1. Anna Huber, Rochester Gymnastics Academy
Claim to Fame: 2015 Jr. A Level 10 New York State Champion
Why You Should Watch: Anna began her gymnastics career in 2010 and was competing at the Level 9 National Championships by 2013! Though tiny, she somehow manages to compete a double-twisting Yurchenko. She only competed on bars at the American Classic, but hopefully we’ll get to see her floor exercise this weekend, which she opens with an arabian double front.
2. Trinity Thomas, Prestige Gymnastics
Claim to Fame: 2nd place on vault at the 2015 WOGA Classic
Why You Should Watch: She’s got a great and unique skill set; her front toss on beam stands out in particular. On floor, she’s training a piked full-in, a 1.5 through to double pike, and a triple full. She’s also got a great beam routine that earned her a 14.3 at the WOGA qualifier.
3. Chae Campbell, Metroplex Gymnastics
Claim to Fame: 3rd all-around at J.O. Nationals and 5th at the Nastia Liukin Cup
Why You Should Watch: Chae was undefeated on vault for the entire 2014 Season. Her full-twisting Yurchenko could rival any vault in the NCAA and she is likely to compete a double at Classics. She’s strong on beam as well where she dismounts with (and typically sticks) a double back.
4. Emma Malabuyo, Texas Dreams
Claim to Fame: 2nd place on beam at the 2015 WOGA Classic
Why You Should Watch: One of several new juniors debuting from Texas Dreams, Emma’s beam is beautiful. After moving to Texas from Airbourne in 2013, her skills there have been consistently on the rise. She earned a 14.3 at the 2015 WOGA Classic and a 14.5 at the AOGC national qualifier.
5. Tori Tatum, Twin City Twisters
Claim to Fame: 2015 Jr. A J.O. National Bars Champion
Why You Should Watch: This year marks Tori’s second attempt at trying for elite, and she made it by the skin of her teeth, getting in at the May qualifier with a 51.5 – exactly the score she needed. She trains with U.S. national team members Maggie Nichols and Olivia Trautman.
6. Jaylene Gilstrap, Metroplex Gymnastics
Claim to Fame: 4th at the 2014 U.S. Challenge
Why You Should Watch: Jaylene was only a level 8 last year yet earned a spot in the Hopes Challenge meet last summer. Her goal was to make elite this year but after breaking three bones in her foot this spring, this looked unlikely. Her only chance was the final elite qualifier in May, where she earned a 51.55, just five hundredths over the score she needed. Jaylene is unbelievably persistent and is a fun gymnast to watch.
7. Abigail Walker, Texas Dreams
Claim to Fame: 2015 Buckeye Classic All-Around Champion
Why You Should Watch: Abigail, who goes by Abi, followed teammate Ragan Smith from Northwind Gymnastics to Texas Dreams. Her gymnastics fits the style characteristic of athletes from Texas Dreams with lots of adorable choreography paired with clean, high-flying tumbling.
8. Alyssa Al-Ashari, Geddert’s Twistars
Claim to Fame: 2015 Jr. A J.O. National All-Around Champion
Why You Should Watch: Although a hamstring injury kept Alyssa off the elite stage last year, she’s been attending the U.S. national development camps for months. Her polish and focus, particularly on balance beam, will set her apart from other competitors.
9. Kaitlin DeGuzman, Metroplex Gymnastics
Claim to Fame: Region 3 & WOGA Classic Jr. B All-Around Champion.
Why You Should Watch: Kaitlin’s lines are lovely, particularly on bars and floor. She struggles on vault but her Jaeger and switch ring leap are both world class. She qualified to Classics last summer, but missed out due to injury, though had decent showings at the 2014 and 2015 Nastia Liukin Cups.
10. Tienna Nguyen, Zenith Elite
Claim to Fame: 2014 U.S. Challenge Floor Champion
Why You Should Watch: Tienna competed internationally at Gymnix in Canada this year but didn’t qualify as an elite domestically until this spring. Beam and floor are her strengths; I particularly like how clean she keeps her leaps.
11. Colbi Flory
Claim to Fame: 2015 American Classic All-Around Champion
Why You Should Watch: Colbi is fantastic on bars and beam. She isn’t competing the hardest routines out there, but her great execution makes up the difference, which is why some of her all-around scores rival those of national team juniors. Check out her beam routine which includes a layout stepout series and a gorgeous sheep jump.
Article by Bekah Harbison
Photo credit thanks to Christy Linder