INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Jonathan Horton of Houston and David Durante of Garfield, N.J., who finished first and third, respectively, at the 2006 Tyson American Cup, are among the 99 male gymnasts competing in the 2006 U.S. Men’s Qualifier, which is the men’s last opportunity to qualify to compete in the 2006 Visa Championships. 2004 Olympic silver-medalist Jason Gatson of Mesa, Ariz., is also entered. The U.S. Men’s Qualifier is July 15 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The one-day competition features two sessions, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $7 and available at the door on the day of competition. Children ages 4-and-under are admitted free. Both junior and senior men compete in both sessions, and after the conclusion of the second session, the determination will be made about which athletes will advance to the 2006 Visa Championships, Aug. 16-19, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
Horton, who competes for the University of Oklahoma, has had a solid 2006 so far. He won the NCAA all-around title, as well as placing second in the all-around at the France/Switzerland/USA tri-country meet. Durante, who is a member of Team Chevron and trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, was third in the all-around at the France/Switzerland/USA three-country meet and tied for third on the parallel bars at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships.
In addition to Horton and Durante, the field includes several other gymnasts who have medaled internationally so far this year. Sean Golden of Camden, N.J./Team Chevron, was second on vault at the World Cup event in Moscow. Competing as juniors at the Pacific Alliance Championships, Tim Gentry of Plano/WOGA, Ryan Lieberman of Lake Forest, Ill./Buffalo Grove Gymnastics, and Philip Onorato of Plano/WOGA were members of the U.S. Team that earned the silver team medal. Individually, Gentry claimed the Pac Alliance junior silver medal in the all-around, still rings, vault and high bar (tie), with Onorato winning the still rings and Lieberman taking the bronze in the parallel bars.
The field includes 10 senior and 10 junior members of the national team. Seven of the 10 juniors are competing on the senior level: Kyson Bunthuwong of El Cerrito, Calif./University of California – Berkeley; Bryan Del Castillo of Laguna Niguel, Calif./Newhope Academy; Gentry; Lieberman; Christopher Lung of Lexington, Mass./University of Illinois; Onorato; and Miguel Pineda of Galloway,Ohio/Hocking Valley Gymnastics.
The Visa Championships feature the United States’ best gymnasts vying for national titles in men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics, as well as qualifying for the respective U.S. national teams. Acrobatic gymnastics is holding its national team trials. Competition is held on both the junior and senior levels. The Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul is playing host to the 2006 Visa Championships, Aug. 16-19.

Competitors for the 2006 U.S. Men’s Qualifier

Information: name, hometown, club/program, competition level in parenthesis; 2005-06 national team — */senior, #/junior (16-18) and ^/junior (14-15)


Jason Gatson, Mesa, Ariz., Team Chevron (Sr.)*

Tyler Block, Kensington, Calif., University of California – Berkeley (Sr.)
Kyle Bunthuwong, El Cerrito, Calif., Golden Bear Gymnastics (14-15)^
Kyson Bunthuwong, El Cerrito, Calif., UC – Berkeley (Sr.)#
Jason Chu, Bellflower, Calif., SCATS HB (16-18)#
Bryan Del Castillo, Laguna Niguel, Calif., Newhope Academy (Sr.)#
Francisco Grey, Long Beach, Calif., SCATS HB (16-18)
Eric Haeussler, Redwood City, Calif., San Mateo Gymnastics (16-18)
Glen Ishino, Santa Ana, Calif., Scats HB (14-15)
Jason Laughton, Northridge, Calif., University of Oklahoma (Sr.)
Brian Lee, Freemont, Calif., Army Gymnastics (Sr.)
Sho Nakamori, Albany, Calif., Stanford University (Sr.)
Kyle Oi, Coto de Caza, Calif., Newhope Academy (16-18)
Andrew Stover, Fullerton, Calif., SCATS HB (16-18)
Kevin Tan, Fremont, Calif., Team Chevron (Sr.)*
Neal Thompson, Woodside, Calif., San Mateo Gymnastics (14-15)

Alexander Artemev, Morrison, Colo., Team Chevron (Sr.)*
Geoffrey Corrigan, Colorado Springs, Colo., Team Chevron (Sr.)
Michael Jiang, Littleton, Colo., Chatfield Gymnastics (16-18)
Kyle McNamara, Littleton, Colo., University of Oklahoma (Sr.)
Michael Pinter, Westminster, Colo., Xtreme Altitude (16-18)
Griffin Reyes, Longmont, Colo., Xtreme Altitude (14-15)
Kyle Shanahan, Monument, Colo., CTC (Sr.)

Michael Almazan, Miami, Fla., Universal Gymnastics (16-18)
Alex Barrera, Miami, Fla., Universal Gymnastics (14-15)
Ari Barrera, Miami, Fla., Universal Gymnastics (16-18)
Kinkuro Broden, Miami, Fla., Universal Gymnastics (16-18)
Chris Cameron, Winter Haven, Fla., Sun Country Sports (16-18)
Derek Helsby, Orlando, Fla., Penn State University (Sr.)
Andrew Hunter, Tallahassee, Fla., Gym Force (16-18)
Danell Leyva, Miami, Fla., Universal Gymnastics (14-15)
Edward Mesa, Cooper City, Fla., Universal Gymnastics (14-15)^
Michael Reavis, Tallahassee, Fla., HGA/GymMasters (Sr.)*

Jeff Crockett, Boise, Idaho, University of Washington (Sr.)

Mike Behles, Wayne, Ill., Bartlett Gymnastics (16-18)
Wesley Haagensen, Belleville, Ill., University of Illinois (Sr.)
Andy Krueger, Arlington Heights, Ill., University of Illinois – Chicago (Sr.)
Ryan Lieberman, Lake Forest, Ill., Buffalo Grove Gymnastics (Sr.)#
C.J. Padera, Winfield, Ill., Bartlett Gymnastics (14-15)
Sean Regan, Libertyville, Ill., Buffalo Grove Gymnastics (16-18)

Johnny Schell, Jr., Laytonsville, Md., Capital Gymnastics NTC (14-15)

R.J. Heflin, Storeham, Mass., Gymnastics & More (Sr.)
Christopher Lung, Lexington, Mass., University of Illinois (Sr.)#
Mel Anton Santander, Southborough, Mass., Mass Gym Center (Sr.)
Jason Shen, Newton, Mass., Stanford University (Sr.)

Micah Elofson, Minneapolis, Minn., TAGS-Eden Prairie (14-15)

Jimmy Wickham, Gulfport, Miss., Ohio State University (Sr.)*

Zach Cazabon, Bretwood, Mo., St. Louis Gym Centre (14-15)

New Jersey
David Durante, Garwood, N.J., Team Chevron (Sr.)*
Sean Golden, Camden, N.J., Team Chevron (Sr.)*
Curtis Kleffman, Washington, N.J., University of Iowa (Sr.)