I continue to assure you that this won't turn into a gymnastics blog. I wasn't even planning on doing this. But I was bored while waiting for routines to start, so here I am, live blogging away.
Story of the night: Simone's fourth National Championship. However, keep an eye on Laurie Hernandez, who looks Rio bound at the moment, and Ragan Smith, who appears to be on the outside looking in. We may want to keep an eye on Madison Kocian and Ashton Locklear for bars, but rumor has it that the team is going to made of five AAers and we'll be leaving both of them at home even though they are potential bars medals. Why do we do this when we're on track to win by 4 points or so? Because.
6:00 - START, LIVESTREAM, START.
6:01 - Fine, I'm grabbing some lemonade.
6:03 - It begins!! Ooh, the leotard game is strong tonight. The Al game is...Al-ish. Gabby's hair game is nice! I like that she's changing it up.
6:04 - Gabby never does well at Nationals. Re-watch 2011 if you want. She fell off beam three times, and she ended up at Worlds.
6:05 - Gabby's bars. Nice handstands, nice tkatchev, changes bars...WHAT WHAT WHAT. Oh man, that's unusual. Gabby never has bars issues. Some sort of missed bars handstand on the low bar. Good job staying on; that was impressive. But it's going to hurt both the D and the E.
6:07 - Oof, that's not a happy Gabby.
6:07 - Maggie's beam. Better Wolf turn than last night. Leaps, those look fine. Her legs are just entirely covered in tape, aren't they? This is loads better than last night (well, Friday). Switch ring could have been cleaner. She's beginning to look a little bit more tentative than she did at the beginning of the routine. Dismount has a step, but that's much better than night one.
6:09 - Gabby should be happy with that score, all things considered.
6:10 - I DON'T CARE ABOUT RAISMAN PARENT FLUFF. I mean, I enjoy it, but not right now.
6:11 - Al's floor! Go Aly go Aly go Aly. First pass--YES, in bounds. Oh man, this routine has really improved since the start of the season. Spin was a little wonky. I get why people don't like her choreography, but it works. Third pass is a double layout, that's good. Split leaps are much better than four years ago. Final pass is a double pike, nice! I don't think she is going to defend her national floor title tonight, unless Simone has major issues, but that should get her silver here and in Rio.
6:14 - Madison Kocian on bars, this is worth watching. Clean, clean. Nice handstands, wonderful extensions, stuck landing. There wasn't much to talk about because it was all great! Her extension is beautiful. Oh, why can't we bring a bars specialist??
6:16 - Laurie vault! What's with NBC actually showing us routines? Not the best block on her vault, step on landing. Not very far from the table, either. That doesn't hurt her case, but doesn't help it either.
6:17 - YES AL WE GET THE SCORING SYSTEM stop with the colored shapes.
6:18 - I would like Simone's leotard about five times more without the collar.
6:20 - Made some tea. May eventually make dinner. Ooh, we are back!
6:21 - Baumann bars! I really don't get why she can't do bars. She is beautiful on them--and this routine shows flashes of what it could be like--but she doesn't have quite the difficulty. Can't we add some nice piroutettes? Acceptable routine, though.
6:22 - SIMONE FLOOR ALERT ALERT. Oh, we are just going to watch Simone stand around instead of you know, any gymnastics. Because I'm here to watch people stand around.
6:24 - It begins! How does she tumble so high? Second pass (the Biles) is good. The choreo between her second and third pass isn't as good as the rest of it. Third pass, almost stuck, it looks like she could add another element after that. Fourth pass is great, we have the butt-layout that I love, and done! *cough*gold medals*cough*
6:28 - Why are there so many fast food commercials?
6:29 - Standings:
1. Biles 78.950
2. Raisman 76.150
3. Hernandez 75.250
4. Kocian 73.850
5. Douglas 73.400. I'm not trusting the Raisman/Hernandez ranking until after Aly's beam, and Gabby should beat Madison--although if she doesn't, that could make things veeeeeeery interesting.
6:30 - The latest episode of Build Your Olympic Team!!! That's every day if you are on the gymternet. It isn't that special. But I like the music and Rio shots, it makes it sound ~so important~. Oh, hey Bela.
6:32 - We're not getting any gymnastics until after more commercials, are we? Darn it, I should have made dinner now. Back to commercials!
6:35 - Skinner vault! Tim feels proud of himself. One armed Cheng! I feel we could give a little bonus for that and start a new trend of one-armed vaults. I don't know if we are ready for the revolution though. 15.25 for the Cheng, now the Amanar. OOB, but a decent Amanar. I wonder if that'll actually score higher than the Cheng?
6:38 - Oh, the gymternet is now the gymnastics police? Nice, Al. Ragan on bars--DOWN ON TKATCHEV. That's problematic; she can't afford a bars fall, even if she would be going for beam. Routine is fine otherwise hop on landing, but that is going to cost her something in the Rio Rankings. She'll still make trials, but...we'll see.
6:40 - AHHH SIMONE'S AMANAR AHH AHHH AHHHHHHHHH. That was beautiful. Oh, shut up Al, let's look at the Amanar again. Oh, that's the best Amanar I've seen. 16.2?!?!?!?!???????????? GIVE HER A 16.3. Cheng is bouncy.
6:43 - Still freaking about the Amanar, but on to Baumann beam! Good work so far, floaty layout., hop-ish thing after the switch ring. Dismount has a low chest, but good. It's not perfect, but it can work.
6:44 - Laurie bars! Some messy legs on the low bar, nice Tkatchev(s), on to low bar, misses a handstand on the return to the high bar, bounce on the dismount. That'll do, Hernandez, that'll do.
6:46 - ALY VAULT SOMEONE HOLD ME. Ok, ok, okay...out of bounds, but she's aliiiiiiiiiiiiive. Okay, that'll work. No ACL tear = happy Christine.
6:49 - NASCAR commercials make a little bit more sense on this channel, although if I wanted to watch people drive I would just hang out on the 101 overpass all day.
6:50 - 15.5 for Aly's vault, now onto Gabby on beam. Slight hesitation between somersault and leap. Flight series is fine. Full is solid. This is an improved routine from the other night, but I don't know if she will get any of these connections, she's somewhat slow. Balance check on the spin, but a teeny one. Just the dismount, pretty much stuck! Solid, but she could work on the connections.
6:52 - Apparently, Al, Tim, et al., are mad with us on Twitter. I feel this means we're doing things right.
6:53 - Don't show me sobbing John Orozco. I don't need to cry about MAG any more this weekend.
6:55 - More NASCAR commercials. What happened to the Under Armour one? I liked that one.
6:56 - STANDINGS:
1. Biles 95.150
2. Raisman 91.650
3. Hernandez 90.400
4. Douglas 88.450
5. Kocian 88.100. And with that, I'm making dinner--back in a bit.
7:05 - I missed Ashton's bars, but they had some small issues. That isn't as helpful.
7:06 - Laurie on beam. A few balance checks and low landing--hmm. Good, but could be better.
7:09 - Simone bars. Wobble on the low bar, solid back up to the high, tkatchev, stuck her dismount cold. Wobble is fine; she's already got her passport stamped for Rio.
7:12 - Dinner finished, and we're back at a NASCAR commercial.
7:13 - Now I'm done with dinner, we get tons of commercials. Of course.
7:14 - Gabby on floor. I don't really like this routine, I know she's trying to make it sound Rio-y, but oh well. I guess electronica is her thing. Lands her second pass OOB, leaps are fine. Spin is questionable too. Third pass is stuck. Final pass has a shuffle. Not her best routine--hmm.
7:17- Aly on bars. Wheee. Just don't fall, Aly. some nice swinging, but she doesn't have the best form, she's short on quite a few handstands and her legs keep separating. Dismount could have been stuck but there's a shuffle--it works! Not in TF, but it works in qualification. (And, possibly, potentially, AA...but let's stop jinxing it now.)
7:18 - Ragan on beam. This is important, especially after Friday and the bars flub. Layout is much better than Friday. Fights after her full, but it's to her feet. Dismount is a Patterson, nice landing. Good for her!
7:21 - STANDINGS:
1. Biles 109.900
2. Raisman 105.800
3. Hernandez 105.700
4. Douglas 102.900
5. Kocian 102.700. Gabby's got fourth unless something drastic happens. Raisman (beam) vs. Hernandez (floor) will be interesting.
7:24 - I'm going to be a sloppy mess come trials. Eek.
7:25 - A Laurie dance montage. That is....interesting. We're going to watch her in a few minutes, don't you realize that?
7:30 - I'm ignoring Andrea (a good rule of thumb for life), and doing some research. Generally speaking, Aly's beam outscores Laurie's floor most of the time, sometimes by half a point.
7:31 - Laurie's floor. This is such an NCAA routine, I love it (this is a completement). I love the hair flick before the third pass. Dismount is stuck, but slightly messy. Nicely done! A good first senior nationals for her. Well, it's in Aly's court now.
7:33 - I'm making up drama for second place since there is zero for first place.
7:34 - BIG bounce out of Gabby's DTY. Yeah, she can possibly fit in that extra half twist. We will see.
7:35 - 14.8 for Laurie on floor. That seems slightly high to me? Simone beam. Slight weird thing with the wolf turn, her foot hits the beam at the end, and her barani is slightly off. Balance check at the end of her flight series. She really does just need to phone it in right now, but still. Missed a connection between the second and third leap in her series. Lands the dismount, and that is four in a row! ~QUEEN SIMONE~. Oh, she's mad. Mad doesn't mean bad though.
7:39 - I would pay major $$$ to have Simone replace Nastia.
7:41 - Maggie on bars. Oooh, she misses her transition to highbar, and has to fight one handstand. That...that won't help. (Noooooooooooooo.) Sad Maggie is sad. The ending was solid though.
7:44 - Knee close-ups are why I watch this sport.
7:45 Aly beam, here we go! Mount is good. Layout is beautiful! That is so improved. I love pike jumps. This is a much more fluid routine than some of the others have been. This is old school, traditional Raisman. Flight series is solid, on to the dismount...Patterson dismount, hop but great! YESSSSSSSSSS!!!! That should get her second.
7:47 - The hug cam is better than the knee cam, I guess. Eek, 13.6 for Maggie on bars. PHONE STOP FREEZING ON ME.
7:49 - Trying to get my phone back up. Stay tuned...
7:50 - I missed Mykayla's beam...so what's Aly's score??? INTERNET< TELL ME! Oh, Mykayla had three falls? Agh, that hurts her alternate chances. Oh, it was a Sacramone-style fall, AND she splits the beam.
7:52 - Ashton on beam. How many people are opening with a wolf turn now? It feels like half of the national team. She isn't as fluid as some of the others, and there isn't the difficulty, but....ooooh, she fought her cartwheel and won. Good for her! Dismount has a step, but well fought! NOW SOMEONE TELL ME ALY'S SCORE.
7:54 - 15.3 for Aly! YAAAAAAAAAS. That's her first silver--she had previously always been in third. Yaaaay.
7:55 - FINAL STANDINGS:
1. Biles 125.000
2. Raisman 121.100
3. Hernandez 120.500
4. Douglas 117.800
5. Kocian 116.450. 125. That is ridiculous.
7:58 - Biles, Raisman, Hernandez, Douglas, Kocian, Hundley, Baumann and Smith are all invited to Trials automatically. I would guess that Maggie Nichols and Ashton Locklear get invites to Trials, maybe Mykayla too. I don't know when we will get that announcement, though; last year it was that night, but it doesn't look like they are announcing it on the broadcast.
7:59 - I don't like hearing Al and Tim talk about Laurie. It feels skeevy.
Trials is in two weeks! I AM NOT READY.