The Sports Examiner

GYMNASTICS: Biles sensational on all four apparatus to wrap up sixth U.S. title, but Lee surprises in second

Back in action: the iconic Simone Biles! (Photo: USA Gymnastics)

Simone Biles is nothing if not determined. And after a hop here and a stumble there, she was resolute that Sunday evening’s second All-Around would be better than the first at the USA Gymnastics Championships at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

And it was, a lot better. She completed each event with precision, hitting her landings on the Beam, Vault and Uneven Bars with big smiles and completing her triple-double flip-and-twists tumbling run without error this time. The reward was the top score of the day – 59.850 – a full point better than Friday evening, and a total score of 118.500.

That gives her, at age 22, six U.S. All-Around titles, in 2013-14-15-16-18-19 and ties her with Clara Schroth, who won her six between 1945-52. She won the individual titles (both rounds added together) in the Vault, Beam and Floor and was third on the Uneven Bars.

There’s no doubt that Biles is head and shoulders above the rest of the world, but behind her is the rest of the team that will be needed for the U.S. to win another team title at the World Championships this year and in Tokyo in 2020.

That competition mirrored the men’s competition, where Minnesota’s Shane Wiskus was second for much of the final rotation and then finished fourth overall, shooting him into contention for the U.S. team. On Sunday, Suni Lee – competing in her first year as a senior – did even better.

Lee, 16, compiled the third-highest score of the day (56.650) and had the highest score of all on the Uneven Bars (15.050), winning the national title in that event. She finished third on Floor over the two days and fourth on Beam and ended up in second overall at 113.550. That’s a long way behind Biles, but ahead of Grace McCallum (111.850), Morgan Hurd (111.700) and last year’s junior champ, Leanne Wong (111.250).

Riley McCusker, who stood fourth after day one, had her program cut short by her coach after two events on Sunday and did not compete on Beam or Floor.

Jade Carey, whose Olympic path is through the FIG World Cup series for individual events, performed strongly in her specialties of Floor (14.875: 2nd) and floor (14.100: 2nd) and ended up second in the cumulative scoring for both of those events.

USA Gymnastics will have a training camp next month from which the team for the Worlds in Stuttgart (GER) will be selected. It will not be an easy choice. Summaries from Kansas City:

USA Gymnastics National Championships
Kansas City, Missouri (USA) ~ 8-11 August 2019
(Full results here)


All-Around I: 1. Simone Biles, 58.650; 2. Suni Lee, 56.900; 3. Jade Carey, 56.100; 4. Riley McCusker, 55.700; 5. tie, Leanne Wong and Trinity Thomas, 55.400; 7. Jordan Chiles, 55.350; 8. Morgan Hurd, 55.050.

Event leaders:
Vault: 1. Biles, 15.300; 2. Jade Carey, 15.000; 3. Jordan Chiles, 14.750.
Uneven Bars: 1. Lee, 14.750; 2. Hurd, 14.400; 3. Thomas, 14.200.
Beam: 1. Biles, 14.950; 2. McCusker, 14.500; 3. Lee, 14.350.
Floor: 1. Biles, 14.350; 2. Carey, 14.300; 3. Lee, 13.950.

All-Around II: 1. Biles, 59.850; 2. McCallum, 56.950; 3. Lee and Hurd, 56.650; 5. Wong, 55.850; 6. Chiles, 55.500; 7. Skinner, 54.700; 8. Finnegan, 54.350.

Event leaders:
Vault: 1. Biles, 15.450; 2. Carey, 14.875; 3. Skinner, 14.800.
Uneven Bars: 1. Lee, 15.050; 2. Biles, 14.750; 3. Hurd, 14.600.
Beam: 1. Kara Eaker, 14.900; 2. Biles, 14.700; 3. Wong, 14.550.
Floor: 1. Biles, 15.100; 2. Carey, 14.100; 3. McCallum and Lee, 14.000,

Final standings: 1. Biles, 118.500; 2. Lee, 113.550; 3. Grace McCallum, 111.850; 4. Hurd, 111.700; 5. Wong, 111.250; 6. Chiles, 110.850; 7. Carey, 109.950; 8. MyKayla Skinner, 109.600.

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