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Sloan Surges to First Senior U.S. Title
(21 votes, average 4.33 out of 5)

IG Editor Dwight Normile blogs from the 2009 Visa (U.S.) Gymnastics Championships in Dallas, where the women's competition continued Saturday.

DALLAS — Bridget Sloan came from behind in the third rotation tonight to take a healthy lead at the U.S. Championships. One event later, she secured her first national all-around title with a powerful double-twisting Yurchenko.

The 17 year old opened her night with a 14.900 on bars (toe-on piked Tkatchev) and corrected the beam error from Thursday (tour jete-half), even if she failed to connect some of her combinations. For it was on floor where she showed her mastery of the sport, which is unmatched right now in the U.S.


2009 U.S. champion Bridget Sloan (Sharp's)

Coached by Marvin Sharp, Sloan displayed amplitude and excellent form throughout, and her floor routine was a definite meet highlight. She opened with a 1-1/2 twist through to triple twist, followed with a lofty piked full-in, and later tumbled an ambitious front handspring-randi. For an exclamation point, she stuck her double pike dismount to overtake Ivana Hong by .550 at that point.

Only vault remained for the top three all-arounders. First-day leader Rebecca Bross sat in third, having coming unglued on her first event, bars (one hand peeled off on a Jaeger, which led to an extra swing, and she slipped off altogether on her Pak), while Hong was having another solid night.

Hong, 16, stuck her Yurchenko-double twist to make Sloan earn her first national title, which she did easily with the same vault. Bross also did a Yurchenko-double twist and finished third, although she was less than a point behind the winner.

Final tally of the medalists: Sloan 117.550; Hong 117.250; Bross 116.600.

Well below the top three in fourth was Kytra Hunter (Hill's) with 113.750, but she showed considerable promise on floor (double layout, piked Arabian double, tucked Arabian double) and vault (Yurchenko-double twist). MacKenzie Caquatto was fifth with 111.950.

Olympians Nastia Liukin and Chellsie Memmel each performed only on balance beam, but both improved their efforts slightly from two nights ago. Liukin placed fourth on the apparatus. Their Beijing teammate Samantha Peszek looked solid on beam with a 15.100 (standing full, pike back), but her floor is still a bit watered down and she did not vault tonight.

Kayla Williams (Gym Nest) was the only gymnast to do two vaults (stuck Yurchenko-double twist, handspring-front half) and her floor tumbling was incredible: double layout, 1-1/2 through to double pike, triple twist, piked full-in). She finished seventh all-around, behind the athletic Jana Bieger, who improved much of her work from Thursday.

The championships were just the first in a three-step process for selection to the World Championships team, which will be finalized on Oct. 4.

Qualifying to the senior national team (top 10 all-around): Sloan, Hong, Bross, Hunter, Caquatto, Bieger, Williams, Cassandra Whitcomb, Alaina Johnson and Kaitlyn Clark. Plus: Liukin, Peszek, Memmel, Samantha Shapiro, Mattie Larson and Olivia Courtney.

Notes...

  • Nastia Liukin performed several combinations on uneven bars in the general warm-up, with her father-coach, Valeri Liukin, spotting attentively on most every skill. She did not compete bars, however.
  • Ivana Hong looked solid on bars, but it's a shame the German giants she used to perform aren't worth more in the Code. They really grab a crowd.
  • Georgia Dabritz (Ace) looks a lot like Daria Joura of Australia, and both perform a Comaneci on bars.

External Link: USA Gymnastics

Comments (14)add comment

UnfairJudging said:

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The judges wanted Bross to win but when she imploaded they decided to reward Bridget. Watching this whole competition made my stomach uneasy. It was so obvious they weren't going to let Ivana Hong win no matter what.

Bridget deserved the title but they weren't going to let that happen until Rebecca messed up big time.

Memmell looked much better tonight then yesterday yet the score difference did not show it. Nastia left out her jump and still got the same score with the same start value.

This sport is dying and no one cares. Why?
 
August 15, 2009
Votes: -5
Unfair Judging, Low-rated comment [Show]

me said:

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unfair judging
i am not so sure it was racism. Ivana just does not have the start values that Bridget and Rebecca have. Rebecca would have dominated had she hit, and Bridget hit that floor! You have to give it to her. I love Ivana, but the steps on floor cost her. Rebecca and Bridget will probably be the all around gymnasts for the Worlds barring injury. Ivana needs to add more skills.
 
August 15, 2009
Votes: +0

Bryan said:

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Nice to see
Looking at this national championships showed me two things in particular. One, the mens program has definitely expanded the range of talent and looks set to be fairly competitive getting closer to the next games. Two, the US womens program is STILL loaded with talent and we didn't even see all of it during championships.
Great to see Bridget sloan grab the title, I felt like Hong looked good, and I can see how the previous posts felt that way regarding possible favoritism, but honestly Sloan is clearly more capable of bigger numbers abroad on floor and vault. She deserves this win and I expected it for her. Bross is a monster gymnast but frankly (no disrespect)just wasn't ready mentally (and physically, still not 0)to pull it off.
Overall I thought both mens and the womens programs looked good, there's a ton of talent from Horton through to Orozco, from Sloan through to Kayla Williams,Kytra Hunter, etc.
And what about Leyva, he looked capable of great things after he perfects his sets, interesting to see what the international community will make of his father's style.
I think London looks good for team USA.. the atheletes looked awesome.
 
August 15, 2009 | url
Votes: +2

Shannon P said:

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Excuses
Just because Ivana's gymnastics is clean form-wise does not mean it is technically perfect. Her bar routine is full of deductions, even more than she received tonight, so blaming her score on her race or lack of connections within USA Gymnastics is ridiculous. It's no secret that her bar routine is not well received overseas either (2007 Pan Ams, Worlds), so taking appropriate deductions at home should never be considered underscoring an athlete. The new COP change that requires gymnasts to stick tumbling passes on floor certainly doesn't help Ivana either, but her execution scores were very comparable to the others in the field (almost identical to Kytra, who is a far better floor worker). Her lack of amplitude on every event is such a detrimental aspect of her gymnastics and her low, unsteady skills and landings are all technical errors that are only penalized so often because they happen so often. Will you still be convinced of your theories when (if) she goes to Worlds in October and is scored even lower?
 
August 16, 2009
Votes: +4

Tara said:

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Gotta agree with Bryan
I am so happy that Bridget received that title. She earned it. I thought Ivana looked great tonight, but Bridget was the better athlete. Bryan, I couldn't have said it better. Our athletes are looking wonderful and just full of potential. I think we have a good quad ahead of us.
 
August 16, 2009
Votes: +1

... said:

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I like this American-Girls. Their routines are so difficult and nice! I think Becca or Ivi will win the Gold medal in London. But perhaps also Bridget!
 
August 16, 2009
Votes: -1

Lindsay said:

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It annoys me when clueless people blame things on "favoritism". If you understood technical execution and the COP in general, you would realize why Ivana may score a bit lower than you would expect. It is highly immature and ignorant to claim that Ivana did not win because she wasn't "all american" enough. Oh please.

I'm sure Ivana is thrilled at getting 2nd place.
 
August 16, 2009
Votes: -2

GreatVictoria said:

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It was a good result.
It's interesting what you guys are saying, but whereas Ivana was 8 for 8, she didn't really start "competing" until that amazing vault. It was a cool moment for her, the first time I have ever seen her fight. Bridget is easy to reawrd because you can see her guts out there. Right from bars, she fought so hard for every handstand and she stuck those damn passes on floor when no body else was. She was the only one who obviously took those two rule changes and said to the judges: "See, look what I have been working on" and did it with style. She deserved to win.
 
August 16, 2009
Votes: +4

GymAndrew said:

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Floor Ex Dance
The US Gymnasts need to take a freaking ballet class! I am so happy the new judging code on floor exercise values artistic dance but I would hardly call what these gymnasts are doing dance. It is just awkward posing. Do young female gymnasts no longer study dance and ballet? I understand that they have to pack a lot of difficulty into their minute and 30 second routines, but they need to learn to dance and interpret the music.
 
August 16, 2009
Votes: +4

Vicki said:

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It will be hard to pick just four for Worlds, especially if Shapiro and Larson are healthy and Nastia improves -- a little taste of how hard it will be to have just five for the Olympics. (Even the men's team is saving two choices for later -- by picking one guy who claims to be retired and one who hasn't competed for a year.)

I think it's really good for young athletes to see Nastia in a performance that is not up to par. It just shows how much more important hard work and commitment is to achieving Olympic dreams than talent. Speaking of which, I really hope some of those girls doing NCAAs who want to try for the Olympics decide to take a year off and give it a serious go. It's impossible without 100% commitment.

I agree with the dance comments. There should really be a point value attached to dance -- something like between one to five tenths awarded at the end of the routine based on the quality, variety, musicality of dance in addition to the rest of the score. (Floor tends to score low anyway and deductions for not touching trunk to floor just don't cut it.)
 
August 16, 2009
Votes: +2

Cece said:

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Poor Dance
I agree with GymAndrew on the dance. The only ones who seemed to have it together dance wise is Bridget and Ivana. Sam's dance was at least somewhat aesthetically pleasing. The dance I saw from most of the others did look awkward and not very well put together. I hope the US team can improve on that as a whole.
 
August 16, 2009
Votes: +3

diane lee said:

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Someone mentioned the fact that only 4 will be chosen for the World team. Also that the Olympic team is only going to be 5 instead of 6. WHY WHY are the cutting the number of althese for team.. I would like to see it go back to 7.. I think all of the changes are only hurting gymnastics and gymnast. Lets fire all of the people in the FIG and put people who truly want the best for the sport of gymnastics and the gymanst. THE FIG does such stupid changes....THe team part of gymnastics will soon be only 3!!!! LETS GET RID OF BRUNO>..
 
August 17, 2009 | url
Votes: +4

bartor said:

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I titally agree with GymAndrew about the ballet classes. They're throwing all these great tricks, but honestly it doesn't look good without the proper aethetics. For this reason, I really hope they take Nastia to World, she is EXQUISITE on floor. Her style seems more European as well, which is why she's bettwe recieved by international judges. THEY MUST TAKE NASTIA TO WORLDS.
 
August 18, 2009
Votes: +5

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