As the 2014 American Cup get’s started, the energy is high and people are excited. At this point in the quadrennium, the tension around winning this event is absent and everyone is having fun.The lights dim, strobe lights fill the arena and we start with a little song and dance.The gymnasts march in and things start to get serious.
As expected, the American’s dominated on vault. Neither Elizabeth Price or Brenna Dowell brought their best vault, but they still shot ahead of the pack with their powerful amanars. Behind them was Giulia Steingruber with a nice rudi (the vault Alicia Sacramone used to do) and Victoria Moors with a DTY. The rest of the field had pretty low start values.
Next up, uneven bars. Brenna Dowell absolutely rocked bars, doing her crazy Tweddle+Ezhova combination better than I have ever seen it. In warm up she had bent legs and crazy form, but she did straight legs and feet together! The crowd went nuts. Carlotta Ferlito and Sophie Scheder both had a really great swinging set of bars. Carlotta had some form breaks and Sophie got a little off in her routine, but they both delivered cleanly. Victoria Moors and Vanessa Ferrari have both improved so much on bars over the years! They had a few little form issues, but got through fairly well. Roxana Popa Nedelcu started off so strongly on bars but then slammed her feet on the mat on her pak (immediately after the little girl behind me said, wow no one has fallen on bars) and then couldn’t recover and had to jump off. Elizabeth flew so high on her release moves, and went clean on her bars with a stick to boot. She increased her lead coming out of the second rotation.
Brenna is first up on beam where she was cleaner than she has been in training. However lots of bobbles and starts and stops and a missed connection left her with only a 13.3. Giulia and Victoria both brought nice, steady routines. Victoria did her full-in dismount and ended with a NCAA style finish! Vanessa, who has looked so strong in warmups did not have her best routine. She did a back tuck in a series that normally is a layout and had a few other mistakes. Elizabeth Price is up next and delivered what was probably her best beam routine I have ever seen her do! She missed a few of her splits, but was rock solid on all her skills and ended with a stick. Carlotta started with a beautiful beam routine, one of the prettiest of the meet. But she falls on one of her combinations.
The top four have been in the exact same order since the first rotation, and even with such a low beam score for Brenna nothing changes. Elizabeth, Brenna, Giulia and Victoria. This line-up is full of great floor workers, so this is a rotation to sit back and enjoy.
Things get started with Carlotta, who looks beautiful on floor. She really gets the crowd going with her clappable music and her enthusiastic performance, She does a graceful, sassy routine. Sophie follows her, with beautiful jumps, leaps and turns, but a fall on her last pass. Next up is Vanessa, who is one of the best in the world on floor. She does a great routine. So wonderful to see her floor routine in person! Roxana flies high in her double layout and then gets what might have been some of the loudest cheers on the night with her whip whip tumbling pass. A very fun routine. Giulia looks so much cleaner to me on floor than at worlds. She does a great routine as well.
Elizabeth is next and does a solid routine. She flies high, has solid landings and hits everything. I like this routine better than her previous one, but she still has some room to grow on the performance and dance side of floor. Brenna has such great tumbling skills and beautiful presentation. She is so beautiful on floor, but has a big hop on her first pass and lands out of bounds on her second pass. However, it is just enough to take second.
And we finish out the night with what I flew across the country for – Victoria Moors on floor. Victoria has quite a pike in her double twisting double layout and lands it out of bounds. But it is awesome to see! The rest of her routine is enchanting, every nuance of music used perfectly. The crowd was actually quiet – mesmerized I think. What a great ending to the meet!
There was a great presentation of medals and of World Cup standings at the end of the meet to wrap up the 2014 AT&T American Cup.
1. Elizabeth Price 59.966
2. Brenna Dowell 57.532
3. Giulia Steingruber 57.332
4. Victoria Moors 56.898
5. Vanessa Ferrari 56.766
6. Roxana Popa 54.865
7. Sophie Scheder 54.331
8. Carlotta Ferlito 53.632
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Photos and videos from USA Gymnastics