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The energy was high inside Now Arena for the anticipated return to elite competition for the past two olympic all around champions. The arena was filled to the ceiling (well almost) with loud screaming and cheering fans who let Simone and Suni know they were there every time either pretty much moved.
Despite what NBC will lead you to believe, there was some awesome gymnastics being down around the arena not only the “premier” session but in all four (HOPES, Juniors, and 2 Senior) sessions. Region 5 had thirteen athletes compete in the competition throughout the weekend all who train in Ohio.
The HOPES Championships, final meet this season for these athletes, kicked off the weekend Friday with 3 Region 5 athletes making the 2023 HOPES National Team. In the 11-12 age group, Cincinnati’s Kylie Smith finished 5th or 6th on each event, but due to her consistent efforts landed in 3rd all around (48.00) and onto the Hope National Team. Kylie improved her score from American Classic by 1.6 points. She began on beam with confidence to post her highest (non vault) score of 11.9 and ended on bars with a very nice toe handstand blind Front Giant combo for 5th on both the events. She competes a Yurchenko full and executed it well for a 5th place 12.8.
Smith’s Cincinnati teammate Quinn Harris finished 4th all around in the 13-14 age group and also earned a place on teh national team for HOPES. Quinn started off the meet with an unfortunate fall on her triple series but stayed tough and finished up on bars with a 3rd place tie of 11.45 which features a very nice Weiler combo on the low bar (video below). She had to use new grips during the competition as hers ripped during the podium training day. This was Quinn’s third HOPES Championships and now has her sights set on junior elite.
video from USA Gymnastics
Joining Quinn on the HOPES 13-14 National Team was Buckeye’s Addie Oiler-Velez with her 7th place finish 45.05. Addie began on beam and finished 4th with all her skills performed solidly including a nice back handspring layout step and front aerial for a 11.55.
Other Notable finishes:
– Sadie Goldberg (Gym Xtreme) finished 2nd on vault with a 13.2 for her very nice Yurchenko full (13-14)
– Ansley Stevens (Cincinnati) finished 5th on beam with a nice two back handsprings layout series for a 11.9
– Stevie Rose Mack competed her Layout Yurchenko for the first time at these Championships for a 11.7
Junior Elite Session
Ella Kate Parker from Cincinnati gymnastics had her highest all around score since the Winter Cup in 2022 as she posted a 50.25 finishing 8th and qualified to the USA Championships (athletes needed a 50.0 to qualify). Ella Kate’s top score came on probably her best event beam which she posted a 13.05 to finish in a tie for 4th place
video by USA Gymnastics
Izzy Stassi from Buckeye is coming off an ankle injury she suffered at the Junior World Championships but didn’t let that stop her as she won the vault title. She put her Yurchenko 1 1/2 straight down the middle of the mat for a big 13.7. She also had a strong beam set with a layout step out mount that tied Ella Kate for 4th with a 13.05. This competition was a tune up for Izzy as she was pre-qualified to championships.
Other Notable finishes:
– Catherine Guy (Buckeye) finished 7th on Floor with solid landings on all 3 tumbling passes including a beautiful 2 1/2 last pass for a 12.4
– Carly Weinburg (Buckeye) had a very solid floor routine that just finished outside of the top 10 in 11th with a 12.2. She ended the routine with a very strong double tuck.
– Jazlene Pickens (Buckeye) was the third highest finisher for Region 5 in the all around and finished 13th on floor with a 12.15. Jaz has two outstanding passes to open her routine, front full to double tuck and Full in.
Senior Elite Session
The seniors were divided into two sessions and our Region 5 duo from Buckeye were in the first session. Kelise Woolford, who competed at the 2022 US Championships, qualified this year as a senior with her 51.1 which put her in 15th. Kelise had a very nice Yurchenko Full for a 13.0 and just missed out on the top 10 with her 13.3 on bars for 11th (this was both sessions combined). In her post meet interview she said she will be adding some upgrades for championships, so we look forward to those.
Avery Moll was close to qualifying to championships at the American Classic but didn’t have her best beam routine here at Core Classic. This was her first time competing on podium so this competition was a great learning experience for her as she gets back in the gym and prepares for full year of elite gymnastics. Avery competed her Yurchenko 1 1/2 for the first time at the Core Classic for a 12.9.
video by USA Gymnastics
Congrats to all our Region 5 athletes who competed at the 2023 Core Classic and good luck to Ella Kate, Izzy Stassi and Kelise Woolford at the US Championships in San Jose.