Zeng, Griskenas mine gold at 2019 USA Gymnastics Championships
posted on 07/05/2019

© Team Photo

DES MOINES, Iowa, July 5, 2019 – Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, won the clubs and ribbon gold medals, respectively, 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 concludes tomorrow at the Wells Fargo Arena at 6 p.m. CT, and Junior Olympic competition also wraps up 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 clubs and ribbon finals for rhythmic gymnastics, Friday’s competition served as the qualification round for women’s trampoline and tumbling, and men’s double mini-trampoline finals, with the top eight in each of the events advancing to the finals on Saturday. Competition on July 4-5 also was the qualification round for rhythmic’s senior all-around final and the Junior World Championships selection session on Saturday. The top six junior gymnasts for each apparatus advanced to the Junior World session, and the top 12 in the senior rankings qualified for the senior all-around finals. Acrobatic gymnastics performed the second of three routines.

Zeng won the clubs title with a 19.500. Camilla Feeley of Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center was second at 18.600. Stasya Generalova of Los Angeles, Calif./California Rhythms, rounded out the top three at 18.100.

Griskenas claimed the ribbon gold with her 18.800. Feeley picked up her second silver of the night (18.300), and Zeng was third at 17.200.

In the qualification all-around ranking, Zeng posted a 77.400 for first. Griskenas was second at 75.200, with Feeley third with a 74.800. Lili Mizuno of Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, was fourth (71.800) and Generalova finished the top five at 71.450.

In the junior elite rhythmic division, Jenna Zhao of Burr Ridge, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp., won the all-around title with her 64.350. Victoria Kobelev of Palm Coast, Fla./Rhythmic Art, was the silver medalist (63.150), with Alexandria Kautzman of Westlake Village, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, taking the bronze at 61.500.

Zhao also garnered the gold for rope (15.800), ball (17.250) and clubs (16.750). Kobelev captured the ribbon title at 15.900. Naomi Skotnikov of Highland Park, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy, came in second (15.300), followed by Katherine Cheng of Oak Park, Calif./California Rhythms (15.000). The rope medalists were Kautzman, silver (15.450), and Erica Foster of Hopkins, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic, bronze (15.100). The ball silver medalists were Kautzman and Ciel Arzandyan of Van Nuys, Calif./Rhythmic Academy of Los Angeles (16.600). Kobelev and Arzandyan were second (16.750) and third (16.650), respectively, for clubs. The ribbon silver and bronze medalists were Naomi Skotnikov of Highland Park, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy, with 15.300, and Katherine Cheng of Oak Park, Calif./California Rhythms, at 15.000, respectively.

The members of the junior national team are: Arzandyan; Stella-Luciana Ceo of Los Angeles, Calif./LA Ritmica; Cheng; Foster; Patricija Ivanauskaite of Clarendon Hills, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; Kautzman; Esther Kiseleva of Wayne, N.J./Liberty Academy; Kobelev; Gergana Petkova of Barrington, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center; Skotnikov; and Mya Tam of Newton, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams; and Zhao.

The U.S. senior group won both the three hoops/four clubs (22.000) and all-around (45.600) titles. 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 all-around title at 27.450, as well as the five ribbons crown (12.150). 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: women’s trampoline – Charlotte Drury, Laguna Niguel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, 102.720; women’s tumbling – Eve Doudican, Bixby, Okla./Oklahoma Extreme Tumbling, 67.900; and men’s double mini-trampoline – Ruben Padilla, Oakley, Calif./Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling, 76.700.

In acrobatic gymnastics, the best scores for each event were: men’s pair, balance – Angel Felix and Braiden McDougall of Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, 27.390; mixed pair, balance – Aisley Boynton and Sean Obley of Chandler, Ariz./Aspire Kids Sports Center, 26.430; women’s pair, balance – Victoria Blante and Morgan Sweeney of Livermore, Calif./WestCoast Training Center, 25.040; and women’s group, dynamic – Isabel Chang, Sasha Gladkova and Sydney Martin of Laurel, Md./Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, 27.670.

Rhythmic gymnastics – Finals
Senior

    Clubs
    1. Laura Zeng, Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 19.500
    2. Camilla Feeley, Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 18.600
    3. Stasya Generalova, Los Angeles, Calif./California Rhythms, 18.100
    Ribbon
    1. Evita Griskenas, Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 18.800
    2. Camilla Feeley, Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 18.300
    3. Laura Zeng, Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 17.200
    All-around (qualification; top 12 advance)
    1. Laura Zeng, Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 77.400
    2. Evita Griskenas, Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 75.200
    3. Camilla Feeley, Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, 74.800

Junior

    Clubs
    1. Jenna Zhao, Burr Ridge, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy, 16.750
    2. Victoria Kobelev, Palm Coast, Fla./Rhythmic Art, 16.650
    3. Ciel Arzandyan, Van Nuys, Calif./Rhythmic Academy of Los Angeles, 15.450
    Ribbon
    1. Victoria Kobelev, Palm Coast, Fla./Rhythmic Art, 15.900
    2. Naomi Skotnikov, Highland Park, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy,15.300
    3. Katherine Cheng, Oak Park, Calif./California Rhythms, 15.000
    All-around – final
    1. Jenna Zhao, Burr Ridge, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy, 64.350
    2. Victoria Kobelev, Palm Coast, Fla./Rhythmic Art, 63.150
    3. Alexandria Kautzman, Westlake Village, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, 61.500

Acrobatic gymnastics
Second of three days

  • Men’s pair, balance: Angel Felix and Braiden McDougall of Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, 27.390
  • Mixed pair, balance: Aisley Boynton and Sean Obley of Chandler, Ariz./Aspire Kids Sports Center, 26.430
  • Women’s pair, balance: Victoria Blante and Morgan Sweeney, Livermore, Calif./WestCoast Training Center, 25.040
  • Women’s group, dynamic: Isabel Chang, Sasha Gladkova and Sydney Martin of Laurel, Md./Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, 27.670

Trampoline and tumbling
Trampoline, women

    Qualification round to finals (top eight advance)
    1. Charlotte Drury, Laguna Niguel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, 102.720
    2. Jessica Stevens, Ellicott City, Md./Fairland Gymnastics, 101.435
    3. Nicole Ahsinger, Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, 101.100

Double mini-trampoline, men

    Qualification round to finals (top eight advance)
    1. Ruben Padilla, Oakley, Calif./Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling, 76.700
    2. Alex Renkert, Columbus, Ohio/Integrity Athletics, 73.000
    3. Simon Smith, Springville, Utah/High Altitude, 71.900

Tumbling, women

    Qualification round to finals (top eight advance)
    1. Eve Doudican, Bixby, Okla./Oklahoma Extreme Tumbling, 67.900
    2. Eliza Floisand, Salt Lake City, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling, 65.200
    3. Hope Bravo, Waco, Texas/Eagle Gymnastics Academy, 62.900

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 $25.

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 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.