from Gym Masters Classic IV (June 29, 2003)
Gymnastics on a Hot, Southern California Day
The Gym Masters
Classic IV took place on Sunday, June 29, 2003, on a hot, sunny,
southern California day, and featured some exceptional gymnastics from
individuals of different ages and different skill levels.
Nine women and eleven men performed on the traditional Olympic
events as well as on the tumble track.
In addition, performers enjoyed themselves trying to see who
could balance on their hands the longest, as well as who could race, or,
in some cases, walk, on their hands the fastest.
Anna Mitescu, a 28 year-old lawyer who is also a part-time
gymnastics coach, dominated this year's event by scoring over 9.0 in all
four women's apparatus and capturing the All-around title with 37.70
well-performed 1.5-twisting back layout on floor, double-back dismount
on uneven bars, and pike Tsukahara vault impressed the supportive crowd
of about 60 spectators. Somewhat surprisingly, Anna was followed very
closely by Masako Kardos, a 45 year-old mother of three, who placed
second to Anna in two of the four Olympic apparatus, scoring higher than
five other younger women. Other
female standouts included Dawnielle Patino, who competed on the four
Olympic events as well as on the Tumble Track, managing an All-around
score of 32.60 points, and Angela Stirnaman, a 20 year-old who performed
a very solid floor exercise routine.
Angela also impressed the spectators by winning the handstand
race for the women and almost beating out the men's winner in a
sudden-death winner's heat.
For the men,
this year's Gym Masters Classic saw impressive performances from
the younger set, although a very interesting battle developed over the
All-around title between a 46 year-old and a 48 year-old.
First, there was 26 year-old Larry Neberman who solidly captured
the floor exercise and vault with scores of 9.0 and 8.1, respectively. Newcomer Kevin Desrosier, a 17 year-old student and part-time
coach, performed an exhibition (no score) on the floor exercise.
Because Kevin is younger than 18 years of age, his performance
could not be counted against the other competitors, however, his
performance was good enough to be competitive with the best score of the
day. Kevin also captured
the men's handstand contest and won the men's handstand race and the
sudden-death heat against Angela Stirnaman.
Ty Binfet, a 39 year-old professor of Educational Psychology at
Loyola Marymount, and a former Canadian Trampoline team member, scored
an 8.9 on the tumble track, showing some impressive tumbling skills in
his three passes. The
spectators witnessed a battle developing between 46 year-old Robert
Levin and 48 year-old Ross Shaw for the All-around title.
These two individuals, in the same age group and the only men
vying for the All-around title, battled back and forth, with Robert
winning two events and Ross beating him out in the other two.
At the end of the day, the winner was decided by a mere 4 tenths
of one point, with Ross Shaw coming out on top. Notably absent from this
year's Gym Masters Classic was Tom Phillipbar, who won the Still Rings
competition the previous three years. Tom had to pull out of this year's competition at the last
minute due to an injury, but he remained in the crowd to cheer his
Gym Masters Classic IV is now history.
The many people who made this year's Classic a success include
the many volunteers who helped with registration, scoring, awards and
Goglanian did an excellent job of announcing and keeping the crowd
informed of the activities. The
judges for this year's Gym Masters Classic were Paul and Linda Tickenoff,
and Frank Endo, who received a standing ovation by a very appreciative