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SAINT PAUL, Minn., Aug. 19, 2011 – Shelby Kisiel of Missouri City, Texas/North Shore Rhythmic, earned two senior event titles, with Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, and Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics, splitting the four junior individual event titles, in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2011 Visa Championships today at the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul, Minn. The junior and senior all-around finals are Saturday, Aug. 20.
Kisiel, the 2011 U.S. Rhythmic Classic all-around champion, had a first-place finish in both ball and clubs, scoring a 26.225 and 27.025, respectively.
"I’m satisfied how I pulled out two pretty rough routines after struggling a bit during my ribbon routine," Shelby Kisiel said. "Persevering to me is what matters most, so I hope to continue to improve and work toward a better performance tomorrow."
Olga Pavlenko of Flushing, N.Y./Isadora, won the gold medal after an impressive hoop performance, scoring a 25.100.
"I was really happy with hoop," Olga Pavlenko said. "It always feels good to win, even though my other three events didn’t go so well. At the same time, I will try to do better tomorrow."
Polina Kozitskiy of Fountainville, Pa./Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy, not only gained a gold medal for her ribbon performance, 25.175, but also earned the highest score in the all-around preliminary competition and will be one of 12 rhythmic gymnasts to advance to the senior finals on Saturday, Aug. 20.
"I thought it was really exciting" Polina Kozitskiy said. "All the hard work I put into it showed up on the carpet today, because I did really well on ribbon and got first place."
Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, and Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics, split the four U.S. junior rhythmic gymnastics individual event titles at the 2011 Visa Championships earlier today at the auditorium. Sereda also earned the highest score in the all-around preliminaries for the juniors and will be one of 12 to join the 12 seniors also advancing to the all-around finals on Saturday.
Sereda, who is the defending junior all-around champion, won the gold medals for both ball and clubs, scoring a 24.900 and 25.900, respectively.
"I feel good," said Sereda. "I had some ups and downs this competition, but I nailed my last routine and I always like ending on a good note, so I’m happy."
Kerber, who recently won the junior all-around at the 2011 U.S. Rhythmic Classic, took top honors for both hoop and ribbon, earning scores of 24.980 and 24.700, respectively.
"I’m happy with some things and less happy with other things," said Kerber. "But I have another day so hopefully I can improve everything that wasn’t as good as I wanted."
The top 12 in the all-around, which are the combined scores of all four events, for both the seniors and juniors will advance to tomorrow’s all-around finals.
For the seniors, joining Kozitskiy, Kisiel, and Pavlenko in competition in the all-around are, in rank order: Alexis Page, New York, N.Y./Aviator Sports; Anastasia Torba, Orinda,Calif./Allegro; Hannah Walter, Angola, N.Y./Gymnastics Unlimited; Elektra Markogiannakis, Randolf, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams; Ivana Benson, Valrico, Fla./Tampa Bay Rhythmics; Jane Braverman, Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora; Claire Skach, Portland, Ore./Rose City Rhythmics; Rachel Girma, Inglewood, Calif./Eurogymnastics; and Manon Chaney, Gresham, Ore./Rose City Rhythmics.
In addition to Sereda and Kerber, the juniors competing in the all-around are, in rank order: Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora; Cindy Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora; Julia Garbuz of Eden Prairie, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic; Ronit Shamuilov of Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora; Monica Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic; Daniella Romashin of Eden Prairie, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic; Jennifer Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic; Yasmeen Sidqi, Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora; Laura Tutunikov of Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic; and Aliya Protto of Culver City, Calif./Club Ritmica.
Tickets for the four-day event are on sale now, with individual session tickets, as well as multi- and all-session ticket packages. Tickets may be purchased at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 800-745-3000, and online at www.ticketmaster.com. In recognition of Visa’s sponsorship, USA Gymnastics is proud to accept only Visa at the 2011 Visa Championships, along with cash. For ticket and event information, go to www.usagym.org/visa.
The USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show, held at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, is the annual gathering of professional members which offers educational and business sessions, a large exhibitor’s hall and other business and educational opportunities.