Sunday, 25 April 2010

Final Day of NCAAs

Vanessa Zamarripa and Brittany MCCullough of UCLA took titles on vault and floor respectively yesterday. The vault final was way too long, Zamarippa won with a layout Podkopayeva and a full twisting Yurchenko. Other notable things on vault: Mary Atkinson was first up and had a landing issue on vault one and smashed backwards into the vault on her second. She got a third vault at the very end of the entire competition so presumably she was alright but it was terrifying to watch. Susan Jackson didn't bring out the DTY, but did a great full and a good 1.5 for second, and Mandi Rodriguez of Oregon State came third. Kingy managed 4th. SIGH, she stuck her tsukh 1.5 in warm ups.

Seeing as her picture's there: floor time. Brittany McCullough won with her normal slightly interesting routine. I am neutral to this win. There was a tie for second. Hollie Vise of Oklahoma was one of them, she had a clean routine with mad choreography. I stick with what i said about the Oklahoma choreographer being on drugs. Brandi Personett managed silver in her final meet, no full in layout, there were rumours she'd injured herself in warm ups which might be why. The other was Sarah Shire of Missouri (well done Utah for chasing her away). She was fairly normal. Marissa King came fifth, again the highest non medallist, but she made up for the team final. Nice double layout. Casey Jo Magee did the awesome Austin Powers routine but she had small issues on her final tumble which sucks cos it would have been great if she had won.

Stanford's Carly Janiga unexpectedly took the gold on bars in her final meet, so congrats, bronze AA and gold UB for her. She had a great routine with a well and truly STUCK landing. There was two way tie for silver, Summer Hubbard of LSU also had a nice clean routine and Hollie Vise managed to medal in her two events in her final nationals, so well done her.

Susan Jackson took the beam title in her final meet after a remarkably shakey beam final. No really large errors but everyone except her and Janiga had issues, so McCool should consider her second place tied with Janiga as exceptionally lucky and a Georgia pity mark.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

UCLA Takes NCAA Gymnastics Crown

UCLA took the trophy from Georgia in an interesting final yesterday, not that Georgia were able to attempt defense. It was a close run battle between UCLA and Oklahoma, but the Bruins came out on top thanks to stronger vaults and better consistency.

Utah started well and were doing alright until beam when a fall from Daria Bijak caused a few problems, they finished last of the Super Six. Bad end to a career for the German.

Florida totally screwed everything up and finished 5th, unfortunately thanks to Marissa King (well she is British, she was going to screw everything up at some point). She scored in the 8s on bars, fell off beam and stepped out of bounds on floor, so Florida lost scores it would have wanted to count.

Stanford came 4th, good placing and unexpected for them, predominantly because unlike prelims Alysse Ishino didn't feel like going wrong everywhere. They have some crazy floor routines going on, and a great showing on vault put them this close to the top 3, but they couldn't quite hold on.

Alabama started of weak on floor, everyone stumbling backward and out of bounds, but they picked up with strong vault and bars to place 3rd overall, despite a fall from Geralen Stack-Eaton on beam.

Oklahoma put up a good fight, but in the final rotation UCLA needed an average of just over 9.8 to take the title, Oklahoma were on a bye. OMG their floor routines are CRAZY. Seriously whoever choreographed those routines must've been smoking something. Vault is probably their weak area, if they get stronger on that they could dominate. Also Natasha Kelley, there comes a point when one should stop competing. This happened when your ACL tore. THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN CONTINUE WHEN IT'S COMPLETELY SEPARATED FROM YOUR LEG GIRL. Go get some surgery and REST. She was so strapped up.

UCLA did very well, there's no doubting that. They weren't sticking vaults very much but they were still scored well, their bars were typical strong bars, their beam was wobbleless and their floor was enough to clinch it. I confess I wanted to see Oklahoma do it, (well OBVIOUSLY I wanted Florida but after bars and beam it became apparent this would not be happening), and when UCLA got to floor I was kind of annoyed because there isn't really anything for them to go wrong on, save a double layout from one gymnast. Their choreography, much like Oklahoma's, is pretty mad, and Hoppy-Hibbs routine is ass-kicking in the crazyness and awesomeness departments, but I was a bit disappointed. Go figure.

EF tonight. Please acquit yourself better tonight Kingy. I know you're inherently British, but you've managed the rest of the season.

Friday, 23 April 2010

NCAA Prelims

Sorry for my long silence, I was busy with coursework and I just haven't had anything to write since then.

So, I know I haven't mentioned it but I am an avid Gators fan, (though I expect UCLA to win this year), and have been properly keeping up with the NCAAs this year for the first time, and it is AWESOME. So it was prelims last night, I didn't get to see the first group but UCLA, Oklahoma and Utah made it through which is pretty much what I expected. The only difference I thought might have happened was LSU instead of Utah who haven't been very strong this year, but LSU had to count a fall on beam and so ended last of the 6 teams.

There was a bright spot for LSU as Susan Jackson took the AA title ahead of Casey Jo Magee of Arkansas and Carly Janiga of Stanford. Nice one by Carly there. Favourite Sarah Shire of Missouri fell from beam in the final rotation to stop her placing in the top 3. Geralen Stack-Eaton of Bama and former US team member came fourth ahead of senior Brandi Personett of Penn State.
Second session I did get to see and it featured home team Florida, Stanford, Missouri, Bama, Arkansas and Michigan. I was pretty certain Florida and Bama would reach the super 6, and Stanford joined them coming in third. I though Michigan might have been able to reach it but they started badly on beam, and though Stanford had an iffy bars rotation they could quite close the gap. Bama won this session and were solid and clean (though really dull) right until floor when they had to count some lower scores. They still beat Florida who had a couple of issues on bars, and suffered a fall on beam and floor. Randy Stageburg won't be competing in the Super 6 as she messed up floor so we'll get to see Castillo in her final meet on floor.

Final wise TWENTY PEOPLE HAVE QUALIFIED TO VAULT. This is ridiculous. These includeMunchie's Kingy. OH YES MARISSA KING IS AN ALL AMERICAN ON VAULT (British gymnastics pride, it happens rarely). Brandi Personett, Morgan Dennis, Susan Jackson, Hoppy-Hibbs, Zamarippa, Anna Li, Stack-Eaton and Sarah Shire are a selection of those who made it. Ashanee Dickerson qualified top just ahead of Stanford's Blair Ryland.

Bars has a more reasonable 11 people in the final. Maranda Smith, Amanda Castillo, Casey Jo Magee, Kayla Hoffman, Kassi Price and Carly Janiga have all tied for first -_- which is mildly ridiculous as well. I'm also looking in forward to seeing Anna Li, Daria Bijak and Hollie Vise.

Beam also has 11 people, top qualifiers being Ashley Priess and Casey Jo Magee. Stack-Eaton, Jackson, Courtney McCool, Personett, Janiga and Jamie Deetscreek have all qualified to name but a few. No Gators made the beam final unfortunately but I will cope.

Floor time, and Marissa King and Jaime Pisani of Arkansas have tied for the top place. Morgan Dennis will also be in the final as well as Hollie Vise, Annie DiLuzio, Makayla Stambaugh, VaZam, Brittany McCullough and Ashanee Dickerson have all qualified.

Well done to Susan Jackson for her AA win and qualifying to all finals.