© John Cheng

LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 17, 2014 — Seven U.S. titles were won on the first day of the 2014 USA Gymnastics Championships at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., where competition continues on Friday in junior and senior trampoline, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics. The senior champions decided today are: rhythmic gymnastics – Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, hoop and ball; synchronized trampoline – Logan Dooley of Lake Forest, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, and Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./ETA , men, and, Ivanna Antezana of Silver Spring, Md./Fairland Trampoline and Tumbling, and Deana Parris of Burtonsville, Md./Fairland Trampoline and Tumbling, women; and acrobatic gymnastics – Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward, both of Riverside, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy (mixed pair, dynamic), Ciera Wilson of Riverside, Calif., and Kailey Maurer of Colton, Calif., Empire (women’s pair, dynamic), and Hannah Silverman of Clarksville, Md., Christina Antoniades of Eldersburg, Md., and Emily Ruppert of Baltimore, Md., Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics Club (women’s group, balance).

With competition held at both the KFC Yum! Center and Kentucky International Convention Center, the USA Gymnastics Championships is the national championships for trampoline and tumbling, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics. Tomorrow’s senior finals at the KFC Yum! Center include rhythmic gymnastics – clubs and ribbon; and acrobatic gymnastics – women’s group (dynamic), mixed pair (balance) and women’s pair (balance). The elite competition for tumbling and double mini-trampoline at the Kentucky International Convention Center begins on July 18 at 9 a.m., with the finals on July 19.

Acrobatic gymnastics
Boynton and Ward, fresh from winning the World bronze medal for mixed pair at the recent World Championships, took the top honors for the mixed pair dynamic routine with a 28.487. West Coast Training Center’s Eirian Smith and Brian Kincher, both of Livermore, Calif., were second at 27.253.

In women’s group, Silverman, Antoniades and Ruppert won the balance title with a 28.263. Second place went to Xtreme Acro’s Daphne Kirschner of Rockville, Md., Mackenzie Meyer of Silver Spring, Md., and Savannah Bentley of Annapolis, Md., at 27.260. Rounding out the top three were Tiffani Williams of Moreno Valley, Calif., Leslie Munoz of Homeland, Calif., and Katelyn Recktenwald of Riverside, Calif., all of Realis Gymnastics Academy, with 26.743. Wilson and Maurer’s women’s pair score was 26.287.

Rhythmic gymnastics
Sereda won the hoop and ball titles with a 16.450 and 16.950, respectively. Her 33.400 total has her at the top of the preliminary round all-around rankings at the halfway point. Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, was second on hoop at 16.200, and is also third in the preliminary all-around rankings at 31.000. Ronit Shamuilov of Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora, was second for ball (16.050) and third on hoop (15.600), which ranked her second in the prelim all-around rankings at 31.650. Cindy Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, placed third in ball with a 15.900.

Dooley and Gluckstein came back from a mistake in the prelims to take the senior men’s synchro title with a 127.900. Aliaksei Shostak of Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, and Jeffrey Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, jumped into second (112.000), followed by Colin Duda of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, and Mitch Dewey of Walker of Mich./Great Lakes Griffins (99.400) in third.

On the women’s side, Antezana and Parris (119.000) overtook defending champions Shaylee Dunavin of Amarillo, Texas/All American Gymnastics, and Charlotte Drury of Laguna Niguel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics (118.200). Christina (Madi) Webster of Odon, Ind./Tumbling Express, and Clare Johnson of Huntsville, Ala./Matrix, finished third (95.000).

Earlier in the day, Cody Gesuelli of Middletown, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy (99.575) and Nicole Ahsinger of San Diego, Calif./SoCal TTC (95.490), earned the top men’s and women’s scores in the junior elite trampoline division. Both will represent the USA in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, in August. The top eight men and eight women in junior elite trampoline division advanced to the finals, which will be held on Saturday.

The senior elite sessions for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline are scheduled for 6 p.m. July 18-19, with the finals slated for Saturday night, at the KFC Yum! Center. The junior elite sessions for those three events, also at the KFC Yum! Center, begin at 9 a.m. all three days. The Junior Olympic sessions for all three disciplines are being held at the Kentucky International Convention Center, and the sessions begin at 9 a.m.

For results, a more detailed schedule, other information and a live webcast of the elite sessions at the KFC Yum! Center, please go to USAGymChamps.com.

Evening session tickets at the KFC Yum! Center are: July 17, $20; July 18, $20; and July 19, $25. The all-session pass, which grants access to all sessions at both venues, is $75. A $25, single-day pass is available for the events at the Kentucky International Convention Center onsite on competition days. Tickets may be purchased at the KFC Yum! Center or Kentucky International Convention Center box offices, ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Acrobatic gymnastics combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of three athletes – a base, middle and top partner – while a men’s group has four athletes, a base, two middle partners and one top partner.

Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with ribbons, balls, hoops, ropes and clubs in a choreographed routine to music. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots and balances. Only four of the apparatus are competed each quad, and the four for 2016 are hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.

Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double and triple twisting somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated rod-floor runways that enable athletes to jump at heights more than 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. For the double-mini competition, the athlete makes a short run, leaps onto a small two-level trampoline, performs an aerial maneuver and dismounts onto a landing mat. Trampoline was added to the Olympic Games in 2000, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the USA had its first athlete in history advance to the finals.