LIVE BLOG: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 11 UCLA, and No. 52 Stanford at No. 10 Denver

Happy meet day! Today I’m back in Magness Arena for the second week in a row for a huge quad meet in Denver. Today’s meet features the reigning national champion Oklahoma Sooners, along with Stanford, UCLA, and the Denver Pioneers. Oklahoma shouldn’t have too much trouble winning this meet, but we’ll still see a ton of great gymnastics! 

Let’s start with Oklahoma. The Sooners scored a 197.900 at last week’s Sprouts Collegiate Quad. It was a solid meet for the reigning national champions, but if they can stick a few more landings and have a few less wobbles, they could easily score their first 198 of the season. Plus, today may be the day we finally get to see the judges give Audrey Davis her long awaited perfect 10, so keep your eyes on bars!

Next up is Denver. The home team is ranked tenth in the country after two weeks of competition, and the Pioneers are a stuck landing away from their first 197 of the year. The biggest event that Denver could show improvement in is vault. Vault was the lowest score for the Pioneers last week, with only a 49.025 as a team. Their vaults are big, but they’ll have to hone in on the landings to get that much-needed boost to their team score. 

Next we have UCLA. Ranked just behind Denver at number 11 in the country, the Bruins are looking to return to their glory days on floor. UCLA put up a 49.200 last week at the Sprouts Collegiate Quad after only having two routines score in the 9.9 range, which is certainly not what the Bruin faithful are used to. Magness will surely be filled with lots of fans excited to see a floor party, so UCLA needs to capitalize on that energy and put up some big scores! 

Finally, we have Stanford. Today will only be the second meet of the year for the Cardinal, and it’ll definitely be looking to start fresh after scoring a 193.625 last week at Michigan. Stanford went five-up five-count on both vault and bars last week, and that came back to haunt it after it was forced to count a 9.325 and a 7.400 on bars. Will the Cardinal dig deep and find more depth today, or will those same five athletes in their respective lineups be forced to step up to the plate? We’ll have to wait and see. 

It’s alumni day in Denver and Magness is packed with fans ready to see some amazing gymnastics!

Rotation 1:

Dean (Stan.): Starts with a nice Ray. Very floaty Pak to switch kip down to low. A litle short on the last handstand. Nice blind full to a stuck double tuck!

Lee (UCLA): Pretty split jump. Very solid and clean flic lay. Switch leap to straddle jump, absolutely gorgeous flexibility. Finishes with a back handspring gainer full to a stick!

B. Mabanta (DU): Very nice Yurchenko full, she flared it out and had the tiniest shuffle on the landing.

Rosen (UCLA): Switch leap to split jump to start, could use a little more split there. Very pretty front aerial to beat jump, no wobbles or form breaks at all. Nice flic lay. Finishes with a roundoff double twist and takes a pretty big hop back on the landing

Hawthorne (OU): First pass is a super high double pike with a controlled landing. She is really showing off her dance! Nice switch full to split full, just some slightly flexed feet. Finishes up with a front layout to Rudi, it looked like she mispunched and her chest was low on the landing.

Ulrich (DU): Nice front pike half, good form just a hop back.

Hutchinson (DU): Nice Yurchenko 1.5, just the tiniest hop forwards!

Alexeeva (Stan.): Starts on the high bar with a really nice handstand to toe on blind into a very beautiful piked Jaeger. Nice bail down to low. Maybe a tiny bit short on the last handstand, and takes a step on the double layout.

Casali (DU): Wow! It’s a Yurchenko 1.5 and she sticks it cold! She stuck one like that in warm up too, the crowd is going crazy!

Harris (UCLA): Starts with a flic lay flic, no wobbles at all! Switch leap to split leap to full turn combination had some beautiful split positions. Nice front toss, small shoulder drop at the end but she saves it. Dismounts with a roundoff 1.5 and she steps back on the landing.

Widner (Stan.): Nice first handstand. Gorgeous sky-high Tkatchev. Blind full to shootover down to low. She is really hitting every handstand here. Finishes up with a very nice stuck double layout!

LeVasseur (OU): First pass is a nice half in half out, she jumps to her lunge but overall it looks controlled. Pretty switch side to Shushunova. Next pass is a back 1.5 to front half to a super high straddle jump. Nice routine!

Alipio (UCLA): Starts with a front aerial to back layout, pretty solid. Split leap to split jump to beat jump, she shows really nice flexibility there. Dismounts with a stuck tucked gainer full! The team is excited about that one.

Torrez (OU): Really high and pretty double layout to start the routine. Pretty tour jete half to wolf full. Front tuck through to a double tuck for her last pass, she has a bit too much power in her lunge back but nothing too bad.

Bowers (OU): Alright, she’s following a lot of 9.9s, let’s see what she can do here. Her first pass is a front double full to front tuck with very nice height and a good landing as well. Next is her double pike, which is stunning as always, her toes are pointed the entire time! Switch leap to switch half to wolf full, good flexibility.

After 1: Oklahoma 49.550, Denver 49.325, Stanford 49.250, UCLA 49.200

This was a good start for every team here! I didn’t see any falls, and Stanford was able to avoid a bar disaster after Denver-native Anapaula Gutierrez went in the second spot and scored a 9.825. The shock here is UCLA being in last place with only a 49.200 on beam. The Bruins had to could a 9.775, which they aren’t quite used to on beam. Denver was able to find some of its landings on vault which lead to a 49.325, which is a big improvement from last weekend. Oklahoma had a stellar floor rotation and its vault warmup is looking even better! Watch out for some really high vault scores, the Sooners are getting stick after stick in this touch warmup.

Rotation 2:

Dean (Stan.): Beautiful kicked-out turn to start the routine. Really solid side aerial layout series. Straddle jump to straddle quarter, beautiful flexibility there. Finishes with a roundoff 1.5 with a step on the landing.

Malabuyo (UCLA): First pass is a very nice double back, good height and very controlled landing. Nice back 1.5 to front layout. Switch ring to switch half was also nice. She just has really nice form on everything. Finishes up with a double pike, she jumps to her lunge instead of stepping but it still looked fairly controlled.

Scheible (OU): It’s a stuck front pike half! I have a feeling that stick is going to be contagious.

LeVasseur (OU): And I was right! She sticks her Yurchenko 1.5! Maybe some leg separation onto the table but that was a very nice vault.

Carter (Stan): Flic flic lay, big wobble but saves it. Split half to beat jump was good. Finishes with a roundoff 1.5 with a step forward.

Bowers (OU): Super high and clean Yurchenko 1.5 to another stick!

Wells (OU): Yurchenko 1.5, clean in the air but she takes several big running steps out of it, which shouldn’t be a problem with all the other great vaults in that lineup!

Hebinck (DU): Mounts on the high bar with a held handstand. Absolutely stunning Ricna to Pak combination. A tiny bit short on that last handstand, and takes a shuffle back on the double layout.

Torrez (OU): Another clean Yurchenko 1.5, just a small foot movement on the landing.

Moors (UCLA): Starts with a super high front double full to front tuck, steps back into her lunge on the landing. Switch leap through to switch half wolf full was very pretty. Finishes with a nice floaty Rudi.

Hutchinson (DU): Nice handstand to start. Maloney to Pak combination, was a little over on her pirouette. Sticks the double layout.

Mundell (DU): Mounts on the high bar. Holds her first handstand into her very nice Tkatchev. Pretty shootover. Hits her last handstand and sticks the double layout! Maybe that will finally be another 9.9 for Denver on bars.

Harris (UCLA): First pass is a very nice double layout, good height and landing was very controlled. Nice tour jete half to Popa, great flexibility especially on that Popa. Next is a double tuck, same as before very high and controlled. Finishes her routine wth a back 1.5 to front half to double stag jump. Very good routine!

Widner (Stan): Switch leap to split jump was nice. Flic lay, gorgeous form throughout. Front aerial, was supposed to be connected to something but had a big wobble. Side aerial to beat jump, another wobble between those skills. Finishes with a stuck back handspring gainer full.

Reed (UCLA): Alright, everyone’s been waiting for this one, let’s see it! Really nice double layout to start, she just lunges forward instead of back so she may have lacking a bit of power. Tour jete to wolf full showed a good split position. Finishes with a front layout to Rudi, she looked a little off balance on the landing but her feet stayed in place.

Campbell (UCLA): First pass is a super high half in half out, just lunges slightly forward instead of back. Nice tour jete half to Popa, the Popa was especially nice. front layout to front full, nice form and control at the end. Finishes with a double tuck, it looked a little slow but her landing was spot on!

After 2: Oklahoma 99.150, Denver 98.775, UCLA 98.775, Stanford 97.725

What a rotation! Oklahoma had an absolutely outstanding lineup of stuck vaults, and I’m honestly surprised that none got a 10! UCLA put on a show on floor as always and scored a huge 49.575 to put it in second place with the Pioneers. Speaking of the Pioneers, they had a nice bar rotation! Lots of great handstands and stuck landings for everybody. Stanford was off on beam and had to count a lot of 9.6s.

Rotation 3:

Iwai (DU): Switch leap to straddle quarter, needs to be a little closer to 180 on that straddle. Flic lay lay, her foot looked like it slipped on the first layout but you wouldn’t be able to tell with that solid landing! Finishes with a cartwheel gainer full with a hop back.

Dean (Stan.): First pass is a double pike, nice pointed toes and a nice landing. Back 1.5 to front full is her next pass, good form and control. Switch half to Popa was nice. Good leadoff!

LeVasseur (OU): Mounts on the high bar with a Tkatchev. Nice shootover down to low. Hits and holds that last handstand. Blind full into a stuck double tuck! Nice routine!

Rosen (UCLA): Yurchenko 1.5, went out a little far and hops forward a little bit.

Zeng (Stan): Starts with a front layout to Rudi, really good control on the landing. Finishes with a nice double tuck. Tour jete half to Popa, maybe a little short of 180 on the tour jete but I’m being picky.

Ulrich (DU): Looks like she’s following a fall from Bella Mabanta. Nice flic lay to start. Switch leap to switch side, very good flexibility on the switch side. Front aerial to beat jump, maybe the tiniest wobble in between. Takes a step forward and sideways on the roundoff 1.5.

Harris (UCLA): Yurchenko 1.5 with a super bouncy landing and flies forward

Smith (OU): Nice Ray to a super high Pak. Hits her last handstand and shuffles back on the double layout dismount.

Mundell (DU): Very pretty flic lay to start out. Switch leap to switch half, big wobble on the switch half and was very short of 180 on the first leap. Takes a hop forward on the roundoff 1.5.

Reed (UCLA): Yurchenko 1.5, looks stiff on the landing and takes a big step back.

Davis (OU): Jumps over the low bar and hits her first handstand. Wow, her piked Jaeger is just so high. Nice Pak, right on top on the pirouette. Nails the last handstand, and she drops her shoulder on the landing of her double front half. No 10 today!

Thompson (DU): Side aerial to back handspring was good. Switch leap to switch leap combination is good as well. Pretty big wobble on her full turn but stays on. Takes a hop forward on the side aerial to 1.5 dismount. Denver is clearly very nervous on bars.

Bowers (OU): Mounts over the low bar and does a blind to a very pretty Jaeger. Nice Pak down to low. Really hits and holds that last handstand. Sticks the full in dismount!

Neault (Stan): First pass is a double pike, it was very open and she had a controlled landing. Switch leap to tour jete ring half. Next is a Rudi, some bent knees but has a good landing. Finishes with a back 1.5 to front layout, the front layout was low and long but she stayed on her feet.

Widner (Stan): Front layout to front full to start out, very floaty in the air and a good landing. Her dance is very nice and expressive! Good switch full. Last pass is a nice double pike, some flexed feet but her landing was good. Finishes off with a switch half to Popa with some nice positions in the air.

Nguyen (Stan): Starts off with a double layout, some leg separation but she had power to spare on that landing! Switch side to Popa, shy of 180 on that Popa. Really nice 2.5 to front pike to end her routine, she had a lot of height on the 2.5 and the front pike was very controlled!

After 3: Oklahoma 148.600, UCLA 147.950, Denver 147.700, Stanford

This rotation was an interesting one. Denver was clearly showing some nerves on the beam after a fall from Bella Mabanta and was forced to count three scores in the 9.7 range. UCLA was trying too hard to stick on vault and ended up with some rough landings that resulted in no scores above 9.875. Stanford bounced back and had a strong floor rotation, which included a 9.925 from Chloe Widner. Oklahoma had a nice bar rotation as it usually does, and is now heading to arguably its best event!

Rotation 4: Stanford VT, UCLA UB, Oklahoma BB, Denver FX

Rorich (DU): First pass is a front tuck through to double tuck, great landing! Nice switch side Popa Popa, maybe some flexed feet. Nice double pike to finish off, good height and another controlled landing!

Neault (Stan): Nice full on pike off, just a small hop back.

Malabuyo (UCLA): Malolney to Pak combo was super high, and she was right on top on her pirouette. Nails the last handstand and sticks the full in dismount!

Wells (OU): Switch leg side aerial, maybe the tiniest wobble. Switch leap to standing switch jump. Nice flic lay, no wobbles. Sticks the roundoff 1.5, and she had some very nice form on that dismount, very straight legs.

Rosen (UCLA): Starts on the low bar with a Maloney to Pak combination, a little loose on the Maloney. A tiny bit short on the last handstand and takes a shuffle on the double layout. Also had some slightly bent legs and flexed feet on the dismount.

Casali (DU): First pass is a Rudi to layout, she was very high on the Rudi and the layout was stuck! Switch half wolf full wolf full, short of 180 on that switch half. Really nice 2.5 to front tuck to finish up, she opened up perfectly for that front tuck and nailed the landing! The crowd is absolutely electric!

Esparza fall on her Bjardwaj, finished up strong though

Torrez (OU): Side aerial to layout series was beautiful as usual. Beautiful switch leap to straddle jump, great positions in the air. Flares out and sticks her back handspring to gainer full.

I didn’t see all of Harris’ bar routine, but I saw her shootover was a bit archy and she nailed her landing after the fall from Esparza.

Frazier (UCLA): Mounts on the low bar with a Maloney to a really high Pak and she peels off. Now UCLA will have to count a fall. Finishes with a strong stuck double layout. You can tell she’s frustrated.

B. Mabanta (DU): First pass is a Rudi to a really high split jump and she trips out of bounds. Switch side ring to split jump. Finishes with a back 1.5 to front layout, and she nails that landing after struggling on the first pass.

Smith (OU): Starts with a flic lay, some slightly bent knees but a very solid finish. Nice front aerial, a bit unsure of the landing but covers it up well. Straddle three quarter to back handspring swing down was nice. Dismounts with a back handspring gainer full and she sticks it!

Hutchinson (DU): Starts with a front double full and her landing is super solid! Switch half to split full was nice, great split positions throughout. Back 1.5 to front layout was good, but she did lunge back instead of forwards. Finishes with a beautiful Rudi to a very controlled straddle jump. The crowd is ecstatic about that routine and is chanting for a 10. I don’t think it’ll be a 10, but it certainly was nice!

Final: Oklahoma 198.325, Denver 197.175, UCLA 196.550, Stanford 196.100

What a finish! Oklahoma had a handful of 9.975s on beam, UCLA had to count a fall on bars, and Denver finished up strong on floor with a 9.95 from Jessica Hutchinson. UCLA’s fall on bars came at a very unfortunate time, and it shot the Bruins down to third place and allowed Denver to take second. Even though Stanford took fourth today, it improved by almost three points from last week’s meet, which is a huge victory for the Cardinal!

Event Winners:

Vault: Casali, Scheible, LeVasseur, Bowers, 9.950

Bars: Bowers, 9.950

Beam: Torrez, Smith, 9.975

Floor: Hutchinson, LeVasseur, Bowers, Harris, 9.950

All Around: Bowers, 39.775

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Live blog by Emily Lockard

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