Tuesday, January 18, 2011
This and That
Georgia posted the 49.45 Uneven Bars rotation from yesterday's big win over West Virginia. The team recorded the second highest score in the nation. The overall total was inflated, but so have scores at UCLA and Utah. The important thing is the overall performance quality. Georgia doesn't have a number of routines that are hidden away, being added back when gymnasts get healthy. They have a lineup that needs to raise its level of execution and hit. A 9.85 for Tanella is a bit much considering the overall sluggishness of the exercise and the lack of difficulty. It is great that she finally really hit a set, but she needs to up her fitness level, hit the handstands and have a bit more fire. It remains frustrating to watch Shayla Worley continue to miss handstands. They took out her second release skill, which likely avoids another deduction on an extra kip-cast handstand. Shayla remains short and she is still piking in her double layout dismount and taking a step. Shayla's double layout is much improved over last season, but she still needs more amplitude and swing. Bars has not been a great event for her in college. She is solid, but she isn't replacing the scores of Tolnay or Kupets, which she was recruited to do. All reports, even from those present at Georgia's intrasquads, say that Shayla is indeed one of the team's hardest workers. She was looking strong on floor during the preseason, mounting with a front double full, double pike second pass and a front layout+rudi third pass. She should put up a 9.9 on floor and beam during the post season if healthy. Her major issue on beam continues to be the lack of amplitude on her straddle jumps. McCool really needs to drill her on those, or change her leap passes.
Kat Ding is back in force and if she can be back on vault in a big way, the team will really be helped. Ding, McComb and Cheek could make a strong trio on vault. McComb is in the best shape since her freshman year. She is deserving of the scores she is putting up on floor due to the championship-level execution. Her chest is up on all landings, her tumbling passes have loads of amplitude, she's sticking and her dance is executed with precision. McComb is the type of athlete who yearns to be the star and she is really on a mission and seems to enjoy being counted on a great deal this year. Note that they didn't show Noel Couch, who was a part of that bar lineup. Noel hit, but the quality of her gymnastics remains piss-poor. She will be a senior and still just cracking the 9.800 mark because of the details of her gymnastics. The amplitude isn't greet, her feet are usually flexed, her legs aren't stretch or together and she remains hunched over on every landing. Noel hit her floor, but a 9.900 is too high of a score. One can generally judge the strictness of the judging by looking how Noel scores at Georgia and how McCullough scores on bars at UCLA. (One used to be able to judge by Ariana Berlin's scores.)
Kudos to Jay Clark for dropping a good amount of weight since last season. If he can continue to get in shape, perhaps his team will follow his lead. They certainly look fitter than last season.
Gna Nuccio and Kat Ding continue to add real competitiveness to the rest of the team. The same level of competitiveness is evident in McComb, Worley and in Cheek. The team really needs to get certain girls to stop being complacent, because Tanella's current best isn't cutting it. Calamity Gina hurt her ankle during the meet. Hopefully she will still be available on bars.
A feature on Adam Rippon. It looks like he is following the lead of Johnny Weir and skating's other bottoms by learning a bevy of languages in the hours he isn't skating. One must remember that skating money is North America is decent for the top skaters, but nowhere near the performance fees earned in Asia. Adam's financial future depends upon his ability to kiss the asses of Mao Asada, Yu-Na Kim and their insane fans. Note how many of the US men attempt to tweet in Japanese.
Absoluteskating.com has an interview with Yuka Sato. Yuka discusses her work with Jeremy Abbott, Alissa Czisny and Takahiko Kozuka. She also praises the marvelous Sandra Bezic.
Mykayla Skinner won the Lady Luck Invitational. Her floor routine is most impressive. Mykayla's other events need to catch up, especially qualitatively.