The Level 8, 9 and 10 Region 1 Championships were conducted this year at the Visalia Convention Center during the weekend of April 7. This competition, a culminating event
for Level 8, served as the qualifying vehicle to USAG J.O. Level 9 Western Championships
(Boise, Idaho) and USAG J.O. Level 10 National Championships (Indianapolis, IN). Region 1 is an association of five state entities including SoCal, NorCal, Arizona, Utah and Nevada.

In the mix were 1061 gymnasts representing in the area of about 145 teams. Twenty four Wildfire gymnasts, Level 8, 9 and 10's together, effectively accounted for 37 top three awards from which eight of them were for All Around. That number included sixteen Gold, three of those for All Around. By the end of the three day weekend, seven Wildfire gymnasts, Levels 9 and 10 qualified for respective National Championship spots. This makes 76 times Wildfire gymnasts have qualified to USAG J.O. National Championship events since our beginning in 2003.

On site were 265 Level 10 athletes representing 71 teams. Wildfire Level 10’s, securing a 9.65 top three individual event scoring average, ranked 2nd among SoCal teams, and by extension Wildfire then becomes the highest scoring team out of Orange county. Three Wildfire Level 10 gymnasts will be making the trip to the 2016 USAG J.O. National Championships in Indianapolis. Congratulations to 2016/17 J.O. National Team Member Nicoletta Koulos (UCLA/ 2019) on the occasion of her fourth trip to Nationals, she becoming the 2017 Senior A Regional All Around Silver Medalist (38.500, 3rd Vault - 9.725, 2nd Bars - 9.625, 1st Floor - 9.700). Then too first time J.O. National Qualifier, and last year’s Level 9 AA Silver Medalist, Jordyn Duffield (38.200, 2nd Vault - 9.800!, 3rd Beam - 9.650) and Oregon State bound (2020) Sydney Gonzales, a three time qualifier to J.O. Championships (37.700, 3rd Vault - 9.700, 3rd Beam - 9.625, 1st Floor - 9.650).

There were 283 Level 9 gymnasts competing All Around, they representing about 92 teams. From these, four Wildfire Level 9 gymnasts will be making the trip to Western Nationals this year. That would be tied for the second highest in number from a Southern California team. First on that list is Wildfire’s Senior 8 All Around Champion, Tiffany Scott (1st Vault - 9.600, 1st Bars - 9.500, 1st Floor - 9.450), Senior 4 All Around Silver Medalist, Juliana Harrison (1st Floor - 9.750), Senior 2, Avery Serna (1st Bars - 9.625) and Sr. 6, Lanie Kimura.

Of the 492 Level 8 gymnasts competing All Around at this meet, involving every age division, Wildfire’s Avery Byun and Olivia Roberts ranked among the top 10% of that number. As a unit, Wildfire’s Level 8 group of six finished their culminating competition producing strong results as reflected by two Regional All Around Championships, two Regional Vault Championships, two Regional Bars Championships, and three Regional Floor Championships. Strong leaders in this effort were, three event winner and Ch. 3 - All Around Champion, Avery Byun (38.150, 1st Vault - 9.650, 1st Floor - 9.600), Ch. 2 Silver Medal - All Around runner up, Olivia Roberts (37.850, 1st Floor - 9.625), Jr. 10 All Around Gold Medalist, Kimi Kishimoto, third place AA finisher and Regional Bar Champion (9.625) Audrey Easter, earning Gold on two events and All Around Bronze Medalist, Julia Patrick (1st Vault - 9.675, 1st Floor - 9.600), and finally, Jr. 10 Sydney Schaefgen Silver Medal performance on Bars.