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US Nationals – Senior Women Day 1 Live Blog

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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.

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[Blood curdling child army scream]
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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.

ROTATION 1

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.

ROTATION 2

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.

“AND THEY REALLY ARE FRIENDS.”

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.

ROTATION 3

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.

ROTATION 4

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.

 

 

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