Competition begins today at Men's Junior Olympic Nationals
posted on 05/08/2014

LONG BEACH, Calif., May 8, 2014 -- More than 750 of the USA's top Level 8, 9 and 10 male gymnasts will compete in the 2014 U.S. Men's Junior Olympic National Championships, May 8-11, at the Long Beach (Calif.) Arena. The event features competition in regional team, all-around and individual apparatus. Opening ceremonies were held last night.

Defending champion and current senior national team member Marvin Kimble of Milwaukee, Wis./Swiss Turners, is expected to compete.

For a complete list of competitors by session, click here.

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 are a qualifier to the P&G Gymnastics Championships (Aug. 21-24 in Pittsburgh, Pa.) where the Level 10 Junior National Team will be determined. Six Level 8 and ten Level 9 gymnasts from the Junior Elite Division will be named to the Level 8/9 Junior Olympic National Team at the conclusion of the Junior Olympic Nationals.

Competition begins today with three Level 10 sessions. Levels 8 and 9 get underway on May 9, also with three sessions of competition.

In the Junior Olympic division, the top 24 all-around qualifiers, plus the top 12 individual event qualifiers in each age group, advance to Saturday's Level 10 and Sunday's Level 8/9 Junior Olympic Division all-around and individual event finals.

On Saturday, the top 42 Level 10 Junior Elite athletes from each age division compete to determine the Level 10 Junior Elite Division all-around and event champions. The top 42 Level 8 and the top 42 Level 9 Junior Elite athletes compete on Sunday to determine the respective all-around and event champions.

The meet directors are Tim and Melany Klempnauer and Roger and Debbie Baldwin.

Tickets may be purchased at the Long Beach Arena ticket office.

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 Paul Hamm, 2004 Olympic all-around champion; Jonathan Horton, 2008 Olympic horizontal bar silver medalist and 2010 World all-around bronze medalist; and Danell Leyva, 2012 Olympic all-around bronze medalist.