Shilese Jones Puts Up Career Best Performance En Route To The Lead Day 1 | 2022 U.S. Championships 

On the eve of the 8 month anniversary of her fathers passing, Shilese Jones had what she described as the meet of her life on Day 1 at the 2022 U.S. Championships. Jones donned a leo with Roman numerals on the sleeve, signifying the anniversary of her fathers passing, and was lights out from her opening vault (which resulted in the highest E score of the day — 9.550. Score: 14.550) to her power-packed floor routine in the last rotation.  

Jones finished with a 57.200, nearly a point ahead of 2nd place, all while managing a nagging toe injury that limited her training earlier in the week. 

“Just getting to be myself again and really showcase to the fans what I’m capable of — It’s feels great to get that under my belt,” Jones said. “I’ve been dreaming about it and I knew it was possible. Anything is possible! Just to have this under my belt works miracles and I’m just really proud and thrilled to be in this position.” 

 

Jones sat tied with Konnor McClain heading into the last rotation. McClain was having one of her best All-Around performances as well despite recovering from a concussion and the flu in the weeks leading up to the competition. McClain was tied for first with Jade Carey after her signature beam routine in the first rotation and continued with confidence through floor and vault. Bars, which happens to be the event McClain was training when she fell and hit her head, was McClain’s final routine for the day and while it wasn’t as sharp as it could have been, McClain fought through and ended her day with an All-Around score of 56.400. 

Jordan Chiles, the Tokyo Olympian who was competing in her first Elite meet since Tokyo, rounded out the top 3, posting an All-Around score of 56.150. Chiles had arguably the best beam routine of her career with hardly a wobble, and ended her day with a stellar floor routine that nearly brought her to tears. 

“After hitting my floor routine I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I’m back! This was a relief!'” Chiles said. “I was able to hit 4 for 4 and I kind of started tearing up. I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is crazy!’ Just to be able to come back and say that ‘I’m back’ and just see how everything turns out!’ 

The OOFOS U.S. Championships continue at Amalie Arena with junior men’s Day 2 competition at 1:30 p.m. ET. Click here for the full schedule.

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics

For more:

The Athlete Marathon: A Look At The Long Haul

Malone Leads The Way Day 1

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