Selection Camp – Live Blog

This is some new territory. A live stream of selection. Nowhere to hide now. If you make a BS, insane selection for the worlds team, we’re going to know about it, selection committee.

To review, nine gymnasts will compete today:

Simone Biles
Morgan Hurd
Riley McCusker
Grace McCallum
Kara Eaker
Jordan Chiles
Shilese Jones
Ragan Smith
Alyona Shchennikova

The first five comprise the nominative team, and the remaining four have to do something today to change minds.

BILES 16.000 14.750 13.850 15.100 59.700
HURD 14.500 14.300 13.550 12.900 55.250
MCCUSKER 14.350 14.950 14.100 13.850 57.250
MCCALLUM 14.500 12.950 13.650 14.300 55.400
EAKER 13.950 12.350 15.150 13.550 55.000
CHILES 14.700 13.600 13.200 13.200 54.700
JONES 14.750 13.850 12.650 12.800 54.050
SMITH 14.600 12.850 13.950 13.650 55.050
SHCHENNIKOVA 13.900 14.600 12.900 11.950 53.350


We’ve already seen Aimee Boorman on the side of the stream, so it’s all going to be OK.


We’re beginning the floor-circles-running portion.

Yes, we’re just watching Riley McCusker leading a game of follow-the-leader on floor for MINUTES AND MINUTES. #NoRegrets

The current drama is why we’re only seeing five people warm up on the floor instead of everyone. If we’re only going to see these five do routines, there will be…angers.

Someone has an iPhone timer going off and I’m pretty sure it’s time to…switch your laundry? That’s what it would be for me…

Our warmup five have moved on to Morgan Hurd holding a handstand on beam for a casual 80 hours. The other lazies are still just sitting there.

Simone just shouted to us that they’re marching in. So I guess they’re marching in.

I really want Simone to just shout what’s happening throughout the competition to keep us apprised of the format and whatnot.

Uncontrollable laughter during national anthem – my usual.


We’re starting to warmup on bars! (Where the US will start in qualification at worlds)

The first flight is Biles, Hurd, McCusker, Jones, and Shchennikova.

We’ve seen McCusker miss a few tkatchevs in a row in warmup.


Simone just did a fantastic full routine which made me think we had started for a second, but it was just casual Simone warmup things.

Looks like Shchennikova is back to the DLO dismount for bars. It has seemed like a terrifying situation either way.

For real now!

McCusker – UB – stalder full to toe Shap, nice and high, connected to tkatchev – Ricna, hit, connected to Pak to SHap 1/2 – toe on – nearly holds the stick on dismount with a small hop. Nice hit after the misses in warmup. Looked a little tight in places, especially some handstands at the beginning, probably some nerves – but a good routine.  Just did catch that Ricna that was giving her trouble. 14.950

Jones – UB – stalder full, small arch pulls it back – Shap to Pak, good – SHap 1/2 is good – toe 1/2, nice vertical, connected to big piked jaeger – FTDT, small step back. This has become her second-best event lately, and she got through her routine well. No serious issues after that small arch at the beginning. 13.800.

Biles – UB – Weiler 1/2 to Shap to tkatchev, hit – toe full to piked tkatchev to pak, good, rushed the toe full but worked it out – hit Shap 1/2, a litlte ragged – short final cast handstand – basically sticks her double double dismount. Good routine again. Her warmup set was a little crisper, but they were both strong. 14.750.

Shchennikova – UB – inbar full to inbar Shap to tkatchev, strong – Ricna to Pak to Stalder Shap 1/2, excellent – DLO, pulled it around with the usual pike down, medium hop forward. Great on the bars themselves. Everyone is bringing it so far. 14.600

Hurd – UB – inbar SHap to stalder full to tkatchev, hit – Ricna to Pak, clean – stalder shoot – a short hs in here – inbar 1/2 – inbar full a little late, FTDT, stuck. Everyone is nailing it so far. Some verticals for Hurd that will probably take the E down a little, but nice overall. 14,300.

That 14.300 for Hurd could be significant. Shchennikova beat her 0.3

Warming up the second flight now. I’ve added a scores table to the top of the post for quick glance results.

Chiles – UB – toe full to Toe Shap to bail to shoot, bail was fairly short of handstand – nice piked jaeger – tkatchev to gienger, got it, fingertips on that tkatchev – FTDT, deep with a little hop back to hold the landing. A hit. 13.600.

Eaker – UB – Toe Shap to clear hip to Ray, falls on Ray. The first miss of the competition. Won’t be too significant for Eaker’s chances as she doesn’t make teams for bars. Resumes with Pak, toe Shap 1/2 with a little legs – clear hip 1/1 – toe 1/2 – nice tight shape on piked jaeger, pretty – DLO, whippy with a small hop back. The rest was good. 12.350.

McCallum – UB – Weiler 1/2 with some legs to Stalder Shap to tkatchev, hit – Pak to Stalder SHap 1/2, huge leg break on the Pak and was off on that series from the start, couldn’t catch the Shap 1/2 and falls, flying forward horrifyingly – toe on – toe full, a little late – FTDT with step forward. 12.950.

That’s interesting. She doesn’t necessarily make teams for bars either, but she has been filling that “consistent all-arounder, reliable hit, good score anywhere!” character.

Smith – UB – inbar – inbar full, a little late – inbar 1/2 to jaeger, hit – Piked Ricna, takes it one thousand miles away from the bar and falls. Very reminiscent of nationals. Ricna to Pak, hit – stalder shoot – FTDT, easy and high, small hop. Didn’t change the nationals narrative with that one. 12.850.

The first flight of the bars rotation was excellent. The second half was…not.

On to the beam warmup!

Now Aimee has to move the judges table over to beam so that we can compete there…


Jones – BB – split to straddle jump – L turn – huge Arabian with a large break, saves it well but a major wobble – bhs loso series, small slide correction – hits side aerial – Side jump 1/2, OK – front tuck, small step – side straddle jump 1/2, hit, small lean – switch 1/2, not quite there leap wise – double tuck dismoumt, solid, step. A hit. One major, major wobble, small checks on most things. 12.650.

Biles – BB – wolf triple, hit – sissone to wolf, solid – barani, secure – bhs loso loso, no trouble – switch to switch 1/2 to back pike, all good skills, borderline connection credit – front pike, small adjustment – aerial to split to straddle, connected – oooooof, hand down on her full in dismount. Not significant for her, but very unexpected. She was as high as she usually is it appeared, just misjudged. We definitely don’t expect Simone to struggle on that dismount. Everything else was nailed. 13.850

Shchennikova – BB – jusssst pulls around a wolf double. Does wolf triple afterward that is very smooth – bhs loso loso, good – aerial, hit, breaks combo into split sissone – Onodi, pretty, secure – side aerial, smooth – switch – side somi with a lean correction but holds it – double tuck, a bit of a struggle with two lunges backward, stayed on her feet. 12.900.

Hurd – BB – check on back full but hit it – side aerial, major lean correction – bhs loso, lovely – aerial, pause before split to straddle, good elements but broke connection – switch – side jump 1/2, small lean – full turn – switch ring, very nice – double pike, small hop forward. Worked it out well after the early moments but did have some balance corrections she didn’t want in there. 13.550.

OMG we’re moving the judges tables again??

McCusker – BB – wolf triple, solid – wolf double, also secure, some arms at the end – aerial to split, check, nice split position – bhs loso loso, large leg-up break. switch to switch 1/2, small check, a little tentative on swithc 1/2 – side aerial, hit – bhs bhs double tuck with lunge back. They’re pretty much all making significant errors in these beam routines. 14.100

Warming up the second flight now. Not the best beam work we’ve seen so far. Some critical routines in this second group with an opportunity to make cases because of some weak showings from the main people in the first group.

Smith struggling on this warmup routine. A couple falls.

Eaker – BB – lovely switch split mount – the first ring is the position she struggles with the most, and she did here – Y spin, excellent – aerial to split ring jump to bhs, works immediately out of it – side aerial loso loso, absolutely nailed – split leap to side somi, hit – switch ring to bhs – switch 1/2 to Korbut – this is really excellent work – switch to switch 1/2, very high – 2.5 dismount, bounce forward. Applause.

Long wait on her score. Probably deciding whether to try to be like worlds or just CRACK IT.

15.150 for Eaker. The score is domestic crack, but it was also soooooo good.

McCallum – BB – back dive handstand mount, hit – very smooth wolf triple and wolf double, she has some of the best ones – side jump 1/2, secure – side aerial, loso, hit, some feet – deep landing on punch front but pulled it out – switch to aerial to split jump, hit – sissone to full turn – double tuck, nearly Simone-ed it with a large lunge forward but didn’t put her hand down. 13.650

Smith – BB – wolf triple, a little whirly but hit – layout series, check and lean to the side – back full, hit – aerial to split to straddle, nice – punch front, hit – straddle side 1/2, big lean – side straigth jump 1/1, hit – double pike, a little short with a step forward. 13.950.

Chiles – BB – L turn, questionable at the beginning – full turn – bhs loso loso, nice lift into that first loso – aerial to split to straddle, a little tight on those jumps – side aerial to switch to switch 1/2, short of position on switch 1/2 – side somi, high – punch front, deep with a little hop forward – double pike, lunge back. She got through both bars and beam. A big deal for her. 13.200

Looks like Smith has gone top 3 on beam. Not a great start for Hurd. Not top 3 on either bars or beam.


Biles – FX – Double double layout, just a small hop, great shape – Biles to stag, nailed – switch – Gogean, good, Laurent likes  – full in combo, bounce back, possible OOB but unclear whether anyone is even watching for that? No hand from the judges or anything. There are no rules in this house – double double, a little bounce back. We may have had yet another OOB issue but otherwise excellent. 15.100. That’s…her highest floor score of the year. Highest floor score of the quad.

Shchennikova – FX – front lay to double front and sits it – front double full to front tuck with lunge – switch 1/2 – 1.5 to front full, hop – jussssst scoots around a wolf triple hilariously, in slow motion at the end – wolf double was more like a 1.5 – double pike, OOB. A struggle. 11.950

Hurd – FX – double double tuck, short with a large lunge – DLO, bounce OOB with both feet – switch ring lovely – split leap 1.5, a little bouncy – front lay to front 1/1 – split ring leap 1/1 – split jump 1/1 – double pike, a little crunched with a small hop to the side. Another hit but still not her best day happening. 12.900. OOOFFF.

We just had three routines and now warmups. Looks like McCusker is warming up with the other group now?

McCusker – FX – piked full in, a little stagger legs apart but solid – split leap 1/1 – front 2/1 to front tuck to leap, crazy legs on that front 2/1 – wolf triple – double pike, bounce back, looks like she just stayed in – nice position on leaps, a little hoppy on landing – double tuck, short with a lunge forward. Fine set. For McCusker, she shouldn’t be called upon to do vault and floor in a TF, so these routines are about making sure they’re good enough that she gets a spot in qualification and can get herself into an AA final. 13.850.

Well, maybe they’ll need to use that floor routine after all…

To me, the big development so far is that Morgan Hurd’s scores haven’t really been there. Does she have enough built up excellence so that it doesn’t matter so much for her? That was my position coming in…

Jones – FX – competing after all, must have just been hiding – huge double double tuch, bouncy back out of it – double arabian, solid, hop forward – L turn double, mostly nearly around – split leap full is short – L hop full – switch full attempt that probably shouldn’t get credit – full in, floats down into it, steps OOB – now they have Terin on Arm, so we know who actually went OOB – double tuck, small hop forward. She makes these elements look so easy but did have some landing problems. 12.800.

McCallum – FX – double double tuck, a little deep but not a large hop to the side – front lay front 2/1 front tuck, good – wolf…of indeterminate amount – switch ring – switch 1/2, good – 3/1, a little short with hop – split leap 1/1 – double tuck, comfortable. 14.300

Smith – FX – DLO, step back, couldn’t tell OOB from our angle – 1.5 through to 3/1, short of rotation and inches it around – split leap 1.5, gets the turn around with a staggered landing position – double arabian, lunge forward out of bounds – wolf 2.5 – double pike, stuck. Well, her ankle remained intact, but I’m not sure she did enough there to change the outlook. 13.650.

The thing is, though, she beat Hurd on both beam and floor…

Also, some of these floor scores…

Chiles – FX – 1.5 through to double arabian, step back, nice position on the skill – piekd double arabian, lunge forward, kept it in bounds – switch ring and split leap 1.5 are improved – DLO, stuck but landed entirely OOB – insane switch 1/1 that wasn’t very close to split – Popa is good – double pike, stuck. Shame about that DLO because the landing was awesome, just…in the wrong place. 13.200

If I hear the beginning of Eaker’s floor music one more time, I’m going to scream.

Eaker – FX – 2.5 to front full, lovely twisting, steps OOB – front lay to front 2/1 to stag, perfect – double Y to full turn – 3/1, a little under – nice leaps of course – really late initiation of turn on split leap 1/1, and I like it – double pike, pretty deep. Worked it out.

On to vault warmups.

OH. HEY. Simone just warmed up a round off 1/2 on, front 2/1. In case you wanted to wake up.


Shchennikova – VT – DTY is well short with a large lunge forward. She did her job on bars today but had issues on the other three pieces. 13.900

Hurd – VT – DTY, pretty good, step back, no real issues there. 14.500

McCusker – VT – DTY – struggles a little to control the landing on these mats with some hops to the side, some legs in the air, overall solid as well. 14.350

Jones – VT – insanely gigantic DTY, super far, a couple steps back. 14.750

Biles – VT – ro 1/2 on, front 2/1 – a new vault – oh come on. She pretty much just stuck that thing. That was basically perfect. You’re not real.

6.4 D, 9.600 E – 16.000.

Smith – VT – very secure landing on DTY, good control, usual Paseka legs on the block.

The best argument for Smith right now is that she finished just 0.200 behind Hurd, with a fall on bars, and outscored her on the other three pieces.

Chiles – VT – DTY, Drag. I mean, it’s a good one, just a small step back. But she would have needed an Amanar.

Eaker – VT – Y 1.5, small hop forward, tucks those knees a little at the end.

McCallum – VT – very secure DTY, basically stuck. She doesn’t have the distance, but the vault is very comfortable for her.

So that’s that. Do we think anything happened today to disrupt the nominative team? I’m not sold that it did. Shchennikova got her good bars score. Smith made some progress and made a pretty good case for alternate by placing 5th AA here, but…

But…everyone placed in the top 3 on at least one event except Morgan Hurd…

I don’t think this changes Hurd’s status, but the highest-scoring team of five in a TF scenario based only on today wouldn’t include Hurd. It would include Shchennikova in place of her to provide a bars score. So that’s something. I guess. I’m not counting on that happening, but it is interesting.

Chiles needed the Amanar to make her case, and Jones was kind of similar, with a similar score on vault. Both nice alternate possibilities, but I don’t see where they’d add to the team in a TF. Shchennikova keeps herself in the mix with bars, but in real life I don’t think her bars routine is consistent enough (or consistently better than Hurd’s) to actually take her. Smith…closer but…just get fully healthy. McCusker beating her on floor doesn’t help her case too much.

So, that’s why I’m back at our nominative roster based on what we saw today.

The questions that still linger: We’re all in love with Eaker’s beam, but 15+? That doesn’t seem realistic at worlds, so there’s still the concern over making decisions based on unrealistic scores. Floor? McCusker was top three, but also her fragile bird limbs. You really want a Hurd score there. Vault? Simone’s upgrade is the equivalent of a second Amanar, so they’ll be fine with her and two acceptable DTYs, of which there are many choices, but the non-Simone vault taken to worlds are going to be just OK.

It doesn’t REALLY matter, since the US is the heavy team favorite regardless of any of these questions, but…


117 thoughts on “Selection Camp – Live Blog”

  1. Eeee! I’m so glad this is happening and I’m so glad you’re live-blogging it, Spencer!!!!!

  2. You’d think they could explain this. Are they in two groups? Or is this a case where four athletes declined the coverage? Chiles is off to the side not doing much of anything.

      1. I always assumed those were specific-to-the-olympics leos and Simone would be the only person there who had one. And maybe Ragan.

      2. It’s definitely interesting because I remember them saying at the Olympics about the Leos that they cost 1000 Dollars each. I doubt they have extras just laying around…?

      3. I think that’s one of the national team kit leos from 2016-2017, and likely 2017-2018 as well. IIRC each national team member has several of them and can chose which to wear to events where they are there for the national team (e.g. world cups, this, but not, say Classics).

      4. In Canada (and maybe some other countries), the olympics leos are reserved just for olympians and are seen as a badge of honor of sorts. But in the US there are three or four that go into the national team kit every year and any national team member can choose to wear. They can technically wear them to domestic meets too (eg Brenna in I think 2015 wearing one of the 2014 worlds leos) but it’s fairly rare.

  3. Is it just me or did the guy singing mess up the words to the national anthem? lol

  4. Could anyone hear the explanation for how it will work, which was on the loud speaker? #stillconfused

  5. Does anyone else think the “I’m in love with your body” song playing in the background is deeply inappropriate for this event?

    1. Very! I have been thinking that all year. Can’t they just play some crappy classical music or something?

    2. I mean it’s bland pop music played in grocery stores and bank lobbies. So… no. I don’t think they need to go that far.

  6. Is that the same routine Simone tried at Classics? I can’t remember what upgrades she was trying other than the dismount.

    1. As far as I can tell it’s the same routine. Her new bars skills were the Fabrichnova dismount and the toe Shap 1/2.

  7. A HUGE thank you to Spencer for the live blogging, score updating, and general wonderfulness…

  8. Can we talk about how Simone just casually yawned before saluting the judges for UB! She cracks me up! She actually could be doing this in her sleep.

  9. And with that fall dismounting beam, Simone ensures she will win this competition!

  10. I love ragan so much! I’m heartbroken for her. I need to chill out lol but shes missed a release move nearly every ub routine she’s done since coming back I can’t stand to see her fall like that again 🙁

    1. I was so pulling for her. I adore her and really want her to get her confidence back.

    2. Ragan can still make the team without hitting a bars routine. Cross your fingers and toes she does an amazing job on beam and floor.

      Can Ragan be added to the 2018-19 US national team even without earning a Worlds spot?


    LOL everyone was wobbling all over the place but Kara was just like, “Calm down everyone, I got this.” Loved it.

    1. If this isn’t her ticket… that would be very disappointing. I would love to see her in beam finals!

  12. Guess the judges went with the CRACK IT option for Eaker on beam. I loved the routine, but I would have thought that massive pause before the dismount would have been cause for big deduction.

    1. I’m also really confused by a lot of her leaps/jumps…her front leg hits the position, then her back leg. She rarely gets full split (ie both legs in place at the same time). That seems…weird that the skills till gets credited?

      1. this is exactly why i was never and still am not comfortable with kara on the team. she’s not breaking 15 at worlds. she might actually not even break 14 with a hit routine if we have Montreal Judging(tm). not a reliable score compared to vault or even bars.

        this is of course assuming the us gets judged under the same lens as everyone else at worlds, which sometimes doesn’t happen if we are being honest.

      2. I agree that a lot of Eaker’s beam should not be credited, and also that the likelihood of this happening to a US gymnast ever, including at worlds, is unfortunately pretty low.
        She’s great on beam, but her routine construction and *some* of her execution really sucks. And she’s not likely to get deducted for it.

  13. everyone keeps saying jordan/grace & kara combo, but i could honestly see a schennikova (VT/UB) & eaker (BB/FX)

    1. Polina doesn’t seem to have the consistency though. I’m always nervous when she goes up. Not sure Jordan does either.

      1. It’s Alyona, not Polina! Polina is the former elite, older sister of Alyona who just retired from gymnastics after two seasons at University of Michigan.

  14. i’m assuming so, theoretically you could put in mccallum for hurd as they score very similarly on VT/FX but morgan typically has stronger UB/BB that could be used in TF if the others aren’t hitting normally

  15. Simone smiles before she lands her crazy hard passes on floor… Is she an alien or something?

  16. So…how real is the chance that Hurd, uninjured, high-D, no-falls, defending World AA champ, doesn’t make the team at this point?

  17. Also, before I jump to conclusions, who is the woman in the corner who held up 2 fingers for Jones’ OOB?

    1. OK, Spencer confirmed it’s Terin – which feels weird to me. She shouldn’t be impacting scores (however “neutrally” if she is on the selection committee, right? I mean, least of our problems. But still.

      1. She’s literally identifying how many feet were OOB. It’s a makeshift event in so many ways. I don’t see this as a problem except that her attention might be split.

      2. Well, it’s not really controversial if she’s just confirming whether an athlete stepped out of bounds or not – kind of an obvious deduction everyone can see (and better to have someone there then no one).

        It’s one of the obvious deductions in other words and not up to the judgement of the judges.

  18. Hurd looked like this last year leading up to Wotlds. Inconsistent. But once Ragan scratched, Morgan rocked!
    IMHO-leaving her off would be a mistake

    1. Morgan won camp last year, so I would guess that she didn’t look like this at camp last year.

    2. Right now Simone and Riley look to be the two AAers.

      If Ragan works her way onto the team I think it’s Grace and Kara who need to worry, not Morgan. Though Ragan and Morgan likely aren’t going as AAer – Ragan on beam/floor, Morgan bars and maybe beam), does this open a spot for Chiles on vault (neither Morgan or Ragan are written in pen on the event).

      Or do you take Grace and then rely on Simone’s big vault to score all the points and the others just to be stable on the event…

      One could even look at Eaker’s big crazy beam score as her reward for how nice she looks but it being beam they won’t take a specialist on the event. Simone and Riley are both pretty locked on while Morgan/Ragan/Grace battle for the final spot.

      The big question is how healthy is Ragan and her foot? She looks good here but…

  19. Chiles looks like she’s hurting a bit walking off the floor – and I am thinking maybe it’s from landing the DLO on not a good to land on surface – that floor doesn’t really look like something powerful elites should be working with (no “shoulder” so to speak) – hope she’s ok.

  20. LOL simone is like, yall can keep doing your DTYs, i’ll make up all the vault difficulty against russia BY MYSELF

    1. there is no Amanar or cheng from russia this year as paseka is not going so they won’t really have to make up much of anything. but would have been nice to see more than just a few DTY from us.

      1. russia potentially has two rudis (akhaimova & simakova) and a cheng (melnikova)

      2. Melnikova got a cheng in her pocket plus 2 rudi.. Sim and ahk But with Biles new vault on execution and difficulty the grounds are made up

  21. Hurd is safe. Without Alyona you need her bars, and given Alyona’s other events she is out (with an injury you can’t risk her.) Eaker seems like the best specialist; she is solid-ish to go in the case of an injury on the other events. Looks to me like Smith and McCallum are in a run for the 5th spot, and on the day Smith has a bit of a lead. The main issue is bars – who do you trust of those two in prelims?

    1. it’s like every once in a while she decides to remind us that she came to earth in a spaceship from krypton, with superman

  22. Goodbye to Chiles chance 🙁 Between Mccallum, Eaker, and Smith for final 2 spots.

  23. Hopefully no controversies when the team is selected (although there will always be some kind of controversy). Marta had some problems, but the teams always seemed to make sense. I wonder if Forster will try to be more “acceptable” and choose the least controversial team VS the best team.

  24. I think it’s Eaker and McCallum, with Smith as alternate. Eaker is a medal threat on beam, and McCallum got Ragan on several events.

    1. McCallum really only got Ragan on floor so I think its actually pretty close. Ragan had a huge OOB on a pass while grace did her normal so I think you really could make the argument for either. Of course depending on how they both have looked throughout the camp.

      But i think its likely they are both named to the team and traveling, its just a question of who is the traveling alternate.

  25. Biles takes it all, if not her best… ; )
    McCallum and Smith! But somehow, Fong VooDoo May end up with Eaker

  26. So Smith was two tenths from beating Hurd while counting a fall, and McCallum – also counting a fall – actually beat Hurd? She’ll probably still make the team, but maybe Morgan Hurd won’t/shouldn’t be doing the AA…?

    1. It’ll be:
      Hurd AA
      McCallum VT/UB/FX
      Eaker BB
      McCusker AA
      Biles AA

      VT Hurd, McCallum, Biles
      UB McCallum/Hurd, Biles, McCusker
      BB McCusker/Hurd, Biles, Eaker
      FX McCallum, Hurd, Biles

      While she struggled today, Hurd could find herself competing all 4 in team finals with Biles.

    1. Agree. Ragan travels with the team to Doha, and if they put in a non-traveling alternate I’d go with Shchennikova for her bars – you need her if something happens to Riley.

      I think Morgan’s place ON the team is still safe, but the role she plays within it may change if she continues to struggle. In other words, she and Grace McCallum might switch positions: Grace gets the third AA spot in quals after Biles and McCusker, and Morgan is used as a specialist (VT/UB) in TF. However, we know that with a hit meet Morgan is challenging McCusker for the second spot in the AA final, and given the success she’s had in her career so far I wouldn’t bet against her.

      Based on what we saw today, the team would look like so:

      VT – Simone, Grace, Morgan (Riley)
      UB – Riley, Simone, Morgan (Grace)
      BB – Kara, Simone, Riley (Grace*)
      FX – Simone, Grace, Riley* (Kara)

      *Morgan could replace Grace or Riley on these events if she’s hitting in Doha, in which case Riley’s your alternate on FX.

      Overall, a strong team and obvious favorite for gold. VT and FX are a little disappointing given what the USA could be bringing there (Jade…), but will not impact the TF result, and Simone should take gold in both EFs anyway. I also think Grace has a good shot at a FX final. US will expect to qualify two gymnasts to every EF except VT.

      Can’t wait for worlds!!!

      1. McCullum qualifying to vault finals isn’t out of the question. The field is weak and her execution is clean.

  27. What I’m most curious about is who’s not doing the AA in qualifications? With Simone in the AA, and without two clear specialists in the VT/FX and BB/UB mold that we’re used to, that leaves a lot up in the air for lineups. If Kara goes for beam, that leaves Morgan, Riley and Grace (or Ragan, I guess), to divvy up two AA spots and one VT/UB/FX. Riley seems to be the clearest #2 behind Simone at camp, so does Morgan get the other AA spot because she’s the reigning world champ, or does Grace get it because she beat Morgan at camp? Likely it’s a decision based on how they do in podium training, which makes it an interesting decision of who looks best right at that moment.

    1. i still bet on Biles mccusker and hurd doing AA in qual , eaker beam, and mccallum vt, bars, fx

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