USA Gymnastics names sites for 2015 Women's Junior Olympic Level 9 Eastern and Western Championships

6946INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 29, 2014 – USA Gymnastics has selected the sites for the 2015 Women’s Junior Olympic Level 9 Eastern and Western Championships. The 2015 Women’s Junior Olympic Level 9 Eastern Championships will be held at the Osceola Heritage Park Exhibition Hall in Kissimmee, Fla., and the Level 9 Western Championships will be staged at the Spokane (Wash.) Convention Center. Held May 8-10, the Eastern and Western Championships are the competitive season’s culmination event and feature the best gymnasts in the country for Level 9.

The Junior Olympic Eastern and Western Championships are two of USA Gymnastics’ championships events. Both have 16 age divisions that are determined by birthdate. Many Junior Olympians 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.

“The East and West Level 9 Championships are the pinnacle of the competitive season for the young women who compete,” said Luan Peszek, vice president of women’s program for USA Gymnastics. “We are very confident that both cities will stage events that will showcase the talents of these young aspiring gymnasts.”

The Central Florida Sports Commission and Orlando Metro Gymnastics are hosting the Eastern Championships. The Eastern Championships include the top gymnasts from USA Gymnastics Regions 5-8. The states that comprise each region are: 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; and Region 8 – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee.

“We are delighted to welcome the 2015 Women’s Junior Olympic Level 9 Eastern Championships and their talented athletes to Kissimmee, Fla.,” said John Bisignano, president of the Central Florida Sports Commission. “We look forward to working with Orlando Metro Gymnastics and USA Gymnastics to ensure the success of this prestigious event in our community, as we serve our mission to drive economic development through sports.”

The Western Championships will be hosted locally by the Spokane Sports Commission and Spokane Gymnastics. The Level 9 Western Championships showcases the top gymnasts from Regions 1-4. The states that comprise each region 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; and Region 4 – Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin.

“It’s the second time in two years that USA Gymnastics has selected Spokane for a championship event and we couldn’t be more honored,” said Eric Sawyer, Spokane Sports Commission president and CEO. “From our local gymnastics community, to our facilities, to our hospitality partners, Spokane will roll out the red carpet for the athletes, coaches and fans.”

Both organizations have worked with USA Gymnastics on other events. Spokane hosted the 2014 Elite Challenge and Levels 5-7 National Championships earlier this year, which featured athletes in trampoline and tumbling. CFSC has partnered with USA Gymnastics on several international events, including the upcoming 2014 World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships and World Age Group Competitions in November, the 2014 Stars and Stripes Cup and Junior Pan American Championships (trampoline and tumbling/rhythmic gymnastics), and the 2012 World Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships.

The 2015 U.S. Women’s National Junior Olympic Championships for Level 10 are slated for May 15-16 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. The Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament follows the Junior Olympic Championships on May 17. The Des Moines Area Sports Commission and Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute are the local organizations working with USA Gymnastics on staging the two events.