2016 Competitions / Road to Rio

US Women’s Olympic Trial Preview – Vault

In the lead up to the US women’s Olympic Trial competition, I wanted to review every competition I could for those who have made it and see how their scores will likely predict their finish positions at the competition.

First lets start with vault.  This first number is the average of every vault score that these gymnasts have competed this year.  This includes American Cup, Jesolo, Pacific Rim, Classics, and Nationals.  Obviously each of these gymnasts have not competed at the same amount of competitions, so in parenthesis next to each average score is the number of scores used to get that average.  This should be the top 6 gymnasts on the event.

  1. Simone Biles – 16.00 (3)
  2. Mykayla Skinner – 15.25 (5)
  3. Aly Raisman – 15.14 (5)
  4. Gabby Douglas – 15.025 (4)
  5. Laurie Hernandez – 14.92 (5)
  6. Amelia Hudley – 14.88 (3)

Another comparison, this time dropping the highest and lowest score received and averaging the rest (or taking the median score if there are only three available).

  1. Simone Biles – 16.00
  2. Aly Raisman – 15.35
  3. Mykayla Skinner – 15.21
  4. Gabby Douglas – 15.00
  5. Laurie Hernandez – 14.90
  6. Amelia Hundley – 14.80

And last, this list is taking just the best score each athlete has received on vault this year.

  1. Simone Biles – 16.20
  2. Aly Raisman – 15.70
  3. Mykayla Skinner – 15.40
  4. Gabby Douglas – 15.30
  5. Laurie Hernandez – 15.10
  6. Amelia Hundley – 15.05

What is the most surprising to me is how high Gabby Douglas is ranking on these lists.  On a previous post, comparing US Seniors to Juniors, Laurie Hernandez ranked higher than Gabby, as well as the now injured Alyssa Baumann and two junior athletes.  However Gabby has the higher average of scores and the highest single vault score compared to Laurie.  Since the presumptive US team consists of Laurie, Gabby, Aly, and Simone, it would appear at this time that the team finals line up would be Gabby, Aly, Simone with Laurie vaulting in prelims.

My loose predictions for scores and placements at the Olympic Trials.

  1. Simone Biles – 16.10 & 16.30
  2. Aly Raisman – 15.40 & 15.30
  3. Mykayla Skinner – 15.35 & 15.20
  4. Gabby Douglas – 15.20 & 15.10
  5. Laurie Hernandez – 15.10 & 14.95
  6. Amelia Hundley – 14.95 & 14.80

You might have noticed I’m predicting a 16.30 for Simone Biles.  That would be a perfect score on her Amanar.  There are two reasons I can imagine Simone getting a 16.30.  First she scored a 16.20 (9.9 execution score) on an Amanar with a small hop at the National Championships, so it appears the judges would be willing to get a 10.0 execution score. Second, there has never been a 10.0 execution score in a major gymnastics competition since the introduction of the open ended code.  What a great way to gain notoriety for the sport before the Olympics to have a perfect vault?  Of course, this would mean Simone would have to STICK her vault, but she’s done that several times before.


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