For immediate release –
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Aug. 13, 2005 – Natasha Kelley of Houston, Texas/Brown’s Gymnastics won the junior all-around title today at the 2005 Visa Championships contested at Conseco Fieldhouse. Bianca Flohr of Creston, Ohio/FLYTZ finished second in a tightly contested meet which saw Flohr and Kelley exchange the lead several times.
This afternoon’s scores were combined with Thursday’s scores to determine individual national champions. The top 16 athletes were named to the junior national team.
By winning, Kelley maintained her lead from Thursday’s preliminary competition. She hit a double-twisting Yurchenko in the first rotation on vault for 9.283 points and a score of 9.050 on uneven bars in the second rotation. Going into beam, Kelley was in second, but she surpassed Flohr, who was leading by less than two-tenths of a point, with an event-high of 9.533 on beam. Kelley’s difficult beam routine was awarded a start value of 10.0 for the second day in a row, the only perfect start value of the event. With a slim lead going into the fourth rotation, Kelley, 15, earned another event-high, 9.450, on floor to clinch the all-around title.
“I try not to look at the scoreboard,” said Kelley, who missed the senior age cutoff by one day. “I knew it was neck and neck at the end.”
Flohr remained in second place with 74.580 points, just over a tenth behind Kelley. Her high scores came on bars, 9.400, and floor, 9.416. Flohr ,14, was sixth in the all-around and second on bars at the 2003 and 2004 nationals.
“I like competitions,” Flohr said. “It gets me excited when there is a big crowd, so I liked it.”
Shayla Worley of Orlando, Fla./Orlando Metro Gymnastics, finished third with 73.515 points. Worley,14, climbed from fifth to third with the highest all-around score today.
Event champions included Samantha Peszek, 13, of McCordsville, Ind./Deveau’s on vault, Flohr on bars, and Kelley on beam and floor.
In addition to Kelley, Flohr and Worley, the following athletes made the junior national team: Monica Shoji, Boston, Mass./Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, Shantessa Pama, Dana Point, Calif./Gym-Max Gymnastics, Morgan Evans, Norfolk, Va./Excalibur Gymnastics, Peszek, Ivana Hong, Laguna Hills, Calif./Great American Gymnastics Express, Cortni Beers, Tulsa, Okla./Krafft Academy, Shawn Johnson, Des Moines, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics, Makayla Stambaugh, Sacramento, Calif./Byers, Sarah DeMeo, Overland Park, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express, Amber Trani, Richlandtown, Pa./Parkettes, Bridget Sloan, Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp’s, Randy Stageberg, Chesapeake, Va./Excalibur Gymnastics, Rebecca Bross, Ann Arbor, Mich./World Olympic Gymnastics.
Brittney Ranzy of Gaithersburg, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics suffered a dislocated right elbow on her uneven bars dismount and scratched from the competition.
Tonight’s event, the senior women’s final, begins at 6 p.m. Action from Thursday’s and Saturday’s sessions will be shown on NBC during prime time on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14, respectively. All times listed are local Indianapolis time.
The Visa Championships include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics is held at Conseco Fieldhouse, with rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics staged at the Indiana Convention Center.
Tickets for the 2005 Visa Championships may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, over the phone at 317-239-5151 or at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport.
For more information about USA Gymnastics and its programs, access USA Gymnastics online at