Simone Biles once said, " Be the best me." That is what I try to do each day. I am currently competing level 8 JO in Region 1, at a Northern California gym. I train 6 days a week through the good and bad, and injuries. I keep my goal in mind of being the best me. I really feel that the gymnastics has found me as much as I found it. From the time I was swinging in the park, I loved to tumble, swing, and flip. From the moment my Mom put me into a summer camp, I loved gymnastics. Thank you to all the amazing coaches who saw that I loved the sport, and worked to train me. I have been blessed with people who believe in me as much as I believe in my dream too. People say I am a good teammate, as I want each of my teamates to be the best them. I believe in team and helping each other and cheer our successes and giving hugs in our times of need. I remember watching the Olympics and dreaming of the day I get to do the amazing skills they make look so easy. Practice empowers you and gives you the confidence to believe in yourself. I believe in my dream of being a College gymnast one day. I want to study hard, and enjoy flipping as I always have. I have been honored to be nominated for GOTY. I was 2019 Level 7 #1 AA score in the nation as well as #1 in floor, and #1 in vault. I also was the 2018 Level 6 highest AA score in the nation too. I am training hard to be better than yesterday and to overcome the obstacles that come my way.
Ava Griffith got her start in gymnastics at the age of two in mommy and me classes. When Ava turned four, she started to get bored in recreational classes and was invited to join the pre-team. Within a few months of pre-team, Ava joined the level 3 team just as she was turning six. Shortly after, Ava and her family moved due to her father's job in the Marine Corps. With no gyms closer than an hour, Ava tumbled at a local dance studio. After over two years of tumbling at the studio, her coach said that she needs to get into a gym, which is when Ava began training at Aftershock. Ava began competing Xcel Bronze in the spring of 2016 and finished first on vault, second all around, and third on beam and floor at the SoCal State Championships. After competing Xcel Bronze, Ava was moved up to level 3. Ava competed three meets of level 3 during the fall 2016 season, winning two of them. Halfway through her level three season, Ava's family moved to Brazil. After training for nine months in Brazil, Ava's family decided to send her to live with her aunt in Florida and train at Evo Athletics. During the 2018 season, Ava competed level 6 with Evo. At her first meet, the CGA Coaches Spectacular, Ava won the beam and all around titles. Ava continued to have a great season and went on to win the Florida State beam and all around titles. From state, Ava advanced to the Region 8 Championships where she won the beam and floor titles. Following her 2018 season, Ava's family moved to Rome, Italy and Ava joined them. During her time in Rome, Ava trained at Gymnastics Romana. In the fall of 2018, Ava and her family returned to California and Ava began training at Aftershock Gymnastics once again. Ava competed level 7 during the 2019 season and opened up her season at the Arizona Grand Invitational where she won the bars and all around titles. In March, Ava competed level 8 at International Gymnix and finished second on beam. One week later, Ava competed at the SoCal State Championships as a level 7 where she brought home a bronze medal on floor and fifth place finish in the all around. Ava concluded her season at the Region 1 Championships with a fantastic performance, earning her season highs on vault, bars, beam, and in the all around and winning the bars, beam, floor, and all around titles. Currently, Ava trains 34 hours per week under coaches Alison Vaughn and Staci Stevens at Aftershock Gymnastics. Ava is working on perfecting her Hopes skills and has a goal to qualify Hopes in 2020. In the future, Ava hopes to qualify elite and earn a college scholarship for gymnastics.
I am a 12 year old Level 9 at SCEGA Gymnastics. I came to SCEGA Gymnastics in 2015 as an 8 year old level 4 and a TOPs kid. My first year I made it to TOPs National Testing, and completed my Level 4 season as the SoCal State Beam and Floor Champion. In 2017 I scored out of Level 5 and moved to Level 7, and continued my TOPs journey. My second year I made TOPs B Team and invited to Development Invite Camp. For Level 7, I was the SoCal State Beam Silver Medalist and Region 1 Regional Beam Champion. I performed a 9.95 beam routine at the Long Beach Open!
In 2018, I moved on to Level 8 and did my last year in TOPs as a 10 year old. I was a TOPs A Team Member, attended A Camp and won Physical Abilities. I was the Level 8 SoCal State Bar Champion, and Floor Silver Medalist, and the Region 1 Regional Bar and Beam Champion, and the Floor and AA Silver Medalist. 0
In 2019, I competed as a Level 9. What a great season! I was the Level 9 SoCal State Beam Champion, Bars and AA Bronze Medalist. I went on to Regionals and had my best meet of the season! I was the Region 1 Regional Beam, Floor and AA Champion, Bars Bronze Medalist, with an AA score of a 38.275. And I hit my beam routine with a 9.90! I qualified to Westerns, but unfortunately due to illness, I was not able to attend. 1
This year I am working hard to compete as a Level 10! I had all my routines ready to go and broke 4 toes right before season started, but I am on a mission to get back to full strength as soon as possible! Awesome routines are almost ready to go again!2
Coaches: Ryan Kirkham, Jessie McDonough, Tasmin Finn
Graduating Year: 2023
I'm 14 years old, I'm competing my first year of Level 10 this season, I train at Olympus Gymnastics in South Jordan, Utah. I’m honored to have been selected as a Gymnast of the Year nominee and thank all those that have helped me get to this point.
I had a great Level 9 season finishing first on Vault and third All Around at the Utah State Championships. I then qualified to the Western Championships after placing second on Vault, Bars and All Around at the Region 1 Championships. I then earned gold medals on vault and bars, a bronze medal on floor, and sixth all around at the Western Championships. A few other fun notable Level 9 accomplishments: 2019 Winter Classic I took 1st place, in my age division, with a 37.0 which also happened to be the highest all-around score of all Level 9’s in the entire meet. At the 24th Annual Northern Lights Classic I qualified to the event finals on bars and took 1st place.
I’m a hard worker, been told I’m easy to coach, I’m extremely humble and take pride in all that I do. I go to public school, in 9th grade, am enrolled in several honors classes, a straight A student, I have 4 sisters, love doing their hair, spending time with my family, camping, fishing, biking, and most of all just being a kid. Oh and I can solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than 2 minutes. I love going to and watching college gymnastics meets. I've not yet decided what I want to be when I get older, though I do know I want to attend college, hopefully on a scholarship, where I can also continue my love for gymnastics by competing at that level. Good luck to all the nominees, it's an amazing honor to be considered for such a notable award.
Genesis got started in gymnastics at the age of seven as she showed an interest in the sport and was very energetic as a child. Genesis began competing in the fall of 2015 as a level 4. At her first meet, Genesis won the floor title and took second on beam and in the all around. Three months later at the NorCal State Championships, Genesis took home silver medals on beam, floor, and in the all around. As a level 5 in 2016, Genesis had a fantastic season and won the vault, beam, floor, and all around titles at the NorCal State Championships. Genesis began her optional career in 2017 as a level 6 at the Red Heart 10.0 Invitational where she took second on bars and floor, and third all around. Genesis finished up her season at the NorCal State Championships where she had a great meet and won the vault, floor, and all around titles as well as second on bars and beam. In 2018, Genesis competed level 7 and went on to defend her state championship all around title as well as first on vault at state. Genesis also qualified to be a member of the NorCal State Team for the Region 1 Championships. At regionals, Genesis took second on vault and third on floor and in the all around. As a level 8 in 2019, Genesis began her season at the Lady Luck Invitational and came home with the vault title. Two months later at the NorCal State Championships, Genesis came in first on floor, second on vault, and third all around and qualified for the Region 1 Championships. Genesis had her best meet of the season at the Region 1 Championships taking first on vault, beam, floor, and in the all around and taking second on bars, concluding a great season. Currently, Genesis trains 24 hours per week under coaches Melia O'Quinn and Ashot Gasparyan at San Mateo Gymnastics. In the future, Genesis' goal is to earn a college scholarship to a top Division 1 gymnastics program.
Coaches: Chris Brashier & Beatrice Mihaila-Crivineanu
Graduating Year: 2026
Kendall Torrens got her start in gymnastics at the age of four in a recreational class. Shortly after beginning classes, Kendall was asked to join the team program at Empire Gymnastics Academy. Less than one year after beginning gymnastics, Kendall began competing in 2013 as a level 1. The following season, Kendall competed level 3. Kendall quickly progressed throughout the season and finished first on vault, bars, and floor at the District Championships. One month later at the Texas North State Championships, Kendall won the vault title with a 9.725. In 2016, Kendall competed just one meet of level 4 where she finished second on vault. Kendall tested out of level 5 to prepare for the 2017 season.
Kendall began her optional career as a level 6 at the Friends Of Achievers Meet. Here, Kendall finished in the top 5 on bars and floor. Kendall had a great level 6 season and concluded her season with a win on floor at the Texas State Championships scoring a huge 9.925. Competing level 7 during the 2018 season, Kendall began her season at the Alamo Classic where she finished third on bars, floor, and in the all around. Three months later at the Texas State Championships, Kendall brought home the bronze medal on beam. From state, Kendall qualified to the Region 3 Championships. Kendall finished up her season at regionals winning the floor title and finishing third all around.
As a level 8 in 2019, Kendall kicked off her season at the Alamo Classic winning the beam title and taking second all around. In February, Kendall competed at the Biles National Elite Qualifier where she earned her Hopes compulsory score. Kendall had her best meet of the season at the Rose City Classic where she scored a perfect 10.0 on floor, winning the event as well as winning the bars and beam titles. In March at the Texas State Championships, Kendall won the bars and beam titles and finished second on floor and in the all around. For the second year, Kendall advanced to the Region 3 Championships. Here, Kendall concluded her season winning the bars title and brought home bronze medals on floor and in the all around.
Kendall began her 2020 level 9 season with an amazing meet at the Alamo Classic winning the floor title with a 9.800 and finishing third all around.
Currently, Kendall trains 25 hours per week under coaches Chris Brashier and Beatrice Mihaila-Crivineanu at Empire Gymnastics Academy. Kendall's goal for the 2020 season is to qualify for the Hopes Classic. In the future, Kendall hopes to earn a college scholarship to a Division 1 school for gymnastics. She is extremely honored to be elected for Meet Scores Online Gymnast of the Year!
Hello, my name is Lilla and I am very excited to be nominated for Gymnast of the Year amongst so many great gymnasts. I am a full time middle school student and attend gymnastics practice 6 days a week. I am currently competing level 8 for San Mateo Gymnastics. I started in mommy and me gymnastics at age 2 while watching my older sister at regular practice and knew gymnastics was for me! Luckily I got the chance to join the JO team and started competing level 3 at age 6.
Some highlights have been representing Norcal at the National Judges Cup as a level 7, and being on the Norcal State teams (Level 6 and 7) at Region 1 Championships. My favorite times have been traveling with the Norcal Judges Cup team where I got to be on a team with other gymnasts from Northern California, and watch great gymnastics from all around the country. I also love traveling with my own club team and visiting other parts of the country!
Gymnastics has affected so many parts of my life. I have learned to focus and not give up on skills that are challenging to me. I have learned to work through injury and how to balance a full school schedule and sports. I always try to improve my gymnastics for each day, meet and level. In my opinion, gymnastics is a sport that requires perseverance because even if you don’t do as well as you wanted there is always a chance to get better. The best reward of being a gymnast is working hard and seeing results and getting to learn new skills.
I am thankful to my coaches, family, and team mates for their support and hard work in helping me be the best gymnast I can be!
My name is Lily Pederson, I am a 13 year old Junior Elite gymnast. I train at Flips in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. My coaches are Bart and Lori Roskoski. I train approximately 25 hours per week while still attending public school. I started gymnastics when I was 5 years old. I was moved to the level 3 team when I was 6 years old. Once I competed in my first real meet as a level 3 I was hooked! I achieved my goal of becoming an elite gymnast in January of 2020. I hope to make it all the way to the US Championships and place well enough to make the Junior National Team!
I started taking classes at Flips when I was 6 years old. I made it to team level 3 when I was 7 years old. At 8 years old I moved to level 4 and qualified for state. When I was 9 years old I moved up to level 5 and again qualified for state, where I won the floor state championship for my age group. That same year I skipped level 6 and was moved to the level 7 team, which had already started their season. I trained with the level 7 team for about 2 weeks before competing in my first level 7 meet, where I qualified for state again! After level 7 state I moved to level 8. Our level 8 team had an undefeated season, capping it off by winning the state championship, Flips first ever!0
I was also named to the Minnesota Super 8 team that year. After level 8 regionals were over I began working on my level 9 skills, with my goal to compete as a level 9 and make it back to regionals and then to Westerns. I ended up scoring out of level 9 at my first meet of the season and moving directly to level 10. I was 11 years old, Flips youngest ever level 10 gymnast! While competing as a first year level 10 I was also training for my first year in HOPES. I managed to not only qualify to regionals as the youngest level 10 in the state of Minnesota but I also made it to nationals!! I placed 5th in the all around at my very first ever nationals!! I also qualified to the HOPES Classic, where I placed 2nd and advanced to the HOPES Championship.
At the HOPES Championship I placed 4th and was named to the HOPES National Team!! That summer I was invited to the USAG developmental training camp in Tennessee. I have been attending camp ever since. My goals for 2019 are to make it back to nationals again and this time finish even higher. I have already qualified to the HOPES Classic for the second year. My goal for HOPES is to win the HOPES Classic and the HOPES Championship. My goals for 2020 are to qualify as a Junior Elite and make it to the USAG Championships and to be invited to national training camp. My long-term goals are to receive a scholarship to a D1 school and to compete for the USA at the Olympics in 2024 or 2028!!!
Whitney Michelle Bjerken was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 4, 2005. She was a speedy delivery and has not slowed down since. Whitney has two brothers and one sister, Sterling (18), Braxton (13), and Blakely (11). She also has a dog named Houston. Whitney played soccer and took ballet like everybody else when she was 3 and 4 years old, and then her mom put her into cheerleading. Whitney loved cheerleading and found out she was pretty good at doing cartwheels and the splits. As a result, Whitney decided to try gymnastics after the cheerleading season was over...and she has never looked back. Whitney is now a level 10 gymnast at Georgia Elite Gymnastics and is in the gym 5 days a week. Whitney loves gymnastics and she has always been a hard worker. These two facts combined with excellent coaching has led Whitney to great success in the sport to date. Whitney has won the All-Around Georgia State Championship 4 times and has won the Region 8 All-Around Championship twice. When Whitney was just 5 years old, her family started uploading videos of her gymnastics meets on YouTube so that her grandparents, who live in Minnesota, could watch her compete. Whitney’s videos were discovered on the internet and some of her videos started to go viral. Whitney continued to make videos and now her YouTube channel has more than 1.24 million subscribers with over 465 million views. Whitney tries to make videos that will help girls understand the world of gymnastics, or at least her experience in it. Whitney is also a talented musician who plays the piano, guitar, and writes her own songs. She released her debut album in December, 2019 entitled Disappear. Like almost every competitive gymnast, Whitney has had her share of injuries through the years. Unfortunately, she acquired osteochondritis dissecans of the capitellum in her right elbow in 2018 which eventually let to surgery. She missed the 2018 competition season and had to endure a year long recovery from the surgery. She fought back and returned to form just in time for the 2019 competition season. Whitney had an incredible year winning the All-Around at The Gala, her first meet back. In fact, she hit every routine of the entire season, until her final bar routine at JO Nationals where she overshot her pak. Unfortunately, Whitney’s osteochondritis dissecans returned in her right elbow and she had reconstructive surgery in December of 2019. Whitney was presented with the option to retire from the sport, but laughed at the thought of it and plans to be back and better than ever in 2020. "You may see me struggle, but, you will NEVER see me QUIT."
Coaches: Tammy and Sorin Salcianu, Trevor Rubino, Cheri Shipp
Graduating Year: 2023
Born in Richland, WA in January 2004, Tirzah started attending gymnastics classes with her daycare provider at age two because “she had too much energy” and was climbing the door frames. She started in toddler gymnastics at Garland’s Gymnastics Academy in Kennewick, WA and progressed with Coach Brett Garland and Coach Erin Piel to their pre-team class. When she was five, she transitioned to the TOPs program at Mid-Columbia Gymnastics with Coaches Todd Sawyer and Jeanine Ruby and began homeschooling through Seton Home Study School starting with kindergarten. She began competing in level five when she was seven. Tirzah qualified for TOPs National Testing and traveled to the Karolyi Ranch at ages 8, 9, 10 and attended TOPs development camp at the ranch at age 9.
As Tirzah moved up through J.O. levels 7, 8, and 9 she never lost sight of her dream to become an elite gymnast. With the help of Coach Angie Jefferson at All-American Gymnastics in Richland, WA, and at the advice of national coaching staff, in 2016 she attended a try-out at Salcianu Elite Gymnastics in Henderson, NV. Subsequently, she and her family moved to Nevada in September of 2016 to begin training with Tammy and Sorin Salcianu and their team in Henderson, NV. In February 2019, she qualified junior elite compulsory at the Rocky Mountain Qualifier in Salt Lake City, UT. She qualified elite compulsory again at the Peppermint Twist Qualifier in Minneapolis in December 2019. Currently she is training level 10/elite with coaches Tammy and Sorin Salcianu, Trevor Rubino, and Cheri Shipp, and working towards junior elite optional qualifiers in 2020.