Lisa Wang of Buffalo Grove, Ill., won all four senior individual event titles on the first day of rhythmic gymnastics competition at the 2008 Visa Championships at Reliant Park in Houston. Wang finished in first place in the all-around qualification round, on target to win her third straight all-around title. In the junior division, Marlee Shape of Buffalo Grove, Ill., won the individual titles in ball, ribbon and rope, with Rebecca Sereda of Las Vegas, Nev., earning the hoop crown. Shape also is leading in the junior all-around following the qualification round. The junior and senior all-around finals are on Saturday, May 24.
“It was amazing to win all four events,” Wang said. “I was calm coming into this meet and just wanted to go out there and have the time of my life. This is potentially my last meet, so I want to go out with a bang.”
In the senior division’s individual event finals, Ava Gehringer of Evanston, Ill., and Rachel Marmer of Los Angeles split the four silver medals and Julie Zetlin captured three bronze, with the fourth bronze going to Marmer.
Wang took top honors in hoop and rope with a 16.700 and the titles in ribbon and clubs with scores of 16.550. In clubs, Marmer was second at 15.875, with Zetlin in third at 15.475. For hoop, Gehringer and Marmer scored a 15.925 and a 15.550, respectively, for second and third. Gehringer and Zetlin also went two-three in ribbon with scores of 15.775 and 15.750, respectively. Marmer was second in rope with her score of 16.225, followed by Zetlin at 15.375.
In the preliminary round of the all-around, Wang was first at 66.500, Marmer was second at 62.575 and Gehringer was third at 62.200. The remaining gymnasts who advanced to the all-around finals are: Julie Zetlin, Rebecca Wallenstein, Sofya Roytburg, Sarah Kudishevich, Nicole Chillingworth, JoAnna Arnold, Rachel Girma, Delaney Lonergan and Emily Barnett.
For the juniors, Shape won three of the four event titles (ball, ribbon and rope), with the hoop crown going to Sereda along with two silver medals. Shape also earned the silver medal in hoop. Magid and Torba each earned two bronze medals. The remaining individual event medalists are: ball — Viktoriya Syatkina, silver, and Gabrielle Magid, bronze; hoop — Anastasia Torba, bronze; ribbon – Sereda, silver, and Magid, bronze; and rope – Sereda, silver, and Torba, bronze.
In the junior all-around, Shape posted a 59.900 total, followed by Sereda at 57.800 and Magid at 56.150. The others who advanced to the all-around finals are: Torba, Polina Kozitskiy, Syatkina, Jazzy Kerber, Katherine Scarnechia, Michelle Milstein, Cindy Lu, Jessica Bogdanov and Olga Pavlenko.
About the Visa Championships
Tickets are still available for the Visa Championships, the national championships for men’s artistic, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling. Single-session tickets range from $20-85 for men’s gymnastics, with those for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline selling for $15 and $20. Tickets may be purchased charge by phone at 713-629-3700; online at www.ticketmaster.com; at all Ticketmaster outlets; or at the Reliant Stadium South Box Office. Visa is the only card accepted for the 2008 Visa Championships.
The remaining schedule for men’s artistic gymnastics is: May 24—junior men’s all-around and individual event finals at 12:30 p.m., and the final day of the senior men’s competition at 6 p.m. On May 23, Reliant Arena will host the U.S. Classic, a women’s gymnastics event. To view a participant list for the U.S. Classic, click here.
The upcoming schedule for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline is: Friday, May 23—junior trampoline and tumbling prelims at 10 a.m., and senior trampoline and tumbling prelims at 2:30 p.m.; and Saturday, May 24—junior rhythmic all-around and trampoline and tumbling finals at 10 a.m., and senior rhythmic all-around and trampoline and tumbling finals at 2:30 p.m.
The Visa Championships traces its history back to 1897 for the men.
About Reliant Park
Reliant Park is managed and operated by SMG. Reliant Park is the premier convention, tradeshow, entertainment and sports complex located in Houston – the cultural center and urban hub of Texas. Four major facilities – Reliant Center, Reliant Stadium, Reliant Arena and Reliant Astrodome – encompass 350 acres. Having previously hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII, the 2002 and 2005 Big 12 Conference Football Championships, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Regionals in 2008 and 2010, the Final Four in 2011 and now the 2008 Visa Championships, Reliant Park is establishing itself as a long-term home for major national and international sporting events.