Jessica Davis Wins U.S. Olympic Trials-Rhythmic Gymnastics
posted on 06/26/1996

1996 Rhythmic National Champion Jessica Davis from San Anselmo, Calif., won the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials-Rhythmic Gymnastics held at the Wang Center in Boston, Mass, from June 25-26, and has been nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team. Davis is coached by Jan Exner who will serve as a member of the Olympic coaching staff for rhythmic gymnastics.


"I've watched the Olympic Games since probably 1988 or '84 and I've always wanted to go to the opening ceremonies," the 18-year-old Davis said. "I went into it tonight thinking, 'I can't relax.' I knew (going into her final routine, the ribbon) that I was ahead, but I decided what happened last night (an 8.55 ribbon routine) wasn't going to happen again. I knew I couldn't relax. I decided I would drive for everything and I tried to stay confident and just hit all my routines."

Natalie Lacuesta from Wilmette, Ill., who finished second all-around at the 1996 Rhythmic National Championships in Athens, Ga., May 31-June 2, scratched from the Olympic Trials competition due to a stress fracture in her left fibula. Her second day score from National Championships was doubled and used as her final score for the Olympic Trials (71.962). Tina Tharp from Jacksonville, Fla., finished third in the all-around competition (71.875).

The Rhythmic Olympic Group Team was also selected at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials-Rhythmic Gymnastics. In accordance with the selection procedures, the head coach, Rossitza Todorova, in consultation with the assistant coach, and one non-participating athlete representative, named the Olympic Team for Group Competition (6 athletes) and the non-competing USA Gymnastics Group athletes (2 athletes) at the U.S. Olympic Trials-Rhythmic Gymnastics.

Members of the team include: Aliane Baquerot from Manhattan, N.Y., Mandy James from Orange Park, Fla., Kate Nelson from Arlington Heights, Ill., Brandi Siegel from Miami, Fla., Challen Sievers from Downers Grove, Ill., and Becky Turner from Atlanta, Ga. Non-competing members include: Lori Fredrickson from Sandwich, Ill., and Virginia Ledgerwood from Chester, Va.

Todorova will also serve as a member of the Olympic Coaching staff for Rhythmic Gymnastics.


All athlete selections are subject to final approval of the U.S. Olympic Committee's Games Preparation and Services Committee.

Results from day 2

The rhythmic competition can be seen June 28, on ESPN from 7:30-9:00 p.m. and on ESPN 2 at 11:30 p.m.-1:00 a.m.


Results can also be found on USA Gymnastics' new web page. You can visit the site at http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/.