It’s finally competition season! With all of the excitement surrounding the Super 16 Invitational in Las Vegas this weekend, it can be easy to forget about all of the awesome dual meets that are scheduled. This one is certainly one to watch. Both of these teams arguably fell short of expectations at the end of 2022, with Arkansas missing nationals and Nebraska missing regionals. But both teams have added some new faces, and we’ll have to see if they can step up to the plate.
It’s no secret that the Razorbacks struggled on bars in 2022, and luckily the team is bringing in a solid group of freshmen that should be able to help. You can expect level 10 standouts Cally Swaney, Jaime Pratt and Reese Drotar to earn spots in the bar lineup at some point this season, whether it’s today or down the road. But you should expect to see UCLA fifth-year transfer Norah Flatley on bars today. Flatley is the picture of consistency on this event, and that’s exactly what Arkansas needs.
As for Nebraska, a solid group of newcomers is also coming in. The freshman class, led by Hungarian national team member Csenge Bácskay, along with BYU junior transfer Sophia McClelland should take up a decent number of spots in the lineup. Nebraska has some improvements to make if it wants to make regionals this year, and that all starts today.
ROTATION ONE: NEBRASKA VAULT, ARKANSAS BARS
McClelland (Neb): Yurchenko full with nice height and distance, just takes a pretty bouncy hop to the side. 9.75
Swaney (Ark): Starts on the high bar, does a toe handstand to a pretty Ray. Next she does a Pak, just a small foot separation. Hits her last handstand and takes a small hop on the double layout dismount. 9.775
Kuenemann (Neb): Yurchenko full. Has a slight pike position at the end and takes a hop in place on the landing. 9.775
Drotar (Ark): Starts off with a Shaposh with great form. Nice shootover, then nails her last handstand going into a double layout dismount. Gorgeous lines through the whole routine. 9.8
Hall (Neb): Yurchenko full, she takes a pretty decent sized hop backwards. 9.675
Scalzo (Ark): Starts off on the high bar. Great first handstand into a super high Jaeger that she immediately connects to a bail. Hits that last handstand, she takes her double layout dismount out a little far and takes a tiny hop. 9.85
Davis (Neb): Yurchenko full. She had some bent knees throughout and took a small hop on the landing. 9.7
Pratt (Ark): Immediately starts with a nice Ray. A little bit archy on the handstand into her shootover. She does a toe Hecht up to the high bar, then finishes with a double layout with a small hop. 9.775
Spence (Neb): Ooh a Yurchenko 1.5! She also has some knee bend throughout and takes a small hop forwards. 9.8
Hambrick (Ark): Great first handstand. Her piked Jaeger was way too close and she had to bend her legs which caused a break in the momentum. Her bail was also a little wonky. She finished strong with a nice full in dismount. 8.6
Comin (Neb): Nice Yurchenko 1.5. Better leg form than the previous vault, and a lot more distance too. 9.825
Flatley (Ark): Starts off with a beautiful handstand into her straddled Jaeger. Awesome shootover, right to handstand. Finishes up with a perfectly stuck double layout dismount. 9.9
The first rotation was pretty good for both teams, even with Hambrick’s shaky bar routine. Nebraska showed a lot of amplitude in their vaults, and Arkansas’ freshmen looked like veterans out there!
AFTER ONE: Arkansas 49.1, Nebraska 48.85
ROTATION TWO: ARKANSAS VAULT, NEBRASKA BARS
Kelley (Ark): Yurchenko full, pikes down a little bit and takes a hop in place. 9.725
McClelland (Neb): Starts on the high bar with a blind into a super high Jaeger. Nice shootover, a little short on the handstand. Hits her final handstand, then does a double layout dismount with a little bit of a pike at the end. 9.65.
Weaver (Ark): Yurchenko full, nice amplitude and a good straight body. Takes a hop in place on the landing. 9.85
Gibson (Neb): Great first handstand into her Shaposh. Connects the Shaposh to a Pak down to the low bar. A little bit short on her last handstand, then finishes with a double layout with a big step forwards. 9.475.
Flatley (Ark): Nice Yurchenko full with a tiny hop at the end. Does a great job keeping her body straight. 9.85
Bacskay (Neb): Starts with a Pak down to the low bar, lots of bent knees. I believe she did a Shaposh back up to the high bar. Her double layout was pretty archy and also had some issues with the knees. 9.6
Price (Ark): Great amplitude and distance on the Yurchenko full, but took a pretty big hop backwards. 9.675
Spence (Neb): Nice Shaposh to start the routine, then she does a super floaty Pak. Van Leeuwen back up to the high bar with great form in the legs. Her dismount is a full in and she sticks it! 9.825
Smith (Ark): Really high Yurchenko full. She also takes a decent sized hop back. 9.725
Colombo (Neb): She does a super high piked Jaeger to start off. Next is a Pak with a tiny bit of foot separation. She finishes up with front giants into a double front half out dismount. She takes the tiniest step backward. 9.775
Williams (Ark): A Yurchenko 1.5 to anchor! She has some slight bent knees, and she takes a step forward. 9.8
Davis (Neb): Gorgeous Shaposh to uprise to start off. She catches her Ray a little too close to the bar but keeps her momentum going. Goes back down to the low bar with a shootover. She finishes with a stuck double layout with some leg separation. 9.85
Well, Nebraska’s bar rotation was shaky to say the least. Lots of shaky dismounts that should improve as the season continues. Landings were also somewhat of a problem for Arkansas on vault, but they have great amplitude so the scores should be great when they focus on those landings.
AFTER TWO: Arkansas 98.05, Nebraska 97.55
ROTATION THREE: NEBRASKA BEAM, ARKANSAS FLOOR
Hall (Neb): Starts off with a solid flic lay. Nice front aerial. Beautiful split jump to a ring jump. Stuck roundoff 1.5 dismount but drops her chest a decent amount. Really solid leadoff routine! 9.8
Hickey (Ark): First pass is a really high double pike. Next she does a back 1.5 to front layout, nice control on the landing. Switch side to Popa was good. Finishes up with a double back. Stumbles back on the landing, I didn’t catch if she went out of bounds. 9.575
Gard (Neb): Nice flic lay to start off, just a little knee bend at the end. Split jump to split 3/4, could use a little bit more split. Solid side aerial. Ooh, she does a switch leap connected to a gainer pike dismount. I love the creativity! 9.8
Jones (Ark): Starts off with a front double twist with great form and a very controlled landing! Switch ring to switch half, looks like she stumbled a bit on the switch half. Second pass is a back 1.5 to a floaty front layout. Her last pass is a Rudi, her chest is a little low on the landing. 9.775
Bacskay (Neb): Her series is a flic flic lay, she has some bent knees in the layout. Nice switch leap to split jump. Finishes with a roundoff double twist dismount with a perfect stick! 9.75
Gamiao (Ark): Starts with a double pike, nice height and landing. She’s smiling and having lots of fun with the choreography. Next pass is a 1.5 through to a double twist, very controlled landing. Tour jete half to a full split jump. Finishes with a double tuck with a slightly low chest. 9.775
Colombo (Neb): First skill is a front aerial to double back handspring series. Really pretty but she falls. Good split jump to ring jump. Finishes with a cartwheel to 1.5 dismount with a small hop sideways. 9.0
Williams (Ark): Starts with a nice full twisting double back with a great landing. Next pass is a back 1.5 to front layout, again nice control. Nice switch side to Popa. Finishes with a nice high double back with great control. The team is going CRAZY. 9.875
Spence (Neb): Starts off with a solid double wolf turn. Next she does a front aerial to double back handspring series. She wobbles but saves it. Switch leap to beat jump is nice. And she sticks her roundoff 1.5 dismount! Great routine after a fall! 9.825
Smith (Ark): Ooh a piked full in to open the routine! Nice control on the landing. Switch side to Popa with good positions. Next she does a front tuck through to a double back, also pretty solid. 9.85
McClelland (Neb): Nice double wolf turn to start out. Solid cartwheel. Her series is a flic lay, no wobbles at all! I love how she brings the sass in her routine. Straddle jump, beat jump, ring jump connection. Finishes up with a back handspring to tuck 1.5 dismount with a stick! Awesome anchor routine. 9.9
Price (Ark): Opens with an awesome double layout! Another switch side to Popa with great positions. Nice back 1.5 to front pike. Finishes with a double pike that she opens up just a tad too early and takes a tiny hop forward. 9.875
Overall a pretty good third rotation! Both teams will easily be able to drop their low scores since everyone else hit solid routines. It was great to see some E passes from Arkansas, and Nebraska looked confident on beam.
AFTER THREE: Arkansas 147.2, Nebraska 146.6
ROTATION FOUR: ARKANSAS BEAM, NEBRASKA FLOOR
Gamiao (Ark): Starts the routine with a layout layout series with a decent sized wobble. Nice side sumi. Switch leap to split jump. Finishes with a stuck roundoff 1.5 dismount. 9.775
Hall (Neb): First pass is a super high double tuck with a great landing. Next is a good front handspring to Rudi. I believe she did a tour jete half, split full, wolf full. Finishes with a front layout to front full. 9.825
Williams (Ark): Starts with a flic lay. Nice switch leap to straddle quarter. Next she does a solid front aerial to beat jump. Her dismount is a roundoff 1.5, tiny step on her landing. 9.675
Piringer (Neb): First pass is a nice double tuck with a small shuffle backwards. Next is a back 1.5 to front layout, nice control throughout. Switch side to Popa with nice positions. Last pass is a double pike with a great landing. 9.825
Lovett (Ark): Starts with a front aerial with a tiny wobble, looks like it was supposed to be part of her series so she redoes it. Front aerial to back layout. Switch leap to split jump to beat jump is solid. Dismounts with a tucked gainer full with a stick! 9.8
Rourke (Neb): Front tuck through to double tuck to start out, good height and landing. Next pass is a double pike, she stumbles out of bounds. Switch half to Popa is solid. Finishes with a front layout to front full, she punched wrong on the layout so she fell on the full. 8.75
Hambrick (Ark): Solid flic lay to start out, nice form. Switch leap to switch half also looked good. Beat jump to straddle 3/4. Finishes with a stuck cartwheel to gainer full. Some wobbles but overall a good routine. 9.825
Spence (Neb): Starts off with a front tuck through to double tuck, very nice overall. Double wolf turn, she kind of falls out but tries to cover it with dance. Switch ring to I believe a tour jete half. Finishes with a great double pike! 9.875
Weaver (Ark): Really solid flic lay lay to start out. Super solid full turn, absolutely no wobbles. Switch leap to straddle jump, she was over 180 on the jump. Finishes with a roundoff 1.5 with a small hop forward. 9.825
McClelland (Neb): Starts with a front double twist with a decent sized jump forward, I can’t tell if she went out. Next is a great back 1.5 to front layout. Switch half to split full. Last pass is is a Rudi to stag jump with just a little too much power for her to control. 9.775
Flatley (Ark): Starts with a front aerial to flic lay series, which is gorgeous. Wobbles on her leg up full turn but saves it. Switch leap to split jump. Dismount is a back handspring to 1.5, maybe a bit of a college stick. 9.8
Comin (Neb): Starts with an awesome half in half out to a great landing. Tour jete half to split full I’m pretty sure. Finishes with a back 1.5 to front full, but she falls on the front full. 9.05
Unfortunately Nebraska has to count a fall on floor, which is obviously not what you want to see, but the rest of the routines showed some promising potential! As for Arkansas’ beam rotation, each athlete showed off some major confidence, which is great this early into the season.
FINAL: Arkansas 196.225, Nebraska 195
Overall it was a good starting point for both teams! I’m sure they’ll be looking to improve on landings and endurance on floor routines, but each team showed some good routines and great confidence!
Vault: Norah Flatley, Arkansas, 9.85
Bars: Norah Flatley, Arkansas, 9.9
Beam: Sophia McClelland, Nebraska, 9.9
Floor: Emma Spence, Nebraska, 9.9
All Around: Emma Spence, Nebraska, 39.325
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Live blog by Emily Lockard
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