The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

US Classic Session 1 – Live Blog

Life is starting. Well, more accurately session 1. In a…soon.

First rotation start list:

At least allegedly. Faith Torrez pulled out of the competition. And this doesn’t reflect the rest of the event scratches (except Memmel, whom we already know is doing vault and beam today).

We haven’t seen a full AA performance from Konnor McClain yet this year—namely because she hasn’t done bars for a score—so I’m interested to see what that bars routine looks like in the first rotation. (ALSO NEVER MIND SHE’S NOT DOING FLOOR. But bars will still be interesting.) Also, will McCallum go for the Silivas on floor that she was warming up with a spot yesterday? And Skye Blakely on beam because duh.

Latest word is that Hernandez will not be doing UB or FX and Jones will not be doing FX. Malabuyo is off VT and McClain is off FX. That means that Hernandez would have to rely on a petition to do the AA at nationals (as Memmel would), and the way the athletes have been talking, it kind of sounds like they’re being free with the petitions in the Tom era. We shall see.

Expect this competition to go pretty quickly with a lot of 3-person floor rotations. NBC will be like, “NO MATTER. CHELLSIE’S GRIPS.”

For AAers in this session right now I have Fatta, Zeiss, Butler, Sears, Siegfeldt, Rosen, Frazier, Klein, Blakely, Draser, Mueller, Landry, and McCallum. So expect Blakely or McCallum to be leading after the first session.

Yes, Peacock says “Coverage to Begin Shortly” for everyone.

Now I’m just getting a shot of Laurie and a buffering circle. Which is fun.

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER. Terry is like, “Nastia remember that time Chellsie beat you by .001 at worlds, I mean ha ha ha, you guys competed together!”

Rotation 1

Rosen – BB – bhs loso loso, very secure, well done – full turn – side aerial, small check, breaks connection into split sissone – switch, small pause before switch 1/2 to korbut – only very minimal hesitations – aerial, hit – split leap full attempt, larger break there, leg up, perhaps not all the way around for credit as well – Onodi, leg form – bhs bhs double pike, legs apart. Good hit – some larger checks toward the end. 12.900

Some good closeups of McClain and Hernandez doing nothing.

Dear Tim: It is day.

We’ve seen exactly one routine, which is cool.

McClain – UB – weiler 1/2, a bit late into stalder full to stalder shaposh – nice combo! – to giant full – has to add an extra swing after that and tucks the giant – goes for a piked tkatchev after it and falls.

Resumes with the pak to maloney, well connected – hesitation in Stalder afterward – orphan half turn to blind…and doesn’t dismount. Front flyaway. 11.100

Hernandez – VT – hits a yfull, definitely had more than enough height – pretty large bounce back.

Note: It kind of rings false now when they talk about how much JOY FUN BUBBLY HUMAN EMOJI Laurie was in Rio knowing what we know now about that was going on behind the scenes.

13.250 on vault for Laurie.

Klein – BB – full turn, hit – side aerial to loso loso, nicely done! – front tuck, secure – straight full from side, hit with a minor check – switch to straddle, solid – straddle 1/2 from side, hit – double pike, small hop back. Very composed routine. Some soft knees throughout, minimal checks.

McCallum – FX – hits the double double pretty well, chest down – full-in, solid, small scoot back – switch ring, some feet – split leap full, slide on landing – wolf triple and wolf double, precise finishing positions – front lay to front 2/1 is VERY deep, stays upright but a large lunge back – double tuck, short, medium hop forward.

Good first couple passes. Struggled on that third one, but didn’t really look like she was in “injured just coming back” mode.

Blakely – BB – neck stand mounting work – very strong wolf triple – tuck full and falls, drat – fhs front tuck, hit, check – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, pretty smooth connection – side aerial, another leg-up check – aerial, arm wave break, breaks connection into split straddle – double tuck, step. 12.650

Note: Sloane Blakely is still competing. Not “was.” She just dominated L10s.

Blakely and McClain both with falls in the first rotation.

McCallum got 13.550 on floor with that third pass, which bodes very well for her floor scoring. 5.5/8.050. Def a domestic E score.

Siegfeldt 13.550 on bars which is also a stellar number for her.

Draser – BB – wolf double, small check hesitation – side aerial, solid – bhs loso, tentative, bends to the side – aerial to straddle jump to split, hit, some knees in aerial – split jump 1/2 from side, hit – switch to switch 1/2, small hesitation, short on switch 1/2 position – double tuck, step back. Good job. No major issues.

After the first rotation, Lexi Zeiss’s 13.600 for her Y1.5 will lead after one rotation. So that’s sort of where we are.

Excellent highlights of Chellsie and 2005 worlds and Nastia LOVING every second of that result. So, so special. What a moment.

Rotation 2

McClain – BB – tuck full, hits, bend at the hits but stayed on – wonderful amplitude on wolf jump – bhs bhs layout and falls, awesome height, but another fall for her today – onodi with leg-up check – switch to switch 1/2, wonderful 180s, another leg-up check – aerial, small hesitation to split jump – split ring jump, great extension, possible deduction for lack of closure though – bhs bhs no dismount again, just a layout.

Malabuyo – Stalder full to Stalder shap to tkatchev – piked jaeger to pak, hit, legs apart on pak – stalder shoot is solid – DLO 1/1, hits, way better than training, hop forward. 13.750 is a really good bars score for her.

“Grace McColumn”

McCallum – VT – hits a pretty solid DTY, just a little forward and some leg break and knees at the end – hop forward. 14.400. She’s following Jones getting 14.850 for her DTY.

McClain 11.800 on beam.

Memmel Time – VT – Great height on her Yfull, a pretty large hop back but good form and height so won’t incure too much else.

13.750 for Memmel, which means she would need 13.250 on beam to get her 2-event score. If we’re still caring about that.

Witte – BB – bhs bhs to layout, hit securely, some form – switch to switch 1/2, small pause in between – aerial, check, into side aerial to split to sissone – Onodi, check, bhs bhs double pike, hit. Some legs. Tentative movements and broken connections but no large breaks. 13.100

I guess the fact that she’s coached by Jana Bieger didn’t make the narrative.

They’re all like “THE CHELLSIE AND NASTIA GENERATION” and then none for Jana Bieger bye.

Blakely – FX – DLO, legs somewhat apart, little slide back – switch ring to split leap full, comfortable – full in, hit, another smallish bounce back – front 2/1 is clean – switch full, just a tad short – double pike, shuffle back, a couple steps. But no real trouble. 13.300

Sears – BB – bhs layout, excellent height- switch to front tuck attempt was a real struggle on a very difficult combo, switch position was rushed and then off line on the front tuck with a fall – split 1/2 from side, good – split to staddle to back tuck, good positions, check – switch 1/2, loses back foot, leg-up check – full turn, hesitation – aerial, knees, hits with a small adjustment – bhs bhs to a high double tuck, large lunge back. 11.050.

Draser – FX – DLO attempt is well short with a fall – comes back to hit piked full in, small bounce back – wolf double – switch ring to split leap full, good 180 ion split, some foot flexing – front tuck to double tuck, secure, step back – double pike, pulls it around, deep but holds it, hop. 11.450

“Parkettes Gymnastics Organization.” Organization? Like it’s a crime syndicate. Well…

McCallum will have a big lead after 2.

Rosen – DLO, legs apart but very secure – double arabian, again very solid, only small movement – split leap full, hit – 2/1 with a bounce back – popa – double tuck, a little flatter with chest down but still secure. Really good work. 13.000. She’s having a nice day.

So, it’s been a little…Classic.

McCallum leads with 27.950, then it’s Zeiss with 26.600 and Seigfeldt (done with bars and beam) on 26.450. Blakely still 4th even with the beam miss.

Was pleasantly surprised by Malabuyo’s bars in that second rotation. That was nice.

Rotation 3

Shilese exists.

Jones – UB – good first hs – stalder full to maloney, clean – to tkatchev, good – hitting hs very well – Stalder tkatchev piked and falls, huge but takes it too far. Resumes with pak – van leeuwen, good – double front, good dismount, small hop. 12.950

Blakely – VT – Goes for the DTY – nicely done, better than PT, chest down and a bounce back but fine. 14.000

McCallum – UB – shortish first hs – stalder full, a bit late but gets connection into maloney – pak and shap 1/2 – piked jaeger, hit – stalder tkatchev piked, takes it really close and hs to add some extra swings – FTDT. Large deduction on that Stalder Tkatchev piked, she was a little low and late for a while before that and it seemed like she was going to survive it but it caught up to her in the end. Good fight. 13.200

Rosen – VT – hits a Y1.5 – larger bound forward and knee bend at the end. 13.650.

Frazier – VT – strong amplitude on her DTY, large bound back – “Gorgeous older sister Margzetta.” I know he was trying to say: “Gorgeous. Pause. Older sister Margzetta.” 13.950

Hernandez – BB – front pike, deep, falls – NEARLY looked like she was going to be able to save it – bhs loso, pretty – full turn, some hesitation – split jump 1/2 from side, very good – aerial to split to straddle, again a lovely combo – switch to switch 1/2, arm wave correction – side aerial, snaps arms down to avoid check – no dismount, round off back tuck. 12.200

They could add that Laurie is qualified on 3 events for nationals based on her camp score from March.

Fatta – BB – wolf double, pulls it around, slightly white-knuckled bit fine – bhs loso, good height – aerial, arm wave check – split to straddle is nice – side aerial, check, leg up – switch, pause before switch 1/2, short of split but secure – split jump 1/2 from side, solid – bhs bhs 2/1, stuck. Really good work. Tim’s like, “Boo easy dismount.” 12.750

BUT TEH CHINESE ARE DOING 2/1S……

Malabuyo – BB – wolf triple, pulled around comfortably – wolf double, comes up short but holds it with an arm wave wobble – arabian to split to sissone, nice height on arabian, a little chucked – bhs loso loso, pretty work – front tuck, deep but survives – straddle to korbut – aerial to split ring jump, foot – switch ring, hesitation – bhs bhs double pike, well short with a lunge forward. 13.300

But she’s looking a lot better than expected.

McCallum still with a big lead. Blakely moves back up to second even with the beam fall.

Rotation break now. Chellsie is Chellsie, she is doing Chellsie with Chellsie and it’s Chellsie.

Blakely – UB – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, clean – stalder tkatchev piked, good – Ricna to pak, some legs but smooth – short casts throughout – van leeuwen, hit – stalder full with a hesitation, double tuck, bounce back. A comfortable hit overall. 14.050

McCallum – BB – candle mount, clean, holds vertical – wolf turn 2.5 to 2.5? Straddle 1/2 from side position, bend forward at the hips – split leap to side aerial to loso very strong combination, leg – up check – aerial with a hesitation – double pike, step back. A bit hesitant but a good showing again. Very solid day. What was up with the wolf turns, did I just get lost in a wolf turn fog?

McClain – VT – DTY – solid work, good height, lunge back, has the form and amplitude

Blakely is done with 54.000.

McCallum 13.950 on beam for a 55.100.

Memmel – BB – switch mount, tentative, doesn’t commit to split position – split to straddle – bhs loso loso, sit, small lean – aerial, clean – popa, solid, feet looked around – side aerial, no trouble – front tuck, strong – full turn to illusion, large leg-up break but saves it – Arabian and falls, wayyy short and comes off. a;lksdfja;lkdsfj;alkdfj;aslkdsfj;lakdsjf – double pike, lunge back.

Of course on an Arabian from the Arabian queen.

11.800 for Memmel. So she’ll need to petition to nationals.

Frazier – UB – Church to pak, big straddle on pak – maloney to tkatchev, hit, some form – front toe 1/2 attempt and can’t get up to handstand, has to correct – fiant full gets all over the place but does it – DLO, step. Well that was an adventure.

Tim and Nastia not happy with the 6.2 E score for Memmel, and neither are we. I would have thought higher 6s for a one-fall and one-major-break routine.

13.050 for Frazier. That one is VERYY high.

Landry – BB – wolf double, smooth – aerial, saves it despite being short, not a large adjustment – split to split ring jump, not bad, flexed foot – bhs loso, large break, leg up, saves it – side aerial, good – 1.5 dismount, hop to the side. 12.400

BREAKING PINK LEOTARD NEWS.

Jones – BB – sissone to full turn, very pretty – giant Arabian but has to grab the beam, stays on – side aerial to loso, again floaty, small check – front tuck, solid – bhs bhs layout, another big break and a huge save, was off line the entire time so impressive save – another large wobble on a side jump – bhs bhs double tuck, step back. 21.100

Session 1 Final
1. McCallum – 55.100
2. Blakely – 54.000
3. Siegfeldt 52.700

We didn’t see anything from Siegfeldt but that’s a nice score for her.

A rough day overall. Beam was not cute in general. But it’s also just Classic. McCallum seemed more on track than the “SHE’S BASICALLY DEAD” articles of the last couple days. She’s right there. Blakely’s score would have been solid if she hit beam. Malabuyo exceeded expectations. Lots of petitioning that will need to happen.

Expect these scores to be blown out by the second session, but we’ll see.

Ultimately, scores in the 55s shouldn’t be competitive for the Olympic team.

Chellsie is a gem. Talking about how her leg died on that mount and how she “totally respects that score.”

For GymCastic members, we’ll be heading to a live BTS reaction show following media and whatnot.

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