Welcome to the live blog for the first day of the junior women’s competition at the 2019 U.S. Championships, held in Kansas City, Missouri!
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4:22 pm. DAY ONE STANDINGS
1. Konnor McClain, Revolution, 56.500
2. Kayla DiCello, Hill’s, 56.000
3. Olivia Greaves, MG Elite, 55.700
4. Sydney Barros, Texas Dreams, 55.250
5. Skye Blakely, WOGA, 54.600
6. Anya Pilgrim, Hill’s, 53.900
7. eMjae Frazier, Parkettes, 53.300
8. Sophia Butler, Discover, 53.150
9. Ciena Alipio, West Valley, 53.050
10. Lilly Lippeatt, Cincinnati, 52.900
11. Karis German, World Champions, 52.700
12. Zoe Miller, World Champions, 52.450
13. Kailin Chio, Gymcats, 52.100
14. Sydney Morris, First State, 51.900
15. Ava Siegfeldt, World Class, 51.700
16. Addison Fatta, Prestige, 51.350
17. Love Birt, First State, 51.250
18. Katelyn Rosen, Mavericks, 51.100
19. Lauren Little, Everest, 51.050
20. Kaylen Morgan, Everest, 50.850
21. Mya Witte, Genie’s, 50.700
22. Jamison Sears, World Class, 50.650
23. Sienna Robinson, Browns, 50.300
24. Lyden Saltness, Midwest, 50.200
25. Levi Jung-Ruivivar, Paramount Elite, 50.050
26. Nola Matthews, Airborne, 49.900
27. Ella Zirbes, Flips, 49.550
28. Ariel Posen, MG Elite, 49.450
29. Sophie Parenti, San Mateo, 47.900
4:21 pm. Ella Zirbes BB: A little short on her jumps, especially on the straddle. Bhs bhs loso, some leg form and a big bobble. Punch front is really clean. A couple of good transverse jumps, tiny bobble on her full turn, side aerial is slightly under…hit the dismount with a small step forward.
4:20 pm. Lyden Saltness 12.350 BB, Ciena Alipio 12.750 FX
4:19 pm. Sienna Robinson UB: Blind full to blind change to piked Jaeger, huge air on that! Blind change to straddle Jaeger, also really big, nice handstand before her toe-on to Pak, clean. Another excellent handstand before her toe shoot. Double layout with an excellent landing. WOW! Great job.
4:18 pm. Ciena Alipio FX: Clean double pike, little hop back. Hit her second pass as well, and then her leap series, which finished with a switch half. 1.5 to front full, stuck and beautiful! Split full. Double full, overrotates it a bit, stumbles back, but not too severe. Good routine!
Lauren Little 12.900 VT, Lilly Lippeatt 13.550 UB
4:17 pm. Lilly Lippeatt UB: Weiler half to Ricna to Pak, AMAZING! LOVE. Nice handstand before her Maloney to blind full bail to toe shoot, bail was a little weak but otherwise great. Toe-on, full-out, tiny hop. Fantastic work.
4:17 pm. Lauren Little VT: Tsuk layout with a step to the side.
Nola Matthews 12.400 BB, Ariel Posen 12.600 FX
4:16 pm. Skye Blakely with a 14.350 on vault to finish with a 54.600 with a rough bars set, so that’s great!
4:15 pm. Skye Blakely VT: Huuuuge DTY but with a HUUUUUGE bounce back. Aside from the slight leg separation on the pre-flight, her form was pretty stellar.
Katelyn Rosen 13.400 VT, Mya Witte 12.000 UB, eMjae Frazier 13.050 UB, Sophie Parenti 12.700 FX
4:13 pm. Nola Matthews BB: Wolf turn, bhs loso, some leg form, goes a bit wild on the landing and has a fall. Front aerial, and then hit leaps into a back handspring. Good double full dismount.
4:11 pm. Sophie Parenti FX: Double pike, pretty good! 1.5 to front full, good. Switch half. I couldn’t see the last pass really due to a freeze but good routine.
4:08 pm. A 14.300 on beam for Konnor gets her to a 56.500 all-around to take the lead by half a point! Amazing. What a field!!!
4:06 pm. Konnor McClain BB: Standing arabian, tiny bobble, bhs bhs layout, leg up, wolf jump to sissone, clean. Standing full, just the tiniest check. Switch to switch half, a little short there. Front aerial to split ring jump was a little slow in the connection, tiny step on the double pike. Not like, her absolute best ever, but still VERY nice.
4:04 pm. Kayla DiCello with a 56.000 all-around today, Olivia Greaves with a 55.700, and Sydney Barros with a 55.250! Some “these are kinda high…” scores in there but they all had really great days.
Addison Fatta is on floor right now but we’re watching the logo instead. For several minutes.
4:03 pm. The last few routines were all insanely fast one after another, apologies if I missed things! I was typing like a madman.
Anya Pilgrim 13.000 UB, Sophia Butler 13.300 FX
4:02 pm. Sophia Butler FX: Arabian double front, some leg separation, hop forward off the sting mat. Piked full-in, little step back. 2.5 to punch front right in the corner, good control there. Double pike is great at the end, and then her fab lil dive roll. Queen!
Jamison Sears 14.350 VT, Ava Siegfeldt 13.850 VT, Kailin Chio 13.650 VT, Kaylen Morgan 13.100 VT, Zoe Miller 13.500 UB, Kayla DiCello 13.700 UB, Karis German 12.750 UB, Sydney Morris 12.250 BB, Sydney Barros 13.400 BB, Levi Jung-Ruivivar 12.800 FX, Olivia Greaves 13.650 FX
4:01 pm. Kaylen Morgan VT: I missed what she did but she had a big step on the landing.
3:59 pm. Sydney Barros BB: Had a big wobble on a punch front. Gets it back for her flight series, though, nice job. Front aerial to split jump (a bit short) to sissone. Switch to switch half, a little short on the latter. Good double pike to finish!
3:59 pm. Kailin Chio VT: Yurchenko 1.5, stuck the CRAP out of it!!! Awesome landing, Cassie Rice is freaking out.
3:58 pm. Kayla DiCello UB: Stalder full to Maloney to Pak, nice. Van Leeuwen, clear hip to blind change to straddle Jaeger, nice and high. Toe half was very short, full-in with a hop forward. Great day for her, proving classics was obviously a fluke.
3:57 pm. Ava Seigfeldt VT: Yurchenko 1.5, ran out of it unfortunately, but nice seeing that power!
3:55 pm. Jamison Sears VT: DTY, big lunge back.
3:54 pm. Zoe Miller UB: Inbar full, toe-on to Komova II to Pak, Maloney to big Tkachev, this is looking excellent! Stalder, clean double layout to finish, great job.
3:49 pm. ROTATION 3 STANDINGS
1. Kayla DiCello 42.300
2. Konnor McClain 42.200
3. Olivia Greaves 42.050
4. Sydney Barros 41.850
5. Anya Pilgrim 40.900
6. Ciena Alipio 40.300
7. Skye Blakely 40.250
— eMjae Frazier 40.250
3:47 pm. Katelyn Rosen FX: Hit her full-in to start. Double pike, good landing. Front tuck through to double full. Switch ring, solid. Double tuck, a little low, almost rebounds out of her landing position into her choreo.
Sophie Parenti 10.950 BB
3:45 pm. Sophie Parenti BB: Wolf turn, hit her leap series, had a hard fall on the bhs loso after that. 😦 Hit the double full dismount.
Nola Matthews 12.500 UB, Kaylen Morgan 13.300 FX
3:44 pm. Kaylen Morgan FX: Arabian double front, a bit cowboyed, big step forward. Clean double tuck with a hop backwards. Good double full with a little hop. Switch leap to switch half, very nice extension on those.
Konnor McClain 14.300 UB, Mya Witte 13.250 VT, eMjae Frazier 14.300 VT, Addison Fatta 10.950 BB, Kailin Chio 12.950 FX
3:43 pm. eMjae Frazier VT: DTY, looked like she started twisting a TAD too early, but this was very solid with a good landing.
3:42 pm. Konnor McClain UB: Toe-on to toe half to piked Jaeger, very nice. Great handstand before her Pak. Perfect handstand before her stalder full to Maloney to stalder half, and she stuck the tucked full-in. Lovely!
3:41 pm. Kailin Chio FX: Clean double pike. Good leap series. Double tuck, little hop back. Memmel to full turn. 2.5 to front pike, very nice. Tour jeté half. Good double full to finish. Actually, it was a triple full! She made it look as easy as a double.
Anya Pilgrim 14.550 VT, Karis German 14.300 VT, Love Birt 12.950 UB, Sophia Butler 12.100 BB
3:40 pm. Anya Pilgrim VT: DTY, loses her form a bit in the second twist, but overall not bad. Tons of power.
3:39 pm. Sophia Butler BB: Bhs bhs layout, very solid. Switch leap, full turn, both clean. Transverse split jump half, little bobble, side aerial is good, into a jump to a back tuck. Onodi, almost gets it to the stag ring jump, I’d credit it honestly. Double pike, step back. Great work.
3:38 pm. Karis German VT: Our first look at her today! They switched camera views in the MIDDLE of her DTY, why would you ever do that. Looked strong though!
3:34 pm. Olivia Greaves 13.200 BB
3:33 pm. Ava Seigfeldt FX: Great double layout to start! She’s a hidden gem, I think. Not quite there this year but will be. Full-in was solid. Switch ring, low knee in the back, to split ring leap. Dobule pike, stuck cold. Switch half into a little dancey jump. Front tuck through to double full with a hop back. Fab job.
3:32 pm. Olivia Greaves BB: Super solid bhs loso, punch front, little bounce. Switch leap, side aerial, I think she wanted to connect the two but didn’t. Double tuck with a step back. We may have missed something at the beginning but what I saw was great.
3:31 pm. Sydney Barros 13.850 UB, Levi Jung-Ruivivar 12.100 BB, Jamison Sears 13.000 FX
3:30 pm. Sydney Barros UB: Toe full, nice, to Maloney to Pak, very well-done. Van Leeuwen, stalder half to piked Jaeger, maybe a little low on the release but no problems for her, full-twisting double layout with a step forward. Hit machine!
3:29 pm. Levi Jung-Ruivivar BB: Front aerial, little bobbles, side aerial, maybe a little short, little bobble. Switch to switch half to split jump, her feet on the split jump get a chef’s kiss. Bhs loso, check at the hips, wobble on the full turn, transverse split jump half, gorgeous. Clean 1.5 dismount. Really love seeing her fight through the little problematic areas.
Sydney Morris 13.350 UB, Lauren Little 12.750 FX
3:28 pm. Kayla DiCello VT: DTY, some leg form but super powerful and a solid landing. 14.700! Okay, she’s def gonna lead today, girl has been unstoppable.
3:27 pm. Ciena Alipio with a 13.450 with a fall, damn! I mean, the beginning of that routine was straight-up perfect.
3:25 pm. Lauren Little FX: Arabian double front, a tiny bit low, step forward. Hit the double pike, super open. God this feed is so jumpy. Stuck the double tuck. 2.5, little crossover step. Good work.
Zoe Miller got a 13.600 for an FTY! That’s pretty sweet. Ella Zirbes 11.850 UB, Arel Posen 13.250 BB, Skye Blakely 13.650 FX
3:24 pm. Ciena Alipio BB: Full turn, nice, side aerial loso loso, really solid. Basically perfect on the bhs bhs layout. Switch to switch half, good. Split leap, into a side somi, the feed froze but I think it was as she was falling on the side somi, ugh. Back on for a front aerial to split jump to straddle jump, some floppy feet on one of the jumps. Transverse split jump, little bobble. Double full, good.
3:23 pm. Sydney Barros VT: Going back to watch this, very powerful DTY with just some leg form in the air and a big hop back.
3:22 pm. Lilly Lippeatt 13.050 VT
3:21 pm. Skye Blakely FX: The feed froze mid-first pass, probably a tucked full-in? Hit the second pass as well, I just saw the landing but it looked very clean and solid. Super clean wolf turn. Switch side half. Double pike, tiny step back, I honestly don’t think she even needed it. Great set.
3:20 pm. Ariel Posen BB: Little bobble on something early on. Flight series I think, I just saw the end of it. Front aerial to split jump to straddle jump, good. Switch to switch half to Korbut, side aerial, I missed a few things after that, hit the dismount.
3:18 pm. Skye Blakely BB: Going back to watch this during the rotation break! Her mount is so beautiful. Clean double wolf turn. Standing full, just a little step. Bhs loso, leg comes up in a wobble but she turns it into a dance element basically. Love. Punch front, good. Switch to switch half to back tuck, little bobble. Front aerial to split jump to split half, nice. Wolf jump to sissone to side aerial, great. Double pike with a step back. Great! Just a bit bobbly.
3:14 pm. ROTATION 2 STANDINGS
1. Olivia Greaves 28.850
2. Sydney Barros 28.000
3. Konnor McClain 27.900
4. Sophia Butler 27.750
5. Kayla DiCello 27.600
6. Addison Fatta 27.550
7. Ciena Alipio 26.850
8. Skye Blakely 26.600
3:12 pm. Anya Pilgrim FX: 1.5 through to arabian double front, good! Hop forward. Double pike with a bounce back. Switch ring to tour jeté half. Clean double full, literally looks like she could do that as a standing skill, she barely moves into it. Amazing. Double tuck, great position on the landing.
3:10 pm. Olivia Greaves 14.450 UB, Ava Siegfeldt 13.300 BB, Kayla DiCello 13.700 FX
3:09 pm. Kailin Chio BB: Hit her mount and jumps with just a tiny bobble. Bhs loso loso, solid. Front aerial to split ring jump, missed a foot and wobbled. Switch to switch half to Korbut was very nice, and she hit the rest including a double full dismount with some ankle form.
3:08 pm. Mya Witte BB: Going back to watch this from the first rotation. Love her mount. Bhs bhs layout, really solid, feet just apart. Full turn. Front aerial to split jump to sissone, basically perfect. Transverse split jump half,switch to switch half to back tuck, tiny check. Side aerial. This is fantastic so far. Had a good double pike but then stumbled it back and couldn’t hold it up so that’s where the fall came in. UGH. Otherwise incredibly well done.
3:07 pm. Sophia Butler UB: Stalder half to piked Jaeger, nice. Church, great! Ray to Pak, a little too arched in the Pak but really nice overall. Toe full, van Leeuwen with some leg separation, stuck the double tuck! Great routine!
3:06 pm. Kayla DiCello FX: Full-twisting double layout, nice! Hop back, and she was a little piked down in the second flip. 1.5 through to 2.5, hop forward, just some ankle form. I wasn’t typing during the rest but she hit second two passes, the last was a double tuck, good routine with just minor form things.
3:05 pm. We just missed Sydney Barros on vault but she got a 14.500.
3:04 pm. Olivia Greaves UB: Stalder full, lovely, to huge Chow half, amazing. Blind change to piked Jaeger, huge, Downie to Pak, excellent! Super clean van Leeuwen, slightly short on the handstand before her toe-on, and she dismounts with a full-in, INCREDIBLE!!!!!
3:01 pm. Levi Jung-Ruivivar UB: Omg her leo is SO old-school, I love it so much. Stalder full, tries to get it right on the bar but it causes her to arch it a bit. Maloney to Pak, some breaks in there, van Leeuwen, piked Jaeger, has to take an extra swing after, low full-in with a step back. That looked like a nervous routine, tbh, but great fight through it.
2:58 pm. Mid-rotation break! Skye’s beam isn’t up on YouTube yet but many second rotation routines are so check that link.
Lilly Lippeatt 13.450 FX, Ella Zirbes 13.700 VT, Mya Witte 13.550 FX, Lyden Saltness 13.000 VT, Ciena Alipio 13.150 UB
Just watched Lyden’s vault on YT, she put up the number for the DTY but only did a full, form was a little weak but I’m glad because I thought that 13 was for a DTY and got scared.
2:57 pm. Lauren Little BB: Nice wolf turn. Standing front tuck, solid. Bhs loso, some leg/foot form. Front aerial, some leg form and a bobble. Side aerial, brought her back leg down SO SLOWLY and gracefully. Switch leap. Dances out of it. Switch half, a little low and not at 180. Some form issues on the transverse split jump half. Double full to finish, good.
2:56 pm. Skye Blakely with a 14.100 on beam and WE DIDN’T SEE IT ON THE STREEAAAAAAM. Make a note to go back and watch this one.
2:55 pm. Ciena Alipio UB: Inbar to Komova II to Pak, wild legs on the Pak. Van Leeuwen, nice handstand after, blind change to piked Jaeger, nice, stalder half is a bit late, to toe full, better, high double tuck with a step back.
2:54 pm. They’re not showing us Skye Blakely’s beam. RAGE.
Lilly Lippeatt FX: Piked full-in, some leg separation, takes some steps back out of it. Whip full to double tuck, solid, just a small step. Switch ring to tour jeté half. 2.5 to front tuck to stag, good. Switch half. Cool headstand choreo. Double pike is a solid finish.
2:53 pm. Konnor McClain 14.650 VT, eMjae Frazier 12.900 FX, Katelyn Rosen 13.300 BB
2:52 pm. Ella Zirbes VT: Yurchenko 1.5, doesn’t get much distance but she was super clean and got the landing SO solidly! She should be thrilled with that.
2:51 pm. Ariel Posen UB: Had a fall on a release, we cut in just as she was missing the bar. Back on for a blind change to piked Jaeger, stalder to Pak, toe-on to toe shoot, caught basically on her face, goes a bit dead hangy and has to pause before kipping up, hit the double back dismount.
2:49 pm. eMjae Frazier FX: Double layout, excellent! Small bounce back. Tucked full-in, some leg form and she’s a little low. Switch ring into a ring half, solid. Hit her double back after, double pike, a little low with a step forward.
2:48 pm. Nola Matthews VT: FTY, not a ton of power, finishes it pretty short with a step forward.
2:47 pm. Sophie Parenti UB: Nice handstand before her toe full, late, Maloney to Pak, clean. Short handstand before her Ray back up to the high bar. Toe half, nice to piked Jaeger, bent her knees quite a bit when she caught it and wasn’t really in a position to kip up out of it, rests on the bar for a second. Double back dismount was…kind of tucked, I think she was trying to do a layout, but she was really close to the bar, her leg form just ended up being super wonky.
2:46 pm. Konnor McClain VT: DTY, absolutely lovely! Lunges back out of it.
2:44 pm. Kaylen Morgan BB: Sketchy feed at the beginning, so annoying. We froze for a solid 15 seconds. I think she had a wolf turn of some sort. Side somi, good. Transverse split jump half, also pretty solid. Her prep for her bhs loso was INSANE, hahahaha, I’m dying. Some knee form. Split leap to front aerial, bobbles. Side aerial. She basically dislocates her shoulders to prep for aerials, it’s insane. Switch to switch half, kinda landed the switch on one foot with her other leg coming up into a wobble but she turns it into a scale, nice, paused between the two leaps and bobbled at the end. Throws in a little jump series after. Double tuck, chest is pretty low with a step.
2:43 pm. ROTATION 1 STANDINGS
1. Sophia Butler 14.650
2. Olivia Greaves 14.400
3. Addison Fatta 14.350
4. Kayla DiCello 13.900
5. Ciena Alipio 13.700
6. Sydney Barros 13.500
7. Konnor McClain 13.250
— Lauren Little 13.250
2:42 pm. Kayla with a 13.900 seems REALLY high with her knee form. I was thinking 7.5-ish E would be generous but she got an 8.1. Oh well, doesn’t matter, but that was a surprising score to see.
2:38 pm. Kayla DiCello BB: Good triple wolf turn, knee is a little bent in the double after. Side aerial to split jump to sissone, very well done. Switch ring, ring shape could be better. Bhs loso loso, some knee/foot action that could be cleaned up a bit. Front aerial, slow in to the ring jump, knees on both were pretty angular. I’ve never noticed her knee form being this weak before…hit the double tuck dismount with her chest down.
2:36 pm. Sydney Morris FX: We cut into this a little late so missed the very beginning. 2.5 to front tuck into a jump. Switch leap to switch full, good. Double tuck, chest is a bit low but not severe. Double wolf turn, tour jeté half, both fine. Double pike, chest pretty far down. Good routine!
2:34 pm. Zoe Miller BB: Hit a jump series early on and then a clean full turn. Bhs loso, solid. She’s another one of my fave newbies this year. Switch to switch half, a little short on the latter, into a back tuck. Transverse split jump half, good. Side aerial, break at the hips, but good save. Front aerial to split jump to Korbut, excellent extension on everything. Solid double full.
2:33 pm. Ella Zirbes FX: I missed the very beginning, caught this from the front handsrping to front double full, she’s a little far back but isn’t really phased by it. Some good leaps. Omg, she just basically did a little assemblé in her choreo, LOVE! Hit the rest very well, I just wasn’t typing.
2:32 pm. Only a 12.500 for Skye Blakely on bars. 😦 Oh yeah, Ciena Alipio vaulted a 1.5 but I didn’t really see it, just that she landed it. Looks like a 13.700.
2:30 pm. Lauren Little UB: Stalder full to Chow to Pak, nice. Van Leeuwen, toe-on to stalder half to straddle Jaeger, double layout, maybe a little far and low but overall a solid routine.
2:29 pm. Lyden Saltness FX: Arabian double front and triple full, both really strong! Also hit a leap in there, I wasn’t typing or paying super close attention but everything has looked good to me. Tour jeté full, a little overrotated almost, double pike with a bounce back. Dobule tuck, ugh, she looks like she has it but then tries to correct a bit with her shoulders and it pulls her onto her bum. Such a bummer way to finish.
2:28 pm. Ariel Posen VT: Really nice FTY! Flared it a bit and just took a step back.
The back of her leo seems much different than the back of Olivia’s, much more supportive, so I’m glad they made that a priority for girls who wanted or needed it!
2:27 pm. Lilly Lippeatt BB: Bhs bhs layout, great! Front aerial to straddle jump to Korbut, SO quick! Transverse straight jump full, just a small bobble, switch to sissone, mostly solid. Side aerial, little check, split jump to back tuck, good. Full turn, nice extension on the transverse split jump half, and she dismounts with a double pike, some leg separation with a step back. Great routine!
2:23 pm. The live results weren’t working for me until now…some scores while we’re in the mid-rotation break!
Sophia Butler 14.650 VT, Olivia Greaves 14.400 VT, Addison Fatta 14.350 VT, Sydney Barros 13.500 FX, Konnor McClain 13.250 FX
Mya Witte only got a 12.900 on beam 😦
2:22 pm. eMjae Frazier BB: Double wolf turn, her non-supporting foot is flexed. Front aerial to split jump to straddle jump, very nice. Side aerial, solid. Transverse split jump half, pretty great with the amplitude and extension. Bhs loso, wobbles a bit but catches her balance. Switch ring, little check. Split ring jump, little bobble. Back tuck. Solid double pike. Really strong start for her!
2:20 pm. Katelyn Rosen UB: Toe full, late, Maloney to clear hip to…the feed froze but I assume a release based on her coach pushing in the mat in the background. Feed skipped ahead after that so we missed most of this routine. Double tuck dismount, clean.
2:19 pm. Konnor McClain FX: Double layout, lunge back. Clean full turn. 1.5 through to double pike, step back. Switch ring to switch half, tidy. Front tuck through to a 1.5, and then a double full to back handspring at the end, just beautiful!
2:18 pm. Kaylen Morgan UB: Stalder full, slightly late, nice handstand before her Maloney to Pak, beautiful! Van Leeuwen, looked like she was trying to do an inbar there but her feet didn’t clear the bar so it was definitely a toe-on, toe half to big straddle Jaeger, double front dismount.
2:15 pm. Anya Pilgrim BB: Punch front to a jump, and then hit her flight series. Really clean side aerial, switch leap to split leap to back handspring, beautiful. Front aerial. She’s doing some of her choreo almost perfectly along with Love Birt’s floor music. Transverse straight jump full, a little tentative. Double tuck, hop back. Mostly great from what I saw, but I think I missed something at the beginning.
2:14 pm. Sophia Butler VT: DTY, pretty solid!
2:13 pm. Olivia Greaves VT: Comes off the table a little low on her DTY, but it’s still a pretty solid effort for her and much better than what we usually see there. Just a step to the side OOB.
2:11 pm. Sydney Barros FX: Kim’s basically doing her choreo in the background, bless! Double layout, floaty, chest just a little forward, small hop back. I love this music so much, it’s perfect for her. Arabian double front, excellent! Into a stag jump. Switch ring through to a tour jeté full, excellent. Clean double full, little shuffle. Really precise switch full. Double wolf turn, clean, and just a bounce back in her double pike. Truly excellent.
2:10 pm. Unfortunately the stream is going by whatever USA Gym feels like showing, so I’ll try to get as much as I can, but I don’t have access to all four events, always a bummer. They upload videos pretty quickly, though, so I’ll keep an eye out for anything big we may miss in the broadcast.
2:09 pm. Olivia Greaves just nailed a DTY in the touch and looked SO pleased with herself. LOVE.
2:08 pm. Warmups started a couple minutes ago so we should be starting shortly!
2:04 pm. I forgot to talk about the newbie competitors in my little preview below but you should know that I’m suuuuuuper excited about Mya Witte. I’ve been watching her for several years now as a Hopes gymnast, and she was honestly good enough then to contend in the junior field, but I’m glad she and her coach – queen Jana Bieger – made the decision to keep her in Hopes longer. Mya’s still teeny tiny so she doesn’t have the huge difficulty on vault or floor, but she is technical excellence and her beam is stunning.
2:02 pm. Athletes are marching in now! I’m watching this on my desktop at work with the screen pretty enlarged and I really hope my coworkers will regularly weigh in on the competition so I can quote them.
1:55 pm. About 20 minutes to go, so in the absence of a real preview, which I unfortunately didn’t have time to write this week, I’m just going to do a quick one now.
Konnor McClain, who missed out on junior world championships after an uncharacteristically weak performance at trials, is one of the most talented juniors in the world right now, second only to Russia’s Viktoria Listunova, and I think she’ll win the title here if she does what she’s capable of this weekend.
That said, the U.S. is full of some really great kids, and I’d put Kayla DiCello, Sydney Barros, and Skye Blakely as the other three most likely to usurp her for gold. Kayla and Sydney are just so strong at everything they do, and while I’m not really wowed by them on any one event, what makes them stand out is the fact that they don’t have a single weakness, which obviously makes them outstanding all-arounders (well, that and the Yurchenko doubles in a field of mostly fulls).
Skye, meanwhile, is brilliant on beam and she’s also super clean on bars and floor, but she’s a bit inconsistent in comparison. I’d put her right behind Konnor in terms of those with the most potential to be a future stunner in the sport, but Skye does tend to be a bit of a nervous competitor, and it’s kept her from truly taking advantage of her talent in several competitions.
Next on my list are Olivia Greaves and Ciena Alipio. Olivia has gorgeous bars and beam, and though she has a DTY to make her a bit more competitive against the top group, it’s still pretty new, and her scores have been a bit low. Olivia looked unbelievably gorgeous at the U.S. Classic, so she definitely has it in her to come out ahead of the top group even if her vault isn’t as strong, and so does Ciena, who is similar in that she’s beautiful to watch, but only has a Yurchenko 1.5, which makes it hard for her to break onto the podium in a group of really excellent vaulters.
With 10 gymnasts making the national team this year, the six I’ve mentioned should be locks, and then the other four spots will just depend on who hits. Sophia Butler and eMjae Frazier, who were sixth and seventh at classics, have difficult enough routines to get them close, but they’ve also both been hit-or-miss this season. Anya Pilgrim is back from injury and looking strong, Lilly Lippeatt is having the best season of her career in her final year as a junior, and Sydney Morris is becoming a huge standout on bars and beam.
In addition to this preview, don’t miss our junior guide, where I discuss everyone’s careers as well as what to watch this weekend, and we’ll see you back here in a few minutes for the live blog!