Over the last weekend in September, 6 of the PEG girls traveled to National Training Center for National TOPs Testing. Despite a challenging day of travel that included flight delays, broken planes, lost luggage, getting lost – the girls had a great time and did a great job!
National testing is a pretty cool experience. PEG chooses to keep our athletes on the ranch for a couple of reasons.
1. If TOPs, HOPES, Elite is a path they want to stay on – they will be spending many, many nights at the ranch. The girls learn to stay there and still be able to perform.
2. Practicality – the girls are always there. You don’t have to worry about traffic, time mix ups, getting lost. When it’s time to test they are already there.
3. It’s just really cool. Aside from all the animals (peacocks, camels, goats, turkeys, donkeys, horses, dogs…) you can find the signature of America’s most successful gymnasts on the very same bunk beds the girls stay in. The whole experience of the ranch is something every Olympic Dreamer should experience.
Testing happens all weekend long from Friday – Sunday evening. The girls are broken up by age and region. They test physical abilities (leg lifts, ropes, splits, etc) on one day and skills on another. The ten year olds were all done testing by Saturday morning,while the 9 year olds finished last on Sunday night. It makes for a crazy weekend for the coaches, but gives the athletes lots of time to explore. The PEG girls spent time by the lakes, chased frogs and played in the rain (it never rains in California). Amari reported that the food was pretty good – and that breakfast was WAY better than at developmental camp.
After testing, everyone flies home and awaits the scores. Luckily the flight home was slightly less of a disaster. Everyone arrived home safe and happy with the testing. Check back soon for results!