You’re really going to have to stick with me on this one. I’m helping out Claire, who was originally going to live blog this meet before something came up. I haven’t live blogged a meet in over a year, and I can’t say I’ve watched much EAGL gymnastics this season. It’s going to be a journey, folks. Here’s hoping the commentators are good or that there’s any form of commentary at all.
In case you missed Mary Emma’s preview primer in our Mount or on our schedule page, here’s the skinny on this session of the championship: Only one total EAGL championship has been won by any of these teams (Pitt in 2016), so if the winner comes from this session, it will be historic. Of these four, Towson and Temple have the most likely shot at the title. Both teams have proven to be capable of breaking into the 196s this year. While Pitt does not have the same ceiling as Temple or Towson, the Panthers are at home, and last time they hosted EAGLs, they won in an upset.
In terms of the regionals picture, Towson will be looking to avoid the play-in round, where it needs a 195.775 to tie for No. 28 (and where it would win the tie breaker), but the main focus will on on Temple. The Owls need a 195.575 to move past Ball State and into the top 36. Anything less will mean the season ends tonight.
For those interested: Towson hasn’t made regionals since 2000 and Ball State since 1999 and Temple since 1992. All of those happened back when regionals qualification was determined by region and not top 36.
Finally, let’s take a look at what happened in the first session, which featured title favorite N.C. State.
- N.C. State: 196.050
- George Washington: 195.800
- North Carolina: 195.275
Alright! The broadcast is starting, and we’re ready to go! Commentators are the same as session one: Devin Herbine and Josh Rowntree. They were pretty good earlier, so that’ll help me out a lot. Temple’s in its diamond leo, LIU in a new one—blue ombre with white sleeves and a white criss-cross strappy back, Pitt in its new one from last week and Towson in a new black with white details.
LIU (VT), Temple (UB), Towson (BB), Pittsburgh (FX)
Beckwith (Pitt): double tuck to open with some cowboying and form, nice leap series, ro + 1.5 to front lay is solid as well. A good lead-off for Pitt. 9.825
LIU’s first up, van Allen, hits her tuck full vault with just a hop and Towson hits its first beam routine with no major issues.
Whelan (Temple): sticks her dismount, missed the rest due to a streaming issue. SORRY. 9.825
Macy (Pitt): rudi + double stag is a little messy but no landing errors, switch half to popa has some rotation issues and loose feet, ro + 1.5 to front lay with leg separation and a bit of a fight to rotate it all the way. 9.800
Edwards (Temple): only caught the end again, but she hits a good double layout dismount with a step back. 9.750
Loo (LIU): FTY, chest down on the landing and a hop back, but a good vault overall for the Sharks. 9.675
Miller (LIU): FTY, piked down a bit which causes her to take a huge hop back. 9.725
Castrence (Temple): short on her first handstand, nice tkatchev, hits her bail right on top of the bar in handstand but some leg separation, double layout with a step back. 9.825
Ricketts (LIU): just a layout, but good form in the air and a hop back 9.550
Coca (Pitt): missed her first pass, ro 1.5 + layout is the nicest of the rotation so far, lots of two-pass routines for Pitt, which is pretty smart to save the body and requires less endurance in this weird season. 9.750
Bedminster (LIU): FTY, short and kind of crunches her ankles and knees and rolls off the mat. A shame becasue she arguably has the most power of the lineup just not the block quite yet. 8.875
Weitz (Towson): front aerial beat jump is solid, bhs + loso has a bit of form in the air but no wobbles, side aerial to full dismount is stuck but again just kind of loose in the air. 9.850
Brooks (Temple): tkatchev is nice, overshoot short of handstand by a good amount, blind full into a double back with a stick. The Owls needed to start this meet out strong on a sometimes rocky event for them, and they’ve done just that. 9.650
Hurst (Towson): so lovely to watch, opens with a full turn maybe a touch over turned, bhs + loso is incredibly solid and precise, switch leap switch leap perfectly 180, front aerial to split jump, maybe the tiniest bit of form on the salto, ends with a front full dismount that’s stuck. The Tigers are excited. 9.900
Miller (Pitt): double tuck to open is great, tour jete half to split full rotated fully, front layout to front full with some knees but landing is solid, double pike to close is overrotated and she has to take a couple steps back but stays in bounds and on her feet. 9.750
Stewart (Towson): full turn is fine, bhs + loso + loso and she’s way off, you could tell after the first loso that she was going to have issues, front toss is hesitant and has a wobble, cat leap into switch side is hit but needs some work, ro 1.5 dismount with a small hop. Great experience for the freshman, but obviously a weaker routine overall. 9.250
Ceccarini (Pitt): front full + front half to straddle jump to front tuck, first leap pass is great, tour jete half to popa is also good, double tuck to close is a little squatty but no feet movement issues. 9.900, that’s a career high
Ward (Pitt): She reminds me of Georgia’s Sterlyn Austin, opens with a double tuck and takes a step forward vs. the traditional step back, switch ring to switch half, smart leap pass because you don’t have to deal with rotation deductions, front full into front layout is a bit whippy and awkward but she puts it to her feet, ends with another leap pass that’s solid, overall a good routine. 9.775
AFTER ONE: Pitt & Towson 49.050, Temple 48.925, LIU 48.325
That’s a season-high tying mark for Temple on bars, which is exactly the kind of start it needed if it wants to contend for a regionals berth. Both Pitt and Towson looked solid on their events, which makes sense since they’re both currently tied for the lead of this session after one. LIU was its usual on vault, some hits some misses but probably glad to be moving on. This whole meet is experience for the Sharks.
Pittsburgh (VT), LIU (UB), Temple (BB), Towson (FX)
Bolen (Towson): Looking forward to this one. I have her on my fantasy team but haven’t had a chance to watch her yet this season, opens with a man-stuck double tuck, front lay to rudi is also nice—great form here on her tumbling—leap series is fully rotated, ends with a front layout + front full, another solid landing. 9.850
Beckwith (Pitt): tucked FTY completely stuck. 9.775
Oster (Temple): big wobble in there but saves it, that’s all I noticed, naturally. 9.675
Miller (Pitt): FTY with just a small hop back and good form in the air, maybe just a small pike down to cause the hop. 9.775
Weitz (Towson): double tuck top open, good landing, double pike is solid maybe a small foot movement, cool shaposh choreography and another solid routine for the Tigers. 9.850
Coca: tucked FTY 9.675
Donabedian (Temple): front aerial (?) is hit, cat leap to side somi also solid, nice double stag with the head thrown back, nice flexibility there, ends with a ro 1.5 with just a hop forward, she’s a second-team All-American on this event and floor. 9.850
Ceccarini (Pitt): FTY with a pike down, bit of chest down and a medium-sized step back. 9.750
Liszewski (Pitt): FTY with a gigantic hop back thanks to a big pike down. 9.675
Schugman (Temple): front aerial to front aerial to scale series is fantastic and had a great connection, cat leap to side somi hit, leap series is hit with maybe a little form, ro 1.5 with a hop forward but a hit routine. 9.800
Ward (Pitt): FTY, best vault of the rotation and best form in the air by far, a small pike down and a hop back. 9.775
Roland (Temple): cat leap to side aerial is nice, switch leap to split jump, both a bit short of 180, ro 1.5, I missed the beginning but a great routine for the Bridgeport transfer, the Owls are really nailing it after the mild trouble from the lead-off. 9.850
Stewart (Towson): front lay to rudi, a bit of an uncontrolled landing but not bad by any means, double tuck great landing, nearly man stuck it, Towson also doing really well on floor, this is going to be close to the end. 9.875
I’m missing all these LIU bar routines, and I apologize for it.
Castrence (Temple): nailed bhs + loso series, sissone to switch half is good maybe a little wobble into the beat jump, ro double twist dismount with a hop back and feet apart but a solid routine overall. 9.850
Lapp (LIU): shaposh into a pak, a little short on the landstand, double layout a little whippy but perfectly stuck. 9.800
Borkowski (Towson): stuck double back, front layout to front full messy in the air and nearly not all the way around, leaps are fine, double pike to close a bit under rotated and a hop forward, not the strongest set of the rotation but not bad by any means. 9.750
Titarsolej (LIU): shaposh to pak combo is lovely, giant full to double tuck dismount with a step back, not her best, but she’s coming off an ankle injury and probably didn’t do a ton of landings leading up to this meet. 9.825
Vitoff (Towson): open double pike to open with a solid landing, front lay front full kind of bounds out of it into a large step but stays in bounds, double tuck to close with a near man stick but just a hop in place. 9.850
Garin (Temple): bhs + bhs + loso has to step forward missed the middle but ends with a side aerial to back full with a stick. 9.875
AFTER TWO: Towson 98.275, Temple 98.150, Pitt 97.800, LIU 96.175
Alright! Both Temple and Towson absolutely killed it on beam. The scores were maybe a touch high since I saw the scores in the 9.8s and went hmm was it that good? But overall, the teams were very solid. Pitt was held back on vault not just by its start values but by its landings. At the very least it can clean those up to maximize potential on doing the easier vaults. LIU, from the little I saw, actually did pretty well on bars. Despite starting out as a weakness, bars really became a strength for the Sharks.
Temple needs to average 48.7125 on its final two events to qualify for regionals. If Temple makes regionals, gets a 197 or one other thing I’m blanking on, head coach Josh Nilson said he’ll get a “212” tattoo. Apparently that’s for the temperature at which water boils, which is the Owls’ motto this year.
Towson (VT), Pittsburgh (UB), LIU (BB), Temple (FX)
Macy (Pitt): sorry only caught the dismount, ends with a double layout with the smallest slide back. 9.775
van Allen (LIU): bhs + loso is solid, full turn also good, beat jump to split 3/4, she has great movement quality on this event, front toss slight pause into a beat jump, ro + 1.5 with a hop forward and a tiny leg split in the air but a hit for LIU. 9.750
Beckwith (Pitt): falls when going for the giant full into her dismount, unfortunate miss because Pitt is only putting up five on this event, meaning it will have to count this score, she hops back up and finishes strong though, double tuck under rotated with a big hop forward. 8.950
Zuhlke (Towson): fhs, tsuk tuck full, which is named after her, just a hop and some form throughout but a super fun vault. 9.700
Koopman (LIU): switch leap to gainer full off the side is hit with a small hop. 9.800
Stewart (Towson): FTY, a little crunched on the table and a pike down which caused a pretty big hop back. 9.625
Kline (Pitt): double tuck dismount, step forward. 9.300
Barrington (LIU): full turn, bhs loso some form but hit, cat leap to side aerial and falls, looked just a bit under rotated and she had to take a step forward before falling, dismount is a ro to 1.5 with a hop forward. 9.025
Bolen (Towson): FTY, small pike down and a small hop back, the best of the rotation I think. 9.775
Vitoff (Towson): Y1.5, step to the left and really no distance but that’s the Tigers’ first ever 1.5 (she’s been competing it all this season), so I’m sure they’re happy with a hit no matter. 9.800
Donabedian (Temple): opens with a fhs + rudi + loso, lovely, leg up 1.5 turn is also great but she falls out of it just a little bit, oh wow ends with a front double full. 9.850
Miller (Pitt): pike jaeger is nice, bail to handstand with some leg separation, final handstand is hit and dismounts with a full-in with a hop back and some leg form in the air, almost looks like her legs buckled a tiny bit. 9.750
Ricketts (LIU): front aerial to split jump is lovely, bhs loso is nice in the air but she falls, balance check on the full turn, split 3/4 is good, dismounts with a bhs to tucked 1.5 that’s over rotated so she lands with her chest down and has to take a pretty big step. 9.025
Coca (Pitt): straddle jaeger with flexed feet, final handstand is hit, bail is good, full-in good form in the air and a hop back. 9.875
Roland (Temple): first pass is a double pike with a good landing, tour jete full + pop is rotated fully, fhs front lay front full a little wonky but fine overall, ends with a double tuck that’s pretty loose in the air but has a good landing. 9.875
Oster (Temple): taking Castrence’s spot, not sure why, wolf 1.5 is good, first tumbling pass is a front through to a couple tuck, some front foot wiggles, switch ring to switch half, a little bit of loose feet but split positions were good, last pass is a double pike, solid landing but maybe just a touch of chest down. 9.875
Lapp (LIU): front aerial to double stag with the head thrown back is lovely, she also has great movement quality, ends with a ro 1.5 to hop forward, but solid overall. 9.775
Leary (Temple): front layout to rudi is pretty lose in the air and she takes a cross step back, switch side to popa is fully rotated, double tuck to finish, good landing but maybe a touch deep. 9.900
AFTER THREE: Temple 147.525, Towson 147.000, Pitt 145.450, LIU 143.700
LIU won’t like counting two falls in that rotation, but falls are easy to fix in the future. Plus, I appreciate them cheering just as much after a miss as they do after a hit. Epitome of “we’re just here to have fun.” Temple killed floor and is doing exactly what it needs to to qualify to regionals. The Owls need just a 48.050 on vault to make regionals and for Nilson to get that tattoo. VERY doable. The conference title is also up for grabs. To win that, the Owls need a 48.525. Towson performed well on vault, but it’s really hard to score super well on the event without a lineup full of sticks or 9.95/10.0 starts.
Also, Temple needs a 48.525 to match N.C. State’s score from earlier today, and Towson needs a 49.050. The Tigers are 0.525 behind Temple though, so even if they get the 49.050, they’ll still have to outscore Temple by a pretty big margin. Let’s get the fourth rotation started!
Temple (VT), Towson (UB), Pittsburgh (BB), LIU (FX)
I’m probably going to focus on Temple and Towson at least until those events are finished, just because they’re the most important at this point.
Newland (Temple): FTY is completely stuck, piked down a little. 9.725
Bolan (Towson): bail to horizontal to toe-rise, sticks her double tuck dismount. Starting out very evenly matched here. 9.700
Shugman (Temple): Yurchenko layout half with a pretty big hop forward but fairly good form in the air. 9.725
Zientek (Towson): only caught the end but she dismounted with a double tuck that was slightly under rotated and had to take a hop forward. 9.675
Edwards (Temple): chest down and a hop forward on her FTY. 9.625
Macy (Pitt): bhs loso is hit, switch leap to split 3/4, check is too far forward on the switch and her back leg is pretty low on the jump, ro 1.5 with a step back. 9.775
Brooks: FTY, piked down and a hop in place, needs more distance too as she finishes pretty close to the table. 9.775
Vitoff (Towson): gienger is good to an overshoot, full-in powerful with just a hop back. 9.775
Roland (Temple): fty, beautifully stuck, Temple will take. that. 9.900 so well deserved.
Temple is already at a huge 196.275 with one more vault score to come.
Castrence: FTY to another stick!!! I’m freaking out you guys. Temple is doing the damn thing. You have to feel a little bad for Ball State, but TEMPLE! 9.850
That’s a 196.500 (!) and a program record for the Owls, with the previous mark being a 196.050 from Mar. 11, 2018.
Ceccarini (Pitt): going up after a fall so hoping to score higher and drop the miss, starts with a bhs loso, leg up balance check but doesn’t come off, switch to straddle jump a little short of 180, another small balance check, stuck dismount, great routine. 9.775
Zuhlke (Towson): straddle jaeger is good, some flexed feet and over arch in the pak, stuck double tuck dismount but again some flexed feet. 9.800
Chamberlain (Pitt): hit her routine as well, Pitt doing a good job of bouncing back after the fall. 9.725
Lapp (LIU): double pike to open is nice, lovely dancer and a great presence on this event, switch ring to switch half to wolf full is solid as well, front layout to front full, good routine overall. 9.825
Beckwith (Pitt): bhs + loso is solid, switch side with a balance check, side aerial to back full stick, feet a bit far apart but no movement. 9.850
That’ll do it! What an exciting meet and an emotional finish for Temple, who really knocked it out of the park on every event. The Owls not only got the score they needed to advance to regionals but won the championship and scored a program record. Not bad for a Saturday night. Towson also impressed me, but the performance just wasn’t good enough tonight. Pitt had its fair share of mistakes, but I think it wasn’t expecting to pull out a win here. And LIU was just here having fun in its first season. I can’t wait to see how that team grows.
Final: Temple 196.500, N.C. State 196.050, Towson 195.875, George Washington 195.800, North Carolina 195.275, Pittsburgh 194.350, LIU 192.725
AA Winner: Culton (UNC) 39.375
VT Winner: Roland (Temple) 9.900
UB Winner: Culton (UNC) 9.925
BB Winner: Thompson, Culton (UNC), Hurst (Towson) 9.900
FX Winner: Whitman (GW), Ceccarini (Pitt), Leary (Temple) 9.900
Live blog by Elizabeth Grimsley
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