Natalie Lacuesta Wins the 1997 Rhythmic National Championships
posted on 05/06/1997

Natalie Lacuesta from Rhythmic Gems in Evanston, Ill., won the 1997 Rhythmic National Championships in Houston, Texas, May 2-4, at Rice University, Autry Court.


Lacuesta said, "One of the biggest moments of today's meet was being announced as the Senior National Champion. As a junior, I held this title for two years, and so I was hoping to attain it as a senior. Now that I have attained it, it's a big 'wow' to me right now."

Lacuesta was followed by teammate Lauri Illy, who jumped from fifth after preliminaries to second.

The Junior Title was won by Kate Jeffress, from Rhythmflex Gymnastics in Rockville, Md. Jeffress won the title by nearly seven points, considered a huge margin of victory in the sport of rhythmic gymnastics.

The top eight seniors and the top eight juniors made the USA Rhythmic National Team and will compete both nationally and internationally for the U.S. in 1997-98.

Four groups competed in the junior group competition and two groups competed in the senior division. Rhythmflex won the junior group competition and Oregon Gymnastics Academy won the seniors.

Senior All-Around

    Name / Club                       Rope   Hoop  Clubs Ribbon     AA   Total

1 Lacuesta, Natalie 18.425 17.650 18.125 17.750 71.950 43.170 Rhythmic Gems 18.350 18.475 18.200 18.300 73.325 102.655 145.825 2 Illy, Lauri 16.700 17.525 18.425 17.725 70.375 42.225 Rhythmic Gems 17.575 18.525 18.050 18.175 72.325 101.255 143.480 3 Takahashi, Ellie 17.675 17.475 17.425 17.825 70.400 42.240 California Academy 17.750 18.000 17.800 18.050 71.600 100.240 142.480 4 Higa, Liriel 17.950 17.725 17.750 16.775 70.200 42.120 California Academy 17.850 17.950 18.200 17.625 71.625 100.275 142.395 5 Albe, Alicia 18.050 16.900 18.425 17.150 70.525 42.315 Rhythmflex Gymnastics 17.675 18.125 17.800 17.800 71.400 99.960 142.275 6 Chernenko, Alexandra 17.600 17.400 17.825 17.450 70.275 42.165 California Academy 17.650 18.025 17.700 18.050 71.425 99.995 142.160 7 Muller, Meaghan 17.725 18.050 17.950 17.225 70.950 42.570 Altanta Intnl Rhy. Gymn Center 18.350 16.950 17.950 17.850 71.100 99.540 142.110 8 McCargo, Tara 17.050 17.325 17.325 17.100 68.800 41.280 United Gymnastics 17.350 17.650 16.575 17.075 68.650 96.110 137.390 ----------------------------- 9 Kemper, Kelsi 16.425 16.350 17.350 17.350 67.475 40.485 Anelia's Rhythmic Academy 16.825 17.350 17.425 17.500 69.100 96.740 137.225 10 Numedahl, Lindsay 16.500 16.375 16.750 17.225 66.850 40.110 Red River Gymnastics 16.950 16.850 17.450 17.500 68.750 96.250 136.360 11 Scharringhausen, Kassy 17.575 17.125 15.550 16.800 67.050 40.230 Altanta Intnl Rhy. Gymn Center 17.300 17.450 16.425 17.125 68.300 95.620 135.850 12 Shoemaker, Johanna 16.250 17.100 16.600 16.275 66.225 39.735 Rhythmflex Gymnastics 16.450 16.700 16.850 16.475 66.475 93.065 132.800

Junior All-Around

    Name / Club                       Rope   Hoop   Ball Ribbon     AA   Total

1 Jeffress, Kate 17.700 17.100 17.500 16.950 69.250 41.550 Rhythmflex Gymnastics 17.400 17.625 17.400 17.650 70.075 98.105 139.655 2 Isaacs, Heilie 16.900 16.250 16.800 15.200 65.150 39.090 Rhythmic Gems 16.600 16.725 16.600 16.975 66.900 93.660 132.750 3 Powell, Lindsay 15.875 15.800 16.275 15.825 63.775 38.265 Intnl Rhythmic Gymn 16.350 16.950 16.350 16.800 66.450 93.030 131.295 4 Lord, Danielle 16.900 15.875 16.675 15.825 65.275 39.165 Oregon Gymnastics Academy 16.125 16.700 16.175 16.500 65.500 91.700 130.865 5 Howard, Jessica 16.175 16.750 17.050 15.875 65.850 39.510 Intnl Rhythmic Gymn 16.550 15.900 16.850 15.725 65.025 91.035 130.545 6 Jeffress, Erin 16.350 15.425 16.550 15.850 64.175 38.505 Rhythmflex Gymnastics 16.075 16.275 16.200 15.875 64.425 90.195 128.700 7 Ng, Amy 15.675 15.450 16.600 15.075 62.800 37.680 Rhythmflex Gymnastics 15.500 16.225 15.700 16.325 63.750 89.250 126.930 8 Branton, Camille 15.575 15.500 15.650 15.725 62.450 37.470 Altanta Intnl Rhy. Gymn Center 15.950 16.350 16.050 15.350 63.700 89.180 126.650 ----------------------------- 9 Yano, Jacqueline 15.175 15.225 15.225 15.175 60.800 36.480 Le Club 16.275 16.500 15.450 15.500 63.725 89.215 125.695 10 Croyle, Stefanie 15.600 15.650 16.050 14.375 61.675 37.005 Rhythmflex Gymnastics 15.025 14.525 15.550 15.625 60.725 85.015 122.020 11 Krakovskaya, Masha 15.625 14.825 15.575 15.800 61.825 37.095 LA Lights 15.175 15.025 14.475 15.475 60.150 84.210 121.305 12 Powell, Jenna 15.750 15.875 14.975 15.500 62.100 37.260 Colorado Sch. Of Rhy Gymn. 14.150 16.350 15.200 13.900 59.600 83.440 120.700

Note: The top 12 Juniors and Seniors from preliminaries advanced to the all-around finals. The top 8 Juniors and Seniors made the U.S. Rhythmic National Team.

Senior Event Finals

   Rope                                 Hoop
1 Lacuesta, Natalie       18.425     1 Muller, Meaghan         18.050
2 Albe, Alicia            18.050     2 Higa, Lirel             17.725
3 Higa, Lirel             17.950     3 Lacuesta, Natalie       17.650
4 Muller, Meaghan         17.725     4 Illy, Lauri             17.525
5 Takahashi, Ellie        17.675     5 Takahashi, Ellie        17.475
6 Chernenko, Alexandra    17.600     6 Chernenko, Alexandra    17.400
7 Scharringhausen, Kassy  17.575     7 McCargo, Tara           17.325
8 Pearson, Suzanne        17.475     8 Scharringhausen, Kassy  17.125
Clubs                                Ribbon
1 Albe, Alicia            18.425     1 Takahashi, Ellie        17.825
1 Illy, Lauri             18.425     2 Lacuesta, Natalie       17.750
3 Lacuesta, Natalie       18.125     3 Illy, Lauri             17.725
4 Muller, Meaghan         17.950     4 Chernenko, Alexandra    17.450
5 Chernenko, Alexandra    17.825     5 Kemper, Kelsi           17.350
6 Higa, Lirel             17.750     6 Muller, Meaghan         17.225
7 Takahashi, Ellie        17.425     6 Numedahl, Lindsay       17.225
8 Kemper, Kelsi           17.350     8 Albe, Alicia            17.150

Junior Event Finals

   Rope                           Hoop
1 Jeffress, Kate    17.700     1 Jeffress, Kate      17.100
2 Isaacs, Heilie    16.900     2 Howard, Jessica     16.750
2 Lord, Danielle    16.900     3 Isaacs, Heilie      16.250
4 Jeffress, Erin    16.350     4 Lord, Danielle      15.875
5 Howard, Jessica   16.175     4 Powell, Jenna       15.875
6 Powell, Lindsay   15.875     6 Powell, Lindsay     15.800
7 Powell, Jenna     15.750     7 Croyle, Stefanie    15.650
8 Ng, Amy           15.675     8 Bra