Simone Biles leads, Suni Lee third after Day 1: Rotation-by-rotation recap (2024)

This is the Star Tribune's live report from Target Center on Friday night. To read Cassidy Hettesheimer's final report on the first day of the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics trials, go here.

Simone Biles finished the first night of the Olympic trials on top of the all-around standings at Target Center, with a score of 58.900. Jordan Chiles was second, 2½ points behind Biles at 56.400. Suni Lee of St. Paul was in third at 56.025, competing in front of a home crowd.

Biles, Chiles and Lee — members of the women's team at the Tokyo Olympics — are priming themselves for a reunion, along with Jade Carey, who is in fourth. Leanne Wong, an alternate for the Tokyo Olympics, is in seventh.

The gymnasts will do it all again on Sunday night before the five Olympic gymnasts — and two alternates — can start packing their bags for Paris. It remains unclear to what extent Shilese Jones and Kayla DiCello will compete on Sunday after they sustained injuries Friday night.

Here's how the night played out:

9:06 p.m.: Simone Biles vault thrills Target Center

After Simone Biles' first vault, the Target Center crowd offered a standing ovation, almost as if calling for an encore. Biles smiled and waved, and the crowd got a second Biles vault. Her score of 15.975 on her first vault was the highest of the night on the apparatus and a full 1.525 points clear of the next-best vault.

Biles finishes the first night of the U.S. Olympic trials on top of the all-around standings, with a score of 58.900.

Suni Lee's 13.700 on her floor routine, a new one implemented for this event, was solidly middle-of-the-pack for Friday night's floor scores. She finishes Friday in third overall (56.025).

All-around standings after Day 1

1. Simone Biles, 58.900

2. Jordan Chiles, 56.400

3. Suni Lee, 56.025

4. Jade Carey, 55.825

5. Joscelyn Roberson, 55.475

6. Kaliya Lincoln, 54.875

7. Hezly Rivera, 54.825

8:35 p.m.: Suni Lee soars on beam; Simone Biles shines on floor

On the third rotation, Suni Lee's backflipping mount onto the beam was smooth, and besides a one-legged wobble Lee caught herself on, her beam routine earned the night's best score: 14.400.

Jordan Chiles' floor routine was enough for her to double-fist-pump and let out a spirited, "Yes! Yes!" as she left the floor, having stuck the landing on her last difficult pass. She earned a 14.100, the second-highest floor score of the third rotation. Like Simone Biles, Lee and Jade Carey, Chiles represented the U.S. at the Tokyo Games and is looking to head back to the Olympics.

Chiles clapped and cheered as Biles performed on the floor, darting to the corner where Biles readied herself for her last tumbling pass of her routine so that she could cheer her on from just a few yards away. Biles' 14.850 on floor is the highest score of the seven gymnasts that have completed their floor routines — and she has the highest difficulty-rating of any floor routine so far.

Three Tokyo Olympians — Biles, Lee and Chiles — are top three in the all-around after three rotations.

In the final rotation, the rest of the gymnasts will complete on the floor exercise, and others will finish the night on vault.

All-around standings after three rotations

1. Simone Biles, 42.925

2. Suni Lee, 42.325

3. Jordan Chiles, 42.075

4. Leanne Wong, 41.600

5. Hezly Rivera,, 41.300

6. Jade Carey, 41.225

7:51 p.m.: Shilese Jones cuts her night short after second rotation

Now that all the gymnasts have completed the uneven bars in the first two rotations, we have our official highest bars scorer of the night: Shilese Jones.

After opting out of a vault attempt, Jones put in a strong performance on the uneven bars (14.675). USA Gymnastics confirmed that Jones, who sustained a leg injury in warmups, is done for tonight, only competing on high bars for the first day of trials.

On bars, Suni Lee scored 14.400, the third-highest bars score behind Jones and Simone Biles.

Of the eight gymnasts done on beam, Tiana Sumanasekera, 16, scored the highest (13.950). Simone Biles was the final gymnast on beam but stumbled on her mount, then wavered on her first pass across the beam and wobbled coming out of a rotation. She finished the routine solidly on her last pass and dismount, but she looked visibly frustrated afterward. Biles scored 13.650, the third-best beam score of the night so far.

Leanne Wong, 20, still leads the all-around with a score of 28.375. The University of Florida gymnast completed vault and bars in her first two rotations. Biles sits in second (28.075).

Up next: The second half of the trials field completes beam, and the first group moves to floor.

All-around standings after two rotations

1. Leanne Wong, 28.375

2. Simone Biles, 28.075

3. Jordan Chiles, 27.975

4. Suni Lee, 27.925

5. Kaliya Lincoln, 27.675

6. Hezly Rivera, 27.600

7 p.m.: Kayla DiCello injured in first rotation

The first rotation got off to an unnerving start at Target Center. On the first vault of the night, Kayla DiCello landed, tipped backward onto the mat and grimaced. She held her foot and shook her head before being carried off the mat. USA Gymnastics confirmed on X that DiCello withdrew from tonight's portion of the trials and would be evaluated by the medical team.

DiCello, 20, placed third in the all-around at the U.S. national championships this summer and won all-around gold at the 2023 Pan American Games.

That was not the first injury this week, either. One of the Olympic team's top contenders, Skye Blakely, injured her Achilles tendon in training on Wednesday. After the first rotation's conclusion, she took the floor, waving and teary-eyed, and received a 30-second standing ovation from the crowd.

Seven-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles started off her night strong — first with the biggest cheer of the gymnasts' introductions, then with 14.425 on uneven bars. That 14.425 sits between her two uneven bar scores at this summer's national championships (14.400 and 14.600); bars are typically Biles' lowest-scoring event. Granted, of the eight gymnasts that completed uneven bars in the first rotation, Biles still scored the highest.

St. Paul's Suni Lee also got a swell of applause from the hometown crowd. She scored 13.525 on vault. Leanne Wong led the first rotation's seven vaulters with a score of 14.450.

Shilese Jones, a member of the gold-medal-winning 2022 and 2023 World Championships teams, landed awkwardly warming up on vault. She held her knee before being helped off the floor by her coaches.

USA Gymnastics did post on X that "Shilese Jones will compete" minutes prior to the first rotation. However, Jones was a part of the first rotation on vault but put her warmups back on and did not make an attempt. Jones skipped the U.S. championships to rest a shoulder injury, but her coach Sarah Korngold said this week that Jones was not in pain from that long-term injury.

All-around standings after one rotation

1. Leanne Wong, 14.450

2. Simone Biles, 14.425

3. Jordan Chiles, 14.350

4. Kaliya Lincoln, 14.225

5. (tie) Hezly Rivera, 13.575

5. (tie) Jade Carey, 13.575

7. Suni Lee, 13.525

Simone Biles leads, Suni Lee third after Day 1: Rotation-by-rotation recap (1)

Simone Biles leads, Suni Lee third after Day 1: Rotation-by-rotation recap (2)

Ayrton Breckenridge, Star Tribune

Simone Biles competes on uneven bars during the U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials at Target Center on Friday.

Day 1 preview

Sixteen women qualified for the Olympic trials, which consist of two days of competition each for men and women. But only 15 women are competing after Skye Blakely, a favorite to make the Olympics team, suffered an Achilles injury on Wednesday in training.

Results from Day 1 of the men's competition

The women will do one rotation of four apparatuses (vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise) on Friday and another on Sunday. They will compete on two apparatuses at the same time with eight gymnasts in each group.

What to watch for on every apparatus

The highest-scoring woman after two days of competition will automatically qualify for the Olympic team. A committee will choose the other four members of the team, factoring results from international competitions and four other American events, including the recent U.S. championships, over the past year. The committee also will weigh potential for team, all-around and individual event medals.

Simone Biles leads, Suni Lee third after Day 1: Rotation-by-rotation recap (2024)

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