The 2017 Arizona Men’s Gymnastics State Championship was held in Gilbert, AZ on March 10-12, 2017. Three outstanding Vail athletes won berths to represent Arizona at the 2017 USA Gymnastics Region 1 Championship. The State Championship meet is the only Arizona qualifier for the Regional Championship.
Ocotillo Ridge Elementary 3rd grader Jonas Werley was selected to the six member Arizona All Star team for Level 5. He placed 8th in the All Around and he tied for 1st in Pommel Horse apparatus.
Sycamore Elementary student, Luke Bender, was also selected for the Level 6 Arizona All Star team to represent Arizona. He topped off an outstanding season by becoming the 2017 Arizona State Level 6 All Around Champion. He earned golds for Still Rings, Parallel Bars, and Horizontal Bar and silver for Pommel Horse.
Older brother Jason Bender, a student at Corona Foothills Middle School, also qualified for Regionals Level 7 and was 5th in the All Around. He won the State Champion title for Vault.
All three boys have competed this season in meets in Phoenix, San Diego, and Las Vegas, including the BlackJack Men’s Championship, and all three have made the podium for both individual and team awards.
Tucson Gymnastics World Central’s gymnasts won multiple State titles. In addition to Bender, two other GWC team members are 2017 Arizona State All Around Champions: Adriel Perales Valencia, Level 7, and Jonah Kraenzel, Level 10. Six GWC gymnasts made All Star teams: Jonas Werley, Level 5, Luke Bender, Level 6, Adriel Perales Valencia, Level 7, Judah Sung, Brandon Rhodes, and Jonah Kraenzel, Level 10. The team also had 15 Regional qualifiers. GWC team awards include 2nd place for the Level 5, Level 7, and Level 10 teams and 3rd place for the Level 6 team.
Tucson Gymnastics World Central owner and director, Yoichi Tomita, is a former coach for the USA Men’s Olympic Team and has served on the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors. Tomita is a current USA Olympic team selection committee member. He has been dedicated to promoting gymnastics for many years.
The USA Gymnastics Region 1 Championship is scheduled for the weekend of April 6-9, 2017 in Reno, NV. Arizona All Star team members and Regional qualifiers will compete against top teams from Hawaii, California and Nevada.