Post-Championships Olympic Prospects

So…what happened at nationals? Nothing? Probably nothing.


Simone did Simone things and was brilliant in spite of taking up arms for World War III about her day 2 wobblefest beam routine. This is the major problem with NBC basically bestowing her with five automatic gold medals. Beam is still beam. “Oh, you only won four gold medals at the Olympics? Loser disappointment.”

Aly Raisman also received 5 out of 5 brick houses for bringing back Steady Aly to a degree we haven’t seen since 2012. Her eight routines were all exact duplicates of each other, just like we expect from her. It may be a hologram-fraud situation. MIHAI IS A CHARLATAN.

B. ???

Mostly, we need to talk about NBC’s team graphic, which made every human go, “But really?” and featured a wildly haphazard and truly offensive number of superfluous question marks. A) Three question marks is always too many question marks in a non-ironic context. One question mark will suffice. B) I definitely don’t have that many question marks about this team.

Laurie Hernandez came to nationals with a chance to confirm her spot on the Olympic team by hitting her normal routines, which she did. Tying Raisman on the first day and finishing third overall simply reinforced that she has become an integral part of the team at the level of Raisman and Douglas. She’s not Plan B. She’s Plan A.


As for Miss Gabrielle, she’s doing fine. Bars was blech, and that more than her wobbly opening beam routine (since as of right now I wouldn’t have her on beam in the TF anyway) has provoked the overreaction about her team status.

She finished fourth in the AA and continues to be a reasonable team final option on any event. Even with her sucky bars, she still finished 6th there, which remains usable. You wouldn’t take Gowey (5th place) to the Olympics over Douglas as long as you’re a person who isn’t insane, and there’s no way in frozen hell Martha is putting both Kocian and Locklear on the same Olympic team. That team may score incredibly well (it’s the best-scoring team in the calculator), but it would also mean that Martha wouldn’t have the luxury of breaking anyone into kindling and dousing them with lighter fluid during the prep camp—at least not without first needing to find the key to the alternate dungeon, which she has lost—so it’s not happening.

Douglas would have to seriously screw up trials (as in multiple falls, of which she had none at nationals) for anything else to start to entering the conversation.

D. Bars bars bars bars bars

Madison Kocian did herself a massive favor on the second day by equaling Locklear on bars and finishing 5th overall, even with a yfull. After two days, Kocian was 1.350 behind Douglas, meaning she might actually have finished ahead of Douglas if she had done her DTY. While vault has literally zero percent to do with Kocian’s role on an Olympic team, a 4th-place finish would have been a major coup and essentially would have placed her on a golden throne and eliminated all question marks from the graphic.

Kocian matching Locklear’s 15.700 on the second day was a big deal because all bars being equal, Martha takes Kocian over Locklear 100% of the time. The power of the all-around. The only true argument Locklear has is if she’s beating Kocian on bars by a real margin (more than a tenth), and Kocian put a stop to that trend on day two.

The struggle in being a challenger, like Locklear, is that you have to make your case every single time out. She was ahead of Kocian at classic and on day one, but one good routine from Kocian on the second day makes it so easy to revert back to the presumptive team.

Personally, I’m still quite high on Locklear, and if I were Martha, I would be much more inclined to consider her than I think Martha actually is. It shouldn’t matter that Locklear does only two events to anyone who doesn’t suffer from alternateophobia. So what if she can’t fill in as a backup on vault and floor in case of injury. That’s exactly what you have alternates for! Go get Nichols or someone.

Unfortunately, Martha does suffer from an acute case of  alternateophobia. So even though it should simply come down to whoever scores better on bars at trials —since the other events are so irrelevant for them—it won’t. Grumble grumble grumble.

The other thing hurting Locklear is that there’s no way she’s getting properly rewarded for her superior execution at the Olympics. They’d just give her a 9.033 E score anyway, which will be only two tenths higher than some wonky-legged albatross. As usual.

E. Some Nichols

There’s no real opinion to be had on Maggie Nichols’ showing at nationals. This was just a practice. She didn’t show her important events and wasn’t in top form. Mirroring Douglas, Nichols had a rusty old tire of a beam routine on the first day and the same on bars on the second day, but what truly matters for her is trials.

Unless Nichols has an Amanar and the double double back on floor at trials, she’s not making the team. There’s no way. But if she suddenly does, she remains capable of breaking the Biles, Raisman, Douglas, Hernandez, Kocian royal court.

One thing helping Nichols is that the non-Biles/Raisman floor scores at nationals were just OK. Hernandez, Douglas, and Skinner were consistently in the 14.800 zone. Nichols can score over 15 on floor, which gives her a couple tenths to add to her argument, along with the .3-.5 she would bring to the team with an Amanar. One of those two things would not be enough. If she’s only bringing a couple tenths on floor, that won’t earn a spot on a team, and if she’s only bringing the vault, then she’s just another Skinner but without the EF prospects.

If Nichols’ routines at trials are able to increase the prospective team score by a total of .5-.6 across vault and floor, that’s equivalent to what Kocian brings with bars and would start to be a compelling case. There’s a long way to go to, but it could happen. Plus, keeping her in the mix makes this at least somewhat interesting for us heading to trials, and that’s the most important thing.

F. Alternate dungeon

We’ll also need to come up with three more people for the completely unnecessary charade of naming alternates. As long as Nichols shows the AA at trials, she will be an alternate if she doesn’t make the team. Same with Kocian if she doesn’t make it. Locklear will probably be there, but it isn’t necessarily a guarantee.

If Kocian makes the team, Locklear must be on hand as a replacement should Kocian’s body start to Kocian. If Kocian ends up an alternate, however, Locklear does not need to be one as well because Kocian would already be fulfilling the replacement-who-does-bars role.

As for the remaining spot(s), I don’t really buy the growing argument for Hundley getting one. She has put out fantastic and heartwarming performances so far this summer, but those spots are still more likely to go to Skinner or Smith or Baumann. If through some 2003-style disaster one of them ends up on the team, those three can still provide a worthwhile event or two in a team final. Hundley’s burden is that she’s solid everywhere and great nowhere. She doesn’t have any TF routines.


I’m devastated by how non-heartless the committee was in selecting the trials qualifiers. They basically just picked everyone and broke no hearts whatsoever. I DON’T EVEN THINK I KNOW YOU ANYMORE. Fifteen people is a lot of people to take to trials given that several of them are not in the mix even for an alternate spot.

40 thoughts on “Post-Championships Olympic Prospects”

  1. People will laugh, but at this point I could see Skinner making the team. Under the following circumstances:

    1.) Nichols is not back to her best at trials and doesn’t score convincingly on floor and vault

    2.) Douglas does a repeat of Nationals or worse and doesn’t pull in a top 3 score on any event.

    And yes, I am aware that Skinner’s beam and bars have no place at the Olympics, even in qualifying, but Koclear can go on beam in qualifying and Raisman and Hernandez can both do bars because they’ll want to make the all-around. So, if Skinner does just floor and vault in qualifying and the same/just vault in team finals (will depend on how she and Hernandez are scored on floor in quals) then I think there’s potential the team score could be 0.5 to maybe even close to a full point higher than if a less than stellar Douglas or Nichols is on the team. Plus there would be the chance for more hardware at vault finals, because IMO Skinner’s Amanar will probably score better than Raisman’s internationally.

    Before everyone laughs, is it true there could be some truth to Skinner helping the team out?


    1. Skinner on the team is not completely out of possibility. But who would she replace on the current presumptive team? If she is on the team then simone would have to do ub in TF also. Not like it’s impossible but I think they really don’t want to ever use simone on ub in TF ever to rest her up.


    2. It’s possible, but several things would have to go her way to really make her stand out.

      1) Maggie Nichols is her kryptonite when healthy (usable Amanar + floor in TF, much better on bars and beam, only opportunity cost is one spot in Vault EF). However, prospects for Nichols are still unknown as of this moment.

      2) Locklear is still in contention. Kocian doesn’t really help Skinner’s chances, but Locklear on the team opens up a juicy Vault + Floor spot for the fifth member, which makes Skinner stand out. Her best partner would have been a healthy Kyla Ross (sob), a true Bars + Beam specialist with no AA gaps (surprisingly in short supply this quad), but Locklear comes close in the specialist role. However, either specialist can be detrimental to Skinner under some very conditions (See #5).

      3) Hernandez would be her main competition: her contributions are a Bars increase (over Biles) + Beam increase (over Douglas). The bars increase is marginal but consistent, but the beam increase is her main attribute. Hernandez is performing very well there while Douglas is not, so that increases her prospects even more. If Douglas takes her Kyla Ross vitamins before Trials and starts nailing beam, Hernandez’s beam increase becomes much smaller. It won’t be too hard to convince Douglas to WORK ON BEAM, since falling behind on beam too much decreases her chance at the AA. Hernandez would need to have major meltdowns to question her viability, which is hard to imagine.

      4) On the other hand, if Douglas has her Amanar back, then that decreases Skinner’s chances quite a bit. Douglas’s Amanar would have to be really messy or inconsistent or nonexistent. She can’t beat Douglas directly since she’s a stronger AA (with a chance to medal), her Bars + Beam increase in TF is more substantial than Skinner’s Vault increase, with the only opportunity cost being a spot on Vault EF.

      5) If Hernandez can’t be beaten, then Skinner will have no choice but to contend direct against both bars specialists (especially because Hernandez can’t overcome their pure Bars advantage and put them out of contention entirely). A fifth score on floor around 14.8 is not going to contribute too much (except to make Russia cry), so the main competition is Vault increase (over Douglas DTY) vs. Bars increase (over Biles), or if you care more about potential overall medal count vs. the margin of annihilation in TF (see next point).

      6) Skinner’s top attribute is being (almost) guaranteed to make Vault EF and contending for a medal. The main competition is Hong Un Jong and Paseka, the two earthly Amanar + Cheng sisters (Biles assumed to be beyond the others). Hong Un Jong’s average scores in EF have ranged from 15.483-15.633, and in 2014 Skinner got a 15.366 with a DTY. Assuming a 0.25 increase from the new Amanar and equivalent execution scores, she has around a 15.616 average, which is definitely within competitive range.

      Is she likely to medal against Hong Un Jong and Paseka (vaulting status unknown until Russian Cup)? Who the heck knows, mostly because Skinner’s vaulting scores have a history of being relatively underscored in the USA. The Cheng was underscored by at least 0.3-0.35 at USA 2014 nationals vs. Worlds and sometimes more, DTY by 0.133. Her Cheng in national competitiongets the same or slightly lower execution scores this year compared to 2014. The 2016 Amanar has been underscored substantially in national competitions compared to someone like Raisman. This kind of argument is why getting the raw scores right is more important than just the ranking. Is she more likely to get a medal than Kocian/Locklear in EF? Considering that Kocian/Locklear tend to be overscored nationally (see Spencer’s 2014-2015 comparisons) and Skinner underscored, we can’t compare directly from national results. If we knew that Skinner is significantly more likely to get a medal (or higher medal) than Kocian/Locklear, then it’s worth bringing her instead of them, as the TF victory would be dropping one atomic bomb on the competition instead of two.


  2. Yeah, there are a lot of people at trial but I think it’s nice that at least they get a consolation prize of an invitation. We all know that aside from possible surprise from top 7, the last 8 highly unlikely to surprise anyone. But I am kinda glad they all get a consolation prize for the hard work.

    There used to be a question of US being weak on beam from their 2014 and 2015 team but that has been pretty much solved.

    Douglas need an amanar back. Unlike in 2012 where her contribution was top everywhere except vt, this time her vt is only 3rd with DTY, 2nd for ub and 4th for beam and fx.

    I think kocian will get the notch over locklear due to her AA ability. As well as due to her higher D score. it’s too hard to really try to win by E score nowadays….The way things are being judged, Ashton wont be able to overcome her lower D score with E on the international scene.

    Skinner is definitely on my alt list. She is definitely usable in vt and fx in TF. But the problem is that too many things has to happen before that could be realized.


  3. I haven’t been impressed by Gabby all year. It’s hard for me to see her value just for bars, as her D score isn’t really exceptional. Why she wouldn’t maximize her bar D score with an event final routine, is beyond me; she obviously has the talent. She will not unveil an Amanar – that talk was all just to keep her in the mix.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, as I don’t love her gymnastics, but I’d consider taking Skinner as I think her vault is underscored domestically and she could easily medal in event finals. Her form has improved and she’s consistent.

    As for bars, my prediction is that Kocian is named to the team and her body crumbles in the camps prior to Rio (she’s the Morgan White of 2016). Then they bring in Locklear. Done.


  4. I was actually also flirting with a team of biles, raisman, Hernandez, kocian, and skinner. Unlikely to happen but it’s not a bad team as kocian and skinner complements each other. like maroney and kyla ross complementing each other in 2012. Well, not quite as good complement since neither kocian or skinner could provide the kyla 2012 beam power. but at least this team could bring in an extra vt medal if paseka or hong is not where they should be. skinner chance of a vt medal is certainly better than douglas chance of ub medal.

    Only problem is the bad publicity it generates as well as the fact that now biles also have to do ub in TF. So it’s likely a no go.

    Douglas needs to really start picking up the pieces….


    1. For your theoretical team, you can keep Biles on bars and rest her on one of the leg events, since the legs usually take more of a pounding. Preferably vault, as switching (from Biles to Skinner) and (Douglas to Hernandez) is minimal enough, beam works if Kocian is consistent enough. Floor can still be the best in the world, but the last floor routine should be Biles’s “wow moment”. Of course, all your other caveats are right.


      1. in a team of biles, raisman, hernandez, kocian, and skinner it’s not wise to not have biles doing vt. b/c you are giving up 1 point by replacing biles vt with hernandez vt while keeping skinner and raisman vt. Out of the 4 events since biles scores the lowest in ub, that is actually the most logical rotation to take her out if you ever want to give her a rest and “gasp” let raisman or skinner does bars since the differential is like only at most 0.8 points between a biles routine and a hit raisman or skinner routine.

        Which is why I don’t think this team would be a good idea anyway…


      2. You’re right, Raisman would have to do bars, but it’s surprisingly not horrible. I did some calculations using Spencer’s program (all 2016 meets) and the scores from P&G only.

        All 2016 Meets:
        Douglas w/ Simone skips Bars: Average = 183.888 High = 186.85
        Skinner w/ Simone skips Bars: Average = 182.983 High = 186.016
        Skinner w/ Simone skips Vault: Average = 182.988 High = 185.66

        P&G Only:
        Douglas w/ Simone skips Bars: Average = 184.725 High = 185.8
        Skinner w/ Simone skips Bars: Average = 184.25 High = 185.25
        Skinner w/ Simone skips Vault: Average = 183.85 High = 185.05

        A team with Douglas does better in the team final under all circumstances and Simone should skip Bars regardless. Counting all 2016 Meets, the differences for the top two scenarios are (average = 0.905, high = 0.834). P&G Only differences for the top two scenarios are (average = 0.475, High = 0.55). This shows that over 2016, Douglas’s chances are not too affected from one bad meet because the cost of Skinner’s EF is almost a whole point. However, Douglas can’t keep having P&G-like competitions, otherwise the cost of using Skinner’s EF (with underestimated vaults) is only half a point, which is totally worth it for a high chance of an additional medal.


  5. I think the team will be: Simone, Aly, Laurie, Gabby, and Maddie with TF looking like:

    V: Gabby, Aly, Simone
    UB: Laurie, Gabby, Maddie
    BB: Laurie, Aly, Simone
    FX: Laurie, Aly, Simone

    I get but don’t really get the argument that Maddie should be taken over Locklear because she has AA. Even on this team she’s not being used on anything in TF except for bars. She most likely isn’t being used on any other event even in qualification. Say its too late to bring in an alternate (not that Marta does that anyway, she historically has just competed with who’s left) I just don’t see Maddie making a TF lineup. She’s not going to be better than the fourth girl who competed in qualification whether its Laurie on VT or Gabby on BB and FX. You’re exactly right–Locklear isn’t going to be rewarded for her execution at the games, which is a shame.

    Although there is a really good argument for a team of Simone, Aly, Laurie, Maddie, and Ashton. Hell, if you’re bringing Maddie because of her AA, she could do it here. But there’s no way Marta isn’t bringing Gabby and no way she’s having Maddie as the third US girl qualifying. Gabby needs that Amanar to really make her case and the US definitely needs it to compete with SV China is bringing. I don’t think the Team Gold is as in the bag as everyone thinks.


    1. I think Gabby could beat Laurie at Trials. Gabby never brings her A game to nationals, she saves her juice for the big meets. She is very smart about when to peak.

      And while Maddie isn’t a TF worthy athlete in 5-3-3 at least she can compete if needed. Ashton’s greatest liability is that she’d be a 0 on floor or vault.


      1. Gabby without an amanar would have a tough fight to beat laurie or aly with hit routines and would have to count on them to make mistakes.


    2. having both maddie and ashton on the team is not a good idea as injury to 1 of the 3 AA (simone, laurie, or aly) will lead to a complete disaster. in the other 3 events.


  6. I get that we can joke about Marta’s anti alternate stance. On the other hand in some cases there was no time to replace them (Peszek went down literally minutes before prelims started) or it’s hard to make a case that the alternate could have done better than the athlete competing on their best events (Maroney and Memmel both performed phenomenally on broken feet, Kupets qualified to bars and AA finals on a busted hip)


    1. Exactly! they were pretty close to calling in alt in 2012 but was able to make it work since maroney proved that she could still do vt well, but they had to slot kyla weaker fx in during qual. Which is why Kocian serviceable dty, beam and fx will carry her over ashton.


  7. Watching Marta with Kocian at meets both in person and videos, it’s obvious how much she favors her. If Kocian stays steady and performs as well as she did at Nationals, then she will be on the team. No doubt. She also really likes Skinner. Although, an alternate spot could likely be in her future. Gabby appears totally exhausted by the job at hand. Not sure if she is also uninspired by the sport or if it’s all physical. However, Marta won’t leave her off the team. So much hype and media attention for Gabby to defend her title, which, barring an unfortunate injury to Biles, would never happen. And, even then, other gymnasts could easily surpass her as we have seen. Just my crystal ball talking!


  8. I think that if you had a team including Maddie and Ashton/Skinner (instead of Gabby), and one of the all arounders went down suddenly, you’d still have Maddie as a backup to fill in where needed… and the team would still win. Plus you’d have another event final chance, which is important. I don’t think Gabby has a chance in any event finals based on what she’s shown – at best it would be AA and Aly and Laurie are both crushing her at the moment. I’m ready to leave Gabby at home.

    Ashton would make a much stronger case for herself if she managed to upgrade maybe 2-3 tenths. Train a double-double dismount, or something… especially since you’re just training two events.

    If Gabby shows an Amanar (a serviceable one) at trials I will “stab a boob” literally. It’s just spin to keep her in the mix.


  9. Given she is named to the team, what are the odds that Kocian’s body survives the pre-olympic camp and then all the training in Rio? They are gonna have to bubble wrap her.


    1. I can see Kocian getting named to the team and then getting re-injured before Rio…let’s hope the girl has been taking calcium supplements and drinking protein shakes as a precaution😛


      1. Which is why they have wisely invited Locklear to trial and will likely make her an alternate after they choose kocian😉


  10. They (the ambiguous, universal they) say that it’s all about the team. How much do you think the prospect of individual medals factors into creating this team? Obviously Simone is going and she is competitive for several individual medals, so that’s just a byproduct of her being chosen for the team. But for gymnasts with potential for ONE medal (Koclear bars, Skinner VT, etc.) who aren’t auto-locks for the team like Simone and Aly, how much does their EF potential play into the team selection?


    1. not much going back Marta’s team first book. She wants AA to be able to back up and she doesn’t like to stack on one event or create a team with glaring imbalanced weakness to get EF medals.


      1. unless, of course, it’s that 2014 team that had both Kocian and Locklear on it, left a solid three event gymnast with an Amanar at home and forced Kocian to do AA in quals despite not having completed a full AA competition as a senior at that point (iirc)… that was really balanced and not lopsided to one event for final/medal potential (THAT WASN’T EVEN MET) at all… and they still won gold by six points lol


      2. I can’t see biles not doing vt in TF. not using her on vt, you could lose at least 0.4-0.5 pt.. and yes they do want to capitalize on vt. I would be very surprised if they make her do ub in TF ever, unless there are injuries. and that’s the reason why the ub specialist is highly likely on this team to complement biles relative weaker ub not used on TF.


      3. oopps, sorry for the duplicated..

        dp, who are you referring a solid 3 event person with amanar to that was left behind in 2014 ? are you talking about brenna? She wasn’t in her best shape anyway and I don’t thnk she did amanar that year. I don’t remember anyone else that could have an amanar that year. The team was also depleted due to several injuries to top players. And they won gold because they were consistent and the rest of the teams was also depleted (see nabz on RU team).


    2. Martha seems to be warming to the idea of having a TF one-event specialist that can do the All-Around, so someone like Kocian or Skinner will be fine if they fit the team in other ways. She gets much more cautious when a gymnast is limited to less than four events but will try to accommodate them on the team if she thinks it’s really worth it (e.g. Sacramone 2008, Maroney 2012 after foot injury in London).


  11. so if the presumptive team is biles, raisman, hernandez, douglas, kocian, then who does ub in qual? this question is important as it directly impact who does AA EF.

    The highest score, most logical combination is biles, hernandez, douglas, kocian. But that means aly is automatically disqualified from AA EF.

    But if you have aly do ub in qual to try for an AA slot then aside from a slightly lower qual score (of having to use biles ub score, a neglible hit in the grand scheme), but then you are putting up a laurie ub routine for the first time ever in TF without trying it out first in qual. they put up the Nichols ub routine for first time in 2015 TF but that was not deliberate and it was due mostly to Brenna headcasing. So I doubt they will do that at something like the Olympic on purpose…

    What you think? Sucks for aly, but she is a team player so I think she understands if she can’t do AA…. also laurie is not bad AAer. She can certainly push douglas. and if she makes it to AA EF she would be pretty competitive for a podium slot anyway I think.


    1. I don’t think it’s important that the team maximizes its score in the qualifying round, especially when you can drop the lowest score on each event. The only real disastrous thing that could take them away from the team final is counting 1 or 2 zeros (e.g. several botched vaults, multiple injuries that result in having 2 gymnasts on an event).

      As for Laurie, she’s proving to be a consistent athlete who has hit all her routines in national and international competition (like Nichols last year, and unlike Dowell throughout her competitive history). She will be fine. Douglas was not the most consistent on beam in 2012 and did well in TF. Right now the US could afford to eat a Dowell-like score (11.333) in TF and still have a strong possibility of coming ahead of China assuming everything else goes well. If you’re that worried about Laurie in the Team Finals, you can put up an experienced Aly and it would only lower the score by 1 point or so for a hit routine.


      1. I trust Laurie’s ub more than aly’s ub… I supposed it is possible to count on her consistency like Maggie… not that they would have any other choices in tf: either have Simone uf in tf and a little more stressed out before bb or use aly low ub. so they will go w that anyway..

        would US ever consider or willing to have gabby only does her ub in TF only and not in qual ? this is what they have to accept if there is any chance of Laurie and aly contending for the 2nd AA position if Douglas AA status becomes doubtful…


      2. Why are we assuming we should put up 3 AAers in quals? I personally would like to see a repeat of 2012 avoided at all costs. Which is a huge part of why I prefer Maggie over Kocian on this team- sit Laurie on VT, Aly on bars, Maggie on beam and either Maggie or Laurie on floor and ta-da, it’s literally impossible for Douglas to get Wieber’d. (The other part being that I just don’t like Kocian and I think her execution is getting more gifts than a spoiled kid on Christmas morning just because she kinda looks like a Nastia clone.) Yeah I know healthy working order Maggie is an outside EF threat and a definite TF lineup choice on FX, but a scenario where Laurie is taken to the Games and doesn’t get to go up on floor at all would be criminal.


      3. dp, I bet my house there will 3 AA in qual. Why would you not want 3 AA? It’s a nonsense talk to “prevent a repeat of 2012”. You need 3 AA to more or less guarantee that US would have 2 AA in AA final. what happen if you have only 2 and the 2nd messes up. Also 1. Gabby has not at all shown that she completely deserved that AA spot yet. and 2. If she is not good enough for the AA and someone better then that person should do AA, not her.

        I have nothing against gabby and thought her 2012 was completely deserving. I feel Wieber pain, but unfortunately she made mistakes and others narrowly beat her. However, at this point Gabby still has not at all completely prove that she deserved that AA position. My feeling is that she will get a lot of leadway to do AA anyway because I can’t see USAG not have her on ub in qual. To be fair to Laurie and Aly, they should tell her that if you don’t do well in podium, we will take you out of ub qual to let Aly AND laurie to AA and maybe that will make her work more?

        And if she get wiebered out by Aly or Laurie, then that’ unfortunate but if they beat her then they should have the right to go to AA EF.


    2. If Trials is a repeat of Nationals, I wouldn’t be surprised (and would want) a Qual lineup of Raisman, Hernandez, Biles, Kocian and have Gabby compete bars in finals (she has the experience to hit in team finals and clearly–unless she seriously steps up her game) is not a top AAer.


  12. Why does everyone hate Biles for UB TF? I don’t get that. Her “worst event” is still excellent. She won’t medal, but she’s better than she gets credit for.

    2016 Nationals: UB scores of 15.1 & 14.75 = average of 14.925 (4th in US)
    2015 Worlds: scored 14.9 on UB in AA finals (4th best UB score in AA finals); that score would have been 6th in UB finals
    2014 Worlds: scored 14.533 on UB in AA finals (5th best UB score in AA finals); that score would have been 7th in UB finals

    Although she isn’t a bars specialist, she’s scoring in the top 8 in the world, and top 4 in the US (note that the top 2 bars scores at Nationals were Koclear, and consensus is both won’t be on the team). Looking back at Worlds results she hasn’t been in UB TF and the US still wins, but if I were in charge I’d put her up for sure. The ONLY case that makes sense to me is resting her, but I have enough trust in her that if she told me she wants it I’d fit her in as the leadoff.


    1. She def capable of ub tf but they are trying to get even higher ub score while at the same time giving her a rest before bb.


    2. The main rationale is just to keep Biles from having to do AA on TF night. We wanna rest her (and AA finalist no. 2) on *something* so that they are not totally fatigued when the individual stuff starts. Biles is far and away the US’ top score on VT, BB and FX, so that pretty much leaves UB.

      IF the team does wind up consisting of Biles, Raisman, Douglas, Hernandez, Nichols, and everyone except Laurie has an Amanar, you could technically sit Simone on vault as well – giving her a real rest – and still have a very high scoring rotation the rest of the world would kill for. The thing is, with VT being the US’ first event in TF (unless something goes drastically wrong in QF), and them not knowing how the rest of the night is gonna go, I’m not sure they would risk not absolutely maximizing their score on VT- especially if China do bring all the upgrades they’re threatening and show potential to challenge for gold if the US is a little off its game.


  13. Alyssa baumann is out of trial.. extensive elbow injury training ub…. so sad for her :(… being injured on ub, an event in which she was never gonna be used anyway…. what a sucky way to end to season😦


  14. I don’t know why people are so against Kocian doing other events besides bars during prelims. Gabby isn’t even that much ahead of Kocian on floor and beam, and Kocian is upgrading to a DTY, so if Gabby doesn’t perform the amanar they will have the same vault. Kocian would only be used on other events besides bars during prelims anyway. Also, I feel as some people are forgetting that each of these athletes performs multiple routines a day on each apparatus. They train hard to make competitions easy. Kocian trains floor and vault everyday at practice, and hasn’t gotten injured. If her coaches thought she would get injured doing floor and vault, they wouldn’t have her work on it. Madison is more than capable of doing AA in prelims. This also means Simone does not need to rest during the biggest competition of her life. Practices are much harder than competing and she will have the adrenaline from competing at the Olympic Games. I believe we should go with the team that has the highest team score potential and highest medal potential: Biles, Raisman, Hernandez, Kocian, Locklear. USA has no reason to need to play it safe.


  15. So does everyone think Kocian making it over Locklear is a done deal? To me Locklear’s bars are much better, the lines, toepoint, extension, etc. Also Kocian always lands with her legs apart on her dismount which I don’t love. Locklear has been a rock on bars all season and Kocian has yet to outscore her (I know there’s been 1 tie, but the other 2 head-to-heads Ashton has won). The risk of injury is always high with Maddie and Marta did take Ashton to Jesolo and Pac Rim so I think she must be in consideration for an Olympic spot at least. If you have 4 solid AA gymnasts I don’t see why Ashton couldn’t make the team as the 5th member. I understand that Kocian has the AA but at the end of the day whoever goes is likely to only do UB anyways and Locklear would be able to sub in on beam if needed.


  16. I agree with Susie ^^
    Kocian’s bars are meh to me. Yes, she’s the reigning world champion – so are 3 other gymnasts. She’s an excellent gymnast and I don’t have anything against her, but like Susie, I prefer Locklear’s bars. She has killer extension and lines and her execution is medal-worthy. If Kocian makes the team she’ll have earned it. My 5 are (in order of lock-worthiness) Biles, Raisman, Hernandez, Douglas, Locklear.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s