Things Are Happening – November 18, 2016

A. NCAA Training

FLOG has continued its whistle-stop tour of the American South with visits to Alabama and Georgia.

Sabrina Vega not only exists but now also has a floor routine. The choreography looks a little “we’re worried about your stamina” because it’s entirely on the floor, but she’s getting through it. She has real skills back.

Over Alabama way, Maddie Desch is showing routines. She’s now dismounting bars with a double front instead of that increasingly chucked tucked full she used in elite. I’m usually not in favor (though Alabama loves its double fronts), but in this case it’s probably the better choice given the road her previous dismount was going down. A road called Hitting The Bar And Landing On Your Face Avenue.

Shea Mahoney was in a boot earlier this fall, but she’s getting back to bars now.

“Sassy” for Aja Sims. “Spicy” for Nickie Guerrero. OK, FLOG. Also, Aja Sims’ floor music is sirens. Discuss.

Oklahoma’s theme in training this week was “How many bars routines do we have, because it’s a thousand?”


Natalie Brown’s floor music sure is heavy on the vocalizations.


Utah posted some snippets of beam.

We learned at the RRP last year that Merrell and Schwab have a ton of potential on beam, but they also looked scared to death of it at every moment (which carried over into Merrell’s handful of competition routines). We’ll see if those two can develop real routines in time because they have the tools.

Oregon State is always WAY ahead of the game with its public preseason exhibition, which has already taken place. Most other schools will wait until December.

There’s not really enough specificity to have opinions about the quality of gymnastics there, but it’s a video of things. And it happened. Aufiero and Dessaints are back. Phew.

Cassidy Keelen’s 1.5 is looking increasingly realistic.


B. Cottbus

The Cottbus Event World Cup used to be held in the spring, but it has moved to the fall, while the Stuttgart AA World Cup will remain in the spring with SCAM and London. That means this weekend weirdly marks our second Cottbus World Cup of 2016. Guh, 2016, pull it together. You can’t do anything right.

Qualification has already taken place, with Zsofia Kovacs remembering that she’s OK at gymnastics and placing in the top three on all events. Kovacs is supposed to be the next big Hungarian thing and beat out Noemi Makra for the Olympic spot, but she had a rough summer of competition. If this had been an AA competition, she would have scored 56 even with a downgraded vault. Compare that to the 54.5 she scored at the Olympics—with a DTY—to disappointingly miss the AA final.

C. Massilia

Competition at Massilia concluded last weekend with Anastasia Ilyankova emerging as the front runner for the title of Miss New Russian 2017, ahead of Elena Eremina who didn’t have the difficulty across four events to keep pace and has also ditched her “the screaming of Aliya’s soul every time Valentina speaks” floor music. What’s the point of you, then? They both finished ahead of Seda, who was a wild catastrophe. How many times, Seda? If you enjoy “I hate my life” gymnastics, this is your jam.

She literally dismounted with a layout and still almost fell off the mat. And then a bird pooped on her head and she tripped into some quicksand.

Everyone is excited about Ilyankova’s bars because it’s not that identical Russian composition that Mustafina, Spiridonova, and Melnikova all had at the Olympics. Instead, she has a Hindorff and and Yezhova and apparently a personality of her own.

It was a bit odd at this competition, though, to see two Russian-born, super Russiany-looking, theoretically flexible gymnasts in Ilyankova and WOGA’s Irina Alexeeva have so many unfortunate dance elements. That’s supposed to be the thing you’re good at! Don’t come at us with that last name if your back leg is going to look like that.

D. GymCastic

This week on GymCastic, we discuss the latest results from actual competitions (!), debate whether a member of the Russian coaching entourage was wearing suspenders or just a shirt with an awkward vertical stripe (the issue of our times), talk NCAA signing, and answer the vital question, “How stoned is too stoned to spot a child on the uneven bars?”


Also, it’s obviously just a vertical stripe on his shirt and not ONE GIANT SUSPENDER.


E. Nuh uh, Igor

The men’s technical committee released its latest newsletter, titled Don’t Kill Yourself Please, Love Steve. It includes the new rule that you’re no longer allowed to use vault as an elaborate suicide-pact cult. And by that, I mean the triple front has been banned.


One thought on “Things Are Happening – November 18, 2016”

  1. Anyone besides me find than mural on the OU wall so distracting you can’t focus on the bar routine?

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