The 2024 NCAA Gymnastics season is still a ways off, but several Gator gymnasts are already training in full swing: Leanne Wong, Kayla DiCello, and Skye Blakely are all competing elite this season. This means that they are vying for spots on the U.S. national team, the World Championships team, and later next year, the Paris 2024 Olympic team.

All three Florida athletes here are competing under different circumstances, so let’s recap quickly what each of them have been up to leading into tonight.

Wong will be a junior at UF this year and is the only one of the three planning to train for both elite and NCAA competition at the same time over the next year. Instead of returning home to compete with her club gym, she’s been training in Gainesville with the Florida coaching staff. Both head coach Jenny Rowland and assistant coach Owen Field traveled to Illinois to coach Wong for this meet. She has significantly upgraded her difficulty in preparation for her return to elite this season, as she always needs to when switching between college and elite competition, so watch especially for more difficult bars and floor sets. As a member of last year’s World Championships team, she is automatically qualified to U.S. National Championships in a few weeks – the next step in the quest for this year’s Worlds team.

DiCello has chosen to defer after her phenomenal freshman season in order to return home and train for Paris, beginning her quest with this meet. She, too, has increased her difficulty in order to be competitive, but it hasn’t been without its challenges. Her body needed lots of rest after doing all-around so frequently during her first NCAA season, so she hasn’t been training for very long. She returned to elite at the American Classic – not to be confused with tonight’s U.S. Classic – to feel things out again and did not put together very strong scores. She need a 50.5 tonight to qualify for the national championship, which she must compete at in order to be in contention for Worlds.

Finally, Blakely should be set to join the Gators this fall as a freshman, but she has chosen to defer a year in order to try for Paris. She, too, was part of last year’s Worlds team and is automatically qualified for Nationals, but she will be looking to try out some upgrades, including doing two vaults for the first time!

8:05pm: Blakely, VT: She’s competing two vaults tonight! Yurchenko double full – great distance, sizable hop on the landing, strong form in the air. 14.1 – solid score.

Yhalf-on, layout half off, overthought it and came up short, chest low, bounced forward into a step to steady herself.

Biles, UB: Weiler half, lovely. Shaposh, piked Tkachev to pak salto, love it. van Leeuwen. Goes for a toe full pirouette and her legs go a little wonky – saves it somehow?? Goes straight into her dismount still, full twisting double back. Nothing massive today, but an okay first routine out of the gate for her.

Wong, UB: Clear hip half, Jaeger, gorgeous. Toe full to Bhardwaj, WOW. A little messy but doesn’t lose swing. Another set of transitions, cleaner this time – her flow is so effortless. DLO dismount – looked like a little bounce back. Fist bumps from Field and a big hug from Rowland afterward. 13.75!

Zeiss, VT: She’s an LSU commit! Just a Y1.5 from her – commentator Sam Peszek expected a double full from her, so I wonder if she changed mid-air or just decided to take it easy today.

Sumanasekera, UB: Uncommitted – she tries to mount bars and immediately jumps off. Oh dear. Tries again, strong opening handstand work and pirouettes. Maloney to pak, very clean. A little wonky on her van Leeuwen. Seems to be losing her swing a little into her Jaeger but rotates it cleanly. Sticks her dismount despite slinging it out a little and clearly being tired – what a fight!

8:19pm: Lee, BB: Seeing her return after being out due to illness at the end of her NCAA career is so great! Wolf turn is clean. Front aerial to split jump to bhs, great connection, very quick. Switch, switch half, ring jump – lovely. Triple series, uses the full length of the beam. Just a gainer tuck full off the end to dismount, but what a comeback for her! A 14.5 is HUGE and will absolutely get her a big chunk toward qualifying to nationals.

We did not get to see DiCello’s routine on the broadcast, but she earned a 13.2 on beam for her efforts.

Chiles, UB: Like DiCello, she plans to defer her time at UCLA until Paris. Piked tkachev to pak, lovely. Shaposh to Gienger, very similar to college, a little labored. Piked Jaeger, good rotation on that, not much air though. Really slung her dismount out but stuck it somehow! A 13.9 for her, not bad.

DiCello’s 13.2 will get her halfway to the two-event score she needs to qualify to nationals – she just needs to repeat that score on at least one more event and she’ll be good to go.


  1. Lee (Aub alum), 14.5
  2. Lincoln (LSU commit), 14.15
  3. Blakely (UF), 14.1
  4. Biles (pro), 14.0
  5. Chiles (UCLA), 13.9
  6. Wong (UF) and Jong (Aub commit), 13.75

8:38pm: Rotation two!

Biles, BB: Switch leap mount to switch half to back pike, wow. Triple wolf turn, excellent. Triple series, so quick and so steady. Side aerial, a little crooked but barely wobbled – what a pro. Full in dismount! Already doing incredibly difficult skills in her first competition back, you love to see it. 14.8 – HUGE.

Wong, BB: Getting a blurb on Leanne’s Bowtique now from CNBC! Wolf jump full, very clean and crisp. Side aerial, good. Wolf jump to split jump, quick on that connection. Bhs loso, takes a step back – that’s been a problem since March, yikes. L turn to immediate full turn, good combination. Switch ring, throws her head back nicely. Side somi is one of the cleaner ones I’ve seen. Front aerial to split jump to straddle jump, looked a little labored, maybe doesn’t make 180 all the way on the straddle? Roundoff 2.5 twist OOH she does not make it all the way around, avoids twisting her ankle but has to stumble forward before saluting. That one needs a few more reps. 12.7 – they dinged her BADLY for that dismount.

DiCello, FX: Opens with a full in, strong landing, just a little bounce in place. Triple wolf, has some bobbling going on but gets it around. 1.5 to front full, nails the landing there, well done. Cleanly twisted too. Switch ring to split full, good split positions there. Double pike to close – not the most difficult tumbling, but definitely well on her way. 13.15 – just a hair under what she needs to qualify to nationals. She will need 12.65 on another event to make her three-event score.

Sumanasekera, BB: Bhs bhs layout, ooh! Front aerial, breaks connection to sheep jump, to korbut. Switch to switch half, very crisp there. Side aerial to split jump to wolf jump to sissone, very snappy in her jumps, there’s no float there. Double pike dismount – not bad!

Blakely, UB: My stream skipped a little, just seeing the tail end of this. van Leeuwen looks a little wild but calms it down. Blind change is very precise, double arabian dismount is stuck! Wow!

Chiles, BB: Bhs loso loso – big leg up bobble but somehow saves it??? Leap series is clean. Side somi, small arm swing but keeps it tight. Switch to switch half, very short of 180 there. Side aerial, another little bobble. Sissone to wolf jump, both solid. Switch side, great amplitude. Double pike, chest a little low, big slide back. 12.8 – they dinged her quite a bit for that series bobble.

Neal, FX: Another Auburn commit here! Double wolf turn is well controlled, and ooh a double Y turn! Love that! Double arabian to open is stuck cold – wow. Double pike, underrotated, bounce back. Double L turn into her dance passage, very elegant. 2.5 twist, nicely done, just a step forward. Double tuck to finish, a little low, but what a lovely routine. Auburn will take that.

Jong, BB: Standing full, little hesitation but puts her foot down. Side aerial, hesitates, resets. Side aerial loso, clean. Front tuck – lots of acro in the front end of this routine. Double wolf turn, pretty steady. Switch leap to pike jump, that’s different, I like that. Double pike, low chest but nearly sticks it! That’s a big routine, she just needs to find a more consistent rhythm.


  1. Biles (pro), 28.8
  2. Blakely (UF), 28.45
  3. Chiles (UCLA) and Mueller (OU commit), 26.7
  4. Zeiss (LSU), 26.65
  5. Wong (UF), 26.45
  6. DiCello (UF), 26.35

Note that Lee did not compete floor, so she will not be going for the all-around qualifying score. In an interview with Scott Bregman recently, she and coach Jess Graba noted that her competition plans were fluid – floor was a no go, but a backup Yfull on vault and a partial bars routine were both on the table.

Chiles is now done for the evening, as she’s telling the broadcast now. She says that bars and beam were the easiest to come back to full difficulty on, but that she forgot how big of a stage elite competition is, even compared to college. She says her courage was there, but her confidence needs a few more steps before it’s fully back. The interview immediately cuts to her dancing on the sidelines next to Biles – she’s a ham!

9:12pm: Rotation 3 time!

Lee, VT: There’s that backup Yurchenko full Graba mentioned in their interview – very clean, straight body, lands upright, just a little slide on the landing. That will indeed earn her her qualifying score! She can opt to sit bars out now if she wants, or just show a partial routine, if she wants.

Wong, FX: Double wolf to open, very clean. Double double to open is excellent! She’s been working on that one, clearly. Double lay, hop back – looks like Burde has taught her his favorite skills and she is NAILING it. Quick turn combination into the corner before her next pass. Whip half to front full, that’s straight from her collegiate routine. Double pike, nearly stuck, but low in the chest. That looked great! 13.5, which puts her in first for the time being.

DiCello, VT: Just a Yurchenko full, like Lee, with similar cleanliness and a little more amplitude, though a larger hop back as well. I think that should do it for her three-event score as well, we’ll see. Yup, 13.4! That’ll do it!

Jong, FX: Double double to open, a little low on her landing but doesn’t move her feet. Full in to follow, just a little hop, some knees maybe? Clean in her dance passage, lovely splits. Really bringing the drama in her choreography. Wolf turn is clean. 1.5 to front full, clean. Double pike, slide back, chest a little low. Still, another strong routine.

Carey (Oregon St), BB: Only doing the one event tonight, surprisingly. Mixed series to open is great. Bhs loso, was really off her line and had a leg up bobble but did not come off. Switch to switch half to sissone – didn’t quite make 180 on the switch half. Side aerial is clean. Double tuck dismount is stuck, though a little close to the beam.

Biles, FX: Ok, now we’re in for a treat. Full twisting double lay, incredible. Front full to double double – I’m obsessed with this new pass. Who connects into a double double??? Dance passage is clean, if a little bouncy. Biles – double lay half out – and keep it in bounds by the skin of her teeth. Double lay to finish with an ENORMOUS smile as she hits her ending pose. She’s pleased but exhausted – what a routine! The applause is the loudest it’s been all night too, this crowd is loving her. A massive 14.9 with a 6.8 D-score – that’s EASILY the highest you’ll see all night.


  1. Biles (pro), 43.7
  2. Blakely (UF), 42.75
  3. Wong (UF), 39.95
  4. Disidore (uncommitted), 39.85
  5. DiCello (UF) and Jong (Aub commit), 39.75

We did not see Blakely’s beam, but it was good enough for a 14.3, putting her in second behind Biles and third on beam behind Biles and Lee. The future Gator is clearly demonstrating her readiness tonight.

9:39pm: Getting ready to start rotation 4! Get ready to have your mind blown by Simone Biles’s Yurchenko double pike, and let’s keep our eyes peeled for what vault (vaults?) Leanne Wong might perform.

Biles, VT: Yurchenko double pike – absolutely NAILS it, just a single step back, brings her feet back together. Incredible height, good distance – her chest isn’t even below the 90 degree angle when she hits the ground. Holy cow! She’s clearly thrilled, doing a little dance and fist pump as the crowd goes wild for her.

Not sure if we are going to see any other routines on the broadcast as we are gushing about Biles – which is worthy, to be fair – but Wong is officially in second after a 14.15 on vault! Blakely will not do floor tonight, so no AA score for her.

DiCello, UB: I stand corrected, she’s going to do AA! Struggles on the opening pirouette and has to hop off, regroups. Much better the second time around. Shaposh is clean. Piked tkachev, solid, to piked Jaeger, good. Pak salto, little rhythm break, but figures it out. Full out dismount is stuck cold! 12.2, so she gets her AA qualifying score too. Good for her!

FINAL, including first session:

  1. Biles (pro), 59.1
  2. Wong (UF), 54.1
  3. Roberson (Ark commit), 54.05
  4. Matthews (uncommitted), 53.55
  5. Jong (Aub commit), 53.45
  6. Miller (LSU commit), 53.0
  7. Disidore (uncommitted), 52.8
  8. Zhou (uncommitted), 52.75
  9. Pineda (uncommitted), 52.45
  10. Sumanasekera (uncommitted), 52.1
  11. Booth, Caylor (uncommitted), and DiCello (UF), 51.95

Blakely also earned silver on bars and bronze on beam for her efforts.

Thanks for joining me tonight! I’ll be returning to cover these three and future Gator Shilese Jones at U.S. National Championships on August 25, so I’ll see you all then.

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