The 2016 P&G Championships Senior Day One Live Blog

Welcome to the live blog for the senior women’s session on day one at the P&G Championships! Refresh your browser every 3-5 minutes or so for the most recent updates, which will appear at the top.

11:03 pm. Day One Standings

1. Simone Biles 62.9
2. Aly Raisman 60.45
— Laurie Hernandez 60.45
4. Gabby Douglas 58.9
5. Madison Kocian 58.15
6. Amelia Hundley 57.85
7. MyKayla Skinner 57.55
8. Alyssa Baumann 56.95
9. Ragan Smith 56.85
10. Rachel Gowey 56.6
11. Brenna Dowell 56.2
12. Christina Desiderio 56.1
13. Emily Schild 55.5
14. Marz Frazier 55.4
15. Lexy Ramler 55.1
16. Olivia Trautman 54.85
17. Maggie Musselman 54.1
18. Abby Paulson 53.85
19. Emily Gaskins 53.75
20. Lauren Navarro 53.1
21. Kaitlin DeGuzman 52.45
22. Ashton Locklear 30.05
23. Maggie Nichols 28.5
24. Nia Dennis 14.5

10:57 pm. Laurie gets a 15.3 on beam to tie Aly with a 60.45! Madison gets a 14.5 on floor with a 58.15 AA. Alyssa 14.5 on floor for 56.95 AA.

10:51 pm. Hernandez BB- Punch front pike, great. Front aerial + sissone + split jump, lovely. Bhs + loso + loso is solid, the literal tiniest adjustment ever. Full turn. Sheep jump. Punch front tuck + wolf jump. Side aerial. She is an expert. Switch + switch half is her only issue, a little short. Switch ring. NBC has her in the picture for bars and floor but if anything, Hernandez will make the team for her beam routine 100%. Double pike with a slight step. AWESOME.

10:48 pm. Biles UB- Weiler half + Maloney, good handstand work. Toe full + Tkachev, good, piked Tkachev + pak is great but Tim is grunting for some reason. Ray to high. Good handstand before toe on + full-in, stuck. BAMF.

Dowell gets 13.25 on beam for a 56.2 AA. Schild 55.5. Frazier 55.4.

10:45 pm. Gabby gets a 14.8 on floor to finish with 58.9, Aly gets a 14.15 to finish with 60.45 which I *think* might be her best score since her comeback?! Someone fact check that. But yeah, this was a freaking FABULOUS day for Miss Aly. DAT CONFIDENCE.

Amelia Hundley finishes with 57.85 after a 14.8 on her DTY, MyKayla gets a 13.45 on bars for a 57.55, Gowey gets 56.6, Desiderio gets 56.1, Musselman gets 55.1, Trautman gets 54.85, Paulson gets 53.85, Navarro gets 53.1, DeGuzman gets 52.45.

10:43 pm. Raisman UB- Toe full is late, Maloney with leg sep + Tkachev with flexed feet, Jaeger, toe-on + bail + stalder full + Ray, lots of nervous moments but she’s getting there. Toe half to double front with a tiny hop. FINE. What a day.

Smith gets a 14.3 on beam to finish with a 56.85.

10:41 pm. Douglas FX- Skinner just caught a Tkachev in the background. Double arabian + stag and she looks pissed off. CHANGE YOUR FACE. This is a fun routine! Full-in + back tuck is good! Some sass in her face after that which is AWESOME. Get it subtle sassmonster. Sticks double pike and nearly sticks double tuck. Compared to her others, this was pretty damn solid.

10:38 pm. Smith BB- Lovely double wolf turn, switch to straddle jump, bhs + layout, has to break at the hips to hold on. Standing full with a big wobble. Step forward on punch front. Front aerial + pike jump. Sheep jump. NICE Patterson with a small hop back.

10:37 pm. Apparently Simone got a 15.95 on her Cheng!

10:36 pm. Locklear UB- Inbar full + Komova II + pak + Maloney + bail + Ray, all very nice. Toe half + Jaeger is lovely. Short handstand before dismount, full-in with a little step.

10:28 pm. Rotation Three

1. Simone Biles 47.8
2. Aly Raisman 46.3
3. Laurie Hernandez 45.15
4. MyKayla Skinner 44.1
— Gabby Douglas 44.1
6. Madison Kocian 43.65
7. Amelia Hundley 43.05
8. Brenna Dowell 42.95
9. Rachel Gowey 42.65
10. Ragan Smith 42.55
11. Alyssa Baumann 42.45
12. Christina Desiderio 41.65
— Marz Frazier 41.65
14. Emily Schild 41.5
— Emily Gaskins 41.5
— Lexy Ramler 41.5
17. Maggie Musselman 40.7
18. Olivia Trautman 40.25
19. Abby Paulson 40.2
20. Kaitlin DeGuzman 39.25
21. Lauren Navarro 38.9
22. Maggie Nichols 28.5
23. Nia Dennis 14.5
24. Ashton Locklear 14.45

10:26 pm. Laurie gets a 15.3 on bars, and Alyssa somehow gets a 15.0 on beam?!

10:25 pm. Baumann BB- Standing arabian with a wobble. Front aerial + sissone. Bhs + loso + loso, great. Switch + switch half, the latter is SO off and she bobbles the landing. Full turn. Switch ring with a wobble. Side aerial. Double pike with her chest down. She’s not thrilled.

10:22 pm. Hernandez UB- I missed everything up to the Tkachev, but it was all hit, Downie, Ricna + pak, all so good. Endo half + Ray, short on handstand before full-in which is stuck. WHO NEEDS A BARS SPECIALIST when you can have an extra all-arounder?

“Nastia, why are we challenged on the uneven bars?” “I’m not sure.” GREAT BANTER.

Brenna got a 14.05 on bars. 😦

10:20 pm. Some scores…14.2 for Gabby’s beam, 14.3 for Amelia’s floor aka she’s showing some TRUE ALTERNATE POTENTIAL HERE, 14.9 for Rachel’s bars which is fabulous, 14.8 for Ragan’s bars which is also quite fab, 14.2 for Christina’s beam, 14.65 for Emily Schild’s DTY, 14.5 for Emily Gaskins’ DTY, 13.7 for Lexy’s bars, 14.3 for Olivia’s floor, 13.05 for Kaitlin’s floor.

10:19 pm. Biles VT- Cheng is GREAT and her chest is SO UP. WOWSERS. HAI OLYMPIC VAULT GOLD. 16.0 for her Amanar, by the way.

10:18 pm. Biles VT- Huge Amanar, with a hop forward. YAS. Aly got a 15.35 for her Amanar, btw, which seems pretty fair.

10:15 pm. Douglas BB- Good punch front, nails bhs + loso. Standing full with the tiniest little step. Wobble on her full turn, front aerial to jump series is good. I missed a couple of things in there but no problems. Double pike a little close to the beam and with a deep landing but she made it through.

10:14 pm. Raisman VT- Amanar, same knee bend in the air, and a step to the side with one foot out-of-bounds. For her, that’s great though. First twist is good at least.

10:13 pm. Smith UB- Jaeger is good. Stalder + Ricna, nice pak, Ray to high, short before stalder full into full-in, good distance but no height…still hits it, though.

10:10 pm. Skinner VT- She gets a 15.2 for the Amanar. Now it’s time for the Cheng. Much better than her Amanar. Clean in the air, great landing.

HOW did Ashton outscore Madison on beam?! No way, Jose. Madison gets a 14.4, by the way.

10:08 pm. Skinner VT- She’s had a good day so far. Amanar, good rotation but she’s leaning a little bit backwards on the landing, and has to step out. Yeah, in slo-mo the rotation actually isn’t that good, and she doesn’t open up soon enough at all. She’s still facing sideways when she should be opening up.

10:06 pm. Kocian BB- Awesome work on her standing arabian. Bobble on switch ring. Bhs + loso with a sliiiight adjustment. Front aerial + sheep, shouldn’t be credited as a connection. Side aerial. She is WORKING her toe point. Sissone + split jump. Little check on full turn. They’re discussing Madison’s fragile bird bones. She can literally only compete like 8 weeks total for the entire year, every year. Switch leap. Nails double pike, tiny hop. Some tiny errors but overall that’s one of her better routines. Probably her best of the season, since WOGA was wobbly and she fell at Classics.

10:05 pm. So Gabby hasn’t done a second release in her routine all quad so I don’t know what Timmy D is so upset about but since Timmy usually watches the training really closely and has a great memory for that stuff, it’s possible she worked one into her routine in training! Either that or everyone is on drugs.

10:03 pm. Right now my team is for sure 900% Simone, Aly, Gabby, and Laurie. A bars specialist could go in the last spot, but honestly anyone could go there and they’d be pretty much fine. I would prefer Maggie if she’s healthy in that last spot, but would also be happy with Madison.

9:59 pm. Rotation Two

1. Simone Biles 31.8
2. Aly Raisman 30.95
3. Gabby Douglas 29.9
4. Laurie Hernandez 29.85
5. Madison Kocian 29.25
6. Brenna Dowell 28.9
— MyKayla Skinner 28.9
8. Amelia Hundley 28.75
9. Maggie Nichols 28.5
10. Marz Frazier 28.2
11. Lexy Ramler 27.8
12. Ragan Smith 27.75
— Rachel Gowey 27.75
14. Alyssa Baumann 27.45
— Christina Desiderio 27.45
16. Emily Gaskins 27.0
17. Maggie Musselman 26.9
18. Emily Schild 26.85
19. Abby Paulson 26.25
20. Kaitlin DeGuzman 26.2
21. Olivia Trautman 25.95
22. Lauren Navarro 25.8
23. Nia Dennis 14.5
24. Ashton Locklear 14.45

9:58 pm. Maggie gets a 13.9 on beam. 13.65 for Marz Frazier on bars. 13.25 for Christina Desiderio on bars.

9:57 pm. In the slow motion her hand doesn’t touch the beam 100% so that’s good!

9:55 pm. Nichols BB- 2.5 wolf turn is shaky and I think she touches but I don’t think judges always see when a gymnast grabs the beam on a wolf turn. Whoops. A tiny bit shaky after the turn, wobble on side aerial, solid bhs + loso though. Switch leap. Nearly stuck double pike with her chest down. Not a great routine but she wouldn’t be used there primarily anyway. Glad to see she no longer has two wolf turns in there.

9:54 pm. Gabby gets a 15.1 with the mistakes and missed skill, Kaitlin DeGuzman gets a 12.0 on beam, and a huge 15.6 for Aly on floor!!

9:53 pm. Raisman FX- 1.5 + double arabian + layout is GOLDEN. Double L turn, dos Santos to stag with great control, I love this leo on her. Double layout, HUGE. Slight bounce back. Double pike with a slight hop. Ugh ALY you are KILLING ME. ❤

Ooh, MyKayla Skinner got a 14.7 on floor! Her best of the year by a lot…she’s been slacking there. Can’t wait for video of that.

9:52 pm. Douglas UB- Toe full is late, misses connection to piked Tkachev to pak, inbar half + Endo half + Chow half, toe-on, double layout stuck. Didn’t do her second release but probably just wanted to play it safe so she wouldn’t screw up further after what happened at the beginning.

9:50 pm. I mean, I guess compared to her 15.7 or whatever at Classics, that score was about on par with how the bars judges tend to be, aka…crazy. But…no.

9:47 pm. 14.05 for Lexy Ramler on vault (Yurchenko 1.5 I think), Brenna Dowell does a DTY and gets a 14.75, 14.5 for Rachel Gowey’s DTY, 13.85 for Emily Gaskins on floor, 13.55 for Olivia Trautman on beam, and Madison somehow gets a 15.45 on bars. Hahahaha.

9:45 pm. Kocian UB- Inbar full, misses connection to rest of series, Komova II + pak caught close + Chow half, inbar half + Jaeger, late on half pirouette before stalder + stalder full + full-in STUCK. Definitely not the best.

9:44 pm. Simone gets a 16.1 on floor! Amelia Hundley gets 14.05 on beam, 14.65 for Ragan’s vault, 12.75 for Alyssa’s bars, 12.25 for Abby Paulson’s beam.

9:43 pm. Smith VT- DTY is a little short, not great but passable. This leo is CRAZY and I love it. It’s SO Addams Family and fits the them of her floor super well. They’re great at presentation.

9:42 pm. “I forgot my dance!” – 10x world champion Simone Biles

9:41 pm. Biles FX- Full-twisting double layout is great. Biles is awesome. Sticks double double COLD. Sticks full-in cold. This is gonna be a 16.

9:39 pm. Laurie gets a 15.05. Aly’s beam score bumped up to 15.35 and D from 6.3 to 6.5 so she definitely didn’t get the E credit for the layout until an inquiry. Well, she and 99% of the others who do it won’t get credit at the Olympics, so might as well just pretend she got a 15.15 and a 6.3 D.

9:38 pm. Baumann UB- Chow + pak, toe full with leg sep + Maloney + bail (leg sep) + Ray is short and she taps her hands on the bar but doesn’t catch. Fall. Jaeger, late pirouette, double layout with her chest forward and a step.

9:37 pm. Hernandez VT- DTY, great, right down the middle and with a solid landing. Form in the air still isn’t the cleanest but that’s being nit picky…leg sep on pre-flight, legs come apart a little near the end.

9:30 pm. Rotation One

1. Simone Biles 15.7
2. Aly Raisman 15.15
3. Gabby Douglas 14.8
— Laurie Hernandez 14.8
5. Alyssa Baumann 14.7
— Amelia Hundley 14.7
7. Maggie Nichols 14.6
8. Marz Frazier 14.55
9. Ashton Locklear 14.45
10. Kaitlin DeGuzman 14.2
— Christina Desiderio 14.2
— MyKayla Skinner 14.2
13. Brenna Dowell 14.15
14. Abby Paulson 14.0
15. Emily Schild 13.95
16. Madison Kocian 13.8
17. Lexy Ramler 13.75
18. Maggie Musselman 13.6
19. Rachel Gowey 13.25
20. Emily Gaskins 13.15
21. Ragan Smith 13.1
22. Olivia Trautman 12.4
23. Lauren Navarro 12.2
24. Nia Dennis 0.0

9:29 pm. Maggie closes out the rotation with a 14.6 on bars.

9:28 pm. Aly gets a 15.15!! MyKayla Skinner hits beam for a 14.2. Rachel Gowey gets a 13.25 on floor.

9:27 pm. Nichols UB- Toe full + Maloney + pak + van Leeuwen, very clean. Short handstand before toe-on + toe half + straddle Jaeger (slight flex in her feet), stuck double layout. YAS.

9:25 pm. Raisman BB- Punch front pike + wolf jump, nicely connected. Knees in pike could be cleaner. Bhs + layout is very clean though. Switch + back tuck, sissone + pike jump, clean side aerial. Her confidence is through the roof. Switch half. Punch front tuck + split jump, full L turn + full pirouette, Patterson, STUCK!!!!! ALYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

9:24 pm. Only a 13.1 for Ragan on floor. 😦 Laurie’s floor, meanwhile, is raised from 14.7 to 14.8.

9:22 pm. Ragan Smith apparently only did a 1.5 to roundoff on floor…and didn’t go into the triple! I’m sure our friends at USA Gym will upload that routine soon so we can see what went wrong. 😦

9:21 pm. Gabby gets a 14.8 on vault, Ashton gets a 14.45 on beam which is pretty generous. Emily Gaskins 13.15 on beam. Olivia Trautman 12.4 on bars.

9:20 pm. Douglas VT- Excellent DTY in the air but the landing has a big bounce back. But she’s almost dead center. Christian’s thrilled.

9:18 pm. Locklear BB- Wobbly on double wolf turn. Bhs + loso with her typically awkward knees. Punch front + split jump. L turn + opposite direction full pirouette, side somi, side aerial + split jump + wolf jump, switch + switch side + back tuck, wobble and leg up. Double tuck with a step.

9:17 pm. Laurie gets a 14.7, Madison gets a 13.8 so because they take off three tenths for seniors as an FTY penalty in the U.S. at domestic meets, that’s really like a 14.1 internationally.

9:16 pm. Kocian VT- FTY here because she’s getting back from injury, but she’ll do the DTY at Trials. Clean vault with a fantastic landing. Her leo reminds me of the French national team leo!

9:15 pm. 15.7 for Simone on beam! 14.15 for Brenna on floor. 13.95 for Emily Schild on beam.

9:12 pm. Hernandez FX- Double layout with a little hop back. This is definitely my least favorite of her music I think, and some of the recycled choreo doesn’t fit. Double arabian to stag is great. Front lay + front double full + front tuck is good. I do love that little part where she blows a kiss. Double tuck with a hop back but keeps it in. Great work from her, as usual!

14.7 for Amelia Hundley on bars! Also 14.7 for Alyssa Baumann on vault.

9:10 pm. Biles BB- I also loooooove THIS leo. 2.5 wolf turn, control isn’t the greatest but not bad either. Hits jump series easily. Barani with a slight check at her hips. Nails bhs + loso + loso. Punch front + sissone is steady. Switch + switch half + back pike, zero hesitation. Front aerial + wolf jump. We are watching brilliance yo. Full-in with a hop back. And then a smile like “yep.”

9:06 pm. Dowell FX- LOVE this leo. New music! I love it. Front layout to double front with a hop. Double L turn. Dowell to stag, yas! 1.5 to front full with a slight stumble right into the corner. Front double full, rotation a little off. Some issues with landings but a good start. Armine is like “seriously?”

9:00 pm. The seniors are starting any second now! Stay tuned!

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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81 thoughts on “The 2016 P&G Championships Senior Day One Live Blog

  1. Ragan did the “Grishina” on the 1 1/2 to triple; her hands kinda slipped on the round off or she did not have the right angle to push it and keep going. She had just gone out of bounds with both her feet on the double layout, that probably made her a bit nervous.

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  2. Gabby hasn’t done a second release in her comeback. I just went and watched her routines at Classics and Worlds last year since people were talking about missing a release and I was thinking maybe I just didn’t remember, and neither had a second one.

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      • the only reason i thought she was addign a release was because both YOU and TIM said she was — i’d seen every routine she’s done that’s been posted on youtube and she hadn’t added a release — so i was a bit confused..THAT SAID, if tim saw she had put in an extra release, maybe she did ?

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      • According to this article after american cup Gabby said she had a huge release planned in her bar routine. Also in the PT videos she didn’t do the inbar at the end, which made me think she ahd another skill prepared. But maybe we are all going batshit. WHO KNOWS

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    • Sadly. Bailie’s back injury kept her from training to potential. I was heartbroken for Key. Bailie was my favorite of the All Arounders at last years P&G. She’s so pretty to watch on all the events. Kim made the sad announcement on Twitter.

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  3. Without a doubt my Olympic Team would be tonight’s Top 5 All-Arounders.
    1.Simone Biles
    2.Aly Raisman
    3.Laurie Hernandez
    4.Gabby Douglas
    5. Madison Kocian
    With this team, you get a ton of coverage on all four events!

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    • Yeah, I’m right there but from what I’ve heard Maggie is going to be a big threat for the last spot which will be interesting. I could see either going…and honestly the team is so far ahead of everyone else, it wouldn’t matter who went.

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      • I like Maggie but the only reason I could see her making this team is if she has an all around set strong enough to beat Douglas and that’s a tall order to do considering the extent of her injury. She’ll have to be amazing in my opinion!

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      • Just curious if that’s info from friends or general media info? Because if even if she cleans up everything, she really isn’t top 3 on any events. I like Maggie – and with Regan having an off night, Maggie’s odds are better. But do you think Marta would take another all-arounder over a specialist with a maybe medal chance? Honestly, at this point a team of just Simone, Aly, Gabby, and Laurie would win.

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    • With a healthy Maggie who is back to her usual self, I don’t see a need for Gabby on this team at all. She doesn’t stand out on any event anymore and her AA potential is slipping.

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      • Uneven bars. Everyone is trying to kick Gabby off but the fact of the matter is her usual self is better than Maggie’s usual self. Maggie is unusable on bars and beam. She won’t make the team unless she nails two Amanars at trials.

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      • I’m with you. If Maggie is back fighting fit on vault and floor, to me it makes way more sense to bring her for the leg events and lead off UB than Gabby for just UB.

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      • If they bring Maggie for the leg events and use Gabby for just bars, why not bring Madison, who has a higher scoring potential and does all around

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  4. If we have a Simone, Aly, Gabby, Laurie, Maggie team, who do you think Marta will have do the AA in quals? I’d honestly have Simone, Aly, and Laurie. But I could actually see Marta using just Simone, Aly, Laurie, and Gabby in quals and just using Maggie in TF maybe?

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    • Yeah I was thinking about it similar to worlds last year where she picked Aly over Maggie on bars in the QF even though Maggie was miles better…just to get Aly in there for AA. Then Maggie went in on everything in TF. It’s a smart strategy.

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      • I think Ashton has made herself a big contender for the team, she’s consistent out scored Madison on bars
        and beam
        and with the depth of the team, it’s not like they could use Kocian anywhere else and would contribute more on bars than Maggie could on the leg events and bars combined. And it would make lineups for qualification easier haha. Hopefully after night 2 and Olympic trials it’ll be easier. Do you think Ragen kind of screwed over her chances? Because she was already in a tight spot coming in and it seems to me she’s becoming less consistent and getting lower scores as the season progresses rather than the opposite. My team is Simone, Aly, Gabby, Laurie and Ashton. Although I think that if Gabby doesn’t do the Amanar than Maggie could slip in there if she has an Amanar maybe? I’m not sure.

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      • But if the team is Aly, Gabby, Laurie, Simone and a bar specialist who would you think they would put up for bars in quals? Simone has to be there because of the AA, and Madison/Ashton also because they are medal contenders. Surely Laurie and Gabby can put up the highest scores, but someone will not be able to do AA Finals. Either Gabby or Aly (Gabby IMO).

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    • I don’t think Ragan has necessarily been getting lower scores lately. She has made a couple of mistakes that hurt her. Both feet out of bounds, MISSING the triple twist, etc. Today was not a good day for her and it’s her worst Aa score since 2014. Classics was because she touched her knee and this performance? Yeah tonight was not her best and I don’t think she helped her chances. Messing up on her two best events. The only way I could see her making the team is if she had a killer day 2 with a 60+ AA score, 15.4+ Beam and 15+ floor with a high fourteen on bars, a 15 would help. Vault doesn’t really matter, but if she has days like what I just named for nationals and both days of trials, it’s a long shot and I think it depends on others and Martha.

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      • Ragen did really well at Jesolo, got similar but still lower scores everywhere but beam at Pac Rims and then has just been song worse ever since. Bars and vault are consistent but she had the fall on beam at comp setting camp which Ragen admitted was probably what kept her off the initial team, the fall at classics and several errors night 1. On floor her landings haven’t been great all year, a little bit under controlled at Jesolo, low landings at Pac Rims and had the missing tumbling pass at night 1. It doesn’t matter why she got lower scores. The point is she’s been getting lower and lower on the two events where she’s expected to make a case. So unless she suddenly is suddenly struck by God and has a revival night 2 and makes a crap ton of improvements and beam and floor then she could contend. But Laurie has consistently surpassed her on Ragens two pet events along with being a top 3 bar worker and overall fantastic all arounder even without an Amanar, not to mention her junior track and easy transition to senior level. She’s consisiteny been getting better and better throughout the year. I would even go as far as to say that as long as Laurie doesn’t make giant errors back to back in remaining competitions, the question won’t be will she be on the team, but whether or not she’ll do AA for the team.

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  5. With today’s score is Douglas putting herself in a an uncomfortable situation when it comes to making the Olympic team? Or she knows exactly what she’s doing? I mean is it an strategy, is she saving herself for the Olympic Trials? Please give me some light.

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    • I think douglas is a gamer…. her spot is somewhat assured but her AA status mught be in doubt if she doesnt do something soon

      My team is still biles raisman douglas hernandez kocian….

      Locklear could make a case for edging out kocian but unless kocian completely faltered repeatedly I think I will go with kocian still..

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    • ehhhh maybe she is a gamer, but tonight was just not that great. I understand saving some for trials/olympics – but her beam continues to be a liability. Great gymnast though. She’s like Mustafina – pretty yuck in podium training, but smashes it when it really matters. And really for Gabby, as long as she survives nationals, she’s fine. She just needs time to build endurance and put in more numbers.

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      • Someone was saying she could be Weibered… I could see it happen given what we have seen. Hernandez is def a threat. And gabby just need an off day and that’s all it takes. Esp if she has no buffer from an amanar.

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      • I think it’s going to come down to who Marta lets do AA in qualifications. Gabby needs to step it up or she may be faced with a case of too little, too late. Gabby had an off day in 2012 during quals and Aly qualified over her. I don’t know if Aly will do AA again (depends on the composition of the team), but I really do think that if Aly is out of AA, then Simone and Laurie will move forward. At least i hope Laurie does!

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  6. I was amazed by Amelia Hundley. She was so solid tonight. Her bars were amazing. She should get an alternate spot. Why is everyone so sure that Maggie Nichols is on the team? She hasn’t shown herself to be competition-ready. Well, I’ll take everyone’s word for it. Apparently, there is some secret agreement that we are not privy to.

    I think the team will be:
    Simone Biles
    Aly Raisman
    Laurie Hernandez
    Gabby Douglas
    Maggie Nichols

    Alternates:
    Madison Kocian
    Amelia Hundley
    Ashton Locklear

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    • honestly, it’s hilarious because simone, aly, laurie and gabby are the only athletes who have at least two top 3 scores in the 4 different events. so, using them alone on every event would bring home the gold, and anyone else — kocian, locklear, hundley, skinner — would just add a few extra unnecessary tenths on ONLY their specialist event, not another event (like beam), and most importantly, not even a individual medal… THAT’s how crazy the US depth is — that it seems borderline unfair that they send 5 women when 4 women could do the job themselves and that the 5th athlete would just be freeloading.

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      • The top 4 AA’ers could bring home the team gold. I think the fifth spot should go to someone who is likely to earn an individual medal on an event. (That’s why I’m so confused by the certainty of having Maggie Nichols on the team.) So, I am leaning towards including Madison Kocian who is reigning World Champion on uneven bars. (yeah, yeah… I know…but still.) Madison should be added not because she’s necessary for the team gold, but because it seems wrong to leave a reigning World Champion at home.

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      • Sure we could have 4 AA competes but only 2 of them will move on to AA EF.. which would be a waste. Also everyone would have to perform in qual without rest. But it would be a preview for 2020.

        Unlikely US will get a bars medal but the bars specialist is needed to relieve simone from having to do 3 AA sets. US has been doing that since 2014 in all the TF competitions…And this won’t change. Additionally the bars specialist can add at least 0.5 point and give the US a bar EF spot even if they have low chance of winning a medal. But if you don’t have a ub specialist, your chance of ub medal will be ZERO. And we see how strange things can happen that can lead to an unexpected medal (see Kocian gold in ub 2015)… So I would be completely surprised if there is not a ub specialist. A team of biles, douglas, raisman, Hernandez have a good chance of qualifying 1 into vt, 1 to ub, likely 2 to bb and fx. So if you have an ub specialist you will likely have another qualified into ub ef. skinner can qualify into vt ef but her vt doesn’t add as much additional points in TF over an ub specialist in TF and we all know how marta wants to maximize the team score. paseka is injured right now so skinner could have a chance to get on podium if paseka doesn’t recover. so aside from the above 4, the only other one for the 5th spot would just be locklear, kocian, and skinner. No one else really fit into the puzzle, not even Nichols unfortunately given that we haven’t seen her amanar or full strength fx.

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      • The team for maximizing medals (because team gold is assured) is:

        Simone Biles (AA, vault, beam, floor)
        Aly Raisman (AA(?), beam, floor)
        Gaby Douglas (AA(?), bars)
        Madison Kocian (bars)
        Mykayla Skinner (vault)

        This team maximizes AA spots and all EF spots. The only problem is that this would mean Simone has to do all four events in TF because neither Aly or Mykayla’s bars are TF-worthy. Simone is superhuman, but she shouldn’t have to do AA for the third time at the Olympics during AA finals.

        Also, I love Laurie Hernandez, but she’s not getting into any event finals at the Olympics. She’s not going to beat Simone or Aly on beam, and she’s not good enough to be top 8 on bars. Maggie Nichols is a solid competitor and beautiful floor worker, but she was lucky Aly had a bad day during 2015 World prelims. On a normal day, Maggie does not beat Aly on floor to make floor finals.

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      • Hmm, I disagree. I think Laurie definitely will outscore Aly on BB if they both hit in quals. I also think Laurie could outscore her in the AA. Don’t get me wrong, Aly is my absolute favorite, but I think Laurie will make it a challenge for her to medal in BB and the AA.

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      • Yep Lee – Laurie could definitely outscore Aly in BB. If Simone has a big wobble like last year at Worlds then she could be knocked out as well. It will come down to who hits. Tonight Aly and Laurie had amazing meets – Laurie could have done a bit better on floor, and Aly could have done a bit better on vault and bars. So with equal hits, they scored the same. Shows how strong they both are!

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    • The 2013-2016 CoP does not reward CV for D+A dance anymore like it did in the 2009-2012. Only for E+A dance, like a Double Arabian to Stag or Full-in to Wolf. There is a .1 bonus for D+B dance, and Raisman was trying it last year with a split leap 1/2, but it was not well done and she took it off.

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      • thank you! I was going to dig into the code today, but now I don’t have to 🙂 I remember her trying that in 2015, and she was like 50% with it with not great form, so not worth it.

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  7. Agreeing with some of the comments above – I LOVE Swaggie, but waking up this morning (I live in Europe) and watching the videos on youtube didn’t make me think for any reason that she’d be on the team. Then I come here (and I really trust this blog – it’s my ultimate gymnastics resource!) and suddenly people are saying she has a really good shot at not just an alternate spot, but at the team? Like…what happened to math and stuff…
    Even though Gabby makes a nice contribution on bars, in my mind it doesn’t make sense to take both Gabby and Maggie because they both sort of fill that position of “could add some tenths on a few events, but aren’t major standouts.”

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    • I agree – the only way that Maggie goes is if Marta doesn’t take a girl for bars. Simone is going. Aly is going. Gabby, despite the fact that I really don’t think we need her, is probably going. Laurie made a very strong case for herself and she really balances Aly – mostly on bars, but she is amazing on beam an I think will challenge for that 2nd EF spot in beam. Maggie really won’t challenge for an EF spot anywhere. So if Marta decides to go with 5 AAers, then Maggie might go as an emergency fill on, or do do TF bars instead of Simone. If Ragan smith hadn’t crumbled last night, I would say he has equal chance with Maggie.

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      • I thought I was being CRAZY for thinking we didn’t really need Gabby. Glad I’m not the only one. My dream team actually is Simone, Aly, Laurie, Maggie, and Madison. (I had Brenna in Maddie’s spot until last night. I finally gave up on it though.) Realistically, Gabby probably won’t have medaling chances in any event but the AA. As for the team, she only adds on UB (unless she brings back her amanar), which is also the only place Madison would contribute. Gabby is just a really great competitor when it comes down to it. She’s super consistent, and Marta can trust her, which is why I think she’s going. I’m happy for her, and I’m content with a team that includes her though.

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      • I love that team! It would work out so well actually because they all balance eachother fairly well. I personally Gabby isn’t needed and the only reason she would be on the team is for team final bars. Even if she is the 2nd best AA in the US, the US has like the top 4-5 AA rn

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    • And with an Amanar Gabby would have done better too. Talk is cheap. Who knows if she throws it and who knows how she lands it?

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    • Still a great result for Kocian, I wasnt expecting her to be that high. I think that she is much closer to that Olympic team spot because she proved that she is also a strong all arounder. Not that the US team needs more girls doing AA but it certainly doesnt hurt that she is usable at other events…

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  8. I was most impressed with Laurie she sold the routines used artistry with flexibility dance toes pointed really got into character may not have the heavy difficulty but she showed well rounded artistry which it is artistic but difficult is how this scoring system favors lastly with that floor routine she deserved at least a 15.2 I really was sold it told a story

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  9. Lauren, if the Olympic execution tiebreak was applied to Laurie and Aly’s tie here, who would have come out on top? Just curious.

    And do you think Martha would bring Ashton/Madison and use her only in TF, thereby writing off the chance of a bars medal? (I could see this scenario because of last World’s bars weirdness notwithstanding, I don’t see either of them breaking top 3 in a bars final, so not so critical to put her up in quals, but the extra bump in TF would be handy.)

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    • I’m not Lauren, so I’ll answer the objective part of your questions. Laurie would get 2nd under tiebreak rules of execution, Aly would be 3rd.

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    • If you are going to chance yourself, then you will have to bring Locklear…. But personally, I don’t think they will try something like that as an upfront strategy. That whole scenario in 2015 was due to Brenna crashing out in qual. (And with her current performance, looks to me like Brenna is going nowhere and I am sad b/c I do like her :(..

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    • In an AA tie-breaker, the lowest score is dropped. So Aly’s bars would be dropped and Laurie’s floor would be dropped. Aly scores a 46.3 and Laurie scores a 45.65, so Aly wins the tie-breaker

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  10. I’m rooting for Laurie on day 2. I hope she gets silver in both beam and the AA. If she beats Aly in national competitions i’m guessing she’ll certainly outscore her in Rio. International judges will love that toe-point.

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    • Yeah we thought that about London too – but Aly qualified in first. Same for Pac Rims this year. I don’t even know if Aly will do AA in Rio – but really it doesn’t matter from the team standpoint. I like Aly and Laurie so I hope they both do well. Surely they aren’t wishing for the other to do poorly

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      • You’re right, they aren’t, J. USAG has an article up in which Laurie says that Aly (and Aly confirms) told all the girls to treat the competition last night like a team final – everyone cheers each other on and supports each other. Laurie mentioned that it really calmed her nerves. Personally, I’m really happy that Aly stayed on bars and believe that, no matter the AA situation, Aly is necessary for this team as a captain with three contributing scores to the team final.

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  11. Is Maggie not doing floor and vault all weekend, or just last nite? NBC commentators said Maggie told them her knee was “100%”. I get if she’s preserving/strategizing, but then the 100% comment doesn’t fit. Maybe they’re her public talking points right now. In any case, the great Amanar mystery of 2016 has not yet been solved. Oh Swags and Gabby, how long must we wait??

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  12. I’m so upset because Ragan is one of my favorites and especially her floor 😍 People say it’s too young and I understand where they are coming from, but she makes it work and she puts on a show. I’m amazed at how she is still decently high in the rankings though, imagine if she had hit the triple twist…she showed that she can put aside her mistakes at least and she never missed a beat at carrying on her routine. Her beam was a little shakier than usual but her dismount was amazing compared to Classics. I hope she does well on Day 2

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  13. Question to Laurie: What do you have against Ashton Locklear? You seem to stan for Madison Kocian even though she is always outscored by Ashton Locklear. BTW, if Ashton had been in Glasgow in the UB final, I think the result would be that Ashton would have gotten the gold as well.

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    • She doesn’t train two events and will never make the team unless Martha goes against everything she’s prioritized historically. Or has a stroke. Her bars are fabulous but are grossly overscored at home, as are Madison’s. Both routines are about 0.5 higher at home than they can hope to get internationally, so neither is going to walk into Rio and snag Olympic gold as easily as people think, not in an international bars field this strong. Bars aside, Ashton wouldn’t be used on beam because her form there is far too weak and her e-scores domestically are fantasies. Her knees will get deducted on every skill and with only a 5.8 D, she’ll be lucky to break 14. They wouldn’t even want that in qualifications. Martha has said no one is going for just one event so a gymnast will have to show that she can contribute on 2+ events. Ashton can’t. Madison has more of a chance because even though her beam has problems of its own, she can go up in a pinch on all four events if needed. Personally, I don’t think either should be on the team, and I think Laurie adds more value as a UB/BB ‘specialist’ because while she is a couple of tenths behind the other two on bars, she more than makes up for it by being a point ahead of them on beam, meaning her overall value to the team is greater. Meanwhile, she also has strong enough work on VT/FX to make her a true all-around contributor as well and is very versatile in a way the other two are not. People are claiming ‘bars specialist’ only means the ‘true’ specialists – Madison and Ashton – but I think Laurie will end up in a Kyla Ross sort of role as the UB/BB specialist who also happens to be a great all-arounder, leaving the fifth and final spot for someone well-rounded who can help the team out on VT/FX. But if that ends up not being the case, then because of Laurie’s versatility, I can see them taking both Laurie and a ‘true’ UB specialist, in which case I think it’ll be Madison. The difference between Madison and Ashton is so slight on bars, that one or two tenths between them literally won’t matter, especially when the team is going to be 5+ points ahead of everyone else. What WILL matter is filling the team with girls who specialize on events while not throwing away other events, i.e. versatile specialists. Ashton is not a versatile specialist.

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      • Hey Lauren – this is a really great, comprehensive response, and I’m sure you’re tired of being asked the same question (Madison or Ashton?) over and over again. But I think what fans of Ashton (and I’m one of them) DON’T understand is why she made all these U.S. teams competing internationally this year if she had no chance of being chosen for the Olympic team even if she consistently did her very best. Jesolo is a large team, so that’s understandable, but Pac Rims? That’s a small team, and historically a very significant one. I 100% get what you’re saying above, and I’d bet that you’re right in all your conclusions. But something just doesn’t add up about Ashton constantly being given chances to prove herself (over lots of other girls) but according to you not actually being in the conversation at all. Marta has known all year that Ashton only trains two events – it’s not like it’s a midyear surprise – and still she’s wanted to see what she can do time and again. That’s why it’s hard for me to let go of the idea that she has a chance, even in the face of the really sound logic you keep presenting (and because I love her bars so much – biases are the most powerful forces known to man).

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      • pacrim are important but 1. you are missing ru and china and gb, etc. 2. it’s not a true 3 up 3 count. 3. there are more than 5 members/team. There is really no comp that’s more restrictive and tightly judged than Olympic. and we all see what happen when in 2012 kyla has to do fx in place of maroney in qual… so that is why Maddie has the advantage over ashton…

        Another reason is that even though both are grossly overscored domestically, Maddie does have the higher D score… We see how they are both hammered at international meets so at least Maddie does have that little d buffer over ashton…

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      • I’m sorry but you keep saying that Ashton and Madison are grossly overscored compared to what the Chinese and Russians even gb this year they haven’t been any better than Ashton and they too have been overscored you keep bringing up internationally I feel in terms of scoring Ashton is as good Bas the Chinese or Russians she clean and consistent with theses two countries I feel internationally if Russia or China wins internationally it will be by .1 or .2 we can compete with them I’m sure you’re goi to say they haven’t been overscored at all all year this is rediculous I’ll say it again Ashton has it maybe one event but she’s precieved well and this talk how the Americans are always overscored is getting old yes they do but when it comes down to it Olympic or worlds we score pretty consistent outside of ub compared to other countries

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  14. I love all the conversations! I’m in the camp who is not so sure about Maggie… I’m actually wondering if she peaked last year – when we’re looking at scores for her in which she makes the team the highest, I think folks are including 2015 World Championship scores… we haven’t seen those scores from her in 2016 yet. And generally that’s fine b/c you wouldn’t expect it at American Cup, but with her injury it’s so hard to know. It seems that Martha loves her, and we obviously didn’t see her camp scores before Pac Rims, BUT that was pre-injury. I’m going to go w/ Simone, Gabby, Aly, Laurie and Madison.

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