Thursday, May 3, 2012

American Classic Preview - The Juniors

Eheheeeee YAY!

Property of Ruth Judson
Did you hear that? That's the sound of me getting super excited about the legitimate US elite season starting up. I try to pretend that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to NCAA and Minor International competitions, but domestic meets are really my forte.

The American Classic will be held at the Ranch on May 5th at 10:30 AM. It's a super tiny version of the US Classics which serves as a qualifier to the US National Championships. A National Qualifier will be held today and tomorrow during which new elites may qualify to this meet.

So onto the important part: The Gymnasts. The Junior Field consists of 13 gymnasts who range from former National Team members to brand new elites. (Hopefully Aloyna, Polina Shchennikova's baby sister will be added to the lineup!)

Property of Greg Long
Highlighting the field are fan favorite Polina Shchennikova, with Nastia-eque lines and Simone Biles who reportedly definitely has an Amanar. Texas Dreams is sending juniors Peyton Ernst, Ariana Guerra and Macy Toronjo all of whom have a delightful presence when performing. Watch for Peyton's strong beam routine and Macy's style and pizzazz on floor. Ariana, who is the only former national team member in this division, won Vault and an All Around Silver Medal at the 2010 Top Gym competition.

Most of the competitors are girls who qualified to Classics last year but missed out on making Championships. Ashley Foss (North Stars), Nicole Lehrmann (Capital), Shannon McNatt (Stars), and Meredith Sylvia (Parkettes) fall into this category. Poor Ashley, who's actually a fairly strong gymnast, was outshone by her god awful leo last year, which most people connect her name with. Meredith, who you might have seen at the Nastia Liukin Cup this year, has four solid routines, when she hits. She earned a 14.8 at this year's WOGA Classic Elite Qualifier.

Amanda Huang who competed at the 2011 US Classics will also be competing this weekend, but you can learn more about her in tomorrow's "Fresh Face".

And then we'll talk about the newcomers.
Property of USAG

Lacy Dagen (Pictured Left) is a 1997 baby who competes for San Mateo Gymnastics. She's the Level 10 Region 1 Champ on Vault. She also won Westerns a few years back. She planned to compete at the American Classic last season, but scratched for an unknown reason. She did land herself on the National Team Training Squad though, so the National Team Staff must see potential in her.

Taylor Krippner  competes for Cypress (home of Jonathan Horton & Caitlyn Atkinson) and most recently competed at the Region 3 Level 10 Championships where she placed 3rd on Beam. While she has some impressive skills, frankly, she just looks exhausted in every video I've seen of her. I wish her the best, and hope she does well this weekend!

Prop. of Skaggs Family
Megan Skaggs (Pictured Right) was a standout at last year's US Challenge on when she won beam in her division. She'll turn 13 this Monday, and competes for Gymnastics Academy of Atlanta. She attended the most recent development camp where she scored a 52.1 AA according to her website. She's the reigning Level 10 Georgia AA State champ on Vault and Floor. I was particularly impressed with her floor exercise where she seems to be getting close to sticking every pass and has one of the most gorgeous double turns I've seen in a long time in gymnastics.

All in all, expect to see most of these girls later in the season, perhaps a few will even make the national team. Tune in later today to see the Senior Preview!

1 comment:

  1. Simone does have an amanar already!