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Carmel Gymnast Competes In Olympic Trials

LAKE MOHEGAN, N.Y. — Sixteen-year-old Sabrina Vega continues the pursuit of her Olympic dream Sunday when she competes for one of five openings on the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastic team at the trials in San Jose, Calif. Sabrina lives in Carmel and trains in Lake Mohegan.

Vega placed 10th out of 14 competitors after Friday night's first round and will continue with another round of events Sunday. She hopes to either make the team or place as an alternate.

Vega is already a champion, having belonged to the U.S. team that won gold in the 2011 World Championships. She qualified for the trials with a seventh-place finish in all-around (balance beam, parallel bars, vault and floor exercise) at the Visa National Championships earlier this month.

Vega began training at Dynamic Gymnastics in Lake Mohegan shortly after her first season. She is coached by Teodora Ungureanu-Cepoi and Sorin Cepoi, former Romanian gymnasts and Olympians trained by famed Romania and U.S. Olympic team coach Bela Karolyi.

The dynamic Vega won New York State and Eastern U.S. championships along the way and a gold medal with the U.S. Junior Gymnastics team before making her first national team in 2008.

"The journey so far has been great and successful," Vega said. "I have made the National Team every year since 2008 and have received eight international assignments. The final and most memorable moment was the entire experience of the 2011 World Championships."

That recent gold medal experience at the World Championships should help lift Vega as she continues her pursuit of a spot of the U.S. Olympic team and an Olympic medal. Vega said she gets her main support from her mother, Jahaira, and holds on to her Bible for comfort and strength.

"I have my Bible, and it is not a good luck charm but more of my comforting tool," Vega said. "Whenever I get nervous I always pray and read my favorite verse, Phillipians 4:13."

The U.S. gymnastics trials will be televised on NBC-TV Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m. local time.

For more information about Vega, log on at http://www.sabrinavega.com/about.cfm.

I have m

y Bible and it is not a good luck charm but more of my comforting tool. Whenever I get nervous I always pray and read my favorite verse... Phillipians 4:13.

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