The juniors – especially frontrunner Jordan Chiles – still have an anxiety-riddled four hours ahead of them before finding out how they placed due to a second group of junior elites competing in the senior session.
But the junior session itself has come to an end and we’re excited to share with you our favorite routines.
1. Alyona Shchennikova – Uneven Bars – 13.1 (5.3/7.8)
Shchennikova shows so much potential with this routine! That big Tkatchev, her inbar stalder work, that lovely double layout…she does give a bit away on her form (flexed feet, bent elbows, not always hitting the handstands) but she has lovely lines and a very elegant style.
2. Maile O’Keefe – Balance Beam – 14.35 (5.8/8.55)
One of the best routines in the meet, in my opinion. A few bobbles, but her form is excellent. Her leaps and jumps are lovely, she has some very fluid combinations, and she’s so young, this is something she can continue to upgrade.
3. Jordan Chiles – Floor Exercise – 13.95 (5.7/8.25)
Her tumbling is spectacular, and overall I think her presentation is great. It’s gonna be interesting to see what she can do with her routine as she gets older and stronger!
4. Olivia Dunne – Floor Exercise – 13.3 (5.1/8.2)
Probably one of my favorite floor routines of the session…her tumbling isn’t as huge as you’ll see in other routines but she controls it very nicely and I love her combination of music and choreography, especially how the two complement each other and how she has so much presence for an eleven-year-old.
5. Jordan Chiles – Vault – 14.9 (5.8/9.1)
Chiles is one of only six juniors in this session vaulting a double Yurchenko, and hers was the best by leaps and bounds. She gets a great block and is pretty clean, with her rebounded landing the only issue.
6. Deanne Soza – Uneven Bars – 14.2 (5.6/8.6)
Her difficulty may not be out of this world, but her routine’s also not full of the same old skills we always see. She has a great Ray, a unique straddleback half, an inbar stalder shoot to high which I think I’ve only ever seen Kyla Ross compete, and a full-twisting double layout…what a routine.
7. Maile O’Keefe – Floor Exercise – 14.1 (5.4/8.7)
Definitely one of the strongest junior floor routines even if the difficulty isn’t sky high. Like Dunne, she knows how to control her tumbling, which is better than just chucking big skills for the sake of your start value. She also performs very well.
8. Marissa Oakley – Uneven Bars – 13.35 (5.0/8.55)
Like Soza, this routine isn’t the most difficult among the juniors, but she packs in a TON of incredible skills and connections, like that stalder half to straddle Jaeger, her gorgeous pak, and an awesome double double dismount, the only one competed by a U.S. gymnast!
9. Morgan Hurd – Balance Beam – 13.6 (4.7/8.9)
SUCH a gorgeous routine…I’m pretty sure this was the best-executed beam routine of the day. Her flight series is excellent, and she almost looks like she’s performing to the floor music. Love everything about this, especially that 2.5 dismount.
10. Jordan Chiles – Balance Beam – 14.4 (5.6/8.8)
Speaking of awesome beam routines, how about Chiles? That flight series is incredible, and she’s just so steady the entire time she’s up there. It’s hard to believe how strong she’s gotten over the past year!
11. Delanie Harkness – Uneven Bars – 13.75 (5.2/8.55)
This was an excellent little routine…look at that Gienger!! Her lines are also very nice and it’s fun to see John Geddert coaching an elite again! I love his reaction to her awesome dismount.
12. Rachel Baumann – Balance Beam – 14.45 (5.6/8.85)
Wow. She is a diva on this event, just like big sister Alyssa. The side aerial to the loso is so quick, her leaps are gorgeous, and I love how quickly she twists in her 2.5 dismount.
13. Megan Skaggs – Uneven Bars – 14.1 (5.6/8.5)
Including this one because I don’t think I’ve ever loved Skaggs on this event, but today she was outstanding! I can see where she’d get deductions for form, but overall I think it’s great, and I love that stuck double front.
14. Christina Desiderio – Floor Exercise – 13.9 (5.7/8.2)
Definitely deductions in this routine, but once she cleans up, this has so much potential. I personally don’t love the music but she looks like she’s having fun and her tumbling is huge.
15. Victoria Nguyen – Floor Exercise – 14.0 (5.7/8.4)
That triple full is a little insane – she looks like she wants to keep going! – but overall I love this routine from the music to the choreography and how much talent she has for tumbling, and I can’t wait to see her evolve from here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins