Another JO National Championships has come and gone. There were 12 National Team Champions Crowned, 12 Individual All-Around Champions & 48 Individual Event Champions. Region 5 took the top spot in 5 age groups, captured 4 All-Around Titles & 15 Individual Event Champions. I would say it was a pretty successful showing by the Region 5 Dream Teams.
JO Nationals Day 1 Recap
The Junior D’s started us off this morning with a HUGE WIN! They not only captured the National Team spot but also WON every event as a team! What an outstanding accomplishment for these young women. Ella Cesario (Legacy Elite) was our highest placing All Around gymnast in this age group placing second with a 38.35. She also captured a silver medal on Vault with a HOT 9.7 and a Bronze medal on Floor with a 9.6. Cesario finished off her top placing with a 9.575 on bars securing a 7th place finish. Tory Vetter (Universal) was our next highest All Around finisher with a 38.025, placing 6th. Vetter had two other Top 10 finishes on Balance Beam (9.55) placing 7th and Floor (9.525) placing 8th. Katya Sander (Perfection) walked away with a Bronze medal on Bars with a 9.6. Skyla Schulte (Phenom), who was in the hunt for a top spot in the all around until a fall on bars, had a beautiful Floor routine which gave her a Bronze medal with a 9.6. Madison Snook (Legacy Elite) fought her way into the Top 10 with a 9.5 on Bars. Jacey Vore (Jaycie Phelps) vaulted her way to a 9th place finish on Vault with a 9,6. Elaina McGovern (Legacy-KY) HIT a Balance Beam routine scoring a 9.5 placing 10th.
The Senior D’s ROCKED as well earning a FIRST PLACE National team standing. These AWESOME young women also WON Bars and Floor while placing second on Vault & Beam as a team. Beyond a STANDOUT performance from Makarri Doggette (Buckeye) WINNING ALL events (Vault-9.85, Bars-9.75, Beam-9.625, Floor-9.7), including the All Around (38.925).Kai Rivers (Twistars) also had an outstanding meet rewarding her with a Bronze medal in the All Around (38.425). Rivers also was awarded Bronze medals on Bars (9.725) and Floor (9.6) and a fourth place finish on Vault with a HOT 9.8. Placing fourth in the All Around with a 38.325 is Payton Richards (Aerial). Richards also placed fourth on Bars (9.675), ninth on Beam (9.475, and captured the Bronze medal on Floor with a 9.6. Leah Clapper (Gym America) flipped her way into the Top 10 All Around by placing 9th with a 38.15. Leah was the lone graduating senior in the age group which made it even more special that she was able to closed out the session competing last on one of her favorite events, the Floor, where she went onto place 8th with a 9.55. Leah will be heading to the Gators in the Fall. Taking the Silver medal on Floor was Rachel DeCavitch (Gym World). Also capturing a Silver medal was Lauren Beckwith (Buckeye) on Beam with a 9.6. Tumbling her way to the Top 10 was Jori Jackard (Twistars) with a 9.525 on Floor. Natalie Hamp (Twistars) was the alternate of this talented group of young ladies, not only did she stand by and cheer on her teammates, but she helped us out a little bit and filmed some of the routines during the competition. Thank you Natalie for contributing to the Insider.
The young women of the Junior E Team captured a big WIN for Region 5! They almost had a clean sweep winning Vault, Beam, and Floor. Leading our All Around standings in this age group was Makenzie Sedlacek (IGI) with a second place finish with a 38.175. Sedlacek also won a Silver medal on Vault with a HOT 9.75 and seventh place finish on Floor with a 9.525. Haley Tyson (Phenom) is a National Champion on Floor with a 9.6. Tyson also captured a fourth place All Around finish with a 38.15 and a ninth place finish on Vault with a 9.6. Region 5 has another National Champion with Erika Penamante (Legacy Elite) on Beam with a 9.625. Penamante also took home a seventh place finish in the All Around with a 37.90 and tenth place finish on Bars with a 9.5. Amelia Knotts (GTC Rochester) broke her way into the Top 10 on Vault placing 9th with a 9.6. Ella Chemotti (Euro Stars) also broke her way into the Top 10 on Beam with a 9.55 placing 5th. Kaitlyn Grimes (BIG) placed forth place on Floor with a 9.575. Riley Milbrandt (Legacy Elite) who was competing for Region 2 placed eighth on Bars with a 9.55. Gabrielle Stephen (Midwest Elite) & Naomi German (GTC) also competed in the session representing Region 6 & 2 respectively.
Senior E’s had a tough round of competition placing them sixth as a team. Their highest placing on an event was Floor with a strong fourth place finish as a team. Sarah Hargrove (CGA) was our highest All Around finisher with a 38.15 capturing 7th place. Hargrove also captured herself a Bronze medal on Bars with a 9.65. A funny occurrence happened during Sarah’s beam routine. There was an athlete in the Junior gym, representing Region 1, who mounted the balance beam at the same exact time Sarah did with the same exact mount! If anyone has seen Sarah’s back dive beam mount, you know it is unique, so to have two athletes perform it is rare, but to have them perform it at the exact same time is even more rare! Anna Kaziska (Champion-KY) brought home two individual medals in her final competition tumbling her way to a 2nd place finish on the beam (9.625) and a 10th place finish on the floor (9.575).
Junior F’s looked strong on Bars placing them second as a team, however, it wasn’t enough to break them into an All Around win as they ended the competition placing fourth. Our highest All Around gymnast was Cassandra Barbanente (Palmer’s) with a 38.15 placing fourth, Barbanente also had an EXCITING Bar routine where she cemented a 2nd place finish with a rock solid stuck double layout dismount, the crowd irrupted in loud applause that was heard all the way over on the senior side. Isabelle West (Buffalo Grove), represented Region 2, had an outstanding Vault with a 9.65 placing eighth along with a sixth place finish on Beam with a 9.55. Cassidy O’Neill (CGA) placed sixth on Beam with a 9.55. Avery Balser (Buckeye) placed fifth on Bars with an excellent performance scoring a 9.625. Adriana Bustelo (CGA) broke into the Top 10 on Beam by placing eighth with a 9.55. Finally rounding out the Junior F session recap we have Gillian Rutz (Perfection) who scored a 9.575 on Bars placing sixth.
Our Senior F Team had an exciting final JO competition before they graduate! Unfortunately, the meet did not go as they planned with a sixth place finish over all. However, they did have an AMAZING Vault performance to give them a third place team finish on that event. Our only Top 10 placing was by Nicole Bars (Crystal Lake) placing 8th on Floor with a 9.575. We were all inspired by Kaitlyn Higgins (Gym Acad Rockford) toughness to get through the competition after a minor injury on Beam leading to having her toenail taken off prior to competing Floor and Vault. Ashley Hofelich (Oakland) fought through a much needed Bar routine (9.425) to keep Region 5’s spirit up. Karalyn Roberts (Splitz) had a BIG Vault (9.55) contributing to our team team score. Nicole Borkowski (New Heights) helped our team on Floor (9.475) and had a BIG Vault (9.575). Alyssa Wiedeman (Perfection) had a beautiful Floor routine scoring a 9.5, helping out the team. Bridget Killian (Legacy Elite) was our team’s leading Vault score (9.6) and had a HUGE floor routine opening up with an amazing triple full to score a 9.5. The last two senior sessions are usually the most emotional not only for the athletes, but the coaches and parents as well. This is their final moments together before they leave the safety of their clubs to continue onto the next chapter of their journeys. There were certainly a lot of tears on the floor during this session from all the Regions as they said goodbye to JO Gymnastics.
To relive all the great moments & routines from the 2018 JO National Championships from Cincinnati, Ohio please visit our social media pages. Videos will be uploaded throughout the week, along with interviews, pictures and special features.
Stay tuned for the highly anticipated All Star Team Announcement!