This summer, with less chances than usual to qualify to nationals, nearly everyone competed in the all-around, either to get more competition experience this season or to earn their qualifying score to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Yesterday, Leanne Wong of GAGE came out on top to dominate for the GK U.S. Classic junior all-around title, taking advantage of her clean execution to offset some of her lower-difficulty start values. Wong stuck her Yurchenko double full for a 14.650 to take the vault title and then went on to hit strong sets on the remaining three events for an overall all-around score of 55.350. Wong also took the floor exercise title with a 13.400 and placed third on balance beam with a 13.700.

Leanne Wong prior to mounting the beam at the GK U.S. Classic Photo: John Cheng

In second place was Kayla DiCello with a 54.000, who started off with a clean, hit routine on uneven bars, where she placed first with a 14.300. An unfortunate fall on beam in the second rotation dropped DiCello in the standings, but she came back with a fantastic Yurchenko double full for a 14.600 and a floor set that included a nearly-stuck double layout pass. DiCello placed second on vault behind Wong and tied for third on floor, scoring a 13.050 there.

Jordan Bowers came third with a 53.850, delivering hit routines on vault, bars, and beam. Bowers placed second on bars with a routine that included a one-and-a-half pirouette connected to a piked Jaeger release, scoring a 14.200. She also placed second on beam, hitting her triple series as well as a front handspring-front tuck series for a 13.750. Bowers competed an upgraded floor routine with a double layout, but unfortunately fell on a full-in to score a low 11.950.

Tori Tatum hit all four routines to place fourth with a powerful Yurchenko double full, side aerial to back handspring on beam, double layout dismount on bars, and clean tumbling on floor for a total of 53.800. As always, the highlight of her program was vault, though her bars work was also quite impressive, with a toe full to Maloney to Pak Salto.

Rounding out the top eight was Sunisa Lee, who showed some downgraded routines as she recovers from injury, Skye Blakely, who impressed with some big skills on floor, and Aleah Finnegan and Karis German, who both tied for seventh. Lee’s solid balance beam work earned her a first place finish on the event with a 14.000, even with a downgraded dismount. Blakely’s vaulting placed her third on the event with a 14.500 while German’s impressive tumbling earned her second place on floor, and Finnegan recovered nicely on bars and earned a fifth place finish on vault.

Sunisa Lee at the GK U.S. Classic Photo: John Cheng

Wong and the majority of the the rest of this talented junior field will compete again in a few weeks’ time in Boston with the US Gymnastics Championships to decide the junior national champion.

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