Rachel Marmer
© Todd Bissonette

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Feb. 9, 2009 – 2008 U.S. all-around silver-medalist Rachel Marmer of Los Angeles/Eurogymnastics is among the 17 rhythmic gymnasts scheduled to compete in the 2009 Rhythmic Challenge, Feb. 15, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Eleven seniors and six juniors will participate in the first national competition of 2009, which is also the first round of selection for this year’s international assignments.

In addition to Marmer, the other members of the national team competing in the Rhythmic Challenge are: senior – JoAnna Arnold of Northville, Mich./North Shore Rhythmic, Ava Gehringer of Evanston, Ill. /North Shore Rhythmic, Sarah Kudishevich of Eden Prairie, Minn./ International Gymnastics of Minnesota, Rebecca Wallenstein of Point Verda, Fla./World Rhythmics, and Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md./Rhythmflex; and junior – Polina Kozitsky of Fountainville, Pa./Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy, Gabrielle Magid of Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora, Michelle Milstein, Eagan, Minn./International Gymnastics of Minnesota, Katherine Scarnechia, Lancaster, Calif./North Shore Rhythmic, Rebecca Sereda, Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, and Anastasia Torba, Orinda, Calif./Allegro Rhythmic. Magid, Milstein, Scarnechia and Torba are all competing as seniors.

The Rhythmic Challenge begins at 12 p.m. MT in Sports Center 1 and has an all-around format. The event is open to the public and admission is free. The Rhythmic Invitational, a competition for Levels 7-10, will be held Feb. 12-14 in conjunction with the Rhythmic Challenge.

At the 2008 Visa Championships, Marmer placed second in the all-around, clubs and rope and finished third in hoop. Also in 2008, she won the gold medal in the team competition and the bronze medal in the all-around at the 2008 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships presented by Gillette Venus, and finished second at the Rhythmic Challenge. She was a member of the U.S. Team at the 2007 World Championships. As a junior, Marmer is a four-time U.S. all-around champion (2003-06) and earned 11 U.S. individual event titles.

2009 Rhythmic Challenge participants
By state, information shows name, hometown/club (level)

Nicole Chillingworth, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif./Eurogymnastics (senior)
Rachel Marmer, Los Angeles, Calif./Eurogymnastics (senior)
Katherine Scarnechia, Lancaster, Calif./North Shore Rhythmic (senior)
Anastasia Torba, Orinda, Calif./Allegro Rhythmic (senior)

Rebecca Wallenstein, Point Verda, Fla./World Rhythmics (senior)

Ava Gehringer, Evanston, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic (senior)
Jazzy Kerber, Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic (junior)

Julie Zetlin, Bethesda, Md./Rhythmflex (senior)

JoAnna Arnold, Northville, Mich./North Shore Rhythmic (senior)

Sarah Kudishevich, Eden Prairie, Minn./International Gymnastics of Minnesota (senior)
Cindy Lu, Blaine, Minn./Twin Cities Rhythmic (junior)
Michelle Milstein, Eagan, Minn./International Gymnastics of Minnesota (senior)

New York
Jessica Bogdanov, Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora (junior)
Gabriella Magid, Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora (senior)
Olga Pavlenko, Flushing, N.Y./Isadora (junior)
Rebecca Sereda, Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora (junior)

Polina Kozitsky, Fountainville, Pa./Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy (junior)