Saturday, 9 June 2012

US Nationals Day 1: a super-quick summary

VISA Championships: Day 1 in 100 words

Nastia misses bars. Lack of endurance and nerves bring her to grief: doesn’t compete dismount. 13.150. Comes back to smash beam, 15.100.

Jordyn ties Gabby for first. Messy beam and scary-ish vault but her best bars! Gabby: great bars and good floor, not too bad beam and vault.

Raisman: another day at the office. Solid, but overscored on floor (definitely the opinion splitter of the meet).

Maroney: Two wonderful vaults. Good floor, great 3.5 twist but struggles on 1.5 to double tuck.

Bross: OK bars but sat down Patterson.

Ross: Good

Finnegan: Great, Top Beamer. Stumble on floor, but pretty.

Quick Thoughts


I am not Marta, but if I was I would be expecting my specialist hopefuls to be in the top ranks. Rebecca Bross is being beaten by two AA workers, Anna Li isn’t cracking top 3 and Nastia Liukin finished last. Bridget Sloan looked thrilled after her bars routine, which was really rather good.

Can’t fault Nastia Liukin here, she was awesome. Looked like she had glue on her feet and moved quicker than she has in a long time. Will it get her to London? No, but it improves her case after bars. Alicia Sacramone took second place against the odds, looking very competent with a lovely new sheep jump I would never have assumed would suit her body type. Rebecca Bross is starting to make her dismount look like it is supposed to be sat down. With so little time, what chance now?

Mckayla Maroney simply smashed it. Olympic champion performance, as always. Alicia Sacramone didn’t have the best rudi of her life, but it was better than expected. Vaulted an FTY for her second, which her coach didn’t seem happy with.

All Arounders

Gabrielle Douglas is proving that she can be up there with “lock” Wieber yet again. Great bars; beam and vault could have been better but no major mistakes. Floor generally good but as everyone seems to be saying, her music is brittle and somewhat annoying and the dance echoes this. I am all for modern floor music; ever since her tweet after the 2011 team final (“who run the world, US girls!” or something similar) I have always though how great she would be to this:

Jordyn Wieber didn’t have the best day of her life, but it certainly was bad either. Rather it was unexpected. Her worst of the day was probably beam, which is unusual, and she hit bars about as well as she is capable. Floor looked great, no DLO yet though.

Sarah Finnegan: Great floor as usual, and top beam. The mount sequence into the triple spin is wonderful. Who knows whether she will make the team, but her beam and floor are certainly Olympic worthy.

Alexandra Raisman had her usual solid day for third. As usual, there were complaints though. Her vault is dramatically lacking in execution, even though it is traditionally where she held her form the best in my opinion. I read an opinion the other day on a gym board which sums it up wonderfully: it is as though she does a DTY with a tucked half twist right before landing. Floor wise, her tumbling is fantastic. However as a whole I would be shocked if Raisman attracts the same level of scoring from an international panel.

Kyla Ross did what was asked, and crucially she posted the top score on bars.


Nastia needs to hit bars out of the park.
Bross needs to stand up a Patterson, if not I think it’s pretty much game over
Jordyn could do with hitting beam like she usually does, same with vault. Whichever of Douglas and Wieber manages to do this that will decide who the 2012 National Champion is. 

As always, huge gratitude to Nastiafan101 (or whatever the current variation is) for fantastic videos so quickly.


  1. USA is much weaker on vault than I expected. Besides Maroney's amanar which is always a piece of art and Price's which is very dynamic all the others were so scary. Jordyn's amanar was one of the scariest vaults I've seen, she's very lucky to survive this without getting injured.
    I'm praying for Gabby to win the AA, and I'm also praying the judges open their eyes and see Raisman's "leaps" shouldn't be credited. Then Sarah could win floor if she has the performance of her life. Praying for her too, I want her to win FX and BB

  2. As a whole, the "team" doesn't look great. So sad for Nastia...highlights: Sacramone's beam, Sloan's joy, Maroney's vaults and Sarah Finnegan.

  3. Jordyn recently said in an interview that she won't be adding her DLO to FX, unfortunately. She said they were just playing around with it as an idea, but in the end decided not to add it in. BTW, I thought the EXACT same thing about Alicia when she pulled a sheep jump out of nowhere--it looked shockingly stunning! Can't wait to see how everything shakes out tomorrow :-)

  4. Christina: Agreed. Those Amanar's are not looking very good are they. I think Maroney's chances are looking quite good at this point given that apparently even Wieber can struggle with a 2.5 sometimes.

    Saozinha: yeah I was really happy to see Alicia looking that good. I really can't see it leading to a second Olympics, though.

    bigfan: thats a shame! it looked great in that video. Still, I love her floor as it is. I am just relieved she isn't changing her music, I got panicked during podium training when it seemed like she was performing to something else.

    I have just been thinking about this Olympic team, especially with the speculation today that Liukin has guaranteed berth to trials, and I think there is more potential for fan disappointment than ever before, and people's reputations and popularity could really be at stake.

    What I mean is, with more people discussing this on the internet than ever, and less people on a team than ever, and possibly more legitimate hopefuls competing for the same spots that ever, everything is so overcharged. Imagine if Nastia gets put on the team to go up last on bars, but doesn't do a dismount (or falls off, whatever)and USA lose the team tital (a stretch I know, but lets pretend), then there is the potential for so much animosity because there will have been someone left behind who could have specifically NOT fallen on bars. Same for anyone, really, but I really do not envy the pressure on any one of those girls.

  5. Just watched Day 2 and I can't believe they're taking Nastia to trials. I was willing to forgive USA Gymnastics for keeping Chellsie out of Nationals, seeing as she did mess up. But to exclude her for one bad routine, and then keep Nastia after she botches 3 out of 4? That reeks of favouritism.
    On the plus side, Bross nearly kept that Patterson together tonight! :)