Day 1 of 4 of John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships

SACRAMENTO, Calif.- Jason Gatson, 19, (Mesa, Ariz.) took top honors in the first night of competition at the 1999 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
Wednesday night’s competition at Arco Arena determined the national champions on all six events. In addition to awarding national championship titles on all six events, scores from the competition will be carried over to Friday night’s all-around finals to determine the national all-around champion.
Gatson won five medals in the event finals portion taking gold on the floor exercise and parallel bars, a silver on the pommel horse, and a bronze medal on the vault.
Defending national champion Blaine Wilson (Columbus, Ohio), won gold in the event finals of still rings. He also claimed silver medals on vault and parallel bars. Wilson will attempt to win his fourth consecutive all-around title. If successful, he will be the first man in U.S. history to do so.
Two-time Olympian John Roethlisberger (Minneapolis, Minn.), the oldest gymnast in the meet at age 29, won gold on the pommel horse, and a silver medal on still rings.
Winning the vault competition was BYU gymnast Guard Young, 22 (Oklahoma City, Okla.). Ohio State Gymnast Jamie Natalie, 20 (Wilmington, Del.) took the gold in the horizontal bar.
Wilson will attempt to win his fourth consecutive all-around title. If successful, he will be the first man in U.S. history to do so.
Gatson finished the evening ranked first in the all-around, Wilson was second and Roethlisberger was third.


John Roethlisberger
On his pommel horse gold after recovering from knee reconstruction…
“This is by far the biggest accomplishment of my career, surpassing all of my previous national titles. I am more proud of my performance than anything I’ve done to this point. I knew I could do it, but I still exceeded my expectations.”

Comments on Wilson/Gatson rivalry:
“We need more guys like Jason and Blaine to push each other. It makes our team better. Jason and Blaine are the best thing for each other. That will be what helps us win medals.”

Blaine Wilson:
On event finals competition…
“In general I am happy with tonight, but I hate losing. We’ll see what happens on Friday.”

On competing against teammates…
“That’s the beauty of gymnastics. This is all for Worlds. This is what we need. We need fighters.”

On Roethlisberger’s comeback…
“It is fantastic to watch him come back. He brings heart and experience to the competition. He fights and never gives up.”

Jason Gatson
On goals for the competition…
“My main goal is to make World Team Trials and then to win a medal in China at Worlds.”

On competing against teammate Blaine Wilson…
“It would be great to beat him. We will see on Friday. There are more important things to worry about though.”

John Macready
On event finals competition…
“Everything went okay, except for high bar. I am proud of myself and want to prepare for Friday.”

On coming back after injury…
“It is great to get back out there. I feel great.”

Competition Schedule

Thursday, August 26
1:00 p.m. Junior Women All-Around Prelims and Event Finals
7:00 p.m. Senior Women Event Prelims and All-Around Finals

Friday, August 27
7:00 p.m. Senior Men All-Around Finals

Saturday, August 28
1:00 p.m. Junior Women All-Around Finals
6:00 p.m. Senior Women Event Finals