HUNTSVILLE, Texas, June 9, 2013 – Thirty gymnasts were invited to participate at the June Women’s Developmental Camp at the USA Gymnastics National Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, a U.S. Olympic Training Site. 1988 Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin, Developmental and TOPs team coordinator for USA Gymnastics, along with members of the national coaching staff, directed the five-day camp in Huntsville, Texas. Gymnasts were selected for the camp from various competitions including Level 9 East and West Championships and Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships, as well as previous Developmental and TOPs camps.

The opening night of camp, the gymnasts were tested on physical abilities, which include many strength and agility tests. Christina Desiderio of Parkettes had the top test scores followed closely by Colorado Aerials’ Jax Kranitz and Maile O’Keefe of Salcianu Academy of Gymnastics.

Throughout the remainder of the camp, the gymnasts trained twice a day and coaches attended lectures by the National Staff after each training session. During the training, verification took place with International Gymnastics Federation rated Brevet Judge and Olympian Chelle Stack-Marcella.

Based on their scores from verification, the following gymnasts have qualified for the Hopes Challenge at the Secret U.S. Classic, July 27 in Chicago: Elena Arenas, Georgia Elite; Shilese Jones, Auburn Gymnastics; Adeline Kenlin, Iowa Gym Nest; Kranitz; Maile O’Keefe, Salcianu Academy of Gymnastics; and Catlin Smith, Paramount Gymnastics. Gymnasts who qualified to both the American and U.S. Classic include Desiderio and Molly Frack, both from Parkettes; Deanne Soza, Arete Gymnastics; Sydney Johnson-Scharp, Brandy Johnson’s Global Gymnastics; and Abby Paulson, Twin City Twisters. The American Classic will be held July 5-6 at the Karolyi Ranch.

At the closing of the camp, awards were given to gymnasts placing in both physical abilities and verification. Kenlin was selected most improved camper by the staff and received a USA Team jacket.

Many of these gymnasts are preparing for the upcoming Classic meets to qualify for U.S. Gymnastics Championships, scheduled for August 15-18 in Hartford, Conn., to try to earn a position on the Junior National Team.