Category Archives: U.S. Classic

US Classic – Senior Live Blog

Start list:

Our pre-meet withdrawals belong to Malabuyo and Nguyen, neither of whom appeared at podium training. Malabuyo has a fractured tibia, and it’s just the worst. Shania Adams is also a full scratch now.

It appears from the live scores Trinity Thomas is not doing vault and floor (as expected) and that Skinner is not doing bars. Also possibly no all-around from Sunisa Lee. Continue reading US Classic – Senior Live Blog

US Classic – Junior Notes

We have a couple hours to wait in between the junior and senior sessions, so I’m compiling some notes on the juniors for those who don’t want to read back through the whole live blog. This is in progress, so join me and catch back as I think of more things.

Konnor McClain is the champion. No major surprise there. Almost like it might have been a good idea to put her on the junior worlds team or something. Why no, I will not let it go. Her exceptional beam routine was the highlight, hitting both the Arabian and the back full too comfortably than should be legal. McClain’s one issue came on bars, where an accidental tucked Maloney and an extra swing/cast lowered her score. And she still won. Continue reading US Classic – Junior Notes

US Classic Podium Training

Podium training has concluded for the senior women, so now it’s important (highly important, most important, national security) to break down what we saw and the prospective D scores emerging from all of that seeing.

The Simone

So yeah, Simone did floor. The Biles + layout was there (easy). The triple double was there (and she had too much power for it). A DLO 1/1 + split jump was there. We need to talk about that and what Simone’s floor composition might potentially be this year.

If you add in those upgrades to last year’s routine, we end up with something like this as a very baseline composition option (with comparison to last year included).

Simone Biles – Floor
2019 2018
Triple double – I (presumably) Double double layout – I
Biles + Front layout – G + B = 0.2 CV Biles + Stag – G + A = 0.1 CV
Switch leap – B Switch leap – B
Split leap 1.5 – D Split leap 1.5 – D
Double layout 1/1 + Split jump – H + A = 0.1 CV Front full through to full-in – C + E = 0.2 CV
Wolf turn double – D Wolf turn double – D
Switch leap 1/1 – D Switch leap 1/1 – D
Double-twisting double tuck – H Double-twisting double tuck – H
CR – 2.0 CR – 2.0
Acro – IHHGB – 3.4 Acro – IHGEC – 3.2
Dance – DDD – 1.2 Dance – DDD – 1.2
CV – 0.3 CV – 0.3
Total D – 6.9
Total D – 6.7

Now, the idea of Simone counting a B element on floor is…come on. It’s Simone. She could add in any number of C dance elements at minimum to get to 7.0—or we could see even more, like the front full from last year coming back, connected to a double double to get her up to 7.2. There’s been no indication that she’s doing that, but…she could.

I’ve just assumed that the triple double will be an I-rated skill because the WTC never gone higher than that and it seems to fit in the logical progression of how other elements have risen in value (DLO 2/1 being worth 0.1 more than the DLO 1/1), but you can certainly justify inventing the concept of a J element for this skill. Because triple double.

We also saw a not-full-difficulty beam set from Simone that did not include That Damn Barani (chorus of angels) or a front pike, so that composition will be interesting to watch tomorrow as well. It’s PT.

Other Notes

Hurd: The beam upgrades from Morgan Hurd were fascinating, as we saw a back full + split jump + sissone as well as the aerial + split ring combination that she attempted at the Tokyo WC but didn’t get.  If she gets those combinations, that would give her a minimum 0.3 upgrade over the 5.7 routine she attempted at Tokyo. Morgan is coming for your 14s on beam. Continue reading US Classic Podium Training

US Classic Preview

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.

Shania Adams

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.

Simone Biles

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.

Sloane Blakely

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.

Jade Carey

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.

Continue reading US Classic Preview

US Classic Rosters

We are now 11 days away from the US Classic, the…second most interesting domestic American competition of the summer?…not counting selection camp…? Anyway, get excited. Classic is the meet where we get to see the upgrades for the 2019 season, and that’s very important. Classic podium training day should basically be a national holiday.

The rosters are out for the junior and senior events, and while they’re short on surprises, they’re worth breaking down.


Olivia Ahern
Ciena Alipio*
Sydney Barros*
Skye Blakely*
Charlotte Booth
Sophia Butler*
Kailin Chio*
Kayla Di Cello*
Addison Fatta
eMjae Frazier
Elizabeth Gantner
Karis German*
Olivia Greaves*
Mia Heather
Julianne Huff
Levi Jung-Ruivivar
Lauren Little*
Lilly Lippeatt*
Amber Lowe
Nola Matthews*
Konnor McClain*
Zoe Miller*
Kaylen Morgan*
Sydney Morris*
Annalise Newman-Achee
Sophie Parenti
Anya Pilgrim*
Ariel Posen
Joscelyn Roberson
Sienna Robinson*
Katelyn Rosen
Lyden Saltness*
Jamison Sears
Chavala Shepard
Ava Siegfeldt*
Eva Volpe
Jamie Wright
Ella Zirbes Continue reading US Classic Rosters