Though Woo, born in 2000, is still a junior herself, she and Shallon Olsen have joined the senior ranks for domestic competitions this season in order to give them a bit of Olympic preparation. With Woo earning a 56.200 to top the all-around yet again, it seems the idea was a good one.
Edging Isabela Onyshko by just two tenths, Woo put up a strong DTY for a 14.7, and also showed some clean work on bars, earning a 13.85 for a routine that included a nice Tkatchev, pak, and double front dismount. With a 14.2 on beam and a 13.45 on floor, it was a very successful day for the 15-year-old, and if she competes like this again on Sunday, she should definitely find herself on top of the podium.
Onyshko lacks a DTY, so it’s a bit tough for her to keep up, though she did a tremendous job on Thursday. Her best event is still bars, as she earned a 14.5 after hitting her Maloney to clear hip full to Tkatchev, Hindorff to pak salto (the pak looks much improved compared to earlier this season!), van Leeuwen, and a double front dismount. She was otherwise relatively solid, totaling a 55.95, showing that she too can challenge for the gold medal.
The third contender is Ellie Black, who likely would have come out on top if it wasn’t for her tricky beam, where she had some errors (including a fall) and was only able to finish with a 12.6. Her Tsuk 1.5 looked great, however, and she brought in a 14.7 there. Otherwise, she had solid efforts on bars and floor, so if she hits beam this Sunday look for her to take home the crown.
Maegan Chant showed up looking much improved compared to earlier in the season, finishing 4th with a 54.350 with vault her standout event. Olsen, who turns 16 next year, also looked fantastic on vault, earning a 15.0 for her DTY and qualifying in 5th place with a 54.1 after hitting all four events. In 6th was Madison Copiak with a 53.750, and Victoria-Kayen Woo placed 7th with a 53.250.
Though Olsen and Rose Woo aren’t age-eligible for the upcoming Pan American Games, the others in this top all-around group all seem like valid options, as does Helody Cyrenne (who placed 8th with a 51.1 after an overall rough outing though she does have the potential to score 14+ on floor internationally). I’d also love to see Emilie Dumont get in for her lovely bars; she’s not the strongest all-arounder and did have errors on beam and floor, but her bars have a lot of potential and are the overall weakest event for the team. In fact, her 13.7 in qualifications was third best for seniors behind Onyshko and Black, so I could see her being a help there.
Brittany Rogers, the University of Georgia gymnast who made her return to elite at this meet with both her club coach and NCAA coach at her side, is also expected to help the team on bars, though she had a very rough qualifications meet. She earned a 12.5 on bars after falling after her bail and showing form errors throughout the rest of her routine, and then brought in just a 10.55 on beam, though her vault was decent, for a 14.1. I don’t know if she can legitimately contend for the Pan Ams team if she doesn’t show tremendous improvement in finals on Sunday, though considering she only just got back to training elite routines a couple of weeks ago, it wasn’t a bad outing.
In the junior field, Roberts currently leads with a 54.350 after hitting her impressive DTY in addition to some mostly solid routines elsewhere, including a 13.55 on floor. Jade Chrobok qualified second with a 53.8, including a huge 14.55 on beam, a score that tops both juniors and seniors on the event. She has a 6.0 start value and a fantastic presence there, and she also showed a very clean Yurchenko 1.5 for a 14.45.
Meixi Semple’s third place finish with a 53.350 was a bit of a surprise. Her past results haven’t been quite as strong as they were here, where she had a 14.0 for her FTY and a 13.9 on beam, also showing a 6.0 start value and though the control isn’t quite there as of yet, it’s an incredible start.
In 4th place was Laurie-Lou Vezina with a 52.250, in 5th was Laurie Denommee with a 51.450, in 6th was Haley de Jong with a 50.750, in 7th was Sonita Zlobec with a 50.700, and in 8th was Meaghan Ruttan with a 50.250. Ruttan had a rough day on bars, beam, and floor; with hit routines in finals she could challenge for the podium, so don’t count her out just yet!
Finals for both juniors and seniors will take place on Sunday May 31. Full results from the Championships are available here.
Article by Lauren Hopkins
Photo is Megan Roberts