Ragan Smith chalks up for bars

LIVE BLOG: No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 4 Utah

As tight as the rankings look, this meet might not be particularly close. Between a potentially impactful injury to Utah freshman Kara Eaker last weekend and Oklahoma’s overall substantially higher level of visual readiness last week, one has to consider the Sooners a favorite here.

That’s not to say that Oklahoma’s first week was entirely untroubled, though. Between injuries and COVID (and we don’t necessarily know which absences were which) the Sooners’ leg events looked substantially depleted in week one. Reassuringly, though, it looks like Audrey Lynn and Danae Fletcher both traveled to Salt Lake City, and both are plausible vault contributors. Freshman Danielle Sievers contributed a great bars set in week one, but she also has potential to branch out into the leg events.

Meanwhile, Utah is a relatively deep and relatively healthy team for January but might be a little behind the curve on physical preparation. The Utes struggled with handstands on bars and landings on floor in their season opener. We’ll be watching for improvement on those issues today.

Rotation 1: Utah vault, Oklahoma bars

We heard that Sage Thompson was warming up a 10.0 vault, but she’s not in the lineup today.

Hoffman (UU): Yurchenko full, flared but just a touch flat, big step back. 9.8

LeVasseur (OU): Toe on to Tkachev, slightly flexed right foot, great bail. Her hip positions are always so open on both vault and bars. Double layout, little hop. 9.825

Hall (UU): First 10.0 of five for Utah. Soft onto the table, bent knees throughout and again a little flat, but great landing. Deeper squat, around 90 degrees knee bend, but essentially stuck. 9.9

Sievers (OU): Maloney to Pak, baby leg separation, works a touch hard on her half turn on the low bar. FTDB pretty and stuck. 9.875

Stanhope (UU): One and a half, pronounced leg split on the table, hop in place. 9.925

Thomas (OU): Toe blind to Jaeger, a touch heavy on the catch, good bail. Great handstands. Double layout stuck. 9.9

Rucker (UU): One and a half, high and beautiful, comes in slightly lock legged with a step back but technically it’s in another world from the last couple. 9.85

Smith (OU): Ray to Pak, I love how she actually flares her arms out a little in the air on the Ray. Double layout, little hop forward. 9.85

Burch (UU): Soft onto the table with leg separation, one and a half with a step forward. 9.875

Davis (OU): Higgins to pike Jaeger, huge, lovely Pak. Blind to double front half out, leg separation but toes pointed, stuck. 9.925 is stingy.

McCallum (UU): Yurchenko half on, tuck half off, flexed feet and little leg separation, hop. Alicia thinks it was stuck but we have replay and it moved backwards. 9.9

Bowers (OU): Ray huge, short on the next handstand. Half turn, feet swim a little in the air reaching for the handstand, FTDB stuck. 9.9 is a little generous, I guess they gave her Davis’ missing half tenth.

After 1: Utah 49.450, Oklahoma 49.450

Honestly… I thought OU bars was the better rotation, but ties are so fun that I can’t complain. Bars has been Utah’s great decider for the last few years, so we’ll see how things look at the midpoint.

Rotation 2: Oklahoma VT, Utah UB

Danae Fletcher subs in for Oklahoma this week.

Davis (OU): Yurchenko full, leg separation in the air but big and open, hop back. 9.775

Morgan (UU): Maloney to Bhardwaj, leg separation throughout, crossed in the Bhardwaj. Blind full double back, hop back. 9.85

Fletcher (OU): Yurchenko full, huge, legs together throughout, hop back. 9.8

Thompson (UU): Pak, Maloney to Gienger a little low and catches with arms wide. Fights for the next KCH, double layout stuck. Maybe a little right foot shift but tiny if true. 9.925

Ramsey (OU): Clean FTY to start, splits her legs toward the end to anticipate the landing, baby hop back. 9.825

Paulson (UU): Maloney to Pak, switch kip, great. Blind full double back, chest a little low, hop forward.

LeVasseur (OU): One and a half, so pretty, holds it for the second and then hops to the side to salute. Better than any Utah vault in my opinion, curious if the judges agree… They do! 9.95

McCallum (UU): Maloney to Pak, labored, van Leeuwen and splits her feet to avoid the low bar. Misses a handstand substantially on the high bar, FTDB a little chaotic with a hop. 9.875

Stern (OU): One and a half, lock legged and a little stagger to the side. Kept the deductions low considering how unprepared she was for the landing. 9.725

Isa (UU): Archy first handstand, Ray. Bail, leaning over to one side. Full turn double layout, deep with an arm swing but hangs onto the stick.

Bowers (OU): One and a half, sat it last week but no fuss this week. Just a little foot shift and she SCREAMS, looks totally thrilled. 9.975, no, but obviously she’s the kind of gymnast who gets gifts.

O’Keefe (UU): Maloney to Pak, little leg separations and doesn’t get her legs together quite fast enough on the low bar pirouette. Misses the high bar KCH, sticks the double Arabian which barely even feels like a big deal any more for her. 9.875

After 2: Utah 98.800 – Oklahoma 98.775

Oh boy. This is getting really fun, and by fun I mean confusing.

Rotation 3: Utah BB, Oklahoma FX

Morgan (UU): BHS mount to LOSO, barely finds the beam with her back toes and substantial check. Tranverse split half to split, side aerial back full good. 9.75

Davis (OU): Front double full, bounce forward. One and a half to front lay well done, switch half wolf full. Rudi, a little extra bounce again. 9.825

McCallum (UU): Candle mount, double wolf. Side aerial LOSO with soft knees visible throughout and soft knees on a side aerial is not fun to look at, let me tell you. Switch leap stag jump, struggle with splits. Side aerial back full stuck. 9.925 …

Johnson (OU): Front layout to Rudi, emphatic landing. Double tuck a little overrotated, long lunge back with bent knees. Switch to switch half wolf full. 9.875

Randall (UU): Full turn. She’s in for Eaker. BHS LOSO slightly tentative, good ose of her arms to keep it under control. Switch to straddle 1/4. Good Rulfova. One and a half twist underrotated and hangs on for several seconds before taking the step back that she obviously did need. 9.8

LaPinta (OU): Triple twist, underrotated, step forward. Front full front lay high and emphatic. Double tuck squatty, has to step awkwardly under herself. 9.7

Paulson (UU): Side aerial LOSO great, switch split. Full turn, check. Side aerial back full. 9.9

Woodard (OU): Loved this routine last week. Front double full great. Whip half front full. Switch side split full, beautiful precision, little hop. Front full front lay. Such good control. 9.875

Isa (UU): Candle mount, check on the triple series. BHS gainer full stuck. 9.925

Bowers (OU): Let’s hope she stays in bounds today. Double pike, hop to lunge. Front double punch front, no problem. Switch half wolf full, hop. Good. 9.9

O’Keefe (UU): Side aerial LOSO well controlled. Switch to split, Alicia thinks her back leg was low on the split leap and I buy it. Full turn, beat jump side aerial back full on her heels and steps to salute. Might have been a ten up until then. 9.925

Smith (OU): Double back slightly overcooked. One a half front lay front tuck, OOB. That could end up deciding the meet. Switch side wolf full. Double pike underrotated, hop forward. 9.725

After 3: Utah 148.275, Oklahoma 147.975

Oklahoma may have thrown it away there. OU floor has been such a problem for so long.

Rotation 4: Oklahoma BB, Utah FX

Dunn (OU): Triple series easy and emphatic. Straddle to split half, great. Full turn. Gainer full stuck. That’s what Oklahoma needs to find its way back in this. 9.925

Paulson (UU): Front through two and a half twist, big step forward, I’m not convinced it was fully rotated. Front lay front full with lovely straight hips. Switch full to sissone. One and a half front lay good. 9.825

Bowers (OU): Full turn. BHS LOSO, off line, kind of freezes rather than wobble but it’s still a visible error. Great split positions. Double full dismount, step back. 9.775

Stanhope (UU): Full in, adjusts the front foot. Double back underrotated with a step forward. Switch side wolf full. One and a half front lay clean. 9.825

Davis (OU): Full turn maybe a touch tentative. BHS LOSO emphatic. Stares down the beam and holds the landing position for several seconds. Split leap front aerial, right foot was halfway off the beam but she doesn’t make a fuss of it. Beat to ring jump. Double full with crossed legs but a stick. 9.85, what? Definitely was expecting above 9.9 there.

McCallum (UU): Has a very good shot at the AA title after Bowers faltered. Full in, shifts the front foot just a little. Imprecise leaps with flexed front foot. Front layout to Rudi good. 9.975

Thomas (OU): Cat leap side somi and falls. Yeah, OU is done. BHS LOSO slightly off, switch straddle 1/4. Side aerial back full, hop back. 9.05

Rucker (UU): Half in half out super clean. Switch half split full wolf full. Front lay front full. 9.925

Woodard (OU): Off on her acro series. Kickover front to beat. Switch to split. Side aerial back full. This is so weird.

O’Keefe (UU): Double pike good. Switch leap to tj1/1. Steps to one side on her combo pass. 9.85

Smith (OU): BHS LOSO, slight adjustment. Straddle half to Korbut great. BHS gainer full suler high and stuck. 9.975

Soloski (UU): Double layout, usual touch of knees but great landing. Switch half split full. Front lay front full. One and a half front lay. Could be her ten, so could any number of other weeks… We’ll see. 9.925 booooo. Worse than McCallum, sure.

FINAL: Utah 197.775, Oklahoma 196.650

OU was off mentally today. Last week was hardly emphatic either from a mental perspective though the hit beam rotation obviously kept the scores from showing it. Wonder if this will turn into a long-term issue… Something to watch.

That is the top score in the country for Utah! I think that the judges gave Utah a hand today, though obviously the win was assured with or without the assistance. The handstand issues on bars were a little better but not drastically, and the score ordering on vault and floor was all kinds of wack. Still, though, it was a strong performance definitely in the universe of Michigan’s level of preparation.

AA Champ: Grace McCallum (UU) 39.675

VT Champ: Jordan Bowers (OU) 9.975

UB Champ: Audrey Davis, Sage Thompson (UU) 9.925

BB Champ: Ragan Smith (OU) 9.975

FX Champ: Grace McCallum (UU) 9.975

Live Blog by Rebecca Scally

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  1. Was there live, as a biased observer in a biased home crowd. I haven’t watched everything is slo-mo but two thought that I don’t think you touched.

    1) Judges were exceeding forgiving of OU’s FX they could have been whacked and landings more than they were. So the Sooners were over scored on FX. Then they were trapped and frankly Utah’s FX scores are generous too, but frankly Utah’s set WAS clearly superiors and should and did score higher than OU’s set.

    2) Most dramatic comparing FX tumbling, but Utah my live impression was Utah through significantly more difficulty all night. Yes is it NCAA and (other than a few vaults) everyone had 10.0 SV. Still I was surprised to see the “horsepower” gap.

    3) I doubt anyone at Oklahoma is panicking, not should they, but they might need a little time to reach their peak.

    1. I was also at the meet and felt there was equal over scoring. I thought Solosky was underscored due to the other fx scoring but she’s used to that. The outcome was correct and I was sad that Oklahoma had to count a fall because I love tight competition. The Sooner ladies are lovely and their coach so respectful. The crowd was supportive of both teams and it was great to be back in the Huntsman. I was a little annoyed by some over scores of both teams until I watched the replay of the Michigan meet and saw that considering they were judging top 5 teams the Utah and Oklahoma judges were actually quite restrained. It will be interesting to see what the Florida judges come up with later today. To the Utah and Oklahoma teams. Thanks for a great evening

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