US Nationals Women’s Day 1 – Live Commentary

I’m sure it will go normal.

In rounding up what took place earlier today, Classic champion Katelyn Jong leads the junior standings by a little more than a point over Kailin Chio. Through two of three subdivisions at men’s Pan Ams, the US and Brazil look good for gaining additional Olympic spots, with Paul Juda’s 83.000 and Diogo Soares’s 82.700 the top (eligible) scores, and no one else is going to pass them. That 83.000 for Juda would have put him 5th in the standings yesterday.

Also, the vault almost fainted and had to be held up with a bunch of sandbags. Super fine and good.

News for today’s competition is that Hurd will be sticking to just beam and floor, which means she (like McCusker) will have to be placed on the national team and added to trials by the committee. And I would approve both of those. They should be at trials. I’m generally interested to see how many people make trials this year, and how forgiving the petition process is for that, particularly with regard to people like Memmel and Hernandez, whom everyone wants to see because awwww, but also….

So anyway—is Carey going to do the layout triple double??????

Important bars routine from Lee and floor routine from Wong (/McCallum/DiCello) coming up in the first rotation, also our chance to see if Memmel does the DTY.

The TV coverage is going to be a little bit behind the meet because this session is going to be so long, but I’m watching along with you on the TV broadcast. So we’ll see what we see when we see it and pretend we haven’t already seen the scores.

Basically, I thought they were going to bump some of the “non-TV” seniors to the junior session so that they could fit the seniors in their 2-hour TV window. But instead, they didn’t, and so you get to miss a bunch of things. Basically sums up the Forster era pretty well, doesn’t it.

Anyway, when we see things I’m going to pretend they’re live.

OK, now we get to start. Ish.


Nastia stole some poor girl in a tower’s braid for tonight’s show.

Suni is “unbelevil.” OK?

They showed Tom Forster and I thought it was Kelli Hill for a sec. So just take that for what you will.


So…are we not going to go back and watch everything we missed?

Oh, the first rotation is already underway? Is it? Cool.

So many developments in that first rotation – big good things for Sunisa Lee and Kayla DiCello and Leanne Wong, but then big bad things for Grace McCallum and Laurie Hernandez.

Rotation 1 Part 2

There wasn’t a part 1, it’s fine.

Biles – VT 1 – Cheng and an easy stick. Lovely, small deduction for coming in a little forward. Not much else. Viable 9.7 E.

She gets 9.8 E and a 15.800.

Biles – VT 2 – Hahaha overdoes the Amanar this time after sticking it in the warmup. Large bound forward.

Memmel – VT – She goes for the DTY! – Pretty good! Lunge back but that’s one of her better landings on it we’ve seen.

9.350 E score and a 14.750, which is gigantic for her. (I mean a little high honestly…)

Yikes, score is up for Hurd and it’s 10.300 on beam.

Chiles – VT – Great DTY, super height, not the stick we have seen from her, medium bounce back. 14.950.

So cool thing that we’re going to commercial now. That’s fine. We haven’t missed anything.

It will be Biles, then Sunisa Lee, then Chiles, then Skinner after 1. No surprise because vault scores. And Lee bars.


Lee – UB – Nabieva to bhardwaj to maloney to gienger, excellent combination – blind to piked jaeger to pak to van leeuwen – FTDT, holds the landing. Amazing work. 6.8 D and a 15.300 total. Huge.

Back to see Skinner – Cheng is pretty solid for her, hop back, lots of piking.

Back to see Laurie on beam – only did a back tuck dismount and she’s not going to compete any more events tonight.

Apparently not going to check in on Hurd or McCallum’s misses here. Probably for the best.

Rotation 2

Shots of Carey’s training the layout triple double.

Carey – FX – opens with the double double, which now looks simple and easy for her – falls out of double L turn with a heel drop – front lay with some legs apart into a full in, hops back and OOB – L hop full, switch full, a bit short of split, gets it around – DLO, legs, good control on landing, small slide – odd stumble landing her split leap full and a wry smile about it – double tuck, larger bounce back. Tons of difficulty, won’t be the highest E score.

McCallum, who doesn’t exist, went 14.600 on vault for her DTY.

Wong – VT – lovelyyyyy DTY, very nice – basically stuck, not the most distance, so some deductions for that, but super clean.

That was a good sesh of two routines before commercial. 14.750, the same as Memmel got with some Memmel bonus. (Memmel does have a more dynamic vault now, though, so doesn’t get the same dynamics deductions.)

BIG showing through two events so far for Wong.

Just 13.250 for Carey on floor. 5.7 D, 7.650 E. I expect Tim will tell us it’s harsh, but the deductions are therrreeeeee.

Oh, Tim doesn’t say anything about Carey’s score. Not going to pretend like he doesn’t know the code so far today.

Biles – UB – weilder 1/2 to maloney to tkatchev, solid – toe full, smll leg break, into piked tkatchev to pak, very clean – van leeuwen, good – double double dismount, small hop. Very good for her.

I mean it’s not “just automatic” because she fell last time.

Let’s see what happens with Hurd on floor after that 10 on beam.

Hurd – FX – DLO, lands into the corner and takes a step back OOB, but not bad on the control – full in, hit, slide back, some chest down – double Y attempt, falls out of it so risking no credit there – front lay to front full – switch ring, pretty – split leap full – split jump full – double pike, suppper deep, lunge forward.

If I’m in charge, I’m advancing Hurd to Trials, but you’re doing it based on potential and past accomplishment, not based on what we’ve seen so far.

14.750 for Biles on bars.

Memmel – UB – Hinrdoff to Pak is farr but caught – maloney to clear hip, verrry late of handstand and didn’t do the 1/2 turn and had to hop off – gets back up, does giant full to tkatchev well – 1/2 turn to front giant to double front, stuck landing. Shame because the rest was fab.

12.600 for Hurd on floor with a 7.7 E.

No hope to see Ciena Alipio when they’re not even showing DiCello or McCallum, but she did get a 13.700 on beam.

11.650 for Memmel on bars.

I mean, we all love Suni and her dad, but we got zero routines between those commercials.

Rotation 2, Part 2

S Lee – BB – wolf triple, a little shaky but pulls it around – wolf double is solid – aerial, check to break combo into split and bhs, lovely – switch ring to split leap, a real split leap, another questionable sonnection though – switch to switch 1/2, check before split ring jump, another check – side aerial to a single loso, no second loso – bhs bhs 2/1, small hop. A good one. Didn’t do her full D and broke a bunch of connections, but clean individual elements.

Blakely – FX – DLO, good shape but bounces well backward out of it and OOB – switch ring – split leap full – full in, another bounce back, looked OOB to me but there’s no line judge in that corner – front 2/1 to front tuck, a tad short, slide – switch full, looked around – double pike, nice stick to finish but won’t be the highest number.

We missed her beam fall to start.

Lee still goes 13.900 on beam, which is the highest beam so far. So that’s something.

A look back at DiCello’s solid DTY on vault, small hop in place and some knees, but good. 14.650.

Chiles – UB – blind to piked jaeger, solid – toe full, late into tkatchev -giant swing into piked tkatchev to pak, good legs together – maloney to gienger, some height deduction but nice – FTDT, great stick. On track again. 14.450.

Still 13.450 for Blakely on floor, which is not bad.

After 2:
Biles – 30.550
Chiles – 29.400
Lee – 29.200
Wong – 28.950
DiCello – 28.700

Interested in how things go for Wong and McCallum in the final two rotations on bars and beam.

Rotation 3, Part 1

Biles – BB – wolf triple, hit – serial to split to straddle, slightlyu tight in split elements, but secure – bhs loso loso, no trouble – switch to switch 1/2, huge break, leg well up, saves it and brings it back – lone back pike – side aerial, clean – split jump 1/2 from side with a lean, then straddle 1/2 from side, fine – bhs bhs full in, large bounce back. Still will be a huge score. Doesn’t matter.

Tim and Nastia summarizing Simone’s skill values while trying hard not to sound like SIMONE WAS BANNED.

14.350, so not the score she was looking for but winning the event.

S Lee – FX – this will be interesting – double double tuck, nice, small slide – switch ring to split leap full, good – double L turn, around for credit – back 1.5 to front full, stuck – wolf triple, around with 3.25 turns, wolf double, should get that one as well – double tuck….finally came back to earth there, really short with a lunge. I was going to say, WHERE did that floor routine come from before that last pass.

Now they’re doing a closeup of Ciena Alipio and you feel like the camera people thought that was Suni…

Blakely with a solid DTY, good height, medium hop back. 14.700.

They truly aren’t going to show us Chellsie’s beam?

13.750 for Lee on floor. Close to up there.

Chiles – BB – side aerial to loso loso, good save there, landed that last loso way short, leg up but pulls it back – aerial to straddle to bhs, smoothly connected – side somi, secure – switch, pause before switch 1/2, a bit short but secure – straddle jump 1/2 from side – full in dismount attempt is a real struggle, lands it to her feet but deep landing and a large lunge forward

Memmel went 13.700 on beam by the way. 3rd on beam and 4th on vault right now.

Chiles still goes 13.950 on beam. So if she can have two huge problems and still get 13.950, they’re sending her to Tokyo.

Memmel – BB – now we see it – switch mount to split to straddle, well connected – bhs loso loso, knees but does the series, well connected – aerial, pause befroe popa, but around – side aerial, check – front tuck, solid, just a little short – illusion turn is good – Arabian, hits it this time, short with a step back but hit – double pike, solid, hop to the side.


Rotation 3, Part 2

Carey – VT 1 – just a DTY from her today – easy, bounce back, some knees

Carey – VT 2 – round off 1/2 on lay 1/2, so downgraded that by a twist – large bounce back, piking deductions. Fine.

Now McCallum exists. Tried to get a closeup of her wrist break, ended up with a full crotch closeup.

McCallum – UB – stalder full to maloney to pak to stalder shap 1/2, a little leg break – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, clean – attempts stalder tkatchev piked and falls, takes it too far. Rough day for her today.

Resumes and finishes with a stuck FTDT.

Back to see DiCello’s bars, which was before – stalder full, a bit late into stalder shap to tkatchev, hit – piked jaeger, good – Church, nice – pak to van leeuwen attempt and couldn’t get over the high bar and falls.

12.900 for DiCello. If she and McCallum don’t have consistency in their corner…

13.050 for McCallum.

Wong – UB – good first hs – toe full to maloney, dead swing out of it, eessh no connection out of the maloney and then an extra swing – pak to stalder shap 1/2 – stalder 1/2 to jaeger, fine – finishes DLO, hop back.

Skinner – BB – bhs to back tuck full and falls – side aerial to split to straddle is fine – switch to switch to back tuck, strong – straddle 1/2 from side – straight jump full from side with a check – L turn, another bit of a hesitation before full turn – double tuck, chest down, hop.

Nastia still pretending they don’t just want to use the AA from Trials.

Just 12.550 for Skinner on beam.

After 3:
Biles 44.900
Chiles 43.350
Lee 42.950
Wong 41.650
DiCello 41.600

So, um, it’s been a good day for the top 3?

Rotation 4, Part 1

Chiles – FX – wolf triple, hit – DLO 1/1, huge, small bounce back – DLO, nearly stuck, again very strong – switch – split leap 1.5, around, some flexed feet to take in those skills – big break on third pass, front 2/1 to front full, lands front full very short, both feet OOB – split full, hit, feet – double pike, bounce back.

I love that they’re fully in such Chiles mode that they’re going to pretend that third pass never happened.

Eaker – BB – switch mount to switch side, nicely done – HUGE problem on Y spin, overturness it, big break – aerial to split ring jump, hit – side aerial to loso to loso, good, keeps it on the beam despite taking it to the end – sissone, broken connection split leap to side somi – switch to switch 1/2 to Korbut, pretty switch 1/2 – switch ring, flexed foot on her rings but not the worst – 2.5 dismount, large hop forward.

Great moments, but won’t be the biggest score.

Chiles still gets 13.550. Judging is fully on board for Jordan.

Blakely – UB – piked jaeger, nice – piked Tkatchev, hit but takes it too far, can’t cast out of it and has to rest against the bar before resuming – Ricna to pak is hit – van leeuwen, very pretty – stalder full, late – just a double tuck dismount, hop. Not ideal. 12.950

13.700 for Eaker on beam is not nearly Beam Specialist. Same for Emily Lee, 13.850

Carey – UB – Church, hits it into gienger – struggles to cast out of it with a pause but fights to hit – yezhova – maloney to bhardwaj, good height – van leeuwen, legs pretty well together – short handstand – giant full, legs apart – FTDT, solid landing.

DiCello – BB – Candle mount, rolls through handstand a little quickly – wolf triple, very smooth – wolf double, same – side aerial through to switch, split – aerial to straddle, secure – bhs loso loso and falls, came up too short on her final loso, tried to pull it in to keep it on the beam – switch 1/2, hit, feet – straddle 1/2 from side, check – bhs bsh double tuck, pulls it around, quite deep.

The second half of this meet has been disturbing.

McCallum – BB – she needs a hit here – candle mount, solid position – wolf triple, good – wolf double, also hit – straddle 1/2 from side, good – split leap to side aerial to loso, right on, some foot flexing – aerial, short, check, not large – sissone to full turn to split jump – double pike, step back. A hit.

14.200 for McCallum. So they loved the crap out of that routine. Wong will need to do similarly.

Skinner – FX – split leap 1.5, around – Moors, lands completely OOB with both feet, some tucking on the second salto as well – double double tuck is solid, shuffle back – wolf double – full-in, bounces back OOB again, not a large bounce but she was right into the corner – front tuck through to 2.5, short and a large lunge to the side. Too much for her to get through right now.

S Lee – VT – pulls out a DTY as well, bounce back and lands staggered, but it was successfully done.

14.400 for S Lee.

McCuksker – UB – her one routine – toe full to maloney to tkatchev, hit – stalder tkatchev piked, nice and high – Ricna to pak, nice save, adjusted her hand on pak but fine – van leeuwen, good – higgins to front giant to double front 1/2 out, lands it well. No ill effects. That was nice.

Just 13.650 for Wong on beam, which is not what she was looking for. Seeing that routine now – switch to straddle, pretty – side aerial to loso with a check, chest pretty low on loso – L turn to full turn – switch ring, leg-up check – aerial to split ring jump, arm wave – wolf jump full, another fairly large correction – split leap to side somi to straddle 1/2 from side was beautiful – pulls out 3/1, short, hop forward. Just too checky for 13.650.

The 14.400 for Lee pulled her ahead of Chiles after the 13.550 on floor.

Biles – FX – triple double – NAILED, best she has ever done that – Biles I to stag jump and jumps it pretty far OOB – sswitch full, super high – wolf triple plus – more like 3.5 – front lay full to full in, bounces way back, OOB again – split 1.5, a little more questionable than usual for her – double double tucked to finish, another huge bounce back OOB.

Simone Biles immediately from floor to Andrea.

Simone, you just stuck a triple double, and as a reward, you get ANDREA!

14/650 for McCusker on bars. Big one.

14.850 for Biles and just .3 OOB?

I had her at .7 for OOB on that one?

Cool? Carol?

Biles – 59.750
Lee – 57.350
Chiles – 56.900
Carey – 55.450
Wong – 55.300

Carey in 4th place in the AA stresses me out enormously. Don’t do it, Tom. Don’t do it.

Eaker actually had a solid day on the other events to get 6th, and a big deal for Malabuyo to sit in 7th.

Not good things for McCallum in 8th and DiCello in 9th.

Time to play with some scores.

OK, the highest-scoring team of four from today would be Biles, Lee, Chiles, and Wong. Not much of a surprise. Thong team isn’t super far ahead of the teams with DiCello and McCallum becaause of McCallum’s beam today and DiCello’s floor.

26 thoughts on “US Nationals Women’s Day 1 – Live Commentary”

  1. I’m a Skinner fan. Which I wasn’t until I started to watch her at Utah. She got jipped the last Olympics. I would hope she makes the team. Plus she’s worked her tail off!

      1. She did not get “gypped” (which is a racist slur btw.) I’m so tired of the “Mykayla got robbed” fans. She and her team consistently value D over E and her deductions kill her every time. She works hard on tricks and not on flexibility or form. We’ve all watched this for years with the same outcome. Aside from vault, her deductions make her useless to the team.

      2. Coming here to say I didn’t know that verb came from the slur (since I always see it written as “jip”), so thank you! I will avoid it now.

    1. I think she has a reputation redemption arc that made her Tokyo run worth it, but her gymnastics really aren’t meeting the moment. Of the top contenders, vault isn’t weak enough among them to put her on the team and there’s no way they’d send her in that other off team spot unless she makes top 4AA at OT.

      She makes a lot of sense as a traveling alternate. She definitely should be lauded for her determination and skills, but it just is not all coming together and executed well in her routines.

      1. There are no traveling alternates. The +1 act as built in alternates.
        So if needed its Jade Carey or the +1 that would sub into the team.

        That said, USAG IS choosing 5 alternates for the team (4 for team and 1 for +1) in case of Covid issues. They are not choosing an alternate for Jade, since if sh declines the spot or ends up not being able to compete the spot is forfeited.

    1. No, of course not. She has a ‘triple-double layout’ (LMAO!)–why would she ever need to have even rudimentarily decent form? /s

  2. I am not from the US and cannot believe the amount of ad breaks, do you guys deal with this all the time?!! it is crazy hahaha

    1. NBC is worse than the other networks for ad frequency & cutting away to “human interest”, in my opinion. Unfortunately, they have the broadcast rights for the non-NCAA competitions of pretty much all the “Olympic” sports. (They’ve had the TV rights in the US for the actual Olympics & Paralympics for decades)

  3. God, why can’t NBC get it together and show actual routines. I guess I’ll be spending considerable time on YouTube later tonight or tomorrow morning watching individual routines that didn’t make the broadcast. Which is always a pain. Usually NBCSN isn’t as trash as when they show events on NBC proper.

    1. Since NBCSN is going away after this year, the network folks probably don’t really care anymore.

  4. watched the Chinese broadcast of their womens’ Nationals on YouTube and it was incredible, felt like I saw every single important routine, they just moved from one to the next, still with some time to show the girls hugging and high-fiving on the sidelines. With NO commentary (never even realized how peaceful that makes the viewing experience) and superb videography. Obviously a totally different world in China but when you see 5 or 6 routines per rotation (chosen by… who?) interrupted by commercials which probably take up 1/4 of the broadcast time, you kinda wish there was another option.

  5. So to summarise the meet: crazy high E scores and a million erectile dysfunction remedy ads. Well done America!

  6. I think it’s fair to say of the top contenders by the judging that there’s a lot of leniency of deductions going towards Simone, Jordan and Grace. Simone doesn’t need it. IMO the consistency of Jordan matters a lot, but her scores internationally would be MUCH lower.

    As far as the case for Jade for team, unless she’s top 2AA at OT, there’s 0% chance, I doubt they’d give it to her even as top 2AA just for the technicality. Leanne actually had the highest VT/FX combo other than Simone tonight – her FX is worth watching and it’s already on USAG’s YT.

    I still think Simone, Suni, Jordan, Leanne, Riley and Jade will ultimately be the 6 competing in Tokyo based on comps and videos. Perhaps Kayla or Grace can displace one of them, but it would surprise me. I’m looking forward to seeing Chellsie’s FX, but everyone else has completely faded in my mind as far as prospects for Tokyo.

    1. I personally think it’s gonna be Simone, Suni, Jordan, Grace + Riley and Jade. Almost the same

  7. Jade seemed to play it safe tonight on vault and floor… potentially to get a competitive AA score… so that she makes a compelling case for making the team?? She’s made a bigger bars and beam push this season than floor and vault for sure which opens up the theory she’s trying to show the selection committee her AA potential. Of course, since she’s eligible to compete the AA in Tokyo, it likely is that she’s just trying to get as much competition experience on the events she wasn’t focused on when competing in the world cup series.

    Biggest routine for me tonight was Leanne’s floor. That’s the level Sunisa Lee was at in 2019 when she got her silver at worlds. That routine, executed just like that at the Olympics would likely be your silver medal routine. St the same time, Sunisa is approaching her 2019 floor potential. Even without it, her bars showing alone was enough to justify her spot.

    I agree with Spencer that making any mistakes is really bad news for Kayla and Grace. They don’t have the very top scores on any event and must be seen as being able to provide a reliable score on any event at any time. However, Kayla still has a super compelling floor score – medal worth for sure – but not high enough that she can bobble elsewhere. And Grace had a really great beam score but not enough to overshadow her fall on floor. Still, I will not count Grace out based on her history.

    I think once again, the DTY scores across the board were significantly inflated. I cannot see these vaults regularly getting 9.3s and 9.4s at the Olympics. Chiles is the only DTY that could go over 9.3 but she’s not getting a 9.5 or higher.

    Skinner is in the terrible spot of having the second best vault set right now but none of the other events in place. I think of all gymnasts, she has the most potential for improvement and despite weak scores at Classic and on Day 1, I simply can’t count her out because of her history at past Trials.

    Looking at the overall results, there was a major bunching of scores in the 53-55 range with Biles, Sunisa Lee, and Chiles completely separating themselves.

    1. Carey was not playing it safe on vault and floor to try to get a competitive all around score. She needed those high scores to push her up the all around.
      Carey injured her ankle on floor at American Classic and has been taking it easy ever since. She only did bars and beam at US Classic and is clearly not healed.
      At this point she is an Olympian, so why she and Brian continue to push her to compete while injured is beyond me, or the fact she is throwing a triple double layout when it is obvious it is not competition ready is another head scratcher.
      She has no chance at the 4 person team, so she would heal up and wait for the Olympics, otherwise if she is injured that is the end of the story.

      1. She didn’t finish high enough in AA to be of any interest as an all-arounder, nor has she ever. As she obviously has no chance at the four-person team, why would Daddy Dearest force her to do difficult bar/beam routines for mediocre scores and water down her good events? Extremely suspicious. Almost certainly a serious injury.

      2. However, if it is a serious injury, are they completely insane having her do two ankle-crunching tendon-snapping ‘triple-double layouts’ in podium training? Brian Carey is clearly incompetent.

  8. Are the WCC athletes the only ones doing wolf doubles/triples barefoot? I’m really impressed. I thought it was just a Simone thing but the others don’t seem to wear turning shoes either.

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