Seniors Day 2 2011 Visa Championships (Results, Videos and Analysis)
Coming into today’s competition, Katelyn Ohashi just needed to hit most of her routines to become junior national champion, and that is exactly what she did. She fell off of the beam on her sheep jump, but was otherwise nearly flawless. She is so much more consistent than she was last year, and should be a huge force in junior competitions next year. It is a shame that she is not old enough for London. Along with the all around, Katelyn won bars, beam and floor.
Kyla Ross looked like herself today, and picked up her highest all around total ever, 60.15. After finally conquering the Amanar in competition, she was steady on bars, beam and floor. She finished second on both bars and beam, but because of her problems on thursday only ended up third on vault and sixth on floor. I think Marta will be very pleased with her performance today.
Sarah Finnegan started on bars, her weakest event, and only scored 13.5 (.8 less than day 1), but hit beam for a 14.7. She did not defend her national title on floor, finishing third, even with a clean routine. Vault, however, has improved significantly for her since last year. After seeing Priessman’s 14.2 on beam, I doubted that Finnegan could pass her, but she came through with the best vault of her life for a 14.8, her highest score of the day. Sarah is a big dark horse for 2012.
Lexie Priessman did a great job today. She improved every single score, and almost hit 16 on vault. She had some serious catching up to do, though, from the first event on Thursday, and just fell short. Her teammate, Amelia Hundley, has come a long way since last year. She improved on every event except for bars, with a high score of 14.75 on vault. She still has two years until she can compete as a senior, so hopefully she will keep improving at this rate.
Brenna Dowell had a good day, although all of her scores went down. She is not really spectacular anywhere, but delivered clean gymnastics all around. The highlight of her day was vault, where she scored a 14.7. Her teammate, Maddie Desch, also scored 14.7 on vault and picked up one of the higher floor scores, 14.15.
A trio of gymnasts from Texas Dreams, Kennedy Baker, Kiana Winston and Bailie Key, finished in 7th, 8th and 9th place. Baker, who was tied for fifth after day 1, faltered on beam and floor today but improved her score on bars by 5.5 tenths. She has always been a bit inconsistent, so I thought it was remarkable that she hit everything so well yesterday. Winston was consistent over the two days of competition and once again (this seemed to happen for most of the juniors), vault was her highest scoring event. Key, the youngest gymnast at championships, improved all of her scores today and even scored some 14s. She has very low difficulty on all events, never above 5.5, but is clean enough to make up for it.
Mykayla Skinner landed another Amanar today, which of course received her highest score. While she is very powerful and should theoretically be great on floor with a double double and a full in dismount, she only has a difficulty score of 5.3. Hopefully that will improve, because it seems like she should be capable of more.
Overall, this was a fantastic day for WOGA and Gym-Max for the success of their individual competitors and CGA, GAGE and Texas Dreams, who all qualified three gymnasts to the junior national team.
Jordyn Wieber is the 2011 National Champion. I think everybody knew that it was going to happen, but she did it the way somebody should win a national championship: she hit every routine. She also scored a 61.45 in the all around night two, which I believe is the highest all around total in this code of points without any kind of bonus points. The margin of victory? 6.15.
Rebecca Bross came in with a mission, and on the first two events she looked better than she did night one. But then, she had to vault. She landed her double twisting yurchenko completely underrotated, falling and twisting into the mat. I had Mustafina flashbacks. The good news is that at the moment, they are saying that her injury is a dislocated kneecap, not a torn ACL. Valeri, however, said that we will probably not see any more gymnastics out of Rebecca this year. Hopefully she can recover in time for London.
This obviously changes the picture a lot in terms of who makes it to the world championships. Alexandra Raisman, who performed well enough today, should be a lock. Her bars were okay, and her floor was very good, except for an out of bounds on her first pass. Beam was very very shaky, but she was the first gymnast up after Bross’s injury, and was clearly rattled. That performance seemed like a fluke to me. She should not risk the Amanar at worlds, in my opinion. Her double will get a very similar score (15.1 today for the DTY, 15.1 for the Amanar at classics), and she will not be risking yet another injury for team USA.
McKayla Maroney was much improved tonight and it looks like she has earned herself a spot on the worlds team. That Amanar is crucial to the team’s score, and she is one of the gymnasts who can replace Bross on floor in a team finals lineup. I would like her to switch out the double Arabian for a double pike, though. I get nervous every single time she does it, even though it was pretty good today. She can be used on the other two events in prelims, and possibly even make the all around final.
Alicia Sacramone had a good day, even though she lost her vault title to Maroney after landing a double twisting yurchenko very low. She did have a good floor set today, after changing up her third pass. She should be fighting for a floor spot at worlds. Her beam was steady as usual, and she ended up winning that event.
Mackenzie Caquatto’s chances at going to worlds have gone way up. While she does not have the most difficult bars routine, she was the most consistent and clean on it this week. She is planning on small upgrades, which should help. Because Anna Li was not named to the national team, Mackenzie is the top bars specialist and can also be useful on the other events in a pinch. Bridgette, once again, did not hit bars, which probably means she will not make worlds, but she should go to pan ams. She did very well on vault and floor.
Chellsie Memmel was great on her first three events, but hurt her shoulder on bars doing a full pirouette and did not finish the routine. Luckily, it seems as though the injury is not too serious. If she is healthy, I can’t imagine Marta not taking her to worlds. She was a rock up until the last event. Bars, beam and floor could all be useful in team finals.
Shawn Johnson was also a rock today and yesterday. She looks like herself again, and all of her routines today were very clean (above 8.75 execution). She has a slight chance at making worlds in my opinion, but probably won’t because the difficulty is still not there. She is in the mix again, though.
Gabrielle Douglas will hopefully go to pan ams because she needs experience. While she did very well on vault, bars and floor today, she apparently balked multiple times on her beam dismount. She has so much talent, but she always seems nervous and rushed when she competes, which makes everybody watching her nervous.
Sabrina Vega had a good competition today. She finished fourth on floor, which theoretically puts her in contention for worlds, but pan ams still seems more realistic to me. Alternate for worlds also seems possible.
Those eleven gymnasts (ten or less of which will be ready by worlds) make up the senior national team, which means that Marta must be planning on adding people to it at camps. The obvious addition would be Bridget Sloan, who was not ready to compete here but wants to try for worlds. If she is ready, there is a potential spot open for her as an all arounder with a strong bars routine. She could also contribute on floor if she is in good shape. McKenzie Wofford had to miss this competition due to a last minute injury, but if she is healthy she could earn a spot on the team. Jessie Deziel was apparently already invited to pan ams camp, so possibly Marta would just add her if she made the team. Amanda Jetter was not named to the national team, but if she is ready for the all around at the camps she may have a chance. There are also quite a few all arounders from WOGA who are not in the top tier of gymnasts but can contribute some decent scores.
Right now, my guess for worlds is as follows, with team finals events in bold:
Jordyn Wieber (VT, UB, BB, FX) (putting her on four events is probably unavoidable)
Alicia Sacramone (VT, BB, FX) (maybe floor in team finals)
Alexandra Raisman (VT, UB, BB, FX)
McKayla Maroney (VT, UB, BB*, FX) (maybe floor in team finals)
Chellsie Memmel (VT*, UB, BB, FX)
Mackenzie Caquatto (VT*, UB, BB*)
*Caquatto can score higher than Memmel on vault and Maroney on beam, but Maroney and Memmel will be in contention for the all around final, and therefore may be selected to perform on those two events.
I have not chosen a potential alternate yet, but possibilities include Sloan (who could also make the team), Vega and Johnson (who could make the team with upgrades).
The results for the entire competition are below, linked to videos.