© Grace Chiu / Steve Lange

LAKE PLACID, N.Y., June 21, 2014 — At the 2014 USA Rhythmic Gymnastics National Qualifier at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., Cindy Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, and Camilla Feeley of Lincolnshire, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, lead the way at the halfway point for the seniors and juniors, respectively. The competition concludes today.

Lu finished day one in the top qualifying spot with a two-event score of 32.950. She is followed by Aliya Protto of Culver City, Calif./California Rhythms (31.550), and Ronit Shamuilov of Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora (31.350). Feeley has a 30.650 after two events in the junior competition. Nastasya Generalova of Los Angeles/California Rhythms (30.250), is currently in second and Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./Illinois Rhythmics Gymnastics Center (29.400), rounds out the top three.

Tickets are $10 per day for adults and $5 for children under 10. Admission will be available at the U.S. Olympic Training Center on competition days.

The National Qualifier is open to all Level 9 and 10 athletes in the Hopes, junior and senior age divisions. The top 23 junior and hopes competitors qualify to the USA Gymnastics Championships and join Youth Olympic Games qualifier 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.

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.