From football to basketball and yes, even gymnastics, the Georgia-Florida rivalry is always exciting, and we are here for all the action tonight!
Last week, if you didn’t catch the recap, Florida set a record high score for a season opener against Auburn, and that was with a few hiccups. This week, expect to see the team more in the groove, though lineups may stay largely the same. The one shift we might see this week would be senior Alyssa Baumann joining the all-around, but that remains to be seen.
Georgia won’t be any old slouch of a team though – the Gymdogs showed some promising upgrades to start their season last week against Missouri. Mikayla Magee showed off a new Y1.5 that scored tremendously well, Amanda Cashman returned from injury to rejoin the bars lineup, Alyssa Perez-Lugones added beam to her competition repertoire to the tune of 9.8, Rachel Baumann has a great new floor routine to anchor the Georgia lineup, and freshman Victoria Nguyen stole the hearts of gym fans across the nation with difficult, unique skills on all four events, winning the all-around. Georgia won’t be a pushover, but the Gators have strengths where the Gymdogs have weaknesses, particularly on vault and beam.
The Gators will be happy with the way this meet is starting – sold out crowd (at limited capacity), two weekly SEC honors for Nya Reed and Trinity Thomas, and maintaining the No. 1 ranking in the country. Tonight’s mission will be to build on what Florida showed at Auburn last week and fill in the gaps. Strong showings on bars and floor will be key to demonstrating that this team is ready for a title quest.
6:44pm: Stuffing some pizza in my face with my family almost like I’m at a meet again! A little normalcy in my life.
Tonight’s meet is dedicated to last year’s seniors! Since they didn’t get a senior night last season, they’re being honored tonight. Maegan Chant and Rachel Gowey gave the team a special pep talk tonight over FaceTime.
6:53pm: Still waiting for our stream to start. Looking forward to a great night of competition!
6:55pm: Georgia starting without Schild on bars. She scored a 9.6 last week, so probably smart, but also, she can score very well. Wonder what’s happening there.
6:59pm: Ooookayyyyy, now would be a great time for the stream to start…
7:01pm: Yaaaay, stream is finally up!
Richards, VT: FTY, small hop forward, looks like she was holding back too much, and undercooked it.
Cashman, UB: Tkachev, meh height, flexed feet. Bail was good. Last handstand was okay. DLO stuck! A good start for them.
7:04pm: Lazzari, VT: FTY, also slight hop forward. Same holding back as Richards but not nearly as bad of an underrotation.
Ward, UB: Cool to see her in this lineup! Starts on low bar, handstand a little short, Shaposh, doesn’t have a whole lot of momentum as she goes backward… and that translates to her bail back to the low bar, her elbows buckle and legs separate badly and bend. DLO dismount, small adjustment.
7:06pm: Skaggs, VT: FTY, great amplitude, gorgeous body position. Little hop back on the dismount.
de Jong, UB: Dancing it out while she waits, same, girl. Good first handstands. Gorgeous, high Ray. Bail is nice and straight. Last handstand is short. DLO slide back. A good recovery for Georgia.
7:09pm: Schoenherr, VT: Y1.5, little hop back to scoot her feet underneath her. Not her best, but fixable.
Roberts, UB: Lovely low bar work. Maloney to bail, both good, a little leg sep. DLO stuck!
7:12pm: Reed, VT: Y1.5, crazy distance! And better height than last week too. Hop forward, bigger than last week.
Nguyen, UB: The Gymdogs’ star freshman! Great first handstand. Pak is lovely! Maloney to Gienger, wow! Pretty clean in the legs too. DLO dismount, steps backward. Love that she’s keeping her elite skills.
7:14pm: Thomas, VT: Y1.5, big hop forward. Just too much power, gonna need to dial that bakc.
Oakley, UB: Gorgeous piked Jaeger. Pak is good. Shortish on her last handstand. Full in, slide forward.
AFTER ONE: UF 49.25, UGA 49.05
7:20pm: We’re getting to see messages from Gowey and Hundley!! So cute.
7:26pm: R Baumann, VT: FTY, good for her!
Richards, UB: Love seeing her back in this lineup! Missed a lot of this because I was looking at the lineup that seemed to be missing Lazzari? In favor of Clapper?? I am confused.
7:28pm: deJong, VT: Wow! Good for her getting into this lineup. FTY, looked stuck to me!
Gallentine, UB: Good first handstands. Maloney to pak, both good. Much better than last week. A little shy on last handstand. DLO, super straight, little step on the landing.
7:30pm: Nguyen, VT: FTY, a little low, big lunge back. Legs a little bent too? Hard for me to see.
Skaggs, UB: Gorgeous Tkachev to pak as usual. Good final handstand, DLO hop back. A return to form for her after last week for sure.
7:32pm: Ward, VT: Tsuk full, a little low on the block, little knee bend and separation in the air, but nice to see another vault other than the FTY or Y1.5.
Schoenherr, UB: A little archy in that first handstand. Jaeger caught a little close for her. Bail is great. Final handstand gorgeous. Double front half out, little hop. Got better and better as she went!
7:34pm: Roberts, VT: Y1.5, overdoes it and springs forward, taking several steps. Just lost where she was in the air, I think.
Thomas, UB: Maloney to uprise, gorgeous handstand. Pak is good, good handstand on low bar. Van Leeuwen, legs glued together. DLO stuck! Finally!
7:36pm: Lukacs, VT: Just an FTY for her this week, instead of her usual DTY. Good to see her back and recovering well.
Clapper, UB: Still unclear why this is the lineup we chose to go with. A little shy on first handstand. Piked Jaeger is nice, caught maybe a little close. Bail is good. Giant full is late and messy, double tuck dismount had a hop back. Yeah, don’t know why Lazzari wasn’t in, but it’s a 9.8 at least.
AFTER TWO: UF 98.475, UGA 98.225
Florida widens their lead, and Thomas will take both vault and bars event titles! Definitely a steadier performance on bars from the Gators this week, but some regression in landings.
7:46pm: Aww, we’re getting messages from last year’s Georgia seniors too! Vega and Dickson were some absolute greats, hate that they didn’t get to go out their way either.
Richards, BB: Gorgeous triple series! Switch to straddle, a little tight but I think she hits 180 both times. Side aerial back full, little bounce in place.
7:48pm: deJong, FX: Double pike to start, nice to see her in this lineup! 1.5 to front lay, pretty good control coming out, just the little shuffle. Tour jete half to wolf full, good positions there. Double tuck to finish, great control on the end of that. Not a whole lot of content in the choreography, but a clean start for Georgia! She’ll apparently be in the AA tonight.
7:50pm: Johnson-Scharpf, BB: Love her very matter-of-fact mount, immediately takes control of the event. Punch front, little adjustment but not a check. Bhs loso, snaps those arms down to keep herself tight. Switch half to beat, good. Handstand to loso back full STUCK! Love that dismount and she totally nails it.
7:52pm: Roberts, FX: Piked full in, very nice! Front lay front full, great control there. Fun choreography in this section. Switch side to Popa, good positions. Double pike, chest a little low on the ending but didn’t seem too out of steam. Another good one for Georgia.
7:55pm: Lazzari, BB: Bhs loso loso, a little too much momentum and takes a step back, but if that’s her smallest error, she’s doing great. Front aerial, lovely. I keep waiting for a connection out of it, but then I remember this isn’t elite! Full turn is good. Side aerial back full, little hop on the landing. Won’t be a 9.95 like last week, but still a good one for the freshman!
7:57pm: Cashman, FX: Hiiiigh double pike, drops it in right at the edge of the floor with good control. 1.5 to front lay, great control in her step out. Switch side to Popa, maybe a little askew on the Popa? Double back to finish, also good power there. I just wish the choreography were more interesting with all of these, I’m not invested.
7:59pm: Clapper, BB: Bhs loso loso, just floats it, gorgeous. Switch to split, lovely positions. Side aerial to back full, another stick! Let’s see more of that please!
8:01pm: Hawthorne, FX: YES! One of my favorites on floor. Double pike to open, gorgeous. Front lay to Rudi to biiig split jump. The whole routine is Prince music, I love it. This is what I meant when I said I wanted to be invested! The worm, yes. I think she almost missed her hands on her first back handspring, which is why she ran out of energy on the double tuck. But easily my favorite of Georgia floor tonight.
8:02pm: A Baumann, BB: Bhs loso, gorgeous. Switch to split, giving a masterclass on how to hit past 180 on those. Front aerial, so solid. Full turn, calm. Switch half, lovely. Roundoff 1.5, little step back from trying too hard to stick! Ugh! Still, that was the only error I could find. Give her the 9.95 and call it a night.
8:04pm: Perez-Lugones, FX: Another entertaining performer! Double pike, stumbles back but not OOB. Front combo pass is good. Split positions are good, wolf is a little off kilter. Love this music, it’s definitely dance inducing. Double tuck to finish, good control to close it out.
8:06pm: Thomas, BB: Switch split mount, love it. Switch to split leap, unusual but gorgeous. One-arm bhs loso and SHE FALLS! Oh my god. She chalks back up on her feet, gets back up. Front aerial to korbut, good. Side aerial back full, slide back. Holy cow, that just doesn’t happen. That’s her first beam fall in her college career.
8:08pm: R Baumann, FX: Double wolf turn to start, okay. Double arabian, great power! 1.5 to front full to Shushunova, so dynamic. A great performance for the younger Baumann sister.
AFTER THREE: UF 147.85, UGA 147.575
For reference, the last time Thomas fell was on bars approximately a year ago, also in Week 2. That night and tonight are the only falls in her collegiate career.
8:19pm: Schild, BB: This girl deserves one healthy season! Please? Gorgeous split handstand mount! Wow! Front aerial to bhs bhs… I don’t think that gets series credit, she had a slight bobble with the aerial and didn’t properly connect it. Also a bobble after the second bhs. Side aerial to beat is good. Switch to split, lovely positions in the air. Gainer pike off the end, little adjustment.
Word on the street is that Nguyen is injured, which explains all the lineup changes for Georgia.
8:21pm: Clapper, FX: Double tuck to open, solid. 1.5 to front lay to stag, better control this week than last. Switch side to Popa, good. Double pike to finish, nice! A good leadoff, I don’t mind her in this role at all.
8:23pm: Long wait for Perez-Lugones, and then she falls on her mount, no! Her punch front mount is so risky, especially for NCAA. Front aerial, hesitates, then continues to her leap series. Bhs loso, breaks at the hips a bit. She’s just in her head too much here. Gainer full of the side, it’s stuck, but it won’t save the score.
8:27pm: Richards, FX: DLO to start, good control, a little knee bend as she came in. AC/DC to start, crowd is loving it. 1.5 to front lay, dances right out. I can hear people singing the Tom Petty lyrics in the background, not sure if it was fans or athletes. Double back to finish, ran out of steam and fell forward to her hands. Had to have stung her ankles too, oof.
8:29pm: Hawthorne, BB: Bhs loso to start, good. Switch to another switch, cool. Front toss from knee, connected to a beat jump, solid. Roundoff 1.5, bounds forward, but it’s a hit! Hit the reset button and move on.
8:31pm: Johnson-Scharpf, FX: Hoping for another reset button here. Double arabian is great. 1.5 to front lay, dances right out with good control. Getting the audience clapping along. Switch half to split 3/4 to the floor, love it. Bringing the drama in this section, music speeding up, here we gooooo! Double tuck to finish, fantastic! Definitely hitting the reset button in definitive fashion, well done!
8:33pm: de Jong, BB: Full turn, good. Switch to split, lovely toe point and good positions. Front aerial, big break but doesn’t fall. Bhs loso, another big bobble but stays on still. Split half from side stand, bringing some elite finesse. Side aerial back full, stuck, but I don’t know if that will cost her the AA title or not…
8:35pm: A Baumann, FX: The ice queen has arrived! Double tuck to open, great controlled lunge there. 1.5 to front full, a little skiddy coming out. Switch half to straddle full, gorgeous as always. Double pike to finish, NAILS it! That’s redemption for last week right there.
8:37pm: R Baumann, BB: Side aerial to loso, sooo floaty. Full turn, hate that technique but it gets the requirement accomplished. Beat to switch side, a little bobble and weird amplitude there. Roundoff 1.5, little step back.
8:39pm: Reed, FX: DLO, sooo good. Front lay to Rudi, so much cleaner than past years and good control on the landing, right in the corner. Leaps and jumps were good and the wolf was properly rotated, from what I could see. Double pike, just lays that lunge back so casually. I could see that going 10, but we’ll seeeeee…. nope, it’s a 9.975.
9:41pm: Roberts, BB: Bhs loso, good. Beat to side somi but definitely not connected, way too much hesitation. Switch to straddle quarter, not 180 in my view. Side aerial back full is stuck! A good finish for Georgia, but that won’t do it.
9:43pm: Thomas, FX: Even without her score, Florida wins, so this should just be a victory lap for her, but she’ll also want some redemption from beam. DLO is soooo floaty, lunge very controlled. Front full front lay to sissone, good control there as well. Is tonight it? Pushup in the oversplit position, I just can’t handle it, this athlete is so flexible. Double pike to close, overcooks it and took two steps so she went OOB! Nooooo! It’ll still be a great score but obviously not the 10.
FINAL SCORE: UF 197.25, UGA 196.075
Score-wise, I think this week’s score is more realistic than last week, and appropriately lower – more errors on vault and beam tonight rather than bars and floor, but the season is still young. Thomas will take the vault and bars titles, Clapper takes the beam title, and Reed slides in there for the floor title. Georgia’s de Jong will take the AA title after being a last minute addition, so good for her, but Thomas will want to have that title on lockdown pretty much the rest of the season.
That’s it for me here! Follow me on Twitter @mycluttereddesk for updates from the press conference shortly, and I’ll see y’all back here next week!