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Quick Hits: 2013 NCAA Championships Semifinals

It’s the magical day that GymCastic has been ranting and raving about for months. The NCAA Championships have arrived! Today is bound to be Mary Lou Retton great–if not Nadia great.

A lot is at stake. Today will determine who advances to tomorrow’s team final, and the NCAA All-Around Champion will be crowned! Woot! But before we get into all that, I think we should say a little prayer to the gym gods…

Gym gods, please keep everyone safe, and please let the judges be as objective as possible. Amen.

With that said, here are the teams in the first semifinal and their ranking at the meet:

Florida (1)
Georgia (4)
LSU (5)
Minnesota (8)
Stanford (9)
Illinois (12)

The following all-arounders will be competing, as well: Michelle Shealy of Iowa State, Jessie DeZiel of Nebraska, Emily Wong of Nebraska, Aubree Cristello of Arizona, Sharaya Musser of Penn State, and Moriah Martin of Denver.


The Florida fans are decked out in deer hunter orange. They have quite a large cheering section, but it seems that Nebraska has the loudest cheering section.

Rotation 1:

Vault: Illinois; Bars: Minnesota; Beam: LSU; Floor: Florida

Kiersten Wang of Florida: Did a nice double layout to start and looks just off on her front tumbling pass. Lands on the back of her neck punching for a front tuck………… Finishes the routine, though.

Ericka Garcia of LSU: Lovely press handstand to start. BHS to two-foot layout–tries to cover with some arm movements. Shows some nerves going into her aerial front walkover–legs a little shaky. Gainer pike to finish.

Bridget Sloan of Florida: Starts with her extended leg play on the floor. Front double full. Nails it. Double pike to a STICK. Back 1.5 to a front layout. Another stick.

Madie Hanley of Minnesota: Blind change to straddle Jaeger. Way past on her giant full. Short on her handstand on high bar. Double layout. Step forward on the landing.

Ashanée Dickerson of Florida: Arabian double front, picks up her back heel on the lunge. Tsk Tsk. Front through to double tuck. Bounces out of the landing. Here comes the club dance scene. Hits her double pike and ends with a big GATOR CHOMP!

Lloimincia Hall of LSU: Switch side. A little back on her heels and raises her arms. BHS LOSO. Big wobble on her full turn. Showing some nerves on her switch leap to straddle–legs shaking going into the straddle jump. Big step on the double tuck dismount.

Lindsay Mabel of Minnesota: Short on her first handstand. Almost eats bar on her Gienger and has to take an extra kip cast. Not even close on her handstand on her cast before her dismount.

Rheagan Courville of LSU: Gorgeous L-turn. Long wait before her standing Arabian. BHS LOSO. Her switch leap is all kinds of beautiful–well over 180. Takes a long pause before going into her aerial front walkover. She’s a little off, and she knows it–puffs her cheeks coming out of her aerial front walkover.

Kytra Hunter of Florida: Nails her double layout. She’s all smiles. Back 1.5 to front layout to bounder to Shushunova. Then the worm into a GATOR CHOMP! Short on her double tuck.

Bridgette Caquatto of Florida: Holds her hand up like she’s telling everyone to Stop! and marches into the corner. Front double full with mini chopper legs into punch front. Double full as a second pass. Little short on her double pike to finish.

Emily Wong of Nebraska: POMMEL HORSE on beam for her mount! YES! BHS LOSO LOSO. Nails it, and she’s smiling! Wolf to Popa. A little wobble on the Popa–not quite all the way around. Cat leap to switch side. Double pike with a slight hop back.

Florida: 49.325
LSU: 49.000
Illinois: 48.850
Minnesota: 48.825

Rotation 2

Vault: Florida; Georgia: Bars; Beam: Minnesota; Floor: Stanford

Alaina Johnson of Florida: Full-twisting Yurchenko with a little hop back. Also a little leg separation in the air.

Christa Tanella of Georgia: Lovely Higgins turn into her Jaeger. A little short on her handstand on her bail to handstand. A little past handstand on her giant full but STICKS her double tuck.

Marissa King of Florida: Tsuk 1.5 to a big hop on the landing. Still goes 9.9…

Ashanee Dickerson of Florida: Sticks her full-twisting Yurchenko. Her legs were closer together than they were yesterday.

Kytra Hunter of Florida: Her Yurchenko 1.5 is so HUGE. It just floats to the ground. Big hop on the landing.

Shayla Worley of Georgia: Nice bail to handstand. Squat on. Short on handstand. Nice high Tkatchev with pointed toes–something that is missing on many Tkatchevs. Short on her handstand before her dismount. STICKS her double layout.

Ivana Hong of Stanford: Ah, it’s refreshing to hear some classical music after so much loud club music. Double tuck with a soft landing. This floor routine is my Zen moment of the day. Legs glued together. Double pike. Doesn’t drive her heels hard enough on her front full and almost sits down, but she saves it.

Chelsea Davis of Georgia: Here comes the Tkatchev we’ve all been waiting for. Great counter rotation coming over the bar. Swoon! Bail to handstand. Toe shoot to high bar. Full-twisting double back. Little arm swing but doesn’t move her feet.

Lindsay Mabel of Minnesota: Lovely BHS BHS LOSO. Her toes are, like, Ivana Hong pointed on her switch leap. Her straddle 1/4 could have had more shoulder rotation. Sticks her aerial to full off beam.

Sami Shapiro of Stanford: Oh, Sami, I don’t have time for this; I’m “kind of busy.” (Her song is Gaga’s “Telephone”–Terrible joke.) Back 1.5 to front layout. Almost sits it down. Has to fight for the landing. Double pike. Back 1.5 to punch front.

Shannon Golich of Minnesota: Switch leap to straddle 1/4. A little short of 180 on her switch leap. Standing layout stepout. NAILS it. Full turn. Split 1/1. Again a little short of 180. BHS LOSO to full off into a big, archy NCAA STICK!

Ashley Morgan of Stanford: Arabian double front. Landing was spot on. Glow stick rave for the techno music! Front through to a double pike. A little short on the landing. Double tuck. Way over-rotated on the landing.

Jessie DeZiel of Nebraska: All eyes are on her. Aerial front walkover. BHS LOSO–much improved from yesterday. Her knee is a little closer to her face on the landing. Needs to lift her back leg a bit more on her leaps. Cat leap to front kickover. Back 2.5 to a STICK! (Martha Karolyi, did you see that!?)

Florida: 98.775
Minnesota: 97.975
Georgia: 49.500
Stanford: 49.025
LSU: 49.000
Illinois: 48.850

Rotation 3

Vault: Stanford; Bars: Illinois; Beam: Georgia; Floor: LSU

Ashley Morgan of Stanford: Yurchenko half into a ring leap forward–giant bounce out of her vault.

Sarah Persinger of Georgia: Little balance check on her L-turn. Aerial front walkover to beat jump–a little off but keeps the rhythm. BHS LOSO. Switch leap to split 1/4–more of a split jump because she doesn’t turn her shoulders enough. Front kickover–almost off, but uses those super grippy toes to hang on. Back 1.5 with a big hop forward.

Jessie Jordan of LSU: Clean routine–no major errors, but nothing really stood out–Double pike. Front full to front layout. Back 1.5 to front full. Standard.

Noel Couch of Georgia: BHS LOSO. Lifts her back leg on the landing. Switch side. Front kickover to a balance check. BHS BHS to double full dismount. Sticks, but slight bend in the knees throughout.

Taylor Rice of Stanford: Full-twisting Yurchenko into the quintessential Stanford vault bounce.

Ivana Hong of Stanford: Full-twisting Yurchenko. Chest a little low on the landing. Small step. Looks like she jammed her knee a bit.

Maliah Mathis of LSU: HUGE double layout. Front pike to a double tuck–nice to see a little variation on that vault. Little slide of the front foot on the double pike. #tigerpawfinish

Nicole Dayton of Stanford: STICKS her Yurchenko half. A little form coming onto the table.

Brittany Rogers of Georgia: I LOVE me some tic-tocs! Big wobble on the Kochetkova (full-twisting back handspring). BHS LOSO to full off. A bit of an NCAA stick. Momentum going back.

Jessica Savona of LSU: Back 1.5 to a double tuck. Music changes to “Smooth criminal.” Double pike with a chest a little low. Step forward.

Moriah Martin of Denver: HUGE full-twisting Yurchenko! STICK! WOAH! Chest up!

Rheagan Courville of LSU: “I blame it on my A.D.D., baby” (Yes, those are the lyrics to her floor routine. “Sail” by AWOLNATION.) Her Arabian double front rotated sideways. Front through to a double tuck–ran far, so I thought she was going out. Switch ring to tour jete 1/2 was SO precise and just floated to the ground!!! Double pike to finish.

Well, it will be Lloimincia Hall of LSU and Shayla Worley of Georgia at same time. If I were Shayla, I’d be trying to watch Lloimincia out of the corner of my eye.

Lloimincia Hall of LSU: The crowd is yelling for her. Typical height on her double layout. Oh, noes! She does a bit of a Sissone out of her front full–too much power. And then a bit of a shuffle back on her double tuck.

Shayla Worley of Georgia:  LOVE that chin stand start. Beat jump to sheep jump. Trying to cover her slightly off BHS LOSO by swinging her arms. Takes a step on her gainer full.

Emily Wong of Nebraska: I think she’s the only one opening with a triple twist. So beautiful! Nice stag jump out of her front tumbling pass–don’t see too many of those in NCAA. (Thank the gym gods?) Lots of shimmying in this routine, and she nails her final pass and goes into a… you guessed it, shimmy.

Kaylan Earls of Georgia: She nails the heck out of her BHS LOSO LOSO! Beautiful. Then, she does an unidentifiable aerial cartwheel/side somi-thing. Little wobble on her full turn, which leads into a fanning of her face at the end of the beam–beam fluff amuses me. Bit of cowboying on her double tuck.

Florida: 98.775
Georgia: 98.475
LSU: 98.350
Minnesota: 98.000
Stanford: 97.975
Illinois: 97.525

Rotation 4

Vault: LSU; Bars: Florida; Beam: Illinois; Floor: Minnesota

Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto: Beautiful Maloney (toe-on Shaposh) and lovely bail to handstand. Sticks the heck out of her double layout dismount. Florida fans are waving pom pons for that one.

Kaleigh Dickson of LSU: Full-twisting Yurchenko. Little bounce on the landing. LSU gymnasts are shaking pom pons and yelling, “LSU!” for that one.

Marissa King of Florida: Little WILD on the bail to handstand–did almost a 3/4 turn instead of a 1/2. Short on handstand before blind change. Markelov-hit. Little shuffle back on her double layout dismount.

Jessie Jordan of LSU: Little step back on her full-twisting Yurchenko. Knees ever-so slightly bent.

Kytra Hunter of Florida: Hindorff was about as far from the bar as possible…which made for a rough kip cast handstand–a smidge short on handstand out of kip. Chest was really low on her full-twisting double tuck.

Maliah Mathis of LSU: STICKS her Yurchenko half. HUGE smile on her face. That vault definitely deserves an “LSU!” cheer!

Bridgette Sloan of Florida: Her Ray was perfectly caught. Also a little wild on her bail to handstand–not quite a 3/4 turn like Marissa’s, more like a 3/5 turn. STICKS her double layout

Rheagan Courville of LSU: Arms slightly bent onto the table, but she sticks it, clicking her heels together only to accentuate the landing.

Mackenzie Caquatto of Florida: Short on handstand before Maloney. A solid bail to handstand. STICKS the heck out of her full-twisting double back. Florida is on a sticking roll!

Emily Wong of Nebraska: That was, like, Kim Zmeskal good! I hope they showed it on the online stream! Pops off the table, THEN, turns, opens up and STUCK it! Chest was up!

Alina Weinstein of Illinois: All eyes are on her, as she is the only one competing right now. Full turn without a problem. BHS LOSO with a slight hip turn balance check. Aerial front walkover onto her butt. OUCH! Back 1.5 with a small step back.

Lindsay Mable of Minnesota: Opens a little too soon on her double pike and crunches her ankles a bit. She continues. Rudi to straddle jump to punch front. Such a unique pass. Back 1.5 to punch front layout–a little over-rotated but she does an Elise Ray arabesque to cover.

Michelle Shealy of Iowa State: Aerial front walkover to LOSO! Nice to see a unique, hard combo. Full turn–tiniest of bobbles. Cat leap to beat jump to straddle 3/4. Gainer LOSO. Gives a bit of a cheeky smile to the judges before her dismount. Sticks her back 1.5 off.

Kyle Schermann of Minnesota: Whip through to a double tuck. The 90s are back!!! Little trouble on her Popa. Rudi to seat-height LOSO. Double pike to end. The Gophers fans are standing in the crowd, yelling!

Jessie DeZiel of Nebraska: Full-in double pike. Back 2.5 to an open punch front. Tour jete 1/2 to Popa. Needs to pick up the energy at this point in her routine. Double pike to finish. Chest a little low, but lifts it at the end of it. She gives GymCastic favorite Coach Owen Field a big hug.

Florida: 148.300
LSU: 147.850
Minnesota: 147.200
Illinois: 146.500
Georgia: 98.475
Stanford: 97.975

Rotation 5

Minnesota: Vault; Bars: Stanford; Beam: Florida; Floor: Georgia

Rachel Spicer of Florida: Huge pause after her switch leap going into her straddle quarter to her stomach. Not sure if she will get the value… judges are taking a long time to determine her score.

Shona Morgan of Stanford: Missed her Jaeger and has an unexpected close encounter with the mat. Didn’t see the rest of the routine.

Bridget Sloan of Florida: No crotching on her BHS LOSO–like she did in warmups. She smiles after her leap pass. Aerial cartwheel. Double twist–Lifts her leg a little, but doesn’t take a step.

Christa Tanella of Georgia: She STRUTS out on the floor. Double pike. Back 1.5 to Barani to double stag. A little short on her Rudi. P.S.

Kytra Hunter of Florida: No problems on her punch front, which gave her some wobbles yesterday. BHS LOSO–so high, so, so high. Cat leap to switch side. Such a dynamic routine–snappy, keeps moving. Almost sticks her double tuck. Little shuffle back.

Kristina Vaculik of Stanford: This routine was beautiful. After some troubles for Stanford at the beginning of this rotation. They needed that Gienger for a pick-me-up!

Shayla Worley on FX: She opens up with “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project. The ground sneaked up on her on her double pike. Her second pass is a front double full to a mini Sissone lunge (read: She bounced out of it). Her routine ends with a Rudi and some fist pumping. She runs off the floor pumping her fist.

Jessie DeZiel of Nebraska: Full-twisting Yurchenko. Little Hop on the landing.

Mackenzie Caquatto of Florida: he chin stand is growing on me. Practically perfect BHS LOSO. I don’t think that Mackenzie has ever performed on beam like this–ever. STICKS her double full.

Sami Shapiro of Stanford: Gorgeous routine after a few struggles. Hop on the landing on her double layout. We’ll have to see if that score holds up.

Marissa King of Florida: Opens with a stretched kickover. Hits her acro series, which was giving her troubles yesterday. A little forward on her full turn. Switch leap to straddle 1/4 to stomach. Loooooooooong pause before her double full dismount. Nice routine.

Florida: 197.775
Minnesota: 196.375
LSU: 147.850
Georgia: 147.700
Illinois: 146.500
Stanford: 146.175

Rotation 6

Vault: Georgia; Bars: LSU; Beam: Stanford; Floor: Illinois

Chelsea Davis of Georgia: Full-twisting Yurchenko. STICKS the landing. Great start for Georgia.

Britney Ranzy of LSU: Nice Maloney. A little archy on the bail to handstand. An itsy bitsy short on her cast handstand before her dismount. Smallest of hops on double layout.

Noel Couch of Georgia: A little short on her full-twisting Yurchenko and lands in a butt-out squat. Small hop on the landing.

Ashley Morgan of Stanford: BHS LOSO–smallest of wobbles. Step forward on punch front. Little wobble on jump series. Hop back on double tuck dismount. Not looking as clean as usual.

Cat Hires of Georgia: Tiny step back on full-twisting Yurchenko. Georgia is bringing it on vault!

Brittany Rogers of Georgia: Hop forward Yurchenko 1.5

Kaleigh Dickson of LSU: Good Cal-hop to straddle Jaeger. Bail to handstand. Small hop forward on full-twisting double tuck.

Rheagan Courville of LSU: This is pretty much the same routine as Kaleigh Dickson. (Who decided to put them back to back?) She’s also short on her handstand before the dismount, but she, unlike Kaleigh, sticks her full-twisting double tuck.

Brandie Jay: Small bounce on FTY, but she scrunches her face up in a SCREAM! Teammates are cheering for her.

Sharaya Musser of Penn State: Little bounce on her full-twisting Yurchenko. Her legs were STUCK together. Lovely.

Kristen Vaculik of Stanford: Little wobble on mount. Switch leap to back tuck. Nailed. Precise. Lovely Rulfova. Lifts her head as if to say, “Yup, I just dominated that beam!” But then, she falls off on LOSO.  Double full with hop back.

Emily Wong of Nebraska: Hecht mount. Gienger. Shoot over. Full-twisting double tuck with a hop forward.

Alina Weinstein of Illinois: Sticks her full-twisting double tuck. Little bit of knees and feet in the air. Rudi to LOSO. Nice and light. Before the final pass, nice hairography in the corner with that long ponytail of hers. Double tuck. The Illinois fans are up in their seats, yelling. (Like the Florida fans, the Illinois are also wearing orange, but theirs is a different shade–not deer hunter orange.)

Florida: 197.775
LSU: 197.325
Georgia: 197.150
Minnesota: 196.375
Illinois: 195.700
Stanford: 194.700

Top 3 All-Around:

1. Bridget Sloan: 39.600
2. Rheagan Courville: 39.575
3T. Emily Wong: 39.525
3T. Marissa King: 39.525

After the scores are announced, the fans start cheering “SEC! SEC! SEC! SEC!”

Related Links:

Quick Hits: 2013 NCAA Semifinals-Session 2
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


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