View Single Post
Old 12-07-2016, 03:43 AM
DKW is offline
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,976

Ooh, mascots! And cheerleaders! You know itís getting intense now!

UCLA: Carter Allen, Amanda Adams, James Vaughn
USC: Julian Olea, Noelle Crowley, Antonio Ayala
Colorado: Matt Normile, Alexandra Regenold, Bobby Reedy
Stanford: Will Roderick, Roshena MacPherson, Nam Cuong

Natalie Duran is in the crowd, and sheís a huge UCLA fan, though thankfully the pace of this event is too fast to have 25 goddam crowd shots every goddam run.

Quote of the day: ďWeíve won Heisman trophies, weíve won championships. No oneís going to beat USC at home.Ē - Ayala. Well done, not only ignoring the fact that UCLA is in the exact same city, but citing the one award in college football even more meaningless and overrated than the national championship! Thanks, I was starting to worry a bit!

= 1st match: UCLA vs. USC =
__L: Allen vs. Olea - An energetic seesaw battle from start to finish (definitely donít see too many of those)! Olea looks a bit tentative and clumsy in the early going, nearly losing it on Sonic Swing, and Allen is able to open a small lead. Both get stuck in the gap on Ring of Fire, and Allen stays ahead. But Allen gets a bit hung up on Swing Jump, and Olea surges ahead. He makes it through Floating Tiles without trouble, while Allen lands hard on the landing pad. Olea is first through Pole Grasper...and takes way, way too long to wipe his feet. Allen gets through Pole Grasper and immediately charges up...and he has the top...but canít quite pull himself over! So Olea makes a charge and...comes up short. Allen closes the deal uncontested. Allen/finish
__W: Adams vs. Crowley - Crowley was just too wild, first needing three attempts to get out of the Ring of Fire gap and making too late a jump on Swing Jump. Her hands canít hold on and she goes straight down. Adams takes a lot of time but gets through, proving that slow but steady does, in fact, win the race if the opponent is completely out of it. Which the hare was, and why do you need to hear that from me, hmm? Adams/distance
__A: Vaughn vs. Ayala - A classic case of victory decided by whoís better at more tasks. Ayala bursts out of the gate and has the lead through Sonic Swing and Ring of Fire. But heís clumsy on the net at Swing Jump, lands hard on the dismount on Floating Tiles, and struggles badly on Pipe Grasper. Vaughn has no trouble with any of these and nonchalantly glides up the wall. Vaughn 4, Ayala 2. Or is it 3.5 to 2.5? Bah, itís been a long day, Iím in no mood for math. Vaughn/finish
Oh wow, itís a sweep. Call me nitpicky, but doesnít a rivalry normally require some degree of parity?

= 2nd match: Colorado vs. Stanford =
__L: Normile vs. Roderick - Normile completely fudges the rope grab on the second swing of Sonic Swing and makes a big splash, completely killing his momentum. He hangs in there for a few seconds before succumbing to the inevitable. Roderick/distance
__W: Regenold vs. MacPherson - Both of them plod through Sonic Swing, then tackle Ring of Fire...and MacPherson hits the gap and simply loses the handle. Regenold doesnít, and thatís plenty good enough. Regenold/distance
__A: Reedy vs. Cuong - Not much to say about this; Cuong is simply better, putting in a mistake-free run and never once relinquishing his lead. Cuong/finish
Damn, this has to be the quickest TNW match ever. Could someone confirm this?

So the first half is over and Iíve seen all twelve athletes, and other than James Vaughn and Nam Cuong...who were GOOD, but hardly impressive, certainly not on the level of Doug Legg or Tomas one has stood out. This normally would be the point where I get the unsettling premonition of things being turned completely upside down in the second half, but given how dull this prelim has been so far, Iím honestly kinda looking forward to that.

= 3rd match: UCLA vs. Colorado =
__L: Allen vs. Normile - Drama early as Allen misses the dismount the first time, surrendering a big early lead. Both men push hard, stumbling on the exit to Floating Tiles but staying in it. Normile is the first to Pole Grasper, and...trouble. Heís never trained for pure upper-body obstacles and is struggling mightily. Allen passes him, but has to stop to catch his breath. Normile beats the odds and makes it through Pole Grasper. They charge up the wall! Allen gets up! Normile...doesnít get up, and Allen wins another not-that-close-one. Credit to Normile for shaking off his disastrous first heat and making it a contest, but the result was the same. Allen/finish
__W: Adams vs. Regenold - A relaxing walk through the park...seriously, how can there be that many incredibly slow women in a contest thatís all about speed?...through the first two obstacles. Allen takes three swings on Swing Jump, and Regenold ever so gradually pulls away. Regenold loses some ground on Floating Tiles but still has a healthy lead going into the poles. Sheís clearly superior at upper body tasks and completes it well ahead (kudos to Adams for not failing here, though; didnít think she had it in her). And now, the moment weíve all been waiting for...the Warped Wall completely eating two women for breakfast. (Hey, after the constant thrashings itís taken on ANW, it deserves a little vengeance! ). Regenold makes her first run; no speed, well short. Second run; same. Adams completes Pole Grasper and makes her first run; short by about a yard. Regenoldís Adamsí second, complete bust. Adamsí third...bleah. Colorado gets on the board with the fifty-percent-plus-one. Regenold/speed
__A: Vaughn vs. Reedy - Reedy takes an extra swing on Sonic Swing but makes up the ground with remarkable speed, taking the lead at Swing Jump. Vaughn isnít an explosive athlete and struggles to keep up through Floating Tiles. Reedy makes a huge leap onto Pole Grasper, and...oh no...donít tell me heís not good with upper body obstacles? Yep, and Vaughn is, allowing him to completely leave him in the dust. Vaughn struggles a bit getting up the wall, but no harm, no foul. Vaughn/finish

= 4th match: USC vs. Stanford =
__L: Olea vs. Roderick - Roderick looks stronger, and he smoothly moves from task to task, never allowing Olea to catch up. Until Pole Grasper, where Olea takes a big jump, completely catches up, and is the first out! Oh, itís head to head now! They both run up the wall side by side!!!!!...and Roderick drops, giving Olea a decisive win. Wait, havenít we seen this before? Olea/finish
__W: Crowley vs. MacPherson - Oh, this oughta be good. Crowley is marginally less timid through Sonic Swing (honestly, MacPherson looked like she was on Quintuple Steps) and takes the early lead. She gets stuck in the gap in Ring of Fire, which...oh, crap, MacPherson was far too weak on the second swing, and now sheís completely lost momentum and itís hopeless. The SECOND competitor who cleared a whopping one obstacle in two heats. Crowley/distance
__A: Ayala vs. Cuong - Will Ayala secure the sweep and pull off the most stunning of 180s? Will Cuong stand up to the pressure and prove whoís #1? Will it be another seesaw battle? Will it be an all-out blitz? Will it come down to a photo finish at the buzzers? Will...oh, come ON, this CANNOT be happening! Both take a lot of water on the second swing of Sonic Swing, and Ayala takes so much that he canít reach the landing pad! Weíve seen this before; thereís only one way this can end. By the way, thatís THREE competitors going down on the first obstacle today, one leadoff, one woman, and one anchor. Thatís...well, a tad unsettling, if you ask me. Cuong/distance
Huh. For once thereís no clear choice for the tiebreaker matchup. Olea or Ayala, Roderick or Cuong? I honestly think any of them could pull it off.
Kacy Catanzaro talks to Cuong first. After the usual banal commentary, he steps up for the tiebreaker. USC wastes no time making its decision: Olea. Iíll let the commentators hash this one out.
Iseman: So it looks like USC is going to send out Julian Olea, who had a come from behind win minutes ago.
Gbajabiamila: Well Matt, weíve seen with Olea, heís slowly starting to get his athletic mojo back. Heís starting to feel and come into his own. This is the perfect time for him to capitalize on that.
Wow, they actually sounded not especially stupid for a change!
__T: Olea vs. Cuong - Cuong is a little shaky on Sonic Swing but avoids disaster. Olea, hustles and churns and strives, but he just doesnít have Cuongís power, and he falls further and further behind. Cuong has a huge advantage going into Pole Grasper and...uh oh. Heís too low, he struggling, and...he comes to a complete standstill! He just plain looks like heís out of gas. Olea catches up, gets on the poles, and is powering his way through, while Cuong canít get a move on at all! He finally gets the gears cranking again, but by then Olea is up the wall. Did I mention something about things being turned completely...well, Olea did have the previous win; letís call it a 135. Olea/finish

Our first steal, and [lots of grumbling about how ridiculously overblown the rivalry is redacted because I have to go to bed sometime].

Oh, more completely irrelevant stats, lovely.

= Final: USC (Crowley, Ayala, Olea) vs. UCLA (Adams, Allen, Vaughn) =
Crowley gets a bit hung up at Sonic Swing, and Adams takes the early lead. Adams gets stuck in the gap; so does Crowley. Crowley quickly gets out. Adams tries to get out, fails. Tries again, fails. Finally, on the third attempt...fails again! She finally gets out, by which time Crowley has nearly finished Swing Jump. Crowley makes the tag and Ayala takes off.

Adams is on the net...still on the net...still on the net...good lord, she couldnít be any slower if her shoelaces were tied together! Ayala surges through Floating Tiles and is on Pole Grasper. FINALLY, Adams makes the tag. Allen, now in a desperate catch-up game, runs through Floating tiles, leaps onto the poles...

...where Ayala leaves no further room for doubt that he is by far the worst anchor today, perhaps ever, by still being on the poles...and allowing Allen to pass him. Worse, Allen still has plenty of energy and sails up the wall, while Ayala has to take time to catch his breath.

Vaughn sets a smooth pace on Duelling Salmon Ladders, while Olea looks tentative...

...and it all becomes academic as Olea completely botches the trampoline and lands in the water without even touching the bar. (Vaughn completes the obstacle and Globe Graspers and ends the day dry as a bone.)

And just like that, the ďgreat college rivalryĒ storyline goes down in flames. Way to ruin the party again, reality!

Like Georgia, a team with big question marks. Adams looked completely in over her head, and while her teammates more than pulled their weight (they had to), neither is a world-beater. 5-1 always looks good on paper, but todayís competition was hardly Division 1-A. Do they stand a chance against MIT?

MVP picks: Allen, Regenold, Vaughn

(Man, what a weird day. Not bad, mind you. Or good. Just...weird.)