LIVE BLOG: USAG Nationals Team Finals

Defending champion and first-place qualifier Texas Woman’s will return to Kitty Magee Arena for the last time as a team in 2018 with an eye on a title repeat, right after star senior Schyler Jones set a school record of 39.6 to lead the team through semifinals last night. It won’t be easy for the Pioneers, though; #1-ranked Lindenwood remains the only USAG team to break 196 in 2018, and is capable of much more than its middling performance yesterday.

Those two are joined by Air Force, back in its first USAG final in several years and extremely excited about it. Fans are leading U-S-A chants in the stands for this team. Cornell rounds out the field, having set a program record last night to qualify out of the second semifinal and boasting some of the most stylish and creative gymnastics in the country.

Lindenwood is HYPED. I’m not sure how dump trucks figure in tbh.

We’ve just started touch, comp will probably start about 18-19 past.

ROTATION 1: AIR FORCE VAULT, LINDENWOOD BARS, TWU BEAM, CORNELL FLOOR

BORGES – LU: Bail to toe on, solid, lowish Tkachev. Hitting handstands, full turn double back stuck.

DICKSON – TWU: Big check on switch tuck full leap series. Punch front full dismount, hop forward.

MILLER – AFA: Solid FTY, twists late with a hop back.

BRUDER – AFA: Tsuk tuck full, step back.

ALEXANDER – LU: Blind to pike Jaeger to overshoot, high and beautiful. Pretty double lay with just a littoe hop back.

O’BRIEN – CORNELL: Pretty opening dance sequence, big lunge back on opening double pike.

ALDERMAN – TWU: Switch to gainer loso, bit of an adjustment. Off line on side aerial, adjusts again. Good wolf to straddle 3/4, Good flic loso. Hop back on gainer full.

COLWELL – LU: Tkachev, a touch short on a handstand, blind to straddle back very pretty. Full turn double back, hops feet together. Nice!

VINCENT – TWU: Flic loso, comes in tentatively but hangs on. Good switch side, double twist with legs way apart but solid routine

SHEN – CORNELL: Great double pike, dance is just gorgeous, switch thru tour jete 1/2, 3/2 front lay to close is lovely.

MITCHELL – LU: Blind to Jaeger, beauuutiful with lots of hang time. Clear hip, a little arch but hangs on, to bail. DLO a little soft in knees with hop back.

KELLY – TWU: Triple series gorgeous, wolf 1/1 in combo so great.

HENRY – LU: Blind to Jaeger with a bit of feet, bail caught with shoulders closed but solid body position, STICKS the dismount after crashing it yesterday. Good one!

HERCZEG – CORNELL: This routine is so cute to me. Double pike with hop back, front full front lay awesome.

SOKOLOWSKI – LU: Gienger beautiful, clear hip to Pak just FLIES. Coach Jen pretty much just turned and walked away after that, she knows she’s done. Full turn to double back with a hop back.

MOREDOCK – TWU: Flic loso, little adjustment. Switch switch side is short on splits, nice full turn. Double twist dismount pretty in the air with a hop back.

JONES – TWU: Leg up just a little on the ro-back pike, nice full turn. Switch tuck full, short on split. Kickover to beat with another check, 3/2 twist with a hop forward.

HENRY – CORNELL: Double pike, bounce back, this routine is so stylish. Front lay front full tuck barani, really solid. Tour jete 1/2 Popa great. She has her hair in a ponytail and it is getting some action in this routine which I LOVE. Double back a touch underrotated, hop forward.

TWU 49.05, LU 48.875, AIR FORCE 48.8, CORNELL 48.5

In case you were wondering, no, TWU didn’t have a better rotation than LU there. Scores starting low on bars. Both teams heading to their best events now, so we’ll see how they match up.

Air Force had a great start on vault. Cornell needed to be perfect to stay in contention and did give a bit away, but shout out to Izzy Herczeg for that 9.875. It was pretty killer.

ROTATION 2: CORNELL VAULT, AIR FORCE BARS, LU BEAM, TWU FLOOR

ALEXANDER – LU: Side split mount is my favorite, front aerial-back tuck nailed. Pretty full turn, little adjustment on dance, switch to split 3/4, stuck gainer pike.

VERSEMANN – TWU: Great landing on double pike. Pretty dramatic dance, deep on front twisting pass with awkard side step out. Great leap series.

DAVIS – AFA: Killer first handstand, beautiful Tkachev, blind change to straddle back awesome. Blind to half to double back with a little hop.

FRANKLIN – LU: Flic loso basically perfect. Sissone to side aerial, little off in the middle but lands it solidly. Beat to split 3/4 nailed, beautiful full turn – her legs and feet are just stellar.

MURPHY – AFA: Clear hip to Tkachev, nice bail. Underrotes DLO and rebounds forward onto her hands.

NORTROP – TWU: Has been in floor lineup inconsistently this year, but went in both yesterday and today. Double pike straight from round off, scoots back a bit. Nice leap series, closing with 3/2 front full and a big step out.

COLWELL – LU: Stunning triple series, arms up to land it. Nice full turn, switch switch… pits hand down and off.

HERCZEG – CORNELL: Does a tsuk pike Arabian, which is the coolest thing. Little foot skitter on landing but solid.

HOWARD – AFA: Toe blind to pike Jaeger, beautiful. Nice bail, toe blind again to half to double pike with a hop back.

GENTRY – TWU: Front thru double back, close to the line but I think stays in. Double pike, weird side stumble.

MILLIET – LU: This is where the beam lineup starts to get serious. Awesome side split mount, front aerial-bhs beautiful. Tiny direction thing in the middle but uses her arms to arrest it. Hop out of pike kickover, good dismount with I think a little hop>

SALAMONE – AFA: Full turn to Gienger, touch off on a handstand, nice Pak. Full in dismount stuck.

HENRY – LU: Flic loso, beautiful, turns out front foot as she lands it. Leap series is great, hips a bit out of line on side aerial. Beat to straddle 1/2 pretty, 3/2 dismount with a hop forward.

SOKOLOWSKI – LU: Triple series, ugh so good. Straddle straddle 1/2 nailed, great punch front. Nice on full turn, hop out of 3/2 dismount. 9.85 for that is daylight robbery.

MOREDOCK – TWU: Good double pike, slightest uncertainty in the landing but it’s nothing. Step forward on double back – 3/2 front lay with a bigger lunge but good.

JONES – TWU: Stick on double back, that’s nuuuuts. Double pike, great landing, switch to wolf 1/1 straddle 3/4 good. 3/2 front lay stick-ish… up on her toes and dances out of it. That was stellar.

TWU 98.3, LINDENWOOD 97.8, AIR FORCE 97.725, CORNELL 96.95

So, Lindenwood did not get scored the same way as TWU on beam. It wasn’t a perfect rotation by any means, but it wasn’t a 48.9 either. For TWU, the story there is pretty much the best floor routine of Jones’ career. It should have had more margin over the rest of the lineup, which had imperfect landings, but judges backed themselves into a corner by going high on Alderman and Moredock.

Air Force is still hanging on startlingly close after a great bar rotation led by Salamone’s 9.925. Heading to beam now, we’ll see if it can hold on.

ROTATION 3: TWU VAULT, CORNELL BARS, AFA BEAM, LINDENWOOD FLOOR

ALDERMAN – TWU: FTY, piked down with a big rebound back.

COLWELL – LU: Step forward on opening pass, combo pass is good. Love the choreography in this one.

DAVIS – AFA: Straddle to split 3/4 is great, front walkover… misses connection, trying again… fhs front aerial, good! Great full turn, hop back on dismount.

FRANKLIN – LU: Front thru double back, stuck DEAD. Switch 1/2 wolf 1/1 solid, tour jete 1/1, double pike and steps oob.

MURPHY – AFA: Flic loso gorgeous, full turn, nice leap combo. Gainer pike stuck.

BAZE – LU: Nice double pike, solid landing on double back. Great routine, but 9.825… Lindenwood just not getting the scores it needs to stay in this.

JONES – TWU: Stick on Yurchenko arabian… and the crowd starts chanting for a ten. You have fun with that, guys, it starts from a 9.95.

BARBER – AFA: Nice full turn, front aerial-bhs is gorgeous. switch to split 3/4. Stick on gainer full.

MCMULLAN – LU: Double pike, picks up front foot. Nailed leap series, hop to lunge from double back. Great 3/2 front lay. nice one!

HOWARD – AFA: Switch ring is great, nailed flic loso. Check on front walkover that’s just there for requirements.

ALEXANDER – LU: Love the leg over shoulder opening pose. Nailed double pike. 3/2 front lay super solid, the dance in this routine is so unique and awesome. Switch ring thru tour jete 1/2, rebound back on double back.

LUERS – AFA: This routine is the coolest possible thing. One armed FHS to Chen (tuck Korbut), nailed.

HENRY – LU: Underrotated double pike, step forward. Little bounce out of 3/2 front lay, switch side to Popa is great. Deep on double back, another step forward.

TWU 147.5, LU 146.825, AIR FORCE 146.675, CORNELL 145.55

Well, Lindenwood probably just threw the meet away with those floor landings. Just needed to be better than that and wasn’t. TWU had a vault rotation that was still a touch on the hoppy side but an improvement from yesterday, and Air Force continues to absolutely kill it.

ROTATION 4: LU VAULT, TWU BARS, CORNELL BEAM, AIR FORCE FLOOR

BAZE – LU: FTY tucked, small hop back.

COLEE – TWU: Maloney to bail is great, just a little wonky on catch, weird double back close to the bar with a step back off the landing mat.

DAVIS – LU:  Handspring front pike, walks out.

MURPHY – AFA: She’s become a favorite for me this weekend, so tidy and precise. Underrotates double back with a step forward. Whip 1/2 front lay is pretty, 3/2 punch front… weight isn’t over her feet on the punch and she can’t kick off, punches to her butt.

JONES – TWU: Full turn to Gienger to overshoot is great. Little hop on dismount.

FRANKLIN – LU: Handspring pike 1/2 with a big hop back. So great that that vault is consistent now.

BOOGERD – LU: Great FTY, hop back.

VINCENT – TWU: Toe on to bail, a bit off, messy feet on Tkachev, stuck full in dismount.

SHEN – CORNELL: Switch to straddle 1/2 to straddle is SO BEAUTIFUL. Flic back pike gorgeous, full turn, stick on 3/2 twist. 9.75 hahahah what

SOKOLOWSKI – LU: Tiniest shuffle back on beautiful FTY, and that’s the meet for the Lions.

KELLY – TWU: Pike Jaeger to overshoot, double lay with a little hop in place.

HERCZEG – CORNELL: Front aerial-bhs is stunning, all sorts of pretty leap stuff, front full with a little hop forward.

NORTHROP – TWU: Short on first handstand, clear hip to Gienger to overshoot, double lay with a little scoot back into salute. That should be the title for the Pioneers.

GREEN – CORNELL: Mount is the most gorgeous thing, front aerial-bhs with a little adjustment, great full turn, beat to sheep. Cat leap to tour jete… and off. noooooo 🙁

BELL – AFA: The Panic! at the Disco floor is here to make us feel better. Double back straight out of a round off is stellar, switch side Popa maybe a bit underrotated but no one actually takes that do they?

DAVIS – AFA: Closing out the meet alone. And the stream froze. I’ll just trust it was great because she’s the best.

USAG NATIONAL CHAMPION: TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY (196.525)

I think  that’s a program record for TWU – only the second time it’s ever broken 196, the last being last year’s final that it also won. Scoring was definitely cushy – it wasn’t really a better day than yesterday besides not counting a fall on bars, with a wobbly beam rotation and some off landings on floor. But with mistakes from other teams, it didn’t end up making the difference – the Pioneers were able to drop everything questionable and put together a great total.

Lindenwood needed to be perfect to keep pace, and a repeat of yesterday’s shaky beam rotation and some weird floor landings were enough to hold it back today. 195.8 is a great score for any DII program, but it can be better and knows it. Sokolowski will definitely be looking for revenge in event finals. Air Force had a stellar day to finish only about a tenth behind Lindenwood, a season high by a huge margin. Cornell wasn’t able to keep pace with the others, but it still had a better than average day and showed some great routines.


Live blog by Rebecca Scally

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