Six senior U.S. titles won at 2014 USA Gymnastics Championships
posted on 07/19/2014

© John Cheng

LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 19, 2014 — The 2014 USA Gymnastics Championships at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., wrapped up with the finals in junior and senior trampoline, senior rhythmic gymnastics and junior and senior acrobatic gymnastics. The final six senior champions are: rhythmic gymnastics, all-around – Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora (tie); acrobatic gymnastics, all-around – Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward, both of Riverside, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, (mixed pair), Ciera Wilson of Riverside, Calif., and Kailey Maurer of Colton, Calif., Empire (women’s pair), and Hannah Silverman of Clarksville, Md., Christina Antoniades of Eldersburg, Md., and Emily Ruppert of Baltimore, Md., Emilia's Acro Gymnastics Club (women’s group); and trampoline – Jeffrey Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./World Elite (men), and Charlotte Drury of Laguna Niguel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics (women).

The USA Gymnastics Championships, the national championships for trampoline and tumbling, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics, had competition at both the KFC Yum! Center and Kentucky International Convention Center over five days.

Earlier today, the U.S. men’s and women’s junior trampoline and acrobatic gymnastics champions were named: trampoline – Cody Gesuelli of Middletown, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy (men), and Hally Piontek of Warrensburg, Mo./Kansas City Trampoline Club (women); and acrobatic gymnastics, all-around – Katarina Partalas and Kathleen Davis, both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio (12-18 women’s pair), Neena Deshpande, Hannah Pack and Mikaela Fincannon, all from San Jose, Calif./Aerial Tumbling & Acro Gymnastics (12-18 women’s group), Konstantine Partalas and Collin Davis, both of San Antonio, Texas/Aerial Athletics (12-18 men’s pair), Brianna Foster, San Antonio, Texas, and Joseph McGraw, Plano, Texas, both of Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio (12-18 mixed pair), Maren Merwarth and Jessica Renteria, both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio (13-19 women’s pair), Emilia Segel of Reisterstown, Md., Josephina Kievsky of Baltimore, Md., and Londrea Garrett of Columbia, Md., Emilia's Acro Gymnastics Club (13-19 women’s group), Bryan Allen of San Jose, Calif., and Brennan Atsatt of Santa Cruz, Calif., both of Aerial Tumbling & Acro Gymnastics (13-19 men’s pair), and Allison Hughs of New Orleans, and Kenneth Scott-Brown of Chalmette, La., Crescent City Gymnastics (13-19 mixed pair).

Acrobatic gymnastics
For the mixed pair, Boynton and Ward won their second consecutive U.S. senior all-around mixed pair title with a total of 85.947. Eirian Smith and Brian Kincher, both of Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, were second at 80.573. In women’s group, Silverman, Antoniades and Ruppert also tallied their second straight U.S. all-around crown with 82.677 points. Xtreme Acro’s Daphne Kirschner of Rockville, Md., Mackenzie Meyer of Silver Spring, Md., and Savannah Bentley of Annapolis, Md., finished second at 79.430, and Lily Bowler, DeShay Eisenmenger and Natasha Villarreal, all of Boerne, Texas/Boerne Gymnastics Center, were third with 73.677. Wilson and Maurer’s women’s pair score was 78.733.

Rhythmic gymnastics
For the first time in U.S. rhythmic history, Kerber and Sereda tied for the all-around title with a total of 129.100. This is Sereda’s third consecutive senior all-around crown and Kerber’s first as a senior. Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, was third with a total of 123.650.

Trampoline
Gluckstein won his second straight and third overall U.S. trampoline title, tallying a 212.925 to clinch the title. Neil Gulati of Irvine, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, earned a 210.730 total for second, and Logan Dooley of Lake Forest, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, rounded out the top three at 208.935.

Charlotte Drury of Laguna Niguel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, nabbed her first senior U.S. trampoline crown, posting a 201.180. Shaylee Dunavin of Amarillo, Texas/All American Gymnastics, captured the runner-up spot with a 195.110, followed by Dakota Earnest of Tokio, Texas/Acrospirits, in third with 157.535.

In addition, several annual awards were presented at the end of competition. The coaches of the year are: Natasha Klimouk, Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach of the Year; James A. Rozanas Tumbling Coach of the Year, Chauncy Haydon; Milton B. Davis & George Nissen Trampoline Coach of the Year, Robert Null; Bob Bollinger Double-Mini Coach of the Year, Dr. George Drew; and Acrobatic Gymnastics Elite Coach of the Year, Youri Vorobiev. The Athletes of the Year are: rhythmic gymnastics, Kerber; trampoline and tumbling, Kristle Lowell; and acrobatic gymnastics, Boynton and Ward. The Sports Person of the Year for each discipline is: rhythmic gymnastics, Sereda; and trampoline and tumbling, Yuliya Stankevich-Brown (woman) and Dooley (man).

Acrobatic gymnastics combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women's group is comprised of three athletes - a base, middle and top partner – while a men's group has four athletes, a base, two middle partners and one top partner.

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.

Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double and triple twisting somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated rod-floor runways that enable athletes to jump at heights more than 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. For the double-mini competition, the athlete makes a short run, leaps onto a small two-level trampoline, performs an aerial maneuver and dismounts onto a landing mat. Trampoline was added to the Olympic Games in 2000, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the USA had its first athlete in history advance to the finals.