Things Are Happening – August 31, 2018


Because it just doesn’t stop. The insanity grows ever richer. It would be funny…if it weren’t clearly a meth addiction.

So, here are the developments of the last two days from the saga that is Mary Lee Tracy.

1) Mary Lee Tracy was appointed as the new head of the elite developmental program.

I had issues with choosing MLT for this position, including but not limited to her status as an insider in a program that desperately needs outsider perspectives, her public support of That Guy coming MONTHS after everyone already knew exactly how awful he was, and horror stories related by former athletes like Dominique Moceanu and Alyssa Beckerman.

I would have preferred the selection a coach who seemed to understand how hurtful it is to respond to news of abuse with “MY athletes had a great time, so…”

Because imagine having that conversation in person.

Athlete: I was abused by Larry Nassar.
You: Well, everyone I know had a positive experience with him. Continue reading Things Are Happening – August 31, 2018

NCAA Roster Reveals

We still have quite some time before we become fully ensnared by anticipation for the NCAA season, but we need this right now. So in case you hadn’t heard, late August is already upon us. The actual meets may still be more than four months away, but mandatory-bonding-exercises season is ALIVE AND WELL. And isn’t that what we’re really here for? (It isn’t.)

Late August also means that we’re right in the midst of roster-reveal season. This will happen in stages and incompletely—some schools won’t actually know their rosters until the season is almost over (barely kidding), some freshmen won’t arrive until January and will be badly kept secrets until then, some walk-ons will disappear in about 2.5 months—but we do already have some complete rosters to inspect. I’ll note all newcomers, as well as any early or unexpected departures and any applicable coaching changes.


Added signed freshmen Olivia Trautman and Allie Stern and walk-on Emma LaPinta.

Added sophomore transfer Karrie Thomas from Maryland. Last season, Thomas had a floor RQS of 9.850 and a bars RQS of 9.820.


Added signed freshmen Trinity Thomas, Sydney Johnson-Scarpf, Leah Clapper, Savannah Schoenherr, and Nya Reed, and walk-on Halley Taylor.

Francesca Lawal is no longer on the roster.


Added freshman walk-on Rebecca D’Antonio. (Bailey Ferrer is slated to be a January addition.)

Gracen Standley is no longer on the roster. Standley did not compete in 2018.


Added signed freshmen Hunter Dula, Cammy Hall, Cristal Isa, and Adrienne Randall.

Erika Muhaw is no longer on the roster, having graduated in three years—so she was technically a senior last season even though it was only her third year at Utah. Continue reading NCAA Roster Reveals

Things Are Happening – August 29, 2018

A. Oof


You guys.

Because of the New USAG—the one with SO MUCH FRESH START that is committed to both listening AND hearing the survivors—the organization has selected fresh-faced newcomer Mary Lee Tracy as the latest coordinator of the US elite developmental program, the program that comprises the steps before junior elite for athletes on that track.

This is the same position that Valeri Liukin held in the Late Martha Dynasty (circa 2012-16), and that Tom Forster held in the Valerian Interregnum Period of 2017.

So yeah. Sigh. Among the problems here…

This is the most status quo-reinforcing decision USAG could possibly have made. MLT has been a loyal USAG soldier for many years and a public supporter of Martha and the Martha system, someone who seemed fully ready to keep on truckin’ with the same old ways, along with her best buddy, the ranch. Continue reading Things Are Happening – August 29, 2018

Asian Games – What Happened There?

The Asian Games is a big ole deal, you guys. It’s an absolutely massive, quadrennial sports competition that either rivals or exceeds the actual Olympics for sheer size and brings together all the Olympic sports, plus some other things that might not be sports like soft tennis (real?), and some other things that definitely aren’t sports like bridge (get out of my sight).

So, here’s what happened.

Women’s Team

The deepest and strongest delegation at the Asian Games, China casually pranced to a gold medal in the team final by a distinctly Simone margin of victory. The obvious highlight of China’s TF performance came on beam, where Chen Yile and Liu Tingting both hit their huge 6.3 routines. The risky wonder that is Luo Huan didn’t even need to be used in the team final as China was able to opt for the lower difficulty, crisp work of Zhang Jin instead, revealing what an embarrassment of options China has on beam right now. The composition is smart, the execution is fluid, and hopefully that will be rewarded at worlds.

Bars did not go well in the team final. It didn’t matter. Bars didn’t need to go well for China to win, and for the most part, Chinese bars remains Chinese bars. Right now, China doesn’t have a clear D advantage over countries like the US and Russia the way it has in past years (for example, Biles has a 6.1 now and the Chinese team peaked at 6.0 here), but China should at least be able to keep pace with its scores. Bars is not the real concern. The concerns are vault and floor.

On vault, China had to use two Yurchenko fulls in the team final here. The hope will be that Zhang’s DTT and Chen’s DTY can return for worlds so that they could join Liu Jinru to make an acceptably competitive vault lineup. At least one needs to happen because China can’t be throwing out fulls in a worlds team final. Japan would absolutely eat that up. Continue reading Asian Games – What Happened There?