2014 Kentucky Play-by-Play

Next Week – Pink Meet at Coleman Coliseum – January 24th – 7:30 pm

We’ll see you there for all the exciting pre-meet festivities.  Alabama vs. Arkansas. Roll Tide and goodnight from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Alabama: 196.050 (2nd) Nebraska: 196.250 (1st) Kentucky: 194.650 (3rd)

These are the final official team scores.  Kudos to Nebraska for the win and for Bama going out with a strong vault effort to secure 2nd place. We learned later that the unusually low floor scores (other than the obvious fall by DeMeo and the final tumbling pass by Jacob) were due to the judges assessing Alabama’s remaining gymnasts for not meeting the requirement for their leap series/dance combos.  Bama coaches will reevaluate the video of each gymnast and the Code of Points in order to confirm this and make the necessary changes in their routines prior to the next meet.

Coach Patterson noted that she held Carley Sims off floor because she was coming down with cold like symptoms – but she vaulted well for the Tide, though she had trouble on the uneven bars during her transition from high to low bar.  Foot just slipped while she was preparing to do the sole circle and she had to repeat the move after a glide.

A lot of new faces in the line-up after Diandra Milliner was held out for precaution – she didn’t like the feel of the floor and the coaches were not going to risk her.  They teach the gymnasts to keep it real – if it does not feel right on tumbling runs, don’t risk it.  Aja Sims was also inserted for Carley and scored well with a 9.800.

The teams are gathered on the floor exercise with some young gymnasts who will do the handstand competition – last one standing so to speak.

Alabama – Vault: 49.425 – 196.050

Kaitlyn Clark – super Y 1/1 – big smile on her face as she salutes the judges for a 9.875

Sarah DeMeo – her best Y 1/1 ever! Stuck it with a shocked smile on her face – Bama pride! 9.875

Katie Bailey – Hristakieva – another stick – leans a bit with her raised right arm but does not move otherwise. 9.875

Kim Jacob – Y 1/1 – step back – split legs in the air were pretty obvious from way over here. 9.800

Carley Sims – Y 1/1 – big in the air and distance – step back on landing. 9.850

Lauren Beers – Y 1/1 – superb vault – stuck – 9.950 Bama gymnasts ecstatic – great response from the sophomore in the anchor position for Diandra Milliner this week.

Alabama – Floor: 48.775 (146.675) Nebraska 147.600 Kentucky 145.775

Lora Leigh Frost – huge slide back on her opening double pike – front bounder to 1/1 – controlled landing – finishes strong with a double tuck. 9.775

Sarah DeMeo – falls on her opening double back pike – did not get any rebound on that last back handspring going into it – second pass is super solid – sells her dance so well as the music shifts – no problems this week with the 2 1/2 twist – 9.150

Amanda Jetter – opens with a super double tuck – tiny hop on landing – expressive dance – second pass – 1 1/2 through to a 1/1 – making eye contact with the judge on her right as she moves into the corner – finishes well with a 1 1/2 to a front layout. 9.775

Katie Bailey – opens with a double front Arabian – tiny hop forward on landing – solid second pass of the front bounder layout to 1/1 twist – finishes with a Rudi – nice routine from the freshman. 9.725 –  leap/dance requirements reportedly not met (later noted by coaches)

Aja Sims – super double pike to open – excellent control on the landing – sassy dance and a 1 1/2 through to a front layout – split legs on the twisting – beautiful leaps – double tuck to close – lands it bent at the knees, but she pulls it up quickly to finish the dance before saluting the judges. 9.800

Kim Jacob – pike full in to open – a little crooked in the air, head down on landing as well but she stands it up – double pike for her second pass – solid – sassy dance for judge on her right – ends up bending her knees on the second element of her 1 1/2 twist to 1/1 – stands it up but that will be a significant deduction – otherwise a solid routine going there.  9.700


Alabama – Balance Beam: 48.900 (97.900) Nebraska 49.125 (98.325) Kentucky 48.400 (97.150)

Sarah DeMeo – front handspring onto the beam – stag leap – front aerial to beat jump – bhs to back pike – super solid – full turn – running switch split leap – drops shoulder – does dance move and turns the other way and completes another running switch split leap to split jump – dismounts with a gainer full twist off the side in lieu of the double pike.  Precaution – she warmed it up well.  Just a feeling the coaches have – looking for more focus from the team. 9.775

Amanda Jetter – beat jump to straddle 1/1 – nice amplitude and stretch in the air – bhs to loso – front punch – a little low at the waist and she does not do the beat jump out of it – full turn – little balance check – switch split leap to straddle jump – dismounts with a 1 1/2 twist – sticks the landing. 9.700

Aja Sims – front aerial to split jump – a little balance check – bhs to loso – solid – switch split leap to straddle – really nice amplitude and stretch – running side straddle jump – solid – reverse full turn – dismounts with a gainer pike off the end of the beam – hop forward. 9.825

Kaitlyn Clark – nice switch split leap to split jump – bhs to loso – gorgeous – front kickover to beat jump – full turn – beat jump to wolf 3/4 – looking good so far – dismounts with a 1 1/2 twist – hops forward on one foot – good distance from the beam. 9.775

Katie Bailey – full turn with leg extended – bhs to loso – solid – hitch kick to side somi – waves arms a few times – she almost never misses that move – switch split leap to split jump – double twist dismount – hop in place on landing. 9.775

Kim Jacob – switch split leap to straddle 1/1 – bhs to lo to lo – big smile on her face as she finishes that series – barani – and she is tentative and almost brushes her hand down – but finishes with a stuck 1 1/2 – never expect the senior to be anything but 100% – but she’s human too! 9.75

Exhibit: Lauren Beers – fall on her flight series – lots of balance checks – she is capable of much better. 9.100

Alabama – Uneven Bars: 49.00 Nebraska: 49.150 (Beam) Kentucky: 48.750 (Vault)

Sarah DeMeo – nice routine from the senior – hop back on the double layout – rest of routine looked solid. 9.775

Katie Bailey – super high straddle Jaeger – misses the last handstand but sticks the full pirouette on top of the bar to a stuck double tuck flyaway. 9.775

Carley Sims – problems on the bail to handstand (lower bar) – one foot slipped off and almost stopped her momentum completely – she had to redo the glide and dismounted with a tuck full in, chest down, step.  This will be heavily deducted accordingly.  9.300

Kim Jacob – nice routine – Ray release – misses the final handstand – jams the landing of the double layout dismount – one step back. 9.775

Amanda Jetter – solid routine – hits all of her handstands – Ray release – one step back on the double front dismount. 9.800

Kaitlyn Clark – decides to do her routine from last week – shaposh from low to high bar – sticks the double layout dismount – crowd cheers loudly. 9.875

Exhibit: Aja Sims – weiler kip looks good – some ankle separations here and there during transition moves – hop back on the double layout dismount.  The tougher judge on the initial two routines gives her a 9.90 and the other a 9.70 for a final 9.80 score.

Fashion Report!

Alabama is wearing a ruby red leo with the signature A logo on the left side, lots of silver sequins winking at us.

Kentucky is in metallic blue and black with silver sequins throughout.

Nebraska is in black with red swirls on front and back, white highlights in the middle.

Teams are being introduced – John McCready got the crowd going.

Kentucky has a large team – and the power goes out on the announcer after the fourth gymnast. So we are waiting for them to get the power back up. Now we’re back!!!  We thought John was going to have to start dancing on the floor to entertain the crowd.



Keys to Victory

Alabama has already banked an impressive performance in Meet 1, scoring 197.150 against the Missouri Tigers. This after the unfortunate loss of junior Kayla Williams from the line-up right before the meet began last week. And tonight the Tide is experiencing a little more adversity, with senior Diandra Milliner expected to be held out of the floor and vault line-ups due to what appears to be a strained right calf muscle.  She had huge scores last week, so the Bama gymnasts that step in for her on these two events, and possibly the balance beam, will have the opportunity to showcase their skills to help the team work through this challenge in week 2.

Alabama will start on the uneven bars, where in extended warm-ups they looked very strong and confident. We expect to see new dismounts from sophomore Carley Sims (tuck full in) and a new release from junior Kaitlyn Clark (Church) that should help garner even higher scores than last week if the athletes can execute them to perfection.  Bama must be aggressive on this opening event to impress the judges and build their confidence for the next event, balance beam.

Either senior Diandra Milliner or Sarah DeMeo will start the rotation on balance beam tonight.  Alabama has several areas they need to improve on this event after a spotty performance in week 1.  The Crimson Tide has the big skills and must attack them with confidence – there is no room to be tentative on this apparatus.  Look for better junior and senior leadership this week from Clark and Jacob to help pull in a higher team score.  Freshmen Katie Bailey and Aja Monet Sims looked like veterans last week in their debuts respectively, so it’s just a matter of focus and determination to get the team to hit their collective routines.

Moving to the floor exercise, the Bama coaches are tapping some new faces already – look for the return of junior Lora Leigh Frost and the same line-up from last week with the exception of Milliner.  DeMeo will need to shorten her run on the final 2 1/2 twist pass to stay in bounds this week and Carley Sims will need to go full out on her second front tumbling pass to make sure she stands it up at chest level this week. The rest of Bama’s routines on floor look ready to go in extended warm-ups.

Bama will finish on vault but will again have a somewhat different line-up with Diandra sitting out as a precaution.  The Tide needs to hit the table strong to maximize their amplitude, stretch and aid in spotting the landing for some good old-fashioned sticks.  The Bama crowd is here in good numbers right in front of the floor mat and vault, ready to help bring home the victory.  It will be a tough meet tonight but a great barometer of where the Tide stands relative to a strong SEC foe in Kentucky and Big 12 rival Nebraska.  Let’s hope everyone has a great competition for the 3000 plus packed house.

Alabama to the Vault for final extended warmups…

Warming up on vault – Beers, Jacob, Bailey, Clark, Dennis, Carley Sims, DeMeo – Milliner will not vault – may be a sore calf muscle or Achilles – she is walking around fine but they will hold her out as a precaution.

Over on beam, Bama gymnasts working their routines – Lindsay Fowler, Mary Sanders and Keely McNeer.

Nice flight series from McNeer followed by a side aerial to beat jump combination. She really has excellent technique and a lot of big skills to showcase. Coaches are very excited about her long-term potential to contribute on all 4 events for the Tide.

Bama vaulters are doing their layout timers – adjusting to the table – with Milliner out of the line-up tonight, we’ll see  Jacob, DeMeo, Carley Sims, Clark, Bailey and Beers lead the way in some combination, with Dennis providing back-up depth.


Alabama moves to the Floor Exercise – extended warmups…

Warming up for the Tide – DeMeo, Aja Sims, Carley Sims, Jacob, Bailey, Milliner, Beers, Frost and Jetter.

Over on the bars – Bama has the following gals warming up – Keely McNeer, Dominique Pegg, Lindsay Fowler, Ria Domier, and Mary Lillian Sanders.

Kentucky is on the balance beam and Nebraska is on the vault.

Bama’s order of floor line-up: DeMeo, Frost, Carley Sims, Bailey, Jetter and Jacob.  Diandra will be rested on floor tonight – she is getting a right lower leg massage right now from trainer Monica Decker.  She is up now and back on the floor and looks fine.

Lindsay Fowler – working the bars like a mad genius! Nice handstands – super pike Jaeger –

Dominique Pegg looks so much stronger on bars – shaposh from low to high bar – working on the pak salto – will dismount with a double layout.

Ria Domier has great lines on bars – as does Mary Sanders, who has added a Tkatchev and a pak salto – this routine has wonderful potential.

Keely McNeer – very nice Ray release – she is very strong – works the bars with confidence.