Things Are Happening – August 11, 2017

A. Jake Dalton retires

Jake Dalton Toe Point has pointed its last toe. Pour out a comically large bicep. Or something. I don’t know how this works.

The bam-bam-grrr events tended to be his things, but I was always partial to parallel bars.

Year in and year out, Dalton made teams to compete the power events during an era in which he had plenty of competition for those spots. Vault/floor gymnasts like Legendre, Ruggeri, and more recently Whittenburg probably can’t count how many teams they didn’t make because their strengths overlapped too much with Dalton’s and Dalton was already a lock for the team. His execution and relative consistency allowed him to rise above the rest.

B. P&G Championship rosters

I was going to do a post about the women’s roster for nationals upon release, but it was boring so I didn’t.

The senior women’s field will be comprised of everyone who competed at Classic except Laney Madsen, who did not get her qualifying score. Victoria Nguyen is also slated to compete after pulling out of Classic with injury, and Sydney Johnson-Scharpf will appear at nationals after having her petition approved. (She was sick at Classic and also technically got the necessary qualifying score at Cracky-Scoring Iceland Meet. It just wasn’t a national team assignment and therefore didn’t count for her qualification needs.)

Several gymnasts also managed to achieve only two- or three-event qualifying scores at the classic meets, so while they were allowed to compete the AA at US Classic, they can compete only on those specific events at nationals. Here are the event scratches in spreadsheet format because of course I did.

On the junior side, the field is much smaller than it was at classic because of the somewhat harsh qualifying standard (only harsh in that scores from elite qualifiers cannot be used to qualify to nationals—the qualifying score must come from the ranch, an assignment, or a classic meet). It’s a necessary harshness, though, because otherwise the nationals field would just be too large. We still have 31 juniors making it in as is.

Sadly, Madelyn Williams—the winner of the Faux-gines Prize for Elegance from US Classic that I just awarded—is not among them as she has pulled out of nationals.

C. NCAA moves and shakes

Skyler Sheppard, who was released from Arizona earlier this summer, has landed at Auburn. Sheppard has a 3/1 on floor, a career-high 9.925 (though inconsistent) beam routine, and a Yurchenko 1/2 vault that went 9.8s a few times in 2017 and could bolster what was a weak event for Auburn last season.

Because of NONE FOR EASTERN MICHIGAN always and forever, another significant contributor has transferred with Catie Conrad moving on to Pittsburgh. Conrad was an AAer for EMU last season and a top-two gymnast on bars and beam along with Kendall Valentin. In addition to the revolving door of coaches, that’s now two of EMU’s best gymnasts transferring in two years. FUN.

Remember last week when I was talking about how big some of the rosters are for 2018? Southern Utah was like, “Hold my army of freshmen.” Southern Utah‘s 2018 roster is 23 people, including ELEVEN freshmen and Madison Loomis transferring from SJSU. That means over half the team is new this year. UCLA better find some new random walk-ons to keep its record intact.

The freshman playlist has been updated to include the latest freshman developments, roster releases, and a bunch of walk-ons.

D. Pan American Championships

Qualification is complete at the Pan American Championships in Lima, a competition that hasn’t received too much attention because the US didn’t send anyone and Canada didn’t send a full-strength team. Canada did, however, send Brooklyn Moors, who has been named to the prospective worlds team. As we discussed. I may have had some feelings.

The top VT qualifier was Dayana Ardila of Colombia, who has a very respectable 2017 high of 14.150 on vault. Colombia is legitimately a top-15 nation on vault and floor right now given what Ardila and Ginna Escobar can do. It’s bars and beam they have to worry about.

Ahtziri Sandoval of Mexico posted the top score on bars, while Argentina’s standout new senior Agustina Pisos qualified first on beam ahead of Carolyne Pedro of Brazil, one of the recognizable names in this meet. Pedro took the top qualifying spot on floor with a 13.000, just ahead of Brooklyn Moors’ 12.950. Moors managed to qualify for all four event finals.

E. The Rodriguez

We’ve seen the training videos before, but here is Cintia Rodriguez’s new skill in its most advanced state, presumably part of a project to somehow, somehow get connection bonus working out of a bail. The white whale of modern gymnastics. This will do it as long as it receives a D value, which I imagine it will.

The most important part of this video is her showing fairly strong rhythm in catching and kipping out of the Rodriguez, since the main worry here is getting so destroyed by dead hang and muscled handstand deductions afterward that it makes the skill not remotely worth it.

Really, I’m just here for the toe point.

E. GymCastic

You didn’t think we would leave you without the third part of our 1996 Olympics commission trilogy, did you?

This week, thanks to commissioner Kris, we tackle the women’s event finals, discussing the brilliance of Miller and Podkopayeva, Tim and Elfi problems, that time they cut to Shannon’s face right after Galieva fell, and who really should have won all the medals. We have some FEELINGS. Mine are correct.

F. Beam routine of the week

As an important visual addendum to our discussion of the 1996 event finals, here is Dina Kochetkova being really “repetitive” on beam.

What a repetitive nightmare.

This didn’t win bronze and no one is over it. Least of all us.

It’s also worth noting that Kochetkova does the Kochetkova properly, and no one else ever does, which is why hers looks so much better than all the ones we see now.

Everyone else just performs an Omelianchik and then leans down to cross position with a 1/4 turn, which is not a full-twisting back handspring. It’s a 3/4 back handspring with a little lean. Kochetkova shows that you can complete the whole twist in the air before hand support, which is what a full-twisting back handspring should be. The code allows the 3/4-twist technique for this skill, and it shouldn’t.

4 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – August 11, 2017”

  1. What is the low-to-high transition Podkopayeva did in ’96? The one that wasn’t a pike-on. It’s like a clear-hip-nevermind-grab-the-high-bar. I don’t think it’s in the elite skills database. What is it rated and is there any reason it couldn’t be connected to a bail HS?

    1. I think you’re talking about a clear hip hecht, which is a C. It doesn’t currently get CV out of a bail.

  2. All of the hecht transition variations deserve at least a D. Not only are the skills themselves difficult enough to warrant a D or higher, but it would allow for a lot more variation on bars that is badly needed.

    If I had my way, Rodriguez’s element would be given an E- partly for the difficulty, but also for the innovation.

  3. Wow – I’m loving the Rodriguez!! It didn’t take long for the Shap 1/2 to become a hot skill. I wonder how long before everyone does this. Love to see this kind of innovation.

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