The U.S. Championships Senior Day 1 Live Blog

Welcome to the live blog for the day one senior session at the 2017 U.S. Championships, held in Anaheim, California. We’re not live at the competition this time, but many people have asked us to blog what we see in the stream and in videos, so here we are! The most recent updates will appear at the top, and you can refresh your browser every few minutes to see what’s happening.

12:50 am. Day 1 Standings

1. Ragan Smith, Texas Dreams, 57.400
2. Riley McCusker, MG Elite, 56.100
3. Jordan Chiles, Naydenov, 55.850
4. Margzetta Frazier, Parkettes, 55.400
5. Trinity Thomas, Prestige, 55.300
6. Morgan Hurd, First State, 54.100
7. Shania Adams, Buckeye, 53.950
8. Alyona Shchennikova, 5280 Gymnastics, 53.750
9. Emily Gaskins, Cincinnati, 53.700
10. Deanne Soza, Texas Dreams, 53.300
11. Elena Arenas, Georgia Elite, 53.000
12. Kalyany Steele, Colorado Aerials, 52.400
13. Abby Paulson, Twin City Twisters, 52.050
14. Luisa Blanco, WOGA, 51.750
15. Leah Clapper, Gym America, 48.150
16. Victoria Nguyen, Chow’s, 47.550
17. Jade Carey, Oasis, 41.550
18. Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, Brandy Johnson’s, 39.650
19. Abi Walker, Texas Dreams, 38.100
20. Marissa Oakley, Everest, 27.500
21. Ashton Locklear, Everest, 27.150
22. Frida Esparza, Head Over Heels, 25.500

12:45 am. Blanco BB- Beautiful mount and low beam choreo series. Front aerial to ring jump, bhs loso is off-line and she lands completely off the beam. Switch to switch half to split jump, hit her double full dismount.

55.300 for Trinity Thomas! Girl needs to upgrade vault STAT because that’s about as good as it’s gonna get for her without something more than a full.

12:43 am. Thomas UB- Trin quietly slipping into the podium like whoops! Here I am. Weiler half to Maloney to clear hip full to huge Tkachev to pak (messy and caught close), toe on to clean van Leeuwen, a little short on handstand before giants into her double layout dismount with a hop.

Gaskins finishes with a 53.700, Paulson with a 52.050

12:42 am. Johnson-Scharpf FX- First of two routines we’ll see this weekend! This is the fun one, and she’ll have more of a dramatic one for Sunday. I missed most of her tumbling but she had lots of sass as usual and I actually freaking LOVE this leo. Rainbow splashed on black, it’s very cool.

12:40 am. Paulson UB- Love this leo. Toe full to stalder to Chow to pak to stalder to van Leeuwen, some leg sep on that last skill. Toe half to piked Jaeger (feet slightly flexed), cowboyed double front with a hop back.

53.750 for Shchennikova, only a 47.550 for Victoria Nguyen, whose highest score here was a 12.4 on beam :-/ #whatthecrap

12:38 am. Shchennikova FX- Piked full-in, short. 1.5 to front full and double pike are both decent, just evident that she isn’t the greatest at tumbling. Double tuck is a little cowboyed in the second tuck.

Adams goes 53.950

12:36 am. Adams UB- Van Leeuwen, toe half to big straddle Jaeger, pak, toe full is a little late, full-out dismount comes up really high off the bar but gets like no distance. Not a problem though.

Nguyen BB- Saw it from the switch ring, lots of amplitude. Punch front to split jump to sissone, just a layout dismount.

Hurd goes 54.100 with a 13.9 on bars.

12:35 am. Frazier VT- Big and solid DTY. Hop back.

Steele goes 52.400, Clapper goes 48.150 after a 10.5 on bars, Arenas goes 53.0 with just a 12.45 on floor so they def didn’t credit the DLO. Huge 55.4 for Frazier!!!

12:34 am. Hurd UB- I only saw the stalder to full-out with a step back. Looked happy at the end.

Carey BB- Sat her double pike dismount.

12:32 am. Arenas FX- I think her opening was meant to be a double layout but it’s a super open tuck throughout. 2.5 to punch front. Double pike, and double tuck, the latter of which is super short and probably won’t count if they call her double layout a double tuck.

56.100 for Riley McCusker after a 14.4 on beam! And Chiles is the only gymnast to break a 15 today with a 15.15 on her Amanar, going 55.850 in the all-around! Deanne Soza gets a 53.300 for another SOLID day. Love this newfound confidence of hers.

12:31 am. Chiles VT- Huge Amanar with a hop forward. Awesome.

McCusker BB- Triple wolf, double wolf, both good. Front aerial to split jump to straddle jump, nice bhs loso, wobble after switch leap, misses connection to switch half. Side aerial, small wobble, switch ring leap, double tuck with a step. What a good day she had.

12:29 am. Smith VT- DAAAAMN, a great DTY! Her best ever basically. 14.4 gets her a 57.4 AA, which is now the highest AA score in the world so far in 2017! And the fourth to break 57. The other three 57+ AAers are all US juniors.

Steele FX- LOVE this leo. Double layout is super short. Hit her double tuck.

12:21 am. Leading After Rotation 3

1. Ragan Smith 43.000
2. Riley McCusker 41.700
3. Trinity Thomas 41.600
4. Margzetta Frazier 41.100
5. Alyona Shchennikova 40.800
6. Shania Adams 40.750
7. Jordan Chiles 40.700
8. Emily Gaskins 40.650

12:19 am. Locklear BB- Triple wolf turn gets a little wild, doesn’t do the double after thank GOODNESS. Bhs loso is off-line and she falls. Tour jete full to split jump is an awesome connection. Punch front tuck, side somi, side aerial to switch leap to switch side, she has one of the only switch sides that should be competed in connection. Double tuck with a stumble back, two big steps.

Chiles FX 13.2

12:17 am. Chiles FX- Double layout bounces up…she could’ve done a jump out of that! Dos Santos, comes in super low and lands stuck but squatted, bum practically touching but doesn’t. 1.5 through to double tuck is short with a step forward. Double pike is a little low.

Shchennikova BB 11.95

12:14 am. Shchennikova BB- Double wolf turn, which she finishes off the beam. LAWD. Gets back on and does it again. Front aerial to split jump to sissone, bhs loso loso, switch ring with a super sketchy back leg and a wobble. Onodi with a bobble. Side aerial, side somi, double tuck is super low with her chest down and a step forward.

Soza 12.7 FX

12:13 am. Nguyen UB- Toe full is a little late, Maloney to Gienger, pretty sure the Maloney is supposed to be a Komova II but her toes literally don’t clear the bar at all, toe half to piked Jaeger that she basically catches with one hand, damn, and doesn’t come off. Pak, but then gets lost in a pirouette on the low bar, gets her rhythm back for a Ray to high, and hits a double layout with a big step forward.

12:11 am. Soza FX- Tucked full-in to open, so I’m guessing her ankle is still bugging her and it’s not worth the double layout. 1.5 to front tuck. Double tuck. Good double pike.

Ragan only needs a 14 on vault to surpass a 57!

Arenas BB 13.0

12:09 am. Arenas BB- Bhs loso, punch front, 2.5, looks a little bummed so I don’t know if she fell earlier on?

McCusker UB 14.55, she’s gotta be thrilled with that, Adams VT 13.4, Hurd VT 13.9, Paulson VT 12.95, Steele BB 12.7, Smith FX 14.2

12:07 am. Smith FX- They had to redo her music at the last minute because it included a piece of a song that was part of a movie but was also part of confederate culture, which I didn’t know and neither did they. They had literally less than 24 hours to fix it and they did because they’re freaking badass. Double layout, 1.5 to triple, and hit the last two passes that I saw…double arabian and double pike IIRC, my blog froze!

12:06 am. McCusker UB- Stalder full to Maloney to Tkachev is good, Downie, Ricna to pak, she looks 400% better than she did at classics! Van Leeuwen, blind change to front giant to half-in double back, and she looks thrilled with that! Major confidence boost right there.

Frazier FX 13.35

12:04 am. Hurd VT- DTY, rotation looked good but didn’t get the best block so she’s a little short and squatted on the landing, step forward.

Blanco UB 12.65

12:02 am. Johnson-Scharpf BB- Hit what I saw…bhs loso, side aerial, good jumps, little wobble on her side somi. Double tuck looks really close to the beam but overall a good set!

Clapper VT 13.15

12:00 am. Omg why is it midnight.

Thomas VT- HUUUUGE FTY! Very pretty.

Blanco UB- Toe full to Maloney to pak, van Leeuwen, stalder to blind change to front giant half, layout dismount with a tiny step. I love that she’s like yeah I’m not doing a release OR a real dismount, suck it.

Thomas VT 13.3

11:54 pm. Leading After Rotation 2

1. Alyona Shchennikova 28.850
2. Jade Carey 28.800
— Ragan Smith 28.800
4. Trinity Thomas 28.300
5. Emily Gaskins 27.750
— Margzetta Frazier 27.750
7. Elena Arenas 27.550
8. Marissa Oakley 27.500
— Jordan Chiles 27.500

11:50 pm. Shchennikova UB- Inbar full to Komova II to Tkachev, Ricna to pak to Chow half, stalder half to front giant half, whippy double layout that she lands pretty well compared to how she usually does it.

Adams FX- Memmel turn, clean double arabian with a hop back, 1.5 to front tuck is a little messy and a little wonky. Lovely double pike. Hit final pass. Good set.

Shchennikova 14.5, Hurd FX 12.3, Soza BB 13.35 (didn’t see this but YAY she hit!)

11:47 pm. Hurd FX- Stuck double double, just with her chest slightly down. GOD I love this routine so much. Piked full-in looks like it’s going to be a little short and you can see her pull back to kind of correct it, which causes her to take a stumble back and OOB but seriously great correction on her part. It’s always better to stumble back than fall forward. Front layout to front double full, ugh, that one’s a little under and she falls sideways. 😦 Good double pike, and beautiful ending choreo. Shame about that fall.

11:44 pm. Smith BB- Double wolf turn, also really high in the tuck stand, and she finishes with her chest forward but corrects it. Solid layout series, good standing full, punch front pike to split jump to straddle jump, nice and fluid in those connections. Side straddle half is good in the air but lands with her chest a bit down, and then she has a wobble on her side split half. I was talking about these with Elvira Saadi today and she was like “HOW ARE THESE D SKILLS?!?!?!?!?!?!” She was so mad about them, mostly because they come with more deductions than they’re worth. Anyway, good double pike for Ragan to finish. Hope we get to see the Patterson on Sunday!

Arenas UB 12.95

11:43 pm. Clapper FX- Piked full-in with a step back and OOB. Good double arabian! Two little baby steps back. Double tuck is a little underrotated. Double pike also way under with a big step forward.

Steele UB 12.8 (I saw parts of this, no fall but she got stuck on the low bar for a sec and had to break her rhythm), Walker BB 12.55, Frazier BB 13.65

11:39 pm. Esparza VT- DTY is clean in the air but a little underrotated.

Frazier BB- Double wolf turn, again, a little high in the tuck stand. Side aerial, bhs loso is good, left knee is heavily taped, side somi, good leap series, and then a switch to switch half with the latter of the two a little short. Tour jete half, I like that we’re seeing a ton of those now that they’re actually worth something. Double pike is good.

Just saw a replay of Carey’s kas and it’s HUUUUUUUUUUGE. Dayum.

Carey VT 1 14.7, Oakley UB 14.25, Paulson FX 13.65, Thomas FX 14.1

11:35 pm. McCusker VT- Simple and clean FTY with a step back.

Thomas FX- Solid double layout, 2.5 to double tuck, nice! Front layout to front double full. Double pike rotation is super slow so despite a good set she only just gets the second flip around and is a little low.

Carey VT- Kas full with a hop back…legs apart on the entry and her knees are a little loose. Follows up with an Amanar, which she sat!

McCusker VT 13.25, Chiles BB 13.55 seems a little high

11:34 pm. Chiles BB- Looked like she got a little stuck in her back roll? Wolf turn (double) is a little high in the tuckstand. Solid bhs loso, front aerial to straddle jump to wolf jump, side aerial, switch to tour jete half is slow and she puts her hands down. 😦 Side somi, good punch front tuck, good double pike with a hop.

Gaskins VT 14.5, Blanco VT 13.3

11:31 pm. Locklear UB- Toe full to Chow to pak to Maloney to bail to Ray, nice. Toe half to huge straddle Jaeger, finished above the bar. Stuck full-out. Despite not having inbars back yet, that was pretty sweet.

11:30 pm. Shoutout to Charlie Day for being a big boy in a big boy commercial!!!!

11:26 pm. Leading After Rotation 1

1. Elena Arenas 14.600
2. Alyona Shchennikova 14.350
3. Ragan Smith 14.300
4. Kalyany Steele 14.200
— Trinity Thomas 14.200
6. Margzetta Frazier 14.100
7. Morgan Hurd 14.000
— Jade Carey 14.000

Can the floor judges get their lives together?

11:22 pm. Carey FX- Double double, short with a step forward. Double layout full-in, kind of a mess, and short as well, deep landing and a step forward. Front double full to stag isn’t bad though. Tucked full-in to finish is good, pretty stuck. Well, the second half was good!

Hurd BB 14.0

11:20 pm. Hurd BB- YAS the best standing full she’s done!!!!!!! Get it Morgan. Side aerial, switch leap to split leap, bhs loso is solid, front aerial to split jump to straddle jump, punch front tuck with a little bounce forward, full turn, a little deep in her spin but she corrects, switch ring with a small adjustment, double pike a little low with a step. Definitely her best beam of the year!

McCusker FX 13.9, Smith UB 14.3

11:18 pm. Smith UB- Inbar to inbar full to inbar half to straddle Jaeger, Downie, Ricna to pak is great, Ray to high, clean and easy full-in with a step.

Frazier UB 14.1, Blanco FX 12.9, Walker UB 12.85, Clapper BB 12.1, Nguyen FX 11.4 (oof I didn’t see that, I think she was first up)

11:17 pm. McCusker FX- Tucked full-in, nearly stuck. Front double full to front tuck isn’t bad, just not super clean in the twists. Wolf turn is a wobbly mess. Double pike is deep but stuck. Switch ring to switch full. Double tuck with a hop back. Not bad all things considered!

11:15 pm. Clapper BB- Bhs loso loso, oh nooooo LMAOOOOO she split the beam and then swung underneath it and then tried for like 30 minutes to pull herself back around oh my god, that was great. Like, if you’re going to fall, make it amusing for me. Hit her leaps well, including switch to switch half to back tuck. Punch front tuck with a leg up. Double pike with a step. Good recovery. And also thanks for the giggle. I hope your crotch feels better soon. You WILL look back on this one day and laugh.

11:14 pm. Frazier UB- Stalder full, clean van Leeuwen, short handstand before stalder half to piked Jaeger, great pike shape! Church to pak is great. Maloney to Tkachev, YAS. Double layout with a couple of small steps back.

Arenas VT 14.6, Thomas BB 14.2

11:11 pm. Walker UB- I missed most of this but it looked hit from what I saw. Solid dismount.

Thomas BB- Side somi, full turn, bhs loso, front aerial to split jump to tuck jump full, switch to switch half to straddle, side aerial, all good so far. Switch side to side straddle half is the best use of the straddle half I’ve seen I think. Double tuck is low, though…little bit of a stumble back.

Arenas VT- Lovely DTY!

Paulson BB 13.15, Gaskins FX 13.25

11:09 pm. Chiles UB- Clean van Leeuwen, nice handstand before her blind change to piked Jaeger, Tkachev to bail to toe shoot, YES! Toe full to Gienger, and she finishes with a pretty much stuck full in OH YESSSSSSSSSSSSS.

Gaskins FX- Double layout with a hop back. Tucked full-in with a slight step. Popa, switch ring to tour jete half. Double arabian with a step forward and OOB. Looked a little messy in her form on that pass and on the full-in but otherwise has been okay. Double pike with a bounce back.

Adams BB 13.9, Oakley VT 13.25, Soza UB 13.15, Steele 14.2 VT, Chiles 13.95 UB

11:08 pm. Johnson-Scharpf VT- Clean FTY with a hop back. Nice flare at the end!

Shchennikova VT 14.35

11:05 pm. Shchennikova VT- Solid DTY.

Soza UB- Toe full to Tkachev, Ray, toe half to Ezhova, toe on to inbar shoot, full-twisting double layout with a step. Good girl!

11:02 pm. So I have the international stream because I’m in Canada but I’m going to try to get everything I can as videos are uploaded! Let me know if there’s something in particular that you want to see.

11:00 pm. Well, I napped for three hours between sessions, but it was NOT ENOUGH. So forgive any mistakes I make all night long please!

Article by Lauren Hopkins


80 thoughts on “The U.S. Championships Senior Day 1 Live Blog

    • Don’t worry, if she make sure it to Tokyo that’s literally all they’re going to talk about. They’re going to beat the heck out of the adoption story the same way they beat the heck out of Douglas’ “my mom sent me to Iowa and said ‘don’t come home until you win because poverty’ ” story.


      • Thats not what they choose to talk about. Its what the producer tells them to mention via the script they are literally handed as the event airs. Its not like Tim says OH BTW, MORGANS ADOPTED. Literally they are handed scripts to read from with info… its annoying but its not them. Its the producing people behind them.


  1. Very impressed with Riley tonight. And Trinity is really becoming one of my favs… but these top seniors on the national team (beyond Riley who is coming back from injury) should be vaulting dtys. There were 12-year-olds vaulting dtys this afternoon. And I’m just sad about Morgan :(. She looked so sad after vault.


    • Trinity has very nice lines. BUT totally! I even posted WHATS THE TEA? She can clearly do a double, why does she stick with the full? Why? why? Why? She has done the full 2014 15 16 17…. smh


      • Right? And it’s not like she’s a little tiny thing like Abi Walker or something. She has plenty of power. I do think her full was underscored tonight, but that’s besides the point.


  2. Im not that impressed with Chiles even finishing 3rd day 1. After floor she just looked like OVER… I dont see her fitting into worlds… IF SHE HAD A SECOND VAULT, hell yeah. But I just dont see it.


    • I was just looking at the scores and thinking this. She doesn’t have a standout event. It could be floor but with others that are likely to make the team also good floor workers, its just hard for her to fit in. BUT she does seem to be a great choice for a team worlds w/ her solid amanar and a floor that would be a good “first up” (and I mean should get better with time!)


      • When you have O’Keefe, Perea, and Malabuyo coming up next year, plus potentially Simone and Laurie coming back, I don’t think that’s going to happen.


    • I agree with Chiles. It looks like she is over gymnastics this year. Since she has a lot of behind the scenes issues before this, maybe it has taken a toll on her. Hopefully she comes back next year much better.


  3. Wow I know Morgan had a really bad day on vault and floor, but 6th and a score of 54.1 is actually really good considering what she did on floor. I know her chances of getting on the podium for AA for this meet is pretty much gone, but I hope she kills it day 2. While I was annoyed at the NBC commentators for acting like Riley was this angel from heaven for an ok, but not that great meet, and then treating Ragen like a dog that pissed on the carpet every time she made any type of adjustment, they did say one thing that I agreed with, which is that Morgan’s fall on floor shouldn’t affect her chances that much as long as she proves she can hit, so we’ll see.


    • Morgan must be the most overrated gymnast on the gymternet since I can remember. She has never hit 4/4 in her career. I don’t see how or why she would make the Worlds team.


      • That came across harsher than I wanted. I guess we can’t edit now? I should say I think Morgan is quite good, but she’s inconsistent, and I think the gymternet has to date overlooked her inconsistency because she has such an awesome personality. But I don’t think she’s a favorite for the worlds team, and I think her performance today did her no favors.


      • I kinda agree. People love her style as do I. THEY SO WANT HER TO HAPPEN… as do I. But she was just off on all her landings. And even with a good bar routine she didnt crack 14.


    • Riley has been the overyhype gymnast this year so it is not a surprise they are praising her so much because this is probably her best meet LOL. Morgan, Riley and Alyonna and the rest except for Ragan all have consistency issues. It is really a matter of who will hit in the most important meet.


      • Then it begs to be asked which is the most important meet… P&G or Wolds Camp? If you were head of choosing, If someone did well at P&G and poorly at Camp, or Bad at Camp and good at P&G how would you decide?


        • Brenna Dowell answered that question in 2015, when she bombed Bars on both days of nationals, hit every single bar routine at camps and podium training and then blew it again at worlds. Although world selection camps are a great way of indicating those who have better technical ability, it’s still better to select someone who proved time and time again that they can hit when it counts, and that quality is crucial in an individual world championships year. That being said, everyone who has a serious chance of going to worlds (except Riley and Ragan) did very poorly today, they’ll need to step it up Day 2 in order to clear up the worlds team picture. I don’t think Morgan is overrated, her Bars, Beam and floor difficulty is right up there with the best in the world, her Bars were downgraded here because of her elbow injury, so she took out a couple of connections and didn’t do the Fabrichnova dismount that she planned on doing. She’s a super elegant and fantastic performer, and the skills she trains in the gym are extremely diffuclt. She trained an almost stuck Moors, and it was the first time I saw a Moors that was actually layed out all the way through. However, she does have built in deductions in many of her acrobatic elements that fans overlook because theyre not blatantly obvious and also because of the difficulty and grace that she displays throghout her exercises. I think her Bars are often underscored in comparison to many of her teammates though.

          Liked by 1 person

        • See, this is what’s frustrating. Morgan actually has relatively low difficulty for the US Team. Across the three events you list, her difficulty is lower than:

          Margs Frazier
          Trinity Thomas
          Jade Carey (excl. bars)

          Yet people love her, so they don’t necessarily look these things up. The reality is, Morgan has low difficulty and struggles with consistency on the relatively easy routines she does have. Her flexibility and artistry are excellent. She has an awesome personality. However, She needs to add difficulty AND improve consistency to be in contention for a spot at Worlds beyond this year or the Olympics. There are too many juniors who have already surpassed her in scoring potential. The gymternet likes to act like, even if she doesn’t make worlds this year, she’s a shoo in for next year or down the road, but I just don’t see it. I think people view her with blinders on.


  4. For some reason I just don’t enjoy Riley’s gymnastics. Her movements seem studied and look more ridiculous than elegant, though she did a great job tonight. I do see more potential in others.
    Ragan, Hurd, Carey, Thomas for worlds!


    • I think in the middle of overscored tumblers times with many gymnasts looking more like cheers , elegant ( oh yeah) gymnasts that have it all like Riley are a blessing!


      • I agree with you Diva. Riley’s basics are amazing! It’s interesting how Morgan can fall in EVERY competition this year and people still want her over Riley!


        • I can also acknowledge that Riley has amazing basics and all that. But I just don’t like the style of her gymnastics nor her routines (which are basically the same like Lauries, but that seems to be a coaching issue).


        • I can understand the appeal of Morgan. Her choreography and flexibility are beyond lovely, and if she were just consistent the huge skills are there. It’s frustrating because she is more than capable. However, Riley won me over this evening. I couldn’t argue with her selection if chosen.


        • Yes, Riley deserved a spot more than Hurd because her DV is higher than her overall.

          However, this is the first meet this year that Riley did not fall. You make it seem like Riley is perfect all the time LMAO. RIley had one perfect meet and now you all forget her past mistakes.


    • For some reason I just don’t get Morgan’s gymnastics. I don’t see any of this great artistry people are talking about, or anything above the ordinary. She’s fine. No worse than anybody else, but I don’t get what’s so special about her that people are seeing. Cute glasses, but no quality stands out to me about her gymnastics.


      • I shouldn’t have said No worse than anybody else. She’s just as good as everyone else would have been better. Because Morgan is good, very good. But I don’t know what particularly about her makes everyone so big on her in comparison to everyone else. Maybe with time and exposure I’ll start to see what others are seeing.


  5. Ok I sooooo badly want Morgi to happen/be on the world’s team. I know camp is more important but she’s gotta step up her game because she could be the whole package if she could start hitting!

    Also I can’t be the only person insanely bothered by Riley’s hands/wrists? I absolutely love watching her do most of her skills and I love her floor music and choreography but sooooo many wrist flicks and floppy hands. And I also wish she had better routine construction on beam and bars because her routines would be so much more enjoyable sans the double wolf turns and 3 releases in a row.


  6. When she’s on, Morgan really is lovely to watch. But I agree with the above poster who said she never goes 4 for 4. Morgan kind of reminds me of Komova in that aspect–lots of talent, but trouble hitting 4 for 4, although Morgan’s mistakes are far worse than Komova used to make.

    I do like Riley’s style. I hadn’t seen her hit yet, so when she did relatively well last night, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed her routines. Ragan is still in the lead despite mistakes. I hope she is cleaner on Day 2.

    Looking at the junior ranks, many of these seniors are going to be pushed aside. Plus as a poster above noted, Simone and Laurie are coming back. Laurie looks like she needs to get in much better shape before training hard. Simone, though, looks like she’s in pretty good shape. It will be good to see both of them back, hopefully by next year.

    Lastly, was anyone else rolling their eyes when NBC Sports decided to show Simone’s floor routine from the Rio Team finals after Day 1 was over? It just seemed so disrespectful to the girls out there competing. It’s like they were saying, “Hey, you’re all trash. Look at Simone. This is how it’s done.” Although I will say after I watched that, I longed for Simone and the others to come back. They did gymnastics at such a very high level.


    • I must be the only person in existence who doesn’t smile at the idea of Simone coming back. She’s already reached the zenith of her sport. She wins everything. Lovely woman, but she’s so far ahead of everyone in ability that she makes it boring sometimes. Aly still had something to prove. Simone doesn’t. It’s nice not knowing who’ll win once in a while. The shelf life of female gymnasts is so brief. Let there be a new champion. It has to happen at some point.


      • You said it yourself, the shelf life of female gymnasts is so brief but why is it not applicable to SImone?Because she won all already? That is kind bias way of thinking.

        Simone is super good yeah but gymnasts should also step their game themselves. Just look how Hong Jung Un really tried the TTY just so she can beat Simone on vault. That is how the game should be.


      • She’s never won a World Vault Gold. lol. I’d be happy if she came back. It brings out the best for others in trying to chase her 🙂 Tag Tag suck u in 🙂


        • That’s all they’ll be doing. Chasing. 🤢 She has every right to come back, but everything will be a foregone conclusion again. In the end, it’ll be boring. The program will become too dependent on her inevitable success. She’s fun and very nice, but she’s literally too much of a good thing.


      • I agree with you that it’s nice to not know who’s going to win for a change. I mean Reagan is pretty far ahead at this point but isn’t untouchable like Simone was. I really like Simone, her gymnastics and personality are great! But I did get a bit bored the past couple years knowing exactly who would win.


        • Iordache, Melnikova, and (if healthy) Andrade are all above or at the same level as Smith assuming four for four. Eremina apparently has upgrades on all the events except vault, so she can get herself up there too.


        • I don’t see the Melnikova szenario happening but I agree with the other ones. I also wouldn’t underestimate Tinkler


        • Russian Cup is next week, so we ‘re having some news from Melka and Eremina. Eremina has a DTY, and Russian sources announce such D.scores as 6.2 for UB and 5.6 for BB. I don’t know if she has upgrades on floor. On her best performances, Melknikova has a DTY, 5.8 for UB, 5.6 for BB and 5.6 for FX. It seems to be significantly less than Ragan at her best level (but did she really get 6.6 on BB during a competition ?).
          I think we should not forget the Chinese girls (Chang Sushong of course but Liu TingTing as well).
          Iordache’s execution are horrible, so I can’t see her on the AA podium (last video showing her on UB was tragic : she keeps upgrading difficulties and downgrading execution)
          So Ragan is in a very good position to win the AA, but only if she is perfect : I think the final result will depend more on D-scores because Ragan is not in the Biles style to hit hit hit everything everywhere, everytime. Other medals will be very diputed, especially UB and BB.


        • While unlikely, Melnikova could happen. If you look at how scores have been so far this season, all you need is a score of 57+ to win. If you total Melnikovas season best across all four apparatus she’s at 57, or at the very least within a tenth of 57, and that’s with only one hit Beam routine, and even that Beam routine wasn’t even close to what she could potentially do. That being said, it’s very unlikely that she would go to worlds and hit all of her balance Beam routines after having a single hit routine across 5 competitions (although she could turn it around at the Russian Cup this week). And that’s not to mention that she’s yet to hit four for four at any of her competitions. However, we counted her out in Cluj and then she won floor. And she also has upgrades, like a Dos Santos 1 on floor, and probably others in Bars and Beam as well. So I would say Melnikovas got a shot at winning the title. As for Tinkler, she would have to restore the same difficulty she did in Rio on floor and Beam, and then clean up Bars a lot, and I just don’t see it happening. It’s possible, but I don’t see it happening. Now Ellie Black is someone I wouldn’t underestimate. She always peaks at worlds, and I have a feeling she has a few tricks up her sleeve that she’ll pull out for a world championships at home, it depends on if she hits.


        • Ellie Black is more of a 55.8 for 5th place (at best) kinda gymnast. I don’t see her breaking 57. Also, she has major consistency issues, with frequent falls on beam, but should have no problem progressing to AA finals and tends to hit there.


        • Yeah Ellie is more of a high 55s gymnast under the new code, but I can’t imagine her not pulling out all the stops when you consider it’s a home world championships for her. She’s a Beamer more than anything else, but Ellie has insisted that her main priority will always be the all-around, so I think she’ll do anything she can do to reel in an all-around medal. She produced magic in the Pan American games in Toronto, and that was with a much less competitive field.


        • I think the main contenders for World AA are
          Ragan Smith(USA) More or less guaranteed a medal if she hits.
          Riley McCusker(USA) Just hit.
          Rebecca Andrade(Brazil) If she’s healthy
          Larisa Iordache(Romania) If she brings back AA
          Angelina Melnikova(Russia) If she hits. Melnikova was capable of 60+ scores in the last COP
          Elena Eremina(Russia) If she upgrades UB, BB,FX and hits her beam.
          Ellie Black(Canada) Don’t fall and upgrade
          Mai Murakami(Japan) ALL OF YOU FORGOT ABOUT HER. She has gotten over 56 at every comp this year.

          I feel the Chinese girls are out of the picture


        • Ragan Smith will win Worlds almost certainly at this point. The US is even more dominant than Simone on her own. I think watching greatness is exciting. I want to see if Simone can win 5 gold medals in Tokyo. I want to see if the US can sweep the medals in Tokyo. It’s exciting as long as you look at it as a competition against herself. How great can she be.


        • To be fair, saying Ragan is a lock to win world is just really not a thing. Her difficulty is not thaaat much ahead of everybody else and she isn’t Simone in hitting stuff. We also don’t exactly know of the other’s difficulty so I think it’s a bit over the top saying that.


        • Ragan scored .6 ahead of Liu Tingting and about a point ahead of Mai. Ragan wasn’t at her best day, and we are before Worlds camp. I would agree that Ragan winning is less of a lock than Simone winning was, but if Ragan doesn’t fall, she will win. If she does fall, we will have a tight competition.


      • I always find comments like these so sad. You never hear people wanting Steph Curry to stop playing basketball just because he’s so much better than just about everyone else and they want other people to win too for once. The field should either step up or continue to lose. I couldn’t imagine being one of the girls out there and know that I only won, because Simone bowed out to let other people have a chance. Gymnastics is a competitive sport not some middle school PE class that passes out participation trophies. People aren’t going to stop competing because she’s there, in fact she’ll probably encourage more people to start training gymnastics.


        • I don’t really find the Steph Curry comparison equivalent at all, for a number of reasons. But I do see what you were trying to say. However, the gymnasts themselves have always said they’re only competing for second when Simone is around, and I do find that sad. Nobody is going to stop competing but it’s not like people weren’t trying to “step up” before either. There were plenty of interviews about Aly trying to kill her body to upgrade her floor routine to be competitive enough to win the floor gold again in the olympics before realizing Simone was just that much better. Simone is another class of her own. There are code changes now, so who knows if that will effect anything. If other gymnasts could be more competitive with Simone, then it would make gymnastics better and more interesting upon her return.


        • Agreed!

          I would absolutely welcome a return of Simone and her dominance in the sport. I happen to find her gymnastics exciting, and continue to be impressed by her ability to hit at such a high level and win everything. She is exciting, just not dramatic. There is still no lack of drama, even if it is rarely in the race for gold.


        • For Simone, the sad part is, is people basically telling these girls that they’re only winning because Simone “lets them”. That argument is very flawed, and is probably hurtful to the girls competing. How do you think Ragan felt night 1, when interviewers were literally saying “congratulations! Now how do you feel about competing against Simone if she comes back next year?”. It basically implies to her and the other girls that they’ll basically have 15 seconds of fame before Simone takes the spotlight back, and they all know that people are generating that conversation of “Aww how cute Simone is letting Ragan/ other girls have their moment!”. The thing about Simone that kind of makes me not want her to come back, goes beyond the whole “she makes the sport boring” rhetoric. Its the fact that I don’t feel that she creates a good atmosphere for the other gymnasts. I mean literally every single interview in the last 3 years that included any gymnast that had a shot at a podium of any type all had to answer a minimum of 3 questions about what it’s like to compete with Simone, which gets at best boring and at worst offensive because it’s like telling them that no matter how hard they try the best they can get is silver. Put yourself in any of the gymnasts shoes. How would you feel if you were one of the best athletes in your country and every 5 minutes someone was reminding you that you’ll never stand a chance against them no matter what you do? It’s basically a more subliminal version of what the Romanians do between Iordache/Ponor and the younger gymnasts, and it’s that kind of atmosphere that made Simone competing annoying. I’m not saying that it’s Simone’s fault, she can’t help her talent, work ethic, or the conversations and atmosphere that the media will inevitably generate when you get an athlete of her calliber. It’s just one of the aspects that I hated about her competing.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so glad I’m not the only one who sort of feels this way. I love Simone. She is a phenom and watching her gymnastics is incredible, but it’s also just kind of boring to have her compete against everyone else. The idea of everyone competing for second isn’t that fun for (some) viewers, or for the girls I imagine. Simone has every right to comeback and it will only aid the USA in international competitions, but I’m so so so excited about our juniors-turning-seniors, and they have so much ability. I’m excited for them to take center stage nationally and internationally.

        But since she is returning, I’m hoping the new code will help make it so Simone can’t dominate quite so much, like the de-valuing of the amanar. And maybe gymnasts have a hope of actually competing WITH her instead of just beneath her. She’s got a great personality so it’s always fun to have her on the sidelines and she does push the boundaries of women’s gymnastics. But I’m excited to not know who will win all the time right now.

        Also, maybe it’s just me but it didn’t seem like Laurie actually confirmed she was back in the gym when asked directly? I don’t think she actually is. And what gym would she be going to? I don’t think Laurie will actually return, but I guess we’ll see. At this point I think the only Final Five member to return will be Simone, but you never can tell with Aly.


        • It doesnt really matter what we ‘feel’ feelings arent facts. lol She coming back. And you will bow! lol 🙂 Feelings or not 🙂 All in dem feelings.


  7. Before deciding anything, we should wait for tomorrow !
    Personnally, I’ve been very impressed by Malabuyo : everybody was overscored, but she was not so much. Is this has something to do with the fact that two girls from Texas Dream cannot win gold ?
    I’m very happy that Ragan lead, because I like her gym, even if obvioulsy it was not her best day. Il hope she can do better tomorrow. I love very much Morgan : her gym is smart, subtle and innovative. Riley seems to me very robotic and boring, like Hernandez or Douglaswere, but more average. It’s a question of taste : I’m not interested by her and during her routine, I just think about something else. But she is probably the only US opportunity to get a podium on UB. And she seems to be more consistent than Morgan, so I suppose it’s a good idea to include her on the team as AAer.
    Her style makes me nervous : why is she so tense ?
    Hurd, Smith and Malabuyo (and maybe some other juniors) make me to love US gym more than ever !


  8. I couldnt reply directly to the comment… But if Worlds CAMP matter more than P&G – someone like Marz Frazier, if she won the AA at worlds camp as she has done before, she would go? And whomever was second Aa ?


    • It’s a combination of meets. Nationals matters probably 80%, worlds camp probably 90%. If someone gets 3rd at nationals but 2nd at worlds camp, they’ll prob beat out someone who was 2nd at nationals but like 5th at worlds camp.


      • I see. Argh I wish they recorded the worlds camp so we can see 🙂 Even a bootleg hidden in your jacket quality type phone 🙂 I remembering a few years ago hearing the girls say that camp makes them more nervous than certain meets 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Did Morgan hurt herself after vault? I only watched the live broadcast on youtube at first. But just watched the tv broadcast, and she was fighting back tears as she walked away.


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