Team Mexico Gets Ready for Pan Ams

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Mexico held a small closed competition to assist in the selection of the 2014 Pan American Championships team earlier this week.

It looks as though 2012 Olympian Elsa Garcia will headline a team that will also include Miriana Almeida, 2011 World Championship team member Alexa Moreno, Karla Retiz, Ahtziri Sandoval, and Amaranta Torres.

Noticeably missing from the videos was Ana Lago, who so impressed at the 2011 Pan American Games with her gold-winning floor routine and competed just vault and bars during this selection process. Lago, who was sidelined with a knee injury for the 2013 season, made her comeback at Mexican National Championships in May but didn’t have her full difficulty back, placing 11th in the all-around and 5th on the uneven bars. Her knee is still on the mend, but she hopes to be back for the selection process for World Championships.

Garcia looked solid on vault, showing off a Yurchenko 1.5 onto a soft surface, so the landing is a bit hard to judge, though I thought she got a great block and good height and distance and don’t think this vault will be a problem for her in competition.

On bars Garcia showed some lovely stalder work in addition to a gorgeous 1.5 pirouette to Jaeger, a Ray, a bail to Ray, and a double front dismount. Fantastic work.

Her beam work also looked fluid and clean, despite that fall on her bhs layout. Her leaps looked especially exquisite!

Finally, floor. It’s not my favorite of her routines, but her double layout is great and I could see this being a more captivating routine in front of a crowed as opposed to in an empty hall.

Moreno should easily make vault finals with her two . Her first vault, a front handspring Rudi, comes onto the table a bit too soon it seems, and she loses a bit of form in the air, so I’d be interested to see how this looks now on a competition surface.

Her second vault is the Tsuk full, and still isn’t perfectly executed but looks slightly cleaner and a bit more confident than the first.

Though not the most difficult routine, I thought this bar work from Torres, Mexico’s sole competitor at World Championships last year, showed promise. She had some problems across the board at Worlds, though looks a bit calmer this year and could be a strong presence for the team in Toronto.

Head over to YouTube for more videos from the Mexican selection competition.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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