LIVE BLOG: No. 41 Central Michigan and No. 66 UW-Oshkosh at No. 59 Bowling Green

Today’s MACtion at the Stroh Center will be a who’s who of specialists from both Central Michigan and Bowling Green, alongside the perennial WIAC team title favorite out of UW-Oshkosh. Grab your popcorn for three vault teams with massive scoring potential, all highlighted by different standout vaults: the Chippewas’ have Avah Bootz’ front pike half, the Falcons’ Kathryn Weilbacher with her dynamic Yurchenko full, and Titans’ Emily Buffington bringing her sky high front handspring front pike. Vault aside, this tri-meet will come down to consistency. On the flip side of big vaults, each team has a different key event they’ll want to get through as clean as possible: UW-Oshkosh on bars, Central Michigan on beam, and host Bowling Green on floor. 

Injury Update: Lia Kmeciak, key contributor for Central Michigan on vault and bars, has torn her ACL and meniscus and will be out for the remainder of the season.

For fellow Canadian gymnastics fans, today’s lineups are showing former national team member Quinn Skrupa making her all around debut.

Rotation 1: Bowling Green VT, Central Michigan UB, UW-Oshkosh BB

Berens (UWO): bhs loso with a small check to open up the meet, cleanly through the front aerial series. camera cuts away for vault, and is back in time again for her gainer full off the side. 9.400

Bingham (BGSU): tad short on the y-full, takes a step forwards but brings her chest up quickly to celebrate. 9.675

Bannister (BGSU): big hop back out of her y-full with tons of distance in the air. 9.700

Shannon (CMU): a few short handstands in the interior, but it doesn’t affect her dismount at all – soars in her double layout. 9.875

Hayden (UWO): very fluid cat leap to front toss series, and coasts through to her stuck roundoff 1.5. 9.800

Thornton (BGSU): looks so far to be the cleanest of the y-fulls from our camera angle, legs glued together and a controlled hop back. 9.650

Bustelo (CMU): off on her Tkatchev, with the camera going back to her in time for a clean double tuck dismount. 7.800.

Coburn (BGSU): another y-full for BGSU, piked feet throughout but maintains a solid layout shape throughout. 9.800

Cienkus (UWO): putting on a masterclass for the Titans’ fluidity on beam! very square with the beam and absolutely drills her gainer full dismount. 9.550

Akpan (BGSU): plenty of height, but can’t go above 9.800 until she can stick her y-full. 9.775.

Weilbacher (BGSU): some leg separation in the air, but an otherwise back-end-of-the-lineup y-full. 9.850.

Romano (UWO): showing off amazing speed with her mixed series, including what’s looking to be a staple front toss in the Titans’ lineup. 9.650.

Germond (CMU): Tkatchev with a bit of knee form into a nearly handstand bail, and then the camera leaves again before I can see a dismount. 9.800

Steele (UWO): splitting airtime with Germond on bars – we got to see a fall on an otherwise very fluid front aerial, and then in a separate clip a stuck roundoff 1.5 dismount. 8.975

Zoromski (UWO): Feed just cut to black, ironically coming back in time to show only her gainer full dismount. Commentary is working now though! Her routine will replace Steele’s score. 9.675

Buffington (UWO): exhibition – making quick work of her routine, but has a muddy connection between her switch and split. VERY fun Rudi dismount! 9.750.

After 1: Central Michigan: 48.875, Bowling Green: 48.800, UW-Oshkosh: 48.075

If you had all three teams within a point of each other on your bingo card before 2:00pm today, congrats! Bars struggles from the Chippewas held back the team on an event they would have liked to pull a bigger lead from, with no scores at the 9.900 mark or higher. Bowling Green’s vault rotation was par for the course on their 2024 campaign, punctuated by Weilbacher. UW-Oshkosh going over 48 on beam will put pressure on their two opponents today, both being plagued by the beam consistency bug throughout 2023 and the early stretch in 2024.

Rotation 2: Bowling Green UB, Central Michigan BB, UW-Oshkosh FX

Cesarone (CMU): big break on her series, but recovers quickly. huge amplitude on her switch and straddle 1/4, keeps the straddle parallel to the beam and then nails her roundoff 1.5. 9.725.

Bingham (BGSU): only shows the second half on the feed – small hop back out of her double layout with a small pike in the second salto. 9.650.

Radojevich (UWO): again only showing a 20 second chunk of the routine, and she doesn’t get enough block on her roundoff double tuck. crashes it to the mat. 9.125

Lankamer (CMU): only the end again! switch leap to sheep jump looking clean, and a nearly stuck roundoff 1.5. 9.800

Mueller (CMU): floats her bhs loso, and then makes quick work of her switch and switch half. cartwheel 1.5 to close out another strong routine. 9.825.

Akpan (BGSU): falls on her Tkatchev, but recovers the rest of her routine well and almost holds the stick on her double layout. 8.900

Buffington (UWO): long wait before she gets the green flag. opens with a BIG front double twist, and then some floor work into a standing loso to her knee. super high leaps, and takes her time before her second pass – front layout to rudi with extra power to hop backwards out of it. 9.625

Skrupa (CMU): caught the end, clean bhs to tucked 1.5 dismount. 9.575.

Weilbacher (BGSU): caught the end again, her best FTDLO of the season so far. 9.775

Rivelli (BGSU): clean handstand work in her blind half, Jaeger, shoot series. very confident back on the high bar cranking giants for her dismount, and takes only a small hop and leg separation on her double layout. 9.750

Ratjowski (UWO): BIG fhs front lay rudi series, and gets the crowd going with her music. clean switch half to wolf full, gets her feet all the way around to rotate both skills. closing it out with a roundoff double tuck and a train of high fives. 9.650.

Alvarado-Reid (CMU): big check but stays on after her bhs loso. beat jump to front aerial is so clean it looks like it was in slow motion, and the same for her switch to switch half. finishes off the rotation with a stuck gainer pike. 9.675.

Shannon (CMU): exhibition – check on her bhs loso, then rocks a side somi. great height on her switch and split half, and carries that momentum to a stuck roundoff 1.5 of her own. 9.750.

Lucero (UWO): long front lay front full series to open, and keeps it in bounds by maybe an inch? she’s sparing no energy in the dance, and gets her teammates involved – a little tired and falls forward on her roundoff double tuck. 9.050.

McGibboney (UWO): wastes no time getting the crowd hyped, and transitions smoothly from dancing into her sky high double pike. equally high switch half to straddle full! her routine shows off her knee extension without looking tired, and carries it into an easy (if not a tad low) front layout to rudi closing out the rotation. 9.775.

Leaman (UWO): exhibition – starts with a rudi loso that isn’t quite lineup ready with knee form. leap series of her switch and wolf full are a bit low, but will surely go higher with more routines under her belt. clean double pike to finish, and plenty of floor routines still to come in her 2024 campaign. 9.450.

After 2: Central Michigan: 97.775, Bowling Green 96.500, UW-Oshkosh 95.925

Did anyone else notice that the Titans put up seven floor routines without a single back handspring? Just me? Their floor score as a team today is on par with how Bowling Green has performed in January where they’ll have to close today’s meet, while Central Michigan nearly tied their season high on beam and solidifies their lead at the halfway point.

Rotation 3: UW-Oshkosh VT, Bowling Green BB, Central Michigan FX

Skrupa (CMU): opens with a roundoff 1.5 punch lay, and the punch goes much higher than the rest of the pass – judges’ dream. ring position in her jumps is a tad low, but will still get credit. second pass is the tightest tucked double tuck i’ve ever seen, which she sticks like a dart. 9.750

Castiglia (CMU): showing just the end again on the broadcast, nearly stuck and quite open front layout full dismount. 9.825

Zoromski (UWO): tucked y-full, plenty of height and gets off the table quickly. 9.675

Buttle (CMU): textbook front layout front full, and keeps her chest up easily in her switch half to wolf jump. takes her time dancing with teammates in the corner, and then puts on a masterclass-worthy double tuck. closes it out with a popa and wolf full in connection, both getting nice height. 9.850.

Koester (UWO): fhs front tuck, lands low but keeps it on her feet. 9.425.

Cesarone (CMU): clean front full front lay, minor shuffles holding her lunge at the end – then makes quick work going into her double pike pass and switch side to popa. with so many two pass routines today, this is moving quickly!! finishes her routine with a double tuck, again taking a small landing shuffle. 9.875

Lucero (UWO): HUGE y-full, good for a 9.850.

McGibboney (UWO): Small hop and loose knees, but an otherwise amazing y-full for the back-end of the Titans’ vault roster. 9.750

Akpan (BGSU): very springy on her switch and straddle 1/4! bhs loso with a small check, and remains calm. big check on her aerial roundoff, but keeps it on the beam today. small reset before her dismount, a nailed roundoff 1.5. 9.625.

Brzoska (BGSU): fluid work in her bhs loso, and almost holds the stick on her roundoff 1.5. 9.775.

Veglucci (CMU): normally I wouldn’t write just to say i caught the ending pose, but for Kim Possible music I absolutely have to! 9.900

Bingham (BGSU): cleanly through her bhs loso, and cat leap to aerial connection. beat jump to split 3/4 like it’s nothing, and keeps great posture throughout. small hop forward on her roundoff 1.5. 9.800

Alvarado-Reid (CMU): breezes through her roundoff 1.5 punch lay series, and then reminds everyone hope is not lost on rotating jumps correctly – her switch half to wolf full are protractor-perfect. Totally had me convinced that was the beginning, but it was the second half of her routine. 9.925.

Weilbacher (BGSU): large check on her bhs loso, but holds it. another check on her full turn, seems rushed and wobbles again on her front toss. takes a breath to reset before her dismount, and then crushes her gainer full off the end. 9.400

Milligan (BGSU): Exhibition – shaky bhs loso and aerial, but she’s made it clear she’s not coming off the beam. a bit shy of 180 on her switch and split 1/4, then does a roundoff full dismount and hops the extra half twist. This has the makings of a great routine, but will need more college experience before that can happen. 9.325

After 3: Central Michigan: 197.225, Bowling Green: 144.925, UW-Oshkosh: 144.350

Central is on a breakaway going into vault, after a slow start to the meet and then firing (up) on all cylinders on floor with a massive 49.450. Hosts Bowling Green made it through beam, and head now to their big question mark of the day: floor. UW-Oshkosh finishes their day on bars, where scoring has been noticeably tight all afternoon.

Rotation 4: Central Michigan VT, UW-Oshkosh UB, Bowling Green FX

McGibboney: massive Tkatchev, and gets her bail nearly to handstand. very fluid on her giants to tap into her FTDLO, only a small step on landing. 9.725

Germond (CMU): y-full, starting off the CMU vault clinic. 9.825

Decious (BGSU): front lay front full, and then sky high leap series. standalone back tuck, and slow graceful choreo going into a punch rudi split jump. her split jump travels sideways, but not quite enough to go out of bounds. great start to floor! 9.750

Honrbacher (CMU): y-full, not enough rotation and needs to step forward with a low chest. 9.725

Hayden (UWO): UWO came to play on bars! gorgeous pak, and giant full to double tuck. 9.650

Bannister (BGSU): front layout front full, into the surprises-me-every-time back tuck to front support. she gets huge amplitude on her switch half straddle 1&1/4, and then takes her double back tuck right to the white line.  9.700

Shannon (CMU): very flared y full, and still has enough rotation to take a small hop back. 9.825

Zoromski (UWO): toe handstand to Maloney, then a huge bail to handstand! finishes her set with a giant full to double tuck, with a muscled connection. 9.625

Brzoska (BGSU): joining partway through for her graceful switch, switch half, Popa series, and right into a double back for her final pass. 9.700

Bootz (CMU): front pike half, small step and a low chest but gets the upper hand as the only 10.0 vault today. 9.850.

Cesarone (CMU): best y-full i’ve seen today, just shy of a stick with great extension in the air. 9.850

Buffington (UWO): camera joins her in time for her MASSIVE arabian double front dismount! 9.800

Akpan (BGSU): double pike and double tuck both are landed easily, much improved from week one. finds the sweet spot landing her punch front to front full to close out her day. 9.825!

Berens (UWO): another “just the dismount” feed, for her nearly stuck FTDLO. if this was 2023 i’d give her the stick, but the rules have changed since then. 9.700.

Thornton (BGSU): front tuck through to double tuck, finds her landing easily. remainder of the routine. she’s having fun getting ready for her second pass, a double pike that unfortunately undercooks. 9.125

McConka (UWO): exhibition starts off with a big Geinger, then connects a free hip handstand right to a bail handstand. gets back to the high bar for a giant full to double tuck, but was off on the giant full and made the smart decision to do a tuck flyaway. re-chalked and back on the bar, she repeats the final series and pulls around her double tuck. 8.950

Weilbacher (BGSU): opens with a front tuck through to double tuck as if it’s nothing for her. tons of height and flexibility on her switch half to two Popas, and maintains that energy for her double pike ending the rotation. 9.825

Lawrence (BGSU): textbook landing on her front lay to Rudi, and rotates her switch half to Popa easily. a little hesitant in the dance, but her tumbling will benefit the Falcons. Closes out with a double tuck, low chest but keeps it on her feet. 9.625

FINAL: Central Michigan: 196.425, Bowling Green 193.725, UW-Oshkosh: 192.925

VT: Kathryn Weilbacher, Mia Lucero, Luciana Alvarado-Reid, Avah Bootz, Elizabeth Cesarone (9.850)
UB: Samantha Shannon (9.875)
BB: Adriana Bustelo (9.875)
FX: Luciana Alvarado-Reid (9.925)
AA: Luciana Alvarado-Reid (39.250)

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Live blog by Peri Goodman

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