The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

American Classic Rosters

We’re just 10 days away from the US elite summer season getting underway again with the BUM BUM BUM…American Classic?

The American Classic: Mattering since 2018.

I guess. We’ve decided.

The meet that used to take place at the ranch over 4th of July (#NeverForget) is now an actual public competition instead of a secret secret made of secrets. We even have a roster release and everything. Rosters are also out for the Hopes Classic which takes place the day before, but I don’t care about that, you’re too young. Go watch the Frozen trailer with Kylie C.

So here’s a quick breakdown of what’s going on with the field for juniors and the field for seniors (such as it is).

Juniors

Olivia Ahern (River City)
Ciena Alipio (West Valley)
Love Birt (First State)
Skye Blakely (WOGA)
Charlotte Booth (Brandy Johnson’s)
Sophia Butler (Discover)
Kailin Chio (Gymcats)
Addison Fatta (Prestige)
eMjae Frazier (Parkettes)
Elizabeth Gantner (JPAC)
Karis German (WCC)
Emily Golden (EVO)
Mia Heather (San Mateo)
Levi Jung-Ruivivar (Paramount)
Lauren Little (Everest)
Nola Matthews (Airborne)
Zoe Miller (WCC)
Sydney Morris (First State)
Annalise Newman-Achee (Chelsea Piers)
Sophie Parenti (San Mateo)
Anya Pilgrim (Hill’s)
Ariel Posen (MG Elite)
Joscelyn Roberson (NE Texas)
Sienna Robinson (Brown’s)
Katelyn Rosen (Mavericks)
Lyden Saltness (Midwest)
Jamison Sears (World Class)
Chavala Shepard (Hopes and Dreams)
Ava Siegfeldt (World Class)
Mya Witte (Genie’s)
Jamie Wright (World Class)
Eva Volpe (Pearland)
Ella Zirbes (Flips)

American Classic conflicts with Junior Worlds in Hungary, so we won’t see those who ultimately make the J-worlds team (Spencer, stop trying to make J-worlds happen, it’s not going to happen). Of the nominative group—DiCello, McClain, Greaves, Blakely—only Blakely is even on the preliminary roster here, though she’ll pull out of this competition if she makes the team.

Along with Blakely, the only other members of the junior national team scheduled to compete here are Cienna Alipio and Sophia Butler, so eyes will be on them. All three have gone at least 52.8 on international assignment this year, which would put them toward the top of the group.

In terms of highest qualifying scores, eMjae Frazier (which, we’re really going to need an official ruling on the capitalization) got a 54.850 at the Parkettes qualifier—with all the necessary Parkettes scoring caveats implied. Mya Witte also got a 54.100 at the WCC qualifier and has scored quite well at a couple of elite meets this year, making her one to watch. We’ll also see the return of Anya Pilgrim, who showed a ton of potential as a little-little but has been out for a while, as well as Levi Jung-Ruivivar who has already established herself as a pain-of-a-nation favorite.

Unless these juniors have already achieved a 51.000 at camp or on an international assignment this year (which is only a handful of them), they’ll need to score a 51.000 here or at US Classic to make championships.


Moving on to the seniors, something you may notice is that there are only nine people slated to compete in that whole session. Nine.

Seniors

Shania Adams (Future)
Sloane Blakely (WOGA)
Jordan Chiles (WCC)
Jaylene Gilstrap (Metroplex)
Olivia Hollingsworth (WCC)
Emily Lee (West Valley)
Sunisa Lee (Midwest)
Victoria Nguyen (Everest)
Abigael Vides (WCC)

The competition hasn’t ticketed the junior and senior sessions separately (good), so you almost wonder whether they’d just combine them into one super-session because there are so few seniors, but they have been scheduled separately and continue to be. Just a really short senior session I guess. Somehow it will still take longer than an SEC Network dual meet. SUNISA NEEDS TO CHALK.

For a while, it looked like we would have a pretty hearty senior group here with Pan Ams on the horizon, but USAG amended the selection procedures to say that you can compete at either the American Classic or the June national team camp as part of the selection process. That’s why we’re seeing most of those national team members elect to pass on American Classic, with Blakely, Chiles, and Sunisa Lee the only ones slated to compete.

Not to say we’re short of storylines here. Big news this week has been the reveal of Jordan Chiles’ move to WCC in Texas for the final push toward the Olympics. At the rate she was going, I was starting to think it would make sense for Chiles to just go to UCLA for 2020 because she has been progressively dropping farther out of contention for teams. But she’s not heading to UCLA for 2020—she has confirmed she’s deferring to 2021 to try for the Olympics—so if you’re going to do that, might as well go all in.

There’s also the return of Victoria Nguyen, who has been absent from the senior elite scene for a while now. Nguyen got a two-event elite qualifying score for vault and bars, so in a change from previous years, she’s only eligible to compete those two events at American Classic and US Classic (unless she were to, say, go to camp right now and get a four-event score).

In the past, even if you got a two-event score at an elite qualifier, you could compete all four at the Classic meets to try to get your AA score for nationals, but no longer.

Athletes who haven’t yet qualified to nationals via camp scores or international assignments are looking for a 52.000 AA here to clinch a spot at nationals.

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