American Classic! You know a competition is important and organized when the times and format change two days before the event. The original format of this competition saw the juniors compete early and the seniors compete later, but given the dearth of seniors registered for the event, the juniors have been divided among the two sessions.
In terms of those juniors, this competition is very much a “who’s the next thing” opportunity because the top juniors we have known either turned senior this year or are currently en route to Hungary for junior worlds. The obvious standouts or obvious potential winners aren’t here, so this meet will be about those “oh she has good dance elements, what’s her name…?” moments.
Of the competitors here, the one who recorded the best score at junior worlds trials was Ciena Alipio with 54.050—whom we also saw compete at Jesolo this year—followed by Sydney Morris with a 52.050, Mya Witte with a 51.900, and Ava Siegfeldt with a 51.700. With a 5.6 D on bars and a 6.2 D on beam, Alipio has the difficulty to pull away from most of the other gymnasts here if it’s a good day for her.
As for the seniors, Sunisa Lee is among the few big names that elected to attend, another opportunity to continue making a case for worlds, though it was disappointing to see that Jordan Chiles withdrew as I think we were all looking forward to seeing what her gymnastics looked like at this point. Most of the other senior competitors will be looking for their qualifying score to nationals of a 52.000 AA.
The juniors are looking for a 51.000 to make nationals, so the ones I mentioned above already clinched that at selection, as did a couple others, but the majority of competitors here are looking to hit that 51 mark to take some pressure off of their performances at US Classic.
In the first session of the day, we’ll have most of the athletes mentioned above like Morris, Witte, and Siegfeldt, also Little Frazier and Anya Pilgrim…so it’s not like all the top juniors here were promoted to the second session. They have promoted enough athletes that this will be the smaller session of the two, with just four athletes in each rotation (five in one).
It throws me off to hear the Utah lady and the Utah music introducing all these gymnasts. I’m like…”I don’t know what to do with your voice unless you’re saying, ‘Georgiaaaaa Daaaaaabritzzz.” Also weird to see this arena with just 6 people in it.
I won the “Name That Skill” game. It’s a straddled Jaeger. Take that, small children!
Roberson with a full on vault, a little piking and a step back. Solid. Booth sits a Y1.5.
Zirbes – UB – really strong FTDT, nearly stick
Witte – BB – switch to switch 1/2, gets up to position quite well on the switch 1/2, which is nice to see. Side aerial is comfortable. Double pike dismount, small step. Strong hit routine.
Ahern – UB – nice first hs – clear hip to toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, hit – toe full to pak – toe shoot – piked DLO with a pretty large stumble back
Huge DTY from Anya Pilgrim. She had to pike it down in the second salto, with a hop back, great distance and amplitude.
Fairly elegant loso series from siegfeldt on beam, a couple knee moments here and there, but she has a nice sissone position. Switch 1/2 was a struggle. A larger wobble on an Onodi. Fall on dismount, shame.
Hit Y.15 from Rosen.
Morris – UB – piked jaeger, efficient – inbar full to pak, nice difficulty for a junior, will get deduction for some handstand positions, but others are right up on top – inbar – finishes DLO with a small step. Good.
Frazier – FX – DLO, solid control, just some chest down – front tuck through to double tuck, large bounce back with possible OOB – switch ring to ring jump full – 2/1, a little slide – wolf double turn whipped around – switch 1/2 to split 1/2, some feet – double pike, some legs. Let’s get her to NCAA as soon as possible so she can have a fun floor routine.
Volpe – UB – 1/2 turn to piked jaeger – pak, strong legs together there – good handstand positions but attempts I believe a toe full, can’t get it around and comes off.
Nice switch leap from Wright on beam. A few checks on acro skills but nothing individually large. Secure side jump – finishes 2/1 with knees, but just a small step to the side.
Posen – FX – solid front double full, good pop, a bit of knees, strong landing – double tuck, a hair short with a hop – switch ring, split leap full, yes to the front foot position on that switch ring – 1.5 through to 2/1, short and got a little ragged in that double full, but some very nice moments there. She’s MG Elite and you can tell.
Gantner – BB – bhs bhs loso series, small check, a little tight – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, secure, first switch position strong – a little hesitant on aerial but hit – falls on side aerial. Finishes with a strong 2.5 dismount, small hop.
Sears – BB – split jump 1/2 to start – good height on bhs loso series, just a bit tight in position – secure punch front, just lands a little low – nice switch leap – split ring leap is probably a no-credit for me – aerial with a check, split ring jump is stronger – a couple leg-up wobbles in here – came up short on double tuck dismount and falls. Looks to be hurt. That was a short ankle-cruncher ouchie dismount. Aw drag.
So rotation 1 is done.
Pilgrim will be our leader at this point with her hit DTY, followed by Witte and then Rosen, then Morris, and those were my about my top standouts of the first rotation as well. Witte’s beam was quite strong, Morris the most composed on bars, and then Pilgrim of course had the difficulty of a hit DTY, and Rosen hit her 1.5.
I missed Chavala Shepard’s floor at the beginning, but she had the highest E of that floor rotation.
Ahern – BB – small check on aerial – bhs bhs layout series, we can debate layout credit, but a sretty solid landing – a split 3/4, which is cool, small check – finishes 2/1 with a small hop.
We’re seeing legit difficulty from Siegfeldt on floor – DLO and a full-in as her first two passes – double pike, just a hair short –
Hit DTY from Frazier, some knees, small hop – will bump her up the standings.
Pilgrim – UB – toe full – stalder Shap to pak, feet – toe 1/2 to front stalder 1/2 with hesitation to Maloney to Tkatchev – she has the compsotion here – some incredibly short hs toward the end, double pike dismount. Lost steam toward the end, but the shape of the idea is there.
We have a fall from Morris on beam, but the rest is pretty solid, good quick double pike dismount, hop back.
Rosen – UB – toe Shap with some legs – clear hip to tkatchev, caught – stalder – pak, legs together – toe shoot – giant full to double tuck, small hop. Not a ton of difficulty but comfortably performed.
Gantner – FX – piked full in, gets it around, a bit of a struggle but hit – double tuck, good shape, chest down –
Volpe hit bhs bhs loso series on beam – a little uncertain on landing with a little lean – some checks to worth through here that will take down the E, lots of little leans – 2/1 with a step.
Shame, looks like Sears is scratching floor after that beam dismount landing.
Witte – FX – sits a 2.5 first pass, looked like she just got lost in the air and wasn’t sure where she was. Good leaps. Secure double pike.
Zirbes – BB – switch with a little check – split to straddle – bhs bhs loso series and falls, some crazy legs in there and was progressively more off line as it went – hits the rest, finishes 2.5 dismount with a lunge.
It’s so weird to see the Utah arena so empty. I mean, like, give away tickets if you have to…
So after 2: Anya Pilgrim has the lead, followed by Frazier, both quite a ways ahead and both having done DTYs on vault, so not a coincidence there. Witte still in third despite the fall on floor.
Frazier Pilgrim and Morris all up first in this rotation.
Morris very short on full in to start her floor, no hand down, but chest well down – comfortable double tuck and such –
Good punch front from Pilgrim, bhs loso series, smoothly done – this is a strong routine, but obviously my favorite part is the straight jump 1/1 from side position that got less than one centimeter off the beam. She’s like, “What am I, foolish?” Good double tuck, she’s a step above in this rotation’s field.
Gantner hits a full on vault, hop back.
Frazier – UB – Chruch got very close to the bar but caught it – pak, some struggle in body position, gets off on a toe 1/1 attempt that has to turn into a toe 1.5 before she falls.
Volpe very short on full in attempt first pass, no hand down. but quite low.
Frazier resumed and is really struggling, another extra swing, and then another fall. – good moments, good DLO, the bigger elements are stronger for her.
Rosen hits a fairly pretty three series on beam, a little check – side aerial, pristine extension on that – some nice elements like Onodis, finishes double pike with some legs apart. Moments of hesitations and broken connections, but lots of potential.
Siegfeldt hits a Y1.5, lunge forward
Posen – UB – piked jaeger, a little low but casight – stalder full to Ricna and falls, shame, looked nice in the air. Good handstands in the resumption, double tuck dismount, hit.
Zirbes good form on double pike on floor, hop to the side – front 2/1 – solid hops into her leaps – 1.5 to front full, does well to keep it in – 2.5, pretty comfortable, good routine.
Nice quick beam work from Roberson. Reminds me of when Ragan Smith was a tiny tiny tiny. Falls on a straight jump 1/1 from side position, in contrast to Pilgrim, she got SO high that I think it threw off her positioning. Double pike dismount with a hop.
Good toes on a Jaeger from Shepard but can’t catch.
Ahern – FX – pretty solid power on full in but a lunge back and OOB – switch 1/2 with a some solid lift – switch side 1/2, same, good amplitude to give her time to hit the position – 1.5 to layout – double tuck, bounce back
Booth – BB – candle mount, fine – bhs loso, small check, good position – switch 1/2, check – a hesitant routine but the technique is very much there.
Newman – Achee just does get a FTDT bars dismount around – a hit, some moments of feet adn knees and leg separations, but some solid content.
So after three, it looks like Anya Pilgrim is going to have about a point lead on the rest, which is now Jaime Wright in second, then Witte and Rosen.
Eyes on a score of 51.000 for these juniors. The top handful is in contention for that number, though several of them have already achieved it.
Rosen – FX – shortish full in witha bounce back – double pike, small hop – split leap full to switch 1/1 try – front tuck through to 2/1, nice early open out of that 2/1, strong –
Hit 1.5 on vault from Volpe, good control.
Gantner – UB – inbar to tkatchev, nice speed – some hs – toe full to pak – stalder to toe on to toe shoot – DLO, small hop. Some handstands but the tools are very much there on this event.
Pretty aerial to split to straddle from Posen on BB – Nice basic splits, loses a little as she goes for more difficult ones – side aerial, hit – a couple sid ejumps, both with leans forward and not connected. Finishes 1.5, not so high with a lunge. Some strong work.
Zirbes a strong 1.5 on vault as well.
Good pop on full in from Roberson on floor, one of the more comfortable full ins of the day. Hit double arabian as well
Witte – UB – can’t cast up to handstand right at the start and has to fall against the bar.
Morris hits a full on vault.
Our first major scoring delay. This thing had been moving along very promptly.
Siegfeldt – UB – toe full to Stalder Shap to Pak, some hyper-arch and legs there but caught – Maloney to gienger, just a hair close, good – double front, hop forward. Good one.
Large check on aerial from Shepard on beam – bhs bhs back pike/layout/something and falls, looks like she got too short for herself on that one – switch 1/2, probably no credit – side aerial is strong – 1.5 dismount, step back
Good position on split full on floor from Booth.
Wright – UB – quite lare on a full turn attempt – Maloney to Pak is hit – some feet – stalder to toe shoot – toe 1/2 – double front, a little short with a step back. Hit day for her.
Newman-Achee – BB – wolf turn triple and it’s actually nice looking, so is the double, but obviously minus 16 points for back to back wolves – side aerial, check – some little hop that was unclear if it was choreograpjhy or pulling out of a jump – bhs loso series hit – back tuck – struggles on a swtich –
Double arabian from Pilgrim – good – 1.5 through to double tuck, small hop – solid split full – 2/1 in the literal middle of the floor, I’m not going to waste a whole tumbling run on a double full you guys – wouldn’t give the full Memmel turn – double pike, bounce back –
Frazier – BB – large break on opening turn attempt, lean forward, doesn’t grab the beam – side aerial, hit solidly despite foot being a little off – bhs loso, off line and falls – finishes double pike with a step. The day started well but struggles on the final two pieces.
Session 1 final:
1. Anya Pilgrim – 52.900
2. Ava Siegfeldt – 51.550
3. Sydney Morris – 51.400
Those three are the only ones who hit the 51.000 AA goal, though Siegfeldt and Morris had already done that at junior worlds trials. Pilgrim the highlight of the day, and Siegfeldt will be overall pleased with being in second despite a beam miss. She leads on bars and floor.
Witte had some troubles today on bars and floor to finish 7th, but did get the highest beam score by nearly a point with her 14.100.
Let’s all meet back here for session 2, which is juniors and seniors combined.
Session 2 begins with Sunisa Lee on bars. So there we go, one routine, meet over.
Montage question, how long do you have to use the “new memories” song until those memories aren’t new anymore?
“W-O-G-A” with the letters pronounced. Everyone was like, “sweetie…” I realized I’ve never heard anyone say WOGA like that before.
So weird how everyone is at World Champions now. And by so weird, I mean completely predictable and not weird at all.
Sienna Robinson is underway on floor with a hit full in – double tuck, pretty solid position there – some split position deductions in there
Hollingsworth with a fall on beam –
S Lee – UB – Nabieva to bhardwaj! But then comes off! Looked like she caught it but then missed a hand….Maloney to gienger is clean – piked jaeger, a little close, tries to connect it to pak and can’t catch. OOF. Resumes, Shap 1/2, hit, and then cgoes over on a handstand – giant full to flyaway. So…um…that was not great.
Little – VT – tsuk back layout, lunge back.
Heather – FX – double pike, a little hunched over but just a small hop – 1.5 to layout, well short on the layout, had to tuck it to get to her feet – good height on 2/1, slide back
E Lee – VT – solid amplitude on full, just a litlte short with a step forward –
Blakely scratches bars.
Saltness hits a weiler to piked jageer, good height on pak with some feet – Shap to gienger, caught, some legs apart here and there – toe full – finishes DLO, has to pike it down in second salto with a hop.
Jung-Ruivivar – FX – 2.5 to front tucl, a little short, pulled it around – strumbles out of Memmel turn, probably won’t get it – some split ring attempts – has the flexibility and expressiveness potential that we know from last year – 1.5 to front full, lunge OOB – double pike, chest, but only a small hop.
Chio on beam does well to save a low punch front – larger check on side jump – switch, pause but the position in the switch was nice, and the switch 1/2 was not bad either – leg up check on aerial. Bhs bhs double 2/1, stuck, Good finish.
Good handstands and Pak position from Nola Matthews on bars – strong DLO shape as well. I like that. Potential there.
It’s 13.150 from Zoe Miller on beam, that’s a good score.
Torrez finishing the bars rotation – toe full – Maloney to pak is hit well, she’s going to get destroyed for these handstands – Shap 1/2 – piked jaeger, she’s efficient and powerful on the valuable skills, but losing her E on casts – strong DLO and stuck.
Karis German with a hit loso series on beam, feet but good height – back tuck, only a tad hesitant – aerial with a teeter – side aerial is stronger – standing front tuck, hit, misses connection but the skill was hit – struggles more on side jump, lean forward – switch 1/2, short – double tuck, great position on that, small hop.
Adams – FX – round off 2.5 to front pike, great height on that 2.5 – double tuck, comfortable, slide – wolf triple attempt, then a wolf double with a little stumble lean, I’d also credit the first one as a double, so that could be an issue for D score – goes for a Memmel – double pike, short with a lunge.
Vides on beam – a surprise when she got her elite qualifying score because we don’t really know her – aerial, some knees, hit – bhs loso, pretty solid, only a small waver – side jump actually had a nice position, check – then goes for straight full from side, check – pretty acrobaticallly secure here – and then a stuck dismount.
So the big news from that rotation was Sunisa Lee having the equivalent of a 3-fall routine on bars. Much lower score than anticipated. You don’t read anything into it because she has other meets where she can say, “AHEM” like Jesolo, but she was supposed to be the runaway winner here, and now…
Faith Torrez leads the non-vaulting seniors with her 13.100 on bars – nice that she didn’t get too destroyed for handstands after all because the actual elements were solid.
In love with the fact that Ryan’s tweet about travel delays made the big screen.
Blakely – BB – switch with switch 1/2 to loso series attempt, a break in connection, has actual good split position in switch 1/2, just some feet – fhs to front tuck was a dream, some high and solid – side somi, well hit – double tuck, step back. Some knees, a couple small moments, but a good one.
LJR – VT – fairly clean full, step back, a little pike
Miller finishes floor with solid double tuck, step back
E Lee – UB – toe full, late – Maloney to pak, legs fairly well together – toe shap 1/2, small leg break – toe 1/2 with a little hesitation into piked jaeger, good piked shape in that jaeger – DLO, forward with a lunge. If memory serves, she suffered a major injury on bars at this meet last year, so nice recovery.
Saltness – BB – arabian and hits it, just did get it to her feet witha squat but she did – check on series – switch side 1/2! Well done – Some checky moments but some cool content…and also two consecutive wolf turns. Double tuck, lunge back
Nguyen – UB – gets stich in toe 1/1 and only does 1/2 with an extra swing – stalder Shap to pak, pretty on the stalder shap – Maloney to gienger, hit – smooth cast hs positions but once again gets stuck on a pirouette and has to hop off this time. Finishes with her toe higgins to piked jaeger, and it’s glorious this time – lunge on dismount.
Matthews – BB – very quick on double wolf turn – loso series, solid – check on aerial – side aerial, solid – switch to split – 2/1 with a hop. She’s one to watch.
HUGE double double tucked from German on floor. Well now. full in, bounce to the side – the double double was more comfortable for her, so there’s that –
Alipio – UB – inbar to Komova II to Pak, a little hesitation and legs on pak but works out of it – Shap 1/2 and piked jaeger are solid – toe full – FTDT, chest down but hit it. Good one.
Vides – FX – tries a double double tucked! It does not go great! She didn’t fall but she landed with her head an inch away from the ground with a couple large lunges – double pike, solid shape – good 180 shown –
Really solid acro work from Faith Torrez on beam – a level of confidence we haven’t seen much today – even the side jumps were high enough to not be breath-holders – double tuck, small hop. Strong showing. Oklahoma will get another one.
Hollingsworth – nearly a carbon copy double double attempt to Vides, quite short with a large lunge forward – 1.5 through to double tuck is more comfortable, just some chest down.
S Lee – BB – strong wolf triple – split jump to sissone, good position – aerial with a large leg-up check – bhs bhs layout, some legs apart, but mostly solid hit – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, great splits on switch elements – side aerial to loso to loso, hit, arm wave correction – switch ring, a little two-parter – double tuck with step back. Some checky moments, but a hit and worlds more comfortable than bars was.
Alipio has the junior lead in this session after 2, followed by Little, then Matthews and Robinson.
Faith Torrez went 14.000 for that strong beam routine to take a large lead in the seniors, followed by Emily Lee and then a long wait on the beam score for Sunisa Lee. That wait is currently in 3rd place.
Lee goes 14.300 on beam so she’s tied with Emily Lee for 2nd.
E Lee – BB – round off layout, super high, but splits the beam and flops off hilariously. She gets back up, so we can say it was a hilarious fall – switch and switch 1/2, pause before back handspring – really nice switch 1/2 position –
I think we’re still in bars warmup with that simultaneously hilarious fall? – That’s going to need to be GIFed.
Emily Lee finishes beam with a hit double pike, step back.
College stick on a 1.5 from Chio on vault. Nicely done.
LJR – UB – toe full to toe shap to pak, gorgeous work on that combination – stalder to toe shap 1/2, crazy legs on catch there – stalder 1/2 to piked jaeger caught – FTDT, deep but hit. Nice routine. She showed the lovely potential there last year, now we’re seeing the hit.
Hit DTY from German on vault, lunge to the side
Gilstrap – BB – punch front, hit – bhs loso series, also controlled – aerial, short with some knees, a lean correction – super pretty switch leap – switch ring, not bad – bhs bhs 2/1, short witha lunge
Miller – VT – clean full in the air, large bounc back.
Torrez – FX – big DLO and stuck. Wow. split leap full, comfortable – front tuck through to double tuck, also nailed – switch leap to switch 1/2 – wolf double – front fullto front pike to stag, a little low there – double pike, short with a bounce forward, but still she’s having an excellent day.
Alipio – BB -side aerial to loso to loso, feet but solid – also hits her layout to two feet with a little bounce back – she has the difficulty – split leap to side somi, small lean – aerail to split to straddle, great lift on those dance elements – 2/1 dismount, bounce back. Another good one for her. She’s the one who can beat Pilgrim’s score.
Robinson – UB – giant full to blins change to good height on piked jaeger – jaeger, hit.
Sunisa Lee scratches floor.
Blakely – FX – double back with a little hop – switch – split leap full, nice height – Y spin 2.5 ish? Definitely got two full ones around – Sits double arabian, not close to getting that one around – Double pike, bounce back – wolf double turn – switch 1/2, some feet – Just a layout as her final pass.
Little – BB – wolf double, slow but composed – standing front tuck, small step back – bhs loso, hit – great height on her aerial – side aerial, smoothly done – bhs bhs double full, lunge
Pretty Pak from Heather on bars, comes off on a low bar pirouette.
Alipio has a lead of more than a point on German in the juniors, and would need just 11.650 on floor to catch Pilgrim for the junior win.
Faith Torrez continues rolling in the seniors.
Gilstrap – FX – double pike, comfortable, small slide – front lay to front full, another small bounce – switch 1/2 to stag, lovely switch 1/2 extension – double tuck, hop –
German – UB – toe full – stalder shap, tucks her legs over the low – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger – pak, hit – van leeuwen, only a small leg break – leg form on giants – DLO, with a small slide. She started with a struggle on beam but came through with three hits after that. Should get her nationals score.
Torrez – DTY, hit, bounce back. She had an exceptional day.
54.850 for Torrez. DAMN.
Alipio – FX – good double pike and pretty comfortable on her double tuck – not huge tumbling elements, but all comfortably performed for the kind of score she needs to win the juniors – LOL basically Paseka-ed a wolf turn double attempt – 2/1, hop back.
Adams – BB – hits wolf triple and wolf double that semi accidentally turns into a 2.5. Finishes 2/1 with hop/
Hit Y1.5 from Blakely
Saltness follows with Y1.5, lunge forward
Little – FX – double arabian, good power, just some legs and a small step – split jump 1/1 – double pike, pretty open position – step back – split leap full – double tuck – 2.5 legs were pretty insane, but a hit.
Zoe Miller pulls out our second Komova II of the day on bars –
Hit layout to 2 feet from Sienna Robinson on beam. Leg up wobble on side aerial. LOVELY Y spin. A real Y spin. double pike, stuck. Nicely done.
Chio – UB – love these stalder positions – shap to clear hit to pak, good finish in hs – stalder 1/2 to piked jaeger, takes it too far and falls.
E Lee – FX – big DLO, pretty nicely done – excellent shape in double tuck in the air – double L turn attempt, I’d say the leg was not enough at horizontal to give that as double L – double pike, small slide.
Mia Heather with a wolf turn disaster for the wolf turn disaster hall of fame. Switch split was gorgeous – bhs loso series, pretty leg position on most of her elements here – bhs bhs 2/1, hop back
Jung-Ruivivar will finish out the meet with her beam routine, as was foretold.
It looks like they’ve accidentally given Hollingsworth’s bars score to Vides in the standings, so take that into account.
LJR – BB – candle mount – aerial, some knee – into swingdown, probably a little too late for connection – side aerial, well done – switch, does it to scale which may have been improvisation – onodi and falls – bhs loso series, great toes – side split attempt with massive wobble both directions but keeps it on the beam – 1.5, short with a couple steps back.
1. Ciena Alipio – 53.800
2. Karis Gemran – 53.350
3. Anya Pilgrim – 52.900
4. Lyden Saltness – 52.600
5. Zoe Miller – 52.350
5. Sienna Robinson – 52.350
7. Ava Siegfeldt – 51.550
8. Sydney Morris – 51.400
9. Nola Matthews – 51.200
10. Kailin Chio – 51.150
10. Lauren Little – 51.150
Those juniors are now qualified for nationals if they were not already qualified.
1. Faith Torrez – 54.850
2. Emily Lee – 53.550
3. Shania Adams – 51.650
4. Olivia Hollingsowrth 49.400
That’s all. That’s all the seniors who did the AA. In addition Sloane Blakely won beam with 14.500. Sunisa Lee was second on beam with 14.300.
So, Torrez and Emily Lee got their AA scores for nationals.
Shania Adams exactly got her 3-event score for nationals for VT, UB, BB.
And then Sunisa Lee and Sloane Blakely were already qualified of course.
So…kind of pointless but fun, right?