U.S. rhythmic gymnastics team seeks second straight team title at Pacific Rim Championships
posted on 04/08/2014

© Steve Lange / Diane Bidermann

Aliya Protto of Los Angeles/California Rhythmics, and Nastasya Generalova of Culver City, Calif./California Rhythmics, who combined for nine medals at the recent International Tournament of Pas de Calais, lead the U.S. rhythmic gymnastics squad competing at this week's Pacific Rim Championships in Richmond, B.C., Canada. Team USA enters the competition as the defending champions, having taken the title at the 2012 Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships in Everett, Wash.

Seniors Cindy Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora; and Valeriya Sharipova of Livingston, N.J./Independent, as well as juniors Ekatherina Kapitonova of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora; and Brigita Budginas of Agoura Hills, Calif./Platinum Gymnastics Academy, join the duo. The United States' junior rhythmic group will also participate. Members of the group are Sophia Popova of Minneapolis, Minn./Twin Cities Rhythmic; Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill./M & N Rhythmic Academy; Elina Nikerina of Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; Nicky Wojtana of Plano, Texas/Texas Rhythmic Academy; Yelyzaveta Merenzon of Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; and Emily Rakhnyansky of Brooklyn, N.Y./MatchPoint.

Competition begins Thursday at 1 p.m. ET with the junior group competition. For a complete schedule, click here. The entire Pacific Rim Championships will be webcast live, courtesy of Gymnastics Canada. The webcast will be available on the competition's official site or on USAGym.org.