Men's Junior Olympic Championships begin today in Cincinnati
posted on 05/10/2012

CINCINNATI, Ohio, May 10, 2012 - More than 700 of the USA's top Level 9 and 10 gymnasts will compete in the 2012 P&G U.S. Men's Junior Olympic National Championships, May 10-13, at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. The event features competition in regional team, all-around and individual apparatus. Opening ceremonies are at 7 p.m. on May 9.

Defending champions Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla./U.S. Olympic Training Center, who won the Level 10 14-15 all-around title in 2011, and Level 9 all-around champion Marty Strech of Fountain Valley, Calif./Azarian U.S. Gymnastics, who is now a Level 10, are expected to compete.

For a complete list of competitors, click here.

The levels are determined by age and skill level. Level 10 is split into two age groups, 14-15 years old and 16-18 years old, while Level 9 has only 12-13 years old. The Junior Olympic National Championships are a qualifier for Level 10 gymnasts to advance to the Visa Championships (June 7-10 in St. Louis, Mo.), where the national teams for both age groups are determined. The top gymnasts in Level 9 are named to the Junior Olympic National Team.

Level 10 and Level 9 athletes compete on May 10 and 11, respectively, and each day has two sessions of individual event qualification, followed by regional team finals. The competition schedule is: May 10, Level 10 (14-15 and 16-18) Acaa 8:20 a.m. and 12:50 p.m., preliminary rounds, and 5:35 p.m., team finals; May 11, Level 9 Acaa 8:20 a.m. and 1:10 p.m., prelims, and 6:05 p.m., team finals; May 12, all-around finals and individual event semifinals Acaa Level 10 (ages 14-15) at 10 a.m., Level 10 (ages 16-18) at 2:30 p.m. and Level 9 at 7:15 p.m. Concluding the Men's Junior Olympic National Championships are the individual event finals for all levels on May 13 at 11:30 a.m.

Queen City Gymnastics is the host club for the Junior Olympic Championships. The meet co-directors are Keith Pettit and Marilouise Beeman.

Tickets may be purchased online. Click here to visit the online box office.

To advance to the Junior Olympic National Championships, gymnasts compete in state and regional championships and qualify based on their all-around or multiple-event scores, or through regional allotment. For more information on the event, click here.

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 medal winning 2004 (silver) and 2008 (bronze) U.S. Olympic Teams are past Junior Olympic National Championships participants, including Paul Hamm, 2004 Olympic all-around champion, and Jonathan Horton, 2008 Olympic horizontal bar silver medalist and 2010 World all-around bronze medalist.