The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

US Elite Verification – LIVE


So, this is new.

First of all, note the time change to 9:30am CT instead of 10:00am CT. It’s like a trick.

How is this going to go? No idea. Regardless, we will all need to work through it as a family.

I’ll let you know what we’ve seen.

Kayla DiCello – VT – fine full with a hop back

Frazier – VT – hits DTY, pretty solid control on landing, chest forward-ish, small hop.

Audrey Davis – VT – DTY attempt to her knees

Partial bars from Jordan Bowers – nice Shap 1/2, only a little legs – some good pieces there. Chest up on FTDT dismount. Didn’t do full routine together and not verifying for assignment.

So apparently some coaches have said that their gymnasts can’t be on the live stream (you guys, I can’t even begin…) so we won’t see all of them. We hear a lot of “come on Konnor” and “come on Kara” in case you were curious.

I feel like “YOU CAN’T BE UNVEILED UNTIL YOU ARE PERFECT” is a very old-fashioned attitude. Like, we know some people are going to fall at this meet or not be at competition level. Where’s the shame in that?

Carey – VT – Amanar with step forward. Very good. I know she’s new, but we’re coming to expect Jade Carey to be one of those who’s basically always at competition level every moment of her life. I don’t know why exactly, probably because she fits that power-gymnast, sturdy-German mold.

Kenlin – VT – gets around a DTY – will get deducted for coming in short in current incarnation, but she’s not going for assignment here and still hit a DTY comfortably enough.

Steve Rybacki going, “OK GUYS READY GOT TO GET MOVING.” Thank you Steve.

So getting the impression here that verrrrrry few athletes have permission to be shown on the stream. Still quite cool that we’re getting to see verification, but I’m fascinated by this decision-making.

In fairness, that decision could come from the coaches/(parents?) attempting to protect their athletes in a “not opening them up to criticism” kind of way, but to me it invites this idea that there’s something to be ashamed of for being in the process of training? Which of course there’s not.

We see a Toe Shap to Ricna attempt from Davis on bars.

Bowers – VT – solid full with a hop kinda back-kinda in place. Normal.

Frazier – UB – Stadler full – Toe Shap 1/2 – clear hip 1/2 – some pieces.

Davis – UB – she’s working her Shap to Ricna combination a lot but doesn’t quite have it yet. Catches her piked jaeger, an important skill in elite now because it’s an E. Double front dismount.

Bowers – VT – gets around a DTY on her next vault attempt with a pace backward

Frazier – UB – clear hip 1/2 to piked jaeger – Church to Pak, hit – Toe Shap to Tkatchev, hit – DLO with hop back.

Davis gets her Shap to Ricna on next attempt and works comfortably into Pak.

Of the people we’ve seen Frazier and Carey are the ones who are “I’m ready to compete SEND ME AWAY” right now.

Frazier – UB – this is her ATTEMPT now – Stalder full – Toe Shap 1/2 – clear hip 1/2 to piked Jaeger – Church to Pak = Toe Shap to Tkatchev – 1/2 turn on high – DLO. Hit complete set.

5.9 D by my rough count as she’s going?

Davis – UB – this is her ATTEMPT now as well – stalder to toe full – Toe Shap to Ricna, hit! – Pak – 1/2 turn on low to shoot – 1/2 turn to piked Jaeger, fall – 1/2 turn – double front, hit.

Bowers – VT – best vault yet from her, good chest up on DTY –

The virtue of showing gymnasts on this stream – we see someone like Davis miss that Shap to Ricna a couple times in warmup and then hit it on her verification attempt and it’s like we’ve gotten to see a little victory for her. We’ve been taken inside the process and have started to root for her and become fans.

DiCello starting to warm up bars now – toe full and toe on – nice leg form – I remember noticing that in the lead up to the summer season last year. Lots of potential in her basics.

Toe full to toe Shap to Pak – Toe Shap 1/2 – 1/2 turn to piked jaeger – Shap 1/2 to FTDT. VERY nice bars work.

DiCello – UB – continuing to show a couple interior pieces. The NCAA coaches are at this meet and will obviously be vulturing this one (from afar, cough cough).

Word is that the LSU coaches are allowed to be here (in a watching capacity), but so are all the other NCAA coaches, and many of the top-school ones have representatives here. Though I imagined they’ll still be pissed at all the gymnasts seeing LSU’s massive and pristine training palace. But NCAA coaches gonna NCAA coach.

Dicello for real on UB – pretty much identical to what we saw in warmups. Good routine. She’s trying to get her qualifying score here. That will help.

Carey has moved to beam to start warming up. Working through an Onodi.

Do we need to start talking about the inconsistent parts of speech used in the banners on the wall? Not again? OK.

“Is someone timing the routines?” “I don’t know.” LOL.

Carey – BB – wolf turn single – side aerial – split jump 1/2 from side position – bhs bhs layout to two feet – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck – Onodi, saves it with a grab on the beam, had been hit-and-miss in the warmup – aerial to straddle – bhs bhs double pike. Only major issue was on the Onodi.

Kenlin – BB – side aerial through to switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck (looks like intending to connect that whole sequence) – split jump 1/2 from side position – L turn to possible split jump 1/1 attempt with grab of the beam – bhs bhs layout 2 feet – aerial to split leap to split jump – bhs bhs double pike

Really going for the CV permutations there.

Davis and Frazier warming up beam now.

Kayla Dicello working ALL THE WOLF TURNS

Davis warming up aerial to split ring jump and bhs loso loso

Bowers – FX – looked like a possible double double tuck/layout attempt, not on hard surface – open full in – switch ring and split leap 1.5 – double front (sits) – a couple wolf double/triple – variations – front 2/1 –

DiCello – BB – wolf turn – side aeiral to split to sissone – switch ring – bhs loso loso series – aerial to split ring – split jump 1/2 from side position (aka “The America”) – double full dismount.

Another hit. She should get her score with those bars and beam hits I’d think. We’ll see how floor goes.

We’ve lost the feed now.

Frazier – BB – wolf turn double, a little wobble – side aerial to split jump 1/2 – bhs loso, check and stays on – The America – side somi – aerial to straddle jump – switch to switch 1/2 to wolf – round off double pike. She’s medium-bummed about that one but she kept it on the beam.

Davis – BB – wolf double – aerial to split ring jump – bhs loso series and falls – side aerial to straddle jump – Onodi to split jump because WOGGGAAAAAAAA – switch to switch 1/2 to split jump 1/2 fro REGULAR position like a rebel – split ring – double pike

Scott, we can hear you.

So that was a fun little interlude.

DiCello – FX – full in – 1.5 through to 2.5, stays in – switch ring to split leap 1/1 – wolf turn triple to immediate wolf turn 2.25 – whip 1/2 to front 2/1 – double tuck. Hit day.

Frazier – FX – split leap 1.5. – DLO with a little Hambrick – double Arabian – switch to switch 1/2 to split 1/2 jump – double pike – wolf 2.25 – double tuck, very good final pass. She seems ready. Is her floor music Gloria Estefan or did I just wish that?

Davis – FX – pike full in – double pike – switch ring to split leap 1/1 – wolf turn 2.25 (this is a real trend also, indistinctly finishing these turns) – front 2/1 – L turn double – switch 1/1 – back 2.5.

Bowers – BB – fhs front tuck to split jump! aerial to switch  to straddle – switch ring (potential in that, she kind of actually hit the position) – steps off because she’s just doing partials – bhs bhs double pike, pulls it around.

McClain – BB – full turn – side aerial (she’s so tiny she can do that on the end of the beam with like an inch of room) – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, good form on those switches – aerial – split ring jump – back full, stays on – split and wolf – bhs bhs double pike

Carey – FX – (move to the side, Jade! I want to see what LSU has written on that whiteboard!) DLO 2/1, ridiculously chest up as usual even when doing a Moors, not on hard surface but basically could have been – double double tuck – L hop 1/1 – switch 1/1 – front 2/1 – full-in, her only uncontrolled landing.

So that’s it on the routines we’re going to see. It wasn’t a lot, but we got a little look inside. It felt very much like the first step in a process, the result of seeing a few gymnasts being that everyone just became a much stronger supporter of those gymnasts, which may encourage more to allow being shown at the April verification.

Birmingham World Cup – Marz Frazier
Stuttgart World Cup – Jordan Chiles
Tokyo World Cup – Trinity Thomas

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