Gymnastics

2017 J.O. Nationals Highlights

The 2017 edition of J.O. (Level 10) Nationals for the women was held May 6-7 in Indianapolis.

This year, the age breakdown was those born February 17, 2001 and later competed as juniors; those born before that date competed as seniors. The gymnasts were split up into 12 age groups: 6 junior groups and 6 senior groups arranged A-F for each division, with A denoting the youngest gymnasts and F denoting the oldest.

Each division competes only with itself so you end up with 12 National Champions for each of the 5 individual events: AA = All-Around, VT = Vault, UB = Uneven Bars, BB = Balance Beam, FX = Floor Exercise.

The competing gymnasts also earn points towards team titles for their respective regions in each of the 12 divisions. 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

The team winners from this year were:

Junior A: Region 1
Senior A: Region 1
Junior B: Region 3
Senior B: Region 1
Junior C: Region 5
Senior C: Region 7
Junior D: Region 1
Senior D: Region 1
Junior E: Region 3
Senior E: Region 3
Junior F: Region 5
Senior F: Region 4

For this year’s J.O. Nationals recap, I’ll start with 5 gymnasts I’m looking forward to seeing in collegiate competition starting in January 2018.

The first incoming freshman I’m looking forward to seeing is Lauren Navarro (Senior D; 2nd – AA, T-4th – VT, T-15th – UB, 1st – BB, T-2nd – FX). Not as heralded during her time as her time as an elite as others, she’ll be a nice addition to Stanford’s roster.

Stanford is a team that needs a boost from its incoming recruits, and it appears its incoming recruits are going to be the boost the team needs. Another incoming Cardinal is Rachael Flam (Senior E; 1st – AA; T-1st – VT, 11th – UB, 20th – BB, T-1st – FX).

Can you tell I’ve been waiting on this incoming class for Stanford for a couple years? The third of its class I’m looking forward to seeing is Kyana George (Senior F; 3rd – AA, T-10th – VT, T-16th – UB T-3rd – BB, 1st – FX). Love her floor.

A 10.0 vault at Nationals?! Alabama is looking forward to adding Lexi Graber (Senior F; 4th – AA; 1st – VT, T-16th – UB, T-6th – BB, T-11th – FX) to a vault lineup that appeared a step behind the lead pack this past season. P.S. Lexi’s other events aren’t bad either.

And, of course, I’m looking forward to what Nia Dennis (Senior F; 1st – AA, T-6th – UB, 2nd – BB, 4th – FX) can do at UCLA. She ended up with the highest AA total of both days of competition (38.8).

Here are some other gymnasts who had great showings:

Kai Rivers (Senior A; 1st – AA, 1st – VT, 1st – UB, 11th – BB, 3rd – FX)
Kai had an awesome 2017 season. She won the Nastia Cup in March and capped it off with the J.O. crown. I’m sure LSU is very much looking forward to when she arrives on campus for the 2020 NCAA season.

Cristal Isa (Senior B; 3rd – AA, T-10th – VT, 1st – UB, T-2nd – BB, T-8th – FX)
She’s not off to college until next year (Utah; it was originally Arizona), but she has the “college salute” down already.

Makarri Doggette (Senior B; 1st – AA, 1st – VT, 2nd – UB, T-4th – BB, 1st – FX)
Check out her full twisting double pike! Hopefully she’ll do great things for Alabama in a couple years.

Maya Bordas (Senior C; T-1st – AA, T-7th – VT, T-2nd – UB, T-14th – BB, 3rd – FX)
Great presentation in this floor routine. Maya’s another one a couple years away from NCAA. She’s verbally committed to Illinois.

Luisa Blanco (Junior E; 2nd – AA; T-7th – VT, T-9th – UB, 1st – BB, T-3rd – FX)
Another routine that was presented well, except this one was on beam. Really good pace and confidence for a junior.

Leanne Wong (Junior A; 1st – AA, T-2nd – VT, T-2nd – UB, 2nd – BB, T-29th – FX)
The handstands! (Ignore the mega late one on the 1/2 pirouette after the Jaeger.) Super nice bars routine.

Aleah Finnegan (Junior B; 1st – AA, T-2nd – VT, T-13th – UB, 2nd – BB, T-5th – FX)
Doing pretty beam work must be a Finnegan family trait…

Rachel Baumann (Senior B; 2nd – AA; T-10th – VT, T-12th – UB, 1st – BB, 6th – FX)
…Ditto that for the Baumanns.

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