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  • Writer's pictureKensley Behel

Everything You Need To Know About The 2023 Xfinity National Gymnastics Championships in San Jose

Updated: Aug 24



Who's Competing


Forty-five Senior men's artistic gymnastics (MAG) athletes are expected to compete at the 2023 Xfinity National Gymnastics Championships in San Jose. Stanford University boasts the largest contingent of athletes including twelve athletes currently training at Stanford plus alumnus, Curran Phillips, who is currently training at EVO.


Reigning National Champion, Brody Malone is still out with an injury and is expected to make his return to competition next year, meaning the field for the national all-around champion is wide open.


Last year, the bonus system played a role in who made the podium and who did not. Among those who benefited from the D Score Bonus, Asher Hong is set to come into the National Championships with the highest projected D score and the highest projected Bonus. With such a drastic advantage he may not be beatable in the all-around. His 85.305 at the U.S. Core Hydration Classic was the third-highest score this year among U.S. athletes. Only two other U.S. athletes have also reached the 85+ benchmark in the all-around this year – Fred Richard and Yul Moldauer.


Richard's strength lies in his combination of relatively high D score and relatively high bonus, plus solid execution. The Michigan phenom has been favored by many to take this year's all-around title. His performance at the Universiade in July was marked by several inconsistencies and uncharacteristic mistakes. There remain some questions about whether the nerves shown by competing against the best in the world will continue through the rest of this season, or provide the motivation and fire he needs to perform his best. Should he be back to performing with more consistency, he will challenge both veterans of the national team for the national title.


Moldauer, the most experienced of the trio, is an interesting athlete. He has achieved great success on the national and international stage despite often having a lower level of difficulty but pristine execution. The 2017 National All-Around Champion has been increasing difficulty steadily over the past two years. Last year, his increased difficulty led to slightly lower execution scores and ultimately left him off of the all-around podium for the first time since 2016. However, this year, he's been able to put it all together and currently owns the second-highest score of the American athletes this year. Expect Moldauer to not only challenge for the podium, but also for the gold.


Just outside the top three and certainly in contention for a spot on the podium are: Olympian, Shane Wiskus, Olympic alternate, Cameron Bock, 2022 NCAA All-Around Champion, Paul Juda, up-and-coming Josh Karnes, as well as Stanford standouts Khoi Young and Riley Loos.


Should Donnell Whittenburg and Colt Walker be back to full form and not hindered by their injury recovery, they may also be in the mix.


Let us know who you think will make the podium in the comments!





Athletes in Contention for the All-Around Title (Only those with AA scores 85+ in 2023 were considered for this table).

Athlete

Projected D Score

Projected D Score Bonus

Highest AA Score in 2023

Fred Richard

34.7

0.841

85.998 (NCAA National Championships)

Asher Hong

35.8

1.45

85.305 (Core Hydrate Classic)

Yul Moldauer

34.8

0.542

85.342 (Winter Cup)

Stanford (12)

  • Jeremy Bischoff

  • Brandon Briones

  • Taylor Burkhart

  • JR Chou

  • Ian Gunther

  • Asher Hong (reigning vault national champion)

  • Ian Lasic-Ellis

  • Riley Loos

  • Brandon Nguyen

  • Blake Sun

  • Colt Walker

  • Khoi Young

Michigan (6)

  • Javier Alfonso

  • Cameron Bock

  • Crew Bold

  • Landen Blixt

  • Paul Juda

  • Fred Richard

EVO (4)

  • Alex Diab

  • Stephen Nedoroscik (reigning pommel horse national champion)

  • Curran Phillips (reigning parallel bars champion)

  • Shane Wiskus

Illinois (4)

  • Michael Fletcher

  • Evan Manivong

  • Connor McCool

  • Ian Skirkey

Penn State (4)

  • Michael Artlip

  • Matthew Cormier

  • Michael Jaroh

  • Josh Karnes

Air Force (3)

  • Garrett Braunton

  • Patrick Hoopes

  • Oliver Zavel

Oklahoma (3)

  • Fuzzy Benas

  • Zachary Nunez

  • Maxim Bereznev

Gym ACT (2)

  • Dallas Hale (Cypress)

  • Jackson Harrison (ASU)

5280 Gymnastics (1)

  • Yul Moldauer

California (1)

  • Tyler Shimizu

Navy (1)

  • Isaiah Drake

Nebraska (1)

  • Taylor Christopulos

Ohio State (1)

  • Kameron Nelson

Salto Gymnastics (1)

  • Donnell Whittenburg (reigning still rings national champion)

Gymnastics Olympica USA (1)

  • Vahe Petrosyan

Who's Judging


Schedule + Live Scores + How To Watch

Date

Event

Time (PDT)

Live Scoring Link

How To Watch

Wednesday, August 23

Jr. MAG PT

9:00 am

N/A

TBD

Wednesday, August 23

Sr. MAG PT

11:30 am

N/A

TBD

Thursday, August 24

Jr. MAG Day 1

11:15 am

TBD

Thursday, August 24

Sr. MAG Day 1

5:00 pm

​Peacock

Saturday, August 26

Jr. MAG Day 2

10:15 am

TBD

Saturday, August 26

Sr. MAG Day 2 LIVE

4:00 pm

CNBC

Saturday, August 26

Sr. MAG Day 1 NBC Replay

7:30 am

CNBC

Sunday, August 27

Sr. MAG Day 2 Replay

9:00 am

NBC

This table will be updated as more information becomes available.



What's At Stake


In addition to the bi-yearly opportunity to make the National Team, this year's National Championships will also serve as the final trial for the 2023 World Championships Team and the 2023 Pan American Games selection.


How the National Team Will Be Selected

  • The top five all-around athletes following Saturday's competition

  • The following five athletes by the 10-point program (2-day total)

  • The rest of the team will be named via petitions or discretionary selection.


This Olympic Cycle, the Men's Program Committee (MPC) has utilized 15 spots for the Senior National Team (SNT) and five spots for the Senior Development Team (SDT). According to the June 1 Committee Minutes, the MPC has decided to potentially reallocate SDT spots to the SNT.


In previous years, the MPC has given grace to younger athletes not meeting the 32D score required threshold. However, this year, they've chosen to be more strict with their stated requirements. Should no SDT age-eligible athletes ( age 18 - 20) compete with a 32.0 D score, the MPC now has the option to reallocate three of the five available spots back to the Senior National Team.


Per the minutes:

"This would be beneficial in potentially opening up more Senior National Team spots for possible World Championships and Pan Am Games Teams, and bring in more experienced athletes in the lead up to the Olympics in 2024. The SSC did feel that we should maintain a minimum of two athletes to be named to the Senior Development Team, even if they don’t achieve the 32.0 D score because we don’t want to eliminate that group entirely, but there should not be a necessity to name five athletes if the D score requirement is not met.

MPC April minutes state that there will be a stronger focus on all-arounders for National Team selection because the U.S. will need to field two full teams (one to the World Championships and one to the Pan American Games).


The full selection policy can be found here.


How the Worlds Team Will Be Selected


Unlike previous years, there will be no automatically selected member based on all-around results. In most years, a select group of athletes moves on from the National Championships to a selection camp. However, due to the World Championships time frame, only one selection event will occur. According to USA Gymnastics, the athletes preferred to not have a selection camp.


This year:

"All team scoring scenarios from the final results (combined Day 1 and Day 2) at the 2023 U.S. Championships that are within two points from the top scoring team, will be used to identify the pool of athletes to be considered for the 2023 Worlds Team." [Note: The D Score bonuse will not be used for World Team Selection.]


Full selection procedures can be found here.


How the Pan American Games Team Will Be Selected


Vahe Petrosyan has already qualified an individual spot to the 2023 Pan American Games due to his performance at the 2021 Jr. Pan American Games where he won the all-around gold medal.


A maximum of five additional athletes will be named to participate in the team competition. If Vahe is named to the team, the U.S. will lose the nominative spot.

There will be no traveling alternate to this competition.


No athletes participating in the World Championships, with the exception of the alternate, will be considered for the Pan Ams team. The World Championships traveling alternate will be automatically named to the Pan Ams team with first right of refusal. We will know within two days following the completion of the 2023 Xfinity National Championships whether or not the traveling alternate has accepted or declined the Pan Ams assignment.


There is basically zero criteria for anyone to make this team. It's just going to be whoever the selection committee feels like choosing and that is less than ideal.


According to page four of the selection procedures:

"With the five (5) members of the 2023 World Championships Team removed, the SSC will evaluate the team scoring scenarios (5-4-3 format) from the remaining pool of Senior National Team and Senior Development Team athletes using results from both days of competition at the 2023 U.S. Championships, with each day weighted equally. The discretionary criteria listed in Section 2 will also be considered for team selection."

That's it.


The MPC could have offered more clarity as to limit ambiguity and potentially alleviate unmet expectations. Athletes should know the standard (in writing) for making a significant international team.

Unlike for the selection of the World Championships Team, the MPC has decided to reward and prioritize difficulty for team selection. The D score bonus WILL be used for selecting the Pan Ams Team. This is certainly controversial as scores that utilize the bonus system are fictitious. However, it also gives athletes even more incentive to continue to upgrade – an initiative High Performance Director, Brett McClure has been working on since 2017.


Should international assignment selection ever utilize scores with D score bonuses included? Discuss in the comments!


Article by: Kensley Behel


Note: Previous versions of this article said that fourth-four athletes were expected to compete. That has been updated to say fourth-five as Maxim Bereznev of Oklahoma was also pre-qualified.

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