2019 Season|Regionals (Round 2)

Here is a quick recap of the Round 2 of the 2019 Regionals, which were held on 5 April.

 

ATHENS REGIONAL (1)

Georgia 197.300; Kentucky 196.850; Missouri 196.625; Iowa State 196.250

  • Georgia was the home team and it showed. Scores were outrageously high, especially on vault, although nothing should be taken away from  the Gymdogs’ strong performance.
  • Kentucky showed nerves of steel, fighting their own battle against Missouri for second place. Congratulations to both teams on an excellent competition, and also to Iowa State. No one considered them a contender, but had they performed at other Regionals, they would have had a real chance.
  • Georgia’s Rachael Lukacs is a gem: she stuck her DTY on vault (9.950) and had a very strong routine on floor (9.925) and sent Suzanne Yoculan nuts.
  • Kentucky’s Cally Nixon scored a big 9.900 on bars, Alex Hyland a 9.900 on beam, and Molly Korth and Sidney Dukes two 9.900s on floor.
  • Iowa State’s highlights here; Georgia’s highlights here; Kentucky’s highlights here.

 

ATHENS REGIONAL (2)

Oklahoma 198.300; California 196.750; NC State 195.400; Maryland 194.650

  • Oklahoma dominated the competition. Unlike other years, however, their floor rotation is a big question mark to me – the Sooners always seem to get it their way, but they have routines in the lineup that could be deducted pretty heavily if the judges wanted to.
  • California made my day, having one of their best meets and qualifying to their second round. Based on the scores Georgia got, the Gymdogs are the favourite, but Cal’s actual performance was not far behind. It is going to be interesting.
  • After an amazing two days of competition, NC State’s head coach Kim Landrus said: ‘The vibe tonight was something special. The energy the team had– from the very first bar routine when Meredith nailed her dismount– to the final vault was definitely memorable. The way each of the ladies carried themselves, especially when they were faced with a challenge showed such fight and determination to ensure tonight was successful. To earn our second highest away score of the year in this environment, on the second day of competition, is something that each of them should be very proud of!’
  • Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols was back on vault and it showed – 9.950 for a stuck Yurchenko 1.5.
  • California’s Milan Clausi nearly stuck her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault, teammate Alma Kuc scored a big 9.875 on bars and Chelsea Shu impressed on beam.
  • Maryland’s Alecia Farina nearly stuck her FTY on vault.
  • Oklahoma’s highlights here; California’s highlights here.

 

ANN ARBOR REGIONAL (1)

Alabama 197.225; Michigan 196.950; Penn State 195.750; Ohio State 194.725

  • Alabama are finally rolling in the post-season. If they can keep up the good job in the Super-Regional, they are the favourite to qualify to Nationals after UCLA.
  • Michigan showed some nerves, which is normal, I think, considering that it is a very young team. They will have to calm down and compete ‘normal’ in the Super-Regional if they want to qualify to Nationals though.
  • Among the highlights for Alabama, Shallon Olsen nearly stuck her DTY on vault (9.900), hit her very difficult beam set (9.800) and her double double on floor, while teammate Emily Gaskins killed beam (9.900) and Ari Guerra nailed her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault.
  • Among the highlights for Michigan, Natalie Wojcik nearly stuck her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault for a 9.925, while Olivia Karas had a fantastic competition with three 9.900s on vault, bars and beam (here on bars).
  • Penn State’s Jessie Bastardi scored a 9.900 on beam and teammate Sabrina Garcia a 9.900 on bars. Impressive!
  • Michigan’s highlights here.

 

ANN ARBOR REGIONAL (2)

UCLA 197.675; Nebraska 196.800; Illinois 196.175; West Virginia 195.425

  • I love UCLA because you never know what to expect from them and they did not disappoint this time around either. The Bruins decided that this was the right time to play around with their lineups, resting some gymnasts and giving other athletes the chance to shine. No one disappointed. Macy Toronjo debuted on floor for the first time since 2017 and nailed her routine (9.850), while Grace Glenn anchored beam – as she should. UCLA is supposed to use all their big guns in the Super-Regional, and unless something major happens, they should qualify to Nationals with no problems.
  • Nebraska are renowned for becoming a real threat in the post-season, but given their up-and-down year, they must be relieved that they are safely through (at least I am…). This Regional, however, is the toughest one, and the Huskers will have to compete at their best in the Super-Regional in order to qualify to Nationals.
  • Illinois, in their second day of competition in a row, had a fantastic competition, they must be very pleased with their performance.
  • Among the highlights, UCLA’s Kyla Ross OBVIOUSLY scored her weekly perfect 10.0, this time on vault, while Nebraska’s Taylor Houchin scored a 9.975 for a vault that was as perfect as Kyla’s. I am not over it yet.
  • Nebraska’s Sienna Crouse won the all around title with a great performance, including a 9.950 on bars.
  • West Virginia’s highlights here; UCLA’s highlights here; Illinois’ highlights here.

 

BATON ROUGE REGIONAL (1)

Utah 196.800; Minnesota 196.300; Arkansas 196.175; BYU 195.55

  • This was not a great competition, there were several mistakes all around, but in the end the two teams that were expected to qualify qualified to the Super-Regional. Considering that both LSU and Auburn scored over 197 in the other Regional round, Utah and Minnesota will both have to step up if they want to qualify to Nationals.
  • Among the highlights, Utah’s Mykayla Skinner scored a big 9.925 on floor for her super-difficult routine, while Minnesota’s Ona Loper made my night by sticking her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault.
  • Utah’s highlights here.

 

BATON ROUGE REGIONAL (2)

LSU 197.200; Auburn 197.075; Arizona State 195.425; George Washington 194.675

  • It was a heartbreaking meet for Auburn, after Sam Cerio injured her knee seriously on floor. The team came together and finished the meet for Sam, and it was one of their better ones. If they can keep their emotions at bay and repeat the same performances tonight, they could upset Utah.
  • LSU won its Regional without Lexie Priessman (old injuries flaring up) and without Sarah Finnegan on floor (she is fine, just resting, after having the flu last week). The rest of the team stepped up, which was nice to see. The Tigers did not have their strongest meet, but 2017 shows that Day 2, rather than Day 1, is the one that matters. Lesson learnt.
  • Auburn’s Drew Watson nearly stuck her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault.
  • LSU’s Ruby Harrold nailed her vault for a 9.900, while Sarah Finnegan won beam with a 9.925.
  • LSU’s highlights here; Auburn’s highlights here.

 

CORVALLIS REGIONAL (1)

Denver 196.975; Boise State 196.225; Washington 195.900; Southern Utah 195.350

  • Denver had a slooooow start on vault, but recovered incredibly well on the other three apparatuses to win their Regional. They are a real threat for that National title. Boise State did not have their best competition, but they did enough to qualify in second place. Washington, unfortunately, had a disappointing competition after a rough rotation on bars.
  • Denver’s Alexis Vasquez scored a 9.950 on beam (and is Regional champion!), Lynnzee Brown scored a 9.950 on floor (and is Regional co-champion!) and Maddie Karr scored a 9.925 on bars (and is Regional co-champion!). I am happy.
  • Boise State’s Emily Muhlenhaupt posted a 9.900 on bars and Alex Esmerian a 9.900 on beam.
  • Washington’s Geneva Thompson posted a 9.850 on vault for an impressive FTY.
  • Boise State’s highlights here.

 

CORVALLIS REGIONAL (2)

Florida 197.500; Oregon State 197.125; Stanford 196.075; Iowa 194.775

  • One of my favourite, Florida’s Savannah Schoenherr, is the Regional champion on vault (9.900). I am happy.
  • Florida had a weak rotation on vault, with steps and lounges all around. It may have been nerves, but it is not the first time. They need to fix it before Nationals. The rest of the competition, however, was strong. I think the Gators will be fine in the end, though if I were Jenny Rowland, I would ask myself what I can change in training  to improve consistency in competition. Trinity Thomas placed an exclamation mark on the Gators’ floor rotation with a 9.950.
  • Oregon State also had one of their best competitions of the season. Florida and Denver are the favourite, but the Beavers could upset one of the two if performances are not convincing.
  • Stanford had one of the best meets of the season. Not enough to qualify to the Super-Regional, but promising for the future.
  • Florida’s highlights here; OSU’s highlights here.

 

INDIVIDUALS

  • One of my favourite, Alaska’s Sophia Hyderally, scored a 9.900 on beam. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be enough for her to qualify to Nationals. I am upset.
  • Temple’s Ariana Castrence nearly stuck her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault (9.850), while Monica Servidio was on fire on beam (9.600).
  • SEMO’s Anna Kaziska scored a big 9.825 on floor.
  • Utah State’s Madison Ward-Sessions scored a big 9.925 on floor, hopefully she will qualify to Nationals!
  • Rutgers’ Belle Huang scored a big 9.900 on floor.
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