Simone Biles Defends U.S. National Title

biles

Simone Biles of World Champions Centre won the all-around title at the 2014 P&G Championships, earning a 122.55 to easily defend her title.

Kyla Ross from Gym-Max took the silver medal with a 118.3, while Twin City Twisters’ Maggie Nichols earned the bronze with a 117.9.

In addition to the crowning of the champions, the 2014-2015 U.S. senior women’s national team was named. The team included Biles, Ross, and Nichols in addition to Alyssa Baumann, MyKayla Skinner, Amelia Hundley, Madison Kocian, Ashton Locklear, Brenna Dowell, and Madison Desch.

The 2014 Senior Pan American Championships team was also named, and included Baumann, Desch, Hundley, Kocian, Locklear, Nichols, and Skinner.

In addition to her gold, Biles also won Athlete of the Year, her coach Aimee Boorman won Coach of the Year, and Lexie Priessman won Sportsperson of the Year, an honor voted on by the athletes competing.

1. Simone Biles, World Champions Centre, 122.550

Biles began her night on floor, earning a 15.5 for an incredible routine that included a double double, double layout half-out, double layout, and full-in. All of her passes were rebounded back (aside from the Biles, which had a hop forward) but it was a magnificent performance.

The Amanar was Biles’ first vault, and it was as powerful, clean, and quickly twisted as we always see, earning a 15.9. The Lopez looked just as clean and almost stuck; the only big problem was that it was landed slightly off to the left, though she still brought in a 15.525.

On bars, she hit her Weiler kip, Maloney with leg separation, toe full to Tkatchev to pak salto, and a stuck full-in for a 14.75…a good effort on an event that’s not her best.

Beam wasn’t the best for Biles, who had a rough wolf 2.5 and fell on her side aerial. She hit a great bhs loso loso, however, as well as a switch to switch half to back pike, punch front, and full in for a 14.6.

Today’s all-around score was a 60.75. With a fall.

2. Kyla Ross, Gym-Max, 118.300

Ross had a much better day on floor this time around, hitting her double arabian to stag (she took out the whip, wisely), a double pike, a 1.5 to front full, and stuck double tuck, which she gracefully lunged out of after sticking to earn a 14.8, huge for her on this event but her execution was nearly flawless.

She vaulted a DTY with a lower block she’s been getting this week, but mostly clean form aside from the slight hip pike at the end. Her landing was also a little deeper than we saw in training earlier this evening, but she still earned a 15.2.

On bars, she came back from her disappointing Thursday performance with an awesome set, hitting her Maloney to pak salto, a clean van Leeuwen, a toe half to straddle Jaeger, a toe full to bail to toe shoot, and a near-stuck double layout for an even 15.0.

She finished on beam with a gorgeous routine, earning a 15.35 for her punch tuck to wolf jump, solid bhs loso, switch ring, side somi, switch to back tuck, clean side aerial, and a double tuck with a hop.

Her all-around total for the day was a 60.35.

3. Maggie Nichols, Twin City Twisters, 117.900

Watching Nichols on beam, I thought “how did this girl go from good to fantastic between Italy/Japan and this summer!?” She always reminds me of Aly Raisman in 2010, except now I think she’s way better than Raisman was back then. She competed a lovely front aerial to sissone to split jump, a solid bhs loso, a switch rung, and a double pike dismount for a solid 14.75.

On floor, she nailed both her double layout and piked full-in to start. Both were landed well, though the full-in did have some issues with leg form. She also wasn’t entirely clean in her 1.5 through to double back but again landed it well, and she nearly stuck her double pike to finish for a 14.45.

She hit one of her best DTYs ever on vault, looking clean in the air until just before her landing and nearly sticking it despite doing it a little over to the right for a 15.1.

On bars, she started out nicely with a toe full Maloney and straddle Jaeger. Her Church was good but she connected to a closely-caught pak salto which she had to muscle into before the toe on, though she did it expertly. A mistake like that could have caused most people to come off the bars. She is laser-focused, however, and hit her van Leeuwen and awesome double layout to finish with a 14.95.

Her all-around total for the day was a huge 59.25.

4. Alyssa Baumann, WOGA, 116.100

Beginning on beam, Baumann nailed her standing arabian to applause. The rest of her routine was gorgeous, as she continued with a switch ring, bhs loso, front aerial to split jump, Onodi, sissone to straddle jump, and a 2.5 with a hop forward for a 15.15.

On floor she hit a great double layout with just a hop before sticking her double tuck cold. She had her usual helicopter legs on her slightly underrotated triple full, and took a step back on her double pike for a 14.45.

She vaulted a mostly clean DTY, just losing form a bit towards the end and landing a little deep for a 14.9.

Unfortunately, she began her bars routine with a fall on her toe full to Maloney. She hit it the second time, following it with a messy pak salto, messy van Leeuwen, huge straddle Jaeger, and a half-in half-out dismount for her 13.2.

Her all-around score for the second day is a 57.7.

5. MyKayla Skinner, Desert Lights, 115.450

Skinner’s floor routine was one of her best outings. She still showed some form issues in her layout double double, but hit it within the boundaries before hitting her double double (hopped back), her full-in, hopped forward), and her 1.5 through to 2.5 for a 15.1 with a 6.6 difficulty score.

On vault, she competed the Cheng to earn a 15.4. It was much better than we saw in practice today, but she whipped her hand up really fast on the block and was slightly piked as she landed. Her second vault was a powerful and clean DTY, though maybe a bit too powerful because she hopped back about two feet on the landing for a 15.1. I mean, she trains the Amanar, so she’s used to coming on with a lot more power!

Skinner had the best uneven bar I think she’s ever done, looking messy on some skills but performing well overall to earn a 13.2. She hit her van Leeuwen with leg separation, a toe full to huge Tkatchev, a Ray, a really clean bail, and a near-stuck full-in. Her execution seemed a bit low – especially since this routine was a million percent better than her day one routine and the execution difference was only a couple of tenths.

On beam, Skinner hit a bhs to tuck full, switch to switch half to back tuck, side aerial to sissone, full  L turn, and double tuck dismount with a hop for a 14.2.

Her all-around score today was a 57.9.

6. Amelia Hundley, Cincinnati, 112.200

Hundley started her night with a great beam routine, nailing her wolf hop to front aerial to sissone, her switch side half, her punch front to split jump, and her double tuck dismount for a 14.1. It was a very nice routine for her, showing a lot of control.

On floor, Hundley stuck her double layout and nailed her 2.5 to punch front layout. Her double pike was a bit underrotated, but her double tuck looked much better than in night one, just slightly rebounding it back. She earned a 14.0.

Hundley vaulted an FTY, though according to the vault board, was supposed to do a DTY so something must have gone wrong; she hit with a hop for a 13.9.

On bars, she earned a nice 14.5 for a routine that included a toe full to Maloney, big Jaeger, Ricna, pak salto, and a hit dismount.

Her all-around score for the day was a 56.5.

7. Madison Desch, GAGE, 111.200

This was one of Desch’s better beam routines to start out the night, as she nailed her bhs bhs layout to start. Her punch front tuck was solid, as were her front aerial, side somi, and switch half. She took a step forward on her double tuck dismount for a 14.2 score.

On floor, Desch competed a double arabian hopped out of bounds for her first pass. Her second was a nice 1.5 to Rudi, followed by a double pike and a messy triple with her foot landing out of bounds. The lack of attention to landings brought 0.6 in neutral deductions, giving her a 13.55 on what could have been a 14+ score with landings inside.

She vaulted a DTY, and though her block was a bit low after coming on to the table a bit too high, she landed it – albeit a deep and messy landing – for a 14.5.

On bars, she had a messy routine with mistakes in her handstands on the high bar though she covered up well for the most part. She did an inbar, stalder full, Chow to clean pak salto, Chow half, stalder half, piked Jaeger, and a low full-in that gave Al Fong a nervous breakdown. Her score was a 12.95.

Her all-around score for today was a 55.2.

8. Macy Toronjo, Texas Dreams, 109.150

On floor, Toronjo showed a captivating routine with a full-twisting double tuck, 1.5 through to double full, double pike into a lunge, and a double tuck. It was a great routine, earning a 13.95. She is so beautiful to watch…I can’t wait to see her with some Miss Val choreography when she gets to UCLA.

Toronjo vaulted a gorgeous FTY, not getting much height or distance but looking perfectly straight throughout and landing right on the line to earn a 13.75.

She hit her bar routine, competing an Endo half, Maloney, Tkatchev, stalder, clean bail, and a double layout dismount hopped forward for a 12.95.

On beam, Toronjo earned a 13.7 for a routine that included a punch front tuck and double full dismount.

Her all-around score for the day was a 54.35.

9. Felicia Hano, Gym-Max, 84.750

Floor was an excellent outing for Hano, who had the smoothest double layout I’ve ever seen from her. She also nailed her double pike, a near-stuck double full, and a double tuck for a 13.75.

She stuck her DTY on vault with mostly clean form; her legs coming apart as she landed was the only issue and it wasn’t as big as we’ve seen…but it was fantastic and earned a 14.9.

On beam, she finished nicely with a 14.2 on a routine that included a punch front tuck, bhs loso, and double pike with a step for a 14.2.

10. Madison Kocian, WOGA, 60.000

Kocian began her night with a lovely beam routine, earning a 14.55 for her effort. She had a lovely standing arabian and switch ring, had a check between her front aerial and sheep jump, hit her bhs loso and side aerial, and then stumbled back her double pike dismount landing.

On bars, Kocian competed a Chow, a pak salto with messy legs to a Chow half, an inbar half to huge straddle Jaeger, and a near-stuck full-in dismount for a huge 15.5.

11. Ashton Locklear, Everest, 59.100

On beam, Locklear started out with a fall on her opening side aerial to layout stepout series, a combination she struggled with earlier this week as well. She came back nicely to hit her punch front tuck, full L turn, side somi, switch to switch half, and a high double tuck dismount with a step. She was awarded a 13.55 for her effort.

Bars were great, though not her best, as she only brought in a 15.2 for a lower difficulty routine than we normally see. She did her inbar full without connecting it to the Komova II to pak salto to Maloney to bail to Ray. Her Jaeger was hit, and her full-in was low…though she seems to have stuck it for a nice finish.

12. Nica Hults, Texas Dreams, 56.900

Beginning on bars, Hults hit her full pirouette to Maloney to bail to Ray, a huge Jaeger, and though she looked like she came off a little early before the full-out, she hit it with a step for a 14.35.

On beam, Hults hit a great series, a punch front tuck, a switch ring, and a side aerial before stumbling her 2.5 dismount forward for a 13.75.

13. Brenna Dowell, GAGE, 29.050

Unfortunately, bars was a rough outing for Brenna, who hit her Ray and then the best Tweddle to Ehzova I’ve seen her do. However, she muscled a pirouette on the low bar which seemed to shake her up. She hit the Maloney and giant full and the Church, but didn’t connect the Church to her pak salto and it sounded like her feet or heels brushed the ground. She finished with her van Leeuwen and a good landing on her double layout for a 13.65.

EVENT RESULTS

Vault

1. Simone Biles, 31.025
2. MyKayla Skinner

Uneven Bars

1. Ashton Locklear, 31.050
2. Madison Kocian, 30.750
3. Maggie Nichols, 29.400

Balance Beam

1. Kyla Ross, 30.550
2. Simone Biles, 30.300
Alyssa Baumann, 30.300

Floor Exercise

1. Simone Biles, 31.150
2. MyKayla Skinner, 30.000
3. Maggie Nichols, 29.000

Article by Lauren Hopkins
Photo thanks to USA Gymnastics

18 thoughts on “Simone Biles Defends U.S. National Title

  1. Pingback: U.S. National Team — Gymnastics Coaching.com

  2. Pingback: U.S. National Team | Gymnastics News Network.

  3. It kind of makes me wonder who they are actually going to have as alternate for Pan Ams. The only other athletes from the National Team are Biles, Ross and Dowell. No point taking Dowell as an alternate as she can only work bars unless anything changes. I kind of got the impression that Marta would want to save Ross and Biles until worlds. They may as well not bother.

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  4. At the beginning of the year, everyone talked so much about the US’s depth – which I feel is still greater than all other countries… but we certainly lost so much of it this year. Price, Ohashi, and Finnegan retired from elite. Maroney, Raisman and Douglas did not return to competition. Gowey, Priessman and potentially Ernst (?) are out from injury. Vega remains sidelined from injury. On top of that, many of the top gymnasts that remain are dealing dealing with some kind of nagging injury, Baumann (elbow), Biles (shoulder), Ross (back), Kocian and Dowell (ankle).

    I think any team sent to worlds will be strong and probably would still be the favorite for taking home team gold – but it wont be nearly as dominant as it could have been if any number of these gymnasts remained in or returned to the field.

    There is usually one major injury per competition, so I’m hoping no one goes down at Pan Ams.

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  5. With Felicia Hano named to the national team today, the only girls that competed in the senior field that did not get added to the team are Macy and Nica, the Texas Dreams girls. I am still shocked that Regan wasn’t added to the junior team.

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    • If I heard correctly on the broadcast, only the top 6 secured their spots at the competition (plus Bailie Key). The other 7 or 8 will be named at a later time. Don’t worry, Regan will be on it.

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    • If I heard correctly on the broadcast, only the top 6 girls (plus Bailie Key) qualify for the national team at the competition, and the other 8 will be chosen at a later time. Don’t worry, Regan will be on it.

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    • They don’t need to fund more than six juniors for the rest of the year because they don’t have any international competitions. They’ll add more juniors who prove readiness when it’s time to compete at Jesolo. Ragan will likely get added, as will maybe 2-4 others. People are forgetting that these spots are funded – seniors need the extra spots more than juniors because they have more pressing international team concerns. Juniors have literally nothing until Jesolo.

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  6. Wow. Intéressant.

    Felicia Hano named to national team over Nica Hults. Marta must really hate Nica, who’s been on the national team the previous year. Jenny Zhang must have more power and influence than Zmeskal. I thought KZB’s gymnasts get an automatic 0.8 bonus for being a Texas Dream?

    So the only Texas Dream member on the national team is Bailie Key, who didn’t compete. Okay, that makes sense.

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    • Nica isn’t at full health. If she did more than two events, she would have been added. They want Felicia’s VT/FX at Pan Ams. Alyssa would have contributed on everything but UB at Pan Ams, which is really Nica’s only event right now. Felicia makes more sense as a replacement for this particular competition at this particular point in time. Nica also made major mistakes internationally in Mexico last fall and has shown that she is inconsistent. She was good on bars this week, but they don’t need her bars at Pan Ams.

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  7. I would like to mention that I won bingo three times during the championships. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I really shouted “bingo!” being the only person in my apartment sitting in front of the computer. Yep.

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