© Ulrich Fassbender

MARBELLA, Spain, October 20, 2021 – The U.S. fielded a diverse contingent of rhythmic gymnasts across the Marbella Grand Prix, Andalusian Cup and Marbella Cup last weekend in Marbella, Spain.

Using the Marbella Grand Prix as a tune-up for the upcoming 2021 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, individual team member Erica Foster of Chanhassen, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic finished 17th in the all-around with a 74.500 and qualified for the hoop final. Foster posted scores of 22.600 on hoop, 17.000 on ball, 21.150 on clubs and 13.750 on ribbon during qualifications, and finished eighth in the hoop final with a 19.800. Russia’s Lala Kramarenko claimed the all-around title with a 102.850, and topped the field on hoop (26.900), ball (26.700) and ribbon (24.350). Italy’s Sofia Raffaeli led the way on clubs with a 27.750.

The U.S. group consisting of Camilla Feeley of Wheeling, Ill., Isabella Ivanova of Kirkland, Wash., Nicole Khoma of Northbrook, Ill., Gergana Petkova of Barrington, Ill., Karolina Saverino of Elk Grove Village, Ill., Hana Starkman of Plantation, Fla., and Emily Wilson of Brooklyn, N.Y. – all of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center – will also look to build on their performances in Marbella. The group notched scores of 37.800 in the three hoops and two pairs of clubs competition and 37.250 in the five balls category for a combined 75.050. In the event finals, the group posted scores of 28.250 and 36.700, respectively, finishing fourth across the board. Bulgaria took top honors in the all-around (98.500) and in both apparatus finals (46.950, 51.600).

Alexandria Kautzman of Simi Valley, Calif./California Rhythms claimed the Marbella Cup senior international tournament all-around title, notching a score of 44.600 across two rotations. Kautzman topped the standings on both hoop (23.250) and clubs (21.350).

In the Andalusian Cup junior international tournament, U.S. Junior National Team member Sarah Mariotti of San Diego, Calif./Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics secured a top-ten all-around finish across two apparatus. Mariotti competed on ball (18.000) and clubs (18.600) for a combined 36.600 to claim seventh. Her scores also earned her sixth on ball and seventh on clubs in the individual apparatus standings. Spain’s Lucia Gonzalez took the top all-around spot with a 45.850 combined hoop and ball score. Her 24.200 topped the ball field, while Israel’s Lian Rona earned the day’s highest marks on clubs with a 21.700.

Foster and the U.S. group will be back in action October 27-31 when they take on the world’s best at the 2021 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan. Olympians Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill., and Lili Mizuno of Northbrook, Ill., both of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, round out the U.S. World Championships team.