Continuing our look at the current national team members, today we will look at the new seniors.
Bailie Key – All-Around; Uneven Bars
Key has dominated the junior ranks over the past two years, winning every competition she entered with a great margin to spare. She does not have an incredible stand out event, but rather is incredibly clean and strong on all four events. She placed second to Simone Biles in the all-around and to Kyla Ross on uneven bars at the recent City of Jesolo Trophy.
Nia Dennis – All-Around; Uneven Bars, Floor
Dennis had a strong junior career, placing at the top of the field in numerous competitions. However, she has yet to make her senior debut due to injury. Dennis is a strong all-arounder, as well as incredibly powerful on floor and has a great bar routine as well.
Emily Schild – Vault, Floor
Schild showed incredible promise in 2013, but battled injury in 2014. She made her international debut at the 2015 City of Jesolo Trophy. Her strongest events are vault and floor.
Skaggs has been in the top ten over the last few years in the junior division, especially on floor. She finished eighth in her senior debut at the all-around at the recent City of Jesolo Trophy. She has gorgeous form and catlike landings.
The Junior Olympic program is an important stepping stone to NCAA and elite level competition for gymnasts all around the nation. Des Moines, Iowa played host to this year’s U.S. Women’s Junior Olympic National Championships. The top four all-around gymnasts in each age division automatically qualify for the 2015-16 U.S. Women’s Junior Olympic National Team. These are gymnasts to keep an eye on to make a splash in the elite and NCAA scenes.
The national team members, by age division, are listed below.
Alyssa Al-Ashari – Twistars USA
Kelsey Knox – Dynamo Gymnastics
Chae Campbell – Metroplex Gymnastics
Tori Tatum – Twin City Twisters
Kai Rivers – Twistars USA
Makarri Doggette – Buckeye Gymnastics
Madilyn Quarles – Twin City Twisters
Matilyn Waligora – Olympia Gymnastics Academy
Rachael Lukacs – North Stars Gymnastics Academy
Abigail Brenner – Twin City Twisters
Alexandria Ruiz – ACE Gymnastics
Karrie Thomas – American Twisters
Jordyn Weiber has officially retired from elite level gymnastics. And Kyla Ross never left. That leaves three of the Fierce Five to discuss their possible impact in 2015.
Aly Raisman – All-Around; Beam, Floor and possibly Vault
Raisman returned to competition for the first time since the 2012 Olympics at the City of Jesolo Trophy in March. She showed incredibly strong training sessions before the competition. In the qualifications, she posted the third highest score on beam, even though it was not nearly as strong of a routine as she had shown in training. Though she has been training and amanar, she just competed a double twisting yurechenko. It was a clean vault that showed definite potential for her amanar in the future. She seems to have improved on bars. She also qualified for event finals on floor,and ended up with the bronze medal on the floor and in the all-around.
Douglas also made her competition comeback appearance at the 2015 City of Jesolo Trophy. She came in fourth in the all-around and tied for third on beam and bars and fourth on floor. Douglas looked great in training, and her progress in training seems to be in an incredibly positive direction.
Maroney has disclosed on social media that she has struggled both with adrenal fatigue and depression over the last year. She has also talked about her fear of getting injured again. Though she continues to refer to her training, and her dreams of competing in the 2016 Olympics, it is unclear on where she is actually at in her training and if she will return.