INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 20, 2005 – 2004 Olympic team silver-medalist Brett McClure of Mill Creek, Wash., is one of six Men’s National Team members competing in the 2005 U.S. Men’s Qualifier, June 25, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The U.S. Qualifier, which has two sessions and a 76-man field, is the final opportunity for gymnasts to advance to the 2005 Visa Championships, Aug. 10-13, in Indianapolis.
“This event is very important to the country’s top male gymnasts,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “The U.S. Qualifier is their avenue to the Visa Championships, which is the precursor for selection to the national team and participation in this year’s World Championships. For fans, it is a great opportunity to see our top athletes and rising stars.”
In addition to McClure, the other national team members who are competing are: Guillermo Alvarez of Denver, Colo.; Alexander Artemev of Morrison, Colo.; David Durante of Garwood, N.J.; Jonathan Horton of Houston, Texas; Todd Thornton of Houston, Texas; and Sean Townsend of Dallas. 2005 Junior Olympic champion and 2004 junior national champion Kyson Bunthuwong of El Cerrito, Calif., is also in the field.
Gymnasts may advance to the Visa Championships from the U.S. Qualifier through several different options, including the top seven all-around gymnasts in the standings; the top three finishers in each event; and/or the top finishers in a combination of two, three, four and five events. Those who qualify for the Visa Championships are expected to be announced following the conclusion of the competition.
Members of the current Men’s National Team have already qualified for the Visa Championships, but use the U.S. Qualifier as an important part of their preparation.
In addition to his Olympic silver medal, McClure, who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC), also earned a team silver medal at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships. He was also the pommel horse champion and the all-around silver medalist at the 2004 Visa Championships. He has been on the men’s national team for six years.
Townsend earned national titles in the parallel bars in 2001-02 and all-around in 2001, as well as winning the parallel bars crown and the team silver medal at the 2001 World Championships. A member of the 2000 Olympic Team, Townsend has been on the national men’s team for seven years.
Artemev, a member of the men’s national team for two years, won the pommel horse and placed second in floor exercise at the 2005 American Cup. He was the 2004 national parallel bars champion.
Durante, who also trains at the USOTC, is a three-year member of the national team and competed on the team that won the gold medal at the 2004 Stella Zakharova Cup in Kiev, Ukraine. Earlier this year, he won the all-around title at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas. Thornton, a four-year member of the Men’s National Team, won the high bar and placed second in the team competition at the 2004 Jurassic Classic in Calgary. Alvarez, who is completing his first year on the national team, placed second in the all-around, pommel horse and vault at the 2005 Winter Cup Challenge.
The one-day event’s sessions are at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and good for both sessions. Children, ages four and under, are admitted free. Tickets are available on the day of competition.
The Visa Championship is gymnastics’ national championship, held at Conseco Fieldhouse and the Indiana Convention Center. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com.
List of competitors for the June 25 U.S. Qualifier
Guillermo Alvarez, Gopher Gymnastics, Minneapolis, Minn.
Shaun Antonnio, Gold Cup Gymnastics, Rio Rancho, N.M.
Alexander Artemev, 5280 Gymnastics, Morrison, Colo.
Ari Barrera, Universal Gymnastics, Miami, Fla.
Jake Bateman, Premier Athletics, Kingsport, Tenn.
Mike Behles, Bartlett Gymnastics, Wayne, Ill.
Ted Brown, University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill.
DJ Bucher, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Jonathan Buese, Sun Country Gymnastics, Gainesville, Fla.
Kyle Bunthuwong, Golden Bear Gymnastics, El Cerrito, Calif.
Kyson Bunthuwong, Golden Bear Gymnastics, El Cerrito, Calif.
Colin Christ, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.
Geoffrey Corrigan, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Jeff Crockett, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
Bear Danley, Buffalo Grove Gymnastics, Wheeling, Ill.
Cameron Deer, Indy School of Gymnastics, Carmel, Ind.
Daniel Diaz-Luong, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Johann Donawa, Universal Gymnastics, Delray Beach, Fla.
David Durante, USOTC, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Ron Ferris, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
Aaron Fortunato, West Side Gymnastics, Bedford, Ohio
Sean Golden, HGA/GymMasters, Houston, Texas
Matthew Greenfield, Temple University Boy’s Gymnastics, Villanova, Pa.
Eric Haeussler, San Mateo Gymnastics, Redwood City, Calif.
Joseph Hagerty, USOTC, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Daniel Hawk, Las Vegas Flyers, Las Vegas, Nev.
Derek Helsby, Penn State University, University Park, Pa.
Jamie Henderson, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.
Eric Hergenrader, World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, Plano, Texas
Jeremiah Hodges, Gemini Gymnastics, Palm Harbor, Fla.
Jonathan Horton, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.
Nicholas Iles, Mass Gym Center, Hudson, Mass.
Glenn Ishino, SCATS HB, Santa Ana, Calif.
Jeff Johnson, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
Thomas Kelley, Buffalo Grove Gymnastics, Libertyville, Ill.
Benjamin Ketelsen, Hocki