© Champion Images

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 23, 2011 – Melissa Gong of Perris, Calif. and Ryan Ward of Riverside, Calif., both of Realis Gymnastics Academy, led the way on the opening day of the 2011 National Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships inside the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. The pair totaled 28.358, claiming the senior elite mixed pairs balance national title. Click here to watch a clip of their winning performance.
Competition to determine the all-around mixed pairs champions continues tomorrow July 24 with the dynamic competition and concludes Monday, July 25 with the combined session. The pair with the highest sum total after all three nights of competition is crowned the all-around national champion.
In addition to Gong and Ward, Saturday’s competition named the group dynamic champions and the pairs balance champions in junior elite and senior elite. The champions crowned were as follows:
Sr. Elite Women’s Group, Dynamic
Sienna Martinez, Holli Morris and Crystal Johnston/Empire
Sr. Elite Women’s Pair, Balance
Beth Landeche, Nicole Barrilleaux/Cresent City Gymnastics
Jr. Elite Women’s Group, Dynamic
Daphne Kirschner, Jordan Jones, Mackenzie Meyer/Xtreme Acro
Jr. Elite Mixed Pair, Balance
Eirian Smith, Jake Kanavel/West Coast Training Center
Jr. Elite Men’s Pair, Balance
Bryan Allen, Kyle Bloom/Aerial Tumbling & AcroGymnastics
Jr. Elite Women’s Pair, Balance
Mariah Cockshell, Kennedy Swanson/Acro Explosion
Both national titles and national team berths are on the line at the championships. Results from the competition will also be used to help determine next year’s World Championships team.
The championships, which include over 500 athletes competing in Junior Olympic levels 5-10 and junior and senior elite, continue through Wednesday, July 27. Tickets are on sale now at the San Jose Convention Center. Ticket prices for the event are: single-day tickets – 6 years of age and under -free, ages 7-13-$13, and adults-$26; and five day pass –6 years of age and under-free, ages 7-13-$42 and adults-$84. In recognition of Visa’s long-time support of USA Gymnastics, Visa is the preferred method of payment.
As a longstanding partner with USA Gymnastics, the San Jose Sports Authority is pleased to welcome the Acrobatic Gymnastics National Championships to the Capital of Silicon Valley. San Jose has a successful history with gymnastics, having staged the 2007 Visa Championships, 2008 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, 2009 Trampoline and Tumbling Junior Olympic National Championships and the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline. The city will play host to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics June 28-July 1 at the HP Pavilion at San Jose.
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 a base, middle and top partner, while a men’s group has a base, two middle partners and one top partner.
The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the City of San Jose’s economic development, visibility and civic pride through sports. Serving as the City’s sports commission since its inception in 1991, the Sports Authority has provided leadership and support to attract or host hundreds of sporting events in San Jose and the South Bay. The Sports Authority also supports and operates community, youth and amateur sports programs, including the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, The First Tee of San Jose, and the REACH Youth Scholarship Program. To learn more, visit www.sjsa.org.
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 group gymnastics. For more information, log on to www.usagym.org.