With many of the top junior elite gymnasts in the US coming off of the inaugural Junior World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Szczecin, Poland earlier this month, the junior session of the GK US Classic featured the best of the best on top of their game inside the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The lead seemed to constantly switch, with no one person ever pulling away from the pack.
Fan favorite gymnast Konnor McClain of Revolution, who just turned 14 years old this February, took home the win with a huge all-around total of 55.6. McClain was solid on all four events, but really stole the show on vault and beam. With a beautiful, high, near-stuck Yurchenko double full that won the vault title, McClain took over the lead at the midpoint of the competition.
After falling a few tenths behind in rotation three, Konnor executed a brilliant beam routine complete with a standing Arabian and standing full and a layout acrobatic series to take the lead back over and win the title. This win is also a comeback statement after McClain just missed out on the three person Junior Worlds team, instead being named the alternate.
Finishing just behind McClain was Texas Dreams‘ Sydney Barros, who had a very impressive day of her own. Barros continued building on her performances at the Junior World Championships, displaying excellence on all four events. Barros was a standout on vault and floor, where her high Yurchenko double full and dynamic tumbling on floor set her apart and allowed her to take home the all-around silver.
Rounding out the all-around podium was MG Elite’s Olivia Greaves, who used her meet-winning uneven even bars routine to pull ahead of the rest of the field to take the bronze. Greaves hit all four events, using her prowess on bars and beam to cover up for smaller landing errors on the other two events.
A few other highlights of the meet came from WOGA‘s Skye Blakely as well as Ciena Alipio, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Blakely won the floor title with a huge 13.750 and grabbed silver on vault behind McClain, while Alipio excelled on beam to grab silver there.
Sophia Butler also was a standout on floor and vault, finishing third on both. Hill’s Kayla DiCello, who has consistently been one of the best juniors in the world, had a bit of an off meet but delivered an excellent bar routine to grab bronze there.
This competition featured many full-strength juniors and the level of talent seems to point towards what should be a highly competitive race for the national championship in a few weeks at the US Gymnastics Championships in Kansas City.