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After Thursday night’s play-in round of Iowa versus Arizona, Iowa moved on to the second night of competition. The second day of competition had two sessions of four teams, and the top two teams in each second move on to Saturday’s competition. Out of these eight teams, only Florida and Washington made it to nationals last year.
The first session consisted of No. 5 Denver, No. 12 Boise State, No. 18 University of Washington, and No. 24 Southern Utah, with Denver and Boise State moving on to the final night of regionals. Final team scores were Denver with a 196.975, Boise State with a 196.225, Washington close behind, scoring a 195.900, and Southern Utah placing fourth with a 195.350.
No. 4 Florida, No. 15 Oregon State, No. 25 Stanford, and No. 32 Iowa competed in the second session, and Florida and Oregon State both moved on to the final night of regional competition in Corvallis. The final scores were Florida with a 197.500, Oregon State right behind scoring a 197.125, Stanford a point below with a 196.075, and Iowa trailing with a 194.775.
In session one, scores were tight the entire meet. Washington was initially on top after rotation one, leading with a 49.225 after a floor rotation with four 9.850s. Denver overtook the Huskies in the second rotation, and after that, grew its lead by more and more each event. After the second rotation, the difference between second (Washington at the time) and third place (Boise State at the time) was only 0.025.
After the third rotation, Denver was a clear lead and Southern Utah was clearly in fourth, leaving the main competition between Boise State and Washington for that second place bid. Boise State led by one tenth of a point. Besides a slight lead, Boise State also had an advantage event-wise, as bars is its strong event. The Broncos managed to squeak out a series of high scores, starting with Gabriella Bouza with a 9.875 and highlighting Emily Muhlenhaupt’s 9.900. In the end, although Washington had strong beam workers, it was not enough to slide by and advance.
In session two, Iowa counted itself out of the competition in rotation one. Iowa was on bars and had two falls, forcing the Hawkeyes to count one in their team score. In a postseason meet, counting a fall means a team is unlikely to come back. Iowa stayed in fourth the entire meet, ending with a 194.775.
Stanford was in third place most of the meet, besides placing slightly ahead Florida after the first rotation, when Florida began on vault and did not have its best meet on that event. After the first rotation, however, Stanford stayed in third place the rest of the meet, ending with a 196.075.
This meet was not about which two teams would advance, as Florida and Oregon State stayed clearly in the top two spots, but rather who would come out on top between the two teams. It was close most of the meet, as Oregon was on top after the second rotation, boasting a 98.750 after closing with two 9.900s on floor. Florida was right behind with a 98.500 after bars. Florida had an incredible bar rotation, receiving a 9.925, two 9.900s, and three 9.850s.
After the third rotation the gap was larger, but still close enough to be either team’s win. Florida was on top with a 148.000 and Oregon State was close behind with a 147.825. Alicia Boren gave Florida some extra space on beam, scoring a 9.95, while Oregon State boasted three vaults over a 9.800. Florida was on floor and Oregon State was on bars for the final rotation, and while no major mistakes were made on either side, Florida came out on top, scoring a 197.500 over Oregon State’s 197.125. Although Oregon State had a great bar rotation, it’s hard to beat Florida’s floor—especially with a 9.900 from Alicia Boren, a 9.900 from Nya Reed, and a huge 9.950 from Trinity Thomas.
Saturday’s meet will feature No. 4 Florida, No. 5 Denver, No. 12 Boise State, and No. 15 Oregon State, but only two can move on to NCAA National Championships in Fort Worth.
Highlights: Session One
Four gymnasts scored a 9.850 on vault in session one, including Maddi Leydin from Arizona, Sarah Means from Boise State, Maddie Karr from Denver, and Geneva Thompson from Washington.
Maddie Karr showed up again on bars, scoring a 9.925 for her team.
Emily Muhlenhaupt also scored big on this event, giving Boise State a well-deserved 9.900.
Alexis Vasquez took the top score in this session, giving Denver a 9.950 from an overall incredible beam routine.
Sophia Hyderally competed as an individual for Alaska, scoring a huge 9.900 for a nearly flawless routine.
Junior Madison Copiak competed beam for Washington, scoring the highest score of her team on beam (9.850) right after a rough fall on bars. She did not catch her piked Jaeger, instead slipping off the bars and falling onto her upper back near her neck. She did not finish the bar routine, presumably for safety reasons, but the moment her team needed her to anchor beam, she was right on the mark.
Lynnzee Brown hit a 9.950 for Denver, smiling and having fun all the way through her incredible routine.
Although this first video is of Courtney McGregor of Boise State warming up, the second one shows that her official performance was no less fun! She ended up with a 9.85 on the event.
Highlights: Session Two
Savannah Schoenherr took home a 9.900 for Florida, while teammate Sierra Alexander was close behind with a 9.875. Mary Jacobsen of Oregon State tied for second, scoring a 9.875 as well.
Trinity Thomas and Sabrina Gill tied for first, each scoring a 9.925 on bars, competing for Florida and Oregon State, respectively.
Alicia Boren from Florida took home the highest score of the night on beam, achieving a 9.950. Maela Lazaro was not far behind, getting a 9.925 for Oregon State.
As expected from powerhouse Trinity Thomas on floor, she scored a huge 9.950 to close out the meet for the Gators. Madison Ward from Utah State got a 9.925, competing individually.