KANSAS CITY, MO., JUNE 20 -- Juliette Bangerter, at 13 too young for the 1988 Olympics, took aim at the 1992 games today by winning the compulsory segment of the U.S. junior women's gymnastics championships.
Bangerter, of Tempe, Ariz., scored 37.2 of a possible 40 points on the women's four events in the afternoon competition at Kemper Arena.
Brandy Johnson, 14, of Orlando, Fla., was second with 36.8 points; Karen Tierney, of Blue Springs, Mo., was third with 36.7, and Chelle Stack, of New York, fourth with 36.65.
Under international gymnastics rules, junior women are those 14 and younger. Only senior-level competitors are allowed to participate in major events such as the Olympics, world championships and Pan American Games.
Johnson, who moves up to seniors next year, has made qualifying for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team her major goal.
"I'm not going to go school next year so I can train full time," said Johnson, who instead will be tutored for her assigned ninth-grade studies.
"I've got to wait," Bangerter said. "But I'm going for 1992."
The junior women's competition, which counts 60 percent of their final score, was to be a preliminary to the senior women's optional routine finals tonight.
Kristie Phillips, 15, the heir apparent to 1984 Olympic all-around champion Mary Lou Retton, was in first place going into the finals and was expected to secure the championship in her senior-level debut.
Phillips, a native of Baton Rouge, La., who trains under Retton's former coach, Bela Karolyi, won the compulsories with 44.640 points, adjusted to reflect their 60 percent value to the final score.
Second with 44.140 points was Melissa Marlowe, 15, of Salt Lake City. Hope Spivey, 15, of Suffolk, Va., was third.
Also in the top 10 were Sabrina Mar, the 1985 national champion from Monterey Park, Calif., and defending titlist Jennifer Sey, of Allentown, Pa., who was seventh.