NCAA Gymnastics Championships – Live updates as runners Jade Carey, Grace McCallum compete in the first of two semifinals

Four American Olympic athletes you will remember from Tokyo. Eight super teams. And an oddly tight battle for team and individual titles. The NCAA Gymnastics Championships begin Thursday, with Semifinals I starting at 1 p.m. ET (ESPN2) and semifinals II at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN2). Want to downgrade? We’ll have live updates throughout this whirlwind day:

Here it is: See who’s in the semi-finals I

1st place Oklahoma, 4th Utah, 5th Alabama and 7th Minnesota will play in the I semifinals with the same goal: First or second and advance to the finals on Saturday (1pm ET, ABC).

Also in the starting list? Individual qualifiers, including blockbuster qualifiers. Olympic gold medalist Jade Carey, who finished the regular season with first place overall, second on the bar and third on the floor, had nothing to offer in spectacular competition for Oregon State. . This sums up why we should all heed the Jade Carey hype:

She’ll have her chance to win the all-around and individual titles on Thursday – but it won’t be easy. There are probably dozens of other gymnasts who could also win the final, which is awarded to the top finisher in all four events after both semi-finals are over. More on the all-out battle here.

High on that list would be Carey’s Olympic teammate (and good friend) Grace McCallum, who was sixth in terms of the bar and second. McCallum is competing with the longtime Utah team, and has also had a certain season, including two perfect 10.0 points across the bars.

On the team side of things, Oklahoma and Utah are the favorites for promotion, just as they are. Utah’s roster also includes Olympic replacement Kara Eaker and two-time NCAA champion Maile O’Keefe. The pair won the team’s national bid in the most dramatic way two gymnasts could, by scoring 10.0s in a row on the beam at the zones. Because of course you’ll want to see that, here it is.

Oklahoma has 2016 Olympic replacement stars Ragan Smith, as well as freshman Jordan Bowers and sophomore Audrey Davis. Each of these gymnasts can win an individual event title. Don’t miss Oklahoma on the bars, in particular – the team was ranked #1 in that event.

But, really, nothing is guaranteed on Thursday. Alabama’s regional final score was 198,175, to Utah’s 198,200 and Oklahoma’s 198,250. Those profits are very small as they seem. And Minnesota doesn’t count. The squad has also hit the 198-goal mark this season, and if they do, could let any other team down. This will be an epic battle and anything can happen. – Amy Van Deusen

Get more predictions, from Kathy Johnson Clarke, Bart Conner, Alicia Sacramone Quinn and many more, here. NCAA Gymnastics Championships – Live updates as runners Jade Carey, Grace McCallum compete in the first of two semifinals

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