INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 14, 2014 – The 2014 Rhythmic Challenge begins on Saturday, Feb. 15, with world all-around finalists Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, and Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y., headlining the senior field of the two-day event held the U.S. Olympic Training Center’s Sports Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. 2013 U.S. junior all-around champion Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, tops the junior field, which includes age-eligible gymnasts for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The Rhythmic Invitational, held in conjunction with the Rhythmic Challenge, continues through Feb. 16

The Rhythmic Invitational features the top junior and senior rhythmic gymnasts from the USA. The Rhythmic Challenge and Invitational is the first national event for the Level 7-10 athletes hoping to qualify to the 2014 Junior Olympics and USA Gymnastics Championships in Louisville, Ky., July 15-19.

The competition schedule for the Rhythmic Challenge is: Saturday – juniors at 5 p.m. and seniors at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday – juniors at 12 p.m. and seniors at 2 p.m. The Invitational features the age-group, developmental gymnasts and runs through Feb. 16: Feb. 14 – 1-10 p.m.; Feb. 15, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Feb. 16, 8:30-11:15 a.m. Admission is free.

This year’s Rhythmic Challenge is first step of the selection process for several international events in 2014: the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships; the Junior Pan American Championships, the qualifying event for North, Central and South American countries to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games; and the Youth Olympic Games.

Both the junior and senior groups will perform in conjunction with the Rhythmic Challenge and Invitational. The members of the senior rhythmic group are: Kiana Eide of Twin Cities Rhythmic/St. Francis, Minn.; Sharon Dassouli of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Northbrook, Ill.; Alisa Kano of Isadora/New York, N.Y.; Natalie McGiffert, Platinum Gymnastics Academy/Topanga, Calif.; Jennifer Rokhman of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Northbrook, Ill.; and Monica Rokhman of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Northbrook, Ill. The junior rhythmic group includes: Elizaveta Merezon of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Elina Nikerina of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Deerfield, Ill.; Sophia Popova of Twin Cities Rhythmic/Minneapolis, Minn.; Emily Rakhnansky of MatchPoint NYC/Brooklyn, N.Y.; Allison Roytburd of MatchPoint NYC/Brooklyn, N.Y.; Nicole Sladkov of Gymnastics Spot/Vernon Hills, Ill.; and Nicky Wojtana of Texas Rhythmic Academy/Plano, Texas.

Field for 2013 Rhythmic Challenge
Alphabetical by state, last name; indicates club/hometown and level
This list does not include athletes in the Rhythmic Invitational.

Brigita Budginas, Platinum Gymnastics Academy/Agoura Hills, Calif., junior
Heather Chan, Los Angeles School of Gymnastics/South Pasadena, Calif., senior
Anastacya Generalova, California Rhythms/Los Angeles, Calif., junior
Danielle Greenberg, Community Youth Center/San Francisco, Calif., junior
Gabrielle Lowenstein, Eurogymnastics/Huntington Beach, Calif., senior
Aliya Protto, California Rhythms/Culver City, Calif., senior

Liana Cliff, World Rhythmics/Jacksonville, Fla., junior

Shanaya Fox, Radiant Rhythmics/Eagle, Idaho, junior

Natalie Bourand, North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Burr Ridge, Ill., junior
Camilla Feeley, North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Lincolnshire, Ill., junior
Evita Griskenas, Illinois Rhythmics Gym Center/Orland Park, Ill., junior
Jazzy Kerber, North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Highland Park, Ill., senior
Alexandra Ladan, North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Glenview, Ill., junior
Kristen Shaldbyn, North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Chicago, Ill., senior
Laura Zeng, North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center/Libertyville, Ill., junior

Julia Garbuz, NorthWest Rhythmic LLC/Eden Prairie, Minn., senior
Daniella Romashin, NorthWest Rhythmic LLC/Eden Prairie, Minn., senior

New York
Ekatherina Kapitonova, Isadora/Si, N.Y., junior
Cindy Lu, Isadora/Staten Island, N.Y., senior
Serena Lu, Isadora/Staten Island, N.Y., senior
Rebecca Sereda, Isadora/Staten Island, N.Y., senior
Ronit Shamuilov, Isadora/Brooklyn, N.Y., senior
Valeriya Sharipova, Independent/Livingston, N.Y., senior

Ariel Goldberg, Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy/Southampton, Pa., junior
Michelle Kriner, Iliana Rhythmic Gymnastics/Huntingdon Valley, Pa., junior

Nicole Kaloyanov, Gymnastics World/Woodbridge, Va., junior