© Champion Images

LONG BEACH, Calif., May 6, 2011 – Region 3 won the Level 9 team title at the 2011 U.S. Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships, May 5-8, at the Long Beach (Calif.) Arena. The Level 9 and 10 all-around and individual event finals are May 7-8, respectively.

Region 3, which includes gymnasts from Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, won the Level 9 (12-13) title with a total score of 402.100. Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio) finished second, followed by Region 4 (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin) in the team competition. The Level 9 club champion is WOGA of Plano, Texas, and Cypress Gymnastics Academy of Houston and Premier DG were second and third, respectively.

The top 36 after the all-around prelims advance to the finals on Saturday. The top three following the prelims for Level 9, in rank order, are: Marty Strech of Fountain Valley, Calif./Azarian U.S. Gymnastics, Tristan Burke of Royse City, Texas/WOGA, and Fabian Deluna of Allen, Texas/WOGA.

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 (Aug. 17-20 in Saint Paul, Minn.), where the national teams for both age groups are determined. The top gymnasts in Level 9 are named to the Junior Olympic National Team.

The competition schedule is: May 7, all-around finals and individual event semifinals – 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 8 at 12 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the Long Beach Arena. Several different ticket options are available: all week passes – children 5-15, seniors (55+) and active military immediate family for $70, and adults for $80; opening ceremony (May 4) – children 5-15, seniors (55+) and active military immediate family for $15, and adults for $20; and competition days (May 5-8) – children 5-15, seniors (55+) and active military immediate family for $20, and adults for $25. All children ages four and under are admitted free. ID is required for age-specific and military rates. Tickets are cash or check only. Admission to training sessions on May 2-3 is free.

Azarian US Gymnastics Training Center is the host club for the Junior Olympic Championships. The meet co-directors are Tim and Melany Klempnauer and Roger and Debbie Baldwin.

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.