Championship Saturday is finally here! It should be a thrilling end to the season, as Oklahoma, Utah, LSU, and Florida will battle it out for the 2023 NCAA Championship!
LSU scored an upset win on Thursday afternoon semifinal, advancing alongside Florida, who got a few routines out of Trinity Thomas. The Gators looked a bit iffy on beam but got help from falls on other teams to qualify for today. LSU looked solid, with plenty of room for improvement to make a more impressive run in today’s championship battle.
Utah and Oklahoma advanced from the evening semifinal, with the Utes taking the win and posting the top score of any semifinal team with a 198.225. The Sooners also looked strong and scored above 198, narrowly beating out UCLA, who notched the highest-ever score to not advance to the NCAA final.
Today, keep an eye on Thomas and what events she competes. Her presence and scores are necessary for Florida to contend. Oklahoma needs to Oklahoma, as its dynasty is in full swing, and a good day from them may be impossible for other teams to beat. LSU’s improbable season gives it the fight and motivation to contend for a championship, while Grace McCallum’s return for the Red Rocks could provide them with a boost just like it did Thursday.
Follow along with live scores and video! (ABC)
Rotation 1: Oklahoma Vault, LSU Bars, Florida Beam, Utah Floor
Sievers (OU): Y1.5. Nearly stuck, step forward. 9.8625
Jeffrey (LSU): Maloney to Pak, good handstands, squat and step back on the FTDT. 9.8375
Blakely (UF): Front aerial BHS, no issues, switch leap switch half beat jump, stuck gainer full dismount. 9.900
Brenner (Utah): Double pike, easy, RO 1.5 front layout, switch side Popa, cheated a tad, closes with a double tuck, good. 9.875
Hit Y1.5 from Stern. 9.900
Cowan (LSU): Nice Ray to bail, good handstands, dismounts double layout, step back. 9.825
LeVasseur (OU): Y1.5. Clean in the air, big step forward. 9.8875
Lazzari (UF): BHS LOSO LOSO and comes off, switch leap split jump, great extension, front aerial, full turn small check, dismounts cartwheel gainer full, stuck but deep chest down. 9.0125
Tatum (LSU): Ray to Pak, floaty, flexed feet, dismounts FTDT, amazing landing. 9.875
Hit Y1.5 from Bowers, step forward. Hit floor form Gilstrap.
Torrez (OU): Y1.5. Comes in short but holds on for the stick. 9.925
DiCello (UF): Back dive mount, solid, smooth wolf turns, switch leap split jump, great, BHS LOSO, secure, dismounts stuck gainer full. 9.900
Trautman (OU): Y1.5. Tiny hop in place. 9.950
Hit floor from Paulson. 9.900
Shchennikova (LSU): Ray to Pak, good half pirouette but takes an extra circle, dismounts double layout, slung out a bit, hop forward. 9.800
Wong (UF): Switch leap, BHS LOSO, beautiful, full turn, front aerial beat jump, tiny lean, dismounts RO double full, small shuffle back. 9.9125
Smith (Utah): Hits the opening front double full, nice Rudi LOSO, easy leaps, Rudi double stag to finish. 9.925
Bryant (LSU): Blind to Jaeger, sky high, bail, great, holds it, sticks the double front half. 9.950
McCusker (UF): Wolf turn, eat jump front aerial, smooth, BHS LOSO, nice leaps, stuck gainer full. 9.9375
Rucker (Utah): FTDT, stuck chest down a bit, switch leap switch side 1/2, front layout front full, nice controlled step. 9.900
Nguyen (UF): Onodi BHS, quickly through the connection, full turn, moving confidently, switch leap split leap, small hesitation but moved through it, dismounts BHS 1.5, small slide to the side. 9.875
O’Keefe (Utah): Awesome double pike, front layout front full, problem-free, switch leap to switch leap 1.5, good rotation, RO 1.5 front layout, floaty. 9.900
After 1: Oklahoma 49.5625, Florida 49.5250, Utah 49.5000, LSU 49.3125
It’s a CLOSE one! Oklahoma rocked vault, but Florida dismissed its beam woes from semifinals and Utah nailed floor to make it an extremely tight one at the top. LSU did it’s job on bars and is slightly back, but that’s ground it can make up with it’s worst event behind it. Beam isn’t the Tigers greatest event either, so it will be about maintaining distance to mount a floor and vault comeback. Floor can get iffy for Florida without Thomas, as can landings on vault for Utah, both needing hit days to keep pace with the Sooners before their best events. Oklahoma is strong everywhere, so for the Sooners, it’s all about doing what they know.
Rotation 2: Utah Vault, Oklahoma Bars, LSU Beam, Florida Floor
O’Keefe (Utah): FTY. Flares it out, goes for the stick, hop forward, chest forward. 9.7375
Sievers (OU): Maloney to Pak, great, nice half pirouette, dismounts FTDT, sticks. 9.925
Nguyen (UF): Hits the front double full, nice leap series, hits her ring position well, dismounts RO 1.5 front layout. 9.8875
Brenner (Utah): Y1.5. Good form, small hop forward. 9.900
Fletcher (OU): Hop piked Jageger is nice, toe handstand, Pak, quick, dismounts FTDT, sticks it. 9.9125
Hoffman (Utah): Y1.5. Crunched block, short, step back.
Arenas on beam for LSU 9.475
Hit floor from Blakely (9.8625). Hit bars from Trautman, small hop on the dismount. Hit on beam from Shchennikova.
Smith (Utah): Omelianchik. Goes for the stick, a little early and short, step back. 9.8375
Rucker (Utah): Y1.5. Great in the air, goes for the stick and comes up short, like her teammates, takes a step back. 9.8375
Smith (OU): Ray, toe handstand, Pak, dismounts double layout, shuffle back. 9.8875
Jeffrey (LSU): Wolf turn, cat leap switch side, good height, BHS LOSO, no problems, standing front tuck, squat but secure, RO 1.5 with a hop forward. 9.825
Gilstrap (Utah): FTY. Off to her right and a hop. 9.8125
Bowers (OU): Blind to Jaeger, a bit close on the catch, Pak, problem-free, dismounts stuck FTDT. 9.925
Richards (UF): Opens with a double layout, bouncy into the lunge, switch side Popa, RO 1.5 front full, great control. 9.875
Davis (OU): Blind to piked Jaeger, great, Pak, gorgeous form, hits the half pirouette, dismounts double front half, sticks. 9.925
Wong (UF): Piked double Arabian, stag jump forward out of bounds, phenomenal leaps, great height and control, RO whip half front full, good landing. 9.725
Bryant (LSU): Front aerial BHS, a bit hesitant but kept moving, switch leap split side, full turn, check on the standing front tuck, Rudi dismount, small slide back. 9.850
DiCello (UF): Some leg form issues on the front double full, switch ring to switch half, superb, some elevation change on the wolf turns, RO 1.5 front layout, no issues. 9.900
Finnegan (LSU): Back dive half turn mount, BHS LOSO LOSO, small lean, switch leap split jump, full turn, front aerial, dismounts gainer full, stuck!
After 2: Oklahoma 99.2000, Florida 98.9500, Utah 98.6500, LSU 98.5500
The Sooners are the first team to break 49.6 on an event today and extend their lead at the halfway point, and are now halfway to defending their title. With beam and floor, two strong events for Oklahoma, to go, it’s in the drivers seat. Utah opened the door with landings and LSU had to negate an early lineup 9.4, and thus find themselves a few tenths back. But, they have their best events to go. Florida is the closest and can certainly pass the Sooners with some stellar routines, including a likely vault and bars set from Trinity Thomas to end her career.
Rotation 3: Florida Vault, Utah Bars, Oklahoma Beam, LSU Floor
Wong (UF): Yurchenko half-on, pike half. Nice block and height, tiny foot form, small step. 9.9125
Morgan (Utah): Maloney to Bhardwaj, a bit crooked but works through it easily, dismounts giant full double tuck. 9.850
Ballard (LSU): Double layout, RO 1.5 front layout, some leg form, a bit flat, switch leap switch ring half. 9.8125
Hit from Dunn to open beam. 9.850
Richards (UF): Y1.5. Flat, comes in low but hangs on for just a small hop forward. 9.7375
Brenner (Utah): Blind to Jaeger to overshoot, no problems, slightly short on final handstand, double layout tiny slide back. 9.875
Shchennikova (LSU): Bouncy out of her front double full, RO 1.5 front layout, hit landing, switch ring switch half, Rudi split jump. 9.850
Trautman (OU): Full turn, BHS LOSO, small check, check on the leaps, possible final routine nerves, dismounts RO 1.5, small hop. 9.825
Blakely (UF): Y1.5. Good amplitude, hop forward. 9.875
Thompson (Utah): Maloney to Pak is nice, dismounts double layout, legs glued together, chest up stick. 9.9375
Brock (LSU): Double pike mount, good lunge, double tuck, another solid landing, switch leap switch side is easy, RO 1.5 front full, great. 9.925
DiCello (UF): Y1.5. Tiny knee bend towards the end, hop forward. 9.900
O’Keefe (Utah): Maloney to Pak, beautiful, dismounts double Arabian, sticks! 9.925
Thomas (UF): Y1.5. Stuck! 10!
Hit Bowers beam during all the commotion for Thomas. 9.9125
Arenas (LSU): Small shuffle on the front double full, nice leaps, dismounts front layout front full, some knee bend. 9.8125
Nguyen (UF): Y1.5. A little short and a slide back. 9.8875
Isa (Utah): Ray, bail, clean as usual, giant full double layout, phenomenal pirouette, squat on the landing into college salute. 9.875
Torrez (OU): Wolf jump, side aerial LOSO, great, full turn, switch leap straddle jump, good height, dismounts RO 1.5, hop forward. 9.900
McCallum (Utah): Maloney to Pak, smooth, nice half pirouette, dismounts FTDT, sticks chest up. 9.9375
Finnegan (LSU): Double Arabian to stag, flawless, RO BHS 2.5 front tuck, great, switch ring tour jete half, so crisp and clean, switch leap. 9.925
Davis (OU): Full turn, BHS LOSO, front aerial, secure on everything, beat jump ring jump, hangs in the air, dismounts RO double full, stuck cold. 9.950
Bryant (LSU): Double front, perfect lunge, LOSO, front layout Rudi, great leaps. 9.9375
Smith (OU): Arena all to herself, BHS LOSO, flawless, front aerial, sharp, split half to BHS swing-down, full turn, confident leg kick, dismounts BHS gainer full, flares it out for the stick. 9.900
After 3: Oklahoma 148.7125, Florida 148.5250, Utah 148.2000, LSU 148.0000
Florida’s vault total just beat out Oklahoma’s as the Gators bite a bit into the Sooners lead in rotation three. Finishing on floor, Oklahoma has the edge, but Florida can be stellar on bars, and coming off a perfect score already, we could get another from Thomas to finish off her career. Those are the types of difference-making scores the Gators will need to upend Oklahoma. Utah does end on beam so expect a huge total, but there might be too much room to make up at this point. Same with the Tigers, who end on a strong event, but the lead may be too far off without help.
Rotation 4: LSU Vault, Florida Bars, Utah Beam, Oklahoma Floor
Arenas (LSU): FTY. Great form, stuck cold. 9.900
Blakely (UF): Maloney to Pak, dismounts blind to double front, stuck. 9.925
Davis (OU): Mounts with a front double full, no issues, switch half wolf full is great, closes with a RO 1.5 front full, easy. 9.900
Morgan (Utah): Front walkover is nice, BHS BHS LOSO, split jump split half, dismounts front full off the side, stuck. 9.9125
Brock (LSU): Y1.5. Clean form, nearly stuck, small hop. 9.8875
Nguyen (UF): Maloney to Pak, small leg break on the half pirouette, sticks the double layout. 9.900
Smith (OU): Mounts with a double tuck, great lunge, RO 1.5 front layout is nice, switch side wolf full, over done, double pike, a bit short, lunge forward. 9.9125
Finnegan (LSU): College salutes out of an Omelianchik. 9.8625
Hit beam from Paulson. 9.9625
DiCello (UF): Ray, Pak connected into the toe handstand, Shaposh half, sticks her FTDT. 9.975!
Wilson (LSU): FTY. Dynamic and stuck. 9.8875
Bowers (OU): Front double full front tuck, easy, double pike, opened a bit early, fluid leaps. 9.950
Bryant (LSU): Front pike half. Stuck! 9.98759.925
Thomas (UF): Maloney to Pak, flawless, Shaposh half, smooth, dismounts double layout, fights for the stick, bends over for it. 9.9125
Torrez (OU): Double layout to open, slides the front foot a tad, tour jete half wolf full, dismounts front tuck to double tuck, easy lunge. 9.925
Wong (UF): Maloney to Pak, Shaposh half, no issues yet, dismounts double layout, perfectly stuck. 9.975
Isa (Utah): Back dive mount, BHS LOSO LOSO, beautiful, full turn, beat jump split side, tiniest of leans back, dismounts BHS gainer full, sticks it. 9.950
McCusker (UF): Maloney to Pak, nice Shaposh half, giant full double tuck is stuck. 9.925
Fletcher (OU): Whip double tuck, slight slide back, nothing major, front layout front full, switch half Popa, quick, ends with a RO BHS 2.5, secure landing.
O’Keefe (Utah): Side aerial LOSO, gorgeous, graceful leaps, dismounts BHS gainer full, stuck as always. Another 10!
Sievers (OU): Great full-in, nice double tuck, finishes up with a bouncy and high leap series, great toe point. 9.950
McCallum (Utah): Forward roll mount, triple wolf turn, double wolf turn, good speed on both, BHS LOSO, split jump split side, moving confidently, dismounts tucked gainer full, small shuffle. 9.8875
FINAL: Oklahoma 198.3875, Florida 198.2375, Utah 197.9375, LSU 197.5250
The Sooners are the NCAA Champions! They defend their title from last season, and have won their sixth title all coming in the last decade! Congrats to every single team on a phenomenal season!
READ THIS NEXT: Judge’s Inquiry: Breaking Down Every Perfect 10 From Regionals
Live blog by Brandis Heffner.
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Pretty ridiculous that a 198.2 is only good enough for 2nd place!
Trautmans score on beam—-with two balance checks and not a stick is suspect. Smiths floor score was high—-landed short and stepped forward. wolf full not exact. There are more, but I will stop. All have been gifted, but some more than others.