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
Julianne Huff, Hoover, Ala./JamJev Gymnastics, junior
Ciena Alipio, San Jose, Calif./West Valley Gymnastics School, junior
Chavala Shepard, Bentonville, Ark./Hopes and Dreams Gymnastics
Mia Heather, San Francisco, Calif./San Mateo Gymnastics
Levi Jung-Ruivivar, Woodland Hills, Calif./Paramount Elite Gymnastics
Nola Matthews, Gilroy, Calif./Airborne Gymnastics Training Center
Sophie Parenti, Menlo Park, Calif./San Mateo Gymnastics
Charlotte Booth, Clermont, Fla./Brandy Johnson's Global Gymnastics
Elizabeth Gantner, Indianapolis, Ind./Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center
Kayla DiCello, Boyds, Md./Hill's Gymnastics
Sydney Morris, Bowie, Md./First State Gymnastics
Anya Pilgrim, Germantown, Md./Hill's Gymnastics
Lyden Saltness, Forest Lake, Minn./Midwest Gymnastics Center
Ella Zirbes, Stillwater, Minn./Flips Gymnastics
Kailin Chio, Henderson, Nev./Gymcats Gymnastics
Sienna Robinson, Las Vegas, Nev./Browns Gymnastics Las Vegas
eMjae Frazier, Erial, N.J./Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, junior
Ariel Posen, Manalapan, N.J./MG Elite
Olivia Greaves, Staten Island, N.Y./MG Elite
Annalise Newman-Achee, Brooklyn, N.Y./Chelsea Piers Gymnastics
Lauren Little, Mooresville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics
Amber Lowe, Huntersville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics
Kaylen Morgan, Huntersville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics
Lilly Lippeatt, Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics
Addison Fatta, Wrightsville, Pa./Prestige Gymnastics
Olivia Ahern, Memphis, Tenn./River City Gymnastics Inc.
Sydney Barros, Lewisville, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics
Skye Blakely, Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics
Sophia Butler, Houston, Texas/Discover Gymnastics Inc.
Karis German, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre
Zoe Miller, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre
Joscelyn Roberson, Texarkana, Texas/North East Texas Elite Gymnastics
Katelyn Rosen, Boerne, Texas/Mavericks Gymnastics
Eva Volpe, Pearland, Texas/Pearland Elite
Jamison Sears, Yorktown, Va./World Class Gymnastics
Ava Siegfeldt, Newport News, Va./World Class Gymnastics
Jamie Wright, Toano, Va./World Class Gymnastics
Konnor McClain, Cross Lanes, W.Va./Revolution Gymnastics
New Faces to Look Out For
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.