Portimão World Challenge Cup

Evita Griskenas (Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center) claimed three silver medals in individual competition at the 2023 Portimão World Challenge Cup in Portugal. She was second in the all-around with a 121.950 behind Germany’s Darja Varfolomeev, who was first with a 125.200, and ahead of Kazakhstan’s Aibota Yertaikyzy, who was third with a 118.400. Griskenas advanced to all event finals, securing hoop (30.450) and clubs (30.950) silver, and she was fourth on ball (31.450) and fifth on ribbon (29.850).

In group competition, the Senior National Group of Izzy Connor (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.), Daria Merkulova (Vernon Hills, Ill.), Gergana Petkova (Barrington, Ill.), Katrine Sakhnov (Glencoe, Ill.), Karolina Saverino (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) and Hana Starkman (Deerfield, Ill.) scored a 50.200 in the all-around. The group advanced to the three ribbons and two balls final where they landed eighth with a 23.850. In five hoops qualifications, they scored a 26.550.

Photo by Portugal Gymnastics Federation / Carlos Alberto Matos

Evita Griskenas, All-Around, Hoop & Clubs silver medalist

Gdynia Rhythmic Stars International Tournament

At the 2023 Gdynia Rhythmic Stars International Tournament in Poland, Rin Keys (Porter Ranch, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics) won three medals in junior individual competition, including all-around silver, to lead U.S. performances. Key’s score of 111.950 in the all-around placed her ahead of Israel’s Yael Aloni Goldblatt in third with a 110.800, and behind Poland’s Liliana Lewinska in first with a 116.600. During apparatus finals, Keys earned ball (27.750) and ribbon (28.250) bronze and was fourth on hoop (28.750). Fellow American Megan Chu (San Diego, Calif./Pacific Stars Rhythmic Academy) was sixth all-around with a 109.700 and secured clubs bronze with a 28.700.

All posting top-20 finishes were Natalia de la Rosa (Woodland Hills, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics), Ksenia Potoski (Brooklyn, N.Y./Isadora by Match Point) and Isabella Chong (Mission Viejo, Calif./Burlo Gymnastics), who were 12th (103.650), 14th (102.700) and 16th (98.950), respectively. Olivia Fischer (Denver, Colo./Zara Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy) was 21st with a 95.700.

In senior competition, Yana Golovan (Las Vegas, Nev./Nevada Rhythmic Academy) and Sarah Mariotti (San Diego, Calif./Pacific Stars Rhythmic Academy) were eighth and tenth in the all-around with scores of 110.500 and 110.250. Golovan collected hoop silver with a 30.950 and was sixth in the clubs final with a 27.400. Mariotti advanced to the ball (26.050) and hoop (21.750) finals; she finished eighth in both.

The junior group from Liberty Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics of Amina Akhmatova (Mahwah, N.J.), Sarah Novofastovsky (Livingston, N.J., Anastasia Slipets (Wyckoff, N.J.), Anya Tarasyuk (Livingston, N.J.) and Ivanka Tarasyuk (Livingston, N.J.) was 10th with a 46.100. The group advanced to the five balls final where they placed sixth with a 24.750. In five ropes qualifications, the group scored a 21.450.

Photos by Leszek Tomaszewski

Rin Keys, Yana Golovan, Megan Chu and Natalia de la Rosa

Ritam Cup International Tournament

During junior competition in Belgrade, Erika Rusak (Auburn, Wash./Evergreen Rhythmics) took home three gold medals, including the all-around title, as well as silver and bronze at the 2023 Ritam Cup International Tournament in Serbia. Rusak claimed all-around gold with a 110.550, ahead of Slovakia’s Alja Ponikvar and Bulgaria’s Jana Pentcheva, who were second and third, respectively with scores of 108.300 and 105.600. Rusak added ball (29.300) and ribbon (28.000) gold, clubs silver (25.850) and hoop bronze (27.400) to her overall medal count with individual event competition.

On the senior side, Irina Fesyun (Aventura, Fla./IK School of Gymnastics) and Serena Lu (Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora by Match Point) each notched top-five finishes while Lauren Kramer (San Diego, Calif./Pacific Stars Rhythmic Academy) landed among the top-10 in all-around competition. Fesyun and Lu were fourth and fifth overall with scores of 110.650 and 110.300, respectively, and Kramer was seventh with a 107.450. In addition to her top-five all-around standing, Fesyun came away with hoop bronze at the event with a 30.500.

Americans Neleh Kay (Beverly Hills, Calif./California Rhythms) and Naomi Skotnikov (Highland Village, Texas/Nevada Rhythmic Academy) were also in action in Serbia. Full competition results can be found here.

Erica Rusak – Five-time Ritam Cup medalist