US Nationals – Senior Women Day 1 Live Blog

7:00pm CT
NBCSN stream
International feed
Scores

If you’re looking at that start list and already getting heart palpitations about the routines you know won’t be shown on the broadcast even though they should be, then yes.

In the first rotation, of course we’ll have Simone Andromedon Biles likely unveiling the triple double opening pass. “And that right there. If she does that…what we call a skill…if she does that skill…just like that…at the world championships…that will become the Biles.”

But, we’ll also have some critical beam routines opening up that rotation as Wong and Lee try to make world championships cases. It’s tough to get into a beam picture with Biles, Eaker, McCusker, but you’ve got to start somewhere. We’ve also got a big moment for Skinner showing this floor routine. If it’s not vaguely close to 14ish, it will be a tough argument. The US has lots of high 13s on floor.

Tom Forster has said that the members of the Pan Ams team automatically get invites to the world selection camp, which makes sense and takes a little bit of the pressure off their performances here, but just how many people will be getting invites to that camp remains unclear. You can make a good argument for all but about three members of the field, which should keep things extra interesting. Which, I mean, go full Hufflepuff and take everyone and treat them just the same? But that seems unlikely.

Only one today who isn’t doing the AA (at least so far) is Blakely, who looks like she’s not doing bars per the live scores.

Ooh. Starting with a shot of Tokyo. NBC is already POPPING OFF.

Simone plans on being even better than ever. As opposed to planning on getting worse. As people do.

Well, it’s not a polo shirt. Nastia is currently molting.

Tim is promising TWO MORE NEW BILES tonight.

Cecile is more nervous than Simone, Jordan, and Trinity combined.

NO ONE EVER DREAMED OF DOING THESE SKILLS.

We’re at 4 minutes of the Simone standing cam.

Rotation 1

Word from the arena is that Simone’s triple double has been given a provisional J rating.

Wong – BB – switch to straddle, gorgeous – bhs loso loso series, very solid – L turn to full turn, fairly smooth – switch leap – aerial to split ring jump to wolf – split ring position isn’t ideal but otherwise great – side aerial with a LARGE break, bend at the hips and leg up – side somi – 3/1, mostly around, hop to the side, some legs.

One large error in there, a number of skills that were perfect as well.

Hurd – VT – solid DTY, got her twist around – good direction – bounce back

14.450 for Hurd. Useful score.

McCallum – VT – Jack of Diamonds leo – also hits her DTY, good form, loses the legs a little at the end  – not as much distance as Hurd – hop to the side. Good. 14.700.

13.950 for Wong on beam.

Chiles – FX – Dad Jokes Express hasn’t pointed out that Chiles and Biles rhyme yet, and I don’t really know what to do with that – wolf turn double – DLO, very good, chest up, just a little hop – front 2/1 to front lay, basically nailed landing – switch ring – switch side 1/2, probably credit? – 1.5 through to double tuck, bounce back – split jump 1.5, abbreviated – double pike, just a bit chest down, small slide back.

Definite improvement over Classic. Nice routine.

13.750 for Chiles. Not huge but it works and a really nice E score for her there.

14.350 for Lee on beam which we didn’t see. That works.

McCusker – BB – wolf turn triple, good, wolf turn double, almost as solid – “and really she had the gold medal” at Pan Ams, except she didn’t? – lovely leap combination as usual – bhs bhs layout, leg-up check but saves it – switch to switch 1/2 to Korbut, pretty nice rhythm in connection – side aerial, no trouble – bhs bhs double tuck, hop back. One large break, got most of her combinations, will be a big score.

I notice that we’re not seeing Trinity Thomas on floor… But, you know, she did the Biles.

14.500 for McCusker with 6.0, so she didn’t get her full difficulty, but a hit score that will be among the highest.

13.750 for Thomas on floor, same as Chiles.

THREE TWISTS TWO FLIPS.

Biles – FX – hands down on the triple double – someone’s going to do some anger floor – Biles to stag, great Biles, a little meh on the stag, was not really feeling that stag – double wolf turn, no issue – front full to full in, just a little hop – switch to split leap 1.5, which was a little under today, so may not get credit – double double tucked, small slide.

“I’m just pissed off already.” SAME SIMONE.

Also, not be lost in Simone falling on the triple double, that fall was hilarious looking.

The thing about Simone falling on the triple double is that it doesn’t…matter? Interesting if we see it again, though

Skinner – FX – Moors, solid landing, small slide – definite pike and some knees – front tuck through to full in, good control small step – L hop full to swtich 1/1, not around so probably credit as switch 1/2 there – double double tucked, chest well down but under control on the landing – split leap 1.5, short of 180, maybe around – double L turn – 2.5, secure landing, small hop. Big improvement there but the E score will probably be in the 7s.

14.350 for Biles will still be among the highest scores of the day.

Didn’t see Carey on beam, 13.500, which looks like a hit.

Skinner just does get into the 8s in E score with 8.000. I thought it would be high 7s. 13.700, so lower than Thomas and Chiles. She’d also have hoped for higher D than 5.7, but I had some leap downgrades in there.

I think she lost 4 tenths on dance element downgrades versus her intended routine? Will have to go back and look at that.

They’re making Andrea Joyce do a piece about the Congressional report, like she’s a journalist.

Interesting that we’ve done this piece instead of Eaker’s beam, but it did not go great. 13.750 for Eaker.

OK, I know she’s the star and we’ll all obsessed, but the Simone Cam is getting a little excessive. Like, let the girl pee or whatever.

Rotation 2

Hurd – UB – shap to stalder full to tkatchev – good – one short hs – Ricna to Pak, very clean – stalder shoot, nice – toe 1/2 to front giant 1/2 toe full to FTDT with a college stick salute, but a very clean routine. Nice.

“Kyla Williams.” It’s Kayla. And also is she? I thought that was just temporary for Pan Ams, and then it was going to be…….Anna Li? Oopsie?

14.400 for Hurd.

Once again NBC is kind of just deciding to ignore the individual spots qualification for the Olympics.

Big 14.750 for Chiles on vault.

13.950 for Lee on floor. “Sunisa Lee doesn’t exist” is an interesting decision.

McCusker – FX – full-in struggles on the landing, a bounce-0stagger back and OOB – front 2/1 sequence is a little slow in connection but nice individual skills – double pike, bounce back – wolf triple, slow but around – switch ring and switch full, I’d say credit for the switch full this time – double tuck, a bit rough on the landing with a bounce back.

Stuck bars dismount for McCallum

Biles – VT – Cheng – she’s not quite on today – huge bounce back out of that vault – gorgeous in the air of course, but she bounced back so far she almost went off the mat. Still 15.300. A bit of Simone bonus there, but little to take in the air if anything

Didn’t see the full routine for McCallum, but just a 13.500 there.

Biles – VT 2 – Amanar – pace forward, a little larger pace than she would like but mostly her normal.

Just 13.250 for McCusker on floor. These standings today are going to be…interesting.

Skinner – VT 1 -She pulls out the Amanar after not doing it in PT – step to the side and a lot of twisting onto the table – to the point where it’s very similar to her Cheng but with two hands

14.650 for first vault.

Skinner – VT 2 – Cheng – lands it successfully with a bounce back – quite a bit of piking – anyone else think the little logo on the bottom of her leo was a Georgia logo for a second and were like…uh? – we didn’t get a replay of the block, but it was a Skimmer.

We never got a score for that, right?

Carey – FX – Moors, pretty nice, hop back, some knees and position but a bit more laid out than Skinner’s – popa, a bit bouncy – DLO 1/1, nearly stuck, small slide, same piking – L hop full – switch leap 1/1, short of 180 – double double tuck, small hop – front tuck through to full in -oooooh she landed it but it got very low there with a lunge forward

14.300 and Tim thinks it’s harsh? 8.000 E score, same as Skinner, have to take into account potential background music deductions.

“Kara Acre” it’s a thing now.

Eaker – FX – front lay to front 2/1, little hop – 3/1, loverly in the air, small hop – Memmel to full turn, she’s so consistent getting that turn around – 2.5 to front full, another small hop but not a lot to take there – actually struggled in a split leap full most of all, a little crooked and hoppy on the landing – I’m bothered by this crease in the floor – double pike, a bit deep and a bounce back – switch ring 1/2 is…a switch ring 1/2

13.650. They’re complaining about the E but it’s one of the highest E scores of the day, so that’s the standard. And she had that weird leap.

Armine just doing some floor routines on the side

Wong – FX – Dos Santos to stag is very strong – 3/1 and did not do the 3.5 but hopped out kind of like she was expecting to do a 3.5 – switch ring to L hop 1/1 – 2.5 to layout, whips over her layout but solid landing – popa – drops a little in the heel on double L but sells it OK – 3/1, hop back. That’s going to be a problem because it’s a repeated skill.

Tim thought that Wong was going to adjust mid routine and do a 2/1 final pass? You know GAGE gymnasts are instructed not to think!

See: Nastia thinking it was weird that Yul Moldauer would have different routine options. The US women’s program has a problem in that regard.

We’re still talking about Ohashi’s floor? Also, this was not the video that went viral.

Andrea is interviewing Miss Val. ASK HER ABOUT MARIA CAIRE. And I like how she’s pretending she cares about this meet.

So anyway, that was a thing.

After 2:
1) Biles – 29.650
2) Hurd – 28..850
3) Chiles – 28.500
4) Skinner – 28.350
5) Lee – 28.300

You know, like the standings you had? We have Eaker way down in 11th and McCusker in 9th and Wong in 14th. SO YEAH.

Rotation 3

McCusker – VT – DTY – one of her better ones, small hop forward – crossed feet in the air and a pike down, so won’t be the highest E score, and not the distance of some others. Tim and Nastia are more into this vault than I am.

14.450 is a little high for me. Tim thinks it’s low.

We’re just ignoring Trinity completely, which is cool. 14.200 on bars.

Biles – UB – Weiler 1/2 – cast pretty short – Shap to Tkatchev – toe full to pike tkatchev tp Pak, cleanly done – toe Shap 1/2, solid – some short handstands – Double double, lands it with her chest well down, small hop.

She’s going to tell us that she’s competing at 1% of her ability tonight?

Can Simone just be on mic for the whole meet?

14.050 for Biles.

Skinner – UB – Hesitation in Weiler 1/2 with a bend at the elbows but does it – Toe shap to tkatchev with some crazy legs – Ray to pak, legs apart – arch in cast hs – Shap 1/2 with legs – giant full – FTDT is solid, small hop. The form has completely gone with the upgrades, but she hit it.

Carey – VT 1 – pretty solid Cheng for her – small hop back and some piking and crazy legs on the block but good direction

15.000

Just 13.050 for McCallum on beam. Not her day so far either.

Carey – VT 2 – solid Amanar as well, crossover lunge forward and some knees but that’s one of her best series of vaults we’ve seen.

13.000 for Skinner on bars, which is a win for her. It’s quite high for me. Only a half point lower than Simone’s E score.

Chiles – UB – piked tkatchev – tkatchev to Gienger, smooth – missing some hs – piked Jaeger, hit – bail, a bit too floppy there – giant full to FTDT, hop back. My NCAA brain wasn’t happy with the cast handstands, but a strong routine.

13.650 for Eaker’s 1.5 on VT, with the two tenth domestic deduction just CUZ FUN HEY.

13.550 on bars for Chiles.

Wong gets 14.700 on her DTY, which will bring her score up. She’s now tied with Skinner.

Lee – VT – She had two solid scores to start, but this will be the clincher – DTY, she landed it – it’s totally crunched over with a lunge back, but she got it – better than some of the ones we saw in PT.

Morgan Hurd was one of just “three gymnasts chosen” for All Around.

Hurd – BB – back full, solid, nailed it – side aerial, nicely done – bhs loso, very floaty, smoothly done – aerial to split ring jump, good position – switch to straddle to split, well connected and pretty – small check on full turn, her first balance check – switch ring, check, not too big – double pike, hop back. Really good. She’s having a strong day.

After 3 events

1) Biles – 43.700
2) Hurd – 43.000
3) Carey – 42.800
4) McCusker – 42.200
5) Lee – 42.150
6) Chiles – 42.050
7) Thomas – 42.000

14.150 for Hurd on beam. Breaking 14 on beam is a huge deal for her.

Hurd is having a great day, as is Carey. She still has to do bars, so she’ll fall from 3rd, but that in itself is an accomplishment.

McCusker bounces back to 4th after vaulting, and she’ll be in good shape to move back up more if bars goes as normal.

Still very surprising to see Eaker down in 12th. And Wong in 8th. But Eaker didn’t get her beam and Wong had that floor disaster. McCallum also surprisingly down in 10th.

Rotation 4

Biles – BB – BUT WILL SHE DO IT – triple wolf turn, a little hesitant – aerial to split to straddle, solid – bhs loso loso, small lean – switch to switch 1/2 to back pike, good position on switch 1/2, small check on back pike – side aerial, good – split jump 1/2 from side with a large break, bend at the waist – bhs bhs DOUBLE DOUBLE hit it and it was gooooooooood. Better than the PT ones. Just a small hop.

Impressive. Still some issues in that beam routine, but that dismount is what we’ll remember.

14.950 for Biles there. 6.6 D score.

Carey – UB – Ray, solid – Yezhova, very solid – arch on cast but pulls it back – Shap to bhardwaj, there are leg breaks but they’re not actually that bad – giant full – FTDT and stuck. Hey! Form things but a really good routine for Jade

Skinner – BB – candle mount – Tim and I think you need to show the hs position for longer – bhs back full, pretty solid, just a small lean – knees – side aerial to split to straddle, secure – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, probably gets series credit, short of switch position – split jump 1/2 from side, well short – L turnto full turn, a little teeter in the L turn – double tuck, small hop. Good one. Lots of deductions on dance elements, but not a lot of checks.

13.300 for Carey on bars. Big for her to break 13.

Let’s talk about how much they’re mentioning Skinner and college, and we haven’t shown Thomas at all.

13.550 for Skinner on beam to finish at 54.900. Really solid AA score for her. Carey, meanwhile goes 56.100 in the AA. 56.100.

58.650 for Biles to finish. 1.350 lower than Classic. Will lead easily.

Lee – UB – Nabs to Pak, leg break on the Nabs but solid connection – Shap to Bhardwaj, lovely Bhardwaj – Toe Shap 1/2, quite strong – giant 1.5 to piked jaeger – short on a cast 1/2 – FTDT, basically stuck. Really strong routine.

Tim seems to be not super aware of how deep bars is internationally.

14.050 bars for Wong, which also works, 55.400. Would have been a really strong total if not for floor.

14.750 for Lee on bars. Very good. She moves ahead of the gang to 56.900 and currently in 2nd.

McCusker – UB – stalder full to toe shap with some legs – connected to tkatchev – Ricna to pak, to Stalder shap 1/2, hit well – toe on – 1/2 turn and doesn’t get up over the bar and has to hop off. Oh Riley. Resumes for the dismount, small hop forward.

13.500 for her there. 55.700 AA and in behind Carey and Lee in the AA.

Hurd – FX – double double, solid enough, slide back, some chest down, definitely worth it to do – front lay to….WHATTTTT layout 1/2? – didn’t do anything out of it – switch ring – split leap 1.5, close – DLO and takes it right to her knees. Oh Morgan. split jump full – double pike, deep with a hop to the side.

Now Tim is saying you can’t change your routine mid-stream. Didn’t we say he wanted Leanne Wong to do that?

Surprised that the DLO wasn’t planned because she did do it in PT?

13.400 for Thomas on beam.

Yikers. 12.050 for Hurd on floor. 55.050.

McCallum – FX – double double tucked, pretty low chest but a bit higher than at Classic – front lay to front 2/1 to front tuck, popped it right up but got it to her feet – wolf triple is very smooth – full in, secure landing but forward – split leap full – double tuck, small slide, just a bit deep.

So, you guys, Sunisa Lee is going to be in 2nd, and Jade Carey is going to be in 3rd. McCusker 4th and Wong and Thomas tied for 5th.

“A spectacular…finish…for Simone Biles.” Simone giggles.

“NOT GOOD THINGS WERE GOING ON IN HERE. NOT GOOD THINGS.”

You know, the standings you predicted.

If you want a case study in why you can’t take the all-around standings from one competition and be like, “THIS IS THE TEAM.” Please see today.

Initial reflections: TBH, this is one of those “just throw it out” kind of days. Nothing went to plan, and you can’t read too much into it. We’ll see what happens on the next day. But kind of excited to see who would end up in the highest scoring team of five based on only today.

Weirdly, it would still be Biles, Lee, Carey, McCusker, Hurd. So not super crazy. In reality, that team is probably a little over-strong on bars and under-strength on floor versus what the US could put together, but not an awful idea.

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155 thoughts on “US Nationals – Senior Women Day 1 Live Blog”

  1. These live blogs are hilarious and I can’t wait until the gymcastic episode is up!

    Also does anyone know if or why Hurd apologized to her coach after floor?

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  2. If tonight alone counted, top 5 scores for tonight were:
    FX: Biles, Carey, S Lee, Chiles, Thomas
    VT: Biles, Carey, Chiles, Wong, McCallum
    UB: S Lee, Hurd, Thomas, Biles, Wong
    BB: Biles, McCusker, S Lee, E Lee, Hurd

    Worlds Team=> Biles, S Lee, Carey (FX, VT), Hurd (UB), McCusker (BB)
    AA=> Biles, S Lee

    Funny stuff. If you compare classic scores, actually only McCusker and McCallum scored higher in AA than Sunisa who didn’t compete AA then, those were very good days for both of them too.

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  3. Despite the Kara mishap, I think it’s still more likely at this point that they’d choose her over Morgan, and all of them fight for the 2nd AA spot, being specialists otherwise.

    Unless Jade doesn’t get to go to Worlds because of the Olympics non-team spot she’s taken, and them wanting to give it to an actual potential Tokyo team member for experience, I still see Grace or Leanne more likely than Morgan at Worlds. Her score on UB isn’t high enough to be a specialist, especially not averaging top 4 on anything else as backup.

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  4. Why do they score Hurd so harshly? Like… without falls should McCallum really be beating Hurd in E on bars and beam? (Or any other number of examples). Or more than a point behind Skinner – without falls Hurd should have a several tenths advantage, not disadvantage. Or McCusker’ vault- neither of them are strong vaulters but Hurd should have some tenths on Riley there not the other way around.

    Hurd doesn’t have perfect execution by any means, but I’d say it’s largely some of the better E among US gymnasts and she gets nickeled and dimed all meet.

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  5. I’m not too impressed with Kara now… she needs to hit beam. And stop tucking the second half of her (really too easy) vault.

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    1. Some people just aren’t vaulters, though. Amanda Borden wasn’t, Courtney Kupets wasn’t, Trinity Thomas isn’t. Just like some people aren’t bar workers, and they will always have to wrench themselves through a labored routine, but it’s the best they can do. It will be great if Kara can straighten out on vault, but I assume she’s doing the best she can. I’d much rather she stick with that then dangerously try to stretch her vault ability past what’s safe for her. Top gymnasts from other countries are still doing the Y 1.5 too. It’s not a really easy vault, just an easier one. Not like they’re just doing layout Yurchenkos or handspring fronts anyway.

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      1. Oh, I don’t think she should throw a harder vault either. I just think she should be scored more realistically for one she is throwing. (Incidentally I’d rather see an actual laid out vault that she doesn’t stick than a half-tucked one that she does.)

        “Just not being a vaulter” doesn’t mean you should vault poorly – downgrade if you can’t do it. Thomas’s 1.5 is quite nice. And I’m sure Eaker can do this vault correctly – she did it during Pan Am qualifications when everyone suddenly decided she was an incredible AAer.

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      2. Oh please! Trinity could easily throw a double. She has been doing that same vault her entire elite career and now college. She just doesn’t work hard enough and has no stand out event d wise.

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      3. Kara actually has a great DTY she did it at camp in Feb. Video online. So there goes your theory. Not sure why she hasn’t brought it out. Never thought she would be able to pull one around because she bends her knees in her other vault. But she did. Did it well. Maybe she is waiting until 2020. If she can do a DTY so can Trinity!

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      4. Eaker‘s DTY is just like McCallum‘s Amanar (or Jones‘s, or Chiles‘s): everyone should stop assuming it’s a done thing until she competes it. It did look nice in that video and she has yet to bring it out, so it clearly is not competition ready. I am also eager to see it (it looked better than this 1.5) but I’m tired of people acting like everything shown in an Instagram video is a confirmed upgrade.

        I do not know what „theory“ you’re referring to – saying some people aren’t as strong on vault isn’t a theory.

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  6. TBH I’m glad they’re being so strict with execution deductions. It’s about time there is consequence for jam packing routines with difficulty and them letting breaks slide. It is “artistic” gymnastics after all, not tumbling warriors.

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    1. But they’re not being strict with execution deductions across the board – it’s only for a few gymnasts. If anything, the routines jam packed with difficulty are getting scored way too loosely. Skinner’s E scores were extremely generous, Biles’s as well (her execution was not up to her usual high standards this meet). This isn’t new but this meet seemed especially bad.

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      1. Yeah, someone please explain to me how Skinner got anywhere near an 8 E score on beam or 7.4 on bars? I had both in the 6s. International judges would destroy her on both.

        That said, I don’t see her getting anywhere near an international. She is unnecessary on vault and floor. She doesn’t have the other events.

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      2. Im the above anonymous so im arguing against myself here but – I actually don’t think international judges are any more reliable than US ones. Skinner did fine during her big international meets in terms of E scores. I just don’t understand why any judges are nitpicking at, say, Hurd and Wong, and letting Skinner and McCallum off the hook (McCallum‘s execution isn’t especially bad or anything, but she is getting some of the highest E Scores in the US Field and it is mystifying to me). What are they seeing that I am missing?

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      3. @6:20/7:15 anon simmer down there jekyll jekyll hyde jekyll hyde hyde jekyll, but yeah I agree that a lot of times judges seem suspiciously or selectively blind re. difficult routines… and then the FIG uses it as an excuse to downgrade skills or, ionno, fuck around and remove the .5 for the dismount requirement in the interest of “code parity” when the code would in fact be more than parite if your damn brevets would just do the job you claim you train them for

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  7. Nice to see Lee and Carey have great days to finish high in the standings. Still have another day to go but I think Carey is making a good argument for a spit at Worlds at this point- you want to put up consistent athletes and she is consistent.
    I’m sure Simone will come back with a vengeance Night 2. Glad she went for the difficulty! I would expect Riley to have a better 2nd day as well.

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  8. A fall is still a full point off, right? So if McCallum hadn’t fallen, the judges would have given her the highest E-scores on UB and BB of all the competitors?

    I do not understand.

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    1. Me either! I noticed that when I added back a point plus figuring other deductions for the skills and her s ore would have been gigantic!

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    2. To make an argument for McCallum, she did have a very steady routine other than the fall, she stuck her dismount, and she didn’t have pauses in between skills. So while her execution of the skills might not be the best, there aren’t a lot of the other areas to take off. I do still find it a bit odd, though.

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  9. 3 athletes above 56.
    9 athletes between 54.5 to 55.7.
    On a rough, tired day.
    Wow.

    I would really like Tom Forster to tell the athletes – at least the exhausted Pan Am ones – that it’s ok not to finish a routine if things aren’t feeling right. A couple people continued after ankle crunchers and I would so hate someone to tear an Achilles just to try to be impressive for the fourth time in a month.

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    1. He told them they are invited to world selection camp and can down grade but the coaches and their gymnasts wanted to do AA that’s on them. Next yr will be even more jam pack with all the AA world cups, pacific rim, classic, nationals, Olympic trials and Olympics all before August. They better get use to it.

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  10. „Initial reflections: TBH, this is one of those “just throw it out” kind of days. Nothing went to plan, and you can’t read too much into it. We’ll see what happens on the next day.“

    But haven’t we (well, Spencer) said that about every competition so far? Classics doesn’t really count… Pan Ams doesn’t really count… ok now the first day of nationals doesn’t really count.. are any competitions going to matter then? Or are we just claiming they don’t matter until some of the results actually match what we thought would happen?

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    1. I think it’s a holdover from the Martha-era mentality of “the team’s been decided, the judges will bend their scores to match the pre-determined outcome and if the ‘wrong’ person falls, we’ll handwave it away”

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    2. I remember when national championships seemed like a bigger deal. It was important and really meant something to medal in them, and event finals were a separate day held after the AA that were really fun to watch. Now it’s just wait until the results are in and maybe, quickly, it gets mentioned that someone won silver on beam or bronze on floor. The whole selection committee era has really made scores, and any competition but Worlds/Olympics, not matter very much.

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    3. Well going off last nights scores the team would be biles, lee, mccusker, hurd, Carey
      Which is pretty much what a lot of people have been saying for months…

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      1. I think you can read a lot into this nationals day 1.
        – None of the top challengers have managed to make a decisive case for their spot yet – Riley, Morgan and Kara all had opportunities to solidify their various statuses and instead they all liquified it slightly by falling on the events where they have the most to contribute
        – Chiles is improving and Classics wasn’t a total fluke
        – Lee is on the scene again
        – Someone wants McCallum to stay in the mix for day 2 scorewise
        – Carey has a legit AA program
        – Skinner‘s college execution did not carry over so unless she actively works on that area we are going to basically get 2016 Skinner again

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  11. I don’t have the PAC-12 network so have watched very little of Skinner in NCAA…have her split positions gotten worse since she returned to elite, or are NCAA judges ignoring them? Because I don’t see how those leaps would justify the scores she’s been getting in NCAA.

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    1. I’m mostly a UCLA fan so most of my effort was put into watching those meets not Utah’s, so a UTE fan may have more insight. But to me, it seems like it’s a combination of things. Mostly that the difficulty required in NCAA is so much less than the difficulty of NCAA. So she was able to do less difficult skills and incur less natural deduction. Not that form has ever been her strong suit. I also think that now that’s she’s back to elite she’s capitalizing on the D score, which she has made very clear she wishes were a thing in college, and letting the E score slide. Long term it’s unlikely to work in her favor, so hopefully she’ll find a balance.

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  12. Skinner is in the extremely unusual position of having a better chance of making the Olympics than this year’s worlds. Her greatest gift is Carey going the individual World Cup route and leaving room for a Vault and Floor specialist at the Olympics wide open.

    By no means am I saying it’s likely or even probable, but if she can consistently get in the low to mid 14s on floor and 15s on vault, she makes a compelling case if no one else is at that level when Tokyo rolls around. Skinner was one short spin and two short leaps away from a 14.1 and I actually think both vaults would score better internationally than they did yesterday. And this is only a couple months into her full-time return. Very exciting to see this play out.

    For the same reason, I think Chiles has a better shot at the Olympics than the Worlds. She needs an Amanar and a boosted floor, but at her current rate of improvement, I think she could potentially do it.

    This is such an exciting season. Next year with the incoming juniors is going to be even better!!!

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  13. They need Carey on the 4-person Olympic team. I know she’s on the individual route but at this point how can they pass up her vault and floor?? It’s too much of a point advantage to ignore. They need to send someone else like Skinner, Chiles, or Finnegan to scoop up the individual spot.

    They need to promise Carey a spot on the Olympic team in exchange for giving up her World Cup individual placement.

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    1. Oh lord After 1 night of competition where the popular girls made mistakes, suddenly now because a fluke of Carey finishing top 3 she now should forego her individual path and try to be on the 4 team, which if the girls all hit she wouldnt be anywhere near top 3 in AA? Really sis?

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    2. Seriously, I think they could put almost any of them on the team and they’d win.

      I’m not sure what happens if Carey wins an individual spot and declines it. Would the us still be able to get 2 spots through the other routes.

      I agree with throwing out the scores from this meet for anyone who went to Lima. When thinking about scores, they should be able to count those instead.

      That makes top 4, (using qualifications)
      Vault: Biles, Carey, Chiles, McCallum/Wong
      Bars: Lee, Hurd, McCusker, Wong
      Beam: Biles, McCusker, Lee, Eaker
      Floor: Biles, Carey, Lee, Mccusker

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      1. Grrr, didn’t finish my thought.

        I’d take, Biles, Lee, Hurd, and McCusker. I’m ok with Carey going, but if not I’d struggle to pick.

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    3. They’re NOT going to accept 5 spots when they could have taken 6. As others have pointed out on this blog before (I think the process explanation post), there’s no procedure for turning down a nominative World Cup spot. Basically, a program that earns one is stuck with it.

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    4. There is literally a 0% chance of selecting her for the Olympic team if she qualifies s an individual (which she will). She picked this route because she knew she could qualify and wouldn’t have to leave it up to a selection committee. She will most likely be in event finals on floor and vault at the Olympics with Simone but she will not be on the team. So they’re going to be looking for a vault/floor person for the team, but it won’t be Carey. And they’re still going to win gold as a team, so the point advantage doesn’t matter.

      This is why I’m wondering how Tom will handle worlds. Yes, Carey will bring two medals in, but it won’t give someone else the experience they may need (like Lee or Wong and relying on Grace/Morgan for vault).

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      1. It’s not about who needs experience. It shouldn’t be about what could or will happen, it should be about NOW, 2019. What’s going on in 2019. 2020 and the Olympics can wait. With that said, it’s UNFAIR to say: don’t bring Jade because she already chose her path. Jade Carey deserves to be on the 2019 world’s team if she’s needed, period. End of story. Jade Carey has been working hard and if she’s useful to the US team (in 2019!), why not bring her!? Of course world’s selection camp should be the final determining factor; Hurd, Eaker, Wong could creep in,
        World’s 2019 based on results so far imo:
        FX: Biles, Carey, Lee
        Vault: Biles, Carey, McCusker
        Beam: Biles, Lee, McCusker
        Bars: Biles, Lee, McCusker
        Biles, Lee doing AA

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  14. I don’t think Carey could decline an individual spot. If she did the US would lose the individual sit- it has to be the athlete that qualified. The US couldn’t sub in another athlete from my understanding. And if I were her or whichever athlete got the other individual spot I would take it- no way would I trust USAG to “promise” a spit on the 4 person team!

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    1. Last year was the most consistent nationals anyone could remember. There were plenty of nationals which had lots of falls under Martha. Six gymnasts here also just came from Pan Ams.

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  15. So I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series right now, and honestly Miss Val is giving off STRONG Professor Slughorn vibes. Hanging all over her most famous students, exchanging perks with her rich/well connected friends etc. Cant believe I didn’t notice it before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol I’m reading through all the comments now and I saw yours and just about fell on the floor laughing . So did Morgan Hurd by the way haha. So funny

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  16. Biles McCusker Hurd Lee Carey.

    VT: Hurd Carey. Bars: Lee McCusker/Hurd. Beam; Lee McCusker. Floor: Hurd/Lee Carey

    Unless they don’t give it to Carey (which I’m okay with and kind of lean towards). Then I think McCallum Replaces her.

    Wong could easily replace Hurd at this point (note I said “at this point”). They just need an AAer with a solid DTY.

    Eaker could replace someone but I think assuming Lee is back, all of a sudden her beam isn’t as important as potential big bars and beam with a good floor too.

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    1. I love Morgan, but honestly, I wouldn’t be opposed to Wong over her. Hurd’s block on vault has been getting scary! Sometimes she doesn’t even seem to get her whole right hand on the table.

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