LIVE BLOG: No. 11 Ohio State at No. 3 Michigan

After a loss versus Michigan State last week, the Michigan Wolverines are looking for revenge against their school’s greatest rival. However, Ohio State, one of the 2023 season’s breakout stars, isn’t planning to make this easy.

Ascendent Ohio State has looked like a team on the rise since Meredith Paulicivic took the program’s reins almost six years ago, but in 2023, the pieces are finally starting to come together. With the help of freshman star (and former five-star recruit) Payton Harris, the Buckeyes are currently undefeated this season.

Michigan is still a formidable foe: The 2021 national champions are the No. 1 floor team and No. 2 vault team in the country, and we should expect these lineups to score very well at home. If the Wolverines falter, expect it to be on beam, which has been shaky all year. It might take a counted error for Ohio State to truly stay in this meet. Still, given the Buckeyes’ thrilling trajectory, we have to expect this rivalry to get tight very soon. Could it be this year? Who knows.

Rotation 1:

Guggino (UM): One and a half twist, her usual amplitude, medium-large step forward. 9.85

Pritchard (OSU): Toe on to Gienger to overshoot, nice and clean, soft back in her blind full, double back stuck. 9.825

Wojcik (UM): Substantial leg sep on the table on her one and a half, I swear that gets worse every year, comes in a bit short and takes a pace back. 9.8

Harris (OSU): Ray good, maybe a bit shy on a handstand there, toe on to bail. Shy on another handstand, blind full double back stuck. 9.8

Wilson (UM): Not her absolute best pop off the table but entirely fine, medium hop forward.

Edwards (OSU): Super airy Maloney as usual to Pak, her usual little bits of foot form, blind full double back maybe a TOUCH close to the bar but stuck. 9.85

Morrison (UM): Great vault, near-stuck, tiny foot shuffle. 9.975

Vetter (OSU): Full turn to Tkachev, thank GOODNESS, she’s hit her foot on that two weeks in a row but not today. Solid bail, just a touch soft as she caught it, clean FTDB with a tiny step. 9.825

Brooks (UM): Great vault, high and clean, pulled her heels together a bit fast for my taste but very much could go 10 following a 9.975. Oh wow, 9.95.

Riccardi (OSU): Ray, this angle shows off the fact that her right foot is always a little flexed but it’s not a big deal, nice clean Pak. Handstands looking great, stalder double tuck drilled. Gorgeous. 9.875 robbed tbh.

Heiskell (UM): One and a half twist, nice and tidy, small hop forward and to one side.

Miller (OSU): Toe on to Maloney to bail, lost a little form on the bail but stayed on top of it. Double layout stuck. 9.9

Nice FTY in the exhibition for Kaylen Morgan. Good hit from Alexis Hankins on bars too, just a little shapey and a hop on her DLO.

After 1: Michigan 49.575, Ohio State 49.275

Great start from both teams. I thought that Buckeye bar rotation, with 5/6 stuck landings, could have gone a little higher in places, but some athletes lost a little on handstands.

Rotation 2: Ohio State VT, Michigan UB

Vetter (OSU): Nice clean FTY, medium hop back.

Heiskell (UM): I still hate that she leads off this lineup. Nice snappy blind, Jaeger caught CLOSE with super bent elbows, solid Pak to switch kip. Blind full, soft back and leaning, it looks a little dicey for a second, to double back stuck.

Riccardi (OSU): Another really tidy FTY and this one’s stuck! Could probably hit it on amplitude but it wasn’t BAD. 9.825

Morrison (UM): Great Gienger, think that was a shy handstand, clear hip to bail leaning just a touch to the side, it’s fine. Double lay with a small shuffle backwards.

Malas (OSU): FTY, super high with a little bit of knee form, stuck! Buckeyes really feeling the landings today.

Bauman (UM): Is this her first time doing bars this year? Blind to Jaeger to overshoot, super clean, toe blind is IMMACULATE to double lay with a step. Those handstands were just gorgeous.

Jennings (OSU): Huge FTY, just a tiny shuffle back. 9.9

Brooks (UM): Blind to pike Jaeger, solid, bail, FTDLO stuck… with an arm swing. Dang. These landings are the only mandatory deductions for the Wolverines,

Hlavach (OSU): Full on pike off, her form is so good, tiny hop back. 9.825 this score ordering is confusing me

Wojcik (UM): Deltchev to overshoot nice and clean, making the handstands, double lay, that one’s stuck. 9.95

Harris (OSU): One and a half twist, a little too much gas, just bounces off the mat forwards. Still a great vault. 9.825

Vore (UM): Jaeger to overshoot, little bits of leg separation and I’m not ultra-sold on the handstands, double layout nice with a hop. 9.85

Kaylen Morgan in the ex again. Maloney to Pak, tiny leg separation but the kind that judges will never see, making the handstands, blind a little late to double front with a hop forward.

After 2: Michigan 99.050, Ohio State 98.500

No Koulos today for Michigan on bars, but Bauman was back and that routine was spectacular. She was the highlight for me, while Kaylen Morgan looked great once again. The score ordering for the Buckeyes on vault gave me a headache but overall, very solid rotation.

Rotation 3: Michigan BB, Ohio State FX

Bauman (UM): Nice full turn, BHS LOSO with a check. Cat leap switch half to beat is nice. Piked side somi, check. Gainer pike stuck-ish. 9.85… this is going to get fun, isn’t it.

Gonzalez (OSU): Nailed the double pike, great start. Front lay front full, dances out, they could probably hit her for control there but only if they’re feeling super grumpy, switch side half to straddle. One and a half front lay with leg sep but great control. 9.825

Wilson (UM): Hitch kick, the usual toe point situation, BHS LOSO way off with a major check and several steps.Two standing switches, toe point again, full turn. Double back stuck, doesn’t look super stable but the feet didn’t move. 9.8 oh my god

Vetter (OSU): Lovely double tuck, drops her head back in the lunge dramatically. Tour jete half, borderline split, to two Popas. Front lay, slightly soft knees, to Rudi with perfect control. Nice! 9.8 OH SURE THAT WAS EQUALLY GOOD TO GABBY WILSON’S BEAM ROUTINE. SURE. SOUNDS GOOD.

Koulos (UM): BHS LOSO. Beat to straddle 3/4, leg-up check. Nice side aerial, one and a half twist with a medium hop forward. 9.775

Harris (OSU): Double pike, high and clean, maybe a smidge bouncy but keeps the front toes down. Switch side Popa overrotated. Front double full to stag jump, good landing, front full front lay a bit whippy. 9.8

Brooks (UM): BHS LOSO, not the most emphatic but no check, switch switch is good. Kickover front steady-ish, double twist with a hop back. Best one so far. 9.95, that hop was definitely more than a half tenth but what are you gonna do.

Gagliardi (OSU): Rudi to double stag, landing a little off balance but dances out fine. Switch side Popa. Double pike pretty deep, hops to lunge but fifth-year ankles don’t love that sort of treatment. 9.825

Heiskell (UM): Cat leap side aerial, way off line and falls. Switch switch, check, split. Got the dismount but that leaves the Wolverines counting a couple errors. (Not that the errors were deducted, so it’s OK I guess.) 9.125

Edwards (OSU): Lovely high double pike. One and a half front lay, good, switch side Popa nice and cleanly rotated. Double back great. 9.9

Wojcik (UM): Front aerial is good, Switch split great. Made the triple series, so far so good, one and a half twist… I wouldn’t call that stuck but it wouldn’t shock me if the judges disagreed. 9.975

Hodges (OSU): Double pike well done, tour jete half Popa Popa nicely rotated. Rudi LOSO a little odd, mistimed the connection, made it but hopped to the side.

Guggino in the exhibition for Michigan. Hankins for Ohio State.

After 3: Michigan 148.400, Ohio State 147.650

Judging was the storyline in that rotation, unfortunately. A fairly poor beam showing for the Wolverines barely impacted the scores, while Buckeyes struggled to break through 9.825 with their best landings.

Rotation 4: Ohio State BB, Michigan FX

Oliveros (OSU) Handstand work as pretty as usual, full turn, front aerial BHS super control. Cat leap switch half, check. Side aerial, major check. Gainer pike stuck. 9.525

Koulos (UM): Great two and a half punch front. Tour jete half wolf full, nice and clean, double pike a little overcooked but kept the drama to a minimum. 9.875

Hankins (OSU): Full turn, slightly unsteady but no check, BHS LOSO good. Kickover front, tentative but fine. Switch split quarter good. Double full dismount, hop back. 9.8

Heiskell (UM): Double Arabian, hop to the side. Switch half, missed the split which is unlike her, to wolf full. One and a half front full, bounces forward like a yard. 9.925 ok…

Harris (OSU): Valdez pretty, orphan beat jump, switch straddle quarter super steady. Full turn with a tiny adjustment, front aerial back tuck with the smallest lean, not sure how visible any of this is from the side, double full stuck. 9.825

Morrison (UM): Half in half out, feet in the air but great landing. Front lay front full, step forward a little on the long side, great switch half wolf full. Solid double back. 9.95

Jennings (OSU): Full turn, BHS swing through round off with a check. Split to straddle half with flexed feet. Cartwheel gainer full, scoot back. 9.85

Brooks (UM): Full in is landed securely. Great tour jete half split full. Front through double back a TINY bit shuffly, no big deal.

Pritchard (OSU): Hitch kick side aerial, great. Nice full turn. BHS LOSO, looked a little off but controls it with her arms. Switch straddle quarter is good, one and a half twist… hangs on for a second and has to hop to salute. 9.8

Wilson (UM): Full in, substantial jump to the side as she lunges, probably close to a foot of sideways movement. Not sure her chest was really up when she hit the ground. Front lay front full, stumbles forward into dance, great switch side Popa. Overrotated double back, front foot scooted back several inches. 9.9

Hodges (OSU): This is a solid road score already but she’s got a 9.525 to drop. Standing to switch to straddle 3/4, nice and steady, BHS LOSO and falls. Standing LOSO, check, one and a half twist with a big step. 9.175

Wojcik (UM): Tour jete full, overrotated and has to shuffle it around, one and a half front lay is good. Tour jete half Popa, nice. Double pike, way short with a big step forward and a low chest. 9.825

FINAL: Michigan 197.975, Ohio State 196.350

A decent meet for Michigan buoyed by some extremely happy judges, while Ohio State got a road season high but might still be a little disappointed by how it closed on beam.

VT: Naomi Morrison 9.975
UB: Natalie Wojcik 9.950
BB: Natalie Wojcik 9.975
FX: Naomi Morrison 9.950
AA: Sierra Brooks 39.725

READ THIS NEXT: Judge’s Inquiry: Comparing Yurchenko Fulls Across the Country

Live blog by Rebecca Scally

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