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Wednesday, 11 May 2011 19:27

Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals: Weekend Ahead

The women's Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals are this weekend in Long Beach, California.  In addition, USA Gymnastics is holding the JO National Invitational Tournament, an event intended to give broader exposure to athletes who missed qualifying to Nationals.  This is a massive recruiting opportunity, as the vast plurality of college-bound athletes come from the Level 10 ranks.  College recruiters will be lined up to watch how the athletes handle the pressure of a National-level, high stakes competition.  Fans will be able to see how their signed and committed future athletes perform.  Check out who to look for this weekend in our preview below.

SCHEDULE (all times are Pacific Time Zone):

Friday, May 13th, 2011 
Session 1, 11:30 am:  Senior As and Junior As -- many of the Senior As are in the 2012 high school graduating class
Session 2:  5:00 pm:   Senior Bs and Junior Bs -- nearly all of the Senior Bs are in the 2012 high school graduating class

Saturday, May 14th, 2011
Session 3, 11:30 am:  Senior Cs and Junior Cs -- most of the Senior Cs are in the 2011 high school graduating class
Session 4, 5:00 pm:  Senior Ds and Junior Ds -- nearly all of the Senior Ds will graduate in 2011; a few Junior Ds will graduate in 2012

Sunday, May 15th, 2011
The NIT meet will be held in four sessions with two age groups each, all day long. 

PREVIEW

So who's to watch out for?  In case you missed it, the competitors qualified by competing at the L10 Regional meets, roughly one month ago.  You can read our recap of the results at the link.   In addition, we've added links to video coverage of various athletes.

Typically, at Nationals some of the qualifiers decline their spot or become injured before the meet, enabling an alternate to take their place.  This is particularly true among the oldest Senior groups, as athletes have conflicts with graduation events or are seeking to save travel expenses.  Several of the top Regional finishers are reportedly skipping the event.

Comparing scores across the Regions is challenging, because just like in the NCAA, there tends to be a lot of variation across the country in scoring.  Also, a gymnast with an off day at Regionals can put together a big day at Nationals.  Thus, a gymnast with a relatively lower score at Regionals can suddenly find herself near the top of the podium at the National event.  Here are some of the top qualifiers in the Senior C&D divisions (Note at press time a detail rotation list is not available):

In the Senior D category, UGA signee Sarah Persinger was the top scoring Regional winner.  Utah-bound Becky Tutka (who reportedly will skip the meet), WVU signee Dayeh Haley and Sac State signee Kalliah McCartney and Michigan signee Morgan Steigerwalt are the other top scoring qualifiers.  Keep an eye out also for Utah signee Georgia Dabritz, a sr. international elite "drop down" who had a rough regional meet but who throws a high level of difficulty.  Boise State signee Caitlin Mann, LSU signee Lloimincia Hall, UW signee McKenzie Fechter, and Kent State incoming frosh Amiah Mims also won their respective Regionals. 

In the Senior C category, the highest Regional score was posted by Annette Miele, who has had a super strong club season this year as a Level 10 (another elite "drop down" -- she also reportedly will skip the event).  2012 OU commit Haley Scaman, AU signee Brianna Guy, 2012 AU commit Keara Glover, Utah signees Kailey Delaney and Kassandra Lopez, and Bama signee Kaitlyn Clark (another elite "drop down) all posted 38+ scores at Regionals.  In addition, look for former World Vault Champion Kayla Williams, a Bama-bound star, to continue to excel.  Also winning their Regionals were UW signee Madison Podlucky, defending champ Jessie DeZiel (a NU signee with big skills), AU signee Megan Walker, and Region 8 champ Shelby Hilton.   A top 10 finish will be a big accomplishment in the loaded field.

COVERAGE

Here's some relevant links for the coming weekend:

JO Nationals Home Page with Results Links
USA Gymnastics
Our L10 Regional Coverage

USA Gymnastics Twitter
User SixMaxwells Tweeting from the Site

Because the JO Nationals video rights are owned by a private company for DVD resale, the only competition video available after the meet will be home video posted at YouTube.com and other sites.  We'll have results as their available, and provide links to videos as they become available.  You can submit video links using the contact form at the top of each page.

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