Griskenas, Kapitonova win all-around gold in Daytona
posted on 10/15/2017

© John Cheng

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Oct. 14, 2017 – USA won five gold medals on the second day of competition at the 2017 Pan American Gymnastics Championships at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. Elizabeth Kapitonova of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, and Evita Griskenas of Orlando Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, won the junior and senior rhythmic all-around titles, respectively. USA also clinched both rhythmic team titles, in addition to the senior rhythmic individual and group all-around silver medals. The three-day continental championships feature acrobatic and rhythmic gymnastics competition. The championships conclude tomorrow with the event finals starting at 9:30 a.m. ET. Fans can watch the competition live on Facebook.

Griskenas won the senior all-around title with her 64.950. Her individual event scores were: 15.650, hoop; 16.550, ball; 16.050, clubs; 16.700, ribbon. Lili Mizuno of Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, finished second at 59.100 (14.350, hoop; 14.800, ball; 14.950, clubs; 15.000, ribbon). Mexico’s Marina Malpica earned the bronze medal (57.250). Nastasya Generalova of Los Angeles/California Rhythms, posted the fourth-best score at 55.850 (13.450, hoop; 13.950, ball; 14.950, clubs; 13.500, ribbon). USA’s senior individual event finalists are: hoop, ball and ribbon–Griskenas and Mizuno; clubs–Generalova and Griskenas. The U.S. senior trio clinched the rhythmic team gold medal with their combined total of 152.950. Mexico and Brazil finished second (135.700) and third (131.050), respectively.

The U.S. senior group posted a 17.450 in five hoops and a 13.950 in three balls and two ribbons. They earned a 31.400 total for the silver, behind Brazil (35.350). Canada finished third (29.100). The U.S. senior group, which trains at North Shore Rhythmic includes Dasha Baltovick of Highland Park, Ill., Natalie Bourand of Burr Ridge, Ill., Connie Du of Deerfield, Ill., Yelyzaveta Merenzon of Buffalo Grove, Ill., Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill., and Kristina Sobolevskaya of Deerfield, Ill.

Kapitonova, the reigning U.S. junior rhythmic gymnastics all-around champion, easily secured the all-around crown with her 59.750 (15.800, hoop; 14.550, ball; 15.700, clubs; 13.700, ribbon). She qualified in first place to all four event finals. Canada’s Michel Vivier was second at 55.650, followed by her teammate Natalie Garcia in third with 52.550. USA’s Shannon Xiao of Fairfax, Va./Gymnastics World, qualified for three finals: hoop, 14.050 (third); ball, 13.550 (third); and ribbon, 13.600 (second). Lennox Hopkins Wilkins of Puyallup, Wash./Evergreen Rhythmics, qualified to the clubs final with her 14.800.

USA tallied a 140.900 to claim the junior rhythmic team gold medal. Canada finished second at 136.100, followed by Mexico in third (118.250). The members of the first-place U.S. junior rhythmic team are: Hopkins; Kapitonova; Matylda Marszalek of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; and Xiao.

In the junior group competition, USA struck gold with their 27.950 total (13.450, five ropes; 14.500, 10 clubs). The groups from Mexico and China rounded out the junior podium at 27.350 and 25.050, respectively.

Acrobatic gymnastics prelims also concluded today in Daytona Beach. The leaders in each discipline are: Kristian Diana and Maxwell Hendershot of Canada, 11-16, men’s pair; Camila Hernandez and Makena Ludeman, both of San Antonio/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, 11-16, women’s pair; Mila Disalle and Theo Rotts-Chan of Canada, 11-16, mixed pair; Caitlyn Mackrell, Schyler Shults and Satia Wilson, all of San Antonio/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, 11-16, women’s group; Reagan Dubbels and Alexandra Edwards, both San Antonio/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, 12-18, women’s pair; Carina Newlin and Dorian White, both Castro Valley, Calif./West Coast Training Center, 12-18, mixed pair; Alexis Leinonen, Elizabeth Kirchner and Sarah Diamond, all of San Antonio/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, 12-18, women’s group; Sean Butehorn, Daniel Disman, Grant Shields and Sean Shields, all of Columbia, Md./Emilias Acro Gymnastics, 12-18, men’s group; Alexandra D’Souza, Erin Oswald and Charlotte Penner of Canada, junior, women’s group; Angel Felix and Braiden McDougall, both of Riverside, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, junior, men’s pair; Samantha Conway and Lally Seither, both of New Orleans/Crescent City Gymnastics, junior, women’s pair; Emily Davis and Aubrey Rosilier, both of Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio (Texas), senior, women’s pair; Axel Osborne and Tiffani Williams, both of Riverside, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, senior, mixed pair; and Priscella Rodrigues Florentino, Juliana Dos Reis De Freitas and Bianca Alexandre of Brazil, senior, women’s group. The complete results are available at usagym.org/17PAGU.

Tickets for the event will be available on site at the Ocean Center Box Office, with a day pass available for $25.

The remaining competition schedule is listed below.

    Sunday, Oct. 15
    9:30 a.m. ET - Junior rhythmic event finals, acrobatic 11-16 finals
    1:30 p.m. ET - Senior rhythmic event finals, acrobatic 12-18 finals
    5:30 p.m. ET - Rhythmic group event finals, acrobatic junior and senior finals

All times are Eastern and subject to change. For more information on the Pan American Gymnastics Championships, including a detailed schedule, please visit usagym.org/17PAGU.

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.

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.