2018 US Nationals: Senior Report and Results

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Simone Biles won her 5th all around US title, together with the gold medal on each of the 4 events. Simone sent a powerful message, through her victory in sport but also through the symbolism of her leotard. The costume was Simone’s own design in aqua blue with teal highlights, a message support and solidarity with the survivors of the sexual abuse scandal that has shaken the gymnastics community and USA gymnastics since 2016.

Her gymnastics performance was not very different from the one from day 1: a few extra added hesitations on beam and bars and minus the OOB landings on floor attracted an all around total of 59.75. Simone has started training only 9 months ago and she is already dominating in a more categorical fashion than ever before. It almost makes you wonder, what else will she be able to achieve, how will she blow our minds next.

Morgan Hurd placed 2nd all around overall (3rd on the day). She also had a few more wobbles on beam and some more floor deductions. But it was a great performance for Hurd and a testimony to her mental toughness. Hurd had a great vault (DTY for 14.400) and a very secure bars set (14.600/6.1).

Riley McCusker placed third overall (2nd on the day). She had an improved floor performance compared to the first day, and a much better beam routine (the double back tuck looked safe this time).

Before the competition, we knew that Morgan and Riley will be front runners in the race for 2nd all arounder in the US team (other than Simone). Although we are far from a conclusion of this debate, we have now seen that both of them are able to hit and score in the 56s for three meets in a row (aside from Morgan’s BB fluke at Classic). If both stay healthy, I am happy to see them finally deciding who will be the “other” all arounder in qualifications at Worlds.

Who would have thought, before this summer, that Grace McCallum and Shilese Jones will have almost 0 qualms of not being added to the national team. They placed 4th and 5th respectively. McCallum was strong on vault and showed more than decent difficulty across the events (mid 5s on all 4 events) and was especially clean on balance beam and floor execution. Jones is also emerging as a clean vaulter (DTY) and manages to combine difficulty in the low 5s with consistent execution on all 4 apparatuses.

Jade Carey placed 6th all around. She was very impressive on floor where she handled well her massive 6.3 difficulty on both days. Her watered down vaults were less convincing though and she will need her 2017 difficulty back if she wants to secure her Worlds team spot.

Top 6 all arounders received an automatic spot in the US National team.

Also added to the team were the gymnasts that placed 7th and 8th, Kara Eaker and Trinity Thomas. Kara won the silver medal on beam with impressive routines on both days of competition.  Trinity had placed 5th on the first day but dropped to 8th due to a big mistake on bars.

Ragan Smith placed 10th after struggling again, especially on floor and bars.

Update: Jade Carey, Kara Eaker, Shilese Jones, Grace McCallum, and Trinity Thomas were named to the Senior Pan American Championships team. Alyona Shchennikova is the alternate.


Here are the full all around results:

Results by event:

Article: Bea Gheorghisor

Photo Cover: USA Gymnastics

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