INDIANAPOLIS, April 29, 2019 – Nearly 900 of the USA’s top Level 8, 9 and 10 male gymnasts will compete at the 2019 U.S. Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships, which is making its first trip to Reno, Nev. Scheduled for May 2-5 at the Reno (Nev.) Sparks Convention Center’s Hall 4, the championships features competition in regional team, all-around and individual events. Reno’s Niko Greenly from High Sierra Gymnastics is competing as part of the Region 1 Team.
Five of the 2018 Junior Elite Division champions are expected to compete in Reno: Jaden Bottarini of Valley Village, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica USA, 11-year-old; Vahe Petrosyan of Van Nuys, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica USA, 12-year-old; Ian Lasic-Ellis of Dover, Mass./Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics Academy, 14-year-old; Isaiah Drake of Los Angeles/Gymnastics Olympica USA, 15-year-old; and JR Chou of Cypress, Texas/Cypress Academy, 16-year-old.
The levels are determined by age and skill level. Level 8 consists of athletes who are 11 and 12 years old; Level 9 athletes are 13 and 14 years old. At Level 10, there are two age divisions, 15-16 year olds and 17-18 year olds. Each level has two divisions – Junior Elite and Junior Olympic.
For Level 10 athletes competing in the Junior Elite Division, the Junior Olympic National Championships is a qualifier for the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championships (Aug. 8-11 in Kansas City, Mo.), where the Level 10 Junior National Team will be determined. Fourteen Level 8 and Level 9 gymnasts from the Junior Elite Division will be named to the Level 8/9 Junior National Team at the conclusion of the Junior Olympic Championships.
In the Junior Olympic Level 10 division, the top 36 all around qualifiers in each single age year advance to the finals. A single event qualifier may advance if he places in the top six on an individual event and is not in the top 36 in the all-around. The combined score from the preliminary session and the finals session will be used to determine the all-around and the individual event final rankings. Also, a regional team competition has been added to the Junior Olympic Level 10 competition during the 5 p.m. session on May 3. In the Junior Olympic division Level 8 and 9 competition, individual event and all-around awards will be determined from the single session optional competition on their respective days.
Level 10 Junior Elite athletes from each age division compete to determine the Level 10 Junior Elite Division all-around and event champions. Level 8 and Level 9 Junior Elite athletes compete to determine the respective all-around and event champions.
The competition schedule, which is subject to change, is below. All times are local to Reno, Nev., in the Pacific time zone. Junior Olympic Levels 8 and 9 compete only one day. Rotation sheets are available online.
8 a.m. – Junior Olympic Level 9
1:15 p.m. – Junior Elite Levels 8 and 9 optional routine
5:15 p.m. – Junior Elite Level 10 optional routine
8 a.m. – Junior Olympic Level 10
12:30 p.m. – Junior Olympic Level 10
5 p.m. – Junior Olympic Level 10 and Junior Olympic teams
11:30 a.m. – Junior Elite Levels 8 and 9 technical sequences
4:15 p.m. – Junior Elite Level 10 technical sequences
8 a.m. – Junior Olympic Level 8
12:45 p.m. – Junior Olympic Level 10 finals
Tickets will be available beginning May 1 at the arena. All-session passes, which include all sessions for all for four days, are $95/adults (18 and up), $60/children (6-17), seniors (55+) and active military, and children (5 and under), free. Day passes for Thursday through Sunday are $35/adults (18 and up), $25/children (6-17), seniors (55+) and active military, and children (5 and under), free.
The meet coordinators are Tim Klempnauer, Roger Baldwin and Debbie Baldwin, and High Sierra Gymnastics is the host club.
To advance to the Junior Olympic National Championships, gymnasts competed in state and regional championships and qualified based on their all-around ranking or individual event placement.
The U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships is one of the national championships of USA Gymnastics. Many Junior Olympic champions have gone on to make the U.S. National Team and represent the United States in international competition and/or to compete in collegiate gymnastics. All of the members of the men’s medal-winning 2004 (silver) and 2008 (bronze) U.S. Olympic Teams, as well as the 2012 Olympic Team, are former Junior Olympic National Championships participants. Past participants include 2004 Olympic all-around champion Paul Hamm; Olympic and World medalists Jonathan Horton, Danell Leyva and Alex Naddour; and World medalists Jake Dalton, Yul Moldauer and John Orozco.
For men’s gymnastics, USA Gymnastics has nine regions, and the states that comprise each region are: Region 1 — Arizona, Hawaii, California, Nevada; Region 2 – Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington; Region 3 – Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas; Region 4 – Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin; Region 5 – Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio; Region 6 – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont; Region 7 – Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia; Region 8 – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee; Region 9 – Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. The organization is committed to creating a culture that encourages and supports its athletes and focuses on its highest priority, the safety and well-being of the athletes. USA Gymnastics has taken specific, concrete steps to strengthen its safe sport policies and procedures. Former gymnast and business executive Li Li Leung is the new president and chief executive officer of USA Gymnastics. The organization’s disciplines include men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and gymnastics for all (formerly known as group gymnastics). For more complete information, visit usagym.org.