Malone Leads The Way| 2022 U.S. Championships Day 1

After the first day of action in Amalie Arena, it’s the defending U.S. National Champion Brody Malone who has the lead (88.942). Malone had a slower start to the competition, only posting a 13.900 on rings in the first rotation. However after a remarkable high bar set in the fourth rotation (15.716) Malone took the lead and didn’t let up.

Asher Hong currently sits in second (85.480) after grabbing an early lead with two monstrous vaults in the first rotation (Ri Se-Gwang and Yonekura). Hong led the way until falling off the high bar on a Kolman in the third rotation. In the fourth, he had a tremendous floor routine featuring some impressive tumbling with stellar execution. (His laid out double double was spot on form-wise and stuck cold!)

In third is Donnell Whittenburg (84.774), with the highlight of his day being his 15.422 rings set. Colt Walker had plenty of highlights in his day as well, hanging toward the top of the pack for majority of the meet after a 15.197 on vault and a 15.699 on parallel bars. Walker sat in 2nd heading into the last rotation, but two unfortunate falls on pommel horse pushed him down to 7th after day one (83.846). With a level of potential that is off the charts, Walker, who some may have considered a dark horse coming into this meet, could very find himself on the Worlds team with a solid performance on day 2. 

“We’re out here as Team USA,” Walker said. “I’m a puzzle piece and I believe that I have a strong place to fill on our team and I’m excited to push that. My job is to not be the dark horse. If I’m a lock on that team, then I’m doing my job. I’m ready to move forward.”

The OOFOS U.S. Championships continue Saturday at Amalie Arena with junior women’s Day 1 competition at 1:30 p.m. ET. Click here for the full schedule. 

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics

For more:

2022 U.S. Championships Senior Women’s Preview:

2022 U.S. Championships Junior Women’s Preview 

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