LIVE BLOG: Super 16 Session Four with No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 California, No. 8 Alabama and No. 17 Auburn

The final session of the Super 16 meet brings us two exciting in-state rivalries with UCLA vs. California and Alabama vs. Auburn respectively. All four teams have qualified to Nationals within the last two seasons, and all four will be looking to do the same this year. Although not first in the rankings, California is arguably the favorite to win this meet. They have minimal lineup turnover, all-around star eMjae Frazier entering her sophomore year, and former five-star recruits Kyen Mayhew and Annalise Newman-Achee making their season debuts. UCLA is also in a strong position, but with star Jordan Chiles and Ana Padurariu taking the year off to prepare for the Olympics, the Bruin lineups will have to hit without relying on Chiles’ star power.

Although California and UCLA are the more likely candidates to win the meet, it’s entirely possible for Alabama to pull off an upset if everyone performs to the best of their ability. Alabama is led by fifth-year star Luisa Blanco and has one of the top-rated freshmen classes. As for Auburn, the Tigers will be looking to prove that they are still a contender without superstars Sunisa Lee and Derrian Gobourne. While a win seems more unlikely for them, they can certainly put pressure on the other three teams.

This meet also marks the beginning of Janelle McDonald and Ashley Johnston’s second seasons as head coaches for UCLA and Alabama respectively. Keep on eye on what lineups they put up and if they can build off of their strong rosters and previous successes.

Livestream here

Rotation 1: UCLA VT, California UB, Auburn BB, Alabama FX

Lee (VT): Yfull, a little pike down and a hop but solid. 9.825

Li (UB): Big jaeger, pak, switch kip, blind full to double tuck. Great start! 9.9

Hollingsworth (BB): Solid full turn, BHS LOSO secure. Switch half, split jump, nice. BHS gainer back, stuck.

Burgess (FX): Double back, micro front foot adjustment. Another front foot adjustment on the second pass. Choreography is mostly arm waving. Front full, front lay as the last pass, nicely landed. 9.8

Anastasi (VT): Yfull, hop in place. 9.825

Lauzon (UB): Really floaty on this event. Pak, maloney good. Hop to the side on the dismount. 9.825

Brusch (BB): Little wobble on the BHS LOSO. Leaps good. Gainer full, tiny hop. 9.8

My stream just froze, sorry!

Okay we’re back.

Hagle (BB): I looked over and she was off the beam. Split leap, very uncertain. BHS LOSO, hip check. Beat jump, switch 3/4. Korbut flip. 1.5 twist dismount, stuck. 8.950, they’ll need to drop that.

Perea (UB): Pak, Van Leewen, gorgeous. 9.950

Adams (FX): Double pike, nearly stuck. Wolf turn, almost lost her balance but pulled it back. Front full, front lay, having lots of fun with the choreo! Solid routine for her. 9.825

Campell (VT): Yfull, some flair, stuck, her usual. And it’s a perfect 9.95

Groth (BB): Pressure set for her. BHS LOSO LOSO, rock solid. Full turn is perfect. Gainer has a lot of pike down and a hop forward. 9.725

Cesario (UB): Good flow to the routine. Pikey double lay with a hop. 9.9

Harris (VT): Y1.5 with a small hop forward.

Hudson (FX): AC/DC music is great! Switch half, wolf jump half, her presentation is great. Double tuck with a big bounce back. 9.8

Stevens (BB): BHS LOSO, micro adjustment but basically solid. The Stevens to a wolf turn, so unique and fun! 1.5 twist dismount, nice.

Frazier (UB): Only caught the dismount, double lay with a hop. 9.85

Reed (VT): Y1.5 with a big hop forward and to the left, but lots of height and distance.

Blanco (FX): Double wolf turn, lovely. Take a shot every time they say she’s going to the Olympics. Double pike with a bit too much juice but still solid. Double tuck, again too much power but keeps it under control. Front full, front lay, very controlled. Nice routine! 9.825 feels right.

McLaughlin (BB): BHS LOSO, solid.Beat jump, aerial, split jump, lovely lines. Full turn rock solid again. Looked away from Blanco and saw a stuck dismount. Great pressure set from her! 9.85

Apparently Katelyn Rosen did a good 1.5 offscreen. But not too good, because it scored 9.725.

Williams (UB): Maloney, pak, great handstands. Double lay, stuck. She’s really got all the details, I love watching her on bars! And we get a nice shot of her in the bear head. 9.95

Gladieux (FX): Full in, great landing. Best amplitude I’ve seen on leaps so far. If you tell an AI to give us “generic NCAA floor music” I think this is what it would spit out. Front lay, front 1.5, split jump out of it, nice!

Aderinto (UB ex): Maloney, bail, double front dismount with. a hop forward.

LaCoursiere (FX ex): Front lay, front 1.5, bit bouncy. Switch ring is nice and high. Double back, really nice.

It is obvious that Jess Graba does not care about exhibitions.

After 1: UCLA 49.325 California 49.550, Auburn 48.975, Alabama 49.250

Well, we’re off to a great start! Cal taking the lead after bars is no surprise, but UCLA and Alabama are absolutely within striking distance. Auburn had a very nervy beam routine but avoided a catastrophe after Hagle’s fall.

Somehow live scoring is only showing UCLA for me and keeping track of scores via the stream is a nightmare, so bear with me.

My god, this commentary is just an unfiltered stream of consciousness. I don’t know how to feel about it, to be honest.

Rotation 2: Alabama VT, UCLA UB, California BB, Auburn FX

Brusch (FX): Front tuck, double tuck, very solid. Double pike, loses control of it a bit.

Campbell (UB): Little low on the first handstand. Maloney, bail, double front with a hop forward.

Li (BB): Front aerial to start, wobble and doesn’t connect. BHS, LOSO good. Front turn solid. Switch leap, split leap, beat jump. Full twisting gainer tucked, stuck. 9.5, she must lost bonus from missing the connection.

Sears (VT): Freshman debut! Y full, nice and high, flaired, small hop back. She’s so happy!

Germain (VT): Yfull, stuck but with a lot of piked down. 9.9

Malabulyo (UB): Maloney, pike, amazing toe point in this routine. Great last handstand. Small hop on the dismount. 9.85

Huff (FX): High full in. Dismount is a laid out rudi, she looks happy. 9.85

Williams (BB): Front aerial, split jump, nice. BHS, LOSO, very dialed in. Switch leap, split leap. BHS, gainer full, stuck.

Hudson (VT): Y1.5, great height and a controlled hop forward.

Rosen (UB): Caught the dismount, Throws herself off the bars a bit in the double lay, but keeps it under control with just a small hop. 9.8

McLaughlin (FX): Front 1.5, front lay, has to bend her knees to get it around. Double pike, way too much juice and OOB. Rough outing for her. 9.775 feels generous.

Cesario (BB): Full turn, keeps it under control. Switch leap, switch half, off line but minimizes checks. 1.5 twist dismount with a bit of a hop. 9.675

Esparza (UB): Ouch, collapses to her knees on her double layout. Gets a hug from Janelle.

LaCoursiere: Big Y1.5, a little over the line and a hop. 9.775,

Groth (FX): Front double, a bit bouncy on landing but stays in bounds. Switch half, wolf half, good. I can’t tell if she went OOB in the second pass, but it was all over the place. Front 1.5 dismount is good. 9.8

Frazier (BB): Whips the full turn around. Front aerial to back layout with a big check. Split jump, ring leap, good extention. 1.5 twist dismount with a step. 9.6, Cal is struggling a bit on beam

Blanco (VT): Y1.5 with a small hop in place. 9.9 (Not 9.6 like Jess Graba thinks) on vault.

Harris: (UB): My wifi is acting up on me again and I only saw a stuck dismount, but based on the commentary it was a great routine.

Stevens (FX): Front lay, front 1.5, nice. Double tuck is high and solid. Switch leap, split leap, her presentaiton on beam is so elegant. Auburn needed that routine. 9.9

Lauzon (BB): Full wolf turn, nice and smooth. BHS LOSO LOSO, nice. Double twisting dismount is gorgeous. 9.9

Frazier (UB): Sticks her double lay with a big arm wave. 9.875

Gladieux (VT): Y1.5, fights for the stick with a lot of arm waving but ends up having to hop forward.

Hollingsworth (FX): Full in with a great landing. Front tuck, double tuck, rock solid. 9.9, great back end of the lineup for auburn!

Perea (BB): Wolf turn, a bit off but hides it with choreo. Switch leap, split leap, beat jump, very secure. Side somi, back full off the side of the beam, unique composition and well executed!

Hagle (FX ex): Jess Graba’s apathy towards exhibitions hurts me. Back 1.5, front full, very nice. Double wolf, speedily around. Bit short on her second pass.

Aderinto (BB ex): Triple series and she’s off the beam. Rough for her. Gainer full dismount. 9.000

After 2: UCLA 98.600, California 98.375, Auburn 98.225, Alabama 98.525

A sloppy beam rotation drops California to third at the halfway point of the meet. UCLA was able to drop Esparza’s fall with five fantastic bar rotations moving it into the lead. Alabama put up a strong showing on vault, they just need to clean up some details which is a great place to be at the very start of the season! Auburn had some nervous moments on floor but put together a strong rotation, and are certainly within striking distance of California.

Rotation 3: Auburn VT, Alabama UB, UCLA BB, California FX

Groth (VT): Yfull, lots of power and big hop back. 9.750

DD not knowing which team is on which event is hilarious.

Lee (BB): BHS LOSO, snaps the arms back and doesn’t budge. Switch leap, straddle, good. Gainer full, stuck. Great lead off! 9.9

LaCoursiere (UB): Maloney, pak, Van Leuwen, all nice. Full twisting double back dismount with a stick.

Perea (FX): Double tuck, big lunge back. Double wolf, good. Switch half, split leap. Back 1.5, front lay, holds the landing.

Schumaker(VT): Tucked 1.5, interesting vault!

Alipio (BB): Aerial, LOSO, and she’s off. Split leap, switch leap, beat jump is lovely.

Pawlak (UB): Maloney is a bit close, good bail. Over on her final handstand but stays on. Double lay with a step.

Hubbard (VT): Y1.5, tons of distance with a hop.

Kane (FX): Front full, front 1.5, stumbles out of it but stays on her feet and in bounds. Direction of her leaps was a bit off. Back 1.5 to front lay to finish. 9.725

Huff (VT): Y1.5, OOB. 9.800

Rosen (BB): Switch leap, split leap, nice. Front aerial, beat jump, solid. BHS LOSO is rock solid. Double twist dismount with a big hop. Cute little curtsy to her teammates after saluting! 9.825

Machado (UB): Only saw this out of the corner of my eye but it looked great! And it was, 9.925.

Williams (FX): Front lay, rudi, a little off on the lunge. Double wolf turn is good. Back 1.5 to front lay, solid.

Campbell (BB): Double wolf turn, and she falls. UCLA now counting a fall on beam. BHS LOSO, falls again. Yikes. Split leap, switch half, beat jump, all solid. Rough for her.

Hollingsworth (VT): Y1.5, deep knees and a hop but great distance. 9.8

Adams (UB): Lovely lines. Caught the blind full to double tuck, she FOUGHT for that stick.

Cesario (FX): back 1.5, front full, a little all over the place but manages to keep it together. Double tuck with a small front foot movement.

“Big vault coming up for Auburn” that we don’t get to see. Oy vey.

Harris (BB): Gorgeous triple series. Switch leap, switch leap, full turn lovely. Front toss is great. 1.5 twist dismount is a bit short and she takes a hop back. 9.8, most of the deductions probably came from the dismount

Dogette (UB): My stream froze again but I saw a stuck double layout.

Leonard (VT ex): Yfull, lots of height. 9.750

Lauzon (FX): Double twist to front tuck, good. Back 1.5 front full, also solid. Good for her!

Malabulyo (BB): Wolf turn and series both solid. She’s so crisp on beam. Split leap, ring leap a bit crunchy. Gainer dismount, deep in the knees and hops forward but stays on her feet. 9.8

Blanco (UB): Maloney, pak, gorgeous handstands. Van Leuven, low on her last handstand, full twisting double back stuck. Commentators are on ten watch, I don’t see it with that handstand but we shall see.

Moors (BB ex): Lovely front aerial to front handspring series. Full turn is lovely. Nice aerial. Switch half with a massive hip check. Wolf jump to split jump. Tuck front full dismount 9.650

Frazier (FX): Sky high double layout with a perfect landing. Switch ring, switch leap, split half. Lovely extension throughout the leap series. Now we get two angles of her. “Her choreography just fits her exotic look” YIKES DD. Front tuck, double tuck, gorgeous. That should score high. 9.925, Jordan is upset that it isn’t a ten

Li (FX): Double tuck, stuck cold. Front full, front lay, stuck on her toes. Split leap, switch half ring, nice. Great routine from her!

After 3: UCLA 147.050, California 147.525, Auburn 147.275, Alabama 148.050

Counting a fall and some rough routines really hurt UCLA during that rotation. Auburn did what it needed to do on vault, and California made up for a tricky beam rotation with a solid showing on floor. Alabama had a fantastic bars rotation and is putting together a stellar first meet of the season so far, but they’re finishing on beam, which has not been kind this meet. Right now they’re well positioned to win, but anything can happen!

Jeez the commentators are on three completely different wavelengths right now.

Rotation 4: California VT, Auburn UB, Alabama BB, UCLA FX

Williams (VT): Yfull with a lot of pike down but a stick!

Hollingsworth (UB): Piked jaeger with slightly bent knees. Full twisting double back stuck! 9.9

Gladieux (BB): BHS to a layout, nice. Front aerial, beat jump. Switch leap, split leap, little break but otherwise ok. Double full, bit of chest down but otherwise great! Good start for Bama. 9.825

Malabulyo (FX): Floor party time! Good double tuck to open! Back 1.5 to front lay, solid. Double pike,.with a tiny bounce back

Brown (VT): Yfull with a hop. 9.8

Brusch (UB): Maloney, bail, good. Over on her last handstand but holds it. Double lay with a hop back. 9.8

What does “like butter, they’re on a roll” mean?

Rybicki (BB): Bhs loso, and she’s off. Beam is not happy this meet. Cat leap, switch half, a bit awkward. Front 1.5, hop forward. Rough outing for her. 9.225

Moors (FX): I just adore her artistry. Front double to front tuck, amazing. Floaty back lay to get the back tumbling requirement. Switch leap, split half, wolf full, phenomenal. Front 1.5, so floaty. I’m obsessed with that routine. 9.95

McClaughlin (UB): Maloney, pak, very low on the last pirouette. Front full with a big step back. 9.8

Burgess (BB): One arm BHS LOSO, very nice. Aerial with a small check. DD is acting like the dismount might have been stuck (which it wasn’t). 9.775, Alabama won’t be happy to count that score but she stayed on.

Lee (FX): Double tuck, nice and high. Front lay, front full, nice. Double pike, a little bouncy on the lunge but otherwise good.

Lauzon (VT): Y1.5, stuck! 9.95

Bartman (UB): Falls on the Van Leuwen, just wasn’t close enough to the bar. And we’re cutting away just as she remounts. Nice.

Adams (BB): Nice double wolf turn. Front aerial, lovely toe point. BHS LOSO, rock solid. Switch, split leap. Back 1.5 to dismount, DD’s shouting at her to get her heals together. 9.9, Bama needed that

Harris (FX): Sky high double lay that’s stuck cold. Double tucked, very high and nice and controlled. Her choreography makes me smile so much. Combination pass is clean, great routine for her!

Frazier (VT): Ydouble with micro hop. California is bringing it on vault!

Hudson (BB): Front aerial with a leg up check. BHS LOSO, solid. Aerial, nice. Back 1.5 dismount, big celebration after she’s done. 9.7

Groth (UB): Good pak and a stuck dismount! 9.9

Li (VT): Yfull with a hop. 9.825.

Reed (FX): Her performance quality is something else. Leaps are a bit low. Front lay, front 1.5 ends the routine beautifully!

Blanco (BB): Front aerial, solid. Full turn good. BHS LOSO LOSO, a little off line but hides it like a pro. Penche is lovely. Switch leap, beat jump, good. 1.5 twist dismount, perfectly stuck. Great from her! 9.875

Stevens (UB): Massive ray to overshoot. Pikey double lay but stuck. 9.925

Campbell (FX): Full in, a little short. Front lay, front full, nice and floaty. Breaks it down in the corner, her team is screaming for her. Double tuck, beautiful, great routine!

Furious math happening in the commentator box right now.

LaCoursiere (BB ex): Switch leap, split leap. Cat leap, front aerial with a big check. Nice Korbut flip.

Rosen (FX ex): Stumbles out of her first pass a bit. Very interesting choreography. Switch leap, switch half, great height! Double pike is great.

FINAL: UCLA 196.550, California 196.850, Auburn 196.600, Alabama 197.125

Well, who saw that coming? Alabama broke 197 and put together a phenomenal meet. California put up a strong rotation and while they’ll be disappointed not walking away with the win it was still a strong meet for them. Auburn did what they needed to do and will be looking to clean up the details moving forward. Counting a fall took UCLA out of the meet but they rallied on the floor and put together a great rotation. Overall, a really exciting meet and a strong start that still brings stuff to work on for all four teams!

On a personal note, this was my first live blog. Thank you all for following along with me. Liveblogging this meet on this stream was a bit of a baptism by fire, but I had a great time, and I hope you all did too!

VT: Campbell, Lauzon (9.950)
UB: Perea, Williams, Harris, Blanco (9.950)
BB: Lauzon, Lee, Adams (9.900)
FX: Gladieux (9.975)
AA: Lauzon (39.600)

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Live blog by Naomi Stephenson

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