Ragan Smith solidified herself as a future leader of Team USA Women’s Gymnastics by taking top honors at the AT&T American Cup at Newark, N.J.’s Prudential Center on Saturday. Smith’s (56.099) won by an almost 2pt. margin over Japan’s Asuka Teramoto.
Smith’s triumph extends the U.S. women’s winning streak in the event to 15 years. “I didn’t really think about (the streak),” Smith said. “I don’t think about winning, or placing on the podium. I just think about my gymnastics, and that’s why the results came today.”
Smith led the nine-member international field throughout the afternoon, gaining the competition’s highest scores on vault – she did a Yurchenko double full — and floor, where her popular Addam’s Family routine was a hit with the crowd and earned 14.000.
“I really like this routine, I can connect to the crowd and stuff,” the 16-year-old from Lewisville, Texas, said. “I feel like the crowd connects to me, they clap and they snap, and I really like that a lot.”
There were a few rough spots, including a fall off of the balance beam on a standing full (back flip with a full twist). But Smith recovered to execute a double pike dismount with just a small hop on the landing, and earned a 13.266 to place third on the apparatus. She ended with 56.099 points total in the all-around.
“I lost focus, it was just off,” she said of the fall. “Whenever you have a mistake, you have to brush it off your back and pretend it never happened. You can still keep your events together.”