LIVE BLOG: No. 4 Utah at No. 8 UCLA

Utah and UCLA have one of the fiercest gymnastics rivalries in the PAC-12, so be prepared for a head-to-head competition between the two. While Utah does have a higher national ranking, UCLA has the higher scoring history, surpassing a 198 at its last home meet. Will some home-meet scoring magic help the Bruins come away with this one? How will Emma Malabuyo’s absence in the bars, beam, and floor lineups be felt? Who will fill those spots? Let’s find out:

Looks like UCLA is putting Anyimi into the bars lineup and Esparza on beam to fill in for Malabuyo. Interesting choices

Rotation 1: UCLA Vault, Utah Bars

Lee – UCLA: Nearly stuck FTY – could use more amplitude but a fantastic start. 9.850

Smith – Utah: Pak, clean, Shap-half, stuck dismount. 

Anyimi – UCLA: FTY with more amplitude than Lee but takes a large hop back. 9.750

Sabado – Utah: Off on the Jaeger, gets it this time and connects it to bail but she misses her hand and comes off again, stuck DLO. 8.600

Rosen – UCLA: 1.5 – good control on the landing but some knee form in the post-flight. 9.900

Morgan – Utah: Maloney to Bharwaj, some wonky legs, Shap-half, some leg separations, stuck Stalder tuck half dismount

Campbell – UCLA: Stuck FTY – Her usual perfection. 9.925

Zirbes – Utah: Ray to Pak, wonderful, a bit late on the pirouette, a little deep on the dismount but controls the landing and points her toes! 9.800

Reed – UCLA: 1.5 – Takes a hop on the landing. She twists kind of early in the pre-flight and I think that sacrifices her ability to block off the table. 9.850

O’Keefe: Maloney to Pak, fantastic half turn on the low bar, double Arabian dismount with a lunge. 9.775 – they must’ve really hit her for that lunge

Harris – UCLA: Another stuck 1.5 for her! She bends her knees a little early before the landing but the judges went 10.0 which I’m fine with 

McCallum – Utah: Maloney to Pak, Chow half, full-in with a hop. Clean work. 9.850

After 1: UCLA 49.525 Utah 49.200

Harris gets her second vault ten in a row which makes sense given the scores that were given earlier in the lineup. A 49.525 is a season high for the Bruins on vault. The Utes were able to recover from Sabado’s miss earlier in the lineup, but the 0.3 gap is a lot in a meet that could get close. 

Rotation 2: UCLA Bars, Utah Vault

Winger – Utah: 1.5 – good block and mostly clean in the air, slight pee pee step forwards. 9.800

There’s a Sydney 2000-esque technical delay on bars where a bunch of men are trying to tighten the bars.

Frazier – UCLA: Maloney to Pak, half turn directly on top – oh oops that was a warm-up. LMAO

Zirbes – Utah: 1.5 – deep landing and takes a large lunge back. 9.750

Campbell – UCLA: Maloney to bail handstand, leg separations, double front with a hop forwards and some cowboying in the air. 9.825

Lots of delays going on…

Glynn – Utah: 1.5 – sizeable step forwards. 9.850

Anyimi – UCLA: Huge Jaeger into bail, great handstands, full-out dismount with a hop. Great job for her first time in the bars lineup. 9.725

Smith – Utah: Omelinchik – clean in the air just hop forwards. 9.825

Rosen – UCLA: Maloney to Pak, good positions on the handstands, starfishes the double layout but does a good job of controlling the landing. 9.8

Rucker – Utah: 1.5 – A small leg separation in the preflight but clean after, underrotated and a step back. 9.825

Frazier – UCLA: Malnoey to Pak, good handstands, holds her last cast handstand, tiny hop on her DLO. 9.9

Morgan – Utah: 1.5 – Her second time ever competing this vault. Starts to get a bit messy in the post-flight. 9.9? I’m really confused because this definitely should’ve been one of the lower-scoring 1.5s in this lineup

Esparza – UCLA: Maloney to Pak, Shap-half, shy on the last handstand, stuck DLO. 9.825

Harris – UCLA: Ray, bail handstand, holds her cast handstand, excellent position on the blind full directly into stuck DLO. Let’s see what the judges do here. 9.950

After 2: UCLA 98.825, Utah 98.4

UCLA expands its lead over Utah to 0.425 after a good bars rotation. Anyimi did a great job at filling in for Malabuyo in the lineup for a clean hit. They didn’t go 10.0 for Harris’ routine which I have to guess may be due to amplitude issues on her double layout. Utah had a meh vault rotation with some under-rotation issues and problems controlling landings. 

Rotation 3: UCLA Beam, Utah Floor

Lee – UCLA: Solid LOSO series, great positions in the dance series, waver in the full turn, gainer full with a step. 9.825

Smith – Utah: front double-full, good control, Rudi to layout, does a good job to disguise the landing, Rudi to stag to finish. She’s a great performer. 9.825

Rosen – UCLA: Triple dance series, small waver, front aerial, waver, BHS LOSO, solid, disguises a wobble in the full turn, hop on the 1.5 dismount. 9.750

Zirbes – Utah: Good control on her front double-full, back 1.5 to front full, some knees in the front-full. 

Andres – UCLA: Love her mount sequence, beat jump to switch half, solid, gainer loso, solid, front toss to BHS swingdown, super crooked but saves amazingly without a wobble. Double-full dismout, crunched over a bit and step. 9.7 – UCLA starting to lose ground. 

Paulson – Utah: Front tuck to 2.5 opening pass, clean, front layout to full to stag jump, I don’t think a single meet can go by without mentioning she’s a Swiftie, 1.5 to floaty front layout. 9.9

Alipio – UCLA: Solid Front aerial to LOSO, split leap to switch to beat jump, waver on the full turn, good dismount. 9.825

Gilstrap – Utah: Front layout to Rudi, I just realized her floor music is classical Bohemian Rhapsody, I missed the last pass but Sam and Bart were making groaning noises so I think it was great. 9.9

Esparza – UCLA: Here we go, solid full turn, off on the aerial to BHS, short positions on the dance series, BHS gainer with slight hop. Pressure on Harris in the last spot. 9.05

McCallum – Utah: Big full-in, controlled landing, front layout to Rudi, good control. Nice one. 9.925

Harris – UCLA: BHS LOSO BHS, switch leap to split leap to full turn, tentative, front toss, solid, slightly underrotated on the 1.5. 9.775 – wow they really hit her for that dismount. 

O’Keefe – Utah: Wonderful double pike to open, front layout to front-full, floaty 1.5 to layout, great finish for Utah that should easily put the Utes into the lead. 9.9

There’s very little scoring separation in this lineup – apparently everyone gets a 9.9?

After 3: UCLA 147.700 Utah 147.900

The Bruins looked tentative on beam for only a 9.825 high score from Alipio and Lee. Utah took advantage of that shakiness for a 49.500-floor rotation to create 0.3 lead over the Bruins. 

Rotation 4: UCLA Floor Utah Beam

So apparently UCLA has a pamphlet that teaches spectators the floor lineup choreography, genius way to interact with the audience and grow the sport!

According to Bart and Sam Morgan is flying out from LAX tonight to compete at the English Championships

Morgan – Utah: Solid BHS BHS LOSO, confident dance series, “the judges judge what they see in the moment, not what you’ve previously done” Stuck aerial full dismount. 

Lee – UCLA: Double tuck, front foot slides back, front layout to full, good, nice positions in the dance series, steps out of bounds on her double pike. 

Smith – Utah: Great opening triple series, solid BHS LOSO, she looks really confident, stuck gainer full off the side. Great. 9.825

Andres – UCLA: 2.5 to front, shoots out on the front tuck a bit, underrotated double tuck, she has one of my favorite floor routines in this lineup. 9.825

Gantner – Utah: BHS LOSO to split jump, switch half to beat jump, good, front full dismount with a step. 9.750 – beam scoring is tighter tonight (and when I mean tight I mean its not extremely inflated)

Rosen – UCLA: Weird camera angles, stop showing the audience when Rosen is going!! Big double layout, controlled double pike, a correct amount of oohs and ahhs from the audience as she does her creepy demon choreography, 1.5 to front layout to front tuck, great. Probably her best this season. 9.9

McCallum – Utah: Smooth through the triple and double wolf turns, BHS LOSO, with a waver, split leap to switch leap, stuck gainer full dismount. 

Moors – UCLA: Front double-full to front tuck, great height in the front tuck but I couldn’t see if she stepped OOB it was really close though, controlled Rudi. On the replay it looks like she went OOB. 9.750

Paulson – Utah: Aerial to LOSO, great, switch leap to split jump, a bit short on the positions, stuck gainer full dismount. 9.925

Harris – UCLA: Controlled double layout, great amplitude in her leaps, controlled double back, 1.5 to Barani to stag leap. Great work. 9.950

O’Keefe – Utah: Perfect aerial to LOSO, I missed other parts but it was solid, everything else was basically perfection. 9.975

Reed – UCLA: Double layout, didn’t catch her leap series, front layout to Rudi has a bounce back. 9.875

FINAL: Utah 197.250, UCLA 196.975

The Bruins had a great start on vault but started losing steam on beam where they looked tentative on a lot of elements. Utah had a slow start on bars and vault but was able to pick up on UCLA’s mistakes in the third rotation to take hold of the lead.  

VT: Harris (UCLA) 10.0
UB: Harris (UCLA) 9.950
BB: O’Keefe (Utah) 9.975
FX: Harris (UCLA) 9.950
AA: Harris (UCLA) 39.675

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Live blog by Daniel Rothwell

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