US Nationals – Senior Women Day 2 Live Blog

What I’m thinking, pre-competition:

1) As we enter the second day, my primary debate topic remains the same as it was before the first day (Ragan Smith Question Mark), but the tone of that question has become much darker. As in…is she OK? We’ll see. Today, she has to show that it was worth choosing to compete at this meet.

2) Who is the second AAer? That question was answered with a pretty emphatic HURD on the first day. We’ll see if that keeps up or if Riley McCusker can make a move and remove that one-point lead Hurd currently enjoys. Overall, it was a strong first day for both, who should both feel comfortable with their places in the grand scheme and in Simone’s royal court.

3) The Chiles-manar. The most significant development of day 1 was the hit, excellent Amanar displayed by Jordan Chiles, a far cry from the misses we saw in podium training. She’ll need to do it again, but that vault is vital because the highest-scoring team of five using the numbers from the first day would (suddenly) include Jordan Chiles.

4) It would also include Jade Carey—even though the two would seem to overlap roles on a worlds team, that’s OK if Biles, Hurd, and McCusker are comfortably handling bars and beam. Which they can. Right now, Carey’s place would not come because of vault, where she showed a perfectly fine DTY (yet one that many others can mimic), but because of floor, where her upgraded tumbling has put her in near-Biles difficulty territory. If she’s staying with the DTY on day 2, then Carey needs to remain the clear silver medalist on floor to keep making what is basically a one-event argument right now, much like Chiles.

5) Pan Ams spots. Grace McCallum and Shilese Jones made excellent arguments for themselves on day 1, as did Trinity Thomas of course, if she elects to put herself up for that assignment. If she’s available, Thomas should go. With the injuries to so many of those first-year seniors now, my “first year seniors only” plan is probably out the window, which is good news for someone like Shchennikova, who remains in the mix for that assignment. Based on day 1, McCallum, Jones, and Eaker seem clear choices, but they’ll have to keep it up. There are lots of other piranhas circling and remaining spots open to be won.

6) Can Simone beat 60.100? She will be aiming to since she had a million tenths of OOB en route to that 60 on day 1.

You know it’s time when Macready is making mandatory dancing happen.

Oh, they’re pulling out the tears reel again. Must be serious.

Announcing the wrong names for the intro. Excellent start.

The 2008 Olympics have to be interviewed by Macready. Haven’t they been through enough?

Pre-meet update: Simone is good. #analysis


McCusker – FX – DLO, pikes this down a little this time but stays in, a hop – nice split leap 1/1 – frotn 2/1 to front tuck, also better than day 1 – struggles in wolf double attempt, gets two around but it’s awkward – double pike, hop back – switch ring – no trouble with the leaps – double tuck, another little bounce. Problems with the wolf turns but otherwise fine.

Eaker – UB – lovely Shap – tkatchev to Pak, nice – great toes – shap 1/2 – clear hip 1/1, quite late – good piked jaeger – DLO, pikes down with a little hop back

Hurd with another bounce back on her DTY, which she’s been doing lately, but solid. Same score as first day.

Davis – BB – switch ring – double pike dismount, hop back

McCallum – VT – REALLY good DTY, small hop in place, just a touch of legs. Very good.

Biles – UB – weiler 1/2 to Shap , small leg break – connects to tkatchev – good – toe full to piked tkatchev to Pak, solid again – legs were a bit crazy on the Shap 1/2 this time – double double tuck, a little short with a hop. Some more form problems than the first day but still obviously a great score coming.

Pace back from Frazier on her DTY, solid

Gilstrap front tuck to switch to wolf is lovely again. We should talk about how nice she is on beam more. Strong switch ring – did well to pull out a 2/1 dismount after missing her foot a little.

14.550 for Biles. .3 lower than first day, and you can justify at least that.

Dunne – UB – toe full – stalder shap is excellent, connected to pak – toe shap 1/2 also with some crazy legs – toe 1/2, large break at the hips but keeps going – piked jaeger – tkatchev – goes over and has to recast and correct – the individual skills lovely, just looks like she needs more time

McCallum moves ahead of McCusker (because she just did vault), otherwise samesies at the top.

Carey – UB – Ray, hit with flexed feet – blind change to yezhova, hit – toe shap to pak, nice pak – toe shoot, close, short on hs out of it – giant full pretty late – good FTDT. That’s about what she can do on bars. Good one.

SMith – FX – DLO, solid, nearly stuck – 1.5 through to triple full, well short and a hand down, could be viewed as a brush though? – side-winds her double arabian as usual but gets it, just a little short – double pike with shuffle back. Still not her gymnastics.

It’s a 12.600 on floor, so they did take a fall for that, which I’m glad about because her hand did touch the ground

Shchennikova – BB – starts with THE BEAST, hit – bhs loso loso, hit – aerial – split to sissone – onodi with a check – side aerial, another check – switch – side somi, good – bhs bhs double tuck, large cowboy with a hop back. Got through.

Soza – FX – full in with a couple-step shuffle back – 1.5 to front tuck, little hop – switch ring – split leap 1.5, questionable about getting the full 1.5 – double L to illusion – double tuck – lovely leap positions, though, even if she won’t get all of them – double pike, short with a hop

Chiles – BB – oooooooh tried to Wolfkino her wolf turn to save it but falls – some checks after that but finishes with a secure double pike landing

Blanco – BB – side roll points – switch ring, good – bhs loso series, small check, good extension – aerial to split ring jump with wobble – side aerial – switch to switch 1/2, love her toe point maintained in that combination – side somi – L turn like buttah – 2/1 stuck, good one.

After 1, Simone is winning. So there’s that. We’ll see if McCallum can keep up this lead over McCusker as we go. McCusker goes to higher-scoring pieces now, and can certainly improve on her day 1 bars.

Andrea is interviewing KP. “What’s the single most important change you’ve made?” Really getting to the heart of the matter there, Andrea.

Macready just did something horrible involving Bridget Sloan. Pretend it never happened.


Jones – she just did a HUGE DTY with a large bounce back, not a controlled landing – make it an Amanar.

Biles – BB – wobbles her way through a triple wolf but hits it – solid on barani with a little hesitation – no issue on bhs loso loso series – switch to switch 1/2 to back pike, leg-up wobble. May not get combo into back pike – front pike, very solid – aerial to split – bhs bhs full in, good, small step. A couple issues but like bars, obviously going to be a big number.

Gilstrap is pretty secure on a double arabian landing on floor – front 2/1 with crossover step – lovely switch ring as she shows on beam – double pike, small slide – some indistinct landing positions – wolf double – double tuck, solid

Smith – VT – fine DTY, a little over with a hop – the usual legs on block

Hurd – UB – inbar shap to stalder full to tkatchev, nice – Ricna to pak, a little low on Pak but worked it out – stalder shoot – inbar 1/2, a touch late – inabr 1/1 late to FTDT, close, with a step – a couple verticals there but fine overall.

Soza – VT – clean full with pace back –

Dunne – BB – hits front tuck – finishes with no dismount like on the first day

McCusker – VT – DTY with a hop back. It looks like she has become comfortab le with this vault, which is significant for her. She lands a little staggered, a little under, but the landing control is good

Artistic people can’t vault, starring Timothy Daggett

Carey – BB – wolf turn 1.5 – split leap to side aerial, hit – Side America, solid – bhs loso lay-pike, hit – switch to switch 1/2, short – to back tuck – aerial to split to straddle – bhs bhs double pike, lunge back

McCallum goes 13.650 on bars, gives some ground back to McCusker.

Shchennikova – FX – front layout double front to I BURNED MY FEET that will not get credit as a stag – double pike, staggered with a small step – switch ring – switch 1/2, nice extension – back 1.5 to front full with a sideward shuffle, two steps – wolf triple, precise finish position – at least she does an arm wave in between her BEAST on floor? Grasping at straws – double tuck, holds landing

Kenlin – BB – side aerial, nice – aerial with a pause through to split leap split jump, won’t get the combo but no trouble on the skills – side america, hit – drops L turn a little early – split leap 1/1 wasn’t there, won’t get full credit – falls on layout – just pulls aorund double pike with lunge

Thomas – UB – toe on – toe shap to clear hip 1/1, late – tkatchev to pak with straddle – toe on – toe shap 1/2, hit – DLO with hop. Not as clean as she can be but OK

13.950 on bars for Frazier is quite an improvement over the fall on day 1. You know.

Chiles – FX – 1.5 through to double arabian, took it RIGHT to the edge but stays in, little movement on landing – Dos Santos, steps OOB – switch ring – split leap 1.5  – DLO, short again with a stagger stumble – switch leap 1/1 is still back leggy – sits down her wolf turn this time, which should be a fall, really – double pike, pike, because of course it was.

13.500 for Thomas. Really low D today. Did she repeat a root?

Yes, just went back and looked at my own live blog that I didn’t remember, and she did too many toe on skills I believe.

12.500 for Chiles.

Eaker – split ring leap is her least awesome skill, not 180 at the same time – nice Y spin – aerial to split ring jump to bhs, – aerial to bhs loso, did very well to nail that series, collapsing on the bhs – split leap to side somi, well hit – switch ring to bhs scale, lovely – switch to switch side, swims, nice elements – 2.5 dismount with small hop. Should still be better than day 1.

McCallum – UB – weiler 1/2 with a hesitation to stalder shap t- tkatchev, hit – pak, leg break and some feet – hits shap 1/2 – toe full, quite late – FTDT, stuck

Davis – FX – pike full in, stagger – double pike, small slide – nice split leap 1/1 – wolf 1.5 and hand down to control it – front 2/1, little stagger step – double L, loses her heel toward the end but keeps the leg moving through two turns – double tuck, a little short iwht a hop.

So, after two, we have Hurd extending her margin in second place, McCallum currently .5 up on McCusker but McCusker is going to bars. Shilese Jones solidly in 5th after Thomas’s low score on bars.

14.450 for Eaker is a little better than day 1.

Andrea is talking to Aly. For balance or something. Asking Aly about how it felt when Jordyn missed the AA final in 2012 or something.

Macready has moved on to a game of “Put This In Your Mouth” so we’re all thrilled.


Hurd – BB – step back on bher back full this time but saves it – side aerial, hit – bhs loso, solid – aerial to split to straddle, some knees here and thetre but strong – switch – lean correction on side america, a little tentative – switch ring, good – double pike, solid one.

Just 13.550 though

Alyona – VT – DTY – one of her better ones, a little crunched over, but not too bad, small hop

Dunne with nice leaps on floor – front tuck through to double tuck, stuck, better

Smith – UB – inbar – inbar 1/1 a little late – and can’t catch Jaeger and comes off. It’s not getting better. “That should not have happened.” Well yeah. Piked stalder tkatchev and Ricna to pak are all hit. She’s hit the problem areas both nights – FTDT with hop

McCallum – BB – British mount – hits her BEAST – side aerial to loso, secure, foot form – front tuck, secure – switch to aerial to split jump, the knees will take her E down, but this is secure – double tuck, step back

Blanco – VT – FTY with hop back.

Apparently you “don’t get anything” for the candle mount. Um…false.

Carey – FX – Moors, exceptionally secure – DLO /1, also good, small hop – L hop full – switch full is around – double double tuck, short, lunge forward – doubel L turn, leg drop early so probably won’t get it – split leap 1/1 is fine – front tuck through to full in, shuffle back, but will be the next-to-simone score she needed

Frazier – BB – wolf double and stands up and leans, but holds it – aerial with a lean – split and straddle, fine – bhs los, check, feet – side america is solid – side somi, hit – side aerial, lean – split jump 1/2 – hits double pike

McCusker – UB – toe full to toe Shap, good legs – connected to tkatchev, a little close but fine – Ricna to Pak to stalder shap 1/2, hit – nearly sticks her dismount, small step – that was the best she has done that dismount “definite stick” Maggie says, which it wasn’t really.

Kenlin is good on front 2.5 – falls out of Memmel a little – front 2/1 to front tuck to stag, pretty – double L turn – switch ring – split leap 1/1, nice – double tuck, cowboy but around , lunge to the side- double pike, legs apart

Thomas – BB – switch to switch 1/2 to straddle – one-arm bhs loso, solid – aerial to split to tuck jump 1/2 – side somi – switch side to split jump 1/2 with a lean forward – side aerial – 2/1 with hop back

McCusker needed 14.900 to pass Simone for the bars title. She got 14.800.

Eaker – FX – 2.5 to front full, lovely, small hop – front lay to front 2/1, a little short with a hop back – gorgeous Memmel turn – 3/1, stuck – awesome – double pike, really forward with a lunge but exceptional to that point

McCusker will move ahead of McCallum after three events.

Some nice(ish, you know) wolf turns from Adams – bhs loso loso, solid – aerial to split – side somi with a swim – lean on side jump – 2/1 with a step – a couple leans late but a really nice routine overall –

Biles – FX – Moors with a slide back, keeps it in – front full through to full in – a little short iwht a hop – siwtch to split leap 1.5, will get it – Biles and OOB again on it, also steps out with second foot – wolf double, no trouble – double double, bounces back as well.

Obviously a big score. Still not really honed on those landings yet.

It’s 14.700 for Biles with just 0.1 ND for her OOB, even though that second foot went out.

So after three events, this weird thing has happened where Simone is winning. Hurd clearly in second, then McCusker and McCallum.


Smith – BB – does the wolf triple this time and gets it – bhs to layout, hit – tuck full, solid, just a touch of hesitation – front pike-tuck, small step – side traddle is good, the split is shorter but secure – aerial, small check – bhs bhs double pike, solid. She needed that.

McCallum – FX – double double tuck, secure – front lay to front 2/1 to front tuck is excellent – good 3/1 as well – she’s having quite a nationals – putting the pressure on McCusker to hit beam – double tuck, bounce back

We see Carey’s second vault, a step back on her Lopez

So apparently Chiles only did the DTY, and hit bars but is limping.

13.650 for Smith. She hit, and it’s like they finally decided to give her a real E score for the first time this summer.

McCusker – The Beast, hits – aerial to split, pretty but with a check – bhs loso loso, very solid – switch to switch 1/2 to Korbut – side aerial, good – bhs bhs double tuck, lunge back.

Great nationals for McCusker.

Biles – VT – small hop back on her Cheng, not quite as good as the first day, but still amazing

Biles – VT 2 – Amanar, small hop, very similar to night 1.

Davis – UB – toe on to Pak to Shap to Ricna – good connection – piked jaeger, hit – double front, small lean

Just a 59.750 for Simone tonight like a loser.

Thomas – FX – DLO, great – 2.5 through to double tuck, deep but hits it – wolf turn double, a little over turned – that’s how you sissone out of a pass – does hop OOB with both feet on double pike, though

Nice hitting from Johnston on beam, after recovering fron night 1 on bars as well – double tuck dismount with just a pace

Adams – FX – 2.5 to front tuck is solid – will get her split 1.5, close, nice split position though – also solid on her BEAST – but then double tuck and falls OOB

Ragan Smith will outscore Chiles, finishing in 10th.

Hurd – FX – double double tuck, good, hop back – DLO, small hop, that has improved since early in teh year – split leap 1.5, good – front lay to front 2/1, short on that with a hop back – strong leaps – double pike, hop. Good meet for her too.

Biles, Hurd, and McCusker will be very happy with their performances.

When they have to end the broadcast without the scores because it’s taking 55 years to get Hurd’s floor score for some reason.

They’ve moved on to awards, so apparently Morgan did well?

Coach and athlete of the year awards to Team Morgan. Sportsperson of the year to Riley McCusker.

Anyway, the automatic national team will be Biles, Hurd, McCusker, McCallum, Jones, and Carey. We’ll see if they add anyone immediately. They will have to soon for all the senior assignments.

We have the repeat 13.850 for Hurd on floor now, so she officially gets second, McCusker in third.

Biles won by 6.5 points, so that happened.

Also Simone won all the events. So this is going to be a really anticlimactic awards ceremony.


National team announced, and Eaker and Thomas have been added in addition to the automatic six. They’ll have to add more to make up a Pan Ams and worlds team, unless there’s a whole lot of overlap, which would be a shame.

Pure AA standings for these NT spots, both juniors and seniors. Won’t reflect the ultimate camp situation or national team situation because…you want Chiles’ Amanar as a choice.

McCusker got the second-highest score on day 2, gaining on most events, while Hurd lost some tenths on beam. Still going to be an interesting battle between the two.

The real issue for the US worlds team right now is that with Biles, Hurd, McCusker, and Carey…you’re fine. It’s tough to find someone who can add something to that team. That’s why Chiles is seriously in the mix with an Amanar, because it’s something to add. Eaker maybe has a beam argument, but it’s less than an Amanar and less of a sure thing because beam. Smith would potentially add on beam and floor if she were competing like last year, but she isn’t right now. McCallum is your “our team is set and we just need to add a Peszek” choice, slash excellent alternate who can fill in anywhere.

100 thoughts on “US Nationals – Senior Women Day 2 Live Blog”

  1. Warm ups almost done. God there’s a shit ton of glitter and rhinestones everywhere!!!!

  2. Is there any other way to watch besides the Youtube stream? It seems to not work…..

    1. I don’t think warm-ups have ended yet. Most likely the stream will start afterwards. Maybe?

    2. I’m watching on the NBC Sports App — you have to have a TV subscription tho.

  3. The issue with a team with Chiles AND Carey is qualifications though. What do we do about that? Do we not let Hurd and McCusker both do AA in qualifications (when honestly they’ve earned it?) Do we not let one of the vaulters do vault in qualifications?

    And then also the question of if there’s an injury and whether they provide backup.

    1. Unless Carey brings the upgrades, she wouldn’t be going for vault EF, so don’t need her in quals

  4. The international feed showing a highlight reel of national winners is leaning too heavily on the gymnast-hugging-coach footage. We never need to see John Geddert again, USAG. And if you’re going to show us so many coaches, at least give us one Aimee Boorman. They weirdly skipped over 2013–2016.

  5. What’s the secret to getting the international feed to work in the US — vpn? I can’t figure it out.

    1. Tunnel Bear VPN works great. For future reference, load the youtube page before the stream starts and NEVER refresh!

  6. We calling triple wolf followed by double wolf THE BEAST now? I prefer THE MONSTROSITY

  7. Fall aside, Jordan Chiles wins all the things for the Wonder Woman leo and the Wakanda Forever salute in her beam choreo.

    1. the actual best thing about the jr comp aside from Lee’s beam and bars is this idiot isn’t present and making me homicidal in the arena….I didn’t realize he was on the broadcast too. ugh.

  8. I really wish Andrea had called Parody out when she said she had been “talking to all the gymnasts, all the survivors and all the staff” THEN WHY TF has no one heard form you?!?!?!?!

    1. And her message to Simone – “I’m listening.” She could have said: “I’m listening. I hear your concerns about x,y,z…” Because without repeating what Simone is saying, it all sounds like empty garbage. Which it is.

  9. So Aly was present and interviewed. . .

    I though people the other night said she wasn’t invited and USAG was awful for not including her because it’s in Boston.

    What is going on??? I know social media isn’t a reliable place to get the real story because people just share things without actually researching to see if it’s true, but usually BBS comments have been good. At least for college news.

    1. TD Garden invites Aly. USAG said that all former athletes are welcome, but no, USAG doesn’t “invite” any if them, hmmmm

    2. Aly, along with all USA Gymnastics HOF members, are always sent info about the championship event including complimentary tickets. I think I read that Aly acknowledged that was true, but she didn’t consider receiving the notification and the tickets to be a proper invite.

    3. She has free tickets as a Hall of Famer but doesn’t consider that “invited”. Not sure what would be but it’s basically the message that USAG has not reached out to her.

      1. Ah, okay. I, personally, don’t see the issue here. I mean USAG has screwed up a lot, but unless they “invited” several former team members and just never reached out to Aly or had they intentionally excluded Aly from something, this seems much ado about nothing. Sexual Assault — Huge. Having a standing invitation, but not personally invited like every other former gymnast —- Microscopic to nonexistent.

      2. Honestly, I’m not a fan of the way Aly has handled this invitation drama. It feels dishonest to me and puts focus on non-issues.

      3. Also, Aly is actively suing USAG… so why would they reach out to her specifically to invite her? I understand that at some point everyone needs to make amends but at this very specific point, she is suing them. And she could get the same tickets every other hall of famer had access too. Seemed like a non-issue that she sort of made it about herself for no reason. USAG has a lot of issues, not rolling out a red carpet for Aly at US Nationals is not one of them.

      1. she probably still feel slighted. i think both USAG and aly need take some steps. USAG needs to own up to their problem and should not restrict ceo to not say hi to aly. at the same time, maybe aly can be a little more friendly to them?

    1. Ragan is going to put it together at the selection camp and will make the team. Next year she’ll place second at Nationals and Worlds behind Simone. In 2020, she makes the Olympic team.

      No one can tell me otherwise . . . 🙂

      1. Or, Ragan is going to announce she’s ending her 2018 season to have surgery on her ankle. Then in Sept. 2019 she’ll enter OU as a freshman where she’ll be the heir apparent to Maggie.

        With Maggie as a senior and Smith as a freshman OU will win back the NCAA supremacy from UCLA.

      2. I’d be okay with NCAA too. Heck, she could go the Dowell route and go to OU for a year or so and then go back to elite to try for the Olympics.

    1. Amen!

      Watching Grace doing her wolf turns made me appreciate them for the first time. Beautiful technique.

      Most of the time, the turn looks as wild as a wolf!

      1. “Wild as a wolf” – you’re confusing your Duran Duran tunes, it’s Wild Boys and Hungry Like A Wolf. 🙂

  10. What a nail biter! Glad Simone could pull it out. I love a good underdog story. /s

  11. Haven’t seen the broadcast yet, but question for those who did:

    What did attendance (fans in stands) look like compared to previous years?

  12. OK! Assuming Biles, Hurd, McCusker, and Carey are locks:

    VT: Hurd, Carey, Biles- McCusker as backup
    (ideally Carey cleans up before then too)
    Bars: Hurd, McCusker, Biles- no backup here
    Beam: Hurd, McCusker, Biles- no backup here
    FX: Hurd, Carey, Biles- no real backup here but McCusker could I guess

    So the fifth person needs to be relatively well rounded but ideally strong on at least bars and beam. Eaker went 14+ on beam and mid 13’s on bars. Thomas has the potential to go 14+ on bars and mid 13’s on beam. McCallum went high 13’s on both days on both events. Jones did too.

    We also need to think that internationally everyone will score at least a little bit lower because the judging has been way harsher.

    I personally wouldn’t put Chiles or Smith in the mix. What do y’all think?

    1. Honestly an idea I’ve had is a McCallum/Jones/Thomas type who has the skills on UB/BB who wouldn’t necessarily outscore the AAers but could allow for a rest for them on those events. The US is getting on the podium and securing an Olympic spot unless there’s Armegeddon, and I really don’t see putting up a gymnast like that as a major blow to their winning potential.

    2. I think the last spot is Smith’s to loose. It’s not a bad idea for her to rest her ankle and concentrate on UB/BB for worlds.

    3. I like Eaker and McCallum for the 5th spot. Although, if Smith shows up to camp and nails her routines and is healthy, I would take her. Hurd wasn’t really in the picture last year after Nationals and she earned her spot at the camp. It’s possible Ragan could do the same.

      1. I feel like regan has the best complete set for the 5th slot but only if she can be back to where she were at worlds.

      2. Ragan needs to hang out in a hyperbaric chamber with a physical therapist and other treatment tools until after worlds. Let the kid heal!!!!

      3. “and is healthy” well that’s not happening between now and selection camp

    4. I was so impressed by Grace McCallum. She reminds me so much of Maggie. I feel like she’s possibly the best option for the 5th spot because she’s so steady. And can just slot in anywhere you need her, esp. if someone gets hurt. Plus you could put her up on vault in team finals. She has a better DTY than Hurd and McCusker.

    5. I would consider Carey a backup for beam. Low but solid scoring potential. She hit both days looking calm and confident.

      Agreed on Chiles. After Day 2, she’s showing she hasn’t gotten her mental game together. I would trust a beam score from Eaker over an Amanar from Chiles.

      Smith… it all depends on camp. I wouldn’t count her out just yet. At her best she can be used on all four events. Though I’m fully in the camp of “Regan why didn’t you get surgery and sit this year out to properly heal your injuries?” And, honestly, this is something I’d like to see from the HIGH PERFORMANCE director – leadership telling athletes and their coaches that they perform higher when not injured so unless its an olympic year, prioritize on healing properly and fully.

      1. Eh, I think that decision is on the parents or the athlete, if 18. The parents should prioritize their daughter’s health. I think USAG wants a healthy team, but I don’t want USAG making medical decisions.

        At some point, parents need to step up and put their daughters first and not fame or medals. To be clear, I don’t think Ragan’s parents are this way, but other national team parents in the past have been that way.

      2. YES YES YES to this. Forster doesn’t need to be the one deciding who pushes ahead with injury and who rests, but he CAN make it clear that USAG now encourages all athletes to heal fully before returning to competition, that they won’t lose their spot/drop off the radar/be iced out by the national team staff just because they’re not at 100%. He will do everyone a big favor by sending this message.

    6. I think you have two options for the fifth spot.

      One, a strong AA who can essentially act as a built-in alternate for the Big Three. Grace McCallum is the frontrunner for this role, based on scores at Nationals and just the general composure and consistency she’s shown this year.

      Two, another event specialist. Jordan Chiles with her excellent Amanar is the most compelling option here. Regardless of whether or not Jade Carey brings an Amanar/Cheng combo to selection camp, having an extra Amanar from Jordan adds tenths to the overall TF score that no other gymnast in that fifth spot can bring.

      There is also the wild card factor of the injured AAs who may or may not turn up and hit big at selection camp, namely Ragan Smith and Emma Malabuyo. Both have the scoring potential to take that fifth spot, but I think both girls should rest and focus on making the push for 2019 and 2020, rather than risk further injury in 2018.

      I think I slightly prefer Chiles to McCallum in that fifth spot just because of her scoring potential on VT.

      1. Why didn’t Chiles do the Amanar night two? That makes me worried. She hasn’t shown consistency with that vault, so I don’t think they should take her for the 5th spot with a hope she can compete an Amanar.

    7. Isn’t Carey already signed with and headed to Oregon State for the 2018-19 season… Or will she go to Worlds and then go to Oregon in January?

    8. Trinity isn’t going to go mid 13’s on beam internationally at worlds. Her D score is 5 on beam. She’s also hardly a lock to go 14+ on bars. She’s a lovely gymnast and will be a collegiate star. She should go to PanAms. But There are a number of girls who outcompeted her in the all around, and she doesn’t have any standout events that make her a good fit for the team.

      The reality is that Simone/Morgan/Jade/Riley had the three highest scores between them on bars, beam, and floor. Jordan on vault is the only spoiler to that party. Numerically, adding Jordan is the smart thing to do based on the info we have right now.

  13. Do we know if any of the injured new seniors: Perea/O’Keefe/Malabuyo are petitioning to world camp? And if so, where are they in their recovery?

    1. I would guess that they’d be out of the running for worlds. Could maybe petition to try out for Pan Ams.

      1. Pan Ams is much sooner than worlds. If you’re petitioning to something because of injury, it’s the world’s camp, with hopes of showing readiness for worlds.

  14. I think Ragan is still really injured and should probably get surgery sooner rather than later. She’s been a shadow of her usual self at these Nationals and it’s pretty clear she’s in pain. I’d leave her off the worlds team and encourage her to get healthy than regroup.

    I think McCallum would be a smart 5th member of the world team because she’s solid and consistent on all the events. In team final they may want to use her vault instead of Morgan or Jade (unless Jade brings her Amanar back).

    1. Agee about Ragan. Saw somewhere that it was her decision to push for Nationals this year. Her coaches should have nixed that, or allowed her only to come back for BB/UB or something, in order to keep her fit for the big push in 2019/2020. #pacingfail

      1. Can a coach overrule? I mean the gymnast basically hires the coach, so it seems it would be the gymnast’s decision. Plus, who knows what happened with this situation. I’ve seen a lot of people trash Texas Dreams for Ragan competing, but there has been zero proof that they discouraged surgery or influenced her to compete.

  15. Who do you guys think should be on the Pan-Ams team?

    I’d go with: Grace McCallum, Shilese Jones, Kara Eaker, Trinity Thomas, Jordan Chiles, and Alyona Shchennikova.

    VT – Thomas, McCallum, Jones, Chiles
    UB – Jones, McCallum, Thomas, Shchennikova
    BB – Jones/Chiles, Thomas, McCallum, Eaker
    FX – Jones, Thomas, Eaker, McCallum

    This team is not only very strong but basically acts as another trial for Worlds. You get to see how Grace McCallum, Shilese Jones, and Trinity Thomas stack up against each other as AA-ers, and to see whether Jordan can bring the Amanar in competition again. All of the above are in contention for the fifth spot, IMO, especially Grace, Trinity, and Jordan.

    How Kara Eaker and Alyona Shchennikova fare at an international competition on BB and UB, respectively, will also be of interest.

  16. I bet the fifth worlds member will have to be someone who can do all four events. Knowing the US from past history, it’s all about having back ups on backups and AAers…you need someone to complement carey skill set, ie an UB/BB person. Chiles might give highest score, but i am willing to bet the 5th person is whoever that will be the UB/BB AAer….

      1. It’s no different. I think that’s the mentality behind the team now even when marta is not there anymore.

        I could see them trying to maximize event medals more now than when marta was there… however, there’s no point bringing both carey and chiles. you can only have 2 in vt final anyway. so what if carey and chiles would score like even 0.5 higher in one event for TF when they will win by multiple points (5+ ?)

  17. Anyone else tear up during USAG’s manipulative fluff because all you could think was, “Did that monster molest her too?”

    On a positive note, Grace McCallum was lovely tonight. I hope she makes it to Worlds and shines like Maggie did in 2015.

    1. Eaker is going to be destroyed by international judges.
      Pan Ams will be a good gauge of how the bubble girls are received internationally.

  18. Grace McCallum definitely deserves to be on the world’s team. For me, she’s the 4th slot because we all know that anything can happen to the top 3 all-arounders and I wouldn’t want Jade Carey on bars or beam in team finals. And she hasn’t really been terribly impressive on vault. McCallum was so poised, graceful, and had nice execution.

  19. Oh, props to McCallum. She was excellent and I really like her. She reminds me of where Maggie Nichols was 2 years out. Solid and consistent without a real strong TF event. It was only when Maggie started to do the Amanar that she made a World team. Grace doesn’t have an event yet. Eaker is more important to develop for the future of the Team. Beam is the shakiest event of the top 3. McCusker is great but her dismount continues to be scary and Hurd was great, but can be shaky there as well. They need Eaker. Carey is going for floor as well as vault. I think they’d put her on even with DTY, but she’ll have an Amanar.

  20. After 2017 worlds, we’ve learned that we need a 3rd person to have qualified into the All-Around in case an all arounder gets injured 5 minutes before the competition. Riley, Simone & Morgan ALL need to do all around in qualifications. So if Jade Carey is the 4th team member, the 5th person must be someone who can contribute to bars + beam. Grace, Trinity or Schenokova depending on PAC Rims results.

    1. That’s the US strategy all along. When was the last time they didn’t have at least 3 doing AA in qual? Even in a somewhat depleted team of 2014, there’s 4 people doing AA in qual…Even if they have to bring in a FTY….lol….they couldn’t have 4 people doing AA this yr. otherwise they would have….

      1. I hope they don’t screw Riley out of AA at Worlds. Morgan looked terrific here but Riley’s showing she’s right there with her. She beat her at Classics and on Night 2 at nationals, and was only a total of .55 behind counting a .3 OOB deduction on floor. Either of them could fairly earn the 2nd AA final spot so they both should get a chance.
        One thing I don’t get is how Riley lost a total of.6 to Morgan on vault. In replay, Morgan doesn’t get more height or more distance than Riley. Riley had one step outside the line on Day 2, but Morgan had a huge hop back. I can understand Morgan scoring .2 better on Day 1 and maybe .1 better on Day 2, but I don’t get the .3 advantage Morgan got both days. Both girls vaults were average, particularly Day 2. The 14.1/14.4 differential seemed too large.

      2. why would riley not do AA? they always have the top 3 AAers doing AA anyway… I mean unless some breakthrough person showing up between now and worlds?

      3. To wp’s question. The possibility of Riley not doing AA was raised when it looked possible the team might take two vault specialists (Carey and Chiles) in order to get more amanars. In that scenario, someone, either Biles, Hurd, or McCusker would have to skip vault, and that person isn’t going to be the reigning Olympic or reigning World Champ. Either that or Carey or Chiles would have to skip vault prelims.
        But since Chiles isn’t even on the national team right now, that scenario is looking unlikely anyway.

  21. How severe is O’Keeffe’s injury? Is it enough to knock her out of the conversation for Worlds this year? Without Emma, Maile and Ragan, the crowd thins out considerably. Simone, Riley and Morgan as top 3 AA’ers plus a FX/VT person (Jade) and a UB/BB person (Eaker? Trinity?) makes the most sense. I’m a huge fan of Grace, but don’t see how she fits in the picture this year.

    1. O’Keefe has had multiple surgeries on a ganglion cyst in her wrist. It’s not an “injury” as much as it requires time to heal so it doesn’t reoccur.

  22. I’d pick McCallum and her solid routines for a 5th spot any day over the hope of an Amanar from Chiles. Carey has proven that she can fill in nicely on beam and can at least consistently get through a bars routine, but if someone turns their ankle to powder during qualifications, McCallum would be a great backup on all four events.

  23. FYI Chiles warmed up the Amanar on night 2 and it was not even remotely close to being stood up and kind of scary.

    1. It amazes me how Jordan’s Amanar can look so amazing and comfortable one day then she just completely loses it the next day. If I were her coaches, I would focus almost exclusively on vault coming up to the world selection camp so that she can show that she can do the Amanar consistently everyday at anytime.

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