LIVE BLOG: NCAA Nationals Semifinal Two

Semifinals Session Two is about to get underway and any of these four teams could claim the meet and advance to tomorrow’s final team championship session.

Utah has been the most consistent over the course of the season but has not reached the season high scores of the other three programs. The team did have a season-best at the regional final and will look to keep up the momentum.

The Sooners and The Crimson Tide have excelled in the second half of the season but are facing some last minute injuries that will result in lineup adjustments. Oklahoma will likely be without senior Karrie Thomas after she sprained her ankle on her beam dismount at regionals. Meanwhile, Alabama will potentially be without Mati Waligora and Lexi Graber, the latter of which only competed one vault at regionals. Graber provides key routines for Alabama especially on vault and floor.

LSU has been up and down all year and had a rocky performance in Salt Lake City.  The Tigers were able to advance out of regionals but cannot afford to make the same mistakes. Haleigh Bryant had issues on floor in two consecutive competitions and was taken out of the beam lineup on day two. LSU will need to come out strong for a chance at not just winning the title but making the final altogether.

A small aside: Remember that today is the day that matters for individual titles and All-American status. Check out our individuals preview for the scoop on who to keep an eye on.

Semifinal one was nothing less than exciting, but semifinal two just may be able to exceed it. This competition should come down to the final routines. So, hopefully you’ve de-stressed from the first semifinal of the day.

Interesting tidbit from the ESPN Broadcast: Utah is the only team to qualify for all 39 national championships.

Rotation 1: Alabama VT, Oklahoma UB, Utah BB, LSU FX

Desiderio (LSU): Double layout, nicely done,  1.5 to piked front layout, Switch ring, tour de jete half, gorgeous,  Double tuck. Great start for LSU.

Gaskins (Alabama): FTY, hop back on the landing. 

Waligora (Alabama):Y1.5, small hop forward. 

LeVasseur (OU): Mounts low bar, gorgeous first handstand, leg sep on her maloney to short bail handstand, up to high bar, dlo dismount, small hop back. 

Olsen (Alabama): DTY: soft knees and a slight pike down. Shuffle back on landing. 

Graber (Alabama): Y1.5, large crossed step forward.

Isa (Utah): bhs loso loso, solid, nice full turn, straddle jump to straddle side, good, dismounts with a bhs gainer full!

Quinn (Alabama): Y1.5, crooked on the landing and takes a hop sideways. Large bend of the knees. 

Webb (OU): Short on first handstand, nice Pak Salto, gorgeous Maloney half, short on final handstand into a stuck blind half to double front half.

Blanco (Alabama): Y 1.5, under rotates it and has to take a step back. 

Paulson (Utah): Side aerial to loso, small balance check,  switch leap to split jump, hesitation on combo, full turn, cat leap to side aerial layout full, stuck. 

Dennis (UCLA): DTY, under rotates it and has to take a hop forward. Some form issues in the air. 

Edwards(LSU): Front Double full, large step, Fhs front full to front full, arches her back, gorgeous flexibility on her Switch side popa, Double tuck, solid finish. 

Randall (Utah): full turn, bhs loso, slight wobble, beat jump to sheep jump, nicely done, good flexibility on her sissone, Rufolva, RO 1.5, step forward. 

Davis (OU): Coming after a fall from Ragan Smith. gorgeous first handstand, Blind half to piked jaeger, nicely done, stunning handstands, pak salto, she is on with these gorgeous straight over the bar handstands, double front dismount, step forward. 

O’Keefe (Utah): Side aerial to loso, stunning, switch leap to split leap, well done, controlled full turn, cat leap to side aerial layout full, may have stepped out of it too early for the stick.

Hambrick (Ark): Mounts high bar, nice handstand, Blind change to huge piked jaeger to shootover, FTDB dismount. Great routine for Hambrick.

Johnson (LSU): Tuck full-in, large bounce step back. I don’t think the flag went up for oob, 1.5 to front lay, stuck, Switch leap ½ popa, Double pike, great landing. 

Tong (CMU): press handstand mount, solid front aerial bhs loso series, split leap to straddle 1/4, nicely done, full turn, under rotates the dismount and has to take a hop forward with a super low chest. 

Campbell (UCLA): Front double full, nicely done, fabulous Tour jete half Popa, sky high stuck double back, Front full front lay, great. Absolutely one of the best choreographed and well danced routines of the season accompanied by state-of-the-art tumbling. 

LSU was lights out on floor and the team will be headed to its other strong apparatus with vault. Oklahoma had a great bar rotation to put them in second after the first rotation. Alabama is ahead of Utah, but the team missed some key landings that could hurt them later on in the competition. Vault is one of its stronger events when Alabama executes the 10.0000 SV to its ability. However, The Crimson Tide struggled on the apparatus during regionals and were able to make up some ground on bars. Alabama will need a repeat performance here.  Utah may be trailing in fourth place, but the Red Rocks are done with Beam. It’s  anyone’s game and a tight knit competition heading into rotation two.

AFTER 1: LSU 49.5000, Oklahoma 49.4000, Alabama 49.2875, Utah 49.2500

Rotation 2: LSU VT, Alabama UB, Oklahoma BB, Utah FX

Chae Campbell inured her knee during vault warmups. She landed with a completely locked knee, but did walk-off the event.

Durante (LSU): FTY, nicely done with a stuck landing.

Trautman (OU): nice full turn, bhs loso, soft knees but good landing, slight wobble on her front toss. RO 1.5, stuck.

Shchennikova (LSU): Y1.5, large step forward. 

Davis (OU): Full turn, beautiful bhs loso, cat leap to front aerial, stunning, ring leap ,nicely done, ro double twist, arm circles but sticks it. 

Gaskins (Alabama): maloney, leg sep, Pak Salto, larger leg sep,  dlo dismount, stuck.

Edwards (LSU): Y1.5, great amplitude and small hop. 

Dunn (OU): bhs loso loso, small check, split jump to switch half, straddle half, gainer full, stuck.

Johnson (LSU): DTY, she looked off on the table, but pulls it around and gets nice amplitude with a stick. 

Adams (Alabama): Maloney to Pak Salto, Van Leeuwen, fabulous,  Toe Full to double back, close to bar and takes a large step back on landing.

Bryant (LSU): Her usual fantastic Front Pike Half, sticks it. Maybe your vault champion.. 9.975.. I don’t think anyone else will top that one. Very well deserved. 

Rucker (Utah): full-in, usual form and a bounce landing, nice leap pass, front layout to front full, nicely done,

Looks like Campbell is going!

Campbell (UCLA): FTY, gorgeous amplitude and distance, Small hop back. 

Doggette (Alabama): Tkatchev to Pak Salto, well done,  stunning final handstand, sticks the DLO. 

R. Smith (OU): bhs loso, solid, front aerial, well done, straddle half to bhs swing down, gorgeous, full turn, bhs gainer full, stuck. Nice comeback for her after bars.  

O’Keefe (Utah): Double pike, great landing, front layout to front full, switch leap to tour jete full, beautiful, RO 1.5 front layout, stuck cold. 

Blanco (Alabama):  Maloney to Pak Salto, legs glued together, FTDB, stuck. 

Webb (OU):  Full turn, bhs loso, nicely done,  front aerial to beat jump. Her movement quality on beam is unmatched, switch split to switch split, much improved flexibility, side aerial full, small hop back.

Frazier (UCLA): gorgeous first handstand, Maloney, small leg sep,  to Pak Salto, van Leeuwen, overcooks final handstand, dismounts with a stuck dlo.

Soloski (Utah): big double layout to open, slightly unstable on landing,  front layout to front full, well done, RO 1.5 to floaty front layout. Fabulous routine. 

Hambrick (Ark): Bhs Loso, good, switch leap switch half, nicely done, beat jump to straddle 1/2, full turn, cartwheel gainer full stuck. Solid two events for Hambrick so far. 

Shepherd (NCSU): very nice double pike to start. Lacks some flexibility in her Switch full to switch half leap combo. Front lay to front full, pikes it down but covers well, double tuck, lands with her chest low. 

Well LSU is having themselves a competition so far. The team maximized its key events and put themselves in the lead against the other competition. The Tigers will need to keep up its execution on its weaker two, but LSU has set themselves up for success. Freshman Sensation Haleigh Bryant is in a really great position to become the VT national champion as well. Oklahoma had a solid set on beam and Jenna Dunn provided a key routine in the absence of Karrie Thomas. Utah made up some strong ground with one of its better floor rotations led by Soloski and O’Keefe. Vault is a huge question mark for the Utes and will be a key determining factor in its chances of advancing. Alabama made up ground in the later half of the rotation on bars, but has fallen over four tenths back from the leader.

AFTER 2: LSU 99.0125, Oklahoma 98.9250, Utah 98.8500, Alabama 98.6000

Rotation 3: Utah VT, LSU UB, Alabama BB, Oklahoma FX

O’Keefe (Utah): FTY, nice amplitude, small step back,

Klopfer (Alabama): good wolf turn to start, Front aerial bhs, good, cat leap side aerial, solid, ro 1.5, stuck. 

Draper (OU): Double Pike, hop on landing, Front full to front full, solid, switch full popa, whip half to rudi, nice start for Oklahoma. 

Hall (Utah): Y1.5, great landing.. couldn’t quite see whether it was stuck because coach was in the way. 

Brock (LSU): short on first Handstand, nice tkatchev, Bail Handstand, stuck full out to finish.

Olsen (Alabama): Good leap series, bhs loso, solid, full turn, front aerial, small check, bhs double full, stuck.

Schoepfer (OU): Huge Double Tuck,  Back 1.5 to front lay, Ring Leap, under rotates the Double Pike but covers it really well with a small shuffle. One of her bets routines. 

Rucker (Utah): Y1.5, nice amplitude off the table, but has to take a step back on the landing.

Bryant (LSU): gorgeous first handstand,  Blind half to straddle jaeger, nicely done, Bail to handstand, good, Blind Change to Double Front Dismount, steps to the side.

Burch (Utah): Y1.5, somehow gets it around after missing her usual block. Takes a hop back on the landing.

Shchennikova (LSU)  Short on first handstand, Ray, flexed feet, Pak salto, tad short on her final handstand, DLO, college stick on the landing. One of her better DLO’s. 

M. Dagen (Oregon St.): Y1.5, has to take a few small steps back. 

Durante (LSU): Gorgeous handstand to start Blind change to piked jaeger, great, aggressive on Pak Salto and she’s off, she looks to be injured but gets back onto the event. Attacks the final handstand nicely and sticks the landing. 

Johnson (OU): Front lay to  floaty rudi, nicely done, double tuck, bounces oob, switch half to wolf full, shy of full 180 on split. 

Graber (Alabama): Falls off the beam, cat leap to front toss to one foot to gainer full, finishes strong.

Campbell (UCLA): nice first handstand, Maloney to bail handstand, well done, fantastic final handstand into her blind double front, hop forward. 

Blanco (Alabama): Front aerial, solid, nicely controlled full turn, Bhs loso loso, fantastic, beautiful leap series, sticks the double full dismount. Blanco is clutch on this event. What a gorgeous routine. 

Trautman (OU):DLO, small pike down but controls the landing, front lay to front full to split jump, good routine.

Joyner (Rutgers):good full turn to start, Bhs loso, off the beam, Switch to split half, nicely done. Missed the dismount. 

Hambrick (Ark) Double Tuck, nicely done, Rudi back layout stag jump, such a well controlled clean combo pass, Switch half popa, Double Pike, on the larger side for a step back. She is having a fantastic all-around competition today! 

I absolutely love seeing the camaraderie between the teams and individual athletes competing today! It’s always a great demonstration of support and sportsmanship.

Oklahoma had a massive floor score to propel them ahead of LSU with one rotation to go. The Sooners achieved a season best on the apparatus. The Sooners and Tigers have a solid lead heading into the final rotation, but it is gymnastics and anything can happen. Utah will need to be lights out on bars for a chance at moving ahead of LSU. Alabama is trailing and is not in a good position to advance to tomorrow’s final.

AFTER 3: Oklahoma 148.5625, LSU 148.3875, Utah 148.0875, Alabama 147.9875

Rotation 4: Oklahoma VT, Utah UB, LSU BB, Alabama FX

Davis (OU): FTY, One of the best Full’s in the country and she sticks it.

Paulson (Utah): Maloney, small leg sep, to Pak Salto, giant full to double tuck, stuck. 

Durante will not compete on beam after her fall on bars early.

Stern (OU): Y1.5, good distance and takes a small hop to the side. 

Bryant (LSU): Front aerial bhs, solid, Switch leap to straddle ¼, nicely done, Nice Front tuck, split jump to beat jump, well done, Full turn, stuck dismount to finish.

Webb (OU): Y1.5, fabulous stuck vault. That may do it for the individual AA title.

Burch (Utah): Mounts on the high bar, jaeger, good, muscles up to handstand, bail handstand, nicely done, overarches on the final handstand, sticks the dlo. 

It is confirmed that Anastasia Webb will win the Individual AA title at the 2021 National Championship!

Schoepfer (OU): Tucked Y1.5, large hop forward.

Shchennikova (LSU): Bhs loso, Onodi, large wobble with a bend at the hips, nice flexibility in her Switch leap split jump series, balance check on the Front aerial, gets through the full turn, Bhs gainer full, stuck.

Leblanc (Utah): Giant half to jager to overshoot, tad shy on all her handstands, dlo, significant knee bend on the landing. 

Trautman (OU): Y1.5, nicely done again. The multi camera dream has a terrible angle for vault landing view, but I don’t think she stuck it.

O’Keefe (Utah): Gorgeous first handstand, Maloney, small leg sep ,to pak, half pirouette, great final handstand, double arabian stuck dismount.

Hambrick (ARK) Y1.5, nice distance with a larger step forward. 

Isa (Utah): Ray, doesn’t get great height, shy of high bar handstand,  bail handstand, stunning final handstand pirouette, giant full to dlo, step on landing.

Blanco (Alabama): Nice Double Pike to Start, I love the musicality she shows in the choreography, Sky high Double back, Front Lay front full, well done,

Campbell (LSU):Bhs loso, balance check on landing, wobbles on the frull turn, Front aerial to sissone, stunning flexibility on the Switch leap switch half combo, RO double full, small hop back.

Graber (Alabama): Full-in, good landing, front tuck through to double pike. Nice finish to the season for Alabama! She’s crying hysterically and the senior emotions are running. 

Campbell (UCLA): Double wolf, bhs loso, fabulous, good flexibility and height on the leap series, cartwheel gainer full, stuck. Fantastic all-around competition for Campbell today. 

It’s extremely close between Utah, Alabama and  LSU for that second position. Utah was fantastic on bars and Alabama was stellar on floor while LSU had some major errors on the balance beam that were costly. Oklahoma will definitely be advancing.

Utah will be advancing to day two, Alabama will come in third and LSU will finish in fourth place,

Hargrove (Arizona): tucked full in, form issues and a hop on landing, whip half front full, nicely done, Fantastic amplitude on her double tuck to finish. 

What a competition of high caliber gymnastics it was. LSU looked like they had the advantage, but the team could not maintain its lead through the bars and beam rotations. Multiple significant wobbles on beam were costly for the Tigers. Utah has arguably been the most consistent team all-season long and its consistency proved to be a huge asset here. Utah was steady on every event, while both LSU and Alabama struggled on one apparatus each. Oklahoma was the only team to score above a 198.0000 today. Tomorrow’s competition will feature Oklahoma, Utah, Michigan and Florida.

FINAL: Oklahoma 198.0875, Utah 197.600, Alabama 197.675, LSU 197.5625

Semifinal two event winners:
VT: Haleigh Bryant, Anastasia Webb – 9.9750
UB: Malie O’Keefe – 9.9500
BB: Luisa Blanco – 9.9625
FX: Malie O’ Keefe, Lexi Graber, Anastasia Webb,  – 9.9625
AA: Anastasia Webb – 39.7875

Stay tuned for official results for the individual national champions and All-America honorees.

Individual National Champions:

VT: Haleigh Bryant, Anastasia Webb – 9.9750
UB: Malie O’Keefe, Maya Bordas – 9.9500
BB: Luisa Blanco – 9.9625
FX: Malie O’ Keefe, Lexi Graber, Anastasia Webb,  – 9.9625
AA: Anastasia Webb – 39.7875

Live blog by Katie Walsh

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