House of Hongs – Hong Brothers Sweep Core Hydration Classic

House of Hongs – Hong Brothers Sweep Core Hydration Classic

House of Hongs – Hong Brothers Sweep Core Hydration Classic

It was the House of Hongs in Hoffman Estates, with Asher Hong claiming the senior men’s All-Around title (85.305), edging out Khoi Young (83.424) to capture his first All-Around title at the senior level. His brother Xander Hong claimed the junior All-Around title.

Hong led the senior men’s field on still rings (14.749) and vault (15.705), was second on floor exercise (14.749) and posted scores of 12.352 on pommel horse, 14.300 on parallel bars and 13.450 on horizontal bar.

Hong mentioned his vault being the highlight of the competition, but also praised the fans in attendance who created a fun competition atmosphere.

“This was my first U.S. competition where I felt really engaged with the audience,” Hong said. “It was really cool to see the kids really getting energized and hyped for us. Our coach always tells us a real gymnast shows up on the fifth and sixth event. We had our team huddle after vault and we said, ‘Let’s bring the energy, real gymnasts show up here! So we need to bring the energy and create the energy. I know we’re all tired but let’s get out there and get after it!’ I think our cheering and whatnot allowed the kids to feel like, ‘Oh they’re getting hype for each other, maybe we should get hype too and we should cheer too!’

Paul Juda finished third (83.354) in his return to competition since a series of injuries in the last year. Aside from what he described as a moment of lapse of judgment on his pommel horse routine (he rushed the dismount and was thinking about the celebration too soon and ended up standing on the pommel horse instead of the ground), Juda was pleased with his performance.

“I’m super stoked,” Juda said. “The first goal I had today, I wrote it down last night, was to be safe, have fun, and leave the meet healthy. It’s been tough to do that the last couple of meets. I felt like I was on a big injury bug for so many months and so many competitions. to be able to come out here and land that last rings dismount, I think I swing my arms my arms maybe 10 times, but I was so happy because I did six events and I left healthy.”

In Session 1’s junior men’s competition, Xander Hong, the younger brother of Asher Hong, put up a 75.100 overall to secure All-Around gold. He also collected the high bar (12.50) and pommel horse (12.400) titles and earned silver on rings (12.650). He scored a 12.150 on parallel bars, a 12.400 on floor and a 13.000 on vault.

The following athletes have qualified to the 2023 U.S. Gymnastics Championships from the Core Hydration Classic:

Seniors via points
Javier Alfonso — Miami, Fla./University of Michigan
Michael Artlip — Bellaire, Texas/Penn State University
Fuzzy Benas — Richmond, Texas/University of Oklahoma
Cameron Bock — Tustin, Calif./University of Michigan
Crew Bold — Delray Beach, Fla./University of Michigan
Brandon Briones — Gilbert, Ariz./Stanford University
J.R. Chou — Oakmont, Pa./Stanford University
Ian Gunther — Houston, Texas/Stanford University
Dallas Hale — Frisco, Texas/Cypress Academy of Gymnastics
Jackson Harrison — Tempe, Ariz./Sun Devil Gymnastic Club
Patrick Hoopes — Lehi, Utah/U.S. Air Force Academy
Michael Jaroh — Northville, Mich./Penn State University
Evan Manivong — Kansas City, Mo./University of Illinois
Connor McCool — Ocean City, N.J./University of Illinois
Brandon Nguyen — Elk Grove, Calif./Stanford University
Zachary Nunez — Houston, Texas/University of Oklahoma

Juniors via all-around
Jesse Hanny — Cypress, Texas/Cypress Academy of Gymnastics
Xander Hong — Tomball, Texas/Cypress Academy of Gymnastics
Gage Kalley — Roswell, Ga./Roswell Gymnastics
Wade Nelson — Santa Ana, Calif./SCATS Gymnastics
Tristen Nye — Strongsville, Ohio/Above the Barre Gymnastics
Oleksandyr Shybitov — Prospect Heights, Ill./Lakeshore Academy of Art Gymnastics

The U.S. junior and senior men and women will be back on the national stage in late August for the 2023 U.S. Gymnastics Championships at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics 

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