Natalie Wojcik competes on beam for Michigan.

LIVE BLOG: No. 9 Denver and No. 49 Fisk at No. 4 Michigan

We’re in for a Friday treat with this tri. Denver walks in the door after tying for the best beam rotation in Week 1, while beam is the event that held the Wolverines back from a stratospheric opening score. If Denver has a chance at an upset, it’ll come down to those 10 centimeters. (Four inches! Just the size of a VHS tape! Remember those NBC days, or am I just old?)

To add to the excitement, we get to see Fisk’s second competition ever. Emotions ran high last week as the first HBCU gymnastics team made its debut, so it will be interesting to see how this squad looks with the pressure turned down and off the podium.

Vault will be fascinating. The entire Michigan lineup plus Denver’s Jessica Hutchinson and Fisk’s Morgan Price can be stunning. It’ll be a Yurchenko one and a half clinic in Crisler. Bev Plocki seems to be pacing Natalie Wojcik this year, who sat out of floor at Super 16. It seems likely she may rest again, especially given how notoriously hard the Crisler floor is.

Rotation 1: UM vault, DU bars, Fisk floor

Guggino (UM): Y1.5, offline, big step diagonally back. 9.675

Ruiz (DU): DLO dismount was a little whippy. 9.8

Muhammad (Fisk): FHS front 1/1 front lay, really arched the lay over. Tour jete half was nice. 8.8

Seems like we’ll see at lot of UM and hop in and out of other routines.

Wojcik (UM): Y1.5, bounced to the side a bit, she didn’t cross the directional line. 9.9

Thompson (DU): Clean landing on her DLO. 9.85

Wilson (UM): Y1.5, soft knees and landed on the line. 9.95

There are no announcers here, so it’s…a weird viewing experience.

Morrison (UM): Y1.5, slight hip angle and a tiny hop. 9.95

Brooks (UM): Huge Y1.5, hopped her heels together. some leg sep.

Heiskell (UM): Cleanest Y1.5 in the air, small hop forward. 9.9

Mulligan (UM, ex.): Clean Yfull, just a step back.

Hutchinson (DU): Arched last handstand over, falls out. Stayed on the bar to recover. DLO, step.

Morgan (UM, ex.): Clean Yfull, good to see her get a turn!

Coleman (Fisk): Nice leaps! This routine is so engaging. Switch side popa, little under on the rotation on the Popa. Double tuck, low chest and bounds forward. 9.125

Iwai (DU, ex.): Really struggling on handstands, two have been far over so far. Ends with a DLO to her knees.

Richmon (Fisk): Great double pike to open, slid her foot a little. RO 3/2 front lay, little uncontrolled out of it but nothing drastic. Clean through leaps. Double tuck, Cowboys to pull it around and doesn’t quite get there, takes it to her knees. That’ll be a stellar set when her endurance is up. 8.85, I’m wondering if her knees hit first and she didn’t get credit for the double tuck.

Mora (Fisk): Front lay front full front tuck, what a fun combo. Pretty clean there, just lacking a little amplitude on the tuck. Split full wolf full, clean. Switch ring to switch half was nice. Double pike, bounds forward and puts her hands down. Again, when the endurance is there this will be a great score. 8.875

Price (Fisk): Double pike, great landing. Front lay front full, really controls the lunge out. Switch side wolf full split full, really clean one the rotations. 2.5, just a small foot adjustment on her landing. Team is SCREAMING, what an excellent routine. Price is as advertised, folks. 9.825

AFTER 1: UM 49.650, DU 49.300, Fisk 45.900

Those UM scores were on the high side. The Y1.5s are big, but almost everyone had some form issue in the air and a landing error, either directionally or a little adjustment. No score was whacky on its own but on the whole the rotation number is high. We didn’t really see much DU, so it’s hard to comment on that number. The Fisk routines are a blast and the mistakes are really fixable, which is good news. Endurance is the obvious problem. Once those last passes are landed, this rotation will be in a much better place.

Around the gymternet: Kiya Johnson just went down with a lower leg injury in the LSU at Kentucky meet, unfortunately.

Rotation 2: UM bars, DU beam, Fisk vault

Brown (DU): Front toss bhs, really nice.

Heiskell (UM): Blind to Jaeger, good catch. Pak was crooked but she pulled it together to catch fine. Blind full double tuck, stuck? The camera is moving and phew that’s tough for bars. 9.9, just that wonky Pak.

Koulos (UM): Blind to Jaeger, some soft knees. Bail hand was clean. Great last handstand. DLO snaps heels together. 9.85

Coleman (Fisk): Ylay, really arched and bounced pretty far back. 9.5

Wilson (UM): Blind to pike Jaeger, clean. Great handstands. Bail hand no problems. DLO stuck cold. 9.9

Richmon (Fisk): Ylay, arched and a bounce on the landing

Bauman (UM): Blind to Jaeger, really high!, bail. Toe half to double front, step forward. 9.8

Price (Fisk): REALLY high Yfull, clean landing. 9.85

Brooks (UM): Blind to pike Jaeger, good. Toe hand to bail hand, clean there. FTDL small hop. 9.9

Wojcik (UM): Toe hand to her usual Deltchev immediate bail, love it or hate it it’s super high. DLO stuck. 9.975, not mad about that.

Vore (UM, ex.): Sorry, I thought we’d finally get DU beam! Maloney leg sep to bail hand, nice. Snappy handstands. DLO feet staggered but holds the stick.

Mundell (DU): Pretty pretty full turn. Switch to switch half, leg up check. Beat jump. RO 3/2 stuck I think, her feet were behind a cameraman. 9.85

Hutchinson (DU): A full beam routine for us! What a tread. Front toss bhs, no deductions there. She has such great flow. Switch to split, low back leg by a touch in the latter. Pike front toss, lovely. Cartwheel gainer full off the side, nice! Great anchor set. 9.875

Casali (DU ex.): Bhs loso loso. Switch switch, low back leg in both. Cartwheel gainer full off the side, hop.

AFTER 2: UM 99.175, DU 98.475, Fisk 94.050

Michigan looked nice on bars, no major errors there. Deductions were all little handstand things or steps. We didn’t really see much Denver (again!) but Mundell and Hutchinson are a pretty nice 1-2 punch there. Fisk is obviously at a SV disadvantage with those Ylays, out of a 9.75.

Rotation 3: UM beam, DU floor, Fisk bars

Bauman (UM): Bhs loso, small check. Cat to switch half to beat, very clean. Side somi was really nice, she performs it with straight legs which gives it a really cool look. Gainer pike off the end stuck. What a strong leadoff! 9.85

Listen, I know this is BTN+ but we’re getting replays of UM routines instead of…other gymnastics. I’m not into it.

Wilson (UM): Hitch kick, she gets that second leg wayyyy up. Bhs loso, so high and no movement. She’s just attacking this routine. Switch jump switch jump. Maybe the tiniest check on the full turn. RO double tuck, step back. 9.875

Iwai (DU): RO 3/2 front lay to stag jump, little arched on the lay. Tour jete half was kind of chaotic and didn’t really get around. Double tuck, bounced back. 9.75

Koulos (UM): Bhs loso, completely solid. Pretty turn in attitude. Beat to straddle 3/4, leaned forward. Cat to front aerial, really emphasized that landing. RO 3/2, couldn’t see her feet, her weight was a bit forward but by the reaction I’m assuming she held her feet. 9.85

Wiggins (Fisk): Toe hand to Maloney, leg sep, she didn’t get her second grip on the bar and took a hard fall. Camera panned away. It got quiet, but she seemed okay before the camera cut. 5.4, she must not have finished. Wishing her the best.

Brooks (UM): Bhs loso loso, check. Switch to beat, clean there. Front toss, no deductions. This is so clean, no extraneous movements. Bhs 2/1, hop back. Just that hop. 9.85

Casali (DU): ABBA music! So fun. The team is singing along. Switch half wolf full wolf full, really chaotic in that rotation, not precise at all. 5/2 to punch front was clean. 9.85

Heiskell (UM): Cat to side aerial, clean. Really strong switch switch, those are usually pretty lethargic but hers is not. Check on the bhs loso, three steps on the beam, but didn’t fall. RO 3/2 stuck.

B. Mbanta (DU): RO 3/2 front lay, arched the lay down a good bit. Switch ring half to split, clean, phew that’s a TOUGH leap. Front lay rudi split, little off to the side.

Wojcik (UM): Front aerial to beat, maybe a tiny adjustment in there. Switch to split, lovely as always. Bhs bhs loso, no deductions RO 3/2, stuck. I mean. 9.95

Vore (UM, ex): Bhs loso, clean. Good front toss to beat. Straddle to split half to beat, really great split positions. RO 3/2 stuck.

AFTER 3: UM 148.550, DU 147.650, Fisk 136.900

Wiggins’ fall on bars looked tough. Hoping she’s okay, above all else. She may have hit her head and just not finished as a precaution. That’s tough for Fisk, since it only put five up on bars and has to count her 5.400. Michigan is still handily in the lead. Beam was clean top to bottom, with just a handful of wobbles and steps to clean up. What we saw of Denver on floor was nice, and the scores are overall solid.

Rotation 4: UM floor, DU vault, Fisk beam

Going to guess this rotation ESPECIALLY is going to be all UM, my apologies to Denver and Fisk.

Guggino (UM): Double pike, slides her front foot back in the lunge. Front lay front full, hoppy in the lunge. Couldn’t really see her leaps, they were mostly out of frame love you BTN+. Front lay rudi, best landing. 9.825

Brusch (DU): Yfull, rotated early, soft knees and a hop. 9.85

B. Mbanta (DU): Yfull, true stick, piked a bit. 9.9 on a full!

Koulos (UM): 5/2 punch front, nice! Switch half wolf full, front leg a touch low in the wolf. Double pike, stepped forward for the lunge. 9.925

Casali (DU): Y1.5, stuck cold. Wow! 9.975, deserved.

Hutchinson (DU): Y1.5, soft knees, step. 9.925

Heiskell (UM): More ABBA folks! Double Arabian, controlled in the lunge. Switch half wolf full, nice. RO 3/2 1/1, really nice there too. Great routine. 9.95

Daniels (Fisk): Bhs loso, knees and a fall. Switch to switch 1/4, pretty, just dropped her chest some. 8.825

Morrison (UM): HIHO, great landing. FHS fornt lay front full, little too much oompf in the full, lunged a bit out of control but stayed in bounds. Switch half wolf full, no issues. Double, slid her foot a tiny bit but also danced right out. 9.925

McDonald (Fisk): Front toss bhs, clean. Switch switch, short of 180 on both. Side aerial, no issues there. 9.625

Brooks (UM): Full-in, clean lunge, huge smile. Tour jete half split full, nice. Front through double tuck, hops forward. 9.9

Wilson (UM): UM is already over 198, this is just gravy. HIHO, little low but pulls out a solid lunge. Normal landing on her combo pass to follow it up. Huge switch side popa. Double tuck, clean landing there. Really just that deep knees on the first landing. 9.875

Seems like there’s a long conference happening on beam for McDonald’s score. Price has been waiting for two floor routines now.

Mulligan (UM, ex.): Front through double tuck, bounds out backward, maybe .15-.2 in deductions? Switch side Popa Popa, really had to pull the second Popa around. Double pike, clean.

FINAL: UM 198.125, DU 197.200, Fisk 184.800

Tough night for Fisk, but there’s so much room to grow. Floor scores will skyrocket once the endurance is there, and the bar issue with the counted partial routine won’t happen every week. Michigan and Denver look to be in midseason form, each producing huge numbers, with room to grow for both. It’s going to be quite a season, folks.

Event winners:

VT: Casali, 9.975
UB: Wojcik, 9.975
BB: Wojcik, 9.950
FX: Heiskell, 9.950
AA: Brooks, Heiskell, Wilson: 39.600

Live blog by Emily Minehart

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