Before the Classic was a Secret (remember how much the name confused everyone because we all thought there was going to be a secret pop-up meet or something? yeah, okay) held out in the middle of a cornfield, it was the CoverGirl Classic, held in a very small, very orange arena at the University of Illinois in Chicago. And it was a huge deal in 2010.
The senior all-around competition was a little stale with 2009 World gold and silver medalists Bridget Sloan and Rebecca Bross sticking to just bars and beam, but between the Alicia Sacramone comeback, Miss Val classing up the arena as the only coach in heels while Zam threw Chengs all over the place, and the true beginnings of the United States of Amanar, it was really a time we will never forget.
Something really cool about this competition is something we should keep in mind for this weekend…many who are on top at a mid-quad Classic will likely not be super successful two years down the line while girls you wouldn’t expect to be huge end up killing it.
Back in 2010, I knew Jordyn Wieber would make it to London, but everyone else I guessed was completely wrong. I know everyone loves doing prediction games super early on, but this was a time almost no one knew Gabby Douglas existed while we all thought Rebecca Bross would reign supreme for all eternity.
Just keep this in the back of your head this weekend. I’m not saying the junior who places 11th will become the 2016 Olympic gold medalist, but the girl who wins it all might not either.
I used the three highest vaults here, not the traditional vault medalist standard with two vaults and blah blah blah. I was roughly five feet from the vault table and thought it was going to break whenever Alicia exploded onto and off of it. I never think of Macko as a vaulter, but she actually had a pretty good DTY…I remember her team finals vault at Worlds and being shocked…and then Kytra, poor soul. I still think she should have gone to Worlds. I’ll explain later.
1. Alicia Sacramone (Brestyan’s) – 15.8
2. Mackenzie Caquatto (Legacy Elite) – 14.85
3. Kytra Hunter (Hill’s) – 14.8
For not being a good bars team, Bross and Macko really kind of killed it in 2010. Poor Brossy. Both because of everything that happened, and because Tim calls her the “hottest gymnast.” That inbar full to Tkatchev! Goodness me, that was lovely. Macko’s Church to pak!? It’s criminal that her bar routine at Florida had no skills/was the most boring routine on earth. Ugh, and Cassie! My favorite. SHE COMPETED A DOWNIE BEFORE IT WAS A DOWNIE!!! Shame she didn’t make it to Worlds that year.
1. Rebecca Bross (WOGA) – 15.45
2. Mackenzie Caquatto (Legacy Elite) – 15.05
3. Cassandra Whitcomb (Cincinnati) – 14.8
Remember when Alicia nailed her mount here and everyone was like “that is SUCH a slap in the face to the haters who are still upset about her Olympic team finals beam!” Except…that was Olympic team finals and this is a random mid-quad nationals qualifier, but sure, let’s just go with her sticking it to the haters. But it was freaking awesome, and basically all of her skills look too easy for her. Bridget had one of the steadiest routines I’ve ever seen in podium training, and her competition routine wasn’t so far off…and then Kytra really surprised me by hitting this as well as she did. Minus that 90 degree switch half. COME ON, KYTRA.
1. Alicia Sacramone (Brestyan’s) – 14.9
2. Bridget Sloan (Sharp’s) – 14.7
3. Kytra Hunter (Hill’s) – 14.65
Okay, so Worlds. I know Kytra and Mattie kind of went back and forth with who had the better floor this season, and I’m guessing at the ranch, Mattie showed she was the more consistent one, but I ALWAYS preferred Kytra’s routine…Mattie had her moments, but as Tim says, “Kytra is just like, kapow,” you know what I mean? ALSO KYTRA HAD A DLO FULL-IN, A PIKED DOUBLE ARABIAN, AND A DOUBLE ARABIAN TO FINISH. She was like the Skinner of 2010. I know hindsight is 20/20 and all, but I can’t help but wonder if gold could have happened with Kytra. SIGH, controversial, I know. At least Mattie was mesmerizing as a performer. Oh, and Cassie’s floor was magical. Like Kytra medaling on beam, you wouldn’t really expect Cassie to do it on floor, but she was so good even without a ton of difficulty. Also, it’s weird that two of these floor medalists have since medically retired while at UCLA.
1. Kytra Hunter (Hill’s) – 14.65
2. Mattie Larson (All Olympia) – 14.6
3. Cassandra Whitcomb (Cincinnati) – 14.35
And now for the juniors…
No, seriously, these Amanars though. Jordyn Wieber’s was to be expected, but then tiny little 13-year-old Lexie Priessman was like bam, while 14-year-old McKayla Maroney was like jealous? Honestly, I think both Priessman and Maroney were better than Wieber here, but Wieber was Wieber, which in 2010 was a very big deal. Unsurprisingly, Maroney and Wieber would go on to vault these very same vaults in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Side note, but in addition to these three, senior Aly Raisman was the only other gymnast to do the Amanar in 2010, except back then the Raismanar was more like 2.000001 twists instead of 2.4444449.
Sorry Mihai, let’s wait a couple years
1. Jordyn Wieber (Geddert’s) – 15.9
2. McKayla Maroney (All Olympia) and Lexie Priessman (Cincinnati) – 15.8
These were great, and I totally thought Madison Kocian was going to dominate the world for the next couple of years but then she disappeared. SO glad to have her back. This was also the year of Gabby and the infamous muscled stalder, which I remember to this day more than any of these routines, to be entirely honest. Jordyn really nails that full-twisting double layout, though, and BABY KATELYN IS LIFE.
1. Jordyn Wieber (Geddert’s) – 14.85
2. Katelyn Ohashi (WOGA) – 14.7
3. Madison Kocian (WOGA) – 14.6
DING DING DING, in two years, two of these medalists will do beam in the team final at the Olympic Games, WHO COULD HAVE KNOWN!? I mean, we always kinda knew Kyla would be there, but GABBY!? The juniors here were actually stronger than the seniors, and if everyone competed together (which would be great fun, honestly), Kyla and Katelyn would have been 1st and 2nd with Alicia in 3rd. Golly, remember seeing that layout full from Katelyn? That was a magical time, and ugh, Geddert watching Gabby, I just wanna tell him what the future will behold.
1. Kyla Ross (Gym-Max) – 15.25
2. Katelyn Ohashi (WOGA) – 15.05
3. Gabby Douglas (Excalibur) – 14.65
Man, I always forget how good Katelyn was on floor. You wouldn’t think she is but then she performs it and you’re like oh, yeah, even though we divide specialists into VT/FX and UB/BB, Katelyn actually was more like BB/FX with a strong, albeit not necessarily lovely, bars set. And SABRINA! I think this is when I fell in love. She was always so enchanting on this event, like she was the shy and quiet one but you could tell she had a little sassmonster inside. Oh, and again here, the juniors kicked some senior butt. I love that Jordyn’s music sounds like something the gang would have danced to at the Max on “Saved by the Bell.” DAT SAX.
1. Katelyn Ohashi (WOGA) – 14.75
2. Jordyn Wieber (Geddert’s) – 14.7
3. Sabrina Vega (Dynamic) – 14.3
Article by Lauren Hopkins