USA Women Win Team Gold and Qualify in Top Spots – Full Recap and Results from the Pan American Games

After three subdivisions of competition have been completed, the US women easily claim the team title for the fourth straight time at the Pan American Games. Scoring a 173.8, USA’s talented team won the gold by over seven points. Canada and Brazil both put in valiant efforts, with Canada edging out Brazil for the silver with a 166.5 to Brazil’s 165.4 for the bronze. The US men also won gold, making it the first time in 20 years that the US men and women have claimed the team title in the same year.

USA Women take gold at the 2015 Pan American Games. Photo by Grace Chaui via USA Gymnastics.

Madison Desch of GAGE, Rachel Gowey of Chow’s Gymnastics, Amelia Hundley of Cincinnati Gymnastics, Emily Schild of Everest Gymnastics and Megan Skaggs of Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta made up the gold medal winning team. Each gymnast performed admirably, leading to the top score on all four events. Read here for a full recap.

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The first of the individual events begins tomorrow with the men’s and women’s all-around finals. Hundley and Desch qualified in the top two spots for the women’s all-around final. Hundley, scoring a total of 57.65 put up solid routines on every event, with all four scores counting toward the team victory. She posted the highest score of the entire competition on vault, and the second highest event scores on beam and floor. Desch was brilliant on floor, posting the highest floor score of the meet, and the third highest on both bars and vault. However, she slipped off the beam while performing a high difficulty move, losing her lead and ending the meet with a 57.3. Ana Gomez Porras of Guatemala qualified in third just behind Desch with a 57.2 Separated by just 4.5 tenths, the competition for the all-around title will be fierce.

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The U.S. women will compete in three individual event finals held July 14-15. None of the US women vied for the Vault final. The vault and uneven bars finals will be on July 14, while the balance beam and floor exercise finals will be held on July 15.


Cuba’s Marcia Videaux Jimenez qualified in the top spot with a 14.95 average score, competing two vaults with over a 6.0 start value. Paula Mejias of Puerto Rico was close behind with a 14.75 average, competing slightly less difficult vaults but scoring higher in execution. Yamilet Pena Abreu of the Dominican Republic rounded out the top three with a 14.5 average. She was able to put her feet down before sitting down on her insanely difficult Produnova (handspring double front) vault, making it into the vault final.

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Uneven Bars

Gowey led the bars qualifications with a beautifully executed 14.75 routine. She did not make one of her planned connections, giving her opportunity to score even higher in event finals. Hudley qualified behind her with a 14.5. Desch qualified in third, but did not advance to the finals due to the two per country rule. Jessica Lopez Arocha of Venezuela rounded out the top three with a 14.3.

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Balance Beam

Flavia LOPES SARAIVA of Brazil edged out Gowey for the top spot on beam with a 14.55 to Gowey’s 14.5. Lopes had a one tenth edge in difficulty, while Gowey scored just a half tenth higher in execution. Ana Gomez Porras of Guatemala qualified in third with a 14.35. With just a two tenth spread, this may be a tight competition! Skaggs qualified in fifth with a 14.05 as the second US qualifier.

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Floor Exercise

Desch qualified into the floor finals with the top score of 14.65. She performed a beautiful executed routine that led the field by five tenths in difficulty as well.  Hundley qualified in second into her second event final, earning a 14.3. LOPES SARAIVA rounded out the top three with a 14.2. Ellie Black of Canada also scored a 14.2, and with only a four and a half tenth spread from second to eighth, this may be another close final!

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Check out the full schedule and results on the official Pan American Games site, Full replays of events are being uploaded to the Pan American Games youtube channel. Competition will resume tomorrow with the men’s all-around finals at 12:45 pm EST. The women will take the stage at 6:50 pm EST. Competition for both events can be seen live on ESPN3.

All scores are taken from the official Pan American Games site,

USA Women Shine in Pan American Qualifications and Team Finals

Team USA for the Pan American Games at podium training. Photo by Grace Chaui via USA Gymnastics.

The first round of competition for the 2015 American Games started today in Toronto. The women began their Pan Am journey with the team finals and all-around and event finals qualifications in the first subdivision. They will have to wait through two more subdivisions for the results. Madison Desch of GAGE, Rachel Gowey of Chow’s Gymnastics, Amelia Hundley of Cincinnati Gymnastics, Emily Schild of Everest Gymnastics and Megan Skaggs of Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta make up the team.

The format for the team competition is four up, three count. The USA started on floor with Schild, Skaggs, Hundley and Desch. Schild led off with a strong effort, scoring a 13.75.  Skaggs went up next, and performed an artistically beautiful routine but struggled on her landings, almost putting her hand down on her last pass. She scored a 13.4. Hundley opened up her first competition in 2015 with a brand new routine that earned a 14.3. Desch finished up with the strongest routine of the rotation scoring a 14.65. Team USA earned a 42.7 on their first event.  Desch and Hundley took the top two spots from America on floor, giving them both the opportunity to qualify for event finals.

Maddie Desch takes the top score on floor. Photo by Grace Chaui during podium training via USA Gymnastics

Skaggs, Schild, Desch and Hundley were all up again for Vault. As commentator Elfi Schlegel put it, team USA put on a vault clinic. All four girls performed solid double twisting yurchenkos, with scores that built along the line-up. Skaggs earned a 14.9, Desch a 14.95, Schild a 15.05 and Hundley led the team with a 15.1. A 45.1 event score put team USA at 87.8 at the half-way point.

The line-up on Uneven Bars was Skaggs, Hundley, Desch and Gowey. Skaggs started off the event with a solid bar routine earning a 13.75. Hundley came up next with a solid routine chocked full of release moves and a tiny hop on landing for a 14.5. Desch performed a beautiful bar routine. Her release moves floated through the air with a beautiful swing in between for a 14.45. Gowey anchored the team with a very strong routine for her first outing in 2015 scoring a 14.75. Gowey and Hundley were the top two USA scores and team USA finished the event with a 43.7.

Gowey dominates bars. Photo by Grace Chaui during podium training via USA Gymnastics.

The USA ended on balance beam, with Hundley, Skaggs, Desch and Gowey competing.  Hundley led off with a solid routine with just a few wobbles for a 13.750. Skaggs went up next with a nice flowing routine but had a deep bend on her dismount for a 14.05. Desch brought out a beautiful routine and but fell on a difficult hand-spring step out, hand-spring two feet to layout full, scoring a 13.25. Gowey ended the competition with a true Chow style routine- slow and steady, nary a wobble, with beautiful fluidity to score a 14.5. USA earned a 42.3 on beam, and Gowey and Skaggs were the top scoring Americans.

Rachel Gowey is gorgeous on beam. Photo by Grace Chaui during podium training via USA Gymnastics.

Team USA leads after subdivision one with a 173.8. Hundley and Desch are currently one-two in the all-around with a 57.65 and a 57.3 respectively, which is impressive for Desch with a fall. Hundley and Gowey are both in the running for two event finals, with Desch and Skaggs each in the hunt for one. Final results will be determined after two more subdivisions, including Canada and Brazil.

Amelia Hundley qualifies in first into the all-around from team USA. Photo by Grace Chiu via USA Gymnastics.

Full replay videos are being uploaded to the Pan American Games youtube channel. The Women’s all-around final will be held tomorrow at 6:50 pm EST. You can watch live on ESPN3. Official Results of subdivision one via

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Who’s Who in 2015 – The New Seniors

Continuing our look at the current national team members, today we will look at the new seniors.

Bailie Key – All-Around; Uneven Bars

Bailie Key at the 2015 Jesolo City Trophy. Photo by Philippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

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

Emily Schild at the 2015 City of Jesolo. Photo by Philippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

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.

Megan Skaggs

Megan Skaggs, training at the City of Jesolo. Photo by Philippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

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.

Jesolo USA Team Breakdown and Training Recap – The Seniors

USA Gymnastics opens up it’s elite season with the annual City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy. The seniors they are sending are as diverse in their situations as they are in their gymnastics strengths. From reigning world champions to returning Olympians to first time debuters, we will see the gamut in Jesolo.

Gymnastike is on the scene, and providing as many routines as possible from the training sessions in Jesolo, which you can access with a Gymnastike Gold subscription. These videos provide a look into the training sessions for the meet.


The Reigning World Champions

Simone Biles comes into the competition fresh off of her dominating win at the AT&T American Cup just a few weeks ago. She also comes in as the reigning two time world champion, and for now, is considered unbeatable. Joining her are three other members of the 2015 World Champion Team, Kyla Ross, Alyssa Bauman and alternate Maddie Desch. Ross declined her place at the AT&T American Cup to have more time to work on upgrades. So this is the first opportunity to see the fruits of her labor. All three will be looking to prove that they are still in the mix for this year’s worlds team despite the new competition.

Simone Biles looks as great as she looked just a few weeks ago at the American Cup. Her vault is dreamlike, her bars are solid and even better connected than in training for the American Cup. She had a few minor wobbles on beam, but was steady and confident and floor continues to be her playground as she stuck a double layout fullout with ease.

Kyla Ross brought some upgrades to Jesolo on barsShe has not showcased the pak full that she had mentioned training earlier this year, but did bring in a new combination and a new dismount. The routine: toe on + toe full + Maloney + Pak + van Leeuwen (form break here),  toe half + jaeger, double front dismount. Ross also brought in a dramatic and creative new floor routine. She continues to grow in her artistry on this event. She did not show the whip to double arabian, but had solid tumbling and dance throughout. Beam and floor are both as solid and beautiful as last year.

Alyssa Baumann will be looking to make a statement that her beam routines are what the USA needs, and that she can contribute on any event. And her training in Jesolo definitely helped to make her case. On floor she showcased three difficult turns- a Memmel, a double L turn and a quadruple turn as well as a piked full out. Her beam looks beautiful, and she does one of the most solid, upright standing arabians in the world (second only to Nia Dennis). The routine: arabian, switch ring, backhandpring step out + layout step out, switch split + switch half, full turn, front aerial, sheep jump, onodi + wolf jump, aerial, roundoff double pike dismount. Baumann completes the package of being able to represent the US on any event with a solid double twisting yurchenko on vault and a beautiful bar routine.

Maddie Desch put in solid training sessions, however she needs cleanup work on all of her events. She threw a solid DTY on vault, however landed with quite a low chest and without the flight dynamics of many of the other US gymnasts. Desch puts together quite an impressive bar routine, but will need to clean up some form issues and landing on her dismount. The same is true on beam. Desch has some great skills, but needs to work on amplitude. All in all, Desch looks solidly like she belongs in Jesolo, but will need to continue sharpening her skills and performance as the year goes on.

Senior International Debuts

Bailie Key is not stranger to the international elite scene, making her fourth appearance at the City of Jesolo Trophy. She comes into Jesolo as the reigning junior all-around champion for two years running. Key was injured and did not take part in the junior national championships last year, but her resume is long and distinguished. Her senior debut has been widely anticipated, and Key will be expected to be a major player for the podium this year. Key is competing the same delightful floor routine from last year, and she has added a double wolf turn. Tumbling upgrades are also expected but were not shown in the training videos. She brings the same strong, consistent beam routine as last year though re-worked and with a wolf full turn. Its on uneven bars that Key shows the most upgrades adding a Ricna + pak combination and a Chow + overshoot to handstand + stalder 1/1 + Ray. Her bars have beautiful flow and form with just a slight form break on her new low bar work. Her DTY on vault showed a lot more form issues than she used to have, but it was just one vault.

Emily Schild is actually a second year senior, but injury kept her out last year so this will be her senior debut. Schild showed a lot of promise at the 2013 Nastia Liukin Cup, but has never quite put it all together due to injuries and mishaps. She will be looking to give a solid performance in Jesolo. There were no training videos of Schild on vault, which has been her strongest event in the past. She showed a pretty and well done floor routine in training, but depending on the tumbling passes may be lower in difficulty than many of her US teammates. Her beam routine was clean, showing off her beautiful lines, but had some major form breaks in her back tumbling. Schild has gorgeous lines and a great swing on bars, with lots of great inbar work. However, a number of form breaks keep it from being really solid, but her full twisting double layout dismount is fabulous!

Megan Skaggs is another first year senior, and this will also be her first international assignment. She has a quick and expressive floor routine to some exotic music that is fun to watch. On both beam and bars, Skaggs has a lot of potential with difficult skills and pretty lines. However, she needs to do clean up on a lot of wobbles and form breaks. She pulled around a DTY that landed quite low.

Returning from Injury

Last but not least is Maggie Nichols, who missed out on last years world team selection camp and worlds due to injury after making a name for herself at the 2014 US competitions. Nichols has a great floor routine with a lot of energy and expression, including a piked fullin and a triple turn. She has a nice beam routine with a piked front tuck with a half and a switch ring. She had the cleanest DTY next to Ross. And where Nichols really makes a statement is on bars. She brings in seven connected skills! Toe 1/1 + Chow + pak + Maloney + overshoot to handstand + toe 1/2 + van Leeuwen. Nichols will be one to watch.

These ten world class seniors are all showing great consistency in training. While the gold is likely wrapped up, it will definitely be a battle for the other two spots on the podium. Winning, not just trophies, but helping to position them for selection to a much bigger international competition later this year.

Photo from Simone Biles Twitter.