Dominique Dawes needed only a shaky landing by Shannon Miller on the balance beam Friday night to win the all-around title at the National Gymnastics Championships.
Miller, a two-time world champion, led after the compulsories, but Dawes outpointed her 78.00-77.76 for her first all-around title. Amanda Borden of Cincinnati took third with 76.77.The top 20 finishers advanced to the national team with the top 16 qualifying for the world team trials in October.
Dawes of Gaithersberg, Md., closed the gap to .06 of a point with a 9.9 on her first vault in the first event. The 1992 Olympian took the lead in the second event by posting a 9.85 on the high bars minutes after Miller scored a 9.4 on the beam.
Dawes' victory comes on the heels of her fifth-place all-around at the World Championships earlier this year.
Dawes, who will attend Stanford in 1995, turned in her lowest score of the night in her second vault, a 9.825. She scored a 9.85 on the uneven bars and finished the night with a 9.925 on the floor exercise.
Miller, the defending champion from Edmond, Okla., rebounded from her balance beam performance with a 9.9 in the floor exercises and finished the meet with a 9.95 on her final vault.
For Miller, the most decorated American gymnast ever with five Olympic and seven World Championship medals, the meet came just over a month after her second-place finish at the Goodwill Games.
Before that, she had won the individual title at seven straight national and international meets dating to the 1992 Olympics where she won the silver.