Senior all-around medalists
© Greg Long

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., July 23, 2011 — At the UIC Pavilion, located on the University of Illinois – Chicago campus, Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass., and Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif., won the senior and junior all-around titles, respectively, at the 2011 CoverGirl Classic, the final qualifying event for women’s gymnastics for the 2011 Visa Championships.

In the senior all-around, Raisman won the title with her 57.250 total. 2008 Olympic team silver-medalist Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis., the 2005 World all-around and 2003 World uneven bars champion, made a solid return to competition earning a total 56.950 to finish in second place. Sabrina Vega of Carmel, N.Y., was third at 56.850.

"I’m so happy that I did my Yurchenko 2.5 vault today," said Raisman, who was a member of the 2010 World Championships silver-medal team. "I feel more relaxed. I got the nerves out on bars, and by the end of the meet, I wasn’t nervous anymore."

2010 World vault champion Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., competed on three events for the first time since her comeback. She won the vault at 15.100 and also tied for first with Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Geddert’s Twistars, on balance beam with a 15.200. Her first floor exercise since her comeback yielded a 13.900 and third place.

Wieber, the 2011 AT&T American Cup champion, was first on the uneven bars at 15.200, followed by Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow’s Gymnastics, at 14.950. Bridgette Caquatto of Naperville, Ill./Legacy Elite, rounded out the top three at 14.900.

Raisman, who was third on beam, had the top score for the floor exercise at 14.700. Raisman’s first pass was a 1.5 twist to double Arabian, punch front. Vega of Dynamic Gymnastics was second at 14.250.

Memmel, who trains and M&M Gymnastics, earned a 13.650 for her floor routine that included an amazing piked double Arabian in her first tumbling pass. Her balance beam, with a front half and standing Arabian, earned a 14.700. Memmel earned a 14.200 for her Yurchenko full vault, and earned a 14.400 on the uneven bars.

2008 Olympic balance beam gold medalist Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Chow’s Gymnastics, made the first step in her competitive return after a hiatus following the 2008 Olympic Games, where she also brought home three silver medals (team, all-around and floor). She competed on two events, earning a 13.550 on the uneven bars and a 13.300 on the balance beam. Her bars routine included both a Gienger and Yaeger, but unfortunately she touched her hand to the ground on her full twisting double layout dismount. On beam, Johnson ended with a nice double pike dismount. Based on her performances, Johnson’s petition to compete in the 2011 Visa Championships was accepted.

In the junior division, Ross, who trains at Gym Max, scored a 58.850 to win the title. Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, took second in the all-around with a score of 58.050. Katelyn Ohashi of Plano, Texas/WOGA, was third with a 57.950.

On vault, both Priessman and Ross competed a Yurchenko 2.5, scoring a 15.450 and 15.250, respectively, for first and second place. Madison Desch of Lenexa, Kan./GAGE, and Brenna Dowell of Odessa, Mo./GAGE, both executed a Yurchenko double full and tied for third at 14.700. Ross tied with Ohashi on bars with a score of 15.000. Texas Dreams Veronica Hults of Allen, Texas, won beam with a score of 15.050. Ohashi, who took second on beam despite a fall, scored 14.950 for a routine packed with difficulty including a flip flop, flip flop layout full twist and a full twisting double back dismount. On floor, Sarah Finnegan of St. Louis/GAGE, who was third on beam, won the floor title with her 14.500. Finnegan did a nice piked full twisting double back. Priessman was second with a 14.150 and showed a double twisting double tuck mount. Ross was third at 13.950, showing a nice double Arabian mount to a jump.

USA Gymnastics partnered with World Sport Chicago for the CoverGirl Classic. The two organizations worked together on the 2009 American Cup, the 2009-10 Chicago Cup and the 2010 CoverGirl Classic. CoverGirl sponsored the event for the third straight year.

The 2011 Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics’ national championships, are Aug. 17-20 in Saint Paul, Minn. The U.S. champions for men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics are determined at the Visa Championships, as well as the national teams. Artistic gymnastics will be held at Excel Energy Center, and rhythmic gymnastics is set for Roy Wilkins Auditorium at Saint Paul RiverCentre. The USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show, held in conjunction with the Visa Championships, also will be staged at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. For complete information on the Visa Championships, log on to

Background information

UIC Pavilion: Located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago–just minutes from Downtown. The UIC Pavilion is one of the Midwest’s finest arenas. In its brief history, it has hosted many special or one-of-a-kind programs. The UIC Pavilion hosts concerts, UIC sports, boxing, meetings, festivals, and corporate, civic, and cultural events. The UIC Pavilion is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena, located at 525 S. Racine Street Chicago IL, 60607.

World Sport Chicago: World Sport Chicago, the legacy of Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid, believes that sport has the power to transform lives and is dedicated to helping children in Chicago find a sport to meet their interests and abilities. The organization promotes the Olympic ideals of fitness, education and well-being by working with partner organizations to launch or expand sport programs for kids. WSC is working to introduce Chicago’s youth to the fun and benefit of sports and the ideals of fair play, teamwork, respect and leadership.