This is the marquee meet of Week 1. With two Olympians and the three most recent national champion teams in one meet, what more could you want?
The wildcard here is UCLA. Nobody knows what to expect from the Bruins this year, as a new coach, the No. 1 freshman in the country, and a mysterious injury outlook compound the question of how a team bounces back from a season as challenging and emotional as the Bruins had in 2022. The talent on UCLA’s roster is immense, and an upset over any of the other three teams here is possible—but it won’t be a disappointment if there are hiccups instead. It’s OK if putting the pieces together takes some time.
Auburn is looking to prove it belongs with the best teams in the country after charging through the 2022 season and ultimately qualifying to the national final. There’s little chance of a sophomore slump with Suni Lee still at the reins, but how consistent can the Tigers be this year—and what on earth is Lee going to compete on bars?
For Michigan it’s all about the veterans, with 16 of 24 routines in the Wolverines’ projected lineups coming from seniors or fifth-years and just one from an underclassman. This is essentially the same team that won the national championship in 2021, and this is the last year Michigan will get to enjoy these familiar lineups. Starting the season hot didn’t work out in 2022—is there a new plan this year?
Oklahoma, meanwhile, is a heavy favorite to win this meet and to lead the field all season. We’ll be watching the Sooners’ lineups to see where freshmen Faith Torrez and Ava Siegfeldt fit in, as well as how many 10.0 SV vaults the Sooners will be showing to open 2023.
Rotation 1: Oklahoma VT, Auburn UB, Michigan BB, UCLA FX
Stern (OU): A little lock-legged on her one and a half, awkward step back. 9.8
Morrison (UM): Candle mount good, BHS LOSO with a big check. Cat leap switch half, adjustment. One and a half twist drilled, by far the most decisive part of the routine. 9.7
McLaughlin (AU): Following a 9.85 from Hollingsworth, which is great. Maloney, a little loose-legged, to nice Pak. Half piro on the low bar, blind full double back stuck-ish. A little soft in the back in both pirouettes. 9.85 again.
Sievers (OU): Great one and a half, controlled pace forward. 9.875
Malabuyo (UCLA): Double tuck, overrotated and substantial scoot but safely in bounds. One and a half front lay also has a bit of extra oomph but dances out of that one fine. Switch ring switch half is lovely. Another scoot back on her double pike, heel on the line that time. Podium really giving her some kick. 9.9 okaaaay.
Bowers (OU): One and a half, essentially stuck. I’d need a slow-mo to tell for SURE if there was any foot movement beyond pulling heels together but I don’t think so. 9.975, fine with that.
Harris (UCLA): Great control on her full in. Little foot scooch on the double tuck but it’s tiny, tour jete half Popa is lovely. Great energy, this is her hometown and she looks like she’s having a blast. One and a half to Barani, little bit of leg form there and slightly awkward landing but no biggie. Great debut! 9.9
Speaking of debuts, Faith Torrez was rostered for the AA but was pulled from vault last second in favor of Danae Fletcher. Oh well.
Lee (AU): Blind to Jaeger to Pak to Maloney to Gienger. I didn’t see anything to deduct on that. Giant full maybe a SMIDGE late to double tuck, small arm adjustment to hang onto the stick. Probably not a 10 today but CLOSE and it’ll happen soon. 9.95
Frazier (UCLA): Whip to double tuck, rebounds back and one foot goes out. Tour jete half Popa Popa is actually overrotated, got a little of the old death drop choreo in here. Double pike is an ankle stinger, big lunge forward on that. 9.5
Heiskell (UM): Following a fall from Brooks. Cat leap side aerial, check. Switch switch, check. This whole lineup is NERVY today. BHS LOSO steady. One and a half twist stuck. Needed to hit and she did, but won’t be a big number either. 9.825
Chiles (UCLA): Double layout, rebounds and narrowly stays in bounds. Front through double back a little fidgety, tour jete half wolf full with flexed front feet. Great double pike. 9.875
Wojcik (UM): Front aerial, check. Good switch to split. BHS BHS LOSO is off line, moves through with very little drama. One and a half stuck. 9.85
Campbell (UCLA): Full in a smidge short, lunge goes forward. Lovely leap extension, front lay front full well controlled. Another great lunge on the double tuck. 9.95
After 1: Oklahoma 49.425, Auburn 49.400, UCLA 49.400, Michigan 48.875
Advantage… everyone but Michigan, really. That was a super, super flashy rotation.
Rotation 2: UCLA VT, OU UB, AU BB, UM FX
Sievers (OU): Maloney to Pak, lovely and patient, A little hairy on the low bar half pirouette, FTDB stuck absolutely D E A D. 9.875
Anyimi (UCLA): Closed shoulders on the table, piked throughout on her FTY, big hop back. 9.775
Brusch (AU): Full turn, front aerial to split with a check. BHS LOSO solid. Switch to straddle quarter, gainer full off the side stuck. 9.8
Lee (UCLA): Nice open FTY, small hop back. 9.85
Campbell (UCLA): Her usual FTY, in the rafters, close to stuck if not actually. 9.925
Smith (OU): Solid Ray, a little arch in her back as she catches it, toe on to bail is smooth. Double lay with a hop. 9.85
Harris (UCLA): One and a half great, super high, medium hop forward. 9.9
Groth (AU): Not a great start for Auburn here, she’s got work to do. BHS LOSO BHS, great and she looks thrilled. Switch, bails out of the series. Switch half to split. Think she’s fine now. Full turn, side aerial, gainer pike stuck. Very very good.
Chiles (UCLA): DTY, crossed legs and a medium hop back.
Davis (OU): Lovely through the invert to Jaeger, Pak, perfect half turn on the low bar. Blind to double front half out stuck. I mean, that could go 10. 9.95 booooooooooooo. It was immaculate.
Brooks (UM): Full in, nothing to take on the landing. Tour jete half split full, Laurie thinks the back leg was low but for NCAA I think it was close enough. Double back a little awkward. 9.95
Lee (AU): Has a 9.4 to drop. Double wolf tidy, split to stag I think, we’ve got an end on view so honestly who knows? Switch switch half, triple series, ice cold so far. Gainer tuck full stuck. 10, honestly that’s fine.
Wilson (UM): Half in half out, great landing again. Front full front lay MAYBE a little deep, works out of it fine. Switch side Popa huge as usual, double back with a major rebound back. Commentators THINK she was in bounds.
After 2: Oklahoma 98.875, UCLA 98.775, Auburn 98.550, Michigan 98.400
Scores are really starting to fly now. And none for Audrey Davis bye.
Nobody has really had a good time on beam now. Is Oklahoma the team to change that?
Rotation 3: UM VT, UCLA UB, OU BB, AU FX
Wojcik (UM): Stuck FTY. Oh, okay. 9.825
Campbell (UCLA): Maloney to bail, little bits of feet, making the handstands. Blind to double front stuck. Niiiiice start for the Bruins. 9.825
Guggino (UM): One and a half, her usual, hangs onto the landing for a second and then hops back to salute. 9.85
Siegfeldt (OU): BHS LOSO, teeeensy lean, Laurie is in awe of her form. Cat leap front aerial. Beat to ring jump. First routine out there and she just looks like such a Sooner. BHS gainer full stuck. Could go big. 9.925!
Brooks (UM): One and a half stuck! Feet pretty far apart, but super emphatic landing. 9.95
Harris (UCLA): Arches the first handstand a bit, great Ray. Solid bail, almost over on another handstand but holds it, double lay stuck. 9.9
Bowers (OU): Full turn, BHS LOSO super clean. Switch half steady again. Double full dismount, TINY TINIEST BABY STEP EVER, it was literally millimeters. 9.925 should be good to keep her in the AA.
Chiles (UCLA): Piked Tkachev to Pak, Maloney to Gienger, clean so far. FTDB with a hop back. 9.975 okay no.
Lee (AU): Double layout, I suspect the front foot moved but it wasn’t really on screen so I couldn’t tell you for sure. One and a half front full with a hop forward. 9.9
Frazier (UCLA): Shy on the first handstand, Maloney to Pak pretty good, a little leg sep early. Short on the low bar pirouette, double layout stuck. 9.95 the judges just love the Bruins today.
Torrez (OU): So happy to finally see her. Orphan wolf jump… okay! Slay! Side aerial LOSO aggressive and rock solid. Great full turn, switch switch half felt a little off line but she avoided a check. Double tuck with a pace back. 9.9
Gobourne (AU): Open double back, step with the front foot. Switch side wolf full also a little wonky on the landing, front full front lay shuffly. Awkward double pike, didn’t really get any of the landings today but still very solid. 9.9
Smith (OU): BHS LOSO steady. Front aerial, no movement, solid leaps, gainer full and leans forward on her toes. 9.875
After 3: Oklahoma 148.400, UCLA 148.275, Auburn 147.850, Michigan 147.800
The energy in this arena is so high, and the judges are feeling it too. One to go, with the leader heading to the day’s highest-scoring event.
Rotation 4: AU VT, UM UB, UCLA BB, OU FX
Lee (UCLA): BHS LOSO steady. Switch… fumbles for the connection… adds a wolf jump to make sure she has a leap series. Front aerial, tentative, gainer full dismount is good. 9.4, SV issue, they might not have liked that leap series. It was slow.
Hollingsworth (AU): FTY, nice and straight, hop back.
Davis (OU): Front double full a little messy as usual but landed well, clean leaps. One and a half front full, some leg form again.
Campbell (UCLA): Has had to wait through a long judging delay. BHS LOSO solid. Side aerial, medium check. Split lep to switch half to beat, not sure about the splits, cartwheel gainer full with a hop back. 9.65
Lee (AU): Half on half off tucked with a little hop back. Actually super clean in the air, especially compared to uhhh others we’ve seen. 9.9
Chiles (UCLA): Triple series steady, switch to wolf and I didn’t love that split. Full turn, side aerial a little off but no check, double pike stuck.
Smith (OU): Solid double tuck, this music is weiiiird. One and a half front lay, a little stumble back. Double pike underrotated, lunge goes forward.
Brooks (UM): Blind to pike Jaeger great, I think she missed a handstand, bail a little arched but no drama. FTDLO stuck dead WOW.
Wojcik (UM): Missed the first handstand, toe on to Deltchev to overshoot good. Double layout with a right foot fidget. 9.975 okay
Harris (UCLA): BHS LOSO BHS, a little form. Switch to split. Little adjustment on the side aerial. One and a half floaty, big hop back. 9.8
Bowers (OU): Huge double pike, great landing. Front double full front tuck is bouncy, weird timing in that pass. 9.9
Malabuyo (UCLA): 9.3 to drop. BHS LOSO, check, front aerial to beat is nice. Split to ring, not sure if the front leg got high enough. BHS gainer full, hop back. 9.9
FINAL: Oklahoma 197.925, Michigan 197.400, Auburn 197.350, UCLA 197.275
Turned out to be exactly ranking order! That’s a heck of a road score for OU to get on the board in week one. Great meet from everybody, but extra attention will understandably go to UCLA, who needed this so bad.
GREAT meet from the freshmen. 9.95 on floor there for Faith Torrez which we didn’t see but good for her anyway. 39.5 AA from Selena Harris!
VT: Jordan Bowers 9.975
UB: Natalie Wojcik, Jordan Chiles 9.975
BB: Suni Lee 10.000
FX: Faith Torrez, Sierra Brooks, Chae Campbell 9.950
AA: Suni Lee 39.750
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