Zeng, Lu win senior hoop, ball titles at USA Gymnastics Championships
posted on 06/25/2015

© Team Photo

GREENSBORO, N.C., June 25, 2015 – Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, won the senior hoop and ball titles, respectively, at the 2015 USA Gymnastics Championships at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum Complex. Elite competition continues on Friday and wraps up with the finals on Saturday evening.

Zeng won the hoop title with a 17.300, and Lu took top honors for ball with a 17.050. Zeng leads the all-around standings at the halfway point with 33.200 points. Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, is second in the standings with 32.850, followed by Lu at 32.650.

The junior rhythmic rope champion is Nicole Kaloyanov of Woodbridge, Va./Gymnastics World, and Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, took top honors for hoop. Kaloyanov, who also was second on hoop, leads the all-around finals at the halfway mark.

The top eight in double mini-trampoline and tumbling advanced to Saturday’s finalists. The gymnasts leading the senior rankings for the prelims are: double-mini – Austin Nacey of Braidwood, Ill./TwistStars Tumbling and Trampoline (74.900, men) and Tristan Van Natta of Anderson, Ind./Geist Sports Academy (69.600, women); and tumbling –Alexander Renkert of Indianapolis/Geist Sports Academy (71.600, men) and Yulia Brown of Idaho Falls, Idaho/Idaho Elite Gymnastics (62.200, women).

The top gymnasts in the senior acrobatic gymnastics rankings after one event are: women’s group – Lonnie Garrett, Josephina Kievsky, and Mila Segel of Columbia, Md./Emilia's Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, 26.120; mixed pair – Michael Rodrigues and Eirian Smith of Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, 28.600; and women’s pair, Maren Merwarth and Jessica Renteria of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, 28.513.

For complete results, go to usagymchamps.com/results.

For the junior and senior elite levels for each discipline, the athletes are vying for national titles. Performances will determine berths on the junior and senior U.S. National Teams for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling. The Junior Olympic division has several different levels, and national titles will be awarded for each level and age group for each discipline. The Junior Olympic levels for each of the disciplines are: acrobatic gymnastics – Levels 6-10; rhythmic gymnastics – Levels 7-8; and trampoline and tumbling – Levels 8-10.

Live webcast
USA Gymnastics will provide live webcast coverage of three evening sessions from Greensboro with expert analysis from acrobatic gymnastics World Championships and World Games gold medalist Kristin Allen, six-time U.S. rhythmic gymnastics all-around champion Rebecca Sereda, and former trampoline and tumbling U.S. National Team member Peter Dodd. The webcasts of the senior elite competition will be available on the USA Gymnastics YouTube channel or USAGymChamps.com/live Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6-9 p.m. ET. Former NCAA and Big Ten gymnastics champion Evan Heiter will join Allen, Sereda and Dodd as the host. The webcasts will be available worldwide free of charge on USAGymChamps.com/live.

About the USA Gymnastics Championships
On sale now, evening session tickets at the Greensboro Coliseum are: June 25 and 26, $25; and June 27, $30. The all-session pass, which grants access to all sessions at both venues, is $80. For the events at the Coliseum Complex’s Special Events Center, a $30, single-day pass will be available onsite on competition days. Tickets may be purchased at the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. For more information on the USA Gymnastics Championships, please go to USAGymChamps.com.

The local hosts for the event are the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Tournament Hosts of Greensboro, Greensboro Sports Commission, and Sports & Properties, Inc. Greensboro played host to the AT&T American Cup, the premier international invitational held in the United States, and the Nastia Liukin Cup in 2014.

The schedule, outlined below, has the junior and senior elites competing June 25-27, with Junior Olympic sessions running all six days. NOTE: Level refers to the Junior Olympic competition level. The schedule is subject to change.


Friday, June 26
Special Events Center

    9 a.m. - Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 6; Trampoline and tumbling, Level 9/Open Elite finals
    1:30 p.m. - Acrobatic gymnastics, Levels 9-10; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 8; Trampoline and tumbling, Level 10/Youth Elite finals

Greensboro Coliseum

    9 a.m. - Rhythmic gymnastics, junior event/all-around finals and senior elite preliminaries/event finals
    6 p.m. - Acrobatic gymnastics, junior and senior elite preliminaries; Rhythmic gymnastics, senior elite all-around preliminaries/event finals; Trampoline, senior elite preliminaries

Saturday, June 27
Special Events Center

    9 a.m. - Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 6; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Level 8
    1:30 p.m. - Acrobatic gymnastics, Levels 9-10; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 8

Greensboro Coliseum

    10:30 a.m. - Rhythmic gymnastics, senior elite all-around finals (two events)
    2:30 p.m. - Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, junior elite finals
    6 p.m. - Acrobatic gymnastics, junior and senior elite finals; Rhythmic gymnastics, senior elite all-around finals; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, senior elite finals

Sunday, June 28
Special Events Center

    9 a.m. - Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 8; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Level 8
    10:30 a.m. - Rhythmic gymnastics, Junior Olympic group; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Level 8

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, balances and flexibility movements. Only four of the apparatus are competed each quad, and the four for 2016 are hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon for seniors and hoop, ball, clubs and rope for juniors. 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.

In 2014, the USA Gymnastics Championships was held at the KFC Yum! Center and Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky.

Background information

  • Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is an independent, non-profit governmental authority whose mission is to aggressively market Greensboro's assets, maximizing economic impact while providing excellent visitor service. Guilford County ranks third in the state in travel and tourism expenditures, with over $1 billion generated in 2011 and more than 11,700 people employed in travel-related jobs. For more information: www.visitgreensboronc.com.

  • Greensboro Sports Commission. The mission of the Greensboro Sports Commission is to foster economic development through coordinating and developing Greensboro's role as a leading site for sports events involving youth, collegiate, amateur and professional organizations. The Greensboro Sports Commission acts as a clearing house for sporting activities in the Greensboro area and assists organizations and promoters in making Greensboro the host city for sports events. For more information: www.greensborosports.org.

  • Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex is a multi-building facility designed to serve the citizens of Greensboro and the surrounding area through a broad range of activities, including athletic events, cultural arts, concerts, theater, educational activities, fairs, exhibits, and public and private events of all kinds including conventions, convocations and trade and consumer shows. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex is one of the most actively booked facilities in the country hosting more than 1,100 events on an annual basis. With its incredible versatility, the Complex has gained worldwide acclaim from promoters, producers, event planners and patrons. For more information; www.greensborocoliseum.com.

  • Sports & Properties, Inc. SPI is a sports marketing and sports development firm concentrating in three primary areas of business: major sponsorships, including naming rights; sports tourism; and major events. SPI’s recent projects include the Africa Youth Games, new sports complexes for Seminole County, Florida; the USA Gymnastics AT&T American Cup and Nastia Liukin Cup; and the 2015 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships. SPI clients include Capitol Broadcasting Company, PIER 39, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Seminole County, Fla., and the United States Olympic Committee, among others. For more information on SPI, visit sportsproperties.com.