Local Gymnast Ranked Among Best in Nation

Staff Writer

Quiana Quillen, an 8-year-old gymnast from Antlers, OK, has been chosen as a national competitor for the USA Gymnastics TOPs Program.
 TOPs (Talent Opportunity Program) is a rigorous and highly competitive program for young gymnast, ages seven to ten, who are working toward becoming elite gymnasts. This past June and July, Quillen traveled to several testings, where she was evaluated on skills and physical abilities. Her scores were then compared to thousands of others across the nation.
On August 5th, 2019, the news came that Quillen was chosen among the top 100 gymnasts her age to participate in the National TOPs Test that will be held in Indianapolis this October. There, the top 100 eight, nine, and ten-year-olds will all compete for 50 spots on the ‘A’ Team. These team members will then go on to attend a National Training Camp.
Quiana trains 30+ hours per week under the instruction of Kim Hevron at Gymnastics Power House, in Paris, TX. Quillen’s mom, MaiLynn Jones, stated, “[Kim] started training TOPs with Quiana on March 6th, 2019, and Quiana couldn’t hold a 2 second handstand – let alone a 30 second one, couldn’t climb the rope, and couldn’t do any of her physical abilities” (all of which she needed for the test, which started in June). Hevron prepared Quillen, in three short months, to do things that other girls her age have been training “at least a year, sometimes two” (Jones).
The accomplishments of Coach Kim Hevron and Quiana Quillen are unmatched, given their short time frame. The National Test in October will reveal whether Quillen will continue to the next step in her gymnastics journey this year, but no matter the results, her family, friends, and gym sisters are proud of Quiana and all her hard work.
Congratulations to both Coach Kim Hevron and Quiana Quillen for the honor and achievement, and good luck at the National TOPs Testing!