The 2016 Region 5 Championships has now concluded for the Level 10s, 4 Sessions, 12 Age Groups and over 84 athletes have earned their Dream Team spots to compete at the 2016 JO National Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. Day 2 wrapped up yesterday with two junior sessions. The junior age groups are some of the most competitive age groups in the country, with loads of talent, super big skills and of course the beauty and grace that is artistic gymnastics. Sometimes it is hard to believe that most of these juniors are under 14 years old age.
Just like after day 1, I will be highlighting some of my favorite moments from the second day of Level 10 competition and share with you the Junior Dream Team Members. Day 1 highlights click here
The Power of Gabryel Wilson
For me one of the first major highlights of the meet comes from MAG’s Gabryel Wilson, Gabby is a 2nd year Level 10 who has earned her 2 trip to JO Nationals, for anyone who has seen Gabby compete you certainly have been witness to the extreme power that she displays on every event even bars. I am literally always blown away by Gabby’s vault, beam and floor. On vault she is one of only 2 gymnasts that were in this weekends competition who performed a Yurchenko 1 1/2. Gabby is so full of power that she runs like a gazelle down the runway only to explode into the air like it is nothing. She takes this same power over to the balance beam when displaying her 180 straddle jump that effortlessly floats above the beam, however the true highlight of her beam routine is her double pike dismount that she pretty much just takes one step into it, which is pretty amazing. Her floor too is full of extreme power, and she can open her routine with two crazy powerful passes, a double layout or a tuck full-in. She also ends her routine with a huge double pike. However Gabby’s power can sometimes be uncontrollable. I would love to see Gabby open her routine with her double layout and end it with a piked full-in. She has the power and ability to certainly perform these two passes, she is a young level 10, so maybe someday she will be adding these passes to her routine. We will have to wait and see.
Mayleigh Vanderbeek from Champion USA has sure come a long way in the last few years. She has grown up and matured and so has her gymnastics. Watching Mayleigh perform on the beam and floor you can see how far she has come and how much she truly enjoys what she is doing. I have always loved watching her because of her infectious personality, she always has me laughing and smiling when I see her at meets. Watching her yesterday though, I really realized how effortless she makes her gymnastics look. When she performs her floor routine she does it with such ease and lightness. She just floats and flows through everything she does and she has beautiful long arms, legs and lines to help emphasize her jumps, leaps and dance movements. It was simply wonderful to watch and experience.
CGA Bars & Beam
CGA has certainly impressed me during these Regional Championships, I have always known that CGA was an exceptional gym, I mean how can they not be they have produced numerous accomplished gymnasts. This weekend I truly got to take in and experience their overall beauty on the balance beam and their stunning and difficult routines on the uneven bars. CGA is certainly a force to be reckoned with there is no doubt about that. Many of their girls had great bar combinations and multiple combinations. Abigail Mathews, Gracen Standley and Sarah Hargrove are three that stuck out in my mind because of their bar combinations that they also perform with near flawless form.
Just like their bars their beam is equally if not more impressive, the ladies from CGA as a team are simply gorgeous on beam. Each and every single girl performs their routines beautifully with great extension, focus, artistry and expression and not just in their dance, but their tumbling skills as well. From the beginning to the end it is a true performance, they are flawless, I could not take my eyes off of them. Whatever the CGA staff is doing to get these girls to perform like that they are absolutely doing something right. I would love to know their secret because as I told the coaches today as a whole every single one is beautiful and you can really tell how much work they put in each and everyday to their routines and not the just the big stuff, but the small stuff too.
IK’s Unique Skills & Routines
IK Gymnastics blows my mind, I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about their gymnastics. Almost every girl that I have seen from IK does something unique or different in their routines. I was always a huge fan of Olivia Karas, her gymnastics was just so unique and different you couldn’t help but watch. That is exactly how I feel about Helen Hu, her beam and floor are like a Cirque Du Soliel performance. Helen is so beautiful and flexible she can put her body in positions no human being should be able to do. It is so absolutely refreshing to watch her because even though I have seen her routines before, on the internet or social media, it is just not the same as seeing them in person. Gabby Cooke and Avery Faulkner both respectively have some pretty unique skills as well. Gabby does an attitude turn on beam and Avery’s floor routine is beautiful. Avery kind of reminds me of Samantha Peszek. I always look forward to seeing IK at competitions.
Large amount of twisting vaults
The junior sessions today provided us with some pretty exciting gymnastics. The abundance of twisting vaults was awesome, many more it seemed than in the senior competition yesterday. Some amazing stand out vaults today came from Makarri Doggette (9.850), Gabby Wilson (9.80), Kai Rivers (9.775), Payton Richards (9.750), Maitlyn Waligora (9.650) and Carissa Ludwig (9.650). I really love seeing these high flying vaults, they defiantly make the competition more interesting and exciting to see these young athletes performing such difficult vaults incredibly well at such young ages. Vault has always been one of my favorite events so I am always drawn to that event during the Level 10 sessions.
Payton Richards “Big Gymnastics”
Payton Richards from Aerial Gymnastics won the Junior E age group with a huge 38.725. She scored a 9.700 plus on 3 out of the 4 events, her lowest score of the day was a 9. 575 on floor, for some people her lowest score is their highest score. Payton certainly displayed some “BIG” Gymnastics, each event was bigger than the last. Her full twisting yurchenko was done so flawlessly that the only major deduction was the hop on the landing. Her beam too completely blew me away with the amazing tumbling skills and her series into her double full dismount. I really see big things in the future for this very talented young gymnast. I can’t wait to see what skills she will bring to competition next year. Being a Junior E she still has many great years of gymnastics ahead of her and I can only imagine the type of skills she has the potential to put into her routines. Interview
Teams who qualified 100%
There were a few teams this weekend that put it all together at the right time and qualified 100% of their athletes to JO Nationals. I was really impressed with these teams, because they were small teams, but with big consistent gymnastics. They showed that every person on their team was great and had the ability it do when it mattered and move onto the big show. Champion USA (Michigan), brought 3 girls to Regionals and all three girls qualified to Nationals for the first time (Taylor Buis, Mayleigh Vanderbeek, Cami Topp). Gym X-Treme brought 4 athletes to Regionals and they too qualified all 4 to Nationals (Avery Stoll, Emma Pritchard, Gianna Gerdes, Caitlin Banick) and Olympia brought 3 and qualified 3 (Anne Maxim, Isabel Redmond, Maitlyn Waligora). It is pretty awesome when club teammates get to go to nationals together and experience being Region teammates at JO Nationals.
Congratulations to all the girls who competed on day 2 of the 2016 Region 5 Championships. Region 5 is one of the best Regions in the country and we are always striving to up hold our tradition and “Create a Legacy”. Let’s go to Nationals and kill it like we always do because we are “Straight Outta Region 5”
Region 5 2016 JO National Qualifiers!!
Junior A Dream Team
- Reese Samuelson, GAR 37.700
- Lillian Lippeatt, CGA 37.650
- Madison Snook, Legacy Elite 37. 400
- Kady Fitzgibbon, UGA 37.200
- Grace King, AGA 37.125
- Halle Faulkner, MAG 37.100
- Marguerite Mace, CGA 36.775
- Kaitlin Grimes, BIG 36.650 (will represent Region 2)
- Jenni Anderson, MEGA 36.400 (Alternate)
- Nikki Beckwith, Buckeye 36.100 (Alternate)
Junior B Dream Team
- Delanie Harkness, Twistars USA 37.825
- Emma Pritchard, Gym X-Treme 37.725
- Riley Milbrandt, Legacy Elite 37.325
- Gillian Rutz, Perfection 37.325
- Gianna Gerdes, Gym X-Treme 37.250
- Adriana Bustelo, CGA 37.150
- Hannah Nam, CGA 37. 025
- Erin Harty, GAR 36.875 (Alternate)
- Kendall George, Buckeye 36.8 (Alternate)
Junior C Dream Team
- Andrea Li, Legacy Elite 38.675
- Matilyn Waligora, Olympia 38.400
- Sierra Brooks, Aspire 37.875
- Helen Hu, IK Gymnastics 37.725
- Chloe Bellmore, Twistars USA 37.650
- Dani Petrousek, GAR 37.525
- Mickayla Stuckey, CGA 37.500
- Samantha Medel, Legacy Elite 37.500
- Audry Rodriguez, Twistars USA 37.400 (Alternate)
- Brookelyn Sears, TOPS Gymnastics 37.250 (Alternate)
Junior D Dream Team
- Kai Rivers, Twistars USA 38.350
- Gabryel Wilson, MAG 38.050
- Leah Clapper, Gym America 37.575
- Isabel Redmond, Olympia 37.00
- Mayleigh Vanderbeek, Champion USA 36.875
- Mykenna Toungate, JPAC 36.525
- Julia Waight, Phenom 36.500
- Leayla Liebich, Libertyville 36.325 (Alternate)
- Grace Kaiding, Stars & Stripes 36.200(Alternate)
Junior E Dream Team
- Payton Richards, Aerial 38.725
- Makarri Doggette, Buckeye 37.900
- Brenna Hauser, JPAC 37.350
- Emily Carless, Branch Gymnastics 36.925
- Jori Jackard, Twistars USA 36.900
- Hadyn Crossen, JPAC 36.850
- Avery Stoll, Gym X-Treme 36.825
- Lauren Beckwith, Buckeye 36.750 (Alternate)
- Maddie Griffith, Naperville 36.600 (Alternate)
Junior F Dream Team
- Claire Gagliardi, Olympic Dream 38.00
- Sarah Hargrove, CGA 37.850
- Brooke Hylek, Twistars USA 37.425
- Carissa Ludwing, Stars & Stripes 37.400
- Madison Ianuzzo, JPAC 36.950
- Kaitlyn Higgins, GAR 36.550
- Anna Kaziska, Champion Gymnastics 36.425
- Brianna Sting, BVA 36.375 (Alternate)
- Samantha Ito, Phenom 36.325 (Alternate)
Good Luck at Nationals!!
Check out competition videos on Region 5 Championships video page (more to come)
Check out interviews with all the Level 10 Regional AA Champions
Stay Tuned for The Top 10 Favorite Region 5 Leos List!!