Analysis of U.S. Men’s National Team Selection Committee meetings (Aug. 20, 2022)

By Patricia Duffy | September 2, 2022
Analysis of U.S. Men's National Team Selection Committee meetings (Aug. 20, 2022)
The initial U.S. Men's National Team following the conclusion of the 2022 OOFOS U.S. Gymnastics Championships at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. (© Amy Sanderson)

The U.S. Men’s National Team Selection Committee minutes for the August 20 meetings (following U.S. championships) were released earlier this week. Below, we breakdown the key takeaways from the meetings for both the junior and senior men’s national teams.

These meetings was key for finalizing the junior and senior U.S. Men’s National Team, as well as determining who will attend world team selection camp.

Key takeaways – Senior Selection Committee

Click here for the full Senior Selection Committee Minutes.

Malone and Whittenburg are heading to Liverpool (and Paris)

  • Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg have locked in their spots on the U.S. Men’s National Team after placing first and second in the senior all-around competition at the 2022 U.S. Championships.
    • They also locked in their spots on the five-man 2022 world team and will represent the U.S. at the Paris World Challenge Cup from September 24-25 in lieu of having to fully participate in world team selection camp in early October.
      • Both Malone and Whittenburg confirmed to GymNow that they will accept this international assignment.

World team selection camp field confirmed

  • The field of potential world team members (three spots remaining, plus one traveling alternate) has been reduced to seven athletes (nine including Malone and Whittenburg), determined by the top eight team scoring scenarios.
    • These athletes are:
      • Stephen Nedoroscik
      • Curran Phillips
      • Asher Hong
      • Colt Walker
      • Shane Wiskus
      • Yul Moldauer
      • Paul Juda (Petition)

Four petitions submitted, but only one was accepted

  • Juda (injury), Michael Jaroh (concussion), 2022 Winter Cup all-around champion Vitaliy Guimaraes (illness), and Khoi Young (injury) all submitted petitions.
    • Young was injured during competition and, as a result, did not have all required documentation for his petition. The minutes state, “He will need to receive a medical evaluation once he returns home, but his petition was still considered with the others.” This reads like there’s still a chance his petition could be accepted upon completion of documentation, but also, if his petition was “still considered” the decision seems as though it has already been made.
    • Juda’s petition was accepted because, “Paul Juda has shown throughout the past year that he is a contender for the World Championships Team. He has improved upon his D scores and has achieved international success, winning the all-around silver medal at the 2021 Pan Am Championships and earning two silver medals at the 2022 FIG World Cup in Cairo.”
      • The motion to approve Juda’s petition passed unanimously.

Richard earns spot on national team

  • Despite being unable to compete for a spot on this year’s world team, Fred Richard was added to the national team after finishing fourth in the all-around.
    • Richard is not able to compete internationally as a senior due to his competing as a junior at FIG events earlier this year, but High Performance Director Brett McClure did tell GymNow at the U.S. Classic in July that Richard may receive an invitation to still participate in world team selection camp for the experience.

Additional spots on national team filled by 10-point program final results

  • The remaining petitions were evaluated after the above decisions, as well as the next five ranked athletes in the 10-point program final results. The top five of the 10-point had already been named to the team.
    • The following selections were made in accordance with the U.S. Men’s National Team objective to “push D score and close the D score gap with the top three countries in the world.”
      • Taylor Burkhart and Riley Loos earned spots via this discretionary criteria for 1) ranking among the next three athletes in the 10-point program and 2) both winning medals on the international stage this year.
      • Blake Sun and Alex Diab are “event specialists who both have the potential to medal internationally” and were named, along with Ian Lasic-Ellis as the next athletes in the 10-point program final results.

Akash Modi disputes rejecting Guimaraes’ petition

  • After recusing himself due to a conflict of interest for part of the discussion, Athlete Rep Akash Modi initiated a discussion for supporting Guimaraes’ petition, but “ultimately agreed with the athletes who were named to the team.”

Final five national team spots = Senior Development Team (SDT)

  • Josh Karnes and Jeremy Bischoff met the D-score minimum of 32.0 and were named to the SDT.
  • The next three ranked athletes via D-score ranking were Garrett Braunton, Matthew Cormier, and Isaiah Drake, earning them spots on the SDT.
  • As the next highest ranked 18-year-old athlete that wasn’t named to the senior national team or SDT, Toby Liang was named to Junior National Team.

Key takeaways – Junior Selection Committee

Click here for the full Junior Selection Committee Minutes.

Top five all-around athletes in both age groups named to national team

  • As outlined by the selection procedures, the top five 16-year-olds and top five 17-year-olds from the all-around competition at U.S. Championships were named to the national team.
    • 16 years
      • Kai Uemura
      • Kiran Mandava
      • Preston Ngai
      • Cooper Kim
      • Jonah Soltz
    • 17 years
      • David Shamah
      • Alexandru Nitache
      • Chase Davenport-Mills
      • Solen Chiodi
      • Zach Green

Three spots filled while considering all-around rank order and petitions

  • Three more selection spots needed to be filled, either via all-around rank order at championships or petitions, with a maximum of two athletes from either age group being selected.
  • Petitions were submitted by four current junior national team athletes:
    • Alex Deubler (16)
    • Xander Hong (16)
    • Vahe Petrosyan (17)
    • Caden Clinton (17)
  • The next two ranked athletes in the all-around in each age group were:
    • Sasha Bogonosiuk & Hasan Aydogdu (16 years)
    • Maxwell Odden & Toma Murakawa (17 years)
  • Continuing its emphasis on difficulty, the committee took D-score into consideration as its number one priority.
    • Petrosyan (petition) has one of the highest D-scores in the country. He’s also had international success over the past couple of years commiserate with that which is needed for being competitive at the 2023 Junior World Championships. As such, his petition was approved.
    • The committee felt that Deubler was in a similar situation to Petrosyan, having international experience and a top D-score for his age group. As such, his petition was approved.
    • Murakawa was eliminated from consideration due to Petrosyan’s acceptance and the age group restriction.
    • Odden was named to the team for having a good D-score and showing consistency throughout the year.