score was vault, an event that has plagued Denver all year despite having Lynnzee Brown’s massive Yurchenko one and a half in the lineup. It is the only event the Pioneer’s don’t rank in the top 15 on, and will be crucial in their mission to post a 197 on the road before conference championships start.

On the flip side, BYU’s worst event is also vault, and is the only event where the Cougars fail to rank amongst the top 15 in the country as well. If either team can have a stick-fest, that team could gain a significant lead after vault if the opposing team only performs at its usual.

After Brown’s giant 49.825 in the all around last weekend, make sure you are watching all four of her routines in addition to the fabulous work freshman Rylie Mundell has been doing on bars and beam this season. The name pair of Abby Stainton and Abbey Alder are who to keep an eye on for BYU, as each boast NQSs in the 9.8s and 9.9s on three events. Keep an eye on beam in particular for both.

Follow along with tonight’s meet with scores and video (BYUtv).

Two interesting streaks to watch for tonight that Drew Porche has let me know about. Denver has hit scored above 49.000 on bars for 10 straight meets, while BYU has hit that same mark on floor in 21 straight meets. That mark for the Cougars is good for the fourth longest active streak.

Rotation 1: BYU Vault, Denver Floor

Pitou (BYU): Yfull. Nice in the air and just a tiny slide. 9.825

Ruiz (Denver): Mounts and hits the first handstand, giant full to tkatchev, nice, good bail, hops to high bar, dismounts with a double layout, small hop back. 9.825

Zhong (BYU): Yfull. Nearly identical to Pitou’s! 9.825

Thompson (Denver): Piked jager, a little close, bail a little short of handstand, jumps to high bar, nice final handstand, double layout with a slide back. 9.775

Heaton (BYU): Yfull. A little lower than the first two, fights for the stick but gives into a hop forward. 9.725

Hutchinson (Denver): Maloney to pak, great form, hits the half pirouette, hops to high bar, good last handstand, dismounts with a stuck double layout! 9.950!

Bennett (BYU): Full on tuck off, not a ton of height and a hop back. 9.825

Glynn (Denver): Clear hip to gienger, nice bail, hits all her handstands, dismounts with a FTDT, small slide on the landing. 9.900

Mason (BYU): Yfull. A little bit of bent knees in the air, small hop back. 9.825

Mundell (Denver): Could be a huge score. Beautiful first handstand and tkatchev, hits the bail, tiny bit short on final handstand, peels a little on the double layout, gets it around with a big hop. 9.800

Alder (BYU): Yfull. Near stick just a small hop in place. Good height. 9.875

Brown (Denver): Maloney to pak, easy, nice Shaposh half, dismounts with a sky high double layout. 9.950!

After 1: BYU 49.175, Denver 49.425

Decent starts for both teams! Denver was its typical self on bars scoring really well, even despite an off routine from Mundell. BYU could’ve honed in and picked up a few tenths with some sticks, but is almost a point higher than its NQS on the event so can’t be too displeased.

Rotation 2: Denver Vault, BYU Bars

Ruiz (Denver): Yfull. Low on the block and comes in short, low chest and a hop. 9.725

Zhong (BYU): Hop to jager to bail, a little leg form, hops to high bar, nice handstand, double layout dismount with a step. 9.825

Glynn (Denver): Tsuk full, nice in the air but a huge hop back. 9.750

Cyrenne (BYU): Toe on, Maloney to bail, nice handstand, hops to high bar, good last handstand, dismounts with a double layout, teeny hop, flexed feet. 9.925

Hutchinson (Denver): Yfull. Sticks it! Some form errors in the legs coming onto the table. 9.800

Alder (BYU): Great jager to bail, hops to high bar, dismounts with a double layout, sticks it despite her legs nearly crumbling. 9.850

Mundell (Denver): Yfull. Goes for the stick, comes in chest down and takes a big lunge forward. 9.700

Alvarado (BYU): Toe on, Maloney to pak, fabulous, goes for the half pirouette but doesn’t get over the bar and comes off. Remounts, dismounts with a stuck double layout. 9.325

Brown (Denver): Y1.5. Phenomenal, nearly stuck just a small shuffle forward. Opens up so early. 9.900

Pitou (BYU): Nice first handstand, giant half to great jager, fingertips, nice bail, hops to high bar, dismounts with a FTDT, small hop back. Great handstands throughout. 9.875

Vasquez (Denver): Yfull. Pikes down hard and takes a big step back. 9.700

Stainton (BYU): Giant half to piked jager to overshoot, legs glued together, nice final handstand, FTDT dismount with a shuffle. 9.900

Rotation 2: Denver 48.875, BYU 49.375

After 2: BYU 98.550, Denver 98.300

So BYU outscoring improving only slightly on vault proves to be a huge advantage as Denver could not put together a good vault outside of Brown, as now the Cougars lead halfway through. BYU as the home team and leader now has the edge, and if it can hit beam could put some serious pressure on Denver to finish extremely strong. That season high from BYU on bars needs to be mentioned as a big help too.

Rotation 3: BYU Beam, Denver Floor

Mather (BYU): Side aerial to split jump, BHS LOSO, no problems, quick full turn, switch leap to straddle quarter, not a lot of height, dismounts with a cartwheel to gainer full, hop in place. 9.825

Ruiz (Denver): Opens up with a double pike, small front foot slide in the lunge, a little off balance in the leaps, finishes up with a front tuck through to double back, comes in low and takes a big step forward and puts her hands down. 8.975

Cyrenne (BYU): Commentators taunting the gymternet by name to start her routine, nice BHS LOSO, full turn, switch half, big check, bends at the hop, split leap to split jump, dismounts with a RO 1.5, tiny step. 9.725

Casali (Denver): Mounts with a piked full-in, small hop sideways, switch half to wolf jump full, no problems, RO 2.5 to front tuck, well controlled. 9.825

Alder (BYU): Hitch kick to front toss to BHS, easy, full turn, beat jump to straddle 3/4, cartwheel to stuck gainer full! 9.900

Thompson (Denver): Double pike to get started, controls the lunge, jamming to some Prince, switch side to straddle full, nice height, front layout to Rudi, a little shuffle on the landing, closes with a triple full, good landing, covers that it was a tiny tiny bit short of rotation. 9.875

McClelland (BYU): Wolf turn, issue-free, cartwheel, almost a check, BHS LOSO, great, straddle jump to double stag, jumps so high, dismounts with BHS tucked 1.5, hops back. 9.850

Glynn (Denver): Front tuck through to double tuck, great landing, no problems through the leaps, double pike to end, great height, nice landing. 9.925

Rollins (BYU): Switch leap to split side, moving easily, front aerial to BHS BHS, hitch kick to side aerial, confident, dismounts with a gainer full, small shuffle with the feet. 9.900

Hutchinson (Denver): Front double full to mount, a little short, handles it well, switch half to split full, RO 1.5 to front layout, nice positions, ends with a Rudi to straddle jump, a little bouncy. 9.900

Stainton (BYU): Hitch kick to front toss to BHS, issue-free, full turn, smooth, switch leap to split quarter, moves so quickly, dismounts with a RO 1.5, sticks it with a big, archy salute! 9.925

Brown (Denver): Huge double layout, great landing, easily completes her leaps, RO 1.5 to front layout to split jump, well controlled, closes with a beautiful double pike, opens so early! 9.975!

Rotation 3: BYU 49.400, Denver 49.500

After 3: BYU 147.950, Denver 147.800

It’s going to come down to the final rotation! Going six-for-six on beam was crucial for BYU, who now can bring things home on its best event having already amassed a lead. That trio of 9.9s was huge for the Cougars. Denver also did exactly what it needed to on floor by not giving away any tenths on silly mistakes to keep itself in contention. The Pioneers are strong on beam, and will need to prove that today.

Rotation 4: Denver Beam, BYU Floor

Brown (Denver): Front toss to BHS, flawless, full turn, switch leap to split jump, hits 180, front aerial to wolf jump, gainer full, stuck! 9.950!

Heaton (BYU): Opens with a double tuck, stumbles back but stays in bounds, a bit of a lean after her leap series, front layout to front full to front tuck, a little low but holds onto it well, closes with a Rudi, finally gets the landing. 9.825

Thompson (Denver): Side aerial to LOSO, makes it look easy, switch leap switch leap, full turn, side aerial to layout full, sticks it! 9.950!

Bennett (BYU): Opens with a RO 1.5 front tuck, double tuck, easy landing, switch side through to cat leap double full. 9.850

Hutchinson (Denver): Front toss to BHS, switch leap to split jump, beautiful, front aerial, check to the side, repeats the front aerial to wolf jump this time, cartwheel to stuck gainer full. 9.850

Matthews (BYU): Napoleon Dynamite themed routine. Big double pike to open, so fun in the dance, RO whip half to front full, a little off the diagonal, switch 3/4 to wolf full, finishes off with a double pike and a perfect lunge. 9.875

Ruiz (Denver): Hitch kick to switch side, tiny bobble forward, BHS LOSO, holds onto the landing that looked off, weird full turn, lots of little blips, nice side aerial split jump, gainer pike, slide back. 9.800

Stainton (BYU): Big double pike to open, RO 1.5 to front half to split jump, a bit off the diagonal, switch ring to tour jete half, closes with a double tuck, a bit of a shuffle forward. 9.825

Mabanta (Denver): Wolf turn, smooth, BHS LOSO, quickly into a split leap, love the dramatic change in tempo, switch half to split jump, great height in the first leap, side aerial to layout full, nearly stuck but a small slide back. 9.900

Vitkauskas (BYU): Amazing front double full to start, RO 1.5 to front layout, perfectly stuck and perfect form, switch side to straddle full, glues her feet together on the landing, Rudi, great landing yet again. 9.900

Vasquez (Denver): Front aerial BHS LOSO, beautiful, switch leap to split jump, great oversplit, Y turn, great, sissone, side aerial to layout full, just a step. 9.925

Alder (BYU): Gets going with a double layout, controls the landing, bouncy through the leaps, RO 1.5 to front layout, easy landing, double pike to end, step forward. 9.900

Rotation 4: Denver 49.575, BYU 49.350

Final: Denver 197.375, BYU 197.300

The rankings heading into this meet indicated it should be a close one, and the meet didn’t disappoint! What a great final rotation by Denver on beam, using a new season high on beam to get the slight edge over the home Cougars. BYU still had a phenomenal outing, posting a new season high score! Some bouncy landings on floor ended up being the difference, but that lineup has so much fun in their routines and will be tough in this coming postseason

Event Winners

Vault: Brown 9.900

Bars: Brown, Hutchinson 9.950

Beam: Brown, Thompson 9.950

Floor: Brown 9.975

All Around: Brown 39.775

Live blog by Brandis Heffner

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