U.S. garners six medals at 2006 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championshps
posted on 03/14/2006
HONOLULU, Hawaii – The USA claimed a total of six medals, including three gold, on the second of three days of competition at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Gymnastics Championships in Honolulu, Hawaii. The U.S. Rhythmic Gymnastics Team won both the junior and senior team titles, and junior Rachel Marmer of Hollywood, Calif., won her second consecutive junior all-around rhythmic title. The U.S. Junior Men’s Team was second in the team competition, and Tim Gentry of Plano, Texas, was second in the junior men’s all-around. Rhythmic gymnastics
Led by Olga Karmansky of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md., who finished fourth and fifth in the all-around, the U.S. Rhythmic Team, which also included Aline Bakchajian of Woodland Hills, Calif., and Brenann Stacker of Lincolnshire, Ill., captured the senior team title, finishing ahead of China and Canada. Mexico’s Cynthia Valdez won the all-around title. For the individual event finals on Saturday, Karmansky qualified for the rope, clubs and ribbon finals; Stacker qualified for clubs and ribbon; Zetlin for the rope final; and Bakchajian qualified for the ball final.

In the junior division, Marmer won the all-around competition and Marlee Shape of Buffalo Grove Ill., finished third. The U.S. Junior Team, which also included Delaney Lonergan of Venice, Calif., and Reba Daniels of Cochranville, Pa., won the team title. Marmer and Shape qualified for all four event finals held on Saturday.

Junior men’s artistic gymnastics

Led by Gentry, who was second in the all-around, the U.S. Junior Men’s Team finished second to Japan in the team competition, scoring 257.000 points to Japan’s 262.400 points. Australia finished third with 244.700 points.

Though the U.S. found itself in fourth place after the first rotation, the Americans fought back to second place after an impressive rings rotation with the best rings score of the session, 44.150. Philip Onorato of Plano, Texas, posted the highest score of 15.200, and U.S. athletes earned four of the top five scores to move into second. The Americans took the lead from Japan in the third rotation on vault, posting another event-high score, 48.150 points. This wasn’t enough to hold off the Japanese team, which posted a solid vault score in the fifth rotation and an event-high score on parallel bars in the final rotation to clinch the team title. Japan’s Koji Yamamuro won the all-around with 87.500 points, followed by Gentry’s 86.450 points.

“This is the biggest meet I’ve been in,” Gentry said. “It feels great to do well. Better than I could have hoped for.”

Gentry qualified for floor, pommel horse, rings, and high bar finals. Onorato earned the sixth-highest all-around score and qualified for rings and vault finals. Ryan Lieberman of Lake Forest, Ill., qualified on parallel bars, and Thomas Kelley of Libertyville, Ill., qualified for the vault final. Event finals are contested on Saturday.

Senior men’s artistic gymnastics

Heading into the sixth rotation, Canada was 1.40 points ahead of the United States and had a comfortable 4.85-point margin over Japan in men’s team standings at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships. The Japanese capitalized on finishing the competition on the vault, a high-scoring event. In a dramatic, come-from-behind fashion, Japan edged out Canada for the team title by two-tenths of a point, 268.800 points to 268.600. China, in a comeback of its own, jumped from fourth to third with the highest vault score of the day, 49.200 points. The Americans, in second place going into the last rotation, posted a 43.900 score on floor in the final rotation, slipping to fourth with 267.550 points.

“We couldn’t put one event together for the three-up, three-count format,” 2004 Olympic Silver-Medalist Brett McClure of Mill Creek, Wash., said. “We have the potential and we’ll learn from this.”

China’s Lu Bo won the all-around with 91.050 points, followed by teammate and 2001 World Champion Feng Jing, who scored 90.450 points. Nathan Gafuik of Canada finished third with 90.050 points. McClure was the top American, earning the sixth-best score, 89.250 points.

All four Americans qualified for Saturday’s event finals. David Durante of Garwood, N.J., qualified on parallel bars and high bar; McClure qualified on pommel horse; David Sender of Arlington, Ill. qualified on floor, vault and parallel bars; and Guillermo Alvarez of Denver qualified on rings.


Shanelle Landry and Chris Estrada, both from Lafayette, La., advanced to the senior women’s and men’s trampoline finals, respectively. Erin Blanchard of Youngsville, La., and Nani Vercruyssen of Honolulu advanced to Saturday’s junior women’s trampoline final in first and fourth place, respectively. In the junior men’s division, Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., and Phillip Devine of Winnebago, Ill., both advanced.

Tickets are $15 and $30 for artistic gymnastics, with all-session packages for $45 or $75. For rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline, tickets are $15. Tickets may be purchased at the Neal Blaisdell Center Box Office, ticketmaster.com or by calling 877-750-4400 (charge-by-phone). Applicable service fees may apply. NBC Sports is broadcasting action from the Pacific Alliance Championships on April 16 at 4 p.m. ET.

This year’s Pacific Alliance Championships is locally presented by Outrigger Hotels & Resorts and OHANA Hotels & Resorts and sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Chevron and KHNL/Channel 8 News. A Tom Moffatt Production, Inc., is a promotional partner for the event.