It’s a battle in Georgia tonight as the top four teams battle it out for the SEC championship title! Florida comes in as the slight favorite, but any one of these teams could edge them out – expect this to come down to the very last routine.
For a better picture on how things should go for Florida tonight, check out my regular season review of the Gators. At the end of that review, the math doesn’t lie – the Gators need a 198.225 to pass Michigan and take back No. 2 and a 198 flat to lock in No. 3 away from Utah and UCLA.
Florida has faced LSU, Alabama, and Kentucky already this season and lost only to LSU, so the Gators know that they have what it takes to compete, but they have a little something to prove. LSU has also sustained several injuries since these top two teams last met, so it’s a different lineup of athletes that will be competing tonight than Florida last saw.
We’re about to get started, so tune into SEC Network, or keep refreshing this page, and we’ll have all the play by play right here.
8:05pm: Looks like we’re getting one more commercial break before things get started.
8:06pm: Okay, here we go!
Richards, VT: Y1.5, looked like a little slide back, Adrian was in the way.
Procasky, UK FX: A little short on her double tuck to finish out.
Burgess hits beam to start for Alabama.
Wong, VT: Yhalf-on, pike half off, a good one! Little slide back on the landing.
Dunne, LSU UB: Short on her final cast handstand. DLO dismount is stuck! I have no idea how she’s doing that with partially torn labrums.
Blakely, VT: Y1.5, solid block. The tiniest of hops forward. Her best all season!
8:10pm: DiCello, VT: Y1.5, overcooked that one, big hop forward and at least one more step.
Tatum, LSU UB: Ray, little bit of flexed feet, directly to pak, little leg separation. Good handstand to finish, sticks her full in!
Thomas, VT: Y1.5, little step forward, maybe a second? Huge height and distance though, wow.
Finnegan, LSU UB: Hecht mount, love that. Piked Deltchev, incredibly difficult. Bail was fine. Solid last handstand. Arabian double front, single step forward. A great routine for the Tigers.
Patterson, UK FX: Starts with her combination pass, lovely twisting form. Nice switch ring, and more gorgeous leap positions as she continues. Really bringing the drama in this section of choreography on the floor. Double tuck to finish, nice height and landing.
Shchennikova, LSU UB: Big air on her release! Catches a little close though. Pak is fine. DLO dismount, looks stuck from here.
Clark, VT: Yfull, great amplitude, big single bounce in the air on her landing. “Pogo stick,” in Kathy’s words.
8:16pm: Bryant, LSU UB: Great opening handstand work. Jaeger, caught a little close but great height. Bail looked solid. Last handstand looked good. Double front half out, little scoot back.
Davis, UK FX: Double back to open was strong. Dedicates this routine to her father, who loved classic rock. Front through to a double tuck to finish – another hit for Kentucky.
Strong routine for Hudson from Alabama on beam as well.
Blanco, Ala BB: Front aerial, lovely. Bhs loso, doesn’t do her triple series today. Needle scale, nice flexibility there. Switch to switch half, solid 180 positions. Roundoff 1.5 is stuck! That will be a big score.
Worley, UK FX: Full in, great control on the landing. 1.5 to front lay, two foot stick! Double tuck to finish is solid too, that’ll be a great score as well!
AFTER ONE: UK 49.4, UF 49.375, BAMA 49.375, LSU 49.325
Kentucky is in FIRST after one??? This is WILD.
Sam makes an excellent point – bars gives Florida an opportunity to pull ahead. The Gators will need to capitalize on every single tenth though!
8:33pm: Rotation 2!
Blakely, UB: Maloney to pak, didn’t look like much leg sep but Owen was in the way. Solid handstand work. Double front is stuck cold! That’s a great start!
Arenas, LSU BB: Full turn is clean. Gorgeous dance series. Dismount looked stuck from here!
Wilson, UK VT: Handspring pike half, little slide back. Not a lot of distance but decent height.
Patterson, UK VT: Handspring pike half, tried to sell the stick but she didn’t get much amplitude at all.
Nguyen, UB: Maloney is clean, major leg sep coming out of the pak. DLO is stuck though!
Magnelli, UK VT: Another handspring pike half, best dynamics out of the three, little slide back.
8:37pm: DiCello, UB: Gorrrgeous Ray. Pak salto is lovely, connected right into a handstand, into a van Leeuwen. Almost overdid it on the handstand, full out dismount, hop on the landing. Some legs as usual, but judges haven’t been taking that.
Worley, UK VT: Y1.5, sizeable hop to the side.
Thomas, UB: Maloney to pak, both clean. Great low bar handstand work. van Leeuwen is excellent. Strong handstand to finish Nails her DLO! That will be a fantastic score. It’s a perfect 10.0!!!
Wong, UB: Maloney to pak, a little ankle separation. van Leeuwen is clean. Strong final handstand. DLO is… it looked stuck but then she stepped forward.
Gladieux, Ala FX: Full in to open, good control on the landing. Front lay to Rudi to split jump, travels a little bit.
McCusker, UB: Transitions look good from here. Stalder looked better again this week, double tuck – just a hair under, has to step forward.
Bryant, LSU BB: Front aerial to bhs, solid. Switch to straddle 1/4, clean. Full turn, nice and steady. Standing front tuck, little bobble there. Punch front 1.5 dismount is stuck!
Hudson, Ala FX: Front lay to front double full, little lunge out of it, decent control. Dance series looked clean. Going into the very Alabama choreography here. 2.5 twist, very clean on that. Double tuck to close, nice.
Finnegan, LSU BB: Series is clean. Full turn, steady. Front aerial, very solid. Gainer full – sticks it!
8:49pm: Blanco, Ala FX: Wolf turn to open, fine. Double pike, strong. High-energy choreography through here. Front full to front lay, very clean – that’ll be another strong score for the Tide.
AFTER TWO: UF 99.075, BAMA 98.925, UK 98.725, LSU 98.675
Some gifts there on bars for Florida, to be honest, but I doubt they’ll be the only ones getting gifts tonight.
Here’s that perfect 10 from Thomas:
9:00pm: Rotation 3!
Blakely, BB: Front aerial to bhs, lovely. Switch to switch half, bobble, another, but she stays on. Looked like her dismount was stuck?
Ballard, LSU FX: 1.5 to front lay, has to pull that second element around a little bit. Double pike to close, almost kept the two-foot stick but just steps it back into a lunge. That’s a strong start for the Tigers.
Gladieux, Ala VT: Y1.5, a little off axis but stays in the lines.
Lazzari, BB: Bhs loso loso, just gorgeous. Switch to split, very nice 180s. Front aerial, solid. Full turn is clean. Cartwheel gainer full, maybe a little adjustment.
Hudson, Ala VT: Y1.5, big shift back to recover from the underrotation.
Blanco, Ala VT: Y1.5, very clean, little hop forward.
DiCello, BB: Candle mount, lovely. Double wolf turn, keeps it even-keeled. Switch to split, excellent extension through both. Bhs loso, dead on. Bhs gainer full off the side is stuck! Well done.
Shallon Olsen having her vault of the season, basically stuck her DTY, although lots of bent knees throughout.
9:08pm: Thomas, BB: Switch split mount, gorgeous. One-arm bhs to loso, nice and quick and solid. Beat to korbut, not two-foot front aerial this week. Bhs 1.5 twist, little shuffle.
Arenas, LSU FX: Front double full, skids forward a little but stays in bounds. Front lay front full, nice and floaty into that second element.
Worley, UK UB: Tkachev is excellent. Pak is good. Full in is super high, but just a little hop.
Wong, BB: Switch leap to split leap, lovely. Bhs loso, solid. Full turn is clean. Roundoff double full, holds the stick this time!
Finnegan, LSU FX: Double arabian right into the stag, great amplitude on that. 2.5 twist to punch front, super clean. That’s an excellent routine.
McCusker, BB: Double wolf, little wobbly but brings it around okay. Front aerial, nice. Bhs loso, little lean. Switch to split, just gorgeous. Gainer full off the side, stuck!
Bryant, LSU FX: Double front, two-foot stick!!! WOW! Front lay to Rudi, super clean there as well. Dance series is excellent. Front double full, another two-foot stick! That should be a 10 if I’ve ever seen one, good god. And somehow she only gets a 9.95? I have no idea what they took on that.
AFTER THREE: UF 148.75, BAMA 148.45, UK 148.325, LSU 148.3
9:26pm: Last one best one!
Nguyen, FX: She’s back! Yay! Front double full to split jump, very clean. Switch ring to tour jete half, lovely. 1.5 to front lay, big lunge forward but dances out quickly.
Arenas hits a strong Yfull for LSU to start out.
German, Ala UB: Solid opening handstand. Big Tkachev, pak is great. Solid final handstands DLO is stuck! That’s a great routine for the Tide.
Brock, LSU VT: Y1.5, sits it down.
Baumann, FX: 1.5 to front full, super clean. Switch side to straddle jump, just ridiculous oversplit, incredible height. Double pike to close, nails it. Give her her flowers! Do not let lineup order influence that score!
Wilson, LSU VT: Absolutely NAILS her Yfull! Sticks it cold.
Bryant, LSU VT: Handspring pike half, little slide back. Incredible dynamics though.
9:32pm: Waligora, Ala UB: Great opening handstand work. Jaeger to overshoot, solid. Short on the last handstand maybe? FTDLO is maybe stuck? Maybe a little hop in place? Hard to see.
Richards, FX: DLO, some leg sep but good control. Leap sequence is solid. Combination pass clean – always wishing there was more energy in her choreography, but it’s passable.
Patterson, UK BB: Bhs loso, floats that all the way to the end of the beam. Front aerial to split, smooth transition there. Switch leap to second switch leap, good extension through both. Gainer pike off the end, maybe stuck? A solid score either way though.
Wong, FX: Dos Santos, deeper in the landing than the last few weeks. Dance series is gorgeous. Whip half to front full, foot slips out from under a little. Not what she needed.
9:38pm: Worley, UK BB: They need a hit here, they have a fall from Bailey Bunn to drop. Front aerial, misses her foot but covers into an arabesque. Series is clean. Little movement on the dismount, but it’s better than the 9.2.
Thomas, FX: DLO is a great one. Dance series is solid. Really playing to the crowd now, and the camera! 1.5 to front lay, super clean. Flawless. Should be another fantastic score.
Florida clinches No. 2 and Kayla DiCello is still yet to go!
DiCello, FX: Front double full, little crossover step like usual. Would love to see her clean that up next year. Switch ring to switch half, great extension through both. Combination pass to close it out is strong too – what a night for the Gators!
FINAL: UF 198.425, BAMA 197.925, LSU 197.8, UK 197.675, AUB 197.1, MIZ 197.0, ARK 196.825, UGA 196.6
Sloane Blakely (UF), Gabby Gladieux (Bama), Cassie Stevens (Aub), and Jocelyn Moore (Miz) won vault at 9.95. Trinity Thomas won bars and floor outright, both with those perfect 10.0s! Leanne Wong won beam outright with a 9.975, and Thomas also won AA at 39.8.
The Gators did lots of what they needed to do tonight, but there’s still room for improvement! After the dust settles tonight, we’ll be able to see exactly what their regional placement is in just a few short hours.
Thanks for tuning in! We’ll see you all in a few weeks for regionals!