LIVE BLOG: No. 57 SEMO at No. 70 Centenary

Hello everyone! I’m coming to you live from the alumni section with another MIC conference matchup. This competition is a double dose of special. Centenary will be celebrating head coach Jackie Fain’s retirement as well as dedicating the competition to alumna Sylvia Keiter. Sylvia was a member of the Ladies gymnastics team from 2012-2015 and worked as a graduate assistant coach during the 2016 season. Keiter lost her life in a tragic drunk driving accident in 2018 while assisting another motorist on the side of the road. Ever season since, Centenary has dedicated a competition in her memory to bring awareness to the dangers of drunk driving as well as to honor the strong, dedicated leader Sylvia was. 

The Ladies’ 2022 season has been one riddled with injuries and inconsistency. Perhaps Centenary will be able to rise to the occasion tonight. There’s nothing that a new leotard can’t fix. Kendall Sanders had a hiccup on bars last weekend, but expect her to be back on her A game. Be on the lookout for Emma Lavelle as well. Carissa Martinez had herself a day at the TWU quad meet last weekend complete with a unique front toss to back tuck beam series. Did I mention that Leilani Johnson is on a three meet vault stick streak? Let’s see if that continues tonight. Overall, the goal of the day will be to stay on the equipment and have a good time. 

SEMO is coming off a season high score at its senior night last weekend. Both Anna Kaziska and Jolie Miller posted 9.95s in their signature events. Miller even became a partial owner of the program record on bars, garnering herself an MIC Performance of the Week honor in the process. If we’ve learned anything from SEMO this season, it’s to never count the Redhawks out. This team has battled back from setback after setback to claw its way up the USAG and conference rankings. Keep your eye on Lydia Webb and Madison Greene. They are doing some seriously big gymnastics this season!

The new leotard in question:

Here’s the tentative lineups for SEMO this evening:

Rotation 1: Centenary VT, SEMO UB

We’ll get started shortly. The introductions are underway.

Lavelle (CC): Yurchenko layout, very floaty with a perfect shape in the air. Just a hop back. 9.425

Albrecht (SEMO): Toe hand, Maloney, overshoot horizontal. Nice and clean. Short last handstand. Blind full, very slow over the top. Connect to double back. Squatty landing but fought for it. 9.300

Plaza (CC): Tsuk layout, pretty large step back. Some legs on the table. 9.300

Maxwell (SEMO): Clear hip, Tkatchev. Some knees. Some form on the overshoot. Blind full double tuck. Several steps back before falling. Valiant effort on that save. 8.800

Johnson (CC): Yurchenko layout, good height with a medium hop back this week. 9.575

Lopez (SEMO): blind, Jaeger. Very pretty. Overshoot handstand. Blind full. Double tuck. Let go very early but pulled it around. Some handstands in there. 9.450

Sanders (CC): Yurchenko half, a little low but better landing this week with a small hop forward. 9.725

Webb (SEMO): Toe hand, Blind, Jaeger. Gigantic. Overshoot. Some legs. Blind full, double tuck. Landed lock legged but stuck. Good routine! 9.700

Huff (CC): Yurchenko tuck full, STUCK COLD. Go off. As she should. 9.750

Miller (SEMO): Piked Tkatchev to Ezhova. Nice. A little past on the pirouette. Double layout, a small hop forward. 9.675. That was some stiff judging. OK.

Wedge (CC): Kicked out of her FHS front tuck and sat it down. 8.975

Wilson (CC ex): Yurchenko pike, high, good shape in the air with a step back. 9.425

AFTER ONE: Centenary 47.775, SEMO 46.925

SEMO was having some handstand issues in that rotation and was very low on some landings. Putting up five athletes on that event definitely hurt the Redhawks. Lydia Webb’s bars was just stunning. She really has stepped up in a major way this year. On the bright side, bars has consistently been SEMO’s lowest scoring event this year, and now the team can move on to the other events. I have noticed that Lindsay Ockler is not in a leotard today. That is slightly problematic. Meanwhile, Centenary posted its season high on vault in that first rotation. The duo of Kendall’s led the way with some lovely twisting vaults. Hopefully the Ladies can carry the momentum to bars.

Rotation 2: SEMO VT, Centenary UB

Webb (SEMO): She does the Yurchenko full, and it’s just lovely. Hop back, but so nice. 9.725

Deshler (CC): Blind full, blind half, overshoot. Some leg form. Blind full, double tuck. Good opening set. 9.375

Miller (SEMO): Yurchenko layout, Pretty shape in the air. AND A STICK. 9.575

McCary (CC): Clear hip handstand, Tkatchev. She finger tipped that one. Overshoot, some leg separation. Good last handstand. Double tuck with a step back. 8.300

Reader (SEMO): Yurchenko full, some leg separation on the table and pretty crunchy too. She pulled the rotation around just fine though. A hop back. 9.650

Knaps (CC): Short handstand, swing half, Geinger. A little far. Overshoot, loose back on the catch. Blind full, double tuck with a step forward. 8.650

Maxwell (SEMO): Another stuck vault for SEMO. This time a tucked Yurchenko full. Nice one! 9.775

Lavelle (CC): Blind change…. changed her hands, swing half, tries again. Blind change, Jaeger. OK. Overshoot, drags her feet. Double layout. She let go early, may or may not have dragged her knees. 8.350

Lopez (SEMO): Yurchenko full, some leg separation but good height and distance. Just a step back. 9.650

Kaziska (SEMO): Yurchenko full, pretty piked in the air with a step back. 9.600

Greene (SEMO ex): Yurchenko layout, pretty high on the table but solid rotation and height with a step back.

Sanders (CC): Clear hip handstand, fell over, tried to cover with a swing half, but dropped down. Well that was out of character. Casted over again. Regrouping. Clear hip, Geinger, overshoot. Didn’t quite get far enough over the bar and had to tap her feet. Double layout, let go early and had to put her hands down. 7.600. Considering the circumstances… Not bad.

Wilson (CC): Toe hand, Maloney, pak. Pretty connection. Good last handstand. Stuck FTDT that she dropped down out of the rafters. So that was basically her national winning bar performance… so we’ll see what the judges say. 9.800. Appropriate.

Baumgartner (CC ex): Clear hip handstand, pak. Pretty. All good handstands so far. Toe up to high. Saved that last handstand, clear hip hand, blind full, layout dismount.

AFTER TWO: SEMO 95.325, Centenary 92.250

Well that happened…I think someone jinxed the bars before everyone got here. SEMO went CRAZY on vault. So many good vaults! Considering what the four minute touch looked like, the Redhawks have nerves of steel. Taylor Ann Wilson bars was also insane. So pretty. So smooth.

Rotation 3: Centenary BB, SEMO FX

Baumgartner (CC): A beautiful headstand mount. Beat, Split 3/4. Solid. Mic drop. BHS BHS LOSO. Rocked her weight on her back foot but good. A check on the turn. Split, tuck 3/4. Punch front full dismount with a hop forward. Good lead off. 9.600

Reader (SEMO): Double pike. Solid, some chest down. Get yo freak on? OK. front full, front layout. Some form on the full. Switch side, popa. Slow legs. She looks tired. Double tuck. Pretty short but pulled it around. 9.625

Stephens (CC): Front Aerial, BHS. Perfection. So smooth. Split leap, split ring jump. A show of flexibility. Split jump, tuck 3/4. Small check. BHS back 1.5 dismount with a hop. 9.775. Career high in a season debut? Say less.

Maxwell (SEMO): Front double full. so pretty, solid landing. Double tuck. A little back on her heels. Back 1.5, front layout. Could’ve had more amplitude but fine. 9.650

Martinez (CC): Switch side connection. Solid. Front toss, back tuck. A leg up check then fall. Another leg up on the turn. More solid on the jump series. Piked gainer dismount with a hop forward. 8.925

Webb (SEMO): Gun shots. Back 2.5. Solid. Rudi to split jump. So much height on that jump. Pretty switch ring. Back 1.5, front layout. Nice clean routine. 9.725

Deshler (CC): Front Aerial, BHS. Connected this week, with a check. Split jump, double stag. A wobble on the tuck 3/4. Cartwheel, gainer full dismount with a small step back. 9.425

Greene (SEMO): This music choice is it! Front lay, Rudi. Nice and high on the Rudi. Nice height on the leaps. Double tuck, rolled out of it. Sad.

Lavelle (CC): BHS LOSO. Nice. Cat leap, switch side. Full turn with a chest lean. Side Aerial from a cat leap. RO back 1.5 dismount with a lunging step forward. 9.275

Kaziska (SEMO): Front double full, a little back on her heels. Back 1.5 front layout. Her normal. Rudi, chest nice and high. 9.800

Sanders (CC): BHS layout toe-feet. So solid. So confident. Cat leap, switch side. A little slow getting her legs back together on the leap. Switch leap, tuck full, beat jump. Punch front full dismount. Nearly stuck with a slide back. 9.675

SEMO will only be putting up five athletes on floor.

Molina (CC ex): Split jump, straddle half. HS BHS LOSO. An arm wave. Switch leap, tuck 3/4. A little butt kick like on the tuck shape. Front Aerial, pretty low and long but pulls it around. Gainer front full dismount as the warning bell rang. Looked like her foot slipped, sat it down today. 9.100

AFTER THREE: SEMO 143.175, 140.050

There were so many redeeming factors in that rotation. SEMO put up some pretty strong floor routines. Some of the scoring was a bit sporadic in my opinion, but no one asked. Centenary really brought it back together in that rotation, avoiding a fall counting in the team total. Kennedy Stephens entered her first lineup of the season with a splash. Her lines were just stunning. I couldn’t handle it.

Rotation 4: SEMO BB, Centenary FX

Maxwell (SEMO): BHS LOSO. A little awkward in the air, with a check. Solid jump series. RO back 1.5 dismount. Good lead off routine! 9.700

Deshler (CC): whip half, front full. Good. Ring full. Front lay, front full. Some leg crossing on the twist. Good last leap pass. 9.525

Reader (SEMO): Front toss from the knee, BHS. Solid. Cat leap, switch side. Nice. Front toss. Maybe was going for the pike? Side Aerial, tucked full dismount. A small hop. 9.775

Baumgartner (CC): Double tuck. A little chest down, good control. Front full, front tuck. A small step OOB. Switch leap, switch half ring. Back 1.5, front tuck. Good landing there. Good routine minus the step out. 9.475

Speller (SEMO): Front Aerial…no. She fell. Front Aerial BHS with some feet. Switch half was so pretty. Front toss to scale. Lovely. Punch front full, took it too far out with a step back. 9.050

Huff (CC): The hats are out. Double tuck, good control. The crowd is dancing with her. Love. Rudi, double stag. Wild on that jump. Switch side, wolf full to belly splat. Back 1.5, front layout. A little on her heels but good. 9.600

Webb (SEMO): Front toss to scale. Wow. Switch leap, split 1/4. Idk about that connection. It was slow. Front Aerial. Not quite around. More push please. Front Aerial, swing down. A woman after my own heart. BHS gainer full. A hop back. 9.475

Martinez (CC): Double tuck. Some chest down, good control. Rudi, big smile. Switch side, popa, wolf full. Front lay, front full. Pretty flat but pulled it out. 9.650

Miller (SEMO): Front walkover. Switch leap, split 3/4. Solid. BHS LOSO. So nice. Love that. Standing LOSO, split jump, beat. Slow connection there. I like the unique connection though. BHS tuck 1.5. Sat it down. 9.200

Lavelle (CC): Double pike. Nice and high. Front lay, tuck full. Stayed just in bounds. Good amplitude on her leap pass. Double tuck, three steps back and a fall out of bounds. It was such a good routine until that fall. 9.000

Kaziska (SEMO): Front Aerial, split jump. Such pretty extension on the jump. BHS LOSO. So confident. Switch leap, split 1/4. RO back 1.5, stuck. Yes ma’am! 9.875

Sanders (CC): Double pike, solid. Switch side, popa. Rudi, double stag. Better this week, more controlled. Front full, front layout with a small hop to the side. ALL FOR BIG SYL! 9.800. I’m crying. Coach Harris is pumped about it. Did a little heel click in her wedges.

Wedge (CC ex): Double pike, a lunge out of bounds but better control. Front lay, front full. Stalled out that front full a bit and lacked enough rotation. Double tuck. Loved that landing.

Final: SEMO 191.200, Centenary 188.100

They took my scores away so that’s fun. We caught SEMO on a somewhat off night. There were flashes of the Redhawks’ usual genius, but inconsistency was a struggle throughout. Putting five athletes up on two events seemed to hurt the team some. Vault was stunning, but bars and floor were forced to count falls because there wasn’t a sixth athlete. Lydia Webb was lights out on three events, going top-three and leading her to an all around victory.

Centenary’s bar rotation really drug the team total down. The other three events were relatively solid without falls counted. However, some of the mistakes made tonight were from individuals who don’t typically slip up. Some highlights were Kennedy Stephens’ beam, Taylor Ann Wilson’s bars and Kendall Sanders’ floor. Both were season highs.

AA Winner: Lydia Webb, 38.625

VT Winner: Molly Maxwell, 9.775

UB Winner: Taylor Ann Wilson, 9.800

BB Winner: Anna Kaziska, 9.875

FX Winner: Anna Kaziska & Kendall Sanders, 9.800

Beast Award: Maddie McCary and Jolie Miller

Live Blog by Tavia Smith

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