U.S. men claim gold at 2014 Pan Am Championships
posted on 08/29/2014

© John Cheng

TORONTO, Canada, Aug. 29, 2014 – Led by all-around bronze medalist Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla./Ohio State University, the U.S. men claimed the team gold medal at the 2014 Pan American Championships at the Hersey Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The event, which serves as the qualifier for gymnastics to the 2015 Pan American Games, runs through Monday, Sept. 1. The USA posted a 352.550, followed by Colombia, 346.800, and Brazil, 346.450.

In the all-around competition, Colombia’s Jossimar Calvo Moreno won the title, scoring 89.300, followed by Cuba’s Manrique Larduet Bicet, 89.250, and Melton, 88.850.

The U.S. women are set to hit the competition floor tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. ET and begin on the uneven bars. The individual event finals are scheduled for Sunday and Monday. Fans can catch the action via a live webcast provided by Gymnastics Canada.

In addition to Melton, the U.S. men’s team is comprised of Jonathan Horton, Houston, Texas/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics); Marvin Kimble, Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners; CJ Maestas, Corrales, N.M./University of Illinois; Eddie Penev, Penfield, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (Stanford University); Brandon Wynn, Voorhees, N.J./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center); and alternate Akash Modi, Morganville, N.J./Stanford University.

The U.S. began on vault, where Maestas got the event underway with a solid Yurchenko double twist for a 14.400. Melton posted the highest score in the rotation, earning a 14.900 for his nearly stuck front handspring double front. Horton, 14.600, and Penev, 13.800, gave Team USA a 57.700 on the event. On the landing of his vault, Penev suffered a knee injury that will require further evaluation.

Melton again posted the highest score for the United States on the parallel bars, where he earned a 15.300. He executed a peach to one bar, peach half to peach sequence and nearly stuck his double pike dismount. Kimble earned a 15.200, sticking his double front half-out dismount. Wynn and Maestas added scores of 15.050 and 14.900, respectively, giving the U.S. a 60.450 total on the event.

Kimble led the way on high bar, posting a 15.000. Wynn and Maestas posted matching scores of 14.900. All three ended their routines with stuck dismounts. Melton added a 14.650 to give the U.S. a 59.450 on the horizontal bar.

Maestas continued his solid work in the fourth rotation on the floor exercise, where he posted Team USA’s highest score, a 14.750. He tumbled a tucked double-double, two-and-a-half to barani, a layout Thomas and dismounted with a tucked full-in. With scores of 14.700, Melton; 14.250, Horton; and 14.050, Kimble; the USA posted a 57.750 on the event.

Due to the injury to Penev, the U.S. competed four-up, four-count on floor exercise and pommel horse. Handling the pressure well, the U.S. earned a 57.500 total on the pommel horse. Kimble posted the top score, a 14.900, executing two scissors to handstand to start his routine and a clean handstand pirouette dismount. Maestas led the team off with a solid 14.500, followed by Melton’s 14.800. Horton scored 13.300.

In the final rotation, 2013 World still rings bronze medalist Wynn delivered a 15.500 for his rings routine, showing perfect positions on his Azarian Maltese, back-up rise to Maltese to bounce cross sequence. Horton stuck his double-double dismount in the anchor position to assure the gold with his 14.900. Melton and Kimble added scores of 14.500 and 14.800, respectively, to the team’s 59.700 total.

The U.S. had the top scores on every apparatus except vault, where they finished with the third best total.