Coming into the second day of competition, Konnor McClain enjoys a five tenth lead over Kayla Di Cello, who is then followed by Greaves, Barros, and Blakely. The title looks like it’s in McClain’s hands at this point, but both Di Cello and Greaves are close enough to be able to pounce on a mistake.
Now that 10 juniors are being named to the national team instead of 6, that race is very much live. The gymnasts currently in 7th-12th place are separated by less than a fall, so one miss can change that dramatically.
Because Di Cello is starting on vault and McClain on bars, expect McClain’s margin to shrink after the first event. The first rotation will also provide an opportunity to Barros to close the gap on Greaves for 3rd.
Some really solid Junior Nationals Height Difference happening in these intros. Bars group doing JACKETS AS CAPES.
Wait, Chelsea Davis is judging? Like Chelsea Davis Chelsea Davis?
I’m very bothered that apparently Di Cello isn’t pronounced like the instrument. I refuse to acknowledge this.
Di Cello – VT – DTY – really solid opening to the day – a little stagger in her landing, small hop, some chest forward. Minor issues all.
Sears – FX – easy power on an opening full in – front tuck through to double back, small slide – split jump 1/1, pretty solid height – split leap full potentially not around – switch 1/2, nice – double pike, very small bounce back
Miller – VT – lunge back on a full – fine, some piking, high enough that you expect an upgrade in due time
Zirbes – UB – toe full to tkatchev to pak, good combo – some legs on 1/2 turn on low – shoot to high – good position on front giant – FTDT, small hop. Solid routine.
Alipio – BB – She had some issues on day 1 to drop down to 9th but has huge scoring potential here – side aerial to loso loso, solidly hit – bhs bhs layout 2 feet, bend adjustment but keeps it on the beam, nice position on those bhs elements – split leap to side somi, good – aerial to split jump to straddle, quite secure – split jump 1/2 from side – 2/1 dismount, hop back. One large break but enough difficulty to still score well.
Saltness – UB – completely drops attempting to go into a Weiler and has to rest against the bar before restarting – good piked Jaeger – also has a well caught between-bar gienger – but goes over the wrong way on a toe on pirouette and is having all kinds of trouble here – DLO, step
Lippeatt with a pace back on a full on VT.
Blakely – FX – DLO, good height, pikes down at the end with a bounce back – switch ring and split leap full, good 180s – full-in, great chest position and solid landing, smallest one-foot movement – front 2/1 to front tuck, stuck – wolf double, safely around – switch side 1/2, great straddle position – double pike, oof bounces well back and OOB. It was going so well until that.
It was 14.350 for Alipio on beam.
Matthews – UB – stalder 1/2 to jaeger, good toes – toe on to stalder full to pak—really quick turning on that stalder full which will serve her well—very short cast hs on low bar and has to try again – toe shoot, good – DLO, small hop.
Rosen – FX – full in, solid, a bit of chest position and small step – double pike, legs apart, medium step – front tuck through to 2/1, small slide – good control overall on these passes – L turn single – popa is a little crooked but has the extension ability – switch ring – double tuck, stuck in a stagger.
It was 13.400 for Blakely, which is still a good score, but what could have been before that last pass.
They’re trying to makes the Bileseses do this fan cam nonsense. Nellie is into it. Ron less.
McClain – UB – inbar to inbar 1/2 to piked jaeger, solid – pak, nice legs – stalder 1/1, pretty solid finishing position – Maloney to stalder 1/2, gets it to hs with a little form – FTDT, small hop. Solid routine. Not a lot of errors. Lots of casts, but she dealt with them well.
Frazier – VT – DTY comes up a little short on her DTY this time, which is unusual for her, hop forward.
Morgan – FX – opens with a really strong souble arabian – double tuck is short with a lunge forward – gets her triple wolf around smoothly, same with the double – split leap full is high, not quite fully extended, but credit for the skill – 2/1, a little floppy, small hop. That switch 1/2 at the end is nice.
Pilgrim – VT – DTY with a little shuffle back. Strong.
Butler – BB – split to sissone – aerial to split ring jump to bhs – bhs bhs layout, pretty solid on that as well just some height and leg separation issues, both minor – side jump, secure – side aerial to straddle to back tuck, not giving the series there but good individual elements – onodi small lean to double stag, no connection for me there either – double pike, stuck. Flexed feet but stuck. Excellently solid set.
German – VT – DTY – comes up short with a lunge forward. Some unexpected short landings today,
We join Barros’s bars routine in progress – but her toe Shap 1/2 is strong – stalder 1/2 (late) to piked jaeger, good – finishes DLO 1/1, just a little shuffle forward.
13.850 for Barros.
13.050 for Butler on beam.
Greaves – BB – wolf turn triple, around – small choreo interlude before her double wolf, which is something I guess? – Sigh. Aerial – steadies before a split jump. Pause. Adds in a straddle after her sissone to get her dance series, which looked like a backup plan – loso series with a check to the side – punch front, mostly solid – switch – side aerial, another lean – double tuck, good, small hop forward. She looked a little off there, but nothing individually major.
So, after 1 event, Di Cello’s vault score will indeed move her ahead of McClain by a bit. We’re waiting on Greaves’ beam score but I imagine Barros will go ahead of her.
1) Di Cello – 70.800
2) McClain – 70.600
3) Barros – 69.100
4) Greaves – 68.650
5) Pilgrim – 68.450
6) Blakely – 68.000
Alipio also moves up to 7th after that big 14.350 on beam.
McClain goes to beam now, Di Cello to bars, so the scoring advantage flips to McClain with a hit beam routine now. Greaves fell back after that 12.9 on beam.
Blakely – VT – DTY – pace back on landing, good distance, some legs on her block and some pike coming into the mat, so it won’t be the highest vault score we see, but it’s a DTY and will be a big one.
Posen – FX – front 2/1 to sissone, not sure about connection but the sissone was tremendous – a little forward on her double back – switch ring and split leap full, both well extended – 1.5 through to double full, also a bit short – that routine is all about the dance elements, but I’m assuming we missed a pass?
Rosen – VT – lunge forward on Y1.5
Lippeatt – UB – weiler 1/2 to tkatchev to pak with full legs apart – Shap to giant full to bail, also some legs there – toe on – FTDT, stuck. Good.
Morgan – VT – smooth and high full, bounce back
Parenti – FX – double pike, bounce back – split jump 1/1 – switch – split leap full – 1.5 to front full, good form overall, legs together, just a little hoppy – switch 1/2 – 2/1, slide back. Nice hit. She had a bit of a nightmare day on Friday, but she’s through 2 good events so far.
Chio – VT – Y1.5, lunge forward, similar to Rosen’s.
Frazier really close on a piked tkatchev on bars but works out of it – Pak with legs apart – tkatchev to forward toe on and can’t get out of the position back to handstand and has to hop off. Bars went well at Classic and on day 1, but this is more like what we saw at American Classic. DLO, comes up short with a lunge.
McClain – BB – Fatta’s floor music is providing a really ominous soundtrack for this routine – arabian, hit with a leg-up step-check to save it – bhs b bhs layout – so high and very solid – wolf to sissone – full turn – back full, step back, small – switch to switch 1/2, just a bit short on that switch 1/2 with a check – aerial to split ring jump – bhs bhs double pike, step back
Good one. She had the kind of larger break on the Arabian this time, but the rest was solid and the score should be huge.
Witte having a tough time on bars. Has to rest against the bar on her opening cast and then misses a piked jaeger right after.
Butler – FX – gigantic double arabian but lunges far forward and OOB – piked full in, short with a lunge – switch ring, nice front leg extension there and the split leap full is well completed – 2.5 to front tuck, small step – switch 1/1 and actually believable – whip to double pike and another OOB, large bounce back and OOB with both feet.
Love Birt with a switch ring on beam and a little check – bhs bhs 2/1, bounce back and some legs.
It was 14.200 for McClain. Big number.
Barros – BB – has to nearly Wolf-kino her wolf turn double attempt – does one turn in wolf position and then rises up to stand for her second turn – front tuck with a pretty large break, bend at the hips – bhs loso loso is better, solid, she’s getting back on track there – aerial to split to sissone, low split – switch to switch 1/2, quite low on switch 1/2 – side aerial – bhs bhs double pike, hop to the side.
Greaves – FX – DLO, shortish with a hop forward – open full in, really nicely done – just a small hop – wolf turn double, definite credit, a little over-turned – front tuck through to 2.5 to stag jump, not bad on the twisting position – switch ring switch 1/2 – double tuck, shuffle back. Popa, a bit under rotated. Should be a solid number for her.
German – UB – toe…accidental toe 1.5 as she goes over and has to improvise? – Shap 1/2 – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, close catch with some feet – pak – toe shap 1/2, has to tuck to get over the low bar – DLO, low with a lunge forward.
If we ever needed a “Laurent being a diva about mistakes” cam during a routine, it was there.
Tsuk layout for Little on vault.
Morris – BB – back full, very solid – larger balance issue on the pike jump than on the back full, actually – bhs loso loso, small check to the side – full turn and walks out of it because not basic – good position on her side jump – side aerial, leg-up wobble – switch to switch 1/2 to bhs, won’t get series but one of the better switch 1/2s of the day – double pike, small hop. This one has potential to be a treasure.
Di Cello – UB – stalder full to toe Shap to pak, great leg position on those elements – toe shap 1/2, legs right together – clear hip with a back arch – piked jaeger, great amplitude – toe 1/2, late on that handstand – FTDT, stuck. Great routine.
Alipio – FX – pretty double pike, bounce back – double tuck, small pop back – split leap full – switch 1/2, solid position there – 1.5 to front full, little shuffle – split jump 1/1, nice – 2/1 with a hop back. Won’t be the biggest score, but no significant issues there
Di Cello gets 14.000 on bars, so she only gives back 2 tenths to McClain. Significant.
Miller – UB – inbar full, a little late – inbar to inbar shap to pak with some legs – wayyyyy overarches a handstand on the low bar and has to come off – toe shap to tkatchev, good – finishes with a pretty DLO with a hop in place. Nice ending, but…
1) McClain – 84.800
1) Di Cello – 84.800
3) Blakely – 82.300
4) Barros – 81.950
4) Greaves – 81.950
So McClain and Di Cello are tied through six total events now. Advantage McClain there because she hasn’t done vault yet and Di Cello has, but a hit beam here for Di Cello should give her an lead going to the last event.
Vault allowed Blakely to move back up to third, but it’s the moment of truth for her next on bars.
Frazier – BB – wolf double with a fully flexed foot – aerial to split to straddle is solid – side aerial, hit – split jump 1/2 from side, good – bhs loso series, leg form but secure – split ring leap and jump, attempts to connect the jump to a back tuck – double pike, lunge back. Good comeback after bars.
McClain – FX – DLO, good finish, small bounce back – 1.5 through to double pike, step back – switch ring and switch 1/2, comfortable for her – I’m living her Kim giving her NCAA Coach Eyes in the background – front tuck through to 2.5 to stag, stag was a little awkward but the rest was nice – 2/1 to bhs. Another strong routine. She has had a fab meet.
Witte – BB – bhs bhs layout to 2 feet, right on, just a little leg separation in the air, comfortable for her as she is a minuscule bean – aerial with a check – switch to sissone, good positions – split jump 1/2 from side position, well extended – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck – side aerial with a bigger check, leg up and bend – bhs bhs double pike, stagger back. Nice hit. Big difficulty, should get her a score.
Hop back on a full on vault for LJR
14.400 for Greaves for her DTY on vault. Another good score for that vault, which she has hit both days.
A wolf turn hall of fame moment for Love Birt on floor as her extended leg surprised her plant leg and the plant leg had to run away.
Siegfeldt looks like she has to put a hand down when lunging well forward on her double front bars dismount.
Pilgrim – BB – front tuck to split – bhs loso, very secure – tentative full turn – side aerial, solid – switch to split leap (back leg) to bhs, pretty smooth series – aerial – straight jump full from side position, lean forward to hold it – doubel tuck dismount, hop back
The Ashley Priess Post-Dismount Smile Meter is a really helpful scoring standard.
Barros – FX – bounce back on DLO, good height of course – double arabian to stag, excellent in every way – great extension on her split jump 1.5 and I’d say it was around – 2/1, small slide – just a little bounce on the double pike final pass. Some landing things, but another strong floor for her.
German – BB – bhs loso, some fortm, small adjustment – switch leap – lone back tuck, wobble – aerial, teeter – side aerial, arm wave – standing front tuck with a check – split and wolf are short of position – split jump 1/2 from side with a check – full-in dismount to save it, and she lands successfully with a lunge forward
Morris – FX – full in, nice shape in the air, chest a bit too far down – 2.5 to front tuck to stag, very clean – switch – switch full attempt, just a little short of all the way around – double tuck, lowish, hop forward – wolf double a tad out of control – split leap full, good – double pike, low with another hop.
Floor scores – Barros with 13.700, McClain with 13.200
Di Cello – BB – good candle mount – smooth wolf triple and immediate wolf double – side aerial to split to sissone, comfortable – switch ring, not the ringiest, small lean on landing – bhs loso loso series and a HUGE break, saves it but a big lean and the leg flies up – aerial to another ring – split jump 1/2 from side is fine – double tuck, step back
The big break on the series will inhibit the potential gain she might have made on McClain.
Posen – VT – good control on Yfull, small step back
Blakely – UB – inbar to Ricna to Pak, quick and secure – nice position in Pak – toe Shap 1/2, just a bit of legs – finishes stalder to stalder full to FTDT, step back. Good one. That helps.
13.850 is a huge bars score for her.
Parenti – VT – bounce back on Yfull
Saltness – FX – bound forward on her double Arabian and OOB – 3/1, stagger back – switch ring and switch side 1/2 – wolf triple pulls it around, and wolf double – split leap 1.5 attempt and struggles to pull it around, a bit bouncy – double pike, bounce back – double tuck, secure landing
Rosen – UB – toe full, quite lae – Maloney to clear hip to tkatchev, nice and high tkatchev – stalder to pak, some legs – toe shoot – double tuck, small step.
So it was 13.800 for Di Cello on beam even with that error. Don’t really understand that. Only one tenth lower than her day 1 score.
Matthews – FX – split jump full, good position – double pike, bounce back – switch ring and split leap full – double tuck, bounce back – wolf turn double, a non-boring way to get into that wolf position – 1.5 to front pike, just does keep that in bounds, a little shuffle but not much with her toenails right by the edge.
A couple more years, and that one will become a thing.
Di Cello will move 6 tenths ahead of McClain after this rotation. McClain scored nearly a point better on vault than Di Cello did on floor on day 1, the events they’re going to next.
Greaves used her DTY to move up to 3rd, and she has a big bars score coming up.
Lippeatt – BB – bhs bhs layout to 2 feet, check, some legs apart – aerial to straddle jump to korbut, good straddle – straight jump 1/1 from side with an arm wave to control it – side aerial, check – split to back tuck, connected the back two but not the side aerial – straddle jump 1/2 from side, good – bhs bhs double pike, legs apart, step back
1) Di Cello – 98.600
2) McClain – 98.000
3) Greaves – 96.350
4) Blakely – 96.150
5) Barros – 95.650
Everyone is going to strong events in the final rotation, but McClain and Barros are on vault, which gives them the edge in terms of possibly moving up a spot. This has been an exceptionally solid junior nationals for the top contenders. It’s not really supposed to go this to plan in the juniors.
Barros – VT – a bit of trouble on that landing. Weird looking – seemed fine in the air but she staggers forward and her back leg flies up like a balance check.
14.150. She would have wanted a few more tenths than that.
Greaves – UB – stalder full, nice – Stalder Shap 1/2 – high piked jaeger, good – Stalder tkatchev piked to pak, strongly – Shap 1/2, good – FTDT, small hop. Nice routine. Will be another high score.
Pilgrim – FX – 1.5 through to double arabian – hop forward today and OOB, looked like both feet – double pike, medium bounce – mid-floor 2/1 – held leg double turn, falls forward out of it on the second turn – double tuck, legs a bit apart, small slide
Sears – BB – bhs loso, good power – front tuck to jumps, well connected, very tight tuck position – switch with a check to switch 1/2, short, check – back tuck – broken connections there – aerial to split ring jump, bend at the hips – split jump 1/2 from side, nice – bhs bhs double tuck, lunge back
She has very strange arm preparation technique for her bhs.
It was 14.500 for Greaves on bars.
Why are we seeing vault instead of floor right now?
Saltness DTY with some tucking throughout, does pull it around with a staggered landing
Alipio – UB – inbar – inbar Shap to pak, a little floppy on Pak today – toe Shap 1/2, just a touch of legs – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, lovely – stalder 1/2 with a big arch that she has to pull back – toe full – lone double tuck, hop.
Greaves will finish ahead of Barros, both with AA scores down from day 1.
Di Cello – FX – DLO 1/1, excellent control on landing, some knees throughout – 1.5 through to 2.5, a slide back on landing – smooth wolf triple – over turns the wolf double a little – front 2/1 with a bound forward – a little hoppy on a split ring leap full – double tuck, very solid landing.
Blakely – BB – wolf turn double, hit – back full with a pretty large break, an arm wave wobble and then an addition wobble with the leg up – bhs loso series, good – punch front, very strong there – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, questionable series – aerial with a little break before split jump and split jump 1/2 – side aerial, good – double pike, step back.
Wow. 14.100 for Di Cello on floor really puts the pressure on McClain to do one of her best vaults now. Exciting. That’s another score that’s pretty dern high for my taste. As is the 13.700 for Blakely on beam. Judges over it at this point.
Miller – FX – split jump full, a bit bouncy – nice double arabian, only a small hop – 1.5 through to double full, hop back – switch ring, some front leg – switch 1/2 – double pike, small shuffle forward – double tuck, steps forward
McClain now needs 14.700 on vault to tie Di Cello. She got 14.650 on the first day.
Robinson – FX – full in, powerful, but a stagger back, just does keep it in bounds – front tuck through to 2.5, hop forward, solid form – love her Onodi choreographic sequence – switch to switch 1/2 – 1.5 through to 2/1, pretty well under control – nice performance.
McClain – VT – ooooooh she also came up short on that DTY with a lunge forward and to the side. I wouldn’t give that the score she needs.
14.600 for McClain. She’ll come up a tenth short. Overall, I think the judges got that wrong. McClain had the stronger meet of the two.
Lippeatt – FX – pike full in, secure landing, small step back, legs apart in the air – back full to immediate double tuck, hop back – switch ring and split leap full, split leap full looked good – 1.5 to front tuck to stag, comfortable – double pike, bounce back. Lots of weather conditions in floor music this year.
Butler – UB – stalder 1/2 to piked jaeger, well done – Church, caught – some handstands – Ray to Pak, bit of legs – stalder 1/1, not too bad – toe shap 1/2, a little tucking – FTDT, comes up short and puts her hands down.
Chio – BB – bhs mount to split straddle – bhs loso loso, holds it well to avoid a check – aerial to split ring jump – check on the full turn – split jump 1/2 from side, nice height there – switch with a pause before switch 1/2 – AHAHAHA fantastic save on that switch 1/2 as she wobbles back and forth for 80 years – side aerial – bhs bhs 2/1, little hop back
Final routine of the day belongs to Witte on floor, some strong twisting ability there. And being a minute little seed, she can get that 3/1 around with room to spare. Finishes double pike with a little hop. Flails around a little on dance, unclear if intentional.
1) Di Cello – 112.700
2) McClain – 112.600
3) Greaves – 110.850
4) Blakely – 109.850
5) Barros – 109.800
6) Alipio – 107.300
7) Pilgrim – 107.050
8) Lippeatt – 106.250
9) Frazier – 105.900
10) Butler – 105.350
Sydney Morris just misses out on that top 10 in 11th place.
The top 6 were predictable, and nice to see Alipio come back from that first day with a strong 54+ score on day 2 to get up to 6th.
Really, really strong competitions from those top athletes. Very few errors.
There’s nothing to play for here because the juniors don’t have any meets coming up for the rest of the year, and then people like Di Cello and Greaves will be senior next time they have a chance to compete, but still. That’s why it’s also not a problem to go by straight AA standings to select the junior national team because there aren’t team selection considerations to think of.
And they did go with just the top 10 AA for the NT.
Now when the seniors go by AA, I’ll probably have some issues.