St. Louis – Elise Ray (Columbia, Md.) won her first all-around title at the John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships this evening scoring 76.987.

Second and third in the All-Around finals are Kristen Maloney (Pen Argyl, Pa.), 1998-99 National Champion, with 76.712 and Jamie Dantzscher (Palmdale, Calif.) with 75.700. Ray and Maloney were just tenths apart throughout the entire competition. Ray landed a new vault, a Yurchenko double full, and scored 9.425 to claim the title.

Qualifiers to the Olympic Team Trials include:
  1. Elise Ray (Columbia, Md.) 76.987
  2. Kristen Maloney (Pen Argyl, Pa.) 76.712
  3. Jamie Dantzscher (Palmdale, Calif.) 75.700
  4. Vanessa Atler (Canyon Country, Calif.) 75.412
  5. Alyssa Beckerman (Wyoming, Ohio) 75.312
  6. Amy Chow (San Jose, Calif.) 75.175
  7. Morgan White (Farfield, Ohio) 75.162
  8. Dominique Moceanu (Cincinnati, Ohio) 73.424
  9. Dominique Dawes (Silver Spring, Md.) 73.412
  10. Kendall Beck (San Antonio) 73.362
  11. Tasha Schwikert (Las Vegas, Nev.) 72.987
  12. Rachel Tidd (San Marcos, Calif.) 72.887.
Jeanette Antolin, Stephanie Carter, Shannon Miller, Jaycie Phelps and Amanda Stroud withdrew from the finals competition and are expected to file a petition in order to compete in next month’s Olympic Team Trials.


Elise Ray
On her performance
“Vault isn’t one of my strongest events. I was a little nervous, but I felt confident. I knew I wanted to be aggressive; I wanted to just go after it no matter what…I knew I had to do better than Thursday…These championships have been a real dream of mine, especially since these are my last championships.”

Kristen Maloney

On Elise Ray
“I always watch Elise, she’s in my group. I’m very happy for her, she’s come a long way, she’s had an awesome meet the last three days.”

Jamie Dantzscher

On finishing the competition on the balance beam
“Beam has always been the most challenging event for me, ending on the beam was scary; I was relieved when it was over… I’ve been working really hard, I just wanted to compete like I’ve been training.”

Vanessa Atler

“I was happy with my performance, everything seems to be falling into place…I need to work harder on everything…the competition will be even harder at the Trials… You need to be on constantly because the judges will even be watching during warm-ups.”
On the team’s improvement
“We’re a lot better than we were at World Championships. We’ve become so much closer, at the camps we’ve been able to watch each other to see who is working harder.”

Amy Chow

“I am pretty pleased with how I performed over the two nights, but I made a mistake on the bars tonight so there is room for improvement.”

Morgan White

“We have so many great athletes, and it really shows with the standings being so close.”

Dominique Moceanu

“I was really happy that I moved up two spots tonight. This is a good start, I’m happy to be here and competing again…I can’t ask for more.”

Bela Karolyi

“This was the most disputed National Championship ever…there was a big difference from the World’s, it was like the sky and the earth…I’m definitely looking for Shannon to come back and claim her place on the team, but it won’t be easy.”