Elite gymnasts take the floor at 2018 American Classic today
posted on 07/07/2018

SALT LAKE CITY, July 7, 2018 – World vault and floor exercise silver-medalist Jade Carey of Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona Sunrays, is one of the seven members of the U.S. Women’s National Team expected to compete in the American Classic on Saturday, July 7, at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City. At yesterday’s Hopes Classic, Ava San Jose of Chatsworth, Calif./Paramount Elite Gymnastics, won the 10-11-year-old division’s all-around title, with Mya Witte of Greenacres, Fla./Genie's Gymnastics, taking top honors in the 12-13-year-old division. Fans who are unable to head to the Huntsman Center can watch all four competitive sessions live at USA Gymnastics YouTube channel.

Tickets are still available for both the junior (11 a.m. MT) and senior (4 p.m. MT) sessions on Saturday. Single-day tickets range from $10-$20 and include both sessions. Ticket prices vary according to seat locations. To purchase tickets, visit utahtickets.com or call 801-581-UTIX.

San Jose won the 10-11-year-old division’s all-around title with a 49.900. Myli Lew of Belmont, Calif./San Mateo Gymnastics, was second at 49.350, with Camryn Nelson of Marlton, N.J./Will-Moor School of Gymnastics, third (49.200). The individual event champions were: Zoey Molomo of Allen, Texas/Metroplex Gymnastics, vault; Lew, uneven bars and balance beam; and Hezly Rivera of North Bergen, N.J./Eastern National Academy of Paramus, and Azaraya Ra-Akbar of Baltimore, Md./United Gymnastix, floor exercise (tie).

In the 12-13-year-old division, Witte claimed the all-around crown with a 51.300, just ahead of Lily Pederson of White Bear Lake, Minn./Flips Gymnastics, whose 51.050 put her in second. Lundyn Vander Toolen of Salt Lake City, Utah/Olympus Gymnastics, Jamison Sears of Yorktown, Va./World Class Gymnastics, and Ella Zirbes of Stillwater, Minn./Flips Gymnastics, tied for third with a 49.900. The individual event champions were: Jaelah Warner of Suffolk, Va./World Class Gymnastics, vault; Vander Toolen, uneven bars; Witte, balance beam; and Carmela Keuneke of Denver, Colo./TIGAR, floor exercise.

In addition to Carey, U.S. National Team members who are expected to compete in the American Classic are listed below.

  • Audrey Davis of Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, sixth in the junior all-around at the 2017 U.S. Championships
  • Kayla DiCello of Boyds, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics, 2018 Pac Rim junior vault and bars champion
  • Kara Eaker of Grain Valley, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express, 2017 U.S. junior balance beam champion
  • Riley McCusker of Brielle, N.J./MG Elite, 2017 U.S. uneven bars champion
  • Grace McCallum of Isanti, Minn./Twin City Twisters, 2018 Pacific Rim all-around champion
  • Tori Tatum of Chanhassen, Minn./Twin City Twisters, 2017 Junior Pan Am Championships vault champion

Both competitions are competitive qualifiers for women’s gymnastics: the American Classic, for the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Boston in August, and the U.S. Classic later this month in Columbus, Ohio; and the Hopes Classic, for the Hopes Championships, held in conjunction with the U.S. Classic.

The Huntsman Center is partnering with the Utah Sports Commission to play host to the two-day event.

Women’s gymnastics has several ways athletes can qualify to the U.S. Championships, including by earning a minimum of 52.000 for seniors or a 51.000 for juniors in the all-around at either the American Classic or U.S. Classic. The U.S. Classic, scheduled for July 28 at the Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus, is the final opportunity to advance to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Senior athletes can also qualify by earning a three-event score of 39.750 or a two-event score of 27.00 at either of these two events.

Team members and alternates from the USA’s 2017 World Championships Team automatically qualified to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. In addition to the U.S. and American Classics, national team members can earn a berth to the U.S. Championships by achieving the qualification score at a national team verification or international assignment.

The Hopes classification is just below the elite level, and the top 18 athletes in both Hopes age groups (10-11 and 12-13-years old) who achieve the qualification score advance to the Hopes Championships. The Hopes Championships, previously known as the U.S. Challenge, is the culmination of the Hopes season.

Background information

  • Jon M. Hunstman Center. The Jon M. Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus is one of Salt Lake City’s premier sports and entertainment venues. Home of the university’s Runnin’ Utes basketball team, as well as the Red Rocks women’s gymnastics team, the venue has hosted a number of different sporting events, concerts, commencement exercises and other special events. The venue hosted the 1979 NCAA Final Four Tournament and the 1989 Western Athletic Conference. It is the largest arena in the Pac-12 conference system.
  • USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. The organization is committed to creating a culture that empowers and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes. USA Gymnastics has already taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its safe sport policies and procedures. The organization’s 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 information about USA Gymnastics, log on to usagym.org.