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Dalton Ready to Vault in Worlds Debut
(25 votes, average 4.76 out of 5)

Preparing for this week's Japan Junior International, Jake Dalton (U.S.) told IG that he is aiming to make the vault final at next month's world championships.

Preparing for this week's Japan Junior International, 18-year-old U.S. gymnast Jake Dalton told IG that he is aiming to make the vault final at next month's world gymnastics championships in London.

"My goals and expectations for the world championships are to hit my vaults in prelims and make it to finals, and hit them there, too," said Dalton, one of six U.S. men scheduled to compete at worlds that will take place Oct. 13-18. "I also expect to support my team and help them through their competition."

In Yokohama for the Japan Junior International that will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, Dalton said he is eager to perform well in these two important meets.

"I have been preparing myself by trying my best to get nervous for my vaults and still being able to make them," said Dalton, who placed first on vault at the 2009 Visa (U.S.) Championships. "Also, the Japan International will also help me prepare for worlds. But mainly in the gym, I just 'put myself' in a large arena with a big crowd and do my vault."

Dalton, who placed 14th all-around at the 2009 U.S. Championships, is the second-youngest member of the U.S. men's team named to compete at Worlds. Also named were 2009 U.S. all-around champion Jonathan Horton, 2009 U.S. all-around silver medalist Tim McNeill, Wesley Haagensen, Steven Legendre and Danell Leyva.

Dalton said he said he is not intimidated to compete against the world's best vaulters, although Worlds will be his first major international competition.

"I try to compare myself with the best vaulters, and there are some really amazing vaulters," Dalton said. "But I see myself as a young, good vaulter who still has a lot to learn."

In London, Dalton said he plans to perform two vaults: a double-twisting Kasamatsu and a double-twisting handspring layout front.

Dalton credits Andrew Pileggi, his coach at the Gymnastics Nevada club, for boosting his confidence for senior competitions such as Worlds.

"Andrew has given me great advice over the past four years, but mainly the best advice was to believe in myself," said Dalton, who hails from Sparks, Nev. "He told me if I believe myself then I will be able to do it. He has been right with that, too. I am doing things today I didn't think I would do this young - maybe in a few years, but not now."

Dalton, a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, said training with older teammates has prepared him to compete on as many events as needed at Worlds.

"Adjusting to being one of the young ones on the team has not been very difficult, because I have been to U.S. team camps before," Dalton told IG. "So I have had chances to get to know the team, and now I am training with older guys at Oklahoma, so that has helped, as well."

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:
"American Idol" - Horton cover photo, Horton interview (December 2008)
"Sooner Star" - Legendre profile (July/August 2009)
"A Winning Team" - Leyva profile (January/February 2008)

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Comments (1)add comment

ahhh said:

He better do a better job at World then he did in Japan
September 24, 2009
Votes: -1

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