Unrealized potential has defined January 2022 for both of these teams. Florida may finally have righted the ship last week at home versus Arkansas—and we can’t neglect the possibility that the Gators’ truly baffling lineup decisions in the early part of the season are part of a pacing strategy. There’s progress still to be made, too, with great routines like Sloane Blakely’s phantom 10.0 SV vault and Trinity Thomas’ floor still to add. Another strong meet this weekend would consolidate Florida’s position as an A-tier championship contender, but if not… back on the roller coaster we go, I guess.
Missouri, meanwhile, is objectively having a great season. The Tigers’ ranking of No. 11 is higher than any season-ending ranking in program history. So why does this team still look like it has so much left in the tank? It’s time for Missouri to break the 197.000 mark and consolidate itself as the top 10 program that, by any measure of talent or technical competence, it obviously deserves to be.
Rotation 1: Missouri VT, Florida UB
Schaffer (MU): Decent FTY, medium hop back. 9.775
Blakely (UF): Great first handstand, Maloney to Pak with baby leg separation at the beginning that cleaned up as she went on. Toe blind to front giant to double front, landed a touch lock legged with a step forward. 9.85
Marshall (MU): FTY pretty with interesting dynamics, had her hands clamped to her thighs and faced forward for a long time, it almost had Arabian vibes. Visible pike toward the end but stuck. 9.825
Skaggs (UF): Tkachev to Pak, visible leg separation on the Pak. Closed hips on her high bar cast handstand, double layout with a hop. 9.875
Schreiber (MU): Great dynamics on her FTY, lands with her feet SUPER close together which adds some flair to the whole thing and hops back. 9.85
Schoenherr (UF): Toe blind late to usual lovely Jaeger, great bail, another late blind to a double front half stuck… ish on her heels. It’s a hold on for a second and then step to salute situation, they may give it to her. 9.9
Celestine (MU): BIG one and a half that it looked like she was going to stick for a second but there was a baby hop forward. 9.925
Thomas (UF): Maloney to Pak with baby leg separation van Leeuwen. Glad to hear she’ll be back in the AA today. Double layout, hops on her toes and reaches forward to hang on. 9.925
Moore (MU): One and a half lovely with cleaner form on the table than Celestine but a substantial hop forward. 9.825
Wong (UF): Maloney to Pak, great van Leeuwen with a late turn. Fumbles ever so slightly for her high bar handstand, double layout absolutely planted.
Davis (MU): One and a half, bizarrely picks one leg up super high and drops it back down in the same place. Big improvement from last week. 9.825
Gallentine (UF): Toe on to Maloney to Pak, I love her super straight Pak position. FTDLO a little overcooked with a big step out but it’s great to see her back. 9.85
After 1: Florida 49.500, Missouri 49.250
Rotation 2: Florida VT, Missouri VT
Clark (UF): WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE. Okay full, low chest with a rebound back. 9.725
Marshall (MU): Huge Jaeger to overshoot, airtime is crazy. FTDB also so high with a controlled step back. 9.8 #robbed
Edwards (UF): Jenny, stop. What are you doing. Clean FTY with a substantial hop. 9.8
Schreiber (MU): Maloney to bail, beauuuuutiful, double layout landed a little soft with a step back. 9.9
Schoenherr (UF): Soft knees throughout on one and a half but landed well, small hop straight forward. 9.9
Patrick (MU): Blind to Jaeger, rotation a bit slow, leg separation on the bail, bits of feet visible, double layout stuck. 9.875
Reed (UF): Soft elbows on the table, one and a half with a baby hop forward. Much better form than Schoenherr. 9.875
Moore (MU): Full turn to Tkachev to overshoot, little bits of feet here and there but aggressive, FTDB immediately from KCH with a tiny step back. 9.85
Thomas (UF): Great one and a half, medium hop forward. 9.9
Sheremeta (MU): Blind to Jaeger to overshoot, great rotation and super clean. Blind to Rudi with a hop forward. Missouri is hot on bars today, there’s really not much to complain about here.
Blakely (UF): I’ve been waiting for this one. Got subbed in late. Just a full, big hop back. Where’s your one and a half Sloane :((( It looked so good in December. 9.675
Celestine (MU): Toe on to Maloney, soft on the backswing, very arched Pak. Toe on to van Leeuwen with soft knees over the low bar, missed the cast handstand, stalder to front pike half GORGEOUS and stuck. 9.85
After 2: Florida 98.700, Missouri 98.625
I’m so frustrated about Florida throwing its potential on vault away with both hands at every opportunity but I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only February and there’s time to figure these things out, but I’m IMPATIENT.
Meanwhile this is the meet that Missouri’s been waiting to have all season. Beam next, so I won’t speak too soon about any potential final scores and ranking consequences, but this is going great.
Rotation 3: Missouri BB, Florida FX
Marshall (MU): Front aerial, slightly tentative. Kickover front BHS fluid and beautiful, full turn, split to straddle quarter, BHS to gainer full. 9.875
Clapper (UF): Florida’s floor lineup is a choice once again. Rudi to double stag, flies back about six feet. One and a half front lay to stag jump, fumbles through her double pike landing. 9.85
McCrary (MU): Kickover front good. BHS LOSO solid. Full turn, split half jump, I’m almost sure there was a dance series that I forgot to write down, BHS to tuck 3/2 twist with a cross step. 9.825
Richards (UF): You’re alive? Double layout actually pretty solid. One and a half… it was supposed to be a front full but she got lost in the air and does a Barani with hand assist. 9.0
Gatzendorfer (MU): Triple series with a tiny lean, full turn. Split to split ring jump, from the end-on position I honestly have no idea how good the ring position was. Gainer pike good. 9.875, yay!
Skaggs (UF): Rudi to double stag, great control. Tour jete half split full. One and a half front lay, deep but manages the step forward. 9.875, judges are doing their BEST to keep the Gators on this.
Schaffer (MU): Great triple series, front aerial with a lean. Switch to split. Stuck one and a half. 9.925!!!
Wong (UF): Triple twist GO OFF QUEEN. Touch undercooked but made it to lunge just fine. Tour jete half split full gorgeous. Whip half front full stag jump great. Double pike. Gorgeous. Give her a ten. I guess I can live with a 9.95 but I’m sad about it.
Sheremeta (MU): BHS LOSO, substantial bend check. Split to double stag, front aerial with a check. I forgot to write down the dismount in the face of a weirdly aggressive Trinity Thomas hype sequence we got in advance of her floor but it was fine.
Thomas (UF): Double layout, lovely, front full front lay. Tour jete half to Popa landed awkward, fantastic double pike. The leap series was the only thing I saw there. 9.95
Schreiber (MU): BHS LOSO LOSO with AIR. It’s just so stylish. Switch half to split to beat to gainer full, just has to lean forward to hang onto the stick. 9.925
Clark (UF): One and a half front lay, couple of baby hops including one that takes her out of bounds. Could Missouri actually really win this? Commentators think the judges didn’t see it. Great double tuck.
After 3: Florida 148.150, Missouri 148.050
Florida got a lot of gifts there. Can’t even blame the home judges. Hopefully they’re preparing to come through for the Tigers next rotation. Florida’s obviously the better team, but it’s got to use more than half of its actually-good routines to beat a team like Missouri fairly.
Rotation 4: Florida BB, Missouri FX
Skaggs (UF): BHS LOSO. Front aerial super steady and emphatic, cat leap switch side. Side aerial back full stuck, super solid. 9.925
Schreiber (MU): Rudi to back layout front tuck awesome as usual, front full front LOSO and walks out into dance. Unlikely they’ll deduct on the landing but they could. Switch half split full great. 9.875
Blakely (UF): Front aerial BHS with maybe a tiny adjustment, switch switch half is great. Side somi, side aerial back full stuck. 9.925
Schaffer (MU): Rudi LOSO great, double stag, switch ring tour jete half. Double tuck deep with a hop in place. 9.75
Baumann (UF): BHS LOSO great. Switch to split, front aerial to beat extremely wonky but avoids a check. Side aerial. One and a half, tiny step back with her right foot. 9.9
Sheremeta (MU): Front double full, step forward is a little bouncy. Switch side Popa. Rudi LOSO, spicy little Shushunova situation, one and a half to front LOSO. 9.925
Wong (UF): BHS LOSO good, front aerial with major bend check. Side aerial, side somi, double full with a little scoot. 9.775 is a little too high.
McCrary (MU): Rudi landed well, double pike a little overrotated with a shuffly front foot situation. Switch side straddle full, two and a half with a step in place. 9.95!
Thomas (UF): BHS LOSO great, kickover front to beat to Korbut. Side aerial back full, great. Team asking for a ten there.
Moore (MU): Great double layout, maybe a slightly long lunge but we’re far past things like that mattering. Switch side Popa Popa, just massive, front through double back with a hop forward.
Clapper (UF): BHS LOSO LOSO, check, full turn. Switch split good, Side aerial back full with a hop back. It’s just possible for Missouri to win this still.
Celestine (MU): Full in great! She needs a 9.775 for the program record by the way, no pressure. Great leaps, one and a half front lay. Double tuck great. Yeah, she’s done it.
FINAL: Florida 197.775, Missouri 196.650
There’ll be chatter about the scoring after this one because there’s a pretty good case that Missouri should have won, but the Tigers’ program record is the enduring story here. Missouri has a real chance to make nationals this year. It’s hard to overstate how much of a gamechanger the last few years have been for the Tigers.
AA Champ: Trinity Thomas (Florida) 39.750
VT Champ: Amari Celestine (Missouri) 9.925
UB Champ: Leanne Wong (Florida) 9.950
BB Champ: Trinity Thomas (Florida) 9.975
FX Champ: Amari Celestine, Hannah McCrary (Missouri), Trinity Thomas, Leanne Wong (Florida) 9.950
Live Blog by Rebecca Scally
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