NEW YORK – World all-around silver medalist Carly Patterson, and World all-around finalist Jason Gatson earned all-around gold and $10,000 in prize money on Saturday by winning the all-around titles at the 2004 Visa American Cup at Madison Square Garden.
Patterson swept all four events, picking up an additional $1,000 per event, in earning her second consecutive Visa American Cup title. Patterson, bolstered by a 9.850 on beam and 9.837 on floor, finished with a 38.949.
“I was really excited to do my double Arabian in my beam again – to get that back in my program and I did that really well,” Patterson said. “I was also really proud of my floor routine – I think that was the best floor I’ve ever done. I was nervous for this competition but I thought I’d prepared really well. My coach said, ‘You can do it.’ And I believed in myself and said that I could do it.”
USA’s Courtney McCool turned out to be the pleasant surprise of the day, sticking her routines for a steady mark of 38.299 and the silver. World double-gold medalist Chellsie Memmel finished third at 38.074.
Gatson stood in third place after four rotations, but made up significant ground on his strongest event, the parallel bars, scoring a 9.775. When he nailed his high bar routine for a 9.650, and leader Paul Hamm took a fall, Gatson slipped through for the all-around gold.
“I was a little nervous starting out. I want to get vault and high bar a little better,” Gatson said. “After struggling with floor to start off the day, I did well on the parallel bars and high bar and everything worked out.”
Romania’s Marian Dragulescu struggled on rings but performed consistently well on all other events, including a standout 9.875 on vault, to take silver at 56.700. Hamm, the reigning world all-around champion, finished third with a final mark of 56.450.
The day’s competition got off to a sullen start when defending Visa American Cup champion Blaine Wilson sustained a torn left biceps during his still rings routine. Wilson will travel to Birmingham, Ala. to visit Dr. Jim Andrews for an MRI on Sunday and possible surgery. A confident Wilson remarked, “There was no doubt that I was going to win this meet. I’ll see you in Greece.”