USA Gymnastics has just tweetnounced that the worlds team for 2017 is Ragan Smith, Jade Carey, Ashton Locklear, and Morgan Hurd.
This was the rare year (among recent years) that we knew we were going to see a surprise no matter what because the second AA spot was so up for grabs. No clear option presented itself after the McCusker withdrawal.
BUT, it turns out that tonight’s big winner is Morgan Hurd, beating out Jordan Chiles and Trinity Thomas for the second all-around spot on the team. In the last post about team permutations, I noted that Hurd was close enough to the others to make it conceivable that she could beat both Chiles and Thomas at the selection camp. I assume that’s what must have happened for her to get the second AA spot since she was clearly behind Chiles and Thomas at nationals. She was still close enough that if she was the one who hit at camp…the choice makes sense.
As we learned from the videos (videos! From selection camp!), Thomas did not upgrade all the way to a DTY—put it on your Christmas list—still stepping up to the 1.5, though. That would have provided her with some lift in scoring potential, but not as much as she may have needed. Also, this is completely speculative, but while we got partial videos of everyone from the selection, Thomas’s routines were…more partial than those for the other major AAers. It could indicate errors that were taken out. That would make me more comfortable with the Thomas snub, if she totally botched selection. Otherwise, it is a snub, no two ways about it.
Chiles, meanwhile, has been named the alternate. I do still believe that Chiles has the higher peak scoring potential than Hurd when she hits because of her vault, but it’s close enough that just a few wobbles here and there would flip it, and if that’s what happened, then Hurd can very easily make sense as your AA option.
The thing is, however, that Hurd could show up at worlds, hit in the AA final, get a mid to high 56, and still not necessarily medal. She’s going to be in the hunt and a good contender, certainly, but it’s not a typical US-style sure thing.
That was going to be the case no matter who the US selected for that second AA position, but it’s something to get mentally accustomed to. Continue reading The 2017 US Worlds Team