There is impressive, there is dominance, there is perfection, and then there is Simone Biles. Continuing to wrap these things in one and break her own incredible records along the way, the reigning Rio 2016 Olympic all-around champion and four-time US national champion made it five in 2018, soaring above the field once again to claim the U.S. Gymnastics Championships all-around title in Boston.
This time around in 2018, a new quad, a new group of challengers, and a new Simone, Simone 2.0 continued to widen the gap of her dominance, winning the US national championship by over six points and achieving an almost unprecedented feat of sweeping all four event titles and winning the all-around, proving that on this comeback, she is well and truly back and better than ever.
Biles totaled a massive all-around score of 119.850 over both days of competition at Boston’s TD Garden, and she began her second and final night of competition on the uneven bars, scoring a very strong 14.550 on her new and improved routine, helping her to her first US national title on the bars.
The 21 year-old Biles picked up where she left off on the balance beam, hitting her difficult routine with the typical Biles precision and power, including a near perfect triple series and Barani, helping her to a 14.900. On the floor exercise, the Biles power coupled with flare was a bit too much even for herself sometimes, once again overpowering her Biles tumbling pass to go out of bounds, but nevertheless posting a big 14.700 on the event.
Biles of World Champion’s Centre wrapped up her fifth US all-around title and her historic sweep of the event titles on the vault, soaring, flying, and near-sticking to a 15.600 on her very difficult Cheng vault, making the dominant nationals win officially official.
Accomplishing the more competitive goal for everyone else of finishing behind Biles for second was the reigning World all-around champion Morgan Hurd, building on her consistent and strong day one to wrap up the silver medal and cement herself as the best of the rest, a title she hopes to bring with her to Worlds in a few months.
Hurd of First State Gymnastics began on the vault, scoring a 14.400 on her Yurchenko double full before hitting one of her best bars routines yet for a very strong 14.500, good enough for third on the event. On the balance beam, another of Hurd’s best events, she had a slight wobble and some hesitation on skills, leading to a 13.550 but the 17 year-old wrapped up her competition and the silver all-around medal with an impressive, powerful display on floor for a 13.850, securing her third on the event.
Just behind the reigning world champion was MG Elite’s Riley McCusker, continuing to build on her impressive meet at the GK U.S. Classic here in Boston, showing a newfound consistency in her gymnastics to win third all-around with a 112.750. McCusker’s extremely difficult and beautiful bars and beam sets helped set her apart from the competition, scoring a massive 14.800 on her bars routine and a 14.350 on the beam, earning her second and third on the events, respectively.
Two gymnasts who majorly impressed and proved their capabilities were fourth and fifth place all-around finishers Grace McCallum and Shilese Jones, totaling scores of 111.650 and 109.850, respectively. McCallum and Jones proved themselves as consistent, reliable threats across all four events, and both accomplished the major goal of earning a spot on the US Senior National Team.
Following the competition on the arena floor at Boston’s TD Garden, the 2018 National Team was announced, with the top six all-around of Biles, Hurd, McCusker, McCallum, Jones, and Jade Carey automatically being named, joining Kara Eaker and Trinity Thomas, both of whom finished seventh and eighth places all-around to be added and won fourth on bars and second on beam, respectively.
The next major goal for the top US senior elite gymnasts will be a spot on the Pan American team and/or a spot on US worlds team for the 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Doha, where a team of five gymnasts and one alternate will be selected. The eight-person Worlds selection camp will be held later this fall and the gymnasts will be selected by the USA Gymnastics selection committee.Tags: Grace McCallum, Jade Carey, Kara Eaker, Morgan Hurd, Riley McCusker, Shilese Jones, Simone Biles, Trinity Thomas, United States, US Championships