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Ninety level 10 gymnasts are scheduled to compete at Elevate the Stage 2020 in Toledo, Ohio, on Feb. 21. Luckily for you, we’ve narrowed down the field to nine standout athletes to watch during the competition, which will be streamed exclusively on FloGymnastics.
These gymnasts range from former elites to past Nastia Liukin Cup qualifiers, meaning they all have experience competing on podium. This should serve them well at Elevate, which is one of the few level 10 meets to provide this type of competitive atmosphere.
The competition is also a Nastia Liukin qualifier, and so far there aren’t any gymnasts competing on Friday that have already made the roster. Expect a fierce competition between some of the best level 10s in the country as they’ll be vying for a top finish and a chance to compete on the highest J.O. stage later this season!
Olivia Dunne, ENA Paramus
Definitely keep an eye out for LSU commit Olivia Dunne, who spent four years at the elite level before dropping back down to level 10 in 2019. Some of her most notable accomplishments include medaling on both beam and floor at the 2016 P&G Championships, winning gold on the junior USA team at the 2017 Jesolo Trophy, and placing fifth in the all-around at the 2017 P&G Championships.
So far, Dunne has had an outstanding level 10 season with top-three finishes in the all-around at both the Brestyan's Invitational and the Parkettes Invitational. Her season-highs include a 9.825 on vault, 9.675 on bars, 9.475 on beam, and 9.675 on floor. With so much podium experience under her belt, Dunne should be able to continue this success at Friday’s meet.
Amani Herring, North Stars Gymnastics Academy
A second must-watch performer is Amani Herring. In her first year as a level 10, Herring qualified for the Nastia Liukin Cup and placed 10th in the all-around for the junior division. She also tied for second on the floor exercise with a 9.550.
In addition to her success at the Cup, Herring also won the all-around and vault title at Level 9 Easterns in 2018. According to her USA Gymnastics profile, Herring says vault is her favorite event, and it’s easy to see why. Her personal level 10 best on the event is a 9.800, which she accomplished last year at Christmas on the Chesapeake. This season she came up just short of her record with a 9.750 on her massive Yurchenko full.
CJ Keuneke, TIGAR Gymnastics
CJ Keuneke also competed at the 2019 Nastia Liukin Cup as a junior, where she placed 18th in the all-around division after a few uncharacteristic mistakes on the uneven bars. However, she finished strong on the other three events and collected ninth-place finishes on both vault and beam. On Friday Keuneke will be looking to earn her ticket and a shot at redemption at the 2020 Nastia Liukin Cup.
Keuneke’s personal bests include a 9.675 on vault and a 9.750 on floor, as well as top-three finishes on vault, floor, and beam during the 2019 postseason. She’s already had a killer 2020 so far, winning the beam title and placing third on both bars and in the all-around at the Tampa Bay Turners Invitational.
Natalie Martin, Buckeye Gymnastics
Another competitor to watch is Natalie Martin, who placed 14th in the all-around at the 2019 Nastia Liukin Cup. She also struggled on the uneven bars but finished strong on every other event. Her most notable performance at the competition was a tied for sixth-place finish on vault with a strong Yurchenko full.
Martin is a well-rounded gymnast with level 10 personal bests of 9.425 or higher on every event. She won the all-around for her division at the 2020 Alamo Classic and has placed in the top 10 at every competition so far this season. She will hope to continue this success on Friday and punch her ticket to the 2020 Nastia Liukin Cup.
Zoe Gravier, First State Gymnastics
Zoe Gravier is another former elite gymnast with plenty of experience competing on podium. Gravier competed at both the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships and the 2018 GK U.S. Classic in the junior division and placed in second in the all-around at the 2017 J.O. National Championships.
Although she’s never qualified for the Nastia Liukin Cup, Gravier is definitely a contender. She’s placed eighth or better at every meet so far this season, with top-three finishes on every event. Gravier is also committed to UCLA — one of the top programs in the country — which speaks volumes about her talent level.
Zoe Middleton, First State Gymnastics
Expect huge scores from Zoe Middleton, another 2019 Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier. She placed just above Herring at the competition, taking home ninth in the all-around as well as fourth on vault and sixth on floor. With personal level 10 bests ranging from 9.500 to 9.800, Middleton is definitely a contender for a spot at this year’s Cup.
Middleton has had a knockout 2020 season so far. She won the all-around in her division at both the Legacy Elite Classic and Hill’s Maryland Classic and took home silver at the 2020 Metroplex Challenge. Her routines are clean and stocked with ample difficulty that’ll help her stand out at Friday’s meet. Pay particular attention to her floor routine, where she competes a sky-high double layout opening pass.
Baleigh Garcia, American Twisters Gymnastics
Baleigh Garcia competed in the junior division at the 2018 Nastia Liukin Cup and placed in the top 10 on both vault and balance beam. Garcia also competed in two U.S. Hopes Championships, earning seventh on bars in 2015 and 10th in the all-around in 2016.
This will be Garcia’s last year at the J.O. level, as she plans to join the Michigan State gymnastics team in the fall. So far it has been a strong one for the senior, with a third-place all-around finish at the 2020 Sun & Surf Spectacular. With personal bests of 9.550 or higher, Garcia should be a strong competitor at Friday’s meet.
Kate Greene, Bull City Gymnastics
Kate Greene competed alongside Garcia at the 2018 Nastia Liukin Cup, where she finished fourth in the junior division all-around and second on the uneven bars. Although she didn’t make the Cup last year, Greene still had an exceptional season with three first-place all-around wins, including at 2019 Regionals.
Coming off of a win at the 2020 Atlanta Centennial Classic, Greene has a strong chance of taking any number of event titles, including the all-around at Friday’s competition. Her personal bests include a 9.725 on vault, a 9.825 on uneven bars, a 9.550 on balance beam, and a 9.675 on floor. She’s currently committed to the University of North Carolina on a full athletic scholarship.
Tory Vetter, Universal Gymnastics
Last but certainly not least is Tory Vetter, who placed first in the junior division at the 2018 Nastia Liukin Cup. Vetter also took home gold on the balance beam and tied for second on floor at the competition. She went on to have another successful season in 2019, where she won an Ohio state championship and finished sixth on both vault and floor.
With personal bests above a 9.625 on every event, Vetter is a gymnast to watch at Friday’s competition. Pay particular attention to her balance beam and floor routines, where her flexibility really shines. Vetter also has a knack for sticking her landings, which maximizes her scoring potential.