Junior British top six L-R Taeja James, Maisie Methuen, Ellesse Oates, Alice Kinsella, Zoe Simmons, Megan Splain
In her second year as a junior, Welsh gymnast Maisie Methuen of Phoenix took the AA title at the British championships with 54.600. Maisie had a great competition with no major errors to secure the title, she posted the highest beam and floor scores, and the second highest on vault and floor. Qualifying for all finals, she also posted the highest average on vault to take through to Sunday’s final.
Starting on vault, Maisie opened with the handspring piked front half that we have seen her perform so well many times now. A great landing, a little low in the chest, and the tiniest hop, but excellent extension as always which was reflected in her E score. Off to a great start with 14.050 (5.0 D, 9.050)
Maisie went for a place in the vault final with a handspring pike front second vault, again beautifully executed, and a tiny hop for 13.950 (4.6 D, 9.35 E)
On bars Maisie went through well, she didn’t quite make all of her connections, but other than a couple of short casts a really good job. Toe full, upstart handstand, Maloney to HB in to clear cricle to handstand straight to the Tkatchev. Shoot half, upstart cast, shoot back to HB, blind in, top out, longswing to full out dismount. Half way though and going really well. 13.350 (5.2 D, 8.15 E)
On to beam, change leap to sissone to open, then an absolutely solid flick layout layout. Maisie just went for the single spin today where she usually has the double, she attempted the change to ring, but from her D score it looks like it wasn’t credited here. Free walkover, a little balance check, then the sheep jump. Onodi, then she went over time before the dismount, where she finished with a double twist instead of the two and a half she usually uses. Maisie says her beam ‘was a bit wobbly but I still did it’, it was a good performance under pressure, as I say she did downgrade a little on the day, but was still top scorer here thanks to her very clean work. 13.45 (5.1 D 8.45 E)
Finishing on floor, Maisie opened with her dance passage of change ring through to tour jette half. Tumbling a high double tuck to start with a hop back, lovely double pike second tumble. Strong switch quarter with the added half turn, then a very tidy handspring straight front full to stag jump. Finishing with a lovely straight front double twist, Maisie secured the title with another very clean well executed performance, with the focus on quality and E score. A beautiful floor worker, and the highest score of the day on this piece 13.750 (5.1 D, 8.65 E)
Just four months ago, City of Birmingham’s Taeja James took the Espoir bronze AA medal, today in her first junior British she took the silver AA with 53.850, and that was counting a fall. Taeja was so impressive today, that the fall seemed so completely out of place with everything else that she did!
Starting on bars, blind in to a really high straddled Jaeger caught on completely straight arms. Toe on, then into the Tkatchev, shoot half, immediate shoot back to high bar. Giant full just a little late in completion, full out with a pace. Taeja hit some great handstands through the routine, and was top scorer on the day with 13.60 (5.1 D, 8.45 E)
On to beam, flick to chest stand, then wolf turn to open. Change to change half, good amplitude on the leaps, back leg a little low on the change half. Handstand into two layouts, great form and dynamics, a small adjustment on landing which she dealt with well. Absolutely solid front somi, Taeja was working with impressive attack and confidence. The free cartwheel it was hard to see from the angle what happened, perhaps it didn’t quite go over the top, but she didn’t look like she was facing forward over the beam when she came into land, so dropped straight off. good side somi, then a clean high two and a half to finish with a big step forward. Great work for the 4th highest score with a fall 12.750 (5.5 D, 7.25 E)
On floor Taeja was as controlled as I remember seeing her, she has some big tumbles in training, and seems to be being paced very well to preform everything with precision and control before upgrading. Big double tuck with a small hop to open, straight front to full twisting straight front, where the E panel would have struggled to take anything off her. Lovely one and a half to straight front, controlled double L spin, and two and a half with a small step to finish. Second highest floor score of the day 13.50 (5.0 D, 8.5 E)
Finishing on vault, Taeja started with her full twisting Yurchenko, very well done with a tiny hop for 13.950 (5.0 D, 8.95 E)
She then vaulted into Sunday’s final with a new Straight Tsuk for 13.850 (5.2 D, 8.65 E)
Taking the AA bronze was Park Wrekin’s Ellesee Oates. Ellesse had a great competition to finish with 52.850 with no major errors.
Starting on bars, and stylish as ever, Ellesee opened with her beautiful stretched Gienger caught on straight arms, she then hit a lovely handstand, and a good giant full into a well flighted Pak. Handstand top turn,toe on, then shoot back to high bar. Ellesse was a little short on the final cast, but a good blind in, forward longswing into double front dismount with a couple of paces needed. 13.10 (4.9 D, 8.25 E)
The second highest beam score of the day, Ellesee opened with the flick to chest stand mount, then change leap into sheep jump. Good flick layout, she was a little loose in the legs here, but controlled it well. Solid free walkover, then change quarter leap. Sissone W jump, and a good side somi with a small adjustment. Double tuck with a pace, and although yes there were small errors, it was a good routine that kept the flow throughout, and most importantly, stayed on the beam. 13.40 (5.4 D, 8.0 E)
On to floor, a good double spin holding the releve, then very high one and a half twist, through to the double twist with a hop back. Change leap to split full, good range and leg extension. Again a split full, this time from a jump, then two and a half twist where she did need quite a big hop forward. Good double tuck to finish, just a small step. This is a new routine for Ellesee, and it really seems to suit her, she’s putting herself into the performance, selling the choreography and projecting to the audience and judges. 13.050 (4.9 D, 8.15 E)
Finally on vault, Ellesse also went for the vault final with two vaults. Starting with the handspring pike front half for her AA total, she performed the vault well, but hadn’t lifted the chest for landing, so was still rotating when she hit the floor meaning she had to fight with a few large paces that went to the side. 13.250 (5.0 D, 8.25 E)
For her second vault, Ellesee went for the piked front. Much better control, good form throughout, and a controlled hop on landing, all of which was reflected in her higher E score. 13.50 (4.6 D, 8.9 E)
So those were the top three, great results for all three gymnasts, and they have furthered their cases for European selection. There were of course far too many performances to write about everyone, so I have focussed on the medalists, however I would like to mention a few.
If you read the preview of the Championships, I wrote that newly crowned 2016 English Champion Alice Kinsella of Park Wrekin would be favourite for the title should she hit having the higher D score. Unfortunately for Alice she didn’t have a good day today having to count three falls and a substantial error. On bars, her opening piece she came off on the shoot half, she also had a problem with the toe into the Maroney to HB, where her feet came off, she went for another upstart, didn’t get herself over the bar, so needed to go for another after that which meant bending her legs underneath her to avoid hitting the floor. She would have scored well over a mark higher here.
Alice also counted falls on beam where she came off on the free cartwheel layout series, and on floor on her final tumble the double tuck. Despite this, the quality and level of her work, means she has still qualified for both finals on Sunday.
Despite the three falls and the large error, she still scored 51.70 which shows the quality of her work, and the huge potential she has to do well this year.
Zoe Simmons of the Academy had a good day to finish 5th, she qualified to the floor final in third place with a great routine including her impressive opening double front to stag jump. Zoe also qualified to Sunday’s bars and vault finals.
Megan Splain of Sapphire rounded up the top six doing particularly well to finish in third place on beam, and qualify for Sunday’s final. Very clean work all around as we have come to expect from the gymnasts from Sapphire.
Liverpol’s Lucy Stanhope qualified for vault and bars finals, she had some problems on beam and floor today which kept her AA total and placing down. Amelia Montague of Tolworth was beautiful as ever on beam and floor, and we will see her in both finals. Erika Magpantay of Marriotts is just stunning in her choreography and performance on floor, unfortunately she does’t have the difficulty at the moment to push for finals unless she is exceptionally clean, and today she had problems on her opening two tumbles.
Megan Parker of City of Birmingham also had a tough day, a fall on bars where she is very strong, and two falls on beam another of her stronger pieces meant she suffered AA, but she still finished 9th, and made the beam and floor finals. Leatherhead and Dorking’s Sophie Scott is dealing with knee problems at the moment, so just competed on bars and vault. She did very well qualifying for the vault final in second place, and being awarded the highest score across any piece all day with 14.300 for her full twisting Yurchenko. Sophie also qualified for the bars final in third place, so a great day for her.
Congratualtions to all gymnast and coaches, some great gymnastics today. Well wishes to Louise McColgan who planned to make her return to competition here, but sadly rolled her ankle in warm up, and to Alissia Barlow who was injured on bars, and unable to continue.
2016 AA British Junior Champion Maisie Methuen with coach Tracey Skirton
AA top ten
Full AA results here: https://www.british-gymnastics.org/results/8094/WAG_Junior_All-Around_-_All-Around.pdf
Full vault results here: https://www.british-gymnastics.org/results/8094/WAG_Junior_All-Around_-_Vault.pdf
Full Beam results here: https://www.british-gymnastics.org/results/8094/WAG_Junior_All-Around_-_Beam.pdf
Full floor results here: https://www.british-gymnastics.org/results/8094/WAG_Junior_All-Around_-_Floor.pdf