Welcome to the third and final competition from the Raleigh regional! How’s everyone’s bracket holding up?
Thursday’s first session was, in a word, shocking as top seed LSU was eliminated by No. 11 Missouri and No. 22 Iowa. The Baton Rouge Tigers counted missed routines on both bars and beam, but the Columbia Tigers and the Hawkeyes were just on; this would have been a tight competition regardless.
Though the outcome of session two was somewhat less surprising, the meet itself was pure drama with Michigan making a series of uncharacteristic mistakes and UCLA putting together one of its best performances of the season.
The Wolverines and the Bruins are certainly the favorites to advance, but—as the Tigers and Hawkeyes have already proven—they’re very much capable of upsetting favorites.
Also bear in mind that the fates of the potential individual qualifiers are in these teams’ hands. The qualification order is listed below:
- VT: Kiya Johnson, Haleigh Bryant
- UB: Natalie Wojcik, Jordan Chiles, Alyona Shchennikova
- BB: Sienna Schreiber, Adeline Kenlin, Sierra Brooks
- FX: Jordan Chiles, Gabby Wilson, KJ Johnson
- AA: Norah Flatley, Kiya Johnson
LSU’s Kiya Johnson is going to nationals no matter, but on what event depends on UCLA. If the Bruins advance, Johnson goes for all around leaving the vault spot open for teammate Bryant.
Things look even brighter for LSU if UCLA and Michigan both advance, with Alyona Shchennikova qualifying on bars and KJ Johnson qualifying on floor (Missouri’s Sienna Schreiber would then get the beam spot).
OK, are we ready? Let’s go!
Round One: Missouri vault, Iowa bars, Michigan beam, UCLA floor
A few interesting tweaks in today’s lineups: Wright in for Flatley on floor for UCLA plus Guggino anchoring both vault and floor, Mulligan in for Heiskell on floor, and Vore back in the bars lineup for Michigan
The UCLA gymnasts have co-opted the Michigan parents’ chants of, “LET’S GO BLUE!”
Now Iowa fans are drowning everyone out with “LET’S GO HAWKS.”
Schaffer (Mizz): Nice, high Y full with a tiny hop. 9.750
McCrary (Mizz): Wow, very good Y ful, minor pikedown but a stuck. 9.825
Schreiber (Mizz): Big Y full, very straight body position, minor hop in place. 9.800
Davis (Mizz): Missed this one, sorry! 9.775
Celestine (Mizz):OH! Big Y 1.5 with a tiny hop forward. 9.875
Moore (Mizz): Fantastic Y 1.5, just about in the rafters, small hop forward. 9.850
Zuhlke (Iowa): Big height on her Hindorff, a little foot flex. Clean bail and very sharp final handstand. 9.825
Rojas (Iowa): Toe on to a lovely, tight Gienger. A little loss of tension on her bail. Didn’t get a ton of height on her FTDT and had to take a hop, but overall a solid routine. 9.800
Tolan (Iowa): Bit of flexed feet on her straddled Jaeger, but good arm position. Tidy double tuck dismount with a little hop. 9.850
Greenwald (Iowa): Couldn’t see much because of people in the way, but her DLO was lovely and maybe stuck? 9.850
Steffensmeier (Iowa): Very good piked Tkatchev. Peels off on the Pak. 9.350
Kenlin (Iowa): Floooaty Pak. Toe on to full pirouette, a little bit late. Stuck double tuck. 9.900
Morrison (Michigan): Front leg slightly shy on her switch half. Perfect back 1.5, stuck. 9.850
Wilson (Michigan): Hitch kick, good. Very strong bhs loso, slight laxity in the knees. Great position in her split series. 9.850
Vore (Michigan): Bhs loso with a well-covered waver. Very intentional full turn. High front toss. Straddle jump to straddle half were excellent. 9.850
Brooks (Michigan): Gorgeous bhs loso losos. Front toss with a minor adjustment. High double tuck with a step. 9.850
Heiskell (Michigan): Cat leap to side aerial with a minor shoulder adjustment. Switch leap wwas great. Bhs loso with a leg up check that she finessed into choreography. Back 1.5 with a little hop. 9.800
Wojcik (Michigan): Front aerial to beat, lovelyl. Switch leap to switch jump, excellent. Beautiful bhs bhs loso, textbook. RO back 1.5 with a small hop back, I think (couldn’t see her feet): 9.850
Wright (UCLA): A little shuffle and knee bend on her back 2.5. Really nice control on her Rudi to double stag. Very low back 1.5 to front lay, had to tuck her knees on the landing. 9.675
Moors (UCLA): Well done opening tucked double Arabian to front tuck. The floaty back lay. Switch ring to switch full to wolf full, nice height and a minor readjustment. 9.875
Malabuyo (UCLA): Front full to front lay, good rise. Playing to the judges and BJ said, “Yay!” Switch ring to switch half, excellent. Nailed the final double pike. 9.900
Tratz (UCLA): Nice height and position on her double pike. Swtich full to Popa with a tiny readjustment on the landing. Pulla, “Woooed” in my face, love it. Fhs full to front lay, good. High double tuck, chest down a touch but a very controlled landing. 9.900
Chiles (UCLA): Dead stuck DLO, landed straight up. Front tuck through to a tight double tuck, another clean landing. Switch full good, wolf full a little off kilter in the air. Double pike with a foot slide. 9.925
Campbell (UCLA): Sky high FTDT, great landing. Switch full to Popa, excellent position. Fhs front full to front lay, landing lacked a little bit of control. Another huge double tuck with a foot slide.
AFTER ONE ROTATION: UCLA 49.550, Michigan 49.250, Iowa 49.225, Missouri 49.125
Floor scoring was decidedly looser than the other three events… Don’t get me wrong, UCLA was very good, but there were noticeable errors that seemed to have been ignored.
Iowa did themselves a huge favor with a strong bars score. This is shaping up to be a tight meet, and those extra tenths could come in handy.
Missouri did its job on vault, but will need to be excellent on the remaining events to stay in this.
Round Two: UCLA vault, Missouri bars, Iowa beam, Michigan floor
Flatley (UCLA): Nice, clean Y full with a hop back to open. 9.800
Malabuyo (UCLA): Good Y full in the air with a hop back. 9.775
Chiles (UCLA): Tsuk full, very straight and maybe stuck. 9.900
Poston (UCLA): Fhs pike half, chest down and at least one hop back on the landing. 9.800
Wright (UCLA): Really big Y full with a small hop. Great vault for Wright. 9.900
Campbell (UCLA): HUGE Y full with what looked like a stick. If she did stick it, give her the 9.950. 9.925
Marshall (Mizz): Blind change to a giant straddled Jaeger, lost her form a little in the half turn. Her usual HIGH FTDT with a hop to the side. 9.825
Celestine (Mizz): I phsyically could not see her, but she got a huge cheer. 9.875
Patrick (Mizz): Lovely blind change to straddled Jaeger. Solid bail. Very aggressive fainal handstand position. Well done DLO, stuck. 9.875
Schreiber (Mizz): Couldn’t see the first half. A bit low on her DLO, but a good landing. 9.300
Sheremeta (Mizz): Great handstand position. Blind change to straddled Jaeger, no problems. Wow, brilliant flyaway 1.5, stuck. 9.900
Hu (Mizz): Toe-on piked Tkatchev, beautiful. Minor leg sep on her Pak. Full pirouette finished emphatically on top of the bars, double tuck with a hop back. 9.900
Henderson (Iowa): Bhs loso with a small leg-up check. Leap positions looked a little shy to me. Strong double tuck with a hop back. 9.750
Vance (Iowa): Sof legs on the bhs loso but no wobble. Side aerial to tucked full, a little off center but controlled landing. 9.800
Killian (Iowa): Great front tuck, completely solid. Back double full with a good landing. 9.825
Kaji (Iowa): Bhs loso with a tiny adjustment. Cat leap to side aerial, great. Waist bend after her straddle 3/4. Side gainer full with a little hop. 9.800
Rojas (Iowa): Very smooth bhs loso. Front tuck landed a little deep but goes to the beat jump. Switch leap series, good. 9.750
Kenlin (Iowa): Bhs loso, perfect. Beautiful extension. Hitch kick to front aerial to beat, very slow and fluid. Switch leap to split jump, lovely. Side aerial to full, stuck. Gorgeous routine. 9.900
Brenner (Michigan): Double pike with chest down. 9.850
Mulligan (Michigan): Front tuck through to double tuck, several steps on the landing but kept it in bounds. Nice position on her Popa series. Drops out of the double pike. 9.825
Wojcik (Michigan): Back 1.5 to front pike, no problems today. Perfect leap series. Stuck double pike (she seemed surprised, haha). Fhs to Rudi to straddle; travelled a little back on the rebounding jump, but kept it under control. 9.950
Morrison (Michigan): Fantastic half in half out. Switch full series was beautiful. Little stutter step on her front lay. High, tidy double tuck. 9.900
Wilson (Michigan): Nice half in half out, just a little foot slide. Front full to front lay to front tuck, excellent. Tight double tuck with another little foot slide. 9.900
Guggino (Michigan): Double pike with a scoot back. Switch side to Popa, good position. Very flat front lay to front full, but she manages to pull off the landing, wow. Front lay to Rudi much better. Strong finish. 9.775
AFTER TWO ROTATIONS: UCLA 98.875, Michigan 98.675, Missouri 98.500, Iowa 98.300
OK, so floor scoring remains loose which is fine as long as the judges keep that energy through the end of the meet.
Even with Schreiber’s fall, Missouri put on a show on bars to overtake Iowa and stay within striking distance of Michigan and UCLA heading into their final (and best) two events.
Not the best beam rotation for Iowa. Nothing disastrous, but they are definitely playing catch-up at this point. I told you those extra tenths on bars would come in handy!
Round Three: Michigan vault, UCLA bars, Missouri beam, Iowa floor
Wojcik (Michigan): Vey nice and high Y 1.5 with a hop forward. 9.875
Heiskell (Michigan): Another strong Y 1.5, this time with a small hop back. 9.850
Morrison (Michigan): HIGH Y 1.5 with a small hop forward. Looks like she dropped out of the sky. 9.900
Brooks (Michigan): Basically perfect Y 1.5, stuck. 9.975
Wilson (Michigan): Another basically perfect Y 1.5, stuck. 10.000
Guggino (Michigan): Overrotates her Y 1.5 and stumbles forward. 9.550 but Michigan still goes 49.600.
Campbell (UCLA): A bit shy on her low bar handstand, overcompensates on high bar and nearly goes over. Blind change to double front with a hop. 9.825
Esparza (UCLA): Pretty Pak and a lovely VL. Stick straight DLO with a small hop. 9.875
Padurariu (UCLA): Blind change to piked Tkatchev. Got hung up on her squat on and had to swim. Lovely full pirouette to double tuck with a little hop. 9.800
Malabuyo (UCLA): Good Pak, fell out of her half pirouette. Straight DLO just a bit underrotated and takes a hop back. 9.850
Chiles (UCLA): Piked Tkatchev to Pak, good. Bir of leg sep on her Maloney back swing. Close regrasp on her Gienger. Perfect FTDT. 9.950
Flatley (UCLA): Blind change to straddled Jaeger, great. Picture perfect DLO, a minor hop back, I think? 9.900
Marshall (Mizz): Front toss to bhs, excellent. Split jump to switch side, perfect positions on both. Bhs to a floaty gainer full, tsuck. 9.825
McCrary (Mizz): Really nice front toss. Bhs loso, super deliberate and tighter form. Again, very deliberate on her straddle 3/4. Side aerial to a tucked 1.5 with a small hop. 9.800
Schaffer (Mizz): Bhs bhs loso, slight softness, but very steady. Front aerial, no problems. Switch leap series, good. Back 1.5 with a hop forward. 9.850
Sheremeta (Mizz): Beat to straddle, nice. Bhs loso, no problems today. Split jump to double stag, excellent. Front aerial, lovely. Full turn with a free leg. Tucked gainer full, stuck. What a turnaround from Thursday! 9.900
Hu (Mizz): Beautiful handstand mount. Y full turn, completely fluid. Front aerial to bhs, slow and intentional. Front aerial to scale to needle scale, gorgeous. Excellent position on her leaps. Bhs gainer full with a step forward. 9.825… Um, for what?
Schreiber (Mizz): Nails her bhs loso loso. Switch half to split jump, flawless. Beat jump to stuck side gainer full. I really don’t know what else she could’ve done, that was phenomenal. Crowd’s cheering 10 and I agree. 9.950, boooo.
Killian (Iowa): Strong opening triple twist with some leg form. Very good double tuck to finish. 9.825
Greenwald (Iowa): Well-done half in half out with a minor foot slide. Very clean Popa series, really emphasized the landings. 9.850
Kenlin (Iowa): Back 2.5 slightly underrotated. 9.900
Kaji (Iowa): Nails her opening triple full. Slightly underrotated double pike, step forward but she sells it. Switch half to switch full, good position. 9.825
There’s a hold-up on floor, not sure what the issue is.
Henderson (Iowa): Big, open FTDT with a significant slide back. Front through to double tuck, fabulous and stuck. 9.900
Guerin (Iowa): Opens up and kicks out her FTDT, just amazing. Awesome height and position on her Popa series. Front tuck through to double tuck, excellent landing. 9.950
AFTER THREE ROTATIONS: Michigan 148.275, UCLA 148.275, Missouri 147.850, Iowa 147.725
So, this is still pretty darn close heading into the final rotation. Michigan and UCLA have a comfortable shared lead, but not enough buffer to absorb any falls (and both had falls on these events yesterday).
Iowa is good on vault, but really doesn’t have the start values to challenge either top team even with a hit. Missouri on floor is interesting, though… The way scores have been going, they could theoretically challenge either team with a lights out rotation. If either the Bruins or Wolverines are subpar, the Tigers could absolutely swoop in.
Round Four: Iowa vault, Michigan bars, UCLA beam, Missouri floor
ull with a bit of hip angle and a hop back.
Zivat (Iowa): EXCELLENT Tsuk full, slightest pike down but stuck.
Guerin (Iowa): High, floaty Y full with a minor hop back.
Henderson (Iowa): Very similiar to Guerin’s Y full.
Heiskell (Michigan): Full pirouette to double tuck with a little hop.
Brenner (Michigan): Blind change to straddled Jaeger to bail, very fluid. Little shy on her last handstand. DLO basically stuck.
Morrison (Michigan): Gienger very pretty in the air but a little close. Good DLO with a hop.
Brooks (Michigan): Piked Tkatchev, beautifully done. FTDL was one of her best, stuck.
Wojcik (Michigan): Very precise handstands throughout. MASSIVE wild Deltchev. DLO stuck. That should do it for Michigan.
Padurariu (UCLA): Side aerial to bhs, lovely. Pretty position and good height on her leap. Very crooked on her full dismount and a step.
Chiles (UCLA): Front aerial with a little hip check to bhs. Split jump to straddle to wolf jump, nice positions on all three. Leg up check after her Side aerial. Double pike with chest down and a big hop back.
Esparza (UCLA): Overrotates her full turn. Bhs loso, nice. Very shy on her switch half.
OK, remember what I said about the Bruins opening the door?
Campbell (UCLA): Bhs loso, really nice extension and a hint of a should adjustment. Very slow connecting her leaps. Side gainer full with chest down and a college stick.
Sakti (UCLA): Switch split to bhs loso with a small hip check. Switch half to beat, solid. Full turn, no issue. Side aerial to full with a hop back.
Malabuyo (UCLA): Bhs loso with softish knees and a little hip lean. Front aerial to beat, great control. Split jump to ring, a bit shy on the latter. Side aerial loso to full, a little off center.
Schreiber (Mizz): Excellent full to back lay to front tuck to double stag. Front full to loso, great. Switch full to switch half, very nice. 9.900
Schaffer (Mizz): Back double twist to loso, great. Hit 180 on her switch half but not quite at horizontal. Well-controlled double tuck to end.
Sheremeta (Mizz): Back double full, gorgeous. Back 1.5 to loso, stayed in the air forever. Front full to front loso, a little adjustment on the landing.
McCrary (Mizz): Front lay to a supurbly controlled Rudi. Very clean double pike. Switch side to Popa, good height. Back 2.5 just a hair under and lunges back, but a great routine.
Moore (Mizz): NAILED her DLO. Switch half to Popa series that you could have walked under. Front tuck through to a stuck double tuck. MIZZOU WANTS IT!
Celestine (Mizz): Huge FTDT, minor front foot adjustment. Back 1.5 to a floaty front lay. Absolutely fantastic switch half to switch full. Drilled her double tuck. That was fantastic. Missouri is back by half a tenth of UCLA with a 9.850 to drop. My heart is pounding… OH MY GOD, THE TIGERS DID IT! MISSOURI JUST EDGED OUT THE BRUINS BY A QUARTER TENTH!
AFTER FOUR ROTATIONS: Michigan 197.800, Missouri 197.425, UCLA 197.400, Iowa 197.075
I am literally shaking trying to type this. What incredible performances from all four teams today! Make no mistake, Missouri earned this berth. It looks every inch a top eight team.
Michigan fans are cheering for Amari Celestine, who’s happy crying. There are a lot of happy tears from the Tigers.
And hats off to the Bruins. This year has been unimaginably difficult for them, and the athletes have handled it with absolute grace and fearlessness. Looking forward to great things from that crew.
Iowa saved its best performance for last, closing out the season with a season high. They kept pace with three tough teams.
And what is there to say about Michigan? Just the consummate clutch team. They’re a joy to watch.
So this means Flatley will advance in the individual all around spot, Kiya Johnson on vault, Jordan Chiles on bars and floor, and Adeline Kenlin on beam.
Live blog by Claire Billman
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