SOFIA, Bulgaria (November 24, 2022) – U.S. gymnasts advanced to three finals Thursday, as the 2022 T&T World Age Group Competitions continued at Bulgaria’s Arena Sofia. Jill Papenhause and Lizzie Roiger picked up top-10 finishes in women’s 17-21-year-old tumbling, while the pairs of Nate Erkert and Alex Rozenshteyn and Tessa Christopher and Grace Danley earned finals berths in 13-14-year-old synchronized trampoline.
Erkert (Wildwood, Mo./Elite Trampoline Academy) and Rozenshteyn (Cranford, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy) delivered the qualifying session’s second-best mark of 45.930, but a disruption in their final routine landed them seventh (21.750). Joseph Borders (Austin, Texas/Champions Westlake) and Mick Seyler (Flower Mound, Texas/Southlake Gymnastics Academy) finished 14th (4.690). The Japanese duo of Kuga Kamiyama and Jumpei Takagi took the men’s 13-14 title with a 45.900.
On the women’s side, Christopher (Middletown, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy) and Danley (Millstone, N.J./Garden State Trampoline Academy) finished in the top five. The pair qualified fourth with a 42.490. Their 42.230 in the final slotted in fifth. Alexandra Mytnik (Manalapan, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy) and Bella Ursu (Holmdel, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy) were 19th (22.630). German teammates Alexandra Melnichuk and Nikola Volska topped the podium with a 44.830.
In women’s 17-21 tumbling, Papenhause (Tremont, Ill./Central Illinois Gymnastics Academy) and Roiger (East Peoria, Ill./Central Illinois Gymnastics Academy) advanced to the final, qualifying fifth (46.700) and eighth (44.400), respectively. Papenhause finished sixth with a 22.400. Roiger’s 22.000 placed her eighth. Kira Schwartz (Glendale, Calif./So Cal TTC) and Nasiarra Riley (Locust Grove, Ga./FlipCity South) were 17th and 18th with matching scores of 41.500. France’s Yanna Chomilier captured gold with a 24.700.
Tyji Kazeem-Riley (Locust Grove, Ga./FlipCity South) led U.S. men in the 17-21 tumbling category. His 48.200 earned him the first-reserve spot for the final, though he was ultimately not called into action. Raf Bryant (Worthington, Ohio/Integrity Athletics) was 17th (44.800). Alec Pelezo (Magnolia, Texas/World Champions Centre) finished 18th (44.400), and Dylan McGuire (Glenn Heights, Texas/Trevino’s Gymnastics) was 36th (37.500). Denmark’s Magnus Lindholmer earned top honors with a 28.100 in the final.
The men’s and women’s 15-16-year-old individual trampoline competitions were also held Thursday. Leah Edelman (Holmdel, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy) took 11th place in the women’s division with a 93.890. Ava DeHanes (Holmdel, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy) landed 16th (92.260). Leah Garafalo (Cream Ridge, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy) was 37th (86.860) and Rayleigh Huette (Weimar, Texas/K&L Tumbletown) was 59th (56.630). Italy’s Silvia Coluzzi delivered a 53.820 in the final to claim the gold medal.
In the men’s category, William Cockrill (Plano, Texas/Flip Factory) slotted in 24th with a 93.460. Van Larson (Phoenix, Ariz./Aspire Kids Sports Center) notched a 92.850 for 26th. Xavier Harper (Oak Ridge, Tenn./Premier Athletics Knoxville) finished 30th (91.780), and Micah Miner (Glen Carbon, Ill./Kris Power Tumbling) was 32nd (90.410). Gabriel Albuquerque of Portugal topped the final standings with a 58.930.
On Friday, champions in the 13-14 double mini, 15-16 tumbling, 15-16 synchro and 17-21 individual trampoline divisions will be crowned. Qualifications begin at 3 a.m. ET with finals set to follow, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.