2006 VISA CHAMPIONSHIPS, Aug....">
RG: Rhythmic gymnastics field for 2006 Visa Championships boasts 45
posted on 07/31/2006
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Aline Bakchajian of Woodland Hills, Calif./Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics, Brenann Stacker of Lincolnshire, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, Lisa Wang of Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, and Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md./Rhythmflex, are among the 23 senior rhythmic gymnasts vying for the all-around and event titles at the 2006 VISA CHAMPIONSHIPS, Aug. 16-19, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Rachel Marmer of Los Angeles, Calif./Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics, is going for her third straight junior all-around crown.

The field also includes three gymnasts from the International Gymnastics of Minnesota, located in Eagan: Stephanie Brown of Oakdale, senior; Sarah Kudishevich of Eden Prairie, junior; and Michelle Milstein of Eagan, junior.

Bakchajian, Stacker and Zetlin were on the U.S. Team that won the team gold medal at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships. At the 2005 Visa Championships, Wang won the ball and clubs titles, as well as finished second in the all-around, rope and ribbon. Bakchajian and Stacker were third and fourth, respectively, in the all-around. This is Zetlin's first year competing as a senior. At last year's Visa Championships, Zetlin won the junior rope, hoop, clubs and ribbon titles, as well as was second in the all-around. In addition to her junior all-around title, Marmer was second in the rope, hoop, clubs and ribbon.

The Visa Championships is USA Gymnastics' annual national championships and determines the U.S. national champions for men's and women's artistic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics will be held at the Xcel Energy Center. Rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics are set for the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Acrobatic gymnastics is holding its national team trials in conjunction with the Visa Championships. The USA Gymnastics NATIONAL CONGRESS and TRADE SHOW will be held in the adjacent Saint Paul RiverCentre complex.

Tickets for men's and women's artistic and rhythmic/acrobatic gymnastics sessions for the premier national gymnastics championships are on sale at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone at (651) 989-5151 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For group ticket information, call (651) 312-3486. Visa is the only card accepted for the Visa Championships.

The Visa Championships traces its history back to 1897 for the men and 1931 for the women. 2006 is only the second time since 1963 that the championships have been held in the Twin Cities area and in the state. Minneapolis was the site of the 1989 competition.

About Visa USA

Visa is the only card accepted for the Visa Championships and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. For USA Gymnastics' other events, Visa is the preferred method of payment. Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance, and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system - Members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,420 Member financial institutions, more than 488 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on Visa's processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.3 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability. Worldwide, cardholders in over 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume. Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources - anytime, anywhere, anyway.

About Xcel Energy Center

The five-year-old Xcel Energy Center and the Saint Paul RiverCentre Convention and Visitor's Authority have been very successful in a short period of time at bringing high-profile events, such as the Visa Championships, to the Twin Cities community. Since opening in September 2000 with the first-ever Minnesota Wild NHL hockey game, the Xcel Energy Center has hosted the 2002 NCAA Frozen Four, 2001-06 WCHA Final Five Hockey Tournaments, 2003 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, 2003-04 TJ Maxx Tour of Gymnastics Champions, 2004-05 Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic and 2004 NHL All-Star Weekend.

Rhythmic gymnastics field for 2006 Visa Championships

By state, information shows name, hometown/club, division

California

Aline Bakchajian, Woodland Hills, Calif./Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics, senior
Reba Daniels, Playa Del Rey, Calif./Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics, junior
Nicole Chillingworth, Rolling Hills, Calif./Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics, junior
Rachel Girma, Los Angeles, Calif./Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, junior
Mackenzie Goodmanson, Walnut Grove, Calif./Global Gymnastics Academy, senior
Amanda Heinemann, San Rafael, Calif./Rhythmic Academy of Marin, junior
Julia Itkina, Los Angeles, Calif./California Rhythms, senior
Emma Jay, Los Angeles, Calif./Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, senior
Tess Jay, Los Angeles, Calif./Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, senior
Katerina Kugel, Encino, Calif./Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, junior
Delaney Lonergan, Venice, Calif./Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, junior
Ren MacDonald, Los Angeles, Calif./Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, senior
Rachel Marmer, Los Angeles, Calif./Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics, junior
Savannah Reynolds, Van Nuys, Calif./California Rhythms, junior
Anastasia Torba, Orinda, Calif./Alegro Rhythmic, junior
Corina Veres, Anaheim, Calif./Euro Gymnastics Inc, senior

Florida
Rebecca Wallenstein, St Augustine, Fla./Independent, senior

Illinois
Emily Barnett, Evanston, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, junior
Stephanie Flaksman, Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, senior
Ava Gehringer, Evanston, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, senior
Nina Galoustian, Wilmette, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, junior
Krista Johnson, Downers Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, senior
Nicole Kowalik, Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, senior
Lauren Ladowski, Downers Grove, Ill./Elite Rhythmics, junior
Marina Ljuboja, Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, senior
Marlee Shape, Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, junior
Brenann Stacker, Lincolnshire, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, senior
Lisa Wang, Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, senior
Michelle Wojtach, Glenview, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, junior

Maryland
Katherine Wolf, Gaithersburg, Md./Rhythmflex, senior
Julie Zetlin, Bethesda, Md./Rhythmflex, senior

Massachusetts
Ada Moisescu, Newton, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams, junior

Michigan
JoAnna Arnold, Northville, Mich./Sports Club of Novi, junior
Kristian Brooks, Corunna, Mich./Sports Club of Novi, senior
Anna Karpov, West Bloomfield, Mich./Oakland Rhythmic, senior

Minnesota
Stephanie Brown, Oakdale, Minn./International Gymnastics of Minnesota, senior
Sarah Kudishevich, Eden Prairie, Minn./International Gymnastics of Minnesota, junior
Michelle Milstein, Eagan, Minn./Internat