Vanessa Ups her Effort
Vanessa Atler is giving her chance to be an Olympian an extra boost, although she really does't need it to make the team. On vault, she plans to debut new vaults that will rock the international scene. Vault seems to be the US's weak event, so it needs the most attention. With the acception of Nessa and Kristen Maloney the US lacks power and aggresiveness on vault. Elise Ray debuted a new vault for her at nationals, a double yurchenko. To help the US effort Nessa plans to have ready her 2 10.0 start value vaults. She palns to perform her Rudi vault that she debuted in '98 and performed a couple of times in different competition. For her second vault Atler has been practicing her yurchenko 2-1/2. I hope to see then at trails or in the Olympics, which will almost gaurentee her a spot in Vault Finals. Good luck Nessa!!

Post Olympic Tour Scheduled, Vanessa a Definate
USA Gymnastics officially announced its post-Olympic tour schedule. The tour, sponsored by TJ Maxx this time around, will begin October 12 in Reno, Nevada and run through December 14 in Anaheim, Calif. The exhibitions will feature top artistic, rhythmic and trampoline US stars. All athletes who make the Olympic cut at the upcoming trials will be invited, along with several pre-signed athletes, including five-time US champ Blaine Wilson, two-time world champ Shannon Miller, '96 gold medalist Dominique Moceanu, '97 co-national champ Vanessa Atler and Morgan White. All but White had all ready given up their NCAA eligibility via past paid performances. Athletes who go on tour stand to make up to $180,000, depending on the US team placement in Sydney and individual medals won. (There is a minimum of $2,000 per show and a maximum of $4,500 for athletes who earn gold medals.) Current national champ Elise Ray (Michigan), along with Kristen Maloney, Alyssa Beckerman, Jamie Dantzscher and Jeanette Antolin (all UCLA), among other signed college recruits, have so far said they will abstain from the tour in favor of college scholarships, if they make the 2000 team. Tickets will go on sale the day after Olympic trials and are expected to cost $20-$45 a piece. Agent and promoter Mike Berg is once again in charge of the promoting the tour. He and Colarossi plan to make this series of tours "more than just gymnastics exhibitions" with theatrical lighting, staging and costuming. "It's going to be a much hipper version that what's been out there in the past," said Berg. "We know our audience." NBC and Fox Family will both televise different tour stops.Tour Stops...OCTOBER: 12th Reno, Nevada; 13th Las Vegas, Nevada; 14th Los Angeles, Calif.; 15th San Jose, Calif. 16th Sacramento, Calif.; 18th Salt Lake City, Utah; 21st Seattle, Wash.; 22nd Portland, Ore.; 23rd Spokane, Wash; 26th, Milwaukee, Wis.; 27th Chicago, Ill; 28th St. Paul, Minn.; 29th Moline, Ill. NOVEMBER: 1st Cincinnati, Ohio; 2nd, East Lansing, Mich.; 3rd Cleveland, Ohio; 4th Detroit, Mich.; 5th Philadelphia, Pa.,; 9th Champaign, Ill; 10th Indianapolis, Ind.; 11th Columbus, Ohio; 14th State College, Pa.; 16th Albany, NY; 17th Pittsburgh, Pa.; 18th Boston, Mass; 19th East Rutherford, NJ; 21st Uniondale, NY; 24th Greensboro, NC; 25th Washington DC; 26th Greenville, SC; 28th Atlanta, Ga.; 29th Nashville, Tenn.; 30th Tallahassee, Fla. DECEMBER: 2nd Orlando, Fla.,; 3rd Miami, Fla.; 5th Tampa, Fla.; 7th Dallas, Texas; 9th Denver, Colo.; 12th Phoenix, Ariz.; 13th San Diego, Calif.; 14th Anaheim, Calif.

Olympic Trails Competitors Set
The full list of Olympic Trails participants has been announced. The top 12 at the U.S. Nationals automatically advanced to the Trails. In winning order the girls are: Elise Ray, Kristen Maloney, Jamie Dantzscher, Vanessa Atler, Alyssa Beckerman, Amy Chow, Morgan White, Dominique Moceanu, Dominique Dawes, Kendell Beck, Tasha Schwikert, Rachel Tidd. There were five girls who petition to trails due to minor injuries. Jaycie Phelps, however, withdrew her petition after getting back to her gym after Nationals and realizing her knee was worse than expected. Shannon Miller, Janette Antolin, and Amanda Stroud's petition was accepted after showing competition readiness. Robin Phelps was not ready to go since her Achilles tendon tore. So all in all 15 girls will be competing for 6 places on the Olympic team and either 1 or 2 alternates. Be sure to watch the making of the Olympic team on Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sunday, Aug 20th on NBC. Check local listings for times. The team will be announced od sunday night! Good luck to all competitors!!

Elise Big Winner in Surprise Ending at Nationals
After nnowing the results of the all-around competition all I could say was WOW! Elise Ray pulled out all the stops to get her first all-around gold. On bars Elise did a new combination in competition to grab the lead from Kristen Maloney. She performed a near flawless floor routine and beam exercise. On vault Elise debute another new element on vault. She performed a double yerchenko, a first fo her. The crowd and Bela Karolyi gave a loud cheer for Elise. Kristen Maloney came up short for the silver, but it was still a victory after competing in her her first all-around since the '99 Nationals. Jamie Dantzscher was the biggest surprise of all capturing the bronze medal. She rocked her floor routine and bars set. Her vault effort was the lowest score of the night, but still solid. On her last event, she was focused and on in a clutch situation. She wobbled a bit on her side flip on beam, but ended strong. She vaulted herself right back into the Olympic race. Vanessa Atler ended up in fourth. Having a great meet, but a little bobble on brs and a giant step on her dismount kept her out of the medals. Even with her bars struggles on day one, Vanessa still believes she went eight for eight, the first time she didn't have a fall at Nationals. Alyssa Beckerman, Amy Chow,the higest finishing Mag 7, Morgan White, Dominique Moceanu, Dominique Dawes, Kendall Beck rounded out the top ten. The nationals count for 60 percent at the Olympic Trails to determine the all-around winner. Which as you probably know doesn't mean much because of Karolyi's plan.

Day One of US Nationals
1 Maloney9.512
3 Beck9.350
Uneven Bars
1 Ray9.800
2t Chow9.650
2t Miller9.650
1t Beckerman9.650
3 Ray9.625
1 Maloney9.825
3 Atler9.675
The US Nationals hold big surprises. At the End of night one Kristen Maloney was heading the charge, with Elise Ray, Amy Chow, Jamie Dantzscher, Alyssa Beckerman, Vanessa Atler, Tasha Schwikert, Morgan White, Rachel Tidd, and Dominique Moceanu rounding out the top 10. Dominique Dawes ended in 12th place wich was good considering she hasn't competed since 1998 Goodwill Games. Jaycie Phelps who also was planning a major comeback, withdrew from the Nationals and plans to petition to trails due to a sore left knee. Shannon Miller competed on bars only but scored the second highest of the meet. She withdrew from day two, and also plans to petition to trails. Janette Antolin is on the mend and wasn't quite ready to compete for day two, so she withdrew from competition after placing 14th. So far everything at Nationals is going down to the wire and a few surprises popped up in Event Finals. Elise Ray captured the most medals, earning three ia all. She won the bars gold, floor silver, and beam bronze. Kristen Maloney, Vanessa Atler, Alyssa Beckerman, and Amy Chow all won 2 medals. Kristen won vault and floor gold medals. Vanessa earned vault silver and floor bronze. Amy tied for the gold on beam and tied for the silver on bars. While Alyssa Beckerman tied Amy for the Beam title, and also tied Amy for bars silver. Shannon Miller abnd Kendell Beck both earned one medal to round out the count. Shannon also tied for the silver on bars, which was the only event she competed in. Kendell, back at Nationals after a two year absence due to injuries. She has switched to the Parkette gym and trains along side Kristen Maloney. Beck earned vault bronze. Tune into tommarrow night to see the conclusion of the all-around competition.

Vanessa takes home the Gold at the US Classic
Vanessa's first full meet back after her two ankle surgeries was a success. She captured the all-around gold as well as winning the floor exercise. She started off on beam with a big balance check on her layout, but nailed the rest of the routine for a 9.4. Vanessa scored a 9.750 on her new floor routine with similar tumbling passes except for her middle pass. In the third rotation Vanessa hit her double yerchenko, but fell on her 2nd vault for a combined score of 9.187. On her last routine Nessa hit her bars set for a 9.6, showing that WOGA was a smart move and Nessa just needed a new routine to boost her bars confidence. Atler's all-around score was 37.937. Morgan White finished 2nd while Alyssa Beckerman Finishes 3rd. Jamie Dantzscher finished 13th Dominique Moceanu was 6th and Kristen Maloney finished 31st but did not compete the floor exercise.

US Olympic Team selection process finalized
After much debate and rehashing the team selection procedure is finished. Thanks to Bela Karolyi the selection process is not very organized or haelthy. The special selection process allows all athletes performing at the Olympic trails to be available to be selected. Nobody's spot is gaurenteed even if you win trails. The four member selection comittee is Bela Karolyi, Kathy Kelly, the athlete representitive (Larissa Fontaine or Chari Knight-Hunter) and USAG president Bob Colarossi. They will pick the team the night of the trials and it will be announced that night. This special procedure had to be approved by the USAG and has gone through many drafts. To avoid future confusion, the procedure was spelled out to all championships qualifiers in a formal letter this past weekend. All athletes, and their parents, are required to sign the form, stating that they understand the Olympic selection process.

A few key points

--Athletes may qualify to U.S championships at either of the two Classics or via petitions.

--The top 12 championships gymnasts, plus petitions, will qualify to U.S. trials.

--Only athletes who compete at both championships AND trials will be eligible to be crowned the trials champ. Total scores are based on 60% trials and 40% championships.

--Only athletes competing in Olympic trials will be considered for the squad.

--Petitions directly to the Olympic team may be considered under "extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances." Those circumstances are defined as "injury, illness or other unforeseen circumstances." Only athletes who are "current or former" senior women's national team members may petition to any part of the competitive process, "including as a member of the Olympic team."

--Petitions will be considered by the national staff, national coordinator Bela Karolyi, Kathy Kelly, the athlete rep (Larissa Fontaine or Chari Knight-Hunter) and USAG president Bob Colarossi.

--The selection committee will chose six Olympic team members plus one or two alternates. The alternates can only be used if a chosen team member is removed due to injury, illness or "violation of the National Team Agreement."

--USAG president Colarossi has final approval over the selection committees decisions.

--The Olympic coaches will be selected from among the personal coaches of the Olympic athletes. At least one of the coaches must be a women.

--Coaching criteria includes the "ability to lead, organize and control under high responsibility and stress situations, international experience and performance" and attendance at "all required meetings and training camps."

--In a change from early procedure reports, the women's (and men's) team will be announced on the spot at Olympic trials. Both teams have allowed between 10-20 minutes to make their final selections.

Sr. Pacific Alliance meet success for U.S. and Vanessa
Vanessa was excited to make the Sr. Pacific Alliance team. The team was choosen at the Bela camps and is a big step for team USA. Bela wanted to give the edge back to the USA team who finished 6th behind AUS at the World Championships. Well the team sucessfully handleed that task by taking first place to a strong Aussie and china teams. Vanessa did not compete in the all-around however, but did take the bronze medal in the vault. USA teammates Elise Ray took 1st all-around and Morgan white and Amy Chow where 3rd and 5th respectively.Elise took floor gold just edging out Morgan white who placed second. Elise took home another medal in bars in second. All in all the women took home 7 medals including the all important team title.
Team Comp.
1 USA 112.902
2 Australia 111.650
3 China 111.137
4 Japan 107.912
5 Canada 106.487
6 Venezuela 102.149

Vanessa's First meet back
The American Classic is Nessa's first meet back since two ankle surgeries she competes in two events. Vanessa tried to save her ankle on the toughest events, so she skiped vault and floor ex. She competed new routines on bars and beam. On bars Vanessa scored a 9.050 avoiding any magor mistakes, but still a little rusty. She scored a 9.150 on beam which was good enough for 6th place. I am certainly glad to see her back in business.

If anyone has any news on Vanessa or gymnastics in general that they would like to subit, please do so by e-mailing me.