2016 US Nationals Friday Night Recap

Simone Biles dominated the first day of the P&G US Nationals in St Louis Missouri. Full recap of standouts from day one.

Karolyi teased coming into nationals that she already has five women in mind for Rio. That list did not change on Friday, and time is running out.

“The first five are right there,” she said. “The process is going step by step.”

Simone Biles

simone biles sunrise splash leo front
Turning each rotation into a showcase for her unmatched talent, Biles posted an eye-popping score of 62.900, well clear of runners up Aly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez.

Biles was nearly flawless from the start, her beam routine a 45-second showcase of precision with nary a wobble or even a peak at the floor 4-feet below. Her score of 15.7 is a significant step up from the 15.388 she posted at world championships last fall, an event she won easily.

Asked to nitpick her performance and Biles paused. It’s not that she’s perfect, gymnastics doesn’t do perfect anymore. She’s as close as anyone has been in a long, long time. While she pointed to nearly imperceptible miscues during her beam dismount and her first vault, even she had to admit there was little else that went wrong.

“I was pretty happy with it,” Biles said.

“It’s all about peaking for the right moment,” Biles said. “I think this is a stepping stone toward it.”

“There’s no one that can catch Simone,” said Raisman after her best night since her return to competition in March, 2015.

Aly Raisman

aly raisman timeless leotard front
Aly Raisman gave fans a sneak peak at the leotard she was going to wear Friday night from her hotel room via twitter.

Raisman wanted to “vomit” while starting out on beam, where she won bronze in London four years ago. She didn’t exactly look nervous while putting up a 15.150

Aly Raisman’s all-around score of 60.45 still trailed Simone Biles’ by more than two points. But trailing the three-time reigning world champion by two points isn’t something to scoff at.

“I was like, ‘Simone only beat me by a point and a half? That’s pretty good,’” Raisman said. “There’s no one that can catch Simone, so I was very happy. I think she usually beats me by three points.”

Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas Shining Star Leotard Front
Defending Olympic champion Gabby Douglas, who won the American Cup, wasn’t quite as sharp. She wobbled twice on beam and needed a world-class save to stay on at one point. Yet she did to avoid a major deduction, a trait Karolyi welcomes nearly as much as a flawlessly executed routine. Still, her score of 58.9 needs to improve on Sunday to remove any lingering doubt.

“I just got a little bit relaxed and let things slip,” she said. “I need to stay aggressive. The confidence level is there.”

Laurie Hernandez

Laurie Hernandez plum leo independence
A newcomer on the national team, Laurie Hernandez hardly seems intimidated by the stakes. She put up scores that ranked in the top three in all four events, giving Karolyi yet another option as she puts together what will be the gymnastics equivalent of a “Dream Team” for Rio.

“I’d love to just have another day like I had today (on Sunday),” Hernandez said.

“She didn’t feel intimidated and she did what she was prepared for,” said Martha Karolyi, the national team coordinator. “That’s exactly what you look for, to see if she can handle the pressure and if she feels comfortable with that setting. Today, she proved she can do it.

“She is a legitimate contender.”

“If you think too far ahead, then it’ll just stress you out. So you need to focus on the now and I think I’ve done just that and it’s working perfectly.”

The expectations for Hernandez have been high since she took the junior title last year with a score that would have put her in the running for the world championships team if only she’d been old enough to compete. Her difficulty on balance beam and uneven bars ranks up there with the best in the world, and her floor exercise will too, once she gets back up to full speed.

Maggie Nichols

maggie nichols blue purple leo
Maggie Nichols, a member of last fall’s gold-medal winning world championship team, finished outside the top five on uneven bars and balance beam in her first competition since tearing the meniscus in her knee in April. Nichols remains upbeat but it appears open spots on the team appear to be dwindling.

Though she missed a few weeks of training and one national team camp while she was out, she almost immediately continued working on uneven bars.

Nichols will compete on that event and balance beam here, though she’ll train on all four events. She’s expected to do the all-around at trials.

“I just want to show her that I’m strong and that I’ve been working in the gym super hard and that I’m consistent and can hit my routines,” said Nichols. “I just want to make her proud and want her to know that I can do this.”

Madison Kocian

Madison Kocian 2016 meida summit
Madison Kocian, a world champion on uneven bars, put up the second-best score on her signature event and seems to be fully healed from a leg injury that slowed her training after placing in the top six in all four events.

“I guess I try not to really look at all the other girls and trying to focus on being the best I can be,” said Kocian. “That’s just really what I want to do this summer — just have no regrets at the end of the summer.”

Ashton Locklear

Ragan Smith

Ashton Locklear beam
Ashton Locklear placed first in bars (15.60), and only competed in one other event beam (14.450) placing 5th behind Alyssa Baumann.
Ragan Smith
Ragan Smith went out of bounds, and over-rotated a roundoff 1.5 twist on floor (13.1). Not her best, but looking forward what she can do Sunday.

Results

Friday Totals
1. Simone Biles 62.900
2. Alexandra Raisman 60.450
2. Lauren Hernandez 60.450
4. Gabrielle Douglas 58.900
5. Madison Kocian 58.150
6. Amelia Hundley 57.850
7. MyKayla Skinner 57.550
8. Alyssa Baumann 56.950
9. Ragan Smith 56.850
10. Rachel Gowey 56.600
11. Brenna Dowell 56.200
12. Christina Desiderio 56.100
13. Emily Schild 55.500
14. Margzetta Frazier 55.400
15. Lexy Ramler 55.100
16. Olivia Trautman 54.850
17. Maggie Musselman 54.100
18. Abby Paulson 53.850
19. Emily Gaskins 53.750
20. Lauren Navarro 53.100
21. Kaitlin DeGuzman 52.450
Vault
1. Simone Biles 16
2. Alexandra Raisman 15.350
3. MyKayla Skinner 15.2
4. Lauren Hernandez 15.050
5. Gabrielle Douglas 14.8
5. Amelia Hundley 14.8
6. Brenna Dowell 14.75
7. Alyssa Baumann 14.7
8. Ragan Smith 14.65
8. Emily Schild 14.65
9. Olivia Trautman 14.6
10. Margzetta Frazier 14.55
11. Emily Gaskins 14.5
11. Rachel Gowey 14.5
12. Lauren Navarro 14.2
13. Lexy Ramler 14.05
14. Madison Kocian 13.8
15. Abby Paulson 13.65
16. Maggie Musselman 13.4
17. Kaitlin DeGuzman 13.2
Bars
1. Ashton Locklear 15.600
2. Madison Kocian 15.450
3. Lauren Hernandez 15.300
4. Simone Biles 15.100
4. Gabrielle Douglas 15.100
6. Rachel Gowey 14.900
7. Ragan Smith 14.800
8. Amelia Hundley 14.700
9. Maggie Nichols 14.600
10. Nia Dennis 14.500
11. Kaitlin DeGuzman 14.200
12. Alexandra Raisman 14.150
13. Brenna Dowell 14.050
14. Abby Paulson 14.000
14. Emily Schild 14.000
16. Lexy Ramler 13.700
17. Margzetta Frazier 13.650
18. Maggie Musselman 13.600
19. MyKayla Skinner 13.450
20. Christina Desiderio 13.250
21. Alyssa Baumann 12.750
22. Olivia Trautman 12.400
23. Emily Gaskins 12.250
24. Lauren Navarro 12.200
Beam
1. Simone Biles 15.700
2. Alexandra Raisman 15.350
3. Lauren Hernandez 15.300
4. Alyssa Baumann 15.000
5. Ashton Locklear 14.450
6. Madison Kocian 14.400
7. Ragan Smith 14.300
8. Christina Desiderio 14.200
8. MyKayla Skinner 14.200
8. Gabrielle Douglas 14.200
11. Amelia Hundley 14.050
12. Emily Schild 13.950
12. Rachel Gowey 13.950
14. Maggie Nichols 13.900
15. Lauren Navarro 13.600
15. Lexy Ramler 13.600
17. Olivia Trautman 13.550
18. Margzetta Frazier 13.450
19. Maggie Musselman 13.300
20. Brenna Dowell 13.250
21. Emily Gaskins 13.150
22. Abby Paulson 12.250
23. Kaitlin DeGuzman 12.000
Floor
1. Simone Biles 16.1
2. Alexandra Raisman 15.6
3. Gabrielle Douglas 14.8
3. Lauren Hernandez 14.8
5. MyKayla Skinner 14.7
6. Alyssa Baumann 14.5
6. Madison Kocian 14.5
8. Christina Desiderio 14.45
9. Amelia Hundley 14.3
9. Olivia Trautman 14.3
11. Brenna Dowell 14.15
12. Abby Paulson 13.95
13. Emily Gaskins 13.85
14. Maggie Musselman 13.8
15. Lexy Ramler 13.75
15. Margzetta Frazier 13.75
17. Rachel Gowey 13.25
18. Lauren Navarro 13.1
18. Ragan Smith 13.1
20. Kaitlin DeGuzman 13.05
21. Emily Schild 12.9

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