HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Dec. 7, 2017 – A total of 110 gymnasts from throughout the United States participated in the Talent Opportunity Program (TOPs) National Team A (50) and TOPs B (60) camps, held Nov. 28-Dec. 6, at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center in Huntsville, Texas. TOPs is designed to seek out talent at an early age and help guide the coaches through the USA Gymnastics athlete pipeline to become Hopes and elite gymnasts. The 7-10-year-old gymnasts qualified to their respective team based on their performance at October’s National TOPS Testing.
The athletes participated in two-a-day training sessions under the direction of Valeri Liukin, women’s national team coordinator for USA Gymnastics. Liukin was joined by members of the national staff to train the athletes and educate their coaches in basic skills, compulsory elite routines and optional skill progressions. Coaches’ lectures were held after every training session.
The gymnasts who placed in the top three in physical abilities testing are: Avalon Campbell of SCEGA Gymnastics, Kaylee Cheek of Precision Gymnastics, and Sophee El-Attar of First State Gymnastics.
In honor of TOPs’ 25th anniversary, GK Elite, the official sponsor of the TOPS Program, provided the athletes with their TOPS 25th anniversary leotard designed by 2016 Olympic team gold-medalist Laurie Hernandez of Old Bridge, N.J., who was a TOPs A National Team member in 2009. TOPS A National Team members also received anniversary warm-ups donated by GK Elite.
Additionally, drawings took place for GK Elite and Under Armour apparel courtesy of GK Elite representative, June Blackman, for both athletes and coaches.
Kim Riley, managing director of athlete programs for USA Gymnastics, presented 25th anniversary awards from A-1 Awards to Gary Warren, national team training center director for USA Gymnastics, Tammy Biggs, national staff member and TOPs camp coordinator and Tami Davis, TOPS camp manager. Warren, Biggs and Davis have attended all 25 TOPs camps.
Several athletes from each camp will receive invites to the January invite camp.