USA Claims Team All-Around Gold in Rhythmic Competition
posted on 09/26/1997

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Using a strong performance in the ball event, the United States claimed the gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics team competition at the 1997 Junior Pacific Alliance Championships, held in the Cadet Field House at the U.S. Air Force Academy here Friday morning.

Led by a second-place performance from Jessica Howard (Jacksonville, Fla.), all three USA gymnasts placed in the top eight in ball, qualifying for Saturday's individual event finals.

The Americans held off a strong challenge from Japan, which ended the competition with a score of 100.925 to USA's 100.950. Canada was third with a 100.763.

The USA has at least two athletes in each of Saturday's four individual event finals. Danielle Lord (Tualatin, Ore.) qualified in all four events. She will be joined by Howard and Heilie Isaacs (Mt. Prospect, Ill.) in ball, while Howard earned a finals berth in ribbon Friday. On Thursday, Isaacs joined Lord in the rope finals, while Howard earned a second USA position in the hoop finals.

The USA just missed medaling in the individual all-around, where the gold was claimed by Australia's Tanya Vahala with a score of 34.950. Rena Arino of Japan was second with a 34.225, while Mariel Cruz earned the bronze with a 34.162. Lord placed fourth with a 33.950, Howard was fifth at 33.826 and Isaacs was ninth, posting a 33.176.

In group competition, the United States team of Erin Jeffress (Rockville, Md.), Victoria Jones (Rockville, Md.), Amy Ng (Rockville, Md.) and Helen Sigalov (Chevy Chase, Md.) took the bronze medal with a score of 16.283. Japan won by posting a 17.404; Canada claimed the silver medal with a 16.463.

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Junior Pacific Alliance Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships

Cadet Field House, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sept. 26, 1997

All-Around Final Standings

1, Tanya Vahala, Australia, 34.950. 2, Rena Arino, Japan, 34.225. 3, Mariel Cruz, Canada, 34.162. 4, Danielle Lord, Tualatin, Ore., 33.950. 5, Jessica Howard, Jacksonville, Fla., 33.826. 6, Gaylee Saliba, Canada, 33.751. 7, Makiko Kitazawa, Japan, 33.464. 8, Sae Takahashi, Japan, 33.238. 9, Heilie Isaacs, Mt. Prospect, Ill., 33.176. 10, Alissa Goldham, Canada, 32.851. 11, Katie Peterson, Australia, 32.550. 12, Alicia Polmanteer, Australia, 32.050. 13, Elizabeth Martinez, Mexico, 32.013. 14, Yun Chia-Hui, Chinese Taipei, 30.814. 15, Gabriela Esquivel, Costa Rica, 26.875

Team All-Around Final Standings

1, United States (Lord, Howard, Isaacs), 100.950. 2, Japan, 100.925. 3, Canada, 100.763. 4, Australia, 99.550.

Group Competition Final Standings

1, Japan, 17.404. 2, Canada, 16.463. 3, United States (Erin Jeffress, Rockville, Md.; Victoria Jones, Rockville, Md.; Amy Ng, Rockville, Md., and Helen Sigalov, Chevy Chase, Md.), 16.283. 3, Canada, 8.192.

Ball (top eight advance to individual finals Saturday)

1, Cruz, Canada, 8.675. 2, Howard, Jacksonville, Fla., 8.638. 3, Arino, Japan, 8.625. 4, Vahala, Australia, 8.475. 5, Kitazawa, Japan, 8.463. 6, Isaacs, Mt. Prospect, Ill., 8.450. 7, Lord, Tualatin, Ore., 8.425. 8, Peterson, Australia, 8.350. 9, Saliba, Canada, 8.300. 10, Martinez, Mexico, 8.225. 11, Goldham, Canada, 8.163. 12, Polmanteer, Australia, 8.100. 13, Takahashi, Japan, 8.000. 14, Yun, Chinese Taipei, 7.788. 15, Esquivel, Costa Rica, 6.950.

Ribbon (top eight advance to individual finals Saturday)

1, Vahala, Australia, 8.850. 2, Arino, Japan, 8.625. 3, Saliba, Canada, 8.563. 4, Howard, Jacksonville, Fla., 8.500. 5, Lord, Tualatin, Ore., 8.475. 6, Kitazawa, Japan, 8.450. 7, Cruz, Canada, 8.425. 8, Takahashi, Japan, 8.388. 9, Goldham, Canada, 8.375. 10, Peterson, Australia, 8.225. 11, Polmanteer, Australia, 8.150. 12, Isaacs, Mt. Prospect, Ill., 8.113. 13, Martinez, Mexico, 8.000. 14, Yun, Chinese Taipei, 7.463. 15, Esquivel, Costa Rica, 6.625.