Saturday. US Classic. 1:00 ET juniors. 6:30 ET seniors. Be there, or be on Twitter making fun of it. By way of a preview, here are some notes on expectations, necessities, and whatever else comes to mind for each athlete in the senior division.
We’ll go in alphabetical order, like we’re lining up for recess at Otter Bay Elementary School.
For Adams, US Classic is all about the 52. She did manage to achieve her three-event score at American Classic (VT, UB, BB) with no room to spare, but a lower-than-hoped number on floor meant she didn’t get the required AA total. So most of all, Adams will be looking to use this competition to ensure she can compete all four events at nationals. Of note, she got SVed to pieces in that floor routine at American Classic, intending something well into the 5s and receiving only 4.5.
So look out for completion of turns as she tries to get that floor score up high enough for the all-important 52, which should be very attainable for her with 4 hits.
End of preview. Simone could walk out and do itsy bitsy spider and it wouldn’t matter. We’ll wait and see how many events she does, but if Simone does elect to compete floor here, it will be our chance to see whether she includes those potential upgrades she posted this summer—the Biles to layout and the triple double. Though…you know…it’s not like she needs them. But she could also do them. And that would be cool.
Blakely did make the shortlist of 8 nominees for the Pan Ams team, so she will be aiming for a stronger competition than is normally necessary at Just Classic so that she might get herself on that team. Typically, you’d think of Blakely as exactly the kind of gymnast who would go to Pan Am Games, but this year it’s such an unusually deep group. Even on Blakely’s most impressive event, beam, which can garner a worlds-TF-level score, she’s faced with Kara Eaker scoring a 28.8 every day just for looking at a beam. It’s hard for anyone to find her niche contribution. And this isn’t even the worlds team.
Blakely will be looking to rank well on beam and outscore some of your traditional top all-arounders there, while also placing in the top 5 AA among the Pan Ams 8 to make her argument.
The primary goal for Carey this summer will be to reconfirm that she is #2 behind Biles on both vault and floor among the US competitors. If she does that, she’ll have a very compelling argument to be back on the worlds team following her individual wilderness adventure. In that regard, this meet will be somewhat important for Carey in making sure she still ranks above the wildcard factor that is MyKayla Skinner, who is going to try to come in and match Carey difficulty-for-difficulty on vault and floor in a power-gymnast grudge match.
Carey is a very competent beamer and probably underrated there, and we’ve also seen video of her training a Bhardwaj on bars to up that D score. What I mean is, don’t be utterly surprised if she places well in the all-around here, especially if some of the other top athletes don’t do all four events.
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