The lure of flipping high in the birthplace of aviation is drawing gymnasts from around the country to Columbus, OH this week. The National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs (NAIGC) is expecting its 29th annual National Championships to be the largest one yet. This year’s event will showcase over 1,300 men’s and women’s gymnastics competitors from nearly 100 collegiate and adult clubs throughout the nation. With many new individuals and several new clubs this year, along with many returning favorites, this will be an actionpacked event with great gymnastics for everyone to enjoy!
Dates: Thursday, April 6th – Saturday, April 8th, 2017
Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center , 400 North High St., Columbus, OH 43215
Preliminary Competition: Thursday – Friday 8:30a.m. – 9p.m.
Finals Competition: Saturday 11a.m. – 4p.m.
Admission: Free, with donations accepted
The Championships will feature competition in USAG Levels 6, 8, and 9 in the Open Division for women, and Modified NCAA Level in the Collegiate and Open Divisions for men, along with a new Developmental Level for men as well. There will be six preliminary sessions of competition, and then top competitors will qualify through to Finals to determine the winners in the Team, All-Around, and Individual Event categories.
Sizing up the competition for this year, many favorites are returning across the board. In the Men’s Open Modified NCAA, 2016 1st place All-Arounder Dalton Byerly from Purdue University will be back to defend his title. The NAIGC Alumni team, despite missing some key contributors from last year, will look to defend their team title against contenders Purdue University and Kennesaw State University. A new All-Around champion will be crowned in the Men’s Collegiate Modified NCAA this year, and 2016 2nd place finisher Jacob Welsh of Temple University is primed for the top spot. The Team competition will be exciting with University of Oklahoma, Temple University, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University all vying for top honors.
In the Women’s competition, all of the top eight Level 9 All-Arounders are returning this year, including 2016 1st place finisher Victoria Henderson of UC Davis. Her team, along with the other top teams from last year, University of Rhode Island, James Madison University, and Texas A&M University, are all looking to be on top of the podium again this year. The Women’s Level 8 meet expects to see three of the top five All-Arounders from last year, with 2016 2nd place finisher Jacqueline Holland from University of Texas being the top returner. All five of the top teams from 2016, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Michigan State University, Cambridge Community Gymnastics, and Miami University are returning with very little turnover from last year, to make it a tight competition once again.
New developments this year include:
- Welcoming an international team to the championships, the Universite Catholique de Louvain from Belgium, bringing a full team to the Women’s Level 8 competitionÍ¾
- Pioneering a new type of competition this year, the Gymnastics Decathlon, in which gymnasts will compete all ten apparatuses of the men’s and women’s disciplines, for one combined All-Around score expect Julia Sharpe of MIT and Justin Powers of the NAIGC Alumni to compete for the top spotÍ¾ and
- Presenting six special recognition awards, in addition to the customary awards given out at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night: The Regional Club of the Year Award, The Athlete of the Year Award, The Scholar Athlete Award, The Four-Year Senior Award, The NAIGC Service Award, and The Nationals Longevity Award.
About the NAIGC:
The National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs (NAIGC) is dedicated to the promotion and support of collegiate and adult club gymnastics, “For the Love of the Sport.” The NAIGC hosted its first annual national championships in 1989. In 2006, the NAIGC elected its first Board of Directors and incorporated as a nonprofit. The NAIGC was recognized as a tax-exempt public charity in 2008.
Today, an elected Board of Directors, alongside its Advisors, runs the NAIGC. Most of these dedicated volunteers are current and former college club gymnasts. The NAIGC hosts this annual National Championship meet, as well as other gymnastics events throughout the year and supports its member clubs with variety of technological and administrative services.
Club Membership in the NAIGC is open to any collegiate and/or adult community gymnastics club in the United States. Individual Membership is open to any interested person over the age of 18, or any 17 year-old who is enrolled in a college or university. For more information, visit www.naigc.net/nationals.php.