Strong performances by both the men and women in the Budget Rent a Car Gymnastics Invitational at the Miami Arena proved that the U.S. will be a strong contender in the upcoming World Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico, April 15-21.
The women’s team included Amanda Borden, Jaycie Phelps, Jennie Thompson, and Alecia Ingram. “The Budget Rent a Car Gymnastics Invitational was a great meet for Jaycie and me. We’ve been injured for a while and this was a great opportunity to let everyone know that we’re still out here,” stated Amanda. Although every routine performed by the women’s team was a hit, Steve Nunno gave a lot of the credit to the men’s team claiming, “Their strong base helped the team a tremendous amount due to the little mistakes the women made.”
The men’s team was comprised of John Roethlisberger, Kip Simons, Mihai Bagiu, Jarrod Hanks, Drew Durbin, and Jeff LaVallee. Despite Roethlisberger falling ill and scratching high bar, the men turned out great performances. Peter Kormann, the 1996 Men’s Olympic Team coach stated, “All of the men competed at least one new routine increasing the difficulty in preparation for the Olympic Games.” He commented on Bagiu’s high bar performance feeling confident that if he performs like he did tonight that he will medal at the Olympics.
Mark Sohn, pommel horse specialist, and Chris LaMorte, still rings specialist, performed after the competition in preparation for the World Championships. LaMorte was the NCAA rings champion in 1992 and 1993 and Sohn is only the second gymnast in NCAA history to win pommel horse event finals for four successive years at the NCAA Championships.
Competition results are as follows:
UB/BB/W FX /M FX/PH/SR/PB/HB/AA
*Individual medals were not awarded*