Monday, 3 August 2015

Classics

Ahh Classics. Such a great competition with so many new routines, new upgrades..and consequently lots of falls and rough bits. This year was no different.

First, Simone Biles. It is just so pleasing to watch someone so masterful at work. I do get a bit nervous watching her on bars and beam, but less so over time. She really is the most talented gymnast we have ever seen (remember: this is a fact. It does not mean you have to like her gymnastics) and continues to be at the top of her game without showing any signs of peaking or maxing out her difficulty. The best her competition can hope for in terms of gold is that they can upgrade enough that a fall or other huge mistake from her can topple her, but of course, she herself continues to upgrade. She is certainly untouchable in this year, but if the likes of Gabby Douglas and Maggie Nichols continue on their trajectory they may be able to spook her. A bit.

Her beam was a little wobbly and hesitant, hopefully we can see a steadier version at Nationals. It's great to see her bhs-loso-loso series so super solid though. The barani is one of my favourite moves on beam, so obviously I'm delighted to see it make its mark. She has a nice beam composition for her. Bars were as expected, solid and unexceptional. I'm hoping she might do the Mustafina dismount this year though. On vault, I see no reason for her not to at least attempt the TTY next year along with the Cheng...a bit disappointed not to see it but it did make sense if she felt a bit off in general on vault during podium training. Nationals isn't far away after all. Floor was....brilliant. I wasn't sure what we were going to see other than energy. It did take me a few goes to really appreciate the music..still not a fan of the super fast dancey bit towards the end but I love her choreography and her charismatic style oozing through it. Her tumbling was phenomenal and so were the landings, it's so great to see her control the bounce. The full-in DLO looks cleaner every time. Still curious about that last pass...looks very upgradeable, if not this year then next.

Gabby Douglas was a pleasant surprise. She looked extremely dodgy in podium training especially her pet piece, bars. I honestly never thought she'd get through that routine. Fierce competitive nature was definitely in action. I am a bit baffled at her floor music and choreography but the tumbling looks well, she could probably sneak in a little upgrade or two. Beam and bars were so solid, I hope she can upgrade these two though to really make the most of her comeback. I'm not sure what I was expecting from her, but what we did see seemed too much to wish for at this stage. She's not someone I'd automatically root for as I'm not the biggest fan of her style, but I'm thrilled at this force of nature of a comeback. It's exactly what the sport needs. A huge step up from Jesolo for Gabby and while I'll hold her completely cementing her on teams until she gets through the greater challenge and endurance required of Nationals..she's pretty much there. A huge asset to any team, without a discernible weak spot.

Photo copyright- USAG/John Cheng

Aly Raisman's strong performance was less of a surprise, she already had a good showing at Jesolo. I certainly didn't expect to see an amanar though! In fact, I didn't think we'd see one at all...the fact that hers is messy I thought would negate the d-score advantage, as her DTY is much cleaner. Well it's still messy but despite her landing I thought it seemed quite secure, Her beam was a it surprising. Hit her skills with the odd slow connection or two, but I didn't expect her overall slight sluggishness on the event. She said herself afterwards she didn't fully concentrate on the little things, which definitely makes sense. Hopefully she can be more precise and solid on beam like she usually is at Nationals. Still pleased at the improvements she has made on bars, though they'll never be anything more than decent she can certainly claw back a few tenths in execution there hopefully. Floor was the crowning highlight, even with the fluke fall...it's such a great routine. Really enjoying the music, choreography has improved too and the tumbling is just amazing. First pass as good as ever, the upgraded second pass was solid in training and I'm sure we'll see it stood up perfectly in a few weeks and the DLO is a welcome change, and very well done. Her energy levels are fantastic and she looks well on track for Rio.

Maggie Nichols improved in such a short space of time, and keeps getting better. It's not so much her upgrades although those are fantastic, but her style. Her execution has really improved but the most important thing is that she is now light on events she was previously heavy and laboured on. Her beam and bars are so different to how they used to be, and her floor flows a lot better. Really remarkable improvement. I loved how close it was between her and Gabby, but I thought Gabby scoring higher on floor was arguably correct, as Maggie still faces quite a few deductions for messier tumbling...

...I've just been completely thrown off course by the news that Simone Biles has gone pro. Also it's getting pretty late so I'll finish this tomorrow :)

..Several days later...

I hate when things get in the way. Anyway, back to Maggie. Markedly improved as she is, I'm a little unsure how she will be scored internationally. She invites a lot of deductions that gymnasts like Simone Biles and Kyla Ross will not, an example being the aforementioned messy tumbling form. Lots of niggly little things in her bars too. She also doesn't have the years of experience and the reputation that someone well known for sloppy execution has- Aly Raisman. For this reason, I think Gabby Douglas will continue to have the edge on her. But, they're close, and upgrades can make all the difference.

Kyla Ross had an unfortunate day. To come off bars twice is so bizarre to see from her. It was disappointing that she had to pull out of the all-around prior to competition after tweaking an ankle injury, electing only to do bars and beam - a good and correct decision of course, but who didn't want to see her standings in the AA against the rest! I'm glad she redeemed herself on beam, including a nice save. Much as I LOVE the bhardwaj, I'm not too sure this is going to be a keeper for her. Not just because she messed it up and when that happens, upgrades tend to disappear from her routine..but just, height wise. She has precious little room between the bars to twist and be in the perfect position to grab the bar, it's a tiny margin of error. I'd love to see her make it work though. I'm hoping they'll do it Day 1 of Nationals at least to see how it goes, or at least try it in podium training to see if it's a runner.

I'm looking forward to seeing a determined Kyla hit every single thing at Nationals. Although she continues to churn out strong performances just when you think she's going to step back or be overtaken, I DO think she will be surpassed for Rio. But not Glasgow.

Bailie Key was a bit muted for me. Not personality/charm-wise...she was the same as ever though, but in her skills, on beam in particular. It's not just the "layout" that lacks amplitude, it's everything, even her dismount. Everything looks clean and precise, everything is landed fine, leaps are nice...but it's just blehh. Not that she has ever shown a lot of height in her elements on beam, but it has become more pronounced over time. My best guess would be that her foundation of skills was learned when she was a lot smaller and lighter, and they haven't really grown with her. She looked laboured. I find it a little shocking to see her bent in half on her beam dismount, or completely underrotating a triple. It just doesn't seem 'her', I'm so used to her executing everything to near perfection.

Her bars were very nice, hopefully she can show a few upgrades there. Vault was clean and well done as always, though it didn't seem either as easy or with quite the same pop off the table as usual. Hopefully she'll show her old brilliance there, especially since she said she may throw the amanar at Nationals. Floor...the less said the better. Nothing wrong with the tumbling aside from the underrotated triple, the DLO was beautiful for instance. But I cannot believe after such a promising showing last year that there's been such a regression. The music is better after a few listens but still woeful, and I don't think she works with it very well. And the dive and swimming bit...please no. Anyway, overall I think I'm being harsh calling her gymnastics laboured and flat. I hope to see her reinvigorated for Nationals. (Thanks to Cordelia for pointing out that she competed at Jesolo this year. I definitely confused her not being at Nationals last year).

Nia Dennis has had a very difficult few weeks, and that coming on top of a long history of injury, absence and inconsistency. With all of that going on, it wasn't surprising that she didn't do the AA. What was surprising was that she hit. Quite pleased with that, all things considered. Unfortunately, she was much sloppier than she has been in the past...I'm hoping that's temporary. I'm also wishing that once she settles down in her new gym, she can work on upgrading and adding back her best skill..the arabian. I missed it so. She showed a nice bit of power on vault too. Still, unless she shows massive improvement and upgrades, I don't see it happening for Nia. For which I will always lament, because she showed such massive potential from such a young age. Sigh.

Nia Dennis- Photo copyright USAG/John Cheng
Brenna Dowell was an absolute heartbreaker, but I'm so glad both of her falls were complete flukes rather than showing a lack of readiness or having taken on too much. Falls aside, she showed lovely work...especially the bars combination. She's highly unlikely to progress to worlds, but I'm looking forward to seeing her nail everything at Nationals with steely determination. A fabulous competitor.

Sabrina Vega was a complete mystery going into the competition. She's always had lovely gymnastics and I was looking forward to seeing that, and she didn't disappoint. Gorgeous leaps and dance, I was gutted when she fell on floor. Unsure of her motivations for coming back or her future, but if she just enjoys competing with no expectations then good for her. I'll continue to enjoy watching her. Expect for the bent knees on beam, I didn't miss them. At all.

I'm so glad Lauren Navarro had a nice steady beam after falling on bars, but I'm not too sure how long she'll stay in elite. I did think she might surprise, but she'd need a lot of improvement for that. Considering all of the confusion over Ashton Locklear's lack of scoring, it doesn't sound like something USAG has done before. Lovely bars, hopefully she can bust out the full difficulty or close to it with no coaching help at Nationals. Alyssa Baumann and Madison Kocian have I think, had their day. Both are not strong enough in the AA to stand out, and both don't have enough difficulty on their standout event to force their being picked.

Mykayla Skinner was well, a mess. Very clearly not ready. Highlights were a beautiful DTY and a surprisingly nice bars set...she's always had a lovely easy swing there when it comes together, which it did for her there. Not much else did though, with too many lowlights to mention...the beam fall, the very low Cheng landing, her music, baaad floor landings, her music, her music....why did they let her use that music?? It's impossible to work with even apart from the annoyance factor. And it's such a shame, because she can dance very well. I really love her 2013 music and choreography. Sigh. I'm hoping to see much more energy and readiness from her at Nationals. Hopefully not an amanar though. Either way, I don't see her in Glasgow. She is not a guaranteed vault medal...vault is getting deeper all the time. There's 2 medals up for grabs after Simone and quite a few will be angling for them, among them Wang Yan, Sae Miyakawa, Maria Paseka, hopefully Ksenia Afanasyeva, please please please Marcia Videaux will have a FIG license and Giulia Steingruber, who will hopefully regain her DTY.

All in all, a fascinating competition. I can't wait to see the kinks worked out at Nationals, with hopefully less falls and errors. The juniors were a little all over the place, I'm going to discuss them properly after Nationals.

Favourite gymnast:
Simone Biles stole the show

Favourite floor:
Simone Biles. Breathtaking. Aly was a not-too-distant 2nd though.

Favourite vault:
Simone's roof-scraping amanar. Just amazing. Runner-up is Alaina Kwan who floated a gorgeous textbook FTY out of the sky. Beautiful.

Favourite beam:
Hmm. Maggie or Simone. Lovely composition from this pair.

Favourite bars:
Bailie I think. Or Brenna, ignoring the fall.

Favourite leo:


Ashton Locklear. Photo copyright- USAG/John Cheng
Simple but stunning. The sleeves made it, and the classic monochrome.

There were loads of inoffensive ones but not that many stood out. Except for McKayla Maroney's pink flower leo, which totally stood out. It's a beauty, but seemed a bit much as a 'team' leo. It's a very individual one to me. Not because of who wore it previously, I'm not into that. Just seems a bit much. Imagine if they had qualified 10 girls? As for Texas Dreams...if only the black bit was matte! I would be thrilled with it then. I did like the concept, but shiny black just didn't go.

So, can you even remember Classics this long after the competition? Favourite performances, biggest heartbreaks? How is your number 2 AA for worlds shaping up in your head after Classics? Who is winning the most annoying music battle?

21 comments:

  1. I was pretty impressed with Gabby myself! She is very clean gymnast and has proven consistency in the last 2 competitions. If all goes well, I think she will be USA's 2nd AA. I would not be surprised to see an Amanar from her at Nationals. Aly gets a lot less height than her and if Aly can put one, so can she. I was also pretty impressed with Maggie and Aly. BOTH for their huge difficulty (despite the huge form errors on the Amanars among other place). I as disappointed with Kyla but I do hope she keeps her upgrades because she needs them. It is going to be impossible for her to make Rio without a massive bar set. She is no longer in the hunt for AA... Skinner didn't look ready either, she failed that competition in every sense of the word but I know she has been suffering from injuries but honestly, i don't think she will make the world team. The only place she'll have a shot at a medal will be vault but she isn't a stand out and she barely got one last year so doubt they;ll take her.... Based on Classics, i would put Simone, Aly, Gabby and Maggie in for world with the remaining spots left to a bar specialist and someone else who stands out at nationals.

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  2. How about Hong Un Jong on vault!? Anyways, Classics was a very interesting meet. I am really not a fan of many of the new floor musics if not all with the exception of Simone and Maggie. However, I think it is anyone's game going to worlds because they are just so dominant that I think they will try to pick gymnasts that will medal on their pet events. Obviously not only taking specialist but people who are good in AA and have their standouts like Aly. I think that Simone and Aly are locks for world to be honest. That's two possible AA medals (if Aly qualifies), one VT medal, two BB medals, and two floor medals.

    I don't really think they will take Maggie to worlds unfortunately because she doesn't have a standout event and if they bring her I think it would be as the 5th or 6th gymnast same with Bailey. I don't really see all the hype about her, not my favorite at least.

    I think upgrading bars was a smart idea for Kyla even if she fell if you look at medal possibilities from what I mentioned you need a bars specialist that's where she and Gabby come into play. My prediction for worlds is Simone, Aly, Kyla, Gabby, Bailey, and Maggie:

    VT: Maggie, Simone, Bailey (if Amanar otherwise Aly)
    UB: Kyla, Bailey, Gabby
    BB: Simone, Aly, Kyla/Gabby
    FX: Simone, Aly, Bailey/Maggie

    I think this team is smart because of the medal potential and because no one is doing the AA during team finals. Kyla could be replaced by Ashton or Madison though, that UB spot is for anyone who can hit at Nationals.

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    1. North Korea haven't competed this year..unsure if they've no funding due to their country's drought? Either way, they may show up to worlds bur I was hesitant to name her, so I used 'among'. If she's there and healthy then she's definitely a big threat.

      Kyla is much more valuable than either Madison or Ashton...Ashton is not an all arounder and although Madison is, Kyla can be put anywhere, is much more consistent and will score higher on every other event other than bars..unsure about bars between the two with Kyla's variable d score there.

      If Gabby keeps up her endurance and consistency then I think she'll be the second all-arounder...purely due to the age-old reason of Aly's bars dragging her down.

      Maggie is valuable in prelims and is perfect to be used anywhere, and the amanar in team finals too.

      They just don't need 6 girls really!

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    2. Kyla may be more valuable to fill in on various apparatus but like you said, they don't even need 6 girls! Why have yet another all arounder with lower AA potential when you could have a girl that could potentially medal in an event final? This is, of course, assuming anyone not already a lock for the team (Aly, Simone) has potential to medal in a final.

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  3. At least no one in the top 3 had a fall.

    Simone was just...wow. I don't think there has ever been a gymnast that has just surged upward in the complexity of her skill set or the execution and quality of her gymnastics quite like Biles. I mean, compare the 2013 Biles - where she was already a World Champion - to the 2015 Biles, and marvel at the difference. I admired her the first time out, she solidified her place as exceptional her second year, and now we can all say objectively that we are witnessing one of the greatest of all time in action. Ok, now that I'm done geeking out, her routines - vault was up to her usual standard and she said she hopes to unveil her Cheng at Nationals. I am curious about her bars; the Mustafina seems so inevitable but I have feeling that it's not a priority. I suspect the soonest we may see it is at Worlds...possibly. Lol, Simone's new beam caused quite the confusion; namely the barani vs Grigoras thing. I've checked and checked again and from what I've seen Simone performs a Maaranen, a jump forward with half twist into back salto. Yeah, she was a bit hesitant here and there, but I'm sure Simone's kicking herself over it. I love that she's a perfectionist, it means she always has a personal drive to improve. Floor. Was. Awesome!! It's even better than last year, better choreography, better flow and composition, and vivid expression. My only reservation is that she is not getting credited for her 3/2. It's not round.

    I second the surprise felt about Gabby. She did very well, so much better than Jesolo. Her bars have improved and she continues to be beautiful on beam. She was massively overscored on floor and I am a bit putt off by the change in music and choreo. It's so unnecessary and inferior to the graceful routine she showed at Jesolo, but it is not nearly as bad as some a making it out to be (no, it is not as bad as Americano, not even close). I argue that there even things to like about it. Ha, I'm glad she's called out all her doubters.

    I've been touting Maggie as one to watch for a while now, and she's finally starting to prove me right. Her execution, line and carriage have improved noticeably. Her splits are actually split and she's always had an artistic streak on Fx. I agree that her execution could do with more refinement in the future, particularly on bars and floor.

    Bailie was underwhelming. I think unlike most people I was not really on the Bailie train to begin with so her flatness did not shock me too much. It is true that she is showing signs of struggle and difficulty in adjusting, with some of her skills seeing beyond her grasp right now. The only event she did better than I expected was bars, which is ironic considering that historically that hasn't been a great event for her. I think some ppl are getting a tad too a head of themselves though and are expecting some impossible things from her. I say let's wait for Nationals before we make too much of a judgment call; it's not like Bailie did poorly here. Btw, I completely disagree about her floor, I think this is much more mature and creative than her last routine.

    I absolutely adore Aly's floor and I think all things considered she is in a better place than Gabby right now, despite that fall. Her two pet events put her in medal contention and she has a better history of consistency than Gabby does. I also see improvement from Jesolo - she seems to be hitting (most) of her splits, praise Jesus. Her Amanar, however, feels unnecessary. Granted it's massively improved since camp but I'm not sure that's saying much. Aly on bars is...Aly on bars. Her swing is not nearly as labored and there are some strides made in her timing, but yeah. Not expecting anything amazing.

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    1. It's weird because I have always thought Maggie's leaps were great but for whatever reason people seem to just now be noticing it!

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    2. A lot of her leaps were very hit and miss. I seem to recall her having an atrocious switch half at one point.

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  4. Mykayla has regressed it seems. I'm not too gutted about it since I'm not really a fan but last year she really came into her own. She's a 'last minute arriviste' sort of gal, so I'm not writing her off completely. My god, that chipmunk music though... And then Kyla. Her Bhardwaj looked great in practice, it's shocking that she missed. I know ppl are floating the idea that she'll get rid of it, but I think we're underestimating how much Kyla knows she needs that upgrade. Personally, I'm disappointed we haven't seen more from her, we've only got her Bhardwaj.

    Other than that, no one stood out too much. Brenna and Polina have some epic bar work, but neither of them managed to stay on; Madison's bars were difficult, gorgeous and clean but her beam is meh; I'm indifferent to Sabrina; Nia was clean but she has an uphill battle.

    The junior field was so deep this year. My girl, Laurie killed it!

    Favorite vault: Going with Maggie's surprisingly good Amanar. Bout time we got another one.

    Favorite Bars: Madison or Brenna

    Favorite Beam: Simone and Aly

    Favorite Floor: Simone, Aly and Maggie

    Most Disappointing: Kyla or Bailie

    Favorite Junior: Laurie of course

    Favorite Junior Vault: ??

    Favorite Bars: Laurie and Morgan Hurd

    Favorite Beam: Deanne Soza, Ragan and Perea if they can get it together

    Favorite Floor: Tumbling wise, Ragan, but Laurie artistically

    Most Disappointing: Emily Gaskins, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf

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  5. I really enjoyed the competition and also agreed with most of the results.
    Simone: was amazing again and still continues to impress more and more. floor and vault are not even a discussion, she is the best in the world. loved the new floor and she exhibits amazing performance and artistry combined with powerful tumbling. her bars are good. but i still feel that she would not score 15 or higher at worlds. now the beam is were i have the only complain, i don't like the Barani. I feel that her twisting is way too early on the skill and the landing and form is not the best. This is probably the first skill that i don't enjoy from Simone. but I love the new choreography on beam.
    Gabby; this girl is a competitor, I feel that Gabby likes the thrill of chasing a opponent. and just like her chasing Weiber. Simone presents the same challenge. can she catch her ( more possible not), but will make Gabby better in the long run. Her beam is very solid, with good flow, and a air of maturity ( in my opinion she had better execution than Simone and Aly who had some pretty obvious balance checks). her bars are beautiful to me. her growth gives her nice lines and the work in the lower bar sets her apart from the monotonous and repetitive Shaposh to pak connections. Floor is where they cannot seem to get it right in terms of the right music and choreography. the one at Jesolo was better ( but to me a tango or Paso doble will work better for her). her vault is much improve with a good block and beautiful form.
    Aly; Loved the floor and that is about it. Aly gets a huge pass by many. but that beam was not executed good at all. her form in her leaps and jumps is not great, the connections were slow and laborious, and to me is not compose with flow. she was gifted in both D and E score. The Amanar is ugly and I mean Paseka ugly (bad block, bad form, bad landing).
    Nichols: She is solid and has an amazing energy. but she does nothing exceptional. if everyone hits, she is not top 3 on anything. and she still looks heavy on beam and bars ( little form issues will kill her internationally), but her progress is amazing.
    Keys; i am at lost of words in her sudden lack of spark, form, explosiveness, and the it factor. she still seems to be struggling to adjust to her growth. everything she does is solid but just form issues and inability to finish the skills with polish is unnerving.
    Kyla: my personal favorite. but just like keys her Growth seems to have taken out the air out of her. She still hit a beautiful beam set, but her d score is so low that she has been surpassed by others ( she was 5th on beam right). and her bars was entering the twilight xone ( she fell twice unheard of) and she hit the bars,with her heels, plus the the tiny form issues. it left sooo confused and hurting for her ( I don't see where she fits at worlds if everyone hits).
    special mention to Kocian Gorgeous bar set with exquisite lines and stunning flow.

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    1. Everyone seems to be puzzled/mistaken about Simone's beam. From what I can tell the skill is called a Maaranen, which is an E skill. It's a jump forward with half twist into back salto, so you're suppose to twist early. The Grigoras is the one where you twist late, basically a front flip half out and it's an F skill. Super confusing, I know.

      Aly's beam is not nearly as bad as you say. Her leaps are not great but they are serviceable and improved, not horrible. And her connections were not that slow (in fact some of them were really quick). I think she can score better now than she did back in 2012. The Amanar is bad and unless I see noticeable improvement at Nationals I'd advocate for its removal. But it is not as bad as Paseka's. It's more like Afanseyva's Amanar.

      I was pleased with Gabby though she was bafflingly overscored on floor and underscored on beam, where but for her switch ring (which shouldn't be credited imo) and her dismount, she had nary an error.

      Maggie may not be exceptional, but who said she needed to be. By placing ahead of numerous more daring or 'interesting' gymnasts she's showed what her value can be.

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    2. Aly beam was not perform well at all. she had 3 very obvious balance checks. a couple of her connections were not fluid. and her leaps are very obviously not at Simone or Gabby level, especially that switch half that is extremely ugly. she was soo much sharper and fluid in her execution in 2012.
      I don't know what is Maaranen and have not seen that skill in the code of points (but I could be wrong). but to me Simone is doing a Barani which is a punch front aerial off both feet with a half twist. but Simone form is so tucked that it looks weird. a Grigoras is a front pike with a half twist.
      The problem with Maggie is that she is not top 3 on any apparatus at the moment, so why use her in team final. and she won't qualify for event finals with average d scores. and she will incur a lot of form deduction internationally. which she always does even in Jesolo.

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    3. Aly's beam was fine. Her leaps have never, but never been at Simone or Gabby's level, not even in 2012 so that's a silly marker to use. They are better than Jesolo, which means she's improved. And her switch to switch half is the same as always so idk what you're talking about.

      I literally just told you what a Maaranen is: Jump forward with half twist into back salto. Also, you're confusing the Grigoras with the Produnova: The Grigoras is a front tuck with half twist out. The Produnova is the same except piked. You're getting the skills confused. These are all Barani variations, but the Grigoras and Produnova are F-valued and the Maaranen is E-valued - the amount that Simone was accredited with.

      Why use Maggie for team finals? Simple: she is a utility player. You can put her up to start on any event and likely get a decent score. Not to mention with improvement that she's shown she may even score more than decent by the time Worlds comes around provided she keeps progressing steadily.

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    4. The Produnova was never a F value matter a fact her and Chellsie Memmel did the same skill is a aerial round off from two feet take off a E- skill. Sui lu did a Grigoras front tuck or pike with a half twist. a barani is punch front twisting flip. as I pointed out I have never heard about a Maaranen, as a matter a fact I was so intrigue that looked up the code of points and still did not find it.
      I was only pointing out that is the first Skill that I found that Simone does awkward to me, which is stunning since she always has great execution and form. if you compare her Barani to Nichol's. I like Nichol's more.
      also even Catherine pointed out the deficiencies in Aly beam. my point of view was that I would not have had her, Simone, and Gabby with the same E- score when Aly beam was clearly not as well executed. yet all 3 had a 8.5 E- score.
      And finally you just agreed with me in terms of Maggie. she is a utility player which comes down to be a alternate, I don't believe that is what she or her coaches are looking for.

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    5. For those confused about the barani variation that Simone is performing, youtube's MostepanovaFan has a great guide to beam skills. The Grigoras is at the 4:55 mark and the Maaranen at 6:05 with the piked version (Produnova) right after. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WPXn916CFSc

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  6. I seem to be out of touch with everyone else's opinions on floor. Bailie's was my favorite of the senior session! I don't get why everyone is so up in arms about the dive thing? She's not the first to do it, and either way, it's cool and goes with the music, so who cares? She ruined the Lindsey Sterling one at Jesolo and so I'm glad she's doing something different, and I think this one is unique and interesting. Love it! I personally hated Gabby's Jesolo routine and I'm SO GLAD she changed it! I also was pretty underwhelmed by Simone's routine. LOVE the music, but I thought a lot of the choreography was basic and boring and didn't even have much to do with the music and I thought she was lacking her usual charisma. I'm also really annoyed by Laurie's routine. Those facial expressions are cheesy and it's painfully obvious they're choreographed into the routine. Get rid of them!
    I also agree with those who aren't fully convinced where Maggie's concerned. The only event where she'd really be worth using is vault even only taking the top five into account. Frankly, if the US is going to have a team member who would only compete vault, I see the logic in going with the gymnast who can make the final.

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    1. I hate Laurie's facial expressions in floor. Ugh - it makes me cringe!

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    2. Thank you! That's is exactly!

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  7. I am hoping mykayla will improve at nationals like last yr. Otherwise I guess she won't make it to worlds. If she gets back her cheng like back in last yr worlds and a decent amanar, she might still medal but otherwise she won't make it this yr. I am also curious about kyla 's role on the team now. She really don't have too much choices not to upgrade because she will likely not be in the top 4 AA anymore, even being a specialist she also would need upgrade.

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  8. Thanks for the post and discussion - it's fun to hear everyone's point of view. I was really impressed both with the difficulty and readiness that most everyone showed for the classics meet, in the past it's been even more of a splat fest and the big contenders don't do all around.

    Simone is incredible. For some reason I'm disappointed by her going pro. There is absolutely no reason for her NOT to go pro, so please know that I understand her choice, but I just loved her prior insistence on wanting to do college, her love for the team atmosphere and just her joy in the sport. And that shouldn't be clouded by going pro, but for some reason it dims that for me. Again - not judging her, just my own personal feeling.

    Impressed by both Aly and Gabby - they are serious in their training clearly and obviously still maintaining their talent level which is incredible.

    I love Kyla so I'm rooting for her to get her bars in order for Nationals and to show a steadiness that clinches a World spot. I completely agree with everyone's comments though on wondering where she fits in. I think she still can with a steady performance.

    Maggie deserves huge praise for continuing to push onto the scene - it's amazing. She is determined and seems to be loving it. I also wonder which events she'd actually be used on and how she'll score internationally, but with the depth of this team, this worlds would be a great way to test her out.

    Bailie - I've never been blown away by her, BUT I think she is obviously talented and I think she'll make it this year too.

    I can't wait for Nationals!!

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  9. Does anyone else find the wolf turn is becoming overused on US team? Simone still does it best but I saw Bailey picked it up in jesolo and then a bunch of other seniors and juniors at classics. It's def becoming overused.... who should we blame this on? simone? marta?

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