KISSIMMEE, Fla., May 15, 2016 – The champions in Level 8 and 9 for the Junior Elite and Junior Olympic divisions were crowned last night at the 2017 U.S. Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla.

In the junior elite division, athletes compete one day of optional routines followed by technical sequences, which were held Sunday. The following athletes won the Level 8 and 9 all-around titles for each age group.

  • Level 8, age 11: Vahe Petrosyan of Van Nuys, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica USA, 135.250
  • Level 8, age 12: Joshua Karnes of Erie, Pa./Lakettes Gymnastic Academy, 139.750
  • Level 9, age 13: Asher Hong of Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics Frisco, 138.650
  • Level 9, age 14: Dallas Hale of Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics Frisco, 138.950

After two days of optional Level 8 and 9 Junior Olympic division competition, the all-around champions are as follows.

  • Level 8, age 12: Colin Flores of Mountain House, Calif./West Coast Olympic Gymnastics Academy, 152.000
  • Level 9, age 13: Palmer Wright of Edmond, Okla./Dynamo Gymnastics, 147.200
  • Level 9, age 14: Matthew Romalia of Highlands Ranch, Colo./5280 Gymnastics South, 155.700

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. 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 Paul Hamm, 2004 Olympic all-around champion; Jonathan Horton, 2008 Olympic horizontal bar silver medalist and 2010 World all-around bronze medalist; and Danell Leyva, three-time Olympic medalist.