Sunday, July 19, 2015

Storylines at the 2015 Secret Classic

With the 2015 Secret Classic just a week away, most gym fans are excited for the start of the 2015 elite season.  This year's field is the strongest group of senior competitors this quadrennium, making the road to the Olympics next year all the more exciting.  Headlined by 9 time World Medallist, Simone Biles, the remainder of the field does not disappoint.

While who will be competing All Around and who won't be is still undetermined, it is known that Simone Biles will.  In addition to debuting her new floor routine next weekend, Biles is looking to retain her All Around title from a year ago.  If Biles is on, like she is more often than not these days, it will be very hard for anyone to beat her.  Biles looks to keep her 2 year All Around Gold Medal Streak alive, which dates back to the 2013 P&G's National Championships, next weekend in Chicago.

After a strong first showing at the Jesolo Trophy in April, placing third and fourth respectively, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas will be making their long awaited domestic debut since coming off of a combined 5 medal showing at the 2012 Olympic Games.  Both had impressive returns in Italy, and both are looking to make a splash on this year's World team.

Also returning is 2011 World Championships Gold Medalist Sabrina Vega.  After not making the 2012 Olympic Team, a gym change, and 3 years of injuries, Vega is competing for the first time since the 2012 Olympic Trials.  Her most recent injury required surgery this spring, knocking her out of the All Around in Chicago.  Nonetheless, many gym fans are excited to see her return to competition.
USA Today

5 of the 6 members of the Gold Medal winning team from the 2014 World Championships will be in attendance.  In addition Biles, Alyssa Baumann, Madison Kocian, Ashton Locklear, and Mykayla Skinner are making the first step towards making their second World Championship Team.  The only team member missing is Maddie Desch, who just finished cleaning up at the Pan American Championships.  Not much is known about any of these four, as Locklear had surgery in the spring, and Kocian is reported as having an injury.  It will be interesting to see these five rotate next weekend in Chicago.

Another athlete to keep an eye on is Maggie Nichols, who is back from her knee injury of last year and better than ever.  Nichols is upgraded on every event, and is regularly placing in the top group of athletes at verification.  Look for Nichols to fight for a podium finish next weekend.

John Cheng
After an injury forced the 2013 Junior National Champion to sit out the 2014 season, Bailie Key is Nia Dennis.  After leaving her longtime coach and gym last week, Dennis has little adjustment time with her new coaches before competing next week.  While the effects of Dennis' new coaching at Legacy Elite won't be clear in just two weeks, it will be an interesting long term storyline.
back looking to recreate some of the success she had in 2013.  Combined with a strong showing in Jesolo, Key is looking to solidify her status as the US' number two All Arounder.  Key is leading the field of talented first year seniors, followed by

The 2015 Secret Classic will be on Universal Sports on Saturday, July 25 at 7:00 PM EST.

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