Hezley Rivera

Next Stop Olympic Trials: Which Gymnasts Made a Case for Themselves in Fort Worth?

With 16 gymnasts making the U.S. senior national team and qualifying to the Olympic Trials, the U.S. national championships was a weekend of high-quality gymnastics. But which of those 16 who have NCAA ties have the best shot at making it to Paris? We break it down below.

Former NCAA Gymnasts

Sunisa Lee

College: Auburn

Auburn got two years of Lee at her best, but following her kidney issues, it was uncertain if she would be able to return to a competitive level to challenge for a spot on the Olympic team. Following a stellar competition on day one, Lee started her second day with a fall on her Yurchenko double twist (which was downgraded in the air to a one and a half), but the mistake didn’t rattle her. She had solid routines on bars and floor, as well as a stunning 14.900 beam routine, the highest score of the competition on that event. With a fourth-place finish in the all-around and a bar routine that still has difficulty to add, she has it all to play for going into the Olympic Trials.

Current NCAA Gymnasts

Jade Carey

College: Oregon State

With 23 scores of 9.900-plus in her college career to date, Oregon State fans are no stranger to Carey as a strong vaulter, but her third-place finish over the two days of competition shows that Corvallis is home to one of the top vault talents in the country. Her goal for trials will be to add difficulty on vault and floor to give her a shot at Paris.

Jordan Chiles

College: UCLA

As a Bruin, Chiles is no stranger to gymnasts going viral, and she definitely won the social media coverage game with her Beyonce inspired leotards. She sat in seventh after the first day after a fall on floor, and after a fall on beam on day two, finished in fifth overall. She made a solid case for herself in Fort Worth, especially on vault and bars, but is she really that girl Team USA needs on its team? Minneapolis will have the final say.

Kayla DiCello

College: Florida

DiCello’s sabbatical year from Florida seems to be paying off. Her third-place finish was not mistake-free, but it was enough to put her in the mix of athletes in the conversation for Paris. Whether or not she makes it to the Olympics after being an alternate in Tokyo, DiCello is looking better than ever, and she can be expected to make an immediate impact in Florida’s lineups next season.

Leanne Wong

College: Florida

Wong’s steady and consistent gymnastics, honed through her 11 all-around performances for Florida last season, was showcased this weekend. With seven out of eight hit routines, Wong demonstrated why she’s so valuable as a Gator. But is she valuable to Team USA, too? Upgrades in difficulty might be needed for her to challenge for a spot on the five person team for Paris.

Class of 2024

Skye Blakely

College: Florida

Current Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

No one impressed more at this national championships than Blakely. Years of potential turned into poise and consistency this weekend, earning her a second-place finish in the all-around and a direct ticket to trials. Her new Cheng vault, which scored a 15.000 on day one, could be the decisive factor in her run for Paris.

Joscelyn Roberson

College: Arkansas

Current Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Roberson still isn’t quite back to her pre-injury form, but every day she performs she grows stronger, more confident, and more precise. With a sixth place finish on vault and a fourth-place tie on floor, her two best events, her road to Paris is starting to feel more uphill. In the fall, it will be interesting to see how she adjusts to NCAA routine composition, but Razorback fans can expect to see her making an impact on multiple events during her freshman year.

Class of 2026

Hezly Rivera

Rivera had an outstanding nationals, finishing in sixth overall. She may be a bit young and inexperienced when it comes to being in contention for an Olympic spot this year, but her stock only rose with her performance this weekend. She could be a big name in the elite world next quad or even earn herself an alternate spot should she continue to perform well at trials later this month. As gymnastics slowly turns into a more longeve sport, LA 2028 doesn’t seem that far away.

Simone Rose

Rose is definitely one to watch on all events, finishing in 12th place overall. She had a 9.000 execution score for her Yurchenko one and a half on day one, which is indicative of an athlete who would score well in college.

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Article by Talitha Ilacqua and Katie Couldrey

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