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Junior WAG and MAG Podium Training Interview

The 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championship is going to open in the most thrilling way possible; it’s going to open with Sydney Barros on Floor. 2019 Jr. World Team Member has one of the most exciting floor routines of the century. Self-described as sassy fun, and inviting, Barros says that she looks at the crowd during the performance to invite them in. Choreographed by Dominik Zito and Kim Zmeskal, this routine represents Sydney. Kansas City spectators are in for a treat.

2019 Jr. World Vault Champion and three-time medalist at this years’ jr. world championships has set a goal of improving her routines from the GK Classic and making the national team this year. She’s adding in a double lay full-out on floor to aid her chances of retaining her current spot on the national team. After placing 4th in the AA at the Junior World Championships, she is one to challenge for the AA title here in Kansas City.

Coming off her GK Classic All-Around Championships win, Konner McClain isn’t looking to put pressure on herself, she just wants to stay calm. After some disappointment by just barely missing the World Championship team, she has worked on staying focused and calm throughout her competition performances. Though she was the traveling alternate, she did get to participate in the banquet at the World Championships and several members sent her a message congratulating her on her win. Other notable athletes like Morgan Hurd and Aly Raisman have used their spare time to nurture their hobbies like reading and fashion. They aren’t alone. McClain spoke openly about her love of make-up and said she may start a youtube channel.

While many of the junior women competing this weekend have multiple social media profiles with followers in the multi-thousands, the most anticipated junior gymnast in Kansas City has no social media. Asher Hong grew in popularity at the 2017 Winter Cup where he beat college students at the age of 13. Standing barely higher than the chalk bucket, his beautiful lines and clean gymnastics won over thousands of fans. Coming in as the reigning J.O. National Champion (15 year old division), he is expected to challenge for the 15-16 All-Around title.

His former teammate, current Oklahoma Sooner, and reigning J.O. National Champion (18 year old division), Laz Barnhill is also expected to challenge for the 17-18 title. Transitioning to the University of Oklahoma has brought a set of inspirations and challenges. He described the transition as going from the big fish in a big pond to a small fish in an even bigger pond. Even so, training in the bigger pond provides daily motivation as he trains under the same coach and in the same gym as Olympic and World medalists.

The future is bright with these athletes

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