SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 17, 2007—David Durante of Garwood, N.J., earned his first-career U.S. all-around title at the 2007 Visa Championships at the HP Pavilion at San Jose (Calif.). Guillermo Alvarez of Denver finished just .20 points behind Durante, while Sho Nakamori of Albany, Calif., rounded out the top three.


“It was like a flood of emotion I’ve never had before,” said Durante, a Stanford University grad and former member of the university’s gymnastics team. “I have been waiting for this for a long time. To have it happen in the Bay Area, with my friends and family here, is indescribable.”


Durante, who is a member of Team Chevron, finished with a total score of 179.300, while Alvarez and Nakamori posted scores of 179.100 and 178.400, respectively. Defending all-around champion Alexander Artemev of Morrison, Colo./Team Chevron, finished fourth after attempting a Yurchenko triple full vault that has never been completed in international competition.


“I’m happy, but it was so close,” said Alvarez, who competed for Team Chevron. “Second is not bad, but I came in and I wanted to win.”


“By far, this is my greatest achievement,” said Nakamori, who competes for Stanford. “I came into the competition with no expectations. I came out for the show and had fun.”


Durante’s 15.500 on parallel bars not only earned him an individual event crown, but also secured the U.S. all-around title. Heading into the final rotation, Durante was in second place behind Alvarez by .450 points. The horizontal bar was Durante’s final event, and he ended that routine with a pike, double-back dismount to move into the lead. Alvarez, who led throughout the competition, needed a 15.050 to win the all-around, but posted a 14.900 on still rings during the final rotation.


In his first competition since winning the all-around at the 2004 Olympic Games, Paul Hamm of Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron, competed in two events, pommel horse and floor exercise. His floor exercise routine, which included by big flairs and a double layout dismount, earned him the gold medal with a total score of 31.300. He finished fourth on pommel horse.


Sean Golden of Camden, N.J./Houston Gymnastics Academy, added a second U.S. vault title to the one he claimed in 2005 by earning a two-day score of 31.850. He posted a 16.100 on a Yurchenko two-and-a-half vault. Artemev, the 2006 world pommel horse bronze medalist, won his second straight U.S. pommel horse title with a total score of 30.500. On still rings, Kevin Tan of Fremont, Calif./Team Chevron, defended his title with a total score of 32.850 after posting the highest score of the second competition day with a 16.450 for a routine that included a double layout full out dismount. Winning horizontal bar was Justin Spring of Burke, Va.<