Orozco comes from behind to win first U.S. all-around title at 2012 Visa Championships
posted on 06/09/2012

© John Cheng

ST. LOUIS, Mo., June 10, 2012 – The senior men's all-around title came down to the wire at the 2012 Visa Championships at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo., with the final event determining the 2012 U.S. champion. John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), and Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics), began the second day of competition in a virtual tie, separated by just .050. At the end of the competition, Orozco narrowly edged Leyva to take the title, 184.850 to 184.800. Sam Mikulak of Ann Arbor, Mich./University of Michigan, won the all-around bronze medal, posting a 182.850.

Orozco's all-around total for the second day of competition was 93.050, while Leyva and Mikulak posted 92.950 and 92.300, respectively.

Competition at the Visa Championships continues later today at 6 p.m. CT with the final day of junior men's competition. Tomorrow, women's gymnastics takes center stage once again with the conclusion of the junior women's competition at 10 a.m. and senior women at 2:30 p.m. CT.

Orozco's last event was the floor exercise, where he dismounted with a nearly stuck two-and-a-half twist and earned a 15.500. Orozco cupped his hands over his mouth in disbelief as the score flashed – confirming his come-from-behind victory.

"I can't even describe what I'm feeling right now." Orozco said after taking his first U.S. senior all-around title. "Danell gave me such a great fight – it was so exciting and so amazing. The level of gymnastics tonight was incredible."

Earlier, Orozco started competition on the pommel horse, posting an impressive 15.000 after performing intricate single-pommel work and a handstand dismount. On the rings, Orozco performed two variations of the Maltese before sticking his one-and-a-half twisting, double back dismount (15.350). In rotation three, Orozco's front handspring layout double twist vault earned him a 15.900.

Moving to the parallel bars, Orozco continued on a roll, scoring 15.450 for his routine that included a peach half to peach combination. Orozco dazzled the crowd with his high-flying horizontal bar routine, showing a nearly flawless full-twisting layout Tkatchev release move to earn 15.850, before moving to his final routine on the floor.

Leyva, the defending champion, started off the second day of competition performing a Kasumatsu one-and-a-half vault (15.900). On the parallel bars, where he is the current World champion, Leyva put on a clinic, earning a 16.000. Showing his trademark flair on the high bar, Leyva soared on his layout Kovacs to earn a 16.350. On floor, he mounted with a laid out, double twisting, double layout and scored 15.450. In rotation five, Leyva posted a 14.700 on the pommel horse. Finishing competition on the still rings with a stuck full twisting double layout, Levya earned a 14.550 and the all-around silver medal.

"Today went really well – it was a really good competition for me," Leyva said. "I think it was one of my best competitions ever, and I'm still not done peaking."

All-around bronze-medalist Mikulak began his day posting matching 14.650 scores on the pommel horse and still rings. On vault, Mikulak performed a Kasumatsu double full to score 16.200. Showing incredible composure, Mikulak scored a 15.600 on the parallel bars despite one of the support rails being tightened mid-routine. With four catch-and-release moves, including a tucked full-twisting Kovacs, Mikulak scored 15.550 on the high bar. He closed out his 2012 Visa Championships competition on the floor exercise and mounted with a tucked double double. Mikulak scored 15.650.

"Competing side-by-side with John [Orozco] was motivational for me to step up my game today," said Mikulak. "I'm ecstatic with my performance and excited to get to the Olympic Trials."

Jake Dalton of Reno, N.V./University of Oklahoma, took the floor title, tumbling a laid out Arabian double to post a two-day total of 31.500.

Alex Naddour of Gilbert, Ariz./Team Hilton HHonors (USA Youth Fitness), won his second, consecutive U.S. pommel horse title with a two-day total of 30.100. His routine included a full Kehr, a Tong Fei and handstand pirouette dismount.

2008 Olympic silver-medalist Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics), who finished fourth in the all-around in his first competition since the 2011 World Championships, won the still rings title. Horton's routine, which included an Azarian Maltese and tucked double double dismount, helped him to a 30.900 total on the event and the title.

Sean Senters of Center Valley, Pa./Parkette's, won the vault title, performing a Yurchenko two-and-a-half twist. In the second day of competition, Senters posted a 9.700 execution score on his way to a 32.400 total on the event.

Leyva took top honors on both the parallel bars and high bar.

The 2012 Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics' national championships, features the country's best gymnasts vying for national titles and spots on the U.S. National Team in men's and women's gymnastics.

Single-session tickets for the Visa Championships range in price from $20 to $99.50, including facility fees. Ticket prices vary according to seat location and session. In addition, the multi-session tickets (men's package that features both days of competition; all-day women's package that features both junior and senior sessions for day one; and a women's finals package that features the final day of competition for both junior and senior women) and all-session ticket packages are still available. Multi-session ticket packages for men's and women's gymnastics range from $60 to $125, and all-session ticket packages go from $105 to $325.

All tickets may be purchased by phone at 314-534-1111 or 800-293-5949; online at www.thechaifetzarena.com; or at the Chaifetz Arena Box Office. Group discounts are available by calling 314-977-5008. In recognition of Visa's sponsorship of USA Gymnastics, USA Gymnastics is proud to accept only Visa at the 2012 Visa Championships, along with cash.

Television, webcast and YouTube coverage

Universal Sports television will broadcast the women's senior competition live on June 8 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. Then, NBC Sports will broadcast live coverage of the final day of both the men's competition, June 9 from 1-3:30 p.m. ET, and the women's competition, June 10 from 4-6 p.m. ET. Competition in the first day of senior women's competition will be simultaneously webcast on usagym.org courtesy of UniversalSports.com. To find a Universal Sports channel in a specific area, go to UniversalSports.com.

For all four junior men's and women's sessions and the first day of senior men's competition, USA Gymnastics will provide complete coverage of the event on its official YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/usagymnasticsorg. Additionally, USA Gymnastics will post highlight clips from men's and women's podium training beginning on June 5.

Ways to follow
  • Online. The 2012 Visa Championships and its ancillary activities are easier than ever to follow online. Schedules and general information for both fan activities and the competition, including the official event program, start lists, live scoring and more are available at www.usagym.org/visa, which is easily viewable on smart phones and other digital devices.

  • Social Media. USA Gymnastics are connecting with fans on Facebook (facebook.com/USAGymnastics) and Twitter (@USAGym), providing live updates and exclusive content including videos and photos from the Visa Championships. Gymnastics fans can follow the action easily on Twitter by using the official hashtag of the 2012 Visa Championships, #visachamps.

  • Fan Activities. USA Gymnastics will be hosting a wide-range of fan activities on Laclede Avenue just outside Chaifetz Arena including gymnastics demonstrations and Painting at Chaifetz presented by Art of the Olympians. Fans can also gather for fun prior to competition on June 8, following competition June 9, and both between and after sessions on June 10 right outside Chaifetz Arena for the Visa Fan Fest to enjoy interviews, food, music and celebrate the Visa Championships.

Background information

  • Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University. Chaifetz Arena (TheChaifetzArena.com) is a 10,600-seat multipurpose venue on the campus of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Mo. Chaifetz Arena is the home to the Saint Louis University Billikens Men's and Women's Basketball and 150 concerts, family shows and special events per year. The $81-million arena opened in April 2008 and features a 20,000 square foot event floor, 14 suites, two party decks, two multi-purpose rooms, and a 4,700 square foot club on the event floor. Global Spectrum (global-spectrum.com) manages Chaifetz Arena, as well as more than 100 other public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 20-million people attended more than 11,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, Pa., Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world's largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks.

  • St. Louis Sports Commission. The St. Louis Sports Commission is the privately funded nonprofit organization that makes St. Louis a better place to live, visit, work and play through sports. Its efforts focus on attracting, creating and managing major sporting events for the St. Louis region – and contributing to its quality of life. Since its inception in 1989, the organization has produced a diverse lineup of high-profile events that excite area sports fans, generate revenue for the region and garner positive exposure for St. Louis. The Sports Commission hosted the Visa Championships in 2000 and has played integral roles in other recent Olympic events staged in St. Louis. A catalyst for civic benefit, economic development and charitable good, the Sports Commission has been recognized as a leader in its industry and its community.

 


Log in