Pineda is Sole Elite to Qualify in Columbus

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Michelle Pineda

The third U.S. national qualifier was held at the Buckeye Classic in Columbus, Ohio over the weekend, where junior Michelle Pineda of Metroplex became the only gymnast to earn elite status.

A total of 22 gymnasts competed in the senior and junior sessions, including a few who have previously qualified, like senior champion Lexi Zeiss, who got her optional score in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, as well as her Twin City Twisters teammates Katelyn Rosen and Elle Mueller, who placed second and third in the senior division here.

Zeiss was the only one to again surpass the senior qualifying score of 50.500, earning a 50.850 while Rosen got a 49.700 and Mueller hit a 48.850. Rosen has only previously qualified on three events – all but beam – and though she was attempting to earn an all-around ticket here, unfortunately it didn’t work out, though she’ll still have a few more chances ahead of her.

Also notable in this field Levi Jung-Ruivivar, who competed every event but floor in her senior debut, putting up her highest scores on vault with a 12.8 and bars with a 12.6. Jung-Ruivivar should already be qualified based on her performance at the junior national team selection camp for Pan Ams held in the fall, where she had an excellent all-around performance, so this was likely just a good way to get a practice in before the Winter Cup.

In the junior field, Pineda led with a 49.900, just a few tenths over the required score of 49.500. This was Pineda’s first competition of the season, and in addition to topping the all-around, she also had the best scores on bars with a 12.4 and on beam with a 13.2.

Her teammate Zoey Molomo was second all-around, but fell short of the qualifying score with a 46.950, posting the top vault score of 13.45 but missing beam and floor. Behind her was Adele Ossi of Parkettes in third with a 46.700, also earning the top floor score of 12.25.

Three Hopes gymnasts also qualified at Buckeye, all in the 11-12 division, which was led by Addy Fulcher of First in Flight with a 45.400, followed by Quinn Harris of Cincinnati in second with a 45.200 and Trinity Wood of Capital in third with a 44.500, getting the exact score needed to make it. No gymnasts in the 13-14 division qualified, with Sadie Goldberg of Gym X-Treme earning the top score in this group with a 44.800.

Full results are available here, and you can track all gymnasts who have qualified elite so far in 2022 here.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

3 thoughts on “Pineda is Sole Elite to Qualify in Columbus

    • Hahaha…these scores seemed particularly low compared to the other two qualifiers this year so I don’t know if the Ohio judges were just SUPER tough or if everyone was just all over the place, but yeah, we really are creeping closer and closer to a 10 being a good thing again!

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