Senior Contenders for the US Jesolo and Pac Rims Teams

The gymternet was full of excitement when Italy posted the US team coming to the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy. However, USA Gymnastics quickly confirmed that this list was only a nominative list and not the official team. As planned, the team will be named at the end of the March National Team verification camp, along with the team for the 2014 Pacific Rims Gymnastics Championships.

That camp is this coming weekend, and the first team selections for 2014 will be out before we know it!

Lets take a look at the current Senior National Team and the nominative list to make some predictions for this year’s teams.

Name Status Jesolo Nominative Team
Simone Biles Injured No
Madison Desch Healthy Yes
Brenna Dowell Healthy No
Peyton Ernst Healthy Yes
Madison Kocian Healthy Yes
McKayla Maroney Injured No
Maggie Nichols Healthy Yes
Elizabeth Price Healthy No
Lexie Priessman Healthy? No
Kyla Ross Slight Injury? Yes
MyKayla Skinner Healthy Yes

In addition, the following seniors not currently named to the national team (Alyssa was on the Junior National Team) were on the nominative list for Jesolo:

Alyssa Baumann
Rachel Gowey

Martha Karolyi’s strategy is always to send a team and individuals to any international event that can unequivocally win the competition. That being said, the US is currently so deep that it doesn’t necessarily mean she has to send the very best gymnasts we have. With Simone’s shoulder strain and gym turmoil, I am guessing that she will at least sit out the City of Jesolo and most likely the Pac Rims as well. Since McKayla Maroney just got out of surgery, she will also not be on either of these teams.

Pacific Rims Gymnastics Championship Team

The Pacific Rim Championships tend to be a bit more publicized in the USA than the City of Jesolo, and usually the “bigger” names get that assignment. My guess is Elizabeth Price, Brenna Dowell and Lexie Priessman. However, I am not sure if Lexie is fully healthy, and Martha might decide to give some experience to one of the up and coming uneven bars/beam specialists.

When it comes to putting together the team for the World Championships, there is no doubt that we will send atleast one bars/beam specialist. There is currently no gymnast that is a lock for this spot. Giving some of the contenders opportunities at these spring meets will help shape and show how they handle the pressure.

In interviews at the American Cup, Martha specifically mentioned Alyssa Baumann (a first year senior from WOGA) as someone she was impressed with. Alyssa showed a gorgeous 14.8 beam routine at the WOGA Classic. On the other hand, Madison Kocian (a strong contender for last year’s Worlds team until she was injured) posted a 15.1 on bars compared to Alyssa’s 14.4 on bars, so she is definitely a contender. However, I am going to stick with the first three though for my predictions.

[AMMENDED: Lexie Priessman is not at the selection camp, so will not be on either team. Simone and Kyla both are. I am really torn between Simone being named (which I think is unwise, but likely) and Madison or Alyssa. But I am going to go with Madison Kocian.]

Here they are along with the latest gymnastics we have seen from them: (Unless otherwise noted, footage is from USA Gymnastics, January National Team training camp.)

Elizabeth Price (American Cup by USA Gymnastics)

Brenna Dowell (American Cup by USA Gymnastics)

Lexie Priessman

Madison Kocian (WOGA Classics)

City of Jesolo Trophy Team

In the past, Martha has sent some of the same gymnasts to both meets. But with so many to choose from and the competitions so close together, I think that she will send a different team of seniors to Jesolo than Pacific Rims. My prediction is that the nominative Jesolo team will be the actual Jesolo team with one change.

The one person I am not sure about is Kyla Ross. Whether or not she has healed enough to compete yet isn’t clear. And it really doesn’t seem necessary to send a gymnast as experienced as Kyla to these spring meets. More time to work on upgrades and to stay healthy would seem to be a wiser move than having to get to routine shape at this point. I am guessing that she won’t go, but we will see!

Here are the nominative gymnasts for the Jesolo team and the most current gymnastics we have seen from them.

Madison Kocian (WOGA Classics)
Alyssa Baumann (WOGA Classics)
Maggie Nichols (Hello new bars combo! Tons more training footage here)
Rachel Gowey (Awesome bars skill! Tons more training footage here)

Veronica HultsAmelia Hundley, and Polina Shchennikova are all former Junior National Team members who are now seniors. Rumors are that Amelia is injured, and no footage from the last training camp would seem to confirm that. However, I am not sure of her status. Veronica or Polina are both possible additions to Jesolo if any of the nominative girls are not healthy.

Veronica Hults

Polina Shchennikova

Lastly, Abby Millet, Felicia Hano, Ashton Locklear, Melissa Reinstadtler and Emily Schild are all current or new seniors who have attended one of the last few National Team training camps and could possibly be in the mix for one of these assignments.

Emily Schild

Melissa Reinstadtler

Who are your predictions to make these teams?

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