After the preliminary round, 1996 Rhythmic National Champion Jessica Davis from San Anselmo, Calif., leads the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials-Rhythmic Gymnastics being held at the Wang Center in Boston, Mass.

Regarding the pressure, Davis said, “There’s always a lot of pressure, especially when you start out at number one and especially when you need to go to the Olympics. It didn’t really help me or hurt me.”
On her overall performance , Davis added, “It was half good and half bad. I was happy with my ball routine, especially since I’d struggled with it in practice but I was very upset about the ribbon. Considering I’ve had that routine for about four years I should be able to do it by now. I relaxed too much and thought it was easy for me. I should never let that happen.”
Natalie Lacuesta, who finished second all-around at the 1996 Rhythmic National Championships in Athens, Ga., May 31-June 2, scratched from the preliminary round of competition due to a stress fracture in her left fibula. Her second day score from National Championships will be doubled and used as her final score for the Olympic Trials. If her all-around score places her in a position for Olympic Team membership, verification of health status will be required from a USOC approved physician before she could be officially nominated to the team.
Tina Tharp from Jacksonville, Fla., and Alicia Albe from Gaithersburg, Md., tied for third in the all-around competition.
Albe said, “I was actually really happy with my performance. I was a little bit nervous at first but it got easier through the competition so I’m happy.”

Results of the Preliminary Round-Day 1 (Tuesday, June 25)

# Name/Club/Rope/Ball/Clubs/Ribbon/AA
1.Jessica Davis/Gymmarin Pacific/9.350/9.500/9.450/8.550/36.850
* Natalie Lacuesta/Rhythmic Gems/****/****/****/****/35.981
3. Alicia Albe/Rhythmflex Gym./8.900/8.900/8.950/9.000/35.750
3. Tina Tharp/Int’l Rhythmic Gym./8.975/8.500/8.975/9.300/35.750
5. Lauri Illy/Rhythmic Gem/8.975/8.800/8.500/9.100/35.375
6. Liriel Higa/California Acad. of RSG/8.750/8.975/8.700/8.850/35.275
7. Meaghan Muller/Atlanta Int’l Gym Center/8.750/8.150/8.650/8.675/34.225
8. Sasha Chernenko/California Acad. of RSG/8.500/8.600/8.400/8.650/34.150

* Non-competing athlete; Scores carried over from 1996 Rhythmic National Championships.
The final round of competition for the U.S. Olympic Trials-Rhythmic Gymnastics will take place, Wednesday, June 26, at 7:00 p.m. at the Wang Center in Boston, Mass. The rhythmic competition can be seen June 28, on ESPN from 7:30-9:00 p.m. and on ESPN 2 at 11:30 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
Results can also be found on USA Gymnastics’ new web page. Be sure to visit at