Things Are Happening – May 18, 2018

A. Rhonda

Root-dee-doo. Another ho-hum day in USAG land. Nothing to report here.

Or, except, no, it’s all on fire again. Last night, word came on Marz Frazier’s twitter (you know, where information comes from in an organization where everything’s going fine and the lines of communication are A-OK…) that Kerry Perry asked Rhonda Faehn to resign from her position as senior vice president. Today, Kerry Perry announced that Rhonda is out (not that Rhonda resigned as requested), while saying super transparent things like, “This is a personnel matter that we will not discuss in detail.”

And she only used empowered twice. Per sentence.

So a couple things with that. Maybe more than a couple.

1) Whether or not you agree with the public majority of current national team members who say they want Rhonda to stay (honestly both camps have valid arguments here), it’s seriously a problem when those inside the national team feel so ignored, misunderstood, and shut off from the seats of power that they have to turn to social media to get the organization’s attention. While it’s great if gymnasts actually feel they can express personal thoughts on social media and scream them from the rooftops nowadays, they shouldn’t have to.

It’s not a sign of good leadership. Decisions made, no matter how unpopular, need to be communicated, explained, and justified to those in the organization whom they affect the most. If people are running to social media in search of public justice, you aren’t doing your job and are responsible for any ensuing controversy. You made this happen.

And now we’ve learned this.


The good guys team doesn’t have to be a completely united front with one opinion. And conflicting goals (“I WANT TO COMPETE,” “I WANT JUSTICE”), even within the good guys team, are going to cause friction and upset and misplaced blame all around. That’s natural and, while certainly not ideal, fairly inevitable. It doesn’t mean thoughts need to be immediately removed if not part of “WHAT WE THINK.” Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 18, 2018


2018 JO Nationals

The full and complete scores may be found here, but I’ll be tracking the major results throughout the weekend and including them here as they come in, along with what you need to know for future NCAA purposes. (Verbally committed seniors are noted with their school and the year of their first competition season, not year of academic entry, because we don’t care about that book-lerning nunsense.)

SENIOR F – Top 10 AA & Notables

Sunday, May 13 – 6:30pm ET

Rk Name NCAA VT UB BB FX Total
1 Natalie Wojcik Michigan 2019 9.850 (2) 9.700 (2) 9.600 (5) 9.625 (4) 38.775
The much-anticipated L10 army heading to Michigan next season delivered at JO Nationals this year, bringing a 1st and 4th finish here in Senior F to mostly dominate the session.  Michigan will have to spend a long offseason living with the fact that it missed nationals without counting a fall this season, and anticipate quite a bit lineup turnover next season with all these new routines.
2 Abigail Johnston Nebraska 2019 9.675 (7) 9.625 (6) 9.675 (1) 9.650 (2) 38.625
As mentioned in the last couple groups, Nebraska’s commits had a very good JO nationals this year, and Johnston may be emerging as the top contributor of the bunch. The depth should be there next season, but it will be interesting to watch whether Nebraska becomes a team that competes small nonetheless because you could go with Crouse, Houchin, Roby, Schweihofer, and a couple freshmen in the all-around, and that might just be the best-scoring team, with maybe only one more routine or two here and there getting into lineups.
3 Derrian Gobourne Auburn 2019 9.675 (7) 9.750 (1) 9.550 (6) 9.625 (4) 38.600
Gobourne was the only signee Auburn announced in its original class, though there’s not the pressure on her contribution that there might be otherwise because Auburn is a very young team that isn’t losing any lineup sets from 2018. Gobourne is expected to be an additive force, rather than a replacement force, and she should do that on multiple events.
4 Abby Brenner Michigan 2019 9.750 (4) 9.675 (4) 9.400 (16) 9.550 (9) 38.375
The new Michigan L10s have made a mark these last couple years for their AA placements, which speaks to the number of routines Michigan is adding for next year. When you add Heiskell and Mariani to this group (both missing this year with injury), it’s reasonable to think that could add up to half-a-team’s worth of routines just from the freshmen—since most of them are three-eventers or AAers.
5 Shylen Murakami Southern Utah 2019 9.525 (25) 9.700 (2) 9.625 (4) 9.500 (14) 38.350
Like McClain, who won Senior E, Murakami is part of the project to rebuild SUU’s lineups that particularly suffered from depletion on bars and beam this past season. Get Murakami to the ends of those lineups immediately.
6 Madison Dagen Oregon State 2019 9.600 (13) 9.525 (8) 9.650 (2) 9.450 (27) 38.225
Dagen is Oregon State’s big L10 hope for the next season. While the name brand in that incoming class is Jade Carey, Carey is still on the worlds track as a first-tier contender for that team and potentially beyond. If the lure of elite opportunities does beckon, that puts more onus on Dagen to help Oregon State build its lineups back up to become a team that can challenge for nationals once more. We’ll be talking a lot about her.
7 Rachael Lukacs Georgia 2019 9.875 (1) 9.000 (38) 9.650 (2) 9.675 (1) 38.200
A surprising miss on bars knocked the session favorite down to the 7th spot all-around, but I think she’ll survive somehow as an expected future star for Georgia. If she does have a weakness, it’s bars, but Lukacs is a major frontrunner to jump right toward the end of the vault and floor lineups for Georgia next season and erase all memory of 2018’s five-gymnast shuffles.
8 Halley Taylor Florida 2019 9.600 (13) 9.500 (11) 9.475 (9) 9.550 (9) 38.125
Taylor is the sixth, unheralded member of Florida’s incoming class next season, it appears casually walking on as a top-10 finisher at JO nationals. I feel like Florida is going to have enough routines for next year? Just a hunch.
9 Rachel Hornung West Virginia 2019

9.625 (11)

9.425 (14) 9.550 (6) 9.475 (21) 38.075
10 Libby Garfoot Penn 2019 9.650 (9)

9.550 (7)

9.425 (14) 9.225 (44) 37.850
Well go ahead on, Penn.
10 Olivia Miller Pittsburgh 2019 9.575 (19) 9.500 (11) 9.375 (20) 9.400 (31) 37.850
14 Kennedy Hambrick Arkansas 2019 9.650 (9) 9.675 (4) 8.825 (45) 9.550 (9) 37.700
No relation.
16 Deja Chambliss George Washington 2019 9.775 (3) 9.400 (16) 9.200 (32) 9.300 (40) 37.675
21 Mia Quigg Illinois State 2019 9.475 (28) 9.100 (35) 9.325 (24) 9.650 (2) 37.550
56 Nya Reed  Florida 2019 9.750 (4) 1.000 (57) 9.450 (11) 9.625 (4) 29.825
It appears an unfortunate bars disaster derailed Reed’s competition, but the other scores are there.

SENIOR E – Top 10 AA & Notables

Sunday, May 13 – 1:45pm ET

Rk Name NCAA VT UB BB FX Total
1 Karley McClain Southern Utah 2019 9.750 (5) 9.575 (7) 9.575 (6) 9.650 (4) 38.550
We have an upset result in Senior E with McClain taking the title over more famous names in the top 10—also a significant development for SUU for next season after falling off in 2018 in the aftermath of a graduation bomb being dropping in those lineups. Some strong L10s will be entering for the 2019 season in the hope of rebuilding that lineup foundation.
2 Milan Clausi Cal 2019 9.800 (2) 9.500 (13) 9.700 (1) 9.525 (14) 38.525
Clausi, the daughter of Missy Marlowe, is expected to be a big part of Cal’s lineup solidification project for next season as one of several L10s who all look likely to come in on at least 2-3 events, replacing the lost routines as well as providing the luxury of assigning some of the borderline 9.775s to backup roles. Previously, Clausi had looked mostly beam and floor, but the vault scores this season have been more than legit.
3 Olivia Trautman Oklahoma 2019 9.800 (2) 9.600 (5) 9.375 (22) 9.725 (1) 38.500
An Oklahoma gymnast with a 9.375 on beam? Immediately off the team. I kid because she’s going to be a big deal. Those floor lineups next season will want a little reinforcement without Jackson in there, and Trautman is poised to be the one who slots into those positions and keeps the power quotient at a necessary level.
4 Cristal Isa Utah 2019 9.550 (22) 9.700 (1) 9.575 (6) 9.475 (20) 38.300
4 Adrienne Randall Utah 2019  9.475 (31) 9.600 (5) 9.625 (2) 9.600 (6) 38.300
The Ute freshmen are twinning already, coming in with the exact same score here. Add those two to Dula from Senior B and Cammy Hall from this session (finished 35th AA but got the vault score) and Utah should have the routine numbers next year with some increased choice on bars and beam—where the mid-lineup options in 2018 fell a little behind those of the best teams.
6 Katie Chamberlain Pittsburgh 2019 9.650 (11) 9.525 (11) 9.575 (6) 9.450 (23) 38.200
Several Pitt commits have been bringing the 9.5s and 9.6s at JOs this year, which should indicate that the improvement of 2018 was not a one-off. Beam was the major question in 2018, often in the lower 48 zone, and it’s not coincidental that the Pitt gymnasts placing well here are excelling on beam. Recruit to those weaknesses.
7 Sarah Hargrove  Nebraska 2019 9.625 (15) 9.650 (3) 9.425 (17) 9.450 (23) 38.150
Hargrove won beam and floor at her regional, and placed well on bars here, providing a good indication that she can provide that solid-across-the-board repertoire that Nebraska will need next year as the departures of Epperson, Breen, and Williams mean that every event is losing about the same amount, about two routines. A little shoring up everywhere is what’s called for.
8 Olivia Raymond George Washington 2019 9.475 (31) 9.400 (18) 9.575 (6) 9.625 (5) 38.075
I was really hoping to see some George Washington here because we know how many critical routines the team is losing for next season. Without that group, the lineup outlook is not great, so the freshmen will need to do a lot and be major scoring contributors for NCAA 9.8s and 9.9s.
9 Alisa Sheremeta Illinois-Chicago 2019 9.250 (46) 9.575 (7) 9.625 (2) 9.600 (6) 38.050
Nice get for UIC. Sheremeta should give them three events. And well done for that very non-Ukrainian beam score that defies her name.
10 Sekai Wright  UCLA 2019 9.850 (1) 9.125 (34) 9.325 (26) 9.675 (3) 37.975
Placing top 10 in the AA is a strong finish for Wirght, who is going to UCLA ostensibly as a vault and floor specialist so the AA results don’t really mean as much. Wright was not officially committed when she emerged at JO Nationals last year, but UCLA snapped up that 10.0-start vault right quick.
11 Kaylee Quinn  Nebraska 2019 9.650 (11) 9.200 (31) 9.350 (25) 9.700 (2) 37.900
14 Alexa Al-Hameed ??? 9.550 (22) 9.225 (30) 9.600 (5) 9.400 (28) 37.775
Did not sign for Oklahoma for next season as her previous verbal indicated.
18 Alexandra Greenwald  Iowa 2019 9.625 (15) 9.675 (2) 8.800 (47) 9.475 (20) 37.575
21 Amara Cunningham  Temple 2019 9.775 (4) 9.325 (23) 8.775 (48) 9.600 (6) 37.475
25 Jacqueline Kranitz  Iowa 2019 9.450 (33) 9.650 (3) 9.275 (31) 9.025 (48) 37.400
ALL THE BARS for Iowa here.
33 Asia Dewalt  Alabama 2019  9.750 (5) 9.550 (9) 9.250 (34) 8.550 (53) 37.100

SENIOR D – Top 10 AA & Notables

Continue reading 2018 JO Nationals

1998 Reese’s Cup: Eat A Butt

Welcome to the 1998 Reese’s Cup.

Or, sorry, the Reese’s International Gymnastics Cup.


1 – USA


The Magnificent Seven (left) receive flowers from the Polygamy Tragedy Six (right).

Dearest Dominique,

You look like you probably wear a XXL.

Yours always,
The 1990s


Elfi: Dominique, how did you decide on the name “The Uniques”?
Dom: This is the first I’m learning of it, Cheryl

“It’ll be fun,” she said miserably.

Kim Zmeskal: Stolen


Shannon: I got the best team
Everyone: You know this is just a weird exhibition, so it doesn’t, like…

And a rhythmic for Kristie Phillips, bye.

We begin on beam with Dominique Celine Moceanu 90s, who has selected “My Heart Will Go On” because of…that’s like a thing right now and you have to. Continue reading 1998 Reese’s Cup: Eat A Butt

Things Are Happening – May 8, 2018

I’m back with a special Tuesday edition of TAH to catch up on all the action I’ve missed.

A. Alabama

Shortly following nationals this year, Alabama head coach Dana Duckworth fired assistant coach and pants enthusiast Bryan Raschilla. It was initially a fairly surprising development because they seemed to have a good thing going, but the results absolutely have not been there, culminating in missing Super Six this year for the first time since 2007.

In the gymnastics community, the reaction to Dana’s head coach tenure has been quite enthusiastic, but those who are not intimately connected with the sport don’t see the vital importance of Super Six capelets, coaching beam with the chin-elevation of a theatrical grand dame, and saying, “You are beautiful, you are lovely, go out there and enjoy this.”

I mean…

I rest my case.

Anyway, over the past few months, the Alabama pressure on Dana has been mounting for not being able to match the championship pedigree of the Sarah years thus far. Some of that is selective rose-colored memory—Alabama had occasional streaks of 6th-8th finishes under Sarah too, in a less deep national environment—but Sarah also had championships to lean back on, which Dana does not have. Alabama has fallen a step behind Florida and LSU, instead of being on par with them, and is now facing pressure from Georgia again if nationals was any indication. Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 8, 2018

National Team Rankings – May 2018

How It Works
Taking into account all scores recorded at competitions in the last six months, each nation is given a team total based on how its best-scoring group of five senior gymnasts would do in a hypothetical 3-up, 3-count team final.

Each individual’s best scores may come from any official competition (they need not all be from the same meet), and whichever group of five gymnasts would produce the highest score is the one selected.

Countries that have not shown enough senior routines in the last six months to fill a 3-up, 3-count team on each event are not included.

Rankings will be updated on the first of each month, and scores will expire after six months in order to provide the most up-to-date snapshot of where nations are at the current moment. The current rankings include only scores from November 2017–April 2018.

Leaving the rankings this month were South Korea, Greece, Ireland, Slovenia, Croatia, Taiwan, Latvia, and Denmark, temporarily without three scores on each event in the last six months to put together a full team. Rejoining the rankings this month were Romania, Malaysia, India, and Sri Lanka.

Last month’s ranking is in parentheses. Continue reading National Team Rankings – May 2018

Pac Rims – Event Finals Live Blog

Watch on Flo.
Live scores, sort of.

3:30pm CT – Men’s Sr FX & Jr PH; Women’s Sr VT & Jr UB
4:05pm CT – Men’s Sr PH & Jr FX; Women’s Sr UB & Jr VT
5:10pm CT – Men’s Sr SR & Jr VT; Women’s Sr BB & Jr FX
5:45pm CT – Men’s Sr VT & Jr SR; Women’s Sr FX & Jr BB
6:50pm CT – Men’s Sr PB & Junior HB
7:25pm CT – Men’s Sr HB & Junior PB

Morgan Hurd has withdrawn from event finals after the beam dismount-pocalypse from yesterday. The surprising thing was that she competed floor after that at all. No reason to risk anything for Pac Rims event finals, even if it doesn’t seem particularly serious.

These event final lineups for the women are going to get kind of weird because of Cuba and Argentina’s participation here as guests who aren’t on the Pacific (LIKE LOSERS). Argentina was able to compete here but despite finishing 3rd as a team and Dominici finishing 3rd AA, they were not eligible for medals because of WRONG OCEANIC BORDER. In the event finals, both countries appear to be allowed to have one person compete if that person got a sufficient score, but those Cuban and Argentinian individuals are in addition to the normal qualifying 8. So some events will have 9 or 10 people competing in the event final instead of the correct number. You know how that thrills me. Continue reading Pac Rims – Event Finals Live Blog

Pac Rims – Women’s Live Blog

Watch on Flo.
Live scores, sort of.

I’ll be here for all three subdivisions of the women’s team competition, which are divided like so:

Sub 1 (2:30 CT) – Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Cuba, Taiwan
Sub 2 (5:00 CT) – Argentina, New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica
Sub 3 (7:30 CT) – USA, Canada, Australia, Colombia

The first subdivision will start with Chile on vault, Ecuador on bars, Peru on beam, and Panama on floor. Cuba’s individual rotates with Ecuador, Taiwan’s individuals rotate with Panama.

Continue reading Pac Rims – Women’s Live Blog

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama