LONG BEACH, Calif., May 8, 2011 – Marty Strech of Fountain Valley, Calif./Azarian U.S. Gymnastics, thrilled his hometown crowd when he won the Level 9 all-around title at the 2011 U.S. Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships at the Long Beach (Calif.) Arena. The competition concludes later today with the Level 9 and 10 individual event finals.
Strech, who was second in the all-around in 2010, won the gold medal with his 168.450 two-day total. WOGA’s Tristan Burke of Royse City, Texas, earned the silver medal at 167.150, followed by David Jessen of East Greenwich, R.I./Rhode Island Sports Elite at 164.850. Strech qualified for all six event finals. In the horizontal bar, Strech and Jessen tied at 27.100, but Jessen was ranked first due to the tie-breaker. Jessen also advanced to the event finals for floor exercise, still rings and parallel bars. Burke, who posted the best two-day total for the vault (31.850), moved to the event finals for three events, pommel horse, still rings and vault. The top 36 in the all-around prelims advanced to the finals and scores from both days counted equally for the all-around. The top six athletes for each apparatus, ranked based on two-day totals after the all-around finals and event semifinals, qualified for the individual event finals. Scores do not carry over to the individual event finals.
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 wraps up with the individual event finals for all levels on May 8 at 12 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased at the Long Beach Arena – $20 for children 5-15, seniors (55+) and active military immediate family, and $25 for adults. All children aged four and under are admitted free. ID is required for age-specific and military rates. Tickets are cash or check only.
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.