2015 P&G National Championships Preview

[Written in my Indianapolis hotel room the night before competition starts] (Above: Junior Olivia Dunne of ENA Paramus is, at 13, the youngest competitor at P&G this year. Seen here at 2015 Parkettes Invitational, photo by jb)
The women’s competition looks to be outstanding, with a fistful of world champions and ’12 Olympians, including Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raismann, MyKayla Skinner, and junior national all-around champion Bailie Key from powerhouse Texas Dreams gym, who made her senior debut at the Secret US Classic and placed an impressive fourth all-around against much the same field. There is tons of experience, with fully half the field returning from last year. One of those is tiny little Morgan Hurd from First State Gymnastics in Newark, Delaware, who last year instantly became a crowd favorite with her horn-rimmed glasses, looking every bit the underdog everyone wants to root for. Also competing is Olivia Dunne, a prodigy who had reached level 10 by age 10, barely as tall as the balance beam. Dunne showed good form and poise, but needs much more difficulty on all events to be competitive (if you see her in Tokyo in 2020, remember where you heard her name first). I was disappointed to find out Tuesday that not competing due to injury is Maggie Musselman from Hill’s in Gaithersberg, Maryland, one of my “hometown” gyms. Hoping to finally deliver on the potential she has shown the _IGP9276musselman_crop past three seasons, she had to scratch with an avulsion fracture of the ischial tuberosity (a very nasty injury, being a hamstring tear at the top of the muscle where it attaches to the pelvis, breaking off a piece of bone with it; it is an injry which usually requires surgical repair, so Maggie will be out for quite a while). Musselman broke out in 2013 by taking first on bars and fourth all-around in her age group in both the Hill’s Maryland Classic and Parkettes Invitational, though thus far she has not achieved the results many expect from a gymnast with her talent (photo is from 2013 Hill’s Maryland Classic. Photo by JB)

Save

Save