Things Are Happening – July 26, 2017

It’s a special Wednesday edition of Things Are Happening because later this week we’ll have, you know, Classic.

Hopes – July 28, 2:30 p.m. CT – ScoresWatch
Juniors – July 29, 1:00 p.m. CT – ScoresWatch
Seniors – July 29, 6:30 p.m. CT – ScoresWatch

Speaking of…

A. Classic roster changes

The big development of the last few days is that Victoria Nguyen has withdrawn from Classic with a suddenly acute case of Chow’s.

It is a slight breach of etiquette because typically with a Chow’s withdrawal you’re supposed to compete at Classic, be perfect, and then get injured and withdraw from nationals (GOWEYMEMORIES). For the moment, though, it looks like Nguyen is still planning to compete at nationals.

Her spot in the senior start list has been taken by Gabby Perea (because junior national team members are competing with the seniors this year), who originally did not enter the event because of an ankle injury but now has popped up and plans to compete bars.


Here is the set she’s currently working on (with a cut in the video).

Inbar 1/1 (E) + Toe-on Shap (D) + Stalder Tkatchev (E) + Pak (D) + Stalder Shap 1/2 (E) = 0.7 CV
Inbar 1/2 (D) + Jaeger piked (E) = 0.1 CV
Double layout (D)
Composition requirements = 2.0
CV = 0.8
D-SCORE = 6.4

If she puts that all together in the same competition routine, it’s pretty much the ideal bars composition for the current code, alternating E and D flight elements to squeeze out as much CV as possible while limiting the number of handstand positions that need hitting to as few as possible.


The women’s European Youth Olympic Festival, or EEEEEYYYYOOOOFFFFF, which rolls right off the tongue, got underway today with a bit of an upset in the team competition. An under-strength Russian team managed to defend its title over the favored Italians because the Italians went all “you get a 12, and YOU get a 12, EVERYBODY GETS A 12” on beam and floor. Vanessa Ferrari’s like, “Welp, looks like another quad for me…”

They’ll be good soon. Just not every time out yet. Germany took 3rd, ahead of Hungary in 4th and Great Britain in 5th. Germany was led by Emilie Petz, who made event finals on every single piece. Romania finished 10th. Oops. #Raducan2017

Meanwhile, Ksenia Klimenko leads the AA qualification with the highest scores on bars and beam (13.950) and the second-highest on floor (13.250).

Here’s her bars set from earlier this year.

You’re going to kill me with those fast and wonderful Stalder and inbar positions—and kill yourself with that last-nanosecond Shap 1/2 grasp. GAH.

SmartScoring has decided to put some sort of highly distracting seasickness-exposure-therapy video behind its live scores (non-mobile version at least). Because that’s what we want. That’s helpful. I’m not having a seizure. Chalk up another victory to you.

C. Operation head coach: complete!

EMU announced that it has hired Katie Minasola as its new head coach. She’s technically the 4th head coach in the last 15 months, which usually reflects poorly on a program, but in this case its just that the coaches keep being great and getting poached by bigger schools. PLEASE WELCOME STANFORD’S NEW HEAD COACH FOR 2018-2019, KATIE MINASOLA! #kiddingnotkidding

Minasola joins EMU from Iowa State and was at Michigan State before that. Which is two teams. Or, as the press release calls it, eleven teams.

I know they’re using 11 teams in that “each year is a different team!” kind of way, but my first reaction was still, “Damn, someone gets around…”

So, that finally fills out the slate!

Team Outgoing coach Reason Incoming coach
Penn State Jeff Thompson Everything Sarah Brown
Michigan State Kathie Klages Larry Nassar Mike Rowe
NC State Mark Stevenson Retired Kim Landrus
Georgia Danna Durante Fired Courtney Kupets
EMU Sarah Brown To Penn State Josh Nilson
Illinois Kim Landrus To NC State Nadalie Walsh
Pittsburgh Debbie Yohman Retired Samantha Snider
Ohio State Carey Fagan Promoted Meredith Paulicivic
Alaska Paul Stoklos Retired Tanya Ho
Utah State Nadalie Walsh To Illinois Amy Smith
EMU Josh Nilson Family reasons Katie Minasola

D. Worlds

Can we discuss how the definitive registration deadline for worlds was July 3rd, and yet the FIG still hasn’t released the list?


…No one cares but me?

…OK cool.

The provisional registration can only tell us so much. For instance, it tells us that Cuba isn’t sending a team, but apparently that’s incorrect because Cuba says it is sending a team: Ferrera, Videaux, Larduet, Leru. The deadline for the nominative registration (the real one with the names, the one that matters for teams that aren’t the US women) is September 4th.

E. NCAA schedules and rosters

It was Florida’s turn to announce its 2018 slate this week, which features all the requisite SEC matchups, a trip to West Virginia, and home meets against Oklahoma and Nebraska. Good difficulty. Lots of juicy meets in there.

Oklahoma’s roster for 2018 is out, featuring the four scholarship freshmen we already knew about, transfer Ashley Hiller from Florida, and a previously unannounced freshman Carly Woodard. Woodard was 11th on floor and 13th on beam at JO Nationals this year (senior F). Here’s her FX, BB, UB, VT. Walk-on Megan Thompson, who hadn’t competed in her first two years, is no longer on the roster.

Utah has also released its 2018 roster, revealing that Makenna Merrell got married this month and is now Makenna Merrell-Giles. It also lists Reinstadtler as a freshman still but I’m assuming that’s just a typo.

Nebraska’s roster of 20 is here, featuring no surprises other than Nebraska and a roster of TWENTY. Nebraska is supposed to have about seven gymnasts, all doing the all-around, and no one else. Is this almost…depth? Obviously no. How silly of me.

F. GymCastic

Mostly, this week’s episode is a preview of U.S. Classic. We run through all the major juniors you need to watch so that you’re up on what the cool kids are talking about, all the exciting new seniors and potential surprises that might pop up and steal a crown if it’s a splatfest, and every routine you’ll need to put on a to-do list so that you can go back and watch on Youtube later. Gym fan things.

After that, the episode goes completely off the rails. You’ll enjoy it. And by that, I mean we enjoyed it.

G. Beam routine of the week

This week, it’s time to have a frank conversation about Oksana Fabrichnova, whose main deal was bars but who should not be denied on beam.

She certainly never met a difficult dismount she didn’t love, but the best part of this routine is her layout stepout series that makes every other layout stepout series ever look like it takes place inside a molasses factory where time has stopped.

It’s also true that parts of this routine are good nostalgia wake-up calls (She’s Russian from the 90s, and yet some of her leaps are not perfect and her wrists can get borderline-Memmel), but also…back flic to neck. So…eat that.

P.S. That is a patch on her shoulder, not a Ferrari cutout. So close!

7 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – July 26, 2017”

  1. Is anyone else noticing the US is low key becoming a bars powerhouse? Between McKusker, Perea, O’Keefe, Locklear, and Sunisa Lee, we have 5 gymnasts with start values 6.0 or higher (or capable of 6.0 in Locklear’s case). And, other than Locklear, they are legitimate all-arounders.

    It’s interesting that floor and vault are looking weaker for the US early in the quad than bars/beam.

    1. All I see is getting on the 2018 worlds team will basically be the hunger games… basically all the top juniors with the exception of Lee plus I believe most of the top 2017 worlds contenders will stlll be around. So yeah hunger games.

    1. Yes, but she’s also Mormon. They have a reputation for marrying young that isn’t entirely undeserved.

    2. Welcome to the University of Utah. People get married very young here.
      As a 26 year old grad student here, people will often ask me “so what does your husband do?” I’m not married, nor do I wear any sort of ring that might make people think I am. They just assume because that’s the culture here.

  2. God I hope you are right about Stanford. Totally hoping for a new coach come 2018. Heck, they can fire Smyth mid-season or let her “resign” right before regionals (assuming they make it and/or have enough healthy gymnasts to field a team) and I’d be okay.

    Imagine what an awesome coach could have done with Tricase, Yim, Ishino, Hong, Vaculik, Price, etc.?!?!


    Three days shy of Minasola outlasting Nilson at Eastern, Smyth “steps down,” and, as an EMU fan, suddenly this isn’t as funny as it was a few weeks ago!

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