Former University of Minnesota gymnast Guillermo Alvarez and current Minnesota gymnast Jake Lee finished among the top 15 of the all-around preliminaries of the 2006 Visa Men’s Gymnastics Championships at Xcel Energy Center. With their performances tonight, Alvarez and Lee are among 36 gymnasts who qualified for the all-around finals of the Championships on Friday night.
Alvarez placed second overall in the all-around preliminaries with a mark of 89.400. His score was just off that of leader Alexander Artemev, who posted a score of 89.450. Alvarez scored a 15.05 on floor exercise, 14.50 on horse, 15.05 on rings, 15.70 on vault, 14.65 on parallel bars and 14.45 on the high bar to secure second place.
Lee registered an overall score of 85.250 to finish in 15th place. Lee had scores of 13.3 on floor exercise, 13.35 on horse, 14.7 on rings, 15.45 on vault, 14.35 on parallel bars and 14.1 on high bar. Former Gopher gymnast Clay Strother also competed in four of the six events, scoring a 15.35 on floor, 14.8 on horse, 15.75 on vault and 13.5 on parallel bars. Strother also qualified to day two of the men's competition with third-place finishes on floor and pommel horse and a fourth place finish on vault.
Alvarez was pleasantly surprised by his performance.
“I was hoping to finish as high as possible but I can’t say that I expected to be in second place through the preliminary stage of the competition,” said Alvarez. “I think having the Championships in St. Paul really helped because I had my former teammates here to cheer me on. That took the edge off and I really felt as though I was back on the Gopher team again.”
For up-to-date information and scheduling of the 2006 Visa Championships, log onto usa-gymnastics.org.