© John Cheng / Ricardo Bufolin

SALT LAKE CITY, July 8, 2018 – Shilese Jones of Westerville, Ohio/Future Gymnastics Academy, and Kayla DiCello of Boyds, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics, won the senior and junior all-around titles, respectively, at the 2018 American Classic at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City this weekend.

For the seniors, Jones won the all-around with her 53.900 total. Jones also won the vault (14.350) and floor exercise (13.800) crowns. Her other event scores were 13.800 on the uneven bars and 11.950 for the balance beam. Shania Adams of Plain City, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics, was second in the all-around with a 53.250, and Madeleine Johnston of Boyds, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics, was third at 53.150. The remaining event gold medalists were: uneven bars, Madelyn Williams of Vacaville, Calif./San Mateo Gymnastics, 14.250; and balance beam, Kara Eaker of Grain Valley, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express, 14.850.

In the junior division, DiCello won the junior all-around with a 55.400. Konnor McClain of Cross Lanes, W.Va./Revolution Gymnastics, was second at 53.950, and Skye Blakely of Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, took third at 53.400. The event scores for DiCello, who also won the vault and balance beam titles, were: vault, 14.500; uneven bars, 13.850; balance beam, 13.550; and floor exercise, 13.500. The other junior event champions were: uneven bars, Olivia Greaves of Staten Island, N.Y./MG Elite, 14.150; and floor exercise, Kaliya Lincoln of Mountain House, Calif./Airborne Gymnastics Training Center, 13.600.

Both competitions were competitive qualifiers for women’s gymnastics: the American Classic, for the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Boston in August; and the Hopes Classic, for the Hopes Championships, held in conjunction with the U.S. Classic.

The Huntsman Center is partnering with the Utah Sports Commission to play host to the two-day event.

Women’s gymnastics has several ways athletes can qualify to the U.S. Championships, including by earning a minimum of 52.000 for seniors or a 51.000 for juniors in the all-around at either the American Classic or U.S. Classic. The U.S. Classic, scheduled for July 28 at the Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus, is the final opportunity to advance to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Senior athletes can also qualify by earning a three-event score of 39.750 or a two-event score of 27.00 at either of these two events.

Team members and alternates from the USA’s 2017 World Championships Team automatically qualified to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. In addition to the U.S. and American Classics, national team members can earn a berth to the U.S. Championships by achieving the qualification score at a national team verification or international assignment.

The Hopes classification is just below the elite level, and the top 18 athletes in both Hopes age groups (10-11 and 12-13-years old) who achieve the qualification score advance to the Hopes Championships. The Hopes Championships, previously known as the U.S. Challenge, is the culmination of the Hopes season.

Background information

  • Jon M. Hunstman Center. The Jon M. Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus is one of Salt Lake City’s premier sports and entertainment venues. Home of the university’s Runnin’ Utes basketball team, as well as the Red Rocks women’s gymnastics team, the venue has hosted a number of different sporting events, concerts, commencement exercises and other special events. The venue hosted the 1979 NCAA Final Four Tournament and the 1989 Western Athletic Conference. It is the largest arena in the Pac-12 conference system.
  • USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. The organization is committed to creating a culture that empowers and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes. USA Gymnastics has already taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its safe sport policies and procedures. The organization’s disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and gymnastics for all (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more information about USA Gymnastics, log on to usagym.org.