Cassidy Rushlow dances on floor

LIVE BLOG: Keystone Classic with No. 29 Penn State, Penn and Temple

Even down one team, this halfhearted attempt at a State of Pennsylvania meet could be really interesting. Penn State has some fantastic freshmen, including Latvian elite Elina Vihrova and forward acro specialist Bella Salcedo. Penn, like the other GEC teams, was not allowed to compete in 2021 (read: Don’t panic if today isn’t the best) but has a monstrously talented group of underclassmen. It’s hard to tell how high the Quakers can go, but their program record of 195.075 can and should be beaten this season. Temple is a great team with an axe to grind: After reaching regionals for the first time in decades in 2021, the Owls were forced to withdraw due to COVID. They stand a very good chance of making it back to regionals (despite not being picked to do so by the WCGA coaches’ poll), but it’s a long road that starts at home in Philadelphia.

Rotation 1: Temple VT, Penn UB, 

Hyman (TU): We cant actually see the landing mat for vault. Oops. 9.55

Bonsall (PSU): Double back good, clean combo pass, we cut away. Heard she fell on the third pass but we didn’t see it. 8.925

Barely picked out a hit in the background from Isabel Song at Penn. 

A. Kenefick (Penn): Scrappy full turn to good Tkachev, slightly whippy double layout with a baby hop.

S. Kenefick (Penn): Double full dismount landed well. Yes, a double full on bars.

Roland (TU): Huge full, her usual, touch of pike late and a medium hop back.

Johanson (PSU): Following a fall as a freshman, no pressure. Cut in partway through for a good double back. 

Edwards (TU): Soft knees on the FTY with a medium hop.

Bridgens (PSU): Double back just SLIGHTLY deep, Rudi to LOSO great. 

Hsu (Penn): Big arch on opening KCH, Maloney to bail pretty good, strong double layout.

Hill (TU): Good solid FTY, hop in place. 

H. Stallings (TU): Big FTY, hop in place again, slight hip angle throughout but it’s minor.

Reistano (Penn): Half turn to Deltchev, slightly twisty catch and can’t swing out of it, has to recast. Double layout really good, fights a bit for the stick but gets it done.

Rushlow (PSU): Stepped out on her second pass. 

M. Marr (Penn): Maloney to bail, holy… Only got one wrist on the bar and collapses over the top onto the floor holding something. FINISHING. Oh wow, I was sure she was hurt. Double layout with a small hop, wow. Hoping that arm holds up.

Salcedo (PSU): Double front, leg sep but… you know. Great front lay front full front pike, so airy. Switch side to Shushunova 1/1.

Castrence (TU): Big, bouncy FTY. 9.7

Kristen Kuhn stuck her dismount in the exhibition spot for Penn. She pretty much always does that.

Astarita (PSU): Double back and pulls the front foot back with her. Double pike with another shuffle-bounce thing.

EX Ayers (PSU): Out on her first pass but she’s absolutely Penn State’s best dancer so I’m just happy to get to watch her.

After 1: Penn State 48.550, Temple 48.550, Penn 47.550

Rotation 2: Penn State VT, Temple UB, Penn BB

Kraez (Penn): BHS LOSO, extra step. Punch front full dismount with a step. 9.5

Edwards (TU): Overshot a cast handstand and jumped off. Good double layout, hop back.

Chinnery (PSU): Great FTY, hop in place.

Johanson (PSU): Stuck FTY! 

H. Stallings (TU): Great Ray, bit of flexed feet, bail with a touch of back arch. FTDB with great form and a step back. 9.65… bars judges are not in a good mood today.

Rushlow (PSU): Back on the table on her FTY, wraps around and lands a little on her heels with a big hop back. 9.375

Kuhn (Penn): Got iced by the judges. Wolf turn, BHS LOSO beautiful and steady. Remember that while she’s a sophomore this is still her college debut. Switch to straddle half, side aerial. pretty scale choreography. One and a half with a hop forward. Great debut!

Whalen (TU): Saw this in the tiny screen but hit.

Gray (TU): Gienger with a leg split late, good bail, full turn double back stuck!

Salcedo (PSU): HUGE Omelianchik. Massive. I’ve never seen an Omeli with actual block and she stumbled forward out of it but daaaang that’s potential.

Clark (TU): Goes for a Maloney and… doesn’t release? Crumples back onto the bar and jumps off. That’s probably just a nerves mistake.

C. Marr (Penn): BHS LOSO good, made leaps, side aerial to split. She’s grinning throuhg most of this. Full turn, tidy, great toe point. 

Bridgens (PSU): One and a half made with a cross step! So happy to see her looking strong and fit.

Castrence (TU): Just saw the Tkachev but it sounds like a good hit for 9.80.

S. Kenefick (Penn): Triple series great. Full turn. Beat to straddle 3/4, iffy split. One and a half dismount, big hop forward. Please don’t conference… Penn is 3/3 on beam routines needing judging conferences so far, I’d just really like some peace.

Yang (Penn): This routine just means so much to me. They did conference… 4/4. These judges have some sort of enemies to lovers fanfiction thing going on. BHS LOSO, little adjustment. Split to ring jump, another little adjustment, I blame the judges. Side aerial tuck full made. 

M. Marr (Penn): She’s still okay and not injured phew! Made acro series, slightly iffy sheep jump. 1.5 dismount with a tiny hop. That’s a 6/6 beam rotation for the Quakers and the judges fought them EVERY step of the way.

After 2: Penn State 97.575, Temple 96.225, Penn ??

Don’t worry about the scores, it’s a good meet, the judges just want everyone dead today. Penn State kicked major butt on bars and Penn hitting a full rotation of beam routines after two years away is huge.

Rotation 3: Penn State UB, Temple BB, Penn FX

Song (Penn): One and a half front lay, bound out. Double back, big step back. 

Johnston (PSU): Maloney to bail, blind full double back DEEPLY cowboyed and a slightly lock-kneed stick. 

Agarwala (Penn): Great double pike, switch ring switch ring half with deeply sketchy ring positions. 

Kraez (Penn): Double pike, slightly long lunge. Front lay front full good, switch half to Popa. Double tuck, chest maybe a touch low but good lunge position.

Bonsall (PSU): Maloney to bail. Great handstands. Toe on to double layout stuck. 

Bridgens (PSU): Just got a blind full double back stuck.

Schugman (TU): Side somi check, straddle to straddle 1/4 with crunchy feet. 

Mace (PSU): Double layout stuck. The cuts between routines are challenging, hard to catch a full routine anywhere. 

Dorunda (TU): Triple series DRASTICALLY off line and the final LOSO doesn’t contact the beam at all. Punch front full with leg separation and a big hop.

Van Horn (Penn): Deep double front with a hop back. Double back, strong leaps, front full front lay a little sideways with a hop. 

S. Kenefick (Penn): Two and a half front tuck lands out of bounds and stumble backwards. Front double full twisted into the ground a little but controlled well. 

H. Stallings (TU): BHS LOSO, some form, split to LOSO. Side aerial back full.

Roland (TU): Choreographed arms prior to mounting the beam because she’s a legend duh. Full turn, slightly tentative, BHS LOSO with a soft back leg. Hitch kick, unsteady, dances backwards. Side aerial. Yeah, that was supposed to be connected but she made it on the second try. Slightly iffy splits. Stuck 1.5 dismount.

After 3: Penn State 146.800, Temple 144.725, Penn 143.175

Penn State is really off to the races now. The other two definitely had some hiccups in that rotation but worked through it well.

Rotation 4: 

Kraez (Penn): Huge FTY with a bounce. She’s worked a tuck 3/2 but I think this is a better scoring vault for now.

Romagnano (PSU): Grabs the beam on her triple series. Side aerial tuck back full.

DeBarberie (Penn): She spent a year away from the sport but her vaulting has looked amazing in preseason. That was a super full, very straight body position with a hop.

Roland (TU): Double pike super well controlled, front lay front full. Double tuck just a little underrotated but covers it pretty well.

Salcedo (PSU): BHS LOSO, bit of knees and feet but well landed. Switch half with a leg up. Punch front full stuck! Good one. 

Agarwala (Penn): Full on tuck off, that’s a 10.0 start and it was positively AIRY. 

Rushlow (PSU): Beat jump split 3/4, super secure. BHS LOSO emphatic. Cat leap side aerial with a major leg up, falls. 

Edwards (TU): Front double full, twisting into the ground, switch side Popa wolf full.

Belkoff (Penn): Yurchenko Arabian, big hop forward.

Song (Penn): Great FTY, hop in place.

Leary (TU): Rudi, super controlled landing, switch side Popa a little underrotated. Double back underrotated, substantial step forward.

Bridgens (PSU): Kickover front, cat leap side aerial. BHS LOSO, leg up and off.

Donabedian (TU): Rudi LOSO, switch ring full is solid. Y turn very pretty. Front double full out of bounds. 

FINAL: Penn State 194.575, Temple 193.450, Penn 191.300

Penn State struggled to bring it home there on beam but everything up to there was great. Temple and Penn both have some positives, but the judges didn’t know quite what to do with their good routines. It’s a solid start with a lot of potential for all three of these teams but there’s also a lot more to do to settle in.

AA Champ: Hannah Stallings (TU) 38.900
VT Champ:
Jessica Johanson (PSU) 9.900
UB Champ:
Alissa Bonsall, Lauren Bridgens (PSU) 9.900
BB Champ:
Brooke Donabedian, Hannah Stallings (TU), Melissa Astarita (PSU) 9.800
FX Champ:
Bella Salcedo (PSU) 9.825

Live Blog by Rebecca Scally

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