LIVE BLOG: Berkeley Regional Round Two Session Two

It’s time for the hosts to take the floor, as third-ranked California will battle 14th-seeded Auburn, Pac-12 rival Stanford, and first-round winner Southern Utah in the second session of the second round.

The Golden Bears have had a stellar season, ranking in the top three all season long behind their duo of top-six ranked all arounders—eMjae Frazier and Mya Lauzon. Thanks to them, California is the only school with two all arounders with an NQS in the 39.7s, while fellow steady all arounders Madelyn Williams and Ella Cesario have been key in keeping the Golden Bears balanced across all four events. Other than a third-place performance during conference championship weekend, California has looked consistently excellent all season long.

Not too far back in the all around rankings at 14th is Cassie Stevens, who led Auburn to a matching seed in the first year of the post-Sunisa Lee era. She continued to be the solid four-eventer that she’s always been, while role players like Olivia Hollingsworth, Gabby McLaughlin, and freshman Julianne Huff have stepped up to keep the Tigers amongst the top 16. Vault has fallen flat in recent weeks while bars has had its ups and downs this year, making Auburn’s middle two rotations today its must-hits if it wants to advance.

Stanford started the season slow, recovering from injuries to a few essential athletes, but has been one of the hottest teams of late having been above 197 more often than not in March and even posting a near 198. Chloe Widner has popped off in her bonus year and is peaking at the right time, while Anna Roberts has gotten back in the groove after missing the first half of the season. The leg events have been lacking a bit for the Cardinal, so look for some stuck landings for Stanford to make the regional final.

The Thunderbirds are here, thanks to their dramatic round one win over the Spartans. Southern Utah sat in second after each of the first three rotations, with a few bars woes and beam wobbles to contend with, but hit floor in the final rotation while San Jose State struggled on beam to walk-off with the win. The Thunderbirds were favorites heading in, and after still managing to get through despite an off-performance, they could come out hot with a meet under their belts already and the wobbles already out.

Most of this session’s individuals are from yesterday’s second-place team but also keep an eye on Iowa’s Karina Muñoz who can explode for a 9.9-plus score on any event and pose a threat to be an individual qualifier anywhere, if not in the all around.

Follow along with video (ESPN+) and scores!

Rotation 1: California Vault, Southern Utah, Stanford Beam, Auburn Floor

Williams (Cal): FTY. Good pop off the table, slides back. 9.800

Christensen (SUU): Giant half to piked Jaeger, clean, toe on, bail, big arch and adjustment, dismounts double layout with a step back. 9.750

Brusch (Aub): Front tuck to double tuck, nice high finish, switch half to straddle full to wolf full, no issues, bit of a slide back in the double pike landing. 9.900

Mayhew (Cal): Y1.5. Big in the air, a little under, step back. 9.800

Robinson (Stan): Opens with BHS LOSO, smooth, switch leap to split jump, hitch kick to side aerial to beat jump, lovely connection, full turn, dismounts RO 1.5, stuck. 9.900

Frazier (Cal): DTY. Good height and distance, tiny softness in the legs, tiny foot adjustment on the landing. 9.850

Neault (Stan): Low beam work to start, BHS BHS LOSO, soft knees at the end but secure, beat jump to ring jump, full turn, RO 1.5 dismount, fights for a stick. 9.875

Lauzon (Cal): Y1.5. Huge height, great form, small hop forward. 9.900

Groth (Aub): Mounts with a front double full, problem-free, RO 1.5 front layout, good shapes, Rudi into a well controlled lunge. 9.925

Randolph (SUU): Maloney to bail, no extra swing today, hits the last handstand, hip circle to double layout, small step. 9.800

Silvers (Cal): Y1.5. Great body position, stuck. 9.875

Widner (Stan): Gets going with switch leap split jump, confident, BHS LOSO, clean, front aerial split jump, quick connection, full turn, BHS gainer full, looked stuck. 9.950

Cesario (Cal): FTY. Booming off the table, slightest of pike downs, hop. 9.850

Stevens (Aub): Starts with a front layout to Rudi, stuck cold, no lunge needed, easy leap pass, closing double tuck is great. 9.900

Schwartze (SUU): Piked Jaeger, caught well, bail, dismounts giant half to Rudi, leans to hold for the stick.

Hollingsworth (Aub): Mounts with a half-in half-out, phenomenal, switch half straddle full, gorgeous legs and toes, front tuck to double tuck, no problems with the landing.

Muñoz (Iowa, UB): Piked Jaeger, great pointed toes, Pak, smooth, hits the half pirouette, aggressive handstand, hip circle, double layout, hop forward.

Totals: California 49.275, Southern Utah 49.100, Stanford 49.450, Auburn 49.550

Auburn is a well-balanced team, so to start the evening with an explosive score on floor bodes well for the Tigers moving forward. Host California sits in third but after getting through the tightest-scored event of the weekend with a reasonable score compared to what we’ve been seeing, the Golden Bears are sitting in a solid spot with their best events to come. Stanford slayed beam for the score it needed on its best event, and must continue to carry this momentum throughout the rest of the meet. Southern Utah fared far better on bars than yesterday and can build on that to stay within reach of an upset.

Rotation 2: Auburn Vault, California Bars, Southern Utah Beam, Stanford Floor

Groth (Aub): A substitution from Greaves who was listed in the OG lineups. FTY. Good form throughout, slides back on the landing. 9.800

Fernandez (SUU): Gets underway with a full turn, side aerial BHS, bent arms and a check, front toss, another big check, beat jump split 3/4, shy of 180, side aerial 1.5 dismount. 9.450

Schumaker (Aub): Tucked Y1.5. Good height, gets vertical well, hop in place. 9.800

Cesario (Cal): Good opening handstand, giant half to Jaeger to overshoot, great height, hits last handstand, double layout with a hop. 9.850

Zeng (Stan): Starts with a front layout Rudi, a bit flat, double tuck, chest a bit low, tour jete half straddle full straight jump full. 9.850

Hollingsworth (Aub): Y1.5. A little low but gets it around, hop forward. 9.750

Li (Cal): Giant half to Jaeger, massive, Pak, phenomenal toe point, dismounts giant full to double tuck, nails it. 9.950

Hubbard (Aub): Y1.5. Powerful block, big lunge forward on the landing. 9.700

Randolph (SUU): BHS back pike, solid, straddle jump straddle 1/4, needs more split position, full turn, loses her balance a bit, RO 1.5 dismount with a step forward. 9.750

Frazier (Cal): Maloney to Pak, some arch, hits the half pirouette and last handstand, dismounts double layout, stuck. 9.925

Huff (Aub): Y1.5. Lots of distance, huge hop forward. 9.750

Neault (Stan): Gets going with a double pike, chest slightly low, switch leap to split ring full, FHS Rudi, piked it down, ends her set with RO 1.5 front layout, great landing.

Stevens (Aub): Y1.5. Slight bend at the knees coming in for the landing but just a tiny hop. 9.875

Perea (Cal): Toe on, Pak, floaty, Shaposh half, best in the NCAA, tiny bit short on final handstand, double layout with a hop back. 9.900

Roberts (Stan): Mounts with a Rudi, lunged but didn’t need to, switch half straddle full, nice extension, double tuck, kicks early, well controlled. 9.950

Williams (Cal): Maloney to Pak, so fluid, natural, half pirouette and last handstand are good, hop back on the double layout. 9.850

Widner (Stan): Great presence on the floor, front layout front full, some foot form, switch full, yes, double pike, slide back in the lunge, hits a lovely leap pass to finish.

Rotation Totals: Auburn 48.975, California 49.475, Southern Utah 49.075, Stanford 49.475

Totals: Stanford 98.925, California 98.750, Auburn 98.525, Southern Utah 98.175

The Cardinal continue to roll! Starting on two stronger events, Stanford has done what it needs to do and has a decent lead on the rest of the field heading into its weakest and this weekend’s lowest-scoring event, vault. That event bit Auburn a bit, going sub-49, but the Tigers aren’t out of it yet with their best event yet to come. California swung bars like usual to get back into qualifying position and will look to build some cushion as it continues to hit its best lineups. Southern Utah is hanging around, but can’t afford to be anything less than perfect the rest of the evening.

Rotation 3: Stanford Vault, Auburn Bars, California Beam, Southern Utah Floor

Zeng (Stan): FTY. Shoulder angle on the block, nice in the air, small hop. 9.800

Brusch (Aub): Goes for broke on the first handstand and goes over, hops off, nearly does it again, toe on, Maloney and peels off, toe on to bail and comes up way short and falls again, stays down this time before getting up and leaving the competition floor. 7.025

Fernandez (SUU): Mounts with a double tuck, small slide back, switch side to wolf full x2, a little off in the middle skill, RO 1.5 front layout, Rudi, a bit crooked. 9.800

Neault (Stan): Yfull-on, pike off. Good height on a tricky vault and sticks it, nice open pike too. 9.850

Cesario (Cal): Full turn, tiny check, BHS LOSO, check after and a pause before, switch leap to switch half, RO 1.5 dismount, stuck. 9.900

Gull (SUU): Tour jete half to wolf full to start, double pike, great landing, RO 1.5 layout half to leap, no issues, closes with a double tuck, big lunge but holds the front foot sturdy. 9.900

Widner (Stan): FTY. Beautiful in the air, no pike down, small hop. 9.850

Gutierrez (Stan): Y1.5. Gets the stick. 9.900

Hollingsworth (Aub): Every score counts for the Tigers now. Long judging conference before this, letting floor go first. Giant half to Jaeger piked, flexed feet, great handstands, dismounts with a stuck and sky-high FTDT.

Lauzon (Cal): Her signature mount to open, easy wolf turn, BHS BHS LOSO, fantastic, switch leap split jump, dismounts RO double full. 9.950

Roberts (Stan): Y1.5. Super block, small hop forward. 9.875

McLaughlin (Aub): Maloney to Pak, nice half pirouette, dismounts giant full double tuck with a hop forward. 9.775

Pardue (SUU): Double tuck to open, chest a bit forward, second pass front layout front full, bouncy into her step, switch side straddle full, clean, double pike, chest down but controls it. 9.850

Groth (Aub): Ray, caught close with bent arms, Pak, lovely, hits the low bar pirouette, giant full double tuck, step back. 9.750

Cacciola (SUU): Mounts with a double tuck, cleanly landed, front full front pike, soft knees in the second flip, Rudi into an easy lunge.

Greaves (Aub): Smooth Church to Pak, leg separation on the Shaposh half, dismounts FTDT, squat and a hop. 9.725

Randolph (SUU): Chest low on the double layout, switch side half to straddle jump, great height, dismounts front tuck to double tuck, bounces back OOB. 9.675

Stevens (Aub): Toe on to Ray to overshoot, no problems, hits the last handstand, dismounts double layout and sticks it without a doubt. 9.875

Rotation Totals: Stanford 49.275, Auburn 48.975, California 49.475, Southern Utah 49.175

Totals: California 148.225, Stanford 148.200, Auburn 147.500, Southern Utah 147.350

As expected, after a slow start on vault the Golden Bears have snuck back into the lead after back-to-back 49.4s on bars and beam, where they excel. A hit floor rotation should send them through, like the Cardinal who trail closely behind with just bars to go. That’s been a strength for Stanford this season, meaning Auburn and Southern Utah are going to need help from others if they want to advance. An unfortunate turn of events for Auburn with that bars rotation.

Rotation 4: Southern Utah Vault, Stanford Bars, Auburn Beam, California Floor

Cacciola (SUU): FTY. Floaty and drops it down for the stick. 9.900

Gutierrez (Stan): Giant half to Jaeger to overshoot, aggressive last handstand, giant half to double front half, low but no foot movement from my POV. 9.850

Williams (Cal): Front layout to Rudi to open, good lunge control, split leap to ring leap full, RO 1.5 front layout, no issues. 9.900

Randolph (SUU): FTY. Piked coming in for the landing, hop back. 9.800

A fall from Auburn on beam, Hagle, the replacement for Brusch.  9.225

Kane (Cal): Starts with a front full to Rudi, gets so much height in the Rudi, switch side half to wolf jump, precise, RO 1.5 front layout, a bit short but covers it with a stick. 9.900

Neault (Stan): Maloney to Pak, clean, so patient with her swing, hitting every handstand, toe full to double tuck, small hop forward. 9.850

Cesario (Cal): RO 1.5 front full to mount, clean, switch leap to switch ring half, massive double tuck to close, lunged but probably didn’t need to. 9.900

Alexeeva (Stan): Toe half to piked Jaeger, fantastic, Pak, continuing her great form, giant full to double tuck, flexed feet but stuck it. 9.900

Christensen (SUU): Y1.5. Bent arms on the table, no issues getting it vertical, step forward. 9.800

Stevens (Aub): Has to battle with the home crowd cheering, BHS LOSO, great, split jump to double stag, front toss to one knee, the Stevens, RO 1.5 dismount, looked stuck. 9.900

Roberts (Stan): Pak, legs glued together, archy handstand, good Shaposh half, dismounts double layout, hop forward. 9.825

McLaughlin (Aub): Low beam work to mount, BHS LOSO, secure, beat jump to side aerial, arm wave and wobble, split jump to straddle 1/4, full turn, switch leap to straddle 1/4, dismounts gainer pike, hop in place.

Frazier (Cal): Great double layout to begin, switch ring to switch half and bounces right out of it into choreo, gorgeous ring jump, finishes off with a front tuck to double tuck, chest all the way up and controlled lunge. 9.950

Rotation Totals: Southern Utah 49.125, Stanford 49.400, Auburn 49.300, California 49.575

Final: California 197.800, Stanford 197.600, Auburn 196.800, Southern Utah 196.475

The home team wins! The Golden Bears cruised at home to sail through to the final, while their Bay Area counterpart, Stanford, had a strong day to advance. The Tigers did themselves no favors with the bars and beam errors to close the meet, but still put up a good fight. The Thunderbirds outperformed themselves from yesterday and finish their season on a strong note.

READ THIS NEXT: Judge’s Inquiry: Breaking Down March’s Perfect 10s

Live blog by Brandis Heffner

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