Maddie Quarles high-fives Seria Johnson.

LIVE BLOG: No. 19 Minnesota at No. 2 Michigan

We’re here for a Friday matinee and Michigan’s annual Flip for Chip meet, which honors former team member Caylee Hill’s father who died of cancer and has since been an inspiration for the Wolverines. Expect a lot of purple tonight in his honor.

The Gophers and Wolverines have had a competitive back-and-forth for a few seasons. Minnesota won the 2021 conference title, traditionally Michigan’s to lose, and the Wolverines came back in 2022 to beat Minnesota in a dual in Minneapolis. Michigan stormed to the 2022 Big Ten title, but Minnesota finished the season with a higher ranking after a better showing in the national semifinals.

The friendly rivalry lives on, but this year Michigan outpaces Minnesota a bit more than in recent memory. The Gophers have had a steady start to the year, leaning on Mya Hooten’s leadership and scores—she was perfect on floor last week—and many freshman routines.

Michigan was lights-out at Rutgers last week, with two 10s on vault—Abby Heiskell and Sierra Brooks—putting up a 198.300, second in the nation only to Oklahoma’s 198.425. The Wolverines have been hot all season; even an off day scored one tenth higher than Minnesota’s top score, a 196.875.

For the Gophers, today is about a big road number. Jenny Hansen’s squad will be eyeing a 197. Michigan will be looking to refine even further and put up a 198-plus, with an eye toward the national No. 1 ranking. Oklahoma remains fairly out of reach while we still calculate by average, but once NQS kicks in Michigan has a chance to top the charts after dropping its one 196.

Rotation 1: Michigan vault, Minnesota bars

Mulligan (UM): Put in last second for Guggino. Yfull, big step back, some leg separation throughout. 9.775

Johnson (Minn.): Toe hand Maloney, leg sep on release and backswing. Bail hand, legs apart again. Stalder to toe-on front half, stuck. 9.85

Wojcik (UM): Y1.5, little low, big step forward. 9.825

Gerdes (Minn.): Short hanstand to Maloney, leg sep on backswing. Short on her bail hand. FTDB stuck. 9.875, bar judges are a little happy.

Wilson (UM): Y1.5, her usual, down to the stick. 9.925

Jencks (Minn.): Ray, good. Clear hip handstand short to short bail hand. Just not hitting these verticals. DLO, hop. 9.8

Brooks (UM): Y1.5, really good distance, just a little back on her heels on the landing and took a small hop. 9.825, that’s tough, this was cleaner than Wojcik.

Remlinger (Minn.): Ray, bend arms on catch. Toe hand to bail hand, good there, best bail yet. Bent arms in her giant. FTDB, stuck. 9.875

Heiskell (UM): Y1.5, small hop forward. 9.9

Sales (Minn.): Bail hand, good there. Blind to Khorkina, soft knees. DLO hop forward. 9.875

Guggino (UM): No Morrison tonight. Y1.5, doesn’t get much oomph in the block, sits it. 9.2

Hooten (Minn.): Blind to pike Jaeger immediate bail, clean throughout, just a little general looseness in her core. FTDB stuck. 9.95

After 1: Minnesota 49.425, Michigan 49.200

Michigan just didn’t have the landings today. Scores were about right on, except for Brooks which felt low in comparison to the other numbers. Minnesota really cleaned up its landings. There were some handstand issues throughout the rotation, but Hooten really did look great. Some of the early scores seemed a little boozy but they settled in halfway through. Michigan has a chance to gain ground back here, with lower start value potential for Minnesota on vault.

Rotation 2: Michigan bars, Minnesota vault

Jencks (Minn.): Yfull, big hop back. 9.75

Heiskel (UM): Blind to Jaeger, slight arm bend on catch. Pak, great shoulder angle. Perfect handstand. Blind full, her grip dowel didn’t get around the bar or her hand slipped and she fell. Repeated blind full, good, stuck double tuck. Phew that was weird. 9.375

Moraw (Minn.): Yfull, hops, some leg sep on the table. 9.85

Morrison (UM): Gienger, good. Clear hip hand to bail hand was clean. Short handstand. DLO, small hop forward. 9.825

Remlinger (Minn.): Y1.5 tucked, big step forward.

Wilson (UM): Blind to pike Jaeger, some knee softness on the catch. Bail hand was clean. Short last handstand. DLO stuck. 9.9

UM is being a little conservative on the last handstands to avoid falls, seems like. Not a horrible thing with a fall in the leadoff.

Gerdes (Minn.): Y1.5, hip angle throughout, step I think on the landing. Yes, okay big step back. 9.825

Bauman (UM): Blind to Jaeger immediate bail, great. Toe half to double front, some crunchy toes. 9.875

Quarles (Minn.): Y1.5, bent arms in the block, big step forward. 9.875

Brooks (UM): Blind to pike Jaeger, little close. Toe hand to bail hand, great. Small hop on her FTDL. 9.925

Hooten (Minn.): Y1.5, really high and stuck. 9.95, yep, assuming they took a little squat on the landing.

Wojcik (UM): Toe hand to Deltchev, some knees on the catch. Bail hand, short. DLO stuck. Again, just being 10% conservative on those handstands. 9.9

After 2: Minnesota 98.750, Michigan 98.675

The good news for Michigan here is the comeback after the falls closing vault and opening bars. The national semifinal saw errors cascade, and tonight they’re shutting them down. Good sign moving forward. Minnesota is looking crisp, and well on its way to the road number it needs, and Hooten is looking at a possible career-best all around.

Rotation 3: Michigan beam, Minnesota floor

Bauman (UM): Bhs loso, good. Cat to switch half beat, little short of 180 and a balance check during the beat. Clean on her piked side somi. Gain er pike off the end, good height, her weight was a little forward on the landing and she covered by saluting. 9.85, that leap series.

Jencks (Minn.): Punch 2/1, very short, threeish stumble steps back, manages not to sit it! Clean on her leaps. RO 3/2 lay, clean on that twist. Punch rudi, again, missing some juice, landed a little deep. 9.625

Wilson (UM): Hitch kick. Soft knees and a check on her bhs loso, it was a good save. Classic massive switch switch. RO double tuck, wow stuck. Ah on replay, she did move a foot, but it was hard to see real time. 9.875

LeNeave (Minn.): Double pike, quite low chest. Switch half wolf full was nice. RO 3/2 front pike, missing some amplitude on the pike. Low double tuck, juuuust pulls it around, low chest on. the landing. The tough Crisler floor is wreaking some havoc. 9.65

Koulos (UM): Bhs loso, clean. Attitude full turn, little imprecise in the position.. Beat to straddle 3/4, solid. Totally clean on cat front aerial. She is ON. RO 3/2, two tiny steps. 9.925

Gerdes (Minn.): Front through double tuck, little offline on her lunge. Switch ring to switch full split full, really pretty, good rotation. Good double pike. There we go, Gophers. 9.9

Brooks (UM): Clean bhs loso. Really nice on her switch switch. She has such a quick beam tempo. Phew nailed the pike front toss. Bhs 2/1, some crossed legs, couldn’t really see the landing, maybe a step right up in place. 9.95

Johnson (Minn.): Standing wolf 3/2, slightly short. Front 1/1 barani, really nice. Switch side Popa, cheated that rotation a little. Double tuck, slid back in the lunge a bit. 9.875

Heiskell (UM): Cat to side aerial, solid. Pretty off on her switch switch, has to take a step but it was a good save. Clean on her bhs loso. Stuck RO 3/2. 9.875, little high given the leap bobble.

Remlinger (Minn.): Full-in, picked up her front lunge foot. Cheated rotation on her switch side Popa. RO 3/2 front lay, good there. Clean double tuck landing. 9.925

Wojcik (UM): Pretty on her front aerial to beat. Switch to split, no issues there. Bhs bhs loso, totally solid. When she’s on, she’s on. RO 3/2 stuck, wow, vintage Wojcik. 10, not mad.

Hooten (Minn.): Really clean full-in. Switch side Popa, overdid the switch a little so the Popa was short. Big combo pass, great amplitude. Clean double tuck. Will we see back-to-back 10s? 9.975, so close.

After 3: Michigan 148.300, Minnesota 148.075

The Wolverines took back the lead with a really superior beam rotation. It’s been the event where they’ve had the most errors this year, but today was all business. The Gophers were strong on floor, but those few early errors are what opened the door. Still, Minnesota is on track for a great road score.

Rotation 4: Michigan floor, Minnesota beam

Koch (Minn.): Bhs loso, soft knees and a small check. Beat to split 3/4 really short of 180. Liukin, really deep in the knee but good strength to save it. RO 3/2, again a little deep. 9.85

Guggino (UM): Good landing on her double pike. Small step on her front lay front full. Clean leaps. She is finding the camera in her dance. Front lay rudi, another good landing. 9.875

Pearl (Minn.): Soft knees on her bhs loso. Switch to straddle 1/2 was clean. Check on front aerial to beat. Hop on the bhs gainer full. 9.85

Koulos (UM): Good landing on her 5/2 punch front. Switch half wolf full, lost the position in her wolf. Good double pike. 9.95

Hooten (Minn.): Candle mount. Front toss, hands down on the beam. Repeats to bhs, good that time. Beat to straddle 3/4, good. RO 3/2, hop. 9.625

Hearing that Morrison is resting floor tonight as well.

Heiskell (UM): Double Arabian, two stutter steps back. Switch half wolf full, good there. Stepped to the side a little on her combo pass. 9.85, changed from a 9.775 after a conference.

Sales (Minn.): Check on her triple series. Big leg up and arm swing on her switch to switch side, stays on. Off to the side a bit on her gainer pike. 9.7

Brooks (UM): Long wait for her. Good full-in. Switch full to split full, nice positions. Front through double tuck, hop forward. 9.95

Gerdes (Minn.): Nice front aerial. Tiny adjustment on her bhs loso. Split to double stag, really emphasized the landing. Bhs gainer full off the side, hop. 9.9

Wilson (UM): Good full-in. FHS front lay front 1/1, bounces right out. Cheated a bit on her switch side Popa, but her usual huge oversplits. Clean double tuck. 9.95

Moraw (Minn.): Bhs loso, good, she’s thrilled. Beat to split 3/4, soft knees. Check on her front aerial, lifted a leg a bit. Bhs gainer full, short, step forward. 9.7

Wojcik (UM): Tour jete full, maybe a touch short. RO 3/2 front lay, low on the lay. Tour jete half Popa. Good landing on her double pike. 9.95

FINAL: Michigan 197.975, Minnesota 197.075

Despite a tougher beam rotation, the Gophers get their road 197! Michigan almost hits 198 on a bit of an off night, with Morrison resting, some falls that don’t usually happen, and some little floor things that the judges seemed to not take. Overall, both teams will be happy with this one.

VT: Hooten 9.950
UB: Hooten 9.950
BB: Wojcik 10.0
FX: Hooten 9.975
AA: Wojcik 39.675

READ THIS NEXT: Does Winning a National Championship Affect the Amount of 10s Given the Following Season?

Live blog by Emily Minehart

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