LIVE BLOG: No. 50 Penn at No. 28 Towson

Let’s not beat around the bush. We’re all here because we want a program record.

Numerous NCAA gymnastics teams are having their best season in history this year, but these two in particular have spent the last few weeks getting ever closer to their own team records. Towson’s record of 196.800 has held since 2000, but last week the Tigers came just a tenth short. Penn, meanwhile, has an incredibly reachable record of just 195.075 and has already recorded its second- and third-best scores in program history this year. I don’t know if this week will be The Week for either of these teams, but I’m going to keep watching all of their meets just in case because I don’t want to miss the records when they happen.

Rotation 1: Towson VT, Penn UB

Weitz (TU): FTY, stuck-ish on her toes with her weight a little forward. 9.75

Song (Penn): Maloney to Pak, great with legs together, FTDB landed a touch lock-legged with a hop back but really solid start. 9.8

Borkowski (TU): Really pretty form on her FTY, slightly undercooked again with two quick steps forward. Fatigue might be a factor here after a long week last week for the Tigers, these are pretty vaults that just could use 10% more gas. 9.75

S. Kenefick (Penn): Shy on her first handstand, great Tkachev. Pak with leg separation, good switch kip, full turn to double full dismount with a large step forward. 9.675

Davis (TU): Some leg split on the table on her FTY and a touch of pike but steps back. 9.75

Kraez (Penn): Blind to Jaeger, high and clean, legs split for just a second on the bail catch. Aggressive handstands, blind full with a slightly soft back to a stuck double back. Awesome.

Tisler (TU): Leg split on the table but otherwise great FTY with a small hop back. 9.825

Penuela-Wermers (Penn): She waited so long with a series of injuries to get in this lineup, I’m so happy to see her. Blind to pike Jaeger to overshoot, couple of very tiny leg flickers, short on one handstand, stalder to double back beautiful and stuck. 9.9!!

Bolen (TU): FTY, great with a hop back. 9.725 I’m not sure what the judges saw there compared to the others.

Reistano (Penn): Half turn to Deltchev, a little bit of form, great bail. Double layout, leans forward to try to hold the stick but has to step forward. 9.65

Vitoff (TU): One and a half, leg split on the table but awesome dynamics with a hop forward. 9.825 boooo.

Marr (Penn): Toe on to Maloney to bail, great, her usual. Double layout stuck for a second before a lean forward. 9.75

Clara Hong in the ex for Towson. Front pike 1/2 underrotated, crunches on her ankles with a dive forward. 9.45

Kristen Kuhn is Penn’s ex. Tkachev to overshoot is good, shy on a couple handstands, full turn to double back with a step back. 9.675

Butler is Towson’s second ex, solid FTY nearly stuck, just a one foot scoot back.

Ana Kenefick up for Penn, full turn to Tkachev, missed a handstand badly, bail with a leg break. Double layout with a hop back.

After 1: Penn 48.925, Towson 48.900

THIS MEET ROCKS. Such a great first rotation and so close. That’s a season high on bars for Penn.

Rotation 2: Penn VT, Towson UB

Keener (TU): Blind to Jaeger to overshoot, super clean, blind full double back a little close to the bar with a hop back.

Davies (Penn): FTY, piked throughout with a substantial hop back. 9.675

Hong (TU): Blind a little late to lovely piked Jaeger, just shy on some handstands, bail. Blind to double front STUCK WOW. 9.85

S. Kenefick (Penn): FTY, not the highest but decently clean with a hop. 9.675

Bolen (TU): Tkachev, odd form, never really opened the straddle and falls. Short on the bail, blind full double back with a hop forward. 8.775

Kraez (Penn): FTY substantially higher with a small hop back. 9.75

Girot (TU): Gienger super open, clear hip to bail with a lot of form visible. FTDB stuck-ish, hop to salute quickly.

DeBarberie (Penn): FTY, very clean position as always with a substantial hop back. 9.625

Vaillancourt (TU): Late blind to Jaeger to overshoot, double layout super pretty with a small hop back. 9.875

Belkoff (Penn): Huge Arabian and stuck dead. 9.875

Macasu (TU): Great Tkachev, Pak comes in too high and hits her feet on the ground with a loss of form for a second. Blind full double back high and close to the bar. 9.575

Song (Penn): Solid full, couldn’t see too much because the team was in front of her. 9.775

Olivia Van Horn in the exhibition for Penn, not her day on the front pike 1/2 and it’s very messy and chaotic but it IS funny, so that should count for something. I’ve seen her do it well, this was just not

After 2: Towson 97.850, Penn 97.675

Won’t be Towson’s perfect day, but it’s still a perfectly respectable one. Penn delivered top ten all-time performances in both of its first two events.

Rotation 3: Towson BB, Penn FX

Bolen (TU): BHS LOSO good, cat leap kickover front to beat. Full turn, switch to straddle, BHS gainer full with a couple quick steps to salute. 9.775

Agarwala (Penn): Double pike, bounce into lunge, switch ring to switch ring 1/2. Front lay front full ever so slightly awkward. 9.7

Keener (TU): BHS LOSO great. Switch tuck 3/4, check, split 3/4 didn’t hit split. Cat leap kickover front beat jump, deep squat in the middle, full turn. Gainer full stuck-ish. 9.7

Lashley (Penn): Switch full, a little underrotated, interesting to do leaps before tumbling. Front lay front full, totally lost in the air and sits. Switch half wolf full, one and a half front lay. 8.95

Vaillancourt (TU): Front tuck to beat, deep squat. BHS LOSO with a major check. Switch switch with great extension, check. Full turn, cartwheel gainer full stuck. 9.675

Kraez (Penn): Double pike, lunge a little long, front lay front full with soft knees and a cross step. Switch half wolf full solid, underrotated double tuck. 9.575

Weitz (TU): Switch LOSO, off line and adjusts, front aerial BHS pretty. Switch to split, full turn, side aerial back full with a hop back. 9.775

Davies (Penn): Great double pike, front lay front full a little bouncy. Tour jete half Popa. Well-controlled double tuck. Best one yet for Penn. 9.8

Hong (TU): Side aerial side aerial series, split to straddle 3/4. Switch to split full, tons of leap difficulty here, full turn, punch front full stuck. Awesome. 9.85

Van Horn (Penn): Double front a little overrotated, longer lunge but very upright. She stuck one in practice this week and the whole team was amped about it in social media. Double back OK, tour jete half split… something, ambiguous rotation, front full front lay with a little shuffle to the side. 9.75

Hurst (TU): Full turn, BHS LOSO with an extra step. Switch to switch and adjusts a bit, front aerial to split, front full with a hop. 9.8

S. Kenefick (Penn): Two and a half front tuck well controlled, switch to Popa Popa. Front double full well done. That’ll take care of the drop score and get Penn back in the record hunt pending beam. 9.875

Steph Macasu in the ex for Towson, she’s one of my favorites. Y turn, Onodi with a soft back knee but amazing dynamics, BHS LOSO. Switch half to split, check, stuck gainer full.

Zara Gazdak in the ex for Penn, great front through double back first pass but underrotates her last and lands on hands and knees. Good hit from Marigold Garrett next, with a low but stuck double tuck as the highlight.

After 3: Towson 146.750, Penn 146.375

The Towson commentators are coping HARD about the fact that today is just OK for the Tigers. Chill out, it’s not a big deal. For Penn, the record dream is still alive. 48.725 on beam would do the job.

Rotation 4: Penn BB, Towson FX

Belkoff (Penn): Triple series NAILED, full turn with a little arm adjustment. Switch to sheep, small check, one and a half twist stuck. Great start. 9.775

Bolen (TU): Double tuck solid, front lay to Rudi. Tour jete half Popa underrotated, front lay front full good. 9.775

Kraez (Penn): Full turn, cat leap switch half beat steady but with an imperfect split. Straddle tuck 3/4 great, BHS LOSO steady. Front tuck full stuck. 9.8

Weitz (TU): Remember when she got a 10 on floor in level 10? Front through double back, hop back. Switch half split full wolf full, double pike good. 9.85

S. Kenefick (Penn): BHS BHS LOSO, bend check and falls. Beat to straddle 3/4, one and a half twist with a hop. 9.025

Vaillancourt (TU): Double tuck solid, switch half Popa with a really pretty straddle position. Stream decided to refresh and I lost her other passes but the team sounds excited. 9.875

DeBarberie (Penn): BHS LOSO great, split straddle half. Full turn, side aerial with a check which is mathematically OK at this point as long as they stay on the beam, one and a half with a step to salute. 9.725

Casper (TU): Double pike underrotated, lunge goes forward. Front full front lay steady, music is the Ghostbusters theme, double tuck very underrotated. 9.625

M. Marr (Penn): Full turn, BHS LOSO with tons of flight and clean. Hitch kick side aerial, switch straddle 1/4 and you can see the First State in her leaps, BHS gainer full stuck. Huge. 9.95!!!!

Hong (TU): Very dramatic. Front double full, super control, great split positions, front lay front full is lovely, great Rudi. Should go high. 9.85 robbed

Yang (Penn): BHS BHS LOSO beautiful. Commentators are floored that Penn has three triple series. Split to ring, check, side aerial tuck back full stuck-ish, hanging on with her toes. 9.75

Stewart (TU): Front lay to Rudi a little overcooked, I lost the rest in refreshing live scores waiting for the Yang score and I won’t apologize for it.

I lost track of the exhibitions too but I know Nikki Borkowski went for Towson and I wanna say that was Marigold…? Garrett and Ariyana Agarwala for Penn. Shout-out to Agarwala for having her name absolutely slaughtered by the arena announcer all day today, my favorite version was “Argawarga.”

FINAL: Towson 195.725, Penn 195.375

Didn’t I tell you all? Such a historic day for Penn and the fact that it’s on the road makes it especially awesome.

AA Champ: Sydney Kraez (Penn) 38.925

VT Champ: Kiersten Belkoff (Penn) 9.875

UB Champ: Sarah Penuela-Wermers (Penn) 9.900

BB Champ: McCaleigh Marr (Penn) 9.950

FX Champ: Sara Kenefick (Penn), Grace Vaillancourt (Towson) 9.875

Live Blog by Rebecca Scally

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