Felicia Hano Injured During Podium Training- Withdraws from Secret US Classics


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Felicia Hano is injured on vault during podium training. Photo courtesy of Christy Linder Sharp.

Felicia Hano, training partner with Kyla Ross at Gym-Max Gymnastics in Costa Mesa, CA, injured herself today during podium training for the 2015 Secret US Classics. Though no official update has been given, the most recent update of the start list for tomorrow’s competition no longer has Hano on it.

The rotation was wrapping up and most of the gymnasts had left the vault. Hano remained, trying to get in a good vault after struggling through the rotation on her second vault. She was attempting a full twisting laid-out tsukahara. She landed short and immediately went down and rolled to her side, grabbing her right leg. Her coaches came to her aid and she sat up while they examined her. It is not yet clear what injury she sustained, though it is likely a knee or ankle injury.

Hano, a former trampolinist, made her senior debut in elite gymnastics last year at the US Classics, where she placed seventh on floor and 10th in the all-around. She went on to the P&G National Championships where she placed seventh on floor. She was also selected as a replacement for the Pan American team last year and was added to the US National team. The 2015 Secret US Classics would have been Hano’s first competition of the year.

Lauren Mitchell’s Run on Rio Likely at an End


Lauren Mitchell at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Photo via WAIS.

Lauren Mitchell, the first Australian female gymnast to win a gold medal at the World Championships, was back on the Road to Rio. After dealing with a shoulder injury following the London Olympics, Mitchell went back and forth on continuing on as an elite level gymnast. In 2014, she decided to return to training and just see what happened.

According to The West Australian Sport, Mitchell set her sights on Rio in May. “I was really in limbo for a very long time so it’s only probably been in the last couple of weeks that I’ve really kind of stepped it up and said, OK, give it one more crack,” Mitchell said “I had the AOC athletes’ commission meeting last week and just listening to everyone talking about it again kind of re-motivated me.”

And all was going well. Mitchell was named to the team who would compete at the World University Games in Korea, opening today. In a training session on Tuesday night before she was to depart, Mitchell injured her knee.  Today, the Western Australian Institute of Sport released an update that confirmed Mitchell has a serious injury.

Mitchell has suffered ruptures to both the anterior cruciate (ACL) and posterior cruciate (PCL) ligaments of her right knee. Scans confirmed significant damage to her ACL and PCL and Lauren has been in consultation with her medical and support team in determining the best course of action for her rehabilitation – a process that is still on-going.

Lauren wishes to stress that she has yet to make a decision on her gymnastics future and will hold-off on an announcement until after her treatment has been determined.

Mitchell took to Instagram today to express her emotions in the situation.

Thank you to everyone for their tremendous amount of overwhelming support over the last few days. It’s been a tough week, and at the moment I’m focusing on proper recovery as my main priority. But what can I say.. when I do something I like to do it well 😕 Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength, no matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experiences are, if we loose hope…That’s our real disaster – Dalai Lama
#feelingthelove #notanidealsituation#nothingdonehalfassed#justkeepswimming

An injury of this magnitude usually takes a year to recover from. This makes it next to impossible for Mitchell to make the 2016 Olympics. Though she has not yet made a decision on her future in gymnastics, it is likely that a decision has been made for her regarding the Olympics. It is obvious that she will handle the situation with the class and determination she has always shown.

Kyla Ross Pushes Through Injury


Podium training today held an unusual sight, that of Kyla Ross all taped up. Though Ross has battled some back injuries this year, she is not a gymnast you usually see with a lot of tape on her body. Not so today. “I’m kind of held together by tape right now,” Ross said in an interview with Inside Gymnastics. “The last few days at the ranch, I think I kind of overstretched it doing a few leaps. It’s my hip, groin and hamstring – that whole area.”

Kyla Ross on floor during podium training. Photo by John Cheng via USA Gymnastics

A few of Ross’ leaps on beam looked a little tentative, not hitting her normal full split. Despite the injury, she looks more polished and precise than she has all year on beam. She did a great floor routine, dynamic and poised, however without her upgrade of a whip to double arabian from earlier in the season. Vault was not her normal clean DTY, however Inside Gymnastics reported that she hadn’t been training vault much throughout the week. She did a beautiful bars set, but with some small form issues. All in all she did four clean, solid routines. If they weren’t up to the normal Kyla Ross standard, they were definitely within reach.

Ross has been working hard to shine at these championships and doesn’t want to let the injury get in the way.  “I have the motivation knowing that I’ve been training really hard all this year,” said Ross. “I really want to come out and compete, give it my all and I don’t want anything to stop me.” She will no doubt give it her all in qualifications, and with two more days of training and healing she will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with.

Ross comes into these championships as the defending silver medalist in the all-around, on beam and on bars. She will be looking to defend her all-around title and top the podium with teammate Simone Biles in the all-around. Always consistent on beam, she has a great chance of making finals on that event and trying to win a beam medal. However on bars, she has had to downgrade her routine this year due to her back injury, and topping teammates Ashton Locklear and Madison Kocian will be no easy feat to make it into bars finals.

Here are her routines from Podium Training.

 

 

The Latest on Peyton Ernst


Earlier this week, Peyton Ernst of Texas Dreams quietly withdrew from the 2014 P&G Senior U.S. National Championships. Gymnastike interviewed coach Kim Zmeskal Burdette to get an update on the situation. According to Burdette, Ernst had dislocated her shoulder doing a vault early in July. She had not had any problems with her shoulder previously. They worked to correct the problem and hoped for the best, but it happened again Monday, August 10th. Surgery became inevitable and will take her out the rest of the season. “Peytons [injury] has been the hardest one. She has been in such a good place, taking things step by step to try to make this world team,” shared Burdette. She went on in the interview to share about her disappointment for Ernst as she had finally began to believe in her ability to make the world team.

Ernst was a strong contender to make last year’s world championship team, but just fell short of the mark. She is a strong all-around gymnast, but stands out on beam and bars. Ernst was most definitely a strong contender for this year’s worlds team as she is likely to contribute a strong score to the team on those two events, has the potential to make a beam final, and is strong enough in the all-around that she can compete on any event if needed.

Ernst was nursing a sore ankle back in April when she received the call to jump on a plane early the next morning to fly from Texas to Vancouver, BC. She came to take the place of Simone Biles at the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships. Ernst rose to the occasion and put in a stellar performance with very little prep time. However, when she returned home, it turned out that she had been competing with a hairline fracture in her foot.

Ernst rested the foot, and then returned to training.  When Ernst did not compete in the Secret U.S. Classics earlier this month, the plan was still for her to compete at nationals. However, the recent shoulder injury has put Ernst’s dreams of Worlds on hold for another year.

Ernst’s teammate Bailie Key, who is also out with an injury tweeted a picture of the two of them, with plans for “good times and tan lines” on Sunday. It appears the two are taking their injuries in stride and making the best of their forced time off.

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Have You Heard the Latest? Simone Biles


Simone Biles has been in the middle of turmoil and change over the last month. She has been dealing with a shoulder injury that caused her to pull out of the AT&T American Cup. Additionally, she and her coach announced a decision to change gyms.

Martha Karolyi confirmed to Gymnastike on Sunday that Biles had been given the ok by her doctors to return to training and would be able to compete in the upcoming Pacific Rims Championships. Indeed, Biles spent her 17th birthday at the national team verification camp, where she hoped to make her case to be named to the Pacific Rims team.

At March Verification Camp. Photo by Simone Biles

At March Verification Camp. Photo by Simone Biles

Biles was added to that team yesterday, when USA Gymnastics confirmed the six gymnasts who would be representing the USA. In response, she tweeted:Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.56.05 PM

Today, the Houston Chronicle confirmed that the Biles family are in the process of building the World Champions Centre, which will become the permanent new training center for Biles and coach Aimee Boorman. In the meantime, they will be training at AIM Athletics in The Woodlands.

AIM Athletics say that their goal is to “develop outstanding athletes who will deliver quality performances and a positive public identity to the community.” They want to “help each athlete grow as a total person and develop skills to better meet the challenges of a rapidly changing society.” This seems like a great environment for Biles in the midst of her own rapidly changing life.

Madison Kocian Out after Courageous Performance


Madison Kocian put on quite a show in the first two rotations of the P&G National Gymnastics Championships prelims. She lead the first two rounds of competition with beautiful performances on beam and bars. And at the end of the day, she ended up in second place to Simone Biles on beam (beating Kyla Ross) and second to Kyla Ross on bars.

Though beam and bars are definitely her strong events, Madison continued to look great in her floor routine. On her third pass, she most obviously hurt herself. For a split second, I thought it was a repeat of Georgia Rose at the Pacific Rims.  In the moment, the landing on her third pass looked pretty bad, and I fully expected a broken ankle. I was shocked when she continued on, and tentatively landed her final pass. It was such a courageous routine.

After the routine was over, her coach worked on her ankles, and she was surrounded by medical staff. Rumors later in the evening placed her in an aircast. And today, USA Gymnastics announced that she would not be competing in the Finals on Saturday.

Full Release from USA Gymnastics:

Madison Kocian of Dallas/WOGA has withdrawn from the second day of women’s competition at the 2013 P&G Gymnastics Championships.  She suffered a third degree sprain on her left ankle during the floor exercise competition last evening.

Sad to see her out of the competition, but this is definitely not the last time we will be hearing her name.