Currently training Level 9/10, Alix Napholz was born on October 25, 2007, to Meegan and Tom Napholz. Alix got her start in gymnastics at the young age of just 18 months and wanted to follow in her sister’s footsteps of being a gymnast. In October 2013, Alix began competing level 2 as a six year old with Precision Gymnastics. Alix competed level 2 through the spring 2014 season and then went on to compete level 3 during the 2014-2015 season. Halfway through her level 3 season, Alix began training with Jersey Shore Elite. At the New Jersey Level 3 State Championships, Alix placed seventh on beam and eighth all around in a tough age division.
During the summer of 2015, Alix continued to train new skills and was able to skip levels 4 and 5 and went on to compete level 6 during the 2015-2016 season. Alix had a solid level 6 season and concluded her season at the New Jersey State Championships. As a level 7 during the 2016-2017 season, Alix began her season at the Jingle Bell Rock Meet where she won the floor title and placed fifth all around. Alix continued to improve her all around score throughout the season and had a personal best on floor at state where she earned the bronze medal with a 9.625.
Alix opened up her 2017-2018 level 8 season at the Kick-Off Classic where she placed third on beam and floor. Three months later, Alix competed at the New Jersey State Meet where she went on to qualify for the Region 7 Championships. Alix had her best meet of the season at regionals, placing fourth on floor and earning a 37.100 in the all around. Although regionals concluded Alix’s level 8 season, six weeks later Alix competed in the Auburn National Elite Qualifier. Alix finished the optional qualifier with a silver medal on floor and a bronze medal on bars. Currently, Alix trains 28.5 hours per week under coach Jacqui Strickland at Jersey Shore Elite Gymnastics. Alix started off the 2018/2019 season coompeting in the compulsory Elite qualifer at Parketts in PA. She missed the qualifying score and competed again at the Buckeye Classic in Ohio. Alix & her Coach decided to finish the season as a level 8 and start training for level 10. Alix competed at the Pink Invitational in Philadelphia and Placed 1st. on Bars, Beam, Floor & AA and 3rd. on Vault. She then competed in the toughest age division in the NJ state meet as a Jr.A She took 8th place on Floor with a 9.5 and finished with a 36.7 qualifying for the region 7 regionals. Unfortunatley due to a Patella fracture on her right knee she wont be able to compete. Alix switched gyms in July of 2019. She is currently training at Arena Gymnastics. She trains 20 hours per week and will be competing level 9 for the 2019/2020 season.
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.
Coaches: Mary Carlson, Alicia Boren, & Sergey Malakhov
Graduating Year: 2024
Hi! I'm Brooke and I'm a level 10 at Sun Country Gymnastics in Gainesville, FL. I started out gymnastics when I was very little and just fell in love with the sport. The amazing environment with friends and coaches really motivates me each day to continue learn and grow! I am in eighth grade and super excited to compete my first season as a level 10! In my previous season, I qualified to level 9 Easterns where I won Beam (9.775) and got third in the all-around! My long-term goal in gymnastics is to earn a full ride scholarship for collegiate gym! I am going to build off my Level 9 season and go in confident and well prepared to build my future as a gymnast.
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.
Jersey Bingman - World Class Gymnastic ~ VaLevel 9
Coaches: Tami Harrison, Rex Harrison, Beka Conrad
Graduating Year: 2024
I was 3 years old when my grandmother put me in mommy and me recreational class. I have always had a lot of energy and couldn’t sit still, so it was the perfect fit . I have worked very hard to balance my love of gymnastics with my school work, remaining positive and focused when it comes to achieving my goals. Over the years my passion for the sport grew and I have participated in gymnastics as part of a competitive team where I have earned many placements not only at the State Championships, but the Regional Championships as well. My personal goal is to compete for a Division 1 College Gymnastics Team. Everyone has the opportunity to learn gymnastics and succeeded if you have a coach that believes in you. I have the opportunity to have many coaches that instilled the passion in my earlier years for gymnastics, ones who take pride in seeing me move up to the competitive team and all of my accomplishments.
I am currently training at World Class Gymnastics in Newport News, Va. I competed Level 8 last year with a new team , new coaches and a much larger gym. It was a fabulous year placing 3rd at the 2018 Virginia State Meet scoring a 37.975 AA placing on all events and taking 1st place on Bars as the 2018 Virginia State Champion. This qualified me for my first Regional Meet at which I placed 2nd with a score of 38.00 AA, placing on all events. I am training for the upcoming season as a Level 9 and my training consist of 32 hours in the summer and 25 hours a week during school year. My coaches are Tami, ,Beka and Rex have taught me so much that it is immeasurable. The first meet of the season for Level 9 was a success placing 1st on Vault, Bar, and Floor, took 4th on Beam and place 1st in the AA. The Robin Cone Memorial meet was amazing as we all got to meet Peng Peng Lee!! UCLA Gymnast with the perfect score 10.00.0
I am in the 8th grade attending a Public Middle School with placement in an AP programs as an A and A/B honor roll student. I have maintained the honor roll throughout my Elementary School years and on into Middle School.1
To be nominated as one of Top 10 Gymnast of the Year in 2018 was an honor .!!. " If you can believe it, then it is possible" My dream is to become an elite gymnast and earn a spot on a Division 1 College Team. I understand the persistence and dedication this requires which I am willing to put in the work and time. Most of all I would like to Thank YOU for considering me as one of your nominees for GOTY 2019. Looking forward to an awesome season with my teammates who are my sisters!!! Just remember "Half of doing is believing that YOU can".2
This 2018/2019 season has come to a close and I've enjoyed every minute !!! The Virginia State Meet was a success placing 2nd AA 37.250 Level 9 Jr 13. My first Regionals was just as successful placing 1st AA 37.975 Level 9 Junior 4 for Region 7. This has qualified me for another first Easterns in Florida at which I placed 8th AA. Not bad for the many of first to have in one season..... For now its training, training, and more training with full speed ahead!! Can't wait to make more memories with my teammates and Coaches. Thanks for nominated me as one of the many Top Gymnast of the Year. It's a honor to be among the other 50 nominee's for GOTY 2019. 3
To the Top Gymnast of the Year Kendall Congrats on your well-earned success for 2019 gymnastics season. Your dedication and commitment is impressive! You are the true champion!!!!. I would also like to extend my congratulations to all of the TOP 50, 25, 10, 5 on your achievement!! your hard work and much dedication that will contribute to a bright and successful gymnastics future. I have always appreciated the strong support of gymnastics and the camaraderie it brings. I’m sorry for not being able to attend the awards ceremony as my schedule does not permit. Again, thank you for nominating me as one of the Top 25 GOTY for 2019 . Congrats to all!!!!
Coaches: Ashley Umberger, Heather Moroz, Ivan Taskov, Faith Baranowski
Graduating Year: 2023
Kate Menake got her start in gymnastics at the age of three in a toddler class. She loved to hang on the bars and took to the sport right away. Kate began competing in 2013 as a level 3 with Flippin Out Gymnastics and went on to finish third on bars and beam at the New Jersey State Championships. The following season Kate competed level 4, her final compulsory season, and had a great season. At three meets, Kate brought home the all around title and finished third on bars and fourth on floor at state.
Following her level 4 season, Kate began training at North Stars Gymnastics and competed level 7 during the 2016 season. Kate began her optional career at the 1st Sectional and finished first on bars, beam, and in the all around. Throughout the rest of the season, Kate finished in the top 4 in the all around and went on to win the beam title and place fourth all around at the New Jersey State Championships.
Competing level 8 during the 2016-2017 season, Kate began her season at Christmas On The Chesapeake where she won the bars and floor titles and finished second on beam and in the all around. In March, Kate competed at states where she brought home a silver medal on vault. From states, Kate qualified to the Region 7 Championships and finished first on bars.
Kate competed her first year of level 9 during the 2018 season but unfortunately was only able to compete three meets during the season. Kate came back strong for the 2019 season beginning her season at the Garden State Classic where she won the bars title and came in second on beam. Two months later at the New Jersey State Championships, Kate brought home the gold medal on bars and bronze in the all around and qualified to regionals. At regionals, Kate had a fantastic meet and won the bars and all around titles as well as a second place finish on beam and punched a ticket to the Eastern Championships. Kate concluded her season at Easterns earning a silver medal on bars. Currently, Kate trains 25 hours per week under coach Ashley Umberger at North Stars Gymnastics in New Jersey.
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!!!
Coaches: Chris Kelly, Loana Cruz, and Katrina Zuniga
Graduating Year: 2023
Hi! I am Lorelei Dalton, Level 9, Flight School Gymnastic., I began gymnastics when I was 4 because I was climbing the walls and tumbling on the furniture. My coach came over to find out why I was in a Rec. class after the first week. I moved to pre-team and kept learning skills. I didn’t join the team until I moved gyms to my current gym Flight School Gymnastics in Torrance, CA. I really enjoy learning new skills. I think my favorite event is bars, but I love all the events. I love training and hope to continue through college. I was the Region 1 Level 7 Floor and AA champion in 2018. I was SoCal State Level 8 Bars champion and Region 1 Vault, Floor, and AA champion with 2nd place finishes on bars and beam for 2019. I have just begun my Level 9 season and I’m working hard for a great season.
I spent about a year out of the gym when I was seven years old. I wasn't really out of the gym, I attended a recreation gym with my very first coach while I was waiting for my new gym to open. I did my best to keep my skills with limited equipment. I still go visit my first coach. I think she has influenced me to learn to be a coach.
I have two brothers, Grady 15 and Rhys 9, that are always there to support me along with my parents. My little brother goes to all my meets so he can keep score for the team. I attend San Pedro High School Visual and Performing Arts Magnet class of 2023. I am a freshman with honors classes and one of only two 9th graders in the honors Algebra 2 class. I currently have a 4.0 GPA. I am not completely sure what I want to be when I grow up, but physical therapy or teaching are some thoughts right now. I'd really like to coach and own a gym of my own someday.
Lundyn Van der Toolen - Olympus GymnasticsLevel 10/Jr. Elite
Coaches: Ryan Kirkham & Jessie Mcdonough
Graduating Year: 2024
Lundyn Vandertoolen is a gymnast from Olympus Gymnastics in UT. I competed level 10 last year and was the state Champion. After that unfortunately I fractured by foot in 2 places and couldn't compete at Regionals. I am currently working to qualify Jr. Elite this year. I am also competing level 10. I ABSOLUTELY love competing.
I am the youngest of 4 girls and my sisters call me Stinky. I love to wear footie pajamas all the time and anything fuzzy. I have a huge collection of stuffed animals that take up almost half of my room. I started gymnastics at the age of 5. I have a very quite voice and a funny personality. I am very superstitious in all things.
I love people and God always is first in my life. I am very active in serving in my church and serving others. I am so very grateful for the talent that God has blessed me with. I have a goal to make the national team and compete internationally. Also, I really want to compete on a college team. Follow me on instagram at @lundynv2024
I am a level 8 gymnast competing for San Mateo Gymnastics in Belmont, California. I was introduced to gymnastics at the age of 8 at a summer camp and fell in love with the sport. Shortly after the summer camp I was invited to compete for a JO team. I started the sport much later than most of my teammates and have worked hard to build the foundation, strength and technique needed to learn new skills. I am thankful for my coaches who push me to do my best every day, the support of my parents and my amazing teammates who I have been blessed to share this journey with.
My journey has not always been easy gymnastics is a sport that requires hard work, commitment and dedication. Currently I train 6 days a week and commute 2 hours each day to gym. I started homeschooling in middle school to have a more flexible schedule to better balance my gymnastics and academic work. Over the years I have learned to develop time management skills and discipline. Like most gymnast every season there are skills that don’t always come easy, the experience of working hard to achieve or perfect a skill and reaching that goal is what I’m most proud of.
In level 5 and 7, I made the NorCal State Team. In Level 7, I accomplished one of my goals which was to represent NorCal as a member of the State Team at the Region 1 Championship. In 2019 my level 7 scores placed on Americas Top 100 scores: Bars: 9.850, Beam: 9.800, AA score 38.875. As I look back it’s the journey that I am most proud of. Hard work and perseverance always pays off. In the future, my long term goal is to earn a college scholarship to a top Division 1 gymnastics program.
HI, I'm Tatum & I started gymnastics at the age of 2. It took me a few different invitations to join the competitive team at my gym. It was a beautiful pink leo with rhinestones that finally won me over and after competing & winning AA at my first meet I was hooked! I am now training level 10 at Oklahoma City Gymnastics in OKC, OK. My amazing coaches Giovanna (Gou) Romero & Manuel Navarez push me to do my best & to reach my goals.
In 2018, I was the top qualifier for the Oklahoma team that represented our state at the National Judges Cup State Challenge in Portland, OR. I finished 2nd AA at that meet & the Oklahoma team finished 4th. I also received the Nadia Spirit award at the Nadia Comaneci Invitational presented by Nadia herself. As a level 7, I finished 2nd AA at my state meet and ended my season as the Region 3 Bar and Floor champ and 2rd in the AA. As a level 8, I placed 1st AA at all but two of my season meets & qualified to regionals again. At regionals I finished as the Region 3 Sr A bar & floor champion as well as finishing 3rd in the AA with my season best score. As a level 9, I placed 1st AA at state, 4th AA at regionals, and went to Westerns placing 2nd on Beam & 4th in the AA.
Gymnastics has taught me so many things. I have learned about discipline & determination, that sometimes things are hard but fighting through brings so much joy, that courage is not being scared but continuing despite the fear, that the rewards far outshine the disappointments & that failure is only the beginning of success. Gymnastics is so much more than what you see in the Olympics & I am so grateful to be able to be a part of it. I have been blessed to be a part of an amazing gym with an awesome group of girls that have encouraged & continue to encourage me along my journey.
My long term goal is to compete in college & be able to give back to my sport through coaching & judging. It is such a great honor to be nominated for Gymnast of the Year!!! I feel that God has given me a great talent & I hope to give Him all the glory!
My name is Tia Agdeppa Ravara. I was born on April 18, 2002 in Fremont, CA to George and Teodorie Ravara with two younger sisters, Geordie who is a 15-year old actress and singer, and Rylie Anne, an 11-year-old aspiring Computer Engineer. I am first year Level 10 gymnast at San Mateo Gymnastics in Belmont, California and coached by Melia O’Quinn and Ashot Gasparyan. I practice 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. I am a graduating senior at Bishop O’Dowd High School. I have committed to University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Gymnastics Team, and have been admitted to their Pre-Med Program.
How did I start gymnastics? During our annual family camping trip in 2007, I kept doing pull-ups on every tree I came across, so my mom said I needed to try gymnastics and enrolled me in a recreational gymnastics class. At the end of class, a JO coach asked me to try out for the team. I tried out and successfully joined the development team at Top Flight Gymnastics and at my very first meet, Gypsy Invite, I won first place on Beam with a 9.200 score. I then placed second on Vault at the Level 4 NorCal State Championships under the coaching of Olga Pantelus, Beth Strong, and Tatyana Pantelus.0
I moved to Pacific West Gymnastics in April 2010 under following coaches: Level 5: Hanako Miura, Michelle Largen, Jen Apodaca, Alan Fujinami, Donna Craig, and Maria Traggio Rivera Level 6: Jenn Battaglia, Rodica Apateanu and Maria Traggio Rivera, Level 7: Jenn Battaglia, Rodica Apateanu Level 8: Jenn Battaglia, Rodica Apateanu, and Liviu Mazilu Level 9: Kelsey Witten and Hanako Miura During the eight years at Pacific West, I earned 12 Gold, 16 Silver, and 13 Bronze medals in Zone/State/Regional/Western Championships. 1
In May 2018, I moved to San Mateo Gymnastics, and competed in Levels 9 and 10, earning 2 Gold,1 Silver, and 2 Bronze medals in State/Regional/Western Championships.2
Gymnastics has been a part of my life since I was Kindergarten. Over the years, I chose gymnastics over friend’s birthday parties, playdates, school dances, football games, friend get togethers, movies, watching TV, study groups, and even sleep. To me, the 24 hours in six days every week is worth it. I love the rush of swinging through the air between bars, flipping in the air onto a 4-inch beam, running at full speed to the vault table, and dancing to classical music. I am a Gymnast, but I am also a Black Belt, a Teacher, a Coach, a future doctor, and so much more! 3
Honesty. Integrity. Perseverance. Self-control. Indomitable Spirit. Those are the five words I have learned throughout my nine years leading up to my Tae Kwon Do Black Belt. Though I no longer attend classes every week, those five words have been ingrained into my being. Today, I stand tall knowing I do my best to uphold the five tenets of Tae Kwon Do.4
I have been blessed to have an opportunity to attend Bishop O’Dowd High School through the Presidential Scholarship Award, Bay Scholars Award, Knights of Columbus Scholarship, Black Catholic Ministry Award, FACE (Family Aid - Catholic Education), Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary Scholarship, as well as additional Financial Aid through the school. No words of thanks truly reflect my gratitude for the education and community I obtain here. Therefore, I must give thanks through my actions.5
At Bishop O’Dowd, I’m an advanced leader in the Campus Ministry Team (CMT) and an executive member on the Filipino Club. In CMT, we organize the spiritual service, create skits to translate the Catholic readings into a universal understanding for the school community, prepare charity drives, leading prayer in the morning, and participate in the Freshman and Sophomore Retreats. During the Frosh retreat, I lead a small group of freshmen in discussions about their high school life to help them better understand each other, connect with others, and branch out. In Filipino Club, I’m part of the executive council, where I’m in charge of helping the freshmen to learn the choreography to our tinikling dance. I serve as Dragon Ambassador at my school because I believe Bishop O’Dowd is an amazing educational institution, the teachers are phenomenal, the community is family, and I love sharing this with others.6
Outside of school, I do community service at my church. I am an altar server, where I help the priest during a liturgy. I’ve been doing this so long that I’ve been asked to teach younger kids how to altar serve. I have started my second year of being a Faith Formation teacher, where I teach 4th-8th graders about the Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation. I’ve found that I love working with kids and being around their energy puts a smile on my face. I helped coach Track and Field for All Saints Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). I was in charge of organizing the kids so they could run their race or do their field event. During the summers, as a Black Belt, I also teach TaeKwonDo to children in Grades TK-8. Coaching kids on sports is another joy for me. I love seeing the excitement when a child learns a new skill after struggling to master it. Serving my church is the gift I give to God who blesses me with everything in my life.7
I hate to admit it, but Reading is not my best friend. I can read and I do enjoy it; however, it does not come easy, especially after coming home at 9:30pm from a 4-hour gymnastics practice everyday. Despite these facts, I still maintain a 3.83 cumulative GPA. I am more of a Math and Science girl. I dream of becoming a Pediatrician and know that would entail a lot of reading (to say the least). I will continue to work hard to get there. To me, becoming a doctor is like learning a new gymnastics skill. I will fall learning new skills, I will be frustrated; I will even be bruised and scraped, but in time and hard work, I will get it and be great.8
I am not perfect nor am I the best. I am simply a girl with dreams and the focus and drive to achieve them!9
Member of the National Honor Society12
First Honor Roll for every HS semester13
Active Member California Scholarship Federation (CSF) for every semester14
All Saints Church: Faith Formation Teacher and Altar Server17
TaeKwonDo: Black Belt Teacher18
Track & Field: CYO Track & Field Assistant Coach19
Official Website http://gym-style.com/tiaravara/about.htm21
Videos from Pre-team in 2007 to Present, including every competition in between: https://tinyurl.com/TiaRavara22
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."
When I was 5 years old, I watched Gabby Douglas compete in the 2012 Olympics. I was mesmerized, from that day on I have dreamed of the Olympics. I am the youngest of 5 children, and began telling my siblings I was going to the Olympics. To get support from my family and friends I taught myself to do back handsprings and aerials.
A few years later my parents took me serious and signed me up for recreational class at a local gym. After a few months, my mom decided I needed to be challenged more. She researched other gyms in the state and took me to North Stars where I began competing in less than 6 months. I competed level 4 successful, and became state champ on floor exercise and second overall. The following year I switched gyms and went to MG Elite, where I competed level 7 and finished 3rd overall at states. My third year competing has been the best by far. I successfully competed level 8, accomplishing several amazing goals this year. I managed to score a 39.025 at the Parkettes Invitational I came in 1st place on vault, floor and bars and 3rd on beam and 1st overall.
Woga Classic was another exceptional meet, I scored 38.925 and came in 1st on every event. My other meets were equally as exciting I scored 38's at all with the exception of 1, and placed 1st or 2nd overall at every meet. My first visit to Regional's was absolutely amazing I finished 1st on vault, beam and floor, and second overall. My proudest moment is ranking 2nd and 4th on America's top 100 level 8 gymnast. I am extremely honored to be a contender for gymnast of the year!
Lydia started competing Level 3 just before her 8th birthday. The following year she competed Levels 4, 5 and 6 and also 9 y/o TOPS testing, earning a spot on the TOPS B team. At 10 Lydia competed Level 7 and also made the TOPS A team, earning third place in physical abilities at camp. In 2018 she competed Level 8 and did well, taking second place at States and in the Region 1 championships.
In 2019 she competed Level 9 and had a fantastic season, averaging almost 38 AA, but her Regional meet did not go as well and she earned a 37.4 AA, falling short of what was needed to qualify for Westerns. Lydia faced some injuries in the months following her 2019 season so her training has been limited, but she's now getting back to full training and preparing for a second season of Level 9.
In addition to gymnastics, Lydia loves math and is active in the National Charity League. She aspires to do gymnastics in college.
Following an elbow injury in May, she is cleared to come back in late August. She is repeating level 9 in her 2020 season.
During the 2015 National TOPs Testing (where she made TOPS A Team) she got invited to Developmental Invite Camp.0
That year she also competed level 4 in spring and level 5 in fall. 1
Milana became an absolute all-around champion at 2015 NorCal level 5 South State Championships showing the highest score of the meet (300 gymnasts total), and making State Team.2
In 2016 at the NorCal levels 6 & 7 South State Championships at the age of 8 Milana once again showed the highest AA score of the meet (450 total gymnasts), and again made State Team. 3
That year she attended all 3 Developmental Invite Camps (with an invitation to come back in 2017).4
In spring 2017 at age 9 Milana had a strong level 8 season, making State Team, and bringing home AA silver from Region 1 levels 8-10 Regional Championships (with the highest AA score of all fellow level 8 NorCal gymnasts). 5
In June 2017 Milana joins Developmental Camp led by Valeri Liukin and National Coaching Staff at Olympic Training Center in Texas.6
Two weeks following the camp Milana injures her left knee and withdraws from training for 10 months, skipping 2018 season, and withdrawing from Hopes Elite Training.7
Due to the injury Milana had to turn down invitations to join July and October Developmental Camps.8
Milana comes back in 2019 and has a strong level 9 season where she makes Sate Team, Regional team, and qualifies for Westerns.
Following an elbow injury in May, she is cleared to come back in late August. Milana is repeating level 9 in her 2020 season.
Sophia began her gymnastics career at a mommy and me class at the age of 2 .She was always climbing and jumping like a little gymnast. She starting competing at the age of 5 and has been competing ever since. With a few injuries along the way, she was always determined, strong willed, and focused to keep persevering through the difficult times. Gymnastics has been such a key part of her life and has taught her life skills, confidence, and knowing what it is like to find a love and passion for something. She continues to set her goals and find her way as a gymnast and a person. She has been training hard as a level 10 gymnast for the last 3 years. Sophia would love to receive a scholarship to her college of choice one day. She has been traveling in the summer and attending a few summer college camps in hopes of some recognition and experience at collegiate level. Her favorite event is beam because she gets to preform and show her artistic talent. Sophia continues to train at Phoenix Gymnastics in Old Bethpage, NY five days a week 4 hours a day, with her teammates. Besides Gymnastics, her passions are art, traveling, music, biking, and using whatever spare time she has to hang out with her friends. She ended her year with great success. She came in 1st place AA at Regional with a 37.90. States with a 37.775 (3rd place) and 37.525 at Nationals. She continues working towards her goals and becoming the best she can be.
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.