2018 U.S. Classic Live Blog | The Seniors

Welcome to the live blog for the senior session at the 2018 U.S. Classic, held in Columbus, Ohio!

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1. Simone Biles 58.700
2. Riley McCusker 57.500
3. Morgan Hurd 56.350
4. Shilese Jones 54.900
5. Alyona Shchennikova 53.900
6. Audrey Davis 53.750
7. Sloane Blakely 53.300
8. Jordan Chiles 53.250
9. Luisa Blanco 52.750
10. Jade Carey 52.650
11. Grace McCallum 52.050
12. Madelyn Williams 51.500
13. Shania Adams 51.400
14. Deanne Soza 51.150
15. Maddie Johnston 51.000
16. Kara Eaker 50.300
17. Olivia Hollingsworth 49.450
18. Stephanie Berger 49.450
19. Isabel Mabanta 46.150
20. Ragan Smith 41.800
21. Jaylene Gilstrap 39.600
22. Emma Malabuyo 26.950
23. Olivia Dunne 12.850

9:48 pm. McCallum BB: LOVE her mount. Side aerial loso, switch leap to front aerial, sits it and then falls. 😦 Not her day today. She’s like “I only crush it when I have to beat the reigning world champion in my U.S. national team debut.” Hit the rest.

9:46 pm. Jones UB: Stalder full to Maloney to Pak (some leg sep), Chow half, toe half to piked Jaeger, some little form things on that, high full-in, little step. Great!

9:42 pm. Mabanta UB: Blind change to straddle Jaeger, fall, back on for a Pak, toe full (a little late

Biles BB: Perf triple wolf turn, solid jump series, barani, no major issues with it, super solid bhs loso loso, switch leap to switch half, little bobble, back pike, punch front pike (knees tuck a little earlier than they should for the landing), front aerial to split jump, tucked full-in dismount with a hop back. #QUEEN #IS #BACK

9:41 pm. Shchennikova FX: Front layout to double front, hands down. 😦 WHY. Hit the second pass. Double pike low with a step after that. Double tuck, leg sep and her chest down.

9:39 pm. Blanco UB: Toe full, Maloney to Tkachev, nice, Pak, some flexed feet, van Leeuwen, hit the dismount.

Carey BB: Bhs loso to back pike/layout, I can’t tell what she’s going for, hits it, and then hits her jumps to a back tuck. Front aerial, wobble, jump series after that is good. Double pike stumbled back like at the American Classic but kept it standing!

9:37 pm. Johnston FX: Double layout low, knee almost down. Front double full. Double pike to finish, solid.

56.350 for Morgan Hurd! Great score with a fall.

9:36 pm. Hurd UB: Komova II to stalder full to Tkachev, nice, Ricna to Pak, just slight leg sep on the Pak, Ray back up to high, inbar half to front giant half, inbar full, and a full-in with slight leg sep in the second flip and a small hop to finish. Solid end to her day, and she did fantastic climbing up the rankings after the beam fall!

9:34 pm. Eaker BB: Ring leap, wobbled on something after that but I couldn’t see what. Front aerial to ring jump to back handspring. Solid side aerial loso loso. Switch ring, back leg isn’t the best, to back handspring, switch half to Korbut, fell on a leap after that. 😦 2.5 with a hop.

Gilstrap FX: Good double arabian, little step back. Hit the rest, including a lovely double full to finish.

9:33 pm. Blakely UB: Lovely bail, toe full to toe shoot, caught close, stalder to toe half to front giant to Endo to double front, very nice!! WHAT A DAY!

Smith VT: Solid DTY, just some leg stuff. Little bounce in place.

9:31 pm. Malabuyo VT: DTY, not bad.

Riley McCusker with a 57.500 in the all-around! Just a little over two tenths shy of the highest in the world so far this year.

9:29 pm. Hollingsworth BB: Off on tuck full series. Some kind of side jump half that was way too low if it was meant to be a split. Side aerial, jump series, hit the dismount.

Chiles FX: Double arabian, step forward. Better on the double layout, just a little low. Tucked full-in is also a little low but not bad in the air. Double pike with a bounce.

9:28 pm. Adams VT: Goes for the DTY but comes up a quarter short and lands it on her side kinda.

Dunne UB: I missed the beginning, saw the Pak, van Leeuwen (legs a bit tucked), toe half (leg sep) to piked Jaeger, good Tkachev, just a layout dismount.

9:25 pm. Berger VT: Clean FTY.

Davis UB: Pak, and I missed the rest, sorry!

Williams BB: Solid bhs loso. Double full with a hop back.

McCusker FX: Double layout, low and buckled with a hop forward. Double pike, a little low and her second pike is VERY open! That prob contributed to it being a tad low but she still hit no problem. Good work on the third pass. Well, I think we can all be THRILLED with the day she had here today!!

9:16 pm. Rotation 3 Standings

1. Riley McCusker 43.900
2. Simone Biles 43.500
3. Alyona Shchennikova 42.200
4. Morgan Hurd 41.650
5. Shilese Jones 41.050
6. Sloane Blakely 40.600
7. Jordan Chiles 40.150
8. Jade Carey 39.850
9. Audrey Davis 39.750
10. Madelyn Williams 39.600
11. Luisa Blanco 39.500
12. Shania Adams 39.050
— Grace McCallum 39.050
14. Maddie Johnston 38.450
15. Deanne Soza 37.850
16. Olivia Hollingsworth 37.350
17. Isabel Mabanta 37.050
18. Kara Eaker 36.650
19. Stephanie Berger 35.800
20. Ragan Smith 27.800
21. Jaylene Gilstrap 26.800
22. Emma Malabuyo 12.650

9:13 pm. Biles UB: She fell on her Tkachev in the touch so fingers crossed for a bad dress rehearsal and good opening night! Weiler half to Maloney to big Tkachev, catches with bent legs but holds on, toe full, legs come apart and she arches a bit before hopping off. Back on for a piked Tkachev to clean Pak, van Leeuwen, Fabrichnova dismount CASUAL with just a hop forward. Not what she wanted and you can tell she’s annoyed but good finish.

Johnston BB: Double spin, ugh, gets a little wild at the end and she falls. But kudos to her for being I think the only U.S. gymnast doing that in 300 years. Side split half. Solid bhs loso. Hit the rest.

9:08 pm. Carey UB: Clear hip to Ray, slipped and fell hard. 😦 Blind change to Ezhova, Maloney to Pak, toe shoot, full-in stuck. Ugh, that fall, she’s like blech.

Gilstrap BB: Clean double wolf turn. Punch front, good jump series after it. Solid bhs loso. front aerial to split ring jump. Bounce back on the double full.

9:06 pm. Blanco VT: Hit her FTY.

Adams FX: Good double arabian, I think she tried to jump out of it and bobbled. Stumbled on her next pass, OOB. Double tuck with a slide back.

Chliles BB: Super cool mount. Wolf turn, bhs loso with a step back, front aerial to jump series, side aerial to switch to switch half, a little low on the end of that and stumbles. Punch front, leg up. Stukbbled back her double pike.

Jones VT: Lovely DTY! #SilentThreat

Eaker UB: Maloney to clear hip to Ray, not bad, Pak, van Leeuwen, clear hip full, a little late, toe half to piked Jaeger, really open pike, double layout is mostly good, tiny step.

9:04 pm. Hurd VT: High DTY, big step back.

Hollingsworth UB: Toe full (late and crooked), Maloney to Pak (legs in a V), van Leeuwen (legs apart), clear hip to blind change (leg sep) to straddle Jaeger, high full-in with a little step.

9:02 pm. Soza FX: Tucked full-in, a little low. Hit her second pass. Then a double tuck, clean and looked stuck! Hit the double pike to finish.

McCusker BB: Front aerial to split jump to back tuck, little bounce. Bhs bhs loso, a tad under but pulls through. Switch to switch half, little bobble, split leap, low back leg, to side aerial, good connection I think, side split jump half, step back on the double tuck. Good work! She’s bringing it today!

9:01 pm. Williams UB: Toe full to Maloney to Pak to stalder (muscled a bit) to van Leeuwen, inbar half to piked Jaeger, double layout, little step.

Blakely VT: Clean FTY.

8:57 pm. Mabanta VT: Hit

UB: I missed most of this but SAW it, just couldn’t type, good full-in at the end and the rest was hit.

Shchennikova BB: Same with missing most of this, only saw the Onodi and the double tuck dismount, a little low with a bounce.

Berger FX: Good 1.5 to front pike, low double pike, sat it.

Davis VT: Stuck her DTY! Not fully rotated and feet were apart, some leg stuff.

8:51 pm. Rotation 2 Standings

1. Simone Biles 30.150
2. Riley McCusker 29.350
3. Alyona Shchennikova 28.800
4. Jade Carey 28.550
5. Jordan Chiles 27.900
6. Ragan Smith 27.800
7. Morgan Hurd 27.250
8. Sloane Blakely 27.100
9. Grace McCallum 26.550
10. Maddie Johnston 26.500
— Shilese Jones 26.500
12. Luisa Blanco 26.250
13. Shania Adams 26.200
14. Madelyn Williams 25.700
15. Audrey Davis 25.550
16. Olivia Hollingsworth 25.400
17. Deanne Soza 25.000
18. Stephanie Berger 24.900
19. Isabel Mabanta 23.800
20. Kara Eaker 23.700
21. Jaylene Gilstrap 13.550
22. Emma Malabuyo 12.650

8:50 pm. Blanco FX: Beautiful double arabian!!! Where did all of these double arabians with glued knees come from?! So little cowboying today! Double tuck, then a 1.5 to front full, little bobble on the second one of those. Switch half. Love her little back walkover into an upside-down split. Good double full to finish.

8:47 pm. Adams BB: Back to back wolf turns, she’s local so the crowd is like YAS WE LOVE THIS. Tour jeté half, a little short. Bhs loso loso looks like it’s gonna go past the end of the beam and then she wobbles like mad trying to save it but hops off. Front aerial to split jump to sissone, clean, side somi, side split jump half, and a double full with two steps back.

8:45 pm. Hurd FX: Moors like it’s easy. GET IT. Double layout is even easier. Front layout to stuck front double full, very nice. Switch ring, through to ring leap, beautiful omg this whole section is to die for. Double pike with a hop. Great.

8:44 pm. Soza BB: Front aerial to split jump to split jump half, side aerial, UGH, was going for some kind of L turn, maybe a double? But almost near the end she grabbed the beam and then fell. 😦 Side split jump half. Good double pike dismount.

Jade got a 14.45 on her Lopez and a 14.65 I believe on her DTY for a 14.55 average…just throwing those at you because it won’t be in the live scores.

8:43 pm. Blakely FX: I missed the beginning. Only saw the 2.5 to finish.

Chiles UB: I missed the beginning of this as well but she came off on a release. Oh, I think she was going for some kind of Tkachev to Gienger, got it the second time! And hit the dismount.

8:42 pm. Carey VT: Second vault is the Lopez and it looks waaaaaaaaaay to easy for her!

8:41 pm. Carey VT: Just a DTY for her first vault, so guessing she won’t do the tsuk double. I feel like I saw her warming up a Lopez? DTY is great though. Second is…yes, the Lopez! Interesting. Guessing she wants the Amanar and Cheng combo.

Berger BB: Bhs loso loso, great. Punch front. Hands down on front aerial then a big wobble after. Switch half. Full turn. Hit the dismount.

8:38 pm. McCusker UB:  Toe full to Maloney to big Tkachev, nice, huge Ray to Pak to van Leeuwen! stalder to blind change to front giant to half in double tuck, some little issues in there with the dismount (she has struggled with it in training and it’s not really her friend but she got through it and is thrilled).

Davis FX: Double layout, feet flexed throughout and she’s a little bent, I think she put her knee down? 2.5. Low double pike, and then she kind of stumbles it even lower. Bummer.

8:36 pm. Eaker VT: Went for the Yurchenko 1.5 which she tucked throughout and then sat. 😦

Smith BB: Double wolf turn, layout series, looked great! Bobble on the standing full but good save. Solid side split jump half to side straddle jump half…at least I think she was going for the connection, not sure if she was quick enough. Front aerial to jump series. Hit the double pike well.

8:34 pm. Williams VT: Floaty FTY with a hop back.

Shchennikova UB: Inbar full to Komova II to Tkachev, nice, her feet def look better. Ricna to Pak (super clean) to van Leeuwen, stalder half to front giant to half-in double tuck. Yay! Aww, she’s SO happy.

Mabanta FX: Hit the double tuck to start. Rudi after that. Double full, little bounce.

Hollingsworth VT: Decent FTY.

8:30 pm. Biles VT: Cheng, nbd, what most gymnasts do as their first vault back. I’m doing one right now. Hop back with her leg up but fab height, distance, and rotation.

Johnston UB: Front toe-on to piked Jaeger, clear hip to Pak to toe full to toe-on to Maloney to bail to toe shoot, DAMN, just some leg separation throughout with the Pak being most noticeable. Double pike dismount.

Malabuyo BB: Good wolf turn at the beginning. Solid bhs loso loso. Korbut, wobble on the standing arabian, hit her jumps, front aerial to split ring jump, weird back leg and a bobble, switch ring (back leg again isn’t the best), good double pike. Apparently fell on a punch front but I missed it??? I fully thought I saw that whole routine.

Jones FX: Double double, little hop. GET IT SHI. Excellent double arabian, little hop. Tucked full-in is great. Little hop on the double tuck. She’s the sleeper hit this year.

McCallum VT: DTY, doesn’t get the height she needs and she ends up super short.

8:26 pm. Rotation 1 Standings

1. Simone Biles 14.750
2. Jordan Chiles 14.500
3. Sloane Blakely 14.400
4. Riley McCusker 14.350
5. Alyona Shchennikova 13.900
— Jade Carey 13.900
7. Shania Adams 13.750
8. Jaylene Gilstrap 13.550
— Maddie Johnston 13.550
— Luisa Blanco 13.550
11. Deanne Soza 13.400
— Audrey Davis 13.400
— Morgan Hurd 13.400
14. Ragan Smith 13.300
15. Shilese Jones 13.200
16. Grace McCallum 13.050
17. Stephanie Berger 12.600
18. Kara Eaker 12.400
19. Madelyn Williams 12.300
20. Olivia Hollingsworth 12.150
21. Isabel Mabanta 11.900

8:23 pm. Eaker FX: 2.5 to front full, and then a good front double full. Memmel to full pirouette. Triple full, a little underrotated, big hop back. Crashed the double pike at the end, UGH.

8:21 pm. Hurd BB: Excellent standing full! Side aerial, switch leap, bhs loso is super solid, girl’s a rock. Front aerial to split jump to straddle jump, going after that extension. Punch front, splits the beam and falls. NOOOOOOO. Tears forever. Side split jump half, a little wobble. Full turn, she’s landing them in a better standing position now instead of squatting them a bit. Switch ring. Double pike, little bounce. Aside from the fall, that was excellent.

8:20 pm. Hollingsworth FX: Full-in (actually may have been a half-in half-out?) to start. Front tuck through to a solid double tuck. 1.5 through to double full, legs are super wild in her twists. Double pike, step back.

8:18 pm. Blakely BB: Double wolf turn, switch leap to switch half to back tuck, great! Really beautiful front handspring front tuck!! Front aeiral to split jump (TOE POINT!!!!) to split jump half, GET IT! Side aerial, little check, side somi, double tuck, little hop. That was fab.

8:17 pm. Williams FX: Lovely double arabian, little step forard. Switch ring to tour jeté full, nice. She’s lovely in literally everything she does. 1.5 to front full with a step. Wobbly wolf turn. Double pike, two steps back, one foot OOB I think.

8:14 pm. Davis BB: Front aerial to split ring jump, nice, bhs loso is solid, switch to switch half to split jump half, side aerial, good double pike dismount.

8:13 pm. Mabanta BB: I missed all of this but I think she hit.

McCallum FX: I missed the beginning but she hit the first pass (tuck full-in maybe?) and a great triple full. Good double tuck to finish.

8:11 pm. Shchennikova VT: DTY, actually not bad! From this angle, much better than she has done it in the past, just some crunching at the end.

Soza UB: Toe full to Tkachev, Ray, clear hip half to Ezhova I think, then a good van Leeuwen, hit the dismount.

McCusker VT: DTY, good! A little underrotated maybe but not bad.

8:07 pm. Smith UB: I missed her first release but she caught it, then a Downie, but she slipped on her Ricna. 😦  Back on for the Pak, Ray to high, high stuck full-in.

Jones BB: Excellent standing arabian and bhs loso. Leap to a side aerial, fab punch front, little bobble. Big switch half. Solid double tuck, little bounce.

Gilstrap VT: Yurchenko 1.5, tucks her legs at the very end.

Biles FX: The screams! Moors, bounces OOB. Front full through to tuck full-in, good. Switch to tour jeté full, super. Great Biles to stag! Tucked double double basically stuck to finish. Gosh darn.

Johnston VT: Yurchenko 1.5, good.

Berger UB: Toe full to Maloney to bail (ankle sep) to toe shoot (high), step on her double tuck dismount.

8:03 pm. Chiles VT: DTY, beautiful, little hop back. Second vault is a solid tsuk full.

Adams UB: Toe full to Maloney to Pak, very clean, van Leeuwen, blind change to straddle Jaeger, nice and big, full-in with a step.

Blanco BB: Hit the beginning that I could see. Switch leap to switch half, short on the latter, then goes right into a split jump half. Full L turn, and hit the dismount.

Carey FX: Moors! Double layout with a couple of steps back. Double double, little bobble. Front tuck (looked like she missed a hand?!) through to double tuck, a little low but good work considering the blunder.

8:01 pm. Chelsea Davis is judging on floor! I thought I saw her in the hotel lobby last night.

7:58 pm. Touch warmup is starting NOW!!!!!

VT: Jordan Chiles, Jaylene Gilstrap, Madeleine Johnston, Alyona Shchennikova, Riley McCusker

UB: Shania Adams, Ragan Smith, Stephanie Berger, Deanne Soza

BB: Luisa Blanco, Shilese Jones, Isabel Mabanta, Audrey Davis, Sloane Blakely, Morgan Hurd

FX: Jade Carey, Simone Biles, Grace McCallum, Madelyn Williams, Olivia Hollingsworth, Kara Eaker


75 thoughts on “2018 U.S. Classic Live Blog | The Seniors

    • IKR! The fact she tweeted that she only did her first full floor 1 month ago yesterday, just blows my mind. She will only improve!


        • I saw that hey gave her 6,8 D score (I imagine 0,1 stick bonus) which is very generous because some jumps were definitely underotated and also she didn’t “really” stuck any landing, maybe the double double despite the tiny hop. And .2 oob penalty which too I think was generous. For the judges she went out of bounds with one foot first (.1) and then the other (.1) even though I think she went immediately oob with both feet (the right foot just brushing the line). Anyway, still a great routine.


        • I think her target d score is 6.7 with the jump after front full to full in combo pass, but she didn’t do that, so her d score was 6.6. I don’t think anything got downgraded. And she only stepped out with one foot initially and then weirdly stepped out with the other one instead of just bringing the first foot back in bounds.


  1. If Riley beats Simone, what an amazing confidence booster for her. If Riley beats Simone, what an amazing thing to motivate Simone more! Win win in my opinion! 🙂


  2. I hope Morgi goes back to the tucked double double instead of the Moors. Isn’t it only one letter more? I’m sure her deductions are much higher than what it’s worth. Her Silivas was BEAUTIFUL at American Cup.


  3. Man Riley looks sensational I believe name recognition is playing but hopefully she’ll get better better perception because her scores should have been higher her bb in my belief is as good as anyone in the world.


  4. Poor Deanne Soza didn’t make qualifying scores. 51.150 AA (needed 52), 39.55 highest 3-event (needed 39.75) and 26.7 highest 2-event (needed 27.00)



  5. Well that bb score for Simone was def overscored compared to the scoring we’ve seen this quad and name recognition. I believe Riley was both underscored and should have won name recognition played a big plot her ub was phonamal and underscored yes her floor needs work but Riley a 1.5 Below with this def scoring


    • That’s happening literally everywhere, though. Ragan got a 15.35 at Classics last year lol the only time people have been getting absolutely nailed on beam is at Worlds. Riley was scored very well today, all things considered. She got a 9.00 in execution on bars and an 8.750 in execution on beam. That’s really high. You’re talking like Simone didn’t have 2.4 full points over Riley in difficulty lol Simone would have had to fall twice AND not executed well for Riley to realistically have a real shot at beating her.


      • You’re smoking something this squad has nailed every one with gymnast almost 3 some 4 5 points less that B.B. was really overscored compared to Eaker and a Russian girl I believe there scoring was not even 15 Riley was solid hit all four and was underscored both on B.B. and ub it was a lot closer than the score showed name recognition played a part when you got gymnast getting 13, 12, 11 now and before 15 even close to 16 prior


        • First, if someone doesn’t agree with your opinion he or she isn’t smoking anything, all right? xD
          Second, I think Biles’ beam was overscored, but Riley was definitely not underscored at all and with the difficulty gap between Simone and the rest of the group it was basically impossible for her not to win.
          Third, please, be more clear when you type because if it’s difficult for us to read your text it’s even more difficult for us to understand what you are trying to tell.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Enrico you obviously can’t understand what I said I was just voicing my opinion back. We can agree to disagree I believe Riley was underscored on B.B. and ub and did I say Riley won . No but you make it out like I did. This meet was a lot closer than you and everyone else is saying . I brought up the point that difficulty and sv has been slammed hard this year . Some gymnast getting docked up to three points . Now how else can I explain that . Side note thanks for applauding him


      • Gymnastic fever did I say Riley should have won I stated with the scoring bias and name recognition; the meet should have been a lot closer than you and most people on this form believe. Side note thanks for applauding again


  6. I don’t get it. Olivia Dunne looks phenomenal in training with everything clean and really difficult, but then goes to competition and it’s all bleh, messy and low difficulty.


  7. Okay can someone explain to me Chiles please? Whats her deal? Why is she doing a second vault, only a full tsuk? Whats her point? With Biles, and Carey, what does she think this will do for her? Legit confused? Is she gonna upgrade the full? also do an amanar? whats the strategy folks? I dont want her career to be best known only for a mistake she made on beam…


    • I’ll be curious to see what she does at nationals. With her current vaults, I see her as a solid B team member who could medal on vault at pan ams or other such comps. I honestly think she doesn’t have a chance at worlds/olympics with Biles and Carey in the picture. Last year was her best shot.

      That tsuk full would be great in NCAA 😉


  8. Does anyone know if everything’s okay between Simone and Morgan? Simone posted something on Twitter about missing her quad’s girls and today, she wasn’t really talking to anyone. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Simone sitting down and being sullen before…and that before the fall on bars. Oh, and the reason I mention Morgan is because Simone seemed to get along with and hugged all of the medallists beside her on the podium…except for Morgan. Twice. And they didn’t even talk to each other.


  9. I’m hoping you’re right. But based on how the medal ceremony went, I’m pretty sure I’m not imagining anything. And I’m not the only one.

    I’m just hoping that it’s just the rest of the girls getting used to Simone again, since the only girl she’s competed with in this group is Ragan.


  10. Morgan gets third even with a fall? That’s pretty good. I get scared of watching her BB ever since the Pac Rims. Simone’s floor routine was good after a year out of comps even with that OOB. Her bars though, she said she was too excited to showcase her routine. Nevertheless there’s still nationals coming up and there’s hope she can get more consistent with her new UB routine.


  11. I am surprised to see how many seniors are doing moors on fx! Used to be only skinner doing it from US…. even hurd is doing it?


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  13. If Simone got credit for everything she attempted, she would have a combined her highest score

    Weiler 1/2 (D) + Shap (D) + Tkatchev (D) = 0.3 CV
    Toe full (D) + Tkatchev piked (E) + Pak (D) = 0.3 CV
    Toe Shap 1/2 (E)
    Double double tucked (F)
    3.6 + 2.0 CR + 0.6 CV = 6.2 D

    Biles + split jump 0.1 CV*
    Front 1/1 to t. full-in 0.2 CV
    Double Wolf
    Switch leap 1/1
    Acro: IGCEH – 3.2
    Dance: DDD – 1.2
    CV: 0.3
    CR: 2.0
    Total: 6.7


  14. Why were some of the girls using an extra landing mat on floor exercise? (Maybe all of them were? I didn’t watch the whole competition; just a few clips on you tube). I didn’t think they were allowed to do that in competition. That’s probably a dumb question but I’m a fairly new gymnastics fan. 🙂


      • It would be great if they allowed it at worlds and the Olympics though, especially with the strict rules for what counts as a stick. Lots of ankle and knee injuries could have been prevented or the severity lessened.


  15. Great to see Simone back in competition. Her mistake of going out of bounds on the Moors in her floor routine was because she had TOO MUCH power. Most can’t even get that tumbling pass to their feet, but Simone goes too big on the most difficult tumbling pass in the world. Same with her Cheng vault–too much power. And that beam routine! You could see she was not happy she fell on bars, so she casually went out and nailed beam (with a slight balance check a couple times, but ever so slight). I always loved the way Simone worked beam. Great to see her back. Despite some mistakes and some rust, her execution and form is still the best in the world (except for bars, but her execution on bars is usually still pretty good).

    I’ve never been that impressed with Riley McCusker, but I sure was today. She made a believer out of me. Great competition for her. Floor is still her weakest event as far as tumbling goes, but her dance and artistry on floor is a treat to watch. Her bar routine was really wonderful, and I’m so glad she hit that dismount!

    Despite her fall on beam, I was impressed with Morgan, too. Her Moors on floor looked a bit messy form-wise, but when you compare Simone, Riley and Morgan on floor, I feel that Morgan has that combination of artistry AND difficult tumbling. Simone has spectacular tumbling, but I always feel like everything else is just filler for the main event of her crazy-difficult tumbling passes. Riley’s tumbling looks a tad labored, and it’s not even the most difficult. Morgan has that combination down. I couldn’t take my eyes off her during her floor routine. On the NBC broadcast on Sunday, the commentators said Morgan’s wish is not be be boring. You’re there, Morgan! You’ve never boring!

    On to Nationals . . .


  16. Pingback: Simone is back | species specific

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