US Classic Junior Live Blog

The army of juniors has arrived.


Or something.

The juniors are numerous and vaguely unfamiliar, so you’ll probably want to keep a start list handy. It’s the only way. Otherwise you’re just going to be like, “I think MyKenza fell 15 times on beam…”

They split each rotation up into two warmup groups, so you only have to keep track of half the field at a time. But, this first rotation begins with some of the most important characters to follow.

Since the initial start list, we’ve had a number of withdrawals. Lilly Lippeatt, Vika Smirnov, and Annie Beard pulled out prior to today, and then Ui Soma was just added to the list. Sydney Barros is here but competing only UB/BB in the 3rd and 4th rotations, and JaFree Scott is competing only UB in the 4th rotation.

Intros underway now. You are all small baby children. The competition is to see who can hold her hands the weirdest during the introductions. The winner is everyone. The rigor mortis hands is one of those weird old-fashioned gymnastics things we have to get rid of. There’s nothing good about this.

Also, it’s pronounced “Addison Feta” now apparently.


Sylvie Brestyan is judging floor today. Because it’s not like there’s a Brestyan’s gymnast in the competition. Oh wait…

Tatum – VT – solid DTY, like we saw in April, minor hop back, pretty good legs, just a little rough at the end. 14.400.

McClain – UB – FTDT dismount, a little jarred back on landing. 13.800

Lincoln – BB – a little hesitation toward the end on aerial and side aerial. She’s one of the 2006 babies, which is a YEAR IN WHICH PEOPLE WERE BORN. Sits double pike dismount. 11.550.

Bowers – VT – chest down on DTY but got it around, lunge back, fairly large. 13.950.

Gantner – VT – Yfull, hop back, some tucking off the table. 13.150.

Jeffrey – BB – wolf full, a little lean – switch to sissone – NO FOOT CLOSEUPS DURING SKILLS PLEASE – loso series – standing front tuck, gets it, usual lowness from standing, connects it in series – switch side to straddle jump, a side combination that’s a thing now – 2/1 hop back. 12.800.

Lee – FX – We missed the beginning – just a layout second pass, placeholder for later, clearly not going for a score – switch ring lovely – split leap full, also well-executed – double L – 1.5 to front full, fine – wolf turn 2.75 to wolf turn 1.75. Double tuck, nearly stuck with chest down. 12.150

Goodman – BB – loso, just a small hesitation – full turn, little lean – roughish split 1/2 from side – correction on switch to back pike series – side aerial, fine – front tuck, saves with step forward – aerial to split to sissone – 2/1, stuck with chest down. 11.000

Rosen – FX – full-in first pass, bounces back out of it, it was a struggle to get around but she did – leaps solid – front tuck through to 2/1, good – double pike, well controlled – her JO-level tumbling is strong, double tuck, small hop. 12.700.

Lewis – loso series, solid – switch to split ring, switch was good, split ring was feeeeeet – side aerial, hit – bhs bhs double tuck, hop back. Nice one. 12.550.

Scanlon – FX – She’s one of those juniors we’ve been seeing for so long I think she might be secretly 50 – pretty good DLO! – double tuck, jarred landing, avoided putting her hands down but a problem – double pike, lunge back – front full, shuffle forward. She’s going to go 5th up on floor for 9.925s and make an NCAA program very happy one day. 11.650

Marcheli saves a front aerial on beam, nearly comes off – a couple moments of uncertainty here – the side aerial to split to back tuck was better – 2/1 with hop back. 11.600

Pearl – popa, good position, a little hoppy – double arabian, big but wayyyyy too far, clearly OOB – 1.5 to front full with lunge – L turn – switch to split leap full, a little off kilter – double tuck, bounce back – switch 1/2, not quite there – double pike, forward with a lunge. Sylvie gives it a 20! 11.950.


So, what we learned from that first part is that Sunisa Lee is not going for full difficulty here, which opens things up for Bowers, DiCello, and Wong.

Tatum, Bowers, and McClain are 1-2-3 after the first part of the first rotation.

Little – VT – DTY, a little bit of legs crossing, lunge back and to the side – 13.900

Hagle – UB – stalder to tkatchev to Pak, comes in way too low on Pak and can’t grab the bar and comes off – tow 1/2 to front stalder 1/2 to toe shoot – giant full, DLO with lunge. 10.700.

Siegfeldt finished floor with a fine 2/1

Morris – VT – full, hop back, a typical little-baby full.

The fun thing when you imagine Twitter when the stream isn’t showing Aleah Finnegan on beam…

Saltness – FX – full-in, a little bouncy back – double pike, large bounce back – switch ring to switch side 1/2, not back on the leaps – wolf triple to wolf double ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – split leap 1.5, pretty comfortable with leaps this one – 2.5 to front tuck – souble tuck, bounce back. 12.150.

LJR – VT – pretty full, comfortable, good control, small step – 13.000

Finnegan dismounts beam with 2/1 with small slide back

German – UB – stalder to stalder full, a little late – toe Shap 1/2, some feet – toe on to stalder 1/2 to piked jaeger, close but caught with a little legs – bail, leg break – DLO, pretty good, small hop. Some formies but got through comfortably. 13.400

Johnson – BB – my-back-is-an-actual-noodle-mount – switch 1/2 to back tuck, secure, short on switch 1/2 – side aerial, splits the beam and basically comes off but hangs onto the beam at the last second like a desperate rock climber – then falls on a back tuck – grabs thighs to stay on for loso series – double tuck is fine. A rough routine but go back and watch her grab the beam desperately to stay on. 10.550.

Chio – FX – finishes 2/1

DiCello – UB – toe full to shap to Pak, CLEAN – Toe Shap 1/2, legs together through – clear hip – piked jaeger, caught very well sextended – stalder 1/2 a little short – holds the stick on FTDT. Nice start. Pretty routine, just a couple verticals, but good hit set. 14.300.

Wong – BB – switch to straddle, strong – bhs loso loso, secure – L turn, just a little lean before full turn – bhs to popa connection attempt, probably too slow and popa was short of rotation – side aerial, good – side somi, lean but saves it – aerial to split – 3/1 almost all the way around – Pretty nice, some of those combos are a work in progress but they’re getting there and she has lovely beam work – 13.700.

Hahn finishes on bars with double pike.

Blakely – FX – full-in, nice and controlled – they’ve given her really tired music but she has the fledgling performer spark to make it work – 3/1, a little bounce – 2.5 with bound forward – wolf 2.5 – switch 1/2, fine – double pike, reallllly short with a lunge forward to save. Some landing issues but will keep her in it.

After 1 rotation: It’s Tatum, then DiCello, then Bowers. No surprise there, especially with Tatum starting on her strongest piece. The major contenders will be pleased with their starts (even Lee despite her low score because she wasn’t going for real difficulty).


Rosen – VT – Yfull – totally bounce back and trying to salute mid-bounce, and that was excellent

Gantner – UB – Wayyyy too far on a tkatchev and couldn’t catch. Struggles on toe full to pak with brush on the mat – DLO, hop back


It’s Goodman. She finishes with a 2.5 to Cogsworth.

Pearl – VT – bigggg full, Brestyans-y, just a medium hop back

Fatta – BB – aerial, solid – bhs loso series, hit – switch 1/2, short but secure – side aerial, hit – split 1/2 transverse, not close to split – 2/1 with hop back

Gallentine – Shap to Pak – Shap 1/2, hit – Jaeger – some good difficulty here – DLO 1/1, some piking, small step. She’s an Everest gymnast, so good thing it’s been a slow week with no news or developments for her…

Swaney – BB – aerial, hit – side aerial, also secure – full turn – bhs loso loso, also without check, a very secure start to this routine for her – switch to switch 1/2, not horrific – transverse split 1/2, small check but the split position was better than most – long pause before dismount – double pike, chest wayyyy down but got it around. She should be pleased with that routine.

Marcheli finishes floor with 2/1, like so many of these juniors.

Neault – UB – toe full – Shap to Pak, comfortable – toe shoot, a little close but worked out well – toe1/2 to jaeger, close catch with elbows – double tuck, college stuck – Nice work.

Frazier – FX – joining midway – switch ring to split leap full, good 180 positions there – 1.5 to layout – switch 1/2 – wolf double, and it was actually two exact turns – double pike, lunge back. Good, comfortable routine for her.

Little – UB – stalder full on low bar – Shap to Pak, very clean – toe shap to bail, nice

Finnegan with a suuuuuuuuuper clean double arabian to stag opening on floor.

Hagle – BB – double wolf turn – back full to split jump nailed, whoa now – bhs loso, tight but hit, step back – side aerial, small check – switch to switch 1/2, short on switch 1/2 – aerial with check, breaks attempt at series – 2/1, hop forward

Dean – BB – bhs loso loso series with check – straddle jump to split jump (short of split) to back tuck – side aerial through to switch to switch 1/2, fine – transverse straddle 1/2, OK, more secure – 2.5 dismount, good direction, pace forward

Halfway through the second rotation, we have Gallentine leading, followed by Finnegan and Neault, with the first-rotation leaders yet to compete.

Gallentine and Neault still need their qualifying scores here and are on pace to get them, though it’s tough to tell for a lot of people so far because vault scores higher.


Chio – VT – stuck full. That’ll do.

Johnson – FX – good control on DLO landing – double arabian, a little short but saves with a small shuffle back, good body position on front saltos – L turn – switch to split full, leaps are well short, tumbling is the highlight – stuck 2/1 – switch 1/2 – double tuck, stuck. Very good acro.

Blakely – VT – quick twisting in that DTY, good with a lunge back

Butler – UB – nice high piked jaeger – toe full to pak, pretty archy on Pak but fine, caught – DLO, some piking, good control on landing, Nice set.

Wong – FX – double arabian to stag, pretty, almost as nice as Finnegan’s – 3/1, real and well done, just a bit of legs at the end and a step – double pike, hop back – double L, definite credit – 2.5 with hop forward. Strong routine. She’ll stay right up there.

Bounce back on vault from Lee.

Jung – Ruivivar – UB – inbar to toe 1/2 – falls on piked jaeger, ugh my life is over. Full to pak, some legs – stalder, nice shape – Toe Shap 1/2, just a small leg break – FTDT wit a stagger on landing and a step back.

Lincoln – FX – double arabian, very bouncy but also nice legs together shape – full in, same with the nice tight position, bounce back – 1.5 through to double tuck, hop back. Good tumbling, she’s going to be a thing in the juniors in a couple years. She’s brand new but the chops are there.

Jeffrey – FX – double Arabian, GAGE IT OUT, pretty solid legs, almost as good as the others – double pike, has to crunch it down a little at the end – L hop full that’s actually how it’s supposed to look, with the leg ABOVE horizontal – popa to sissone, OK – double tuck, stuck, good – 2/1, short with a lunge, looked tired at the end there.

Fisher – BB – switch to switch 1/2, pretty short – double tuck, got it around somewhat hunched over with step back.

Konnor McClain has 0s next to her name on the other events so it looks like she is scratching.

The other big development of this rotation that we didn’t see is Kayla DiCello missing on beam, which has really opened up the competition as she drops to 8th.

It’s now Bowers, Tatum, Blakely, Wong. Bowers and Tatum well in front right now. Neither has gone to beam. I’d still expect DiCello to make up some ground on the remaining events.


Marcheli – VT – full, good control on landing, normal

Pearl – UB – blind change and has to regrip and have a disaster about it – pausing against high bar to regain composure – piked jaeger is quite good though – bail – toe shoot to high is low – double tuck, hop in place

Finnegan – VT – DTY, pretty twisting in the air, a little struggle to get it fully around, bounce back, great twisting shape.

Neault – BB – bhs loso loso, secure, some mushy legs – front tuck to split to wolf, hit – aerial to ring jump, not sure if intended to be split ring but wasn’t – switch ring same, wouldn’t credit the split, just the ring shape – double tuck, almost stuck it and then almost fell, having to save it with two lunges back, still having a nice day and hit that one. She got a 54 at an elite qualifier earlier this year

Wong – VT – GORGEOUS DTY – stuck. GAH.

Greaves – FX – open full in with step back, strong – front tuck through to 2.5, short with a lunge back but nice form – switch ring, pretty – split leap full, double pike, a little stagger landing but secure – double tuck, step back – great form, she’s going to be a thing

Little – BB – side aeiral with knees – not quite there on these splits – switch 1/2 will not get credit as any skill I don’t think, extremmmmeely short of split, maybe not even 90 – 2.5 dismount with lunge forward

Chio – UB – piked jaeger, hit – stalder to bail – godo height on toe shoot – DLO, stuck, nice.

Hagle on floor falls on opening double back.

Alipio – UB – stalder full, arches over and comes off, why must life be this way. But the stalder shape was lovely. Toe Shap to Pak, good height – Toe shap 1/2, just a little foot crossing – toe 1/2, pulls it out but falls again on piked jaeger. Life.

Dean – FX – 2.5 to front layout, pullllls that layout around somehow after overcooking the 2.5 – back 1.5 to front full, fine – double pike, chest down

Blakely – UB – inbar to inbar full – tkatchev to Pak, took her tkatchev way out and couldn’t really get the Pak, had to rest against the low bar and correct but didn’t come off the bar – finishes stalder full to FTDT with step back

German – FX – DLO, small hop back – big full in with bounce back – switch, switch 1/2 – she’s got the tumbling power to be a REAL floor thing – 1.5 to front full, pretty solid – split leap 1/1 – double tuck, small shuffle back. Good.

DiCello – FX – DLO, small slide back, good body position on landing – front 2/1 is cuckoo with a big crossover lunge – wolf turn triple to wolf turn double – 1.5 to 2.5, some leg form, controlled pretty well – switch 1/2 – double tuck, stuck. That should help her move back up the standings.

So, a this point it’s a GAGE show with Wong and Finnegan 1-2, Bowers and Tatum yet to go in the third rotation.

Butler, Neault (and Chio if she hits beam) looking on track to get their nationals scores, but it’s going to be tough for a lot of people.


Lincoln – VT – gigantic full with a big bounce back. That’s not going to be a full for long.

Hahn – FX – second half is double pike and a front 1.5, a little low there

Goodman – VT – short on a full with a hop forward

Barros – UB – toe Shap, some archniness, to Pak – Stalder 1/1  – toe Shap 1/2 with crazy legs – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, hit – big arch on cast 1/2 – DLO with small step, dismount nice but will get deducted for a bunch of leg breaks.

Lewis – VT – clean full in the air, huge bounce back – also don’t expect that to be a full for long

Tatum – BB – punch front, check – transverse straight jump full, small check, not back actually – finishes 2/1 with a hop

McClain – FX – so I guess she didn’t scratch the rest of the meet, just beam? YOU LIARS – double pike with lunge back OOB – that’s not her full difficulty though I don’t believe – 2.5 to front tuck – switch ring – 2/1, clean.

Bowers – BB – end of routine – aerial to split to straddle, good – switch ring with a check at the hips but stayed on – finishes double pike with lunge forward

After beam, Tatum is into second behind Wong.

Fisher – FX – double pike with lunge forward – L hop full – wolf turn double – 1.5 to front pike – switch ring to switch 1/2 – double tuck, quite deep with lunge back.

Brush of the mat on bars for Sunisa Lee but still gets 13.800.

Jung-Ruivivar has also fallen on beam. Meet cancelled.

Gantner – BB – aerial, hit – double tuck, good tight shape, step back

Bowers into first by .150 despite a wobbly beam showing.

Scanlon – UB – toe ful land pak, hit but low – bail, some legs on most elements – double pike, small hop

We’re really going to need to talk about these sound effects in Zoe Gravier’s floor music. Did a piano fall onto a chandelier and then get electrocuted? She had some sort of twisting pass that Maggie was not pleased with.

Gallentine finishes beam with 2/1, legs crossed and hop back.

Fatta – FX – now it’s just pronounced Fatta but with a strange attempted accept – double pike with lunge back – 1.5 to double full, secure – switch to switch 1/2 – front lay to front full, stuck, some body position – split leap fullm won’t get credit for 1.5 – 3/1, a little too under-rotated perhaps, with a bounce to the side. Hit.

So after 3, Bowers and Wong are pretty well out in front. Tatum, Finnegan and Blakely are running just behind.

Di Cello is in 8th and Lee in 9th.

Score urgency in the final rotation for some people who haven’t qualified yet. Butler needs 11.550 on floor, which should be doable. Chio needs 11.900 on beam, which is also doable but it’s beam. Neault needs 11.950 on floor. Harris and Birt need 12.250 on their next events.


Hagle – VT – round off 1/2 on front tuck with lunge

Little – FX – unfortunately she would have needed 13.700 from this routine to advance. Full-in fine with a lunge to the side – double tuck, small shuffle – finishes 2.5 with a bit of a stumble.

Finnegan is done with a 52.800.

Dean finishes with 50.900, just missing the 51.000 cutoff.

German – VT-  big full with bounce back. Nice height.

Drayton – FX – full-in, small movement but very good control – 1.5 to front layout – double tuck with bounce – solid split elements – 2.5 with hop back

Wong – UB – toe on to stalder shap to Pak – Shap 1/2, very clean so far – toe full – stalder 1/2 to piked jaeger, a litte close but hit – DLO, deepish but pulls it aout – a couple close moments but good routine will keep her right toward the top

McClain – VT – full, good power, bounce back

Morris – FX – full-in, hop back – 2.5 to layout, she’s a;little spark plug with those quick twisting elements that you think are never going to be high enough to get around – front lay to front full, a little ragged there – Good routine. She’ll place well here.

Di Cello got to vault in the final rotation, so she moves in behind Wong but ahead of Finnegan.

Chio hits beam and gets her qualifying score with 51.450!

Jeffrey – UB – toe full to toe shap to Pak, super clean form – toe Shap 1/2, legs together, a short hs on hgih after that – hit Jaeger – FTDT, hop back

Blakely – BB – wolf turn double – aerial to split jump 1/2 – she’s hitting  – good chest up on front tuck. Switch 1/2 is short – good back tuck, the E score will reflect some rougher leaps – really nice tuck shape in dismount but a thousands steps back and she pulled in a little too much


Claire Dean’s score has been raised to 51.000. Exactly the score she needs to advance.

Jung – Ruivivar – FX – her arms are better than you – as is her flebility on her Memmel turn and switch ring – a twisting heavy routine with some leg form separations in these twisting skills – final double back is a little short with a lunge – but still – and NOW SHE’S LIMPING AND STILL TRYING TO “LEAVING FLOOR” PRESENT LIKE A SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER. YOU GUYS.

Tatum – FX – nice high full-in with strong leg form but steps OOB – 2.5 to front pike, also quite nice in the twisting elements – split jump 1/1 – front 2/1 to front tuck, lost her legs a little more there but still not bad – you watch a lot of these and they’re very clearly juniors. Tatum is ready for seniors. A little chest down on double tuck, but a good, comfortable hit.

It appears the live scores have stopped updating halfway through the final rotation like some Florida home meet.


Bowers – FX – big DLO, steps back but just keeps it in bounds – double front, suppppppper deep squat and lunge forward, potential OOB, a little rushed on some leaps after that pass – open full in to her face. OH JORDAN IT WAS GOING SO WELL – double wolf turn – front 2/1, stuck.

Fatta – VT – nice DTY! Nearly stuck, just a small step.

Lewis – UB – finishes with double pike, small hop

Swaney – VT – full, legs and feet throughout, hop back

Gantner – FX – double pike, fine – double tuck, small shuffle back –

Selena Harris and Alexis Jeffrey and Sophia Butler also have their qualifying scores now, as the scores finally update.

Gallentine – FX – needs 13.400 from this routine to advance – full-in, a little deep with a slide back – wolf turn double with some leg position – double pike, short with a lunge – split jump 1/1 is nice – split leap full – front tuck through to 1.5, deep with some stumble correction steps – 2.5, lunge, keeps it in bounds

Scanlon finishes beam with 2/1, crossed legs, small step

Birt – FX – front lay to front full – she needs 12.250 from this routine – double tuck, bounce backward and OOB – split leap 1.5 has nice position – switch ring – switch 1/2, good dance elements – wolf double, pretty much all the way around – double pike, bounce back

Pearl – BB – good side aerial, has some back leg issues on split elements – aerial, strong – switch 1/2 is very Aly – double pike, bounce back

The Bowers miss on floor drops her down to 3rd. DiCelli moved up to 2nd even after the beam mistakes. Wong is the lone favorite who went fully cleana t full difficulty, and she’ll lead.

Neault – FX – solid double pike – double tuck, a little hoppy – back 1.5 to front full, some knees – double L, won’t get because dropped early – 2/1, stuck, knees. EPIC BARE NECESSITIES music.

So that will do it!

Gold to Leanne Wong with 55.350, quite easily in the end by more than a point. She was the one who didn’t miss.

Silver to Kayla DicCello, three good events and a miss on beam. Bronze to Jordan Bowers, three good events and a miss on floor. It’s Tatum in 4th and a downgraded Sunisa Lee in 5th.

Of those who did not previously have their qualifying scores, Sophia Butler, Alexis Jeffrey, Selena Harris, Kailin Chio, Claire Dean, and Katelyn Rosen advanced to nationals. Dean and Rosen both got exactly the necessary score. Look how that works out.

That means we have, by my count, 24 juniors qualified to nationals so far but Neault and Birt may also get there when their scores come in. That would be pretty low by junior nationals standards. Last year we were at 30.

Very good result for Wong. She’s showing she’s right up there in difficulty on all the events now. We knew she had the clean. It was a big day for GAGE overall. It felt like every time you saw someone with lovely gymnastics today, she was a GAGE.

Brenna Neault got in. Love Birt just missed out.

Qualified to nationals (25): Lee, Di Cello, Bowers, Wong, Scott, Barros, Tatum, McClain, Lippeatt, Greaves, Alipio, Finnegan, Jung-Ruivivar, Blakely, Soma, German, Gravier, Morris, Butler, Jeffrey, Harris, Chio, Dean, Rosen, Neault.

Meet back here in three hours for the seniors? Deal?


15 thoughts on “US Classic Junior Live Blog”

  1. I’m not watching anymore because the stream is just trash- no quad screen, no full routines. It’s just 30 second crap shots of random beam choreo or someone walking away from an event, followed by the cover screen. Disappointed so I’ll just stare at the live blog here refreshing every 30 seconds.

    1. Why? I hate watching a gymnast just standing next to an apparatus waiting for the judges to be ready when I know there are other routines going on I could be watching.

    2. I hate watching a gymnast just standing around waiting for the judges to be ready when I know there are other routines going on I could be watching.

    1. This made my day. I feel Cogsworth should be a COP skill.

      Also, I have some minor vision issues and the quad screen does not work for me. Single view is so much better.

  2. Wow, in this second rotation the didn’t show Bowers or Tatum or Wong or DiCello…

  3. I like to see all of the gymnasts but the quad screen doesn’t work for me I find it too visually distracting

  4. Was this the last chance to qualify for nationals (other than petitoning?) or will there be a verification camp?

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