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.