ARACAJU, Brazil, March 28, 2014 (updated) – The USA is leading the team standings after three of six events at the 2014 Junior Pan American Gymnastics Championships at the Constancio Vieira Sports Gym in Aracaju, Brazil. The USA’s Marty Strech of Fountain Valley, Calif./Azarian U.S. Gymnastics Training Center, sits atop the all-around standings at the mid-point, and all four of the U.S. gymnasts are currently ranked in the top nine. The all-around and team competition wraps up on Saturday, March 29, with event finals on March 30.
Team USA racked up 122.202 points to lead the team rankings after three events. Brazil is second at 117.500, and Canada rounds out the top three at 116.933. The USA’s team totals for each event were: 40.034, floor exercise; 41.134, pommel horse; and 41.034, still rings.
In the all-around, Strech posted a 41.734 for the first three events and the top spot. Brazil’s Lucas Cardoso is in second at 40.500, followed by Alec Yoder of Indianapolis, Ind./InterActive Academy, in third with 40.467. Matthew Wenske of Houston/Cypress Academy of Gymnastics, tallied a 38.467 for fifth, and Davis Grooms of Katy, Texas/Champions Gymnastics, is ninth at 38.067.
The individual event scores for the U.S. gymnasts are: Strech Acaa 14.067 for floor exercise, 13.667 for pommel horse and 14.000 for still rings; Yoder Acaa 12.800 for floor, 14.000 for pommel horse and 13.667 for rings; Wenske Acaa 13.167 for floor, 11.933 for pommel horse and 13.367 for rings; and Grooms Acaa 12.500 for floor, 13.467 for pommel horse and 12.100 for rings.
Strech and Yoder qualified to event finals for pommel horse and rings, and Strech and Wenske advanced to the finals for floor.
The Junior Pan Am Championships is the Americas qualifier to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Eight men and nine women will represent the Americas in artistic gymnastics at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games Aug. 16-28 in Nanjing, China. Men must be 16-17 years old (born in 1997-98), and women must be 15 years old (born in 1999). Berths will be determined based on all-around rankings at the event, with a maximum of one per country. These qualifications are for the country not a specific athlete, and each country has its own selection procedures for naming its Youth Olympic Games participant.
If the USA qualifies for the Youth Olympic Games, eligible gymnasts must compete in both the Winter Cup Challenge (was held in February) and the 2014 U.S. Junior Olympic Championships, May 7-11 in Long Beach, Calif. In addition to performances at the two events, the Youth Olympic Games Selection Committee will also consider a number of factors, including the D (difficulty/start value) and E (execution) scores, and past domestic and international experience.