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Alabama v. UCLA Recap

NCAA season - so much gymnastics so little time, that's going to be my NCAA motto for the rest of the season, because this is LITERALLY the case. Not figuratively, literally.

Meets all being held pretty much at the same time makes it hard to catch everything, especially when fighting against my television provider, but that's another story. 

I wrote a full week one recap for the Couch Gymnast, so today, I'm recapping the Alabama at UCLA meet, which thanks to the wonder of YouTube, I was able to catch up on.



In Hollywood, while Nadia and Bart were walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes, UCLA was asserting their dominance over Alabama. But to be fair, I think Bama may not be at top strength. Lauren Beers was still recovering from her multitude of ailments and only competed on three events and they're trying to fill in some gaps left by the graduating seniors, as is everyone. UCLA is missing the greatness that is Sam Pezsek. But after Sunday, I think that those Bruins are gonna survive (well, this happens every year, so they kind of have to).

UCLA won by two and a half tenths, 196.550 to Alabama's 196.300. Alabama had to count some lower-ish scores, a 9.675 on bars, 9.7s on floor while UCLA didn't have to count anything lower than a 9.8 on their last two events.. But all in all, Bama put up as good a fight as they were able to. Mackenzie Brannan won the all-around with a 39.350 and took the vault title with a 9.9, performing a Yurchenko one and a half . She's a beautiful gymnast, lovely lines, extension and just nice presentation. On floor, she opened with a huge double Arabian, which she took just up to the corner of the floor. Katie Bailey scored 9.9's on both bars and floor. So all in all, mistakes aside, Alabama should have no problem going up from here.



For most of the meet, Bama had a small lead over UCLA, about a tenth or two, but after several huge performances on floor, UCLA was able to overtake the Tide. Katelyn Ohashi was loving her NCAA debut (in the all-around, nonetheless!).  She had a mistake on bars, but then did a flip flop flip flop two foot layout and the judges gave her a 9.8. While it was inevitable that Simone Biles would go pro, seeing her and Ohashi together at UCLA would have been so much fun! Le sigh.



 But, there was Peng Peng, her majesty as I have decided that she is the queen of everything and I think that Queen Elizabeth should just give her title to Peng. She's recovering from thumb surgery, so in order to protect her hands, she only competed beam. This was her "bluetooth" routine, hands free. Literally, no hands. No flares at the beginning of her routine (for now). But the difficulty, huge. She did an Aerial walkover to a two foot layout, a double turn and an aerial cartwheel into a double full dismount. Peng and Danusia Francis tied for the beam title. If Peng's routine is the "bluetooth" routine, then Nush's should be called the "Spirit Fingers." Because her routine involves her doing spirit fingers at not one, but two points in her routine. Wonder if she's sprinkling fairy dust on the judges so they give her a 10? She's got that glorious transverse aerial to full dismount that brings joy to all our hearts.





Angie Cipra decided to use her phone ring tone in her floor routine, literally. Judges must have thought it was clever, so they gave her  9.925.



I created a playlist on YouTube of routines from week one. I'll add to it as time goes on.

Rankings are below.




Rank
Team Name
Region
Conference
Division
Ave.
High
1(t)
C
SEC
Div I
196.950
196.950
1(t)
NE
Big Ten
Div I
196.950
196.975
3
SE
SEC
Div I
196.825
196.825
4
SC
Big 12
Div I
196.725
196.725
5
W
PAC-12
Div I
196.550
196.550
6
C
SEC
Div I
196.300
196.300
7(t)
C
SEC
Div I
196.175
196.175
7(t)
SE
EAGL
Div I
196.175
196.175
7(t)
NC
PAC-12
Div I
196.175
196.175
10
SC
PAC-12
Div I
195.700
195.700
11
W
PAC-12
Div I
195.575
195.575
12
W
PAC-12
Div I
195.425
195.425
13
NC
Big 12
Div I
195.375
195.375
14
SC
SEC
Div I
195.275
195.350
15
SE
SEC
Div I
195.200
195.200
16(t)
SC
SEC
Div I
195.150
195.150
16(t)
C
MAC
Div I
195.150
195.150
18
NE
EAGL
Div I
195.100
195.100
19
SC
Big Ten
Div I
195.075
195.075
20
C
MAC
Div I
194.875
194.875
21
C
SEC
Div I
194.825
194.825
22
W
PAC-12
Div I
194.800
194.800
23(t)
SE
EAGL
Div I
194.700
194.700
23(t)
NC
Big Ten
Div I
194.700
194.700
25
SE
Big Ten
Div I
194.400
194.400
































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