Long known for one of the best gymnastics programs in Southern California, the YMCA of Glendale girls’ gymnastics team dominated the 2015 San Diego Rhythm Invitational on Jan. 10-11, bringing home an impressive 35 awards.
The 16 competitors – who all hail from Glendale – competed in six categories (all around, ball, clubs, floor, hoop and rope) in five of the 10 age-levels. Held at San Diego City College, a top facility for gymnastic and rhythmic competitions in Southern California, the winners were: Eva Amirkanian, 9, second place, all around; Tamara Chinivizyan, 11, first place, all around, ball, rope, clubs and second place, floor; Acasia Fong, 8, first place, all around; Hayarpi Ghadimian, 10, first place, ball; Ekaterina Likhvareva, 7, first place, rope; Jodie Mendoza, 13, first place, all around, rope, hoop, floor, clubs; Ani Muradyan, 13, first place, hoop, second place, floor, all around and third place ball, clubs; Hana Nguyen, 11, third place, floor, ball; Carla Ohanian, 11, first place, all around, floor, rope, ball, clubs; Sofia Panoosian, 7, first place, floor, ball; Anastisia Papadeas, 11, third place, floor, clubs; Ariana Saenz, 7, first place, ball; Leila Sears, 7, second place, ball; Michelle Shvedov, 13, first place, ball and second place, rope, clubs; Emily Sulian, 11, first place, rope; and Eugenia Zhenikova, 6, first place, floor.
“We are extremely proud of the Glendale YMCA gymnastics team, which ranked as the number one team in 2010 and 2013,” said Arpi Avetyan, head gymnastics instructor at the Glendale Y. “Our girls have worked very hard to reach this level of achievement and many of them have aspirations to participate in the 2015 Junior Olympics this summer. I look forward to cheering them on.”
Rhythmic gymnastics is an activity in which individuals or teams of five manipulate one or two pieces of apparatus in five categories: ball, clubs, hoop, ribbon, rope and free (no apparatus). An individual athlete manipulates only one apparatus at a time. When multiple gymnasts are performing a routine together, a maximum of two types of apparatus may be distributed through the group. An athlete can exchange apparatus with a team member at any time during the routine. Therefore, an athlete can manipulate up to two different pieces of apparatus through the duration of the routine.
The sport combines elements of ballet, dance, gymnastics and apparatus manipulation. The victor is the participant who earns the most points, determined by a panel of judges, for leaps, balances, pirouettes (pivots), apparatus handling and execution. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots, balances and flexibility movements. 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.