My Favorite J.O. Nationals Routines 2016

The 2016 edition of Junior Olympic Nationals, or J.O. Nationals, held May 7-8 in Fort Worth, Texas was the biggest yet.

With 684 competitors, which I believe is a record, there were even more divisions added this year. The gymnasts were split up into 12 age groups (compared to 8 total last year): 6 junior groups and 6 senior groups arranged A-F, with A denoting the youngest gymnasts and F denoting the oldest. There were 7 athletes per group for each of the 8 regions. Plus, there were an additional 12 gymnasts because of ties in the qualifiers.

For the record, the regions are:

Region 1 – Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah
Region 2 – Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
Region 3 – Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming
Region 4 – Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Region 5 – Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio
Region 6 – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont
Region 7 – Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
Region 8 – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee

Below are my favorite routines from this year’s competition. The whole playlist can be viewed here.

Sloane Blakely – Beam, Junior A

Junior A? Wow! This routine would’ve been eye-catching if it came from one of the older girls. It’s even more impressive coming from one of the youngest gymnasts at Nationals.

Wynter Childers – Floor, Senior F

I talked about Wynter a bit in my post last year. This was her last J.O. Nationals. She’ll be a freshman at Alabama for the upcoming season. She stands a decent, if not good, chance at making at least a couple lineups, particularly floor and vault.

Cassidy Keelen – Beam, Senior F

Speaking of incoming college freshmen, Cassidy will be at Cal starting with the 2017 season. I look forward to seeing more of her gymnastics. She had me from that gorgeous split half.


Kyana George – Floor, Senior D

All the yaaasss for this routine. Great tumbling and presentation!

Lauren Little – Bars,  Junior A

Another little one (pun intended). Sometimes it’s hard to pick out a standout bars routine from the younger gymnasts because many are similarly constructed. Lauren’s had a decent amount of difficulty and it was really well executed (especially the Pak salto and double layout). Plus, she had some of the best handstand positions I saw.

Rachel Dickson – Bars, Senior F

Yep. I can imagine that routine in the Georgia lineup next season — and I probably won’t have to imagine it come January.

Jaymes Marshall – Vault, Junior A

A 12-year-old with a Amanar that isn’t terrifying. Actually, it was pretty good. Twelve. Nope. Haven’t found the words yet.


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