Page 14


Photos by John Cheng the men's side, the U.S. team included veteran Jonathan Horton and five other gymnasts all competing in their fi rst World Championships -- Jake Dalton, Wesley Haagensen, Steven Legendre, Danell Leyva, and Tim McNeill . After preliminaries, the USA's McNeill of Falls Church, Va., scored an 88.775 for third place, behind current leader Kohei Uchimura of Japan, who scored 90.925 . 2008 Olympic silver-medalist Horton of Cypress Gymnastics was in fifth place with a score of 88.000. In addition, four of the six USA gymnasts qualified to finals including Legendre of Flower Mound, Texas, on floor; Leyva of Uni versa l Gymnastics in Miami, on high bar, McNeill in the all-around and on pommel horse and Horton in the all-around and on high bar. "I think it has been more than 20 years since we had four of our six guys make finals at the World Championships," said Ron Brant, the men's national team coordinator. "We have one of the youngest teams here - three who are 23 and one each at 17, 18 and 20. I'm impressed because this shows that our training plans are working, that our athletes have taken it to heart and that we have continued leadership within the team even t hough we have reloaded after the last two Olympics." During finals, McNeill finished seventh in the all-around, hitting all six of his routines and finishing with an 87.150. His top scores of the competition were on vaul t where he scored a 15.300 for his Yurchenko double full and pommel horse where he scored a 15.000 for his routine which included full Kehr. He also scored a 14.500 on floor, a 14.325 on



rings, a 14.200 on parallel bars and a 13.825 on high bar. "I'm pretty excited (about finishing in the top 10)," said McNeill, who trains at the University of California - Berkeley. "Parallel bars gave me a chance (to move up in the rankings), and if I could change one thing, it would be to go back and redo that routine . Overall, I gave it my best, and I put everything out there .. " 2008 Olympic silver-medalist Horton had a disappointing evening, finishing 17th in the all-around. He got off to a rough start on the first two events, floor and pommel horse, which unfortunately dropped him in the standings. His rings routine was solid and earned a 14.900 and hit his handspring double front vault to score a 15.750. He continued to build momentum with a well-done parallel bars routine that received a 15.125. A missed release move on high bar dropped his score to a 13.650 and


Profile for USA Gymnastics

USA Gymnastics - November/December 2009  

USA Gymnastics - November/December 2009