Ross wins gold, silver, bronze at Pacific Rim
Kyla Ross was unsure what the expectations of her were coming into the Pacific Rim gymnastics championships.
She knows they'll now be a lot higher until the United States selects its women's team for this summer's London Olympics.
Ross won the gold medal on the balance beam, took silver on the uneven bars and bronze on the floor exercise Sunday night in the Pacific Rim individual event finals. The U.S. team won six golds, including two by Chris Brooks of Houston.
The 15-year-old Ross, of Alisa Viejo, Calif., competing in her first international event as a member of the U.S. senior team, finished with a 15.375 total on the beam. That overcame the 15.3 of Canada's Christine Lee.
Lee competed immediately before Ross. But Ross, the all-around silver medalist on Friday, said she never even noticed.
"I don't really pay attention to anyone before I go up, so I wasn't really sure what happened before," Ross said. "I just did the beam routine as I always do it in practice. I think it was one of my better routines. I had a few bobbles, but it was pretty clean throughout, and it was better than the first one (in Friday's team finals)."
Ross, who won U.S. junior titles in 2009 and 2010, also was second in the all-around competition Friday. She said all she wants now is to get back into the gym in her bid to be one of the five women chosen for the U.S. Olympic squad.
"There are very few spots and it's a very slim chance, so you just have to go home and train as hard as you can every day and hope you make the team," Ross said. "I'm trying to get more experience as a senior and get out there and show my skills and show that I'm strong and a good competitor."
Jordyn Wieber of De Witt, Mich., the all-around gold medalist Friday, won the women's floor exercise with 15.125 points. Wieber bounced back from an uncharacteristic fall off the beam to grab the floor gold.
"I let my nerves get the best of me," said Wieber, 16. "But I felt I definitely redeemed myself on the floor and went out and hit a solid routine."
Gabby Douglas, 16, of Virginia Beach, Va., won the bars title with 15.15 points. Ross got silver with 15.05.
The 25-year-old Brooks won gold on the rings with 15.075 points, then totaled 15.45 to win the horizontal bar. He also earned a silver on the pommel horse.
"The high bar has always been a pretty good event for me," Brooks said. "It's not expected to win, but I expect myself to do well there. But rings is a new thing I've been focusing on, so it felt really good to get a win there. Hopefully, showing readiness on the pommel horse and the rings today helps my stock value and kind of differentiates me from the rest of the guys."
Jake Dalton of Reno grabbed the gold on the men's floor exercise. Dalton, 20, had a 15.375 total.
Other winners were Wakiko Ryu of Japan on the women's vault with 14.062, Rongbing Liu of China on the men's pommel horse (14.825), Wai Hung Shek of Hong Kong on men's vault (15.687), and Jorge Giraldo of Colombia on men's parallel bars (15.15).
The U.S. juniors combined for five golds and 14 overall medals on Sunday. Katelyn Ohashi of Plano, Texas, won three of the four women's events (bars, beam and floor), and Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla., took two on the men's side (vault and parallel bars). Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati won the women's vault in juniors. Japan's Kaito Imabayashi won two men's titles (pommel horse and horizontal bar).