© John Cheng

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 17, 2007— Two-time defending U.S. senior elite men’s pair champions Julian Amaro of Pleasanton, Calif., and Tyler Spray of Livermore, Calif., won gold medals in both balance and dynamic at the 2007 Visa Championships in San Jose, Calif. Acrobatic gymnastics competition at the Visa Championships concludes on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 10 a.m. PT when the junior and senior elite all-around champions are crowned.


Men’s artistic gymnastics competition concludes tonight at the HP Pavilion. Women’s artistic, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics wrap up on the final day of the Visa Championships on Saturday.


“We did well today,” Spray said. “Our balance was good and we’re excited to compete on Saturday.”


2006 U.S. women’s group champions Mariah Henninger of Walnut Creek, Calif., Ally Kidd of Livermore, Calif., and Tisa Penny of San Leandro, Calif., won balance and dynamic in the senior elite women’s group competition. The duo of Andre Solodar of San Jose, Calif., and Xiau-Ling Wee of Monte Sereno, Calif., and the pair of Kristin Allen of Livermore, Calif., and Brian Kincher of Fort Collins, Colo., split the mixed pair individual event medals, winning balance and dynamic, respectively. Savannah Shields and Mallory Henthorn, both of Blue Springs, Mo., earned both gold medals in women’s pair.


“We’re extremely proud of how we did today,” Penny said. “We worked hard in the last few weeks to bring it up to this level and we definitely were happy walking off the floor today. We’re looking forward to bringing home the all-around gold on Saturday.”


In the junior elite division, Madeline Bones and Kyle Bloom, both of San Jose, Calif., won the mixed pair balance and dynamic gold medals, while the trio of Amanda Plumer of Walnut Creek, Calif., Liselle Kitchens of San Ramon, Calif., and Amy Slater of Danville, Calif., earned the women’s group balance and dynamic titles.


The acrobatic gymnastics all-around is a sum of three routines—today’s balance and dynamic routines and Saturday’s combined routine.


A competition for acrobatic gymnasts in Levels 8-10 was held today in conjunction with the elite competition at the Visa Championships. The gymnasts competed for available spots on the Acrobatic Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Team, for consideration for future international competitions and for additional experience. The results are listed below.


Acrobatic gymnastics, previously referred to as sport acrobatics, combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Gymnastics skills add excitement to the exercises, while intense acrobatic balances show grace, strength and flexibility. 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