On Oct. 1, Ahwatukee Foothills resident Jeffrey Smith, from Aspire Junior Sun Devils, traveled to Pleasanton, Calif., to participate in the Regional Future Stars Gymnastics Championships. The top 10 year olds from Arizona, California, Nevada and Hawaii took to the floor for competition and a chance to qualify for Future Stars National Championships at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Co., Dec. 1-4.
Smith, 9, competed in the older age division due to his extraordinary talent and ability. He finished a respectable fifth place at the event and qualified for the National Championships in December. There, Smith will have an opportunity to retain his spot on the Future Stars National Team. The top 18 gymnasts from the national championships will comprise the national team of 10 year olds. The level of competition in these events is extremely high for these athletes, and only the best of the best can qualify to travel to the Olympic Training Center. Smith and the top 49 10 year olds in the nation will comprise the field of competitors for the event.
Gavin Laroche, his teammate and training partner, was also invited to the event by petition, as he was unable to attend regional championships due to injury. Smith trains at Aspire Kids Sports Center.