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.

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!

 

 

 

2014 USA Pacific Rims Team Announced


USA Gymnastics announced the women’s artistic gymnastic team representing the US at the upcoming Pacific Rims Gymnastic Championships on the heels of the City of Jesolo Trophy meet. Martha Karolyi and the rest of the selection committee used the results from the meet to make their final selection for the upcoming championships in Richmond, B.C., Canada, April 9-11.

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The team is made up of three seniors and three juniors, following the format of the competition. USA Gymnastics is sending USA’s best. This team is full of champions, including seniors Simone Biles, the reigning World all-around champion, Kyla Ross, the reigning 2013 World silver medalist and 2012 Olympic team gold medalist and Elizabeth Price, 2014 AT&T American Cup champion and four time World Cup aa champion.  Rounding out the team are juniors Bailie Key, reigning US junior national champion, Nia Dennis, and Norah Flatley who all showed strong performances at the City of Jesolo Trophy meet last weekend, sweeping the medal podium.

The team will begin podium training on Monday, April 7th, preparing for the first day of competition on Wednesday, April 9th against 15 other countries from around the Pacific Rim. The USA will compete in the draw with Canada, China, Hong Kong and Panama at 7 p.m. PT for the team and all-around competitions. Juniors advancing on to event finals will compete on Friday, April 11th at 6 p.m. and seniors will compete on Saturday, April 12th at 2:30 p.m. The full schedule includes men’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline gymnastics.

The competition will be livestreamed at pacificrimchamps.com.

2014 City of Jesolo Wrap up and Results


The results are in from the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy. It was an extremely successful meet for the USA. They came out strong to win the team and sweep the all around in both the junior and senior competitions yesterday. Today they added 13 out of a possible 15 medals in the junior and senior event finals.

Bailie Key put in an amazing performance winning gold in the junior team, all around, vault, bars and floor and a silver on beam (to USA teammate Norah Flatley). Kyla Ross did not have quite the meet that everyone anticipated. She came in with a downgraded routine on bars, and then had two totally uncharacteristic mistakes. Ross balked her first attempt on vault in the all around (the same deduction as a fall) and fell on beam in event finals. Even so, what is an “off” meet for Ross is still better than most people’s best, walking away with team and all around gold medals and silver medals on bars and floor.

The USA dominated in the all around in both the junior and senior divisions, taking 1st -6th in the seniors and 1st-3rd in the juniors. All of the girls who competed all around finished in the top ten.

In the senior all around, Peyton Ernst took the silver with a strong performance, followed closely by Maggie Nichols with the bronze. MyKayla Skinner was in close contention for the all around gold until a fall on floor left here in fourth. Had she stayed on her feet, she would have won! Nia Dennis had a solid competition, taking the silver in the juniors, followed closely by Norah Flatley for bronze.

Skinner also made a big splash in the senior event finals, winning the gold on vault and floor with her incredible difficulty. Madison Kocian strengthened her bid as a bars specialist for team USA by winning a gold on bars over US teammate Ross. Alyssa Bauman rounded out the medals with a silver on beam.

In the junior event finals, Jordan Chiles came away from her junior international debut with a silver on vault. Nia Dennis added to her all around and team medals with a silver on bars; while Norah Flatley, the celebrated beam worker, did not disappoint and did a fabulous routine to add a gold on beam.

Emily Gaskins had a rough event final on floor, as a fall and a big out of bounds took her beautiful floor routine to score at the bottom of the pack.

Andreea Munteanu and Laura Jurca both came out strong for Romania. Munteanu won beam finals and took the bronze on floor. Jurca was right behind the American’s at every turn, taking fourth in the all around, bronze on vault and a silver with her charming floor routine.

Italy did well on their home turf, and even without their top two gymnasts, took silver in the team event and bronze on vault, bars and beam in the senior division.

Complete results are listed below, or you can watch the team and all around competition and the event finals competition to see all the action for yourself. Individual routines are linked below and more will be added as they become available.

Seniors

All Around Top 10

1) Kyla Ross – USA – 58.00
2) Peyton Ernst – USA – 57.650
3) Maggie Nichols – USA – 57.450
4) Mykayla Skinner – USA – 57.20
5) Rachel Gowey – Mix Group (USA) – 56.750
6t) Alyssa Baumann – USA – 55.70
6t) Elisa Meneghini – Italy – 55.79
8) Maddie Desch – USA – 55.650 
9) Erika Fasana – Italy – 55.550
10) Natsumi Sasada – Japan – 55.150

Team Results

1) USA – 231.650
60.60 VT, 58.30 UB, 55.60 BB, 57.150 FX
2) Italy – 221.50
57.35 VT, 56.65 UB, 54.95 BB, 54.55 FX
3) Japan – 217.800
55.60 VT, 54.80 UB, 53.70 BB, 53.70 FX
4) Australia – 206.70
55.55 VT, 49.85 UB, 48.15 BB, 53.150 FX

Senior Vault

1) Mykayla Skinner – USA – 15.634 average –
2) Alesia Leolini – Italy – 13.617 average

There were only two competitors in the senior vault final.

Senior Bars

1) Madison Kocian – USA – 15.033 (6.10/8.933) – watch here
2) Kyla Ross – USA – 14.967 (5.90/9.067) – watch here
3) Giorgia Campana – Italy – 14.00 (5.30/8.70)
4) Kiara Munteanu – Australia – 13.933 (5.70/8.233)
5) Georgia-Rose Brown – Australia – 13.767 (5.80/7.967)
6) Marina Rizzeli – Italy – 13.367 (5.60/7.767)
7) Chinami Otaki – Japan – 13.333 (5.50/7.833)
8) Yuki Uchiyama – Japan – 13.167 (5.70/7.467)

Senior Beam

1) Andreea Munteanu – Romania – 14.833 (6.40/8.433) – watch here
2) Alyssa Baumann – USA – 14.20 (5.80/8.40) – watch here
3) Elisa Meneghini – Italy – 14.20 (5.90/8.30)
4) Natsumi Sasada – Japan – 14.00 (5.70/8.30)
5) Stefania Stanila – Romania – 13.70 (5.50/8.20)
6) Kyla Ross – USA – 13.433 (5.60/7.833) – watch here
7) Yuki Uchiyama – Japan – 13.40 (5.50/7.90)
8) Giorgia Campana – Italy – 13.133 (5.80/7.333)

Senior Floor

1) Mykayla Skinner – USA – 14.533 – watch here
2) Kyla Ross – USA – 14.233 – watch here
3) Andreea Munteanu – Romania – 13.967 – watch here
4) Elisa Meneghini – Italy – 13.933
5) Stefania Stanila – Romania – 13.633
6) Wakana Ionue – Japan – 12.667
7) Erika Fasana – Italy – 11.6333
8) Kiara Munteanu – Australia – 11.567

Juniors

Team Results

1. USA – 228.00
2. Romania – 212.9
3. Italy – 211.4
4. Japan – 218.45
5. Australia – 200.70

All Around Top 10

1. Bailie Key – USA – 58.25
2. Nia Dennis – USA – 56.3
3. Norah Flatley – USA – 56.1
4. Laura Jurca – Romania – 55.5
5. Emily Gaskins – USA – 55.2
6. Jordan Chiles – USA – 54.9 
7. Sae Myakawa – Japan – 53.2
8. Josra Abdelaziz – Italy – 53.1
9. Ragan Smith – USA – 52.65
10. Sofia Busato – Italy – 52.55

Junior Vault

1) Bailie Key – USA – 14.934 – watch here
2) Jordan Chiles – USA – 14.350 – watch here
3) Laura Jurca – Romania – 14.234
4) Aya Megga – Australia – 14.084
5) Sofia Busato – Italy – 13.60
6) Alysha Djuric – Australia – 13.551
7) Desiree Carofiglio – Italy – 13.00

Junior Bars

1) Bailie Key – USA – 14.267 (5.60/8.667) – watch here
2) Nia Dennis – USA – 13.933 (5.40/8.53) – watch here
3) Marina Kawasaki – Japan – 13.367 (5.40/8.533)
4) Anda Butuc – Romania – 13.20 (5.10/8.10)
5) Josra Abdelaziz – Italy – 13.20 (5.30/7.90)
6) Darcy Norman – Australia – 13.067 (5.50/7.567)
7) Alice Linguerri – Italy – 11.667 (4.90/6.767)
8) Laura Jurca – Romania – 11.267 (5.0/6.267)

Junior Beam

1) Norah Flatley – USA – 14.667 (6.10/8.667/-0.10) –watch here
2) Bailie Key – USA – 14.533 (6.10/8.433) – watch here
3) Andreea Iridon – Romania – 14.30 (5.80/8.50)
4) Yuku Momiyama – Japan – 14.067 (5.50/8.567)
5) Laura Jurca – Romania – 13.667 (5.50/8.267/-0.10)
6) Desiree Carofiglio – Italy – 12.60 (4.80/7.80)
7) Sae Miyakawa – Japan – 11.033 (5.0/6.033)
8) Alica Linguerri – Italy – 10.167 (5.0/5.167)

Junior Floor

1) Bailie Key – USA – 14.533 (5.90/8.633) – watch here
2) Laura Jurca – Romania – 13.733 (5.40/8.333)
3) Yuka Momiyama – Japan – 13.633 (5.30/8.433/-0.10)
4) Pilar Rubagotti – Italy – 13.333 (5.30/8.333/-0.30)
5) Sofia Busato – Italy – 13.233 (4.90/8.333)
6) Ayu Koike – Japan – 13.133 (5.20/7.933)
7) Andra Stoica – Romania – 13.00 (5.20/8.10/-0.30)
8) Emily Gaskins – USA – 11.067 (5.30/6.367/-0.60) – watch here

The 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy Teams Announced


USA Gymnastics just announced the junior and senior gymnasts representing the USA at the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy. The announcement was made from the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch at the conclusion of the March National Team selection camp.

The senior team will be headlined by Kyla Ross, the youngest member of the 2012 Fierce Five Olympic Gold team and 2013 World all around silver medalist. She is the only team member that has been to a world championship or Olympic games before and this will be her fifth time competing at this meet. Joining her are seven other seniors, including six who have competed in the City of Jesolo Trophy competition in previous years.

Peyton Ernst and Maggie Nichols competed on the 2013 team, MyKayla Skinner and Madison Desch were on the 2012 team and Madison Kocian competed in 2011. Alyssa Bowman and Rachel Gowey round out the team as international “rookies”, with no previous experience as an elite gymnast in international competition. This assignment also marks Gowey’s addition to the Senior National Team.

2013 U.S. junior all-around national champion Bailie Key headlines the juniors. This will be Key’s third time representing the USA at this meet and she competed at four other international meets last year. None of the five other juniors joining her have competed at this competition previously, and only two of others, Nia Dennis and Emily Gaskins, have competed internationally before. Gaskins represented the USA at the Junior Mexican Cup in 2013, while Dennis competed in England back in 2011, though she was not representing the USA nationally.  This will be Norah Flatley, Jordan Chiles and Ragan Smith’s international debut. Chiles and Smith were both officially added to the junior national team with this assignment.

The City of Jesolo Trophy will be held in Venice, Italy on March 22-23. The seventh installment of this competition will feature gymnasts from USA, Australia, Japan, Romania, and Italy. There will be a team, all-around and event finals competition in both the junior and senior divisions. March 22nd will be the team and all-around competitions. Results from the first day will qualify gymnasts to event finals on the 23rd.

According to USA Gymnastics, National Team Coordinator Martha Karolyi said “This competition a great training ground for the upcoming Pacific Alliance Championships and World Championships.”  As the selections for gymnasts representing the USA at the Pacific Rims Gymnastics Championship and the Tokyo World Cup are to be announced later in the month, it can also be inferred that the performance of the gymnasts in Venice will help determine that selection.

The complete roster is listed below.

Seniors
Alyssa Baumann, Plano, Texas/WOGA
Madison Desch, Lenexa, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express
Peyton Ernst, Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics
Rachel Gowey, Urbandale, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute
Madison Kocian, Dallas, Texas/WOGA
Maggie Nichols, Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters
Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max
Mykayla Skinner, Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights Gymnastics

Juniors
Jordan Chiles, Vancouver, Wash./Naydenov Gymnastics
Nia Dennis, Westerville, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics
Norah Flatley, Cumming, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute
Emily Gaskins, Coral Springs, Fla./Cincinnati Gymnastics
Bailie Key, Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics
Ragan Smith, Dacula, Ga./Texas Dreams Gymnastics

Aside

I dare you to find an unpointed toe or a bent leg amongst these sparkling juniors. In this group, great form and beautiful performances are the rule and not the exception. Watching this meet felt like watching a senior meet, except with floor routine after floor routine that were delightfully performed. Below are the results and a video of the top scoring routine from the two nights. And at the bottom are our new Junior National Team members! All photos and videos are from USA Gymnastics (Photos by John Cheng and Geoff Bolte).

Vault
1. Ariana Agrapides 30.750
2. Nia Dennis 30.200
2. Vanasia Bradley 30.200
The top scoring vault was a delightful vault by Ariana on day 2. She scored a 9.6 execution score (15.4) with a vault that was most definitely one of the highlights of the entire competition.
Bars
1. Amelia Hundley 28.55
2. Lauren Hernandez 28.45
3. Polina Shchennikova 28.3
The top scoring bar routine of either night was Veronica Hults, who scored a 14.65 on day 2.
Beam
1. Bailie Key 30.9
2. Norah Flatley 29.96
3. Laurie Hernandez, Alexis Vasquez 29.4
The top scoring beam routine was Bailie Key’s routine on day 2, scoring a whopping 15.5.
Floor
1. Bailie Key 29.75
2. Laurie Hernandez 29.1
3. Amelia Hundley 29.0
Bailie Key scored a 14.8 on day 1 and Laurie Hernandez scored the same on day 2. So here are both delightful routines.
All Around
1. Bailie Key 118.55
2. Laurie Hernandez 116.65
3. Amelia Hundley 113.75

Your New Junior National Team

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The top eight all-arounders were named to the Junior National team. It is not uncommon for Marta to add more.

Bailie Key

Lauren Hernandez

Amelia Hundley

Nia Dennis

Norah Flatley

Veronica Hults

Alyssa Baumann

Polina Shchennikova

Junior National Champions

Watch the 2013 Secret U.S. Classic Floor Champions


Floor was quite a treat! I think the next few years we are going to see quite a change in the US floor offerings. We are seeing quite a few girls who can tumble AND dance in the mix! Not to be missed is my favorite routine of the meet – Laurie Hernandez and McKayla Maroney’s new floor routine.

Seniors

Floor Champion –  Lexie Priessman (14.8)

Floor Silver – Peyton Ernst (14.5)

Floor Bronze – McKayla Maroney (14.35)

Juniors

Floor Champion – Lauren Hernandez (14.65)

Floor Silver – Nia Dennis (14.6)

Floor Bronze – Amelia Hundley (14.45)

Watch 2013 U.S. Secret Classic Vault Champions


Seniors

As far as I can tell, only two seniors performed two different vaults, the necessary qualification for vault event finals in any major international competition.

Vault Champion – McKayla Maroney  (15.6)

Coming back as strong as ever, McKayla competed her gravity defying Amanar and the Mustafina.  She won with a 15.6

Vault Silver – MyKayla Skinner (15.25)

Making her senior debut, MyKayla competed two strong vaults. A Cheng – now worth more than an amanar- and a DTY. She definitely has the potential to be  a strong vault contender.

Juniors

No juniors perform two vaults, so the vaulting scores are just made up of their primary vault.

Vault Champion – Nia Dennis (15.25)

Nia showed power and amplitude everywhere she went, and vault was no different!

Vault Silver – Ariana Agrapides (15.1)

This little girl has a big vault! As a brand new elite who just started competing this vault, it will be fun to see what she can do.

Vault Bronze – Emily Schild (15.0)

Definitely a strong vaulter, Emily led the competition with this vault for the first round.

Vault Bronze – Bailie Key (15.0)

For such a slight, small girl, Bailie has a great vault! No doubt as she grows it will just get better.