2009 was a successful year for USA Gymnastics
posted on 12/17/2009

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Dec. 15, 2009 – Bridget Sloan’s winning the world all-around title, Kayla Williams’ becoming the USA’s first world vault champion, and Kristin Allen’s and Michael Rodrigues’ taking the USA’s first World Games mixed pair gold medal top the list of the USA’s accomplishments in 2009. At the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the four U.S. women won a total of five medals: two gold, one silver and two bronze. The trampoline and tumblers claimed one silver and two bronze team medals at the 2009 World Championships and a silver and bronze at the World Games.

“We are very pleased with the performances from all of our athletes throughout the year,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “USA Gymnastics remains confident in its international position as we begin the new quadrennium. Comparing our results to this point in the last quad (2005) provides reasonable optimism that our success will continue and that progress is being made where necessary. The performance by the U.S. women’s team at the World Championships, along with Michael and Kristin winning the gold medal at the World Games, were particular highlights from the year.”

Here’s a quick summary of the highlights from 2009 for each discipline.

 


 

Women’s artistic gymnastics

  • World Championships (Photos). This is the first time in history that every member of the U.S. Women’s World Championships Team won a medal.
    • Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind., is just the fifth U.S. woman to win the world all-around gold medal. Since 2005, the USA has won three of the four world all-around titles. The other U.S. world all-around champions are: Kim Zmeskal, 1991; Shannon Miller, 1993-94; Chellsie Memmel, 2005; and Shawn Johnson, 2007.
    • Sloan and Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas, finished one-two in the all-around finals, marking just the second time in history that the USA has taken the top two all-around spots. The first was in 2005 with Memmel and Nastia Liukin.
    • Williams of Huntington, W.Va., won the USA’s first-ever gold medal on vault. She won the vault title at the World Championships, her first international event. Williams also made history as the first U.S. woman to win a Junior Olympic title and then five months later win a world title.
    • Bross, in addition to her all-around silver medal, finished third on the uneven bars and competed in the floor exercise final.
    • Ivana Hong of Allen, Texas, earned the bronze medal on balance beam.
  • World Cup (Photos): In Montreal, Samantha Shapiro of Los Angeles won the uneven bars and Mattie Larson of Los Angeles won both the balance beam and floor exercise gold medals.
  • Junior Pan American Championships. The USA swept all of the gold medals and finished first and second in the all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise finals. They easily won the team title.
    • Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif., won the gold medal in the all-around, uneven bars and balance beam, as well as captured the silver medal on floor.
    • Alexandra Raisman of Needham, Mass., won both the vault and floor exercise titles.
    • Sabrina Vega of Carmel, N.Y., earned the silver medal in both the all-around and the uneven bars.
    • Bridgette Caquatto of Naperville, Ill., claimed the vault silver medal.
  • Tyson American Cup (Photos). Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich., won the all-around title at the 2009 Tyson American Cup in Hoffman Estates, Ill., with teammate Sloan finishing second.
  • Junior Japan International Competition. Sophina DeJesus of Temecula, Calif., won the floor exercise gold medal at the 2009 Junior Japan International Competition in Yokohama, Japan. Briley Casanova of Dallas, Texas, won the bronze medal for both the all-around and the uneven bars. Both girls qualified for all four event finals.
  • International Tournament of Pas-de-Calais (Photos). Amanda Jetter of Milford, Ohio, and Cassandra Whitcomb of Cincinnati, Ohio, won the junior and senior all-around crowns, respectively, at the 14th International Tournament of Pas-de-Calais in Arques, France. The two also won the team title, as well as collected five event final medals. Jetter won the junior floor exercise title and the uneven bars bronze medal. Whitcomb took top honors for the senior division’s uneven bars and earned silver medals for both the balance beam and floor exercise.
  • International Gymnix (Photos). The USA earned 12 medals – six gold, five silver and one bronze – at the Junior Team Cup of International Gymnix, held March 6-9 in Montreal, Que., Canada. The U.S. women claimed the team title and swept the all-around, as well as went 1-2 in all four individual events. Wieber swept the gold medals, winning the all-around, vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Vega of was second in the all-around, uneven bars, balance beam and floor. Kamerin Moore of West Bloomfield, Mich., was third in the all-around and second on vault. Hallie Mossett of Los Angeles, Calif., was fourth on vault and fifth in the all-around.
  • USA-Japan Friendly Dual Meet (Photos). The USA claimed the team title and Kamerin Moore of Dimondale, Mich., won the all-around at the USA-Japan women’s friendly dual meet held in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The U.S. Team included Moore, Mackenzie and Bridgette Caquatto, and Mossett.
  • Friendly exchanges in Muelheim, Germany (Photos), and Rouen, France (Photos). The USA won the team titles at both friendly exchanges, and 2008 Olympic silver-medalist Bridget Sloan won the all-around title at both competitions. In addition to Sloan, the team included: Bridgette and Mackenzie Caquatto; Olivia Courtney of Orlando, Fla.; Kytra Hunter of Frederick, Md.; Larson; Corrie Lothrop of Danvers, Mass.; and Vega. In Germany, Lothrop and M. Caquatto went second and third in the all-around. In France, M. Caquatto finished second in the all-around, followed by Courtney in third.
  • Toyota International Gymnastics Competition. Mackenzie Caquatto won the uneven bars silver medal and Hunter won the floor exercise bronze medal at the 2009 Toyota International Gymnastics Competition in Toyota City, Japan.
  • 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, was named co-Sportswoman of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee and won the ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete. Liukin won a total of five medals in Beijing, the most by any female gymnast: gold, all-around; silver, team, uneven bars and balance beam; and bronze, floor exercise.
  • 2008 Olympic balance beam gold-medalist Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, won the AAU’s 2009 James E. Sullivan Award as the country’s top athlete and the ESPY Award for Best U.S. Female Olympian. Johnson won a total of four medals at the 2008 Olympic Games: gold, balance beam; silver, team, all-around and floor exercise.

 


 

Men’s artistic gymnastics

  • World Championships (Photos). The U.S. Men had solid performances at the post-Olympic World Championships. Tim McNeill of Falls Church, Va., finished seventh in the all-around and qualified for the pommel horse final. Including McNeill, four U.S. men advanced to individual event finals, with Danell Leyva of Miami just missing the horizontal bar podium and finishing fourth. Jonathan Horton of Houston competed in both the all-around and high bar finals, with Steven Legendre of Flower Mound, Texas, competing in the floor exercise finals. It has been more than 20 years since the U.S. men have qualified four gymnasts to the finals at a World Championships.
  • Junior Pan American Championships. The U.S. men won a total of seven medals, including the team silver and the still rings gold medals.
    • C.J. Maestas of Corrales, N.M., won a total of four medals, one gold and three silver. He won the still rings title and captured the silver medal in the all-around, pommel horse and parallel bars.
    • Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif., was second in the floor exercise and third on vault.
    • Also competing on the silver-medal team were Jesse Glenn of Northridge of Calif., and Jake Martin of Oviedo, Fla.
  • World Cup and other international events.
    • Champions Trophy. 2008 Olympic team silver-medalist Joey Haggerty of Rio Ranchero, N.M., finished third in the overall rankings for the 2009 Champions Trophy, a four-event series for points. Haggerty was just two points behind overall champion, Maxim Devyatovsky of Russia.
    • Stuttgart, Germany. Wes Haagensen of Colorado Springs, Colo., finished fourth on still rings, just missing the medal podium by 0.1, and fifth on parallel bars at the DTB World Cup.
    • Moscow, Russia. 2008 Olympic bronze-medalist Raj Bhavsar of Houston won the silver medal on the parallel bars at the 2009 World Stars, an International Gymnastics Federation World Cup event, at Moscow’s Olympic Sport Complex. He also was fourth on the still rings.
    • Montreal, Quebec (Photos): McNeill and Leyva finished fourth on parallel bars and horizontal bar, respectively, at the World Cup in Montreal. Leyva was just 0.075 points behind the bronze medalist.
    • Junior Japan International Cup. John Orozco of Bronx, N.Y., won the still rings silver medal and the all-around bronze medal at the 2009 Junior Japan International Competition in Yokohama, Japan. He qualified for five event finals. Jake Dalton of Sparks, Nev., finished in sixth place in the all-around and qualified for five event finals.
  • Tyson American Cup (Photos). David Sender of Arlington Heights, Ill., and Hagerty finished second and third, respectively, at the 2009 Tyson American Cup in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
  • Friendly exchange with Germany and Japan. The USA won the team title and swept the all-around medals. Maestas won the all-around title, as well as took first on the still rings and parallel bars. Jesse Silverstein of Suffern, N.Y., was second in the all-around. Mikulak was third in the all-around, as well as won the vault and tied for first on the horizontal bar. John Orozco won the remaining two event titles, floor exercise and pommel horse. Also competing on the team were Dylan Akers of Kingwood, Texas; Cameron Rogers of Mint Hill, N.C.; and Chris Turner of Fremont, Calif.

 


 

Trampoline and tumbling

  • World Games (Photos). Sarah Prosen of Apple Valley, Minn., and Aubree Balkan of Carlsbad, Calif., finished second and third, respectively, in the double-mini trampoline at the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • World Cup – Ostend, Belgium (Photos). Logan Dooley of Lake Forest, Calif., and Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., won the USA’s first men’s synchronized trampoline World Cup gold medal. Dooley went on to win the first men’s individual trampoline title at a World Cup. Kalon Ludvigson of Pocatello, Idaho, won the men’s tumbling silver medal in both Belgium and at the World Cup in Zielona Gora, Poland.
  • World Cup – Salzgitter, Germany. Ludvigson won the USA’s first men's tumbling gold medal at a World Cup in 10 years.
  • World Championships (Photos). The USA won the team silver medal in women’s tumbling and the team bronze medals in both men’s and women’s double mini-trampoline at the 2009 World Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia. For the first time in U.S. history, both the men’s and women’s U.S. Trampoline Teams qualified for finals. The USA competed in five individual event finals: men’s and women’s double mini-trampoline, men’s and women’s tumbling, and men's synchronized trampoline.
    • The members of the silver-medal tumbling team were: Kaitlin Tortorich of Haymarket, Va.; Susannah Johnson of Roanoke, Va.; Leanne Seitzinger of Stafford, Va.; and Amy McDonald of McKinney, Texas.
    • The members of the women’s bronze-medal double-mini team were: Balkan, Sarah Gandy of Paris, Texas, and Prosen.
    • The men’s double-mini team that won the bronze medal included Ludvigson, Stephen Raymond of Orlando, Fla., Tony Doles of Lubbock, Texas, and Austin White of Newport Coast, Calif.
    • Tortorich and Ludvigson advanced to individual finals in tumbling, and White and Balkan in double mini. The duo of Dooley and Gluckstein competed in the men’s synchronized trampoline finals.
  • Frivolten Cup (Photos). Alaina Williams of Amarillo, Texas, won the women’s trampoline title, and Gluckstein and Dooley went one-two in men’s trampoline at the 2009 International Frivolten Cup in Herrljunga, Sweden. In addition, Nicole Mahoney of San Diego, Calif., was second in junior women’s double-mini.
  • Flower Cup. The USA won three medals at the 2009 Flower Cup in Aalsmeer, Netherlands. Savannah Vinsant of Newton, Texas, won the gold medal in Class I girls; and Jeffery Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., earned the silver medal in Class I boys; and Dooley claimed the bronze medal in the Class I men’s division.
  • World Age Group Competition (Photos). The United States won a total of 12 medals at the World Age Group Competition in St. Petersburg: five gold, four silver and three bronze. The gold medalists were: tumbling – Kiara Nowlin (girls, 13-14), Aaron Cook (boys, 15-16), and Annalise Tortorich (girls, 15-16); double mini-trampoline – Kiara Nowlin (girls, 13-14); and trampoline –Vinsant (girls, 15-16).

 


 

Rhythmic gymnastics

  • World Championships (Photos). The top USA finisher Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md., was one of four reserves for the all-around competition, one of the highest finishes by a U.S. gymnast.
  • World Cup. Zetlin finished in the top 10 in the all-around and competed in three of the individual event finals at the World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia. Ava Gehringer of Evanston, Ill., competed in the finals at the World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia, marking the first time the United States had done so since 2004.
  • Rhythmic group. At the Grand Prix in Thias, France, the U.S. rhythmic gymnastics group became the first U.S. group to compete in the finals at a Grand Prix event. The U.S. rhythmic group also won three bronze medals at the Kalamata (Greece) Cup for the all-around, hoop and rope/ribbon. The members of the group were: Stephanie Flaksman of Northbrook, Ill.; Marlee Shape of Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Sydney Sachs of Deerfield, Ill.; Sofya Roytburg and Bianaca LaRosa of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Megan Frohlich of Marysville, Wash.
  • Jr. Pan Am Championships (Photos). The U.S. women not only won the team title, but also racked up a total of five additional gold and three silver medals at the 2009 Junior Pan American Championships in Havana, Cuba. The USA won every gold medal available in individual rhythmic gymnastics and went 1-2 in the all-around, rope and hoop. The U.S. group was second in hoop and third in ribbon in the event finals and fourth in the team competition.
    • Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y., won the all-around, rope, hoop and ball titles, for a total of five gold medals including the team.
    • Polina Kozitskiy of Fountainville, Pa., won the event title for clubs and was the silver medalist in the all-around, rope and hoop.
    • In addition to helping with the team gold medal, Alexis Page of New York City just missed the podium in the all-around with her fourth-place finish.
    • The junior group included Alexandria Acree, Camille Guidry, Alexa Horn and Kaylee Ward, all of whom are from Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Chicago Cup (Photos). Sereda won the junior all-around title at the 2009 Chicago Cup in Chicago at the Broadway Armory. The USA earned a total of 19 medals, including three gold, seven silver and nine bronze.
    • In addition to the all-around, Sereda won the hoop and rope gold medals, as well as silver medals for ball and clubs.
    • Jasmine “Jazzy” Kerber of Highland Park, Ill., was third in the junior all-around, rope, ball and clubs.
    • Zetlin was second in the all-around, rope and ribbon and third in hoop and ball.
    • Rachel Marmer of Los Angeles was the silver medalist for hoop and ball, with bronze medals for the all-around, rope and ribbon.
  • Coupe du Pas-de-Calais. At the Coupe du Pas-de-Calais (France), Kerber won the bronze medal in the all-around, as well as took the silver in ball and bronze in rope. The senior group was second in the all-around, hoops and rope/ribbon.
  • Irina Deleanu Cup. At the Irina Deleanu Cup, Sereda won the junior rope title, along with a silver medal in ball and the bronze all-around medal. Michelle Milstein of Eagan, Minn., was the bronze medalist in the senior division ball competition.
  • International Tournament. At the International Tournament in Espinho, Portugal, the USA won 10 medals. Serena Lu of Blaine, Minn., won gold medals in the all-around, rope and ball in the age-group division. Cindy Lu, also of Blaine, won the junior all-around, hoop and ball gold medals. Lyrica Okano of New York City was third in the all-around for the juniors, as well as claimed the silver medals for rope and ball. Page earned the senior rope bronze medal.

 


 

Acrobatic gymnastics

  • World Games (Photos). Michael Rodrigues and Kristin Allen won the USA’s first World Games gold medal for acrobatic gymnastics. The World Games are held every four years and are considered the Olympic Games for acrobatic gymnastics.
  • Freedom Cup (Photos). Rodrigues and Allen also won the gold medal at the World Cup held during Freedom Cup in St. Paul, Minn. In the senior and age group divisions, the USA won four gold, seven silver and four bronze medals.
  • Acro Cup (Photos). Rodrigues and Allen won three medals at the 2009 Acro Cup in Albershausen, Germany. They won the gold medal for dynamic; and silver medals for the all-around and balance. They also earned the Silver Cup for the highest score (86.528 in the all-around) in the senior competition.
  • Maia International Acro Cup. The USA earned two medals, one silver and one bronze, at the 2009 Maia International Acro Cup in Maia, Portugal. The 12-19 year-old mixed pair of Eirian Smith and Jake Kanavel of San Jose, Calif., finished second in the junior division, and the 11-16 year-old women’s group of Kendall Meyer of Silver Spring, Md., Erica Prestipino of Rockville, Md., and MacKenzie Meyer of Olney, Md., earned the bronze medal in the age-group competition. The 12-19 year-old women’s group of Tiana Terry, Alayna Davis and Elika Sudo, all of San Jose, finished fourth in the junior category and missed earning the bronze medal by just one tenth of a point.

 


 

Group gymnastics
  • Nearly 1,500 gymnasts from Europe, North, Central and South America, as well as the United States, traveled to Ft. Worth, Texas, for American Sokol’s 2009 International Sport and Cultural Festival June 23-27 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. The five-day multi-sport, fitness and cultural activity was hosted by American Sokol and USA Gymnastics. The International Sport and Cultural Festival included a variety of activities, from a number of group gymnastics events to artistic and rhythmic gymnastics to basketball and golf..

 


 

Collegiate gymnastics
  • The University of Georgia won its fifth consecutive team title at the NCAA National Gymnastics Championships, and Georgia’s Courtney Kupets, who was a member of the 2004 Olympic silver-medal team, won the all-around title. Kupets went on to win three individual titles (uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise). For her accomplishments, Kupets won the national Honda-Broderick Cup (collegiate female athlete of the year).
  • Stanford University won its third overall men’s team title at the NCAA National Championships. Legendre of the University of Oklahoma, who is a member of the U.S. National Team, won the all-around title, as well as two individual event titles (floor exercise and vault).
  • Cornell University and the University of Bridgeport tied for the team title at the 2009 USA Gymnastics Women’s Collegiate Championships at Southern Connecticut State University’s Moore Fieldhouse in New Haven, Conn. Katie Canning of Temple University, Rashonda Cannie of Texas Woman’s University and Alina Liao of Yale University tied for the all-around title.
  • The College of William & Mary won the varsity team division at the 2009 USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships, held in William & Mary’s Kaplan Arena, giving them 13 titles overall and eight in the last nine years. Arizona State University won its third straight championship in the collegiate division. The College of William & Mary’s Derek Gygax and Arizona State University’s Alex Gaudour won the varsity and club all-around titles, respectively.
  • The University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse won the team title at the 2009 NCGA Gymnastics National Championships at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. Julia Zimmerman of Massachusetts Institute of Technology won the all-around title.