The highs and lows of the first three meets on the Road to London
March was a busy month for USA gymnastics. In just one month we saw the first three of six major meets that make up the Road to London 2012. Starting with the AT&T American Cup, Gabby Douglas burst on the scene as an alternate, unofficially winning the competition. She quickly rose from bar specialist status to all around threat as she debuted her Amanar and upgrades on beam, floor and, most especially important, bars. Jordyn Wieber was the official champion. She had a bit of a bumby start on bars and as she debuted new upgrades on beam, but held on to win the meet. Aly Raisman was the silver medalist with a newly upgraded floor routine and the first solid Amanar she has performed in competition.
Next was the Kellogg’s Pacific Rim Championship. Highly anticipated as a showdown between Gabby and Jordyn, it quickly turned into a one woman show as Gabby fell on vault, twice on beam and scratched floor. Jordyn unequivocally regained her status as America’s star as she put up 4 great performances to dominate in the all around and her highest scoring floor routine yet to win floor finals. Kyla Ross came out strong in her senior debut, taking second in the all around and winning beam finals with her beam routine that seems to float on air. Gabby came back fighting on bars, showing more upgrades and winning the bars finals with her high flying routine.
Then it was on to Italy for the City of Jesolo Trophy Meet. Once again, Kyla Ross showed her beautiful execution and went on to win the all around. The ever solid Aly Raisman had an unusually rough day, with steps and wobbles on almost every event. Surprisingly, bars was her most solid event. Showing the hard work she has been putting in there, she went on to take the silver all around medal. Sarah Finnegan was an unexpected breath of fresh air as she burst onto the scene in her senior debut with a third place finish. Her beautiful lines and elegance are a delight to see on the US scene. McKayla Maroney came to her first meet of the season with a new floor routine and upgraded bars. She was of course, the high scorer on vault with her seemingly effortless Amanar. Rebecca Bross had a disappointing day with a fall on bars in her first international meet since her injury. The good news is that she seems to have much of her fight and skills back (performing a perfect bars routine in warm ups).
Now we head into the second half of the 2012 journey, all here in the USA. The Secret US Classics should give us a first glimpse at most of our veteran gymnasts as well as at 2011 world champion team member Sabrina Vega and alternate Anna Li. Then there is the Visa National Championships and finally the US Olympic Trials. Everyone hang on, it is sure to be a crazy ride with many unexpected twists, turns and bumps on this Road to London 2012!