This Friday, June 21, gymnasts ages 10-13 will compete in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Hopes Classic held in conjunction with the American Classic. 63 Hopes gymnasts in two age divisions, 10-11 and 12-13, are expected to compete in the competition on Friday. From the Hopes Classic, gymnasts will have the chance to qualify to the Hopes Championships. In order to qualify to the Hopes Championships, gymnasts must finish in the top 18 in her respective age division and score the optional qualifying score for their division — 46.00 for the 10-11 division and 48.50 for the 12-13 division.

2018 Hopes Classic 10-11 all around champion, Ava San Jose on beam

Earlier this year, from January to early June, gymnasts competed in National Elite Qualifiers across the country for their chance to qualify to the Hopes Classic. The Hopes program serves as a pre-elite program, and the qualification process mirrors the elite qualification process with gymnasts required to earn a compulsory and optional score. Once gymnasts earn both scores, they qualify to the Hopes Classic. With 25 gymnasts in the 10-11 division, and 37 in the 12-13 division set to compete, two all around champions will be crowned and up to 36 will head to the Hopes Championships in July.

The 12-13 division features a mix of gymnasts new to the Hopes program as well as quite a few returners to the program. One of the front runners will be 2018 Hopes Classic 10-11 all around champion, Ava San Jose of Paramount Elite. Since last season, San Jose has increased her difficulty and qualified to this year’s Hopes Classic on her first try at the Gliders National Elite Qualifier where she posted a 52.250. Another one to watch will be Flips’ Lily Pederson who closed her 2018 Hopes Season with a third place finish on beam and fourth place finish in the all around at the Hopes Championships. Last year, Pederson took second all around at the Hopes Classic and will definitely be hoping for a top podium finish once again this year. An additional returner to the Hopes program who is expected to make a splash is Lucy Tobia of Parkettes. Tobia competed in the 10-11 division last year and finished third on beam and sixth all around at the Hopes Championships and is another gymnast who has increased difficulty. Most recently, Tobia competed at the Parkettes National Elite Qualifier and finished first all around with a 50.950.

2018 Hopes Classic 12-13 all around silver medalist, Lily Pederson on floor
Photo: John Cheng

While the 12-13 divison seems to be stacked with gymnasts who are Hopes “veterans,” there are a couple new faces to the program who could make their way to the top of the podium. One of these gymnasts is Colorado Aerials’ Jordis Eichman who qualified to the Hopes Classic on her first try at the Biles National Elite Qualifier and posted a 50.600. Following the qualifier, Eichman was invited to Developmental Camp and although she is new to the scene, will definitely be one to look out for. Texas native and WOGA gymnast Ella Murphy is another new comer to watch. Murphy may not have the high difficulty that some of her competitors show, but her execution definitely makes her a contender for a podium spot.

The 10-11 division is almost entirely full of new faces, but includes three returners to the Hopes program: Zoey Molomo of Metroplex, Ella Kate Parker of NE Texas Elite, and Carsyn Coleman of Precision. All three of these gymnasts advanced to last year’s Hopes Championships with Molomo finishing the highest out of the three, taking first on vault and eighth all around.

Zoey Molomo on floor at the 2018 Hopes Championships
Photo: John Cheng

Of the newcomers in the 10-11 divison, one gymnast to keep your eye out for will be First State’s Audrey Snyder who just recently posted a 49.500 at the Parkettes National Elite Qualifier – a huge score for the 10-11 division. Earlier this season, Snyder also competed at the KPAC Cup Elite Qualifier where she scored a 49.100. Fun fact: Audrey’s twin sister, Sydney Snyder, also qualified to the Hopes Classic and will be competing alongside one another. Another gymnast who could very well take the Hopes Classic 10-11 all around title is Parkettes’ Nicole Desmond who had fantastic performances at the Biles and Parkettes National Elite Qualifiers. At the Parkettes Qualifier just two weeks ago, Desmond scored a 49.00 and in February at the Biles Qualifier earned a 49.450.

This group of young gymnasts is the next generation for USA Gymnastics and will definitely be an exciting group to watch on Friday at the Hopes Classic. The competition will be streamed on the USA Gymnastics YouTube channel.

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