In the first NCAA press conference, Valorie Kondos-Field said that this semifinal would be a “blood bath.” Time will tell if she is right…
Here are the teams and their rankings:
And here are the individuals who will be competing in the all-around: Brittany Harris of Oregon State, Chelsea Tang of Oregon State, Melanie Shaffer of Ohio State, Bri Guy of Auburn, Caitlin Atkinson of Auburn, and Lauren Rogers of Washington.
A few quotes from the first session:
“It was a blessing in disguise.”–Bridget Sloan on her experience at Olympic Trials
“We made sure we had the absolute minimum of mistakes.”–Bridget Sloan on Florida’s performance today.
“It taught our team to handle extreme adversity, and we were not rattled by anything. Since we were able to adapt to something like that, if we had mistakes in a practice or in a meet or something changed at the last minute, it really has been able to make us calm and not overreact.”–Shayla Worley on the coaching situation and her mental toughness this season
“When you’re faced with that you can either roll over and play dead and make mistakes, or you can forget about it, rise to the occasion by working harder and go after it anyways. It has made us stronger.”–Shayla Worley on the coaching change
Vault: Arkansas; Bars: Michigan; Beam: UCLA; Floor: Oklahoma
Fashion alert: First place for sparkliness goes to Oklahoma. Second place goes to Michigan. Third goes to UCLA. If there’s a rhinestone shortage in the world, you know why.
Shelby Gies of Michigan: Another beautiful Higgins. (Christa Tanella of Georgia also had a lovely one in the first session.) Solid Tkatchev. Short and archy on bail to handstand. Short on high bar cast. STICKS her double tuck dismount. HUUUUGE cheer erupts from Michigan–almost shrieking screams.
Kaelie Baer of UCLA: Wolf hop to switch side–right leg was higher than her left. Side somi little bobble. BHS LOSO into a NCAA stick–turns to the judges to cover how short she was on the land.
Lichelle Wong of UCLA: Continuous aerial front walkover to BHS. Switch side–right leg a little lower than her left. Throws in a HUGE booty shake at the end while staring at her teammates. No comment. Little bobble on her 1.5 off.
Erica Brewer: Double tuck with a huge bounce back. Front layout to a front full with a little pike. A little form on her BHS going into her double pike to finish. But overall, nice routine.
Katie Zurales of Michigan: Last-minute lineup change. Sachi was supposed to be in her spot. Really has to streeeeeetch for that Deltchev. A few missed handstands. Little hop on double layout.
Brittnee Martinez of Michigan: Her giant full to Tkatchev was HUGE! So much height on that release. Drills her double layout dismount.
Olivia Courtney of UCLA: BHS LOSO into a bend over. Tries to stand up, and bends over again. Big break. She’s too stiff and isn’t absorbing the landings. Front kickover to a pause then to her beat jump. Double tuck with knees together, but chest was low and had to take a step forward.
Madison Mooring of Oklahoma: Opens with a whip half to a Rudi. Nice double stag-ring. Double pike–a little short on the landing and bounces up and forward.
Natalie Beilstein of Michigan: Really hits her bail to handstand and then drills her full-twisting double back.
Vanessa Zamarripa of UCLA: Onodi. She’s solid on that skill. Aerial front walkover into a wobble–can’t cover it up. BHS LOSO–little arm movement–needed to be less sickled with her feet. Nice split on her switch leap to split jump to beat jump. Double full dismount with a little bounce.
Brie Olson of Oklahoma: Perfect landing on her double pike. Front layout to Rudi. She’s lighting up the floor–literally with her massive number of rhinestones and figuratively with her performance. She’s bringing it. Rudi to finish.
Danusia Francis of UCLA: Hits her aerial walkover to BHS. Sticks her BHS LOSO to full off. UCLA erupts! It feels like the fans are strategically sitting all around the pavilion so that the cheers echo throughout.
Haley Scaman of Oklahoma: Double layout. Into a double butt shake. Rudi to LOSO. So much intensity in her eyes before this last pass. Takes off on her double tuck at a weird angle and pulls too hard–over-rotating a bit and bounces back into a lunge.
Vault: Oklahoma; Bars: Alabama; Beam: Michigan; Floor: Utah
Taylor Spears of Oklahoma: Full-twisting Yurchenko–piked down a bit on the landing.
Shelby Gies of Michigan: One-handed BHS to LOSO. Aerial front walkover. Cartwheel to 1.5 with a hop.
Madison Mooring of Oklahoma: Yurchenko half–small hop forward on the landing. Throws her head back.
Kim Jacob of Alabama: Nice Ray release but misses her kip cast handstand after. Bail to handstand. Another miss on her cast handstand on the dismount. Double layout to end.
Brie Olson of Oklahoma: Full-twisting Yurchenko. Hop back on the landing.
Annette Miele of Michigan: Full turn. Aerial front walkover to BHS. A little hesitant on the connection. Beat jump to split/straddle 3/4 with a bend over in the hips. Side somi-ish. Double pike to dismount. Decent step back.
Mary Beth Lofgren of Utah: Double layout with a bit of form in the air. Front layout to front full. She’s also all sparkly–the neckline is reminiscent of the 90s Russian leotards. Pretty short on her double tuck dismount.
Sarah DeMeo of Alabama: Misses her half-pirouette. Little close on her straddle Jaeger. Double layout-smallest of movements with her right foot.
Georgia Dabritz of Utah: Full-twisting double pike. And we have Jaycie Phelps’s old music “The Race.” Whip to a double full. Pulls too hard on her triple twist, forced to take a step back.
Ashley Priess of Alabama: Is this elite? She just did a Tkatchev to immediate Pak! Markelov without much height–almost a toe-scraper. Hop back on the dismount.
Katie Zurales of Michigan: Full turn. Aerial cartwheel to BHS. She’s got a serious beam face–chin up with confidence. Beat jump to a sheep jump. Long pause before her dismount. Sticks her double full. More shrieking ensues… Someone in the Michigan bullpen has quite the set of lungs/vocal chords…
Nansy Damianova of Utah: Double tuck. Struts into the corner in a very Alicia Sacramone manner. Back 1.5 to front layout. Double pike to finish.
Briley Casanova of Michigan: Punch front to a beat jump–much better than yesterday. Tiny wobble on her full turn. BHS LOSO to a pause then a beat jump–not sure if she will receive credit for the combination. Cat leap to switch side–bending over and almost touching her nose to her knees while digging her toes into the beam. She stays on. Those are some strong toes! Gainer full–STUCK.
Vault: Utah; Arkansas: Bars; Alabama: Beam; UCLA: Floor
Diandra Milliner of Alabama: Aerial walkover to a beat jump. Front kickover. Full turn. BHS LOSO. Sticks her double full. A good routine–consistent–nothing flashy, but a good lead-off.
Sophina DeJesus of UCLA: She starts by doing a military salute with a body roll–U.S. Brigadier Generals, I hope that you’re paying attention to the new protocol. I expect the Army to implement this. STAT! Double tuck. You can tell that she was a world champ hip hop dancer. Lots of chest isolations in this routine. Back 1.5 to front layout.
Kaitlyn Clark of Alabama: Wobble on her BHS LOSO. Front kickover to slow connection to beat jump. Back 1.5 form and step on landing
Nansy Damianova of Utah: Yurchenko full–pikes it down a bit.
Georgia Dabritz of Utah: Lands off-center on her Yurchenko full.
Kayla Williams of Alabama: Switch side. Doesn’t throw her beat jump out of her punch front. Long pause before her BHS LOSO–hits it despite struggling yesterday. Full turn. Back 1.5, which she sticks, but she really had to fight for that landing.
Vanessa Zamarripa: Nice, high double pike to start with a trademark soft landing. So many smiles. Rudi to a LOSO–the flip actually rose as she was stepping out. Rudi to finish.
Sarah DeMeo of Alabama: Flyspring mount–nice to see something new. Another great beam face–chin up and confident. A little off on her aerial walkover but hits the beat jump. BHS LOSO. Wobbles on the full turn. Back leg could be a little higher on the switch leap. Double pike with a tiny hop.
Alyssa Pritchett of UCLA: Full-twisting double tuck. Back 1.5 to layout. Oh, she just diva-snapped in her routine. Tiny booty shake in the corner before her double pike.
Kim Jacob of Alabama: Switch leap 1/2. BHS LOSO LOSO-stuck cold and punctuated with a big smile. Deep breath before the full turn. Nails it. (I’d be taking a big breath before the BHS LOSO LOSO). Barani on the beam. 1.5 with a small hop. Lovely routine. Lovely!
Ashley Priess of Alabama: Beat jump to a sheep jump. Aerial walkover to a Korbut. Back leg really low on her switch leap and her split jump. Gainer full = STUCK!
Olivia Courtney of UCLA: Double Arabian–great landing. Back 1.5 to Barani to LOSO. Good landing! UCLA erupts! Then, she goes into an extended on-floor sequence, which includes a double log roll! (This totally should be in the code of points.) Double pike to finish. More cheers from the UCLA fans!
Vault: UCLA; Bars: Oklahoma; Beam: Arkansas; Floor: Michigan
Sydney Sawa of UCLA: Crooked onto the table but still puts her Yurchenko full to her feet and STICKS!
Hayden Ward of Oklahoma: Low Tkatchev. Nice bail to handstand. Short on her kip cast handstand. Past vertical on her giant full. Double tuck to a stick.
Alyssa Pritchett of UCLA: Bent arms onto the table, but sticks her Yurchenko full. UCLA erupts.
Rebecca Clark of Oklahoma: Little short on her first kip cast. Nice Maloney to bail to handstand. Another sole circle for Oklahoma–common transition for them. Giant full on top of the bar and floats her double tuck to the ground. That giant full was a work of art!
Lichelle Wong of UCLA: Another stuck Yurchenko full. UCLA is bringing it.
Katie Zurales of Michigan: Nice high double pike. Back 1.5 to front full. Lacking dynamics on her leap sequence.
Olivia Courtney of UCLA: Small step with her left foot on landing of her Yurchenko full.
Brie Olson of Oklahoma: The beginning of her routine was spectacular–Deltchev to straddle back to handstand. After sole circle (yet another one in the Oklahoma lineup…), she was short on kip cast. Little step on her full-twisting double layout.
Vanessa Zamarripa of UCLA: The fans are waving like birds before her vault. Her aim was to master the Zmeskal technique, but her Yurchenko full looked more like a 1992 Miller vault. She completed the twist and opened into a huge arch–just like Miller–except she didn’t quite have the Miller stick. Hop on the landing.
Taylor Spears of Oklahoma: Hit–slightly past handstand on bail to handstand, but makes up for it by hitting her kip cast handstand.
Sachi Sugiyama of Michigan: Double tuck. Switch side to wolf full. Front full to front layout. Double pike to finish. A consistent routine.
Curious about Michigan’s order–Opens the lineup with a full-twisting double tuck from Natalie Beilstein and puts a simple tumbling routine at the end. Interesting choice.
Erin Freier of Arkansas: Wobble on her aerial cartwheel. Lovely double-stag-ring–head back and nice arch in her back. BHS LOSO–slightly off but adjusts with her arm. Switch leap to split jump. Back leg shaking a bit going into her full turn. She looks nervous. Gainer full with small hop back.
Joanna Sampson of Michigan: Floats her double layout. Fairly simple middle pass: front full to front layout–but after a huge double layout, that’s acceptable. Big double pike to finish. She throws her head back on the lunge, knowing that she hit that routine.
Vault: Michigan; Bars: Utah; Beam: Oklahoma; Floor: Alabama
Katie Zurales of Michigan: Yurchenko full–A little short on rotation on the landing.
Madison Mooring of Oklahoma: BHS LOSO–dead on. A little short of 180 on her switch leap.
Ashley Priess of Alabama: Double tuck. Back 1.5 to front layout. Lands a little short and steps back. Loooong standing pause before her jump double tuck. Legs almost buckle under her on double pike–takes a step back.
Natalie Beilstein of Michigan: Yurchenko 1.5–bent knees on landing and takes a step back.
Lora Leigh Frost of Alabama: Huge double layout. More loud thumping music–Reminds me of when “Animal” from the Muppets plays the drums. I’m in need of another Zen moment–So much thumping today. Double tuck.
Lauren Alexander of Oklahoma: Switch leap to straddle 1/4. Aerial walkover slightly off to back tuck. So much flexibility from this girl–She’s, like, the new Hollie Vise of Oklahoma. Gainer pike.
Austin Sheppard of Michigan: Nice pop off the table. Takes a step back with her left foot on the landing of her full-twisting Yurchenko.
Stephanie Colbert of Michigan: Good full-twisting Yurchenko. Doesn’t quite have the pop that others have though. That said, she stuck it.
Georgia Dabritz of Utah: With Sarah DeMeo’s Eivissa club music blaring in the background, she takes to the bars. Close to bar on Jaeger. Toe-shoot. Nice kip cast before her dismount. Sticks her full-twisting double tuck.
Kim Jacob of Alabama: Big SEC tumbling, here we come! Full-twisting double pike. Double pike. Back 1.5 to front full. Everything looked spot on.
Taylor Spears of Oklahoma: A lovely tic-toc. A nice, slow start for a rather rapid routine that moves back and forth across the beam. Onodi to Korbut–cool combo!–really presses down on the Korbut. Switch leap to cat leap–Short of 180 on her leap. Aerial front walkover to beat jump. Gainer with a hop on the landing. Oklahoma has really been 9.8-ing to death…
Diandra Milliner of Alabama: Competing at the same time as Taylor Spears. Here comes more BIG SEC tumbling! Some funky jungle music in the background. Nails her Arabian double front (Not many pointed toes on this skill today… Womp. Womp.) And nails her double pike to end.
Vault: Alabama; Bars: UCLA; Beam: Utah; Floor: Arkansas
Kayla Williams of Alabama: HUGE Yurchenko full but takes a step back.
Danusia Francis of UCLA: Little short on her handstand before her Maloney. Lovely bail to handstand. Nice control on the giant full to a double pike. Small step on the landing.
Kim Jacob of Alabama: Little bit of form coming onto the table. Full-twisting Yurchenko. Little bounce on the landing.
Ashley Priess of Alabama: Off-center on the landing, has to pike down her full-twisting Yurchenko. Hop on the landing.
Sophina DeJesus of UCLA: Keeps her legs together on her Gienger–much improved during the season. Nice bail to handstand. Would like to see more open hips on her giants, but sticks her full-twisting double tuck. UCLA is on fire!
Lauren Beers of Alabama: WOW! BIG Yurchenko full. Step back on the landing.
Diandra Milliner of Alabama: Yurchenko 1.5. Little step on the landing. Not as high as Kytra Hunter, but still a good vault.
Monique de la Torre of UCLA: Over on her cast handstand at the end of her routine. Has to cover by doing a half pirouette into a hop half. Little bit of form on her hop full. Double layout dismount.
Kassandra Lopez of Utah: Needs more split on her opening switch leap. BHS LOSO. And she’s off. Second fall for Utah on beam–Tory Wilson also fell before her. Punch front to a beat jump-ish–didn’t really get her front foot behind. Double full to a hop back.
Vanessa Zamarripa of UCLA: SO much control on her first cast handstand. Lovely Maloney. Bart Conner, Kathy Johnson, and I were salivating over those handstands! It’s like, “BAM! I’m Zam, queen of this arena!” Step forward on the double layout, though. The entire audience let out an, “Oh!” Everyone here seems to be a Vanessa Zamarripa fan. Even the Utah fans were cheering for her earlier. (They definitely deserve a sportsmanship award… They cheer for everyone.)
Georgia Dabritz of Utah: Full turn. Aerial cartwheel-feet turned in a little on the landing and has to adjust. Cross handstand to BHS to LOSO to full. Hop on the landing, but we need more dismounts that take the entire length of the beam!
Katherine Grable of Arkansas: She showed off that Barani stepout! Love! Lovely double Arabian. Lovely double pike to finish. That floor was my everything!
And congratulations to Bridget Sloan, our 2013 NCAA All-Around Champion. Being a freshman at Florida is practically like being a magical unicorn. First Kytra, now Bridget.
1. Bridget Sloan 39.600
2. Rheagan Courville 39.575
3T. Emily Wong 39.525
3T. Marissa King 39.525
3T. Joanna Sampson 39.525
3T. Katie Zurales 39.525
Final Semifinal Team Results:
1. Florida 197.775
2. Alabama 197.350
3. LSU 197.325
4T. UCLA 197.200
4T. Oklahoma 197.200
6. Georgia 197.150
Quick Hits: NCAA Semifinals – Session 1
Quick Hits: 2013 NCAA Podium Training
Episode 29: Vanessa Zamarripa and Danusia Francis
9 Quotes from Today’s NCAA Press Conference
Episode 23: Lloimincia Hall
Episode 18: Bridget Sloan
Episode 12: Miss Val-Part 2
Episode 11: Miss Val-Part 1
Episode 10: Greg Marsden