Wang, Marmer headline field for Rhythmic Challenge in Colorado Springs, Colorado
posted on 02/12/2007

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Lisa Wang of Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, and Rachel Marmer of Los Angeles/Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics, the 2006 U.S. rhythmic gymnastics senior and junior all-around champions, respectively, headline the field for the 2007 Rhythmic Challenge, Feb. 18, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The national team will be re-ranked at the conclusion of the Rhythmic Challenge, which is the first national competition of 2007.


"The Rhythmic Challenge is a highly competitive event showcasing the nation's top rhythmic gymnasts," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "It is the first step in their preparation for the Pan American Games and the 2007 World Championships."

The Rhythmic Challenge begins at 12:30 p.m. MT and has an all-around format. The seniors compete in rope, hoop, ribbon and clubs, while the juniors compete in rope, hoop, ribbon and ball.

In addition to her 2006 U.S. all-around title, Wang is a two-time national champion in the ball and ribbon, winning both events at the 2005 and 2006 Visa Championships. She also won the clubs event at the 2005 Visa Championships. Wang was a member of the U.S. Pan American Championships Team that won a gold medal in 2005.

In 2006, Marmer won the Rhythmic Challenge junior title and swept all four individual events and the all-around in the junior division at the 2006 Visa Championships. 2006 was her fourth consecutive junior all-around national title. Marmer's international accomplishments in 2006 included winning gold medals in the team, rope, hoop and ribbon events at the Junior Pan American Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships and claiming Pacific Alliance Championships junior division titles in the all-around, hoop, clubs and ribbon.

Also competing in the Rhythmic Challenge are 2006 U.S. rope and clubs champion Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md./Rhythmflex, and 2006 U.S. junior all-around silver medalist Marlee Shape of Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic.

Zetlin won all four individual events (rope, hoop, clubs and ribbon) in the junior division at the 2005 Visa Championships. She was a member of the U.S. Team that won a gold medal at the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships.

In addition to her 2006 U.S. all-around silver medal, Shape placed second in the junior hoop, ribbon and rope events and finished third in clubs at the 2006 Visa Championships. At the 2006 Pacific Alliance Championships, she won gold medals in the team and rope competitions and claimed bronze medals in the all-around and clubs. Shape was a member of the U.S. Team that won a gold medal at the 2006 Junior Pan American Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, where she was also the bronze medalist in rope and clubs.

The 2007 Rhythmic Challenge is open to the public and admission is free. The Rhythmic Invitational, a competition for Levels 7-10, will be held Feb. 15-17 in conjunction with the Rhythmic Challenge.

Rhythmic gymnastics field for 2007 Rhythmic Challenge

By state, information shows name, hometown/club

California
Aline Bakchajian, Woodland Hills, Calif./Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics
Reba Daniels, Playa Del Rey, Calif./Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics
Rachel Girma, Los Angeles/LA School of Gymnastics
Delaney Lonergan, Venice, Calif./LA School of Gymnastics
Rachel Marmer, Los Angeles/Hollywood Academy of Gymnastics
Savannah Reynolds, Van Nuys, Calif./California Rhythms
Anastasia Torba, Orinda, Calif./Allegro Rhythmics

Florida
Rebecca Wallenstein, St Augustine, Fla./River City Rhythmic

Illinois
Ava Gehringer, Evanston, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic
Marlee Shape, Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic
Lisa Wang, Buffalo Grove, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic

Maryland
Julie Zetlin, Bethesda, Md./Rhythmflex

Michigan
Kristian Brooks, Corunna, Mich./North Shore Rhythmic

Minnesota
Sarah Kudishevich, Eden Prairie, Minn./International Gymnastics of Minnesota

New York
Tracy Agyeman, Corona, N.Y./Isadora's
Marina Moskalenko, Brooklyn, N.Y./Aviator Sports and Recreation
Tyler Rosemond, Fresh Meadows, N.Y./Big Apple Rhythmics