2019 USAG Collegiate Championships recap
The US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, hosted this year’s USAG Collegiate National Championships. On the weekend of March 30-31, 2019, GymACT (“Collegiate” category in USAGymnastics nomenclature) and NCAA divisions competed separately for team and all around titles. All athletes (both divisions) were eligible for event finals, to which the top 8 athletes in each event went on to the second day of competition -- a ‘new life’ head-to-head fight for the top honors.
In the GymACT team competition, Arizona State (Sun Devils) did it again, and for the 22nd time they were crowned USAG Collegiate National Champions with a 393.55. Washington Gymnastics took silver with 374.60, and Temple earned bronze with 337.05. And, giving credit where credit is due: Arizona State beat not only all of the GymACT teams, but only lost to Navy, which is in the NCAA division who scored a 400.7.
In the All Around, Kiwan Watts (Arizona State) was crowned national All Around Champion with a huge 82.050. Jordan Williams (Arizona State) took the silver medal with 78.50, and Nathan Tsuji (Washington) earned the bronze with 76.55.
USAGym Collegiate Coach of the Year Jesse Kitzen-Abelson, Temple University
USAGym Collegiate Assistant Coach of the Year: Jeff Crockett, University of Washington
Outstanding Senior Gymnast, Collegiate Division: Nick Horner, Southern California United
USAGym prelims recap of the competition can be found at https://usagym.org/pages/post.html?PostID=23594
USAGym event finals recap of the competition can be found at https://usagym.org/pages/post.html?PostID=23595
Team results: https://usagym.org/PDFs/Results/2019/m_19usag_coll_team.pdf
Individual AA results: https://usagym.org/PDFs/Results/2019/m_19usag_coll_aa.pdf
Event Finals results: https://usagym.org/PDFs/Results/2019/m_19usag_events.pdf
At this, our first National Championships as a formed organization, GymACT unveiled and presented the new N2 Award. Presented to a top senior who has excelled both in and out of the gym, this award is similar to Nissen-Emery awarded to the NCAA student-athletes. The N2 award was created and sponsored by Dr. Syed Naseeruddin and Dr. Jaimie Natalie. The two nominees were Nick Horner of So Cal United and Nathan Tsuji of the University of Washington. Seen here is the first ever recipient and this year's winner, Nathan Tsuji with his coaches Giancarlo Mora (L) and Jeff Crockett (R).
More about GymACT Teams at the championships:
New GymACT Team represented
We are thrilled to welcome Northern Illinois University, the newest member of GymACT to the national scene. Congratulations to our newest member team to join GymACT. NIU was represented by AA gymnast Zach Cipra. Zach is a grad student in engineering at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL. He began gymnastics at age 14 at Downers South High School and he is the captain of the gymnastics team at Northern Illinois.
Temple University had their NCAA status stripped away at the end of the 2014 season. It was hard, very hard, at first, but alas, the Owls found a place to not only survive, but thrive amongst other GymACT programs. Just last year Temple University had only 4 athletes in this competition. Now with a much healthier roster, they are happy to have put up a full team score. Their efforts paid off in a huge way and the Temple men earned 3rd place team in their new-found division.
Individual notable mentions: Ben Ewing (Jr), came off of a two year hiatus from gymnastics, transferred to Temple to make a comeback and went 4/4 at USAGs. This was the first time he successfully competed a Tippelt in competition. Transfer student Garrett McDaniel upgraded his vault for this competition (Kas 1/1) and it was a big success.
Southern California United
Southern California United competed in their 5th USAG Collegiate National Championships, hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy. The competition was the strongest ever in the history of this young team which found itself competing amidst a total of seven teams competing under the Collegiate Division. So Cal was trying to defend its third place title, which resulted in a very exciting day. The team hit more routines than they have ever done in any previous competitions and managed to score a 336.25, which was just shy of the score posted set by Temple for the bronze medal.
Individually, William Pearce tied for 4th place in the All Around making him a 2-time All-American with an All-Around score of 70.8.
Congratulations to all teams, all arounders and event specialists from GymACT. As non-NCAA programs we continue to grow in not only in numbers, but pushing the limits and shattering expectations. We are establishing a strong and meaningful presence in the national arena.
Breeze Olsson (NorCal United), for GymACT
For the love and longevity of the sport of gymnastics, we persevere.
The New York Alliance
This year’s USAG Collegiate Championships was a huge success for NYA. In 2016, NYA came together and competed for the first time. That year, we qualified and competed at USAGs, which was a great success for our first season, but did not have a full line-up. In 2017 and 2018, NYA struggled to perform in the gym because we had to take necessary measures to organize the NYA from an operational standpoint. In 2019, our patience and hard work paid off! For the first time, NYA completed a full 5-on-6 line-up (30 routines)! With that, we were able to qualify for USAG Championships and attain an accurate team score for the Road To Nationals ranking system. At USAGs, NYA had two graduating seniors compete in their last championships, and four team members compete in their first! Together we managed to compete 29 routines and place 5th out of 6 teams. Our gymnasts had a great time and came home motivated to work hard in and out of the gym. They also were excited to see the support the NYA has from accross the country and how GymACT is forming.
Northern California completed their second season in history by making history. They achieved their main goal for the year by qualifying as a team to USAG Championships. Twice this year they overcame the qualifying team score of 275.00, and even tho they don’t have a full roster on every event, they hit their best score (282.80) at nationals. Individually, the Condors also had a number of personal bests over the weekend. Leading by example, team captain Will Ryan had a great all around meet and earned his first All American award (4th place AA). Other highlights: Freshman, Jake Bergquist had a great all around meet, Eric Gralian’s awesome rings set, Chris Radford’s elegant floor routine, Matthew Wagonner’s sky-high vault.
Coaches Lucas and Olsson are excited with the momentum the team has built this year and proud of the grit and determination each and every member of this young team showed going into and through the championships. “This is their team and we are proud of how the athletes stepped up and took ownership and responsibility for their own gymnastics, for the good of the team.” (coach Olsson). The Condors showed tremendous growth in a number of ways this year and we look forward to seeing them soaring high for many more seasons.