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10 Things We Learned From The Team USA Summer Champions Series

By Todd Kortemeier | Aug. 21, 2018, 6:12 p.m. (ET)


With the close of the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Sunday, the 2018 Team USA Summer Champions Series, presented by Xfinity, is now in the books. 

The series kicked off in May on the sands of Hermosa Beach, California, with the Bridgestone USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships. From there, the series featured national championships in diving, track and field, swimming and finally concluding with gymnastics in Boston. 

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Among many highlights, here are 10 things we learned about Team USA from the series.


1) Simone Biles Is Back And BetterSimone Biles looks on during warm-ups at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Aug. 19, 2018 in Boston.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist showed that she’s still on top of her game in returning to competition and winning every gold medal at the national championships. She was the first woman to do so since Dominique Dawes in 1994.


2) Katie Ledecky Is Still On TopKatie Ledecky prepares for the women’s 800-meter freestyle at the Phillips 66 National Championships on July 25, 2018 in Irvine, Calif.

Though she didn’t compete in her best event, the 1,500-meter freestyle, the five-time Olympic gold medalist did win three gold medals in the 200, 400 and 800 at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine, California, in July.


3) Noah Lyles Is The World’s Fastest Man In 2018Noah Lyles celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships on June 22, 2018 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Lyles, a 2014 Youth Olympic gold medalist in the 200-meter, set a personal best in the 100-meter at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, in June. Lyles’ time of 9.88 seconds remains the fastest for a sprinter this season.


4) Beach Volleyball Is Alive And Well At Florida StateJon Justice and Adam Wienckowski pose following winning the Bridgestone USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships on May 12, 2018 in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

The Seminoles placed three teams in the semifinals at Hermosa Beach, with the men’s team of Jon Justice and Adam Wienckowski going all the way to win the title. Two Florida State teams met in the women’s semifinal, with Hailey Luke and Katie Horton prevailing before falling in the final to Louisiana State.


5) Grayson Campbell And Greg Duncan Are Divers To WatchGrayson Campbell and Gregory Duncan compete in the men's 3-meter synchro at the 2018 USA Diving Senior National Championships on May 17, 2018 in Dallas.

The 20-year-old Campbell and Duncan upset Olympic silver medalists Sam Dorman and Michael Hixon in the men’s 3-meter synchro at the USA Diving Senior National Championships in Dallas in May. Campbell also won in mixed 10-meter synchro.


6) Sam Mikulak Is A Near-Lock For The World TeamSam Mikulak claps his hands after competing on still rings at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Aug. 18, 2018 in Boston.

Mikulak, a two-time Olympian, won his fifth all-around national title as well as titles in high bar, floor exercise and parallel bars. The all-around margin of victory was 4.75 points, the largest of his career. He is in prime shape to make the U.S. team to compete at the world championships this fall in Qatar.


7) Molly Huddle Is Still Dominant At 33Molly Huddle competes in the women's 10,000-meter at the at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships on June 21, 2018 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Huddle won her fourth consecutive 10,000-meter title in Des Moines, the first American woman to do so. It was the 27th national title overall for the two-time Olympian, who holds the American Olympic record in the 10,000.


8) Ryan Murphy Is The King Of The BackstrokeRyan Murphy reacts after competing in the men’s 50-meter backstroke at the Phillips 66 National Championships on July 27, 2018 in Irvine, Calif.

The three-time Olympic champion and world-record holder in the 100-meter backstroke was dominant in Irvine, winning all three backstroke races. He set an American and competition record in the 50 backstroke with a time of 24.24.


9) Besides Biles, Team USA Is DeepMorgan Hurd performs her floor exercise routine at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Aug. 17, 2018 in Boston.

Biles turned in the headlining performance in Boston, but there was no shortage of competition. Reigning all-around world champion Morgan Hurd, still just 17, finished second to Biles. Those two athletes qualified for the worlds selection camp. Other strong contenders for the team include Riley McCusker, Jade Carey and Ragan Smith.


10) Don’t forget Simone ManuelSimone Manuel celebrates at the Phillips 66 National Championships on July 25, 2018 in Irvine, Calif.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Manuel swept the sprint freestyle races, setting meet records in the 50 and 100. Her time in the 50 was the fourth-fastest American time ever.


Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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