ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Three members of the Utah Red Rocks (University of Utah's gymnastics team) are heading to Tokyo this summer to represent the United States.
After the final day of the U.S. Olympic Trials on Sunday, Utes alum MyKayla Skinner qualified to compete in an individual spot, also referred to as a "plus-1 specialist." Skinner was named a Team USA alternate in 2016.
Grace McCallum, who is expected to start her U of U career this coming school year, came in fourth in the trials and will be a member of the four-woman Olympic team.
Kara Eaker, also an incoming freshman, qualified as one of four "alternates."
That just happened...— Utah Gymnastics (@UtahGymnastics) June 28, 2021
ALL 3️⃣ RED ROCKS ARE GOING TO TOKYO! pic.twitter.com/yg4MrUt7yy
All three Utes finished in the top seven at the trials.
McCallum finished fourth overall in the all-around (112.564), Skinner finished in fifth place (112.264), and Eaker placed seventh (111.097).
The selection committee opted to take the top four finishers at trials, even though national team coordinator Tom Forster admitted a team with Skinner on it instead of McCallum could potentially put up a marginally higher score due to Skinner's world-class vaulting.
Fractions of a point, however, likely won't be the difference between gold and silver. If the Americans are anywhere ner the top of their game, they should win their third consecutive Olympic crown by a substantial margin. That was enough for the committee to take the ranking order at the top.
“We're so fortunate that our athletes are so strong that I don't think it's going to come down to tenths of a point in Tokyo,” Forster said. “It doesn't appear to be ... so as a committee, we just didn't feel it was worth changing the integrity of the process simply for a couple of tenths.”
Joining McCallum on the four-woman team will be Simone Biles (the reigning world and Olympic champion), Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles.
Will Graves with the Associated Press contributed to this report.