By Jo-Ann Barnas
PITTSBURGH – At this stage of her gymnastics career – just seven months away from turning senior – caution is the key for Bailie Key.
The 2013 U.S. junior champion isn’t defending her title at this week’s P&G Gymnastics Championships because it’s important for the gymnast to rest her elbow rather than to try to push it, her coach said.
The meet will be the second major event that Key will miss this month. She withdrew from the Secret U.S. Classic with the same injury.
“Everything is looking good for Bailie,” said Kim Zmeskal, who trains Key at Texas Dreams in Dallas.
Zmeskal described Key’s injury as growth-plate related; there are no ligament or tendon issues.
“She won eight meets in 14 months,” Zmeskal said. “It might be a blessing in disguise to be a little down. She has accomplished everything she can as a junior.”
Key will turn 16 on March 16, 2015, becoming age-eligible for a place on the USA Gymnastics senior team in 2015 for the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.