Top 14 Named to National Team

Day 3 of 4 of John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships

SACRAMENTO, Calif.- Blaine Wilson of Team Texaco (Columbus, Ohio) won his fourth consecutive national championship title Friday night in the 1999 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships at Arco Arena.

Wilson, 25, claimed the all-around title by scoring 115.30. His highest mark was on the parallel bars with a score of 9.750.

Winning the all-around silver medal was two-time Olympian John Roethlisberger, 29, of Falcon Heights, Minn., scoring 111.800. The bronze medal went to Team Texaco’s Brett McClure,18, of Mill Creek, Wash.

Jason Gatson, 19, of Mesa, Arizona/Upland, Calif., the leader going into tonight’s all-around, was forced to withdraw from competition after sustaining a torn ACL ligament in his right knee while attempting a dismount from the high bar. He was transported to the UC Davis Medical Center and released. Gatson will undergo surgery in three to four weeks.

The top 14 finishers in tonight’s all-around have secured a spot on the 1999-2000 National Team.

This year’s team includes:
1. Blaine Wilson/Columbus, Ohio/Team Texaco-USOTC
2. John Roethlisberger/Falcon Heights, Minn./University of Minnesota
3. Brett McClure/Mill Creek, Wash./Team Texaco-USOTC
4. Guard Young/Oklahoma City, Okla./BYU
5. Sean Townsend/Dallas, Texas/Team Texaco-Houston Gymnastics Academy
6. Jay Thornton/Augusta, Ga./Team Texaco-USOTC
7. Yewki Tomita/Tucson, Ariz./Gym World
8. Chris Young/Winston-Salem, N.C./Team Texaco-USOTC
9. Stephen McCain/Houston, Texas/Team Texaco-USOTC
10. John Macready/Los Angeles, Calif./Team Texaco-USOTC
11. Paul Hamm/Waukesha, Wis./Swiss Turners
12. Scott Vetere/University of Michigan
13. Jim Foody/Los Angeles, Calif./UCLA
14. Doug Stibel/Ohio State

The junior team includes:
Ages 16-18
1. Michael Ashe, Atlanta School of Gymnastics
2. Michael Evans, Team Texaco-Houston Gymnastics Academy
3. Jock Stevens, Bart Conner Gymnastics
4. Kevin Tan, Top Flight Gymnastics
5. Matt Abboud, Maine Academy
6. Patrick McFarlin, Daggett’s Gymnastics
7. Dick Huntwork, Hocking Valley Gymnastics

Ages 14-15
1. Morgan Hamm, Swiss Turners
2. Todd Thornton, Team Texaco-Houston Gymnastics Academy
3. Adam Plummer, Parkettes
4. David Henderson, Team Texaco-Houston Gymnastics Academy
5. Steven Gaudette, Daggett’s Gymnastics
6. Mike Kelly, Technique
7. Justin Spring, Capital Gymnastics

Blaine Wilson
On winning his fourth title…
“I am really happy about my four titles, but I know it doesn’t really show right now [because of Gatson’s injury]. To be in the history books as four in a row is just awesome.”

On Gatson’s injury…
“It was definitely a shock to me. It hung around in my head the entire competition. I haven’t even talked to him yet. It made my victory hollow. He will be missed, but he’ll be back.”

On expectations into World Team Trials and World Championships…
” I think we have a good team. We still can do well, even though Jason was a big link. I will just try to go 12 for 12. We need to finish in the top 12 at Worlds to qualify for the Olympics, so that will be our goal.”

John Roethlisberger
On winning the silver medal…
“Overall, I am pleased with how I finished, although it’s a little bittersweet [because of Gatson’s injury]. I was really looking forward to seeing the battle between Blaine and Jason.”

On Gatson’s injury…
“I thought a lot about it while competing. I really think I can help him through this. I know what he is feeling right now because of my injury at last year’s Championships. There is no worse situation. But, I just want to get him back next year. I guarantee he will be back on this team next summer in time for the Olympics.”

On going into World Team Trials and World Championships…
“I feel good about my position going into Worlds. I hope to beef up my floor and vault to significantly contribute to the team.”

Brett McClure
On winning the bronze medal…
“It feels really great. I have worked really hard and have learned a lot from my teammates.”

On Gatson’s injury…
“He is my roommate, so I am going to push him to get healthy and support him.”

Jason Gatson (quotes taken during medical treatment at Arco Arena)
On his injury:
“Right now I am pretty sore. Three weeks ago when I was in practice I was doing a tumbling exercise on floor and I kind of tweaked my knee back then, so I came here and after the first day my knee was fine. Then, I don’t know, I just did my high bar routine. It was my first event. As soon as I landed something popped and I just fell to the ground it hurt so bad. I knew something happened because it was a loud pop. My knee just went out on me. Right now they think it’s an ACL tear, and I am going to the hospital tonight to get it checked out.”

“This is going to make me stronger. I am going to get it fixed and I am going to come back and be on the Olympic team in Sydney and we’re going to bring back a medal to the United States.”

“The 1999 World Championships crossed my mind, but not Sydney…I am going to get this fixed and I’m gonna come back.”

Competition Schedule
Saturday, August 28
1:00 p.m. Junior Women All-Around Finals
6:00 p.m. Senior Women Event Finals