Rhythmic, tumbling, double-mini champs named at 2014 USA Gymnastics Championships


LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 18, 2014 — During the morning sessions of the 2014 USA Gymnastics Championships, the U.S. champions for junior rhythmic gymnastics and junior and senior tumbling and double mini-trampoline were decided: rhythmic gymnastics – Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, junior all-around; tumbling – Austin Nacey of Braidwood, Ill./Twiststars (senior men), Yuliya Stankevich-Brown, Idaho Falls, Idaho/Idaho Elite Gymnastics (senior women), Garrett Day of Bedford, Va./Dynamic Gymnastics (junior men), Rachel Thevenot of Metairie, La./Elmwood Gymnastics (junior women); and double mini-trampoline – Stewart Pritchard of Greensboro, N.C./Ultimate Air TNT (senior men), Erin Jauch of Crystal Lake, Ill./Fox Valley T & T (senior women), Paige Howard of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo./High Country Gymnastics (junior women), and Day (junior men). Competition wraps up tonight with the finals of senior elite trampoline, rhythmic gymnastics and acrobatic gymnastics at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., at 6 p.m.

Rhythmic gymnastics (junior)
Zeng, who will represent the USA in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in August, won her second consecutive U.S. junior all-around title, adding to the hoop and ball crowns she won earlier this week. Zeng’s combined winning total was 126.400. Camilla Feeley of Lincolnshire, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, was second with 120.200, and Ekatherina Kapitonova of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, completed the top three with her 117.200. The junior rhythmic gymnastics all-around finals were held at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.

Double mini-trampoline and tumbling
Nacey won the tumbling gold medal with a 134.900. After qualifying in the top spot, Alex Renkert of Indianapolis, Ind./Geist Sports Academy, dropped to second in tumbling with a 134.600. He also placed third in double mini with a 140.600. Garrett Wheeler of Locust Grove, Ga./Flip City South, followed in third in tumbling (131.800). In the senior men’s double-mini final, Stewart Pritchard of Greensboro, N.C./Ultimate Air TNT, completed two solid runs for a 143.500 and the gold medal. Casey Chandler of Reno, Nev./Legacy T&T (142.600) was second.

For the senior women, Stankevich-Brown notched her fourth U.S. tumbling title with a score of 127.900. Cheyenne Kelley of Broken Arrow, Okla./Oklahoma Extreme (120.100),earned the silver medal, and Choyce Hays of Jenks, Okla./Oklahoma Extreme (106.800), claimed the bronze. In double-mini, Erin Jauch of Crystal Lake, Ill./Fox Valley T&T, held onto her lead from the preliminary round to win the national title with a 141.400, followed by Alyssa Long of McHenry, Ill./5 Star Elite (130.300), and Breanne Millard of Mission Viejo, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics (129.500).

Thevenot won the junior women’s tumbling title with a 128.600, and Howard took home gold in junior women’s double-mini (133.400). Day picked up both the tumbling and double-mini gold medals with scores of 137.400 and 125.500, respectively.

Evening session tickets at the KFC Yum! Center for tonight are $25.

Acrobatic gymnastics combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of three athletes – a base, middle and top partner – while a men’s group has four athletes, a base, two middle partners and one top partner.

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.

Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double and triple twisting somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated rod-floor runways that enable athletes to jump at heights more than 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. For the double-mini competition, the athlete makes a short run, leaps onto a small two-level trampoline, performs an aerial maneuver and dismounts onto a landing mat. Trampoline was added to the Olympic Games in 2000, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the USA had its first athlete in history advance to the finals.