Friday, 25 April 2014

Ebee retires

Yesterday USAG announced the retirement from the National Team and elite of Elizabeth Price. Ebee will be heading to Stanford next season where she is sure to be a star. While I didn't think Ebee would hang on until Rio, it's still very surprising to see a gymnast leave when she has been on top of her game since coming back from injury and winning all around her. The vast majority of people including myself saw her on the Nanning team, no question. It makes an awful lot more sense when we consider that Stanford does not allow enrollment in January (this is how Mackenzie Caquatto for one went to worlds 2010 and competed a few months later for Florida). Considering the gravity of Ebee's hip injuries that sidelined her last year, it seems like a very wise decision to step away from the pressures and pounding of elite to preserve herself for the next four years. It's really lovely for want of a better word to see how she prizes her education. I've really enjoyed watching her gymnastics and wish her all the best in NCAA.

Ebee- source: zimbio.com

It will be very interesting to see what this does to the team. The way I see it is, Brenna Dowell's spot just looked a lot more certain. Both girls have similar strengths. Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross remain as locks. I know some are uncertain about McKayla even if she's healthy, but I don't share this sentiment. Her experience is a major asset to this team and she can be counted on to deliver an enormous TF VT score, medal in VT EF and have a strong floor for prelims and potentially TF. Brenna has an amanar, so that fills out that rotation. Beam and bars are troublesome, this is Madison Kocian's in if she's fairly consistent this summer and has some luck with her health for once. The sixth spot though, hmm. I'm unsure about it. Right now I think Peyton Ernst might be a good bet for it. She will need to outscore Simone on beam and bars this summer. If not, then hold the phone because Mykayla Skinner could get the nod for her high floor and vault scores.

Speaking of Mykayla Skinner, I was very impressed with her at Jesolo, winning both titles. A nice boost for her, and I'm also happy that her leaps look slightly better and her beam has been changed. It looks watchable!

I'm very impatient for US season to begin. And Euros and Chinese Nationals. I may end up binging on cheerleader worlds on Sunday instead..

16 comments:

  1. I really like your picks for the team and the nice words for Price.

    I'm a little wary of choosing Maroney based on her injury, although I hope see her go for it - she really surprised me last year. If Maroney isn't able to deliver, I think this is Skinner's year (but Priessman might still be in the mix, unless you know something I don't know). I am told that Marta really prefers Baumann's work, so I think she might go over Kocian since beam looks to be the weakest rotation.

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, she does seem to have a great penchant for bouncing back from injury though. We'll see. If she's not healthy, then Skinner is bigtime in the mix. I'm not sure about Lexie, she'd need her amanar back and who knows after her long injury stints. Kocian scored huge on bars in Jesolo, if she keeps it up it definitely bodes well. Unsure about Baumann still? Could be stiff competition for the last spot.

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  2. Yes Marta carried baumann her project I think that means a lot we all experienced what Martas favoritism means (mckayla doing all around at worlds) so baumann is in conversation

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    1. Curious about her, I don't see her on the team yet but of course, things change.

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  3. Martha loves Baumann, she is a WOGA girl which explains that. I will boycott Worlds if Skinner and her HORRENDOUS execution makes the team. She is everything that is wrong with the code and is also horribly inconsistent and would highly be likely to fall. I doubt Maroney will be ready, she just had surgery for a major injury and with Biles, Dowell, Priessman, all with huge vault and floor routines, it's gonna be hard for her to pass them on both events, and there is no need for a solo vaulter with all the vault talent. It really sucks that Price is out. The US is totally screwed on bars without her. I hope Ernst and Baumann are living on bars and beam for the next few months if team USA wants to win Worlds.

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    1. Yeah but so is Kocian, on the other hand. Ha despite seeing Skinner's many flaws..I can't help but root for her? I think the enormous backlash against her last year which crossed the line definitely helped with that.

      Maroney had surgery a good few weeks back and can't be counted out. None of the rest except Biles have a second vault and she's not in contention with Biles..who is the top all arounder, not a specialist. Maroney would perfectly complement a gymnast like Kocian, Ross. And you don't leave a 2-time world champion with hugely valuable experience in a 6 member team without a very good reason.

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    2. Barring injury or some other catastrophe, Kocian is on the team. She outscored Kyla at Jesolo on bars and will surely improve come nationals. Team comes before AA and Maroney will never be sent over Biles due to her amazing vault and floor, and her ability to fill in bars and beam if necessary, so I do see them all in competition with each other for a spot. Yes Biles is an AAer, but it would be useless to say she is an AAer and then bring Dowell, Skinner and Maroney as vt/fx specialists. Without a doubt, Maroney will go IF healthy, but as we all know, her injuries in the last few months/years have been extensive, and she will not be back training for at least a few more weeks (Last I heard she was still doing intense pt and wasnt even close to training, please let me know if I am mistaken!) Also, if she shows up with mediocre vaults and floor due to lack of enough training time, it would make more sense to bring Brenna who can match her vault and floor, and is MUCH better on bars if USA can't find a third bar-er. As much as it physically pains me to write, on a good day, Skinner is not too far behind Maroney in numbers, and gets closer everyday she trains and Maroney does not. Also I am not sure the status of Priessman, but she showed huge potential as a top AAer/ vt/fx specialist before her injury. Ahhhh I wish w could have nationals tomorrow and know everything!

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  4. USA will win with or without price she just sealed the deal. USA will have Kyla, kocian, and I think baumann has huge potential on bars. I love maroney and I would love for her to be on the team but she is not needed due to Simone Lexie and dowell and for Simone I wonder if she can stay healthy until 2016 as Bridget Sloan and Nastia shown it's hard and if a few people mess up during beam final I see baumann taking home a medal

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    1. Yes indeed, 2 of the top 4 will struggle to field 6 members even. Brenna, Lexie and formerly Ebee do not have second vaults, nor half of McKayla's super-valuable experience so I don't buy that argument. Simone is an all arounder and they're not in competition with each other.

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  5. Am I right in thinking Worlds is 6 spots, 5 up 4 count in quals and 3 up 3 count in TF?? (Maximum of 3 doing AA in QF.) I actually read the FIG guidelines the other day and that's what I think it said but I am super confused tbh. That seems outdated! (Or maybe it was the MAG and there was a typo?!)

    I do like Kocian and Baumann! And PLEASE LET BRENNA GO. PLEASE.

    I'm wondering about Rachel Gowey as well. She'd never even done nationals when she went to Jesolo and I think she could be v useful in qualifications and TF... *ponders*

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    1. Yes that's the format. There's going to be some interesting Romanian bars in prelims let me tell you! It's also what made predictions so tough.

      Yeah we haven't seen enough of Rachel yet really..

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    2. Gowey looked pretty good at Jeselo - it was early in the season and she had most of it together. She seems to be flirting with 6 on all of the events, but if she hits I bet she has higher beam and an upgraded bars is in the works based on her video. Here is funny thought? What if Douglas shows up with bars and beam ready for worlds? Do you think she could beat Kocian, Baumann, Ernst, and Gowey (or even Ross) on UB/BB scoring?

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    3. I highly doubt Douglas will come back and beat Everyone, she has been training for a few but the others have been training nonstop with little or no injuries for years I would really hate for that to happen because it doesn't seem far

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    4. Well, everything's fair really. Have you seen how fit Douglas looks? She may have been busy with endorsements and stuff but it looks like she hasn't slacked off. I wouldn't be surprised if she has beam and bars ready by next year, but by worlds is a big ask..

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  6. It seems really weird to me that Euros is a 5-member team and worlds a 6. I prefer six (though I'm all for 3-up, 3-count in finals) but I don't understand why they're different?

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    1. There's no senior AA at Europeans this year, just team finals and event finals. So a team of 5 event specialists/team players makes sense, I guess. There IS a junior AA but their team format seems to be the same so... ??? I don't mind 3 up 3 count in finals, but I don't like it in qualifications!

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