Kara Eaker

Kara Eaker (/kər/) (born November 7, 2002) is an American artistic gymnast and a member of the United States' women's national gymnastics team since 2017. She is primarily known for her elegant, difficult, and innovative routines and combinations on the balance beam, as well as her artistry and strong execution of tumbling and dance skills on floor exercise. On balance beam, she is the 2018 Pan American and 2019 Pan American Games champion and a two-time United States national silver medalist (2018, 2019). On floor exercise, she is the 2019 Pan American Games silver medalist and the 2018 Pan American bronze medalist. She was a member of the American teams that won gold at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships, the 2019 Pan American Games, and the 2018 Pan American Championships.

Kara Eaker
Full nameKara Eaker
Country represented United States
Born (2002-11-07) November 7, 2002 (age 17)
Jiangxi, China
ResidenceGrain Valley, Missouri United States
DisciplineWomen's artistic gymnastics
LevelSenior International Elite
Years on national team2017 – Present (US)
GymGreat American Gymnastics Express
College teamUtah Utes (2021–24)[1]
Head coach(es)Al Fong

Early lifeEdit

Eaker was born in Jiangxi, China as Kara Ming. She was adopted by her family in 2003 and has since resided with them in Missouri.[2]

Gymnastics careerEdit

JuniorEdit

2017Edit

Eaker competed at the 2017 U.S. Classic where she placed third on balance beam and fifth in the all-around.[3] She later competed at the 2017 U.S. National Gymnastics Championships where she placed first on balance beam ahead of Maile O'Keefe and Adeline Kenlin, third in the all-around, fourth on floor exercise, and fifth on uneven bars. She was then named to the Junior National Team.[4]

SeniorEdit

2018Edit

Eaker turned senior in 2018. She competed at the American Classic where she placed first on balance beam, second on floor exercise, and fourth in the all-around.[5] Later in the summer she competed at the 2018 U.S. Classic where she placed fifth on balance beam after falling off.[6] At the National Championships Eaker finished seventh in the all-around, second on balance beam behind Simone Biles, fifth on floor exercise, and ninth on uneven bars.[7][8] As a result of her performance she was added to the senior national team.[9] The following day, Eaker was named to the team to compete at the Pan American Championships in Lima, Peru alongside Grace McCallum, Trinity Thomas, Jade Carey, and Shilese Jones.[10] On the first day of competition, Eaker won the gold medal on balance beam and the bronze on floor exercise. In the team competition, Eaker contributed on these two events toward the United States' gold-medal winning performance.[11][12]

In October Eaker participated in the Worlds Team Selection Camp. During the competition she placed first on the balance beam, sixth in the all-around, eighth on vault, ninth on uneven bars, and fifth on floor exercise.[13] The following day she was named to the team to compete at the 2018 World Championships alongside Simone Biles, Morgan Hurd, Grace McCallum, Riley McCusker, and alternate Ragan Smith.[14][15] During qualifications Eaker qualified second to the balance beam final, behind Biles. The US also qualified in first to the team final.[16] During the team final, Eaker competed on only balance beam. She contributed 14.333, the highest beam score of the night from any competitor, towards the USA's team total. The American team won gold with a score of 171.629, 8.766 points ahead of second place Russia.[17] Although she was favored for a medal in the balance beam final, she placed sixth after falling on her mount.

2019Edit

In February Eaker was named to the team to compete at the 2019 International Gymnix in Montreal alongside Alyona Shchennikova, Sloane Blakely, and Aleah Finnegan.[18] While there she won gold in the team final, individual all-around, and on balance beam and placed fifth in the uneven bar final.[19]

In June, after the conclusion of the American Classic, Eaker was named as one of the eight athletes being considered for the team to compete at the 2019 Pan American Games along with Sloane Blakely, Aleah Finnegan, Morgan Hurd, Shilese Jones, Sunisa Lee, Riley McCusker, and Leanne Wong.[20]

At the 2019 GK US Classic, Eaker placed fourth in the all-around behind Simone Biles, McCusker, and Grace McCallum. She also placed first on balance beam and fourth on floor exercise behind Biles, McCallum, and Jade Carey. After the competition she was named to the team to compete at the Pan American Games alongside Finnegan, Hurd, McCusker, and Wong.[21]

At the Pan American Games Eaker competed on all four events, contributing scores on vault, balance beam, and floor exercise towards the team's gold medal winning performance. Individually Eaker qualified to the balance beam final in first and to the all-around and floor exercise finals in second, both behind McCusker. She placed sixth on uneven bars but did not advance to the final due to teammates McCusker and Wong scoring higher.[22][23] During the all-around final Eaker placed fourth behind Ellie Black of Canada, McCusker, and Flávia Saraiva of Brazil due to falls on both the balance beam and floor exercise.[24] During event finals Eaker won gold on balance beam with a score of 15.266, finishing 1.7 points ahead of Black who won the silver[25] and won silver on floor exercise behind Brooklyn Moors of Canada and ahead of Saraiva.[26]

At the 2019 U.S. National Championships, Eaker competed all four events on the first day of competition but fell off the balance beam and ended the night in eleventh place.[27] On the second night she performed cleanly and ended up finishing in the tenth place but won silver on the balance beam behind Simone Biles. As a result, she was added to the national team.[28]

In September Eaker competed at the US World Championships trials where she placed third in the all-around behind Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee. She also placed third on bars behind Lee and Leanne Wong, first on beam, and third on floor behind Biles and Lee. The following day she was named to the team to compete at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart alongside Biles, Lee, MyKayla Skinner, Jade Carey, and Grace McCallum.[29]

During qualifications at the World Championships Eaker competed on bars and beam only, helping the USA qualify to the team final in first place over five points ahead of second place China. Eaker originally qualified to the balance beam final in fourth place; however, since her credited difficulty score (5.8) was nearly a point lower than her previous international performances - such as the 6.6 difficulty score she received at the Pan American Games - USA Gymnastics filed an inquiry in an attempt to raise her score.[30] This decrease was due to her switch ring leap being downgraded to a switch split leap.[31] While reviewing the routine, rather than crediting the leap, the judging panel instead downgraded a second dance element (her ring leap was credited as a split leap), lowering her score by an additional 0.4 points.[32] Her updated score instead placed her as the first reserve for the beam final.[33][34]

In the team final, Eaker competed a hit routine on balance beam and did not attempt the switch ring leap, helping the USA win the gold medal ahead of Russia and Italy with the top team score on balance beam.[35] She tied with Chen Yile of China for the third highest beam score in the final behind teammate Biles and first-year Chinese competitor Li Shijia.[36] During the all-around final, Canadian Ellie Black, who qualified in seventh place to the balance beam final, was injured on vault. She later pulled out of the balance beam final, allowing Eaker to replace her as first reverse.[37] During the balance beam final, Eaker once again performed a clean routine without her switch ring leap and scored 14.000, finishing fourth behind 2014 and 2015 World balance beam champion Biles, reigning World balance beam Champion Liu Tingting, and Shijia.[38]

2020Edit

In March, Eaker was selected to compete at the City of Jesolo Trophy alongside teammate Leanne Wong, as well as seniors Shilese Jones and Sophia Butler. However, the USA decided to not send a team due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy.[39]

Competitive HistoryEdit

JuniorEdit

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2017 Parkettes National Qualifier      
American Classic 25 34    
U.S. Classic 5 26 14   7
P&G National Championships   14 5   4

SeniorEdit

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2018 Auburn National Qualifier   4      
American Classic 4 9 12    
U.S. Classic 16 13 5 14
U.S. National Championships 7 9   5
Pan American Championships      
Worlds Team Selection Camp 6 8 9   5
World Championships   6
2019 International Gymnix     5  
U.S. Classic 4 10   4
Pan American Games   4    
U.S. National Championships 10 11   10
Worlds Team Selection Camp   9      
World Championships   4

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.instagram.com/p/BqOSpC4nPyg/
  2. ^ "Children's Hope International Family Story: Thank You from the Eaker's, China Adoption". childrenshopefamily.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  3. ^ "2017 U.S. Classic Meet Results - Juniors" (PDF). USA Gymnastics. July 29, 2017.
  4. ^ "O'Keefe wins junior women's all-around standings at 2017 P&G Championships". USA Gymnastics. August 20, 2017.
  5. ^ "Jones, DiCello win all-around titles at 2018 American Classic today". USA Gymnastics. July 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "Biles, Wong win all-around titles at 2018 GK U.S. Classic". USA Gymnastics. July 28, 2018.
  7. ^ "Biles wins fifth senior women's all-around title at 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships". USA Gymnastics. August 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "2018 U.S. Championships Results". The Gymternet. August 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "USA Gymnastics names 2018-19 U.S. Women's National Team". USA Gymnastics. August 20, 2018.
  10. ^ "USA Gymnastics names U.S. Women's Team for 2018 Pan Am Championships". USA Gymnastics. August 20, 2018.
  11. ^ "U.S. women win team gold at 2018 Senior Pan Am Championships". USA Gymnastics. September 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "McCallum, Thomas go one-two in women's all-around at 2018 Senior Pan Am Championships". USA Gymnastics. September 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "Biles wins U.S. women's World Team Selection Camp competition". USA Gymnastics. October 11, 2018.
  14. ^ "USA Gymnastics announces 2018 U.S. Women's World Championships Team". USA Gymnastics. October 12, 2018.
  15. ^ "Qualification line-up for U.S. women is announced for 2018 World Championships". USA Gymnastics. October 25, 2018.
  16. ^ "U.S. women qualify for team finals with first-place team qualification ranking at 2018 World Championships". USA Gymnastics. October 28, 2018.
  17. ^ "U.S. women win team title at 2018 World Championships, qualify for 2020 Olympic Games". USA Gymnastics. October 30, 2018.
  18. ^ "USA Gymnastics announces women's spring international team assignments". USA Gymnastics. February 24, 2019.
  19. ^ "USA wins four junior, senior event titles at 2019 Gymnix International". USA Gymnastics. March 10, 2019.
  20. ^ "USA Gymnastics names eight women eligible for 2019 U.S. Women's Pan American Games Team". USA Gymnastics. June 23, 2019.
  21. ^ "Biles, McClain win all-around titles at 2019 GK U.S. Classic". USA Gymnastics. July 20, 2019.
  22. ^ Lauren (2019-07-28). "2019 Pan American Games Live Blog | Women's Qualifications, Subdivision 3". The Gymternet. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  23. ^ "USA wins women's team final at 2019 Pan Am Games". USA Gymnastics. July 27, 2019.
  24. ^ "McCusker wins women's all-around silver medal at 2019 Pan Am Games". USA Gymnastics. July 29, 2019.
  25. ^ @USAGym (July 31, 2019). "Two more medals for the U.S. women as Kara Eaker takes home the gold medal on beam and Riley McCusker wins the bronze! #Lima2019" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  26. ^ "USA wins four medals on the final day of event finals at the 2019 Pan Am Games". USA Gymnastics. July 31, 2019.
  27. ^ "Biles soars to top of all-around rankings at 2019 U.S. Championships, performing two new skills along the way". USA Gymnastics. July 10, 2019.
  28. ^ "Biles soars to sixth U.S. women's all-around title at 2019 U.S. Championships". USA Gymnastics. July 11, 2019.
  29. ^ "USA Gymnastics announces 2019 U.S. Women's World Championships Team". USA Gymnastics. September 23, 2019.
  30. ^ GymCastic (2019-10-07). "USAG comment on Kara Eaker inquiry. #stuttgart2019pic.twitter.com/rvf9r9OJHY". @GymCastic. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  31. ^ Pamchenkova (2019-10-07). "Her switch ring is before her dance CR that includes a switch leap, so if the former is devalued she ends up losing the 0.50 dance series CR + DV, CV & SB. It's a simple fix that should've happened already. The WTC President explains it here & @Yarotska101 pointed it out in '17.pic.twitter.com/oiKrSpgREn". @Pamchenkova. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  32. ^ What Happened With Kara Eaker's Beam D-Score at Worlds 2019, retrieved 2020-04-13
  33. ^ "USA advances to women's team, individual finals at 2019 World Championships". USA Gymnastics. October 4, 2019.
  34. ^ "Artistic Gymnastics World Championships 2019 – Day 2 As It Happened". Olympic Channel. October 5, 2019.
  35. ^ "Simone Biles breaks record; U.S. women win gymnastics world team title". NBC Sports. October 8, 2019.
  36. ^ "2019 World Championships Results". The Gymternet. 2019-10-17. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  37. ^ "#repost from @ellieblack_ - and confirmation that she will not compete in the beam finals on Sunday". Instagram. October 11, 2019.
  38. ^ "Simone Biles makes history by winning her 24th world championship medal — the most for any gymnast". Washington Post. October 13, 2019.
  39. ^ "U.S. women to compete in 2020 Gymnix International". USA Gymnastics. March 3, 2020.

External linksEdit