Howard Wins 1999 Rhythmic Nationals
posted on 06/30/1999

1999 Senior and Junior National Teams and Pan American Team Announced

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Jessica Howard of Jacksonville, Fla., was crowned National Champion after winning the all-around at the 1999 Rhythmic National Championships, which took place June 25-27, 1999 in Chicago, Illinois. Her score of 39.055 placed her in the number one position on the 1999-2000 U.S. Rhythmic Senior National Team.

"It has always been a dream of mine to be the National Champion. I knew it was possible, but I never expected it," stated Howard after the awards ceremony on Sunday. Howard was ranked second on the National Team prior to this event.

Tatyana Brikulskaya of Staten Island, N.Y., placed second in the all-around. She was ranked number one on the National Team going into the Nationals after winning the 1999 Rhythmic Challenge in February.

Junior Competition

The country's number one ranked junior, Lindsay Powell from Jacksonville, Fla., finished in first place in the all-around scoring 36.804 to become the Junior National Champion. She also finished first in all four preliminary event finals. Powell trains with Howard at International Rhythmic Gymnastics under Efrossina Anguelova.

Erin Jeffress from Rockville, Md. finished second in the all-around with a score of 36.336.

Group Competition

The Rhythmic Group Team from Rhythmflex in Rockville, Md. finished first in the all-around in group competition. They finished with a total score of 73.650, a combination of their clubs and ribbon/hoop routines. AIRGC finished second, scoring 72.200.

Pan American Team

Top members of the National Team will compete internationally at the 1999 Pan American Games taking place this summer in Winnipeg, Canada, as well as the 1999 World Championships in Osaka, Japan.

Jessica Howard and Kate Jeffress were the individuals selected to compete for the United States at the Pan American Games. These gymnasts are the top two on the Senior National Team, excluding Tatyana Brikulskaya who is not yet a citizen. Brikulskaya is permitted to compete for the United States on the National Team according to the FIG (International Federation of Gymnastics) because she has permanent residence card, but currently can't compete in an Olympic qualifier until she becomes a U.S. citizen. These rules are subject to change as they are further reviewed.

The Group Team from Rhythmflex in Rockville, Md. will also compete in the Pan American Games. The team consists of: Katherine Betts, Stefanie Croyle, Erin Jeffress, Johanna Shoemaker and Lisa Welshinger.

United States National Teams

The top eight finishers in the all-around of the 1999 Rhythmic National Championships were named to the 1999-2000 U.S. Senior and Junior Rhythmic National Teams.

1999-2000 U.S. Senior National Team             All-Around Score
1. Jessica Howard (Jacksonville, Fla.)              39.055
2. Tatyana Brikulskaya (Staten Island, N.Y.)        38.854
3. Kate Jeffress (Rockville, Md.)                   38.320
4. Mila Marinova (Jacksonville, Fla.)               37.978
5. Alexsandra Chernenko (Culver City, Calif.)       37.590
6. Suzanne Pearson (Lakewood, Col.)                 37.359
7. Meaghan Muller (Roswell, Ga.)                    37.320
8. Heilie Isaacs (Robbinsdale, Minn.)               37.170
1999-2000 U.S. Junior National Team             All-Around Score
1. Lindsay Powell (Jacksonville, Fla.)              36.804
2. Erin Jeffress (Rockville, Md.)                   36.336
3. Alexandra Hain (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)         35.969
4. Marissa Pierce (Highland Park, Ill.)             35.613
5. Jacquelyn Jampolsky (San Rafael, Calif.)         35.310
6. Brenann Stacker (Lincolnshire, Ill.)             34.988
7. Valery Kharina (Skokie, Ill.)                    34.840
8. Emily Tabinski (Olney, Md.)                      34.736
1999-2000 U.S. Rhythmic Group Team
1. Rhythmflex (Rockville, Md.)                      72.200