St. Louis – Four-time defending national champion Blaine Wilson (Columbus, Ohio) finished on top of the preliminary competition this evening at the John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, scoring 58.225 in the all-around and winning five event medals.

Wilson won three event gold medals and two bronze medals. He took first in the floor exercise with a 9.725, the still rings with 9.900 and vault with 9.925, nailing a front handspring double front. He placed third on both the pommel horse with 9.600 and the parallel bars with 9.60.
Winning the pommel horse was four-time national champion John Roethlisberger (Falcon Heights, Minn.) with a score of 9.650. Roethlisberger held second place nearly the entire competition but took two falls on his last event, floor exercise, and dropped to sixth.

Trent Wells
(Keizer, Ore.) won gold medals on both the parallel bars with 9.850 and the high bar with a 9.650. Wells tied for the high bar gold medal with Jamie Natalie (Wilmington, Del.).
Leaders in the all-around were Sean Townsend (Dallas, Texas) with 57.025 and Stephen McCain (Houston, Texas) with 57.000.

Men’s competition resumes Friday evening. Women’s competition begins Thursday evening.


Blaine Wilson – on his performance tonight
“It was all right. I thought I did pretty well. I kind of pulled out in the middle of the floor routine, but in all, I felt pretty good. I felt a little tired, but not overwhelmingly tired.”

“A lot of these guys haven’t seen the trials and it’s not over until it’s over. I didn’t see too much of the meet and I didn’t feel like I was a one-man show. I felt like John Roethlisberger was right on me in the first couple of events.

John Roethlisberger
– on the floor exercise
“Disapointed? That’s the understatement of the night. It’s disappointing after such a good night. I screwed up. I can’t sum it up better than that.”

“I’ve done so much floor in practice. I’ll stick with what I’ve been doing and hopefully that will do it.”

“I wanted to be the national champion and it’s not going to happen this time, but obviously I want to stay in the top six and in contention for the Olympic team.”

Stephen McCain

“I’ve always known I belonged up there — the maturity is there and it was time to go out and show it.”

“The first day is the most nerve-wracking, so just to start it off right is a good thing for me.”

Sean Townsend

“I wasn’t thinking about the outcome, that probably helped me out quite a bit tonight.”

Ron Brant
– Head Coach, Team Texaco-USOTC on Jason Gatson’s 19th place finish:
“It’s a miracle he’s here. He was at the top and now has to fight back. It’s tough in an Olympic year.”