USA Gymnastics Championships brings nearly 1,900 acrobatic, rhythmic, trampoline gymnasts to Milwaukee
posted on 06/27/2017

MILWAUKEE, June 27, 2017 – Nearly 1,900 of the country’s top gymnasts in acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling will compete at the 2017 USA Gymnastics Championships, June 27-July 2, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. The six-day national championships feature competition on both Junior Olympic and elite levels. A Kick-off Celebration is slated for 4 p.m. on June 29.

The 2017 USA Gymnastics Championships Kick-Off Celebration, held outside the BMO Harris Bradley Center at Fourth Street and State Street, is a fun gathering for athletes, families and fans alike leading into the senior elite acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline competition. From face painting, games, local mascots, live music and food, there is something for everyone. Several U.S. Olympians will also be on hand for the celebration.

For the junior and senior elite levels for each discipline, the athletes are vying for national titles. Performances in Milwaukee will also determine berths on the junior and senior U.S. National Teams for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling. In rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling, the competition will be part of the selection process for the 2017 World Championships. For acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling, the USA Gymnastics Championships are part of the selection process for the U.S. teams that will compete at the 2017 World Games, the equivalent of the Olympic Games for sports and events not included in the Olympics. 2016 Olympian Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, has already been named the U.S.’s World Games representative in rhythmic gymnastics. The Junior Olympic division has several different levels, and national titles will be awarded for each level and age group for each discipline. Here’s a quick snapshot of the returning champions and athletes to watch in the senior competition.

Acrobatic gymnastics
Tiffani Williams and Axel Osborne, both of Beaumont, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, are looking for their third-straight U.S. mixed pair title.

  • 2016 World acrobatic mixed pair silver medalists and two-time defending (2015-16) U.S. champions Osborne and Williams
  • 2016 U.S. women’s group champions Emma Bentov-Lagman and Cristin Connerney and Helena Hall, all of Eldersburg, Md./LeeAnns Acrobatic and Tumbling Academy
  • 2017 Geneva World Cup women’s group silver medalists Sophie Gruszka, Morgan Sweeney and Amanda Waterson, all of Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center

Rhythmic Gymnastics
The rhythmic gymnastics competition features 45 junior and senior elite gymnasts. Two senior groups will also be competing, along with one junior group. Zeng, USA’s most decorated rhythmic gymnast, has her sights set on a third-consecutive U.S. all-around title.

  • Camilla Feeley, Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center: 2016 Olympic alternate; 2016 U.S. clubs champion, all-around and ball silver medalist and hoop bronze medalist; and 2016 Pac Rim team and ribbon champion and all-around, hoop and ball silver medalist.
  • Nastasya Generalova, Los Angeles/California Rhythms: 2016 U.S. ball bronze medalist and 2015 U.S. junior ball and clubs champion.
  • Evita Griskenas, Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center: 2016 U.S. ribbon silver medalist and hoop bronze medalist; and 2015 U.S. junior all-around and hoop champion.
  • Lili Mizuno, Brentwood, Calif./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center: 2016 Pacific Rim junior team, all-around, hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon champion; and 2016 U.S. junior hoop and clubs champion.
  • Zeng: 2016 Olympian; four-time World Cup medalist; two-time U.S. all-around, hoop, and ribbon champion (2015-16); and five-time Pan American Games gold medalist.

Trampoline and Tumbling
The 2016 senior champions in the field are: Casey Chandler, Springfield, Ore./Legacy Trampoline and Tumbling, men’s double-mini; Brandon Krzynefski, Centreville, Va./Capital Gymnastics National Training Center, men’s tumbling; Kristle Lowell, Orland Park, Ill./One World Gymnastics, women’s double-mini; and Natalie Ory, Pocatello, Idaho/Team Revolution, women’s tumbling.

  • Nicole Ahsinger, Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express: 2016 Olympian; U.S. trampoline and synchronized trampoline silver medalist (2015-16); and 2015 World team member.
  • Logan Dooley, Lake Forest, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics: 2016 Olympian; seven-time U.S. synchro champion (2007-10, 2013-14, 2016); U.S. trampoline silver medalist (2010-12, 2015-16); and U.S. synchro silver medalist (2006, 2012).
  • Jeffrey Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy: 2016 Pac Rim trampoline silver medalist; three-time U.S. trampoline champion (2011, 13-14); and two-time U.S. synchro champion (2011-12).
  • Clare Johnson, Huntsville, Ala./ Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy: U.S. synchro silver medalist (2015-16); 2015 U.S. trampoline champion; and 2014 U.S. synchro bronze medalist.
  • Austin Nacey, Braidwood, Ill./TwistStars Tumbling and Trampoline: 2015 World double-mini team silver medalist and tumbling team bronze medalist; 2014 World double-mini bronze medalist; 2014 U.S. tumbling champion; 2013 World double-mini team champion.
  • Alex Renkert, Indianapolis/Integrity Athletics: 2015 World double-mini team silver medalist and tumbling team bronze medalist; 2015 U.S. tumbling and double-mini champion; 2013 World double-mini team champion and individual double-mini silver medalist.

About the USA Gymnastics Championships
Evening session tickets at the BMO Harris Bradley Center are: $35, June 29-30; and $40, July 1. The all-session pass, which grants access to all sessions at both venues, is $95. Tickets may be purchased at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Box Office, ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. For the events at the Wisconsin Center, a $35, single-day pass will be available onsite on competition days, and on June 26-27, the all-day pass also includes access to the afternoon sessions at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

VISIT Milwaukee is working in conjunction with USA Gymnastics on the championships. This is the event’s first trip to Milwaukee, which hosted the 2003 U.S. Championships for men’s and women’s gymnastics.

The Junior Olympic division has several different levels, and national titles will be awarded for each level and age group for each discipline. The USA Gymnastics Championships was first held in 2014 at the KFC Yum! Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky.; and the other sites were the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum Complex in 2015 and the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in 2016. The competition schedule is outlined below. For a complete schedule, please visit USAGymChamps.com/schedule.

Tuesday, June 27

    Wisconsin Center
    9 a.m. – Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 7
    1:30 p.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 8; Rhythmic gymnastics, Levels 7-8
    5:30 p.m. – Synchronized trampoline, preliminaries and finals, all levels
    6 p.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, Levels 9-10; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 8

Wednesday, June 28

    Wisconsin Center
    9 a.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 7; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 7
    1:30 p.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 8; Rhythmic gymnastics, Levels 7-8
    6 p.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, Levels 9 – 10; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 8; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Levels 9-10

Thursday, June 29

    BMO Harris Bradley Center
    1:30 p.m. – Rhythmic gymnastics, junior and senior elite all-around preliminaries and event finals
    6 p.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, junior and senior elite preliminaries; Rhythmic gymnastics, senior elite all-around preliminaries and event finals; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, senior elite preliminaries

    Wisconsin Center
    9 a.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 7; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 9; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Levels 9-10
    1:30 p.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, junior elite; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, junior elite/youth elite/open elite

Friday, June 30

    BMO Harris Bradley Center
    1:30 p.m. – Rhythmic gymnastics, junior all-around and event finals, senior elite all-around preliminaries and event finals
    6 p.m. - Acrobatic gymnastics, junior and senior elite preliminaries; Rhythmic gymnastics, senior elite all-around preliminaries and event finals; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, senior elite preliminaries

    Wisconsin Center
    9 a.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 6; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 9; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Levels 9-10
    1:30 p.m. Acrobatic gymnastics, junior elite; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, youth elite/junior elite/open elite

Saturday, July 1

    BMO Harris Bradley Center
    1:30 p.m. – Rhythmic gymnastics, senior elite all-around 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

Wisconsin Center
9 a.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 6; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 9; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Level 8
1:30 p.m. – Acrobatic gymnastics, junior elite; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Level 8 Sunday, July 2

    Wisconsin Center
    9 a.m. - Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Level 8

Ways to follow

  • Live webcast. USA Gymnastics will provide live webcast coverage of three evening sessions from Milwaukee. The webcasts of the senior elite competition will be available via USAGymChamps.com/live Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. CT.
  • Online. The USA Gymnastics Championships is easy to follow online with schedules, general event information, start lists, results and more available at USAGymChamps.com.
  • USA Gymnastics on YouTube. USA Gymnastics will post coverage of the events in Milwaukee.
  • Social Media. USA Gymnastics is providing live updates and exclusive content, including videos and photos, from the USA Gymnastics Championships on Facebook (facebook.com/USAGymnastics) and Twitter (@USAGym). Gymnastics fans can follow the action easily and join the conversation on Twitter by using the official hashtag of the 2017 USA Gymnastics Championships, #USAGymChamps.

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 gymnasts must show variety in the use of space, while performing intricate apparatus handling, dance combinations, and a balance of jump/leaps, rotations, and balance difficulties. 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.

Background information

  • Visit Milwaukee. Celebrating 50 years in 2017, VISIT Milwaukee is the Greater Milwaukee area’s convention & visitors bureau, marketing the destination as a top choice for business, convention, and leisure travel to national and international visitors to increase the economic impact of tourism in the region.
  • BMO Harris Bradley Center. Starting its 30th and final season this July, the BMO Harris Bradley Center is the downtown live entertainment destination that turns moments into memories. Home to the Milwaukee Bucks and the Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball team, the Center offers family fun, concerts, sports and special events for fans of all ages. Upcoming events include Roger Waters (July 29), Janet Jackson (Oct. 22), Marvel Universe Live! (Nov. 24-26), Katy Perry (Dec. 4), 2CELLOS (Jan. 24, 2018), and Lorde (Mar. 1, 2018). Learn more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or at www.bmoharrisbradleycenter.com.
  • Wisconsin Center. The Wisconsin Center, located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, opened in 1998 as the Midwest Express Center. Designed for both sensory delight and efficiency, the Wisconsin Center is home to the $1.2 million Burke Family Collection of commissioned and integrated art. Opened in 1998 and completed by the end of 1999, the Wisconsin Center has 188,695 square feet of contiguous, state-of-the-art exhibit space and a 37,506 square-foot ballroom with capacity for 3,150 diners and ample utilities for corporate theater. An additional 39,364 square feet of meeting space can be partitioned into as many as 28 meeting and breakout rooms equipped for satellite links, video teleconferencing, data transmission and other telecommunications and audio-visual technology. The 2,500-4,100 seat Milwaukee Theatre – formerly the Milwaukee Auditorium – provides assembly space or entertainment right across the street. Skywalks to the Hilton and Hyatt hotels link some 1,500 rooms to the Wisconsin Center.
  • USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and Gymnastics for All (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, visit www.usagym.org.