INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Aug. 12, 2005 – Todd Thornton of Pearland, Texas/Team Chevron, won his first national all-around title tonight at the 2005 Visa Championships contested at Conseco Fieldhouse. David Sender of Arlington Heights, Ill./Stanford University, finished second.
Thornton, who led after the first day of competition, again earned the night’s highest all-around score, 54.000, for a combined all-around total of 106.900 points. Tonight’s final scores were combined with Wednesday’s preliminary scores. Thornton, who was the 2001 world team alternate, earned an automatic 2005 World Championships Team berth. He was more than one full p
“This is the pinnacle of my career right now,” said Thornton, who finished fourth last year. “It’s the best thing I’ve done yet.”
Sender stayed consistent through the entire event. His highest score, 9.625, came in the third rotation on his strongest event, vault. Sender hit clean routines on parallel bars and high bar before putting up a 9.075 on floor in the final rotation to clinch second place with 105.500. In 2004, Sender finished 14th in the all-around and took the vault title.
“I’m still in a little bit of disbelief,” Sender said. “It was pretty exciting to go out there and do as well as I did.”
David Durante, of Garwood, N.J./Team Chevron, finished third with 105.200 points.
“I have always come in as more of the underdog, and this time was my chance to show that I belong up top,” Durante said. “Finishing in the top three is nice, but it is not what I wanted. This makes me want to work even harder. I am going to get back into the gym and prove myself at the world camp.”
Event champions included Guillermo Alvarez of Denver, Colo./Team Chevron on floor, Yewki Tomita of Tuscon, Ariz./Team Chevron on pommel horse, Sean Golden of Houston, Texas/Houston Gymnastics Academy on rings and vault, D.J. Bucher of Mason, Ohio/The Ohio State University on parallel bars, and Justin Spring of Burke, Va./University of Illinois on high bar.
In addition to Thornton and Sender, six athletes were named to the 2005 U.S. National Team: Golden, Spring, Durante, Alvarez, Tomita and Joseph Hagerty of Albuquerque, N.M./USOTC. Six additional athletes will be added to the national team later.
Tomorrow’s events feature the women, with the junior final at 1 p.m. and the seniors at 6 p.m. Action from Thursday’s and Saturday’s sessions will be shown on NBC during prime time on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14, respectively. All times listed are local Indianapolis time.
The Visa Championships include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics is held at Conseco Fieldhouse, with rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics staged at the Indiana Convention Center.
Tickets for the 2005 Visa Championships may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, over the phone at 317-239-5151 or at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.