EDWARDSVILLE - Artistic Gymnastics Institute is pleased to announce that three TOPs team members at AGI have qualified for the USA Gymnastics National TOPs Testing, taking place October 13-15.

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Maya Taylor and Reese Hampton, both 10 years old from Edwardsville, and Lilly Trettenero, 10 from Staunton, qualified for National Testing and have been listed among the top 100 ten-year-old gymnasts in the country.

The athletes are coached by AGI Head Coach Amanda Leigh Sciandra and her husband, Assistant Head Coach Gregory Verhaeg. This is a MAJOR accomplishment as over 3,000 gymnasts competed at state testing sites all over the country. These three gymnasts and their coaches will have eight more weeks to prepare for testing at the US National Gymnastics Training Center (Karolyi Ranch) for potential placement on the National TOPs Team.

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No Southern Illinois athletes have qualified for TOPs national testing since its inception 25 years ago.

TOPs, or the Talent Opportunity Program is one of the earliest steps in the elite gymnastics developmental process. It was created 25 years ago by USA Gymnastics (USAG) to identify young, talented athletes. During the months of June and July female gymnasts age 7-10 are evaluated on skills and physical abilities at the state or regional level. This TOPs program helps USA Gymnastics National Staff identify athletes with outstanding physical skills typically needed for elite competition including International Competition such as the P & G Championships, the World Championships and the Olympics. Several members of US Gold Medal Winning Olympic teams competed in the TOPs program, including Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas.

Artistic Gymnastics Institute is a 2-year-old gymnastics facility that is owned by Head Coach Amanda Sciandra.

Located in Edwardsville, AGI trains 100s of gymnasts by offering pre-school, beginner and recreational classes as well as Junior Olympic Teams Levels 3-10, TOPs Teams, and an Elite Developmental Homeschool Program. These TOPs gymnasts trained 25 hours a week during the summer and school year. Under the direction of Coach Amanda Scianra this young gym has already produced 11 Illinois State Individual Event champions and 2 Illinois State All Around Champions. Not only do AGI gymnasts dedicate themselves to the sport of gymnastics, they also work hard in the classroom and balance practices with school, church and family activities. Find more at www.agigym.com

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