Welp, another uneventful US Classic has come and gone, nothing to see here. Snore.
Actually, there was one thing. And by one I mean 750,000.
We’ll start with young upstart Simone Biles. She won. Attempt to contain your astonishment. Her 58.700, achieved with a fall on bars, is the highest all-around score of the quadrennium so far—eclipsing Larisa Iordache’s wind-aided 58.466 from 2017 Romanian Nationals.
Biles was awarded D scores of at least 6.0 on every event, and while she’s not quite in crisp, world-beating form yet, it’s clear that she will be in about 30 seconds. Across the four events, we saw pretty much the expected US Classic “I’m at 75% right now” level—similar to what we saw from the other top contenders—with one miss, an OOB on floor, and some really bouncy landings that aren’t quite honed yet. It’s early in the process.
But we also saw that both the difficulty and execution are still there, and that Biles has every intention of picking up exactly where she left off last quad. There was certainly some degree of SIMONE IS BACK scoring on a few events, but we know now based on these performances that a hit meet from Biles at nationals will break 60. There’s no one else in the world capable of doing that right now, even if they were competing at Romanian Nationals and Ukrainian Nationals simultaneously.
Biles debuted and hit her intended upgrades and looked very comfortable with all the difficulty, because of course she did. The only mistake on one of her upgrades came on the Moors, when she bounced several yards out of bounds. (Biles was—charitably—given two separate 0.1 NDs on that for going OOB with one foot on the landing and then a second foot as she attempted to resume her routine, rather than 0.3 ND for going OOB with both feet).
She also had an early-season bounce of a landing on her Cheng— which has for the moment replaced the Amanar as her primary vault—but that looked otherwise just as well-executed as it did in 2016.
The miss on bars came on a toe full, when she couldn’t control it up to vertical and came back the other side, but the Shap 1/2 upgrade looked excellent (with better leg form than expected) and the Fabrichnova is gigantic. Biles followed the miss on bars with a very solid hit on beam, more secure and comfortable than we saw from her in podium training, when the barani was being a little bit of a jerk.
Team “Damn This Is About to Get Gooooood”
Moving on, let’s discuss Simone’s Best Friend in the Whole Wide World** Morgan Hurd. Continue reading US Classic In Review – A Life in a Day