Alexy Bilozertchev
© Steve Lange

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 15, 2007—Alexy Bilozertchev of Hilliard, Ohio, and John Orozco of Bronx, N.Y., won the junior men’s 16-18 year-old and 14-15 year-old all-around titles, respectively, at the 2007 Visa Championships at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. In addition, Bilozertchev also won pommel horse, while Orozco claimed three individual event titles: still rings, parallel bars and high bar.


“I’ve been training a year for this,” Bilozertchev said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished something. It feels great.”


“I’m very proud of him,” said Dmitry Bilozertchev, Alexy’s father and coach, who is a former world and Olympic champion. “The goal today was to come in and do a good job and he did. He deserved it.”


Bilozertchev held the lead after three rotations with a score of 43.200, but fell to second with one rotation left. His 14.300 on pommel horse earned him the all-around title with a total score of 84.850, followed by Glen Ishino of Santa Ana, Calif., in second at 84.600 and Kyle Bunthuwong of El Cerrito, Calif., in third at 84.350.


Josh Dixon of San Jose, Calif., who was the 2006 U.S. junior floor exercise and vault champion in the 14-15 year-old division, won floor and vault in the 16-18 year-old division. His floor routine, which included an Arabian double front and a solid two-and-a-half punch barani, scored a 15.100, while his Kasamatsu one-and-a-half vault earned a score of 15.300. Bilozertchev posted a 14.300 on pommel horse to earn the gold medal, while Bunthuwong nailed a double pike dismount on parallel bars to win with a 14.900. Ishino’s still rings routine, which included a Jonasson immediate straddle planche, earned a score of 14.200 and the gold medal. Tyler Mizoguchi of Houston stuck a double layout dismount to win the horizontal bar with a 13.450.


In the 14-15 year-old division, Orozco won the all-around title with a final score of 83.900. Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif., led through four events and finished in second place with a final score of 82.150. Joshua Wokurka of Lombard, Ill., was third with a score of 81.900.


“I’m so happy; I’m ecstatic,” Orozco said. “I didn’t expect to win. It’s my first year here and my first year on podium. I fell on my first event, pommel horse, but I told myself I had to do my best and have fun.”


“It’s a long journey,” said Jason Hebert, Orozco’s coach. “He’s worked so hard. He has lots of difficulty and we’ve just been working on refining his form.”


Orozco took over the all-around lead after the fifth rotation with a 13.700 on high bar. His individual event titles came on: parallel bars (14.750); still rings (14.050); and horizontal bar, which included a stuck full twisting double layout dismount.