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Bilozertchev Ready to Make Own Mark
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A week after signing a letter of intent to compete at Ohio State, U.S. junior champion Alexy Bilozertchev hopes to make his mark at the Junior Pan Am Championships, which begin this week in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Alexy Bilozertchev

"Honestly, for this meet I really just want to hit everything and make a good impression internationally," said Bilozertchev, 17.

Bilozertchev is coached by his legendary father Dmitry, the 1983 and 1987 world all-around champion and a triple gold medalist at the 1988 Olympics.

Though Dmitry is now an assistant coach at Ohio State, Alexy went on recruiting trips to other universities before finally deciding to stay in Columbus.

"I'm excited for next year, and I'm glad this whole process is over," Bilozertchev said. "Now all my attention can go to Pan Ams."

At the 2007 VISA (U.S.) Championships in San Jose, Calif., Bilozertchev won the junior men's all-around title in the 16-18 age group.

In Guatemala City, the U.S. men will compete against teams from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

The other members of the American men's squad are Glen Ishino, Steven Legendre and Danell Leyva.

"I want to help the USA to a first-place finish," Bilozertchev said.

Twelve countries sent female gymnasts: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, USA and Venezuela.

The U.S. women sent Olivia Courtney, Chelsea Davis, Mattie Larson and Jordyn Wieber.

The Junior Pan Am event is the first international competition for Bilozertchev, who was born in Moscow and moved to the U.S. as a toddler.

"I think Guatemala is going to be an awesome experience," he said.

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