Abdullah-Simmons wins NCAA Championships 2007

Mark.jpgTaqiy Abdullah-Simmons with coach Mark Williams

Taqiy, a big, powerful guy, had a fantastic competition to upset favourites including his Oklahoma team-mate Jonathan Horton and (my pick) David Sender.


1) Taqiy Abdullah-Simmons (Oklahoma) 55.750
2T) Jonathan Horton (Oklahoma) 55.000
2T) Wesley Haagensen (Illinois) 55.000
4T) David Sender (Stanford) 54.000
4T) Justin Laury (Michigan) 54.000
6) Jacob Lee (Minnesota) 53.200

full AA results

Bio – Oklahoma

Gymnastics #1 sports team in China 2006

Lisa Wang reports good news on International GYMNAST Magazine Online:

The spotlight will be hot in Beijing for the Olympics.

The Chinese women’s team emerged as the most decorated sports team at the CCTV Sports Personality of the Year Awards, held April 7 in Beijing.

The annual sports awards gala for CCTV (Chinese national TV) is the most prestigious event of its kind in China, and selects winners from the top-achieving stars in all sports. The Chinese women’s program won three prizes – Female Sportsperson of the Year, Sports Team of the Year, and Coach of the Year – which was the highest number of awards won by any single sport in the same year.

2006 World Championships triple gold medalist Cheng Fei won for Female Sportsperson of 2006 ….

The 2006 World Championships gold medal-winning team won in the category of Team of the Year. All six members of the team – Cheng, Zhang Nan, He Ning, Zhou Zhuoru, Pang Panpan and Li Ya – took the stage and were recognized for winning China’s first-ever women’s team world title.

Also honored was Lu Shanzhen, Cheng’s personal coach and the Chinese women’s team head coach, who shared the Coach of the Year award with pairs skating coach Yao Bin (coach of world champions Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo) and track-and-field coach Sun Haiping (coach of Olympic champion Liu Xiang).

International GYMNAST Magazine Online

photo source

swinging rings – sitting in the rings

I happened on to a humorous Gym Mom blog:

I’ve worked in enough daycares and taught school enough to know they don’t want parents around. Why? Because they don’t want you to know how many near-death experiences your children actually have every 10-15 seconds. …

Seriously though – I was disturbed that they were losing kids in the small group last week… but losing KID in a group of two? Not good. I am guessing this is why you sign a release saying you won’t hold them responsible for death or dismemberment.

And that is why I will be the only mother *not* sitting outside in her SUV, blah blah blah-ing on her cell phone for an hour.

Baby-Faith » Flinging Faith.

Looks like a FUN program to me.




For me the preliminary competition is always the most interesting. Especially with ZZ Top playing loud!

The pressure is on. Qualifying for finals is the most important goal as Ohio found out this year.

The 6 qualifying to Team Finals:

1) Penn State (218.90)
2) Oklahoma (218.600)
3) Minnesota (216.900)
4) Stanford (216.35)
5) Illinois (216.30)
6) Michigan (215.35)

My favourite team to watch in the meet — Cal State Berkeley — did not make the cut. This the cleanest, most artistic squad at Championships simply did not have enough difficulty, partly due to injuries to key players.

I’ve known Cal Head Coach Barry Weiner for decades. He’s as good a coach as anyone in the world, I reckon.


I guess Oklahoma will take the Team. David Sender win the All-Around. I could be wrong. This meet is VERY competitive.

Photo by: GoPSUsports.com – Jason York

photos – Penn State website

NCAA – Miles Avery – They Are Brothers

No doubt there are competitors at the 2007 Championships who would rather win NCAAs than the Olympics. Theses guys are fired up.

s-avery.jpgI’m feeling badly for Ohio Buckeyes Head Coach Miles Avery.

Elimination is a tough blow.

Prior to the competition, these were his insightful comments:

“This is such an exciting competition for these young men. This is more exciting than the Olympics or World Championships. You’ll see why. It’s great for a college coach to be at the NCAA Championships. We hope to do very well”

How are the NCAA Championships more exciting than competing internationally?

“It is the atmosphere. So much of it is the regimen. The guys train separately for something like the Olympics or the World Championships. These guys for four years are together all the time and it means so much to them. They train year round and spend all their time together. As a team it doesn’t mean as much. Yes, you want to win for your country. You have the pride. But with the NCAA Championships, it means more to these young men. They are brothers. There is nothing like it.”

GoPSUsports.com – Official Home of Penn State Athletics

biography – Miles Avery – Ohio State

#1 seed OHIO knocked out of NCAA Team Finals

Live from State College, Pennsylvania, here are the entirely unofficial results (I’m reading them off the giant score board) after the first flight of two.

Three teams qualified to the Team Finals:

1) Stanford (216.35)
2) Illinois (216.30)
3) Michigan (215.35)

It’s a shocker. Top seeded Ohio finished 4th, missing the cut for finals.

team results (so far)

In the all-around, two gymnasts dominated:

Wesley Haagensen (54.85)
David Sender (54.25)

DJ Bucher was fantastic on some events.

All-around results (so far)

The meet was very loud, very exciting, Even thrilling at times. Illinois and their fans win the team spirit award, without question.


The second flight, including host Penn State, goes tonight.

release position on “flyaway”


This may clarify the key point of this post. On the photo below, the same gymnast shows her USUAL body position on release for layout flyaway on the left (inferior technique) vs a much better position on release on the right.

Advantages of the position on the right: body is already more rotated, more powerful swing, body is shorter. This technique gives the opportunity for more height. The disadvantage is that hanging on too long, or not “pitching out”, may result in hitting the bar.

The position on the left is the typical weak “whipback” (not layout) from a bar. The only reason kids do this to try to avoid hitting the bar.


==== updated post Apr. 9, 2007

This topic is always controversial.

Justin Slife who moderates the excellent Chalk Bucket forum let me know that the conversation thread has "started quite a conversation".

release position on flyaway – Chalk Bucket

Some feel the illustration below is a bit extreme. It actually was traced from the superb double layout dismount of Olympic Champion Lilia Podkopayeva.

Perhaps the shoulder angle is a bit too much for a simple layout flyaway from giant. It’s still the GOAL position for me, combined with a strong shoulder opening (pitch out) as the hands release.

==== original post Feb. 11, 2007


Very few gymnasts show good position at release on backward flyaway from bars or horizontal bar.

For me, the position shown below is optimal: feet well above the bar, hips (centre of gravity) well below the bar.

The parabolic path of the centre of gravity will take this gymnast away from the bar.

illustration – David Burgess

As an additional safety measure, I like the gymnast to “pitch out” (move the centre of gravity away from the bar) at release. The gymnast opens the shoulders and pushes the feet away just as the hands release.

More articles on flyaway dismounts.