NASHVILLE – Reigning World Champion Paul Hamm performed true to form in winning his third consecutive Sr. Men’s All-Around title at the 2004 Visa U.S. Gymnastics Championships at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville.
Hamm (Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron – Ohio State) scored a 115.700 to walk away with the victory, boosted by a 9.825 score on high bar where he performed three release skills in a row and stuck his dismount. Hamm finished 1.7 points ahead of Brett McClure (Mill Creek, Wash./Team Chevron – OTC), with brother Morgan Hamm (Waukesha, Wis./Team Chevron – Ohio State) taking third.
"Definitely people get in the zone and I would like to say I was in the zone tonight," said Hamm, who also won individual event titles on floor and high bar. "The floor and the high bar are the events I feel I have the most potential for at the Olympics. I took out a few releases from last year’s routine (on the high bar) and I’m happy with it so I plan on sticking with it."
McClure, a 2001 and 2003 World Championship team member, finished second in 2001 but was fifth last year. He counted an event-best 9.800 pommel horse score en route to a 114.000 all-around total. Known as a solid all-around athlete, four of his six scores were above 9.500, allowing him to remain second throughout the entire competition. Morgan Hamm’s final tumbling pass – a stellar double layout – ensured a 9.750 on his strongest event, the floor exercise, to finish third with a 113.125.
Perhaps the strongest comeback of the night, Todd Thornton (Houston, Texas/Team Chevron-HGA) had two scores above a 9.700 including a 9.775 on floor and a 9.750 on high bar to move up from seventh after prelims to fourth in the combined standings. Thornton, who was the 2000 junior all-around champion, was the alternate to the 2001 World Championship team.
Event champions included: Paul Hamm, floor (19.650); McClure pommel horse (19.550); Raj Bhavsar, still rings (19.500); David Sender, vault (19.250); Alexander Artemev, parallel bars (19.350); Paul Hamm, high bar, (19.625).
Bryan Del Castillo (Laguna Nigel, Calif./South Coast Gymnastics) was crowned the boys 14-15-year-old national champion, with Houston’s Taqiy Abdullah (Team Chevron-HGA) winning the 16-18 boys division with a score of 54.625.
Additionally, 14 athletes were named to each of the Sr. and Jr. Nationals Teams, with the 14 members of the Sr. National Team advancing to the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics, June 24-27 in Anaheim, Calif.
Competition continues Saturday with the Jr. Women’s All-Around Final at 1 p.m. followed by the Sr. Women’s All-Around Final at 6 p.m.
For complete results and 2004 Senior and Junior National Team rosters, visit www.usa-gymnastics.org.
T&T: Olympian Parilla Leads Women’s Trampoline
Jennifer Parilla of Newport Beach, Calif. leads the senior women’s trampoline event at the 2004 Visa U.S. Gymnastics Championships at the Curb Event Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Parilla, with a two-jump score of 64.50, will compete against seven other finalists in Saturday night’s trampoline final. Parilla finished 16th in the 2003 World Championships to qualify the U.S. for a spot in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
"Obviously any athlete who makes it to the Olympics wants to do their best there," Parilla said. "I have a lot of competition coming ahead."
Reigning Men’s Trampoline national champion Ryan Weston leads the Sr. Men’s Trampoline with a score of 67.00. Weston is also competing with Chris Estrada in the men’s synchronized trampoline.
"I think today was a warm up for tomorrow," Weston said. "I need to relax and go big, or go home."
The Senior Trampoline and Tumbling finals will be held at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at the Curb Event Center in Nashville, Tenn.
|2004 Men’s Sr. National Team|
|Paul Hamm||9/24/1982||Waukesha, Wis||Team Chevron-Ohio State|
|Brett McClure||2/19/1981||Mill Creek, Wash||Team Chevron-Ohio State|
|Morgan Hamm||9/24/1982||Waukesha, Wis||Team Chevron-Ohio State|
|Todd Thornton||10/14/1982||Houston, Texas||Team Chevron-HGA|
|Sean Townsend||1/20/1979||Houston, Texas||Team Gattaca-HGA|
|Raj Bhavsar||9/7/1980||Houston, Texas||Team Chevron-Ohio State|
|Stephen McCain||1/9/1974||Houston, Texas||Team Gattaca-USOTC|