Hello again from Duluth, folks!
Reigning SEC champion Florida is undeniably the team to beat, but it’s not invulnerable: This LSU squad is scrappy beyond belief and already proven capable of upsetting the Gators, handing them their first loss of the season.
Meanwhile, Kentucky is on a hot streak and has closed the scoring gap on Florida and LSU in recent weeks:
Here's the average score over the last 2 weeks for @SEC teams:@GatorsGym 197.938@LSUgym 197.863@UKGymnastics 197.738@MizzouGym 197.163@RazorbackGym 197.025@AuburnGym 197.025@BamaGymnastics 196.938@UGAGymnastics 196.888— Drew Porche (@TalentStats) March 16, 2023
Alabama, under first-time head coach Ashley Johnston, is the underdog heading into tonight’s session (which is to say imminently capable of breaking 198 with a hit meet).
Arguably just as exciting, the all-around race is going to be incredible, with eight gymnasts (not including Sunisa Lee) ranked in the top 20.
Find links to watch and follow scores here, and catch up on all the action from the afternoon session here.
Standings after Session One: Auburn 197.100, Missouri 197.000, Arkansas 196.825, Georgia 196.600
VT: Cassie Stevens, Jocelyn Moore–9.950
UB: Helen Hu–9.950
BB: Helen Hu–9.950
FX: Norah Flatley, Lauren Williams, Cassie Stevens, Haley De Jong, Soraya Hawthorne, Alisa Sheremeta, Jocelyn Moore–9.900
AA: Cassie Stevens–39.650
Full disclosure: My view of bars is fantastic! My view of vault is fine. My view of beam and floor is not great and prone to people standing in front of me.
Rotation One: Florida vault, LSU bars, Alabama beam, Kentucky floor
Richards (UF): Big Y1.5, landed deep but basically stuck. 9.825
Wong (UF): RO half on pike half off, big block and plenty of amplitude. Small hop back. 9.900
Blakely (UF): Beauty of a Y 1.5, no underrotation this week. Saunters off (as she should). 9.950
DiCello (UF): Big Y 1.5. Lots of air, but soft form and a large hop forward. 9.800
Thomas (UF): Twisted early, but a pretty Y 1.5 with a little stutter step at the end. 9.875
Clark (UF): Good amplitude on her Y full, really nothing to take in the air and just a hop back on the landing. 9.825
Jeffrey (LSU): Really clean positions throughout. MASSIVE FTDT, college stick. 9.850
Dunne (LSU): Tight Tkatchev, not the highest. No problems on the Pak. Fairly piked in her giants throughout. DLO with a college stick. 9.850
Tatum (LSU): Tons of air on her Tkatchev, caught on her fingertips, and floaty Pak. Final handstand a bit short, but stuck the FTDT. 9.900
Finnegan (LSU): SUPER close on her piked Deltchev. No problems on the bail to handstand. High piked double Arabian with a step forward. 9.850
Shchennikova (LSU): Ray, super close on the regrasp. Lost the form in her Pak. Pinged off the DLO, very indistinct in the air but just a little adjustment on the landing. 9.800
Bryant (LSU): Again, a little close on the regrasp on her straddled Jaeger. Bail was great. Kicked out tucked double front half out with a hop. 9.875
Burgess (Bama): One-armed bhs loso, super steady. Piked gainer full that I believe was stuck. 9.875
Rybicki (Bama): Switch half looked a little shy to me. 9.850
Adams (Bama): Bhs loso, very secure. Switch leap to split jump, beautifully extended. Bhs 1.5 more or less stuck. 9.850
Gladieux (Bama): Bhs pike, BAM. RO back double full with chest forward and a swim. 9.775
Hudson (Bama): Solid front aerial. Full turn, nicely done. Switch leap to split, great. RO back 1.5 with a hop forward. 9.850
Blanco (Bama): Flawless front aerial and full turn. bhs loso with a front foot slide. Gorgeous scale. Switch half, great. RO back 1.5, stuck (I think. Raena Worley was standing there). 9.950
Procasky (UK): Switch ring looked great. Double tuck short, has to take a big step forward. 9.800
Wilson (UK): Tight, tidy double tuck. 9.825
Patterson (UK): Fhs front full to lay, no problem. Excellent double tuck to finish. 9.900
Magnelli (UK): Punch Rudi to a floaty loso. 9.850
Davis (UK): Lovely front full to front lay. Double tuck juuust under and has to take a step forward, but excellent performance. 9.925
Worley (UK): PERFECTLY controlled FTDT. Fhs front full to front lay, stuck. Slightly short on her double tuck and has to take a microhop forward. Awesome routine. 9.900
AFTER ONE ROTATION: Kentucky 49.400, Florida 49.375, 49.375, LSU 49.325
With very few exceptions, scoring is pretty spot on so far; we’ll see how long that lasts 🙂 Mainly, I’d just like to see a little more separation among the scores, but the team totals are just about right from what I saw.
Great rotations from all four teams! Hope this continues!
Rotation Two: Kentucky vault, Florida bars, LSU beam, Alabama floor
Procasky (UK): BIG Y full, bit of leg sep towars the end but a stick. 9.875
Wilson (UK): Strong fhs pike half, small bounce back. 9.850
Patterson (UK): WOW! Gorgeous fhs pike half with a small hop back. 9.875 feels low.
Magnelli (UK): Another big fhs pike half, big bounce back and chest down. 9.900
Worley (UK): Bouncy Y 1.5 with a big hop to the side. 9.800
Borque (UK): Very crooked Y 1.5 with soft knees and a big hop to the side. 9.825
Blakely (UF): Aggressive first handstand. Maloney to Pak, great. Blind change, front giant with some arm bend to a stuck double front and another big celebration. Love how confident she’s gotten. 9.900
Nguyen (UF): Stuck DLO, excellent. 9.950
DiCello (UF): Great first handstand. Close regrasp on her Ray. Solid Pak. Almost overcooks her final handstand, but reels it in. FTDT with lower leg sep and a hop. 9.900 is high for the handstand and dismount issues.
Thomas (UF): Beautiful Maloney, a little close on her Pak but sails through. Beautiful final handstand. Pings her DLO a bit, but drills the landing anyway. Casual Trinity Thomas things. Hmm… Great routine, but I’m not sure it was a 10. It wasn’t better than Helen Hu’s from Session One, I’ll say that much.
Wong (UF): Pristine Maloney/Pak/VL. DLO landed a touch deep, couldn’t see her feet. Gorgeous routine. 9.950
McCusker (UF): Maloney to Pak, excellent. VL, no problems. Muscles up the stalder to double tuck with a forward hop. 9.900 is pretty generous with the stalder and hop.
Arenas (LSU): Solid front toss. RO back 1.5 with a small scoot forward. 9.800
Shchennikova (LSU): Front aerial with some feet to bhs bhs with a minor hip check. Connection was slow, but should get it. Side aerial, good. Stuck side gainer full. 9.875
Jeffrey (LSU): Lovely wolf full (really). Cat leap to switch half, no problems. Bhs loso with a finessed hip check. Standing front tuck, steady as can be. Couldn’t see the dismount. 9.875
Ballard (LSU): Bhs loso with a little adjustment. Love her aggressive front toss. RO back 1.5, stuck! 9.850
Bryant (LSU): Front aerial to bhs, very smooth. Switch leap to switch side, great. Full turn with arms up. Standing front tuck with a leg up check. Split jump, good. Punch Rudi, maybe stuck. 9.825
Finnegan (LSU): Gorgeous bhs loso loso and then has a check while standing. Switch leap to split, perfect position. Lovely, deliberate front aerial. Stuck side gainer full. 9.925
Waligora (Bama): Flat front lay to a slightly underrotated double front twist. Fhs front full to front lay, much better than the first. 9.875
Doggette (Bama): Wolf full a little under. FTDT also just under and has to take a step forward. 9.825
Adams (Bama): Small slide on her double pike? Back 1.5 to front lay beautiful. 9.900
Gladieux (Bama): FTDT with tons of air, some foot form. Switch full to Popa, fantastic extension and height on both. Front lay to Rudi wiht some leg crossing to a HIGH split. 9.900
Hudson (Bama): Front lay to front double full, well done. Switch half to wolf full, fine. Just squeaks the back 2.5 around. Double tuck with chest forward. 9.950
Blanco (Bama): Big foot slide, but a great double pike. Double tuck, solid. Switch ring to switch side, excellent. Front full to front lay, looked like she had to compress just a bit to get it around. 9.925
AFTER TWO ROTATIONS: Florida 99.075, Alabama 98.925, Kentucky 98.725, LSU 98.675
OK, there’s the wacky scoring we were expecting! That was a phenomenal bars rotation for Florida, but decidedly not a 49.700.
Alabama did its job and then some on floor. Bit of a missed opportunity for Kentucky on vault, but they’re capable of tightening things up on bars. LSU wasn’t as crisp as they’re capable of being, but are heading into their two strongest events. This is still anyone’s meet!
Rotation Three: Alabama vault, Kentucky bars, Florida beam, LSU floor
Gladieux (Bama): Legitimately flawless Y full from the freshman. Judges agree: 9.950.
Paradise (Bama): Powerful Y 1.5 with a bounce forward. 9.850
Doggette (Bama): Another great Y 1.5, maybe stuck? 9.900
Hudson (Bama); Fairly underrotated Y 1.5 with a hop back. 9.825
Blanco (Bama): Beautiful Y 1.5, more or less stuck. 9.900
Olsen (Bama): Absolutely nailed her Y double full, bit of form but another stick. Everyone’s on fire right now! 9.925
Davis (UK): Beautifully high piked Tkatchev. Nearly stuck FTDT. 9.850
Procasky (UK): Floated through her Maloney to Pak. Fell out of her half pirouette on the low bar, but her final blind full to double tuck was exceptional, perfect stick. 9.900
Bunn (UK): Beautiful blind change to straddled Jaeger. Fantastic DLO, another stick. Tells Coach Garrison, “THAT’S YOU!” 9.900
Deguzman (UK): Straddled Jaeger with plenty of height, but slightly close on the catch. Good lord, another stuck DLO. 9.925 is high for me with how close that catch was.
Luksik (UK): Big Tkatchev. Perfect tension in her bail to handstand. AND AGAIN! STUCK DLO! 9.950
Worley (UK): Gorgeous first handstand, held it forever. Solid Tkatchev. Pak, good. Clean half pirouette. Excellent final handstand. Straight arms throughout. Ugh, tiny hop on her FTDT. 9.925
Blakely (UF): Switch half and split were very nicely executed. 9.800
Lazzarri (UF): Bhs loso loso, no issues and brilliant excution. Lovely switch jump to split. Side gainer full stuck, but major torso adjustment. 9.925
DiCello (UF): Good candle mount. Couldn’t see her chest on the wolf turns. Bhs loso, very good. 9.950
Thomas (UF): Beautiful one-armed bhs loso. Korbut, great. Side aerial to back 1.5 with a mini hop back. 9.925
Wong (UF): Bhs loso, floaty as ever but maybe a shoulder dip. Front aerial to beat, great. RO double twist with some form and low chest, but a stick! 9.950 is high with the dismount.
McCusker (UF): Leaned back on her double wolf. Little check on her front aerial. Bhs loso with a little wobble. Switch leap to split jump, gorgeous. Side gainer full, stuck. 9.900 is very high for all of the little things throughout.
Ballard (LSU): Stuck her final double pike up on her toes. 9.900
Shchennikova (LSU): Cheated her front double full just a hair. Back 1.5 to front lay, landed a bit deep. Shy on the switch half. 9.900 is high from what I saw.
Brock (LSU): Big, stuck double pike. Back 1.5 to front full, fantastic. 9.925
Arenas (LSU): Lost the form in her front double full and stumbled out of it. First obvious error we’ve seen from any team in about 5 minutes. Solid front full to front lay to finish. 9.800
Finnegan (LSU): Fabulous tucked double Arabian to stag, well-controlled. Very nice back 2.5 to front tuck. Switch leap, good. 9.950
Bryant (LSU): Fhs double front, stuck. Front lay to Rudi, just so much hang time. Required back loso, haha. Switch ring to switch half, front leg a touch low. Fhs stuck front double full to close. 9.950
AFTER THREE ROTATIONS: Florida 148.750, Alabama 148.450, Kentucky 148.325, LSU 148.300
I have never seen a tear like that where every gymnast, every team is nailing every skill! That was electric.
Scores is getting pretty loose, but not egregiously so. I don’t think there’s quite as much separation between the Gators and the rest of the pack as the scores imply, but they’re having an undeniably strong meet and should be leading at this point.
Still super tight heading into the last rotation with LSU and Kentucky on their best events, so this could get chaotic. I, for one, am rooting for Team Chaos and another electric stickfest across all four events.
Rotation Four: LSU vault, Alabama bars, Kentucky beam, Florida floor
Arenas (LSU): Exemplery Y full. Slight foot adjustment.
Shchennikova (LSU): Y 1.5 with a small crossover step.
Brock (LSU): Oh no! Goes for the stick on her Y 1.5 and sits it.
Finnegan (LSU): Fantastic Omelianchik, micro hop forward.
Wilson (LSU): Another phenomenal Y full. Chest forward just a bit, but excellent landing.
Bryant (LSU): That ridiculous high fhs pike half, small bounce back.
Hudson (Bama): Fabulous full pirouette to double tuck with the tiniest scoot back.
German (Bama): Almost overdoes her first handstand. Pak was great. Beautiful DLO, stuck.
Paradise (Bama): Excellent straddled Jaeger. Bail right to handstand. Just shy on her final handstand, but a stuck DLO.
Waligora (Bama): Well-done blind change to straddled Jaeger. Fantastic handstand positions throughout. FTDL with a smal hop in place.
Machado (Bama): Maloney to Pike, good. VL, no problem. Pirouette to double tuck, a bit crunched and hops forward.
Blanco (Bama): Lovely first handstand. Pak, great. Fabulous VL. FTDT, stuck.
Luksik (UK): Very solid acro series. Switch half just shy. Piked gainer that looked stuck before she took a step.
Procasky (UK): Very secure bhs loso, great extension. Cat leap to switch ring with a check. Front aerial to beat with a little arm wave. Piked gainer with a little hop back.
Bunn (UK): Kicked out full turn. Bhs loso loso right to the edge, fights to save it and has to come off.
Patterson (UK): Sailed through her bhs loso, so much height. Front aerial with a finessed wave to split, just a tiny bit shy of 180. Switch leap series, gorgeous. Piked gainer, stuck. Clutch routine from the grad student.
Worley (UK): Cat leap to switch side, good height. Front aerial accidentally to scale. Bhs loso, steady. Perfect front toss. Kicked out full turn. RO back 1.5, stuck.
Magnelli (UK): Bhs loso loso, no issues. Switch leap to switch side, gorgeous. Front aerial, excellent. She’s utterly unbothered when the crowd erupts for Thomas. Stuck piked gainer. Phenomenal routine, one of the best of the day.
Nguyen (UF): Switch ring to switch half, beautiful. Couldn’t see any of the tumbling unfortunately.
Baumann (UF): Beautiful back 1.5 to front full. High kick, woo! Switch side to straddle that was oversplit beyond belief. High double pike to finish.
Richards (UF): DLO with some leg sep, but very controlled landing. And I can’t see a thing now. Back 1.5 to front full, solid.
Wong (UF): Underdoes the Dos Santos and has to hop back. Lovely Popa series. Whip half and skids out of her front full but keeps it on her feet.
Thomas (UF): Huge DLO, just hangs in the air. Cheated the tour jete full and lacked a little control in the Popa series, but the split positions themselves were excellent. Back 1.5 to a seriously floaty front lay.
DiCello (UF): Fhs front double full with a bit of form. Solid double wolf turn. RO back 1.5 to front lay, again with some form.
AFTER FOUR ROTATIONS: Florida 198.425, Alabama 197.925, LSU 197.800, Kentucky 197.675, Auburn 197.100, Missouri 197.000, Arkansas 196.825, Georgia 196.600
Hands down one of the best meets I’ve ever been to! I don’t think you could’ve asked for much more from any of these teams. Florida was exceptional (even if I didn’t agree with all of the scores) and certainly earned the win tonight. Looks like the SEC’s reign isn’t ending any time soon!
Final Individual Standings
VT: Sloane Blakely, Gabby Gladieux, Cassie Stevens, Jocelyn Moore–9.950
UB: Trinity Thomas–10.000
BB: Leanne Wong–9.975
FX: Trinity Thomas–10.000
AA: Trinity Thomas–39.800
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