In the second session on Friday evening, Denver finished 2nd behind #3 Michigan to advance to the Regional Finals on Sunday, April 2.
- University of Michigan 198.025
- University of Denver 197.450
- University of Minnesota 197.200
- University of Arizona 196.925
Michigan and Denver will join Oregon State and LSU from the earlier session Friday in the Finals. These were the four teams seeded into the Denver Regional Championship, so this was the expected set of teams to advance. Across all four regions, Auburn is the only seeded team that did not advance to their Regional Finals.
Denver’s meet was exciting and nerve-racking. Right off the bat in warm-ups DU looked nervous. Junior, Rylie Mundell was in a boot with an unspecified injury and out for the meet. But the home team advantage perhaps pulled them through with the 2nd highest team score of the day.
If Friday’s team scores determined which teams went to Nationals, DU would already be in. But they did not, so Denver needs to pull off another upset of both LSU and Oregon State in Sunday’s finals.
What if DU doesn’t make it to Nationals as a team?
One great piece of news we know is that junior Jessica Hutchinson will go to Nationals on Beam with her first place finish on that event. (This is unofficial at this point, because National qualifiers won’t be announced until Monday.)
There are scenarios where Lynnzee Brown will join Jessica at Nationals:
- If LSU and Michigan place first and second, Lynnzee will be the top All Around athlete not on a team advancing, and thus would return to Nationals as an All Around competitor.
- If Michigan places first or second, Lynnzee will be the top Bars qualifier not on a team advancing.
Denver started the meet on Floor and hit the second highest team score of the season on that event. Junior Abbie Thompson was in the lineup and her signature triple twist was the best I’ve seen all season. Both Jessica Hutchinson and Lynnzee Brown scored 9.95s. Seeing the rest of the meet, and the 10.0 that was awarded to Michigan’s Sierra Brooks, I’d say Lynnzee deserved a 10.0. At the end of the first rotation, Denver was ahead of Michigan 49.6 to 49.375. That’s the last time Denver would have the lead, but we relished it for the time!
In the second rotation Denver went to vault. With Rylie Mundell out, DU was down to only three 10.0 start value vaults. Unfortunately Rosie Casali under rotated and sat down for a 9.175. Neither Lynnzee or Jessica were able to stick their vaults. And the team’s three Yurchenko fulls were all stuck, but none above a 9.85. Denver has had such a love/hate relationship with vault this year with up and down scores each week. Hopefully that means they will hit on vault on Sunday. Meanwhile, Michigan on floor beat Denver’s floor score by only 0.1, even with a perfect score from Sierra Brooks.
After vault, Denver went to bars and continued with minor mistakes. There were form breaks that we haven’t seen since mid-February. Lynnzee Brown had the only truly clean routine and a 9.95. After the third rotation, Minnesota had pulled within 0.025 of Denver, and Michigan pulled away from them all.
The last rotation for Denver was beam. As usual, Lynnzee Brown was in the lead-off spot, and as usual she hit a solid routine. Junior Bella Mabanta went second, and she had a major wobble on her switch-leap half. Then in the third spot, graduate student Alexandria Ruiz had a fall on her split jump. That meant that in order to advance to the Regional Finals, the next three DU gymnasts needed to hit. In the fourth spot, senior Callie Schlottman was swapped into the lineup for Momoko Iwai, and she turned things around. Capping off the night, and sealing the team’s advancement, was Jessica Hutchinson’s 9.975.
3 thoughts on “Denver Gymnastics in Regional Finals”
Seems like we have at least a 50/50 chance to advance. If we perform like Friday, whose to say LSU and Oregon State will improve from their Friday showings. Dunker always positive.
If you can’t advance from your own hosted regional, you don’t deserve to advance to the NCAA finals.
Hit all routines, don’t choke and let the other teams worry about Denver.
D U winning is great. Michigan losing is greater.