INDIANAPOLIS – Dominique Moceanu (Houston, Texas) added two more gold medals to her collection while Kristen Maloney (Pen Argyl, Pa.) led the all-around standings at the halfway mark of senior women’s competition in the 1998 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Individual event finals and the all-around preliminaries were held Thursday evening at Market Square Arena.
Moceanu, a member of the squad that won the women’s team gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, ignored an injured left knee, took gold medals in the vault and balance beam, her first individual event gold medals at a U.S. championships. She earned the gold in the all-around at the Goodwill Games last month.
“I was really excited just to be competing, because I haven’t trained in two weeks,” Moceanu said. “I started believing in myself tonight. It was a real confidence boost.”
Maloney was the only competitor to score 9.35 or better on all four of her events, placing her in the top four in all four events, highlighted by a silver medal in balance beam. Her 38.162 was nearly three-quarters of a point ahead of Moceanu, who had a 37.437. In third was Jennie Thompson (Cincinnati, Ohio), who had a 37.337 bolstered by a bronze medal in the vault.
“I wasn’t paying attention to the scores,” said Maloney. “I just wanted to hit all of my routines. I stayed pretty confident throughout the night. I have a stress fracture in my (right) tibia, and I was a little worried about it going into the competition. Once the adrenaline kicked in, though, I forgot all about it.”
“I wanted to hit tonight,” said Thompson, who won the U.S. Classic three weeks ago to qualify for the John Hancock Championships. “My workouts were fairly good, so I came in confident. I think I did a fairly good job.”
Making a strong showing in her first U.S. national championships since 1992, Kim Zmeskal (Cincinnati, Ohio) was ranked ninth with a score of 36.287. Her best event was balance beam, where she placed fourth with a score of 9.400 behind Moceanu’s 9.800. The top score of the evening went to defending national champion Vanessa Atler (Canyon Country, Calif.), who won the floor exercise with a score of 9.850. She stood sixth in the all-around with a 36.975. Elise Ray (Columbia, Md.) won the uneven bars with a 9.825.
“This is all new to me again,” said 22-year-old Zmeskal of her comeback after a six-year lay-off from competition. “It is a totally different approach for me because I didn’t know what to expect. All I know is how I’ve been training. Before I only entered competitions to win, but now I’m on my way back and I’m just taking steps forward with each day and each meet.”
The 1998 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships continues through Saturday evening, when the women’s all-around champions will be crowned. For complete results and virtual rotation-by-rotation scoring updates, log on to USA Gymnastics Online at

1998 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships
August 20, 1998
Market Square Arena

Senior Division (comprises half of final all-around ranking; all-around finals on Saturday evening)
1, Kristen Maloney, Pen Argyl, Pa., 38.162. 2, Dominique Moceanu, Houston, Texas, 37.437. 3, Jennie Thompson, Cincinnati, Ohio, 37.337. 4, Elise Ray, Columbia, Md., 37.137. 5, Alyssa Beckerman, Middletown, N.J., 37.012. 6, Vanessa Atler, Canyon Country, Calif., 36.975. 7, Jeanette Antolin, Huntington Beach, Calif., 36.912. 8, Jeana Rice, Longwood, Fla., 36.862. 9, Kim Zmeskal, Cincinnati, Ohio, 36.287. 10, Jamie Dantzscher, San Dimas, Calif., 36.162. 11, Erinn Dooley, Gaithersburg, Md., 35.700. 12, Cory Fritzinger, Virginia Beach, Va., 35.675. 13, Marline Stephens, Houston, Texas, 35.437. 14, Chelsa Byrd, North Little Rock, Ark., 35.400. 15, Betsy Hamm, Waukesha, Wis., 35.375. 16, Sheehan Lemley, Allentown, Pa., 35.325. 17, Brittany Smith, Fairfield, Ohio, 35.050. 18, Breanne Rutherford, Simsbury, Conn., 34.775. 19, Katie McFarland, Virginia Beach, Va., 34.725. 20, Marla Ranieri, Kinnelon, N.J., 34.175. 21, Jennifer Carow, Waukesha, Wis., 34.100. 22, Anna Gingrich, Austin, Texas, 33.625. 23, Alexis Brion, Virginia Beach, Va., 33.312. 24, Jessica Bartgis, Frederick, Md., 33.212. 25, Kara Waterhouse, Duluth, Minn., 32.887. 26, Erin Gettle, Lebanon, Pa., 32.662. 27, Lenna Doolan, Fairfax, Va., 32.562. 28, Kristin Uransky, Norfolk, Va., 32.525. 29, Nicole Kilpatrick, Ringwood, N.J., 31.875. 30, Alecia Ingram, Knoxville, Tenn., 7.825.

Senior Division Individual Event Champions

Vault: 1, Dominique Moceanu, 9.537. 2, Vanessa Atler, 9.525. 3, Jennie Thompson, 9.437.
Uneven Bars: 1, Elise Ray, 9.825. 2, Alyssa Beckerman, 9.750. 3, Jeanette Antolin, 9.675.
Balance Beam: 1, Dominique Moceanu, 9.800. 2, Kristen Maloney, 9.725. 3, Jeana Rice, 9.425.
Floor Exercise: 1, Vanessa Atler, 9.850. 2, Jamie Dantzscher, 9.600. 3, Dominique Moceanu, 9.425.