The 2019 U.S. Classic Junior Guide

The U.S. Classic is this coming weekend and there are a total of 38 juniors on the list. We know you’re probably wondering who at least half of them are, so we’re back with our definitive guide to every single junior you’ll see compete in Louisville.

Listed in alphabetical order, get to know all of the young ladies from the veterans at 15 all the way down to the 12-year-olds competing elite for the first time.

OLIVIA AHERN
18. Age 13
Hometown Memphis, TN
Gym River City Gymnastics
Experience As a Hopes gymnast last year, Olivia posted the third-best vault score at the Hopes Classic. She has also competed level 10 for the past two years, and she had fifth-place finishes on beam and floor at J.O. Championships in 2019.
2019 Scores 50.150 (KPAC Qualifier)
50.100 (Buckeye Qualifier)
49.700 (American Classic)
48.350 (WCC Qualifier)
What to Watch Olivia has a very solid and clean FTY on vault, and she has a beautiful two-foot layout series on beam.
CIENA ALIPIO
448416. Age 15
Hometown San Jose, CA
Gym West Valley Gymnastics
Experience Ciena went from a decent junior last year to one of the best this year, earning a spot at Jesolo in March, where she won bronze on vault and silver on beam. She also finished 5th all-around at junior worlds trials in June, where she won the beam title, and then she came back to win the American Classic all-around and bars titles a couple weeks later.
2019 Scores 54.050 (Worlds Trials)
53.800 (American Classic)
53.550 (Gliders Qualifier)
52.833 (Jesolo)
What to Watch Beam! Ciena is a goddess on this event, with two fantastic triple flight series, lovely and fluid connections, and beautiful leaps. She also has super deep inbars on bars, and has been improving on that event this year, and she’s gorgeous on floor.
SYDNEY BARROS
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.06.35 PM Age 14
Hometown Lewisville, TX
Gym Texas Dreams Gymnastics
Experience An injury last year kept Sydney from being fully prepared for nationals, but she quickly bounced back into the swing of things this year, finishing a shocking 3rd all-around at junior worlds trials to make the team. In Györ, Sydney competed very well to make the vault final in addition to finishing 6th all-around.
2019 Scores 54.550 (Worlds Trials)
53.974 (Junior Worlds)
52.200 (Parkettes Qualifier)
What to Watch Sydney has tons of power on vault and floor. Her DTY on vault is huge and solid, and while her floor difficulty isn’t huge, it’s pretty strong for this level, especially in the U.S. where junior floor difficulty tends to be a bit behind.
SKYE BLAKELY
496577 Age 14
Hometown Frisco, TX
Gym WOGA
Experience Skye made a huge impression in her elite debut last year, winning vault and floor medals at nationals, where she also finished 4th all-around to make the junior team on her very first try. This year, she won the vault and bars titles at Gymnix, where she also finished 3rd all-around, and then she won the junior worlds trials to earn a spot on the team in Györ, where she finished 7th all-around after falling on beam, but then bounced back for strong performances in the bars and floor finals.
2019 Scores 56.500 (Worlds Trials)
53.407 (Junior Worlds)
53.332 (Gymnix)
What to Watch Skye has the kind of bars you’d expect from a WOGA baby and some big skills and awesome opening choreo on beam, and at the American Classic, she unveiled a great DTY on vault.
CHARLOTTE BOOTH
Natioanls-March-In-300x300. Age 12
Hometown Clermont, FL
Gym Brandy Johnson’s
Experience This is Charlotte’s first year attempting elite in any form! The youngest competitor here, Charlotte became a level 10 in 2018, and won bronze on floor at nationals in that same year, and this year she qualified elite one week before becoming the Florida state all-around, vault, and floor champion.
2019 Scores KPAC Qualifier (50.300)
American Classic (49.500)
What to Watch Charlotte has always scored super well on vault as a J.O. gymnast, and she attempted a Yurchenko 1½ at the American Classic, so hopefully we’ll see her hit that here. The rest of her difficulty isn’t sky-high, but she has a strong full-in on floor, and she’s a great performer there overall.
SOPHIA BUTLER
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.09.17 PM Age 15
Hometown Houston, TX
Gym Discover Gymnastics
Experience Sophia qualified elite last year and quickly rose to the top of the rankings, placing 8th all-around at nationals. This year, she was added to the national team for Jesolo, where she finished 6th all-around and also made the bars and floor finals. She also competed at junior worlds trials last month, placing 12th.
2019 Scores 54.150 (Houston Invite)
53.750 (WCC Qualifier)
53.166 (Jesolo)
51.500 (Worlds Trials)
50.450 (WOGA Classic)
What to Watch My favorite event of Sophia’s is beam, where she’s a bit of a trickster with lots of exciting skills and connections. I also love that she adapts her routine to her needs, however. Last year at nationals, she ended up downgrading to play it safe after struggling with her layout full, and it resulted in really strong scores. Sophia is also known for showcasing tons of energy and sass on floor, with her signature ending choreography always a crowd favorite.
KAILIN CHIO
561262 Age 13
Hometown Henderson, NV
Gym Gymcats
Experience The Hopes national all-around silver medalist in 2017, Kailin qualified to nationals last year, where she finished an impressive 11th place after two solid days of competition.  This year, Kailin’s only experience has been the American Classic, where she placed 10th after a fall on bars.
2019 Scores 51.150 (American Classic)
What to Watch I love Kailin’s beautiful and clean bar work, where she has a fantastic stalder full + toe-on + Maloney + clear hip + bail + toe shoot series, a piked Jaeger, and a lovely double layout dismount. She also has a perfect Yurchenko 1½, and beautiful acro on beam and floor. A true all-arounder in every sense!
KAYLA DiCELLO
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.10.21 PM Age 15
Hometown Boyds, MD
Gym Hill’s Gymnastics
Experience The silver all-around medalist at nationals last year, Kayla has been a member of multiple top U.S. international teams, including Pac Rims in 2018 and then both Jesolo and Junior Worlds this year. Kayla had the top junior worlds all-around finish among the U.S. gymnasts last month, placing 4th, and she was also the only U.S. gymnast to take home individual medals, winning the vault title as well as the bronze on beam.
2019 Scores 55.750 (Worlds Trials)
55.700 (WOGA Classic)
54.765 (Junior Worlds)
What to Watch I said this last year, but I don’t think Kayla is actually a standout on any event, and I mean that in a good way. She is the kind of all-arounder who does every single event incredibly well without relying on any one apparatus to carry her through. With a strong DTY, the confidence of a true team leader, and polished elements on all four events, Kayla is the one to beat this summer.
ADDISON FATTA
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.11.39 PM Age 14
Hometown Wrightsville, PA
Gym Prestige Gymnastics
Experience Addison has been at the elite level since 2017, making nationals in her first year. Though she narrowly missed nationals last year due to falls on floor, she nonetheless showed improvements compared to her first elite season, and this year she won the junior all-around title at the KPAC qualifier to easily get her classics score.
2019 Scores 51.850 (KPAC Qualifier)
What to Watch Addison is insane on floor. Her twisting is phenomenal, and she’s previously competed a triple full followed up with a 2½ through to double full. And she’s super tight while doing it, making for an overall fabulous set. Unfortunately, she struggled a bit with her consistency here last year, so we’re likely to see some changes, but I love her on this event and am excited to see how she looks now.
EMJAE FRAZIER
Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 12.49.05 AM Age 15
Hometown Erial, NJ
Gym Parkettes
Experience The younger sister of UCLA and former elite standout Margzetta, éMjae missed out on qualifying to nationals last year, but she’s looked super strong so far in 2019. She won the Parkettes qualifier by almost three points in June, receiving an invite to the national team camp a few weeks later, and though she struggled a bit at the American Classic, hit routines from her in Louisville should make her a guarantee for nationals.
2019 Scores 54.750 (Parkettes Qualifier)
49.450 (American Classic)
What to Watch I love éMjae’s power and attack on all of her events – whether it’s bars or floor, she’s going 100% into her big skills. Sometimes her difficult skills – a DTY on vault, a Church, Maloney to Tkachev, and double layout on bars, and a double pike beam dismount, to name a few – can trip her up a bit, but on a good day, it can also make her one of the top gymnasts in the country.
ELIZABETH GANTNER
511332 Age 14
Hometown Indianapolis, IN
Gym Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center
Experience Elizabeth made her elite debut last year, and though she missed out on nationals, she showed a ton of potential for the future. She’s competed in several qualifiers this year, and also attended the junior worlds trials, where she finished 18th.
2019 Scores 51.050 (WCC Qualifier)
49.950 (American Classic)
48.900 (KPAC Qualifier)
48.650 (Worlds Trials)
What to Watch Last year, I loved Elizabeth’s beam and floor, especially in terms of how precise she was with her mannerisms. This year, I’ve enjoyed seeing her get stronger on bars, but my favorite of hers is probably beam, where her dance elements are especially beautiful to watch. She’ll be able to pull in some solid scores there with hit routines.
KARIS GERMAN
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.13.35 PM Age 15
Hometown Spring, TX
Gym World Champions Centre
Experience Karis had an incredibly impressive debut elite season last year, finishing 12th at nationals. We didn’t see her again until last month’s American Classic, where she looked fantastic and seemed to have spent the last year making tons of improvements and upgrades to come away with a silver medal in the all-around in addition to the titles on vault and floor.
2019 Scores 53.350 (American Classic)
What to Watch Karis has tons of power, which helped her add a Yurchenko double on vault this season, and she also has a fantastic double double on floor as well as one of the better double tucks I’ve seen off beam, though her form on this event and on bars tends to be a bit weak in comparison, so hopefully continuing to work with Laurent Landi will help her here over time.
OLIVIA GREAVES
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.16.11 PM Age 15
Hometown Staten Island, NY
Gym MG Elite
Experience Olivia had a fantastic debut season at the elite level last year, finishing 6th all-around at nationals to make the team. In her first international assignment at Gymnix this year, Olivia won silver medals in the all-around as well as on vault and floor, and she was a top choice for the junior worlds team, finishing 6th at trials.
2019 Scores 53.666 (Gymnix)
53.600 (Worlds Trials)
What to Watch Olivia is known for a killer bars set, competing skills and combinations that put her close to a senior ability, including three big releases – a piked Jaeger, Church, and Downie – as well as a gorgeous stalder full to full-in dismount. Her other events aren’t super difficult, but are often very clean, and she recently added a DTY on vault to make her an even bigger all-around contender than she was previously.
MIA HEATHER
36967478_206421323355562_4376809001631875072_n. Age 14
Hometown San Francisco, CA
Gym San Mateo Gymnastics
Experience Mia is a first-year elite with two years of level 10 experience under her belt. She qualified to J.O. nationals in both 2018 and 2019, with her best finish coming on beam this year. She was also the Region 1 all-around champion in April, also taking titles on bars and beam.
2019 Scores 50.500 (Auburn Qualifier)
48.750 (Gliders Qualifier)
47.850 (Parkettes Qualifier)
47.100 (American Classic)
What to Watch I really enjoy Mia’s beam. She has a natural elegance on this event as well as generally solid connections. Also, while her bars aren’t super difficult, she has some beautiful elements throughout, especially in her piked Jaeger and Pak.
JULIANNE HUFF
57311749_271163830428350_8226622084365680640_n. Age 14
Hometown Hoover, AL
Gym JamJev Gymnastics
Experience This is Julianne’s first year at the elite level after attempting Hopes in 2018. On the J.O. scene, she’s been a level 10 for two years and made it to nationals both times, finishing 17th all-around and eighth on vault this year.
2019 Scores 51.250 (Buckeye Qualifier)
What to Watch Julianne got a DTY this year, which could give her a big boost in the all-around if she hits. Otherwise, her difficulty is comparatively low, but she’s super powerful on floor, where her tumbling elements – including a tucked full-in – are excellent, while her dance skills are super controlled and get tons of amplitude.
LEVI JUNG-RUIVIVAR
Dhj1vbRUcAAQj46 Age 13
Hometown Woodland Hills, CA
Gym Paramount Elite
Experience Levi made her elite debut last summer, finishing 18th all-around at nationals where her textbook bars made her one to watch for the future. At the end of 2018, she traveled to France with her club to compete at the Tournoi International, where she won the espoir all-around title in addition to picking up medals on vault and bars, and at last month’s American Classic, she won the silver medal on bars.
2019 Scores 49.550 (American Classic)
What to Watch When I first discovered Levi, I instantly fell in love with her beam and floor, because everything she did from expression to her beyond gorgeous toe point was absolutely elegant and exquisite. Over the past year, her bars – which keep growing in their level of difficulty – have been improving tremendously, and she has the potential to be one of the top U.S. juniors on that event, with her execution almost impossible to beat.
LILLIAN ‘LILLY’ LIPPEATT
Age 14
Hometown Mason, OH
Gym Cincinnati Gymnastics
Experience This is Lilly’s third season as an elite, and so far, it’s been her best one yet. After finishing 21st at nationals last year, Lilly came back this season to earn a national team spot as well as a trip to compete at Gymnix, where she finished 5th all-around and won the bronze on beam. She also had a strong performance at the junior worlds trials last month, finishing 7th all-around and showing especially solid work on bars and floor.
2019 Scores 52.900 (Worlds Trials)
51.932 (Gymnix)
What to Watch Lilly has always been known for being tidy, precise, energetic, and charismatic, and so even when she wasn’t doing huge routines or bringing in huge scores, she was still noted for her ability to perform. This year, however, Lilly has been impressing on an even bigger scale, but her floor is still the most exciting for me, especially when she added a whip full into an immediate double tuck into her set. Adding more power there and on vault, where she still has an FTY but is much more controlled and dynamic, could be key for her as she gets ready to become a senior next year (HOW?!).
LAUREN LITTLE
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.17.29 PM Age 15
Hometown Mooresville, NC
Gym Everest Gymnastics
Experience Lauren is gearing up for her third national championships as an elite, though she’s long been an under-the-radar kind of gymnast. Some struggles at both classics last year held her back a bit, but she’s been super consistent so far in 2019, finishing 10th at the American Classic to get her nationals score.
2019 Scores 51.250 (Parkettes Qualifier)
51.150 (American Classic)
What to Watch Lauren has always wowed me for her ability to stand out both on vault and bars, a rare combination of talents and yet she did it so effortlessly. She used to have a DTY, but has been a bit downgraded this year, instead competing a tsuk layout, so I can only imagine she’s preparing to learn bigger tsuk-style vaults to make more of an impression as a senior next year. Her bars, meanwhile, continue to look very nice, and she’s also solid on beam and floor, though she’s not coming in with as much difficulty there.
AMBER LOWE
615952. Age 13
Hometown Huntersville, NC
Gym Everest Gymnastics
Experience As a Hopes gymnast last year, Amber won the bronze medal at nationals, and also picked up the silver on bars. In her level 10 season this year, she earned a spot at the Nastia Liukin Cup, where she finished 11th all-around and won the bronze on beam, and then at J.O. nationals, her top finish was 10th on bars. She also competed at the junior worlds trial in June, finishing 17th.
2019 Scores 51.300 (KPAC Qualifier)
49.900 (Buckeye Qualifier)
48.850 (Worlds Trials)
What to Watch Amber has some great technique on bars, like so many Everest gymnasts before her, but overall this event seems to give her the most struggles. I actually love her beam, especially the amplitude she gets on skills like her side somi, triple flight series, and transverse split jump half, and aside from vault, this is where I think her biggest scoring potential will come.
NOLA MATTHEWS
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 6.22.21 PM. Age 12
Hometown Gilroy, CA
Gym Airborne Gymnastics
Experience Nola was a Hopes gymnast in 2017 and 2018, and she competed at the Hopes Classic both years before making her international debut with her club at the Tournoi International last fall, where she won silver in the all-around as well as the gold on bars and beam in the espoir division. She’s improved a ton this year, and got her nationals score already at last month’s American Classic, where she finished 9th all-around and won the bronze on beam.
2019 Scores 51.200 (American Classic)
51.200 (KPAC Qualifier)
49.300 (Auburn Qualifier)
What to Watch Nola is fairly even in terms of difficulty (she has between a 4.6-4.7 start value on all four!), but skill level aside, I absolutely love her beam. She has some great choreography out of her mount to open things up, and she’s overall fantastic in her acro and dance.
KONNOR McCLAIN
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.18.32 PM Age 14
Hometown Cross Lanes, WV
Gym Revolution Gymnastics
Experience The Hopes champion in 2016, Konnor missed out on nationals in 2017 to bounce back in a tremendous way last summer, finishing 5th all-around and winning the beam title to make the national team. She made her U.S. team international debut at Jesolo in March of this year, winning gold all-around on top of three event medals, and she finished 4th all-around at junior worlds trials to become the alternate for the team.
2019 Scores 56.167 (Jesolo)
54.150 (Worlds Trials)
What to Watch What NOT to watch? Beam is what Konnor became known for as a younger junior, and her talents there are still beyond most wildest dreams. But this year, she added a DTY on vault and has made improvements on bars and floor to make her more of a balanced all-arounder…though beam is where she’s still the queen.
ZOE MILLER
Screen-Shot-2019-01-19-at-9.20.52-PM-1. Age 13
Hometown Spring, TX
Gym World Champions Centre
Experience Zoe began competing Hopes when she was just ten years old, but then took an elite break before eventually moving to WCC. As a level 10, Zoe has competed at two J.O. national championships, winning the bars title as well as finishing in the top five on vault and in the all-around, and she also qualified to this year’s Nastia Liukin Cup, winning vault and finishing 6th all-around. She got the exact score needed to qualify elite at the Parkettes national qualifier in June, and then a few weeks later, she finished an impressive 5th all-around at the American Classic.
2019 Scores 52.350 (American Classic)
50.500 (Parkettes Qualifier)
What to Watch Zoe’s bars are excellent! She has so much potential on this event, and she’s super solid with a pretty high level of difficulty for her age. She also has a really strong beam set, and though she doesn’t really have any flashy skills here, she’s super clean and fluid as well.
KAYLEN MORGAN
466543. Age 15
Hometown Huntersville, NC
Gym Everest Gymnastics
Experience Kaylen has been on the elite path for several years, competing at the Hopes level in 2016 and 2017 before making the transition to elite in 2018. Last year, she competed at Gymnix with her club, making her international debut before she officially qualified elite, and though she missed the rest of the 2018 season due to injury, she got invited to the 2019 camps by sheer talent alone, qualified elite and made the national team at a single camp in February, and then made her U.S. team international debut at this year’s Gymnix a few weeks later. In June, Kaylen placed 11th at the junior worlds trials, but despite all of her experience in the elite world, the U.S. Classic will (finally!) mark her debut in a major domestic elite competition.
2019 Scores 51.650 (Worlds Trials)
50.798 (Gymnix)
50.000 (Buckeye Qualifier)
What to Watch Kaylen is a pretty solid and reliable vaulter and her bars skills have tons of amplitude, but I love watching her on beam the most. She has some great aerial skills thanks to her lovely extension, which also shines in her dance elements, and she also has a big double tuck dismount.
SYDNEY MORRIS
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.21.34 PM Age 15
Hometown Bowie, MD
Gym First State Gymnastics
Experience Originally known for being a YouTube star with a huge Instagram following, a move to First State in 2017 took Sydney to new levels. Sydney finished 13th all-around at nationals last year, and she bumped that up to 8th at both the junior worlds trials and the American Classic.
2019 Scores 52.050 (Worlds Trials)
51.400 (American Classic)
51.300 (WOGA Classic)
What to Watch I’ve always been most wowed by Sydney on floor, because she has this innate ability to tie all elements of a good floor routine – tumbling, dance, choreo, expression – together. But Sydney has become quite the bar worker since moving to First State, and she always puts together super clean and solid routines there, while her difficulty on beam is growing as well, with a standing full, triple flight series, and double pike.
ANNALISE NEWMAN-ACHEE
30E127F9-2219-2737-80ED75E71368B72B_contentlistimage. Age 13
Hometown Brooklyn, NY
Gym Chelsea Piers
Experience As a New Yorker who regularly goes to Chelsea Piers, I love that I finally have a hometown elite to cheer for! Annalise began her elite journey as a Hopes gymnast, and then she got her elite qualifying score at the Parkettes meet this year. She then placed 14th at the American Classic, and she’ll hope to make little improvements this weekend to get her nationals score as well.
2019 Scores 51.950 (Parkettes Qualifier)
50.400 (American Classic)
50.350 (Buckeye Qualifier)
49.600 (KPAC Qualifier)
What to Watch Annalise is pretty even across all four events, but I love her floor. She doesn’t have the biggest tumbling, but she’s great at what she does have, and her dramatic routine is so fierce, competed with some brilliant expression.
SOPHIE PARENTI
p1267265772-4. Age 13
Hometown Menlo Park, CA
Gym San Mateo Gymnastics
Experience Sophie started out her elite career with a Hopes appearance in 2016 when she was just ten years old. Since then, she’s mostly focused on J.O. competition, qualifying to nationals last year where she won the bronze on bars in addition to finishing 4th all-around, and then this year she continued with elite, competing at a couple of qualifiers before placing 18th at the American Classic.
2019 Scores 51.350 (Auburn Qualifier)
49.950 (Parkettes Qualifier)
49.750 (American Classic)
What to Watch Like many juniors, Sophie is pretty balanced across all four events. I find her floor to be where she looks most comfortable and consistent, though she also has a few really solid skills on bars and beam.
ANYA PILGRIM
00jrwpod-Pilgrim_PG170335-400x284. Age 14
Hometown Germantown, MD
Gym Hill’s Gymnastics
Experience Anya initially qualified elite in 2017 after a year of Hopes experience. She finished 12th all-around at nationals in her first elite season, but then an injury kept her out for most of the 2018 season, and she didn’t return to competition until last month. Despite her time away, she looked really solid at the American Classic, winning all-around bronze in addition to posting the second-best score on vault, and I think with a few minor improvements, she has the potential to be up there among the top juniors at nationals next month.
2019 Scores 52.900 (American Classic)
51.350 (Parkettes Qualifier)
What to Watch Anya has some insane floor skills, including a huge arabian double front and a 1½ through to double tuck. In fact, she has so much power, she takes basically two steps into her double full, making it look as easy as a MAG side pass than a full tumbling line. This is where I love her most, but she’s super well-rounded with true talent on every event, vaulting a DTY, showing beautiful front stalder work on bars, and throwing a punch front in her beam routine. She was also the first gymnast in the world to compete a front inbar half on bars, and while she didn’t do it at the American Classic, I hope she eventually brings it back!
ARIEL POSEN
tumblr_pshwc18DT71v8qeyt_540. Age 14
Hometown Manalapan, NJ
Gym MG Elite
Experience Like many of the MG Elite stars, Ariel seemingly came out of nowhere this season. A level 10 since 2016, Ariel won floor at J.O. nationals last year and she was the New Jersey state champion on the same event this year before qualifying elite at the Parkettes meet in June. A few weeks later, she finished 17th at the American Classic, but a couple of falls held her back from getting her nationals score.
2019 Scores 50.800 (Parkettes Qualifier)
49.900 (American Classic)
What to Watch Ariel is absolutely fabulous on floor, where she displays everything you’d expect from an MG Elite athlete on this event, from the expression and ability to work well with elegant choreo right down to the perfect extension and flexibility needed to pull off some beautiful poses. I also love her leap series into a Korbut on beam.
JOSCELYN ROBERSON
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 8.40.00 PM. Age 13
Hometown Texarkana, TX
Gym North East Texas Elite
Experience The first time I saw Joscelyn was when she was chucking standing fulls at about eight years old and barely the height of the beam. Since then, she’s developed into one of the most confident beam gymnasts in the world, and after two years of Hopes experience, it was incredible seeing her reach the elite level earlier this year. She started out the year in 4th place at the Buckeye qualifier – where she got a 14.6 on beam to crush the competition by more than a point on that event – and at last month’s American Classic, she was 20th all-around, getting a 12.85 on beam with a fall.
2019 Scores 51.550 (Buckeye Qualifier)
50.400 (KPAC Qualifier)
50.200 (Auburn Qualifier)
49.650 (American Classic)
What to Watch Beam, obviously. With a triple series ending in a two foot layout, another triple series featuring a side aerial into two layout stepouts, an Onodi, split jump full, and an excellent double pike dismount, Joscelyn has a beam set most seniors would drool over. Though she fell at the American Classic, the rest was so perfect, she still managed the 6th-best score of the meet. She’s also really improved her tumbling on floor, competing both a tucked full-in and an arabian double front, and though bars is a bit of a weak spot for her, she has cleaned up a lot over the past year, so there’s some promise there as well.
SIENNA ROBINSON
Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 8.59.19 PM. Age 13
Hometown Las Vegas, NV
Gym Browns Gymnastics
Experience Sienna made her Hopes debut at age ten, winning the floor title and finishing 6th all-around to make a big impression, and then a year later she got her elite and her nationals scores at just 11. Sienna missed all of 2018 due to injury, but she easily got her elite score again on her first try at a qualifier in February before going on to compete at Gymnix with her club in March, finishing 10th all-around and 7th on bars in addition to taking the floor bronze in a field that included both juniors and seniors. Sienna was 13th at the junior worlds trials and then 5th at the American Classic last month, earning her nationals score, and as her scores continue climbing with more and more experience this season, it’s safe to say we can expect more big things from her this summer.
2019 Scores 52.350 (American Classic)
51.950 (Gliders Qualifier)
51.200 (Worlds Trials)
48.533 (Gymnix)
What to Watch Sienna is absolutely fantastic on floor, full of sass and energy, and her tumbling is great as well. On bars, she has a fantastic double layout as well as both piked and straddled Jaegers, and she has a super cool front aerial to back tuck as well as an incredible double pike dismount on beam.
KATELYN ROSEN
maxresdefault Age 13
Hometown Boerne, TX
Gym Mavericks Gymnastics
Experience Katelyn was one of the top Hopes gymnasts in both 2016 and 2017, so it was no surprise to see her qualify elite in 2018. She finished 20th at nationals last year, and earlier this year, she had a solid 7th-place all-around finish in the Challenge session at Gymnix. Katelyn also competed at the junior worlds trials, placing 16th, and she was 13th all-around at the American Classic, where she also took the bronze medal on beam.
2019 Scores 51.850 (WCC Qualifier)
50.700 (American Classic)
49.766 (Gymnix)
49.050 (Worlds Trials)
What to Watch Katelyn is a super powerful gymnast, and she recently upgraded to a Yurchenko 1½ on vault, which could give her an edge among the FTY-ers. She also has a double layout on floor, and her difficulty level on beam is excellent, with her routine including a switch half to Korbut, front aerial into a jump series, Onodi, and a big double pike.
LYDEN SALTNESS
.Dcn0htNU8AAD00- Age 14
Hometown Forest Lake, MN
Gym Midwest Gymnastics
Experience Lyden qualified to elite in 2018, finishing her season with a 24th-place all-around performance at the U.S. Classic. This year, she returned with bigger and better skills across the board, getting her elite score in February before getting a national team camp invite, finishing 15th at the junior worlds trials, and then placing a huge 4th all-around at the American Classic, where she also won floor.
2019 Scores 52.600 (American Classic)
51.850 (Buckeye Qualifier)
50.350 (Worlds Trials)
What to Watch With a Yurchenko 1½ on vault and a solid 5.4-ish start value on every other event, Lyden is both well-rounded and at a great level of difficulty for a junior, though for her it’s all about getting a little more tidy and consistent. I personally love her floor, and I was also really excited to see her compete a Weiler half straight into a piked Jaeger as well as a toe-on to Maloney to Gienger on bars in June. Like her senior teammate Sunisa Lee, she’s always one to keep things exciting!
JAMISON SEARS
496883. Age 14
Hometown Yorktown, VA
Gym World Class Gymnastics
Experience Jamison spent three years gaining experience in the Hopes program in addition to competing level 10 before qualifying elite this season. Earlier this year, Jamison qualified to the Nastia Liukin Cup, where she finished 4th all-around, and she then won the state and regional all-around titles before finishing with the silver medal at nationals, where she also took the beam and floor titles. At the American Classic, Jamison had a scary fall on her beam dismount and was unable to continue the meet, but she’s tremendously talented with huge potential, so hopefully we’ll be able to see her finish strong this weekend.
2019 Scores 49.750 (KPAC Qualifier)
47.050 (Buckeye Qualifier)
What to Watch With a DTY on vault, Jamison is definitely one to watch there, though she has struggled a bit with her consistency. Outside of vault, I think she’s fantastic on beam, where she has a beautiful flight series, a great punch front into a jump series, and a double tuck dismount.
CHAVALA SHEPARD
18671264_1344448568987136_4810972625307308119_n. Age 14
Hometown Bentonville, AR
Gym Hopes and Dreams Gymnastics
Experience Chavala competed as a Hopes gymnast in 2016, 2017, and 2018, finishing out her final season at this level in 8th place at nationals. Simultaneously, she’s been a level 10 since 2016, and she qualified to nationals both last year and this year, with her strongest finish coming with 7th place on bars and 8th all-around in 2018. Last month, Chavala finished 25th at the American Classic, and she’ll be hoping to get her nationals score this weekend.
2019 Scores 48.300 (American Classic)
45.250 (KPAC Qualifier)
What to Watch I think Chavala shows the most potential on bars, where she has some overall solid skills, and she also has a really nice two-foot layout on beam, but she can be a little inconsistent on both events, so hopefully we’ll see her with a solid meet in Louisville.
AVA SIEGFELDT
Screen Shot 2018-07-24 at 1.26.31 AM Age 14
Hometown Newport News, VA
Gym World Class Gymnastics
Experience Ava made her Hopes debut in 2017, and then qualified to the elite level in 2018, ending her season with a 21st-place finish at the U.S. Classic. This year, Ava has shown some really great improvement, and she’s been pretty consistent as well, finishing 10th at junior worlds trials and then 7th at the American Classic last month, where she also won silver on bars and bronze on floor.
2019 Scores 51.700 (Worlds Trials)
51.550 (American Classic)
51.550 (Parkettes Qualifier)
51.050 (KPAC Qualifier)
50.350 (Buckeye Qualifier)
49.350 (WOGA Classic)
What to Watch I’m obsessed with Ava’s bars. With a toe full to Chow to Pak, toe-on to Maloney to Gienger, and double front dismount, she has one of the most exciting bars sets among the juniors, but she’s good everywhere, with an impressive double layout on floor in addition to an NCAA-ready Yurchenko 1½ on vault.
JAMIE WRIGHT
60863295_2055558224749153_2711756571607564288_n. Age 13
Hometown Toano, VA
Gym World Class Gymnastics
Experience A Hopes gymnast from 2016 through 2018, Jamie graduated to junior elite this season, and most recently, she finished a solid 12th place at the American Classic, falling short of her nationals score by just about a tenth. Also competing level 10 over the past two years, Jamie has two J.O. nationals under her belt, including a 7th place all-around finish this year.
2019 Scores 50.850 (American Classic)
48.200 (Buckeye Qualifier)
45.400 (KPAC Qualifier)
What to Watch I think Jamie’s beam shows the most promise, with her flight series looking generally great, and she has a Yurchenko 1½ on vault as well as a nice double front bars dismount, though overall her difficulty is a little low across most of her events, so she’ll have to really compensate with excellent execution to challenge for her nationals score.
EVA VOLPE
05. Age 14
Hometown Pearland, TX
Gym Pearland Elite
Experience Eva became a level 10 in 2017, and she made her J.O. nationals debut this year, finishing 8th all-around in addition to winning the bronze medals on vault and bars. She attempted to qualify for Hopes last year, and though she didn’t get her scores, she came back this year with some incredible improvement to make junior elite in February. Eva competed at both the junior worlds trials and the American Classic last month, though some struggles at both competitions held her scores back from challenging for strong finishes.
2019 Scores 51.500 (KPAC Qualifier)
51.100 (Houston Invite)
50.750 (WCC Qualifier)
48.300 (Gliders Qualifier)
45.650 (American Classic)
42.000 (Worlds Trials)
What to Watch Eva has a Yurchenko 1½ on vault, which generally looks pretty excellent, and she also carries herself super confidently on beam, covering up any mistakes expertly. Her bars routine has some ambitious skills, like a Pak and a double layout, but overall she’s lacking in a few elements, and it keeps her difficulty pretty low there.
ELLA ZIRBES
Screen-Shot-2018-06-27-at-10.10.50-PM-300x300 (1). Age 14
Hometown Stillwater, MN
Gym Flips Gymnastics
Experience As a level 10 gymnast, Ella made a great impression when she first qualified in 2018, and this year, she put up an incredible performance to win the Junior B all-around title in addition to gold on bars and silver on both vault and floor. Her level 10 debut last year coincided with her Hopes debut also in 2018, and this year, Ella got the exact score needed to become an elite. In June, Ella finished 19th at the junior worlds trials, and then she improved on her score to finish 24th at the American Classic.
2019 Scores 50.500 (Buckeye Qualifier)
48.650 (American Classic)
46.450 (Auburn Qualifier)
45.500 (Worlds Trials)
What to Watch Ella is so much fun to watch on floor. She’s energetic and entertaining, she doesn’t have the cookie cutter music we can expect from most juniors, and her tumbling is super clean and controlled throughout. Ella recently upgraded to a Yurchenko 1½ on vault, and it looked solid at the American Classic, and she has some promise on beam as well, though there are a few areas there that can be improved to bring her scores up.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

11 thoughts on “The 2019 U.S. Classic Junior Guide

  1. I was really hoping Mia Witte would’ve made the roster. Thanks so much for this information. It makes the competition much more fun to watch!

    Like

  2. Anyone know what happened with Zoe Gravier from MG Elite? Did she not qualify elite this year?

    Also I don’t see Love Birt from FS on the junior list either? Is she injured or just skipping this competition and going straight to Nationals?

    Like

  3. Pingback: The 2019 U.S. Classic Senior Guide | The Gymternet

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