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American Vaulters Move Up At WEG - Maitozo Shows Champion Style

JEREZ, SPAIN September 12 - The American Vaulters moved up in the standings across the board today. The United States Team was almost flawless in their execution of their 5 minute freestyle. The competition was fierce and this brilliant performance was only enough to move the team from sixth to fifth position at the close of Round I. Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the Slovakia remain ahead of the United States in the Team Event.

All three American men were able to improve their final Round I standings with their freestyle (kur) scores earned on this second day of competition. Kenny Geisler's performance moved him into 21st position, but not enough to continue to Round II. Only 15 men are able to continue. Martonovich and Maitozo were able to secure spots in the second round of competition and move on to the Round II compulsories tomorrow.

Erik Martonovich performed a freestyle routine with a martial arts theme and moved from 11th to 7th place at the end of day. His strength and balance dominated his artistic interpretation of the music. When asked to compare how he felt about this World Championships and his trip to WEG III in Rome, Martonovich found an ear to ear smile. "My team mate is here! Doc and I are a team. We've trained together for six years! He's definitely the difference". (Note: Martonovich leased horses at WEG III Rome where he placed 14th. At the Vaulting World Championships 2000 in Germany, he placed 16th and was unable to continue to the second round. Most American vaulters find the cost of shipping their horse to Europe prohibitive.)

Today the spectators saw poetry in the Men's Competition. Devon Maitozo started the day in 10th place. The mastery and artistry of this former World Champion's freestyle was not wasted on the judges or spectators at this competition. A freestyle routine lasts only 60 seconds, but this performance will be remembered for years. Impressionistic choreography impeccably executed brought a hush to this crowd, until the final moment. All who were lucky enough to witness this freestyle know poetry is sometimes a feast for the eyes.


TEAM (14 teams)
1. Germany with Wanderer
2. Switzerland with Le Grand
3. Sweden with Galestro
4. Slovak Republic with Baron
5. United States with Zar Ivan
MEN (30 competitors)
1. Mattais Lang, France with Farceur Breceen HN
2. Gero Meyer, Germany with Kolumbus
3. Devon Maitozo, USA with Abu Dhabi 2
4. Jan Bayer, Germany with Aladin 169
7. Erik Martonovich, USA with Doc
21. Kenny Geisler, USA with Markant

The American Vaulting Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for the education and promotion of vaulting. Vaulting is the sport of gymnastics and dance performed on and in harmony with the equine partner. For more information about vaulting please visit our website at


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