USA Gymnastics has selected the sites for both the 2013 and 2014 U.S. Women’s Junior Olympic National Championships and Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournaments (NIT): Minneapolis, May 10-12, 2013, and Jackson, Miss., May 9-11, 2014. More than 450 of the country’s top Level 10 women’s artistic gymnasts compete in the two-day national championships, with nearly 200 participating in the one-day NIT.
The 2013 Junior Olympic National Championships and the NIT will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The national championships is scheduled for May 10-11, with the NIT on May 12. Twin City Twisters is the host and organizer for both events. The event’s website is www.tctmeets.com.
In 2014, both the Junior Olympic Nationals (May 9-10) and the NIT (May 11) will be staged at the Jackson Convention Complex. Mississippi USA Gymnastics is the host and organizer for both events.
The Junior Olympic National Championships is the culmination event for the competitive season. The competition features eight age divisions (Junior A, Junior B, Junior C, Junior D, Senior A, Senior B, Senior C and Senior D), which are determined by birth date. Level 10 is the highest level in the Junior Olympic program, which is just under the elite level.
To qualify for the U.S. Junior Olympic Championships, gymnasts must advance through state and regional competitions. USA Gymnastics has eight regions, and the top seven gymnasts per age group from each region’s Regional Championships advance to nationals. These gymnasts are vying to become Junior Olympic national champions in the all-around, as well as in all four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. The winning Regions will also be determined at the conclusion of the competition. The top four all-around athletes in each age division also qualify to the Junior Olympic National Team and are invited to attend a National Training Camp at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, a U.S. Olympic Training Site, in Huntsville, Texas.
The U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships is one of the national championships of USA Gymnastics, the sport’s national governing body in the United States. Many Junior Olympic champions have gone on to make the U.S. National Team and represent the United States in international competition and/or to compete in collegiate gymnastics. Some of the country’s top gymnasts who are former participants in the Junior Olympic program include 2012 Olympic gold-medalists Gabrielle Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber; 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic balance beam gold-medalist Shawn Johnson, and 2008 Olympic team silver-medalist Samantha Peszek, to name a few.
The Junior Olympic NIT was developed to allow an additional athletes an opportunity to compete at the national level and features gymnasts who ranked eighth and ninth in the all-around in each of the eight age divisions at the Level 10 Regional Championships (provided they achieved a minimum all-around score of 34.00), plus any Regional individual event champions who did not qualify to the Junior Olympic Nationals or the Junior Olympic NIT in the all-around, qualify for that event.