KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (March 27) -- Led by Brett McClure (Mill Creek, Wash.), the United States claimed the gold medal in the junior men's competition at the 1998 International Team Championships, held in Thompson-Boling Arena here Friday afternoon.
McClure was the top individual USA scorer, racking up 53.550 points as the American squad posted a 210.500, edging China's 208.800. Romania was a distant third in the three-team event with a score of 202.850.
"It feels really good to win," said McClure. "We brought each other up through this whole thing. Matt Abboud (Dayton, Maine) was a great lead-off for us. He went up and hit everything and set the tone for us."
The depth of the USA's performance was reflected by the fact that no American posted the highest score on any of the six events, but they had athletes place in the top three on all but one event, the still rings.
"This was a turning point for our junior program," said USA coach Kelly Crumley (Buffalo Grove, Ill.). "Last year the Chinese team beat us, and this year we were able to beat them. We're talking about beating the nation that had the gold medal team at the World Championships last year. It shows that the USA has become a factor on the international scene."
Competition at the International Team Championships continues Friday evening with senior men's competition, followed by junior women on Saturday afternoon and senior women Saturday evening, all at Thompson-Boling Arena. For complete coverage of the event online, log on to USA Gymnastics Online at http://www.usa-gymnastics.org.
International Team Championships
Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tenn.
March 27, 1998
Junior Men's Competition
Team Final Standings
1, United States (Matt Abboud, Dayton, Maine; Raj Bhavsar, Houston, Texas; Michael Evans, Houston, Texas; Paul Hamm, Waukesha, Wis.; Brett McClure, Mill Creek, Wash.; Kris Zimmerman, Hubbard Woods, Ill.), 210.550. 2, China (Xing Aowei, Yang Jinjing, Liu Jinyu, Zhang Shangwu, You Yanan, Li Yufeng), 208.800. 3, Romania (Bogdan Boldojar, Constantin Covaci, Marian Dragulescu, Levente Fekete, Arpad Takacs, Florin Zimcencu), 202.850.
Team Event Results
Floor Exercise -- 1, China, 35.050. 2, USA, 34.800. 3, Romania, 32.500.
Pommel Horse -- 1, China, 36.350. 2, USA, 35.250. 3, Romania, 33.400.
Still Rings -- 1, Romania, 36.350. 2, USA, 33.900. 3, China, 32.050.
Vault -- 1, Romania, 36.200. 2, USA, 36.150. 3, China, 35.300.
Parallel Bars -- 1, USA, 35.250. 2, China, 35.100. 3, Romania, 32.550.
High Bar -- 1, USA, 35.200. 2, China, 34.950. 3, Romania, 32.550.