Hello again from Pauley Pavillion! This is expected to be a race between 2022 team final competitors Utah and Auburn, but tournament season is called March Madness for a reason—anything can (and frequently does) happen!
Southern Utah and Washington are immensely talented squads capable of going 197-plus, while both Utah and Auburn have proven vulnerable to upsets from lower-ranked teams. Upping the potential for upset, both Utah and Auburn will presumably be without their respective superstar all-arounders, Grace McCallum and Sunisa Lee.
Bear in mind, we’ll also be seeing several individual qualifiers competing this afternoon: San Jose State’s Lauren Macpherson (AA) will be rotating with Washington while her teammates Jaudai Lopes (VT), Emma Milne (UB, BB), and Jada Mazury (FX) will be with Auburn. LIU freshman Syd Morris (AA) will be Southern Utah while their teammates Mara Titarsolej (UB) and Ilka Juk (BB) will be with Utah.
You can find live scores here.
FYI, Lee and McCallum are both here but neither are dressed out.
Quick reminder, I have a fabulous view of bars directly behind the judges. Other events aren’t as great, particularly today given how crowded it is with four team’s worth of personnel moving around, so forgive me if I misidentify or straight up miss something!
Rotation One: Washington vault, Southern Utah bars, Utah beam, Auburn floor
Innes (UW): Y full with a bit of form and pike down. Couldn’t see the landing. 9.750
Brooks (UW): I love a good Y half, and THAT was a good Y half. Not a ton of amplitude, but very clean and stuck. 9.850
Davis (UW): Just saw the tail end of her Y full, but landing looked good. 9.850
Navarro (UW): A very clean Y full with a small hop. 9.800
Cunningham (UW): Big, flared out Y full with a small hop back. 9.800
Schrady (UW): Fair bit of leg sep throughout her Y full and a hop back. 9.700
Macpherson (SJSU): Solid Y full with a bit of pike and foot adjustment. 9.800
Kho (SUU): Slightly shy first handstand, Maloney to Pak with a tiny bit of leg sep. Gorgeous, deliberate half pirouette. Slightly shy final handstand, FTDT with a small hop. 9.750
Scwartze (SUU): Blind change to straddled Jaeger, hint of leg form. Excellent bail to handstand. Bit late on the full pirouette to double tuck, low landing and lunges forward. 9.700
Bentley (SUU): Really nice blind change to straddled Jaeger with a little foot form. DLO great in the air, chest forward. 9.750
McClain (SUU): Slightly overarched first handstand. Fabulous, tight gainer and bail to handstand. Excellent DLO, stuck. 9.850
Murakami (SUU): Good first handstand. Blind change to perfect straddled Jaeger to bail. Good position on her final handstand. FTDT with chest slightly forward, but basically stuck. 9.900
Neff (SUU): Nice first handstand and toe on. Loses form on the Maloney and comes off, too bad. 6.200
Morris (LIU): Fabulous bind change to piked Jaeger. A little shy on the handstand. bail, good. DLO with a bit of pike and step back. Big smiles and cheers from the SUU crew. 9.750
Morgan (Utah): Bhs bhs loso with a leg sweep check. Side aerial with a lean. Pretty full turn. Side gainer full, stuck. 9.850
Paulson (Utah): Side aerial to loso with a tiny little readjustment. Side aerial gainer 1.5 stuck, I think? 9.900
Eaker (Utah): Side aerial to loso, just beautiful. Cartwheel side gainer full, stuck. OK, I apparently missed an early fall. 9.300
Isa (Utah): Bhs loso loso with a little foot form and hip adjustment. Another teensy adjustment on her full turn. Straddle 1/4, good. “U” with a big smile. Excellent rise on her side gainer full, stuck. 9.925
O’Keefe (Utah): Side aerial, so steady. Switch leap to split leap, lovely. Full turn, love how she really holds and emphasizes her hand and foot positions. Bhs HIGH side gainer full, stuck. 10.000 and I’m find with it.
Gilstrap (Utah): Wolf turn, good. Bobble on her front aerial. Bhs two-footed layout was rock solid. Split leaps, excellent. Bhs side gainer 1.5 was a little off-kilter and has to take a step. 9.825
Jukk (LIU): Bhs bhs loso with some soft form, but very steady. switch leap to split leap, great! Full turn in Arabesque, so gorgeous (albeit with a minor check). Kotchekova, excellent. Cartwheel side gainer full with chest down and has to step. Such a cool routine! 9.800
McLaughlin (Aub): Great switch full. Big, controlled double pike. 9.875
Brusch (Aub): Front tuck through to double tuck, no problems. Her usual big double pike to close. 9.825
Groth (Aub): No issues on the back 2.5. Back 1.5 to front lay, well done. Clean Rudi. 9.850
Hollingsworth (Aub): Fantastic open FTDT as usual. Leap positions looked 180 but a little askew. Powerful front through to double tuck to finish. 9.875
Stevens (Aub): Front lay pretty flat, and lands the Rudi with her chest well forward. The Stevens, scares me every time, lol. Tour jete full to wolf full, solid positions on both. Double tuck with a tiny lunge back. 9.850
Gobourne (Aub): Here comes the Queen! MASSIVE open double tuck, right to the edge but not over. Popa to wolf full, lots of pop and control today. Fhs front full to front lay, a little stutter step out. Sticks her double pike and does a very deliberate step-out. One of her best routines of the season! 9.925
Mazury (SJSU): Front lay to Rudi, very flay and hast a big bounce forward. Popa series a bit chaotic. 9.675
AFTER ONE ROTATION: Utah 49.500, Auburn 49.375, Washington 49.050, SUU 48.950
No major surprises after the first rotation. Utah and Auburn firmly in control at this point, but SUU and Washington are moving on to stronger events so things could tighten up a bit after the next rotation.
Rotation Two: Auburn vault, Washington bars, Southern Utah beam, Utah floor
Leonard (Aub): Y full a little wonky in the air from my head-on angle. 9.875
Groth (Aub): Much stronger Y full, maybe stuck? Jumbotron replay, it was very much a college stick, lol. 9.775
Hubbard (Aub): Y 1.5 with soft knees. 9.850
Hollingsworth (Aub): Technical issues. Sorry! 9.800
Stevens (Aub): Very shy Y 1.5, almost tucked and nearly sat it. 9.800 is pretty high from what I saw live and on the Jumbotron replay…
Gobourne (Aub): Strong Y 1.5 with a bounce forward. 9.875 is fine in a bubble, but not compared to the previous Y 1.5s.
Lopes (SJSU): Her Y 1.5 looked almost identical to Gobourne’s. 9.800 is very low comparatively
Moody (UW): Good fuirst handstand. Slight leg sep on the Maloney. Pak, good control on her half pirouette. Big FTDT with a hop back. 9.775
Brooks (UW): Clean Maloney. Clear hip to handstand, great. Bail to handstand with a touch of leg sep. Slow full pirouette to double tuck, stuck. 9.825
Oppegard (UW): Blind change to a HUGE straddled Jaeger. A little close on the regrasp. Shy final handstand. Strong DLO with a step forward. 9.750
Russon (UW): Blind change to straddled Jaeger, great. No problems on the bail. Pristine blind full to double tuck, slightest readjustment on the landing. 9.875
Tubbs (UW): Toe on to Maloney with some leg form. Another clean DLO, nearly stuck. 9.900
Bowles (UW): Sky high Deltchev. DLO with a small step back. 9.850
Macpherson (SJSU): Good first handstand. Very nice Tkatchev, bail to handstand, great. FTDT with a small step. 9.850
Murakami (SUU): Gorgeous Silivas mount. Steady full turn. Bhs loso loso with excellent extension. Cartwheel side gainer full, stuck. 9.850
Smith (SUU): Cat leap to straddle 3/4, chest a hair low. RO back 1.5 with a crossover step. 9.825
Cacciola (SUU): Came off. Switch leap switch leap to split, great. RO back 1.5, with a step back. Strong finish. 9.325
Schwartze (SUU): Sorry, had some technical difficulties during this. 9.825
Vultaggio (SUU): Split jump with a small adjustment to loso to beat, beautiful! Really sharp split jump. Steady full turn. 9.850
McClain (SUU): Bhs loso with a touch of foot form. Switch leap to split jump, fantastic. Cat leap to side aerial with a little trunk adjustment. RO back 1.5, stuck. 9.875
Morris (LIU): Switch leap with a little check. Comes off on the standing full, too bad. RO back double full landed pretty deep with chest forward, but a stick. Love their guts for not playing it safe! 9.200
Brenner (Utah): Super high double pike. Switch half to Popa, good positions in the air. 9.775
Gilstrap (Utah): Gorgeous split positions. Rudi to loso, beautiful. Front lay to full, again, lovely. 9.900
Paulson (Utah): Back 1.5 to front lay, good amplitude on both. 9.925
Smith (Utah): Back 2.5 a little messy, but good control. Closing Rudi was great. 9.750
Rucker (Utah): Fabulous FTDT to open. Switch leap to split full, lost a little control in the air. Front lay to front full with a little bit of pike. 9.900
O’Keefe (Utah): Flawless opening double pike. Seemed to drop out of the sky. Front lay to front full, beautifully done. Split leap to tour jete full, perfect positions on both. Back 1.5 to floaty front lay. O’Keefe came to play!
AFTER TWO ROTATIONS: Utah 98.975, Auburn 98.575, Washington 98.275, SUU 98.175
Impressed by how great Washington looked on UB even without Killough-Wilhelm. Also, good on SUU for powering through an early fall to stay in this race.
Rotation Three: Utah vault, Auburn bars, Washington beam, Southern Utah floor
O’Keefe (Utah): BIG Y full with a small landing adjustment. 9.825
Brenner (Utah): Y 1.5 with a very early twist onto the table. Small hop to the side. 9.950 is, frankly, ludicrous.
Hoffman (Utah): Strong Y 1.5 with a touch of form. 9.900
Smith (Utah): Omelianchik with a hop forward, lovely in the air. 9.875
Rucker (Utah): DRILLED her Y 1.5. Another 10.000 for the Utes!
Gilstrap (Utah): Very clean Y full, more or less stuck. 9.900
Hollingsworth (Aub): Very nice Maloney until it wasn’t. Comes off, not sure why. Repeats and it was great. FTDT, stuck. 9.225
McLaughlin (Aub): Went super aggressive on her handstand and comes off. Auburn now counting a fall. Lovely full pirouette to double tuck with a small adjustment. 9.250
Groth (Aub): And she immediately comes off on her Ray. Ugh, I’m gutted for the Tigers… Good Pak and half pirouette. Shy final handstand. Slightly late on her full pirouette to double tuck with a small hop back. 8.875
Brusch (Aub): Gorgeous toe hand. Maloney with a slight leg sep, bail to handstand, tight and controlled. DLO, landing upright and stuck. Definition of clutch. 9.900
Stevens (Aub): Good first handstand. Toe on, great. Ray a hair close. Bail to handstand, no problem. Good final handstand. DLO with some pike, but another definitive stick. 9.925
Gobourne (Aub): Excellent turnover and height in her Tkatchev. Sky high FTDT with a little hop. 9.850
Milne (SJSU): Lovely first handstand. Maloney to Pak, great. Slightly rushed the half pirouette. DLO, stuck and she rightly goes nuts. 9.875
Brooks (UW): Front toss with a little adjustment into her bhs loso. Front aerial with a small shoulder drop to beat, good connection. 9.875
Bowles (UW): Bhs loso and comes off. Lovely side aerial. Gainer front full with a little leg sep. 9.350
Navarro (UW): Bhs loso loso with the slightest adjustment. RO back 1.5 with a small hop, way to bounce back. 9.800
Moody (UW): Bhs loso loso, very nicely done. RO back 1.5 with a small hop backwards. 9.875
Davis (UW): Bhs loso loso with some foot form, but super steady. Gorgeous beat to straddle 3/4. Kicked out full turn. RO back 1.5 that I think was stuck. 9.950
Roberts (UW): Shoulder cartwheel. Couldn’t see much until the end, but a beautifully stuck side gainer full. 9.825
Macpherson (SJSU): Switch leap to split jump, lovely. Bhs bhs loso, just perfect. full turn, great. Standing loso with a minor trunk adjustment. RO back 1.5 with a small step. 9.850
Cacciola (SUU): Big double tuck to open. Front full to front lay, very nice. Switch ring to switch half to wolf half, great! 9.800
Vultaggio (SUU): HUGE double tuck, great control. 9.850
Ingrassia (SUU): Front tuck through to a fabulous double pike. Lacked a bit of control in the air on her leap series. Really nice double tuck to finish. 9.850
Schwartze (SUU): Fhs to front double full, minor adjustment on the landing. Leaps lacking a touch of amplitude. 9.850
McClain (SUU): HUGE, kicked-out double pike. Back 1.5 to floaty front lay. And a massive double tuck to finish. 9.925
Gull (SUU): RO back 1.5 to whip half to split, very well controlled. Double tuck with a minor bounce back. 9.775
Morris (LIU): Front lay to Rudi with some leg form. Good position on their leaps. Comes up short on the double tuck and has to put their hands down. Tough break.
AFTER THREE ROTATIONS: Utah 148.500, Washington 147.600, SUU 147.450, Auburn 146.725
To quote myself, “Auburn, but tournament season is called March Madness for a reason—anything can (and frequently does).” The tides have shifted, and the Flippin’ Birds and Huskies are in a tight race to advance. Floor has been literally hit or miss for Washington, with a half point swing between its high and lows, while SUU’s vault has been holding fairly steady in the low 49s.
This is going to be a nail-biter.
Rotation Four: Southern Utah vault, Utah bars, Auburn beam, Washington floor
Cacciola (SUU): Nailed her Y full. Y full with a bit of leg sep in preflight and a hop.
McClain (SUU): Y full with some form, but good control.
Kho (SUU): Y 1.5 with soft legs, but nailed the landing.
Pardue (SUU): Another Y 1.5 with some form, but good height and a tiny hop back.
Vultaggio (SUU): Clean Y full with a college stick.
Smith (SUU): RO full on tuck off with a hop back.
Morgan (Utah): Good first handstand. Pretty Maloney to Bhardwaj. Full pirouette to stuck double tuck. Great start.
Smith (SUU): Maloney to Pak, excellent. Falls out of the half pirouette a little. Toe hand, good. Tucked double Arabian staggered, but stuck!
Brenner (SUU): Blind change to straddled Jaeger, a hair close. Shy final handstand. Gorgeous DLO with a small hop forward.
Thompson (SUU): Beautifully done bail to handstand. Floaty DLO. A bit unbalanced, but adjusted beautifully and stayed stuck.
O’Keefe (SUU): Crisp Maloney to Pak.
Isa (SUU): Lovely first handstand. Big Tkatchev. Great bail to handstand. Slightly shy final handstand, but full pirouette to DLO was as good as it gets.
Titarsolej (LIU): Beautiful first handstand. Pristine Maloney to Pak. Crisp half pirouette. Final handstand right on top. Full pirouette to double tuck with the tiniest adjustment. Fantastic.
Hollingsworth (Aub): Bhs with arm bend to loso. Side aerial with a check. Stuck side gainer full.
Hagle (Aub): Lovely Korbut. Wolf turn, good. Switch leap to switch side, great. RO back 1.5, stuck. Awesome for the freshman.
Brusch (Aub): Front aerial witha. waver. Resets for the bhs loso. Split and straddle 1.4 were good.
Groth (Aub): Switch leap to switch half with a big hip check. Tucked front full with a step.
Stevens (Aub): Bhs loso with soft legs and a big leg-up check. Split jump to double stag, good.
McLaughlin (Aub): Switch leap to bhs loso, rock solid. Beat to side aerial. Full turn, BAM! She’s finishing these like the beam personally wronged her. Switch leap to switch half, excellent. Gainer pike with a tiny hop.
Milne (SJSU): Side aerial to loso, beautiful. Switch leap to Korbut, very smooth. Kicked out full turn, slight postural adjustment. RO back 1.5 with a swim, but a stick.
Innes (UW): Front double full a bit shy, but she sells it. Lacking a little control on her wolf full series. Back 1.5 to front lay, super floaty.
Roberts (UW): Big double tuck to open. Really good positions on her leaps.
Nguyen (UW): Overdoes the double tuck and steps OOB. Niec position on the switch leap to switch ring. Stumbles out of her double pike. Opening the door for SUU just a bit.
Navarro (UW): Strong double tuck, very tight. Nice position on her leaps. Back 1.5 to front lay, excellent. Washington fans are on their feet. Solid double pike to close. Huskies are keeping this thing interesting…
Cunningham (UW): Front tuck through to double tuck with a front foot lift. Switch half to wolf full to wolf half, nice height on all three. Big double pike to close.
Davis (UW): Fhs to front double full with some form on the twist. Switch full to Popa series, good pop on all three. Back 1.5 to front lay. Washington is back by 0.350 with a 9.275 to drop, and I think that will do it. And they did it!
Macpherson (SJSU): Bit of a stumble out of her double pike. Switch side to something… Can’t see. Back 1.5 to front lay, very well done. Switch half down to split, so cool! Tom Farden is standing directly in my line of sight, so… Slightly underrotated double tuck with a foot slide back. What a fantastic day for Macpherson.
FINAL: Utah 198.125, Washington 196.775, Southern Utah 196.600, Auburn 195.900
Top scores from both qualifying and non-qualifying teams are listed below:
VT: Jaedyn Rucker, 10.000 and Caitlin Kho 9.925
UB: Sage Thompson and Cristal Isa 9.950 and Cassie Stevens 9.925
BB: Maile O’Keefe 10.000, Kennedi Davis 9.950, and Hannah Hagle 9.900
FX: Derrian Gobourne 9.925 and Karley McClain 9.925
AA: Maile O’Keefe 39.500 and Karley McClain 39.400
See you back here at 07:00!
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Live blog by Claire Billman
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