LOUISVILLE, Ky. (February 25, 2023) – Reigning Elite Team Cup champions Region 1 held off a surging Region 8 squad to claim their second-straight team title, while 2022 U.S. junior men’s 16-year-old division champion Kai Uemura pocketed the all-around crown Saturday in Louisville. Apparatus champions will be decided Sunday as competition wraps at Freedom Hall.
Region 1, which spans Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, earned high marks on floor exercise (53.255) and horizontal bar (53.007) en route to a combined 311.943 and the 2023 crown. The team, which returned four members of the champion 2022 squad – Colin Flores (Mountain House, Calif./West Coast Olympic Gymnastics Academy), Tyler Flores (Mountain House, Calif./West Coast Olympic Gymnastics Academy), Zachary Green (San Jose, Calif./Stanford Boys’ Gymnastics) and Maxwell Odden (Scottsdale, Ariz./North Valley Gymnastics) – and added 2021 Elite Team Cup veteran Toma Murakawa (Van Nuys, Calif./Gymnastics Olympica USA) and U.S. Level 9 13-14 Year-Old National Team member Nathan Roman (Poway, Calif./Agility Kids), was bolstered by standout individual performances by Green and Odden, who finished third and fifth in the all-around, respectively.
Despite a monster vault rotation (56.166) to close out the night, Region 8, led by all-around runner up Garrett Schooley (Sarasota, Fla./EVO Gymnastics), fell just short, finishing less than a point out of the top spot with a score of 311.081. The Region 8 team, made up of Jaden Blank (Lakewood Ranch, Fla./EVO Gymnastics), Alex Karadzhov (Saint Petersburg, Fla./EVO Gymnastics), Matthew Nguyen (Sugarland, Texas/Roswell Gymnastics), Jake Prabhakaran (Tampa, Fla./EVO Gymnastics), Schooley and Dylan Shepard (Casselberry, Fla./Gymnastics USA), also posted the evening’s top performance on pommel horse with a cumulative 50.761.
Region 5, represented by Sasha Bogonosiuk (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Gymkhana Gymnastics), Noah Copeland (Lancaster, Ohio/Hocking Valley Gymnastics), Carson Eshleman (Monroe, Mich./Michigan Elite Gymnastics), Devin Gopaul (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Gymkhana Gymnastics), Cooper Kim (Grand Ledge, Mich./Capital City Flips) and Uemura (Chicago, Ill./Lakeshore Academy of Artistic Gymnastics), finished third (306.612). Region 9 garnered the evening’s best showing on still rings with a 52.518, while Region 3 led the way on parallel bars (52.387).
© John Cheng
The Elite Team Cup is held in conjunction with USA Gymnastics’ annual Winter Cup and individual performances determine the Winter Cup junior men’s all-around champion. In addition to picking up his first team medal, Uemura (79.229), who previously earned all-around silver in 2021 and bronze in 2022, completed the full set Saturday evening, nosing Schooley (76.580), the 2022 all-around silver medalist, and Green (77.573) out of the top spot.
The top-seven gymnasts on each apparatus also earned the opportunity to compete for individual Winter Cup event titles Sunday evening alongside their senior counterparts. Uemura’s 14.442 set the bar on horizontal bar, while Schooley topped the standings on vault with a 15.066. Odden garnered high marks on floor exercise with a 13.850. Nguyen’s 13.161 on pommel horse led all scorers, and Ty Jordan (Morrison, Colo./5280 Gymnastics) landed atop the field on still rings (13.926). Solen Chiodi (Marquette, Mich./Mini-Hops Gymnastics) was the only gymnast to break the 14-point mark on parallel bars, earning a 14.013. In total 25 junior athletes have qualified to compete Sunday across the six apparatus.
Junior women will lead off the final day of Winter Cup at noon ET. Men’s Day 2 will follow at 5:30 p.m. ET. Both competitions will stream live on USA Gymnastics’ YouTube Channel.
Men’s regions, which are determined by state, are listed below.
- Region 1 – Arizona, California, Hawaii, 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