The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

American Classic – Senior Live Blog

American Classic < US Classic < US Championships < Olympic Trials

But we’ve arrived at base camp? I guess?

I watched bits of podium training yesterday, and…it was pretty rough. I’m very interested to see whether that was just podium training things, whether that will continue in the actual “competition” (to reinforce, it’s basically just camp with a fancy name), or whether lots of those people won’t end up competing those events.

In the first rotation, the GAGEs will be on vault, Sunisa Lee and DiCello are on beam, and Blakely and McCallum are on floor. Among others. 23 seniors here in all. In PT, the GAGEs did only timers on vault, no actual twists except Scott, whom I saw do some fulls.

Feed is starting. We do see some GAGEs warming up vaults. Wong is working DTYs. The vault and beam feeds are currently active (you know, the usual). Kara Eaker just tried a tucked Y1.5 Evy Schoepfer style and fell. Intentionally tucked, not like “I wanted to do it laid out but it didn’t go great.”

So heads up, this looks like it’s still the pre-meet warmup, rather than the touch warmup. So we’re still a while away. Love the efficiency! But I’ll let you know what’s happening here as everyone finishes up their final rotation of warmup.

OK lining right up in front of the judges for introductions at the end of the warmup period.

Introducing the athletes with only their first name and their gym is a choice. But of course we still have to do a national anthem.

Now we’re into the actual first rotation touch warmup for realsies this time.

The floor feed is currently just a shot of a team USA flag signed by Aly Raisman. You know, because it’s her FAVE ORG EVAH.

Rotation 1

S Lee – BB – wolf triple, nicely done – wolf double, very smooth as well – aerial to split to bhs, good quick combo – switch ring to split leap, nice – switch to switch 1/2 to split ring jump, not a check in sight yet – side aerial to loso to loso, solid landing (she was about 50/50 on that in PT) – bhs bhs and just a layout dismount. Well that was delightful and perfect, though she did not dismount with anything.

Faith Torrez with a pretty large stumble back on a Yfull

Eaker – VT – does the tucked Y1.5 (?), much better than her training attempts, landed with a medium hop to the side

Because we couldn’t possibly be expected to have working scores.

German – FX – double double, pretty solid chest up position on landing, lunge back – DLO 1/1, hop back and OOB – front full through to double tuck, very secure landing – split leap full, a bit short there – full in, small slide. Great difficulty and didn’t look like she was going to die on any of it. 13.55

Witte hit a yfull on vault. Sears finishes bars with double tuck

Pilgrim – BB – candle mount – side aerial to back tuck, larger leg-up break – straight jump full fromt side, bend at the waist – front tuck, deep but landed – aerial, good – double tuck, controlled landing.

Wong – VT – pulls around her DTY – chest down and a small slide – also much better than her training attempts.

Ava Siegfeldt fell on a between bars gienger.

Hit yfull for Kratzer, large bounce back.

Mueller – FX – full in, chest down, small slide –

Scott – VT – high full, pretty easy for her, small hop, a little piking

DiCello – BB – candle mount, good – wolf triple and wolf double are fine – side aerial through to switch to split – aerial, small hesitation into straddle jump but fine – bhs loso loso, some knee bending, small check – switch 1/2, back leg well short – straddle jump 1/2, solid – long pause before dismount – bhs bhs double tuck, pulls it around, chest down and a lunge back. She looked like she was going to die most of the time on that dismount yesterday, so this was a win.

Skye Blakely – FX – DLO, steps back OOB, legs apart in teh air, but solid chest up landing position – switch ring to split leap full, back leg short on split full – full-in, medium bounce back – wolf turn double, good – front 2/1, smallish stagger out of it – switch full, not quite around – double pike, hit. 13.1

Alipio – BB – side aerial loso loso is nice – bhs bhs layout, also quite solid – split leap to switch 1/2, check – split leap to side somi, secure – straddle jump 1/2 from side position, lean correction – aerial, pause before split to straddle, so one lost CV there – split jump 1/2 from side, hit – also dismounts with just a layout. Some checks but really good work on her most difficult elements. Nice to see.

Landry – FX – wolf double, slightly shaking but around – split full – double pike, a little low, slide back – double tuck, jarred back some on landing – nice split position in ring – 1.5 to front full, some knees but controlled –

Zeiss – BB – hits her requisite wolf triple and double – bhs loso, check – switch to switch 1/2, larger leg-up break there – split 1/2 from side – aerial, some hesitations here, staying on – side aerial is good – split to sissone – 1.5, small hop.

Close-up of the bars judges gossiping is really all I’m here for.

Rosen – BB – bhs loso loso, some knees, hit – full turn, small hesitation – side aerial to split jump to sissone, some short positions – switch to switch 1/2 to korbut – aerial, nicely done – split leap full, check, nearly around, could get credit – onodi, hit, smallll hesitation – bhs bhs double pike, just does get it around.

So the floor feed cut out before McCallum went on floor. I assumed they weren’t showing her like they didn’t yesterday in PT, but also I didn’t hear floor music so maybe she just didn’t go. But it was weird that they cut the feed, which they didn’t do for the other events once they finished.

Would be cool to have scores so we could find out, but sadly that technology is impossible.

Warmups for the second rotation now. Sears just did a huge layout on beam.

Rotation 2

Sears – BB – bhs layout 2 feet, very strong – switch to immediate front tuck, huge save, large break but kept it on – split jump 1/2 from side, pretty solid split position – split to straddle jumpt to back tuck, good – switch 1/2, secure – aerial – bhs bhs double tuck, step back. Really good work. You’re going to be so obsessed with her in NCAA.

Pilgrim – FX – nice high double Arabian – 1.5 through to double tuck, chest down, hop forward –

Eaker – UB – piked hindorff, good – Church to pak, also quite clean – shap 1/2, crazy legs but caught it – clear hip full – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, nice – orphan 1/2 turn on high, late – DLO, holds the landing, some piking. Got pretty crazy on her shap 1/2 but the rest was nice. 13.05

German – VT – easy yfull, large lunge back

Mueller pulls around Y1.5 on vault. Has to tuck it toward the end.

Siegfeldt – BB – front tuck, step forward, controls it – bhs bhs layout, hits, arm wave correction – side aerial, hit – switch to switch 1/2, huge break but keeps it on the beam miraculously – aerial, check – 2/1 dismount, hop to the side

Blakely – VT – yfull, large bounce back

Wong – UB – toe full to maloney to pak to van leeuwen, legs in van leeuwen, otherwise smooth – stalder 1/2 to jaeger, high jaeger – 1/2 turn on high – DLO 1/1 dismount, just does get it around, chest down, hop, but a hit. Very pretty first few elements.

Alipio bounces way back out of a double tuck on floor, avoids putting a hand down but it was close, OOB. Lovely leaps.

Kaylen Morgan hits a yfull with a hop back. DiCello will not compete floor.

Draser – BB – wolf double double, good – side aerial, hit – lone bhs – redoes it into loso and it’s quite smooth – aerial to straddle to split to back tuck combination, also quite solid – split jump 1/2 from side – switch to switch 1/2, some flexed feet but not bad on the positions – double tuck is quittte low, just did get it around.

Kratzer – UB – big piked haeger – church to pak, also great amplitude there, some leg break on pak – van leeuwen, again a little legs – giant full to FTDT, lands hunched over but a really solid hit overall.

Looks like no vault by McCallum. (Not a feed cut out situation, like she didn’t vault.)

Rosen – FX – DLO, some tucked knees, but hit easily, small slide – double arabian, shuffle back – finishes double tuck.

Klein – BB – side aerial to loso loso is quite secure, bent knees – punch front, deep but held, check – straight jump full from side, hit –

We lost the bars and beam feeds there for the end of Klein;s beam and the start of JaFree Scott’s bars. ($30/month!) But Scott fell on a release.

Sunisa Lee – FX – DLO, hit, pikes down some at the end, good control – just a layout second pass – switch ring to split leap full, lovely positions – double L is quite clean and clearly around – back 1.5 to front full, gets low at the end there with some tucking, but hit, hop to the side – wolf triple to wolf double, easy – and just a layout final pass.

So only showed two passes, but she pulled the DLO out and the leaps and turns were perfect of course.

Props to her also for not being like, “NO ONE SHALL SEE MY SOMEWHAT UNFINISHED GYMNASTICS.”

Torrez – UB – toe full, a bit late – maloney to tkatchev, great height on connected ttkatchev – pak, some legs – van leeuwen, small leg break – piked jaeger, hit, some feet – cast 1/2 – DLO, flings it out and just does get it around with a lunge forward. Highlight was the tkatchev out of the maloney, usually those are dumpy and hers is not.

Rotation 3

Siegfeldt – FX – popa, hit – DLO, good height, bounce back – front tuck through to double tuck, jarred landing, pitched forward, nearly had to put a hand down –

Zeiss is our first vaulter, so looks like DiCello and Alipio have scratched there.

Floor and bars feed have frozen (fun!)

Witte – BB – bhs bhs layout seties, hit – split jump full, really nice extension on that split jump – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, secure – aerial, pause before side aerial to split jump – onodi, large break, bend at the hips, keeps it on – double pike, step back. Those leaps! Here’s my beamer, next beamer.

Sunisa scratches vault. Bars and floor streams remain down. LOL what a garbage service.

Pilgrim vaults a yfull, a bit short, hop forward.

Wong – BB – switch to wolf jump full, lovely switch, looks like she just does get the world full around – side aerial to loso, holds it well – L turn to full turn, gets totally off line and has to bend and grab the beam – switch ring, good – aerial to split jump to split ring, small arm wave – side aerial, hit – straddle 1/2 from side, good position – 3/1, under-rotated by about 3/8 of a twist – small hop to hop it around.

Lots of lovely moments of course, but that grabbing the beam.

Bars is back.

Blakely – UB – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, good – annnnnd bars is down again. YAYAYAYAYAYA. Anyway we can see her in the very background of the working vault stream where no one is going. Looks like a hit double tuck dismount?

Kratzer – BB – wolf double goes mostly crazy but she keeps it on – straddle 1/2 from side, hit – side aerial to back tuck and falls – switch to sissone – front tuck, check – switch 1/2, hit – double pike, just survives, head nearly makes contact with the mat it was so low.

So we have nothing to stalk about right now because vault is done, beam is being judged and the bars and floor streams are down.

Scott – BB – switch to split, good extension – front hs to front tuck, medium check, good height – y spin with a larger break, bend to the side – aerial, check – sissone to split leap – pause before side aerial, but it’s well completed – bhs bhs 2/1, step to the side. A checky routine but still has so much ability.

We’re back on bars with kaylen Morgan – hits a jaeger – finishes double front, lunge forward.

Torrez – BB – piked barani attempt but comes off – back tuck full is well done, solid – side aerial to los, really strong – swtich to switch 1/2 to back tuck, a but short on back tuck but secure series – side jumps in combination, hit – double pike, step back

German – UB – toe full, a git late – van leeuwen – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, some legs, good amplitude – stalder tkatchev piked, hit – pak, comfortable – good handstand on low – van leeuwen, solid – DLO, step back.

Eaker’s beam will round out the rotation.

Eaker – BB – switch mount to switch side, hit – y turn to full turn, small check – aerial, breaks connection into split ring jump, secure landing – side aerial to loso loso, strong – sissone to split leap to side somi, hit well – they need to figure out the choreography to get her back to the other side of the beam here – switch to switch 1/2 to korbut – switch ring – 2/1, small hop.

A really strong showing from Eaker. They’ve mostly fixed her routine in as much as they’ve ditched the split ring leap and she’s not risking a D snowball should she get a downgrade. Though of course some of those rings can still get downgraded, but they’ll be individual downgrades and won’t affect the rest of the composition.

One last rotation. The leader is SHRUGGGGGGG.

Looks like 14.1 for Eaker on beam.

ROTATION 4

Blakely – BB – hits back tuck full, small check – fhs front tuck, again just a small check – switch to swtich 1/2 to back tuck, just a little shy on switch 1/2 – side aerial looks good – aerial to split jump to straddle jump – double tuck, step to the side. Good hit.

Wong – FX – double double attempt, pulls it around! 3/1 is around, some leg crossing – 2.5 to front full, just a little short on landing, slide – double pike, very deep stumbles backward OOB and sits it down. I’m a little surprised the GAGEs are competing floor given how PT went, but at least they’re doing something.

Landry – BB – wolf double is hit – aerial, good – switch to split ring jump, some soft knees but secure – bhs loso – side aerial, large break, keeps it on – 1.5, small slide back

Rosen – UB – weiler and can’t get it to handstand, hops off – resumes with stalder to maloney to tkatchev, good – Ray to pak, straddles the pak – toe shoot – giant full – DLO, flung out, lunge forward

Barely any of the streams are working, but let’s hope bars holds on for Suni.

Scott – FX – DLO, well short, hands down – double pike, bounce back – switch ring, split leap full – really nice Memmel turn, pretty – floor stream died again.

S Lee – UB – nabeieva, straddles it into bhardwaj, good – van leeuwen, lovely – 1/2 turn to piked jaeger to pak to maloney to gienger, no big deal, very well done – FTDT, hop back.

Through with a good hit. Didn’t pull out her MOST composition. Had to straddle the Nabieva some this time. The rest was lovely.

Morgan – BB – hits wolf double and triple – side somi to split jump 1/2 from side, good work! – bhs to loso, knees rather bent – split leap to aerial to split jump, small check – side aerial, think she wanted to connect that into switch leap but didn’t – switch 1/2 to wolf jump – layout dmt

Torrez – FX – DLO I think, stream froze in the middle of her take off – hits full in, slide back

They keep zooming in Wong like they think she’s next on floor. She’s already gone. Eaker is next.

Like to see the forward toe on work from Pilgrim on bars – maloney to tkatcehv, good – toe 1/2 – double pike dimount, hop.

Strong back tuck full from German on beam. Pulls out a secure standing front tuck – split jump 1/2 from side is solid – double tuck dismount, comfortable for her, lunge back.

Eaker – FX – buffering fun – we’re getting to see her take off four a couple passes, no way of knowing how they went – hits a 2.5 to layout third pass?

Another fun nugget is that the occasional scores they have shown on vault are only the E scores. Like everyone is getting 8s on vault.

Literally could not tell you what happened during Eaker’s floor.

Di Cello – UB – stalder full to stalder Shap to tkatchev, good – piked jaeger – high Church, solid – pak to van leeuwen – FTDT, small hop forward. Worlds better than in training.

Nice side aerial to loso from Mueller on beam good extension – punch front, check before split jump straddle jump – switch 1/2, nice lift, wobble – double tuck, step back.

Last routine of the day belongs to Witte on floor – double tuck, comfortable, chest up, small slide – popa, little hop – 3/1, some leg crossing, step back – switch ring to switch 1/1, good positions as on beam – 2.5, short, crossover stumble – split full, nice – doubel pike, wayyyyy deep and sits it down.

So that’s the end of the competition. We have no idea what happened because who needs working scores.

This competition is too not-real to make any kind of projections based on it. Lee isn’t there yet because she didn’t do vault and did half a floor but looks mostly on track. Not a great day for Wong with misses on beam and floor. Eaker’s beam composition is better. McCallum wasn’t shown, which is a whole other deal that doesn’t make much sense to me. If you’re ready to show your routines to judges in a competition…maybe she just didn’t want to be buffered.

Anyway, what a delightful viewing experience. Everything’s going great in this sport. No notes.

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