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Competition Reports

Written by Christian Ivanov    Sunday, 11 August 2019 17:54    PDF Print
Biles Wins Record Tying Sixth National Title
(6 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

Simone Biles (World Champions Centre) posted a 59.85 on day two at the 2019 U.S. Championships held in Kansas City, MO to easily win her sixth national all-around title (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018). Her total score from both days of competition was 118.5.

Biles began the competition on beam with nearly perfect routine, but did not compete her double twisting double tuck dismount, which she had successfully debuted on day one (she dismounted with a ff-ff full twisting double tuck) 14.7/6.2. On floor she mounted with a triple twisting double tuck and landed it successfully, after she had put her hands down on it during day one’s competition. She posted a 15.1/6.7 for the routine. In addition to the all-around title, Biles claimed the gold medals on vault (Cheng and Amanar), beam and floor. With the win Biles tied Clara M. Schroth, who won her last title in 1952, as the only other U.S. woman to have won the all-around six times.

Finishing second was Sunisa Lee (Midwest) who scored 113.55 (56.65 on day two). Lee won the gold medal on uneven bars with a spectacular bar set including a Nabieva (toe on layout Tkatchev) to immediate Pak salto to Maloney to Bhardwaj (full twisting Pak salto); giant 1 ½ to piked Jaeger and full twisting double tuck. She scored 15.05/6.4 on day two.

Grace McCallum (Twin City Twisters) had an excellent second day of competition posting 56.95 (falls on bars and beam on day one) to earn the bronze with a 111.85. McCallum’s strongest event on day two was beam where she performed two clean wolf turns, side aerial to layout-layout and a double tuck dismount to score a 14.45/5.9.

Morgan Hurd (First State) was solid on day two of the competition to finish fourth with a 111.7 (56.65 second day). Fifth was Leanne Wong (GAGE) 111.25 (55.85 day two). Wong struggled with her landings on floor (piked double Arabian and 3 ½ twists), but showed impressive work on beam for 14.45 on day two. Thanks to hitting 8-for-8 Jordan Chiles (World Champions Centre) finished sixth.

Jade Carey (Arizona Sunrays), in third after day one, fell on her stalder Tkatchev on bars, which dropped her to seventh place at the end. Carey again impressed on vault (Cheng and Amanar) and floor (double twisting double layout, full twisting double layout, double twisting double tuck) where she finished in second place, only behind Biles.

MyKayla Skinner (Desert Lights) and Trinity Thomas (University of Florida) finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Skinner competed well her Cheng and Amanar on vault to take the bronze medal on the event but had a fall on back handspring tuck full on beam, while Thomas had an excellent day minus a fall on her Biles (double layout half out) on floor. Tenth was Kara Eaker (GAGE). Riley McCusker (MG Elite), who was in fourth place after the first day, scratched the competition after the second rotation due to a reported illness. For full results click here.

The senior U.S. national team was announced at the end of the competition and included eleven gymnasts: Biles, Lee, McCallum, Hurd, Wong, Chiles, Carey, Skinner, Thomas, Eaker and McCusker.

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Written by Christian Ivanov    Sunday, 11 August 2019 15:16    PDF Print
Kayla DiCello Wins U.S. Junior Nationals
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Kayla DiCello (Hill’s) claimed the Junior Women’s U.S. National title in Kansas City, MO. DiCello posted a 56.7 on day two of competition to total 112.7, and overtake Konnor McClain (Revolution), who posted 112.6 (56.1 on day two). Along the way DiCello, who was second at last year’s nationals, won the gold medals on vault and floor. She posted the top vault scores on both days 14.7 and 14.8 for her Yurchenko double twist. On floor DiCello stuck her opening tumbling pass full twisting double layout, and her dismount pass double tuck to post a 14.1 on day two, the only gymnast to break 14.0 on the event.

McClain, who had the lead after day one, was content with the result. “I’m happy with the second place. Going into the competition my goal was to make the junior national team.” she reflected after the meet. McClain, fifth place finisher at the 2018 nationals, won the beam title (standing Arabian, ff-ff layout two feet, standing full, ff-ff double pike) posting 14.3 on day one, and 14.2 on day two.

Olivia Greaves (MG Elite) walked away with the bronze medal scoring 55.7 on day one and 55.15 on day two. Greaves took the bar title with her well executed bar set (stalder full to stalder Shaposhnikova half, piked Jaeger, stalder piked Tkatchev to Pak salto, Maloney half, full twisting double tuck). Skye Blakely (WOGA) repeated her result from a year ago by taking the fourth place with a total of 109.85. Sydney Barros (Texas Dreams) posted 109.8 for the fifth place, while Ciena Alipio (West Valley) was sixth with 107.3. For full results click here.

The members of the 2109 junior national team were announced after the competition: DiCello, McClain, Greaves, Blakely, Barros, Alipio, Anya Pilgrim (Hill’s), Lilly Lippeatt (Cincinnati), eMjae Frazier (Parkettes) and Sophia Butler (Discover).

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

Written by Christian Ivanov    Saturday, 10 August 2019 22:08    PDF Print
Mikulak Dominates U.S. Championships, Claims Sixth Title
(2 votes, average 3.00 out of 5)

Sam Mikulak (USOPTC) easily defended his all-around title at the 2019 U.S. Championships held in Kansa City, MO. On day two of the competition Mikulak once again dominated the event posting 87.4 in the all-around to capture his sixth national all-around title (13, 14, 15, 16, 18). His two-day total was 174.15, which was 5.55 higher then the runner up in the competition Yul Moldauer (Oklahoma).

Mikulak was impressive throughout the entire two-day competition and in addition to the all-around title he secured four of the six individual event gold medals (floor, pommel horse, p-bars and high bar). On the second day the 26 year-old upgraded on two of the events performing a Makuts in his p-bar routine 15.3/6.5, and a Liukin (full twisting Tkatchev) in his already complex high bar set for a 14.5/6.6. With his sixth title Mikulak ties for the second most in history with Makoto Sakamoto (last title in 1970), and he is one title behind Alfred Jochim (last title 1933) who has seven.

For a second year in a row Moldauer finished second behind Mikulak posting a total of 168.6, (84.6 on day two). The only major issue for the 2017 champion came on his high bar routine where he caught his Kovacs close and had to bend his arms on the giant afterwards. Moldauer finished the competition with a strong floor routine sticking most of his tumbling passes for 14.7/5.8. By hitting 12-for-12 Akash Modi (Stanford) proved his consistency and earned the bronze medal with a total of 168.25 (84.3 on day two).

Shane Wiskus (Minnesota) finished fourth posting a total of 167.6 (83.65 second day). On day two, in his high bar set Wiskus was far away on his Cassina release move, but managed to hold onto the bar with one hand, resulting in a dramatic one arm giant catch, he posted 13.1 for the routine. Thanks to a well-executed Kasamatsu 1 ½ twist Wiskus took the vault title in the competition. With a balanced performance throughout both days Trevor Howard (Ohio State) finished fifth with a 164.9 (82.65 day two). Much stronger second day of the competition helped Allan Bower (Oklahoma) climb from tenth to sixth place in the all-around scoring 163.65 (83.0 day two). Donnell Whittenburg (USOPTC) and Sean Melton (Ohio State) rounded out the top eight. Alex Diab (Illinois) won the rings title with a combined score of 29.35 (14.75 on day two). For full results click here.

Post the medal ceremony USA Gymnastics announced the 2019 Senior Men’s National Team, which included the top six finishers: Bower, Howard, Mikulak, Modi, Moldauer and Wiskus.

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Written by Christian Ivanov    Saturday, 10 August 2019 15:13    PDF Print
Burkhart, Walker Win Junior Men U.S. National Titles
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Taylor Burkhart and Colt Walker won the men’s junior U.S. national titles in Kansas City, MO. After the two-day competition Burkhart (5280) was victorious in the 15-16 age-group, posting a total of 159.5. He also took the titles on vault and p-bars. In the same age group Nicolas Kuebler (Metropolitan) was second with 158.75, collecting the floor and high bar gold medals. Asher Hong (Cypress) took the bronze medal in the-around with a 157.9. Last year’s winner Isaiah Drake (Gymnastics Olympica) was fourth. For full results of the 15-16 age group click here.

In the 17-18 age group Colt Walker (AcroTex), who was ninth at last year’s nationals in the 15-16 division, took the title with a 160.35. Walker took the titles also on vault and p-bars. Garrett Braunton (Cypress) took the sliver with a 158.1 and Crew Bold (University of Minnesota) earned the bronze scoring 154.8. For full results of the 17-18 age group click here.

The men’s junior national team members were announced after the competition: Fuzzy Benas (EnRich), Jeremy Bischoff (Wallers), Landen Blixt (Infinity), Crew Bold (University of Minnesota), Garrett Braunton (Cypress), Taylor Burkhart (5280), Isaiah Drake (Gymnastics Olympica), Asher Hong (Cypress), Paul Juda (Buffalo Grove), Nicholas Kuebler (Metropolitan), Ian Lasic-Ellis (Massachusetts Elite), Frederick Richard (Massachusetts Elite), Colt Walker (AcroTex).

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Written by Christian Ivanov    Friday, 09 August 2019 22:34    PDF Print
Biles Debuts Two New Skills, Leads U.S. Nationals After Day One
(4 votes, average 4.50 out of 5)

Simone Biles (World Champions Centre) scored 58.65 in the first day of U.S. Nationals held in Kansas City, MO to lead the competition at the halfway point. Along the way Biles, who is seeking a record-tying sixth national title (Clara Schroth), debuted two new skills: triple twisting double tuck on floor and a double twisting double tuck from two back handsprings on beam.

The defending champion began the competition on floor tumbling a sky-high triple twisting double tuck first pass. However, she rebounded on the landing and ended up touching the floor with both hands. Despite the fall Biles still managed to post the highest score on the event 14.35/6.7 (double layout half out to sissone, front full step out to full in and double twisting double tuck dismount). Biles was the top scorer of the competition on all events but bars. Her Cheng (round off half on Rudi off) earned a 15.3, while her second vault, which was an impressive Amanar (Yurchenko 2 ½ twists) recieved a 15.5. Biles’ beam routine was solid minus a short pause before the historic double twisting double tuck dismount; she received a 14.95/6.6 for her set.

Thanks to strong routines on bars and beam Sunisa Lee (Midwest Gymnastics) stands in second place behind Biles with a 56.9. Lee performed a Nabieva (toe on layout Tkatchev) on bars connected to a Pak, followed by a Maloney to full twisting Pak and posted a top score on the event at 14.75/6.3. She also competed a strong beam routine featuring ff-ff layout two feet, and a side aerial to layout step out-layout step out for 14.35/6.2.

After a day full of errors by some of the top medal contenders Jade Carey from Arizona Sunrays stands in third place posting a score of 56.1. Carey stood out with her floor routine (double twisting double layout, full twisting double layout, double twisting double tuck and front tuck step out to full in) 14.3/6.3 and her strong vaults, Cheng and Amanar averaging a 15.025.

Riley McCusker (MG Elite) and Morgan Hurd (First State) both erred on their last events. McCusker missed her giant half to el grip and jumped off the bars on what was to be a very clean routine, while Hurd put her hands down on her double layout on floor which was her third tumbling pass. McCusker is on fourth place in the competition with a 55.7, while Hurd stands in eight place with a 55.05.

Tied at fifth place are Leanne Wong (GAGE) and Trinity Thomas (University of Florida) both scoring 55.4. Wong competed two triple twists on floor, and didn’t get credit for one of the tumbling passes. “I just felt off on the take off and did only a triple instead of 3 ½”, she explained after the competition. Jordan Chiles (World Champions Centre) hit cleanly and is in seventh place. MyKayla Skinner (Desert Lights) and Grace McCallum (Twin City Twisters) are tied at ninth with a 54.9. Surprisingly, McCallum had an off day falling on a Tkatchev on bars and also on her side aerial to layout-layout on beam. For full results cllick here.

The competition for the senior women concludes on Sunday at 6:30pm CT.

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.


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