LIVE BLOG: Athens Regional Round Two, Session Two

Hello again from Stegeman Coliseum! Tonight we have an overwhelming favorite in Florida going up against Illinois, Central Michigan and N.C. State. Florida’s season low is higher than both CMU and N.C. State’s season highs, so we may see some atypical lineups from the Gators to rest some of the top performers for tomorrow’s regional final.

The other three teams in this semi are more evenly matched: Illinois clearly has the advantage in its demonstrated ceiling—a 197.575 at home three weeks ago—but its highest road score of the season is only 196.625. N.C. State’s best road score of 196.425 came yesterday in the play-in against Western Michigan, so the Wolfpack are coming in hot. Central Michigan has topped out on the road at 196.425 as well, though the Chippewas have had consistency issues the entire season. Still, the second spot to advance to the final is up for grabs.

Nebraska’s individual qualifiers are competing in this session, highlighted by Kynsee Roby on bars and beam, and Anika Dujakovich on vault. Both will be rotating with Central Michigan. Western Michigan’s Payton Murphy will be rotating with N.C. State as an all arounder.

Rotation One: N.C. State VT, Illinois UB, Florida BB, Central Michigan FX

Prati (NCSU): Y tucked full with a hop and a fist pump. 

Jordan (NCSU): Y full with a significant pike-down but strong landing. 

Benson (NCSU): Y half on front tuck off with good height and a small hop. Such a cool vault!

Shepard (NCSU): Enormous Y full. Chest a tad forward, but didn’t move.

Negrete (NCSU): Basically perfect Y full. Should go 9.9-plus. 

Hunter (NCSU): Y half, small hop back. 

Murphy (WMU): Y full with a bunch of height and a step back. 


O’Donnell (UIUC): Straddled Jaeger, little leg sep on the regrasp. Gorgeous bail to definitive handstand. 

Biondi (UIUC): Blind full to nice straddled Jaeger. A little off center on the bail. Stuck dismount. 

Takekawa (UIUC): Little loose on her bail. Nice form on the DLO, small single foot step. 

Ewald (UIUC): Amazing FTDT, stuck. 

Mizuki (UIUC): Lovely piked Jaeger, caught a bit close. Nice blind full to double tuck, step back. 

Knight (UIUC): Love the straddle back. Full pirouette to a stuck double tuck. 


Richards (UF): Lovely triple series, seems very calm. Stuck full dismount. Great start/comeback for her. 

Skaggs (UF): Pretty splits for Skaggs. Bhs loso with the smallest hint of an arm wave. Front aerial, solid. Side aerial to stuck full. 

Lazzari (UF): Pretty triple series! 

Baumann (UF): Fantastic bhs loso. Finesses the front aerial a bit. Nails the RO 1.5. 

Clapper (UF): Solid bhs loso loso. Good split positions. Side aerial to stuck full. 

Schoenherr (UF): Solid front aerial. Bhs loso with a leg up. Split jump to straddle 3/4, nice. RO 1.5 with a hop and some knees.


Velgucci (CMU): Fhs double twist, fabulous. Back 2.5 to tight punch front, well done. 

Fettlinger (CMU): Back 2.5 to punch front, great. Fantastic double tuck to finish and a big smile. 

Williams (CMU): Don’t know if this is intentional, but she signed “WORK!” in ASL. Massive double tuck to open, kicked it out. Ugh, launched her bhs from the four incher and landed her double tuck on her face. She’s OK, but too bad about the fall. 

Demers (CMU): Double front twist, a little deep in the landing. Beautiful double pike with a small foot slide. Leap positions a touch low. 

Pitchell (CMU): Big double pike to open, minor foot slide. Switch half to Popa, great amplitude. Fhs full, well done. Excellent double tuck to close. 

Demarinis (CMU): High, kicked out double tuck. Switch full to Popa, good. Deep double pike and has to step forward. 

Piringer (UNL): Huge DLO to open. Fhs full to punch front, great. Switch half to Popa, nicely done. Big double pike opened slightly too early, deep landing but holds on for the stick.

AFTER ONE ROTATION: Florida 49.625, N.C. State 49.075, Illinois 49.050, CMU 49.000

Sorry friends, I don’t have individual scores either! So… Looks like we’ve got ourselves a tight meet in the making! Florida is obviously great on beam. So glad to get to see CMU’s floor; it’s an absolute treat. Illinois looked really sharp on bars, and that was about as good of a vault rotation as the Wolfpack could have asked for. 

Rotation Two: Central Michigan VT, N.C. State UB, Illinois BB, Florida FX

Johnson (CMU): Very nice Y full. 

Cesarone (CMU): Sorry, missed this one! 

Demarinis (CMU): Great Y full, maybe a tiny shuffle on the landing? 

Williams (CMU): Solid Y 1.5 with a large step forward. Glad to see her recovered after the last rotation. 

Kowalski (CMU): Big Y full with a rebounding hop in place. 

Demers (CMU): Excellent Y full, flared out and nearly stuck. 

Dujakovich (UNL): Y 1.5 with some knees, but basically stuck. 


Jordan (NCSU): Straddled Jaeger with some form. Rushes her half pirouette on low bar. Sticks the dismount!

Nelson (NCSU): Nice first handstand. HUGE Tkatchev with soft knees. Good bail to hecht shoot. A little late on her pirouette, double tuck with a hop. 

Kent (NCSU): Forward giant to straddled Jaeger, good. Nails her DLO. 

Robinson (NCSU): Blind change to big straddled Jaeger. Nice Pak. Full to double tuck with a hop. 

Cox (NCSU): A touch close on her Tkatchev, but doesn’t seem to affect her. Beautiful DLO in the air, small hop back. 

Shepard (NCSU): Gorgeous piked Jaeger. Floats her Pak. High FTDT that seemed stuck and then a tiny hop. 

Murphy (WMU): No issues on the Deltchev today. Chest down on Rudi dismount, but just a small foot shuffle. Solid routine, and nice comeback from yesterday. 


Townes (UIUC): Love her choreography, so fun. Bhs loso, good. Stuck dismount RO full. 

Borden (UIUC): Cool planche mount. Front aerial to fhs, well done. Punch full, STUCK!

Biondi (UIUC): Bhs loso with some feet, but very secure. Side aerial with a large hip check. Nice RO 1.5 nearly stuck to finish. 

Noonan (UIUC): Small check on the full turn. Split leap to gainer loso, gorgeous. Leg up check after leap. 

Takekawa (UIUC): Small check on her series. Comes off after a balked back tuck? Stuck bhs gainer full. 

Scott (UIUC): Front toss with a finessed wave to bhs with a small wave; I think she’ll still get the connection. Gooorgeous switch split to split jump. Hitch kick to front aerial to bhs, definitely got that connection. Cartwheel to stuck gainer full. 


Clapper (UF): Punch Rudi to double stag, travels back a bit. Good position on Popa series. Goes OOB on final pass. 

Skaggs (UF): Great double pike to open. 

Lazzari (UF): High double pike with a slide back. Fhs full to front lay, lovely. Great Popa series. Big double tuck to close. Great routine. 

Johnson-Scharpf (UF): Solid opening Arabian. Love her straddle to half Shushunova. Nice double tuck to finish. 

Reed (UF): Truly excellent DLO. CHOMP. Fhs lay Rudi, nice. Switch half to wolf full, slightly low front leg on the former. Gorgeous double pike: great height, kicked out, perfectly controlled lunge. That’s gonna big a massive score. IF ONLY THE LIVE SCORES WERE UPDATING. 

Baumann (UF): Slightly underrotated double tuck with a step forward. Fhs Rudi to front full, nice. Switch half to Popa, seemed to just hang in the air. Double pike more significantly underrotated, big step forward. 

AFTER TWO ROTATIONS: Florida 98.875, N.C. State 98.400, Central Michigan 97.825, Illinois 97.250

Tough beam rotation for Illinois, but they finished strong with a lovely showing from Scott. CMU got the job done on vault, and N.C. State is going to make that selection committee rue the day they gave the Wolfpack a BS play-in, huh? Florida is still doing Florida things. 

Also, apologies for still not having live scores. Sigh. 

Rotation Three: Florida VT, Central Michigan UB, N.C. State BB, Illinois FX

Foberg (UF): Lovely Y full to kick off. A little forward on the landing, but overall very nice. 

Lazzari (UF): Big Y full with a hop back. 

Skaggs (UF): HUGE Y full with a hop back. Some leg sep in the air, but that was massive. 

Schoenherr (UF): Y 1.5 with soft knees, but nearly stuck. 

Reed (UF): Fabulous Y 1.5 with a small hop. 

Baumann (UF): High Y full with a scoot back, some form in the air. 


Demarinis (CMU): Pretty handstand positions. Handstand stepout to double front tuck. 

Veglucci (CMU): Giant half to Gienger with some leg sep. Nails her FTDT. 

Johnson (CMU): Short on her handstand. Good bail. Another short handstand. FTDT goes a little off center, but great height and a stick!

Hammond (CMU): Full pirouette to a BIG Tkatchev. Stuck FTDT. 

Demers (CMU): Nice, deliberate first handstand. Geez, ENORMOUS Tkatchev. Great final handstand position. STUCK FTDT!

Kotas (CMU): Very nice Tkatchev. Shy handstand, loses form in bail a bit. Loses it in the full pirouette and has to take several empty swings. Sticks the double tuck, but very low chest and will probably get dinged by an UTL deduction for not connecting it. 

Roby (UNL): Good height on her straddled Jaeger. DLO a bit low and has to take a hop forward. 

Davis (UNL): Pretty Maloney. Clear hip to big Tkatchev, a little close. Chest down on her DLO, but a stick. 


Nelson (NCSU): Front aerial with some knees. A little shy on her switch half. Side aerial to stuck full. 

Foland (NCSU): Slight overrotation on her full turn, but covers well. Lovely front aerial. RO 1.5 a little off center, but no movement. 

Shepard (NCSU): Leg up full turn, gorgeous. Beautiful straddle quarter. Bhs loso with a hip check. Sticks her dismount. 

Cox (NCSU): Pretty kicked out full turn. Bhs loso, well done. Switch split to tucked 3/4, very cool. Hitch kick to side aerial, great. Stuck cartwheel gainer full. 

Negrete (NCSU): Fabulous front aerial to bhs. Such poise. Siwtch split to switch half, a little slow on the connection and low back leg on the latter. Straddle 3/4, good.

Webb (NCSU): Lovely bhs loso. Front aerial with a small lean. Sheep jump with leg sep (but I’m sitting in the least charitable angle). RO double twist goes a little sideways, but she saves the landing. 

Murphy (WMU): Front toss with a lean. Split jump, pretty. Lovely full turn. Bhs loso with a big hip check, but stays on. Beat to split jump (or maybe a ring, I’m sitting head on). In any case, she did hit 180, lol. Side aerial to a stuck full, beautiful. 

Ewald (UIUC): Fhs Rudi to floaty loso. Back 1.5 to front full, gorgeous. 

Noonan (UIUC): Nice punch double front twist to open. Fhs Rudi, well done. Back 1.5 (?) to finish strong. 

Biondi (UIUC): Ooh, big double pike to open! Fhs front full to lay, great. Solid double tuck to finish. 

Townes (UIUC): Love the drama of her choreo. BIG air on her switch half to Popa. RO 1.5 to full, excellent. 

Mueller (UIUC): Overrotates her opening double pike and bounces back a bit. Good front lay to front full. Nice double tuck to end. 

Scott (UIUC): Beautiful RO 2.5. Switch ring to switch half, omg… So pretty. The position and the head release are just fabulous. 

AFTER THREE ROTATIONS: Florida 148.275, N.C. State 147.425, Illinois 147. 200, CMU 146. 575 

Man, all these teams are just grinding away. Even with a bars meltdown, Florida’s in good shape. The other three teams are just going HARD. Illinois is going to have to really push it on vault to overtake N.C. State. 

Rotation Four: Illinois VT, Florida UB, Central Michigan BB, N.C. State FX

Mueller (UIUC): Nailed her Y full, tiniest pike down. 

Biondi (UIUC): Y half more-or-less stuck. 

Takekwa (UIUC): Big Y full with a hop back. 

Townes (UIUC): Some leg form, but she NAILED her Y 1.5. 

Powe (UIUC): Another high Y full with a small hop back. 

Waight (UIUC): Great Y half with a stick. Illinois did about as good of a vault rotation as they could have done. Up to NC State now. 


Richards (UF): Usual leg sep on the DLO, but great landing. 

Lazzari (UF): Gorgeous Tkatchev. Pretty Pak. Slight leg sept on FTDT and a tiny hop. 

Skaggs (UF): Her usual big Tkatchev and stuck DLO. Well done. 

Schoenherr (UF): Aggressive first handstand. Gorgeous blind half to straddled Jaeger. Nice bail. Solid final handstand. Double front half out, stuck.  

Thomas (UF): Lovely Maloney to Pak. Van Leeuwen, nice. Gorgeous final handstand. Stuck DLO. Wow, she’s just incredible. 10.00

Gallentine (UF): Maloney to Pak, nice. Rushes her half pirouette. Lovely, stuck DLO. 


Pitchell (CMU): Floaty bhs loso. Standing punch front with a hip check. Gainer full, stuck. 

Mueller (CMU): Solid bhs loso. Switch leap to switch half a hair shy but solid. 

Veglucci (CMU): Some legs on her bhs pike, and a big check after a skill I missed. RO full dismount, well done. 

Demers (CMU): Front aerial to bhs loso, fantastic. Switch leap to split jump, good. Front toss to immediate scale, pretty. Side aerial to full a little crooked, but a stick. 

Demarinis (CMU): Bhs loso with legs and a small hip check. Front aerial to beat, great. Half turn. RO 1.5, arm wave but a stick. 

Tong (CMU): Front aerial to bhs loso, flawless. Seriously, FLAWLESS. Straddle quarter, well done. Kicked out full turn. Side aieral to full with the tiniest slide. 

Roby (UNL): Press straddled handstand, lovely. Front aerial, great. Slight waver on her full turn. 

Thaler (UNL): Large check on her series. Stuck the piked gainer. 

Higgins (UNL): Front aerial bhs bhs and she comes off. Ugh, too bad. 


Jordan (NCSU): Punch double front, so pretty! Rudi to front lay to Sissone, well done. 

One of NC State’s coaches is making moose antlers. 

Cox (NCSU): Looks like she missed a rebounding skill out of her Rudi. Fhs full to front lay, nice finish. 

Benson (NCSU): Nice high double pike to open. HUGE Popa series. Fhs full to pike, well done. Tight, high double tuck to finish, small slide back. 

Nelson (NCSU): Back 2.5 to front punch; some leg form, but tons of power. Nice double pike. Really fun, energetic choreo. Switch half to wolf full, good. RO 1.5 to front pike, great. 

Shepard (NCSU): Holy double pike, Batman! Nice leap series. Front lay to full, nailed it. Huge double tuck to finish. She’s literally leaping for joy. 

Negrete (NCSU): Lovely double pike, small hop. Switch ring to split full, gorgeous positions. Fhs full to front lay, great. Stuck her double tuck COLD. 

Murphy (WMU): Front tuck through to RO double tuck, fabulous. Switch ring to switch full, well done. Rudi to straddle, nice height. Double pike a hair under, but she doesn’t care. Gets huge applause from the crowd. 

AFTER FOUR ROTATIONS: Florida 197.950, N.C. State 196.775, Illinois 196.375, Central Michigan 195.575

So, N.C. State just did that! What a fantastic showing from the Wolfpack. Hats off to Illinois; it needed a solid vault rotation to put pressure on the Pack and they did just that. Obviously not the best day for CMU, but it proved that it’s got the chops to hang with the biggest teams in the nation. And Florida casually almost scores a 198 without Trinity Thomas in the AA. Speaking of whom… Scores a 10 on her only event of the day? Unreal. 

So Florida and N.C. State will face Denver and Minnesota in tomorrow’s final. Here’s hoping we get as much drama as we did from both sessions today! 

Wondering how individuals make nationals? Read up on the complicated process here.

Live blog by Claire Billman

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