The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

American Classic and Elite Qualifier

You may now rest easy. I have returned from the wilderness. (Metaphorical wilderness, obviously. Like I would do a wilderness.) While I was sans gymnastics, everyone decided to gather at the ranch for the worst-timed competition of each season, the American Classic.

The American Classic is basically a poor woman’s U.S. Classic, which is a poor women’s national championship. It’s the smallest nesting doll. It’s the complementary appetizer. Still interesting, though. Especially this year. Certain people made some certain grand entrances.

Gymnasts competing at the American Classic have already achieved the qualifying score to the U.S. Classic (51 AA for seniors, 50 AA for juniors) but can use this meet to achieve the nationals qualification score (52 AA for seniors, 50.5 AA for juniors). All elite qualifying scores for this season have been lowered two points from last year to account for the reduction in D scores.

Detour: Can we please stop naming everything Classic? It’s so unnecessarily confusing. You hold 1.3 competitions per year, and yet all of them are “the Classic.” Other words exist.

Also note that Secret doesn’t have title sponsorship of the U.S. Classic anymore, so it’s not the Secret Classic. It’s the U.S. Classic because we’re partying like it’s 2007.

Anyway, here’s what we learned from the Flag Pants Classic last week.

  • Jade Carey won vault with a Kas 1/1 (Tsuk 2/1), which has a 5.6 D score, two tenths higher than the DTY. Word on the street is that she’s going to be 2017 Kayla Williams.
  • Carey also won beam and floor, breaking 14 on both and recording a 42.800 three-event score. Her vault and floor scores are the highest for an American senior so far this year, and her beam score is 4th highest. She did not compete bars.
  • I propose that we all pronounce Jade Carey like Jade Barbosa.
  • Margzetta Frazier showed up to drop an Amanar on everyone and then peace out, scoring 14.250.
  • Jordan Chiles was finally free to make her 2017 actual-competition debut, performing a 5.2 bars and 5.7 beam. That’s an upgraded beam set, though she did score just 12.500 for it.
  • Elena Arenas won the senior all-around with 53.150 and achieved her qualifying score to nationals, as did Leah Clapper, Abigail Walker, and Carey. Arenas and Clapper qualified with AA scores, Walker and Carey with three-event scores. (Trinity Thomas also reached the two-event qualifying score, but she was already qualified.)
  • 2017 JO champion Leanne Wong (GAGE) won the junior AA with 54.500, scoring 14.900 for a DTY (one-tenth bonus), leading a group of 19 juniors who achieved their qualifying scores to nationals. You guys, there are going to be SO many juniors at classic this year.
  • Love Birt is a person’s name.

Prior to the American Classic, a final elite qualifier was also held for people who had yet to reach the qualifying score to get into a Classic meet and therefore couldn’t compete at American Classic.

This was last chance kitchen for a bunch of people. If you don’t get your score here, you’re not competing at U.S. Classic or nationals.

In the senior category, Marissa Oakley and Deanne Soza did get their three-event scores to advance to U.S. Classic, while Erika Briscoe was not able to reach the two-event score she was going for. (Note: Gymnasts can compete the AA at Classic even if they qualify with only a two- or three-event score. But if they advance to nationals on a two- or three-event score, they may compete only those two or three events at nationals.)

In the juniors, four gymnasts achieved their AA scores: Anapaula Gutierrez (TIGAR), Sydney Barros (Texas Dreams), Hannah Hagle (TX East), and Deiah-Marie Moody (WOGA).

18 days to U.S. Classic. We’re getting there. The main gang is currently still at the ranch for the final national team camp until the worlds selection camp.

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