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.
Seems like we are saying implicitly that Asac and Bross are on the team.
That Sloan can neither help, nor hurt herself much with the single beam routine. Decisions wrt her will be made closer to Worlds based on camp performance (whether injury or just competence affected).
I pretty much agree with the above and even the implicit priorities.
-Mattie is in if she can show the same level of performance as the last few days. She’s probably 2nd best floor worker and 3rd or 4th on the other 3 events.
-Zam shows the Cheng not a fluke (which seems very likely) and she’s in. Improvement on other events and/or a DTY are just plusses, but not needed to justify her inclusion.
-Allie despite losing a little bloom is still solid and a 3rd/4th best on the leg events. As long as she can maintain the same competence, she’s probably safe. Especially in a scenario where Bridge does not make the team.
-Macko scores another 15 on UB and she probably has the spot, despite poor scores on the other 3 events.
The above is basically my team, if picking today:
Davis, Jetter, other Caqueto, Whitcomb all need to show real pizazz on the UB and have Macko falter to take her spot. (Yes, for Davis her “in team alternate” broad capabilities are attractive too….but…it will come down to bars.) Of course, the differences here are not huge, so some improvement (or Macko falter) in training camp could also move the needle. But if picking today…
Hunter basically needs to outperform Raisman (in terms of what she could add to a 3 up format) in the leg events. This is not out of range. But I’d give Alli the edge right now. Agreed, the FTDLO is impressive, but it didn’t get Beiger to the big dance…it’s about what she can do score-wise to support the team. Not an interesting trick. (Plus she kinda pikes and tucks that thing sometimes too, just like Beiger). And she doesn’t spazz out of bounds like Beigs, but remember Biegs actually had a DLO and FTDLO…and we’ve had stunning tumblers in the past like Johnson, Maloney, etc. It’s not like USA needs to highcase one girl who throws a G FX move.
If I had to pick a single alternate today, it would be Davis because UB is our lighter area. With two, I would take Davis and Hunter.
The above assumes no Sloan. If she can get herself back to last year’s form, than would bump Raisman or perhaps Macko. With a single alternate, Davis probably remains the best. With double alternates, Raisman and Davis (or Hunter and Macko, depending on who is bumped).