U.S. gymnasts found success on and off the competition floor in 2019
posted on 12/31/2019

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 31, 2019 – With 2019 in the rearview mirror, USA Gymnastics is highlighting the achievements ofU.S. gymnasts throughout the last year. Men’s and rhythmic gymnastics joined women’s gymnastics in qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. For the first time in nearly 30 years, the United States will have two individual rhythmic gymnasts competing in the Olympic Games.

© John Cheng
2019 saw Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, cement her place in gymnastics history as the greatest gymnast of all time. Her five total medals – all gold – at the 2019 World Championships for team, all-around, vault, balance beam, and floor exercise were the most won by any gymnast at Worlds and increased Biles’ collection to 25 World medals, breaking Vitaly Scherbo’s existing mark of 23 for the most in gymnastics history for a male or female. Her record for World gold medals now stands at 19. Biles also owns five World floor and three World beam titles, and each is the most for any woman in history. In recognition of her amazing feats that also include winning her sixth U.S. all-around title and having two more skills (her double double beam dismount and her triple double on floor) carry her name, Biles was selected as the 2019 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, Team USA’s Olympic Female Athlete of the Year, and the People’s Choice Gamechanger Award.

This year had World Championships for four disciplines, with Pan American Games and Pan American Championships for all five competitive disciplines. Additionally, a 329-member U.S. delegation performed at the 2019 World Gymnaestrada, July 7-13, in Dornbirn, Austria. More than 18,000 participants of all ages from 60-plus countries around the globe participated in this year’s World Gymnaestrada, which is held every four years. Eight U.S. gymnastics clubs participated: Chattooga Gymnastics and Dance in Marietta, Ga.; GymTrix from Alpine, Calif.; Columbia Gymnastics in Columbia, Md.; Encore from Walnut Creek, Calif.; La Jolla (Calif.) YMCA; Showcase from Katy, Texas; Skyview Gymnastics in Mt. Airy, Md.; and Westport-Weston Family Y in Westport, Conn. The U.S. delegation also included individual participants from Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Texas.
 

World Championships

Men’s and women’s gymnastics, Stuttgart, Germany, Oct. 4-13

© John Cheng
The U.S. women won their fifth consecutive team title, and seventh overall, at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, with margin of victory of nearly six points. The U.S. men finished fourth in the team competition. Sam Mikulak of Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, became the first American male to win the Longines Prize for Elegance. The members of the teams are: women – Biles, Jade Carey of Phoenix/Arizona Sunrays, Kara Eaker of Grain Valley, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express, Sunisa Lee of St. Paul, Minn./Midwest Gymnastics Center, Grace McCallum of Isanti, Minn./Twin City Twisters, and alternate MyKayla Skinner of Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights Gymnastics; and men – Trevor Howard of Columbus, Ohio/Ohio State University, Mikulak, Akash Modi of Menlo Park, Calif./Stanford University, Yul Moldauer of Arvada, Colo./University of Oklahoma, Shane Wiskus of Waconia, Minn./University of Minnesota, and alternate Allan Bower of Norman, Okla./Oklahoma.

Quick summary of placements

  • Gold medals: women’s team; all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise, Biles
  • Silver medals: women’s vault, Carey; women’s floor exercise, Lee
  • Bronze medals: uneven bars, Lee
  • Other finishes in finals: fourth – Eaker/balance beam; fifth – Biles/uneven bars, Mikulak/horizontal bar; seventh – Mikulak/all-around; eighth – Lee/all-around
  • Reserve athletes for finals: Moldauer/floor (2nd). NOTE – Carey (third/floor), McCallum (fifth/all-around) in qualifications but did not advance due to two per country rule

Rhythmic gymnastics, Baku, Azerbaijan

© R
For the first time since the 1992 Olympic Games when the all-around final field was 42, the United States will have two gymnasts competing in individual rhythmic gymnastics at an Olympics. The double ticket to Tokyo is courtesy of outstanding performances by Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, who finished eighth and 10th, respectively, in the all-around final at the 2019 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku, Azerbaijan. In addition, this is the first time the USA has had two gymnasts finish in the top 10 in the World Championships all-around final, where the top 16 (max two per country) qualified for the Olympics. The USA also qualified two gymnasts to the 2021 World Games in Birmingham, Ala., by finishing in the top 20 in the all-around final.

Camilla Feeley of Deerfield, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, competed along with Griskenas and Zeng in the team final, where the USA was seventh out of 42 countries. Zeng was fifth in the ribbon final and was the second reserve athlete for clubs. Griskenas finished eighth in the ball final and was the second reserve for hoop. Zeng became the first American to receive the Longines Prize for Elegance for rhythmic gymnastics.

The USA’s group, which trains at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, finished 10th in the all-around, the highest placement for North, Central and South America. The U.S. group included Isabelle Connor of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Connie Du of Deerfield, Ill.; Yelyzaveta Merenzon of Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Elizaveta Pletneva of Deerfield, Ill.; Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill.; and Kristina Sobolevskaya of Chicago.

Trampoline and tumbling, Tokyo, Japan, Nov. 28-Dec. 1
© Ricardo Bufolin
The United States won the team all-around silver medal at the 2019 World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships at the Ariake Gymnastics Center, the 2020 Olympic Games venue, in Tokyo, Japan. Ruben Padilla of Oakley, Calif./Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling, and Alex Renkert of Columbus, Ohio/Integrity Athletics, won the silver and bronze men’s double-mini medals, respectively; and Kaden Brown of Herriman, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling, claimed the men’s tumbling bronze medal. The United States won the women’s gold and men’s silver double mini-trampoline team medals, along with the men’s tumbling team bronze. Additionally, the USA qualified in men’s and women’s double mini-trampoline and tumbling for the 2021 World Games, scheduled for July 15-25 in Birmingham, Ala.

The members of the two double-mini teams were: women – Kiley Lockett of Oceanside, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, Kayttie Nakamura of Honolulu, Hawaii/Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, Sydney Senter of Aiea, Hawaii/Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, and Tristan Van Natta of Hilliard, Ohio/Integrity Athletics; and men – Padilla, Renkert, Noah Orr of Phoenix, Ariz./Air Sports Unlimited, and Simon Smith of Springville, Utah/High Altitude. The men’s tumbling team members were: Brown, Haydn Fitzgerald of Sammamish, Wash./Cascade Gymnastics, Brandon Krzynefski of Centreville, Va./Capital Gymnastics National Training Center, and Renkert.

© Ricardo Bufolin
In the team all-around competition, the competition featured one man and one woman in trampoline, double-mini and tumbling, along with one men’s and one women’s synchro pair, for each country. Double-mini trampolinist Van Natta, tumbler Eve Doudican of Bixby, Okla./Oklahoma Extreme Tumbling, and the synchronized trampoline team of Jeffrey Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, and Aliaksei Shostak of Youngsville, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, earned the highest scores for their respective events during the all-around. The other U.S. gymnasts who competed in the team all-around were: Nicole Ahsinger of Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, trampoline; Padilla, double-mini; Ellen Heinen of Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, and Kayttie Nakamura of Honolulu, Hawaii/Merino Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, synchronized trampoline.

The other U.S. gymnasts who advanced to the finals were: women’s double-mini, Van Natta, fourth; women’s tumbling, Doudican, fifth; men’s synchronized trampoline, Gluckstein and Shostak, fifth; women’s synchronized trampoline, Heinen and Nakamura, sixth.

In the trampoline semifinals, Shostak finished 10th and just missed advancing to the men’s final and was one place short of a qualification berth to the 2020 Olympic Games. He was the first reserve for the finals based on a max of two per country in the final. Ahsinger also competed in the semis.

Women’s and men’s gymnastics

© Ricardo Bufolin
The United States won its fifth-consecutive and 11th overall women’s team gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games at the Polideportivo Villa El Salvador in Lima, Peru. The U.S. men brought home the men’s team silver medal.

The members of the team were Eaker; Aleah Finnegan of Lee’s Summit, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express; Morgan Hurd of Middletown, Del./First State Gymnastics; Riley McCusker of Brielle, N.J./MG Elite; and Leanne Wong of Overland Park, Kansas/Great American Gymnastics Express.

The men representing the USA were Cameron Bock of Ann Arbor, Mich./University of Michigan; Grant Breckenridge of Libertyville, Ill./Stanford University; Brody Malone of Summerville, Ga./Stanford University; Robert Neff of Brookfield, Wis./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center; and Genki Suzuki of North Wales, Pa./University of Oklahoma;

McCusker won the women’s all-around silver medal, with Eaker taking fourth. The women’s individual event medalists and final placements were: uneven bars – McCusker/gold, Wong/silver; balance beam – Eaker/gold, McCusker/bronze; and floor exercise – Eaker/silver, McCusker/fifth.

For the men, Neff claimed the floor exercise and pommel horse silver medals, and finished seventh in the all-around. Bock earned the parallel bars bronze. Bock grabbed the parallel bars bronze and finished eighth in floor exercise final. Malone was fourth in the pommel horse final, and fifth in the all-around and parallel bars finals. Suzuki was sixth in the horizontal bar final.

Rhythmic gymnastics
© Ricardo Bufolin
Griskenas won the Pan Am Games rhythmic gymnastics gold medals for the all-around, hoop, ball and ribbon, as well as the bronze for clubs, making her one of several athletes to bring home five medals. Feeley won the clubs gold, the all-around silver, and the hoop and ball bronze medals.

The U.S. group snared the silver medal for the all-around and their 5 balls routine. The group also placed fifth in the 3 hoops/4 clubs final.

In December, Griskenas won the NextGen Female Athlete Award at the inaugural Pan American Sports Organization Awards ceremony, which recognized Pan Am Games performances.

Trampoline
Gluckstein and Padilla won the men’s silver and bronze trampoline medals, respectively, at the Pan American Games. Ahsinger claimed the women’s trampoline silver.

 

© Shots 4 Sports
Team USA swept the senior and junior level medals at the Pan American Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships.

Seniors

  • Men’s pair: Braiden McDougall and Angel Felix of Realis Gymnastics (Riverside, Calif.) – dynamic, balance and all-around gold medals.
  • Women’s group: Elanor Chang and Kayla and Grace Vonder Haar of Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics (Laurel, Md.) – dynamic, balance and all-around gold medals.

Juniors

  • Women’s pair: Katie Borcherding and Destiny Nolting of Show Me Acro (Pacific, Mo.) – balance, dynamic and all-around gold medals.
  • Women’s group: Isabel Chang, Alexandra Gladkova, and Sidney Martin of Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics (Laurel, Md.) – balance, dynamic and all-around gold medals.
  • Mixed pair: Anna Blough and Carson Breen of Realis Gymnastics – balance, dynamic and all-around gold medals.

Below are quick overviews for each of the five competitive disciplines in international competition and the national championships.

Women’s gymnastics
  • Swiss Cup, Zurich, Switzerland, Nov. 3. Carey teamed up with Bower to win the title. Team USA topped Team Ukraine in the final of the Swiss Cup, a team competition that featured one female gymnast and one male gymnast from the same country going head-to-head with other teams.
  • © John Cheng
  • U.S. Championships, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo., Aug 5-8. Biles treated a nearly packed house to her gravity-defying gymnastics on the way to her sixth U.S. senior women’s all-around title. Biles, who was named women’s gymnastics Athlete of the Year, is the first woman in nearly 70 years to win six senior U.S. all-around titles. Biles and Clara Schroth Lomady, who won the women’s all-around from 1945-46 and 1949-52, both have six to their credit. Biles also won the U.S. title for three of the four events (vault, balance beam and floor exercise), along with the uneven bars bronze medal. Lee earned the all-around silver medal and won the uneven bars title. McCallum was third in the all-around, with Hurd in fourth and Wong in fifth. The other event medalists were: vault – Carey/silver and Skinner/bronze; uneven bars – Hurd/silver; balance beam – Eaker/silver and Wong/bronze; and floor exercise – Carey/silver and Lee/bronze. For the juniors, Kayla DiCello of Boyds, Md./Hill's Gymnastics, clinched the junior all-around crown. Konnor McClain of Cross Lanes, W.Va./Revolution Gymnastics, was second in the all-around, followed by Olivia Greaves of Staten Island, N.Y./MG Elite, in third. Skye Blakely of Frisco, Texas/WOGA, and Sydney Barros of Lewisville, Texas/Texas Dreams, placed fourth and fifth, respectively. DiCello also claimed the gold medal for the vault and floor exercise, along with the bronze for the uneven bars. McClain and Greaves split the remaining event titles, with McClain the balance beam champ and Greaves on bars.
  • World Cup All-around Series. Team USA won the title for women’s gymnastics. The U.S. women’s placements at the four series events were: American Cup, Greensboro, N.C. – Wong, champion; Stuttgart, Germany – Biles, champion; Birmingham, Great Britain – McCusker, silver medal; and Tokyo, Japan – Hurd, champion.
  • World Cup, Doha, Qatar, March 20-23. Carey, vault and floor exercise champion.
  • GK U.S. Classic, Louisville, Ky., July 20. Biles and McClain won the senior and junior all-around titles, respectively. In the senior division, McCusker was second in the all-around, with McCallum in third. The senior event champions were vault, Carey; uneven bars, Hurd; balance beam, Eaker; and floor exercise, Biles. In the junior division, Barros was second and Greaves third. The junior event champions were: vault and balance beam, McClain; uneven bars, Greaves; and floor exercise, Blakely.
  • Junior World Championships, Gyor, Hungary, June 28-30. The U.S. women won the team bronze medal at the International Gymnastics Federation’s inaugural Junior World Championships. DiCello won the vault gold and beam bronze medals, as well as placed fourth in the all-around, sixth in the uneven bars and seventh floor exercise finals. Barros was fourth in the all-around and fifth on vault. Blakely was fourth in the uneven bars and fifth in the floor exercise finals. McClain was the traveling alternate.
  • Collegiate gymnastics. At the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships in Bridgeport, Conn., Lindenwood won the team title, with Seattle Pacific University’s Darian Burns winning the all-around crown. The event champions were: Kayla Baddeley of the University of Illinois – Chicago, vault; Me Li Costa of Brown University, and Anna Salamone of the U.S. Air Force Academy, uneven bars; Kaitlin Green of Cornell University, balance beam; and Tyler Davis of the U.S. Air Force Academy, floor exercise. At the NCAA Championships in Ft. Worth, Texas, the University of Oklahoma won the team title, the school’s third in four years. Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols won the all-around title, with Kyla Ross of UCLA and Lexy Ramler of the University of Minnesota tied for the silver. The individual event champions were: vault – Kennedi Edney of Louisiana State University, Derrian Gobourne of Auburn University, Nichols, Ross; uneven bars – Sarah Finnegan of LSU; balance beam – Natalie Wojcik of University of Michigan; and floor exercise – Alicia Boren of University of Florida, Lynnzee Brown of Denver University, Brenna Dowell of OU, and Ross. Following the conclusion of the season, Nichols was named the Honda Sport Award winner for gymnastics and received the Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award.
  • Gymnix International, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, March 8-9. The U.S. women won the senior and junior team titles. Eaker and Alyona Shchennikova of Evergreen, Colo./5280 Gymnastics, won the senior all-around gold and silver medals, respectively. Greaves and Skye Blakely won the silver and bronze junior all-around medals. The U.S. event champions were: Finnegan, and Skye Blakely, senior and junior vault, respectively; Skye Blakely, junior uneven bars; and Eaker, senior balance beam. The U.S. brought home six other event medals: Sloane Blakely of Frisco, Texas/WOGA, senior balance beam silver; Greaves, junior vault and floor exercise silver; Lilly Lippeatt of Cincinnati, Ohio/Gymnastics Academy, junior balance beam bronze; and Shchennikova, senior uneven bars silver and floor exercise bronze.
  • © Filippo Tomasi
  • Jesolo (Italy) Trophy International Competition, March 3. The United States won the senior team title and the junior team silver. Lee and McClain brought home the senior and junior all-around titles, respectively. Emma Malabuyo of Flower Mound, Texas/Texas Dreams, was the senior all-around bronze medalist. The U.S. Team captured 10 individual event medals: senior uneven bars, Lee/gold; senior balance beam – Malabuyo/silver, Lee/bronze; senior floor exercise, Lee/gold, Malabuyo/silver; junior vault – McClain/gold, Ciena Alipio of San Jose, California/West Valley Gymnastics/bronze; junior uneven bars – McClain/bronze; balance beam – Alipio/silver; and floor exercise – McClain/bronze. The senior team also featured Shilese Jones of Westerville, Ohio/Future Gymnastics Academy, and Gabby Perea of Geneva, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics. The U.S. Junior Team also included Sophia Butler of Houston, Texas/Discover, and DiCello.
  • Nastia Liukin Cup, Greensboro, N.C., March 2. Makarri Doggette of Pickerington, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics, and Gabrielle Gladieux of Greensboro, N.C./High Point Gymnastics, won the senior and junior all-around titles, respectively, at the 2019 Nastia Liukin Cup, held at the Greater Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
Men’s gymnastics
  • Swiss Cup, Zurich, Switzerland, Nov. 3. Bower teamed up with Carey to win the title. Team USA topped Team Ukraine in the final of the Swiss Cup, a team competition that featured one female gymnast and one male gymnast from the same country going head-to-head with other teams.
  • © John Cheng
  • U.S. Championships, Sprint Center, Kansas City, Mo., Aug 5-8. Mikulak thrilled the crowd with high-flying skills and routines on his way to his sixth U.S. men’s all-around title. Mikulak tied Makoto Sakamoto, who earned his sixth all-around title in 1970. Colt Walker of Cedar Park, Texas/AcroTex Gymnastics, and Taylor Burkhart of Morrison, Colo./5280, won the junior 17-18 and 15-16 men’s all-around titles, respectively. Mikulak also won the event titles for floor exercise, pommel horse, parallel bars and horizontal bar. Moldauer was second in the all-around, and Modi was third. Alex Diab of Glen Ellyn, Ill./University of Illinois, claimed the still rings title, and Wiskus nabbed the vault crown. In the junior men’s competition, Walker also brought home the vault and parallel bars gold, and still rings and horizontal bar silver medals. Garrett Braunton of Olympia, Wash./Cypress Academy, took second in the all-around, followed by Crew Bold of Delray Beach, Fla./University of Minnesota, in third. The remaining event champions were: floor exercise, J.R. Chou of Houston, Texas/Stanford Boys Gymnastics; and pommel horse, Lazarus Barnhill of Houston, Texas/University of Oklahoma.
  • Men’s Qualifier, Colorado Springs, Colo., July 6-7. Kanji Oyama of Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, posted the top senior all-around score. Bold had the junior’s highest combined score.
  • Junior World Championships, Gyor, Hungary, June 27-30. The U.S. men placed seventh in the team competition. The U.S. men’s team included Braunton; Matthew Cormier of Milton, Mass./Massachusetts Elite; Isaiah Drake of Los Angeles, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica; and Khoi Young of Bowie, Md./Sportsplex Gymnastics, traveling alternate. Braunton finished 19th in the all-around, with Cormier taking 21st. In the event finals, Cormier was sixth for the floor exercise, and Drake was fourth and Braunton sixth on still rings.
  • Collegiate Championships. At the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships in Annapolis, Md., the U.S. Naval Academy and Arizona State University won the Varsity and Collegiate Club Division team titles, respectively. Navy’s Ryan McVay of Roseville, Calif., and Kiwan Watts of Richmond, Va./Arizona State University, won the Varsity and Collegiate all-around titles, respectively. The event champions were: floor exercise, Lucas Beltran of Corpus Christi, Texas/Navy; pommel horse, David Toussaint of Warren, Ohio/Navy; still rings, Ethan Esval of Roswell, Ga./U.S. Air Force Academy; vault, Cole Casanova of Dallas/U.S. Military Academy; parallel bars, Zack Polen of Dallas/Air Force; and horizontal bar, Lukas Texeira of Waukesha, Wis./Air Force. At the NCAA Championships in Urbana-Champaign, Ill., Stanford University pulled an upset in winning the team title. Stanford’s Malone brought home the all-around title, as well as the floor exercise and horizontal bar gold medals. The other four individual event champions were: pommel horse, Alec Yoder of Ohio State University; still rings, Diab; vault, Anthony McCallum, Michigan; and parallel bars, Wiskus. Moldauer received the NIssen-Emory Award and MVP honors.
  • International Junior Team Cup, Berlin, Germany, April 6. The U.S. Team won the team gold, with Drake and Chou claiming the all-around silver and bronze medals, respectively. The U.S. event medalists were: floor exercise –Walker, bronze; pommel horse – Chou, gold; still rings – Fuzzy Benas of Richmond, Texas/Enrich Gymnastics, silver; vault – Benas, gold; and parallel bars –Drake, bronze.
  • World Cup All-around Series. The U.S. men won the series title. The U.S. men’s placements at the four events: American Cup, Greensboro, N.C. – Moldauer, champion; Stuttgart, Germany - Modi, fifth; Birmingham, Great Britain – Bower, sixth; and Tokyo – Mikulak, champion.
  • World Cup, individual events. The U.S. men competed in these World Cup events: Baku, Azerbaijan – floor exercise/Colin Van Wicklen of Magnolia, Texas/University of Oklahoma/first reserve, still rings/Howard/first reserve, vault/Van Wicklen/fifth, parallel bars/Howard/12th, and horizontal bar/Van Wicklen/11th; and Cottbus, Germany – floor exercise/Van Wicklen/seventh, pommel horse/Stephen Nedoroscik of Worcester, Mass./Pennsylvania State University/eighth, still rings/Van Wicklen/22nd, vault/Van Wicklen/eighth, parallel bars/Van Wicklen/10th, and horizontal bar/Van Wicklen/fourth.
  • University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) International Cup, March 15. Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla./Ohio State University, won the international senior men’s title, and the United States edged out Canada in the USA-Canada dual match. All four U.S. gymnasts won medals in the event finals: Melton – floor exercise and horizontal bar gold medals, parallel bars silver, and still rings bronze; Riley Loos of El Dorado, Calif./Technique Gymnastics – floor exercise gold; Genki Suzuki of North Wales, Pa./University of Oklahoma – horizontal bar silver and floor bronze; and Neff – parallel bars bronze.
  • © John Cheng
  • Elite Team Cup, Greensboro, N.C., March 2. Region 3 successfully defended its team title at the 2019 Elite Team Cup, which features the country’s top junior elite male gymnasts in a regional team competition. Region 3 also earned the top team scores for the floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings and vault. Region 1 took second place and had the top team score for the horizontal bar. Region 8 rounded out the top three and earned the top team score for the parallel bars.
  • Winter Cup, Las Vegas, Nev. Feb. 15-17. Moldauer won the senior all-around title, and Walker won the junior all-around title. Mikulak, who was second in the all-around, won two individual event titles, floor exercise and horizontal bar. The remaining senior event champions were: Nedoroscik, pommel horse; Howard, still rings; Van Wicklen, vault; and Adrian De Los Angeles of Long Beach, Calif./U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, parallel bars. The junior event champions were: floor exercise, Young; pommel horse, Chou; still rings, Benas; vault, Walker; parallel bars, Logan Myers, Morrison, Colo./5280 Gymnastics; and horizontal bar, Taylor Burkhart, Morrison, Colo./5280 Gymnastics, and Nicolas Kuebler, Seattle, Wash./Metropolitan Gymnastics.
  • RD761 Junior International Team Cup, Katy, Texas, Jan. 18-19. Team USA won the team silver medal. The U.S. team included Benas, Drake, Josh Karnes of Erie, Pa./Lakettes Gymnastics Academy, and Walker, along with alternate Raydel Gamboa of Phoenix, Ariz./North Valley Gymnastics. Walker garnered the all-around silver medal, with Karnes in fifth. Walker won five event medals (vault, gold; still rings and horizontal bar, silver; floor exercise and parallel bars, bronze), and Benas had two (vault silver and horizontal bar bronze), giving the USA seven event medals. Other U.S. finishes were: Benas, fifth on still rings and eighth for the floor; and Karnes, fourth on pommel horse and fifth on parallel bars.
Rhythmic gymnastics
  • World Cups
    • Portimao, Portugal, Sept. 8. Feeley won the ribbon bronze medal.
    • Guadalajara, Spain, May 3-4. Zeng took sixth in the all-around and competed in three event finals, finishing fourth for hoop, fifth for ball and eighth for clubs. Nastasya Generalova of Los Angeles/California Rhythms, was seventh in the ribbon final, as well as finishing 11th in the all-around. The U.S. group finished fifth in the 5 balls final, sixth in the all-around, and seventh in the 3 hoops/4 clubs final.
    • Baku Azerbaijan, April 26-28. Zeng won the hoop bronze medal. In the all-around, Zeng was 19th and Feeley was 25th. The U.S. group placed 12th for 5 balls and 13th for 3 hoops/4 clubs.
    • Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 20-21. Zeng took eighth in the all-around, as well as sixth for ball and eighth for clubs, in the finals. Lili Mizuno of Northbrook, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, finished 17th in the all-around.
    • Sofia, Bulgaria, April 12-14. Griskenas took sixth in the all-around, and competed in three event finals. She placed fifth for hoop, sixth for ribbon and seventh for clubs. The U.S. group took fifth in the 5 balls final. The U.S. group also placed eighth in the all-around, with a ninth-place ranking in 3 hoops/4 clubs and eighth in 5 balls. Feeley finished 21st in the all-around.
    • Pesaro, Italy, April 6-7. Griskenas finished fifth in the ribbon final, and took eighth in both the hoop and ball finals. She also was sixth in the all-around, with Mizuno in 35th. The U.S. group was 12th in the all-around, with a ninth- place ranking for 5 balls and 14th place in the 3 hoops/4 clubs prelims.
  • Junior World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, Moscow, July 19-21. The U.S. Team of Jenna Zhao of Burr Ridge, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy of Gymnastics, Victoria Kobelev of Palm Coast, Fla./Rhythmic Art, and Alexandria Kautzman of Westlake Village, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics, finished in 20th place in the team all-around. The U.S. group placed 19th in the all-around. The members of the U.S. group, which is based at Vitrychenko Academy in Niles, Ill., are: Madeleine Avila of Highland Park, Ill.; Lola Perez of Weymouth, Mass.; Tatyana Shilshtut of Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Remy Turner of Glendale, Calif.; and Emily Wilson of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • World University Games, Naples, Italy, July 11-13. Zeng won the all-around bronze medal. In the event finals, she was fourth for hoop, ball, and clubs.
  • © John Cheng
  • USA Gymnastics Championships, Des Moines, Iowa, July 4-6. Zeng won her fifth consecutive senior all-around title, with Griskenas and Feeley in second and third. Zeng won the hoop, ball and clubs gold medals, with Griskenas capturing the ribbon title. The U.S. National Group, which is based at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Deerfield, Ill., claimed the group title. In the junior division, Zhao won the all-around title, with Kobelev and Kautzman finishing second and third, respectively. Zhao won the rope, ball and clubs titles, with Kobelev claiming the ribbon crown.
  • Junior Pan Am Championships, Monterrey, Mexico, June 19. Team USA won the team title and went one-two in the all-around at the 2019 Junior Pan American Championships. Zhao and Kobelev were first and second, respectively, in the all-around. Zhao also won the ribbon title, along with two event silvers, and Kobelev picked up a silver and bronze. The U.S. Group claimed the all-around and five hoops bronze medals.
  • International competitions.
    • Brno (Czech Republic) Grand Prix and Junior Tart Cup, June 7-9. Zeng was the Grand Prix hoop bronze medalist, and Kautzman was the Tart Cup all-around and rope bronze medalist.
    • Luxembourg (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) Trophy, June 7-9. Lennox Hopkins-Wilkins of Puyallup, Wash./Evergreen Rhythmics, won the senior all-around and hoop gold medals, as well as the ball silver; Nerea Francis of North Miami Beach, Fla./Miami Gymnastics and Dance Academy, was the all-around and clubs bronze medalist; and junior Ciel Arzandyan of Van Nuys, Calif./Rhythmic Academy of Los Angeles, won the all-around and clubs gold medals, plus the ball silver and ribbon bronze.
    • Holon (Israel) Grand Prix, May 29-30. Griskenas was fifth in the all-around, as well as sixth for ball and seventh in both the hoop and ribbon finals. In the junior team competition, the USA was seventh (119.250). Zhao and Naomi Skotnikov of Highland Park, Ill./ Vitrychenko Academy Corp, were on the team.
    • Thiais (France) Grand Prix, April 3. The U.S. group placed seventh in the all-around. They earned a personal best score of 20.250 for their 3 hoops/4 clubs routine in the qualification round and finished seventh in the final. The Americans also qualified for the 5 ball finals with their eighth-place ranking, but were bumped to allow the host country a berth in the final. Generalova competed in the individual competition, where she was 17th in the all-around.
    • MTM Ljubljana (Slovenia) Tournament, March 30-31. Griskenas won the senior all-around silver medal, as well as the hoop gold and ball silver medals. Mizuno and Hopkins-Wilkins had the fifth and sixth best all-around scores, respectively. Griskenas won the hoop gold and ball silver medals. Esther Kiseleva of Wayne, N.J./Liberty Academy, was the junior all-around silver medalist, and Gemma Gow of Newton, Mass./Rhythmic Dreams, won the pre-junior all-around and rope gold medals, as well as the ball silver. Other U.S. event medalists were: Arzandyan, junior clubs gold; Kiseleva, junior rope bronze; Daria Merkulova of Grayslake, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Center, non-FIG senior all-around, ball and clubs gold.
    • Juliet Shishmanova Tournament, Burgas, Bulgaria, March 30. Lily Avila of Highland Park, Ill./Vitrychenko Academy Corp., and Annaliese Dragan of Irvine, Calif./Nimble Rhythmic Gymnastics, won the hoop silver and the rope and ribbon bronze medals in the senior and junior event finals, respectively. Heather Chan of Irvine, Calif./Eurogymnastics, landed in fourth for clubs and fifth in ball. Eliza Cohen of Los Angeles/California Rhythms, was fifth in clubs, and Avila placed seventh in ball. Dragan was fifth for ball and clubs.
    • Corbeil International Tournament, Corbeil-Essones, France, March 23-24. Griskenas won the gold medal for ball, as well as the senior all-around bronze medal, silver medal for ribbon and the bronze in clubs. Additionally, the U.S. Team was third in the team competition. In the junior division, Kobelev took 12th in the all-around. Kautzman and Skotnikov both posted an all-around total of 52.700, with Kautzman claiming 14th. Kautzman was fifth and Skotnikov placed seventh in the rope final. In the club final, Kobelev was sixth. Krautzman was eighth in the ribbon final.
    • Grand Prix and Deriugina Cup, Kiev, Ukraine, March 14-17. Generalova was 15th in the all-around, as well as fifth in the hoop, at the Grand Prix. Helena Pavlovcic of Glendale, Calif./California Rhythms, and Cohen placed seventh in the clubs and eighth in the ball finals, respectively, at the Deriugina Cup. Cohen finished in 13th place and Pavlovcic was 19th in the all-around.
    • Lisbon (Portugal) International Tournament, March 11. Kautzman won the junior rope title. Arzandyan brought home the ribbon bronze medal. Overall, the U.S. had Hopkins-Wilkins competing in three senior event finals (ball, clubs and ribbon), and two juniors competed in all four event finals. In the all-around, Hopkins-Wilkins finished 10th and all five U.S. seniors finished in the top 25 of the 59-gymnast senior field. For the juniors, Kautzman was fifth in the all-around, with Dragan, Arzandyan and Kobelev finishing eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.
Trampoline and tumbling
  • World Cups
    • Valladolid, Spain, Oct. 6. Renkert and Tristan Van Natta mined the men’s and women’s double mini-trampoline bronze medals. At the City of Valladolid International Tournament, U.S. gymnasts captured seven gold, three silver and three bronze medals, including sweeping the women’s 15-16 tumbling and double-mini medals.
    • Khabarovsk, Russia, Sept. 22. Gluckstein and Shostak won the synchronized trampoline gold medal. All eight U.S. trampoline gymnasts competed in the trampoline qualifications. The women’s rankings were: Stevens, 22; Ahsinger, 26; Heinen, 36; and Alyssa Oh of Rocklin, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, 42. For the men, their placements were: Gluckstein, 27; Gesuelli, 37; Padilla, 46; and Shostak, 64. For women’s synchro, Ahsinger and Heinen were 12th, and Oh and Stevens in 14th.
    • Minsk, Belarus, April 21. Gluckstein and Shostak landed in fourth place in the synchronized trampoline final. In qualifications, Shostak was 17th in the individual rankings, with Gesuelli in 36th, Isaac Rowley of Allen, Texas/Eagle Gymnastics Academy, in 61st and Gluckstein in 76th place. The women’s prelim rankings were Ahsinger, 31st; Stevens, 36th; Sarah Webster of Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, 42nd; Olivia Simpson, of Lubbock, Texas/Air Extreme, 59th.
    • Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 18. Gesuelli and Rowley won the synchro bronze medal in Baku, Azerbaijan.
  • © John Cheng
  • USA Gymnastics Championships, Des Moines, Iowa, July 4-6. 2019 senior champions:
    • Trampoline: Gluckstein and Stevens.
    • Tumbling: Brown and Doudican.
    • Double mini-trampoline: Padilla and Nakamura.
    • Synchronized trampoline: Ahsinger and Webster, and Joey Isenberg of Martinsburg, W.Va., and Nico Verderosa of Middletown, N.J., both of Elite Trampoline Academy.
  • Elite Challenge, Winston-Salem, N.C., May 19. The senior champions were: trampoline –Ahsinger and Gluckstein; tumbling -- Brown and Hope Bravo of Waco, Texas/Eagle Gymnastics Academy; double mini-trampoline – Renkert and Nakamura; and synchronized trampoline – Gluckstein and Shostak, and Ahsinger and Webster.
Acrobatic gymnastics
  • USA Gymnastics Championships, Des Moines, July 4-7. 2019 champions:
    • Men’s pair: Angel Felix and Braiden McDougall, Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy
    • Mixed pair: Aisley Boynton and Sean Obley, Chandler, Ariz./Aspire Kids Sports Center
    • Women’s pair: Victoria Blante and Morgan Sweeney, Livermore, Calif./WestCoast Training Center
    • Women’s group: Reagan Dubbels, Emily Petty, Abby Rosilier, San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio
    • Junior Elite 13-19 Women’s Group: Emma Jennings, Aranel Prevost, Rachel Watts, Rockville, Md./Xtreme Acro
    • © John Cheng
    • Junior Elite 13-19 Mixed Pair: Anna Blough, Carson Breen, Moreno Valley, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy
    • Junior Elite 13-19 Women’s Pair: Katie Borcherding, Destiny Nolting, Pacific, Mo./Show Me Acro
  • World Cup and Flanders International Acro Cup Puurs, Belgium, April 14. The U.S. women’s group of Isabel Chang of Columbia, Md., Alexandra Galdkova of Fairfax, Va., and Sydney Martin of Glenwood, Md., all of Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, won the senior women’s group title. Emily Davis and Aubrey Rosilier, both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, withdrew from the women’s pair finals at the World Cup, which is held in conjunction with the Flanders Acro Cup. The U.S. junior men’s group of Ethan Chang of Columbia, Md., Devon Freed of Mt. Airy, Md., Samuel Lacy of Columbia, and Cade Shields of Columbia, all of Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, was the silver medalist.
  • World Cup, Las Vegas, Nev., March 24. The USA’s women’s pair of Davis and Rosilier finished in fourth place. In the women’s group, Elanor Chang of Columbia, Md., Grace Vonder Harr of Imperial, Mo., and Kayla Vonder Haar of Imperial, who train at Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, were fifth. Boynton and Obley finished seventh In the mixed pair final.
  • Maia (Portugal) World Cup, March 10. Rosilier and Davis won the women’s pair bronze medal. Mixed pair Blough and Breen won the age group 12-18 mixed pair title at the Maia International Acro Cup, held in conjunction with the World Cup.