article by Rachel Axon via usatoday.com
On a day when Gabby Douglas continued to make progress toward a return to the Olympics, two young American gymnasts put in a strong showing as they start a path to trying to make the U.S. team.
Douglas won the all-around Saturday at the City of Jesolo Trophy competition in Jesolo, Italy — her second international win this month, while Ragan Smith and Laurie Hernandez finished second and third, respectively.
Meanwhile, Aly Raisman, another Fierce Fiver trying to make a second Games, struggled to a sixth-place finish.
The Americans took six of the top seven spots in the event, with Douglas scoring 59.650, Smith scoring 59.050 and Hernandez 58.550.
Douglas, the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist, earned the first win of her comeback earlier this month at the American Cup.
Aside from Douglas and Raisman, the U.S. team for the competition included gymnasts who will be trying for their first Olympic team this year. Smith and Hernandez are both 15 years old. Hernandez finished first and Smith third as juniors at the U.S. championships in August.
Simone Biles, the three-time defending world and U.S. all-around champion, did not compete in Italy and is expected to start her competition season at the Pacific Rim Championships next month.