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LIVE BLOG: Super 16 Session Three with No. 8 California, No. 18 Iowa, No. 22 BYU and No. 24 Arizona State

Session three of the inaugural Super 16 extravaganza features a quartet of ranked teams in what should be a rather competitive afternoon. California enters as a favorite, but all four teams are capable, and the battle for every place and event title will be exciting.

The Golden Bears finished just outside the top 10 in 2022 and have high expectations with a strong core of returnees and impact freshmen. Andi Li and Nevaeh DeSouza were all-around stalwarts last season and will be the backbone of most lineups while freshman eMjae Frazier brings in fresh power and difficulty to give California some highlight routines. This preseason, Frazier, the younger sister of UCLA standout Margzetta Frazier, has been training a Yurchenko double on vault, a Nabieva on bars, and E passes on floor.

All eyes will be on Hawkeye Adeline Kenlin after her runner-up performance on beam at the NCAA championships last season as she leads an Iowa squad with a lot of new faces. A lot of big names and lineup regulars departed, so newbies like transfers Haley Tyson and Ella Castellanos will be relied upon immediately. Jerquavia Henderson and her 10.0-threat floor routine are also back, as the senior will need to up her all-around game for Iowa to stay competitive in 2023.

BYU also lost a significant amount of its routines from last season, but as always, the Cougars have a deep roster to work with. Plus, a top 10 freshman class will help alleviate some of the star power lost, with the Courgars’ trio of former four-star recruits—Emily Wisehart, Kylie Eaquinto and Madison Raesly-Patton—all capable of making a difference.

After a ninth place finish and nearly making nationals in 2021, expectations for the Sun Devils have continually diminished despite retaining quite a few key players from that top 10 team. Gymnasts like Hannah Scharf, Emily White and Jada Mangahas have continued to produce promising results but haven’t gotten much star power and high-scoring to put them back into the nationals outlook. Alex Theodorou was a strong addition last season, and former four-star recruit Kimberly Smith could also help Arizona State get back on an upward trajectory.

Follow along this afternoon with live scores (switch to session 3) and streaming courtesy of BTN+ (with a replay set to air tomorrow, Sunday, Jan. 8, at 7 pm ET on the Big Ten Network).

Rotation 1: California Vault, Iowa Bars, Arizona State Beam, BYU Floor

Nick (Iowa): Jaeger, some knee issues, stream glitches-my apologies, dismounts double layout and sticks it. 9.750

Li (Cal): Yfull. Good form in the air, chest forward and down on the landing, hops forward. 9.725

Harper (ASU): Front toss, off to the side and falls, repeats into a BHS, full turn, smooth, cat leap to switch half, shy of 180 slightly, BHS gainer full, pikes it down and steps back. 9.225

DeSouza (Cal): Y1.5. Legs apart on the table, knees bent slightly in the air but gets the stick! 9.900

Reeves (ASU): Moving quickly to start, BHS BHS LOSO, steady, switch leap to split leap, easy, full turn, tiniest of bobbles, front aerial, RO 1.5, hops forward but solid overall. 9.825

Frazier (Cal): DTY! Good in the air but under-rotates it a bit and comes in short, lunges forward. 9.750

McSweeny (Iowa): Mounts to the high bar, archy first handstand, blind change to piked Jaeger to overshoot, jumps to high bar, dismounts FTDT, chest a bit down, fights for the stick but hops. 9.775

White (ASU): Gets things going with some choreo, BHS LOSO, dead-on, full turn, front aerial, nice toe point throughout, split jump to ring jump, hits the position well, BHS 1.5 dismount, momentum makes her take a step forward. 9.900!

Scharf (ASU): Is set up for a great score here, double wolf turn, BHS LOSO, big check to the side – bent at the hips, side somi, fights with her toes to stay on, switch leap to split jump, lovely, dismounts RO 1.5, steps forward. 9.550

Schooley (BYU): Switch side 1/2, RO 1.5 front layout, no issues on the landing, switch ring to switch side, moving cleanly through everything, double tuck, tad short so steps forward. 9.700

Lauzon (Cal): A look back at her Y1.5. Comes in a tad short but gets the stick! 9.925

Ripley (BYU): A Barbie-themed routine, front tuck through to double tuck, bouncy into the lunge, front foot did not stay put, switch side straddle full wolf full, pike jump, super playful choreography, it’s begging to go viral, ends with a double pike, low but squats into a controlled lunge. 9.675

After 1: California 49.100, Iowa 48.850, Arizona State 48.775, BYU 48.450

Outside of California, that wasn’t the season-opening rotation that any of these teams will be too happy with. Iowa, Arizona State and BYU all had at least two iffy routines with first-meet-nerves leaving quite a few tenths on the table for all three of those teams. On the other hand, the Golden Bears looked good on vault, with a trio of 10.0 start values a refreshing sight for a team that’s repeatedly lacked the difficulty on that event to contend with the top teams.

Rotation 2: BYU Vault, California Bars, Iowa Beam, Arizona State Floor

DeSouza (Cal): Springboards up to the high bar, giant half to piked Jaeger to overshoot, solid, dismounts FTDT, small bounce back but great height. 9.850

Henderson (Iowa): Full turn to open, smooth, BHS LOSO, off and takes a step back before falling, hops back on immediately, switch leap to straddle side, dismounts RO double tuck, chest up but big hop back. 9.200

Mason (BYU): Yfull. Good height and distance, slight pike and just a small slide back. 9.800

Lee (ASU): Opens with a FHS front double full, decent lunge out of it, RO 1.5 front layout, momentum carries her a bit forward but stays in bounds, switch ring to ring jump half, ends with a Rudi, chest a bit down on the landing. 9.500

Williams (Cal): Malony to pak, great, nice handstand before the dismount, double layout with a step back. 9.825

Zuhlke (Iowa): Full turn to start, BHS BHS LOSO, large check to the left, bends at the hips, split leap to 3/4 split jump, cartwheel to gainer full, more sideways than high. 9.675

Li (Cal): Mounts to the high bar, nice first handstand, floaty pak, Maloney half is good, giant full to double tuck, easy stick. 9.975!!

White (ASU): Begins with a FHS front double full, nice landing, second pass RO 1.5 front layout, steps out of it, good form throughout, switch ring to switch half, clean, front full front layout, steady.

Frazier (Cal): Church to pak, small leg separation, half pirouette and weirdly pings off the bar onto her back HARD, takes her time getting up but appears ok, jumps to the high bar, dismounts double layout and gets the stick. 9.400

Rojas (Iowa): BHS LOSO, great, full turn, punch front to beat jump, big squat but gets the connection, split jump to split 3/4, aggressive, gainer full, pikes it down and takes a step. 9.825

Mangahas (ASU): Nice full-in to open, bouncy lunge, front tuck to double tuck, chest down but good lunge, clean leap pass. 9.875

Kenlin (Iowa): Joins mid leap series, looked steady, covers a small check in her side aerial, same in a full turn, cartwheel to stuck gainer full. 9.800

Scharf (ASU): Gets underway with a front tuck to double tuck, awesome landing, straight up and down, FHS front full front tuck, no issues, switch half to wolf full, clean down to the toe point, finishes up with a double pike, small slide back of the front foot. 9.900!

Rotation 2: BYU 48.850, California 49.425, Iowa 49.000, Arizona State 48.950

After 2: California 98.575, Iowa 97.850, Arizona State 97.725, BYU 97.300

Andi Li! Notching the second-highest score of the weekend helped propel to a great bars score that’s extended their lead over the field. That’s even with the miss from Frazier, meaning this Golden Bears team will continue its dominance on its signature event despite an offseason coaching change. Iowa hit 49 with a slightly-off routine from Kenlin and a fall from Henderson, so the Hawkeyes can also be happy and also be optimistic about future scores on beam with hits. Arizona State is hanging in there in the battle for second with Iowa thanks to a solid floor rotation but still had a routine fall into the 9.6s and keep the event total sub-49. BYU is still around, too, but currently isn’t making up ground and will need some big totals to close out the afternoon.

Rotation 3: Arizona State Vault, BYU Bars, California Beam, Iowa Floor

DeSouza (Cal): Cat leap to front aerial, loose knees, same in the BHS LOSO, beat jump to sheep jump, lovely in the air but small wobble, Sissone to low beam choreo, full turn, dismounts RO 1.5, sticks it like her vault. 9.875

Smith (ASU): Yfull. Huge off the table, nice in the air, bounding step back. 9.725

Williams (Cal): Solid double wolf turn to open, front aerial to split jump, slowish connection, BHS LOSO, A+ toe point, switch leap to beat jump, dismounts BHS gainer full, small hop in place. 9.900!

Frazier (Cal): Glad to see her after an awkward fall, full turn, front aerial to LOSO, solid, switch ring to split jump, hit, dismounts cartwheel to stuck 1.5! Going to be a big score… 9.950!

Scharf (ASU): Yfull. Huge height, beautiful in the air but takes a step back. 9.825

Li (Cal): Front aerial to split jump, small lean to the side during the connection, BHS LOSO, flawless, full turn, tiny check to a half turn to cover, beat jump to sheep jump, yes, tucked gainer full off the front of the beam and gets the stick. 9.850

Nick (Iowa): Mounts with a FHS front double full, some leg form issues in that, switch ring to side half to straddle jump, needed to commit to the ring more, FHS Rudi LOSO, floaty, fun disco medley as well as she sings along to ABBA. 9.700

Eaquinto (BYU): Toe on to Maloney to pak, great, nice half pirouette, nice final handstand, dismounts double layout, flexed feet but gets the stick. 9.825

Perea (Cal): Double wolf turn to start, a bit slow and nervy, front toss to back tuck, slow connection there but did continue moving, switch leap to split jump to beat jump, good positions, side somi to tucked 1.5 dismount!! Small slide back. 9.775

Kenlin (Iowa): Begins with FHS front double full, easy but bouncy landing, gorgeous leap series with a great ring position, RO 1.5 front layout, clean. 9.900!

Henderson (Iowa): Get excited for this one! HUGE full-in to open, per usual, but opens a bit early and takes a short step forward, switch side to straddle full to straddle jump, cleanly around, front tuck to double tuck, great landing. 9.875

Rotation 3: Arizona State 48.900, BYU 48.350, California 49.425, Iowa 49.075

After 3: California 148.000, Iowa 146.975, Arizona State 146.625, BYU 145.600

California carried its momentum from bars to beam and the Golden Bears continue to dominate this session. Williams set Frazier up perfectly for the highest score of the rotation, and that’s exactly how we wanted to see her bounce back from a mistake. Iowa continues to improve, and its two stars delivered on its best event to keep in second place and keep spirits positive to finish out the meet. Arizona State is right there, too, but still cannot get over the 49-barrier on any event.

Rotation 4: Iowa Vault, Arizona State Bars, BYU Beam, California Floor

Reeves (ASU): Gets underway on the high bar, giant half to Jaeger to overshoot, huge height on that, nice handstand, dismounts double layout, sticks! 9.850

Perea (Cal): Mounts with a double tuck, nice height, tiniest of slides with the front foot in the lunge, second pass double pike, better control, double wolf turn, fluid, switch side to wolf full, a little off axis, closes with a RO 1.5 front layout, loose in the layout and steps forward. 9.850

Zuhlke (Iowa): FHS Tsuk full tucked. Amazing, good form as well, stuckish and steps into the salute. 9.875

Mangahas (ASU): Giant half to piked Jaeger to overshoot, no issues, good last handstand, tiny bit short, FTDT, small hop back. 9.800

DeSouza (Cal): Begins her routine with a Rudi, very bouncy slide back, double tuck, chest down on the landing but good lunge, easily through the leap pass, RO 1.5 front full to end. 9.675

Clark (ASU): Giant half to Jaeger, nice height, pak with big leg separation, short on the half pirouette, good final handstand, dismounts nice double layout and gets her stick. 9.850

Margraf (BYU): Cat leap to split jump, front aerial to back tuck, smooth connection, switch half, leg-up check, switch leap, small lean to the side, split jump to beat jump, full turn, dismounts front full and sticks. 9.525

Zivat (Iowa): Tsuk full. Sticks! Clean in the air. 9.925!

Li (Cal): Front double full to stag jump, great, RO LOSO side pass for back tumbling requirement, FHS front full front layout final pass, switch half to wolf full. 9.900

Henderson (Iowa): Yfull. HUGE in the air, bounding hop back. 9.850

Frazier (Cal): Massive double layout to open, great lunge too, ring jump, switch ring to switch half, awesome positions in the air, front tuck to double tuck, chest way up on that landing. 9.950!

Rollins (BYU): Split on the beam to start, switch leap to straddle side, front aerial to BHS LOSO, great, full turn with leg extended down, lovely, BHS gainer full, tiny hop in place. 9.900

Rotation 4: Iowa 49.100, Arizona State 49.150, BYU 48.125, California 49.475

FINAL: California 197.475, Iowa 196.225, Arizona State 195.775, BYU 193.775

What a great opening weekend performance from the Golden Bears! They started off by showing more difficulty on vault than years past, and followed up with clean performances on the last three events to run-away with this session and post one of the highest scores of the weekend. As expected, Li is going to shine bright this season and Frazier will be right there with her. The Hawkeyes should also be pleased with today’s effort, posting a competitive total to take second in a deep field and still have plenty of room for improvement. Arizona State won’t be as happy, continuing their trend of competing but ultimately falling flat to other teams with highlight routines capable of dramatic scores. For the Cougars, it’s a season opener they’ll want to forget but is important for a young team and their growth.

VT: Lauzon (Cal), Zivat (Iowa) – 9.925
UB: Li (Cal) – 9.975
BB: Frazier (Cal) – 9.950
FX: Frazier (Cal) – 9.950
AA: Li (Cal) – 49.450

READ THIS NEXT: Super 16 Brings Olympians, National Champions to Las Vegas for NCAA Opening Weekend

Live blog by Brandis Heffner.

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