The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – December 19, 2018

A. Just the fun stuff

It’s a just the fun stuff edition of TAH today, starting with Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos doing a Marinich/Kim out of a van Leeuwen:

So that’s, like, kind of good. She could actually connect out of that Kim, either down to the low bar with something like a Yezhova or on the high bar with some manner of pirouette, a la working out of a Shaposh. Anyway, feel free to create any kind of mythical 8.5 D score you would like. It’s the offseason. We need it.

B. Voronin Cup

In the final meet of the elite year, Alyona Shchennikova went to Russia to win the all-around at the Voronin Cup, posting a 53.825 AA score to outpace Yeo Seojeong in second and Hanna Traukova in third.

The Voronin Cup is an open international competition, so if you were wondering whether Shchennikova was going to pull an Alexeeva and compete for Russia, that’s not what this is. Half the competitors were not representing Russia.

That third-place finish is an encouraging result for Traukova, especially because Belarus also has several new seniors for 2019 and might actually start being able to put together real-life teams again if they’re getting competitive scores from Traukova as well.

The main Russians did not compete here this year, presumably all too busy getting ready to “MAMA IS ON THE TOWN TONIGHT” at the wedding of Daria Spiridonova and Nikita Nagornyy, but our best borderline athletes and heart-attack specials did continue being teases with Varvara Zubova scoring 13.750 on beam, Maria Kharenkova hitting both beam and floor for over 13, and Natalia Kapitonova winning the floor title.

The elite schedule is typically not too active at the beginning of the year, so there won’t be much to pay attention to on that front until the February meets like Elite Canada, WOGA Classic, Winter Cup, and the US women’s elite qualifiers. And then the apparatus qualification process continues in Melbourne at the end of February. In the mean time…

C. College training

Oklahoma showed a bunch of 10.0 vaults in its intrasquad.

50 bonus points if you can differentiate all those brunette Y1.5s from each other. Also, they might all be the same person in a “that Hong Su Jong/Hong Un Jong conspiracy theory” kind of way.

Sarah Finnegan was the star of LSU’s gymnastics 101

The Bruins have officially been met, and Norah Flatley exists again. And all was right and good.

This Flatley beam routine has way more bonus than is necessary, so it provides the opportunity to downgrade to the wimpy series or ditch the switch ring depending on how things go with the scores.

Also, the Kyla Ross and Nia Dennis 10.0 starts actually happened, so we can stop making fun of the mythical vaults that never materialize.

Get excited about Adrienne Randall’s beam routine for Utah.

Florida let us in on the highlights from its intrasquad

A lot at Alabama’s bars work from this month as we try to find out who this lineup is going to be…

Not to be left out, Denver also held a public intrasquad over the weekend.

As a reminder, college competition begins on January 4th, a cool 16 days from now, with Michigan’s Cancun vacation that’s also a meet, Cal’s visit to LSU for a top-10 clash, and UCLA against Nebraska on ESPN2. You can check out the full season schedule here.

In roster news, sophomore Nicole Webb, who competed 1 beam routine last season, has been removed from Florida’s roster.

D. GymCastic

In our final episode of the year, we have much to discuss as we break down the Ropes and Gray report, perform a year-in-review fantasy indictment draft, and look ahead to the new elite seniors and new college elites that will be gracing us in 2019.

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