Saturday, August 13, 2005
Umphrey Enters Gymnastics Hall
By Rick Wright
Journal Staff Writer
With Albuquerque native Chainey Umphrey's induction into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, The Recon Team is present and accounted for.
Umphrey, 35, will be inducted today in Indianapolis. He joins former Gold Cup Gymnastics School teammates Lance Ringnald (inducted in 2001), Trent Dimas (2002) and Mihai Bagiu (2004). Gold Cup head coach and owner Ed Burch ('01) is a Hall of Famer as well.
"It's been a lot of sacrifice, going to a lot of practices, a lot of heartache and a lot of joy," said Albuquerque's Albert Umphrey, Chainey's father. "To see him get this honor is just fantastic."
Umphrey took up the sport at age 7, after a ballet instructor referred him to Albuquerque gymnastics coach Ed Burch.
Burch, and later UCLA coaches Art Shurlock and Yefim Furman, helped Umphrey become one of the nation's finest gymnasts powerful, with perhaps one of the most massive upper bodies in the sport, yet graceful.
At Gold Cup, Albuquerque natives Umphrey and Dimas later were joined by Ringnald to form the core of one of the strongest men's club gymnastics teams in the United States. Friends but also rivals within the competitive world created by Burch, they called themselves The Recon Team.
By the mid-'80s, it was clear that one, both or all three would eventually make an Olympic squad.
All three did.
Ringnald was first at Seoul in '88, followed by Dimas in '92 at Barcelona.
In 1996, Umphrey overcoming myriad injuries and the disappointment of a near miss four years earlier qualified for the Atlanta Games. He and Bagiu, who'd come to Gold Cup after Umphrey left for UCLA, helped the United State to a fifth-place team finish.
Throughout his career, Umphrey was an ambassador for the sport and USA Gymnastics competing throughout the world and appearing at clinics throughout the U.S.
Umphrey competed through 1998, then retired to concentrate on his medical studies. He's now a resident in orthopedic surgery at Stanford University.
EX-BULLDAWG 8TH: Former Las Cruces High School star David Krummenacker finished eighth and last in his 800-meter semifinal heat on Friday at the World Track & Field Championships in Helsinki, Finland. He failed to qualify for the finals.
Krummenacker, the 2003 world indoor champion at 800 meters, ran a time of 1 minute, 46.76 seconds in Helsinki. His personal best, established in 2002, is 1:43.92.
U.S. MASTERS: Former Lobos and Highland High School track coach Hugh Hackett won six gold medals at last weekend's U.S. Masters Track & Field Championships in Honolulu.
Hackett, competing in the men's age 85 division, won the long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw.
Las Cruces' Donald Neidig won the men's 60 division in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter runs.
Albuquerque's Paul Economides won the men's 60 shot put and discus. Albuquerque's Trish Porter won the women's 40 high jump.