© Grace Chiu / Steve Lange

LAKE PLACID, N.Y., June 23, 2014 – Cindy Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, and Camilla Feeley of Lincolnshire, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, finished in the top senior and junior spots at the 2014 USA Rhythmic Gymnastics National Qualifier at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., the qualifying competition for the 2014 USA Gymnastics Championships, which serves as the national championships for rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling and acrobatic gymnastics.

For the seniors, Lu won with a total score of 66.600. Ronit Shamuilov of Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora, finished the qualifier in second (63.600), followed by Aliya Protto of Culver City, Calif./California Rhythms, in third (60.050). Finishing behind Feeley’s 61.100, Nastasya Generalova of Los Angeles/California Rhythms (60.650), and Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./Illinois Rhythmics Gymnastics Center (59.300) , qualified in second and third, respectively, for the juniors.

U.S. National Team members Gabrielle Lowenstein of Huntington Beach, Calif./Eurogymnastics, Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, Heather Chan of South Pasadena, Calif./Platinum Gymnastics Academy, Ekatherina Kapitonova of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, and Brigita Budginas of Agoura Hills, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, also qualified to nationals in July.

The National Qualifier was open to all Level 9 and 10 athletes in the Hopes, junior and senior age divisions. The top 23 junior and Hopes competitors qualified to the USA Gymnastics Championships and join Youth Olympic Games participant Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Junior Pan American Championships silver-medalist Nicole Kaloyony of Woodbridge, Va./Gymnastics World, who have already qualified. The top 17 seniors at the national qualifier will continue on to the national championships, joining World all-around finalists Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, as well as 2014 Pacific Rim Championship team gold-medalist Valeriya Sharipova of Livingston, N.J./unaffiliated.

The 2014 USA Gymnastics Championships is the national championships for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline/tumbling. Scheduled for July 15-19, the five-day event features competition on the Junior Olympic and junior and senior elite levels for each discipline. The competition will be held at both the Kentucky International Convention Center and the KFC Yum! Center. For more information, visit USAGymChamps.com. For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.

Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with ribbons, balls, hoops, ropes and clubs in a choreographed routine to music. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots and balances. Only four of the apparatus are competed each quad, and the four for 2016 are hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.