© John Cheng / Diane Bidermann

ORLANDO, Fla., June 6, 2013 – Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics, and Serena Lu of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, won the hoop and ball junior U.S. titles, respectively, today at the 2013 U.S. Rhythmic Championships, held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex’s HP Field House, located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Senior competition begins later tonight, while junior competition continues tomorrow with ribbon and clubs and concludes on Saturday with the all-around finals.

Zeng’s 15.850 score in the hoop competition gave her the title. She posted a 15.000 on ball, earning the highest two-event total of the day, a 30.850. Lu earned scores of 14.500, hoop, and 15.050, ball, to score a combined 29.550 and finish second place at the halfway mark of the preliminary competition. Brigita Budginas of Agoura Hills, Calif./Platinum Academy, posted a day-one total score of 28.400 for third, with scores of 14.400, ball, and 14.000, hoop.

This national championship event features the best rhythmic gymnasts in the United States and will determine the all-around and individual national champions, as well as the members of the U.S. National Team. Competition will be held for Levels 4-10, with Level 10 as the elite division.

The competition schedule is as follows.

    June 7

      8:30 a.m., Level 6 (ball and clubs), awards
      9 a.m., Level 8 (ball and clubs), awards
      4:30 p.m., Level 10, junior elite individual event finals for clubs and ribbon and all-around qualification round
      7:30 p.m., Level 10, senior elite individual event finals for clubs and ribbon and all-around qualification round

    June 8

      8:30 a.m., Level 7 (floor and rope)
      11:30 a.m., Level 9/10 team finals
      2 p.m., Festival Rhythmic
      4 p.m., Level 10, junior elite all-around finals
      7 p.m., Level 10, senior elite all-around finals

    June 9

      9 a.m., Level 4, finals
      9 a.m., Level 7 (hoop and clubs), awards