Olympus’ Vandertoolen (12-13) & Love’s Zhou (10-11) Take Hopes All-Around

Winners stand 2018 GK Hopes Championships, Lundyn Vandertoolen of Olympus taking first
Winners of 11-12 division at 2018 GK Hopes

(All photos are mine)

Gymnast Mahleea Weerline on floor exercise at 2018 Hopes
Mahleea Werline of Aftershock on FX at 2018 Hopes Championships

Alicia Zhou of Love Gymnastics took the all-around in the 10-11 year-old class by more than 2.5 points at the 2018 GK Hopes Championships held July 27 in Columbus, Ohio. Zhou took first on BB and second on VT and UB on her way to a total of 50.4 on the day. Baylie Belman of WOGA came in second AA with 48.7, collecting second on BB, seventh on Vault and a tie for ninth on UB [thanks to Gary’s comment below for spotting my mistake, corrected now]. Belman barely edged out Myli Lew of San Mateo, whose 48.5 was good for third AA.

Winners stand at 2018 Hopes Championship 10-11 division
Winners of 10-11 division at 2018 GK Hopes Championship, with Alicia Zhou first, Baylie Belman second and Myli Lew third

Lew took Bars with an impressive 12.8 (4.0 D, 8.8 Ex). Zoey Molomo of Metroplex won Vault with a 12.9, and was eighth overall. Paramount’s Ava San Jose took FX with a 12.6, and was tenth AA.

In the 11-12 Class, Lundyn Vandertoolen of Olympus took the all-around with a combined score of 51.35, and was first on UB with an eye-popping 13.25 (4.7 D/8.5 Ex). Skylar Dreser of International Elite took second AA with a 50.85, including a tie for first on FX with Ellen Zirbes of Flips MN.

Ava Harper of Georgia All-Stars, watched closely by the FX judges

Everest’s Amber Lowe took third AA at 50.4, with second on UB her best placement. Vault was won by CJ Keunike with a 13.65 (a stellar 9.05 execution score). Genies Mya Witte’s beam routine was notable because her 13.2, which was good enough for a first place tie, included a fall; her D score was just 5.5, and even with the fall, her execution was 7.7 (I scribbled a note when she finished about how excellent the routine was, even with the fall, and the judges apparently agreed); Witte managed seventh AA.

Gymnast Rayna Light steps out of bounds on FX
Rayla Light of Golden City overcooks a tumbling pass on FX, and can’t keep from taking a big step out of bounds, which she did twice.

Sydney Jelen of Legacy Elite managed a tie with Witte on BB, and was tied for 10th overall. Poor Rayna Light (16th AA) of Golden City stepped out of bounds twice (I got a photo of one, shown here), and got an execution score of 7.15, plus a .1 deduction to manage just an 11.45.

Keep an eye out for these names in the next couple of years, as at least a few of them are sure to rise to the ranks of top juniors. Here is a link to all of the start lists & results of Hopes & US Classic: http://www.usagymclassic.com/results/


  1. Fact check for Baylie Belman. She finished 7th on vault and tied for 9th on UB. The article states she only finished in the top 10 on BB.

    • You are correct, Gary, my mistake. Thanks for the clarification. I put this summary together in my hotel the evening following the competition, and my eyes must have been going blurry looking at all the scores. Thanks for your interest. JB

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