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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., May 12, 2018 – Gymnasts in Levels 8-9 competed yesterday at the 2018 U.S. Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships, which wrap up May 13, at the Cox Business Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. Region 3 and Region 7 won the Level 8 and 9 Junior Elite Regional Team titles, respectively, with Gymnastics Olympica and West Coast Olympic Gymnastics Academy claiming the Level 8 and 9 Club Team crowns, respectively. Competition continues today with the Level 10 all-around and event finals.

For Level 8, Region 3 (Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas) won the team title with a 238.100 total. Second place went to Region 1 (Arizona, Hawaii, California, Nevada) at 237.300. Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio) rounded out the top three at 233.500. Region 7 (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia) tallied a 234.000 team total for the top spot for Level 9. Region 3 scored 233.200 to garner second, followed by Region 5 in third at 233.050.

Gymnastics Olympica, based in Van Nuys, Calif., clinched the Level 8 Club Team title with a 231.600. At 230.150, Cypress (Texas) Academy of Gymnastics claimed the runner-up spot. WOGA Frisco (Texas) took third at 228.800. For Level 9, West Coast Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Pleasanton, Calif., earned 224.400 and team honors. Gymnastics Olympica grabbed second with a 221.150. Located in Oswego, Ill., Premier West landed in third with a 220.850.

The Level 8-9 leaders in the all-around standings after the preliminary sessions are listed below.

Junior Elite

  • Level 8, 11 years old: Jaden Bottarini, Valley Village, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica USA, 77.700
  • Level 8, 12 years old: Ian Sandoval, Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, 79.200
  • Level 9, 13 years old: Joshua Karnes, Erie, Pa./Lakettes Gymnastic Academy, 80.300
  • Level 9, 14 years old: Ian Lasic-Ellis, Dover, Mass./Massachusetts Elite Gymnastics Academy, 78.850

Junior Olympic

  • Level 8, 12 years old: Jonathan Yakel, Pewaukee, Wis./Salto Gymnastics Center, 74.450
  • Level 9, 13 years old: Robert Noll Jr., Shelby Township, Mich./Olympia Gymnastics Academy, 73.100
  • Level 9, 14 years old: Justin Ciccone, Rochester, N.Y./Bright Raven Gymnastics Inc., 74.800

The remaining schedule is: May 12 – two sessions of Level 10 all-around and individual event finals, 9:50 a.m. (Junior Elite) and 2:50 p.m. (Junior Olympic): and May 13 – two Level 8-9 all-around and individual event finals, 8:50 a.m. (Junior Elite) and 2:05 p.m. (Junior Olympic).

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 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships (Aug. 16-18 in Boston, Mass.), 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.

Athletes can qualify to finals in the Junior Olympic Division one of two ways. For each Junior Olympic age division, they must be in the top six from prelims on an individual event or in the top 36 in the all-around. The combined score from the preliminary session and the final session will determine the all-around and individual event final rankings.

On Saturday, 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 the Level 9 Junior Elite athletes compete on Sunday to determine the respective all-around and event champions.

The meet coordinator is Ben Fox and Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy 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, 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 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.