Barring injury, Bross and Sacramone are locks for the world team. Sloan’ status is uncertain at this point, but if she gets healthy she’s a lock as well.
But there are several other gymnasts whose fates have not yet been sealed, and a large part of that fate will depend on exactly what happens during tonight’s women’s finals. Below I’ve highlighted the ten routines that will have the biggest impact on the selection of this world team:
1. Mattie Larson’s beam. The only event where Mattie wasn’t stellar on Day 1 was beam, and after also recently falling on her dismount at the Covergirl Classic, Mattie really has something to prove with this routine. Marta loves great beam workers, so a nailed set from Mattie might win over Marta for good.
2. Mackenzie Caquatto’s bars. It’s no secret that Team USA is in desperate need of a great bar worker for worlds, and if Bridget Sloan doesn’t get healthy we may need two. Caquatto has now twice placed 2nd on bars behind Rebecca Bross, hitting the magic 15 mark both times. If she does it again tonight it would be hard to justify not putting her on the team.
3. Vanessa Zamarripa’s vault. The popular UCLA gymnast stunned everyone in Day 1 by sticking a world class Cheng vault – a monstrous 6.5 value vault that only a handful of gymnasts have ever competed. If she hits it again tonight, she could become the most shocking member of the 2010 world team.
4. Kytra Hunter’s floor. Earlier this year, Kytra unveiled a full twisting double layout on floor that could put many of the top male tumblers to shame, and she’s competed it consistently all year long. After being outscored by both Larson and Raisman on day 1, she may need to nail floor cold to prove her true value to the team.
5. Aly Raisman’s beam. Marta’s love for solid competitors on beam is probably one reason why she took so well to Aly earlier this year, when she seemingly didn’t know how to wobble. With Sloan’s status up in the air, Team USA needs a strong beam worker almost as badly as a bar worker. Aly could fit the bill, but she’ll need to be a bit more confident and solid than in Day 1…and outscoring Larson and Hunter certainly wouldn’t hurt.
6. Mattie Larson’s bars. Although it’s never been her strongest event, Mattie has shown significant improvement on bars this year and scored well at both the Covergirl and Visa’s Day 1. If she hits three in a row, a case for putting her in the bars lineup might very well be justified.
7. Kytra Hunter’s beam routine. Just as with Aly Raisman and Mattie Larson, Hunter will need to prove she could hit beam under serious pressure if Marta needed her to. A solid routine tonight could help seal the deal for Kytra.
8. Aly Raisman’s floor. Raisman is one of the better tumblers the USA has, but it hasn’t yet been convincing enough to prove she’d be used in team finals. A score in the high 14 to 15 range could make her case – which is now a bit tenuous – a whole lot stronger.
9. Chelsea Davis’s bars. Probably the biggest surprise of Day 1, Chelsea was solid across all four events and also put up one of the top bars scores with a 14.8. Look for more coverage of Chelsea tonight, and pay attention to the one event that could put her on the team…bars.
10. Cassie Whitcomb’s bars. She’s definitely in the running for this routine alone, but with Caquatto outscoring her twice now, it might be tough for Cassie. She’s been scoring in the high 14 range; it might take a 15 tonight to really get the selection committee’s attention.