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U.S. gymnasts sweep men's and women's team and all-around gold at 2021 Junior Pan American Championships
posted on 06/20/2021

© Amy Sanderson

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, June 20, 2021 – U.S. gymnasts took the men's and women's team and all-around titles Friday and Saturday at the 2021 Junior Pan American Championships at the Polideportivo López Mateos in Guadalajara, Mexico.

On the men's side, Fred Richard of Stoughton, Mass./Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics Academy and Ian Lasic-Ellis of Dover, Mass./Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics Academy finished one and two in the all-around competition, while the team, which also consisted Arun Chhetri of Culver City, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica USA and Vahe Petrosyan of Van Nuys, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica USA, outscored the competition by nearly 10 points. Meanwhile, Katelyn Jong of Allen, Texas/Metroplex Gymnastics and Madray Johnson of Dallas, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics captured the gold and silver in the women's all-around. With the help of teammates Kailin Chio of Henderson, Nev./Gymcats Gymnastics and Kaliya Lincoln of Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, the U.S. women dominated the team competition by more than 14 points. Gymnasts Josh Karnes of Erie, Pa./Lakettes Gymnastic Academy and Joscelyn Roberson of Texarkana, Texas/North East Texas Elite Gymnastics supported their teammates as the replacement athletes for each team.

Fred Richard - Men's All-Around Champion
© Amy Sanderson
Richard followed up his recent all-around national championship in the men's junior 17-19 division by posting a 79.402 across the six apparatus to lead all scorers. He also topped the field on still rings (13.100), pommel horse (12.767) and horizontal bar (12.900), and was second on floor exercise (13.334), vault (13.917) and parallel bars (13.334) to qualify for Sunday's event finals. Richard will be joined by Chhetri who also earned a 12.767 on pommel horse and was second on still rings with a 12.567, Lasic-Ellis who was sixth on vault (13.451) and was the high scorer on parallel bars with a 13.500, and Petrosyan who qualified on horizontal bar (12.567) in fourth.

Reigning U.S. junior women's champion Jong (54.100) edged teammate Johnson (53.550) for the all-around title. Fellow Americans Lincoln (52.150) and Chio (52.100) posted the third and fourth highest all-around scores, but due to the two-athlete-per-country limit, Jamaica's Alana Walker took bronze with at 49.850. Jong advanced to three event finals, claiming the top score on vault (14.200) and uneven bars (13.550) and finishing second on balance beam with a 12.550. Johnson will join Jong in the uneven bars (13.250) and balance beam (12.950) finals, while Lincoln will compete Sunday on vault (14.050) and floor exercise (14.250). Chio also advanced on floor exercise after posting the second-highest score of the night (13.700) behind Lincoln.

Sunday's individual event finals will take place as follows in eastern time:

  • 11:35 a.m. – Men's floor final
  • 12:06 p.m. – Women's vault final and men's pommel horse final
  • Katelyn Jong - Women's All-Around Champion
    © Amy Sanderson
  • 12:53 p.m. – Women's uneven bars final and men's still rings final
  • 6:05 p.m. – Women's balance beam final and men's vault final
  • 6:52 p.m. – Women's floor final and men's parallel bars final
  • 7:39 p.m. – Men's horizontal bar final

Fans can follow along with the livestream.