Deborah Shaw, 9, made this year’s USA Gymnastics TOPs National B-Team and earned the right to train at the Women’s National Team Training Center located at Bela Karolyi’s Ranch in Houston, Texas. Shaw is from River City Gymnastics in Little Rock and trains 21 hours per week. She is the reigning Arkansas State Champion in her division.[more]
USA Gymnastics, the national governing body of gymnastics in the United States, conducts an annual talent opportunity program to identify young gymnasts who have the ability to excel in the sport.
Shaw, who attends Collegeville Elementary School in Bryant and is in the 4th grade, just returned from the National TOPs Testing. TOPs Regional testing took place throughout the summer and approximately 2,800 gymnasts participated. From those who participated, 250 gymnasts from around the country were invited to TOPs National Testing. After Regional testing, Deborah was the only gymnast from Arkansas invited to participate in National Testing. The testing was held at the National Team Training Center in Houston, Texas, Oct. 1-3, where out of the 250 invited to participate, 55 gymnasts for four age groups (8, 9, 10 and 11) were selected to the TOPs National A-Team and approximately 60 made the TOPs National B-Team.
At National Testing the gymnasts perform physical abilities tests including pull ups, leg lifts, flexibility,sprint, rope climb, vertical jump, handstand hold and press handstands as well as perform required skills on each of the events including vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. The scores are tallied and only the top gymnasts were named to the TOPs National A-Team and B-Team.
Gary Warren, Women’s Program Director for USA Gymnastics, commented on National Camp by saying,“This really is a gathering of the girls who will become America’s elite female gymnasts. The girls you seeat National Camp will be showing up in the Olympics in 2016 and 2020.”
Deborah Shaw is coached by Jamie Russenberger and Stanton Robinson. She is the daughter of Brad and Stephanie Shaw.