Since we last spoke, four regional finals brought us from 16 teams to the top eight, and there weren’t really any surprises here — aside from LSU being kicked out early and usurped by #11 Missouri, the top eight is the top eight. Thursday’s semifinals will see Minnesota, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Utah face off, while Auburn, Florida, Missouri, and Michigan will compete in the second semifinal.
The top two teams from each semifinal will advance to nationals on Saturday. If everything we’ve seen this season and this postseason is an indicator, it should be Oklahoma, Utah, Florida, and Michigan, but I’m open to (and hope for) surprises. Similarly, if history is an indicator, it’s going to take a 198 to win this year.
We started out the regional finals with UCLA’s controversial elimination. UCLA was eliminated thanks in part to the foot heard around the world being counted as in bounds for Missouri, giving them the edge needed to advance with a 197.425, just .025 ahead of UCLA. Michigan took the win here with a 197.800, thanks in part to Gabby Wilson‘s 10 on vault:
In Florida news, they keep getting 10s (cue Leanne Wong), resulting in the third-highest NCAA score ever, a 198.775, at their regional final. Sunisa Lee got another 10, too, helping Auburn advance with a 197.775 over Kentucky and Denver:
Oklahoma easily won their regional final with a 198.150, and Minnesota earned a 197.725 to beat Cal by .425. In the final final, Utah edged out Alabama to take the win with a 198.200 over Bama’s 198.175, eliminating MSU and Stanford. Utah was trailing Alabama after the third rotation, but brought it back around thanks to back-to-back 10s from Kara Eaker and Maile O’Keefe:
Here’s your updated bracket, and your full rotation order. Notably, Jade Carey will rotate with Oklahoma, Flatley with Michigan, and Jordan Chiles will compete bars and floor, rotating with Missouri.
The U.S. named the team heading to Jesolo, which takes place this weekend. They also released scores from the selection camp, where Shilese Jones killed it with a 54.550 and earned the top scores on vault and floor. She’ll be joined by Konnor McClain, who came in second in the all-around and won beam with a 13.95, eMjae Frazier, Zoe Miller, Elle Mueller, and Ashlee Sullivan. Asia D’Amato and Giorgia Villa will also be in attendance, along with Ellie Black and Ava Stewart, and Coline Devillard (Olympics.com).
The Baku World Cup — the final world cup in the 2022 Apparatus World Cup series — came to a close. Lorette Charpy took the bars title with a 13.866, Oksana Chusovitina won vault with a 13.266, Julia Soares won floor with a 13.433, and Sarah Voss won beam with this incredible routine, which earned a 13.733:
World Cup Series Wraps Up in Baku — What Does This Mean for Worlds? (The Gymternet)
Jade Careyannounced her plans to return to elite gym (Olympics.com).
Mélanie Des Jesus dos Santos is moving to the U.S. to train at World Champions Centre with Cecile and Laurent Landi. While we’re here:
Russia and Ukraine news
Diana Varinska is teaching an online class to raise money for Ukraine (Gymnovosti).
Russian Championships are happening (The Gymternet). Lauren at The Gymternet has wisely decided not to cover it but will post results, and any ad revenue she receives this month will be donated. There are also links to charities if you’d like to help the people of Ukraine.
Olympic Tokyo Champions Angelina Melnikova And Nikita Nagornyy Seek The Annulment Of FIG Ban On Russia Over Ukraine (WOGymnastika)
Tweets of the week
LESS IS MORE, PEOPLE
Laurie Hernandez won a competition I didn’t know existed and gave us this fire content:
Five at the IX: Maile O’Keefe
Utah junior Maile O’Keefe was interviewed after her perfect 10 on beam sealed the win for Utah at last weekend’s regional final.