If her first meet back at the GK U.S. Classic was about stumbling and getting back up to win, the second competition of her comeback was all about reminding the gymnastics world of the complete domination she still has.
Reigning Rio 2016 Olympic all-around champion and four-time US national champion Simone Biles put up a brilliant, near perfect night of gymnastics, leaving the rest of the field in the dust to lead after night one of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Boston.
Biles, competing in only her second competition in as many years, dominated on all four events, enough to lead the extremely talented and deep senior women’s field by over three points, with a massive all-around score of 60.100. Biles of World Champions Centre truly underscored her greatness, leading on all four events after the first day of competition in Boston, something unheard of in women’s senior elite gymnastics.
Reigning World all-around champion Morgan Hurd sits in second place after the first night’s conclusion, doing some of her best possible gymnastics, as did Riley McCusker who finished third, yet facing a three-point deficit to Biles heading into the final day of competition Sunday.
There was a more relaxed, at ease Simone Biles coming into nationals this week, with the pressure of her comeback and the nerves of the first meet back now gone. There was no such jitters or wobbles this Friday night in Boston, beginning on the floor exercise where, despite two out of bounds deductions, the 21 year-old still scored a huge 14.450, performing with the signature Biles spark and the Biles tumbling pass to go with her Moors and tucked double-doubles.
Perfection was in the air the following rotation on vault, where Biles absolutely soared and stuck both of her extremely difficult vaults, barely putting a foot wrong on her Cheng first vault to score a massive 15.600.
If Biles was aiming for perfection on vault, it was all about redemption on the uneven bars, looking to prove to the world and to herself that Simone 2.0 truly is a world-class bars worker. There were no questions to Biles’ ability on the bars after her exquisite routine, executing her release move, new Shaposh half, and Fabrichnova dismount to perfection for another big score of 14.850.
Heading to the balance beam, the confidence was oozing from Biles, performing difficult combinations and unique acro skills and leaps to perfection, posting a massive 15.200 to lead the event as well and to close out first night of competition.
While still trailing Biles by over three points, Hurd had a very impressive day as well, scoring a big 57.000 to cement her place truly as one of the US’ best elites in 2018 and going forward. Hurd was impressive across the board on Friday night, scoring a 14.100 on beam, 13.850 on floor, 14.400 on vault, and 14.650 on uneven bars, all good enough for a second place finish on bars, third on beam, and fourth on floor.
Behind Hurd in third in the all-around, MG Elite’s Riley McCusker continued to impress and show herself as a major threat this year, totaling a very strong 56.050 in the all-around, and reaching third on the bars and beam as well with impressive scores of 14.500 and 14.150, respectively.
In fourth and fifth place all-around after day one was Grace McCallum and Trinity Thomas, posting totals of 55.900 and 55.500 for each. Thomas, making her return to elite this summer after skipping the American and U.S. Classics, put up a big 14.400 for fourth on bars, something she’ll bring with her as a gymnast at Florida this coming season.
Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey, and Kara Eaker also impressed with notable performances on their respective strongest events. Chiles showed her super powerful Amanar vault again for a massive 15.000 for second, Carey, the reigning World vault and floor silver medalist, finished second on floor again with a 14.100, and Kara Eaker of GAGE showed her extremely graceful and well executed balance beam routine for a 14.200, also good enough for second standing.
The national champions on the senior women’s side will be decided Sunday night from Boston’s TD Garden, with the all-around totals from both days of competition deciding the U.S. Gymnastics Championships winners.Tags: Grace McCallum, Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, Kara Eaker, Morgan Hurd, Riley McCusker, Simone Biles, Trinity Thomas, United States, US Championships