12 U.S. titles awarded at 2018 USA Gymnastics Championships

GREENSBORO, N.C., July 7, 2018 – 2016 Olympian Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, won the U.S. rhythmic all-around crown, becoming the first rhythmic gymnast since 1979 to win four-consecutive senior all-around titles, at the 2018 USA Gymnastics Championships at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum Complex. A total of 12 champions were crowned across acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling.

The other 2018 U.S. senior champions determined tonight are listed below.

Trampoline and tumbling


    • Men: Jeffrey Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy
    • Women: Savannah Thompson, Scott, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express


    • Men: Brandon Krzynefski, Centerville, Va./Capital Gymnastics National Training Center
    • Women: Eliza Floisand, Salt Lake City, Utah/Wasatch Trampoline & Tumbling


    • Men: Matthew Hawkins, Phoenix, Ariz./North Valley Gymnastics
    • Women: Paige Howard, San Juan Capistrano, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics

  • Group: Dasha Baltovick of Highland Park, Ill.; Isabelle Connor of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Ugne Dragunas of Darien, Ill.; Connie Du of Deerfield, Ill.; Elizaveta Pletneva of Caldwell, N.J.; Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill.; and Kristina Sobolevskaya of Deerfield, Ill., North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center

Acrobatic gymnastics

  • Men’s pair: Angel Felix, Moreno Valley, Calif., and Braiden McDougall, Riverside, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy
  • Men’s group: Sean Butehorn, Mt. Airy, Md., Daniel Disman, Clarksville, Md., Grant Shields, Columbia, Md. and Sean Shields, Columbia/Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer
  • Women’s pair: Emily Davis and Aubrey Rosilier, both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio.
  • Women’s group: Elanor Chang, Columbia, Md., Calista Davis, Ijamsville, Md., and Madison Freed, Mt. Airy, Md./Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer.
  • Mixed pair: 1. Emma Fitzgerald, Placerville, Calif., and Nathaniel Davies, Rocklin, Calif./Capital Acrobatics, 25.720 (75.900 total).

Earlier, 2018 U.S. junior all-around champion Elizabeth Kapitonova of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora Rhythmic Gymnastics, earned a spot for the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 for rhythmic gymnastics. Alyssa Oh of Rocklin, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, secured a berth to the Youth Olympics in women’s trampoline.

Rhythmic gymnastics
Zeng won the all-around title with a four-event total of 138.319, giving Zeng her fourth straight senior title. Sue Soffe was the last person to have four all-around titles in a row, which was part of her string of six from 1976-81. The silver went to Evita Griskenas of Orland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, with a 135.386. Camilla Feeley of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, brought home the bronze with her 133.537.

The senior group from North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center won the group all-around title: Dasha Baltovick of Highland Park, Ill.; Isabelle Connor of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Ugne Dragunas of Darien, Ill.; Connie Du of Deerfield, Ill.; Elizaveta Pletneva of Caldwell, N.J.; Nicole Sladkov of Vernon Hills, Ill.; and Kristina Sobolevskaya of Deerfield, Ill., who train at North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center, won the group all-around title with a 63.800.

The women’s trampoline final featured two Olympians and one Youth Olympian, and the competition did not disappoint. 2016 Olympian Thompson earned a cumulative 154.465 to win the U.S. title and finish just ahead of 2016 Olympian Nicole Ahsinger of Lafayette, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, who posted a 153.250. Newly named 2018 Youth Olympian Alyssa Oh was not far behind for third via a 153.175.

Gluckstein successfully defended his title with his three-pass total of 168.280. Aliaksei Shostak of Youngsville, La./Trampoline and Tumbling Express, was second at 165.860. Isaac Rowley of Allen, Texas/Eagle Gymnastics Academy, was third with a 160.940.

Floisand finished at the top of the rankings with a 134.700. Hope Bravo of Dallas, Texas/Eagle Gymnastics Academy, scored a 131.600, and Gretchen Schultz of Destrehan, La./Elmwood Gymnastics Academy, completed the top three at 127.400. For the men, Krzynefski tallied a 140.100 for the title. Alex Renkert of Columbus, Ohio/Integrity Athletics, earned a 137.800 for the silver. The bronze went to Emilio Lehmer of Tempe, Ariz./North Valley Gymnastics (133.500).

Howard easily retained her double-mini title by posting a two-day total of 142.000. Kiley Lockett of Oceanside, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, was second at 138.900, with Kristle Lowell of Orland Park, Ill./Morgan Park Sports Center, third with a 138.500. Hawkins won the men’s title with a 151.400. Ruben Padilla of Oakley, Calif./Tornado Sport Club, was second at 146.300. Renkert was third at 135.700.

Acrobatic gymnastics
Emily Davis and Aubrey Rosilier, both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, earned a women’s pair combined routine score of 28.730 for a three-day total of 85.140 and their second title. Angel Felix, Moreno Valley, Calif., and Braiden McDougall, Riverside, Calif./Realis Gymnastics Academy, posted 27.310 for their combined routine and a three-day total of 81.200 for senior men’s pair gold. The mixed pair of Emma Fitzgerald of Placerville, Calif., and Nathaniel Davies of Rocklin, Calif./Capital Acrobatics, earned a 25.720 for the combined routine and a 75.900 competition total for the title. In women’s group, Elanor Chang of Columbia, Md., Calista Davis of Ijamsville, Md., and Madison Freed of Mt. Airy, Md./Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, grabbed a 27.790 for the top combined routine and a three-day 82.860 total and first place. The men’s group of Sean Butehorn of Mt. Airy, Md., Daniel Disman of Clarksville, Md., Grant Shields of Columbia, Md. and Sean Shields of Columbia/Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, posted a 27.400 score for their combined routine and finished with a three-day total of 81.230 and the title.

The junior 13-19 acrobatic squads who had the top scores for their event were: mixed pair – Carina Newlin and Dorian White, both of Castro Valley, Calif./WestCoast Training Center, combined, 26.800 (79.970 total); and women’s group – Marisa Gatson, Severn, Md., Olivia Struble, Laurel, Md., and Micah Whiteman, Columbia, Md./Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, combined, 25.800 (77.630 total).

Event summary

Rhythmic gymnastics (senior)

  • Top three senior rhythmic gymnasts, all-around: 1. Zeng, 138.319; 2. Griskenas, 135.386; 3. Feeley, 133.537.
  • Top three senior rhythmic gymnasts, event scores
    Zeng: all-around, 138.319; hoop, 36,984; ball, 35.384; clubs, 35.167; ribbon, 32.784.
    Griskenas: all-around, 135.386; hoop, 36.918; ball, 35.267; clubs, 30.817; ribbon, 32.384.
    Feeley: all-around, 133.537; hoop, 34.351; ball, 33.818; clubs, 34.334; ribbon, 31.034.

Trampoline and tumbling (senior)

  • Trampoline
    • Top three men’s scores: 1. Gluckstein, 168.280; 2. Shostak, 165.860; 3. Rowley, 160.940.
    • Top three women’s scores: 1. Thompson, 154.465; 2. Ahsinger, 153.250; 3. Oh, 153.175.
  • Tumbling
    • Top three women’s scores: 1. Floisand, 134.700; 2. Bravo, 131.600; 3. Schultz, 127.400.
    • Top three men’s scores: 1. Krzynefski, 140.100; 2. Renkert, 137.800; 3. Lehmer, 133.500.
  • Double mini-trampoline
    • Top three men’s scores: 1. Hawkins, 151.400; 2. Padilla, 146.300; 3. Renkert, 135.700.
    • Top three women’s scores: 1. Howard, 142.000; 2. Lockett, 138.900; 3. Lowell, 138.500.

Acrobatic Gymnastics (top senior final scores)

  • Men’s pair, combined: Felix and McDougall, 27.310 (81.200 total)
  • Men’s group, combined: Butehorn, Disman, Shields and Shields, 27.400 (81.230 total)
  • Women’s pair, combined: Davis and Rosilier, 28.730 (85.140 total)
  • Women’s group, combined: 1. Chang, Davis and Freed, 27.790 (82.860 total); 2. Isabel Chang, Columbia, Md., Alexandra Gladkova, Fairfax, Va., Caitlyn Kicza, Woodbine, Md./ Emilia’s Acro Gymnastics and Cheer, 27.560 (81.610 total)
  • Mixed pair, combined: 1. Fitzgerald and Davies, 25.720 (75.900 total); 2. Aisley Boynton, Riverside, Calif., and Sean Obley, Mesa, Ariz., Realis Gymnastics Academy, 0.0 (26.640 total)

2018 annual awards

    Athlete of the Year

    • Acrobatic gymnastics: Aubrey Rosilier and Emily Davis
    • Rhythmic gymnastics: Laura Zeng
    • Trampoline: Jeffrey Gluckstein
    • Tumbling: Austin Nacey
    • Double-mini-trampoline: Paige Howard

    Coach of the Year

    • Acrobatic gymnastics: Vladimir Vladev
    • Rhythmic gymnastics: Margarita Mamzina
    • Trampoline and tumbling: Shawn Moore

    Sportsperson of the Year

    • Acrobatic gymnastics: Aubrey Rosilier
    • Rhythmic gymnastics: Heather Chan
    • Trampoline and tumbling: Ruben Padilla and Tristan Van Natta

    Star Service Award

    • Acrobatic gymnastics: Nancy Davis
    • Rhythmic gymnastics: Perryne Thompson
    • Trampoline and tumbling: Patti Conner

For the junior and senior elite levels for each discipline, the athletes are vying for national titles. Performances in Greensboro also will determine berths on the junior and senior U.S. National Teams for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling. For rhythmic gymnastics and women’s trampoline, the competition will be part of the selection process for the Youth Olympic Games. The Junior Olympic division has several different levels, and national titles will be awarded for each level and age group for each discipline.

The local hosts for the event are the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Tournament Hosts of Greensboro, and Sports & Properties, Inc. This will be the third time gymnastics events have come to Greensboro, following the 2015 USA Gymnastics Championships and the 2014 American Cup and Nastia Liukin Cup. The 2019 American Cup will return to Greensboro in March.

The USA Gymnastics Championships was first held in 2014 at the KFC Yum! Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. In addition to Greensboro, past sites are Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center (2016), and Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center (2017).

Background information

  • Acrobatic gymnastics. 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. Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with the apparatus in a choreographed routine to music. The five apparatus used in rhythmic gymnastics are rope, hoop, ball, clubs, and ribbon. Rhythmic gymnasts may compete individually or as a group. The choreography must cover the entire floor with intricate apparatus handling, dance combinations, jumps, leaps, rotations, and balance difficulties. 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 and tumbling. Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double, triple and quadruple 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.
  • Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is an independent, non-profit governmental authority whose mission is to aggressively market Greensboro’s assets, maximizing economic impact while providing excellent visitor service. Guilford County ranks third in the state in travel and tourism expenditures, with over $1.2 billion generated in 2015 and more than 13,000 people employed in travel-related jobs. For more information: www.visitgreensboronc.com.
  • Greensboro Coliseum Complex. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex is a multi-building facility designed to serve the citizens of Greensboro and the surrounding area through a broad range of activities, including athletic events, cultural arts, concerts, theater, educational activities, fairs, exhibits, and public and private events of all kinds including conventions, convocations and trade and consumer shows. The Greensboro Coliseum Complex is one of the most actively booked facilities in the country hosting more than 1,100 events on an annual basis. With its incredible versatility, the Complex has gained worldwide acclaim from promoters, producers, event planners and patrons. For more information; www.greensborocoliseum.com.
  • Sports & Properties, Inc. SPI is a sports marketing and sports development firm concentrating in three primary areas of business: major sponsorships, including naming rights; sports tourism; and major events. SPI recent projects include the Raleigh-Durham market’s Major League Soccer Application, the USA Masters Games, greater Asheville sports tourism, and the Seminole County Sports Complex. Event projects include the Africa Youth Games, US Figure Skating Championships, and the American Cup Gymnastics. SPI clients include Capitol Broadcasting Company, the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission, the North Carolina Football Club, and the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, among others. For more information on SPI, visit sportsproperties.com.
  • USA Gymnastics. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. The organization is committed to creating a culture that empowers and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes. USA Gymnastics has already taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its safe sport policies and procedures. The organization’s disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and gymnastics for all (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, log on to usagym.org.