Monday, June 18, 2012

Who takes the 5th Spot? (Based on season averages)

It's arguable, but I personally believe that 4 of the American gymnasts have a 75% or greater shot of making the team. The three semi locks are Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. I personally believe that Kyla Ross will take the fourth spot. So that leaves the every popular question: Who takes the fifth spot?

To answer that question, I found the season averages on each event from everyone headed to Trials. To be fair, season averages may not be the best judge of who will perform the best, but I figured it would be a decent baseline. Falls ARE included in the average, so this is not an average of only hit routines. They're rounded to the hundredth's place.

The cool thing about this 4 person team is that if need be, these 4 girls could fill the 3 up, 3 count quota on each event. Here's how I'd do it.

VT : Wieber (15.85), Raisman (15.58), Douglas (15.24)
UB : Douglas (15.55), Ross (15.28), Wieber (14.85)
BB :  Ross (15.1), Raisman (15.03), Wieber (14.85)
FX : Raisman (15.34), Wieber (15.08), Douglas (14.97)

So to figure out which gymnast would fill the fifth spot, I figured out who would add the largest advantage by adding their routines instead of the lowest scoring routine(s) in the lineup above.

To my surprise, the girl who would add the largest advantage was McKayla Maroney who would increase the team average .84 if she vaulted instead of Douglas. Marta's openly said that she doesn't want to take a girl who can only help on one event, but McKayla's average is by far the most helpful to team USA.

Second is Alicia Sacramone whose average is higher than both Douglas on Vault and surprisingly, Jordyn Wieber on beam. (Jordyn's Pac Rim EF fall IS factored into this average though.) Her advantage is .53.

Elizabeth Price's was the third most helpful with her vault average adding .45 to the team total.

I was surprised that my most recent pick for #5, Sarah Finnegan's beam routine was the only helpful one (w/ a .21 advantage) and that her floor average wasn't higher than Raisman's, Douglas's or Wieber's.  Her individual floor scores have been higher than some of Gabby's though.

Bridget Sloan, Anna Li and Rebecca Bross each could help the team solely on bars, but because they've each had their share of mistakes their advantages each only average out to less than .2.

Kennedy, Sabrina, Nastia and Brenna don't have higher averages on any event than the already chosen four.

Obviously, season averages are not the end all be all of a selection process, but they do take into account both consistency and scoring potential. Who knows, Nastia, Becca or Anna could blow all of these girls out of the water at Trials, or perhaps one of my "Chosen Four" could seem unprepared for Olympic aspirations. *Knock on wood*. But, I thought it was a start to see who will take what I view as the last spot on the team.

**Pictures are all property of the USOC


  1. I'm not surprised that McKayla adds the biggest advantage with her vault score. Her vault scores are HUGE! What would guarantee her spot on the team is if she could outscore Gabby on floor. I think she has the capability, but her concussion has to hurt her confidence on FX.
    By the way, does anyone else think it's weird that the world's greatest vaulter isn't that good on FX?

  2. I do like to think though that maybe if Sarah hits at Trials on beam and floor, that her averages can go up, and help the team even more! Crossing my fingers. Although I wouldn't be disapointed to see Maroney on the team.
    But I agree its strange that Mckayla isn't super strong on floor as well.

  3. I think what might get McKayla over the line in terms of being selected essentially as a specialist is the fact that she is a seasoned all-around athlete.

    Her vault is a huge advantage numerically and in terms of consistency. She hits that vault for a huge score every time and I don't think any of the potential bar specialists offer that consistency.

    Whilst she might not be exceptional on the other events but I think we can assume that she will be fit, healthy and competition ready on them (giving her an advantage over the likes of Li and Liukin) providing a better "back up" option than someone like Sloan.

    Given how injuries impacted US gymnasts in 2008, I don't think Marta will take anyone with a suspect health issue or history if there is another athlete who can pull similar numbers who is in better health.

  4. I know it's unlikely but if Alicia came to trials with a decent floor it would dramatically increase her chances. She did say she was trying..... I don't know how much difference the two weeks will make between Nationals and Trials but I'd love to see her with a fantastic floor!

  5. I'm with you, Bekah. I'm not surprised McKayla comes out on top in this scenario. Given Ross and Douglas on bars, I'm not sure how any bars specialist could hope to add the score boost that McKayla could add on vault.

  6. McKayla has nailed that third pass before, I am confident she will again in Trials. Putting her and Gabby up in Olympic prelims on floor is the only test, Gabby is too overscored in the US to really tell. I knew there was nobody who would give a bigger scoing advantage to the team than McKayla. She also comes with a guarenteed EF gold, the surest of any. I wish her beam had a higher SV, she's so steady on it.

  7. Of course Maroney gives the biggest advantage. Thank you for actually posting the averages. You got pretty much what I had worked out in a similar way, but it's good to have it explained like this.
    This 1-event, or 'We're weak on bars' stuff is getting too much emphasis. The team total is a combined 4 event score. It doesn't matter where we score the most points as long as we score the most points.

  8. If McKayla would only change her 3rd tumbling pass to something she could hit consistently, her floor score would go up. I don't understand.. the girl can do an arabian and a full-in. Every time I watch that pass I just cringe!! The only thing I have EVER agreed with Tim Daggett saying is that pass is a built in deduction. I love McKayla though and want to see her and her floor routine in the olympics.

  9. Am I wrong for not wanting Jordyn and Aly on the team? I can't stand how BORING Jordyn is on bars and beam and how risky her bar set is. Aly's form is the worst to watch on every event... FLEXED FEET EVERYWHERE!!! along with bent knees and hips on vault and her triple on floor. I don't think Aly will score well at the Olympics neither will Jordyn's bars and beam, Jordyn's got that low low LOW Tkatchev and that struggle with her Straddle Shoot to High Bar and missing all her lame code whoring connections on beam. I just don't like it.
    I'd much rather see...
    Sarah Finnegan
    Gabrielle Douglas
    Kyla Ross
    Mckayla Maroney
    Anna Li
    But I know that this will Never Happen and it should be another easy win for the U.S. Russia's only strength is bars right now, China's only strength is Bars and Beam and Romania's only strong on Beam and Floor.
    The U.S. could easily win with any top team they send.

    1. The team is going to consist of who SCORES THE MOST POINTS, not who you like watching. Although I do agree that Jordyn's Tkatchev is ridiculously low.

    2. Jordyn's beam won't score high at the Olympics??? She is the world beam bronze medalist!!! She scored a 15.700 at Pac Rims. She has been scoring highly, on beam internationally for years. She made Bar event finals at worlds!!!! How can you call Jordyn's beam boring. With all the difficulty!!!

  10. No, you can pick your dream artistry team all you want! It would be great to see that team in action. Realistically, they cannot do without Jordyn or Aly scores-wise. Both scored well at Worlds, Aly may well be slammed for form in London, but her consistency is still a huge asset to the team. But dreaming is fun. Personally I expect and am looking forward to Jordyn-Aly-Kyla-McKayla-Gabby perform well, but Kyla bores me, I'd much rather see Sarah Finnegan- but she of course can't do bars. We can dream.

  11. I suspect that the selection committee has done similar number crunching and is waiting for trials to decide on the 4 and 5 spot. I say 4th also because of the McKayla injury. Will she be ready to compete? I also think that Sloan and Price may come up big at Trials. What happens if one of these dark horses wins Trials because the means they automatically make the team! Sloan is fully capable of accomplishing that and has done it before. I think whatever happy bloggers and "experts" are not going to be happy and unless the USA wins a gold will say "I told you so". The comments about how something will score internationally is interesting because most of the girls have already been scored at the international level and the Olympics will be the same judges. The selection team knows how they score with the international judges.

  12. Neither Sloan or Price are capable of beating Jordyn, Aly and Gabby. Price has no artistry, Sloan is looking sloppy. Regardless, it is Jordyn's and Gabby's to lose. There's no doubt about that. McKayla will more than likely be able to compete- there's no indication that she won't, she's back in the gym training. The 4th spot is Kyla's and the fifth spot is McKayla's to lose. The number one back-up for McKayla's spot would be Sacramone or Price.

  13. I think that Maroney has the vault that will put her on the team. I disagree about Kyla taking the fourth spot, as I think Marta would choose McKayla first and then put in the fifth spot.

    The USA, I'll admit, has good vaulters. Wieber, Douglas and Raisman have all demonstrated strong vaults, but nothing like that of McKayla Maroney. Her Amanar is solid, strong, powerful and she has been scored unbelievably high at national competitions this year. She has also received some of the highest scores for her second vault, as well.

    McKayla is also an experienced all-arounder, as someone mentioned before. While her floor routine certainly isn't perfect, she has killer difficulty. Her beam, while not super difficult, has been decently solid, but her bars aren't super consistent. I still think she has the experience as an all-arounder to take the spot.

    The 5th spot, I think, could go to whoever. If Sacramone throws in a strong floor routine (crossing my fingers, but who knows) I think she has even more of a possibility to be on the team. Kyla is a strong all-arounder with a good bars set, so I could see her name on the roster, as well. She has international experience and is consistent. Li could be useful on bars, and has competed all-around, too.

    But I see Maroney taking a spot more than Ross. But I see Ross taking home the last spot.

    1. Ross is a far more consistent and reliable all-arounder. Pretty much by far. I don't doubt these two will likely make the team, but if one is iffy, its Maroney. Kyla brings two tf worthy routines and could be back up for the other two events. If you compare her vault and floor weakness to Maroney's bars and beam weaknesses, Ross's weaknesses are more 'workable'. You could actually use them if you had too. However, Maroney shouldn't even bother with bars anymore and you overrate her beam quite a bit. Her floor could be stronger, but just isn't. Her vault is better than anything Ross brings, but Ross is a much smarter choice.

  14. Regardless of the order they are picked, its getting harder and harder to see any team.scenario besides weiber, raiaman, douglas,.ross, maroney.

  15. I think the 4th and 5th spot are going to depend on Trials. I agree that the 4th spot is most likely Maroney (if she is ok at trials) and then the 5th spot is open between several good choices including Ross, ASac, Sloan and Price). I disagree that Sloan is Sloppy, she is consistent and scores well internationally. As I said there are several excellent choices planning on "peaking" at Trials and then staying ready for the Olympics. If Sloan upgrades as planned she has a shot to be in the top 3 at Nationals. No matter what 5 gymnasts go, some group is going to be unhappy.

    1. Sorry that should have been Sloan in the top 3 at Trials. I really think she is a wild card and we have no idea how Maroney will do and if she will compete more than 1 event at Trials. Remember that the top AA person at Trials is assured the Olympic team (not the combination of trials/nationals as some have said). It is going to be very interesting.

    2. Just the top spot at trails is guaranteed, not the top two.

  16. Why do people always short change Kyla Ross? You do realize she has scored over 60.000 AA & 59.000 plus multiply times! That would have won AA at worlds. Anyone who thinks she's not on the team is crazy. Her Bars & beam scores are too high, to leave her off the team. Plus, she is really consistent. I happen to think her beam is beautiful, her leaps are fantastic. She is super CLEAN on bars.