Sorry I haven’t posted about this yet, I put it off until yesterday and then had the date for Russian Nationals wrong in my calendar, so I ended up writing about that. I’m not posting every routine from every gymnast again, because there were so many. I’m just focusing on Ohashi and Kocian.
I’ll start with the negative comments: Ohashi’s vault needs work. Hopefully that landing was just a fluke. It could have been devalued for sure. Her floor hasn’t been posted, but she sat down two tumbling passes. I am kind of annoyed that she now has the same exact tumbling as Rebecca Bross, but if she does it well I don’t really care. Bars were beautiful as usual. She doesn’t have the ono yet, but she’s so clean. Beam, though, was really the amazing thing. We got to see the standing arabian that she first competed in December, then she totally nailed her layout full (well, she wobbled a little after it, but the landing was perfect). The real surprise, though, was her piked full in dismount. I had no idea that was coming, and it was great to see one since there must be less than 10 gymnasts who have ever competed it. This routine is worth a humungous 6.9, 7.0 if she connects the onodi to the front aerial and even more if she competes some combinations from her old routine. I’d say she’s on track to be junior national champion this year, but it could be close. I’m hoping that she is selected to compete at Jesolo in March; It would be her second international competition, and the challengers (Grishina, Sidorova and others) would be much stronger. It’s a real shame that she isn’t 2012 eligible. I don’t think she would be all around champion, but who knows with her talent.
Madison Kocian is the other top WOGA junior, and had a good meet with a couple of upgrades. Her vault was a beautiful double twisting yurchenko with a great landing. She added a shaposhnikova 1/2 on bars, a skill that is not very common in the USA (unlike Russia, where everybody on the worlds team had one). It’s great because it can be connected to a D pirouette, which it looks like she was attempting, for .2 connection bonus. She fell on a high tkachev, unfortunately, but this routine has potential. Her beam was solid- if Ohashi didn’t nail the routine of the quadrennium (maybe an exaggeration, maybe not), people would be more impressed. Her arabian looked higher and she added a new Kochetkova. On floor, she added a double arabian and competed her 1 1/2+front 2/1 as the second pass. She didn’t quite get it around, but I don’t think it was bad enough to be downgraded. She ditched the two whips to a double tuck, which is a bid sad since I love two whips in combination- maybe she is going to try two whips to a double arabian eventually. Like Ohashi, I hope she gets to go to Jesolo and compete against some of the top gymnasts in the world. This just may be her year to make the podium at nationals. But unlike Ohashi, I don’t think she would be a major player in London if she was old enough. She has a lot of potential, but she doesn’t look like she is ready to win major competitions right now.