GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 23, 2022) – Young upstarts and seasoned veterans continued their journeys to national championship qualifications over the weekend at the 2022 Elite Qualifier at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.
Performances at the Elite Qualifier help determine the final makeup of the junior and senior elite divisions for the USA Gymnastics Championships, June 21-26 in Des Moines.
The youngest competitor at the 2021 World Championships, Erica Foster (Chanhassen, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic) was in fine form in Grand Rapids, winning the senior all-around competition with a combined 117.534. Alexandria Kautzman (Simi Valley, Calif./California Rhythms) was second with a 117.07 and Naomi Skotnikov (Highland Park, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy) third with a 113.450.
The only competitor in the Elite Qualifier born in the 1990s, Serena Lu (Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora by Matchpoint), won hoop with a 30.617 in her first competition since 2017. Kautzman won on ball with a 31.633 and ribbon with a 29.367, while Foster was first on clubs with a 30.167.
Yana Golovan (Las Vegas, Nev./Nevada Rhythmic Academy) topped the junior all-around standings with a 113.967, with Lauren Kramer (San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics) second with a 110.332 and Ksenia Pototski (Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora by Matchpoint) third with a 110.283.
Deanna Georgieva (Redmond, Wash./Zara Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy) posted the top performance on hoop (29.617), Milana Abayeva (Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora by Matchpoint) won ball (28.733), Golovan won clubs (28.933), and Pototski won ribbon (28.200).
Three junior groups qualified for the elite division at the USA Gymnastics Championships with their performances over the weekend. The Liberty Academy group of Ruby Freshwater (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Anastasia Slipets (Wyckoff, N.J.), Ivanka Tarasyuk (Livingston, N.J.), Sarah Novofastovsky (Livingston, N.J.), Sophie Freshwater (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Alisa Sadykov (Summit, N.J.) had a combined score of 43.500 from five ropes and five balls to top the competition. North Shore Gymnastics Group 1 was second with a 41.200 and IK School of Gymnastics Junior Group 2009 third with a 39.500.
The top-25 junior and senior finishers who hold U.S. citizenship, accounting for those who have already clinched spots, qualified to the USA Gymnastics Championships’ elite division, while the next 25 gymnasts in the junior and senior standings advanced to the Level 10 competition in Des Moines. The top-three junior FIG groups earned spots in the elite division at the USA Gymnastics Championships.
All-around top-three finishers and apparatus winners from Grand Rapids are listed below.
All-around: 1. Erica Foster, 117.534; 2. Alexandria Kautzman, 117.017; 3. Naomi Skotnikov, 113.450
Hoop: Serena Lu 30.617
Ball: Kautzman, 31.633
Clubs: Foster, 30.167
Ribbon: Kautzman, 29.367
All-around: 1. Yana Golovan, 113.967; 2. Lauren Kramer 110.332; 3. Ksenia Pototski, 110.283
Hoop: Deanna Georgieva, 29.617
Ball: Milana Abayeva (28.733)
Clubs: Golovan, 28.933
Ribbon: Pototski, 28.200
Junior group: 1. Liberty Academy, 43.500; 2. North Shore Gymnastics Group 1, 41.200; 3. IK School of Gymnastics Junior Group 2009, 39.500
Junior all-around age-group winners:
2007: Yana Golovan, 113.967
2008: Ksenia Pototski, 110.283
2009: Isabella Chong (Mission Viejo, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics), 106.634
2010: Natalie De La Rosa (Woodland Hills, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics), 104.616
2011: Daniela Shevchenko (Philadelphia, Pa./Iliana Rhythmic Gymnastics), 95.051