Field is set for 2016 USA Gymnastics Championships


INDIANAPOLIS, May 26, 2016 – 2015 U.S. rhythmic gymnastics champion and World Cup bronze medalist Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, five-time U.S. trampoline champion Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, and 2015 U.S. champions and 2016 World acrobatic mixed pair silver medalists Tiffani Williams and Axel Osborne, both of Beaumont, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, are among the senior elite gymnasts from rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, and acrobatic gymnastics who are competing June 10-12 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. The 2016 USA Gymnastics Championships is the Olympic selection event for rhythmic gymnastics and men’s and women’s trampoline for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The six-day competition includes both Junior Olympic and elite levels. The national championships for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling, this event is one of the national championships held annually by USA Gymnastics. Junior and senior elite gymnasts are scheduled to compete June 10-12 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, with Junior Olympic sessions running all six days at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Some of the senior gymnasts to watch for are arranged by discipline.

Acrobatic gymnastics

  • 2016 World acrobatic mixed pair silver medalists and 2015 U.S. champions Axel Osborne and Tiffani Williams
  • 2015 U.S. women’s pair champions and 2016 world finalists Jessica Renteria and Maren Merwarth, both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio
  • 2015 U.S. women’s group champions Londrea Garrett, Josephina Kievsky, and Emilia Segel, all of Columbia, Md./Emilias Acro Gymnastics and Cheer

Rhythmic gymnastics

  • Laura Zeng is looking for her second consecutive U.S. all-around title, following up on placing eighth in the World all-around finals and winning two bronze medals at the recent Minsk World Cup. Zeng also claimed the 2015 U.S. hoop, clubs and ribbon titles.
  • 2016 Pac Rim rope/ribbon champion and all-around silver medalist Camilla Feeley, Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center
  • 2016 Pac Rim all-around, hoop, ball and clubs champion Aliya Protto, Los Angeles/California Rhythms
  • 2015 U.S. ball gold and all-around bronze medalist Serena Lu, Staten Island, N.Y.
  • 2015 U.S. junior all-around and hoop champion Evita Griskenas, Chicago, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center
  • 2015 U.S. junior rope champion Nicole Kaloyanov, Woodbridge, Va./Gymnastics World
  • 2015 U.S. junior ball and clubs champion Nastasya Generalova, Los Angeles/California Rhythms
  • The senior rhythmic group will also be performing, along with nine junior and Junior Olympic groups. The members of the senior group are: 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.

Trampoline and Tumbling
2012 Olympian Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands/Elite Trampoline Academy, is looking for his sixth U.S. trampoline title, and Yuliya Brown of Idaho, Falls, Idaho/Idaho Elite Gymnastics, has her sights set on a seventh women’s tumbling crown. Trampoline and tumbling’s events are trampoline, synchronized trampoline, double mini-trampoline and tumbling.

  • Nicole Ahsinger, San Diego, Calif./Trampoline and Tumbling Express: 2015 U.S. trampoline and synchro silver medalist.
  • Logan Dooley, Lake Forest, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics: six-time U.S. synchro champion (2007-10, 2013-14); U.S. trampoline silver medalist (2010-12, 2015); U.S. synchro silver medalist (2006, 2012).
  • Charlotte Drury, Laguna Niguel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics: 2015 U.S. trampoline bronze medalist; 2014 Minsk World Cup trampoline champion; 2014 U.S. trampoline champion; 2013 U.S. synchro champion.
  • Jeffrey Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy: three-time U.S. trampoline champion (2011, 13-14); two-time U.S. synchro champion (2011-12)
  • Clare Johnson, Huntsville, Ala./The Matrix Gym, Inc: 2015 U.S. trampoline champion and synchro silver medalist; 2014 U.S. synchro bronze medalist.
  • Kristle Lowell, Orland Park, Ill./Tumbling on U.S.A.: 2015 U.S. double-mini silver medalist; 2013 World double-mini individual and team gold medalist; 2013 U.S. double-mini champion.
  • Aliaksei Shostak, Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express: 2015 U.S. trampoline and synchro bronze medalist; 2013-14 U.S. synchro silver medalist.
  • Garrett Wheeler, Ellenwood, Ga./FlipCity South: 2015 U.S. tumbling co-champion; 2013-14 U.S. tumbling bronze medalist.

For the junior and senior elite levels for each discipline, the athletes are vying for national titles. Performances will determine berths on the junior and senior U.S. National Teams for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling. The Junior Olympic division has several different levels, and national titles will be awarded for each level and age group for each discipline. The Junior Olympic levels for each of the disciplines are: acrobatic gymnastics – Levels 6-10; rhythmic gymnastics – Levels 7-8; and trampoline and tumbling – Levels 8-10.

Performances at the USA Gymnastics Championships will determine which athletes will represent the United States in rhythmic gymnastics and men’s and women’s trampoline at the 2016 Olympic Games, pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

The USA Gymnastics Championships was first held in 2014 at the KFC Yum! Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky., and in 2015 at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum Complex.

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, balances and flexibility movements. 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.

Background information

  • Rhode Island Sports Commission. The Rhode Island Sports Commission is a division of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau whose mission is to enrich the Rhode Island economy and community through the attraction, promotion and development of sporting events and associated meetings. For more information, visit

  • Rhode Island Convention Center Authority. Located in the heart of downtown Providence, the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority operates the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex, which includes the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC), two parking garages, Dunkin’ Donuts Center (DDC), and Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The Vets). The Authority, governed by an eleven-member board of commissioners, works with several marketing partners to book its facilities, including SMG, which manages the DDC and RICC, Professional Facilities Management (PFM), which manages The Vets, and the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau (PWCVB).