Nationals Overall Impressions and Recap

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure all of you have either watched or read billions of recaps about US Nationals. Well, here’s another one. (Also for your information, I did actually attend the Senior Women’s Finals, an amazing expierence)

US Nationals are a crazy time, for gymnasts, coaches, and of course gymnastics fans. Even other countries obsess over it, as its the first major stepping stone to solidify the beginning of the Olympic contention for many gymnasts.

Before the competition even started, an injury occured to Mckayla Maroney . And unfortently I know this is only one of many that will occur within the next 6 weeks or so. Luckily, Mckayla’s wasn’t too serious. Before the competition starts, each rotation group has 15 minutes on each event. Mckayla was on her last one, floor, where she was warming up her 3.5(which looked absolutley gorgeous on Day 1 by the way) and while twisting, it almost looked like she baulked or something and came out after only about 2 twist…while still being a couple feet in the air. I think she probably whipped herself in the nose, causing the nasal fracture, and when you hit yourself hard enough, its very easy to just loose your air sense, thus causing the horrific fall, and a concussion. The arena went silent. She laid on her back for a few minutes, then sat up, and was able to walk off the podium by her self. She seemed to be doing good, and made the right choice(I think) by scratching the competition. The goal is to peak for the Olympics, not just Nationals. She was petitioned onto the National team, and the Olympic Trials (as she should have) By the way, I really like I could probably walk under her Amanar(and I’m 5’9″)

Alicia Sacramone. This girl is a freakin super human. Somehow in less than a year, she has every single one of her skills back, and is competiting as awesome as last year. Her skills are just as good, and she did water down her second vault, but it had no relation to her achilles. She had sustained an injury in training the day before prelims to her knee/calf area, and was trying to play it safe, which was a good bet.  Everything she did this weekend was hit. There is really nothing else to say about her, except that she is a beast.

And of course, the 2-time National Champion Jordyn Wieber, while she looked fantastic, she didn’t seem to be at her best. Which isn’t necissarly a bad thing, you don’t want her to peak too early. But really all year something has been different about her, I’m not sure what. I want her to succeed so badly, and while she is pretty much on the Olympic team, I’m not sure what will happen once she gets to London. She hit her bars both days, which is good. Its very obvious that she and Geddert, have put in the time and effort to fix those mistakes, and it payed off. I hope she is just trying not to peak too early.

I think the biggest surprise, Gabby Douglas, while many had faith in her, many doubted if she could hit. While she did fall off beam day 2, she and Martha knows that where Gabby is going to make this team is not for her beam. Her Amanar I truley think is one of the best, while its not up with Maroney’s (whose is?) its defintley right there below Jordyn’s. Her bars, well what can you really say except that they are fabulous. She defintley will be in London, and in bar finals. The question is if she can medal, which I think is a definet possibility for the Flying Squirrel. She is so charasmatic and fun on the podium and off. I was able to meet her at the Fan Fest, and she was just having so much fun and enjoy every single second of it. She is truley a remarkable person. (This sounds corny I’m aware, but I’m impressed with her down to earth spirit, and how much you can see her enjoy the sport)

I really don’t understand why people enjoy picking on Aly Raisman granted her form isn’t the best in the world, but within in the past year or so, people have enjoyed nit picking her skills and everything. I actually really enjoy her floor routine, and she is defintley the most solid and consistent gymnast in the US, and maybe even possibly the world. Since become senior, she has hit every single beam and floor routine(and only missed 1 vault) This gymnast is going to London as well, and I hope she succeedes. People need to chill. She will never be a ballerina, and you can easily tell she has been working hard to improve, and she will be a great asset to the team.

For years everyone has raved about junior sensation Kyla Ross and no matter how hard I tried, I was never able to enjoy her gymnastics. It was clean, yes. But something always seemed “safe” (yes I’m aware she has difficult skills and nothing in gymnastics is safe) or maybe it was just lackluster, I’m not sure. And even up until Sunday night, I still felt this way. But watching her gymnastics live, in person, really changed my mind. Her gymnastics is so much more beautiful and enjoyable in person. While she is a strong all-arounder, I very well think she can take the ‘bars and beam’ specalist away from some other gymnasts. She did water down to a DTY, but it was a beautiful one, and the right choice. Her Amanar’s looked a little scary in warm-ups, and while her floor will not be in team finals, its useable.

Making a huge splash on the senior stage this year was Sarah Finnegan, I am a major fan of her gymnastics. It’s so clean, with amazing lines and difficult skills. Her gymnastics is just beautiful. She does a really clean Amanar, and can hit bars, but where she will contribute is beam and floor. She very easily as some of the best beam and floor routines in the US, and possibly the world. The quesiton for many people about her is that she has very little international experience. Last year was her first year on the National team, and really her only international assignment was the Jesolo cup this year, where she did have mistakes. And while Nationals wasn’t her best competition, she certainly raised some eyebrows. She did touch the beam on Day 2, but still scored a 15.05, which is a huge beam score, with a mistake. And it was certainly a deserved score(and she still finished 2nd overall on beam, and without her mistake she would have won) Her floor, she had a mistake on Day 1, but Day 2, it was on, but still with some room for improvement. Her gymnastics will be well recieved out on the international stage. Its clean and beautiful.

Rebecca Bross, I absolutley want to route for this gymnast so much, I think everyone wants to see her succeed. But unfortently her injury came untimley, and I think she ran out of time. When she was hurt in 2011, she wasn’t in her peak physical shape, making this ‘comeback’ even more difficult. As everyone else I want to see that dismount changed! Unfortently I don’t think she is going to make the team, and that makes me soo sad, because she is/was such an amazing gymnast, and unfortently the Olympics have come at a bad time for her. Strangley enough, I would love to see her take a year to get completley recovered, and healthy, and maybe come back for another Worlds or something.

The training videos raised some huge excitment for Nastia Liukin‘s bars, but unfortently she disapointed both days. Her bars are only scoring a 13. I don’t care if she hits both days at Trials, she should not be in London. First off she was only training bar sets for a week? She did it to herself, while I do feel bad for her, it was her mistake and you can’t sideline that for anything. Plus she only hit 1 beam routine, and the US has better beamers than that.

The final and last veteren, Bridget Sloan, is defintley a dark horse, but she always has been. I don’t think I would pick her for the Olympic team, her bars are ok, but I don’t even think they are that spectacular(sorry…) Some of her releases are kind of low. And no other events are standouts. But I do commend her. This was her first all-around competition in 3 years. And she hit. She didn’t have major mistakes, and has comeback from injury after injury.

Now finally, for the gymnasts not shown on the broadcast. The gymnasts that nobody has really paid much attention to. But the gymnasts that can, and probably will sneak onto those alternate spots.

Anna Li for some reason did not get any air time. Her bars are gorgeous and I’m very glad she hit both days. But 1 event probably isn’t going to make it, and I don’t think her beam is strong enough for her to fill that void of a ‘beam and bars’ specalist.
Brenna Dowell, who trains with Sarah Finnegan, her gymnastics is much more powerfull. And her floor is awesome. She does a whip double front pike, that is fabulous!
Elizabeth Price is defintley the strongest “dark horse” gymanst. She finished 5th in the all-around, which is a tremendous acomplishment. She has good bar sets, and a strong Amanar. Which is a combination I don’t think many people would expect. I certainly wouldn’t. Once again she didn’t have her strongest competiton at Nationals. But I can defintley see her getting an alternate spot, she can fill in on bars and vault. Her beam and floor are pretty decent also.
Sabrina Vega this gymnast is very similar to Finnegan, she has clean lines and hit routines. She has a gorgeous floor routine, but without a stand out event, I don’t think there is a spot for her on the Olympic team. But again she will be a great alternate. She can step in and hit on any event needed. Again something looked very off with her at Nationals. She didn’t look as good as she did at the 2011 World Championships.
Kennedy Baker, the Texas Dreams girl, first off I want to say I am a huge fan of this gym, and everything they stand for, making gymnastics fun, but working hard at the same time. She is super powerfull, with some awesome tumbling. She also has a really strong bar set, with scores in the high 14s.

My team Wieber, Douglas, Raisman, Ross, and Finengan (although I’m not couting out Maroney!)

Vault: Raisman, Douglas, Wieber
Bars: Wieber, Ross, Douglas
Beam: Raisman, Finnegan, Wieber
Floor: Finnegan/Douglas, Wieber, Raisman

That is a super strong team, that can defintley win gold. Those routines should all score a 15+ on all events.

Good Night! And I’ll be back after Trials! 🙂

Preissman Leads Night One

Day one of junior national championships comes to an end with Lexie Preissman finishing in 1st place.

She started one bars which were being judged like crazy. And scored a great 14.15

Then on to beam where she scored a 14.1

It got better from there.

Her floor exercise was one of the highlights from the night, she nearly stuck every landing. she was on.

She scored a world class 15.25. (believe it or not, the scores weren’t that bad tonight. pretty fair.)

She finished a near flawless night with a brilliant Amanar. Scoring 15.7

In 2nd was Bailie Key. I love this kid. SHE IS 12. TWELVE.

She vaulted one of the best DTY I’ve seen in…. well, since everyone stopped doing DTY.

Simone Biles finished up the top 3 and gave up the highest score of the day a 15.8 on her amazing Amanar.

Madison Desch finished 4th. I wrote on the blog a while back, that she didn’t have the difficulty to be a star of the USA. I take that back.

Amelia Hundley ended night one in 5th. I freakin’ love this girl. there is no US gymnast I like more. She could fall all over the pleace for the next 4 years and I will still be rooting for her to make the 2016 team. (touch wood)

Defending champion Katelyn Ohashi didn’t have her best night falling on beam and watering down her vault to a full twisting yerchenko.

I’m just glad that in the 2012-2016 code an Amanar wont be the make all and end all of All Around gymnasts and she can still live without one.

The Senior competition is about to get underway and I can already see your excited tweets and leotard speculations!

but, its 12am my time and I’m going to bed because I have to go play a football game at an un-Godly hour tomorrow.

Nobody tell me what happens! I’ll watch it tomorrow.

Lets Talk About Rebecca.

Let’s go back to 2009.
She was the star of USA gymnastics. Pressure for her to continue the WOGA olympic All Around legacy started.
High difficulty and a strength on uneven bars made Rebecca just what USA needed.
A fresh face, a new ‘It Girl’ when the country needed one.
But then go to world championships, where she didn’t win the All-Around like she was expected to do.
A crash on her final floor pass lost it. Did the pressure of what she nearly had scare her?
On to 2010 and finally a national champion. But a new challenge, a russian mountain to climb call Alyia Mustafina. Injury plagued her in the All Around Competition and a fall from the balance beam sealed the deal of only a bronze medal.
Yet again Rebecca fell short of her World Championship expectations.

But she re-mounted the balance beam, Got back in the gym, trained the same skill she fell on. Why? Because she wasn’t finished yet.

Nearly a year later Rebecca came near to ending her gymnastics career at nationals attempting a vault she wasn’t ready for after an injury at 2011 nationals. A dislocated knee that required surgery and she has to sit out the rest of the season. Including worlds.
2012 is the year for Rebecca’s comeback. And so far, she’s doing good. Throwing full difficulty, even with falls, her comeback and strong and powerful, just as you would expect from Rebecca.
But the Question remains, with younger talents coming up in the ranks like Wieber and Komova, Can Rebecca Do the big one and win the All Around in London, when noones expecting it?