Well the JO Level 10 Nationals in Fort Worth, Texas was an exciting end to 2016 JO season. Region 5 came into this years nationals missing some of big name athletes that we are used to seeing due to injury but the Dream Team stuck together and put up a strong fight. In the final team standings, Region 5 finished 3rd behind a tie between regions 1 and 3. Though this wasn’t the team placing we hoped for, we still were able to come away with 3 age group, 12 individual, and 2 all around national titles making it 27 years in a row with at least 1 national champion. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of each age group/session.
As with every nationals the junior and senior A’s kick it off and this year it was a bit of a struggle. In the junior A session, all 7 were first time JO National qualifiers and showed some nerves but gave it their all and will certainly benefit from this experience.They finished the meet with the 2nd highest vault score of their session. The senior A’s had some ups and downs during the meet but were able to finish 4th and earn 5 points towards the super team competition. They were led by SRA national bars champion Jenna Swartzentruber (Buckeye) and Bridget Killian (Legacy Elite) both finishing in the top 10 in the all around.
SRA- Jenna Swartzentruber (Buckeye) 6th AA (37.85), 1st Bars (9.625), 5th FX (9.6)
Bridget Killan (Legacy Elite) 7th AA (37.825), 8th FX (9.55)
Abigail Matthews (Cincinnati) 6th Bars (9.55)
Aleah Leman (Energym) 7th Floor (9.575)
Next up were the junior and senior B’s and both finished 3rd as a team adding 12 points to our team total. The junior B’s began on floor with a solid performance and posted the highest bars score of the session in their 3rd rotation. Emma Pritchard of Gym-Xtreme led the charge with her 4th place AA finish and a spot on the 2016 JO National Team. Erin Harty of Rockford, who was the alternate, had to step because of an injury and made a strong contribution to the team effort including her national championship 9.7 beam routine. The Senior B’s started out on bars with the 2nd best team score of the session and tied for the highest floor total due in part to the huge stuck arabian double front and a 9.7 from 2016 national floor champion Anastasia Webb from IGI.
JRB- Emma Pritchard (Gym Xtreme) 4th AA (38.00), 10th on Beam (9.525)
Gianna Gerdes (Gym Xtreme) 10th on Beam (9.525)
Delanie Harkness (Twistars) 3rd Bars (9.625), 9th Floor (9.525)
Erin Harty (Rockford) 1st Beam (9.7)
Gillian Rutz (Perfection) 2nd Bars (9.65)
SRB- Anastasia Webb (IGI) 2nd AA (38.55), 1st Floor (9.7), 2nd Vault (9.65), 2nd Bars (9.625)
Caitlin Banick (Gym Xtreme) 9th Bars (9.425)
Tori Stotz (IGI) 8th Vault (9.525)
Anna Dayton (Twistars) 7th Bars (9.5)
Tessa Phillips (Gym World) 7th Floor (9.5)
In the new JO nationals format, 3 sessions took place each of the two days and the junior and senior C’s wrapped day 1 with a 1st and 5th place finish. The junior C’s were one of our strongest teams coming into nationals and showed it. They won our first age group of the weekend by more then a half a point over region 3 due in part to a strong bars and beam performance.In the all around, Andrea Li of Legacy Elite and Sierra Brooks of Aspire tied for 2nd and Region 5 had 4 in the top 10. Helen Hu nailed her mix of unique flexibility and skill to win the national title on beam. In senior C, Anne Maxim lead the way with her top 10 all around finish and the national championship on bars. Senior C’s finished 5th as a team putting Region 5 in 4th place in the super team standings going into day 2.
JRC- Sierra Brooks (Aspire) 2nd AA (38.375), 2nd Vault (9.725), 9th Bars (9.525), 10th on Beam (9.575) and Floor (9.55)
Andrea Li (Legacy Elite) 2nd AA (38.375), 2nd Beam (9.7) and Floor (9.7), 6th on Bars (9.6), 7th Vault (9.55)
Matilyn Waligora (Olympia) 6th AA (38.175), 2nd Bars (9.65)
Mickayla Stuckey (Cincinnati) 9th AA (37.925) 5th Floor (9.625) 10th Bars (9.475)
Helen Hu (IK) 1st Beam (9.7)
Day 2 at JO Nationals began with the junior D’s starting out on beam while the seniors began on vault. The junior D’s as a team won every event but beam propelling them to the top of the team competition by small margin of just over two tenths of a point. However Region 5 dominated the individual event competition taking all four events and the all around with Gabryel Wilson of MAG being crowned national AA champion as well as vault, beam and floor. Twistars Kai Rivers (who won the JRB AA title in 2015) took home the national title on bars in 2016. The senior D’s finished 3rd in the team competition with 2 top 10 AA finishes from Cincinnati’s Gracen Standley (7th) and JPAC’s Sarah Smith (9th). The seniors had an exciting beam rotation with each one nailing their routines and going 7 for 7 to tie for 2nd in the event. After this first session of day 2, Region 5 moved into the top 3 in the super team standings
*Senior D’s will be featured in our upcoming R5 Uncovered* (Check out 2015 Uncovered)
JRD-Gabby Wilson (MAG) 1st AA (38.9), 1st Vault (9.875), 8th Bars (9.55), 1st Beam (9.675), 1st Floor (9.8)
Leah Clapper (Gym America) 7th AA (37.95), 5th Beam (9.55), 4th Floor (9.6)
Kai Rivers (Twistars) 2nd Vault (9.775), 1st Bars (9.675), 8th Floor (9.55)
Isabel Redmond (Olympia) 10th AA (37.85) 8th Bars (9.55)
SRD- Gracen Standley (Cincinnati) 7th AA (38.125), 3rd Bars (9.65), 7th Beam (9.625), 10th Floor (9.475)
Sarah Smith (JPAC) 9th AA (38.1), 6th Beam (9.65), 9th Floor (9.525)
Cinny Lamberti (GymFactory) 5th Floor (9.6)
Next up were the E’s and the juniors lead by JO all around and beam champion Payton Richards from Aerial Gymnastics finished 5th in the team standings. Payton scored the highest score of the entire junior E competition with her 9.8 on beam. Senior E’s finished 4th in the team competition, but Twistars senior Jade Brown added another individual national title for Region 5 with her 9.725 floor set.
JRE- Payton Richards (Aerial) 1st AA (38.35), 3rd Vault (9.625), 1st Beam (9.8), 5th Floor (9.575) Brenna Hauser (JPAC) 10th Bars (9.6) Hadyn Crossen (JPAC) 5th Floor (9.575)
Avery Stoll (GymXtreme) 9th Beam (9.5)
Jori Jackard (Twistars) 5th Bars (9.625)
SRE-Gabby Cooke (IK) 2nd Floor (9.625)
Jade Brown (Twistars) 1st Floor (9.725)
Laura Burns (Legacy Elite) 6th Floor (9.55) Lexi Funk (IGI) 8th Beam (9.625), 9th Floor (9.45)
Alecia Farina (Gym World) 2nd Floor (9.625), 1oth Vault (9.6)
Region 5 went into the final two age groups sitting in 3rd with a long shot of winning the super team title. However the senior F’s were not going to let that stop them as they came out of the blocks swinging… literally. They began on bars and put up the 3rd highest bars team total of the entire JO National competition lead by the 9.7 from 2016 National bars co-champion Rachel Dickson (MEGA). They moved over to beam and continued to rock out sets for another top team score of the session. This team continued their momentum on floor and vault to claim the team title making it 3 over all for Region 5. Along with the team success, Rachel Dickson and Christina Berg were named to the 2016 JO National Team. The junior F’s finished in 4th place as a team lead by first year JO National qualifier Kaitlyn Higgins from Rockford. She broke the top 10 all around with her 8th place finish as well as 7th on floor. Claire Gagliardi (Olympic Dreams) and Anna Kaziska (Champion KY) both broke into the top 3 with Claire finishing 3rd on bars (9.65) and Anna 3rd on beam (9.625) respectfully.
JRF- Kaitlyn Higgins (Rockford) 8th AA (37.875), 7th Floor (9.6)
Claire Gagliardi (Olympic Dreams) 3rd Bars (9.65)
Anna Kaziska (Champions KY) 3rd (9.625)
Sarah Hargrove (Cincinnati) 8th Beam (9.5)
SRF- Rachel Dickson (MEGA) 3rd AA (38.475), 1st Bars (9.7), 4th Beam (9.7), 4th Vault (9.625)
Christina Berg (Legacy Elite) 4th AA (38.25), 5th Bars (9.625), 6th Floor (9.575)
Amelia Mohler (UGA) 4th Bars (9.65)
Olivia Aepli (Buckeye) 6th Bars (9.6), 9th Beam (9.575) Michaela Burton (Legacy Elite) 4th Beam (9.7) Courtney Taylor (JPAC) 7th Bars (9.525), 10th Vault (9.55) Taylor Buis (ChampionUSA) 10th Bars (9.55)
Though it was an up and down weekend for Region 5 this year, we had many standout moments and continued our legacy of champions at JO Nationals. Congrats to all our National Champions, JO National Team Members, and medal winners. Now we begin the work to get back on top in 2017. Good luck to all with your summer training and remember Region 5 has NO LIMITS.
WE ARE REGION 5!