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 the 2013 Secret U.S. Classic Beam Champions


By John Cheng

By John Cheng

The balance beam tooks its fair share of victims, especially in the junior ranks. Many impressive beam routines fell victim to, well a fall. However, all the beam routines you see below are well worth your time watching they are beautiful! Most especially Norah Flatley, who has been a you tube sensation on beam for many years. Her elite beam debut did not disappoint!

Seniors

Balance Beam Champion – Peyton Ernst (14.7)

Balance Beam Silver – Kyla Ross (14.65)

Balance Beam Bronze – Kennedy Baker (14.3)

Juniors

Balance Beam Champion – Norah Flatley (15.2)

Balance Beam Silver – Bailie Key (15.0)

Balance Beam Bronze – Veronica Hults (14.9)

Watch the 2013 Secret US Classic Bars Champions


By John Cheng

By John Cheng

There were lots of attempts at some high flying skills on bars, but in the end, clean and consistent won the day.

Seniors

Uneven Bars Champion – Kyla Ross (15.4)

Uneven Bars Silver – Madison Kocian (14.45)

Uneven Bars Bronze – Abigail Milliet (14.4)

Juniors

Uneven Bars Champion – Veronica Hults (14.55)

Uneven Bars Silver – Amelia Hundley (14.400)

Uneven Bars Bronze – Polina Shchennikova (14.35)

All videos are from USA Gymnastics.

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.

2013 Secret U.S. Classic Senior All-Around Champions


The Queen of Clean Reigns at Classics – Kyla Ross

Kyla just gets better with age. As you would expect, her time at the Olympics has given her maturity and depth that shows in her gymnastics. Especially in her floor routine. She used to just go from pose to pose. At Classics, she seemed to FEEL the music and danced beautifully. With a watered down beam routine and an uncharacteristic fall on floor, she still took the title.

Beauty and Elegance Win the Day – Peyton Ernst

Peyton was a bit of a surprise, but she came through with four solid routines all done with beauty and elegance. She is a joy to watch perform and will be one to watch for sure at Nationals.

Taking Risks has Rewards – Brenna Dowell

Brenna has upgraded everywhere, and it was really fun to see her compete everything. She has some cleaning up to do to make her execution match her difficulty, but she did great for her first debut of so many difficult skills.

2013 U.S. Secret Classic Junior All-Around Champions


The Junior Competition was exciting as many different people were showing strong performances. The balance beam took many of the possible champions down, but overall it was a really great competition. Thanks to USA Gymnastics, we have videos of every routine!

Third Time’s a Charm for Bailie Key – All-Around Champion.

Bailie has been on the elite scene since 2010 – qualifying Junior Elite at just 11 years old. A member of the Junior US National Team since 2011, she already has a significant amount of international experience.  At 14, She carries herself like a veteran, with two years to go until her senior debut!  She won with an all-around score of 58.250 in her third US Classics.  She had a beautiful meet, and what is more amazing is that rumor has it that she did it with the stomach flu.

Going it Alone and Still Going Strong. Amelia Hundley – Silver Medalist

Amelia and Lexie Priessman are two names that always go together. We haven’t seen one without the other in training videos much less competition in their elite careers. One year older, Lexie moved on to the senior ranks. But Amelia did just fine and took the silver medal with a 57.950.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race for Nica Hultz – Bronze Medalist

Nica has been slowly, but surely climbing her way through the ranks over the past few years. She took the bronze medal with a 56.800 her final year as a Junior.

All videos from USA Gymnastics.

Lingering Impressions from Secret Classics


After so many months of waiting and wondering, the first of the big three meets to determine our 2012 Olympic team has come and gone. After marinating for a few days, here are my lingering impressions from the 2012 Secret Classics.

Some things are like riding a bike. Once you learn, you never forget (even if you are a little rusty.) 

Such was the case with Nastia Liukin. She was nervous during podium training and looked unsure before she mounted the podium for the beam. I thought, “Sigh, this is gonna be rough.” But the green flag went up and you SAW the change. She transformed in that moment. Nastia prepared to mount the beam with a look in her eyes that said “This, I know how to do.” It was a gymnastics moment I won’t soon forget. She went on to compete a solid, respectable beam routine. Oh, one that just happened to tie as the third highest score. Yes, I continue to have faith in her comeback.

Aly just keeps getting back on each event, each performance with the same consistency. She has learned how to hit. And she just keeps hitting.

Gymnasts CAN have floor routines that give me chills.

I LOVED Anna Li’s dance through. It literally gave me chills. No matter where this venture takes her, I will always be grateful that she gave us that beautiful floor routine. And Sarah Finnegan. WOW. The girl is more breathtaking on floor every time she goes out there. I love her routine and love that she can get in so much difficulty with only three passes. Pass on the boring double back, thank you very much. These two moments were such highlights for me.

Things that have become commonplace that should continue to wow me.

Maroney on vault. Wieber on beam. Douglas on bars. Raisman on beam and floor. These are spectacular performances that should draw praise again and again. But we have become so used to them they often go unmentioned. They were as beautiful to watch as ever. Once again, I am grateful to be in a time where the USA has amazing depth and so very many talented gymnasts.