In a week when nothing matters anymore, because Toni-Ann Williams hurt her Achilles again, here are my thoughts on the amazing gymnastics of the past weekend.
1. Minnesota sophomore Lexy Ramler went 39.725 in the all around for four routines over 9.9, including this stuck Yurchenko 1.5 (9.925). Impressive is an understatement.
2. LSU senior Sarah Finnegan FINALLY got the score she deserved on vault: it was a perfect 9.950 this Friday!
2a. In LSU’s second weekend meet on Sunday, sophomore Sami Durante was back on beam and performed the best routine of her career so far (9.900).
3. On the not-so-fair side of the judging slope, Arkansas sophomore Sarah Shaffer stuck again her Yurchenko half, for a 9.875. A judge gave her a perfect 9.950 and the other a 9.800. Please explain.
3a. In the meantime, Auburn junior Gracie Day hit a GORGEOUS bars set – everyone was speechless, me included (9.975)!
4. Also in the world of ridiculous scoring, Kentucky senior Alex Hyland received a score on beam that should be sued for ethical misconduct: it was a 9.825 for a lovely routine, an inexplicable move, unless we want to think nasty and believe that the judges wanted to secure the victory for home-favourite Georgia… But we do not want to think nasty, so it was the concentration pause that brought the score down.
4a. Yet judges things cannot take away the beauty of gymnastics and the talent of these gymnasts. Georgia freshman Alexa Al-Hameed killed her bars routine – it is so hard to finish those full pirouettes in handstands and she did it beautifully (9.950).
5. WOW! Alabama senior Ari Guerra decided that (why not?) she could bring back her Yurchenko 1.5. It is the third different vault we have seen her compete this season. It was splendid (9.875)!
5a. In vault news in Tuscaloosa, Florida sophomore Alyssa Baumann also debuted her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault (9.875)!
6. Oklahoma freshman Olivia Trautman scored her first career perfect 10.0 on floor. I am personally more on the ‘if you do not point your toes on your double tuck, you should not get a perfect 10.0’ side of the spectrum, but that routine was surely as good as it gets. I was actually more impressed with Olivia’s stuck Yurchenko 1.5 on vault and I was also delighted to see junior Maggie Nichols back in the vault lineup (9.925).
6a. George Washington sophomore Anna Wahrol had a very scary yet super cool mishap on vault: her hands slipped on her roundoff and she defied gravity by flying over the vaulting board and landing on her feet on the other side. She looked a bit injured afterwards, but I heard that she is ok. Also, judges, if a gymnast somehow flips over the vaulting table and lands on her feet on the other side, that vault is never a zero…
7. Utah State senior Madi Ward-Sessions had a fantastic competition last weekend, which included a 9.925 on floor and a 9.900 on beam. Appreciate the amplitude of her tumbling passes on floor (and that OPEN full-twisting double back), as well as that stuck double back dismount on beam. Gorgeous work!
8. Bowling Green junior Jovannah East hit her very difficult floor routine, including a big 2.5 twist into punch front for a 9.975. Seeing less renowned gymnasts get deservingly high scores makes me insanely happy!
9. Michigan senior Olivia Karas stuck her first Yurchenko 1.5 of the season, as well as her first Yurchenko 1.5 since tearing her Achilles last year. A magical 9.950!
10. KYLA BOSS did it again. The UCLA junior scored the second perfect 10.0 in a row on vault for another stuck Yurchenko 1.5 and scored an all around career-high score of 39.850. Can you believe that only one year ago Kyla thought she would never be able to compete that vault again?!
Bonus (1). I cannot get enough of how gorgeous Southern Utah freshman Shylen Murakami looks on floor (9.825). Her tumbling passes are so imaginative and her choreography is stunningly elegant and poised!
Bonus (2). Texas Woman senior Erin Alderman performed a beautiful and fun routine on floor this week (9.825). We need to have more videos of her and her whole team.
Highest scores of the week
Team: Oklahoma – 198.075
All around: Kyla Ross (UCLA) – 39.850
Vault: Kyla Ross (UCLA) – Perfect 10.0
Kyla Ross (UCLA) – vault
Olivia Trautman (Oklahoma) – floor
Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA) – floor
Routine of the week
Illinois sophomore Rachel Borden was a gymnastics manager on the team but kept training at her gym club, hoping to gain a competitive spot back on the team. And hard work paid off. This week was added to the Illini roster and already competed a gorgeous exhibition routine on beam.