U.S. teams fifth, seventh, eighth at 2012 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Age Group Championships
posted on 04/22/2012

© Brian Kincher

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- Women's group Hannah Silverman of Emilia's Acrobatic Gymnastics Club/Clarksville, Md., Christina Antoniades of Emilia's Acrobatic Gymnastics Club/Eldersburg, Md. and Emily Ruppert of Emilia's Acrobatic Gymnastics Club/Baltimore, Md. finished in seventh place in the 12-19 age group as the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Age Group Gymnastics Competition concluded Sunday at the HP Field House at ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World.

The trio showed clean throws to double pike and double tuck as well as a variety of balance positions in what Ruppert described as "an edgy, very modern routine" to music that sounded like it might be from an espionage film. "It's a lot different from other routines," Ruppert said.

Though their score -- 26.85 points -- was not enough to put them on the medal stand, the group said just qualifying for the final was a tremendous reward. "It felt really good," said Antoniades, 16. "I don't think we could have done much more."

"We just wanted to make finals," agreed Ruppert, 18. "We competed with the best and we did our best. We can't ask for much more than that."

Russian acrobats dominated the final round of competition, winning seven of the 10 titles given out between the two age groups (11-16 years old and 12-19 years old), sweeping every gold medal in the 12-19 category. Gymnasts from Great Britain mopped up the rest of the available gold medals with victories in the mixed pairs and boys and girls group events in the 11-16 age group.

U.S. mixed pair Kiley Boynton of Realis Gymnastics/Riverside, Calif. and Joshua Miles of Realis Gymnastics/Temecula, Calif. performed a dramatic routine with two impressive throw sequences that set the audience applauding wildly in the 12-19 mixed pairs final. A missed hold late in the routine hurt them, however, and they scored 24.9 points to finish in eighth place.

In the 11-16 age category, U.S. pair Maren Merwarth and Kathleen Davis, both of Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio/San Antonio, Texas, maintained their fifth place ranking from qualification, balancing their way to a tie with a duo from Portugal with 27.5 points.

U.S. trio Rachel Zorn, Holland Kollar and Sophia Handel of danced to a spicy Latin beat to tremendous applause and 27.25 points, good enough for seventh place overall.


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