On April 9-10, in Shanghai, China, members of the U.S. Gymnastics Team competed in a dual meet with China, with the U.S. women claiming a winner’s trophy and the U.S. men gaining valuable experience as both prepare for the upcoming World Championships being held in Tianjin. The women’s victory, with the U.S. scoring 113.462 to China’s 113.274, was significant against one of the strongest Chinese squads. The U.S. men, who lost to China by a score of 172.125 to 168.000, turned in some strong performances against the reigning world champions.

The women’s team was led by 16-year-old Morgan White from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. White, who trains with Mary Lee Tracy in Cincinnati, was the only athlete to compete in each of the four events, scoring solidly on the floor (9.5), the balance beam (9.5), and the uneven bars (9.7). The competition was extremely close, as the Chinese took the lead heading into the final routine of the evening. Kui Yuanyuan scored a 9.237 on the vault, leaving the meet in White’s hands, needing a 9.312 to tie. Her score of 9.5 gave the U.S. team the victory. “I was extremely proud with our girls this week,” commented Tracy, who served as the head coach of the women’s team. “They stayed focused and worked hard to perform at their highest level. Our goal was to consistently hit our routines, and that approach secured this team victory. Each member of the team contributed to this win.”
Other members of the U.S. women’s team included 1991 World Champion and 1992 Olympian Kim Zmeskal (Houston, Texas; Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy), Angela Beam (Norman, Okla.; Bart Conner Gymnastics), Audra Fraim (Edmond, Okla.; Dynamo Gymnastics), Jamie Dantzscher (Palmdale, Calif.; Charter Oaks Gliders), and Tasha Schwikert (Las Vegas, Nev.; Gymcats). Zmeskal was awarded the Mayor’s Trophy from the event.
The U.S. men fought hard after 1998 national champion, Blaine Wilson (Columbus, Ohio; U.S. Olympic Training Center), retired from the event following the floor exercise. After scoring a 9.6 on the floor exercise, Wilson felt a slight strain on his recovering shoulder, and withdrew from competition. The U.S. men still turned in strong performances, led by 18-year-old Jason Gatson (Upland, Calif.; U.S. Olympic Training Center). Gatson and teammate Jim Foody (Addison, Ill.; UCLA) each competed in five of the six events, but were unable to close the gap on the Chinese.
The U.S. men did outscore the Chinese on the vault and floor exercise, and Gatson received the award for the best upcoming gymnast. “Our men have been consistently competitive against the best in the world this year,” said Peter Kormann, head coach of the men’s team. “Competing in China is always a special challenge because the Chinese are even more powerful in their own surroundings. This competition served as a good measuring stick for us, as we develop our final preparations for this year’s world championships.”
The remaining members of the U.S. men’s team were Jay Thornton (Augusta, Ga.; U.S. Olympic Training Center), Trent Wells (Keizer, Ore.; UC Berkeley), and Chris Young (Winston-Salem, NC; U.S. Olympic Training Center).