KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Overland Park gymnast is fighting for one of the top stops after the first night of women's competition during the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
Leanne Wong is currently tied for fifth place after posting an all-around score of 55.400.
“This has been something they have been working on since they were children,” coach Al Fong said before Friday’s competition. "They have always known they have high goals and you blink and all of the sudden, here it is."
Fong owns the Gage Center in Blue Springs, where three of the 17 athletes who qualified for this weekend's meet train.
Kara Eaker, Aleah Finnegan and Wong train six days a week at Gage with Fong and fellow coach Armine Barutyan. All three also currently are members of the USA Artistic Gymnastics National Senior Team.
The trio are aiming this weekend to reclaim spots on the 2019-2020 National Senior Team, which will be decided Sunday after a second day of women's competition.
“It’s their biggest pressured meet all year long, because it has so much importance,” Tom Forster, the high-performance team coordinator for women’s gymnastics, said.
The athletes who make the National Senior Team will be eligible to compete for a spot on the USA Gymnastics team at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Eaker finished Friday night in 11th place overall with an all-around score of 54.650. Finnegan sat in 14th place with an all-around shoe of 53.250.
The U.S. Gymnastics Championships continue Saturday with the men's finals followed by the women's finals on Sunday.