Chattanooga To Host National Championship Gymnastics Competition

950 Gymnasts Gather For Biggest-Ever NAIGC National Championship

Monday, March 31, 2014

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 
2014. 


Lookouts Rally, Then Falter In Ninth Falling To BayBears Thursday, 6-5

Chattanooga rallied from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game at five in the top of the eighth inning, but ultimately lost the game, 6-5, on a ninth inning walk-off home run from Ronnie Freeman. Freeman was a Lookouts killer all night, he was 2-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBIs. Starter David Hurlbut pitched three effective innings for Chattanooga before giving up ... (click for more)

East Ridge Soccer Wins 3-0 Over Sweetwater

Coy Vandergriff, Hunter Schobert and Alejandro Vicente scored goals for the East Ridge boys soccer team Thursday night in their 3-0 win over Sweetwater.  The Pioneers end the regular season with a 10-2 record.  East Ridge will host a district semifinal game against the winner of Howard and Central next Tuesday at 7 p.m.   Rijad Kazic, Hunter Schobert and Alejandro ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke Pledges $6 Million For New Recreation Center At Avondale

Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that he plans to include $6 million in his upcoming budget for a new Recreation Center at Avondale. He said at a press conference at the current center on Dodson Avenue, "We want to make an investment in Avondale." Mayor Berke said the current center by Wilcox Boulevard was built in 1949 and last remodeled in 2002. The new center, which ... (click for more)

Developer Plans Single-Family Homes, Townhomes, Apartments, Retail On 7.5 Acres At South Broad Street

A developer is planning single-family homes, apartments, townhomes and retail on a 7.5-acre South Broad Street site. The development by South Broad LLC and DEW LLC is located within several blocks between South Broad Street, W. 26th Street, Long Street and W. 27th Street. It would include a 3-story U-shaped apartment building with ground floor retail at the north end of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)