INDIANAPOLIS, May 7, 2018 – Nearly 800 of the USA’s top Level 8, 9 and 10 male gymnasts will compete at the 2018 U.S. Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships, May 10-13, at the Cox Business Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. The event features competition in regional team, all-around and individual events.
Ten champions from 2017 are expected to compete this year (athletes are listed alphabetically and includes competition level for this year): Brandon Briones of Gilbert, Ariz./Aspire Kids Sports Center, Level 10/Junior Elite/17-18; Casimir Buske of Madison, Wis./Salto Gymnastics Center, Level 10/Junior Olympic/17-18; Colin Flores of Mountain House, Calif./West Coast Olympic Gymnastics Academy, Level 9/Junior Elite/13-14; Dallas Hale of Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics, Level 10/Junior Elite/ 15-16; Joshua Karnes, Erie, Pa./Lakettes Gymnastic Academy, Level 9/Junior Elite/13-14; Jimmy Mitchell of Middleton, Mass./Yellow Jacket Gymnastics Club, Level 10/Junior Elite/17-18; Vahe Petrosyan of Van Nuys, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica USA, Level 8/Junior Elite/11-12; Matthew Romalia of Highlands Ranch, Colo./5280 Gymnastics, Level 10/Junior Olympic/15-16; Maxim Ryzhuk of Las Vegas, Nev./Vitaly Scherbo School of Gymnastics, Level 10/Junior Olympic/15-16; and Palmer Wright of Edmond, Okla./Dynamo Gymnastics, Level 9/Junior Elite/13-14.
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.
In the Junior Olympic division, the top 36 all-around qualifiers in each single age, plus the top six individual event qualifiers in each single age, advance to Saturday’s Level 10 and Sunday’s Level 8/9 Junior Olympic Division all-around and individual event finals. The combined score from the preliminary session and the finals session will be used to 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.
Competition begins May 10 with three Level 10 preliminary sessions at 8:50 a.m., 1:20 p.m., and 5:50 p.m. (Junior Elite). The remaining schedule is: May 11 – three Level 8-9 preliminary sessions at 8:50 a.m., 1:05 p.m., and 5:20 p.m. (Junior Elite); 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 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.