The 2022 USA Gymnastics Men's Collegiate National Championships took place on March 25-26, hosted by the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, MD.
GymACT had strong representation at this competition showcasing two all-star groups of individuals from across the country. The all-star teams from each GymACT conference, WEST and EAST was made up of the top 5 individuals on each event from their respective conference.
GymACT WEST All Stars: Jackson Harrison, AZ; Dylan Hauptmeier, AZ; Clayton Cunningham, AZ; Hunter Brunett, AZ; Jonas Ilao, AZ; Caden Peacock, AZ; Amari Sewell, IA; Cole Janz, IA; Reuven Anderson, IA; Jameel Ali, WA; Xander Agate, WA; Connor Pattison, WA; Oscar Hemmert, WA; Andrew Layman, WA; Bradley Stroud, WA; Ryan Curran, RM.
GymACT East All Stars: Kellen Ryan, MN; Yaroslav Owens-Pochinka, MN; Jake Sawyer, MN; Andrew Hyde, MN; Jerid Enyard, NIU; Zachary Cipra, NIU; David Dortmund, NIU; Casey Cassara, NYA; Ethan Rio, NYA; Jacob Biller, Temp; Zac Raymond, Temp: Alex Skalkos, Temp; Levi Boluyt, UIC: Nick Smiley, UIC.
Check out John Lucas’s recap of the competition.
The selection procedure for the All-Star teams took place by use of the virtual competition platform Fantasy Gymnastics League. For details on the qualification process, check out a conversation with FGL’s co-founder, Dan Young. (2022 season blog)
The competition format is made up of two competition days. First day is the individual event qualifier round. Also on the first day the varsity programs’ team and all-around titles are awarded. There were 6 teams competing altogether, the two GymACT all-star groups (not eligible for national team title) and 4 varsity teams (Navy, Air Force, Springfield and William & Mary). Navy took the top spot in the team competition with 400.45 points (5 up 5 count format).
But let’s not forget that there was also a ‘secret’ competition going on. GymACT West and East conference teams fought tooth and nail for the bragging rights of the FIRST EVER “All-Star Team Champion”. THAT was the real dogfight going on in the gym. GymACT teams stuck to their competitive format, 5 up 4 count. In this, GymACT West came out victorious with 314.05 points over GymACT EAST’s 301.60.
We would like to extend a special shout-out to Minnesota’s Kellen Ryan. Kellen qualified for the East all-star roster on all 6 events. Not only an all around performance by definition, he earned 5th place medal, thus, achieving all-American status. Way to go, Kellen.
Oh yeah, the icing on the cake: for this performance at nationals, Kellen received this SECOND CGA gymnast of the week selection of the season to boot! It was a good week for Mr. Ryan.
Day two brought all gymnasts (varsity and gymact) to the same competitive platform for the coveted All-American status that comes from finishing top 6 on each event.
It was a glorious day for the GymACT athletes. Not only did individual finalists put up a good fight, many took home hardware too.
Here are the results:
On floor exercise, Cole Janz (13.05) and Amari Sewell (13.025) both received All-American awards by placing 5th and 6th respectively.
Pommel Horse All-American awards went to bronze medalist Clayton Cunningham (13.025) and 5th place winner Ryan Curran (12.750). Jake Sawyer also competed as a pommel horse finalist, finishing 8th place in the nation with an 11.55.
Rings: 4th place winner Reuven Anderson (13.20) and 6th place Jameel Ali (12.875) got All-American, while Yaroslav Owens-Pochinka JUST missed it, finishing 7th with a 12.75.
There were no lousy vaults performed THAT day! All finalists scored above 14 points. AND, GymACT dominated the event taking 3 of the 6 All-American spots. Amari Sewell (gold with a whopping 14.575), Kellen Ryan, silver by less than a toe point difference with a 14.525 and 6th place winner, Andrew Layman, also with a BIG score of 14.075.
No GymACT athlete qualified to the P.Bars finals — We had to leave SOME room for improvement next year! ;)
But Amari Sewell and Hunter Brunett showed up ready to play with the big boys on high bar. Both received All-American awards with Amari taking bronze (12.775) and Hunter finishing 5th (11.95).
There you have if folks. It was not too shabby of a meet for the GymACT guys. These extraordinary individuals, against all odds and overcoming all sorts of adversity, training their hearts out, self-funded and HUNGRY for more each and every day. These guys are heroes of the sport. They show true grit, amazing camaraderie, respect and poise. They are true champions. Congratulations to each and every one of you.
Fabricio Breeze Olsson
Up next: April 23rd, 2022 - East and West Conference Championships Gold Matches (virtual meets)
Then: May 15th, 2022 - GymACT Nationals (in conjunction with USAGym Developmental Nationals in Arizona)
PS: Team results