Sherri Evenson wins AA in 1984
In the 1980s the number of women competing at Y Nationals grew steadily, while the number of men declined. 

In 1980 only 16 men participated in the championships.  In 1981, the men’s championships were canceled, without notice to the men.  Jim Holt from the Tacoma Y remember this vividly:  “...for me, the biggest challenge was communication...I sent registration and actually went to the Nationals in 1981 when they were in Lakeland Florida, but they had cancelled the Men’s competition (presumably for lack of numbers)......man, I was not a happy camper!”
1982 was the final year for Men’s Championships until the 2000s.  Only 13 competitors participated.

Bill Buffa retired his voluntary position with the YMCA after the 1983 Championships.

The number of women’s teams coming to Y Nationals continued to grow – reaching over 60 in the mid-1980s, with more than 400 gymnasts competing.  In 1987 numbers had grown enough that the women were broken into a Championship and Developmental divisions.  

The dominant team in the 1980s was from Mission Valley, California.  This team was coached by Glen Vaughan and Tina Breen.  Tina is still coaching with the YMCA – with the Chula Vista branch in San Diego, California.  In the words of 1983 and 1984 National Champion Sherri Evenson,

“When we headed to Lakeland, Florida for our 1st National Championships we had no idea where we would end up in the standings.  Only one girl had ever competed at the national level.  At the end of the meet we were confidently standing on the 3rd place podium knowing that next year we were going to work hard to be on the top.  In one year’s time we were on the top in Los Angeles as Team Champions in 1982.  It was an amazing feeling being part of this championship team because we all wanted the same thing – to be the best we could be.  And our coaches knew we were very capable of making that happen.  The confidence, support, encouragement, and friendship I developed by being on this team has not only helped me throughout my life but has also helped shape who I am.”

Sheri went on to compete for Stanford University.