HUNTSVILLE, Texas, Aug. 26, 2013 – Fifty-five TOPs gymnasts and their coaches gathered at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, a U.S. Olympic Training Site last week for the August camp. The camp was under the direction of 1988 Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin, who is the USA Gymnastics development team coordinator, along with the members of the National Coaching Staff. The athletes in attendance ranged from 8 years old to 12.
The camp started with TOPs Physical Abilities Testing, including the new tests for National TOPs testing (flexibility kicks and holds and the sprint test). The top three gymnasts in the two age groups were recognized for their accomplishments. For the 8 and 9 year olds, Brooke Irwin from Xtreme Altitude recorded the highest score, followed by Amelia Smith, Gym X-Treme, and Sophia Shaft from Oakland Gymnastics, in second and third, respectively. Carley Beeman, TIGAR, achieved an almost perfect score for 10-12 year olds to take the first place award. Ashlee Peterson from Novak’s Gymnastics was second, and Autumn Lull, Xtreme Altitude, placed third.
During the four-day camp, gymnasts were working on the compulsory elite routines, basic skills and new upgrades on optional skills. Coaches attended lectures by Liukin and the National Coaching Staff after each training session.
Many of these athletes will be returning to the Ranch in early October for National TOPs Testing, where they will be trying to earn spots on the TOPs National A or B Teams. The TOPs National A and B camps will be held in December.