College: Dean to LSU for the 2017-18 season

Orlando Metro gymnast and former elite, Bridget Dean, has committed to the LSU Lady Tigers gymnastics team for the 2017-18 season.

The Fort Myers resident, who is currently homeschooled, will join the Tigers for the 2018 season. Dean had previously committed to the University of Kentucky Wildcats in November 2014 but has since changed. Orlando Metro teammate, Bailey Ferrer, recently committed to the Tigers in March for the 2019-20 season.

Dean announced her commitment via Instagram

Geaux Tigers!

An article by James Greaves, editor-in-chief


Photo credits to USA Gymnastics

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.

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?

Additions

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!

Absences

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.

Results

Juniors

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

Seniors

  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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Holland: European Games Team Announcement

With the European games coming up (June 12-28) the Dutch teams (MAG and WAG) were announced last Friday.

After two qualifications for the women, the team was expected to be like this.
First qualification results (April 25):
1st: Lieke Wevers (54.883)
2nd: Lisa Top (53.133)
3rd: Céline van Gerner (53.034)
4th: Maartje Ruikes (52.950)
5th: Vera van Pol (50.233)

Second qualification results (April 30):
1st: Lieke Wevers (55.533)
2nd: Céline van Gerner (53.967)
3rd: Lisa Top (53.667)
4th: Maartje Ruikes (51.833)
5th: Vera van Pol (50.733)

The best 3 gymnasts were chosen by the KNGU(Dutch gymnastics union) and announced last Friday.
The team off to Baku for WAG consists of;

  • Lieke Wevers
  • Céline van Gerner
  • and Lisa Top.

Not really surprising after you saw the results from the qualification, I think. The MAG qualifications were a while ago. But the team (part of it) was announced last Friday as well. Only two out of three gymnasts were chosen. The last one has to be added. The guys that’re sure to go to Baku are Casimir Schmidt and Karl Kosztka.

Baku team 2015

An article by Amy Vedder, Holland editor

Photo credits: KNGU – Gymnast photographed: Céline van Gerner, Lieke Wevers, Lisa Top


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The Best of the Gymternet: Pt. I

Welcome all Chatty Gymnast followers, wherever you may be on this glorious Monday!

After a successful opening post, I’ve since upgraded the blog’s domain so if you had difficulty finding us today it’s: http://www.chattygymnast.com 

Oooh, fancy!

Today, I am introducing a new segment to CG called…..The Best of the Gymternet! Yes, you guessed it. So in this segment I will be scouring the greatness of Twitter to search for the funniest, coolest and weirdest things that have been going on across the Gymternet this wek! This is not going to be an easy task. Please sit back, relax and have a giggle!

Danusia Francis loves her nails!

We start our weekly round-up in the sunny city of Los Angeles where we can find the LA Dodgers, Disneyland and Danusia Francis thinking about how long her nails have gotten. Wait, what??? Yes, she obviously prefers to study her nail length in class than her academics and frankly Nush, we don’t blame you!


The way to Sophina’s heart is through cake!

Staying in the UCLA campus, we soon find former U.S. National team member and general diva Sophina DeJesus. Obviously her professor was feeling generous last Monday because she got some cake that day. Just don’t let Miss Val know!


Stick It: College Gymnastics sequel?

LSU gymnast, Erin Macadaeg, may just have the answer to the crisis every gymnastics fan is facing. A Stick It sequel about College gymnastics. It gets a 10.0 from us!


When your qualifications don’t really translate!

Gymternet legend and snark superstar, Bekah, reminds us just how upsetting it is when your gymnastics qualifications just don’t measure up to the standards of employers.


Mary-Anne speaks truth!

Aussie gymnast, Mary-Anne Monckton, reveals that listening to podcast GymCastic helps her study through the weekend. We agree!


Uncle Tim cannot be without Gymnastics!

Notorious gymterneter, Uncle Tim, provides a relatable tweet about gymnastics. Very insightful!


Jordyn gets free stuff!

It seems a girl admires Jordyn so much that she gave her selfie stick. How sweet!

An article by James Greaves, editor-in-chief

Photo credits: UCLA Athletics – Gymnast photographed: Danusia Francis

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So, You Think You Can Get A College Scholarship?

Wahoo, it’s the first Chatty Gymnast post!

So, college gymnastics season drew to a close last month and it was the Florida Gators who were victorious during this very impressive season. We love to watch the impressive hair/leotards, big skills and whole team atmosphere of the sport but we sometimes forget how to get to this place, as a gymnast. For a young gymnast, the college gymnastics world is very cutthroat and sometimes it can seem like you have no chance in making the elusive team that you’ve supported for years.

This article is not to scare prospective college gymnasts but merely, to point them in the right direction and give them confidence and goals and some guidance as to what college gymnastics life will be like. If you believe, anything is possible.

  1. Academics mean more than gymnastics skills

You may be the next Gabby Douglas or Nastia Liukin, sure, any team would want you for their roster but you have to remember that you’re actually attending the school! Whoops. Decipher the schools you believe cater for your academic capabilities as well as your academic needs; i.e. how good the program for your future degree is. For instance, 3.0 GPA will not cut it for an Ivy League program. Know yourself and know your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t give up if your dream school is a little trickier to get into; just put the work in and set goals for yourself in school.

  1. Be loud and proud; Get your name out there!

A college coach is not going to know who you are unless you make the effort to get in contact. Search the e-mails of head coaches of the program’s you’re considering and just tell them about yourself, gymnastics skills and link them to your personal website and social media links (if you want, obviously!). Nine times out of ten, you’ll get a response and hopefully, they’ll want to stay in contact. Persistence is good but don’t e-mail them every other day; desperation is never a good look!

  1. A personal website is vital!

A personal website is a key component in the recruitment process. Of course, you can be recruited without one but the website will help you keep track of both your gymnastics and academic achievements. Be sure to include the following;

  • Personal information (DOB, Hometown, siblings etc.)
  • Parents names
  • Home phone number
  • Your and/or your coaches e-mail address
  • School name, principal name, current grade, GPA, academic achievements etc.
  • Gymnastics results
  • Club, coaches (and their contact)

Your website doesn’t need to be a hip-hop, trendy graphic design or have a personal domain; a simple website with basic design is sufficient enough. Make it true to yourself. A website will absolutely increase your chances of college recruitment.

  1. Don’t be disheartened from rejection

No matter how hard you try, not everyone can be awarded a scholarship to a single team. A team rejects you, so what? You’ve still got 81 more to choose from. It can be disappointing but you have to walk away knowing that school obviously was not right for you. You can do it!

  1. Know you’re probably not going to be in the line-up on every event, every week!

There are 10-17 gymnasts on a single college team and there are only 6 spots in the line-up on each event. As there are so many team members and so few line-up spots, the chances of you doing all-around each week are rather unlikely, however, not impossible. The coach’s intent will be to try and give each gymnast adequate performance time but sometimes it is not possible. Don’t go into college believing you will do every single event, every single week; you have to work your way up the team and eventually, you may achieve this.

  1. Specialise on the events you feel are your strongest and most valuable

Linking to my previous point, it is ludicrous believing you will do all-around each week, immediately. It definitely pays to drop down to 2 or 3 events, or even just 1. Prior to your entry to college, work on your best events in the gym. Make them polished and strong and routines you feel would make it to a college team. Upon arrival at college, your college coach will immediately see the flair and grounding you bring to the team on that particular event and will be sure to draft you in! It makes much more sense to be drafted into the team’s line-up week in, week out on your specialised events than yo-yo in your work load each week, competing all-around one week and just one event the next.

  1. Know that Division II is just as good as the top flight

In the recruitment process, gymnasts and their parents are often reluctant about Division II programs and often don’t dare to even search for further information on these programs, believing their child is ‘better than Div. II’. Cringe. This couldn’t be any further from the truth when put into practice as, in recent years; we’ve seen Div. II teams become crowned victorious over teams from the top division. Prime examples include Bridgeport and Lindenwood; both of whom have been ranked over various Div. I teams during the 2015 season. This ‘snobbery’ approach towards Division II is simply blown out of proportion by some gymnastics moms. The bottom line is: choose a program that suits you, regardless of whether it is Division I, II or III.

  1. J.O. Nationals is a must!

J.O. Nationals is the National Championships for Level 10 gymnasts; the level which many future college gymnasts compete in during club gymnastics. A J.O. Nationals participation is an absolute must for the top Div. I schools who are probably expecting multiple J.O. Nationals participations in your resume. Consistently good performances at J.O. Nationals each year will punch you a ticket onto a strong college team.

  1. Know that the college gymnastics season is a long, hard slog

Competing each week as well as balancing practice in-between can be a daunting task on the body. Although regular season lasts for three months, that is 12 weeks of intense competition as well as returning for Conference, Regional & National Championships, if invited. Make sure you stay healthy and seek medical attention if you’re hurting or aching.

  1. Be prepared to step in!

A teammate can go down with injury at any minute and you could be their replacement. Make sure you’re on hand and you’re on your a-game at all times during a meet because who knows you may need to step in and become a hero!

  1. International gymnasts have just as much chance of earning scholarships

Competition for college scholarships is fierce enough for U.S. gymnasts alone, without adding international gymnasts into the mix. However, we have not seen a shortage of international students in college gymnastics in recent years with team members from countries like Canada, England, Australia, Spain and Holland being represented in the sport. International gymnasts bring international competitive experience to the team and are arguably more experienced. The world’s your oyster!

  1. A walk-on position is better than no position

Many gymnasts don’t consider competing as a walk-on for a team because you aren’t ‘officially’ a member. A full-ride scholarship naturally brings its perks of paying for academic and housing costs etc. but you should certainly consider a walk-on spot if you’re attending your dream school (for academics). A walk-on spot can lead to bigger things; a full-ride scholarship. It has been done, most notably by UCLA’s Ariana Berlin.

  1. What you put in is what you’ll get out!

This purely means; if you’re lazy about your approach to college recruiters and don’t put the effort in, you’re college chances are certainly going south. If you put in the effort by working hard at school, working hard in the gym, doing extracurricular activities, contacting and visiting various schools then you’re going to get the scholarship you deserve!

To summarise, I want to wish all prospective college gymnasts good luck in their pathway into collegiate student-athlete life; you can create your future and it’s your life, so start living it! Wow, word count is 1300+. Ooh, I have been busy!

An article by James Greaves, Editor-in-chief

Photo credits: The GymShark (website) – Gymnast photographed: Alina Weinstein


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This is the first post on Chatty Gymnast and I really hope you enjoy it and follow us! Note: We will be covering international news as well as U.S. news and will also provide interviews and opinion pieces, too! Stay tuned and tell your friends.

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