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Quick Hits: The Super Six

Today is the big day! It’s the day when, as we are told every year, the team who “wants it more” will inevitably win… To refresh your memory, here are the scores from yesterday:

1. Florida 197.775
2. Alabama 197.350
3. LSU 197.325
4T. UCLA 197.200
4T. Oklahoma 197.200
6. Georgia 197.150

Now forget about those scores! Because none of that matters! All the teams start anew, so, as they say, “it’s really anyone’s game.”

Anyway, let’s forget about the media speak, and while we wait for the meet to start, let’s improve our Gymnastics Trivial Pursuit knowledge…

A Few Factoids:

  • Among the competing athletes today, there are three World Champions: Bridget Sloan, 2009 World All-Around Champion, Kayla Williams, 2009 World Vault Champion, and Shayla Worley, 2007 World Team Champion.
  • In addition, Ashley Priess was part of the U.S. 2006 World Team, which won silver, and Mackenzie Caquatto was part of the U.S. 2010 World Team, which won silver.
  • Yesterday, the Oklahoma Sooners set the highest semifinal score in school history with a 197.200.
  • Yesterday’s 49.500 on bars was the Sooners’ highest event total on bars for the team.
  • Yesterday’s 49.525 on bars was Florida’s highest team score on the event at NCAA Championships.
  • This is Florida’s 11th trip to the Super Six.
  • For both Georgia and LSU, this is their first trip to the Super Six since 2009.
  • For LSU, this is only their third appearance in the Super Six. Previous trips: 2008 and 2009.

Rotation 1:

Vault: Oklahoma; Bars: UCLA; Beam: Florida; Floor: Georgia

Taylor Spears of Oklahoma: Full-twisting Yurchenko. Head was below table height on the flip and has to pike down.

Rachel Spicer of Florida: Hits her BHS LOSO. Little wobble on full turn. Cat leap and pauses before gainer LOSO. A little hesitant on her leap sequence connection. Little slide back on gainer full dismount. A decent starting routine.

Kaylan Earls of Georgia: Double pike. Cheats leap pass a bit. Pulls too hard on double tuck and takes a big step back. Did I hear Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes on” in there?

Bridget Sloan of Florida: On the show, she told us that she likes to sing a song while she does beam. I wonder what she will be singing today. Nails her BHS LOSO into her trademark arms–right wrist slightly bent. Makes a nervous face coming out of her front aerial but smiles after her BHS. Little crooked on aerial cartwheel. STICKS her double full.

Madison Mooring: Yurchenko half. Just a little hop on the landing.

Christa Tanella of Georgia: Classic Tanella. Hits all her passes. She’s so solid, and her last pass is to-die-for–It’s a front layout to a Rudi. She has such good WOGA front tumbling technique.

Brie Olson of Oklahoma: Full-twisting Yurchenko–little bit of knees in the air and a big hop back on the landing.

Ashanee Dickerson of UCLA: Falls on her BHS LOSO! Oh noes! She looks like she is fighting back the tears as she finishes her routine. NAILS her double tuck.

Meanwhile, Sophina DeJesus almost loses her teeth on her Gienger–super close to the bar. Finishes the routine strong, and of course, the UCLA fans love it. Big cheers!

Maile’ana Kanewa of Oklahoma: Beautiful Yurchenko full. Chest up on her landing.

Kytra Hunter of Florida: She looked off from the beginning. Her punch front mount was super crooked, but she held onto it. Then, she fell on her BHS LOSO! Two falls for Florida… Gets back up and sticks her double tuck. Good for her for finishing strong… Even Hills’s gymnasts make mistakes. 🙁

Haley Scaman of Oklahoma: Big step forward on landing of Scaman’s 1.5.

Vanessa Zamarripa of UCLA: A little archy on her first handstand on low bar. Missed her handstand on her bail to handstand. Sticks her double layout.

Noel Couch of Georgia: Full-twisting double pike–a bit of form in the air. She’s dancing to Star Wars, and the Georgia fans have light sabers. Who said gym meets weren’t fun? Whip through to double full. Double pike.

Brandie Jay of Georgia: Full-twisting double back–doesn’t even grab her knees on the tuck. Major badass points to her. Front double full to punch front. Out of bounds. And here comes the Sugarhill Gang’s Apache… Tonto, Jump on it! Jump on it! Double tuck to finish.

Marissa King of Florida: Stretched kickover. BHS layout to two feet. Little wobble on her full turn. Double full–slight shuffle on the landing.

UCLA: 49.375
Oklahoma: 49.125
Georgia: 49.050
Florida: 48.875


Rotation 2

Vault: Georgia; Bars: LSU; Beam: UCLA; Floor: Alabama

Chelsea Davis of Georgia: A bit of an NCAA stick on her Yurchenko full. Turns to the judges quickly.

Kaelie Baer of UCLA: Crooked switch side–one foot significantly higher than the other. Side somi into cover-up arm movements because she is slightly off balance. BHS LOSO to full off. A little crooked–Her right foot was dangerously close to the side of the beam as she was taking off for the full.

Lora Leigh Frost of Alabama: Double layout. Jump tuck double, and doesn’t really seem to know when to stop pulling–covers with a bounce. Legs not 180 on her switch side… Jumping over to vault now.

Cat Hires of Georgia: Drilled her Yurchenko full.

Brittany Rogers of Georgia: Also STICKS her Yurchenko 1.5. A bit of form in the air, but the landing made up for it.

Sophina DeJesus of UCLA: Aerial front walkover, and a pretty big pause before her BHS LOSO. HUGE smile after her acro series. Front full off the end and a hop forward on the landing.

Lauren Beers of Alabama: Opens with a double layout. Alabama is sending a message–putting two double layouts back to back. They’re letting the judges know that they aren’t doing watered-down routines. Double tuck–a little off balance but adjusts in the lunge.

Brandie Jay of Georgia: Yurchenko full. Twists a little soon off the table.

Randii Wyrick of LSU: Short on handstand on bail to handstand, but other than that, a really good routine.

Olivia Courtney of UCLA: Touches her hand on the beam on her BHS LOSO. Front kickover… and she’s off. She is visibly fighting back the tears. Trying to get it together before her double tuck. Sticks it.

Sarah DeMeo of Alabama: Overrotates her Arabian double front. HUGE step forward. Back 1.5 to front layout. And now we’re on the Eivissa club circuit with this music. Ends well.

Sarie Morrison of LSU: Little close to the bar on her Jaeger. Nice Bail to handstand. Good cast handstand on the high bar before her dismount. Step on landing of full-twisting double tuck.

Vanessa Zamarripa of UCLA: Nice full turn. Huge wobble on her Onodi. Aerial front walkover. No problems on that. BHS LOSO. Switch leap to split jump to beat jump–if the judges are being picky, they could take a deduction for lack of split on her split jump. Sticks her double full dismount.

UCLA: 98.550
Georgia: 98.250
Alabama: 49.500
LSU: 49.200
Oklahoma: 49.125
Florida: 48.875


Rotation 3:

Vault: Alabama; Bars: Oklahoma; Beam: LSU; Floor: Florida

Kayla Williams of Alabama: Full-twisting Yurchenko. A small step back on her landing.

Jamie Shisler of Florida: Double pike (bit of flexed feet). Double tuck and falls… The third fall for Florida. Le sigh.

Bridget Sloan of Florida: She needs to hit! Will she? Hits her front double full. Double pike–nice landing. Perfect landing on her back 1.5 to front layout. That should get the momentum going in Florida’s favor…

Kaleigh Dickson of LSU: One-handed BHS to LOSO. Big wobble on the landing. Switch leap–back leg a little low–to straddle 1/4. Front handspring. Gainer pike dismount. A little close to the beam.

Rebecca Clark of Oklahoma: Good Maloney. Good handstand on her bail to handstand. A little past on her giant 1/1, but sticks her double tuck.

Diandra Milliner of Alabama: A little off-center on her Yurchenko 1.5 and takes a step back.

Ashanée Dickerson of Florida: That routine was called “Redemption.” Last time she was up, she had a fall… Sticks Arabian. Front through to a double tuck. Little short on her double pike.

Erica Brewer of Oklahoma: Generally speaking, Oklahoma’s bar routines have been a smidge short of handstand, and Brewer’s opening handstand is no exception. Also misses bail to handstand. Good kip cast handstand before her dismount. Sticks her double layout.

Lloimincia Hall of LSU: Switch side–foot a little low. BHS LOSO. Hips turned a little on the landing and has a brief wobble. Double tuck dismount.

Brie Olson of Oklahoma: Oklahoma really looks nervous on bars. Not really going for those handstands. Several slightly missed ones in this routine. Sticks her full-twisting double layout.

Looking at the scores… The judges don’t seem to have a problem with all the short handstands.

Marissa King of Florida: Lovely double layout. Whoa, there’s a thigh slap before her Gator chomp. How have I never noticed that? Has that always been there? Nails her other two landings.

Rheagan Courville of Florida: Jumping in the middle of this routine… Nails her standing Arabian. Despite the long pause before doing the standing Arabian. Aerial front walkover to Sissone. Slight hop on her gainer pike.

Kytra Hunter of Florida: Now, that’s what we expect from a Hills Angel. Trusty and reliable with power tumbling. Opens with a double layout. Then does a Back 1.5 to front layout to flyspring to Shushunova. Her double tuck without her hands is so impressive, and unlike yesterday, she has plenty of height.

Bridgette Caquatto of Florida: Hits her front double full to punch front. Double full was spot on, and so was her double pike. Impressive for not really competing this season until Regionals… Good to see a freshman not cave under pressure!

Alabama: 98.750
Florida: 98.600
UCLA: 98.550
Oklahoma: 98.500
LSU: 98.325
Georgia: 98.250


Rotation 4

Vault: Florida; Bars: Georgia; Beam: Oklahoma; Floor: UCLA

Alaina Johnson of Florida: Little bit of form, huge block though. Little hop on the landing. True sticks on vault are hard to find today.

Lauren Alexander of Oklahoma: Her flexibility is insane. Little wobble on her jump series. Also back leg was at an in-between position–on the jump. Sticks her gainer full.

Marissa King of Florida: Hop forward on the Tsuk 1.5.

Brandie Jay of Georgia: Good opening handstand. Little separation on her Maloney. Short on her cast handstand. Medium goodness on her Markelov. Sticks her full-twisting double tuck.

Ashanee Dickerson of Florida: Leg separation onto the table. Big hop back on the landing. We’ve got some premature cheering in the Gator bullpen. Cheering before her feet hit the ground.

Shayla Worley of Georgia: The first couple of handstands were a little short. Not opening her shoulders all the way. The rest were better. Her Tkatchev was lovely. Small step back on her double layout dismount.

Brittany Rogers of Georgia: I think she just did the best Ricna that I’ve seen her do this weekend. Handstands were generally good. Full-twisting double tuck. Step back.

Erica Brewer of Oklahoma: Opens with a GymCastic favorite: BHS LOSO LOSO. She’s on. Good full turn. Step back on her double tuck. Was that the first non-stuck dismount for Oklahoma? Yesterday in the press conference, KJ Kindler said that she wanted her team to work on sticks.

Madison Mooring of Oklahoma: Oklahoma is taking an Alabama approach to their lineup: They’re all like, we are going to show you how awesome we are. Just as Alabama put two double layouts back-to-back on floor, Oklahoma has put two BHS LOSO LOSOs back-to-back. Madison’s was good. Little bobble on aerial walkover. Switch leap to straddle 1/4. Little wobble on the full turn. BHS BHS 1.5 off. Small shuffle on the landing.

Taylor Spears of Oklahoma: Struggles with her Onodi to beat jump. Break in between the skills. Aerial walkover to Korbut. BHS to gainer full off the side. Small shuffle.

Sydney Sawa of UCLA: She’s the last gymnast competing… Double tuck. A tad bit short on her landing. Lunges forward. Double pike–landing was much better. Not sure whether it was a good idea to put Sawa after Courtney… Routine composition is very similar–two passes into an extended floor sequence–but they probably wanted to bump Sawa’s floor score up a bit. Nails her last pass, and the UCLA fans are waving their pom poms and holding up signs.

Florida: 148.100
UCLA: 148.000
Oklahoma: 147.975
Georgia: 147.450
Alabama: 98.750
LSU: 98.325


Rotation 5

Vault: UCLA; Bars: Alabama; Beam: Georgia; Floor: LSU

Fashion Alert: A man is wearing a short that says, “Every dad says their daughter is beautiful, but my daughter is a DAWG. And I’m proud of it.”

Becca Alexin of Alabama: Short on her cast handstand. Good Shaposhnikova. Nice Pak salto. Good cast handstand before dismount. Small step on landing.

It’s so nice to see Pak saltos… The bail to handstand is about as creative as a paint-by-numbers work of art.

Sarah Persinger of Georgia: Aerial walkover–doesn’t connect her jump out of it. Thinks about it, but no. Just no. BHS LOSO–nice. Switch leap to split 1/4. Sticks her back 1.5 off the beam.

Kim Jacob of Alabama: Good Ray release. Nice cast handstand. Nice cast handstand before her giants into a double layout. Good landing.

Alyssa Pritchett of UCLA: Her arms are always bent onto the table, but this was straighter than yesterday. Crooked off the table. Lands short, pretends to stick and turns to the judges–that, my friends, is the definition of an NCAA stick.

Lichelle Wong of UCLA: Good arms on the table. Nice, high Yurchenko full.

Lindsey Cheek of Georgia: BHS LOSO. Huge wobble. Does a Matrix-style back arch to save it. Nice aerial cartwheel into her moon walk. It’s a shame that she’s not competing at the same time as Jessica Savona, who has Michael Jackson music. Sticks her gainer full.

Ashley Priess of Alabama: Great counter rotation on her Tkatchev. Right into her Pak–Not as smooth as yesterday. Markelov is about the same height as yesterday–not as impressive as King’s. Double layout and a hop on the landing.

Olivia Courtney of UCLA: Nice high Yurchenko full. Slight step back with one foot.

Vanessa Zamarripa of UCLA: Vanessa came onto the table too high, but still goes for the stick. Falls to her hands and knees.

Rheagan Courville of LSU: A bit of cowboying on her Arabian double. Also, sideways again. It’s like lopsided ball. The rest of the routine is lovely–double tuck and double pike to finish. Judges aren’t being too picky about the tuck positions, it seems.

Shayla Worley of Georgia: BHS LOSO. Super crooked. Left foot on the side of the beam, but stays on. Full turn. Nice Kochetkova, but does not connect it to her jump. Split jump. Small step on her gainer full again. She should be sticking!

Lloimincia Hall of LSU: This routine is so much better in a packed stadium. She feeds off the energy of the crowd. Nice double layout. Front full to front layout. Dead on. Losing the audience’s attention in the middle part, but once the Drum line kicks in, everyone is loving them some Lloimincia. Nails her double tuck to finish.

Kaylan Earls of Georgia: Over-rotates her double tuck and has to take a big step back.

UCLA: 197.100
Georgia: 196.675
Alabama: 148.125
Florida: 148.100
Oklahoma: 147.975
LSU: 147.875


Rotation 6

Vault: LSU; Bars: Florida; Beam: Alabama; Floor: Oklahoma

Bianca Dancose-Giambattiste of Florida: Good handstands, but a little shuffle back on the landing of her double layout.

Marissa King of Florida: A little past handstand on her bail to handstand. Her Markelov was not as high as usual. Double layout to a stick.

Kaitlyn Clark of Alabama: BHS LOSO. Dead on. Front kickover. Split 3/4. Back leg was a little low on that. Back 1.5 off.

Kytra Hunter of Florida: Just a little close on her Hindorff. Kelli Hill really knew how to teach that skill, didn’t she? Shoulders could be more open in her handstands. Sticks her full-twisting double tuck.

Kayla Williams of Alabama: Huge switch-side to open. Her fluffy beam dance is really sharp and precise. Bends over on her punch front. That was giving her trouble all week. Nails her BHS LOSO. Lifts her leg on the landing of her Popa–doesn’t make it all the way around. Hop on her 1.5 dismount.

Mackenzie Caquatto of Florida: Her bail to handstand was brilliant! Nice full-twisting double tuck. I definitely could use more of Mackenzie on the bars. Seriously, that routine could win an award for shortest bar routine. If you blink, you might miss it.

Sarah DeMeo of Alabama: Lovely Flyspring. Falls on her BHS LOSO, though… Good double pike with a hop back.

We need to give an award to Oklahoma’s beam squad: Unlike the double back-ers of other teams, their double back-ers were able to do a BHS LOSO without falling off. Props to them!

Alaina Johnson of Florida: Her Ray is beautiful. Sticks her double layout and goes into a huge archy NCAA salute. I can’t imagine that salute would feel good with stress fractures in your back…

Florida’s shoots to high bar are beautiful. Most people ignore them, but the Gators are exceptional at straddling and then throwing their feet behind them to get momentum going into their kips.

Kim Jacob of Alabama: After a fall, I couldn’t think of a better competitor to go up. Her routine is hard, but she’s so reliable. Great BHS LOSO LOSO. And that Barani! Muah! Exquisite! Back 1.5 to a stick!

Haley Scaman of Oklahoma: Huge double layout. Nice Rudi to LOSO. Big bounce back on her double tuck.

Ashley Priess of Alabama: Her aerial walkover to her Korbut is continuous. Her switch leap to straddle jump is precise. You can really see that she’s extending as much as she can. Sticks her gainer full dismount. Great routine to end on for a senior.

Sorry, that these last quick hits were so spotty… I was distracted by the fact that history was being made…

Florida: 197.575
Oklahoma: 197.375
Alabama: 197.350
UCLA: 197.100
LSU: 197.050
Georgia: 196.675

…AND GATOR CHOMP! To count a fall and win–that deserves a Gator Chomp! And to make history by becoming the 5th team to win the NCAA Championship–that deserves ANOTHER Gator Chomp!

As Florida is announced as the National Championships, each gymnast’s name is announced, and Bridget Sloan gets a huge cheer! Though a freshman, she was a rock of the team. She deserves a high five or a kiss or something…

A few quotes from Florida:

“Go out there and do what you love.”–Rhonda Faehn‘s advice to her girls after beam

“This was an absolute dream come true… I can’t believe we made history.”–Marissa King

“Bars, Beam, Floor–Bring it!”–Bridget Sloan on tomorrow’s event finals

Related Links:

Quick Hits: NCAA Semifinals – Session 2
Quick Hits: NCAA Semifinals – Session 1
Quick Hits: 2013 NCAA Podium Training

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