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Parker Inspired By Biles, Wins Second Winter Cup

By Christy Sandmaier

With joy, charm and a touch of Broadway-like stage presence, Ella Kate Parker claimed her second Winter Cup All-Around title today in Frisco, channeling all of the inspiration she’s drawn from the greatest gymnast of all-time, Simone Biles. And she did it in style, literally. Parker’s GK leotard was designed especially for this competition by none other than Biles herself. 

“I couldn’t believe she would do that for me!” Parker said. “We saw her at Championships last year and she wanted to do that for us. My coach knows her. I’m in love with my leo and I felt amazing in it.”

Despite a fall on bars (it looked like she stalled out on her Weiler Kip and jumped down), her final event, Parker, who trains in Cincinnati under Mary Lee Tracy was still able to come out on top, telling us after the meet it’s surreal to defend her Winter Cup title, but she’s “going to go back in the gym and work out the mistakes I made today on the bars so it doesn’t happen again.”

Parker also took the top scores on beam and floor in Frisco and has star-power written all over her. With her bright smile and captivating personality and of course, incredible gymnastics, she’s for sure one to watch! Highlights today included a Yurchenko double (fun fact: she runs with her leotard in her mouth to help keep her head down, she says), solid aerial loso loso and double pike dismount on beam (she looks super confident up there!), and full-in pike and triple full on floor.

With a 52.450, Parker edged hometown gymnast Ella Murphy who finished second with a 51.850. Murphy’s WOGA teammate,  Hezly Rivera claimed third with a 50.650. 

Headed to Stuttgart for the DTB Pokal Team Challenge!

Juniors: Ella Kate Parker, Ella Murphy, Hezly Rivera

Seniors: Konnor McClain, eMjae Frazier, Skye Blakely

The remaining athletes will be announced on Monday!

Look for much more on Winter Cup in the March/April issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine!

For the Junior Women’s Photo Gallery, Click Here!


  1. Ella Kate Parker: All-Around, 52.450; vault ,13.600; uneven bars, 11.600; beam, 13.900; floor, 13.350
  2. Ella Murphy: All-Around, 51.850; vault, 13.050; uneven bars, 12.400; beam, 13.450; floor, 12.950
  3. Hezly Rivera: All-Around, 50.650; vault, 13.200; uneven bars, 12.450; beam, 12.300; floor, 12.700

Individual Events

  • Vault: 1. Tiana Sumanasekera 13.700; 2(T). Zoey Molomo (Frisco, Texas/Metroplex Gymnastics), 13.600; 2(T) Ella Kate Parker, 13.600
  • Uneven bars: 1. Gabriella Van Frayen (Lewis Center, Ohio/ Gym X-Treme), 13.300; 2. Alicia Zhou (San Antonio, Texas/Love Gymnastics), 12.900; 3(T) Jayla Hang (Bellevue, Wash./Ascend Gymnastics) 12.800; Myli Lew (Belmont, Calif./San Mateo Gymnastics), 12.800
  • Beam: 1. Ella Kate Parker, 13.900; 2. Tiana Sumanasekera, 13.850; 3. Ella Murphy, 13.450
  • Floor: 1(T). Ella Kate Parker, 13.350, Tiana Sumanasekera, 13.350; 3. Azaraya Ra-Akbar (Columbia, Md., World Class Gymnastics), 13.250

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics

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