Posts Tagged ‘Bianca Flohr’

Should Jordyn Wieber compete at the American Cup?

January 14, 2009

Jordyn Wieber

Jordyn Wieber

News that the 13-year-old Junior U.S. champion will be making her (two years premature) senior debut at the American Cup next month in Chicago is turning some heads on two popular blogs.

2008 Olympian Bridget Sloan has also been confirmed as a competitor. The other two U.S. positions for the women’s competition have yet to be filled, although according to this article from the Los Angeles Times, the other women’s competitors will be Rebecca Downie (Great Britain), Koko Tsurumi (Japan), Ksenia Afanasyeva (Russia) and Jessica Lopez (Venezula and the University of Denver). That leaves two more (ostensibly U.S.) spots to be named.

Back to Wieber. The debate from commenters at Gymnastics Coaching and Triple Full includes these sentiments:

“I think [Wieber’s coach John Geddert’s] nuts… If she’s not going to be a senior for 2 two more years and he’s pushing her into a senior level comp this early? Nuts.”

“From what I have heard, the National Team Staff select the gymnasts to represent USA at certain meets. They can say no, but if they did they would be at the bottom of the list for a long time. That’s said to be why Melaine Sinclair and Kassi Price never made the teams that mattered.”

“I mean come on.. she can’t even compete as a senior! It’s just ridiculous…”

“Jordyn is one of the best in the US right now. Why shouldn’t she get the opportunity to compete. It’s not like the rules for junior meets are any different than senior meets.”

“USAG need a headliner for this meet. Bridget Sloan doesn’t fill the bill imo. They need to break the “next big thing” to get some attention.”

I’m not liking this. Seems to me that juniors should wait to compete at the AmCup until they get til senior status. I’d like to see Sloan, Lorthrop, Shaprio and Larson at the Cup.

Hmmm. If memory serves, the last super-young gymnast to compete at the American Cup was Kristal Uzelac of Parkette’s in 2001 (she would have been 14 at the time). Bianca Flohr of Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy competed in the preliminary round of the 2006 American Cup at 15. Uzelac had certainly proved that she deserved to be there — she was the two-time U.S. junior champion and being talked up as the next big thing.

It wasn’t her greatest competition. Uzelac was good on vault and floor but fell on beam on a Rulfova. Was she pushed into the senior ranks too soon? Maybe. In the long run her career fizzled because of injuries and burnout. Could those have been prevented by not training super difficult things at age 12? Maybe.

Then again, Nadia was at the inaugural American Cup (1976) at 14. And scored a 10 on floor.

Is this a good idea for Wieber? What do you think?

NCAA Gymnastics: 2009 letters of intent

November 15, 2007

So far, here’s who’s going where in 2009:

Oklahoma University Women’s Gymnastics has signed 2006 World team member Natasha Kelley, Sara Stone and Megan Ferguson, while the men’s team received letters of intent from Patrick Piscitelli, Chad Crumley and Troy Nitzky.  

Signing Kelley is a coup for Oklahoma coach K.J. Kindler, who spent several years at Iowa State before taking over for a scandal-plauged Steve Nunno. Nunno’s greatest contribution to Oklahoma was probably getting 2003 World bars champ Hollie Vise, although Vise’s contribution to the Sooners thusfar has been mostly having her name attached to its gymnastics program. It’s a reason for someone like Kelley to be interested.

Natasha Kelley has signed a letter of intent to compete for the University of Oklahoma.

Oregon State has gotten the yes from Adonica Glatt, Leslie Mak and Canadian Stephanie McGregor.

That’s it for now. As Rick at Gymnastics Coaching pointed out earlier today, the top five college-eligible elites in the nation (ranked by GymGemz, a site focusing on college gymnastics) are 2007 U.S. Championships runner-up Shayla Worley, recently retired elite Bianca Flohr, WOGA’s Christa Tanella, tumbling ace Randy Stageberg and Olympic sleeper Darlene Hill.

Worley and perhaps Hill may hold off saying yes to any school before the 2008 Olympic Trials, although from what I understand a letter of intent doesn’t marry a gymnast to a particular university.

And as any one of the to-be reunited Magnificent Seven could tell you, there’s enough to be made to pay for several educations if you happen to be on an Olympic gold medal-winning team.

Bianca Flohr’s elite status in question

November 6, 2007

Bianca Flohr

The U.S.’s Bianca Flohr is no longer listed as one of the elites on the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy’s website, leading some to speculate that the 2008 Olympic hopeful has walked away from elite competition.

There’s been no official statement on Flohr’s official website, which hasn’t been updated since July, but the speculation is that the 16-year-old who represented Ohio’s Flytz Gymnastics Center before going to CGA to train under Mary Lee Tracy has dropped back to level 10.

Flohr was fourth in the qualifying round of the 2007 American Cup, but didn’t advance to finals because of the two-per-country rule. She and CGA teammate Ashley Priess sat out of the U.S. Championships in San Jose in August nursing injuries.

No word whether Priess, who placed 10th in the all-around at the 2006 World Championships, is still gunning for Beijing. At any rate, she’s still listed as an elite on the CGA website.