Episode 90 Transcript

JESSICA:  I feel like it’s not a pandering butt smack.  It’s like a, Yes! That’s right.  I know all about this.  And so do you now. [laughs] She–like, how is it possible not to offend me with a butt smack in a competitive gymnastics routine?  I don’t know.  She’s transcendent.  That’s all I can say.

 

[[INTRO MUSIC]]

 

JESSICA: This week: Ljbljana World Cup, the Korean Cup, and another first time ever NCAA Championship team–Oklahoma!  Just like I told you guys!

 

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JESSICA: This is episode 90 for April 23rd, 2014, and I’m Jessica fromMaster’s Gymnastics.

 

UNCLE TIM:  I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym.

 

SPENCER: I’m Spencer from The Balance Beam Situation.

 

[trumpets blare]

 

JESSICA:  This is the best gymnastics podcast ever, bringing you all the news from around the gymternet.  Let’s start first by recapping what happened this week in the elite world and then we’ll talk about NCAA Championships.

 

UNCLE TIM: On the women’s side it was at the Ljbljana World Cup it was mostly the Eastern European countries and former Soviet republics.  For the gymternet, the big story was Anna Pavlova who won bars with a 4.5 D-Score and an 8.325 E-Score and a 12.825 total score.  Um, normally this would not be a routine that I would love because the score is so low, but her pak salto is gorgeous and in the past I have been somewhat critical of the fact that she was only doing a layout flyaway, but at Ljbljana she threw a double pike.  Jess, what did you think of Anna’s routine?

 

JESSICA: I, she could get a 1 on bars and I would still watch it because it’s guaranteed to be beautiful.  Like, you guarantee that you will have texbook gymnastics.  Like, her dismount was a little rough.  Like, she kind of ran out of it, um, but, you know, whatever.  I don’t care.  She’s had like a million knee surgeries, and–but her, you know, on the bars she’s absolutely stunning.  Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.  I love to see her back, and I love to see that her form has not degraded with age in any way.  She’s rust proof.

 

UNCLE TIM: She’s rust proof you said?

 

JESSICA: [laughs] Yes.

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Okay.  Spencer, which of the NCAA girls do you think would have beaten Anna Pav–Pavlova on bars at the Ljbljana?

 

SPENCER: I think probably anyone at Nationals, because, um, they just have–it wasn’t a, a particularly clean routine from Pavlova in the dismount, but I was really excited to see that the basis was there.  The elite level skills that she did perform in looked really strong.  There was a little bit of, sort of, like, she did a Jeager and a Pak and had a lot of, sort of, filler and then did a dismount, but…and–but she looked in shape too.  That was nice to see.  Like, she, she can get there you feel like hopefully in time for Europeans to make everyone go [gasp], Anna Pavlova’s back!  But, the basis is there.  That was nice to see.

 

UNCLE TIM: On the men’s side, as we’ve mentioned before on this show, that, um, the men can have skills named after them, and Danny Pinero-Rodriguez of France, had his, uh, second rings skill named after him.  Both skills have to do with the victorian position, and if you’re not very familiar with men’s gymnastics, um, it’s basically looks like he’s lying on his back.  His body is parallel to the ground and his entire body is at ring height.  It’s pretty much the hardest strength skill you can do on men’s rings.  Um, his old skill was basically swinging up into that position, and now he’s doing what’s called a Nazarian Roll, so he keeps his body completely straight, and kind of does a, a very controlled layout between the rings, and then lifts up into the victorian position, which is really, really hard, and I think if my boyfriend of two and a half years could actually do that there’d be a ring on his finger by now.

 

[Jessica laughs]

 

UNCLE TIM: Just saying.

 

[Jessica laughs]

 

JESSICA: What this skill reminds me of–did you ever play that game, like a sleepovers where you all like, um, someone lays on the ground and then you all go around them and put just your fingertips under them, and you’re supposed to chant, like, bloody mary or something.  And then are, like, stiff as a board, light as a feather, and you like lift them up with just your fingertips and the spirits will help you.  That’s what it reminds me of.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, that’s pretty much what it is.  Um, but a lot harder.  Um, [laughs] then, of course I have to talk about my Oleg Verniev.  He finished first on pommel horse of all events.  And then he also […]

 

JESSICA: Shut up!

UNCLE TIM: […] I know.  He also won, uh, parallel bars.  And, I have to say that I was watching this routine between NCAA routines, which made me, kind of, think of Katherine Grable of course!  My other favorite gymnast right now.

 

JESSICA: Yayy!!

 

UNCLE TIM: Because, um, Oleg on his parallel bar routine, he does a double front half out–just like Katherine Grable does on uneven bars–as he just stuck the lights out of it.

 

JESSICA: Yesss!

 

UNCLE TIM: Like a true NCAA gymnast.  It was impressive.  I was like YEAH OLEG YEAH!

 

[Jessica laughs]

 

UNCLE TIM: Um, then over in Korea there was a meet.  [chuckles] Um, a few weeks ago I saw that Jake Dalton had posted something about preparing to go to Korea, and I was like, what are you talking about?  There isn’t a big meet in Korea.  Maybe he was the victim of autocorrect.  Maybe he was the victim of an inferior geography education.

 

[Jessica laughs]

 

UNCLE TIM: I didn’t know.  But lo and behold, I was wrong!  There was a meet in Korea, and it wasn’t a World Cup event, so I’m not really sure what the story is behind this meet.  But, a lot of big gymnasts went.  Um, for instance on the women’s side Vasiliki Millousi won balance beam.

 

JESSICA: Greek Goddess.

 

UNCLE TIM: I know.  I haven’t seen a routine yet on YouTube, but I know that she competed and won.  Um, on the men’s side Louis Smith edged out Krisztián Berki.

 

JESSICA: [gasps] Shut up! [gasps]

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah.  Yeah.

 

JESSICA: Oh my god, this is so exciting!

 

UNCLE TIM: I know.  Louis finished with a 15.850 and Krisztián Berki finished with a 15.775, so Louis has gotten his payback.  His…yeah.  Karma.

 

JESSICA: That’s so awesome.  Did you see the picture that, um, John Orozco and Olivia Vivian posted?

 

UNCLE TIM: I did not.

 

JESSICA: Oh my god, it’s so adorable!  So, basically–it’s on Instagram, and as you know, everyone should be following both of them ‘cuz they’re awesome.  And, um, it’s johnorozcopix and oliviavivian–uh, not sure what her handle is, but anyway look her up.  She’s fabulous.  So, it’s a picture of them in front of the floor and John Orozco is, like, holding Olivia Vivian in his arms and she’s, like, being dipped back.  Very, uh, extravagantly draped over his arm in a Dancing with the Stars pose, and he has a rose in his mouth.  So he’s holding a rose, and like, holding her like the cover of a romance novel.  And she’s dipped back like she just fainted away because he’s so handsome.  And it’s like, “Dancing with the Stars are you ready?” or something like that, and honestly I was like, oh my god, yes! Yes! Put them on the show!  So, I just love the two of them.  They are hilarious wherever they go.  Like, Olivia Vivian did NCAA.  She’s from Australia.  She has the most beautiful bars ever.  She’s such a great performer.  Those two get performing.  They are great.  So, ah, that made me so happy.  I was like, this meet looks like it was fun!

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Nice.  Yeah, and then also on rings, Brandon Wynn of The United States took home gold.  Um, he had finished with a 15.65 and he defeated, uh, your favorite: Igor.  Igor Radivilov of Ukraine who got, uh, the bronze.  Um […]

 

JESSICA: Looking super hot, I’m sure.

 

UNCLE TIM: I’m sure.  But, it’s kinda weird ‘cuz you had, uh, Oleg of Ukraine competing in Ljbljana and then you had, uh, Igor off in Korea.  So, I’m not exactly sure how they worked that with the Ukrainian coaches and whatnot, but, um, anyway–Brandon’s score was decent, but it’s not quite as high as someone like Arthur Zanetti who this past weekend also scored a 16 in Brazil.  Um, so we’ll have to see.  Kinda keep our eyes open as we continue to–as the con–as the elite season continues to unfold.  The big story of the Korean meet was Yang Hak Seon who threw his new vault.  We talked about this a little bit last–uh, last year right before World Championships.  He was trying to get a Yang II–the Yang I is a handspring triple twist.  And now he’s working on a, um, a Koz slash uh, Tsukahara style vault.  Um, if you’re a women’s gymnastics fan just think a Tsukahara style vault.  Um, the problem with the vault though is it looks exactly like his handspring style vault.  It’s just basically he staggers his hands.  So, when you do a Koz or Tsuk style vault you really wanna see a turn of the body, and he’s really just, kind of, staggering his hands.  Doing kind of like a Tinsica onto the table and calling it a Koz vault.  So, it’s really not that much different from what he’s doing for his handspring vault.  Did you watch that video Jess?

 

JESSICA: Yes.  And that’s […]

 

UNCLE TIM: What did you think?

 

JESSICA: I–I mean, whenever I watch him vault I feel like Lauren.  Like, I can’t count the twists.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA: I’m just like, that was super aggressive!  I have no idea how many twists he did […]

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA: […] but that was badass! [laughs] And then I always wonder, like, how is Korea able to consistently turn out men and women who have this kind of vault technique and power that no other country can duplicate?  Except Maroney I feel is the only one.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I don’t know.  I mean so, Yang now has two vaults out of a 6.4.  The only man that I know of who can also say that is Ri Se Gwang of North Korea who also has two vaults out of 6.4.  Yang’s are all twisty and, Ri Se Gwang’s are all based on double flips and it always looks like his ankles hurt a little bit.  Um, also in the elite scene there was a meet between Romania, Belgium and France this p–past weekend.  On the junior side, um, it was really all about Romania.  On the senior side it was also all about Romania.  Uh, for the seniors Larisa Iordache won all four events and the all around title.  Really, nobody really came close to even touching her.  The closest to really challenging her was her teammate Andreea Munteanu.  Um, she is a first year senior and she’s quite good on beam.  Larisa did–had a 15.4 on beam and Andrea scored a 15.2.  Um, we have not seen the return of the two fulls from Larisa, which ehh, I mean, I kind of wanna see the two fulls again.  What about you Jess?

 

JESSICA: I do for sure.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, so…yeah.  Hopefully she’ll put ‘em back into her beam routine.  I know that it’s a litt–it’s hard to–on your feet to land on the beam, period.  Um, so doing two fulls probably doesn’t feel the best.  And it’s a risky ch–choice.  But, hopefully she’ll throw ‘em back in.  The other big story is Diana Bulimar.  Um, she hurt her knee right before Worlds, and she’s kind of coming back from that.  Um, and she’s showing some really good difficulty and amazing landings.  I was like, woah!  What?!  Yeah.  She was, like, sticking things.  Her first pass is a piked full in.  I think before Worlds she was either doing a double layout or a full-twisting double layout.  Um, so a little bit of a downgrade, but I mean, it’s still really impressive for having knee surgery in, I wanna say, like, September.  Um, so yeah.  What stood out to you Jessica in that routine?

 

JESSICA: Oh my god!  First of all, I loved the leo.  It was very different.  You guys have to watch the video.  I’ll put it in our playlist.  Um, tell us what you think of it.  It’s super unique, and I really liked it.  And, oh my god!  She does, like, a switch half straddle full that is so huge, so perfect.  Like, I had to watch it over and over ‘cuz I was like, am I really seeing that done that well?  It is so complete and so oversplit.  She looks amazing.  Like, I always knew, like, she was a badass, but I am super impressed with her.  Like, I think this was the strongest she’s ever looked.  I was really excited to watch her.

 

UNCLE TIM:  Yeah, I’m excited to see what’s gonna happen with her too, and as we’re looking ahead towards the future, to see how Romania, kind of develops.  Um, I mean, it–they had a little bit of a rough go at the 2013 Worlds, and so it’s gonna be interesting to see if they can pick it up.  Um, one routine from the French that everyone’s talking about lately is–her name looks like “lone his” in English, but I’m guessing in French it’s pronounced something to the effect of Luan Hee.  Um, and so, Jessica I know that you loved this routine.

 

[Jessica dramatic gasps]

 

UNCLE TIM: Tell me all about it!

 

JESSICA:  Oh my gosh.  It’s so French.  It’ just, like, dripping with butter and chocolate eclairs.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA: It’s like she’s just oozing into each dance move and it’s just, like this, like beautiful, exquisite, delicious melding of all your favorite flavors into one tasty floor routine.  I just loved it!  I could watch it over and over and over.  She performs it so well.  Ah, I love this kid.  I’m so excited about the choreography and what she’s gonna do in the future.  And, um, ahh, it’s so very French.

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Yeah, I’m, I’m liking it.  I think that there still needs to be a little bit of work, especially in terms of really connecting with the music, and maybe emoting a little bit more, but I feel like as is evidenced by NCAAs, sometimes the performance within the building is much better than the performance, um, than we see on video.  Video doesn’t always capture the performance value.  And so I’m wondering, maybe, if it’s a little bit more dynamic when you’re actually seeing it live.  We’ll have to see.  Hopefully we’ll get to see her sometime in a meet soon.  Um, one thing that I did notice though–and I’ve noticed this before going to, like, Level 10 meets and stuff, is the landings.  Especially with juniors, and like–in the United States Level 10s, um, they land their double skills really, really short.  And this is very evident for me in Asiana Peng’s routine.  She’s from–she’s a junior from Romania, and she did a full in that was…she barely got her feet down.  Her hands didn’t touch, but I mean, she could have easily face-planted that.  I don’t know how she got her feet down.  And then, also on a double back.  And it just looks like the timing of the skills is–isn’t quite right.  And it feels–it looks like she’s not quite pulling her toes over her head quick enough.  And, I don’t know.  It just worries me.  Jessica, as a former athletic trainer, what do you think as you watch these landings?

 

JESSICA: Yeah.  She, like, really, really worried me.  This is like watching people trying to do their double backs with no bounce in the floor in the 80s.  Um, I just feel like she’s–she has so many short landings, the front of her ankles are just gonna be so crunched and so destroyed.  And, I’m hoping this is nerves and that they, you know, would never put somebody on the floor who normally lands like this.  I’m hoping those were only, you know, three landings for her like this, and it’s not normally like that.  Uh, which knowing the–the program, I think is unlikely.  But, it’s really scary.  I mean, you guys know bad it hurts when you land short, and every one of her landings were like that.  Not to mention the stumbling forward out of it, and her back, ugh.  Yeah, it really worried me.  All I could think was the crunching that was going on between her bones every time she landed and her ankle, um, ligaments being pinched.

 

UNCLE TIM:  Yeah.  It..uhhgh.  It just reminds me of Ri Se Gwang’s, uh, landings on his vault, which we talked about a little bit earlier.  Um, and one thing that in the past we’ve kind of chastised cer–certain judges, well we chastised many judges in the past.  But we’ve also chastised many coaches for doing things wrong.  Especially recently at the African, um, Championships a couple weeks ago where the coach just, kind of, watched his gymnast do a double back over the bar and really injure her and just walk away.  Well, this meet between Romania, Belgium and France, um, we saw something really good, actually.  Um, Claire Martin–she is as senior for the French team.  She did a Jeager, and the timing and everything was just wrong with it.  And she basically just went straight up on the Jeager, really high, and came down on the bars, and the coach was there.  And, I was just like, [gasps] my heart was going through my chest, and it was like, oh thank god the coach was there! [chuckles]  Well, I mean, I don’t know what else to say about it.  I was just, like, ah thank goodness!  What about you Jess?  What were you thinking?

 

JESSICA: Oh my god!  That was, like, a dream moment.  Like, first of all, thank god that that coach is, like, a hundred feet tall, ‘cuz all he had to do was […]

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA: […] like, slightly lift his elbows.

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] True.

 

JESSICA: But, like, oh my god.  I loved that it–he didn’t just spot her.  He didn’t wait for her to fall.  He caught her and held onto her, walked off the mat, made sure she was okay, checked on her before he even put her down on the ground.  Like, he was like, I’m holding you still until I verify that I should–you know, you’re okay to actually put on the ground.  And even when she walked away and was like, yeah I’m fine, and was like, chalking up to get back on the bar, you could kinda see that her back was hurting her, and immediately he followed her to make–to like, follow up.  And he was talking to her like, I do not want you to get back–this is how I interpreted it–I don’t want you to get back up there if you’re hurt at all.  You know, ‘cuz she really landed hard on her back.  That is exactly what we want to see from a great coach.  And thank god he caught her because she would have rolled over potentially right onto her head if he hadn’t caught her.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah.

 

JESSICA: So, hats off to you.  You know, we, the kudos we wanna hand out just as much as we hand out our rage.  So, hats off to you sir.  I just want to give a shout to, um, two fabulous Slovenian gymnasts who won floor and vault at, um, Lubijan–Ljbljana.  Why do I wanna call is Lubijan?

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA:  That’s like sounds like…

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Louboutin.

 

JESSICA: That sounds like some condom with extra lube that they’re handing out at the Olympics Games.

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Or, like, the shoes.

 

[laughter]

 

JESSICA: Oh, maybe that’s it.  Yes, thank you!  Anyway, hats off to Teja and Saza from Slovenia for winning two events, um, at that meet.  That’s really exciting for Slovenia.  I think they have some exciting gymnasts, and I’m just happy to see them as a new country that, um, is competing.  And that, also, I wanna mention how awesome Epke is.  Emma told me this story.  Um, she has a friend who was at the meet and, uh, she–this girl–went up to Epke and just told him, you know, that, how, how much she loves watching him.  You know, that kind of stuff.  And Epke–oh my god!  He gave her his flowers from the competition and thanked her for coming to the meet and supporting gymnastics.

 

UNCLE TIM: Awww.

 

JESSICA: [squeals] That is the sweetest thing ever!  Aw, we love him even more.  His manners are just as good as his gymnastics.  Hats off to you sir.  Well done.

 

UNCLE TIM: On the elite injury front, um, our favorite Victoria Komova, she competed at Russian Nationals and looked, um, I mean, she had that huge back handspring arabian, but she also just didn’t look like she had a lot of fire inside her at the Russian Nationals.  She looked a little despondent.  Um, and it’s revealed that she recently had another ankle injury.  Um, and so it’s just kind of like, when is this girl going to get a break?!  Um, at the same time, uh, Queen Elizabeth over at re–Rewriting Russian Gymnastics–man that’s hard for somebody who had trouble saying his “r”s as a child.

 

[laughter]

 

UNCLE TIM: Um, she, she was kind of questioning, um, whether Komova’s heart is really in it anymore and does Komova really need gymnastics?  And, her idea is that, you know, you have somebody like Aliya Mustafina, who’s basically very dedicated, and doesn’t matter what color medal she gets.  She celebrates that and she uses it to push her harder.  Um, Komova is kind of…if she doesn’t win gold it’s like the world has ended for her.

 

JESSICA: Mmm.

 

UNCLE TIM: And, yeah.  And so she’s kind of wondering about what that means for her and for her gymnastics career.  Is this really something that she should continue doing?  Um, she thinks that gymnastics needs Victoria, but does Victoria need gymnastics, is basically the idea.  So, we’ll link to that blog post on our website.  And, what’s going on with Carlotta Ferlito?  The gymternet’s favorite person, Jessica?

 

JESSICA: Ooo, this is interesting.  So, basically she’s off the Euros team because she couldn’t go to the camp.  Basically, um, she, you know, went to the gymternet to address the rumors that she was not invited because she’s acting too much like a diva, and she said that, you know, I want to clear this up.  It’s not because I was kicked off the team.  It is because I was told by doctors, um, two weeks ago that I am not allowed to even train right now.  I’m not even allowed in the gym.  She didn’t give a reason.  She said, I’m sick and I cannot go into the gym.  So, if I were guessing I would say it sounds like mono.  When you’re not allowed to do any exercise, that always screams mono to me.  And she has, I mean–she and Ferlito have been competing nonstop, nonstop, nonstop.  So, that wouldn’t really surprise me.  Um, but, she didn’t give a real reason, but sufficed to say, um, she pointed out that this is the first time in, like, seven years that she hasn’t been able to fulfill an assignment.  So, we hope that she recovers soon and heals well.  And we always appreciate when a gymnast takes to the gymternet to clear up the rumors, so thank you for doing that.

 

—————-

 

[beep beep]

 

JESSICA: If you love the show and you love the coverage we have been bringing you, please consider supporting us.  Um, there are a couple ways to do it.  The easiest way: when you shop on Amazon, just go through ourAmazon store on the website and you can shop normally.  It doesn’t have to be for stuff in our store.  It can be buying anything on Amazon.  You can even bookmark us once you get there, so you can always use that link to shop, and a little portion of what you spend goes back to the show.  You can also donate if you want to.  You guys asked for a way to donate to the show, so thank you so much to everyone who has donated to the show.  It’s absolutely amazing.  Thank you.  All the money that we get from you guys goes directly into supporting the show.  Paying our bills and improving our sound equipment.  And, um, I also wanna thank you guys, um, to everybody who came out this weekend to the meetup.  We had so much fun.  It was so good meeting you guys!  I hope you guys loved the little goodies that you got from us.  Um, I’ll put a picture of what I gave out to everyone, um, onInstagram so you guys can see.  The other way to support us is to write a review of the show on Stitchers or iTunes.  Basically, um, Stitcher or iTunes–I said Stitchers–basically what happens when you guys write a review is it just helps people find us.  It helps increase our ranking, and so if someone’s looking for gymnastics radio, gymnastics podcasts, the more reviews, um, the higher that goes.  And of course, it totally fuels our passion and fire to do this when we read your reviews, so we appreciate it so much.  Um, you can follow us on Instagram and Twitter.  Instagram is basically a freakin’ awesome, like, up to the second video updates that I put up.  If you guys are following during NCAAs, I’m basically extremely impressed with myself at how fast I got those videos up.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA: And Twitter is like a 24 hour non-stop CNN for gymnastics news.  Uncle Tim’s freaking amazing with Twitter and managing that.  I don’t know how he gets anything done, like, in his regular life and updates Twitter so often.  Like, he’s pretty much–that’s like his superhero skill.  Besides, um, pausing gymnastics videos at awkward moments.

 

[laughter]

 

JESSICA: So, thank you all who are supporting this show.  Um, and if you haven’t done one of things, consider doing some–one of those little things while we take our little break over the next two weeks.

 

[Segment change noise]

 

JESSICA: We have a very special guest on the show today who, one who’s, uh, website you may have followed and who’s excellent essays you may have read during the season.  So, Uncle Tim can you please, um, let us know a little bit more about our special guest today.

 

UNCLE TIM: Well, I don’t know that much about him, so I’m gonna have to do a little interview here with him.  And, I have five really tough questions for you Spencer.

 

SPENCER: Okay.

 

UNCLE TIM: Are you ready?

 

SPENCER: I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] The first really hard question is: why did you start your blog?

 

SPENCER: Um, I was bored, mostly.  I felt like I had followed gymnastics for a long time, and just sort of reading things on the internet, and learning what other people had to say, and then I decided I had opinions of my own, especially about NCAA gymnastics, and there wasn’t really that much on the internet–or that many people talking about NCAA gymnastics.  So, I wanted to be the person to do that.

 

UNCLE TIM: And, what really attracted you to NCAA gymnastics?

 

SPENCER: I, I should preface this by saying when I first started following gymnastics I was one of those people who only cared about elite and I thought, NCAA gymnastics?  That’s boring!  Um, and then I actually watched it and I realized that wasn’t the case.  And, it is a completely different sport than elite gymnastics in many ways.  It has so much more folks on the team, which is kind of a cliche, ‘cuz they all say, ah it’s all about the team!  But, I like the fact that there is a team component and that it matters what one person does on their routine that affects what someone else does and their success.  That’s interesting to me.  There’s also much more focus on cleanliness in gymnastics.  Not about difficulty.  It’s sort of about the very small things, and that’s more interesting to me than difficulty or the big skills.  The really small things and being as precise as possible..

 

UNCLE TIM: So, you’re a perfectionist. [laughs]

 

SPENCER: Yes.  Oh, obviously!  I mean, I feel like every gymnastics fan is a perfectionist, kind of.

 

UNCLE TIM: Probably.  Pretty accurate.  And if you were a college gymnast, which team would you be on and why?

 

SPENCER: Oh, okay.  Woah!  That is really hard.  Um, I think so much of it has to do with the coach.  I think that’s–if I were an NCAA gymnast, that’s how I’d make my decision.  So, I think I’d probably choose Florida just because, I, I think it’s really clear to me whenever you see Rhonda Faen interviewed why so many top gymnasts want to go there.  Um, I think she has a great mix of being realistic, but, um, positive and also doesn’t think that she’s curing cancer while also coaching gymnastics.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

SPENCER: Which is a problem sometimes in NCAA coaching.  Um, so that’s maybe my choice right now, but ask me in a week and it’ll probably be different.

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Alright.

 

SPENCER: But now that Oklahoma also won and [inaudible] was hard…

 

UNCLE TIM: Are you on your highest toe Spencer?  Do you remember that quote?

 

SPENCER: I’m on my–I’m on my [inaudible] highest toe.  I need top level coaching to get there.

 

UNCLE TIM: [chuckles] Alright.  And, who is your favorite college gymnast of all time?

 

SPENCER: Ooh, hmm…I would have to divide it between the era before I started watching, but I’ve seen it on video.  Like, maybe Stella Umay.

 

UNCLE TIM: Oof.  Good one.

 

SPENCER: Or, like, Kupets is kind of a cliche, but she’s another one.  Um, recently Kat Ding is one of my favorites.  Ooh this is hard.

 

JESSICA: She’s so gorgeous.

 

SPENCER: They’re my nominees.  I’m setting myself on those nominees.

 

UNCLE TIM: Okay, final question.

 

SPENCER: Okay.

 

UNCLE TIM: Which will bring us into Birmingham, Alabama.  On a scale of 1-10, how much do you love Kat Grable?  1 being you love her as much as a root canal and 10 being as much as I do.

 

SPENCER: Um, 9.975.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

SPENCER: For her vault in vault finals.

 

UNCLE TIM: Perfect.

 

SPENCER: Not quite as much as you, but almost as much.

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Nice.  Alright, so Spencer, you and I were not at the competition.  At least I don’t think you were.

 

SPENCER: No.  No I was not.

 

UNCLE TIM: So, Jessica you have to tell us all about the behind the scenes stuff that was going on.  I’m expecting a Spanny Tampson style report.  Go for it.

 

JESSICA: [laughs]  Okay well, first of all you–I just, this meet is so fun you guys.  And, for anybody that doesn’t know why we love NCAA so much, um, I will just tell you that if you say lovely gymnastics and you idolized a World Champion and the US elites, maybe a, you know US bar champion or a US World team medalist or World Champion, you will run into them, like, a hundred times during this meet.  Um, it’s, it’s just–you get to talk to whoever you wanna talk to ‘cuz everybody’s around all the time.  And they love–this is like the one time they get to talk to their fans.  ‘Cuz, you know, the US is, is sequestered the entire time they compete, so they don’t get to talk to their fans.  They don’t get to see their families.  This is the time they get to be showered with praise the whole weekend.  Um, you know, there are a lot of [laughs], there’s a lot of moments where people were just going up to people, bursting into tears, hugging them and telling them why they loved them since they were a little kid.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA: Um, there are also the drunken moments in the bar where, where you would see someone, um, you know, like a little gymnast standing there with her boyfriend and some drunken gymnastics fan is pouring their heart out, and the two of them looking at the person like, are you serious?  Are you joking right now?  Because I’ve never heard this much passion about anything in my life.

 

[laughter]

 

JESSICA: It was so awesome!  Um, and then, oh my god you guys!  When Llomincia goes anywhere, like, either one of two things happen.  People either start imitating her routine instantly.  Like, she walked into the bar while, like, Florida was having like, a birthday party for Marissa King–another Olympian who you just run into, like, a hundred times.  And um, she–Llomincia comes in and, like, Bridget Sloan, uh, is just, like, instantly imitating her floor routine.  Like, half the bar is doing their imitation of her routine.  She walks into the lobby, a Georgia parent is like, Llomincia!  I’m working on your choreography for next year!  I have all summer to get ready for you.  She has the best attitude about it.  Like, she loves it.  It’s just–it’s so fun.  It’s a gymnastics fan’s paradise.  So, I just–oh my god you guys.  I had such a good time.  I had–it was such a good time.  You guys should totally go.  And uh, I got to stay on the floor where, um, Alabama was, so I inhaled enough hairspray to, um, probably, um, burn a whole new, um, hole in the ozone level.  It was fantastic.  I had the best time.  I’m also covered with bruises by the way.  I don’t know how I’m covered–I have, like, literally, like scratches and br–I have a scratch on my neck.  I have, like, cuts and bruises all over my arms and fingers, and I don’t know how did that happen, except, um, apparently I like, flail around a lot in my seat while I’m watching.  Um, when Lindsay Mable fell of beam I, like, literally almost, like, collapsed.  I was–that–like, a little part of my heart is broken off forever.  Um, so I guess it’s me…I think.  Or else, like, all the imitation and stuff that goes on when we’re in the bars afterwards.  And I don’t even drink.  Like, I’m not an alcohol person.  I don’t like it.  It tastes yucky.  So, I don’t know what happened to me, but they’re a little bit violent–the Championships.  Just, you know, so just be aware of that.  Just an FYI.

 

[Uncle Tim chuckles]

 

UNCLE TIM: Wow.  Okay.  I can’t say that that happened to me last year.  I did not come out with any bruises or scrapes.  But, I guess I didn’t have the full experience.  I’ll have to go again.

 

[Jessica laughs]

 

UNCLE TIM: Spencer, have you ever gone?

 

SPENCER: No.  I’ve never  been to the National, National championships before.  I need to.

 

UNCLE TIM: [sighs] Well..

 

SPENCER: I know.  I’m a disappointment.  I know.

 

[laughter]

 

UNCLE TIM: It’s okay.  Last year was my first time too.  So…

 

JESSICA: Wait.  I have two more things.  I forgot.

 

UNCLE TIM: Oh, woah.  Okay.

 

JESSICA: One, this is so important.  First of all, the leos you guys–everyone who wrote in and talked about how the leos are meant to look good under the arena lights are totally right.  I–the leos look so beautiful in person.  Just, and like, I’m not a sparkle person, but I was like, [sighs] something special’s happening over there!  There’s a glow…like, you just are attracted to the sparkle like a crow.  You know, you just like, you have to–or a raven…whichever one’s a cra–you know, they like sparkly things.  Um, I just could not look away.  They were so pretty.  And um, and also, like people’s choreography just looks like–the leotards and the choreography in person, it makes such a huge difference.  So,that’s another reason everyone should try to go in person to one of these meets.  And also, Luan Peszek, who is, as you know, Sam Peszek: um, UCLA team member and a NCAA beam national champion a couple years ago, and Olympic medalist from 2008, and her mom’s the, uh, US Gymnastics team coordinator–she’s like my meet idol.  I don’t know she does it, but she’s at all of these meets, and she always looks like she just did a workout, had a salad and then shows up at the events.  Like she’s always, like, fresh.  She looks perfect.  She’s like ready to–she’s like totally chill.  Chattin’ with everybody.  And I am like, can barely drag my ass out of bed.  Like, it is everything I can do to get up.  ‘Cuz I’m staying up ‘til, like, three in the morning, and [laughs] like, Luan’s always out too!  Like, she’s out there chattin’ up with all of her friends.  She knows everybody, but she always looks like she just, like, popped out of a magazine and I’m always like, you know, just like, tumbling onto the floor, dragging myself back to my seat the next day.  So, I don’t know what she does, but she must have a secret, and I’m gonna get to the bottom of it.  It’s probably just living like a really disciplined, healthy life, whereas I have to have my box of candy.  It’s good luck.  It’s good luck candy during the meet to eat.  So, I don’t think she does that, butyou know.  She’s amazing.  That’s all I’m saying.

 

UNCLE TIM: Nice.

 

SPENCER: Maybe she’s been taking advice from Sam and doing the hot yoga that UCLA can’t stop talking about that Sam Peszek started this season.

 

JESSICA: That could be.  I’ll ask.

 

[Spencer laughs]

 

SPENCER: Yeah.  You should be sure because that is the most important thing in anyone’s life right now.

 

JESSICA: Clearly.

 

SPENCER: How does Luan Peszek do it?

 

UNCLE TIM: Nice.  So, let’s get into the meet and let’s start at the very beginning with prelims.  And, there are two sessions of prelims ofsix teams in each, uh, prelim.  Um, only the top three teams from each session qualify to the Super Six Finals.  Um, in terms of the individual awards the prelims determine two things.  First, they determine who will qualify for the event finals.  Uh, Spencer, correct me if I’m wrong, but the top four gymnasts, including ties, from each session make up the field for event finals.  Is that correct?

 

SPENCER: Yes.  That is right.  They don’t break the tie, so sometimes you end up 100,000 vaulters in one [inaudible].

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, it was pretty good.  Beam was the big one this, uh, this year.  Um, and then in terms of ind–the individuals, uh, the prelims also determine the All Around winner.  Unlike Super Six qualifiers and the event qualifiers, the All Around champ is not determined on a session-by-session basis.  The All Around title goes to the gymnast with the highest all around score at the end of the day, so it doesn’t matter if the gymternet says that the judging was easier during session two.  Doesn’t matter.  The high score wins.  No questions asked.  So, with that let’s start with Session 1.  In Session 1 we had Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, Stanford, Michigan and Illinois.  Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU qualified for Finals in that order.  So, what were some of the key storylines for you guys from that particular session?  Let’s start with you, Spencer.  Our guest of honor.

 

SPENCER: Aw, well thank you.  Um, I think the main thing from that session is that it was, sort of, disappointingly not as close as I thought it was gonna be.  Um, we had the third, fourth and fifth seeds in it, which were Georgia, Michigan and Stanford, and I thought they were gonna fighting it out.  Right ‘til the end.  Neck-in-neck.  Event by event.  And, it didn’t really turn out that way.  Um, pretty early on it was clear that unless Oklahoma, LSU or Georgia had a major mistake, that they were going to advance.  Um, but we still saw some great gymnastics from those teams.  It’s just, Michigan had a beam meltdown, and Stanford kind of started slowly on floor and vault, and they couldn’t really recover from that.

 

UNCLE TIM: Jessica, were you at that session?

 

JESSICA: Yeah.  [sighs] I, um, there’s a couple things that happened in that session.  One, um, I–first I just have to say that honestly, like LSU’s vaults are so freaking high.  They are so much more impressive in person than I ever–I mean, I, I, I was picking them as one of my teams, you know, to win, and they’re even more impress–impressive in person.  Their vaults are so freaking high.  I mean, they’re like men’s gymnastics high.  And, Rheagan lands, like, exactly one foot away from the end of the mat.  And, you know, the mat is like 15 feet long, so that’s tells you how–what incredible power she has.  And I was also struck by just that tone is just so–they are so incredibly fit.  They just look like ballerinas with booties.  They have the extension.  And they are super fit.  And they are bouncy.  They just I’m so, I’m even–in person I was even more impressed with them than I, than I already was.  And, um, I take back every negative thing I ever said about Oklahoma’s choreography…except the knock on the door, spread your legs thing.  That I still am not okay with, from a couple years back.  But, they’ve, they’ve gone less weird and more magical this year.  I just–their, like Spanny said when she was on the show, their choreography in person is just…they do everything right.  They repeat the phrases.  There’s a clear and consistent theme.  They have incredibly, um, diverse musical choices.  They’re not just pandering to the crowd.  They emote.  They perform.  It’s everything gymnastics is supposed to be with absolutely beautiful extension and form.  It’s, I can’t say enough good things about them.  They were even more impressive, and they just rose to the occasion.  Like, that team can handle pressure like nobody’s business.  I did think that Stanford was a little bit underscored.  Um, they, I mean [sigh], their bar–you know we’ve talked about how amazing their bars are.  Um, Sam Shapiro: you know, she’s a former US National Champion on bars, um, for the US team.  She’s from All Olympia.  That’s the same club as McKayla Maroney.  She, um, sprained her ankle really bad last Monday.  I mean, like, I saw a picture of it.  It was enormous.  Like, gigantic.  And they x-rayed it.  It was not broken, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have, like ten fractures in there or something, because for her–I mean, it was huge.  So, she came through and did bars for her team.  Stuck her dismount cold.  Made bar finals.  She is just incredible.  I can’t say enough good things about Sam.  And, I mean, Stanford it was so sad that, um, Taylor Rice fell because she’s such an incredible performer.  Love to watch her on bars.  She went out of bounds, I think, on floor.  I just was, I was crushed for her, because she just has so much potential.  She’s gonna be great, but I think Stanford should be really proud of how they did, because I think they were underscored and I think they really rose to the occasion.  I mean, two little mistakes like that’s really not that bad in the, in the big picture.  Um, and, uh, it was clear to me from that point that Oklahoma were the team to beat.  I was like, they’re gonna win.  They’re gonna win.  I don’t care what anybody else says.  People asked me, like, well do you think they can do better?  And I was like, they don’t need to.  They were perfect, and they’re gonna be perfect again tomorrow.  And of course I was right.  La-la-la-la!  Okay.  Ready for next question.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

UNCLE TIM: So Jessica, just out of curiosity for people going to these meets, how do you determine what you’re gonna watch?  Because, right, for Spencer and for us it’s really easy, right, because we don’t really have any options.  We just watch whatever Troy Garcia and the NCAA wanted us to watch.  Um, what about you Jess?  How did you decide where you’re gonna watch?

 

JESSICA: You know what? I chose the teams that I thought had the best chance of making it, or the individuals who I really wanted to see.  So, that’s kind of how I chose.  Like, there was an individual, Marie Case, who was rotating with UCLA on beam, and she was just–she qualified as a beam specialist, which is so freaking hard you guys!  It means you have to win over everyone that has a team at your Regional.  You have to be #1.  So imagine on beam how hard that is.  This girl was–she’s from Kent State.  Like, Kent State has a gymnastics team?  Who knew?  Well everybody freakin’ knows now because she showed them what was up.  So, she has to compete by herself.  No team.  After UCLA does their whole rotation.

 

SPENCER: [inaudible] But I think, didn’t Marie Case qualify as an All Arounder?  Didn’t she do all the events?

 

JESSICA: Was she?  Crap.  I felt like was a, just a beam specialist.  Am I wrong?

 

SPENCER: I have it written down, but I would need to look at the scores, that she made it out of that Regional as an All Arounder

 

JESSICA: Maybe she did. [pages turn] Okay, wait.  I might be wrong about that.  Either way.

 

SPENCER: Yeah, ‘cuz she rotated with UCLA and did all the events, and then they had that girl from Boise State with them who did floor.

 

JESSICA: Oh, that’s right.

 

SPENCER: Remember?

 

JESSICA: And I had them confused.  I was thinking Boise State was– okay yes.  You’re right.  Thank you.  See, this is why Spencer’s so fantastic and everyone should go to his freakin’ site.

 

[Spencer chuckles]

 

JESSICA: Because, he has all the facts, whereas you know how I get confused.  But, okay, Marie Case: the All Arounder who qualified, which is also difficult, from Regionals.  Her beam routine was the best beam routine of the whole UCLA rotation on beam.  She should’ve gotten the highest score.  She went last.  She didn’t get the highest score.  She was totally ripped off.  She does, like, every freaking switch leap with a turn you can possibly do on beam.  She does a three-series for her acro series.  She was incredible.  I loved watching her, but then she got totally screwed with the scores.  And let me just preface this by saying, I of course was sitting in the front row by vault and floor, so I feel like all of my comments about those two events are completely justified, and I don’t care what the judges say.  But, bars and beam were very far away, so I was not at the judges table.  So, let me just say, of course, I did not see exactly what they saw.  But, from my angle she was amazing.  And we put video up in our, um, in our weekly playlist for you guys to check out, because that girl…mm.  Something else.

 

UNCLE TIM: Nice.  Then moving on to Session 2 we had Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Utah, UCLA and Penn State.  Alabama and Florida tied for the top spot.  Then Nebraska was third, edging out Utah by 75 thousandths of a point, which was kind of a big deal because last year Nebraska didn’t, uh, even may the, uh, NCAA Championships, uh, after a really disappointing Regional.  So, for them to make the Super Six was pretty awesome, um, but I’m not the one who’s going to tell you guys what the key story lines were.  Let’s start with you Jess.  For you, what were the story lines that really stood out, because your UCLA was there.

 

JESSICA: I think the biggest story was Alabama just showing up and killing it.  I mean, if you go to Alabama apparently you ca–you love pressure and you love competing because, even though I, I mean, I felt like the scoring was pretty fair.  I feel like the scoring was tighter than regular season, which I appreciated.  And I felt like it was pretty fair across the board.  There are some little things, but in general I don’t feel like there was any huge, huge, huge, major, major, major upsets.  There were some firsts and seconds, but, you know, in general I felt like the team placement was correct in the end, which is the purpose of the judges–to rank.  Um, but I think Alabama was just on fire.  They were amazing.  All I could think about was your words that you can never count Alabama out.

 

UNCLE TIM: Nope. [laughs]

 

JESSICA: Especially [chuckles], especially in Alabama even though they weren’t at the–you know, it’s supposed to be a neutral site, so we weren’t actually in Tuscaloosa where the school is.  We were in Birmingham.  But you know, nonetheless, it’s only like an hour and a half away.  The, the crowd was filled with Alabama fans, and it was just–it was electric in there when Alabama was going.  They were incredible.

 

UNCLE TIM: And what about your UCLA?

 

JESSICA: Well, here’s the thing: I mean, you can’t expect, like, a miracle to happen when you all season you’ve been at a certain level.  You hope to have your best score and do your best, but you can’t expect to, like, all of a sudden, like, whip out a 198 at the end of the season.  So, I feel like not doing well on beam, wasn’t really surprised because that was an issue for them this season.  It was really surprised that it was two of their best–that Sam had a little wobble on beam and that Nush shh–I don’t know if she really shuffled her feet, but she took a little too long into her dismount.  I didn’t see that she shuffled her feet from where I was, but their two best beam people had a little problem, um, on beam.  But, I mean, and they had a good score.  They did well.  They got, like, a 197.2 I think.  Um, so, but, you know, it wasn’t enough.  And, but they still did well for how they’ve done this season, so I was–well, I was most surprised about was the not having a lot of people in finals, but, um, you know, then they had, like, Jenni Pinches and Ellette Craddock: Level 10 who walked on from, you know, San Francisco, who was basically the MVP of the meet.  She had the, the beam routine of her life.  Absolutely gorgeous in the UCLA lineup.  So, it was sad, but I don’t feel like it was really that unexpected.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I kind of agree.  Thinking about comparing last year and this year, Alabama, at least on video, it reminded me a lot of UCLA last year, where UCLA when they were in Pauley Pavilion they were just hitting everything, and it was kind of the meet of their life.  And then during the Super Six they kind of didn’t have that spectacular of a meet, and when I saw Alabama just killing it in the prelims I also started to wonder, oh, what’s gonna happen in finals.  And we’ll get to finals in a second, but what about you Spencer?  What were, kind of, the big stories of the second session?

 

SPENCER: Well, I loved that the second session came down right to the end.  Three teams basically tied.  Utah, UCLA and Nebraska were all within a tenth of each other with one event to go.  And it was-Utah I thought was the favorite at that point.  They were gonna win because they–Utah still had to compete on vault.  UCLA still had to compete on bars, and Nebraska still had to compete on beam.  Utah has been getting 49.5s all season on vault, and they have Kyla Delaney and Tori Wilson and Georgia Dabritz ending that lineup.  And I was like, oh, they’re all gonna stick for 9.95s and then Utah is gonna advance.  And I though Nebraska had the hardest job because I think it’s hardest to score on beam–or harder than it is on vault and bars, especially at the end of a meet.  And they stuck their landings, and that was the big difference.  Utah stuck one of six vaults.  Only Georgia Dabritz at the end I think.  And of the routines we saw, I only saw Sam Peszek stick her bars landing for UCLA.  There was a lot of hopping there, so that was a really unexpected development, especially given the events they still had to compete on.  And, really exciting, because as you mentioned before, Nebraska didn’t make it last year, and I think they were kind of the underdog coming in here.  So, to see them just stick all those beam dismounts and not wobble at all on those routines was exciting.  But, I actually wanted to ask Jess if you were watching enough of the Nebraska beam, did you agree with the really high score that they got?  They got a 49.45, which was the highest beam score in that semifinal.

 

JESSICA: They did.  They absolutely killed it.  Like, they showed up and completely rose to the moment, and I think they definitely did.  And I also think, like, going back to Session 1 I think LSU got correct scores on beam too because they’re pretty sloppy on beam, which I had not really noticed.  I don’t know why in, in person I could really see.  Like, they all have–except for Rheagan Courville ‘cuz she’s perfect–they all have–and Jessie Jordan–they have, um–and Nat too.  Okay those three are perfect.  But, they all have bent legs and, um flexed feet on their series.  I was like, eew.  Like, we don’t do that in NCAA.  That’s not allowed.  This isn’t elite.  This isn’t the Olympic finals.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA: They don’t allow that.  Um, it was, uh, I was like, yeesh!  The–that–so I thought that their scores–you knw, they didn’t get great scores on beam, and I thought that was correct, whereas, um, Nebraska was just bringin’ it.  They just, they killed it.  I mean, the Nebraska beam final.  I mean, fin–event final’s like all Nebraska.  I mean, yeah.  I thought they did a great job.  So…

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, and I asked, um, Heather Brink, who’s their beam coach, about it on Twitter.  And I was kind of joking, and I said that she was my beam coach of the year, and then I asked her if it was because she used to wear the white, poofy scrunchie like Shannon Miller did, and if was because of her training with Peggy Liddick and Steve Nunno at [chuckles] at, uh, Dynamo in Oklahoma.  And she said, no it wasn’t.  It’s because of how awesome her team was, which is a very NCAA answer.  But then she said the poof comes in second, or something like that, so yeah.

 

[laughter]

 

UNCLE TIM: Maybe she learned a little thing or two about coaching beam from Peggy Liddick.  Uh, Spencer what was your second big storyline for you from the semifinal?

 

SPENCER: Um, I think it was how Florida looked.  Because I didn’t think that Florida had a great showing in the semifinal.  There were some errors here and there.  They looked good.  I mean, they got a huge score ‘cuz it’s Florida, but um…

 

JESSICA: But Bridget fell again.

 

SPENCER: Bridget fell again.  Oh, I know.  And that routine–I don’t want to skip ahead to Super Six, but that routine was probably my favorite moment from Super Six.  All of the reactions, especially Kathy Johnson talking about it.  But, we can talk about that later.  Um, but Florida…I thought there was so much room for improvement on what Florida did in the semifinal.  And the fact that they tied Alabama, who had a pretty strong performance like you talked about.  The fact that they got tied for the best score in semifinals, I though, oh.  If they even remotely hit one of their best meets of the year they’re gonna be right in it.

 

UNCLE TIM: The big moment for me: the All Around competition, um, during prelims.  Uh, Kim Jacob of Illinois–of Illinois?–of Alabama won.  And then Katherine Grable of, uh, gymternet fame–she’s the big heartthrob of the gymternet–came in second, and she tied with Alaina Johnson of Florida.  Um, what did you guys think?  Should Kim Jacobs have won the All Around or was there some home scoring?  What are your thoughts?  Spencer.

 

SPENCER: Um, I don’t–yeah, I think there was both some home scoring and she probably should have won.  She hit amazing routines of the ones we saw during the broadcast, ‘cuz I was watching on the ESPN–or the, um, NCAA feed and didn’t see her vault.  But of the other routines she nailed everything.  So, I think everyone else basically had–everyone had some sort of error.  No one had four perfect events, which is why we saw the scores go lower than I thought they were gonna be to win the All Around.  I thought it was gonna take a 39.7.  We’ve seen Bridget Sloan and Rheagan Courville all year long get 39.7, but I thought it was gonna take that to win.  Um, but because Bridget Sloan had a fall; everyone had sort of, some mistake.  Even Katherine Grable had, I think a wobble on beam.  So…

 

UNCLE TIM: Mmhmm.

 

SPENCER: I don’t think anyone has a better argument than, than Kim Jacob that they should have won because no one had–none of our top all arounders had a perfect meet.  But of course I wanted Katherine Grable to win ‘cuz she’s Katherine Grable.

 

JESSICA: Of course.  I, I didn’t notice it–honestly you guys, in person I have a really hard time telling Kim Jacob and, um, Sarah DeMeo apart.  Um, which is just from a distance, so, um…

 

UNCLE TIM: Racist.

 

JESSICA: I know.  Right?

 

[laughter]

 

JESSICA: God, they both have, like, brown hair.  I cannot tell them apart.  So um, I, they just both have that little GAGE body even though Kim Jacob’s not from GAGE.  I don’t know where she’s from.  So, [sighs] I didn’t–I don’t know for sure that I’ve watched all of Kim Jacob’s routines. [laughs]  But I do remember her being, you know, pretty much on fire.  Uh, Katherine Grable had that one tiny, tiny, tiny mistake, but I feel like Katherine Grable does a way harder vault, and that she should have gotten the I’m Alone Here Without a Team Bonus and won.  But I’m also of course totally biased for her because if you’re competing by yourself and you’re doing a skill that’s so hard on floor that the only other person who’s done it in known memory would be Uchimura, who’s done it piked, then you should basically be given the I Am Doing The Hardest Crap Here Bonus.  Um, but there’s no difficulty bonus.  But, all the judges should take that into consideration.  So, on that, in that regard, because of the difficulty level in her routines is so much higher, I think she should have won.  But, Kim Jacob is incredible, and I don’t want to take anything away from her because she’s, she’s a total badass, and any team would be lucky to have her, and she’s amazing.  So, the one thing that I think is outrageous is that Alaina Johnson was, uh, tied for second?  What?  Alaina–totally overscored.  And don’t get me wrong.  Alaina Johnson’s gymnastics is beautiful.  It’s amazing.  I could just watch her all day.  But she has major deductions on some of her skills that she never, ever gets deducted for, and I totally don’t understand it.  You know, I took a video of her dismount because–and I paused it so you guys could see the, where she’s not getting deducted.  On her double layout she straddles her legs at least, like 45 degrees.  Are they deducting for that?  Apparently not.  She cowboys her tumbling on floor so extreme that it’s like, like 1990s double fronts for men on vault.  I mean, it’s, there’s such clear, obvious, major deductions.  She does not get them taken in NCAA, and I don’t understand why um, when Katherine Grable does even harder skills, and does them with perfect form.  So, mm.  That’s my take on that situation.  Uncle Tim, what’d you think?

 

UNCLE TIM: I mean [sigh], it’s hard because I’ve–yeah.  I mean, it’s hard because does my personal attachment to Wisconsin and to the fact that Katherine comes from Oshkosh, and my friend used to coach her, and…anyway.  So, it’s a lot more difficult for me to be, like, really separate myself from the situation and be very logical.  But, as Spencer said, yes.  She did have a mistake on beam, and I’m sure she was probably harder on herself than any of us.  I’m sure she was kicking herself afterwards.  She just seems like, kind of, the spitfire type who, you know, does not want to make any mistakes and wants to win everything.  So, she was probably hard on herself for that, but, I mean, I kind of wanted her to win, and, but I think Kim Jacob was…probably did have a really great meet.  And, when I was making the gym nerd poll, Kim Jacob didn’t really fit into the criteria that I had set up, but I thought, you know, whatever.  She has a chance, and it’s gonna be Alabama in Alabama, and I was like, I have to put her on the list.  Nobody voted for her.

 

JESSICA: [laughs]  I know.

 

UNCLE TIM: Um, [laughs] and then she won.  So, shows what we know gym nerds.  Shows what we know.  And, I mean, a broader question: do you guys feel like there was home scoring in Alabama, and do you feel like there is a way to actually have this meet on neutral territory?

 

SPENCER: Um, I thought there was some scoring in Alabama’s favor in places.  I didn’t think it was consistent or anything overwhelming.  I–the place I noticed it the most was the first rotation of Super Six on floor.  When they got a 49.675 I was like, woah!  What’s happening?  But, um, I didn’t think it was, like, systematic or anything across a lot of events.  And, I don’t really think–if you have a dominant fan base in the crowd, I don’t really think there’s that much of a way to avoid it.  It’s not like the judges are trying to sit there and be, like, let’s give Alabama the highest scores.

 

[Uncle Tim chuckles]

 

SPENCER: Um, there, but it’s human nature to be, sort of, convinced by all the cheering and the screaming and everything.  It just sort of, subconsciously raises the situation.  So, if you’re anywhere close to one of the major schools, if you’re hosting it, that’s always gonna be a factor.  Um, I don’t think it influenced anything about the final results though.

 

JESSICA: Yeah, I think, um–it’s interesting because I thought really overall the judging was very fair, and it was very tight.  And, um, um, the scoring, the way that the scoring works by dropping the high and low really worked because there was a judge on floor, who honestly, like, her scores did not count the whole entire session because she was consistently lower or higher for all the teams.  So, you know.  It, it worked.  And keeping her as the outlier out of the scoring.  Um, and yes.  I was particularly looking at her the whole time.  My friend was like, she’s on my list!

 

[Uncle Tim chuckles]

 

JESSICA: I’m taking her picture! [laughs] It was so funny.  Um, but in general I thought it was really good.  And you know, really, um, a neutral location is something that they’re doing I guess.  I mean, this is the point of having these places at neutral location.  They had one in Cleveland and now here, and then the next two years is in, uh, uh, Houston?  Houston?  I’m gonna look..

 

SPENCER: Dallas.

 

JESSICA: Uh, Dallas.  Dallas.  Mmm, oh my god, I’m just gonna make all of the–it’s in Texas.  Texas.  So, um, they [sighs], the, the thing it comes down to is really what Spencer said about who has the loudest crowd, and I think that’s why it’s so important for all these coaches are constant–are constantly being like, come to the meets.  Come to the meets.  Come to the meets.  Because it really does make a difference, and it comes down to whose fan base has the money and the time off from work to travel.  And that’s what it comes down to.  If the judges are influenced by the crowd–and I can tell you that I do not think that the judges were influenced because I was screaming my head off at the vault judges and, um, they refused to look at me or acknowledge my screams.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA: And, they were very, extremely professional.  They didn’t even make faces when I boo’d my head off, and as you can hear, somewhat lost my voice yelling at them.  So, you know.  I thought they did–I mean I, I think the neutral location thing is, is good, and–but I just hate to see meets with no fan base there like Cleveland.  You know?  So, mm.

 

UNCLE TIM: Spencer, as you know, scoring and sexy data gets me all hot and bothered.  And, I know that you have some really sexy data, so please just lay it on me.  Let me know about your sexy data.  Go ahead.

 

SPENCER: I, I have so much sexy data.  So, I was also really interested in how the scoring was gonna play out.  Um, especially compared to the regular season and what we saw at Regionals, because this season has been sort of, historically high scoring.  Um, it’s the highest scores since–and most 10s since 2004, which had, like, 150 million 10s.  So, I wanted to see whether the judges were really gonna tighten up at Nationals, which I wanted them to because you have the 12 best teams in the country.  Everyone is really, really good.  And if they were judging with the same standard that they used for some of the regular season, I felt like, just, everyone was gonna get 9.95, and that would be the end of the meet.  So, I compared some of the averages for, from Nationals to what we saw at Regionals, and it was kind of interesting in that vault was the biggest difference in that it was so much tighter at Nationals than it has been for any part of the regular season.  Um, the average team score for the 12 teams that qualified to Nationals during their Regionals on vault was 49.379, and at Nationals it was 49.288, which is a tenth, and that’s really significant.  We saw it certainly make the difference in Super Six, and that would have made the difference in the final as well.  So, the judges were much, much tighter on the vault than they had been at any other point.  Bars and beam were very even, basically from what we’ve seen the whole season.  And, floor was much higher than what we saw at, um, Regionals.  The average team score for the 12 teams at Regionals was a 49.35, and then it wa–at Nationals it was a 49.405, so there was a half tenth bump up of giving higher scores at Nationals, which I thought was really interesting.  Did you guys notice that vault seemed particularly tight and that floor seemed looser?  Or, did that not play out in your impressions?

 

UNCLE TIM: I think I noticed that vault was definitely lower, um, which made me happy. [laughs]

 

SPENCER: Yeah.

 

UNCLE TIM: ‘Cuz I usually judge people lower than I do during the regular season.  Floor I’m trying to think, did I notice it?  Yeah, I think I did.  Um, but I think I noticed it a little bit more during Super Six just because I might have been a little more intoxicated [laughs] during uh, [laughs] prelims.

 

SPENCER: What?  You?  I would never have known.

 

UNCLE TIM: Uhh, [laughs] so, yes.  I think I did notice it definitely during Super Six a little bit more.

 

JESSICA: I was–maybe I was just too busy screaming my head off at the judges for not giving 10s when I thought they were 10s, which were like three instance—or four of that.

SPENCER: Well, you said you were screaming at the vault judges, so maybe you subconsciously noticed […]

JESSICA: Yes.

SPENCER: […] that they were.

JESSICA: Yes.  That’s it.

SPENCER: No teams in semi-finals matched their season [unaudible] on floor.  Everyone was lower on vault.

JESSICA: There you go.  That’s why I was screaming my head off.  But yes, I did notice, in fact, and I was doing those calculations in my head.  ‘Cuz, as you know I’m a math whiz.

SPENCER: Exactly.

[Uncle Tim laughs]

JESSICA: And that is where my flailing and, um, competition injuries came in.

[laughter]

UNCLE TIM: Next we need to talk about the Super Six.  So, in the Super Six we had Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU and Nebraska.  And obviously, the big outcome was the first tie in NCAA history with Florida tying with Oklahoma.  And Spencer, what were the individual performances that really stood out for you during the Super Six?

SPENCER: Um, I thought that—I think it was, the one person that stood out to me the most was Chayse Capps for Oklahoma.

JESSICA: Ahhh!

SPENCER: The …

JESSICA: Ahhh! Did you hear the angels singing when you mentioned her?

SPENCER: I know.

JESSICA: Oh good.

SPENCER: Yeah.  And, I, I think the thing I’m most impressed about Chayse Capps is that it’s a typical Oklahoma story in that I had—who had any idea that we were gonna see this gymnastics from her in her freshman year?  I remember looking through, sort of, the Level 10 videos of the Oklahoma freshman, and I saw Chayse Capps, and I saw her vault first of all, which I thought she had great distance, great power.  She was really gonna help them on vault.  I thought, beam?  Okay.  She has the skills.  It’s fine.  It’s regular.  Whatever.  And then on floor—well actually, the first thing I thought about her on floor was that she reminded me so much of Chelsie Memmel.  In her JO videos she had the same hair and she moved the same way.  And that’s another thing you would never know that, from watching her from Oklahoma.

[laughter]

SPENCER: She is a—is such a great performer and it is exciting to watch that, especially because it, it was so unexpected to see her of all that whole freshman class, with Mackenzie Wofford who was an elite and Cherry Jones who won the Nastia Liukin Cup before, it was pretty impressive to have a typical Oklahoma Ninja Level 10 come through and get 9.9s on three events throughout the whole competition.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, she was pretty impressive on—yeah, on beam and floor she really stood out.  Uh, Jessica I know you’ve been praising her.  What was her performance like in person.  Was it—did it give you goosebumps?

JESSICA: Literally.  Literally, goosebumps.  The hair on my arms stood up.  She’s a just other-worldly you guys.  She’s gonna be, I’m, I’m calling her out now.  She’s gonna be a NCAA Champion multiple times over.  The, the pressure does not phase her.  She’s a performer.  She loves it.  She’s incredible to watch.  She has so much practice as a competitive dancer, and she’s, she’s one of those routines that you see her in videos and you’re like, wow.  That’s amazing.  And then you see her in person and you get goosebumps.  She’s incredible.  Absolutely incredible.  Untouchable.

UNCLE TIM: Nice.  And what about you?  What were you big performances that you really loved?  Anything about Brandie Jay you wanna…

JESSICA: [laughs] That was my favorite moment of the meet! [laughs] Oh my god!  Okay, well first, Rheagan Courville on floor totally redeemed herself.  She’s another one that in person her routine is incredible  She, like, she just came.  She brought it when she was doing that routine.  And, um, I hope you guys got to see Christy Linder’s amazing photos from this event.  When she crawls across the floor at the end, like, she looks like she’s gonna have you for dinner.  She is, like, so sensual during that routine.  Like, she’s just, like, owning it.  And her body, she’s like, [sighs] my god.  She’s, like, so hot.  And, um,

[Uncle Tim laughs]

JESSICA: She is!

UNCLE TIM: The butt smack.

[Jessica laughs]

UNCLE TIM: The butt smack after the first pass.

JESSICA: Right?  And somehow her butt smack does not offend me.

[laughter]

JESSICA: Because I feel like it’s not a pandering butt smack.  It’s like a, yes.  That’s right.  I know all about this.  And so do you now.

[laughter]

JESSICA: She—like how is it possible not to offend me with a butt smack in a competitive gymnastics routine?  I don’t know.  She is transcendent.  That’s all I can say.  She is the pop star of the, of the meet, but she’s like the Rihanna.  She’s the Rihanna, except with a better voice.  So, all of you Rihanna fans can hate on me for that, but that’s what she’s like.  Like, she’s just…oh my god.  Amazing.  And um, but in person even more.  And, like, sh—her landings.  Eee!  And she does this thing where shoots and arrow, and really, you—I found myself wanting to be like, ah!  Shoot me with the arrow! Ah! Yes!  I put my chest out.  I’m here.  Get me.

[laughter]

JESSICA: Because she’s just awesome.  I cannot say enough.  That’s another problem why I injured myself: thrusting myself at her floor routine.  Um, so, anywhoo […]

[Uncle Tim laughs]

JESSICA: I totally forgot what I was talk—oh yeah, yeah, yeah.  Um, the other person that str—that totally stands out is, uh, Milliner, but we can talk about her in event finals.  Brandie Jay [laughs], so you know.  Brandie Jay is an elite.  She was on the Pan Am team that won gold with Shawn Johnson when she came back.  She’s a badass.  She does a full—a full out on floor.  A full out.  Do you know how freaking a full out is?  And it’s so consistent.  She just throws it into her NCAA routine.  No biggie.  Um, so she [laughs] she goes to vault and, like, she goes straight up.  She landed, like, right next to the vaulting horse.  Straight up and does the fastest double twist you’ve ever seen in your life.  Just b-r-r-r-r.  And all of us—literally the entire front row is all, like, GGMBers and hard core fans.  It was the best front row ever, and I’ll tell you why later.  Um, and all of us looked at each other.  Simultaneously the entire front row looks at each other and goes, was that a double full?  Was that a double full?  She just did a double full.  And then her coach looks at her and, like, like, Dana, like, she comes down and she’s like, you just did a double full?

[laughter]

JESSICA: Like, everyone—and then she was like, she just kind of shook her head like, ahh.  And you guys know, you don’t block the same way for a double full.  You don’t—like, it’s a different vault.  Like, Evan and Scott Bregman were going on about this forever.  They’re just like, you don’t just accidentally do it.  It’s a whole different vault.  But then maybe, you know, if you’re Brandie Jay you just go so high anyway…or maybe she just in her head—I don’t even know what happened, but she looked surprised.  The coaches were surprised.  And it was a very happy accident.  But I don’t think there’s any, um, actual deduction for putting up the wrong vault, because as far as I know you just put the number for a Yurchenko; not for the actual vault itself.  I’m—correct me if I’m wrong.  Write in all you judges out there.  But, um, you know, she did have a big bounce out because I think she was a little surprised at herself.  But, um, it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, and, like, one of the happiest fan moments that we have gotten.  ‘Cuz it’s been a long time since someone did a double full.  Uh, I don’t think anyone’s ever double full in Super Six, actually.  It’s been done in finals before, but I don’t think anyone’s—except maybe Marissa King…no, she always did a one and a half, right?  Um…

SPENCER: I think she did a Tsuk.

JESSICA: Yeah, so, it was really, really, really awesome.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I guess…so Elizabeth Grimsley—the person who writes for the Georgia newspaper—talked to Brandie after it—after the meet, and asked her about that.  And, I guess what happened was she, she kind of got lost in the air.  She squeezed her butt…

[Jessica laughs]

UNCLE TIM: …and, I guess, just squeezed too tight, or something.

[laughter]

UNCLE TIM: And, like, just pulled around a double full.  Ya know…’cuz when I squeeze my butt I just automatically, just pull double fulls out of my butt, literally.

[laughter]

UNCLE TIM: So, yeah.

JESSICA: [laughs] That is the magic of having elite haunches (sp??).  You just squeeze and [laughs] and you do an extra twist.

SPENCER: And a double full pops out.

[laughter]

SPENCER: Did you—I—could you see Brandie Jay’s face after she did that vault?

JESSICA: [laughs] Yes.

SPENCER: ‘Cuz we could on the broadcast.  I have never seen a gymnast look like that.  She was just abject confusion…

[Jessica laughs]

SPENCER: …and just, like, her hands were kind of up in the air.  She loo—it reminded me of, like, a little kid who just lost their mom at the mall.

[Jessica laughs]

SPENCER: And they’re like, what is happening?!  She just looked so, like, completely bewildered by what just happened.  It was the—it was my favorite part of the whole meet.  Seeing her face after she accidentally did a double full.

UNCLE TIM: [laugh] Yes, it was [laughs] it was pretty awesome.  Were there any other moments you guys wanted to talk about?

[Jessica sighs]

SPENCER: Um, Bridget Sloan’s beam routine from Super Six…

JESSICA: Yes.

SPENCER: …was another one of the standout moments, because it was the whole big story.  She fell at Regionals, and then you talked to Rhonda and she said, Bridget hasn’t been—she’s hit every single routine.  She’s never had a wobble and she’s gonna hit in Championships.  100% of course she is.  And then she comes up in Semi-Finals and has what may be the worst beam routine I’ve ever seen her do.  It was like…

[Jessica laughs]

SPENCER: …a fall and a wobble.  She landed short on the dismount, and it was like, this is Bridget Sloan?  Does she do that?

JESSICA: It was, like, comedic.  It was so messed up.

SPENCER: It was like—it was just from a different person.  And so, then she comes to Super Six and it’s like, the big routine because she had fallen on two in a row, and she’s Bridget Sloan.  And then, she had a look on her face before she did that routine like she was either gonna get a 20, or she just gonna, like, rip the beam outta the ground Incredible Hulk style, and like…

[laughter]

SPENCER: …throw it into the crowd.  And then, she nailed every single piece of acro, and then on the broadcast Kathy Johnson Clark was going full drama.  She was so excited.  She was like, this is the defining moment of a lifetime.

[Jessica laughs]

SPENCER: I—it was like, woah Kathy.

[laughter]

SPENCER: Don’t oversell it.  But then she finished.  It was so exciting.  And then she, like, almost ran into the beam when she was so excited to go find Rhonda and give her a hug.  And, it was, like, crazy, and really exciting because it felt like genuine enthusiasm.  Like, she was so relieve to have hit that routine.  I think sometimes in NCAA it’s like—people are really conscious about being enthusiastic for the rest of the team.  So it’s like, they land and they have to think, oh yeah.  I have to scream my head off now and be excited, and I am!  This was, like, really genuine.

JESSICA: That’s a really, really good point.  You know, someone who is big a, uh, elite fan, and not an NCAA fan was talking about how, you know, it’s manufactured enthusiasm.  And I was like, I was so offended by that.  But it is true that sometimes I feel like there is this, um, there’s an element of acting like you did a really great job, even if you didn’t, that’s more emphasized in NCAA than it is in elite.  You know, when Maroney doesn’t do a good job, she just stalks off like she’s gonna go stab someone.  Whereas in, in, uh, NCAA, even if you did the crappiest job, you’re so coached to, like, fist pump, and arch your back as far as you possibly can ‘til you cause an injury, and, um, it really stands out when someone does a genuine happy, uh, moment like that.  And, that was definitely one of ‘em.  And then she went and killed the bars because she was so badass.

SPENCER: Um, when I went to Pac-12s I made my sister go with me, who is not a gymnastics person at all, and the first reaction she had about NCAA gymnastics, she said, I don’t think I could have be an NCAA gymnast because I couldn’t be, like, yay!  What a terrible job!  Great job! Yay!  It was awful!

[laughter]

UNCLE TIM: Same.

SPENCER: I was like, oh.  I understand.  That is a reaction that I think people who don’t watch a lot of NCAA gymnastics have.  That they’re just so excited, even regardless of quality.

JESSICA: I think that’s one of those things though that, like, um, Mackenzie Caquatto was talking about when she was like, what would she change about elite, and what would she add into the elite program, was that having people that are, like, we believe in you and we have your back, even when you messed up.

SPENCER: Mmhmm.  Right.

JESSICA: Which, all the time looks like someone’s patting you on the back for, like, doing the worst job of your life.  But, it’s like, the thing is we’re not gonna punish you because you messed up.  Like, it’s like, that, that’s okay.  You’re gonna do it next time.  We believe that you can do it next time.  But, it definitely comes across, I think, as, um—and I’ve, like, some of the teammates do not believe it.  They’d rather punch their teammate in the face.  But they, um, you know, totally comes across as, um, you know, cheering for crap.  But I notice that in volleyball too.  They’re always smacking each other’s butts no matter what, and then I’m just like, oh, oh.  This is like the, you know, college salute.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah.  And then the Super Six really came down to the final routines.  We had Alabama on beam, Oklahoma on vault, and Florida was on floor.  Spencer, could you kind of set up things for our listeners who didn’t really get to watch.

SPENCER: Yeah.  It absolutely came down to the last rotation and the last routine.  Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma were all going into their final events all at the same time, basically tied.  And, Oklahoma was on vault.  Alabama was on beam, and Florida was on floor.  And, it was just back and forth; back and forth; back and forth.  Everyone was hitting. 9.9 here.  9.9 here. 9.9 there.  And it was thh—one of the, if not the most exciting rotations of gymnastics I’ve ever watched.

JESSICA: Yes.

 

SPENCER: Just because it came down to quarters of tenths, and not even that.  And then finally, um, it looked like Alabama was gonna win.  Uh, so, with two routines left they needed a 9.875 and a 9.9 in the last two routines to tie Oklahoma who had already finished on vault at that point.  And then…crazy falls.  Completely unexpected falls for Alabama.  They had, um, their leadoff, Deandre Milliner, fall on–who doesn’t fall.  She always looks petrified during her routines.  She always looks like she’s gonna fall.

 

[laughter]

 

SPENCER: But she’s so consistent.  And, she comes up, and then the very last routine Kim Jacobs fell on her press handstand mount, which was like…

 

JESSICA: Uhh [sighs].

 

SPENCER: I didn’t even..did that even…Kim Jacob doesn’t fall on her press handstand mount.  Um, and what was also really interesting about that, and that they were two seniors who had the falls in the last rotation of Super Six, and that’s really, really common.  And I think kind of understandable that the people who fall on beam are often seniors.

 

JESSICA: Yup.

 

SPENCER: Um, two, two years ago when UCLA was ending on beam and [look up name] had that fall, um, and then Aisha Gerber also had a struggle routine, or got a 9.7 or something, which she never did, um, before then.  She was a senior.  It always seems it’s the seniors ‘cuz they’re just–they want it so much.  It’s their last routine.  There’s so much pressure.  You could just see that both of those mistakes were things that they never, ever do.

 

JESSICA: And that’s the thing–it’s such a good point you make because, the thing that’s going on here is, like, in elite you never know when someone’s routine is the last routine of their lives, of their career.  That’s it.  But in NCAA there’s a clock.  And it ends.  And it runs out.  And if you haven’t made event finals, or even if you have, this is the last routine of your competitive career, unless you’re one of those super outliers who goes back to elite, or goes back to Level 10.  It’s still not the same.  This is the last routine you’re ever allowed to do with your team.  Your last routine ever in college.  Period.  No matter what, you can’t go back.  You’re going–you’re about to mount the beam, and you are replaying your very first, you know, daddy and me tumbling class to your, you know, the end of your club career, to the first day you showed up as a freshman, and this is it.  Your last chance.  Like, they’re–I don’t, like Olympic finals for your team, and Olympic event finals can, I feel like, can be the only thing that compares to the amount of pressure, and putting that, that on, and really knowing for sure, no matter what, this is the last routine of your life.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I’m trying to think.  Al–but, but it happens to some people in elite though too.  I feel like Kim Zmeskal going into ‘92 really thought the Olympics was going to be her last meet, and then look what happened.  It wasn’t really her best meet ever.  Um, so yeah.  It’s one of those situations where you just, kind of, get ahead of yourself.  And then, so, we were talking a little bit about how Alabama fell, and it really came down to one final routine on floor by Bridgette Caquatto, and she had two errors in the meets leading up, and she hit her routine.  She did have a little bounce back on her double pike–the last, uh, pass.  Do you think she deserved a 9.95, which tied Oklahoma?  Spencer.

 

SPENCER: Um, my first reaction–I knew going into that routine that she needed a 9.975 to win, and then a 9.95 to tie.  I will say, after she finished that routine my first reaction was, Oklahoma just won the National Championship, because I thought, that’ll get a 9.9.  But, I–and I think there’s been some criticism.  Like, oh, Bridgette Caquatto didn’t deserve that score, so Oklahoma should’ve won outright.  But, I didn’t–I don’t think you can view it as just that one routine.  I think both teams got, like we already talked about, high scores on floor.  Um, th, that that was happening to both teams, so I don’t think you can just pinpoint it on that one routine.  But, I don’t think that was a 9.95.

 

JESSICA: So, let me tell you what was happening over on vault.  So, Oklahoma goes on vault.  So now, right, we’re thinking it’s a competition.  You’re like, Alabama’s kicking ass, and then Alabama has their first fall, and we’re like, holy crap.  Has Alabama taken themselves out?  Meanwhile, Oklahoma is vaulting and just slaughtering the vault.  You guys, it was so freaking exciting.  It was like everyone had the best vault of their entire lives in that instance; when it counted; when it mattered the most.  Every single competitor that landed went instantly burst into tears when they ran down to their team.  I, of course, was screaming bloody murder at the judges.  I think I yelled, “off with their heads” at one point, which I was like, what is this?

 

[Spencer laughs]

 

JESSICA: Alice in Wonderland?  I’ve never uttered those words in my life.  Like, I was just, like, beside myself because they were just so perfect in the moment when they needed it the most.  Like, so everyone’s bawling their eyes out when they’re running down the stairs, and they’re hitting, like, amazingly.  And then, we’re all sitting there–the whole front row is, like, GGMBers; lifelong fans.  And, we, um, the minute that Kim Jacob fell on beam, like, we leaned over to the coaches that were right underneath us, and were like, you won.  You won.  And then you were like, don’t!  We’re not sure yet because it coulda been Florida.  Like, Florida could still get a ten and they could win.  And we’re like, alright, okay maybe.  But that’s not gonna happen.  But Kytra was up, so we were like, oh crap! Kytra could get a ten.  But she’s not gonna get a ten.  So we watch Kytra; she doesn’t get her ten.  So we’re like, that’s it.  You won.  And they’re like, no!  Because, uh, Bridgette could go and she could still get a, uh, 9.975.  And we’re like there’s no way she’s getting a 9.975.  And so, literally, this is the conversation going on between the front row of fans at vault, and the coaches are yelling back and forth to each other.  And, like the coaches are trying not to get excited and the fans were, like losing it.  We’re like, ah!  [inaudible] And they’re like, no!  We have to stay calm.  Like, we can’t celebrate yet.  Like, we can’t celebrate yet.  We’re like, it’s [inaudible].  And so then we’re like, all, like, holding on—literally using our railing—and we’re holding onto it; gripping it, watching Bridgette do her routine.  And we’re like, there’s no way she’s gonna get a 10.  She’s not gonna get a 9.975.  And like, of course they put Bridgey up at the end because, like, she doesn’t have the difficulty.  She has a really great, clean routine.  She’s amazing.  I love watching her routine.   Um, I totally get into it.  Like, I totally want to do her little, like, eh eh eh, put your hand in the air thing.  Um, but you know.  It’s not—it’s strategy.  They put her at the end because they wanna bump her score up and put Kytra and Bridgette—and Bridgette, you know, in the beginning.  So, um, we’re like, no.  She’s not gonna get a 9.975.  So then she gets the 9.975, and we’re like you tied!  You tied!  You tied!  You did it!  And they’re like, what if there’s a tie breaker?  So, like, the Oklahoma coaches were refusing to celebrate, and all the fans were like, Oh my god!  It’s the first time!  And poor, like, Oklahoma corral.  The gymnasts were in this corral and were not allowed to come out ‘cuz it’s the NCAA Championships, and you have to stay in your corral.  And the gymnasts are, like, instantly, like bawling their eyes out, and then just holding hands and, like, staring at each other, like, [breaths in], hold your emotion!  And like, KJ is just standing there staring straight ahead.  Like, she was just, like, I will not be distracted.  I will not let any of my emotions out yet.  I have to just wait.  I’m just gonna stand here and wait, and at some point I will be a National Championship coach.  The, like, assistant coach is , like, running around, and are like, I don’t know…is there a tie-breaker?  And they’re asking us in the stands, and like, one of the guys is like, totally doing the math over and over and [inaudible] all the scores.  And he’s like, no.  For sure you tied.  There’s not tie-breakers.  Does anybody know if there’s a tie-breaker?  Where was the Oklahoma SID—Sports Information Director?  That’s their job—to know this.  The Sports Information Director’s supposed to give the public the information and know all the rules so they can tell someone, so when something like this happens—Sports Information Director’s like, nowhere to be seen.  So, they’re like, looking on the College B—Gymnastics Board, like, message board.  Like, someone just said there is a tie-breaker.  We’re like, oh crap!  Then, so the guy in the front row is, like, re-doing all the math, and he’s like, well what would the tie-breaker be, and so all of us are guessing.  Like, no one knows.  Like, the coach is like, I have no idea what it is.  So, um, he’s like, I don’t know.  This has never happened before, right?  And we’re like, no!  It’s never happened before.  So we’re going back and forth…so the guy in front row re-does the math, and he’s like, well I don’t know.  Do they add in the sixth score?  Because that’s what they do in prelims to break the tie…so they would add the competitor because it’s five up—it’s six up, five count.  So, maybe you add in the last score from every single event—you add in the sixth person.  So, he re-does that and he’s like, oh my god!  If they add in the sixth score then Florida wins by .025.  And then, of course, Oklahoma coach is like, oh no!  And then this woman from the NCAA—this is the most despicable moment of the entire story you guys—this woman from the NCAA comes over and is like, oh yes.  There is a tie-breaker.  So now, like, they’re like, oh my god…this can’t be.  And we’re like, no!  She, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about!  Like, we’re just like, no, no no.  This can’t be.  There’s gonna be a tie.  There’s gonna be a tie.  So, like, seriously if felt like ten minutes of standing there, like, going–the fans going back and forth, and like, re-calculating the math, and uh, the coaches trying to look at the rules on their phones, and the SID, you know, being totally MIA and being nowhere to be found.  And the poor, like, gymnasts just holding onto each other for dear life, like, please, please let us have won.  Finally, Adrian from the Florida team—one of the coaches, runs across the floor, leaping, hurdling, like, obstacles—runs to the Oklahoma coaches and yells, “We tied!  We tied!  They’re not gonna break the tie!  It’s a tie!  It’s a tie!  You won!  You won!”  And so, thank god for Adrian.  And then everyone was, like, bursting into tears, and we’re all crying and cheering, and Oklahoma—oh my god!  It was so exciting you guys!  I just love that team, and I’m so happy for them.  Ties are the way to go!  [sighs]

[children cheer]

JESSICA: That’s what happened.

UNCLE TIM:  I don’t know how to react to that.

[laughter]

UNCLE TIM: That was a lotta energy right there.

JESSICA: It was so exciting! [sighs]

SPENCER: How do you really feel about it?

[laughter]

JESSICA: I probably got more of my bruises…I mean, I have, like, a bruise on my knuckles.  How do you get—and like, cuts…how do you get that?  [laughs] Like, did I punch someone you think?

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know.  I went to Cirque with you, and you were very excitable at Cirque, so…I can see how during this moment you’d a been flailing and hitting things, and grabbing railings, and yeah.  I can see.  You probably left scratches on other people too.  Spencer, do you feel like they should’ve broken the tie?

SPENCER: Um, I kind of—I’m okay with the fact that there was a tie.  I wasn’t at first because I don’t have, uh, feelings or a soul or a heart or anything, and I’m like, one winner.  But, the fact that it was Oklahoma kind of makes it okay for me, because if they had broken the tie and gone with the sixth score, Florida would have won by a quarter tenth, and I feel like Oklahoma performed the gymnastics worthy of winning a National Championship, so if they hadn’t—if they had been bumped down, that would have felt like they had been cheated.  But, sort of on principle, on I have trouble with ties ‘cuz I think they’re, kind of, a let down—especially if you’re just a fan watching at home.  Um, ‘cuz it’s kind of like, oh they’re going back and forth.  Who’s gonna win?  Who’s gonna win?  And then it’s like, oh they both are…fun…which is great for them.  It’s kind of like…we have two winners now.  I don’t know how I would feel if it had been different teams.  I think I would be more frustrated by having a tie, but because it was Oklahoma and Florida, I’m kind of just happy about it.

JESSICA: Do you guys think this is the end of dynasties, since we’ve had other—first time ever, first time in school history, first time NCAA gymnastics winner?

SPENCER: Well, it’s also Florida’s second time in a row winning though.

JESSICA: True.  But second year in a row with a first time winner.

SPENCER: Yeah.  I think it’s less likely now.  I don’t think it’s the end, because there are more teams capable of winning now.  I don’t think, we—we’re not really replacing things in terms of the big four that we used to have with Georgia and Utaha and Alabama and UCLA.  They’re still all there.  It’s just there’s more.  So, I think it’s less likely, but given the elites—the top elites still tend to come to the same few schools, and as long as that’s happening I think the possibility for a dynasty is still there.

JESSICA: Uncle Tim?

UNCLE TIM: I agree that the possibility’s still there, and I think—I mean, it’s not going to just blow open the doors.  You know, the 23rd team in the nation is suddenly going to be able to challenge for the NCAA title.  I think there is still—yes, the coaches whenever you listen to the press conferences before this meet they’re like, oh the parity.  There’s so much parity.  Blah blah blah, blah blah.  If I have to hear the word parity one more time before NCAA Championships I will probably hang one of the coaches by their toenails and beat them with a wet noodle.

[Spencer laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Um, and…yeah.  And so, it’s just…I, I don’t know.  I don’t think that there is suddenly going to be this totally equal playing field.  I mean, you’re still going to have the Rutgers that will celebrate the fact that they had one gymnast qualify for the NCAA Championships in the All Around.  You’re not gonna have those teams suddenly vying for the top spot.

JESSICA: I think they have been talking about parity for the last, like four to six years, and you constantly hear about it, and then nothing changed.  It was always Alabama, Georgia, but then Utah and, uh, UCLA in 2010, and then, but now two years in a row we had a first time ever winner.  Two years in a row.  That is just—I feel like it’s the end.  I feel like this is the end of dynasties.  Even if it is two times in a row for Florida, like, a tie is great.  I, I really feel that this is it, because really you have—I mean you have this, like we talked about, these ninja Level 10s.  Like, Level 10s now, like Oklahoma has, like, it’s basically like the WOGA team who were like, eh, elite?  Not so much for me.  I just wanna be a Level 10.  Like, they are incredible.  Like, they could be elites if they wanted to be.  They decided to stay Level 10s and be ninjas, and win a National Championship, and this—its just, it’s really true now.  And it’s really come to fruition, and I totally think it’s the end despite what you two say, so [grunts].

SPENCER: Um, but who—do you think there’s another team on the horizon, like, LSU…

JESSICA: Yup.

SPENCER: …that’s gonna be the next first time winner?  ‘Cuz Oklahoma has been right there for so many years.  They finished second twice within, like, three or four years, so they’re always right there.  But, I don’t see a lot of other teams besides LSU where it’s like, oh, they’re gonna win a National Championship one of these days.

JESSICA: LSU is definitely one, especially with they—you know, Jay’s like the master recruiter with his t-shirts that say, “I want you” you know, “LSU wants you” and all this stuff.  And, uh, the people that they’re bringing in are just—like, they’re just incredible recruiting classes, and um, I, I think that LSU is absolutely the next team.  And then, also the other team that I feel like—i—ha—I don’t know what needs to happen, what needs to be changed, but honestly, I feel like, uh, Stanford.  I know that’s shocking, but Stanford, and—which by the way, is the only school that is in the top ten academically andin gymnastics, which is a huge accomplishment—real schooling.  Um, I’m just saying.  And, um, Oregon State.  Oregon State could totally win.  I don’t know what’s going on there, why they keep failing, but Stanford and Oregon State.  LSU for sure.  If they had cleaned up beam, they would’ve won.  Period.

SPENCER: Yeah.  LSU is really one to watch out for for next season.  I was already thinking about this ‘cuz Championships are over, so I’m immediately thinking about next season.  And they’re bringing—do you remember, um, from Vis—er, not Visa Championships anymore, but elite US Championships last year, Erin Macadaeg?

JESSICA: Yes.

SPENCER: She didn’t finish that well but she was really clean.  Everyone really liked her.  She’s coming to LSU next year, and I particularly liked her on beam.  And I just think with her, and then they have Ashley Matt, and Rheagan Courville, and Jessie Jordan; they’ll have all of them on beam next year.  It’s like, they’ve got that figured out.

JESSICA: Yup.

SPENCER: They’re fixing that.

JESSICA: Yup.  And that’s their only weak spot.  Honestly.  And they, I mean, honestly, afterwards—like, when they were outside getting on their bus, they were, like, in a haze of, I can’t believe that this happened, and we didn’t win.  And, they are gonna be so fired up for next year.  They absolute—they want it.  They want it really, really bad.  And, of course, they have their little ninja coach Dedee Breaux, who’s gonna make it happen.

UNCLE TIM: Who is National Coach of the Year.

JESSICA: Which she totally deserves

SPENCER: Yes.

JESSICA: She’s so positive you guys.  Like, honestly she came over—I mean, one, one of the first people to come over to congrat—besides Adrian, the Florida coach coming over, which I love.  Such a great show of sportsmanship that he was just as excited for Oklahoma as he was for his own team, um, that he wanted to relieve their pain over there of them not knowing.  Um, Dedee Breaux was one of the first people that came over and congratulated, and you know, gave all the Oklahoma coaching staff huge hugs.  And, um, all the coaches came over and congratulated them, and it was just so great to see how, like, all the compliments they got, and how happy—you know, because it benefits everybody when there’s a new winner.  And, they know they totally freakin’ deserved it, and they earned it.  So, Dedee Breaux’s gonna make it happen.  Like, she will not, like, there—nothing—her life, I feel like, is just on pause until she wins this.  Like, if she…

[Uncle Tim laughs]

JESSICA: If it takes ‘til, like, 110, she will live to be 110 years old.

[Uncle Tim laughs]

JESSICA: That’s what she will do.  It doesn’t matter.  She’s gonna win.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] With that, let’s quickly talk about the Event Finals.  Um, coming in first on vault, there was a tie for Rheagan Courville of LSU and Katherine Grable of Arkansas.  And that was Arkansas’s first, uh, National title ever in its school history, which is pretty exciting.  And then on bars first was Bridget Sloan.  On beam, first was Taylor Spears, and on floor Katherine Grable won.  She was a double winner this weekend.

[crowd cheers]

UNCLE TIM: Yaaaaaay!  I know.  So, what were some of the big skills that you were flailing over Jessica?

JESSICA: [laughs] Well, first of all, um, let’s see…um, Utah’s Nansy Deminova, who is a 2008 Olympian for Canada.  She upgra—well, she warmed up her Arabian on floor, and then I don’t know what happened.  Something bizarre happened.  She just psyched herself out, or got nervous.  I don’t know, but she just did a double back for her first pass, and then, like, it was just—she psyched herself out and the whole rest of the team was kind of a mess.  Um, but, the other upgrades were Deandra Milliner, who does this awesome Hunger Games routine, which her routine starts with [sings routine music], like twice.  The refrain of The Hunger Games, which I just love.   And then she jus—she shoots and arrow into the corner and then tumbles.  So, she’s just a total badass.  And she did a piked full-in, which is gorgeous.  Like, she just lands, like, perfectly.  Like, boop.  Like, she’s maybe—I don’t know, like three degree angle tilted forward.  You know.  So, when she lands she’s just incredible and I have a lot of respect for her.  She—she did such a great routine.  Um, and then…who else had an upgrade?  I feel like someone threw something extra on beam that I’m totally forgetting.  There was a 1 ½ on vault–a new 1 ½.  I feel like Jessie Jordan…maybe upgraded her vault to 1 ½.  And then, oh, what is the one on beam?  Someone, someone remind me.  Somebody put in something extra.

 

SPENCER: I didn’t notice anyone on beam do an upgrade

 

JESSICA: A–like, aerial to two feet?  Like, a Barani?

 

SPENCER: I may not have noticed and someone upgraded, and I was just like, she’s always done it that way.  Probably.  Um…

 

JESSICA: Or maybe it was like, she does a, I don’t know, she does it off and on through the season and she put it in then.  I don’t know.  Someone will recognize it and tell us.

 

SPENCER: Yeah.

 

JESSICA: Gymternet, help us out here.

 

UNCLE TIM: Great.  And so, I guess, the big thing the gymternet is talking about right now is the balance beam final.

 

[Jessica gasps]

 

UNCLE TIM: There was very…yes.  Jessica why don’t you–I mean, obviously you have a lot of feels about this.

 

JESSICA: So many feels!

 

UNCLE TIM: So why don’t you tell us what happened.

 

JESSICA: [gasps] [inaudible] [sighs] You’re–okay, first..

 

UNCLE TIM: Let me, let me give you words first Jess [laughs].  So, Taylor Spears won.  Um, she got a 9.925 I wanna say.  And, Lindsey Cheek came in second with a 9.9.  Alright, now go ahead Jessica and let out your tirade.

 

JESSICA: First of all, Taylor Spears–absolutely gorgeous.  Totally deserved to win.  Completely deserved to win.  Taylor Spears, you are a beam goddess.  You will go down in history as one of the greatest, most confident, most fluid beam workers of all time.  Hats off to you.  Since my Lindsay Mable could not make the beam final because she fell, the gym gods didn’t wish it for this year for some reason, because maybe next year she’s gonna add in, like, seven extra flips and still win.  Who knows?  Um, but, um, also because Hanna Norquist couldn’t win, who’s also absolutely stunning, and as we know, uh, Katherine–Katherine?  Kathy Johnson had an audible orgasm during her routine last year.  Um, she does the aerial layout, and she’s just, oh my god!  She so perfect on beam.  And, if you guys noticed [sighs] no construction worker bedazzled back brace this year.  Hmm?  They’re doin’ things right over there.

 

UNCLE TIM: For Minnesota.  Yeah.

 

JESSICA: For Minnesota.  Yup.  They looked–they had these, like, backless leos with, like, pink, which I was–eh, you know how I feel about pink.  But, I love the backless leo.  And, they were throwback leos.  They were velvet–crushed velvet, which, hey, you don’t see that a lot anymore.  They definitely stood out.

 

SPENCER: [inaudible]

 

JESSICA: Yup.  Um, but Hanna Norquist was just so amazing.  So, I mean, she just looked like, talk about, you know, like, the whole ripping the beam out of the floor.  Like, Hannah Norquist looks so pissed.  I mean, Lindsay Mable and Hanna Norquist are destined.  Someday it’s gonna happen, and they’re gonna win.  They’re gonna be like the Arizona, and they’re gonna win that event, because they were born to do this, and Meg Stephenson was born to coach a national champion on beam and on floor.  Um, but anywhoo, I digress.  [sighs]  What was I talking about?  Oh, okay.  Lindsey Cheek.  If I was, like, a gorilla, I would, like, be, like, pulling trees down.

 

[laughter]

 

JESSICA: Like, pulling them up by their roots, and like, throwing them.  I’m, like, Lindsey Cheek is so freaking good.  She is so underscored.  And I don’t care if she’s only underscored by one tenth.  It’s one tenth too much!  She’s so robbed.  And, and she even does her, you know, the, the, the, uh, moonwalk, which I can’t stand ‘cuz I feel like it’s totally overused, but I don’t care.  I look past it because I love the whole rest of her routine.  I love the choreography.  She’s so good!  You guys, where was the freakin’ deduction?  Where was the deduction?  I demand for someone to show me where the deduction was, because she should have tied with Taylor Spears.  She should have gotten a higher score on all of her vaults.  It is a to–she is the most robbed gymnast of the entire year this year.  It’s totally unacceptable.  Besides asterisks on the whole vault final where Austin Sheppard should be–broken foot, may you rest in peace.  That bone; please heal soon.  Um, honestly, it’s, it, I’m so, I was so mad.  Like, uhh.  I [sighs] I don’t know.  Why?!  Why?!  Someone explain it to me!  It’s not fair!

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Spencer, can you explain it to her?

 

SPENCER: I cannot explain it to her.  I thought Lindsey Cheek’s routine–if it were the, the regular season–especially in Georgia, like, it would’ve gotten a 35.

 

[laughter]

 

SPENCER: It was perfect from beginning to end.  And her–it’s a switch though.  Yeah.  It’s a switch side that she does, is–no one has ever done the switch side better than she does.  I could watch that skill all day long.  Ah, it was so good.  But, I mean it’s hard because Taylor Spears was great too, and that was an amazing routine.  But, so you don’t be like, that Taylor Spears.  How dare she win beam finals?  ‘Cuz she’s great, but it wasn’t Lindsey Cheek’s routine.

 

UNCLE TIM: It’s true.  I thought that Taylor Spears, she maybe had a little more difficulty in the sense that she did the Onodi, and she also connected that to a Korbut.  Um, but her leaps I just didn’t think were quite as good, and I kind of harped on Oklahoma’s leaps last year on balance beam on, um, just throughout the meets and the National Championships.  And, this year again I feel like they’re just a little more hesitant on their leaps, and not quite doing really good extension, but I thought Lindsey Cheek’s were a lot better, so she–I mean, obviously she didn’t do the Onodi and get Jessica’s, um, non-existent difficulty bonus.  Um…

 

JESSICA: That’s right.

 

UNCLE TIM: But, so yes.  But, I did think that she had the better leaps and was just overall more confident during her routine.  So, oh well.  You know.  You can’t really change history now.  But, you know, I’m, I mean I guess it’s good that Taylor Spears won and Oklahoma was recognized for their awesome beam work after having a really rough year–rough Nationals last year where barely anyone made, uh, beam finals.  So…yeah.

 

JESSICA: One think I just have to say about Lindsey Cheek that I just have to sing her praises once more is that no matter what the pressure is, she delivers the exact same routine.  You know that she has it in her head that she should be getting a 10.  You know she’s pissed, right?  But it does not affect her per–performance.  She never overdoes it.  She never tries to be like, so perfect, and just concentrate–concentrates on that so it messes up her performance.  Like, you could take a video of her and then just plunk that routine into any day of the week; any competition, no matter if it’s her, her intra-squad video from pre-season, or if it’s event finals at NCAAs.  She does exactly the same routine, and that is freaking amazing.  Her ability to handle pressure is amazing.  Like, whatever she has in her veins, like, we need to extract that and give it to, like, you know, all the scientists and people doing important work so that they can be as steady-nerved as she is.  Steady-nerved.  That’s a new word I invented.

 

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] I have nothing to add, so I think we’re kind of done yammering on about, uh, NCAAs.  What about you Jess?

 

JESSICA: I wanna yammer on a little bit more about…

 

[laughter]

 

JESSICA: …Kat Grable’s floor.  Totally the correct winner, because obviously Chayse Capps, uh, should’ve won, but she had a little on her second–well she, you know, she, her second pass.  But she covered up very well by doing, sort of, a, a sideways exaggerated college salute to lunge thingy, but, you know, she, she has–she’s only a freshman.  You know, she performed like a super senior, but she’s only a freshman, so we have more to look forward to from her.  Um, Kat Grable did, of course, her patented arabian double front half out, which as we know, the only–as I mentioned before, the only other person who was doing that in modern history was, uh, Uchimura did it piked, which is like, she’s doing the same skill in NCAA that Uchimura’s doing?  What?  Sick!

 

UNCLE TIM: And Eddie Penev of Stanford does it laid out.

 

JESSICA: Which is super badass too.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

JESSICA: Um, [sighs] totally distracted now.  Something about laid out skills.

 

UNCLE TIM: Kat Grable.  Think about Kat Grable.

 

JESSICA: Um, so the other thing I wanted to say was I, I think that the, the vault, um–this was one of the first times we’ve seen a, a, she does a Podkopayeva.  So, she does a half on, um, like, front pike–front layout, half off, and it’s just beautiful.  She does a great job, and we rarely see a vault other than a Yurkchenko full win, so I think it was great to see that.  I think that Marissa King was last with a Yurchenko one and a half, or a Tsuk one and a half?  Um…

 

SPENCER: Yeah.

 

JESSICA: …so it was great to see that.  I think the judging was really good on that event despite the fact that Lindsay Mable [sighs] I just–you know how I feel about Lindsay Mable.  And she’s just so fantastic, and I just think they didn’t give it to her because of the power part of it.  I mean, I think you, you know, couldn’t really take anything away from her vault, but when you have Rheagan Courville who’s doing the same vault and lands literally, like, three full body distances away from where Lindsay Mable lands, and it’s like, eh, okay.  Well, I can kind of see that.  Um, what else did I wanna say about that?  Um, I al–I mean, Bridget Sloan did a fantastic job.  I think Sam Shapiro was excellent, excellent on bars.  I really–I just…her form is just to die for.  You could take a picture of her at any point in her routine, and her form is absolutely perfect.  Um, and I was just so excited to see a fantastic competition where there were hardly any falls.  I mean, honestly, in this entire meet there were maybe–in like, the finals, between Saturday and Sunday there were maybe, like, six falls total.  You know?  That’s pretty, that’s pretty good average for a gymnastics meet.  It was great, great, great gymnastics.  People really performing to their, to the absolute utter perfection.  It was just great to see people going out that way.  I loved it.  Loved it.  Oh, I have to mention the other person who I absolutely feel in love with, who’s an individual from Sac State.  She’s the first ever competitor from Sac State to make it to NCAA Championships, is Kalliah McCartney from Washington–Washington state.  She is 5’7’’.  Holla!  And, um, she made it in the All Around.  She is just one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.  So clean.  So perfect.  We put up a video of her from earlier in the season in our playlist, so you guys can check her out.  My god.  She’s one of those gymnasts that I–you could not stop looking at her, and honestly, I was like, who is that?  How is she not on one of these, you know, teams?  Like, Oklahoma…I’m sure she’s like, totally Oklahoma gymnast.  Like, long, lean, flexible, perfect lines.  Um, I think every coach there was jealous that Sac State got this amazing competitor, so hats off you.  Um, she was great.  Anything else you think we should discuss?  Um, Spencer?

 

SPENCER: The only other thing that I really noticed–or I was really impressed by was just the high quality in event finals throughout all of them, which we don’t usually see, ‘cuz it’s the third day in a row and everyone’s sort of dragging and can barely get off the floor.  Can barely do a vault…and we saw, I think last year we saw, like, two sticks in vault finals, and everyone was sticking in vault finals this year.  And it’s so much great tumbling for all the people who were tied right behind Katherine Grable on floor.  I was just really impressed that they were able to come up with such strong routines on the third day when they should’ve been, like, dripping off the floor with exhaustion.

 

JESSICA: [laughs] Yes.  And people were up ‘til like–I mean, Oklahoma were with us until, like, three in the morning the night before.  So, the fact that they got up and competed, and then won stuff…they’re just amazing.  They’re incredible.  All these women are just absolutely superstars.  Oh, I know what I wanted to talk about. Security.  So, you know how last year I complained about security–how you could just walk in with your luggage.  Well, that happened again.  No on checked anything.  And then I was in media area–no one asked for my credentials when I went to the media area.  Someone wanted to check my bag to see if, you know, I was carrying anything in my bag that I shouldn’t have in there.  But, not anywere on my person, and not anywhere in the giant container of, uh, takeout food that I was taking into Christy Linder so she could eat because the NCAA doesn’t provide any food, unlike USA Gymnastics, which does.  Thank you very much.  And, all normal events provide food for the media because they can’t leave.  They’re there from, like, the crack of dawn in the morning until, like, 2 am.  So, NCAA, seriously?  Like, oh I don’t know…out of your billions maybe you could kick down a sandwich for all the people covering your event free.

 

UNCLE TIM: So, last year they did have it.  Um, it’s a question of when the food is available and, and if you are really out there for every single rotation, and you don’t stop in the middle of a rotation, then you miss out on the food.  ‘Cuz I definitely missed out on the food last year.

 

JESSICA: Unacceptable.  They should have food out all the time because they have enough money to make that happen.  So,tsk tsk NCAA.  And, not only did they not–you know, they checked my bag, but they didn’t ask for my credential at all, um, after I walked into the media area, put the food down, left a bag there unattended, and then walked out, I walked directly into the media sign and knocked it over along with the easel making a giant crashing noise in front of everyone working on their computers in the back.  Thank you very much.  That was me.  I just wanted to make sure everyone knew I was there.  Um, after I, you know, picked that stuff up in the back, um, then I was walking out towards the floor and, like, again no one asking for credentials.  No one looking in security.  But, there was a dude there warning everybody: make sure you put a sticker over that Adidas thing.  Make sure you put a sticker over that Adidas–or, um, you know Reebok logo that you have on your shorts.  Um, you know, so like, you can basically take a gun or a bomb into directly onto the floor or as a spectator into the arena, but make sure you don’t have a logo that’s not the official sponsor of the NCAAs.  Mm.  The security is a total joke, and it makes me sick.  And, I’m, I really?  They can’t afford one person to actually make sure that people aren’t carrying stuff in?  It’s, it’s a tragedy waiting to happen is all I’m saying.  So, once again, NCAA [makes mouth fart].  Did that farting noise come across that I just made?

 

UNCLE TIM: Yes.

 

SPENCER: Loud and clear.

 

JESSICA: Good.  I’m glad.

 

———————

 

[segment change beeps]

 

ALLISON TAYLOR Advertisement: This episode is brought to you by Elite Sportz Band.  EliteSportzband.com.  We’ve got your back.

 

JESSICA: Visit EliteSportzBand.com.  That’s Sportz with a Z, and save $5 on your next purchase with the code “Gymcast.”

 

UNCLE TIM: You can also contact us if you missed us a lot over the next two weeks.  Um, we love reading your feedback.  Um, so please send us emails at gymcastic@gmail.com.  We read all of them.  Sometimes it takes us a little while to get back to you, but we do get back to you.  Um, you can also leave us a voicemail by calling us at 415-800-3191.  Or you can call us free from anywhere in the world.  Um, just use skype.  Our username is GymcasticPodcast.  And as Jessica already stated, you can follow us on many, many, many social media channels.  Uh, you can follow us on Twitter, Tumbler, Facebook, Instagram, Google+.  Am I missing anything?  Not that I can think of.  So, follow everywhere that you are, because we’re probably there as well.  And, with that we want to a great next two weeks.  We’ll miss you guys.

 

JESSICA: Thank you so much for listening.  Make sure to check out our YouTube playlist.  Watch the routines that we’re talkin’ about this week.  And we will see you in two weeks after our breaky-poo.  And, ‘til then, I’m Jessica from Master’s Gymnastics.

 

[salsa music]

 

UNCLE TIM: I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym.

 

SPENCER: I’m Spencer from The Balance Beam Situation.

 

JESSICA: See you guys in two weeks!

 

[salsa music to close]

 

JESSICA: The Korea Cup?  Is that what it was?

 

UNCLE TIM: The Korean Cup.  Yeah.  Which was not an FIG event.

 

JESSICA: They just somehow got everybody to show up.

 

[Uncle Tim laughs]

 

UNCLE TIM: So yeah–I don’t really know how that worked.

 

JESSICA: I hope they just, like, uh, uh, gave them filthy amounts of money and that’s how it worked out.  Ah, okay.  Here we go.

 

UNCLE TIM:

 

JESSICA: This week  Llubijan–oh shit.

 

[laughter]

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