© Team Photo

JACKSON, Miss., May 9, 2014 – Four of the eight all-around champions at the 2014 Women’s U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships were determined today at the Jackson (Miss.) Convention Complex. Level 10 is the highest level in the Junior Olympic program, which is just under the elite level. The Junior Olympic nationals wrap up on May 10, and are followed by the Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament (NIT) on May 11.

The four all-around champions determined today are listed below.

  • Junior A. Delanie Harkness of Leslie, Mich./Twistars USA, won the all-around gold medal with a 38.400 total. Harkness also took the uneven bars and floor titles with scores of 9.675 and 9.775, respectively. Kai Rivers of Franklin, Mich./Twistars USA, and Kaitlin DeGuzman of Rowlett, Texas/Metroplex Gymnastics, earned the silver and bronze medals, respectively. With a 9.625, DeGuzman won the beam, adding to her medal count. There was a tie for vault champion with Alexa Al-Hameed of Ames, Iowa/Triad Gymnastics, and Savannah Gutierrez of La Mirada, Calif./Precision Gymnastics, at 9.725. Region 5 was the session’s top team with 152.300 points.

  • Senior A. The all-around crown went to Olivia Karas of Chicago/IK Gymnastics, who scored a 38.400. Karas also won vault and uneven bars with scores of 9.925 and 9.650, respectively. Finishing in second and third place in the all-around were Sydney Snead of Raleigh, N.C./Sonshine Gymnastics, and Lacy Dagen of Pleasanton, Calif./San Mateo Gymnastics, respectively. Dagen’s score of 9.600 on beam gave her top honors in a three-way tie with Shynelle Agaran of Coral Springs, Fla./American Twisters, and Katelyn Lentz of Brisbane, Calif./Head Over Heels. McKenna Kelley of Houston /Stars Gymnastics Training Center-Houston, was the floor champion with 9.575. Team honors went to Region 5 (151.950).

  • Junior B. Rachael Lukacs of Hillsborough, N.J./North Stars Gymnastics Academy, garnered the all-around gold with her 38.325. Lukacs also captured the vault crown with a 9.875. Lexi Graber of Cape Coral, Fla./Coast Elite Gymnastics Academy-CEGA, tallied a 38.150, and Evy Schoepfer of Ames, Iowa/Triad Gymnastics, scored a 38.125 to take second and third, respectively. Abigail Brenner of Maple Grove, Minn./Twin City Twisters, and Sophia Carter of Fenton, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express, tied for the floor exercise title with a 9.700. Tying with a 9.650, Natalie Wojcik of Douglasville, Pa./Berks Gymnastic Academy, and Wesley Stephenson of Plainfield, Ill./Legacy Elite Gymnastics LLC, shared top honors on the balance beam. The top finisher on the uneven bars was Rachael Flam of Houston/Stars Gymnastics Training Center-Houston, with a 9.550. Team champion was Region 7 (152.300).

  • Senior B. Alicia Boren of Franklin Lakes, N.J./North Stars Gymnastics Academy, garnered the all-around gold with her 38.700. Boren and Alex McMurtry of Midlothian, Va./Richmond Olympiad Gymnastics, tied on the vault with matching 9.900 scores. Boren and Shannon McNatt of Houston/Stars Gymnastics Training Center-Houston, shared the floor exercise title, scoring a 9.675. Boren completed her day by winning the beam title with a 9.725. Rounding out the all-around medals podium were Elizabeth LeDuc of Plano, Texas/Metroplex Gymnastics, in second (38.325), and Kirah Koshinski of Orangeville, Pa./Northeast Gymnastics Academy, and Haylee Roe of Mesquite, Texas/Metroplex Gymnastics, tied for third with a 38.225. Brooke Kelly of Leeds, Ala./Mountain Brook Gymnastics, took the uneven bars title with a 9.700. The team title went to Region 7 (153.500).

The Women’s National Junior Olympic Championships wrap up May 10 with two sessions, 11:30 a.m., Junior and Senior C, and 5 p.m., Junior and Senior D. The NIT schedule for May 11 is 9 a.m. for Junior and Senior A and B, and 1 p.m. for Junior and Senior C and D. Champions are determined for each session. For more information on the championships, go to msusag.org/jonationals/.

The Junior Olympic National Championships is the culmination event for the competitive season. The competition features eight age divisions (Junior A, Junior B, Junior C, Junior D, Senior A, Senior B, Senior C and Senior D), which are determined by birth date. These gymnasts are vying to become Junior Olympic national champions in the all-around, as well as in all four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.

USA Gymnastics has eight regions, and the top seven gymnasts from each region’s Regional Championships advance to nationals. The winning Regions will also be determined at the conclusion of the competition. The top four all-around athletes in each of the eight age division also qualify to the 2014 Junior Olympic National Team and are invited to attend a National Training Camp at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, a U.S. Olympic Training Site, in Huntsville, Texas.

The U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships is one of the national championships of USA Gymnastics, the sport’s national governing body in the United States. 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. Many of the country’s top gymnasts are former participants in the Junior Olympic program, including 2012 Olympic team champions Jordyn Wieber and Kyla Ross, 2009 World vault champion Kayla Williams, 2008 Olympic team silver-medalists Shawn Johnson and Samantha Peszek, and 2004 Olympic team silver-medalist Courtney McCool, to name a few.

The Junior Olympic NIT was developed to allow an additional 200 athletes an opportunity to compete at the national level and features gymnasts who ranked eighth and ninth in the all-around in each of the eight age divisions at the Level 10 Regional Championships (provided they achieved a minimum all-around score of 34.00), plus any regional individual event champions who did not qualify to the Junior Olympic National Championships or the NIT in the all-around.

The states that comprise each region are: Region 1 — Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah; Region 2 – Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington; Region 3 – Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming; Region 4 – Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin; Region 5 – Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio; Region 6 – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont; Region 7 – Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia; and Region 8 – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee.

Mississippi USA Gymnastics is the host and organizer for both events.