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Bross Claims First Senior National Title
August 14, 2010

World silver medalist Rebecca Bross (WOGA) claimed her first senior national title tonight with a commanding performance at the U.S. Championships. Entering finals with a 2.2-point lead, Bross built a two-day total of 120.300 for a 3.3-point margin of victory. With the highest overall degree of difficulty in the field (24.5 to the next competitor’s 23.2), Bross showed jam-packed sets (double Arabian beam dismount; front handspring to front layout to double front on floor; Yurchenko double) with consistent execution.

Mattie Larson of All Olympia charmed the crowd and the judges with her exquisitely polished routines to earn silver (117.000). Bronze went to American Cup runner-up Aly Raisman (115.650).

Rounding out the top ten were Kytra Hunter (114.350), Chelsea Davis (113.350), Mackenzie Caquatto (113.350), Samantha Shapiro (112.000), Vanessa Zamarripa (111.400), Kaitlyn Clark (108.050) and Rhegan Courville (107.900).

Olympic medalist and crowd favorite Alicia Sacramone competed beam and vault (Handspring Rudi; Yurchenko double) and looks to be a lock for the World team. 2009 Champ Bridget Sloan, suffering from a strained shoulder and ankle, competed only on beam.

The next stop for a portion of the field will be the invitation-only selection camp where the World team will be chosen.

Who will garner our award for Most Stylish Gymnastics? Who makes the Mad Skills list? What will be the storylines heading into Worlds? Who will be featured in our Ones to Watch column? Who will be featured in the center spread mini-poster? And what did columnists John Roethlisberger and Shannon Miller think of the competition? Check it all out in our September/October Nationals issue, jam-packed with tons of stunning photos! Subscribe or Renew Today to receive this issue!

Ten To Watch In Senior Women's Finals
August 14, 2010 today posted an article with their Top 10 Routines to Watch at tonight’s Senior Women’s Finals at the 2010 U.S. Championships. Blogger Andy Thornton breaks down how each routine could impact the athlete’s potential selection to the World team.

Among the routines Thornton outlines on the must-watch list: Mattie Larson on beam, Mackenzie Caquatto on bars, Vanessa Zamarripa on vault, Kytra Hunter on floor and Aly Raisman on beam.

“Barring injury, Bross and Sacramone are locks for the world team,” Thornton writes. “Sloan’s status is uncertain at this point, but if she gets healthy she’s a lock as well. But there are several other gymnasts whose fates have not yet been sealed, and a large part of that fate will depend on exactly what happens during tonight’s women’s finals.”

Check out the full list and the reason behind each on Andy’s Angle on
Ross Defends Junior Title
August 14, 2010

With an elegant style and a composed confidence beyond her age, 13-year-old Kyla Ross of Gym-Max (California) defended her 2009 Junior National title with a repeat at the 2010 U.S. Championships. With a two-day combined score of 116.450, Ross led going into finals and never looked back. She punctuated the day with a stellar beam set (15.450) that appropriately ended with a stuck double tuck dismount, symbolic of her rock steady performance throughout. Katelyn Ohashi of WOGA earned silver (114.300) and McKayla Maroney of All Olympia claimed bronze (113.250).

Look for the inside scoop, behind the scenes coverage and stunning photos from the event in the Sep/Oct Nationals issue of Inside Gymnastics. Subscribe or Renew Today!

2010 Men's World Team Announced
August 14, 2010

Chris Brooks, Chris Cameron, Jonathan Horton, Danell Leyva, Steven Legendre, and Brandon Wynn will represent the United Sates at the 2010 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Paul Ruggeri is the alternate. Three of the six members compete or have competed for the University of Oklahoma.

Slated for October 16th through the 24th at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the event will feature a record-breaking 73 countries. More than 600 gymnasts are expected to compete, with competition in team, all-around and individual events featured this year.

The U.S. men will be strong on five events (floor, rings, vault, p-bars and high bar), where they’ll need to build a lot of cushion at Worlds for their weak event, pommel horse. At Championships, Cameron was the strongest pommel horse worker of the team members, averaging 14.625 (second of the entire Championships field).

Look for a preview of the 2010 World Championships in the September/October issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine. Click here to Subscribe or Renew today.

Pan American Team Announced
August 14, 2010

USA Gymnastics today announced that Dylan Akers (Cypress), Alex Buscaglia (Stanford), Jake Dalton (University of Oklahoma), Bryan Del Castillo (Cal), Wesley Haagensen (Olympic Training Center) and Glen Ishnio (Cal) will represent the United States at the 2010 Pan American Championships. The competition will take place Aug 30 – Sep 5 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The event is the qualifier for the 2011 Pan American Games.

1980 Team Honored
August 14, 2010

The USA's 1980 Olympic Gymnastics Team is being honored today as part of the final day of the 2010 Visa Championships in Hartford, Conn.Thirty years ago, the 1980 USGF International Invitational, the alternate Olympic competition for gymnastics, was held at the Hartford Civic Center, now known as the XL Center, after President Jimmy Carter decided the United States would boycott the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, Soviet Union.

The members of the women's 1980 Olympic Team are: Luci Collins Cummings of Inglewood, Calif.; Marcia Frederick Blanchette of Assomet, Mass.; Kathy Johnson Clarke of Longwood, Fla.; Beth Kline Rybacki of Upland, Calif.; Amy Koopman Enxing of Village of Lakewood, Ill.; Julianne McNamara Zeile of Thousand Oaks, Calif. (pictured, courtesy USAG); and Tracee Talavera Kent of Tallahassee, Fla., who was unable to make the trip to Hartford. Ernestine Weaver was the head coach, and Paul Ziert was the assistant coach.

The men's team is comprised of: Phil Cahoy of Omaha, Neb., who was unable to travel to Hartford; Bart Conner of Norman, Okla.; Ron Galimore of Indianapolis, Ind.; Larry Gerard of Fort Worth, Texas; Jim Hartung of Lincoln, Neb.; Peter Vidmar of Coto de Caza, Calif.; and Mike Wilson of Plano, Texas. Francis Allen was the head coach, with Bill Meade as the assistant.

The 1980 U.S. Olympic Team was chosen at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Jacksonville, Fla. After President Carter called for the Olympic boycott, the U.S. government organized alternate Olympic-level competitions for each of the sports, and gymnastics held its event in Hartford. Called the 1980 USGF International Invitational, the event featured gymnasts from Canada, China, Federal Republic of Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the USA. The members of the U.S. Olympic Team who medaled at the event were: Frederick - first on vault, second in the all-around and third in both the uneven bars and balance beam; and Galimore - first on vault, third on floor exercise and still rings.

Horton Repeats as National Champ!
August 13, 2010

Olympic medalist Jonathan Horton defended his U.S. national title with a rock solid performance in finals at the VISA Championships that earned him a two-day combined all-around score of 181.650. Beginning the night on p-bars (peach half, peach, Belle; Tippelt; Diamidov; Morisue; slightly off Stutz, stuck double pike) with a 14.9, Horton kept the momentum going throughout the night with confident sets that were well executed. On high bar, Horton rocked a phenomenal set that included a laidout Kolman, laidout Kovacs, Kolman and a nearly stuck full twisting double layout that brought the crowd to its feet.

Though he finished 2.3 points behind Horton for silver, Danell Leyva (179.350) led at the midway point in tonight’s competition. But Horton closed the gap and surged ahead with a strong performances on rings and powerful handspring double front vault that netted a 16.050.

Leyva’s night started on vault where he posted a 15.5 for a Kas full. Highlights for Leyva included a tremdous p-bar set (Diamidov 1/2, Peach, Diamidov, Peach full; double pike) and a crowd-pleasing high bar routine that include his trademark laidout Kovacs, full-twisting laidout Tkatchev and a double-double dismount.

Earning the bronze medal was Brandon Wynn (178.300), who finished the night with a stellar p-bar routine that included some of the most unique combinations and skills of the competition. 

Rounding out the top ten were Chris Brooks (176.700), Glen Ishino (176.150), Steven Legendre (175.250), Bryan Del Castillo (173.650), Paul Ruggeri (173.300), Jesse Sliverstein (173.200) and Andrew Elkind (173.050).

One of the highlights of the night and one of the biggest crowd-pleasing moments was Steve Legendre’s Dragulescu vault (double front, half-out) which lit up the arena.

The 2010 men’s World team will be named within 24 hours.

Tonight’s attendance was 4,397.

For complete coverage, including a photo essay from tonight’s competition, subscribe or renew now to receive the September/October issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine. The issue will also include a center-spread mini-poster.

Bross in Command Following Prelims
August 12, 2010

World silver medalist Rebecca Bross (WOGA) took the leader after the first rotation of Women’s Prelims tonight and never looked back. Her night began with a 15.150 on bars (high Tkatchev; Yaeger; Stalder full to Pak; full-in dismount) and held onto the lead at the midway point following a stellar beam set (15.50; standing Arabian, Arabian double dismount). The audience loved her floor routine that opened with a front handspring to front layout to double front that netted a 14.750 and kept her at the top of the leaderboard. She ended the night with a solid Yurchenko double vault to seal the top spot from prelims with a 60.400.

Classic Champ Mattie Larson had a stellar night, showcasing her trademark elegance and flare for the dramatic, followed Bross with a 58.2. (For more on Larson, check out our Daily 5). Though she didn’t compete with her usual flair (performance seemed low on energy), American Cup runner-up Ally Raisman ended the night in third with 57.550. Rounding out the top five are Chelsea Davis (57.150) and Kytra Hunter (56.8), who wowed the crowd with a high-flying floor set that included a full twisting double layout mount.

2008 Olympic medalist Alicia Sacramone made her return the National Championships with a two-event, making her case for the a spot on the 2010 World team. She began the night with a rock-solid performance on beam (pike punch front mount; punch front, back handspring, two-footed layout) where her only misstep was an over-rotation on her double pike dismount that caused her to take a couple steps back. Her performance netted a 14.850, which placed her second in the beam standings. She later vaulted a stellar handspring Rudi and high Yurchenko double for the top spot on vault (15.350).

2009 National Champ Bridget Sloan competed beam only, suffering from a strained shoulder and ankle. She hopes to return to full speed in time to challenge for a spot on the World team at the upcoming selection camp.

Jetter Injured, Out of Championships
August 12, 2010

First year senior Amanda Jetter has withdrawn from the 2010 U.S. Championships after suffering an Achilles strain during training this morning. Jetter was practicing an Arabian double front beam dismount in the training gym when she landed forward and strained the Achilles. “She was so ready for this competition and so excited, and she’s obviously very disappointed,” coach Mary Lee Tracy told Inside Gymnastics. “We’re hopeful it’s just a strain and we can petition to the training camp [for Worlds] if that’s the case and she’s healed and ready.”

Jetter recently earned silver at the 2010 U.S. Classic and appeared on track to contend for a podium position here following solid training sessions.

Ross Leads Junior Prelims
August 12, 2010

While Fan Fest was taking place down the street in Hartford today, fall fest was taking place at the XL Center, unfortunately, during Junior Women’s Prelims. After promising training sessions for the Juniors during Podium Training, today’s competition was marked by errors and falls all-around. Among those who suffered a disappointing day was favorite Jordyn Wieber who had to count falls on bars and beam. After tweaking both ankles during warm-ups, landing short on a double back beam dismount, Wieber had both ankles taped for competition, but struggled throughout the day. After hitting a solid Amanar (Yurchenko 2 1/2 ) on vault, Wieber fell on a giant full to Tkatchev before remounting to dismount with a full twisting double layout, but only scored 12.6. She suffered falls on beam and then scratched floor. A visibly disappointed and upset Wieber talked after the competition about soreness in her ankles leading up to today that was worsened by the short landing on beam in warm-ups. She will have the ankles further evaluated and play it by ear as she contemplates competing in finals.

A bright spot in the afternoon was the performance of defending Junior Champion Kyla Ross, who led the field today with a 57.9 (VT – 15.2, UB-14.050, BB-14.450, FX – 14.2). Ross showed her trademark combo of power (Yurchenko double) and elegance (switch ring; front aerial, bhs, layout on beam; stylish floor set with attention to detail throughout). Following the competition, she told Inside Gymnastics that following a whirlwind year that included the Junior title and an international assignment to the Pacific Rim Championships where she earned silver in the All-around, she continues to become more confident and comfortable competing on the podium.

Rounding out the top five in prelims were Katelyn Ohashi (WOGA, 56.850), Gabrielle Douglas (Excaliber, 56.450), McKayla Maroney (All Olympia, 55.800) and Lexie Priessman (CGA, 55.750).

One to Watch: Look for a spotlight on 13-year old Junior Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy in our Sep/Oct Nationals Commemorative Issue. Subscribe of Renew today to receive this issue!

2000 Women’s Team (Finally) Receives Bronze
August 11, 2010

The 2000 U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team was awarded their Olympic team bronze medals at a special ceremony tonight in Hartford, Conn.. The presentation took place at 7 p.m. in the XL Center, just prior to the start of the senior men’s prelims of the 2010 U.S. Championships. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) earlier this year stripped China of its 2000 Olympic Games women’s team bronze medal because one of its athletes did not meet the age requirement.

The members of the 2000 U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team are: Amy Chow, Jamie Dantzscher, Dominique Dawes, Kristen Maloney, Elise Ray and Tasha Schwikert. All six members were on hand for the medal presentation. The team received a roaring ovation from the crowd. Emotions ran high for both the crowd and the team members, many of whom appeared to be holding back tears.

Morgan White was named to the team but withdrew just prior to the Games due to injury, and Alyssa Beckerman was the alternate.

“Hosting the medals ceremony with our national championships will allow the USA Gymnastics family to be a part of the affair,” USA Gymnastics President Steve Penny said prior to the event. “Every athlete dreams about being awarded an Olympic medal."

Notes & Quotes, Tuesday

· First to arrive at the XL Center for tonight’s Senior Men’s Prelims? Danielle Lleyva, who had an impressive warm-up that included a flawless laidout Kovacs and a full twisting laidout Tkatchev on high bar.

· During tonight’s competition, fans in the audience can tune into Shannon Miller and Raj Bhasvar hosting WGYM, the USA Gymnastics in-house radio station. (When fans purchase a meet program, they receive the headphones and radio to follow along!)

· Up tomorrow: Visa Fan Fest! Starting at 4:30, the Old State House will be fan central with music, food and lots of fun activities for everyone before the start of the Women’s Prelims.

· If you are in Hartofrd, be sure to stop by our Congress Trade Show booth (number 433) tomorrow for meet and greet/autograph sessions with Nastia Liukin and Jonathan Horton.

· Quotable: “It felt good to finally get to go out with a bang and start a new generation of University of Michigan [gymnastics],” Junior National Champ Sam Mikulak said following today’s competition.”It gives me a lot of confidence and getting to work with (NCAA Champion) Chris Cameron, it will be a good few years to come.”

Mikulak and Melton Take Junior Titles
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sam Mikulak of SCATS ran away with the Junior Men’s 16-1 title8, chalking up an all-around score of 86.5, nearly five and a half points ahead of the rest of the field. Jacoby Rubin (Buffalo Grove, 81.050) and Wyatt Aycock (Orlando Metro, 80.650) earned silver and bronze, respectively. Earlier this year, Mikulak took top honors in the all-around as well as on floor and vault at the J.O. National Championships. His highest score today came on parallel bars (14.650) where his impressive set included a high flying Tippelt, a beautiful Diamidov and a stuck double pike.

In the 14 – 15 Junior Men’s Division, Sean Melton of Orlando Metro claimed gold with an 83.400 all-around tally. Adrian de los Angeles (SCATS, 82.150) earned sliver and Jake Martin (Orlando Metro, 81.500) won bronze. Just entering his sophomore year in high school, Melton was second in the all-around at this year’s J.O.’s. He began gymnastics nine years ago, following in the footsteps of his brother and sister. “Going into my first and last event I was really nervous,” Melton said after the meet. “I always look at my scores and know where I am….I can improve everywhere, always want to be perfect.”

Good day for Orlando Metro and SCATS!

Horton Takes Day 1
August 11, 2010

Following the preliminary round of competition at the 2010 U.S. Championships, Jonathan Horton appears to be en route to defend his 2009 title. After hitting five strong routines, Horton’s only mistake of the day came on his layout Kovacs on high bar, which he hit after remounting the bar. Still, he holds a point lead over Danell Leyva. Brandon Wynn, from Ohio State, was in third after a huge 16.0 for his ring routine that’s jam-packed with strength to strength elements and tremendous difficulty overall. Rounding out the top five are Bryan Del Castillo and Jake Dalton. Going into finals on Friday, Horton stated he is looking to score in the “92” range, which would have been possible tonight had he hit his high bar set.

Be sure and check out our Daily 5 for more highlights from day 1 of competition.

Defending Champ Sloan to Compete Beam Only
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

While her classmates are beginning school this week in Indiana (she’ll be a senior), 2009 World Champion Bridget Sloan is in Hartford competing at the 2010 U.S. Championships. Though Sloan had hoped to defend her U.S. title here, she’ll be relegated to competing just beam, suffering from ankle and shoulder problems.

“Coming back from Worlds, I didn’t get to take too long of a break,” Sloan told Inside Gymnastics today. “In Australia I hurt my ankle and then just this past week, I had shoulder pain. We went and had it looked at and [it’s] kind of like a strain. My timing is just not the greatest. We’re taking it easy while we’re here to prepare and be sure that by the time Worlds rolls around, we’re 100 percent. I’ve been trying so hard to get back in the game and be healthy and it’s just not working out, but I know everything happens for a reason. I think this is my body telling me ‘you know, you might need to take a little bit of a break.’”

After finishing her senior year, Sloan plans to defer college enrollment for a year to focus on the 2012 Olympic Games. After, she says she “couldn’t be more excited” to compete NCAA gymnastics. “The team aspect of it is just incredible, I can’t wait,” she exclaimed. Pressed for what programs she may be considering, Sloan eventually divulged, “Florida, Georgia, UCLA, Utah, anywhere! …I am definitely keeping my doors open.”

Of her Olympic journey and her World title, Sloan simply sums, “It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been incredible. It’s surreal.”

And on whether she’ll be able to defend her World title and compete all four events at Worlds in London this year: “That’s the goal.”

You Asked! Topic: Music

On our Facebook page, subscriber Thomas Hamblin wanted us to ask gymnasts: “Do you listen to music while warming up? If so what is your favorite tune to listen to?”

Thomas, we asked and here are a few of the responses

Paul Ruggeri: “It depends on my mood! If I’m really relaxed and trying to get pumped up, especially for vault, I’ll put on some techno or reggae. I like Hispanic music. I like Hispanic culture. It intrigues me for some reason. So I listen to a lot of Spanish rap! If I’m too excited, like for high bar or pommel horse, I’ll listen to something a little bit slower. Most of the time, it’s pretty mainstream music. Whatever’s poppin’ at the time!”

Joey Haggerty: “Metallica!”

Mattie Larson: (Not necessarily for competition, but on her iPod now) – “I love Drake and Lil Wayne and Lady Gaga – those are my favorites!”

On a separate but related music note, during the Men’s Podium Training session, the music mix include techno and dance remixes while the Women’s Podium Training session included Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, in between floor music sets!

Do you have a question for a gymnast that you’d like for us to ask this week? Submit your question on our Contact Line or through our Facebook page (Fan us for bonus updates) and we’ll select a few each day, with responses posted here on The Champs Ticker!

Insider Exclusive Autograph Sessions!
August 04, 2010
Attention all Insiders! At this year’s National Congress and Trade Show, held in conjunction with the VISA Championships, Inside Gymnastics magazine will be hosing our first Subscriber Exclusive Autograph Session. Inside Gymnastics subscribers will have an exclusive opportunity for meet and greet autograph sessions with U.S. gymnastics stars. Sessions will take place at the Inside Gymnastics booth in the Congress Hall on Thursday or Friday. Among the

Shannon Miller, 1996 Olympic gold medalist, who is the most decorated U.S. gymnast of all time

Jonathon Horton, Defending U.S. Champ and Olympic medalist

Chellsie Memmel , 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and 2005 World Champion

John Roethlisberger, Three-time Olympian and four-time U.S. National Champion

Stay tuned to for a full schedule of dates and times. Additional athletes may be added to the line-up for this Subscriber Exclusive event. Current subscribers are eligible to attend as well as those who subscribe online between now and then event or subscribe/renew at the event. So be sure to stop by our booth, number 433 to meet some of the most famous gymnasts in U.S. history!