DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 15) — Blaine Wilson, Columbus, Ohio, won four events to surge to his second consecutive all-around title and a berth on the U.S. World Championships Team at the 1997 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, held in McNichols Arena here Friday evening.

Wilson posted a score of 110.050 to easily outdistance the rest of the field. Two-time Olympian John Roethlisberger, Minneapolis, Minn., bounced back from a disastrous floor routine on Wednesday to take second with a 106.850. Wilson and Roethlisberger repeated their placements from the 1996 championships in Knoxville, Tenn., but Wilson’s margin of victory then was a mere .175.
“I didn’t come in to win,” said Wilson, an Ohio State product who also has won the last two NCAA all-around titles. “I just wanted to hit 12 routines. I knew if I did that, the rest would take care of itself.”
“I was hoping to get above a 7.1 on the floor exercise,” laughed Roethlisberger, referring to the Wednesday night performance which saw him fall three times. “I think No. 2 is the best I could do. After prelims, I was just hoping to make top six (for a position on the World Championship Team). To be second, that’s a bonus.”
While Wilson and Roethlisberger, along with John Macready, Los Angeles, Calif., (fourth with a score of 105.400) provide experience from their stints on the Olympic Team, youth also will be served with the presence of Jason Gatson, Mesa, Ariz., who placed third with a score of 106.550. At 17, he is the youngest athlete to win a berth on a U.S. World Championships Team. Mike Dutka, Fairless Hills, Pa., also earned a berth on his first World Championships Team after winning Freshman of the Year honors at Penn State last season. He finished fifth with a score of 105.100.
Rounding out the World Championships Team is Jay Thornton, Augusta, Ga., like Macready a member of the USA Gymnastics Resident Program at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He finished sixth a 104.800, improving on a ninth-place finish last year.
“This team is good,” said Peter Kormann, Columbus, Ohio, who will serve as head coach of the World Championships Team. “Its chemistry is a lot different than the Olympic Team. There’s a nice blend of youth and experience.
“Our theme will be ‘Guns a’ Blazin,’ which is the attitude we’ll take into the World Championships,” Kormann added. “We’re going to be aggressive. There have been a lot of changes since the Olympics. We don’t know what the rest of the world is like. There’s a new Code of Points, no compulsories, a lot of people have retired, and the teams are smaller, with five competing and four counting.”
The team will hold a week-long training camp at the Olympic Training Center, departing for Lausanne, Switzerland, Aug. 24 in preparation for the World Championships, scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 7.
Competition continues at the 1997 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships Saturday with junior women’s all-around finals at 3 p.m. ET and senior women’s all-around finals at 8 p.m. ET. Both sessions will determine the U.S. National Team for their respective categories, while the seniors also will finalize their World Championships squad.
NOTE: For continuous updates of competition at the John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, access USA Gymnastics Online at

Senior Men’s All-Around

McNichols Arena, Denver, Colo. (top six named to 1997 World Championships Team; top 14 named to U.S. National Team)

All-Around Finals

1, Blaine Wilson, Columbus, Ohio, 110.050. 2, John Roethlisberger, Minneapolis, Minn., 106.850. 3, Jason Gatson, Mesa, Ariz., 106.550. 4, John Macready, Los Angeles, Calif., 105.400. 5, Michael Dutka, Fairless Hills, Pa., 105.100. 6, Jay Thornton, Augusta, Ga., 104.800. 7, Jim Foody, Addison, Ill., 103.700. 8, Garry Denk, Northbrook, Ill., 103.500. 9, Chainey Umphrey, Albuquerque, N.M., 102.800. 10, David Kruse, Lompoc, Calif., 102.500. 11, Trent Wells, Keizer, Ore., 102.300. 11, Steve McCain, Houston, Texas, 102.150. 13, Aaron Cotter, Lincoln, Neb., 101.550. 14, Jamie Natalie, Wilmington, Del., 101.450. 15, Alex Chansky, Lexington, Mass., 101.050. 16, Sanjuan Jones, Tallahassee, Fla., 100.900. 17, Kenneth Sykes, Memphis, Tenn., 100.650. 18, Doug Stibel, Canton, Mich., 100.450. 19, Christopher Camiscioli, Haddenfield, N.J., 99.550. 20 (tie), Brent Klaus, Stroudsburg, Pa., and Michael, Morgan, Cincinnati, Ohio, 99.100. 22, Tim Elsner, Middletown, N.J., 98.300. 23, Ron Roeder, Montrose, Pa., 98.100. 24, Lateef Crowder, San Jose, Calif., 95.850.