LIVE BLOG: NCAA Nationals Semifinal One

Folks, we’ve made it to the big dance. Emily M here, reporting from Dickies Arena. This early session features Oklahoma, Utah, Alabama and Minnesota. If you’re looking at that list of teams and thinking yikes only two get to advance to the team final on Saturday, same.

While Oklahoma is a clear step ahead of Utah, Alabama and Minnesota, this one shouldn’t be without drama. The Crimson Tide looked sharp at regionals even with Luisa Blanco limited, and has more 9.9-capable depth than any other team in the country. That said, it’s hard to look at the Utes’ beam rotation with back-to-back walkoff 10s—including maybe the calmest pressure set beam routine we’ve seen all season from Maile O’Keefe—and not see Utah advancing. In good news for Tom Farden’s crew, Utah will end on beam again here.

Minnesota, on the other hand, has to start on beam, the event that has been its biggest headache this season. If the Gophers get through rotation one and are hanging with the pack, they’ll be on a good path to push for an upset. Plus, the last routine they’ll show today is Lexy Ramler’s bar set, which is pretty poetic and exactly the way you want to close a semifinal.

In more good news for the Utes, we’re likely to see Abby Paulson on more than just floor today. For the Sooners, Olivia Trautman is expected back on bars.

Lights just went down in Dickie’s Arena and the OU intro is up first on the jumbotron. Let’s goooooooo!

Ooo this was my first time seeing this year’s Alabama intro, it has some swag! Little glimpse at those shiny rings in there.

The Sooners are dancing to every team’s intro music. They are HYPE.

Rotation 1: OU vault, UA bars, Minn. beam, UU floor

Jade Carey just absolutely drilled her DTY in one touch.

Stern (OU): Y1.5, NAILED.

Gaskins (UA): Maloney good. Stuck DLO.

Koch (Minn): Form on her series. Little hop on her Liukin landing. Stuck RO 1.5.

Paulson (UU): Good combo pass to start. Strong final landing, really sold it.

Levasseur (OU): Y1.5, short, several quick running steps back.

Wow judging is SLOWWWWWW. Every event is waiting.

Waligora (UA): Blind to Jaeger, huge and good catch, immediate bail. Great handstand. FTDL, small hop.

Gerdes (Minn): Clean front aerial. Bhs loso, small check. Chest low on dismount.

Gilstrap (UU):Huge double tuck, little foot lift on the lunge. Just gorgeous leap work and artistry.

Bowers (OU): Y1.5, hip angle soft knees, but good landing.

Hudson (UA): Toe hand to Maloney, leg sep on release. Touch short on bail hand. Blind full late double tuck stuck.

Sonier (Minn): Bhs loso, small check, raised front foot. Small chest error on her leaps.

Rucker (UU): Clean full-in, took a small lunge to not step out. Excellent landing on combo pass.

Sivers (OU): Y1.5, step forward.

Machado (UA): Maloney, clean to pak, caught a little closed-shouldered. Good van Leeuwen. Small hop on disount.

Loper (Minn): Switch to straddle 1/4, dropped chest a bit. RO 1.5, holds the stick.

McCallum (UU): Usual feet on her full-in, great otherwise. Front lay rudi was clean, if a little low on the rudi.

Trautman (OU): Y1.5, soft knees on the last half and a hop forward.

Doggette (UA): Big Tkatchev, missed the rest, big cheers!

Nylin (Minn): Little overrotation on her full turn. Clean series.

O’Keefe (UU): Double tuck, slid back in her lunge. Short on her tour jete full. RO 3/5 1/1 was great.

Davis (OU): FTY, small hop back.

Carey (OSU, VT): DTY, flared it, small hop.

Blanco (UA): Maloney, stellar form, caught a little closed on the Pak. Great handstands here. FTDB, small hop.

Shaffer (Ark, UB): Toe hand to Maloney, great form all the way through her toes, good bail hand to vertical. DLO stuck. STUNNING routine.

Ramler (Minn): Clean bhs loso. No problems on front aerial beat. Ring jump, solid. Stuck dismount.

Soloski (UU): DLO, little off balance on the landing leaning back but sold it. Good on the combo pass. RO 3/2 front lay absolutely floated, great.

Linton (Ariz., BB): Wolf turn double, little check. Bhs bhs loso, small foot adjustment. Stuck side aerial full.

Hambrick (Ark. FX): Big double tuck, drops the landing right in. Little off on the loso takeoff out of her rudi, it was a little wonky and she’ll have a shape deduction there, but she pulled it around and landed well considering. Double pike, deep in her knees and a little forward.

AFTER 1: Utah 49.475, Oklahoma 49.350, Alabama 49.200, Minnesota 48.975

Little tough start for the Gophers, but the rockiest event is out of the way. Oklahoma and Alabama are going to be in a battle it seems, and the Utes really pulled out to a great lead after some truly dynamic floor work. Scoring is a little generous but I’m not furious (yet).

Rotation 2: UU vault, OU bars, UA beam, Minn. floor

O’Keefe (UU): Yfull, flared, big block, hop.

Sievers (OU): Great pak. Late half on the low bar. FTDB stuck.

Burgess (UA): Beat to huge switch side, really pretty. Switch to beat, again, solid and pretty. Stuck dismount.

Koch (Minn): Only caught her last pass, great landing.

Stanhope (UU): Y1.5, medium hop forward.

Levausseur (OU): Toe hand to Tkatchev, great form. Stellar bail hand. Handstands are excellent. DLO stuck.

Olsen (UA): Pretty switch half. Bhs loso, big check, leg up. Hop forward on the double pike.

Gerdes (Minn): Front through double tuck, good. Clean leaps. Double pike, good landing.

Rucker (UU): Y1.5 SO HIGH stuck, just soft knees.

Trautman (OU): NAILED DLO, good to see her back here.

Graber (UA): Bhs lay two feet, great. Cat to Liukin small bobble. Stuck gainer.

Smith (OU): Little jerky on her pak catch. DLO hop.

Adams (UA): Check on bhs loso.

Ramler (Minn): Twisting combo pass very clean. Good last landing.

Burch (UU): Y1.5, stuck cold.

Bowers (OU): Stuck FTDB, OU is on a roll with landings.

Hudson (UA): Some leg form on her series. Underdid her dismount and almost sat? Maybe did sit:?

Loper (Minn): RO 3/2 to front lay was a little low but landed well.

McCallum (UU): Little hop, cleaner than sometimes.

Davis (OU): Hect mount. Great snappy handstand. Her usual massive pike Jaeger. Good pak. Double front half out stuck, stunning.

Blanco (UA): Bhs loso loso, small check. Stuck dismoutnt.

Carey (OSU, UB): Maloney, some leg sep, Bhardwaj good. FTDB, stuck.

Remlinger (Minn): Full-in, good landing. Double tuck, another good landing. Solid routine.

Hall (UU): Y1.5, hop forward, little low.

Hambrick (Ark, VT): HUGE Y1.5, off balance to the side a bit. Biggest vault of the rotation.

Hooten (Minn): Full-in, emphasized the landing. Great leaps. Clean combo pass. Minnesota doing the fist with her at that part, amazing. HIGH double tuck, great landing. FOLKS.

Schulte (MSU, BB): Switch to switch half, nailed. Clean bhs loso. Side aerial full stuck.

Mack (Ill. St. FX): Low chest on her pike full-in. Front through double tuck, great landing on that one. Oh she is SHOWING this ending off, excellent!

AFTER 2: Oklahoma 98.925, Utah 98.900 Alabama 98.525, Minnesota 98.475

PHEW the Sooners are FIRE on bars, really used those landings to steal back the lead from Utah!

Rotation 3: Minn. vault, UU bars, OU beam, UA floor

Gerdes (Minn.): Yfull, great landing.

Sorry folks, WordPress siezed up on me, missed Dunn and Morgan!

Morgan (UU):

Dunn (OU):

Olsen (UA): Stuck last double pike.

Ramler (Minn.): Y1.5, soft knees and a hop.

Trautman (OU): Clean series. Littliest of checks on her pike front toss. Stuck-ish dismount, leaned into her salute some.

Waligora (UA): L full turn, pretty. Front lay front 2/1, low on the lay.

Hooten (Minn.): Y1.5, hop forward.

McCallum (UU): Maloney good to pak, clean catch. PATIENT handstands. FTDB, slung it out pretty far, medium step forward.

Levasseur (OU): Such pretty work on her needle scale.

Gaskins (UA): Front through SUPER high double tuck, good landing.

Quarles (Minn.): Y1.5, big step forward.

Paulson (UU): Good last handstand. Blind full double tuck small hop.

Davis (OU): Really lovely calm work. Small hop on her double full, some leg form.

Machado (UA): Good double pike to start, dances right out of her combo pass. Clean last lunge.

Thompson (UU): Little far on her pak catch, JUST got her Geinger. Stuck dismount.

Woodard (OU): Pretty side aerial bhs. Front toss to beat good. Pretty scale work. Side aerial full stuck.

Hudson (UA): Great landing to start. Clean through her leaps. 5/2 was a tiny bit uncontrolled on the landing.

Koch (Minn.): Tuck Y1.5, step.

Townes (UIUC, VT): Y1.5, soft knees, small hop.

O’Keefe (UU): Late on her low bar half pirouette. Stuck double Arabian.

Hambrick (Ark, UB): Blind to pike Jaeger immediate bail, clean throughout. FTDB, slightly off balance but holds the stick.

Smith (OU): Bhs loso solid. Front aerial, no problems. HUGE straddle half to bhs swingdown. Bhs gainer full stuck. Great!

Isa (UU): Good Ray, Little off balance on her bail hand. Got a bit stuck on her blind full, big hop.

Graber (UA): BIG Full-in, landing looked clean. Her music is BOOMING and all eyes are on her while beam waits for judges. Chest bit low on double pike.

Bryant (Stan., FX): This routine is so dynamic in person! Little foot bobble on her full-in, but didn’t need to lunge. Front through double pike, picked her front foot up but worked it right into choreo. Wow, what a way for her to end her career. Huge cheers.

Carey (OSU, BB): Check on her front aerial. Resets for clean bhs loso. Stuck gainer full off the side.

AFTER 3: OU 148.4375, UU 148.1125, UA 147.9795, Minn. 147.725

The Sooners are pulling away, but Utah is about to head to beam. It’s still anyone’s meet, and Alabama is not by any means out of the running to advance to finals. This one is a nail-biter!

Rotation 4: UA vault, Minn. bars, UU beam, OU floor

Olsen (UA): DTY, just a small step.

Remlinger (Minn): Big Tkatchev, form. Bail hand, good. FTDB small step.

Morgan (UU): Bhs loso, some form issues but solid. Stuck dismount.

Johnson (OU): Front lay rudi, little off line on the rudi. Nailed second pass.

Quinn (UA): Y1.5, step back.

Hooten (Minn): Short handstand. Blind to pike Jaeger bail, good throughout.

McCallum (UU): She’s back on beam! Bhs loso, foot form but solid.

Woodard (OU): Punch 2/1, little twisty form but good landing. Cleaner second pass.

Paradise (UA): Y1.5, messy on the table, big step forward.

Willmarth (Minn): Precise handstads. Great bail hand. Blind full double tuck stuck, excellent!

Paulson (UU): Side aerial bhs, just dropped a shoulder a tiny bit. Stuck dismount.

Fletcher (OU): Whip to double tuck, foot form but great landing. HUGE switch half leap series, really lovely. Great landing on her last pass. OU fans are getting ROWDY they can taste the final.

Hudson (UA): Y1.5, major steps on her landing, came in short.

Loper (Minn): Pretty Maloney to pak. Suck dismount.

Isa (UU): Beat to Straddle 1/4 tiny shoulder check. Bhs gainer full stuck.

Sievers (OU): Good landing on her double tuck

Blanco (UA): Y1.5 pretty in the air, big distance, hop.

Sales (Minn): Blind to Markelov, clean, gasp from the crowd. Ah, and she falls.

Eaker (UU): Cat to side aerial tuck full stuck.

Bowers (OU): HUGE double pike, good lunge. Combo pass got a little wild, went a good bit off line. Stayed on her feet but it’ll be a directional deduction.

Griswold (LU, VT): She waited ALL DAY to do this vault. SO BIG on her Y1.5 but sits it. Tried too hard for that stick!

Ramler (Minn): Likely Ramler’s last-ever routine. Savor the moment, gym fans. Naturally we’ll have a judging conference first! Long long wait, oy ve. Here we go! Maloney to Pak, lovely. Clean van Leeuwen. Toe hand FTDB stuck cold. Are you crying yet?

O’Keefe (UU): Little bobble on her bhs loso. Pretty leaps, no issues. Cat to slide aerial full stuck.

Smith (OU): Clean double tuck. Floaty great combo pass. Double pike, good landing.

Hambrick (Ark, BB): Bhs loso, foot form but steady. Switch to switch half, good. Stuck dismount.

Takekawa (UIUC, UB): Blind to pike Jaeger, clean. Bail hand, good position on the catch. Short last handstand. DLO stuck.

Carey (OSU, FX): Double double, too much juice and leans back in her lunge. Clean on her double tuck landing.

FINAL: OU 198.1125, UU 197.7125, Minn. 197.1125, 197.100

Semifinal 1 event winners:

VT: Rucker 9.9625
UB: Davis, Carey, Ramler 9.950
BB: Ramler, Blanco, Paulson, Eaker, O’Keefe
FX: Bowers 9.9625
AA: Carey 39.650

Live blog by Emily Minehart

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