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Biles Debuts Two New Skills, Leads U.S. Nationals After Day One
(4 votes, average 4.50 out of 5)

Simone Biles (World Champions Centre) scored 58.65 in the first day of U.S. Nationals held in Kansas City, MO to lead the competition at the halfway point. Along the way Biles, who is seeking a record-tying sixth national title (Clara Schroth), debuted two new skills: triple twisting double tuck on floor and a double twisting double tuck from two back handsprings on beam.

The defending champion began the competition on floor tumbling a sky-high triple twisting double tuck first pass. However, she rebounded on the landing and ended up touching the floor with both hands. Despite the fall Biles still managed to post the highest score on the event 14.35/6.7 (double layout half out to sissone, front full step out to full in and double twisting double tuck dismount). Biles was the top scorer of the competition on all events but bars. Her Cheng (round off half on Rudi off) earned a 15.3, while her second vault, which was an impressive Amanar (Yurchenko 2 ½ twists) recieved a 15.5. Biles’ beam routine was solid minus a short pause before the historic double twisting double tuck dismount; she received a 14.95/6.6 for her set.

Thanks to strong routines on bars and beam Sunisa Lee (Midwest Gymnastics) stands in second place behind Biles with a 56.9. Lee performed a Nabieva (toe on layout Tkatchev) on bars connected to a Pak, followed by a Maloney to full twisting Pak and posted a top score on the event at 14.75/6.3. She also competed a strong beam routine featuring ff-ff layout two feet, and a side aerial to layout step out-layout step out for 14.35/6.2.

After a day full of errors by some of the top medal contenders Jade Carey from Arizona Sunrays stands in third place posting a score of 56.1. Carey stood out with her floor routine (double twisting double layout, full twisting double layout, double twisting double tuck and front tuck step out to full in) 14.3/6.3 and her strong vaults, Cheng and Amanar averaging a 15.025.

Riley McCusker (MG Elite) and Morgan Hurd (First State) both erred on their last events. McCusker missed her giant half to el grip and jumped off the bars on what was to be a very clean routine, while Hurd put her hands down on her double layout on floor which was her third tumbling pass. McCusker is on fourth place in the competition with a 55.7, while Hurd stands in eight place with a 55.05.

Tied at fifth place are Leanne Wong (GAGE) and Trinity Thomas (University of Florida) both scoring 55.4. Wong competed two triple twists on floor, and didn’t get credit for one of the tumbling passes. “I just felt off on the take off and did only a triple instead of 3 ½”, she explained after the competition. Jordan Chiles (World Champions Centre) hit cleanly and is in seventh place. MyKayla Skinner (Desert Lights) and Grace McCallum (Twin City Twisters) are tied at ninth with a 54.9. Surprisingly, McCallum had an off day falling on a Tkatchev on bars and also on her side aerial to layout-layout on beam. For full results cllick here.

The competition for the senior women concludes on Sunday at 6:30pm CT.

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