The floor workers have had their turn, and Brittani McCullough is pretty much crushing the competition with 44% of the vote to 22% for Kupets. Now, let’s allow the best beamers of the last five years to have their say.
Who is your champion of champions for beam?
2013 NCAA Beam Champion – Bridget Sloan
2012 NCAA Beam Champion – Geralen Stack-Eaton
(It should be embedded at the right time, but if it’s not there, Geralen’s routine begins at 1:01:27)
2011 NCAA Beam Champion – Sam Peszek
2010 NCAA Beam Champion – Susan Jackson
2009 NCAA Beam Champion – Courtney Kupets
3 thoughts on “Balance Beam Champions Showdown”
CK (runner up)
slight wobble — so so slight
solid, but some not completely extended moves early on — e.g., during her splits
slight cowboy on the dismount
great difficulty, but three slight wobbles
GSE (for the win)
one wafer thin wobble
beautiful poise, beautiful onodi
barely a stick, but still a stick…
huge balance check to the side!
-Markey (yes, I need a life, in the meantime, please keep teh quizzes and commentary coming 🙂
Why aren't any freshman being considered?
Courtney Kupets – and it's not even close. If it were a question of the past four years only that would be difficult because I have those 4 pretty much on the same level. Kupets' routine is in a league of its own. She is the only gymnast who commands the beam. She owns the beam and looks like she's having a blast while doing it. The other gymnasts look like they're trying not to fall.
Additionally, with 5 gold medal beam routines there has to be something to distinguish them. I was looking at beam flow (which most gymnasts don't have), difficulty, and dance (and obviously no balance checks.) If you eliminate balance checks that takes out Bridget and Sam. Both are solid, clean routines, and Sam's is iconic as the “no hands” routine. But balance checks on both of those routines eliminate them as contenders.
That leaves Courtney, Geralen, and Susan. I eliminated Geralen next because her routine is soooo boring. Skill. Step. Skill. Step. Her Onodi is gorgeous, but her routine has zero flow. And she has one of the weakest dismounts of the group. That leaves Susan vs. Courtney. Susan's routine is super clean, and she has probably the most difficult dismount, but her routine just isn't special to me. What sets it apart? There's no dance, it isn't exceptionally difficult, and she has mediocre flow. Compare that with Courtney's routine. She commands the beam, dances her way through it, has as much difficulty as anybody, but the thing that sells it for me is the flow. She doesn't stand, pause, do a skill. Pose, stand, do a skill. She works the routine like a dance, there's very little pause and pose for her.
If it weren't for Courtney this would be a lot difficult, but in my eyes it isn't even close. It's Courtney by a landslide, then the other 4 competing for 2nd best.
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