Marni Rager, 15, of Silver Spring, capped yesterday's second round of the U.S. Trials for Israel's 12th Maccabiah Games with a stunning 9.40 performance in the floor exercise at Montgomery College-Rockville.
That gave Rager first place overall with 73.55 points, 2.9 ahead of 12-year-old Lisa Lazar.
"I didn't need it to make the team, but I wanted to do well (in the floor exercises)," said Rager, who was an alternate in the 1981 Games. "I was doing a full-in, back-out for the first time in competition."
Also making the six-member senior team (15 years old by Dec. 31) were Cassandra Frey (72.2), Dina Margolin (71.55), Nicole Weiss (70.4), Allison Belldon (70.3) and Melissa Kutcher (70.1). Tracy Lassin (70.1) is the senior first alternate. Lazar qualified as the junior member of the team.
First-round leader Stacey Gunthorpe, 14, of Bela Karolyi's Houston Elites Club, injured her right knee in warm-ups and scratched from yesterday's floor events.
"I was coming up on the vault and I heard something pop," said Gunthorpe, who scored 37.65 in Saturday's first round. "I was going to try (to compete) with a modified routine," but Karolyi and Gunthorpe's father Wayne discouraged it.
"It's not the type of thing you chance," said Wayne Gunthorpe. "We didn't have a medical diagnosis. We're not going to rush it."
Twelve-year-old Nadya Mason, of Washington, D.C., finished sixth overall, 70.9, but did not make the team because of the strong finishes by juniors Lazar and Alyssa Solomon (72.3, third overall).
Mason, like Rager a gymnast for MarVaTeens, finished on the floor exercise, earning an 8.85, at the same time Solomon was receiving an 8.6 on the beam. But it was not enough to catch up.
MarVaTeen Coach Gary Anderson, who will coach the U.S. squad in Israel July 15-25, said he was thrilled Rager won the meet but added "the fact that one of my girls made the team is irrelevent. We expected Marni to make it."
Alison Blumberg and Janna Jeffries, also of MarVaTeens, finished 15th and 27th, respectively, in the 49-gymnast field.