Simone Biles wins ninth national all-around title, sweeps event titles at U.S. Gymnastics Championships

FORT WORTH, Texas — What do you get for the nine-time national all-around champion who has everything? An engraved silver belt buckle, apparently.

Simone Biles earned the Texas token as a trophy Sunday night after clinching the top spot at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships with a total score of 119.750 (60.450 on Day 1, 59.300 on Day 2). She also swept every individual event title.

Over two nights, the 27-year-old’s biggest mistake was over-rotating her Yurchenko double pike vault and landing on her back. Even with the fall, she still earned a 15.000 because the vault is so difficult and Biles executed it with little flaw aside from the landing.

She began on the balance beam with a solid routine for a 14.800 and added a 15.100 on floor exercise. Though she had a bit too much juice on her triple-twisting double back tuck and bounced out of bounds, she incurred only minor landing deductions for her other three über difficult tumbling passes.

Biles capped her winning all-around performance on the uneven bars, coasting through in her typical speedy fashion to score a 14.400.

Amidst her historic night, Biles found time to boost up a fellow Olympic all-around champion after Suni Lee opened the night with a fall on vault. Lee competed a double-twisting vault Friday and warmed it up Sunday but didn’t get enough height off the vault table to complete two twists due to her hand slipping when performing the vault in competition.

She managed 1 1/2 twists and sat the vault down, similar to the incomplete vault Biles did during team finals in Tokyo when struggling with the twisties. Lee wasn’t injured but stepped off the competition floor to gather herself after the fluke vault, and Biles found her to offer some support.

After Suni vaulted, I knew exactly what was going through her head. I dealt with that in Tokyo so I just knew that she needed some encouragement and somebody to trust her gymnastics for her and to believe in her, so that’s exactly what I did,” Biles said, adding that Lee asked her to stand by the uneven bars during her next routine after vault. 

Lee righted the ship with a 14.500 on bars for a routine that does not yet include the full difficulty she plans to show at Olympic Trials and landed in fourth in her first all-around competition back since 2021. Following the meet, she credited Biles for helping her stay grounded after the vault fall.

“She’s been one of my biggest inspirations for a long time. I know that we’re kinda teammates and competitors, but she’s somebody that I look up to so to hear those words coming from her means a lot,” Lee said. 

Skye Blakely held on to her second-place position with another strong showing, highlighted by a 14.450 on bars. The 19-year-old has struggled with consistency issues when competing internationally, but with the debut of an upgraded vault and eight hit routines over both nights of competition, she strengthened her case for making the Paris Olympic team.

Tokyo silver medalist Jordan Chiles climbed to fifth in the all-around standings behind a big 14.100 floor routine while 2020 floor Olympic gold medalist Jade Carey finished seventh. Both recorded falls on beam, but they weren’t alone. The four-inch event gave multiple gymnasts trouble Sunday, as Paris contender Leanne Wong also fell.

Sixteen gymnasts earned an invite to Olympic Trials, slated for June 27-30 in Minneapolis, where they will compete for a spot on the five-person squad headed to Paris. Among the field are Shilese Jones and Kaliya Lincoln, who withdrew from championships but successfully petitioned to Trials.

In the men’s competition, Brody Malone won his third national all-around title and took first on high bar Saturday night in his first competition back after a devastating knee injury in March 2023 that required three surgeries.

The 24-year-old, who had to relearn how to walk after suffering a tibial plateau fracture, a partially torn PCL and a fully torn LCL, is on track to make his second Olympic team this summer alongside Michigan’s Frederick Richard and Stanford’s Khoi Young. The two 2023 World Championship medalists finished second and third, respectively, in the men’s all-around.

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(Photo: Elsa / Getty Images)

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