Tag Archives: McKenna Kelley

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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