USA Gymnastics announces rhythmic, acrobatic gymnastics fields for 2017 USA Gymnastics Championships
posted on 06/15/2017

MILWAUKEE, June 15, 2017 – 2016 Olympian and two-time defending U.S. rhythmic champion Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 2016 Olympic alternate and U.S. all-around silver medalist Camilla Feeley of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and 2016 World acrobatic mixed pair silver medalists Tiffani Williams and Axel Osborne, both of Beaumont, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, are among the rhythmic and acrobatic gymnasts who are competing at the 2017 USA Gymnastics Championships, scheduled for June 27-July 2, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.

The six-day competition is the national championships for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling, and it features competition on both Junior Olympic and elite levels. 

The rhythmic gymnastics competition features 45 junior and senior elite gymnasts and 156 Junior Olympic athletes. Two senior groups will also be competing, along with one junior group. Zeng, USA’s most decorated rhythmic gymnast, is looking for her third consecutive U.S. rhythmic all-around title. The talented senior field includes: Feeley; 2016 U.S. ball bronze medalist Nastasya Generalova of Los Angeles/California Rhythms; 2016 Pacific Rim junior all-around champion Lili Mizuno of Brentwood, Calif./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; and 2015 U.S. junior all-around champion Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center. Defending U.S. champion Karrine Denisova of Wilmette, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, headlines the junior field.

For acrobatic gymnastics, Osborne and Williams have their eyes set on a third-straight U.S. mixed pair title. Emma Bentov-Lagman, Cristin Connerney and Helena Hall, all of Eldersburg, Md./LeeAnns Acrobatic and Tumbling Academy/1st Class Gymnastics, are looking for their first U.S. women’s group title as trio. In 2016, Bentov-Lagman and Connerney claimed the women’s group title with Lilianna Dyer. Geneva World Cup women’s group silver medalists Sophie Gruszka, Morgan Sweeney and Amanda Waterson, all of Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, are also in the field. For acrobatic gymnastics, the USA Gymnastics Championships is part of the selection process for the 2017 World Games. The World Games Team will be named at the conclusion of competition in Milwaukee.

About the USA Gymnastics Championships
Tickets are on sale now. Evening session tickets at the BMO Harris Bradley Center are: $35, June 29-30; and $40, July 1. The all-session pass, which grants access to all sessions at both venues, is $95. Tickets may be purchased at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Box Office, ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. For the events at the Wisconsin Center, a $35, single-day pass will be available onsite on competition days, and on June 26-27, the all-day pass also includes access to the afternoon sessions at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. For more information on the USA Gymnastics Championships, please go to usagymchamps.com.

For the junior and senior elite levels for each discipline, the athletes are vying for national titles. Performances in Milwaukee will also determine berths on the junior and senior U.S. National Teams for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling. For rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling, the competition will be part of the selection process for the 2017 World Championships.

The Junior Olympic division has several different levels, and national titles will be awarded for each level and age group for each discipline.

VISIT Milwaukee is working in conjunction with USA Gymnastics on the championships. This is the event’s first trip to Milwaukee, which hosted the 2003 U.S. Championships for men’s and women’s gymnastics.

Acrobatic gymnastics combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of three athletes – a base, middle and top partner – while a men’s group has four athletes, a base, two middle partners and one top partner.

Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with ribbons, balls, hoops, ropes and clubs in a choreographed routine to music. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots, balances and flexibility movements. Only four of the apparatus are competed each quad, and the four for 2016 are hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.

Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double and triple twisting somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated rod-floor runways that enable athletes to jump at heights more than 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. For the double-mini competition, the athlete makes a short run, leaps onto a small two-level trampoline, performs an aerial maneuver and dismounts onto a landing mat. Trampoline was added to the Olympic Games in 2000, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the USA had its first athlete in history advance to the finals.

Background information

  • Visit Milwaukee. VISIT Milwaukee is the chief image and tourism marketing organization of the greater Milwaukee area. Its mission is to market greater Milwaukee as the destination for conventions, events and leisure travel.
  • BMO Harris Bradley Center. Starting its 30th and final season this July, the BMO Harris Bradley Center is the downtown live entertainment destination that turns moments into memories. Home to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball team, the Center offers family fun, concerts, sports and special events for fans of all ages. Upcoming events include Roger Waters (July 29), Janet Jackson (Oct. 22), Marvel Universe Live! (Nov. 24-26), Katy Perry (Dec. 4) and 2CELLOS (Jan. 24, 2018). Learn more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or at www.bmoharrisbradleycenter.com.
  • Wisconsin Center. The Wisconsin Center, located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, opened in 1998 as the Midwest Express Center. Designed for both sensory delight and efficiency, the Wisconsin Center is home to the $1.2 million Burke Family Collection of commissioned and integrated art. Opened in 1998 and completed by the end of 1999, the Wisconsin Center has 188,695 square feet of contiguous, state-of-the-art exhibit space and a 37,506 square-foot ballroom with capacity for 3,150 diners and ample utilities for corporate theater. An additional 39,364 square feet of meeting space can be partitioned into as many as 28 meeting and breakout rooms equipped for satellite links, video teleconferencing, data transmission and other telecommunications and audio-visual technology. The 2,500-4,100 seat Milwaukee Theatre – formerly the Milwaukee Auditorium – provides assembly space or entertainment right across the street. Skywalks to the Hilton and Hyatt hotels link some 1,500 rooms to the Wisconsin Center.
  • USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and Gymnastics for All (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, log on to www.usagym.org.

2017 USA Gymnastics Championships rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics field
Includes only senior elite and junior elite athletes as of June 12, 2017
Athletes listed alphabetically by state


Acrobatic Gymnastics
Athletes are listed in their pair/group by state, alpha by club

    Arizona
    Bella Aguayo, Riley Berg, Kirsten Clark, Chandler, Ariz./Aspire Kids Sports Center, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)

    California
    Neena Deshpande, Samantha Servellon, Taylor Witana, San Jose, Calif./Aerial Tumbling and AcroGymnastics, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Ansley Gravink, Jessica Mendoza-Fabre, Alyssa Morris, San Jose, Calif./Aerial Tumbling and AcroGymnastics, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Allison Castellano, Ciera Wilson, Riverside, Calif./Empire Acrogymnastics, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Elizabeth DeCamp, Alexis Fowlkes, Fresno, Calif./Gymnastics Beat, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Sarah Ardantz, Analiese Feuerstein, San Luis Obispo, Calif./Legacy Training Center, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Sarah Newlon, Shay Smiley Rooney, Bella Swarthout, San Luis Obispo, Calif./Legacy Training Center, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (13-19)
    Makaela Bogowitz, Lauren Nubla, Kirstin Wong, Rancho Cordova, Calif./Nor Cal Acro, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (13-19)
    Mia Alvarez, Alejandra Felix, Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Anna Blough, Nathan Burns, Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, Mixed Pair, Jr. Elite (13-19)
    Angel Felix, Braiden McDougall, Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, Men's Pair, Jr. Elite (13-19)
    Aisley Boynton, Maxim Sedochenkoff, Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, Mixed Pair, Sr. Elite
    Axel Osborne, Tiffani Williams, Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, Mixed Pair, Sr. Elite
    Clarissa Alessi, Anna Vila, Caitlyn White, Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Victoria Blante, Madeline Roe, Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Carina Newlin, Dorian White, Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, Mixed Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Sophie Gruszka, Morgan Sweeney, Amanda Waterson, Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, Women's Group, Sr. Elite

    Louisiana
    Nate Brooks, Brody Seither, New Orleans, La./Crescent City Gymnastics, Men's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Samantha Conway, Lally Seither, New Orleans, La./Crescent City Gymnastics, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (13-19)

    Maryland
    Kaitlyn Koegel, Annika Mitchell, Paige Murphy, Annapolis, Md./1st Class Gymnastics, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Emily Petty, Amanda Trieschman, Sarah Wilson, Annapolis, Md./1st Class Gymnastics, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Amanda Shrader, Julia Shrader, Michelle Voelkel, Annapolis, Md./1st Class Gymnastics, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Sean Butehorn, Daniel Disman, Grant Shields, Sean Shields, Laurel, Md./Emilias Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, Men's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Marisa Gatson, Olivia Struble, Micah Whiteman, Laurel, Md./Emilias Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Isabel Chang, Alexandra Gladkova, Caitlyn Kicza, Laurel, Md./Emilias Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (13-19)
    Elanor Chang, Calista Davis, Madison Freed, Laurel, Md./Emilias Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, Women's Group, Sr. Elite
    Sarah Deuto, Abigail Kahn, Eldersburg, Md./LeeAnns Acrobatic and Tumbling Academy, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Emma Bentov-Lagman, Cristin Connerney, Helena Hall, Eldersburg, Md./LeeAnns Acrobatic and Tumbling Academy/1st Class Gymnastics, Women's Group, Sr. Elite
    Calista Draves, Aranel Prevost, Rockville, Md./Xtreme Acro, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Lili Freeman, Logan Solyst, Rockville, Md./Xtreme Acro, Mixed Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Tess Isaacson, Holland Koller, Shai Stone, Rockville, Md./Xtreme Acro, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Nicole Powell, Taylor Royes-Fletcher, Rockville, Md./Xtreme Acro, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)

    Missouri
    McKenzie Handy, Treva Neathery, Megan Nordike, Blue Springs, Mo./Acro Explosion, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (13-19)
    Caleigh Crofford, Abigail Gerlemann, Landry Watson, Owensville, Mo./Mid America Acro Tumbling, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Katie Borcherding, Grace Vonder Haar, Kayla Vonder Haar, Pacific, Mo./Show Me Acro, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)

    Ohio
    Kiley Allen, Jayme Maynard, Grace Vance, Wilmington, Ohio/Aerials Athletics, LLC, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (13-19)

    Texas
    Sarah Diamond, Elizabeth Kirchner, Alexis Leinonen, San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Reagan Dubbels, Alex Edwards, San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Jordan Gruendler, Timothy Massa, San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, Mixed Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Emily Davis, Aubrey Rosilier, San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, Women's Pair, Sr. Elite
    Hannah Alonzo, Jordan Liberto, Boerne, Texas/Boerne Gymnastics Center, Women's Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Kaela Carr, Talia Flavien, Taylor Tomlinson, Baytown, Texas/Texas Academy of Acrobatics and Gymnastics, Women's Group, Jr. Elite (12-18)
    Trenton Carr, Allyson Stone, Baytown, Texas/Texas Academy of Acrobatics and Gymnastics, Mixed Pair, Jr. Elite (12-18)

Rhythmic Gymnastics
Includes only senior elite and junior elite athletes as of June 12, 2017
Athletes listed alphabetically by state

    California
    Nichole Arzumanyan, Van Nuys, Calif./Rhythmic Olympica, Senior
    Brigita Budginas, Agoura Hills, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, Senior
    Celine Cen, San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Junior Group
    Heather Chan, South Pasadena, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Senior
    Eliza Cohen, Los Angeles, Calif./California Rhythms, Senior
    Isabelle Connor, Manhattan Beach, Calif./Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, Senior
    Annaliese Dragan, Aliso Viejo, Calif./Irene School of Rhythmic Gymnastics, HOPES
    Nastasya Generalova, Los Angeles, Calif./California Rhythms, Senior
    Anastasiya Ivanova, San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Junior Group
    Elizabeth Khapsalis, Lake Balboa, Calif./California Rhythms, Senior
    Alexandra Militeeva, San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Junior Group
    Lili Mizuno, Brentwood, Calif./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Senior
    Samantha Mochel, San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Junior Group
    Venice Park, San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Junior Group
    Helena Pavlovcic, Los Angeles, Calif./California Rhythms, Junior
    Ellen Peng, San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Junior Group
    Jessica Tijam, Poway, Calif./San Diego Rhythms, Junior
    Angela Wang, San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Junior

    Florida
    Nerea Francis, Miami Lakes, Fla./VIDA Gymnastics, Junior
    Victoria Kobelev, Palm Coast, Fla./Rhythmic Art, Junior
    Kristen Ng, Wesley Chapel, Fla./Tampa Bay Rhythmics, Senior
    Pamela Tang, Riverview, Fla./Tampa Bay Rhythmics, Senior

    Georgia
    Elena Shinohara, Suwanee, Ga./Rhythmic Brains, Senior

    Illinois
    Lily Avila, Highland Park, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp, Junior
    Dasha Baltovick, Highland Park, Ill./National Prep, Senior Group
    Natalie Bourand, Burr Ridge, Ill./National Prep, Senior Group
    Kate Danilov, Vernon Hills, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Junior
    Karrine Denisova, Wilmette, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Junior
    Ugne Dragunas, Darien, Ill./National Prep, Senior Group
    Connie Du, Deerfield, Ill./National Prep, Senior Group
    Camilla Feeley, Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Senior
    Evita Griskenas, Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Senior
    Matylda Marszalek, Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Junior
    Yelyzaveta Merenzon, Buffalo Grove, Ill./National Prep, Senior Group
    Daria Merkulova, Grayslake, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp, Junior
    Gergana Petkova, Barrington, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Junior
    Ekaterina Rodova, Lake in the Hills, Ill./M & N Rhythmic Academy, Junior
    Naomi Skotnikov, Highland Park, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp, Junior
    Nicole Sladkov, Vernon Hills, Ill./National Prep, Senior Group
    Kristina Sobolevskaya, Deerfield, Ill./National Prep, Senior Group
    Laura Zeng, Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, Senior
    Jenna Zhao, Burr Ridge, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp, Junior

    Indiana
    Gloria Davidova, Carmel, Ind./Rhythmic Gymnastics of Indiana, Senior

    Massachusetts
    Maria Brasoveanu, Needham, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams, Senior Group
    Karen Chen, Carlisle, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams, Senior Group
    Rachel Gu, Newton, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams, Senior Group
    Amy Kaluzhny, Newton, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams, Senior Group
    Isabella Pappas, Canton, Mass./Rhythmic Stars Gymnastics Academy LLC, HOPES
    Smaranda Salie, Chestnut Hill, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams, Senior Group
    Mya Tam, Newton, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams, HOPES
    Nina Wang, Newton, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams, Senior Group
    Erica Wu, Weston, Mass./Rhythmic Stars Gymnastics Academy LLC, Senior

    Nevada
    Isabelle Richardson, Las Vegas, Nev./Eurogymnastics, Junior

    New Jersey
    Elizaveta Pletneva, Caldwell, N.J./Liberty Academy, Junior
    Rebecca Tang, Basking Ridge, N.J./Isadora, Junior

    New York
    Elizabeth Kapitonova, Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, Junior
    Ekatherina Kapitonova, Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, Senior
    Serena Lu, Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, Senior
    Julia Naishuler, Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, Junior

    Pennsylvania
    Ekaterina Komarova, Feasterville, Pa./Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy, Senior

    Texas
    Faith Bolden, Fresno, Texas/California Rhythms, Senior
    Shallie Rasin, Frisco, Texas/Rhythmic Ribbon of Texas, Junior

    Virginia
    Shannon Xiao, Fairfax, Va./Gymnastics World, Junior

    Washington
    Lennox Hopkins Wilkins, Puyallup, Wash./Evergreen Rhythmics, Junior