Auburn Signee Sunisa Lee Wins Gold on Bars, All Around Silver at 2021 U.S. Nationals

After two intense days of competition, Simone Biles won her seventh national all around title (119.650) ahead of Auburn signee Sunisa Lee (114.950) and UCLA signee Jordan Chiles (114.450). These three gymnasts are increasingly looking like locks for the U.S. Olympic team. Lee also won the bar title, scoring a big 15.300 on day one. 

Another UCLA signee, Emma Malabuyo, was the biggest surprise of the meet, finishing fourth in the all around (110.450) and proving that she is still in the running. Florida signee Leanne Wong was fifth despite some mistakes (110.150). Her chances to make the team are also still alive, but she will need to hit on both days at the Olympic Trials. 

Another future Gator, Riley McCusker, impressed on bars, winning silver and coming one step closer to potentially claiming the individual Olympic spot. If she can come back strong in the all around at Trials, though, she could still be in contention for the main team.

Oregon State signee Jade Carey, Utah signees Grace McCallum and Kara Eaker, Mykayla Skinner, Florida commits Kayla DiCello and Shilese Jones, UCLA signee Emily Lee, Oklahoma commit Ava Siegfeldt, plus Skye Blakely, Amari Drayton, Addison Fatta and Zoe Miller will also compete at the Olympic Trials.

It was a bad two days of competition for Florida signee Morgan Hurd, the 2017 world champion, and LSU signee Aleah Finnegan, whose Olympic journeys have now sadly come to an end.

Among the highlights of day one were Sunisa Lee’s 15.300 bar routine, Wong’s floor routine and Biles’ stuck Cheng on vault.

On day two, McCusker’s 15.1 on bars stood out, together with Jones’ stuck Yurchenko double twist on vault and Malabuyo’s 14.600 beam set.

The Juniors

GK U.S. Classic champion Katelyn Jong, in the class of 2024, confirmed to be the best junior elite in the country, winning the all around title (107.400), as well as the bar title. Second was Madray Johnson in the class of 2026 and third Kaliya Lincoln in the class of 2024 (107.400), who also won the floor title (104.650). Kailin Chio (c/o 2024) won vault and Joscelyn Roberson (c/o 2024) won beam.

These five athletes will represent the U.S. at the junior Pan American championships on June 18 to 20 in Guadalajara, Mexico. They were also named to the junior national team, together with Charlotte Booth, Avery King, Ella Kate Parker and Gabriella Van Frayen, all in the class of 2025.

READ THIS NEXT: Last Week in College Gym: June 7

Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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