The Play-Ins of the 2019 Regional Championships took place in four locations across the U.S. on Thursday, 4 April. Unfortunately there is not much available footage, but here is most of it.
ANN ARBOR REGIONAL
- As expected, this was a very close meet, which came down to the last routine – Skyler Memmel of CMU needed a 9.925 to clinch the victory for her team and she delivered a fantastic routine, but it was not enough – 9.875. I felt that it was a bit unfair to make Illinois and Central Michigan compete against each other, as they came in as the two top teams in the play-ins, as numbers 29 and 30 nationally respectively. NC State, George Washington and Iowa moved to the next round of Regional Championships, although they ended up behind Central Michigan in the regular season. I guess that this is how competitions work, I just felt for Central Michigan, they had a very good meet.
- Weirdly, Central Michigan gymnasts topped all four events and the all around, but they had to count scores in the 9.6s on vault, bars and beam and it came down literally to half a tenth.
- Among the highlights for Illinois, Karen Howell scored a 9.850 on bars with this lovely routine, while Haylee Roe dismounted beam with her very impressive side somi to full twist in a tuck position.
- Among the highlights for Central Michigan, Gianna Plaska looked awesome on bars (9.875) and Skyler Memmel was rock-solid in the anchor position on beam (9.875).
- Here are the highlights for Illinois. The Illini also posted more footage of their routines on Twitter despite the Flo paywall, have a look at their feed.
- This was another very close and intense meet between #31 NC State and #34 New Hampshire. More than ever at this meet beam was the make or break event. It was the make event for the Pack, who scored over 149 (149.025) – the only rotation out of the eight of the competition. New Hampshire was not far behind and had an overall better competition on vault and bars, but NC State was superior on beam and floor, and clinched a deserved victory.
- I was so proud of NC State’s Nicole Webb. Since transferring from Florida, she has been a rock for her team, scoring here two 9.825s on beam and floor. I am so happy that the Pack gave her a second chance to shine, she is a fantastic gymnast.
- NC State head coach Kim Landrus showed all her happiness in a post-meet interview: ‘It’s hard to express how proud I am of this team. They fought the entire competition and continued to believe in themselves and each other when we experienced little challenges together. Today was fun, and now we are excited to compete again tomorrow!’
- New Hampshire came into this competition as the EAGL champions, but unfortunately too many scores in the 9.6s and 9.7s left them short of that 195+. Among their highlights, Danielle Mulligan scored an impressive 9.850 on bars and Emma Winer a 9.825 on beam.
- Here are NC State’s celebrations with the fans at the end of the meet.
BATON ROUGE REGIONAL
- George Washington dominated this competition, outscoring Lindenwood on three apparatuses out of four (except for bars) and with a fantastic rotation on floor (49.150). I was sad for Lindenwood, their Division II Cinderella story made me root hard for them (although I love GW too!), but they must be very proud of themselves and of what they have accomplished this season. It can but get better in the future.
- George Washington had an outstanding floor rotation, with all six scores between 9.800 and 9.875: Zois 9.875; Crasa, Karpova and Banen 9.825, Raymond and Kaplan 9.800.
- George Washington’s Hannah Cohen had an incredible save on bars on her full pirouette. She also managed to connect it to her Katchev somehow…
- Lindenwood dominated bars, with four scores between 9.700 and 9.750 (Alexander and Boogerd scored the two 9.750s), and Andavea Alexander also won beam with aa 9.825.
- I was so impressed by Lindenwood’s positive attitude at the end of the meet. They wrote on Twitter: ‘Today was a dream! We had the incredible opportunity of taking the NCAA stage to continue to show the country who we are and what we stand for. Team 7 did just that.’
- The outcome of this meet was all in Iowa’s favour, but in fact the competition was closer than it results show. Arizona lost it with a fall on beam and Iowa earned it with a fantastic rotation on floor (all five counting scores were 9.8s or better), but had Arizona hit their beam rotation, who knows what could have happened? This is one of those meets where I am super happy for Iowa but also super bitter for Arizona, elimination meets can be so unfair!
- For Iowa, Nicole Chow and Clair Kaji posted two 9.850s on beam (here is Nicole), while Lauren Guerin scored a huge 9.900 on floor.
- Iowa was on fire on floor: Guerin 9.900, Kaji 9.875, Killian 9.825, Sullivan 9.800; Castle 9.800.
- Iowa’s Erin Castle had the most impressive (and scary) save/mishap on vault – she flew over the vaulting table in a split position and landed with poise on the other side. Great amplitude by the way!
- For Arizona, Danielle Spencer-Bearham posted a big 9.900 on bars for a ridiculously good routine, while Jenny Leung scored a 9.850 on beam.
- Here are Iowa’s celebrations and a short post-meet interview.