© Tom Hsiao

TORONTO, Aug. 21, 2014 – Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, led Team USA to the gold medal at 2014 Pan American Championships, in Toronto, Ont., Canada, while capturing the individual all-around title. The U.S. team posted a 160.933, ahead of Brazil at 150.466, and Mexico at 147.667. The U.S. group earned the all-around silver. Competition continues tomorrow with the individual apparatus finals.

In the individual all-around, Kerber posted a 66.149 for first place, while Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, was second at 63.784. Brazil’s Angelica Kvieczynski was third with 62.900.

The senior group, consisting of Kiana Eide of Northbrook, Ill., Alisa Kano of Glencoe, Ill., Natalie McGiffert of Northbrook, Ill., Jennifer Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., Monica Rokhman of Northbrook, Ill., and Kristen Shaldybin of Chicago, Ill., all of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, posted a 15.467 in 10 clubs and a 14.600 in three balls and two ribbons. They earned a 30.067 total for the silver, behind Brazil (32.133).

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.