Abby Brenner Utah

LIVE BLOG: NCAA National Championships Semifinal II

It’s time to determine the final two teams in the national championship final and settle on some individual event champions, as semifinal two at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships is here! The top two teams from this evening advance to the title round Saturday, while individual scores from tonight and this afternoon will crown event winners. This session features No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 Utah, and No. 9 Kentucky alongside individuals from Michigan, Oregon State, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, and Alabama. View the full slate of individuals and their events here.

The Sooners were ranked No. 1 wire-to-wire this season and are considered the favorites heading into this meet. Even after counting a fall on beam to start regional finals, Oklahoma bounced back to still win the meet and post a score over 198. Jordan Bowers has emerged as one of the nation’s best all arounders after making the beam six this season, as she, Ragan Smith, Danielle Sievers, and Audrey Davis are among a few who should end tonight on at least one podium and help get the Sooners through to the final.

Kentucky is the clear underdog as the non-top-five team but is known for always performing its best in the postseason, which could make the difference on an off-day for a few of the other three teams. Raena Worley is also capable of trophy-worthy finishes with championship experience already under her belt. The second advancing spot to Four on the Floor is set to be a showdown between Pac-12 rivals Utah and UCLA, who’ve traded spots in the rankings this season, yet the Utes are 3-0 against the Bruins this season. Jordan Chiles and Selena Harris are one tough combo for UCLA, while a potential Grace McCallum bars return could be the difference-maker for Utah with Maile O’Keefe already in stride.

Although the Wolverines didn’t qualify as a team to these championships, they’ll still have plenty of opportunity to nab some hardware as their quartet of athletes—Natalie Wojcik, Sierra Brooks, Naomi Morrison, and Abby Heiskell—are all threats on their respective events. Auburn’s Derrian Gobourne is also a must-watch routine on floor alongside Alabama’s Luisa Blanco, who will star on bars.

Follow along with live scores and video! (ESPN2)

Rotation 1: Kentucky Vault, Oklahoma Bars, UCLA Beam, Utah Floor

Sievers (OU): Maloney to Pak, great, good half pirouette, dismounts stuck FTDT. 9.900

Brenner (Utah): Opens double pike, a tad under, step forward, RO 1.5 front layout right into choreo, switch side Popa, no issues, ends with a double tuck, good landing. 9.8875

Wilson (UK): Front pike half. Stuck cold, chest a bit forward. 9.9125

Fletcher (OU): Toe hand, Pak, dismounts FTDT, shuffle back. 9.850

Patterson (UK): Front pike half. Bounce to the side. 9.875

Gilstrap (Utah): Good opening Rudi, switch leap to switch ring half, closes with front layout front full, knee bend in the air but no landing problems. 9.900

Magnelli (UK): Front pike half. Bounce back. 9.8625

Smith (OU): Ray, to hand, Pak, good half pirouette, stuck double layout dismount. 9.925

Chiles (UCLA): BHS LOSO LOSO, flawless, switch leap wolf jump, side aerial, RO double pike, way short, lunge forward. 9.825

Smith (Utah): Nice front double full, a tad off line, FHS Rudi LOSO, floaty, Rudi double stag, solid landing control. 9.875

Harris (UCLA): BHS LOSO LOSO, small check, switch leap split leap full turn, front toss, stick the dismount. 9.9375

Davis nailed a bars set for Oklahoma, small dismount hop. 9.900

Rucker (Utah): Mounts with a FTDT, chest up and good landing, clean leaps, ends with a front layout front full, easy landing. 9.8875

Malabuyo (UCLA): Wolf turn, BHS LOSO, front aerial beat jump, ring jump, dismounts BHS gainer full, stuck. 9.950

O’Keefe (Utah): Double pike, small step forward, front layout front full, stuck cold, RO 1.5 front layout, no problems.

Hesikell 9.950 on bars for as an all rounder.

Gobourne (Auburn): Has the arena all to herself for her final routine, nailed it all, a little wonky on the leaps. 9.9125

After 1: UCLA 49.5125, Utah 49.500, Oklahoma 49.4875, Kentucky 49.312

Even on the “trickiest” event, UCLA takes the lead thanks to some crucial early lineup 9.9s. The Bruins have the slightest of edges over Utah, who had a good start on floor, and Oklahoma, who hit everything it needed to on bars. Kentucky also got some good landings on vault and is still right in this thing. Rotation two will be key with UCLA on floor, Utah on vault, and Oklahoma on beam – events where they can all shine.

Rotation 2: Utah Vault, Kentucky Bars, Oklahoma Beam, UCLA Floor

Dunn (OU): BHS LOSO LOSO, secure, split jump split jump half, gainer full, piked it down. 9.9125

Underrotated Rudi last pass for Moors to end floor. Otherwise hit for UCLA.

Brenner (Utah): Y1.5. Cleaner in the air than normal, small hop forward. 9.850

Procasky (UK): Maloney to Pak, nice, dismounts giant full double tuck, slung it double and hops forward. 9.800

Malabuyo (UCLA): Music stops a few seconds in, nails a double tuck, RO 1.5 front layout, music starts again?!?!? and in the right spot somehow?!?!?!? switch ring to switch half, gorgeous, finishes with a double tuck, lunge forward, a bit under. 9.8875

Smith (Utah): Omelianchik. Nice in the air, hop forward. 9.900

Bowers (OU): BHS LOSO, a bit under and a check to the side, good leap series, dismounts RO double full, messy legs, sticks. 9.825

Rucker (Utah): Y1.5. Goes for the stick, takes a step back. 9.875

Harris (UCLA): Double tuck, easy, tour jete half split full, bouncy, RO front half stag jump. 9.950

Williams (Arkansas): Y1.5. Clean in the air, squats to try for the stick but takes a hop. 9.825

Luksik (UK): Ray, good height, bail, double layout, hop forward. 9.825

Frazier (UCLA): Whips through to double tuck, problem-free, good leaps and side somi, great double pike to finish. 9.950

Worley (UK): Clear hip, Tkatchev, Pak, good form, dismounts FTDT and sticks it. 9.925

Campbell (UCLA): Great full-in, impressive height in her leaps, hangs in the air, FHS front layout front full, closes with a stellar double tuck. 9.9375

Smith (OU): BHS LOSO, small check, front aerial, split jump half to BHS swingdown, full turn, dismounts gainer full. 9.900

Wonderful bar routine from Michigan’s Wojcik, just a small foot shift on the dismount. 9.925

Chiles (UCLA): Double layout to open, front tuck to double tuck, no problems, tour jete half wolf full, good height, so much energy, dismounts double pike, and the Bruin fans throw confetti to celebrate. 9.9875

After 2: UCLA 99.225, Oklahoma 99.0375, Utah 98.8625, Kentucky 98.4375

The Bruins capitalized on their best event, extending their lead and not just maintaining their lead. The Sooners and Utes are right behind, with both capable of finishing in any position without a fall changing the standings. Oklahoma has the vault difficulty edge and Utah can be stellar on beam, and both those hitting at 100% will be needed tonight to advance.

Rotation 3: UCLA Vault, Utah Bars, Kentucky Beam, Oklahoma Floor

Frazier (UCLA): FTY. Big hop back. 9.7875

Morgan (Utah): Maloney to Bhardwaj, giant full double tuck, bouncy into salute. 9.8125

Lee (UCLA): FTY. Good in the air, goes for the stick but takes a hop forward. 9.700

Smith (OU): Nearly perfectly stuck double tuck, RO 1.5 front layout, no problems, hits her leap series, closes with a double pike, great landing again. 9.925

Moors (UCLA): Front pike half. Chest a bit down, slides back. 9.7875

Hit bars for Brenner and Utah. 9.9375

Campbell (UCLA). FTY. As big as can be, tiny hop. 9.900

Harris (UCLA): Y1.5. Comes up short going for the stick, but just a small hop back. 9.800

Bowers (OU): Front double full front tuck, great, double pike, high but a lunge a bit to the side, great height in her leap pass. 9.950

Chiles (UCLA): DTY. Small hop, in place basically. 9.900

O’Keefe (Utah): Maloney to Pak, great, good half pirouette, dismounts double Arabian, stuck cold. 9.950

Great floor from Sievers with a stellar full-in to open. 9.9375

Scharf (Arizona St): FTY, Flares it out and gets the stick! 9.8375

Isa (Utah): Ray, big, bail, quick through to her squat on, giant full to double layout, sticks it. 9.925

All hits but no remarkable scores from Kentucky on beam with Worley and Magnelli to go.

Torrez (OU): Huge double layout mount, easy tour jete full wolf full, beautiful extension, front tuck to double tuck, chest up perfect lunge. 9.950

McCallum (Utah): Maloney to Pak, problem-free, hits the half pirouette and handstands, sticks the FTDT! 9.950

Magnelli (UK): BHS LOSO LOSO, solid, switch leap split side, nice toe point from across the arena, front aerial, sticks the gainer dismount. 9.950

A beautiful routine from Blanco on bars for Alabama along with a hit from Oklahoma’s Fletcher on floor.

Carey (Oregon St): Forward roll onto the beam, full turn, front aerial straddle jump, smooth connection, BHS LOSO, great, switch leap switch side, dismounts gainer full, and sticks as always. 9.9625

Heiskell (Michigan): Double Arabian, slide to the side, good leap pass, closes with a RO 1.5 front full. 9.9375

After 3: Oklahoma 148.700, Utah 148.5375, UCLA 148.400, Kentucky 147.850

Both spots are still up for grabs heading into the final rotation, with the three in contention all strong on their last event! Kentucky should be out of it without help, setting up a showdown for two spots between three teams. Oklahoma has the lead and the edge with vault and their difficulty (and stability), while Utah also has a slight edge already and is headed to its best event (where it tops the country). But, the Bruins are capable of huge numbers, including 10s from Chiles, so anything can happen.

Rotation 4: Oklahoma Vault, UCLA Bars, Utah Beam, Kentucky Floor

Sievers (OU): Y1.5. Step to the side.  9.875

Campbell (UCLA): Maloney to bail, blind to double front, sticks. 9.900

Morgan (Utah): Front walkover mount, BHS BHS LOSO, clean leaps all around, front full dismount stuck. 9.8875

Y1.5 with a step forward from Stern. 9.900

Steele (UCLA): Maloney to Pak, misses a toe on before her squat jump to high bar, double layout with a hop back. 9.5875

Wilson (UK): Front tuck through to double tuck, easily through her leap series, RO 1.5 front layout. 9.8125

Bowers (OU): Y1.5. Big lunge forward, off to the left a tad. 9.8125

Paulson (Utah): Side aerial LOSO, great, nice leaps, beat jump side aerial 1.5, quickly into her salute. 9.850

Stuck-ish Y1.5 from Trautman. 9.950

Padurariu (UCLA): Maloney to bail, good, dismounts FTDT, chest down hop forward. 9.800

Fall from Patterson on floor on her ending double tuck.

Heiskell (Michigan): Y1.5. Bounding lunge forward, too much power.

Great set from Harris on bars. 9.9125

Frazier (UCLA): Maloney to Pak, great leg form, hits the half pirouette, dismounts double layout, small hop. 9.900

Isa (Utah): Dive mount, BHS LOSO LOSO, secure, full turn, beat jump split side, sticks her gainer full. 9.9625

Chiles (UCLA): Piked Tkatchev to Pak, incredible first handstand, Maloney to Gienger, dismounts FTDT, stuck cold! 10!

O’Keefe (Utah): Side aerial LOSO, no wobbles, great leaps through the cheers for the Chiles 10, full turn, stuck gainer full. 10!

Worley (UK): Great full-in, front layout front full, nice leaps, closes with a double tuck, good landing. 9.9375

McCallum (Utah): Nails the wolf turns, BHS LOSO, no issues, split jump split side, slightly flexed feet, tucked gainer full dismount, stuck. 9.925

Brooks (Michigan): Massive full-in to start, slight front foot slide, tour jete half split full, bouncy, closes with a front tuck to double tuck, fantastic. 9.950

Flatley (Arkansas): Gorgeous BHS LOSO, full turn with leg up to beat jump, smooth, BHS 1.5 stuck. Huge roar from the crowd for her.

FINAL: Utah 198.225, Oklahoma 198.1625, UCLA 197.9125, Kentucky 197.125

Utah and Oklahoma advance to Saturday’s national championship final!

Individual NCAA Champions:

All Around: Maile O’Keefe, Utah 39.7625

Vault: Olivia Trautman, Oklahoma 9.950

Bars: Jordan Chiles, UCLA 10.000

Beam: Maile O’Keefe, Utah 10.000

Floor: Jordan Chiles, UCLA 9.9875

READ THIS NEXT: UCLA Has No Regrets After Culture Change

Live blog by Brandis Heffner.

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One comment

  1. Scoring was wildly inconsistent in this season in comparison to season 1. Oklahoma having chest low passes on floor to the hops and steps on vault where the other teams were penalized for, they were not. I hope this isn’t the case in the finals.

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