The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – March 6, 2020

A. Coronastics

Here’s the latest rundown on the status of events in reaction to the coronavirus:

  1. A day after the US announced that it’s too scary to go to Italy, the Jesolo competition officially self-canceled. Fear not, that weekend was already packed with NCAA regionals and the Tokyo world cup (maybe…), so you won’t suddenly be left with no gymnastics excuses to get out of doing things.
  2. The US also said there will be an alternate competition opportunity at camp that weekend for those American gymnasts who would have gone to Jesolo, and I don’t know what that means. You don’t get an international assignment in Italy, but to make up for it, you have to spend a weekend in Indianapolis…?
  3. Doha has announced a 14-day quarantine period for those entering Qatar from China, South Korea, Egypt (?), Iran, and Italy. This was announced 13 days before qualification begins at the Doha Apparatus World Cup. So that’s not ideal.
  4. Vanessa Ferrari said on the socials that the Italians won’t be going to Doha as a result. That has potentially huge implications for the Olympic floor spot, but if the Italians do end up competing in Baku the week right before, they can still lock most other competitors out before Doha. People like Bachynska and even Pihan-Kulesza will nonetheless feel like a door has been cracked open slightly.
  5. Doha also announced that its world cup event will be held behind closed doors. Attendance is expected to remain constant at zero.
  6. All other FIG events are currently slated to continue as scheduled, and everyone (except Russia) successfully arrived at the American Cup. But if anyone falls, it’s the coronavirus’s fault.

B. Long Island University

Back to 82! Official word (finally) came this weekend that Long Island University will be adding a division I women’s gymnastics team for the 2021 competition season. They’re the Sharks, their colors are light blue and yellow, and everyone who is unhappy with her current situation and doesn’t care if her team is that good should get in the transfer portal in 3…2…

Expectations will be low for the first several years, but with DI scholarships, and in a fairly under-served area with regard to DI programs, you could see it. We’ve seen what a DII school like Lindenwood has been able to do not that many years after the team started…

C. Gymnix

A programming note that the focus of live blogging this weekend will be NCAA and the American Cup, but we also have Gymnix beginning this very night. All the links you need for that are in the streams and scores section. You have to submit an email to access the Gymnix stream for eye-roll reasons, but once you do it’s free.

The US senior team is MyKayla Skinner, Faith Torrez, Emily Lee, and Lilly Lippeatt, while the juniors are Konnor McClain, Skye Blakely, Kaliya Lincoln and Katelyn Jong.

Canada has a pretty solid senior contingent (of course) with people like the Woos and Onyshko and Dennomee. Belgium has sent Brassart and Vansteenkiste among others, and Australia has sent a pretty good group as well with Folino, Scott, McDonald, and several others. Canada has split its athletes into three different teams, while Belgium and Australia are doing a sort of US-at-Jesolo thing where they have a main team but also a bunch of other people, with several of them competing loose in other rotations.

D. Nastia Cup

Nastia’s annual celebration of the concept of the color pink is also tonight, your chance to get excited for next year’s NCAA season since this one is already terrible, probably.

It’s a big night for Cal and LSU prospects, with Gabby Perea and Andrea Li (Cal) both competing, as well as Olivia Dunne and Haleigh Bryant (LSU). Lots of very important 2021 routines in that group. Chae Campbell is the one non-super-famous-elite gymnast entering UCLA’s class next year, and you kind of feel like she might have to play a “oh, you’re all injured from elite, fine I’ll do it” role. Also keep an eye on Katherine LeVasseur, who is supposed to be the next ninja L10 in Oklahoma’s arsenal.

E. American Cup Podium Training

Podium training was mostly podium training-y, but we did see Morgan Hurd unveil a couple upgrades, replacing her tkatchev on bars with a piked tkatchev and her Ricna with a Downie. On the flip side, her Komova was now a Chow, so what she showed in PT is a 6.0 D. We also saw a side aerial + loso on beam, and both the double pike and full-in beam dismounts attempted.

Elsewhere, Kayla DiCello showed a 5.6 on bars; we’re slightly worried about Giorgia Villa hitting, but it’s podium training; Ellie Black was falling on handspring front layout fulls but hitting 1/2s; and Jennifer Gadirova is exactly as advertised.

F. GymCastic

American Cup Preview – audio version! Jessica and I discuss what we’re looking to see from all the American Cup participants, as well as the news from US national team camp.

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