One more meet.

Following the weekend’s 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, that is all that remains for MyKayla Skinner, Grace McCallum and Kara Eaker in their quest to qualify for and compete at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The trio of Utah gymnasts competed at the championships in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday and Sunday, and finished seventh (McCallum), ninth (Skinner) and 10th (Eaker) overall out of a field of 29 athletes competing at the senior elite level.

McCallum was the only one of the three to guarantee herself a spot at the Olympic Trials — the top eight finishers at the championships all earn a spot — which will be held from June 24-27, but both Skinner and Eaker were named to the the senior national team following the competition and will compete in St. Louis, Missouri as well.

McCallum had the best weekend of the three Red Rocks, finishing with a score 109.550, tied with Skye Blakely. Skinner, meanwhile, finished close behind with a 109.500, while Eaker had a 109.050.

Simone Biles, the reigning world champion and considered by many as the greatest gymnast of all time, won the championships with two-day combined all-around score of 119.650, while Sunisa Lee finished second at 114.950 and Jordan Chiles finished third with a 114.450.

The highlights

Skinner had the best event of any of the Utah gymnasts during the two-day competition. She scored a 15.000 for her first vault on Sunday, which tied Shilese Jones for the best score on vault by any gymnast not named Simone Biles. Her two-day score on vault was 29.900, second behind only Biles.

Skinner also showed marked improvement on uneven bars throughout the competition, scoring a 13.750 on Friday and a 13.500 on Sunday. Bars is an event which Skinner has trained rigorously on throughout her hiatus from Utah gymnastics and she finished ninth overall on bars at the championships.

“Just proud of myself for hitting yesterday and getting better every time I compete,” Skinner wrote on Twitter on Monday. “I am forever grateful for this opportunity… Can’t wait to run it back at Trials.”

Beam is Eaker’s premier event and on Sunday she showed why, scoring a 14.200. Her two-day total left her fifth overall on the apparatus. Eaker also flashed some potential on vault and floor, but ultimately regressed Sunday when compared to her overall performance on Friday.

Still, qualifying for the Olympic trials is a weight lifted, as she told Jessica O’Beirne, host of the GymCastic podcast, after the meet.

“I was really nervous at first,” Eaker said. “I really wanted to make it to Olympic trials. A weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and I feel really relieved. To be in that plus-1 spot for beam I would have to have a strong all-around as well, so I’m really working hard. ... I’m gonna take the experience I’ve gotten, learning how to work with my mistakes, and learning how to compete again.”

As for McCallum, she was the best and most consistent of the trio.

To start with, she was elite on beam, scoring a 14.200 on both Friday and Sunday, finishing third overall behind Biles and Lee with a total of 28.400. She was excellent on vault as well, scoring a 14.600 on Friday and a 14.500 on Sunday, and finished eighth on that event.

While her bars and floor routines left a little something to be desired — she finished 16th on floor and 19th on bars — considering she is still making her way back from surgery, McCallum was about as good as could be expected.

What it all means

In a non-Olympic year, the championships help determine which gymnasts make Team USA for the world championships. This year, they are part of the equation that will go into determining which gymnasts represent the United States at the Olympic games.

The most important meet on that front are the Olympic Trials, which will take place in three weeks. The top two finishers at the trials earn a guaranteed spot on Team USA, with the remaining two spots being selected by a committee.

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There are an additional two individual spots available for American gymnasts, though one has already been guaranteed to future Oregon State star Jade Carey.

After the championships, McCallum appears to be the most likely Ute to make the Olympic team. With only a four-person team, the ability to excel in the all-around carries more weight than in past Olympics, and with improvement on bars and floor McCallum should be able to be one of the best all-around competitors in the country.

There is a case to be made for Skinner as well, though. She was solid on floor, but has the ability to do much better, her vault is elite and her improvement on bars has given her a fighting chance.

As for Eaker, her hope for an Olympic berth is tied to the last individual spot, but only if she is elite on beam. She was elite Sunday, but still needs to demonstrate consistency on the event.

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