Selection Camp Preview

NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect the withdrawals of Riley McCusker and Shilese Jones from selection camp.

Selection camp is coming. The first day of competition (AA) will be streamed on USAG’s YouTube at 4:45pm ET on Sunday. The second day of competition (2 events) on Monday will not be streamed for some reason. After the Monday competition, the worlds team will be announced.

It’s going to be an intense experience for all, one that we will have to try to survive as a family through the medium of live blogs and spreadsheets and snide tweets. But even before that happens, we have a lot of questions and contradictory thoughts to work through.

A full 15 er, um, 13 people will be competing at the selection camp. In my mind, 7 of them have a serious, realistic, “there are actual teams in my mind that you would be on” shot of making the worlds squad, which you can expand up to 10 depending on your level of stan-hood and how much you need to wrap yourself in the warming blanket of false hope.

Even those 7 athletes produce so many different, sensible combinations of teams that numbers can help organize thoughts about where we stand heading into camp and what the gymnasts need to do at selection to make or confirm their arguments. So, here are a few best-scoring team scenarios based on recent competitions.

US Nationals – Top score

Simone Biles15.30014.75014.95015.100
Jade Carey15.00013.30013.50014.300
Kara Eaker13.85013.60014.90013.650
Sunisa Lee13.85015.05014.35014.000
Morgan Hurd14.45014.60014.15013.750

Alternate: Leanne Wong, who would produce a team scoring .050 lower by replacing either Eaker or Hurd.

US Nationals – Average score

Simone Biles15.30014.40014.82514.725
Jade Carey15.00012.47513.30014.200
Leanne Wong14.72513.92514.25012.725
Sunisa Lee13.80014.90014.10013.975
Morgan Hurd14.40014.50014.05012.900

Alternate: Jordan Chiles, who would produce a team scoring .175 lower by replacing Wong.

Those are your basic approaches just with nationals. Based on the report from the men’s selection committee, I’m adding another method of creating prospective teams by using the MCCLURE (Making Careful Choices Logically Using Real Evidence) System, wherein I take the three scores across Classic and the two days of nationals, drop the lowest score, and average the remaining two.


Simone Biles15.47514.60014.92515.050
Jade Carey15.00013.17513.30014.275
Grace McCallum14.75014.25014.27514.125
Sunisa Lee13.80014.90014.12513.975
Kara Eaker13.77513.62515.15013.850

Alternate: Morgan Hurd, who would produce a team scoring .175 lower by replacing McCallum.

(I didn’t use Pan Ams in these teams because not everyone was there, so we don’t get a solid comparison in front of the same judges like we do with domestic events.)

But…that’s all in the past. What we have in front of us is selection camp, the performances that will matter the very most in determining the team. There’s a lot still to be earned. So let’s get into that.

Tier 1

Simone. Simone is obviously making the team and is going to earn the one automatic spot available by winning the AA on Sunday. We can dispense with that right now.

Simone is the only true lock for the team. Everyone else is a fall-heavy selection camp away from missing out entirely.

Tier 2

Still, to me, the second most necessary person in any of these teams is Jade Carey because of the tenths she delivers on both vault and floor, tenths that none of the other options bring, and tenths that tend to be more of a sure thing than those who rely on, say, beam—which is beam and who knows what’s going to happen there.

You’ll notice that in all of the above teams, the third counting vault score is kind of…eh. That issue arises in a number of realistic team combinations, where stronger DTYs exist from the likes of Wong and McCallum, but those DTYs are only scoring about 2-3 tenths more than the DTY from Hurd, so they’re not enough to override the importance of the other apparatuses. What allows for those lower-level-DTY teams to exist is the presence of Jade Carey delivering a big second vault score to keep that total high.

Team selection is all about combinations, and which pairs and trios of gymnasts complement each other best. A good selection camp for Jade Carey is also a good selection camp for Sunisa Lee and Morgan Hurd because they fit together. If you’re not taking Jade Carey to worlds, however, then you have to put a Grace McCallum or Leanne Wong (or Jordan Chiles) or two on the team— otherwise the vault total would be anemic—which would leave one less spot for a Lee/Hurd gymnast.

For me, if Carey comes to selection camp and remains the clear #2 on vault and floor, she has to be on the team.

The other gymnast who appears on all three of the above teams is Sunisa Lee. Her 2nd-place nationals performance delivered excellent three-event scores that you’d have no hesitation about putting onto a worlds team—and what helps Lee the most is the breadth of those scores. She’s not boxed into that UB/BB specialist role because she also has FX, and the more bases you can cover on a five-person team, the more compelling you’re going to look because you allow for more leeway in filling the remaining spots.

Other gymnasts with one-event TF contribution arguments want Lee to do well at camp because it makes it more likely they can fit onto a team as well because the remaining spots have to cover fewer events.

There is a sense in which Lee could still be left off. If she has some issues in the AA and falls behind Hurd and McCallum and Wong, you could see it. But…

What Lee has in her corner most of all is that bars routine, all the more important post-McCusker. Without McCusker as an option, how do you leave that bars routine off the team? It alone is a “take me to worlds for this event” kind of routine, even if Lee’s big three-event argument at camp doesn’t come through. It’s her backup plan in case Plan A (being awesome at all-around) doesn’t work out, which helps me put her in tier 2.

Tier 3

Grace McCallum‘s biggest challenge to getting onto a worlds team is the strength of Biles/Carey/Lee as a floor triumvirate. McCallum was on last year’s team to provide vault and floor, but if you have Biles/Carey/Lee—who all bring additional important events—you don’t really need Grace McCallum’s floor. Then, the most important gymnasts to supplement Biles/Carey/Lee become the athletes with additional bars and beam scores, where McCallum isn’t going to be at the very top of the list.

If we’re treating this like the cage-match that it is, then what McCallum wants most of all at camp is for one of those three to royally screw up on floor so her routine looks super necessary. But if we’re rising above or whatever…

McCallum is truly an all-arounder, which brings us to the issue of what is valued in team selection. If I were the national team coordinator, I would be as yet unconvinced by McCallum’s argument and would probably want to see the elusive McCallamanar at camp in order for McCallum to have that NECESSARY EVENT that can get her on the team.

Now, as you might know, I am not the national team coordinator. And Tom Forster, unlike me, is very AA-standings focused in his selections. Just taking the top 4 AA finishers from camp and then Jade Carey is…very realistic for what might happen. In that regard, McCallum should be sitting in a solid position. She finished 3rd at nationals even with a bad first day, which according to the rules of ForsterBall, basically puts you on the team. So then if you’re Grace McCallum, do you really want to risk doing anything that could jeopardize your AA placement? If it’s all about AA placement, then going through cleanly is going to be the name of the game.

Now let’s address Morgan Hurd. Hurd appears on both of the nationals-based teams pretty much exclusively because of her bars score. Maaaaany of the other prospective worlds team members were scoring high 13s on bars at nationals, which meant that Hurd’s reliable mid-14 made her undeniable in all possible permutations. If the circumstances of nationals were to repeat exactly at camp, I would want Hurd on the worlds team to do bars in the TF and AA in qualification.

Even though the removal of Riley McCusker in the third table below gets Grace McCallum onto the team instead of Morgan Hurd, I’d still say that no gymnast benefits more from the McCusker withdrawal than Hurd, whose bars routines looks especially necessary to complement Lee and Biles now that McCusker is out of the picture. Real talk: she’s giving you 5-7 tenths on bars that now no one else can match.

Right now, I think the only thing keeping Hurd off a team would be the scenario that happens in the third table above, where the combination of McCallum’s events ends up being more valuable than Hurd’s bars in filling out a team. That’s why Hurd is still going to need to keep things close enough with McCallum on events like vault and floor as well to prevent that from happening.

Kara Eaker did not have a strong performance at nationals, which hurt the “she is an all-arounder now” argument she was starting make after Classic and Pan Ams. What that clarified, however, is that while Eaker has improved quite a bit on the other events, she’s still in a position where if she makes a team, she’s making it for beam.

And that beam routine, by scoring a full point better than even the other good beam routines on the national team, will always be compelling. The only team of the three above that Eaker doesn’t make is the one using average score from nationals, because she missed on day 1. When Eaker misses beam, she’s totally out of the conversation, but when she hits, you pretty much have to include her to create the highest-scoring team because her score is that much higher. So no pressure or anything.

The trouble for her is that if she misses beam on even one of the days, it’s really easy to lean more toward the AA standings and bring in someone like, say…

Similarly to Grace McCallum, what Leanne Wong needs to do at camp is get herself out of the “she’d make a fantastic alternate” friend zone that she currently inhabits, probably through her all-around placement. Wong has excellent pieces like vault and beam, but the vault advantage is a mere couple tenths, and despite being excellent on beam, she can be outpaced there by Eaker and McCusker, and if you’re bringing someone for beam, you’re bringing Eaker. But if Wong has figured out floor again, she’ll be in the conversation for 2nd place in the all-around. Just like everyone. Gahhh.

Tier 4

Jordan Chiles. Chiles’ 6th-place finish at nationals got her onto the nominative team, though her chances to make the worlds team should be treated as slim, which I’d upgrade from slim to slight in the wake of the McCusker withdrawal. (She would be the alternate on that nationals-average team because her vault is the only thing any other gymnast provides that would add anything to that score.) I still think the Amanar would have to be back for her to make it.

Similarly, you have to keep MyKayla Skinner in mind because she also has a compelling score on vault. If Skinner and Chiles continue to improve on floor, you could come up with a team with one of them complementing Biles, Carey, McCusker, and Lee…and it kind of works. It’s not the most likely scenario by any means, and not the kind of team we’re used to because it would be so light on backups, but it wouldn’t score poorly.

Honestly, I don’t really rate the chances for anyone else to make the worlds team. The scores just aren’t there right now to make a convincing argument. Feel free to fight me.

It’s challenging to take a “this person needs to do such-and-such to make the team” approach to selection camp because it honestly could just be as simple as the all-around standings. Which would be crazy-exciting, but also infuriating. In that case…you know…be good and hit routines? End of preview?

131 thoughts on “Selection Camp Preview”

  1. One has to wonder how this investigation into Maggie Haney has affected Riley’s training/morale and what that does to her performance.

    1. Not at all. Not even discussed or talked about. Just another day. It’s not like private investigators are going to the gym daily to interview Riley.

    2. Well, apparently Maggie’s been under investigation since right after Rio…so apart from it finally becoming public, I doubt too much has changed for Riley day to day.

      1. ooohh i wouldn’t count on the investigation leaving Riley untouched. there have been posts from other Maggie gymnasts defending her (“my second mom” kind of thing). That to me indicates that the investigation is being discussed. There probably is a lot of pressure on the teenage athletes to come out one way or another. It’s really hard being around a potential /suspected abuser because their circle will often rally around them and it creates a lot of psychological stress for the victims as well as bystanders.
        So I get that you’re saying Riley’s training probably hasn’t changed, but being in the pressure cooker of elite gymnastics already and adding this investigation on top must be very tough to handle. And that doesn’t even get into the actual circumstances at MG Elite, which apparently are troublesome enough that a number of people have complained about them.
        I just love Riley and it’s so upsetting that she has this serious illness.

  2. Here’s the thing. I don’t think they they leave Morgan Hurd out of the 6 if she doesn’t have a disaster. Like if she reasonably hits and you’re deciding between here Wong, and McCallum on who to take 6th you bring Hurd becuase of the two AA medals and her demonstrated ability to be better at the end of the season. Even if you end up making her the alternate, like they (originally) did with Bridget in 2010.

    So for me that’s really 4 “spots” locked up Simone, Suni, Jade, Morgan barring a meltdown from one of them.

    So you have 2 spots for 4 girls in my mind: McCusker, Eaker, McCallum, Wong.

    I’d say the most likely is McCusker + Eaker unless there is weakness shown on floor then McCallum comes in.

    Wong I think is the outsider of that group. Her recetn struggles on floor really hurt imo.

    1. if your team is biles, lee, carey, hurd, mccusker, eaker. then who would be the alternate? that would be so hard to decide isnt it?

      1. For sure. I would say from there anyone except Biles (and probably Carey) can be made alternate.

        It would come down to who has a great podium and the team permutations.

  3. tbh – IF Carey doesn’t make the team, I wont even be bothered. She is goin to Tokyo. She will be fine.

    1. well, that is true but you know they won’t leave off a vt and fx silver potential off the team. i am pretty sure the only thing that will take carey off the team is skinner beating her at vt and fx. which is unlikely given that skinner would have to make up such a signficant amount for the short time she has for comeback at this point.

      1. Winning a Silver medal when clearly the gold is already in their hands, really proves nothing. USA isn’t short changed for a silver as a big reason to send Carey lol. We have to take her, she can win…. A SILVER!

      2. Yes that is true. I think not taking Jade would be pretty dumb. In fact, I think they should send McKayla to the world cup series to see if she can get second on vault. That way, if they want to, they can take Jade on the Tokyo team without jeopardizing a spot.

        I know people say Jade won’t make Tokyo because of the all around, and yes putting her on bars/beam in qualification would be sub-optimal, but what she adds to vault/floor is tough to ignore. I know we all have this attitude that the US is a lock for gold, but are they really? Russia could potentially have a stacked team next year. If I were in charge of the team, I would want Jade doing vault and floor in team finals.

      3. “I know we all have this attitude that the US is a lock for gold, but are they really? Russia could potentially have a stacked team next year.”

        Yes, they are really. What on earth do you think Russia is going to stack their team with in 2020?? Is Urazova going to suddenly learn an Amanar?

      4. While I do think people overestimate the level of the non-Simones relative to the rest of the world, the fact is that Simone Biles is a currently competing gymnast. Yes, if she wasn’t, I would actually agree the American gold could be in danger if Russia has their two 2004ers intact and a 100% Mustafina and Melnikova. But with Simone they are unreachable. She carries the team to their absurd point advantages.

      5. Anonymous at 6:18– I honestly don’t see your logic. Obviously the US would rather leave with more medals than fewer. Hurd, McCallum, and Wong simply don’t bring the unique medal potential Carey does, and Spencer’s charts prove that they don’t have to sacrifice team score to bring her. If she’s not on the team, it won’t be because she’ll only get silvers in the event finals.

  4. Let’s get one hard truth out there (and Spencer, in my view, hints very tactfully at this): Morgan is actually very much a bubble athlete based on her performance this year. Talented, charming, personable, in possession of many medals, yes! But gymnastics is not and never will be Miss Congeniality. If everyone hits, she’s no longer top 5 AA or top 3 on any events.

    While the scores of Pan Ams don’t factor in here, it’s one of the competitions listed as considered in the criteria. Sure, Kara & Riley has some falls, but those were in finals that Morgan didn’t even reach. In fact, with the exception of Day 2 Nationals, Morgan has been middling everywhere but bars. Riley, Kara, and Grace have beaten her in AA multiple times this year. Suni’s beaten her in AA and soundly on her current best event, bars. She hasn’t been the same athlete since her surgery. Gymnastics is a fickle friend.

    By all means, if Riley or Kara fall, send them to a sports psychologist instead of Worlds. Or any of them, really. But let’s not miss that they’re *far* more capable of getting medals on their best events.

    I’ll note that I adore Morgan as a person and a gymnast. The internet is crawling, however, with delusional stans who “can’t imagine a team without her” and are putting her on the team based on achievements of the far gymnastics past. April is the cruelest month, gymnasts is the cruelest sport, no one does themselves or their favorites any favors by by being willfully ignorant of reality.

    1. A good summary here. I do think it is still very possible for Morgan to make it, but I don’t think she is a lock.

    2. Thas a lil deep sis. A lil long sis. See how she does tomorrow… all the rest you wrote is merely your imagination runnin amok ! All in yo head.

    3. I think Morgan intentionally kept her difficulty down so she could do Classic and Pan Ams and Nationals and World’s without getting burnt out. I have confidence she’ll go full out for worlds and show what she’s capable of.

    4. Absolutely Broceanu!

      If Morgan can beat out Grace, Sunisa, Kara and Leanne at camp on AA, then she can be on the team, but she yet to beat their top AA scores this year, despite her being in more competitions.

      The whole peaking late is a great strategy if you have a secured team spot, but she doesn’t. Even with Riley out now per USAG, Morgan wouldn’t be in my team choice based on scores this year.

      1. Riley being out makes a huge difference for Morgan. Morgan has to either have a distant lead over Grace and Leanne on UB for specialist spot or beat them both in AA.

        If Riley were still in it, Morgan wouldn’t be a real contender if we’re looking at just this year’s scores.

  5. I think Simone, Jade, Sunisa, Kara and Riley is the best bet for most medals and a very high team score unless something very strange happens at camp. And Grace is the smartest choice for the alternate.

    Now if Riley flops again and/or Grace showcases a banging Amanar, then I would swap her in for Riley.

    I don’t see a compelling argument for Morgan unless she scores 57.5+ — she’s #7 of the US women this year on any day highest score for AA and #3 of US women for UB isn’t specialist enough for a 1 event spot. She has no potential for a medal unless she gets the AA spot (again, #7…)

    1. YES. Would love to see her as alternate at Worlds purely to lead Team USA in a dance party during rotations. Also she’s fab and she killed it at Nationals and it would be cool to see her improvement rewarded.

  6. The other factor to consider is that US always has 3 strong AAers on the team for qualification … Given that tom is also into AAers i think that will hold true again…

    1. One of the points that Spencer is making is that pretty much everyone in tiers 1-3 except Jade is a top AAer by some measure this season. like so many athletes are essentially interchangeable in AA potential, especially if Morgan ups her difficulty a bit.

      1. Agree fully, and even Jade hit 56.1 on day 1 of nationals…stranger things than Jade qualifying AA have happened…

  7. Do you think Jade is a lock? Yes she has the skills to make the team but do you think the fact she is going the apparatus route change things? I mean if she isn’t going to be on the team why not take someone who might actually be on the team next year.

    1. THIS ^^ But she could win the ever elusive rare SILVER medal on Vault and Floor. So she must go. lol 😉

      1. The selection procedures released explicitly include “medal potential,” which considering has not been a factor for any of Tom’s other teams, leads me to think that was written in there for Jade above anyone else. Along with Simone on AA/VT/FX and Suni on UB, Jade is more a favorite for medals on VT/FX than anyone else. Furthermore, like it or not, the US has certainly brought people in the past just for a shot at silver/bronze medals, such as Locklear, Skinner, Kocian, and Baumman all in 2014 alone.

      2. Yes, I really don’t get what is so special about the Silver medal in Worlds that the USA should take Jade no matter what LMAO. At least Kara has potential for gold. But we should take Jade because a silver medal is so important LOL

      3. Medals at Worlds – including “the ever elusive rare SILVER medal on Vault and Floor” – are worth serious money in USOPC medal bonus money for USAG. It would also increase USAG’s projected medal total for 2020, which will bring money and prioritization from USPOC.

      4. “the US has certainly brought people in the past just for a shot at silver/bronze medals, such as Locklear, Skinner, Kocian, and Baumman all in 2014 alone.”

        No. In 2014 they literally HAD to include all four of those gymnasts on the team for the team score because practically every other gymnast in the US was injured. It had nothing to do with their medal potential. Desch was the alternate – there wasn’t anyone else to put on the team.

        A better example would be the 2015 team, in which they could’ve put Skinner up for a chance at an extra VT medal, but left her as alternate because the team score was (and I would guess is) the absolute priority. There is not a track record of bringing people for silver/bronze medals on events where we already have gold relatively locked.

        That isn’t to say it’s not possible under Tom, but it hasn’t been done before.

      5. @ anonymous 8:19, they absolutely didn’t need both locklear and Kocian on that team when Biles could have done UB in TF instead of one of them and the US would have still won by a large margin. I would say Locklear was brought just to boost the TF score and for her medal potential, the same reasons Jade and perhaps Kara would be brought.

      6. Who else were they going to put. The great Macy Toronjo or Amelia Hundley? That was the best team they had, it didn’t have anything to do with getting silvers and bronzes.

      7. What, because Simone is going to win gold on vault and floor, the other medals on these events don’t matter ?

      8. “Potential silver on two events” is a stronger argument than “I believe the team this year has any bearing on the team next year”. It doesn’t. Your argument is weak and means nothing. Jade Carey should go to worlds. The end.

      9. It isn’t that vault silver is so special, it’s that winning as many medals as possible is definitely something USAG would prefer. We’re not comparing Jade’s two silver potential to another gymnast’s two gold potential and choosing Jade, we’re comparing Jade’s two silver potential to Grace, Leanne, and Morgan’s nothing that Simone/Jade/Sunisa/Kara can’t provide medal potential and choosing Jade over a second one of the bubble AAers.

        “the team score was (and I would guess is) the absolute priority”
        And Jade consistently shows up in top-scoring team permutations.

      10. I think Jade will go for the team score. I don’t think Jade gets sent for a silver medal. I think claiming that 2014 shows precedent for sending Jade BECAUSE of the silver is wrong, especially when the 2015 team selection showed the exact opposite. That’s all.

        I wouldn’t say silvers on other events “don’t matter,” but in the recent past, they have not mattered as much to the US as the team score.

    2. There is value in establishing Jade as a medal winner/medal favorite at the Worlds before the Olympics. Then when she competes next year, she has the additional pedigree that sometimes makes the judges more willing to throw out the big scores. If it comes down to Jade vs. Maria for an Olympic silver in vault, you hope they go by form which Jade would almost certainly win, but if rep plays a part in it, being the silver medalist at the most recent Worlds might be just the push needed. Also, you never know if Simone will sit a vault down trying to be too perfect and being ready to scoop the gold with your second athlete has value too.

      1. No, but that’s worth nothing if she has a floor problem.

        She isn’t bringing anything good on floor at the moment and that wasn’t just because of lower difficulty. She was struggling.
        You’re not taking someone who is struggling, not matter how many medals they have, when you have better scoring not struggling options.

      2. No, but she isn’t even top 10 worldwide this year on FX. She isn’t even top 5 from US Women. If she gets on the team this year, it’ll be for UB and, maybe, BB depending on who else is on the team. She’ll be lucky to be an alternate if she performs well at camp.

  8. Many thoughts on selection:

    Simone, Jade, Suni, and Riley will go barring meltdowns-as you said, they’re not dependent on anyone else’s scores. This team is set for FX, BB, and UB. I see two possibilities for choosing the other two members of the team (with the alternate TBD in Stuttgart):

    1) To compete on VT in TF over Suni and Riley, and potentially on UB or BB if they want to give Simone a rest.
    2) Medal potential greater than these current 4 (including as the #2 AA)

    If choosing based on possibility 1, I would take two of Wong, Hurd, or McCallum (if McCallum has the Amanar then definitely her).

    For possibility 2, I will first look at the current medal potential using 4 categories: lock, favorite, contender, dark horse.

    AA: Simone is a lock for gold, Riley and Sunisa are contenders.
    VT: Simone is a lock for gold, Jade is a favorite for silver.
    UB: Suni is a favorite for silver or bronze, Riley and Simone are contenders.
    BB: Always so unpredictable, but I would say Simone favorite, Riley contender, Suni dark horse.
    FX: Simone is a lock for gold, Jade is a favorite for silver, Sunisa is a dark horse.

    If Leanne, Grace, or Morgan finish a strong 2nd AA clear of everyone else, they could go with “AA medal potential” as their justification and bump Riley from AA in quals, even without major EF potential.

    Kara could go with her huge BB medal potential, of course, but I suspect this is less likely. Whichever two Chinese athletes make the beam final will have similar difficulty with better ring leaps, and Simone with her double-double dismount is probably ahead of her as well. She is a clear “contender” but not a favorite, so not more potential than Simone+Riley.

    No one else is above a dark horse for any EF.

    I would take Simone, Jade, Suni, Riley, and then the next two highest AA. Either way, this team is going to be fantastic!

    I actually view this team setup very similar to China which is why I’m so comfortable with both of them: China has Tingting, Shijia, Xijing, and Qi, who could cover all events in a TF just like Simone, Jade, Suni, and Riley. The one weak spot being a weaker DTY from Tingting/Xijing (just like Riley/Suni). China chose to bring a foundational AAer/backup for several events in Yile. Will the US choose the same strategy?

  9. I like team MCCLURE a lot, but what are everyone’s thoughts on who should do the AA?
    This group just doesn’t complement each other in some ways. If you want the ideal event by event lineups, there would only be 2 AAers – Simone and probably Suni (possibly Kara).

    My train of thought is:
    If you want 3 AAers, Simone and Riley have to be 2 of them because they clearly have to do vault in QF. Lee’s 1.5 and Suni’s DTY have been scoring similarly.

    However, on floor Riley is clearly 5th – remember Eaker cleared 14 at Classic.
    So you have to shut out a potential floor event final-worthy routine from Eaker (or possibly Lee).

    And correspondingly Lee (or possibly Eaker) would do vault and thus be the 3rd AAer in addition to Simone and Riley.

    Can we call this getting Hernandez’d? Except instead of the limitation being Gabby having to do bars, it’s Riley on vault LOL.

    1. If anyone’s wondering, my favourite team (or at least the one that stresses me out the least emotionally) is if McCallum brings the Amanar and manages to replace Riley from team MCCLURE.

      Then the AAers would be Simone, McCallum, and then whoever looks better on the day out of Lee and Eaker

      I guess my third choice team is if Morgan gets her floor up enough that she replaces Riley from MCCLURE, and again Kara and Suni battle it out for the third AA spot.

      What’s amazing is that in all of these permutations, you’re going to have like 10-12 routines with at least an outside chance at an EF medal (excluding 2 per country obviously) – 2 vault, 2 bars, 2 beam, 3 floor, and an additional 1-3 bars/beam/floor.

    2. Yes Eaker cleared 14 on floor at classic but Riley also cleared 14 on floor at Pan Ams, and she is only .2 behind on difficulty. Realistically neither will beat Simone, Jade, or even Suni on floor, so if we’re going for AA potential I would put Simone, Suni, and Riley in AA, Jade VT/FX, Kara UB/BB.

  10. Also, I didn’t realize how stacked the US is on floor compared to the international field!!

    Everyone in tiers 1-3 could hit 14-ish + on floor, except Riley and non-upgraded Morgan. There are very few non-American seniors who can do that.

    1. This has been true for two quads. Team USA beat the number two team on floor by more than their combined margin over number two team on all other events, nearly 3.5 points.

      To be honest, floor difficulty around the world has been going down and down. Even NCAA routines seem more difficult than those from most of the world these days.

    2. yeah, we all thought about United States of Amanars before but fx is also key here because right now, there’s not much of any other teams out there even close on potential to US fx. which is why if you are going to capitalize on that, you would want jade on the team.

  11. Great analysis from Spencer, as usual. Agree with all of it. Re: comments here and elsewhere…

    – I don’t get this argument that Jade shouldn’t go to Worlds because she likely won’t be doing TF at the Olympics. I do not follow the logic – the two things have nothing to do with each other. Worlds is about producing the highest possible team score and medal count right now. Jade is an essential contributor on both counts. Do people just not like Jade?

    – TBH you guys… I am over Riley. Yes, she’s lovely and has many fine qualities, but she is just so inconsistent and it drives me nuts. She brings in huge scores when it doesn’t matter, like at Classic, and then falls in finals. I don’t trust her to hit under pressure at Worlds. The other issue for her is Suni Lee – she and Riley are very similar gymnasts, but Lee seems to be just a bit stronger overall, with a higher-scoring UB routine and that big FX. If she hits at selection camp like she did at Nationals, I think she kind of usurps Riley’s spot.

    – My dream team is the first one Spencer lists: Biles, Carey, Eaker, Hurd, and Lee. I think it maximizes your team score and potential medal count. The alternate spot would go to McCallum, Wong, Chiles w/Amanar, or possibly McCusker. Lineups as follows:

    VT: (Lee), Hurd, Carey, Biles
    UB: (Eaker?), Hurd, Biles, Lee
    BB: (Hurd/Lee), Hurd/Lee, Biles, Eaker
    FX: (Hurd), Lee, Carey, Biles

    Biles will likely take a medal on at least three events, maybe four, plus the AA. You also have real medal prospects across every other final: Lee/Hurd in AA, Lee on UB, Carey VT/FX, Eaker on BB, and Hurd basically anywhere if someone misses in quals.

    1. This is the type of selective logic that drives me nuts. Yes, Riley has had some inconsistency problems. Yet, she brought home 4 Pan Ams medals, two gold, was second at Classics and 4th AA with a fall Day 1 of Nats.

      Yet you leave her off but put Kara who has fallen more often in competition this summer on the team. And Morgan who has been very consistent … ly behind Riley at all meets this summer. Riley’s no guarantee, but the idea that Kara or Morgan are more reliable is laughable.

      1. Yes, I can’t see why anyone would trust Eaker and not McCusker at this point. But I think they both need to hit at camp to make an argument for the team.

        I do think Hurd is more consistent than the two above – so far, she has hit when it really matters.

      2. Riley was able to win all those medals at pan ams because the field was weaker than a Worlds competition is. She wasn’t facing anyone from Europe or China. As for Morgan, I think she kept her difficulty lower intentionally so she wouldn’t be burnt out by Worlds. You saw what going full out all the time did to McCusker’s stamina, and Eaker’s for that matter.

        Also, I think Morgan has made it clear that she knows how to hit under pressure, more so than Riley. She’s won 5 world medals. And yes, two of them were from the post-Olympics worlds, but remember nobody was expecting her to win ANY medals going in because she had never placed very high domestically. And she won floor silver last year despite having lower difficulty than half the field.

        We all know Morgan has more up her sleeve. She hasn’t been injured, so we know she’s capable of doing more difficulty. I think she’ll likely blast out her full difficulty at Worlds camp to make a statement and she’ll make the team.

      3. When has Riley ever been more consistent than Morgan? How many combined Worlds and Nationals medals did she win last year? How many did Morgan? Who won gold at a World Cup this year and who took home silver? This is not Riley hate, I just genuinely don’t get the argument that Morgan is somehow less reliable. Riley’s potential AA score is higher, but if she’s not going to hit it except at Classic and PanAm quals, who cares??

        As for Kara, she’s not directly comparable to Riley or Morgan because she isn’t being evaluated on the same criteria. She isn’t an AAer (though she has shown that she might become one). You bring her to Worlds to do beam, period, because she is a gold medal threat there. Also – and I mean this sincerely – how many falls has she had in competition on beam this year? Her hit rate there seems to be pretty good, but it’s true that it’s not perfect. While I think she should go to Worlds because she maximizes the potential medal count (and team score), there is an argument for taking someone else. But whom? Is Riley’s hit rate on beam higher than Kara’s? If not, why take her over Kara, who has a higher potential score? I guess for UB, but why, when she typically scores within a tenth of Morgan, a more reliable AAer with a better DTY, and when you have Lee and Biles there too? The other best option for that spot would probably be McCallum with an Amanar – but without one, where does she contribute? Kara just seems like the most compelling option – provided she hits at camp, of course.

    2. Carey can stay home. Your USA needs highest score for Worlds logic as if they havent won this comp each year! lol

      1. But why wouldn’t they want to put up the highest score possible? Just because they’re going to run away with the gold doesn’t mean they need to water it down at all. Bring Jade and let Team USA wow everyone with TWO triple-doubles.

      2. Oh yes, the US would almost certainly win gold without Carey. Or one gymnast discussed. She COULD stay home and it likely wouldn’t change the outcome of the team final. You don’t get a second set of medals for winning by a massive margin.

        Except the team gold isn’t the only one being handed out at worlds. Carey helps boost the team score into essentially a total lock while offering potentially two individual event medals (including vault – she’s definitely our best option for a second vault medal) while also leaving room for one of our potential medalists on bars and beam on the team. When the goal is optimizing chances of securing the highest possible 11 medals for the US (with the team medal being most heavily weighted, obv), Carey’s arguably got the best case next to Simone.

      3. The logic regarding Jade on here is honestly maddening:
        Jade shouldn’t go because she will only win individual silvers, and do they really need to bring her for SILVERS?
        But she brings more to the likely total medal haul than if you bring two of the bubble AAers–even with both Jade and Kara, you have to bring at least one of them.
        But the US doesn’t pick by potential medal haul, they pick by TEAM SCORE!
        But Jade is a top contributor to the highest potential team scores.
        But the US has team gold locked down, so why would they care about bringing the highest score?
        But she also ups the likely medal haul…
        Honestly, what exactly do you think the team should be picked by if not score and medal potential?

        It’s fine if you don’t like Jade and/or she isn’t on your dream team (she’s not one of my personal favorites), but it’s just stupid to try to argue that she isn’t a very logical choice for the team. I could see her being left off if USAG decides they only want to pick gymnasts eligible for team spots next year (which is stupid and makes no sense to me, but I’ve heard is at least a consideration), Tom goes by AA standings, or she implodes. But she won’t be left off because she doesn’t bring a convincing case for herself to the table (unless, again, she implodes.)

  12. Lots of doubts around Morgan here. Her scores, relative to the others, really are not quite that high, but it’s hard to assess her on scores alone because she always demonstrates a steep upward trajectory that other gymnasts don’t around this time of year. She’s certainly not a lock, but I would honestly be surprised if she DIDN’T make the team. Especially given how good she looked at Nationals (though she was underscored and should have taken bronze over McCallum).

    Also, she’s valuable to the team in that she can reasonably expect to get into any final but VT if someone else misses, AND contend seriously for a medal across the board. A sort of jack (jill?) of all trades, she adds to the potential medal haul at least as a backup everywhere.

  13. Tommy Tom Tom, Tati, Kaykay Willy and Annie Banani are going to have one heck of a fun time selecting the team.

  14. I’d take Riley over Morgan if I had to choose (at least currently): Simply- MCLURE tells the story better than nationals scores. We say Riley is inconsistent and thats why she shouldn’t make the team- we can say the same about Morgan this year as well.

    You can’t have it both ways: People say Morgan should make the team because she can score high on bars and forget the bars mistakes at PanAms, the consistently low beam scores (she averages mid 13’s), the falls and mental mistakes on floor, and the inconsistent vaults. Those same people say Riley shouldn’t make the team because she made mistakes in the AA final at PanAms and had to withdraw from nationals. Both were most likely exhaustion. She’s actually become- dare I say- reliable on beam.

    For me- I’d take Riley’s potential over Morgan’s potential right now. We’ll see what camp brings and if they both look great, I’d reward Riley for her overall performance this year.

    1. All meets are not created equal. It’s not the biggest sample size, but Riley also hit all her domestic comps last year and bombed her international ones while Morgan did the opposite. So that’s (part of) why Morgan gets all this benefit of the doubt. It doesn’t matter how great Riley is at Classics if she can’t hit when there’s high stakes, and it’s looking like a pattern rather than a fluke.

      That’s also why Riley’s Pan Ams performance was worse than Morgan’s even though it was objectively better… Morgan didn’t need to prove that she could hit internationally since she already has two years in a row…. but Riley did. And she didn’t come through.

      1. Yes yes yes. Both have been seniors for almos three years now. Morgan really has nothing left to prove except that, at selection camp, she is top 3 AA and can contribute in one or two spots in TF. We all know that she hits when it counts – at Nationals and Worlds. Riley has proven that she can be outrageously good in the AA, particularly domestically, but has demonstrated a pattern of falls and major errors internationally, and has been given multiple opportunities. She’s a gorgeous gymnast to watch but I just can’t anymore with the consistency issues, not when there are so many other great US AAers to choose from.

  15. My team choice has remained the same for most of the year really:
    Simone, Jade, Sunisa, Kara and a 3rd AA
    3AAs and 2 specialists

    If Tom picks top 5AA, I won’t be here for that.
    Top 4AA and 1 specialist also makes no sense to me. Given that the 4th AA won’t even be up for AA qualification and would most likely not make any event final over the other team members.

    The argument for leaving Jade out of worlds because she won’t be on the Olympic team, also makes no sense to me. You are comparing selecting a team of 5, 3 on each event in TF, to a team of 4 pick 3 on each event. Completely different selection procedures and team dynamics, in my opinion.

    Simone, Sunisa – AA
    Jade – VT/FX Kara – Beam
    Two more AAs as team member and alternate
    At this point, any two from Riley, Morgan, Leanne and Grace would work.
    Different reasons for all of them
    Morgan is consistent enough, Riley could be a wildcard with a repeat Classics performance, Leanne is a first year senior – why not give her a chance and it’s fair enough to give Grace a chance at AA in qualifications, as she didn’t get that last year.

    At this point, I’m fine with anything but top 5 (probably top 4 too) AA. And something stupid like leaving Jade off solely based on the world cup thing.

    1. Haha, also just realised that my ideal team is MCCLURE, if you put Riley and Grace as the 2AAs I haven’t mentioned.

  16. ideal selection: you bring trinity thomas based on her 10.0E scores on every event at camp

  17. For event finals in Tokyo, does an individual count in 2 per country? Like if Carey goes as an individual, will she take up a USA spot for VT/FX finals or will two people from the team still be able qualify?

    1. It’s two per country total whether that person is competing in the team competition or not.

    2. Yes, event finals are two per country, Carey would compete for the us and thus would take one of those two spots.

      I think of the team final simply as a relay competition, a lot of sports have them. Not all gymnasts of a country take part in the relay (=team) competition, but they are still part of that country’s delegation.

    1. Remember the worlds after the olympic year are the weakest ones- anyone who competed for the US there could have potentially won gold in the AA there. In terms of beam- Morgan scores lower than anyone else in the current running- she wouldn’t medal on floor this year against any other american who hits either. Previous years’ success doesn’t really mean anything right now- the american girls are just too good and are surpassing and/or challenging her standing.

  18. Honestly, if they have to provide a post selection transparency report, the selection will most likely be extremely programmatic. My guess is that they will use Nationals and Selection, OR if you went to Pan Ams, they will use the better meet of Classics or Nationals. Then they will take the top AA (because it’s a rule I think) and anyone who scored in the top 2 of at least 2 events. Then they will go by AA standings. Easy.

    1. the MCCLURE procedure seems the most transparent and fair- I hope Tom takes a hint from the men’s side. Using highest scores really doesn’t tell the story well enough.

    1. OH SHIT. God, poor thing. And it’s something nasty, too. Gonna just say it, I think Maggie pushes her too hard. No reason for an injury-prone athlete to have done so much at PanAms when she’s in real contention for the Worlds team, much less attempt to then compete Nationals. Our poor girl 🙁

      1. Yeah also bummed for Shilese… hopefully her injury isn’t too serious and she will recover swiftly… she’s a gem.

      2. Poor Riley. According to USAG, she has a “mild” case of rhabdo, which is no joke and comes from overtraining. It can be VERY serious.

        Just let the poor girl rest!

  19. Morgan always peaks when she needs to, so I think she’ll finish top 3 and make the team. But who knows. Only Simone is a lock right now.

  20. Simone, Jade, Sunisa and Kara are all apart of the best team if you choose 2019 best scores and medal contention (the criteria for the team). Riley dropped out per USAG twitter and news.

    So the last spot and alternate is probably the highest AA not already on the team, Grace (57.7), Leanne (56.765) and Morgan (56.65) have highest 2019 scores, none are in medal contention for anything but AA.

    As of right now, I’d choose:
    VT: (Sunisa), Grace, Jade, Simone
    UB: (Kara), Grace, Simone, Sunisa
    BB: (Sunisa), Grace, Simone, Kara
    FX: (Grace), Sunisa, Jade, Simone

    Meaning, Simone, Sunisa and Grace would all do AA in Q. Kara could prove to be one of those AA instead, but it wouldn’t change the team.

    1. Sadly, I think we need Morgan to swap for Grace. I love them both, but we need a solid third bars score.

      1. If Grace looked a bit more stable on bars I wouldn’t mind… I think she gets very generous scoring so I’m not worried about her E score, and she has a decent bars D. The fall at nationals makes me more pro-Morgan though.

  21. Now with Riley out of the running (poor girl), my team is:

    Alt: Grace

    VT: (Suni or Kara) Morgan, Jade, Simone
    B: (Kara) Morgan, Simone, Sunisa
    BB: (Morgan) Sunisa, Simone, Kara
    FX: (Morgan) Sunisa, Jade, Simone

  22. Why did Riley leave? The Federation should praise Haney for working with Riley who will probably be in the NCAA after the Olympics. Agents cannot implement foreign prerogatives, and only Riley can evaluate cooperation with her trainer! Agents are spies! I do world-class sport and I know these things as a player and coach.

    1. Do you have social media? I would 100% follow you. It’d probably be like watching Marianne Williamson in debates.

  23. Medals: Simone, Jade (FX/VT), Kara (BB), Sunisa (UB).

    Highest team score if you include these 4 on it, with Riley out, would come down to Grace, Morgan or Leanne — one of these three need to be ruled out at camp. They likely won’t disclose which of the other two will be the alternate until 24 hrs before qualifications.

    As long as Jade, Kara and Sunisa don’t have issues both days on their medal events, I am confident they will be on the team with Simone.

    1. Kara needs to hit both days on BB. Her hit rate this year on the ONE event that makes her worthwhile is underwhelming, and she can’t point to results from last year’s Worlds to make up for it.

  24. Well … with Riley out they need bars and beam- Sunisa can take beam and Morgan can take bars.

    VT: simone, jade, morgan
    UB: simone, sunisa, morgan
    BB: simone, kara, sunisa
    FX: simone, jade, sunisa

    I’d actually like to see Grace more now though.

    VT: simone, jade, grace
    UB: simone, sunisa, grace??
    BB: simone, kara, sunisa/grace
    FX: simone, jade, grace

    The only issue with that is that we really need that bars score, but I think she’d be better on vault and floor.

  25. Grace and Leanne are not going to make the team unless one of them gets an Amanar. That is true of Tokyo as well. Morgan’s stock just went up big time since her bars score looks very needed now.

    1. Grace gives more to team score than Morgan as Spencer points out in MCCLURE. And they want medals, which Morgan can’t get. As 2019 scores stand, she wouldn’t medal in AA internationally. So give the spot to Morgan for, perhaps, a 0.1 TF advantage if she hits on UB, then lose an easy AA medal? No. Especially when they’re looking at an 8-10 point TF score advantage!

      The only scenario for Morgan is if Simone, Kara and Sunisa all do AA in TQ with Jade and Morgan as specialists; otherwise Grace is a better choice than Morgan in any alternative.

  26. Tier1 (AA lock): Simone
    Tier2 (EF medal): Jade, Suni, Kara
    Tier3 (band aid): Grace, Morgan, Leanne

    Camp will do a last check on T2 routines and determine who is picked from T3 as either a band aid or an AA if not already in T2.

    I bet T3 pick is Morgan, alternate is highest AA not picked. RIP Riley.

    1. Riley would have been unquestionably the best Tier 3 pick, because she is the perfect band aid for Tier 2 holes and has a chance at EF medals if favorites miss their routines on top of being a strong AA medal contender.

      Morgan has some serious luck.

  27. You can’t bring Jade Carey and call the sport Artistic Gymnastics. Just call it what it is – some deaf girl tumbling and waving her arms occasionally..

    1. “You can’t bring Jade Carey and call the sport Artistic Gymnastics.”

      Our girl Jade is going to go to Worlds and the Olympics and win medals. Haters gonna hate, Jade’s gonna tumble, and medals gonna come.

      Not to mention, VT is also a thing, and hers are stunning. I could watch her Amanar all day.

  28. 100% TEAM MCCLURE!

    Let the camp decide who on team Mcclure 3rd AA is for qualifications. Unless Morgan or Leanne pulls off something amazing, I’d say with Riley out, there’s nothing left to decide. Very nice write up.

  29. The problem with the MCLure method is it gives an advantage to the girls who hit at Classic rather than at Nats because it was clearly more generously scored. It also doesn’t take into account that it was two months ago. And not to give too much credence too Martha but to paraphrase her who cares who the best team is 3 months before the games, I want to know who the best team is now.

      1. Agree with this – you can justify using McClure for Nationals/camp, but Classic? It was in July…!

        So much wrong with Martha and her bullying, but she got this one right.

    1. I feel that way more about Aly Raisman … like at least no one is giving Carey beam medals or AA medals yet.

      1. Do not insult Aly like that. Say what you want, but no American has advanced the sport like Aly. She has been more brave than the lot of combined. I do not care about her form. When you have the courage to stand up to an entire ecosystem, we fans should be able to forgive a short split here and there. And her floor was fantastic.

      2. Aly Raisman was a technically strong, high-performing gymnast. Under the COP, she deserved most if not all of her medals (I would’ve given her BB EF spot in 2012 to Ross, but nbd). I hated watching her gymnastics because I found them really aesthetically unappealing on all the events (unlike Carey I guess she actually tried to dance, but her bars were just so horrible). Hence my feeling that she is the WORST/BEST gymnast the US has produced. You can, of course, disagree.

        Her activism outside the sport isn’t relevant to my opinion of her performances.

      3. @Anonymous from 12:02 AM Oh please. Raisman at least can move and not just tumble; Carey is the most unmusical (not that what she uses for floor is music, really) trick machine since Mary Lewd Wretched. She is a Moors/DLO 1/1/Amanar/Cheng pony and nothing else. If she misses even one of those, byebye medal.

  30. Riley getting Rhabdo is SERIOUS and could take her out of contention for Tokyo if it’s bad enough. Serious bad luck for her and I hope she recovers. With Riley out of the picture, I think the best Worlds team would be Simone (because duh), Jade for vault and floor, Morgan for her consistency (and she’ll probably upgrade), Sunisa for her bars and AA potential, and Kara for beam:
    VT: (Sunisa), Simone, Morgan, Jade
    UB: (Kara), Simone, Morgan, Sunisa
    BB: (Morgan/Sunisa), Simone, Kara, Morgan/Sunisa
    FX: (Morgan/Sunisa), Simone, Jade, Morgan/Sunisa

    I’d put Grace as the alternate. She’s a solid AA who can do any event but since she’s best on vault and floor I wouldn’t put her on the team because those spots are filled.

  31. Realistically, the team is going to be Simone, Sunisa, and Jade. Kara will be on the team if she goes 2/2 on beam. It’s too valuable to leave behind. The final spot will be Grace or Leann if either brings an Amanar, and Morgan otherwise. These coaches need to get their ish together and start pushing Amanars. Read the writing on the wall.

    If Kara doesn’t hit, things get interesting. I think Morgan is safe in that scenario, because her bars are too juicy to leave behind, but then you take one of Grace/Leann. If one brings an Amanar, game over. If neither brings Amanar, any given Sunday

  32. The real conundrum is Tokyo. What do you do with Jade? Is the US really going to send two DTY’s? I won’t watch if so. We can do better than that. College teams have two DTY’s these days. No Amanar no Gold Team medal. That should be the moniker.

    If I were Tom Forrester, I would be figuring out how to amend the rules so Skinner can go to apparatus cups to get second behind Jade, so we can take Jade with no risk to our delegation if Jade hits in trials.

    Kara can take the all around specialist spot for beam.

    McKayla can take Jade’s apparatus spot.

    Team=Simone, Jade, Sunisa, and whoever hits among Morgan, Grace (with Amanar), Leann (with Amanar), or Riley.

    1. “Is the US really going to send two DTY’s? I won’t watch if so.”

      You’re weird. It isn’t 2012 anymore. I personally would rather watch a good DTY than Aly Raisman’s eyesore of an Amanar, and hers was actually pretty decent among the non-Biles Amanars that we’ve put out there since 2008.

      And as far as coaches pushing them, well, it’s true that an Amanar makes you much more competitive for team selection, but it seems about as likely to blow your knee out and tank your Olympic dream, especially if you’re really pushing your limits to get that extra twist.

    2. Amanars has been devalued A LOT relative to DTY since 2012. so it’s not like it’s that mandatory anymore.

      I still don’t get all these logics why people keep asking about usag putting skinner in worlds cup to get jade out to be put on the 4 person team. The four person team will most likely be 4 good AAers which Jade is not. She is in the place where she needs to be, which is the individual to get US the vt and fx silver.

      and if for whatever crazy reason, both usag and jade decides to scrap the worlds cup route, they are not gonna send skinner to replace jade in the worlds cup. usag will try to get both non-nominative spots to be able to choose all 6 person.

  33. I am convinced that USAG will take the top 2 AA from camp, plus Carey, and build a team score around the remaining two spots.

    For that 2nd AA spot, McCallum and Lee are the frontrunners. I personally prefer Lee, but McCallum has gotten ridiculously generous scoring all season and she is largely very consistent. If they both hit 4/4 I’d expect McCallum to take it. I don’t think they leave her as alternate if she’s second.

    With Riley out of the picture, you bring Lee for UB/BB in TF unless she suddenly sucks at camp. You bring Hurd for the final TF UB spot, and to fill in spots in quals as necessary. McCallum, Lee, and Biles are your AAers in quals unless someone starts struggling during camp/PT. Wong is your alternate.

    VT: Biles, Carey, McCallum (Lee)
    UB: Biles, Hurd, Lee (McCallum)
    BB: Biles, McCallum, Lee (Hurd)
    FX: Biles, Carey, McCallum (Lee)

  34. Unless Wong, Chiles or Skinner step it up by a lot today, the team will be Biles, Lee, Carey, Hurd, Eaker, and McCallum, with McCallum as the likely alternate. The issue with taking her over Morgan is that it leaves the team counting an UB score in the 13s in TF, which it really shouldn’t have to do on any apparatus. Before Riley withdrew, you had two options to fill that role – her and Morgan. Now, only Morgan can hit the mid-14s in bars, and I think the team is going to really want that. Grace’s only real way to avoid being Allan Bowered, IMO, is if Eaker misses at camp and she beats Hurd and/or Lee soundly in the AA, thereby forcing one of them into the role of event specialist. Grace would then be the third AAer, and Morgan/Suni would go as an UB specialist. I think Grace will need a solid Amanar to make this happen, TBH.

    Eaker missing might also provide a sliver of an opportunity for Wong – without Eaker, the US will be looking for a third big beam score, and Wong is capable of providing that. She scores better on beam than Grace, Morgan or Suni, though even without Eaker I don’t think it’s good enough to make her case without a strong AA showing as well.

    1. I don’t get why everyone is so confidently assuming that Lee is the 2nd AAer? She has held that crown for one meet – admittedly, the most recent meet (Nationals) but McCallum would’ve beaten her pretty easily without those two falls on Day 1. If they both go four for four at camp, McCallum is the 2nd AAer, and they’re going to give #2 a team spot.

      I’m not a big fan of McCallum’s gymnastics but I’m surprised at how many people have her as alternate.

  35. I think everyone has Eaker as a lock because of her beam gold potential- obviously- but if she isn’t on the team then Simone, Sunisa, Jade, Grace, and Morgan is a really solid team. I wouldn’t hate that at all.

  36. Without Riley the 6 becomes super obvious barring disaster. Simone, Suni, Jade, Morgan, Kara, Grace. It doesnt make sense to talk about who the alt is because they dont have to decide that until podium and will likely be based on mostly podium because they are all so close. If Leanne hits floor and brings the amanar, she comes in instead of Grace imo. I dont think her bars are strong enough to bump Morgan.

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