Kittens it's me, Catty! I was going to save my snark for the seniors, and then I blew up after that unholy slow national anthem when I saw Sam Peszek inexplicably wear that country club green tent shirt with boobalicious latticework. WHAT? Let's get this started!
Live Video on the YouTubes
Start List for da Juniors
Norah Flatley from Chow's up on bars in an adorable pink leo. Oh, and Liang has her doing el-grip combos! I hope her shoulders don't blow out as soon as Ohashi's did. Nice high piked Jaeger. Happily she dismounts double layout, which can easily lead to bigger dismount. I want to stage a protest against another tucked full-in bars dismount.
Ow - the kid from Las Vegas was totally off on her 2-foot layout. You know what helps that? HIGHER LAYOUTS. If I see another whipped 2-foot layout on a junior that have no hope of translating to a senior 2-foot layout (oh hai hips!), I will burn a coach voodoo doll in effigy.
Jazmyn Foburg from MG Elite, a hot gym that also coaches junior sensation Laurie Hernandez. Nice routine, what were the coaches thinking with that leo? Super super shiny mostly milky lime green, with some white and one illusion fabric sleeve. Coaches, your illusion fabric leo sleeves will work waaaaay better if you match the fabric to their skin tone. Both Jazmyn & Laurie would have to be locked in a broom closet for a year to match the washed-out skin color on their left arm.
Nia Dennis from Buckeye on beam - Gorgeous turquoise leo with one black arm. Nice color, starts with a Humphrey turn and then an amazing standing Arabian. A big balance check on a high leap (which Amanda calls a small balance check - um what?) and then off on her back handspring layout stepout combo. Large step forward on her high double tuck dismount.
The production team needs help - the audio has cut from the floor feed to the announce feed with no music to awkward silence. It's called transition music, and Peszek knows the UCLA production people who can help you.
And we're back for the 2nd half of rotation 1! Hey USAG, can we please hear the fx music at the same time as the announcers? That would be kittens! Oh, and someone pass a note to Chris Burdette (aka Mr. Zmeskal of Tehas Dreahms) - dude, you are hot and a gymnastics celebrity husband. You need hotter glasses, pronto.
We now appear to be on the arena blimp cam for vault, because what better way to ignore bad preflights? Oh wait, Bailie Key on fx. Tehas Dreahms went shiny, shiny gold torso & bodice, and all illusion fabric on shoulders and arms. Bailie is stag leaping her heart out after every pass and dancing to Kimbo's old music to "In the Mood."
Laurie Hernandez in her shiny milky green for MG Elite on bars. Stalder full into Tkachev. Huge pike Tkachev. High tucked full-in. MG - it's called a double layout. TEACH DOUBLE LAYOUTS. Gah.
Dear Amanda Borden - there is no code requirement to "pose" before a tumbling pass. The requirement is for you to not just stand like an idiot on both feet and pick your nose doing nothing before the tumbling pass. Unfortunately many gyms interpreted this as "do a one-legged flamingo pose" before the run. Sorry pink-leo gymnasts - the code & your coaches are turning you into flamingos.
YAY - an MG Elite gymnast did a double layout off of bars! THANK YOU! Now get me a leo that doesn't require ethnic skin matching nor sunglasses, and you'll be almost off the hook.
Grace Wagu... er, Whack-a-Mole is on fx - nice opening triple full, epic-y movie music. Awesome running punch double-full. Borden keeps acting like this is the first time EVAH that these gymnasts have competed on a podium. Oh hai ending which turned into Jordyn Wieber's Olympic fx music.
End of first rotation! ROTATE KITTENS!
Flatley starts on beam - she is AJ's new fave for her aerial series. If Bailie Key ever disappears, it's just AJ driving her to northern freedom and dropping her off on Chow's doorstep. She his new Asian Wonder Child although Bailie is neither Asian nor a child. Discuss.
Next, let's discuss why Hundley is competing with the juniors when she looks like she's already competing NCAA for Bama. Nice bar routine however. Bailie Key on vault - nice apparently dty? It's hard to count twists with the choppy YouTube feed, although the commercials are gorgeous and smooth.
Dennis on fx - GIANT double layout. She has problems landing on the floor before her next pass. Wait was that a front layout through to a double tuck? Holy cow. Giant double pike to end. She could almost out-tumble the high-flying LSU team.
Hope Masiado now on fx from Girls Co-Op gym of Bethlehem, PA, which pretty much means they're a cast-off gym of ex-Parkettes. You can tell she's not a Parkette for her lovely lines. AJ just wants to send her to Bela so she can make the 1988 Olympic team. She is short on her tucked full-in dismount because she's not doing a DOUBLE LAYOUT. This is my new pet peeve.
Mini-Alicia Sacramone (some kid from NJ wearing fruit-colored metalics circa Parkettes 2007) is doing a nice job on floor. She's from somewhere in Joisey - I believe her name is Melissa Teddy Ruxpin. Whatevs.
Megan Freed from Parkettes on bars. She's tiny and adorable and jumps to the high bar way better than Shayla did at Georgia. AJ thinks she learned giants last week, but her shoulders are more open - I think it was two weeks ago. Sadly, she dismounts tucked full-in.
Alyssa Baumann from WOGA in a high-sparkle red leo and of course mounts fx with a combo front twisting pass. Lovely triple full pass. AJ likes her and likes her bars too. Hopefully she's not so WOGA that she finishes 2nd AA at worlds, blows a knee and gets lazy before showing up for NCAA workouts.
Laurie Hernandez on beam - nice leap sequence. Front aerial to sheep jump, almost fell. Back handspring 2 layout stepouts and a fall. A not-extended ring leap. Finally getting her groove back better than Stella with the 2nd half of her routine - stuck punch front. Nice high double pike dismount. A tale of 2 routines. Amanda "Lizzy" Borden goes from talking about how shaky the first part of the routine was to how amazing the entire routine was aside from the fall. Does she need a 5150 hold like Amanda Bynes? Lucid, then craaaay.
Mollie Frack(?) - nice Pak salto, manages to swing back to the high bar, even does an el-grip sequence, then gets hung up on her tucked full-in. IT'S CALLED A DOUBLE LAYOUT - LOOK INTO IT PARKETTES. These poor kids developing good swings then wasting them getting hung up in a tucked full-in. How crazy is it that powerful swinger Rebecca Bross couldn't learn a different dismount?
Grace Quinn from Tehas Drehmes (goldie leos) pikes down her fty, which looks way to easy for her.
AJ, "Hey Sam, tell us who your mom likes?" His bathroom is getting clean through his frustration.
Ariana Grandie up on beam - more Borden podium obsessing. SHUT UP ABOUT THE PODIUM ALREADY. SHE HASN'T MOUNTED THE BEAM YET. Ariana rocks her sissone, then rocks a high, flighty 2-foot layout. Good job! Amanda Bynes now won't shut up about the podium again - give her a 5150 hold. Grandie falls on a punch front. Nice big double tuck dismount no thanks to the former Nickelodeon child star.
Shchennikovaovich from Cougar of Colorado on beam. Tigar, whatevs. We love her lines and can't believe she's still a junior. Looooooove her lines. Giant switch ring. Onodi - sheep jump, bobble. Off on a Kotchekova, which is a full-twisting backhandspring. Gets up and finishes the bhs - lso combo. Clean double full. She needs more difficulty on beam. And no falling.
Nadia Cho from WOGA on fx. We only see her closing back 2.5, because 2008! Alexis Vasquez, AJ's new wonder child, will be up on beam now for Chow's. Step leap up - 2 front aerials, bobble, then a side aerial. Giant switch ring leap - gorgeous. AJ even approves. Falls on bhs - 2 lso series, but I liked what I saw before she fell - layout stepouts were huge and high. Chow is really doing an amazing job with these juniors. bhs to a back 2.5 to dismount. Now to a commercial break with the SHHHHHH Secret Classic!
Jazmyn from MG Elite is on floor. Sam just called her floor "moves her coach that made up." Bitch, have Miss Val slap you - that shit is called "choreography."
A kid from WOGA just did a weak fty because cliches! Soza from Arete on bars - giant-full to Tkachev, then missed the recatch of her huge Hindorff. Nice form, an el-grip giant, and yay - a full-in double layout!
Key hits a great bars routine, and now a kid from Bart Conner's club is up. Alexandra Marks has loooooovely lines and I could watch her dance forever, and yet she tumbles high & powerfully. I'm sure Oklahoma would love to get her, but I want her at UCLA or Cal to get some great choreography.
Laurie Hernandez on fx - get ready for sass! Huge opening double Arabian - stag leap with steps out. Stuck full-in. Killing her dance - running punch front layout, punch front double full. Giant double pike to end - love her energy! I hope Marta doesn't kill her choreo when she gets on the national team.
Agrapadies on fx to "Roller Coaster of Love" - I think I'm in love with this coach. Huge tumbling - has issues with her last pass double tuck because she has SO much power. Takes approximately a billion steps back to go OOB.
Christina Desiderio on beam from Parkettes. Nice stag turn, lovely balance - what is that balance called? Kristina Baskett did it. Whipped 2-ft layout - GO HIGHER YOUNG PARKETTE. Someone bring me the Mrs. Christina has great training, and Amanda & Sam are rightfully praising it. Great routine.
Nica Hults ("Veronica" now, whatevs) on bars for Tehas. Barely hangs onto her huge straddle Jaeger. Lovely lines and great Shaposh transitions. Stuck her tuck full dismount - boo. Give that kid a double layout.
Alexis Vasquez from Chow's is on fx dancing to "Requiem for a Dream" like, 5 years before she should ever see that movie. Someone please tell me that she's Rio-eligible. LOVE.
Emily Gaskins from CGA on beam, doing a great job. Seriously, how did Mary Lee Tracy deal with Jetter on beam? Did she tear all of her hair out, or just some? All of her other gymnasts are so solid on beam - she literally willed Borden to become a beamer.
Emily Mullingspices from Colorado Aerials on bars now - lovely high Jaeger, then surprised herself by going over in a handstand on the high bar. Nice double pike dismount. Where is Tom Forrester? He was like the Greg Kinnear of gym coaches in the 90's. Loved him in "As Good As It Gets." Great bars coach too.
Amelia Hundley on beam - and Johnson-Scharpf is on floor, why aren't we watching her? Oh, now we're to her - this kid is a great floor worker. Easy double tuck, stuck. And my feed died. One note about Hundley - both her & Priessman work beam heavy, like Sacramone. Lighten your landings kittens - nothing to do about weight, everything to do with finesse. You're a gymnast, not a steel worker, so you don't have unions and health benefits like they do for your foot stress fractures.
Fourth rotation! Let's DO this!!!
There were some dtys, which is awesome for juniors because they can't see over the vault. Molly Frack did an adorbs fx routine to that mambo from The Mask, which Peszek & Patterson both used as juniors.
Lauren Navarro from Gliders on bars now - so, Steve Rybacki's gym without Rybacki coaching since he's part of the national team staff. Nice Tkachev, nice Pak (not connected), shoot to high bar - and a tucked full-in to finish. Sigh.
Nica Hults from Tehas Dreahms golden girls - lovely side flip (if a side flip can ever be lovely), and a nice series to 2-ft layout. Lovely side aerial to jump. Funky switch ring, or maybe my YouTube feed jumped awkwardly. 2 bhs to back 2.5 dismount. Excellent routine. And hey Sam Peszek - it's not her first year as an international elite. Nica has done this merry-go-round before.
Oh hai look who qualified to Visas last year: http://usagym.org/pages/post.html?PostID=10178&prog=h
Spoiler alert - it's Nica Hults. Kitten, read your mom's press releases better. She took her time on them.
Awkward pause for the 2nd half of the rotation.
Aaaand we're back! With Grace Quinn, Nica's Tehas teammate. The Golden Girls have looked lovely today, and Kimbo has been doing something right with them on beam. Peszek & Bynes are attributing rotation 1 & 2 butter beam to nerves, but I'm saying that if you're coached by a world champion beamer, you have a better chance of staying on the beam.
Norah Flatley on vault - fty, piked down. She's definitely ready to throw a harder vault once she's taller than a muppet.
Emily Gaskins from Cincy on fx - flamingo to 1.5 to double tuck. And to answer Sam's question, Memmel is here judging vault, not floor. But Emily's Memmel turn was lovely. Dear MLT - why Strauss waltzes? Shades of the 1996 compulsory music, although not quite Die Fledermaus.
Amelia Hundley on fx for Cincy - flamingo to double layout - nice! And really - accordion music? Seriously? Back 2.5 to front layout. 1.5 through to double pike. And now we have full-on Zorba the Greek - is Sam Sheehan in one piece and watching this? Nice routine.
Nia Dennis is on bars, but inexplicably we're watching the North Stars kid wait to start on beam. Silly decisions. Alonza Klopfer is doing a nice job on beam, and wearing a shiny solid white leo - she'll never get to eat a carb again with that team leo. Tuck back to sheep jump. Switch ring - meh. Big double pike dismount.
Now we get to watch Nia Dennis, and apparently she's already fallen on bars. Huge easy 2nd Tkachev, and to warm my bitta little heart, a giant double layout to finish. THANK YOU.
Deanne Soza from Arete in Orem, UT. She just came out of the developmental program and one of the first gymnasts to make it out of Orem. She's still waiting to mount. Apparently the key to elite gymnastics is loving gymnastics. And being good when you're young. And being patient for the 2020 Olympics. And never eating carbs. Oh, she gets to mount the beam now! Big switch leap. Lovely front aerial, covers over the missed connection to the bhs lso. Nice split sissones. L-turn to side aerial to back tuck. Easy punch front. Full-twisting split jump. Onodi, bobble & fall. 2 bhs to double tuck - go kid! Keep your chin up for another 7 years to those Olympics wherever they are!
And this should be your top 10:
Thanks for reading! Both AJ & I will be back today for the seniors at 6pm CDT / 7pm EDT / 4pm PDT. Mwah!