The Latest with Lexie Priessman


The senior year that just never arrives has been postponed once again. Lexie Priessman has scratched the 2014 Secret US Classics due to an injury. A star during her junior years, Priessman was fully expected to be one of the top US seniors in 2013. However, an achilles injury during training at the US National Championships and then a somewhat unrelated surgery kept her out of competition for the year.

Recently Priessman left her lifelong coach Mary Lee Tracy and training partner Amelia Hundley to train at Precision Gymnastics, citing the need for a change. Between the injuries and coaching changes, fans anxiously awaited Priessman’s appearance at the 2014 Secret US Classics.

Priessman had a great podium training Friday morning. However, during a closed training session on Friday evening she was injured. The Gymternet reported that she injured herself on a beam dismount and was taken to the hospital. The extent and nature of the injury are not yet known. Update: According to a brief conversation with Tripletwist, Priessman tore a ligament that attaches to her fibula and has to have surgery.

Priessman tweeted:

Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 1.26.49 AM

Here are some of her training highlights from podium training.

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Secret US Classics Senior Podium Highlights, Predictions and Video Roundup


The seniors looked remarkably consistent for this point in the year at podium training for the 2014 Secret US Classics. There are a handful of upgrades and new skills or combinations being debuted, and a handful of new seniors. Here are the front runners.

Simone Biles should be able to walk away with the gold medal tomorrow with her eyes closed.  At this competition last year, Biles had an incredibly rough day. But that girl is gone, and the current World Champion is here to stay. Vault, beam and floor all look as strong as ever and could easily contend on the world stage right now. However, Biles is still coming back from a shoulder injury, and bars are not yet up to snuff. If she is not able to do a whole routine without a fall tomorrow, she could open the door for Ross to catch her.

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Kyla Ross is looking as composed and confident as we have seen her. The leadership and senior team member role just sits so nicely on her. She had a beautiful training and even debuted an upgrade on floor!

Vault

Bars

Beam

Whip Arabian Double Front (new pass)

Floor

MyKyla Skinner is out to prove that she belongs on the world stage. Her difficulty level could easily put her in silver, but she is still improving on her execution level, and is unlikely to overtake the ever solid Ross tomorrow. That being said, she is much improved. Her floor routine is really well choreographed, allowing her personality and trickster ways to shine. She really struggled on bars during podium training, so hopefully she can pull it together for tomorrow.

Beam

Double Double Layout

Floor

Rachael Gowey is looking amazing in her senior debut and after a year out of competition. She debuted her amanar, which was clean and controlled after a few attempts. She could definitely be making a bid for the bronze at this meet.

Vault

Beam

Brenna Dowell is also in strong contention for the podium. However she didn’t look as sharp today in podium training as she did at the American Cup. That being said, there were no major areas of worry, and she seems to be able to pull out her bar routine when she competes.

Beam

Lexie Priessman was looking great, but the senior career that will never start is postponed once again as she sustained an injury in the evening training session.

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Amelia Hundley looked solid on every event and is steady as she goes. Then she gets out on floor and you can’t take your eyes off her! She transforms into a different person! Don’t miss this routine tomorrow.

Floor

Madison Kocian looked solid today, and her bars are as beautiful and soothing to watch as ever. She will be trying to make a case again this year that she can fill in on a worlds team as a bars specialist. She is making a good start.

Bars

Nica Hultz will also be looking to make her bid as a bars and beam specialist. She looked great today.

Bars

Beam

Let the competition begin!

Secret US Classic Podium Junior Highlights, Predictions and Video Roundup


The strongest junior contenders for the awards podium at the 2014 Secret US Classics are all competing in the same session as the seniors. As a group, these juniors look sharp, prepared and raring to go.

Nia Dennis said in an interview that she feels confident, and she has every reason to. She looks every bit like a senior out on the floor, and there is no reason that she should not walk away with a gold medal tomorrow. Here were a few of her podium routines.

Vault

Beam

Floor

Norah Flatley also looked great and should challenge Dennis for the gold. If she cannot overtake her, she should easily walk away with silver. Here were some of her routines during podium training. As always, her beam stands out amongst the rest and is just so beautiful to watch.

Bars

Beam

Floor

The bronze medalist will most likely be one of the following.

Ragan Smith looks confident and competitive. This little spitfire wants to win. And her time at Texas Dreams seems to be serving her well. Her “Puttin on the Ritz” floor routine is as darling as ever.

Vault

Beam

Floor

Emily Gaskins form, presentation and skill level continue to improve, making her such a pleasure to watch.

Bars

Beam

Jazmyn Foberg will definitely mark tomorrow as her entry into the top junior ranks. Her podium training looked great minus a fall on beam, and her floor routine has the typical MG Elite stamp on it.

Beam

Floor

The Latest on Gabby Douglas


Gabby Douglas after winning the all-around final in London. Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

It would seem that Gabby Douglas has settled in to train at Buckeye Gymnastics in Powell, Ohio in her bid to defend her Olympic title at the 2016 Olympics. With the recent coaching changes, Douglas has pushed back her timeline to return to competition and will not compete in the P&G National Championships later this month. Nor will she petition to the World Team selection camp this fall, focusing on 2015 instead.

Kittia Carpenter is the girls’ team director at Buckeye Gymnastics, Gabby’s new gym. In an interview with USA Today Carpenter said, “She wants to come back looking as strong as she left and she didn’t feel she’s quite there yet.”

In addition to regaining her former skills, Douglas will need to update her routines and combinations to be consistent with the new Code of Points, which changes after each Olympics. And in order to be competitive, she will need to continue to increase her difficulty (start) values. Carpenter said she wants to add new skills on uneven bars and floor exercise to boost her start values.

Douglas assured the Associated Press earlier in the month, “I’m committed to Rio, I’m not going to let anything get in the way of that.” Carpenter echoed her belief in Douglas’ determination to make a run at the 2016 Olympics. “She’s training 30 hours a week, and is limiting her commercial and appearance commitments to one day a week.”

Marta Karolyi shared her opinions with USA Today on the matter saying, “Time will tell. I’m not crazy about lots of changes. I like stability and I know from my times when I was directing coaching gymnasts, I liked to develop a relationship with my gymnast. It takes time to develop those kinds of relationships.”

Karolyi is hopeful but cautious about the future. “I really hope — she is very talented and I was surprised at how well she came back after a big break. Physically, she was very fit. My wish is that she will be consistent in her training. And if that’s what she will do, I think she will be fine. But if she jumps up and down and left and right, it will be much harder.”

Liang Chow, Douglas’ former coach expressed sadness at her departure earlier in the month, but has been supportive of her decision to find new coaching. He commented on the situation to the Des Moines Register saying, “I’ve been coaching the sport for a number of years. And I went through many athletes. Some athletes stay with your program for a long, long period of time. Some athletes, they have a different approach as far as coaching style or your philosophies. I totally respect their own opinions — they have the right to choose their own coach.”

He went on to express his best wishes for her, “Of course, when you work together day in and day out, you’re going to miss her. I want her next chapter to be a successful one.”

Chow reiterated those sentiments on Friday after podium training at the Secret U.S. Classics. “I wish them the best of luck. We all have to move on. She has her dreams to achieve and I have my duties to perform.”

With so many people in her court rooting for her success, hopefully moving on and achieving her dreams of Rio is exactly what she will do.