The Geneva School of Boerne and the Boerne Gymnastics Center hosted the Acrobatic Region 3 competition on Friday, May 29 and concluded on Sunday, May 31. Athletes from Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Colorado, and Calgary Canada participated in the meet.
The Region 3 Championships offered athletes their last opportunity to earn qualifying scores to compete at the 2015 USA Gymnastics Championships. The Gymnastics Championships will be held June 23-28 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Many of the athletes competing in the weekend long competition had already qualified in at least one event for the national competition.
This meet also allowed athletes vying for an opportunity to compete at the World Championships a chance to impress the judges and the selection committee members.
Acrobatic gymnastics a competitive gymnastic discipline where partnerships of gymnasts work together and perform figures consisting of acrobatic moves, dance and tumbling, set to music. There are three types of routines; a ‘balance’ routine where the focus is on strength, poise and flexibility; a ‘dynamic’ routine which includes throws, somersaults and catches, and (at FIG level 6 and above) a ‘combined’ routine which includes elements from both balance and dynamic.
The International Federation of Gymnastics regulates the sport.
Acrobatic gymnastics popularity exploded on the national scene when in 2014, a group of Acro athletes participated in America’s Got Talent contest. The team composed of 17 gymnasts ranging in age from 11 to 27 reached the final round and placed third with highflying acrobatics and intense choreography.
Sport officials are currently in discussions and solicitations to have acrobatic gymnastics included as an Olympic game. Although no timetable has been mentioned for inclusion into the Olympics many feel with the increased exposure and popularity of the event, it may happen in the near future.
During the region competition there were no large groups of athletes competing together as seen on national television, you did have women’s trios, and mixed doubles and many of the teams incorporated elements and routines seen in part on America’s Got Talent.
During the awards presentation on Saturday night, Jessica Renteria and Maren Merwarth, both San Antonio athletes received a plague naming them Athletes of the Year for Region 3. Renteria and Merwarth attended the International Gymnastics Federation’s World Cup in 2015. At the conclusion of this competition, the pair received a third place finish in the final rankings.
The pair competed with Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward. Ward and Boynton finished the competition with a first place ranking in the mixed pairs at the Worlds. San Antonio area residents witnessed Boynton and Ward’s talents on national television, as they were part of the AcroArmy team on America’s Got Talent.
Also in competition during the weekend and no stranger to the international stage were Mady Marlow and Joseph McGraw who finished in second place at the Geneva International Acro Cup. Only .65 points separated the second place finish from first.
The national competition will end the 2015 season for the acro athletes; however, when they return home they will begin preparing for the next year.
There are many gyms in the San Antonio and Boerne areas that serve as training facilities for these elite level athletes. Watch the Echo and local listings for your next opportunity to witness these national and international competitors.