New Faces & Returning Stars Feature At US Classic Juniors

The 2019 GK U.S. Classic roster is set and the junior elite competition will take place on July 20 in Louisville, Kentucky. This meet will be the final chance for gymnasts’ to qualify to the U.S. National Championships in August. With that being said, some juniors who have already qualified for Championships might only do a few events as they prepare for the rest of the season. 

There are 38 total athletes on the roster, and 19 of them have previously competed at U.S. Classics in the past. That means there are 16 new faces in this year’s competition. Although big junior elite names will be attendance, here are some new faces fans should watch for.

Full Juniors Roster

  1. Julianne Huff, Hoover, Ala./JamJev Gymnastics, junior

  2. Ciena Alipio, San Jose, Calif./West Valley Gymnastics School, junior

  3. Chavala Shepard, Bentonville, Ark./Hopes and Dreams Gymnastics

  4. Mia Heather, San Francisco, Calif./San Mateo Gymnastics

  5. Levi Jung-Ruivivar, Woodland Hills, Calif./Paramount Elite Gymnastics

  6. Nola Matthews, Gilroy, Calif./Airborne Gymnastics Training Center

  7. Sophie Parenti, Menlo Park, Calif./San Mateo Gymnastics

  8. Charlotte Booth, Clermont, Fla./Brandy Johnson's Global Gymnastics

  9. Elizabeth Gantner, Indianapolis, Ind./Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center

  10. Kayla DiCello, Boyds, Md./Hill's Gymnastics

  11. Sydney Morris, Bowie, Md./First State Gymnastics

  12. Anya Pilgrim, Germantown, Md./Hill's Gymnastics

  13. Lyden Saltness, Forest Lake, Minn./Midwest Gymnastics Center

  14. Ella Zirbes, Stillwater, Minn./Flips Gymnastics

  15. Kailin Chio, Henderson, Nev./Gymcats Gymnastics

  16. Sienna Robinson, Las Vegas, Nev./Browns Gymnastics Las Vegas

  17. eMjae Frazier, Erial, N.J./Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, junior

  18. Ariel Posen, Manalapan, N.J./MG Elite

  19. Olivia Greaves, Staten Island, N.Y./MG Elite

  20. Annalise Newman-Achee, Brooklyn, N.Y./Chelsea Piers Gymnastics

  21. Lauren Little, Mooresville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics

  22. Amber Lowe, Huntersville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics

  23. Kaylen Morgan, Huntersville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics

  24. Lilly Lippeatt, Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics

  25. Addison Fatta, Wrightsville, Pa./Prestige Gymnastics

  26. Olivia Ahern, Memphis, Tenn./River City Gymnastics Inc.

  27. Sydney Barros, Lewisville, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics

  28. Skye Blakely, Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics

  29. Sophia Butler, Houston, Texas/Discover Gymnastics Inc.

  30. Karis German, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre

  31. Zoe Miller, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre

  32. Joscelyn Roberson, Texarkana, Texas/North East Texas Elite Gymnastics

  33. Katelyn Rosen, Boerne, Texas/Mavericks Gymnastics

  34. Eva Volpe, Pearland, Texas/Pearland Elite

  35. Jamison Sears, Yorktown, Va./World Class Gymnastics

  36. Ava Siegfeldt, Newport News, Va./World Class Gymnastics

  37. Jamie Wright, Toano, Va./World Class Gymnastics

  38. Konnor McClain, Cross Lanes, W.Va./Revolution Gymnastics

New Faces to Look Out For

Zoe Miller

Miller will be one of eight World Champions Centre athletes who will be competing at Classics. Last month at American Classics, Miller finished fifth all-around with a 52.350 to qualify herself to championships (junior elites need a qualifying score of 51.00). While she is a strong all-around gymnast, bars is where Miller thrives. She is the 2019 Texas state and J.O. national bar champion. Miller’s routine is packed full of Stalder work, bar-to-bar transitions, and a clean double layout dismount. Her power on every event is also something to keep an eye out for. 

Nola Matthews

Matthews is a beautiful beamer from Airborne Gymnastics. She finished ninth all-around at American Classics and also has already qualified for U.S. National Championships. In her two elite meets this season, Nola won beam at the Auburn National Qualifier and placed third at American Classics. Her toe point is out of this world and her long lines make her gymnastics easy to watch.

Ella Zirbes

Sometimes expression and artistry on floor from younger gymnasts is difficult. That definitely isn’t the case for Zirbes. She trains at Flips Gymnastics in Minnesota and has already proven herself in the J.O. world and the Hopes program. Last year, she won floor at the Hopes Championships and was even more successful this past 2019 J.O. season. Zirbes won all-around at states, regionals, and nationals. She also came in second on floor at J.O. Nationals with this routine: 

Floor has consistently been strong for Zirbes, but her vault and bars have shown signs of major improvement as well. It will be interesting to see how she handles her first junior elite season. 

Returners to Watch

2019 Junior World Championship Team: Kayla DiCello, Skye Blakely, and Sydney Barrows. 

These three athletes represented the USA at the first ever Junior World Championships. They came away with third place as a team, and DiCello took home the vault gold medal and the floor bronze medal. Blakely will be an athlete to watch in the all-around, and Barrows’ power on floor and vault will also be hard to beat.

Konnor McClain 

McClain was the traveling alternate for the Junior World’s team. At the qualification for worlds, she finished fourth in the all-around right behind Barrows. Look out for her huge skills on beam and her upgraded double twisting Yurchenko on vault. 

Olivia Greaves

Any new elite gymnast from MG Elite is one to watch out for, and Greaves is no exception. One of her main strengths are her lines on every event, and she has already proven to be able to hang with the bigger junior elite names. Greaves was named to the national team last year after her first year as an elite and finished sixth all-around at the World Championships qualification. Greaves’ difficulty on bars is huge, and if she hits, her score could be hard to top.

Gymnasts & Groups To Watch At The Minsk Rhythmic World Challenge Cup

The 2019 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup series continues in Minsk, Bulgaria, from Aug. 16-18. Gymnasts from more than 30 countries will be competing for medals in individual and group events, but the top gymnasts to watch are from Europe and include three Olympic hopefuls.

Simone Biles Continued To Create History At US Championships

Just 48 hours after being the first woman to land a double double off the balance beam, Simone Biles continued to write history on the second day of competition at the U.S. Championships. 

Sam Mikulak Wins Sixth National All-Around Title

After 12 hit routines, Sam Mikulak won his sixth national championship with a two-day all-around score of 174.150, in addition to a whopping four of six possible event titles. Mikulak won floor exercise, pommel horse, parallel bars, and high bar. 

The Untouchable Simone Biles

The other day I was talking to a good friend and former teammate of mine about Simone Biles. The 22-year-old gymnast came up because two weeks ago, as you no doubt have heard by now, while warming up at the U.S. Classic, Biles threw a new skill on floor, a triple-twisting double tuck. 

Simone Biles' Beam Dismount Highlights US Champs Day 1

The senior women put on a roller coaster of a meet on the first night of the 2019 U.S. Championships. There were historical moments, rough falls, and everything else in between. Not many people could have guessed which gymnasts would be sitting in the top five heading into the second day of competition. Here’s how it all went down. 

High-Stakes US Championships About To Begin

U.S. Championships starts this Friday, and the elite gymnastics world is heating up for this meet. Fresh off the U.S. Classic and Pan American Games, many of this country’s elite gymnasts are amping up their routines to compete at Championships. 

6 Times Simone Biles Broke The Internet

Thanks to her incredible athleticism and domination in the sport of gymnastics, Simone Biles is now a household name in the United States and around the world. 

Suspenseful Event Finals Close Out 2019 Pan American Games

Five events were featured in the final day of competition at the 2019 Pan American Games and the skills and routines did not disappoint. 

USA Adds Four Medals In First Event Finals Of Pan Am Games

The first day of event finals at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, saw medalists from eight countries in the men's floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, women's vault, and uneven bars. Team USA led Tuesday's medal count with four, followed by Canada with three, while Brazil and Colombia each won two medals.

Ellie Black, Caio Souza Top Pan American Games All-Around Podiums

Canadian superstar Ellie Black successfully defended her 2015 Pan American Games all-around title as she finished ahead of silver medalist Riley McCusker and bronze medalist Flavia Saraiva of Brazil in the 2019 Pan American Games women's all-around competition in Lima, Peru. On the men's side, Brazil and Canada dominated as Caio Souza won the title and teammate Arthur Mariano took silver ahead of Canadian Cory Paterson.