Isn’t that a strange title to read?
As funky as week one rankings often can be, I’m not interested in diminishing San Jose State’s opening ranking at all. The Spartans were sharp, consistent and unforgiving last week at Denver and earned every bit of their not-quite-196 opening score. Even more impressively, the result wasn’t primarily due to game-changing freshman or any other usual narrative: The returning Spartan all-arounders simply all hit to their greatest potential on the same day. It was something to behold, and I really hope it’s replicable.
Meanwhile, you’ll be familiar with the narratives for the two Pac-12 teams at this meet because we all discussed them last week before the cancellation of the California Grand Collegiate Challenge. Washington is hoping to put a nightmare 2021 behind it with the help of a new coaching staff and a new-look culture. (Gymnasts at Washington actually smile now!) For Oregon State, we’ll be keeping an eye on underclassman depth and whether the bars agonies of early 2021 make a reappearance, but I think we can all agree the real story of this meet for the Beavs is JADE CAREY. The casual fan will watch this meet just waiting for the moments when she’s visible onscreen, and after how long we’ve waited for her to arrive in NCAA, it’s completely understandable to care about little else.
On a personnel note, keep in mind that both Oregon State and Washington canceled their meets last week due to COVID, and everyone might not be fully recovered just yet. For the Spartans, Mercedez Sanchez didn’t compete last week but she did perform an exhibition on bars, so as far as we can tell she’s physically all right.
Rotation 1: Oregon State VT, Washington UB, San Jose State FX
Chavez (OSU): FTY, pretty average, step back. Minor pike throughout but nothing catastrophic. 9.725
S. Gonzales (OSU): Full on pike off, very clean but the mediocre block that is the norm on full ons, overrotated with a large step-scoot back.
Letzsch (OSU): FTY, high and pretty, great block and great shape. Chest a touch low on the landing, small step forward and to one side.
Yanish (OSU): FTY, stretched to the point of arching as usual. Hop back. 9.825
Dagen (OSU): I wrote “M. Dagen” and backspaced. One and a half, leg separation throughout and a little lock legged landing with a step back. 9.8
Carey (OSU): A bit disappointed that she chose the DTY, I think it’s rarely smart in college and she has so many more interesting options. Well done, slightly closed hips and a touch of knees, small hop back. 9.9
EX Garcia (OSU): FTY, closed hips and step back.
MacPherson (SJSU): Double pike, high and clean. One and a half front lay, double back underrotated with a step forward. 9.725
EX Weiss (UW): Jaeger to overshoot, bit of flexed feet. She started training bars again this year after several years away. Toe on, front tuck dismount is good and she looks totally thrilled.
Orcutt (SJSU): Double pike, a touch underrotated, cross step forward. Switch ring switch half with very questionable positions. Front full front full also underrotated. 9.555
Henley (SJSU): Double tuck, chest a little low but manages the step back. Switch half Popa wolf full underrotated. Good Rudi.
After 1: You know what, I’m pretty sure the scores are lying so ignore this
This is super frustrating. The commentators haven’t done their research about the opposing teams’ athletes (Isa Weiss was identified as Morgan Bowles… They don’t look particularly similar, gotta be honest), the live score changes every time I refresh and the stream isn’t helping with scores either. I really have no idea what the big picture is at this point.
Rotation 2: Oregon State UB, I am reliably informed that there are no other teams at this meet
Yamaoka (OSU): Maloney, toe on to bail, over on the handstand and falls. Back for dismount and it’s fine but that’s an inauspicious start to a rotation that can be painful at the best of times. 8.85
Beeman (OSU): Blind to Jaeger, super close to the bar with substantial loss of form, Pak with leg separation. Stalder, super late handstand out, to double back with a hop. 9.625
Moody (UW): BHS LOSO to beat, super quick connection. Switch to split, minor check. Full turn. Front aerial, check, re-places her foot on the beam a couple of times. Side aerial back full stuck. Looks thrilled. 9.575
Dagen (OSU): Missed a handstand on the high bar, bail short, another short KCH, blind full double back with a step. 9.55
Bird (OSU): Bail, tkachev always has the absolute least turnover of any release ever. It’s shocking that she’s able to catch it, but that is her normal. Flexed feet, short on a couple handstands, FTDB with a step back. 9.725
Kirsch (SJSU): Tucked one and a half, the bit of feet that you’d expect on that but well rotated with just a cross step.
Jakubczyk (OSU): Maloney, huge form break on the backswing, extra swing, Gienger low and muscley. Not sure why they would pick this construction for her. Double Arabian dismount is cool and nearly stuck, not cowboyed at all. 9.325
Lopes (SJSU): FTY, high and good, little hop.
Carey (OSU): Maloney to Bhardwaj, bit of flexed feet but great form otherwise, van Leeuwen, FTDB high and open stuck. 9.95
Russon (UW): BHS LOSO, tentative and falls. Switch to split full. Full turn. We’re going back to bars now. 9.275
EX Domingo (OSU): Ray to overshoot, great, missed a handstand, blind to half to double back with a step forward. Handstands weren’t perfect but I don’t know why that was the exhibition.
Davis (UW): BHS BHS LOSO emphatic and awesome, great form. Beat jump straddle 3/4, weight slightly behind the beam but doesn’t make a meal of it. Front aerial to beat, not quite in line and a slow connection. Full turn. One and a half twist, helicopter legs but stuck. 9.825
Killough-Wilhelm (UW): Front aerial BHS LOSO great, super delicate. Full turn. Kickover front to beat. Switch to split. Side aerial to one and a half stuck. Awesome. 9.9!
EX Navarro (UW): BHS LOSO, major check but saves it. Something to switch side, one and a half dismount with a step.
After 2: Washington 97.500, Oregon State 97.175, San Jose State 97.050
Never change, Oregon State bars. There’s no reason for that lineup to be … this … but here we are anyway. The end of Washington’s beam lineup was really emphatic and I saw some great vaulting from the Spartans who are hanging tight with the other two.
Rotation 3: SJSU UB, Oregon State BB, Washington FX
Young (OSU): Front aerial, check. BHS LOSO and falls immediately. Full turn, check. Split double stag dance series, forward gainer full dismount. 9.15
Letzsch (OSU): Front aerial BHS very delicate. Switch split. Full turn, baby check, split to ring jump with very hairy shape, side aerial back full with a hop. 9.7
Davis (UW): Front double full, crazy leg form but secure landing. That’s all we got to see. 9.7
Domingo (OSU): Front aerial back pike great, super solid. Full turn. Switch to straddle to split 3/4 with great positions, gainer full stuck. Good one. 9.9
Killough-Wilhelm (UW): Just catching the end again, one and a half front lay. 9.7
Mazury (SJSU): Double lay, very deep and may have touched her knee down as she stepped forward. 8.2
Gonzales (OSU): Front aerial back tuck. Full turn, switch half to split, side aerial back full with a step. 9.825
Thompson (UW): Switch ring tour jete half, some foot form but well rotated. Front double full undercooked and sat it. Oopsie. Might be counting a fall now. 9.125
Dagen (OSU): BHS LOSO, check. Switch switch half beat, not sure on the splits. Side aerial back full with a step, tried to avoid taking it but the momentum didn’t give her much choice. 9.775
Cunningham (UW): Front through double pike, great. That’s all we saw. 9.85
Carey (OSU): Forward roll onto the end, full turn. Front aerial SLOW to BHS LOSO, good. Switch switch half to beat, definitely didn’t make the split on the switch half. Gainer full stuck. 9.9
Jakubczyk (OSU): Full turn. Side aerial to something I blinked and missed, BHS LOSO tentative with a check. One and a half twist, hop back.
After 3: Oregon State 146.275, Washington 145.125, San Jose State 144.050
That was an upsetting one for the visiting teams, each of which went 3/6. I’m puzzled by how much Washington’s lineups seem to be changing. Hoping for some explanations at the home opener when we’ll hopefully have commentators who actually talked to the coaches.
Rotation 4: Washington VT, SJSU BB, Oregon State FX
Gonzales (OSU): Front full front lay well done. Double pike, low chest and a hop. Switch ring switch half good. 9.75
Davis (UW): FTY a little flat off the table but good distance and a hop. 9.75
Bird (OSU): Front lay to Rudi to straddle, bounce out. Switch half to Popa. Two and a half twist with helicopter legs. 9.85
Lopes (SJSU): BHS BHS LOSO, touch of knees but tons of height.
Letzch (OSU): One and a half front full, off line and narrowly avoids going OOB. Switch ring half to sissone. Double pike, a little overrotated.
Cunningham (UW): FTY, comes in a little short but hangs on with her toes to keep the stick. 9.85
Yanish (OSU): Double layout, slightly soft knees but high, overrotated and pulls the front foot back. Front lay front full and I saw the knees again. That’s not usual for her. Good double back. 9.875
M. Dagen (OSU): Front double full, underrotated with a step back. Switch half Popa. Front lay front full airy and well controlled.
Carey (OSU): Can tie the AA program record with a 10. Silivas, landed super well. Front full front lay a little archy and dances into a tour jete half Maggie-style. Switch full to Popa. Double back and scoots the front foot. 9.9
Johnson (SJSU): BHS LOSO, switch split 1/4 with soft back knees. Front aerial and we cut away just as she falls.
FINAL: Oregon State 195.550, Washington 194.000, San Jose State 192.575
Solid start for the Beavs and mostly for Carey, who swept the titles today. Washington had big problems on floor but still cracked 194, which didn’t happen until February last year. San Jose State’s dream from last week didn’t carry forward to today, but that consistency can still come back in the future.
AA Champ: Jade Carey (OSU) 9.900
VT Champ: Jade Carey (OSU) 9.900
UB Champ: Jade Carey (OSU) 9.950
BB Champ: Jenna Domingo, Jade Carey (OSU), Skylar Killough-Wilhelm (UW) 9.900
FX Champ: Jade Carey (OSU) 9.900
Live Blog by Rebecca Scally
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