Monday, May 18, 2015

This Week in Training: Fine Wine Edition




I've started to make "This Week in Training" bimonthly just to make sure I can blog some other things and don't spend my whole time compiling social media videos.

WAG
Peng Peng Lee is working her way back ... this time on the Road to Rio. Here she shows some new beam connections.
A video posted by Peng-Peng Lee (@pengpengclee) on


Brittany Rogers is also working some upgrades. She recently announced that she is shooting for Rio. Rogers hopes to attend Canadian Nationals later this month but still complete her senior season at Georgia then focus on Rio. A tall order but not impossible. On her instagram, she shows a Maloney to stalder uprise and Pak to immediate stalder.

Megan Skaggs is a young gymnast that was recently added to the National Team and competed at the Jesolo meet. Her greatest asset is definitely the uneven bars. While you can't see her great lines from this angle, you'll have to take my word that they're pretty nice. Here she shows a Church (toe on piked tkatchev) to immediate Pak salto.
A video posted by Megan Skaggs (@megan_skaggs) on


I should've saved "young gymnast" for Bailey Ferrer. She recently committed to LSU as a 9th grader. Here she is showing a Shang on uneven bars.
A video posted by Bailey Ferrer (@bailey_ferrer) on


Comeback Queens Annihilating Vault
Both Catalina Ponor and Lisa Mason, two of our fine wines improving gymnastics with age, showed their DTYs. Lisa Mason said recently that the new vault table is actually harder for her in some ways. She seems to manage decent enough here.


Catalina Ponor also shows her DTY. Unfortunately, she has a little injury and needs to rest for some time. Bonus points if you spot the #goworld feelz (in the comments).


I don't usually post from the 2020 babies unless something interesting is happening just because so much can change between now and the time they're seniors. BUT, Olivia Dunne is showing some crazy stuff on floor. Maybe she's just playing around. Maybe she's working on the next Aly Raisman-esque pass. Check her instagram for another video of double tuck punch arabian punch front.
A video posted by Olivia Dunne☮ (@livvydunne) on


I've watched this about 60 times. Dutch gymnast Maarjte Ruikes is working a 1.5 to Jaeger. It seems like she should be going the other way to me but nope. The Hard Way to Success has a new documentary coming out featuring her. It should be posted later this month.
A video posted by Maartje (@maartjeruikes) on


Catherine Lyons is back from a concussion suffered earlier in the season. Here she shows her continued work on the DTY and a 2.5 twist punch front. Catherine's execution keeps her in the top of domestic competitions but she'll need a higher difficulty to stay competitive with the current seniors and with the rest of the world.
A video posted by Catherine Lyons (@catherine_lyonsx) on


This is Margzetta and that's all I'm gonna say. She's working whips through to a triple twist.
A video posted by Margzetta Frazier (@margzetta) on


This is probably one of the most surprising upgrades for me. Alyona Shchennikova, NOT known for her uneven bar work like her sister, is working an absolutely amazing stalder to Tkatchev to Tkatchev. Like what the hell?! AND it looks great.
A video posted by Alyona Elite Gymnast At Tigar (@alyonashchennikova) on


Darcy Norman is a young Australian gymnast that has been targeted as a 2020 prospect. Here she is working a Hindorff - clear hip straddled Tkatchev.


Some synchronized beam triple series from WOGA gymnasts Deanne West and Irina Alexeeva.
A video posted by Deanna West (@deanna_west_) on


Amy Tinkler just recently posted an amazing video compilation. She is working a 2nd vault, working a bhs-bhs-layout to 2 feet on beam that has great lift, and a Markhelov. The skills look great in these early stages. Side note: I've always seen pictures but the gym really is THAT pink.


MAG UPDATES
Paul Ruggeri is working a double front half out dismount on parallel bars and almost has it.
A video posted by Paul Ruggeri III (@paul_ruggeri) on


John Orozco is back at the USOTC after some much needed time at home and with his family and he looks great. I love me a good Liukin and now Orozco is upgrading his high bar with a Cassina (full twisting double back Tkatchev thingy) and connections immediately into his Liukin. He's trying to give me a heart attack and succeeding :)
A video posted by John Orozco (@johnorozcousa) on


Nile Wilson continues to come back from his injury and is working a new skill for PBars. You should follow his IG because he posts frequent video updates.
A video posted by Nile Wilson (@nilemw) on


Jake Dalton almost hit his beautiful head on the post and that would have been tragic. He was doing a 2.5 twisting double tuck rings dismount. Is this a common thing in MAG? Why is no one freaking out? Cuz it seems pretty amazing to me!


Please follow along using the upgrades tag on this blog or by using #apftwit on twitter. I'll be doing these every 2 weeks to allow time for other things on the blog. Let me know if you have any suggestions or your thoughts on any of the upgrades.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Faehn Resigns, Rowland's Reign Begins

Photo Credit: Mark Almond


I'm still trying to wrap my head around the changes that have happened since they came on so suddenly and still don't really make sense to me.

Well, there's Greg Marsden's retirement which makes sense and was bound to happen. I found myself asking often "Who is Tom Farden and why is nobody talking about him?" Well, now we know. He and Megan Marsden were seen more on the floor while Greg Marsden stepped aside, allowing for a seamless transition. He's done excellent work with Utah on bars and vault as evidenced by the numerous 10s the Utes received this season. 

Then there's this Rhonda Faehn change which makes close to zero sense to me. 

Just a few days after returning home with a national championship, the three time national champion coach has decided to leave Florida for a job at USA Gymnastics. Her technical title is Senior Vice President of Women's Program. This position currently doesn't exist but Luan Peszek, mother of Samantha Peszek, will now report to Faehn it seems. Faehn will be dealing with club membership from the recreational level up to elite. I have no clue what that really means. She will also be working closely with Martha Karolyi but not sure in what capacity.

Faehn said: “This amazing opportunity with USA Gymnastics provides a new and different way for me to impact young lives. I will always love the University of Florida and will treasure my time here. But my passion and excitement for Elite gymnastics is pulling me a different direction and the timing is right for me and my family. I want to have a positive influence on the athletes and coaches that will represent our country at the highest level.”

It just doesn't make sense to me to go from a successful coaching career to an administrative role. Something must have changed or something better will be coming along. Since she was working closely with Martha and she's a successful coach, we jumped to the possibility of her taking Martha's job. However, I still believe that position is Valeri's. Instead, what if she's in line for Steve Penny's job? I have no clue. There's clearly something bigger than what we're all privy to which is fine. 

Florida has since announced that Jenny Rowland, former Auburn associate head coach, will be Faehn's replacement. Like Faehn, Rowland has experience at the highest level in gymnastics. She was a National Team member from 1985-1990 and was a member of the 1989 US World Championship team. She later competed for Arizona State and earned the school's first 10.0 on the uneven bars. Rowland has great experience as both an elite and college coach. At Auburn, she was primarily responsible for recruiting and served as their beam coach. She also has experience as a judge which helps when considering routine construction. Rowland turning Auburn into a very strong beam team is something that will be useful for Florida. Although Florida remained a top team throughout the season, beam was often the event that they faltered on and Rowland's expertise will only help as they lose 2 senior routines - Kytra Hunter and Rachel Spicer.

Then the other question: what will happen to the recruits? Florida has a steady group of recruits coming in, all of elite caliber. Was that intentional? Was there some bigger plan?  All in all, I still think most gymnasts will stay with Florida because they are 3-time defending champion, the 2 assistant coaches are still there, and the ladies that make up the team they fell in love with are still there. I think Florida's legacy is enough to keep people interested in the same way many gymnasts are still choosing UCLA despite their slow decline in the ranks.

Overall, I think Florida and Jenny Rowland will be fine. I think they have a strong group of athletes that staying at the top in the nation is entirely possible and still to be expected. I'm excited to see what will happen next season.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

This Week in Training: Euros Motivation



European Beam Bronze Medalist Claire Martin is working on upgrades. She's working a double front as an uneven bar dismount and... wait for it... she's working a front handspring front tuck for beam! It's just on the low beam at the moment but yay! The possibility!

A video posted by claire_martin (@claiiredu21) on


Janine Berger is starting to make her comeback. Here she is workng a full twisting double back uneven bar dismount.
A video posted by Janine (@ja_ni_nii) on


MyKayla Skinner is working on getting her Amanar back.
A video posted by Mykayla Skinner (@mykaylaskinner2016) on


Jordan Chiles working a new Patterson dismount.
A video posted by ��Chick�� (@jordanchiles) on


Emily Little is working a bhs-tucked full on beam and has a bit of fear to get over before she can put it in for competitions.


Catalina Ponor is working an Onodi to wolf jump. She's serious about being back in the gym and I wouldn't count her out as a possibility for Glasgow...
A video posted by cponor (@cponor) on


Mary-Anne Monckton is working a piked Tkatchev to Pak salto. She's slowly but surely coming back from her ankle injury and we have the pleasure of seeing what she's doing on bars in the meantime.


MAG/men
Fabian Gonzalez (ESP) is on his way back from injury and working a double pike on parallel bars. I always appreciate seeing the steps it takes to get a skill and this is one of them.


British gymnast Niles Wilson is coming back from an injury but he also reminds us that pommel horse is hard


Hope you enjoyed this week's edition! I'm going to start using the hashtag #apftwit (for Arabian Punch Front This Week in Training) to try and keep a better eye out on skills in case I can't add them to a post right away. Feel free to use the hashtag as well! Check the upgrades tag for older versions.