After a somewhat surprising first session, four teams are in the clubhouse, and it’s time for the top four teams in the nation’s most competitive conference to take the floor – it’s SEC Championships, y’all!
For a full breakdown of how we expect today’s competition to go, check out our preview from earlier today, and make sure you catch up on Session One from our liveblog as well. Florida is the frontrunner, but not by much – Auburn tied them earlier this season, and the duals against both Alabama and LSU came down to the wire as well. It’s going to come down to the very last routine tonight as well, we expect, so make sure you tune in to the SEC Network or stay right here for our liveblog to catch all the action play by play.
Missouri finished Session One as the leaders in the clubhouse with a 196.875, which is a number all four of these teams have consistently beaten throughout the season, but judging is definitely tighter and holding athletes to a higher standard now that it’s postseason. Don’t be surprised if Missouri is a lot closer to the night session teams than you’d expect.
It all starts at 8:00pm, so don’t go anywhere! This is sure to be one of the most exciting meets of the weekend.
Unfortunately, it sounds like we may already have an athlete down in warmups.
8:07pm: Rotation one!
Skaggs, VT: Yfull, her usual loveliness in the air, little slide back on the landing.
Johnson, LSU UB: comes off at the top of her routine after overarching a handstand on the low bar. Holy cow, that’s not how you want to start. Gets back up, does a great routine, but no dice.
Schoenherr, VT: Y1.5, big hop forward – too much hype, she needs to dial it back before bars.
8:10pm: Wong, VT: Podkopayeva, wayyy off the center line, but somehow still looked pretty good in the air? And just a small bounce in place on the landing, definitely off to the side though.
Arenas, UB: Lovely Tkachev. Pak is nice. DLO dismount, ooh stumbles forward. Not a good start for the Tigers at all.
Gaskins, Bama FX: Her Bama themed routine will surely be a hit here. Hit all her tumbling passes nicely, definitely a good start for them.
Reed, VT: Y1.5, STUCK IT COLD! WOW! TEN feet out from the vault, nearly five feet over the vault table – try and tell me that vault is flat. I will absolutely call your bluff.
Dunne, UB: Tkachev to pak is very nice, little leg sep and maybe some foot form? Short on the last handstand. DLO stuck! That’s a nice reset, hopefully it sticks.
8:14pm: Thomas, VT: Y1.5, SHE STICKS HERS TOO! This is incredible, the Gators are dialing it in.
Blakely, VT: Y.15, deep knee bend and scoots back. Didn’t quite get the block she needed, but she fought hard for that one. Good for her.
Bryant, UB: Gorgeous release. Bail looked good to me too. Lovely final handstand. Double front half out and sticks it! They needed that.
Shchennikova, UB: Little short on the opening handstand. Ray to pak is lovely. Pirouette isn’t exactly on top of the bar? DLO is whippy and she slings it out, but she sticks it cold!
8:17pm: Groth, Aub BB: Triple acro series is nice and steady. Switch to switch half, nice 180 splits there. Front aerial, dead on. Side aerial back full is stuck! Talk about a clutch routine.
Durante, UB: Jaeger is fantastic. Some knee bend in the handstand on the high bar, went for the pak and was super off, couldn’t catch it and comes down off the bar. Nerves got too her. Gets back up, makes her dismount, but that’s a counting fall for LSU now. They’re going to need a lot of help from other teams if they’re going to still be in this.
McLaughlin, BB: Acro series is nice and steady. Switch to straddle 1/4, both past 180, good. Gainer pike off the end is stuck! Auburn keeping their heads so far.
Lee, BB: Front aerial to bhs loso and she’s off! Oh geez. Gets back up for her dance series, sticks her dismount, but they’ll want to drop that regardless.
Blanco, FX: Double wolf turn is steady. Double pike to open, nicely done. Choreo section in here is fun, hitting some strong musical moments. Front full to front lay to finish, nails it. Alabama staying strong here as best they can, Machado has already had a fall they’re trying to drop.
8:27pm: Graber, FX: Full in to open is excellent, good amplitude and the landing is solid. Traveling dance passage in here is nice, wolf maybe a little wild for my taste but I think it’s credited fine. Front tuck through to double pike, front foot slides a little bit there, but much better than counting the fall they have right now.
Auburn also had a fall on beam before Lee’s for a 9.175, so they’ll need to count her 9.45. LSU and Auburn counting falls could mean this meet is more of a low scorer than we expected.
AFTER ONE: UF 49.475, BAMA 49.425, AUB 48.9, LSU 48.575
That is almost certainly the vault title for Thomas, barring a 10 from Bryant or Johnson.
Groth tentatively adds a share of the beam title to her freshman accolades.
8:37pm: Blakely, UB: Great opening handstand. Maloney is good, a little leg sep on the pak. Great last handstand! Double front, little slide back.
Desiderio, LSU BB: Hits both dance and acro series. Front aerial, super solid. Cat leap to gainer full is stuck!
Quinn, Bama VT: Y1.5, big hop forward, and another hop to salute.
McCusker, UB: Maloney is clean, pak lovely. Missed her feet when she tried to go for the next transition, had to recast. van Leeuwen was good that time. Stalder to double tuck, deep knee bend but she sticks it!
Paradise, VT: Y1.5, much smaller hop on this one.
Watson, Aub FX: Double arabian, gorgeous! Combo pass is great. Double tuck, a little off balance, looks a little winded, but she tries not to show it.
Graber, VT: Y1.5, ooh almost stuck it but just a little slide. Pretty clean in the air too.
Schoenherr, UB: Jaeger is great. Bail dead on! Great last handstand, holds it to show it off. Double front half out, little adjustment but what a routine!
8:44pm: Blanco, VT: Y1.5, biiiig hop forward, swings her arms to try and keep it under control.
Skaggs, UB: GREAT first handstand! Tkachev to pak, maybe some leg sep, hard to tell in real time if it’s her knock-knees or actual ankle sep. DLO stuck! Leg sep there too, but we’ll see if the judges deduct.
Thomas, UB: Maloney to pak, little bit of leg sep there maybe? Good low bar handstands. van Leeuwen is great. DLO is stuck! Screams “LET’S GO!” into the camera and I am RIGHT THERE WITH HER!
8:47pm: Groth, FX: Front double full, very nice! Dance series is good, great positions and precisely landed. 1.5 to front lay, knees buckled under her on her punch but she was able to pull it around and didn’t really tuck it. Rudi to finish, solid.
Wong, UB: Maloney to pak, ankles came apart there a little. van Leeuwen good. DLO, little bounce back.
Finnegan, BB: Bhs loso loso, little lean but keeps it small. Dance series is nice. Front aerial, another little lean. Side aerial back tuck full is stuck! Good for her.
Lee, FX: DLO is great! Love this choreography in here, really showcases her flexibility and lets her bring the drama to the floor. 1.5 front full, clean form and well controlled. A good rebound for her after a fall on beam.
8:52pm: Johnson, BB: Hitting this routine but my TV keeps glitching so I haven’t been able to see her skill breakdown at all. Step on her dismount.
Gobourne, FX: Super high double tuck to open, just gorgeous. Front full to front lay, well done on all counts. Double pike to close and it’s fantastic. There’s her signature crown – it’ll be a title worthy score, I believe, but we’ll see if the judges agree.
AFTER TWO: UF 98.95, BAMA 98.775, AUB 98.15, LSU 98.125
At the moment, Skaggs and Thomas are tied for the bars title!
9:03pm: Rotation three time!
Bama already having problems on bars, Gaskins misses on her pak and has to make several adjustments.
Skaggs, BB: Gorgeous splits as usual. Bhs loso, dead on! Cat leap to switch side, lovely. Side aerial back full stuck! That should be a HUGE leadoff score for the super senior.
Hudson, Bama UB: Good low bar handstands. Some leg sep going into the Maloney. A little adjustment on her bail. Full pirouette is past handstand. Double tuck is stuck! A good reset for the freshman.
Shchennikova, LSU FX: Front double full, arabesque out of it. 1.5 to front full, skidded a little bit. Dance series looked nice. Rudi to split jump to finish, good control. A solid second routine for the Tigers.
Can see Blakely in the back on beam. Hitting so far, nice switch to switch side. Cut away before I could see the dismount but team is cheering so I believe it’s a hit!
9:08pm: Adams, UB: Good low bar handstand. Maloney to pak, legs just glued together, lovely. van Leeuwen is lovely too. Full pirouette was a little past handstand. Double back dismount, stuck!
Baumann, BB: Bhs loso, just lays it in there. Switch to split, gorgeous. Front aerial to beat, excellent. Roundoff 1.5 stuck! YES! One of her best all season.
Machado, UB: Maloney to pak, lovely. Full pirouette is again past handstand. Double tuck stuck.
Lee, Aub VT: Yhalf on, front layout half off. Pikes down at the end, just a small slide at the landing.
9:12pm: Doggette, UB: Tkachev to pak, lovely toes there. DLO, maybe stuck? Coach was in the way of the camera angle.
Wong, BB: Bhs loso, nice and steady. Full turn is lovely and precise. Switch ring, one of her better ones. Front aerial, lifted the leg but used it to walk into her next choreo – a good cover. Roundoff double full stuck! A great routine for her as well.
Blanco, UB: Maloney to pak, little leg sep and close caught on the pak. Full in dismount, little adjustment. They’ll drop the 9.425 from Gaskins, but I don’t know if they’ll catch Florida. Have to see what Thomas does.
9:15pm: Thomas, BB: Leap mount sequence, lovely. One arm bhs loso, locks those arms down. Front aerial to beat to korbut, excellent this week. Side aerial back full stuck!
Bryant, FX: Double front! Wow! Dance series is lovely, ring position is passable although not as good as I’ve seen her do it. Front lay to Rudi to finish, good control, a little crossed ankles in there.
Clapper, BB: Bhs loso loso, doesn’t move a muscle this week! Excellent. Full turn is fine. Switch leap to split jump, solid. Side aerial back full stuck! What a rotation for these Gators, y’all. Holy cow.
9:19pm: Kiya Johnson, FX: Full in to open, slides that front foot back a little, just too much momentum. 1.5 to front lay, had to whip that around on the layout, didn’t get the punch she needed out of the first element. Double pike to finish, best landing of the bunch by far. That’ll be another great score for the Tigers.
Gators go 49.7 on beam, which is a record for highest beam total at an SEC Championships!
AFTER THREE: UF 148.65, BAMA 148.45, AUB 147.55, LSU 147.45
9:28pm: Rotation 4 here we gooooo!
Skaggs, FX: Rudi to double stag, solid start. Dance series all hit 180 wonderfully. 1.5 to front lay, well controlled. That’ll do it! Great leadoff for this final rotation.
Burgess, Bama BB: Bhs loso, solid. Switch side, great position in the air. Split to beat, maybe a little shy of 180 there? Side aerial back full stuck!
Arenas, LSU VT: Yfull, chest pretty low, bounce in place.
9:31pm: Groth, Aub UB: Great opening handstand! Tkachev is high but a little close to the bar. Pak is nice and clean. Great final handstand too, full pirouette is good. Double tuck stuck!
Olsen, BB: Switch to switch half, maybe a little low in the back leg there? Bhs loso, solid. Front aerial is steady. Double pike dismount, nailed it! Keeping it close here.
Baumann, FX: 1.5 front full, single step out, drags the back foot a bit. Nailing every moment in this choreo, she is on fire tonight. Dance series, perfection. Double pike to finish, big bounce back. It’s a good, not great, but that’s okay. Staying normal is what they need to do now.
9:34pm: Kiya Johnson, VT: Yurchenko double full, great in the air, bounced back. Love to see that difficulty from her, so good.
Graber, BB: Full turn, a little wiggle there but hard to tell if choreo or balance check. Bhs back pike, it’s not trying to be a two-foot layout anymore, but that’s okay. The back pike is solid. Switch to straddle 3/4, both nice 180 positions. Front aerial to scale, just gorgeous. Gainer full dismount stuck!
Wong, FX: Triple full, loooovely, and well controlled on the landing. Whip half to front full, no leap this time either, I hope they’ve taken that out permanently. Double pike, a little short of rotation but covers by moving into her choreo. I don’t think she’ll get away with that a second time here, but it should be a good score.
9:38pm: Bryant, VT: Goes for it but doesn’t get her punch on the springboard, tucks it and sits it. Ooh boy. That’s karma back to bite Clark for putting her in the AA with a foot injury.
Reed, FX: DLO to open, one of her best ones, great control. Front lay to Rudi, keeps that front foot planted, some crossed ankles when she twists. Dance series looked good. Double pike, big slide back there. Won’t be a 10 but it’ll be another good one.
Lee, UB: Doesn’t do the Nabieva this week, but a HUGE routine for her and a stuck dismount! She gets the 10.0! That’ll be the bars title for her, and it’s the first perfect 10.0 at an SEC Championship.
9:42pm: Hudson, BB: Front aerial to bhs loso, little adjustment there but kept it small. Switch leap to switch leap, 180 maybe shy on the second one? Side aerial was good. Roundoff 1.5, swims for the stick and gets it.
Thomas, FX: DLO, just a BEAUTY. Great leap sequence. Changed her routine this week, ends with her combo pass, just a two-pass routine this week. It’s well controlled and the crowd is going WILD for her.
Blanco, BB: Bhs loso loso, very solid. Lovely, unique beam choreo here. Switch to beat, great split position. Roundoff double full and her ankle buckles, she falls! Oh no! That’s not how Florida wants to win.
Blakely, FX: Double arabian, a little deep on the landing, but still steps forward out of it. Double back, a little underrotated, that’s an ankle stinger. Love her choreo in here, she hits every moment in the music. Combo pass to finish, and that’s it! The Gators will win!
AFTER SESSION TWO: UF 198.2, BAMA 197.825, AUB 197.225, LSU 196.725
FINAL: UF 198.2, BAMA 197.825, AUB 197.225, MIZ 196.875, LSU 196.725, ARK 196.45, UK 196.35, UGA 195.8
AA: Thomas – 39.825
VT: Thomas – 9.975
UB: Lee – 10.0
BB: Wong – 9.975
FX: Thomas – 9.975
That will do it for me tonight, y’all! Thanks so much for hanging out with me during this marathon day of gymnastics, and we’ll see you in two weeks when the Gators head to Auburn again for Regionals!