This weekend, acrobats from across the country will be competing in the World Team Trials (WTT) at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center in Huntsville, TX. Pair/groups will be vying for a spot on either the World Championship Team or the World Age Group Team, in order to represent USA on the world stage in 2016.
The discipline of acrobatic gymnastics is not yet an Olympic sport, so the pinnacle of competition for acrobats is the World Championships (WCH) for senior elites and the World Age Group Competition (WAGC) for junior elites and age group athletes. Both events are held simultaneously every two years, drawing athletes from around the globe in the rapidly growing sport. The next edition of the WCH and WAGC will be held in Putian, China, at the Putian Complex Sport, March 23 – April 4, 2016.
The first stop on the long road to China for Team USA was the 2015 Acro Cup held in April at the National Team Training Center. Pair/groups participated in a competition and training camp aimed and assessing potential for the 2016 events. Next up was the USA Gymnastics Championships, held in Greensboro, NC, in June, where the current national team members were selected. Many of those athletes then went on to international competitions including the 1st Pan American Acro Championship held in Caguas, Puerto Rico, in October.
Texas is home to almost 30% of the athletes in attendance at the WTT, with athletes from AGSA, BGC and WOGA participating. Team selections will be announced on Monday night, following the conclusion of the competition.
Texas Acro participants in the WTT:
- Emily Davis, Jessie Phillips, Savannah Stutevoss – 11-16 WG (AGSA)
- Reagan Dubbels, Briana Foster, Abby Rosilier – 11-16 WG (AGSA)
- Jordan Gruendler, Elizabeth Kirchner, Lexi Leinonen – 11-16 WG (AGSA)
- Sarah Diamond, Beth Heinz – 11-16 WP (AGSA)
- Jordan Liberto, Hannah Alonzo – 11-16 WP (BGC)
- Morgan Price, Alex Edwards – 11-16 WP (AGSA)
- Devon Merwarth, Aidan Merwarth – 11-16 MxP (AGSA)
- Zari Carlisle, Christina Troy – 12-18 Jr Elite WP (AGSA)
- Thalia Berry, Aubrey Rosilier – 12-18 Jr Elite WP (AGSA)
- Lydia Webb, Sladen Osborne – 12-18 Jr Elite MxP (WOGA)
- Mady Marlow, Alex McGraw – 13-19 Jr Elite MxP (AGSA)
- Sarah Williamson, Riley Chimwala – 13-19 Jr Elite WP (WOGA)
- Maren Merwarth, Jessica Renteria – Sr Elite WP (AGSA)
The slideshow below highlights the Texas participants in the 2015 Acro Cup, with updates about accomplishments throughout the past season and their participation in the upcoming World Team Trials. Photos copyright Lisa Estep.
Sixteen Texas Acrobats will be part of the USA and Mexico delegations competing this weekend in the 1st Acrobatic Gymnastics Pan American Championship, to be held Oct 9 – 11, 2015, in Caguas, Puerto Rico. In addition to Texas, USA Gymnastics will be sending acrobats from California and Maryland. Other countries represented will be Puerto Rico, Brazil and Canada.
The Pan American Championship is an exciting addition in the sport of acrobatics, creating for the first time a continental championship event in the Americas. Similar events are held in Europe and Asia, bringing together national champions from many countries to compete on a international field prior to the biennial World Championships. Many in the world of acrobatic gymnastics see this as an important step towards the goal of seeing acrobatics in the Olympic Games.
The Texas Acro contingent for the Pan American Championships include:
Texas Acro was proud to recognize the graduating Class of 2015 seniors at the Texas State Championships May 9-10 in Frisco, TX. These athletes have been involved with acrobatic gymnastics for many years and we wish them the best as they head on to the next chapter of their lives (and some will still be competing with Texas Acro after graduation!). We are so thankful to have role models like these young athletes for our up and coming acrobats!
TX Acro Class of 2015 Left to Right: Abby Boudreaux, Makenna Leatherwood, Baothy Nguyen, Allison Traina. Not pictured: Alex McGraw.
- Competed in acro for 10 years
- Currently in a Level 10 trio with Christina Troy and Zoe Massa
- Graduating from the Keystone School in San Antonio
- Next year she will attend Collegium V honors program at University of Texas at Dallas for biology or biochemistry
- She has competed internationally as a Jr. Elite top
- has been Spanish club president for two years
- and is a National Honor Society Member
Alex McGraw (not pictured as he was in Geneva, Switzerland for the GIAC competition)
- Competed in acro for 7 years
- Currently in a 13-19 Junior Elite mixed pair with Mady Marlow
- Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Claudia Taylor Ladybird Johnson HS in San Antonio
- After high school he plans to audition/perform for Cirque du Soleil or Le Reve
- Alex is a two time National champion and was a World championships finalist in 2014
- This is her first year in acro
- Currently in a level 6 pair with Rylee Pirtle
- Graduating from John Marshall High School ins San Antonio
- Plans to go to college in the fall
- Her proudest accomplishments include:
- finishing her senior year strong
- being an NHS member
- cutting off unhealthy food
- Competed in acro for 4 years
- Currently in a Level 10 Trio
- Graduating from Robert E. Lee High School – Baytown
- Attending Texas A&M to study Biomedical Science
- She is the class Valedictorian
- as well as Senior Class President
- and is also President of FFA
- Competed in acro for 2 years
- Currently in a Level 7 women’s pair with Paige McCormick
- Graduating from Plano West Senior High
- Next year she will be attending the honors college at Texas Tech University
- She is a member of DECA, a scholastic business association, and qualified to State
- She was a Leader in Band
- And she is an international member of the honor society quill and scroll