Biles, Chiles poised to punch tickets to Tokyo Olympics with gymmates still in contention

ST. LOUIS – It is hard to believe Simone Biles could perform any better.

But, the Spring Olympic gold medalist is poised for another big night at the U.S. Olympic Trials for women’s gymnastics in St. Louis.

Biles leads the field of four Houston-area athletes -- all from World Champions Centre in Spring -- competing on Sunday’s deciding night.

“They’re in it to win it,” said Nellie Biles, Simone’s mother and co-owner of WCC. “I am. Oh gosh, I’m proud of them, I’m proud of the coaches, I’m proud of the facility.”

Simone steps into Sunday in first place after a commanding preliminary performance on Friday. She leads the field with Jordan Chiles in third place after her own very impressive start.

Their training partners Amari Drayton and Zoe Miller have an opportunity to move up the leaderboard with strong performances Sunday, currently sitting in the 13th and 15th spots respectively.

“She doesn’t seem like she’s nervous,” said Amari’s mother Monique Drayton.

Amari comes from an athletic family. Her father Stan is the running backs coach at UT; her mother ran track in college, and Amari’s younger sister is following in her footsteps as a gymnast.

Monique Drayton said her daughter, though just 16-years-old, is prepared for the challenge.

“She understands how to be a student of the game,” Monique Drayton. “So, knowing that kind of helps her how to stay focused. Not to think ahead, but to understand it’s a process and stay in the moment.”

The men were able to send five members, plus the alternates, to the games this year.

The women will be able to send up to six.


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