Nine Region 1 Men's Juniors to Compete at 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships
By: Cora Maglaya, PT, ATC, CSCS | Adrenaline Sports Media, LLC
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Nine rising junior gymnasts representing Region 1 will be competing at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships being held on August 16 to 19, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts at the TD Garden. Region 1—Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada—has a reputation of producing some of the nation’s best gymnasts. (USA Gymnastics has nine Regions.)
Dating to the 1980s, there has been a deep field of athletes arising from Region 1 who have competed in the Olympic Games and World Championships.
The nine junior competitors are:
Jeremy Bischoff, California/Wallers GymJam Academy,
Brandon Briones, Arizona/Aspire Kids Sports Center,
Isaiah Drake, California/Gymnastics Olympica USA,
Raydel Gamboa, Arizona/North Valley Gymnastics,
Riley Loos, California/Technique Gymnastics,
Zachary Martin, California/Elevate Gymnastics Academy,
Brandon Nguyen, California/Elevate Gymnastics Academy,
Blake Wilson, California/SCEGA Gymnastics, and
Dylan Young, California/Wallers GymJam Academy
(Samuel Phillips, California/Gymnastics Olympica USA, qualified to compete, but withdrew due to shoulder injuries.)
The gymnasts compete on six events: Floor Exercise (FX), Pommel Horse (PH), Still Rings (SR), Vault (VT), Parallel Bars (PB), and Horizontal Bar (HB). The total score on all six events is the All-Around (AA).
Three of the strongest junior competitors—Briones, Loos and Young—are all 2018 Junior National Team members.
At the 2018 Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships, several of the Region 1 juniors won top honors.
Briones captured his second Junior Elite All-Around National Championship. He also won gold on SR, PB, and HB. At the 2018 Winter Cup Challenge, Briones—a trailblazer—placed 10th in the all-around, despite being a junior competing against mainly seniors. He also won his first Junior Elite All-Around National Championship title in 2017 and secured the Junior Olympic All-Around title for Level 8 in 2014.
Loos, won his first 2018 Junior Elite National Championship All-Around title and swept gold on FX, PH, and VT.
Young placed fourth in the AA and won silver on PB. At the 2017 P&G Championships, he placed fourth in the AA and on VT, third on PH, and sixth on PB and HB.
Drake captured his first Junior Elite National Championship titles this year in the AA and on PB. He represented the U.S. at the 2018 Junior Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina and claimed team gold and seventh in the AA.
Bischoff, the 2018 Junior Elite National Champion on PB, also took second place in the AA. In 2017 he placed fifth in the AA. This will be his second year competing at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Last year, at the P&G U.S. Gymnastics Championships, he placed eighth in the AA.
Wilson is the 2018 Junior Elite Horizontal Bar National Champion and placed eighth in the AA.
Some exciting talent to watch among the newcomers to the U.S. Gymnastics Championships scene are Zachary Martin, Brandon Nguyen, and Raydel Gamboa. At the 2018 Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships, Martin (17th), Gamboa (8th), and Nguyen (5th) all placed in the top 20 in the AA.
National Team selection for Level 10 occurs at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Serving as a U.S. National Team member gives gymnasts the opportunity to be coached by National Team coaches from all over the country—with additional training opportunities at the U.S. Olympic Training Center—and eligibility to represent the United States at selected international meets.
Be sure to follow these nine rising gymnasts as they continue the tradition of outstanding athletes representing Region 1.
Cora Maglaya, PT, ATC, CSCS
Adrenaline Sports Media, LLC
R1 team at elite team cup held near Chicago last March.