Can you believe it’s finally here? Today’s final has been literally years in the making and has the potential to be one for the record books: Michigan is coming in hot after turning in its best performance at a national championship to advance to the final. If the Wolverines can replicate yesterday’s success, they’ll have a strong chance of becoming only the seventh team to win a national title.
They’ll face stiff competition from Oklahoma which demonstrated its uncanny knack for peaking at the right time during yesterday’s semifinal, largely on the strength of Anastasia Webb’s all around title-winning performance.
Self-described underdog Utah is also looking sharp, seeking its first title in twenty-six years. After a fantastic regular season, Florida will be looking for redemption after several shaky postseason performances.
At the risk of sounding like a sports cliché, this really is anyone’s game. All we know for certain is that today’s final is going to be utterly dramatic.
All right, here we goooo!
Rotation 1: Oklahoma VT, Utah UB, Florida BB, Michigan FX
Davis (OU): Lovely stuck Y full.
Paulson (Utah): Pretty Maloney. Good, deliberate handstand positions throughout. A little late on her blind full to double tuck. Stuck.
Richards (UF): Comes off on her triple series, almost identical to yesterday.
Baumann (UM): I guess we don’t get to see her…
Stern (OU): Wow, Y 1.5 with just a small slide back. One of her best this season.
Sabado (Utah): Solid blind change to straddled Jaeger. Legs a little loose on her bail. DLO, basically stuck.
Webb (OU): Slightly underrotated Y 1.5 with a large hop back.
Skaggs (UF): How many times has she been in this situation? Bless her… Straddle mount, lovely. Solid wolf turn. Good position on her splits. Bhs loso, great. Slight check on her front aerial. Switch half series, well done. Side aerial to a stuck full.
Koulos (UM): Fhs full front lay looked good in the background of Skaggs’ beam.
Schoepfer (OU): Definitively stuck tucked Y 1.5
Wojcik (UM): Kicks out of a high double pike, negligible slide back. Her Popa is so, so fantastics. Front double twist to front pike, beautiful. Fhs Rudi to straddle. Awesome routine.
Levasseur (OU): Y 1.5 looked great in the air, crossover step on the landing.
Lazzari (UF): Bhs loso loso, gorgeous. Switch split to split, great amplitude. Side aerial to a floaty stuck full.
Trautman (OU): Y 1.5, one of her great ones.
O’Keefe (Utah): Maloney to an airy Pak. Gorgeous handstand position, so deliberate. Hiiigh double front, stuck.
Baumann (UF): Gorgeous straddle mount. Bhs loso, not a waiver. Dynamic split series. Switch half, well done. RO 1.5 with a college stick. Great routine.
Isa (Utah): Slightly shy on bail. Blind full to DLO with a hop back.
Brooks (UM): Her usual giant FTDT, small scoot back. Front through to double back, excellent. Switch full series, nicely done. Double pike with a tiny hop forward.
Thomas (UF): Switch split to split leap, lovely. Full turn, no problem. One armed bhs loso with an on-the-beam fall. Ugh, I hate that… Korbut was lovely. Side aerial to 1.5 with a small slide.
Wilson (UM): Massive FTDT, perfect control. Front lay to full, great. Dynamic Popa series, love the oversplit. Small hop back on the double tuck. Excellent routine.
Clapper (UF): Bhs loso loso, rock solid. Really deliberate full turn. Switch split to split jump, wonderful. Side aerial to a stuckish full, a little off center.
AFTER 1: Michigan 49.6250, Oklahoma 49.5750, Utah 49.4250, Florida 48.7625
OK, well it’s already dramatic! Michigan and Oklahoma both look exceptional, as did what we saw from Utah! Obviously a tough start for the Gators, but there is precedent for them coming back from counting a fall to win a title; anything’s possible!
Apologies, the live scoring is not working. I’ll add scores as soon as I can!
Rotation 2: Michigan VT, Oklahoma UB, Utah BB, Florida FX
Heiskell (UM): STUCK Y 1.5
Trautman (OU): Huge DLO, stuck.
Birch (Utah): Small waiver on her bhs loso. Rock solid front aerial.
Skaggs (UF): Pretty side aerial. Nice position on her switch full. Back 1.5 to front lay, great.
Wojcik (UM): Another nailed Y 1.5. Wolverines are ON.
Wilson (UM): Big Y 1.5 with a hop forward.
Stanhope (Utah): We’re watching her stand around instead of literally anything else. Cool. Full-twisting bhs, great. Switch split to split jump, nice position. RO 1.5, stuck.
Draper (OU): Piked Jaeger, not a ton of amplitude. Usually loose form on the Pak. Blind half to double front, stuck.
Morrison (UM): Y 1.5 with a small hop. Really gorgeous in the air.
Webb (OU): Geez, that huge Pak. Van Leeuwen, great. A little shy on her final handstand. Blind change to double front half out, stuck.
Brooks (UM): Good lord, MASSIVE Y 1.5 with a definitive stick. 9.975 per Bart and Kathy.
Guggino (UM): Y 1.5 with a medium step.
Smith (OU): Good height on her Ray. No issues on the Pak today. A little fast through the half pirouette. Big DLO with a small hop forward.
Thomas (UF): Her usual flawless DLO. Switch full to Popa series, excellent. Front full to front lay to Sissone, gorgeous. Gator chomp. Great fight.
Davis (OU): Beautiful handstand. Blind half to HIGH piked Jaeger. Floaty Pak. Blind half to double front with a college stick. Gorgeous.
Paulson (Utah): Side aerial to loso, great. Slight waiver on full turn, well-finessed. Cat leap side aerial to stuck full.
Reed (UF): Fabulous DLO. Front lay to Rudi. Back leg a hair low on her split half to wolf full. Great double pike to finish.
Randall (Utah): Bhs loso, well done. Beat to sheep, good. Rulfova, slightly off center, but nothing major. RO 1.5, stuck.
Baumann (UF): Big double tuck with a slide back. RO 1.5 to full, looks good. Switch half to Popa, lots of air. Double pike stuck on her toes. Caught the stinger with her toe and had to improvise her final choreo.
O’Keefe (Utah): Floaty side aerial loso. Switch split to split leap, lovely. Perfect full turn. There’s a high-pitched squealing on the broadcast and I’m about to lose my mind. Cat leap side aerial to a stuck full. Kathy calls it “supreme beam work,” and, well, yep.
AFTER 2: Michigan 99.2750, Oklahoma 99.1375, Utah 99.1250, Florida 98.3125
At the risk of sounding like Chandler Bing, could this meet be any tighter? Glad to see Utah stepping up to keep pace with Michigan and Oklahoma, and Florida bounced back nicely on floor. Let’s hope it stays this close!
Still no scores.
Rotation 3: Florida VT, Michigan UB, Oklahoma BB, Utah FX
Baumann (UF): Stuck Y full, didn’t have a great angle on form in the air.
Trautman (OU): Switch half a little off-center. Split leaps, good. Piked gainer with a hop back.
Heiskell (UM): Big straddled Jaeger.
Randall (Utah): 1.5 to lay, nicely done.
Lazzari (UF): Y full, lovely in the air and a small hop on the landing.
Baumann (UM): Blind half to double front with a step forward.
Schoenherr (UF): Uh oh… She hurt her ankle in warm-ups (thanks for showing us a replay, ABC). STUCK Y 1.5. Deep landing, but wow.
Wilson (UM): Blind half to piked Jaeger, well done. Tight form on the bail. Deliberate final handstand. DLO a little low, had to pike down and take a hop forward.
Skaggs (UF): Lovely Y full. Lands a little forward and comes up on the toes. Don’t think she moved, though.
Dunn (OU): Bart’s a proud coach. Chest cartwheel, always fun. Bhs bhs loso and she comes off. Ugh, too bad. Gainer full, stuck.
Stanhope (Utah): Big FTDT, chest down a bit. Double tuck, solid landing. Back 1.5 to front lay, good.
Thomas (UF): Y 1.5 with a small hop forward. Very nice.
Wojcik (UM): Her usual “unusual” Deltchev (Kathy’s word, not mine). Huge DLO, has to take a step back.
Woodard (OU): Pretty full turn. Side aerial bhs, solid. Front toss to beat, excellent. Switch split to split jump, good position. Gorgeous scale. Side aerial to a stuck full. Clutch.
O’Keefe (Utah): Pretty double pike to open. Fhs lay to full, great. Perfect position on her Popa series. Back 1.5 to front lay, excellent. Great routine.
Smith (OU): Bhs loso with an arm wave. Front aerial, solid. Straddle half to Korbut, looked slightly off on the latter but nothing major. Bhs to a stuck gainer full.
Soloski (Utah): Enormous DLO right to the edge of the line. Switch half to switch full, good amplitude. Front lay full, knees a bit soft. Back 1.5 to front lay, good.
Webb (OU): I’m always impressed by her running across the beam, lol. Kicked out full turn. Bhs loso, rock solid. Cat leap to front aerial, nice. Switch leap to switch leap; finessed a check into an Arabesque, love it. Side aerial to an almost stuck full.
AFTER 3: Michigan 148.7625, Oklahoma 148.6250, Utah 148.6000, Florida 147.6750
Still a nail-biter heading into the final rotation. Oklahoma survived beam, and Michigan and Utah had good (if not great) rotations. Florida is functionally out of contention at this point.
Rotation 4: Utah VT, Florida UB, Michigan BB, Oklahoma FX
O’Keefe (Utah): Y full with a bit of a lean forward.
Baumann (UM): Good position on her splits. Side somi, well done. Side aerial to a stuck full.
Draper (OU): Big double pike to open. Fhs full full, good control. Great oversplit on her leaps. Back half to Rudi, some leg form in the air, but a great landing.
Hall (Utah): Y 1.5, a little off line and has to take a step forward.
Wilson (UM): Hitch kick, nice. Bhs loso with a check, but covered well. Cat leap to switch half with a leg up check. Kicked out full turn, good. Huge double tuck with a small slide back.
Isa (Utah): Y full with a large hop.
Stanhope (Utah): Y 1.5 a little wild in the air and kind of hops through her salute.
Rucker (Utah): Again, can we please stop watching athletes talk to coaches when there are three other events happening? Y 1.5 basically perfect. That was exceptional.
LaPinta (OU): One of the best triples she’s done, small slide on the landing. Front full to front lay.
Farley (UM): Bhs loso loso with soft legs and a small check. Doesn’t quite get the position on either split leap. Side aerial with a minor check. Gainer pike with a hop. First signs of stress we’ve really seen from the Wolverines today.
Burch (Utah): Another excellent Y 1.5, nearly stuck.
Brooks (UM): Bhs loso loso, fabulous. Switch leap to switch leap, very nice. Front toss, great. Double tuck dismount, stuckish.
Webb (OU): Fhs to big double twist. Back 1.5 to front full, good. Switch half to Gogean; didn’t seem to quite hit her position. Rudi to rebound jump, fantastic.
Wojcik (UM): Switch split to split jump, gorgeous. Bhs bhs loso, perfect. Full turn, lovely. RO 1.5, STUCK. That routine was a beauty.
Trautman (OU): Lovely DLO. Front full front lay to Sissone, nicely done.
Heiskell (UM): Cat leap to side aerial, lovely. Switch split to straddle half, excellent. Bhs loso, rock solid. RO 1.5 with a small hop. Michigan needs a 9.85 to win. This is going to be so freaking close…
HEISKELL GOT A 9.925! MICHIGAN DID IT! Somebody go check on Oliva Karas.
FINAL: Michigan 198.2500, Oklahoma 198.1625, 197.9875, Florida 197.1375
I told you this would be dramatic and historic! Michigan wins its first national title by earning a program record score, no big deal. Hands down, this was one of the best championships I’ve ever seen. Definitely worth the wait!
Live blog by Claire Billman
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