Things Are Happening – August 17, 2021

Are they though? Are they really happening? Not much.

A. Meets-ish

As things stand, we’re suddenly two months away from the start of competition at worlds, which are—I guess—still happening since there has been no word to the contrary. The nominative registration deadline is not until September 20th, and thus far only Spain’s women and the New Zealand delegation have withdrawn.

Japan is full steam ahead about it, having already named its teams because Japan and of course it has. The women’s squad will be Murakami, Hatakeda, Hiraiwa, and Ashikawa (so only Sugihara missing from the Olympic team), while the men’s team is Hashimoto, Kaya, Uchimura, Minami, Asato, and Yonekura. Operation All The Medals looks like it’s still on for the men. I’m pleased to see Minami in the group as he could have legitimately been Olympic floor champion had he been on the team.

In other alleged competition news, the Koper and Mersin World Cups remain on the official schedule for September, with Koper slated to start September 2nd and Mersin September 10th, but no information (i.e., registration list) has been published about them whatsoever. If you hold a world challenge cup, but Chusovitina is retired, does it make a sound?


NCAA news is beginning to rumble, but we’re still farrrr away from the season being a thing on the horizon.

First, Konnor McClain has verbally committed to LSU, which would be for the 2024 competition season. As for the very recent Olympians, Britain’s Amelie Morgan has been added to Utah’s team for this season to join McCallum and Eaker in their incoming class, while Marina Gonzalez of Spain will join the team at Barcelona West (Iowa State).

Meanwhile, Jordyn Wieber’s master plan to create UCLA South has entered Phase 3 with the addition of Kyla Ross to the Arkansas coaching staff for next season.

Lost among the Olympics was the news that Oklahoma will be joining the SEC, which is going to be a big old deal, but since it won’t happen until the 2026 gymnastics season, I don’t remotely care yet.

As rosters for the 2022 season start to trickle in, we’re being treated to the usual switchies and swapsies, most notably the news of the now-annual Nebraska exodus, with Chloe Lorange, Danielle Press, and Sarah Hargrove absent from the roster for next season.

In new-program developments, USAG is apparently helping to bring men’s and women’s college gymnastics teams to some 16th-century nunnery called Greenville University.

Yeah, it’s one of these: “The University, guided by the historic church’s understanding of sexuality and marriage as interpreted through Scripture and tradition, believes that God created male and female in God’s own image; that the gift of sex is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman; and members of our community should therefore abstain from premarital, extra marital and same-sex sexual relationships.” Yeesh. You seem full of grace and love.

Little Missy, the only thing you’ll be grinding against is the floor mat before your final pass AS JESUS INTENDED. I mostly feel for the men’s team because presumably they won’t be permitted to do flare work since that’s how the devil gets in.

13 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – August 17, 2021”

  1. FYI Spencer – the “official” release between the SEC and OU and Texas states that OU and Texas will join the SEC in the 2025-26 school year, but this statement is for legal protection, as OU and Texas are currently obligated to the Big 12 TV package for 3 more years. This move is 99% dictated by football and massive TV revenues for football. It is widely (almost universally) believed by the powers in the college football world and the media who cover that sport that the upcoming season will be the last in which OU and Texas compete in the Big 12, as the more attractive Big 12 schools are expected to bolt for the Pac12 or Big Ten, or ACC in the case of West Va. And the remaining few Big 12 likely to merge with some mid-major. There’s no way to predict exactly what will happen, but those who are usually in the know absolutely believe that in real life OU and Texas will become part of the SEC in 2022-23. In every previous conference realignment over the last 30 years, the departing schools have never stayed in their old conference for more than 1 season after the announcement.

    1. Pretty spot on commentary here from what I understand. There is a massive sum of money due to the remaining big 12 schools should the conference stay together for exiting the grant of rights early, but I’ve heard that ESPN still owes Texas +100M for the longhorn network which would presumably be bought out in favor of the SEC network and then that buyout would be used to fulfill the penalty for leaving early. Will be very interesting to see how all of the conference realignments play out.

  2. Greenville ‘University’ in downstate Illinois. How fucking PREDICTABLE!

    1. The hypocrisy of USAG showing! Their logo was all clad in the PRIDE flag the entire month of June and they have been clambering about unity, diversity, and acceptance of all gymnasts. Yet they went ahead and PARTNERED with Greenville of all universities to start division 3 teams.

      Meanwhile what was USAG doing to help save Seattle Pacific, Alaska, or UIC ladies or Iowa and Minnesota men????

      USAG needs to burn.

      1. Burn it to the ground, salt the earth. Same with BritGym, which just issued an utterly fake fauxpology.

  3. Is it too much to hope that Tom doesn’t just pick top 4 AA at trials and actually takes into consideration that this is an individual worlds? I would like to see a trials process that prioritizes event rankings over AA rankings. Perhaps the team can consist of the top AA gymnast and 3 gymnasts who place first on an event. They should only consider a second AA gymnast with no specialities over a third event specialist if there is a legitimate medal chance for an AA medal.

    The men’s team should consist solely of the first place gymnast on each event with an AA spot being given to whoever of those have the highest score at trials. This should be a worlds where the Alex Diab’s and Eddie Penev’s/Gage Dyer’s have a spot on the team. With 6 spots, there is no better opportunity than now than to provide the international experience that these specialists never get. There is no team medal they have to pretend they’re contending for, so there is nothing to lose by putting several one-event specialists on the team.

    1. WAG selection criteria is that selection meet is two days.
      Day one is AA for all athletes. The winner of day one automatically gets named to the World Team.
      Day two is “event finals” where the Selection Committee will assign athletes to compete at least one event with a maximum of 3 events competed.”
      The remaining three athletes will be selected based off of results from the selection meet as well as American Classic, US Classic, US Championships (Olympic Trials excluded) and any international meets.
      Consistency hitting routines, high D score, and high E scores will be considered.

      Will they go top 4 in the all around? Highly likely. But not because it’s Tom’s wish but rather the US field is going to be severely depleted.
      Eaker, Wong, Suni, and McCusker are at their respective universities and are most likely out of contention since they aren’t training (will be doing conditioning with the team) and Worlds takes place around the same time as most university mid-terms. I just don’t see these 4 trying out.
      Biles, Chiles, McCallum, Skinner (also retired), Hurd, Carey, and Jones are doing the Gold Tour. Selection Trials and Worlds is right in the middle of the tour. So 99.9% chance they are not going to Worlds.
      Malabuyo, Finnegan, Skinner have announced they are retired from elite. Emily Lee is injured.

      So right now the ones in the running are:
      DiCello, Drayton, Miller, Fatta, Siegfeldt (from competing successfully at Trials)
      Blakely (depending on injury situation)
      McClain (depending on mental health and coaching change)
      Memmel (but unsure what her intent is at the moment)
      Barros, Alipio, German, Frazier, Morgan (from competing through to Nationals)

      So that is 13 that I see as potentially trying out for the team.
      Unknown: Lilly Lippeatt, Olivia Greaves, Faith Torrez (headed to Oklahoma)

      Based on who is available, DiCello is the clear favorite to win the all around as long as she hits her 4 events day 1. She is also a World medal contender on bars and floor.
      Memmel could potentially be in the running for beam, but based on execution deductions the US received in Tokyo, Memmel is going to be getting most of her elements hit with .3s so her execution score could be well down in the low 7s like Skinner and Carey were.

      Other than those two, no one else really has a medal chance, unless Blakely and McClain are competition ready.

      IMO, if Blakely and McClain aren’t ready, USAG should send DiCello and the next three best all arounders to gain experience for 2022 Worlds as the depth is sorely lacking post Olympics and who knows who plans on returning. Getting ladies like Drayton, Fatta, Alipio, Miller, and Siegfeldt experience at a big international meet like Worlds is good for two reasons. They get to compete at the World stage AND they get their routines judged internationally.

      As fun as it would be to see Memmel at Worlds, it is unlikely she will make event finals, left alone medal and she doesn’t really have much of a future competing at a team Worlds IMO, so the spot would almost be wasted.

      Addison Fatta has a TON of potential. She has a super powerful DTY, clean tumbling on floor (love the 2 1/2 to double pike), and clean execution on bars and beam, if low difficulty. I can see her as a team contributor in 2022 and 2023 if she gets the experiences she needs to improve as a gymnast. She reminds me of Maggie Nichols.

      1. Oops!
        If DiCello, McClain, and Blakely are doing all around I can imagine all three go to Worlds and do all around in qualifications. No 4th member.
        That would be my first prediction, but it is so uncertain based on Blakely and McClain status.

      2. Torrez does not start at Oklahoma until next year. Memmel is not trying for Worlds.

      3. While I understand the benefits of sending the top 4 AA from trials to the 2021 worlds, I also think this perpetuates the problems we had in Tokyo. By prioritizing the all around over all else, you force gymnasts to dedicate less time to events they specialize on and more time to events that they are weaker on. Even on a 4-person team, there is room to craft and coach a team based on specializations. That’s much better than waiting for qualification results to figure out who to put where in the finals.

        With the Olympic team moving back to 5 gymnasts, there is now zero justification for pure rank order selections as there are two extra gymnasts per event instead of one. There is again plenty of capacity to incorporate event specialists into team selections and we need to cultivate that talent NOW rather than go another 3 years pushing the all-around above all else.

    2. I’d expect DiCello, McClain, Blakely, Greaves, Memmel to be the most likely in contention. But, I agree, the whole AA rankings is a joke and everyone is sick of it. I’m still bitter Riley and Leanne never got the recognition due, because internationally (beyond just Pan Ams) they’d have been amazing.

      With MAG, it’s been obvious for a while now that 2 or 3 event specialists are the only way to get medals and get a strong team score — 1 top AA and the rest should be picked by the best on 2 or 3 events each. Obviously each ‘specialist’ needs to be able to perform on all other events, but focused on execution, not difficulty so they can really hone in on their top events.

      Tokyo was a shameful failure of Forster and McClure. USAG is garbage and I’m so incredibly annoyed they haven’t been decertified. The athletes and the fans deserve better.

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