US Nationals – Junior Women Day 2 Live Blog

In the race for the national junior title, 4 has become 3. Following the major first day struggles for Jordan Bowers, she has withdrawn from the competition because of an injury that also limited her on day 1, which means we’re looking at Wong, Lee, and DiCello battling for the win.

DiCello begins on bars. Lee and Wong start on beam. Blakely opens on floor, where she had the #2 score on day 1.

I love how Brenna Neault is a casual 8 feet taller than all the other juniors. And she’s like 4’0″.

Warmup time.

Update: Warmup time is long.


Dean – VT – good stick on FTY, clear pike throughout, nice control and comfort on it

DiCello- UB – we missed the beginning, you know how that thrills me – clear hip with a little arch – very nice piked jaeger – stalder 1/2 to FTDT with hop back.

Rosen is a very small human person, good full-in on floor – comfortable front tuck through to 2/1 – single L is nice – double pike, hop forward – popa a little crooked – got nothing on her double tuck final pass but got it around anyway because of tiny, small hop forward

Butler finishes bars with a DLO, good control, a little pike

Jeffrey – BB – standing front tuck to split jump to back tuck sounds like it would go terribly but it’s actually wonder. Some struggles on side jumps. Sticks 2/1 with leg crossing.

Karis German has been placing pretty well this summer, but she seems like one of those who will upgrade everything in the next year or so and then show up next summer with gigantic routines. She just had easily too much power on a dismount double tuck on floor

Chio – UB – piked jaeger, hit – stalder – bail, a little short – leg break in a giant full – DLO, holds stick with a lean. Nice.

Lee – BB – fantastic layout series into leaps – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, also nailed, nice 180 positions – side aerial loso loso with a little lean but small, and the skills were well done – leg-up wobble on a switch ring and another check on split ring, not her strongest skills in the routine – 2/1, a little crunched and a hop. Good hit.

Blakely – FX – finishes double pike, clean, slide back

Morris – UB – inbar, inabr 1/2 – piked jaeger – Pak, has so much room – hesitates in cast 12 with a leg break – giant full a little late with legs, solid FTDT, small hop.

Tatum – FX – full-in, steps OOB, really nice shape on it though – 2.5 to front tuck, a little slide back – split jump 1/1, not quite – front 2/1 to front tuck, another little bounce, nothing major – sam eon double tuck, little hop, comfortable with her acro.

Harris – UB – tkatchev – bail, solid – Khorkina, nice to see – DLO, stuck. Very solid routine.

Alipio – FX – nice open shape on double pike, small slide – tries the double L, close, just drops below horizontal at the end – nice extension on her turning leaps – 1.5 to front full – wolf 2.25 – 2.5, good, small step – if I were an NCAA coach, I would be spamming her every minute.

Wong – BB – large lunge back on dismount, but 3/1, so you know…

Aleah Finnegan had a miss on beam (you may have heard a gasp during Tatum’s floor routine).

13.450 on beam for Wong sees her drop some ground to Lee but maintain the top spot by a tenth. DiCello just behind but got through bars well with a 14.100. So no changes atop the leaderboard after the first rotation.

Sydney Barros has scratched everything but bars today, according to the scores. Texas Nightmares this week?


German – VT – FTY – case in point, that full looks easy for her. Hop back.

Lippeatt – FX – piked full in, hop – 1.5 to double tuck – switch – L hop full, short on some of these dance elements and landings – 2.5 to front tuck – MLT’s baby juniors always have a whiff of Toddlers and Tiaras don’t they? – triple turn, close – double pike, hop forward

Tatum – VT – lands her DTY a little forward this time, not usual for her, with a lunge to the side and a couple steps

Jeffrey – FX – double arabian, a little shuffle landing it but nice in the air – double pike, small hop – she’s kind of the forgotten GAGE in this group but is also quite nice – L hop is how it’s supposed to look – popa to split jump – double tuck, hop back – 2/1, good

Blakely goes 14.500 on vault and has stepped up both her day 1 scores by a tenth.

Lee – FX – DLO, stuck – open full in, deep landing but impressive because open – switch ring – split leap full – if you combined her day 1 leo and this leo, the offspring might be actually nice – 1.5 to front full, some knees, control – squeaks around a wolf triple – stumble back on double tuck but looks to have kept it in bounds

Morris finishes beam with double pike with a hop –

MG Elite is going full corset on the back of the leo (BECAUSE FUN) which means they have to scrunch the number next to it all folded up

Jung-Ruivivar – UB – pretty piked jaeger form – nice toe point – toe full is late to a clean Pak – toe SHap 1/2, catches today – FTDT, stuck. Nice recovery. You can see why we’re all obsessed even though she hasn’t had a great summer of meets in the hitting department.

Finnegan – FX – 2.5 to layout surprised her a little on the landing with a shuffle back – 1/2 to rudi, pretty – wonderful leaps of course – 2/1, small hop –

During podium training I watched Armine lead the GAGE juniors in their flexibility stretch on beam, and it explains exactly why GAGE athletes look so beautiful and miserable. #perfecthell

Wong – FX – double arabian to stag, good – popa, clean and precise – 3/1, lovely, hop back – switch ring to split leap full, lands that one a little short today with an adjustment – double pike, deep landing with a hop forward – drops leg in double L, won’t get it – she’s struggling with this routine a tad today after being so excellent on day 1 – 2.5 is quite nice, small movement

Brenna Neault saved a loso series on beam by accidentally doing it to one foot.Finishes double tuck with lunge back.

Wong still gets 13.400 on floor, which is still higher than anyone else. Perhaps a little bit of expectation scoring.

Di Cello – BB – gets her wolf triple around, as well as the double – this combination will henceforth be known as THE BEAST – a couple hesitations here and there but nothing major – bhs loso loso series is solid if not super extended – aerial – split ring – some feet issues in a lot of skills but she’s secure today – hits Side America – 2/1 with step back. Good.

Wong holds onto her lead over Lee after two events, and we’d expect that to continue after vault. Lee will have a chance to pass on bars if she gets another big score. Di Cello goes 13.800 on beam which allows her to move ahead of Lee as well. Blakely is right there with both of them but has already done vault. McClain and Greaves currently maintaining the other two spots in the automatic national team places.


Jeffrey – VT – full, a little short with a hop

Blakely – UB – inbar to inbar 1/1 to tkatchev to pak, nice – Shap – giant 1/2 is short – stalder full, nice vertical, FTDT with step back. Got through another solid one. She has feet in places but overall really nice form.

Lee – VT – suuuuper deep forward staggered landing on her DTY with a lunge to the side. Eef.

Gravier finishes beam with a 2/1, step to the side.

I can’t with MG Elite putting them in these baby prostitute leos.

Finnegan – VT – pretty solid DTY, not quite comfortable with a bounce back, but much more upright than Finnegan.

Correction from Greaves on a loso series, leg goes up but she saves.

Morris finishes floor with double pike, hop back

Wong – VT – lovely DTY, a medium hop back this time, but typical great form, so nice

Lee got only 13.500 on her vault, which means Blakely has caught her in the standings.

Wong goes 14.750 for her DTY to extend her lead into the unreachable-as-long-as-she-hits territory, after gaining more than a point on Lee on vault.

Harris – FX – full-in, chest a bit down but fine – 1.5 to front tuck full, overtwisted that 1.5 and couldn’t get much on the front tuck, super messy and to the side, just pulled around to her feet – double pike, bounce back – double tuck, sneaks up on her a little with a stagger back

Jung-Ruivivar just pulls around a double pike beam dismount

Rosen – UB – toe on – nannies-in-mary-poppins straddle jaeger but she caught it – got through with a hit routine

Barros has now officially scratched all four events.

Dean – BB – bhs loso loso, secure, tight  aerial, shortish with a lean correction – has to save again on a side aerial – Side America is good – 2.5, step forward

German – UB – legs in a shap 1/2 but caught – piked jaeger hit, feet separated and flexed – she’s powering through this bars routine – DLO, small hop

McClain – BB – gorrrrgeous height on layout series, stumbles landing but saves it – nailed back full to split to wolf jump, good height on wolf jump too, a little thing but that’s how it should look – side aerial – switch to switch 1/2 – back tuck, strong – aerial – small check in split ring – double pike, lunge back

Di Cello – FX – 1.5 through to 2.5 with hop – double tuck, bounce back but does well not to put her second foot down as it would have been OOB

Butler – FX – piked full in – nice –

Wong is clearly out in front going to the last event and just needs to hit bars to be the national junior champion.

Blakely, Di Cello, and Lee are all tied for 2nd (“I’d like to have a walk-off between the following three models”). Advantages to Di Cello because she’s going to vault, and Lee because she can score vault-level numbers on bars. The fight for the podium is on. McClain is actually not far back after her awesome beam for 14.150.

McClain and Greaves are currently retaining their 5-6 spots, but Tatum is right there challenging Greaves and could catch her with a big beam.


Morris – VT – FTY, small hop

Lee – UB – stalder 1/2 to piked jaeger, a little close but fine – Nabieva to Pak to Shap to Gienger, so good – toe full – to FTDT, excellent.

Bonus points for hitting during Gravier’s floor music.

Tatum – BB – Side America with a lean – a few corrections here and there like on the straight jump 1/1 from side position – 2/1 with hop

14.750 for Lee, just a .05 less than day 1. DiCello needs to match her day 1 vault to tie Lee now.

Graves – FX – nice open full-in (it’s the new thing) with a step back – front tcuk through to 2.5 stag jump – popa – nice split leap full – double pike, step – double tuck, small hop. Good routine. That should keep her ahead of Tatum for the top 6.

Alipio – BB – lovely aerial to split – pretty good height on layout as well – switch to switch 1/2 , smooth – side aerial to loso with a lean correction – switch side – Side America is actually nice – 2.5 with step forward

Di Cello – VT – wow she stuck that DTY. It’s 14.900, enough to put her ahead of Lee.

Wong dismounts bars with DLO that we didn’t get to see (FUN!) but it was lovely of course –

Jung-Ruivivar on floor now, looks like she’s have a better day than on Friday.

Chio nearly sticks an FTY.

Wong’s 14.250 on bars gives her the win by more than a point over Di Cello. Lee takes 3rd. Blakley can still get up to 4th place finish with a beam hit later in the rotation.

Dean pulls around a 2.5 to layout on floor, stuck but had to whip around that layout – has to do an accidental handstand on her double pike final pass.

German – BB – switch 1/2 was…not great – solid bhs loso series – switch to sissone to split – Side America not too close to split – aerial is floaty – falls on side aerial – this will be a very low number – good high double tuck dismount.

McClain shows a very high 2.5 into front tuck on floor – 2/1, step back –

Blakely – BB – double wolf with several martial arts arms, but she held it – loso series, good extension, a little hesitation landing – aerial to split to split 1/2, some back leg issue – front tuck with a little lean – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck – large break on side aerial with a bend at the hips but keeps it on the beam – double tuck, small hop

So that does it. Just waiting on Blakely’s beam score now, but she had such a margin that she won’t have trouble making the NT six despite some issues there.

So, Leanne Wong is the junior national champion, and your NT six will be Wong, Di Cello, Lee, McClain, Blakely, and Greaves.

We’ll see if Bowers gets placed onto the team anyway despite her injury, which she should because she’s obviously one of the top six juniors the US has.

Tatum just misses out in 7th place. Strong performance from Sophia Butler puts her in 8th. She had a big day 2 for 52.750.

We’ll have award ceremonies now. BUT WHO WILL HUG EACH OTHER?

Di Cello is the vault champion, Lee wins bars, McClain wins beam, and Wong wins floor. Oh look. I finished the event medals. I bet the ceremony will take longer.

They’re just announcing the automatic top 6 as the national team. The only question was whether they would add Bowers now. Probably will add her soon or after the early 2019 camps when selecting for Jesolo etc. If they have any money left to go to Italy…

11 thoughts on “US Nationals – Junior Women Day 2 Live Blog”

    1. all major players except McClain, Jung-Ruivivar, Blakely, Barros. I don’t know about the mid- to low-tiers.

    2. Sunisa Lee, Leanne Wong, Kayla DiCello, Tori Tatum, Olivia Greaves, Brenna Neault, Aleah Finnegan, JaFree Scott, Karis German, Alexis Jeffrey, Ciena Alipio, Sophia Butler, Sydney Morris, Selena Harris, Lilly Lippeatt, Claire Dean and Zoe Gravier all eligible. So is Jordan Bowers though she is scratching today.

      1. Top 6.
        There will be an additional 8 team members to be named at a later date that can be spread between the seniors and juniors. Bowers will get added in. Tatum or Greaves will likely be added to the team -whoever finishes 7th here.

  1. Karis German y’all. Better remember that name all of her skills are soo easy for her. She’ gonna come and crush juniors next year!

  2. I don’t care who hugs or not, but Blakely and Jung-Ruvivar had a really cute hug during the medal ceremony.

    1. Personally, I do think refusing to congratulate your competitor is worthy of criticism as it’s a public display of bad sportsmanship

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