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By Anna Rose Johnson

In this latest installment of our quick Q&As with first-year seniors, we caught up with Elena Arenas of Georgia Elite, one of the top junior gymnasts of the last quadrennium. The balanced all-arounder is eager for her first season in the senior ranks and is looking ahead to the future as she hones her skills and perfects her routines.

Inside Gymnastics: Are you excited to be a first-year senior? What are you most looking forward to this season?
Elena Arenas: Yes! I am looking forward to competing with all the other seniors because they are the best of the best and we are all really close, so it will be fun to cheer each other on at the meets.

Inside: Tell us a little about the American Classic!
Elena: The American Classic was the first meet of my season and I was happy with the outcome. I started on bars and it was pretty good. I missed one connection, but besides that I was happy with the routine. Then I went to beam and I fell on my series…it was my first time competing a back handspring layout layout. Beam has been really consistent in training, so I was shocked when I fell. The rest of the routine didn’t have any wobbles. Next was floor and I landed my double layout really well, so I was excited about that. Then I ended on vault with a really solid double full. Overall it was a good meet and I won the all-around, but I am hoping to improve on it and score better at the U.S. Classic.

Inside: What are some of your favorite skills?
Elena: I like doing shaposh 1/2s on bars, side aerials on beam, and the new skills that I am working.

Inside: Could you tell us about your upgrades for this summer?
Elena: I am mostly doing routines, but I am working a few upgrades. I am working a stalder shaposh and a stalder shaposh 1/2 on bars, a front pike on beam, and a front layout punch front double full on floor.

Inside: What are your goals for 2017 and for the future?
Elena: My main goal is to hit my events at the U.S. Classic and P&Gs and compete confidently and place well enough to make the National Team. In the future, I would love to represent the USA in international competitions.

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Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com