INDIANAPOLIS – Two-time national champion Blaine Wilson (Columbus, Ohio) hopes to do something that hasn’t been achieved in 20 years when he takes the podium at the 1998 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Indianapolis August 19-22.


Not since the days of Kurt Thomas has a male gymnast strung together three consecutive national titles. A win would make Wilson the first to match the achievement since Thomas ran off three straight titles from 1976-78. The gold medalist at the 1998 Visa American Cup and all-around bronze medalist at the 1998 Goodwill Games, Wilson is the top male gymnast in the USA at the moment, but must battle with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder which will require corrective surgery this fall. Wilson also will attempt to defend his individual event championships in vault, still rings and parallel bars, won at the 1997 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Denver.

Some of Wilson’s toughest competition could come from an athlete who is making his return from off-season surgery last year. Jason Gatson (Los Angeles, Calif.), who trains with Wilson at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, was the youngest man to represent the United States at a World Championships last year at the age of 17. He underwent surgery on both shoulders last December and also has been rehabilitating a back injury. He was the highest scorer among the athletes who qualified for the John Hancock Championships on July 25. He is the reigning floor exercise champion in the United States.
Also in the field at several of Wilson’s teammates from the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games: Chainey Umphrey (Albuquerque, N.M.) and two-time Olympian John Roethlisberger (Minneapolis, Minn.), himself a four-time USA National Champion who is the reigning pommel horse champion.
Competition begins for the men on Wednesday, August 19, with junior men’s individual event and all-around at 1 p.m. CDT; seniors take the podium that evening at 7 p.m. The men’s national champion will be decided on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. The top 14 finishers will be named to the U.S. Senior National Team, making them eligible to represent the USA in international meets during the 1998-99 competitive season. The top seven finishers in each of the junior age groups also will earn U.S. National Team distinction.
For more information about USA Gymnastics and its programs, visit USA Gymnastics Online at

Men’s Qualifiers, 1998 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships

NOTE: Qualifiers do not reflect final entrants into the John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships

Senior Division

Adam Benas, Penn State University, Latham, N.Y.
Todd Bishop, University of Oklahoma, Cohoes, N.Y.
Cortney Bramwell, Brigham Young University, Lewisville, Idaho
Mike Canales, Ohio State, Rochester, N.Y.
Aaron Cotter, USOTC, Lincoln, Neb.
Garry Denk, USOTC, Northbrook, Ill.
Mike Dutka, Texas Sports Ranch, Fairless Hills, Pa.
Lindsey Fang, University of Minnesota, Allentown, Pa.
Jim Foody, UCLA, Addison, Ill.
Jason Gatson, USOTC, Los Angeles, Calif.
Gabe Hansen, Gold Cup, Tulsa, Okla.
Walter Jaramillo, Gold Cup, Albuquerque, N.M.
Jeff Johnson, University of Washington, Everson, Wash.
Sanjuan Jones, Gym Force ATC, Tallahassee, Fla.
Brad Kenna, West Side Gymnastics, Barberton, Ohio
Brent Klaus, International, Stroudsburg, Pa.
Jason Krane, Temple University, Marlboro, N.J.
David Kruse, USOTC, Lompoc, Calif.
Jeff LaVallee, Univ of Mass./Daggett’s Gold Medal, Stafford, Conn.
Josh Levin, Buffalo Grove Gymnastics, Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Derek Leiter, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.
Daren Lynch, Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio
Steve McCain, UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif.
Brett McClure, USOTC, Mill Creek, Wash.
Izy Mlay, Top Flight Gymnastics, Fremont, Calif.
Darren Morace, Daggett’s Gold Medal, Westfield, Mass.
Mike Moran, Temple University, Windsor, Conn.
Mike Morgan, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Ohio
Jamie Natalie, Ohio State, Wilmington, Del.
Brendan O’Neil, University of Oklahoma, Marlboro, N.J.
Andrew Pileggi, Top Flight Gymnastics, Reno, Nev.
Jonathan Plante, Gymnastrum, Killingworth, Conn.
Jon Portillo, Arizona State, Laguna Nigel, Calif.
Ron Roeder, Penn State University, Montrose, Pa.
John Roethlisberger, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
Kevin Roulston, University of Michigan, Lititz, Pa.
Ken Schiess, Brigham Young University, Sandy, Utah
Randy Sooter, Arizona State, Tucson, Ariz.
Todd Strada, University of Iowa, Alpharetta, Ga.
Kenny Sykes, Temple University, Memphis, Tenn.
Jay Thornton, USOTC, Augusta, Ga.
Justin Toman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sean Townsend, USOTC, Houston, Texas
Freddie Umali, Top Flight Gymnastics, San Jose, Calif.
Chainey Umphrey, USOTC, Albuquerque, N.M.
Steve Van Etten, University of Oklahoma, Riverside, Calif.
Scott Vetere, International, Pennsburg, Pa.
Aaron Vexler, Temple University, Amherst, Mass.
Trent Wells, UC Berkeley, Keizer, Ore.
Peter Wieging, Arizona State, Tempe, Ariz.
Blaine Wilson, USOTC, Columbus, Ohio
Chris Young, USOTC, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Guard Young, Brigham Young University, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Kyle Zak, University of Illinois, Plano, Texas

Junior Division I (age 16-18)

Matt Abboud, Randalls, Dayton, Maine
Michael Ashe, Atlanta School, Stone Mountain, Ga.
Adam Berkenbile, Gold Cup, Albuquerque, N.M.
Brandon Berkenbile, Gold Cup, Albuquerque, N.M.
Raj Bhavsar, Cypress Academy, Houston, Texas
Shannon Carrion, Gym Force ATC, Tallahassee, Fla.
Daniel Diaz-Luong, Central Pa. Academy, Harrisburg, Pa.
David Durante, Surgents Elite, Garwood, N.J.
Michael Evans, Texas Sports Ranch, Houston, Texas
Aaron Floyd, USOTC, Mount Airy, Md.
Daniel Furney, Alamo Gymnastics, New Braunfels, Texas
Dick Huntwork, Hocking Valley Gymnastics, Pickerington, Ohio
Josh Landis, Bart Conner’s, Norman, Okla.
Cody Moore, Arizona Sunrays, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Stephen Smith, Top Flight Gymnastics, Cupertino, Calif.
Kevin Tan, Top Flight Gymnastics, Fremont, Calif.
Alex Weber, International, Kutztown, Pa.
Kris Zimmerman, Buffalo Grove Gymnastics, Hubbard Woods, Ill.

Junior Division II (age 14-15)
Corey Burch, Spartan Gymnastics, Union City, Mich.
Joseph Hagerty, Gold Cup, Rio Rancho, N.M.
Morgan Hamm, SWISS Turners, Waukesha, Wis.
Paul Hamm, SWISS Turners, Waukesha, Wis.
Jamey Houle, Daggett’s Gold Medal, Longmeadow, Mass.
Richard Maguire, Parkettes Gymnastics, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Patrick McFarlin, Daggett’s Gold Medal, Longmeadow, Mass.
Randy Monahan, Brunners, Elizabethtown, Pa.
Sterling Richards, USA Gymnastics World, Woods Cross, Utah
Zach Roberts, Mission Valley YMCA, Encinitas, Calif.
Jock Stevens, Bart Conner’s, Moore, Okla.
Todd Thornton, Texas Sports Ranch, Houston, Texas