It’s definitely time to put another StockWatch update out there, as a whole lot has happened since my last rank lists in March. Since that time, we’ve seen the retirement of Paul Hamm, the international return of David Sender, the completion of the Pacific Rim Championships, City of Jesolo Meet, and NCAA Championships, and the announcement of the list of attendees at the final women’s national team team training camp before the selection competitions begin.
Keep in mind these lists are still very tentative and VERY debatable – particularly on the women’s side. These are simply my current reflections of where I feel all of the contenders stand based on everything we’ve seen thus far in 2012. Things could still change very quickly, as we are now truly about to enter the Olympic selection period. The men’s U.S. qualifier will take place this Saturday, May 5th, and the women’s U.S. Classic – which is expected to be very well attended – will take place in just over three weeks. The Visa U.S. Championships are now just five weeks away, and the U.S. Olympic Trials are just eight weeks away. The exciting events that shape our gymnastics memories every four years are now upon us.
Let’s take a look at the major U.S. Olympic players, starting with the men:
1. Danell Leyva
2. John Orozco
3. Jake Dalton
4. Jonathan Horton
5. Glen Ishino
6. Alex Naddour
7. Steve Legendre
8. Chris Brooks
9. Brandon Wynn
10. Sam Mikulak
11. CJ Maestas
12. Paul Ruggeri
Just Outside The Top 12:
Major Moves Since March:
Jake Dalton moved up to 3rd on the men’s side after a strong performance at the Pacific Rim Championships and a stellar performance at the NCAA Championships, which included a 1st place all-around finish (91.0) and a stunning FIVE event finals appearances (1st on p-bars, 2nd on floor, 3rd on rings and high bar). His continued improvement on rings strengthens his stock even further.
Jonathan Horton moved down to 4th, at least temporarily, simply because he has yet to really show us anything this year. I expect he may move back up into the top three after some of this summer’s competitions, but until I see it, I felt compelled to move Dalton ahead of him.
Glen Ishino remained in the same spot, though this is debatable given he just scored disastrous 12.0 on pommel horse at the Osijek Challenge Cup in Croatia – not what he was looking for in perhaps his only international test before the Olympic selection process. I was willing to give him a “pass” on this, though, considering he just competed in an exhausting 3-day NCAA Championships the very weekend before, where he did score a monstrous 15.85 on pommel horse and 15.6 to win the event in the event finals. Perhaps this wasn’t quite enough time to recover from the emotional highs of that competition, and especially given the long travel to Croatia. That’s an awful lot to ask.
CJ Maestas and Sam Mikulak both moved into the top 12 after very strong performances at the NCAA Championships, where these two tied for 2nd all-around (89.7), and each picked up an event title as well – Maestas on rings and Mikulak on high bar. Mikulak also had a stellar showing at the Pacific Rim Championships, his senior international debut.
Paul Hamm, of course, was removed from the list after he recently announced his retirement.
David Sender was moved just out of the top 12 after he scored 13’s on both floor and rings at the Osijek Challenger Cup. Sender did tie for 5th on vault at this meet, but unfortunately this event alone isn’t going to score him too many points with the selection committee. He’ll need to show much more than this in the upcoming meets to prove he’s truly in the mix.