Today was the beginning of the process to determine who would qualify onto the premier event…The JO National Championships. In sessions 1 & 2 six age groups qualified 7 gymnasts to represent Region 5 in Texas. Each session had there ups & downs, however each kid had fire in there eyes and determination in their belly’s and were not going to give up on anything. True character is built during those tough times that you are required to push through and persevere.
The first two sessions also were filled with beautify, elegance, grace and of course big gymnastics. Going forward to day 2 we will see 6 more age groups with the same fire and determination, so here are the day 1 highlights and here’s to Region 5 and creating a legacy.
Unique Beam Mounts and Dismounts
One thing that really stood out for me today was the enormous number of unique beam mounts and dismounts, usually when it comes to mounting the beam the gymnast will play it safe and just jump onto the beam or swing their leg over to a straddle position, it was great to see some interesting mounts requiring balance, strength and some risk. Allison Richardson from Integrity leapt up onto the beam from the end, Abigail Mathews from CGA showed great control and flexibility in her mount. It is great to see the girls being unique and showing their talents.
Generally, the typical dismount for a high level gymnast is a round off with some sort of flipping and twisting. That was not the case today, I say so many different kinds of beam dismounts I could not even keep track of them all. It was very refreshing to see the girls setting themselves apart and trying to stand out from the rest. I loved seeing the double series into dismounts, the gainer off the end and gainers off the side. Ally Hoyer’s cartwheel gainer double full was the highlight session 2!
Beam & Floor Beauty
Session 1 & 2 also highlighted some extremely beautiful beam and floor routines, with exquisite lines, expression and showmanship. Tessa Phillips from Gym World fully embodies these characteristics on both beam and floor, it is hard not to love her gymnastics, she knows how to really pull you into whatever she is doing. The same can be said about Lexi Funk’s (IGI) beam routine and Jade Brown’s (Twistars) floor. Both are just simply amazing! That you cannot take your eyes away from them, especially with the big tumbling on both. I love the confidence that Lexi displayed today on the beam, very sure of herself from the beginning all the way to her double full dismount. I love to see confidence of a fierce warrior on the beam along with the beauty and grace of a swan. so many of our Region 5 Level 10s certainly know how to accomplish this combination and this is what makes them stand out on the National Stage. Rachel Dickson (MEGA), Alecia Farina (Gym World), Abigail Mathews (CGA), Tessa Phillips (Gym World), Sarah Smith (JPAC), Gabby Williams (IK), and Ally Hoyer (Ultimate) are just a few who have found the balance of the beam and exhibit some pretty sensational routines.
High Flying Vault
Vault is one of my favorite events, so I am naturally drawn to it while filming. I love the girls who throw different vaults of course, like Anne Maxim (Olympia) & Courtney Taylor’s (JPAC) Vaults, but I also love to see the high flying vaults that literally are in the rafters. Rachel Dickson (MEGA), Sarah Smith (JPAC), Mia Lord (DeVeau’s), Brittany Lewis (Twistars), Sophie Bochenek & Kara Roberts (Splitz) & Jade Brown (Twistars) all perform high flying Yurckeno fulls, which of course I absolutely love. Vaulting done right is literally like flying.
The amount of unique bar skills and combos in the first two level 10 sessions was impressive, Abigail Mathews from CGA has a couple interesting combinations in her jammed packed routine, Kaci Martir (CGA) also displayed a great combination of Yeager to Bail, she fell during her routine, however her transition combination was stellar.
Every now and then people are going to wobble on the beam, this naturally happens when you are throwing the big skills. However, it is how you handle what happened if the big skills do not do as planned. It is the fight that makes you a stronger gymnast and competitor, there were quit a few wobbles all across the board this morning/afternoon on the balance beam, however it was those who chose to fight and not give up with ended up winning with gravity and stayed on top of the beam. These are the ones that I admire the young ladies who do not just jump off the beam when something doesn’t go right,sometimes you cannot control the fall but it is those that go down with a fight that I admire. I love to see the fight in the gymnasts, and how accomplished they feel when they conquer the wobble and pull through the fall to become successful. There were many today that overcame, fought hard and conquered the beam, this for them was the difference between making JO Nationals and not.
Leo List Excitement
My favorite part of the weekend is putting together my Top 10 Favorite Leotards of Region 5 List, I started this list in 2014 and have seen it continue to grow and become something special. It made me so happy that so many gymnasts and coaches really love the list, the enthusiasm the girls had when I came to take their pictures was so awesome! They were excited to be contenders on the list. Many teams told me they had been waiting all session for me to come take their picture and even prolonged taking off their leos just in case. It felt so good to hear the girls tell me how they really wanted to have their picture taken and how they were excited to be considered. I cannot wait to finish the list and see who makes it! Stay tuned for my favorites!!!
Day 1 was such a great meet day filled with some awesome gymnastics, great cheering and amazing memories being made. I cannot wait to see what tomorrow holds for the next 6 level 10 ages groups trying to earn their spots to the premier event.
Senior A Dream Team
- Bridget Killian, Legacy Elite 37.825
- Abigail Mathews, CGA 37.800
- Lauren Bottrell, Splitz 37.200
- Kelsey Kurtiak, AGA 36.925
- Jenna Swartzengruber, Buckeye 36.725
- Aleah Leman, Energym 36.400
- Kara Roberts, Splitz 35.725
- Madison Trott, 35.725
Senior B Dream Team
- Anastasia Webb, IGI 38.375
- Anna Dayton, Twistars USA 37.00
- Grace Cough, JPAC 36.800
- Caitlin Banick, Gym X-treme 36.625
- Victoria Stotz, IGI 36.475
- Emma Hansen, Queen City 36.375
- Samantha Gallet, BIG 36.200
- Tessa Phillips, GW 36.150
Senior C Dream Team
- Anne Maxim, Olympia 37.800
- Nasha Manitkul-Davis, JPAC 36.775
- Anna Warhol, Youngstown 36.575
- Madison McHale, Legacy Elite 36.500
- Taylor Dittmar, World Class 36.450
- Mackenzie Harris, AGA 36.275
- Darby Nelson, CGA 36.250
- Paige Kovenesky, New Heights 35.825
Senior D Dream Team
- Sarah Smith, JPAC 37.925
- Allison Richardson, Integrity 37.425
- Cinny Lamberti, The Gymnastics Factory 37.275
- Emili Dobronics, United Gymnastics Academy 37.225
- Mia Lord, DeVeau’s 37.050
- Gracen Standley, CGA 36.975
- Cameron Topp, Champion USA 36.800
- Hunter Vincent, Aerial Gymnastics 36.275
Senior E Dream Team
- Lexi Funk, IGI 38.075
- Alecia Farina, Gym World 37.700
- Jade Brown, Twistars USA 37.575
- Gabrielle Cooke, IK Gymnastics 37.400
- Laura Burns, Legacy Elite 37.100
- Anna Marema, Phenom Gymnastics 36.625
- Daniela Maciel, Gym Kinetics 36.575
- Kellie Flavin, BIG 36.525
Senior F Dream Team
- Rachel Dickson, MEGA 38.375
- Christina Berg, Legacy Elite 38.200
- Olivia Aepli, Buckeye 37.775
- Michaela Burton, Legacy Elite 37.550
- Amelia Mohler, United Gymnastics Academy 37.525
- Taylor Buis, Champion USA 37.100
- Ally Hoyer, Ultimate 36.750
- Courteney Taylor, JPAC 36.750
Up Tomorrow Day 2!……. Six more age group & 7 more spots up for grabs