Spring falls back in Olympic attempt

Spring falls back in Olympic attempt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Illinois'' Justin Spring finished fourth in the high bar Friday night at the U.S. Gymnastics National Championships, but the effort wasn''t enough to make the Olympic Trials.

Spring''s 9.625 showing on the bar moved him up a spot in the event, but he missed his best opportunity to advance when he struggled in the vault.

Spring had a 9.7 in Wednesday''s preliminary round, but his gold medal hopes disappeared when he sat down on his vault Friday night. He scored a 9.05 and finished 11th, missing out on advancing to the Olympic Trials on June 24-27 in Anaheim, Calif.

"Vault was the key event for Justin today, and he was very disappointed with how he performed," UI coach Yoshi Hayasaki said. "He just needed a 9.4 or better to make the Trials and a 9.550 to win the event, but he is still very young and will have many more chances like this in the future.

"After the vault, Justin knew his hopes of making the Olympic Trials were over, and that affected his next event. But I was impressed with how he came back and performed a superb high bar routine."

Spring slipped from 19th to 29th in the all-around.

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