LIVE BLOG: MRGC Championship

It’s conference championship day! This is the last time the MRGC will convene with four teams, as BYU is off to the Big 12 next season. As for tonight, this meet is critical for BYU and Boise State who need 196.200s to secure their regional spots. Conference leader Southern Utah has already secured not competing in the play in meets, while reigning conference champion Utah State has unfortunately been eliminated from regional contention.

Southern Utah is the heavy favorite tonight, but it has had some late season beam meltdowns that are cause for concern. If the Thunderbirds slip up on beam, Boise State and BYU could vie for the title as well. As for individual titles, Karley McClain is likely to take the all around title and is a strong contender for the floor title as well. Boise State’s Emily Lopez will be favored to take the bar title, with a 10.000 to her name this season. Lopez will also be in the hunt for the beam title as will BYU’s Elease Rollins and Southern Utah’s Shylen Murakami. All in all, this meet should be exciting, let’s get to it!

Update: BYU and Boise State have secured regionals spots on account of others performances earlier in the day, so while not directly important for regional spots anymore, this meet will still affect BYU and Boise’s rankings.

Rotation 1: Utah State VT, Southern Utah UB, Boise State BB, BYU FX

Gatzlaff (VT): yfull with a hop back and a bit of a pike down as well

Vulaj (BB): Bhs , loso and a fall. Gainer loso is good. Big check on a front toss. Back 1.5 with a hop

C. Kho (UB): Maloney, Pak, leg separation. A bit late on the half pirouette. Toe on, full twisting double tuck is stuck.

Millar (FX): Double tuck to open, lands short and has to take a hop forward. Leaps are okay. Front layout, front full, stuck, excellent.

Southam (VT): Yurchenko half, lands it and takes a step forward. She’s struggled with that this season, nice to see her hit it.

Little (BB): Bhs loso is secure. Switch leap, straddle quarter, nice 180s. Front aerial, beat jump. Love the leg up hold position. Back 1.5, good to get them back on track

Benson (FX): Double tuck, lunge backwards well controlled. Tour jete half, popa, flexed feet. Front lay, front full, no issues. Double pike, jump into a lunge solid.

Schwartze (UB): Piked Jaeger, not the most amplitude. Really nice Bail. Great vertical position on the final handstand. Giant full, double tuck with a hop.

Elkbachi (BB): bhs, loso with a balance check. Straddle half, another balance check. Straddle half, tuck jump. Back 1.5 with a hop forward

Eagles (VT): stuck yfull, piked it down and has some leg form in the air, but great landing.

Goodman (UB): A little short on the first handstand. Piked Jaeger, next handstand is great. Pak with a leg separation. Short final handstand. Giant full, double tuck is stuck.

Dudley (FX): Opens with a solid double pike. Front full, front lay, good rise on that second layout. Switch side, wolf full, over rotates the switch side a bit. Double tuck, nice chest up landing.

Lopez (BB): Bhs, loso, bhs, it looked like she slowed down between the loso and bhs but no balance check. Switch leap, straddle quarter is good. Front toss looks easy. Gainer full with a hop backwards

Brooks (VT): yfull with a hop back, pikes it down significantly

Schooley (FX): Tour jete half. Front layout, front full is a bit messy in the air, but well controlled. Switch ring, switch side, positions are fine. Double tuck to finish, keeps her chest well up.

McClain (UB): Hit first handstand. Gienger. Good handstand, Bail. Double layout with a small hop.

Ostendorf (VT): best yfull so far, nice amplitude small shuffle back.

Loyim (BB): Balance check on her triple series. Side aerial is good. Switch leap, switch leap, not the most dynamic but hits the 180 positions well. Gainer full with her chest down and a hop forward.

Murakami (UB): Good first handstand. Straddled Jaeger, overshoot, very clean. Excellent final handstand, FTDT with a shuffle back.

Rollins (FX): Opens with a stuck double tuck and her chest is pretty well up also. Switch side, full twisting double stag jump. Front layout, front full is good.

Stuart (VT): Nice yfull, really high, but pikes it down and has to take a big hip backwards

Popp (BB): Great front aerial to start, really crisp. Bhs, bhs, two oot layout, small balance check. Switch leap, switch half, splits are okay. Gainer full is stuck.

Ripley (FX): Front tuck through to double tuck. Switch side, popa, wolf full, the popa was short of split from this angle. Double pike, not the highest, but she landed it fine, slightly uncontrolled lunge back.

Neff (UB): Hit handstand. Maloney, Bail, leg separation on the Maloney. Good handstand. Giant full, double tuck with a step forward

After 1: BYU 49.225, Southern Utah 49.100, Utah State 48.900, Boise State 48.775

BYU looked secure on floor. Its not the most difficult floor rotation, but it was well executed with very few chest down landings. Southern Utah was fine on bars, but didn’t stick enough dismounts to score into the 9.900s at all. Utah State had one of its better vault rotation this year, with Ostendorf being very clean. I was very impressed by Boise State coming back to hit five beam routines after an opening fall, and despite being last right now, this rotation bodes well for the Broncos for the rest of the night.

Rotation 2: BYU VT, Utah State UB, Southern Utah BB, Boise State FX

Dudley (VT): Stuck yfull, not the most amplitude and a bit of a pike down.

Murakami (BB): Bhs, loso is secure. Split jump, sheep jump is excellent, great sheep position. Gainer full is stuck. Nice start!

Vulaj (FX): Back 1.5, front full, secure landing. Switch leap, tour jete full, short of split on the second. L hop full, keeps leg above horizontal. Double pike, clean landing.

Guiterrez (UB): Maloney, Bail. Short on the Bail but no visible leg separation. Short handstand. Double layout with a small hop back.

Raesly-Patton (VT): Yurchenko full on, tuck off, small hop backwards.

Smith (BB): Round off, loso, solid. Switch leap, split 3/4, split 3/4 is very short of split. Back 1.5, really small hop.

Lucas (FX): Clean double pike to open. Switch side, popa, good splits. Back 1.5, front lay, nice rise on the second salto. Double tuck, lands short with her chest low and has to take a step forward.

Rojas (UB): Great first handstand. Maloney, Bail, leg separation in both. Another great handstand. Double layout is stuck!

Cacciola (BB): Bhs loso is solid. Beat jump, gainer loso is excellent, super crisp! Switch leap switch leap, split jump, really nice back leg position on those leaps. Back 1.5 with a step. Those leaps have improved a lot since the beginning of the season, love to see it.

Benson (VT): yfull, nearly stuck, a small pike down.

Bibbey (UB): Hit handstand. Big Tkachev, flexed feet. Short handstand. Bail is fine. Another short handstand. Double layout with a step.

Loyim (FX): Whip double tuck, larger lunge back. Switch side popa, fine. Solo punch front. Great double pike to finish, chest well up

Ripley (VT): Front hand pike, interesting that they’ve ditched the front hand pike half, nearly stuck it though, small step back.

Schwartze (BB): Bhs loso is nice, good extension. Small check on the full turn, covers well. Beat jump, gainer loso, beat jump. Split jump, sheep jump, does not hit the sheep position all the way. Stuck gainer full

McGovern (FX): Rudi, loso, loses her knee form in that pass. Switch half, tuck jump 1.5, landing positions are indistinct. Double tuck, a little short and takes a step forward.

Brooks (UB): Jaeger, overshoot, a bit short of horizontal. Good handstand. Stuck double layout is beautiful.

Vultaggio (BB): bhs loso, looked off, but minimized the deduction. Split jump, loso, beat jump is good. Switch leap, split jump, back leg was a tad low on the split jump. Check on the full turn. Back 1.5 with a small hop forward

Eaquinto (VT): Great yfull, very high and stuck!

Kirstine (UB): Great opening handstand. Maloney to Pak, small leg separation on both. Good finishing position on the half pirouette. Short final handstand. Giant full double tuck is stuck.

Blackson (FX): Front double full, front tuck, excellent control. Tour jete half, split jump full. Back 2.5, absolutely fantastic control on that pass!

McClain (BB): Bhs, loso, right on, and really emphasizes it with her arms. Switch leap, split jump. Cat leap, side aerial. Split jump, straddle quarter. Excellent full turn. Dismounts with a back 1.5 and sticks it! Amazing routine for the senior!

Mason (VT): Yurchenko 1.5, is going for the stick and has to take a step backwards.

Aragon (UB): Hit handstand. Tkatchev, nice toe point. Short on the Bail. FTDT is stuck!

Leitch (FX): Opens with a double pike. Switch half, wolf full, short on the switch half, Front lay, front full, leg separation in the full. Double tuck, lands a bit deep and the landing is a little awkward.

After 2: Southern Utah 98.400, BYU 98.275, Utah State 97.925, Boise State 97.925

Wow! Half way through and lots of high quality gymnastics all around! Southern Utah was lights out on beam for a 49.300 and to take the lead over BYU. BYU scored a 49.025 on vault, lead by Eaquinto’s great full. Boise State and Utah State also had solid rotations to stay in this meet. All four teams are separated by only half a point, these last two rotations should be exciting!

Rotation 3: Boise State VT, BYU UB, Utah State BB, Southern Utah FX

Ostendorf (BB): Full turn. Bhs, loso is solid. Split jump, tuck full, back leg a touch low on the split jump. Front toss, small balance check. Back 1.5 wit ha hip forward.

S. Kho (VT): yfull, looked like her arms were bent on the table, but she got good amplitude regardless. Medium hop backwards.

Mason (UB): Good handstand. Maloney, Pak, leg separation in the Pak. Great pirouette. Good veritcal position on the final handstand. Double layout with a step.

Cacciola (FX): Double tuck is secure. Front lay front, full. Switch ring, switch half, nice ring position, really hits that head release. Rudi to finish, well controlled.

Eagles (BB): check on the full turn. Bhs loso is hit. Side aerial is secure. Switch leap, split jump, leap was short of split. Stuck 1.5.

Loyim (VT): Yurchenko layout half, with a stumble backwards,

Benson (UB): Arch on the first handstand. Tkachev, flexed feet and really late to bring her feet back together. Bail is fine. Good last handstand. Double layout is stuck.

Vultaggio (FX): Secure double pike to open, great chest position. Back 1.5, front lay in the middle of the floor, solid. Double tuck, lands a little deep, but well controlled.

Brooks (BB): Front aerial, backhandspring swing down. Small check on some of the low to the beam choreography. Switch half, split jump, balance check. Full turn. Stuck gainer full.

Vulaj (VT): Yurchenko full on pike off, stuck! Great distance as well.

Eaquinto (UB): Good handstand. Maloney, Pak, leg separation on the Maloney but great legs together on the Pak. Good handstand, double layout, hop in place

Ingrassia (FX): Front tuck through to double pike, stumble back. Switch side, wolf full, wolf full, messy wolf positions on both jumps. Lands short on the double tuck, chest down and has to take a step forward.

Sullivan (BB): Front aerial, balance check. Redoes, front aerial, loso, another balance check. Switch leap, back tuck, secure. Back 1.5 with a step back

Popp (VT): Front handspring pike half, lands with her feet apart and has to take a hop backward.s

Hunter (UB): Short handstand, Tkachev, Some hip angle in the bail. Hit handstand, double layout with a step.

Schwartze (FX): Double full with a crossover step. Switch half, wolf full, a little bit messy on both elements. Rudi loso is excellent

Bayles (BB): Front aerial, bhs, great extension on that series. Full turn is no problem. Switch leap, tuck 3/4 is solid. Front aerial, split jump, low back leg. Back tuck 1.5 with a crossover step, really nice on the beam

Lopez (VT): Stuck yfull, her chest is just slightly forward, but excellent amplitude.

Alvarado (UB): Nice handstand, Maloney, Pak, very small leg separations on both, not sure if its visible from the side. Great pirouette. Double layout with a small step.

McClain (FX): Huge double pike to open. Back 1.5, front lay, excellent rise on the second salto. Switch half, wolf full. Double tuck to finish, controlled lunge. Another good one!

Kirstine (BB): Side aerial is secure. Cat leap, side somi. Switch leap, straddle quarter, short of split on the switch leap. Front gainer full, small hop.

Blackson (VT): Nearly sticks her Yurchenko 1.5, a little bit of leg form as well, but a great vault.

Bramblett (UB): Short first handstand. Great Jaeger to overshoot, excellent extension. Double layout with just a small step, very nice.

Gull (FX): Double pike to open, bit of a lunge plus a slide. Back 1.5, front half, split jump. Split full, wolf full, rotation was unclear on both of those. Double tuck with a big hop back.

After 3: Southern Utah 147.575, BYU 147.400, Boise State 147.100, Utah State 146.850

Southern Utah and BYU are within two tenths of each other after Southern Utah extended its lead by half a tenth during the third rotation thanks to McClain’s great 9.925 on floor. BYU also performed well on bars, ledy by Eaquinto’s 9.875. Boise State is about five tenths back from the lead after performing well on vault, led by Blackson’s 9.900. Utah State fell back a little bit after posting just below a 49.000 on beam. This last rotation should be exciting!

Rotation 4: Southern Utah VT, Boise State UB, BYU BB, Utah State FX

Ono (BB): Bhs, bhs, loso and a fall. Full turn, balance check. Straddle jump, straddle jump half. Gainer full small hop. Pressure is on for the rest of the lineup.

Cacciola (VT): Stuck yfull to open, not the highest, but a great layout position and nice distance! 9.900

Little (UB): Nice handstand. Maloney, Pak, Loose back on the pirouette. Great handstand. Giant full, double tuck step back. Kind of got stuck in the giant full but worked out of it fine.

Gatzlaff (FX): Double tuck, big lunge backwards. Leaps were fine. Rudi, split jump, jump travels a bit. Back 1.5, front lay and falls.

Raesly-Patton (BB): Front aerial, split jump. Love the high toe releve choreography. Switch leap, split jump, good positions. Bhs, loso, secure. Back 1.5 with a hop, nice moment for the freshman.

McClain (VT): Yfull with a hop back and little bit of a pike down.

Morden (UB): Short handstand. Piked Jaeger, nice. Bail, aggressive handstand position. Hit handstand, stuck ftdt.

Brooks (FX): Front layout, Rudi well controlled. Front layout, front full, leg separation on the front layout. Switch leap, switch ring half, short of split on both

Margraf (BB): Front aerial, back tuck, waver afterwards. Nice switch half to beat jump. Arm wave on the full turn. Stuck front full.

Kho (VT): Yurchenko 1.5 with just a step. Great distance one of her better vaults, just some leg form.

McGovern (UB): Short handstand. Geinger, overshoot, short of horizontal on the overshoot. Good handstand, to a high and stuck FTDT.

Eagles (FX): Front lay, front full to start, good control. Double tuck is really high, chest just a little low, but well controlled. Switch side, split full, a bit messy on the second jump.

Dudley (BB): Bhs, loso, small check. Switch leap, straddle jump, straddle quarter, good splits on all three elements. Cat leap, side aerial is very sharp. Stuck 1.5, BYU is coming back strong after the fall

Pardue (VT): Yurchenko 1.5 with a hop forward, great amplitude.

Hamby (UB): Short handstand. Ray, overshoot, some flexed feet. Another short handstand, double layout with a small hop forward.

Toomey (FX): Rudi, loso, gets good amplitude on the loso. Switch half, wolf full, short of split on the switch half. Front full, front full, clean.

Rollins (BB): Switch leap, straddle quarter, clean. Front aerial, bhs, loso, lovely extension. Gainer full is stuck, excellent!

Smith (VT): Yurchenko full on, tuck off, big step backwards, not her most controlled vault

Blackson (UB): Nice handstand. Bail, her feet were really wide on the squat on to high bar.  Khorkina is great. Good handstand. Double layout with a hop

Ostendorf (FX): Front layout, Rudi is good, really well controlled. Switch side, straddle jump. Double tuck, nice chest up position.

Millar (BB): Bhs, loso, very pretty extension. Almost falls on her full turn but saves it. Switch leap, switch side, good split positions. Cartwheel from the knee is cool. Beat jump, straddle half. Front full with a hop.

Vultaggio (VT): yfull, not her highest vault, but good landing control, just a small hop

Lopez (UB): Hit handstand. Piked Jaeger and falls, NO. Remounts, Bail is good. Dismounts with a double layout with a small hop

Stuart (FX): Whip half, front full, a little bit of leg form. Excellent double tuck, great chest up landing and well controlled. Switch leap, switch ring half, the second leap was missing some of the head release needed for a ring position.

FINAL: Southern Utah 196.875, BYU 196.575, Boise State 196.000, Utah State 195.825

Southern Utah pulled away to win its first MRGC Championship! Karley McClain had a massive 39.525 in the all around thanks to 9.925s on beam and floor, and Ellie Cacciola also had an impressive night with two 9.900s as well. All four teams looked really sharp tonight, and it was impressive to see both BYU and Boise State come back from opening beam falls to hit clean rotations. Utah State also had one of its most complete meets of the season. For Southern Utah, BYU, and Boise State, regionals are up next!

VT: Courtney Blackson, Ellie Cacciola 9.900
UB: Kylie Eaquinto, Trista Goodman 9.875
BB: Elease Rollins 9.975
FX: Karley McClain 9.925
AA: Karley McClain 39.525

READ THIS NEXT: After Turnover and Turbulence, Kristin White Leads New Era for Utah State

Live blog by Rebecca Williams

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