INDIANAPOLIS, March 11, 2015 – USA Gymnastics has selected the sites for 2016’s three Junior Olympic championship events for women’s gymnastics: U.S. National Junior Olympic Championships, Fort Worth, Texas; Junior Olympic Level 9 Eastern Championships, Virginia Beach, Va.; and Junior Olympic Level 9 Western Championships, Missoula, Mont. The Junior Olympics is USA Gymnastics’ age-group, developmental program, and these three events feature the country’s top female gymnasts for Levels 9 and 10.
“The Junior Olympic Championships represent the competitive pinnacle for those athletes,” said Luan Peszek, vice president of women’s program for USA Gymnastics. “I think we have three cities that will make this achievement a special experience for each of the gymnasts who participate in any of these three great events. We look forward to staging the championship events in these three communities next year.”
The U.S. National Junior Olympic Championships is the culmination of the competitive season for Level 10, the highest Junior Olympic skill level that is just below the elite level. The Eastern and Western Championships serve as the pinnacle for Level 9. More details for each of the championship events are outlined below.
Numerous Junior Olympic champions and medalists 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. Many of the country’s top gymnasts are former participants in the Junior Olympic program, including 2012 Olympic team champions Jordyn Wieber and Kyla Ross, 2009 World vault champion Kayla Williams, 2008 Olympic team silver-medalists Shawn Johnson and Samantha Peszek, and 2004 Olympic team silver-medalist Courtney McCool, to name a few.
U.S. National Junior Olympic Championships
The 2016 U.S. National Junior Olympic Championships will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena. Scheduled for May 7-8, the two-day competition is expected to showcase 675 gymnasts.
The Fort Worth Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Metroplex Gymnastics are the local organizations working with USA Gymnastics to stage the event.
“We’re excited and honored to host the 2016 Junior Olympic Nationals Championships for Women,” said Bob Jameson, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Our region is one of the hottest sports markets in the country and this is a great fit for Fort Worth. We look forward to showcasing all of our athletic and visitor amenities to competitors, coaches and fans.”
"Metroplex Gymnastics is excited to host the 2016 Women’s Junior Olympic National Championships,” said Bryan Streeter, owner of Metroplex. "This will be the second time for Metroplex to host this event, and because it was such an enjoyable experience in 2010, we jumped at the opportunity to host it again in 2016. We can’t wait to see everyone in Texas!”
The Junior Olympic National Championships is the culmination event for the competitive season. The competition features 12 age divisions (Junior A, Junior B, Junior C, Junior D, Junior E, Junior F, Senior A, Senior B, Senior C, Senior D, Senior E and Senior F), which are determined by birth date. These gymnasts are vying to become Junior Olympic national champions in the all-around, as well as in all four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. The competition schedule will be determined closer to the event.
USA Gymnastics has eight regions, and the top seven gymnasts in each age division from each region’s Regional Championships advance to nationals. The winning regions will also be determined at the conclusion of the competition.
The states that comprise each region are: Region 1 — Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah; Region 2 – Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington; Region 3 – Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming; Region 4 – Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin; Region 5 – Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio; Region 6 – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont; Region 7 – Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia; and Region 8 – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee.
Women’s Junior Olympic Level 9 Eastern and Western Championships
Slated for April 29-May 1, the Eastern and Western Championships are the competitive season’s finale and feature the best gymnasts in the country for Level 9. The 2016 Junior Olympic Level 9 Eastern Championships are headed to the Virginia Beach Convention Center, and the Junior Olympic Level 9 Western Championships go to the Adams Center at the University of Montana. Both events feature 16 age divisions that are determined by birthdate.
The Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and Ocean Tumblers Gymnastics are organizing the Eastern Championships. The Eastern Championships include the top gymnasts from USA Gymnastics Regions 5-8: Region 5 – Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio; Region 6 – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont; Region 7 – Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia; and Region 8 – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee.
The Western Championships will be hosted locally by Mismo Gymnastics. The Level 9 Western Championships showcases the top gymnasts from Regions 1-4: Region 1 — Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah; Region 2 – Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington; Region 3 – Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming; and Region 4 – Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
The 2015 U.S. Women’s National Junior Olympic Championships for Level 10 are slated for May 15-16 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. The Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament follows the Junior Olympic Championships on May 17. Held May 8-10, the 2015 Women’s Junior Olympic Level 9 Eastern and Western Championships at the Osceola Heritage Park Exhibition Hall in Kissimmee, Fla., and the Spokane (Wash.) Convention Center, respectively.