Even though Utah standout MyKayla Skinner was absent from the American Gymnastic Classic event at the Huntsman Center, the competition still had some Utah ties.
Jaylene Gilstrap, a gymnast out of McKinney, Texas, who has verbally committed to the Utes, placed third in the senior competition on the floor with a 12.9.
The senior event was won easily by Faith Torrez with a 54.85.
In addition to her elite-level aspirations, Torrez plans to compete for the University of Oklahoma’s gymnastics team.
Both Torrez and second-place finisher Emily Lee (52.55) qualified for the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in August based on their scores.
Torrez won the vault with a 14.25, was second on the bars (13.1), third on the beam (14.0) and second on the floor (13.5).
Shania Adams won the bars (13.25), Sloane Blakely won the beam (14.5) and Lee won the floor (13.8).
Torrez, from Kenosha, Wis., was surprised to do so well considering she had only moved up to the elite level a few months ago.
“It was my first time competing as an elite so I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “I did the bars warmup and I thought, ‘all right, I’m ready.’ ”
Knowing she qualified for the U.S. Championships takes some pressure off, Torrez said.
“I know I definitely need to work hard but hopefully I’m aiming for that national team spot,” she said.
Regardless what happens at the elite level, Torrez said she is excited about competing for Oklahoma beginning in 2022. The program has won three of the last four national titles, including the 2019 championship.
“I loved it there and I can’t wait to compete,” she said.
Gilstrap had similar feelings. She has plans to sign with the Utes in November.
“It’s a privilege to be competing here,” she said of being in the Huntsman Center. “I loved everything about being here, the coaching staff, the athletic department, everything.”
Gilstrap was pleased with her performance since she is only about eight months removed from shoulder surgery.
“I’m happy with how it is doing,” she said.
Ciena Alipio, out of San Jose, Calif., won the junior elite championship held earlier on Saturday with a 53.8.
The next big meet on the calendar for many of the gymnasts who competed on Saturday is the U.S. Classic on July 20 in Louisville since it is a qualifying meet for the U.S. Championships.
Skinner, who didn’t participate in Saturday’s meet because she isn’t ready, is scheduled to compete in the July event.