LIVE BLOG: USAG Nationals Team Final

Welcome to the live rendition of tonight’s USAG national championship, from the press table of Kitty Magee Arena on the campus of Texas Woman’s University. After two exhilarating qualifying meets yesterday, it’s time to determine a team national champion! The top two teams from each of the semifinal competitions will face off tonight to determine the last team standing. 

Last season, we saw TWU claim the title on the road, defeating Air Force, Lindenwood and Brown by a healthy margin. The question remains: Is there a repeat brewing? The Pioneers did claim the national title the last time this meet was held on their home court, as well. However, this is no time to count out the opponents because this has been quite the year for competitive USAG gymnastics. Truly any team could take the title on any given day. The question is, whose day is it?

To be honest, there hasn’t been a USAG team final meet in my recent memory that hasn’t kept me on the edge of my seat, so get ready for the battle of the best in the country. 

To see how today’s finalists claimed their spots in today’s competition, check out our live blogs from the afternoon and evening semifinals yesterday. 

Qualifying teams include No. 1 Lindenwood, No. 2 TWU, No. 3 SEMO and No. 4 Air Force.

Rotation 1: Lindenwood VT, SEMO UB, TWU BB, Air Force FX

Just an fyi, I have the best view of vault and beam from my vantage point. Floor OOB calls are going to be a bit dicey from this angle so hopefully everyone will stay in so as not to cause controversy.

J Jones (LU): Y full with the slightest hop back. Good line in the air. 9.650

Ingle (SEMO): Blind, Jaeger. A little low. Overshoot. Blind full, double tuck. STUCK.

Six (TWU): BHS LOSO. Switch leap to straddle 1/4. Right on. Cat leap, front toss to beat. RO back 1.5 is a bit back on her heels with a hop.

Mckean (AF): Caught the double back to start. Chest up and good control.

Lopez (LU): Y full was pretty close to the table with hop back. 9.675

Miller (SEMO): Pked Tkatchev to Ezhova. Double layout with a baby hop.

Woodring (TWU): BHS LOSO. A little under powered but managed. Switch, switch split. Strong positioning. QUITE the beam bite. Front toss with an arm wave. Small hop forward on the dismount.

Meccia (AF): Back 2.5 to stag leap. Switch ring to tour jete half. Some legs on the connection pass.

Caffey (LU): The best vault thus far. Chest high. Amplitude on point.

Webb (SEMO): Toe hand, blind to Jaeger. Close on the catch. Swing half low to overshoot. sole circle. Blind full right on top to double tuck. 9.525

Kunzman (TWU): BHS LOSO LOSO. Chest right up. OKAY maam. Switch to switch is quite under position with a lean and arm wave. RO back 1.5 with a hop back. 9.725

Just missed Berkley on vault for TWU. 9.8/9.55 both were flashed?

Daniels (LU): Lost in the air on the Y full and rolled out. That’s not great.

Strong double pike on floor to finish for Willis. Opened with a double tuck that was a bit cowboyed.

Lopez (SEMO): Jaeger was a touch close. Missed her hand on the overshoot. Short last HS. Double tuck with a step back.

King (TWU): BHS LOSO. Just a slight adjustment. Front tuck. Chills. Switch leap to Straddle 1/4. RO back 1.5, tried to fake the stick but not quite. Step to salute. 9.850

Griswold (LU): Y 1.5 is a touch under with a step back. Great in the air.

Greene (AF): Front double full is quite clean. Rudi. Back 1.5 to front lay with the two foot stick. Oh wow. Some soft knees in the twist.

Ockler (SEMO): Toe hand, Maloney to pak. Her normal greatness. FTDT is stuck again. Wow.

Podges (TWU): BHS LOSO. Soft knees with a leg up wobble. Switch leap, switch half. SLOW connection to beat. Stuck gainer pike. Way to finish. 9.725 feels high but okay

Brochi (AF): front double full to start. WE are getting Wii music right now. Back 2.5. Connection pass was whippy but around nicely.

Moffitt (SEMO): Jaeger . Overshoot is nice and tight. Blind full on top. Double tuck is stuck with a slight hip adjustment.

Pierce (TWU): Front toss, BHS soft knees. Switch leap, split 1/4. Good position in the air. Front aerial. She fought for that one. Leg up and arm wave. Front full in the tucked position in over cooked. Another pretend to stick but step salute. A score above 9.8 being flashed feels wild to me. 9.700

Carlisle (AF): FTDT has some crazy legs but around nicely. Connection pass is great to finish. Wishing for a little more sharpness in the leap positions. 9.800

AFTER ONE: Air Force 48.875, TWU 48.800, SEMO 48.550, Lindenwood 48.500

Well that event was a doozy. Lindenwood is not going to be the most amused with that start on vault, and SEMO had some hiccups of its own on bars. Air Force and Texas Woman’s look sharp so far. But take note, there still isn’t a huge gap between mistakes and otherwise so… appearances mean nothing.

Rotation 2: Air Force VT, Lindenwood UB, SEMO BB, TWU FX

SEMO’s head coach doing some finger waving to send all the good vibes to the beam team.

Willis (AF): Y tuck full. Dynamic off the table. Some form on the table, but just a hop back.

Podges (TWU): Front lay to front full. A stagger hop.

Daniels (LU) : Tkatchev. Toe hand to overshoot. Some lack of toe point. Blind full double tuck to stick. Her normal cowboy.

Maxwell (SEMO): Loss of connection on the leap. BHS LOSO was right on the money. RO back 1.5 is nearly stuck with a hop forward. Start value is in question in my mind.9.450

Another strong vault from Meccia. Y layout full this time. A hop back and an arm wave. 9.650

Moon (LU): Maloney to overshoot to toe up to high. Stuck double layout.

Brochi (AF): Another hop on the Y full. A little pike down. 9.700

Gose (TWU)): Switch side, popa, popa. Opened with her double back. Front full front lay. Extension on fleek. Rudi, slightly under turned.

Webb (SEMO): Had to put her foot down on the Liukin. Looking a touch nervy. Switch leap, split 1/4. Back in it. Front aerial to BHS swing down. Toe point for days. BHS gainer full is stuck with a stagger.

Another stuck dismount for Carley Scott on bars for Lindenwood.

9.700 for Greene on vault for Air Force.

Boll (AF): Y full just a minute scooch. Chest up. Should be the best score.

King (TWU): Back on her heels on the double pike with an awkward step back. Lovely line on the leap connection. Back 1.5 to front layout is on her heels, but managed. Double tuck to end with the strongest landing of the routine. 9.600

J. Jones (LU): Ray to overshoot. Can’t tell if she hit her feet from here. Double layout with a step forward. 9.700 I’m going to assume no foot scooch.

McKean (AF): Did her thing out there. Y full, slight pike down with a hop. 9.650

Moffitt (SEMO): BHS LOSO. Confident. Arms right down. Cat leap, switch side 1/4 to beat. Smooth connection. RO back 1.5 with a baby hop forward.

Johnson (TWU): Double pike, good control. Pretty underrotated on the back 1.5 to front full. She managed by pure willpower. Rudi to finish. Strong. 9.700…

Cooper (LU): Blind to piked Jaeger to overshoot. Double layout with another step forward.

Ingle (SEMO): BHS BHS LOSO. Right to the end. Yes’m. Switch leap, straddle 1/4. I wouldn’t say it was quite 180 on either. Double full dismount with a scooch back.

Appleget (LU): Gienger to overshoot. Another short double layout. The lions are pinging some dismounts at the moment.

Woodring (TWU): Double pike. Perfection. Front full, front lay. Some leg separation on the layout. Double tuck, right to the lunge. Daring the judge to take a deduction.

Reader (SEMO): Front toss from the knee to BHS. A little slow on the connection but fine enough. Hitch kick to Switch side 1/4. Yes. Strong and confident. Front toss to beat. A queen. Soft smiles. Gainer pike is stuck. 9.825

Pierce (TWU): Really low on the front double full with a step back to the lunge. A little neck crack action. Dynamic straddle position on the leaps. T-Dubb. Okay. Back 1.5 to front full. Also leaned back but managed better. 9.750…

Speller (SEMO): Will the 9.45 go away? Front aerial to BHS. Strong arms. Right on. Switch leap, switch half. Some loss of the back foot’s toe point. Liukin to a grin. As she should. Front full is stuck. Goose bumps after that one from the screams. 9.875

AFTER TWO: SEMO 97.525, TWU 97.450, Air Force 97.325, Lindenwood 97.250

Lindenwood is doing itself ZERO favors at the moment. No one is out of this thing yet, but SEMO coming on back on beam was really impressive that rotation. TWU is still leaving landing tenths on the table, as did Air Force.

Rotation 3: TWU VT, Air Force UB, Lindenwood BB, SEMO FX

A heel click for good luck.

Carlisle (AF): Maloney to overshoot. Some loss of leg form. Blind full to double tuck. Stuck. Way to start.

Six (TWU): Looked like a stuck Y full to me. 9.775

Griswold (LU): BHS LOSO with a lean. Sissone to switch half to beat. RO back 1.5 with a hop forward.

Maxwell SEMO): Double tuck to open. A huge smile. Switch side, popa, popa. Rudi is right around. Back 1.5 to front layout. Soft knees but controlled.

McKean (AF): Toe hand to overshoot. Short of the HS. Blind full to double tuck. Another stick.

Daniels (LU): Back roll with a passion. BHS LOSO. Switch leap to ring leap. Better position on that ring. Front aerial to beat. A wiggle of the toe on the gainer full dismount.

9.750 for Mara Johnson on vault.

A yurchenko TUCK? for Gose. I’m sorry? 9.125. Obviously the goal is to drop that.

Desch (SEMO): Strong double pike to open. Back 1.5 to front layout. Some legs. Another clean landing. Good for the senior!

Zander (AF): Blind full to double tuck. ANOTHER stick. A chest lean to hold it.

Griffith (TWU): A bit rushed on the entire vault. Crunchy on the table and short on the landing with a step forward.

Moon (LU): BHS LOSO. Excuse me. Switch leap, split 3/4 with a leg up, chest down lean. Serving up the full turn. Crossed legs on the gainer full dismount but a great landing.

Webb (SEMO): Back 2.5 is controlled well. Rudi to split jump is SO HIGH. A corner head roll to prepare. Back 1.5 to front layout. Great routine for her. SEMO has that “we’ve got this” energy tonight.

Another hit for Brochi on bars for Air Force.

9.775 for King on vault. Probably the most dynamic vault so far, but a hop back.

Woodring (TWU): So incredibly high on the Y full. A hop back, but great. 9.775

Boll (AF): Overshoot right to HS. Double layout had her weak in the knees with a step forward.

J. Jones (LU): BHS LOSO was on the money. RO back 1.5 to stick. LU is back in business. 9.850

Reader (SEMO): S-E-M-O. Double pike. OMG. Yaaaaasss. Front full, front lay. A little close-hipped on the full. A little loss of control on the double tuck. Legs gave a bit.

Kraus (LU): BHS LOSO. Another great one. Switch half is what dreams are made of! RO back 1.5 with a hop forward. Her celebrations give me all the joy, every time. A 9.9 with the hop is a choice from one judge. 9.800

Kinkade (AF): Toe hand, Maloney. Toe hand, overshoot. Some leg separation. Blind full, to double tuck with a step back.

Moffitt (SEMO): Open double tuck. Great control. Switch half, popa. A little under rotated. Front full, front lay. Leg separation on the lay to pull it around. Pulled for dear life on the double pike to finish and squeaked it around.

Rush (LU): Hitch kick to side somi. Yes. Sideways split half. BHS LOSO. Sharp. Switch leap, straddle 1/4. I wouldn’t give that connection because 100% double pump, but I’m not in charge. Stuck gainer full. This judge loves a 9.900 this rotation. 9.850.

Greene (SEMO): I’ve never seen a layout to Rudi more amplitude heavy in my life. How? Let me know. I need a tutorial. Double tuck. Tried to two foot stick that thing. OOF. Tour jete half, split full. Strut your stuff, ma’am. 9.850

AFTER THREE: SEMO 146.425, Lindenwood 146.250, TWU 146.075, Air Force 145.775

Air Force fell a bit off the pace on bars. SEMO is pushing some boundaries at the moment. However, I will note that vault warmup was less than stellar, and that’s where the Redhawks conclude the meet. Beam scores are the most generous I’ve seen, but at least everything seems to be equally out of hand? TWU ends this meet on bars, the event that the Pioneers have had the most trouble with this year. Will the home team get back in this thing on its statistical worst event?

Rotation 4: SEMO VT, TWU UB, Air Force BB, Lindenwood FX

They’re turning off the scoreboard for the DRAMA… I hate it here.

King (TWU): Blind, Jaeger. Some loss of toe point. Overshoot. Blind full, double back. Pinged but stuck.

Maxwell (SEMO): Y tuck full is better than warm up. Just a scoot back. Some foot flex.

Carswell (AF): BHS LOSO. Game face is on. Could’ve wobbled, but didn’t. Tik tok? tic toc? Straddle to straddle 1/4. So pretty. Cat leap, switch side. Fighting for EVERY tenth here. BHS gainer full. Stuck. Tears.

M. Johnson (TWU): blind full to double is stuck. Caught the tail end of the shoot just prior. 9.725

Reader (SEMO): Y full. Loose on the table with a leg bend and separation with a hop back. 9.575

Brochi (AF): BHS LOSO. Chest high. Soft smiles. Switch leap, straddle 1/4. Deep breath. Hitch kick side aerial. Pulled it around. RO back 1.5 with a step back. 9.775

Daniels (LU): Rudi to LOSO. Double tuck. Possible OOB. Either way a loss of control on that landing.

Podges (TWU): Jaeger. Large straddle on the pak. Over on the half on low. Blind full double tuck. I think a stick? I can’t see.

Lopez (SEMO): Y full with a scoot back. SEMO is FIGHTING. Jeez.

Greene (AF): BHS LOSO. Sheesh. So good. Switch leap, switch leap. A smile for the judges. Cat leap to LOSO to beat. Pardon me madam. Loved it. RO back 1.5 with a step salute.

Pierce (TWU): Another stuck dismount. This time a front tuck half. Straddle back was right to HS. Jaeger a touch close but who is counting?

Greene (SEMO): A little adjustment of the feet on the Y full. Chest a touch down.

R. Jones (LU): Rudi to double stag. Back 1.5 to layout to finish.

Zander (AF): Front toss to beat. Solid. Front aerial to BHS, some toes. Air Force cannot wobble tonight. Front full with a hop forward.

Ferrari (TWU): Blind Jaeger. Blind to straddle back. Double layout with a step back.

Lindsay Ockler is THAT GIRL in case anyone was wondering. Y full with a baby hop. So high. Chest up.

Lopez (LU): Double tuck to open. Controlled well.

Boll (AF): Split, split 3/4. Again. great. BHS LOSO. Arms right down. FALCONS. A lean on the onodi. BHS back 1.5 to stick. Same judge is still high in case anyone was wondering.

Griffith (TWU): Blind, Jaeger. Loss of foot form and archy on the catch. Overshoot. FTDT with a hop and step back. 9.650

McKean (AF): Beat to straddle, straddle 1/4. BHS LOSO is wobble free. Holy crap. Air Force. Switch leap to switch half. Pulled it around. Gainer pike is stuck. 9.800

J. Jones (LU): Double pike. solid opener. Front full front lay was controlled well as well. Tour jete full actually around. Back 1.5 to front lay.

I have no idea what the outcome will be, but the Falcons CLOSED OUT THAT MEET WITH A BANG. Couldn’t have asked for a better last rotation.

Griswold (LU): Double pike dropped in out of the rafters. Front full front layout. Good layout position. Switch half, wolf full. Double tuck. YESSSSSSSSS. LU breaking the coral is such a title winning moment. 9.900

Final: Lindenwood 195.325, Texas Woman’s 194.900, SEMO 194.850, Air Force 194.850

I’m sorry. The fact that places two through four (T-3rd?) were separated by a measly toe flicker is just astounding. We witnessed some amazing gymnastics tonight. Every single team was fighting for the half tenth. The energy in KMA was amazing as always.

Lindenwood claims yet another USAG title, with Catelyn Orel claiming her first title as head coach. The Lions were on fire, not to be denied. Texas Woman’s had some struggles on vault that couldn’t quite be overcome with the stick party it was having on bars. SEMO had a slow start on bars but charged on through the end of the meet to keep itself in contention. Like I said before, Air Force could not have asked for a better end to that meet.

But also an inquiry on beam is ensuing. One score change. One moment.

Air Force dancing with its fans in the crowd with a full concert-like flashlight moment. I repeat, I love USAG gymnastics. Now dancing in a line to Rockin’ Robin. Forget the coral.

Still waiting for official scores… Okay everything is final. Lindenwood is the outright winner, with SEMO and Air Force tying for third and TWU just edging out both.

READ THIS NEXT: Judge’s Inquiry: Breaking Down March’s Perfect 10s

Live Blog by Tavia Smith

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    1. The scores had technical difficulties all week. At the end of the meet there were a couple of inquiries, and the judges also verified everything. The official, signed score sheet on Road to Nationals, and the live stats are the unofficial scores since they are unverified and could contain mistakes when inputting during the meet—which is why scored get verified at the end and sometimes things change.

      1. The scores have since been adjusted on both of those pages and teams are tied.

        I was so confused as to why it was a different result here compared to the live scores and Road to Nationals.

        I usually get the final scores from Road to Nationals. So it was weird to have conflicting scores.

        Thanks for the great live blog !

  1. Tavia – you are our favorite blogger! You always make us smile and have a great idea – would love your thoughts on the scores…in general.

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