2012 U.S. Olympic Trials- Women Day 1
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By Evan Heiter
Day one of the women’s competition at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials has come to a close. The competition was a mixed bag of highs and lows for the athletes seeking a berth onto the Olympic squad. The top three from VISA Championships - Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman - maintained their positions as the nation’s best.
Aly Raisman has been repeatedly praised for her consistency by Martha Karolyi. Today’s meet was not much different. Raisman put another landed Amanar in her competition bank, but again showed form breaks in her knees and legs on the last half twist of it. Her uneven bars were marred by a wayward toe-on full pirouette on the low bar, but as she’s known for, she rebooted the consistency program and finished strong. Balance beam must’ve caught Aly off guard, as it wasn’t forgiving on her piked front salto or the layout back stepout that followed. She took deductions on both skills, but compressed nicely into her Patterson dismount. Raisman took the floor by storm, but hit a hiccup with an out of bounds penalty on her first pass of one-and-a-half twist through to Arabian double tuck, punch front layout.
Other bright spots from day one included Sarah Finnegan nabbing first on beam for a set that started from 6.7. Parkettes’ Elizabeth Price traded all around places with Kyla Ross from VISA Championships, capitalizing on vault and floor exercise to push her into fourth place. Ross dazzled on uneven bars, but fizzled short (literally) on her Amanar. McKayla Maroney went two-for-four in her competitive return following a mild concussion at VISA. Rebecca Bross did some serious work in the first rotation on uneven bars, only to be betrayed by both Arabian elements in her beam set (standing and dismount). One-for-two left Rebecca visibly distraught. 2008 Olympian Alicia Sacramone brought her double twisting Yurchenko back, along with some nifty beam combos (front piked salto, back tuck mount combo) for a day of hit sets. 2008 Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin showed her usually excellence in el-grip on uneven bars, only to find herself stalled on top of the bar prior to dismounting and having to bail on her planned double front-half out. To Liukin’s credit and doubters’ dismay, she had displayed multiple, hit full-sets in training here in San Jose.
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Photos- Grace Chiu (interior Douglas and Finnegan thumbnail Wieber)