Seria Johnson high-fives teammates

LIVE BLOG: Big Five Meet with No. 13 Ohio State, No. 18 Minnesota, No. 19 Michigan State, No. 41 Rutgers at No. 36 Nebraska

This is an exciting session. The Nos. 2, 3 and 4 teams in the conference are all in this session, which is one of the entertaining quirks of the fact that these sessions are set almost ten months in advance. All three of these teams are more than capable of winning today. Note that while Minnesota has the lowest peak score, it does have the highest road score of this group. Also keep in mind that Michigan State is coming off an unexpected bye week after gun violence rocked East Lansing last week. No one would begrudge the Spartans a little shakiness this week, but it would be a mistake to underestimate them.

Meanwhile, home team Nebraska was only selected as the host a few weeks ago, so this is an unexpected delight for the Huskers and local fans. Some teams might be bummed to lose an opportunity for a NQS road score, but Nebraska has actually been better on the road this year, so a great score today will allow the Huskers to drop their outright low score. Rutgers has one low score sitting on its NQS and can rocket up into the regionals ranks today if all goes well.

Don’t forget that seeding—and session assignment—at the Big Ten Championships is determined by head to head within the conference, not by NQS. Figuring that out is way above my pay grade, so just go ahead and follow managing editor Emily Minehart on Twitter, because she actually keeps track of the standings and will update you once we know something concrete.

Rotation 1: Ohio State VT, Michigan State UB, Nebraska BB, Rutgers FX

Schulte (UB): True Shap, messy backswing, to bail. Double layout stuck dead. Maybe a touch close to the bar. 9.85

Vetter (OSU): Clean FTY, smallish scoot back. Not the highest but good at keeping the drama low. 9.8

Hall (UNL): Full turn, maybe a tiny wiggle, BHS LOSO looks good. She’s got nice movement quality. Front aerial, adjustment but no actual check. Split to ring leap with low front leg and a check. Solid one and a half dismount. 9.75

Stephen (MSU): Maloney, pretty good, clear hip to bail. Nice FTDB with a hop back 9.825

Malas (OSU): FTY, clean onto the table, a touch of feet in the air but stuck. 9.875

Simpton (UNL): Triple series is SO clean, uses every inch of the beam. Clean and controlled. Full turn, cartwheel into choreo is nice. Gainer full with a scoot back. 9.85

Riccardi (OSU): High and clean FTY, medium hop back. 9.8

Zsarmani (MSU): Clean Pak… soft arms as she catches that. Maloney with a touch of form to Gienger. Double layout, hop back. 9.725

Jennings (OSU): High open FTY, scoot back. Such nice flare. 9.85

Gard (UNL): BHS LOSO, medium leg-up check. Split to split 3/4, slightly short of positions. Side aerial a little off but uses her arms aggressively to avoid a check. Switch gainer pike stuck. 9.775

Harris (OSU): One and a half, fabulous in the air, tiny shuffle on the landing. 9.95

Jackard (MSU): Blind to Jaeger, comes in a touch high and catches close. Pretty bail. Blind full double back stuck. 9.85

Edwards (OSU): Huge FTY, medium hop back. 9.825

Smith (MSU): Maloney to Pak, high and clean, great technique. Double lay, hop back. 9.825

Colombo (UNL): Front aerial BHS BHS, check. Split to double stag a tiny bit off but very minimal drama. Full turn, check. One and a half twist with a big hop. 9.725

Wood (RU): Rudi to LOSO, nice and clean. Tour jete half split full tuck full series well rotated. Dance is not… the best, she looks very disengaged. Front double full, shuffly and uncertain, you could potentially take a lot of separate foot movements there. 9.775 she got away pretty lightly.

Harkness (MSU): Clear hip to Gienger, really nice, bail. FTDB with two quick steps back. 9.85

Spence (UNL): Double wolf, wild in the middle with major arm waving but controls the finish. Front aerial BHS BHS is good. Switch leap to beat. One and a half twist with a small hop. 9.825

Joyner (RU): Double pike, just slightly imprecise lunge. Switch full is pretty but a touch underrotated, uses her shoulders to sell it as fully rotated. Front lay front full, close to the line and keeps the lunge small. Nice split positions in her leaps and one and a half front pike is good. 9.825

McLelland (UNL): Nice double wolf. BHS LOSO with an extra step back. BHS tuck 3/2, stuck. 9.875

Leese (RU): Full in, chest low and a long lunge back, looks like she went OOB. Tour jete half Popa Shushunova. Front through double back, some form in the air but lands well.

After 1: Ohio State 49.300, Michigan State 49.200, Nebraska 49.075, Rutgers 48.675

Pretty much what we expected out of the first rotation. It’s tight between the Buckeyes and the Spartans and we hope it’s going to stay tight.

Rotation 2: Rutgers VT, Ohio State UB, Michigan State BB, Minnesota FX

Kalefe (MSU): Super steady triple series, switch to tuck full to beat. Cartwheel gainer full, stuck. 9.925

Pritchard (OSU): Gienger to overshoot, nice, missed a handstand, blind full a little wobbly to stuck double back. 9.75

Lorente-Garcia (RU): WILD FTY, piked throughout and flat off the table. Low chest and a medium hop back. 9.725 is generous honestly.

Harris (OSU): Nice Ray. Toe to bail, tiny leg sep that judges probably won’t see. Blind on the last cast handstand, blind full double back with a hop forward. 9.75

Ni. Smith (MSU): BHS LOSO nice and high. Switch straddle quarter good. Full turn, solid, double tuck dismount, undercooked with low chest and a step forward. 9.825

Edwards (OSU): Toe to Maloney to Pak, just hours of airtime. Nice half turn on the low bar, blind full double back with a hop back.

Dildy (RU): Yurchenko full, low and piked down with a little shuffle. 9.8

Johnson (Minn): One and a half to Barani, shuffle back. Nice high leaps but some flexed feet. Double tuck, overrotated and pulls the front foot back a fair distance. 9.85

Riccardi (OSU): Arched the first handstand but held it, toe to Ray. Gorgeous Pak, Stalder to double back stuck. 9.8

Pagliaro (RU): Twisting WAY onto the table with leg sep, no real repulsion, piked down but great landing on her FTY. 9.825 generous again.

Miller (OSU): Toe on to Maloney to bail. Pretty. Double layout, hop back. 9.8…

Gerdes (Minn): Double back, overrotated, slightly wild leaps with unclear positions. Solid double pike. 9.925…?

Schulte (MSU): Full turn a little awkward. Switch switch half. Solid acro series. Gainer full, hop back.

Joyner (RU): FTY, technically solid, two big steps back. 9.725 oh I see what’s happening here, we’re scoring on landings alone.

Remlinger (Minn): Full in, some front foot shuffling. Switch side Popa. Nice double back. 9.925

Stephen (MSU): Front aerial 2-ft, a touch off with a step forward. BHS LOSO is nice. Double full dismount, hop back.

Hooten (Minn): FTDB, a touch overrotated, barely manages to keep her front foot down. Switch side Popa. Front full front pike, lands fully OOB. Great double tuck. 9.825, I’ve just learned that NCAA has basically no rules for OOB because I was expecting like a 9.4.

Garcia (MSU): Nice BHS LOSO. Front aerial to split. Really really precise. Gainer full stuck.

After 2: Michigan State 98.550, Ohio State 98.250, Rutgers 97.600, Minnesota 49.325, Nebraska 49.075

Rotation 3: Minnesota VT, Rutgers UB, Ohio State BB, Nebraska FX

Pritchard (OSU): Hitch kick side aerial is nice. Full turn. BHS LOSO nice and steady. Switch straddle quarter, a little awkward. Stuck one and a half, just a touch deep. 9.85

Jencks (Minn): Twisting on FTY, low, piked down stuck-ish. 9.85 ok

Lorente-Garcia (RU): Malone, messy backswing, to low Pak with leg separation. Missed a handstand, double layout with chest a little low and big hop forward. 9.6

Hankins (OSU): Has been in exhibition a number of times here, happy she’s made it in. BHS LOSO, medium check. Clean kickover front. Switch to split quarter. Double twist, stuck. 9.75

Ortiz (RU): Blind, little leg fllicker and late, to pike Jaeger, Bail a little awkward, blind full with messy feet to double back overcooked with a big step back. 9.525

Harris (OSU): Valdez makes me happy. Switch straddle quarter very tidy, nice full turn. Front aerial back tuck maybe a liiiittle bit slow, double full dismount stuck with a tiny lean forward. 9.825 is harsh.

Remlinger (Minn): Messyyyy on the table, tucked one and a half underrotated with a big step back. 9.875 no.

Aird (RU): Blind a touch late to piked Jaeger, close with bent arms. Clear hip to bail. Very piked DLO with a big hop back. 9.6

Gerdes (RU): One and a half, not the most height and a big step forward. 9.85

Jennings (OSU): BHS side aerial, tentative but clean. BHS gainer full stuck. 9.875

Quarles (Minn): Leg sep on the table and soft knees but stuck one and a half. 10.

McLelland (UNL): Front double full, long step out. One and a half front lay with a lot of height and super control. Switch hapf Popa maybe a touch underrotated but no drama. Rudi to double stag, travels backward a little. 9.9

Joyner (RU): Jaeger to bail, good, awkward last cast handstand, double lay whippy with a step back. 9.775

Hodges (OSU): Clean leaps to start, BHS LOSO, major bend check. Gainer LOSO, clean. Got the dismount but this is a drop routine. 9.675

After 3: Ohio State 147.350, Rutgers 146.000, Minnesota 98.750, Michigan State 98.550, Nebraska 98.425

Rotation 4: Nebraska VT, Minnesota UB, Rutgers BB, Michigan State FX

McClelland (UNL): Pretty clean FTY, a little short, hop forward. 9.775

Ny. Smith (MSU): Front through double back, overrotated, big scoot back. One and a half front lay, slightly weird punch but works through it. Double pike, overrotated with another scoot. 9.875 cute

Johnson (Minn): Maloney to bail, leg sep throughout. Stalder, late. to toe front 1/2 close but stuck. 9.825

Kuenemann (UNL): Low-ish and piked FTY, hop back.

Leese (RU): Kickover front, foot movement, BHS. Not the cleanest connection. Split to straddle 3/4, adjustment. Nice full turn. Front tuck full stuck. 9.775

Gerdes (Minn): Maloney, huuuuge leg sep on the backswing, to bail. Not sure about that last handstand. FTDB, step back. 9.85

Hall (UNL): Little leg sep, good dynamic FTY, small hop back.

Jencks (?) (Minn): Ray, feet flexed and close, clear hip muscled with bent arms to bail, double layout stuck.

Comin (UNL): Twisting onto the table in her FTY but relatively clean and just a tiny hop back. 9.875

Remlinger (RU): Ray, flexed feet, too far and falls. Toe to bail, not sure that made handstand. Missed another handstand, full out stuck. 9.1

Davis (UNL): FTY, leg sep on the table and form throughout, stuck-ish. 9.9, judges like to go high on this vault and I don’t totally understand why because there’s much cleaner work in this lineup.

Sales (Minn): Bail, good, blind to Markelov with an awkward catch because it came in sideways. Iffy last handstand, DLO stuck.

Spence (UNL): One and a half, soft knees throughout but nearly a stick, small shuffle forward. 9.925

Stephen (MSU): Front through double pike, short with a step forward. Switch half wolf full straddle, just hangs in the air. Great front double full. 9.95!

Hooten (Minn): Iffy first handstand, blind to pike Jaeger to overshoot comes in super low with bent arms on the low bar. Missed another handstand, full out stuck. 9.875

Joyner (RU): Full turn, so precise. Hangs out on releve for a second after she finishes. BHS LOSO a little off, adjusts quickly. Switch switch half great. One and a half twist, stuck-ish. 9.9

Ni. Smith (MSU): Full in, overrotated, slides back. Switch half Popa good. One and a half front lay, almost impossibly airy and landed well. Perfect double tuck. 9.95

Harkness (MSU): Full in, a little messy but landed well. Switch tour jete half wolf full. Front through double back a little shuffly. 9.9

Schulte (MSU): Full in, nailed the landing. Tour jete Popa to straddle, nice and clean. Front through double tuck, overcooked, bounces back but stays in bounds. Honestly if she’d got that we’d be in 10 territory. 9.925

After 4: Rutgers 195.225, Michigan State 148.15, Minnesota 147.900, Nebraska 147.800, Ohio State 147.350

Michigan State on vault becomes a pretty heavy favorite for this title, since Minnesota beam isn’t its best event this year. Nebraska is pretty much going crazy. Ohio State needs to hope for mistakes from others now, but can still get a good NQS road score.

Rotation 5: Michigan State VT, Nebraska UB, Minnesota BB, Ohio State FX

Ny. Smith (MSU): A touch soft on the table on her FTY and chest a smiiiidge low but just a tiny shuffle on the landing. 9.9 oh we’re doing it like this.

McClelland (UNL): Blind to Jaeger, clean. Bail looks a little low but fine, iffy last handstand, DLO just not turning over in the air for some reason and lands on her knees.

Koch (Minn): Full turn, BHS LOSO with soft knees and tentative. Beat to split 3/4, drastically short of split there which is normal for her and judges tend to ignore. Liukin… awkward, gets a little stuck in the middle but works it out. One and a half twist stuck. 9.875

Garcia (MSU): FTY, straight and clean, small hop back. 9.875

Gibson (UNL): Toe to Maloney to Pak, maybe a touch low but no drama. Chaotic half turn on the low bar, piked and sideways, missed a handstand, DLO piked down but stuck. 9.875

Riccardi (OSU): I don’t think she’s done this event much lately. Double pike, overcooked, hops back to lunge. One and a half front lay, comes in deep and takes a weird step to keep it upright. Nice double pike. 9.825

Schulte (MSU): FTY, nice and clean, stuck but chest low. 9.875

Colombo (UNL): Not sure she mad the first handstand, nice Jaeger, pretty Pak. Double front half out, some form and deep squat but stuck. 9.875

Hooten (Minn): Candle mount, kickover front BHS clean. Beat to straddle 3/4, jumps backwards and falls.

Kellerman (MSU): Nice pike 1/2, hop back. 9.875

Harris (OSU): Great double pike, switch side Popa. Front double full to stag jump, stumbles out of it a little. Great control on her front full front lay. 9.725

Spence (UNL): Maloney to Pak to toe on to van Leeuwen. Difficult and clean. Blind full double back stuck-ish. Nice!

Ni. Smith (MSU): One and a half, great and high, small hop forward. 9.95

Gagliardi (OSU): Rudi to double stag, tiny scoot back. Switch side Popa is great, double pike awkward, a touch undercooked. 9.85

Davis (NL): Maloney to clear hip, Hindorff close and awkward to bail, DLO stuck. 9.75

Stephen (MSU): FTY, tiny hop back. 9.925 cute

Edwards (OSU): Double pike, SO HIGH, nailed the landing. One and a half front lay, looked like she almost tripped as she was lunging forward but made it fine. Fantastic double pike. Amazing. 9.925

Rowray (Minn): Two falls in this lineup so far. BHS LOSO great. Switch to straddle half is great. Kickover front, check. Switch side, full turn with a check. Gainer pike JESUS CHRIST she hit a foot on the beam on the way down and fell. Stands up to salute and then she’s back down crying, obviously hurt. That was not fun to watch and presumably even less fun to feel.

Hodges (OSU): Nice double pike. Lost her leaps because I was coping with that Rowray fall. Rudi LOSO nailed. Good finish for the Buckeyes.

Gerdes (Minn): Don’t fancy having to follow that. Front aerial good, BHS LOSO with a check. Split to double stag. Nice gainer full off the side.

FINAL: Michigan State 197.675, Nebraska 196.925, Ohio State 196.750, Minnesota 195.800, Rutgers 195.225

That’s a PR for Michigan State! Go you, MSU! Totally magnificent day for Nebraska, too.

Ohio State scraped a pretty good road score out of what was overall a pretty scrappy meet. It really tells you how far this program has come that 196.750 is a just-OK meet. Rutgers logged its top road score of the season, which you can never complain about. Minnesota was putting together a great meet before that beam disaster at the end. Hoping for the best for Brooklyn Rowray.

VT: Maddie Quarles 10.000
UB: Emma Spence, Tiarre Sales 9.900
BB: Giana Kalefe 9.925
FX: Gabi Stephen, Nikki Smith 9.950
AA: Gabi Stephen 39.575

READ THIS NEXT: For Michigan, Success on Vault Lies in the Details

Live blog by Rebecca Scally

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