The Latest from Training Part 2: Revenge of the Training

Vault and beam

IDs: Shisler VT, Stageberg BB, Wang VT, M. Caquatto BB, Spicer VT, Johnson BB, Sloan VT, Dickerson BB, King VT, B. Caquatto BB, Hunter VT, Spicer BB, Lemezan VT

IDs: Sloan BB, Stageberg VT, Hunter BB, M. Caquatto VT, King BB, Johnson VT, Wang BB, Dickerson VT, Shisler BB

Bars and floor

IDs: Stageberg FX, Dancose-Giambattisto UB, Sloan FX, Dickerson UB, King FX, M. Caquatto UB, Hunter FX, Johnson UB, King UB, Wang FX, Hunter UB, Dickerson FX, Sloan UB, Shisler FX, Johnson FX


More here




The Latest from Training

Vanessa Zamarripa is planning to return to elite. We’ll see. Her gymnastics is so easy to root for, but she will have a tough road from now until next fall. I’m encouraged that she’s training for it now, but in 2010 she was not up to the level of competition on beam and floor. Three years and an Achilles tear won’t make it any easier to be competitive there. Specializing on vault and bars may be a prudent choice depending on her goals.

If she is serious about making a Worlds team, 2013 is her year because she could conceivably be selected solely for vault, especially if no one else is vaulting two viable vaults. Even to make the team as a vault specialist, though, she’s going to need to get the Cheng back (and make it consistent) and upgrade to a DTY to be worth taking. We haven’t seen more than a Yurchenko full from her in competition, so we can’t just assume a DTY. That vault program is not a given.
Gymnastike has this labeled as Zamarripa’s 2013 NCAA routine, but I assume this is a midway work-in-progress routine somewhere between NCAA and elite. It currently doesn’t have a turning element, but regardless of that it is needlessly complex for NCAA, with skills like the clear hip after the shaposh that take away from Zamarripa’s cleanliness, yet too simple to be competitive in elite.
Alyssa Pritchett is planning a double double on floor. Never trust a preseason upgrade (competition or it didn’t happen), but Pritchett’s old routine was always going to be in the 9.850 area when hit. Her tuck full was not perfect, so this could be a smart move if it materializes because the judges may decide to give her a difficulty hall pass, which could see her recording some 9.900s away from home.


Vault and Bars



Cassidy McComb is keeping us updated on Georgia’s progress.


Fear the Beam 2012

The balance beam, she is a cruel mistress.

In 2011, I examined her cruelty by analyzing how teams fared when performing beam routines after a fall earlier in the rotation. The study yielded the following breakthrough: everything is horrible. Nearly every team had significant difficulty breaking 9.800 in those post-fall routines, often suffering a subsequent fall (or two). 

But what’s this? A ray of hope? For this past season, I analyzed the same data for the schools that qualified to Championships, averaging the scores for all routines performed on beam at any point after a fall or fall-equivalent performance (a score of 9.500 or lower), and found significantly stronger results across the country. In fact, beam was the lowest-scoring apparatus for a grand total of none of the teams during this year’s Super Six, and most teams put up respectable numbers over the course of the season.

Average beam score after a fall – 2012
1. Florida – 9.885
2. Alabama – 9.841
3. Oklahoma – 9.869
4. Utah – 9.814
5. Arkansas – 9.809
6. UCLA – 9.808
7. Ohio State – 9.780
8. Oregon State – 9.769
9. Georgia – 9.725
10. Nebraska – 9.722
11. Stanford – 9.700
12. LSU – 9.688

For comparison, last year’s leader, Utah, would have placed 7th in this year’s rankings. In fact, compared to last season, Georgia and Stanford are the only schools analyzed in both lists that regressed in their performances. Georgia actually did pretty well on beam through most of 2012, but the disaster from Championships brought the average down significantly. 

Florida managed a stellar 9.885 and did not record a post-fall beam score lower than 9.850 all year. Now, the Gators did perform only 5 routines after falls all year, so they did not have as many opportunities to ruin everything.

Number of beam routines after falls – 2012
1. Florida – 5
2. Oklahoma – 8
3. Stanford – 10
4. Georgia – 12
5. Alabama – 14
6. Utah – 20
7. Oregon State – 22
8. Arkansas – 25
9. UCLA – 26
10. LSU – 31
11. Ohio State – 32
12. Nebraska – 38

The difference in consistency is slightly amazing. Rare was the week that Nebraska or Ohio State was not fighting an early fall. Nebraska performed 78 beam routines as a team last year, and 38 (49%) of those routines took place after someone else had already fallen.

In theory, these first two lists should match up almost exactly because the best teams on beam will suffer the fewest falls and record the highest scores overall, but as we see that’s not always true. For instance, our regressed schools Stanford and Georgia performed relatively few routines after beam falls but fared rather poorly in those routines. Arkansas and UCLA, however, maintained relatively strong averages considering how many pressure-filled beam routines they were forced to perform.

Interestingly, our individual standouts did not always come from the strongest teams.
Usually, they were the select few who saved their teams from being unqualified disasters.

In creating these individual lists, I limited the numbers to those who performed at least 3 routines after falls because otherwise the sample size is just too small to make any kind of argument about quality.

Best average beam score after a fall – 2012 (minimum 3 routines)
1. Leslie Mak (Oregon State) – 9.900
2. Sam Peszek (UCLA) – 9.883
3. Katherine Grable (Arkansas) – 9.881
3. Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) – 9.881
5. Sarah Miller (Ohio State) – 9.875
6. Ashley Priess (Alabama) – 9.858
6. Geralen Stack-Eaton (Alabama) – 9.858
8. Kyndal Robarts (Utah) – 9.855
9. Cortni Beers (Utah) – 9.845
10. Jessie DeZiel (Nebraska) – 9.842
10. Jaime Pisani (Arkansas) – 9.842

Mak performed 5 routines after falls and scored 9.925 in 3 of them, including a vital Regionals performance where even a 9.800 would have seen the Beavers lose their Championships slot to Michigan. Interestingly, Priess and Stack-Eaton both performed 3 routines after falls, and each recorded a 9.925, a 9.875, and a 9.775 for the exact same average.

Worst average beam score after a fall – 2012 (minimum 3 routines)
1. Kaleigh Dickson (LSU) – 9.500
2. Brittany Skinner (Nebraska) – 9.555
3. Jamie Schleppenbach (Nebraska) – 9.588
4. Sarah Persinger (Georgia) – 9.512
5. Brittany Harris (Oregon State) – 9.613
6. Lloimincia Hall (LSU) – 9.663
7. Mary Beth Lofgren (Utah) – 9.675
8. Colleen Dean (Ohio State) – 9.696
9. Rheagan Courville (LSU) – 9.709
10. Lora Evenstad (Nebraska) – 9.738

Oh, Nebraska and LSU. Brittany Skinner won this ignominious title last year with a score more a tenth lower, so progress has been made. Overall, far fewer people were put up in high-leverage situations who were not comfortable in them. Courville and Evenstad made this list, but those averages aren’t even particularly worrisome.

Finally, special commendation for 4 mental giants whose teams subjected them to terror on a weekly basis. Each of these gymnasts performed 9 beam routines after falls during the season and did not fall once.

Team savior award – 2012
9 routines, 0 falls:
Sam Peszek (UCLA) – 9.883
Katherine Grable (Arkansas) – 9.881
Sarah Miller (Ohio State) – 9.875
Jessie DeZiel (Nebraska) – 9.842

NLI Week

Starting Wednesday, we will begin to receive the official announcements of gymnasts signing their National Letters of Intent for the 2013-2014 season. The signing period lasts until November 21st.

Most of this information is already available because of verbal commitments (and the list can be seen here), but there are always a few talking points once the press releases come out. This will also give us an opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses in each team’s recruiting classes moving beyond this season.

I will compile the release links for the major teams here as the week progresses. 

Alabama – Release
Amanda Jetter and Katie Bailey

Florida – Release
Claire Boyce, Silvia Colussi-Pelaez, and Morgan Frazier

UCLA Release
Hallie Mossett and Angela Cipra

Oklahoma – Release
McKenzie Wofford, Charity Jones, Kara Lovan, Chayse Capps, and Reagan Hemry

Georgia – Release
Ashlyn Broussard, Kiera Brown, Rachel Schick, and Morgan Reynolds

Baely Rowe

Sophia Lee, Rachel Daum, and Carinne Gale

Samantha Nelson, Paris Ryder, and Amanda Wellick

Oregon State  Release
Megan Jimenez, Kana Kobayashi, Kaytianna McMillian, and Taylor Ricci

LSU – Release
Ashleigh Gnat and Shonacee Oliva.

Ohio State – Release 
Tenille Funches, Anna Hill, and Jaine’ Van Putten

Michigan – Release
Talia Chiarelli

Illinois – Release
Mary Jane Horth, Erin Buchanan, and Sarah Lyons

Missouri – Release
Alyson Heimsath, Lark Pokladnik, and Sasha Sander

Auburn Release
Mary Jane Rott and Kullen Hlawek

Megan DeLallo, Alexandra Yavalis, Stephanie Stowe, Kaitlyn Duranczyk, and Jessica Nesis