WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Kristen Maloney (Pen Argyl, Pa.) shrugged off concerns about a stress fracture in her right tibia and won the individual all-around gold medal as she led the United States women’s squad to the team gold at the 1998 Pacific Alliance Championships, held in Winnipeg Arena Saturday evening.
Maloney’s score of 38.337 outdistanced Australian national champion Zeena McLaughlin, who took the silver with a 37.967. Joining Maloney on the medal stand for the USA was Sierra Sapunar (Wyoming, Ohio), who earned the bronze medal with a 37.775. The United States placed three athletes in the top five all-around, with current national champion Vanessa Atler (Canyon Country, Calif.) claiming fifth with a 37.025.
“My goal was to do the best I could for the team, to try to get first or second,” said Maloney. “The stress fracture was a concern, but I’ve been watering down my routines in practice to take it easy on the leg. It’s nice to win the all-around, but the team gold means more to me. That was our goal coming into the meet, and we earned it as a team.”
“This team has tremendous strength of personality, which was a key to our success tonight,” said Donna Strauss (Allentown, Pa.), coach of the USA squad. “Each one of these girls is wonderful an individual as they are great gymnasts. They were able to come together, shut out all distractions and do the best they could for the USA.”
The USA team total of 113.987 was nearly two points ahead of Australia, which posted a 112.036. China was third at 111.499. The Americans had the highest team score in each of the four events, and Elise Ray (Rockville, Md.) matched China’s Huang Mandan for the highest score of the evening; both posted a 9.80 on the uneven bars.
Competition continues Sunday with individual event finals for both the men and women. For more information about USA Gymnastics and its programs, visit USA Gymnastics Online at http://www.usa-gymnastics.org.
Individual All-Around Standings
1, Kristen Maloney, Pen Argyl, Pa., 38.337. 2, Zeena McLaughlin, AUS, 37.987. 3, Sierra Sapunar, Wyoming, Ohio, 37.775. 4, Huang Mandan, CHN, 37.212. 5, Vanessa Atler, Canyon Country, Calif., 37.025. 6, Melinda Cleland, AUS, 36.737. 7, Ann Maree Vallence, AUS, 36.637. 8, Kana Yamawaki, JPN, 36.587. 9, Rao Meizhen, CHN, 36.412. 10, Peng Sha, CHN, 36.375. 11, Brooke Walker, AUS, 36.350. 12, Lise Leveille, CAN, 36.250. 13, Akiko Kawai, JPN, 36.200. 14, Katie Rowland, CAN, 36.162. 15, Katie McAvoy, CAN, 36.037. 16, Veronique Leclerc, CAN, 35.862. 17, Laura Robertson, NZL, 34.862. 18, Brenda Magana, MEX, 34.287. 19, Lizette Zuniga, MEX, 33.237. 20, Monica Vargas, COL, 33.175. 21, Sarah Wood, NZL, 33.137. 22, Danielle Hart, NZL, 33.037. 23, Di-Hsuoan Chiang, TPE, 32.687. 24, Emadia Os’hara Omar, MAL, 32.575. 25, Ai Li Yen, MAL, 32.550. 26, Estepani Martinez, MEX, 31.912. 27, Chang Siew Ting, MAL, 31.525. 28, Sin-Man Chueng, HNK, 30.700. 29, Sin-Ting Lau, HNK, 28.562. 30, Elise Ray, Rockville, Md., 28.325. 31, Risa Sugawara, JPN, 27.725. 32, Naoko Nakase, JPN, 26.850. 33, Bai Chunyue, CHN, 26.475. 34, Lim Wai Chi, MAL, 24.500. 35, Shigeko Hujii, JPN, 16.250. 36, Xu Jing, CHN, 9.600. 37, Kendall Beck, San Antonio, Texas, 8.975. 38, Kit-Sum Lai, HNK, 8.300. 39, K. Kavita, MAL, 7.800.
Final Team Standings
1, United States (Vanessa Atler, Canyon Country, Calif., Kendall Beck, San Antonio, Texas, Kristen Maloney, Pen Argyl, Pa., Elise Ray, Rockville, Md., Sierra Sapunar, Wyoming, Ohio), 113.987. 2, Australia, 112.036. 3, China, 111.499. 4, Canada, 109.486. 5, Japan, 109.462. 6, New Zealand, 101.036. 7, Mexico, 99.436. 8, Malaysia, 98.175. 9, Hong Kong, 67.562.