August 23, 2005 -- Devon Maitozo, of Simi Valley, Calif., won the gold men's title at the 2005 USEF/AVA National Vaulting Championships in Denver, Colo., August 11-14. Vaulting atop Mozart, a Warmblood gelding, longed by Carolyn Bland and owned by FACE Vaulters, Maitozo performed his technical test to John Lennon's "Imagine," followed by a flawless freestyle performance.
"My first Nationals win was in 1990," Maitozo said. "Being national champion again, 15 years later, is a satisfying pinnacle to a long career. It was great to vault on Mozart; he's my teammate and partner in this sport."
In the women's gold division, Megan Benjamin took the title with Faronia (Dutch Warmblood gelding, longed by Emma Drinker, owned by Megan Benjamin) or "Ronin" as he is affectionately known, marking a second win for the 16-year-old native of Saratoga, Calif.
"Ronin and I have an amazing partnership," Benjamin said. "When it works, it really works. I couldn't have done it without him."
In the A Team Division, Mt. Eden Fire, the California-based team of Benjamin, Stephanie Freeman, Alexis Garrod, Elizabeth Ioannou, Mari Inouye and Rosey Ross, took the win on Comet, owned and longed by Erik Martonovich.
Results from the 2005 USEF/AVA National Vaulting Championship:
Gold Men Overall
1. Devon Maitozo, 29, of Simi Valley, Calif., Team: FACE, Score: 8.617
2. Blake Dahlgren, 20, of Sun Valley, Calif., Team: FACE, Score: 8.018
3. Kenny Geisler, 23, of Diamond Bar, Calif., Team: Diamond Bar, Score: 7.805
Gold Women Overall
1. Megan Benjamin, 16, of Saratoga, Calif., Team: Mt. Eden, Score: 8.735
2. Mari Inouye, 21, Palo Alto, Calif., Team: Mt. Eden, Score: 8.498
3. Samantha Smith, 18, Saratoga, Calif., Team: Creekside, Score: 8.393
Silver Men Overall
1. Morgan Homan, 14, Salem, Utah, Team: Oak Hills, Score: 6.510
2. Ted Ezell, 18, Petaluma, Calif., Team: Tambourine, Score: 5.984
Silver Women Overall
1. Katie Haynie, 13, Oak Hill, Va., Team: Virginia Vaulters, Score: 7.228
2. Kalyn Noah, 16, Paso Robles, Calif., Team: Pacific Coast, Score: 7.102
3. Cassidy Palmer, 11, Half Moon Bay, Calif., Team: Half Moon Bay, Score: 7.042
Open Pas de Deux Overall
1. Alethea Shelton, 25, Las Vegas, Nev., Team: Desert Wind, and Erik Martonovich, 26, Golden, Colo., Team: Golden Gate, Overall Score: 8.787
A Team Overall
1. Mt. Eden Fire, Score: 7.652
2. Oak Hills-Cambry's Friends and Dream, Score: 7.368
3. Tambourine, Score: 7.365