IG Editor Dwight Normile blogs from the 2009 Visa (U.S.) Gymnastics Championships in Dallas, where the women's competition continued Saturday.
DALLAS — The women's junior competition concluded Saturday afternoon, with scores being added to Wednesday's competition to determine the winner.
And at this level, hitting all eight routines goes a long way. It just didn't happen for many in the final. First-day leader Kyla Ross fell from her first event, uneven bars, on a shoot-half to the low bar, but the 12-year-old from Aliso Viejo, Calif., managed to stay near the top after she hit balance beam.
Kyla Ross (GymMax)
Bridgette Caquatto, who placed 21st a year ago, took the lead after nailing floor (clean piked full-in) and vault (double-twisting Yurchenko). Then she threw the best bars routine of the meet (Stalder-Tkatchev, toe-on-Tkatchev; blind-Endo-pirouette Tkatchev; full-twisting double layout) with clean form and excellent technique.
With a 1.0 lead on Alexandra Raisman (Brestyan's) after the third rotation, Caquatto needed a hit beam set to claim the title. As first up on that precrarious event in the final rotation, Caquatto, who is coached by Chinese Olympians Li Yuejiu and Wu Jiani at Naperville Gymnastics, Caquatto looked to be in control throughout (front, flip-flop layout; back pike) but her roundoff double pike dismount traveled fairly far from the beam and she sat down. The door was open for Raisman or Ross, in second and third prior to the final event, to claim the title.
After hitting all of her tumbling on floor (Arabian double front; tucked full-in; 1-1/2 twist through to double twist; double tuck), Ross nailed a double-twisting Yurchenko to surpass Caquatto, 114.00-113.450. Then she was forced to await her fate until Raisman competed on floor.
With the scoring potential on floor much lower than vault, Raisman faced a tough challenge to overtake Ross. Her opening pass of 1-1/2 through to Arabian double front was superb, but she over-rotated her next run, a triple twist, so badly that she fell flat on her back. She finished strong, however, and finished in the medals in third.
- McKayla Maroney (Gym Max) hit her Amanar this time and scored 15.400.
- Tiny Elizabeth LeDuc (Woodlands) performed her entire floor routine with a big smile.
- Defending champion Jordyn Wieber (Geddert's Twistars) did not compete because of a sore hamstring, and her teammate Kamerin Moore (Geddert's) is out because of a torn labrum.
External Link: USA Gymnastics