Aug 13, 2013
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force freshman Chris Stephenson (Fishers, Ind.) will represent the Academy at the 2013 P&G Gymnastics Championships this weekend (Aug 15-18) in Hartford, Conn. Stephenson, just the second Air Force gymnast to ever qualify for the national championship meet, will compete in the junior (ages 17-18) division of the men's national meet.
Stephenson, who begins competition on the vault Friday (Aug. 16) at 1:00 p.m. EST, recently completed five weeks of Basic Cadet Training, which included two full weeks of field training at Jack's Valley.
"I am really excited to have the opportunity to compete at the U.S. Championships," Stephenson said. "I was able to practice a minimal amount during BCT, but the last week has been full of solid training and Coach Simons has really worked with me so I am as prepared as possible. I hope that I can go to Connecticut and put on a good performance for the Air Force Academy."
As one of the top 18 junior athletes in the country, Stephenson qualified to the P&G Gymnastics Championships by finishing 12th at the Junior Olympic Nationals in May.
"Completing Basic Cadet Training is a tremendous challenge all by itself," Air Force head coach Kip Simons said. "But, preparing for the P&G Gymnastics Championships, while excelling during BCT, is nothing short of a miracle. He will make this institution, and himself, proud when he steps on the floor of the national championships. By completing BCT and competing at the national championships, Chris embodies `excellence in all we do'."
The Proctor and Gamble (P&G) Championships, previously known as the Visa Championships, determine the U.S. national teams for both the junior and senior level. The men's meet will be held on Friday, Aug. 16 (1:00 p.m. start for junior division) and Sunday, Aug. 18 (6:30 p.m. start for junior division) at Hartford's XL Center.