MG Elite Battles it Out for Junior Gold at the the 2015 P&G National Championships


Laurie Hernandez of MG Elite finally took her own junior national title, defeating defending national champion and teammate Jazmyn Foberg by one tenth. She scored a two day-total of 117.50 for the gold. Foberg put up an incredible fight, with her strongest all-around showing yet, scoring a 117.40. Ragan Smith of Texas Dreams wowed the crowd on floor and beam, taking bronze with a 116.45.

The juniors entered into day two with Jazmyn Foberg of MG Elite the surprise leader in a bid to defend her national title with a 58.35. She held the lead over teammate Laurie Hernandez who trailed by six tenths. Ragan Smith of Texas Dreams followed by five tenths in third.

In the first rotation, Foberg led off on vault with her strongest vault yet, a double twisting yurchenko that rivals any of the seniors, scoring a 15.2.  Hernandez followed up with a strong vault of her own, scoring just below her with a 15.1. Smith started on beam, where she delivered a rock solid beam routine worthy of a senior world team finals, scoring a 15.2. Aloyna Shchennikova scored a 14.35 on bars. The three leaders continued to distance themselves from the rest of the field in this rotation, but the order remained the same.

Smith was the highlight of rotation two, bringing down the house with her floor routine that is so full of personality, charm and sky high tumbling to earn a 14.65. Hernandez did her best bar routine yet, stuck landing and all for a huge score of 15.2. Foberg answered with a huge bar routine of her own, scoring a 14.65. However, it was not enough to stay in the lead, as Hernandez pulled into the lead by half a tenth!

Rotation three began with Jordan Chiles on floor, who put together a strong routine after a rough go on beam in rotation two. Christina Desiderio did a beautiful beam routine. While neither was able to break their way into the top three, they solidly held their places in fourth and fifth. Foberg was up first of the top three. She had a super solid go on beam, earning a sky high 9.0 escore and a 14.7. Smith put up a tight, clean vault for a 14.9. Hernandez answered with a 9.0 escore of her own and a 14.7, staying in the lead.

The last rotation in an eight rotation battle for gold begins with Foberg on floor. She tumbled more cleanly than ever before, but went out of bounds twice. Still, she improved her score from night one by three tenths for a 14.5. Smith did an excellent bar routine with a stuck landing to cap off her amazing competition and a 14.3. Hernandez needed to improve her night one score by one tenth to tie. She answered the challenge with a 14.55 to take the National Title. Chiles ended the night with a solid vault and in fourth.

The individual events had a few others make their way into the top three. Jordan Chiles won vault and Emily Gaskins took the bronze. Alyona Shchennikova took the bronze on bars and Christina Desiderio took the bronze on floor. The top three all-arounders took all the other medals. Results below with full results on pgchamps.com.

Laurie Hernandez, Jazmyn Foberg, Ragan Smith, Jordan Chiles, Christina Desiderio, and Sydney Johnson-Scharpf are the new Junior National Team as the top six finishers. Others may be added in the future.

What an epic way to end these three epic junior careers. They are all three eligible for the Rio Olympics next year and definitely made their mark today.

Watch the entire competition, it’s totally worth it!

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Photo by John Cheng

Secret US Classics Junior Results and Recap


The arena was ablaze with sparkling leotards as the juniors took the stage at the Secret US Classics. After an exciting competition, Lauren Hernandez of MG Elite topped the podium with a 58.45. Ragan Smith of Texas Dreams won the silver with a 57.70, while reigning national junior champion Jazzy Foberg of MG Elite followed behind her for the bronze with a 57.40. Hernandez led the entire meet, while Smith built up her scores with consistency and topped it off with a fantastic floor routine to take the silver. Foberg was also strong throughout the meet, however stumbles on her floor landings kept her just out of reach of the silver.

Rotation One

Jordan Chiles went for her new amanar vault, the only junior attempting this difficult skill, but touched her hand down to prevent herself from falling backward. She ended the rotation in third with a 14.6. Ragan Smith also started on vault, scoring a 14.7 with a clean double twisting yurchenko. Grace Quinn tied her for second in the first rotation with a beautiful double twisting yurchenko of her own.

Hernandez started on bars as did reigning national champion Foberg.  Foberg was up first, and floated through her 6.0 bar routine for a 14.1. But Hernandez stole the show with her high flying releases and stuck landing for a 15.0, leading after the first rotation.

Rotation Two

Laurie Hernandez on beam during podium training at the Secret US Classics. Photo by Christy Linder Sharp

Jordan Chiles did a beautiful bar routine, but did not match Hernandez’s difficulty on bars and ended up with a 14.1. Foberg got through beam with just a few small wobbles, hitting her skills nicely for a huge 14.65, the highest score on beam to this point. Hernandez got up next, performing with her usual style and attack but had a large step back on her landing, leaving her with a 14.2. The rotation ended with Hernandez in the lead with a 29.2, Foberg in second 28.75 followed closely by Chiles with a 28.7.

Rotation Three

Ragan Smith in podium training. Photo by Christy Linder Sharp.

Chiles performed a beautiful beam routine, but fell on her back tuck. She finished the routine strong, but a 13.6 was low enough to just knock her off the podium at the end of the rotation. Foberg competed some impressive tumbling in her floor routine, opening with a full twisting double layout and a tuck double double for her second pass. She has some rough landings, and earned a 13.85, which was not quite enough to keep her in the top three. Christine Desiderio steped into the top three with the highest floor score of the meet at this point, earning a 14.85. Smith competed three solid routines in a row, and her consistency plus her incredible beam routine including a standing piked full earned her a 14.1 on beam moved her up in the standings. Hernandez wowed the crowd with her incredible floor performance, and was nearly flawless until her last pass when she stumbled back a bit and went out of bounds. However, a 14.35 kept her well in the lead. At the end of rotation three, Hernandez led with a 43.55. Ragan Smith moved into second with a 42.70. Desiderio was followed with a 42.65. Foberg and Chiles fell to fourth and fifth.

Rotation Four

Foberg and Hernandez side by side through it all. Photo by Christy Linder Sharp.

Only four tenths separated second through fifth places heading into the last rotation, and the competition was tight. Foberg and Hernandez were on vault, usually highest scoring event. Smith and Chiles were on floor and Desiderio was on bars. Foberg led off with a high double twisting yurchenko for a 14.8. Hernandez did a clean double twisting yurchenko with a small hop, earning a a 14.9,the highest vault score in the meet and enough to keep her solidly in the lead. Ragan Smith took the floor with her charming and charismatic routine, opening with a sky high double layout, a one and a half stepout through to a triple twist, a double arabian and a stuck double pike. She scored the highest floor score of the meet, a whopping 15.0, which kept her in second place. Desiderio fell on bars, knocking her off the podium. Chiles finished up the meet on floor where she fell on her opening pass. She finished up well, but three falls in one meet kept her from the podium.

Full Results at SecretClassic.com. Top scores in the all-around and each event are below.

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USA Sweeps 2015 Jesolo Event Final Golds


Continuing a weekend of winning, Team USA swept the gold medals in the individual event finals, and took 13 out of 14 possible medals in total. Two-time World all-around champion Simone Biles of World Champions Centre, won three gold medals, one in every final she entered. Lauren Hernandez of MG Elite also won two junior event gold medals, both adding to the all-around and team golds they each won yesterday.

In the senior division, Biles won the gold in vault, balance beam and floor exercise. Kyla Ross of Gym-Max Gymnastics won the gold on her signature event, uneven bars. Biles was the only senior US gymnast eligible for the vault finals, but the US went one-two on bars and beam and took the gold and bronze on floor.

Marta Karolyi congratulating Simone Biles. Photo by by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

Biles took the vault title with a 15.525 (15.9 vault 1; 15.15 vault 2). Arianna Rocca of Italy took second with a 14.500, followed and Elsabeth Black of Canada was third with a 14.2.

Simone Biles on vault. Photo by by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

Biles withdrew from the bars final, allowing Bailie Key of Texas Dreams to compete. (Since the USA primarily uses Jesolo as a training competition, this is the only meet where they will have a gymnast withdraw from event finals to allow another gymnast to compete.) Ross won the gold with her newly upgraded routine, scoring a 15.25. Key took silver with a 15.100. Sabrina Gill of Canada rounded out the podium with a 14.300.

Kyla Ross on uneven bars. Photo by by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

Biles scored a 15.25 to win the beam final. Alyssa Baumann of WOGA Gymnastics took second with a 14.55. Carlotta Ferlito took third, scoring a 14.3.

Simone Biles takes beam gold. Photo by by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

Biles scored a whopping 16.05 -an astronomical score on floor- to take the floor gold. Erika Fasana of Italy squeaked into second with a 14.9, edging out Aly Raisman of Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, who scored a 14.85 for third.

Simone Biles bounds her way to floor gold. Photo by by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

In the junior division, Hernandez won the bars and floor golds. Jazmyn Foberg of MG Elite, won the vault, and Norah Flatley of Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute, took beam.  The USA juniors also took silver in three finals and bronze in the fourth.

Lauren Hernandez. Photo by by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

Foberg scored a 14.600 (14.9, 1st vault; 14.3, 2nd vault) to win the vault title, with Shallon Olsen of Canada just behind her with a 14.55 for second. Ragan Smith of Texas Dreams Gymnastics took third with a 14.35.

Jazmyn Foberg on vault. Photo by by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

The rest of the events saw the USA go one-two. On bars, Hernandez won gold with a 14.5 and Flatley took silver with a 14.25. Rose-Kayling Woo of Canada rounded out the podium with a 4.050.

Lauren Hernandez rises to the occasion with her new bar routine. Photo by by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

Flatley took top honors on her signature event, scoring a 14.9 on beam. Victoria Nguyen of Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute took the silver with a 14.4. Woo took her second bronze, scoring a 13.75.

Norah Flatley impresses on beam. Photo by by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

Hernandez brought out a new crowd pleasing floor routine to win the floor gold with a 14.650. Smith scored a 14.250 for silver, and Megane Roberts of Canada took the bronze with a 13.900.

Lauren Hernandez performs her heart out for gold on floor. Photo by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics.

Team USA Dominates at the City of Jesolo


Team USA continues their streak of team and all-around dominance on the international stage at this year’s City of Jesolo Trophy meet in Italy. They won the junior and senior team gold medals and swept the all-around podiums.  Two-time World all-around champion Simone Biles of World Champions Centre won the senior division, and Lauren Hernandez of MG Elite won the junior all-around title.

The first day of competition determined both the team and individual all-around standings and served as qualifications for event finals to be held tomorrow. Team USA totaled 241.3 in the senior team competition, followed by Italy (224.35) and Canada (221.75). The junior competition was held earlier in the day, where the junior team took the gold with a 229.1, followed by Canada for silver (222.45) and Italy rounding out the podium with the bronze (208.15).

Senior Team Medalists. Photo by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics

The USA junior team. Photo by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics

For the all-around competition, Biles led the seniors with an incredible score of 62.1. Bailie Key of Texas Dreams took the silver in her senior debut with a 59.5, and Aly Raisman of Brestyan’s American Gymnastics totaled a 59.1 for the bronze in her fist competition since the 2012 Olympics. In addition to sweeping the podium, the USA posted the top 5 all-around scores, and with no two per country rule in place, took nine of the top ten spots.

Bailie Key, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman. Photo by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics

Gabrielle Douglas of Buckeye Gymnastics came in fourth in her first competition since the Olympics with a 58.9, and Alyssa Baumann of WOGA Gymnastics took fifth, posting a 58.7. Erika Fasana of Italy took sixth (57.55), and seventh through tenth went back to the USA.  The order was Maggie Nichols of Twin City Twisters (57.5), Megan Skaggs of Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta, (57.15), Madison Desch of Great American Gymnastics Express, (56.9), and Kyla Ross of Gym-Max Gymnastics (56.75). Emily Schild of Everest Gymnastics made her international debut and scored a 54.95.

The USA Senior Team. Photo by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics

All of USA’s juniors finished in the top ten in the all-around in addition to sweeping the podium. Hernandez posted a 57.65 for gold followed by Norah Flatley of Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute with a 57.45 for silver and reigning National junior champion Jazmyn Foberg of MG Elite with a 56.55 for bronze. Ragan Smith of Texas Dreams Gymnastics was fifth (56.1) and Olivia Trautman of Twin City Twisters took sixth (55.2). Victoria Nguyen of Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute finished ninth (54.5).

Norah Flatley, Lauren Hernandez and Jazmyn Foberg. Photo by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics

USA Juniors with Marta Karolyi. Photo by Filippo Tomasi via USA Gymnastics

Both junior and senior event finals will be held tomorrow. In the senior ranks, Biles qualified to all four event finals in first, and Ross will join her in the bars final, Baumann in the beam final and Raisman in the floor. In the junior division, the qualifiers were Smith and Foberg on vault, Hernandez and Flatley on bars, Flatley and Nguyen on beam, and Hernandez and Flatley on floor.

City of Jesolo Trophy 2015 Roster and Details


This weekend boasts one of the most exciting meets of the spring, as it gives us a first look at many of the US gymnasts. The City of Jesolo Trophy will be held March 2529, with team, all-around and event finals taking place on the 28-29. USA Gymnastics takes quite a large team to this meet, giving many gymnasts a chance to debut for the year as well as gain international experience. The senior squad includes 2013-14 World all-around champion Simone Biles, and 2012 Olympic team gold-medalists Gabrielle Douglas, Alexandra Raisman, and Kyla Ross. Junior 2013 Junior National Champion Bailie Key will make her senior debut.

The competition highlights competitions in both the junior and senior levels, in the team, all-around and individual event categories. As the defending Jesolo champions, the United States automatically qualify to the team and all-around finals, as does the host country, Italy on March 28. The other countries will participate in qualifying rounds March 25-27.

The March 28 competition will determine the team and all-around results in both the junior and senior divisions, and the top eight athletes, with a maximum of two per team, will advance to the event finals on March 29.  The competition schedule is:  March 25, junior team qualification; March 26, senior team qualification; March 28, junior and senior team and all-around finals; and March 29, individual event finals.

The Italian Gymnastics Federation will broadcast a livestream of the competition on its YouTube Channel,www.youtube.com/user/FGIfederginnastica.

The complete U.S. Team roster is included below.

Seniors

Alyssa Baumann, Plano, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics

Simone Biles, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre

Madison Desch, Lenexa, Kansas/Great American Gymnastics Express

Gabrielle Douglas, Virginia Beach, Va./Buckeye Gymnastics

Bailie Key, Montgomery, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics

Maggie Nichols, Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters

Aly Raisman, Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics

Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max Gymnastics

Emily Schild, Huntersville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics

Megan Skaggs, Marietta, Ga./Gymnastics Academy of Georgia

Juniors

Norah Flatley, Cumming, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute

Jazmyn Foberg, Bayville, N.J./MG Elite

Lauren Hernandez, Old Bridge, N.J./MG Elite

Victoria Nguyen, West Des Moines, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute

Ragan Smith, Lewisville, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics

Olivia Trautman, Champlin, Minn./Twin City Twisters

*Schild and Skaggs have been added to the senior national squad, with Trautman named to the junior team.

Picture by Kim Zmeskal-Burdette Instagram

U.S. Junior National Champions and National Team


Jazmyn Foberg of MG Elite blast on to the junior scene by winning the Junior National All-Around title in her first year competing at the national championships. Consistency and calm were the key, as Foberg hit routine after routine over the two day competition. Eight for eight is the mantra every gymnast repeats, but Foberg was the only junior gymnast on the podium able to actually do it. Foberg also took  top honors on uneven bars, her favorite event.

Nia Dennis managed to grab the silver medal despite two falls on her first day of competition and a fall on the second day. Dennis came into the meet as the favorite to win. She brings the most difficulty, and has been the highest scoring junior of those competing at nationals in earlier international competitions this year. However, it seems that she just succumbed to nerves this go round.

Norah Flatley rounded out the podium with the bronze medal. Flatley, who could easily compete in a senior level world championship beam final right now shocked everyone with a fall on beam BOTH days. However, he was still able to find a spot on the podium with her beautiful, clean gymnastics.

Jordan Chiles came in most recently winning the 2014 Secret U.S. Classics two weeks ago. She had an incredibly rough first day, but was able to come back the second day and put in a great performance. As she still has a lot of time left in her gymnastics career, the experience of coming back and performing well is a great thing.

The top six gymnasts automatically qualified to the junior national team. Bailie Key was injured and did not compete at nationals, but was added to the team as well due to her phenomenal success over the past year. As three of the seven will be seniors next year, it is likely that more juniors will be added at a later time.

U.S. Junior Women’s National Team

Jordan Chiles, Vancouver, Wash./Naydenov Gymnastics, Nia Dennis, Westerville, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics, Norah Flatley, Cumming, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics, Jazmyn Foberg, Morganville, N.J./MG Elite, Emily Gaskins, Fairfield, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics, Bailie Key, Montgomery, Texas/Texas Dreams, and Alexis Vasquez, West Des Moines, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics.

All-around results and even medalists are as follows:

All-Around

  1. Jazmyn Foberg, Bayville, N.J., 114.950
  2. Nia Dennis, Westerville, Ohio, 114.500
  3. Norah Flatley, Cumming, Iowa, 112.550
  4. Jordan Chiles, Vancouver, Wash., 111.600
  5. Alexis Vasquez, West Des Moines, Iowa, 111.150
  6. Emily Gaskins, Coral Springs, Fla., 110.800

Vault

  1. Nia Dennis, Westerville, Ohio, 30.000
  2. Olivia Trautman, Champlin, Minn., 29.700
  3. Jordan Chiles, Vancouver, Wash., 29.650

Uneven Bars

  1. Jazmyn Foberg, Bayville, N.J., 28.850
  2. Norah Flatley, Cumming, Iowa, 28.400
  3. Nia Dennis, Westerville, Ohio, 28.150

Balance Beam

  1. Alexis Vasquez, West Des Moines, Iowa, 29.400
  2. Ragan Smith, Lewisville, Texas, 29.000
  3. Lauren Navarro, La Verne, Calif., 28.700

Floor Exercise

  1. Nia Dennis, Westerville, Ohio, 29.600
  2. Ragan Smith, Lewisville, Texas, 29.150
  3. Jordan Chiles, Vancouver, Wash. and Victoria Nguyen, West Des Moines, Iowa, 28.750

Jazzy Foberg – The Real Deal


In March of 2013, Jazmyn Foberg (Jazzy as she is affectionately known) made a decision that would change the entire trajectory of her life. She started training with Maggie Haney at MG Elite. And now she finds herself topping the junior division scoreboard as she heads into the second day of competition for the P&G U.S. National Championships.

Jazmyn Foberg of MG Elite at the P&G National Championships. Photo by John Cheng via USA Gymnastics.

Her meteoric rise from not even qualifying for nationals last year to topping the leaderboard this year is quite rare in the sport of gymnastics. But her success is not a surprise to coach Haney. “What excites me the most about Jazzy is how fast she is progressing. She has improved so much in the past year; it’s actually amazing. She is a totally different gymnast now then she was one year ago. If she continues to improve at this rate; the sky is the limit for her!”

In this case, words like improved don’t even begin to capture the monumental progress Foberg has made. Last year at the Secret U.S. Classics, she placed 26th and missed out on qualifying for nationals. Her teammates Laurie Hernandez and Ari Agrapides went on to phenomenal success at nationals, where Hernandez took the all-around silver and Agrapides won the national vault title in the junior division. “I think it was very good for Jazzy to see Laurie & Ari have such successes last year. I think that Jazzy became very motivated after watching them go to camp after camp and even watching Laurie have International assignments. I feel like this was like dangling a carrot in front of Jazzy. It motivated her and this is what she wants and is willing to work towards,” said Haney.

Foberg’s hard work began to pay off earlier in 2014, where she won the all-around and the uneven bars at the 2014 Buckeye Elite Qualifer. She continued to gain speed at the American Classic in Huntsville, Texas where she won the all-around, vault and bars. Then there was the 2014 Secret U.S. Classic. Oh what a difference a year can make.

After a great showing at the national training camp, Foberg was one of the junior gymnasts selected to compete in the senior session. Foberg took the early lead in the competition, and as a result was featured twice in the NBC broadcast. For a junior elite gymnast, that is some pretty heady stuff. But Foberg took it all in stride. As it seems she always does. Haney said of Foberg, “I would describe Jazzy as a very “chill” kid. She is level headed and I never have any surprises with her. Inside the gym, Jazzy is extremely focused and very good at making corrections and feeling what she is doing.” Foberg went on to place 5th in the all-around at Classics.

Jazmyn Foberg, featured on the live broadcast of the 2014 Secret U.S. Classics as a junior.

Foberg came into nationals looking confident and ready to compete. Nia Dennis leads the junior field in difficulty, and has generally been considered the favorite to win after strong international performances earlier in the year. Right behind Dennis has been Norah Flatley, Chow’s latest star who has excellent execution and a stellar beam routine. And then there is Jordan Chiles, who took everyone by surprise winning the Secret U.S. Classic earlier this month. Foberg came into the meet with the second highest difficulty planned, and a strong desire to follow in the footsteps of her teammates and stand on that medal podium.

She started out the first day of competition with a strong double twisting Yurchenko that scored a 14.6. This gave her the early lead after rotation one, a position she only relinquished for one rotation the rest of the day. Moving into her strongest event, Foberg put up the second highest bar score of the competition; but a strong vault from Dennis pushed her into second half way through the meet.

With her two strongest events behind her, Foberg was going to need to put up solid routines and mistakes from the other girls to regain the lead. And that is just what she got. Dennis performed a beautiful bar routine, but fell on her dismount. Flatley had a shocking fall on beam, but still scored a 14.4 with her incredible routine. Foberg remained focused despite all the falls around her and hit a solid beam routine, putting her back in the lead. A lead she was able to hold onto in the last rotation as Dennis had a second fall.

“I would like Jazzy to be remembered as a calm & consistent competitor. Jazzy is really a great kid and I don’t think she should be underestimated,” said Haney. Done and done. As many of the juniors succumbed to nerves, Foberg continued to develop her reputation as a calm and consistent competitor. Adding this to the beautiful lines MG Elite is becoming known for, Foberg has proven that she is the real deal. “She had already far exceeded my expectations for this year; so now I know what she is capable of… I have already raised my goals and expectations for her. The plan is to make her a master on bars. So hopefully she will be remembered as a great bar worker who does a lot of releases!”

Whether or not Foberg is able to hold onto her lead tomorrow in the second day of competition, it is clear that she has legitimately come into her own as one of the juniors to watch on the Road to Rio. Her strong all-around abilities, cool and consistent performance personality, and her great bar work  firmly ingrain her into the mix of gymnasts who are strong contenders for 2016.

Jazzy Foberg 2013 Secret U.S. Classics

Jazzy Foberg 2014 P&G National Championships

2014 Secret U.S. Classics Juniors to Watch (Sr. session)


In the gymnastics world, the Olympics trump all. And though we have an eye on who’s who in 2014, there is always equally an eye on who WILL be who in 2016. And so this year, watching the juniors who will be possible contenders for the 2016 Olympics is as important as watching the senior contenders for this year’s World Championship team.

Due to the large number of juniors entered in the Secret U.S. Classics, a handful of 2016 age eligible gymnasts have been “promoted” to compete in the senior session. Nia Dennis of Buckeye Gymnastics, Norah Flatley of Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute, Jazmyn Foberg of MG Elite, Lauren Navarro of Charter Oak Gymnastics, Abby Paulson and Olivia Trautman of Twin City Twisters, Emily Gaskins of Cincinnati Gymnastics, and Ragan Smith of Texas Dreams Gymnastics will all be making their senior debut of sorts early, though they will be competing for the junior titles.

With the absence of 2013 Junior National Champion Bailie Key and 2013 Junior All-around Silver Medalist Laurie Hernandez as well as 2013 Junior National Vault Champion Ari Agrapides from the roster, there is a lot of room for these juniors to make their mark at this competition. Dennis, Flatley, Gaskins and Smith are current U.S. Junior National Team members and have all had international assignments this year. Each one has performed well, and there is no doubt that there are high expectations for them this year.

Dennis placed fourth in the all-around at last year’s national championships, second at the City of Jesolo and second at the Pacific Rims Championships this year (to Key both times). She is known for her powerful tumbling, high release moves on bars, and what is possibly the best arabian on beam in the world. With Key and Hernandez out of the competition, Dennis is statistically the one to beat, and a strong contender for the all-around gold. Here she is training bars.

Flatley is a gymternet favorite, followed for many years for her incredible beam work and her uncanny resemblance to Shawn Johnson in technique and personality. Placing fifth at last years nationals, and third in the City of Jesolo and the Pacific Rims Championships (just behind Dennis both times), Flatley is a strong contender as well for the all-around title. Flatley is widely regarded as Chow’s next superstar (Chow coached Shawn Johnson to an all-around Olympic silver and Olympic beam gold as well as coached Gabby Douglas to an all-around Olympic gold). She will be a senior in 2016 and in addition to her potential as an all-arounder, she is also continuing to make a case for herself as a bars/beam specialist for the future, with definite potential to win an world or Olympic medal on the beam. Here she is at the Pacific Rim Championships on beam.

Gaskins placed 18th in last year’s national championships, but since moving to Cincinnati Gymnastics has been steadily moving up. She was given an international assignment earlier this year to the City of Jesolo, where she place fifth in the all-around. Known for her clean lines and beautiful form with that “international look”, Gaskins has so much potential to really be a major contender not only this year, but in the next few years. Here she is at the May National Training Camp.

Smith placed 17th at the national championships last year. However, she has recently made a gym change to Texas Dreams, the current US powerhouse of elite level gymnastics. The change seems to be agreeing well with her, as she secured a place on the national team and an assignment to the City of Jesolo this year where she placed ninth in the all-around (and sixth amongst the US gymnasts). Smith is full of talent and drive, with that pixie cute look that always wins hearts in the junior ranks. She will be one to watch for sure! Check her out at the May National Team Training Camp.

Foberg continues to strengthen the bench of MG Elite as their third high caliber junior elite gymnast. Last year she seemed to lag far behind celebrated teammates Hernandez and Agrapides. But in recent months she won the all-around at American Classics, as well as 1st on vault and bars. She also finished 4th at the last National Team Camp (only .35 out of 2nd). Classics could very well be where she makes her debut and joins the ranks of her teammates as one of the USA’s top juniors. Go to the MG Elite Facebook page and scroll down to see some of Foberg’s latest work.

Navarro, Paulson and Trautman all have yet to prove their status in the junior elite world. However, they must have done well enough at national camps to be included on the senior session. It will be exciting to see how they fair!