Senior Competes in Pan-American Games

Senior Anna Sullivan (right) balances herself at the Pan-Am Games.

by Andrew Rosenthal ‘24

Senior Anna Sullivan represented the United States in the Pan American Games in Ibague, Colombia, in December 2023. Sullivan competed in Acrobatic Gymnastics in a trio alongside Maddy Hunt and Avery Puleo. The trio brought home three gold medals for Team U.S. and scored a 27.500 in the final round to seal the deal.

“Getting the opportunity to compete in Colombia was incredible,” said Sullivan. “It was amazing to represent our country and even better to bring home three gold medals. The crowd watching the competition was so supportive, and I could tell they enjoyed what we performed.”

Acrobatic Gymnastics isn’t something that most people have seen, or have even heard of. It is a discipline of gymnastics that is limited to only competing on the floor. Gymnasts work together to perform different figures and moves. Sullivan currently is a part of a trio that is in their third year working and competing together. Sullivan, Hunt, and Puleo all belong to International Elite located in Crofton, Maryland

“We compete in three different routines: Balance, Dynamic, and Combined,” explained Sullivan. “The balance routine focuses on static holds in different positions. The Dynamic routine shows the flips and twists. The Combined routine is a combination of the two where you show the biggest and hardest skills you have. There is a mix of dance, tumbling, and Acro moves.”

Sullivan has been involved in gymnastics her whole life, starting at 2 years old and becoming a competitive artistic gymnast by the time she was in elementary school. The levels of artistic gymnastics range from 1-10, with Elite levels beyond that. When she began acrobatics she was able to jump to level 10 which led to her first full season to start in 2021 after losing a year to the pandemic. Sullivan trains 5 days a week at her club, with training sessions lasting 3-4 hours.

“Trust is a big factor in Acrobatics,” Sullivan added. “My top has to trust that her bases will always be there to catch her, and the bases have to trust that the top will do the skills perfectly. Without trusting each other, we would never make it to the elite level.”

For Sullivan to become a member of the National Team, her trio had to start competing at the elite international level. To stay on Team U.S., they had to keep competing every 6 months in order to be re-selected for the National Team. Sullivan and her trio were first selected to compete in the Maia International Acro Cup, which was held in Portugal in March 2023. The second time Sullivan and her trio were selected was in June of 2023 and they were ranked first on Team U.S. for elite level 12-18, which led to the opportunity to compete in the Pan American Competition.

In the Fall of 2024, Sullivan will be attending Quinnipiac University in Connecticut — which is Division 1 — for Acrobatics and Tumbling. Sullivan communicated with the coach by sending videos of her skills and continued to touch base for many months. Eventually, Sullivan was granted the opportunity to do an official visit of the campus alongside other athletes and earn a scholarship. “It was an amazing visit, and I am so excited for my future there,” said Sullivan.