Category Archives: USA

Eleven Questions With Standout U.S. Gymnast…Kaitlin DeGuzman

Hello gymterneters and Chatty Gymnast fans!

In this article, U.S. Level 10 and recently turned Junior International Elite, Kaitlin DeGuzman, will answer eleven questions that we posed to her – discussing gymnastics, school and future plans! So, please take a read;

CG: This Level 10 season you placed 11th at Nastia Liukin Cup and 14th at Nationals, how did the season go for you, personally?

KDG: This season was great over all. Personally, I think I could’ve done better but overall, I am very happy with my results and how I finished.

CG: You recorded a score of 39.375 at States this year, are you aware that this is the highest score of 2015? How does it feel to hold that record?

KDG: I was not aware that this was the highest Level 10 score of 2015. If only I can score like that every time in Elite, that would be awesome! 😀

CG: You’ve recently qualified to the U.S. Classic as a Junior International Elite. What are your goals as a first year elite?

KDG: My goals are to place Top 5 at Secret U.S. Classics and to make it to P&G’s [U.S. Nationals].

CG: Do you plan on upgrading your routines for this upcoming elite season?

KDG: Yes, I do.

CG: As you were born in the Phillipines and have Filipino heritage, do you plan to represent them in international competition? Or will you stick with the US?

KDG: I don’t know if I will be good enough to compete for the U.S. as there are so many good gymnasts. [She didn’t provide a certain answer]

CG: You’re now homeschooled – Do you miss public school or do you prefer the freedom of homeschooling? KDG: I miss public school but personally, I prefer homeschooling. However, I still want to go to prom! ❤ 😀

CG: Describe your daily routine and how many hours you train per week

KDG: This is how my day looks like. I normally wake up at 6:15 am take a shower and eat on the go. I like to be over 30 minutes early for gym so I can relax before I start my workout. After morning practice I eat lunch, sometimes I go to therapy but most of the time I do my school work. I usually do more school work after afternoon practice while waiting for my mom to finish coaching. We head home eat dinner and get ready for bed. If I have time I usually watch one of my favorite TV shows.

CG: You’re age eligible for the 2016 Olympics next year, is this your main goal?

KDG: I would love the experience; if it’s God’s plan for me.

CG: Are you interested in doing collegiate gymnastics after high school graduation? Do you have any colleges in mind already?

KDG: Yes, I think it would be fun to compete in college gymnastics. However, I don’t have any colleges in mind yet.

CG: After you’ve finished gymnastics and college, what are your career aspirations? If you know, of course. 

KDG: I think I would like to become a veterinarian and/or a physical therapist.

CG: What advice would you give to gymnasts who aspire to compete at your level? Train hard, honour God. Never give up on anything because it will be worth it in the end. Also, take one practice at a time!

Evidently, you can see that Kaitlin is a ‘lady of few words’; as described by John Roethlisberger during the 2015 Nastia Liukin Cup broadcast but I like that about her! DeGuzman has her work cut out if she’s serious about making the U.S. Olympic team next year but, if she decided to compete for the Philippines, they would have a serious mega team; Ava Verdeflor, Lizzy LeDuc and then Kaitlin!

I’m sure time will tell if she’s the one for Rio!

An article by James Greaves – editor in chief for Chatty Gymnast

NOTE: We’re currently very interested in new writers for the blog. Think you could fill this role? E-mail us at; 🙂

Kiera Brown Dismissed From Georgia, Due to Violation of Team Rules

We’re hearing reports that University of Georgia gymnast and Newport News resident, Kiera Brown has been dismissed from the Georgia Gym Dogs team for the 2016 season. The 20 year old, who trained at World Class Gymnastics throughout her club career, provided strength on all fourteen bars lineups last year and factored into the beam lineup nine times and floor lineup eight times. In addition, she bagged a career high on bars of 9.950 against Utah.

So, how did this come about? Well, allegedly, Brown has been dismissed from the Georgia Gym Dogs team due to violations of team rules, as told by Communications Director, Ben Beaty. Whether Kiera is continuing her education at UGA remains to be seen.

The 2016 roster features all of last year’s team members including three incoming freshmen; Caroline Bradford of Prairieville, La. (Cypress Pointe), Gracie Cherrey of Woodbury, Minn. (TCT) and Sydney Snead of Raleigh, N.C. (Sonshine). Georgia seems to be set for another great year, despite this upsetting loss!

Amendment: Brown has transferred to University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa., however she is not listed on the 2015-16 team roster!

Pan Ams 2015: Introducing the U.S. Team

Earlier today, USA Gymnastics announced the women’s artistic team delegation that they would be sending to the 2015 Pan American Games; held next month in Toronto, Canada (official press release). The competition will serve as a key event during the Women’s Artistic elite season for USA Gymnastics and the team will look to defend their title that they garnered back in 2011.

Here is a quick fact file on each of the team members;

Nia Dennis

16 years old • Westerville, Oh. • Buckeye • UCLA Bruins

About Nia

In her first year as a senior, Nia is yet to make her senior international debut. Dennis had a very accompolished junior elite career; qualifying to Nationals every year since 2011. Last year, she received two international assingments to the Pacific Rim Championships and the City of Jesolo Trophy and contributed to the team’s successes at both competitions. The Westerville, Ohio native, who committed to the UCLA Bruins team earlier in the year, is strong on all events but particularly on Bars and Vault. Look out for her on those pieces!

Madison Desch

17 years old • Lenexa, Kan. • GAGE • Alabama Crimson Tide

About Madison

Training under elusive coach, Al Fong, Maddie brings extensive experience to this team and is the oldest member of the team, aged 17! A National team member since 2011, Desch has proved herself at Nationals many times and found herself as the reserve for the 2014 U.S. Worlds team last year. Additionally, Maddie has been to various international competitions, also. Bars and Beam are her specialisms but she could contribute on the other two pieces, if needed.

Rachel Gowey

17 years old • Urbandale, Ia. • Chow’s • Florida Gators

About Rachel

Coming off an unfortunate ankle fracture at last year’s Nationals, Gowey looks poised for success this year. Training under world renowned coach, Liang Chow, Gowey transitioned to elite in 2013, as a Senior. A back injury sidelined her from competition that year and in 2014, her ankle fracture ended chances of making the Worlds team. As one of the team’s oldest members, Gowey will provide depth as an all-arounder.

Felicia Hano

16 years old • San Gabriel, Calif. • Gym-Max • UCLA Bruins

About Felicia

This super lovely California gal, hailing out of San Gabriel, has become one of the U.S.’s most consistent elites, in recent years. In 2013, Felicia made her elite debut as a Junior. A year later, she accepted a full-ride scholarship to the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team, and was later added to the 2014-15 U.S. Senior National team. Hano has improved so much in recent years and can definitely help the U.S. on Beam and Floor, for sure.

Amelia Hundley

17 years old • Hamilton, Oh. • Cincinnati • Florida Gators

About Amelia

Amelia, or “Meels” as she’s referred to as, has been on the scene for absolutely ages. Appearing first at the 2010 Nastia Liukin Cup, a meet which is televised, Hundley soon moved up to the Junior International Elite ranks. In 2012, she was part of the U.S. Pacific Rims team, which won the event. Last year, she made her elite debut and competed at the Pan Am Championships in Mississauga. The future Florida Gator, trained by world renowned coach, Mary Lee Tracy, can contribute on Bars and Beam and Floor, most likely.

Lauren Navarro

15 years old • La Verne, Calif. • Gliders • Uncommitted

About Lauren

The youngest member of the team, Navarro is likely to be an unfamiliar face to the international world. Training at Charter Oak Gliders, Lauren moved up to the elite level in 2013 and has placed well ever since. As a Senior, I am not sure what she can bring to the table but she is exceptional on beam; and was capable of hitting 14.800 last year, if she hit. Whether or not she has upgraded since then, look out for her on that event!

Emily Schild

16 years old • Huntersville, N.C. • Everest • Georgia Gym Dogs

About Emily

Schild has done exceptionally well in her first year as a senior, already! Brief history behind her, she moved up to Elite in 2013 but didn’t do very well that year. Last year, Schild sat out the entire year nursing an injury and was fit enough to return this year. An addition to the National team prior to the City of Jesolo Trophy competition, she made that team and finished 16th. She is very strong on Vault and Bars!

Megan Skaggs

16 years old • Marietta, Ga. • GAA • Florida Gators

About Megan

Skaggs is another gymnast who has been very prominent as a Junior. Since 2012, Megan has been elite and has placed well at Nationals every year. Like Schild, she was added to the National Team this year and competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy; finishing 8th. She is very stylish on beam and floor but could contribute on all pieces!

Personally, I cannot wait for this competition! This is a fairly inexperienced U.S. team and the major stars such as Simone Biles, Kyla Ross and MyKayla Skinner are likely to be resting and finishing preparations for the upcoming elite season. This competition will give the opportunity for the less experienced gymnasts to gain some and understand what it’s like to compete internationally.


April U.S. National Team Training Camp: Recap

The April-May U.S. National Team Training Camp concluded yesterday at the U.S. National Training Center, the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas. A jam-packed field of 34 gymnasts made the commute down South to attend the camp. We saw some additions and some absences from last month’s camp roster.


as per the USA Gymnastics website. 

Alyssa Baumann, WOGA
Simone Biles, World Champions Centre
Jordan Chiles, Naydenov
Madison Desch, GAGE
Christina Desidero, Parkettes
Nia Dennis, Buckeye
Gabby Douglas, Buckeye
Peyton Ernst, Texas Dreams
Norah Flatley, Chow’s Gymnastics
Jazmyn Foberg, MG Elite
Margzetta Frazier, Parkettes
Ashley Foss, North Stars
Emily Gaskins, Intensity Gymnastics
Rachel Gowey, Chow’s Gymnastics
Felicia Hano, Gym-Max
Lauren Hernandez, MG Elite
Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, Brandy Johnson
McKenna Kelley, Stars Gymnastics
Bailie Key, Texas Dreams
Madison Kocian, WOGA
Lauren Navarro, Gliders
Victoria Nguyen, Chow’s Gymnastics
Maggie Nichols, Twin City Twisters
Marissa Oakley, Gym Phenom
Abby Paulson, Twin City Twisters
Grace Quinn, Texas Dreams
Aly Raisman, Brestyan’s
Kyla Ross, Gym-Max
Emily Schild, Everest Gymnastics
Polina Shchennikova, TIGAR
Megan Skaggs, Gymnastics Acad of Atlanta
MyKayla Skinner, Desert Lights
Ragan Smith, Texas Dreams
Deanne Soza, Arete

So, in this field, who are the additions and absences?


Emily Gaskins of Intensity Gymnastics (Coral Springs, Fla.) – Gaskins attended the January and February Training camps but sat out last month’s camp. She moved back to her native Florida back in October 2014 after a stint out in Ohio training at Cincinnati under Mary Lee Tracy. She currently trains at Intensity Gymnastics in Margate, Fla. under the tutelage of 1984 Olympic champion, Lavinia Agache.

Marissa Oakley of Phenom Gymnastics (Oswego, Ill.) – Oakley didn’t attend either of the February or March camps so she is making her debut here in April. She qualified to Junior International Elite last year and advanced to U.S. Nationals. Since, she has moved up to Senior International Elite status. Time will tell whether she’ll factor.

Ashley Foss of North Stars Gymnastics (Towaco, NJ) – Foss had a large elite stint during 2012 and 2013 but suffered a dislocated knee during 2013 P&G Champs. She was out of gymnastics for the whole 2014 season. In her comeback, she attended the January camp and is now returning as a Senior International Elite in her first camp this season, she is looking ready to compete!

Peyton Ernst of Texas Dreams Gymnastics (Coppell, Tex.) – Ernst competed at the Pac Rims last year but has been nursing a shoulder injury ever since and had to withdraw from all her events during the 2014 summer elite season. She returns as one of the oldest at 18 and will hope to return to competition form before she starts out at the University of Florida in the fall.

McKenna Kelley of Stars Gymnastics (Houston, Tex.) – Kelley is currently a Level 10 but this is not the first time she has been invited to elite-level training camps; having previously attended the January camp. Kelley has vowed to stick to Level 10 until she starts out at LSU in the fall. The daughter of 1984 Olympic Champion, Mary Lou Retton, is anticipating a debut in elite gymnastics, in the future.

Nia Dennis of Buckeye Gymnastics (Westerville, Oh.) – Dennis was absent at the March camp but attended the February camp. The recent UCLA Bruins commit looks set for a great year!


Amelia Hundley of Cincinnati Gymnastics Acad. (Hamilton, Oh.) – Hundley was at both the February and March camps but was not present at this month’s camp. I cannot find any information owing to any absence.

Olivia Trautman of Twin City Twisters (Champlin, Minn.) – Trautman attended both February and March camps but didn’t appear this time around. She recently announced her commitment to the Oklahoma Sooners gymnastics team.

Ashton Locklear of Everest Gymnastics (Hamlet, NC) – Locklear has only attended the January camp this year and did she make the City of Jesolo team. The 2014 Worlds team member has recently undergone shoulder surgery so I’m sure she is nursing that injury. Her teammate, Emily Schild, has been flying the flag in elite for Everest Gymnastics.

Alexis Vasquez of Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance (Des Moines, Ia.) – Vasquez announced her retirement from elite gymnastics in April 2014. She has since committed to the University of Denver Piooners gymnastics team.

Brenna Dowell of GAGE Gymnastics (Norman, Okla.) – Dowell is still listed on the U.S. Senior National team but has not attended any elite training camps this year as she was competing in college gymnastics for the Oklahoma Sooners.

Sabrina Vega of GAGE Gymnastics (Carmel, NY) – Vega attended the January National Team camp but has been rather quiet ever since. Like Locklear, Sabrina has just come off of shoulder surgery and should (hopefully) return to competition form soon!

Laney Madsen of Gym-Max Gymnastics (California) – Madsen has been publicised by many gymnastics fans and perhaps even criticised due to her cheerleading background. Madsen attended the January National Team camp and has competed at some invitationals in the California region. I doubt she’ll move up to elite this year.

Further information

This is the fourth camp of the year, with the next camp being held on June 1-5. At this camp, it was a ‘working camp’ meaning that there were no full routines on display. They are working on various individual skills, sequences and finalizing routine construction and choreography!

Former Florida Gators head coach and recently turned USA Gymnastics Senior Vice President for the Women’s Program, Rhonda Faehn, attended the camp. She is certainly being groomed to be the successor of Marta Karolyi for the Women’s National Team co-ordinator role.



  1. Laurie Hernandez (MG Elite)
  2. Jordan Chiles (Naydenov)
  3. Ragan Smith (TX Dreams)


  1. Simone Biles (WCC – duh!)
  2. Aly Raisman (Brestyan’s)
  3. Kyla Ross (Gym-Max)

The Gossip

Simone & Victoria embrace the short struggles

Biles posted the cutest picture on Twitter of her and Junior National Team member, Victoria Nguyen. Adorable!

Gabby and Nia struggles Buckeye team members, Nia Dennis and Gabby Douglas shared a funny conversation they had with one another at camp.

Felicia Hano is winning at life!

Future UCLA bruin, Felicia Hano, seems to have managed to fix the on-going problem that camp go-ers face. Go Fish!

The next camp in June will be the first trial for the U.S. delegation for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, held during July 10-26. Other events in the USA Gymnastics elite season calendar for the summer are the American Classic (May 31 – Huntsville, TX) Secret U.S. Classic (July 25 – Chicago, IL) and the P&G U.S. Nationals (August 12-16 – Indianapolis, IN).

Brace yourself for a great summer of Gymnastics!

An article by James Greaves, Editor-in-chief

Photo credits: USA Gymnastics (website)

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