Home News With Nationals Ahead...

With Nationals Ahead, American Gymnasts Shine In Classic

By Karen Price | July 29, 2017, 11:46 p.m. (ET)

Ragan Smith competes on the uneven bars at the 2016 U.S. Women's Gymnastics Olympic Trials at SAP Center on July 10, 2016 in San Jose, California.


In the final qualifying event before the national gymnastics championships, 2016 Olympic alternate Ragan Smith won a pair of gold medals and rising star Alyona Shchennikova won the all-around at the U.S. Classic in Chicago on Saturday.

Smith entered only two events — the uneven bars and the balance beam — and won them both, scoring a 14.550 in the uneven bars and a 15.350 in the beam, by far the highest score on the apparatus of the night. Luisa Blanco finished with the silver medal on balance beam with a score of 14.300.

Download the Team USA app today for breaking news, Olympic and Paralympic team bios, videos and more.

Shchennikova, 16, took the all-around crown, buoyed by a second-place finish in the uneven bars and a fourth-place finish on vault. Last year, some of her top results included an eighth-place finish in the vault at the P&G Championships, a third-place finish in uneven bars at the Secret U.S. Classic and a fourth-place finish in the all-around at the American Classic, all in the junior division. The up-and-comer has included among her goals for the year to make the senior national team at the P&G National Championships and compete in the world championships.

Another rising star on the U.S. gymnastics scene, Jade Carey was the only competitor to perform two vaults and won gold in the apparatus in addition to gold in the floor exercise. Carey, 16, competed as a senior elite for the first time in June, winning gold in the vault, beam and floor at the American Classic.

Kalyany Steele and Luisa Blanco tied for third in the all-around and Abby Paulson took silver.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.