© Ricardo Bufolin

MAIA, Portugal, May 14, 2022 – All participating U.S. senior acrobats have qualified to tomorrow’s finals at the 2022 FIG World Cup in Maia Portugal, while four U.S. pairs and one group will take part in their respective division finals for the accompanying Maia International Acro Cup. Scores will reset, and gymnasts will show combined exercises during Sunday’s winner-take-all finals.

The 2022 World champions in men’s pair, Angel Felix (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Braiden McDougall (Riverside, Calif.) of Realis Gymnastics Academy, added a 27.750 in the dynamic exercise Saturday at the Maia Municipal Gymnastics Complex to advance in the top position to Sunday’s World Cup men’s pair final with a 55.950. Their Realis Gymnastics Academy teammates Katie Borcherding (Pacific, Mo.) and Cierra McKown (Riverside, Calif.), who picked up a World silver medal in women’s pair earlier this year, qualified in the fourth spot with a 52.430 after notching a 25.680 in dynamic on Day 2. Ukraine’s Viktoriia Kozlovska and Taisiia Marchenko led the way with a 55.680.

Both U.S. senior groups also posted top-five showings during World Cup qualifications. The women’s trio of Isabel Chang (Columbia, Md.), Sydney Martin (Glenwood, Md.) and Maria Wooden (Derwood, Md.) of Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer delivered the day’s second-highest balance score of 27.330 to advance in fifth behind a combined 53.870. Portugal’s Beatriz Carneiro, Francisca Maia and Barbara Sequeira paced the field with a 56.380. Meanwhile, the men’s quartet of Ethan Chang (Columbia, Md.), Sam Lacy (Columbia, Md.), Cade Shields (Columbia, Md.) and Dorian White (Castro Valley, Calif.), also from Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, qualified second. The group earned a 26.410 in balance to finish with a combined 54.450, positioning them just behind the reigning men’s group World champions Bradley Gold, Archie Goonesekera, Finlay Gray and Andrew Morris-Hunt of Great Britain, who claimed the top spot with a 57.430.

Borcherding and McKown will lead off tomorrow’s finals at 1 p.m. ET, while Felix and McDougall are set to compete at 2 p.m. ET. The U.S. women’s trio will follow at 2:12 p.m. ET with the men’s group set to cap competition for the American contingent at 2:52 p.m. ET.

Titles for the 2022 Maia International Acro Cup will be awarded earlier in the day at the Maia Municipal Gymnastics Complex. U.S. acrobats Jaylen Ivey (San Jose, Calif.) and Amaya Rogers (Campbell, Calif.) of WestCoast Training Center and Willow Rose Noble (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Sydney Padios (Moreno Valley, Calif.) of Realis Gymnastics Academy secured their finals spots in the 13-19-year-old mixed pair and women’s pair divisions Friday. The U.S. 12-18 mixed pair of Andrew Castro (Riverside, Calif.) and Savannah Stagno (Yucaipa, Calif.) from Realis Gymnastics Academy also punched their tickets directly to the finals based on their combined balance and dynamic score. The duo added a 26.100 in dynamic on Saturday to bring their cumulative score to 52.760. They advanced in the third position, while Ukraine’s Veronica Nikitina and Maksym Yushak set the bar with a 53.800.

Due to the number of entrants, a semifinals round was added to the qualification process for the 12-18-year-old women’s pair and women’s group divisions. The U.S. advanced two duos to the women’s pair semis. Mia Alvarez (Riverside, Calif.) and Ava Cabana (Grand Terrace Calif.) qualified in the fifth position behind a 50.950, while San Diegans Sydney Dorais and Molly Fox of SoCal TTC were 12th with a 49.700. Dorais and Fox came on strong in the semifinals, delivering the round’s second-highest score of 26.000 to claim their spot in the final. Alvarez and Cabana were 17th with a 20.700. Portugal’s Mariana Simplicio and Leonor Tomas topped the scoresheet with a 26.800.

The U.S. trio of Catherine Lacy (Columbia, Md.), Abigail Novoseletskiy (Baltimore, Md.) and Cecilia Shadrick (Ellicott City, Md.) were third after the balance and dynamic exercises with a 52.350. They maintained that position through the semifinals, posting a 26.900 to secure their spot in tomorrow’s final. Portugal’s Leonor Carreira, Ema Fernandes and Marta Oliveira advanced in the top position with a 27.340.

The trio of Lacy, Novoseletskiy and Shadrick will be the first Americans in action Sunday. They’re set to take the floor at 7:03 a.m. ET and will be followed immediately by Dorais and Fox at 7:06 a.m. ET. The mixed pair of Castro and Stagno are due up at 7:42 a.m. ET. Noble and Padios will compete in the 13-19 women’s pair final at 9:09 a.m. ET with Ivey and Rogers set to wrap up competition for U.S. juniors at 9:54 a.m. ET.