It is time! The most competitive conference championship fight of the weekend begins, as No. 9 Kentucky, No. 11 Missouri, No. 17 Arkansas, and No. 22 Georgia clash to see just how high the bar can be set before the top four teams come in in the evening session. For a full breakdown of how we expect SEC Championships to stack up, check out our preview from earlier today.
Kentucky and Missouri have the best shot at posting scores that will be meaningful to later session teams – both of them beat LSU earlier this year, so a high enough score to break up the top four is entirely possible. Arkansas and Georgia will have to show some of their best gymnastics of the season to keep pace, but more unbelievable things have happened at meets like this.
The action begins in just a few minutes on SEC Network, and if you have ESPN+, there are event-specific feeds and a quad-box feed so you can catch all the action. We’ll be following the main broadcast feed for this liveblog to get a feel for how well they’re covering all the action, but we may adjust that for the second session to make sure we get all the Gator routines covered. If you aren’t able to get to a device, don’t have access, or are watching another meet today, stick with us – we’ll be covering both sessions moment by moment.
Tonight’s commentators are Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke, who the gymternet often refer to affectionately as Mom and Dad. If you’re on Twitter this afternoon, you’ll see lots of references to their quality commentary throughout the meet.
3:36pm: Rotation one is ready to start!
Procasky, Kentucky VT: Yfull, very short, chest low, big hop forward.
Hickey, Ark FX: Double pike to open, solid. Front full to front lay, that’s nice. She looks a little stressed, not her usual performer face on. Double tuck to finish, there’s a grin from her – a hit to open for the Razorbacks.
Georgia opens with a fall on beam.
Angeny, VT: Yfull, good form in the air, bounce back on the landing.
3:39pm: Celestine, Miz UB: Good low bar handstands. Maloney to pak, ooh big leg sep and break in her swing, saved it somehow. van Leeuwen is better. Stalder to pike half dismount, that’s cool! And she stuck it!
Hawthorne, Georgia BB: Bhs loso to start, little lean to the side. Beat to switch split jump, nice. There’s the moonwalk, a Gymdog staple. Full turn is clean enough. Roundoff 1.5, little hop on the landing. Let’s see if that’s enough of a reset button for Georgia!
3:42pm: Magnelli, VT: Handspring pike half! Hop back on the landing, but the pike shape was nice in the air, amplitude a little hard to judge from this camera angle.
Patterson, VT: Another handspring pike half, didn’t quite get the height she normally does, little bounce back on the landing.
Shaffer, FX: Double pike to open, solid start. 1.5 to front layout, looked like she maybe was a little underrotated on the front lay but fought to keep from showing it. Gorgeous dance series, nice and high and good toe point. Double tuck to close, a little underrotated there, pops the lunge forward instead of back. Still, a relatively clean routine.
3:45pm: Worley, VT: Y1.5, really clean in the air, little hop on the landing.
Sheremeta, UB: Hecht mount, love that. Jaeger to immediate overshoot, good amplitude there. Passes her handstand position headed into the dismount, but her twisting dismount is unique and fun, love to see that. Looked like a small adjustment on the landing.
Nguyen, BB: Great to see her back from injury! Onodi?? Amazing! Dance series is clean, very nice. Little hop on the dismount. Another hit for Georgia!
Hu, UB: Great opening handstand! Piked tkachev to pak is loooovely. Last handstand is solid. Final full pirouette is maybe a little shy of handstand when she finishes, double tuck is nice and tight, looked like she moved her right foot on the landing.
3:50pm: Hambrick, FX: Double back to open, nice and high, great control on the landing. Her timing on the choreo in here is superb, hits every moment. 1.5 to front half? Ish? To double stag jump. Looked like she missed the punch a little bit into that, but she made it work. If they don’t give her the layout, she may not start from a 10.0 though. Double pike to finish, much better.
Lovett, FX: DLO to open! Gorgeous. Double back second pass, good control there as well. Dance series is clean, good extension. Front lay to front full, feet skidded a little bit on the landing but she pulled it out.
R Baumann, BB: Finally getting started after a long wait. Side aerial loso and she’s off! Georgia out of this from the very beginning, counting a fall. Gets back on and tries to make the best of it… beat to switch side, lovely. Roundoff 1.5 is stuck, but it’s too little too late. Major bummer for the Gymdogs.
AFTER ONE: ARK 49.225, MIZ 49.15, UK 49.025, UGA 48.425
Missouri’s lineups for rotation two:
4:04pm: Rotation two time!
Kelley, Ark VT: Yfull, small hop on the landing.
Perez-Lugones, Georgia FX: Double pike to open is nice! Love this routine, so much great musicality in here. Combo pass and ooooooh, she sits it, had some trouble getting up, maybe a cramp? She dances it out, keeps going somehow?? Double tuck to close, lands it decently, doesn’t appear to be in pain, so I think she’s okay, but that’s a disappointing way to start. She’s normally such a star on this event.
Pennese, VT: Yfull, a little off to the side but STICKS COLD! That’s huge, wow!
Procasky, UK UB: Maloney to pak, pretty clean, maybe a little slow in the swing. Small adjustment on the dismount.
L Smith, VT: Yfull, super floaty, and she sticks too! Arkansas on fire!
4:09pm: McCrary, Miz BB: She just announced her fifth year yesterday! Front toss, small hesitation but doesn’t bobble. Bhs loso, a little lean, but keeps her cool. Split to ring stag is solid. Split 1/2 from side stand, wow! A difficult jump. Didn’t catch what her dismount was but looked like a small step forward.
Nixon, UB: We caught this midway through but looked like a great hit! Small adjustment on her full in landing.
Elswick, VT: Still just the Yfull, but great amplitude, little bounce on the landing. Fantastic height, nice straight body position.
Hambrick, VT: Y1.5, single step forward to catch her momentum. Pretty clean in the air, maybe some knees?
4:12pm: Schaffer, BB: Bhs bhs loso, riiiiight to the end of the beam but doesn’t move a muscle. Front aerial is steady. Switch to split, maybe a little shy of 180 in the front leg on the second split. Roundoff 1.5 twist, college stick but I’d call lack of control on that.
Angeny, UB: Short on her opening handstand. Jaeger to overshoot, some flexed feet there. DLO is stuck! Those last giants were AGGRESSIVE but it worked for her.
Sheremeta, BB: Bhs loso, super solid to start off. Split to ring stag, lovely. Front aerial, nice and steady there. Lovely technique on her full turn. Drops down to the beam to do some low beam choreo, cool chest stand, showing off that back flexibility. Full twisting gainer tuck off the end, looked like a little adjustment there on the landing but love to see those unique skills!
4:17pm: Worley, UB: Good opening handstands. Tkachev is nice. Pak is solid, floats down to the low bar with legs together. Last handstand looked maybe a little shy? Full out dismount, looked like maybe a slide back – yeah, slow mo confirms. Still will be a good score though.
4:19pm: Hu, BB: Front aerial and she’s off noooooo. Gets back on, repeats to connect into her series, gets it just fine. Front aerial to scale, gorgeous. Dance series is clean, love that split 3/4. Cartwheel gainer full looked stuck.
Hawthorne, FX: Apparently Baumann before her got a 9.9, that’s great. Double pike to open! Very nice. Lovely leaps, good amplitude. Front lay to Rudi to split jump, well controlled. That’ll do it – Georgia will drop its opening fall.
4:22pm: Schreiber, BB: Full turn to start is clean. Bhs loso loso, so solid, locks those arms down. Switch half to split jump, those 180s were carbon copies practically, just gorgeous. Gainer full dismount is stuck! They too will drop their fall.
AFTER TWO: ARK 98.475, MIZ 98.375, UK 98.1, UGA 97.675
Schreiber sets quite the high mark to beat for any prospective beam champions in the rest of this session or next session with a massive 9.95. The rest of the events are 9.9 or lower right now, so should be pretty reachable come this evening.
4:32pm: Schreiber, Miz FX: Rudi to back layout to punch front, that’s a fun start! Front full front layout stepout, very nice. Dance series is nice and precise, clean toes too. A great start and she is PUMPED!
Smith, Ark UB: Maloney to bail, solid. Good low bar handstands and final handstand. DLO is stuck!
Luksik, UK BB: A solid hit, but I was paying more attention to Schreiber, sorry.
Magee, UGA VT: Y1.5, underrotated and has to step back twice to stay on her feet.
Scalzo, BB: Great first handstands! Jaeger to immediate overshoot, nicely done. DLO dismount, little hop forward. She immediately rushes back to help her next teammate get ready! Aww, love that.
Ward, VT: Tsuk full, love to see that difficulty. Just a little step back and a little piked in the air it looked like.
4:36pm: Jones, UB: Solid first handstand, imprecise on the blind change. Jaeger is nice! Pak salto is lovely too. Final handstand a little shy there. DLO, deep knee bend, step forward on the landing. But it’s a hit – they just need three more of those. This event has been problematic for the Razorbacks this season, so to have a full rotation of hits would be huge.
Procasky has a fall for Kentucky on beam! Uh oh, pressure’s on.
Baumann, VT: Y1.5, WOW! She gets great distance on that, single step forward on the landing.
4:39pm: Magnelli, BB: Bhs loso loso, breaks at the hips even though she looked secure, those nerves are creeping in. Dance series is solid, good splits. Front aerial, very nice. Gainer pike off the end is stuck! She fought for that one.
Hambrick, UB: Good first handstands. Piked Jaeger, flexed feet, to immediate overshoot, it’s a good one. Full in dismount, single step to steady herself.
Patterson, BB: Bhs loso, NAILS it! Front aerial, little arm swing but doesn’t move her feet. Switch leap to immediate second switch leap, great splits in there, they’re sooo quick. Single step on the dismount. Another hit!
O’Hara hitting bars so far for Arkansas. DLO dismount, tries to college stick it but it’s okay – she hit! They all did! Talk about heading for their best meet of the season!
4:45pm: Angeny, BB: Bhs loso loso, stays steady. Dance series is lovely. Side aerial back tuck full, little adjustment of the feet.
Moore, FX: DLO to open, woooow. Controlled the landing well too. Leaps are gorgeous, nice and high and great technique. Front tuck through to double tuck, two foot stick! That’ll be a huge score for her, wow!
Worley, BB: Cat leap to switch side, nicely done. Front aerial, super steady. Bhs loso, nice and solid there. Roundoff 1.5 dismount, little adjustment on the landing.
Celestine, FX: Full in to open, very nice! Dance series is solid. Combo pass is good. Goes into her choreo section here and her team is hollering for her, I love this atmosphere. Double back to finish – she’s THRILLED, and so she should be!
AFTER THREE: MIZ 147.725, ARK 147.625, UK 146.975, UGA 146.7
Rotation 4 time!!
5:00pm: Kalyxta Gamiao hitting beam for Arkansas so far! Love seeing her in this lineup. Just a little hop on the dismount there, a great start.
Patrick, Miz VT: Yfull, came onto the table too high and didn’t get the block she needed – did not fully rotate and ends up putting her hands down. Ouch.
Patterson, UK FX: Looked like a front double full? Very nice, a step forward out of it maybe. Lovely switch ring there. Another very lovely dance series, nice precise positions. Final pass is a double back, steps forward rather than back but overall a solid routine.
L Smith, BB: Dance series okay, little hesitation there. Bhs loso, big leg up break, but stays on somehow. Roundoff double tuck dismount! Love to see the difficulty, but she comes in underrotated, has to step forward, chest down.
Schreiber, VT: Yfull, big bounce back.
Celestine, VT: Y1.5, little step forward. Much better for them, they’ll take that.
5:05pm: Moore, VT: Y1.5, commentators are saying she stuck it but she shuffled back a little, I saw it. HUGE amplitude though, and a great bodyline in the air. Wow.
Gianfagna, BB: Bhs loso, nice and steady there. Cat leap to front toss, little arm swing but keeps it small. Beat to straddle 1/2, that’s nice. Roundoff 1.5 stuck! A great reset for them, they needed that.
Haigis, UK FX: Rudi to loso, gorgeous! Love the jazzy character of this routine. Switch side to Popa is solid, not as high as maybe I’d expect on podium but not deductable or anything. Double pike, well controlled on the landing. Shushunova to her ending pose – that’ll be a great score for the Cats!
5:10pm: Lovett, BB: Gorgeous full turn to start. Front aerial to loso, ooh bends at the hips. Stays on, but she had some significant hesitation between those elements, I don’t know if she’ll get that series. That might be it for Arkansas. Lovely splits in her dance series. Side aerial to back full is stuck! We’ll see what the judges do with that…
Nguyen, UGA UB: Solid opening handstands. Jaeger is nice. Pak has some leg/foot form, but they’ll take it. DLO is stuck! That is a hit, and they need every hit they can get right now.
Hambrick, BB: Bhs loso, takes a step back out of it, that’s a lack of control issue. Front aerial is good. Beat to straddle 3/4, very nice. Cartwheel to gainer full is stuck. That’s better, thank you.
5:15pm: Worley, FX: Full in to start, WOW, great control on the landing, just lays back into the lunge for show pretty much. Switch ring to switch side, those are fine. Front full front lay, stuck! She’s killing this! Double tuck to close, a little scoot back on the landing, but what a fantastic routine to close it out for the Cats. Worley is such a rockstar for them.
Elswick, BB: Final routine here for Arkansas. Bhs loso, very nice, clean form and super steady. Split jump to split 3/4, you love to see that difficulty and especially performed so cleanly. Front aerial, solid. Bhs 1.5 twist, little adjustment on the landing. We’ll see if that moves them in front of Kentucky, but Mizzou should take this session.
AFTER SESSION ONE: MIZ 196.875, ARK 196.45, UK 196.35, UGA 195.8
I told y’all that this would be competitive and anything could happen, didn’t I? Talk about peaking at the right time – Arkansas having its best meet today was not what I anticipated, and it’s are already locked for regionals, so the Razorbacks could be a real spoiler there if they can keep this momentum going.
Mizzou coming away with the win was no surprise, though; the Tigers have had a heck of a season, and it certainly isn’t finished yet.
The leaders in the clubhouse as of now are:
Team: Missouri – 196.875
AA: Worley (UK) and Schreiber (Miz) – 39.45
VT: Moore (Miz) – 9.95
UB: Worley (UK) and Nguyen (UGA) – 9.9
BB: Schreiber (Miz) – 9.95
FX: Worley (UK) – 9.95
The team score is definitely beatable by any of the four teams in the evening session, but they’ll all have to stay focused and calm the same way Missouri did to get it done. The judging is not sky high like it has been all season, so expect to see maybe some lower numbers than the O-Dome might have us used to, Gator fans. However, it’s still doable for each of these teams – the question will be: which one?
The AA score is also beatable by any of the realistic contenders in the hunt – Thomas, Skaggs, and Wong have all passed that score this year, as have Auburn’s Lee and Groth, LSU’s Johnson and Bryant, and Alabama’s Hudson and Blanco. Still, they’ll have to put complete meets together like Worley and Schreiber did to make it happen when it counts.
Vault, beam, and floor all have high bars to clear if anyone in the night session wants to garner any of those event titles. On vault, only Thomas of Florida and Bryant of LSU have an NQS higher than 9.95; on beam, it’s Thomas and Auburn’s Lee; and on floor, only Reed and Auburn’s Gobourne can consistently compete with that mark.
On bars, however, that should be up for grabs. Each of the four teams in the night session has two or three athletes that could potentially beat the 9.9s from Worley and Nguyen per their NQSes. It’s definitely one of those that will come down to who has those details dialed in just a little bit more perfectly.
We’re back at 8pm tonight with session two! See you then!
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[…] 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, […]