St. Paul's Suni Lee and former Gopher Shane Wiskus took another step toward qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games on Friday as both gymnasts had a strong opening day at the men's and women's U.S. Olympic trials in St. Louis.
Lee was looking to capitalize off a strong performance at the U.S.Gymnastics Championships earlier this month, where she finished second in the all-around competition. Lee picked up where she left off on Friday, finishing second behind Simone Biles but improving her score in the process.
Lee's bid began by crushing her routines on the uneven bars and balance beam. Lee recorded the highest uneven bars score on the night at 15.300 and followed it up with the second-highest beam score of 14.733.
Lee's total score of 57.666 will carry into Sunday's competition. The two women with the highest all-around score will qualify for the team and a three-person selection committee will select the other two spots. The committee will also select an athlete to compete as an individual and as many as five alternates.
Another Minnesotan hoping to make the team is Grace McCallum. The Isanti native recorded the second-highest floor exercise score of the night at 14.166 and earned a score of 13.866 on the beam to make a late charge from eighth to fifth place.
McCallum is .100 behind MyKayla Skinner, who is in fourth place and has a .200-point lead over Kayla DiCello for sixth-place.
Former Gopher Wiskus second in men's all-around
Wiskus stood out on the men's side of the U.S. gymnastics trials, placing second in the all-around competition behind Stanford's Brody Malone.
Wiskus's performance was fueled by a rebound on the high bar. Wiskus fell three times during his routine at the U.S. championships but he compiled a score of 13.800 to help him take an early lead in the all-around.
A two-time NCAA champion on the parallel bars, Wiskus posted the highest score of the night in the event at 14.500 and backed it up with a score of 14.600 on the vault.
A late surge by Malone helped him take the all-around lead with a score of 85.250 but Wiskus is in good shape with a score of 84.300. Wiskus also leads Yui Moldauer (83.650) and Sam Mikulak (83.200) entering the final day of competition on Saturday.
Roseville's Mason Ferlic qualifies in steeplechase
Ferlic finished third in steeplechase at the men's U.S. Olympic track and field trials on Friday to help punch his ticket to Tokyo. The Roseville used a late push in the final 200 meters of the 3,000-meter race to post a time of 8:22.05 seconds.
A four-time state champion at Mounds Park Academy, the 27-year-old missed out on his personal best time of 8:18.49 which was set last April but still was able to qualify for the team.
Hillary Bor won the event with a time of 8:21.34 and was followed up by Bernard Keter who finished in 8:21.81. Richfield's Osaba Ali finished in eighth place (8:29.98) and Gophers standout Alec Basten finished 10th with a time of 8:33.32.