Stanford's Tim Ryan became the youngest U.S. men's gymnastics all-around champion in 14 years on Saturday when he put together six strong optional routines to edge 1988 Olympian Lance Ringnald at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
The 18-year-old Ryan, who will be a sophomore, put together an optional round score of 56.80 points, 45.44 when adjusted for the 40 percent the optionals count for the all-around title. With his score in Friday's compulsories, which count for 60 percent, his total adjusted score was 112.22.Ringnald, 18, of the Gold Cup Gym in Albuquerque, N.M., scored an adjusted 45.28 in his optionals on Saturday. Combined with Friday's compulsories score, his total was 112.00.
Ryan is the youngest national champion since former U.S. Olympian Bart Conner won as a 17-year-old in 1975.
When asked about his age, Ryan said, "It just means I have more ahead of me to go for."
Ryan peformed Saturday with no major breaks in his routines. His scores ranged from 9.1 on the parallel bars to 9.8 in the high bar, his final event.
He said he felt no pressure going into the optional round, even though he led Ringnald by a margin of only six-hundredths of a point.
"I really try not to worry about tenths in scoring," he said. "I just worry about hitting my routines. I had to come in and concentrate to win the second day too."
Ringnald, who had been the youngest member of the 1988 men's Olympic gymnastics team, said men's champions are getting younger and younger.
"It's great to see the young guys taking over," he said. "Tim had a very good meet. He was fabulous."
The top eight men make the world championships team, while 16 women will advance to a world championship trials meet in late September.
In third place in the men's competition was Mike Racanelli of Ohio State with 111.58. The other top men's finishers were: Conrad Voorsanger of Stanford, 111.06; Kevin Davis of Nebraska, 110.56; Tom Schlesinger of Nebraska, 110.52; Chainey Umphrey of UCLA, 110.5; and Patrick Kirksey of Nebraska, 110.32.
The women's optional round was held Saturday night at Met Center.