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LIVE BLOG: No. 5 Utah at No. 1 Oklahoma

Fasten your seatbelts because this top five match-up is one that’s going to have you on the edge of your seat.

No. 1 Oklahoma stormed into 2023 with the same determination that won it the national title in a come-from-behind manner. The Sooners are ranked in the top five on all four events coming into tonight’s home opener. They competed Monday at No. 13 LSU, and even though they came out with the win, there were landing struggles that head coach KJ Kindler will want to see her team improve on tonight. Individually, Jordan Bowers is ranked fourth in the all-around, first on vault and is tied for sixth on beam—an event she only added consistently this year. With this being a highly anticipated matchup, Kindler will want her absolute best lineups on the floor, so watch to see which gymnasts make the cut and whether some get rested in favor of higher scoring potential.

For No. 5 Utah it has had a quiet but consistent start to its season. After a dominant showing in the Best of Utah quad meet, scoring a 197.750, the Utes have found themselves ranked in the top 10 on all four events. Their lowest event ranking is No. 9 on bars, where they will start, but their highest event showing is No. 1 on beam, where they will end. Kara Eaker earned herself a 10.0 at the Utes’ last meet and holds the No. 1 individual ranking alongside her teammate Maile O’Keefe. If this meet is close, the Utes could pull ahead with a big number in the final rotation. 

In short, we really don’t know who’s going to win this, but it’s going to be fun trying to figure it out. Let’s do it together! You can follow along with stats here and watch on ESPN or here.

Utah’s lineups are out! Kara Eaker makes her first appearance on floor since Week 1 of 2022 tonight!

Also an update that no stats are available due to a “technical issue” so I’ll do my best to give you whatever scores I can!

Here we gooooo!

ROTATION 1: OU Vault, Utah Bars

Sievers (OU): Yurchenko 1.5, good block off the table, and a stick. Okay, so that’s how we’re starting this! 9.950, career high!

Morgan (Utah): Maloney to Pak full, looked like some leg separation on the Maloney and on the Pak full. Toe on front pike half dismount. 9.825.

Torrez (OU): Yurchenko 1.5, slightly off to the side with a hop back. 9.775.

Brenner (Utah): blind change to straddled Jaeger to overshoot. Legs have been glued together, short on that final handstand. DLO hop back. 9.850.

Stern (OU): Yurchenko 1.5, legs together all the way through and controlled, STUCK. Second stick for the Sooners. 9.975.

Thompson (Utah): Pak salto to Maloney to in bars geinger. That last handstand was straddled so she’ll be deducted and was off balance on the dismount. 9.675.

Bowers (OU): Yurchenko 1.5, off to the left, but the landing was controlled. If I’m being picky, her knees looked like they were bent before the landing. 9.950.

O’Keefe (Utah): mount on the low bar, clean first handstand. Maloney to Pak salto with the smallest leg separation. Possibly short on the last handstand, but nailed the dismount! 9.850.

Levasseur (OU): Yurchenko 1.5 with another stick. So much height! Looking at the replay, her toes moved a teeny tiny bit, so we’ll see what the judges do with it. 9.925.

Isa (Utah): Ray with good height, bail to handstand, but looked short on that last handstand. Full pirouette to double layout dismount. Good routine for the Utes! 9.875.

Davis (OU): Yurchenko 1.5 with a hop forward. Leg separation right off of the table, but this should be high enough to drop Torrez’ 9.775. 9.850, season high!

McCallum (Utah): Mount on the low bar, Maloney to Pak combination is clean. Van Leeuwen, hit her feet on the low bar and lost some momentum, so that’ll be a deduction. Hop on the half in half out. 9.750.

AFTER ONE: Oklahoma 49.650, Utah 49.150

Whatever KJ Kindler said to her team after Monday’s meet worked. The Sooners landings were significantly improved from their last time out as they hit a season high on vault. The Utes were clean on bars, but a few short handstands knocked their scores down just a little bit. It’ll be interesting to see if they can make up some of the difference on the next event.

ROTATION 2: Utah Vault, OU Bars

Hoffman (Utah): Yurchenko full, good height and distance with a slide backwards. 9.825.

Sievers (OU): mount on low bar, slightly overcooked the first handstand. Maloney to Pak salto was clean. Half in half out dismount, stuck. 9.875, season high!

Brenner (Utah): Yurchenko 1.5, hop in place. Landed off to the left, but didn’t go over the white lines. 9.875.

Torrez (OU): Maloney to Pak salto, slight leg separation on the Maloney. Half pirouette was gorgeous, last handstand was short, double layout stuck! 9.900!

Stanhope (Utah): Yurchenko 1.5, tons of distance, but was underrotated and took a step. 9.800.

Fletcher (OU): Piked Jaeger is beautiful! Second handstand looked short, Pak salto was clean. Half in half out, stuck! 9.875.

M. Smith (Utah): Omelianchik with a stick, but she was off center and landed over the lines. She’s been wanting that landing since the Red Rocks preview. 9.950.

R. Smith (OU): Ray, didn’t connect it to the Pak. Does the Pak with a small leg separation. Had to take an extra swing so this has now become the drop score. Double layout with a slide back. 9.700.

Rucker (Utah): Yurchenko 1.5, stuck! Landed with the chest up. Best vault so far. 9.975.

Judges conference on Smith’s bar routine has delayed things just a little bit.

Bowers (OU): Straddled Jaeger, straight arms on the catch. Pak salto is clean, handstands have looked good throughout. Half in half out, stuck. The delay didn’t shake her one bit. 9.900.

McCallum (Utah): Yurchenko 1.5 with a step forward. Considering her issues she’s had in the past, she’ll take that 100%. 9.900.

Davis (OU): Higgins roll to piked Jaeger, her usual. Pak salto with zero leg separation. Last handstand is right on top of the bar. Double front half with a stutter step to the side, but will easily drop Smith’s score. 9.875.

AFTER TWO: Oklahoma 99.075, Utah 98.675

A season high vault rotation for Utah brings the deficit to four tenths! Oklahoma had a clean bars rotation, but a miss from Smith stifled the momentum ever so slightly. Going into the next half of this meet, these teams will want to keep focus on those landings with their best events coming up.

ROTATION 3: OU Beam, Utah Floor

Dunn (OU): OU’s perennial lead off. BHS BHS LOSO clean. Split leap to straddle half, both at 180. Gainer full off the side with a stick. Short, sweet, and to the point. If she got a leadoff 10 at some point, I wouldn’t be mad. 9.875.

Paulson (Utah): Front tuck through to 2.5 twist, control on the landing. Second pass is front layout to front full, clean. Leap series is at 180 with good height. Back 1.5 to front layout is clean. Good leadoff routine! 9.825.

Siegfeldt (OU): BHS LOSO, comes off the beam. She looked off center. Wobble on the cat leap to front aerial. Beat jump to split ring, head went far enough back. BHS swing through to gainer full, stuck. Pressure is on for the Sooners. 9.225.

M. Smith (Utah): Would be a good chance for the Utes to capitalize on Siegfeldt’s fall. Nice control on that front double twist! Second pass is front handspring + 1.5 twist + layout also controlled beautifully. 2.5 twist final pass, possibly a small out of control step? But a very nice routine from the freshman! 9.875.

Bowers (OU): Let’s see how Bowers responds from the fall before. BHS LOSO, balance check and lifted her leg on the landing. Sissone to switch half, would’ve liked a little more split if I’m picky. Round off double twist dismount. She stayed on, but that’s a score that will count. 9.725.

Eaker (Utah): Season debut alert! In for O’keefe. FHS supposed to do a front double twist, but I’m not really sure what happened. Her start value will likely be affected. Her choreography is exquisite though! Final pass is back 1.5 to front layout. I know she wanted a better routine, but there’s definitely room for improvement. 9.675.

Davis (OU): BHS LOSO is clean. Little added pressure here after Bowers’ score. Solid on the front aerial. Leap series is clean with amazing toe point. Round off double twist dismount, stuck. Much needed hit after a fall and a bobble routine. 9.900, season high!

Gilstrap (Utah): I might be the only one that thinks this, but this floor music is probably my favorite. First pass is clean, the artistry with the routine (along with the clean positions in her leaps) makes this so good. Front layout to front full final pass, looked like she stepped forward and to the side, but a good follow up following Eaker’s mistakes. 9.850.

Torrez (OU): Wolf jump with good toe point. Side aerial to LOSO, spot on. Switch leap to switch half, lost the toe point just a touch. Round off double tuck dismount with a hop back! 9.900.

Rucker (Utah): Full in, underrotated slightly with a step forward. Good toe point on her leap series. Front layout to front full, a step. Not her best, but it’s a hit. 9.725.

R. Smith (OU): Need a hit to drop a fall. BHS LOSO, slight balance check. Front aerial is much cleaner on the landing. Straddle half to BHS swingdown is clean. BHS gainer full stuck. 9.950.

McCallum (Utah): Needing to erase a 9.675 here. Full in, clean but the front foot slid ever so slightly. I would like to have seen a touch more split on those leaps. Final pass is a front layout to front 1.5 clean with a small slide of the front foot. That should erase Eaker’s score. 9.925.

AFTER THREE: Oklahoma 148.425, Utah 147.875

Well, both teams had opportunities to capitalize on mistakes there, but the Sooners extend their lead once more. Davis, Torrez, and Smith ended the rotation with three straight 9.900 plus to contribute to that. O’Keefe not being in the floor lineup might’ve hurt Utah a little bit here since she normally has a ton of difficulty, but Eaker will hopefully be able to clean up that routine to get it scoring well. The final rotation is upon us and Utah is heading to their No. 1 event while Oklahoma heads to floor.

Also, all of the all-arounders are tied. So that’s fun.

ROTATION 4: Utah Beam, OU Floor

Morgan (Utah): That mount! Yes ma’am. BHS BHS LOSO is clean. Split leap to straddle half with a small balance break. Swingthrough to back full dismount. Wasn’t expecting that, but it was clean! 9.900.

Johnson (OU): Ah yes, the Harry Styles routine has returned. Front layout to front 1.5, out of bounds. Not the way you want to start this rotation against the No. 1 beam team. Clean positions on those leaps. Double tuck final pass, underrotated with a step forward. The Sooners are once again in a pressure situation, needing five hits. 9.675. 

McCallum (Utah): Double wolf turn followed by a triple wolf turn, spot on. BHS LOSO, clean. Broke the connection on the leap series, so had to add a third element and wobbled. Tucked gainer full off the end of the beam. They had a chance to capitalize on the out of bounds routine on floor. 9.775.

R. Smith (OU): Double tuck with a slide back. I can’t get behind the phone rings in this routine for whatever reason. Her second pass was good, floaty front layout. Double pike is underrotated with a step forward. Neither team can really take advantage of the others’ shortcomings at this point.

Paulson (Utah): Side aerial to LOSO, missed her foot on the series and fell. I rest my case, this beam is cursed. Leap series was clean. Landed her dismount, but that fall means McCallum’s score will count. 9.075.

Sievers (OU): Tucked full-in clean landing. Front tuck through to double tuck, just BARELY kept herself in bounds on that pass. Wow, what a save on that. 9.900. I feel that was a little high, but I’m not a judge.

Eaker (Utah): Scored a 10.0 last week, let’s see what she can do here! She definitely looked a little off on that leap series, so it shouldn’t be a 10 here. Side aerial to LOSO is spot on. Her choreography is so beautiful on this routine. Step on the dismount, but a good follow up to a fall! 9.900.

Fletcher (OU): Triple twist opener is clean, maybe a slight step to the side? Second pass is front layout to front full with a controlled step. Shy of 180 on the leap series. Final pass is a 2.5 twist underrotated. Not as clean of a routine as we saw from her at LSU, but it’s a hit and that’s all the Sooners need right now. 9.850.

Isa (Utah): BHS LOSO LOSO, maybe the tiniest of wobbles to the side? Beat jump to straddle quarter, good positions on those leaps. BHS gainer full dismount with a stick! 9.850.

Torrez (OU): Double layout first pass is controlled with a step back. Had a step out of bounds last week, so she’ll want to redeem herself here at home. Good control on the leaps! Front tuck through to double tuck is clean and controlled. Much improved from last week! 9.950.

O’Keefe (Utah): A hit here drops Paulson’s fall. Side aerial to LOSO, straight on the beam. Switch leap to sissone is clean. I know this isn’t angry beam, but I’m getting fierce vibes from here. BHS gainer full with a stick! Good ending to the meet for the Utes. 9.975.

Bowers (OU): Double pike, lots of height with a controlled step back. She had to fight to keep that punch front tuck in the second pass on her feet, but pulled it off. A clean ending for the Sooners! 9.925.

AFTER FOUR: Oklahoma 197.925, Utah 197.275

Oklahoma matches their season high in their home opener! Overall, a solid meet for both teams. There’s always areas for improvement and both coaches will want to get their teams back into the gym and clean up landings before these two teams see each other again potentially in postseason. 


Vault: Allie Stern (OU)/Jaedyn Rucker (Utah) – 9.975

Uneven Bars: Jordan Bowers/Faith Torrez (OU) – 9.900

Balance Beam: Maile O’Keefe (Utah) – 9.975

Floor Exercise: Faith Torrez (OU) – 9.950

AA: Faith Torrez (OU) – 39.525

READ THIS NEXT: Oklahoma Begins Preparation for New Challenges as Move to SEC Looms

Live Blog by Savanna Whitten

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