Posts Tagged ‘Shayla Worley’

Florida inks Randy Stageberg

November 13, 2008

Many thought Shayla Worley, a Florida native, would be inclined to pick the University of Florida for her NCAA career. Nope, she went for Georgia.

Florida doesn’t seem too down, though — after all, it got Randy Stageberg to sign a letter of intent today.

Coach Rhonda Faehn on Stageberg:

“Randy is a tremendous athlete and person. She is the perfect all-around package and is known for her power and charismatic style. Randy has a wonderful talent for making the difficult skills she performs look easy. She’s been a Senior National team member on the elite circuit for many years so she is comfortable and familiar with competing under high pressure situations. She will make an immediate impact on all four events as a Gator.”

Stageberg may not be done on the international stage, either — according to Florida’s website, she is headed to Houston for a Karolyi camp.

Future NCAA floor champion? It could happen.

Randy Stageberg, 2008 U.S. Championships, Floor Exercise:

Shayla Worley to compete for Georgia

October 31, 2008
Shayla Worley has announced plans to compete for Georgia.

Shayla Worley has announced plans to compete for Georgia.

Arguably the biggest recruit in the nation has made up her mind to compete for the University of Georgia. Says Rick at Gymnastics Coaching: “The rich get richer.”

This is a huge coup for Georgia associate head coach Jay Clark, who will take over from Suzanne Yoculan at the end of this season. Worley’s class will be the first in more than a quarter-century not to be influenced by Yoculan.

According to GymnastTV, Worley said the choice was between UGA and UCLA. That’s a disappointment for Florida, which is still seeking its first national championship. Worley will join freshmen-to-be Christa Tanella, Noel Couch and Kati Breazeal.

What this does is cast doubt as to whether Worley will have the ability (or the ambition) to make a run for 2012. Then again, the Georgia girls are pretty sharp — Courtney Kupets was think-tanking a return to elite competition and competed a beam routine with a super-high A-score last season — and Athens isn’t that far away from Worley’s home gym.

Also: The Gym Dogs’ “Where are they now?” page has been updated. And it sounds like everyone has a new floor routine.

(via Gymnastics Coaching, GymnastTV)

Bridget Sloan?!

July 20, 2008

Yes, Bridget Sloan.

The 16-year-old from the relatively unknown Sharp’s Gymnastics in Pittsboro, Ind. has made the U.S. Olympic team.

Bridget Sloan

Sloan was probably the biggest surprise of the six-member team, named today, which includes Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Alicia Sacramone, Chellsie Memmel and Samantha Peszek. Johnson and Liukin were technically confirmed for the team after going 1-2 at the Olympic Trials, and it was widely assumed that Memmel, Sacramone and Peszek had locked up their spots as well.

Alternates are Ivana Hong, Jana Bieger and new senior Corrie Lothrop, whose big skill is reportedly an Amanar vault.

Bieger, the all-around silver medalist from the 2006 World Championships, was thought to be putting a stranglehold on the sixth spot after hitting all of her routines at the U.S. Championships, but was eliminated after falling on uneven bars during both days of competition.

Bars will be a critical event for the U.S. during the Games. Liukin and Memmel have world class routines, but a third bars specialist was needed to round out the team.

The spot could (and likely would) have gone to Shayla Worley, had she not fractured her leg during the first day of competition Saturday at the Karolyi ranch in New Waverly, Texas.

That left things wide open for Sloan, a self-described all-around gymnast who can be a tad wobbly on beam but doesn’t have a real weak event. Sloan was third on uneven bars at the U.S. Championships only a few months after having surgery for a torn meniscus.

With her clean lines and nice movements, something commentators refer to as an “international look,” she’ll be a good tablesetter for the team. Certainly better than Bieger, who had big skills but messy form, or Hong, who has good variety and wonderful form but lacks consistency.

Memmel’s whiplash

July 18, 2008

Chellsie Memmel That’s what the Associated Press is calling it. Another news source called it a potential back or neck injury.

Since there are no videos, all anyone seems to know is that Chellsie Memmel landed “wrong” on her third tumbling pass during the first day of the selection camp Friday. Apparently the landing was jarring enough to make her sit out vault and bars, but not beam.

Meanwhile, gymnast Chellsie Memmel made a quick recovery after getting a case of whiplash during her floor exercise routine. Memmel, whose head snapped back when she bounced backward and out of bounds on her second tumbling pass, skipped vault and uneven bars, but rallied to compete on balance beam. Her score of 15.9 was the second-best score of the day; Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson and Alicia Sacramone all scored 16.2s.

As long as her neck/back is OK, this bodes well for Chellsie. Marta and Bela Karolyi do love to see that fighting spirit.

Sloan’s chances likely damaged

June 23, 2008

If there was one victim of the Olympic Trials, it was probably Bridget Sloan.

The third-place finisher on the uneven bars at the U.S. Championships had a fall on beam on night two, which apparently shattered her concentration on floor exercise, where she went out of bounds twice and put her hands down on her pike full-in.

Bridget Sloan, 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Finals, Floor Exercise:

Not good. Then again, the injured-but-recovering Shayla Worley didn’t do so hot either, belly-flopping her Hindorff on uneven bars. Worley can at least play the injury card.

It wasn’t really a good night for anybody except the unflappable Shawn Johnson. Even Nastia Liukin wasn’t immune, going out of bounds on floor and royally messing up  her Pak salto on bars.

Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic Trials Finals, Uneven Bars:

If Sloan wants to be on the team, she needs to do about three things: 1. Stick her full-twisting double layout dismount on bars. Several times. Preferably right in front of Martha Karolyi. 2. Work the kinks out on with the full turn and punch front on beam. 3. Stand close to Samantha Peszek and/or Alicia Sacramone and see if a little self-confidence doesn’t rub off.

U.S. Olympians: Johnson, Liukin

June 23, 2008

To almost nobody’s surprise, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin went 1-2 at the just-concluded U.S. Olympic Trials, securing spots on the team pending a show of readiness at the selection camp later this month.

Also invited to the selection camp: the rebounding with a vengance Chellsie Memmel, Samantha Peszek, Ivana Hong, Bridget Sloan, Shayla Worley, Jana Bieger, Mattie Larson, Chelsea Davis, Corrie Lothrop and Alicia Sacramone.

The way I think it will go down: Memmel, Peszek and Sacramone, pending injury and an absolute meltdown, as gymnastics analyists call them, should make the team. And those are the only five who will be used in event finals — Johnson, Sacramone and Peszek on vault, Liukin, Memmel and (probably) Johnson on bars, Liukin, Johnson and Memmel/Sacramone or possibly Peszek on beam and Johnson, Sacramone and likely Peszek on floor.

The sixth gymnast’s Olympic Games will consist of team prelims.

Who should that leadoff be? Ivana Hong makes a pretty good case for herself. Her B scores are higher than Jana Bieger’s. And she’s not rebounding from injury the way Sloan and Worley are.

Those four will likely make up the last team member and the three alternates.

The one question mark in all of this is 16-year-old Mattie Larson, a new senior who should be favored for very good things in 2009. Larson has the difficulty on vault and the polish and presence on floor to be an alternate — at least. She doesn’t have the international exposure.

Will she be an alternate?

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)

Pacific Rim redux

April 13, 2008

Al TrautwigThanks NBC, for broadcasting the women’s team competiton (and three half-performances from Paul Hamm.)

Many gymnastics fans don’t agree with everything NBC commentators say, particularly color commentator Al Trautwig, a basketball/hockey expert who often comes off as a buffoon in his attempts to translate the sport for the couch-potato watching public.

But they do slip interesting tidbits into their talk when not reminding viewers that the balance beam is only four inches wide (which, to their credit, I don’t believe they did in this broadcast.)


Eight 2008 American Cup observations

March 4, 2008

Shawn Johnson1. Shawn Johnson looked far more nervous at this event than she did in any meet in 2007. Even before her fall on vault during the first rotation, the big smiles were gone, and she often looked strained saluting the judges. By all indications, the pressure seems to be getting to her a little. Nonetheless, better to fall on an Amanar at the American Cup than in Beijing.

2. The judges seem to be finally loosening up on giving high execution scores. Still, a 9.525 B-score for a 1.5-twisting Yurchenko with a step to the side from Nastia Liukin? Her form, which is impeccable about everywhere else, did not likely deserve a 9.525. And above a 15 for that vault? Has that happened yet this quad? Maybe they were rewarding her for just standing it up.

Some relatively unseen American Cup videos

March 4, 2008

Want to see Samantha Peszek’s uneven bars? Or Shayla Worley’s vault? Here are the results of half an hour of Youtube searching. Many thanks to Youtube user GymDishVideos for providing such excellent videos of training and competition!