That’s Not My Name

Oh, there are still so many journeys we must take to the center of the code. The last edition addressed Nellie Kim’s obsession with naming every single possible skill after herself.

Today, some of the other mistakes in the named-skills section of the code of points. Because that’s a thing we have to deal with. All of the mistakes in the official rulebook that us randoms have to try to sort out.

I’ll begin by giving the code a small sliver of credit—and then immediately taking it away—for ultimately rectifying one of the more famous mistakes in the named skills section.


The Stroe…Cojocar?

Once upon a time, Romanian gymnast Silvia Stroescu’s name appeared in the code of points, credited with performing the front 2.5 on floor at 2001 worlds.

One tiny problem: Stroescu didn’t compete the front 2.5 on floor at 2001 worlds. Or anything close to it. Fun!

The skill should have gone to her teammate, Sabina Cojocar, who did in fact successfully compete that skill at 2001 worlds. But, you know, all Romanians look alike or something.

For years and years, this skill was mistakenly attributed to Stroescu, which everyone knew but no one cared enough to do anything about.

But then suddenly, in the 2013 update, the code got its act together and corrected the mistake to appropriately award the front 2.5 to its rightful owner, Sabina Cojocar. Gasp! We were all very surprised.

Sadly, the Third Law of FIG Mistakes states that errors in the code of points can be neither created nor destroyed, so the error simply had to alter form and be subsumed into another entry. In the current edition of the code, the front 2.5 is now awarded to both Cojocar and Svetlana Tarasevich, even though Tarasevich never performed it either. Tarasevich’s eponymous skill is supposed to be the front 2/1, not the 2.5. Continue reading That’s Not My Name

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Osijek World Challenge Cup

The series of spring World Challenge Cups continued this weekend with our annual whirlwind two-stop tour of the mid-level agricultural centers of eastern Europe, starting with Osijek, Croatia. Here’s what went down.

Men’s Floor

The Artem Show turned out to be the Artem Show, to the surprise of zero.

With a massive difficulty advantage over the rest of the competitors and among the field’s most comfortable landings (aside from a near bout of vomiting-off-starboard while trying to hold the stick on his side pass, but never mind) Dolgopyat distanced himself from everyone else and took gold my nearly 6 tenths.

Primarily on the basis of extra difficulty, Kirill Prokopev of Russia took the second position, while also continuing to take first position in the “he would be an offensive stereotype of a Russian man if he weren’t an actual person” contest. This is what Americans think all Russian people look like. Just to be clear, in our heads he’s saying, “Vodka Vodka Mother Russia Nesting Doll Babushka” over and over again on a loop. Don’t worry about it.

Our Chilean prince Tomas Gonzalez did win the bronze, but in unacceptable news, he was given an execution score lower than both of the top two, largely the result of a couple short landings early on with small hops forward. But, his E score did not appropriately reward his superior execution of skills in the air or the way he moves choreographically into his cartwheel before the wide-arm handstand, and you need to break down the gates of the FIG about it.

Elsewhere, we saw extremely stylish work from Luka Terbovsek of Slovenia in fourth, with lovely twisting and tucked positions and some very secure landings on his early passes. Also a small infant child named Krisztofer Mezaros of Hungary sneaked into the final somehow and had a learning experience.

Women’s Vault

The women’s vault final proved deeper than in Zhaoqing…in that we had the full complement of eight contenders for the final.

Still, as the only contender with two vaults of 5+ in D score, world cup veteran Teja Belak entered as the comfortable favorite. Despite being saddled with the burden of wearing her Heart of the Ocean leotard again, she successfully hit both vaults on both days of competition to win the title. We’ve seen meets lately where Belak will qualify well then struggle with the handspring front full in the final, but this time there was little issue aside from some lunges on landing.

By showing somewhat more landing control, Angelina Radivilova gave Belak a run with a comfortable full and something in between a Podkopayeva and a Lopez (credited as Lopez), though with a disadvantage of 6 tenths in D, she wasn’t able to make up enough ground. Continue reading Osijek World Challenge Cup

Things Are Happening – May 24, 2019

A. NCAA code changes

Acting in his official capacity as essential interpreter between the NCAA coaches and us lowly peasants, Greg Marsden has kept us updated on the decisions made by the WCGA about rule changes in NCAA for next season.

The big-girl committee votes in June on whether to adopt any of these things for realsies, so for the moment consider these merely as proposals.

The big headline is the lowering of the base value of routines from 9.5 to 9.4. Currently, routines start at 9.5 and have to earn 5 tenths of bonus to get up to a 10.0 start. With a 9.4 base instead, everyone would now have to earn 6 tenths of bonus to get up to 10.0.

What I like about this proposal is that it functions as a relatively non-micromanaged way of encouraging a little more risk. It says you have to do something else, but it’s up to you what that something is. An understandable criticism of more specific changes like requiring a same-bar release (which was not recommended by the WCGA) is that it would lead to even more boring and compulsory routine construction than we have now.

Part of the hope from the 9.4 proposal is that teams will have to get a little more creative in adding that extra tenth of risk so that we’re not seeing the same routine over and over and over again. I also hope this would help brings bars, beam, and floor a little more into line with vault, where much of the lineup on most teams is not starting from a 10 these days. If we see more teams say, “Well, we’re just going to have to put up a 9.9 start or two on floor now,” I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think that’s a positive for keeping the events scoring similarly and a positive for differentiation.

Of course, in reality everyone’s just going to figure out the lamest and most boring possible way of adding another tenth and do that. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t going to affect too many routines on the very top teams, where the majority of gymnasts already have more than 5 tenths of bonus—or have options of easily adding another tenth that they’ve only chosen not to perform because there’s no point.

As a way of undercutting its own decision and rendering it kind of toothless (the NCAA gymnastics special), some bonus and skill values have been increased accordingly with the lowering of the base value. You can check out Marsden’s thread for the whole rundown of skills.

On bars, those who have a D same-bar release or an E transition would get an extra tenth of bonus and therefore wouldn’t need to alter their routines. People with Shap + bail and a DLO or FTDT dismount would also not have to change their routines because that content already gets 6 tenths in bonus. So don’t expect to see a lot of changes in bars composition next season.

I would have preferred to see some other adjustments considered on bars—saying that a bail doesn’t fulfill the turning element requirement anymore (you should have to show the ability to pirouette as part of your breadth of bars competency) or downgrading the DLO and FTDT dismounts from E to D—to require a little bit more be done on the bars, but no luck.

On beam, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the idea of the double wolf turn being bumped up from D to E. Fun. So very fun. Because when I watch NCAA, I think, “This really needs more people attempting double wolf turns.” They’re also planning to bump up some CV for combination dismounts, but one thing I really like is the proposal that acro + dismount combinations on beam can no longer fulfill up to level. Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 24, 2019

The Kims

In the year 2004, one Nellie Kim—legendary Soviet gymnast of the 1970s—was elected head of the Women’s Technical Committee. At that time, there were exactly zero skills named after her in the women’s code of points. Today, there are 7.

What happened there? Only one of my mostest favoritest things in all of gymnastics—the Nellification of the code of points. Every time a new edition of the code of points was published, Nellie Kim would just suddenly drop in more and more skills that she decided to retroactively name after herself. Due to modesty. Icon.

It’s a good thing Donatella is in charge of the WTC now because we were about three years away from the city of St. Petersburg becoming Nelliegrad.

Admittedly, the process of naming skills in gymnastics has been subject to disastrous disorganization and inconsistently applied rules since forever (many, many names are missing or inaccurate or lost to time), so some of this was a matter of rectifying past oversights where innovators of skills have gone unrecognized for decades. A noble goal. Of course, this noble consideration was afforded to precisely one person, Nellie Kim, and no others.

So let’s take a trip down Nellie lane to examination all the skills that she decided to turn into The Kim.

Also fun—Nellie cites her exact competitions in naming every single one these skills after herself (much appreciated, wish that process had begun sooner for everyone). Meanwhile, Chellsie Memmel’s name is still misspelled 15 years later and the toe-on Counter-Kim is still listed as “To Be Confirmed,” but every single breath Nellie Kim ever took is fastidiously recorded and dated for posterity.

Vault

Handspring forward on, 1.5 off – 1974 World Championships

Ah, the youngest member of the Kim septuplets. Nellie named this skill after herself starting in the 2013 update to the code of points, citing her completion of it at the 1974 world championships, 39 years prior.

As far as I can tell, no video exists of Kim vaulting at 1974 worlds. Awfully convenient. Since Kim did not compete in the AA final or advance to the vault final at those world championships, we’ll have to take her word for it that the 8.600 she received on vault in the team optionals portion of that competition reflects her successful completion of this new vault.


Tsukahara tucked 1/1 – 1976 Olympics

This vault was among the first generation of Kims to be added to the code of points in those early-days editions of the open code in 2006ish, and this is where I’ll be nice and talk about Kim as a difficulty innovator who absolutely merits having multiple skills named after herself in the code. As far as I can tell, she was the first person to complete this skill at a worlds/Olympics at those Montreal games. Continue reading The Kims

Zhaoqing World Challenge Cup

Missed Zhaoqing (I can’t imagine why…)?

Well, here’s what went down in case you callously skipped out on your weekly date with Olly and the Olympic Channel.

Men’s Floor

In the floor final, Deng Shudi’s cheek scar took a starring role again as he continued to look like the experienced spy who’s been around a few times and doesn’t have time for this young buck’s foolhardy rule shirking. He used passes like a double front pike, 1/2 out to express the sentiment, “I’m me, meanwhile your side pass is a back layout, thus concludes the third presidential debate.”

Some OOBishness on a couple passes made things closer than they probably should have been, but Deng’s victory here was never truly in doubt.

While Deng more or less cruised, we did have some issues in this final. Poor Lim Kaeson took a combination rudi attempt to his fibula and, both Genta Tsuyuki and Ri Kwang Bom had moments where they attempted to stand up only to realize they were much drunker than they thought they were.

Still, it wasn’t solely a Deng show. Deng’s closest challenge came somewhat as a surprise (I mean not really because Japan, but still…) as Takuya Sakakibara used an exceptional tucked double double and overall superior landing control compared to the contenders to snatch a last-minute silver medal as the final competitor.

The race for bronze came down to cleanliness and landing control among a group of very similar routines. Ultimately Lee Seungmin used his superior twisting form—his toes and legs really stood out in this final—to place just ahead of his countryman Shin Jeahwan, who probably has more raw acrobatic ability but was also somewhat less controlled—and struggled on a Japanese handstand that will have been “tsk, tsk, tsk”-ed right to a lower execution score. In 5th place, Loo Phay Xing also performed a clean, pleasant, and composed routine, but with a 5.2 D, whatcha gonna do.

Women’s Vault

Only five people showed for the women’s vault event in Zhaoqing, and two of those five competed handspring repulsions as their second vaults, so that was that. The dichotomy of watching someone perform a Cheng (the #3 most difficult vault) followed by someone performing the simplest vault in the entire code of points had its own novelty, but this final isn’t going down in history, is what I’m saying.

Still, we were treated to that Cheng Moment from Yu Linmin, who showed some improvement over her performance at Chinese Nationals, landing short with some ragged shape but also displaying more realistic security in the landing. With that and a very sound DTY, she took the vault title here by a few tenths and will to keep herself in the mix for China. There’s a solid argument to be made that Yu has now at least earned a chance on the Asian Championships team.  Continue reading Zhaoqing World Challenge Cup

2019 JO Nationals

The full and complete scores may be found here, but I’ll be tracking the major results throughout the weekend and including them here as they come in, along with what you need to know for future NCAA purposes. (Verbally committed seniors are noted with their school and the year of their first competition season, not year of academic entry, because we don’t care about that book-lerning nunsense.) The full commit account is, as always, at CGF.

SENIOR F – Top 10 AA & Notables

Sunday, May 19 – 6:30pm ET

Rk Name NCAA VT UB BB FX Total
1 Chloe Widner Stanford 2020 9.900
(2)
9.700
(4)
9.675
(1)
9.850
(1)
39.125
And they needed it. Stanford will have two seasons of Kyla Bryant and Chloe Widner together in the all-around (plus Jade Chrobok also coming in), which should make you feel about better about the team’s potential competitiveness in 2020. This 39.125 is the third-best score across all the sessions.
2 Kai Rivers LSU 2020 9.850
(4)
9.925
(1)
9.500
(8)
9.625
(4)
38.900
Rivers did her job here, confirming that both she and Kiya Johnson should be considered either 3-event or all-around contributors for LSU next season. Rivers may not end up doing beam for LSU, but they’ll look for her for late-lineup quality routines on the other three pieces.
3 Makarri Doggette Alabama 2020 9.875
(3)
9.900
(2)
9.600
(4)
9.375
(25)
38.750
After winning the Nastia Cup this year, Doggette was the favorite in this session. It looks like floor caused a little bit of trouble, but the other three scores were exceptional, and floor is typically a strong score. Look for her to bring a much-needed four events to Alabama’s lineups next season.
4 Hallie Thompson North Carolina 2020 9.925
(1)
9.525
(15)
9.400
(18)
9.550
(12)
38.400
A very nice result for UNC to have a recruit putting together an all-around performance competitive with some of the very top recruits in the entire 2019-2020 class. This turned out to be quite a positive session for North Carolina with two gymnasts recording top-5 all-around finishes, and it’s worthy of producing hope that the team can recover from what was ultimately a weak 2019 season, especially because these 2020 gymnasts will have an overlap season with Hislop.
4 AK Subject Denver 2020 9.775
(7)
9.625
(9)
9.400
(18)
9.600
(6)
38.400
Denver is returning the majority of its routines from last season’s successful showing so won’t be desperate for a STAR to come in and save the day or anything. Losing Schou will be a blow, but mostly Denver is looking for one mid to late-lineup routine on each event to bolster what they’re returning, and you’d expect Subject to be able to do exactly that on two or three pieces.
4 Elizabeth Culton North Carolina 2020 9.600
(26)
9.725
(3)
9.625
(2)
9.450
(17)
38.400
The other massive North Carolina result here comes from Culton, this one of particular interest because of those scores on bars and beam. North Carolina did not have an issue last season on vault and floor, but could not put together competitive numbers on the middle events. With these scores, it looks like Culton is a “go directly to the anchor position, do not pass go, do not collect $200” prospect.
7 Abby Paulson Utah 2020 9.700
(15)
9.600
(10)
9.175
(33)
9.700
(2)
38.175
Looks like a miss on beam here, but otherwise Paulson put up competitive scores, and we know from our familiarity with her elite career that she has the skill set to be a significant routine contributor next year. While the focus has been on Skinner’s departure, as important are the graduations of Merrell-Giles and Lee, opening up eight more essential spots that need to be filled. Even if O’Keefe is the biggest name expected to do her best to make up for Skinner, they also need a gymnast like Paulson to be the new MMG.
7 Jane Poniewaz Oregon State 2020 9.675
(20)
9.475
(18)
9.425
(16)
9.600
(6)
38.175
Oregon State isn’t losing an absolute ton of routines from last year’s team—and the majority of the big, essential scores are coming back—but they will be without 7 routines from their nationals squad including Jacobsen, so there’s work to be done. All three of next year’s freshmen competed in this session, with Kayla Bird also placing 12th with a solid bars score, and Jenna Domingo placing 15th with a solid beam score. I’d expect a couple routines from each of them to try to make up for those 7 lost.
9 Robyn Kelley New Hampshire 2020 9.700
(15)
9.125
(36)
9.625
(2)
9.600
(6)
38.050
It will be a season of change for New Hampshire with Gail Goodspeed retiring and the departure of essential routines from the likes of Mulligan and Doolin and O’Leary and Carrol and Bondanza and…it was a big senior class. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. And New Hampshire has a recruit that just put up a big beam score at JOs. With Kelley and Gorgenyi (below), New Hampshire had a very solid session.
10 Kathryn Thaler Nebraska 2020 9.450
(37)
9.700
(4)
9.550 (7) 9.325
(27)
38.025
Nebraska will have injury returns like Roby next season to help the project of “what do we do without Sienna Crouse,” but that’s going to be down to multiple athletes. Nebraska had a depth problem on bars this past season, trying to squeeze the roster to get out 6 routines, so a big finish from Thaler on that event is particularly encouraging.
18 Kylie Gorgenyi New Hampshire 2020 9.825
(6)
9.700
(4)
8.700
(47)
9.225
(32)
37.450
19 Rachel DeCavitch Kent State 2020 9.725
(11)
9.175
(33)
8.875
(41)
9.650
(3)
37.425
22 Halle Remlinger Minnesota 2020 9.850
(4)
9.525
(15)
8.550
(51)
9.400
(20)
37.325
Another vault to pad the depth on that event is exactly what Minnesota is looking for, a team that ended up being about two VT/FXs away from snatching a huge upset at regionals last year.
23 Jenna Weitz Towson 2020 9.475
(34)
8.950
(38)
9.600
(4)
9.225
(32)
37.250
28 Shyan Phillips San Jose St 2020 9.750
(9)
9.300
(26)
8.400
(54)
9.625
(4)
37.075

SENIOR E – Top 10 AA & Notables

Sunday, May 19 – 1:45pm ET

Rk Name NCAA VT UB BB FX Total
1 Gabryel Wilson Michigan 2020 9.800
(4)
9.775
(2)
9.650
(4)
9.700
(1)
38.925
The favorite came through in Senior E, giving Michigan two session victories in the upper senior divisions this year for its 2020 incoming class. There’s every reason to expect Wilson and Brooks both to make it into the all-around, so look for a Michigan team that is very freshman & sophomore-centric in its contributions next season, with 2/3 of the routines likely to come from the younger half.
2 Helen Hu Missouri 2020 9.775
(8)
9.825
(1)
9.700
(1)
9.425
(23)
38.725
Hu placed second to Wilson in their division for a second season in a row here—winning her starring events, bars and beam—and she’s going to be the highest-profile member of a major refresh for Missouri next season. Missouri has already signed a freshman class of 6 and recently announced that UIC’s standout from last year Alisa Sheremeta will be transfering in.
2 Raena Worley Kentucky 2020 9.800
(4)
9.650
(12)
9.675
(3)
9.600
(8)
38.725
There will be a lot of focus on Worley come the fall because of questions over whether Kentucky can actually replace those critical lost routines from The Class and remain at the same level it has developed over the last four seasons. The incoming class overall isn’t one of huge names (though this year’s news that former elite Kaitlin DeGuzman switched her verbal from Oklahoma to Kentucky changes things a little), so it’s encouraging to see the result from someone like Worley. Those are big scores.
4 Kianna Yancey West Virginia 2020 9.625
(20)
9.675
(10)
9.550
(12)
9.625
(5)
38.475
Another floor score. We’re going to be OK. Between Koshinski and Tun, West Virginia’s best routine on every event will have departed after last season, so while a collection of routines still exists, there is the hunt for starring scores that can save lineups that might get a little 9.700 in the first couple spots.
5 Mia Takekawa Illinois 2020 9.700
(14)
9.750
(5)
9.525
(14)
9.475
(17)
38.450
Takekawa is an interesting one because she has been a standout L10 for multiple years now, but we only just recently learned of her commit to Illinois as she wasn’t among the fall signing class. Of note, Illinois will not have Otto’s bars routine next year, so…
6 Linda Zivat Michigan State 2020 9.900
(1)
9.650
(12)
9.225
(39)
9.625
(5)
38.400
Good for you, Michigan State. (OK, first time I’ve used those words in a solid 3 years…) Another close-but-no-cigar season saw MSU miss out on regionals again in 2019. Vault and floor were definitely the stronger events (and I’m concerned about how the bars lineup will look without Ling), but they absolutely could still use the big routine, the wow routine, to bring those events up into being top-20 contenders.
6 Payton Murphy Western Michigan 2020 9.775
(8)
9.650
(12)
9.325
(28)
9.650
(3)
38.400
Floor, by contrast, was Western Michigan’s weak event last season, never reaching a score of 49, which is pretty unusual for floor as it’s typically the high-scoring event. Murphy’s finish on that event is encouraging.
6 Hannah Joyner Rutgers 2020 9.675
(15)
9.700
(8)
9.600
(7)
9.425
(23)
38.400
Joyner is the former elite who went with Aimee to EVO and is a massive get for Rutgers. Because Rutgers is in a big conference, there’s more pressure on the results, and lower-ranking finishes stick out more. Going into Salim-Beasley’s second season in charge, and with a strong, notable, all-around contributor like Joyner coming in to work with a standout like Belle Huang who still has a couple seasons left, we’re going to start to look for Rutgers to move out of the Big Ten basement.
9 Nyah Smith Michigan State 2020 9.725
(12)
9.525
(17)
9.575
(9)
9.500
(17)
38.325
A second top-10 finish for Michigan State in this session to provide a ton of encouragement that Michigan State isn’t going to be willing to let Rutgers move out of the Big Ten basement. This is a very strong AA score with across-the-board competitive numbers that reflect someone who can come in and deliver all the events.
10 Cassie Stevens Auburn 2020 9.900
(1)
9.150
(33)
9.575
(9)
9.575
(9)
38.200
Be interested in this big Auburn class that’s coming in for 2020 because they are popping up here and there all over the standings in these upper senior sessions. None of them dominating in the all-around, but definitely looking like a “I have two events, well I also have two events, well I have three events” class that ends up making a splash as a collective. Adeline Sabados is also in that class, finishing 13th AA here with another good bars score to point to that as a potential contribution.
10 Juliette Boyer Arizona State 2020 9.750
(10)
9.675
(10)
9.475
(16)
9.300
(35)
38.200
We’ve seen the future potential for Arizona State in some of those younger classes, but there’s also the need for immediacy with so many routines departing post-2019 and the in-progress lineups looking so depleted. People like Boyer are going to need to come in and provide instant “I can go anywhere” contribution, so an even AA score like this is essential.
10 Nevaeh DeSouza Cal 2020 9.725
(12)
9.725
(6)
9.600
(7)
9.150
(43)
38.200
Cal’s 2020 class certainly isn’t as heralded or famous as the 2021 group, but they’re absolutely going to need to contribute multiple routines as Cal loses not only Toni-Ann but also those mid-lineup essential foundational gymnasts like Shu and the Seilnachts. DeSouza delivered some strong bars and beam scores here and would have been among the top AAers if not for an uncharacteristically low floor score, and event that’s usually more like 9.5s for her.
14 Alexis Ortega NC State 2020 9.450
(35)
9.775
(2)
9.525
(14)
9.400
(25)
38.150
Really good weekend for NC State. I didn’t necessarily pick coming in that NC State would have a lot of high finishers, but they’re popping up all over the place with top-5 event results.
15 Angelica Labat Illinois State 2020 9.800
(4)
9.250
(28)
9.400
(22)
9.625
(5)
38.075
Go ahead on, Illinois State. Those are some exceptionally legit vault and floor scores.
18 Brookelyn Sears Northern Illinois 2020 9.575
(27)
9.775
(2)
9.025
(45)
9.550
(10)
37.925
Northern Illinois was a floor team last year but didn’t have the four full events, which ended up keeping the team just out of regionals, so it’s encouraging to see gymnasts who can bring the other pieces.
20 Kamryn Ryan Alabama 2020 9.800
(4)
9.250
(28)
9.300
(29)
9.525
(13)
37.875
We’re waiting on Alabama’s big incoming star Makarri Doggette to compete in Senior F, but turning Alabama back into a championship team is going to need more than a one-gymnast solution. Ryan delivered an exceptional vault score here (and fellow 2020er Mati Waligora competed only beam but went a respectable 9.550), but one of the issues Alabama is going to have to work through is how to turn these JO 9.4 and 9.5 routines into college 9.850+s. A lot of last season’s newcomers who had solid JO finishes just like this didn’t end up competing routines, and that can’t continue for Alabama to stay competitive.
21 Ella Hodges Ohio State 2020 9.300
(46)
9.200
(30)
9.700
(1)
9.550
(10)
37.750
23 Alexis Hankins Ohio State
2020
9.300
(46)
9.400
(23)
9.650
(4)
9.375
(27)
37.725
Is someone in the mood for a reinvented beam lineup? Big finishes there in an overall successful weekend for Ohio State.
34 Soraya Hawthorne Georgia 2020 9.850
(3)
8.050
(53)
9.425
(21)
9.700
(1)
37.025
Georgia’s recruits have put up some mid-range finishes so far at JO Nationals, and while Hawthorne won’t show up atop the leaderboards because JO is all about the all-around, those are huge vault and floor scores that should continue to build the lineups for New Georgia.
34 Lindsey Moffitt SEMO
2020
9.300
(46)
8.725
(42)
9.300
(29)
9.650
(3)
36.975

SENIOR D – Top 10 AA & Notables

Sunday, May 19 – 9:00am ET

Rk Name NCAA VT UB BB FX Total
1 Sierra Brooks Michigan 2020 9.950
(1)
9.875
(2)
9.700
(1)
9.825
(1)
39.350
Brooks is finishing high school a year early to head to Michigan in the fall, and Bev is basically dancing in the streets about it. With Brooks and Gabryel Wilson (competing Senior E) coming in next season, Michigan is not expecting to miss a beat with the departures of Karas and McLean and will look to continue an upward trajectory.
2 Andrea Li Cal 2021 9.800
(4)
9.875
(2)
9.600
(3)
9.750
(3)
39.025
Andrea Li (sister of Anna) won’t start at Cal until the 2021 season—in the same class as Gabby Perea—but that class is already shaping up to be a program-defining one. The 2021 season is the one you start to look at where Cal makes the leap from being the cool, trendy underdog in 9th who comes close to upsetting Georgia in Georgia at regionals, to the team that actually does it and is more regularly challenging the likes of UCLA and Utah in conference.
3 Hannah DeMers Central Michigan 2020 9.775
(6)
9.850
(4)
9.450
(10)
9.650
(6)
38.725
DeMers has signed to start at Central Michigan next season, a vital signing for a team that kind of has to play the “let’s patch this dinghy up” after the coaching events of last season—but that has also retained some continuity by permanently hiring MacDonald as head coach. CMU is losing 6 routines from its regionals lineup last season, which is not too bad, and Demers looks like she can fill a number of those spots.
4 Rylie Mundell Denver 2021 9.775
(6)
9.700
(8)
9.550
(6)
9.650
(6)
38.675
Denver’s contributions are pretty well distributed from class to class in that there’s no particular “this is the class that gets all our scores and we’ll suck when they’re gone” group, but Mundell will be in the group coming in when Maddie Karr leaves, so there’s certainly going to be an urgency of contribution. That’s probably not coming from one gymnast on her own, but with Mundell and former elite Mabanta in that 2021 group, you feel like they can “by your powers combined” it to keep up the level.
5 Aria Brusch Auburn 2020 9.725
(10)
9.900
(1)
9.300
(18)
9.675
(4)
38.600
Between gymnasts like Milliet, Cerio, and Krippner, there’s quite a bit of replacement work to do for Auburn’s new class with at least two important routines on every event going away. Brusch is the biggest name in the signing class as a former elite, but there’s some serious quality in this group of accomplished L10s (Piper Smith also competed in this session, finishing 6th on bars). We should see all the scholarshippies contribute multiple events next season. I’m a little worried about beam for this group, but when aren’t I?
6 Abbie Thompson West Virginia 2021 9.600
(22)
9.450
(21)
9.550
(6)
9.675
(4)
38.275
Because we’re all still kind of in a “how does your life continue without Kirah Koshinski” phase, any bold result associated with floor is a comfort, even if it’s from a gymnast who won’t be there until the 2021 season.
7 Elena Deets Arizona 2021 9.700
(12)
9.525
(16)
9.375
(14)
9.650
(6)
38.250
In the previous sessions, I’ve been focusing a lot on the Arizona State recruits because they’ve had a successful JO Nationals so far, but Arizona is not to be outdone. At this point, with pretty much every team in the mid and lower section of the Pac-12 looking on the rise, you worry about Arizona getting left behind as the #8 team, so solid four-event JO ninjas like this are essential.
8 Elena Arenas LSU 2021 9.750
(8)
9.675
(9)
9.350
(16)
9.450
(22)
38.225
You mean she’s not going to Georgia? I kid. I kid because that was such weird drama this year. Arenas is a former elite who put up solid enough scores here in a tough session to make a dent with Brooks and Li gobbling up huge 9.8s but certainly is expected to be a significant multi-event contributor at LSU in that talented 2021 class.
9 Amoree Lockhart Oklahoma 2021 9.375
(39)
9.600
(14)
9.600
(3)
9.550
(14)
38.125
I mentioned in a previous session that I was hoping the JO Nationals results would sort out that huge potential 2021 Oklahoma class that has 9 gymnasts either verbally committed or already signed for it, but…they’re all kind of doing well here and it’s not helping?
10 Jillian Hoffman Utah 2020 9.750
(8)
9.625
(12)

9.550
(6)

9.175
(35)
38.100
Hoffman came in with the highest qualifying score of anyone in Senior D, so I was expecting her to end up closer to the top of the standings, but she put up three solid scores here (and you would imagine there was an issue on floor to end up with a 9.1) and should be a less-heralded but no less significant contributor for Utah next season. It’s not unrealistic to think that we’re going to see 3-4 person refreshes in most Utah lineups next season. They have a big class and are sort of done with being not one of the top-4 teams anymore.
16 Katherine LeVasseur Oklahoma 2021 9.900
(3)
9.400
(23)
8.900
(37)
9.475
(17)
37.675
Uh oh, you missed on beam as an Oklahoma recruit. OFF THE TEAM. Another casual JO 9.9 for Oklahoma on vault.
17 Chloe Negrete NC State 2020 9.800
(4)
9.400
(23)
9.000
(31)
9.375
(26)
37.575
20 Emily Shepard NC State 2020 9.650
(17)
9.500
(17)
9.575
(5)
8.800
(49)
37.525
A nice duo of event results here for NC State. I mentioned being kind of concerned about future floor prospects in a previous session, and this doesn’t really change that, but you’ll absolutely always take a JO 9.800 on vault, especially for a team that had to get Ylayout-y last season. They got by with that, but you really can’t expect to maintain status as a regionals-level team with Ylayouts these days.
24 Adriana Popp Boise State 2020 9.500
(33)
8.725
(38)
9.650
(2)
9.425
(24)
37.300
Not the choreographer. Not the choreographer. Not the choreographer. But can you imagine. Obviously, you’re immediately off the Boise State team with that kind of bars score, but look at that beam you guys. Beam is going to be the new bars for BSU.
34 Meilin Sullivan Nebraska 2021 9.200
(45)
9.825
(5)
8.925
(36)
8.650
(51)
36.600
54 JerQuavia Henderson Iowa 2020 9.925
(2)
1.000
(55)
8.850
(38)
9.775
(2)
29.550
Seems like there must have been an injury on bars for that 1.000, which is troubling, but those vault and floor scores are going to be such boons for Iowa next season. Iowa had quite a nice floor group in 2019—the strong event for them—that Henderson can add to, but vault wasn’t the most competitive. They exactly need someone who can bust out a huge score to lead that lineup.

SENIOR C – Top 10 AA & Notables

Saturday, May 18 – 6:30pm ET

Rk Name NCAA VT UB BB FX Total
1 Kiya Johnson LSU 2020 9.900
(2)
9.750
(5)
9.775
(1)
9.850
(1)
39.275
The first of next season’s big recruits to compete at JO Nationals this year, Johnson delivered by winning her session and placing top 5 on every event. Between Finnegan, Priessman, and Kelley, LSU needs two new routines on every event next season (maybe just 1 on beam), so the potential all-around contributions that Johnson and Rivers can provide are essential to watch this weekend. Johnson put up a “4 events in college” kind of meet here.
2 Haleigh Bryant LSU 2021 9.950
(1)
9.825
(1)
9.575
(5)
9.700
(5)
39.050
This is the LSU session. Bryant is in the same age group as Johnson, but Johnson is heading to LSU early and Bryant is going on the normal schedule. There will also be pressure on Bryant’s class to come up with scores to make up for the departures of Kennedi Edney and Ruby Harrold, but Bryant will also have help in the form of Olivia Dunne and Elena Arenas in a big class for LSU’s recruiting.
3 Chae Campbell UCLA 2021 9.800
(6)
9.700
(8)
9.625
(3)
9.750
(3)
38.875
We’ve become used to UCLA’s big-name recruits coming from the elite ranks rather than from the JO ranks, but Campbell is part of that all-important class that will have to come in to replace routines from Ross, and Kocian, and Hano, and…it’s a tough job. Any potential all-around contribution as Campbell displayed here is essential.
4 Skyla Killough-Wilhelm Washington 2021 9.700
(11)
9.800
(2)
9.575
(5)
9.700
(5)
38.775
I’ll say a little more than just “Elise Ray Beam Factory” in this case because while SKW (you already get an initialism!) performed well on beam here, she also performed well on all the events. Every indication in the recruiting outlook is that Washington will continue pushing to be part of the Pac-12 top 4. It’s just getting harder and harder to maintain that status for everyone.
5 Naomi Morrison Oregon State 2021 9.825
(4)
9.700
(8)
9.400
(22)
9.750
(2)
38.675
Speaking of. The Oregon State 2021 class has performed quite well at these JO Nationals so far, and I’m particularly encouraged by that big vault score because that was the one event holding back OSU’s scoring potential last season despite the fantastic final result. With Morrison here and Gonzales below, Oregon State cleaned up on vault in this session.
6 Emily Lopez ??? 9.775
(8)
9.675
(10)
9.425
(17)
9.575
(11)
38.450
7 Abby Mueller Minnesota 2021 9.650
(14)
9.500
(18)
9.575
(5)
9.675
(7)
38.400
With Hooten in Senior B and Mueller in Senior C, the outlook for Minnesota’s 2021 class is quite strong. Floor was Minnesota’s lowest-ranked event this past season, so it’s encouraging to see them both scoring well in that department.
8 Kinsey Davis Nebraska 2021 9.625
(18)
9.800
(2)
9.625
(3)
9.125
(41)
38.175
Davis is another occasional elite from junior days that is reappearing at JO now, and it’s encouraging to see these results from Davis (and that floor score from Williams below, another Nebraska recruit) because I’m a little worried about what Nebraska does with Crouse departing this year and Houchin departing next year. The supply of ninja L10s needs to be restocked from somewhere.
9 Sydney Gonzales Oregon State 2021 9.850
(3)
9.750
(5)
8.950
(44)
9.525
(14)
38.075
Syndey is the younger sister of current Oregon State gymnast Lexie Gonzales, and if nothing else it’s encouraging to see OSU’s “only if you have an awesome sister” recruiting stragety maintained. The Colussi-Pelaezes, the Dagens…it’s a thing. And they didn’t even have to get Lexie to transfer from Florida or anything. Gonzales didn’t have an awesome beam score here, but was otherwise up among the very best in a tough session. A good day for Oregon State.
9 Rebecca Wells Utah State 2021 9.700
(11)
9.325
(34)
9.525
(9)
9.525
(14)
38.075
A good all-around get for Utah State, a team that was ultimately too depleted to contend for regionals in 2019, but where you can see the quality and the potential. Gymnasts like Wells are the next step.
12 Carly Bauman Michigan 2021 9.650
(14)
9.775
(4)
9.725
(2)
8.800
(50)
37.950
Bauman won her session last year, and while she dropped out of the top ranks because of the floor score this year, the bars and beam numbers were exactly what we would expect from a Chow’s product. Michigan really does have an impressive next couple classes coming in.
18 Nicole Wojcik Lindenwood 2021 9.400
(35)
9.675
(10)
9.425
(17)
9.125
(41)
37.625
Just…to make sure you’re aware that there’s another Wojcik out there. There are actually 4 Wojciks, and all of their names start with N.
29 Agatha Handono ??? 9.350
(39)
9.500
(18)
9.575
(5)
9.000
(47)
37.450
33 Daniela Castillo Iowa 2021 9.825
(4)
8.900
(49)
9.000
(42)
9.375
(21)
37.100
35 Caroline Williams Nebraska 2021 9.300
(42)
8.700
(54)
9.225
(35)
9.750
(2)
36.975

 

SENIOR B – Top 10 AA & Notables

Saturday, May 18 – 1:45pm ET

Rk Name NCAA VT UB BB FX Total
1 Talia Little Boise State 2021 9.450
(27)
9.750
(1)
9.650
(1)
9.475
(12)
38.325
Oh look, it’s a Boise State gymnast who won bars. So no expectations that this bars-excellence reputation will wane any time soon. The big development for Boise State in 2019 came in the form of improvements on beam, and Little looks like an important restock option for when people like McGregor and Amado aren’t there anymore.
2 Madeleine
Johnston
Penn State 2021 9.525
(18)
9.675
(4)
9.575
(2)
9.525
(7)
38.300
Johnston’s will be the recognizable name in this group after her number of years as a junior and senior elite from Hill’s. She’s been on the NCAA-talent radar for quite a while, and this is a major recruiting get for Penn State—the first big “oh wow, they got her” of the Sarah Brown years. She’s going to be a necessary NCAA all-around contributor.
3 Julianne Fehring Oklahoma 2021 9.850
(1)
9.600
(7)
9.475
(6)
9.300
(30)
38.225
Can’t stop, won’t stop. The interesting thing about this 2021 Oklahoma class is that there are about 175 people who are supposed to be in it (including Ragan Smith and Audrey Davis) who have made announcements here or there, so I’ve been eager to see how that’s actually going to filter out in real life as we get to know which of these JO verbals are at which level. Fehring showing that she’s one of the big ones with a performance like this.
4 Nicole Riccardi Ohio State
2021
9.425
(29)
9.450
(12)
9.475
(6)
9.575
(5)
37.925
Ohio State continuing to have a good day of JO performances with another top-10 all around finish here, following two of them in the Senior A division (below). The 2019 season saw Ohio State start very well and then fall off as the injuries mounted and weren’t able to be replaced effectively. These JO results speak well to the depth-creation project.
5 Trinity Macy Pitt 2021 9.350
(34)
9.525
(9)
9.525
(4)
9.500
(9)
37.900
So, you took Trinity Thomas and Macy Toronjo and smashed them together to create a single person? Cool cool. Good job Pittsburgh. Hero’s work.
6 Brooke Butler Auburn 2021 9.350
(34)
9.750
(1)
9.300
(24)
9.450
(14)
37.850
Auburn has some names coming in on the horizon, but it can’t all be Sunisa Lee all the time, and she isn’t starting until 2022. Before that, Auburn is building the classes with a few former elites like Butler and Olivia Hollingsowrth who should slide well into NCAA, and some JOs like Tara Walsh who placed well on floor in this session.
6 Ariana Young ??? 9.700
(2)
9.150
(29)
9.575
(2)
9.425
(16)
37.850
6 Kyra Burns Missouri 2021 9.700
(2)
9.575
(8)
9.300
(24)
9.275
(33)
37.850
I see that vault placement, think about how rough things got toward the end of the season for Missouri on vault when everyone was injured at the same time, and an encouraged. Missouri should be picking things up on vault in coming seasons with a couple young, talented vaulters already on the team as well.
9 Marigold Garrett ??? 9.425
(29)
9.350
(18)
9.475
(6)
9.475
(12)
37.725
10 Cassi Barbanente Arizona State 2021 9.650
(4)
9.650
(5)
8.800
(46)
9.525
(7)
37.625
Barbanente was on track for a huge all-around placement in this session if not for a miss on beam, which took her down the standings a little bit. Like Ohio State, Arizona State has already managed to notch three top-10 AA placements across just two senior sessions of competition. If you’re looking for who the new kids are who can snatch all the ninja L10s, that’s an indication.
10 Madison Benson NC State
2021
9.475
(25)
9.100
(32)
9.400
(12)
9.650
(2)
37.625
NC State is losing the Phillipseseses and Fillard this year—and Drew Grantham after one more season—so most of those important floor scores will be gone by the time Benson arrives since that event was pretty veteran-driven this past year. It’s the one where NC State needs the most immediate rebuilding.
12 Taylor Russon Washington 2021 9.250
(42)
9.425
(15)
9.525
(4)
9.350
(25)
37.550
See Senior A re: Elise Ray Beam Factory
21 Mya Hooten Minnesota 2021 9.625
(8)
8.525
(49)
9.250
(27)
9.800
(1)
37.200
Hooten will be in the class tasked with replacing Paige Williams and Ivy Lu, and those vault and floor scores make it look like Hooten’s got the Williams part covered. Those entering in the 2021 season will have an overlap season with Ramler and Loper because much of Minnesota’s strength is coming from the young ones still.
21 Jordan Olszewski Arkansas 2021 9.650
(4)
9.525
(9)
8.850
(43)
9.175
(39)
37.200
24 Caroline Herry Arizona
2021
9.550
(15)
8.625
(47)
9.375
(16)
9.600
(3)
37.150
26 Chloi Clark Temple 2021 9.650
(4)
9.175
(28)
8.825
(45)
9.350
(25)
37.000
27 Tara Walsh Auburn 2021 9.500
(21)
9.125
(31)
8.776
(48)
9.575
(5)
36.975
37 Isabella DeCroo ??? 9.650
(4)
9.300
(22)
8.200
(55)
9.350
(25)
36.500
38 Gillian Rutz Arkansas 2021 9.500
(21)
9.750
(1)
9.125
(34)
8.075
(54)
36.450
We see a couple of the Arkansas recruits that Jordyn Wieber has inherited with strong individual event results here. Arkansas didn’t sign anyone for 2020 during NLI week last fall, so this 2021 class is the first group of newbies we know about. They’ll have a lot of replacement work to do, especially with AA stalwart Yamzon being gone at that point.
45 Ella Sirjord ??? 9.225
(44)
7.975
(54)
9.425
(10)
9.600
(3)
36.225
37 Carina Jordan Utah 2021 0.000 9.625
(6)
0.000 0.000 9.625
Thanks for the update on the commitment switch, which Jordan made from Florida to Utah. She was previously going to Florida. Now she’s part of the Deanne Soza class at Utah, coming in the year after the O’Keefe/Paulson class.

SENIOR A – Top 10 AA & Notables

Saturday, May 18 – 9:00am ET

Rk Name NCAA VT UB BB FX Total
1 Madelyn Williams Cal 2022 9.650
(2)
9.675
(1)
9.550
(3)
9.575
(3)
38.450
You’ll recall Madelyn Williams from her little stint in elite the last couple years, where she was perfect on bars and everyone died of how perfect she was on bars. Here, she pretty much dominated the field, winning by more than a fall, which you don’t really see that often at JO Nationals. With the likes of Gabby Perea, Andrea Li, and Madelyn Williams committed to arrive upcoming seasons, Cal’s future recruiting picture looks very bright.
2 Moorea Linker Oklahoma 2022 9.700
(1)
9.125
(32)
9.375
(9)
9.675
(1)
37.875
Oklahoma has another ninja L10 on its hands, with Linker scheduled to enter in the same class as Jordan Bowers. It’s still far enough away that it’s difficult to prognosticate about what roles a gymnast will fill, but yeah, Oklahoma’s doing fine and has another vault and floor worker on its hands, who will suddenly emerge as a bars worker partway through her career and you’ll be like, “Whaaa…?”
3 Victoria Henry Ball State 2021 9.450
(17)
9.325
(21)
9.450
(6)
9.600
(2)
37.825
I love seeing people committed to smaller programs placing right up with people going to Oklahoma, and Henry did exceptionally well here with four hits and two high-placing events. This isn’t an aberration as she scored similarly at regionals and placed well in the juniors at last year’s nationals.
3 Kendall LaPlante ??? 9.500
(9)
9.375
(18)
9.475
(5)
9.475
(10)
37.825
Haven’t seem commitment news for this one. Can’t imagine that will last long.
5 Hannah Oliveros Ohio State 2021 9.375
(27)
9.450
(13)
9.500
(4)
9.450
(11)
37.775
Oliveros will come into the OSU class tasked with replacing essential scores from gymnasts like Olivia Aepli, so having someone putting up reasonable scores across four events is encouraging. She’ll be there at the same time as Abanto and Swartzentruber for an overlap season.
6 Sage Thompson Cal 2022 9.475
(11)
9.675
(1)
9.125
(26)
9.450
(11)
37.725
Oh yeah, Cal has another one. After that one 4-fall bars meet this past season, Cal is like “ALL THE BARS CHAMPIONS PLEASE.” Thompson hasn’t placed lower than 2nd on bars at any meet in the last two years and looks like she has a couple other events to go with it.
6 Alex Theodorou Arizona State 2022 9.600 (4) 9.450
(13)
9.125
(26)
9.550
(5)
37.725
A good sign that a program is on its way back up is if it starts snatching the top JO in-state (or in-geographical-proximity) recruits again, and that’s what Arizona State has been doing. Gymnasts like Theodorou (and Mangahas below) are still a few years away, but I’m kind of worried about what ASU is going to do right now since CLB is basically the only returning gymnast next season. But, the long-term prospects look really healthy.
8 Haley Tyson ??? 9.525
(8)
9.500
(6)
9.300
(18)
9.375
(20)
37.700
9 Jada Mangahas Arizona State 2021 9.350
(29)
9.475
(9)
9.450
(6)
9.400
(17)
37.675
Jada Mangahas is continuing the long history of Parkettes heading to Arizona State—and she’s not even going to another team first and then transferring, just straight to Arizona State, which is progress. Arizona State has a lot of openings over the next couple years and two big classes entering in 2020 and 2021, so this team is going to look very different soon. They’ll be pleased by the across-the-board solid results here.
10 Kaitlyn Grimes Ohio State 2022 9.500
(9)
9.525
(4)
9.000
(38)
9.500
(8)
37.525
Grimes is set to enter at Ohio State in 2022, a season after Oliveros, but you like to see those complimentary results. Between the two of them, they have a top-10 on every event.
11 Izzy Sissi ??? 9.625
(3)
9.150
(31)
9.200
(24)
9.525
(6)
37.500
17 Kielyn McCright ??? 9.000
(45)
9.500
(6)
9.450
(6)
9.175
(32)
37.125
(16)
17 Ashley Blum Washington
2022
8.575
(54)
9.350
(19)
9.625
(1)
9.525
(6)
37.075
Elise Ray Beam Factory.
22 Gabrielle Stephen ??? 9.600
(4)
9.550
(3)
8.550
(48)
9.025
(44)
36.725
26 Maddie Tyau ??? 8.950
(48)
9.525
(4)
9.350
(12)
8.725
(48)
36.550
33 Emmalise Nock ??? 9.425
(21)
8.475
(42)
8.775
(44)
9.575
(3)
36.250
36 Jillian Prosacky ??? 9.475
(11)
8.300
(46)
9.625
(1)
8.750
(46)
36.150

JUNIOR F – Top 10 AA

Continue reading 2019 JO Nationals

Things Are Happening – May 17, 2019

A. Ashton Locklear retired

From the world of US elites, Ashton Locklear announced her retirement yesterday after a long bout with the concept of having knees. Locklear last competed at the WOGA Classic in February on bars and beam—and at that point was also discussing the possibility of adding back floor—but she has now decided that enough is enough.

Locklear had a successful run, making two world championship teams in 2014 and 2017, advancing to two world bars finals, and winning team gold in 2014. In terms of future prospects, she has been constantly injured, and there wasn’t truly a realistic path to team selection for her at this point.

In announcing the retirement, her talent agency released a statement saying, “WE DEFINITELY KNOW WHERE COMMAS SHOULD GO.”

It also includes a doctor’s note (so that she can get out of PE, I think) and an explanation that her 2018 knee surgery has prevented her from continuing, even though she came back to…you know what, never mind. You can just retire. You don’t need a reason. You don’t need a doctor’s note. It doesn’t have to follow logically. You can just be done. It’s fine.

B. Zhaoqing World Cup

The World Challenge Cup circuit gets underway again in a couple days with the Zhaoqing event, which runs Sunday to Tuesday for some reason. Because the FIG is always so clear with its organization and naming of events, a little clarification. The World Challenge Cup events are completely different from the Apparatus World Cup series and have no bearing on Olympic qualification whatsoever. They’re just the normal apparatus events that we’ve had before. Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 17, 2019