Breaking Down the 2013 World Championships (Plus US Team Predictions)


28905_412775208813763_658985593_nNow that the 2013 Elite season is firmly underway in the US, many are asking questions about the end goal of the season – the World Championships. Here is the breakdown for you.

The 2013 Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be held in Antwerp Belgium. They will begin on September 30th with an Opening Ceremony. Men’s and Women’s qualifications will take place from the 30th to October 2. Men’s All-Around finals will be on the 3rd, Women’s on the 4th and then Event Finals will be help on the 5th and 6th.

The year after an Olympics, there is no Team Finals competition at the World Championship. Each country may bring four gymnasts, and two per country may qualify for each final. The top 24 all-around scores will go to the All-Around Finals and the top eight will move on to each Event Final.

Most countries will be looking to bring the combination of gymnasts who will win the most individual medals. After each meet, I like to take stock and say, if I had to name a team today from the US, who would it be. So lets take a look at the possibilities in the US. All scores from below are taken from Uncle Tim’s awesome post.

All-Around

Kyla Ross -By John Cheng

Simone Biles and Kyla Ross have pulled the top two all-around scores this year. Simone scored a 60.4 at the City of Jesolo (the highest all-around score in so far in the world during 2013) and Kyla scored a 59.3 at the GER-ROU-USA Friendly Meet. Close behind are Katelyn Ohashi with a 51.199 at the American Cup and Elizabeth Price with a 59.165. If either of them are healthy enough to return before the selection camp, they could definitely play into the picture. Especially if Simone does not show consistency and the ability to hit when it counts at Nationals.

Simone Biles -By John Cheng

However, in addition to being a top all-arounder, Simone has put up some of the highest scores in the world on Vault and Floor. She is second only to McKayla on Vault and to Ksenia Afanasyeva on floor. This makes bringing her especially appealing as she has the ability to take home three medals. Lexie Priessman did not compete all-around at the Secret Classics. Her performances earlier this year looked a little lackluster, but she is the reigning US National Champion. And her performance on the events she DID do in Chicago showed only good things to come. So we shouldn’t count her out quite yet.

Event Specialists

Vault

McKayla Maroney has put up the highest score on Vault this year at the Secret US Classic, and seems a very likely candidate to be brought along for an event specialist medal. MyKayla Skinner will be working hard to overtake McKayla as she actually has more difficulty. However, she will need to make some major improvements in execution for that to happen.

Uneven Bars

Kyla Ross has the most potential to make the Uneven Bars final, and has actually put up the second highest bar score in the world this year (a 15.4 at the Friendly meet compared to Aliya Mustafina’s 15.5 at the Russian Nationals -though Aliya was doing a watered down version of her previous routine). Katelyn Ohashi is in the top 6 as well.

Balance Beam

Katelyn Ohashi has a monster beam routine, and has put up the top score in the world for beam so far. She scored a 15.8 at the Woga Classic to Larissa Iordache’s 15.65 at Anadia. Simone and Kyla rank in the top ten, but are unlikely to be up to the podium level unless Kyla brings a lot of upgrades (she watered down her routine at Classics).

Floor

Simone put up the second highest floor score in the world with a 14.9 in Jesolo behind Ksenia Afanasyeva’s 15.166 at the European Championships. Just behind her is Lexie Priessman with a 14.8 at the Secret Classic. 

So what does all that mean?!?

At the current state of competition readiness and health, Marta would most likely send Kyla Ross (AA, UB), Simone Biles (AA?, V, FX), McKayla Maroney (V, Fx?) and Lexie Priessman (Fx, AA?). If Katelyn comes back healthy and ready to compete, she could definitely take one of those slots (FX, BB, UB?). Though there are a number of other talented girls that could come into the mix (Peyton Ernst, Brenna Dowell, Abigail Milliet, MyKayla Skinner, and Elizabeth Price) all of them would have to put up higher all-around scores or a much higher event score than they have currently.

P&G US National Championships will shed more light on the team selection. But as there is likely to be another selection camp in September after Nationals, it definitely won’t tell the final story!

Watch the 2013 Secret U.S. Classic Floor Champions


Floor was quite a treat! I think the next few years we are going to see quite a change in the US floor offerings. We are seeing quite a few girls who can tumble AND dance in the mix! Not to be missed is my favorite routine of the meet – Laurie Hernandez and McKayla Maroney’s new floor routine.

Seniors

Floor Champion –  Lexie Priessman (14.8)

Floor Silver – Peyton Ernst (14.5)

Floor Bronze – McKayla Maroney (14.35)

Juniors

Floor Champion – Lauren Hernandez (14.65)

Floor Silver – Nia Dennis (14.6)

Floor Bronze – Amelia Hundley (14.45)

Watch the 2013 Secret U.S. Classic Beam Champions


By John Cheng
By John Cheng

The balance beam tooks its fair share of victims, especially in the junior ranks. Many impressive beam routines fell victim to, well a fall. However, all the beam routines you see below are well worth your time watching they are beautiful! Most especially Norah Flatley, who has been a you tube sensation on beam for many years. Her elite beam debut did not disappoint!

Seniors

Balance Beam Champion – Peyton Ernst (14.7)

Balance Beam Silver – Kyla Ross (14.65)

Balance Beam Bronze – Kennedy Baker (14.3)

Juniors

Balance Beam Champion – Norah Flatley (15.2)

Balance Beam Silver – Bailie Key (15.0)

Balance Beam Bronze – Veronica Hults (14.9)

Watch the 2013 Secret US Classic Bars Champions


By John Cheng
By John Cheng

There were lots of attempts at some high flying skills on bars, but in the end, clean and consistent won the day.

Seniors

Uneven Bars Champion – Kyla Ross (15.4)

Uneven Bars Silver – Madison Kocian (14.45)

Uneven Bars Bronze – Abigail Milliet (14.4)

Juniors

Uneven Bars Champion – Veronica Hults (14.55)

Uneven Bars Silver – Amelia Hundley (14.400)

Uneven Bars Bronze – Polina Shchennikova (14.35)

All videos are from USA Gymnastics.

Watch 2013 U.S. Secret Classic Vault Champions


Seniors

As far as I can tell, only two seniors performed two different vaults, the necessary qualification for vault event finals in any major international competition.

Vault Champion – McKayla Maroney  (15.6)

Coming back as strong as ever, McKayla competed her gravity defying Amanar and the Mustafina.  She won with a 15.6

Vault Silver – MyKayla Skinner (15.25)

Making her senior debut, MyKayla competed two strong vaults. A Cheng – now worth more than an amanar- and a DTY. She definitely has the potential to be  a strong vault contender.

Juniors

No juniors perform two vaults, so the vaulting scores are just made up of their primary vault.

Vault Champion – Nia Dennis (15.25)

Nia showed power and amplitude everywhere she went, and vault was no different!

Vault Silver – Ariana Agrapides (15.1)

This little girl has a big vault! As a brand new elite who just started competing this vault, it will be fun to see what she can do.

Vault Bronze – Emily Schild (15.0)

Definitely a strong vaulter, Emily led the competition with this vault for the first round.

Vault Bronze – Bailie Key (15.0)

For such a slight, small girl, Bailie has a great vault! No doubt as she grows it will just get better.

2013 Secret U.S. Classic Senior All-Around Champions


The Queen of Clean Reigns at Classics – Kyla Ross

Kyla just gets better with age. As you would expect, her time at the Olympics has given her maturity and depth that shows in her gymnastics. Especially in her floor routine. She used to just go from pose to pose. At Classics, she seemed to FEEL the music and danced beautifully. With a watered down beam routine and an uncharacteristic fall on floor, she still took the title.

Beauty and Elegance Win the Day – Peyton Ernst

Peyton was a bit of a surprise, but she came through with four solid routines all done with beauty and elegance. She is a joy to watch perform and will be one to watch for sure at Nationals.

Taking Risks has Rewards – Brenna Dowell

Brenna has upgraded everywhere, and it was really fun to see her compete everything. She has some cleaning up to do to make her execution match her difficulty, but she did great for her first debut of so many difficult skills.

2013 U.S. Secret Classic Junior All-Around Champions


The Junior Competition was exciting as many different people were showing strong performances. The balance beam took many of the possible champions down, but overall it was a really great competition. Thanks to USA Gymnastics, we have videos of every routine!

Third Time’s a Charm for Bailie Key – All-Around Champion.

Bailie has been on the elite scene since 2010 – qualifying Junior Elite at just 11 years old. A member of the Junior US National Team since 2011, she already has a significant amount of international experience.  At 14, She carries herself like a veteran, with two years to go until her senior debut!  She won with an all-around score of 58.250 in her third US Classics.  She had a beautiful meet, and what is more amazing is that rumor has it that she did it with the stomach flu.

Going it Alone and Still Going Strong. Amelia Hundley – Silver Medalist

Amelia and Lexie Priessman are two names that always go together. We haven’t seen one without the other in training videos much less competition in their elite careers. One year older, Lexie moved on to the senior ranks. But Amelia did just fine and took the silver medal with a 57.950.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race for Nica Hultz – Bronze Medalist

Nica has been slowly, but surely climbing her way through the ranks over the past few years. She took the bronze medal with a 56.800 her final year as a Junior.

All videos from USA Gymnastics.