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Rising Starz Starts Season with Impressive Showing

By Joel Koch, 12/08/18, 5:15PM EST

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Rising Starz Xcel Gold team claims another team championship at the 2018 Gymnastics on the Grand. ~ Photo by Tina Shutich

Rising Starz Gymnastics started the competitive season off strong with three first-place and a pair of second place team showings at Gymnastics on the Grand Invitational. Hosted once again by Grand Rapids Gymnastics, the event took place at DeVos place November 30-December 2, and included over 1400 athletes in both the Junior Olympic and Xcel programs.

Rising Starz started competition with the first of two Xcel Silver teams competing during the 8 a.m. session Friday. The squad brought home a team second, led by Emma Ingles with a fantastic 37.725 All-Around in the Junior A Division. Her score was aided by gold medals on Bars (9.500) and Floor (9.350). Audrey Gross was second All-Around at 37.400, including a gold on Beam (9.750), followed by Olivia Ingles with a 37.150 score for All-Around.

Other podium finishers in All-Around for the team were, Lillian Green taking second All-Around (37.500) in the Junior B Division; Ryenn McRell (36.900) and Cassidy Cullen (36.800) second and third, respectively, in the Senior B Division; and Hailey Nowicki third (37.350) in the Senior C Division.

The first of two Xcel Gold clubs followed that up during the mid-day session with a first-place showing led by Georgia Readwin with an All-Around score of 37.850 which included golds on Vault (9.025), Bars (9.650) and Floor (9.550) in the Junior C Division. Lucy Verwys also claimed a podium spot in the division with a 36.575 All-Around, good for third.

Other podium finishers for the team during the session were, Ashley Williams third All-Around (36.925) in the Junior B Division; And a sweep in the Senior A Division with Addasen Rasmussen (36.975), Emma Nibbelink (36.825) and Faith Vyn (36.375) first-through-third, respectively.

The club finished the first day of competition with a pair of teams in the evening as the Xcel Silver team claimed first and Xcel Diamond grabbed second.

The Silver team was led by Jaylin Hunter with an All-Around score of 37.600 in the Junior A Division, she was joined on the podium by Katelyn Allen in third (37.175). Hunter claimed gold on Bars (9.400) and Floor (9.575) while Allen picked up a gold on Beam (9.700).

Other top All-Around finishers for the Silver squad were Braelyn Johnson (37.175 – first in Junior B Division), Hailey Sterk (37.100 – second in Junior C Division), Cora Strock (36.850 – second in Senior A Division) and Gina Mehling (36.950 – second in Senior C Division).

Diamonds were led by Lacey Scheid with three golds on Vault (9.175), Bars (9.425) and Floor (9.550) on her way to a first place with an All-Around score of 37.475 in the Junior Division. She was closely followed by Olivia Thornley who picked up gold on Beam (9.500) to come in third in All-Around at 36.100. Scheid qualified for the event finals All-Around, while Thornley qualified on Beam. Two more Diamonds also qualified in Anna Tracey (8.900 – second on Vault; 9.325 – third on Floor) and Elsa Brillinger (9.275 – third on Beam).

Sunday saw more of the same for Rising Starz with the team taking firsts in both Xcel Gold and Platinum.

The gold team was led by Leah Koch at 37.600 for first place in All-Around and gold on Beam (9.450) and Floor (9.550) in the Junior B Division. It was a podium sweep in the division with Brooke Gordon in second All-Around (37.275) followed closely by Emma Shutich (37.250). Gordon grabbed gold on Bars with a 9.450.


Claire Adams does a front tuck off the beam during competition at the 2018 Gymnastics on the Grand. ~ Photo by Tennille Rasmussen

Several other Rising Starz grabbed All-Around podium spots for the squad, including Genna Thompson (37.000 – first in Junior A Division); Hailey Trifan (35.725 – third in Junior C Division); Clair Adams (36.475 – first in Senior A Division); Madeline Pastoor (36.100 – second in Senior B Division); and Molly DiCosola (36.550 – first in Senior C Division).

The Platinum team championship was paced by Kendall Pinkelman with an All-Around score of 37.550 for first All-Around in the Junior A Division. She picked up golds on Bars (9.600) and Beam (9.500). It was yet another podium sweep for the team with Katelyn Tracey (36.850) and Aviela Einfeld (36.825) placing second and third. Einfeld grabbed golds on Vault (9.550) and Floor (9.450).

Rising Starz also grabbed podium spots in the Junior B Division with Dianna Spero (36.675 – second) and Ainsley Luurtsema (36.225 – third). Sidney Breen was first All-Around (36.675) in the Senior A Division; In the Senior B Division, Olivia Schubert (35.625) and Cassie Liebisch (35.600) claimed second and third; And in Senior C Division, the podium was topped by Elise Swanson (36.125) and Emma Breen (35.85) in first and second, respectively.

The teams are back in action January 25-27 in Warren, Mich., when they compete at the Athlete Warrior Challenge.


Xcel Gold team lined up and ready to compete during the 2018 Gymnastics on the Grand. ~ Contributed Photo