Presenting your 2016 National Judges Cup 1st Place Team Champions-NorCal!

Not only did NorCal win, but they were also the only team to score a 190 or above! It was a very exciting two sessions, and it came down to the last event in the second session. Team NorCal got to rotate with Texas, always one of our top rivals, and compete neck and neck for the title. In the end, our NorCal girls rose to the occasion and came out on top. It was fun to meet the other athletes and coaches, see their different styles and abilities, and just chat with other members of our USAG community. Our team also took home several first place individual titles, including some AA champions, who won a beautiful snow globe, with a gymnast and glittering, colorful snow flakes inside!

The girls got to celebrate their success with dinner down by the Cincinnati riverfront across from the big Cincinnati Bengals playoff game. We ate pizza at midnight, the girls all drank lemonade? haha, and it was a very special and memorable evening. The girls woke up the next day to a snow-covered landscape, and then got to spend some time in town visiting some local attractions.

What is most memorable to me are all the unsolicited comments I received from hotel and restaurant staff about how polite, appreciative and well-behaved our girls were. This speaks so highly of everyone in our NorCal gymnastics community-parents, athletes, coaches, gyms and judges. NorCal is a class act.

Judging at National Judges Cup is always a lot of fun. Each event has a 4 judge panel, and you are always sitting with someone from another state. It is a great place to meet new people, as well as reconnect with old friends you may not have seen in some time. I was honored to be a part of this year's event, where there were over 80 judges and 1300 athletes from across the country in attendance. It was the second largest national judges cup to date.

Thank you to everyone who played a pivotal role in this weekend's success:

Coaches and Athletes from our competing gyms: Airborne, Byers Roseville, CGA, Pac West and San Mateo. Your hard work does not go unnoticed, and NorCal's athletes truly shine on the floor at competition!

To our board members, Rod and Jen B., who helped me lead our group effort to send our NorCal team. Without your assistance, it would not have gone so smoothly.

Patty Shipman and National NAWGJ for putting on such a fabulous event.

And to our NorCal judges who attended the competition: Barbara, Chizu and Maura. I had a delightful time and I was honored to be affiliated with such excellent judges. You were fantastic.

We have lots of fun stories to share, and I'm looking forward to having a wonderful 2016 Optional season in NorCal!