Posts Tagged ‘Dominique Pegg’
As Coach Rick points out, the senior turnout was not amazing at this weekend’s 2009 Canadian Championships. Qualifications were yesterday, with finals today.
Actually, the senior turnout was so underwhelming that Charlotte Mackie, who only competed three events (no bars), may actually be competing in the finals.
Meanwhile, Cynthia Lemieux-Guillemette goes into finals in first place, followed by Kristin Klarenbach and Ashley Quinton. Better-known seniors Dominique Pegg, Sydney Sawa and Mackie (with the only 1.5-twisting Yurchenko of the competition) are fourth, fifth, twelfth and fourteenth, respectively. (Brittany Rogers appears to have pulled out at the last minute.) Lemieux-Guillemette took first on all events but vault.
Lemieux-Guillemette 19, is a member of the senior national team. She was fifth at Elite Canada in 2008, and fifth all-around at the 2009 WOGA Classic. Klarenbach and Quinton were tenth and eleventh at Elite Canada. That meet was well-attended, with Rogers first, followed by Mackie, Sawa, and Pegg.
Rochelle Hurt leads a good junior group, with Madeline Gardiner and Coralie Leblond-Chartrand rounding up the top three. Anysia Unick is fifth, and Dominique Nadeau competed only bars.
The top three is not shocking if you recall the results of Elite Canada 2008, where Leblond-Chartrand pulled off a (then considered an upset) first place, with Gardiner (2008 Canadian Championships novice champion) second and Hunt third. Unick finished a disappointing tenth in that competition.
Notably missing among juniors this time around is Caitlyn Keates, but Mikaela Gerber and Jimena Lopez are currently placed seventh and eighth. Probably the most exciting results are for Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto and Riley Cholod, currently fourth and sixth. (The two tied for eleventh at Elite Canada.) Best name award goes to Demi Pas.
Full results here.
In the second day of competition for seniors and juniors, Brittany Rogers kept up her great streak at Elite Canada, competing in all four event finals and placing first on beam and vault, tying for second on floor, and nabbing the bronze on bars.
Meanwhile, Dominique Pegg took first on floor and Ti Liu placed first on bars. Pegg also took silver on vault and bars.
Perhaps a bit of a disappointment for Charlotte Mackie, who qualified, along with Rogers, Pegg and Sydney Sawa to four event finals but finished out of the medals on all, except on beam where she placed third. Sawa had a good day, taking silver on floor (tied) and beam, and third on vault. From the scores, it looks like both Mackie and Sawa had falls on bars.
On the junior front, no one qualified to all four event finals, but the medalists each qualified for three. Coralie Leblond-Chartrand took the bronze on bars (tied) and floor, and fourth on beam. Madeline Gardiner had a great day, taking gold on beam and floor. And Rochelle Hurt took the silver on beam. Dominique Nadeau was first on vault, and Bianca Dancose-Giambi was first on bars.
Full results for seniors here and juniors here. Note that Elite Canada is the first competition to use the 2009 Code of Points (according to IG) so scores are significantly lower on bars, vault and beam than they would have been last quad.
1. Brittany Rogers (14.300)
2. Dominique Pegg (13.975)
3. Sydney Sawa (13.825)
1. Ti Liu (13.90)
2. Dominique Pegg (13.45)
3. Brittany Rogers (13.40)
1. Brittany Rogers (14.35)
2. Sydney Sawa (14.20)
3. Charlotte Mackie (14.15)
1. Dominique Pegg (14.10)
2. Brittany Rogers/Sydney Sawa (13.95)
4. Charlotte Mackie (13.40)
1. Dominique Nadeau (13.650)
2. Paige Blaney (13.075)
3. Ellie Black (13.025)
1. Bianca Dancose-Giambi (13.50)
2. Dominique Nadeau (13.00)
3. Coralie Leblond-Chartrand/Caitlyn Keates (12.45)
1. Madeline Gardiner (14.85)
2. Rochelle Hurt (14.00)
3. Melissa Fontaine (13.60)
1. Madeline Gardiner (14.30)
2. Mikaela Gerber (13.85)
3. Coralie Leblond-Chartrand (13.70)
Posted December 14, 2008on:
Coralie Leblond-Chartrand was the surprise winner in the junior all-around at Elite Canada this weekend, at least, according to Gymnastics Canada.
Leblond-Chartrand was actually one of the “Honorable Mention” winners in my Up-and-Coming Juniors series, and with Dominique Pegg and Ti Liu competing with seniors now, it should come as no surprise that Leblond-Chartrand is now one of the best juniors in Canada.
Leblond-Chartrand placed fifth during the 2008 Canadian Championships last summer. During that meet, Pegg was first and Liu third. Anysia Unick placed second, which at that time was surprising since she was otherwise relatively unknown. Leblond-Chartrand was also bested in June by Caitlyn Keates.
Not today. At 53.30 points, Leblond-Chartrand was well ahead of second-place Madeline Gardiner, the 2008 Championships novice champion, and Rochelle Hurt. She had the best score on vault, the second-highest score on beam, and the third-highest scores on bars and floor. I should mention, too, that this is excellent news for Gardiner, who is coming off an impressive novice showing in June, and has shown herself more than ready to be among the junior international elites.
Unick finished a disappointing tenth, while Keates also had a disappointing day, finishing sixth.
Full results are available here.
1. Coralie Leblond-Chartrand (53.30)
2. Madeline Gardiner (51.90)
3. Rochelle Hurt (51.40)
4. Mikaela Gerber (50.95)
5. Jimena Lopez (50.65)
6. Caitlyn Keates (50.60)
7. Dominique Nadeau (50.30)
8. Taylor Ricci/Jessica Dowling (49.10)
10. Anysia Unick (49.00)
While the rest of the world looks to the World Cup Final, which starts in just a few hours in Madrid, the Canadian gymnastics community had its eyes focused on Gatineau.
In the senior competition that took place Friday, Brittany Rogers took gold in the all-around, with Sydney Sawa and Charlotte Mackie rounding out the medals.
The junior all-around will take place Saturday, with junior and senior event finals to be contested on Sunday.
Rogers’ win should not come as a surprise. She placed second at Gymnix and sixth at Pacific Rim this year, and first in the Canadian Junior Championships last year. At this competition, she had the highest score on three events, all except floor, which went to Mackie. Mackie is also not a surprise: she was third at Yokohama and fourth at Gymnix and Pacific Rim. She also had the second-highest score on beam.
Sawa is a bit older than the other two. She competed at the 2007 World Championships, and took fifth at Gymnix as a senior this year. She was fifth in the senior division at the 2008 Canadian Championships. Sawa was second on all events except beam, where she was sixth. Not sure what happened there.
The one big Canadian senior we didn’t see is Peng Peng Lee, who is injured. Lee has also been dealing with the sudden closing of her training gym.
Also competing were Dominique Pegg, in her first senior competition, and Ti Liu. Pegg finished a strong fourth, nearly two points ahead of fifth-place Cynthia Lemieux Ti, unfortunately, did not compete four events, scratching on floor. Sky Corbett-Methot finished ninth.
The juniors compete tomorrow. Among them will be Anysia Unick, second at this year’s Junior Championships. Also competing will be Caitlin Keates and Coralie Leblond-Chartrand. All of them, including the new seniors Pegg and Liu, are discussed in my Up-and-Coming Junior series here. We’ll also see the 2008 novice champion Madeline Gardiner.
Full results here.
1. Brittany Rogers (56.35)
2. Sydney Sawa (55.40)
3. Charlotte Mackie (54.90)
4. Dominique Pegg (53.90)
5. Cynthia Lemieux (51.00)
6. Laurie-Eve Gagne-Pepin (50.30)
7. Miranda Meyer (50.20)
8. Catherine Dion (50.15)
While the rather underwhelming (Coach Rick’s characterization of my reaction to the results) PAGU Individual Event Championships took place in Argentina, with the United States present, everyone else of consequence was over in Europe at the Massilia Cup in France.
The Massilia Cup’s Web site is beyond useless, but I’ve finally gotten my hands on some results. Note that there is both the Open and the Cup. The Open is for all teams who are interested in competing, while the Cup is limited to the official delegations from the top eight countries. The top performers then compete in an all-around known as Top Massilia in which each gymnast competes as many events as she chooses. It’s an EF competition, but for some reason they also compile all-around scores.
The Chinese dominated, sweeping both all-arounds and both team finals, with Jiang Yuyuan and her teammate Guo Wei winning the Cup (with only two competitors while all of the other teams had three, top two scores count), and Jiang taking gold in the Cup all-around and gold on bars and floor in Top Massilia. To be fair, however, the Chinese had the most experienced team (with Jiang), followed by the Australians, who placed third. The Russians took second, with the graceful Aliya Mustafina replacing Tatiana Nabieva, who was scheduled to compete (no word on what happened), Viktoria Komova (who does a Patterson dismount on beam), and Kristina Goryunova (Goryunova appears to have replaced Anna Demienteva, who was scheduled). Goryunova went on to medal in two EFs in the Top Massilia; Mustafina on one. Russia beat China in team finals on vault, but just barely, and floor by nearly a point, while the Australians actually placed first on beam, but came in only third. The three Russians went 4-5-6 in the all-around, Goryunova, Komova, Mustafina. Mustafina had the highest score on floor of all competitors.
Australian Lauren Mitchell had a good meet, taking second in the all-around in the Cup and first in the all-around in Top Massilia with silvers on two events, and third by team with Ashleigh Brennan and up-and-comer Britt Greeley. (Note: advance word had Emily Little competing on the Cup team and Greeley on the Open team. Not sure what happened.) And despite the scandal brewing at home, the Brazilians placed a respectable fourth. Their highest placement in the all-around was Bruna Leal, ninth, with Ethiene Franco tenth and Khiuna Dias twelfth.
The disappointments come for the French and the Romanians. The French senior team, with Youna Dufournet making her senior debut, placed only fifth, with a fall by Dufournet on bars and on her triple twist on floor. The other French competitors were Laetitia Dugain and Manon Erre (Dugain appears to be replacing Angeline Serre, who was expected to compete). Dufournet placed only eighth in the all-around with low scores on beam and floor. Marine Brevet and Chloé Stanic, two up-and-coming French juniors, actually beat Dugain, who placed a dismal 21st of 23.
But the real trouble is for the Romanians, who came in a dismal sixth despite putting up some of their top new talent — Amelia Racea, Diana Trenca and Claudia Voicu. As I’ve mentioned, the Romanians have a huge problem with vault (Racea does the best one, a FTY), and tend to score in the mid-50’s. Racea posted a reasonable 57.050 with trouble on bars to finish seventh. Voicu placed thirteenth, Trenca eighteenth. Hopefully the move to Deva by many of their top gymnasts of the next generation, including these three, will sort that out. None placed in any EFs.
As for the Open, the Canadians overperformed, taking the second and third spots on the team podium and placing Dominique Pegg in third place in the all-around. Pegg was my choice for top Canadian junior. A WOGA team placed fourth, but I don’t know who competed.
The two Chinese girls who placed first and second in the Open, Zhang Yujiao and Kang Xiaojun outscored Pegg by 1.5 and 2 points, respectively. Briley Casanova, a fairly well-known American junior, took fourth. Casanova had the highest score on vault and tied with Kang for the highest score on floor, but took a hit on bars with a 12.750.
As I mentioned, Mitchell placed first in the Top Massilia. Racea placed second — leaving out bars — while Goryunova placed third and Pegg fourth (the highest finish by an Open competitor). The rest of the competitors did not compete three events and I’m not even sure why they do this ranking.
More importantly, the Dutch Wyomi Masela placed first on vault, the best finish of any Dutch competitor. Goryunova took second, just above Dufournet on what some might say is her best event. As I mentioned, Mitchell took silver on three events (bars and beam, her best-scoring events). Jiang, unsurprisingly, dominated her competition on bars and floor. Guo took first on beam and third on floor, cementing the Chinese dominance.
Finally, the audience was also treated to a performance by Nastia Liukin who, however, appears to have used one of her routines from the Tour of Gymnastics Superstars. If I remember correctly, I didn’t enjoy it.
Massilia Cup team:
1. China: Jiang Yuyuan, Guo Wei
2. Russia: Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova, Kristina Goryunova
3. Australia: Lauren Mitchell, Ashleigh Brennan, Britt Greeley
4. Brazil: Ana Silva, Khiuna Dias, Bruna Leal
5. France (seniors): Youna Dufournet, Laetitia Dugain, Manon Erre
6. Romania: Amelia Racea, Diana Trenca, Claudia Voicu
7. Netherlands: Joy Goedkoop, Wyomi Masela, Natasja Blind
8. France (juniors): Chloé Stanic, Marine Brevet, Justine Crosato
Massilia Cup all-around:
1. Jiang Yuyuan
2. Lauren Mitchell
3. Guo Wei
Top Massilia vault:
1. Wyomi Masela (NED)
2. Kristina Goryunova (RUS)
3. Youna Dufournet (FRA)
Top Massilia uneven bars:
1. Jiang Yuyuan (CHN)
2. Lauren Mitchell (AUS)
3. Geng Ruo Wei (CHN)
Top Massilia beam:
1. Guo Wei (CHN)
2. Lauren Mitchell (AUS)
3. Kristina Goryunova (RUS)
Top Massilia floor:
1. Jiang Yuyuan (CHN)
2. Aliya Mustafina (RUS)
3. Guo Wei (CHN)
1. Shanghai: Zhang Yujiao, Kang Xiaojun, Ruo Wei Geng
2. Canada 1: Dominique Pegg, Rochelle Hurt, Anysia Unick
3. Canada 2: Jessica Dowling, Madeline Gardiner, Caitlyn Keats
1. Zhang Yujiao
2. Kang Xiaojun
3. Dominique Pegg
We’re nearing the end of the year, so here’s some stuff that’s coming up. This includes “breaking” news coming out of the current U.S. national training camp, which ends tomorrow. The official announcement of U.S. assignments can be found here.
- The U.S. PAGU team has been named: Rebecca Bross, Olivia Courtney, Corrie Lothrop, Samantha Shapiro. The inclusion of Shapiro means she must have gotten over her elbow injury.
- Diana Bulimar and Larisa Iordache of Romania will compete at Top Gym.
- Nastia Liukin will perform an exhibition at Massilia Cup.
- Amanda Jetter will be joined at the International Artistic Gymnastics Challenge by Olivia Courtney and Corrie Lothrop. The latter two will be at both PAGU and in Brussels. Cassie Whitcomb, who was originally named for this meet back in October, is now out.
First, the U.S. team for the Pan American Gymnastics Union (PAGU) Individual Event Championships has been chosen: Rebecca Bross, Olivia Courtney, Corrie Lothrop, Samantha Shapiro.
The big news is that Jana Bieger has once again been screwed over by Marta Karolyi. This seems to be a signal that USAG is done with Bieger; they’re moving on to the younger seniors. If this is the case, I hope Karolyi will release Bieger, and then maybe she could go compete for Germany. I think she would have fun with that, and Germany’s got some other good contenders, including Oksana Chusovitina, Kim Bui, Jenny Brunner, Marie-Sophie Hindermann ….
Or maybe she’ll just move on to NCAA. (I always forget she can’t do NCAA because she randomly went elite in 2006.) Anyway, it doesn’t look good for her in U.S. elite gymnastics. The other people on the training squad who were not picked are Mackenzie Caquatto, Amanda Jetter, Bridget Sloan, and Cassie Whitcomb. News from Sloan was that she was going to train for the American Cup in 2009 and not bother with international competition before then. The weird thing is that Shapiro was not even on the shortlist, presumably because she was injured, so maybe she has gotten over that injury, bumping the other three new seniors.
Top Gym in Charleroi, Belgium, which will be attended by two strong American juniors — Jordyn Wieber and her Geddert’s teammate Kamerin Moore — adds two great Romanian juniors to its competition list: Diana Bulimar and Larisa Iordache. Bulimar was this year’s Category II champion at Romanian Nationals, with Iordache taking Category III last year, and placing second to Andreea Tufa this year. Presumably the Category I juniors, many of whom just moved to the Olympic squad at Deva, have more important things to do. In her most recent competition, at Blanc-Mesnil in France November 7-8, Bulimar took second in the AA to Ukraine’s Natalia Kononenko.
The other countries that have already released the names of their gymnasts aren’t sending any big names. However, I still haven’t heard about Russia’s gymnasts, and it’s possible it may be Anna Dementieva and Viktoria Komova, who will be in neighboring France for Massilia.
Sweden, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands and Luxembourg have announced their gymnasts. Italy will send Chiara Gandolfi and Giorgia Campana, and Holland will send Jocelynn Kraan and Yvette Moshage. A second Belgian team is yet to be named, as are the Slovenian, Slovakian, British and, as I mentioned, Russian teams.
Rumor has it that Nastia Liukin will be performing an exhibition at the Massilia Cup in France on November 21-23.
The Massilia Cup consists of the Massilia Open for teams by country or gym, the Massilia Gym Cup by country-team, and the Top Massilia, an individual final for the highest scorers from the previous competitions.
For the Massilia Gym Cup, Australia will be sending Lauren Mitchell, who is doing quite the circuit right now, Ashleigh Brennan, and top junior Emily Little. For China, Jiang Yuyuan will be competing, which is exciting because she performed only on floor at the recent Chinese Nationals. The Chinese are also sending Wei Guo and Mengsi Tan (not familiar with the latter). Russia is sending juniors: the exciting Tatiana Nabieva as well as Anna Dementieva and Viktoria Komova, who throws some amazing skills for her age. Fantastic junior Youna Dufournet will compete on one team for France with two seniors, Angeline Serre and Manon Erre; and there will also be a team of juniors only: Chloé Stanic, Aurélie Malausséna and Eva Maurin. Brazil sends Ana Silva, Khiuna Dias and Bruna Leal.
Beyond this, some exciting competitors for the Open Massilia. There are a number of them, so I’ll highlight the ones I’m happy to see: Ambre Casanova, Marine Brevet and Justin Crosato of France (Saint-Etienne); Sarah Gusmaroli, Marie Gaffino (although rumor has it she has retired?) and Julie Pennachio also of France (Marseille); Britt Greeley, Tain Molendijk (who has been injured)
and Tracey Penaluna of Australia; and three (!) WOGA teams: Briley Casanova, Sophia Lee, Rachel Holman, Alyssa Baumann, Hayley Sanders, Dana Ho, Belle MacFalane, Rachel Philipps and Charle Dembo; and a number of Canadian juniors: Caitlyn Keates, Rochelle Hurt, Dominique Pegg, Anysia Unick, Jessica Dowling, Melissa Downing, Madeline Gardiner, Anna Gamelo, Sabrina Gill, Mikaela Gerber, Briannah Tsang and Alysa Samaratunga (apparently there will be a selection after a training week in France). Léa Kemayou of France will also compete with her Toulon team, but I don’t know about the other competitors.
I’ve highlighted a number of these juniors in my Up-and-Coming Juniors series.
International Artistic Gymnastics Challenge
The Challenge, held in Woluwe Saint-Lambert near Brussels, will now feature Corrie Lothrop and Olivia Courtney in addition to Amanda Jetter
and Cassie Whitcomb. This means that Lothrop and Courtney will be both at PAGU and at Saint-Lambert.
Today: Canada and Australia
I’m going to do something a little bit different with Canada. Three of Canada’s juniors, Charlotte Mackie, Peng-Peng Lee, and Brittany Rogers — are already exceedingly well-known on the international scene (at least on this side of the pond) and already compete with seniors at internal Canadian events. And though none of the three were age-eligible for the Olympics, they all competed (quite well) in the senior Canadian championships. At that event, Lee placed third, Rogers sixth, and Mackie seventh. So I’m going to focus on girls who are currently competing junior-level Canadian gymnastics in an effort to see who is the next big thing.
1. Dominique Pegg
Pegg is this year’s big winner from the Canadian Junior Championships, where she took the all-around title and placed first on vault and bars, second on floor, and third on beam. Of the second tier of Canadian juniors (that is, those below the three I mentioned above), she is among those with the most experience. Last year, she placed fifth at Championships, behind the three above plus Sky Corbett-Methot, a member of the junior national team who has not been seen in major competition in 2008. In 2006, as a novice, Pegg took the silver in the all-around. Internationally, Pegg’s experience is fairly limited, though she did place sixth in the all-around at Junior Pan Ams in 2007 and fourth in the all-around at the 2007 Romanian International junior competition. By far Pegg’s best placement is in vault: she has placed first on vault at 2006, 2007 and 2008 Championships, and took first on vault at both of her big international competitions. She hasn’t attended Gymnix since 2006, when she placed 12th. Pegg has a very nice UB routine, where she does a nice, high Jaeger and a double tuck dismount with a full twist. Even at last year’s Championships, she had great amplitude and form. Of those I’ll cover here, Pegg is the only one (in addition to Lee, Mackie and Rogers) who will be of senior age next year.
2. Ti Liu
Liu placed third at this year’s Junior Championships, and first on beam. (I am pretty sure she qualified on bars, but for some reason she did not compete.) At last year’s Championships she placed ninth. At the 2007 Elite Canada, she placed second all-around, first on bars and beam, and second on floor. Her international experience has been limited: sixth on bars at the Massilia Cup (this year’s edition is coming up), and 13th at Gymnix in the all around, with a fourth-place finish on beam and a bronze on bars. She also competed at the 2007 and 2006 editions of Gymnix, in which she placed ninth and 14th, respectively, and at the 2007 Pan American Games. Liu is an elegant but strong bar worker, and does some nice Staldler work and a big straddled Jaeger. She needs to upgrade, though, particularly on her dismount, currently a piked double back. She’s a natural beam worker, though she still has some wobbles, and does, among other things, a double turn on BB, which we rarely see.
3. Caitlyn Keates
Pegg and Liu are both more further along than Keates, but she shows promise. She placed fourth at Junior Championships this year, and qualified to all EFs except vault. She placed only 14th at Gymnix this year, but in 2007 took second on beam and fifth on bars. She was the 2006 Novice champion at Elite Canada, and placed second on beam at that competition in 2007.
Coralie Leblond-Chartrand of the Gymnix club placed fifth at junior championships this year, and was the only gymnast to qualify to all of the event finals, thoughs he didn’t place in any. At Elite Canada, Leblond-Chartrand placed fourth in the all-around and took third on beam. She has attended two Gymnix competitions, placing sixth in 2007 and 11th in 2008. Anysia Unick has even less experience on the elite level, but surprised observers by placing second at Championships this year. Finally, Jessica Dowling was the only other competitor at this year’s Championships to qualify to more than one event final: she qualified to three and placed in all of them, taking third on bars and floor and second on beam.
The Canadian team
Here’s where I’ll mention the big three. They are pretty excellent, wth AA scores routinely in the mid-to-high 50’s. Rogers took second at Gymnix this year, and placed seventh in 2007. She also placed sixth at Pacific Rim, where she also nabbed the bronze on vault and bars. Internally, she placed first at last year’s Junior Championships, taking the silver on bars. Mackie had the best showing at Pacific Rim this year, placing fourth, and also took fourth at Gymnix, along with a gold on vault and two bronzes on beam and floor. She also took third at the 2007 Yokohama Championships. Lee may be the best of the three. Lee was second to Rogers at last year’s Championships, but took fifth in the all-around and second on bars, both over Rogers, at this year’s Pacific Rim. She also placed fifth at 2007 Pan Ams. Recently, Lee’s gym closed and she is now training privately, but observers don’t seem to think this is affecting her.
The one problem for those looking for Canada to move to the next level is that Rogers, Mackie and Lee consistently get the choice international assignments, so the rest of their team has little experience. This could prove problematic in building a strong Worlds team, but on the other hand 2009 Worlds consist only of individual competitions. Even as we move into the quad, the new 5-3-3 format means that smaller teams with fewer all-star competitors may actually do quite well. With these three competing at the level of many juniors from top countries, Canada could be looking to place itself squarely in the top eight. For this to happen, however, those juniors still competing at that level will need to upgrade: no one is vaulting anything above an A-score of 5.2, and floor A-scores average around a 5.0.
1. Britt Greeley
Greeley will become a senior in 2009 and is currently, by my calculations,t he most outstanding junior. At the Australian Nationals in May, Greeley took second to Emily Little (see below), but generally speaking she is the best performer on the team, especially internationally. Despite the second-place finish in the AA, Greeley medaled in three EFs, taking gold on bars, silver on beam and bronze on floor. At the 2007 National Clubs meet, Greeley took fifth in the junior AA and second on beam. She was seen in international competition as early as 2005, taking 11th in the AA at the WOGA Classic. She took fifth at the 2008 edition of the Classic. She has also been sent to the Pacific Alliance (2006) and Pacific Rim (2008) meets. In the latter, she took 10th in the AA and finished seventh in beam EFs. Greeley’s best event may be BB, although she is actually more of a steady competitor than a trickster on that event. At WOGA this year, she competed only a layout full dismount, which may be evidence of trouble on (what I assume is) her higher-difficulty dismount. On UB, Greeley is a bit labored but has very nice lines, and the former would probably go away with a little strength training. She does a nice full twisting double tuck dismount. Greeley’s FX music makes me want to stick a screwdriver in my eardrum (it is a combination of “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” the techno version like in Shawn Johnson’s 2005 FX AND “Careless Whisper). She competed a back double tuck at this year’s Nationals, and does some nice twisting work. Good precision.
2. Emily Little
Little took the gold from Greeley at this year’s Australian Nationals. She competed Australian Level 10 through 2007 Nationals, but then competed as a junior international elite at the 2007 National Clubs, where she placed second in the AA (above Greeley), and took three EF medals: gold on floor, silver on vault and bronze on bars. At this year’s Nationals, she took home two golds on beam and floor. Little has really competed only at one major international event, the 2008 Pacific Rim, where she finished 11th in the AA and took fifth on VT. I haven’t seen much of Little’s work, but her FX is cute enough, with bouncy almost circus-like music, a double pike mount, and a pretty 3/2 twist dismount.
3. Chantelle Turnbull
The Australian juniors have very little international experience, and Turnbull in fact has none. However, she is currently rising fairly quickly through the junior ranks, and placed fourth at this year’s Nationals with a third-place finish on bars. She made several mistakes in that competition and likely would have placed higher otherwise. At last year’s National Clubs she took sixth in the all-around and third on vault. In fact, I chose Turnbull for third in front of several other contenders precisely because of her vault: she is currently competing a 3/2 Yurchenko, and I believe she is the only Australian junior to do so currently. Turnbull is a fairly powerful gymnast, clearly, and shows it also on floor, where she has decent tumbling that includes a nice full in double back. Inexplicably, however, her music choice is a techno remix of “Dragostea din tei.” The British would say the Australians were never known for their taste ….
Two injured gymnasts deserve mention. Mary-Anne Monckton, who placed fifth and took silvers on beam and floor in a strong field at last year’s Nationals, was injured for the 2008 season. She also competed in 2007 in the Australian Youth Olympics, a relatively important competition for juniors from Commonwealth countries, placing 24th and taking second on floor. She also competed at Massilia in 2006. She is quite tiny and needs some work on bars and vault. Another injured junior of note is Tain Molendijk, who was 13th in the AA at the 2007 AYO and traveled to the Pacific Rim Championships in 2008 only to have to withdraw beacuse of injury. Finally, Karina Brooks took third at this year’s Nationals and medaled in three EFs, with two silvers and one bronze in EFs (silvers on bars and floor, bronze on beam). She was seventh at Nationals in 2007.
The Australia team
Australia looks to have a quite strong team for the future. While we are not sure about all the retirements yet, we do know that the famed Dasha Joura is planning to continue, for now at least, after a disappointing Olympics. There is also a whole set of new seniors who were not quite ready for the Olympics but competed well against the Olympians. (They are the Corrie Lothrops, Chelsea Davises and Mattie Larsons of Australia.) First is Emma Dennis, who won the 2007 Junior Nationals and placed sixth at this year’s combined Nationals/Olympic trials. Dennis was seventh at the 2007 AYO and third at Yokohama in the AA and on floor. She is a decent vaulter and quite good on beam. I like Dennis best on FX. She does a high full in, some nice twisting, a decent double pike, and is quite elegant. She also uses a classical piece for her music, which you don’t see much of anymore. She does a 3/2 Yurchenko vault. Dennis was on the Olympic team training squad and was the alternate for the 2008 Olympic team. Amber Fulljames was also a member of the 9-gymnast Olympic training squad and was second at 2007 Nationals and eighth in 2008 at her first senior Nationals. Last year she laced in three of four EFs, missing only on FX. Fulljames was 13th in the AA at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships, 11th at Yokohama, and ninth in the AA in the senior division of the 2008 Gymnix International. Finally, I would also mention Yves Berryman, third at 2007 Nationals and 10th this year, and Larissa Miller, a good UB worker who placed fifth in 2007 and 12th in 2008. The junior gymnasts have a ways to go, but I think that if these new seniors choose to stick around, Australia will actually prove to be quite competitive in the next quad.
Up next: Brazil and the Ukraine