LIVE BLOG: Tuscaloosa Regional Round Two, Session One

It’s time for one of the most competitive battles of the weekend with all four teams capable of earning high scores and advancing to the next round. Alabama is considered the lock out of the group for day three, but the second spot is wide open.

Arkansas is having a remarkable year and has scored two program record scores but will need to have a stronger performance than it had at the conference championship. Bailey Lovett may be limited to beam if she competes at all due to elbow pain. The Razorbacks will need athletes to step up in her place.

Iowa and Iowa State are two of the best floor teams in the country. Addy De Jesus, Maddie Diab and Andrea Maldonado lead the way for the Cyclones. Iowa finished the regular season at No.1 in the Big Ten on floor. Lauren Guerin is a contender for the national championship title on the event and has been waiting on her opportunity for a 10. Guerin’s chances of making it to nationals as an individual on the apparatus have also increased with the absence of Auburn and Derrian Gobourne.

Beam will be an event to keep an eye on. Iowa State has had a few disastrous meets there, and Iowa fell twice at Big Tens. To qualify to day three, neither can afford to count falls.

We love leotards at College Gym News, but there is nothing like a leotard choice with meaning.

Rotation 1: Iowa State VT, Arkansas UB, Alabama BB, Iowa FX

Rutz (Ark): Mounts high, beautiful handstand, good Tkatchev, issues on her Clear hip, Bail handstand, form break on her Blind full to double back, stuck. 9.250

Hong (ISU): FTY, nicely done, hop back. .800

Olsen (Alabama): good leap series to start, bhs loso, good, full turn, nicely done, front aerial, solid, bhs double twist, slide back. 9.875

Klopfer got a 9.850 in the lead-off for Bama.

Scalzo (Ark): Nice final handstand and full-out dismount. 9.875

Gaskins (Alabama):  Side aerial to split jump, stunning, fantastic flexibility on her scale, Bhs loso, smallest of balance checks, good leap pass, Gainer full stuck. 9.900

Maxwell (ISU): Y 1.5, think she might have stuck that. 9.925

De Jesus (ISU): Y1.5, huge amplitude, small hop forward. 9.900

Adams (Alabama)😀ouble wolf turn, switch leap to split jump, good, bhs 1.5, hop back. Wobbled on her flight series earlier on. 9.875 

Doggette (Alabama): Full turn, Bhs loso, soft knees but solid landings, beat to switch half, under rotated and large balance check, side aerial to a full, small hop back. 9.825

Seems to be a large delay on Floor.

Kaji (Iowa): 1.5 through to double back, low chest on landing, incredibly dynamic on this event, lacks some flexibility on leaps. double pike, nicely done. 9.875

Hambrick just stuck her FTDB bar landing.

Blanco (Alabama):  Front aerial, solid, full turn, Bhs loso loso, fabulous, gorgeous scale to low beam, Switch to switch half, double full, stuck. She finally got her ten. Very well deserved and first one of her career! 

O’Hara had a huge routine for Arkansas.

Henderson (Iowa): solid routine with a front tuck through to double back to end. 9.925

Guerin (Iowa): fantastic full-in, great flexibility and height on her leap pass, front tuck through to double back, short and has take a step forward. Not sure it’ll be enough for nationals. 9.875

Really great gymnastics all-around for all four teams. Arkansas had a rough start, but had a fantastic ending to its rotation. O’Hara and Hambrick both scored above a 9.900 to finish it off. Bars is arguably Arkansas weakest event, so it will be happy to get that over with. Arkansas is clearly in the lead with perfection from Blanco and a solid performance from Gaskins. Iowa State and Iowa performed to its standards on its respective event. Both programs were arguably on some of its best events and will need to keep up the quality for the remainder of the competition.

AFTER ONE: Alabama 49.500, Iowa 49.450, Arkansas 39.375, Iowa State 49.350

Rotation 2: Iowa VT, Iowa State UB, Arkansas BB, Alabama FX

Tolan (Iowa): FTY, nicely done. hop back on landing. 9.800

Gianfagna (Ark): Lots of wobbles but stays on. Hop on the ro 1.5 dismount. 9.675

Greenwald (Iowa): FTY, great height and solid landing.  9.800

Guerin (Iowa): FTY, opens her hips up nicely. lacks control on her hop back. 

Klopfer (Alabama): Huge Double Back, Tour Jete half Popa, RO 1.5. to Front lay, understates it and sits it down, double pike, nicely done. 

Its so wonderful how somehow all four events happen to be at an extended pause at once.

Basuel (ISU): Overarches handstand but saves it,  Blind change to a massive straddled Jaeger, bail, gorgeous handstand, Blind full to double tuck, stuck. 9.700

James (Alabama): Haven’t seen her here since early-season, missed the first pass, solid leaps, nice double tuck to finish. Good for her. 9.900

Henderson (Iowa): FTY, nice amplitude and distance. Medium hop back. 9.850

Shaffer has had multiple balance checks on beam for Arkansas, .

Gaskins (Alabama): Double layout, under rotates and lands with her chest super low,  Switch ring to switch half, Front to double back, hop forward with a shorter landing. I live for her toe point. 9.800

Carter(Ark): Bhs loso, beat jump to double stag, front aerial to sissone, ariel back full, cross step forward. 9.850

De Jesus (ISU): Step-out to Ray, great amplitude, good Bail, A tad short on final handstand, DLO, soft knees and a hop back. I’m assuming she missed a connection or SV issue because her score is only a 9.575.

Hambrick (Ark): Bhs Loso, soft knees but solid landing, switch leap switch half, beat jump, weird wobble on choreography, cartwheel gainer full, stuck landing. 9.925

Blanco (Alabama): Double Pike, nicely done, great extension on her leaps, huge double back, Front Lay front full, fantastic. 9.925

Arkansas did not have the strongest beam rotation, but the Razorbacks were able to get through the rotation without a major disaster and a fall. Kennedy Hambrick helped lead the team to second place over Iowa. Alabama struggled on some landings on floor and will need to work on those for day two. Hambrick and Blanco are two athletes watch for the all-around title. These athletes are having exceptional meets so far.

Alabama is competing without Senior Lexi Graber and Sophomore Madi Waligora. Arkansas is without Bailey Lovett today.

AFTER TWO: Alabama 98.825, Arkansas 98.700, Iowa 98.625, Iowa State 98.275.

Rotation 3: Alabama VT, Iowa UB, Iowa State BB, Arkansas FX

Gaskins (Alabama): FTY, great leadoff vault with a stuck landing.

Steinmeyer (ISU): Front toss to beat, Bhs loso with soft legs, small balance check,  Switch leap to straddle quarter, lacks flexibility, full turn, RO 1.5, looked like a stick but not confident. 9.850 

Adams (Alabama): FTY, Short and lands with a low chest and hop forward. 9.675

Olsen (Alabama): DTY, under rotates with a step forward. Usual form deductions.

Fantastic routine for Turner on BB

Hickey (Ark): Double Pike, lots of power with a large step back,  Switch side popa, front full to floaty front lay, great, Double Tuck, nicely done. 

Rough start for Iowa on Bars. 9.650 from Henderson and just had a fall from Rodgers

Blanco (Alabama): Y 1.5, huge vault with a stuck landing.

Quinn (Alabama): Y1.5, overstates with large steps forward and a low chest on landing. 

Rough rotation for Alabama and Iowa so far here.

De Jesus (ISU): Bhs loso, nicely done,  Straddle to sheep jump, form and small wobble, Cat leap to side aerial, good, Cartwheel double twist, gorgeous. 

Mitchell (Alabama): FTY, hop back.

Carter (Ark): Gorgeous double tuck, impeccable footwork, RO 1.5 to front full, well-done, Switch half to split full, lacks some flexibility, Double Pike, shuffle forward. 9.925

Semple (ISU): Bhs loso, Cat leap to switch half to beat, Switch leap to split jump, small hesitation, Side aerial to full. Few balance checks throughout, but overall a great routine. 

Shaffer (Ark): Double Pike, her knees gave out, 1.5 to front lay, not even close and has a second fall Tour jete popa, good, Double Tuck, bails and does a single tuck. Smart decision. 8.000

Bars camera is just not on anymore, but Horowitz was solid on beam. Horowitz went 9.775

Kaji (Iowa): Eagle grip to straddle jaeger, great, Pak Salto, DLO, stuck. 9.925, career high

Hambrick (Ark) Sky high Double Tuck, nicely done, Rudi back layout stag jump, effortlessly done, Switch half popa, Double Pike, clutch routine for Arkansas. 

Rotation three was the weakest of the competition quality-wise so far. But we have a close one here and this regional is certainly living up to its hype. Alabama had a rough vault rotation with multiple short landings. Arkansas was able to takeover the lead from Alabama with stellar floor routines from Carter and Hambrick. Iowa had a slow start, but was able to finish strong with routines from Kaji and Kenlin. Iowa’s impressive finish pushes them to a tie for second with Alabama. Iowa State had a decent rotation on beam with a good lead-off performance from Steinmeyer.

AFTER THREE: Arkansas 148.000, Alabama 147.850,  Iowa 147.850, Iowa State 147.500

Rotation 4: Arkansas VT, Alabama UB, Iowa BB, Iowa State FX

Pennesse (Ark): FTY, great routine with a stuck landing. 9.825

Henderson (Iowa): bhs loso, solid, Switch side series, double back dismount, large hop back. 9.825

Stuck DLO from Givens on UB. Givens went 9.850

Johnston (Ark): FTY, she is way  off from the run and lands on her knees. She is limping off.  9.250

Gaskins (Alabama): Nice handstand t start, good shaposh to Pak Salto, nice pirouette on low bar, dlo, stuck landing. 9.900

Steinmeyer (ISU): Fhs double twist, Popa, Back 1.5 to front lay, nicely done, Really scary fall on her double pike. Landed face first and is being attended to by medics. She is getting carried off the floor now. 9.100

Elswick (Ark): FTY, Huge amplitude with a stuck landing. That should score very well. 9.900

Killian (Iowa): bhs loso, good, side aerial layout good, dismounts with side aerial tuck full, good. 9.800

Doggette (Alabama): Huge amplitude on her Tkatchev to Pak Salto, gorgeous final handstand, DLO, stuck landing. That may do it for Alabama over Iowa. It’s a 10.000 for Doggette and will be her first career 10.000 as well.

De Jesus (ISU):double tuck, fantastic, Popa series, double pike, well-done. 9.850

Blanco (Alabama):  Maloney to Pak Salto, pirouette, great final handstand, FTDB. 9.975

Alabama set a program record on bars with a 49.675 and will be advancing to day two.

Kenlin collided with the beam on her  mount/ prior to mount and is bent over talking with her coach right now.


Andrea Maldonado (ISU): Fhs double twist to punch front, large step oob, Fhs Rudi. Switch full to Popa, great Double pike to finish. 9.700

Kenlin (Iowa): Collects herself and restarts. bhs loso, solid, nice leap series, Front aerial to cat jump, fantastic, ends with a ro 1.5, stumbles on the landing. Great to see her get back up on the event. 0.000.. Took too long to re-mount the apparatus. 

Turner (ISU): Front tuck through to double tuck, well-done, Switch ring to switch half to Popa, lacks some flexibility, double pike, lands a tad short.  9.750

Topp (Illinois St.): HUGE DLO STUCK!!!!!!!!!!!! I honestly got lost in the greatness of the routine. 9.825 Illinois State’s Labat and Topp were both fantastic today. Labat went 49.475 for an all-around career best.

The sophomore class was the story here today for Alabama. The Crimson Tide struggled on the power events of vault and floor. However, Doggette and Blanco were able to come up with perfection on bars and beam respectively. With a program-record on bars, Alabama was able to take the competition over Arkansas. Arkansas will be pleased with its comeback meet from SEC Championships. The Razorbacks struggled a tad on bars to start off the competition. However, they were consistent across the board on the other events. Kennedy Hambrick had a fantastic all-around competition.Claire Kaji had a career competition for Iowa with 9.875 plus on every apparatus she competed on today. Iowa State had a decent competition, but had too many scores in the 9.700’s to advance further.

Final: Alabama 197.525, Arkansas 197.250, Iowa 197.050,  Iowa State 196.525

AA Winner: Luisa Blanco – 39.800

VT Winner: Angelica Labat – 9.950

UB Winner: Makarri Doggette – 10.000

BB Winner:  Luisa Blanco – 10.000

FX Winner: Luisa Blanco, Sophia Carter, JerQuavia Henderson – 9.925


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

Live blog by Katie Walsh

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