USA wins five medals on first day of event finals at Pan Am Championships
posted on 08/31/2014

TORONTO, Canada, Aug. 31, 2014 – Led by gold medals from Ashton Locklear of Huntersville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics, and MyKayla Skinner of Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights, the United States won five medals during the first day of event finals at the 2014 Pan American Championships at the Hershey Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Other U.S. medalists were Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners, silver, pommel horse; Madison Kocian of Dallas/WOGA, silver, uneven bars; and Brandon Wynn of Voorhees, N.J./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), silver, still rings.

The event, which serves as the qualifier for gymnastics to the 2015 Pan American Games, concludes Monday with the final day of event finals. Fans can catch the action via a live webcast provided by Gymnastics Canada.

Tumbling a tucked double-double, front double full to barani and a full-in dismount, CJ Maestas of Corrales, N.M./University of Illinois, scored a 14.825 and finished in fourth in the floor exercise final. Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla./Ohio State University, mounted floor with an Arabian double pike before tumbling a front double full to barani. Dismounting with a two-and-a-half twist, he earned a 14.600 and finished just behind Maestas in fifth. Chile’s Tomas Gonzalez, 15.700, was first, followed by Diego Hypolito, 15.625, and Arthur Zanetti, 15.075, both of Brazil.

Skinner’s first vault was a Yurchenko half-on, layout front with one-and-a-half twists off. Executing a Yurchenko double full second vault, she earned a 15.037 average and her third gold medal of the week. Cuba took silver and bronze: Yesenia Sasquia Ferrera Nunez scored 14.400 for second with Dovelis Elena Torres Herrero taking the bronze, 14.112.

On the pommel horse, Kimble began his routine with back-to-back scissor handstands and intricate single pommel work to earn a 14.775 and the silver medal. Melton swung well throughout his routine, executing spindles on the end and a Magyar to Sivado sequence. He scored a 14.550 to finish fifth place. Mexico’s Daniel Corral Barron was the gold medalist with a 15.250, and Puerto Rico’s Alexander Rodriguez was third, scoring 14.725.

Locklear was clean through an intricate sequence of transitions, performing an in-bar Shaposhnikova, Pak salto, toe-on Shaposhnikova (Maloney), overshoot to handstand to stalder shoot in combination. Dismounting with a stuck full-twisting double back, she posted a 14.975 for the gold. Kocian began her uneven bars routine with an in-bar Shaposhnikova to Pak salto combination. She closed her routine with a stalder, stalder full, full-out sequence to score 14.825 and take the silver medal. Mexico’s Ahtziri Sandoval Perez was third with a 13.100.

Wynn scored a 15.450 and won the silver medal on the still rings after starting his routine with a unique forward roll into inverted cross. He showed clean positions through a back up-rise Maltese to bounce cross sequence and dismounted with a layout, full-twisting double back. Jonathan Horton of Houston, Texas/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics), performed a kip to Maltese and dismounted the rings with a tucked, double-twisting double. He scored a 14.650 to finish in seventh. Reigning World and Olympic champion Arthur Zanetti of Brazil was the event champion with a 15.800, while Chile’s Juan Raffo took the bronze, scoring 15.200.

The women competing in the individual event finals tomorrow are: balance beam – Kocian and Skinner; and floor exercise – Skinner and Madison Desch of Blue Springs, Mo./GAGE. Kimble and Maestas will compete in the men’s parallel bars final.

Earlier in the competition, the U.S. won both the men’s and women’s team gold medals. Skinner won the women’s all-around gold and Maggie Nichols of Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters, claimed the bronze, while Melton was third in the men’s all-around.