ARACAJU, Brazil, Nov. 7, 2009 – The Junior U.S. Women’s Team won the team gold medal and swept the all-around at the 2009 Junior Pan American Championships Saturday in Aracaju, Brazil, the Americas qualifier for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, Aug. 10-26, in Singapore. All four women advanced to the individual event finals on Sunday.

With a score of 171.55, the U.S. junior women’s team convincingly won the team gold medal. Canada earned the silver medal with 156.95. Host country Brazil finished with a score of 154.25 and the bronze medal.

2009 U.S. junior champion Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif., won the all-around (57.400) flanked by teammates Sabrina Vega of Carmel, N.Y., and Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass., who finished second (56.250) and third (56.200), respectively. Bridgette Caquatto of Naperville, Ill., finished just off the podium in fourth.

Ross, who trains at GymMax, qualified for the uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise finals. Caquatto, who trains at Naperville Gymnastics Club, qualified for the vault final. Dynamic Gymnastics’ Vega, will join Ross on uneven bars and balance beam. Raisman, who trains at Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, will compete on vault and floor exercise.

In addition to the four U.S. women, the U.S. men competing in the individual event finals are: C.J. Maestas of Corrales, N.M./Gold Cup Gymnastics, on pommel horse, still rings, horizontal bar, floor exercise and parallel bars; Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./SCATS, on floor, vault and parallel bars ; and Jake Martin of Oviedo, Fla./Orlando Metro on pommel horse.

The Junior Pan American Championships is the continental qualifier for North, South and Central America for the Youth Olympic Games. Six women and five men, with a maximum of one spot per country, will qualify from the event for the Youth Olympics. The gymnasts competing at the Pan American Championships will be qualifying their country to compete in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. The Junior Pan Am Championships is held every two years, with the last one held in 2007.

Junior Pan American Championships
Aracaju, Brazil
November 7, 2009

Team Results
1. USA, 171.550
2. Canada, 156.950
3. Brazil, 154.250

All-around results
1. Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, Calif./GymMax, 57.400
2. Sabrina Vega, Carmel, N.Y./ Dynamic Gymnastics, 56.250
3. Alexandra Raisman, Needham, Mass./ Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, 56.200
4. Bridgette Caquatto, Naperville, Ill./Naperville Gymnastics Club, 55.875