Zeng wins hoop, ball titles at 2019 USA Gymnastics Championships
posted on 07/04/2019

© John Cheng

DES MOINES, Iowa, July 4, 2019 – Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, won the senior hoop and ball titles at the 2019 USA Gymnastics Championships. Held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, the five-day national championships for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling includes both Junior Olympic and elite levels. Senior elite competition continues tomorrow at the Wells Fargo Arena at 6 p.m. CT, and Junior Olympic competition is also underway at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center and Hy-Vee Hall during the day. USA Gymnastics will have a livestream of the junior and senior elite sessions at the Wells Fargo Arena.

In addition to the ball and hoop finals for rhythmic gymnastics, tonight’s competition served as the qualification round for men’s trampoline and tumbling and women’s double mini-trampoline, with the top eight in each of the three events advancing to the finals on Saturday. Acrobatic gymnastics performed the first of three routines.

The defending all-around champion, Zeng posted a 20.350 for both hoop and ball to take both titles and sit atop the all-around qualification two-event ranking at 40.700. Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, was second in both hoop (19.750) and ball (18.900), as well as second in the all-around two-event ranking at 38.650. Camilla Feeley of Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, is third in the two-event all-around qualification ranking at 37.900 via third place in hoop (19.350) and fourth for ball (18.550). Lili Mizuno of Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, was third in ball (18.800) and fourth in the two-event all-around ranking (37.750). Stasya Generalova of Los Angeles, Calif./California Rhythms, rounds out the top five in the two-event preliminary ranking at 36.850.

In the junior elite rhythmic division, Jenna Zhao of Burr Ridge, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp., won both the rope (15.800) and ball (17.250) titles and sits atop the preliminary all-round rankings after two of four events at 33.050. Alexandria Kautzman of Westlake Village, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, was second in rope (15.450) and tied with Ciel Arzandyan of Van Nuys, Calif./Rhythmic Academy of Los Angeles for second for ball (16.600). Kautzman is second in the two-event all-around ranking at 32.050. Erica Foster of Hopkins, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic, was third for rope (15.100) and in the all-around qualification ranking (31.500).

The U.S. senior group won the five balls title at 23.600. The group, which trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, includes Isabelle Connor of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Connie Du of Deerfield, Ill.; Matylda Marszalek of Highland Park, Ill.; Yelyzaveta Merenzon of Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Elizaveta Pletneva of Deerfield, Ill.; Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill.; and Kristina Sobolevskaya of Chicago. The Vitrychenko Academy junior group won the five hoops title at 15.300. The members of the Vitrychenko Academy group, based in Niles, Ill., includes Madeleine Avila, Loraine Perez, Tatyana Shilshtut, Remy Turner and Emily Wilson.

Tonight’s competition in trampoline and tumbling was the qualification round for the finals. The top scorers for each event were: men’s trampoline – Jeffrey Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, 107.900; men’s tumbling – Kaden Brown of Herriman, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling, 74.800; and women’s double mini-trampoline – Tristan Van Natta of Hillard, Ohio/Integrity Athletics, 69.900.

In acrobatic gymnastics, the best scores for each event were: men’s pair, dynamic – Angel Felix and Braiden McDougall of Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, 27.430; mixed pair, dynamic – Aisley Boynton and Sean Obley of Chandler, Ariz./Aspire Kids Sports Center, 25.160; women’s pair, dynamic – Victoria Blante and Morgan Sweeney of Livermore, Calif./WestCoast Training Center, 25.050; and women’s group, balance – Reagan Dubbels, Emily Petty and Abby Rosilier of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, 27.900.

Rhythmic gymnastics – Finals

    Senior
    Hoop
    1. Laura Zeng, Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 20.350
    2. Evita Griskenas, Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 19.750
    3. Camilla Feeley, Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 19.350
    Ball
    1. Laura Zeng, Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 20.350
    2. Evita Griskenas, Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center,18.900
    3. Lili Mizuno, Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 18.800
    All-around (preliminary, after two events)
    1. Laura Zeng, Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 40.700
    2. Evita Griskenas, Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 38.650
    3. Camilla Feeley, Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 37.900
    Junior
    Rope
  • Jenna Zhao, Burr Ridge, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp., 15.800
  • Alexandria Kautzman, Westlake Village, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, 15.450
  • Erica Foster, Erica Foster, Hopkins, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic, 15.100

Ball

  1. Jenna Zhao, Burr Ridge, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp. 17.250
  2. Alexandria Kautzman, Westlake Village, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, 16.600
  3. Ciel Arzandyan, Van Nuys, Calif./Rhythmic Academy of Los Angeles, 16.600

All-around (preliminary, after two events)

  1. Jenna Zhao, Burr Ridge, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp., 33.050
  2. Alexandria Kautzman, Westlake Village, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, 32.050
  3. Erica Foster, Erica Foster, Hopkins, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic, 31.500

Below is a quick summary of the top three senior finishers for acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling. For acrobatic gymnastics, this is the first of three days of competition, and for trampoline and tumbling, today was the qualification round, and the top eight advance to Saturday’s finals. Complete results are available at usagymchamps.com.

Acrobatic gymnastics

    First of three days
    • Men’s pair, dynamic: Angel Felix and Braiden McDougall of Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, 27.430
    • Mixed pair, dynamic: Aisley Boynton and Sean Obley of Chandler, Ariz./Aspire Kids Sports Center, 25.160
    • Women’s pair, dynamic: Victoria Blante and Morgan Sweeney, Livermore, Calif./WestCoast Training Center, 25.050
    • Women’s group, balance: Reagan Dubbels, Emily Petty, Abby Rosilier, San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, 27.900

Trampoline and tumbling

    Trampoline, men
    Qualification round to finals
    1. Jeffrey Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, 107.990
    2. Ruben Padilla, Oakley, Calif./ Wasatch Trampoline and Tumbling, 105.920
    3. Cody Gesuelli, Huntsville, Ala./Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, 105.650
    Double mini-trampoline, women
    Qualification round to finals
    1. Tristan Van Natta, Hilliard, Ohio/Integrity Athletics, 69.900
    2. Kayttie Nakamura, Honolulu, Hawaii/Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, 69.700
    3. Sydney Senter, Aiea, Hawaii/Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, 69.600
    Tumbling, men
    Qualification round to finals
    1. Kaden Brown, Herriman, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling, 74.800
    2. Brandon Krzynefski, Centreville, Va./Capital Gymnastics National Training Center, 69.600
    3. Patrick Lyell, Kenner, La./Elmwood Gymnastics Academy, 69.000

All-day session ticket package prices, which provide access to every competitive session that day at the Iowa Events Center, are $45. Evening session ticket prices are July 4 and 5, $20; and July 6, $25. Advance tickets may be purchased at the Iowa Event Center Box Office or HyveeTIX.com.

With more than 1,600 gymnasts competing across all three disciplines and all levels, the five-day schedule is complex, and a simplified version is included below. Acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling will be held in the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (CCCU) and rhythmic gymnastics in Hy-Vee Hall. All three disciplines will also be held in the Wells Fargo Arena. All times are Central, and the schedule is subject to change.

July 5

    CCCU Convention Center and Hy-Vee Hall
    9 a.m. Acrobatic gymnastics – Level 7; rhythmic gymnastics – Levels 7 and 8; and trampoline and tumbling – youth, junior and open elite finals
    1:30 p.m. Acrobatic gymnastics – 11-16 and 12-18 age groups; and trampoline and tumbling – Level 8
    Wells Fargo Arena
    1:30 p.m. Rhythmic gymnastics – junior/senior B
    6 p.m. Acrobatic gymnastics – 13-19, senior; rhythmic gymnastics – senior A; and trampoline and tumbling – senior prelims

July 6

    CCCU Convention Center and Hy-Vee Hall
    9 a.m. Acrobatic gymnastics – Level 7; rhythmic gymnastics – Levels 7 and 8; and trampoline and tumbling – Level 8
    1:30 p.m. Acrobatic gymnastics – 12-18 age group; and trampoline and tumbling – Level 8
    Wells Fargo Arena
    1:30 p.m. Rhythmic gymnastics – junior/senior B
    6 p.m. Acrobatic gymnastics – 13-19, senior; rhythmic gymnastics – senior all-around finals; and trampoline and tumbling – senior finals

For the junior and senior elite levels for each discipline, the athletes will vie for national titles. Performances in Des Moines also will determine berths on the junior and senior U.S. National Teams for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling. The Junior Olympic division has several different levels, and national titles will be awarded for each level and age group for each discipline.

Catch Des Moines is the local partner for the event. USA Gymnastics staged the 2009 U.S. Classic and the 2015 U.S. Women’s Junior Olympic Championships in Des Moines.

The USA Gymnastics Championships, one of the annual national championships organized by USA Gymnastics, was first held in 2014 at the KFC Yum! Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. Past sites are Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum Complex (2015, 2018), Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center (2016), and Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center (2017). For more information on the USA Gymnastics Championships, please go to usagymchamps.com.

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 the apparatus in a choreographed routine to music. The five apparatus used in rhythmic gymnastics are rope, hoop, ball, clubs, and ribbon. Rhythmic gymnasts may compete individually or as a group. The choreography must cover the entire floor with intricate apparatus handling, dance combinations, jumps, 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

 

  • Catch Des Moines. Catch Des Moines is the official destination marketing organization promoting and representing Greater Des Moines to leisure travelers and meeting planners. As the visitors’ and meeting professionals’ trusted partner, we help elevate the visitor experience by connecting the functional to the aspirational. Our focus is to drive economic success for our more than 840 partners and enhance the quality of life in the 15 Greater Des Moines communities we represent. For more information, visit catchdesmoines.com.
  • Iowa Events Center. The Iowa Events Center is a three venue, state-of-the-art multi-purpose complex located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The facility is owned by Polk County and managed by Spectra Venue Management, the expert in hosting and entertainment. Wells Fargo Arena is a 17,000 seat arena that is home to three professional sports teams, including the NBA G-League’s Iowa Wolves, the AHL’s Iowa Wild, and the IFL’s Iowa Barnstormers, in addition to hosting numerous concerts, family shows and sporting events. For more information visit www.iowaeventscenter.com.
  • 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 encourages and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes. USA Gymnastics has taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its safe sport policies and procedures. Former gymnast and business executive Li Li Leung is the new president and chief executive officer of USA Gymnastics. 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 complete information, visit usagym.org.