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Thursday 13 August 2015
13 Aug '15

2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships Preview

A preview of the 2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships & Notes on Day 1 (Jr. & Sr. Women)

Photo of Olivia Dunne of ENA Paramus on Floor Exercise at the 2013 Parkettes Invitational in Allentown, PA.2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships PreviewWomen's competition looks to be outstanding, with a fistful of '12 Olympians and World Champions, including Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raismann, MyKayla Skinner, and junior national all-around champion Bailie Key from powerhouse Texas Dreams gym, who made her senior debut at the Secret US Classic and placed an impressive fourth all-around against much the same field.

The juniors have an tons of experience, with fully half the field returning from last year. One of those is tiny little Megan Hurd from First State Gymnastics in Newark Delaware, who instantly became a crowd favorite with her horn-rimmed glasses, looking every bit the underdog everyone wants to root for. Also competing is Olivia Dunne, a prodigy who had reached level 10 by age 10, barely as tall as the balance beam (pictured here on floor at the 2013 Parkettes Invitational). I was disappointed to find out Tuesday that not competing due to injury is Maggie Musselman from Hill's in Gaithersberg, Maryland, one of my "hometown" gyms. Hoping to finally deliver on the potential she has shown the past three seasons, she had to scratch with an avulsion fracture of the ischial tuberosity (it's as nasty as it sound, being a hamstring tear at the top where it attaches to the pelvis, breaking off a little piece of bone with it. Musselman broke out in 2013 by taking first on bars and fourth all-around in her age group in both the Hill's Maryland Classic and Parkettes Invitational.

Some Notes Taken During Junior and Senior Session One

From the start Jazmyn Foberg of MG Elite show herself to be the one to beat, leaving everyone but her teammate Laurie Hernandez pretty much in the dust.

The nicest thing was that there were no really bad falls or obvious injuries, and it looks like everyone will probably move on to the final Saturday.

Parkettes Megan Freed had a good routine going on FX, but made a stupid mistake by stepping a foot out of bounds (slightly, but enough for the judge to raise the flag) while getting set for a tumbling run, and then came up short on the landing, causing a big step and a hand on the ground. Gave away several tenths there.

Texas Dreams' Emma Malabuyo fell off uneven bars twice, though even after all that, she managed to stick her full-twisting double piked dismount.
Photo of Maggie Musselman of ENA Hill's Gymnastics on recieving one of her medals won at the 2013 Hill's Maryland Classic.Colby Flory of TD had trouble with one of her runs on floor exercise, doing the FX version of a "Buttahara" from the movie "Stick it", sitting down her landing right on her duff.

Floor Excercise judges were as slow as molasses in January, making many gymnasts wait a very long time before they could start, and extending the length of the rotations.

Deanne Soza of Arete took a rough fall on UB transitioning to the low bar, face-planting the mat awkwardly. She took a minute to recover, and kept rubbing her cheek both before finishing and as she left the podium, so it obvously caused her a bit of discomfort. Hopefully that passes quickly.

At the end of Session One, Foberg had a considerable .04 lead over Hernandez, with Ragan Smith in third over half a point behind second.
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