US Nationals – Senior Women Day 1 Live Blog

The senior women’s field is…not the one we started with. The latest post-PT withdrawals of Emma Malabuyo and Madelyn Williams bring us down to 21 competitors. Still solid.

Malabuyo was struggling was back problems at Classic, limiting her to only two events, and those limitations mean there’s no point in pushing through two events of a national championship where she could risk re-injuring it for exactly no reason. 

Lots of eyes will be on Ragan Smith today. A rough podium training has shed some doubt on her current place on a presumptive worlds team. She needs to show this weekend that she brings something vital in a 3-up, 3-count format. She needs top-3 finishes on multiple events.

[Blood curdling child army scream]

Guess which one is Simone.

We’re moving on to warm up for the first event. Macready is basically verbally abusing people for not doing a dance, so it’s the usual.

Remember that you can watch the international feed without commercials and with more routines. Recommended.


Frazier – BB – wolf double turn – aerial to straddle to split, secure, foot form – bhs loso, also secure – Side America – side somi, solid – side aerial, large bend at the hips, saves it – switch 1/2, actually not too bad – switch to sissone – double pike, small bounce back. Good one aside from that one big lean. Should be solid score.

Blanco – VT – nice clean form on full, bounce back

Carey – FX – big Moors with a couple steps back and OOB, but the form was actually improved – DLO 1/1 with hop back – L hop 1/1 – switch 1/1, got it fully around – double double, also just a small hop – drops a little early in double L. May not get it. Split full, also around – front tuck through to full in, Her best pass of the routine, great landing.

Hit Amanar from Chiles. BIG DEAL. 15.000.

McCallum – BB – wolf triple and wolf double look good as far as those skills go

Smith – UB – inbar – inbar full, collapses in the legs and has to add extra swing – inbar 1/2 to jaeger is hit but then another extra swing – hits both stalder tkatchevs well actually – pak is nice – FTDT hop back. The second half was great, and she worked out the problems from before, but missed on weird stuff at the beginning.

Blakely – VT – really pretty full, just a small pace back – good height and legs – NCAA 9.900.

Dunne – FX – DLO, gets it around, somewhat short with a lunge forward – 2/1, crazy legs – switch ring, nice – split full, a little short – front tuck through to double tuck, secure, small slide – switch 1/2 – not around on wolf double – double pike

Hurd – BB – nailed tuck full – side aeiral, strong – bhs loso, solid – aerial to split to straddle, first check – switch – back tuck, broken connection between two – Side America is hit – full turn – switch ring, solid – double pike, hop back. Probably one of her most secure beam routines. Good.

Biles – FX – Moors, excellent, medium slide back, great form maintained – front lay through to full in – gets around the Gogean this time and should get credit – Biles to stag and hops OOB on it – was going better until then – wolf double, solid – switch full, close enough – double double and hops OOB with both feet.

McCusker – UB – toe full – Shap, strong, connected to Tkatchev, a little close – Rican to Pak to Shap 1/2, good execpt for Pak legs, which we very straddled – OK dismount, pace forward

It’s 14.450 for Simone. Mostly because of the OOB, for which she got the real-life 0.6 this time.

Eaker – FX – whip 2.5 to front full, lovely twisting form, deeeep landing but worked it out – front layout to front 2/1 – gets her Memmel around – 3/1, short with a hop forward – switch ring – switch 1/1 was borderline around – split full, nice – double pike, slide back, not bad

Jones – UB – stalder full to toe shap to Pak, some legs – Shap 1/2 – finishes DTST with pace back. Good.

Thomas – BB – switch to switch 1/2 to straddle, lovely – may actually also get the connection – bhs to loso, saves a check – aerial to split to tuck jump 1/2, also fluid – side somi – switch side to Side America, that one may have been tighter – side aeral – 2/1 with small slide

Chiles Amanar was super good, small hop forward

Kenlin – FX – front 2.5 mount, bounces pretty far out of it – nice Memmel, will get it – front 2/1 to layout to stag, good – double L may have dropped below horizontal a little early but close – switch ring and split leap full – double tuck, stuck, a little deep – double pike with legs apart, deep landing with a hop. Not at her peak coming back, but pretty solid, more so than expected since she missed classic

When Andrea starts talking about abuse and you’re just bracing yourself for it to get…ROUGH.

After 1, Chiles is leading with her Amanar 15.000, McCusker got a 14.500 on bars despite some issues, and Biles got a 14.450 on floor, also despite some issues. Major players will be pleased with their starts except for Smith, who went 13.350 on bars and is in 16th.

Macready never met a dance he didn’t want to run into the ground for 11 years.


Smith – BB – wolf turn double, back to the double with a small check – bhs layout, secure – back tuck full with a step – front pike, tucks it a little with a leg-up check – side straddle to side split, short on the split – aerial – bhs bhs double pike, short and hands down. She’s having a rough day through two events. Not the day she needed. 13.100.

Biles – VT – Cheng is fab, one of her best, small hop back is all. E will be huge. Honestly they may go 9.7-9.8 E. Wouldn’t be that surprised. 9.600 E for a 15.600.

Biles – VT 2 – casual second vault Amanar with a small hop forward.

13.050 on bars for Chiles. 13.800 for McCallum.

Shchennikova – UB – inbar full to inbar Shap to tkatchev, good – tkatchev to Pak to Stalder to Stalder Shap 1/2 – stalder 1/2 – and dismount to her face. That’s more what we were seeing in training

Carey – VT 1 – just the DTY, with a bounce back

Carey – VT 2 – Lopez with a hop back

Fine vaults, but not the difficulty she needs there. Relying on floor right now.

Hurd – FX – double double tuck, small hop – DLO, only small hop as well. good = split leap 1.5 is excellent, right around – front lay to frotn 2/1 to stag, also solid – switch ring – splti ring leap – split jump 1/1 – double pike, small hop. Girl is on tonight.

Davis – UB – toe full to Pak – can’t cast out of Pak and has to step off. Sigh.

McCusker – BB – wolf turn triple is good, as is the double – aerial to split to back tuck, connected, very nice split jump – bhs loso loso, right on – switch to switch 1/2 to Korbut, breaks connection there and short in the switch 1/2 – split leap to side aerial, totally bails on that split leap 180 though, not close – bhs bhs double tuck, took it really close to the beam and a couple paces back, but still OK

Thomas – FX – switch leap 1/1, so high – DLO, also high, hop back – 2.5 through to double tuck, struggles to get it around, lunge back and OOB – wolf turn 2.113 – front lay to front 2/1, a little more sluggish than we expect but around – double pike, short with a couple steps – seemed like not quite the endurance for a full elite floor, but fine.


Frazier – FX – good height on split 1.5 – DLO, stuck, Hambricks it down in the second salto, but we know that will be fine for NCAA –  double arabian to stag, also super secure – switch – switch 1/2 – full in, a little short with a hop forward – struggles on wolf 2.25 with some wobbling – double tuck, small slide. Good.

Standings after the second rotation will have Biles in first (duh) Carey and McCusker tied for second after Carey’s good events, Chiles in 4th, held up by her vault score, and Hurd in 5th. Smith is 12th.

Looks like Kenlin did not vault.

Andrea is now doing her bead bucket best with Tom Forster. I like how her first question is basically, “Everything’s great. How great is it?” Yep. That tracks.


Some important floor routines coming up in this rotation.

Hurd – VT – DTY with a normal hop back from her, medium sized.

Biles – UB – Weiler 1/2 to Shap to tkatchev, solid – a shoret hs before toe full to tkatchev piked to Pak, but no trouble in the skills – Shap 1/2, strong – double double, small hop. Nice hit. Only issue was a couple short handstands. Will get a massive total, I’m sure.

Johnston – FX – DLO, nice stick, just chest down – whips to double tuck, also stuck – split jump 1/1 – switch ring and switch 1/2, fine – front 2/1, a little under –

Thomas – VT – the legend of Trinity’s vault is now a Y1.5, small hop, mostly lovely in the air – 14.000

Simone is winning every event.

Blakely – BB – wolf double, hit – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, won’t get all the connections but solid execution – front hs to front tuck, opens out of that front tuck so well – aerial, pause correction – split to split jump 1/2, short back leg – side aerial, small check – side somi, big lean forward – double tuck, large stumble back

Carey – UB – Ray, hit with feet – Yezhova is good – toe Shap to Pak, her transitions are her best part – some handstands – arch on toe on – comes in close on FTDT but hit.

Jones – FX – finishes floor with double tuck

Good DTY from McCallum –

Gilstrap with pretty front tuck to split on beam –

“Maggie Haney, who coached Laurie Hernandez, seen here in definitely very different shots.”

McCusker – FX – DLO, taken OOB right in the air, but it did look less Shannon-96 tonight – front 2/1 to front tuck, really struggled getting out that front tuck, and a deep landing, we’ve seen her do that before – wolf turn triple – double pike, small hop – switch ring – split leap 1/1, nice position – double tuck, small hop back. Some problems in there but OK. Not as on today as Classic, but she’s still in line for a good AA total today

Davis – BB – aerial to split ring jump with feet – bhs loso, secure – switch to switch 1/2 to split jump 1/2 – side aerial, hit – Onodi with a check – split jump to wolf jump – switch ring – double pike, chest down but just a small hop

Soza – FX – nice full in, a small stagger backward – front full to front tuck – switch ring – split leap 1.5, not quite – double L to illusion turn – double tuck, shuffle back – switch leap 1/1 – double pike, down with a hop forward

Some lovely leap work from Blanco on beam. Her side somi isn’t even awful. L turn with a check – 2/1 short with a hop

Smith – FX – DLO, a little short and an OOB, hop forward – 1.5 through to 3/1, under but may still get credit for 3/1, def more like 2.7 though – double arabian – side-armed it and a little deep – she’s getting through, though – pulls around a wolf triple – double pike, hit, a little forward – better than PT.

Chiles – BB – rushes out of her flexibility mount like NO – wolf double – bhs loso, secure – aerial to straddle to wolf, nice – side aerial, strong – switch to switch 1/2 – switch 1/2 still very short – side somi, hit – front tuck, a little deep but held well – double pike, stuck. One of her solidest beam routines. But of course she fell on bars.

After 3, we have Simone leading, duh, followed by Hurd, who moved up as expected, then McCallum who is currently ahead of McCusker. Chiles’ hit on beam gets her back to 5th.


Eaker – BB – Y spin – aerial, split ring jump to bhs, breaks that connection a little – split leap is correct, into side somi, hit – switch ring to bhs to scale is lovely – switch to switch side with a leg up wobble – 2.5 dismount with giant bound forward. Well, it was a hit this time.

McCusker – VT – DTY, pretty good, somewhat short with a hop forward –

Smith – DTY – her best event of the day – just a small hop adjustment on landing

Blakely just had a stumble back on a 2.5 on floor and sits it after traveling most of the floor

Frazier – UB – toe Shap 1/2, good – clear hip 1/2 to piked jaeger, hit – Toe on piked tkatchev, taken too far and falls – resumes, shap to tkatchev is good – sticks DLO.

Nastia’s comment about “respect your coaches, nod your head” makes me die a little inside.

Carey – BB – “and really hasn’t been that bad on the balance beam” TEH PRAISE – split leap to side aerial is good, Side America is also hit, not bad leaps at all so far – bhs loso to back pike (attempted layout, but it’s at least a whip back if not a pike) – solid switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck – aerial to split to straddle, no wobbles – double pike, a little deep with a lunge. back. Good.

McCallum – UB – weiler 1/2 with a pause – stalder shap to tkatchev, hit – Pak, solid – toe shap 1/2, good legs together – toe on – toe full late to FTDT with step back. She had quite a good day.

Carey gets 13.750 on beam (which is huge), but we’re hearing about how low it is for some reason.

Hurd – UB – inbar shap to stalder full to tkatchev, nice – rican to Pak, smooth – nice toes of course – just a leg break or two – inbvar 1/2 – inabr 1/1 fairly late – tries to sell the stick on FTDT – not quite but a good routine and one of her solidest days.

McCallum finishes just .150 behind McCusker. Big deal. Unfortunately for her she’s the Allan Bower of the women and doesn’t really have THE EVENT.

Chiles – FX – 1.5 through to double arabian with a lunge OOB – and another bound OOB on her second pass, the double arabian piked – switch to split leap full, she has improved these floor leaps – DLO super short with a couple big lunges forward – switch 1/2 still had back leg issues – double pike, stuck with chest down. She needed a big floor to back up for big vault, and that wasn’t it.

Hurd finishes 57.000, breaking 57 for the first time. This time she’ll be the one a point ahead of McCusker.

Biles – BB – triple wolf with a big lean forward to save it – barani is solid, a little slide – bhs loso loso, no trouble at all – switch to switch 1/2 to back pike, secure – front pike, secure as well – aerial to split – bhs bhs full in, just a small hop. Pretty much perfect after the opening wolf.

Shchennikova – FX – front lay to double front to stag, pulled it around this time, good – double pike with a big stagger but stayed in – switch ring – switch 1/2, solid – back 1.5 to front full, hoppy – wolf turn triple is around – as it the double – double tuck, some cowboy, sticks it. Good routine for her.

15.200 for Simone on beam, bringing her to 60.100.

So there’s that.

1. Biles – 60.100
2. Hurd – 57.000
3. McCusker – 56.050
4. McCallum – 55.900
5. Thomas – 55.500
6. Jones – 55.300
7. Carey – 54.950
8. Eaker – 54.800

Smith finishes tied for 9th. Chiles is 12th.

Obviously a big day for Biles. Also a very impressive competition for Hurd, one of her best days in the AA. McCusker wasn’t as solid as Classic but still did well for third. Nothing that changes her status.

Carey got the big floor score she needed for second on that event, which keeps her spot afloat, but she’s not there for vault quite yet. Conversely, Chiles is there for vault with that 15.000 on an Amanar, but isn’t showing another competitive event.

And then there’s Smith. This was not a good day, and does not help her prospects for worlds, where if you were basing the decision on today, she would not be on the team. She’ll need to show progress by the selection camp.

As for the numbers – if you were to make a worlds team using only the scores from tonight, the highest-scoring team would be Biles, Hurd, McCusker, Carey, and Chiles. That team would bring Chiles for vault, Carey for vault and floor, and leave the rest to the big three.

The “both Carey AND Chiles” team argument will gain a lot of traction after tonight.



79 thoughts on “US Nationals – Senior Women Day 1 Live Blog”

  1. I’m guessing there’s no way to watch live if you don’t have the Olympic Channel? Guess I’ll have to wait for the replay at 10? Gonna need you to paint a picture for me, Spencer

    1. USAG has a youtube feed, but apparently no commentators.
      I’m outraged that gym is still being treated this poorly. USAG had been providing commentators, but apparently now they can’t be bothered to treat their own events like events that matter. Meanwhile, NBC basically is lying that they’re covering this meet – the Olympic Channel is covering this meet, NBC is showing a pathetically late tape delay in off-hours (in favor of non-live programming, at least in my market). And USAG apparently is just cool with it. In this age of excellent SECN etc coverage, elite coverage is regressing.

      1. Honestly, I don’t think a live telecast, a tape-delayed telecast on a larger channel, AND an online stream is “being treated poorly”

      2. The international streams have never had commentators, from what I remember.

      3. NBC owns the Olympic Channel. So I don’t see how they are lying. The meet will be shown on NBC, as well.

        I wish coverage would improve, but it is so much better than it used to be. You have TV and an online stream. USAG usually posts individual routines later.

        I think people will never be happy. They complained about the Olympic coverage too and NBC had a stream online that showed every single routine from every single country, even qualifications.

      4. I don’t think USAG has a lot of say in how NBC chooses to cover their meets, beyond threatening to go to another network once their contract is up if they’re unhappy? They need NBC’s money. NBC does not need gymnastics.

  2. I think as long as Ragan’s top 3 on beam, she’ll still be in pretty good shape. The rest of the presumptive team covers the bases well anyway, so I think she just needs to show she could add to that somewhere.

      1. yeah they really don’t need another beam worker. Simone, Hurd, Riley are great on beam, there’s no need for another beamer just for beam

      2. There’s no real need for a fifth person at all. Anyone who can break into the presumptive four’s scores puts forward an argument for herself.

  3. You can’t watch the international feed in the US, FYI . You get this message: Video unavailable
    The uploader has not made this video available in your country.

  4. Can you watch the international feed from the US? It just says it’s not available in my country

  5. I can’t seem to watch the international feed (through a VPN as I’m in the US). Any other links to streams if I don’t have a cable subscription?

  6. Anyone else find it awful that Nationals is in Aly’s hometown and they didn’t invite her, but they’re doing a trivia feature with Laurie…

    1. Did Aly say she wasn’t invited?

      And she does have an active lawsuit pending against them, so it would be weird.

      1. My issue was more with the fact that they featured Laurie so prominently. It just seemed really odd to me

      2. Then why did you say it was awful she wasn’t invited??? Did you just assume they only invited Laurie?

        USAG has totally screwed up and deserves its share of criticism, but being upset that Aly wasn’t featured at Nationals without knowing whether she was even invited or even wants to be there seems a bit ridiculous.

      3. Aly was upset because she was invited as a guest of TD Garden instead of the USAG. To her it shows that even after all that happened, they still don’t care.

  7. Athletes are stepping up the leo game. I’m glad we’ve moved past the “everything must be hot pink” phase.

  8. Simone’s artistry on floor is really improved from classic. I enjoyed watching her routine so much more because it was more performed and she didn’t look miserable. She is amazing!!!

  9. I’m thinking Biles, Hurd, and McCusker are locks. Carey is for floor alone but hopefully she upgrades her vaults.

    And honestly, that covers most of the bases. Like they don’t really need a fifth person! So Kara Eaker for beam, Ragan for beam, Chiles for vault, Schennikova for bars. Any of those could be just extra. But none are consistent.

    Ps I love McCallum- I hope she hits Sunday and ends up an alternate for worlds. She’s adorable.

    1. I agree with you 100% So far Biles, Hurd, McCusker are in and could be the three AA. Plus Carey on VT & FX. Those four alone should have scores among the Top 3 on any event and should be set for TF. That leaves the final slot open for a UB/BB specialist in QF, which would have been perfect for Locklear.

      For this reason I could see them taking Shchennikova for UB with Carey doing VT/BB/FX. Or, if Malabuyo and/or Smith look excellent at verification they could get the third AA spot with McCusker relegated to UB/BB.

      1. Possible they take Perea for UB if she’s better at world’s selection camp. She’d be the only one with more difficulty than Simone. I think she’s a knee injury, but for bars only… possible.

        Are we clear on the injury to O’Keefe? Will she be ready by selection camp? I feel like if Smith still looks the way she does then one of the injured top new seniors (Perea, O’Keefe, Malabuyo, and even Kenlin as UB/BB) could definitely sneak in there if they’re ready.

    2. I’m not fully sold on Carey yet. Her floor score could get docked heavily internationally for lack of artistry/musicality. Honestly, I’m disappointed they didn’t focus on presentation more while she was recovering from injury. (Ah-hem, this is where a national coordinator’s advise would have been helpful)
      Her tumbling is phenomenal, but I see her scores realistically in the mid 13’s at worlds. Vault – she’d have to bring upgrades to camps to make her case above Chiles, which I expect she will do.

  10. Pretty phenomenal that Simone broke 60 with -0.6 in OOB deductions on floor.

  11. Tell me the point of Chiles? She has a weak second vault. She finally pulled out an amanar, after having issues with it in training. She is valuable nowhere really with Simone, and Carey if she get’s her Cheng, and does her Amanar, plus her floor, she brings a top 3 score for the team on 2 events. Chiles, doesnt… basically um she has an amanar… but a tsuk full… why sway?

      1. Um did you forget this is a TEAM, AA, and individual event final comp? My point remains exactlythefuckinsame. 🙂

    1. I agree that Carey is the one trying for vault event finals along with Biles if it came to a showdown but Carey isn’t doing her hardest vaults right now. With potentially Carey, Biles, Hurd, and McCusker filling every spot in a three up three count situation, anyone added would just be to boost up a “weak” event. Granted vault isn’t weak, but Chiles could bump up their score there. That’s the only reason I could see her in the mix.

    2. Based on today’s results, Chiles is the one who adds the most to the team total after the four of Biles, Hurd, McCusker and Carey. You are basically getting an uplift of 0.5 points if she can get that consistent. It’s odd, considering she has not proven to be even a useful backup on the other events. You can’t get the same uplift from any of the candidates on UB. BB is another story — at their peak either Smith or Eaker might make sense, especially the former (as the latter is too inexperienced). Sadly, it seems like Smith just needs to get some surgery on her ankle and/or let it heal. It’s like you need an alternate pool of like three or four athletes to swap in for the fifth, depending on the status of the four. Day two will help clarify things.

    3. I totally agree with you. The US has such an edge in the team comp that there is simply no need to take someone for an Amanar only. An Amanar, that’s inconsistent from an athlete with no other usable events.

    4. The point of Chiles is that she could bump the team score by around a half a point on vault. Plus potentially make vault finals and have a better chance to medal there than Carey if Jade does not upgrade her vaults. All the bases are pretty much covered by 4 people alone, so the fact that Chiles has been messy on all the other events doesn’t really matter if she can continue to do well on vault.

      If Carey doesn’t make the team I could see a case for Grace McCallum because she tends to score pretty well on floor and vault where ISA probably doesn’t want to use McCusker in TF

  12. Can’t say enough about Simone (just wow), Morgan (57.00!!) and Riley (who showed that she can put up top-three scores across multiple events even when less-than-perfect).

    I wonder whether Jade vaulting a DTY tonight is about pacing, given her knee injury from a few months ago and the huge floor she is doing. She landed some Amanars in PT.

    Does anyone else think that it’s too soon in the recovery process for Ragan to be pushing herself so hard? I’d rather see her focus on getting into top shape for 2019 and 2020 than push for 2018 Worlds and potentially re-injure herself in the process.

    1. I completely agree it’s too soon for Ragan. The injury is clearly bothering her. I, too, was cringing every single time she landed a floor pass, a dismount, pounded her ankle on beam, and her landing on the DTY vault, which actually was her best event. She didn’t look confident at all. I can’t understand why if the ankle is bothering her that she or her coaches would think the constant pounding it’s taking is somehow a good idea. Better to let it heal COMPLETELY and then focus on 2019 and 2020. As we see every quad, what really matters is peaking the Olympic year (e.g., Kyla Ross, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian).

      1. I don’t see her making it to Tokyo. The fact that she’s competing with the injury that she had in Montreal is absolutely absurd and I can’t believe her coaches didn’t think that if she was going to get surgery, the perfect time for it to happen was when she still had 2.5 years of preparation ahead of her.

      2. Coaches? The athlete and parents should have ultimate say on whether to go forward with surgery now, later, or never. Coaches shouldn’t make medical decisions. If Ragan is 18, then legally, it is her decision alone to make.

      3. Anonymous- But it IS the coaches’ place to say they won’t coach an athlete in that condition

  13. Way to go Simone…she is so dominent…my other favs they didn’t show..ill have to go to usagynnastics youtube channel. Kara Eaker had an amazing meet..i wanted to see her beam. I don’t see Frazier or Thomas continuing elite but they will rock NCAA. I see the dark horses as being Shilese Jones and Grace McCallum and Kara Eaker. So happy for Jade Carey. Her beam was good. Poor Ragan..i feel for her.

  14. Simone the bar worker…lol… who would’ve thought…’s too bad that she didn’t podium for bars at worlds in 2013…

    I could see her qualified as US 2nd bar at worlds if she hits..

    1. I secretly hope that she will get a worlds bars medal “accidentally” so she will have at least 1 medal on every event…… but hopefully not at the cost of mccusker messing up or anything like that…

  15. I think simone,morgan,jordan,riley, and jade would be a good team. Trinity would fit somewhere to though

  16. I was glad the TV coverage showed a lot of routines and it wasn’t just the Simone show all night. However, it was odd that they showed all of Frazier’s routines and talked about UCLA/Jordyn/Waller so much. Meanwhile McCullum was shown once and Trinity Thomas twice. Not to mention many other athletes who placed higher and or similar to Frazier weren’t shown at all. Does anyone know why? Was Frazier expected to place higher and that’s why they focused on her so much?

  17. I agree that McCallum is the Allan Bower but that makes her the perfect alternate for Worlds as she can fill in on any event. And given that I think she and Hurd appear to be the only healthy gymnasts around the top, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her competing.

    A team with Carey and Chiles on it might be theoretically high scoring but has no backups if someone is injured mid-meet. Carey seems like the best vault-floor option if you are only taking one. So then if you want one bars-beam option, looks like it would be a choice between Kara Eaker and Trinity Thomas (who hasn’t decided if she even wants to do Worlds).

    1. That’s exactly how I feel. An extra 0.4 for another Amanar isn’t worth risking having to use Jordan or Jade in the team final on bars if Riley, Morgan or Simone gets injured. A Kara Eaker, Trinity Thomas or a healthy Gabby Perea seem like better options.

  18. I said it last year and I’ll say it again, Chiles will be your perfect alternate. Like forever.

    1. And since Jarey added AA, she’s the better option for a team. Yes she still goes for vault and floor but she can provide back up on the other events if someone gets injured. Chiles has horrible splits and handstands, she doesn’t score well internationally.

  19. I agree that Simone, Hurd, McCusker and Carey are pretty much locks barring injuries. That gives you 2 medal opportunities in every event really.
    VT: Simone, Jade
    BB: Simone, McCusker/Hurd
    UB: Simone, McCusker
    FX: Simone, Jade
    It’s funny that they don’t even need a fifth person BUT I could see them taking someone to replace the top scores on TF just to give some rest to the allarounders. Like Simone would be a top score for bars but they could take McCallum and have her replace Simome in TF on bars to save Simone for EF. Maybe do the same with Hurd’s floor or vault. It’s basically what they did with Maggie Nichols in 2015. Trinity could also fit in that role or Smith is healthy.

    1. Talk about carrying the team …lol…. That’s a lot for simone…..including even bars now…..I mean the US doesn’t need simone to carry them like iodarche with the romanian team but still that’s a lot she’s taking on…

    2. I feel like they’d never “sacrifice” the TF with lower scores to rest individuals (but that was the old Marta way, so who knows how it will work now).

      I feel like for a fifth person they need a beam/bars person- except there really isn’t anyone there at nationals. I really want Malabuyo and OKeefe to be ready by worlds- either could take that fifth spot if healthy.

    1. I’m interested to see how Jenny Rowland coaches them. Rhonda knew how to win titles, so it’ll be interesting to see if Rowland can do the same. I’m not completely sold yet — her interviews are often just strange, but she has definitely kept up excellent recruiting.

      1. I think Rowland was brilliant with her former elite frosh last year. She held them back early in the season, and they were massive contributors to their third place finish at nats. The team certainly peaked when they needed to. People are always picking at her hair, wardrobe, voice, but I think her results prove that she’s coaching the team well.

  20. I cringe every time the commentary mentions “pretty lines” or that “there is a lightness about her”. Just come out and say what you really mean! “I like this gymnast because she’s very thin.”

  21. Off topic, but after seeing the headline image of Morgan on the beam, I want to make a version of the beam that allows marks to either be velcroed or magneted on and then removed because dang, all those marks look really…trashy. And how a gymnast can tell their mark from someone else’s mark, ???.

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