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North Stars Gymnastics Academy Announces 12 National Qualifiers

The most of any club in the Garden State


BOONTON — The North Stars Gymnastics Academy proudly announces 12 National Qualifiers in its USAG National Women’s Development Program, the largest number of athletes of any gymnastics club in New Jersey.

There are six Level 9 gymnasts and six Level 10s who qualified at the Region 7 competition held at Virginia Beach Sports Center on April 13-16. Region 7 Gymnastics is the governing body of USAG gymnastics in six states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The USAG Gymnastics Women’s Program Committee is comprised of eight regions throughout the nation.

“Our athletes put in countless hours of training, year-round, to get ready for their season and they powered through stiff competition to compete at a maximum level of performance,” said Ashley Umberger, part owner, and head coach of North Stars Gymnastics Academy. “We are excited for them to perform at this incredible annual event, where they will be among the best of the best in our country.”

Level 9 qualifiers; Top row: Alexa Ciliotta, Montville; Lia DiNapoli, Butler (alternate); Mira Kalra, Basking Ridge. Bottom row: Brooke Kurinec, Montville; Abigail Silverman, Westfield; and Sahana Vasan, New Providence.

The top seven all-around finishers and one alternate from each age group qualified to represent Region 7 nationally.

In Level, 9, those gymnasts now will compete individually in their respective age groups and as part of the Region 7 National Team from May 4-7 at the USA Gymnastics Women’s Artistic Level 9 Eastern Championships to be held at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla. Easterns is comprised of 26 states in the Eastern part of the nation. The other half will compete at Westerns during the same weekend in Boise, Idaho.

The six North Stars’ Level 9 qualifiers for Easterns include:

  • Alexa Ciliotta, 16, Montville, Class of 2025
    Montville High School, sophomore
    First place AA champion, 38.225
    First beam, 9.5
    Second bars, 9.675
    Third floor, 9.450
  • Lia DiNapoli, 14, Butler, Class of 2026
    Homeschool, freshman
    Alternate (Jr. 7)
    Second place bars, 9.475
  • Mira Kalra,14, Basking Ridge
    Homeschool, freshman
    First place AA champion, 37.225
    Third place vault, 9.425
    Third place floor, 9.35
  • Brooke Kurinec, 15, Montville, Class of 2025
    Montville Township High School, sophomore
    Sixth place AA, 36.450
    Second place floor, 9.5
  • Abigail Silverman,15, Westfield, Class of 2025
    Westfield High School, sophomore
    Third place AA, 36.85
    Second place tie, floor: 9.5
  • Sahana Vasan,14, New Providence, Class of 2027
    New Providence Middle School
    Sixth place AA, 36.850
    Second place tie bars, 9.75

In Level 10, the top seven all-around finishers from each age group, plus an alternate,  from Regionals in Virginia Beach move onto the national stage. The stakes are even higher for Level 10s as these athletes will compete against gymnasts from all eight U.S. regions, representing the 50 states.

The Level 10s will compete in the USAG Development Program 2023 National Championship May 9-14 at the Oklahoma City Convention Center.

The top four all-around scoring athletes from each age division at Level 10 Nationals will make up the USA Development Program National Team and receive an invitation to participate in a special training camp. The USAG national league maxes out at Level 10. Only those who train and qualify at Elite competitions rank higher.

Level 10 qualifiers: Top row: Alexa Chuy, Scotch Plains; Leah Higgins, Boonton; Olivia Kelly, Mahwah. Bottom row: Karina Lankamer, Flemington; Jessica “Jess” Marie Schmitz (alternate), Wayne; and Madison “Maddie” Vitolo, Basking Ridge.

 The six North Stars’ Level 10 National qualifiers include:

  • Alexa Chuy, 17, Scotch Plains, Class of 2023
    Scotch Plains/Fanwood High School, senior
    Fifth place AA, 37.625
  • Leah Higgins, 12, Boonton, Class of 2029
    Fourth place AA, 37.075
    Second place bars, 9.275
  • Olivia Kelly, 15, Mahwah, Class of 2024
    Homeschool, junior
    University of Missouri Women’s Gymnastics recruit
    Third place AA champion, 38.250
    Bars regional champion, 9.8
    Second place vault, 9.7
  • Karina Lankamer, 18, Flemington, Class of 2023
    Hunterdon Central Regional High School, senior
    Central Michigan University Women’s Gymnastics commit
    Fourth place tie AA, 38.000
    Second vault, 9.750
  • Jessica “Jess” Marie Schmitz, 17, Wayne, Class of 2024
    Homeschool, junior
    Alternate, AA 36.300
  • Madison “Maddie” Vitolo, 18, Basking Ridge, Class of 2023
    Ridge High School, senior
    University of Illinois Women’s Gymnastics commit
    Third place AA, 37.900 (Sr. F)
    Second place beam, 9.525

About North Stars: North Stars Gymnastics Academy has been a national training center in Morris County for 50 years with female gymnasts earning placements and awards at the national and international levels. It boasts medalists in USA Championships, Goodwill Games, Pan American Games, Pacific Alliance Championships, and competitions in France, South Korea, England, Russia, Bulgaria, Colombia, U.S. Olympic Trials, and more. North Stars prides itself on its ability to train athletes to build the necessary skills to secure athletic and academic college scholarships. To learn more about North Stars, click here.                                                                      

PHOTO CREDITS: Gabe Rhodes of GR Productions

Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.

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