It’s another top-ranked, sold-out meet for the Gators this week as they take on the Sooners for the final home meet of the season!
Tonight is an enormous, important test for Florida, as it faces one of its likeliest post-season opponents in Oklahoma. The way these two teams stack up tonight will give the world a preview of how they may look at nationals against each other and will indicate to the teams what areas may need the most work between now and then.
It’s also senior night, where we’ll honor a whopping eight athletes who will (or may) compete their last routine in the O-Dome tonight. Super seniors Megan Skaggs and Alyssa Baumann are for sure coming to the end of their time as Gators – it’s okay to cry, I will too! – while seniors Trinity Thomas, Nya Reed, Savannah Schoenherr, Leah Clapper, Halley Taylor, and Sydney Johnson-Scharpf all have the option to take an extra year next year. However, none of them have confirmed for certain, so just in case, they’re all being honored tonight.
If you read the recap of last week’s competition, you’ll know that the Gators are in pretty good shape going into tonight, and with a strong score and a win, they’ll call this night a success. You have all the usual stars to watch – Thomas and Skaggs on everything, Reed on vault and floor, Schoenherr on vault and bars, Baumann on beam and floor, Wong and Blakely wherever they slot in, the list goes on and on. Many fans (myself included) are crossing their fingers for some senior night magic for Skaggs and Baumann in particular, who both have done 10.0-worthy work in the past but haven’t received the score, and whose absolute last chance to get one at home is tonight.
But don’t expect Oklahoma to be nice just because it’s an emotional night. The Sooners just eked out a higher NQS over Florida last week by the skin of their teeth, meaning they’re at an almost identical level of competition. In contrast to Florida, Oklahoma relies more on two- and three-event specialists rather than all-arounders, though its best all-arounder, Audrey Davis, was ranked in the top 20 prior to the NQS switch. The Sooners are led by an array of upperclassmen like vaulter Allie Stern, beam and floor rock Carly Woodard, and three-event powerhouse Ragan Smith, all of whom boast perfect scores in the past. Make no mistake – this will be a high-scoring meet and could easily come down to the final routine.
It all starts at 7pm ET on SECN+, but in case you can’t be there or can’t tune in, we’ll have all the action for you here moment by moment!
Oklahoma has shared their lineups for the evening! Looks like Woodard will actually be out of floor with Sievers in, and Trautman has indeed returned to the beam lineup. Glad to see her back after so many injuries.
Odd to see Thomas not in AA/floor on senior night. A sign perhaps that year 5 is coming?
You crying? I’m crying. It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.
7:03pm: Rotation 1 let’s go!
Skaggs, VT: Yurchenko full, big air, floats it down nicely. Maybe a little shuffle? Hard to see from the top down angle.
Sievers, UB: Maloney to pak, both solid. Good handstand work. Full in dismount, hop back.
7:04pm: Schoenherr, VT: Y1.5, pretty clean, hop forward.
LeVasseur, UB: A little floppy on her handstand on the low bar, but releases were good otherwise. Step on the dismount.
7:06pm: Wong, VT: Podkopayeva, gets LOTS of distance this week but big hop on the landing. Not as good as last week.
K Thomas, UB: Solid opening handstand work. Jaeger is good, bail fine. Final handstands looked okay from here, double layout (DLO) dismount stuck! Nice!
7:08pm: Reed, VT: Y1.5, tried to control it too much and had to step back. Still should be a good score.
Smith, UB: Ray to immediate pak, very nice. Great final handstand. DLO, shuffle back.
7:10pm: Blakely, VT: Y1.5, just the smallest of steps, and she’s THRILLED, as she should be!
Bowers, UB: Ray (toe-on Tkachev), gets great height on that. Pak salto, good there. Super clean on her final handstands. Just drops that full in dismount in and sticks it cold, that was killer. OU dialing it in here.
7:12pm: T Thomas, VT: Y1.5, itty bitty hop forward. Another great one for her!
Davis, UB: Huge piked Jaeger, great turnover. Pak is clean. Great final handstand work. Double front half out dismount stuck! Sooners bringing out the fight now, oh boy.
7:13pm: Edwards, VT exhibition: This means she’ll vault for the competition experience, but her score will not count. Yurchenko full, gorgeous dynamics, little slide back.
Fletcher, UB exh: Gorgeous ifrst handstands! Tkachev is nice, flexed feet though. Pak looked clean. Pirouette on the low bar a little messy. Full in dismount, step forward.
AFTER ONE: UF AND OU, 49.4
These teams are TIED after the first rotation y’all! Told you it would be close.
7:22pm: Davis, VT: Yfull, went too hard for the stick and had to step forward, chest down a little bit.
Blakely, UB: Maloney to pak, both clean, legs just pasted together. Good final handstands, double front stuck! She is ON this week!
7:24pm: Ramsey, VT: Yfull, also comes in short, chest down, has to step forward.
McCusker, UB: Good first handstand. Maloney to pak are both gorgeous. Maybe a little shy on that next handstand. van Leeuwen is great. Stalder to double tuck STUCK! That’s what we’ve been looking for!
7:26pm: Stern, VT: Y1.5, has to take a step back to steady herself – all the Sooners just underpowering these vaults a little bit.
Schoenherr, UB: Gorgeous opening handstands and HUGE Jaeger. Bail is solid. Last handstand is great. Double front half out STUCK! Team is chanting 10, and honestly, just give it to her. Ehhh 9.925, I’ll take it I guess.
7:28pm: Bowers, VT: Y1.5, wow! That looked stuck to me.
Skaggs, UB: Tkachev to pak, just gorgeous, so aggressive. Great last handstand. DLO, floats it down and sticks it! 9.95!
7:30pm: LeVasseur, VT: Aaand we missed it. Love that for us.
Thomas, UB: Just a masterclass through this whole thing. DLO dismount is stuck COLD – will they throw the 10?? Nope, also a 9.95.
7:32pm: Sievers, VT: Y1.5, I’d give her the stick! That’s the way to end a rotation.
Wong, UB: Gorgeous releases from bar to bar. Ooh, almost overarches her final handstand, DLO dismount and takes a step forward. Well, that’ll be the drop score, most likely, but that’s okay, these Gators have a great score already.
7:34pm: Fletcher, VT exh: Yfull, wow! Stuck! That was better than some of the fulls they put in the actual lineup!
Gallentine, UB exh: A little loose on low bar handstand. Maloney to pak, both good. FTDLO dismount, and she sits it and rolls back out of it. It’ll come, but probably best if she keeps working on that before it goes into the lineup.
AFTER TWO: UF 99.0, OU 98.775
Definitely a stronger rotation for Florida than for Oklahoma, some odd underrotations there for the Sooners put them in a bad position. The Gators will look to continue forging ahead as they go to beam next!
7:40pm: Skaggs, BB: Wolf turn, solid. Switch leap, she hesitated and didn’t do her second element! That’s so odd. Hopefully she gets it somewhere else. Series looks fine. Front aerial to sissone, good. Cat leap to switch side, clean. Stuck dismount! Hopefully those adjustments were enough, she’ll still get credit for a dance series from the cat leap to switch side, I’m just worried about getting enough bonus to start from a 10.0.
Johnson, FX: Front lay to Rudi to start, nice. Double tuck, took it all the way to the line but stays in! First dance series is good, does a second one and some of those splits do not look 180.
7:44pm: Blakely, BB: Front aerial to bhs, steady. Switch to switch half, foot came up on that wobble but she put it back down. Side somi, a little nervy there but got control of it. Side aerial back full stuck!
Davis, FX: Front double full to open, well controlled. Love this jazzy music but I don’t feel like she’s into it enough. Second pass is clean. Dance series looked a little imprecise to me? Okay, she got into the choreo there, that’s better. Rudi to finish, her twisting form is really nice. Should gain the Sooners some ground there.
7:48pm: Baumann, BB: Bhs loso, locks it down like a pro. Switch to split, keeps it clean. Front aerial to beat, maybe a little bobble in there. Side aerial to split jump, gorgeous. Roundoff to 1.5, I don’t think I’d buy that stick, even if it is senior night. That’s okay, she still has floor.
Sievers, FX: Punch through to double tuck to open, solid. Double pike, yeah I don’t know how I feel about getting all the tumbling done right off the bat for these two pass routines… Dance series, wolf position was really wonky, but probably won’t be deducted. Music change is fun! But too little, too late, just seems pointless when there’s no content in it.
7:52pm: Wong, BB: Series is gorgeous! Dance series, lovely. Roundoff double full, fights for the stick and gets it! Good for her!
Fletcher, FX: Double tuck, super high amplitude! 2.5 twist, some flexed feet but overall well controlled. A Feeling Good remix for her floor music, this is fun. Dance series looked good from here. Combo pass, a little funky on the landing, has to hop a few times to the side. Looked like she landed a little lock-legged.
7:56pm: Thomas, BB: One-arm bhs to loso, so steady. Front aerial to beat to korbut, super quick on those connections. Stuck dismount! She’s such a pro. 9.975 for her efforts.
Bowers, FX: SUPER high double pike, wow! Combo pass is gorgeous, she’s so clean, the toe point throughout is just impeccable.
8:00pm: Clapper, BB: She’s using Details in the Fabric for her beam music??? Y’all, this is such a deep cut from Jason Mraz, I’m having a little fangirl moment. Love it. Bhs loso loso, BIG break at the hips! Oh god! She stays on though. Switch to split, gets back in it. Side aerial back full, stuck! Good finish. This will be a costly rotation for the Gators though, they may be trailing Oklahoma going into floor.
Smith, FX: Double tuck to open, big slide back on the landing. 1.5 to front lay, very nice. Dance series is solid. Double pike to finish, ooh I didn’t think she was gonna pull that around but she did!
8:03pm: McCusker, BB exh: So excited to see this!! Double wolf, lovely. Front aerial, nice and steady. Bhs loso, love to see that smile on her face. Switch to split leap, wish we could see the angle but we’re watching it head-on. Side aerial back tuck full dismount, little shuffle. Love to see her out there!
Woodard, FX exh: Triple full to open! Gorgeous! Front full front lay, very nice as well. Splits in her dance series were a little wild but can’t really tell from this angle if they hit 180. Double tuck to finish, looked like she crunched her ankles and had to take a step forward… they said this was Woodard but that didn’t look like her.
AFTER THREE: UF 148.4, OU 148.2
I’m getting word from the arena there might be a lineup change for the Gators on floor… Thomas and Clapper are both warming up. We’ll see…
Skaggs’s beam score was adjusted from 9.825 to 9.875, probably giving her back her SV, so the Gators are now at 148.45.
8:14pm: Dunn, BB: Bhs bhs loso, super steady. Dance series is clean, hard to see positions from this angle. Gainer full off the side is stuck! A good start for OU.
Richards, FX: DLO to open! A little shy but covers well. Dance series looked a little off kilter in the last element, hard to tell how much was her and how much was the camera?? 1.5 to front lay, she’s SO thrilled to have hit that. Great to see her continue climbing back to her old self.
8:17pm: Trautman, BB: Bhs loso, super clean. Front toss, nice. Roundoff 1.5 stuck! Great to see her back out there and healthy again, she’s suffered several back to back injuries that have limited her over the last season or two.
Skaggs, FX: Double wolf to start, super clean. Rudi to double stag, well controlled this week, doesn’t travel at all. Nails her dance series. 1.5 to front lay, floats it into the landing. This is literally the best year of her gymnastics ever, she should be so, so proud, whether the scores come or not.
8:21pm: LeVasseur, BB: Bhs loso, lays it back, very nice. Switch to straddle 1/4, looked a little labored but hit 180. Front aerial to beat, good. Needle scale, gorgeous. Bhs gainer full, looked stuck from here!
Baumann, FX: 1.5 to front full, so well controlled. Turns and dance series, all gorgeous. This is maybe the best she’s done this choreo since week 1?? Double pike to finish, front foot slides back, but I don’t even care. She’s been such a rock for this team, so passionate and clutch. She has so much to be proud of.
8:25pm: Davis, BB: Bhs loso, steady. Front aerial, I keep thinking she’s going to go for another element but she hasn’t either time, it’s so strange. Beat to ring jump, that’s pretty. Roundoff double full stuck! Just dropped that one in. This’ll be close, y’all.
Reed, FX: DLO to open, couldn’t see control on the landing because of the camera angle. Front lay to Rudi, that one was perfectly under control, good for her. Dance series looked solid. Double pike was FANTASTIC! That could be another one for her, just absolutely wild how good she has been this year. What a star. Just – JUST – a 9.95, but what a night.
8:29pm: Woodard, BB: Side aerial bhs series, that’s fun! Front toss to beat jump, nice. Needle scale, lovely. Side aerial back full, stuck! It’s gonna be tight. I’m holding my breath.
Thomas, FX: She is in the lineup! DLO to open, just unbelievable how she rises on that element. Combo pass is super well controlled. Dance series has great amplitude, landed precisely. Double pike to close, and she KNOWS this was one of her best. Truly a Gator legend.
PERFECT 10.0 FOR TRINITY THOMAS ON HER SENIOR NIGHT!!!! 13th 10.0 of her career, 6th on floor, 3rd this year. Absolutely WILD.
Smith, BB: We missed the entire routine because of the poor camera work and focusing on Thomas’s 10… she went 9.875. That’s all I have for you.
Blakely, FX: Double arabian to open, and she controls it so well she can choose to put her lunge behind her instead of in front. Gorgeous. Dance series is great. Double tuck is a little shy but she covers well. 1.5 to front lay and freezes in place – that will be a huge score for her, and the Gators will take it home!
FINAL: UF 198.1, OU 197.75
Bowers, BB exh: Bhs loso, nice. Switch to switch half, that’s nice. Bhs 1.5 stuck. She’ll be an AA asset for them all through her next four years.
Clapper, FX exh: Rudi to double stag, travels a fair amount on that landing and flails a little in the jump. 1.5 to front lay, much better control on that one. Straddle positions are good in her dance series. Double pike to finish, a stutter step back, but it’s still great to see her out there with that routine.
What a fantastic night for the Gators! I won’t have live commentary from the press conference, but I will tweet quotes once I have the recording I am expecting from inside the press room later this evening. Thanks for joining me, and we’ll see you back here next week for the conclusion of SEC competition for the Gators!