© John Cheng

ST. LOUIS, Mo., June 10, 2012 – Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics, won the junior all-around title at the 2012 Visa Championships this afternoon at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. Priessman posted a 116.400, followed by Madison Desch of Lenexa, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express, in second with 115.850, and Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/Bannon’s Gymnastics, in third at 115.600. Competition continues later today with finals of senior women’s competition beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT.

"It feels great to win the Visa Championships," said Priessman. "Knowing that I started off with a fall on beam today obviously wasn’t the greatest feeling, but I used that as motivation on the other three events. This does a lot for my confidence, especially moving up to the seniors next year."

Priessman, who was leading coming into the finals, had a slow start, falling on her series on the balance beam, her first event, and scoring only a 12.600. She came back strong on floor exercise, getting the audience behind her and scoring a 14.550. She moved on to vault, one of her best events, and showed her high difficulty Yurchenko two-and-a-half, which scored a 15.650. She finished strong with a solid bar routine punctuated with her piked Jaeger and a layout full-twisting double-back dismount for a 14.400 and clinch the all-around title with a two-day all-around total of 116.400.

Desch finished second in the all-around with a two-day total of 115.850. She posted a 15.050 on floor exercise, followed by a 14.850 on vault, a 13.900 on the uneven bars and a 14.850 on the balance beam. Biles was third in the all-around at 115.600. Biles had the competition’s highest score on vault with her 16.000. She also scored a 14.050 for the balance beam, a 14.250 for the floor exercise, and a 13.900 for the uneven bars.

Biles won the vault title with her Yurchenko two-and-a-half twist, called an Amanar, earning a two-day total of 31.800.

On the uneven bars, Katelyn Ohashi of Plano, Texas/WOGA, showed impeccable form on her upgraded bar routine that included two Healys and an Ono to win the title with a score of 28.700.

Desch won the balance beam title with a score of 29.150, displaying a layout full twist series and a round-off, flip-flop, double tuck dismount.

Priessman wowed the crowd during her energetic floor routine with impressive tumbling including a double-twisting double back for her first pass and a full-twisting double back for her last pass to earn the floor title with a score of 29.800.

The 2012 Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics’ national championships, features the country’s best gymnasts vying for national titles and spots on the U.S. National Team in men’s and women’s gymnastics.

Single-session tickets for the Visa Championships range in price from $20 to $99.50, including facility fees. Ticket prices vary according to seat location and session. In addition, the multi-session tickets (men’s package that features both days of competition; all-day women’s package that features both junior and senior sessions for day one; and a women’s finals package that features the final day of competition for both junior and senior women) and all-session ticket packages are still available. Multi-session ticket packages for men’s and women’s gymnastics range from $60 to $125, and all-session ticket packages go from $105 to $325.

All tickets may be purchased by phone at 314-534-1111 or 800-293-5949; online at www.thechaifetzarena.com; or at the Chaifetz Arena Box Office. Group discounts are available by calling 314-977-5008. In recognition of Visa’s sponsorship of USA Gymnastics, USA Gymnastics is proud to accept only Visa at the 2012 Visa Championships, along with cash.

Television, webcast and YouTube coverage

Universal Sports television will broadcast the women’s senior competition live on June 8 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. Then, NBC Sports will broadcast live coverage of the final day of both the men’s competition, June 9 from 1-3:30 p.m. ET, and the women’s competition, June 10 from 4-6 p.m. ET. Competition in the first day of senior women’s competition will be simultaneously webcast on usagym.org courtesy of UniversalSports.com. To find a Universal Sports channel in a specific area, go to UniversalSports.com.

For all four junior men’s and women’s sessions and the first day of senior men’s competition, USA Gymnastics will provide complete coverage of the event on its official YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/usagymnasticsorg. Additionally, USA Gymnastics will post highlight clips from men’s and women’s podium training beginning on June 5.

Ways to follow

  • Online. The 2012 Visa Championships and its ancillary activities are easier than ever to follow online. Schedules and general information for both fan activities and the competition, including the official event program, start lists, live scoring and more are available at www.usagym.org/visa, which is easily viewable on smart phones and other digital devices.

  • Social Media. USA Gymnastics are connecting with fans on Facebook (facebook.com/USAGymnastics) and Twitter (@USAGym), providing live updates and exclusive content including videos and photos from the Visa Championships. Gymnastics fans can follow the action easily on Twitter by using the official hashtag of the 2012 Visa Championships, #visachamps.

  • Fan Activities. USA Gymnastics will be hosting a wide-range of fan activities on Laclede Avenue just outside Chaifetz Arena including gymnastics demonstrations and Painting at Chaifetz presented by Art of the Olympians. Fans can also gather for fun prior to competition on June 8, following competition June 9, and both between and after sessions on June 10 right outside Chaifetz Arena for the Visa Fan Fest to enjoy interviews, food, music and celebrate the Visa Championships.

Background information

  • Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University. Chaifetz Arena (TheChaifetzArena.com) is a 10,600-seat multipurpose venue on the campus of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Mo. Chaifetz Arena is the home to the Saint Louis University Billikens Men’s and Women’s Basketball and 150 concerts, family shows and special events per year. The $81-million arena opened in April 2008 and features a 20,000 square foot event floor, 14 suites, two party decks, two multi-purpose rooms, and a 4,700 square foot club on the event floor. Global Spectrum (global-spectrum.com) manages Chaifetz Arena, as well as more than 100 other public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 20-million people attended more than 11,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, Pa., Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks.

  • St. Louis Sports Commission. The St. Louis Sports Commission is the privately funded nonprofit organization that makes St. Louis a better place to live, visit, work and play through sports. Its efforts focus on attracting, creating and managing major sporting events for the St. Louis region – and contributing to its quality of life. Since its inception in 1989, the organization has produced a diverse lineup of high-profile events that excite area sports fans, generate revenue for the region and garner positive exposure for St. Louis. The Sports Commission hosted the Visa Championships in 2000 and has played integral roles in other recent Olympic events staged in St. Louis. A catalyst for civic benefit, economic development and charitable good, the Sports Commission has been recognized as a leader in its industry and its community.