Hamm, Moore Each Take Two Events

Las Vegas-The best-of-the-best battled it out at the All-American Sports Park in Las Vegas for prestige and prize money last night in the 2002 Winter Cup Event Finals.

Olympic and world team member Paul Hamm (Swiss Turners Gymnastics/Waukesha, Wis.) and national newcomer Cody Moore (University of California at Berkeley/Scottsdale, Ariz.), who just earned his U.S. team spot in last night’s all-around competition, were the night’s top athletes, claiming two titles apiece.

Hamm secured the floor and vault crowns, with scores of 9.7 (the highest score of the night on any event) and 9.375, respectively.

Always a perfectionist, Hamm was disappointed with his second-place all-around finish the previous evening and was looking to redeem himself in event finals. "It helps me feel a little better," he said of his two event wins. "I’m going to go back in the gym now and get ready for American Cup. I know now what my problem areas are now and I think by the time American Cup rolls around (March 2) I should be much better."

Moore, who claimed the pommel horse(9.2) and high bar (9.5) titles, was still basking in the glow of making the senior national team the previous evening and had to force himself to focus on event competition. "M coach (Barry Weiner) really helped me," Moore explained. "He told me I could open some eyes if I had a good three events here, and make my presence known a little more. It sure made me feel good. It gives me a little more confidence for the next national competition I go to. I feel like I at least deserve to be on the floor with everyone else here."

Moore also offered kudos to 16-year-old Alexander Artemev (Gymnastika/Wheat Ridge, Colorado), who stole the show with an exhibition pommel horse routine shortly before competition began. "I can’t take all the credit on horse," Moore said. "I technically won, but I have to give credit to little Artemev. That kid is amazing!"

The rings title went to U.S. national champion Sean Townsend (Chevron HGA/Houston, Texas) who turned in a 9.375 performance. "I love to perform for the crowd," Townsend said of his motivation heading into this competition, "and it always helps to have a little money on the line (laughs), but mostly I just wanted to give the crowd a good show."

Junior national champion D.J. Bucher (Queen City Gymnastics/Cincinnati, Ohio) notched his first senior event win by claiming parallel bars gold. "I was kind of surprised to win, because I made a couple of mistakes," he said. "But it came out good in the long run and I hope I just keep improving."