It all comes down to this – four teams, four events, one title. Florida Gymnastics qualified yesterday by the skin of their teeth, joining Michigan, Oklahoma, and Utah as the Four on the Floor competing for the national championship trophy in today’s meet.
Yesterday’s meet got the job done, but it was not ideal for the Gators. Uncharacteristic flubs and a few falls plagued them on almost every event, with Gabbie Gallentine missing a pirouette and coming off on bars, Payton Richards falling on beam and going out-of-bounds on floor, both Trinity Thomas and Nya Reed having trouble controlling their tumbling power on the bouncier floor on podium, and Savannah Schoenherr nearly sitting her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault. That many mistakes against teams of this caliber? They’re lucky they qualified to today at all.
But what the Gators have to do, and plan to do per head coach Jenny Rowland’s messaging earlier this week, is to put it behind them. They need to move on, let the past be the past, and have each other’s backs as they move forward. Stay in their bubble, focus on the Orange and Blue, and be better than themselves – especially better than they were yesterday.
But the competition will be stiffer than ever. Michigan is the only team in this fight that has never won a title, and the Wolverines are hungry for it. They had probably the cleanest meet of any team yesterday, and if they can put the full meet together again today, they will be very difficult to beat. Oklahoma had a similarly clean meet, with the exception of one bars fall from 2016 Olympic alternate Ragan Smith, and was the only team to break 198 in either session yesterday. The Sooners are the reigning champs – can the Gators keep them repeating? And Utah can’t be counted out either. They had their ups and downs yesterday, but the Utes are looking stronger than they have all season and could be a real spoiler threat today.
We start in just a few minutes on ABC, at 3:30pm ET, but if you’re stuck at work or just can’t bear to watch, refresh this page every few minutes. I’ll have all the play by play for you as we go along!
We have a live eye from warmups today! Shoutout to Sam Marshall at Alligator Army who’s sharing the wealth live from the arena.
Oh boy, a new hype video today, already in my feels.
For those who are new to watching college gymnastics, this broadcast being on ABC is huge for the sport. The fact that all regionals and nationals sessions were all broadcast on ESPN/ABC channels is such a massive jump in visibility from even just two years ago, when we were lucky if the regional feeds were even accessible on platforms like FloGymnastics, known for its high prices and low quality broadcasts. We are so lucky and thrilled to get this high-quality broadcast today, commentated by the best of the best, Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke.
3:37pm: Here we go, y’all!
Davis, OU VT: FTY, stuck! What a start.
Paulson, Utah UB: Stuck her dismount!
Richards, UF BB: Off on her series again. This is not the sign we needed.
Bauman, Mich FX: Hit first tumbling pass, we’ve cut away now.
3:39pm: Stern, VT: Y1.5, looked basically stuck to me, holy cow.
Sabado, UB: Release is just gorgeous. Bail, little leg sep but that’s getting picky. DLO stuck! Utah cruising along.
Webb, VT: Y1.5, little scoot back to get her feet under herself, little underdone.
Skaggs, BB: Okay, let’s start the meet for real this time. Wolf turn, makes it look easy. Switch to split, just gorgeous. Bhs loso, so steady, good job. Front aerial, locks it in. Cat leap switch side, not her highest but hits 180 fine. Side aerial back full stuck! That’s much better, thank you, Skaggs.
OU just hit another vault in the background.
Ah, we’re going to see it. It’s Schoepfer, VT: Tucked Y1.5, stuck COLD, that’s huge.
3:44pm: Wojcik, FX: Double pike to open, gorgeous, well controlled. Dance series is lovely. Front double full to front pike, so well done, really pops up into the second element. Rudi to finish, just a fantastic routine. They are bringing the heat.
LeVasseur, VT: Y1.5, little crossover step forward.
Lazzari, BB: Bhs loso loso, doesn’t even have to bring her arms down, she’s so dead on. Switch to split, great extension, lovely toes. Side aerial back full stuck!
Trautman, VT: Y1.5, and she NAILS it, just drills the landing. This is insane.
O’Keefe, UB: She told us yesterday she could tell when she’s gonna stick and THERE IT IS. That’s your national champ, folks.
3:48pm: Baumann, BB: Bhs loso, soooo good. Switch to split, great. Front aerial, nails it. Switch half is a good one, not as good as yesterday but shouldn’t be deducted. Roundoff Y.5 STUCK, let’s GO. Give her the 10, she deserves it.
Isa, UB: Short on a handstand, hop on the landing. Just going off of audio cuz I’m focused on Lyss.
Brooks, FX: Full in is gorgeous, maybe a little big on the lunge out. Front through to double back, fully upright on the landing and great control in that lunge. Double pike, two foot stick! Chest a little low, but what a routine.
3:52pm: Thomas, BB: Switch to split leap, gorg. One arm bhs to loso, and she falls, doesn’t touch the ground but might as well have, grabbing onto the beam and curling herself around it. That’s meet right there, barring disasters from every other team.
Wilson, FX: Full in in such an open position, well done. Combo pass is lovely. Oversplit in the straddle is sooo nice. Double back to close, lunge out looked like her front foot might’ve slid but not a good camera angle. Still, a great routine.
3:56pm: Clapper, BB: Need her to come through right now. Bhs loso loso, very nice. Full turn is really nice and precise, love that. Switch to split, maybe a little tight there in the split jump. Side aerial back full is stuck! Good for her, keep fighting, Gators.
AFTER ONE: MICH 49.625, OU 49.575, UTAH 49.425, UF 48.7625
4:05PM: Heiskell, Mich VT: Y1.5, stuck cold.
Skaggs, FX: Rudi to stag great. Dance series is even better than yesterday, nice. 1.5 to front lay to finish. She is such a rock for this team, so proud.
Trautman OU UB: Huge DLO dismount, stuck it looked like.
Wojcik, VT: Y1.5 another stick! Something about this vault is just absolute fire, wow.
4:07pm: Wilson, VT: Y1.5, massive amplitude, hop forward.
Richards going on FX. I hope mentally she can get it together. Didn’t see any of it though, just the music in the background. Oh, can see her in the background of this beam shot. Combo pass to finish looks good.
Stanhope, Utah BB: Series looked good. Switch to split, nice. Roundoff 1.5 stuck! Utah chugging along over there so far.
Draper, UB: Jaeger is nice. Pak, big leg sep. Good last handstands. Double front, didn’t look like a stick to me but Bart and Kathy disagree.
4:10pm: Morrison, VT: Y1.5, another big distance vault, hop forward. These are gorgeous, but they don’t have as many sticks as OU yet.
Webb, UB: Pak just FLIES, lovely. Handstand on low bar is great. Van Leeuwen had some leg sep, last handstand looked a little short. Double front half out dismount better than yesterday and sticks it.
Lazzari going on FX now, can hear her music starting. But again, not seeing any of it. Can’t really blame ESPN for not showing them, since they’re so far behind.
Brooks, VT: Y1.5, there’s another stick! Get it!
Guggino, VT: Y1.5, such a powerful block, little step forward.
Smith, UB: Tkachev is gorgeous. Good handstands. Pak is fine today, good for her. Last handstand looked a little short. DLO, some leg sep and a scoot forward.
4:14pm: Thomas, FX: Going for DLO again today, much better than yesterday, just pops it into the lunge. Leaps are excellent, so precise. Front full front lay to sissone, great. Good recovery for her, that’ll be a good one.
Davis, UB: Her handstand work is just fabulous. Jaeger is gorgeous. Little step back on the dismount.
Paulson, BB: Side aerial loso, so solid. Leap series is great. Stuck dismount!
Reed, FX: DLO, much better control there today. Front lay to Rudi, another controlled lunge. Killing the choreo section as usual. Double pike is nice and upright, she’s THRILLED with that routine, screaming and fist pumping as she comes off.
4:19pm: Randall, BB: Utah out here just killing it on beam. Bhs loso, great. Beat to sheep, decent position there. Rulfova, well rotated and controlled, good for her, that’s a hard skill. Roundoff 1.5 stuck!
Baumann, FX: Double tuck, little bouncy on the landing. 1.5 to front full, sassy step out is well controlled. Dance series is fab. Double pike to close, landing was fine but it looked like she tripped on the sting mat? Covers by rolling into her choreo, good thinking, and ends with the music as normal.
4:23pm: O’Keefe, BB: Gorgeous mount position, love. Side aerial loso is just textbook. Switch to split leap, back leg maybe a little low? Full turn is nice. Cat leap to side aerial back full, sticks it! Utah just having themselves a DAY on beam.
AFTER TWO: MICH 99.275, OU 99.1375, UTAH 99.125, UF 98.3125
4:33pm: Heiskell, Mich UB: Huge release, bail fine. I missed her dismount.
Trautman, OU BB: Soooo steady through the whole thing. Little hop on the dismount.
Baumann, VT: FTY, little bounce but maybe her best this year?
Randall, Utah FX: Double pike, two foot stick! Wow! 1.5 to front lay, a little whipped around but a solid start for Utah.
Lazzari, VT: FTY, little bounce, good.
Bauman, UB: Great handstand work. Double front, step forward on the landing.
4:35pm: Schoenherr, VT: Apparently she had a rough warmup and has some extra tape on. Y1.5, better than yesterday, little deep on the knee bend but SHE STUCK WOW!
Brooks, UB: Great piked Jaeger, handstands looks great. Bail good. Last handstand a little shy? DLO, little hop.
Skaggs, VT: FTY, gorgeous flared position, landed a little forward but stick? Maybe? We’ll see what the score says.
Dunn, BB: Triple series, and she falls! Oh boy. Dance series looked good. Full turn, precise. Gainer full, stuck!
Stanhope, FX: Full in, pops the chest up. Double tuck, well controlled there. Fun flexible choreo in this middle section here! 1.5 to front lay, solid there as well. Another great one for Utah!
4:41pm: Thomas, VT: Y1.5, just a little hop forward.
Wojcik, UB: Let’s see if she can stay on today. HUGE Deltchev and catches fine today, nice. Bail is great. Last handstand is gorgeous. DLO, deep knee bend and has to take a step back.
4:44pm: Woodard, BB: Starting choreo is pretty! Full turn is solid. Side aerial bhs, steady. Front toss to beat, a little slow but should still get the connection. Switch to split, lovely extension there. Scale, just gorgeous, love that. Side aerial back full stuck! She gets them going again after that fall.
O’Keefe, FX: Double pike to open, good control coming out there. Front lay front full, good lift in the second element. Dance series has great amplitude. 1.5 to front lay, great there too. Another clean one for the Utes, this is so close, man.
4:48pm: Smith, BB: Bhs loso, big lean and circles her arms, but stays on. Front aerial, dead on. Love her attack in all the choreo. Straddle half to Korbut, very nice! Bhs gainer full stuck! Good recovery.
Soloski, FX: Love this routine. DLO, gorgeous amplitude, almost goes out but keeps the lunge small. Front lay front full, not as pretty as O’Keefe but still nice. 1.5 to front lay to finish, and Utah is through another one, keeping things very close.
4:53pm: Webb, BB: Bhs loso, locks it in. Her legs are soooo long, she really uses the full length of the beam. Cat leap to front aerial, nice. Switch to switch, landed on one leg to avoid having a bobble, wow. Side aerial back full stuck. Sooners will drop the fall!
AFTER THREE: MICH 148.7625, OU 148.625, UTAH 148.6, UF 147.675
5:02pm: Richards, UB: A hit! Glad to see her redeem herself.
Bauman, BB: Switch half to split, good. Side somi, didn’t hate it. Stuck dismount!
Draper, FX: Double pike to open, good. Front full front full, takes it riiiight to the line. Dance series is nice. Whip half to 1.5, finishes strong. OU starting well.
Hall, VT: Y1.5, little step to the side.
5:05pm: Wilson, BB: Hitchkick, just choreo but it’s nice. Bhs loso, ooh little bobble there. Cat leap to switch side, another bobble. Full turn is great. Roundoff double back, little scoot back.
Isa, VT: FTY, hop back. Not the best event for them to end on.
Lazzari went 9.8875, Skaggs looked like she was doing well in the background.
Stanhope, VT: Y1.5, hop forward. She never really stops, she’s so excited!
5:08pm: Rucker, VT: Y1.5 STUCK COLD! Wow, that’ll help.
LaPinta, FX: Triple full, one of her good ones. Front full to floaty front lay, nice. A little short on her straddle in her dance series. Double tuck, finishes strong.
Farley, BB: Needs a big score here. Triple series, a little lean but covers well. 1.5 turn, that’s fun. Side aerial, another little adjustment. Gainer pike, little shuffle.
Schoenherr fell on bars and didn’t get back up, holding her back as she walks off. I know she’s been having back pain this season, that’s devastating for her. I hope she’s okay.
Burch, VT: Y1.5, nails it! We’ll see if that’s enough to pass OU or Michigan…
5:12pm: Brooks, BB: Triple series, killed it. Switch to switch, good there. Front toss, so aggressive, love it. Roundoff double back, little bounce in place. That’ll be a bigger one, they needed that.
Webb, FX: Front double full to open, very clean and controlled. 1.5 to front full, looked a little off axis but lands fine. Rudi to straight jump, and that’s maybe her last routine? Definitely a great finish to her career if it is.
5:16pm: Wojcik, BB: Front aerial to beat, lovely. Switch to split, great extension. Bhs bhs loso, so solid. Full turn is nice and sharp. Roundoff 1.5 STUCK! That should be a GREAT score, wow.
Trautman, FX: DLO, wow. Little shy on the third dance element again today. Front lay front full to sissone, nice. Great finish – it’s gonna be TIGHT, y’all.
5:21pm: Heiskell, BB: Dance series, very sharp. Bhs loso, super solid. Roundoff 1.5, little hop. My heart is POUNDING right now. What a meet!
Baumann and Thomas went 9.8875 and 9.9 on bars, respectively. Not that we got to see it.
MICHIGAN DOES IT! A 9.925 for Heiskell seals the deal for the Wolverines’ first ever NCAA title!
FINAL: MICHIGAN 198.25, OU 198.1625, UTAH 197.9875, UF 197.1375
The Gators have some healing to do and some reflecting to do – this weekend did not go their way, and postseason as a whole did not look great. I’ll be very interested to see which, if any, seniors take the extra year for COVID, because their business is still not finished. Still, we should be proud of how they fought and took care of each other throughout the weekend. Thank you for a fabulous season, and we’ll be back with a recap later this week. Check my Twitter for updates from final press conferences! Other than that, thanks for joining us, and go Gators.