DiCello, Jones Lead Top Difficulty & Execution At The 2018 American Classic

The 2018 American Classic took place over the weekend in Salt Lake City, with 10 juniors and seven seniors qualifying to the U.S. Championships in August. Junior Kayla DiCello from Hill’s Gymnastics won the junior all-around with the highest score of the entire competition, a 55.400, while Shilese Jones from Future Gymnastics won the senior all-around with a 53.900. 

Junior athletes had to hit an all-around score of 51.000 to qualify to nationals, and those athletes include Konnor McClain (Revolution), Ui Soma (San Mateo), Levi Jung-Ruivivar (Paramount Elite), Sydney Morris (First State), Ciena Alipio (West Valley), Skye Blakely (WOGA), Olivia Greaves (MG Elite), Aleah Finnegan (GAGE), Karis German (WCC), and Zoe Gravier (MG Elite). DiCello had already pre-qualified. 

Senior athletes competing all four events had to hit an all-around score of 52.0; those competing three events had to hit a score of 39.75; and those competing two events had to hit a score of 27.0. The athletes who qualified included Jones, Shania Adams (Buckeye), Madeleine Johnston (Hill’s), Kara Eaker (GAGE), Madelyn Williams (San Mateo) for three events, Audrey Davis (WOGA) for two events, and Riley McCusker (MG Elite) for two events. Grace McCallum, Jade Carey, and Alyona Shchennikova had pre-qualified.

We know who the all-around and event champions were from this meet (you can check out full results HERE), but who performed best in terms of difficulty and execution? Check out our full breakdown below. 

The Yurchenko Doubles

The most difficult vault we saw at the competition was a Yurchenko double, competed by one senior (Jones) and four juniors (DiCello, Finnegan, Blakely and Lauren Little). In terms of execution, DiCello received the highest out of those who competed a double with a 9.0 E-score. 

Check out her high-flying vault from the recent 2018 Pac Rims to get an idea of how solid she is on this event:

Video via USA Gymnastics

The highest execution on vault in the entire competition came from junior Selena Harris of Gymcats, who competed a beautiful Yurchenko 1.5. She scored a 9.25 in execution for her vault. 

Check out the top three in execution on vault for both juniors and seniors:


  1. Selena Harris (Gymcats) - 9.250
  2. Karis German (WCC) - 9.150
  3. Kayla DiCello (Hill’s) - 9.000


  1. Madeleine Johnston’s (Hill’s) - 9.200
  2. Shania Adams (Buckeye) - 9.100
  3. Deanne Soza (Texas Dreams) - 9.050 

Impressive Connections On Bars

On bars, the highest difficulty routines were ones that had loads of connections in release moves, as well as high-value skills. Shchennikova had the highest D-score of the competition with a 6.2. Her routine includes an inbar full to Komova II to Tkatchev combination, racking up huge connection bonus, in addition to a Ricna to Pak combo. Her high difficulty helped her to get a decent score, given she stumbled on her dismount and put her hands down. Right behind Shchennikova on difficulty is McCusker, who put up a 5.8 D-score on bars, which has always one of her best events. Her teammate, junior Greaves, also showed off some impressive bar work with a 5.7 D-score. 

The gymnast who impressed the most in terms of high difficulty but also very high execution was San Mateo’s Williams, who put up a 5.7 D-score and scored the highest on execution for the seniors with an 8.550 (unsurprisingly, she placed first on bars). Twin City Twisters’ McCallum also had a 5.7 D-score, the third highest of the competition. She has a great opening combination of a Weiler kip to stalder shaposh to Tkatchev. 

Check out her routine below:

Here are the top three for execution on bars for juniors and seniors: 


1T. Konnor McClain (Revolution) - 8.650
1T. Levi Jung-Ruivivar (Paramount Elite) - 8.650
2T. Kayla DiCello (Hill’s) - 8.550
2T. Skye Blakely (WOGA) - 8.550
2T. Zoe Gravier (MG Elite) - 8.550


1. Madelyn Williams (San Mateo) - 8.550  
2T. Shilese Jones (Future Gymnastics) - 8.500
2T. Audrey Davis (WOGA) - 8.500

And the top three for difficulty:


1. Olivia Greaves (MG Elite) - 5.7
2T. Ciena Alipio (West Valley) - 5.5
2T. Alonna Kratzer (Top Notch Training) - 5.5


1. Alyona Shchennikova (5280) - 6.2
2. Riley McCusker (MG Elite) - 5.8
3T. Madelyn Williams (San Mateo) - 5.7
3T. Grace McCallum (Twin City Twisters) - 5.7

The GAGE Show On Beam

We saw some really beautiful routines on beam during this competition, with some gymnasts who had exquisite form, and others who displayed impressive difficulty. Unsurprisingly, the GAGE gymnasts had some of the best performances. Both Finnegan and Eaker had execution scores in the top three in the junior and senior division, respectively, while Eaker also had the highest D-score of the entire competition with a huge 6.6. 

One of the most anticipated routines was that of McCusker, who competed on bars and beam only. She not only displayed one of the more difficult routines with a 5.6 D-score, but she also had the best execution out of the seniors with an 8.4. 

Check out her routine below:

Here are the top three for execution on beam for juniors and seniors:


  1. Aleah Finnegan (GAGE) - 8.650
  2. Levi Jung-Ruivivar (Paramount Elite) - 8.100
  3. Tori Tatum (Twin City Twisters) - 8.050


1. Riley McCusker (MG Elite) - 8.400
2T. Shania Adams (Buckeye) - 8.250
2T. Kara Eaker (GAGE) - 8.250

And the top three for difficulty:


1T. Kayla DiCello (Hills) - 5.6
1T. Konnor McClain (Revolution) - 5.6
1T. Sophia Butler (Discover) - 5.6


  1. Kara Eaker (GAGE) - 6.6
  2. Riley McCusker (MG Elite) - 5.6
  3. Jade Carey (Arizona Sunrays) - 5.3

Huge Tumbling On Floor

On floor, there were three gymnasts who rank in the top three in both difficulty and execution: Eaker, Jones, and junior Kaliya Lincoln. Lincoln, who is only 12 years old, showed off incredible potential on this event. Not only does she have high difficulty in her tumbling, but she has great form as well and has seemingly already mastered sticking her passes. 

Although we don’t have a video from the American Classic, check out this video from the recent Fiesta Bowl:

Video via gymmy64

Jones topped the difficulty charts for both juniors and seniors with a 5.5 D-score. Her huge tumbling includes a double double and double Arabian, and she did it all with stellar execution.

Here are the top three for execution on floor for juniors and seniors:


1. Konnor McClain (Revolution) - 8.350
2T. Aleah Finnegan (GAGE) - 8.300
2T. Kaliya Lincoln (Airborne) - 8.300


  1. Isabel Mabanta (Denton Gymnastics) - 8.450
  2. Kara Eaker (GAGE) - 8.350
  3. Shilese Jones (Future Gymnastics) - 8.300

And the top three for difficulty:


1. Kayla DiCello (Hill’s) - 5.4
2T. Kaliya Lincoln (Airborne) - 5.3
2T. Lyden Saltness (Midwest) - 5.3


1. Shilese Jones (Future Gymnastics) - 5.5
2T. Shania Adams (Buckeye) - 5.3
2T. Kara Eaker (GAGE) - 5.3


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