BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 15, 2021 – Megan Chu of San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics notched the high score in the junior all-around across all age divisions at the 2021 Rhythmic Elite Qualifier at The Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala. Chu also led the way on the ball, clubs and ribbon apparatus. Erika Rusak of Auburn, Wash./Evergreen topped the field on hoop.

At the conclusion of the event, Chu, Rin Keys of Porter Ranch, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, Sarah Mariotti of San Diego, Calif/Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics and Rusak were named to the team that will represent the U.S. at the Junior Pan American Championships June 25-27 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. They will be joined by a junior group comprised of Lucia Borja, Sophia Miller, Angelina Mirer, Natalia Ortigosa and Alexandra Rykova, all of the IK School of Gymnastics, which took the top spot in the five balls and five ribbons division with a 38.000.

An additional 25 gymnasts qualified to the junior elite competition at the USA Gymnastics Championships, which will be held June 21-27 in St. Louis.

The IK School of Gymnastics group comprised of Aleksandra Gendelman, Karina Georgieva, Alexis Kalashyan, Stefania Mishtal and Emily Tabak claimed the title in the five balls and three hoops and two pairs of clubs division with a 32.500.

The top-three individual all-around and individual apparatus placements are listed below by age division.


  • All-around: Chu, 79.300; Keys, 77.100; Rusak, 74.850
  • Hoop: Rusak, 20.100; Keys, 19.100; Chu, 18.800
  • Ball: Chu, 20.350; Rusak, 20.100; Keys, 19.550
  • Clubs: Chu, 21.450; Keys, 20.300; Valentina Moya of San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, 18.200
  • Ribbon: Chu, 18.700; Keys, 18.150; Rusak, 17.150


  • All-around: Jaelyn Chin of Aventura, Fla./Bessonova’s School, 71.950; Gemma Gow of Newton, Mass./Nelys School of Rhythmic Gymnastics, 71.750; Milana Abayeva of Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora, 69.850
  • Hoop: Chin, 18.500; Gow, 18.200; Defne Yavuz of Palo Alto, Calif./Bravo Rhythmic Gymnastics, 18.200
  • Ball: Chin, 19.600; Gow, 19.600; Lauren Kramer of San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics, 18.550
  • Clubs: Victoria Gonikman of Corcoran, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic, 20.150; Alexandra Ebert of Brooklyn Park, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic, 19.600; Abayeva, 19.500
  • Ribbon: Deanna Georgieva of Redmond, Wash./La Luna Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy, 18.000; Chin, 17.250; Kramer, 16.150


  • All-around: Mariotti, 76.150; Nayenne Pollini Ashenaffi of San Diego, Calif./Rhythmic Academy of Los Angeles, 74.100; Camiah Kuno of Brooklyn, N.Y./Empire Rhythmic Gymnastics, 69.300
  • Hoop: Pollini Ashenaffi, 18.450; Mariotti, 18.050; Katrine Sakhnov of Sammamish, Wash./La Luna Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy, 17.950
  • Ball: Mariotti, 19.300; Pollini Ashenaffi, 18.800; Eleni Konstantopoulou of Calabasas, Calif./California Rhythms, 18.200
  • Clubs: Mariotti, 20.400; Kuno, 19.350; Pollini Ashenaffi, 19.200
  • Ribbon: Mariotti, 18.400; Pollini Ashenaffi, 17.650; Emily Beznos of Tarzana, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, 16.900

The 2021 Rhythmic Elite Qualifier senior competition and Level 9 Senior Classic will take place Saturday and Sunday. Gymnasts will vie for all-around and individual apparatus titles across Levels 9 and 10 in the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 divisions. In addition to individual awards, the top three regional teams from the Senior Level 9 Classic will be recognized. As with the junior divisions, the top-25 senior gymnasts will qualify to the elite competition at the 2021 USA Gymnastics Championships. Additional competitors will have the opportunity to qualify to Levels 9 and 10 for the national championship event.

The senior competition will air live on FloGymnastics May 15-16 beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT.