The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

2022 US Nationals – Women’s Day 1 Live Blog

The first day of national championships is upon us, and preliminary start lists have everyone in the all-around except for Olivia Greaves, who is slated for only bars. Those all-arounders include Jordan Chiles and Shilese Jones, both of whom had questions as to whether they were going for all four today. Chiles was unsure about bars, and Jones had a toe thing in training and did not do all the events in PT.

Li Li is welcoming us to the championships and teaching us how to say OOFOS with a straight face.

Unless you’re dressed either in all white or literally every single color, you are not it tonight.

Rotation 1

Both Brian Carey and Tanya are here coaching Jade.

MyKayla just told the audience that her highest score ever was a 14.5. But like…no.

Blakely – BB – hits wolf triple well – falls on back full – resumes with fhs front tuck, which is solid – switch to switch 1/2, small pauses before back tuck, but secure – aerail to split to bhs, strong – side aerial, no check – double tuck, small step. Shame about the fall. Everything else was excellent.

Chiles – VT – nails her DTY, only the smallest movement, great height and direction. 14.350

Neal – UB – toe full, somewhat late – maloney, good leg position into pak – some short casts – hits van leeuwen – clear hip to toe 1/2 to jaeger, good height – 1/2 turn – DLO, pikes down second salto to find the stick, which she does.

DiCello – FX – DLO 1/1, hit, small amount of pike, bounce back – wolf triple, smooth – 1.5 to front full, little hop – finishes with a ddouble tuck, small movement. 13.850

McClain – BB – hits back full, little arm wave – bhs layout 2 feet, secure, good height – switch and switch 1/2 – aerial, small lean into split jump straddle jump, good positions – swide aerial, little lean – switch ring, we’re right behind her so hard to tell position – bhs bhs double pike, small hop. Very good. 14.800, so that’s a score

Carey – VT – opens with the Cheng, hop back, good hit, 14.800

Carey’s second vault is an easy DTY, bounce back, finished with so much time. Knees.

Rosen a little short on DLO 1/1 but works it out.

Jones – VT – excellent DTY. No ill effects there, just a bounce back. Great.

Fatta got a little crooked on a toe full on bars but otherwise hit, small hop on DLO.

Alipio – BB – loso mount, hit – side aerial to loso loso, very secure – aerial, small lean – wolf double, hit, again just small admustments – switch to switch 1/2 to split and straddle – side somi, solid – gainer tuck full dismount. Nice job.

Wong – UB – stalder 1/2 to jaeger, hit – toe full to bhardwaj, much better than Classic, little leg break – maloney to pak, leg separation, small – van leeuwen, clean – DLO, near stick. Nice one.

Mueller – FX – 2.5 to front pike, hop – high 1.5 to front full – switch to switch 1/2, lovely – wolf double, a little shaky but around – doubel tuck, slide back.

Pierson has a bend to the side on a side aerial – hits bhs loso loso with small lean – switch to sissone, nice – aerial, check – lone split jump – side somi, hit – 2.5 dismount, step forward.

Roberson – BB – loso mount to immediate bhs – full turn – back tuck full, hit – check on aerial – split jump to tuck 1/2 to pike jump – switch side, check – switch leap full, nearly all the way around, will get deducted for split – side aerial to loso to loso is right on – bhs bhs double pike, step back. A hit. 13.250

After 1, 14.800s from McClain and Carey lead the way. McClain’s being the more significant score because she did it on beam. Jones, Chiles, and Wong all in the 14s. DiCello on 13.850.

Now Brandon Wynn is just yelling chicken balls, so that’s where we are. CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE NOT HERE.

Rotation 2

DiCello – VT – has her DTY back – solid work, bounce back, some knees.

Chiles – UB – piked tkatchev to pak, nice – maloney, some legs into gienger, caught – piked jaeger – bail, toe shoot to high – FTDT, stuck. Nice work. Not the code-iest routine she could do, but for someone who wasn’t even necessarily going to do bars here…

Solid Y1.5 for Rosen, hop forward, good direction –

McClain – FX – was held forever before starting – DLO 1/1, good, little pike, little slide – switch full, great amplitude – DLO, bounce back – swtich ring – switch leap attempt after that was odd, well short of split, which is not her norm, bailed out of it sort of – 1.5 to front full, good, little hop – double pike, some chest down but hit. She’s having a good day so far.

Jong – BB – switch mount, good – back tuck full, hit, arn eave – front tuck, secure – wolf double, solid – bhs back lay-ish pike-ish – switch to a good pike jump double pike dismount, hit, hop back.

Carey – UB – Church, hit – 1/2 to yezhova, small leg break – maloney to bhardwaj, only small leg break at the end – van leeuwen, hit – giant full, a bit late, some handstands and feet throughout – FTDT, hop back. Very much her usual. 13.600

Fatta finishes a hit beam with a good 2/1, small hop.

Jones – UB – stalder full to stalder shap, good into tkatchev, solid connection – toe full, right on to piked ricna to pak, clean – van leeuwen, small leg break – nice hs on high – toe 1/2 to front giant to double front, cowboy but solid landing, small movement. No big upgrade but a great routine. 14.850

Wong – BB – switch to wolf jump full, a little under, has to lean to hold it – bhs loso series, strong – L turn, good, small pause before full turn – switch ring, arm wave, bend to the side – aerial to straddle to split jump, pretty – side aerial, secure – side somi, also strong – 2.5, just barely does get it around, deepish landing with a hop back. Not nearly as crisp as her classic routine but a hit. 13.150

Greaves – UB – Stalder full to van leeuwen, good – blind to jaeger – Ricna to pak, hit – short cast on low – van leeuwen, little leg break – toe on – double tuck dismount, secure. Only small things. A strong routine.

Matthews – UB – inbar, some elbows – full to stalder shap to Ricna, hit – hesitation in hop grip change – hits jaeger – pak, high, som elegs – van leeuwen, legs initially – DLO, stuck landing. More formies than some of the others, but a solid hit.

Blakely – FX – DLO 1/1 is nice, small pike, step back – DLO, controlled step – wolf double, not quite all the way around – switch ring to split leap full, slide back – front 2/1, pulls it around, a little under but no issue – switch 1/2, good – double tuck, cowboys a little step back.

After 2 rotations:
1 Jones 29.400
2 McClain 28.700
3 Chiles 28.600
4 Carey 28.400
5 DiCello 28.050
6 Wong 27.350

The top athletes look…good. Really good. But a critical beam rotation coming up.

Rotation 3

Wong had an adventure of a piked double arabian in the warmup, so that will be interesting to watch in the competition.

Alipio – VT – falls on Y1.5. She has been struggling with that throughout warmups.

Rose – Ub – toe on to pak, legs apart – toe on to maloney to tkatchev, trhough it – DLO, flung out with some crazy legs

Jong opens FX with a hit double double – full in, bounce back, deeper landing – L hop full -to split full – back 1.5 to front full, a little under, some leg crossing – double pike, bounce back

Roberson – VT 1 – round off 1/2 on layout full, hits it with a hop to the side – nice one, she was struggling with that all day, so well done to get the one that counted.

Mueller has a nice tuck position on her double front bars dismount, finishes early and sticks it.

Robseron hits Yfull second vault.

Carey – BB – full turn – bhs bhs loso, small check, did well to pull that back in line – side aerial, hesitation into split jump straddle jump combo – aerial, check – breaks combo to switch and switch 1/2 – swtitch side, secure – split jump 1/2 from side, with a check, not quite up to split position – bhs bhs double pike, step back.

McClain – VT – strong DTY, slide back, some legs in the air

I missed what Blakely vaulted, which is annoying because I’m seeing a 5.2 D score posted.

Jones – BB – full turn, good – arabian, solid landing – side aerial to loso, secure landing – punch front, leg up wobble – switch to sissone, well connected – split jump 1/2 from side position, good position – bhs bhs double pike, step back. Solid one, one medium sized error, the rest small.

So Wong has scratched vault and floor. That floor warmup looked like a…don’t.

DiCello – UB – stalder full to maloney to clear hip to Church, nice combo, minor leg separations – pauses casting out but gets there – piked jaeger – pak, legs – van leeuwen, good leg position – FTDT, stuck landing.

Matthews has falled on her beam mount.

Chiles – BB – bhs loso loso, strong – aerail to straddle jump to bhs, comfortable – side somi, confident – switch to sissone – side aerial, no checks – switch side – double pike dismount, bounce back. That was basically a check free beam routine. Very nice work.

Rotation 4

Leanne presented to the judges but did not warm up and the sweats are back on.

Jordan Chiles is leading the crowd in the YMCA during the warmup, so she seems tense.

We have Jones and McClain tied, with Jones going to floor and McClain to bars. Chiles is 3rd, followed by DiCello and Carey.

Fatta just pulls around DTY, very deep landing.

Mueller with a large break on front tuck mount but pulls it back.

Carey – FX – DLO 1/1, small hop, feet – front loso to FTDT, a bit deep, hop forward – switch full, OK – double double tucked, solid landing, only a little movement – split leap full – double tuck, small hop. All day she’s been very much her normal. Not all the difficulty she can do of course. 14.050

Jong – VT – DTY – lands chest forward with a hop to the side

Jones – FX – double double, hits it, a little forward, hop – double L turn, for credit – split leap full – DLO, good – front tuck through to double tuck, secure – switch 1/2, nice position – a hit day for her. 14.100

Blakely with three small steps back on her double front bars dismount.

Zeiss – BB – huge break on bhs mount, leg up, pulls it back – bhs loso loso, some feet but secure – side aerial, arm wave – switch to split – swtich 1/2, small check – aerial, secure – double tuck, lunge back

McClain – UB – weiler 1/2 to stalder full, a bit late – stalder shap to toe full – giant to Church, legs on catch – pak, legs – van leeuwen, tucks it around some – double pike dismount, step back.

Matthews’ floor routine is much creepier in person, which is excellent.

DiCello – BB – candle mount, good position – wolf triple, very smooth – side aerial, secure – aerial to split, comfortable – switch to sissone, check – bhs loso loso, right to the end of the beam, hit – switch 1/2 – double tuck, chest down but only a small hop. 13.800

She has made many strides since Pan Ams.

Chiles – FX – 1.5 through to full in, chest down and bounce back, stays in bounds – DLO, small slide, good height – wolf turns you know – l hop full is high – split leap full – front loso through to double tuck, small foot movement. Good.

Rosen – BB – bhs mount is hit – bhs loso loso, secure – onodi, small waver – side aerial, leg up check – switch to sissone – aerial, holds it into split jump to korbut – bhs bhs 2/1, step back. Hit.

13.750 for Chiles on floor, which will put her in a tie for 3rd with DiCello.

Booth will finish the meet on floor – double pike, slide back – front full, struggles on landing with a large lunge out – split leap full – split jump full – double tuck is very deep, lunges forward, keeps it on her feet.

DAY 1:
1) Jones – 57.200
2) McClain – 56.400
3) Chiles – 56.150
4) DiCello – 55.950
5) Carey – 55.650

The injury to Wong marred what was otherwise a very impressive day for the top athletes. We’ll wait and see what the prognosis for Wong is, but otherwise…big deal for Jones to go over 57 in the AA and beat McClain. Just an excellent day for her in every respect, winning bars and floor.

McClain also goes 56.400 in the AA, which is a strong number and the beam was particularly impressive. The bars is holding her back, which is always going to be the case to some extent.

DiCello will also be very pleased with this performance and the developments compared to Pan Ams. She’s showing she’s right back up there.

And for the most part, Chiles and Carey were like no time has passed. Big days for all of them.

Chiles floor score has been raised 2 tenths to 13.950 to put her in sole possession of 3rd.

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