Region 5 had two junior’s take part in the Winter Cup competition. It’s only the second version of the women’s Winter Cup competition and in terms of the junior division, there has only been one champion. Cincinnati’s Ella Kate Parker won the inaugural Winter Cup for juniors and returned this year to win again. In 2021, she was testing the waters (or mats), getting a feel for the elite level of competition but spring boarded herself right into the conversation. Gabby Van Frayen from Gym Xtreme, did not participate in the all around but won bars and finished in the top 10 on beam and floor.
Now being a national team member for the last year, Ella Kate shows a lot more confidence in her gymnastics. She kicked off the competition on beam with the highest score of 13.9 (2nd only to senior Konnor McClain) mixing a solid aerial layout layout, with sharp playful choreography and strong two back handsprings to double back dismount.video by USA Gymnastics
A much improved triple full and two and half punch front highlighted her floor routine leading to her Yurchenko double full that was awesome but has garnered a lot of attention on social media. She vaulted with her Leo in her teeth to keep her head neutral. This technique is used a lot in gymnastics, I used it all the time, but just caught many off guard as we don’t see it in competition. Despite missing her Weiler Kip on bars, she showed some big releases with both a Ricna (Stalder Thaktchev) and a Ray plus rocked her double layout dismount to total a 52.45 for the win.
Gabby Van Frayen, current USA Junior National Team Member, did not compete on vault at Winter Cup saving her body for rest of the upcoming elite season but did show some new upgrades. Gabby showed that she is one to watch with her top bars score of 13.3, which would have finished in the top 5 in the senior competition. Though she has some upgrades in the works, she added a Maloney half to her routine for this competition and dismounted with a solid full out.
A new Ondi and double back dismount upgrade highlight her already difficult beam routine which scored a 12.6 for 6th place on the event. She debuted her new floor routine for 2022 but watered back some of the tumbling that she has in the works for solid consistent routine and a 12.5. She has a new pike full in and a triple full that I am sure they are looking to include as the classic meets come around.