DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 14) — Vanessa Atler, Canyon Country, Calif. , used a gold medal performance in vault and top-10 finishes in all four events to lead the field at the halfway point of the senior women’s all-around competition at the 1997 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, being held through Saturday here at McNichols Arena.

Despite her front-running position with a score of 37.187, Atler is not eligible for selection to the U.S. World Championships Team being chosen at the event due to the new age minimum put in place this year by the International Gymnastics Federation. The 15-year-old Californian misses the 16-year cutoff by a mere 48 days.
“I thought I was a little too relaxed tonight,” she said, “because I knew I couldn’t make the World Championships team. My coach (Beth Rybacki) told me I usually do better with pressure, so I should pretend I can make the team. Then I thought I started to do better.”


Kristy Powell, River Forest, Ill.
, is ranked second in the all-around behind Atler with a 37.087, more than two-tenths of a point ahead of third-place Kristin Maloney, Pen Argyl, Pa.

Dominique Moceanu, Houston, Texas
, the lone member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team which claimed the first women’s team gold medal in the country’s history, currently ranks 12th in the all-around with a 35.662. However, due to special qualifying criteria, she remains in the running for a berth on the team which will represent the U.S. at the World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, Aug. 31-Sept. 7.
“It wasn’t that I was rusty, it’s just that I needed to be out there,” said Moceanu, who must place in the top five in a minimum of two events to qualify for the team. “I’ve had a lot going on in the last couple of months. I haven’t done all four events since the Olympics.”
Competition continues at the 1997 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships Friday as the junior men compete at 1 p.m. MT and the senior men take the podium at 7 p.m. Both competitions will decide the U.S. National Team for the respective age group, and the men’s World Championship Team will be determined in the evening session.

NOTE: Results are continuously updated throughout competition on USA Gymnastics Online. To access, go to

Senior Women’s All-Around Preliminaries and Event Finals
McNichols Arena, Denver, Colo.

Preliminary All-Around Standings (scores are 50 percent of total, finals Saturday evening, 8 p.m. ET)

1, Vanessa Atler, Canyon Country, Calif., 37.187. 2, Kristy Powell, River Forest, Ill., 37.087. 3, Kristin Maloney, Pen Argyl, Pa., 36.875. 4, Mohini Bhardwaj, Cincinnati, Ohio, 36.787. 5, Lindsay Wing, Cypress, Texas, 36.776. 6, Kendall Beck, San Antonio, Texas, 36.600. 7, Kaitie Dyson, Houston, Texas, 36.462. 8, Jamie Dantzscher, Palmdale, Calif., 36.175. 9 (tie), Jeanette Antolin, Huntington Beach, Calif., and Jennie Thompson, Wichita Falls, Texas, 35.962. 11, Shannon Bowles, Lee, N.H., 35.700. 12, Dominique Moceanu, Houston, Texas, 35.662. 13, Kristen Stucky, Milwaukee, Wis., 35.625. 14, Alecia Ingram, Knoxville, Tenn., 35.387. 15, Amy Young, Diamond Bar, Calif., 35.287. 16, Mary Beth Arnold, Sparks, Nev., 32.250. 17, Jeana Rice, Longwood, Fla., 35.062. 18, Kelly Parkinson, Houston, Texas, 35.025. 19, Becky Meldrum, Mertztown, Pa., 34.962. 20, Alyssa Beckerman, Red Bank, N.J., 33.850. 21, Cory Fritzinger, Virginia Beach, Va., 33.837. 22, Raegan Tomasek, Mastic Beach, N.Y., 33.800. 23, Talya Vexler, Amherst, Mass., 33.675. 24, Nicole Kilpatrick, Ringwood, N.J., 33.425. 25, Chari Knight-Hunter, Eugene, Ore., 33.300. 26, Amy Kuczera, Bloomingdale, Ill., 33.275. 27, Nicole Bongiovanni, Meriden, Conn., 33.225. 28 (tie), Jennifer Carow, Waukesha, Wis., and Soni Meduna, Colon, Neb., 33.112. 30, Lenna Doolan, Fairfax, Va., 32.987. 31, Kristen Jensen, Easton, Pa., 32.650. 32, Katie McFarland, Virginia Beach, Va., 32.425. 33, Annie Campbell, Everett, Wash., 32.325. 34, Breanne Rutherford, Simsbury, Conn., 31.650. 35, Alison Stoner, Laguna Hills, Calif., 6.950.

Individual Event Finals (top 10 only)

1, Atler, 9.512. 2, Maloney, 9.450. 3 (tie), Antolin and Bhardwaj, 9.362. 5, Beck, 9.275. 6, Dantzscher, 9.250. 7, Powell, 9.237. 8, Wing, 9.225. 9 (tie), Parkinson and Jensen, 9.175.

Uneven Bars
1, Powell, 9.550. 2, Arnold, 9.400. 3 (tie), Atler and Dantzscher, 9.325. 5, Wing, 9.300. 6, Stucky, 9.250. 7, Dyson, 9.175. 8 (tie), Bhardwaj and Doolan, 9.075. 10, Bowles, 9.025.

Balance Beam
1, Beck, 9.425. 2, Tomasek, 9.400. 3, Dyson, 9.375. 4, Bowles, 9.325. 5, Maloney, 9.250. 6, Arnold, 9.225. 7 (tie), Powell and Stucky, 9.175. 9, Ingram, 9.100. 10 (tie) Atler and Bhardwaj, 8.950.

Floor Exercise
1, Wing, 9.700. 2, Moceanu, 9.600. 3, Maloney, 9.500. 4, Beck, 9.450. 5 (tie), Atler and Bhardwaj, 9.400. 7 (tie), Dantzscher and Stucky, 9.250. 9, Rice, 9.225. 10, Ingram, 9.200.