By Anna Rose Johnson
With the American Classic in the books and the Secret U.S. Classic at the end of this month, gymnastics fans are excited about the results of the latest U.S. Women’s National Team Training camp.
2017 American Cup champion Ragan Smith (Texas Dreams) led the senior all-around verification, while the elegant Alyona Shchennikova (5280 Gymnastics) placed second. (Stay tuned for a new interview with Alyona on our website soon!) Former junior star Jordan Chiles (Naydenov) was third in the all-around. Smith hasn’t competed in an official meet since her 2017 debut at the AmCup in March, so this AA victory solidifies her place at the top of U.S. gymnastics heading into the Secret Classic. Shchennikova impressed the gym community last year with her lovely uneven bars routine, and she’ll definitely be in the hunt for medals this summer. Chiles’ bronze is also a promising milestone, as she hasn’t competed since the 2016 Secret Classic due to an injury right before P&Gs.
The junior all-around verification was won by Maile O’Keefe (Salcianu Elite), the reigning junior national champion. O’Keefe, who will turn senior in 2018, has been heralded by gym fans for years as “one to watch” with her bold and artistic performances. Emma Malabuyo (Texas Dreams) placed second and Adeline Kenlin (Iowa Gym-Nest) was third. 2017 Nastia Cup competitor Lilly Lippeatt (Cincinnati) emerged victorious in physical abilities testing, while 12-year-old Konnor McClain (Revolution) and 2017 Gymnix competitor Anya Pilgrim (Hill’s Gymnastics) rounded out the medals.
2016 Olympic alternate Ashton Locklear also attended the July camp, as did Jade Carey, a former J.O. competitor who performed brilliantly at the recent American Classic. Shania Adams, Morgan Hurd, Jaymes Marshall, Riley McCusker, Abby Paulson, and Trinity Thomas were among the many attendees this month (the full roster can be viewed here).
Look for the next issue of Inside Gymnastics, which will preview some of the top contenders at P&Gs next month!
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