© James Glader

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov. 13, 2009 – 2009 U.S. junior all-around champion Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y., leads the all-around competition after the first day of competition on Nov. 11 at the 2009 Junior Pan American Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Havana, Cuba, the Americas’ rhythmic gymnastics qualifier for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. The all-around competition concludes later today.

Sereda, who trains at Isadora, qualified first on rope (22.650) and hoop (22.70), giving her the top all-around score (45.350) at the halfway point. Polina Kozitskiy of Fountainville, Pa./Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy, qualified second on rope (22.550) and third on hoop (21.350), and sits in a second-place tie in the all-around with a score of 43.900. Alexis Page of New York City/Aviator Sports and Recreation, finished fifth on rope (21.400) and fourth on hoop (21.200).

The junior group of Alexandria Acree, Camille Guidry, Alexa Horn and Kaylee Ward, all of whom are from Jacksonville’s (Fla.) World Rhythmics, finished hoop with a 20.900, behind Canada (21.500). Each group will compete in ribbon later tonight.

The all-around concludes tonight with competition in ball and clubs, which also serves as individual event qualification for those events. Individual event finals are on Nov. 14.

Both the individual gymnasts and the World Rhythmics junior group were selected based on performances at the selection camp.

Competing at the Pan-American Junior Championships are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela. The competition schedule is: Nov. 13 – team and individual all-around (ball/clubs) and general group competition; and Nov. 14 – individual and group apparatus finals. The team and all-around champions will be determined on Nov. 13. The rounds on Nov. 12-13 also serve as the qualifying rounds for the individual apparatus finals, where the top eight rhythmic gymnasts (with a maximum of two per country) on each apparatus advance to the individual event finals, with the top groups advancing to their finals as well.

A maximum of two countries will qualify for individual rhythmic gymnastics and one group for the Youth Olympic Games.

2009 Junior Rhythmic Pan American Championships
Nov. 11, 2009
Havana, Cuba
All-around competition and individual event qualifications
First of two days – is first-half of the all-around competition

1. Rebecca Sereda, Staten Island, N.Y., 22.650
2. Polina Kozitskiy, Fountainville, Pa., 22.550
3. Maria Kitharska, Canada, 22.200
4. Kaitlyn James, Canada, 21.550
5. Alexis Page, New York., N.Y., and Danay Perez Torres, Cuba, 21.400

1. Rebecca Sereda, Staten Island, N.Y., 22.700
2. Maria Kitharska, Canada, 21.700
3. Polina Kozitskiy, Fountainville, Pa., 21.350
4. Alexis Page, New York, N.Y., 21.200

Group Competition
1. Canada, 21.500
2. USA, 20.900
3. Cuba, 20.750