2018 US Nationals: Junior Day 1

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The US juniors had an amazing first day of competition, showing good basics and fantastic potential for further development.

This continues to be the year of Leanne Wong in the junior rankings. The (almost) 15 year old from GAGE continues to be the picture of consistency and grace and placed 1st in the junior division with a 56.400. She did a good DTY with a lot of power and polished execution (despite a hop back) for a 9.1 E score. She does her highest difficulty on bars: cast to handstand – inbar – Chow II to Pak to immediate Chow I, toe-on full, Stalder 1/2 to pike Jaeger, double layout with amazing flight (14.35/5.7).  Worked beam with incredible lightness and polish for a 13.6/5.3: switch leap to straddle jump, flick – loso-loso, L turn to full turn, flick to straddle jump 1/1, side aerial side somi (check), aerial to split jump, triple full with small hop. Wong also had good difficulty on floor –  double Arabian to stag (nice flight and form), stuck triple full, double back pike (hop back), 2 1/2 to finish with just a small hop and slightly crossed legs (13.85/5.3)

Sunisa Lee, another 2003 baby, placed 2nd with a total of 55.900. On vault she had a good DTY for 14.25. On bars  she hit a packed routine, one of the most impressive and original being done these days: Stalder 1/2 to pike Jaeger, Nabieva (layout Tkachev) to Pak to Maloney to inbar Geinger, toe-on 1/1 to immediate full in dismount (14.8/6.1). On beam she hit a wonderful routine, with impressive form and amplitude in her most difficult skills.  She started with a triple wolf turn, with some balance issues, aerial, flick – bhs – layout to two feet, switch leap-switch 1/2 to back tuck, side aerial to loso to loso, switch ring leap – ring jump, double full dismount (14.05/5.9). Sunisa had her only major error on floor where she bobbled half way though a wolf turn and her leg fell. Her routine was rewarded with  12.8/5.3 (beautiful double layout, full in,  11/2 to front full, double back tuck).

Kayla Di Cello (who will be senior in 2020, so a 2004 baby) placed third with 55.250. On vault, she had a strong and high Yurchenko double full on vault (14.75). She worked bars with tremendous confidence and polish for a 14.2/5.5: toe on 1/1 to Maloney to Pak to van Leeuwen, clear hip to 1/2 turn in L grip to pike Jaeger, Stalder 1/2 full in dismount. On beam Di Cello worked very well, aside some minor checks and iffy splits: triple wolf turn to double wolf turn, side aerial – leap – leap, flick -loso-loso (check), aerial to ring jump, double full dismount. (13.45/5.5). On floor she had a beautiful performances, until the wolf turns where she lost a lot of tenths (12.85/5.4). She started with a massive double layout followed by secure landings on front double full,  1 1/2 to  2 1/2 and double back tuck.

Consistency won Skye Blakely ( 13 years old, from WOGA) a 4th place with a total of 54.800 across the 4 events: good Yurchenko double full, confident bars (despite the slightly flat Tkachev), nice beam set with a beautiful double back tuck dismount and a clean floor routine (13.2/5.2, 2nd on this even on the day).

13 year old Konnor McClain placed 5th with 54.500. She was most impressive on bars and beam, scoring 3rd and 2nd highest scores on these events of the night.

Here are the complete results:



Article: Bea Gheorghisor

Photo Cover: USA Gymnastics

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