LIVE BLOG: No. 33 San Jose State, No. 50 Lindenwood, and No. 57 Air Force at No. 11 Denver

Happy meet day, gymnastics fans! Today is a special meet for the Pioneers as it’s their senior day, and they will be honoring the outstanding senior class that has done so much for the team in the last four years. 

Denver is coming off of its lowest score since week two of 2024. Although the 196.900 at BYU isn’t exactly what the Pioneers are used to, it can be partially credited to the shifting of some lineups. Amanda Hargraves competed on vault, Momoko Iwai competed on bars, Mia Hebinck did beam, and Mila Brusch was in on floor, and a lot of these were event debuts! With Jessica Hutchinson returning from her rest week, Denver should be back up in the 197s. 

On the opposite end of Denver’s performance last week, Air Force is coming off a season-high 195.350. With the exception of a couple low scores on beam, it looked like the Falcons finally put all the pieces together against Sacramento State. Keep your eye on Maggie Slife, who put up a huge all around score of 39.275 last week, which included a 9.950 on bars. 

Next up is Lindenwood. The Lions are coming off a bye week, but before their break they put up a 194.825 at the Mizzou to the Lou quad meet. That meet was not Lindenwood’s best showing, and it unfortunately put up some of its lowest event scores of the season. We’ll have to wait and see if the bye week gave the Lions the rest they needed before yet another quad meet.

Finally, we have San Jose State. Just like Air Force, the Spartans are coming off their season-high. Last week’s 196.600 against UC Davis was a fully hit meet for San Jose State, as there were no scores below 9.575. Beam has been big for the Spartans recently, with Lauren MacPherson and Katherine Weyhmiller both scoring in the 9.900-range last week, so keep your eye on beam when it’s San Jose State’s turn! 

There likely won’t be much of a battle for first place today on Denver’s senior day, but today is important for all the road teams to put up a good score in order to improve their NQS’ and attempt to make the push into regionals. 

Rotation 1: Denver VT, San Jose State UB, Lindenwood BB, Air Force FX

Brusch (DU): Yurchenko full, nice flare out at the end and I couldn’t see the whole landing but it looked pretty darn good!

Moon (LU): Starts off with a flic lay, big leg up wobble but she stays on. Nice switch leap split three quarter. Front aerial to beat jump, her form has been stellar throughout this whole routine but she just seems a bit nervous. Finishes up with a side gainer full with a hop back.

Reardon (SJSU): Starts on the low bar with a Maloney to shootover combination, some slight leg separation on that Maloney but the shootover was great. Short on the last handstand and takes a step back on the double layout.

Casali (DU): Yurchenko 1.5, great form in the air and she takes the tiniest hop on the landing! Great vault for Denver.

Konieczny (SJSU): Starts on the high bar. Nice handstand to start. Blind into a nice high Jaeger. Really pretty shootover, really hits that handstand. Nails the last handstand and sticks the double layout! That was a REALLY good routine for San Jose State! 9.8 seems pretty low to me.

Hutchinson (DU): Yurchenko 1.5, great form and height but takes a small hop forward.

Mazury (SJSU): Starts on the high bar with a nice held handstand. Blind to a piked Jaeger, catches a little close. Pak down to low bar and a switch kip. Hits her last handstand. Takes a tiny step back on the double layout.

Jones (LU): Nice flic lay, very solid on that landing. Cat leap to switch half to beat jump, she was pretty short of 180 on that switch half. Dismounts with a roundoff 1.5 and takes a step forward.

Weyhmiller (SJSU): Mounts on the high bar and does a blind to a really high Jaeger. Nice Pak down to low, just a bit of foot separation. A bit short on her last handstand and takes a step back on the double layout.

Martyna (AFA): First pass is a nice double tuck, I couldn’t see the landing but I think it was controlled. I can’t see her behind her teammates. Next is a front layout front full, also very solid. Switch ring to switch half, a bit shy of 180 on both. Finishes up with a Rudi to a sky-high straddle jump. Solid routine!

Meccia (AFA): Starts with a 2.5 to some sort of jump, again I couldn’t see behind the team. Nice switch ring to switch half. Next is a back 1.5 to front layout, great control!

Kraus (LU): Nice flic lay, good form in the air. Pretty switch half to beat jump. She looks very confident up on the beam! Finishes with a back handspring to side gainer full and she pikes it down and hops forward.

Slife (AFA): First pass is a double pike, very nice in the air and very nice landing! Next pass is a back 1.5 to front layout and she dances out of the landing nicely. Switch side to Popa was good. She finishes up with a double tuck with another great landing! Really great anchor routine for Air Force!

After 1: Denver 49.350, Air Force 49.125, San Jose State 48.825, Lindenwood 48.450

Wow, Air Force really brought its A-game on floor to start the meet off! The Falcons only had one score below 9.800, and scored just 0.025 lower than its season-high. Denver had some vaults that had the crowd excited, but the Pioneers weren’t quite able to capitalize on the landings. San Jose State and Lindenwood had some misses on bars and beam, respectively, but the rest of the lineups were able to pull through and avoid counting a miss.

Rotation 2: Air Force VT, Denver UB, San Jose State BB, Lindenwood FX

Ashton (SJSU): Nice flic lay to start, some bent knees and a small wobble. Switch leap to switch half, a bit short of 180 on each. Finishes with a stuck side gainer full.

Wallace (AFA): Yurchenko full, a bit pikey in the air and hops back on the landing.

Lopes (SJSU): Cat leap to switch half to start, she had some flexed feet there. Solid flic lay, great landing there. Cat leap to side aerial to tucked 1.5 dismount and I couldn’t quite see the landing.

Appleget (LU): Starts off with a front full front layout, great form and her landing was super controlled. Nice tour jete, some flexed feet but nothing crazy. Tour jete half to Popa was nice. Finishes up with a double pike and she has to jump into her lunge but she keeps it in bounds.

Hebinck (DU): Starts on the high bar with a held handstand. Beautiful Ricna to Pak but she comes off on the Pak. She remounts and does a nice pirouette. Hits her last handstand and takes a hop back on the double layout.

Moon (LU): First pass is a 2.5 and she falls out of it and goes out of bounds. Switch ring to switch full, some flexed feet there. Last pass is a Rudi to layout step out, the Rudi has some form breaks.

Jessica Hutchinson nails her bar routine after the fall from Hebinck! The crowd is super excited!

Macpherson (SJSU): Gorgeous switch leap to split jump, she has some great flexibility. Really nice flic flic lay, great form and no wobbles on the landing. Really pretty standing layout stepout. Finishes with a roundoff 1.5 and I think she stuck it! That was a gorgeous routine.

Mundell (DU): Starts on the high bar and hits her handstand. Catches her Tkatchev a bit close to the bar. Nice shootover, really good handstand. Holds her last handstand and sticks the double layout.

Mazury (SJSU): Beat jump to standing layout stepout, very solid landing there. Straddle three quarter, great straddle position in that skill. Nice flic lay, maybe the tiniest drop of her shoulder but I’m being picky. Really pretty split jump to split half. Finishes with a stuck roundoff 1.5! That’s two great beam routines in a row from San Jose State!

Baechle (LU): I can already tell this is going to be a great routine, her toe point is gorgeous even in her dance. Wow, she nails the landing on that front double full! She doesn’t lunge out of it, but she kind of covers it up with some dance. She did some jumps but I couldn’t see them. Nice switch side to Popa. Last pass is a back 1.5 to front half to straddle jump and she covers up a shaky landing with her dance.

Jones (LU): Starts with a double pike, nice landing there. Next is a front full front layout, another controlled landing but could use a bit more height. Switch leap to tour jete, nice height on those leaps. She finishes her routine with a back 1.5 to front layout with yet another good landing! Nice routine for Lindenwood.

After 2: Denver 98.800, San Jose State 98.025, Air Force 97.775, Lindenwood 97.675

This rotation was a lot more solid for each team! Air Force went five up five count on vault and hit every one. Denver did have a fall from Mia Hebinck, but the remainder of the lineup had her back and the Pioneers didn’t have to count it. San Jose State had a great beam lineup with seemingly no nerves! The Spartans’ 49.200 matches its second-highest beam score of the year. Lindenwood had some good floor routines, there was an out of bounds in the middle of the lineup but, again, it didn’t have to count.

Rotation 3: Lindenwood VT, Air Force UB, Denver BB, San Jose State FX

Iwai (DU): Starts off with a flic lay lay, very solid on the landing but had some flexed feet. Finishes with a stuck cartwheel side gainer full! I must’ve missed the first skill, oops.

Wallace (AFA): Starts on the low bar with a Maloney to shootover combination, some leg separation on that Maloney. Nice blind full to to on tuck half. Good start for the Falcons!

Wow, Momoko Iwai led off with a 9.975 and the crowd loves it!

Weymiller (SJSU): First pass is a back 1.5 to front layout, great landing! Switch leap to switch ring half was nice, great flexibility in those leaps. She finishes with a double pike, her chest is a bit low but overall a nice pass.

Baechle (LU): Really high Yurchenko full, some slight pike in the hips but that was really nice.

Ulrich (DU): Nice flic lay to start the routine, great landing. Switch leap to switch side was very pretty, especially the straddle position on the switch side. Front aerial to beat jump, small wobble at the end. Finishes with a back handspring to back 1.5 and hops forward.

Fall from Air Force on bars.

Caffey (LU): Nice high Yurchenko full, straighter body position that the previous one I saw and a much better landing.

B. Mabanta (DU): Nice wolf turn to start off the routine. Very pretty flic lay, great form as always. Split leap to switch half was nice, maybe the tiniest balance check. Switch leap to split jump, another small wobble there. Finishes with a gainer pike and she sticks it!

McKean (AFA): Mounts on the high bar and starts with a blind to a piked Jaeger to bail combination. Hits and holds the last handstand, nails the blind full, and sticks the double tuck! The team is excited about that one!

Hutchinson (DU): Starts with a front toss to back handspring series, gorgeous form and landing as usual. Switch leap to split jump was pretty. Gorgeous piked front toss. Kicks out of her full turn. Finishes with a beautiful cartwheel side gainer full and the crowd is ecstatic.

Slife (AFA): Starts on the low bar with a Maloney to Pak, very nice form on that combo. Van Leeuwen up to the high bar! And she sticks the toe on to full in dismount! Wow, that was a great routine for Air Force!

Nelson (SJSU): Starts with a double pike, very controlled on the landing. Switch leap to switch ring side was good. Next is a back 1.5 to front full, she looked a bit lost in the air and she squatted low on the landing.

Mazury (SJSU): Her first pass is a front layout to Rudi, very nice on the landing. Beautiful tour jete half to Popa, she showed off some really good flexibility there. Nice double pike to finish it up, she really tried to hold onto that landing but she ended up lunging forward. It’s a 9.95, and the team is super excited! I think that’s a bit high, but still exciting!

After 3: Denver 148.350, San Jose State 147.475, Lindenwood 146.525, Air Force 146.400

Denver just keeps getting better with each rotation! Momoko Iwai led the Pioneers off with a huge 9.975 and Denver finished with a 49.550. Lindenwood had some high-flying vaults and San Jose State had some killer floor routines, including a 9.950 from Jada Mazury in the anchor position. Air Force had to count a 9.550 on bars after a fall from Madison Carlisle, but I’d like to think that Maggie Slife’s gorgeous 9.900 makes up for it!

Rotation 4: San Jose State VT, Lindenwood UB, Air Force BB, Denver FX

Valuch (SJSU): Really nice Yurchenko full, some piked hips and a small hop, but that was a great leadoff!

Rorich (DU): Front tuck through to a double tuck, her chest was a bit low on that landing. Really nice switch side Popa Popa as usual, great flexibility. Her last pass is a double pike, much better chest position on that landing and nice control!

Mazury (SJSU): Full on pike off and she fell backwards.

Jones (LU): Mounts on the high bar and starts with a Ray to bail combination, some leg separation on the bail. Nice last handstand. She piked the double layout down a bit and took a step.

Thompson (DU): First pass is a triple full, it looks a bit funky in the air but the landing was controlled for sure. Nice switch side to Popa. Nice front layout to Rudi, could use some height but another good landing.

Macpherson (SJSU): Stuck Yurchenko full! Really nice in the air as well.

Nelson (SJSU): Tucked Yurchenko 1.5, she gets a lot of height but takes a step forward.

Willis (AFA): Flic lay, some bent knees and a big wobble and she comes off. Front tuck and she falls again. Switch leap switch leap to split jump, small wobble in between the leaps and jumps. Split jump to standing switch jump. Dismounts with a side gainer full, pikes it down and takes a step.

Cooper (LU): Mounts on the high bar and starts with a blind to piked Jaeger to a bail. Hits that last handstand and takes a small hop forward on the double layout.

Casali (DU): Starts with a Rudi to back layout and she sticks it! Switch half wolf full wolf full was nice, she may have turned the leap a bit past half. As usual she finishes with a gorgeous 2.5 to punch front and the landing is amazing. The crowd is erupting over that one!

Appleget (LU): Starts off on the high bar with a super archy handstand and she casts over and falls. She remounts on the low bar and jumps to high to do a free hip to Geinger to bail, very nice legs together throughout. Nice last handstand and takes a step on the double layout.

Ulrich (DU): She opens up with a double layout and she nails the landing! Today is her first time competing that! She may have piked down a bit but it was really nice. Switch side to Popa was good, she goes over 180 on the switch side. Really nice back 1.5 to front layout, great control and she dances out of it nicely. She finishes her routine with a solid double pike!

Hutchinson (DU): Starts off with a nice front double full but she lunges a bit far forward on her landing. Switch half to Popa. Nice back 1.5 to front layout. Finishes with a Rudi to straddle jump and nails the landing. And it’s a 10! Honestly of all the routines to go 10 I didn’t think it would be this one, but very excited for her senior day!

Final: Denver 198.025, San Jose State 196.675, Lindenwood 195.400, Air Force 194.050

Denver had a great meet on its senior day and the crowd was absolutely electric! Jessica Hutchinson finished the meet off with a perfect 10 for the Pioneers. San Jose State scored a season-high 196.675, and that big road score could help the Spartans on their path to qualifying to regionals. Lindenwood and Air Force also had good meets, and today’s scores could help boost their respective NQSs.

Event Winners:

Vault: Brusch, Mundell, Lopes; 9.900

Bars: Hutchinson, 9.950

Beam: Iwai, 9.975

Floor: Hutchinson, 10.000

All Around: Hutchinson, 39.725

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Live Blog by Emily Lockard

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