Simone Steals the Show – AT&T American Cup Results


Simone Biles stole the show in her usual style Saturday, March 7 at the AT&T Stadium. Many wondered if such a large arena would dwarf these tiny gymnasts, but with Biles it is a wonder that even a stadium that large can contain her power and charisma. Biles won the meet by 4.5 points, with her American teammate MyKayla Skinner coming in second. Winning by points used to be a crazy thing, but with Biles it has become the norm.

Biles began the meet with one of the most impressive Amanar vaults she has ever done in competition, flying sky high and basically sticking, scoring a whopping 16.033. MyKayla Skinner turned in a clean double twisting yurchenko to score a 15.1, a departure from her normal Cheng vault, which she had trouble with in podium training. Jessica Lopez of Venezuela came in right behind her with another double twisting yurchenko that scored a 15. After the first rotation, Biles was leading by almost a full point.

Heading into the second rotation, Biles added in some of her former difficulty on bars, which she has been working hard to bring back to her former level after last years shoulder issues. She competed these with ease, and scored a 15.2 on her “weakest” event. Lopez was just behind her, scoring a 14.933 for a beautifully done bar routine full of release moves. Bars are without a doubt Skinner’s weakest event, but she worked through them well, adding in new difficulty of her own and sticking the dismount for a 14.266. Biles increased her lead to just over a point, but Lopez edged out Skinner for second.

Beam is usually the rotation that shakes up the standings, but not so today. Biles approached her routine with a calm, collected attitude, and though she had a few small wobbles, she came through with a great routine, scoring a 15.066. Ellie Black of Canada came in with the second highest score on beam with a 14.266 followed closely by Natsumi Sasada of Japan with a 14.2. Lopez fell on her backhandspring layout, but had a beautiful routine otherwise for a 13.166. Skinner had a few big bobbles, including a near fall on her backhandspring full tuck combination. She scored a 13.533, and the standings remained the same coming into the final rotation.

Lopez had a pretty routine with great lines. Her lower difficulty left her with a 13.266. Erika Fasan of Italy came through with a 14.400 for a well done floor routine with a beautiful Memmel turn and solid tumbling to overtake Lopez not only in the floor scores, but for the bronze medal. Skinner made it through her incredibly difficult floor routine for a 14.933 and the silver medal. But it was Biles of course who brought the house down. Adding even more difficulty to an already insanely difficult routine, Biles was in the rafters in her tumbling, but it is her mega watt smile and personality that bring her routine to life. She scored a 16.0, the highest floor score since 2009 when code changes decreased the start values on floor.

Simone Biles truly is a special gymnast. With big gymnastics, a bigger personality and the biggest heart around, she is one of a kind. She had hoped to start 2015 off strong. Mission accomplished.

AT&T American Cup Live


Live Blog of the 2015 AT&T American Cup Women

Vault

  • Vanessa Ferrari – Yurechenko  11/2 14.133Elsabeth Black -Tsuk 1 1/2 layout–Stuck 14.566
  • Jessica Lopez – Clean Yurchenko 2/2 15.000
  • Emily Little – Powerful DTY, slight hop on landing. 14.766
  • Natsumi Sasada – Clean Yur 1/1, landed came off the table to the side, landed fart to the left, but still between the lines. 13.833
  • Erika Fasana – DTY, somewhat low but clean. 14.533
  • Claudia Fragapane – DTY, slightly offline with a small hop on the landing. 14.633
  • Simone Biles – Amanar – one of the best Amanars she has performed in competition for a 16.033
  • MyKayla Skinner – In a surprise twist does her DTY instead of a full. Slightly piked down and big hop on landing but powerful. 15.100
Results after Rotation 1
1.Simone Biles 16.033
2MyKayla Skinner 15.100
3Jessica Lopez 15.000

Bars:

  • Jessica Lopez – Beautiful bars set chocked full of releases. piked tkatchev to pac, shaposh, tkatchev to geinger, double front dismount. 14.933
  • Emily Little – Shaposh, bail, hecht, really struggles on a cast handstand but muscles it up, double layout with a hop. 13.166
  • Natsumi Sasada- 13.500
  • Erika Fasana- 13.900
  • Claudia Fragapane – piked tkatchev, off on Church, pak, full-piroutte, beautiful double layout dismount. 12.633
  • Simone Biles – Weiler, shaposh, ,tkatchev, piked tkatchev to pak, full twisting double dismount to stick. 15.200
  • MyKayla Skinner – Shaposh to pac, toe shaposh half, Ray, full in stuck. Much improved, still form issues. 14.266
  • Vanessa Ferrari  – lots of good pirouetting on highbar, straddle jeager, full in with small hop.13.966
  • Elsabeth Black- clear hip, off on pike Tkatchev, straddle Jaeger to pak, toe on front lay half dismount 13.000
Results after Rotation 2
1.Simone Biles 31.233
2. Jessica Lopez 29.933
3. MyKayla Skinner 29.366

Beam

  • Natsumi Sasada –  Beautiful roundoff layout, front tuck, ariel, switch ring, slight bobble, full turn, front arield, sheep jump, bobbles but recoers, switch leap, switch leap, roundoff double pike dismount. Has nice clean lines throughout the routine, some bobbles break the flow. 14.200
  • Erika Fasana- back handspring stepout layout, switch to back tuck, beautiful turn combo, full turn y turn, split half, side arial, front aerial, Roundoff double pike. Nice flow and sharp dance throughout. 13.800Claudia Fragapane – 13.500
  • Simone Biles – 2 1/2 wolf, front arial, slpit leap, slight bobble on connection, backhandspring layout step out layout stepout, front arial, switchsplit, swiich half with a bobble back pike, front tuck, Full in dismount. Calm cool and collected through the routine, moved a little slower than usual. Holding her back as she walked off. 15.066
  • MyKayla Skinner –  backhandspring tuck full with a big save, switch half, front tuck, switch leap back pike, side aerial, full turn combo nicely done (1/1 leg horizontal, 1/1), roundoff double back dismount. Overall leaps looked more split, toes more pointed throughout, clean turns. 13.533
  • Vanessa Ferrari – roundoff back layout with a big bobble, split leap, split ring, front aerial sheep jump, switch half, full turn, switch ring, pretty far from her head though, roundoff double pike, small hop. Pretty work in and out of her skills, nice flow throughout.
  • Elsabeth Black – double turn big bobble but saves it, front pike, backhandrping stepout layout to two feet, lots of pretty work in between, backhandspring stepout  tuck full, big bobble, switch leap switch half, front tuck, bobble, roundoff 21/2 twist dismount. Some great work but lots of big bobbles14.266
  • Jessica Lopez – switch split, backhandspring stepout backhandspring layout, falls off, jump series, switch side leap, front aerial sheep jump, aerial split leap, pretty combo!, side aerial, roundoff back hand spring double twist dismount. Beautiful routine though. 13.166
  • Emily Little – front tuck, wolf turn, front aerial, spilt jump, backhandspring stepout layout step out, switch split switch side, roundoff 2 1/2 twist with a big hop. 13.633
Results after Rotation 3
1.Simone Biles 46.299
2. Jessica Lopez 43.099
3. MyKayla Skinner 42.899

Floor

  • Elsabeth Black Dramatic music and flare to match, 2.5 through to double back, front double full,  front full 1/2 through to double pike. good landings. 14.300
  • Natsumi Sasada – 1 1/2 to front, falls back and hands down, double tuck, dbl full, dbl pike 12.200
  • Emily Little –  Piked full in stuck, full in, switch split switch side, full 1/2 steppout through to double full, wolf 11/2double turn, pike to end. Clean lines, great form on all her tumbling.13.700
  • Claudia Fragapane – double layout full almost falls but pulls it up, double arabian, falls, her famous breakdancing, triple twist, double layout to end, puts her hands down. Such a hard routine, just could not pull it out today. 11.766
  • Vanessa Ferrari – double layout lands oob, full in, double tuck, switch ring, switch full, switch ring full,  double pike to end. Beautiful choreography in this routine. 13.766
  • Jessica Lopez – triple twist, double pike, switch ring switch full, pretty choreography work, double twist, falls out of triple turn, two and a half twist to end. 13.266
  • Erika Fasana – double layout small hop, full in, double Y turn, double pike stuck, nicely done routine. 14.400
  • Simone Biles –  New pass to open full twisting double layout, the Biles to spilt leap, beautifully done, wolf turn 2/2, switch split switch full, double double, ends with a strong full in, hops. She is electric on floor! 16.000!!!
  • MyKayla Skinner – Double twisting double layout (Moors), double double, wolf turn, 1 1/2 through to 21/2, full in to end. Her jumps and leaps are still improving but not quite 180. 14.933
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Biles and Skinner Ready to do Big Gymnastics at the AT&T American Cup


One of the most prestigious events for an American gymnast in the elite gymnastics calendar is the American Cup. This weekend marks the 2015 AT&T American Cup, which will be held in the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium, one of the biggest venues for this important event. Simone Biles of World Champions Center, Spring, Tx and MyKayla Skinner of Desert Lights, Gilbert, Az will be representing the US women.

“I was really surprised, it was such an honor” said Skinner about being chosen to represent the US at this event. “I hope [people] realize I have become a bigger and better gymnast, I hope they can see I have been working really hard.” Skinner has added upgrades to bars and floor and hopes to debut them at the competition. She also hopes people notice how much she has been working on her flexibility and artistry. When she thinks about competing in such a big arena, Skinner says that it is “Going to be really cool. We will be more pumped and it [will be] more fun. It’s going to be different, but exciting.”

Marta Karyoli, Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinner at the 2015 AT&T American Cup. Photo via USA Gymnastics.

Marta Karyoli, Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinner at the 2015 AT&T American Cup. Photo via USA Gymnastics.

Biles, comes into the competition with more to prove than Skinner. As a two time World Champion, Biles is the heavy favorite to win.  Though she admits that the stadium could be intimidating, the veteran gymnast said in an interview with USA Gymnastics after training today, “Once you start doing gymnastics, you don’t really pay attention to how big the stadium is, you just focus on what you are doing in the moment.” In an interview earlier this week she said that “You need a big stadium for big gymnastics.” Big gymnastics is what Biles is all about. She is looking to make a great start to her 2015 year, and will be debuting upgrades on bars and floor. Already competing one of the highest start values in the world on floor, Biles looks to be adding even more with a new opening tumbling pass, while she continues to make the gymnastics look effortless.

Biles senior career has already been enormously successful, with two national and world all around titles to her name. But every iconic American champion can point to winning the American Cup, and Biles has yet to add this title to her resume. “Every time anyone says anything about the American Cup, they think of who has won it. So I think just adding my name would mean a lot to me.”

Don’t miss any of the action on Saturday. Watch the AT&T American Cup live.

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. ET – First 90 minutes webcast on attamericancup.com/live
1-3 p.m. ET – Live on NBC (check local listings)

In the meantime, check out Biles and Skinner’s podium training highlights.

Simone Biles

MyKayla Skinner

Photos and Videos via USA Gymnastics.

 

From Bees to Ants – Simone Biles and the 2015 AT&T American Cup


Everything is different and everything is the same for Simone Biles as she heads into the 2015 AT&T American Cup. The most prestigious international invitational held in the United States will be at the AT&T Stadium (the Dallas Cowboys football stadium) in Arlington, Texas on March 7. Biles and MyKayla Skinner are the two women representing the USA in the competition.

In 2013, Biles competed in this prestigious competition as an unproven senior. Though people knew she had potential, she was far from being a sure thing in the world of gymnastics. In a small, cozy arena in Worcester, Mass, Biles won silver to her American teammate, Katelyn Ohashi. Fast forward two years: a new outlook on her gymnastics, a new training center, and multiple world championship titles behind her, Biles is coming into 2015 not only as the favorite for the American Cup, but as the gymnast to beat.

Everything is different.

“I’m approaching this competition by knowing what I’m capable of doing, knowing what I’ve done in the past. I want to come out with a really strong start to the year” said Biles at a pre-meet phone conference. “I have actually not competed in anything close to as big as this stadium is. I went there earlier this year for a promotion… I think we’re gonna look like ants down there because the stadium is so big, but I guess you need a big stadium for big gymnastics… I watched the board more than the players. It was huge! I don’t know how it’s gonna to turn out, but I’m excited to see it. ”

After her shenanigan’s with the bee at the 2014 World Championships, Biles must have insects on the brain. Her thought that they will look like ants in such a huge stadium is probably right. But no one will bring bigger gymnastics than Biles. Already touting the most difficulty in women’s gymnastics, Biles plans to bring in two more upgrades to the AT&T American Cup. She has added a release combination- a piked Tkatchev into pak on bars, and will be adding yet another twist on floor, upgrading one of her floor passes to a double layout full-out. Check out her latest work:

Competing near home is also something new. “I’m really excited to compete because I know a lot of my friends and family are going to come. They haven’t seen me compete since one of my first years in elite. There are a lot of people coming out to see me and I’m really excited for them to see me.” Biles, who makes friends everywhere she goes, is also excited to see Jessica Lopez of Venezuela, who she connected with earlier in the year at the Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular.

Everything is the same.

And yet, the At&T American Cup is just another competition. “I’ve had competitions where we go one at a time, so I’m kinda used to it,” she said about the format of the competition. She is also used to televised events: “Sometimes they put us on hold…” When all is said and done, she has been training towards this in the same way she has gone into every other competition. “We just want to do what we’ve always done. After Worlds we did dial down a bit and tried to work new skills and plan out routines, but then we started gearing back up with American Cup coming up. It’s been the same…nothing’s really changed.”

Currently focused on hitting her routines at the American Cup, later this year Biles will turn her attention to more upgrades and making the World Championship team. Biles said her goals for the year are “Adding more upgrades for Classics and P&Gs, and then try to make the Worlds team again and at the end of the year I’ll start over again and see what happens.”

In the world of gymnastics, it is impossible to look at one competition on it’s own. How it fits in to the ever present Olympic question is always a part of the equation. But Biles, like many other elite gymnasts, tries to stay focused on the here and now. “I try not think about 2016 yet, I’m going into this year as I have any other year, trying to do what I always do. I just try not to think about it. We have this whole year to think about it. We have to live in the moment, and thinking of next year kindof scares me, so if anyone brings up the Olympics, it’s not me.”

Biles has been unbeatable for the past two years, winning even with falls and mistakes. Many wonder if any gymnast can ever challenge her as long as she stays in the sport. Two people that have yet to try are returning Olympic veterans Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman. But to Biles, who always focuses so much more on how she loves her teammates than on how they might turn out in the ranks, its the more the merrier. “[Gabby and Aly] look really good, really healthy. I am just so excited for them. I know how bad they want to compete, and I know how it feels to be out for a while, after being out last year for a little while, so I am really excited for them. The look really good.”

Don’t miss Biles and any of the action at the AT&T American Cup. Watch podium training live on March 5 (Women – 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET and Men – 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET) and catch the first 90 minutes of competition on March 7 at 11:30 a.m. on attamericancup.com/live and then the rest of the competion from 1-3 p.m. ET Live on NBC (check local listings).