On April 9-11, more than 1,100 gymnasts will perform 3,000 routines, and complete 5,000 flips and twists at speeds of 15 mph during the 27th annual National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs (NAIGC) National Championships. This year’s championships, in Philadelphia, PA, will be the largest one yet, bringing together male and female gymnasts from over 80 collegiate clubs. With many new individuals and several new clubs in the mix, this will be an exciting event with great gymnastics!
Dates: April 9–11, 2015
Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Preliminary competition: Thursday 8:40 a.m.–5 p.m. and Friday 8:40 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
Finals competition: Saturday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Admission: Free, donations accepted
On the men’s side, only one of the top five medalists from last year return on multiple events (rings, vault, high bar and all-around) creating opportunity for others on the podium. Further, the men’s competition is split into two divisions this year, classic and collegiate.
University of California, Berkeley, University of Minnesota and the NAIGC Alumni clubs are expected to do well in the classic division. Gymnasts to watch for include Sean Chilelli from University of California, Berkeley and Andre Holmes from NAIGC Alumni (previously Penn State University), along with Landon Funicello (William and Mary University), a newcomer to the NAIGC and a three-time NCAA All-American.
In the collegiate division, Temple University’s roster is filled with many ex-NCAA team members and is expected to battle with Arizona State University and University of Oklahoma for the top team spot. Strong all-arounders returning from the 2014 competition include Tommy Trompeter (University of Texas at Dallas), Brian Hoppe (University of Illinois), Ryan Terrill (University of Oklahoma), Zack Mollett (Arizona State University), and Mudeer Habeeb (University of Texas). Bryce Cashell (University of Texas) is returning to the competition this year after missing 2014. He is a favorite on vault after placing first or second four years in a row (2010-2013).
The women’s competition offers both level 8 and level 9. In contrast to the turnover amongst the men, the women’s side welcomes back many of last year’s medalists. A strong contender in the level 8 competition is Lindsay Sanneman from MIT, who finished top five in four events last year. Robin Reeves, 2nd place floor medalist in 2014 from University of Chapel Hill-Wilmington, is also expected to perform well this year.
In the level 9 competition, Maria Hayden from James Madison University is a clear favorite; she dominated in 2014 by grabbing the beam, floor and all-around titles, while placing 2nd on bars. On floor, Maria will be pursuing her third-straight national title. The women’s bars and floor competitions are sure to be exciting with four out of the five top finishers from 2014 returning. On bars, watch for Molley Stuckey (NAIGC Alumni), Maria Hayden (JMU), Rebecca Griffin (University of Rhode Island), and Allison Tran (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Returning medalists on floor include Maria Hayden (JMU), Christine Askham (Boulder Gymnastics at the University of Colorado), Kaitlin Dore (UCLA), and Mieley Conrad (Ohio State University). The battle in the team competition will likely be between James Madison University and University of Rhode Island. These teams finished top two in 2014 and are returning many of their top gymnasts.
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 incorporated as a non-profit and elected its first Board of Directors. 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 a variety of technological and administrative services.
Club membership in the NAIGC is open to any collegiate and/or adult gymnastics club in the United States. Individual membership is open to anyone with an interest in club gymnastics. For more information, visit naigc.net.