Notes from the stands at the Pac-10 Championships

1. Stanford 197.000
2. Oregon State 196.550
3. UCLA 196.200
4. Arizona 195.725
5. California 193.400
6. Washington 193.375
7. Arizona State 191.925

The meet began and ended with injuries to ASU junior Tia Orlando and Stanford redshirt freshman Allyse Ishino. Orlando (formerly of the Parkettes) seemed to be up for one final pass at the end of the Sun Devils’ floor warmup, their last before march in.

Orlando fell way short on her double pike and had to be carried off the mat. Word from ASU is that she tore her Achilles tendon.

Her injury, probably coupled with Nicole Harris’ departure from ASU gymnastics earlier this season, seemed to take all the spark out of the Sun Devils. ASU finished seventh out of seven in the Pac-10 with only a 191.925, the program’s lowest score since 2005.

Ishino collapsed after landing her Yurchenko full vault. Her knee literally seemed to give out as she saluted the judges, although it didn’t look like there was anything wrong with it on impact. She was carried off the mat to be examined by a trainer on a padded table about 15 feet from where the gymnasts landed their vaults. Ishino is awaiting the results of an MRI to determine the injury.

It must have made it especially difficult for Stanford seniors Liz Tricase and Tabitha Yim to concentrate, as both still had to go. But they showed why they’re pros — both executed two especially clean and powerful Yurchenko fulls without seeming to bat an eyelash.

Despite Ishino’s injury, Stanford looked like it was on cruise control the entire meet. It’s six seniors, all All-Americans, are truly impressive. Yim gave a tour de force performance on her way to her second Pac-10 all around title, backed up by Tricase, who captured her third (third!) consecutive Pac-10 bars title.

Quicker hits: Oregon State’s Tasha Smith got the floor title — and the biggest round of applause of the night — for her hip-hop routine with its African-inspired dance moves. Smith got a 10 on the same event when the Beavers went against BYU Feb. 22, and this routine looked even better. Oregon State’s Jami Lanz, who appears to be one of the Pac-10’s most undersung gymnasts, had a great night as well, tying Stanford’s Carly Janiga for the beam title.

UCLA looked sharp at times and sloppy at others. The Bruins wasted an opportunity to challenge for the lead on floor after falls from Shavahn Church on bars (double back dismount) and Ashley Jenkins and Mizuki Sato on floor.

Arizona is the LSU of the Pac-10. They’re a strong program with gymnasts who ought to be recognized, but they’re stuck in a division filled with powerhouses. Senior Karin Wurm was the cream of their crop, and presented difficult and engaging routines on all events.

And Washington freshmen Samantha Walior and Kristen Linton are going places. Walior has a terrific, enteratining floor routine to Dropkick Murphys’ “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” from The Departed soundtrack, and she hasn’t fallen from beam in a meet yet. Linton has fabulous form on all events. It was also a great night for beat-up fifth-year Nikki Waiss, who tied for third on bars with a 9.9, despite competing on a torn meniscus.

News from the south: Everybody’s NCAA favorite Georgia won the SEC Championships, while Alabama and Florida tied for second. Everybody was above 197. The meet was full of interesting revelations, from Florida’s team as well as Georgia coach Suzanne Yoculan, as Rick at Gymnastics Coaching reported.

Complete results can be found here.

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One Response to “Notes from the stands at the Pac-10 Championships”

  1. Jenny Says:

    this was the first gymnastics meet I’ve attended in-person since I hung up my leo almost 20 years ago. It was so exciting to be there, so totally overstimulating–it was amazing. Just wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, re-catching the fever, and look forward to more meets to come. Thank you for helping me rediscover my love of this sport and pointing out that I can be supporting local teams–somehow I’d been overlooking collegiate gymnastics all this time.

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