Welcome to Chomp Talk’s first gymnastics live blog of the 2019 season! We’ll be coming at you live from the closed intrasquad meet with quick hits and tidbits from your favorite Florida Gators. This year promises to be an exciting one, despite the departure of an incredible class last season. This year’s incoming freshman class, starring international elite Trinity Thomas, will bring a whole new set of skills and 9.9-worthy routines on all four events. This intrasquad meet is the final one for the Gators before they open the season on January 11 against Missouri here in Gainesville. It is not being broadcast nor is it open to the public – only the first 100 season pass holders and some special guests were invited. We’ll be your eyes on the inside, so refresh this page every few minutes for live updates on lineup formation, routine construction, and more.
6:00PM: We are here and ready to go! The girls are introducing themselves right now, so we should be getting underway shortly!
On the orange team, we have Alicia Boren, Rachel Gowey, Nicole Webb, Savannah Schoenherr, Halley Taylor, Nya Reed, and Leah Clapper. On the blue team, we have Amanda Cheney, Sierra Alexander, Amelia Hundley, Maegan Chant, Alyssa Baumann, Megan Skaggs, Trinity Thomas, and Sydney Johnson-Scharpf.
6:08PM: Taylor, Orange, VT: Solid Yfull from the freshman, little bit of legs in the air.
Baumann, Blue, UB: Toe on to Maloney, good, to pak, little bit of legs in the air. DLO, little bounce. Good! Would love to see her crack that lineup.
6:09pm: Gowey, Orange, VT: Biiiiig air on her Yfull, hop back. That’s much improved.
We’re all the way across the room from bars so I’m having some trouble IDing this next gymnast.
6:11pm: Chant, Blue, UB: Tkachev, good, big air. Bail solid, maybe a little shy on last handstand. Floaty DLO, nice! Scores confirmed Chant after the rotation.
Reed, Orange, VT: Big 1.5, sat in warmup – hits! Hop forward is controlled, that looks goooood for December, y’all.
6:12PM: Hundley, Blue, UB: Maloney to pak, lovely and floaty. Van Leeuwen, a little bit of legs but not near as bad as early season last year. Full in, stick! Wow.
Schoenherr, Orange, VT: Y1.5, big bounce forward with a little leg back, but that’s gonna be good for them. Landing about what I would expect for December.
6:14PM: Thomas, Blue, UB: Maloney good, to uprise nice. Pak is gorgeous. Van Leeuwen is sooo clean, especially coming right after Meals. DLO just soars, little bounce on the landing.
Boren, Orange, VT: Still doing the Y1.5, probably a good idea. If she upgrades, I’d expect it later in the season. BIG air, bounce on the landing. Looks nice.
6:15PM: Skaggs, Blue, UB: Tkachev just as big as later year, directly to an angel of a pak. Hits last handstand, DLO with a bounce back. I expect to see her late lineup this season tbh.
After the first rotation, these girls have to feel good. Everyone went five for five, Jazzy still looks like the only major injury, and spirits are definitely high. They just announced scores but they’re not displaying them anywhere so I didn’t catch all of them. Mostly 9.8s from what I could hear.
Warming up the second rotation now, Baumann showing a Y1.5 on vault! That’s big news. Hundley is throwing hers too but didn’t go nearly as well, she crunched an ankle on her landing and fell over sideways. Chant throwing the handspring pike half a la Slocum and it’s still being spotted, but could develop into something I suppose.
6:23PM: SJS, Blue, VT: Yfull, deep on the landing but basically stuck?? Not a comp landing right now though, I don’t think.
Clapper, Orange, UB: nice piked Jaeger, handstand work is a little archy right now but she’s fighting for them. Full in is pretty far out but she sticks it!
6:25PM: Cheney, Blue, VT: Yfull, not on comp surface, bounce back. They’re still calling her a senior, so looks like she may not redshirt after her injury last season.
Webb, Orange, UB: Short first handstands, Tkachev is a little scrapey and pak is spotted, but good to see that she’s training something other than beam. Last handstand is nice, DLO dismount is spotted but landing is basically stuck.
6:27PM: Alexander, Blue, VT: BIiiiig Yfull, with a sizeable bounce back, but on what looks like their competition surface vault. That’s got some oomph behind it.
Taylor, Orange, UB: missed most of this because Baumann is standing in front of me, whoops. Definitely a hit though, big cheer when she hit her release.
6:29PM: Skaggs, Blue, VT: Yfull, basically textbook. Not on competition surface yet.
Just a note, Reed was the only one of the Orange team not to be on comp surface.
Boren, Orange, UB: Nice air on the Tkachev, clear hip to handstand a little short. Bail is dead on though, last handstand a lil short. DLO doesn’t fly like it normally does, but she still pulls out the stick!
6:30PM: Baumann, Blue, VT: Y1.5!! That upgrade looks stellar. Not on comp surface yet, but just a hop on the landing.
Schoenherr, Orange, UB: Release is good, bail straight up and down. Little archy toward the end in the handstands, double tuck dismount is close to the bar but otherwise OK.
6:31PM: Hundley, Blue, VT: throws the Y1.5, crunches to the side again and ends up in the pit. She’s okay, gets back up and salutes.
Gowey, Orange, UB: Ray is GORGEOUS as always, toe on is good, to pak, yes. Little short on last handstand, DLO stuck!
6:33PM: Thomas, Blue, VT: Y1.5, super clean in the legs, just a little hop forward. She’ll get that landing by season, I think.
Seeing not a full routine… I think it’s Schoenherr’s bigger dismount she’s working? Looks like a half in double back a la McCusker.
6:35PM: Chant, Blue, VT: Spotted on her front pike half, stumbles back on the landing. Yup, that could definitely be something. We’ll have to keep an eye on that.
After two, this Gator team has to be stoked. Hundley’s upgrade is the only iffy thing we need to be concerned about (because let’s be real – Chant will only be in if that upgrade is ready, and Webb should never have to do bars unless it’s a real disaster), and even then, she can go back to the full and still probably lead that fight for lead-off. Realistically, let’s talk about lineups.
Vault should be all the 10.0 starts – Baumann, Reed, Schoenherr, Thomas with their Y1.5s and Boren anchoring with either her Y1.5 or DTY, if she decides to upgrade. If Hundley figures out that Y1.5, she should go in that lineup and that makes six. If not, she, SJS, Taylor, Gowey and Alexander should all be fighting for the Yfull leadoff slot.
Bars should be a little less cut and dry, but I’m running out of time to talk about it, so we’ll have that discussion afterward!
6:45PM: Skaggs, Blue, FX: Don’t know why they’re starting with floor first, but oh well. Her routine is jazzy this year, oooh. First pass is a double pike right now, still doing it to resi. Second pass also to resi is a Rudi, solid. Little bit of crossy legs. Final pass on comp surface is 1.5 twist to front lay, that’s a solid leadoff.
6:47PM: Clapper, Orange, BB: Bhs bhs loso to open, suuuuper close to the end of the beam but stays on with only a small wobble. Full turn fine. Switch to split, good positions. Side aerial to back full, stick! Quick but efficient routine for her.
6:49PM: SJS, Blue, FX: Girl is bringing the drama! Double arabian to resi to open, little shuffle back to stabilize herself. I love the musicality in this routine already. Second pass also to resi is front lay to front full, interesting. Ankles are both taped, I wonder if they’re bothering her tonight or if everyone is gonna do first two to resi. Wow, all the sass in this music. Last pass also to resi is a double tuck, yeah must be the ankles. Good idea to keep those rested right now, they’ll want that in the lineup.
6:51PM: Taylor, Orange, BB: Front toss, foot is way off center but she somehow stays on. Bhs loso, little wobble but again stays on. Full turn is lovely. Switch leap to another switch leap, little short on the second one. Bhs to gainer full off the side, a little helter skelter but she pulls it out. Probably a good backup option but probably not lineup material yet.
6:53PM: Alexander, Blue, FX: I’m stoked for this one, y’all. DLO to resi, perfect control. Second pass to 8-incher is double pike, chest decently up. Looks like some legacy moves from Baker in here maybe? I recognize that shimmy. Last pass to comp surface is front lay to front full, a little wild in the legs in the prep but fine control upon landing. Fun choreo on the floor to finish. I love that!
6:55PM: Schoenherr, Orange, BB: front aerial, lovely. Bhs loso, patient with it and doesn’t bobble. Full turn is really nice, Split to straddle 3/4 with some hesitation in the middle, don’t know if I give her that connection. Roundoff 1.5 dismount, little hop in place. Nice.
6:56PM: Chant, Blue, FX: DLO to resi to open, wow! Lovely artistry and toe point through her choreo. Second pass to another non-comp surface (also resi I think) is front tuck through to double back, that’s different than most of her teammates. Last pass to resi is a double pike. Gator chomp to finish, I like.
6:58PM: Webb, Orange, BB: Full turn is nice. Her arms are so precise, lovely. Bhs loso, looked crooked in the area but she corrected. Switch to split, nice. Front aerial, looked a little unsteady but covered well. Beat to sheep, those legs have improved since last year. Roundoff double full dismount, nice!
7:00PM: Hundley, Blue, FX: DLO to resi, looks way better than last year. Opens with Greatest Showman, switches to Circus by Britney Spears, I see a theme here. 1.5 twist to front lay to comp surface, good. Some legacy moves from past routines, I love. Double pike spotted to sting mat at the end, good. I worry about the stamina with the spot at the end, but other than that, that routine will score really nicely.
7:02PM: Boren, Orange, BB: Front toss, dead on. Bhs loso, looked a little off on takeoff but settled in well. Switch to straddle, great positions. Cat leap to gainer loso, not as quick a connection as I’d like. Overturns her full turn but covers nicely. Cartwheel to gainer full, legs way cleaner than any of her teammates so far.
7:04PM: Baumann, Blue, FX: DLO to resi to open, again, way more confident than last year. 1.5 to front full on comp surface for second pass, really nice. Split positions gorgeous as always. Lots of team interaction in her choreo this year. Double pike to 8-incher, just a little help on the landing from coach Adrian Burde. That’ll be another stunner.
7:06PM: Gowey, Orange, BB: Switch to split, solid. Bhs loso loso, straight on, what a star. Front aerial to sissone, good. Punch front tuck is straight on too! Full turn, gorgeous. Gainer full stuck cold – she’s gunning for that 10 this season.
7:08PM: Thomas, Blue, FX: Her music sounds like she’s going for something a lil creepy and a lil ethereal this year. Double layout just FLIIIIIIES, wow. Most air we’ve seen all night. Front lay to front full on comp surface for her second pass. Serving us some Kytra Hunter vibes with the worm on the floor leading up to her third pass. Double pike gets crazy air too, still to resi. Butterfly to finishing pose on the floor. I’m obsessed.
I’m already in love with most of these floor routines, they’re killer. And beam is looking like way less of a problem than I thought it would be, with lots more really viable options. That’s definitely encouraging. The key is going to be taking some of those from 9.8-level options to 9.9-level options, but that’s what the next month is for.
7:19PM: Webb, Orange, FX: Double pike, spotted to 8-incher. I’m pretty sure this is the same routine as last year, 50 Shades music. Wolf hop is a little oddly forced in her dance combo. Rudi to resi for her second pass. 1.5 twist to front lay, couldn’t get her feet under her and she sits it down. Team is quick to rush out and high five her, keep her spirits up.
7:21PM: Skaggs, Blue, BB: Double wolf turn to open, keeps it nice and extended and even. Nice. Switch to split, good. Bhs loso, looked a little crooked in the air but lands it perfectly. Looked like she marked through something in the middle… maybe full turn? Cat leap to side aerial to back full dismount, good.
7:22PM: Clapper, Orange, FX: Lots of claps in the beginning choreo from the team, maybe a play on her name? Hah. Double tuck to sting mat to open, good height. Second pass to comp surface, 1.5 to front lay, solid. Leap positions are nice. Last pass to resi, double pike, good control. That could be a lead-off.
7:24PM: Cheney, Blue, BB: Good to see her back on what I consider her best event, at least. Fun handstand to straddle mount. Full turn off the top is good. She’s being aggressive with this, I love it. She wants in this lineup. Bhs loso loso, wooooow. Switch to shushunova (where she dives to support herself on her hands and put her hips on the beam), nice. Missed the dismount entry but she cut it close to the end of the beam there. She’s gunning for it.
7:26PM: Schoenherr, Orange, FX: Double pike to open, big air, lovely landing control. Drama in this choreography here. Twisting combo pass to comp surface for her second, good. And 2.5 twist to finish, nice! That sets her apart a little bit from some of the other new options.
7:28PM: SJS, Blue, BB: Bhs loso to start, good. Punch front, giving me angry beam face and determined to land straight on no matter her position in the air. Switch, balks and has to reset. Switch half to beat, good backup. Full turn is good. Side aerial to back full, missed her foot on the end of the beam and goes to her knees on the landing. Still, barring that final error, that was really good. I love the attack.
7:31PM: Taylor, Orange, FX: DLO to open on resi, nice. 1.5 twist to front lay, good, on comp surface. Double pike also on resi to close, good control there. Not sure I think the choreo fits her, but the tumbling is killer at least.
7:33PM: Hundley, Blue, BB: Front aerial to sissone, good. Bhs loso, big bobble but stays on and doesn’t bring a leg up. Switch side, good, missed the combo there. Full turn, patient with it and squares up. Roundoff to 1.5 twist, stick! A good finish, she fought through.
7:35PM: Gowey, Orange, FX: I missed what her first pass was, something twisty and she sat it. Womp. It was to the 8-incher and I think that got in her way. 1.5 to front lay, good, comp surface. This might be the same as last year? Hard to say, I’d have to go back and look. Double pike to finish, chest low but good on the landing. Ending position looks familiar, I think it is the same.
7:37PM: Thomas, Blue, BB: Switch half to beat, super sharp. One arm bhs to loso, yes. Little shimmy in there, love the confidence. Front aerial, small hesitation into wolf jump. Choreo so sharp, I’m obsessed. Walks to the end of the beam, something missing there that’s not ready yet. Roundoff double full dismount, queen. Calling it now, SEC Freshman of the Year.
7:38PM: Reed, Orange, FX: BEAUTY of a double lay to open. Also seeing some legacy Baker moves in here. A little indistinct in her second jump position, think it was supposed to be a wolf. Rudi second pass, fights to stay in bounds as her foot came up to lunge back. Third pass to 8-incher is a double tuck, she SLAYED that. Team rushes the floor.
7:40PM: Baumann, Blue, BB: My fave, not even gonna lie. Onodi is beautiful! Bhs loso, straight on. Switch to switch half, gorgeous. Full turn, good. Side aerial to split jump, yes. Roundoff 1.5 twist, stuck cold, she holds it just to show it off. Love it.
7:42PM: Boren, Orange, FX: Oh my god. Opening music is the MGM Lion opening! I’m dying. DLO spotted onto sting mat to open. 1.5 to front lay on comp surface, good. Hammer time! A callback to last year’s on the floor choreo with some new additions, nice. Getting a little Nina McGee on us in the corner with a “Worth It” snippet. Double tuck to comp surface to close, and the crowd goes BONKERS, even with just a hundred or so people in here. That routine is going to kill in the O-Dome.
That closes it up for routines – I’ll have some postgame analysis here for you… as soon as I find an outlet! I’m sitting on the floor with my computer to get the best view, so I haven’t been plugged in and my computer’s dying! Be right back!
8:24PM: Okay, here I am! We did some post-game interviews, so we should have those for you sometime in the next day or two. But I’m here to draw some conclusions from tonight’s performance and maybe talk about some lineup possibilities.
The biggest takeaway for the Gators tonight is depth. Depth, depth, depth. This team has 10+ routines on every event that are getting very close to viable for season. The fight for the lineup six is going to be really tough, but that should get the Gators even closer to the title fight. Four on the Floor is daunting, but they would have qualified had postseason been this way last season, so I’m not too worried, and neither is head coach Jenny Rowland.
Vault I kinda already discussed at halftime, but basically, it comes down to the viable 10.0 starts. Everyone who showed one tonight except Hundley looked like they’ll be ready for January. Baumann was especially surprising, considering her full wasn’t faring so well last season. I hear tell that Alexander is also training a Y1.5, but since she didn’t show it tonight, she might be taking it slow/easy, which is probably for the best considering the Achilles last season.
Bars, as I said before, is going to take some finagling. I was surprised to see Johnson-Scharpf not out there, even with all the depth showing, so maybe she’s stepped out of contention for some reason or another. I expect Gowey and Hundley to be leading the team on bars, as well as Thomas, and Boren is pretty much a lock for the AA, so consider her in on bars as well. Two more spots… right now, I’d give those to Schoenherr and Skaggs, but I could easily see Chant or Baumann getting opportunities to slide in, provided they keep up what they showed tonight.
Beam has SO. MANY. OPTIONS. Wow. I fully expect Baumann to anchor this year, she’s too strong not to give it to her. Boren and Gowey should be locks as well, but honestly, I think the other three are wide open. Maybe Thomas too, so two spots up for grabs. Cheney and SJS both showed massive fight tonight, they’ve really got the fire. Skaggs was also really lovely tonight, though there is a piece of her routine missing that she has yet to work out. And I was really impressed with Clapper’s work, I think beam might be a possibility for her to sneak in.
Floor was an absolute blowout as far as performance level. Boren, Reed, and Thomas all had the crowd going absolutely bonkers, Schoenherr and Baumann were really nice technicians, Hundley’s tumbling is much improved… there’s lots of options. I’d say those are probably your six right now, with the possibility for Skaggs, Alexander, and Johnson-Scharpf to wiggle in there some weeks.
8:55PM: That’s it for me tonight guys! We’ll see you sometime in the near future with some interview low-down about tonight and a feature on one of your Gator faves – stay tuned! Thanks for joining us.