2023 Core Hydration Classic: Kieryn Finnell wins second junior women’s title in less than a month

By Patricia Duffy | August 5, 2023
Kieryn Finnell competes on beam during the 2023 Core Hydration Classic.
© Amy Sanderson

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – The odds are clearly in Kieryn Finnell’s favor if the past few weeks are any indication.

Less than a month after winning the American Classic, Finnell won the junior women’s division of the 2023 Core Hydration Classic with a 52.800 all-around total.

It was a dominant win that saw the 15-year-old best the field by 1.6 points and also take home the beam title. (13.300).

Beam was the make-it-or-break-it moment for Finnell, who competed a 5.5 difficulty score and was clean throughout except for a mistake on her switch side. She lost her balance and kicked her leg up to her face before regaining control and continuing on with her routine.

“I heard [the audience clap],” Finnell said about the save. “They helped me stay on the beam.”

The rest of Finnell’s set was clean and confident: switch leap mount, perfect back handspring layout stepout to layout stepout flight series, front aerial to split jump to swing down, and a double pike dismount.

She continued her confident showing on floor, where she competed a piked full-in, double Y-turn, double back, one-and-a-half twist to front full, and a double pike to earn a 12.700, finishing second on the event.

The 2022 U.S. Classic uneven bars champion, Finnell earned a 13.400 on bars with a 5.4 difficulty score. She finished second by 0.350 due to a couple small errors.

Finnell finished her competition on floor with a virtually stuck full-twisting Yurchenko (13.400).

Tatum Drusch finished second with a 51.200, and reigning junior Nastia Liukin Cup champion Addy Fulcher was third with a 51.100.

Lailah Danzy, Izzy Stassi, and Cambry Haynes tied for the vault title with matching 13.7s. Ally Damelio had a standout bars set to win the event with a 13.750. Fulcher rounded out the event winners with a 12.750 on floor.

The Classic also serves as the final qualifier for the U.S. Gymnastics Championships, which will take place later this month in San Jose, California. Fulcher, Ly Bui, Ella Kate Parker, Lavi Crain, and Lacie Saltzmann earned the 49.500+ qualifying score to advance.

Want to dive deeper? Check out our live blog and the full results.