Wilson, 28, who earned top honors on the floor, rings and parallel bars, claimed his fifth VISA American Cup title with a score of 56.900 despite hyperextendeding his right middle finger on the pommel horse. Patterson, 15, the youngest on the U.S. squad, placed first on the beam and led a U.S. sweep on the women’s side with a top score of 38.662.
“My expectations going into this meet were pretty high,” Patterson said. “I knew I had a good chance of winning. I had good practices and training camps the weeks before. It’s just really important to stay confident. After this win I have a lot of confidence looking ahead to the 2003 World Championships in Anaheim.”
“Although this is my fifth VISA American Cup championship title, it’s just as hard as the last one,” Wilson said. “I felt a little rusty but everything went really well except for the horse. All my aches and pains will go away with a little treatment, and the help of this win will make it all better.”
The U.S. women earned the top four spots, with Courtney Kupets second at 38.199, Ashley Postell third at 37.899 and Annia Hatch fourth at 37.274. Just five months ago, Kupets, 16, won the gold medal on the uneven bars at the 2002 World Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, with Postell, 16, taking gold on the beam.
On the men’s side, Brett McClure of the United States finished second at 56.350 with Hiroyuki Tomita of Japan in third at 55.850. Complete results can be found at www.usa-gymnastics.org.
Patterson, of Allen, Texas, turned 15 on Feb. 4. Along with her 2002 U.S. Junior National All-Around title, she won the All-Around titles at the 2002 USA/Ukraine/Brazil team meet, and 2002 USA/Mexico dual meet.
Wilson, of Columbus, Ohio, won the 2001 VISA American Cup All-Around Champion after finishing first on the Pommel Horse and Still Rings. The five-time U.S. National Champion and two-time Olympian also won U.S. titles on the Rings and High Bar at the 2002 U.S. National Championships. Wilson also won the VISA American Cup in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Wilson and Patterson each claimed $10,000 in prize money as part of a total $45,000 purse.
The VISA American Cup is one of the most prestigious international competitions on the gymnastics calendar. Held for the sixth time in Fairfax, the VISA American Cup is the first stop on the road to the 2003 World Championships in Anaheim, Calif., and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. For more information about USA Gymnastics and its programs, access USA Gymnastics online at www.usa-gymnastics.org.