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Young gymnasts TOPS in sport

August 26, 2011
Special to the Town Crier
USA Gymnastics, the governing body of the sport of gymnastics in the United States, conducted its annual state =Talent Opportunity Program Selection, testings across the county. The TOPS program is designed to identify young gymnasts who have the ability to excel in the sport.

Through a series of tests, the girls vie for an invitation to a special camp to work with the national training staff at the Bela Karolyi's ranch in Houston. Approximately 3,000 girls from across the country, ages 7 to 10 years old, participated in these testings. Approximately 270 will participate in the national testing at the National Team Training Center, in Houston, on Oct. 1 and 2.

As for the 7-year-olds (the youngest of the testers), they will not travel to the Training Center, but will instead be named to the TOPS Diamond team and receive a National Team warm-up. Two gymnasts from Youngstown Gymnastics Center in the 7-year-old age group, Peyton Harbert of New Middletown and Karah Vargo of Canfield, qualified to the Diamond team. They are coached by Sandy Sabo and Megan Christie.

Karah is a second grade student of C.H. Campbell Elementary. Peyton is a second grade student at Springfield Elementry School.

Not only are these young girls showing excellence in their gymnastics training but also in their school work. These girls train an average of 18-plus hours per week in the gym and maintain excellence in their school work.

Their coaches say they are very dedicated, hard working and very focused for their young age and show some very promising futures in this sport.

In the state testings, the gymnasts perform physical abilities tests including pull ups, leg lifts, flexibility, sprints, rope climb, vertical jumps, cast handstands and press handstands. The scores are tallied and the top 20 gymnasts in each age division are named to the TOPS National Team.”

Article Photos

Photo special to the Town Crier
Peyton Harbert of New Middletown and Karah Vargo of Canfield have been selected for the Diamond Team at Youngstown Gymnastics.



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