USA Gymnastics wraps up a successful 2014
posted on 12/22/2014

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 19, 2014 – Beginning with the USA’s sweep at the AT&T American Cup and finishing with medal performances at three World Cup events in December, 2014 proved to be a busy yet successful year for USA Gymnastics, especially on the international stage. The United States enjoyed success at all four World Championships this year, capped by the women winning the team title and Simone Biles’ becoming the first American in 20 years to win back-to-back World all-around titles. In addition, Alec Yoder of Indianapolis, Ind./InterActive Academy, and Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics, won the USA’s first Youth Olympic Games medals in Nanjing, China.

"This has been an incredible year for USA Gymnastics," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Our athletes and coaches have achieved great success internationally, and we are well-positioned for the next two years and the run into Rio."

Here’s a quick overview of the USA’s performances at the World Championships and Youth Olympic Games, followed by a summary of the senior level accomplishments for each of the competitive disciplines.

World Artistic Gymnastics Championships

  • The United States won the medal count at the 2014 World Championships in Nanning, China, with its 10 medals: four gold; two silver; and four bronze.
  • The U.S. women made USA Gymnastics history by winning the USA’s second consecutive World team title. The USA led the entire competition, winning by a convincing 6.693 margin. The squad was comprised of Alyssa Baumann of Plano, Texas/WOGA; Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre; Madison Kocian of Dallas/WOGA; Ashton Locklear of Huntersville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics; Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max; and MyKayla Skinner of Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights. Madison Desch of Blue Springs, Mo./GAGE, was the alternate.
  • The USA is the first to win back-to-back women’s World team titles since Romania’s string of five (1994, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001; a team competition was not held during the missing years or during an Olympic year). The U.S. Team won the team title at the 2011 World Championships, the last time a World team competition was held. The USA also took top team honors at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
  • Biles won her second consecutive World all-around title, becoming the first woman to have back-to-back World all-around titles since Svetlana Khorkina (2001, 2003). Her straight titles come 20 years after Shannon Miller became the first U.S. woman to do so in 1993-94. Biles also won both the balance beam and floor exercise gold medals, along with the vault silver. She is the first woman to win four gold medals at a single World Championships since the Soviet Union’s Ludmilla Tourischeva in 1974.
  • Biles now boasts six career World gold medals, the most by a U.S. woman. With her 2014 medals, Biles tied Nastia Liukin and Miller with nine career medals, and only Alicia Sacramone has more with 10 total. Biles’ World medals are: gold – all-around (2013-14), balance beam (2014), floor exercise (2013-14) and team (2014); silver – vault (2013-14); and bronze – balance beam (2013).
  • Ross was the all-around bronze medalist, and Skinner claimed the vault bronze.
  • In the men’s competition, the USA rallied in the final two rotations to pull ahead of Great Britain and clinch the bronze medal in the team finals. The U.S. Men’s Team consisted of Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Oklahoma); Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics); Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Michigan); Alexander Naddour of Queen Creek, Ariz./Team Hilton HHonors (USA Youth Fitness Center); John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center); and Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center). Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), was the alternate.
  • Leyva claimed the parallel bars silver medal, and Dalton earned the vault bronze.

World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships

  • Erin Jauch of Crystal Lake, Ill./Fox Valley T & T, won the women’s double-mini gold medal at the 2014 World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • With Jauch’s title, the USA became the first country since New Zealand in 1992/1994 to have back-to-back women’s double-mini World titles. Jauch followed Kristle Lowell of Three Rivers, Mich./Branch Gymnastics, who won in 2013.
  • Austin White of Newport Coast, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, and Austin Nacey of Braidwood, Ill./Twiststars, finished second and third in the men’s double mini-trampoline.

World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships

  • Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward, both of Riverside, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, won the mixed pairs bronze medal at the 2014 World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships in Levallois, France.
  • The medal is the USA’s first at the World Championships since Kristin Allen and Michael Rodrigues won gold in 2010.

World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships

  • Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, finished 19th in the all-around finals at the 2014 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Izmir, Turkey. This was her second consecutive World all-around finals appearance.
  • The USA placed 11th in the team competition, improving from 15th in 2011. In addition to Kerber, the U.S. Team included Serena Lu and Rebecca Sereda, both of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora.
  • The USA finished in 14th place in the group all-around finals, which qualified them to compete in the 2015 World Championships that serve as the first of two opportunities to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. This is the USA’s best finish in the World group all-around finals since 2002, when the USA finished 13th.

Youth Olympic Games

  • Yoder captured the all-around bronze medal at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. He also finished fourth on the parallel bars and seventh on the pommel horse.
  • Zeng took home the rhythmic gymnastics all-around bronze medal, becoming the first U.S. rhythmic gymnast to win an Olympic or World medal.
  • Nicole Ahsinger of San Diego, Calif./So Cal TTC, finished fifth in women’s trampoline, and Colin Duda of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, a last minute replacement for the injured Cody Gesuelli, also qualified to the finals and finished eighth.

A summary of the key accomplishments on the senior elite level are listed below.


Women’s gymnastics
  • Senior Pan Am Championships, Toronto, Ont., Canada. The U.S. women won the team title to qualify for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. MyKayla Skinner of Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights, captured the all-around gold medal, and Maggie Nichols of Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters, was the bronze medalist. The remaining members of the U.S. Team were: Madison Desch of Blue Springs, Mo./GAGE; Amelia Hundley of Fairfield, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics; Madison Kocian of Dallas/WOGA; Ashton Locklear of Huntersville, N.C./Everest Gymnastics; and Felicia Hano of Costa Mesa, Calif./Gym-Max Gymnastics, the alternate. In addition, Skinner garnered the vault and floor gold medals. Locklear and Kocian went one-two on the uneven bars, respectively.
  • P&G Gymnastics Championships, Pittsburgh, Pa. Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, won her second consecutive senior women’s all-around title at the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships. 2012 Olympic team gold-medalist Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max, earned her second straight all-around silver. Nichols finished third. Event titles went to Biles on vault and floor; Ross repeated on beam; and Locklear on uneven bars.
  • Pacific Rim Championships, Richmond, B.C., Canada. The USA easily won the team title at the 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships. The United States also won both all-around gold medals, with Elizabeth Price of Coopersburg, Pa./Parkettes, and Bailie Key of Montgomery, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics, taking the top senior and junior honors, respectively. Price also won the uneven bars and floor exercise titles, along with the beam bronze. Ross captured the balance beam crown, along with silver medals for the all-around, uneven bars and floor. Peyton Ernst of Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams, was the third senior, but she did not compete on all four events. The USA had the top three junior all-around scores, but medals were limited to two per country. Nia Dennis of Westerville, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics, was second, and Norah Flatley of Cumming, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance, had the third best score but did not receive a medal. Key also won the junior vault and floor gold medals, as well as the silver for the uneven bars and balance beam. Flatley took the junior balance beam title, and Dennis earned the vault silver.
  • FIG all-around World Cup Series. Price won the International Gymnastics Federation's all-around World Cup Series. Price won both the AT&T American Cup in Greensboro, N.C., and the Stuttgart (Germany) World Cup, as well as took second at the Glasgow (Scotland) World Cup. Price clinched the Series title with 145 points.
  • Tokyo (Japan) World Cup. Nichols was third in the all-around at the 2014 Tokyo (Japan) World Cup. The event was the final leg of the 2013-14 FIG World Cup all-around series.
  • Jesolo (Italy) Trophy. The United States women won the junior and senior team titles and swept all six all-around medals at the Jesolo (Italy) Trophy competition. Ross led the senior team to gold while capturing the all-around title. Ernst and Nichols finished second and third, respectively. Key won the junior all-around title, with Dennis and Flatley rounding out the junior podium. The event champions were: Skinner, senior vault and floor; Kocian, senior uneven bars; Key, junior vault, uneven bars and floor exercise; and Flatley, junior balance beam. The other event medals went to: Ross, senior bars and floor silver; Baumann, senior beam silver; Key, junior beam silver; Jordan Chiles of Vancouver, Wash./Naydenov Gymnastics, junior vault silver; and Dennis, junior bars.
  • AT&T American Cup, Greensboro, N.C. Price and Brenna Dowell of Odessa, Mo./GAGE, took first and second place, respectively, at the AT&T American Cup.

Men’s gymnastics
  • DTB Team Challenge, Stuttgart, Germany. The United States won the men’s silver medal at the DTB Team Challenge. The U.S. Men’s Team was comprised of Bobby Baker of Lemont, Ill./University of Illinois; Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners Gymnastics Academy; C.J. Maestas of Corrales, N.M./University of Illinois; and Akash Modi of Morganville, N.J./Stanford University.
  • Senior Pan Am Championships, Toronto. Led by all-around bronze medalist Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla./Ohio State University, the U.S. men claimed the team gold medal at the Senior Pan American Championships and secured a trip to the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. In addition to Melton, the U.S. men’s team was comprised of Jonathan Horton of Houston /Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics); Kimble; Maestas; Eddie Penev of Penfield, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (Stanford University); Brandon Wynn of Voorhees, N.J./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center); and alternate Modi. Kimble claimed the pommel horse silver medal, and Wynn earned the still rings silver.
  • P&G Gymnastics Championships, Pittsburgh, Pa. Sam Mikulak of Corona del Mar, Calif./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Michigan), came from behind to win his second consecutive P&G Gymnastics Championships all-around title. He also notched his first U.S. pommel horse crown. John Orozco of the Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), was second in the all-around and earned the U.S. horizontal bar title. Jake Dalton of Sparks, Nev./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Oklahoma), took third in the all-around, as well as the floor exercise gold. The remaining U.S. event champions are: Wynn, still rings (his second straight and fourth overall); Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center), vault; and Danell Leyva of Miami, Fla./Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics), parallel bars (second consecutive and fourth overall).
  • World Cup and international events. The U.S. men had great success competing at several International Gymnastics Federation World Cup and other international events.
  • 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival, Guadalajara, Mexico. Melton won four medals: silver, horizontal bar; and bronze, pommel horse, still rings and parallel bars.
  • Pacific Rim Championships, Richmond, B.C., Canada. The U.S. men won the team title at the 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships. Orozco won the senior all-around gold medal, and Marty Strech of Fountain Valley, Calif./Azarian U.S. Gymnastics Training Center, and Alec Yoder of Indianapolis, Ind./InterActive Academy, tied for second in the junior all-around. Orozco won the parallel bars and horizontal bar senior titles, along with the floor and still rings silver. For the juniors, Yoder won the pommel horse title; Strech claimed the vault silver and floor exercise bronze medals; and Davis Grooms of Katy, Texas/Champions Gymnastics, earned the pommel horse silver and the parallel bars bronze.
  • AT&T American Cup. Mikulak won the all-around titles at the 2014 AT&T American Cup. Orozco finished fifth.

Rhythmic gymnastics
  • 2014 Pan American Championships, Toronto, Ont., Canada. Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, led Team USA to the team gold medal at the 2014 Pan American Championships, while capturing the individual all-around title. Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, was second in the all-around. The others on the individual rhythmic team were Serena Lu of Staten Island/Isadora, and Aliya Protto of Culver City, Calif./California Rhythms. Kerber also won the gold medals for ribbon and clubs, along with the silver for ball and the bronze for hoop. The U.S. group earned the silver medal for the all-around and 10 clubs. The senior group consisted of Kiana Eide of Northbrook, Ill., Alisa Kano of Glencoe, Ill., Natalie McGiffert of Northbrook, Jennifer Rokhman of Northbrook, Monica Rokhman of Northbrook, and Kristen Shaldybin of Chicago, all of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center. The USA qualified two individual gymnasts and the group to the 2015 Pan American Games.
  • USA Gymnastics Championships, Louisville, Ky. For the first time in U.S. rhythmic history, Kerber and Sereda tied for the U.S. all-around title. This is Sereda’s third consecutive senior all-around crown and Kerber’s first as a senior. Serena Lu was third. The U.S. event champions are: Sereda, hoop and ball; Kerber, clubs; and Ronit Shamuilov of Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora, ribbon.
  • 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival, Guadalajara, Mexico. Shamuilov won gold medals for the ball, clubs and ribbon at the 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival.
  • Pacific Rim Championships, Richmond, B.C., Canada. For the entire rhythmic competition, the USA won 24 medals (seven gold, nine silver and eight bronze) at the 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships. The Americans won the team title. In the all-around, Protto and Cindy Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, captured the silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the senior division, with Nastasya Generalova of Los Angeles/California Rhythms, and Ekatherina Kapitonova of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, finishing second and third in the junior competition. The event gold medalists are: Kapitonova, junior hoop, ball, ribbon; Protto, hoop; Cindy Lu, ball; and Generalova, junior clubs. Other senior medals were: Protto, ball silver and clubs and ribbon bronze; Cindy Lu, clubs and ribbon silver; Valeriya Sharipova of Livingston, N.J./Independent, hoop bronze. The other junior medalists were: Brigita Budginas of Agoura Hills, Calif./Platinum Gymnastics Academy, clubs silver and hoop bronze; Generalova, ribbon silver and ball bronze. In junior group rhythmic gymnastics, the United States took the silver medal in the all-around and 10 clubs and the bronze in five hoops. The members of the U.S. Junior Group are: Yelyzaveta Merenzon of Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; Elina Nikerina of Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; Sophia Popova of Minneapolis, Minn./Twin Cities Rhythmic; Emily Rakhnyansky of Brooklyn, N.Y./MatchPoint; Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill./M & N Rhythmic Academy; and Nicky Wojtana of Plano, Texas/Texas Rhythmic Academy.
  • Miscellaneous international events.
    • AmsterdaMMasters, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Gabrielle Lowenstein of Huntington Beach, Calif./Eurogymnastics, finished third in both ball and clubs.
    • Irina Deleanu Cup and KFK Gracia Cup. Serena Lu traveled to Bucharest, Romania, for the 2014 Irina Deleanu Cup, where she earned the ball and clubs bronze medals. She also earned the bronze medal for clubs at the KFK Gracia Cup in Budapest, Hungary.
    • Lisbon (Portugal) World Cup. Kerber advanced to the event finals for hoop and clubs at the Lisbon World Cup, which was part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s World Cup series. This is the first time Kerber has qualified for two World Cup event finals.
    • Stuttgart (Germany) World Cup. The U.S. senior group qualified to the finals for ball/ribbon at the Stuttgart World Cup.
    • International Tournament of Pas de Calais (France). The USA won the team title at the International Tournament of Pas de Calais. Generalova won the junior all-around title, and Protto was third in the senior all-around. In the individual events, Generalova won the hoop and ball titles along with the ribbon silver, and Protto captured three silver medals (ball, clubs, ribbon) and one bronze (hoop). Generalova also received a special prize as the top junior gymnast.

Trampoline and Tumbling
  • World Cup Series. Charlotte Drury of Laguna Niguel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, finished third in the trampoline rankings for the International Gymnastics Federation’s 2014 World Cup Series, which wrapped up at the World Cup in Minsk, Belarus.
  • World Cup Belarus. At the World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, Drury became the first U.S. woman to a World Cup gold medal in trampoline since 1999. Drury also teamed with Shaylee Dunavin of Amarillo, Texas/Ready Set Go-Air Extreme, to garner the women’s synchronized trampoline bronze.
  • Pan American Championships, Toronto, Ont., Canada. The USA’s total medal haul at the 2014 Pan American Championships was 14 (six gold, four silver, four bronze), as well as qualifying two men and two women for the 2015 Pan American Games. The USA won the team gold medals for women’s double mini-trampoline and men’s tumbling, along with the individual double-mini gold medals of Alexander Renkert of Indianapolis, Ind./Geist Sports Academy, and Erin Jauch of Crystal Lake, Ill./Fox Valley T & T, the men’s tumbling gold of Austin Nacey of Braidwood, Ill./TwistStars Tumbling and Trampoline, and the men’s synchronized trampoline gold (Logan Dooley of Lake Forest, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, and Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy). The Americans also brought home seven other medals: silver -- Yuliya Stankevich-Brown of Idaho Falls, Idaho/Idaho Elite Gymnastics, in women’s tumbling, Tristan Van Natta of Pendleton, Ind./Geist Sports Academy, in women’s double-mini, men’s synchro (Jeffrey Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, and Aliaksei Shostak, Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express), and men’s trampoline team; and bronze – Trevor Jackson of Ramona, Calif./So Cal TTC, in men’s tumbling, Dooley in men’s trampoline, women’s synchro (Shaylee Dunavin of Amarillo, Texas/All American Gymnastics, and Charlotte Drury of Laguna Niguel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics), and men’s double-mini team. The members of the two gold medal teams were: tumbling – Jackson, Nacey, and Renkert; and women’s double-mini – Kristle Lowell of Three Rivers, Mich./Branch Gymnastics, Jauch and Van Natta. The silver-medal men’s trampoline team included both Glucksteins and Dooley. The bronze-medal men’s double-mini team featured Casey Chandler of Reno, Nev./Legacy T&T, Austin White of Newport Coast, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, and Renkert.
  • Pan American Olympic Festival, Guadalajara, Mexico. Hunter Brewster of Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, and Dakota Earnest of Plains, Texas/Acrospirits, each picked up medals at the 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival. In trampoline, Brewster bounced his way to a silver medal. Earnest claimed the bronze in women’s trampoline.
  • USA Gymnastics Championships, Louisville, Ky. The senior U.S. champions determined at the USA Gymnastics Championships were: trampoline – Jeffrey Gluckstein (men), and Drury (women); tumbling – Nacey (men), and Stankevich-Brown (women); double mini-trampoline – Stewart Pritchard of Greensboro, N.C./Ultimate Air TNT (men), and Jauch (women); and synchronized trampoline –Dooley and Steven Gluckstein (men), and Ivanna Antezana of Silver Spring, Md./Fairland Trampoline and Tumbling, and Deana Parris of Burtonsville, Md./Fairland Trampoline and Tumbling (women).
  • Stars and Stripes Cup, Daytona Beach, Fla. The senior titles won by the USA at the Stars and Strips Cup were: women’s tumbling – Cheyenne Kelley of Broken Arrow, Okla./Oklahoma Extreme Tumbling; men’s tumbling –Nacey; women’s synchronized trampoline – Dunavin and Drury; men’s synchronized trampoline –Brewster and Neil Gulati of Irvine, Calif./World Elite; women’s double mini-trampoline – Lowell; men’s double mini -- White; women’s trampoline – Drury; and men’s trampoline -- Jeffrey Gluckstein.

Acrobatic gymnastics
  • Maia (Portugal) World Cup. Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward, both are from Riverside, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, took top honors in the mixed pairs at the Maia World Cup. The Maia International Acro Cup for juniors and age-group athletes was held in conjunction with the World Cup. At the MIAC, the USA's Bryan Allen of San Jose, Calif., and Brennan Atsatt of Santa Cruz, Calif., both of whom train at Aerial Tumbling and Acro Gymnastics, won the junior men's pairs title, and Aisley Boynton and Maxim Sedochenkov, both hail from Riverside/Realis Gymnastics Academy, claimed the silver medal in the Age Group 1 mixed pairs competition.
  • USA Gymnastics Championships, Louisville, Ky. The 2014 senior U.S. all-around champions crowned at the USA Gymnastics Championships were: mixed pair –Boynton and Ward; women’s pair – Ciera Wilson of Riverside, Calif., and Kailey Maurer of Colton, Calif., Empire; and women’s group – Hannah Silverman of Clarksville, Md., Christina Antoniades of Eldersburg, Md., and Emily Ruppert of Baltimore, Md., Emilia's Acro Gymnastics Club.
  • AcroArmy. AcroArmy’s journey on “America’s Got Talent” was inspiring, as each week they soared to new heights, pushed the envelope, wowed the judges and showed millions of Americans the beauty of gymnastics. AcroArmy, which features members of the U.S. National Team including 2014 World bronze medalists Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward, finished in third place. Two-time mixed pairs World champion Arthur Davis brought the group together.