ST. LOUIS, Mo., June 7, 2012 – Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Ultimate Gymnastics Inc. (16-18), and Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners (14-15), lead the junior men’s all-around with scores of 86.200 and 84.850, respectively, after the first day of the junior competition at the 2012 Visa Championships at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo. The men’s competition continues with the senior men’s competition at 6:30 p.m. CT.
"It felt like I got my rhythm going today," said Whittenburg. "I want to stay calm and go out and do my best."
"It’s really great to be leading the standings," Kimble said. "It gives me comfort for day two, but not too much because I don’t want to ease up. I want to hit all six again on day two."
The second day of men’s junior competition begins Saturday at 6:00 p.m. The scores from both days will be added together to determine the all-around rankings and national champions.
Whittenburg started on floor exercise, where he scored a 14.450, and then moved to pommel horse, where he posted a 13.100. He had the top score on still rings, 14.700. He tied Chandler Eggleston of Jamestown, N.C./High Point Gymnastics Academy, for the top score on vault of 16.050. Eggleston competed a Yurchenko 2.5 vault, and Whittenburg performed a front handspring double front. Whittenburg wrapped up his day on parallel bars and high bar with scores of 14.150 and 13.750, respectively.
Kimble started on pommel horse with a score of 13.200, but moved into the lead with a stellar rings routine that scored a 14.000 and was the best score for this event. He also tied for the top score on vault (15.600) with Hunter Justus of Cypress, Texas/Cypress Academy of Gymnastics. Kimble had the also had the highest score on high bar (13.500). He also tied for the top honors on parallel bars (14.350) with Yul Moldauer of Arvada, Colo./5280 Gymnastics. On vault Kimble performed a handspring double front, while on parallel bars he executed a unique dismount, double front with a half out. He wrapped up his lead on floor mounting with a piked double front and dismounting with a double layout to score a 14.200.
Event leaders after the first day of competition for the 16-18 age group: Eggleston, floor exercise, 14.600; Timothy Wang of Riverside, Calif./South Coast Gymnastics, 14.200, pommel horse; Wittenburg, still rings, 14.700; Wittenburg and Eggleston, vault, 16.050; Melton, parallel bars, 14.550, and high bar, 13.950.
Event leaders after the first day of competition for the 14-15 age group: Colin Van Wicklen of Magnolia, Texas/Cypress Academy of Gymnastics, floor exercise, 14.700; David Jessen of East Greenwich, RI/Rhode Island Sports Elite, pommel horse, 13.700; and Kimble on rings, parallel bars and high bar with scores of 14.000, 14.350 and 13.500, respectively. Kimble and Justus tied for the lead on vault with a score of 15.600.
The 2012 Visa Championships, USA Gymnastics’ national championships, features the country’s best gymnasts vying for national titles and spots on the U.S. National Team in men’s and women’s gymnastics.
Single-session tickets for the Visa Championships range in price from $20 to $99.50, including facility fees. Ticket prices vary according to seat location and session. In addition, the multi-session tickets (men’s package that features both days of competition; all-day women’s package that features both junior and senior sessions for day one; and a women’s finals package that features the final day of competition for both junior and senior women) and all-session ticket packages are still available. Multi-session ticket packages for men’s and women’s gymnastics range from $60 to $125, and all-session ticket packages go from $105 to $325.
All tickets may be purchased by phone at 314-534-1111 or 800-293-5949; online at www.thechaifetzarena.com; or at the Chaifetz Arena Box Office. Group discounts are available by calling 314-977-5008. In recognition of Visa’s sponsorship of USA Gymnastics, USA Gymnastics is proud to accept only Visa at the 2012 Visa Championships, along with cash.
Universal Sports television will broadcast the women’s senior competition live on June 8 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. Then, NBC Sports will broadcast live coverage of the final day of both the men’s competition, June 9 from 1-3:30 p.m. ET, and the women’s competition, June 10 from 4-6 p.m. ET. Competition in the first day of senior women’s competition will be simultaneously webcast on usagym.org courtesy of UniversalSports.com. To find a Universal Sports channel in a specific area, go to UniversalSports.com.
For all four junior men’s and women’s sessions and the first day of senior men’s competition, USA Gymnastics will provide complete coverage of the event on its official YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/usagymnasticsorg. Additionally, USA Gymnastics will post highlight clips from men’s and women’s podium training beginning on June 5.
Online. The 2012 Visa Championships and its ancillary activities are easier than ever to follow online. Schedules and general information for both fan activities and the competition, including the official event program, start lists, live scoring and more are available at www.usagym.org/visa, which is easily viewable on smart phones and other digital devices.
Social Media. USA Gymnastics are connecting with fans on Facebook (facebook.com/USAGymnastics) and Twitter (@USAGym), providing live updates and exclusive content including videos and photos from the Visa Championships. Gymnastics fans can follow the action easily on Twitter by using the official hashtag of the 2012 Visa Championships, #visachamps.
Fan Activities. USA Gymnastics will be hosting a wide-range of fan activities on Laclede Avenue just outside Chaifetz Arena including gymnastics demonstrations and Painting at Chaifetz presented by Art of the Olympians. Fans can also gather for fun prior to competition on June 8, following competition June 9, and both between and after sessions on June 10 right outside Chaifetz Arena for the Visa Fan Fest to enjoy interviews, food, music and celebrate the Visa Championships.
Chaifetz Arena at Saint Louis University. Chaifetz Arena (TheChaifetzArena.com) is a 10,600-seat multipurpose venue on the campus of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Mo. Chaifetz Arena is the home to the Saint Louis University Billikens Men’s and Women’s Basketball and 150 concerts, family shows and special events per year. The $81-million arena opened in April 2008 and features a 20,000 square foot event floor, 14 suites, two party decks, two multi-purpose rooms, and a 4,700 square foot club on the event floor. Global Spectrum (global-spectrum.com) manages Chaifetz Arena, as well as more than 100 other public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 20-million people attended more than 11,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, Pa., Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks.
St. Louis Sports Commission. The St. Louis Sports Commission is the privately funded nonprofit organization that makes St. Louis a better place to live, visit, work and play through sports. Its efforts focus on attracting, creating and managing major sporting events for the St. Louis region – and contributing to its quality of life. Since its inception in 1989, the organization has produced a diverse lineup of high-profile events that excite area sports fans, generate revenue for the region and garner positive exposure for St. Louis. The Sports Commission hosted the Visa Championships in 2000 and has played integral roles in other recent Olympic events staged in St. Louis. A catalyst for civic benefit, economic development and charitable good, the Sports Commission has been recognized as a leader in its industry and its community.