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Greensboro Hosting 1,700-plus Athletes for Gymnastics Championships

26 Jun, 2015


More than 1,700 of the country’s top gymnasts in acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling are in Greensboro, NC, for the 2015 USA Gymnastics Championships through June 28 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.  The six-day national championships feature competition on both Junior Olympic and elite levels. 

In rhythmic gymnastics, berths for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ont., Canada, July 10-26, are on the line. The USA qualified for two spots for individual rhythmic gymnastics, as well as rhythmic group.  The Pan Am squad will be determined following the completion of the USA Gymnastics Championships according to the published selection procedures.  The trampoline team for the Pan Am Games was named in April.

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.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the returning champions and athletes to watch in the senior competition.

Acrobatic gymnastics: Women’s pair Jessica Renteria and Maren Merwarth, both of San Antonio, Texas/Acrobatic Gymnastics of San Antonio, finished third in the 2015 World Cup Series rankings

2009 World Games and 2010 World champion Michael Rodrigues, with his new partner Eirian Smith, both of Livermore, Calif./West Coast Training Center

Rhythmic gymnastics: 2014 U.S. rhythmic all-around co-champion Jazzy Kerber, Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center

2014 Youth Olympic Games rhythmic all-around bronze medalist Laura Zeng, Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center

Senior rhythmic group:  Kiana Eide, Northbrook, Ill.; Alisa Kano, Glencoe, Ill.; Natalie McGiffert, Northbrook, Ill.; Jennifer Rokhman, Northbrook, Ill.; Monica Rokhman, Northbrook, Ill.; and Kristen Shaldybin, Chicago, Ill.; all of North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center

Trampoline and tumbling: 2014 U.S. champions

Ivanna Antezana, Silver Spring, Md., and Deana Parris, Burtonsville, Md., both of Fairland Gymnastics, women’s synchronized trampoline

Yuliya Brown, Idaho, Falls, Idaho/Idaho Elite Gymnastics, women’s tumbling

 Charlotte Drury, Laguna Nigel, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, women’s trampoline (also member of the 2015 Pan Am Team)

 Logan Dooley, Lake Forest, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, and Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./ETA, men’s synchronized trampoline (both are also on the 2015 Pan Am Team)

 Jeffrey Gluckstein, Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Elite Trampoline Academy, men’s trampoline

 Erin Jauch, Fox Valley Tumbling and Trampoline, women’s double mini-trampoline (also the reigning women’s World double-mini champion)

Austin Nacey, Braidwood, Ill./TwistStars Tumbling and Trampoline LTD., men’s tumbling

Stewart Pritchard, Greensboro, N.C./Tumblebees Ultimate Gym, men’s double mini-trampoline

For acrobatic gymnastics, the senior and junior elite competition features 33 pairs and groups and 300 Junior Olympic pairs and groups, totaling nearly 700 athletes.  The rhythmic gymnastics competition features 44 junior and senior elite gymnasts and 142 Junior Olympians. The entire trampoline and tumbling field includes more than 900 gymnasts.

Live webcast: USA Gymnastics will provide live webcast coverage of three evening sessions from Greensboro with expert analysis from acrobatic gymnastics World Championships and World Games gold medalist Kristin Allen, six-time U.S. rhythmic gymnastics all-around champion Rebecca Sereda, and former trampoline and tumbling U.S. National Team member Peter Dodd. The webcasts of the senior elite competition will be available on the USA Gymnastics YouTube channel or USAGymChamps.com/live Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6-9 p.m. ET. Former NCAA and Big Ten gymnastics champion Evan Heiter will join Allen, Sereda and Dodd as the host. The webcasts will be available worldwide free of charge on USAGymChamps.com/live.

About the USA Gymnastics Championships: For the events at the Coliseum Complex’s Special Events Center, a $30, single-day pass will be available onsite on competition days. Tickets may be purchased at the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office, ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. For more information on the USA Gymnastics Championships, please go to usagymchamps.com.

The local hosts for the event are the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Tournament Hosts of Greensboro, Greensboro Sports Commission, and Sports & Properties, Inc. Greensboro played host to the AT&T American Cup, the premier international invitational held in the United States, and the Nastia Liukin Cup in 2014.

The schedule, outlined below, has the junior and senior elites competing June 25-27, with Junior Olympic sessions running all six days. NOTE:  Level refers to the Junior Olympic competition level.  The schedule is subject to change.

Friday, June 26

Special Events Center

9 a.m.        Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 6; Trampoline and tumbling, Level 9/Open Elite finals

1:30 p.m.   Acrobatic gymnastics, Levels 9-10; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 8; Trampoline and tumbling, Level 10/Youth Elite finals

Greensboro Coliseum

9 a.m.        Rhythmic gymnastics, junior event/all-around finals and senior elite preliminaries/event finals

6 p.m.        Acrobatic gymnastics, junior and senior elite preliminaries; Rhythmic gymnastics, senior elite all-around preliminaries/event finals; Trampoline, senior elite preliminaries

Saturday, June 27

Special Events Center

9 a.m.        Acrobatic gymnastics, Level 6; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Level 8

1:30 p.m.   Acrobatic gymnastics, Levels 9-10; Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 8

Greensboro Coliseum

10:30 a.m.  Rhythmic gymnastics, senior elite all-around finals (two events)

2:30 p.m.   Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, junior elite finals

6 p.m.        Acrobatic gymnastics, junior and senior elite finals; Rhythmic gymnastics, senior elite   all-around finals; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, senior elite finals

Sunday, June 28

Special Events Center

9 a.m.        Rhythmic gymnastics, Level 8; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Level 8

10:30 a.m. Rhythmic gymnastics, Junior Olympic group; Trampoline, tumbling and double mini-trampoline, Level 8

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 for seniors and hoop, ball, clubs and rope for juniors.  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.

In 2014, the USA Gymnastics Championships was held at the KFC Yum! Center and Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky.

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 billion generated in 2011 and more than 11,700 people employed in travel-related jobs. For more information: www.visitgreensboronc.com.

Greensboro Sports Commission. The mission of the Greensboro Sports Commission is to foster economic development through coordinating and developing Greensboro's role as a leading site for sports events involving youth, collegiate, amateur and professional organizations. The Greensboro Sports Commission acts as a clearing house for sporting activities in the Greensboro area and assists organizations and promoters in making Greensboro the host city for sports events. For more information: www.greensborosports.org.

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’s recent projects include the Africa Youth Games, new sports complexes for Seminole County, Florida; the USA Gymnastics AT&T American Cup and Nastia Liukin Cup; and the 2015 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships. SPI clients include Capitol Broadcasting Company, PIER 39, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Seminole County, Fla., and the United States Olympic Committee, 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.  Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport.  Its disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and group gymnastics.  For more complete information, log on to www.usagym.org.

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