After a successful Wheel Gymnastics World Championship last summer, USAWGF returned to Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati for another round of friendly competition. It was USAWGF’s first time hosting the USA Gymnastics for All National Championships and GymFest, and it was truly a massive event. From June 28-July 1, MSJU was home to 21 gymnastic clubs competing in their National Championships and Wheelers from TEAM USA competing in their own National Trials. In conjunction with the competitions, USAWGF also hosted a variety of fun, educational workshops and three afternoons of public City Performances.
The 2017 Wheel Gymnastics National Trials was the second of three official qualifying competitions for the 2018 World Championships in Magglingen, Switzerland. The results counted for 25 percent of the athlete’s qualification score. With an excellent turn out from both the Junior and Senior teams, both male and female wheelers arrived in Ohio ready to fight for the gold!
The Junior’s competed first, with athletes from Circus Juventas, Circus Kazoo, Madison Circus Space, and Chicago’s WHEEL JAM excitedly filling the Jean Dowell Gym at MSJU. Vault and spiral commenced simultaneously, followed by some excellent straight-line routines. Eliya Syvertsen from Madison came out on top for the Girl’s overall competition with a combined score of 15.95. This currently has her standing with 35 points total for the upcoming World Championships. Wheel JAMmers Ayanna Guillen and first-time competitor Ava Glenski came in second and third place, respectively. Despite taking fourth place in the National Trials, Lily Hankley of Madison is currently standing in third place overall for Worlds with 29 points, a mere .5 behind Miss Ayanna.
Garret Judd of Madison secured first place in the Boy’s overall competition with a score of 13.55. Like Eliya, Garret is also currently standing in first for Worlds with 35 points total. Casey Ian Crowe from Chicago took second at Nationals and is also currently standing in second place for Worlds, with Sasha Rapacz of Circus Juventas and Seamus Green from Circus Kazoo following in third and fourth place, respectively. Carter Rojek from Sokol was not present for National Trials but is still standing overall in fifth.
A new generation of Wheelers have emerged from Junior status, making their first appearances in Senior competition. Among these athletes are Chicago’s Jackson Masada and Prado Kreme, both of which shined brightly on the Junior’s team in previous years. With his characteristic finesse and ease, Jackson went home with first place, while Prado followed a mere .45 behind with a difficult straight-line routine that was sheer guts and innovation. The men’s current standings in the World Championships, however, are separated by Ed Campbell and Paul Bozek from Chicago, who are both currently second and third place respectively, holding 27.5 and 27 points in considering their World Championship standings. Prado follows with 22.5 points total. Scott Keim from Circus Space follows with a current standing of 18.5 points, followed by Drew Dickelman and Dave Ettelson.
The Senior Women’s Team had a great turn out this year, with nine competing ladies. Not only bringing half the Senior Team with her from Madison but also leading the charge for a fourth year in a row was Carly Schuna. With solid spiral and straight-line routines, Carly’s signature strength sealed a score of 21.15 and a current standing of first place and 35 points for the upcoming World Championships. In second place and currently standing with 30.5 points is Olivia Marks, thanks to her killer tumbling-inspired routines. TEAM USA warmly welcomes Emily Temmer back after an injury last year, and is excited to see her currently standing in third place for Worlds with 26.5 points.
The 2018 March Wheel Weekend in Chicago is the last chance for competitors to rack up the points they need to make it to Worlds in Switzerland next summer. The hard work and dedication of these athletes is unparalleled, but of course competition would not be possible if it weren’t for the USA Wheel Judges and their keen eye. Thanks, Judges!
Very special thanks to Mount St. Joseph University for hosting USAWGF for the second year in a row and making sure everyone has a warm meal in their bellies and a place to rest their heads.