This is going to be a wild one. These teams have a pretty wide spread in NQS, but their highs range from 195.975 to 196.400—that’s just a 0.425 spread in score potential. It’s important to remember that any team from this session—and any individual—is capable of winning the title. It all depends what happens in session two tonight. That said, the night session teams are all a pace ahead of this group. It would take big mistakes from the top and a stellar meet from a team here for that kind of upset.
We do have some individuals to watch for potential titles. Maryland’s Audrey Barber is No. 5 in the conference in the all around, with a high of 39.550. Jenna Swartzentruber (No. T-4, 9.925 high) and Ava Verdeflor (No. 7, 9.950 high) are in the mix on bars. On beam, Hannah Joyner (No. T-5, 9.950 high) and Kynsee Roby (No. T-5, 9.950 high) are contenders, as are Melissa Astarita (No. T-10, 9.925 high) and Claire Gagliardi (No. T-14, 9.925 high) on floor. Keep an eye on all of those scores and keep them in mind during the session tonight.
We’ll have one bye here, after vault.
Before we roll here’s a message from the conference:
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) March 20, 2021
Rotation 1: RU VT, UMD UB, PSU BB, tOSU FX (UNL bye)
Hey folks, my Wifi is acting up a bit today. Seems resolved now, but if it goes down again I’ll use data to keep watching and keep notes, so if I disappear hang with me for a few minutes and I’ll be back and update in a big batch.
Romagnano (PSU): Bhs bhs loso, small check. Split to double stag with a shoulder down check. Side aerial tuck 1/1 stuck.
Chesney in the background, hit her first two tumbling passes.
LeBlanc (UMD): Blind 1/1 to Gienger, foot form and a bit of a close catch. Bail hand short. Blidn 1/1 lat double tuck stuck, feet from all the way through.
Ferguson (RU): FTY, feet, chest down and a hop.
Verdeflor (PSU): Wolf turn 1/1, smooth. Front aerial small check bhs swingdown. She kept that connection despite being a touch off balance. Side aerial, great. Split to double stag, great. Side some tuck 1/1 stuck.
Weir (UMD): Short handstand. Blind 1/1 to Gienger, some foot form and leg sep. Good bail hand. Short handstand late blind 1/1 double tuck step.
Balser (RU): FTY big hop back, some hip angle.
Newman (RU): FTY, hop straight up, some closed hips.
Edwards (tOSU): BIG double pike, hopped back some before the lunge. RO 3/2 front lay, excellent body position on the lay. Apparently the theme of this routine is “empowering women”. Switch side Popa, little overrotated on the switch but great splits. Double tuck, opened a bit early and had to step forward.
Leese (RU): FTY, slight hip angle, small hop up.
Glauber (UMD): Tkatchev, huge as always. Clear hip hand to Bail hand, touch short on the bail. Short last handstand. DLO, small hop.
Johnston (PSU): Bhs loso, soft knees. Split to sheep, good, very steady. Side aerial, solid. RO 3/2, tried to stick but leaned into the salute.
Huang (RU): FTY, little hop, some knees on the table.
Barber (UMD): Clean through her first half. Short last handstand. DLO, step back.
Cross (PSU): Bhs loso, knees on both and a fall. Split to sheep, could use more head release. Front toss to beat, good. RO 3/2, stuck but hips in the air.
Joyner (RU): FTY, beautiful in the air, step back.
Rubio (UMD): Short handstand. Blind 1/2 to Gienger VERY close catch. Bail hand quite short. Blind 1/1 late to double tuck three steps back.
Gagliardi (tOSU): The Pac-Man routine is in the house. Double pike, good landing, slight shift in the front foot. Front lay to rudi, great. Switch side to wolf 1/1, low leg in the wolf. Double tuck, good landing.
Rushlow (PSU): Beat to split 3/4. Bhs loso, solid. Switch to split, her splits are wonderful. Side aerial no problems. RO 3/2 stuck. Excellent routine! 9.9, deserved
Warga (tOSU): 5/2 to punch front stuck. Excellent. Leaps were solid. She’s a really excellent performer. Her finish on everything is great. FHS 2/1! Wow what a last pass. Some soft knees but otherwise great. How fun for her, she’s so happy.
AFTER 1: RU 48.950, tOSU 48.900, UMD 48.875, PSU 48.600
Remember when I said this would be close? Mhmmm. Rutgers will be thrilled with that vault number. Maryland and Penn State were both on weak events, so they’ll mostly be glad this rotation is over. What an excellent surprise Warga was for Ohio State! She tallied a 9.600 which to me says a SV issue, because I didn’t see that many execution deductions.
Rotation 2: tOSU VT, UNL UB, UMD BB, PSU FX (RU bye)
Burgess (UMD): Front toss small check bhs, I think they’ll give her that connection. Split to straddle 1/4, good. She gets great height on those. Beat to side somi, arm swing to keep her balance. Gainer front 1/1, hop forward.
Piringer (UNL): Toe hand to Maloney, some leg issues on the back swing. Bail hand, leg form. Blind 1/1 leg sep to stuck double tuck.
Lowe (tOSU): FTY, great body position, scooted back a touch. Feet were a bit far but she was able to bring her heels together.
Swartzentruber (tOSU): FTY, piked down and a hop back.
Lorange (UNL): Short hanstand to Maloney immediate pak, legs sep on both. Short handstand. Blind 1/1 late to double tuck, hop straight up.\
Rushlow (PSU): Lots of work on releve, love it. Double tuck, bounded back and stepped OOB. Tour jete 1/2 to Wolf 1/1, good. RO 3/2 front lay, arched the lay a smidge more than I’d like. FHS rudi split, great.
Miller (tOSU): FTY, step back. Great distance.
Allen (PSU): DLO, good. Love that cut in the music to Kendrick Lamar heyo. Switch side popa, some rotation issues but great splits. Front through double tuck, no deductions on that landing. Wow great set. 9.525, pretty sure she’s missing a value part in there. Just needs one more valued skill.
Edwards (tOSU): FTY, HUGE, near stick, just a foot shuffle.
Weir (UMD): Bhs loso, small check and loose knees on the bhs. Beat to loso, chest down check. Switch to straddle 1/4, good. Cat to switch side, short on the split and some knee form. Bhs 3/2 step forward.
Colombo (UNL): Eagle grip to pike Jaeger, caught close. Pak. Eagle to front giant 1/2 stuck double tuck.
Jennings (tOSU): FTY, great in the air, bit step back.
Davis (UNL): Maloney uprise to Hindorff, some leg form. Bail hand. DLO, small step forward.
Rouse (UMD): Standing loso to beat, excellent. She’s got a take no prisoners look about her here, so confident. Bhs loso, great. Split to straddle 1/4, touch shy on both 180s and chest a bit forward on the 1/4. RO 3/2 hop.
Gagliardi (tOSU): Y1/2 on tuck, crooked and a big step.
Astarita (PSU): Open double tuck, high and great lunge. RO 3/2 front lay, really floated and landed well. Switch side popa, little overrotated on the switch side. Double pike, slight movement in her front foot on the lunge.
McClure (UMD): Front aerial, small check. Switch to straddle 1/4, good. Front toss bhs, solid. She’s very patient. Front aerial, leg up check. Not sure what she meant to connect there. Rudi dismount, good landing. 9.55, definitely missed a skill after that aerial both times.
Johnston (PSU): A new event for her I believe. We have fun surprises in these anchor spots on floor. RO 3/2 front lay. Really had to arch the lay down. Switch ring 1/1 to tuck 1/1, wow! You can tell she hasn’t been doing this routine all year, little unsure on dance. Double pike feet, and chest down on the landing.
Barber (UMD): Long wait for her. Front aerial, stepped right out of it to avoid a bobble, great. Bhs loso, good. Front toss, little off to beat, really saved that well. Switch to split, steady. RO 2/1, stuck just leaned a little into the salute.
AFTER 2: tOSU 97.875, PSU 97.425, UMD 97.400, RU 48.950, UNL 48.400
A rough start for Nebraska, and we didn’t get to see much of it. PSU made up some ground with a solid floor rotation. Maryland had a rough time as well, with those uncharacteristic mistakes from McClure after some other sub-par numbers.
Rotation 3: PSU VT, RU UB, UNL BB, UMD FX (tOSU bye)
Lorange (UNL): She’s so expressive on this event. She moves with great purpose down to the little details. Bhs loso, good. Switch to split, low back leg on both. Hitch to side aerial. Transverse split 1/2, better 180. RO 3/2 hop.
Drauss (RU): Blind to Jaeger, good. Pak to switch kip, smooth. Little off balance on the squat on. Blind 1/1 to doublet tuck, little hop.
Bladon (PSU): FTY, some form on the table, little hop.
Newman (RU): Hindorff, caught very close. Clear hip hand to bail hand. Half to double tuck, step. Some foot form throughout.
Davis (UNL): Switch to straddle 1/4, soft knees on both. Bhs loso, great landing. Cat to side aerial two feet, she was so happy with that landing. Side aerial tuck 1/1 stuck. Great!
Johnston (PSU): FTY, deep knees on the landing but didn’t move her feet. Little crooked on the table too.
Huang (RU): Short handstand. Toe hand to bail hand, leg sep. Tkatchev, great. Blind 1/1 to double tuck, good landing, didn’t quiiiite hold for a stick.
Cross (PSU): FTY, some hips and a slide back.
Higgins (UNL): Back toss candle mount. Beat to sheep, good. Bhs bhs loso, excellent. Straddle. She’s moving really calmly. Gainer pike, arm swing but didn’t move her feet. Heather Brink is so happy for her. Great set.
Rouse (UMD): Double pike, high and a good landing. 3/2 front lay, another good landing. Tour jete 1/2 popa, good especially on the tour jete. Double tuck, another good landing.
Karolewski (RU): She can be so beautiful here. Clear hip hand to Ray, not a ton of turnover. Bail, short. DLO, step.
Burgess (UMD): 3/1, landing a little short and hopped forward. Ah, she’s usually money on that landing. Switch 1/2 wolf 3/2, pretty good shape in the air, great height. Front lay front 1/1, good landing.
Bonsall (PSU): FTY, good body position, hop back with a stutter step.
Curtis (UNL): Wolf punch front, leg up and a fall. Bhs loso, small check. She’s clearly mad after that 9.95 last week. Switch to split, great amplitude. RO 3/2, hop back.
Barber (UMD): Full-in. Good landing on her combo pass. Switch to popa popa, excellent splits. Doublet tuck, huge and great lunge. Great routine!
Rushlow (PSU): FTY, just a hop back.
Roby (UNL): Front aerial, good. Pressure, after her bars set and fall from Curtis. Bhs loso, very steady. Split to double stag, medium check, chest with a turn to the side and chest down. Side aerial 1/1 stuck.
LeBlanc (UMD): Double pike, low chest. Switch 1/2 to wolf 3/2, lost some height and shape on the last 1/2 twist in the wolf but pulled out the rotation. FHS front 1/1 front lay, good landing but a bit low on both saltos.
Joyner (RU): Blind to Jaeger, some bent arms on that catch. Good bail hand. FTDB, hop forward.
AFTER 3: PSU 146.425, UMD 146.425, tOSU 97.875, RU 97.825, UNL 97.400
Maryland will be happy to be back on track after a great floor rotation. It is excellent on vault, and will be looking to close out strong before ending on a bye to watch and wait. Penn State is the only team to hit a 49 so far with that vault rotation, and is sitting in a comfortable spot to head to the bye and then do battle with Ohio State in the last rotation.
Rotation 4: UMD VT, tOSU UB, RU BB, UNL FX (PSU bye)
Curtis (UNL): Double pike, bounced out and OOB. Front full front lay, arched down the lay. Switch ring to switch 1/2, good. Double tuck, bounced back again.
McClure (UMD): FTY, great body and a tiny hop.
Schweitzer (tOSU): Maloney leg sep on back swing to bail hand, touch shy but close. Toe 1/1 to double tuck, deep knees and a hop.
Gilbert (UMD): Yhalf, not great distance but a good landing.
There is a man in the stands in a Nittany Lion suit, white and covered in the blue logo. Very impressive, sir.
Glauber (UMD): FTY, piked down and hop.
Edwards (tOSU): Toe hand to Maloney, Pak. Really nice. Clear hip hand Toe blind 1/1 double tuck step. Wow! That set flows!
Burgess (UMD): FTY, huge, hop back.
Higgins (UNL): Ah, naturally a four-panel judges conference this’ll take no time at all. Ohhky that was lengthy. FHS 2/1, over rotated it a bit and bounced, step OOB. Strong jumps. FHS rudi soft knees but a better landing. RO 3/2 front lay, good.
Barber (UMD): FTY, SO high, step forward.
Hankins (tOSU): Blind to Jaeger, good catch. Pak to switch kip. Good handstand. DLO deep knees and a hop.
Miller (tOSU): Toe hand to Maloney, some leg sep. Bail hand leg sep again. DLO small step.
Rubio (UMD): FTY, so big, small hop in place.
Swartzentruber (tOSU): Maloney slight leg sep to pak, same issue. Great handstands. Van Leeuwen was good. DLO, slung it out a bit but stuck, just some chest movement.
Joyner (RU): Bhs loso, really floated the loso, steady landing. Switch to Split 1/2, one of the few switch 1/2s I like on beam. Actually hits 180. Side aerial 1/1 stuck. Excellent.
Press (UNL): DLO knees and leg sep, big lunge back. Tour jete 1/2 Popa, GREAT amplitude. RO 3/2 front pike? Meant to lay I think and lost her shape due to a little wonky punch. Front lay front 1/1, landed on her heels and stepped.
Huang (RU): Cat to side aerial front aerial, some soft knees in there. Beat to split 3/4. RO 2/1, low chest but holds her feet.
Lorange (UNL): She’s about to get the arena to herself here. She choreographed her routine herself! That’s fun, it’s a lovely routine, really elegant. Double pike, low chest and lunged forward. Front lay front 1/1, stepped forward and OOB. Phew lotta those for Nebraska, curse of the podium. Switch ring to switch 1/2, good. RO 3/2 front lay, arched the lay down some.
AFTER 4: UMD 195.650, tOSU 147.100, RU 146.800, PSU 146.425, UNL 146.125
Rutgers! Those Joyner and Huang 9.900s to close the rotation catapulted the Scarlet Knights past Penn State. This last rotation will be fascinating. The Nittany Lions are on their best event. Ohio State can be stellar on beam, but beam is beam. Rutgers gets floor to close it out. This is fun. Everyone is chasing Maryland, whose day is done. That’s just a 48.500 for the Buckeyes, which should be easy. It’s a 48.850 for Rutgers, a taller ask, and 49.225 for Penn State. The Nittany Lions are capable of that on bars. Nebraska has been left behind a pace, but it’s anyone else’s game.
Rotation 5: UNL VT, PSU UB, tOSU BB, RU FX (UMD bye)
Higgins (UNL): FTY, soft knees and a small step back.
Romagnano (PSU): Toe hand to Maloney, leg sep and loose knees, Pak, leg sep. Short handstand. Toe had stalder to double tuck, step.
Schweitzer (tOSU): Front aerial to beat, steady. Bhs loso, soft knees but a strong landing. Beat to ring split, front leg looked low but the camera angle was rough. Side aerial tuck 1/1 hop. Great leadoff.
Piringer (UNL): FTY, great laid out position, really exceptional, hop back.
Johnston (PSU): Short handstand. Maloney to bail hand, leg sep on the Maloney. Blind 1/1 late to double tuck stuck.
Miller (tOSU): Bhs loso, very steady. Cat to side aerial beat, no wobbles. Straddle to straddle 1/4. Gainer tuck 1/1 stuck, feet were a bit far apart but that was a great set for Miller.
Cross (PSU): Blind to Jaeger, great amplitude, yes on a JAEGER. Bail hand, good. Blind 1/1 little late, double tuck, big step forward.
Davis (UNL): FTY, foot scoot back, some form on the block.
Rushlow (PSU): Blind to nice Jaeger to bail. Blind 1/1, good. Double tuck stuck.
Dujakovich (UNL): Y1.5, hop forward some soft knees. Only 10.0 start in this session.
Verdeflor (PSU): GREAT handstand. Blind to Jaeger, close catch some arm bend. Bail hand, little short. All of her kip cast handstands are stellar. Blind 1/1 double tuck, small shuffle.
Curtis (UNL): FTY, really rushed the landing to salute, don’t know how they’ll judge that.
Swartzentruber (tOSU): Bhs loso, good. Hankins fell before her, so pressure’s on. Beat to front toss, check, to split. Don’t think she’ll get that connection. Switch to split. Little hesitation. Gainer 1/1, little foot movement.
Bonsall (PSU): Transitions were lovely. DLO, very deep knees, about 8 steps back in a squat, but stays on her feet.
Press (UNL): Yhalf, huge bound forward and very arched.
Pritchard (tOSU): Cat to side aerial small check. Bhs loso, another little check. Switch to straddle 1/4, little offline in the air on the 1/4 RO 2/1, good.
Joyner (RU): Double pike, bounced while in the lunge a touch. Tour jete 1/1, little short of rotation. FHS front 1/1 front lay, good landing but a little arched in the lay. Switch side popa, great straddles. RO 3/2 front pike, great! Wow, she is ON today.
Hodges (tOSU): standing switch to straddle 3/4, HUGE. Bhs loso, fall. Ah, the Buckeyes will have to count one. Standing gainer loso, check with arm swing. RO 3/2 step forward.
Huang (RU): She gets the arena all to herself. FHS 2/1, soft knees but good landing. FHS rudi loso. Switch side wolf 1/1, front leg a bit low in the wolf. FHS rudi, great landing.
FINAL: RU 195.675, UMD 195.650, PSU 195.525, UNL 195.350, tOSU 195.325
EVENT WINNERS [in this session, keep these numbers in mind in session 2]:
VT: Dujakovich, Rubio 9.900
UB: Rushlow, Swartzentruber 9.900
BB: Joyner, Huang, Higgins, Rushlow 9.900
FX: Huang, Gagliardi 9.875
AA: Joyner 39.375
Meet back here at 6:30 p.m. ET for session two, live blogged by the one and only Katie Walsh! I’ll be back in action at 8 p.m. ET for the MRGC meet. As an aside, our photographer Emily Howell-Forbes was able to travel for the first time this season and is in Minnesota shooting both sessions, so be on the lookout for her photos next week!
Live blog by Emily Minehart
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