PITTSBURGH – Just a year ago, Jazmyn Foberg was about as far as one could be from the P&G Gymnastics Championships.
As her friends competed for the junior title in Hartford, Conn., Foberg was setting sail – literally – aboard a Disney Cruise ship with her family in Florida.
“I didn’t make it last year," Foberg said with a shrug.
These days it’s full-steam ahead for the 14-year-old who trains at MG Elite in Morganville, N.J. Three weeks after taking a confidence-building fifth in the all-around in the junior competition at the Secret U.S. Classic, Foberg walked off the floor as Thursday’s first day junior leader at the P&G Championships at Consol Energy Center with 57.600 points.
Emily Gaskins of Cincinnati Gymnastics was second with 57.000 points, just ahead of Nia Dennis of Buckeye Gymnastics (56.800) and Norah Flatley of Chow’s (56.550).
“Before last year, I was rushing into elite kind of – I felt rushed through the system,” Foberg said. “But now I feel confident in my routines. I know I can hit them.”
Despite not claiming the top score in any of the four apparatuses, Foberg’s forte was her consistency. She was fourth on beam (14.600), second on uneven bars (14.400), tied for sixth on balance beam (14.200) and fourth on floor exercise (14.400).
For Gaskins, who tied with Alexis Vasquez of Chow’s for the top score on beam (14.700), she said making the junior national team is her main focus this year.
“Mary Lee (Tracy) has been pushing me, and it’s been great,” she said of her main coach.
Dennis was in second place after three rotations but dropped to third after falling onbeam while performing an Arabian.
“I let my nerves get to me,” said Dennis, whoreceived a new training partner three weeks ago when 2012 Olympic champion Gabby Douglas joined her training group. “It was strange. I felt my heart beating really fast as I went into it.”
Jordan Chiles of Vancouver, Wash., who won the junior division at the Secret U.S. Classic earlier this month, had a difficult time rebounding from her fall on uneven bars, her first event, scoring an 11.400. Her best event was vault, scoring 14.650 for her double twisting Yurchenko.
“It wasn’t my best,” said Chiles, placed 19th with 53.750 points. “I was pretty upset, but I shook it off.”
The junior women conclude their competition at 2 p.m. Saturday.