INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Aug. 10, 2005 – Todd Thornton of Pearland, Texas/Team Chevron, and David Sender of Arlington Heights, Ill./Stanford University, lead the men’s all-around after the first day of competition at the 2005 Visa Championships at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.

Tonight’s scores count 50 percent toward the total all-around and event scores used to determine national champions, which will be named following the conclusion of the men’s finals on Friday night.
Thornton moved past Sender in the final rotation to take over the lead going into the final competition on Friday. Thornton’s 8.600 on rings took his all-around score to 52.900, just edging out Sender at 52.850. David Durante of Garwood, N.J./Team Chevron, is currently third, 51.150.
“Today was getting through easier routines,” said Thornton, in reference to his competitive strategy for the first day of nationals. “The thought was to see where I’m at, then decide what I’m going to do on Friday.”
Sender somewhat surprised himself with his second-place finish. In 2004, Sender won an individual title on vault, but finished 14th all-around. This year, he led the field until the final rotation. As a strong all-around athlete, Sender’s scores were among the top five in four of the six events.
“I am not sure I expected to do this well, but I definitely knew the opportunity was there,” Sender said. “I was focusing on going out there and hitting each individual event … I am surprised a little bit.”
Durante, despite a shaky start, climbed to third place with strong scores on rings, 9.050, and vault, 9.400.
“I know I have one day left and it won’t be the same on Friday,” Durante said. “I’ll definitely be a different person out there.”
The senior men’s final is Friday at 7 p.m. Tomorrow’s events feature the women, with the junior preliminary at 1 p.m. and the senior’s at 7 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, over the phone at 317-239-5151 or at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.