The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

US Men’s Worlds Selection – Final Day

It’s the final day of competition before the US men’s worlds team is selected, and it does still seem like there is at least one place open to be won.

Here’s where we stand with the best-scoring team average including nationals and the first day of selection:

Brody Malone14.50014.30014.05014.52514.80014.225
Donnell Whittenburg13.52512.92514.85014.37513.87513.225
Asher Hong14.43313.01714.36715.03314.75012.017
Colt Walker14.08312.65014.08314.51715.01713.500
Stephen Nedoroscik14.450
43.01641.76743.30044.07544.56740.950257.675

So what of the others? Moldauer’s miss on pommel horse yesterday did not help his case because it continued to project that Nedoroscik’s pommel horse adds 80 bajillion tenths to the team score. He needs hits there and on floor today to make the “I’m so, so, so much less scary than this team” argument. Meanwhile, Nedoroscik showed on the first day that he can be kind of…how did you not fall…and still make a lot of sense for the team, but without a 15, he’s leaving that door open wide.

Paul Juda’s miss on horse yesterday also hurt him because the US desperately needs someone who can supplement its weakest events—PH and HB—and Juda is theoretically that person.

As for Shane Wiskus, on the first day he showed major improvements from nationals and defeated Moldauer in the all-around, which could help bolster his claim as the “you can use me lots of places” gymnast who warrants at least traveling alternate.

We’re into the warmups on the horse marinated in pommels. Looks like the live scores haven’t yet updated to include a place for today’s action.

We open with one of the most important routines of the day with Moldauer on PH – once again he was going well but the dismount posed a serious problem with a major pause and muscle up to handstand. It’s tough to make the “safe option on horse” case with only one really nailed routine out of 4.

Lovvveeeee the lack of scores.

Kensley says just 13.250 for Moldauer.

Juda up next with another critical routine, and he hits a beautiful set, lovely fairly work, good elevation over the horse, one hesitation in handstand before dismount. 13.800. That’s not a 14, but it’s a lot higher than what we’re seeing from others.

Wiskus gets through a solid hit for him on horse. There’s always going to be a bit more leg form and lack of amplitude in his horse work, but he did what he will have been aiming for. 13.550

Colt Walker takes the first bite of the pommel-monster of this final day, slamming his hip against the pommel and being summarily ejected. He’s not really making a team for pommel horse, but on a team where there may be a “whoever draws the short straw has to do horse in TF” situation, everyone’s routine matters there. 12.450

Asher Hong hits his feet on the horse but somehow manages to stay on, a major break there and some ensuing form break issues that will destroy his score, but no fall. 12.700.

Nedoroscik finishes up the rotation, no trouble on his triple russians on one pommel – major leg breaks on russian travels, a couple straddles, but he stays on with a hit that should get a massive number.

Waiting on some scores now, but that rotation helped Nedoroscik and did not help Moldauer.

It’s 15.100 for Nedoroscik. The highest from anyone else was 13.800. It’s going to be tough to knock that score off a highest-scoring team.

On to rings. Keep an eye on Waker’s score here as the US would like an additional option to go with Whittenburg and Hong so that Malone doesn’t have to do all the events all the time.

Juda – SR – good initial maltese – planche, high, some hip hesitation, up to handstand – jonasson and yamawaki to straddle sit to straddle planche, good – secure hs before dismount – DLO 1/1, piked position, stuck landing. Good. He has started solidly. 13.450

Wiskus – SR – flat cross position, only pops two blood vessels – feet get a little low in maltese position – yamawaki jonasson to l sit, solid – some arch in handstand but controls it well, a little movement in third – double double dismount, stuck. Good. 13.850

Walker – SR – good planche work to start – just a bit of pike – some swing in handstand – yam jonasson to L sit is hit – controls handstand position – double double tuck, small hop back. 13.950.

Hong – SR – smooth cross work – some hesitation in inverted cross – to a nice straight maltese, some movement into place on next maltese – generating a lot of swing before his dismount, controls it with handstand – double double layout is deep, lunge forward, not his strongest. 13.900

Moldauer – SR – good maltese – some hip lowering in planche – solid iron cross – yamawaki jonasson to cross is well done – struggles some on his final handstand again today with elbows – lovely double double tuck, stuck landing. 13.700

Up next is vault. The US looking to see consistency from Hong and Walker here. Hong missed his final warmup Ri Se Gwang just like yesterday. So we shall see.

Wiskus – VT – solid Kas 1.5, medium hop forward, great distance, some knees. 14.700 is a gigantic vault number, especially for a non-stick.

Walker – VT – handspring randi – a bit more control on the landing today than on day one, good height, medium hop back, some leg crossing. 14.950

Hong – VT – the Ri Se Gwang magic has expired, lands it on his hands. It was perfection on day 1, but if you feel you can’t rely on it… 14.000

Moldauer – VT – his clean and usual Kas 1.5, not too large on the hop forward. 14.700

An important rotation for Walker, showing he can hit his difficulty for the best vault score. Wiskus is also continuing to truck along consistently. Keep an eye on his team possibilities if we only use selection camp totals and ignore nationals. Hong’s advantage over the group is dwindling.

Walker starts off on PBars. As Hong is letting his spot get tenuous, Walker hasn’t, which he could confirm with a big number here.

Walker – PB – makuts, hit – peach – diam, a little later than his usual – nice bhavsar – hesitation up to handstand, elbow drop – tippelt, good height – healy – stutz, good crisp position – double front, hop forward. Not his very strongest but no disasters. Still goes 14.850, which is big.

Hong PB – makuts is good – diam is very nice, stutz, good – double front 1/2 is stuck (it’s already over?)

So, Hong ditched the entire beginning of his routine and went with a 4.7 D score. 13.950 total.

Moldauer – PB – tuck 1/2, solid – makuts, clean – diam, just a bit late – some back position in peach 1/2 – has to muscle up to handstand after makuts, has a arch and a little hand movement – looks like he ditched the Fokin today – double front 1/2, deep landing, hop back and another step to control. 13.550. Another troubling score for Moldauer.

Juda – PB – peach, hit – diam, only slightly late – moy – bhvsar, smooth – tippelt, a little short on handstand position – double front, stuck landing. Solid. 14.500 is a good one.

Wiskus – PB – peach 1/2, little walk – peach – tuck 1/2, good toes – healy, nice – diam, pretty solid – front straddle to arms – bhavsar, clean – tippelt, good hs – double front, stuck. Excellent routine.

As Hong and Moldauer are having rough days, Wiskus is plugging away with hits. 14.450. Wiskus is ahead of Walker today with a solid chance to stay there.

Hong – HB – Kolman is better today – Kovacs caught – tkatchev – inbar, hesitation out of it – doubel double layout, stuck. A really good one for him. 13.150. HIGH BAR SEPCIALIST.

Moldauer – HB – tak 1/1, not too bad – tak 1/2, solid vertical – Kolman, hit – tkatchev – rybalko, late – DLO 1/1, lovely stick. 13.300

Juda – HB – layout kovacs, good – kolman hit but has to add an extra swing after – layout tkatchev and tkatchev are good – tak – tak 1/2, pretty solid today – DLO 1/1, a ltitle pike, stuck landing. 13.65

Wiskus – HB – Kolman, got his hands around – kovacs, hit – layout tkatchev and tkatchev, solid – tak 1/1, quite late – tak 1/2, also late – DLO 2/1, really nice stick. 13.650

Walker – HB – tak 1/1, quite late – tak 1/2, crooked with a leg separation – kits kolman – kovacs – layout tkatchev – tkatchev – yam gets close with pike and legs – DLO 1/1, hop forward. An adventure. Eeesh 12.850

One event to go, everything remains a mess. Wiskus is winning the AA today and has enough buffer that a floor hit will keep him there. Hong’s today scores sure aren’t making a case, but he has a lot from nationals to lean on. Still, feels like a crucial floor routine coming up for him.

Moldauer – FX – He needs to show that 14.7+ routine – randi, bounce back – front 2/1 to front full, little hop – double arabian 1/2 out, great stick – 2/1, stuck – 2.5 to front layout, stuck – 3/1 final pass, a couple bouncies to the side, just did stay in bounds.

14.200 is good, not great.

Wiskus – FX – front full to double front pike, all the way OOB and steps off the floor entirely – 2.5 to double front, sits it down – double double tuck is stuck – 2/1, stuck – punch randi, hop – 3/1, holds onto it. 12.700

Well, he was putting himself in such a good position for at least traveling alternate. Then that happened.

Walker – FX – front full to double front pike, large lunge OOB – 2.5 to double front, another large lunge OOB – front lay to front 2/1, step – 2/1, holds stick – 3/1, bounce back. 13.650

Hong – FX – front full doubel front pike, bounce forward, stays in – DLO 2/1, lunge back OOB – front tuck full to double front tuck, just does hit it, scoot back – 2.5 to front tuck, tucks a layout with a hop – 3/1, small bounce.

Well, that was a day. We wait for Hong’s score now. Off to the number machine.

Top-scoring teams (with Malone/Whittenburg locked):

Average score over 4 days of nationals and selection camp—Malone, Whittenburg, Hong, Walker, Nedoroscik

Average score over 2 days of selection camp only—Malone, Whittenburg, Walker, Nedoroscik, Moldauer

If we pop in some other variations…

Average of best 2 routines score across the 4 days of nationals and selection camp—Malone, Whittenburg, Hong, Walker, Nedoroscik

Best single score on each apparatus across the 4 days of nationals and selection camp—Malone, Whittenburg, Walker, Nedoroscik, Moldauer

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