Posts Tagged ‘Darling Hill’

12 days of up and coming gymnasts, day seven

December 29, 2008
The elegant Samantha Shapiro, 15, is a rising star for the U.S.

The elegant Samantha Shapiro, 15, is a rising star for the U.S.

Jordyn Wieber and Samantha Shapiro, USA: Expect the dynamic Wieber and the elegant Shapiro to carry out this quad’s version of the Nastia and Shawn Show — that is, if Nastia and Shawn don’t return themselves.

Thirteen-year-old Wieber, the reigning junior national champion, was victorious at the Top Gym meet in Belgium earlier this month, while Shapiro competed alongside Nastia Liukin, Rebecca Bross and Darling Hill at the Pacifiic Rim Championships in the spring. There she dazzled everybody with her excellent form and sunny disposition (she didn’t stop smiling even when her floor exercise music stopped playing after her first pass.)

Look out for U.S. Junior Champ Jordyn Wieber this quad.

Look out for U.S. Junior Champ Jordyn Wieber this quad.

Shapiro, 15, also won bars and beam at the individual-events-only Pan American Union Championships in Rio against a strong field of, well, other Americans, including Olivia Courtney and Corrie Lothrop.

Wieber’s got the big skills (easy DTY, reportedly training an Amanar, effortless standing full on beam, double pike off), Shapiro’s got the elegance and grace (check out her uber-elegant mount). Like Nastia and Shawn, they’re two years apart. Hopefully they’re friends too — they’re going to be seeing a lot of each other in the next few years.

The best of Boston

June 6, 2008

If there was any doubt as to whether Shawn Johnson was still the one to beat, night one of the U.S. Championships in Boston has effectively erased it.

Shawn Johnson, 2008 U.S. Championships Prelims, Balance Beam (partial):

Standings after day one:

1. Shawn Johnson

2. Nastia Liukin

3. Chellsie Memmel

4. Samantha Peszek

5. Jana Bieger

6. Ivana Hong

To this blogger, the biggest surprise was Bieger. Peszek has looked confident in competition since the 2007 World Championships, and Memmel has been a judges’ darling since becoming a senior in 2003.


— Liukin fell on her double front on floor exercise and scored only 14.25. She made up for it with a 17.025 on uneven bars, proving she can be scored as well as the Chinese.

— Johnson was on everywhere, including on her Amanar vault. The only thing mentioned was that she took a big step forward on her beam landing.

Ashley Priess pulled out of the competition completely. She’ll have a good time at Alabama next year.

Shayla Worley’s back problems continue to plague her, and she has chosen to petition to the Olympic Trials.

— On Memmel, from Inside Gymnastics Magazine:

Memmel, who vaulted only a Yurchenko-full on vault, is struggling with a sore quadriceps and contemplated not even competing. (Memmel’s coach-father, Andy, noted that the “powers that be” approved their easier effort on vault to keep them in the competition.)

Alicia Sacramone confirmed to Inside Gymnastics that she’s working on an Amanar vault herself. Ooooh.

Darling Hill had an unfortunate 12-something disaster on beam (just like last year) and didn’t compete uneven bars

— Johnson’s new floor music is called “August Rush”

Bridget Sloan, who competed bars and beam only, unveiled a new full-twisting double layout on bars

Claybabe6, editor of the Live.Breath.Love.Gymnastics blog has some videos on her Youtube page.

(via International Gymnast Online, Inside Gymnastics Magazine)

Martha Karolyi part II

May 22, 2008

Martha Karolyi…on Inside Gymnastics Magazine’s website now. The second and juicier installment contains Martha-isms on Chellsie Memmel, Darling Hill and, a bit surprisingly, Chelsea Davis, a protege of Karolyi’s one-time protege Kim Zmeskal.

Q: There are a lot of established stars vying for Olympic berths. Are there any up-and-comers who could make this team?

A: Well, some younger girls certainly are doing very, very nice effort[s].

One of the young ones who was probably nowhere last year is Chelsea Davis, Kim Zmeksal’s gymnast. She [is] just turning 16 this year. Just the same age as Shawn, but last year [Chelsea] wasn’t at this level. … She would be one who is the youngest and is just breaking in.

Then a few girls have some good events. Like Darling Hill has a very nice floor routine or (Randy) Stageberg has also a very good floor routine and a good vault.

So when the last trial comes and the last decision has to be made for the team, some people could play some role, depending what may be the team’s needs.

It will not necessarily be a straight rank order. Because, first of all, you take your strongest girls and you plug those in. And they’re locked in, because it is absolutely necessary for the team results, and then you will have to fill up some spots. And if some girl is good on two events and exactly on those two events you need, you would use [that girl]. But if the team is already strong on those two events it is too bad for them, because they will not be needed, even though they have a harder exercise.

… That’s how it works. It’s pretty complicated from the outside, but when it comes down the stretch it simplifies. It is so interesting on a line-up meeting, which we are doing all together with the coaches, I’m coming up with a plan and I say, ‘This is how I see, and how I feel and this is what we should do,’ and, pretty much, [the other coaches] feel the same. Because things clear up, very much, at the end.

Posted a trifle belatedly.

Extra: Martha Karolyi’s fake MySpace. Bela has one too, but Martha’s is better. This never gets old.