The National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs (NAIGC) is holding its 26th annual National Championships Thursday-Saturday in Chattanooga. This year’s championships will be the largest one yet, bringing more than 75 clubs and 950 competitors from across the country.
The championships will be held at the Chattanooga Convention Center, with Primary Competition: Thursday and Friday, 8:40 a.m.–10 p.m. and Finals Competition Saturday from 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Admission is free but donations will be accepted.
The men’s competition welcomes back many of last year’s medalists. High bar and parallel bars will have four out of the five top finishers from 2013 returning. On parallel bars, officials said watch for Morgan Keith (University of Oklahoma), Tommy Trompeter (University of Texas at Dallas), Will Conte (Texas A&M University), and Hans Degnan (Arizona State University). Returning medalists on high bar include Xander Bakx (University of Oklahoma), Thomas Hanson (Arizona State University), Brian Hulbert (NAIGC Alumni), and Will Conte (Texas A&M University). Another athlete to watch will be Asaf Gans, who has finished top 10 in the all-around competition the past three years, and is now competing on the NAIGC Alumni team.
On the women’s side, two of last year’s top all-arounders return. Maria Hayden and Morgan Byrd, both from James Madison University, each placed in the top five in four events in 2013. Ms. Hayden finished second in the all-around and Ms. Byrd placed third. With the absence of last year’s all-around champion, Ms. Hayden and Ms. Byrd may be battling for the top spot. Texas A&M University’s Molly Stuckey and Hannah Van Meter, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively, are also returning, which may make it difficult for newcomers to make it onto the all-around podium, said officials.
The Texas A&M University men’s and women’s teams both won national titles in 2013, but
have experienced turnover. Meanwhile, the second place teams have a majority of
their strong competitors returning from last year. Watch for James Madison University on the
women’s side and Arizona State University on the men’s side to make a run for the team titles in