INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., May 12, 2009 – Nearly 450 of the USA’s best Level 10 gymnasts will compete in the 2009 Women’s U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships May 14-17 at the. Puyallup (Wash.) Fair Showplex. Level 10 gymnasts compete in the highest level in the Junior Olympic program, which is just under the elite level.

USA Gymnastics has eight regions, and the top seven gymnasts from each region’s Regional Championships advance to nationals. 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 winning Regions will also be determined at the conclusion of the competition.

The Junior Olympic National Championships is the culmination event for the competitive season. The competition features eight age divisions (Junior A, Junior B, Junior C, Junior D, Senior A, Senior B, Senior C and Senior D), which are determined by age and birth date.

The competition schedule is: May 15 – 11:30 a.m., Junior and Senior A, and 5 p.m., Junior and Senior B; and May 16 – 11:30 a.m., Junior and Senior C, and 5 p.m., Junior and Senior D. Champions are determined for each session.

All tickets for the championships are general admission, and children under three years of age are admitted free. Ticket prices are: adult, $15 per session or $25 for the weekend; and children (3-12 years of age) and seniors (over 65 years of age), $10 per session or $20 per weekend.

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.

The Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament (NIT) is held in conjunction with the Women’s National Junior Olympic Championships. The JO-NIT was developed to allow an additional 192 athletes an opportunity to compete at the national level and features gymnasts who ranked eighth, ninth and 10th in the all-Around in each of the eight age divisions at the Level 10 Regional Championships (provided they achieved a minimum all-around score of 34.00), plus any Regional individual event champions who did not qualify to the Junior Olympic Nationals or the JO-NIT in the all-around qualify for that event. Competition is on May 17 at the Puyallup Fair Showplex.