Acrobatic gymnasts claim four medals in Poland
posted on 09/06/2011

Jake Kanavel and Eirian Smith
© Champion Images

ZIELONA GÓRA, Poland, Sept. 4, 2011 – Acrobatic gymnasts from Team USA claimed four medals, including two gold, over the weekend in Zielona Góra, Poland, which played host to both an FIG category B World Cup event and an age group competition, the 7th International Tournament Winobranie.

Nicole Barrilleaux of Metairie, La., and Beth Landeche of New Orleans, La., who train at Crescent City Gymnastics and were the sole Americans competing in the World Cup event, placed fourth in the women's pairs competition with a score of 26.650.

At the International Tournament Winobranie, Maren Merwarth and Kathleen Davis both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, claimed the gold medal in the women's pairs age-group competition, recording a 27.250. Teammates Katarina Partalas and Taylor Mayo, who are also both from San Antonio and Acrobatic Gymnastics, took home the bronze (26.900). Julia Shrader of Edgewater, Md., and Savannah Bentley of Annapolis, Md., both of whom train at 1st Class Gymnastics, also competed in the event, finishing in fourth place with a 26.750.

U.S. junior national champions Eirian Smith of Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center, and Jacob Kanavel of San Jose, Calif./West Coast Training Center, took the top spot in the 12-19 mixed pairs final with a 27.800. Realis Gymnastics Academy's Kiley Boynton of Riverside, Calif., and Josh Miles of Temocala, Calif., scored a 26.600 for fifth.

The American squad also brought home the bronze medal in the women's group age-group competition with 1st Class Gymnastics' Holland Koller, Sophia Handel and Rachel Zorn, all of Annapolis, Md., with score of 27.100. Samantha Mihalic of Danville, Calif., Nicole Potepa of Danville, Calif., and Haley Douglas of Tracy, Calif., also took part in the finals, earning fourth place with a 26.900. The trio trains at West Coast Training Center.

Other U.S. finishes at the age-group competition included Mariah Cockshell of Lee's Summit, Mo., and Kennedy Swanson of Blue Springs, Mo., both of Acro Explosion, who finished fifth in the women's pair 12-19 final; and Ginger Burrows of Potomac, Md./Xtreme Acro and Cheer, and Erica and Kerrie Prestipino, both of Rockville, Md./Xtreme Acro and Cheer, who took seventh in the women's group 12-19 final.


Maren Merwarth and Kathleen Davis (left) and Katarina Partalas and Taylor Mayo (right)

Holland Koller, Sophia Handel and Rachel Zorn