LIVE BLOG: GEC Championship Session Two

It’s time for round two of the GEC championship, featuring the top four ranked teams in the conference. This one is bound to be a doozy. 

Penn enters this meet as the favorite and reigning champion. However, at the 2023 Ivy Classic, Brown took the crown after having a season-high day. With conference taking place on a neutral playing ground for all four of these teams, no one will have the home-floor advantage. This bodes well on the Penn front as Brown took Ivies in Providence. 

Pennsylvania has been pushing boundaries all season. Marissa Lassiter has made a name for herself as a freshman, while the duo of Marr sisters have been marking their names in the history books. Brown has had a rise of its own, with leaders such as Julia Bedell and Angela Xing leading the way. West Chester has been strong and steady all year, peaking just at the right time. Lily McFarland is an athlete to watch out for, especially on beam. Yale has been up and down but fearless leader Raegan Walker has not failed to hit when it counts. Not to mention freshman Hana Strause has starting announcing her presence.

While this meet is likely to be a race between Penn and Brown, the other two teams could make some waves with a major hit here.

Rotation 1: Brown VT, Yale UB, Penn BB, WCU FX

Kramer (Brown): Opened with a Y full. Good way to start the meet.

Aviad (Yale): Swiing half to Tkatchev. Overshoot. Small hop on the dismount. 9.650

Belkoff (Penn ) BHS BHS LOSO. Switch leap, sheep jump. Knees apart there. RO back 1.5 with a hop back.

Xing (Brown): Dynamic Y full for her with a hop back.

Fred (WCU): Wolf 1.5. Whip to 1.5, back on her heels but managed.

Wilson (Yale): Ray to overshoot. 45 degrees. Small leg separation. Blind full, double tuck is stuck.

El Mammann (Brown): Hop forward on the Y full. A little low in the height department.

S. Kenefick (Penn): BHS BHS LOSO is solid as can be. Under the straddle position on the straddle 3/4. RO back 1.5 with a hop forward.

Cascadden (WCU): Wolf 1.5. Low on the double tuck opening pass. Front full, front lay. Arched it around. Back 1.5 to front tuck. Stuck that one.

Another one in the make column for Sabatini on bars. Dewar with a solid Y full for Brown.

Contello (Brown): Pretty large step on the Y full. Larger than shoulder width.

Wang (Yale): Jaeger is right on. Overshoot. FTDT with a pace forward.

Werlen (Penn): Perfect landing on the BHS LOSO. RO back 1.5 dismount is on the money.

Bedell (Brown): Just a bounce in place for her on the Y full. So dynamic and high off the table. Loved it. 9.850

Walker (Yale): Blind, Jaeger. Yes. Overshoot right to handstand. Double layout. Stuck. Holy crap. Chills.

C. Marr (Penn): Small check on the series. Cat leap to side aerial. Another check. Wobble on the turn. BHS gainer full is stuck. Strong finish.

Rodriguez (WCU): Double pike is off center and OOB. Front full, front tuck. Double tuck with the chest up. Nice finish.

Henry (Yale): Loose on the catch on the release. Overshoot. Step forward on the double layout.

Missed most of Kerico on beam, but looked a little wobbly throughout with a stuck dismount. The front tuck difficulty is nice to see. 9.825. oh.

M. Marr (Penn): BHS LOSO. Perfection. Large wobble on the hitch kick side aerial with a bend at the hips. Switch leap, straddle 1/4. Stuck BHS to gainer full. 9.725

Fanara (WCU): Love this music. Double pike. Gooooo Rams. Switch side, popa. Double tuck. Good routine for her! 9.725

Kissinger (WCU): Rudi LOSO. The height. Tour jete full. Actually around. A shoulder circle. Back 1.5 by itself. Tour jete half, split full. Rudi to double stag. Nice and controlled. An interesting pass composition, but whatever works. 9.875

AFTER ONE: Yale 48.875, WCU 48.825, Penn 48.775, Brown 48.700

That was a strong start for literally every team. We love to see it. I think Penn will wish it had killed it a little better on beam, but it was obvious each athlete was fighting for every tenth. Raegan Walker had the highest score of anyone on that event, tying McKenna Kissinger for West Chester on floor. Overall, every team asserted that it’s here to win, so TBD how this will go.

P.S. It took me the majority of that rotation to fully digest this video set up. Hopefully next rotation I’ll get it together. I really do love the level of information that Virtius provides. Scores with the athlete’s headshot is really a wild, new experience.

Rotation 2: WCU VT, Brown UB, Yale BB, Penn FX

Strause (Yale): BHS LOSO. Solid. Clean. Solid leap. Ring leap is right on. BHS BHS double full, low with a step back.

Lee (Brown): Blind full to double back is right on top with a hop back.

Kissinger (WCU): FHS double full. Barely touched her hands. Starts from a 10.0. Step forward. 9.575

Wilson (Yale): Front tuck with a step forward and a lean. Good extension on the straddle jump. BHS LOSO. Side aerial to sissone. Gainer pike is stuck.

Richter (Brown): Solid Jaeger. Overshoot. Blind full, double tuck is close and stuck. 9.800

Stuck Y tuck full for Rodriguez for WCU. 9.675

Caught a back 1.5 front lay for Oniki on floor. Good control. Apparently control issues on the first pass.

McKeown (Brown): Swing half, Tkatchev. Right on. Oveshoot. 45 degrees. Double layout. Tried to stick, threw the head back too early and had to hop forward. 9.775

Eskew (WCU): Full on to tuck off. Stuck. Wow. 9.775

Rosen (Penn): Back 1.5 to front layout. Bounding step forward. Switch side half, straddle jump. Some lack of control on the double tuck to finish. 9.800

“Judges intervention.”

K. Johnson (WCU): Y full with a hop in place. 9.700

Meeks (Yale): Solid on the series. Switch leap, split 1/4, split 1/2 sideways. Unique. Gainer pike is stuck. 9.800

Poley pulled in quite close on the FTDT with a step back. Otherwise strong set. 9.750

Carroll (WCU): Piked in the air on the Y full with a step.

Davies (Penn): Double pike. Nice control there. Leg separation on the front lay front full. Double tuck. Solid routine there. 9.900

Contello (Brown): Tkatchev is missed. Blind full, giant, overshoot. Very on the side of the bar. Double layout is stuck. Very pretty.

Mangiacapre (Yale): Off on the BHS LOSO. Front aerial to beat. Nice. Gainer pike. Stuck. Good fight to finish. Yale will need to get things back on track to avoid counting this routine.

Lassiter (Penn): Front full, tucked front full. Unique pass there. 9.875

Farrell (Brown): Clear hip, shaposh, pak. Half turn on low is stellar. Blind full double tuck. Very deep squat with a step forward. 9.425

Walker (Yale): Doing her thing up there. Right on on the series. Grabs the beam on a turn. Front aerial to split jump. Switch leap, split jump. A crown. BHS gainer full is stuck. You know she’s kicking herself for that turn cause the rest was amazing. 9.625

S. Kenefick (Penn): Back 2.5 to front tuck. A little off center but controlled fine. Switch side. Popa popa. Go Penn fight! Front double full. Landed while still twisting. She’s hurt. Tried to get back up to finish, but sat back down. I hope she’s okay. 8.925

Sabatini (Yale): Another series fall. Side aerial. Nice. RO back 1.5 dismount.

AFTER TWO: Penn 97.850, Brown 97.225, WCU 97.125, Yale 96.975

Penn was on a roll prior to Kenefick going down in the anchor spot, so the team is still in the lead here. Brown and Yale both had some uncharacteristic hiccups that had to count, holding them back for the time being. West Chester had some awesome sticks in that rotation!

Rotation 3: Penn VT, WCU UB, Brown BB, Yale FX

Hi. My feed is buffering. So sorry.

Betts (WCU): Blind full, overshoot. Double layout. Good landing there.

Kramer (Brown): Side aerial to BHS with a baby lean. Scale. Not centered over the beam on the 3/4 jump. Front full with a hop forward. 8.975

Holt (Yale): Front double full is nice and around. Back 1.5 to front lay. On her heels. A touch slidey. Rudi. September music is the move.

Rodriguez (WCU): Blind full, pak salto. A little jerky. Toe up to high. FTDT with a medium step forward.

C. Marr (Penn): Full on tuck off with a hop back. Dynamic off the table, flipping fast.

McKeown (Brown): BHS LOSO. Right on. Beat straddle 3/4. Aerial is not quick around but managed. Gainer full with a hop back. 9.725

Bueck (Yale): Double tuck. Front lay front full is on the heels. Rudi connected to a jump to finish.

Strong vault from Lassiter on vault. 9.625 Loved the straddle back from Kelly on bars.

Agarwala (Penn): Full on tuck off is STUCK. I liked that one. So hard to get pop off the table on that vault.

Wicker (WCU): Blind full, Tkatchev. Overshoot. Double layout with a step back. Some form throughout the routine. 9.650

Davis (Brown): Switch half. Hitch kick to side aerial. Around the side and off.

Belkoff (Penn): Y half with a medium sized bound forward. Too much power.

Double pike was too much pull. Two steps and a roll out of bounds for Riley Meeks (Yale).

Eskew (WCU): Blind full to gienger is missed. Half pirouette is loose in the back on low. Double layout with a pace back.

Vahorn (Penn): FHS Front pike half. A step back. Love a 10.0 start.

Marcus (Brown): Beat to straddle 3/4. Missed the punch front, so let my depression commence. Back1.5 is stuck to finish. Way to hit and get back on track.

Wang (Yale): Double to start. Good control. Double tuck. Chest up. Yes ma’am. Back 1.5 to front lay landing is so squatty but didn’t quite sit it.

Coleman (WCU): Blind, Jaeger to overshoot. Some feet. Blind full double tuck is stuck. Chest all the way up. 9.775

Contello (Brown): BHS LOSO. YES. Lovely leg position. Beat to split 3/4. Switch leap to straddle 1/4. Front aerial. Stuck gainer pike to finish things off.

Strause (Yale): Back 2.5 punch front like it’s easy. Leap is right around. Double pike. Chest down.

Xing (Brown): BHS LO-two feet. Piked at the hips and had to take the fall. LOSO connected is nice and high. Good extension on the straddle 1/4. RO double full is an ankle cruncher. Not enough height. A second fall for her.

Wilson (Yale): Back 1.5 to front layout. Nice layout position and amplitude on the second flip. Switch ring half, so hard and done nicely. Double pike. Chest down but stuck. Finesse.

AFTER THREE: Penn 146.375, Yale 145.800, WCU 145.350, Brown 144.650

Beam is proving to be the nemesis of the meet. Yale fought to avoid counting a fall in that rotation. Penn’s 10.0 vault upgrades really shined in rotation three. Landings didn’t necessarily go the team’s way, but no matter. Jordan Coleman’s bar routine stood out among the pack for West Chester on bars.

As far as the team rankings, Penn is going to bars, the event that kept the team from contending for the Ivies. Yale is heading to vault, a much improved rotation toward the end of this season. We might get an upgrade from Sarah Wilson, too.

Rotation 4: Yale VT, Penn UB, WCU BB, Brown FX

Aviad (Yale): Y half. Tucked the knees a bit in the air. Step forward.

Poley (Brown): Front lay front full. Double tuck to finish. A little short, had to lunge forward. 9.825

Allen (WCU): Switch leap, tuck full. All the way around. A lean on the turn. Gainer full dismount. A hip rise but stuck. 9.750

Penn is still warming up?? I’m confused.

Lacey (WCU): Side aerial with a leg up check. A kind of scary fall on the BHS LOSO. Switch side connected from a jump. Nice. Back on track. Gainer pike is stuck.

Walker (Yale): Also tucked her knees on the half. Large step forward.

El Mammann (Brown): Front full front lay. Missed the double tuck to start, but apparently a little over. Slow legs on the popa. Not quite snappy. 9.825

Sabatini (Yale): Good shape in the air on that Y full.

Wang (Yale): Y full with a medium step back. Good shape in the air.

Marshall (WCU): Switch leap straddle 1/4. BHS LOSO. Small lean, managed well. Cat leap side aerial, small check. Switch leap, gainer pike.

Kramer (Brown): Front lay, Rudi. Loved that pass. Double tuck, chest low but controlled fine.

Sarah Kenefick did end up competing bars apparently. Legs apart on the pak. Unique double full dismount.

Lassiter (Penn): Blind, Jaeger. So powerful. Overshoot is loose in the back. FTDT with a hop back.

Davis (Brown): Double pike with good pop off the floor. Whip half front full with a stagger step or two. Magestic dance. Excellent toe point. 9.675

Rodriguez (WCU): Switch leap, split 3/4. Small check forward. BHS LOSO with a leg up wobble. Front gainer full off the end is stuck.

Kuhn(Penn): Tkatchev to pak. Good push away from the bar. Over on the turn on low. FTDT is stuck. Chest forward.

Whitaker (WCU): Switch leap, split jump. A little under position. Beat to split full. BHS LOSO with a lean and knees soft. Front toss. Gainer pike is stuck. 9.675

Van Zandt (Brown): Double tuck. Possible OOB. Double pike to finish. A little too much knee give. 9.650

Oniki (Penn): Overshoot. Double layout is stuck. Beautiful line in the air. I missed her release, but the excitement tells me it went fine. 9.725

McFarland (WCU): The screen has no beam. Cat leap, side aerial. Switch leap, split 1/2. RO back 1.5 is stuck. 9.850 I hate that I had to watch that from the back of the floor feed.

Kerico (Penn): Lovely ray. Good amplitude. FTDT with a stagger step. 9.650

Bedell (Brown): FTDT with astronomical height. Tour jete half, split full. Dynamic as they come. Front through to double tuck. So good. Yes. I need her to break the program record already. 9.950. LETS GOOOOOOOOOO.

M. Marr (Penn): Toe hand, thought it looked fine but she fell over on the handstand. The commentator jinx. Not me this time. Toe hand, Maloney, Overshoot. Little leg separation on the back swing. Double layout with a pace forward. I’m going to pretend that first fall didn’t happen.

Final: Penn 194.875, Yale 194.200, WCU 194.075, Brown 193.750

While it’s easy to focus on the greatness that was Penn in this meet, let’s not overlook West Chester’s stellar performance tonight, posting the second score over 194 this season. What a great momentum builder heading into USAG nationals. Penn was stellar across the board, but most stunned on floor with a 49.075. Yale’s beam held it back today, but the other three events really showed the competition how it’s done. Brown beam also had beam struggles, but floor absolutely made that a thing of the past, ending with a program record by Julia Bedell.

AA Winner: Sarah Wilson (Yale), 38.950

VT Winner: Julia Bedell (Brown), 9.850

UB Winner: Raegan Walker (Yale), 9.875

BB Winner: Lily McFarland (West Chester), 9.850

FX Winner: Julia Bedell (Brown), 9.950

READ THIS NEXT: Bubble Watch: March 15

Live Blog by Tavia Smith

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