By Jo-Ann Barnas
PITTSBURGH – Teammates? If you listen to both of them, Kyla Ross and Simone Biles act almost like sisters.
“Super best friends,’’ Ross said with a smile. “She has a great personality. We laugh the whole time we’re together.”
Ross is the lone 2012 Olympian competing in the senior women’s competition at the P&G Gymnastics Championships, which start Thursday at Consol Energy Center. She won team gold for the U.S. as a member of The Fierce Five at the London Games.
Asked if she considers herself a favorite to win her first U.S. senior all-around title, Ross isn’t lacking confidence when she said she doesn’t think so.
“Simone has higher stuff than me in all the individual events,” she said. “It will be hard to win.”
But matching what Ross did last year – all-around silver medals to Biles’ twin golds at last year’s P&G Championships in Hartford, Conn., and at worlds in Antwerp, Belgium – appears easily within reach in a senior field beset by injuries and withdraws.
Returning for another run at the Olympics in 2016 in Rio is on Ross’s radar as well.
“I know for a lot of girls, coming back for a second Olympics is challenging,” she said. “But London was short for me because I was just doing the team (competition).’’
For certain, Ross – who’s just 17 – never seriously considered retiring after London. And it seems a certain best friend named Simone won’t allow it.
“She says, ‘Kyla, I can’t compete without you,’’’ Ross said with a laugh. “She says I’m her anchor.”