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September 23, 2009 > Local gymnasts succeed

Local gymnasts succeed

Submitted By Anne Schreiber

Congratulations to three local girls from Pacific West Gymnastics who are traveling to the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas, September 26-27.

Shyan Phillips from Union City, 8; Jenna Schreiber from Fremont, 9; and Madi Dagen from Pleasanton, 9, have qualified to attend National Talent Opportunity Program (TOP) testing.

The gymnasts will be accompanied by their coaches Jennifer Battaglia and Maria Traggio. TOP is run by USA Gymnastics to identify girls, ages 7-11, who have the potential and motivation to train at the elite level.

During June and July, nearly 2,800 girls from across the country tested at the state and regional level, and of these, 300, 9- to 11-year-old gymnasts have been invited to test again near Houston, at Bela Karoyli's Ranch - the US Women's Olympic Gymnastics Training Center.

TOP's training initially focuses on strength, flexibility and conditioning.

At the regional level, qualified athletes are tested on a series of physical abilities including press-to-handstands, rope climb, leg lifts, cast-to-handstands, vertical jumps, sprints, splits and shoulder flexibility; and at the national testing, athletes are tested on the same physical abilities along with some gymnastic skills. Gymnasts are then ranked nationally and some are invited to participate in the National TOP training camp which takes place in December each year.

Good luck girls.

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