Episode 89 Transcript

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JESSICA: Who’s the other guy with only one bicep?  Competed in the Olympics.  Sixth year.


SCOTT: Syque Caesar.


JESSICA: Syque Caesar.  Hello!  Those two are amazing.  Crazy!  What do we even need biceps for anyway, anymore.  Psh.


SCOTT:  I’m just, I’m gonna, I’m just actually tearing mine right now.  I’m sick of it.


[Jessica laughs]


JESSICA: We’re done with those things!


[Intro Music]


JESSICA: This week: Everybody loves Raymond! And it’s Pac Rims, Men’s NCAAs and a little do-over because we did you wrong about Russian Championships and the Tokyo World Cup last week.


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JESSICA: This is Episode 89 for April 16th, 2014. I’m Jessica from Master’s Gymnastics.


UNCLE TIM: I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym.


EVAN: And I’m Evan.  Catch me on Twitter @yoev.


JESSICA: This is the best gymnastics podcast ever bringing you all the news from around the gymternet.  This week we are gonna talk to Blythe first and get this whole Tokyo, Russian Nationals thing dealt with because we heard you, and it’s very serious, and at Gym–Gymcastic we take everything very seriously.  So, let’s get to Blythe first.


JESSICA: So, I would like to start by apologizing to everyone.  We heard all of your many, many, many comments about last episode and how you werenot pleased with the fact that we did not spend enough time on the Tokyo Cup or the Russian Championships, and, um, I agree with you.  You know, we, we had planned a long discussion about it, but regionals conversation got away from us, so I should have, uh, ya know, balanced out those conversations more.  Um, and I also agree that, you know, it’s not, it’s not really fair to talk about someone’s leotard instead of their gymnastics when they’re such an important figure, like Komova is in the gymnastics world, and so accomplished.  Um, but we also try to reflect what the, the gymternet is talking about, so there was, like, so much discuss–discussion going on around that leotard that we were like, alright, let’s talk about it.  So, um, Blythe is here, and we are gonna have a little do-over for you guys, because you guys definitely wanted to hear more about those meets, and so we are going to give that to you now.  So thank you all for your verypassionate–we even got a “you should be ashamed of yourselves”–I mean, if that doesn’t say, please do a do-over mini-episode on this, what does?  So, the passion of the fans is very serious Blythe.


BLYTHE: Very serious, indeed.  And, you know, when you’re talking about Russia it is always very serious.




BLYTHE: Because they do have such beautiful gymnastics and they are such an interesting player on the world scene.  Um, they’re not always predictable.  When you go to World Championships, or really even the Olympic Games, and you watch the training, you’re just like, what is going on?  Um, because, unlike the Americans, which are very grounded in the Romanian system of, um, ya know, practice ‘til you drop, um […]


JESSICA: Numbers, numbers, numbers.


BLYTHE: […] They do routine after routine after routine and they just crank them out.  The Russians have a total opposite, um, point of view.  And, it’s one that, that still is around today.  I remembered looking at one of the, um, news clips right before the Russian Championships, and you know, it showed, like, Komova doing a back handspring on the beam and wobbling and falling off, and I was like, ohp, the Russians are back.


[Jessica laugh]


BLYTHE: But when it, when it matters in the competition they really come alive, and they do things that they never do in practice, that they’ve neverdone in podium training, and I’m just like, where did that come from?  Um, and so, there’s, there’s not a whole lot of consistency there, maybe, but there is just an incredible amount of beauty.  So, so the Russians, um, they’re not predictable, but you, you cannot help but love them.


JESSICA: Yes, exactly.  And this meet is interesting.  It’s a regional meet, so we saw people come back that, that have retired.  Nabieva came back to […].




JESSICA: […] to compete for her region.  And it’s also an All Around and Event Finals.  So let’s talk about, um, the winner, first of all.  So–no let’s not.  Because we talked about her last week.  Mustafina won the All Around.  But I think the more interesting part of this meet is Komova.  She’s come back from an injury, and what does her performance here say about, you know, where’s she’s at now?


BLYTHE: And, you know, Komova is one of those gymnasts who, like Mustafina, you just, you can’t get enough of her–like all of the great champions.  Um, and when the Olympics are over you think, oh, you know, when is she gonna come back?  And, and she’s waited a good eighteen months.  Um, there were injuries.  There were illness.  It, whatever, like, could have befallen her and kept her from doing gymnastics, did.  And, um, and now she’s back.  You know, and she is definitely more mature.  Um, she has grown a bit.  She’s put on a very small amount of weight.  It doesn’t matter.  Um, and um, she still has the same lovely lines that very fluid way of moving that  made her so special.


JESSICA: And I think she […]


BLYTHE: So […]


JESSICA: […] looks more powerful now with the addition of–just like Shannon Miller did when she came back.




JESSICA: And she, like, things looked higher and more explosive.


BLYTHE: Yeah.  I, I would say that’s apt.  Um, probably gymnastics–like tumbling–is not going to be quite as easy for her as it once was when she was smaller.  Um, but I think that you can, you can get around that.  Um, there are so many examples of gymnasts who are about 20 years old who are doing either the same things or more things or making it look easier than they did 3, 4 years ago, um, that it won’t be a problem for her, I think, so long as she just stays in really good physical shape.  And it’s been pointed out that the Russians don’t always appear to be very well conditioned.  They’re always beautiful, but not always, perhaps, as strong as the Americans in some ways.  Um, or even the Romanians in terms of just the, the sheer physicality and endurance, and stuff.  Um, but, eh, yeah.  She, she looked very, very good, um, for where she is now.  And we should add that this is early April.  You know, this is not September, and she’s got a ways to go.  But, I would say this is a very promising beginning.


JESSICA: I agree.  And I was excited to see that she added back one of the skills that really put her on the map when she first, kind of, emerged on the world stage when her coaches took her to the Youth Olympic Games.  Um, remember when she did her, uh, Back Handspring Arabian on beam and everyone lost their minds seeing that.  Um, I remember that was what stuck in my mind as: that is Komova.  Who is this girl?  Oh my god, she’s amazing!  So, she added that back.  It looks beautiful.  Just as beautiful as when she did it when she was twelve.  And then, um, on bars, you know, she’s now ranked second in the world with her 15.33 on bars.  And it kinda looks like she might be trying for a Laid Out Jeager, which is pretty rare.  It was kind of piked, but not very piked so that would be exciting to see if she really lays that out.  Now, she’s doing a Piked Stalder into that, uh, Van Leeuwen.  So it’s a Piked Stalder and then a hal–a Shaposh with a half twist.


BLYTHE: [inaudible]


JESSICA: A lot of the Russians are doing a piked […]


BLYTHE: Yeah.  The Piked Stalder Van Leeuwen is called the Komova in the Code of Points I think.  Um, and she debuted that at the Youth Olympics in 2010, and is named for her because she did it at that competition, I think.


JESSICA: How did I totally not notice it until now?


BLYTHE: [inaudible]


JESSICA: Is it another thing she brought back, or am I, just, didn’t, never saw it from this angle, so I was like, ooh that new!  I don’t know.


BLYTHE: [inaudible]


JESSICA: Russian fans forgive me for not knowing that. [laughs]




JESSICA: I was excited by it.  Okay, um, so who also–let’s talk about, uh, Grishina.  This is so sad.  Uh, Grishina, uh, was injured on floor in her very first pass.  She did a Whip Triple, and then, kind of, fell out of it.  So, you know, landed, then sort of fell out and laid, laid down.  There was tears all over in the arena.  As anyone knows, when you’ve, you’re working out with a great teammate, and they get really hurt if you’ve had the same injury they have.  Like if it’s a knee injury, and you see it happen again, it all comes back.  Um, that had to be really rough.


BLYTHE: Yeah.  It just–always a shame when such a beautiful gymnast goes down like that, and has been such an important part of her team.  Um, you know, she was a two–double bronze medalist at the European Championships last year, and has been kind of overlooked I’ve always thought as a true All Around contender.  Um, and the Olympics maybe didn’t work out for her as she might have wanted them to, but I, I still say, you know, she, she is, you know, the years she’s been a senior, um, a great All Around contender.  And, I thought she looked better, actually, than she did in 2013 at this time.  Um, and so, it was surprising to see her go down, I guess, you know, you’re doing, you’re doing skills like a Whip through to Triple.  Um, [inaudible].


JESSICA: What do you think […]


BLYTHE: […] happened, but uh, it’s really too bad.


JESSICA: So, what do you think this says for the depth of the Russian team to lose her now when, you know, Nabieva competed, but she’s officially retired.  I think she just came back, um, and competed All Around to help her region. You know […]




JESSICA: […] help her state in the team competition.  But, how do you think this will affect them?


BLYTHE: Well, over the past twelve months or so, uh, I’ve kind of thought that the gymternet was needlessly freaking out about the Russians.


[Jessica laughs]


The Russians have no depth. Mustafina’s carrying the team…na na na.  And, it’s true.  You know, the, the team without Mustafina would be very, very lost.  Um, but, I thought, eh, I don’t feel panic.  Um, you know, just as a, as a gymnastics watcher or as a Russian supporter, or whatever.  Um, you know, they have a very good crop of juniors who are going to be coming up in, in the next couple of years led by Maria Bondareva, who was born in 1999.  Maria Kharenkova, who won two gold medals, uh, three gold medals at the European Championships, uh, in 2012 as a junior.  Uh, two with the team and beam and floor.  Um, and she’s their, um, new first year senior and they’re kind of uh, um, you know, uh, eh, ace, I think.  Um, and I think she’s going to be very impressive.  Um, you know, they have Mustafina, Afanaseva will come back.  Um, Alla Sosnitskaya is proving to be a very nice gymnast, um… [inaudible]


JESSICA: Yeah, she is ranked fourth.  I was looking at The All Aroundrankings after this because people were kind of freaking out about what’s going to happen, but I mean, you know, Mustafina’s ranked second now behind Ebee, and, um, Sosnitskaya is ranked fourth now.  I mean, after the Russian Championships they really–The All Around is doing their rankings for women again–and you can really see how they’re all ranked in the top in All Around, or they have someone first or second, um, in all the events now after this.


BLYTHE: Yeah.  And, and so it, it’s not worrisome.  I think they have enough.  I don’t think they have enough to have as much depth as the US.  I don’t think they have as much depth, perhaps, even as a team like Canada or Romania at the moment, um, but they do have, you know, this incredible amount of tradition.  They have juniors who are working very hard.  Um, the question for Russia is going to be whether they can get gymnasts with Amanars.  Paseka has an Amanar.  Afanaseva has an Amanar when she’s healthy,  She showed at the World University Games.  Um, Mustafina probably has the physical capability to do an Amanar still, but given what happened the last time she did one, um, […]


JESSICA: Hmm […]


BLYTHE: […] I kind of doubt we’ll ever see it in competition again.  Um, but, you know, but anyways, if a team is–the bottom line is: if a team is, a women’s team, is going to challenge The United States they need gymnasts who are doing Amanars.  Um, otherwise it will just continue to be just, kind of a battle for second place.  Um, unless the US falls apart elsewhere, but it has shown no, uh, no signs, uh, that it’s, that it’s going to do that.  You know, there’s no problems on bars or on beam or whatever.  Um, and so, just on start values alone the Americans have probably got, you know, I, I think that you’re gonna see a lot of American women on top of the podium for the next couple of years and, hmm, go ahead and say I’m biased because I’m an American, or whatever, but, uh, I, I think that’s the reality of it. Uh […]


JESSICA: It’s the start values man!


BLYTHE: It’s, it’s the start values.  You know, and it is that they do them with very clean execution.  Um, and so though, you know, the, I think the solution, you know, how to make women’s team gymnastics more competitive is pretty simple.  Um, other teams need to have Amanars.  [laughs] And, and that’s it.


JESSICA: Yup.  So you need to recruit, or they just need to have their, like, a separate vaulting team.  Like, just start recruiting people from, like, training them with, like, the track athletes, so they can run like, uh, Simone Biles and Maroney […]




JESSICA: […] into their vaults, and get that kind of height because that’s what makes it for them.  They are so freaking fast that their technique is just, it’s not, you know, dangerous for them.




JESSICA: They’re so high.  Um, let’s discuss the, uh, Tokyo World Cup.  Um, this is, it’s interesting ‘cuz they made it into a one-day meet instead of two like it normally is.  King Kohei competed and he unveiled a new skill.


BLYTHE: Kohei is, he’s such a cool gymnast because, you know, you think about gymnasts who can do every trick in the book, and Kohei Uchimura istotally one of those gymnasts.  You know, just on floor alone he has whipped out a Triple Twisting Double Back.  He landed that at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo.  Um, he does all kinds of twisting.   You know, he’s done the Arabian double pike half out as as a side pass, I believe.  Um, he’s, you, you know, kind of just, you, you name it he’s done it on floor.  And he’s got such a variety of skills that he can choose from.  Um, what was impressive to me was that, that this time around he threw the, uh, Triple Twisting Double Back […]


JESSICA: Yes. High bar.


BLYTHE: […] off the bar and stuck it.  Just, just drilled it into the mat.  And there’s training footage of him doing a Quad Double.  And, uh, I think Rick McCharles told me this once, he said you’ll never see him do a Quad Double in competition–although with Kohei you never know.  Um, but he does that so when he does the Triple Double in competition he’ll stick the Triple Double. Wow.


JESSICA: Yeah.  And I feel like, like men, that it’s really normal to see men training a Quad and you only compete a Triple.  Or, you can do a triple back off bars, but you only, you know, compete a Double Back, and women don’t tend to do that.  And I think it would be good, uh, for more women to train that way.  And, you don’t have to land it on the actual mats.  I mean, land it in the pit.  Land it in the resi, whatever.  But to have that confidence to know that you can do something even harder than this.  And also, it just helps your awareness.  You know, your air sense.  I think it’s a really good way to practice.




JESSICA: So, um, what did you think about the women?  Vanessa Ferrari, uh, came in first with a 56.799, so she is now the–just to put that in perspective–the current world ranking, um, again The All Around is doing their rankings again, um, and they’re putting what meet the scores are from, which I think is really important.  Um, and then Uncle Tim is doing his rankings for the men.  So for the women, uh, Ferrari got a 56.799 at this meet for All Around, and, uh, Ebee’s ranked #1 with a 59.66.  So, wait, that can’t be right. [laughs]  The 59..the 50s…oh yeah.  A 56 and Ebee has a 59.  Okay, so there’s a, ya know, more than two point difference there, so it’s a little bit of a…it’s a little off the highest mark.  But, exciting for her.  And the other thing is that was exciting is that, um the Spaniard who we’ve all come to love, um, Roxana Popa, she has so many fans who love watching her, and she would have actually won and beat Ferrari had she not fallen off beam.  So, she was really close.  She was only two tenths behind Ferrari.  Um, what were your thoughts on them?


BLYTHE: Oh well, I was really excited for this meet.  And again, I’m talking about the Amanar.  The reason was because this was a meet in which you had a women’s field that was very strong, but very equal in terms of D-score start values.  You know, I–so–some maybe were a little bit more than others, but, um, you know, no Amanars, basically.  And so, it felt like anybody’s game.  And, and that made it really interesting to watch.  Um, for Ferrari, she had the best meet.  No doubt.  Um, the floors in Tokyo, uh, if we remember the 2011 Worlds, they’re very, very friendly […]


JESSICA: Mmhmm. Yeah.


BLYTHE: […] to the gymnasts.


JESSICA: Way bouncier.


BLYTHE: And…waay bouncier.  And when I saw Ferrari’s first pass–just that Double Double, like stuck like it was nothing, I was like, oh-ho, it’s such a good floor over there.  And then, you know, a very nice floor for her to debut that Double Layout second pass.  Um, you know, yeah, she landed it out of bounds.  Whatever.  How cool is it to be 23 years old and still at the top of your game and doing the hardest ever tumbling you’ve ever done?


JESSICA: Yes. Totally.


BLYTHE: It, it’s like, it’s really good for her because, you know, she got bronze in Stuttgart.  She got another bronze in Glasgow.  She was fifth, I believe, at the American Cup.  It’s nice to see Vanessa, you know, finally get one.  Um, and, and well deserved.  Roxana Popa people have been–she’s a second year senior now–and, uh, people have been talking about her ever since 2012 Junior Euros, um, when she really just kind of blew the field away in terms of potential and difficulty.  She was one of the few girls doing a Double Twisting Yurchenko on vault at that Championships.  And, and I think this is kind of the result of a lot of people have been waiting for.  Um, in Stuttgart she came out and she kind of balked her vault.  She did just a Yurchenko Layout when she was planning a Double Twist, and it was just one of those things where I guess something didn’t feel right off the block, or whatever.  And, um, you know, a-and so the people have been kind of saying, when she puts it all together she’s gonna be fabulous.  And I think that this meet was just kind of another example of that.  A, a stronger example of that.




BLYTHE: When she goes four for four, she is going to be able to beat Ferrari.  You know, beat others on the World Cup circuit.  And that’s super exciting for Spanish gymnastics right now.


JESSICA: Totally.


BLYTHE: So, yeah, and she’s just, she’s a very peppy, bubbly, bouncy, exciting gymnast to watch, and that’s always nice to see.


JESSICA: Yes.  And I loved, of course, Moors won floor, and you know, she’s doing her Moors, that double twisting double.  And, uh, it just…you know, she just gets more it seems consistent and confident and has now gained the ability not to go out of bounds even though it looks like she’s going to fly out of bounds every time.  And I could just watch her all day, of course.  She’s the whole package.  She has artistry.  She has insane difficulty.  Her double double, the form is getting better.  And I’m just excited to see her get so much international experience.  She’s just competing so much.  So, I hope she’s getting a little rest, but I love seeing her at all the meets.  So […]


BLYTHE: Yeah.  This could totally be the year of, like, Victoria Moors: World Floor Champion.  I think if she can, can keep that double double layout under control, um, that floor routine is really something else.  Really spectacular.  I’m–her Assassin’s Tango was good.  The thing that she had in 2013 for a little while was good–after the Olympics.  Um, but this piece is just, I, I want to sit down and have a conversation with the choreographer and, and ask a bunch of questions [inaudible] the motivation.  What she’s doing telling the story, because it really is like one of those floor routines that has a story.  And that’s […]


JESSICA: Yes. Exactly.


BLYTHE: […] You know, it’s got the tumbling.  It’s got the artistry.  It’s got this, a, a, it’s got something else.  You know.  It’s, it’s elevated, and, uh, it’s, it’s just a beautiful routine.  And, it’s so cool to see her perform it all over the world.


[three bleeps]


EVAN: Did you guys all see the US Airways tweet?


UNCLE TIM: [gasp] Sorry, I was thinking the antithesis of Blythe, which […]






UNCLE TIM: …this morning.


JESSICA: Speaking of which, can I just […]




JESSICA: […] tell you guys, like, how much I like–I feel like I could just, I could get Blythe up in the middle of the night when she’s totally, like, just passed out drunk.  I could, like, throw her on top of a beam in her pajamas and throw questions at her about meets and she would be–sound just like she did today.  Like […]


[inaudible mumbles]


[…] perfectly composed.  Just has, you know, very professional answer for everything.  Very sympathetic to all sides.  Can give you the full perspective.  She’s, she’s a beast.  She’s amazing.  She’s–I’m just saying she would be like […]


EVAN: Blythe […]


JESSICA: […] my anchor for any gymnastics journalism team.


EVAN: Uh, do you want me to hang up so you can call Blythe?


[Jessica and Uncle Tim laugh]


JESSICA: Of course you two would also be on my team. Obviously!  Hello.


EVAN: Mmmhmm.


JESSICA: Clearly.  Oh my god.  Are we gonna go […]


UNCLE TIM: We would need an Amanda Borden, who would start off every rotation.  That would be me because you always throw to me for the scores.  Okay, next question.


[Jessica and Evan laugh]


JESSICA: And what would Evan be?  Evan would be, like, the floor-ish […]


EVAN: I’d be like Dominique Dawes, but like, very sparkly, but then I’d, like [whip] a little bit, then I’d redeem myself.


[Jessica laughs]


EVAN: And boys don’t like me.


[Jessica and Uncle Tim laugh]


JESSICA: What?! Oh my god…oh my god.  Okay.  Alright.  Seriously.  So, let’s talk about Pacific Rim Championships that happened this weekend in Vancouver.  There was great coverage.  Live coverage.  And they had Kyle Shewfelt doing the commentary, which we love, and I feel terrible ‘cuz I cannot remember the name for the other woman who was doing commentary.  She was also very good.  And, um, but you know, that, that elevates the level of the gymnastics and the event in general.  When you have Kyle Shewfelt doing commentary.  Um, remember that Simone Biles re-aggravated her shoulder injury, so she was out.  She was replaced by Peyton Ernst.  Um, and then Uncle Tim can you tell us the results before we discuss?


UNCLE TIM: Sure.  Uh, in the All Around for the seniors Elizabeth Price came in first with a 59.9.  Coming in second was Kyla Ross with a 58.7, and third was Canada’s Ellie Black with a 57.1.  Ellie also won vault.  Uh, Kyla won beam and Ebee won bars and floor.  In the junior competition…crap where’d that go? I don’t […]


EVAN: This would never happen to Blythe.


[Jessica laughs]


UNCLE TIM: I know. Alright.  Are we ready?


JESSICA: Yes, I’m ready.


UNCLE TIM: Okay.  So, on the junior side Bailie Key won, uh, the All Around with a 59.25.  Nia Dennis came in second with a 57.95 and Norah Flatley came in third with a 56.85.  Bailie Key also won vault and floor.  Very Kim Zmeksal power gymnast of her.  Uh, Luo Huan of China won bars with a 47.–14.7.  Pardon.  Which is one-tenth better than Elizabeth Price, who scored a 14.6 in the senior competition.  And Norah Flatley won balance beam.  With that, Jess, what do you want to talk about in terms of Pac Rims?


JESSICA: Well, first of all, I feel like this meet is becoming the legit tester meet for your two years out Olympic team.  I think everybody was sending the, the people they think are gonna make up THE team eventually that goes to Rio.  Um, we saw–both the juniors and seniors–the absolute best at this meet and some newcomers who are incredible.  And, I know that, like we, I feel like Nia Dennis isn’t getting a lot of press or attention, but to me she is gonna be the Gabby Douglas, or, of Rio.  She’s gonna be the, the Raisman of Rio.  She’s gonna be the one that is, like, plotting along slowly.  A tenth behind Bailie Key.  A tenth behind Norah Flatley.  They’re gonna have all the press talking about them.  They’re gonna have all the eyes on them and then Nia Dennis is gonna be the one that comes away with a bazillion medals with her gigantic standing arabian on beam and wins it all in Rio.  I think that she is the sleeper right now.  There are others, like Laurie Hernandez, but I think Nia Dennis is the quiet assassin.  She’s gonna be the one.  What do you guys think?


EVAN: I think that Nia’s coming along at a really good pace right now.  There’s still some refinement things.  Uh, her gymnastics is beautiful, and when you look at, um, you know, her presentation on the floor you can tell that she’s very well trained in her basics.  And, um, you know, just kind of putting all of those things together, um, she has time to do that, and that’s what she has working for her at this point.  So, like you said Jess, she’s kind of plotting along.  You know, obviously getting those milestones.  Getting to go to Pac Rims is a huge accomplishment already, uh, and shows how highly Marta must think of her, and you know, further down the road I, she’s still gonna be tested because, you know, like I said, she’s not that wham-bam, I’m Bailie Key.  I, I’m gonna be winning everything.  Uh, so I think her pacing and her basics are what she has going for her right now.


JESSICA: I agree.  So, there’s a couple Juniors that I fell in love with at this meet, and I, as I said, I think this is becoming the place to debut them.  The first one is Tingting.  [squeal] The most adorable name ever and I also love that band, so I’m very pleased about that.  Um, she does that crazy mount that, who did it?  Did Lauren Mitchell do it?  Where you, like, just hurl yourself–your chest–at the end of the beam and then flip yourself side–it’s like a Cartwheel, but you do it on your chest.  You know that mount I’m talking about?




EVEN: I do that just to, like, get into bed every night.


[Uncle Tim laughs]


JESSICA: Exactly.  It’s that one. [laughs] So, she does that mount, which I love, and then she does a handspring front that is, legit no stop right into a front handspring front tuck.  It’s beautiful  And she also just does a step Ring Leap.  Just, not a Switch.  Not a, you know, arms all funky ‘cuz you gotta get yourself up as high as you can.  But just a step Ring Leap, and it’s so pretty, and I just, I’m, she is my new Chinese beam star.  Tingting.  Um, Luo Huan, who came in…who won bars I think.  Yeah, she won bars.


EVAN: She Huan bars.




JESSICA: She is, I think, gonna be when she gets her difficulty up, she–you know, maybe her hands grow a little bit more and she can hold onto the bar more–she is gonna be a, a contender for–she’s gonna be like the next super specialist for bars.  She’s so beautiful on bars.  Um, what do you guys think of–there’s a new trend that’s kind of bo–like, I like it, but it’s bothering me.  But, ou know how I am.  So, I wanna know your opinions.  So, the US has started back–they, they did this, you know, in like, 2000, 2004 we got into this a little bit.  The US girls would walk onto floor by, like, crossing their arms and then opening them wide like a welcoming gesture, and then getting into their floor pose.  And, I, I’ll tell you my opinion after you tell me what you think of this trend.


EVAN: So, I think it’s a bit theatrical, and I just wanna be like, Welcome to Bennigan’s!  Enchilada soup is on, um, but […]


[Jessica laughs]


[…] So, I think it’s a bit pronounced as to where, you know, that stuff can be saved for the actual performance.  Uh, I’m not surprised by it, but I do think it’s a bit, you know, that’s not everybody’s thing.  Like, everyone’s not that, like, let’s sweep and, you know, enter the floor area in you know, a puff of glitter [twinkle sounds] and wrists [twinkle sounds].


[Uncle Tim and Jessica laugh]


JESSICA: If it was like that, I think it would be even better.  Uncle Tim what do you think?


UNCLE TIM:  I see what you’re saying.  It’s kinda like the magician where you, they like, throw down a magic pellet and then they walk through, like, a smoke screen or something.  It’s kinda like that, yeah.  Um, I don’t necessarily like it, but I do think that it’d be a little hypocritical of us to be like, oh, we hate it when the Americans do it, but when Catherine Lyons does it on balance beam, then it’s amazing.  Um, I think the problem is if this presentation that you’re doing walking onto the floor does not match the presentation of your floor routine in the sense that you sudd–you have much better carriage.  Much, uh, much better body position when you’re walking onto the floor, then you do during the rest of your routine, […]




[…] then it’s a giant problem.  And there might be some American girls like that.


EVAN: Mmmhmm.  Mmmhmm.


JESSICA: I, I, you hit the nail on the head.  That’s exactly how I feel.  I was like, why don’t I, I don’t like it when the Americans do it, but I love it when the British do it?  And it’s because the British do it to the umpteenth degree.  Like, they could not be more extravagant and over the top with their entrance onto the floor, where the Americans are, kind of look like [hesitant breath], uh, somebody told me to do this and I feel really, really uncomfortable, so I’m just gonna do it for, like, half a second and then get into my pose as fast as possible and get this done.  And that’s the problem with it.  Like, if you’re gonna do it, do it like you are on the stage Broadway opera for the galaxy presenting in front of aliens for the first time and whether Earth survives depends on how well you do that.  Otherwise skip through.


UNCLE TIM: I think that the key is also that you have to carry that same kind of presentation throughout your entire routine.


EVAN: Mmmhmm


UNCLE TIM:  Not just at the very beginning.  Like, Catherine Lyons on balance beam, you know, she has the poise and the, the presentation throughout the entire routine, whereas, you know, it doesn’t really make sense for something like Ebee’s floor routine, which is, you know, a little more playful and stuff than–like, to start that routine with a sweeping of the arms like she’s some, like, southern debutante or something coming down the stairs–the grand staircase or something.


EVAN: My, my […]


UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Exactly.  It just doesn’t make sense.  So, yup.


JESSICA: So, there are a couple routines that stood out to me that Australia did.  Just some skills I guess I would say, and we haven’t seem them in so long, so I kind of wondered if you guys think this is just part of the bar construction that they’re putting together, or if it’s kind of a, uh, technique that they’re using?  If they’re trying to throw some skills in there that will get them noticed again ‘cuz they’ve been gone for so long?  Um, Georgia Rose Brown took bronze on bars, and she does an Inbar Geinger out of an Uprise.  I mean, she’s not even from Parkettes and she does this, like, bl–you know how awesome they are at bar, like, uh, Uprises.  Like, they co–the whole place could teach a clinic on uprises.  And she does an Inbar Geinger that is above the bar out of an Uprise.  Like, it’s crazy.  And then Munteanu has that Tkatchev immediate Inbar Geinger, which is also cool.  And she also does the Free Hip Straddle blind catch to the high bar, which used to be in the ‘96 compulsory bar routine.  That’s something you don’t see ‘cuz it’s really hard.  It’s really a blind catch, and, um, and it’s also hard to get momentum out of that.  And so, I wondered if you guys think that this is just construction, or is this a strategy?  Uncle Tim.


UNCLE TIM: Um, it could be a little bit of a strategy.  I don’t necessarily really like it.  I’m just thinking of Georgia Rose Brown when she’s doing the Geinger, she does a maloney and she does the swing back and then she does the immediate Inbar Sta–uh, Inbar Geinger, and I just think it’s kind of sluggish because it’s really hard to generate the amount of swing on a back swing to get into the Geinger.  And it just doesn’t look like other Geingers that–like, Kristina Vaculik’s or Nastia Liukin’s that just kind of floats in the air.  It definitely looks more like, um, a late 80s early 90s Geinger I would say.


JESSICA: Oof.  Evan, how ‘bout you?


EVAN: Well, I have a pretty high standard, uh, set for the Inbar Geinger, and al–although it is not from an Uprise, Trish Wilson, All American from the University of Michigan will crush any Inbar Geinger maybe ever done.  I’m pretty, pretty confident in that statement.  Uh, look her up on YouTube.  Uh, just amazing, amazing technique.  Above the bar.  Executing a skill dynamically, and like I’m going to mention, Georgia Rose is, you know, it’s just kind of like, and we’re falling into the bar and, you know, just, kind of scrambling.  And, while I thinkthe–in theory it’s good.  I think it’s strategically placed to give her some individuality and uniqueness.  Uh, but I think on a world stage it’s just gonna get killed, killed, killed. Killed.


JESSICA: I didn’t think it was that bad.  But, then again, that was no Beth Tweddle.  I liked seeing it though.  Like, you know how I like something unique and different that makes me notice.  Yeah.


EVAN: Right, right.  And I think that’s strategic.  I think it is to encour–to make her stand out.  To make podcasts notice her and talk about it.  So, […]




EVAN: […] I think it’d be a little hypocritical.  I think I’m being a little [inaudible] critical.  Uh, which we all could be.  Um, but, you know, I, I think what I struggle with more is, uh, when she transitions from low to the high bar she does the swing that’s basically like a dead hang and then she is swinging exclusively, like, from her shoulders.




EVAN: Uh, to get back up in that Kip, and that just kinda kills it for me.  ‘Cuz I feel like if you’re–you know, she has a lot of great skills from there, but, you know, it makes me question the technique–the sound technique of, of her as a bar worker.


JESSICA: So, what did you guys think of Canada’s Aleeza Yu?  She won the bronze on floor.  Kyle Shewfelt called her routine, “mysterious.”  And it is definitely the kind of, like, I won’t even describe, like, the kind of dance that’s in it, but it’s definitely something we expect out of the Canadian, um, the Elvire Teza–not Elvire Teza.


UNCLE TIM: Elvira Saadi?


[Jessica laughs]


JESSICA: Thank you.  Thank you.


UNCLE TIM: That one.


JESSICA: Just, just throwing her in there.  Just for fun.  France, yay!  Um, yes.  Elvira Saadi camp of interesting and unique, different choreography.  Um, what did you think?  Does it, does it work?  Would it make you notice?  As it–does it fit her?


UNCLE TIM:  Um, so I wasn’t necessarily just drooling, dying over this routine.  I wasn’t, like, swooning in my chair, and you know, melting onto a floor or anything.  But, I do think that there were some little parts that I did like.  Like, I liked that she did…um, I’m trying to remember what she did.  I think did a Temps Levé, which is like a hop, and you know, it was just little things like that.  You know, little dance moves that aren’t necessarily…a Tour Jeté full, or something where your arms are flailing wildly as you’re trying to pull yourself around in the air. Um, and so, I like those little things.  Those little moments where she actually did something different wasn’t just: dance, dance, dance, Chassè into your leap pass, and then a little butt wiggle into the corner into a tumbling pass.  You know, little things like that made me like the routine.  What about you Evan?


EVAN: So, I think something–an, an aspect of the choreography that sticks out is she works on a lot of different levels, even when she’s standing.  So often you just see: I’m standing straight up.  I’m on Relevé.  I’m, you know, fully upwards.  Um, or you’re down on the ground and maybe doing a roll or a spin that some people might be caaaptivated by.


JESSICA: How dare you?


EVAN: Um, but she […]


UNCLE TIM: Soome people. [laughs]  Someone, maybe […]


EVAN: Uh, she works on, kind of, a level that’s–she gives some mid-range choreography in there.  So, I’m not, I’m not saying she’s, like, hunched over, but, um, she’s kind of–some of those unique elements.  Um, so I’m gonna call it, like, a level of variation.  Um, and her arms are very pretty as well.  You can tell that she is, you know, has prepared a lot for, for what she’s doing out there.  It doesn’t look, um, you know, haphazard at all.  So, I appreciate it.  Um, but like Uncle Tim said, I don’t know if I’m particularly captivated, but it looked very nice.


JESSICA: What made me notice this routine right away was that, um, she starts in these awkward, almost ugly poses and works through them, and in a way that if you’re not a great dancer, that will not work.  Um, so it made me excited to watch the rest.  And then, there’s two things: I did not notice the corner at all.  In other words, I didn’t notice, um, someone trying to meet the requirement of not standing on two feet at all during her routine, which most of the time I’m, like, just looking at their feet to see, oh how’s she gonna fake this flamingo?  Like, how’s she gonna do this?  Didn’t notice it at all.  And that–which makes me think that she is meeting the O’Beirne Rules requirement of fulfilling the […]


UNCLE TIM: Spirit of the law.


JESSICA: Thank you.  Fulfilling the spirit of the Code, not just the Code itself, which is how it should be.  And, um, also I didn’t want to look away.  Like, a lot of elite routines, like, I’m just like [snoring noise].  When are they gonna tumble?  And I did not wanna look away while she was dancing.  When she was tumbling, I was like, uh her tumbling was good, but I wanted her to get back to dancing.  Um, and it wasn’t something I loved.  I just wanted to watch.  It made me wanna look.  And so, in that way I think it was really successful.  So, Canada: hats off to you.  Listener Jean asked the following question: Since Price beat Kyla on bars at Pacific Rims, do we actually have a bars competition between Ross, Price, Brenna Dowell, Biles and Madison Kocian?  What do you guys think?  Uncle Tim.  You probably have some data to back up your, your thoughts on this.


UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Well I’m very curious to see what’s going to happen with Kyla Ross, because last year she did a 6.4 routine.  This year she’s doing a 5.9 routine, and it’s largely due to the fact that she took out her Inbar Stalder.  So, she’s used to do a Komova II, which is a, basically a Shaposhnikova out of a, a, um Inbar Stalder.  Um, and yeah, she changed a lot of those skills.  Um, and so I’m curious to see if as the season progresses, will Kyla Ross put those skills back into her routine?  Bump up her bar routine to a 6.4, because if that’s the case, honestly I think she’ll beat, you know, at least Elizabeth Price.  I don’t know about Kocian, but I think she’ll for sure beat Elizabeth Price.  And while I’m giving you sexy data I just want to point out that Kyla Ross has lost a point in difficulty in her all around score from last year’s Worlds.  So, at Worlds she did a 23.8 total difficulty at the, uh, World Championships.  And at the All Around at Pac Rims she only did a 22.8.  So, her difficulty is down big time.  Um, but yeah.  I think if she can bump that up again, she will, she’ll be okay.  Um, she’s still, kind of, the queen of execution in the United States.  So, I don’t know.  What about you Evan?  What do you think?


JESSICA: Yeah, Evan, you were, kind of, um, not pleased about people going on about Madison Kocian earlier today.


EVAN: Yeah, I mean…I, I think that, you know, Kocian has yet to have an opportunity to really prove herself on an international stage, so I think we should, you know, give her that opportunity.  I think she deserves it with, you know, what she’s put out there thus far in 2014.  Um, unfortunately I was not impressed with what Elizabeth Price did in event finals.  I, you know, obviously the skills are there, but, you know, execution.  Hitting the bar before your dismount.  Just some angle issues.  The, the pirouette after the Uprise.  Um, I just was not sold, so, uh, I think that she benefitted from some, um–definitely, um, you know, has a difficult routine, and, you know, went out there and was pretty clean.  Uh, but I don’t know if, uh, comparatively down the road she’s gonna be one of the major players in the US on bars.  Uh, definitely usable when we need her, but I would think that there’s, uh, a few names above her on the list.  Uh, with Kyla, you know, coming off a back injury, uh, I, you know, that’s [sighs] you, [sighs] having known other athletes and, and, myself had a bit of back trouble, you back is literally unavoidable on, to be involved in nearly any skill.  Even using your arms, you know, your back is activated to a, to a degree, so, uh, you know, in terms of her difficulty and her execution, uh, I, I think they’re playing it smart and I think that those skills will still be there.  I hope she’s not, like, 6’4’’ by the end of this year.




EVAN: Because that will severely complicate things.  Uh, but it could happen.


JESSICA: Or she could end up a World silver medalist like Mister Israel.




JESSICA: Why do I forget his name?  The hottie who […]


EVAN: Shatilov.


JESSICA: Thank you.  Yes.  You never know.  It does take adjusting though.  Well, I’m, I’m hoping that they’re, you know, her coaches are being really smart and backing off with the difficulty.  Especially, you know, stalders and your back?  Mm, mm.  Uh, backs don’t like stalders, so of course it depends on what kind of injured she is.  But, um, I’m hoping they’re just backing off on that and letting her, you know, only use that stuff when she really needs it, um, and not workin’ it too hard right now.  Um, let’s discuss the guys.  We had an exciting little, um, we had some little com–comedic moments. [laughs]  And, uh, we had a little junior step it up.


UNCLE TIM: Yeah.  So, to quickly go over the men’s senior results.  John Orozco won the all around with an 87.2.  Uh, Japan’s Toshiya Ikejiri, uh, came in second with a 85.050, and also Japan’s Yuto Murakami came in third with a, an 84.9.  Um, to put things in perspective, Uchimura won the Tokyo World Cup with a 92.898, so John Orozco scored over five points lower than KoHEY!, which is not necessarily a good thing. Um, Orozco also won parallel bars and high bar and he took second on rings.  Um, the American men won the team competition, but it wasn’t without comedic moments.  Jessica, could you describe some of the comedic moments?


[Jessica laughs]


JESSICA: Oh my god, this is the best!  So, um, Naddour does, he’s gonna do–he’s doing a front, like, tumbling pass.  The one you do on the short, not on the diagonal, but on the short part of the floor.  And, um, he goes, he does, like, Front Double Full…a one and a half, something like that.


UNCLE TIM: Back Two and a Half.


JESSICA: Back Two and a Half.  Yeah.  Um, and he’s got a Punt Front…Punch Front Full out of it, or something. [laughs]  He totally, like, bottoms out on his landing, but he starts to jump and gets, like, no height at all, but he’s already, sort of, in the air [laughs], so he just makes it into a prone fall and does the little baby seal, and you know, like, I meant to do this.  It’s fantastic.  Now I will continue from here laying on my stomach with my arms pushing myself up.  It was [laughs] so funny!  Oh, he played it off so well.  I was totally impressed and it made me laugh out loud.  It was fantastic.  I enjoyed it very, very much.


UNCLE TIM: And then Chris Brooks also had a similar incident where he did a two and a half and then punch for a Barani or something, but basically ended up doing a hideous looking artwheel out of it.


[Jessica laughs]


UNCLE TIM:  Um, yeah. [chuckles]  It was quite the comedic moment.  Um, one person that I do want to mention is Kevin Lytwyn from Canada.  We don’t talk about Canadian men too often other than talking about Kyle Shewfelt, but he is starting to come along on high bar.  He does very, very clean Kovacs, so he keeps his knees together on his Double Back over the bar.  He also does a Def, which, like, nobody in men’s gymnastics does anymore, and so, it’s like a Full Twisting Geinger basically.  Um, and I thought that was really cool to see that skill.  And, he also caught it at one moment with one hand during competition.  Um, yeah.  So, it’s nice to see the, the Canadian men upping their difficulty.  Ke–uh, Kevin has a 6.7.  It isn’t quite as high as, you know, Fabian Hambuchen or, um, Epke Zonderland, but it’s still a respectable D-score, and so I’m curious to see what’s going to happen with the Canadian men in the future.


JESSICA: It’s exciting.  I’m glad to see they’re comin’ back.  Um, and then we have to mention little pommel horse dude.  Um, Alec Yoder, who won pommel horse.  He’s a junior still, right?


UNCLE TIM: Correct.


EVAN: Mmm, sure.


JESSICA: That’s very exciting.  Even though, as far as I’m concerned, Ray Ray should be the one who is recruited for pommel horse ‘cuz his pommel horse was so fantastic at Men’s NCAAs, but we’ll get to Raymond White soon.  Um, in the mean time, let’s discuss–Evan, will you tell everyone about our very, very special announcement coming up this Saturday?


EVAN: Yes! I can’t believe it’s this week!  I’m fanning my face from excitement.  Uh, so we are hosting the first ever Gymcastic meetup at the 2014 Women’s NCAA Gymnastics Championships.  It’s happening in Birmingham, Alabama.  I know you all have it, uh, on your calendars, scrawled into your planners, your palm pilots […]


UNCLE TIM: In blood.


EVAN: What have you?  Right.  Yes.  [laughs] Um, and it’s happening right before Super Six, so that’s Team Finals.  Those happen on Saturday and it’s at the Todd English Pub.  And guess how many blocks away it is from the venue. One. One block.


JESSICA: It’s perfect.  We planned that so perfect.




EVAN: So, I know.  Todd English.  He just built it there knowing if he built it, we would come.  And […]


[Jessica laughs]


EVAN:  […] and have a Gymcastic meetup.  Yeah, so.  Happy, one of the happiest hours ever will be spent.  Um, come say hi.  ‘Cuz we actually have faces, uh, to match these sexy, raspy voices.


[Jessica laughs]


UNCLE TIM: What do you guys think is the most gymnastics-y drink possible?


EVAN: Hmm  […]


JESSICA:  Is there one with tons of, like, glitter and umbrellas?


[Uncle Tim laughs]


EVAN:  I was gonna say a Singapore Sling, but I’m not really sure the reasoning.


[Uncle Tim laughs]


JESSICA:  We’re gonna have to come up with one.  Like, a Gymca–THE Gymcastic Cocktail.  Send us your ideas.  This is something we’re gonna have to have.


EVAN: Yeah!


JESSICA: A signature cocktail.


EVAN: No gin though.  Can we not do gin?


JESSICA: And can we make sure it’s good even if it’s virgin, ‘cuz I don’t really like the taste of alcohol.  It’s yucky.  But sugar, I do enjoy sugar very much.  So […]




EVAN: Alright.  Well, you might need to come up with a couple ideas, [laughs] ‘cuz Jess and I differ a bit it seems.


JESSICA: Polar opposites.  Funny…yeah.  Um, we are, uh, having a couple special guests that already said they’re coming.  Rick from Gymnastics Coaching is coming.  Uh, my friend Amy Sheer who writes for International Gymnast is coming.  Um, oh!  Mr. Scott Bregman said that he’s gonna be stopping by, making a celebrity appearance.  So, perhaps there will be some celebrities besides Scott, ‘cuz of course as King of the Gymternet, he is a celebrity.  Um, it’s gonna be really fun.  I’m excited.  And don’t worry if you don’t know anybody.  We don’t know anybody.  Just come hang out.  We’ll all chat together.  It’ll be fun.  We’ll, you know, pick a nerdy topic.  We’ll just hang out.  It’ll be great.  I’m very excited about it.  Okay, let’s talk to Scott Bregman about Men’s NCAA Championships.


[bleep bleep]


JESSICA: So, please welcome Scott Bregman back to the show.  Uh, USA Gymnastics Communications Director and also as we know him, Patron Saint of the Gymternet.  Thank you for joining us.


SCOTT: Thanks for having me.


JESSICA:  So, you were at Men’s NCAA Championships, and as a Wolverine, you must be extremely pleased with how this event went in terms of the results, of course, but tell us how the event was as a whole.  We’re always interested in how people put on gymnastics events and how the presentation is.


SCOTT:  Yeah.  You know, um, you–you’re right.  I’m a Wolverine, so I’m a little biased, but I was really, really impressed.  You know, I actually go to gymnastics events for a living, so I feel like I, uh, have a pretty good gauge on some of these things.  And I’ve been to, I guess, seven or eight NCAA Championships now, both as a competitor and, uh, as a spectator a couple of times, and now, of course working for USA Gymnastics.  And, um, I was just–I was blown away.  This was a really important event to the Athletic Department in Michigan, and it was, it was really clear.  Um, the event was super well run.  Zero waste.  They had garbage police, which are are–Jessica […]




SCOTT: […] were talking about before we started recording.  They had people making sure you were putting everything in the right bin, which was, as I said, intimidating.  Um, [clears throat], but beyond that they had, they had the podium there, which is something that’s really rare for, um, um, Men’s NCAA Championships.  They had–they brought Jordyn Wieber in.  Um, a Michigan native, of course, and obviously an Olympic gold medalist, to try to bring in some of the women’s crowd.  Um, they worked to get it on the Big Ten Network live, which was phenomenal.  It was just really, really an exciting event.  They had a great crowd, and of course with the results, um, having that good crowd there probably made it even more fun.


JESSICA:  So, let’s talk about the results first and then we’ll talk about the detail.  So, can you tell us about the, the team.  The Team, the All Around and some of the Event Finalists that stood out?  Oklahoma, like, cleaned up in the Event Finals.


SCOTT:  Yeah.  So, um, the, Michigan was first in the Team.  445.05.  Followed by Oklahoma.  441.65.  Stanford was third.  436.3?  And then in the All Around, it wa–the top three were the only three current US National Team members.  Sam Mikulak winning his third title with a 91.1.  Akash Modi, Stanford, 89.2.  And Sean Melton of Ohio State, 88.4.  So, I would say it was a pretty expected result.  You know, um, Michigan came in undefeated.  They weren’t ranked #1, but every time they have been on the same floor with these other teams, they have beaten them, which I think is important.  Um […]


JESSICA: And, wait.  Sean is […]


SCOTT: They […]


JESSICA: […] So, All Around finals isn’t determined the first day during prelims.  It’s the second day during Team Finals, right?


SCOTT:  Correct. It is […]




SCOTT: […] uh, technically the first day of the meet is the, the–because it’s probably because there’s so few teams, it’s the equivalent to the Women’s Regional Championships.  So, you’d […]


JESSICA:  Oooooh.


SCOTT: […] you have to, you have advance to Friday night’s competition to win a title.


JESSICA:  I gotcha.  Okay, that makes more sense.  ‘Cuz the first time I was just extremely confused and, of course, outraged as I am when I don’t understand what’s going on.  So, that makes more sense.


SCOTT:  It’s hard to imagine […]


JESSICA:  You know how I am.  Okay.


SCOTT: Right.


JESSICA:  So, [laughs] and wait, Sean Melton placed third with a fall then?  ‘Cuz didn’t he fall on high bar, I wanna say?


SCOTT:  He fell on floor.


JESSICA:  On floor.


SCOTT:  Which is the first event. [inaudible]




SCOTT:  Yeah, he was, and he was still, like, over a point above, uh, fourth place, which was C.J. Maestas.


JESSICA:  Um, all you tween girls out there, and college girls need to follow Sean Melton on Instagram, by the way, because he’s pretty much the cutest boy I’ve ever seen in my life.  He is so adorable, it’s not even funny.  So, yeah.  I just wanna put that out there.  He’s seriously, he’s so cute.  He, he’s looks like a little–he’s just, oh, you wanna pinch his cheeks.  Okay, go ahead.  Carry on.  Let’s get serious now.  Enough of that.


SCOTT:  Yeah, um.  So, obviously with the most, I–Michigan just kinda ran away with it.  They uh, they were three and a half points ahead of, um, ahead of second place Oklahoma, and it was a pretty interesting move for us, in my opinion.  The first [inaudible] on parallel bars, which is one of their best events, um, and they were the number one team coming in, so they picked that.  And they get to pick, um, what events they start on unlike the women where it’s random draw, but, um, then on the second day going into the finals, Kurt decided that–he said he talked to the team, and they decided to start on pommel horse, which is […]


[Jessica sighs]


SCOTT: […] can be scary, right? Really scary.  And they just nailed it.  I mean, 75.1.  That’s obviously just a little bit under a, uh, 15 average.  And, Oklahoma had the next best score with a total of 73.85, so a pretty big gap.  And, you know, it seemed pretty clear that after that, they were gonna be really, really tough to beat.  And […]


JESSICA: Right, because didn’t–wasn’t their pommel horse score actually , like, a point and a half higher than the first day?


SCOTT:  Yeah.  They, um, they had a guy not get credit for a dismount the first day.  Um, otherwise I think their scores were pretty consistent.  But yeah.  They had one routine that was a miss the first day, and, and it’s something that uh […]


JESSICA: Why in NCAA does some guys just, like, f-f-fling themself off the side, and other guys have to go up to the Handstand?


SCOTT: Well, you can, you know, a lot, what’s become standard, I think, at the elite level is the Handstand dismount with, you know, they try to do as many Pirouettes as they can to increase the value, which is what, you know,  Sam and a lot of the top guys are doing, but you can also just do, like, a Triple Russian, which is, uh, where they’re walking around in a circle at the end, but you have to make sure you at the end, kind of flare up not into a Handstand, but to a 45 degree angle to not get a deduction.


JESSICA: Oooh, okay.  Thank you for explaining that.  I was totally confused.  I was like, oh my god!  He didn’t do a Handstand!  It’s all over! Ahh!  And then it, he got a really good score and I was like, oh wait.  I don’t understand what’s going on.  So, I appreciate the clarification.


SCOTT: Yeah.  Yup.  And then after like, like I said, after, um, after they got that start on pommel horse it was, it was pretty clear I think to most people there that they were, they were not messin’ around and they were there to play.  You know, they had a few hiccups.  They had one guy sit down a vault, and Sam, of course, missed his, um, high bar release move, which I ha–I don’t know that I’ve seen him ever miss a Kollman in competition.  That’s usually a, a pretty easy, consistent skill for him.  But, it was, it was a exciting–and I think that that, the mistake on high bar really got Sam fired up.  He said afterwards that, that he, really got him ready to go on floor, and I, the, the, where the press section was, I was pa–perfectly parallel to the diagonal.  Like, he did his last tumbling pass on, and, and you know, obviously the routine had been going extremely well to that point.  He got at 16.05.  Um, but the angle I was at you could just see him perfectly block his Roundoff Flip Flop.  Take the Triple Full straight up and down.  And, you just knew he was gonna, he was gonna stick it.  And, um, just went crazy as you could see on TV and, I hope on the live feed.  And, gave a fist pump to his teammates and a big fist pump to the crowd, and it was, it was pretty crazy in Chrysler at that moment.


JESSICA: He honestly, that last pass, like, I have never–he’s always so–as you know, of course, as the inventor of the dance cam, he’s so fun and happy, and always in a good mood, and I’ve never seen him go, like, primal.  Scream, like intense angry, like, I will not be defeated no matter what.  Like, I’ve never seen him do that before, and it, like, all came out at the end of that routine.  Like, you could tell, like, the building could be on fire, under attack by aliens and he would’ve still stuck his routine.


SCOTT:  Yeah.  Yeah.  I think he was pretty motivated to not end with the way that his high bar routine ended.


JESSICA: So, um, Oklahoma and Stanford.  We have to say too had great competitions.  I mean, there wasn’t any, like, huge, major, uh, mess-ups on their part, right?  They just, it was just–I felt like it was a great competition all the way around.


SCOTT: Yeah, you know, it was.  It’s just, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s a really interesting ball game with the men compete five-up, five-count.  So, you know, when you–it can get away from you pretty quick.  You know, if you look at their score sheets, they’ve got a lot of pretty consistent scores, but then they have, you know, 13.35 on high bar.  Or they, you know, they have–so it can just, it can get away from you pretty quickly when you’re not dropping a score.  Um, one mistake can, can take you out of the whole thing.  Bu dot, I want to certainly highlight a few routines.  Um, I know [laughs] I know some of you want to talk about on OU, but I want to mention William Clement, who, um, actually broke his foot.  I don’t know if they showed this on TV, but he broke foot in Thursday during the warm-ups, and he–I don’t remember if he competed Thursday or not, but he […]


JESSICA:  Yes.  He’s the giant, super tall guy, right?


SCOTT:  I think so.  But he competed his high bar routine in the Team Final on Friday night.  Scored a 14.7 with a broken foot.  So, I think that’s pretty badass, and […]


JESSICA:  Yes.  That totally was.


SCOTT:  […] yeah, and his, um […]


JESSICA:  And his high bar’s beautiful.


SCOTT:  Yeah.  And, you know, Stanford of course, they’ve got Akash who’s on the Senior National Team for the United States, and is phenomenal.  He has, you know, the Full Twisting Double Back dismount off of, uh, the parallel bars, which no one does, and he does it perfectly.  So, he was a lot of fun to watch as well.


JESSICA: Yes, I always remember him because he does that skill and because his name should really be pronounced like a band.  Akash Modí.  Like a rap group […]


SCOTT:  Mmm. [inaudible]


JESSICA: […] from the 80s.  That’s what I’ve decided.


SCOTT:  Well we can, maybe we can talk to him about it.


JESSICA:  Okay.  I mean, if he wants to brand himself as the greatest, like, P-bars dismounter of all time, he needs, like, a rap name, so that’s, I’ve decided that’s what it’s gonna be.  Um, and then, let’s talk about the most gigantic vault I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  Literally, he goes off the screen when they showed it, um, in the live feed.  I’ve never seen a vault like this.  Hands down, not even close.  To–is it really like that in real–okay let’s talk about who this is.  This is Tristan Duverglas from Okla–Penn State.  Um, he does a Handspring Double Front Piked.  Although, they didn’t give him credit for a pike on the second flip I think.  But, they should’ve–it didn’t matter because they should’ve given him astronaut bonus.  So, what is that like in person to watch?


SCOTT:  It is, it, it sounds like it’s about the same as it is on TV and, and on the [inaudible] eye.  The first day he landed it and it was, it was amazing and my mind was blown.  I’d seen him do it before on the Big Ten Network, but never on, in person, and unfortunately in the Team Final I think he over rotated and put his hands down.  Um, which is crazy ‘cuz I just said he over rotated a Handspring Double Pike.


[Jessica laughs]


SCOTT: Um, but it’s that high.  He does have some issues.  He does have some form issues.  He does tuck it around a little bit at the end.  Um, but it’s, it’s an incredible vault, and it, it, I couldn’t–I was blown away.  It, so it’s too bad that he didn’t get a chance to, to compete in the vault final.


JESSICA: Yes.  Uh huh huh.  Okay, so let’s talk about finals because we now have to discuss my favorite gymnast, male gymnast now of all time.  Well, no.  Okay, I wanna be fair.  Of course, it’s always gonna be Stacey Ervin, who by the way, competed with his torn bicep and did the arm events as well.  So he, basically helped his team win with one arm.  He’s totally amazing!  Hats off to–oh, and, to, um [snaps], who’s the other guy with one bicep?  Competed in the Olympics.  Sixth year.


SCOTT: Syque Ceasar.


JESSICA: Syque Caesar.  Hello!  Those two are amazing!  Crazy!  What do we even need biceps for anyway?  Anymore…psh.


SCOTT:  I’m just, I’m gonna, I’m just actually tearing mine right now.  I’m sick of it.


[Jessica laughs]


JESSICA: We’re done with those things!  Um, so, okay.  This guy blew–like, let me just tell you our Twitter and Instagram and everything…Facebook blew up about this guy when he competed.  And, also on Big Ten Network, John Roethlisberger was, like, this guy is the most theatrical dude you are gonna see.  He does everything to the umpteenth degree.  You will not see another floor routine like this.  Um, and we are, of course, talking about Raymond White.  Ray Ray as I will now refer to him.  From Oklahoma.  Does the most artistic–I thought all this stuff was, like, against the rules in Men’s Gymnastics, but Raymond White, who got a fif–a 15, I wanna–or was that…maybe that was on pommel horse.  He scored very well.  Anyway.


SCOTT: He got a 14.9 in the Team Final on floor.


JESSICA: Okay.  He’s amazing!  He’s so badass.  He does…how would you describe his routine?


SCOTT: He does—there’s a little bit of, like, choreography happening, and it’s very, it’s, it’s just out of this world.  And very quick movements, and very aggressive, and he’s just adding these little touches in before his Press Handstand, and before his tumbling, and he’s an incredible tumbler.  Great athlete.  He’s actually phenomenal on pommel horse too.  So, I don’t know.  He was fun to watch.  That’s for sure.


JESSICA: He–totally, he does, like, a…out of his first pass he does a, like, Double Stag Ring Jump that would put, like, Pavlova to shame.  I mean, really.  It’s that extended.  I didn’t even know that, like, the guys were, like, allowed to do that I guess.  But, like, they totally are!  And it’s beautiful.  And he got a great score.  I just–it’s, it’s so fun.  You guys have to–on our Instagram I put up, like, our, the, the highlights of his routine.  He’s so fun to watch.  I am totally obsessed with him.  I want him to do an exhibition at Women’s NCAA Championships this week, and he’s just the greatest thing since sliced bread.  So, let’s talk about how good his pommel horse is, which his pommel horse is even better than his floor.  And, can he now be invited to–or why hasn’t he been invited to US Championships?  ‘Cuz he’s so badass and we totally need someone really good on pommel horse.  And, Tristan Duverglas.  Will he get invited to Championships for his vault?


SCOTT:  You know what?  I don’t have the selection procedures in front of me.  I think that you can–I think that they’re both probably qualified to compete at the US Qualifier that, that’s held in July at the Training Center, but like I said, I don’t, I didn’t know you were gonna ask me about that, so I didn’t look it up.  But, um, I, I am certain that they, um, would have the opportunity to compete there.  I’m pretty sure.


JESSICA: But if I was…you know.


SCOTT: I […]


JESSICA: If I was in charge, obviously I would invite them both, but […]


SCOTT:  Yeah, I think that there are some automatic berths to the P&G Championships, um, that’ll be later in the fall, but I, I don’t think that they qualified.  Either one of them.  So,you know.


JESSICA: I mean, if you just happen to see someone walking by the office, if you could just let them know how I feel about those two, and that they should definitely invite them, that would be great.  Um, and then, let’s talk about which sponsor do you think is gonna snatch up Sam Mikulak first?


SCOTT: [clears throat] Uh, I, I would guess all of them.  I think it will be, uh, a race.  I think he’s gonna be fanning them off.  Um, you know, I can’t say enough good things about that guy.  He’s the nicest guy.  Like, you won’t find anyone that will say a bad, a bad word about him.  So, and obviously a great personality, and we’ve, we’ve tried to showcase that, you know, with, with the dancing video and, and some other things, and I think he’s gonna be–I think he’s got a, an opportunity to be, you know, obviously very successful in the sport and to help, you know, make it a little bit more popular just because he’s not a bad looking guy and, obviously a great personality, and a very, very nice kid.  So, I think he’s, uh, he’s gonna do alright.


JESSICA: New spokesperson for gymnastics and your brand, so if you haven’t already investigated these possibilities all sponsors in the world, please do.  That was one of the most exciting things.  After he landed, and like, screamed, and I was like, oh my god!  He gets to go pro now!  And he’s gonna be so great! And I wanna see him in Under Armour commercials!  Very excited about that.  Oh Reebok–that’s the one that, um, that Raisman is, like, running over barriers and stuff like that.  That could be fun too.


SCOTT: Yeah.


JESSICA: He would be great at that kind of thing.  Yes.  Okay.  Um […]


SCOTT: He’s, he’s one of the best barrier leapers I’ve ever seen.


[Jessica laughs]


JESSICA: Sounds perfect.  [laughs]


[beep beep transition noise]


JESSICA: If you love the show and enjoy listening, please consider supporting us by reviewing us on iTunes, shopping in our Amazon store.  If you shop in our Amazon store a little portion of what you buy goes back to supporting the show.  Or, you can simply donate, and some people have even set up monthly donations.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has done that.  It’s amazing.  All the money goes directly back to the podcast, supporting the show, and helping us improve our sound quality, equipment, paying the bills, etc.  So, thank you all so much for that.  Okay, it’s time for NCAA Championships super fight!


[deep drum roll]


JESSICA: I just, like crossed my arms and did, like, a whole X-Men ninja thing.  Just so you guys know.  So, this is how the game works.  You have…you have to prove why your team is gonna win NCAA Championships.  We have all chosen a team, and you will now defend.  Make your argument why they’re gonna win.  So, Evan.


UNCLE TIM: Who’s going first in this formidable crowd of master debaters?


[Jessica laughs]


EVAN: A master what?


UNCLE TIM: Debater.




EVAN: Okay.




JESSICA: Uh, you got in, uh, big trouble last week for not talking about LSU the entire time you were on the air, and Daniel in Ireland, who as we know, is Rheagan Courville’s biggest fan in the entire world was not happy.  So, can you tell everyone why–only three reasons–LSU is gonna become the national champions this year.


EVAN: I know.  First, I have to apologize to Daniel for not talking about LSU, who wasn’t at the regional I was talking about.  So weird.  But […]




EVAN: Um, I totally see his point, and I totally–I, you know, you can go back in the archives because my dark horse team at the very first NCAA show that we did this season–that would be LSU.  And I will tell you why.  LSU is becoming, basically the dark horse running at the front of the race.  No longer dark.  In the light.  And, first of all, it’s belief.  D-D Breaux, I like to call her my spiritual shaman Breaux, uh, because she has such a vision, and it seems to have finally, finally translated into a cohesive group of athletes stepping onto the floor for LSU.  When you listen to D-D Breaux talk about what happened at a meet or what’s happened throughout the season youknow that it is all–she, she’s not surprised by anything.  She’s rolling with the punches and she’s trusting in the process.  And when you have such a figure-head like D-D Breaux, who wholeheartedly believes in the process, that translates into your athletes.  And you know what that translates to at Regionals?  198.325.  When you listen to an athlete like, like Rheagan Courville speak with such conviction and confidence, even though she might not ha–even have had her best season to date, you know that the coaching staff–D-D Breaux, uh, Jake Clark and Bob Moore have allinvested–they’re all in.  They’re all in.  And it’s translating into the performance.  It’s translating into results like that 198.325.  So, the first thing: belief.  Second thing: they have balance, and their strengths complement their–what could be construed as weaknesses.  So, throughout the season you’ve seen LSU, kind of, linger around, you know, between a 49.15 and a 49.275 on balance beam.  So, that’s traditionally been, you know, kind of, one of their, their stumbling points.  They just can’t put all of those routines together to really build up the final score.  But, the freshest meet in these athletes’ mind, they totalled a 49.6 on balance beam.  So the potential is there.  And, so, for somebody who might be concerned about Kaley Dickson of, you know, the spread of, uh, you know, her routines taken out of the equation, we’re not sure if she’s going to be competing or not at Nationals, uh, but, you know, she’s kind of that table-setter.  While she definitely has potential to go over 9.85 on bars, beam and vault, I feel like they have viable resources, uh, in other members of the team, so they canreally fill in those gaps accurately.  And, finally: they have names that come with clout this season–throughout the season.  Jesse Jordan, Sarrie Morrison, Rheagan Courville and Llomincia Hall.  I feel like, if you had to choose four athletes to really be a focal point of your program, those are great athletes.  And, that’s not to undersell the rest of their team, because basically any routine that they’re putting on the floor, it’s that crucial 9.8 or better.  They really don’t dip below that total if they’re putting good gymnastics out there, that they’ve proven they can do time after time this season.  So, we go back to belief.  We go back to, uh, their strengths complementing their weakness–or seeming weaknesses.  And then finally, the names that are carrying consistent clout throughout the season.  That is why LSU can win the 2014 NCAA for the first time ever!  And D-D Breaux.


[tiger roar]


JESSICA:  The passion.  Daniel, are you satisfied?  Tell us.  Let us know how you feel.  Did we do you right? [laughs]


EVAN: Tell me Danny.




JESSICA: Okay, Uncle Tim.  You’re taking Florida.  And you guys will notice we picked the top three teams to argue over here, so this is what we’re doing.  So, basically I’m saying I don’t wanna hear it […]


[Uncle Tim}


JESSICA: […] if anyone wants to argue about another team.  Read The Balance Beam Situation’s fantastic analysis, and, uh, he has done it all for you.  So, go to The Balance Beam Situation and read what he has there.  He, he’s saying everything that we don’t have time for on the show.  So, next team.  Ranked #1 going into Nationals.  Florida.  Uncle Tim.  Three reasons.


UNCLE TIM: Alright.  First reason: they struggled at Regionals.  So, in American culture we usually see struggle as a sign of weakness, butstruggle can be a sign of strength because it indicates that you are capable of facing challenges and that you are learning–that you’re capable of learning something, and I think that’s exactly what Florida is going to do.  I think they’re going to take their bad experience, and it’s going to make them stronger.  I know that when I talked to Rhonda Faehn and interviewed her last week, she was telling me all about how Bridget Sloan was–after falling off the balance beam she was motivated to work harder in the gym, and she was not gonna ever fall off that balance beam again.  So, I think it’s gonna be good for them.  Now, I mean I do understand that, you know, if you’re struggling all season, like [fake clears throat] UCLA, that might be one thing, but Florida was not.  As a team they were, kind of, on top of the standings this entire year.  So, I think they’ll pull through.  The second reason is Bridget Sloan.  Setting aside for–her gymnastics for a second, um, let’s look at her name.  Bridget means “exalted one,”  and Sloan means “warrior.”


[Jessica laughs]


UNCLE TIM: In other words, Florida has the exalted warrior on their team, and basically, that means they’re gonna win.  Like, how can you not win unless, I mean, with that name on your team.  I mean, honestly.  They’re gonna win.  Um, and in, on, in all honesty I do not–I feel like Bridget was, kind of, the piece of the puzzle that was missing for Florida for quite some time.  It was always rumored that Florida had a lot of fighting among their gymnasts.  I don’t know if that’s true, but that was always the rumor.  And whenever something went wrong it was rumored that the girls went from Gator chomping to being catty, catty clawing each other in a heartbeat.  Um, but, from everything I’ve heard Bridget isn’t like that.  Instead of being really catty, she just, kind of, says, okay we got this.  And then she goes around and, you know, starts singing on the balance beam, or whatever she does.


[Jessica laughs]


UNCLE TIM: And so, I feel like they needed that person to be very positive and to, kind of, say, no.  We got this.  Don’t blame each other.  Let’s just move on.  And, I think Bridget is that person, and so I think she will–even if things go awry, she will pull the team together.  My third reason is Rhonda Faehn.  Um, compared to many of the head coaches Rhonda is still young, which also means that she still gives a tuck.  Rhonda isn’t going into press conferences and saying menopause made me a better choreographer.


[Jessica laughs]


UNCLE TIM: Like one older, more jaded Pac-12 coach did.  Uh, you can probably guess who that was.  Miss Val.  Um, no.  Rhonda still cares, and she wants to win.  Plus, she’s a true gym nerd at heart, and honestly I think that all of us on this show want gym nerds to rule the world.  Miss Val: her favorite sport isn’t even gymnastics! It’s football.  [Mouth fart] To that!  So, you gotta be on Rhonda’s side.  I–I’m thinkin’ Rhonda should win.  She’s the biggest gym nerd out there on the floor.  So, those are my three reasons.  One: they’ve already struggled and they’re gonna be motivated.  Two: Bridget Sloan is going to unite the team.  And three: Rhonda is a true gym nerd leading a team.


[cymbals and marching band]


JESSICA:  I just, I feel like I have to rebut on behalf of my Bruins.  And that is that: if there was a press conference competition, Miss Val clearly won because, what other quotes have you […]


UNCLE TIM:  In being what?  Bat crazy?


JESSICA: [laughs] In making people talk about her team.  That would be the competition.  Okay, so, now onto Florida.  Err, sorry.  Oklahoma.  Now onto Oklahoma.  So, this is what I feel like, you know, we felt like Oklahoma or Florida were going to break into that club of four for a long time.  The only teams that had ever won NCAAs.  Florida finally did it, but Oklahoma was always right there too, and one of them was gonna make it–was gonna make it.  Florida had been so close over and over, and then they talked about how being so close and losing motivated them so much more to make it, and that is exactly how I feel like Oklahoma is coming into this year.  They saw it happen for Florida, and they knew last year coming in second that that could have been them.  They could’ve won. And, I feel like they have this–these seniors are the ones who have experienced these years of being the next team and having people know that they can do it, and then coming in second.  Knowing that they’re so close.  They are mirroring what Florida had to do to come in and break into that, that club of NCAA Champions.  They are coming in as, ranked #2 for the third straight year.  Like, if that doesn’t make you wanna work so freaking hard and finally win.  Like, if you’re on that senior squad–if you’re Madison Mooring, you’re going to want this so bad, and be like, I am not graduating without a Championship ring.  That’s not gonna happen.  We are going to win this.  Um, the other thing is that they can handle the pressure.  They are not the team that crumbles under pressure.  A lot of these top teams do.  And they have, um, somehow managed to win despite having falls.  But, Oklahoma are so consistent.  No matter what happens, they’re super consistent.  They stay within themselves.  Um, and the other thing is: they have incrediblefreshman.  So, not only–and that’s what happened when Florida won, right?  They had that senior class that had been so close and hadn’t made it, and then they had these incredible freshman ca–come in like, like Bridget Sloan.  I think that Oklahoma knows where they stand and knows they can do it, and that this is absolutely the year that they are going to change history and brea–usher in the new era of a different team, and a new team winning NCAAs every single year instead of the same teams winning over and over and over.  They are gonna be the next NCAA champions.


[children cheering]


UNCLE TIM: I just want–if you can give a little rebuttal for UCLA I just wanna add one little thing […]


JESSICA: Please.


UNCLE TIM: […] that I wanna say: I will not count out Sarah Patterson just because the competition is in Alabama and I have a feeling that Sarah Patterson could find a way to win in Alabama.


JESSICA: Well I’ve heard rumors that she’s already, like, bussing in students and giving them free tickets, so that could be the fifth man–the sixth man, the twelfth man, whatever it’s called.  I know that Evan explained this to me earlier, but that could be–that puts someone over the edge.  Having those fans behind them.  ‘Cuz the–even though we’re in Alabama for Nationals, it’s not actually at the school.  So…what about the All Around?  Who do you think’s gonna take it?


EVAN: Her name is Katherine Grable, and she is tiny and tan and talented.




EVAN: And, uh, has been pretty consistent all year long.  You know, unfortunately Arkansas has struggled throughout their season.  They didn’t qualify a full team, so Katherine Grable is gonna be going all Jen Hansen on the NCAA Championships, and trying to do it, um, you know, as an individual without her whole team there.  Uh, I think that her one blip on the, uh, All Around radar will be uneven bars, so just getting through that, I think, um, with, you know, between a 9.85 amd 9.875, um, she has potential to go 9.95+ on the other three.  Um, I think she’ll probably need some help from some other, um, really established All Arounders, but I’m gonna go with Katherine Grable.  I, I think, uh, she can do it.


UNCLE TIM: I want a tie between Katherine Grable and Emily Wong, but I also recognize that most things I want in life don’t happen.




UNCLE TIM: Uh, yeah.  Like, I mean in my ideal world Katherine Grable and Phillip Boy would get married and have beautiful gymnastics babies.




UNCLE TIM: But that’s not gonna happen.  Um, so…you know…if I’m gonna be more realistic I might go with Rheagan Courville just to make Daniel happy.




JESSICA:  I–This is gonna be no surprise–well, I don’t know.  I mean, I think it’s really a race between Rheagan Courville and Sam Peszek.  Sam Peszek is coming in ranked second right now.  I think that most people haven’t really thought of her as a threat because she didn’t come into All Around until later in the season ‘cuz she was battling a pre-fracture in her heel, and they wanted to make sure that didn’t turn into a fracture.  Um, so, I mean, she’s coming in with a 39.7.  Courville’s coming in with a 39.725.  So, I think if Sam Peszek sticks her vault, uh, she’s gonna win.  Like, hands down.  But Ilove Rheagan Courville too.  And I especially love her style.  Do you see that outfit she wears?  She looks like a rockstar, punk rocker, like, she–did you see that picture on Instagram?  Like, her and, um, Miley Cyrus.  And Miley Cyrus looked like, like a hobo and Rheagan Courville looks like a goddess.  She’s just a star.  Like, the two of them together would be the best NCAA Champions ever.  They would be, like, light and dark.  Like, the hair and the, the–oh my god I love it.  So, in my dreams they would both tie because they are both fantastic and superstars.  Um, but I think it’s gonna be Peszek and Courville.  One of them is gonna win for sure.


EVAN: Okay wait.  Okay wait.  Do you know who holds the University of Florida All Around record?






JESSICA: Kytra Hunter?


EVAN: No. No.


UNCLE TIM: Alaina Johnson had it and then Bridget tied it, didn’t she?


EVAN: Welll, Alaina Johnson definitely got it recently with a 39.825 this season.  So, let’s not count out Alaina Johnson because those athletes who we just all talked about have had really consistent and, um, you know, established All Around campaigns, but, you know, it depends on the day for Alaina Johnson.  You know, unfortunately for her it might be a matter of if the coaches decide to let her do All Around during the Team competition.


JESSICA: [sigh]  That’ll be awful if she doesn’t get to do All Around.


EVAN: Yeah.


JESSICA: Oh my god […]


UNCLE TIM: Well, I mean, they both scored a 39.825 so…but, I think Alaina scored hers at home, I wanna say and Bridget scored hers away this year.  So, it’ll be interesting.  Would you guys let Alaina Johnson compete All Around?


EVAN: I woooould…sss..it’s very–it’s a very close call.  Um […]


JESSICA: ‘Cuz, who are you taking out if she competes All Around?


EVAN: Well, I mean, hypothetically you could have, um, three All Arounders from Florida, which, which, you know, isn’t that, isn’t that surprising, but, you know, they could, you know, actually have an All Around sweep on, on one of their best days.  So, I think that, you know, Alaina might be in the lineup, but I think that she’s, kind of, the pivot point.  I, I definitely think that, um, you know, some heads would turn if Kytra came out of the All Around before Alaina.  Would you guys argue that?


UNCLE TIM: No, I agree.  Yeah, I’d be a little–it would be an eyebrow raiser.  Do you guys think we should have a two per team rule in NCAA?


JESSICA: No.  No.  You mean for […]




JESSICA: […] two per team, like you can only compete two All Arounders?


UNCLE TIM: No, I mean in terms of, like, we have two per country in the Olympics.  Um, only two per team–well I mean, I guess on the podium I wanna say.  On the podium you can–you couldn’t have a Florida sweep in the All Around.  Um, you know, let’s say Bridget Sloan came in third and Alaina Johnson came in first and Kytra Hunter came in second.  Bridget Sloan would have to give up her third place little plaque to somebody else.


JESSICA: No.  NCAA is all about crazy-ass, ongoing dynasties.  They love that.  That’s how Utah won for a million years in a row.  So, no.  You should be able to have seven–the top seven all be from one team if you want–top six.




JESSICA: [Inaudible]


UNCLE TIM: Doesn’t Florida’s recent win represent the end of dynasties?


JESSICA: Well, when Oklahoma wins, yes.


UNCLE TIM: K.  Mmkay.


JESSICA: If they, if they win again–two years in a row, then no.  It’s just another dynasty beginning.


UNCLE TIM: K.  Evan, thoughts?


EVAN: Um, I definitely don’t think there should be a limit on the All Around placements.  I think if the coaches wanna put three All Arounders up, then, you know, you have to look at, you know, re-respect the program enough for what they’re willing to put out there, ‘cuz, you know, hypothetically you could look at it as, you know, fresher athletes could really just come in and maybe score exactly the same, but you’re, you know confident in those athletes.  And I think, um, you know, they should confidently accept the awards for the places that they deserve.  Um, I think that in terms of dynasties ending and beginning, uh, I think it takes–like Jess said, more, more than one to establish something, but I, I would like to hope that, you know, the new dynasty can really just be, um, a constant shakeup where no one is secure, um […]




EVAN: […] in a spot in Super Six, or, you know, having their hands around the national title.  Um, even, you know, a two or three team race, um, I hope that we’re getting closer and closer to that really, really just, you know–it gets shaken up every year and it’s a roll of the dice to see, um, who even makes Super Six let alone the Championship.


JESSICA: I agree.  I think that’s for the best.  It should be like basketball where you never know who’s gonna win.  Or if there’s a […]


UNCLE TIM: If there’s an upset, who do you think it’ll be?  Who won’t make Super Six?


EVAN: Um, from which session?


[Jessica laughs]


UNCLE TIM: Um, let’s start with–let’s do Session 1.  So, let’s see.  Let’s call the list up for listeners who aren’t–don’t have the list right in front of them.  So, in Session 1 we have Oklahoma, LSU, Georgia, Michigan, Stanford and Illinois.  Who would be the upset for not making it to the Super Six there?  And who do you think could be a legitimate upset?


EVAN: Um, I think that, you know, based on the performance at Regionals, unfortunately I don’t think that Georgia, um, really has that momentum to get into Super Six, um, coming out of that session even though I think the second session is a, a more difficult one to get out of.  Um, I think that Michigan having really dominated Georgia at ho–on Georgia’s home turf, um, you know, they made a big statement.  Uh, and, you know–as everybody knows, I think Michigan continues to improve, uh, so I think Michigan can, can upset, uh, or, you know, or in traditional terms find their way into Super Six beating Georgia and Stanford as well as Illinois.  Shock.




JESSICA: I think if Illinois made it to Super Six that, that would be the biggest upset.  Even though Georgia’s coming in with the lowest score, we know they can do better than they did.  So, I think Illinois would be–people would be like, holy crap.  Which would be awesome.


UNCLE TIM: I agree.  And I think if Stanford would make it though too, it would–I don’t know that necessarily it would be a surprising upset, but I think that a lot of people have just, kind of, ruled out Stanford.  So, if they make it to the Super Six it would be surprising for many people.  What about the evening session?  In the evening session we have Florida, Alabama, Utah, UCLA, Nebraska and Penn State.


EVAN: I think it would be a huge upset if UCLA made it into Super Six out of that session.  Honestly, wi–with the season they’ve had I don’t think, I don’t think it’s a matter of, you know, is the potential there?  But I think, um, I know the, the beginning of their lineups and the dips and the blips that they’ve had throughout the season are, you know, limiting them in terms of scoring potential, while Alabama, Florida and Utah are pretty relentless.  So, I would say it would be a, a surprise and an upset if UCLA saw their way into Super Six out of that session.


JESSICA: I’m gonna say Penn State and Nebraska making it into the Super Six.  Shocking!  Um, UCLA hasn’t had a great season, but then again, like, last year I feel like was not as good as this year and they ended up fourth.  Like, they somehow pull it out at the end.  Like, that’s their strategy.  Um, but, you know I’m totally biased.  Nebraska and Penn State.  But I really want Nebraska to go because, uh, I want to see Owen the whole time.




JESSICA: An–and Emily Wong and the whole team, of course.  Geez you guys.  God.  It’s about the gymnastics, not the pants.


[Uncle Tim laughs]


EVAN: It’s not called gym-panstics.




UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I guess of–I mean, I think of those gy–teams it would be really surprising if Florida didn’t make it.  It would be really surprising if Utah didn’t make it because it’s be–they’re kind of been really performing well.  Um, if Alabama didn’t make it, I mean it would be surprising, but I don’t think it would be as surprising as Florida per-se.  Um, yeah, I mean part of me really does want Nebraska to make it to the Super Six just because, you know, I went to school in Nebraska for a little while, and yeah.  I, I will always have a special place in my heart for Nebraska.


JESSICA: Any particular reason?  Special place in your heart […]


UNCLE TIM: I don’t know.  I feel like Dan the head coach is just a very good coach, and he really takes care of his girls, and you know, I respect what he does.  He doesn’t really, as far as I know, really go after, you know, the people like Sam Peszek.  He doesn’t really go after the big elites.  He goes after the–what we’d call the ninja Level 10s, who aren’t necessarily broken from an elite career, and he really makes them–he gets the most out of them.  And so I respect him as a coach, and you know, one of my favorite NCAA gymnasts, Rochelle Simpson, went to school at Nebraska, and I liked her a lot.  And so, you know, I think there’s that little nostalgic side of me.


JESSICA: I thought you were gonna say Nebraska because you had some, like, incredible love story or some, like, hot boy in the library story.  No?


[Uncle Tim laughs]


UNCLE TIM: No…haha.


JESSICA: A girl can dream.


[Uncle Tim laughs]


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UNCLE TIM: If you wanna contact us, we would love that.  We love reading your feedback.  Um, all 27/28 comments on our webpage.  We read ‘em all.  Um, if you want us to review, discuss, watch something, or if we can solve some important gymnastics crisis for you, you can call us or email us.  We’re here for you.  Our email is gymcastic@gmail.com.  You can also leave us a voicemail by calling (415) 800-3191.  Or, you can call us from anywhere in the world.  Just use Skype.  Our username is gymcasticpodcast.  Follow us on Twitter.  We’re very chatty.  We, uh, chat with little Daniel from Ireland who loves Rheagan Courville all the time–almost on a daily basis.  We’d love to chat with you as well.


JESSICA: If there is something, you guys, that happens this weekend atNCAAs–some moment that you see off to the side, or maybe we didn’t catch, or it’s not on TV that you want us to talk about, email and tell us.  Or tweet us about it, so that we can make sure we don’t miss anything, and talk about it on the show next week.  And, this weekend at the Ljubljana World Cup, Anna Pavlova is scheduled to compete for Azerbaijan.  YESSS!!! [sighs] So, something for everyone this weekend.  International fans and NCAA fans.  And, hope to see you guys at the meet-up this weekend, and thank you so much for listening.  Until next week, I’m Jessica from Master’s Gymnastics.


UNCLE TIM: I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym.


EVAN: I’m Evan.  Catch me on Twitter @yoev.


JESSICA: See you guys next week!


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