MELBOURNE, Australia, April 29, 2010 – The U.S. men’s team won the men’s team title at the 2010 Pacific Rim Championships at Hisense Arena today in Melbourne, Australia. 2009 U.S. junior all-around champion John Orozco of Bronx, N.Y., won the junior all-around title with a total that would have captured the senior crown. The men return to competition on Saturday, May 1 at 7 p.m. for individual apparatus finals.
Scoring a team total of 345.950, the U.S. men earned the team title, finishing first on pommel horse (54.950), still rings (58.750), and parallel bars (58.850). China took second with a team score of 340.500 and first place finishes on floor exercise (57.700) and vault (63.900). Canada rounded out the top three with a 337.250. Host Australia finished just out of the medals with 333.0, despite finishing first on horizontal bar (55.300).
“The team is always our priority,” said U.S. men’s national team coordinator Kevin Mazeika. “We are very happy with this result.”
Orozco led the U.S team, posting the highest all-around score of the meet with 86.450, winning the junior all-around title and finishing first on pommel horse (14.300) and high bar (14.000). Teammate C.J. Maestas of Corrales, N.M., the 2009 Junior Pan Am Championships still rings champion, earned the silver medal in the all-around with 84.300 to edge Shixiong Zhou of China, who finished third with 84.250. Maestas finished first on still rings (15.200), while Zhou took top honors on vault (15.850) and parallel bars (14.850).
Jaylan Birl of Canada finished first on floor exercise (14.250). “I’m very happy to win, it was my goal for this competition (to win the junior title),” said Orozco.
Nathan Gafuik of Canada won the senior all-around title recording a score of 86.250. Australian Sam Offord finished second with 85.850 and earned the top score on still rings (15.350). Doha World Cup winner Yuguo Huang of China collected the bronze with 85.550, finishing first on vault (16.200) and floor (15.500). Chris Cameron of Winter Haven, Fla., the 2010 NCAA all-around champion, took fourth with a 85.200.
Zi Jie Gan of Singapore recorded the top score on pommel (13.900), and 2009 World Championships horizontal bar finalist and 2008 Pac Rim junior all-around champion Danell Leyva of Miami finished with the top marks on parallel bars (15.450) and high bar (14.750).
The U.S. men’s team, which is comprised of three seniors and three juniors, includes: seniors –Cameron/University of Michigan, Leyva /Universal Sports, and Steven Legendre of Flower Mound, Texas/University of Oklahoma; and juniors –Dylan Akers of Houston/Cypress Gymnastics, Maestas/Gold Cup Gymnastics, and Orozco/World Cup Gymnastics.
Gymnastics action continues tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. with the women’s team and all-around competition.
— The Australian Gymnastics Federation contributed to this release