Tag Archives: Maggie Nichols

Best Routine of Week 1 Poll

Poll time!

Each week, I’ll put up the top routines of the previous weekend and let you guys vote on which routine wins the award for best of the week. Deciding the nominees is up to me (mwahahahaha) and is based on 3) score, 2) overall quality, and 1) which ones are easily available online—aka, which ones have been uploaded by our dear NastiaFan101. Because, you know, we need to be able to see them in order to vote for them. So if you want to vote for Elizabeth Price…get those meets to start taking place in the present day. With color televisions. And the iron horse.

Feel free to use the comments for reasoning and/or write-in votes.


1. Kennedi Edney, LSU – Vault


2. Maggie Nichols, Oklahoma – Bars

Continue reading Best Routine of Week 1 Poll

Oklahoma 2017

OKLAHOMA ROSTER 2017
Seniors
Chayse Capps
  • BB star, staple of VT, FX in first three seasons
  • Added UB in 2016 and was casually amazing
  • 2016 RQS: BB – 9.955, UB – 9.920, FX – 9.915, VT – 9.875
Reagan Hemry
  • Has not performed competition routine in first three seasons
Charity Jones
  • Finally healthy enough to contribute weekly VT, BB, FX in 2016
  • Also contributed late-season UB in 2014
  • 2016 RQS: FX – 9.910, VT – 9.880, BB – 9.860
Kara Lovan
  • A staple of VT, BB, FX in first two years, did not make final lineups in 2016
  • 2016 average: BB – 9.665, FX – 9.413
Nicole Turner
  • Transfer from Oregon State for 2016 season
  • Has not competed for Oklahoma
McKenzie
Wofford
  • Top UB routine in 2016
  • Occasional tantalizing BB w/ falls earlier in career
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.950
Juniors
Natalie Brown
  • Weekly member of BB, FX lineups in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: BB – 9.910, FX – 9.890
Stefani Catour
  • Made final BB lineup in 2016
  • Competed UB once for 9.925
  • 2016 RQS: BB – 9.850
Samantha Craus
  • Has not performed competition routine in first two seasons
Ali Jackson
  • Top routine on VT, FX in first two years
  • Added weekly UB and backup BB in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: VT – 9.940, FX – 9.920, UB – 9.875
  • 2016 average: BB – 9.800
Sophomores
Brenna Dowell
  • Deferred 2016 to compete at Olympic Trials
  • Leading score on VT, UB, FX in 2015
  • 2015 RQS: FX – 9.945, UB – 9.910, VT – 9.890
Nicole Lehrmann
  • Staple of UB, BB lineups in 2016
  • Also provides backup VT
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.915, BB – 9.875
  • 2016 average: VT – 9.813
Alex Marks
  • Frequent VT in 2016
  • Competed FX once for 9.700
  • 2016 RQS: VT – 9.835
Megan
Thompson
  • Did not compete in freshman season
Freshmen
Jade
DeGouveia
  • American Twisters
  • 2015 JO Nationals 3rd AA
Maggie Nichols
  • Twin City
  • 2016 Olympic Trials 6th AA
  • 2015 World Championship team, 2015 Nationals 2nd AA
  • The effing Maggie Nichols
Brehanna Showers
  • R Athletics MI
  • 2014 Region 5 champion, 2013 JO Nationals 2nd AA
  • Name is complete sentence, and good hygiene.

Recent History
2016 – 1st
2015 – 3rd
2014 – 1st
2013 – 2nd
2012 – 7th
2011 – 3rd
2010 – 2nd

As a team, Oklahoma has achieved pretty much everything there is to achieve in college gymnastics—including now winning a national championship outright—but one thing Oklahoma hasn’t done before is enter a season as the clear favorite and presumed winner of the title, a team that can only meet expectations not exceed them, a team with nothing to gain and everything to lose. So have fun with that. Don’t worry about it, just anything short of absolute perfection and constant victory culminating in a championship will be a tragic disappointment to everyone. It’s fine.

The coaches, me, and the readers of this site (you know, the big three) all agree that Oklahoma is the most talented team and should win a third title. So let’s get into why. Continue reading Oklahoma 2017

2017 Freshman Preview: Oklahoma

Don’t freak out, but Oklahoma 2017 probably should be better than Oklahoma 2016. Let’s find out why.

Returning Routines – Oklahoma
VAULT
Jackson – 9.940
Jones – 9.880
Capps – 9.875
Marks – 9.835
Lehrmann – 9.800
BARS
Wofford – 9.950
Catour – 9.925
Capps – 9.920
Lehrmann – 9.915
Jackson – 9.875
BEAM
Capps – 9.955
Brown – 9.910
Lehrmann – 9.875
Jones – 9.860
Catour – 9.850
Jackson – 9.800
Lovan – 9.665
FLOOR
Jackson – 9.920
Capps – 9.915
Jones – 9.910
Brown – 9.890
Marks – 9.700
Lovan – 9.413

Oops, you’re already set. Congratulations.

But wait. There are also freshman (WHAT?!?!) and the return of Brenna Dowell. Dowell was late-lineup on three events during her freshman year and will be expected to return to those positions in 2017. Memories of her NCAA floor tend to be shadowed by that high-profile OOB in Super Six, but she got 9.9s all year long.

The question is beam. We’ll get into this more in the December team previews, but Dowell did not make Oklahoma’s beam lineup in 2015 because of Brenna, and beam, and terrifying, and they didn’t need her. The Sooners probably won’t need her once again in 2017, but we’ll see if Dowell can manage that personal triumph or if we’ll have to wait for one of those irresistible “she finally figured out beam in her senior year” storylines. She did hit beam both days of Olympic Trials. I don’t think you guys saw any of those routines on TV, but Brenna casually had the best competition of her life by a thousand percent that second day of trials. We were all like, “WHO IS THIS???”

Oh, and there’s a little nobody named Maggie Nichols. Continue reading 2017 Freshman Preview: Oklahoma

2016 Olympic Trials Part 2: Martha’s a Little Teapot

And we’re back. It’s the final night of Olympic Trials, and in just a few short hours, Biles, Douglas, Raisman, Hernandez, and Kocian I mean, five definitely-not-already-decided athletes will learn that they have made the Olympic team.

As is only traditional, the final night of the most significant US gymnastics competition in four years begins with a deferential acknowledgement of the biggest star in all of gymnastics.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 1.42.46 PM

I, of course, am referring to Bela Karolyi. Who is here because of reasons.

He touched Simone on the shoulder. OMG THAT’S HOW SHE DOES IT. BELA HAS ANOTHER ONE.

“Just about everything you’re going to see tonight matters,” Al says. But not everything, he adds, as Maggie Nichols falls through the trap door and into the piranha dungeon. Another one bites the dust.

OK, can we please discuss the HEART OF THE OCEAN that Trautwig is wearing on his finger? Damn, that thing makes Nastia’s rock look like an idiot.

rock1

So, Princess Al of Monaco welcomes us to the competition, at which point we learn what an utter shitstorm Gabby Douglas has been, and there are probably other people in the meet too I guess. Anyway, she has to hit 4-for-4 tonight, otherwise she should basically go compete for Belarus and will never make the team ever. Continue reading 2016 Olympic Trials Part 2: Martha’s a Little Teapot

2016 Olympic Trials Part 1: The Night of Uber Important Water Cups

The competition may be over, but NBC’s coverage is forever. Chilling. The hard truths.

As I wallowed in the stands in San Jose, painfully cut off from the sage judgment of Trautwig and his merry band of colored shapes, I felt lost, bereft, confused. Entirely powerless to interpret the events unfolding before me. Was that disaster “ginormous” or “of epic proportions”? Is Laurie Hernandez “hot stuff” or “one fun kid”? I JUST DON’T KNOW. I could only sit and imagine what eloquent turns of phrase were being inflicted upon the audience at that very moment.

Now, through the magic of the internet, I am in the dark no longer. Won’t you join me for day 1? Once more, into the flames.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 10.22.31 AM

Christ the Redeemer Statue: 1, Brenna Dowell: 0

As the broadcast begins, Trautwig the Redeemer transforms back into his human form to welcome us to San Jose, the Jan Brady of California, and introduce the only three gymnasts competing for spots on the five-woman Olympic team. LOCKS!

He presents Simone Biles, who is good, Gabby Douglas, who is literal trash, and Aly Raisman, who failed like a rotten failure in the all-around in 2012. Because that’s her defining career moment. Continue reading 2016 Olympic Trials Part 1: The Night of Uber Important Water Cups

Post-Championships Olympic Prospects

So…what happened at nationals? Nothing? Probably nothing.

A. YAWNSVILLE

Simone did Simone things and was brilliant in spite of taking up arms for World War III about her day 2 wobblefest beam routine. This is the major problem with NBC basically bestowing her with five automatic gold medals. Beam is still beam. “Oh, you only won four gold medals at the Olympics? Loser disappointment.”

Aly Raisman also received 5 out of 5 brick houses for bringing back Steady Aly to a degree we haven’t seen since 2012. Her eight routines were all exact duplicates of each other, just like we expect from her. It may be a hologram-fraud situation. MIHAI IS A CHARLATAN.

B. ???

Mostly, we need to talk about NBC’s team graphic, which made every human go, “But really?” and featured a wildly haphazard and truly offensive number of superfluous question marks. A) Three question marks is always too many question marks in a non-ironic context. One question mark will suffice. B) I definitely don’t have that many question marks about this team.

Laurie Hernandez came to nationals with a chance to confirm her spot on the Olympic team by hitting her normal routines, which she did. Tying Raisman on the first day and finishing third overall simply reinforced that she has become an integral part of the team at the level of Raisman and Douglas. She’s not Plan B. She’s Plan A.

C. OMG DOUGLAS IS HORRIBLE GARBAGE AND SHOULD BE NOTHING AND THE ALTERNATE Continue reading Post-Championships Olympic Prospects

Women’s P&G Championship Preview

Onward we travel to Women Part 2: The One That’s Slightly More Meaningful Than the Last One. It’s nationals, which means everyone needs to start trying now, doing the all-around, and maybe showing an Amanar or something. At the classic, we didn’t get any desperately chucked Amanars. I mean, come on. What is wrong with you people?

Classic did provide partial answers to a few pressing Olympic questions, but for the most part, I gave it a C- because of how many people didn’t compete events I wanted them to. (The most frequently competed floor skill at Secret Classic was nothing.) One routine? What are we even supposed to do with that? Nationals will be better.

While it’s not the final step in the Martha-brick road—we’ll hear a lot about how everyone is supposed to be at 90% this weekend (Oh no! I was competing at 92%! What will I do?!?!)—nationals will be the first legitimate opportunity to compare everyone on all the events at the same time and will provide our most viable glimpse so far of what a top three on each event might be.

But until then, we still have a number of wispy, ghostlike issues that hopefully will look a good deal more corporeal by this time next week.

1. Minnesota Maygie

The Queen in the North’s meniscus is easily one of the top-five most famous cartilaginous clumps in US gymnastics history. It has single-handedly provided us with nearly all the uncertainty and meritless speculation we could have ever wanted from an Olympic selection process. Maggie Nichols’ level of competitiveness will be the single most important piece of new information we get from nationals.

Expectations should be tempered. Not only is it unrealistic to think that she’ll be all 2015 Worlds coming right off knee surgery, but this is also more or less her classic. She’s on a displaced timetable and won’t necessarily be expected to roll into St. Louis and perform at exactly 91.3% like the others. Nichols’ true competition of consequence will be Olympic Trials.

At the same time, we did learn an important lesson in 2012 from Nastia, who taught us that Sprawling Hair Shanty Town is the new bun. Also that even though we might say, “It’s just nationals. There’s still time to put together a bars dismount before trials,” mmmm…not that much time.

It’s unrealistic to expect a massive change in level in just two weeks. People don’t tend to upgrade between nationals and trials. I have to think that Nichols needs to show all her intended difficulty (*cough* Amanar *cough*) at least in podium training at nationals, especially while living in Martha’s Funhouse of Verification and Proving Yourself.

2. Koclear – How important is D? Continue reading Women’s P&G Championship Preview

Things Are Happening – June 17, 2016

1. None for Komova

Gorgeous apocalypse Viktoria Komova heaved up the pile of cinders that used to be her skeleton this week to declare that her everything hurts and that she has been forced to stop training for Rio. Obviously. This is why we can’t have nice things.

It’s really good that Valentina named her to the Olympic team 88 months ago then. That was a productive exercise. Now, with Komova out and Afanasyeva being the usual amount of Germany, the Russian senior squad is basically Aliya Mustafina standing astride a tower of human bones. Or as she calls it, Thursday.

As for the Olympic team, this should get interesting now. Komova’s absence could increase Spiridonova’s chances, but without Komova, the most gaping chasm becomes a beam lineup that would feature Mustafina, Melnikova and literally no other person. Theoretically, Tutkhalyan would be the obvious replacement here, but I can’t imagine that her zero hit beam routines from Euros helped her case in any way. Is Kharenkova getting resurrected? Gutsu? Who’s doing floor again? Dear dear.

I suppose right now Russia is looking at relying on Mustafina and Melnikova to do as much heavy lifting as possible, including AA in the team final for either or both. Paseka would vault and be a usable third option on bars (Spiridonova would score higher and be an EF threat, but the remaining team spots may need to be used to plug holes on other events). If Afanasyeva can come back enough to give them a floor routine, that would be ideal, leaving Russia basically looking for a fifth member to deliver a relatively non-horrifying beam routine (AHAHAHAHA) rather than both beam and floor.

2. P&G Championships rosters Continue reading Things Are Happening – June 17, 2016

Checking Out Some D – Post-Classic Edition

Secret Classic is just Secret Classic. It’s the first step, not the decisive step. It’s never truly going to ruin anyone’s chances all by itself (which is code for “don’t write off Madison Kocian just because of that”), but this year’s competition did reveal a couple key changes in the D-score rankings as well as reinforcing the viability of several contenders on specific events, gymnasts who were closer to question-mark territory before the meet (which is code for “Aly Raisman had an important meet in spite of bars”).

So, as before, I have taken the current difficulty scores for the senior elites advancing to nationals and arranged the Ds by size, now updated to include the routines performed at Secret Classic if they reflected an upgrade (or change in composition—for instance, I put Rachel Gowey’s bars D back down to 6.3 from 6.5 as it appears she’s no longer doing inbar skills).

Once again, I removed the stick bonuses from the D scores because stick bonuses are the work of a multi-headed demon creature from below the sea and serve only to make the US scores even more misleading and unrealistic than they might be otherwise. Yurchenko fulls for seniors are also awarded just 4.7 instead of 5.0 at US competitions (because only stupid foreign jerks who are totally untalented do Yurchenko fulls), so I restored those to their actual 5.0 D level as well.

All-Around

pcaa

Among the Timmy D comments heard ’round the gymternet during the competition was the categorical statement that Aly Raisman will not be doing bars in qualification at the Olympics. …OK?

Now, will Aly Raisman have the weakest bars routine on the Olympic team? Yes. But that didn’t stop Martha from holding Nichols out of the AA at worlds last year to give Raisman a shot at qualifying, only to have Nichols return to the lineup to perform her first bars routine of the competition in the team final (a conventional-wisdom no-no, but a decision that worked out well).

I wouldn’t be all that surprised if it happened again at the Olympics. Though imagine the hell that will be raised if, say, Laurie Hernandez gets held off of bars in qualification so that Raisman can do the all-around instead of her.  Continue reading Checking Out Some D – Post-Classic Edition

Things Are Happening – May 27, 2016

1. Some European gentlemen are here

Qualification has concluded at Boy European Championships, and as expected, Russia and Great Britain qualified well ahead of the rest of the field and will be fighting it out on Saturday to see who can take the moodiest team selfie. I mean…win a gold medal? Or something?

The title probably should have been Great Britain’s to lose, but following the withdrawal of Max Whitlock, the Fightin’ Faded Empires have had to put up a few D scores in the 5.8-6.0 range that they wouldn’t normally have expected to use. So, in spite of a qualification performance much cleaner and less Russiay than Russia’s, Great Britain trails by seven tenths and, in the team final, will need to rely on Russia to be very Russiay in several of the most Russian places in order to come away with the title.

Team Oleg and Team Pablo Braegger’s Earring also emerged from qualification within a reasonable range of each other and should duel for bronze. Meanwhile, Romania got a 1 on high bar and will be using Ponor from here on out.

In event news, there will be no Hungarians in the pommel horse final, no Germans in the HBar final, and Stepko didn’t make PBars, so…what is this world? Verniaiev made four events finals, just missing rings and pommel horse because they’re the stupidest. Denis Abliazin also missed out on the floor final after going OOB, because of course he did. If gymnasts could get deductions named after themselves, a 0.3 neutral deduction for going out of bounds on floor would be the Abliazin.

Also, we really need to start naming deductions. “She hits the Jaeger, but will get a Raisman.” “The judges will deduct for Chelle Stack on those back handsprings.”

In the junior event, One-Direction-haired little cherub Giarnni Regini-Moran continued being New Tom Daley and is really forcing us to have to try to remember how to spell his first name by nearly Bilesing the field to win the all-around.

2. The Classic roster of secrets

Fitting its name, the announcement of the Secret Classic roster was shrouded in mystery yesterday when shortly after its release, both Bailie Key and Norah Flatley were quietly removed from the list. Conspiracy. Government denies knowledge. The truth is out there. Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 27, 2016