KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Elise Ray (Columbia, Md.) was the top qualifier at the 1999 World Team Trials this evening in Municipal Auditorium with a score of 76.378. Also qualifying were Jeanette Antolin (Paradise, Calif.) with 75.492 points and Alyssa Beckerman (Wyoming, Ohio) with 74.737 points. Jamie Dantzscher (Palmdale, Calif.) scored 74.724 points, earning the alternate spot.

Already qualifying for a spot on the U.S. World Team prior to Saturday night’s competition were Kristen Maloney (Pen Argyl, Pa.), Vanessa Atler (Canyon County, Calif.), and Jennie Thompson (Cincinnati, Ohio).
Thompson did not compete in Saturday night’s finals of the World Team Trials due to illness. Her petition was accepted onto the world team based on her second place finish at the American Classic meet earlier this summer. Thompson was ranked first after competing in Thursday evening’s preliminary competition.
Maloney and Atler, who finished first and second at last month’s John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, were able to petition directly onto the World Team. Maloney competed at the Championships with a stress fracture in her right shin while Atler competed with a sore left ankle.
The United States World Team competes in Tianjin, China in the World Championships, October 9-16. The World Championships advance 12 countries to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.


Jeanette Antolin

“I’m thrilled beyond words. It’s amazing. I showed more consistency and really improved my floor routine. What’s really amazing is that this was only the second time I’ve ever done that (floor) routine. There’s going to be great competition at the Worlds, but I think we’ll get the job done.”

“I focused on what I was doing, and paid no attention to the scores. I expect to be more consistent in China. I thought the crowd support was awesome. I love showing off in front of the crowd.”

Alyssa Beckerman

On who she expects to be the stiffest competition at the World Championships:
“Romania, Ukraine, Russia and China because it has home field advantage.”

“I’m ecstatic to have made the team. I knew I made the team when I saw Kathy Kelly (women’s program director) and she hugged Elise and Jeannette, and saw her looking for me to hug.”

“I’m graduating from high school in June. I’ll be taking off a year to train for the Olympics. I’ve signed a letter-of-intent to UCLA.”

“I’m beside myself. I can’t believe this is happening. My dreams are coming true.”