LIVE BLOG: USAG Nationals Event Finals

It’s day three of USAG nationals! If you’ve made it this far, you know that the team national champion was just crowned a night ago, and now it’s time to see some individuals atop the podium. USAG is the only division of college gymnastics that still features event finals, so this competition is always strangely satisfying, requiring athletes to be at tip-top shape two nights in a single weekend in order to go home with a medal and bragging rights.

Possible athletes that should be contending for a title include Gayla Griswold and Morgan Price on floor. Griswold was a NCAA national qualifier on the event last year and brings the only Yurchenko one and a half we’ve seen from the USAG field this year. Morgan Price, though a freshman, is a powerhouse in her own right. Don’t be surprised if you see Julia Bedell adding more accolades to her floor program record, as well. On the bars front, both of the reigning national champions from SEMO, Lindsay Ockler and Jolie Miller will be featured in this final. Ockler has been on a serious hit streak, nailing her full twisting double back like it’s her job.

Vault Qualifiers:

Julia Bedell (Brown), Abby Contello (Brown), Amber Boll (Air Force), Lexi Bracher (Southern Connecticut), Gayla Griswold (Lindenwood), Sydney Beers (Cornell), Madeline Gose (Texas Woman’s), Madison Greene (SEMO), Lindsay Ockler (SEMO), Sherry Wang (Yale), Daisy Woodring (Texas Woman’s)

Bar Qualifiers:

Lindsay Ockler (SEMO), Lydia Webb (SEMO), Hannah Appleget (Lindenwood), Kaylee Cooper (Lindenwood), Hannah Moon (Lindenwood), Jolie Miller (SEMO), Brooke Ferrari (Texas Woman’s), Taylor Ann Wilson (Centenary), Velandra Brochi (Air Force), Ella Poley (Brown)

Beam Qualifiers:

Nya Kraus (Lindenwood), Amber Boll (Air Force), Liberty Mora (Fisk), Nicole Javinett (Bridgeport), Mackenzie Kunzman (Texas Woman’s), Riley Meeks (Yale), Emily Six (Texas Woman’s), Daisy Woodring (Texas Woman’s), Alix Pierce (Texas Woman’s), Velandra Brochi (Air Force), Briona Carswell (Air Force), Gayla Griswold (Lindenwood), Madison Rush (Lindenwood)

Floor Qualifiers:

Gayla Griswold (Lindenwood), Mara Johnson (Texas Woman’s), Morgan Price (Fisk), Julia Bedell (Brown), Ziya Coleman (Fisk), Maya Davis (Brown), Jaly Jones (Lindenwood), Sydney Beers (Cornell), Carissa Martinez (Centenary), Sarah Wilson (Yale), Alix Pierce (Texas Woman’s), McKenna Kissinger (West Chester)

Rotation 1: Vault and Beam

Y’all. When I tell you that USAG gymnastics is simply superior, I mean that so seriously. Nowhere else have I seen this level of respect and sportsmanship from all teams, cheering on every single athlete.

We’ve got 30 seconds till game time.

First Flight:

Griswold (BB-Lindenwood): BHS LOSO. A touch soft but right on. YEEHAW. Sissone, switch half, beat. A touch slow but deliberate. A smile for the judges. RO back 1.5 with a hop forward. L-U! Lions! 9.738

Beers (VT-Cornell): Y full with the smallest scooch to the back. Good dynamics off the table, might’ve turned a millisecond early, but that’s being picky. 9.725

Mora (BB-Fisk): Front aerial, back tuck. Dance it out, girl! Side somi is solid. Switch leap, sheep jump. So beautiful. She’s killing this. Such a beamer. Cat leap, gainer full is stuck. The entirety of the crowd is losing its mind! 9.838

Gose (VT-TWU): Y full, crunchy on the table, but a tiny adjustment of the L foot. Otherwise stuck. Pulled the chest up in the nick of time. 9.763

Kraus (BB – Lindenwood): It’s the he eye contact for me. BHS LOSO. In the game. So easy. Hitch kick, switch half, beat. Yes. Guns up. Blow it out. RO back 1.5 nearly stuck with a scoot back. 9.888

Woodring (VT – TWU): Y full is stuck-ish. Deep in the knees. Saluted as she stepped to the side. Pretty vault in the air. 9.825

Boll (BB – Air Force): Split to split 3/4. Small adjustment. BHS LOSO. Right on! Just taking this in. FALCONS! Onodi. Just a lean to the side. BHS back 1.5 is stuck! The tears. I cannot handle this today. 9.775

Greene (VT – SEMO): Y full was high on the table, but who cares because she stuck with her chest up? A big hug from coach Lawson. 9.750

Kunzman (BB – TWU): BHS LOSO to beat. Didn’t have the rotation for the triple series today. Switch leap, switch leap. Lack of back leg position. RO back 1.5 with a hop back. 9.475 Definitely an UTL issue there.

Contello (VT – Brown): Y full, the most dynamic vault of the day. Quick off the table, with good line in the air. A medium sized hop back. 9.750

The sad country music playing is killing my vibes. Going to get me all emotional on the keys.

Pierce (BB – TWU): T-dub. Front toss to BHS, slightly soft knees. Smooth connection there. Switch leap, split 1/4 is stunning. Good line and toe point. Front aerial to beat. Got ahead of herself and had to touch the beam to save. Deep breath. Finish her up. Tucked punch full is stuck. 9.513

Second Flight:

Based on flight one scoring, vault is going to be a tight one, but I guess we knew that coming in since nearly every athlete in this final got a 9.800 to qualify today.

Brochi (BB – Air Force): BHS LOSO with a hip out lean. Switch leap, straddle 1/4. Pretty. A lean on the turn. FALCONS! Beat, side aerial. Another lean. She’s fighting. RO back 1.5. Pause…. step salute. We’ll see if the judges give her the stick. 9.713

Griswold (VT – Lindenwood): Y 1.5 is nearly stuck but DEEEEEEP on the landing. Her typical beauty in the air, so high and airy. 9.763

Beam conference on Brochi. A 9.9 start from one judge? I am confusion. 9.713

Javinett (BB – Bridgeport): A little lean on the turn. BHS LOSO, hip out, and she’s off. Switch leap, to LOSO. A little slow on the connection. Hot hot hot! Beat, to split 3/4. A lean forward. Bing! Stuck that dismount right as the time was up. Final countdown, literally. 9.150

Ockler (VT – SEMO): Y full, bent arms on the table. Had to take a step forward, with the chest slightly down. 9.700

Carswell (BB – Air Force): A little dance to keep things loose. A middle split to assert her dominance. Off on the wolf double turn. I’m sad. Another wobble on a full turn. BHS LOSO, a lean adjustment. FALCONS. Pretty tick tock. Straddle, straddle 1/4. She just looks a little nervous. Switch side connection was right on. BHS gainer full is on the money. Way to finish the routine. 9.163

Bracher (VT – SCSU): Y full, very deliberate on the technique. Set it up then initiated the turn. Lovely. Just a pace forward. 9.675

Meeks (BB – Yale): The Yale crew with their cameras like proud moms. I’m loving it. BHS LOSO. A baby adjustment. Side aerial. Easy money. Sharp up there. Switch leap, split 1/4, sideways split half. Huge smile and a deep breath. Gainer pike is stuck. YEEEESSS. Way to finish a career, Miss Meeks. If that’s not on the podium, I don’t want it. 9.875

Bedell (VT – Brown): Y full was high on, pretty short with a step forward and quick salute. Not her normal amplitude there. 9.538

Six (BB – TWU): BHS LOSO, arms right down. Just a lean. Switch leap, straddle 1/4. Working with it. Front toss to beat. A peak at her teammates in the coral. RO back 1.5 dismount. Stayed in the position with the straightest face. A bicep flex for all who are watching. 9.838

Boll (VT – Air Force): Y full is pretty slow with a pike down and a step forward. 9.663

Rush (BB – Lindenwood): A chest stand and one arm hold. So strong. Hitch kick to side somi. Lovely. Split half from the side. She’s on today. BHS LOSO. Jeez Louise. Nothing to take. Switch leap, straddle 1/4. Slow on the connection. Gainer full. Another stick. L-U! Lions! 9.838

Wang (VT – Yale): Y full, a touch high on the table, but dynamic off. A smidge pikey with a step back. 9.750?

Scores died in the middle of that, so I’ll let you know when I know.

Rotation 2: Bars and Floor

First Flight:

Griswold (FX – Lindenwood): I can barely hear the music. Double pike, back on the landing with an uncontrolled step back. ROARRR! Front full, front layout. Good shaping. A little back on the heels. Lions! Switch half, wolf full. Double tuck, the best landing of the three. Way to finish. I’m in mourning. 9.750

Miller (UB – SEMO): Squinting to see. Piked Tkatchev. Ezhova. Amazing. Her shoulder did not love the half pirouette. Had to come down. NO. She’s at the chalk bucket for a hot minute. Stop it! The whole crowd hyping her up. Double layout. Just a shuffle back. 9.175

Pierce (FX – TWU): Front double right around. Solid landing. Switch side, popa. Dynamic, right to straddle position. BHS to the elbow. Back 1.5 to front full. So much better than yesterday! Way to go. 9.850

Poley (UB – Brown): Blind full, Gienger. Some leg separation. Overshoot, slightly short of HS. FTDT was VERY close to the bar, but strong landing. 9.688

Davis (FX – Brown): An elegant queen. Double pike. A larger lunge to control. Switch ring, switch half ring. This routine gives a lovely spring day. Whip half, front full. Some loss of legs together. Switch half, split full, just squeaked it around. This routine cures anxiety. 9.825

Appleget (UB – Lindenwood): Clear hip, Gienger to overshoot. Some bent arms on the overshoot catch. Double layout with a stick. Small hip adjustment. Strongest set so far. 9.813

Bedell (FX – Brown): FTDT is huge and controlled to the max. I’m sitting back and enjoying. I hope you are too. Tour jete half, split full. Last pass incoming. Front through to double tuck. I have chills. The winner, she is in my mind. Amazing. Holy crap. A record holder. A star. 9.888

Brochi (UB – Air Force): Gienger is quite low. Missed her feet on the toe on. Toe hand to overshoot. Missed a hand but worked out of it. Double layout with a step back. 9.413

Wilson (FX – Yale): Back 1.5 to front layout. Some soft knees. Strong landing. Rock and roll music. Switch leap, switch half ring. Hit that ring position. Double pike, just pulled it around. A huge dive roll to get the attention of all who gymnastics. 9.738

Moon (UB – Lindenwood): Shaposh, overhsoot to toe up to high. Some loss of leg form on the catch of the shoot. HS on point. Double layout with some leg separation and a hop back. 9.775

Price (FX – Fisk): The crowd goes wild! Double pike. Jeez. Yes control. Front lay to front full. A little bouncy, but fine. Switch half, wolf full, split full. The entire crowd clapping along. Back 2.5 is so good. PERIODT. Giving Bedell a run for her money. 9.850

Y’all this floor final is pure insanity. Such amazing gymnastics.

Second Flight:

Johnson (FX – TWU): Mr. Roboto. Double pike, back on the heels with an uncontrolled lunged back. Wolf full, switch half. Back 1.5 to front full. Wanted a bit more amplitude on the full, but improved over last night on the landing. Rudi. Right on! A smile for the T-dub crowd. 9.750

Ferrari (UB – TWU): Blind, Jaeger. Some loss of toe point. Blind, straddle back. Loose back on the catch. Jerky on the kip. Double layout, stuck with a pike down. 9.813

Martinez (FX – Centenary): Fanning herself. A shimmy shake. Double tuck. Right to the lunge. RO back lay to belly drop. Ladies! Switch side, popa. Clap, clap, clap. Back 1.5, front half to switch leap jump. A little arm circle to keep the power under wraps. 9.750

Wilson (UB – Centenary): Toe hand, Maloney to pak. A little foot flicker. Over on the HS on low. FTDT a step back. 9.825

Kissinger (FX – West Chester): Rudi to LOSO with a bound in the lunge. Tour jete full. Not quite sharp on the position. Whoop whoop. Back 1.5. Nice and high. Strong leap position there. The entire WCU team doing the dance in the stands. Rudi to double stag. The strongest landing. LET’S GO RAMS! 9.725

Cooper (UB – Lindenwood): Loving the double buns. Blind, to piked Jaeger to overshoot. Floaty. Strong last HS. Double layout. STUCK. Absolutely textbook dismount. 9.875

Coleman (FX – Fisk): Front through to double pike. Chest forward. Danced away like it didn’t happen. We stan. The performance is everything. Switch side, popa, split full?? Not around, not sure what the goal was there. Double pike was a little under too, but managed. Snaps and claps. 9.600

Ockler (UB – SEMO): Toe hand, Maloney, pak salto. A pause on the catch. Over on the half on low. FTDT, tried to hold onto the stick but had to step forward to salute. 9.813

J. Jones (FX – Lindenwood): Double pike, right to the lunge to control. This music is giving sandstorm. Front full, front lay, step back to the lunge. Lions! Switch leap, tour jete full. PULLED it around. Back 1.5 front lay. Piked the lay at the beginning to pull it around. 9.738

Webb (UB – SEMO): Toe hand, Blind, Jaeger. Better distance. Overshoot. Loose on the catch. Blind full, double tuck is stuck. Do your little dancey-dance. The highlight of my day, which is saying a lot because it’s been great. 9.738

Beers (FX – Cornell): Front through to double pike. Yes’m. Switch half, popa, popa. Double tuck with a two foot stick. What a way to end an awesome meet for her. Switch half, double stag half? Can’t say I’ve ever seen that one. 9.838

Gose (FX – TWU): Music so smooth. Double pike. So high, great landing. Switch side, popa, popa. Front full, front lay. Dynamic on that connection. We love when the second flip is the same height as the first. Rudi, not the most controlled but great amplitude. 9.863


Okay, so scores should be mostly correct, but I can make no promises. Also, for the record, the scores look funny because they’re all averages of the four judges’ scores without dropping the high and the low.

VT Winner: Daisy Woodring (Texas Woman’s), 9.825

UB Winner: Kaylee Cooper (Lindenwood), 9.875

BB Winner: Nya Kraus (Lindenwood), 9.888

FX Winner: Julia Bedell (Brown), 9.888

AA First Team All Americans: Morgan Price (Fisk), Kristina Rodriquez (West Chester), Steelie King (TWU), Hannah Stahlbrodt (SCSU), Sydney Beers (Cornell), Lydia Webb (SEMO), Sarah Wilson (Yale), Jaly Jones (Lindenwood), Velandra Brochi (Air Force)

Season ending awards

Scholar athlete award: All of the people

Assistant Coaches: Jay Villegas and Alex Hyland, Brown

Coach of the Year: Ashley Lawson, SEMO

Mari-Rae Sopper Award: Kimberly Kinkade, Air Force

Senior Athlete of the Year: Hannah Stahlbrodt, SCSU

Live Blog by Tavia Smith

READ THIS NEXT: Judge’s Inquiry: Are Division III Routines Underscored?

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